To continue introducing new terms for 2013, add this one to your social media dictionaries: tribes. Yes, tribes are becoming one of the emerging “it” online marketing terms and strategy types. Instinctively when you think of the word tribe a group of people with one known leader comes to mind (episode of Survivor perhaps?). Marketers are using this concept to know who their consumers are and the key leaders among certain demographics.

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.

The anecdote outlined above is tribal marketing at work, a focused group of potential buyers with a centralized “leader” at its hub. The leader is usually seen as an expert or to have a trusted opinion about certain products or services. Others in the tribe use this information as a means to evaluate certain products and services before making a purchase. John is vocal, highly knowledgeable and influential among his peer group. He calls attention toward a certain product or service and his friends listen.  This kind of influence is extremely valuable to leverage within your marketing strategy to scale content that will influence these “tribe” leaders and ultimately all customers toward your products and services.