Today in Our Sounding Off Regular Feature Ricardo De La Blanca, DLB Group’s CEO, analyzes new formats of social networking such as the online conversations taking place between members of social, cultural or economic elites. De La Blanca says that these elite social networking groups can and should play an important role so that brand marketers can reach targeted and exclusive audiences.
Social networking is getting more and more exclusive. With sites like aSmallWorld and WhoSay, which are the apparent kings of elite social networking, you can find your own-gated communities on the net.
Nowadays is not enough to get invited to exclusive professionals events or be asked to join organizations; many big encounters are taking their hobnobbing online in this new era of social networks as there's a backlash against the open culture of social networking.
Instead of attracting large audiences in order to sell ads to big brands, these exclusive sites confine membership to the relatively small group of people who travel in the same elite, often moneyed, social circles.
This kind of social networking becomes efficient and more attractive if you take into consideration that a person’s network on the site is less useful if it's diluted by people he doesn’t know or doesn’t care. So the purpose is to create a private place where people could be much more forthcoming with information that they are interested in.
Elite social networking can be a smart way to attract attention trough the element of mystery. Often, when people feel socially excluded from something, they try to explore it and find a way to belong. The idea that these sites are weeding you out can make you feel envious of the discussions that presumably take place inside. This can actually heighten the value of your brand. It’s the idea of exclusivity or feeling part of something selected for a few that make people really get very deep into what they are becoming a piece of and it's this distinction that make them believe that they are unique and owners of precious information and relations which lead the inspiration to also provide relevant feedback in return.
Elitist or not, it’s undeniable that for some billionaire, there’s a lot more value in aSmallWorld or WhoSay than in Facebook. Much like there’s more value for them to hang out at the country club than at a McDonalds. They do business with people like them, so they need to go where people like them are, and the signal-to-noise ratio is high.
Ricardo De La Blanca is a leading executive in global advertising and marketing, with over 20 years experience in 15 countries across Europe and the United States. As CEO of DLB Group, De La Blanca spearheads the DLB strategy that positions the Group as a multinational company with operations in seven countries.