No matter how hard I tried I could not find a catchy title for this post. I guess it’s just as well because there is no Orcut anymore.
What? You never heard of Orcut?
This was Orcut, originally put out there by Google after Friendster wouldn’t sell to them, (probably should have — oh well, hindsight and all). It emerged about a year before Facebook. Looks kinda similar, doesn’t it? It had an interesting run and actually took off and had 1.5 million communities within a year.
Did I not tell you? Orcut’s original purpose was to help users find communities by keyword searching where they could connect with other users. Yes… you heard that right, communities. Isn’t this something I’ve been talking about ad nauseam in social media when it comes to marketing? Let’s touch today on the ways that this innovative platform functioned. First, it was clean, simple and sophisticated, and users could make recommendations about products and services through these communities.
Are you putting the pieces together yet? I’ve been talking about our groups and how we can create a marketing strategy using these communities. Something that we can take from Orcut is the ways that it promoted these communities. We have our own, but unfortunately, it requires user input to be beneficial.
Most traditional marketing strategies want you to consider the audience that is most likely to use your product (for us this is books). With communities, these audiences are pretty much a sure thing.
Let’s apply this to the Branded Social Experience
What’s a brand experience? In a nutshell, it is the way consumers “Feel” about your brand. How did Orkut help this? Orkut was invitation-only, this tells everyone that it is an exclusive opportunity but it was more than that, the community feel of the platform contributed to the “feel” about the marketing.
So, what is this branded social experience? It has four basic dimensions, Sensory, affective, intellectual and behavioral that are connected to the brand or product related to design, identity, packaging, communications, and environments. Let’s look at them.
These include something to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel in association with you and your product. This may be difficult but as writers aren’t we adept at show and don’t tell? How can we show the consumers? Perhaps with the little blurb. What words would incite these senses?
These allow consumers to emotionally connect with products. We need to appeal to a part of the audience’s lives. How the heck?
Communities… here is where you are affective, if a reader (aka the consumer) is unhappy you can cheer them up with a word perhaps. If they love your book they can share it within the community affecting others. See where this is going? You have to participate to affect them though. JS
First, let’s just be clear. Don’t just patronize them. They want something that requires thought and energy. For us, this means don’t just chuck a book link at them and then not talk to them for the next two months because you’re writing [for them] so they can read your next big mass of pages full of word vomit. (did I just say that?) Yea… I kinda did, but it is meant to show you how it feels to be patronized, those in the community won’t like it any more than you just did.
All of these lead to the behavioral. Real-life action! Consumers find in communities the prompt for a real-life behavioral change [aka they buy your books] where they may not have done so before! Here is where the mobilization comes in. Utilizing these communities to mobilize consumers. Combining multiple sensory experiences into the behavioral prompt.
Orkut offered us a map of sorts when it opened up its communities based platform and showed us how communities can offer these experiences were traditional marketing efforts fail.