Kenny Miller, CEO of KMco, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss his smash hit app Dead Yourself, the success of content engagement with a platform that customizes photographs, and how to empower consumers with creativity while giving them a safety net so they can’t fail.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“Give people an opportunity to be creative, but enough help so that they’re not going to fail.” -@kenbot (tweet this)
Creating a Utility Experience
KMco‘s Dead Yourself app, developed for the popular television show The Walking Dead, just passed 4.5 million downloads and over 11 million photos uploaded. A big part of its success is its simplicity: creating a Dead Yourself photo takes just a couple of clicks.
“Understanding the difference between an entertainment experience and a utility experience is really, really important,” Kenny says.
It’s not just easy to use, though; Dead Yourself also taps into that psychology where everyone is a star. After all, it’s not called “Dead Some Guy” or “Pick from a Gallery of Pictures We Already Made.” It taps into that culture where people are constantly updating their avatars, always taking selfies, wanting to put themselves out there. Self-promotion and instant gratification.
With the CMS platform that KMco built for this app, they can push out a customized “tune in” message every time someone opens the app. They can make announcements about show times and keep users engaged globally. This way, if someone opens the app in France, that person gets the appropriate message about when to tune in and watch the show that week in France. This becomes the most measurable effect of the app.
Now, KMco and AMC are working to improve the already-impressive retention with the app by adding additional features. Kenny says, “If you give people an opportunity to feel creative, but you give them enough help so that they’re not going to fail or be embarrassed by the outcome, you can get a lot of love in return.”
Social Media Stat of the Week: 25% of “digital travelers” share pics to make friends jealous
Room Key has put together a great infographic on the $84 billion that Americans will spend on vacations this summer. People they surveyed listed value as being an important factor in decision-making, but this doesn’t just mean price; location and amenities also factor heavily.
Even more interesting is a piece of information from MMGY Global, who studies how the emerging digital elite utilize their devices when they are on the go: about 25% of digital travelers share photos on social media with their primary motivator being to make their friends and family jealous.
Of course, this sounds very negative, but it makes sense. As the quality of our smartphone cameras increases, we’re less likely to carry a second device just for taking photos. And when we take a picture with our smartphone, we’re just one click away from sharing it.
Four Your Information
How did you get involved in social media?
Kenny somewhat accidentally created social networks for teenagers in the ’90s while working at Nickelodeon on Noggin (now Nick Jr). They were letting users create their own animations and needed a way for people to create profiles to save those animations. “Then we saw that users were clicking through to look at other users’ profile pages, and there was nothing else there.” They somewhat organically realized that people wanted to connect with each other on the internet.
What do you like best about social media?
“I love that no one’s in charge.” Everything is always moving fast, and there are always new and incredible things going on.
What do you like least about social media?
Kenny hates any article that follows a formula: “The Future of This is That,” or “X is Dead.” It’s just lazy. “Inevitably, it’s written by somebody who doesn’t actually understand one or both of the domains that they’re comparing.” He also doesn’t like the sense that new media is at war with old media; this is not a zero-sum game.
If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who might that be and why?
“I would like to talk with Dick Costolo about what they’re doing with photos on the Twitter platform.”
See you next week!