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Posts Tagged ‘Brands’
There is no denying that social media guidelines come into their own for large organisations trying to represent their culture online. But think of the people watching and listening to you. In a world where everyone’s vying for work let’s face it, if engaging the social media savvy employers would be foolish not to research what they’re getting. Can something be learnt from the marketing awareness of busines when creating our personal brands? Here are some social media policy snippets to inspire from the caring but corporate
Ironically the first Old Spice fragrance was originally designed for women and was only introduced for men in 1937, yet the fragrance has been a prominent male American brand for over 70 years.
Dominated by a nautical theme of sailing ships, clippers and more recently yachts the brand classic buoy shaped design has been a staple product with many famous actors including Bruce Campbell, Neil Patrick Harris and more recently Isaiah Mustafa endorsing it.
And if you are young enough to remember, the original 1970′s Old Spice TV ads featured a surfer risking life and limb to manoeuvre through the wake of huge waves, a glamorous and seductive woman waiting for him back on shore and the thundering voices from “O Fortuna” by Carl Orff.
However, all that changed with the recent social media rebranding campaign that generated over 40 million video views and over 1.4 billion impressions.
Actor Isaiah Mustafa stars in the video as character ‘Old Spice man’, recording and putting out over 200 videos (so far) featuring answers to questions received via social networking channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Digg.
This is a great example of combining traditional TV production methods and realtime social media technologies with a very creative team, one that managed to write nearly 200 ads in 48 hours creating incredibly funny and personalised content.
Questions to Old Spice man came from the general public and well known web personalities including Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres, Guy Kawasaki and Digg Founder Kevin Rose.
This is will undoubtedly become a referenced case study for how a brands can use social media effectively to engage with fans in entertaining, innovative and realtime way.
Whether this will be a case study that demonstrated real commercial returns is another question; Ad Week reported sales of Old Spice body wash had declined by 7% over the past year.
On the other hand the Wieden+Kennedy are naturally claiming success with a sales increase of 107% within the last month, as to whether this is sustainable that has yet to be seen.
However, if you still yearn to be that surfer with the 70′s lifestyle and side burns you can still experience this on You Tube
Former BBC producer Kate Pickering has worked in broadcast, innovation and digital media for 14 years. She now enjoys a portfolio career that includes facilitating workshops, delivering training and making stuff up.
Kate joined media140 as an associate over a year ago and has since overseen events including Brands and Marketing, London 2009 and Third Sector, London 2010. She is currently developing future products and services for media140 worldwide.
You can follow Kate on twitter here.
Long gone are the joys of consumer engagement experiments by maverick executives. Brave brands made themselves vulnerable in the exciting new world of realtime and mostly won. Not normally known for their agility big boys like Coca Cola became the poster corps of success. Listening to Heads of Social Media like Coke’s Adam Brown stating ‘our philosophy is to fish where the fish are’ companies a plenty followed suit, copycatting to find the real thing and boost profits. I’m not disputing the importance of listening to clients but lack of originality is making realtime’s power superficial and making me cynical.
I want to throw the light back onto the ingenuity of the user. There are many impressive applications out there and many articles championing best top tens. But for me it’s not just what a tool or application does it’s how somebody uses it that is impressive.
On the 12th May we will be launching media140 Oxford, the first in a number of regional events into the UK bringing together many of the UK’s recognised professionals in digital and real-time social media.
Hosted in the Jam Factory which was the former premise of Frank Cooper’s Marmalade Factory, it is designed to promote the visual arts, providing a relaxed venue to enjoy the art exhibitions, classes, and events.
media140 Oxford will feature an impressive range of social media professionals, sharing their experiences about managing your personal and corporate brand online. How should you manage the reputation of your brand and yourself? How do campaigns enhance reputation? What should you do if something goes wrong? These and many more points will be addressed by a first-rate line-up.
Uniquely all of the speakers have a relationship to Oxford or Oxfordshire:
- Eddy Lambert from Oxfam, covering recent social media activity from the charity to stir up support for the Robin Hood Tax, and how Oxfam uses digital media to campaign for lasting change to end poverty and suffering.
Event manager Paul Squires from digital media agency Perera, said: “We are delighted to bring one of the world’s leading forums on social media to Oxford. This is a first for the city and we hope to support the development of the digital economy in Oxford going forward.”
12th May, 10am to 4pm
Jam Factory, 27 Park Street End, Oxford OX1 1HU
Only 30 tickets are available at £20 (inclusive of drinks and food)
Available at www.amiando.com/media140Oxford.
Social media might be a relatively new addition to our personal and business lives but it already has an etiquette. Fall foul of a few unwritten rules and you could end up with egg on your face, or – in the case of a corporate body – a severely damaged bottom line.
Fortunately, along with this etiquette there have also arisen some switched-on individuals who know not only the rules of engagement, but also how to maximise impact in this arena of change.
One such person is Gareth Harmer (@gazimoff), who has written this piece giving businesses an idea of what makes the difference between ‘follow’ and ‘unfollow’ in the Twitterverse.
I was recently in a supermarket doing my weekly shop when the dreaded tannoy clicked into action. The traditional nasal voice droned out that there was a special offer on in their electrical department. I had the urge to shout back at the disembodied monotone that the offer was mediocre at best, but had no desire to get thrown out and return home without my shopping.
The point is that there was an understood protocol in action – the supermarket could drone on at me about anything it liked, and I had to keep my comments to myself.
Each communications medium develops its own unwritten rules. Those who don’t follow them are ignored or even blocked – much like the person who thinks it’s a great idea to start phoning at 2am every other day to tell you about the great time they had out on the town, or the emailer who is too liberal with the ‘reply all’ button.
It takes time, but eventually most people learn the strange little rules of each new tool and work within them, as individuals and as businesses.
When a new tool arrives on the scene, it takes time to figure out its associated rules and faux pas.
In Twitter’s case that may have taken longer because nothing else really lined up to the experience it offers. Users grappled to understand: is it like instant messaging or Facebook status updates? Is it like email? What about forums or RSS feeds?
Twitter doesn’t fit neatly into any of these categories, but it has elements of all of them, and arguably it embodies the way the whole web has changed, taking the rules of engagement along with it.
Cast even a perfunctory eye at the Twitterverse throughout the day and you will clock 100s of Tweets which refer to businesses or brands – from a simple coffee shop through on-line retailers to the biggest global technology giants. A single tweeted opinion can generate a rash of responses all involving the same brand or service. Whether these respondents agree or disagree with the original tweet, the conversation provides a real time, often heartfelt, source of consumer opinion – one which cannier companies are now realising they would be blinkered to dismiss.
For MKTG140, Media140′s Man with the Mic, Glenn LeSanto talks to some of these braver businesses about their experiences of leaping – even tentatively – onto the Social Media bandwagon. His conclusions may surprise you.
Twitter, the popular micro-blogging website, has rapidly grown to become one of the world’s busiest websites in a relatively short period of time over the last 24 months.
While Twitter has plenty of detractors, who claim, among other things, that it is full of banality and inconsequential drivel, it is already proving to be an essential tool in business. Clever companies worldwide have woken up to Twitter’s potential for connecting them to customers, both old and new. The truth is that, while people do occasionally tweet what they had for breakfast, they also engage in a lively exchange of information, contacts, knowledge and opinion on all levels, from the banal to the highly intellectual and even analytic.
The advent of the Social Web has seen an explosion in new, new media agencies, clamouring to tell brands how to make the most of these shiny new marketing opportunities: just what should they be Tweeting? How best to work that Facebook fan page?
But it’s hardly rocket science, or is it? And where does this leave the traditional media agencies? Are they desperately playing catch-up or or are they quickly cottoning on? For #MKTG140, George Spencer asks whether brands actually need to employ whizzy new, stand alone boutiques to manage their presence across the rash of sometimes bewildering new web platforms.
Newly-inducted managers at NASA are reportedly made to watch the 1998 film Armageddon, noting as many scientific inaccuracies in the movie as they can spot. At least 168 technically impossible details have been identified during these screenings.
It doesn’t, however, to take a NASA manager to spot the howler on which the entire plot hinges. The NASA brains in Armageddon decide not to bother training their best astronauts to use drills (with which to dig a hole on the deadly asteroid, bury a nuclear warhead and blow the rocky aggressor to bits before it collides with our fair planet.) Probably way too easy for your average astronaut?
Instead, they decide that a more efficient use of the limited time before the expected apocalyptic impact is to assemble a team comprised of the world’s best drillers; train them up as astronauts, and then send them up, to do the already tricky job of landing on the cosmic body hurtling towards Earth at breakneck speed.
Unsurprisingly, nobody is especially confident of the plan; the sole purpose of Billy-Bob Thornton’s character, NASA chief Dan Truman, appears to be to emphasise just how goddamn risky the entire endeavour is. The film is peppered with shots of furrowed brows, “goddamnsonuvabitches” and similar forebodings.
NASA’s barmy Armageddon plan came to my mind more than once during the recent Media140 brands event in London when many of the presenters returned, again and again, to discussing the schism between traditional marketing agencies and the swelling crop of specialist ‘social media’ agencies.
One specific and heated topic was whether the “Social Web” per se was something which was being pushed onto clients by the agencies; and whether companies should be outsourcing their Twitter feeds, for example, to specialists. Many of the companies represented at the event, such as “We Are Social” referred to themselves pointedly as a ‘conversation agency’. Others, such as Ogilvy made no bones about being a more traditional (and by implication, broader) firm. The question I yearned to ask every time this came up was whether anyone believed that, just maybe, we’re in the process of training the oil riggers to be astronauts with these divergent approaches on offer?
During the Survivor’s Club panel, James Hart, Director of E-Commerce at ASOS was asked whether ASOS would persist with Twitter if its user-base dwindled, like so many social networking sites before it. His reaction was telling. He looked utterly perplexed. He explained: “No. We’re about being where our customers are. There wouldn’t be any point if we aren’t reaching people, it’s just a new way [of reaching people].”
I believe that this is the key to the entire revolution. We may be witnessing internal reshuffles, both at traditional agencies and at the brands themselves to better accommodate the altered landscape of the Social Web. However, the core disciplines have not changed. If you want to provide customer service on Twitter, you need to have CS teams who know how to deliver a consistent brand message and who appreciate the gravity of their task. Nothing about Twitter is different for Customer Service, except, perhaps, for the semi-public nature of the conversation?
All of which begs the question: do brands need specialised agencies to work with on their Social Web presence, when most larger agencies are already equipped to provide solutions across a broader spectrum?
As Tom Bedecarré wryly noted in his introductory keynote, of Twitter’s 40 million users, 35 million of them are social media gurus. However, I am not suggesting that We Are Social or other specialised social web agency does things any old Twitter-user could do; they tie the strands of different platforms together and have experience running campaigns across them – but these are platforms designed for humans to use. It’s not the same as producing a TV advertisement; it doesn’t require that kind of specialised knowledge and expertise.
Robin Grant, head of We Are Social, was quizzed over his concerns regarding client attitudes towards the social web; and specifically whether he felt it might be a transient phenomenon. “That’s one of our fears, both internally at We Are Social and as a member of the community. There are clients who are just interested in social media because they are chasing the new toy, and that will create a backlash.”
Have Twitter’s 140 character constraints made us any more concise? Surely it has made us think harder about the words we use to convey our meaning in such limited length? For charities, endeavouring to convey their personalities as well as raise their profiles via Twitter, the exact choice of words with which to tweet has become vitally important.
For #charitytuesday this week, JustGiving.com’s Charity Champion, Jonathan Waddingham casts his expert eye over some of the charities tweeting for their causes and identifies just what it is that makes for convincing content.
The real-time web. Where videos, pictures and words are shared in an instant; transmitted around the world and back. Stories are told and re-told; shared with friends, social networks, professional networks, spammers and bots alike. And they all, ultimately, rest on one thing – words.
A picture may show the devastating effects of a tsunami, or a video show you a well being drilled in Africa that you helped to fund, but no-one will see them unless you tell them about it and to tell people about it, you need to use words.
This is where I believe Twitter has started to change the way so many people communicate. Have we become more concise due to the 140 character constraints? Quite probably. But more importantly: we are all content writers now. Everyone who has a Twitter account is a producer of content.
At the moment, Twitter is only a medium for sharing words. Yes, you can share links to photos, videos, recordings, anything, but sharing a link to them alone isn’t guaranteed to get people to click.
We have had blogs for years now and people have talked to each other in social networks and on forums, but never in the quite same format and constrained focus on words as on Twitter.
As my professional (and personal) interest is in looking at how charities can use the web, I follow a lot of charity accounts on Twitter. Some are good, some are bad – not all Twitter accounts are equal. But if you look closely at a charity’s Twitter stream, you can soon see the ones which really consider the content of their tweets and who craft sentences that make best use of the medium’s constraints. You can also tell a lot about an organisation from their tone of voice – and where better to get a tone of voice across than on Twitter?
If you look at the websites for brands such as Innocent Drinks or Green Thing, you get an immediate impression of what sort of organisation they are, just by reading the words they use. It’s exactly the same, only magnified to a much larger extent, on Twitter.
So let’s take a look at a few random charity tweets:
“Well done to all of our runners who took part in Run to the Beat yesterday. Photos now on Flickr http://is.gd/3KGHx”
What is the Meningitis Research Foundation saying in those 140 characters? Clearly, that it values its supporters and thanks them for their efforts. They have photos, so they must have been there, and they want to share the experience with people who couldn’t be there. It’s inclusive and thankful.
And how’s this for a friendly tone of voice from the Citizenship Foundation:
“Oh dear, our website front page is having style issues. Please bear with us while we resolve the issue. Thank you :-)”
Every website has issues every now and then – but this isn’t a tweet that “apologises for the inconvenience caused”. It’s human, and you can empathise.
But being human doesn’t mean that a charity has to sound fake, or not mention the cause it exists to support. I love the simplicity of what Kidney Research UK said here:
“Hope everyone is having a good Friday and looking forward to the weekend, hope you’re drinking lots of water to keep those kidneys healthy!”
Remember when all the coolest kids in the playground cottoned on to yet another craze? They huddled in a corner, whispering the new rules, in a language you could barely understand. They drove you nuts. First of all, you feigned indifference but, eventually, you cracked and you begged them to let you play too.
When Kristy Bourne’s colleagues at Wonderful Creative Agency urged her to sign up to Twitter, she was initially reluctant. A traditionally trained print journalist, Kristy had the intelligent hackette’s healthy distrust of “the next big thing”. Nevertheless, she set up her account and persevered. Here, she recounts the roller coaster experience of her first 40 days’ tweeting. Some of her conclusions may well surprise you.
I have to be honest with you. When I was first approached to do an article on Twitter, detailing the first couple of weeks I used it, I was dubious. Twitter was already something I was viewing with suspicion and mild dislike. After all, it was another one of these “latest things” that everyone was doing which meant I wanted to be at least 100 miles away from it.
But, despite all my heel-digging and obstinacy regarding Twitter, I’ve now joined the band of Twitterers (or is that Tweeters?) in the “Twitterverse”. No, I haven’t made the word up, and yes, this is part of the reason I’ve wanted to run and hide from this social media tool. To coin a popular phrase: “It’s only twits and twats who tweet”. Well, I have to say that at least in part, that is true.
To provide an overview of my own experience: Twitter is both very useful and pretty pointless. I know that’s a complete contradiction, but hear me out; it’s all about who uses it. For people like me who don’t really have any reason to log onto Twitter, other than to find out a few interesting things in the day, that’s all it’s good for. That’s ok. It gives me a few nuggets of information, but it’s not earth-shattering and it doesn’t serve a huge purpose.
However, what I have discovered is that for many people, it is hugely important. Take the business sector, for example. Companies can raise their profile with Twitter, let people know about new products and build relationships online. It’s brilliant for reaching potential clients, other businesses in your own sector and beyond and to promote brands – but only if done well. Starbucks is a brand which accomplishes all of this with excellence. I can’t say I got a lot from following them, but you can see by the amount of followers they have and how many people commented on their Tweets that they are well-liked, and have further built on their already dominant brand.
As for actually using Twitter day-to-day, for myself, I found it both frustrating and difficult. Now, bear with me because I am quite technologically backwards, but there were parts of the programme which were just a ball-ache.
My account was incredibly easy to set up; I was done within about four minutes and my page was loaded. But that’s about as easy as it got. When I first took a proper look at the home page, before I had any followers or had chosen anyone to follow, tweets came up randomly on my screen and I saw people making comments. But I ended up getting utterly confused. All I could see was @ signs, # tags and obscure web links which made no sense to me. In fact, as the letters were just jumbled up together, I didn’t click on the links for ages because I thought it was spam. And as for the @’s and #’s, I just didn’t have a clue. Twitter made me feel like the left out kid; everyone else knew the rules of the game – except for me.
Poor old misguided, misunderstood Celebrity Tweeters! Somehow they just can’t get it right – as we have seen time and again over the last 10 days. They are “too boring”; they don’t reply to @s and won’t follow back so you could at least bombard them with DMs. It’s enough to make you weep tears of sympathy for the likes of Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus, who have – possibly sensibly – withdrawn prematurely – from the Twitter fray.
Following on from Alison Gow’s timely and thoughtful piece earlier this week on #frygate, Twitter rudeness and the Green Ink Brigade, Henry Elliss, head of Social Media at Tamar.com, gives his own – characteristically candid and at times vociferious – perspective on how the latest bout of over-analysis of Tweet minutiae and a rash of didactic “This is how to use Twitter” posts, are, in his opinion, rather missing the wood for the trees. The opinions expressed below, as in our regular #IMHO140 rubric, are very much our esteemed guest’s own.
I’ve seen a number of blog posts and numerous tweets recently that have criticised celebrities for not interacting with their fans enough. One made the comparison that celebrities are subject to the same rules on Twitter as big brands are, concluding with the war-cry: “If you aren’t going to use Twitter properly, don’t bother!”
I completely disagree with this point of view; should it spread, it is likely to make Twitter a very boring place to be… Let me tell you why.
I doubt I’m too different from a lot of Twitter users, in that I use Twitter to follow (and interact with) a variety of different types of people. First up, and one of the main reasons I use Twitter, is the people I follow within and around the industry I work in. Having access to the opinions, musings and sometime ranting of my peers makes me a much more efficient being – I no longer have to pore through 50 different blog feeds each day. Instead, I can rely on folk like @DarenBBC and @RandFish to let me know what the latest news is within Social Media and Search – the two channels in which I work.
Secondly, I use Twitter as a tool to follow people I admire and whose work I enjoy – and not just within my own industry. I follow comedians (because they make me laugh), actors and actresses (because I like their work), musicians (whose music I enjoy), journalists (because I respect their opinion) and even a few members of my family (well, you have to really, don’t you?!)
Thirdly, I follow a select number of brands with whom I feel some association. There are charities which are close to my heart, companies I admire or connect with, and some that I just follow because they entertain me. I follow magazines, newspapers, TV shows, a couple of political parties and a few more consumer-y brands.
These three very different groups of people make my Twitter experience a very enlivened one – I know a lot of people don’t enjoy “mixing business with pleasure”, but I happen to think it makes life more fun. But I have very different expectations from each and I’m increasingly becoming frustrated with the plethora of people who insist there are “rules” that these groups need to follow. Here’s a few of the most common “rules” people cite, and why I think they are sometimes very wrong:
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