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The Echo Effect of the Social Network

Pass-along rate is a common term that’s regularly used throughout the marketing and communications industry when determining the reach of a specific message. This term is defined as the percentage of people that pass along a specific message through some form of media.

This is an extremely important factor when calculating reach, as the pass-along rate creates a multiplier effect for that specific message. This rate has been in use for decades and its significance has grown exponentially given the rise of online media content. For example, 20 years ago you may have read an article in a magazine, found it compelling and gave it to a friend. Therefore, the message did not just impact you, but also your friend as well as anyone else that your friend may have given it to after he or she read it. The point is that published messages live on, and the advent of online content and social networking have created an environment where pass-along rate is paramount.

Let’s look at the previous example that examined the traditional pass-along rate and apply it to the digital age. You see an article in an online magazine and you decide to send that article to five of your friends via email. That message has now been distributed five times more than the traditional pass-along example. Now let’s examine the concept of utilizing social networking to share this same article. Let’s say that you have 30 Twitter followers and you decide to Tweet this same article; you’ve now successfully shared this message with 30 more people. If one of those people then Retweets this article, it is then distributed to all of their followers, and so on.

Brands can create a virtual echo effect by redistributing their company news via social media platforms. If your company is featured in a news article, there’s a good chance that the publication will Tweet the article as well, which means that the publication’s followers have all seen this news item. Your company can then Retweet the article to disseminate this message to your followers. Now there are two identical streams of communication that are targeting two groups of individuals. The message reverberates throughout the network at a greater rate than it could ever be distributed before.

Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg; we haven’t even discussed the opportunities that Facebook and LinkedIn provide. Domus helps clients such as Dacor and OKI Data Americas manage their social media presence on a daily basis in order to reach their overarching media goals. Contact Domus for more information on how we can help your business manage its social media presence.

Greg Smore is a Senior Account Manager at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at or 215-772-2805

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