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What Is Social Currency and Why Should You Care?

September 2, 2010

Social currency essentially attempts (like any smart CMO) to link a brand’s social presence, credibility and likability with its profitability.

It has little to do with how many followers, friends of fans you have. And more to do with how you treat your customers and potential customers and ultimately how they value you as a business or commodity. The more advocates you have and the more vocal or influential they are, the greater your social currency.

Why You Should Care

It allows brands to stay on top of fluidity in the marketplace. This helps determining what a brand needs to change in order to stay on top and helps with longer-term customer relationship management (CRM).

How to Do it Right

FastCompany does a fine job of highlighting a few things to think about when planning to maximize your social currency.

Basically:

1. Determine whether you need to be in the socialscape. It really comes down to your product and where your customers are.

2. Figure out when and where. There’s something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. Learn your audience’s consumption habits to help with this.

3. Make it sincere. Humor is good – if it’s believable. Remember, you want credibility. If you can find a way to make it both entertaining and honest, you’re golden.

4. Make it useful. Give me tools or information that will help me do something faster, better, easier, etc. and I’m more likely to keep listening and maybe even share those tips on your behalf.

5. Get the right people to like you. It only takes a few — sometimes one — influential fans or non-fans to make or break you. If that fan has a lot of clout with her own followers and is vocal about you, you’ll get extended reach through her.

If you’re a brand participating in social media, you have a social currency. Question is: are you doing the right things to keep the currency flowing?

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