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Doing your Social homework

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So imagine social networking  was Biology. My daughters have spent a couple of months and I feel extremely sorry for them. I remember revising some subjects where I wasn’t quite “getting it” and feeling very vulnerable. There is a danger that we think we know it all and stop doing our own revision. Social Networking is developing so quickly that we have to keep learning, benchmarking and testing. Imagine it was a subject with an exam next week. What would you do differently if you wanted to be sure of passing?

One way is to read the literature. There is no easy textbook but I would recommend Wikinomics – How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams It was written in 2006 but has been updated since then. It lays out the principles of social networking and Web 2.0 with some excellent business examples. It demonstrates clearly the difference between social neworking and social media and is timeless because of it. Its references to  MySpace bely its age but it doesn’t matter because you can just replace the references with Facebook and not lose the power of the story. As with many worthwhile projects like this it doesn’t end with the book. It has been updated but there is also a wiki around the Playbook. @dtapscott is on Twitter and has 32,000 followers!

You then need a playbook. In a world where everything is even now still quite new I really like Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. It lays down the principles but then defines a simple framework for businesses to follow. I say “simple” but that’s surely the hallmark of a great business book.

This highlights a need to use your personal social networking presence for learning and collaboration as well as for your own business development. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience to take advantage of and to contribute to. There are some visionaries out there with some huge ideas which are worth looking at and Web 2.0 has encouraged them to share. One of my favourites is by Luc Galoppin (@lucgaloppin) which is beautifully written, thought provoking and quite wonderful.

Written by greencontact

July 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

There’s medals up for grabs in the Socialympics

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On Friday, the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony takes place and we continue a long summer of sport with the Paralympics to follow. For Social Media observers though there are some fascinating events already underway.

In the long build up it is interesting to monitor the depth of interest as the opening ceremony approaches. The Google Trends tool shows this well by monitoring the Google search term “Olympics 2012”.

Image courtesy Google

You can see the long steady buildup and the impact of news coverage. The last 30 days show the trend in detail:

Image courtesy Google

Underneath that general interest though is a fascinating battle of the hashtags both from a business perspective and from the general public. One of the most publicised is the #savethesurprise hashtag created by the LOCOG team to try to get the participants and attendees of the opening ceremony rehearsals to keep the details of the show confidential. The hashtag was displayed on screens inside the Olympic stadium along with a personal request from Danny Boyle, the show’s organiser. As a result the hashtag trended but the meme element is clearly there. The hashtag conveyed with it an expectation of something very special but also a real desire developed that keeps the press in check that we really do want to see the show on Friday without having the surprise element spoiled.

There is an interesting battleground emerging. While the nickname Socialympics is emerging to reflect the timing of the Games and the growth in use of Social Media, there are also very tight controls over the branding of the Games which are being policed. The usual social media laissez-faire is being tempered. One athlete has already been sent home for misuse of Twitter and there are sure to be further controversies. There are a number of official Twitter and Facebook accounts to follow from the IOC, the London Games organisers but also from individual national teams. For UK followers the @TeamGB account has accrued over 222,000 followers. If you want to get the inside track on tweets from athletes, check out who @TeamGB follows – all 800+ of them. For coviewers it will be a rich source.

The hashtags are beginning to emerge – all incorporating versions of the London, Olympic, 2012, but there will also be #openingceremony and a number of spinoffs from it as the Games progress which indicate people’s specific interests and views. This Olympics is also being branded the first “Second Screen Olympics”. Broadcasters such as VH1 and MTV have already launched apps that allow a split screen approach on iPads and iPhones – where viewers can watch the action and also the social media activity surrounding it. According to Kenny Lauer, in an excellent article while the TV audience for the opening and closing ceremonies is likely to be around 4 billion people, 46% of Americans will be holding a tablet device while they watch. If ever there was a killer “red button app” this is it (working in the same way that subtitles do).

Mediacom has been running a league table of Olympic sponsors–insights/olympic-twitter-tracker/july-2012/daily—24th-july-2012.aspx and their Twitter performance during the Olympics. On the 24th July Adidas head the table but on the 23rd they were 3rd. In what other league table could you juggle the brand in this way through judicious related promotions and hashtag creations. The rankings are based on “Performance score = POSITIVITY of comments x ENGAGEMENT by the
people commenting x Potential REACH of those comments.”

The Olympics represent a tremendous opportunity for businesses to play with social media – to find niches which are large in their own right, to identify memes and learn how to relate to them, to gain relevant followers from the millions available and to try to get RTs and favourites. Kenny Lauer summarises it perfectly “My personal digital motto is the three C’s: “collapsing distances, connecting people, and creating behavior.” The Olympics is a perfect opportunity to practice this. Collapsing distances isn’t just physical distance; it is emotional, cultural, and ideological distances as well. Connecting people requires using campaigns and digital strategies that encourage participation and engagement, not just as a flashpoint but ongoing. And always remember that it is a marketer’s job to create and drive specific, ideally measurable behavior.”

Written by greencontact

July 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

And the winner of #Euro2012 is… @AdidasUK

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Last Sunday, the Euro 2012 football tournament had a thrilling climax with a 4-0 win for Spain over Italy. The event was momentous because in doing so Spain broke a number of records -first team to defend the title, highest winning margin in a final, first team to win three major tournaments in a row… This was a big event with Twitter reporting that when the fourth Spanish goal went in there were more than 15,000 tweets per second beating the previous record for a sporting event of just over 12,000 for the last three minutes of February’s Superbowl. There were 16.5 million tweets worldwide during the Spain vs Italy match. What this means is that this is a hotspot for anyone looking to promote or gain followers. If you have anything to say about football or to the following demographic you need to be there.

After my earlier post about the Formula 1 social media activity I thought I would check on what the some of the Euro 2012 global sponsors did with the event.


They made a magnificent effort. Their @adidasUK site was tweeting throughout the final. They linked their new #takethestage Olympic ad by trailing its launch after the final whistle. They also ran a promotion based on offering a discount on the online store according to the number of goals scored. Overall the site retweets relevant sporting comment and is highly interactive. They are a really good example of a joined up strategy.


Compare Adidas’s work with that of Canon. The @CanonUKandIE site hasn’t tweeted since March. @Canon – the official web communications site has NEVER tweeted. I couldn’t find a single tweet during the final. You would have thought they could have made excellent work of Instagram with some great live action shots – especially via their @Canon_Camera site. A real missed opportunity


A similar story to Canon – The @CastrolUK site hasn’t tweeted since February. The US sites seem to be very integrated with motor racing enthusiasts but I couldn’t find a comment on Euro 2012. Interestingly there is a trace of previous specialist Castrol sites set up for previous tournaments

Coca Cola

The @Coca-ColaGB site is doing a very good and personal job tracking the Olympic torch relay – another of their sponsorships. The main @cocacola is a massive multilingual undertaking which congratulated Spain on Sunday but there was very little other comment


A mixed bag for @ContiUK. The team did a good job with regular tweeting about the event and competitions running alongside it – guessing the scores and spot the ball. Strangely silent on Sunday though which was a missed opportunity for them.

This isn’t all the global sponsors by any means – merely the first five alphabetically. You could also argue that of the ones listed Adidas is the most directly associated with the sport. However, my response would be that Social Media offers an excellent way for any brand to have their say – anyone can tweet during the final and use the hashtags.  The work of @AdidasUK is obvious from their Klout scores over the period. They raised their overall Klout score from 71.66 at the start of the tournament to 73.44 at the end. The main driver for this was their Klout True Reach – this measure takes out all the spam and bots and looks at the real people who act on AdidasUK content. This went up from 69,995 to an astonishing 93,239.  Another interesting characteristic is that there is a clear build up to England’s game with Italy on 24th June. All stats dropped off immediately after the game but the team at @AdidasUK did a really good job of building them back up again and they have a legacy from the event to work with.

We have the 2012 Olympics coming and Twitter are expecting many records to be broken during them (social media as well as athletic). Coca Cola are already on the ball with this but how are Acer, ATOS, GE, Visa and P&G coping?


Social Media and Weather

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Picture courtesy @chrisdoidge on Twitter

I write this a huge thunder storm has just passed through making the roof of my contact centre rattle and some car alarms go off. Small beer for some parts of the world but a pretty big deal for June in England. It got me thinking of the connections between Social Media and weather.

The first obvious story is the reporting of extreme weather conditions via Social Media. Facebook and Twitter are ideal media for real-time reporting of activity compared to the effective, but not detailed, radio and TV. If you want to know what is happening right now in your area, to your friends, SM is the way forward.  James Spann has over 90,000 followers on his Facebook page which posts and hosts news about tornados in Alabama. In his own words during the extreme 2011 tornados: “Facebook and Twitter usage was critical… I will tell you right now there are people who are walking around in Tuscaloosa Alabama … because these people got the tornado warning via Facebook or Twitter”. The same phenomenon has been reported for bush fires and tsunamis where real-time is the only time that matters.

Powerful stuff but it also turns out that weather is a common topic on social media, as in everyday life, in less dramatic circumstances. The volume is being exploited by apps such as Metwit. Twitter in particular is a mobile information source and one of the strengths of Social Media over other channels is the volume of hyperlocal information available. In any big city you can have different weather conditions in different parts of town. Most weather forecasts in any other media, at best, provide hourly updates but if I am going shopping in half an hour I want to know whether to take an umbrella or not. Apps such as Metwit give a real-time, hyperlocal (to the extent it can give you updates close to your current GPS position) which is actually meaningful for you.

The other interesting dynamic of social media usage is the impact of weather on usage and how it can be exploited. Retailers are already beginning to use time-of-day statistics to work out when to post offers and the tone of social messages. They already know the impact of weather on fashion and footfall. It figures that people may be more active on social media when the weather is poor and less active when the sun shines. Understanding the community and what they are doing is critical. There is no point in posting offers at times when the community are unlikely to be able to take them up and pointless offering ice-cream on days like today!

Written by greencontact

June 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

Be Better at Twitter: The Definitive, Data-Driven Guide – The Atlantic

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Be Better at Twitter: The Definitive, Data-Driven Guide – The Atlantic.

Nice piece from Megan Gerber on statistically what makes great Tweeting

Written by greencontact

February 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

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I’m always a sucker for infographics and original research

Written by greencontact

January 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

Know your audience

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As with any other activity, with Social Networking you need a plan: Why are you tweeting/blogging/facebooking? There are a lot of ways that this can be expressed but the root of this must be your audience. In the excellent Groundswell: Winning In A World Transformed By Social Technologies (@groundswell), Josh Bernoff (@joshbernoff ) and Charlene Li (@charleneli) lay out the kind of audience profiling which would be effective, categorising those of your audience who are active in social networking on a “Technographics Ladder” as:

  • Critics
  • Inactives
  • Spectators
  • Joiners
  • Collectors
  • Creators

supported by the characteristics of each in terms of what their interaction with the social world is likely to look like. This Techipedia article shows the differences between how some of your targets are best approached

By understanding where your target audience sit compared to your competitors’ audience and the population in general you can work out what social technologies will work best for you. They also spell out the importance of listening to what is being said – that your brand is driven by what your audience is saying about you. Before setting out, think about what your are trying to achieve. Again, taking from Bernoff and Li, try to think about what will be different in three years time if your social networking strategy is successful. The authors are also at pains to point out the importance of getting into the detail of what other effects could be from entering the social media world where not everyone will be a fan of your brand.

Strategy can be expressed in a number of ways. Have a look at this personal Twitter manifesto from Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang

I would appreciate links to any other Social strategy documents

Written by greencontact

January 17, 2012 at 9:07 am