helping brands make perfect sense of social media, from IAB UK’s social media council

The IAB’s Rising Voice in social media penultimate session took place last week. The 4th session was led by Ciaran Norris, Mindshare, Tony Effik, Publicis Modem and Phil Guest, Habbo. The presenters took the delegates through the ins and outs of paid for social media with some great case studies from the likes as Walkers and Skittles. The final session and graduation has now been moved to 24th August at 4pm at the IAB.

See below to view Ciarán Norris, head of social media at Mindshare presentation

See below to view Phil Guest, Executive Vice President Global Ad Sales at Sulake presentation

We IAB Social Media Council members are all about giving honest, practical advice to brands and practitioners.

This handy little four and a half-minute video from Henry Elliss, associate director of social media at Tamar, provides a perfect intro to blogging for brands… The do’s, the don’ts, the ins and outs, and who’s blogging’s the best in the UK right now.  Enjoy!

By Dhiren Shingadia, Analyst, Mindshare

Social Media has so many labels. One of the most familiar and ubiquitous being Earned Media. Recently I was asked about what the cornerstones of what earned media planning should contain? In order to illustrate my answer I produced the “back of a napkin” table shown above.

It’s slightly rough around the edges, but what I’ve tried to do is cover some of the key points/methods/platforms.

Any aesthetically minded individuals are welcome to integrate other planning architectures into it and make it look beautiful.

, senior PR and marketing manager and head of social media council, IAB

This week we launched the IAB framework for social media measurement.  Hopefully you’ve seen some of the coverage and the full presentation with all the details, but I thought I’d take some time just to give you a bit more background about why we came up with it, and what we hope having such a framework will achieve.

Why the IAB framework?

First and foremost the strength of the framework lies in its simplicity and memorability – a deliberate tactic to encourage wider adoption within the industry.  Of course a lot of experienced practitioners have robust methodologies already in place to measure social, and we fully recognise that these are making a lot of clients very happy the world over!   Our aim has never been to suggest the industry is measuring it in the wrong way, but rather in an inconsistent way across the board, which makes it difficult to compare or for the industry to grow as a whole.  Read more…

By , Head of Digital Media, Royal Opera House

wordie 1Pretty much every UK arts organisation now has a full-set of social-media cards: YouTube channel? Check. ? Yes indeed. Obligatory ? Why, yes of course. These combine with Flickr and Audioboo, blogs and wikis, podcasts and video channels to create a new kind of cultural landscape in which an audience member might never need to enter a gallery or auditorium to feel like they’ve seen the show.

But why are we doing it? Just like consumer brands, cultural organisations want to spend more quality time with people who care, or might grow to care, about them. The majority also need to cultivate customer loyalty and develop new, paying audiences. There are also traditional customer-service objectives to fulfil, and aspirations for brand building and international profile. But there are other motivations that make the challenge of creating a cultural social-media strategy more complex to execute, and success more difficult to measure. Read more…


by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing, Torchbox,

Anyone go to Glastonbury and see the Pet Shop Boys or stumble across their performance on TV ? Perfect anthemic festival theatre.

Listening to their 1984 number one smash – West End Girls – got me thinking. Could the lyrics be a vision that describe what you should consider when it comes to a social media strategy? Looking at them literally most definitely not! But with a bit of imagination they can be triggers for important things to take into account…

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what? (OK, I’ve changed this slightly!)
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?

Let’s take a closer look from a social media perspective:

‘Too many shadows, whispering voices’

Blatantly a reference to the fact that your brand is being talked about in the social media space. It’s whether you choose to listen.

‘Faces on posters, too many choices’

Faces on posters? They saw the Facebook revolution coming! Too many choices? Oh yes, there are thousands and thousands of social offerings you could choose to utilise.

‘If, when, why, what?’

Now we’re talking. Core strategy questions.

If – is social media something your organisation is ready to embrace? Can it be integrated into wider marcomms programme? Are you clear on who you are targeting?

When – do you have the resource in place? is your wider organisation ready to embrace?

Why – absolutely key. Measuarable objectives that show why you are doing it…

What – and what you want to achieve. Only then are you in a position to think about what to do to meet objectives.

‘How much have you got?’

Good question. You can’t just build it and hope people will come. Can you make funds available to amplify your offering?

‘Have you got it, do you get it?’

More people are. But many more could.

‘And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?’

The soft option is to do nothing.

And what have your customers done to deserve this?!

Rob Salmon will be presenting his Pet Shop Boys infused social theory in a strategy break out group at the IAB UK’s Social Media Forum which is taking place on Thursday 8 July between 3 & 8:30pm. To find out more and book tickets see:

Another month, another ‘Rising Voice in Social Media’ session, this time based around the concept of earned social media.

, commercial director at Unruly Media, took us through how to use viral to drive word of mouth citing case study examples from Durex, Nike and The Sun. Catch the presentation below.

, Managing Director of Diffusion provided insights on reputation management, how the PR industry has been turned on its head due to social media, and how to successfully protect your brand online whilst remaining approachable. Daljit’s slides are available below.

Reputation Management

, managing director of We are Social spoke on social media and customer service, including the trials and tribulations that come with using social media as a customer service channel with some great examples of how to do it right.

By , communications executive, IAB

Last Wednesday saw the IAB’s biggest mobile event to date – IAB Mobile Engage – which promised a whole day of mobile marketing ‘without the hype’.  Some 350 delegates filled the newly refurbished conference room at the Millbank Media and Cinema Centre, a majority of whom were UK brands, eager to escape the waffle surrounding the industry and just get simple, straightforward advice on how to do it.

The bulk of the programme was, as you’d probably expect, about mobile, but one presentation in particular really stood out for me, on Creativity in Mobile, presented by Mark Freeman, creative partner at Movement. During his presentation, Mark said something that really resonated with me, and made me realise how ’social’ creativity is in general nowadays, that ‘little actions lead to big results’. Read more…

, Associate Director-social media, Tamar

front cover 1

Brand Building Through Search Guide

Recent announcements from Twitter on its decision to base its new sponsored-tweet model on results returned through search highlight the growing relationship between search and social media.  At the same time, Google and Facebook have made big changes recently that blur the line between ‘search’ and ‘social’. These changes- real-time search results in Google SERPs, Google Labs ‘social graph’ experiment, expansion of the ‘universal’ results being returned to users and so on – are focused on giving people more relevant results.

This has always been Google’s defining vision but Twitter and other services are fast becoming searchers’ first port of call when looking for emotional or opinion-based answers to their queries.

Keep updated on changes to  well  publicised sites like Twitter and Google, you also have to keep one eye on smaller, up-and-coming sites like Topsy and Collecta. Real-time dedicated search engines that crawl the social space for live opinion and news on any topic you could think of.

Here are our top-tips on how to keep yourself ahead of your competitors when it comes to social search:

•    Find and utilise a social monitoring platform/tool that suits your needs and use it regularly. One-off reports and 500-page dossiers aren’t going to help you in the fast-paced new world we live in.

•    As well as using sites like Twitter for your business, use them personally to keep your eye on industry news. Following tweeters like Mashable, AlleyInsider and, of course, the IAB will ensure you always know the new sites and services before the mainstream do.

•    Apply SEO techniques and strategy to your social objects as you would do with your classic site. Keywords in titles, optimised tags and site-specific meta data will help your content get found in all the search engines, no matter how they decide rankings.

•    Be everywhere. You have to make sure that when people are doing searches that are relevant to you, your brand is dominating as much of that search real estate as possible – whatever engine they choose to use.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) –has partnered with search and social conversion agency Tamar to educate marketers about the importance of using search to build brands, with a step-by-step guide to putting the discipline at the heart of online strategies.

The full guide is available for download from the IAB site here or to request a copy please contact .

For more information on how you can contribute/sponsor one of the upcoming handbooks in the brand building series (Brand Building Through Integration, Brand Building Through Creativity and Brand Building Through Relationships) contact

By Amy Kean, senior PR and marketing manager, IAB.

columboLast week some of the IAB Social Media Council hot-footed over to     Barcelona to host a session at IAB Europe’s Interact Conference. Featuring , Tom Smith, , and , our job was to take some serious social media stats and decent case studies to cut through all the waffle surrounding social media, and present stuff with substance.  We were given the brief to talk about ‘social media and brand-building’ and this delivered, from Brad’s latest research results with Facebook to Tom’s Skinny Cow case study and Robin’s work for Marmite.
I won’t go into too much detail about the presentations because they’re all available to download from the website, but what struck me as most interesting were the questions upon questions that followed the case studies shown during the session, largely from other agency folk:
“What was your ROI to the nearest decimal place?”
“How does the amount of friends correlate to the amount of products sold in the month of June last year, before the campaign ran?”
“That may have worked for your brand of washing powder, but there’s no conversation about my brand of washing powder, so where do I even begin?”
“What the hell would you have done if someone said something rude on Twitter?”*
*not the actual questions asked, but you get the picture.

Part of my role requires me to attend social media events on a regular basis and I can confirm that these were not exceptional circumstances. Social media case studies are subject to a type of scrutiny that I haven’t quite seen in the rest of digital, which is perhaps why you see so few of them of the public eye.  I think there’s 4 reasons why this happens. Read more…