Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Compare the Meerkat’.
Monitoring Social Media 09 is taking place in London this coming Tuesday. The organiser, Luke Brynley-Jones, talks about the inspiration for the event and what it aims to achieve.
In the dying days of the summer, Asi Sharabi wrote a late night rant about the state of social media monitoring. He directed his anger squarely at the many social media monitoring services that have emerged in recent years, highlighting dodgy results, issues with data, limitations in sentiment detection and often somewhat overblown claims of what can be achieved.
As it turns out, Asi wasn’t alone in his frustration. His post struck a chord with people that resonated across the blogosphere. The debate began and is now up to 50 comments on his original post. Suppliers, agencies, brands, bloggers and data-heads: everyone seems to have chimed in with their views, gripes and come-backs. It was this frenzied discussion that led me to believe there was room for a conference that focuses squarely on social media monitoring, it’s goals, it’s potential, how it works, whether it works, it’s impact on organisations, it’s costs and how to gauge ROI.
Tuesday’s MSM09 will not be a typical social media conference. We won’t have a spew of incumbent-funded sales pitches. We aren’t beholden to any particular viewpoint. In our lead Panel discussion “What’s Wrong with Social Media Monitoring Services?”, Asi will be joined by Amelia Torode (of Compare the Meerkat renown) to debate the issues with the CEO’s of two leading monitoring services, Mark Rogers (Market Sentinel) and Nick Koudas (Sysomos). Equally we won’t have any long, self-obsessed presentations. Our speakers get just 20 mins to make clear points and recommendations before the mic is wrestled off them.
While our focus is on monitoring and measurement, we also plan to cover important related topics, such as: the truth about data (sources, quality and accuracy); monitoring for reputation management; and “beyond brand”, i.e. how to implement monitoring as a key business process. One of the things I heard repeatedly during my consultation process was the need for experience-sharing and case studies, so we will also have a number of “live” case studies on the day and be providing attendees with a pack of case studies to read through (or watch) afterwards.
One of our “live” case studies will be provided by We Are Social’s very own Robin Grant. He will be spilling the beans about their work with Skype – explaining how they helped Skype to set-up and run their own real-time social media listening and responding programme, which tools and methodologies they used and how this helped the world’s leading VoIP provider contain a major crisis. Other “live” case studies include, Chris Thomas from The Conversation Group – who will present a social media-driven competitive analysis of the launch of the first Google Android phone – and Celia Pronto, Marketing Director of STA Travel, who will demonstrate how her team embraced social media monitoring and reaped the benefits.
Lastly, we will have a bunch of tools for attendees to try out. Visible Technologies, Brandwatch and White Vector (to name a few) will be showing off their wares in the break-out room. Hopefully, at the very least, we’ll save a few people the tiresome process of beauty pageants by getting these guys in one room. Hope you can make it!
Luke has kindly offered We Are Social readers a 10% discount on the MSM09 £195 ticket price, by entering the discount code MSM0910 when buying a ticket direct from the MSM09 site.
Social Media is a conversation. That seems to be one thing that we all agree on
You can read all 10 in full here (which I highly recommend doing):
- Mark Earls – People not consumers
- Le’Nise Brothers – Social agenda not business agenda
- John Willshire – Continuous conversation not campaigning
- Faris Yakob – Long term impacts not quick fixes
- Katy Lindemann – Marketing with people not to people
- Neil Perkin – Being authentic not persuasive
- Jamie Coomber – Perpetual beta
- Amelia Torode – Technology changes, people don’t
- Graeme Wood – Change will never be this slow again
- Asi Sharabi – Measure and evaluate
As the IPA’s President, Rory Sutherland says:
At a time when the population of Facebook is now greater than all but three countries in the world, and when BT is delivering customer service via twitter, this is an area which forces us to question many of our ingrained assumptions about advertising, brands and intangible value.
and from Mark Earls’ scene setting essay:
For all the excitement today around the Twitters and Facebooks, the tougher problems for the advertising industry to get to grips with are all rooted in the way social media – the stuff that connects humans with other humans – changes the game for our clients and society at large.
IPA Social is an admirable initiative, one which we’ll continue to participate in, and their 10 principles are an excellent overview of how brands need to come to terms with social media, representing the thinking of some the greatest minds in modern advertising (all of whom are good friends of ours). The launch event was also a great evening, focused on starting conversations rather than presenting a revealed truth.
However, it still was very focused on traditional ‘advertising’, with a large proportion of time spent hearing about VCCP’s Compare the Meerkat campaign. We split out into groups towards the end of the event and in the group I led, we discussed whether campaigns like Compare the Meerkat are really social media campaigns. Although the campaign has rich presences in social media, we’re weren’t sure that was a factor in it’s success. We felt it was the strength of the creative idea and the media spend at work here – and the fact that Oasis’ Rubberduckzilla has substantially more fans than Aleksandr the Meerkat on Facebook, despite no attempts to engage with social media helps re-enforce this point. It was felt that real social media campaigns are ones where the conversation itself drives the success of the campaign (like our This is Now campaign for Ford).
I also couldn’t miss joining in the discussion about which types of agency were best suited for social media. The point I made was as follows. Over the last ten years digital agencies stole a march on above the line agencies by building bigger, better and more motivated specialist teams. This let them innovate faster and develop a critical mass of best practise that accelerated the skills gap between them and their above-the-line competitors. Specialist social media agencies will do the same to digital and other agencies. To use We Are Social as an example, who else has a team of twenty experienced practitioners, entirely focused on innovative, creative and effective social media marketing and communications? Each day and each new hire widens the gap between us and those in pursuit.
Overall, I left feeling comforted that the specialist agencies’ lead in social media was safe for some time to come…
Three years into its existence, the recent media frenzy around celebrity Twitterers, including Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross, and Barack Obama’s successful use of the medium in the run-up to the US election, has seen the popularity of the “microblogging” site increase 27-fold in 12 months.
Advertisers could learn a lot from celebrity Twitterers using the site to shape their personal branding, creating a close, one-on-one relationship with their fans without constantly filtering their thoughts through a PR sieve.
Robin Grant, the managing director of the social media agency We Are Social, which advises Fry on his use of Twitter, explains: “The advice we gave to Stephen centred on being himself and having genuine conversations with people. It’s the same for brands. It’s about being human, showing your real personality and allowing people to connect with you on an emotional level.”
The article then gets quite bizarre, with Flo Heiss, the creative partner at Dare giving this advice about who should sit behind a brand’s account:
It could be a real person, such as a receptionist, or character made up by yourself
How about an imaginary friend who’s a receptionist, Flo? On to David Bain, an ‘internet marketing consultant’:
it’s cleverer when you don’t anthropomorphise it. What if an inanimate object was to Tweet, for example?
Why is it cleverer David? And what would it say? Amelia Torode, managing partner at VCCP:
It has to be a friendly, chatty brand. A brand such as Coca-Cola would be too large in its entirety. You need to work less at a higher-brand level and go down to the actual campaigns or smaller brands under the umbrella in order to start up the conversation.
Not quite as unhinged as Flo and David admittedly, but I’d point to the examples of brands like Burger King, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, Starbucks, JetBlue and even VCCP’s client O2, who are having meaningful and useful conversations at the higher-brand level. As usual, our friend Faris Yakob talks sense:
Previously we had a model of buying attention from media companies. Now we’ve got direct relationships so we have to earn that attention – we have to earn it by being entertaining, useful and also nice.
To be honest, there is no ‘right approach’, but there are some general principles that apply (as expressed by myself and Faris above) and then there is the hard won experience at the coalface, learning what works and what doesn’t, that brands doing it themselves (and the agencies like ourselves helping them) have acquired. Most importantly your approach should be built around, yes, you guessed it again, the business objectives you’re trying to achieve.
This diagram from Fallon’s Aki Spicer of six different potential participation strategies brands could use is a useful thought starter (each of which of course might be used in combination or not at all), but even the approaches I deliberately ridiculed above could be valid in the right circumstances. Fictional characters can work really well as part of a campaign as VCCP’s own Compare the Meerkat work shows, and I’m sure at least one of Zappos’ receptionists is on Twitter. Even inanimate objects might have their place – in fact I’ve been trying to persuade Kew Gardens to get their plant life on Twitter for a while now.
But deciding on a strategy is only the first and easiest step. The hard work is the day after day of micro-interactions with real people, and striking the right balance between the opportunities and risks presented by having a real person as the voice of the brand, which I touched upon in the hotly debated post on learning to speak human. David Armano brilliantly investigates this dynamic in The Age of Brandividualism and his recent follow-up, Battle of the Brands (both of which are required reading here at We Are Social towers):
For each brand on Twitter, there’s an individual (or individuals) behind that effort. It’s both business and personal. The two have become one. The tactic comes from a fundamental truth when it comes to the social spaces on the Web. People want to talk to other people. They want transparency. They want to know who they are talking to.
The potential reward of course, is the ability to spread surprise and delight, turn negative word of mouth into positive and to really engage people with your brand at an emotional level. There is no greater prize…