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Oct08

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails: Wednesday October 8th- Anonymous Facebook app and Men’s Health Fail

Like

This is a bit of a weird one, because it’s basically a like and a fail in one. Whuuuut.

So Facebook might soon be offering an option for users to share with each other anonymously, in the form of a standalone app. According to a report in the New York Times, the app will launch in the coming weeks (just in the US at first, presumably) and will allow people to use pseudonyms so they can discuss topics “which they may not be comfortable connecting to their real names.”

On the one hand, this could be considered a good idea for those who don’t want to share any of their information, but talking about topics you might not want to connect to your real name sounds like it could open up a whole can of worms.

People argue with each other on Facebook anyway, when you can see their real names, so who knows how this could turn out. Twitter and online comments make it a whole lot easier for people to troll the crap out of each other, here’s hoping that an anonymous Facebook app doesn’t encourage the same thing.

Fail

Men’s Health made a serious Twitter boo-boo yesterday, which left them red faced, after they tweeted an article about “How to talk about Sports with Women”. BAD CHOICE. As you can imagine, it didn’t go down particularly well.

The tweet has been deleted, but luckily those quick fingered folks at Buzzfeed had already embedded it on their site, so you can see it below.

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After the tweet went out, the Men’s Health Twitter account was bombarded with replies from annoyed followers, and deservedly so.

 

 

 

 

Needless to say, people were not happy. Men’s Health tweeted an apology before deleting the story, saying that their ‘talk sports with her’ story missed the mark, and that it wasn’t meant to “suggest that women are in any way inferior to men, in sports, or anything else.

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by Iona St Joseph

Jul18

Insight: Taking advantage of video for Social Campaigns and Businesses

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There’s no denying that online media is becoming more and more visual, text pieces are losing their oomph as images and video take over. It’s been revealed that YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine after Google, and that definitely says something about the visual shift. Not only is YouTube the second biggest search engine, but it’s also bigger than Bing, AOL, Ask and Yahoo combined, and has over 1 billion unique monthly visitors.

This is definitely a sign that your company should be working on getting video to be an important part of your online campaign. If the amount of time and investment in video is off-putting to you then there are other options with short form video on sites such as Vine and Instagram. These sites are especially useful for igniting your creativity in ways to advertise your business in quick engaging bursts. People these days have shorter attention spans so it’s more likely they’ll watch a 6 second looping Vine rather than a 5 minute video explaining your business. Unless of course you get Ryan Gosling to do it.

Ryan gosling wink

Obviously there are limitations of using sites like Vine and Instagram, first off there’s that time limit, whilst useful for being creative, can be very limiting when trying to convey a longer point. Also, though these videos can be embedded they always seem like a much more ‘casual’ poption which may not be the impression you want to give off as a business, in which case another hosting site like YouTube, Vimeo or Vzaar might be more suited.

Plus going back to what we were saying initially, YouTube as a search engine could be extremely beneficial to your business and your videos. Having all your videos hosted on YouTube give them a greater chance of exposure, with the site having a higher exposure than any cable TV station in the US as well as a whopping 6 billion hours of video being watched on the site every month. The way videos are ranked on YouTube is a secret algorithm, but there are obvious factors taken in to account. These are the number of views (this seems to be a big factor), the title of the video, the video’s description and the video’s ratings. So the more relevant you can make the title and description the higher it will rank, also make sure not to ignore the tagging section on YouTube as this also helps the site know where to put the video.

Seeding your video will also be an important step in getting your video seen as well as pushing it up YouTube’s search rankings, which in turn will help it be seen by more people. You can start this off by sharing your video among different Social Network sites, making sure to post with relevant hashtags to potentially reach a wider audience than just your own followers.

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The rise of visual media online has also affected the way that other Social Networks rank their stories too, again showing how important videos and images are if you want to be seen. Facebook has changed their algorithm more recently, making pictures more important in a news feed and ranking them higher, this is also true of video content on the site, there is definitely a bigger focus on the visual as opposed to before when there was an even mix of text and visual content. The focus on video for Facebook has been proven even more recently, where they’ve been seen testing video enhancements on the site, such as suggesting similar videos after you finish watching one on the site. This is obviously a copycat of YouTube’s suggested videos feature, but again cementing the demand for more video content.

Video can be a very tricky medium to get right, it’s important to make sure that you won’t be wasting money and commitment on a video which does nothing for the brand you’re trying to promote. It can be more important to spend time on relevant content than to create a bad video just because you feel you need a video. Planning a video and thinking over a few different ideas is the best way to make sure you get what you definitely want, as well as something successful. Whilst many people think that jumping on to an online trend is a great way to be seen and rank, if it’s not well timed or relevant it can end up drowning among all the similar content which are trying to do the same thing.

If you have a quick thinking team with quick turnarounds then it’s possible, but not highly advisable. It’s probably better to focus on being original and creating your own trend.

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by Helen Stirling

Jul14

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 14th July – Dukey’s last days & Potato Salad kickstarter copycats

This is your 2 second warning. In 2 seconds you will have your mind blown by today’s Likes and Fails. The story of one dog and one potato salad. Will their world’s collide? I hope not, I imagine it would be messy.

Likes

Dukey the dog

This a lovely story which is quickly going ‘viral’, ahem, telling the beautiful story of Dukey the dog’s last day on earth. The blog was created by Robyn Aroutey a photographer who seemingly works mainly with people and their pets. She wrote the blog from the perspective of Dukey and how he was enjoying his last day on earth, the blog was accompanied by some lovely photographs of Dukey and his human pals. The story has been copied over to Buzzfeed, which is especially useful as Robyn’s blog has now gone down, possibly due to excessive traffic being directed to the site.

I can already see the story spreading further than just Robyn’s blog and buzzfeed as the blog is so poignantly put as well as being extremely relatable to anyone who has ever owned a dog, or even anyone who has had to say goodbye to a dear friend.

The web love, love, loves any story about cute animals so the fact that this story has been so popular (already 200,000 shares) isn’t the least bit surprising. I hope that Dukey appreciates the love and is up in doggy heaven enjoying the cheeseburgers.

Fails 

Potatosalad

So we told you about the funny Kickstarter story last week, you know, the now world-famous Potato salad that is now at an over-the-top (almost) $50,000. Well this week we’ve seen that some desperate and unoriginal people are now creating copycat campaigns in the hope they can also raise stupid amounts of money. Some such campaigns are called ‘I’m also making a potato salad‘, ‘I want a cheeseburger…‘, ‘Taramasalata‘. You get the point. 

Obviously all these follow ups, of which there are 319 Potato Salad themed ones (according to The Daily Dot) have been nowhere near as successful as the original. These so called original ideas on Kickstarter seem more dad-joke than cutting edge humour, with one user calling their foodstuff better than Robin Thicke’s new album.

People always want to be reactive with viral jokes, in the hopes of becoming the next big parody thing, this is clear to see with memes, where so called advice animals reuse the same theme over and over again in the hopes of laughs of gratification. In fact it’s more the predictability of these copycats that is funnier than the so-called jokes themselves.

Well we again find ourselves waiting for the next big thing and see how many parodies pop-up because of that, my bet is it’ll include some sort of cat, why? because it’s the internet.

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by Helen Stirling

Jul11

Insight: Are Buzzfeed and click-bait articles losing their appeal?

So, don’t get me wrong, I love Buzzfeed, it’s perfect to wile away the hours whilst not having to think very hard about anything.

There’s no denying though that Buzzfeed’s popularity has led to a huge surge in click-bait articles. Which in turn has led to the net being inundated with articles of little substance. The numbered lists are everywhere and the titles such as, “16 Peaceful Pictures Of Exhausted Shoppers Fast Asleep In Ikea” or “18 Shirts Every Guy Should Buy If You Want To Be Single Forever” are enticing but pointless. The sheer amount of content on Buzzfeed means that some of their newer articles really show how hard it is for them to come up with original content. See: “23 GIFs Of Me Desperately Clinging To Any Idea I Can Think Of”.

The Onion recently put everyone’s surfacing annoyance with these articles into reality, in a hilarious spoof website called Clickhole. Clickhole features articles such as “9 Snacks You Should Try Right Now, But Only If You’re Planning On Having A Late Dinner” and “7 Photos Of People Wearing Full Scuba Gear You Have No Way Of Proving Aren’t Sandra Bullock”. I think that the creation of this site proves that people are realising more and more how pointless these numbered lists they’re reading daily are. 

Buzzfeed is going from strength to strength, but surely there will be a cut-off point soon, the site’s popularity will plateau and they will go into the sort of panic mode which Twitter are currently in. Twitter has seen itself undergoing some drastic changes in recent months and this is likely due to the site’s growth slowing down. Changes to the Twitter profile and the rumoured changes to how you interact on the site are an attempt to entice new users by making the site easier to use and more accessible. It’s possible that if Buzzfeed find themselves in a similar position they’ll attempt a tonal shift, or a new focus. I think this is already beginning to be addressed with the introduction of their long form pieces, though much of the emphasis they initially put on these articles has been slowed.

The problem that Buzzfeed is having is with original content, or lack of. The fact that their content is so lightweight and ‘disposable’ means that their longevity is dubious, and it not only affects what users are thinking of the site, but it affects the value of the site as well. Buzzfeed was recently rumoured to be worth $1 Billion, but this figure was called in to question when the site’s originality was considered. The fact that the site, like other news sites, deals in the reactive stories (as well as other lightweight articles) means that there is little value in their archive of articles, and the lack of original content suggests that the site is not worth quite that much.

It feels as if there is a shift happening, where people are looking for more long form content, and dare I say it, articles that are actually about something. How long can people really be satisfied with lists and lists of GIFs, or quiz content? Yes, the aspect of sharing results or relatable articles with your friends on social media can be satisfying, but won’t there come a point where we’ve seen it all and your friends will no longer react to such content on their timelines. How often do you click on a ’10 things women do that men don’t’ article that your friend shared in comparison to how much you clicked on them say 6 months to a year ago?

Looking at click-bait in wider terms, it’s meteoric rise is mostly due to the modern lifestyle becoming more and more hectic, and not having the time to sit down and read a long form article. The titles with countdowns, so ’10 reasons’, ’21 tips’ give readers an idea of how long their attention will be need, it’s more of a definite, making them more likely to read it. Obviously trends are known for coming in and out and things are constantly changing, and I think we are at the point again where people want something more than 20 ‘Mean Girls’ GIFs in an article with a 10 word explanation. The disposable content is on it’s way to being fully disposed of and people are beginning to search for something new.

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by Helen Stirling

Jun04

Why blogging is important for your business

Yes, blogging can be time consuming,  and sometimes difficult, but it is usually worth the bit of time that it consumes. The act of blogging can improve your business in many ways, don’t just trust me though there’s actual stats. 77% of internet users read blogs, small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads and 81% of US consumers trust advice from blogs they read. A blog instantly makes your company more personable and the consumer can get to know you and the company easier, and hopefully that will increase a link between the company and the clients. The benefits go further than that though, and we’re going to take a look at some of them now.

SEO

This is the main reason that businesses decide to start blogging on their site. Having regular content uploaded to the site show search engines that the site is active. It is also a good idea to have keyword specific blogs to bring traffic to your site. Having blogs available on your site regarding industry specific topics mean it will be easier to get ranked higher in Google for specific search terms therefore leading to more site traffic.

Get to know your business/industry better

Blogging about topics related to your company and it’s industry give you the chance to get to know the industry better, as well as starting to voice your opinion on industry matters. You’ll need to research industry news and keep up to date on projects that are going on, this not only improves the blog content, but your own personal knowledge.

Establishing a voice

Writing down your thoughts on any industry news and topics means that you can begin to establish a voice online to become a reputable source, as well as it showcasing your knowledge to potential customers. It will also allow them to be able to get extra information which they may not have been able to find out any other way. Giving hints and tips in your blogs will allow people to see that you know what you’re talking about as you’re beginning to give advice on your subjects.

Appeal to customers

Appealing to customers is simple, make sure the content of your blogs is appealing to the type of niche you want to attract. So for example if you want to appeal to those who want a high-end product, make sure you write blog posts about ‘luxury’, and ‘refined’ products; you need to be finding the right keywords for your audience. Whatever you write about dictates the sort of customer you’re appealing to.

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by Helen Stirling

Apr30

How to use Social Media to win new Business

Social Media has changed the way businesses interact with existing customers and has become one of the most important tools when it comes to attracting new clients – if you use it effectively, there’s no limit to the benefit it could have on your business, so to help you on your way, we’ve outlined some key points for you to keep in mind when you’re attempting to win over potential new business.

Engage with your current customers

This may sound like a bit of a no-brainer, but it can be tempting to go after new customers exclusively and as a result, your existing ones get left behind. Social Media has made it easier than ever for potential customers to look up a business online and find out everything they need to know about the business’s reputation. If a potential customer sees queries from existing customers going unresolved it doesn’t look good – so make sure that you keep your existing customer base happy by being pro-active and engaging with them.

Don’t forget; engaging with your current customers is different to marketing directly to them. Successful use of social media doesn’t tend to revolve around blind promotion. Actively attempt to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way – bottom line; try to be a little more creative with your content…

 

Make Great Content

Again, this may seem pretty self-explanatory but social media is a pretty crowded place for businesses trying to make a noise. Bear in mind that potential customers are probably being bombarded with content left, right and centre on their various pages – so make the effort when it comes to making your content stand out. Good design goes a long way, and image based posts tend to attract more attention than plain blocks of text – put the time into really thinking about your content, because ultimately, it’s the businesses that stand out from the crowd with interesting content that tend to prosper.

 

Make them an offer they can’t refuse

Offering special offers and discounts is a tried and tested method when it comes to attracting new clients outside of the internet – so why should it be any different online? Social media gives you the tools you need to talk directly to your customers – and let’s face it, people who follow the social media pages of a business tend to do it because they expect some kind of benefit. The sooner you become used to the reality that this involves giving deals and special offers to your customers the better, and if your deal is a pretty decent one, word will soon spread and it won’t be long before new customers find themselves on your page.

 

Keep it focused

A lot of companies, after some initial success on social media, think that they have found the answer and as a result, they end up losing focus – and nothing annoys potential customers more than irrelevant posts cropping up on their feed.  You can’t be everywhere at once, so don’t try – keep it focused and make sure you highlight the key benefits of your business without outstaying your welcome.

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by Helen Stirling

Jan03

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 3rd January – Selfie copycat & Starbucks addict for 1 year

Likes

When something funny and bizarre happens on the internet, we have to share it, especially when it’s a blog made out of some hilarious everyday happening.

A girl lost her iPhone, or had it stolen, who knows, it’s the internet; and the guy who ended up with it hadn’t turned the Apple cloud sync off meaning that the man’s photographs consisting mostly of selfies had been uploading onto the girls account and then she did what any sane/slightly weird person would do. Yes, she started recreating the pictures then putting them side by side on a blog. Well of course. If my phone was suddenly owned by someone else the first thing I’d want to do is make the internet do a silent chuckle before they move onto the next story.

Fails

A woman called ‘Beautiful Existence’, yes seriously. This isn’t the fail. So she unsurprisingly owns an Instagram and blog and submits herself to year long ‘challenges’. This year (just ended) 2013 she completed one whole year of eating and drinking things she could only buy from Starbucks, because, well, it sounds like a great idea right?  The challenge came complete with highly filtered Instagram style photos of Starbucks cups and food. It sounds to me as if someone is hungry for internet fame.

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by Helen Stirling

Dec02

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 2nd December – Social Santa and Spike Lee is mean on Twitter

It’s FINALLY December and here’s the first Christmas Likes and Fails of the festive month!

Likes

Santa is getting all Social this year! He’s taking to Twitter to find out whether potential gift recipients have been naughty or nice. This wicked cool new social app reads through your tweets to find out how many times you’ve dropped a swear word into your tweets. The best news is that this social app comes courtesy of US! In association with our web buddies at forkk . So try it out and see whether you’ll be getting that pressie you want this year! http://socialsanta.co/

social santa

Fails

An artist has been scorned and has taken up his complaint on Social Media. Juan Luis Garcia had been commissioned to create some new poster designs for Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy via an external ad agency. His artwork was chosen with a promise of a fee for the work, but when the offer came it was sub-par and after some deliberation Garcia decided to turn down the offer. Now since this the official film page has posted his original artwork claiming it as their own, and the agency also created some official poster art which was eerily close to his own artwork. He was obviously upset, and posted an open letter to Spike Lee hoping that he would recognise his plea for help, in no way accusing the director of being responsible. Spike responded in a less than amicable way on Twitter and it caused a bit of an uproar. Not cool Spike Not cool. See the tweet below:

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by Helen Stirling

Nov18

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 18th November – Live tweet #roofbreakup & James Arthur Quits Twitter

Likes 

One of my favourite things on Twitter is when a comedian/general funny person live tweets something, whether it be sarcastic X Factor comments or in this case a rooftop break up. This is an incredible story of when Kyle was sat on a communal roof top area in Manhattan and a couple joined him and others, and proceeded to break-up in front of them. Kyle, the legend that he is, live-tweeted the break-up and kept us in the loop. #TeamRachel – See some of the highlights below and read Kyle’s Blog for the whole story.

 

 

 

Fails

James Arthur  has quit Twitter ‘for good’ the pop star got called out by many after using a homophobic slur to describe an unknown rapper. Celebs and fans alike were disgusted with his use of language and in a dramatic exit, he vowed he would no longer tweet but his management would tweet for him. Seems he’s got a bit too big for his boots, in thinking that none of this will hurt his career, which is still in it’s early stages. Twitter can be such a big tool for celebrities in making their fans feel connected that it seems a bad move to step away from it. We’ll see if his dramatic exit sticks.

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by Helen Stirling

Nov05

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 5th November – Viral marriage blog & Cats in tights

Likes

It’s quite often these days that a post goes viral and it takes over the internet and it’s everywhere you look, this is usually a video or picture or GIF. It’s not that often you see a blog post going viral; this recent post ‘Marriage Isn’t for you‘, from blogger Seth Adam Smith who says marriage is not for him, (which in all honesty isn’t worded well), makes it sound as if he doesn’t want to get married. He is being very honest and saying that in his relationship he found that he was becoming selfish and then discusses that he wasn’t getting married for himself he was getting married for his partner and other family. We’re impressed with the amount of traction this blog post has got, featuring on Buzzfeed, Huff post and the Daily Fail!

Fails

Cats in Tights. Enough said. I know the internet has a fascination with cats and all the stupid, hilarious and cute things they do but this is really taking it a step too far. Cats in tights is the latest pointless craze to amaze  the internet, it does what it says on the tin, humans have put their pet cats into human tights and weirdly stuffed the tights so it looks as if they have legs. Not a lot else to say really apart from the fact that the internet is KER-AZZZYY.

 

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by Helen Stirling