I am writing today to those of you who don’t think your business would benefit, or those who are not taking part in your companies inevitable involvement in online marketing. So if this is you, take a few moments and read on.
Online Marketing Relies on the Interconnections between People Online
The following explanation has its roots in the study of Stanley Milgram, who was an American social psychologist who was fascinated by all aspects of social order. For more details on his studies you can see this recent article on PSYBLOG.
I intend to focus on his studies of the interconnectedness of human societies.
In 1969 he conducted an experiment which sent letters to random people in Nebraska or Boston and asking them to forward it to someone who might be more likely to know the target person, who lived in Massachusetts (Travers & Milgram, 1969).
He found that on average it would take 5.2 intermediaries for his letter to go from the first person to its destination, via each person’s social network.
This was 1969 and the experiment required the subjects to overcome the relatively high obstacle of physically mailing something, and to rely on their social network which (without the online networking tools of today) was significantly smaller, yet it still only took 5.2 intermediaries to find its mark.
This Number is Surely Lower Today
With the average number of online connections reaching the thousands the ability to sort and direct information today is much higher than when this study was conducted.
Here is a Facebook insight Statistic from a recently launched real estate company Facebook Page:
Notice two stunning statistics here: 87 people have liked the page, and if they all shared the page’s next post, it would reach 24,885 people. Amazing isn’t it? That is 286 friends per person who liked the page, and what this does not tell us is how many connections those friends of fans would bring to the table.