George Smith, senior manager/social and CRM strategy at PepsiCo, used a bizarre word to describe Pepsi’s social media strategy today at Business Insider‘s Social Media ROI conference: “homophily.”He was talking about keeping the balance in a social conversation between a brand and its fans and followers. Make too many self-promoting posts and consumers will switch off. But make too many non-brand-relevant “conversational” posts and fans might regard them as irrelevant, Smith said.
Smith was responding to a comment by Maria Poveromo, social media director at Adobe Systems, who said that generally she favoured an 80-20 balance in favour of organic conversations with brand fans vs sales-oriented product announcements.
Smith said that not posting a lot about your brand might be a mistake, because the reason users “Like” your brand is they want to hear more about it. This concept is “homophily,” he said.
We had to look it up, too.It describes the tendency of individuals with similar outlooks to gravitate toward each other. “Birds of a feather flock together,” in other words. It’s pronounced “HOMM – OFF – ILLY.”
(It is NOT to be confused with homophyly, which is a resemblance due to common ancestry or the condition of being of the same race.)
So there you have it. Homophily: the taste of a new generation.
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