There's something tremendously powerful in the relationship between Social Media communities and brands: as more and more networks tend to generate some sorts of filter bubble, it now becomes very powerful when a brand manages to present a new sort of niche groups to established communities.
Concretely, as it's more and more complicated to identify interesting new social spaces or individuals, it's becoming more valuable to recognize emerging trends, emerging talents from the deep web.
The most relevant example is probably what Diesel is currently doing with #DIESELREBOOT , as explained by Nicola Formichetti, creative director at Diesel:
Before social media it was very difficult to get noticed and achieve your dreans. you had to hope to be discovered so the world could see your work. Today it's different - there is no longer a recipe for success. You don't have to wait for somebody to discover you. You can be your own hero and transmit your own message. The time has come to show your bravery.
Actively detecting new heroes...and engaging them
This is what happens on a "traditional" news website: when you are mentioned, you tend to tell your friends and family that you're in it. Because the media have this sort of magical "influence" which makes us happy when we're in it...and also because they're still a huge hub of traffic and audiences, very rarely defeated in terms of drive to.
This mechanism is copied by brands: they spot (or PING) interesting talents who are not in the expected loops of influence or milieu. Once "pinged", the spotted individual is going to "pong" and drive his/her own community to the space where he/she is mentioned.
Out of the opportunistic (thus interesting) link building, this attitude also create a strong reciprocity between the brand and this pool of new people. Recognizing and opening the gates to unexpected groups is also a way to share reputation with them. A challenging state of mind for marketers which is obviously what the future is about: allowing non brand owners to transform to a certain extent the brand pulse
Rejuvenating, exciting and finally selling more
When you have a strong and big community, you need to reinvent yourself. There's a sort of structural limit to growth if you remain within your classic boundaries.
If brands manage to include new sorts of citizens in their territory, they will win for 3 reasons:
- the core community will be happy to be challenged, amused, surprized ex nihilo
- the new joiners are most of the time the most curious and enthusiastic with what a brand has to say. In terms of e-commerce, we can expect spontaneous movements leading to new sales...then growth
- with a new set of people, the brand can also "test" future developments; among all these pinged communities, there might be one which is actually a key driver for e-commerce