Revealing the next internet success story

When did you last think you need to create the next internet craze and become rich? Friends ask me if I have an idea for the next ‘big thing’. My reply is that everbody has ideas – yes of course, including me.

But, the internet is only just a tool for every one of the next big things. For years to come, every one of these is going to be a distributed system, and so one whose success is based on the collective effort of its users. Users who create content, share experiences, co-build knowledge and collectively solve tomorrow’s problems.

You only need to browse the list of Newsweek’s Digital 100 Revolutionaries on the 2/9 July double-issue. Or read this week’s Time story about Salman Khan’s Academy that teaches kids over YouTube. Or look around you, at the apps you use most frequently. None of these would survive if the users were simply ‘users’ – they are also contributors and co-creators. That’s what social media really is about.

Are you planning the next successful internet success story? Then you must be thinking about actively engaging your users in true Web 2.0 spirit.

Social Media Campaign Fundamentals

When a company decides to make the jump and start a social media campaign, it’s a good start. If you’re one of these, and you’re committed to it, that’s the first of the fundamentals to engage in digital publicity and engagement. The second fundamental is to translate this commitment into a long-term priority with resources and time dedicated to the process – social media engagement is not a project but part of your operations. Operations are built on structured processes that transform inputs into outputs. Successful operations are those which result in output that meet the corporate mission, vision and objectives.

This brings us to the third fundamental. And that is understanding where social media fits in the corporate mission, vision and what part of the objectives can be better achieved using social media. This requires an understanding of what social media can and cannot do. The social media campaign should then be given clear objectives – ones which can be measured during and at the end of the campaign to determine its success. Most companies want more users to visit their website, make more online purchases or understand their product line better. And so they would ask:

  • How many hits to our website originate from the campaign? (and which parts of it? facebook, you tube videos, corporate linkedin profile etc…)
  • Do they land on the right pages of our site?
  • Who are our users? (Yes, facebook for example allows you to segment your campaign so you know what’s working!)
  • How do they navigate in our site when they land there, and do they end up making that purchase we wanted them to make?
  • What are users saying on the social media pages we manage? How many press “like” or leave a comment?

This type of analysis measures the effectiveness and its conversion into the objectives of the campaign. Good luck!