Wednesday, October 05, 2011

SharePoint Conference 2011: Integrating Social Media with SharePoint Websites

These are my rough notes from an SPC presentation by Brian Rodriguez and Ryan Sockalosky. Awesome session – my favourite type – really matter of fact and presenting and solving issues clearly.

Leveraging Social Media Example

Examples of leveraging social media on Facebook sites.

Ticketmaster on FaceBook: Daily Deals, large following, evangelism, popular items. Popularity leads to large revenue.

Front and center placement, put the like button as part of purchasing experience. You go to concerts with your friends and your friends are on facebook.

What can you do to leverage Social Networks?

Help users “Like", Tweet, and share content. Reach a broader audience. Allow your customers to evangelize for you. Drive traffic to your site.

How to Do it: Facebook

Facebook Plugins – has plugins you can use.

iFrame or XFBML (facebook XML language)

Some options: Like button, send messages, embed activity feed

plugin on page.

Facebook OpenGraph Protocol – you can use Facebook insights to get insights into traffic patterns, who is liking what

How to do it: Twitter

Embed twitter RSS feed into your page, embed plugin to allow tweets from a page.

How to Do It: Other Social Networks

AddThis – social network sharing


Contoso eletronics website

Add “Follow” button in master page at the bottom. Added tweet and like buttons next to the content. Defaulted Tweet content makes it dead easy for a user to click tweet and share the link

By function of tweeting that page, it is now part of the “Social Stream” – given a bit more weight in search engines and enabled for discovery by followers of the user or his or her friends.

Created a custom webpart to allow users to tailor the text to configure the Twitter content dynamically. The page owner can decide that they want to automatically embed hashtags in any tweet via a webpart property.

Facebook webpart – same options – defaulting text, show like button, show activity feed, people’s faces etc.

Tip: Make sure the tweet or facebook or sharethis links go to the home page consistently, so set some buttons in the master page footer or header and ensure every page on the site shows the sharing buttons.

One of the limitations of sandbox solutions is you cannot call RegisterClientScript so webparts containing these facebook or twitter plugins cannot be handled as sandbox solutions. Also a separate mode is created for Design Mode to allow rendering in SharePoint Designer otherwise you will see the controls as broken in Design Mode.

Demo of modifying master page by overriding AdditionalPageHead content placeholder in order to inject OpenGraph metadata tags (title, site name, description).

Enable Engagement and Conversations

Allow Social Commenting

Educate others that the conversation is happening

Increasing brand awareness and credibility by inviting the conversation to your site

Customers can engage with you and with each other

Facebook: Login plugin on your page and activity stream

Twitter: Widgets around searching or surfacing profile on your website

Demo of wrapping code in content editor webpart for these

Enabling Engagement and Commenting

Governance is key – to keep engagement clean and managed

Store and publish content on Social Sites: Examples: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook “fan pages”

Increased visibiltiy and re-use

Customers can view/subscribe/join without ever seeing your site

Surface your external social content on your site

1 out 6 minutes people are on a social networking site

Send to Twitter: Workflow in Action

Content added to SharePoint List – triggers approval SP workflow, results in REST post to Twitter. Need to store oAUTH credentials in SharePoint 2010 secure store service to allow staff members to sign in and post via the company account.

Content of tweet needs to be approved before posting

Register an application with Twitter to use their API.

REST Based api using OWA to allow approval

Setup oAuth sending consumer key and secret to Twitter using the Access Token they give us once signed up for the REST based api (while logged in as the company’s Twitter account).

Now go into Secure Store Service and add new Group access (single version of the credentials) although you could have different Twitter profiles and those could be individual secure tokens. Define the attributes we are capturing (Screen Name, Token, TokenSecret, ConsumerKey, ConsumerSecret).

Demo of creating automatic tweet via workflow that includes page title (for a press release) and then a link back to the page automatically

Other Integration Scenarios

Leverage FAST Search for dynamic content  with the FB Graph API

Connect BCS to Twitter – use native UI and WebParts with twitter content

Federated Search of Twitter, YouTube etc

Use federated login to Live or Facebook – use native SP Claims Based Auth instead of using the FB Connect plugin. Allows for audience targeting or storing a rich SP user profile

Allows for back end LOB integration (ex CRM, SAP, etc)

Tips and Considerations

Do you need to own the conversation / content?

SharePoint’s Social Networking capabilities require login

Linking is tied to pages / uRLs – if pages change or are deleted conversation goes away

Performance of plugins – Facebook like button is at least 2 calls to Facebook. You could try to load JS asynchronously after pages load to keep down load.

Reference javascript in master pages or page layouts

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