Currency by definition means a medium of value exchange. The origin of currency is the creation of a circulating medium of exchange based on a unit of account which quickly becomes a store of value.
When we put social media intothe context of currency we can see “the creation of a circulating medium of exchange based on a unit of account which quickly becomes a store of value.” The account is your conversations which are added to the largest copy machine in the universe, the web.
The “store of value” is the propagation, recognition and attraction to the masses which your conversation draws. Google’s engine ranks and stores said conversations accordingly.
What Is The Capital Behind Your Currency?
Bertrand Cesvet, Eric Alper, Tony Babinski write: What is Conversational Captial?: Today’s consumers are increasingly developing their own personal narratives, creating and recreating identities for themselves. What they consume and how they consume it are important parts of that identity-shaping process. Consumption experiences are substories that they incorporate into their own narratives—the stories they tell that define who they are and how they relate to the world. The more intense and meaningful the substories are, the more likely they are to become part of the larger, personal story.
We call our series of observations Conversational Capital because this storytelling process is a form of powerful currency that transforms the relationship between brand experiences and consumers. In this new type of transaction, marketers provide consumers valuable conversational currency by successfully delivering outstanding and meaningful experiences that help consumers define who they are and where they stand. In return, consumers talk positively about certain experiences and, by extension, increase their value.
You’ve encountered the process many times. We’ve all met people who like to talk about their consumption experiences (some at greater length than others). Rather than merely filling gaps in conversation, they are, in essence, talking about themselves. By saying how much they enjoyed Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class service or how delicious Pastis’ oysters are, they actually convey that they are interesting jet-setters.
This may all sound very esoteric, but how esoteric can we be? We’re marketers! So, as marketers naturally do, we’ve broken our insights down into an easy-to-understand list of eight “engines” of Conversational Capital: Rituals, Exclusive Product Offering, Myths, Relevant Sensory Oddity, Icons, Tribalism, Endorsement, and Continuity. When some or all of these engines are incorporated into your experience, the result is Conversational Capital—fuel for stories consumers want to spread to others, the most valuable currency any marketer could hope for.
How Valuable Is Your Currency?
The above article begins to shape the value of conversational currency in respects to “marketers”. However conversational currency goes beyond “marketing” and is just begiining to shape the transformation of knowledge into innovation. Innovation is the fuel which creates new markets which inturn creates a significant increase in market capital. Just think about how much capital has gone into and been created by the internet. The numbers are in excess of $500 Billion. Now reflect on the essence of the internet, communications.
Now we enter into the age of “social media” which is nothing more than “conversational media” produced not by the few rather by the masses. The few whom learn to create conversational currency will be those whose conversations propagate the most value. Make sense?
What say you?