Monday, 22 September 2014

The IndieWeb v Social Media?

Some of my more geeky colleagues have been talking about theIndieWeb movement and how it goes against the big social networks like Facebook etc.

As far as I can work out, the IndieWeb is a movement to go back to the roots of the web in a way Sir Tim would like. It is about decentralizing your content so you own it, not a corporation like Facebook or Twitter.  It’s about not being reliant on the centralized corporate web i.e organisations like Facebook, who can change their platform on a whim and change how your content that sits on that platform is seen. It follows the principles of POSSE [Publish on your Own Site and Syndicate Everywhere] and SelfDogFood [which I don’t quite get].


Known is a new open publishing platform under the IndieWeb movement that allows you to own your content AND publish it everywhere. I think this is worth checking out. 

It sounds great in principle, but I think I’ll see how it develops before I throw in the towel on social media marketing. Brands use social channels for many reasons – to being where their audience hangs out, to making a brand statement by being on, say, Snapchat. Plus, often corporate policies means it’s sometimes just an easier to run a Facebook Profile than make a website social.


Still, with most social platforms moving to pay-to-play, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The rise of Dark Social

No its not a Dr Who or Blake’s 7 episode, but the latest phenomena in social media - all the sharing actions that are done outside of social platforms. This is where people are cutting and pasting content from social platforms to hard to track platforms like email, IM, etc. It’s getting a lot of attention with research saying its responsible for more sharing than that on social platforms. 

The Atlantic reckons 69% of social media referrals come from dark social, whereas RadiumOne reckon 72% of sharing comes from dark social. 

The Guardian gives a good overview here

It talks about some tools you can use to get a sense of how much sharing is happening on the dark side of social like using Google+ Ripples, Tynt to see the words people copy and paste etc.

Something to think about….

Monday, 11 August 2014

social media for customer service

I came across this interesting report about customer expectations from social media.
In essence,  the study reveals that:
  • 80% of companies think they are doing a great job at customer service but only 8% of their customers agree. Which is a bit disturbing. 
  • Customers expect a response within an hour on social channels. 
  • 20% of customers are not responding at all to customer queries on social channels and less that 20% are responding within an hour
  • 38% of people will feel more negative towards a brand and 6/10 will share that dissatisfaction. 
IMHO customer service should be integrated into social marketing. If social media marketing is all about engagement, we need to talk to people about the things they want to talk about i.e. customer service issues - not just the stuff we want to talk to them about e.g our latest product, mildly amusing GIFs or witty vine videos. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Merging editorial and advertising: good or bad?

Coming from a PR background before getting into social media, I would go into an apoplectic rage [sort of] if anyone suggested that editorial and advertising in media titles should work together.

I have always been of the school of thought that editorial should be independent and in no way influenced by the companies that advertise. Down that path lay eternal hellfire and damnation - and perhaps more importantly, a loss of credibility of the media title as soon as readers/viewers/listeners started to see a disproportionate amount of positive coverage about the brands that advertised the most.

OK, so I'm exaggerating slightly. But I've always believed there should be a separation of church and state in publishing.

Now I'm having second thoughts. I'm starting to see the benefits of the two working hand in hand. Going to meetings with the editorial team and media sales guys, I've seen content ideas created that deliver something for the brand while having editorial integrity and deliver benefit for the readers.

The trick to me seems to be the editorial team retaining editorial control and doing what is best for the reader/viewer while the brand funds content on something important to its business.  As long as there is full disclosure, like the NY Times native advertising etc, and the readers aren't duped, then I think it can work. It gives the media titles the new revenue stream they badly need and brands a new, perhaps more meaningful way, to communicate with audiences.

I guess we'll see, but it seems to be working for Facebook who combined their sales and product teams and set them both the same target: revenue. Just saying.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Facebook organic reach still works - with the right content

Despite Facebook's change in algorithm that significantly reduced organic reach to low single figures, I've seen some content on Facebook Pages still getting significant reach. Content on CPG Pages that I'm involved with have been getting upwards of 30% organic reach in the last few weeks. I started to wonder if Facebook's algorithm change isn't as punitive as we originally thought and it comes down to sharing really good content [pretty obvious, I know].

Then I came across this article from Newswhip / AllFacebook that talked about how interaction around content from media companies is increasing, with sectors like music, the environment and health getting the most interactions.


My conclusion is that content on high interest topics, like entertainment and health, made to be extremely compelling and in context can still deliver great reach on Facebook. It's up to us as brands, to up our game on content and make it highly appealing to our audience to get the most out of Facebook.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Creating a video to go viral

Often we get asked to 'create a viral video'. The restrained [sometimes] response being 'viral is an outcome, not a type of video' - unless of course its a video about Ebola. IMHO, the trick is to have a damn good idea, then decide the best way to communicate it to people.

Often this is video. Especially when it comes to awkward moments and facial expression of by standers.

Like this one:)




Wednesday, 11 June 2014

How to engage with Wikipedia

The CIPR UK had updated its really useful guidance on how to engage with Wikipedia as a PR professional. The full doc can be found here

I think the general rule of thumb is don't try and dupe anyone, be honest and don't be a dick. 
Below is a summary of the key points from the CIPR:

  1. Register a personal rather than a corporate account and disclose your conflicts of interest on your user page.
  2. If you are concerned about the accuracy of a Wikipedia article but have a conflict of interest you must address this via the community. Don’t edit any page you have a conflict of interest on.
  3. Head to the Talk page for the Wikipedia article concerned and draft your response. This works in almost all situations however if you don’t get a response then raise it on the relevant noticeboard.
  4. Escalate with kindness and don’t be an idiot. When faced with a situation where you have a choice to be an idiot or not be an idiot, choose to not be an idiot. 
  5. You can freely contribute articles related to your profession, hobbies and interests, where you do not have a conflict of interest.