How people connect and interact with each other has radically changed with social media, resulting in increasing focus on social currency – the extent to which consumers share the brand with others as part of their everyday social lives.
So what are the six dimensions of social currency?
- Affiliation – creating a sense of community between customers, consumers, and users of a brand
- Conversation – joining the customer conversation around the brand and adding to it
- Utility – building a service for customers, and helping them increase their own social relevance
- Advocacy – creating a strong attachment to a brand where customers actively recommend, and in some instances, defend the brand
- Information – proving valuable information and knowledge which customers can share with others
- Identity – when customers develop their own identity within the respective peer group
Building social currency is certainly not easy, but every organization should strive to achieve it because it will make their brand sticky – less likely for customers to switch to another brand.
For example, Apple’s social currency is much stronger than Samsung’s – one of the reasons why Apple’s customers will not switch, even if Samsung releases a better product.
Of course, most organizations are not Apple, but you don’t have to be Apple to build social currency. All six behaviors are achievable at any scale, think of your favorite local restaurant. You probably share information about them all the time; they succeeded in building social currency, and so can you.