Tag Archives: social media

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…

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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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