5 August 2011 | Written by: Karen Wormwell | No Comments
I saw this great video earlier this week – not only is the message powerful, but it’s really cleverly done. Hope you like it too!
Tagged with: Social Media
Posted in: Social Media
9 May 2011 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
One of the most common conversations we have with clients is about how to grow an online community around their brand – particularly how to increase the number of people that ‘Like’ their Facebook page and ‘Follow’ them on Twitter.
There are lots of elements to successfully achieving growth, particularly around creating engaging content and frequency/quality of interaction, that could (and will no doubt) make up a dozen future blog posts…but, there are also the simple, common sense things that every business should be doing to build awareness amongst existing and potential customers of the opportunity to connect with their brand online.
We refer to it as making the most of your customer ‘touch points’ – wherever you interact with your customer either in person or online, let them know where and how they can connect with you.
So, promote your Facebook page and Twitter profile online and offline, internally and externally – embed Facebook and Twitter boxes on your website, add ‘Like us on Facebook’ call to actions on email signatures, business cards, stationery, packaging, external marketing collateral e.g. posters, press ads, TV commercials (seeing so many more of those coming through), on in-store point of sale and even vehicles.
Talking of which, one of our clients, Holland’s Pies have this week added Facebook and Twitter logos (along with their profile names Holland’s Pies Official and @HollandsPies) to their iconic fleet of green pie vans.
It’s a simple and relatively inexpensive thing to do, but makes really smart marketing sense since Holland’s 30+ pie vans are cris-crossing the North West (their core customer territory) on a daily basis and receive thousands of customer ‘eyeballs’ (OTS to you marketing types) that can potentially be converted into online fans of the brand.
When advising them to do this, one thing we stressed was the importance of adhering to both Facebook and Twitter’s brand usage rules. Luckily, both sites have very good, easy to follow guidelines and areas where you can download official logo’s that can be used both online and offline. You’ll find Facebook’s guidelines here and Twitter’s here.
What other ‘touch points’ are you using to promote and grow online communities?
27 February 2011 | Written by: Jon Coulter | 1 Comment
After months of updates to its Like button, Facebook has released an update that fundamentally changes the button’s functionality to that of a Share button. Now after hitting the Like button, a full story with a headline, blurb and thumbnail will be posted to your profile wall. You’ll also be given an option to comment on the story link. Previously, only a link to the story would appear in the recent activity, often going unnoticed by users.
Though users may now think twice about hitting the button, given how prominently it will appear on their walls and in their networks’ newsfeeds, it should ultimately increase traffic to publishers’ websites.
Facebook has slowly been rolling out updates to its Like button and has stopped developing the Share Button. Facebook spokeswoman Malorie Lucich told us that while the company will continue to support the Share button, Like is the “recommended solution moving forward.” However, Lucich today called it a test, saying “We’re always testing new products that incorporate developer feedback as we work to improve the Platform experience, and have no details to share at this time.” It’s unlikely that the change is just a test, however. Typically such tests from Facebook only affect a small number of users, whereas this change affects all Like buttons.
Perhaps the change was necessary. Because it was never made clear to users that the Like button would function differently than the Share button, many never understood what it meant to click Like on a piece of content. Making the result the same as the Share button could build stronger user expectations, ultimately fashioning a better user experience.
30 December 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
14 December 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
Facebook intern Paul Butler has been poring through some of the data held by the social networking firm on its 500m members.
The map above is the result of his attempts to visualise where people live relative to their Facebook friends. Each line connects cities with pairs of friends. The brighter the line, the more friends between those cities.
After tweaking the graphic and data set it produced a “surprisingly detailed map of the world,” he said in a blog post.
“Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well,” he wrote.
“What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships.”
However, large chunks of the world are missing, such as China and central Africa, where Facebook has little presence.
Source: BBC News
3 November 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
The rumors are apparently true — at an event today at Facebook headquarters, the social networking site revealed that it will, in fact, be launching a deals service for Facebook Places. Watch out, Foursquare.
Deals is a new application within Facebook’s iPhone app (which just got a refresh) that lets you find deals at nearby businesses.
There are four types of deals: Individual Deals (for discounts, free stuff or other rewards), Friend Deals (where you and a pal claim something together), Loyalty Deals (for the regulars) and Charity Deals (which allow you to donate to a cause).
So how does it work? Users can find deals by looking for the yellow icon when go to check in using Places (see below). Simply click on the deal to claim it, and then show it to the cashier to cash in. Deals claimed will be shared on your News Feed, which will allow your friends to reap the same benefits if they so choose.
Right now, Deals will be rolling out in the U.S. over the next few days, but Facebook says it will be expanding over time.
Currently, a ton of businesses are offering deals, including Chipotle, GAP and 24 Hour Fitness. You can check out more details on the Facebook blog. Facebook has also posted a video to show other merchants how they can start using the Deals platform.
This announcement is sure to be a big game-changer when it comes to the future of geo-location services.
20 October 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
Like the rest of the country, I’ve been watching today’s ‘Spending Review’ announcement with great interest and although the general view seems to be that the cuts weren’t quite as bad as expected, £81bn has been axed from public spending over the next four years.
It’s with relief that I read some good news for a change…online ad spend in the UK has increased by 10% year on year. IAB UK has recently published the new online ad spend figures and they show that nearly one quarter of the total UK advertising market is now spent online.
Other highlights from the IAB report are:
- UK online ad spend for the first half of 2010 measured £1,968.6 million.
- Online ad spend hit another new record, earning digital a market share of 24.3%.
- Over same period, total UK ad spend (across all media) rose 6.3% to £8.1 billion.
- Advertising on social media sites account for an estimated 13% of all online display advertising.
- How much of this was social media spend? Well Social Media Influence calculate that it amounts to £43.4 million, taking 13% of display ad total (£334.6 million in H1 2010).
And Amy Kean, one of the Authors of the report believes the social media contriubtion may be understated as she comments on the IAB blog.
Tagged with: Social Media
12 October 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
Gap has announced on its Facebook Page that it is scrapping its new logo design efforts, acquiescing to a torrent of criticism coming primarily from Facebook and Twitter users.
Last week, Gap unveiled a new logo, one it called “a more contemporary, modern expression.” The retailer’s customers were not so thrilled about the change, and Gap decided to ask users for their logo design ideas instead. However, that course of action has now been reversed, as well.
“Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback,” the company said on its Facebook page. “We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowdsourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.”
According to Gap, the original logo will make its return “across all channels.”
The backlash against the Gap’s new (and now defunct) logo was intense. Beyond the thousands of tweets and Facebook status updates deriding its design, people found other creative ways to protest the new logo. A fake Twitter account has gathered thousands of followers, while Gap logo generators have quickly gone viral.
While social media wasn’t the only reason that Gap felt compelled to revert to the old logo, it definitely was a major factor. Social media mobilized and spread the word about the logo change. In this case, the company listened to its customers and avoided a consumer backlash of Tropicana proportions.
Tagged with: Social Media
Posted in: Social Media
10 September 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
Over the last five years, social media has evolved from a handful of communities that existed solely in a web browser to a multi-billion dollar industry that’s quickly expanding to mobile devices, driving major changes in content consumption habits and providing users with an identity and social graph that follows them across the web.
With that framework in place, the next five years are going to see even more dramatic change. Fueled by advancements in underlying technology – the wires, wireless networks and hardware that make social media possible – a world where everything is connected awaits us. The result will be both significant shifts in our everyday lives and a changing of the guard in several industries that are only now starting to feel the impact of social media.
The growth of social media in the past five years was fueled not just by innovation from Internet entrepreneurs and developers, but by several key advancements behind the scenes. The rise of YouTube – which I called the most important social media innovation of the past decade – would not have been possible without the wide availability of broadband and the advent of Flash 7. Similarly, the rapid rise of mobile apps in the last few years would not have been possible without major advances in smartphone capabilities (jump started by iPhone) and higher speed mobile networks.
Jumping ahead to today, consider for a moment that the first smartphone to run on 4G (the successor to 3G mobile broad and capable of significantly faster mobile broadband speeds) – the Sprint HTC EVO – hit the U.S. only this past June. Sprint’s 4G network, however, only covers about 40 million people. Similarly, wireless broadband ISP Clearwire reported in May that its network – which is also used to offer service to Sprint, Verizon, and Time Warner cable subscribers – only reaches 41 million people. At the same time, mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to surpass 1 billion worldwide by 2013.
Add to that a surge in public and private investment in wireline broadband that will give 90% of homes in the U.S. the option to have 50 mbps downstream broadband within the next few years, and the bottom line becomes clear: There’s currently an enormous supply and demand gap to be filled, and when that happens, it will enable a whole new wave of social media innovation.
The Strong Get Stronger
While the relatively short history of social media dictates that a new site emerges as the “home of you and your friends” every few years (Friendster, then MySpace, then Facebook, for example), it seems unlikely we’ll see the current pantheon of social media services – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube – fall from prominence in the next five years.
Facebook has a far larger user base and more diverse demographics than any social network before it, and is becoming a de facto login service around the web. YouTube continues to maintain an enormous lead in online video viewership and through aggressive deal-making, looks likely to fend off competition from upstarts with deeper pro-content libraries. Twitter has also become a formidable force with a 300,000+ app ecosystem and a distribution platform for virtually every media company large and small.
Most new outfits we see today — whether working to make television more interactive, make reading more social, or make listening to music a shared experience – are thinking about how to leverage the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as opposed to how to build the next mega social network.
The Next Frontiers for Social Media
Given the dynamics of a faster, ubiquitous Internet, a social media landscape defined by apps built on top of a few key services, and billions of connected devices, the next five years will see shifts in certain areas of media – like television and radio – that will be as dramatic as those seen in print over the past decade.
The Internet has already enabled anyone to be a publisher. But now, with Internet-connected television, anyone is going to be able to gain access to the living room. Blip.tv, a company that bet on this trend early, recently reported that its shows – which air solely online and on connected devices – are being viewed nearly 100 million times per month — or, put another way, 10% as much as what’s viewed on ABC, NBC, and FOX combined.
And while this trend was previously relegated to early adopters and startup set-top box makers like Boxee and Roku, recent months have seen the likes of Google jump on board with Google TV and Apple revamp its Apple TV offering. At the same time, so-called “second screen” providers are building a social experience – leveraging Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube – on mobiles and tablets around video content. The result of this trend is going to be the type of broad consumer choice in the realm of video and television that we currently know on the web with printed news.
Radio is likely to see a similar shift. Late last year, we saw the LTE Connected Car concept unveiled – an idea that will become increasingly close to reality with expanded 4G coverage. Already, we’ve seen Ford make a play in this arena, letting you stream music from Pandora over your car stereo. While the transformation in radio might not come as soon as that in TV, it’s equally inevitable, and there are hundreds of content providers – from Pandora to Last.fm to BlogTalkRadio – ready to unseat the status quo.
Beyond Social Media
The connected devices theme extends beyond the media though — everything from scales that track your weight and body fat to alarm clocks that sync with your calendar — is quickly becoming the reality. We’re also starting to see behavioral shifts take place as a result of this trend, as evident with the growing acceptance of location sharing apps and even apps that share your credit card purchases.
Invariably, there will be products, people, and trends that further dictate where the next five years of social media take us. But the overarching themes of connectivity, portable identity, and the continued democratization of media will drive much of it, making the social media landscape we inhabit five years from now a much expanded but in fact markedly similar one to that we know today.
Tagged with: Social Media
Posted in: Social Media
25 August 2010 | Written by: Jon Coulter | No Comments
Ad agency Wieden + Kennedy’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” TV spot for Old Spice has won the Emmy for Outstanding Commercial.
The Old Spice Guy solicited questions from fans on Twitter, Yahoo Answers and other websites, then answered them in short, humorous YouTube videos. Total upload views for the Old Spice YouTube videos (including both the TV and the social media campaigns) currently stand at almost 135 million. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” has more than 18 million.
Mustafa joked in one of the final videos that he was a struggling actor, but the ads seem to have stripped away the “struggling” bit. He’s been signed to two movie roles, and will also appear in the NBC TV series Chuck.
Though Mustafa’s performance was a hit, the Emmy actually went to the creative minds behind the ad campaign, Wieden + Kennedy’s Portland office. The team won an Emmy last year for the Coca-Cola Super Bowl spot “Heist.”