Deciphering the code of great social ideas (Steve Sponders Blog)

Have you noticed that there appears to be a growing number of weird and wonderful campaigns coming out of various agencies across the world?  

There is certainly an increasing opportunity for brands to break out of the constraints of paid media spaces and engage directly with people, via ideas that are constrained only by our imaginations.

It feels as if ideas are being liberated and experimentation is the order of the day. Agencies from different backgrounds are getting in on the act, each putting their own distinct spin on what constitutes a great social idea.

In an attempt to decipher the code of great social ideas, I have identified various areas to be considered when either brainstorming social ideas or critiquing them. So let’s take a look.


1. Value. At the core is identifying which of the 5 types of social currency does the idea deliver to people; utility, entertaining, monetary, information or personal.


2. Engagement. Will people be able to engage with the idea? Does the idea tell or build on a wider story? Does it employ any gaming mechanics? Can people participate through interacting or co-creating? Will people be able to easily share it?


3. Channels. Which social channels does it exist in; web, mobile or experiential?


4. Data. Does the idea take advantage of data from social graphs, back office or 3rd parties such as Google maps?


5. Time. Does the idea exist in real-time or does it have any time sensitivity around it? Does the idea contribute to an existing conversation or is it starting a new one?


6. Location. Does the idea utilise geo-location? Are we asking people to visit our space and if so can we realistically create a social destination without expensive advertising?


Obviously, the overriding questions are; does the idea conform to the brands social principles, does it contribute to the brand ideal and will it deliver on the business objective.

Steve continually delivers with pieces like this. The visual is spot on.

Everything we do has to in some way, shape or form display value and the visual above is a great way of showing how to do just that.

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