Here are all of the posts tagged ‘social media marketing’.

Social media in a Fluid State

by Nathan McDonald in News Google+

fluid state logo

We’re excited to be working with an innovative new food and drink festival called Towards a Fluid State. What is it exactly? Good question. As described by Urban Junkies:

Imagine a futuristic farmers’ market getting hit by a science lab and a truck full of the sexiest booze and food on Earth.

It’s presented by The Tasting Sessions, who’ve been creating unique and immersive experiences that are unconventionally radical compared to a traditional ‘tasting’. It’s an approach that generates plenty of conversation: not only about the events, but also the products that they showcase.

We’re big fans of the concept, especially as many of the principles apply to our work at We Are Social. Getting a group of interesting, influential people to learn about something firsthand in a memorable and immersive environment is a great way to get people enthusiastically talking.

A few weeks ago, a press and blogger briefing previewed some of the food and drink to be featured at the festival, with their trademark “slightly surreal, informative and lots of fun” attitude.

geisha

Photo by Jacqueline Chang (@jacquelinechang)

Some of the more ‘guerilla art’ marketing activity has been amplified into social media via Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr, whilst the festival blog serves as a hub for the online activity, and a platform to present the various fooddrink (including whisky, gincognac, sake, beer and wine), art and performance that are part of the multi-sensory and interactive journey into the Fluid State.

If you head to Dalston for the event (and we recommend that you do!) you’ll be better off getting your ticket online beforehand. As the Londonist puts it, this “upstart extravaganza” is “an especially tasty opportunity to have some fun”.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #4

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Social networks are making people more likely to complain online
LexisNexis last week announced the results of a survey that should make brand managers / online marketers / customer service departments take notice:

  • Just over half polled said that if they are unhappy with something they have bought or used they will complain about it online
  • 60% of people have chosen not to buy or use a product or service after reading negative comments about them online
  • 67% of complainants made online were ignored, leaving customers to act as detractors online

The lesson is that companies who fail to monitor their brand online are missing an important opportunity to turn unhappy customers around, or gain new ones if negative comments aren’t addressed.

PR community split over paying bloggers in PRWeek poll
A straw poll run on PR Week about whether it is acceptable to pay bloggers for favourable coverage divided the PR community last week. 57 per cent agreed that it was unethical to pay blogger, but “a significant minority (43 per cent) believed that it was acceptable for bloggers to accept such payments”. A surprising finding indeed, and Robin was quoted in the article responding:

The results of the PRWeek poll only show the naivety towards social media in the PR industry; they haven’t got their heads round it and aren’t set up for it.

ITV.com on social media and engagement
This interview with ITV’s social media manager Ben Ayers makes for an interesting read, as he discusses key platforms used by ITV to get closer to fans (notably Facebook and Twitter) and his views on future growth areas for social media in general. Listening to the opinions of fans and feeding this back into production is a core element of ITV’s online activity, as is working with a wide variety of stakeholders (web editors, operations teams, show producers) in order to maintain their social media presences.

The Battle of Big Thinking
Last week was Campaign and APG’s Battle of Big Thinking at the British Library, an annual event where leading strategists compete for the coveted ‘biggest thinker’ prize. We Are Social’s very own Sandrine Plasseraud was up against Jeremy Ettinghausen, digital publisher at Penguin and VCCP’s Amelia Torrode. In case you missed it, Gordon Macmillan, Haymarket’s social media & international editor, captured it all in his ‘live blog’ of the day.

Study: Inc. 500 CEOs Aggressively Use Social Media for Business
The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth conducted a study for the third year in a row, about the usage of social media among Inc. 500 companies. Respondents were asked about their usage and familiarity with six types of social media tools (blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards, and wikis) and according to the study, social media usage has definitely grown in the last year:

  • 91% of companies (compared to 77% in 2008) reported that they use at least one social media tool

Some other interesting finds:

  • 44 percent of companies without a company blog say they plan to start one
  • 34 percent of companies reported that they were using social media to communicate with vendors and suppliers

The key takeaway is that smaller organizations are innovating with social media marketing strategies, as there is more room to “for innovation because it requires less processes to adopt”.

LinkedIn hits 3 million members in the UK
Professional social networking site LinkedIn reached an important milestone last week, when it announced they’ve racked up 3 million members in the UK on the company’s blog.

We’ve watched the British professional community take to the site with the sort of industrious enthusiasm that typifies the way business is done in this country.

On that note, perhaps this is a good time to mention our LinkedIn group?

Twitter Declared Most Popular English Word of 2009
And last but not least, the Global Language Monitor, which tracks language trends, declared Twitter this year’s Most Popular Word in English… Enough said.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #3

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

It’s time for We Are Social’s Monday Mashup, our pick of some of the web’s finest research, news and case studies.

CMOs: Consumers Are Connected. You Need To Be, Too
The prolific Jeremiah Owyang penned this article for Forbes magazine, as a guide for CMOs who are currently putting the finishing touches on their 2010 marketing strategies. Though most CMOs now recognise the need to put more resources behind social media, many more need some suggestions about how they might develop a solid strategy.  As such, Jeremiah assembled his thoughts under the following headings:

  • Social marketing affects all digital marketing channels
  • Customers don’t care what department you’re in
  • Technology is cheap, yet soft costs are high
  • Develop a pragmatic approach
  • Social marketing affects the whole organisation

Read on for more detail.

Losing To The Social Web: Visualized
If you like visuals, then read on. This post from Unmissable blog looks at the decline of the ‘destination web’ (a topic we’ve covered here in the past) and suggests that the sun is setting on branded websites and microsites as social media swallows up a greater proportion of traffic on the web.

Unmissable has assembled graphs for some of the biggest brands on the web – Dell, Adidas, BMW, Quicksilver, Sony – and what you’ll immediately notice is “ websites and portals have been loosing unique visitors hand over fist for the last 3 years.”

This stands in sharp contrast to the graphs assembled for social networks, which show traffic rising ever higher over the same period.

Off-site content distribution like RSS, and the fact that social networks have become far more relevant to consumers are cited as the main reasons branded websites are suffering. The lesson here is that agencies and brands need to work out how better connect with customers online, and deliver relevant content and experiences where they are spending a growing proportion of their time online: in social media.

Measuring Engagement of the Social Web: ‘07-’09
An interesting post from the Postrank blog, which looked at various measures of ‘engagement’ since 2007 and identified a few trends worth paying attention to for content publishers. In sum:

  • In absolute terms, more people are participating in the social web
  • Conversations and discussions about the content are increasingly happening off the publisher’s property, fuelled by the growth of the “share and like this phenomenon which is sweeping through Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other social hubs”
  • The widespread adoption of more pervasive communication tools like Facebook and Twitter is actually increasing the lifespan of a typical story, with engagement taking place over a longer period of time as the story gets passed around more widely

Twitter to launch paid-for corporate accounts this year
It been rumoured for some time and is perhaps one of the few ways in which Twitter could derive revenue, but at last Twitter has confirmed they are planning to launch ‘paid-for commercial accounts’, according to founder Biz Stone. Don’t panic though. What this actually means for brands and agencies who help them online is that Twitter will remain free for corporate and personal users, but would now offer companies additional paid-for services to help manage and analyse conversations online.

Bloggers strike back at Buscombe
Last week it was reported that Peta Buscombe, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, had ambitions to regulate bloggers. As one might imagine, it was not well received. Sunny Hundal, one-time winner of The Guardian’s blogger of the year award, has set out in detail why such regulation would be wholly incompatible with blogging practice. Read the letter in full.

Social networking sites criticised for failing to protect children

The head of a government body responsible for keeping children safe has criticised social networking sites for not doing enough to protect youngsters.

Whereas Bebo has recently introduced a “Ceop report” button for users to log abuse, no such mechanism currently exists on Facebook or Myspace. Here’s to hoping social networking sites follow Bebo’s lead in order to make the web a safer place for young people.

Other notable stories:

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IPA Social: 10 conversation starters

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Social Media is a conversation. That seems to be one thing that we all agree on

Last week, Nathan, Sandrine, Leila, Simon, Seb and I went along to the launch of IPA Social, where Neil Perkin presented their 10 conversation starters:

You can read all 10 in full here (which I highly recommend doing):

  1. Mark EarlsPeople not consumers
  2. Le’Nise BrothersSocial agenda not business agenda
  3. John WillshireContinuous conversation not campaigning
  4. Faris YakobLong term impacts not quick fixes
  5. Katy LindemannMarketing with people not to people
  6. Neil PerkinBeing authentic not persuasive
  7. Jamie CoomberPerpetual beta
  8. Amelia TorodeTechnology changes, people don’t
  9. Graeme WoodChange will never be this slow again
  10. Asi SharabiMeasure 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…

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The Destination and The Conversation

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Our friend Nick Burcher, Head of Products / Partnerships EMEA at Publicis’ VivaKi, drew me a diagram last time we caught up for coffee outlining his social media world view, which he’s since written up. I think it’s a valuable perspective (although there is something missing, which I’ll come to below):

The Destination and The Conversation

The Destination
Traditionally marketing efforts have focussed around ‘The Destination.’ Ad space is bought to push people to a main site / microsite and this could be anything from Paid Search to TV to Print. It’s all about ‘go here now!’ There is a direct correlation between ad spend and ‘Destination’ traffic. Generally increase in ad spend = increase in traffic and decreasing ad spend results in decreasing traffic.

This is changing though. New ‘Destinations’ are being created, it’s no longer just a main site or a microsite. Facebook Fan Pages are being used as an activity hub with paid ads driving traffic. Alternatively the Destination could be a YouTube channel or other social platform.

The social web is also providing new traffic driving opportunities eg Facebook Engagement ads, sponsored Diggs or socialmedia.com social banners but the biggest change to the internet landscape though is the emergence of ‘The Conversation.’

Web 1.0 was a one way street. Users went to a site and consumed information and advertisers served messages somewhere along the way. The publisher published, the consumer consumed, the advertiser advertised . On the social web the distinctions between these three areas have all blurred and changed marketing forever.

The Conversation
If advertisers can successfully participate in the Conversation then it becomes less about paid pushing. The Conversation is about engaging rather than broadcasting, and if done successfully it changes the equation. Instead of having to pay to recruit every visit, consumers can be co-opted as brand ambassadors who then will freely relay the advertiser message with consequent Destination traffic the result.

Activity targeting the Conversation needs this ‘kickstart’ to give it initial momentum. This is where new disciplines like blogger outreach and video seeding come in. This is where marketers need to think of taking content to the consumer, rather than expecting consumers to come to them – and make it easy to share using ‘Blog This’ buttons, Facebook Connect and more.

Nick is right to point that it’s no longer just about ad spend, that Destinations no longer need to be microsites (if they ever did), that the Conversation is about engaging rather than broadcasting, and that traffic can flow from the Destination to the Conversation. But what the model doesn’t take account of, is the fact that it’s the Conversation, not the Destination, that’s important, and that in some cases there doesn’t need to be a Destination.

The Conversation itself sometimes can fulfill your business or marketing objectives without reference to a Destination, creating demand by driving awareness, consideration and/or engagement through far-reaching word of mouth – whether that be through simply getting the product into the hands of bloggers and generating reviews, through viral seeding where the vast majority of the video views happen out there in the conversation cloud or through a myriad of other ways.

More progressively (and effectively), you still have a Destination, but it’s designed to facilitate, support and amplify the Conversation, and success is measured not in traffic to the Destination, but in the reach, sentiment and engagement with the Conversation itself.

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