By Nick Johnson - November 22nd, 2011

A look at gamification: the new trend that is changing the way we interact Gamification has been one of the hottest terms in marketing over the past year and it shows no sign of slowing going into...

A look at gamification: the new trend that is changing the way we interact

Gamification has been one of the hottest terms in marketing over the past year and it shows no sign of slowing going into 2012. As brands all over try to wrap their hands around applying game dynamics, we here at Useful Social Media felt it would be useful to create a briefing looking into gamification; including two corporate examples from Siemens and Recycle Bank.

The growing importance of gamification for digital savvy businesses cannot be questioned. M2 research forecast that the gamification market is expected to reach over $2.8 billion in direct spending in the US by 2016, and some vendors are expecting revenue growth of nearly 200% in 2012. Created by our very own Harry Rollason (@USMHRollason) click here to get your copy of the briefing.

A case study on how you can use social media for reputation management

As social media becomes increasingly embedded in how individuals, communities and brands communicate, there's an increasing realisation that its power is not simply restricted to pushing your latest product. It can be used for consumer engagement, customer service, product development, employee engagement and much more.

At the same time, the risks of the rise of social media for companies are becoming increasingly apparent. Suddenly, the discourse around your brand isn't controlled by you. It's a collaborative effort, and without care, the conversation can spiral out of control and do real damage.

In a new report, the Northern Constabulary (a police force in the UK) discuss how they've used social media to take the power back - and rebalance 'inaccurate' media coverage, and manage their reputation. There's more on The Guardian's website here.

How the Corcoran Group use Google+ for better business results

Chris Brogan has written a piece highlighting the great work that real estate firm The Corcoran Group have done on their Google+ page. When I opened the article, I was expecting some innovation, some leveraging of the tools G+ offers over Facebook (circles/hangouts/etc), but was left a little cold.

All the good stuff the firm have done is exactly what I feel the majority of you will already know:

  • Share useful content, not sales messages - in this case, photos and interesting nuggets of info about locations around NYC, rather than a load of house adverts
  • Be real people, not faceless corporations - there are some photos, videos and interviews with Corcoran Group staff, to highlight the personal aspect
  • Really engage - rather than letting their stream fill up with comments, likes and feedback, they actually jump in and respond to queries and involve themselves in conversations

They're all valid points, sure. And maybe useful to recap. But I'm still searching for the first company to really leverage the unique power of G+. Any ideas anyone?

Best practice on how your brand can create a unique voice on social media

If you want some insight into how brands like Tory Burch, DKNY, Kate Spade, Lucky Magazine and  Esquire have established and defined their 'social media voice', then you could do a lot worse than checking out this Mashable article. Some sample tips:

  • "Traffic is nice, but conversation is nicer. A glorified RSS feed is a waste of time"
  • "People want their authorities to be approachable now"
  • "It was the day-to-day that customers responded to most"
  • "Twitter is a conversation, and the voice needs to be consistent"
  • Social networks are not best used "as a conduit to [the brand's] marketing message" but as a place for "of the moment, off-the-cuff comments that are the most compelling"

For all this and more, check out the article itself.

Your feedback wanted!

As you may have noticed, our blog has had a facelift. We've brought in commenting through 'Disqus', begun to highlight our most popular posts, and put together an infrastructure for a large scaling up of our content over the next few months. We've also tried to bring the blog into line with the rest of our websites.

Things are changing at USM, and we're looking to become a more useful resource for you, the corporate social media practitioner. We'll be putting together more business-focused articles on marketing, customer service, social commerce and much more - along with bringing more of our conferences to you, wherever you're based.

But it won't work without your feedback and guidance. I'd love it if you could take a look at the blog, and our upcoming conferences, and let me know what you think. We've tried our best to design everything for you, so whether you love it, or feel it could use some improvements, I'd like to know.

Thanks all!


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