The Ultimate Social Media Profile

Valued at $104 billion, Facebook broke all records with its recent debut on the stock market. The Ultimate Social Media Profile

With such phenomenal success, other social networks are even more determined to carve out a niche in the market place. With fierce competition for your profile page, viral and covert marketing methods may no longer be enough. These companies, unlike Facebook, are stepping out from behind the screen and into the physical world of advertising.

Two social networks in the realms of social gaming and dating have made 1,000 people’s profile a little more prominent.

Zynga,  founded in 2007  is the company behind the popular Facebook games such as Farmville, Cityville and Hidden Chronicles and with a user base of over 250 million users a month is a major player in the world of social media.

Badoo is a dating focused social discovery website that was founded in 2006 and now boasts over 150 million members and is growing at over 150,000 users every day. It is now the 59th most visited website in the world.

Zynga’s “I Love to Play” Campaign

In the run up to Christmas 2011, Zynga (gaming social network) users could upload their photos into a billboard game which were then displayed on digital screens in Times Square, New York.  Zynga commented that ‘I Heart Zynga’ was simply a ‘game’ to ‘celebrate’ their players but it also cleverly captured the essence of their brand; a gaming platform with people who ‘Love to Play

Ultimate profile picture Zygna
It gave a personal touch to their advertising and graphics of the most popular games were also displayed, giving the general public a true sense of their network.

Badoo’s Ultimate Profile Campaign

Badoo, the fast growing online dating site, uses a similar method of integrating user’s pictures into their adverts. Initially the ‘Badoo project’ photographed 1000 New Yorkers (who had to sign up to Badoo) and picked 26 winners ‘based on personality, energy and individuality’ for their billboard campaign that was launched in April 2012.  This campaign was displayed on billboards, taxi tops and underground trains.

Ultimate profile picture Badoo

The Badoo blog states that for these 26 users who will be plastered across New York.

it’s like starring in the ultimate profile picture.

The number ‘150 Million’ is just as important as the photos. It gives Badoo ‘the world’s largest and fastest growing social network for meeting new people’ a sense of value.

It encourages others that there will be a perfect match for them in this large population. Building on this idea, they also have a counter on their home page, showcasing how many people are already using Badoo.

Of course this is a prime example of the network effect theory; in essence, the more people that use the service, the more valuable the service is to the user.

Building a Community

Both Zynga and Badoo are creating value and a sense of community by choosing ‘real’ users to represent them.  It’s especially interesting how Badoo invoked a sense of excitement amongst their audience through the potential of being picked for an advertising campaign. They’ve included their users at every step and this is vital – they have got their feedback, created a buzz and made their audience feel part of the campaign which translates into more log-ins and viral chat.

What can we Learn from These Campaigns?

Buying premium advertising space in New York might not be in your budget but how could you adapt these techniques to your own business?

  • Just as Badoo highlights the size of its membership to create credibility don’t be afraid to display your credentials (such as number of followers, awards etc) to the world. Even simple elements such as share buttons that display the number of “retweets” and Facebook “likes” provide social proof that does get noticed.
  • All businesses should have ‘followers/fans/friends’ via a Facebook page and blog, so why not test out some potential campaign ideas? People love to give their opinion and even more so when it’s taken on board.
  • Could you pick a ‘follower’ of the month? Ask them some fun questions about themselves and dedicate a day to them. Give them a higher platform within your business. It gives your website a personal touch.
  • You might not have 150 million people on your website but be proud of the number you do have, make your audience feel valued. Thank them! Remember 100,000 followers started with 100 of them.
  • Hold a caption competition where clients could tell you what your brand means to them. Could you reward them with a discount or a gift?

Is there an interesting (and cost effective) way to present your brand and profile  to the world?

Think how Zynga used gaming, how could you be innovative with your business?

What About You?

Despite millions being spent on eye catching logos, platform design and compelling copy, both businesses and social networks need to grab the attention of a public who, having been inundated with data requests, aren’t now so easy to convince.

Could you unlock some refreshing marketing initiatives with techniques that involve your existing audience?

Look forward to hearing you ideas, stories and experiences.

Guest Author: Alexander van Aken

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Image by misteraitch

Comments

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  • http://www.MediaWizardz.com/ David Alberico

    Love the examples in this article. I think it could be cool to hold a competition at design school to re-design a Facebook page and cover photo. Then that student can use that work in their portfolio.  Now taking this a step further, you could hold the design competition live in a board room with say 20 designers that need to create the design within a 4 hour window, tape the entire competition and create a time lapsed video of the intense event. (kind of like the competition help in the movie social network) This could be a fun way to include and recognize your audience. 

  • http://twitter.com/Quozza Simon Quance

    Profiling fans or customers as a key component of marketing has long
    been a winning strategy. The article reminded me of a favourite
    example from way back (before the internet..    http://earthcandyarts.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/1350876346_824bf6387f.jpg – Tribe Called Quest used hundreds of their fans on their 93 album “Midnight Marauders”

  • http://megafoni.pl/ Wojtek Szywalski

    Great article, thanks. It reminds me about Seth Godin’s book promotion. Fans’s photos had been put on the cover. I do not remember if it was all about Linchpin or Tribes – anyone remember this?