SCALING NETWORKS – Working the Crowd


It’s all very well having a social media strategy, a plan to reach millions of potential new customers that will charm your army of advocates into buying your products, but there may be something niggling at the back of your mind. Scale. How on earth will you single-handedly reach such a large number of people? With IT departments stretched to breaking point with no staff to spare, this is going to be a challenge. You have limited budget, minimal time to invest in your carefully crafted ’execution policy’ and no other resources at your disposal. You probably feel that this new edict from above is impossible to achieve. You can’t implement your digital marketing strategy alone. Of course, if you consider yourself to be a sole trader or you are running a small business and have no other resources at your disposal then you might think that you have no other option.

However, there are potentially millions of helpers at your disposal. You could use this super-connected network of extended friends to build up a set of connections for you.

These connections are not just a band of happy followers who love your product and buy every new version or revision that they can get their hands on.

These are your loyal football fans. They have the season ticket, they attend every match that they can—even the away games—and they buy all of your merchandise whenever a new club design comes out. But most of these —football fans— stay silent—apart from when they—re actually at a game of course. These followers do not actually help you get your word out to your new potential customers. They are the silent majority. These types of people will always buy the same brand of baked beans, toothpaste or tampons. They have done so for years and they don—t intend to change on a whim.

The problem with the silent majority is that they won’t evangelise your product for you. For this you need to reach out and find your ’noisy few’.

The noisy few exist in your immediate network, your tier 1 network, and they are vocal. They may be positive, they may be negative, but they are communicating with you. They want to talk to you. All you need to do is connect with them and start a conversation. The noisy few will relish the opportunity to communicate with you. They will form a relationship and engage in regular discussions with you about your brand, product or feature set.

Over time these noisy few will become your advocates, and your friends. Your noisy few will tell your story on your behalf.