The empirical evidence is already there.
Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow estimates that sites that simply
add an optional Facebook share capability to common online
applications, such as an online poll, can increase traffic 12.98%.
(Yes, he's done the math.)
Media early adopters have already seen strong results from their
embrace of verbs. The Guardian has garnered 1 million additional
monthly page views since it launched a revamped Facebook presence
last fall. Yahoo is so pleased with its early results that it has
expanded its relationship with Facebook to 26 more sites. The
social network is already deeply embedded into Yahoo News.
It's not just Facebook though. Technology companies have long
understood that pointing and grunting are arguably the most innate
human gestures. It's something children do at a very early age.
Cavemen basically invented both. So they're building these natural
interfaces at the core.
Siri on the iPhone and Kinect on Xbox (an Edelman client) are
two early implementations: users talk or point. But soon similar
gesture-based media will show up everywhere. These will drive a lot
more frictionless sharing. The social networks and search engines
will gobble up the data and use these signals to shape the
algorithms that already guide so much of what we pay attention
Here are three strategies to consider.
Build verb hooks everywhere
You wouldn't think that people want to share that they completed
an online poll or registered to enter a contest, but data prove the
contrary. A small percentage will, and this generates a network
effect that pays off big. Look for ways to attach social verbs to
even basic online features.
Here's why this matters to marketers: If they adopt the verb
structure and API's into their assets, they are more likely to
surface through Facebook's algorithms. For example, Ford should consider
adopting the "watch" API for any video content on its site.
Consider the lens of friends
Content finds us though the lens of our friends. This means no
two people see the same web. It's all personalized. Execs need to
think hard about their audiences and pay particular attention to
psychographics. This can help guide decisions about the language
and creative that will generate verbs, not just awareness.
Prioritize media that think in verbs
When making a media buy, look for partners that get the power of
natural gestures and have started to build it into their armada.
Insist that they add social functionality to even basic banner ads
and rich-media executions.
Your mission this year is not just to be heard but to inspire
action. Tapping into the network effects of verbs is a must in a
social digital age.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Rubel is exec
VP-global strategy and insights for Edelman.