The Social Network Equation

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In Higher Education, researchers like to measure everything. Quantitative or qualitative, we are interested in what works, why it works, how it works, and how it could work better.  As an educator, regardless of academic position, social business presents opportunity to promote accessible, quality education. There are almost infinite ways to use social business to achieve social benefit education.  Many of these ways will be discussed in proceeding blogs and video blogs.  But before we dive in, this discussion introduces the fundamental relationship of the what, why, and how of social business and Higher Education.

SP = I (R/V)

The Social Network Equation states, “Social Power is the amount of influence created by one’s reach and visibility” Tara Madden-Dent.

SP: (Social Power) the measurable influence an individual has within social business.

I: (Influence) the intended or unintended impact of an individual’s social business actions on others

R: (Reach) the sum of all social networking connections linked to an individual

V: (Visibility) the level of social media exposure and search engine rank of a social object.   [A social object is the searchable and sharable product or value in the form of a document, audio, video, pictures, presentations or link. (Simmons, 2011)]

I believe that a positive correlation is found between Social Power and social responsibility.  As Social Power increases, so does social responsibility.  As social business continues to redefine the world as we know it, we will see greater emphasis on social media regulation and accountability to structure social responsibility.  Measurement and analytics will be able to describe and infer relationships we never knew existed (probably because they didn’t) and predict how social media will be structured.  Social business analytics and measurement tools can quantifiably discern each variable within the Social Network Equation.  The breakdown of one’s Social Power (SP) will suggest how and what is effective (or not effective) in the reach (R) or visibility (V).

Student Affairs, Residential Life, Recreation, Faculty, Administration, and other campus networks can increase their impact to provide accessible quality education.  Remember, social business in Higher Education is for social benefit.  Identify what is working, why it’s working, and how to make it better by understanding that your Social Power presupposes high influence from network reach and content visibility.

Please use your Social Power responsibly.



Filed under Higher Education, Social Business

2 responses to “The Social Network Equation

  1. Jessee Santos

    I am a buisness owner and I promote for a procuction company through social media sites. I agree that once you gain more social mobility you also gain the social responsiblity. There are so many factors that go into a functioning social network, they are used for personal relationships, buisness relationships, the next step would only make sense to go into educations. If they made a webCT as easy as a Facebook, there would be so much more involvement and understanding.

    The formula you present makes me rethink the use of social sites, only because if you don’t have that reach or visibility it will fail and be useless to all who access it.

    • You’re exactly right about user friendly and fun technology use in education. If WebCampus was easy and entertaining, students might be more inclined to study and to succeed. If you’d like my help to organize or improve social media strategies for your business or your studies, just let me know. I’m a website away.


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