Social: Session 5: The Science of Relationship

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Learn to use sociology techniques to derive a clear, precise and quantifiable definition for relationships, then apply the resulting concepts to brand-customer relationship. We will explore the metrics and potential ways to measure and quantify relationship and address the question of whether we can beat the Dunbar Limit of 150 friends. We will also revisit the Dunbar Limit and its implication for brands under the concept of attention economy. How can brands can leverage various components of a relationship to build stronger customer relationship to bring ROI through loyalty and influence?


  • 1. Track: SocialThe Science of RelationshipMichael Wu, PhD (mich8elwu) Principal Scientist of Analytics @ LithiumApril 24th, 2012

2. agenda Introduction: CRM data Development and maintenance of relationship Anthropology: complementarity between social network and community Interpersonal relationship and the Dunbar limit Sociology: the attention economy Customers relationship (with brands) Application: dealing with the Facebook irony Future work twitter: mich8elwu 3. whats the R in social CRM What data do CRM system store? Contact record email, phone, address twitter, facebook, linkedin? Transaction record purchase/sales history order/fulfillment data Support record support case history service delivery data Wheres the relationship data in CRM system? #scon12 twitter: 4. Todays CRM systemR record relationship#scon12twitter: 5. where do we find relationship data? On social media Facebook Linkedin Its a huge ecosystem oftools+services There are toomany places tolook!#scon12twitter: mich8elwu 6. where do we find relationship data? On social media Facebook Linkedin Its a huge ecosystem oftools+services There are toomany places tolook!#scon12twitter: mich8elwu 7. Social is not new!Human have beensocial since theywere caveman#scon12twitter: 8. Social anthropologyperspective of socialTech relationship1. Social network2. Community#scon12 twitter: mich8elwu 9. Social anthropologyperspective of socialTech relationship1. Social network2. Community#scon12 twitter: mich8elwu 10. how do social networks form?A story of how Bobs social Emeryville network was built= communityweak ties Bobstrong tiesold membersnew / casualmembers#scon12twitter: mich8elwu 11. how do social networks form?Emeryvillecollege = communitySocial networks formnaturally withincommunities as peopleestablishes relationshipsSocial networkmaintains relationshipsas people move work between communities#scon12 twitter: 12. what do real social network data look like?#scon12 twitter: 13. communities vs. social networks (on/offline) Social Network Community Held together by pre-existing Held together by some common interpersonal relationships interests of a large group of between individuals people You know everyone in your Most people, especially new network (ego-network), people members, do not know majority of who are connected to you directly the members in the community Each person has only one social Any one person may be part of network, despite there are many many communities at any given social network platformstime Structure: Network Structure: Hierarchical, overlapping & nested #scon12 twitter: 14. communities vs. social networks (on/offline) Social Networks Community #scon12twitter: mich8elwu 15. lifecycle of relationships disconnected Easy! do1. creatingAll it takes issomethinga weak tie an hello bad weak tie2. building dotie strengthnothing strong tie 3. maintaining relationship#scon12 twitter: 16. But what isrelationship?#scon12twitter: 17. the components of a relationship Relationship: sociology perspective A tie or a connection between two entities (e.g.people, companies, cities, or even nations) Tie strength = strength of the relationship Granovetter: components of tie strength Time: amount of time spent together Intensity: emotional intensity & sense of closeness Trust: intimacy or mutual confiding (transparency) Reciprocity: amount of reciprocal services Strong relationships requires more time & attention#scon12 twitter: 18. the attention economy We only have 24 hours a day We only have fixed amount of attention How many meaningful relationship can we have? via nielsen #scon12 twitter: 19. ~150: the Dunbar number (or Dunbar limit) Prof. Robin Dunbar found a relationship between brain size of primate species and their group size 148 Extrapolate data from 38 primate species to human neocortex ratio Dunbar number = 148 (~150) Verified by surveying pre- we know the human neocortical ratio industrial villages/tribes#scon12 twitter: 20. does Dunbar limit still applies in modern society? Order our relationship from wife children the strongest (immediate parents family) to the weakest (acquaintance)siblings tie strength This creates a relationship close friends profiles for each personacquaintance In pre-industrial villages & tribes, people only know ~150 people on average 16 ~150 # of relationships#scon12 twitter: 21. does Dunbar limit still applies in modern society? Dunbars limit may not wife childrenapply in modern society b/c parents necessity for social cohesion issubstantially lower communication (an important part siblings tie strengthof socializing) is much moreclose friendsefficientacquaintance But our brain hasnt changed for millennia16 ~150 # of relationships #scon12 twitter: 22. we can have more than 150 friends if have fewer strong tiestie strengthattention shift fromstronger ties to weaker ties strong ties~150 weak ties# of relationships#scon12 twitter: 23. we can have more than 150 friends We can shift our time/attention around, but the total amount of time/attention remain roughly the sameif have weaker strong ties area under thearea under thetie strengthyellow relationship profile= blue relationship profileattention shift fromstronger ties to weaker ties strong ties~150weak ties# of relationships#scon12 twitter: 24. What about the relationship between customers & brands? customer relationship < personal relationship (with brands)(with people)always weaker#scon12 twitter: mich8elwu 25. the Facebook irony Facebook contains a lot of our strong ties By definition, these stronger ties will demand more attention, and will win moreof your limited time/attention Irony: because Facebook is too good at maintaining our strong ties, it created problems for itself: In the presence of strong ties, weaker tiesare harder to develop into strong onesbut its too fast for your dog If you already have strong relationship withyour customers. Great! maintain themwith Facebook is the way to go Otherwise, the strong ties on Facebook willhinder the development of weak ties#scon12 twitter: 26. How can brandsbuild strongerrelationships withtheir customers?#scon12 twitter: mich8elwu 27. component #1: time time = time spent together desire = mutual duration of relationship time increases tie strength trustif the desires to spend timetogether is mutual timeLOVEreciprocity intensity #scon12 twitter: 28. component #1: time time = time spent together desire = non-mutual duration of relationship time increases tie strength trustif the desires to spend timetogether is mutual time Key: know when your reciprocitycustomers want to spendtime with you, and be thereintensity HATEfor them #scon12 twitter: 29. component #2: intensity Customers intensity for brands is much lower thantheir intensity for friends trust It is genetic! We have nocontrol over it time Tactic: appeal to greaterreciprocitycauses that customershave strong emotions forintensity Key: dont try too hard on this component#scon12twitter: mich8elwu 30. component #3: trust Transparency creates an environment thats more conducive for building trust trust 2 types of transparency brandcustomertime blog, twitter, etc reciprocity customercustomer community discussion forumintensity#scon12twitter: mich8elwu 31. component #3: trust People trust themselves, sotrust they tend to trust brands that co-create with them 2 types of co-creation passive: listening + collect customer input time active: crowdsourced ideation + filteringreciprocity Key:1. Create transparent & authentic intensity communication channels to customers & among customers2. Co-create with your customers #scon12twitter: mich8elwu 32. component #4: reciprocity Reciprocity = 2 wayreciprocal services CustomerBrands trust Make it easy for them to help othercustomers of yours Reward them properly and serve timeright reciprocity Create a sustainable cycleof reciprocity by co-creationintensity Key: dont forget to let your customer help you #scon12twitter: mich8elwu 33. building customer relationship Customer community Opt-in: its there when the customers want it May have a great cause trust Transparent channel Platform for co-creation time Enables reciprocity reciprocity Customer relationship are build the same way asintensity inter-personal relationships, in a community#scon12twitter: mich8elwu 34. Now we know howrelationships are built,can we measure it?#scon12twitter: 35. not yet, but each pillar is ~quantifiable~how transparent is your how deep are the at what rate arehow much time spent in engagementsbrand to your customers?reciprocal andyour brand community? with your brand?how responsive you are mutual serviceshow much time spent sentiment ratio,to you