What Social Networks Can Do For You

One of the reasons I enjoy public relations and marketing so much is the opportunity to employ my armchair psychiatrist skills. No campaign can be successful if it does not jive with basic human thoughts and needs.

A recent research study released by Communispace certainly validated the link between successful communication and social science. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, the study was able to illustrate how businesses that engage basic needs are more likely to create deeper emotional bonds with customers.

“Meeting Business Needs by Meeting Social Needs: Why Size Matters” relates basic social needs to online social networks, creating a roadmap—and business case—for businesses to tap social media to create stronger connections with customers.
From the study:

  1. Online social networks provide people with the ultimate tool for defining and redefining themselves, as evidenced in profile pages on Facebook and MySpace.
  2. The need for autonomy, recognition and achievement are essential to our sense of self-worth and are fulfilled in online communities, blogs, and social networks that provide a way to develop and manage a virtual reputation.
  3. People have a need to both seek and provide help to others. Mutual assistance between strangers is a phenomenon that has been uniquely enabled by the Internet.
  4. Online communities are becoming the way people find, create and connect with others “just like me” – people who share similar tastes, sensibilities, orientations or interests.
  5. A sense of belonging or affiliation alone is not equivalent to a true sense of community. Achieving a real sense of community requires long-lasting reciprocal relationships and a mutual commitment to the needs of the community as a whole.
  6. People want to be reassured of their worth and value, and seek confirmation that what they say and do matters to others and has an impact on the world around them.

To reach our audience we need to offer the opportunity for a meaningful two-way relationship. We need to make it personal. We need to get social.

2 thoughts on “What Social Networks Can Do For You

  1. Great post, Jill –

    I see “Achieving a real sense of community requires long-lasting reciprocal relationships and a mutual commitment to the needs of the community as a whole.”

    as the most challenging and most important aspect of social media communications for organizations. You have them – how do you create the value to keep them?