As we begin plunging head first into the world of Social Media with our brands we should consider people's behavior in social networks or amongst their Community's Passion Platforms.  [A Community Passion Platform is a group of people who congregate in social
networks to keep up with news, information and offers in specific
interest areas.] 

There are many elements to a campaign, While we start with the strategy , The Idea - The Message and the Creative execution is what makes a virus spread. If the Idea, Message of Creative execution is not relevant to a community, worthy of a consumers use in their every day lives or simply a gimmick with no pay-off to the target audience then the message will go unheard.  A great idea or tool can create the perfect storm. 

In the context of viral epidemics it's very similar. remember the meme? [ A meme is a idea that behaves like a virus--that
moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects. ] I
must say, though, that I don't much like that term [just like the term widget - it does not define the organism's unique characteristics]. What bothers me the most about about the discussion of memes is that no one ever tries to
define exactly what they are, and what makes a meme so contagious.  I am a firm believer that content is king, and the formula lies in the details of a campaign.  If the idea is good it easily will lead to endless content which acts as a formula for the perfect virus.

Crm20_key During this exercise, I begin by looking at the existence of Communities with Passion Platforms (CPP) and their reasons for passion.  One example of a Community Passion Platform (CPP) would be a community made up of people with a passion for all things fitness. 

In the Fitness CPP, people often buy health and wellness products, purchase and take advantage of the internet for fitness tips and new fitness products as well as use the community to gain access to hard to reach events or people. After studying the commonalties in people's behavior in the CPP, I began to witness  migratory patterns of connectors as well as the buying habits of those in the CPP. 

There are many persona types in the CPP, but the connector is someone who knows a lot of people. The connector acts as a vehicle that evangelizes the idea both in and out of the CPP. The connector has a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and
acquaintances. Their uber connectivity helps his or her CPP stay in the loop on the happenings and findings.

Two other persona types I explored are the Mavens, Critiques, Joiners, Voyeurs and Salespeople

Another way to examine personas is to look at The Tipping Point (The Tipping Point is an examination of the social epidemics that surround us.)  The connector is the message carrier and acts as a point of origin for each CPP.  A great example of this following the history of Patient Zero in the history of the AIDS epidemics.  Patient Zero was the point of origin for an fast spreading epidemic.

We as creative thinkers must begin to look at our target's Passion Platforms and what will infect a person enough for him or her to carry the conversation on to other CPPs.  Using the following diagram of example Community/Passion Platforms see how connectors evangelize or carry a creative idea's message or creative unit with them from one CPP to another.

Cluster_behavior_01

Now we add amplification with the use of mass media vehicles and partnerships.  In order to generate awareness and enhance the experience there are mass media vehicles which can be activated to help deliver amplification of the details of idea or (virus) outside of a CPP. There are many examples of mass media forms that will help connectors carry a topic or passion.  Branded content, promotional spots banner advertising and search are a great start to delivering the initial awareness as well as the necessary audience amplification that can drive to an idea in to a virus.

The goal of amplification is to take the fragmented media [people, tv, internet, mobile, retail, event and outdoor] and create a cohesive experience that supports the details of the idea.  This can happen in the form of a media partnership strategy that gives your target's CPP access to information, news and events that cannot get to on their own or anywhere else.

To effectively create a campaign, the creative brief must change to include the big eight.

1.] Identify Community Emotional Needs
2.] Develop Community Personas {Types & Trends}
3.] Concept "Tools" or "Ideas" {Create and Fulfill Desire}
4.] Develop A Key Message {Simple Relatable Story}
5.] Choose Best Media Vehicles & Partnerships {Offer Reach & Engagement}
6.] Craft Feedback Loops For Learning
7.] Develop Rapid Response To Consumer Feedback
8.] Use Consumer Feedback to Deliver Innovation

These eight steps to identifying and planning your account this year are not rules, they are best practices that lead to long term brand relationships inside communities.

In 2008 we must pay close attention to technology which facilitates the connectors and mavens to carry a message easily and quickly on in platforms and media types. Connecting the communities becomes increasingly easier when you are able to use technology to facilitate the ease of use for the connectors. (See Gigya's Wildfire - A One Click Platform)

Many of you have asked me for a high-res version of this map.  Click here to download a hi-res image off of flickr.

ON: CRM 2.0  – A Continued Definition via @jpenabickley