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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.

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