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Gabe Lozano on the New Social Web


December 4, 2013

The future of social media isn’t people-based, it’s interest-based, according to Gabe Lozano, co-founder, CEO of LockerDome.

During his professional development session at the PRSA International Conference on Oct. 29, titled “The ‘Interest Graph’: A Shift in Social Media,” Lozano discussed how communicators can use emerging platforms to reduce “viral friction” by targeting interested audiences with content they want, where they want it. 

Lozano says that Facebook has monopolized the social graph space, which is built around the question “who do you know?”
Interest graph platforms, however, focus on the question “what do you like?”

As a result, social graph networks have limited connections, and can only grow by one person at a time. But interest graphs offer virtually unlimited connections.  They also provide an element of personal distance that makes people much more likely to engage.

Interest graphs default to “public” because people want to discuss their interests with others, and therefore, these platforms are not complicated by the same personal politics as Facebook. On traditional social platforms, people feel like they have much more at stake.

“‘Do I want to admit to knowing you’ is a fraught question,” Lozano said.

For example, you can have a conversation about sports with a stranger while out at a bar, but you won’t turn around and show them a picture of your child. You might not even want to know their name. When you are in a default public space, you aren’t likely to share default private information.

People are therefore much more likely to share a piece of relevant content through an interest-based graph because they aren’t worried about who will see it. Those concerns contribute to “viral friction,” which prohibits traction.

The key for achieving traction is sharing easily digestible content targeted to a specific audience. 

“Put content in the right hands, and people can help you share it,” Lozano said.

He offered the following key advantages for communicators using interest-based platforms:

  • Lower viral friction equals longer shelf life and increased ROI. Your content is going to be shared, and it will be shared more quickly. And unless it’s breaking news, your content won’t lose power over time on an interest-based platform. It’s still relevant.
     
  • Your audience is predisposed to like your content. Target the right spaces to reach your goals. Knowing what your audience values takes the guesswork out of whether your campaign will be successful, and makes paid promotions like sponsored posts less relevant.
     
  • Low-friction content in low-friction spaces moves widely. Sharing easily digestible content (like Vines or cat pictures) helps spread your name and keep your organization top-of-mind. But make sure you know the rules of the community’s culture, or others could instantly dismiss you as spam. 

 

Kyra Auffermann is the digital content editor for Tactics. She oversees PRSA’s daily Issues & Trends e-newsletter. She is a Boston College graduate.
Email: kyra.auffermann at prsa.org



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