Real-world Action with Social Media

Our clients are asking more from social media than ever before. No longer is it enough to place a link to Facebook on your site, or to provide an RSS feed. The challenge, particularly for those clients who need to connect with their users in the real world (and which clients don't?) is: how do we use our online social networks in the offline world?

It's a really important question. One of our clients has found that their online networks are a great place to engage with users, and now they want to move their networks from connectivity toward knocking on doors, organizing events, contacting their members of parliament.

How you succeed depends on a number of factors. Some questions to think about are: who is your target audience? what do you want them to do? what do they feel comfortable doing? and what might they do if given the chance?

I will share one finding here: properly designed online functionality and features can motivate offline behaviour. Notice in the picture below how MyBarackObama.com invites, prods and provides options for different kinds of people who want to be engaged in real-world activity (in this case, supporting Obama's run for president). Notice the "Neighbor to Neighbor" section with direct calls-to-action, and the wide spectrum of ways to support the cause in the "Making a difference". Each of us may wish to make a difference, but we may be better suited for certain activities over others. The user interface acknowledges this.

Visit mybarackobama.com to learn more. You'll need a US zip code to sign up to explore.

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