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You finish the article you spent weeks working on. The moment comes for distribution of the article and you can’t wait to open Google Analytics and see the results of your work.
There is almost no traffic coming, and you wonder why. You spent weeks working on it and the content is really good, but still, people don’t recognize the value of it. How do we change that?
The solution lies in something called a micronetwork.
Okay, so what is a micronetwork? Nick Kolenda defines it as a dense network with strong interconnections. A micronetwork can be made from people or from companies, and we will talk about that later on.
But right now, I want to explain in detail how a micronetwork operates and how you can take advantage of one.
A micronetwork has three main elements:
People inside of a micronetwork need to know each other. The network has to have many nodes that connect all people inside of it. If you just have one person who is the connection for the group, that person is not interconnected but dependent on a single source of information.
When the group is interconnected, you are exposed to the same information over and over. It’s like having Jenny from accounting tell you about a great new TV show and then John from marketing doing the same. As you’re heading out of the office, Jake from sales tells you about the same awesome TV show. You have now been exposed to the same message over and over again, and you are more likely to internalize and act on it.
Image via Flickr by Esporte Clube Pelotas
You need to write content that targets groups with strong interconnectedness.
I chose the office example for a particular reason. The group needs to be dense, and by dense, I mean small enough for most people to know everyone in the group.
The classic example is an office where 15 people work together, and everyone knows each other. A message is more likely to spread in this type of network than it is in a workspace where the people are in a more laissez-faire type of environment, not being connected personally with other people in the space but simply using it.
You need to target a small group where people know each other well.
A strong group is one where people interact frequently and communication is important. A perfect example of a weak group is one of those Facebook groups that have over 90,000 members, and a post gets only one like and zero comments.
Frequent communication is important because, to this day, word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing method out there. And if the group communicates frequently, the likelihood that the group will speak about your piece goes up drastically.
Important communication means that the sender and the receiver of the message perceive the message to be important and valuable. You probably have that one friend who always sends you valuable emails full of great insights, tips, and tricks. But you probably also have that one friend whose messages or emails you simply skim through and pay almost no attention to.
You need to target a group where people communicate important messages to each other frequently.
There are two simple ways you can use the power of a micronetwork to share your content and gain massive traction on it.
There is a certain type of person who is more likely to go out of their way to share a message they believe in, think is funny, or are sure will make someone’s day.
These people are called evangelists and they are more likely to keep repeating the message over and over again in their group until people take up that idea. This can be used for any type of content, whether it’s funny, inspirational, sad, or just makes you think.
Big companies like Harley Davidson, General Motors, and Starbucks have been using evangelists for years to create and maintain their customer communities.
The second way is not about targeting people but about targeting groups or businesses.
Most of the people think that you should target large hubs with plenty of people. But, as we have seen in the rules above, you need to target small, dense groups where virality can spread.
The rule is to target small groups and to do it in a larger quantity, not vice versa.
This is how Facebook grew into a global social media platform — it targeted university campuses, and only after it covered almost all university campuses did it spread to high schools in the U.S.; that’s when virality kicked in. The 1.6-billion-user platform started its way through small, connected groups.
You can create content that is specifically designed to help non-fiction writers find ideas for their blog posts and share it with multiple writer groups. You can exchange the writer group for any other group and still find this sentence applies to any form of micronetwork. All you have to do is decide who the content is for and then put that content in front of them. The micronetwork will do the rest.
It might seem a bit counterintuitive, but if you want your content to go viral, you need to start with small groups. As described above, micronetworks will help spread your content, and you have found a micronetwork when you discover a group that is interconnected, dense, and strong.
When you find a micronetwork, focus on that group and finally see the results your content deserves.