I am pleased to be back for my sixth Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. Here is a link to a summary of last year’s notes. This is another of my notes for this year. There will be more to follow. I attended session - On the Back-End: An Expert Look Into the Technology Behind Social Business led by Patrick Stokes, Chief Product Officer, Buddy Media Here is the session description:
“These days, social media means big business. All of the world’s leading brands are producing powerful programs through social marketing, and are connecting with millions of consumers on a daily basis. When one thinks of social marketing, they often think about what they see on their home feeds: engaging wall posts, campaigns and promotions, interactive games and more. But what powers all of that to work?
In this presentation, Patrick Stokes, Chief Product Officer at Buddy Media, will share expert insight into the back end of how to power enterprise social marketing that works. Patrick will share the power of the NoSQL movement, how to choose a database system that works, and why modern technologies are the way of the future. Don’t speak tech? No problem! Patrick will provide an exclusive view into the back-end of social media technology, with simplified language that even non-engineers can understand. Specifically, attendees will learn.”
Patrick introduced Buddy Media as a collection of products that drive social marketing. It was started in 2007, the same time as Facebook. They started building app connected with it. They realized that brands wanted to be on Facebook but there was not a good way to do this. The early efforts were not that successful or scalable. Salesforce has acquired them recently. They are going to build a social marketing cloud and aligned it with Salesforce.
ConversationBuddy is a publication tool that allows brands to publish content to social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They aggregate good and bad responses so that companies can react to them. The apps includes approval queues, seeded content, filtering.
ProfileBuddy is for micro-sites to work with Facebook and YouTube. Conversion Buddy was built to track results. All “shares” are tracked to individuals and want happens as a result of their activities. They can see the “shares” and the sales. They can see the ROI of shares and what products to showcase based on what is generating shares.
Dashboard provides analytics and insights. It is built for individuals rather enterprises such as agencies. BuyBuddy manages the ads on Facebook. It allows for very focused targeting.
Patrick next went into the underlying technologies. They are powerful but there are technical and legal limitations. You need to understand your goal and tailor it to the individual network as people act on Facebook different that Twitter. There are also so many legal issues to consider.
Most people do social poorly and it leads to short term lifts. You need to focus on your product and focus on your goal: more users, sales, impress your boss? Facebook promotes passive sharing but that may not help the individual and stuff gets on your time line and you may not want it there. Socialcam gets a lot of hits as a result but they do not last. People figure this out so they uninstall it or do not click on the content. The Washington Post saw a great rise in clicks with a Socialcam app but then they was a big drop off as people saw what happen.
Patrick said before you do social make sure your product does not suck like Socialcam that annoys users. Ask if adding social will improve the user’s experience. Ask if adding social is going to take advantage of your users. Spotify works because it enhances the user’s experience to discover music although some people do not like the sharing part.
Technology behind this: authentication. First, you need to create an app that can make requests to an API with a key and secret password. There are several apps that support this. You need standard schema and a consistent implementation for client libraries. If you opt in and get “valet” keys, this can be one way but there are limitations. Oauth is the tool that does this but Patrick feels it is rubbish.
Another technology: REST – Representational State Transfer, This is how data is communicated between server and client. It is built on top of HTTP which makes it an architectural style like SOAP.
Streams are the best technology. Twitter uses it and as it the only one doing it now. You do not have to make calls to the network. There is high throughput and near real-time access to underlying data layer on social networks.
Facebook tracks you through their social plugins and can see whatever you do on the internet unless you turn off your cookies but this causes other problems. You can see everything about any Facebook users. But then this is what people are putting on their pages so it is public already.
Remember to build what your users will let you get away and not more. Be careful not to violate the Facebook terms of service and other legal issues.