Ambient Awareness: The Science of Facebook Status Updates

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Dan Zarrella
Dan Zarrella



describe the image As I was doing research for tomorrow's Science of Facebook Marketing webinar (go register now!) I began to think about an issue the issue of influencer marketing.

Like tweets, Facebook status updates are micro-content, but when read in aggregate over a period of time they form a tapestry of context. I get countless off-the-cuff messages from nearly everyone I’m friends with on Facebook that create a subtle sort of digital intimacy. I’m not just reading their well-polished blog-post length diatribes, I’m reading candid thoughts.

Back in 2008 a New York Times article called this phenomenon “ambient awareness.” Saying:

It is, they say, very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye.

As marketers we should be aware of this because it means that even though an individual user may not see a specific friend’s message about our content, if our content is posted by more than one of that user’s friends they will almost definitely become aware of it.

This gives us another vector for possible optimization of our social media content. Once we’ve got a killer headline, we can work on getting a few key users to post our content leading to increased awareness.

Every niche has its “cool kids.” The group of people, generally thought leaders who all know each other and are friends. If we can get 2 or more of these users to “like” our content, we will be increasing the entire niche’s potential for ambient awareness.

Marketing Takeaway: Influencer Marketing Matters On The Social Web

Here are a few quick tips for working with industry influencers:

1. Find the highly connected influencers in your niche, you probably already know who they are, but now make an effort to make friends with them through email, phone and social media connections.

2. Learn what influencers like to talk about and create content about that. Protip : Influencers often like reading about themselves.

3. Send quick messages about your content to those influencers with whom you have a relationship. Don't do this every time, but a few times a year should be ok.

What tips do you have for getting influencers to share your content online?

Photo Credit: incase

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