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Zipipop Building Successful Social Media Services


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Zipipop Presents: Building Successful Social Media Services:
Social media strategy, communities, engagement, transparency, interaction, brand friend and marketing.
Additional credit: Slide 22 was partially inspired by a conversation with Markku Ahtisaari, in relation to Dopplr creating a public space with it's Social Atlas.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Additional credit: Slide 22 was partially inspired by a conversation with Marko Ahrtisaari, in relation to Dopplr creating a public space with its Social Atlas.
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Zipipop Building Successful Social Media Services

  1. 1. 4th Draft Social Media Agency Building Successful Social Media Services(including the original Zipipop Commandments)
  2. 2. INTROThis presentation outlines some of the key things Zipipophas learnt through studying, developing and consulting inthe social media sector over the last three years.It provides some principles for concepting, developing,marketing, and analyzing “social media” services.
  3. 3. WHYSocial media services have unique attributes. In addition tothe usual concerns, such as interaction design, we need toconsider new developments, eg — the idea of “sociability”.By social media we refer to “online applications, platformsand media which aim to facilitate interaction, collaborationand the sharing of content.” (Universal McCann’s SocialMedia Research Wave 3, 2008)
  4. 4. WARNING:The Pi Rule of StartupsDevelopment will take 3.14 times longer than planned.Costs will be 3.14 times more than expected.Profits will be 3.14 times less than hoped.
  5. 5. Purple Cows To get noticed in today’s market you need to: • Be a “purple cow”*, i.e. be remarkable and stand out from the crowd. • Provide a genuinely lovable or useful service. • Find interesting, authentic stories behind your team, brand, product or company.*
  6. 6. Understanding UsersThe founders of a startup should have a personal passion forthe service they are creating; however, it is important toalso remember that your customers are not you.The initial core idea can be made in the spirit of “build itand they will come”, however, you quickly need to developa better understanding of your real customers and whatneeds your are actually catering for.Amongst other tools you should consider: fictional userprofiles, testing and focus groups, profile clustering, usergoals, and success metrics.You need to have a Customer Development process.
  7. 7. HAND IN HANDThe marketing strategy for a social media service should bedeveloped early on and in parallel with the implementation —since the face, function and feel of the service will soonbecome the main “advert” upon which it will be judged.And it is important to see some initial “proof of concept”before getting too bogged down with technical, artisticdetails.
  8. 8. Social Media StrategyYou will need to have a good idea of your “conversationmarketing” strategy — how will you promote and engage withthe discussions taking place within social media regarding yourservice and why will people talk about it.You will also need a good understanding of your distributionchannels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, events, communities,etc.).
  9. 9. VALUE OFFERING You should be able to summarize the value offering on the back of a business card, since it forces you to focus.
  10. 10. SOCIABILITYSociability comes about when users interact with each other.Interaction between users is what distinguishes social mediafrom other media in which interactions occur between usersand the screen.The “social interface” is surrounded by different kinds anddegrees of sociability, and social practices, which are thecollective user activities that bring your product, service, orcampaign to life.Adrian Chan (September 2009)
  11. 11. “Sociality cannot be designed; it can only be designed for.”Bouman, W., Hoogenboom, T., Jansen, R., Schoondrop, M., de Bruin, B., Huizing, A.(2008) The Realm of Sociality: Notes on the Design of Social Software. PrimaVeraWorking Paper 2008-01, January 2008, University of Amsterdam.
  12. 12. KEEPING IT REAL“To produce an effective design for social software you haveto consider the broad concept of sociality within fourdomains: enabling practice, mimicking reality, buildingidentity and actualizing self”. [Bouman et al. 2008]This means that we have to build upon existing social andwork practices; and enable a sense of one’s own identity todevelop within the group’s developing history.Trying to fundamentally change the way people behave (in asociological sense) is a high risk strategy. In general it iswiser to try to enhance existing social practices aroundgroups who have similar needs.
  13. 13. COMMUNITIESIf you are developing a social service you need think lessabout gaining users and more about building communities.You first need to define what are the core activities andinterests that will bring people together via your service.In the beginning Facebook had a fairly clunky user-interface,however, it always had great “sociability” — enabling usersto quickly find and connect with their real-life socialnetwork.
  14. 14. The Four Rules of Engagement1) Transparency of Offering (make it crystal clear)2) Relevancy of Communication (not assumed, but assured)3) Value of Incentive (not necessarily monetary)4) Ease of Interaction (make it intuitive)Jonathan McDonald
  15. 15. TRANSPARENCY OF OFFERINGIt is important to bear in mind that one of the cornerstonesof business is to meet and exceed customer expectations.Setting too high expectations that the service will struggleto live up to could be damaging.And in the new world of social media the critics openlydissect services in public.In the super crowded space of social media you rarely get asecond chance to win a new user.
  16. 16. RELEVANCY OF COMMUNICATION In your marketing communication the following should be assured and not assumed: WHOM are you talking to? WHAT you are offering? WHY should they adopt or switch to your service? WHY should they trust you?
  17. 17. Value of IncentiveWhat added value does the user get from themselves whenrecommending the service?And what is the gift that they are giving?
  18. 18. EASY OF INTERACTIONQuick clear demonstrations and guides to precisely whatyour service offers and does.The front page should establish interest and there should beclear links to finding out more information.
  19. 19. “Network research has identified trust,reciprocity and social capital as being key components for successful networking.”Miettinen, R. (2009). Presentation at Media Factory Researchers’ Forum:Distributed innovation and the challenge of multi/transdisciplinarity, 23 April2009. University of Helsinki.
  20. 20. Action VerbsMake the keywords that represent your value proposition veryvisible throughout the service.Deals Buy Sell
  21. 21. Giving RecommendationsDeals
  22. 22. The Importance of Good CopySimple words can have a huge impact on the user experience. The use of the word “poke”, combined with an email notification, was a clever way Facebook encouraged users in the early days to “spam” their friends on behalf of Mr Zuckerberg. 900+ million users later it still provides a fun way to casually re-connect with people. One of the coolest things about the social location- service Foursquare is that you “Check in” to places. Less imaginative developers would have just put “Enter your location” or some such. Birds twitter and tweet: Therefore this was a great metaphor for the activity of the “twitters”, who flock to Twitter for the round-the-clock chorus of “tweeting”.
  23. 23. Brand Friend: Friendship Growth Friendship building is a process and you should engage with users at the appropriate level.
  24. 24. Customer–Brand 500-2,500 Friendships 100-200• Within each layer a 30-50 customer can only process ~15 so many brands at any given intimate time. friendship• An intimate brand is one that people engaged with acquaintance on a regular basis. awarenessNote: The numbers correspond to Dunbar’s small, medium, large groups.
  25. 25. Brand User Ratios • You should invest in x150 building up the number of intimate customers x15 relative to the total size x3 of the community you hope to achieve. intimate friendship acquaintance awarenessNote: Ratios based on Dunbar’s small, medium, large groups.
  26. 26. PyramidModel Early adopter groups will attract new users to start trying the service. The more people seen to be using the service the more other people will start paying attention.
  27. 27. Private-Public Spaces Users generally interact on a regular basis with a intimates limited number of intimates (friends and family). However, they take pleasure in the ability friends to occasionally engage with a greater community. acquaintancespotential contacts
  28. 28. Going ViralTo make a “social service”go viral early adoptersshould to be connectedthrough core sharedinterests. Early Adopter Early Adopter Core Interest Early AdopterEarly Adopter Early Adopter
  29. 29. FINDING REAL-WORLD TIES strong ties weak ties Online Online community2 user community2 University2 University1 Local Local area1 area2 Sportclub Company2 Company1 Kinder gardenUser-segment analysis tool for location-based servicesthat can be used to help find groups of early-adopterswith shared interests.
  30. 30. CAMPFIRES “Whenever we concept a social media application, we are very concerned by the nature of its campfire: how will the dancing flames attract users, keep them warm and encourage social interaction.” Richard Von Kaufmann (2007)
  31. 31. communities context early adopterscommunicationcore interests social media “sociability” advertising“social objects” conversations publicity
  32. 32. Building a CampfireInterest: A core shared interests that bringspeople together and creates strong ties (akaSocial Objects).Context: Where best to attract the targetaudience, e.g. social network site, standalonewebsite, mobile, etc.Sociability: Facilitating communication andsocial interaction, e.g. newstreams, forums,walls, group discussions, etc.
  33. 33. Marketing Networking: Find the early adopters, connectors, mavens, and salesmen*, get to know them and take them personally to the fire. Advertising : Guiding people to the fire: ads, stickers, flyers, banners, etc. Publicity: Blog reviews, news articles, seminars presentations, search engine optimization, etc.* Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point, 2000
  34. 34. Zipipop Commandments for building social media services
  35. 35. PERSONAL PASSION:What excites you? You have to be totally in love with aproject at the start because towards the end your love willfade away and, until it starts making money, you might evenend up hating it. If you start with just a good idea you willnever even finish it.And you must always eat your own dog food and start askingsome serious questions if those around you don’t like yourcooking.
  36. 36. NEEDIf you wish to make a profit your ideas need to be valuable,ie – people must be willing to pay for them? There are plentyof good ideas that are perfectly worthy but have no businessvalue. So find ways to turn your passions into pennies.Otherwise create a non-profit social enterprise or go intoresearch.
  37. 37. CONTENTUsers must “see” content from the beginning. This can comein the form of community driven, user-generated content(Facebook) or readily available content from other sources(Spotify).
  38. 38. NETWORKSThe new networked economy requires that you find existingor, even better, growing networks to which you can connectwith. Nowadays this means providing and making the mostof existing APIs."As the number of nodes in a network increasesarithmetically the value of the network increasesexponentially. Adding a few more members can dramaticallyincrease the value for all members." (Kevin Kelly, 1999)Facebook and Twitter are prime examples of the benefits ofnetwork effects.
  39. 39. DISTRIBUTIONWhat channels are you going to used to spread your service?Considering connecting through such services such as: email,Facebook, micro-blogging, calendars, etc. Blog, micro-blogand make friends with bloggers. To avoid being boring behonest and think big. If you are not comfortable immersingyourself in social media find an advocate who is.
  40. 40. CONTEXTWhat is the context of your service? Both in terms ofcommunity and space. Identify communities that willconnect with your service and determine where and howthey can access it.Context will have a huge impact on how your users relatedto your service.Should it be designed to work best on large screen or mobileformats?Should it be accessed through the browser or a desktop app?
  41. 41. PLAYDo you have any game elements? You should think hardabout what makes it fun: reward systems, role play, socialinteraction / recognition, etc.Amy Jo Kim has identified the following key components:collecting, points, feedback, exchange and customization.
  42. 42. COMMITMENTWhat level of commitment are you requiring from users?Facebook and Twitter are prime examples of well-balancedservices that cater for both casual and hardcore users.Allowing users to adjust their commitment levels over timemakes it easier for them to stay engaged.
  43. 43. METRICSAre you getting your stats? Right from the beginning youneed keep a close eye on the frequency and direction ofusage, so that you can iterate and fine-tune.Don’t fall into the trap of vanity metrics, ie - numbersdriven by marketing efforts.Get more excited by return rates and retention figuresrather than overall user numbers.Remember that a few hundred active users will provide youenough feedback to improve the service.
  44. 44. CONFORMGenre films (Westerns, comedy romance, etc) work bestwhen they meet around 80% of the audiences expectations –with only about 20% innovation. This is a safe ratio to followwhen designing your user experience."A convention is a cultural constraint, one that has evolvedover time. Conventions are not arbitrary: they evolve, theyrequire a community of practice. They are slow to beadopted, and once adopted, slow to go away … Use themwith respect. Violate them with great risk." – Norman, D. A.
  45. 45. TYPEAre you creating a lovable or a pragmatic service? For alovable service you can push the boundaries and risk someannoying elements because the users will be inclined toforgive you. People loved Twitter so much they tolerated theservice going down on a regular basis in the early years.Or you can go for a service that is useful, efficient andmakes a big effort not to be annoying, since users will begrateful for your consideration. Think Paypal and Amazon(which we love only so long as payments are processed andgoods delivered).
  46. 46. RELEASEIf your service has too many problems you will end upshooting yourself in the foot and all your marketing effortswill be wasted.Web users are super fickle, so dont build up theirexpectations too high.Introduce new users in ever increasing waves so that there istime to analysis and iterate in between.
  47. 47. We hope you found that useful!