Posted by: gerrib18 | December 27, 2009

Social Networking: A Domino Effect

When thinking about social networking, I’m reminded of the awesome domino toppling setups that I recently saw on YouTube from Domino Day 2009.  Each scene was a splendidly crafted design of links, bends and turns incorporated into displays of famous monuments, people and places that were all tied into vibrant color combinations, integrated mechanical engineering and spectacular special effects.

This year, the Domino Day participants were challenged to break the 2008 world record of toppling 4.3 million dominoes in one fell swoop.  Over 90 domino builders from 14 countries throughout Europe participated in the event after almost a year of preparation and eight weeks of continuous domino building.  Though the goal to topple 4.8 million dominoes was not achieved, the world record was broken as the amount of dominoes that fell in succession was almost 4.5 million in number.

So why am I meandering around talking about domino toppling in relation to social networking?  For domino toppling to be successful, by nature, each piece is dependent up the preceding piece.  Patterns of dominoes, set up in logical and concise methods, generate continuous chain reactions from the falling dominoes until the last piece falls down.  To enhance visibility and increase profits, a social media plan should be logically and strategically devised in a way that causes a chain reaction similar to the dominoes.  By designing a campaign that integrates and links business appropriate platforms, you have the potential to generate recognition from multiple fronts, convert followers into customers and create ongoing responses.

When the participants of the 2009 Domino Day first got together, they sketched out illustrations of the scenes they wanted to recreate.  After doing so, they decided upon the various methods and techniques needed to create their vision and topple 4.8 million dominoes.

In deciding upon a social networking plan, like the domino participants, we first need to sketch out a picture by asking:

  • Who do we want to reach?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • What do we want to happen?
  • What methods or platforms will work best to achieve our goal?

The answers to these four questions are the keys to creating a strategy that can boost the outcome of any social media campaign.  It is after identifying these objectives that we can then move forward and engineer the mechanics of a campaign by incorporating suitable tactics, methodologies and links that will reinforce a strategy to create a domino effect.  In essence, by igniting a chain reaction within selected media, we have the potential to leverage the margin of success in social networking endeavors.  We still need to keep in mind that as it took the domino participants a year to prepare for their event, it will take time – possibly 3 to 6 months – to prepare and achieve satisfying results for a social media campaign.

Who knew that a simple set of tiles could be so inspiring?

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  1. Congratulations on the new blog. Looks great, and I enjoy your writing style. The domino analogy is an interesting concept.

    So where does one start? It might be interesting to learn where you placed your first domino.

    Take care…Michael

    • Michael, thanks for your comments. As for where I placed the first domino, that’s a good question. For me, it was starting with Facebook and learning how to interact with the community on a personal level. As I grew to feel comfortable and realized that I wanted to integrate this type of media into my profession, I moved on to LinkedIn so that I could interface with professionals and learn from their experiences and knowledge. From there it just moved forward as I created my own chain reaction by answering questions, posting on message boards and responding to other posts. If I were to make a recommendation to a business as to where to place the first domino, it would be based on the target audience(s) and the goals of the business. From my learning, I continue to support the theory that in order for social media to be most effective for businesses, the key is not so much in sales, but in creating relationships and building communities. Check out this morning’s article in the Baltimore Sun .

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