HP: Signal Propagation Key To Social Media Success
Digital media agency R/GA is working with HP to redesign HP.com, which supports about 82,000 product descriptions and 130 million hits monthly. Curtin said HP has added customer support forums and detailed some of the company's plans such as adding lifestyle features focused on gaming, for example. Also in the works are custom navigation tools that allow people to create and share user-generate content.
After Curtin detailed some of HP's plans for the new Web site, he invited HP Labs Scientist Bernardo Huberman on stage to discuss how the company determined the driving factors behind social media, which contributed to the redesign of the site.
The value of information is giving way to individual expression as more people post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, Huberman said. And as the value of information degrades, media managers are attempting to harness that individual expression. "Our ability to pay attention to things is limited," so it will become more important to look at "propagation of signals" at social media sites to determine effective marketing strategy, he said.
HP has been experimenting with various viral marketing concepts such as looking at propagation of signals, which could include people writing book reviews on social networks. HP analyzed this type of analysis to improve the performance of its new Web site.
Analyzing the propagation of signals on social media sites can give marketers insight into possible success. "The social networks that matter are the ones with behavioral patterns," Huberman said. "It's not important to have 150 friends on Facebook, but rather more important to see who you interact with on a daily and hourly basis."
Huberman said marketers that want to influence the social medium around a person or group need to pay more attention to the content that gets transmitted and the interactions of people who send and read the transmissions. He also alluded to a "cool" mobile application in the works that HP will launch based on these observations.