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Applying the Principle of Small World Phenomenon to Boost Social Media Engagement

Getting a good number of social media engagements bring more fulfilment to marketers compared to merely receiving a high number of visits to a social media page. Each time a curated content is published, it is sealed with the hope to gain more engagements. High engagement means quality content has been valued by readers earning up to a thousand likes and shares. Engagement refers to any form of interaction within a post or the account itself. Examples of engagement are likes, shares, comments, follows, tweets, pokes, emojis/stickers, click-throughs, screenshots and messages. It is a metric itself. With billion social media users in different social media platforms, it is not always easy to catch people’s attention and precious time. On the positive side, reaching out and making multiple connections has become easier and faster. Relating it to the small world phenomenon or the 6-degree separation experiment, they say that people are all linked by short chains of acquaintances. Each link is important in transmitting a message. Imagine a message delivered to 10 people. These 10 people will send the message out to another 10 and so on. In just 6 links, the message that was initially sent to 10 people reached more than 15,000 people. The principle also implies that as the number of people grows, the smaller social distance becomes. This may also answer why one’s friend list would normally balloon to a thousand and recognise a friend to be a friend of a friend. People nowadays are hooked to their social media accounts every single day. Marketers should take advantage of this time. With a wide network, good timing and interesting and relatable content, a post can get “viral”. The term “viral” is a social media term that refers to content that spreads like a virus or has brought notable attention or awareness to social media users. That is every marketer’s goal. Small world phenomenon should also be taken advantage by businesses. Advertising is not just limited to television, radio, billboards and newspapers. It is very convenient to promote and sell products, communicate anytime and even post job vacancies through these social media accounts for free and without limits. Here is how to take advantage of the Small World Phenomenon to increase social media engagements. 1. Identify and Know Your Target Audience. Identifying and knowing are two different things. You will identify your target audience depending on the product you are pitching. Who are fond and who would most likely buy my product? What industries would particularly show interest in getting my services? Knowing your target audience is having the foresight to tell what your client needs. By mastering your product and service, you will know right away what clients are looking for the moment they come to you. How well do you know the intricacies of your craft and how flawlessly can you extend it to your clients? 2. Determine the Particular Social Media Platform to Use Based on Your Target Audience. Social media demographics shall help marketers identify the best platform to use to appeal to the target audience. It is ideal to be present in all of the social media platforms. However, consider that as each platform varies in demographics and features, they shall be managed differently. 3. Tagging a Group or Persons This interaction brings the tendency of starting a public conversation through the comment section. It may be a way of validation or to stir an argument. People who are tagged may or may not relate to the content but as comments continuously post, it will stay up on their newsfeed. 4. Using Hashtags Hashtag is used to simplify searches. By using hashtags, one will see posts related to the topic that might just offer interest to browsers. It is a good way to participate in a conversation or simply just air out one’s opinion. Hashtags may also be used to source questions and answers. 5. Using Social Media Page for Customer Service Being responsive to inquiries and giving humorous replies would personify the company or the account. Auto replies often disappoint clients who ask simple inquiry and much worse when they are never gotten back. Businesses create their social media page as an awareness channel, but the page should not blatantly appear to be self-serving. Take advantage of what the public would see on your page. 6. Using Social Media for Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility is part of every business nowadays. This shall surely gain engagement since people are naturally compassionate but more than that, the goal is to become an effective medium in amplifying support and awareness to an individual, group, community, environment etc. 7. Offering Promos Who does not like to receive freebies, discounts, rebates, etc. especially if it will not require much time and effort to get them? This is usually joined by regular customers. Regular customers are the best influencers to new buyers. When more people join, the higher the brand awareness it gets. 8. Games This is especially dedicated to the competitive ones whose eyes are always on the prize. Games entertain and exercise the mind. Whether the prize is grand or not so grand, this type of interaction shall expand the visibility of your product or service. 9. Trivia Trivia are just short, additional information that bring delight and often amazement to the audience. Having good research on related topics would increase engagement. Consequently, when your page becomes a reliable source of these trivia, people would tend to follow your page and look forward to your next post. 10. Survey Frequently conducting a short survey to better your product or service is a positive move. Result of the survey shall be carefully studied. Loyal clients are most concerned with answering these surveys. Surveys create an impression that businesses care about their clients and that they contribute to any change or are involved in any improvement. 11. Stories Stories are popular among social media sites. Watching stories are practical for those who do not have time to browse long newsfeed. Businesses should not be left behind from this trend. Stories reveal business’s ordinary days, the people behind it and what they are up to. 12. Ending a Post with a Question Leaving questions at the bottom of a nice article or inserting them to an infographic, readers will have the chance to share their insights. As each person is entitled to their own opinion, thread of comments shall depend on how interestingly questions are thrown. In as much as this article intends to maximize the principle of small world phenomenon, we have provided below the most updated statistical facts of the six biggest social media platforms which will be useful for your business. Note that each social media platform has its metrics or analytics tool to gauge engagements or ROI. Facebook It is the most popular and widely used social media platform. Facebook Business offers Facebook Ads, Facebook Blueprint, Facebook IQ, and marketing through FB Messenger. Demographic Source: Zephora Digital Marketing, updated in September 2019

  • 29.7% of users are from ages 25 to 34.
  • It has 1.50 billion daily active users.
  • Facebook has more female users than male users.
  • Average time spent per visit is 20 minutes.
  • Engagement is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays
LinkedIn This platform is initially the leading option for professionals showcasing themselves. More companies have signed up in the professional network. Demographic Source: Oberlo, August 2019
  • 38% of users are from ages 25 to 34. Ages 35 to 54 account for 30%
  • 43% of users are female and 57% are male
  • Average LinkedIn session lasts 6:07 minutes
  • More than 30 million companies are listed on the platform
  • It is the 2nd most popular platform among B2B marketers
Twitter Twitter is where most instant reactions come from. To discover what is new and know what is happening, it comes in like a news flash. Twitter came up with their Twitter Business that offers Twitter Ads and Twitter Marketing Calendar. Demographic Source: Oberlo, June 2019
  • 63% of users are from ages 35 to 65.
  • It has 134 million daily active users.
  • There are more male users than female users.
  • Average time spent per visit is 3.39 minutes.
  • 67% of all B2B businesses are using it as a digital marketing tool.
Instagram It is where visuals, images and videos are popularly shared. Instagram aims to capture moments and make the platform the happiest place on the internet. Demographic Source: Hootsuite, October 2019
  • Most users are from ages 18 to 29.
  • It has 1 billion monthly active users.
  • 52% of users are female and 48% are male
  • 200 million users visit at least 1 business profile daily
  • Average time spent per visit will be 28 minutes in 2020
Snapchat Snapchat is particularly famous among young users in the United States. It features a more creative expression of self through a combination of pictures, videos, sound, music and text. Demographic Source: Zephora Digital Marketing, updated in October 2019
  • 90% of users are from ages 13 to 24.
  • It has 203 million daily active users.
  • Average time spent is 25 to 30 minutes
  • There are more female users than male users.
Pinterest The concept of this app is to draw inspiration, discover one’s passion and do what one loves. Style conscious retailers and consumers are users of this social media page. Demographic Source: Sprout Social, May 2019
  • It has 291 million monthly active users.
  • 79.5% of users are female.
  • Women ages 25 to 54 make 80% of buying decisions.
  • 27% of marketers are already using Pinterest.
  • Average time spent is 14.2 minutes.
CONCLUSION The principle of small world phenomenon has long been studied in the 20th century. Applying it today on social media platforms to market businesses is an advantage. The phenomenon easily explains how contents become viral worldwide while social media sites make it easy for people to connect and reach their acquaintance even to the farthest of places. Aside from these given factors, marketers should consider practical tactics to achieve high engagements:
  • Identifying and Knowing Your Target Audience
  • Determining the Particular Social Media Platform to Use Based on Your Target Audience
  • Tagging a Group or Persons
  • Using Hashtags
  • Using Social Media Page for Customer Service
  • Using Social Media for Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Offering Promos
  • Games
  • Trivia
  • Survey
  • Stories
  • Ending a Post with a Question
To complete this blog, six of the biggest social media platforms for business have been provided specifying the latest statistical facts we can get. Are there any other ways you can add to the list? Let us know if this article was helpful to you. ———————— About the author: Priya Mishra is a successful entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in marketing and technology across multiple verticals in various countries. Priya understands how to connect and communicate. As the co-founder of multiple businesses, she has experienced success by adapting to a dynamic environment while remaining strategic. Having worked at Notable Companies, she understands how to bridge the gap of capabilities between small businesses and large organisations. FACEBOOK: 1. Small World Phenomenon and Its Attestation to Social Media Engagement 2. Why Every Small Linkage Count to Achieve High Social Media Engagement TWITTER: 1. Get High Engagements Through Creating Smaller Social Distance 2. Increase Your Social Media Engagements Through 12 Practical Ways SITE DESCRIPTION The principle of small world phenomenon implies that as the number of people grows, the smaller social distance becomes. That is an attestation of how social media platforms work. Each link is important in influencing and transmitting a message. Marketers should take advantage of this connection to increase social media engagement by following 12 practical ways provided in this blog. Latest statistical facts of the six biggest social media platforms that are used for business were also detailed to better manage your target audience.

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