Thursday, December 15, 2011

High Quality Connections: Dunbar's Number

When building your social media strategy, the quest for followers to spread your message is eternal. It's about creating a mass following, placing a viral campaign in-front of them that encourages sharing with their followers and so-on. Hopefully your viral campaign is aligned with your core brand attributes but at the same time, you spark an emotional response that propels sharing beyond your extended circles. This is inbound social media marketing at it's best. But maintaining a high quality relationship or connection is another matter, right?

A close friend recently shared this video with me that sparked my interest. It talks about the next wave of social media services aimed at only sharing information with the high quality connections you have, according to Dunbar's number. Dunbar states that each human being can only really maintain a high quality connection with 150 people.

The video is from "The Daily" Interactive News App for iPad - featuring "Next Wave" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Watch this edition posted on YouTube:

What I find fascinating about this video is that it talks about how Dunbar's number might apply to a brand's relationship with it's high quality connections within the context of a social media strategy. Gary's forecast is that individuals will only chose to have a high quality relationship with their Dunbar's list. Sure, this may be true, but what does this mean for brand strategists? Do we only have to maintain a relationship with our Dunbar's number?

This is where I go back to my marketing education, where Pareto's Principle (otherwise known as the 80:20 rule) applies. So, if we applied Dunbar's Number to the 20%, that would mean that we need about 750 connections to be able to decipher which were of true quality. Add to that micro-relationships, using micro-content sharing sites like Twitter and Instagram, perhaps the number is multiplied by a factor of five to reach a critical mass.

Is 3,750 followers the magic number to achieve success in a digital marketing strategy? And what tools do you need to make it happen? Answers to these questions will be posted in a separate article. In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on Twitter @markhamimages.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Couture Fashion Behind the Scenes

Mis-en-scene: Backstage access to the top couture fashion show, presenting in Australia during the 2010 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, with special guest presenter, Alex Perry.

You can say what you like about the television personality, the main judge in the reality tv series "Australia's Next Top Model" and more recently, taking over the mentor position on "Project Runway Australia", Alex Perry is undoubtedly the King of Australian women's fashion. A hard fought position coming from a humble working class background, with Greek immigrant parents and one of eight children.

Always surrounded by beautiful women, Alex Perry started his career by managing models, moving on to open his first fashion atelier in 1992. Married to a Greek former fashion model, Mary and Alex have two beautiful daughters.

As Australia's most glamorous designer, by virtue of his magnificent couture fashion ball gowns and striking evening wear worn by celebrities to red carpet events across the globe, Perry knows how to make a woman feel and look fabulous. Front-page-ready, the Alex Perry brand is synonymous with prestige, luxury and classic style with a flavor that cuts a striking pose.

Backstage at the former Commemorative Pavilion, an art-deco hall built in 1938, located at Fox Studios Australia, Perry and his team prepare for the largest event at Australian Fashion Week 2010. The "Arabian Princesses" Spring-Summer 2010-2011 couture fashion collection is supported by fellow Greek-Australian success stories, Napoleon Perdis make-up, and hairstylist Renya Xydis of Valonz.

As the crowd gathers around the presentation stage, we take a glimpse into the last minute preparations of the models before they strut down the catwalk. Couture fashion with Alex Perry - it doesn't get any better than this. Follow this link to see the full set of 20 couture fashion behind the scenes images: Markham Images on Google+