Social Technology Quarterly (Volume 1| Issue 2)


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This is the Second Issue of Social Technology Quarterly - Kuliza's research publication.

This latest issue covers the upcoming research, trends and developments in social technologies. It aims at helping entrepreneurs, marketers, and change makers to understand this domain, create engagement, and derive business benefits

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Social Technology Quarterly (Volume 1| Issue 2)

  1. 1. Social Technology Quarterly July - September 2011 Volume 1 Issue 2
  2. 2. Overview Welcome to our second issue of the Social Technology Quarterly. The Social Technology Quarterly is Kuliza’s research publication aimed at educating brand and product owners on how they can engage their world better using social technologies. As usual we cover the latest research, trends and developments in social technologies and examine how their potential can be leveraged for businesses. The Quarterly is divided into four sections: com- merce, campaigns, collaboration and CRM. We will show how social technologies add value to each area. Along with contributions from Kuliza, Gautam Ghosh, who blogs at and is among the top 10 most influential bloggers on Talent Management, HR and Enterprise Social Media, contributes a guest article on talent communities. We hope you enjoy the latest issue. We will look forward to hearing your views. Team Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly
  3. 3. Contributors Achintya Gupta | @achintya85 Marketing enthusiast and Brand Manager at Kuliza. Writes on commerce and CRM. Kaushal Sarda | @ksarda Technology evangelist, serial entrepreneur, Chief Evangelist at Kuliza, and an advisor to HashCube. Writes on commerce and CRM. Diarmaid Byrne | @diarmaidb Psychologist and interested in behaviour change and gamification. Chief People Officer at Kuliza. Writes on communities and collaboration. Gautam Ghosh | @gautamghosh Marketing Lead and Platform Evangelist at Brave New Talent, a career social network that enables companies to build talent communities. Blogs at Nitin Saboo Solutions specialist at Kuliza. Writes on campaigns and commerce. Aram Bhusal | @phoenixwizard Writer, blogger and technology enthusiast. Developer at Kuliza. Writes on emerging trends. Kshitiz Anand | @kshitiz UI designer, photographer and Design Strategist at Kuliza. Writes on design and interaction.
  4. 4. Contents Commerce How are Social Platforms Powering Mobile Commerce 5 Achintya Gupta Social Shopping: The Changing Agenda of Shopping 9 Kaushal Sarda The Social Media Construct: A Case of Remediation 12 Kshitiz Anand Campaigns Augmenting Reality: A New Age Shopping Experience 15 Kaushal Sarda Social Media Marketing by Travel Brands 19 Achintya Gupta Social Media for Political Campaigns 21 Diarmaid Byrne Pricing Your iPhone / iPad App 24 Nitin Saboo Collaboration Talent Communities: The Future of Social Recruiting 26 Gautam Ghosh Building Smarter Cities with Social Technologies 28 Diarmaid Byrne Enterprise 2.0 for Creating a Fun Work Culture 31 Achintya Gupta Growing Online Communities 34 Diarmaid Byrne CRM The Designer’s Challenge to Social CRM 36 Kshitiz Anand The Evolution of Facebook Privacy 39 Aram Bhusal Not Just Another Google+ Article 42 Achintya Gupta Contents
  5. 5. July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 5 How brands are using Facebook apps for contests and campaigns The world is increasingly becoming mobile. The technology creators of today are creating goods for the SoLoMo consumer – people who are so- cial, location and mobile savvy. The social giants realize this. They know that social networking of tomorrow (and by that I mean in the next 2 years) will move largely to mobile phones and that the social web will be heavily accessed with a loca- tion layer. Here are a few stats to get a better idea: • Research shows that one-third (33 %) of Facebook postings are made from mobile devices • Americans spend nearly 2.7 hours per day connected to the mobile web, and a vast ma- jority of their time goes into social networking with mobile phones • Mobile users tend to be more ‘social’ than the traditional desktop users. This can be seen from a study that showed 91% of mobile phone users go online to socialize compared to only 79% of traditional desktop users The numbers above, together with the increas- ing mobile penetration predictions, clearly show the future shift in social giants towards mobile and the social networking giants, especially the big 5 – Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Foursquare and Google. They understand this, and it is not surprising to see that almost all of them have come up with their own set of mobile strategies. Moreover these platforms also know that in order to generate revenues in the fast growing mobile world, to attract brands that want to go mobile, and to boost their own revenue models from a mobile consumer they will need a heavy focus towards m-commerce. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to see how the mobile strategies of social giants are powering m-commerce. This article will tell you how each social giant is coming up with mobile Written by Achintya Gupta How are Social Platforms Powering Mobile Commerce Commerce strategies and how their mobile strategy is impacting the mobile commerce of today and tomorrow. Scope I believe that m-commerce has a greater mean- ing than just monetary transaction using mobile phones. In this post I have tried to derive and work upon this greater meaning of m-commerce and not limited myself to the transaction part of mobile commerce. Hence, I have tried to use m-commerce in the context of marketing, com- merce, sales and CRM - basically the use of mobile to move a consumer across every aspect of the sales funnel. Facebook The social network is seeing a heavy shift in its traffic on to mobile phones. Here are few of initia- tives for powering mobile commerce. Facebook launched Facebook Places in the USA and Europe. With this initiative they partnered with a couple of brands that offered discount deals to consumers on checking-in at various places. The idea led a lot of brands to create marketing campaigns using Facebook Places. Starbucks offered free filter coffee to those who check-in; Mazda offered free cars and cars on discounts; Dallas airport offered discounts from hospitality brands inside the airport on checking- in; and Jet Blue launched the go places cam- paign and a Facebook app that rewarded people who checked-in with badges and real gifts. You can see some of the most creative Facebook Places mobile marketing examples in this Mash- able article. (Update – Facebook recently ended its deals initiative after testing it in 8 cities.) Another mobile commerce initiative taken by Facebook is to facilitate Facebook credit pur- chase with mobile payment. This means that you
  6. 6. 6Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 can buy Facebook credits and the charges would be reflected in your mobile bill. Facebook has partnered with mobile payment companies Zong and Boku to help consumers buy credit through mobiles. If you are wondering how you can do this, visit the help post by Facebook Help Center. You can see some of the most creative Facebook Places mobile marketing examples in this Mash- able article. (Update – Facebook recently ended its deals initiative after testing it in 8 cities.) Similarly, Facebook’s seriousness about m-com- merce can also be seen from its HTML5 efforts. It appears that Facebook is creating a platform that is fully mobile compatible so that users can ac- cess Facebook apps through a mobile browser. With this, Facebook can sell credits via mobile browsers and keep complete control of the plat- form to itself by bypassing the Apple and An- droid appstores. This will greatly help Facebook increase its revenues from the credit purchases made by mobile phone users who will buy virtual good while using the Facebook apps. Twitter For Twitter, having a mobile strategy is even more important than Facebook as 43% of Twitter users access it from mobile while 9% access is through tablets. Moreover, Twitter’s mobile focus is obvious, especially as it started with an SMSing service. Twitter’s decided on 140 char- acters so that they can fit within an SMS. Twitter too has created tools to help brands in mobile marketing. I find the FastFollow tool the most fascinating. It allows users to SMS the Twitter handle of a brand in order to get its updates on your mobile by sending ‘follow (Twitter handle)’ to 40404 in the US. Similarly, using the ‘Get’ tool you can get the latest updates from a user even if you do not follow him [SMS ‘Get (username)]. Another Twitter mobile strategy that is interesting for brands is location tagging. This feature, with which you include your location when you tweet, can be enabled if you have a browser that sup- ports HTML5 and geo location, or with iPhone or Android phone. Your followers can then see where you are tweeting from. The mass popularity of Twitter clubbed with location tagging and SMS features makes it a great marketing tool for brands. However I am yet to see some interesting mobile marketing campaigns with Twitter. The only campaign that comes to my mind is by Kogi Barbeque that uses Twitter to update users about the location of their food truck. Customers can constantly check the tweets on their mobile phones to know the exact location of the food truck. Foursquare When it comes to mobile strategies for social networks I have realized from my research that Foursquare has the smartest initiative for brands to power mobile marketing and commerce. To begin with, Foursquare has a lot of partner brands that reward customers for checking –in to their store (something like Facebook places deals). Customers can exhibit their loyalty with frequent check-ins and brands get to know and reward their most loyal customers. But it does not end here. Foursquare has another offering of Foursquare Pages for businesses. With these pages, businesses can add tips for their consumers at various locations. These tips can be brand’s way of sharing its expertise with its followers or engaging them around something more interesting.
  7. 7. 7July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Brands have made good use of Foursquare pages for innovative campaigns to increase sales and gain promotions. For example, the New York Times partnered with Foursquare during the 2010 Winter Olympics to guide visitors to the best tourist’s spots across Vancouver. Similarly, Four- square partnered with restaurant reviewer Zagat to help users find the best reviews and ratings for restaurants in their vicinity. You can see some of the best Foursquare marketing campaigns at the following articles (1) and (2). Another Foursquare feature that has great mar- keting and sales potential is Foursquare lists. With Foursquare lists consumers can create tips for their networks, such as the best restaurants to eat, top things to buy or places to visit in a particular city by tagging brands. Brands can use these lists to generate advocacy, know who their evangelists are, and engage their customers through an effective CRM program. I look forward to some interesting mobile marketing by brands using Foursquare lists. Another interesting aspect of Groupon’s mobile commerce strategy is Groupon’s attempt to be- come world’s largest mobile advertising network. Groupon is partnering with big mobile apps and app makers to run real time promotions of Grou- pon’s deals from its clients based on proximity. Hence, the next time you use an app like Loopt and are near a Groupon deal, you will get a notifi- cation on your phone. Google With the recent launch of Google+ and the inte- gration of search with social, it is difficult not to call Google a social giant. Google has some very interesting mobile com- merce tools in its arsenal of mobile strategies. The Google Shopper app helps users simplify their everyday shopping experience. The app can be used to scan barcodes or book covers to get more information about the product. The app can also be used to find products, the best prices from online stores, or even information about nearby stores. Some versions in specific locations also give you daily deals and deals in proximity. Groupon Groupon’s mobile strategy is more like a location layer above its deals model. You get the usual Groupon experience but with personalized deals based on your location. Groupon’s mobile apps help users purchase deals from their mobile phone, bypass the step of printing the proof of purchase, and see the deals near their location. Moreover, with Groupon ‘now’, mobile users do not even need to wait for the deal to get activated. They can check the deals around their location and purchase them immediately at the touch of a button. Groupon has some great ideas to facilitate mobile commerce. Their mobile apps are adding a location layer which is greatly improving the consumer experience of purchasing deals. Google Catalogs, a free app for tablets, makes catalogue browsing and product purchasing a very engaging experience. Users can browse across multiple catalogues, get rich media infor- mation like videos and high resolution images that greatly enhance their product research expe- rience. The app helps users share their findings with friends and even purchase them online or find nearby stores. Google Wallet is another path breaking initiative by Google to make payments quick and simple. Google Wallet will hold credit cards details that currently are kept in wallets. The app uses NFC (near field communications) to make the fund transfer really simple. All you have to do is just
  8. 8. 8Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 tap your phone on the reading device in stores to complete payment. The eventual aim of the app is to sync loyalty card, receipts, boarding pass, tickets, etc all in one mobile app. Google even plans to use this for customers to avail of Google offers. I hope this research helped you understand the various m-commerce strategies by the social gi- ants. There is a summary of this research on our slideshare channel.
  9. 9. July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 9 Businesses are transforming their customer engagement strategies to flourish in the era of social shopping The mass adoption of social media has resulted in one fundamental change in the way business- es function. This form of media, unlike traditional media (i.e. tv, radio, newspapers), is not one way. Hence it is not really governed by any business or institution. It provides end consumers a scal- able way to share their opinions, and genuine popular opinions tend to bubble-up. What this has done, is completely change how people are making purchase decisions. They now have a mechanism to get a true opinion about a product or service from people they know or are influenced by. These social dynamics have transformed the purchase funnel into viral loops. Written by Kaushal Sarda Commerce Social Shopping: The Changing Agenda of Commerce Here are some statistics that confirm this trend: • 90% of all purchases are subject to social influence • 90% of customers trust the recommendations of people they know • 67% of people spend more online after rec- ommendations Most commerce firms have already started to make investments in solutions that will help them leverage this change in purchase behavior and in turn drive more sales. However, what they must realize is that we are going to witness a transformative change in how commerce hap- pens. We will be moving from a world where cus- tomers find products to a world where products find customers at the right time and place. We are going to witness commerce change around four key aspects: Availability Go where your customers spend time as op- posed to expecting them to come to you. As a result a lot of commerce companies both online and offline are investing in the ability to be closer to where their customers spend time. Two key platforms where they seem to be investing are Facebook and mobile. Here are some of the reasons why Why Facebook: • It has a clear top of mind recall - 48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up • Americans spend the equivalent of 101,000 years on Facebook in a single month • 10,000 - the average number of sites inte- grating with Facebook every day since social plug-ins were launched • 56% of Facebook users click through to a re- tailer’s website because of a Facebook post Why mobile: • 81 minutes per day is the average time a per- son spends on their mobile phone • Smartphone penetration in the US - 40% (iOS 28%, Andrond 40%) Hence most commerce firms are investing in Facebook promotions, storefronts, and also Facebook connect on their sites. The next phase will be to make all of these tools synchronize to get integrated analytics. Traditional retail firms are looking to connect with their member community through mobile apps to
  10. 10. 10Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Example: Tripadvisor uses Facebook open graph api to personalize the experience on the site by prominently featuring a user’s friends’ reviews. Customers will also be able to see where their friends have traveled so they can know who to ask for advice. Interactivity Commerce firms need to merge best aspects of online and offline shopping to give a much better experience to their customers. Online Shopping Online shopping allows for easy social interac- tions but does not provide the feel or experience of shopping in the real world. There is a lot of investments in building virtual trial, virtual fitting rooms, personalized closets to try stuff, mix match, and get the real experience of shopping. have the ability to engage with them throughout the whole shopping experience. This is where mobilizing loyalty programs is going to gain mo- mentum. Some statistics on the value brands are getting from such availability: • 1000: Number of diapers PG sold on its f-store in under an hour • 6 hours: Time it took for the Rachel Roy Facebook jewelry store to sell out • 1m+: Starbucks customers using their e- commerce-enabled Facebook CRM loyalty program Personalization It is no longer enough for commerce firms to rely on generic demographic data or basic personal information they have about their customers. The goal is now to have the ability to leverage infor- mation from their customers’ social network. This means that commerce companies not only need to connect with their customers on their favorite social network, but to also mine information from their customers’ profiles and their social interac- tions to understand their preferences, how they are influenced by their network, and the prefer- ences of their friends. This gold mine of information along with loca- tion information helps them achieve the following objectives: • Local demand forecasting: The ability to estimate product demand of people living in the vicinity of the store to manage inventory more effectively • Personalized outreach: The ability to know which deals and offers are of true relevance to each customer • Gifting: Leverage social graph of customers and information about their friends’ interests to suggest gifts • Customer experience: Strong understanding of customers’ needs and influence informa- tion can help transform the in-store shopping experience Example: JCPenney used metaio’s virtual dressing room software to enable shoppers to automatically try on clothing within the live-video stream. To shop in JCPenney’s virtual dressing room prospective buyers have to activate their computer’s Webcam and enter the dressing room. They first select what item interests them and then position themselves within a silhouette that pops up on their computer screen. They have to wave their hands to adjust the clothing for a proper fit. If they like the item they can take a screenshot of themselves wearing it and send it to friends, post on Facebook, or move on to the JCPenney online store to complete the purchase. Offline Shopping Retailers are using augmented reality, mobile apps and gestural interfaces for engaging cus- tomers, store finding, personalization, product details and comparison, learn in real-time about their friends preferences, and get their sugges- tions. Example: Ben Jerry’s used Unifeye Mobile SDK to roll-out the AR application “Moo Vision” on the iPhone. By pointing the camera at select- ed Ben Jerry’s carton lids, a 3D world is
  11. 11. 11July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 experience. Wallmart’s acquisition of Kosmix to create @walmartlabs seems to be a strong step in this direction. Image credits: tripadvisor, nytimes and metaio Social Layer Companies will invest in creating a social layer which runs across their entire purchase funnel. This will help them provide their customers with a true social shopping experience and in-turn increase purchases Some Statistics to justify investments in creating a social layer: • 57% of people talk to other people more online than in real life • 75% of shoppers spend more online after receiving friend recommendations • $5 billion of physical good will be bought on social networks in 2011 To be able to create a social layer businesses will have to invest in the following areas: • Social promotion engine to introduce various new retailing techniques for social shopping like group deals, sneak peeks, tryvertising, etc • Social recommendation tools like Kaboodle and This Next • Synchronized online shopping through toolbars like Shop Together and Do Together where customers can bring their friends into the shopping experience • Social purchase sharing capabilities like Blippy and Shwowp • Asking advice around purchases like Shop Socially • Customer support communities for post pur- chase interactions like Get Satisfaction. We think that very soon we will start witnessing large retailers coming up with integrated solu- tions that combine all these capabilities with integrated analytics across the entire purchase revealed which can be viewed from different angles by moving the phone around the lid. This provided customers with a fun and engaging twist to sharing in-store product details.
  12. 12. 12Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 They say that social media technologies are the in thing right now. Some call is fashionable, some call it a necessity to keep up with the times, and others see a real value add in it. While many companies adopt it, not all understand it com- pletely. It is now well accepted that social media technologies (SMT) are an integral part of the marketing budget of any company. The adoption of SMT should be tied down to a business need and assist with the business processes. Apart from the usual goals of increase in sales, the one thing that social media technologies have done is to make the consumer more informed and help them in taking decisions that are influenced by a gamut of reasons. Come to think of it, the advent of SMTs follow a similar pattern, resulting in the way audiences are exposed to media. We con- sume information in a different way than we used to in the days prior to the SMTs. To support the claim of social media technology being omnipres- ent in many people’s lives one has to understand where this comes from. Over the course of this article I will do a construct of the notion of social media technology as a new kind of media. I shall refer to Bolter and Grusin, amongst others, to understand why the notion of the social media technology is a new media that plays out on the notion of remediation. I will social commerce as an example case study and how the notion of media and social media is changing and will continue to change the way commerce works. Marshall McLuhan, one of the greatest writers on media, said, “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” It is in this context that I will analyze the social me- dia technologies construct. SMTs have changed our lives and that is a fact that we accept. But at the same time it has also resulted in a lot of us- ers (or consumers) leaving the traditional media forms. I realize this from numerous discussions Reflecting on the rise of a new kind of media through media theory The Social Media Construct: A Case of Remediation Written by Kshitiz Anand Commerce I have with present internet users, who claim to do just about anything, from watching movies to hearing music to writing to painting to socializing to entertainment, over a social media platform. This article will provide an argument for the rise of this phenomenon and I use the notion of Re- mediation to provide an argument of why SMS is nothing but a construct of the traditional. Bolter and Grusin in their landmark book, ‘Reme- diation: Understanding New Media’, talk about the basis of the creation of a new media. The broad claim is that every media re-mediates itself and it does so through a series of other concepts in the form of ‘Transparent Immediacy’ or ‘Hypermediacy’. They term this as the ‘double logic of remediation’. We as technologists and designers are constantly looking to remediate to create something that could be exciting, engag- ing and has an awesome user experience. The same argument can be applied to social media technologies. “Remediation is the process whereby computer graphics, virtual reality, and the internet define themselves by borrowing from and refashioning media such as painting, photography, televi- sion, and film.” This is an important note, as the context of SMTs is an online system. We take the notion of the existing mediums of media to re-create and as a result re-mediate the existing into a new technological framework. The rise of the usage of Facebook (almost over 800 million users) to do almost anything is just a testimony to that. Americans spend close to 101,000 years of time over Facebook in a single month! We have more and more people checking their social me- dia presence updates first thing at the start of the day. This suggests that the boundaries are blur- ring. The real world becomes analogous with the online world. This phenomenon is also manifest in the fact that there is a significant increase in
  13. 13. 13July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 not stop only at the transparent immediacy, but goes a step ahead and makes the user aware of its presence. So the usage of words like tweet, blog, wall, share, likes are a testimony to the act of hypermediacy. The meanings of each of these are signified differently than the original mean- ing of the words. In the context of social media technologies, it is constructed in a hypermedi- ated manner and the moment these words are used, the users are aware of the presence of the media. the conversations about the virtual life on the real life and vice versa. Analyzing a medium through a semiotic theory viewpoint, we know that there is the notion of a signifier (the one making the claim, and in this case the media which is the audio, text or the video) and the signified (the meaning of what is implied through the signifiers). The earlier chan- nel for this relation was traditional forms of media viz, television, radio, etc. Now it is social media technologies. This notion of “Transparent Im- mediacy” is the perfection, or removal, of the gap between signifier and signified, such that a rep- resentation is perceived to be the thing itself. The intent therefore, is to design and build a medium that aims to do just that. Transparent Immediacy is at play the moment you think about engaging an audience with a strong online presence, where you expect the user to spend more time online. You wish to make the viewer forget the presence of the medium and believe that he is in the presence of the objects of representation. Because of the extent that social media has taken over our lives, we are no longer aware of confronting a medium, but instead stand in an immediate relationship to the contents of that medium. The principal of transparent immediacy refers to users’ desire for immediacy in access, understanding, and inter- action. This is to say, users want an immediate connection with the medium. This is also true in the present context when we want everything at the tip of our fingers and responses to be faster. For e.g., we write a mail, post on Facebook, or tweet and expect a reply, likes, or re-tweet or a reply to tweet almost immediately. We forget the presence of the medium as a medium and as- sume it to be present right there in front. The other concept is the notion of Hypermediacy, which is the opposite side of the spectrum to Transparent Immediacy. Hypermediacy is a “style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium”. Hypermediacy plays upon the desire for immediacy and transparent immediacy, making us hyper-conscious of our act of seeing (or gazing). This means that it does Let us take the example of social commerce. In the ideal situation of a perfectly remediated envi- ronment of the social commerce world, that tries to remediate the instances of the real life physical shop, there should be no difference between the experience of seeing a product in person and on the computer screen. Designers and technolo- gists have the challenge to strive towards that. To make things simpler, let us take the example of an online storefront. Let us do a small comparison of what aspects an online storefront remediates in order to provide the same shopping experience as a real store. 1. The availability of a product brochure and ability to experience the product in its full form. In the ideal case the businesses should also be able to give the tactile experience to a store too. The haptic feedback provided to the user would be the missing cog in remediating the experience of the store entirely and the physical representa- tion of the product catalogue. The detailing of this experience, which is possible through existing available technologies, would be an interesting thing to work on. 2. In a store you ask questions to the sales per- sons. In an online storefront, having the feasibility
  14. 14. 14Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 mediums that we are accessing the information in. It is thus opaque and often juxtaposed over the virtual-real, which the immediacy had set out to bring about. Unknowingly it forces a repeated contact with the interface and as a result it becomes an integral part our lives. Social media technologies are repeatedly doing that. What was once thought of to be completely immersive and “real” eventually comes to be explored as an aesthetics of a particular media format and the only authenticity lies in the experience that the media sets out to achieve by virtue of the things it has to offer. The arguments will continue that this form of new media is doing exactly what their predecessors have done, i.e. presenting themselves as refash- ioned and improved versions of other media. In the times that we live in, a medium can never operate in isolation, because it must enter into relationships of respect and rivalry with other (and often traditional) media. It is only when we understand the above, that we can get a better understanding of the new social media we talk about these days and develop an appreciation for it. of being able to talk to anyone at any point of time, during the course of the surfing through the store, would be remediating the notion of the sales persons. 3. Man is a social animal. We choose to shop with people. We take feedback from people. We call others whilst shopping and we immediately take feedback when we try clothes on. In the remediated experience of the online store, allow- ing the users to experience the same notion of feedback is essential. It is this particular notion, of people relying on and getting influenced by the feedback, comments and suggestions of oth- ers, that makes social commerce so much more interesting (and challenging). 4. The ability to provide recommendations and push promotions through a channel that is easy to access and connect with the customers. 5. Post-purchase people always provide feed- back about something, irrespective of whether it is good or bad. Recommendations are made after the usage of a product or service. Post- purchase engagement is a key part when look- ing at a shopping experience. Remediating this important experience is essential for the success of any social commerce avenue. While the above could be applicable to just about any online presence, it is the social part that dif- ferentiates a social commerce platform such as a Facebook store when compared to any other online commerce avenues. Thus in my opinion, a social commerce platform is the only platform that can remediate as close to the real life shop- ping experience. The Challenges What I have mentioned here is remediating the experience more than the media. The challenges however come more when it comes to remediat- ing issues for which there is no real remediation possible. Remediating the notion of trust, or the issues of privacy is something that continues to remain a challenge to the designers of social media platforms. In conclusion, social media technology can be seen as a construct of the Transparent Imme- diacy and the Hypermediacy. We are adopting social media technologies in a way to remediate the lifestyle we live-out and the life-worlds we live in. The key is to make this experience more immersive and interfaceless when we talk about immediacy. On the other hand, hypermediacy al- lows us to remain cognizant of the platforms and
  15. 15. July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 15 How businesses are augmenting real- ity to make every stage of the shopping experience more exciting Written by Kaushal Sarda Augmenting Reality: A New Age Shopping Experience In this era all commerce businesses are really compared on their ability to provide an engaging shopping experience. So really the explosion in smartphone sales coupled with the advances in augmented reality provides us with a unique op- portunity. Indicatively, according to ABI research, the market for augmented reality in the US alone will be around $350 million in 2014 as compared to just $6 million in 2008. Businesses can leverage augmented reality and mobile apps to engage and enchant customers through creative ways providing information in the context of promotions, store locations, prod- uct launches, product details, etc. The objective is really to take advantage of these technologies to give customers a unique and talk-worthy cus- tomer experience. This article delves into examples of how busi- nesses are using augmented reality based solutions to enhance almost every stage of the customer’s shopping experience. The various aspects of the purchase experience where these augmented reality is having an impact are: • Driving customer awareness through en- gagement • Creating excitement around product launch- es • Driving in-store traffic • In-store product information • Making product trials more fun • Enhancing in-store engagement • Ensuring continual post purchase engage- ment Driving Customer Awareness Through Engagement McDonalds launched a game-based interactive billboard campaign in Sweden. The concept Campaigns of the campaign was that players use their cell phones to play a game of pong on the billboard. If the player was able to complete the game in 30 seconds there would be a reward of coupons for free food of their choice. This campaign was able to effectively use aug- mented reality to excite people on getting food promotions by engaging with the brand. One key advantage of the solution was the user did not have to download any app on to their mobile devices, hence reducing the upfront effort to get started. Unilever created a concept “share happy” vend- ing machine that they launched at Cannes 2010.
  16. 16. 16Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 to create a memorable and fun experience for customers. This results in rapid adoption of such apps and coupled with their location sensitive na- ture will result in more customer visits to stores. The facial recognition system in the machine was able to detect gender, age, mood, and even how much a user was smiling. The machine’s “Smile-O-Meter” would show how much you were smiling and give a free ice-cream when the user could just not smile anymore. Happiness is a very strange emotion. Unilever’s ability to leverage this solution to create an as- sociation of happiness with its ice-cream was a remarkable brand promotion approach. Creating Excitement Around Product Launches BMW initiated an augmented reality campaign to promote the launch of the BMW Z4. The online application was in sync with the TV ad where a BMW car uses its tyres to create a color “expres- sion of joy” on a large black canvas. The application used Inition’s augmented real- ity application magicsymbol to help users create their own “expression of joy” designs online. The application allowed users to control a virtual 3D model of the Z4 to create their own paint trails using a simple web cam. They could the share the video on the social web. Providing users with the ability to recreate their own version of the ad was a very unique idea. This would have helped to create a unique and fun experience with the car, resulting in a strong recall and aspiration for the product. Drive In-Store Traffic Belgian beer maker Stella Artois released a beer finder app to help users locate the nearest establishment serving Stella Artois beverage. The application uses augmented reality to render Stella Artois logos on top of any building serving the beverage. This example shows how brands can leverage this technology to increase foot falls to stores where their products are available. The engaging nature of augmented reality apps makes it easy In-Store Product Information Food tracer is an augmented reality mobile phone application that helps users visualize information about food. Even though this is just a concept application it can be very useful for a shopper. Consider a scenario where a shopper has to go to a grocery store to pick up some fresh organic vegetables. The customer does not find his usual brand that he likes and has to choose between
  17. 17. 17July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 were considering buying would look like. The kiosk allowed customers to hold up any Lego box up to the screen and then it would render a virtual assemble version of the set on top of the box. It also allowed the user to move it to get a 360 view of the set. Such apps are not only fun for kids but also help parents buy something their kids would really like. the available choices. The customer can use the food tracer app to get real time information about the various vegetables, helping him easily make a more informed decision based on criteria important to him. Ben Jerry’s used Unifeye Mobile SDK to roll-out the AR application “Moo Vision” on the iPhone. By pointing the camera at selected Ben Jerry’s carton lids, a 3D world is revealed which can be viewed from different angles by moving the phone around the lid. This provided customers with a fun and engaging twist to shar- ing in-store product details. Making Product Consideration More Fun Converse created “The Sampler”, an augmented reality app for iPhones where customers can try a pair of converse. Converse has a huge range of option for shoes and the app makes it easy for customers to make a choice. All users have to do is select a pair of shoes they fancy from the digital catalog. Once selected, they can visualize how they look just by point- ing the phone camera at their feet. In case users need a second opinion, they can quickly take a snapshot and share on Facebook. IBM teamed up with Israel based EZface to cre- ate a “virtual mirror” that would allow customers to see how a particular makeup brand would look on their face without having to even open the product. Just by scanning the barcode of the product the virtual mirror would show the shopper how it would look on their face. This application has been used by brands like L’oreal, Maybelline, Covergirl, and Revlon. Enhancing In-Store Engagement Lego teamed up with technology company me- taio to create an augmented reality in-store kiosk called Digital Box. The objective of the Digital Box was to allow parents and their kids to under- stand what the finished Lego construction they Ensuring Post Purchase Continual Engagement Nestle sold 26 million cereal boxes across 53 countries that allowed customers with webcams linked to their computers to play an augmented reality game with the main character from the movie RIO. The objective of the game was to use the marker on the back of cereal box to lead the animated blue parrot “Blu” to a big bowl of cereal
  18. 18. 18Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 3DVIA group of Dassault systems. This augment- ed reality game is a great example of how busi- nesses can continue the customer experience even post-product purchase. Such an experience will strongly associate the brand with enjoyment and increase the overall brand affinity and recall in the minds of customers Hopefully these examples will prompt businesses to look at augmented reality more holistically as a strong engagement tool that can be leveraged at every stage of the purchase experience. Their objective should be to use these technologies to creatively to make shopping more fun, engaging, and memorable for their customers. Image credits: Lucerene University of Applied Science and Arts, Robaid, Inition, Cult Of Mac, Giuseppe Costanza, Ben Jerry, Highsnobiety, HPCi Media, and Packaging News
  19. 19. July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 19 Written by Achintya Gupta Social Media has always been an attractive avenue for travel brands. The prime reason is that travel is a very social experience both as a purchase as well as an activity. People consult their friends for travel recommendations and seek their advice for places they should visit, air- lines they should fly with and hotels they should stay in. Moreover, people travel with their friends, make new friends during trips. Travelling together for holidays and leisure is always considered more exciting that travelling alone. Travel brands are trying to bring this social experience online for people to get travel rec- ommendations, share their travel experiences, and improve their customers’ travel experience. Seeing the increasing excitement of travel brands for social media campaigns, I decided to look into some of the most interesting patterns emerging in the social media efforts by travel brands. Scope In this research I have tried to analyze how travel brands are using social media for their market- ing campaigns. I have considered all brands as travel brands that are generating their revenues explicitly from customer travel or enthusiasm for travel (travel guides and travel media fall in this category). Research My research shows that there are broadly 8 social media campaign strategies being used by travel brands. You will see that these broad 8 social media strategies leverage 4 different social dynam- ics. Social games, social media campaigns and loyalty campaigns leverage consumer gener- ated content to thrive, while blogs and advocacy programs thrive on smart conversations by the brand or its representativest to the consumers. Certain forums and social websites leverage the How are travel brands using social media for marketing? Campaigns Social Media Marketing by Travel Brands community’s social dynamics where consumers crowdsource content for their passion for travel while some other travel brands use social ap- plications to connect people to improve the travel experience. Social Media Campaigns Many travel brands have explored social media campaigns to engage its audience and increase participation and their fan base. One of my favou- rite examples is the Queensland tourism cam- paign for ‘the best job in the world’. The organiz- ers launched a user-generated contest to select a caretaker for an island on the Great Barrier Reef who would communicate their adventures and experiences to the world. The campaign was a great success.
  20. 20. 20Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Advocacy Program Certain brands try to generate word-of-mouth by providing an advocacy platform to experts to ex- press their opinions and thoughts to consumers. British Airlines has created one such platform called Metrotwin to promote tourism between London and New York by ‘twinning’ the two cities and providing recommendations by experts for the best places to eat, shop, and stay in both cities. Some time back the European Travel Commis- sion launched a photo contest on Facebook asking users to submit their morphed pictures at various travel locations. Loyalty Campaigns Social Media has given many new faces to loy- alty campaigns and completely changed the way brands are rewarding consumers for loyalty. Take for instance, Jet Blue’s Go Places app, where Jet Blue is rewarding customers for checking-in at Jet Blue Terminals using Facebook Places. Customers unlock official badges and reward points for real rewards. Tripadvisor has launched a campaign to recognize its most loyal review- ers and community members. The campaign showcases Tripadvisor’s star reviewers and their reviews / forum posts. Social Games With the success of social games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc, brands have realized the power of games to engage consumers. The Travel Channel has used a similar idea to launch a social game called Kidnapped. The game aims at increasing customer awareness and informa- tion about various interesting places around the globe. The game challenges people to kidnap their friends. To escape the kidnapped person has to answer trivia related to that city. Blog Travel blogs by brands are an excellent way of communicating the brand’s passion for travel to consumers. Lonely Planet does an excellent job of educating consumers about how to make their travel experiences better. If you visit their blog, you will see travel showcase, destination, tips and stories. Similarly Southwest Airlines’ blog - Nuts About Southwest - communicates to travel- lers how Southwest Airlines can improve their travel experience. Social Apps to Connect These apps leverage the fact that travelling is a social activity and people prefer recommenda- tions from their friends or friends of friends when making travel decisions. Tripadvisor has a travel map app that maps places around the world where friends in your Facebook network have vis- ited. AirBnB’s Social Connections app helps you rent places to and from friends in your personal network. Crowdsourced Content It is here that the travel brands leverage commu- nity dynamics to motivate people to put mean- ingful content on their websites in the form of reviews, ideas and comments. This helps other users with better travel information. Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet do this with reviews, likes and ratings to help customers push recommenda- tions. Travel Forums Travel forums have always been a popular desti- nation for people searching for travel information. Now brands are hosting travel forums to partici- pate and support such conversations. Virgin Air- lines hosts v-flyer travel forum and traveller online community to facilitate conversations and social relationships. Lonely Planet hosts the Thorn Tree forum to empower such discussions. I hope this article helped you understand the various social media marketing strategies by travel brands. There is a summary of the above research on our slideshare channel.
  21. 21. July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 21 What can Barack Obama learn from the Arab Spring? Social Media for Political Campaigns Written by Diarmaid Byrne Campaigns Campaigns and social media have been in the news a lot this year – the Republican primaries and London riots are two examples – and the exposure will increase as the US heads into elec- tion year in 2012. I want to look at how political campaigns have evolved in their use of the internet and social me- dia, and see what possibilities exist in the near- term. For this purpose I’ve looked at two types of campaigns: • Campaigns that are centrally organized by the political party or the candidate’s team. Here I will look primarily at Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 • Campaigns that are organized bottom-up. Here I will look at how groups used social media during the Arab Spring Centrally Organized Campaigns Howard Dean’s campaign in 2004 had many of the features of successful campaigns: press coverage, successful fundraising and exciting people. He achieved this not just through tradi- tional campaign strategies but also by extensive use of the internet. He used his official blog and to bring people together and orga- nize fundraisers. This was cheaper than tradi- tional fundraising and resulted in a hug number of small donations, allowing him to avoid fundraising limits. However, his team missed the crucial ele- ment of converting enthusiastic participants into active voters. As Clay Shirky points out in Here Comes Everybody, Dean created a movement that strongly appealed to some people, but which participation became more important than voting. Some of the same strategies Dean used were taken up by Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign. Barack Obama was called the King of Social Networking by the Washington Post as he became the first social media President. His campaign team was the first to fully understand and harness the potential of social media to com- municate his message and energize supporters to donate and vote. Barack Obama’s campaign team didn’t invent anything new but strategically used social media, the internet, SMS and emails to establish his candidacy and win the elections: 1. Build his political brand Obama used social media to lower the cost of building a political brand. This was essential because there was very little brand awareness about Obama compared to his major competi- tors Hilary Clinton and John McCain, apart from two books (admittedly best sellers) and his 2004 convention speech. 2. Created A full-fledged social network, MyBarackObama. com allowed users to create their own profile complete with a customized description, friends list and personal blog. They could also join groups, participate in fund raising, and arrange events. This was the centre of his social network- ing strategy and all pages on other platforms brought users here.
  22. 22. 22Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 found political power because of the ability to use social media to mobilize large numbers of like-minded people. The most recent large-scale campaign was earlier this year in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), especially Tunisia and Egypt. There have been a lot of debates on the impor- tance of otherwise of social media to the Arab Spring. People make revolutions, but in this case social media played an integral role as a commu- nity builder and communication tool. Control over communication is vital as uprisings gain momen- tum to provide a common purpose to the commu- nity, keep them mobilized and updated. Typically during a coup or revolution the first buildings that are targeted by the opposition are TV and radio. In the case of the Arab Spring, social media al- lowed protestors to both communicate across the community and determine the media output beyond their country without having to control the stations. People were able to instantly self-broad- cast events, information and ideas, unrestricted by media and news deadlines and editorial controls. This contributed to the speed at which the revolutions moved and the momentum they maintained, and allowed news networks, espe- cially Al-Jazeera, to continue spreading informa- tion and news across the region. I think there are two major lessons from the Arab Spring that political parties and candidates can leverage: • Citizens and communities of like-minded people have political clout because of social networks • Democratic movements are about political change driven by social networks rather than by elites. This is where social media and social technologies are going to have the largest impact in the coming years. What Next? Obama was the pace-making politician in us- ing social media but things have changed since 2008. One of the hallmarks of his 2008 campaign was how email, text messages and the internet were used to reach voters for organizing and fundraising. Since then Twitter and Facebook have increased hugely in popularity and smart- phones and apps are far more common. In 2012 it looks like Obama will be more expansive in how he uses social media to mobilize funds and supporters. Community will still be at the heart of his campaign on, but addition- ally he will look at making email, website, texts, mobile apps and social networks work together 3. Present across multiple social media sites Obama didn’t use just one platform but ensured his message was spread across multiple sites that complemented his message of change. He engaged people, listened and used not only the major sites like Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, You- Tube and Twitter, but also more specific sites like Glee and BlackPlanet. 4. Donations The majority of Obama’s donations came from donors giving just $200 or less. He achieved this by ensuring that on each site there was a dona- tion widget. 5. Encouraged participation Traditionally campaign teams and spin doctors exerted as much control over content as pos- sible. However, keeping with his change mes- sage, Obama allowed and encouraged support- ers to participate by posting videos, photos, and testimonials. The effectiveness of Obama’s online strategy to engage and mobilize people can be seen in some of the numbers (reference): • 6.5 million online donations • $600+ million campaign funds raised, most of it online • 13 million email addresses • 1 billion email sent • 2 million profiles on • 200,000 offline events planned • 400,000 blog posts written • 35,000 volunteer groups created Bottom-up Campaigns These are campaigns that are not initiated by a political party or a candidate / politician. They are characterized by groups of people who have new
  23. 23. 23July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 in harmony to communicate his message – “Are You In”. Here are three things that he and other parties and candidates will need to do to run successful campaigns: 1. Control communication using social media No politician can control how the media uses and spins his message. One way around this is using social media channels to distribute the message. Also, with a large community eager to listen it is important to speak directly to them. Obama used YouTube to announce his reelection campaign. Twitter is a far more popular tool now than in 2008, and Obama’s campaign team have given it more importance by setting-up separate Twitter accounts for all 50 states to target state-relevant messages to supporters. 2. Adapting to the increasing social integra- tion and sharing features Obama’s campaign team have included social features on, allowing users to log into the site with their Facebook accounts, making it easier to invite friends and share updates. The campaign team has also added an official Facebook app “Are You In”. 3.Smartphones and mobile apps The official White House mobile app is a crucial element in building his community and commu- nicating directly with supporters with alerts about speeches that can be watched live from the app, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, and up- dates from the official blog. Recently, a great example of using social media to communicate directly to a community and le- verage sharing features was by the Social Demo- cratic party in Zurich. Rather than only broadcast their policies, the party used Facebook as a platform for voters to suggest ideas and vote on ideas that they would like to be put into practice. Once the candidates got elected they took the most popular ideas from Facebook and passed them as legislation. Hopefully this inspires other parties to try similar campaigns. Image credits: cqpolitics and giaitri59
  24. 24. 24Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 It has been said that the exercise of pricing is as much an art as a science. There is no doubt that pricing is a challenge, especially with iPhone / iPad applications due to the nascent stage of the Appstore. iPhone app developers would do well to carefully examine all aspects of pricing as it pertains to their product, make careful pricing de- cisions, monitor and measure sales results, and make adjustments as needed to maximize their revenue. To maximize revenues requires spend- ing some time on the challenging area of pricing. The goal of successful pricing should be the fo- cus on delivering value instead of just a low price app. The right price for your iPhone / iPad app is where the profits are maximized. Thus the high- est price you can charge without reducing your pool of customer should be any developer’s goal. Here are some questions you should carefully considre when pricing your app: • How much does your competitor charge for a similar application? • What are the differentiating features between your app and someone else’s app? • How would you define your app and the de- mographic market? • What were the actual development costs involved? • Most importantly - how does my app com- pare to the free apps available in the market? Competing against Free Apps One of the more challenging aspects that iPhone / iPad app developers are coming up against from a pricing perspective is competing against free. Many developers get discouraged thinking that their app may not fare so well against com- peting free apps. However, if your app truly has functionality that goes beyond what a free app can do, then you should not worry so much. In fact, some free apps can help drive sales of your charged app because the user finds that the free The art and science of choosing the correct pricing strategy Campaigns Pricing Your iPhone / iPad App Written by Nitin Saboo app will only take them so far. Getting your app to stand out is always possible against free apps. Carefully look at the free apps and design your free app to take advantage of the free app’s weakness. App Pricing Strategy After developing the app the big challenge is monetization and finding the right price point. There are various misconceptions associated with pricing. Often developers think that in order to compete on the app store they must price their app either very low or at $0.99. The thinking can be influence by one of the following: • Developers see a lot of downward pricing pressure on the App store think they had bet- ter not price their app too high • Developers think customers will expect to pay only $0.99 for an app as this is perceived as a standard price on the Appstore • Developers think a low price will attract tens of thousands of buyers even if they have no use for the app • Developers think that pricing their app at $0.99 will help their app get listed among the top 100 apps by sales
  25. 25. 25July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 The best strategy to avoid these biased thought processes is to provide a free version of the app and let the users try it for themselves, hopefully resulting in a following for the app. This allows them to preview the app, test drive it and get a feel for it, before committing monetarily. This is a long term strategy, which will take time but if done correctly will help you realize the truth worth of your app. Breakeven Analysis Developers must conduct a breakeven analysis to determine how different price points will affect the breakeven timing. Let us assume that a developer has spent $5,000 to develop your business application with the belief of selling 100 apps per day. A basic break even analysis at different price points for the app would be: Based on this table it is better to price your app a little higher at first and carefully monitor the results. This also gives room to adjust the pricing if needed and provides an opportunity to drop the price for short period to spur sales. Developers should not undersell by pricing the app too low to begin with. They can always lower the price, but it’s harder to raise it. Remember, in any economy people are willing to pay for quality at a reasonable price but they are not willing to pay for poorly designed apps at any price. Reference : iPhone and iPad Apps Marketing: Secrets to Sell- ing Your iPhone and iPad Apps by Jeffrey Hughes Image credit: Marketing Hackz
  26. 26. 26Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 While organizations have been quick to explore how social media / online communities and social networks can be leveraged for marketing, sales and customer service, the other external facing aspect of a business that has not really been explored is how recruiting can leverage social technologies. Recruiting Now – the Issues and the Chal- lenges The last big innovation in recruiting was the jobsites where organizations could access an online database of hundreds of thousands of candidates. Candidates could search for jobs by function, experience, location, and apply directly. It improved the earlier inefficient systems of manual databases residing in spreadsheets (at the recruiter end) and candidates going through newspaper classifieds and applying via snail mail. However, the problem that technology solved gave rise to different problems later on. With the jobsites making it easy for job seekers to “spray and pray”, recruiters started reeling under what has come to be known as “resume spam” – hundreds and thousands of resumes that are not suitable for the job at all. This leads to a new type of inefficiency – trawling through all these, which is akin to searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Written by Gautam Ghosh How companies can leverage talent communities to increase employment branding and hire the best talent Talent Communities: The Future of Social Recruiting Collaboration The other aspect of recruiting is the challenge that has remained constant throughout – the lack of awareness of what the role entails. This leads to job seekers focusing on only one aspect of the negotiation – the salary discussion. The Changing Nature of Recruiting As the jobsites struggled under the radar, Linke- din – the business networking site – realized that a lot of its users who were paying were recruit- ers, using the site to reach to the so-called “pas- sive candidates”. The term refers to people who are not actively searching for a job (and hence considered more valuable – than active job seek- ers). Slowly Linkedin added features to focus on these paying users and started competing with traditional job boards and has now evolved to a platform where users (mid-career professionals) go to search for jobs. With its membership cross- ing 100 million, it is posing serious competition to traditional job boards. Linkedin was amongst the first social platforms that recruiters embraced. With that some other startups tried to leverage social tools, but either could not scale or were before their time, Jobster in the US and Reffster in India. Now however, there is an 800 pound gorilla in the room, and many are trying to ride it to get a slice of the social recruiting pie. Yes, the 800 pound gorilla is Facebook – and recruiters as well as app developers are looking at ways to leverage it for social recruiting. Internal recruiters are mak- ing Facebook pages – from basic ones to highly complex ones which try to mimic the careers site on their website. Then there are the apps. BranchOut gained quite a bit of traction, for being the “Linkedin for Facebook” and then Monster. com decided to get into the game to prove that old dogs could learn new tricks by launching their app called BeKnown. Both of these apps go after fresh college recruits who haven’t yet openend a
  27. 27. 27July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 3. Community engagement and facilitation This would consist of building conversations between external talent and internal experts, answering questions of talent and triggering discussions. 4. Development The focus of the engagement should not be just to focus on the people in the talent community who have the skills, but to build the overall skill levels of all people in the talent community, by sharing resources with them as well as helping them learn from each other and from subject matter experts in the organization. The prerequisites for making talent communi- ties a success To really benefit from talent communities they have to be sponsored by the business leadership of the organization that is innovative and willing to be open and transparent. • The role of recruitment needs to be focused on the attraction of talent and building a rela- tionship with them rather than being reactive and chasing candidates • The organization has got to be willing to lift the firewall and allow real employees connect with job-seekers without trying to control the conversation • A willingness to be vulnerable and deal with tough questions and not be defensive If a company is willing to try these they will move the conversation to things that really matter - the work, culture and nature of the job - from the one large aspect that is currently the focus these days – the salary. Image credit: Christina Tierny Linkedin account. Social recruiting, in the way it is understood now, is to leverage social networks to “broadcast” jobs. It is not to build engagement and transparent communication between employers and external talent. Talent Communities – Taking Social Recruit- ing to the Next Level Where recruiting can learn from Social Media Marketing is to start building talent communities to engage in conversations with people inter- ested in their firm. Take a look at the following diagram: In traditional recruiting the focus has been to chase the orange circle and spam them. Even in the current model of “social recruiting” this remains the focus. However, in a talent com- munity the organization actually focuses on first attracting the blue circle and then identifying the overlap in the two groups to focus on the people who are really relevant as well as pre-disposed positively towards the company. Hence the way an organization would build its talent community would be very similar to its so- cial media marketing efforts. It would consist of: 1. Identify and attract Organizations have two approaches to build this. First, rely on their own databases to ask candi- dates to join their talent community. They can leverage email, careers website, Twitter updates and Facebook page updates to do so. Then they can use campaigns on search advertising and social advertising to attract new talent to their community. 2. Content Companies are publishing a lot of content, from blog posts, to press releases to video uploads, to tweets and job postings. On a talent commu- nity platform (that BraveNewTalent provides) it is possible to integrate all this content to present a holistic view of the organization).
  28. 28. 28Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Collaboration People look for great cities to live in. The Econo- mist Intelligence Unit, Mercer and others help us out with their annual rankings of the best cities to live in based on – amongst other things – rec- reation, health care, political, social and cultural environment, education, housing and infrastruc- ture. In the future, determining how good a city is to live in will also depend on how smart the city is. So along with healthcare, education and hous- ing people will also look at how the city utilizes physical infrastructure, such as transport and ICT, and the availability and quality of intellectual and social capital to improve living standards and drive urban growth and competitiveness. There are three defining characteristics of a smart city: • A networked infrastructure • Community intelligence to improve urban planning, development and innovation man- agement • Social and environmental sustainability through the participation of citizens in city processes The concept of smart cities has been on the agenda of governments and corporations for the last number of years. Investment is also acceler- ating. A recent report by ABI Research estimates that the market for technologies related to smart cities projects will grow from $8 billion in 2010 to $39 billion in 2016. This will include spending on e-government initiatives, initiatives to reduce carbon footprints, waste and recycling initiatives, intelligent transport systems, and wireless net- works. There are a number of reasons why there is so much investment in smart cities: • There is a limit to how much people and busi- nesses can be taxed. Budget crises during the recession of the last few years means that city governments have to look at long- term measures to manage and modernize their services and infrastructure Written by Diarmaid Byrne Community, crowdsourcing and mobile initiatives to make cities a smarter place to live Building Smarter Cities with Social Technologies • Governments need to cut costs without cut- ting services so they are using analytics to understand and improve operational produc- tivity and efficiency • There is competition among cities to attract businesses to maintain growth and develop- ment and to attract people to live and work by improving the quality of the urban environ- ment • 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050 the urban population is expected to double, further straining city services and infrastructure • Cities are major polluters: they occupy 2% of the world’s geography but account for 75% of the greenhouse gases Leaving aside the smart city projects that focus on infrastructure and energy management, I want to look at how individuals, communities and gov- ernments are using social technologies to har- ness community intelligence, social capital and improve urban environments and city process. There are lots of projects and initiatives happen- ing around the world and I have included a brief about many others at the end of this article. SeeClickFix There are plenty of enthusiastic people who want to make a difference in their community. SeeClickFix supports hyper-local, community- driven activism to empower citizens, community groups, media organizations and governments to improve their neighbourhoods. Their online platform and mobile apps allow citizens to flag and report non-emergency community issues such as potholes and graffiti, share them on a web-based map for others to view and comment on complaints based on location as well as view the profiles of people who report issues nearby. SeeClickFix also have a Facebook page and an app with game mechanics, giving users Civic Points for performing actions that engage with
  29. 29. 29July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 is branding itself as a solution finder and innova- tor in making cities smarter and cleaner along with promoting their hybrid and electric cars. There are three apps that BMW has invested in that use community intelligence and the par- ticipation of users to reduce traffic congestion, improve how people navigate their city and life in their cities. DriveNow Running only in Munich at the moment, DriveNow is a car sharing service that gives users access to a car whenever they need it. After registering with their driver’s license, users can reserve a car online or through a mobile app and use the car at a cost of 29c a minute, including petrol and free parking within Munich city. the app including reporting issues, uploading an image or taking action in order to get an issue resolved. SeeClickFix doesn’t just crowdsource community intelligence to improve their local environment, but helps to improve city processes by rout- ing complaints to the relevant parties such as local governments and media outlets to resolve them. SeeClickFix provides community groups (neighborhood associations, volunteer groups, business associations) with an online platform to connect and address the needs of their commu- nity, governments with a dashboard for tracking and acknowledging issues, and media outlets with a platform to stay up-to-date with events that impact the community. It has been a major success, with over 200,000 users, more than 30 government clients, and 50% of user-reported issues resolved. BMW i In February 2011 BMW created a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in mobile apps that make it easier for people to navigate urban areas by car, bike, public transport or walking. This is part of BMW i, an initiative to establish a new, sustainability-focused sub-brand to integrate the concepts of luxury and sustainability. Non-auto motive has not been BMW’s interest, but it is to its customers and potential customers, and BMW ParkatmyHouse ParkatmyHouse is the largest online parking mar- ketplace connecting owners of parking spaces who want to earn money renting it out to people who need a convenient space to park. MyCityWay MyCityWay is a real-time, location-aware suite of mobile apps designed to help users navigate and explore cities. It can be used for connecting with other users, finding a restaurant that allows dogs, locating the nearest wireless hotspot, sharing tips, finding parking ahead of time, and checking live. SignalGuru Traffic management systems are one of the ma- jor features of smart city projects, and are offered
  30. 30. 30Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 ground level up • IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center to moni- tor and manage city services • Amsterdam Smart City – a collaboration be- tween people, businesses and government to create sustainable, large-scale programs that reduce CO2 emissions • Austin’s, Texas, budget allocator to deter- mine which urban projects to invest in • City Sourced – a mobile civic engagement platform that allows residents to report issues to the local government for resolution • San Jose Mobile City Hall – a mobile en- gagement tool to allow residents to report issues to the San Jose government for resolution • Betaville – a collaborative platform for cities in which ideas for new works of public art, architecture, urban design, and development can be shared, discussed, tweaked, and brought to maturity in context by individuals and experts • Cooltownbeta – a crowdsourcing consultancy • Reset San Francisco - an online community that brings locals together around ideas and solutions to improve San Francisco. by companies like IBM as part of their Intelligent Operations Center. There are plenty of mobile apps that try to improve travel by facilitating carpooling, notifying public transport travel times and connections, or by route planning to avoid traffic jams. One (future) app that sounds promising is SignalGuru. It was developed by researchers at Princeton and MIT to reduce congestion and fuel consumption in cities. It uses GPS enabled smartphones mounted on car dashboards to es- timate traffic light patterns. The app informs the driver how long until the signal turns green and suggests the driving speed to prevent stopping at a red light. So far in early testing in Massa- chusetts the app has successfully predicted red lights to within 0.66 seconds and reduced petrol use by 20%. With so many developments in this space, cities need a vision for the type of environment they want to develop and a masterplan of how they will achieve this that incorporates both large scale solutions and community-led initiatives that bring together experts and individuals. As excit- ing as these projects are, there are some con- cerns and questions that will need to be debated: • Each initiative creates a huge amount of user information and data, which naturally leads to questions about privacy and how govern- ments in some countries choose to use the data to exert control over their citizens • Who owns the brains of a city? Is it the com- munity and services like SeeClickFix, or large companies like IBM and Cisco with their ‘smart city in a box’ solutions? • What happens when the interests of a large company and the city and residents are no longer aligned? Further Examples of Smart City Initiatives There are numerous smart city initiatives and projects underway around the world. I’ve listed some others that I find interesting: • Songdo in South Korea – the first city to have developed the smart city concept from the
  31. 31. July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 31 Written by Achintya Gupta If you are a marketer, brand manager or an en- trepreneur then technically you are not supposed to know about Enterprise 2.0 tools. But if you believe that the strongest aspects of creating a brand start with building the right culture into the company, then I will recommend you start spend- ing time understanding this field since enterprise collaboration tools have the capabilities to not only increase productivity and handle projects but also power fascinating company cultures. Why do you Need Enterprise 2.0 to Power Company Culture? As organizations grow the number of layers between the people who have the enthusiasm to take initiatives to brighten up the work culture, the power holders, and others keeps on increas- ing. It takes more like-minded people to do some- thing fun in the company and these like-minded people need to be connected and facilitated with the right tools. Enterprise 2.0 comes handy as it has the potential to socially connect people at work, initiate and participate in conversations and discover the hidden potential and interests among people. How have Some Brands Achieved this? To make my point I would like to share two sto- ries of brands and how they have successfully used Enterprise 2.0 tools to create interesting work cultures into their companies. The first company I would like to talk about is Shopify, at start-up that has tried to gamify the company culture with the help of their Enterprise 2.0 tool. This tool called UNICORN (created by Shopify) not only helps employees share infor- mation and updates but also award points to each other. Hence employees are using this tool for activities like posting news, finding hidden talents within the company, learning more about colleagues, and even giving performance re- views. Essentially, with UNICORN, a typical day Using Enterprise 2.0 tools for creating an interesting workplace and a fun work culture Enterprise 2.0 for Creating a Fun Work Culture Collaboration in the company has been gamified and people are getting experience points from their manag- ers that can be exchanged for rewards. (Source – Fast Company) The second case is IBM, one of the leading brands in the world with one of the world’s largest workforces. IBM has made use of some smart self-developed Enterprise 2.0 tools to create a culture of idea sharing and innovation in the workplace. To begin with, IBMers have their own internal blogs where they can share ideas and information with the company. On top of this they also have their own internal wiki that serves as a hub of information, their own internal bookmark- ing site like Delicious called Dogear, their own internal Twitter-like tool called Blue Twit, and a Facebook-like tool to help employees stay con- nected called SocialBlue. IBM even conducts companywide jams, online forums for employee brainstorming. The seriousness of these pro- grams can be seen from the fact that the 10 most voted ideas internally by the employees from the 2006 IBM Jam were funded and incubated by IBM. (Sources: socialmediaexaminer, adam- and As you can see IBM is a brand that despite its massive size is making use of Enterprise 2.0 tools to power a culture of creativity, innovation and idea sharing. How can you Use Enterprise 2.0 to Power a Fun Workplace? If the above examples of Shopify and IBM have excited you to use social technologies to make your work place even more exciting, then I have listed down related use-cases and the Enterprise 2.0 tool that can power them: Gamifying Feedback As discussed above, Shopify might have devel- oped their own tool UNICORN to create a game
  32. 32. 32Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Firstly, it makes communication more effective within the organization. Secondly, it helps people share their passion and find like-minded people. Finally, it cuts down a huge chunk of email junk. There are many popular tools that help support this need like Yammer, Salesforce Chatter and Tibbr. These tools have been designed to initiate discussion in the company over projects, work, passions, interests, or anything else. I would like to describe our own experiments with Yammer inside my company Kuliza. We realized this tool was a great way to educate our employees about social technologies and social design. Once the tool picked up popularity the head of the design team and the social media marketing team inside Kuliza started sharing interesting links about their respective fields. The CEO started using it to brief the employees about key company news and updates, while developers started sharing news about conferences they attend. Employee Ideation Employees have great ideas, and some of these ideas are really valuable to brands for improving their business. For instance, sales people for a business might have the best ideas to improve business performance since they understand the real scenario. Many brands understand this and provide tools to employees to power their ideas. Dell ran the EmployeeStorm campaign where employees could submit ideas about making Dell a better place to work and vote for their favourite ideas. The campaign was powered by Sales- force’s platform. Intuit also believes in this philosophy and has a couple of tools to generate employee innovation. Intuit has built an ideation platform called Brain- storm to collect employee ideas that are sprout- ing in the companies and get them noticed by the relevant people. Inside Intuit around 15-20% of the people use this tool every month and around 3,800 ideas have been collected since it started (source). Creating Internal Thought Leaders Many brands, especially services or consulting companies, want to create internal thought lead- ers and field experts. Moreover, even if you have experts working with you, in a large organization, finding the right expert might be difficult. Enter- prise 2.0 tools like internal blogs (for example SocialText Collaborative blogs) help employees showcase their capability and thought leadership to the organization. People can search topics and find field experts who are talking on those topics. One capability of Jive’s ‘Engage Employees’ layer over the company processes, but you can do that too with tools like Rypple and Get Work Simple. Rypple is a tool that helps you track your proj- ects, manage performance reviews and also give recognitions to team members in forms of badges, and all in a manner that is fun and engaging. You can use Rypple to set your goals, give interesting badges to your team as the proj- ect progresses, and also receive feedback from your colleagues. Apart from real time continuous feedback, the best part of this tool is that all feed- back is publie, so if you have a difficult boss you no longer have to suffer in appraisals. Here is how a typical day with this tool looks like: Real Time Rewards and Recognitions Another tool, love machine inc., also helps you create an open and continuous feedback culture, but it has a stronger focus on recognition and rewards. Managers can set up goals and allocate reward budgets. The team can then send open messages to team members recognizing their efforts and the tool provides cumulative perfor- mance analytics of each team member that can be used to distribute the reward budgets. Knowledge Sharing and Curation A culture of sharing knowledge and information with colleagues is a great asset to companies.
  33. 33. 33July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 software is to ensure that users can locate field experts within the company. I hope this article helped you realize the potential Enterprise 2.0 tools have to make your company an interesting workplace and create a lively work culture. However, tools are only one part of the story and getting your employees to use it is another topic.
  34. 34. 34Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Collaboration Social media forms a core element of a brand’s marketing as it provides a range of tools for them to connect to and interact with customers. As Facebook is the fastest growing social network, brands are using it in ever-increasing numbers as their primary engagement point with custom- ers. As part of their engagement efforts, brands understand that people need a reason to interact with them, and so offer their fans promotions and exclusive deals. However, studies suggest that this is not a long-term strategy that increases engagement; people often become fans in order to receive exclusive deals and offers without becoming more loyal to the brand. Thus, brands need a reason and strategy to interact with people, just like people need a reason to interact with brands. From a sociologi- cal perspective, shopping gives people a sense of belonging to a community and allows them to communicate with others, promote themselves and validate who they are. This gives brands an opportunity to build communities of interest with people around their products and so form longer- lasting relationships with their customers and fans after the transaction is complete. It is about more than having a product cata- logue or shop on Facebook with a ‘share’ but- ton. Brands need to understand how to connect with their fans and build real interactions and relationships. An effective strategy requires brands to carefully consider what their custom- ers are looking for and what role a community should play. Three companies that have clearly defined this are Modcloth in fashion, Threadless in design and Monster Army in extreme sports. The communities around these brands are not purely to facilitate QA or customer service, but a representation of the broader interest of their members. Written by Diarmaid Byrne Reflecting a community’s shared interest areas to increase brand engagement Growing Online Communities Modcloth Modcloth, an e-retailer of vintage women’s fashion, created a community of fashionistas and involved them in almost every part of the compa- ny. ModCloth began asking customers to help the company decide whether to carry certain items in its store. Their Be The Buyer program allowed their community to be virtual members of their buying team by voting on clothing samples. If an item receives enough votes ModCloth will sell it. This helps them improve inventory management, reduce the guesswork involved in buying deci- sions, and allows them to engage with and build their community. Members can vote and leave comments on cloth- ing samples and share their views on Facebook and Twitter. The result is a group of people who may not know each other but share a common interest in fashion and a desire to talk about it. ModCloth however recognize that their commu- nity has more in common than just fashion and clothes, so their blog covers recipes , links from around the web that their members might find in- teresting, and a book club where members share books they are reading. Threadless Threadless is an international, community-driven design platform featuring merchandise designed by and for its fan base of over one million users. Artists and designers from around the world cre- ate and submit their designs and the community
  35. 35. 35July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 can vote for the ones they like best and share their favourite designs on Facebook and Twit- ter. On average, 1,500 designs are submitted to the site every week. The most popular ones are printed on a limited run and sold through the website and their shop, while the winning design- ers receive a prize of cash and store credit. Like ModCloth, Threadless recognized that their community is interested in more than just t-shirts. Their platform evolved to reflect a community center for people to blog, chat and socialize around design and with design enthusiasts. To reflect the design interests of their community they recently moved beyond designs for just t-shirts to designs for other items such as tote bags, scarves, iPhone cases, notebooks, and backpacks. They also established Threadless Atrium, a meeting-place for artists and organiza- tions looking for new product designs. It works similarly to the t-shirt designs: Threadless and a partner post a design challenge, members submit their designs and vote on them, Threadless makes the most popular products. The current Atrium challenges are listed on Face- book and on their site. It is not just organizations such as Griffin and Disney, but also for causes such as American Red Cross Peace One Day. So strong is their community that there are regular offline meet-ups across the world. Monster Army Monster Army is an online community of over 1 million members who share an interest in ex- treme sports. The approach Monster Army took is it to not just provide an online space for their members but to expand this into offline activities, such as sponsorship for a broad range of sports such as BMX, surfing, skateboarding, and winter sports as well as sponsoring individual athletes. This results in a community that is devoted to the brand with the latest news, athlete updates, pho- tos and videos from Monster Army events posted on the website. Their success is down to building a business for a community rather than a community for their business. Monster Army and their extremely loyal base of members online and offline exist in a mu- tually beneficial relationship: members have an interest in growing their sports and the Monster brand, and Monster has an interest in supporting and growing extreme sports. By broadening the scope of topics around which they engage with their members these sites are building a more loyal, connected and committed community that is motivated to ensure the suc- cess of the site and the growth of the community.
  36. 36. 36Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 Everyday I log onto twitter and I read about someone complaining about a problem they are facing with a particular service that they use. In almost realtime, a lot of others who face a similar problem simply re-tweet the initial tweet about the complaint. What this could result in is nega- tive publicity about the service, and even fear of losing a customer. In almost no time, there are representatives from the company replying to the tweets and assuring of a quick turnaround to the customer’s concerns. If that is not enough there are also social channels that people can reach out to if they do not get a response on Twitter. This is the new age of customer relationship management and goes by the term social CRMs. There is a lot of debate about the legitimacy of the phrase social CRM. On one side of the argu- ment there are the believers who think that this is just another fancy term riding the Social Wave. On the other side of the argument you have peo- ple who swear by anything social and believe it to be of an immense value add. I for one think that SCRM is here to stay, and it can only promise to grow with more and more businesses adopting social media technologies. I deal with design and through this article I wish to seek out the challenges that designers face and should consider when designing for Social CRM. It may be noted that this is just an indica- tive list and not a definitive one. With changes happening almost every day (Facebook intro- duced the Timeline as I write this), the challenges can only increase. In the earlier days of the traditional CRMs, the engagement with the customer happened around three domains - sales, marketing, and service and support. With the rise of social media platforms being used for things beyond just customer engageme- Written by Kshitiz Anand Dealing with complexity in a connected world The Designer’s Challenge to Social CRM CRM nt, promotions and post-purchase support, the notion of social CRM goes wider than the above mentioned three domains. Amongst all of this change, the main change is in the role of the customers. What has also changed is the increase in the data load of the systems. One is not just track- ing and keeping a note of customer feedback and questions and relationships, but dealing with more data in an efficient and process-centric way. The ultimate goal of the traditional CRM was to have a customer return to buy more products from the same outlet or retailer. The goal of the SRCM also primarily remains the same, though the parameters and the channels have increased. As Paul Greenberg writes, “Social CRM is a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversa- tion in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environ- ment. It’s the company’s response to the custom- er’s ownership of the conversation.” Social CRMs is more like a design strategy exer-
  37. 37. 37July - September 2011 |Social Technology Quarterly | Volume 1 Issue 2 important to take care of. Often the user fails to understand the legal implications of being involved in a Social CRM solution and it can often lead to situations of brand reputation being at stake or to public defamation. It is the duty of the designer to engage the users in a way so as to avoid these situations. 5. Customers are your Channel of Advocacy Decisions on buying and becoming loyal to a brand are highly influenced these days by peers and the discussions that happen across the dif- ferent channels. It is not about “sell and forget” any more. The relationship with the individual goes beyond that. The design should be flexible to enable the cycle of purchase, enjoyment, ad- vocacy and bonding. This will lead to a valuable customer for life. 6. Multiple Channels Unlike the earlier days where CRM relied on one channel, these days social CRM often relies on multiple channels. Customers define the dyna- mism of each of these channels and as a result keep brands on their feet. It is not uncommon to hear of frequent changes in brand loyalty these days due to the brand’s inability to cater to one or more of the channels. In an ideal world one would expect the same customer experience irrespective of channel, be it the social media technologies one or the traditional face to face interactions. 7. Changing Platforms and the Issue of Scalability With technology penetrating more and more into our lives, customers are reaching out to rep- resentatives at any point of time from different types of devices. Mobiles, tablets and of course the laptops and hi-tech systems have made life complex. Dealing with issues of web portability and being able to provide the same ‘wow’ user experience across platforms is the key. 8. Making Sense of the Chaos The main challenge for businesses is to translate the pillars of social CRM - the fans, likes, shares, and re-shares - into sales. All these pillars of SCRM lead to a lot of data being generated. Making sense of all of it is important and only then can SCRM be of immense value add for businesses. This is also important for customers since their decisions are formed based on their past experience and that of their network. Thus, the key here is to translate it into a data-driven- high-user-experience design, such that it can be beneficial for both the designer and the business. Tools such as information visualizations and ana- lytics can be of immense value to the designers cise that is often supported by various tools and technologies, and the strategy is based around customer engagement, interactions and experi- ences. So apart from the traditional goals of mar- keting, customer query answering and increase in sales, a SCRM solution is also looked upon as a source for peer-to-peer customer support, idea management, market research, product launch- es, advertising channels, promotions, and brand reputation management. Customers today are better informed and have a lot more channels to broadcast their opinions and experiences. Therefore, the value addition that SCRM must bring about and influence at a larger scale is important. This, in my opinion, is a design problem and the solution should be done through a proper design and not by force. We are not talking about just going overboard with social media technologies as there is always the danger of over-selling. In this context I will outline some of the challeng- es that the designer faces. 1. The Complexity of Dealing with the Offline and Online Worlds at the Same Time More and more people are spending more time online. With the advent of cloud computing and usage of the cloud to manage large systems, the user is connected 24X7. Our lifestyles are being monitored all time and as a result we tend to expect more from services at all times. 2. Understanding Users This has been a designer’s classic problem space, but with every passing year the users seem to become more sophisticated. There are more social technologies that are being adopted every year. One of the biggest goals of the designer needs to be to keep things simple in this complex world. In the present context, the users (customers) define the processes and also define the hours in which they seek the customer service and engagement. 3. The Notion of Identity In the earlier days of CRM there were more per- sonal and face to face meetings. In the days of social CRM people often tend to have a different persona that they present online and in the of- fline world. So the key is to ensure the seamless integration of both the worlds. 4. Share it to Engage in it A lot of things happen in realtime and as a result of the identity point above, one is often in the risk of sharing too much. For a designer this is chal- lenging as the issues of privacy and trust become