Social by Design in a Nutshell
Social design is defined by Facebook as “a way of thinking about product design that puts social experiences at the core.” It can be
broken down into 3 key elements:
1.Community: Your brand, or actions your fans are taking, are better enjoyed when your friends and community are
involved. ie. Trip Advisor, Spotify, Pinterest, etc…
2.Conversation: Your brand, or actions your fans are taking, are naturally social in the real world. ie. “I didn’t know you
went to Hawaii” “I love that song” “You should see these pairs of shoes I bought”
3.Identity: Your fans benefit by this added social layer. ie. Discovery, insight, gain in utility, etc..
A common misunderstanding is that utilizing Facebook’s tools and social plugins means that your application is social by design.
This is wrong for a number of reasons. Mark D’Arcy of Facebook puts it best by comparing this misconception to adding salt to French fries. “The
French fries themselves don’t change at all; you’re just sprinkling on some social. The result is mediocre.” In order to create something that is, in
fact, Social by Design, you must put social experiences at the core, not just sprinkle them on top of a pre-determined idea.
Gatorade: Get Paid Like A Pro
Gatorade Canada recently partook in a truly engaging and social by design
Facebook application called “Get Paid Like A Pro”. By using this application,
teams that were a part of the Sports & Social Clubs of Canada, could register
on Facebook for a chance at winning a sponsorship from Gatorade. They
could pick up cool Gatorade gear, uniforms, bags, and, of course, bottles of
G2 Gatorade for their games. To start using the Get Paid Like a Pro app, the
team's captain or representative would register their team's name and then
invite other team members to join. Not all team members were required to
join, but the more team members you had, and the more friends you invited
to vote for your team, the better chance you had at being sponsored by
The grand prize winner was the team with the most votes during the
The Get Paid Like a Pro Facebook application was “Social by Design”
because it successfully engaged an offline demographic in the online
world. By bringing these power users in, Gatorade was able to
convert these people to fans. And just as importantly, it created strong
brand advocates in Facebook and in the real world, even after the
campaign was completed. It was an application that simply took a
naturally social offline activity (sports) and brought it to the online world.
Tips: How To Make A Marketing Campaign That’s Social By Design
First and foremost: know your audience and cater to what they want to see/hear. If they’re asking for Apples, don’t give them bananas
Make the campaign/application easy for people to share with their friends
Ensure the application is enticing enough that friends to want to participate
Think of it as a “A to ‘A-Z’” relationship as opposed to “A to B”. You want to make sure that you’re one friend wants to get ALL of their friends involved
Utilize the tools Facebook gives you (for FREE): i) Social Commenting Tool ii) Like button iii) Share iv) Tag your friends v) Notifications vi) Events
Do not silo Facebook into its own campaign. The best results are when it’s integrated into other marketing programs: print, packaging, TV, radio, etc…
Leverage other social networks when possible: ie. Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest will have an API soon
Spend time researching and creating an immersive social experience
What makes a GREAT social experience?
1. Community or bonding experience: By providing the user with some sort of community or bonding experience within your application, you will be able to reach them on an emotional level and create a deeper connection between the user and your brand.
2. Opportunity for Fame: Provide the user with the opportunity to participate as a VIP in a red carpet event, or star in your next commercial. By providing these types of opportunities, you are enlightening your fans and creating excitement surrounding your brand.
3. Opportunity for Fortune: Provide the user with the opportunity to win a substantial prize. If they feel the prize is sufficient, they are more inclined to get excited about it, create a buzz and share with their friends.
4. Unmatched Utility: Ensure you are providing something that is of value. It should be in line with the needs and wants of your target audience.
You want to ensure that you are creating an experience based on the above-mentioned points, that matches the profile of your targets:
In addition to the architecture of the application, you want to ensure that there’s enough traffic drivers pushing to the campaign:
1. Start off with owned (email database, website, etc…)
2. Grow with earned
3. Reinforce and amplify with paid (then the cycle continues)