What is a social object? and how do we create them?
A social object is a term coined by Jyri Engestrom. It’s an object creating a human connection between two people. It’s that simple, but just to make sure Hugh MacLeod gives a few examples of social objects.
“You and your friend, Joe like to go bowling every Tuesday. The bowling is the social object.”
He ends by saying that a social object is the tangible reason for why we socialise and that social networks form around these social objects.
So how do we make ordinary objects social? Here’s Macleod’s list:
1. Make Meaning: The market for people wanting something to believe in is infinite; make your products “worth it.”
2. Create/Find a Purpose: People often confuse purpose with meaning, but the purpose relates back to the reason you get up in the morning and do what you do.
3. Create Play: Humans innately like to play; it’s the way we first start negotiating the world, so give people a reason to want to interact with your product.
4. Create New Language: If you want to evolve your product, you have to evolve marketing. You have to talk to people in a way they have never been talked to before.
5. Create share-ability: Don’t make it easy for people to share your product; Make it easy for them to share THEMSELVES.
6. Push Boundaries of Design: Design matters! It has the ability to differentiate your product.
7. Facilitate Community: Turn your product into a place where people gather rather than thing people that people buy.
8. Create New Context: Allow people to see your brand in a new light.
9. Enable “Meatspace”: Bring people together to facilitate discussions around your product.
Read more about Macleod’s thoughts on social objects here.
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