August 7, 2018

6.1 : Understanding of Social Capital

6.1 : Understanding of Social Capital

Dr. Gordon Fletcher, Senior Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK

In this day of the sharing economy, which we are so aware of because of social media, it’s important to recognize that all Return on Investment isn’t measured in dollars, pounds, or whichever currency you may work with.

Social Capital is a non-monetary Capital that is used to measure the authority, trustworthiness, or ability to influence others accumulated through engagement with a buyer persona

If your brand is appreciated by your buyer persona, they are likely to help you to promote your products and services

Social capital is about that capital that’s being built up – non-monetary, non-tangible – that engages your buyer in a way that gets them to do things for you. Ultimately, if you are a brand with social capital, you know you have social capital and ultimately you can exploit it. If you’e a brand that doesn’t know whether you have social capital yet, or doesn’t have social capital at all, you probably don’t.

The point being that if a brand has social capital, you have buyers and they will do something for you, they are prepared to go out there and advocate for you, they are prepared to spend time talking about you brand with others and encouraging those people to engage with you directly. It becomes a circle of engagement, a circle of activity, which extends far beyond your own activity within social media, and brings others to your brand for your benefit.

Colin Telford

We develop social capital with our prospects through the constant engagement and discussion and conversation that we have through all of the different means of digital marketing, through social media – it might be through Twitter, it might be through Facebook, it might be through LinkedIn, through our website as well, we have blogs which people can comment on.

The Candidate Ltd is constantly engaging in a conversation with their buyer persona developing the number of followers on networks both online and offline

We are a recruitment agency, and people and we are very face-to-face, and we’re very much about conversation. We’re very much about gaining trust, and therefore, we like whenever we can see the amount of shares and the amount of likes that we have, the amount of people in our different networks, the amount of followers that we have on Twitter, the amount of people that are following our company on LinkedIn – all really gives us feedback that our social capital is strong and therefore, we continue to build that and it pushes us in the right direction of having a really strong online presence.

Kristina Chokoeva, Marketing Director, DINO, Bulgaria

There’s some advice I would give other small businesses when considering developing their digital marketing. I would say don’t be afraid of what is new and unfamiliar, and don’t rob yourself of the learning experience that could serve you well in a long run.

For developing Social Capital, the Dino case study highlights the importance of:

– Trying new channels of engagement

– Speaking the buyer persona’s language

– Caring about your buyer persona being authentic

Just speak your customer language, care about your client, and most importantly be authentic. That’s the only way you can build the sense of community around your business that will push it to the next level.


How are you developing your Social Capital?

Watch the video below that explains the main principles of Social Capital

Nature of relationship

Now consider yourself in the sense of being part of this course and how you are developing social capital by interacting with others. Think of some activities that can help you increase your social capital as part of this MOOC – share these with others and comment on the ideas that have been shared by others [hint – commenting on your peers’ thoughts is a way to develop your social capital 😉 ]

Additional material

Social capital

Hear Social Capital explanation from Robert Putnam



Social Capital…

Selling Things, Use Celebrity; Selling Experiences, Use Customer Reviews [Study]…

Connection strategies: social capital implications of Facebook-enabled communication practices…

For chapter 6 relations sections, follow:

6.0 The importance of ongoing monitoring and learning from your engagement

6.2 Accessing data in Google Analytics
6.3 Accessing data from Facebook
6.4 Accessing data from Twitter
6.5 Using spreadsheets to analyse and populate reports
6.6 Learning from digital results
6.7 PPC report