* This post is by guest blogger, John Twohig, co-founder of the Ahain Group , a social business consultancy based in Ireland. Please join us to explore MDEC: Multi-Directional Expressive Capability with John Twohig this Friday, July 13th, at 12pm ET/5pm BST/9am PT on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz
Through-out history, humans have possessed the ability to express themselves by speech, body language, song, and the written word. Historically this meant we had to physically gather together in groups, large or small, for multi-directional expression to take place. By this I mean more than two people are involved in conversation and people expressing themselves freely and in different ways.
With the advent of Online Social Media Platforms that has all changed. Just logging onto your chosen platform allows you to instantly enter a “Mutli-Directional” conversation or dialogue. This allows you to exercise your “Expressive Capability”. For a Social Business Strategy to have success, it is my opinion that MDEC activity is the gold dust, one of key drivers and measurement of ROI.
This Multi-Directional Expressive Capability is spooking business and traditional marketers. They feel they have no control over the conversation’s direction after they put their message out onto the online space.
It is this very MDEC communication model that gives Social its power. Originally the marketing message direction was one way (what is referred to as broadcasting or push marketing). As in, then-a TV adverts tells you about a companies product/service; a one way conversation. Now, thanks to Social Platforms the messages are:
- Business 2 Consumer(B2C)
- Consumer 2 Business(C2B)
- Consumer 2 Consumer about Business (C2CaB)
Businesses and organisations feel they cannot control the C2CaB aspect of the conversation. In the C2CaB aspect of the conversation, consumers can and will discuss, review and /or rate your product or service in an honest open discussion.
Broadcasting your marketing message is not the correct model for online marketing. Content has to motivate the online community. There has to be an edu-tainment value to inspire the community to express why they are happy or unhappy with your business/organisation. Coca-Cola is now measuring their success by the total amount of “Expressions” rather then the old metric of “Impressions”.
What are Impressions
Impressions are created when somebody clicks on a landing page containing a promotion. The numbers of clicks/impressions the advert receives indicates the ability of the company to drive traffic to that advert. The problem is I could really like an advertisement and not take action. In fact, I could like the advertisement so much that I click on that page numerous times and never buy the product.
Expressions are different…and the best way to measure your online success. If you take action and express an opinion about the business or organisation, you are contributing to that online community and online profile.
- Commenting on their blog
- Posting on their Facebook wall
- Commenting on their posts on Facebook
- Sharing their content with your community
- RTing Tweets which you find interesting
- Sharing your content with their community
Above are just six of the ways you can take action. This expression of interest in a business or organisation is the metric that Coca-Cola is now using to measure its online marketing success. There are many more methods of expression but the list above contains some of the most popular.
“Social Proof” and “Peer to Peer” recommendations are the gold dust to online marketing. These expressions are what all businesses and organisations should be pursuing to grow their market share and increase their profile in today’s popular culture. This Nielsen Report should provide some food for thought.
Real engagement matters
MDEC will help business, organisations and communities gain exposure in the online space. In a new model such as todays’ social platforms, which are only 7 years old, it will take time for people to adjust. People are driving this change as they are intolerant of businesses and organisations that are not authentic. They are intolerant of companies’ management do not engage and they are certainly intolerant of businesses and organisations that do not make an effort to edu-tain them.
How can the MDEC model help biz/orgs leverage “The Wisdom of Crowds” to achieve innovation and efficiencies?
What would be the most important area to focus a Social Business Strategy
If impressions do not measure engagement, what role do they play in MDEC?
How would you describe the ideal model for marketing to consumers?
About the author: John Twohig is Co-Founder at the Ahain Group, Social Business Strategist and Blogger. He is the first person to name the new communication model that online social platforms facilitate, Multi-Directional Expressive Capability (MDEC) and its benefits to business and organisations.