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

By Harriet Clarke, communications executive, IAB


The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is offering one lucky winner the opportunity to shadow senior members of the IAB staff for 1 week between Monday 12th to Friday 16th July. The winner will get the opportunity to attend IAB events and meetings which will give them the chance to make vital contacts within the industry. They will also get to witness the day to day running of the trade body for the digital industry.

In order to win this very exciting placement, the entrant will need to to respond to the below brief which is running in conjunction with the 25th birthday of Levi’s iconic Launderette ad.

The Brief: Using the technology available today, how would you turn the advert above into a creative online campaign, using all available resources (social media, search, mobile, display etc)?

Entrants can respond to the brief in any way they feel appropriate, but finished work should reference the original campaign in some way. Entries should include a written response of between 300 and 500 words which includes:

- Your full name
- The university/college you are currently attending or your current employer
- A written summary of the campaign activity
- An explanation of how your campaign is an evolution from the original version
- An explanation of why your campaign deserves to win

Entrants are also invited to submit supporting graphical work if appropriate.

The entries will be judged by the IAB’s very own marketing director, .

Entries should emailed to

Closing date: 9am on 12th April

Please visit http: to find out information on all aspects of the new media industry and the career opportunities it offers. You can also find information on the Talent Taskforce, an IAB initiative to future proof the online and mobile industry by nurturing young talent.

For full terms and conditions please click here:

by , new business manager at Skive

When “social media”is mentioned by brands it all too often means “do we need a twitter/facebook page?” as if the answer lies in the platform. Those with any clout realise it’s about leveraging the platforms to achieve your goals as a brand. The exciting thing about social media sites is that they can be seen as blank pages for great creative ideas to run
free. Pumping out offers on twitter/facebook may be functional but it is a drop in the ocean of what can be done if only a little creativity is applied.

On the way in to work today I noticed that they’re opening up a Yo Sushi.

In contrast to their bland product they have made great use of the construction site by putting two social media calls to action on the boards outside the restaurant.

Yo! Sushi

Yo! Sushi

We are invited to follow them on twitter and tweet “London” for a chance to win a meal for 4 on the opening night. Personally I’d rather pay to eat somewhere else, you call me a huge food snob but sushi is meant to be tasty as opposed to just cold – just a  thought.

I’m a big fan of cross platform marketing and it doesn’t need to be complicated/expensive. This is a simple, cheap and possibly effective use of outdoor to drive engagement online. As good as this is I think it still misses a trick or two.

1.       Yo Sushi ask us to tweet “London” – and that’s it. Who is going to want “London” in their feed except people who tweet random city names for the sheer hilarity of it? They should have said “tweet why you love Yo Sushi” or “tweet Yo Sushi rules for a chance to win!”

2.       There’s a similar mechanic for Facebook which falls foul of the same problem.

3.       It wouldn’t have cost them  much to try out other channels such a flickr. They could have printed a cool image for people to interact with and have their photos taken next to and then got them to upload it to facebook/flickr etc.

Here’s an example of this being done really well by McDonalds:

Yo Social

I get the feeling that Yo Sushi are dipping their toes in the water here and don’t fully understand the integration of offline and social – but it’s a good start.

by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing, Torchbox. Follow

Back in 1987, BROS’s top quality (in my opinion!) pop song demanded an answer to the question: ‘when will I be famous?’

It is a question that I reckon thousands upon thousands of social media campaigns could ask of their owners.

You could have the best content offering in the whole wide world (we looked at the importance of social media content last time round) but unless you go out and shout about it, there’s a good chance it will remain anonymous.

Back in the late nineties, I was the sponsorship manager on Carling’s Premier League sponsorship. We paid lots for the rights – but then we paid lots more to make the sponsorship famous through PR, advertising, relationship marketing and via a competition website.

In my mind, social media campaigns should be no different. You get the offer up and running. Then you do all you can to make your target market aware of it. ‘Build it and they will come’ might work for a minority of campaigns but for the majority you’ve got to get out there and shout about it. Think Tears for Fears – ‘Shout Shout Let It All Out!’.

So how do you do that? By utilising all the marketing tools you have at your disposal.

Let’s take the example of a Facebook page with the simple objective of growing a community of brand loyalists (yes, I’m sure you’d have more comprehensive objectives that that…)

Advertise: There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook pages. To achieve stand out, consider advertising it with Facebook. It’s not rocket science to say that if your target market is aware of your offering they are far more likely to interact with it.

PR: Get out there and PR the new page. Source relevant blogs, forums etc. Let them know about your offer and what makes it newsworthy.

Your Media Channels: From email newsletters, to website integration to TV commercials, to business cards (surely you’d be better off listing this than a fax number?!) to email sign off. Put it out there. Shout about it.

Do this sort of stuff for a compelling offering and you’re far more likely to trigger a viral spread where friends share with friends who share with friends…

Whatever you think of BROS and their infectious pop songs. There’s one thing you can’t deny. ‘When will I be famous?’ was a massive hit. If you want your social campaign to be similarly successful, it’s worth asking your agency how they are going to make it famous.

PS If you have no idea who BROS are, I’m guessing that it is down to the fact you are lucky enough to be too young to remember them. Hey ho. Fear not. You can view ‘When will I be famous?’ on Youtube.

By Iain MacMillan, RMM and Robin Grant, We Are Social - IAB SMC Ambassadors for Social Media and Customer Service.

Customer service is arguably one of the most intriguing elements of running a successful organisation, given that:

  • It can impact on, and be impacted by, every department in the organisation
  • Different customers may perceive the same level of customer service quite differently
  • In today’s marketplace social technologies mean that everyone can see what you’re doing

We’ve outlined below ten traditional aspects of customer service, and how the emergence and adoption of social technologies has fundamentally changed the game in each.

Read more…

Fleur MD of Pass it On Media was interviewed by IAB’s senior PR and marketing manager, on social media influencers. This 10 minute video covers how to spot a worthwhile influencer, how influencers help campaigns and how they can be detrimental in a PR crisis. Fleur talks through the processes at Pass it On on how to recognize a worthwhile influencer, what tools they use for this and how important it is to keep an influencer fully involved with the campaign and be honest and transparent throughout the whole process in order to gain the best results.

At the end of the video Fleur also mentions her involvement with the IAB social media measurement sub group and how they are currently working towards setting actual usable metrics for the industry.

By Tom Ollerton, new business manager, Skive

This is a presentation that I gave at the IAB Retail Forum (other presentations only available for IAB members).  It gives an overview of the best and worst in class in this space as well as my view of the future of retail and social media.

Social Media For Retailers

For those of you who think virtual gifts are just something for the kids and hard core gamers you’d be wrong. In this video is interviewed by the IAB’s senior PR and marketing manager who asked questions such as What is branded content? What are virtual gifts and What is the size of growth within this market?

He talks about the prospect of virtual gifts being a new marketing platform for those brands that want to make contact with their hard to reach consumer. He also mentions how virtual gifts are a great way of expressing yourself online to your friends and family on your social networks.

Phil squashed the claim that branded commodities and virtual gaming is just for those hard core gaming types as more and more middle aged house wives jump on the gaming wagon. Games such as Farmville which are easy to play have powerful social elements to them allowing the user to include their friends and at the same time gaining online status.

By , Associate Director – Social Media, Tamar

Before I start this blog, I must apologise for both the tenuous nature of my analogy, and the actual origin of the story too. Both may make you chuckle, or they might simply make you wonder “What the hell was he searching for THAT for?” – but hopefully you can see past my eccentric search habits and make it through to the end of my story, for therein lies the gold… Read more…

by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing, Torchbox,

Did you watch any of the ski cross in the Winter Olympics? The one where four top class skiers line-up before racing down a rocking and a rolling rollercoaster of a track over bumps and jumps at blistering speeds in a quest to beat the rest and make it to the bottom first. Like a James Bond ski chase where you don’t know whose going to triumph. It was incredibly compelling content.

I made a point of watching as much as I could. I told my family. My friends. My workmates. Maybe they too went and watched and then told their circles.

So what relevance does this have to social media?

Well, if you want people to become a fan of your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter or share your iPhone app, I reckon you had better make sure it has a compelling content offer.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a Winter Olympic discipline akin to watching paint dry. And I don’t think watching paint dry is ever going to command a large or highly engaged audience (although maybe this YouTube link which has been watched 33k time proves that wrong!?). Read more…

By Iain MacMillan, RMM and the IAB Social Media Council education sub-group

When considering how to make best use of social technologies and media, it can be hard to know where to start. Making an organisation’s interactions amongst its employees, customers, enthusiasts or prospects more social can have numerous benefits -and can be achieved in many and various ways.

With this in mind, we believe a broad framework of social media activity types would be most beneficial – not only for those who lack experience in this area, but also for people for whom a simple check-list might be a useful aide memoire.

We’ve devised a list of six ways in which brands can use social technologies to impact upon a business’ marketing function.

Read more…