Archive for the ‘social networks’ Category

The Social Stories: Issue 77

 

A Piece of Frostbox

UK startup Frostbox is offering up pieces of the company to investors with Klout scores of 60+, with the share of equity depending on their amount of social media activity. This is seen as a social experiment, which documents the growth of a single company when people with high influence have a vested interest in its success. Similar schemes previously have skirted around the equity scheme, only offering points which then translate into gifts. With this being the first of it’s kind, Frostbox’s growth will be interesting to watch.

 

3 Trends for 2013

2012 was an impressive year, so this is a good time to highlight three developments underway for 2013. First – image filter development. Seeing how powerful images are, it’s no surprise that Facebook, Twitter and Google have introduced their own version of Instagram filters. Second – social search, is predicted to be kick-started by the increased uptake of Google+. And finally – 4G. Businesses can use this new technology to push even more mobile creative content, such as video-based display, pre-roll or streaming. This will drive social media innovation and e-commerce like never before.

 

Social Driving

Fiat in Brazil wanted to launch its new Punto by creating a new feature, instead of just an advertising campaign. Introducing Fiat Social Drive – a hands-free service that allows drivers to safely connect to their social networks while driving. It works with any Bluetooth enabled mobile and lets drivers use voice commands to hear their friends’ latest updates on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. In the first month, car sales increased by 96% compared to the previous month. Is this the next step of social becoming more mobile, with activity being transferable through Bluetooth?

The Social Stories: Issue 71

Pinterest Advances

Pinterest has introduced new terms and features this week. Finally allowing business accounts, they have brought in account verification (that similar to Twitter), widgets and news alerts all to help brand awareness on the platform and ultimately drive sales. In addition, secret boards have been added to all accounts – meaning that the socially savvy can build and plan boards secretly to surprise their audience. These advancements on the platform are great steps forward and we are very excited to work with them and see the brand advancements as a result.

Internal Social Media

Companies are using Internal Social Media to communicate with employees – but does it make a difference to a company? A study by Gagen McDonald and APCO Worldwide looked into the how it impacts core business drivers. They found that it is important to employees, with 58% wanting to work somewhere with a social system, and 60% finding a company “more innovative” with one. But perhaps most importantly, 78% are more likely to purchase the company’s stock – ultimately increasing sales. So perhaps it really does make a difference. Where do you sit with the internal social media debate?

Love it or Hate it?

Marmite has conquered the first interactive Christmas lights installation on Oxford Street. Integrating experiential and social, they have invited users to post on their new Facebook page, their best “love it” or “hate it” faces – which will then be transferred to the light display within 3 minutes. If you can’t make it in time to see your face in lights, you can catch it via a live webcam and an online gallery on Facebook. What an innovative method of brand awareness and a great way to drive traffic to your new Facebook page.

The Social Stories: Issue 69

American Apparel: A Cautionary Tale

In an attempt to drum up sales during Hurricane Sandy, American Apparel sent out an email to customers on Monday night headlining “In case you’re bored during the storm, 20% off everything for the next 36 hours.” The Twittersphere lit up in disgust in response to this email accusing the brand of exploiting a natural disaster. This is a cautionary tale of how easily news can be spread across channels in the world of hyper connected consumers, and how an ill conceived piece of email marketing can be shared via Twitter – ultimately damaging the brand’s reputation.

EVRYTHNG for Smarter Products

EVRYTHNG has been launched to make products smarter. Using EVRYTHNG, marketers can consider different ways to engage with customers and turn products into channels for personalisation and real-time communications or transactions. This occurs in several ways, including digital point of sale marketing and personalised content. One of the first brands to use this is Diageo, who successfully created a whisky campaign launched in Latin America where consumers could attach a personalised film tribute to their dad on a bottle. How would you use EVRYTHNG to make your products smarter?


YouTube InVideo

YouTube has launched InVideo Programming which allows users to promote a new video across their entire library, making it easy to point users to that media through a clickable thumbnail embedded within the YouTube player. Brands can also use it to promote themselves and point viewers to the channel page where they can click through and subscribe. Google claims that InVideo ads are more effective than banner advertising and less likely to drive away visitors than pre-roll advertising, so with YouTube launching InVideo analytics soon, we can’t wait to find out of Google are right.

 

The Social Stories: Issue 68

Unlock the 007 in You

The masters of vending machine experience marketing have done it again. Offering exclusive tickets to the new Bond movie, coke and 007 gave participants 70 seconds to move platforms, whilst being bombarded with obstructions along the way (e.g. workers carrying a pane of glass, joggers and a dog walker). This has highlighted that ingenious experiential marketing can be a great hook, not only for those who “experience” it live in first person, but also for those who watch it – a great way to combine offline and online activity.

 

Find Your Spice

Nando’s new “Find Yourself” campaign is a tongue in cheek journey of self-discovery for their audience. With an interactive app, the “Peri Predictor”, users can find out just how ‘hot’ they really are and for a personal touch, you can tweet #findyourself to @official_nandos for a break down of your spice level determined by your Followers. A ‘spice map’ is being created, revealing the true spice identities of towns and cities up and down the country, challenging fans to get involved. This campaign drives increases their share of voice, and engages fans in a fun and creative way.

Smart Eating

‘YourSmartButler’ introduced the use of smartphones in your dining experience, and the trend is catching. Comodo Restaurant in New York has taken this idea social, introducing an Instagram Menu. Knowing that people love to share their meals, they encourage customers to document their Comodo visit on the social network by tagging their photos with #comodonyc, which will also serve to advertise its dishes. This is a great example of using a popular social media platform for free advertising, but how else could existing social media activity be leveraged to the advantage of your business?

The Social Stories: Issue 67

Bodyform on Top Form

After a boy comically complained on the Bodyform Facebook page that he had been “lied to” and “mis-sold the truth about menstruation” Bodyform hit back with a spoof video.  The Facebook post gained tens of thousands of likes (more than the page itself), providing a golden PR opportunity. Bodyform responded with a video apology explaining the truth about ‘that time of the month’, whilst making some other humorous ‘revelations’ about females. Opinions of this PR response have varied from ingenious to unauthentic – but whatever your opinion, you cannot deny that it has definitely got people talking about them.

Argos Toy Exchange

This Christmas Argos has launched a new initiative in partnership with children’s charity Banardos. The campaign, Argos Toy Exchange, encourages families to bring in their old and unwanted toys which the retailer will then donate to Banardos and in return give their customers a £5 off vouchers. We’ve worked with Argos to create an integrated and creative approach to support the campaign across their social channels including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, as well as influencer outreach.

 

Ralph Lauren: Pink Pony

What’s the best way to promote a new social platform and help a great cause? Ralph Lauren know. For every Note made on the brand’s new Tumblr page, they’ll donate $1 to fighting Breast Cancer. Running through October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), the donations were capped at $25,000, which has already been reached (only 12 days in!). This is a great example of how brand’s are realising just how crucial engagement can be across new and exciting social platforms. With Ralph Lauren investing so much money in a Tumblr campaign, it shows their understanding of its importance.

The Social Stories: #66

Twitter Driving Mercedes

Mercedes have produced a series of ads that are the first of its kind – the storyline purely driven by Twitter. Two ads were aired, and viewers were asked to choose what the characters should do next by voting on Twitter with the hashtag #YOUDRIVE. Each ad directed viewers to a custom made YouTube channel where they could create their own story. The percentage of voters was then displayed in the final airing. Is creating interactive ads driven by social media the new way to raise brand awareness?

 

Facebook Wants and Likes

Having caught on to the strength of imagery in social media, Facebook shopping has a new angle. It is testing a new feature called “Collections,” which allows retailers to post product photos with “Want” or “Collect” buttons, as well as links to buy from their sites. Once clicked, the item is then blogged onto that users’ timeline. Although this feature is similar to Pinterest, it also includes native Facebook features such as ‘like, share, and comment’. Could this be paving the way for the next generation of online shopping?

 

Anti-Spam Advertising

Current anti-spam tests often get users to type the word from a distorted image. But the new trend from Sweden sees the Civil Rights Captcha using anti-spam devices asking them questions about global human rights issues. They are asked to select from a choice of three emotions – making the user think about the impact of human rights. This is a great example of how creative thinking can turn the mundane into something altogether more meaningful.

 

The Social Stories #65

Social Service

A study by Gartner found 55% of consumers expect a response the same day to an online complaint – only 29% receive one. So by the end of 2012, 80% of companies plan to use social media for customer service. To use social media affectively, integrate it into your existing customer service, create humanised response models to help build relationships, and also, monitor social interaction to spot issues and solve problems before they become a crisis. Social media gives you the power to keep current customers happy and show potential customers how well you do business. So what are you waiting for?

 

Get Promoted!

Getting married? Had a baby? Sponsored posts have been available to brands for some months now, but how about personal posts? Facebook has announced that you can now pay a small fee (approx. $7) to promote posts to make sure friends don’t miss your big news by bumping it up higher in their newsfeed. But where is the etiquette of promoting our lives to our friends? And how will it conflict with brand promotion posts? This is certainly one we’ll be keeping our eye on.

 

 

Tweets Make History!

As if Thursday nights live political debate was not big enough, millions of people took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the event, accumulating to 10.3 million tweets in 90 minutes – making it the most tweeted about event in American political history. The number of tweets 24 hour prior this debate was double the mentions from the 2008 election in total – my hasn’t politics gone social! After our most social Olympics to date this summer, could this be the most social election? With so many voices in the public sphere, if you ever doubted the power of social media before, you won’t question it any more!

The Social Stories #55

foursquare ImageFoursquare making money

Foursquare will now let companies issue offers and updates to its users as ‘Promoted Updates’ and ‘Promoted Specials’ under their Explore tab. The feature generates personalised recommendations depending on your location as well as the user’s lists, interests, or places liked by their friends. A bunch of brands have already signed up as pilot partners and we’re now waiting for offers on sunscreen (hurrah for sunshine).

 

 

Joe CoffeeScan for a free coffee

Cafe Joe, a coffee chain in Israel has made innovative use of a location-based print ad to direct customers to their nearest branch. Using a QR code, the ad not only scans your location and suggests the quickest route to the cafe, it also incentivises providing users with a voucher to get a free cup of coffee. These cheeky QR codes just won’t go away and it’s refreshing to see a simple yet effective use for them. Nice work, guys.

 

 

They are getting younger

Maily is a new iPad app designed for kids as young as 4 years old, enabling them to create personalised emails. Unlike regular email which parents may find unsafe, Maily lets them create an address book for their kids using their own Facebook account. Kids tap on a familiar face and draw using crayons to compose an email, or simply attach a photo. Cool, isn’t it? As if it isn’t hard enough to get your kids off the iPad already!

 

The Social Stories #54

Google+ users most satisfied

In its first ever appearance on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Google+ has topped the list with a score of 78 owing to the absence of traditional advertising, more focus on privacy, and a better mobile experience. Facebook has dropped to 61, below Pinterest (69), Twitter (64), and LinkedIn (63). Facebook users complain about ads and have privacy concerns, and we are keen to see if Google+ manages to stay away from such issues. After months of Google+ tumbleweed jokes, it’s great to see that its functionality trumps its competitors – at least in the opinion of its users.

 

 

Call me, maybe

We love the interactive banner created for Volkswagen to promote their voice control function in their new Touch Phone Kit. People use the banner ads to call their Facebook friends by simply connecting their account and saying their friend’s name. The callers would appear as though they’re driving at the other end, a screenshot of which is then posted on their Facebook wall. It’s great to see that social and innovative banner advertising ideas are being worked on to engage with consumers.

 

 

 

No more excuses

Did someone say “is there’s an app for that?” The Twist app for iOS shares your estimated time of arrival with friends, so they’ll know exactly when to expect you. It even sends out a reminder a minute before you’re about to see them. The app uses your location and the traffic data around you to calculate the time you’ll take to reach from one place to another. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait to use Twist as it’s currently available in the US only. In the meantime, we’ll get a new list of excuses ready (we are mostly punctual, but hey).

 

 

The Social Stories #53

Pinterest: Winning

Latest data shows that Pinterest is leaving the likes of Google, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Bing behind in terms of referral traffic. The study adds to the social network’s performance chart well as it left Twitter behind a few months ago. The new data shows that Pinterest’s referral traffic rose from 0.85% to 1.19% over the last six months. Techcrunch points out that it’s an additional form of SEO and not a replacement for keyword building. We agree. In fact, we were busy launching a Pinterest page for our friends at Argos a while ago, and it got featured in a recent review covering the top 10 UK retail brands.

 

 

Shopping With Friends

As you may have noticed, we are fascinated with new trends in ecommerce and the potential of social has as part of your experience. An iPad app called Pickie creates a personalised page for you based on your Facebook friends’ activity. It generates products that might be of interest after considering the categories and brands your network interacts with. Not just that, it also adds details such as price and any relevant comments. We have already asked for an invite. (Of course.)

 

 

 

Look Ma, New Figures

Infographic warning! Social Media Benchmark, a rolling six-monthly study includes participants from UK, Europe, Africa, and Asia and explores how social media is being adapted to and invested in businesses. Twitter tops a variety of categories though we see a curious lack of Pinterest and would be keen to see if it makes it to the list soon. Among other interesting information, the study cites budget as a possible barrier to getting the most out of social media over the next 12 months. Have a look and let us know how you see social media’s role evolve from here.