Taken: Avalon Manor, NJ
Credits to Lindsey on this one.
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This post was published by me originally on the Dachis Group Collaboratory.
Social Design is a product strategy model that places users at the core of an experience. It allows products and brands to scale by incorporating a user’s trusted communities, driving conversation and creates a strong sense of identity through the experience. This is a model that Facebook has popularized in the development of their own platform by thinking from the inside out.
So, how do we leverage similar modeling and incorporate it for brand marketing initiatives? In this post we are going to explore the strategic approach and thinking which takes place to make proper Social Design decisions for a social branded experience.
Marketers now have a tremendous and evolving opportunity to leverage communities such as Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms from the outside in. By developing experiences with this strategy users are still at the epicenter, however, marketers can now tap into the existing community users have already built to provide experiences on these platforms which nurtures the users identities even further through a social experience. When executed appropriately, this approach provides a valuable experience to the user, brands they engage with and the related social platforms.
Have you used Spotify, Nike+, Flipboard or TripAdvisor? If so, you have engaged with a product leveraging this model. Here’s a quick reason why:
Spotify is connecting friends around music. But why is it so successful? One of the key tenets to their product model is allowing users to feel more open to share and provide the tools to do so by connecting the experience directly to a user’s Facebook network. Immediately upon registration, as a user, you are surrounded by your friends and can engage immediately around your common musical interests. This all happens instantly based on the user’s existing social identity. Connections with the Facebook real-time ticker affords the application the opportunity to share users’ musical interests in a frictionless manner and further curate their identity and connections.
Nike+ has likely popped up in your news feed as you see a friend complete a staggering 7-mile run before (some of us) have even had our first coffee. In Nike’s product strategy there is a focus on providing users the opportunity to easily tell their story, aggregate and share experiences over time. Through charting, mapping and connecting users around their shared interest of exercise, it allows the user to continue to build their identity, share, and engage around a common activity.
At Stuzo | Dachis Group, when we engage on branded social experiences, we identify which projects will benefit from this outside in approach. Be sure to check out our post on Program Identify Design for more behind the scenes information on how we make some of these key decisions along the way.
Let’s take a look at a recent launch for the upcoming People’s Choice Awards where we can see in action the Program Identity Design framework. This will provide a tangible demonstration on how we executed on a Social Design plan. For this program, we engaged early on during the show’s planning to concept, design, develop and manage the social experience.
The Program Identity Design process began on day one during the discovery phase of this program. The ultimate goal was to provide an authentic user experience which would generate conversation, brand amplification and personalized engagements by incorporating key elements of social platforms. This frame and the strategic thinking helped us ensure we were meeting business metrics, one of them being driving total votes and engagements via social.
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I recently had the opportunity to speak and moderate a panel on Marking Social Tangible for the Philadelphia Interactive Marketing Association.
The evening’s panel was called “Making Social Tangible,” with the goal to provide the audience and organization members with key tangible guidance, demonstrations of work, and feedback on how they can take action on scaling social at their organization.
The panelists brought their A-game as we made a key piece of the evening case studies and demonstrations of work relevant to audience questions. Day to day I often work in the Fortune 500 space, where we are working on strategies and engagement models to scale social at the enterprise level. Evenings like this always provide great value to me personally, as a diverse audience of 200 people, enable us to discuss first hand the challenges and opportunities for businesses at multiple stages in their social business efforts. Representatives from Fortune 500, Pharma, Financial Services, all the way to marketers focusing on small retail business – enabled us to quickly realize the state we are at in social today. There are early market movers and adopters who are working on integrating social fully into the marketing mix, and still some businesses trying to figure out social. Due to the gap in integration of social across such a large audience, there could have been 15 follow up panels, discussing the different lenses and approaches required due to the diverse business sets. A key takeaway when you have such a broad spectrum of social business participants, is that there is not a one model fits all solution for social media integration.
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Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate and provide insights for Clickable’s The Insider’s Guide to Facebook Pages. It provides industry analyst coverage to identify winning strategies for Facebook to work effectively for businesses.
A Facebook Page gives a voice to any public figure or organization to join the conversation with Facebook users, according to Facebook. With nearly a billion Facebook users, maintaining an effective Facebook Page is a critical consideration for all businesses and agencies.
This Clickable white paper examines winning strategies to make Facebook Pages work for business. It includes expert interviews and profiles of leading Pages management vendors. Key focus areas include:
- The Role of a Facebook Page in the Digital Marketing Ecosystem.
- How to develop a complete approach to Facebook Pages, from privacy and permissioning to content calendars and response strategies.
- Budgeting and allocating resources for Facebook Pages.
- Measuring the success of your Facebook Page.
- Partnering with a third-party vendor to develop custom Facebook Pages, Tabs and Apps.
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Increased user engagement by 350%
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Taken: Manayunk Brewery and Streets; Manayunk, PA
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This post originally appeared on the Stuzo | Dachis Group site.
A well planned meeting at the onset of any project with an energized and inspiring project leader establishes confidence in your company’s ability to deliver. It also inspires the surrounding stakeholders as they engage in the project going forward. What starts as an initial perception and team confidence booster, drives through into the rest of the life-cycle of the project.
I wanted to start this post with those thoughts as they directly relate to the mindset you need to deliver an engaging client kickoff meeting. To put some context around the client kickoff meeting in regards to a digital project, this is most often the stage after a statement of work has been executed, project scope is finalized (depending on the project and type of company), team leaders have been designated, internal briefings and initial project plannings have been made at the organizational level.
This is sometimes the first impression and integration of the cross-company stakeholders as they proceed into the digital project (i.e. Brand -> Agency or Agency -> Vendor). This is your Project Team’s (led by the Project Manager) opportunity to present your project plan to the stakeholders outside of your organization. Client-facing, this usually marks the transition where day-to-day project items going forward transition from your company’s account manager or business development team member into the Project Manager’s hands. You have this opportunity to continue the process of building comradrie with your partner, set and manage expectations, risks, mutual responsibilities and follow ups that will lead to a successful project delivery. Use this time to show your clients how proper planning and internal preparation, along with your leadership abilities, allow everyone to leave this meeting empowered and with a clear vision to move forward together.
Depending on the type of project, there are different levels of scope or services that may be provided. For example, an iterative software development project may not have the project plan fully defined at the kickoff, whereas a planned social application for a particular campaign may have detailed scopes, wireframes, and a project plan readily available in a quicker turnaround time. That being said, there are multiple routes a kickoff meeting could go based on the stage of the scope, detailed project plan and production approach. However, there are many best practices you should pay attention to regardless of the type of project.
1. Prepare internally at your organization before meeting with the client.
This sounds like an obvious head-nodder and something that is always assumed. However, I point this out as tip #1 as the beginning of any successful requirement requires team buy-in (and time), corporate alignment, and dedication to deliver the end product. The client kickoff call is one of the first times this uniform front will be able to be presented . That being said, note that proper preparation and documentation for this meeting takes time, and while agency project initiation may be quick moving, do not rush to the client kickoff without following the internal alignment steps you set at your organization. This may include first an internal project briefing – where the final statement of work, project goals, account background, etc is presented to the entire project team, discussed, prioritized, and sets the wheels in motion for internal responsibilities and project planning. Do not let the client kickoff occur without aligning internally as a team. Sometimes business development, account, and project team members have very hectic daily duties, however, never let this be an excuse for the team members to skip internal project transition steps. It will show to the clients if you do.
2. Have a documented agenda and be prepared to lead.
Client’s join this call because they very much have an interest in the project (obviously). Without an agenda and project manager prepared to navigate the meeting, there will be good periods of crickets and a meeting which leads to uncertainty on the client-side. I advise building a templated meeting agenda based on the types of projects your company takes on. With this approach, through your internal project initiation phases, you can leverage the team’s collective knowledge and have a defined process to prepare the required items needed to lead an effective client kickoff meeting. This should be led by the project manager, however, still requires dedicated team support in the early stages as the project is in transition. Items on the agenda should include: welcome and introductions, project definition and assignment review, scope review, timeline and responsibility confirmation, assumptions and unknowns, answering open items and setting clear next steps.
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Google+ is in it’s early adopter phase and crushing it with registrations even during its invitation-only beta. As of July 14th, Larry Page reported over 10M registered users. Due to the crowd I run with, about 60% of my Circles posts are related to some form of data, education or news about the Google+ service. With all the information “circling” around (get it?), I wanted to share a hit list of some great reads just a few weeks into the service from my network. From my view so far, many signs point that there is strong utilitarian use of this service for businesses, and the possibility that this service can easily scale to be a leading productivity enhancement and collaboration tool. Google has an advantage to pick up mass adoption through the integration with Google Services, and this is something Facebook or Twitter, do not bring to the table.
This week’s Google+ reading list:
- Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google+ Project
- Vincent Wong: What G+ Is Really About
- Larry Page: Quarterly Earnings Call Notes
- Jed Singer: Google+ and the Enterprise
- Ross Mayfield: Circles in Google
- Dave Gray: Sharing Universe
- PCWorld: 9 Reasons to Switch from Facebook to Google+ (not endorsing the title yet
Hopefully you’ll find some of the links useful in getting a primer on the service not only from a user perspective, but also from a business integration perspective. Google+ recently closed their registration form for business participants, and I look forward to seeing the branded integration direction.
As you think of the future of Google+ and the possibilities, try this exercise:
1. Visit their products and services page.
2. Make a list of how many of these you currently use via Google or another service in your personal or work life. I’ll give you a hint: Email, Voice, Calendar, Document Management, Video, Photo, Mapping, Mobile, Search…
3. Imagine a world where these and all your other productivity (and personal / entertainment) needs are available in the cloud, and integrated with an easy to use social layer. Add on proper privacy and filtering for your personal and business usage networks for real-time collaboration, sharing, distribution and engagement.
4. Read the word’s of Larry page regarding Google’s plan… “[to] create services that people in the world use twice a day, just like a toothbrush.”
The service is still young, in beta stage, but opportunities are being shown each and everyday of usage. Feel free to tweet or share your recent findings, thoughts or readings and connect with me on Google+.
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Taken: Hacienda Caracol Villa Roof, Soliman Bay, Mexico
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P&G is making it possible for people to make a difference in the lives of Special Olympics Team USA athletes in their journey to the upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 in Athens, Greece by visiting P&G’s Thank You Mom Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thankyoumom. For every visitor that “likes,” shares or leaves a comment on the page, P&G will donate $1 to support Special Olympics Team USA’s journey to Athens up to an additional $250,000. The site also features information about Special Olympics, heartfelt stories from the moms of Special Olympics Team USA athletes and an opportunity to create a unique family tribute video.
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