Going after the ripple effect in communication

Many times communications go through a peak and then fall. With social networks, we can extend this peak and allow much longer lifetime to our news.

During a walk along the river, there is nothing strange about wanting to take a stone, and playing stone skipping trying to throw it as far as possible. Usually it results an interminable game and the one that makes the maximum number of bounces is the winner of this joyful game. To push back the limits further, you need to choose carefully a flat stone.

Then, thanks to a quite specific gesture, making sure that for each bounce, the trajectory will reduce the water-stone collision. That will help out the stone with the reaction produced by the water vertical force, going further to rebound again. By extending the game, everyone must remember this quote of Voltaire: “I have decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.”

Extending the movement

The world of modern Internet and social networks is also based on this desire to be part of a show where the send out message will last as long as possible, will regularly achieve relays and will go further and reach new readers. Exactly like for this stone thrown across the water, all participants dream of triggering a perpetual movement worthy of Newton’s pendulum.

That’s how modern communication works. The ecosystem allows us to play with an almost unlimited space-time: in social networks, there are no longer any borders or limits that can slow down the new dissemination. The Earth is really round and like a satellite, it’s possible to go around it at regular intervals.

Using networks

During their evolution, human beings have always wanted to shorten distances to optimize their communications. Beginning from an up-and-down vertical pattern of communication, relay points very far away from each other, with a silo mentality, they gradually increased their horizontal network to reach a matrix structure and allow the development of this ultra-connected generation. In this universe full of multiple contacts, heads of network have appeared allowing the optimization of the transfers, making them faster and more efficient.

In this world, it seems easier to disseminate a message. The more powerful the network is, the more likely the message is efficient. You must be wondering what the difference with skipping stones across water is? The vertical power of the bounce can increase at any moment if the relay or the head of network is more efficient than the previous one. The message might be shared at any moment and reach an unexpected direction.

While taking the same stone and doing the same move, the theory suggests that the result must be the same, but in the social media universe the randomness of the trajectory is permanent. Steve Jobs said that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” in the social media world, it’s possible to simplify the message to get maximum effect. 140 letters can generate an unprecedented wave. That’s how the tweet of Zlatan Ibrahimovic “my last game tomorrow at Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend “ has been retweeted over 140,000 times.

Repeating a message

In social media, the phenomenon of repeating posts has increased in recent years. Traditional media, companies or tweets are increasingly using this technique to grow the visibility and the bounces of their content. Everyone remember that when advertising campaigns were broadcast on television, they must have to be repeated at regular intervals and different time slots to reach the greatest possible number of people.

The redundancy of a message allowed to capture the brand consumer universe and to build progressively an audience. In the same way, social networks allow us to create the redundancy and bounce effect for news. As long as the news is up to date, it will remain alive on the system.

Patrick Le Lay said that “television is an activity without memory. By comparing this industry with the automotive industry for example, for a car manufacturer, the creation process is much slower; if the automobile is a success, at least he will have time to enjoy it. In our TV world, we won’t even have the time for that. (…) Everything depends on our daily audience. We are the only product in the world that ‘knows’ its customers on the second, after a period of twenty-four hours”.

A long-term vision

In the same way on the world of social networks, usually the problem is to deal with a reduced space-time with the aim of generating very fast and high peaks of audiences. But most of the time these peaks of audiences have difficulty to last in time.

The modern communicator may get out of this short-term vision if he wants to make more waves like a stone thrown across water. Multiplying peaks and impacts can potentially create a massive dissemination of information and dramatically increase its virality.

If you want your communication to be effective, you must know how to make it last as long as possible and use the supports that will help it to resist to the mechanical wear of time. The company that achieves this goal will be able to promote its brand effectively and will always reach more prospects that might be future customers.

You must also remember that social media is a universe that give us a lot of opportunities and must make us think that “social media doesn’t ask us to build a big brand, but to act as if it were”.

Alban Jarry

Translation with Sophie Perrin

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