Social media is ostensibly about people, so to figure out how to “perfect” social media, I searched for the “perfect man”. This is Google’s answer.
But after a little deeper digging, I found out that Mr. Pitt isn’t so perfect after all. In fact, he snores so badly he needs to sleep wearing one of these masks. Hashtag #notsohotnow. Then I figured maybe “Perfect Woman” would give me the answer I was looking for. I ran that search and Google retrieved ….
As luck would have it, Ms. Jolie isn’t so perfect. She refuses to turn off her phone in movie theaters. (Kidding of course. This is parody.)
The fact is, people aren’t perfect, so social media isn’t perfect. There’s no perfect formula here.
Or more simply, social media suffers from a packaging problem.
But to me, the area in which social media lags the greatest is in design. We live in an aestheticized culture. THIS (laptop) has turned it THAT (MacBook Air). Heck even the trusty pine box, has now evolved into THIS - a designer coffin! But now let’s take a look at social design …
These are all of the sites I access pretty much daily. My hub is Facebook I handle multiple twitter accounts, from as may as four clients I have a crush on SlideShare so I do a lot there Now Q&A sites like Focus and Quora have popped up, which command a lot of time We are a big salesforce partner, so I need to stay plugged into their social channel, called Chatter An even LinkedIn, once a home for my resume and professional contacts, has become a marketing hub, with Groups and Questions
So on a daily basis, my brain is trying to process all of this. It’s just too much. Each site has its own lexicon, it’s own architecture, it’s own social mores. Companies are starting to pop up – like Rock Melt (social browser) and Nimble (social contact management) and Twezr (social content management). But on balance, when it comes to design, social media gets …
Just a white background isn’t the same thing as “white space”. Social media is crowded and noisy, we all know that. Seriously, a report out of Nielsen said that time on social media is up 43% year over year. That many people spending that much time, it’s bound to get messy. But the networks themselves and the marketers they are trying to attract are so concerned with showhorning in every possible feed to maximize message amplification that usability is suffering. We need less “amplification” and more “Apple-fication”
I think there are three steps to successfully “repackage” social media. The first step is to layer a high design, Apple like “skin” on top of each social channel. (Hey Cathy said to be “forward-thinking”!) The purpose of this is to not only improve the UX, but also to “universalize” it. The most important notion here is that design drives function, not the other way around. Then let the users create their own experience. They pick the feeds – from whatever people or whatever platforms they want – they decide the taxonomy, they decide the terminology. For those who don’t want to do that work, there should be templated versions, like a “people-centric” format that prioritizes who creates content over what network it’s created on, or the recipriocal, a “network-centric” feed that gives prime real estate to preferred networks. Ultimately, the non-linear threat to social media is privacy. According to Forrester 50% of the fastest growing demo (boomers) have “serious concerns” about tehir online privacy. Facebook has made massive progress in this area, but there is still much more we could do. Again it’s a packaging problem: For the masses create branded “privacy packages” that help people self-select in. Make it simple, with names like “Open Kimono” for people who don’t care much about their privacy, or “Boomer Secret” for, well, for my mom. Let the longtail fine-tune.
Ok so as a user that’s what I’d like to see. But Cathy also asked us to answer this question from the perspective of a brand. I think there are two changes that need to be made.
I find social monitoring tools surprisingly manual. Every change to the data pulled has to be a manual process. Lucky for us, we have a very unusual name – and so do our competitors. But what about if your brand is Tide? You don’t want to pull every nautical report into your dashboards. I’d like to see listening platforms develop some machine learning capabilities – like the Faces feature in iPhoto, where the software recognizes facial features and recommends tags accordingly. Sure in my case it insists grandpa is a picnic basket (honest), so it’s imperfect. But it’s a start. Why can’t listening platforms gradually prioritize content based not only on the rules you establish, but also the way you interact with the data and creators?
It’s no wonder why, according to Forrester, 41% of companies still aren’t engaged in social media: We are trying to solve every business challenge imaginable with a single channel!
We need a “there’s a package for that” mindset when it comes to data. Launching a new product? There’s a package for that. Embroiled in crisis communications? There’s a package for that. Looking to see the impact of social media on retention? You get the idea …
<ul><li>How to Perfect Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>(Free Version) </li></ul><ul><li>February 2, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Chernov </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Content Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Eloqua </li></ul>
Perfect by Repackaging <ul><li>Simplify: Layer a lightweight “skin” on top of all networks to simplify/universalize experience </li></ul><ul><li>Empower: Let members determine feeds, taxonomy, terminology, groups/networks to pull content from </li></ul><ul><li>Expedite: Create “80/20” privacy controls: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80%: Offer “privacy bundles” for different member personas (“Open Kimono,” “Secret Boomer,” etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20%: Let members fine-tune </li></ul></ul>
Translation: We’re Trying to Boil the Ocean “ CMOs have trouble tying social to conversion and sales metrics, determining the right metrics and how to track them, getting CEO buy-in on metrics, finding the resources to focus on measurement, and implementing such measurements globally.” Bazaarvoice 2011 CMO Survey
Objective-based Social Analytics <ul><li>Awareness Package </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives: Launching a product/category/market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metrics: Views, fans, clicks, tweets, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Affinity Package </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives: Overcoming a crisis, models for which retention more valuable than acquisition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metrics: NPS, sentiment, “Likes,” referrals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Product Development Package </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: Collect feedback for future product/service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metrics: Reviews, suggestions, QA value, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revenue Package </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives: Satisfy CEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metrics: Attribution, influence, margin, etc. </li></ul></ul>
Stay in Touch Joe Chernov Eloqua @jchernov about.me/jchernov