Tag Archives: social media

Bold New Thinking in Social Media: 3 Key Trends and 4 Key Terms

At the meeting of minds the other week I introduced some key social media language concepts to help people in understanding and engaging with social media in their businesses.

I’ll share them here too as they were quite well received:

3 Key Trends

Extension – we are no longer seeing our online personas as ‘avatars’ – things that are not us but instead as ‘extensions’ – digital extensions of our true selves. If we engage only the physical side of people we are not engaging the whole person. That’s why event leaderboards are important.

Tribes – our identities are increasingly linked to tribes rather than traditional identities of geography and nationhood. Listen to Seth Godin’s TED talk.

Herds – as the influence of experts, leaders and authority figures diminishes so we look instead to social proof and the movement of others in the herd to decide how to behave. Again another reason for the rising popularity of leaderboards – you can now create your own via my app leaderboarded.


4 Key Terms

Social Architecture – this is all about how you set up your social presences balancing management cost versus delivering relevance to the customer – do you have a brand page for every product, category, in every territory and language? that could get tricky to manage, especially if you add multiple channels – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest….

Social Data – how do you tap into the social data stream in such a way that it can trigger targeted, context sensitive, transactional offers to your customers. My classic example of this is the girl who has signed up for pizza offers, when she posts on her social channel – “wow what a great film that was, Skyfall rocks” – can the pizza company respond – hey why not celebrate with a trip to our pizza restaurant, here’s some vouchers valid for tonight only.  You need lots of clever lifting at the backend to make this work at industrial scale.

Social Design – this is a term popularised by the Facebook team – we need to think about how our product or service “adds” to a user’s expression of themselves online. What does it mean to my friends if I am a Marmite fan? What does it say about me if I join the 2nd circle of the Marmarati?

Social Triage – how does the social media profiles of our customers change how we behave towards them. Cathay Pacific offers people with Klout scores over 40 a chance to sit in their business lounge. But should we all rely on a standard influence score – surely it would be better if each company had its own influence score for customers. Contact me now if you want more info on how to do this for your business as I am working on a productised solution.

Should social media be reclassified as a weapon?

Software can be a weapon too, as the PGP encryption code once was


It’s a strange statement but social media is being used in revolutions across the Middle East and not just to report on what is happening. It’s also part of the cause.

Let’s look at the facts!

  • Mass media, in this case radio, was used effectively in Nazi germany as a propaganda tool. It is a weapon.
  • Software can be a weapon: PGP (an encryption standard) that gave citizens miltary class secure person to person communication ability – was outlawed for export from the USA (see t-shirt above)
  • The Internet itself is military by original design.
  • Social media gives citizens the power of mass media – to be able to publish content with unlimited distribution.
  • Governments across the Middle East are closing down access to social media.
  • So clearly governments see social media as a weapon.

Q.E.D…. Social Media is a Weapon

Comparing Terms of Service and Privacy for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter

Running a campaign on a social media platform requires considerable attention to the legal details. Whether you’re storing email addresses, capturing user data, incentivising an activity or running a promotion you’ll need to check out the small print before you launch.

Not to do so runs the risk of being shut down with only 24 hours warning.

Here’s a list for the big three to get you started:

Well, on just numbers of documents alone, Facebook wins by condensing into three while Twitter’s five seems over the top.
As for the content.. well, ask your questions here!

The Seven Basic Social Commerce Actions

Toby Beresford's Seven Basic Social Commerce Actions

After a bit of thought I’ve come up with my seven basic social commerce actions that can happen outside of a traditional e-commerce web site.

They are:

Wish List – asking and begging friends to buy you something

Gift – buying something to give to a friend

Group Buy – buying something together

Advise – asking friends for advice on a prospective purchase

Recommend – suggesting a specific item to a friend

Share – letting friends know what you just bought

Review – rating and commenting on a purchase

It’s worth bearing this list in mind when planning your social commerce activity on Facebook – its not enough just to replicate the search and buy (catalogue shopping) process – you need to think about the social context.

Wake up Britain! Look at the tip of the iceberg! The BNP might be winning the Facebook war.

I appreciate this is controversial post but in measuring social media success we measure fan engagement.

That means not just number of fans, but how active those fans are on a campaign page, in particular how much do they comment?

Lets take a look at the data.

If we rank the political party pages BNP, Conservative, DUP, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid  CymruSNP,  UKIP by fan page, a reassuring and expected ranking appears:

Facebook Fans of main UK Political Parties at 12:40pm on 14 April

The big three appear to be winning, the little parties are seemingly down where they “belong”.

However, if we count wall posts by fans in the last hour, the  picture is quite different:

Fan wall posts on main UK Political Party Facebook Pages at 12:40pm on 14 April

The data is startling – if we measure fan engagement – the amount Facebook users are commenting and engaging with a campaign – BNP emerges as a major contender for public opinion.

Despite that their 17 fan posts were generated by only 6 people, there is still cause for concern.

On their own page the BNP are driving a political message that is causing reaction and generating debate. Something the other smaller parties seem unable to do and the bigger parties only just manage. As we know on Facebook – the more social actions we can activate (whether positive or negative) the more a campaign message spreads automatically across the social media machine.

At one level, Facebook is an invisible platform, you can’t see the private debates being held between friends but the more user generated posts, the more the BNP related content is spreading across the platform. Think of fan posts as the “tip of the iceberg”….

We need to wake up and engage with the issues that are bringing BNP votes and provide real solutions that are not just papering over the cracks.

Facebook’s own Democracy UK page is a good place to start, maybe with the Ministry of Mates application:

The Ministry of Mates app creates socially remixed stories on Facebook

The Social Media Machine and World Forum Workshops

Geoff giving his workshop to another packed crowd at the Social Media World Forum in London

Phew what a conference! 3 workshops and a keynote later – everything is now up on the web. Here are the links:

Keynote – how the social media machine has already taken over, how the Facebook stream works to bring you your most interesting personalised daily newspaper and how we need to stop seeing social media as a fad and to change our language accordingly.  (text / slides)

Workshop 1 – How to Market your brand / run a social media campaign on Facebook – tips and checklist from the experts(!) (slides)

Workshop 2 – Learnings from successful campaigns – mainly my learnings from campaigns I’ve run that worked. (slides)

Workshop 3 – Geoff Hughes’ whistle stop tour of ROI and ways to measure it on Facebook (prezzy)

Workshop 4 – The Viral Loop – signposting key techniques on leveraging a viral loop (slides)

Enjoy! Please do let me know what you think of the keynote….

Social media in UK elections

Generated Tory poster (joke)(fake Dave Cameron poster courtesy of AndyBarefoot.com)

Just as brands battle it out for audiences online – now so do political parties. Check out my opinion article (which doesn’t include fake posters I’m afraid) over at New Media Age.

My predictions were:

* Higher turn out

* Local issues increase in importance

* Key place to sway younger voters

What do you think?

UPDATE 10 March 2010 – I erroneously referred to Joe Trippi as Obama’s online campaign manager for the 2008 election – this title should instead have gone to Chris Hughes

Reading Nudge

I’m just getting stuck into the book Nudge by Richard Thaler. Running a social media consultancy rebranded as Nudge I thought it pretty essential to buy as soon as it came out so it’s been lurking on my shelf for a few months. 

We chose the word “Nudge” for our company name because we felt it helped describe the best way for brands to market themselves on social networks. Advertising on social media is not about forcing a message to users by interrupting them, as  a television advert might do in the middle of an episode of Coronation Street, it’s about making the advertising message available as a choice the user can be interested in and then can take. Being on the social network means being there to be investigated, discussed with friends and eventually chosen.   

As choice architects we help present products and services in the right way on social media. For friends chatting about what presents to get, for example, our wishlist application helps them choose the right product that their friend want. For those wondering where to get the best video news coverage on facebook? Our Sky News Video app puts the breaking news for their chosen channel in their Facebook profile. And there are more fan pages and applications in the pipeline…

While it’s still early days for the nudge approach, it’s already clear that social networks are a place where we do gather information, work out what we’re interested in and discuss interests with our friends. It’s not where we buy (we use Google and the High Street for that) but it is where we build our list of choices.

Our job as choice architects for our clients on social media is to nudge them to make great choices. Anyway, time to keep reading…

Comparing social ad networks

At the Facebook garage and at the Monetising Social Networks conference last week I presented slides on the ad network of the future and how app developers have to start preparing for it now.

One of the key slides was a comparison of Social Ad Networks current capacity which we see here. Across the top are the features offered to advertisers with the name of the network down the left hand side.

All advertisers offer standard display units, some offer Integrated (where you can see social network features such as a photo of a friend who is using the product), very few offer targeting (demographic by age and gender, geo by location or profile data by what people have in their profile interests) mainly because of terms of service restraints by the platform.

The most interesting column is feature sensitive (or deep integration) where the ad networks provide a commoditised way of purchasing features that are intrinsic to the apps (a Resident Evil version of Zombie, a Mike and Ike sweets gift icon on Gifts or an Indiana Jones Fedora hat on Where I’ve Been). This is the gold seam for social network advertising.

The only network really targeting this at the moment is Social Cash with its emerging Point Cash technology which allows apps to sell in game points (eg. coins on My Aquarium for example) to advertisers to offer as rewards to users who click on its ads.

Update 15/3/2009 – original matrix removed – contact Nudge London direct for latest version

This sheet is based on a review of their web sites and marketing documents. Since then I’ve met with a few ad networks to understand their offerings in more details and am building a picture of which have the winning technology.

Please do add any comments to this post and I’ll try to update the framework with the most correct information about the various feature sets of the social ad networks.

Update – 2008-10-07 – this matrix is now a bit out of date. I’ll do an update shortly

Define social media

Toby on Westside RadioI’m often asked to define what I mean by “social media”.

Here’s what I came up with in the heat of a live radio interview with Pooja on Westside Radio on Friday. (skip to minute 30:30)

Social Media is editorless content prioritised by popularity.

It is articles and programmes that have been published by individuals directly to friends and the rest of the world without going through an editor.

The filtering and prioritising role, traditionally done by an editor, is achieved by monitoring the popularity of the article. The more people that read it the article, comment on it, agree with it and pass it on – the higher that article appears in the list of social media items.

A great way to see this process in action is at Digg where you can see the headlines ordered in terms of popularity by all the members.

Update: 25/Feb/2009 – “prioritised editorless content”

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