Communicating with the SAM (Social Adoption Mechanism) is not about reaching as many individuals as you can = the only law in the media landscape I know.
Lessons from social psychology show us how we can efficiently communicate with the SAM by incorporating some subtle rules.
When you want to talk to your innovators
- identifying and localising your innovators = your innovator channel
- don’t invade their private space … show respect and be honest about who you are
- let your expert people bring the message … they speak the same language (get your marketing boys/girls outta there!)
- the message is expert level … focus on technical details, authenticity, …
- they like passion about the product and expertise … show some
- don’t pamper or reward them … this is what they choose to talk about
- listen to feedback on your message
- use snowball sampling to reach more innovators of your category
Now the first cog is turning. Now you need to bring your gatekeeper cog in touch … so the whole mechanism gets activated.
Your second message must be different. When innovators want to see how relevant the message is for them, gatekeepers want to see social relevance, how can this message help them to acquire social status within one of their groups?
So use your innovator message, and work on the package of the message (yes get your marketing boys and girls back in):
- know who and where your gatekeepers are … since their interests are broader (food in stead of soup f.e.) they should be easier to find = your gatekeeper channel
- don’t invade, share your story / message and listen to theirs
- scarcity is key, if the message is open and out there, social scoring potential is low for gatekeepers … and their willingness to spread will be less. This is why mass media are so inefficient in getting the message across.
- the message must be appealing and have social scoring potential, compared to the more technical message for the innovators