Social Engineering – Authority or Advocacy

Last week I spoke at the inaugural Crimson Hexagon London event. Sharing the lectern with Twitter and Crimson Hexagon was a clear demonstration of how tools have moved beyond the volumetric analysis that has dogged monitoring technology for many years. Then we turned to how the tools should be used and I was suddenly struck by how differently the audience were reacting to the same message from a week previously.

Crimson Hexagon

At the Crimson Hexagon event, the audience of mostly PR delegates declared a preference for authority marketing. Authority marketing generally fuels an outside-in approach to social media, by targeting relevant conversations and authorities outside of an existing community. This approach drives outreach, exposure and engagement by constructing content around the location of target audiences. The delegates were keen to understand how to build community maps that established authority through language and network size.

The week before I was at a very similar event where the focus of the mainly advertising audience clearly gravitated to advocacy marketing. Advocacy marketing suggests an inside-out approach to social media, where the third party networks used to drive outreach, exposure and engagement start within the existing community. The target audience in this case is defined by friends of existing community members. At this event I was asked about profiling and measuring the constituent parts of existing community to assess the advocacy potential of clusters of individuals.

To generate a balanced content plan there needs to be an understanding of how all the different target audiences’ cluster around both brands and authorities. While tools such as Crimson Hexagon do some serious heavy lifting for Cambridge Data, allowing us to analyse huge amounts of data, they will not provide pre-packaged insights. Success in all digital disciplines is increasingly about a cross-channel audience measurement and unfortunately there are very few short cuts.