Youthline Online Viral Marketing Strategy
Submitted by Meredith Crowe for the yMedia Challenge 2009
The aim of this document is to review Youthline’s current web2.0 viral media
situation and suggest possible directions to take that could improve this.
9 Youthline Home Site
Typing “youthline” in the facebook search function brings up 89 results. The
New Zealand group is the second option down, and it isn’t very obvious that this
is their central page. Because facebook is very limited in its page customizing
opportunities, it makes it very difficult to stand out.
Youthline currently has a facebook ‘group,’ I would suggest creating a ‘page’ so
you can have ‘fans’ rather then ‘members.’ Due to their security features, and
size limitations (only groups under 5,000 members can send email blasts),
Facebook Groups are set up for more personal interaction. Pages can send
messages to their fans through the status function, and these messages will
appear on the fans homepage, not in their inbox. There is no numbers limit on
this function. Groups are considered more ‘private’ and this may put some
people off using the group, as I understand, Youthline often help youth with very
personal things, and requiring them to ‘Join the Group’ may be off putting.
Groups can’t have applications. Statistically, pages benefit more from
advertising then groups.
I have looked into using the chat function on Facebook because it is very
functional as an instant messaging service, although groups cannot use this.
However after some research it appears that the chat on facebook is not
suitable for this for these reasons:
• There could only be one person ‘chatting’ on the Youthline end,
meaning that if they had too many people trying to talk to them at once
this would be overwhelming.
• If people wanted to talk to Youthline they would have to ‘add them as a
friend’ which would put some people off. It is too personal. It means that
Youthline could see all of their photos and who they were posting with
and what they were saying and I don’t think that people would be
comfortable with this
I think that Youthline should use facebook to encourage people to the Youthline
home page. The mass of information and opportunities Youthline has to offer
cannot be justified through facebook.
Something that I think would be worth investing in is facebook advertising
directing people to the Youthline home page.
What you need:
• A link -> your facebook or their website.
• Advert title + body -> a little blurb about who you are/what you do.
• Photo/image -> 110x80px (optional but recommended. I personally
don't pay attention to any ads unless they have an eye-catching picture.)
What you need to decide before starting:
• Daily budget (per day. min $1US)
• Pay per click or 1000 views (I recommend per click (CPC, since you
want people to actually visit their page and interact with them)
• Duration of ad (continuously starting from now, or between specific
- You don't have the option of setting a total budget (only daily), so I recommend
setting specific dates to make sure you don't go over your budget.
The process as an example:
1. Design Your Ad.
• Fill in form (link, title, body, image.)
• Click continue.
• Location: NZ
• Age range: 13-20yrs = 226,540 NZers on facebook. 13-18 = 142,180.
Any age = 1,031,800 nzers. Bigger range = more exposure, but smaller
range means the ad is actually appearing on the pages of the people
they're targeting (so they're not wasting clicks on 50 yr olds).
• All the other targets could probably be left blank.
3. Campaigns and Pricing: (in US$)
• I suggest using pay per click (CPC) rather than views, since you want
people to actually visit your page and interact with you.
• Price you pay per click is up to you. Minimum $0.01. The higher the
bid, the more likely the ad will get shown. The bid they suggest to me is
$0.18 - $0.29 (depends on the targets you select. I've set NZers
between the ages of 13-20). I have used a price in the middle for
• Pick a daily budget (min $1). This will depend on how long you’d like
the ad to run for.
• Working with a budget of $2000 for the advertising, (about US$1300)
@$0.24/click that will be just over 5,000 clicks altogether. If you have a
daily budget of $40 (so with a total budget of $1300, the ad could run for
about one month), you will get a max of about 170 clicks/day.
• If you don't get 170 clicks in a day, they only pay for the clicks they do
• There's a daily spend limit. This is the max Facebook will allow you to
spend in one day. The starting limit is $50, but will increase as you
successfully make payments (because you're such a good customer!).
This just means their daily budget can't be over $50 to begin with.
• Total cost: There's no way to set a total cost for the ad campaign. You
can either set it to run between specified dates (so at $40/day, if you
want to spend a max of $1300, you would set it to run for about a
month), or set it to run until you delete the campaign (so you would have
to keep an eye on it and make sure you don't go over your limit). I'd
recommend setting the dates just to be on the safe side, it just means
they have to do some maths to work out how long you can have your ad
running until you reach your set budget. Alternatively, decide your total
budget and how long you want the ad to run for, then work out your daily
limit/max bid per click from that.
Searching ‘Youthline’ on bebo brings up 54 results, of which the national one is
fourth. While bebo allows for ‘skins’ so that the page is more graphically
interesting then facebook, the theme of the page does not align with the
Youthline website. The text on this page is lime green on a white background
and is very difficult to read. The page is obviously not used very much as there
are comments on the front page from 79 weeks ago and only 39 members.
Bebo is used mostly by teenagers under 16 years old so it could be a good tool
for Youthline. The page needs redesigning to make it functional and attractive,
and there needs to be advertising else ware on the internet or on the bebo site
to drive people to the page. As it is, it is not functional, known about or used.
Home Site: Youthline.co.nz
The Youthline website is successfully aesthetically targeted at the right audience.
It is young, informal and inviting. It is designed attractively for all New Zealand
The main page is very busy. It combines good graphical elements with the
menus and other options. The ‘news’ and ‘fast facts’ are quite distracting and it
means the site does not fit vertically on a smaller screen size, which can be
annoying. However, overall the hope page is very good. The incorporation of
hand drawn graphics is inviting, and makes the site feel approachable in a way
that a clean cut, formal website would not. Also, the ‘games’ link is more
prominent, and links to quizzes, not games. This can be really disappointing
because there are so many websites that integrate games very successfully into
informational sites. I would suggest making a link ‘Quizzes’ on the menu leading
to this content.
There is a huge amount of information available from the site that is all well
written and integrated. This calls for a complex menu system which because of
the other graphics on the site, has a small amount of room. I find the menu text
very hard to read. This is because of the combination that text size is quite
small and is white on black. While most teenagers have very good eyesight, this
may effect parents or guardians being able to use the site easily.
The integration of information from URGE is very well done. The pages are
themed the same and it is easy to navigate back to the Youthline site, or other
informative URGE sites.
I would suggest integrating a ‘chat’ function to the home page, similar to
facebook, but allow people to chat anonymously.
There are 2 primary options, one is a "not so live" live chat, which means the
chat gets sent from the user, to some server, the server stores it into the
database, and the server then tries to make sure all the clients stay up to date
with what's in the database. It mainly means that it's a "pseudo" live chat as the
lag that exists is through the time differential between the txt sent and request to
fill up the screen with what’s happened. Best way to envision this is to think of a
very quickly updating message board, so you could still have private messages
and the likes. Think of this one as a twitter like feed...
Pros: cheap and simple to set up, simply need a standard web set up (web +
database) and better for when time differentials can be large (when you are not
"live" chatting, but leaving messages or w/e)
Cons: slow/laggy, can look very out dated
The second way this is done is through a more "live" technique, which usually
involves secondary software along side the website. What happens here is
instead of sticking with static web based technologies like the first way, you
have a service running that manages it and dispatches messages. This is more
like embedding MSN instant messenger into the page. Usually it requires having
a flash or java app in your page that connects to the service.
Pros: fast and usually feature rich, can be usually made quite stable and secure
(support for redundancy and such) and active connections allow instant alert
when new messages are being posted
Cons: larger hardware and tech requirements
Youthline have a very specific age group that they are targeting, and this age
group is very tech savvy. Live chat online is a very popular way of
communicating. Sending messages or emails can be difficult for people when
they are owning up or asking for help, but ‘chatting’ online is easy. Many people
find it easier then talking to people about issues face to face or on the phone.
I hope this has been helpful.