Here are all of the posts tagged ‘blogs’.
Are you a spontaneous type who thrives on adventure and new experiences? A self-confessed social media addict who loves taking and sharing photos too? Well, you’d better listen up!
Volvic are on the hunt to find top-class, naturally bursting with life Content Creators to form part of Team Volcanicity 2013.
As you may have read in Marketing, we’ve recently launched a facebook app for Volvic UK which allows fans to apply to become part of the 2013 team who’ll be responsible for bringing ‘moments of Volcanicity’ to the masses, by capturing photos and sharing the scoop from festivals, gigs and trips up and down the country live on the Volvic UK facebook wall.
Those lucky enough to be selected will be supplied with a state-of-the-art camera plus funding towards adventures, or, exclusive access to some of the hottest gigs and events of the year.
To enter, fans simply have to upload a photo which expresses their Volcanicity along with a short description of what their idea of the best 2013 ever would be.
Entries are being accepted up until midnight on Friday 8th February (so if this is your thing, there’s still time to enter!).
In order to drive as much reach and engagement of the campaign as possible, Volvic are asking facebook fans to vote on their favourite competition entries. Those who vote will be entered into a weekly prize draw to win a Red Letter Day voucher so that they can choose an awesome Volcanicity experience of their choice.
Voting closes at midnight on Thursday 14th February and the top 5 entrants with the highest number of votes will be fast tracked to the next stage in the selection process, by-passing the judges. The remaining finalists will be selected based on the amount of Volcanicity expressed in their entry photo, in addition to whether the description of what their idea of the best 2013 is catches the panel’s attention.
One of the challenges which was put to us before launching this campaign was to make sure we help Volvic’s facebook fans to understand what ‘Volcanicity’ actually is…and because we love a challenge, we gladly accepted it. The output? Well, from the beginning of this year, not only did we ensure the facebook content was actively engaging fans with light-hearted ‘Volcanicity’ related games and updates, but we also reached out and secured 3 influential bloggers, who already demonstrate Volcanicity on their blogs, to introduce to the Facebook community as Team Volcanicity’s Founding Members.
We’ve already started sending our Team Volcanicity Founding Members on trips and adventures to capture content to share on the Volvic UK facebook page. We’ve been posting their content daily to firstly build buzz around the types of activities and events fans could take part in if they’re selected as part of the final team and, secondly, to demonstrate the sort of content we’re looking for from our entrants.
The quality of the entries so far have been really promising – there are definitely people out there who are already capturing moments of Volcanicity as part of their every day life, and it’s these people who are likely to be winning their ticket to the next round in the selection process.
What’s really exciting about all of this, is that finding the team is just the beginning for Volvic. The big idea behind the campaign is to be one of the first brands to put the Facebook content in the hands of the fans.
As we know, Facebook is pushing brands to deliver content that’s as relevant as the status updates we see from our friends. Ultimately, Team Volcanicity will become the page’s Community Managers, so that the content which is posted is much more likely to resonate with their peers and drive engagement.
The launch of the Team Volcanicity campaign has been a great kick-start to the year for Volvic – be sure to check out the Volvic UK page over the next few weeks to see who makes it into the final Team and follow their adventures as they bring Volcanicity to the masses.
Americans of all ages turn to the Internet to get their news
A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that the Internet is the main source of news for 41% of American adults, surpassing newspapers and getting closer and closer to the power of television as a news source. This data confirms a trend that has been visible for at least ten years – that more and more adults turn to the Internet for both national and international news.
But what’s particularly interesting – and new – is that the research shows that in 2010, the 18-29 demographic used the internet as its main source for catching up on the news, ahead of TV:
Corporate Blogs are still relevant
A survey covered by eMarketer shows that nearly a quarter of Fortune 1,000 companies have a corporate blog. The survey examined the reasons these companies maintain blogs:
MySpace to limit their international operations
Things aren’t exactly rosy for MySpace at present. The company, which was acquired by News Corporation in 2005 for US$580 million, is set to limit its international operations by announcing a major restructure, according to The Telegraph.
After layoffs that took place a few months ago, MySpace’s international presence extends simply to offices in London, Berlin and Sydney with roughly 150 employees combined. But with this evening’s news that much of the London office will close – leaving just a ‘skeleton’ staff – it’s clear that they’re not really backing the relaunch of the site; indeed, what’s far from clear is what the future of MySpace actually holds.
LinkedIn to go public in 2011?
According to Reuters, the social networking site LinkedIn plans to go public in 2011, although a spokesman for the company said “an IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider” in the future.
However, news from Silicon Alley Insider doesn’t bode well – they claim that LinkedIn’s ads are not working at all well for marketers, with examples of ads with an average cost per click of $14.89 and very small conversion rates.
Facebook’s revenue figures and 750 million photos over NY weekend
This has been one of the stories of the week. Is Facebook valued too high or even too low? There are opinions across the spectrum, but what is clear is that its business is generating huge revenues. According to documents distributed by Goldman Sachs, Facebook generated $1.2 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2010 and is expected to keep growing in the next fiscal year.
Talking of years, this one started well for Mark Zuckerberg and co, with almost 750 million photos being uploaded to the site over the New Year’s weekend.
Twitter starts 2011 with a new record
That’s right. Even though we are only 10 days into 2011, Twitter has already started making headlines and breaking records that seemed unbreakable. As published on the Twitter Blog a few days ago, minutes after midnight in Japan on January 1st the company set a new record with 6,939 Tweets sent per second.
This is partly because of the huge growth in mobile for the company – Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed at CES that 40% of all tweets come from mobile devices, up from 20-25% a year ago.
To see how Twitter was affected by the New Year, just look at Twitter’s visualisation of how it was slowly brought in around the world.
Why is Quora growing so fast?
Quora, the Q&A service created by Facebook’s former CTO, was founded in June 2009. But it wasn’t until recently that it started gaining traction in the online world and making the rounds of Twitter and several very important blogs. So, why did it take the site more than a year to become “popular” as it doubled its normal activity in the month of December?
Sysomos tried to address this by pointing out the associated spike in social media mentions (especially on Twitter), but also confirming the importance of TechCrunch in the site’s growth.
In spite of the huge number of new registrations, at We Are Social the jury is still out on Quora – with some finding it useless, a point epitomised by this satirical site.
Citibank goes to Twitter
Banks, over the years, have been reluctant to get involved in social media. But at least Citibank has decided to give it a try and start responding to those not happy with their service on Twitter. The man behind the account? None other than Frank Eliason, the who ran the famous @Comcastcares account.
‘Foursquare’ your meal and win a dinner for two
Remember the new photo support that was added to Foursquare in recent weeks? Well, Olive Valley, a restaurant in Brooklyn, has seen an opportunity and has started the first foursquare-based photo contest. Customers are encouraged to take photos of their meals and share them via Foursquare’s check-in system. The best ones that are submitted will win a dinner for two.
Ryan Babel charged for Twitter post
In what is to our knowledge a first, Ryan Babel has been charged by the FA for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb in a Man United shirt on Twitter, following Liverpool’s defeat to Man United in the FA Cup 3rd round. This was in spite of later removing the post from Twitter. But it’s hard to sympathise with Babel when it was his dive which meant Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League in 2008. What’s the Dutch for ‘what goes around, comes around’?
Where did all the spam go?
According to the BBC, spam e-mail levels have been falling dramatically since August, and especially since December.
There is no certain explanation for this unusual situation, but experts agree that this does not mean spam is over – spammers might well simply be targeting new services, such as Twitter and Facebook…
Cristina Aced, a freelance journalist and consultant from Barcelona who wanted to know how a social media agency works in London, has spent three weeks with us here at We Are Social. She shares her point of view on the questions brands should ask themselves when embracing social media.
Should a company have a blog? Well, I’d reply: “It depends”. I usually say that it’s not a must to have a corporate blog (or a corporate Facebook profile, i.e.). It makes no sense that a firm has all these 2.0 tools if they are only a tactic. Of course, I think it’s important to monitor social media, in the same way firms follow what happens in mass media, but I defend they don’t have to create a blog just for the sake of it (as we explained in this study published in 2007). Web 2.0 is more than a fad; it should be part of an overall business strategy. The key questions firm should answer are: why do we want a blog?, what are our aims?, how can we integrate it with our strategy?
Yesterday, I was listening to a Spanish radio programme called “L’estiu en un blog” (Summer in a blog, COMRàdio), and they were talking about corporate blogs and how companies use them. They spoke about social media agencies and they quoted We Are Social as an example of best practice. It’s cool to hear the local radio in your hometown speaking about the international agency where you are spending a few weeks (The podcast is available here, but only in Catalan).
Some colleagues ask me if the way of working in social media here in London is different to Spain. I think processes are very similar: the research, the same tools for social media monitoring etc. However, the critical point is strategy. Here, in London, both agency and clients rely on (and believe in) strategy. In Spain, there are professionals able to formulate a social media strategy, but clients still don’t understand the meaning of this. Most of them consider Web 2.0 as just as another tool. That’s the problem. I think I’ll miss the willingness to learn and to understand the new reality that clients have here in the UK. I like the way We Are Social works: brainstorms, working as a team, but most of all, their strategic approach.
I love this 2.0 philosophy, this conversational way of doing things. We Are Social really is a conversation agency, just as they define themselves. It’s my last day here, but the conversation will go on, as the internet breaks boundaries of time and space. Welcome to the age of conversation…
Advertising Age, the 79 year-old journal of record for the US advertising industry, is perhaps not the institution you’d expect to be running the undisputed chart of the world’s top advertising and marketing blogs.
Called the Ad Age Power 150, it actually consists of over 1000 blogs, with a robust methodology and rather strict entry criteria. One of the criteria is that your blog has been running for over six months, so although its seems longer since we first posted here, we only became eligible last month – but we’re pleased to say that when we did, we went straight into the top 150.
The observant among you will have spotted the orange crest that appeared a few weeks ago underneath our Flickr stream over there on the right, where you can see our position in the charts updated daily.
We’re also very proud that we’ve also entered the list of the UK’s top marketing blogs, which is based on Ad Age’s data, at no. 11.
In both instances, we’re delighted to be in such great company…
Update: We’ve also entered the Ad Age Power 150 European top 100 blog ranking in 19th place, and the Plannersphere Top 20 in 5th place.
Twitter has been the fastest growing major website in the UK over the last 12 months, and certainly the most talked about. The noticeable thing about Twitter’s growth is that the vast majority of it – 93% in fact – has occurred during 2009. If anything, the service is even more popular than our numbers imply, as we are only measuring traffic to the main Twitter website. If people accessing their Twitter accounts via mobile phones and third party applications were included, the numbers could be even higher.
He goes on to look in detail at where traffic from Twitter goes, pointing out that 55.9% is sent to content-driven online media sites, such as social networks, blogs, and news and entertainment websites – a very different profile to Google for example.
On the same day, the Guardian’s Charles Arthur penned this:
Blogging is dying. Actually, no, let me qualify that. The long tail of blogging is dying. I say this with confidence [...] Where is everybody? Anecdotally and experimentally, they’ve all gone to Facebook, and especially Twitter.
He backs this up with evidence of his own – which I have to say matches my intuition into what is happening:
More and more of the feeds I follow [haven't been updated for 2 months]. Why? Because blogging isn’t easy. More precisely, other things are easier – and it’s to easier things that people are turning. Facebook’s success is built on the ease of doing everything in one place. (Search tools can’t index it to see who’s talking about what, which may be a benefit or a failing.) Twitter offers instant content and reaction. Writing a blog post is a lot harder than posting a status update, putting a funny link on someone’s Wall, or tweeting. People are still reading blogs, and other content. But for the creation of amateur content, their heyday for the wider population has, I think, already passed. The short head of blogging thrives. Its long tail, though, has lapsed into desuetude.
So what does this mean for brands? Well, as Charles points out, people are still reading blogs and we would have always have recommended talking to those in the short head (which is still pretty massive compared to the relative scarcity of conventional media) – i.e. those having engaging conversations with the large communities following them. It’s also essential to remember that unlike the transient nature of Twitter and the great walled garden of Facebook, blog posts are effectively conversations that are eternally visible through Google, meaning they have more inherent value to brands.
The fact to note here is that some of the creators (in Forrester’s terms) have moved from blogging to creation in other forms of social media, and this should not be ignored. Your social media strategy should never rest on blogs alone (just as it shouldn’t on any other part of social media) – you should be experimenting with Twitter, Facebook and other channels – and your strategy should be driven by your business objectives, where your target audience spends their time and where you can be most effective.
The key to having a successful Twitter presence is to engage the community. Twitter is a great viral marketing channel, and for many users the aim is to have their story ‘retweeted’ – i.e. passed on by other users – as many times as possible. Although all of the newspapers have multiple ‘official’ feeds, these tend to be bland and have very low ‘retweet’ rates. Where journalists themselves are ‘tweeting’ themselves and engaging with the Twitter community, they typically have more success in creating viral stories.
Although we’d probably put it differently, we agree. Success with Twitter, like the rest of social media, is not about mechanistically shouting at strangers, it’s about being human – making friends and having conversations with them.
Last night I was a guest at the Editorial Intelligence seminar entitled “commentariat v. bloggertariat” – a discussion of how newspaper opinion columnists and bloggers coexist and work together.
The versus in the title immediately set the tone for contrast and confrontation; Iain Dale came out fighting for the blogosphere, with a provocative opening: “the fact that the Twitter hashtag for this event is #eiblogger and not #eicomment rather indicates the organisers believe bloggers are winning.” As well as that, he scolded The Times over the recent outing of anonymous blogger Nightjack. Batting equally fiercely for the other side, David Aaronovitch was disdainful of bloggers, boasting that no blogger could ever get an interview with Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, who he was interviewing the following day, while the Spectator’s Martin Bright said he couldn’t think of a single classic blog post he had ever read.
While it provided entertainment, the confrontational tone and setup didn’t really help bring us to any constructive conclusions. Newspapers are in trouble, it was repeatedly stated, yet bloggers are way down the list of reasons why that is so – the very fundamentals of news distribution and advertising sales have been overturned and will not return to their old state again. When the discussion moved away from the artificial distinction it proved to be a bit more nuanced and interesting – Iain Dale gave the perfect example of a blogger who has crossed over into the mainstream media – himself – while Mick Fealty revealed about how stories from his blog, Slugger O’Toole, would shape the coverage in the Belfast newspapers the following day.
Those in the mainstream media camp gave a less open-minded and concessionary view; all too often blogs and bloggers were conflated with the opinions left in comments on online news articles, or even worse, the ‘green ink brigade’ formerly managed by letters page editors (thus protecting journalists from their audience). Astonishingly, Anne Spackman of the Times suggested that the law on defamation and hate speech was a good enough set of rules for commenting on articles. The law is a bare minimum – what is agreed by the majority of society to be totally unacceptable. To better manage your communities you need a lot more than that; after all, you are only as good as the people who comment on your site – and I find many online newspaper’s reader comment sections to be poor, full of incoherence, poor spelling and grammar and some comments filled with outright spite. No wonder some journalists are utterly averse to engaging more with their audience.
There is more to social media than just allowing reader comments on your articles – indeed, there is more to the online community around your site than people leaving comments. Newspapers and their readers are capable of much more given the right tools and the right community management – such as the Liverpool Post’s crowdsourcing of its front page or the new Help Me Investigate initiative from 4iP. Mark Thompson, who was in the audience last night, and his recent analysis of safe seats and MP’s expenses, is a great recent example of blogs contributing new content and analysis whilst inspired by mainstream media.
With some notable exceptions like the above, there is too much of a culture of antagonism, on both sides in this debate, but especially from some of the mainstream media stalwarts who attended last night. Letting your lawyers, rather than your community managers, be the arbiters of what is considered acceptable behaviour and participation, is just one symptom of this culture; dismissing blogging out of hand or demanding anonymous but lawful bloggers be unmasked. The good thing is that newspapers are, relatively speaking, miles ahead of where they were 5 years ago, and some of the more social media-savvy in this space do get it; I’d love to see some of the more constructive dialogue these forward thinkers could have with the same bloggers who were there last night.
The latest Nielsen report’s “Global Faces and Networked Places” highlights social media as the global consumer phenomenon of 2008: two-thirds of the world’s internet population now visit a social network or a blogging site and social media accounts for 10% of the overall internet time. So much so that social media has now overtaken personal emails as the 4th more popular activity online.
In December 2008, out of every 11 minutes spent online globally, 1 minute was spent within social media (1 minute out of 6 in the UK!). And we’re not just talking about students sharing photos of their parties on Facebook. As social media is becoming more mainstream, the average age of users is also shifting: one third of the Facebook audience is now within the 35-49 years old bracket and one-fourth is over 40. It’s also nice to hear that although Germany arrived quite late to the social media party, they’re now catching up with their European counterparts – good timing for our German website!
As the time spent interacting in social media is growing, the share of time held by other sectors is diminishing and so is the effectiveness of traditional online advertising.
The report rightfully points out that:
Advertising must be a conversation rather than a push-model. The point that social networks members are co-creators of content [...] means advertising should be about participating in a relevant conversation with consumers rather than simply pushing ads on them. After all it is social media. Advertising shouldn’t be about interrupting or invading the social network, it should be part of this conversation.