#1 Factor For Startup Business Success: Do You Have A “Social Object”?

Last night I attended one of the most amazing, ongoing, networking meetings available in the world. No this is not an exageration–it is the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs aka SVASE. Last night’s panel has incredible substance factor and track records of success:

Patrick Chanezon, API Evangelist, Google; Jyri Engestrom Co-Founder Jaiku; Konstantin Guericke, CEO jaxtr and Co-Founder, LinkedIn; Ramu Yalamanchi, Founder and CEO, hi5

One of the big “Ah-ha” discoveries was what the panel described as “Social Objects” and the need to find a Social Object in order to build your business.

What Is A Social Object?

The examples given of Social Objects are the best way to describe what they are in business:

Ex.1-Youtube has video as it’s social object. People come to youtube to watch video, they add their own videos, and they utilize other people’s videos for their blog or website. This created the critical mass viral marketing we now see for youtube

Ex.2-Flickr has photos as it’s social object. People post their photos, share with the network, they take away photos, and they virally spread the word about other people’s work.

Do You Have A Social Object?

A great example of someone with a social object is America’s mortgage broker Brian Brady. Brian’s social object began as “the American Dream” aka home ownership aka money. People need funding to own a home and mortgage brokers provide that access to many new homeowners.

But Brian took it a giant step further. Brian became THE go-to source of information about mortgages on the internet. He socially networked everywhere, he commented, he spoke as a keynote speaker, and he built online recognition through blogging that has positioned him today.

How Do You Find Your Social Object?

What differentiates your business as a Realtor? Do you dominate a particular area? Are you perceived by consumers as the expert in that area-region? Or are you an expert in a area of real estate knowledge ie. buyer’s agent, 1031 Exchange specialist, seller’s agent, or relocation expert

Tip: Remember a Social Object is something people revolve around, talk about to other people, continue to follow, and have an ongoing interest in maintaining a level of knowledge about in their lives.

Advertisements

“Next Generation” Realtor’s Marketing Tool: Ning.com Social Networks Viral Marketing Power

“Nothing endures but change” Heraclitus Greek philosopher

Social networking sites like linkedin, myspace, facebook, and plaxo utilize viral loop or viral networking in order to grow traffic to your site. The problem for Realtors and affiliates is that these sites are either targeted to the wrong audience, myspace.com, or they are flat with limited features bloggers enjoy on their blogs.

Ning.com is changing the social networking landscape. Ning allows users, for free, to set up their own “social network.” The treasure trove of Ning features and benefits:

Social Networking

1. Create a full Social Network, for free, that you customize and brand as your own

2. Invite members, meet new people, network within or outside your business niche

3. Full message center with address book importing from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail.

4. Customizable profile pages.

5. Photo slideshows, video players, music players, and network badges, that can be embeded anywhere on the Internet, seamlessly funneling new people to your network.

6. RSS feeds of your network’s features, such as members, discussions, photos, videos, music/podcasts, and blog posts.

7. Members can set different privacy settings for every photo, video, group, or blog post they contribute.

Full Customization

1. Add your own logo, branding, and visual design to make your network unique

2. Choose from a variety of themes and customize them to make them your own

3. Make your network public or private

4. Customize the appearance of your branded photo slideshow, video player, music/podcast player widgets and network badges

5. Customize the profile questions your network asks when members join. Make questions private, so that the answers are only viewable by you and your Network Administrators

6. Enable “one-click” Facebook Promotion so your members can add photo slideshows, video players, and music/podcasts from your network seamlessly into Facebook

7. Choose to moderate photos and videos before they are posted

8. Choose from a set of supported languages (English, Chinese, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish) or translate your social network into any unsupported language by changing one file in the code

Discussion Forum

1. Start and tag a discussion

2. Add discussion posts and reply to those posts

3. Organize discussions by categories

4. Click through the personal profile pages of other members engaged in the discussion

5. View all discussions across your social network

Groups

1. Enable members of your network to create groups

2. Enable members of your network to make groups public or private

3. Add group descriptions, images, discussions, and members