Social Media

Lying low isn’t an easy thing for brands to do on social media, particularly when it comes to the young and socially savvy customer. According to a recent study by Sitel, 15% of 16-24 year-olds in the UK use social media as their preferred channel for resolving…
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2012 is the year of social customer service. Consumers are increasingly turning to social networks as a way to reach out to brands and convey their frustrations and worries. However, this needn’t necessarily be a threat to brands. Innovators are using social media to turn customer negativity into advocacy. This slideshare looks…
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Facebook has just launched the timeline for brand pages – expect alot of noise on this over the next few weeks.  The new design and functionality has created a completely new user experience and raises a number of questions to boot.  Here are some of the key things you need…
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From one-man-bands to global conglomerates, social media provides businesses with a wide open window into the thoughts, opinions and behaviours of customers. Whether it’s a simple keyword search in Google or the deployment of a sophisticated tool, social media monitoring can add value to everything from customer acquisition and product…
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Engagement is of paramount importance when it comes to getting it right in social media. Your contributions on social networks form the outward representation of your brand or company online and define how you are viewed by others. Which is why effective and compelling engagement requires scrupulous planning and calls…
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Online content creation typically falls to the marketing division of a business. Look beyond the four walls of communications, however, and therein lies a treasure trove of ideas.   From customer services to sales, each function is filled with insights into every corner of the business. Whether it’s…
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Shortly after my last post on Pinterest this insightful infographic circulated giving further evidence that the platform could really become a big player in 2012 – check out “is Pinterest the next social commerce game changer“ After making such a huge splash in the US…
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It’s Valentine’s Day? Oh yes, of course! It’s also Day Two of Social Media Week and the line up for the rest of the week is looking fantastic. SMW takes place all over the globe, but there is a host of great events taking place in London…
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Subsequently, I discovered this brilliant infographic in an Econsultancy article, which looks at the future of customer service and social media. The standout statistic here is that 62% of customers have used social media for customer service issues.  Still not convinced that you need to consider your…
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Following on from my recent post, ‘Embracing Social Customer Service’, I want to offer a closer inspection of the ‘social customer’. The growth of social media platforms has been accompanied by the evolution of this new type of customer. An understanding of your social customers is an important step…
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The new UK Twitter brand pages have finally hit our shores for those companies that can afford it. Let’s put this out there, brands on Twitter still don’t have the flexibility the Facebook API allows. Twitter will keep a tight rein on what users can and can’t…
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It didn’t take long after the IPO for Facebook to make a fresh announcement about plans for developing revenue generation – and it is the move into mobile advertising. Despite Mark Zuckerberg being described as having, “an evangelical approach to advertising,” and seeing the Facebook platform as, “a vehicle to…
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Subsequent to my last post on Pinterest and whether it is set to be 2012’s social media success story – this insightful infographic surfaced which certainly suggests it may well be… Want to know how Pinterest may impact UK brands?…
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Two great examples of brands using social engagement at the heart of their campaigns have popped up recently. Both Walkers Crisps and Kit Kat Chunky have launched multi-channel campaigns supported by TV advertising to create a buzz around new flavours of their products, seeking user participation and driving activity through…
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Launching into the realm of social customer service may seem like a daunting prospect, however, failing to take the leap may actually lead to even more frightening consequences. A shocking statistic from a recent consumer survey commissioned by Conversocial, revealed that: “If confronted with unanswered customer complaints on…
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Few events in the sporting calendar command as much media coverage or social chatter as the US Super Bowl. Last year, French data intelligence company, Semiocast, reported that the American football championship was the focus of 4.5 million tweets, driving a 25% increase in global tweets during…
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Pinterest was the surprise social network of last year in the US achieving over 31 million visits and rising to number 7 in the Hitwise top 10 social networks of 2011. Whilst the network only represents 0.68% share of visits (Facebook represents a staggering 63.31%) – Pinterest is set to…
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As all eyes focus on the social commerce landscape for 2012, Dimensions Mall, has dropped a veritable bomb less than a month into the year. While 67% of retailers are already planning to use Facebook to drive traffic through to e-commerce in 2012, not to mention Coca-Cola,…
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Still relatively unheard of amongst the masses, RFID or radio frequency identification technology has recently made the headlines as it is potentially going to be adopted for use at summer festivals in the UK. Glastonbury organiser, Michael Eavis has confirmed that he is looking into using the technology – read more…
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With the launch of 60 new applications using the Timeline and Open Graph, Facebook is about to expand beyond the Like.  The new functionality will allow users to share perpetual actions (‘love’, ‘want’, ‘need’) via applications through the Open Graph. There are obvious benefits for brands, especially given the buying…
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For years, content strategists have been hiding in the wings, quietly coordinating the show, while the social media rock stars take centre stage. Not anymore. A media frenzy surrounding the information overload debate, combined with the growing impact of social search, mean that the need for sophisticated content planning is…
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  You may notice that the internet is slightly quieter than you are used to tomorrow.  This is due to numerous internet giants protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). Opponents to the bills state that if passed into…
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You may have seen the other day that GPS navigation system Waze hit 10m users. It’s a social tool that aggregates user reports on traffic, accidents and the like. I’m a recent convert and signed up a few months ago, since…
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There is no doubt that the growth of Slideshare has got B2B marketers excited about using social media again. It has become the world’s largest content sharing community. Combine this with the reach of Twitter and LinkedIn and the platform has become a vital part of the best…
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If so, you are not alone. New research from econsultancy shows a whopping 85% of brands believe increased social media marketing by competitors will have a significant impact on their social media plans in 2012. With all innovation, there is an adoption curve (see…
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  Whether you’re planning your tactical social media campaign or reengineering your business for the social consumer, social media research is invaluable in setting benchmarks.  They help you manage expectations, isolate priorities and best of all, define KPIs that set the evaluation bar. But there is…
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There is a perception in the industry that B2B “doesn’t do social”. I have often been asked if B2Bs “should use Social Media?” as part of their marketing mix and if “B2Bs can utilise Facebook?”…
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Creating a branded Facebook page can be daunting for any business; doing so without a robust moderation policy in place can be disastrous. A branded Facebook page can be an open-invitation for foul-mouthed detractors to fill the page with expletives and abuse. Perhaps less obvious are the implications of a…
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So in the first blog in this series, we established that Reddit is significant online social movement, but what exactly can it offer a brand or business? Monitoring: Businesses can utilise the platform as a go-to for cutting edge news and content. Monitoring the platform for relevant…
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Are you familiar with Reddit? Is the social news site incorporated into your social media monitoring and planning? So, what is Reddit? A dark horse of the online world, Reddit is a sharing platform that businesses and brands alike should be au fait with. It’s…
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Are you, like us, constantly astounded by what people say in their Twitter biography? You know what I mean – they range from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the disingenuous to the hilarious. Well, as Twitter continues to grow we can only expect more of…
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Estate agents used to say, that if Pizza Express opens in a new area, it’s a sure sign property prices in said area are about to rise; and smart property investors should pay attention. So I put it to you, if a meme spreads across YouTube, it’s a sure sign…
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We love purple as much as the next company, but it appears Cadbury have decided to take it to the next level in a recent trademark dispute settled yesterday with Nestlé. Cadbury wanted to trademark the tint and made the case…
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An experimental scientist? A mathematician, an historian, an IT geek, a money making  economist or socially savvy psychologist? Last week we conducted a Twtpoll to discover who you would rather employ as a social media consultant for your business. The results were eye opening. To our…
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Before hastily setting up a Google+ page for your business, you need to step back and consider whether there is any value in joining the early adopters. We pulled together 4 points to help you evaluate whether it is worth your company embracing Google+:  1.  Objective…
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Since Google’s  announcement, there has been an enthusiastic response to Google+ branded pages. Generally the Over 600 news articles on Google+ branded pages applause has been loud and energetic, with over 600 news articles and…
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If you’re in the industry, you’d be lying if you didn’t shudder when a choice nugget of social media consultancy newspeak pops out of your mouth, or a colleague’s. It’s like an involuntary spasm, and you feel like you need a shower after it’s come out. Is…
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We’ve taken the three most engaged Facebook pages and for the past week we’ve been watching to see just how much emotion plays a part in their community management. In Part I of this series we laid out our measurement criteria; in Part II we put it to the…
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Over the past few months we have been investigating the essence of good online community management. We’ve dissected the very definition of an online community and we’ve gleaned insights from experienced community manager, Heather Taylor. Over the next two part-series we will be exploring the role emotion plays within…
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In 2004 social networks were a groundbreaking channel for brands to self-publicise and broadcast their news. Today, the dynamic between brands and their customers has shifted. Customers want brands to talk with and not just at them. According to Heather Taylor, founder of online community, RiotRemedy, today’s brands need to…
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  This week, in a move that Brian Solis entitled the ‘Mad Men Moment’, Twitter introduced the latest addition to the Promoted products family. So what prompted the dramatic headline? Well the latest version of the promoted tweet will appear in the timeline of users that are…
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Threee things we can learn from the world’s leading social businesses about how to avoid a social media crisis.
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A survival guide for journalists and the marketing profession The revelation that taking notes and time management are considered more important journalistic skills than understanding social media, has caused quite a stir. The worrying conclusion from the National Council for the Training of Journalists has been described…
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In the words of the Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Chernov: “Without content, social media is a sports car with an empty gas tank”. No one knows that better than an online community manager. But what that community manager also knows is that accelerating your social media…
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Social media marketing is not new. We’re all familiar with the basics and brands are actively engaging with their consumers on a daily basis. So, why are people still doing it incorrectly? Here, we share what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when it comes to the…
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In the last post we looked at figures from the twentieth century and the lessons that could be learned from their experiences when implementing brand social media training. In this post we’ll investigate some historical recommendations crowdsourced on Twitter over the…
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Those looking to ensure staff are equipped to represent their brand across social media platforms could do worse than learn from some of history’s most famous and infamous historical figures. So what can your social media training learn from the past? “To be ignorant of what occurred before you…
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In the second part of our series on online influence, we round up the three best tools for measuring social media influence; along with a look at their advocates and sceptics. In my last post I paraphrased Brian Solis and Vocus in defining an online influencer as someone who has…
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This is a two-part series exploring online influencers and their role in social media marketing. Part I looks at the reasons why a brand should focus on wooing influencers over journalists; Part II defines ways of identifying and measuring their influence. Traditional PR vs social media marketing Traditional…
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Social media knows no boundaries. Understanding what customers are saying in the social web has value for multiple parts of a business – not just marketing. Breaking down internal silos and sharing social insight is still a challenge for many. A recent piece of research from Dell/Forrester…
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What does it take to become a true social business? We analyse the findings of a report from the Harvard Business Review that identifies four types of social media strategy. We pin-point the what you need to be the ultimate social business - the 'social media transformer'.
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The importance of online communities is evident to many brands. What isn’t so obvious is how you set objectives for the community and, then, how you develop a framework to measure this. What you measure depends on what you have set out to achieve. If awareness is the objective, then…
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Facebook pages give brands an opportunity to build close relationships with consumers; however, they also present new challenges for online community managers. Unlike forum based communities, brands have little real ownership over the platform:  posting is instant, 24 / 7, and pre-moderating is restricted. This means that the risks are…
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Hot on the heels of being included in Econsultancy’s top ten recommended social media agencies, we have made it into the Reputation Online listing. And more importantly into the top 5 ‘most respected agencies’ and ‘ones to watch’.   Thanks…
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This is the first in a three-part series of posts exploring what is online reputation management? Part I looks at crisis management in the age of social media. The crisis management model is under threat. Robust plans that once cut the mustard with traditional media are struggling to control and…
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Check out this great slideshare about online reputation management presented to the Online Marketing Show 2011. It's focus is on crisis and is packed full of top tips to prevent brands getting themselves into a crisis and what to do if they find themselves in the thick of it. It also includes some great case-studies including Asda, BA, Primark, Urban Outfitters.
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The institute of direct marketing (IDM) has just uploaded a lovely video of Adam as the course tutor of a very practical workshop on social media. The social media training course demonstrates how to: identify where social…
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On revisiting the video interview from SES it strikes me that social search is a complex issue that goes beyond the technology. It is much more than key words, phrases. Much more than Google +1; Bing and Facebook integration; or even trying to work around the new Panda algorithms.
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There is a real dearth of social media case studies when it comes to business to business. The scarcity is even more profound when you are looking for examples from UK companies. Yet, surveys tell us that almost half of UK companies…
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It can be somewhat challenging to find examples of Twitter being used effectively in the business to business environment. And even more so when looking for UK examples (I am not advocating that Twitter is the only way B2B social media can support a company’s objective. However, it can add…
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41% of UK businesses (up from 33% last year) are winning new customers through social media – this is according to a global survey of 17,000 businesses by Regus Group…
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If you type the name “Roland Bunce” into Google you return 41,600 searches. According to media reports, Roland Bunce is a 24-year old computer science graduate, who has entered fashion and homeware brand Next’s online competition to find the next model. Despite being atypical model material, he’s…
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 Social media likes to give and take with both hands. It gives you innumerable ways of getting your company’s voice out to your target market, managing your reputation and adding value to your business. And then it takes. It takes all the content you can possibly feed it and it…
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Online crisis phase 1 So, in case you’re not aware of it, the international fashion retailer is facing a bit of a brand crisis. In short, it has been accused by Stevie K of tru.che of copying a line of her jewellery.  In the industry it appears that…
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In recent weeks The Wall Street Journal reported that the results of a new clinical trial into the effects of lithium on Lou Gehrig’s disease demonstrate the potential for social networks to be used in the recruitment and collation of patient data. A total of 596 patients…
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So the Royal Wedding quickly became old news. Wills and Kate’s wedding of the year was quickly overshadowed on Monday by the news that the world’s most wanted man has been killed. And while this was a significant day in history, it also became a significant day in the…
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  So you may have seen a report on Twitter doing the rounds, that details the most stressful careers in the US. Now as a PR I don’t mind brand developed reports, as long as they are impartial, well researched and provide clarity about…
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Google’s ‘Panda’ update is receiving a high level of search, SEO and even mainstream media attention, but the repercussion for brands engaging in social media is one can of worms begging to be opened. Big fat juicy worms, like will sites currently considered valuable for brands to engage with suddenly…
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As this is the immediate future blog, rather than my own, I obviously steer away from anything too personal (apart from my various press trips of course). But if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share a little anecdote with you. I listen to the @wittertainment…
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We’ve been hearing a lot recently about how Facebook fan numbers aren’t the be all and end all.  Brands should concentrate on engaging with their existing fan base. Even Facebook’s own are towing the line. David Parfect, agency…
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We’ve been doing a lot of work around crisis and how crises are accelerated by social media, at immediate future recently. You might say it’s a passion for us, and it’s also a major worry for many brands who want to protect their reputation online. However, it seems that one…
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  What do ancient philosophy and social media have in common? Well, let’s see. In a possible world in which Aristotle transcends time to come face-to-face with the social team at Facebook HQ; he stands there in his toga and sandals and asks everyone…
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You may have seen news of Google’s latest attempt to introduce social recommendations to its platform. +1  (US only service at the moment) allows people to up vote any website they like; this can then be seen by their social connections on Google in…
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I’ve been reading a lot (and trying out) some new and exciting music applications over the past week or so, with people starting to explore hitherto uncharted territory. Everyone and their dog are launching cloud based music streaming services (Amazon have joined Sony in…
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Search is a hot topic at the moment. With innovations in mobile and local search and the impact of real time mentions and social media, the competition for the much sought over front page position is hotting up. For some, the temptation may be to take advantage of…
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As a social media agency, monitoring tools have become a valuable component in our toolkit. With a plethora of new tools hitting the market, staying on top of the latest technology and understanding their differentiating factors is a challenge – so here are a few of the…
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Social search was the key topic across the big search conference of the year, Search Engine Strategies (SES London). And of course, I wasn’t any the less effusive on the subject. After all we have just launched our social…
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I came across an infographic entitled, ‘Fear Google’, yesterday. I first spotted it on imjustcreative, who in turn credited the source as onlineschools.org. Using bold red colours and imagery of a laughing devil, the infographic warns of the power of analytics and user data.
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OK we know this is just some SEO basics, but given our recent social search report, we thought this was just great advice on to get you started… ©  Charles Lewis. “Page Rank”. Video.
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What does a consumer see when they type your brand into a search engine? And where else are people searching for your brand? As the net becomes more attuned to social conversations, the line between social and search is becoming increasingly blurred. Conversations on social media platforms are informing search…
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Gone are the days of fluffy explanations. Marketing and communications professionals are increasingly expected to provide measurements, metrics and real time data. Whether it is to interrogate a campaign, set benchmarks or justify investment, the numbers count. Social media is no different, and it’s not short on numbers. From Facebook…
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I’m a big believer in the power the language we speak has over our perception of the world. Every language has its own idioms; every idiom is a glimpse into the heart of a culture. In a recent talk on Collaborative Consumption, social innovator, Rachel Botsman, summed…
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Way back in 2005 Arianna Huffington set up a small left wing blog on a ‘shoestring’ budget while AOL was part of the world’s fourth largest corporation, AOL Time Warner. Arianna’s blog quickly became on online sensation with a high ranking and growing unique visitors. While things…
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Ikea vs. Apple via Fixr We like this visual representation of how the Swedish and US companies stack up (no flat pack puns intended.)…
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The Martini and Dolce & Gabbana partnership is an interesting one. One is an iconic, but slightly old-fashioned alcoholic drink, the other a high-end fashion house. Both are big Italian brands joining forces to launch new spirit, Martini Gold. The partnership was launched at the end of last year with a …
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In October, we unveiled the findings of our social shopping research. We’ve therefore had a few months to turn the data over and tease out any interesting trends … “If you’d like to reach more women, you might like to consider incentivisation; but if you’re looking…
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This week, YouTube reported the acquisition of movie recommendation engine, fflick, a service that streamed film mentions from Twitter to show users their friends’ tweeted reviews, as well as an indication of the sentiment around the film. Whilst there’s not enough information, at the…
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Get excited, it’s another post by Mark where he’s been on a press trip! (OK, stop rubbing it in [that’s what she said!].Ed.) Last weekend, I accompanied our client Sony Europe as they visited the MIDEM 2011 conference in Cannes. If you haven’t heard…
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  Does UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt believe the Murdoch buy-out of BSkyB is “against the public interest in media plurality”? Will the competitions commission review do anything more than delay the merger? This would be more of a cliffhanger if we…
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Last week I blogged about the convergence of social media and TV and this week news from SideReel shows the convergence isn’t as great as we first thought! SideReel, the largest independent TV destination on the web, has produced this infographic of…
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Some of us at IF towers are self-confessed ‘Gleeks’ so we were ecstatic when the new series started last week on E4 and annoyed the haters in the office by talking about it. But it looks like we aren’t the only ones who love a bit of Glee…
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As a fanatical iPhone fanboy I was sceptical when I first heard about the concept video for this young Chinese upstart to the smartphone crown. However, the winner of the gold award at the 2010 Furong Cup ‘Digital Product and Service Design Competition’ might just have something, it is quite…
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There are loads of free tools out there designed to provide insight into what is being said about you or the brands and products you work for on the Internet. One such tool that is worth checking out is G’lerts.  Using…
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With the new CAP code coming into effect on the 1st March, the ASA has today launched a new media campaign in order to raise awareness of the code’s extension to cover content (including user generated) on websites and owned social media platforms. Whilst there are still…
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We like this visual representation of the size of the internet, wow is it big!…
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So this year I was back in Vegas. No, not for the gambling or the nightlife (not primarily anyway), but to provide support to our client Sony Europe during their launch activity around CES. Yes, it’s…
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  Last night I went to the hairdressers. I paid with a ‘recommend a friend’ voucher; and I left with a 10% off my next cut token. And a few for my friends. The haircut was good – and the fact that I got a good deal made it even…
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There’s been a flurry of activity and attention around the rapidly growing question and answer site, Quora, and this week it hit the mainstream media. For anyone who’s missed the news, here’s a brief introduction, and some of the opportunities and risks that we have…
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Online shopping is making present buying a breeze for those of us that don’t want to brave the busy shops this Christmas. But is social media changing the way we buy? Are we becoming more and more influenced by our peers on social platforms such as…
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