Tag Archives: Social

The Social Explorer: Analytics made easier with Twitter & TweetDeck?

24 May

Is any Adobe Air developed beta platform worth $40M? Twitter says yes.

Twitter Logo

With the news that Twitter has finalized a deal with TweetDeck to acquire their analytic and reporting platform, are we to look forward to a full reporting suite withing Twitter? Facebook already has Facebook insights, and though it’s not the most comprehensive of tools it is at least a simple integrated and official analytic platform for all to use. It would be an exciting (and time saving) prospect for businesses and personal users alike to be able to use TweetDeck within Twitter BUT I feel that we are some way away from this.

TweetDeck In Action

Maybe Twitter will use the developers code to put some sort of analytic platform within the Twitter interface in the future, keeping the more detailed bits outside of this and on a seperate application. But the main concern is…will Twitter keep TweetDeck as a free to use bit of software or are we going to be paying monthly for it? It doesn’t currently drive any revenue, it’s simply an Adobe Air developed beta piece of software. But Twitter have paid over $40M for this software…without a hope of it making them any money back unless they allow advertising within the application or charge you for it. So if this becomes the official Twitter analytics platform, would you pay to use it on a business level? What other social analytics tools do you use?

Let us know in the comments below…

– The Social Explorer


The Social Explorer: Microsoft PR Disaster

18 May

Proof that not all PR is good PR…!

I watched the following video waiting the entire time for the punchline. It never came. Computer giant Microsoft have got it wrong once again and in my opinion, the marketing person in charge over there needs to go. Yes, I have shared this video to my entire address book and yes I’ve posted it on my Facebook (and now my blog too…!) BUT I send with a ‘you won’t believe that this is serious’ or ‘Microsoft done it again’ – not all PR is good PR!

Now you’ve watched it you might understand what I mean about the punchline (sorry for wasting 6 minutes of your time – click here to get it back) It certainly doesn’t inspire me to host a Windows party and definitely doesn’t make me want to invest in another Microsoft Windows update. Infact it leaves me feeling pretty happy that I own so many Apple products – happy that I feel so far removed from what has become a very uncool brand. If Microsoft was a person, he’d be a confused, socially awkward elderly man…perhaps a person that you feel you must say hello to at a party (if he was there) because you know it’d brighten up his day. Sounds like this guy.

So what would I do if I was in their marketing department? I’d look at who our customers really are, who wants to be associated with us, who NEEDS us and what we’re here for. Create and market products to these people – lets not try and cover the social leaders, professionals, creatives and their grandma…focus your efforts and reap the rewards. What’s your opinion on Microsoft in the 21st century? Think they’ll be phased out in the coming decade? Thoughts below…

– The Social Explorer

The Social Explorer: Coca-Cola done it right…

17 May

If you expect your fans to trust your brand, Coca Cola tell us you should trust your fans first…

Good morning blog readers! I wanted to share a story that I read some time ago… It involves super brand Coca-Cola and 2 guys that decided Coke were too slow off the mark in the world of social media.

Dusty & Michael

After hunting on Facebook for Coke’s fan-page, and failing to find anything official, they took it upon themselves to create a fan page all about the insanely well known brand of Cola. They set about writing about the brand’s history, amassed a range of images through the lifespan of the brand & managed to encourage over 3 million people to become a fan of their fan page. So, when Facebook flipped the rules and announced that only people authorized or employed by a brand can maintain a page about that said brand – D & M approached Coca-Cola and asked them if they’d like to close the page or take it on themselves.

Did you know 'Coca-Cola' is the second most recognised term in the world after 'O.K'?

Instead of taking the corporate low road and closing the page or taking it over, they asked D & M if they wouldn’t mind maintaining their Facebook page for them – making them ‘official’ Coca-Cola brand evangelists. They are now celebrated on the page, have events to mark key milestones and have grown the Coca-Cola page to over 25,000,000 fans making it the 11th most liked page on Facebook. This is a fantastic example of how good a page can be when run by people who truely love a brand and know how social works. A big pat on the back for Dusty and Michael, and I can’t wait to see what other ‘movements’ this may inspire in corporate social media. Seen anything like this before? Do you think this is a brave step, a sensible step or stupid of Coca Cola? Let me know your thoughts below…

Dusty and Michael reach 25,000,000 fans...

– The Social Explorer

The Social Explorer: The Mini Countryman Campaign

16 May

Grand Theft Auto LIVE in Stockholm…get your carjacking skills at the ready.

Every so often, I see something that completely changes the way I think about how technology can connect us. Something new, exciting, relevant and impactful usually fits the bill and the Mini Countryman campaign ticks all the boxes (and more!)

The New Mini Countryman

There isn’t a great deal I need to say about this, the wrap up in the video pretty much does the talking. But it does present a completely new way of marketing a new  product. It seems almost like a 21st century version of the ‘touch the truck‘ competition’ but a jump in technology means that thousands people can interact with each other – leading to a lot of positive things to say about Mini as a brand. That the average person playing this game spends over 5 hours doing so says a lot about how far people will go to win something as big as a car – when the mechanic is right. One of the last things said about the campaign…’it’s so social’ and it is. Bringing people from an online game environment to interact with each other in the real world is no mean feat, and something that I would LOVE to see develop…perhaps this is one way to deal with obesity in children? Where do you see this tech fitting in to marketing campaigns and beyond?

– The Social Explorer

The Social Explorer: Failing to plan…

12 May

Failing to plan is planning to fail when it comes to social media strategy…

This is a bit of a sensitive subject, but when we look at a lot of major retailers and their social presence, there’s a scary trend of ignorance towards the consumer. When fan acquisition is the number one task for the in-house social media ‘expert’ or agency, my gut feeling that this is their only step in a short lived social strategy. So you’ve got 500,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and 100,000 ‘followers’ on Twitter…so what? If the strategy behind your social media proposition doesn’t involve talking to and with your fans (rather than just at them), then all you will do is very quickly turn your new best friends into your newest nightmare…

ASOS manage their social spaces fairly well – paying particular attention to Facebook. They seem to reply to most comments though we’ve spotted that they do hide away from negativity. There really isn’t an excuse here – if you’ve got the resource to make a page, open a Twitter account or post videos on YouTube then you must ensure you have the resource to manage these pages and talk to your fans. H&M are a fantastic example of a big company with a HUGE social presence managing their consumers expectations. With over 7,000,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, they reply to 90% of customer queries in a professional and timely manner. So what’s your excuse? The only improvement for me would be to make the approach more personal and less ‘template’ like. But – they do reply and that is key.

H&M on Facebook - 7,000,000 fans and still replying!

So, my suggestion is for retailers who want to be a part of the 21st century social ‘revolution’ to get to grips with Web 2.0 first and plan conversation and dialogue into their social strategy.  If you don’t, customers and other retailers will leave you behind – wishing you’d adopted dialogue much earlier. The way I see retailers who are ignorant to conversation with their social fans is how I see self service tills in Tesco. Yes, we live in an exciting and often clever digital world but lets not take away the personality and communication that humans crave.

– The Social Expolorer

The Social Explorer: The Future of Social Commerce…

11 May

The key to successful social commerce is to remember that ‘Quality is better than quantity’

Working in Social Media & e-commerce and we’re always looking for new ways to drive our Social strategy forward. There are a wealth of agencies, plug-ins, articles and social experts to guide you in the right (and often wrong) direction. So, I thought I’d join the endless list of people who tell you what they think the next big thing is…

1. Social Shopping. If used properly – and it hasn’t happened all too often yet – social shopping can be very effective. This is going beyond the simple ‘Like’ plugin that most companies have adopted, and more towards innovative solutions whereby customers can feel like they are actually shopping together. Away from the likes of Amazon and ebay, there is a big USA player making some interesting steps to integrating social networks to a shopping experience. This is buy.com – logged into Facebook, you can invite your online friends to shop with you on buy.com and chat with them in real-time. Though we may not quite be ready for this step, it feels like we’ll be seeing something very similar in a year or two and wondering why no-one had thought of it before…

Buy.com...2. F-Commerce. It can’t be denied, shopping on Facebook is an attractive proposition for retailers and consumers alike. It means that we can remain on our beloved Facebook for a few minutes longer, and for retailers, shopping becomes truly social and there’ll be more links shared than there are seasons of Big Brother. Now…doing this properly is key. Simply using a mobile feed to push your whole catalogue is not how it should be done (yes, we’re looking at you, ASOS) but the selection should be based on friends birthdays, your likes and other products relating the FB user. The lazy approach looks just that, and we’re looking at the more innovative retailers like Amazon, Levi’s Friend Store and Trip Advisor for tips on how to do this properly.

Amazon on Facebook...3. Group Buying. No we’re not talking crowd buying (Groupon, KGB deals etc etc) but more clubbing together with your Facebook / Twitter connections to purchase a single product or service for someone else. A classic example that comes to mind is the always-awkward leaving present at the office. So, you decide on that perfect oversized calculator for your spreadsheet loving (soon to be ex) colleague and you’ve spotted the perfect website to purchase it on. SO…the difficult part getting the cash to pay for it. What could be easier than sending out a link and letting your colleagues do the rest? Well ebay’s Group Gifts is a great example if what you want is on ebay, or head to somewhere like edivvy if it’s not. There isn’t a huge amount of choice at the moment but to me it’s a no brainer and something that should, and will grow.


There are many more…and we’ll be giving you some more of our predictions in the coming weeks…

– The Social Explorer

The Social Explorer: Skittles Campaign review…

10 May

Injecting some fun into the world of social media…attempt 2.0 (Skittles)

So I thought I’d kick off this blog with a little post on one of my favourite digital marketing campaigns. I work in social media, and to see something that brings a smile to my face every time I hit the page is no mean feat… Here’s the latest Skittles campaign…

Skittles Facebook Page

I love the humour Skittles has injected into its social media campaign. It’s fully supported on YouTube with their ‘Taste The Rainbow’ viral videos – often a bit gross, usually funny and always random.

Skittles on YoutubeIt appears to be working…with almost 6,000,000 video views on YouTube and over 16,000,000 ‘likes’ on their Facebook page they are flying – in a very competitive market this is a huge success. The campaign’s had some brilliant feedback through its life – all in all the branding for the campaign has been around for more than 10 years (making it one of the longest running campaigns in history) including praise from creative sites such as ‘Creative Criminals‘, Tech savvy sites such as ‘TechCrunch’ and not forgetting the mighty ‘Econsultancy.

Now, we’re not forgetting the slightly trusting efforts they put into user-generated content (putting LIVE tweets on their homepage…oops!) This ended rather badly with TechCrunch testing the water (tweeting a slightly un-tactful Tweet ‘Skittles causes cancer and is the root of all evil in the world’) BUT I think they’ve judged this one much better hence my conclusion that it’s a fab campaign and something I’ll continue to follow.

We done a little more exploration (I lie…Google done this for us, we just typed it in) and spotted that the guys behind Skittles most recent stab at social is San Francisco based agency Evolution Bureau. So a big pat on the back for these guys – and a personal thank you for injecting some fun back into the sometimes over-serious world of social media.

– The Social Explorer