Published by Soundview Executive Book Summaries, P.O. Box 1053, Concordville, PA 19331 USA
© 2007 Soundview Executive Book Summaries • All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
When PeopleAre the Message
THE SUMMARY IN BRIEF
All it takes is a broadband connection, a laptop and maybe a cell phone to
create the “next big thing” that spreads like wildfire, because today’s Web-
based publishing platform of social media has become a dominant force in
shaping culture and ideas.
Social media describes the participative, “democratized” nature of the
Internet, where information flows not just from sites to users but from users to
sites and to other users. Social media has circumvented traditional media,
changed social dynamics and pop culture and hijacked companies’ abilities to
manage their reputations.
But only a handful of users –– citizen marketers –– use social media to
exert significant cultural influence. Who are these people? They are often
young and computer savvy, and they use social media to demonstrate their alle-
giance to a brand, idea or product. They are not confined by traditional report-
ing methods and thus can collaboratively spread information. And they are not
laborers, they’re hobbyists.
Citizen marketers have credibility and influence because people respond to
their authenticity. They are crucial to successful Web sites or grassroots cam-
paigns because they lead others to action, and the transparent nature of their
collaboration enhances what companies crave: loyalty.
The democratized content citizen marketers create forms a demand-driven
culture and business models that rely on what customers actually want. This
reduces business risk and gives customers a stake in the outcome.
INTHIS SUMMARY,YOUWILL LEARN:
• What social media is and how it accelerates the spread of ideas.
• The four types of citizen marketers and what they have in common.
• Who 1 Percenters are and why they are important to marketing.
• How two of the most popular Web sites have democrati