Tag Archives: postaweek2011

How much of a viral uplift can I expect from social engagement

”]My Petal Model of Social Engagement seemed to go down well at TechHub yesterday when we applied it to social startup design. Whether the startup was a food social network, a new film about the monarchy or a train booking application, the group found examples of active viral loops, passive viral loops, positive and negative daily loop to apply to their products.

Indeed, one of the participants was a full time social game designer and the session prompted him to fix a negative daily loop on his application today!

A key question that came up, which is worth discussing here in the blog, is what percentage of acquistions are likely to come from the viral engagement channels (the viral petals in our model) versus from the initial discovery (the stem).

This relates to the virality of the app, as measured by the viral coefficient (the number of earned users you get relative to each paid user). Obviously benchmarks vary wildly depending on the application type but I would say that if you see 30% uplift (a viral coefficient of 0.3) on your initial discovery then you are doing well. For a product to ‘go viral’ – i.e. to spread of its own accord you would need to see a viral uplift of at least 100% – for each person you add they bring in at least one more.

Why the unread flag is becoming really important

William Hague responds to my request for information on our Libyan strategy...

Yes, it’s end-of-the-week bug-bear time. Today I’m going to express a slight irritation over the handling of unread flags for social media inboxes by my various smart devices.

Let’s take the example of a simple twitter @ response. In this case one I received from William Hague (good in itself) to a simple question I posed to him about Libya on twitter (‘Why are we there?’) during a demonstration of the power of social media. I saw his response appear on my Blackberry and I retweeted it proudly. That all went well.

However, what is less satisfactory, is that I was also notified about this tweet mention on my android phone (ok so maybe I’m on odd in having two phones) despite already having ‘read’ it on my blackberry. I also was notified when I opened my Ipad by the twitter app that sits on there.

I don’t want to have to read things twice or even three times to flag that I read it. It’s a complete waste of time.

The problem is that the unread / read flag (as so often used by email inboxes) is not shared by the API or is not handled correctly by the various client software.

This isn’t a problem limited to Twitter – I get frustrated having to ‘mark as read’ LinkedIn emails online that I’ve responded to via my phone, via email or on the Ipad, it’s also a problem with Facebook messages and notifications – the Facebook for blackberry app currently shows 23 unread messages yet when I look online I’m all up to date.

It’s a problem that unless addressed is only set to get worse as we get more platforms and more devices – I like the convenience of accessing social messages from various devices but this is an issue I just wish would go away.

So, if you’re implementing a social media platform then please make sure the unread/read flag is part of your messaging API. If you’re implementing a social media client application then make sure you take account of the unread/read flag (thank you Flipboard who are quite good at this!) and you’ll make the information stream a better, less frustrating place to be.

End of bug-bear. Have a great Royal Wedding weekend!

5 ways to get ready for f-commerce

Facebook Credits: could they be a new global currency?

Facebook Commerce is coming, haven’t you heard?  Doing business with your customers via Facebook is the next big thing. So, if you’re lagging behind in this space, what should you do to get ready?

1. Build a fan base

Creating a Facebook fan page (or 100 fan pages) creates you a beachhead on the world’s favourite social network and an owned audience channel to engage with your fans for as long as they ‘like’ you.  Companies like Syncapse [Disclosure: where I work] or any of the Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants will help.

2. Integrate social plugins to your website

Take a look at The Huffington Post – note how it uses your Facebook identity to provide you a personalised experience – the news as recommended by your friends. Go and do likewise.

3. Create a Facebook application so you have permission to message your Facebook fans via email.

A Facebook application, whether a competition, a game or utility, will give you access to the social data you’re going to need to be successful – at minimum it’s a way to send a push message to your customers via email.

4. Understand Facebook Credits 

Facebook Credits could be the global currency of the future – but every transaction will cost you 30%? Seems a crazy percentage? Well it’s for real, you’d better look at your your financial model in light of this. Credits are only accepted for virtual goods at present but understanding why they are worth 30% is perhaps your first port of call.

5. Start trialling today

Take one part of your business and start trialling some aspect of Facebook commerce – there are off the shelf tools to try, as you can see from my own Facebook shop.  The only thing is clear, doing nothing and just ‘listening’ as so many companies seem to be doing, is no longer an option.

Goodbye wild west – hurrah for the Second Internet

The days of the Internet being like the Wild West? So over... Photo credit: anyjazz65

It’s the buzz phrase of the moment – Second Internet and it stands for a lot of things – including open platforms, personalised experiences and social web features.

It is also about making the web safer, in particular our data, and for that the movement should be applauded.

The leading lights of the second internet have all added credit card type security to their sites. In particular, Facebook in January, Twitter last month and Foursquare last week.

While it doesn’t stop security problems in-channel (predators adding themselves as so called ‘friends’) it certainly starts to put up a much needed wall around our data as it hops its way across the internet.

When creating content on social – think canapes not main meal

Social media content should be like a canape - quick to gobble and easy to digest. Photo: sushi♥ina

Too many brands and companies are trying to create immersive and complex experience for their customers on social media.

The reality is that social media content should be quick to read and easy to digest. That’s because social media is the equivalent of a drinks party – we’re standing up, talking to lots of people, we haven’t sat down to a full meal.

When I sign up to your website, that’s when I’m ready for a full meal – that’s the time to give me white papers, full game experiences, complex competitions.

When I’m on social, I’m a butterfly, fluttering past, think yourself blessed if I stop by to nibble on one of your content canapes. That means 140 character twitter posts that say everything you want to say, Facebook wall posts that include a single meaningful photo and youtube videos that are under two minutes long.

Lynx Angels spread their wings on YouTube

Some clever marketing going on with the latest Lynx campaign worth looking at:

Lynx Angel Ambush using 'Augmented Reality' at Victoria Station

First the Spark – we have the ‘lynx angels that lose their halo’ tv spot ad.

Then Ignition – this is extended by providing an experiential ‘augmented reality’ angels that drop down at Victoria station.

And Fuel – publishing on YouTube amplified the campaign and the ambush. And the result? – a further 300,000 views of the Victoria station ambush.

Nice marketing work. Though not exactly biblically accurate…. ;o)

The Social Media Dress Code

Michael Wilson - the epitomy of social media style?

So what is Social Media Style – if you’re working in the industry it’s important.

We know it’s not suits, that was for the 90s but it’s not dress down t-shirts and slacks either.

Social Media Fashion is the ultimate in between – the de facto dress code is in fact – sharp shoes, designer jeans, shirt and blazer. If it’s sunny then you should really be wearing shades.

Check out Michael Wilson above, one of the trendier people in my life at the moment (Disclosure: he sits opposite me at Syncapse).  Let’s break down his wardrobe:

– Shades by Ray Ban
– Long Coat from Benetton
– Shirt from Got Style (Toronto)
– Jacket and Shoes – custom made in Vietnam
– Jeans by Paul Smith
– Socks by Happy Socks

So there you go. I know you’ve been wondering but at last a real guide to what to wear to that next social media party.

And for what not to wear? Well coming soon to a blog to you

New Discovery Interface for Facebook Pages

Facebook's new pages discovery interface

Just spotted a new discovery interface for Facebook Pages.

The various brand pages are sorted according, I assume, to their weight within Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithms for ranking content.  So, the most popular pages, among my friends, appear first.

But, wait! What are Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur doing in there? I support Arsenal but it seems more of my friends support Tottenham and Liverpool… oh dear, my social network is out of sync.

Now, what do you call someone who thinks they are in one social tribe, but are in fact in another…?

It might not be your competitors who steal your lunch

Who will eat your lunch? - Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

In the software world, it might not be your competitors who steal your lunch. It might be a company who doesn’t even compete for the same customers and revenue, who provides a free product so you end up losing out.


Imagine you are a mapping company and which means you create, update and sell maps – like the Ordnance Survey.  But look out – see who is now eating your lunch and providing maps for free:

Bing provides maps for free – that’s because Microsoft makes its money on desktop software and increasingly enterprise software.

Google provides maps for free – that’s because its primary revenue model is ads on search results

TheAA provides maps for free – it’s primary revenue model is roadside assistance insurance.

So, wow, my old revenue model just got shot to pieces but not by direct competitors undercutting me, but by indirect competitors.

So, in the software market, where feature copying is rife, (check out this discussion on Playfish v Zynga) everybody who is not my friend… is my enemy?

5 Facebook social commerce tools to check out

My Payvment Facebook shop is up and running

I’ve been playing around with Payvment recently on my, self styled, Facebook Public Figure profile.

There is of course competition, and I’ve highlighted the main contenders below:

Payvment – http://payvment.com/facebook/

Milyoni – http://www.milyoni.com/

Alvendi – http://www.alvenda.com/

UsableNet – http://www.usablenet.com/the-platform/usablenet-facebook/

Wishpot – http://www.wishpot.com

Of these, Wishpot is worth highlighting for bigger brands as it doesn’t try to rebuild the full ecommerce experience within the Facebook channel. For getting started with social likes around products it looks the right product.

Fabio De Bernardi, the European evangelist for the product, told me  “Wishpot decided NOT to follow the usual approach but rather to be a storefront which redirects to the merchants ecommerce to finish the transaction. This was because of several factors, among which ease of integration (which helps keeping costs down), to avoid reducing traffic to the merchant’s site and to allow the merchant to get people’s sign ups (when needed)”

Notwithstanding Wishpot for companies with existing ecommerce sites, my personal storefront is up and running with Payvment, visit my Facebook shop and buy your first product within Facebook – for just £2 I’ll give you a cheery wave and a smile, digitally if necessary!

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