Using social networks to strengthen your market position

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Using social networks to strengthen your market position

  1. 1. 1 Folio 2009
  2. 2. 2 Using Social Networks to Strengthen Your Market Position: The User Perspective p Date: March 2009 Prepared for FOLIO: Growth Summit Speakers: Cia Romano, CEO and Founder, Interface Guru Amanda MacArthur, Editor & Publisher, Mequoda Group Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  3. 3. 3 About Cia Romano and Interface Guru Cia Romano ■ Chief Executive Officer and Founder ■ Developing Web sites since 1994 ■ Developed the widely disseminated Usable Times 5™ criteria for ranking computer screen effectiveness ■ Veteran of hundreds of usability tests ■ Frequent presenter at national conferences Interface Guru ■ Founded in 1999, specializes in usability testing and analysis, digital media strategy, and user experience design Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  4. 4. 4 Thoughts from a social networking expert How to socialize a brand ■ Culture: A sense of place ■ Integration: No community is an island ■ Participation: You are what you have to say ■ Trust (transparency/authenticity): Give up the control you don’t have ■ Leadership: Lead, empower, listen, follow -Jay Bryant, Liveworld Inc. Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  5. 5. 5 Social networks and the user perspective Users bring existing expectations to your social network ■ Users process information in a sequence ■ Usable Times 5™ is our proprietary metric, based on hundreds f h h d d of hours of usability lab testing f bilit l b t ti ● Orientation (“Where am I?”) ● Permission (“Did I ask for that system response/popup/new screen?”) ● I t Interactivity (“Wh t can I d h ti it (“What do here?”) ?”) ● Relevance (“Does this information matter to me?”) ● Speed (“How long will this take?”) Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  6. 6. 6 Social networks and the user perspective: Usable Times 5™ Orientation ■ Disclose level of activity in community ■ Offer limited preview of features (“What will it look like when I’m done?”) Permission ■ User-to-user controls (privacy, block / ignore user, mark as spam) ■ Disclosure of terms of use (rights to material posted) ■ Security and usage of personal data Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  7. 7. 7 Social networks and the user perspective: Usable Times 5™ Interactivity Once users log in, a customized window gives th user quick access i the i k ■ Ease of use (setup, self-evident controls, cancelling to community features account, mobile access) ■ Interface with and push content out to other social networks ■ Locating natural affiliations (other social networks, educational institutions institutions, interests) Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  8. 8. 8 Social networks and the user perspective: Usable Times 5™ Relevance ■ Generational trends (your audience’s use of social media) ● Not every social networking activity is appropriate for your brand or audience ■ Usefulness vs. promotion (role of advertisers) ■ Moderation / Self-policing to ensure quality of content ● It is their content/discussion, but it is your brand Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  9. 9. 9 Social networks and the user perspective: Usable Times 5™ Speed ■ Quick access to most desired features/functions ■ Optimal SEO for social networking (make it easy for users to find each other)) ■ Provide access to other social networks (ShareThis) ■ Custom URL (e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/ciaromano) Above, ShareThis allows instant access to , the “social Web” Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  10. 10. 10 Social networks and the user perspective: Usable Times 5™ Speed ■ Active communities need at-a-glance comprehensibility Right, Jezebel.com’s community allows users to collapse comments, retaining user interest while keeping the user interface lightweight. Useful in cases where many users respond respond. Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  11. 11. 11 Conclusions: Respect your users ■ Respect user expectations of social media ■ Research your audience s social networking needs audience’s prior to development or purchase of social networking products (user testing, survey, generational preference) ■ P Provide interface to existing social networks id i t f t i ti i l t k Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  12. 12. 12 Conclusions: Building vs buying vs. ■ Building ● Advantages: Support and development knowledge is in-house in house, seems cheaper ● Disadvantages: Higher overall cost, requires high degree of technical skill to develop/deploy/maintain ■ Buying / Licensing ● Advantages: Less overall cost, more technical support, standardized tools ● Disadvantages: Requires careful vendor selection, reliant on g q , external tech support ■ Our recommendation: Buy or license in order to leverage an existing network ● Take advantage of standards users already understand ■ Make sure you have an exit strategy! Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 ● What happens if you decide to change vendors? SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  13. 13. 13 Conclusions: Questions you need to answer ■ Who are your users? What are their generational behaviors? ● Define your user types ● Be aware of generational behaviors re: social media ■ Who are your competitors? ● Will you social network compel users to add you to their lifestyle? i l t k l t dd t th i lif t l ? ■ What are your requirements? ● Conduct a competitive analysis ● Use your findings to create a must-have/must-not-have list ■ Have you interviewed vendors and called references ● Don’t buy based on a pitch ■ Avoid wishful thinking - Is this realistic? ● Be realistic about what you can maintain over time Proprietary and confidential. All contents © 1999/2009 SymbolGroup, Inc. Tucson, AZ | 520 744 6911
  14. 14. 14 Folio 2009
  15. 15. 15 About Amanda MacArthur and Mequoda Group Amanda MacArthur • Editor & Publisher, Mequoda.com • Contributing Editor, Mashable.com Mequoda Group • Founded in 2004, specializing in best practices and research for online publishers, offering consulting and web site development. p , g g p
  16. 16. 16 What s What’s the ROI of being social? • How much are you actually investing? (don’t create new jobs) • Think “customer service”, not marketing (social media isn’t a get rich quick scheme) isn t • Track your traffic with client-side tools (server- side can be deceiving)
  17. 17. 17 Who should be the voice of your brand on social networks? i l k • Customer service, marketing, editorial, sales • Familiar with you brand • Familiar with your products • Already using social media
  18. 18. 18 The Universal Social Media Tool: Twitter • B2B and B2C • Content distribution • Customer service • Product Marketing • Driving Traffic • Personal
  19. 19. 19 How Mequoda benefits from Twitter Personal product recommendations Article pass‐along & email circ building Article pass‐along & email circ building Re tweets (doubling & triple exposure) Re‐tweets (doubling & triple exposure) Customer service Networking
  20. 20. 20 Social Networks for Gardening Magazines ■ Blotanical.com (Syndication, Links with Twitter) ) ■ YouGrowGirl.com ( (Forum) ) ■ GardenWeb.com ( (Network, Forums, , , Syndication, Events, Galleries)
  21. 21. 21 Social Networks for Photography Magazines ■ Digital-Photography-School.com (Syndication, Forum) ■ Dpreview.com (Forums) ■ Photo.net (Forums, Reviews, Content Sharing) g)
  22. 22. 22 Social Networks for Parenting Magazines ■ CafeMom.com (Network, Blogs, Groups, Forums) p , ) ■ Family.Go.Com ( (Forums, Groups, , p , Blogs) ■ BabyCenter.com y (Groups, Blogs, Forums, Content Sharing)
  23. 23. 23 Social Networks for Travel Magazines ■ WikiTravel.org (Wiki) ■ Wayn.com (Network, Forum Content Sharing) g) ■ VirtualTourist.com ( (Forums, Content , Sharing)
  24. 24. 24 How to be successful on social networks ■ Follow the 60/40 rule – Marketing vs. Conversation ● People who are collaborating understand that it’s a give-and-take relationship. – Chris Brogan, Social Media Consultant, ChrisBrogan.com ■ Engage like a consumer, not a marketer ■ Direct traffic to pages that convert (free products: reports, webinars, etc.) ■ Test your campaigns with 3rd party tools (bit.ly, Google Analytics, etc.)
  25. 25. 25 Tools to manage your online reputation ■ SocialMention.com (everywhere you’re mentioned on the web) ■ Trendrr.com (the “google trends” of your brand) ■ HootSuite com (complete Twitter analytics package) HootSuite.com ■ BackType.com (monitors blog comments) ■ Search.Twitter.com (monitors mentions of you on Twitter)

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