Last night I had the privilege of seeing @danielberkal present Project Butterfly – a study into the “effect learning about how sociable people interact in the real world has on the online space”. The purpose of this study is to help brands - and the agencies that work for them - understand “how highly sociable people work” and how “this knowledge can be used to build online social communities that act more naturally”.
While the study wasn’t designed to answer these questions, it did offer some interesting and applicable insights.
In the real world Social Butterflies are those who can bend social conventions, but in a good way. They are experts at initiating friendships, but also at maintaining them. They’re interesting, interested and genuinely curious about everyone and everything.
We all know one: they’re the organizer, the one who keeps in touch even just to say Hi. They’re resourceful and will hook you up with anything you need. And they’re happiest when everyone around them is having a good time.
But are they influential? My guess is yes based on three findings from the study: Social Butterflies are early adopters, decisive and the kind of people you turn to for advice.
And if I buy into their online persona by liking or following them because what they offer is interesting, entertaining or useful to me, then do I care who they really are IRL?