The key to maintaining a community of any sort and for any length of time is interdependence. There are several different kinds of interdependence and methods of creating it. But without interdependence a community is no more than a social club, and prone to falling apart from a lack of interaction and member satisfaction.
One of the strongest forms of interdependence is customer interdependence. Customer interdependence is defined as a group of people who create a social network due to an affinity of a particular product or service.
The affinity is usually created by a common set of experiences, expectations and desires for change. These commonalities are an effective means of speaking with one voice to any particular issue. There are numerous examples within business and industries which demonstrate the power of the customers united voices.
The supplier who listens most and responds to customer input gains the customers loyalty and subsequently their business.
The form of interdependence that has the potential to be the strongest is Need Interdependence. In this form, the need interdependence is created by the members of the community needing each other to obtain something they need. The greater the need, the greater the interdependence becomes.
If the community members need each other to obtain the collective objectives, it will become a strong force for change. This form of interdependence is most easily created by self-sufficient exchanges. In other words, all of the needs of the members of the community are all defined from beginning to end by the community itself.
The emergence of the adult population into social networking platforms is creating a much higher expectation for required changes than before their participation. Most adults with any business experience have higher expectations for performance than the younger generations who have historically been the primary users of social networking platforms. Thus the bar of expectations for utility and efficiency from social networking platforms is being raised quickly as more and more adults both adopt the medium and spend time learning how to use it effectively. Now enter commercial businesses and the media to this mix.
The landscape of expectations for performance from social networking platforms is accelerating on a daily basis. Just look at how many groups within Facebook have been formed which are centered on enabling users, adults, to express their desires for change in networking platform performance and design. Our last count showed in excess of 200 and growing.
IBM, Google and Microsoft to name a few have all released B2B social networks aimed at fulfilling the need for designing efficient and effective networking platforms for numerous business markets. What does all this mean?
As the social networking market matures its future will be driven by customer expectations unmet but required for the medium to be a useful utility of economic gain for both individuals and businesses alike.
We all have interdependence on technological means. We use technology in most everything we do on a daily basis whether personal or professional. Social networking platforms are providing the means to accomplish and reach more in less time. However, the current structure of the “social networking system” is fragmented, disconnected and frustrating for most.
The market makers will address our frustrations, hear our issues and enable us as individuals and as “communities” to do more with less. Once this is accomplished our interdependences will drive the next level of performance expectations, given the state and pace of technological advancements our world is about to become more abundant and satisfying. Stay tuned and stay connected.
What say you?