by Eva Keogan, Head of Social, LBi ,
News broke yesterday that Facebook is courting the creative leads of UK digital agencies including LBi and has invited them to attend its first ‘Influencer Summit’ at its Palo Alto HQ in California. This marks an exciting shift in the stakeholder landscape as media agencies have been first at the table of the Facebook monetisation feast.
The event is essentially a brainstorm to evolve the next wave of social advertising and the shape it will take. Chris Clarke, our Chief Creative Officer, is one of the lucky ones who will attend the Facebook Summit.
‘It was an impressive invite and I’m easily tempted by fine wine.’ said Chris. ‘I’ve also got huge respect for Facebook and am intrigued to see first hand what they’re up to. As a business it’s obviously a formidable force, but as a brand it suffers from a bit of an image problem. Is this the beginning of them addressing that?’ he continued.
With the recent funding announcement and an IPO in the mix, needs to demonstrate that it has the depth and breadth of revenue streams to outlast less fortunate digital spaces which have experienced the boom and bust phenomenon; think Second Life and MySpace, if you will.
So while many of us who are running communities and getting good revenue streams from this social network may be thinking ‘How long before Facebook starts charging us for this ‘free to air’ platform?’ the Influencer Summit promises an exciting agenda and endless possibilities.
At LBi, we are increasingly aware that Facebook is fast becoming the de facto lead social network in most countries around the world. Russia, China, India and Brazil all have domestic networks which are putting up a good fight in the face of this global phenomenon but in countries like Germany and Spain, home grown social networks are shrinking in its wake.
What this means is that when global clients are making a decision about which social network to choose, Facebook is increasingly becoming the first choice. The world leading brands stay on top due to constant innovation, reinvention and pushing boundaries, so it makes sense that Facebook would aspire to do the same to court such a lucrative audience and what better way to do it than to crowdsource from the cream of the crop in the creative industry?
, Senior Marketing Manager at Skive runs us through ‘The Future of Social Commerce’ covering topics such as Facebook credits and Geo location, complete with handy stats and case studies. Within these slides you’ll also find more info on the new Facebook Deals – the location-based service that allows you to see what offers are nearby and share deals with friends. Useful stuff!
by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing at Torchbox
In a very little while I’d like to look at Facebook’s new communications system which was announced on Monday 15 November, its key features and what it could mean for organisations using Facebook. If you’ve not read up on this I’d suggest taking a view of this video to start of with.
First up though, three quick ways I’ve used Facebook to communicate in the past week.
Last Saturday, I tried to fix our dishwasher. I am not like Bob The Builder. He can fix things. I didn’t even have the right screwdriver. So I put an appeal out to my Facebook friends. Within minutes I had had a few sarcastic comments and a few offers of help. Read more…
By Shona Gosh, Social Media Analyst RMM
Many established companies learn the hard way that venturing into social media means relinquishing the concept of carefully controlled branding. Once you’re in the social space, your branding and products become fair game to public perception (and evisceration, on occasion).
You have to hand it to Skittles UK. They’re obviously happy to market Skittles in a way which plays to alternative Skittle uses (projectile ammo) rather than a carefully controlled message (these sweets are yum). Few large-scale companies would be willing to embrace alternative product perceptions – let alone take it to the next level.
The campaign saw Skittles UK take on ‘Dave Phoenix’, who challenged them to completely submerge him in Skittles in 24 hours. The playful campaign was well-pitched, shamelessly stealing the ‘macho guy’ theme from Old Spice, livestreaming the carnage and providing excellent build-up and post-event content.
As PR stunts go, it was perfectly executed – and Skittles should be applauded for some creative brilliance.
Perhaps a more interesting question is whether Dazzle the Rainbow was genuinely social. Metrics such as live stream viewing figures and shares are not yet available. But YouTube viewing figures, comment numbers and ‘like’ numbers suggest that Skittles did not leverage a large proportion of their 1.3 million existing fans. We can all agree that it was a great PR stunt. But while shiny PR-able ideas are fun, true social media savvy comes from genuine community initiatives.
How could this have been more community-focused? While Skittles-throwers were encouraged to click a Facebook ‘Share’ button, there was little social impetus to do so. Once you had thrown your Skittles there was, for example, no social scoreboard mechanic comparing your Skittles score against friends. For all you knew, you were a lone Skittles consumer throwing sweets at another Skittles consumer. Rather than encouraging group activity, Dazzle the Rainbow encouraged the activity of many individuals. It may seem like a fine line, but it’s the difference between an online PR campaign and a truly social one.
by , Torchbox ()
The first ‘Facebook for Good’ conference was held yesterday in London, bringing together charities for a wide range of presentations and discussions about how to use Facebook to its fullest potential.
The event was kick started by a keynote speech from Randi Zuckerberg, Head of Consumer Marketing at Facebook.
What I liked about Randi’s speech was that she gave 10 tips that she believes will deliver winning Facebook pages. For some readers, it may seem like relatively common sense style info. However, that doesn’t mean to say everyone is practising what Randi preached so I thought I’d share the tips (they appear within the speech marks) along with my feelings on each as they’re relevant to all organisations not just the charitable sector. Seconds out tip one:
1. ‘Create a public page not a group.’ This is because there are lots of benefits with pages – for example you can get a personalised url, you get option of multiple logins, the posts come from the title of your page rather than an individual, you get access to the Insights data.
2. ‘Customize your Facebook page’ make it represent what your brand is all about. I think this is an interesting one as I reckon some people like entering on the wall and seeing what the page is all about before deciding whether to like. However, there is no reason why tabs can’t be used to deliver content that reflects a brand’s personality. I liked the example given by of iPlatform later in the day (who also runs the ) of the FA’s Support England tab which allowed you to put your name on the back of a virtual England shirt in run up to the World Cup. England may have faIled at the World Cup – but that was a winning campaign.
3. ‘Come up with rules of engagement’ – I guess this covers a wide range of stuff from deciding and stating what’s allowed and what isn’t, to figuring out the best time to post, to whether you’ll be using photos / vIdeo. In short, have a plan. It was interesting to hear that M&S have a meeting to discuss this week’s and next week’s wall updates. Like an editorial team in a newspaper.
4. ‘Encourage community interaction’ – if you can you might just turn from a page that people like to one that people love! I love the way Cobra uses Facebook to lead . Just the thought makes me yearn for a madras, garlic naan and bottle of Cobra – but enough of that. Tip five awaits…
5. ‘Be authentic’- my take on this is don’t try and be something you’re not. Use a tone of voice and imagery that befits the organisations you’re representing. And be polite and don’t say something you wouldn’t say in a public space.
6. ‘Get immediate feedback’ – if you have a community who are engaged, they’re defo going to want to be involved. So if you have a question you’d like feedback on, the community can be a great resource to make that happen.
7. ‘Leverage the power of video’ – I’m with Randi on this one. A little while ago I started up a for fun in my spare time and the most successful feature has been Ask A Silly Question, video interviews with community members asking stuff like ‘if you could be a comic book hero for the day who would you be and why?’ recorded and uploaded from an iPhone. Around 80% of the people that like the page watched the first video!
8. ‘Get creative!’ – effective creativity will result in compelling content that spreads. And if you’re an early adopter, the content can drive a news agenda. The one I’m pondering right now is how to use Facebook Places. Seems other folk are too, take James Blunt’s record label and how they’ve used Facebook Places to reward check ins with free downloads.
9. ‘Make it go viral!’ – tagging can help a post go viral and there’s been few better uses of tagging than ‘the most tagged photo ever at Glastonbury‘ which was highlighted. My view is that it is a combination of compelling content and effective amplification (i.e creativity and hard graft) that results in something going viral.
10. ‘Use insights to guide decisions’ – hear hear Randi. Not everyone uses the free Insights data that Facebook makes available but everybody should because the lessons you learn can help improve the way your campaigns perform. And that’s got to be a good thing…
So there you have it, Randi’s top ten tips! If you’d like to keep in touch about future Facebook for Good events, my tiny tip is head over to the page. If you want more info on best practice with your Facebook page there’s load of info here: .
By , Director of Digital Marketing at Torchbox
Facebook Places has launched in the UK this morning following its US launch last month and I believe its launch will see location-based services go mainstream in a way that the likes of Foursquare haven’t just yet.
If I was to ask you who the Mayor of your town or city is, would you answer with a resounding Churchill like ‘oh yes’ or a game show inspired ‘I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue’? For me it would be the latter. I know the mayor has a big black car and fancy robes. But I have no idea who he or she is.
And that lack of awareness is how I have felt as a mayor or former mayor of various places on Foursquare – the location-based social networking site that allows users to earn points and badges for checking in at venues. If you check in more times over a 60-day period than anyone else, you become the mayor of the venue.
At one point, I was mayor of my local pub, park, church and hospital. I’ve got 32 friends on Foursquare from work and far flung places who may have been aware of this, but none of the friends who I see regularly had any idea about my mayoral prowess because they weren’t using Foursquare.
They do however all use Facebook. And the majority still use it regularly.
That is why I find Facebook’s launch of Facebook Places so exciting. It is quickly going to bring location-based services to a mass market. A load of my Facebook friends have already used it this morning no doubt many more will as the day progresses.
Playing around with your mobile and updating people on Facebook when you’re out and about is a natural part of going out and I believe people will take the little bit of extra trouble to check in on Facebook Places and say where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. And you certainly won’t miss the Places icon on the Facebook iPhone app as it is right in the middle of the navigation screen. Facebook are giving it centre stage.
As you’d expect, some people have raised privacy concerns, but I don’t think this will stop it becoming huge quickly.
In terms of Foursquare, it remains to be seen what effect Facebook Places will have. The day after places was launched in the US, Fourquare claimed to have had it’s busiest sign-up day ever and it has announced it has now reached 3 million users. This number is bound to be dwarfed by Facebook before long as its 500+ million users start to use Places. Foursquare does, however, currently have things Places does not – the game play, the badges, the ability to become mayor and perhaps this is what they really need to focus on becoming famous for in a mainstream way.
Brands in the UK have used Foursquare as a way of driving PR stories and to show they are forward-thinking organisations. Early adoption has certainly driven headlines for the likes of Domino’s Pizza. I would be interested to know if it has driven business – there is currently no mayor at my local outlet despite the fact that a free pizza is up for grabs every Wednesday to the mayor.
However, if I worked for a brand, organisation or charity that had venues or shops, I would definitely look into Facebook Places, how it works and what opportunities there are (one downside seems to be you can’t add multiple locations and have to authenticate each individual venue – I feel sure this will be addressed sooner or later).
Early adopters will be able to drive PR headlines but it also has the potential to drive interactions with and insight from the people who visit your destinations.
Facebook Places is definitely going places and you may as well take a look to see if it is worth jumping onboard to help you reach your objectives.
For a guide to Facebook Places for Businesses and Advertisers, click here.
To get started on Facebook Pages, you’ll need the most recent version of the Facebook iPhone app or if you have a mobile browser that support HTML5 and geolocation you can access .
By Iain MacMillan, RMM
Over on the RMM blog, we explained what Facebook Places was, how it worked and who might use it.
While that post looked at how Facebook’s users might use Places, we’ve also been thinking about what advantages the new feature offers brands – particularly over Foursquare.
Currently, Foursquare users get the benefit of social gaming through collecting badges, discounts from brands like Starbucks and a new kind of interaction with friends. Facebook currently offers only the last of these three options. It hasn’t stolen the mechanism of rewarding users through badges, nor has it benefited from a lucrative partnership like Starbucks offering Foursquare power users free coffee. But Facebook Places may have the sheer might needed to expose a brand to large, hitherto untapped networks of friends, colleagues and family.
Facebook has a ready-made user base
, Foursquare has 2.5 million users. Very impressive for a start-up but in hard numbers barely comparable to . With such a massive user base, it will be Facebook Places and not a single-serving start-up which pushes geo-location into the mainstream over the next few years. There is little incentive to add users to your Foursquare network when they can access your status updates publicly via Twitter. But Facebook is a closed network; Places provides a new way in for brands.
This means any brand reliant on a bricks-and-mortar location should be quick to claim their postcode on Facebook Places – the quicker the uptake, the more noticeable to users. More so than Foursquare, if a user checks into your Facebook Place it will display to a potentially massive network of prospective customers. Brands who have marked themselves on Places may find themselves as a meeting or talking point among large networks of friends who have tagged themselves and each other on check-in.
Places will affect your fan page
There’s an option for any brand with a Facebook fan page to ‘merge’ this with the new Places functionality. Doing so will update your page design to reflect a map of your location and – importantly – status updates of everyone who has checked in there, whether a fan of your page or not.
Unfortunately there’s a flaw –this doesn’t really work for any brand with multiple locations to map. The natural step from here would be to consider creating individual pages for individual stores; creating smaller but potentially more loyal communities around single locations and also driving footfall.
Facebook is brand-friendly
Out of all the mainstream social media platforms, Facebook is the most nakedly interested in making money out of its users – for better or worse. Its swift release of the Places advertiser guidelines, despite technical teething problems with the new feature, suggests Facebook is keen to broadcast Places as an opportunity for brands as much as users. It is very much in Facebook’s interest to ensure brands can exploit Places for commercial advantage more quickly, easily and cost-effectively than the rival Foursquare over the upcoming months – which is why, as a brand, it would be smart to keep an eye on it.
By , senior PR and marketing manager, IAB
Whilst it’s important to blog about new technologies, platforms and Twitter’s ‘who to follow’ function, there are some issues within social media that are oldies but goodies, and remain deserving of our attention.
An associate kindly sent me this press release yesterday, and I must say I was jolly interested. Not because I want to buy the Club IAB page on Facebook tens of thousands of new recruits, but because I pondered for at least 3 minutes as to who else received it, and who out of those people was tempted to part with their cash. It might be a joke (particularly having read the blog) and if it is, a very funny joke it is too. The press release is below, but without the company details:
Facebook Popularity On Sale To The Highest Bidder - The ’social’ may soon be taken out of social media site Facebook as popularity on the site can now be sold to the highest bidder.
A certain ‘Social media marketing company’ has begun selling fans and friends on Facebook to businesses and organizations wanting to increase their exposure online and they’ve now announced they are selling up to 20 million fans at a time, meaning just about anyone with a “fat wallet” can be more popular than Lady Gaga, at least on Facebook. Read more…
By Katie Streten, Imagination
There is a lot of discussion on blogs and in social media generally about Twitters slow and careful inching towards a revenue model. Most of the thought is that it will take the tried and tested advertising approach, and after all, it has worked well for Facebook so there is no reason Twitter wouldn’t benefit in a similar way. Twitter has a simple mechanic that allows trend and conversation tracking and the potential is that this will deliver the possibility of highly targeted advertising from brands in much the same way that Facebook does. The key difference between the two would be that Facebook’s advertising is based on the demographic and life stage data their users provide the network with and Twitter’s would focus not on demographics but on moments of interest, conversations. And in fact Twitter’s ability to model and deliver based on conversation would be far more powerful than Facebook’s model – after all, simply because I am a 45 year old mother of three doesn’t mean I am not going to be highly interested in paintballing in the New Forest, and yet this may only be the interest of a weekend, a day, an hour. Identity is more fluid than demographics allow and the ability to talk to users in real time moments of decision would be incredibly powerful for any advertiser. Read more…
The IAB’s social media and mobile councils have collaborated to produce a list of eleven things you need to know about mobile and social media.
1. Accelerating change. Whilst Gartner predicts that mobile will be the dominant form of web access worldwide by 2013, today, already, the combination of social and mobile is accelerating that trend, with nearly the same percentage of iPhone owners accessing Facebook through their mobile (71%) as through fixed line internet (77%).
(Ipsos, “The Future of Mobile” study, December 2009)
Steve Wing, Head of Mobile and Digital Attraction, Guardian
2. Social media and mobile are growing. It’s been predicted by eMarketer that mobile and social network users worldwide will grow more than fivefold between 2009 and 2014, rising from 141.4 million users in 2009 to 760.1 million in 2014.
Clark Turner, Editor, UTalk Marketing Read more…