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Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 4:36pm
American Airlines has rolled out a new perk for social media users, access to their Admirals Club lounges, regardless whether you are flying with them or not.
To gain a one-day pass for the club, you need to have a Klout score of 55. What does this mean? Klout is a tool that measures your usage and engagement on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The perk includes almost 40 lounges across the world including airports in San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and London.
With others already signed up to Klout Perks including Sony, Nike, Microsoft, Disney, Audi and Gilt, this is a major push by the social measurement tool.
A clever development, but one can't help thinking that social influencers may see through it, regardless of whether they take advantage of it or not.
Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 at 9:28am
B2B Marketing has produced an infographic on The State of B2B Social Media 2013, built from the data included in their 2013 B2B Marketing Social Media Benchmarking Report.
From the infographic we can see that Twitter is the most popular platform for B2B businesses, however there seems to be an increase in the prevalence of Google+ in the B2B market.
We also see that a lot of companies don't calculate the ROI from social media.
Click on the image to see the full Infographic, or click here.
Friday, 5th April 2013 at 5:02pm
Twitter has relaunched its specialist business and marketing platform; Twitter for Business.
The relaunch includes best practice guides and case studies from companies such as Porsche and Hubspot. The site has been redesigned to make it easier for anyone to use; either a seasoned marketer or a small business owner.
Encouraging businesses to utilise Twitter is pretty simple, getting them to advertise and spend is more difficult and the relaunch of this platform lends itself to the idea that Twitter wants to be a bigger advertising medium than before.
Twitter has also released the video below outlining some quick tips to enhance your Twitter usage.
Friday, 1st March 2013 at 4:56pm
With the growing number of people using Twitter it's no wonder that Gerry Morgan, of US-based blog Marketing Think, produced this great little infographic on how to write the perfect tweet.
The blueprint covers all the basic content - links, hashtags and mentions, in terms of both the ideal placement within a tweet and their uses. Some of the more relevant tips to take away from this could be leaving 20 characters at the end of your tweet for people to comment when they retweet, the importance of formatting, like using headlines or calls to action, and finally passing the "perfect tweet filter".
This a great piece for anyone who uses twitter but the post was targeted at marketers, advertisers and PR professionals, talking about engaging and informing audiences.
So regardless of what you use twitter for, have a read, take some notes and let us know if there is anything you feel he missed.
Read more about the perfect tweet here.
Friday, 22nd February 2013 at 1:58pm
Recently Google gave developers the chance to get their hands on a pair of Google glasses, called Glass, but more importantly, access to the API which allows apps to interact with them.
They also set up an opportunity for "creative individuals" to trial the glasses via a campaign on Twitter and Google+, called Project Glass.
Using the hashtag #ifihadglass they are looking for people to give a reason why they should be the first to get their hands on the glasses in 50 words or less, however the winners will still have to fork out $1,500+tax for the privilege.
To encourage people to enter Google has released a video on YouTube which shows how Glass can be used, inclduing the voice operation, which uses the line "OK glass" to begin a command; i.e. "OK glass take a picture"
The video also highlights the sort of tasks you can perform with Glass, from text messaging and video calling to searching Google and finding a location on a map. There is also an automatic-picture-taking mode, which takes pictures at preset intervals.
The glasses are the next step in wearable technology, allowing the user to record everything they do, as well as interacting with others via video, although the headset doesn't actually have lenses in front of your eyes, just a small screen (viewable via a mirrored glass block) above and to the right of the wearer's right eye. Whilst not the only wearable technology in development (other companies including Microsoft has been developing their own version of Glass), the Google Glass is the one closest to completion, having first been announced last year, and featured in our blog last April.
Find out more at the Glass Website and watch the video below.
Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 at 3:16pm
In the first of a series of Social Marketing pieces, we are going to discuss how to optimise Twitter, for either personal or business use.
Below is a list of 10 tips that will help you with your account.
1: Your password
If you created your account many moons ago there is a good chance that your password has not been updated and is not as secure as it should be. Standard tips are to include numbers, special characters, and a capital letter. You can use http://howsecureismypassword.net to test how “strong” your password is.
2: Your design
Like most social media platforms, you can customise how your profile looks, from background image to “header” image; you can add in your own images or use a site like Kuvva to get access to artistic images. Header images are important for when people look at your profile on a mobile, but need to fit in with your background. Your profile picture may need updating too, especially if again, it hasn’t been changed since you set it up.
3: Your profile info
What do you put here? It can vary in terms of what is best, but generally it is best to talk about yourself in the way you use Twitter; What do you tweet about? Why should people follow you? If it’s a professional account talk about your services, and make sure you have a link to your website. If it’s a personal account, make sure if you mention your job to specify that views are your own.
4: Following / Followers
Just because Twitter suggests you follow someone doesn’t mean you have to, likewise if some-one follows you be sure to consider if what they tweet about is the sort of thing you want to read. if you wish to build and keep a good number of followers be sure to make your tweets informative and interesting, especially if you are representing a brand. There is a free online tool to help clear up which accounts you follow – Manage Flitter, it will tell you who doesn’t follow you back, who isn’t active, and if they may be a spam account.
If you want to become a “pro” user, then use of apps is important. Check your profile to see what is connected to your account, anything that you don’t use get rid of, then try to use something like TweetDeck, a great way to monitor your Twitter feed and more without having to click through. Hootsuite is similar, and can provide analytics, but the free version has limitations. There are also some great paid for tools if you wish to go down that route, but read reviews and take trials, make sure it is right for how you want to use Twitter. Mobile apps are great for being on the move; Twitter obviously has a mobile app as do most web apps.
Whilst Twitter shortens links for you, using bitly or even tinyURL will allow you to put more content in as it shortens links to 20-26 characters as standard, and with bitly, you can track clicks, and it’s free.
7: Getting people to follow you
Whilst a lot of people will follow you back if you follow them, having too big a ratio of who you follow to who follows you can make you look like a spammer, even if you have a fully complete profile. Gain authentic follows by promoting your Twitter account; put it in your email signature, on your Facebook, on your blog and even on your business cards. Never buy followers, you won't gain anything as they will not engage with you like authentic followers.
Keep an eye on when people message you, remember they can only message you if you follow them and vice versa, so if you work in customer service for a brand, follow people who have an issue and get them to send you a message. At the same time, delete old messages, including sent, and avoid clicking on links in messages from people who claim there are dodgy photos of you online or that someone is saying bad things about you, these are viruses/spam.
Twitter is not just about tweeting your own thoughts, retweeting shows you value others thoughts and gives them credit for content.
Using @handles is good practise too for when you are talking about other people, brands or products, likewise for #tags, these allow for people who don't follow you to see your tweets. Always reply to people when they mention you or favourite your tweets. Following back is also good, but again, be wary, it can be just a way for them to gain followers.
Getting emails from Twitter left, right and centre? Phone going off every time someone mentions or follows you? That’s fine if it doesn’t happen often, but if you are using Twitter a lot you will see all of this, so do you really need emails? Change your settings to avoid this, but be sure that you keep on top of your feed and interactions.
Sunday, 7th October 2012 at 3:10pm
The Think Tank recently took part in a series of seminars, talking about issues surrounding the use of social media in the workplace and the impact that it can have upon brand and reputation.
These have been very well attended and judging by two recent Twitter abuses in the United States it is becoming a very important factor for businesses, both internally and externally.
Last week a disgruntled employee at a company called Stub Hub sent out a tweet riddled with profanity, which the company subsequently had to apologise for and issue a withdrawal. We have added an image of this below but it does use quite strong language - you have been warned!
Another business, Kitchen Aid, mistakenly retweeted an offensive joke about President Obama's grandmother - possibly as a result of social media automation. Again, this is below but the content may be deemed as offensive.
These types of social media interactions may be mistakes or they may be on purpose but the problem is the same; Social Media poses new challenges to businesses as to how they and their employees interact online and the increasing possibility of damage to brand and reputation.
If you would like to discuss any of these topics and how they could impact upon your business then please get in touch.
Wednesday, 13th June 2012 at 8:44pm
What would you do if an employee (or even a manager) made disparaging remarks on Facebook about your organisation, employees or key contacts?
In conjunction with The Think Tank, one of our legal associates is holding a seminar which looks at the 'Misuse of Social Media in the Workplace.
They comment, 'Almost every organisation will face the "Social Media test" at some point. That is, an employee - possibly thinking that they are talking only to 'friends' by way of Facebook, Twitter etc - will make comments which are highly damaging to its interests or the reputations and rights of key stakeholders.
Whilst there appears to be no binding legal authorities from the higher courts there are a number of Employment Tribunal decisions, and we have carefully pulled together some of the key issues and guidance from Employment Judges.'
The briefing is organised by GT Employment Lawyers on 21st June between 2pm and 4pm at Liverpool Street, London, EC2M and will cover the following topics:
How to reconcile human rights issues such as 'freedom of expression' and 'privacy' with those of your organisation.
Handy tips from an IT specialist on how to monitor this kind of problem at work or even stop it altogether.
Delegates will be given a checklist to audit their systems and a specimen policy as well as detailed user-friendly notes and contacts in related fields.
The cost is £35 plus vat per delegate or £55 plus vat for 2 places. Places are limited and allocated in order of payment.
To find out more or book a place (or if you would like the presentation at your organisation on a more private basis) please contact Gordon Turner via his PA Sandra at email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 2nd June 2012 at 8:52am
Taking the engagement of their customers on Twitter very seriously, the Sainsbury's PR team this week posted an interesting response to a complaint by U.K. blogger October Jones.
He complained that the chicken sandwich that he had bought "tastes like it was beaten to death by Hulk Hogan."
The response? - "Really sorry it wasn't up to scratch. We will replace Mr. Hogan with Ultimate Warrior on our production line immediately."
Another Sainsbury's account replied by providing a phone number for Jones to call and said the company sincerely regrets that "you had to wrestle your way through the sandwich."
These are great responses but are they really appropriate when dealing with customer complaints? Made us smile though.
Thursday, 24th May 2012 at 9:26pm
The Think Tank PR team has been discussing ‘Earned’, ‘Owned’ and ‘Paid for’ media. This came about as we saw a quote in PR Week from Freud Communications’ chairman, Matthew Freud, saying that: “The basic model for media and marketing is broken”.
While media fragmentation has long been talked about we thought it was interesting that it is the interactive marketing space which is helping use define new universes.
Although full definitions may vary, the basic premise is that ‘Owned’ media is the channel you control such as your website, or partially-owned, your company Facebook page or Twitter account.
‘Earned’ media covers press coverage, however the term has evolved to cover the word-of-mouth that is being created through social media channels.
‘Paid for’ media does what is says on the tin, and covers advertising in its many formats online and in print, and extends into paid search for example.
Categorising your media in this way helps to identify the roles they can play in delivering your communications; understanding their benefits and challenges can be a critical next step, and of course that they work best together.
But of course the real test is what you say, not just how you are delivering your message, and increasingly how you are then listening, engaging and responding is key in this new ‘networked’ age.
Sunday, 19th February 2012 at 2:40am
From 16th February American Express card members and merchants are able to register to use the platform on a first-come, first-serve basis. They will receive $100 in advertising credits to put towards bidding on promoted tweets and promoted accounts. Twitter had begun the rollout of self-serve, which lets advertisers make electronic payments instead of being invoiced by the sales team, in mid-November with a group of fewer than 20 advertisers and expanded the group to about 100.
Dick Costolo, CEO, commented, "So many hundreds of thousands and even millions of small businesses have been using Twitter effectively for years already, so by opening up our ad platform to all these folks as a mechanism for them to amplify the value they're already creating."
Find out more on Adage.
Wednesday, 1st February 2012 at 8:51am
While marketers traditionally referred to such groups as early adopters, in the digital world, where many of us find ourselves now living and working, just keeping up with what’s new is often a challenge. There is a potential for information overload, and conversely for only sharing information within or between specific groups.
Tom cites the circumstance of finding yourself baffled by the rise of ‘dual screening’ – ie watching television and posting instant reactions on Twitter. However, for ardent fans (or critics) of a programme it's probably just the outlet they have been looking for. What if you do feel left behind when you read a story in the newspaper when you could have been watching it unfold through digital media?
In communication terms it adds a layer of complexity to how we, as professionals, need to approach media strategies. But as consumers we also becoming more aware that trends, like some products we may have experienced, can fail to live up to the hype?
For example, we’re keeping a watching brief on Pinterest* here at The Think Tank, and we think it will be great for sharing design ideas and inspirations. We’ll keep you updated.
*An online pinboard where you can post images and inspiration (already in the top 10 social networks in the USA). Find out more here.
Tuesday, 13th December 2011 at 9:19am
The pages have two key elements, both of which are free. Ad Age tells us 'They can be customized with large header images that advertisers can use to display their logo and tagline more prominently than under the standard format, where branded elements of the page design are often partially covered by the time line of tweets. Brands can also choose to keep a particular tweet at the top of their time line, and that top tweet also auto-expands to reveal an embedded photo or video from Flickr, YouTube or other sources, without requiring the user to take action.'
Ad Age interviewed Twitter's Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain to find out more about their plans. The launch will initially include brand pages for 21 marketers including American Express, Best Buy, Bing, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Dell , Disney, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and McDonald's who are all deemed strategic partners.
To read the full article please click here or to find out more about how to enhance your page click here.
Wednesday, 7th December 2011 at 9:50am
It does have a bias towards US trends however this series of lists, blog commentary and well presented overviews should be essential reading for anyone with an interest in social media.
Click here to view the latest installment
Wednesday, 7th December 2011 at 9:38am
They found some interesting facts and created an infographic to show some of the key results. Twitter was deemed to be the most popular social network among B2B marketers however LinkedIn was found to create the most leads.
See the infographic here to find out more of the interesting results.
social-infographic-pardot.pdf (169 kb)
Tuesday, 15th November 2011 at 4:42am
There are some truly heart warming tales, from the man who saved his mother’s bookstore to movie critic Roger Ebert’s creative use of the service after he lost his voice. Visitors to the site can even read the first Tweet send from space. The tales demonstrate the power of social media and just how life-chaging it can be. At just 140 characters they are definitely worth a read!
To read more visit Twitter Stories.
Monday, 14th November 2011 at 11:48am
To find about other projects Whitecircle are involved in or to learn more about their solutions, services and exhibitions visit www.whitecircleltd.com.
Wednesday, 9th November 2011 at 10:15am
Underestimating influence/impact of your social media critics at your peril.
Kryptonite is the business school case study here, but loads of brands since – from Target telling the blogosphere they don’t rate Nestle telling off eco Facebook protesters – have failed to understand that bloggers/Tweeters and Facebook protesters may not be The Guardian or The Times, but they do hold plenty of weight.
Giving the online community flashy marketing message when they just want simple, straightforward detail.
These days, companies can get into big trouble for issuing fictitious glowing reviews or trotting out seemingly genuine testimonials by paid actors. Even before these consumer protections were put into place, L’Oreal paid a higher price – it got burned by vigilant bloggers.
Facebook is not just a forum for fans and “Likes.”
Burger King, Nestle, and BP, to name just a few have seen their Facebook pages overwhelmed by critics who want to expose dodgy company practice. Greenpeace has had great success mobilising its followers in a series of corporate Facebook pressure campaigns. BK quickly caved to the demands to cheers. Nestle, on the other hand, shouted back, inviting more opposition.
Culture of unresponsive/uncaring customer service fuels recurring gripes, becomes a PR headache.
Dell learned the hard way that Jeff Jarvis’ customer service gripes were not an isolated issue; a massive backlash was brewing. It just took one well-connected critic to put his finger on it and the avalanche ensued.
For all the fresh money pouring into social media, we would expect the number of errors to rise before companies really get the message that social media investment means more than crafting a just a slick campaign. It means two-way dialogue, transparency and, ultimately, learning from your mistakes.
To read more visit SocialMediaInfluence.com
Monday, 7th November 2011 at 11:39am
Over the last few weeks, Twitter has been agog at the rise and fall of @ShippamsPaste, supposedly written by ‘Ben’, an ‘executive social media intern’ at Shippams.
Through the feed, ‘Ben’ shared events from his life at Shippams, his dealings with colleagues and his search for a girlfriend, all played for laughs. He also encouraged followers to ‘engage’ with the Shippams brand by inviting interaction, devising hashtags (‘#paste’), jumping on trending topics and so on. Once word got out, @ShippamsPaste went viral, rocketing to 8000 followers in three weeks. Then Twitter suspended the account for passing itself off as the real thing, restoring it briefly on the condition it admitted to being fake. Its creator, Ed Jefferson (@edjeff), then went public with a Guardian article explaining his motives.
The fake account parodied the lame way in which some brands use social media, working their way through an established playbook of tactics that utterly fail to engage people. As Jefferson explained, ‘faking a spectacularly inept attempt to "do Twitter" just seemed funny – as did picking a real, but nearly forgotten, brand to do it.’ And it was funny. Very funny. @ShippamsPaste showed exactly what brands should be doing by mocking what they are doing. Using Shippams’ products as a jumping-off point rather than the finish line, the feed took the brand into completely uncharted waters and unlocked a previously unsuspected area of potential appeal.
The @ShippamsPaste account was interruptive rather than engaging, and broadcast rather than interactive. It was more like a traditional TV ad than a modern social-media campaign. As a result, it achieved what respected creative Steve Harrison calls ‘relevant abruption’, grabbing audience attention and pulling it towards a product.
In a world where audience attention is increasingly fragmented, the wise brands may be those who learn to ride waves of publicity – even if they haven’t made those waves themselves.
To read more visit econsultancy.com.
Friday, 28th October 2011 at 9:55am
Seventy-eight per cent of people visiting and interacting with a brand’s Facebook page are likely to continue the relationship by visiting its website or considering it for purchase. Just thirty-four per cent of the people who say they are unlikely to interact with a brand’s social media presence on Facebook are likely to do the same.With the role of social media under question, Starcom MediaVest Group’s strategic development director Jim Kite explains: “The deeper the interaction with social media, the greater the likelihood of moving the consumer from enquiry to brand preference.”
The research draws on a study using a representative sample of 6,000 regular Facebook, YouTube and Twitter users in June. They were asked to spend several minutes interacting with content on brands’ Facebook and YouTube pages in product categories where they had already registered an interest. Respondents were asked to participate in activities requiring a range of involvement, from watching videos, posting comments, playing games and following brands on Twitter or tweeting about them.
The study claims that it is not just being aware of brands on social media platforms that leads people to continue that relationship or buy goods. It is the level of interaction or “doing something” with branded content that has a bearing.
To read the full article visit Marketing Week.