Five Tools to Know About When Developing                    Software for Social NetworksBy Michael Fedotov, Renat Khasansh...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                                                  Software for Soc...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                              Software for Social NetworksAccordin...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                            Software for Social NetworksTo keep in...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                               Software for Social NetworksThe Spr...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                              Software for Social Networksprospect...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                              Software for Social NetworksOne of t...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                               Software for Social NetworksThe cam...
Five Tools to Know About When Developing                                             Software for Social Networksconferenc...
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Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networks

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Community-driven blogs and social network activities are spreading like wild fire. To remain competitive, both industry leaders and smaller companies are forced to promote within social networks. This white paper will review 5 useful tools and 5 popular social media marketing campaigns.

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Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networks

  1. 1. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksBy Michael Fedotov, Renat Khasanshyn, Alex KhizhnyakAbstract: Community-driven blogs and social network activities are spreadinglike wild fire. To remain competitive, both industry leaders and smallercompanies are forced to promote within social networks. This white paper willreview five useful tools and five popular social media marketing campaigns.
  2. 2. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networks1. Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................. 32. Why Social Network Marketing? ......................................................................................................... 33. Five Examples of Useful Social Media Tools .................................................................................... 4 3.1. Openface: Facebook + OpenSocial Development Platform ............................................................ 4 3.2. Spring Social: Social Network API ................................................................................................... 4 3.3. Facebook Photos: Integrating WordPress with Facebook .............................................................. 5 3.4. KudoStar: Contacts and Places Mashup ......................................................................................... 5 3.5. Simple Profile Specification: Universal User Profile Protocol .......................................................... 54. Five Examples of Effective Marketing Campaigns ........................................................................... 6 4.1. HP’s Voice Posts ............................................................................................................................. 6 4.2. Samsung’s “Defining Moment”: Community Voting ......................................................................... 6 4.3. BMW’s “What Drives You?”: Facebook Community Drawing Contest ............................................ 6 4.4. Honda’s “Power of Dreams”: Sponsored Content ........................................................................... 7 4.5. Ask.com’s “Ask A Ninja”: Partnering with Bloggers ......................................................................... 75. The Benefits of Social Media Marketing ............................................................................................ 86. About the Authors ................................................................................................................................ 8 © Altoros Systems 2
  3. 3. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksAccording to eMarketer.com, in 2008 the total spending on social network advertising in the UScomprised $1.2 billion, double what it was just two years earlier. In 2011, American enterprises areexpected to spend more than $2.5 billion on social network marketing.Involving social networks in marketing campaigns is more than anefficient way of accelerating project delivery. Social network marketingenables an enterprise to keep in touch with its target audience directly. Social networkingMore than that, when carried out thoughtfully, social network marketing is useful for ancan inspire the audience itself to further promote and even spread theproduct. Social networking is also useful because it enables an enterprise toenterprise to easily evaluate public opinion about the product or the evaluate publicenterprise itself. opinion about theWith the aid of third-party agencies, industry leaders, as well as product or thesmaller companies, utilize social networking to remain competitive,and do this in a variety of ways. enterprise itself.This white paper will provide a review of five popular marketing trendsthat involve social networks, and five tools that can be of use whenimplementing an interactive marketing campaign.In the United States, the number of unique users on MySpace alone is over 70 million. Researchcarried out by Nielsen Netratings suggests that the total audience of social-oriented sites in Germanycomprises 15 million users, which is about 35% of all German Internet users (as assessed by(N)ONLINER Atlas in 2008). In France, according to TechCrunchies, 54% of Internet users visited socialnetworks (such as Skyrock, the most popular social network among the French) at least during the two-month survey period. The leading country in terms of the popularity of social networks, as a studyconducted by mashraqi.com revealed, is South Korea, with more than 66% of Korean Internet usersbelonging to a social network.Bringing together wider and more solid audiences than most Web portals could ever dream, socialnetworks represent unique marketing opportunities, which many companies have already recognized.Obviously, the ability to draw the attention of so many people has great potential, and, even moreimportantly, the community itself, since it is made up of friends and acquaintances, works as anadvertiser.Engaging interactive marketing, though, is not as easy as it may seem. Naturally, most people in Webcommunities feel skeptical about a product or service that is advertised by what can be described associal network spamming. A member of an online social community has typically joined it in order to beable to communicate with other human beings, not to have his or her personal pages meddled with by aspam bot or an unfamiliar and impersonal member in an attempt to foist off something on them(however good a deal it may actually be). Clever social media marketing is really about the art ofencouraging members’ participation, which is a promising niche for advertising companies andinteractive agencies. © Altoros Systems 3
  4. 4. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksTo keep in touch with the customers, inform them about newproducts and the company’s achievements, and receive feedback,many companies maintain one or several corporate blogs. Blogs Did you know that inare also a great means of search engine optimization. Another terms of audiencepopular technology of social media marketing is creating a user size, there are severalcommunity around one or several of the enterprise’s products. Asthe community expands and becomes, to an extent, autonomous, it Super Bowls every daycan carry out some of the functions that are otherwise laid on the on Facebook,staff. And of course, a presence on popular social networks, suchas MySpace and Facebook, is becoming a must for any vendor MySpace, andlooking to keep abreast of the times. YouTube?In order to make good use of the potential that social marketingpossesses, one has to implement effective methods of socialmarketing. The campaigns described below have managed to do that and achieved impressive results.Recently, a number of new social networking tools and platforms have been developed or announced.Some of them can be useful to an enterprise while conducting their social network marketing campaign,while others provide an insight into the trend’s future.3.1. Openface: Facebook + OpenSocial Development Platformhttp://groups.google.com/group/openface When developing a social network application, one has to decide on a platform. Typically, one would waver between Facebook, the mostIn South Korea, popular social network application development platform used bymore than 66% of over 35,000 applications, and OpenSocial, a strong alternative that isInternet users featured on many popular sites, such as MySpace, Yahoo!, Ning, Salesforce.com, Netlog, Friendster, Hi5, etc., guaranteeing anbelong to a social application’s interoperability between them.network. The dilemma is caused by the fact that the two APIs require completely different application architectures. To develop aFacebook application, a developer has to be proficient in PHP (or Java), JavaScript, FBML, FQL, Mock,and AJAX. OpenSocial, on the other hand, is based on HTML, JavaScript, and the Google Gadgetsframework. Understandably, creating an application that supports both Facebook and OpenSocial is atime- and effort-consuming task.However, the challenge is not an unsolvable case, claim the developers of Openface, a PHP frameworkdesigned for building applications that run on Facebook and OpenSocial platforms. Openface is a set oflibraries that you add into your PHP application that enable the same codebase to run within Facebook,Bebo, and OpenSocial containers. Using Openface is supposed to help a developer create anapplication that can be run on both Openface and Facebook, in the amount of time it takes to developan application on just one of the platforms.3.2. Spring Social: Social Network APIhttp://code.google.com/p/spring-social © Altoros Systems 4
  5. 5. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksThe Spring Social project provides a Spring MVC Framework-based API for developing socialnetworking applications. Currently, only Facebook is supported, but OpenSocial support is expected inthe future.The aim of the project is to simplify Java-based social application development and deployment byproviding a consistent, reusable, and well-documented set of Spring MVC components. This isparticularly helpful because there is a fair amount of confusion these days regarding Facebook API andthe request model imposed on Facebook applications.3.3. Facebook Photos: Integrating WordPress with Facebookhttp://tantannoodles.com/toolkit/facebook-photos/Facebook Photos is a solution for integrating Facebook withWordPress-supported blogs. With the aid of FacebookPhotos, users can insert photos that they have uploaded totheir Facebook account, directly into their blogs.After the plug-in is installed, users can see all their photos(including those they have been tagged in) available onFacebook in an additional tab when writing or editing posts.The plug-in can also resize photos instantly.Facebook Photos is based on the Facebook DevelopersPlatform.3.4. KudoStar: Contacts and Places Mashuphttp://www.kudostar.com/ The concept behind KudoStar is highly innovative: creating a mobile social rating system that will connect one’s contacts and favorite places. Both people and places accumulate “KudoScores” (ratings that can be both positive and negative). Based on the Google Android mobile operating system, KudoStar also provides images, sounds, and videos for the entries, and makes use of Google Maps to help locate added places. KudoStar will support both mobile devices and popular social networks (Facebook- and OpenSocial-based) in an ambition to unite a multitude of users worldwide and spread the data collected to this audience.Kudostar is currently under development; a public alpha is expected in the near future.3.5. Simple Profile Specification: Universal User Profile Protocolhttp://code.google.com/p/simpleprofilespecSimple Profile Specification (or SPS) is an ambitious project oriented toward the future of the Internetand social networking. Its developers aim to create a simple and universal user profile protocol, allowingtransferability and automatic updating of user data on all blogs, social networks, etc. that support it.Today, many users have a dozen or more accounts on different sites and have to manually edit theirprofiles on all of these sites every time they change their e-mail address or want to update personaldata, such as marital status. In the context of this situation, SPS represents a very promising © Altoros Systems 5
  6. 6. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networksprospective trend, allowing both private users and social network marketing-aware companies tominimize their effort.4.1. HP’s Voice PostsOne of the first industry-leading companies to recognize the trend, Hewlett-Packard has introducedVoice Posts—editorial segments served up as audio files on blog sites. HP is positioned as the sponsorof the series: their logo appears under the audio file, next to a label that reads: “Voice post technologysponsored by HP iPaq 510.”The idea of communicating with audio files instead of e-mailhas caught on fast, finding support with thousands of bloggersand turning out a huge win for HP. Voice posting has alreadybeen implemented into the popular group blog Boing Boingand many blogs by acknowledged independent authors, and,although HP has no relationship to or influence over thecontent of the voice posts, the company was the first tobenefit from the technology.References to HP have spread rapidly with the growingnumber of voice posts covering most subjects and audiences,grabbing the attention of millions of readers.4.2. Samsung’s “Defining Moment”: Community VotingSamsung decided to enter the game with an interactivecampaign oriented toward a specific audience—sport fans.Visitors and passionate sports bloggers were invited toidentify the “Defining Moment of the Weekend” during theNFL season. Writers from the SportsBlogs Nation sites,ArmchairGM, and PROTRADE, as well as visitors,submitted their choices for the most important match-up ofthe week, and readers voted on the “defining moments”they liked best.In the first 48 hours, one in five visitors to the siteparticipated, either by submitting their own “definingmoment” or by voting on the moment they liked. Theencouragingly high level of user engagement proves thatwith their “Defining Moment,” Samsung made a smartdecision.4.3. BMW’s “What Drives You?”: Facebook Community Drawing Contest © Altoros Systems 6
  7. 7. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksOne of the most creative interactive marketing campaigns to date, “What Drives You?” offeredFacebook users the chance to use the Graffiti Wall application to create their own art inspired by thenew BMW 1 series. The five winners were awarded model BMW Art Cars based on the styles ofimportant artists, such as Andy Warhol, Sandro Chia, and Roy Lichtenstein.As a result, in just a one-week period, more than 9,000 drawings were submitted, 500,000 votes weregiven, and about 3,000 people became fans of the contest.BMW brilliantly managed to draw public attention to their new BMW 1 series in what Dave Morin, SeniorPlatform Manager at Facebook, called “one of the most brilliant social media campaigns” he’d seen in along time. The campaign was amplified with exposure in the press and on many blogs.4.4. Honda’s “Power of Dreams”: Sponsored ContentHonda took a different approach and decided to concentrate on advertising while raising publicawareness. This led to the company’s sponsoring three special sections of Boing Boing, called "ThePower of Dreams." Tapping into Boing Boing’s tag cloud, Honda featured unique content on the threekey themes in its positioning: innovation, safety, and environment. Honda managed to connect thebrand with an authentic conversation about the themes core to its identity, and, at the same time, havethousands informed on achievements and events related to the topics.This explains why the “Power of Dreams” click-through rates were five times the industry average.Another achievement that signifies the campaign’s successfulness is the Boing Boing-sponsored page thranking 6 (right after honda.com) in Google search results for “Honda Power of Dreams.”4.5. Ask.com’s “Ask A Ninja”: Partnering with Bloggers As a part of its re-branding campaign, Ask.com partnered with video blogger Ask A Ninja. Nine episodes were rolled, at the end of which the Ninja invited his viewers to go to Ask.com and enter a proposed made-up word. After doing so, the viewers would get the definition of the word via a custom video skit by the Ninja. © Altoros Systems 7
  8. 8. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksThe campaign achieved immense success. In the first 20 hours, one out of every twelve viewers of theNinja’s “Ninja Sayings” video skit went to Ask.com, queried “ninjuice” (the proposed word) and watchedthe bonus video. While a conventional banner delivers a click-through rate of about 0.5% (and ofcourse, not everyone who follows the link actually tries the service), “Ask A Ninja” achieved animpressive 8.3% rate of conversion. Implementing social media technologies into marketing is asIn 2011, American much a challenging task for an enterprise as it is rewarding. 9,000 drawings and half a million votes with BMW’s “Whatenterprises are expected Drives You?”, a fantastic conversion rate of 8.3% withto spend more than $2.5 Ask.com’s “Ask a Ninja,” and every fifth visitor participating in Samsung’s “Defining Moment” are only a few examples thatbillion on social network illustrate why social media marketing makes sense. Tools,marketing. such as Openface and SpringSocial, can boost the efficiency of carrying out a social media campaign by helping cut down on the time required for implementation.High requirements for ROI and product delivery time motivate vendors to refer to third-party specialiststo conduct their social networking campaigns. Did you know that the company behind HP’s Flickr-based“Resolutionaries” campaign is Altoros, a software delivery acceleration specialist headquartered inWestern Massachusetts? The same company is also behind the Openface Framework, which allowsdevelopers to create social media applications that run on both Facebook and OpenSocial.The most important benefits of social network marketing are as follows:  It accelerates project delivery.  It is a great way of getting more people to know about your product, as social networks unite huge audiences online.  It helps to evaluate public opinion on the product.  It reduces the effort required by an enterprise’s own staff to promote the product by having the community do this, and virtually brings this effort to a rate of zero if a social media campaign is outsourced to a third-party agency.Over the past few years the role of social networking in companies’ marketing activities has increasedsignificantly. But, as social networks continue to grow steadily, uniting millions of users worldwide, itlooks as though today is only the beginning of the era of social network marketing. Being a part of thistrend has grown from a promising option for an enterprise into a must, in order to stay competitive.Michael Fedotov is Technology Evangelist at Altoros Systems, Inc. and has been working as afreelance journalist for a number of IT-related periodicals since 2003, covering next to all aspects of IT,and specifically software development, in an abundance of articles. He has taken part in severalscientific conferences and provided services for many more participants creating their presentations. Healso has experience working as an interpreter and is currently studying Japanese.Alex Khizhnyak is Chief Evangelist at Altoros Systems, Inc. and co-founder of the Belarus Java UserGroup. Since 1998, he has gained experience as an author, editor, media specialist, event manager, © Altoros Systems 8
  9. 9. Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networksconference speaker, and blogger. So far, his education background combines IT, programming,economics, and journalism.Renat Khasanshyn is the founder and CEO of Altoros Systems, Inc. Mr. Khasanshyn speaksfrequently at a wide range of events, and most recently was selected as a finalist for the 2007 EmergingExecutive of the Year award by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. Prior to foundingAltoros Systems, Mr. Khasanshyn was VP of Engineering for Tampa-based insurance company,PriMed, Inc. Mr. Khasanshyn is a co-founder of the Belarus Java User Group and studied Engineeringat Belarusian State Technical University.Altoros Systems, Inc. is a global software delivery acceleration specialist that provides focusedoutsourced software engineering and testing services to interactive agencies, software productcompanies, and information-driven enterprises. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in WesternMassachusetts, Altoros has representative offices in Tampa, Florida. It manages a softwaredevelopment center in Eastern Europe out of its offices in Minsk, Belarus. For more information, pleasevisit www.altoros.com. © Altoros Systems 9

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