Post Submitted by Eric Meister
Social Media Week is almost wrapped up, but if there is one common theme emanating from the speakers and attendees, it’s that social has democratized media.
That’s not exactly an unheard of concept, but if it wasn’t the majority opinion before, it is now. Following the “Social Media to Social Business” meeting, it was clear that the panelists, who represent some of the biggest companies in the world, knew that social media is the consumers’ sandbox and they should be honored to play there. If you give them what they want, though? It is then that you’ll find brand success.
Social media can mean anything to any number of people and remembering that is the first step. For the panelist from Allstate, their thousands of agents are not really employees of the company – they’re basically contractors – and they want to hear from their fellow agents and their experiences. It’s Allstate that needs to keep them connected, though. At Motorola Mobility, they have a wheel of about 12 different groups of people that need to be connected at all times, from internal R&D and support, to PR, to vendors. For them, there cannot be any walls, but once everyone is connected, it seems like a beautiful thing to see.
Those are obviously instances of corporate-centric social communication, but what about getting to the Human Experience? Fascinating then is the oncoming wave of Gamification. A company called SCVNGR focuses on creating location-based gaming experiences and just happens to have some money from Google behind them. They might create a tour of venues around a city might yield deals for people who want to stop by or give people a reason to keep coming back to a pub to keep watching their football team and complete “challenges” around the establishment for coupons and credits. And everything can be updated based on the feedback from consumers or even allowing them to create their own challenges. In other words, if the consumers don’t like how the game is played then it will become something that they do like.
SCVNGR claims that 85% of clients return to the company to continue their gamification campaigns. It’s hard to separate the individual factors based on that number but it is certainly interesting. If it is as powerful as it sounds then I can’t help but wonder what the magic formula is between brands and their patrons once gamification is introduced but it will be our job to figure it out. It seems like it’s the next logical step in moving from social media to social business.
And it’s apparently what the people want.