What's the Social Graph Worth?

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A proposed brand framework to more rigorously evaluate and respond to the present and future opportunities for the promised social graph.

A proposed brand framework to more rigorously evaluate and respond to the present and future opportunities for the promised social graph.

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  • 1. What’s the Social Graph Worth to You? Paloma M. Vazquez @pmvazquez
  • 2. The ‘social graph’ entered the lexicon of digital strategy in 2007*. Butthe debate as to its present and future form continues today.It is also alluded to as the pot of gold data at the end of the socialnetwork rainbow. Because that relationship data identifies howpeople are connected, it’s valuable to many - including to brands.But data is only as good as the action it allows you to take. With that inmind, this is a proposed brand framework to more rigorouslyevaluate and respond to the present and future opportunities for thepromised social graph. * The social graph is a term coined by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, which originally referred to the social network of relationships between users of the service provided by Facebook. It has been described as "the global mapping of everybody and how theyre related".
  • 3. We begin with a loaded term }In a recent post, Pinboard’s It’s not a graph: A true graph would employ a universal language andMaciej Cegłowski argues that definition of the nodes (or users) and‘The Social Graph is the edges (or type and strength ofNeither’, as it fails to fully connection) that bind them.mirror the dynamic nature of It’s not social: The static andrelationships. incomplete description of each relationship doesn’t mirror the true, evolving nature of social relationships. We’re working within an imperfect, inconclusively defined system.
  • 4. Today’s graphs consist of vague connections } ✤ Connection to the brand (Liked)The current structure of the ‘social graph‘ is limited in ✤ To friendsclassifying the strength and nature of social ✤ Family (if identified)relationships. To illustrate, Facebook currently capturesselect dimensions of connections: ✤ Romantic partner (if identified) ✤ Organizations or interests (Likes) ✤ Co-workers (if identified) Friend Family Connection Strength Partner Loose, established via user’s ‘Like’ Strong, established between two users Unknown in duration or depth, established by someone accepting request Member Organization User Brand/s A ‘Like’ is a loose relationship bec ause it does not always translate into act ive Affiliations participation, nor permanence - an Colleague d (Likes) can be just as easily lost as it can be bought.
  • 5. Describing the ideal social graph } Recognize that not every relationship is positive. In fact,An evolved social graph would some ‘Likes’ are downright contentious.mirror the nuanced, dynamic A ‘Like’ would differentiate betweennature of relationships and the active participants, those that simplystrength of each bond. listen, those that purchase the brand but don’t necessarily participate in the community, and even those whose participation is simply to provoke.
  • 6. In spite of light of the current state of the social graph, brands areemploying connection (or relationship) dataacross social platforms. These brands have taken an iterative start towards creating valuable experiences with relationship data.
  • 7. Connections provide reassurance, benefitting the brand as broker of relationships. AIRBNB INTEGRATES FACEBOOK CUSTOMER CONNECTIONS TO P R O V I D E A P E R S ON A L R E F E R E N C E F O R TH E P RO P E RTY H O S T, ID E N TIF Y IN G C O M M O N F RIE N D S .
  • 8. Social behaviors inform relevant offers, benefitting the brand as agent for desirable experiences. AMERICAN EX PRESS’ “LINK, LIKE, LOVE” P R E S E N T S T A R G E T E D O F F E R S B A S E D O N T H E SOCIAL ACTION S TAKEN BY U SER S AN D THEIR COM M ON CONN ECTION S O N F A C E B O O K .
  • 9. Connections verify the merchant, positioning the platform as broker of social validation. F O U R S Q U A R E OF F ER S TA R GETED R EC OM M EN DA TION S B A SED ON C ON TEXT- A P P R OP R IA T E S H A R E D B E H A V IOR WITH A N IN D IVID U A L’S S O C IA L C O N N E C TIO N S .
  • 10. And of course, there’s more... } Levi’s Friends StoreIn the interest of time and TripAdvisor’s ‘Cities I’ve Visited’space, we tipped our hat tothree. But for further reference, Lacoste Livesee: etc.
  • 11. A brand can assess the value of relationship data to their business- both now and in a potentially more defined future - byfirst identifying that data’s potential application. A brand can then assure it has the capabilities to respond to that data.
  • 12. A brand’s capabilities must reflect its objectives } 1) This preliminary framework withTo capitalize on an informed broad (read: illustrative) examplessocial graph, a brand should first can be updated to reflect a brand’s unique ecosystem and objectives.identify the valuableoutcomes desired from 2) A brand can then determine if theadditional relationship and capabilities and infrastructure required to deliver on thosebehavioral data. applications are in place... ...and establish priorities to employ or create them.
  • 13. The brand framework A PROPOSED APPROACH TO A LIG N D A T A C A P T U R E D T O A C T ION A B LE A P P LIC A T ION S Potential Channel Valuable Outcome Social Data Needed Application (The Brand (A Measurable (Detailed Data (Verify Actionability Ecosystem) Objective) Requirements) Within Existing Infrastructure) Audience segments with Display personalized ad to shared attitudes and behaviors relevant audiences Advertising X% lift in engaged customers (number of liked sports properties) Customer segments informed Exclusive partnerships aligned X% lift in shared brand content by social behaviors (checked to precise interests Targeted Content and Y% lift in audience base into a farmer’s market) Customer visitation behavior Rewards targeted to clusters Targeted Offers, X% lift in customer spend, Y% per segment; type of visitation that visit together Promotions lift in redemptions (family vs. business) A dossier of frequent behaviors Personalized experience for X% lift in customer defection and key relationships of highest-value customers Customer Service or Y% lift in avg spend highest-value customers Dossier for customers Custom and connected depicting most social offline products tailored to customersProduct and Service X% lift in total revenues or Y% behaviors (with diverse, with most valuable and social lift in key brand equity Customization measures connected and active behavior connections).
  • 14. The epitome of customization possible, 1:1 factoring in detailed behavior and Product, This hierarchy can guide Service preference data; ideally targeted to highest value customers. prioritization based on Customization immediate actionabilityacross broadest audience base. Requires evaluation of current customer service ecosystem, Customer Service database capabilities. May require additional resources to secure Targeted Offers, Promotions appropriate partnerships and platform relationships. Also fairly simple, requiring limited Targeted Content time and resources to execute. Lowest hanging fruit; broadest applicability Advertising across customer base.
  • 15. In short, the ‘social graph’ is a loaded term (and idea). It’s currentlyimperfect, comprised of relationships of unclear nature and strength.But its limitations have not stopped brands from creating valuablecustomer experiences with existing data.We recognize that relationship data captured by the socialgraph is valuable - now and in the future. For brands to assess thatvalue more rigorously, this is a proposed framework to ensure thatevery action and investment has actionable purpose for the business.It’s an iterative work in progress.
  • 16. Thoughts, questions and conversation welcome. Paloma M. Vazquez @pmvazquez