Effectively Integrating Social Communications Into Your Website

“Customers trust each other more than they trust brands.” – Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group analyst –

Two-way arrow graphicI just caught a highly informative webinar hosted by Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst at Altimeter Group and the folks at janrain and Badgeville. It is a bit long so here are few takeaways…

In a survey of 140 global-national corporations the Altimeter Group found that the number one ‘go to market’ goal for 2011 is the effective integration of social media into corporate websites. In this webinar Owyang describes a hierarchy of Use Cases each with several real world examples.

No Integration – Your website is irrelevant. You are not connected to the trusted discussion happening in social networks. Your investments are not working together well.

Social Linking – This send users off of your site, and while it has made Facebook tons of money, it is not the best strategy for your brand. Owyang recommends skipping this step all together and moving directly to…

Social Aggregation – This comes in Basic, Curated, and Contextual varieties.

Some examples:

  • The increasing use of social sign-ins
  • Samsung’s integration of live social feeds into their event screens at the recent SXSW conference
  • Huffington Post’s aggregation of realtime user comments into article pages

Social Publishing – Encouraging customers to share information, pushing it back out to the social web.

Social Context – The practice of continually updating customer personas based on connections and context. A good example is Amazon’s content recommendations driven by friends’ reviews and buying choices.

Seamless IntegrationThe future… URLs will go away and content will be assembled wherever you are.

Owyang points out the benefits and limitations to each one of these strategies. He summarizes with advise for Product Managers on the shift to socializing product pages and pointers on where to start this integration to maximize the creation of viral loops in which, “Your investments stay constant but your results go up exponentially.”

The second half of the webinar has some strong case studies from partners Janrain and Badgeville.

I  highly recommend this webinar to Product Managers, Web Developers, and Community teams. You can watch the full presentation here.

How are you integrating social communications into your website? What works for your customers and your brand? Please share your experiences!

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