Posts Tagged ‘user experience

Durex USA are looking to make further in-roads into the US condom market with their new Facebook app which offers couples the chance to get “in sync,” by finding the perfect love song based on their lovemaking styles. As well as a creative means of gamifying individual characteristics in a way that ties neatly, but just about subtly, to the product, this is a good case study in dealing with user data, and Facebook sharing, clearly and sensitively. The Facebook app like gate / splash page clearly tells potential users “Don’t worry. We won’t share your results unless you tell us to.”


Just quick props to Nieman Journalism’s new design feature (well new to me anyway) that quietens the right-hand nav as you scroll down to read. It’s all too easy to become tempted away, or just annoyingly destracted by what’s going on around your focus, to the left or right of a web article. Nieman deals with this neatly here – the right hand nav’s suggested links are faded out – becoming dark, with text coming into sharp focus, whenever the user hovers over. Nice detail, helps you stay on the article at hand, whilst allowing the site to keep their desired / suggested next steps on your visit just a nudge of the mouse / finger away.

Nieman Journalism Lab faded right navigation

A few weeks ago Kotex ran an interesting Pinterest campaign / activity. It was innovative and successful, by various measures.

It worked like this – Kotex found fifty of the most influential women on Pinterest, checked out what they had posted to their boards, made and sent them all a gift representing those images. The results:

  • Close to 100% of recipients posted about their gifts on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • 2,284 interactions
  • 694,853 total impressions

Before I launch into the influencer mythology argument, aside from the impressive statistical results gleaned, I must mention being impressed by the innovation of this campaign. In many ways it was a great, unique idea, which cannot now be repeated without cries of copycat.

But this type of ‘influencer’ marketing smacks of elements of traditional communications which peer to peer Internet philosophy rather bites its thumb at

  • Really noisy, famous people are more important than all other people (or women who use sanitary products) – they deserve free gifts and lots of attention
  • A small group of really well-known people can influence everyone else, by dint of their massive profiles
  • The silent majority, or lurkers, are there to be talked to, not with, or for
But is the tantalising promise of the mythical influencer accurate on social media? A recent study by Buzzfeed and Stumbleupon found what those of us with an eye on the real world would probably be unsurprised at. People are most influenced by those closest.. and so-called ‘viral sharing’ happens via lots of shares within intimate social circles, not big shares from big people.
Even the largest stories on Facebook are the product of lots of intimate sharing — not one person sharing and hundreds of thousands of people clicking

And as for the silent masses, the numbers who quietly fitting in Pinterest between busy jobs and busy lives, liking the odd picture here and there, they need not be excluded from our technographics obsessed considerations… for we are not all at one place on the ladder all of the time, but rather hang off various rungs at various times.

Furthermore, Jon Hickman has argued for considering participation by lurkers as “hidden actions.” (As opposed to ‘inactives’, on Forrester’s ladder above) He writes that the extent of participation by lurkers shouldn’t be underestimated, citing a case from the recent Digital Transformations event which his research supports:

we heard about a woman who had never commented or liked anything on her participatory group’s Facebook page. In offline fora, the same woman was the strongest and loudest advocate for their work. Her practice as a lurker meant she was immersed in the detail of the group’s work and was able to speak for it in offline spaces

Jon Hickman

So what’s the point? No more influencer marketing? No more drive for active online participation?  An obsession with the silent, over those who have something to say? Not really. But when it comes to marketing on Pinterest there is another, longer game that might well be played.

To reach more people appropriately, in context, over time – than dishing out freebies to the Pinterati and patting ourselves on our massive corporate backs when they all spew predictably about their free gear, one might try:

So it’s not big, it’s maybe not wow, but it’s bread and butter community development -and it’s all about the race to the bottom (of our hearts). So let’s be honest about what connecting with people on a platform like Pinterest really means when we discuss with our clients and colleagues. It means being patient, useful and creative in a day-to-day, moments of joy kind of way. Not a ‘who’s the biggest name’ or ‘can I get a celebrity to front my Pinterest presence’ kind of way.

Simply, I have been trained to see the world in terms of what I can post to the Internet. I’ve learned to live and present a life that is “likeable” … The tail of Facebook documentation has come to wag the dog of lived experience

Nathan Jurgenson

Comparing the amount of time the average user spends per month on the other social networks as a comparison measure of the level of engagement on Pinterest:

1. Facebook is the most engaging site on the planet at 405 minutes per month
2. Pinterest and Tumblr are equal in second place at 89 minutes
3. Twitter comes in third at  21 minutes
4. LinkedIn – 17 minutes
5. Google Plus – 3 minutes

Jeff Bullas

Today Kit Kat UK ends its grand social campaign to choose who will be the next ‘Chunky Champion’ (voting ends midnight tonight).

This truly integrated communications piece, where the brand released four limited edition chocolate bars of different flavours and asked the public to vote on which will remain in the nation’s sweet shops, demonstrates how a social media campaign can work across multiple platforms in harmony.

It also speaks to the promise of social media enabling even massive corporations to bring people into their product decision-making processes.

Facebook voting

The Kit Kat UK Facebook page has enabled voters to select from four choices for the Kit Kat chunky bar. With well-positioned use of a ‘like-gate’ (you can move around the page but not vote until you ‘like’) page visitors are enticed in to make their selection.

After the necessary ‘like’ you are presented with a clear and compelling voting page…

But the mechanics are a little clunky after this point – after getting to the voting app you need to click again to confirm your vote or enter your details for the competition. This seems a little unnecessary – personally I would have designed it for votes be submitted first and offer the competition option to users afterwards, but it’s a fairly minor detail.

Of more annoyance is the way Facebook’s news privacy controls work -after hitting vote you get its weird app halfway house… the social media equivalent of the Beetlejuice waiting room.


And on the app screen while it is good that you can restrict who sees this activity to certain lists of friends, you cannot select more than one list (maybe they need a visit from a friendly G+ engineer on this one).

Word of Mouth

From personal experience the Word of Mouth on this has been truly buzzing… I’ve heard several complaints that you ‘can’t get hold of a peanut one anywhere’. This meme also spills onto KitKat’s Facebook wall – where it might be considered whether this ‘shortage’ is actually rather convenient PR for the campaign…

Interestingly I have mostly seen women on social media talking about wanting the white chocolate version (currently in second place) – whereas the campaign is aimed at young men – and the peanut butter version has been the clear winner throughout.

If more women are saying they want white (we know they generally communicate more on social networks like Facebook than men do) – but peanut butter is still winning – perhaps this means Kit Kat have indeed hit a sweet spot by appealing to rafts of men who will hit the vote button but not necessarily engage in conversation about it. (The campaign was designed to reach a male audience).

TV and radio

Radio ads have sent people to the Facebook page to vote – specifying that participants must be over 18. Even more compelling has been the strategic tie up with ITV – which has enabled ads showing live voting updates to be screened on prime TV ad slots.


For YouTube KitKat recruited four well known actors from the cutting edge of comedy to support the campaign with webisodes where each campaigns for their flavour:

  • KIT KAT Chunky Orange supported by Miles Jupp, known for his role in In The Thick Of It, and his appearances on panel shows Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, offers the addition of a zingy orange flavour
  • KIT KAT Chunky White Choc supported by Tony Gardner, known for his roles in The Thick Of It and Lead Balloon, sees the famous Kit Kat wafer encased in luxurious white chocolate
  • KIT KAT Chunky Double Choc, supported by Miranda Hennessy, known for her role in Channel 4’s Phone Shop, adds an extra layer of milk chocolate to make for an indulgent chocolatey taste
  • KIT KAT Chunky Peanut Butter supported by Jason Lewis, star of his own MTV show The Jason Lewis Experience, sees the return of a popular past variant with its own distinct flavour combination and new recipe

The Results

Anecdote aside there are early signs that the campaign has reaped dividends on Facebook. In addition to obvious engagement on the UK Facebook wall they have seen massive growth in likes since the campaign began – they have been one of the top growing pages in the last month on Facebook:

Source: Social Bakers

some [Facebook] users with many subscribers will be notified through their profile of the option to verify their identity… There’s no way to volunteer to be verified, you have to be chosen. These users will be prompted to submit an image of a government-issued photo ID, which is deleted after verification. They’ll also be given the option to enter an “alternate name” that can be used to find them through search and that can be displayed next to their real name in parentheses or as a replacement

Josh Constine

This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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