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Google’s definition of tribe is as follows: A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties,…

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Do you ever wonder where social media is heading? I mean, there is so much of it out there and much more added to it everyday that it’s hard to make sense of it all. In recent years, social media sites have not only allowed users to create their own social media pages but have also allowed users to create social groups where like minds connect on the issues that are most important to them.

Lets take, for example, Facebook groups. As a Facebook users, I can join any number of social groups and be in contact with others that share in that group. So what happens when I find myself falling behind in trying to follow the 50 groups I belong to plus my friends? Neal Shaffer of Social Media Today has hinted at something that I think will be the future of social media: Social Media Tribes. Imagine belonging to just one “tribe” that shares all the information from the numerous “groups” that you belong to. No more having to visit each group separately: a tribe would encompass all the aspects that you like into one easy to follow social tribe. The tribe could choose a leader or group of leaders that could then pass on only the most important information needed from the combined groups.

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Neal Shaffer of Social Media Today states, “I believe the future of social media can be seen by looking to the past. Humans by nature are social creatures, however we have spent years relying on mass media.  As time has passed, we are now relying less on mass media and more on our peers: we are once again turning to one another.  Consider your friends on Facebook or those you follow on Twitter. Via social,  I have surrounded myself with like minded people that I can have a symbiotic relationship with.   Many of the folks I follow on Twitter I follow because I can learn from them and I value the content they produce.”

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So, how would we marketers market to a tribe? By connecting with the tribe leader/leaders, of course.  YCS Marketing explains how tribes will work in creating better group marketing strategies, “To think of this concept in other terms, consider tribal marketing as a high level targeted group of potential customers. Instead of having a snapshot of the buying, lifestyle and other demographic factors of a particular market, tribal marketing keys in more on smaller, focused sections of consumers. This allows an opportunity to better gauge how information about products and services spread and influence the buying decisions of a target market. Using this information a company can scale products, services, brands that are specifically inline with the needs of a particular group. Let’s illustrate with an example: take a group of friends Jordan, Sally, John and Suzie. John is seen as the outspoken, take charge guy of the group and is usually an early adapter to new services and technologies. As he finds a product/and or service to be useful he passes this information to the rest of the group. The products he doesn’t like or has a negative experience with he shares information about as well. John’s friends all consider him very knowledgeable in this area and weigh his opinion heavily whenever they are considering making this kind of purchase.”

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According to Steve Krivda, “Unarguably “Tribe Marketing” is a marketing method that attempts to create social groups or communities that are targeted around a service or product. But to the shrewd entrepreneur, tribe marketing can mean much much more than this.”

Here is a short list of potential benefits:

* Automated Backlink Syndication
* Automated Facebook Integration
* Automated Twitter Integration
* Automated Blog User Collaboration
* Automated S.E.O Processes
* Automated Live Traffic Systems
* Increased ROI

I see tribal marketing as a type of Ripple Effect Marketing. Imagine the potential of being able to reach out to just one person with a marketing message and one simple message reaches hundred or thousands more just by word of mouth recommendations? Brilliant!

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