The Social Media Cookbook / James Collier
[ a hotpot of facts, figures & forethought on today’s major social platforms ]
Platforms covered in detail
[ About me...the author ]
My name is James Collier and I’m a hopeless coffee addict,
social media obsessive, wannabe (but failing) neat freak
and all round nice guy! I live in Sydney, Australia with my
beautiful wife and 8 goldfish.
Platforms briefly covered
Reddit If you would like to get in touch or read more of my ramblings then I can be found at;
/ www.foursixty.com where I share my musings & mutterings on social media
/ For more frequent ramblings you can find me on twitter @James_Collier
What is Facebook?
[ Facebook Pro’s... ]
Facebook is the world’s largest
social networking site with more Big numbers
than 500 million active users / Facebook has grown at an incredible pace since 2004, dislodging many already established
(July 2010). Users are able to social networking sites such as MySpace & Bebo on route to dominance. Worldwide Facebook
create a profile of themselves, has over 500 million active users who on average spend 278 minutes on site per month across
connect with friends, share 28 visits with 58% returning daily. Numbers that any advertiser should take note of!
photo’s & videos, play games,
IM, share their current thoughts Flexible
as well as participating in many / Although fan pages are templatised and must operate within the defined tabulated structure
other social oriented activities. there is still opportunity to create a unique and exciting brand experience. Brands such as
Coca-Cola and Victoria’s Secret have utilised Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to create rich
consumer experience pieces to add depth and interactivity to their presence.
Founded in sharing
/ Everyone is familiar with their activity feed, its the killer feature Facebook was built around.
Largest Social network in the Through the activity feed an individual shares everything with their network, from their status
world with over 500 million updates, the brands they like to the games they play.
active users globally
Over 50% of users log onto to ‘Off-book’ experience
FB everyday / Facebook has worked extensively over the last 12 months to deliver the connections a user has
The average user has 130 made within Facebook to them across the wider web. Facebook Connect and know their Social
friends Graph API have already gained big brand attention with Levi’s, Amazon and many more creating
a more social web presence through Facebook integration.
There are 150 million users
accessing FB through mobile
Ability to promote a brand presence through engagement ads
/ An often overlooked feature within Facebook is the ability to promote a brand presence through
targeted and involving advertising know as engagement ads. Ads can be targeted against
www.foursixty.com certain strands of profile while involving consumers through in banner brand polls, fan requests,
commenting, video sharing or even event registration.
[ ...Facebook Con’s ] Checklist
Default entry of wall once a fan Participation policy
/ Fan pages are an amazing brand opportunity but Facebooks sometime obsessive focus on the
conversion means that once an individual has become a fan of a brand any visit to the
associated fan page will result in a user landing on the ‘Wall’ tab by default. This limits the Depth of experience (multi-
ability of a brand to maintain a fresh presence in the users eyes as new experiences are always tabbed presence)
a tab click away. Facebook’s rational is that repeat visitation is largely the result of the Marketing
conversation but regardless it begins to commoditise a brands presence somewhat.
/ Facebook is a walled garden and as a result the majority information and activity remains only
accessible and discoverable to registered users. This can mean that great brand work remains Competitive platforms
locked away and cannot contribute to larger marketing initiatives that live and breathe in the
real world. Twitter for example is completely open with many search engines now indexing
individual tweets. Good brand work, positive relationships and sentiment often spill out across
the web and contribute to other marketing programs such as SEM and SEO. Bebo
What is Twitter?
[ Twitter Pro’s... ]
Twitter is a social networking
and micro blogging tool that Conversational Channel
allows participants to share / Twitter’s core strength is the conversation. This presents an interesting opportunity for brands
whatever is on their mind in 140 to create relationships with new or existing consumers through a dialogue within a familiar and
characters or less, known as accepted platform. Many brands have adopted twitter as an extension of their customer service
tweets. Participants can follow and relationship management proposition, helping and managing disgruntled customers.
other users, friends or notable However twitter also enables brands to engage consumers, share content, information or special
individuals/celebrities as a offers to create a more positive relationship and drive up buzz within the online conversation.
means to stay up to date with
what is going on in their lives Live environment
through their tweets. / Twitter is a live environment where tweets can be consumed, shared and responded to
instantly. Much like texting on a mobile but with a one to many delivery model (as opposed to
one to one). This means worthwhile information, news and content, potentially about or from a
brand can be dispersed through the social ecosystem very rapidly driving up earned exposure.
Ability to monitor conversations
Largest microblogging platform / Unlike Facebook’s walled garden the twitterverse can be monitored (free or paid tools are
with 145 million registered users available) allowing a brand to proactively find conversations about and around their brand and
90 million tweets sent daily, connect with the individuals to build, enhance or even save a relationship.
est. 1.5m in AU
Adding 300,000 users a day Open source API
with a annual growth rate of 5% / Twitters success has also been due to the ability of developers, publishers and brands to build
(USA) & 8% (other) on top of the platform to create new and interesting experiences or integrate within an existing
presence. This flexibility has led to 300,000 plus apps being developed such as
Platform ecosystem containing www.tweetwhatyoueat.com and brands such as Uniqlo building its appeal.
over 300,000 registered apps
[ ...Twitter Con’s ] Checklist
Limited Customisation options Response guidelines
/ Twitter is a simple idea simply executed (thank god ) but it does mean that brand
customization options are limited to background imagery and colour schemes.
Empowered not restricted
Content is fleeting Willingness to learn
/ Given the volume of tweets sent everyday and the average number of individuals a participant
follows, each particular tweet has a short window of exposure. There are many tools and
services that offer a means to schedule multiple tweets of the same content to improve both Competitive platforms
exposure and social traction, but the fleeting nature of a tweet is inherent in the conversation.
Ability to scale Tumblr
/ The opportunity to create a large group of followers is there, think Obama, CNN or Kim Lifestream.fm
Kardashian. If you are interesting, engaging, involving and add value to the conversation then Facebook (elements)
scale can be achieved. The problem is that more often than not it’s not that easy. Many brands
try and fail to build their audience, they offer discounts, special twitter offers or exclusive access
to content but unless a consumer wants you to be part of their social ecosystem there is nothing
you can do.
What is LinkedIn?
[ LinkedIn Pro’s... ]
LinkedIn is a professional social
network that actually predates B2B Marketing capability
Facebook launching in 2003. / Consumer focussed social marketing garners all the media’s attention but B2B organisations can
Users are able to create a profile still build their brand reputation, engage their customers and contribute to the conversation.
covering their careers, The style and tone of voice will change but the social marketing principles don’t.
qualifications, education and
interests while building a Targeting
network of professional and / Being a professional social network LinkedIn builds member profiles through a variety of
business connections. different data layers vs. the likes of Facebook and MySpace. This unique data offers a number
of discrete targeting options that are very valuable for B2B marketing.
Stats Professional groups
/ Community is a major part of the LinkedIn platform with professional bodies, industries and
companies all creating vibrant and valuable communities. The ability to assemble and energise
75 million users worldwide a collective of like minded individuals is a powerful opportunity to build brand reputation,
Active in over 200 countries relationships and advocacy.
Executives from every Fortune
500 company are members Intelligence sharing
Growing by one new member / Like any social network the opportunity to share is inherent, however unlike personal social
every second networks the real positive that professional platforms offer is the ability to share, discuss and
gather intelligence on business and crowd source solutions and opportunities across countries,
industries and perspectives.
/ A business is only as good as its people, and ensuring you have the best brains in the
marketplace is imperative to maintain your edge. Being a professional social network LinkedIn
is an ideal platform to find and engage with new talent.
[ ...LinkedIn Con’s ] Checklist
Cost Participation policy
/ Although LinkedIn does offer a free version this is aimed squarely at individual users who are
looking to create connections and share their professional profile. To gain access to all of the
premium features and tools in LinkedIn then a subscription is required. For medium to large
organisations the investment required is minimal and the potential reward is great, but for the
small business the cost isn’t necessarily justified by the potential reward.
/ With the number of businesses and executives on LinkedIn its no surprise that new business XING
development teams have taken a liking to the platform. Many of the communities will have an
NBD presence from one organisation or another lurking in the shadows, and although there are
many that understand how and where a sales pitch should be delivered there also are those that
don’t which leads to inappropriate spam and pollution of the conversation.
/ Without paying the monthly subscription individuals have limited ability to make connections.
Introductions are often required to build out your network beyond your immediate sphere of
influence which is a great protective feature for a user but not ideal for smaller business users.
Limited Interactivity Options
/ If you are a business that has a Facebook presence then you’ll be accustomed to a certain level
of interactivity. The ability to create, share and engage freely. LinkedIn, although offering
functionality in each of those spaces is limited vs the personal social networks.
What is YouTube?
[ YouTube Pro’s... ]
Founded in February 2005
YouTube is a video-sharing Reach
website on which users can / YouTube is to video what Facebook is to social networking. Its size provides any content
upload, share, and view videos. producer, including brands with easy access to a vast audience through a single platform.
The platform became famous
courtesy of the incredible growth Level Playing Field
of user generated content and
/ YouTube’s tag line of ‘Broadcast Yourself’ is a perfect encapsulation of its biggest strength, the
was purchased by Google in ability for anyone, any brand, regardless of size to become internationally recognised. If the
2006. YouTube has since content is compelling, unique and worthy people will watch and share.
broadened its offering
integrating longer form and SEO Assistance
premium content as well
/ Google loves multimedia content and as a result can award a higher organic search position. So
streaming live events. the creation of a branded YouTube page with frequent, correctly tagged and linked content can
have an impact on broader brand marketing.
Stats Google Analytics
/ Being a Google owned company YouTube has a robust analytics package available to anyone.
2 billion video’s are viewed Individuals or brands that upload videos can access a variety of information from geographical
hotspots to major content influencers all from the comfort of the video’s YouTube page.
24 hours of content are
uploaded every minute
Technically is the 2nd largest
search engine in the world
Currently available in 22
countries and 24 languages
[ ...YouTube Con’s ] Checklist
Dog’s on Skateboards Content plan
/ A victim of its own success, YouTube receives so much content, 24 hours are uploaded every
minute (much of which is dogs on skateboards ) that even great video can be lost. As a result
a brand can no longer rely on being discovered but must market their video content to drive the Moderation process
initial spark to light the social fire.
/ More and more brands are encouraging consumers to create content as part of a promotion or
marketing campaign. Involving individuals with your brand is a great way to build affinity,
however on open platforms such as YouTube, and where video is involved, there is need to have Vimeo
a moderation process in place. This can be a costly and time consuming process but is an Hulu
important layer in brand protection.
What is Foursquare?
[ Foursquare Pro’s... ]
Launched in 2009 and the
current market leader in the Location marketing
emerging geo-social space. / Location changes everything. Knowing where a consumer is and what they are doing presents a
Foursquare is a location based powerful opportunity to create a more valuable and instant connection. Location based offers,
social network allowing users to incentives or rewards are powerful motivators and allow for a more meaningful and relevant
share their current whereabouts brand experience.
via a mobile application. Their
current user base is in the Reward Loyalty
region of three million but will / All geo-social platforms allow consumers to ‘checkin’ at a specific location whether it be a shop,
likely come under pressure as restaurant, entertainment venue etc. Regular users of both location based services and a
Facebook laces gains traction. particular establishment are able to make their loyalty known to a socially minded brand, such
as via regular checkin’s to your favourite coffee shop. Business owners then have the ability to
reward that loyalty creating a stronger consumer/brand relationship as result.
Stats Added value
/ Beyond straight forward offers or rewards knowing an individuals location allows a brand to add
3 million users worldwide value to a persons immediate experience. This could be in the form of added information,
Generating more that 1 million directions or guides. For example attendees at a music festival could be given band and trivia
check-ins per day information for the stage they are closest to.
Over 15,000 businesses
experimenting with location
[ ...Foursquare Con’s ] Checklist
Security concerns/PR Clear guidelines
/ Location based services have exploded in popularity in the last 12 months and as a result have
received more and more media attention. Through this media coverage certain security
concerns have been raised. For example as a parent do you want the world to know where your Educated staff
children are, or as an adult would you want strangers to know you are out of the house/on
holiday? Until the media hyperbole calms down there is always a chance of negative media
backlash toward brands that encourage consumers to reveal their location.
/ Even with a location based layer of information a brand still cannot identify any unique Facebook Places
characteristics for an individual. This means that marketing opportunities are still delivered in a SCVGNR
generalised form. For example a coffee shop can’t reward a loyal customer with a free cup of
their favourite coffee, just the chance of a free coffee. ShopKick
Ability to fake Brightkite
/ Although GPS technology has come a long way in the last decade its still isn’t 100% accurate. Loopt
This opens the door to ‘geo-faking’ where individuals check into nearby locations without
actually going there. From a pure social nature this has no impact other then creating a
somewhat false persona for an individual within their network, but when you are trying to
reward real customers it becomes very difficult to identify those that have actually been on your
/ Photo hosting and sharing platform as well as an online community built around
/ StumbleUpon is community that allows users to discover, rate and share web pages
and content. Inherent in Stumbleupon is a personalized recommendation engine
which uses peer and social-networking principles.
/ Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web
/ WordPress is the leading open source blog publishing platform allowing anyone with
basic computer skills to become a content producer on the web.
/ Reddit is a social news platform where users can browse and submit content to the
news stream. Articles are rated up or down by the audience surfacing the most
popular content for the community to enjoy