Articles in The 'social networks' Tag


April 28 2011

Do You Like Facebook’s Send Button…?

by Mike Siers

First there was the “Share” button, which was then replaced by the “Like” button, now Facebook has added the “Send” button. The Send button is a new feature Facebook is hoping will be the next trend in sharing and a counter-part to the Like button.

The idea behind this Send button feature is to allow users the ability to share content with selected friends, and not spill the beans with the entire network.

As opposed to the extremely trendy Like button, Facebook’s new Send button gives users a level of privacy and convenience. Users will find that when they use the Send button there will be fewer required steps. Also, users will not need to look up email addresses of those they are sending too; instead, the feature will offer “auto-suggesting” for friends and Groups. Thus, as a user, you can kick-back and send content with only members you have approved to see.

Adding the Send Button to Your Website:

You can easily add the Send button to any existing Like buttons on your website, or you can add it as a standalone feature.

– If you are currently using the XFBML Like button, just include the send=”true” attribute in the code and you will create the combined Like and Send button.

– If you are using the iFrame version of the Like button will need to upgrade to XFBML to display a Send button.

 

You can generate the <a href= “http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/“> Like and Send button here</a>, or you can use the following code to create the combined

Send button:

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<fb:like href=”example.com” show_faces=”true” width=”450″ send=”true”>
</fb:like>

Developers can add a standalone Send button with the following code:

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<fb:send href=”example.com”></fb:send>

April 19 2010

Foursquare: A Location-Aware Social Application

by Sonya Wood

Foursquare is an application (app) for your iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Palm that takes social networking to the next level. Users can update their location and send reviews about their favorite hangouts. This app uses a list of restaurants, bars and nightclubs and it integrates with Yelp and Google Maps, making it ideal for quick reviews and directions.

Foursquare lets other users know where you are. You can even “check-in” someplace to let your friends or social contacts know you are there. You can also let them know any specials or other things to do nearby. There is a competitive element to Foursquare that creates engagement. For example, you can earn badges and points for each action you complete, including “checking in” or becoming the “mayor” of a location. As more of your friends use Foursquare, you will learn more and more about the places they frequent and you can discover new places.

Foursquare goes beyond the typical online reviews seen in directories. Got a favorite local hangout? Local businesses that use Foursquare begin to recognize patrons and reward them with special offers, deals and incentives. For example, a restaurant engaged in Foursquare may want to offer a devoted customer free coffee, appetizers, ice cream or otherwise. Businesses should take this and other opportunities like Foursquare and run with them. Reward customer loyalty. It is a great way to get repeat customers and gain their social contacts as customers through word of mouth recommendations.

April 21 2009

Social Network Theory and Optimal Social Media Marketing Campaigns

by Marjory Meechan

With the rise of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and countless others, everyone is working hard on social media marketing campaigns to maximize their followers, fans and members in these networks and spread their message as widely as possible. This is really nothing new. Marketing has always been about spreading the word and networking should always have been part of anyone’s business plan.

To maximize the opportunities afforded by this new way to network it is a good idea to have an understanding of how social networks work. Luckily sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists including those in the field of marketing have been busy studying social networks for years, so we actually know quite a bit about how people organize themselves and how social behavior is spread. There is a great article on this in Wikipedia that describes it in detail.

One thing that I’ve always found fascinating about the way social networks work is the differing values of social network relationships. In dense social networks, people have lots of close connections between each other and regularly interact. Because of this, participants in dense social network connections tend to strongly influence each other. As a result, they are also usually very homogenous in their attitudes and behaviors, so much so that it can be difficult to get the group to change. However, when you do, they all change, which can be very valuable if this change involves the adoption of your product or service. For example, when I was in high school, we all had to have Lee jeans with the little leather brand label intact and alpaca sweaters. I have no idea why – everybody just did. Members with many connections in a group are said to have a lot of social capital in that they have great social influence within the group. However, at some point, somebody had to start the trend and that’s where understanding social networks is important. In particular, understanding which members of networks spread new ideas and behaviors is critical for a good social marketing campaign.

It might seem that the person with the most connections and therefore, the most social capital in the group would be the most influential in spreading change. The emphasis in social media marketing which is on getting lots of friends and followers would seem to follow that theory. However, it turns out that sheer numbers of connections does not necessarily signal the most valuable members of the network for spreading a message. In fact, it is the people with the most direct connections between groups that have the most influence on spreading change. These people have “bridging capital” in that they serve as bridges between groups.

What this means for using social networks to spread your message is that the best people to have in your network are those that have many direct connections to a number of dense social networks, not just lots of connections within a dense social network. These are the people who will be the innovators and will have the most value for spreading the message.

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