Posts Tagged ‘social media’

The Social Stories: Issue 134

klmThe Social Airline

KLM is making travelling social with their latest activity: commerce through Facebook and Twitter. KLM customers can now book and pay for flights using the social networks, in a move that KLM believes ‘will lead to better, more convenient service, all in one place’. It’s also a move that shows KLM is listening to its customers – over 35,000 queries are received by the social media team each week, and this will go some way to simplifying the often complicated process of booking flights. Business customers are especially likely to benefit – often making changes and needing flights at short notice. KLM previously introduced the idea of ‘meet and seat’ using social, so it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

vaThe Other Social Airline

Appealing to tech-savvy travellers, and aiming to connect people with Linkedin contacts an their flight – Virgin America is launching an in-flight social network, powered by the Here On Biz app. All customers have to do is download the app before take-off and allow the in-flight Gogo wifi and API connect you to others during the flight. This innovation also joins part of an overarching Twitter campaign where users share flying experiences with #PlanePitch. As part of their overall plan to reinvent the flying experience, this new concept joins the previous social meeting app that romantically connect travellers with other available travellers on the same flight. Looks like there’s a battle of the social airlines this week…

linkedA Pro Publisher 

Broadening their potential, Linkedin has opened up their publishing platform to all 277 million users on their network. Previously only available to a small group of influential people, such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson etc…this expansion shows Linkedin’s real passion to become the definitive publishing platform. This strategic move potentially has the power to bring people back to their Linkedin account on a daily basis, rather than just when they’re looking for a new job. Giving users the opportunity to become publishers also adds a new dimension to their profile, giving companies deeper insight to who they really are. We have a hunch that this is just the beginning for Linkedin becoming more personalised and engaged.

The Social Stories: Issue 133

daisyMarc Jacobs Pop Up

Hoping to replicate the success of the Special K Tweet Shop in Soho last year, Marc Jacobs has put together ‘Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Store’. As their way to embrace social currency, visitors are asked to snap photos of products and post to Twitter or Instagram with #MJDaisyChain. They are rewarded with MJ branded gifts on their way out ranging from perfumes to a handbag! This is a great way of generating earned media, using Instagram and Twitter to support the pop-up with an overall much greater reach.



Heineken has launched a ‘#DateinaBox’ for Valentine’s 2014. Literally, this is a glittery red box with a date inside. The box can only be opened if your man is willing to broadcast his feelings to the world on Twitter and Instagram @Heineken_US. If he does, he’ll be sent a code which will allow him to open the box revealing a very special date. With two days left, men all over will be contemplating whether damaging their social media cred is worse than having nothing planned for Valentine’s Day. Heineken has given all you last minute-ers a lifeline here. Just be careful your other half doesn’t see.


Utilising our obsessive nature of constantly checking our phones, Twitch is an app that polls users when they unlock their phone. Rather than asking users to take the initiative, Twitch simplifies the process and presents a simple question after each unlocking. Getting people to engage with a poll is usually quite difficult, as many questions can put users off, so presenting only one questions at a time is hopefully one way to eliminate a high drop off. Used in the right way and with the right poll, this could potentially be a great way for brands to ask their audience questions.

The Social Stories: Issue 132


Audi have proved themselves to be at the forefront of social media with their latest campaign which ran during the day of the Superbowl, whereby they teamed up with current affairs satire

website The Onion  to produce humorous snaps using the social network Snapchat. This tied in with their quirky above the

line advert, premiered during the Superbowl, which focused on the “Doberhuahua” to reiterate their message – designed with compromise.



Strike presents real-time opportunity

If you’re a Londoner, you’ll know it’s been difficult to avoid the tube strike this week. It’s affected every commuter in one way or another, be it getting to work, getting home, or just beating the crowds. Brands haven’t been slow to jump on board this marketing opportunity, with Zipcar and Hailo taking advantage of an unfortunate situation to publicise their services. Paid social activity has manifested itself as cleverly timed tweets about alternative methods of transport, with much initial success. Other brands to have jumped on the bandwagon include Innocent Smoothies and Waterstone’s – both known for their irreverent tone.



Smile, it’s Thursday

In what marks a continuation of Coca-Cola’s recent friendly marketing, they have released a video showcasing how easy it is to ‘share a smile’. Featuring various members of the Coca-Cola team, they have sent  t-shirts around the world, asking recipients to upload a picture of themselves wearing a ‘smile’, which they then amalgamated into a flipbook style animation. This in turn was then sent to participants, who could share on their own social network. Watch the full video here.

The Social Stories: Issue 91

Girls Can, Can you?

Plan Finland, use “social peer pressure” to gain donations to help improve the lives of girls in developing countries. A website and app, allows virtual cans to be created and passed between Facebook friends. The process is trackable with the site showing a timeline of the contributions and a map of where each can has travelled. It’s just launched but has already raised €29,977 and adds a social angle to the standard “Donate Now” message. It’s Facebook tie-in encourages a younger audience to help the cause, knowing that it’s easier to ignore fundraisers on the street, rather than your friends.

Are you Social Media Self Aware?

If not, you should be. Recently we’ve seen two high profile cases of people parting ways with their company due to inappropriate tweets. Plonking ‘opinions are my own’ in your profile and expressing yourself freely to the world is no longer acceptable. The public launch of Paris Brown as Youth Crime Commissioner matched her equally public demise after inappropriate tweets. Soon after, showing how even the high and mighty can fall, Microsoft’s Creative Director Adam Orth suffered the consequences when he tweeted his thoughts on “always on” gaming – a very sensitive subject within the gaming community. So how have you prepared for the social media magnifying glass?

Google+: The New TV?

New UK programme, The Fox Problem, is streamed through Google+ Hangouts rather than TV and encourages deep social interaction. The show’s social footprint also includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr, and the audience is encouraged to use these platforms to influence the script. For example, each week viewers can tweet to save their favourite presenter from completing a humiliating dare. Overall the show seems more about raising the profile of Google+. Having promoted the show on their own Google+ account it seems evident that some form of Google production is in play, and may be their way to endorse the Hangouts feature.

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 #64

The One Stop Tweet Shop

This week Kellogg’s has opened the first ever shop where you can buy its new crisps in exchange for a mention on Twitter. It shows how retailers are using social media to launch new products and promote their brands. This intuitive campaign has already created a fair bit of noise on social channels. Is this one giant leap or little tweetsteps for social media?



Volvo Starts its Pinterest Engine

We’re Pin happy this issue, as is Volvo, jumping on the Pinterest wagon with a #VolvoJoyRide Campaign. In comparison with other social platforms, users who engage with and pin brand content, have a greater intention to purchase those items. Also, the high quality referrals that brands are seeing from Pinterest are indicative of the mindset of their user base – brands want to be where the high quality engagement is. Partnering this activity with blogger outreach to scale the project, it’s a campaign we’ve got our eyes on.


Crack the Case

Beer and Bond have joined forces for Heineken’s launch of their TV ad and digital campaign. Their Facebook app will allow users’ to go through a series of challenges, crack the case and save the world. This campaign will also have some countries seeing offline activity where several markets will host unique Heineken experiences in iconic locations, inviting members of the public to test their nerve. Could you hack the pressure? A great example of an integrated online and offline social campaign.

The Social Stories #30

Spread Your Wings with Social
Air China recently produced a a brilliant campaign using social media to spread the word that their service was available in Sweden and throughout the rest of Asia. Partnering up with some of the best Asian restaurant in Sweden they encouraged customers to check-in on Facebook as they sat down to eat. A leader board on Air Chinas’ Facebook page produced one winner each week, with two free tickets to Asia. A sparkling example of simple social integration.


Recipe for Success

We’ve caught wind this week of a great new social initiative Halfsies. Their idea is to reduce food waste, feed the hungry and improve people’s diet, all in one go. How, we hear you ask? They plan to pair up with restaurants and offer customers the option of “going halfsies.” The customer gets a half portion, improving their diet. The other half goes to feed the hungry and, in the process, food waste is greatly reduced. An inspired three-pronged approach.



A New Way To Consume Media?

Since last week’s launch of Open Graph Timeline integrations on Facebook there has been a fabulous array of applications launched. Recently InsideFacebook has given us a nice little break down of what’s out there and we’re impressed. SoundCloud joined the likes of Spotify on the music front and Huffington Post already has 1 million active users sharing stories. The question raised here is if regular media consumption will be replaced with Facebook’s social recommendations. We’ll let you decide.

The Social Stories #29

Let’s click together

Lego fans rejoice, you’re not quite as alone as you once thought. Introducing ReBrick, Lego’s community platform where you can embrace your inner Lego-love by sharing, bookmarking and tagging great Lego content around the web. You’ll also be able to download a little widget to make it even easier to share your finds, as well as adding your own tags and following other Lego lovers. It’s rather refreshing – there are no flashy ads or marketing messages, just the coolest and newest Lego content, chosen by its fans at your fingertips.


Google introduce “Me on the web”

FourSquare have been busy this week rolling out a new feature, FourSquare Explore – making search more personal. Using Check-in data from your friends, it finds places you’ll enjoy ‘exploring’. It’s intelligent too; learning which friends you share interests with and pushing their recommendations further up your list. Because Explore works in this way it means searches can be specific: instead of typing ‘pub’ into the search and being overwhelmed with places you’d never go, you can search for a brand of beer, or a genre of music. This is also available on desktop too!


Exploring the New Age

RBC Capital research to crack Amazon’s profit model has shown a Kindle Fire customer is spending an average of $136 (£90) on content. Since Amazon released the new Kindle, there’s been a stir over it’s profitability on the Tablet market – the hardware itself generates virtually no revenue. The study shows 80% of Kindle owners have purchased an e-book and 58% had purchased more than three e-books within 15-60 days. The Fire acts as a shop window, with regular deals and bundles driving renewable subscriptions and removing the temptation for customers to shop around. Amazon seems to be chasing content revenues rather than hardware profits.

The Social Stories

We’ve been sharing a hand-picked selection of the week’s biggest social media stories with clients, colleagues and through our newsletter for some time now and have decided it’s high time we blogged about them too. So welcome to The Social Stories #28. Enjoy, share and send us some of your own.

Words with friends-Life saver
Alec Baldwin recently landed Words with Friends in a bit of hot water. When he refused to pause his game, on an international flight, the staff decided to eject him from the plane. This week though, an Australian man owes his life to the game. His wife, a fellow WwF addict, was playing with an American doctor and happened to message him explaining that her husband was complaining about a sore chest. The doctor advised him to go to hospital and it turned out he had a 99% blockage near his heart. It was fixed, and he is alive and well. Three cheers for Words with Friends!

Social Media Ace
The Australian Open Tennis Tournament is, once again, leading by example in social media. They already have real time updates on qualifying and a system which lets fans reminisce about the good old days with a database of classic matches. Today the tournament begins and there will be 24 hour updates on the Twitter feed and a fan leader board, listing fans in order of buzz. They even have a team of “fan-bassadors” who keep feeds interesting with facts and figures. This could be a taste of things to come in sport, game on London 2012!


A Braille-ient Idea
This week we’ve caught wind of quite an unusual idea that the clever people at Wimpy, the burger chain, came up with in South Africa. The idea came from Wimpy SA wanting to spread the news that they offered Braille menus for the visually impaired. They set up shop in the three biggest Blind Institutions in South Africa and used sesame seeds as Braille. It went down rather well and word spread. In the end they reached 800,000 people by making only 15 burgers! Have a look at the video.

Why Social Media remains a force for Social Good

There have been sweeping statements and government gaffes to spare in the last week as politicians of every persuasion have attempted to make sense of the riots which started in London and spread across the country. I’m reluctant to comment on the politics of the situation, which is a complex and tragic one, with no easy answers.

In the government’s response to the riots, however, they have made the medium the message. David Cameron has suggested restrictions on the use of social media among those plotting violence or disruption-that might be valid if it were in any way enforceable, although it undoubtedly sets a problematic precedent set against the backdrop of the role social media played in the Arab Spring.

Other politicians have, however, suggested taking social networks down altogether in crisis situations, which is a much more troubling suggestion.

Clearly, like any other medium social media can be used for good and for ill.

We’ve talked before about the 3 ways Clay Shirky outlines in which social media drives social change, by enabling individuals to:

1. Synchronise: To share, and therefore consolidate opinion

2. Co-ordinate: To come together to act as a group

3. Document:  To show the world what is happening

Inevitably, groups can synchronise dark and angry opinions as well as altruistic ones and can co-ordinate violent as well as positive action. Why the idea of taking social networks down during a crisis troubles me so much is the fact that around the world, in crisis situations from earthquakes to uprisings, social media has proved to be a powerful force for good. A force that helps citizens in their thousands document incidents in real time, come together and develop extraordinarily useful tools and services to help the afflicted.

In recent weeks and months Londoners (and citizens around the world) have used social media as a force for good in times of crisis in four key ways as I see it:

  1. Crisis Mapping
  2. Real time news
  3. Citizen journalism
  4. Co-ordinating positive action

1. Crisis Mapping:

I’m a huge and unashamed fan of the Ushahidi Platform, a word meaning “testimony” in Swahili and a crisis mapping service that uses citizens’ tweets and texts to map incidents and flash points in crisis areas around the world. The original platform has recently expanded to include the CrowdMap Platform which allows individuals to be up and running on the Ushahidi platform in minutes without the need to install it on their server. The platform has been used in situations from the Kenyan elections to the earthquake in Haiti to the “Snowpocalypse” in New York. It uses individuals’ testimony to create a data set far beyond what any one government, or non governmental organization is capable off. While I didn’t see this particular platform in use last week in London and while it would be no means claim to be flawless, both The Guardian and The Telegraph, as well as various citizen developers including @jamescridland created equivalents, mapping geo-tagged tweets about the riots to provide both analysis and utility. To shut down social media in times of crisis would be to shut down the ability to document real time incidents and provide timely warnings, analysis and calls for help.


Using Social Media for Crisis Mapping


2. Real time news:

A mere glance at twitter’s trending topics for the UK last week provided a real time update on the areas of greatest violence and disturbance.  Searching twitter also proved to be a useful street by street level guide to the areas worst afflicted, providing individuals with advice on how best to navigate their way home. Admittedly, the noise to signal ratio was a problem and there was probably as much inaccurate commentary as helpful. This is a problem the social web faces across the board and we undoubtedly need to get better at filtering commentary based on reputation-a real challenge for the algorithm writers.  Yet by focusing on the clearest and most lucid voices, genuinely helpful information could be extracted.  One need only look as the visualization of twitter coverage of the Japan earthquake to note how, for many, twitter has become their primary source of real time news coverage in times of emergency. I can think of nothing more calculated to inspire fear and anxiety at times of emergency than withdrawing access to news.

3. Citizen Journalism:

One of the most uplifting aspects of social media is the ability it gives ordinary individuals to capture images, stories and moments in time that broadcast news organizations may miss. This was true of the Arab spring, as some of the most powerful images to emerge came from individual citizens using basic photo sharing services and it was true in London last week. The defining image of Londoners’ response to the riots-to come out in their hundreds and begin the task of cleaning up the streets was captured by lawyer Andy B (@lawcol888 on twitter).


"Broom Army" by Andy B (@lawcol888)

4. Co-ordinating postive action:

After days of fear and anxiety, it was truly inspiring to see that by Tuesday morning #riotcleanup was the second trending topic in the UK, while @riotcleanup had almost 40,000 followers-now well over 80,000. Organised by Dan Thompson (@artistsmakers) the movement caught the public’s imagination with such an overwhelming response that in some areas clean up volunteers exceeded demand. Other groups rallied to the support of individual businesses affected by the riots, with interns from BBH London rallying support to the #keepaaroncutting cause-raising funds to help an 89 year old hairdresser from Tottenham whose shop had been ransacked. It’s worth noting that the police have also turned to social media to help identify looters and rioters, co-ordinating their efforts via Flickr.

So do these uplifting activities outweigh the potential for harm? We could debate that question for a long time-personally I believe very little is “worth” loss of life or livelihood- but I suspect it might be the wrong question. The question for me is this: Could these activities-both the harmful and the helpful-have happened without the intervention of social media?

My answer, when it comes to the riots is, unfortunately, yes. Riots and protests, violent and peaceful, have been co-ordinated for centuries without access to twitter or Facebook. Those who take to the streets are a minority, and it is relatively easy for a minority to communicate using closed or indeed broadcast channels. Reading Vanity Fair this weekend I was struck by a quote from designer Agnes B on her participation in the 1968 student uprising in Paris:

“We marched. There was the radio and we always knew where it was happening”.

That dangerous and subversive medium, the radio.

When it comes to the stories of real time news, citizen journalism and citizen activism, however, my answer is “no”. Perhaps I want to have my cake and eat it-it wouldn’t be the first time. My argument, though, is this: co-ordinating the riots required a relative few to be able to communicate, largely via a closed network. Co-ordinating the coverage, and the clean up, required thousands to be able to make their voices heard, in real time, with locations attached, via an open and accessible channel. It was the cumulation of those voices that was helpful-the sheer scale of real-time, on the ground updates. Making those voices heard, useful to others and actionable simply would not have been possible before the advent of social media.

This is a debate that will no doubt run and run. There are arguments to be made on both sides. We should be careful, however, that in the search for easy answers we do not switch off what is for many an ally in times of crisis.