Social networking trends continue to race ahead, and as Android-based phones and tablets challenge the iconic iPhones & iPads for market share, marketers are faced with a plethora of new opportunities to promote their products and encourage us to ‘like’ them, spreading the word to our friends and contact networks.
The F-FACTOR makes possible personalized products and services based on the activities and output of one’s social network:
- Flipboard is an app that integrates tweets and updates into a single, personalized online magazine. Launched in July 2010, the free app automatically creates a magazine from the user’s social content, letting readers quickly flip through the latest stories, photos, and updates from friends and trusted sources. Links and images are rendered right in the digital magazine, so users no longer have to scan long lists of posts and click on link after link; instead, they instantly see all the stories, comments, and images in one place.
- March 2011 saw the launch of LinkedIn Today, a socially curated news homepage for users that rounds up the stories and links that are being read, shared and discussed by a user’s network.
- Newsle is a tool that launched in public beta in April 2011 that alerts users to public news articles about members of their social networks from Facebook and LinkedIn.
- ‘Personal search engine’ Greplin launched publicly in February 2011. The search engine scans across a user’s personal and social accounts including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Docs, enabling users to locate any desired information that may be scattered across their social media network, whenever they want it.
- US-based PostPost, launched in December 2010, is a free application that turns one’s Facebook page into a digital newspaper. Users connect the application via the PostPost site, which enables it to link to Facebook and create a presentation of their news feed in the traditional format of a newspaper.
Oh, and check out these very ‘sign of the times’ F-ME examples of consumers literally turning their friends and followers into actual physical products and services:
- Twournal enables users of Twitter to transform their tweets and pictures into a real-life published journal. In addition to creating their own ‘books’, users can also buy and sell publications from other users.
- US-based CrowdedInk offers an app that allows users to generate mugs filled with pictures of their Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Users only need to enter their username and a preview of the mug is automatically generated in minutes.
- Social Print Studio can provide the analog equivalent to the online album. The site creates posters generated from Facebook friends’ profile pictures, Facebook photo albums, Twitter followers, and even Tumblr accounts.
- Kunst Buzz, a Dutch art company has started producing Twitter art where users’ tweets make up their portrait.
With the F-FACTOR a growing force in the consumption arena, ultimately the only way for brands to succeed is to be liked (literally if???? not loved, and this liking and loving comes from superior performance. In that sense, the Perform or Perish theme is stronger than ever and underscores that while the F-FACTOR is currently playing out in the online arena first and foremost, this is in the end about business at large.
The F-FACTOR is about being so exceptional that consumers will find and ultimately choose you, without you as a brand have to do anything extra. It’s not about bribing or even compelling people to “Like” your Facebook page. This is something of course, which brands that truly have the F-FACTOR don’t have to worry about.
So, for all ‘F-entrepreneurs’, this space is still wide open: simply come up with new tools and platforms that help consumers help each other to discover, discuss and buy the best of the best. For B2C brands, it’s time to deliver innovations, products, campaigns, and experiences that truly have the F-FACTOR.
(thanks to trendwatching.com)