What’s Your Brand Strategy for OpenSocial

November 1, 2007

in brand 2.0, Strategic Foresight

While the buzz is huge today around OpenSocial the buzz reflects what Facebook has achieved. The marketing buzz that exists around OpenSocial confirms that marketers need to be seriously involved in Social Networks. Few still recognize it. It’s going to take at least three years for most to even catchup. In involves all of us.

So what does OpenSocial mean for a marketer?
Other than your world has shifted? Marketing will never be the same etc. These are some initial jottings! How would you go about answering the question?

As a Brand in a Web2.0 world how will you plug-in to the social networks?

  • What’s your app strategy?
  • What’s your container strategy?
  • What’s your community strategy?

All this can be dumbed down to say…

  • As a brand what is your conversation strategy?

Put another way.

  • If people make the conversation….
  • If social networks accelerate them….
  • Why spend money 1 to 1 or 1 to many?
  • Wouldn’t you just go and facilitate many to many?
  • Aren’t we back to what’s your social media strategy?
  • What’s the answer for the technical execution?
  • Is an OpenSocial app the new TV Commercial?
  • What’s this mean for the ad agency and PR firm?

This is the real dawn of the edge strategy for brands. All brands must now move to the edge in order to save their core values. Brands that fail to make the transition will end up commoditized and outdated. Brands that move to the edge will remain vibrant, owned and shared by those that use them. That’s actually always been the case, marketers have often fooled themselves into thinking otherwise.

So how to survive? What must your new Brand app deliver?

  • Accelerate news around your brand (think things like tag and event clouds) usage stories. Opportunity for capturing expressions.
  • Respond: Provide “response” the app takes customer service to the edge and into the network.
  • Report: update the community on performance, community issues, community requests and plans. (think bug tracking, think new product ideation, think reseach and feedback)
  • Request and Recognize – community contributions. (power user, etc.)
  • Empower Individuals (think widgets, marketing materials etc.)
  • Transparency. Keep friction out of the flow. Tax sharing as little as possible.
  • Manners: Recognize you as the owner of your information.

I’m sure there are others… The net net is.

Step One: Build a Open Community around your Category: (Autos, Beauty, etc)
If you are not building a community today (example Ning) then you won’t understand what the network is trying to do, what applications they are trying to create etc.

Step Two: Research & Listen

Explore and understand the Apps that the community uses and wants. Create a few small Widget apps or get access to others to get some background data.

Step Three: Activities
Then design your BrandAPP and let it loose across all the interconnected social networks out there.

Step Four: Community
Recognize your brand platform (conversation) is now composed of a node or container, an app or set of apps and diverse communities (like segmentation studies) just you are now connected to them at all times.

In my links for today when posted you will find additional links to OpenSocial. The most useful one for marketers I’ve seen is this one.

Ignore posts like this one at ClickZ saying OpenSocial isn’t relevant to marketers. If you put time on the steps above you are looking at 18 months to have any impact for any major brand. If you are a bank, a healthcare provider, mobile operator, etc. Time to start with step one. Build a test community. Fail once or twice. Get it right. THIS IS A BETA ENVIRONMENT. Your brand2.0 strategy should now be in beta.

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