Posts Tagged: social networking

Social media is just a mad trolley dash? by @TheAgencyUK

The recession hit everyone hard. Yet amidst the downturn we saw the rise of social media. Big brands embraced it with both hands, trying new creative ideas gaining interest and generating momentum.

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The Business of Social Gaming

As featured in Marketing Geekly

According to industry experts, social gaming is poised to become a billion dollar industry this year. Revenue streams in the form of virtual goods for games in 2011 rose from £510 million to £653 million. Of the 62 million US internet users, 27% will play onegame on a social network.

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Money talks?

Whilst reading a recent white paper on trends within Social Commerce, I came across a quote from Douglas Rushkoff that basically said the goal of social media isn’t sales. Social media should be about building the culture of your company.

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Charities – Be Sociable and SIZE won’t matter

Let me start with a few questions…

Did you make poverty history? Did you buy the Haiti single?

Have you enjoyed some comic relief?

What did you do for charity between those events? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that there’s something wrong in what you did. In fact it’s wholly admirable. But what’s the impact on smaller but equally worthwhile charities?

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Best resources in Social Media? A personal plotted history…

Television and newspaper reports make ‘Social Media‘ and ‘Social Networking
buzz words sound like something that’s arrived on the scene in the past
couple of years – but at least the basics pre-date the existence of the
internet itself. Early BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) existed before
anyone had even heard the term ‘internet’, and in concept will probably
exist when its moved on from its current form.

Read more on Best resources in Social Media? A personal plotted history……

An instant tap on the teen market By Saman Mansourpour, Partner, TheAgency

In a week when record numbers of teenagers have been biting their nails in anticipation of their A Level results and pundits are predicting that students will leave university with an average debt of £17,500, leading brand and marketing response agency, TheAgency, has been conducting research into effective sales and marketing to teenagers.

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The ‘Jigsaw Effect’

‘Hi! I’m TopKat and I just came third in the county’s under-14 cross-country.’

Looks innocuous enough, doesn’t it? Couldn’t possibly be dangerous for the child that posted it, could it? The sad truth, though, is that there is probably enough information in this one sentence for the wrong kind of person to identify the child that made the posting.All of us are sensitive of our duty of care to children and young adults.

Those of us running web sites, social networks, blogs and the like probably take what we think are sensible steps to ensure children are ‘safe’. No real names to be used! No addresses! No emails! We probably screen for ‘purple words’, we may also have the content of bulletin boards and chat-rooms moderated, just to be sure.The unfortunate fact though, is that however careful we are, however thorough, the very tools we so value on the internet can make it a potentially dangerous place.

Think about it from your own perspective. You know you shouldn’t, but how often do you use the same password? More important from the point of view of identifying you, how often do you use the same ID, even if it is a nickname?The reality is whilst most of us use the same password over and over, we have some protection because web sites take extraordinary steps to safeguard them, but we happily post our nicknames over blogs, bulletin boards and social networks.

Punch it in to Google and there is a good chance someone can find your unwitting web footprint. With a little detective work you’d be surprised how much those disparate and unrelated postings could tell someone about you.Same problem for TopKat! She, or he, probably uses that nickname on a number of their favourite web sites. And sports results are regularly posted to the web. Start sleuthing and you’d be amazed at what you can dig up.

The risk for children and young adults (and the rest of us) is the ‘jigsaw’ effect of data posted across the internet. So what to do? Regulation, both self-regulation and the statutory sort, clearly has a role, but short of shutting down the internet it is unlikely the risks can be eliminated. What we need to work towards is a situation where risks are reduced, and most important children and young adults are educated as to how to minimise the dangers to themselves.

The recent Byron Review makes a balanced assessment of the risks and the benefits for children of the internet, and sets-out some excellent recommendations. Taking as an analogy how we teach children to cross the road, Byron advocates educating children and young adults as to the potential risks of the web, with a view to achieving the following outcomes; an ability to manage (or find support in managing) the risks; and an ability to take ownership of their own online safety.

That said, Byron is quite clear that there is a responsibility on site owners and content providers to reduce the risks to children, and to encourage and promote safe behavior. So now may be the time to review how ‘safe’ your web site is. To ask the question ‘what more could I do?’, and to see what else you could be doing to help young children appreciate and manage the risks, but still enjoy, explore and grow with the internet.

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Is all this networking encouraging us to become more sociable by actually being less sociable?

Is all this networking encouraging us to become more sociable by actually being less sociable? Everyone seems to know what one another is doing via Facebook and Twitter etc., yet were not really communicating directly with our friends anymore! We leave it up to them to find out where the party’s at via status updates and online invites! Are our communication skills improving or diminishing?

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Advertising on Social Networks

Last year Respose One conducted a survey of UK adults to examine the relative effectiveness of different advertising media in driving consumers to visit a company’s website and ’seriously consider making a purchase’. Advertising on social networking sites ranked marginally above unsolicited email and unsolicited text messages when it came to encouraging customers to visit an advertiser’s website.

Some saw this news as the storm clouds brewing over social networking as an advertising medium which most thought of as being used by a difficult-to-engage youthful market anyway. However a year on and the outlook seems far sunnier.

The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) posted information yesterday about the growth of web 2.0 based on a recent report by Nielson Online. The report indicated that social networking is now more popular than email among web users around the globe and I for one use these sites to communicate with friends and family more than I use email.

Member community sites, such as blogs and social networks, are now the fourth most popular website category in the world and are growing twice as fast as categories such as search, portals, PC software and email.

The Nielson Online report also showed that Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the world and reaches 3 out of every 10 web users in the main economic markets including the UK, USA, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Australia, Germany and Switzerland. Figures from Facebook suggest that they have more than 175 million active users in total which means that nearly 3% of humankind is on Facebook!

Visiting social media sites acoounts for 1 in every 11 minutes of time spent on the web with the fastest growing user demographic being the 35 to 49 year olds (my demographic group………..).

The UK market also stood out as being a nation of ‘early adopters’ as the report also revealed us Brits are the most likely to access a social networking site from a mobile as our need to be in touch now extends to when we are ‘offline’.

With two thirds of the world’s online population accessing blogs and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter it would be unwise for brands to exclude these from the marketing mix. Although the initial results from using this media have been far from exciting it is clear that with the broader demographic take up and the wealth of freely given data to enable targeting and segmentation; social networking is likely to be the next big thing……… again.

Last year Respose One conducted a survey of UK adults to examine the relative effectiveness of different advertising media in driving consumers to visit a company’s website and ’seriously consider making a purchase’. Advertising on social networking sites ranked marginally above unsolicited email and unsolicited text messages when it came to encouraging customers to visit an advertiser’s website.

Some saw this news as the storm clouds brewing over social networking as an advertising medium which most thought of as being used by a difficult-to-engage youthful market anyway. However a year on and the outlook seems far sunnier.

The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) posted information yesterday about the growth of web 2.0 based on a recent report by Nielson Online. The report indicated that social networking is now more popular than email among web users around the globe and I for one use these sites to communicate with friends and family more than I use email.

Member community sites, such as blogs and social networks, are now the fourth most popular website category in the world and are growing twice as fast as categories such as search, portals, PC software and email.

The Nielson Online report also showed that Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the world and reaches 3 out of every 10 web users in the main economic markets including the UK, USA, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Australia, Germany and Switzerland. Figures from Facebook suggest that they have more than 175 million active users in total which means that nearly 3% of humankind is on Facebook!

Visiting social media sites acoounts for 1 in every 11 minutes of time spent on the web with the fastest growing user demographic being the 35 to 49 year olds (my demographic group………..).

The UK market also stood out as being a nation of ‘early adopters’ as the report also revealed us Brits are the most likely to access a social networking site from a mobile as our need to be in touch now extends to when we are ‘offline’.

With two thirds of the world’s online population accessing blogs and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter it would be unwise for brands to exclude these from the marketing mix. Although the initial results from using this media have been far from exciting it is clear that with the broader demographic take up and the wealth of freely given data to enable targeting and segmentation; social networking is likely to be the next big thing……… again.

Jason Edge

www.nexusdp.co.uk

Read more on Advertising on Social Networks…

Brands need the feelgood factor in times of recession

The fact that the film Slumdog Millionaire swept the board at the BAFTAs this year (and probably will at the Oscars) is not coincidental to the economic climate.

Because, whether or not you agree with the critic who said it was ‘the feelgood film of the decade’, Slumdog’s uplifting ending struck a chord with the public, as the perfect antitode to today’s gloom and doom. Similarly, reality shows such as X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing, with their themes of triumph over adversity and provision of escapist enjoyment, are enjoying record audiences.

It’s not just popular culture that’s showing us which way the wind is blowing. People all over the UK cried tears of joy at President Obama’s inauguration – that had the feelgood factor too. And just look at the way February’s snow got everyone out throwing snowballs – people jumping at chance to enjoy themselves again.

In order to ride out the recession, depression (or whatever it’s being called these days), brands might need to tune into the feelgood factor too. The immediate response of many brands to the downturn was to focus on trust, reassurance or nostalgia in order to attract consumers. Banks sobered up, ditched the celebrities and started telling us our money was safe with them. Supermarkets focused squarely on price and discounting. And consumer brands such as Hovis returned to the past in their advertising, in campaigns designed to evoke familiar feelings of warmth.

But now we are seeing a second wave of marketing. Bright, lively campaigns – such as T-Mobile’s ‘Life’s for Sharing’ – are ahead of the curve, tapping into a new culture of fun that can still be had, regardless of cash. Virgin Atlantic’s ‘stewardesses’ campaign, however controversial, has a high-camp style that both entertains us and harks back to the 80s with an ironic nostalgia. In the US, Coke ran ‘feelgood’ spots in the recent Superbowl- and went down well with viewers.

In a downturn, people need entertainment to shake them out of their depression. It’s no coincidence that the 70s, with its three day weeks and winter of discontent, produced comedy geniuses such as Monty Python and the team behind Not the Nine O Clock News.

And the companies that are about entertainment – leisure, communication and lifestyle brands – could start to benefit. People who have been working hard over the last few years and have nothing to show for it will start looking to achieve more of a work/life balance, plus a more healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. There could even be a slower pace to life – more of a Continental feel – as the UK pendulum swings away from a focus on money and property.

Consumers will not stop spending – they will just spend on different things. While they may not be buying or selling houses, they will be renovating their existing homes, so DIY or decoration brands could benefit. And they will take care who they spend with – established, trusted retailers will benefit, while those who were already floundering will go the way of Woollies. Retailers that give us positive, uplifting messages will find returns on their investment.

2009 will also see the real beginnings of the build up to London Olympics in 2012, as well as the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Both events will provide a positive focus for consumers who see the economic chaos around them. Brands will start to capitalise on capturing the excitement of major sporting events, and this will encourage a change in mindset for consumers, who will start to shift from being mere spectators of sport on TV to actually taking part in live events.

But brands keen on associating themselves with sport will have to do more than simply badging events – it will be much more about involvement at the grassroots level. This approach will have much greater impact, because consumers will want to be more closely involved in the reflected glory of sporting achievement. Successful campaigns are likely to be more triumphalist, with direct association to successful athletes or footballers.

Many brands have floundered since the start of the recession, unsure whether to keep their heads below the parapet, play to their strengths or change their message. But perhaps all it needs is for marketers to start feeling good about their brands again, and consumers will start feeling more confident too.

About Gordon Bethell
Gordon Bethell became joint Managing Partner of gratterpalm in 2001, alongside Gareth Healey, having joined gratterpalm in 1996 as an Account Manager. In June 2002 he was a member of the management buy-out team which now owns the agency.
Gordon has two decades of experience in marketing, on both on the agency and client side, and has gained particular expertise across the retail industry. Before joining gratterpalm he directed the Staples account at communications agency Creative Communications. He has also worked for TMD Direct, as a media planner for clients including the AA, and began his career as an advertising executive for the tour operator Airtours and Eurosites. Gordon sits on the board of gratterpalm and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business. Under his leadership, the agency has expanded from a staff of 45 to 120.

About gratterpalm
gratterpalm is the UK’s leading independent retail marketing agency. It delivers shelf-centred marketing campaigns through strategy & branding, packaging, digital, print, broadcast, creative, PR, events, direct response and point of sale for the retail sector. Clients include ASDA, DFS, M&S Outlet, Greggs, LA fitness and Umbro.
http://www.gratterpalm.co.uk/

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