While the most obvious source of this social media graph data may be Facebook, Lewis points out that YouTube viewers and video uploaders can find plenty of data by simply clicking on the "views" button and expanding it. For instance, for a video that he uploaded in 2006, "Big Gun Recoil—Test Firing Middle East Version," its more than 267,000 views came from 25- to 44-year-old men from the United States. (Lewis adds that more information is available about the people who commented and were YouTube subscribers. Many video commenters also include Twitter in conversations.)
3. Append social media data to house files. Lewis says there's always the possibility that marketers take Facebook's advice and invite their friends—by uploading their e-mail lists, no more than 500 addresses at a time. This may not work for big brands with millions of e-mail addresses, he believes.
Boyd provides another option. Marketers can take their in-house customer relations management data and reverse append it as they would, for instance, for a change of address. What he does is "reverse append it to a Web-based location system that tells me, using the [application programming interfaces] of ... up to 50 different social platforms—from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, all these interesting areas that have open social graph data."
4. Know the quality of followers, friends and connections. Twitalyzer and Trst.me are just a couple tools marketers can use to determine whether their fans on social media are engaged brand fans or just subscribers, Lewis says.
5. Befriend influencers. Once marketers figure out which fans of their brand are influencers—those with the highest number of Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends, etc.—marketers should get to know these VIPs, Lewis says.
Lewis cites the Facebook page of Lion Brand Yarn, a more than 130-year-old yarn maker. For the most part, all of its 108,000 fans are influencers, he says. They vote on the patterns and colors. They comment. They share information with their friends outside of the page. "But here's where the rubber hits the road," he says. "[Lion Brand Yarn page] Facebook visitors are 51 percent more likely to convert than an average [Lion Brand Yarn] site visitor. ... So they're a highly activated subset of their customer base—highly activated. These people are contributing product ideas. They're seeing their ideas come to fruition. They can't stop talking about it."