Social Media Security

8 Tips for Social Business | Part 6


Social Media SecurityFear over losing control is an understandable barrier to implementing social media across an organisation. It’s important to note that mistakes are preventable. In many popular cases the missteps were handled well and the damage to each organisation was more along the lines of temporary embarrassment than anything permanent, but why not stop them before they occur?

HootSuite developed Secure Profiles specifically in response to instances like these to put a solid measure of prevention in place. This provides an extra prompt when publishing to important branded accounts, preventing errant posts intended for personal accounts.

Limited Permissions is another unique security feature. HootSuite offers multiple levels of account access and places limits on which team members can participate in outbound social conversation directly. The Limited Permissions puts control over publishing firmly in the hands of those who are most trusted. Your social tools should too.

Team members are also easily added and removed as organisations expand and contract. Removal is instantaneous in the event that a team member isn’t exiting on good terms. The now infamous @MarcJacobsintl intern meltdown where CEO, Robert Duffy was described as a “tyrant” by an over- worked intern would have been prevented by using HootSuite’s Limited Permissions setting to limit his access to publish without approval.


Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Twitter Wedding

New York hotel offers to live Tweet your wedding – we say NO!

Twitter WeddingThe W Hotels chain has dropped internet jaws this week with a press release outlining its ‘Social Media Wedding Concierge’ who’ll tweet, Instagram, Vine, blog, and Facebook every precious moment of your special day.

Running until the end of the year, the deal, which is being offered to those tying the knot by four W hotels in New York, involves the services of a social media “expert,” according to marketing material received by the Huffington Post’s Bianca Bosker.

“From live tweets and #hashtags to Vine videos and Instagram filters, W’s Social Media Wedding Concierge will document the ‘I Dos’ and encourage guests to utilize a dedicated wedding hashtag for every one of their posts,” the hotel chain says.

Yep. This glorious package (said with a thick coating of sarcasm) will tweet the ceremony and reception (“She said ‘I do’! #love”, “Great line from the #bestman there #zinger”, “Auntie Jane’s drunk and the only one dancing to A Ga Doo #cringe”, etc.), fire off Instagram photos and Vine videos, take care of the headache-inducing task of thinking up a unique wedding hashtag, and “encourage” guests to use the hashtag. And it’ll only cost you $3,000.

Yes. That’s right. $3,ooo. A price tag that I’m sure Kim Kardashian sees as good value, but we ordinary ‘normal’ folk see as a piss take.

Now, it’s not often I take to this blog to rant., but this story demands it. We’re a digital agency and provide numerous social media services to our clients, but I in no way see this wedding service as a good thing. Not only is the value ridiculous (I’d like to see the budget spreadsheet for this), but the concept as a whole is ill thought.

This service makes an impersonal statement on a special, personal day. It’s one thing having a dedicated person Tweet every few minutes to update, well, who exactly?! But to encourage guests to Tweet and Instagram during a wedding service is just wrong. Who wants to see a congregation full of people starring at their mobiles whilst the loving couple Tweet ‘I do!’ to each other.

This is one of those precious times when people should switch off from the digital world and enjoy the moment. Yes – ‘The Moment’. That precious space in time that some of us (W Hotels) seem to have forgotten.

Social media is an important medium but, as with everything, there’s a time and a place. And a wedding ceremony is not one of them.

For the first time in a while we’re opening up the comments thread on this post as I would love to hear people’s thoughts on this. I’ve engaged a lot on social media on this topic and people mostly agree with my viewpoint. But do you?

Facebook Premium Ads

Premium Video Ads on Facebook have arrived

Facebook Premium AdsIn December last year, Facebook started testing Premium Video Ads as a way for advertisers to drive branding objectives on Facebook. This week Facebook introduced these ads with a select group of advertisers.

Premium Video Ads are designed for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound and motion. Each 15-second video ad will start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past. If people tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start.

Premium Video Ads are bought and measured in a way that’s similar to how advertisers already buy and measure ads on TV. The ads are bought based on Targeted Gross Rating Points to reach a specific audience over a short period of time. Delivery is measured by an independent third party, Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR), and advertisers only pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.

To make sure Premium Video Ads are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds, Facebook are working with a company called Ace Metrix to help review and assess how engaging the creative is for each ad — before it appears on Facebook. Ace Metrix will allow Facebook to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. The aim is to help advertisers understand what’s working to maximise their return on investment.

With Premium Video Ads, brands now have another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences.

Facebook are set to roll out Premium Video Ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them. This limited introduction allows Facebook to concentrate their efforts on a smaller number of advertisers with high-quality campaigns to create the best possible experience on Facebook.

Facebook users can expect to begin seeing these new ads over the next few months.


[Source: Facebook]


8 Tips for Social Business | Part 5


CollaborationShare learning internally. Encourage your Social Teams to distribute new learning both within the Team and your organisation as a whole. Keep an ongoing loop of discovery and dissemination where best practices, positive messaging or common questions are put forward for comment or collaboration. Social platforms like Yammer and HootSuite Conversations are exceptional tools for supporting secure internal conversation and exchange of ideas.

Ultimately better internal collaboration supports improved external engagement, keeping messaging consistent, intelligent and brand-appropriate. The New York Public Library @NYPL uses HootSuite to coordinate a decentralised team of experts.

Rather than impose a centralised Social Team to respond to inquiries, @NYPL tapped into the existing, extraordinarily deep knowledge base of librarians by training and empowering them to use social.

As the largest online public library in the world, @NYPL receives a very high volume of inbound requests. Using HootSuite, the @NYPL experts are able to, through a shared dashboard, assign inquiries to the appropriate area of expertise, collaborate departmentally on a response, share and edit as necessary and schedule the response to go out at a time their audience is most likely to receive and read it. Visits to the library’s website coming from Twitter increased more than 350 percent in one year.

Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Community Engagement

8 Tips for Social Business | Part 4

Engage to Build a Community

Community EngagementWhile each brand will have it’s own communication style, there is a right way and a wrong. The most important thing you can do is to acknowledge the voice of the customer, really hear and respect what they are saying. If what you’re hearing is a complaint, let them know a resolution is being sought, then follow through on that resolution to the best of your organisation’s ability. Once again, don’t consider social in a vacuum. Integrate your response with existing channels and let the most appropriate channel lead the way to resolution.

Listen and pick your moments. If sales are a priority, nurture potential leads with relevant and helpful content. Make sales through engagement. The age- old sales maxim, “Make a friend first, a sale second” still applies to social, only even more so due to social’s ability to amplify positive, or negative, experiences.

Give advice. Hilton Hotels takes an entirely non-sales oriented approach with @HiltonSuggests by taking an engagement for engagement’s sake position. Hilton monitors online conversation for travelers looking for recommendations all over the world. Acting as a quasi global concierge, @HiltonSuggests steps in to offer accommodation advice to travelers whether a Hilton is a viable option or not.

Perks don’t hurt. 61 percent of consumers use social to look for discounts. Social is obviously a great way to highlight promotions and deals, but make them appropriate and relevant to your brand. For example, why would a bakery give away an iPad? Promotions of this kind are common and can build vanity metrics such as Likes or Follows, but those need to be balanced with engagement. How engaged are iPad fans with bakeries? Fans of customised cakes are much more likely to be highly engaged and even influential to a fledgling bakery. Fewer more influential followers trump hordes of deal hunters every time. With HootSuite’s custom URL parameters, our bakery could even track conversions arising directly from their posts to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and put that iPad to use around the office.

Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Facebook buys WhatsApp

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16billion

Facebook buys WhatsAppMobile messaging company WhatsApp is to be purchased by the social media giant Facebook in a $19 billion (£11 billion) deal, it was revealed last night.

Facebook announced it’s to pay $4bn in cash with a further $12bn coming in stock. An additional $3bn in restricted stock will be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees over four years.

The acquisition of WhatsApp was, according to Facebook, to speed up the company’s “ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world”. As part of the deal Jan Koum, the WhatsApp founder and chief executive, is to join the Facebook board.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, said in a statement as the purchase was announced: “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.”

“I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

Part of WhatsApp’s appeal to Facebook is its huge volume of messages with more than 450 million people using it each month – 70 per cent of them active on any given day – and the number of new registered users rising by a million a day.

Mr Koum said: “WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”

The statement issued by Facebook said the two businesses were on a “shared mission” to “bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably”. The takeover by Facebook is intended to accelerate growth.

WhatsApp’s branding is to be maintained in much the same way that Instagram’s identity has been retained since being purchased by Facebook in 2012.

The statement added: “WhatsApp’s core messaging product and Facebook’s existing Messenger app will continue to operate as standalone applications.”

You can read Mark Zuckerbergs statement in full here.

Facebook deal: WhatsApp in numbers

  • Total value of the deal: $19bn: $4 billion in cash, $12 million in Facebook shares
  • Deal includes $3bn in restricted stock for WhatsApp founders and employees
  • Over 400 million people use WhatsApp each month
  • 70 per cent of those are active daily users
  • WhatsApp says it is adding more than 1,000,000 new users a day
  • WhatsApp deal marks Facebook’s largest acquisition ever; surpassing £1bn Instagram acquisition in 2012



[Source: Facebook; Telegraph; BBC News; Reuters; Indepedent]

LinkedIn Influencer posts

LinkedIn allows all users to access publishing platform

LinkedIn Influencer postsAs a LinkedIn user you will be aware of the series of ‘Influencer’ blogs that welcome you as you log on. Since its launch, LinkedIn has restricted this feature to editorially selected “Influencers” such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Barack Obama who publish their thoughts and advice to the LinkedIn network as long-form blog posts. That’s soon to change as LinkedIn prepares to open up access to its publishing platform to all 277 million users on its network.

The company says the rollout is staged, with initial access arriving for some 25,000 English language users of LinkedIn, with a worldwide reach planned for a couple of months from today.

“One of our big, strategic bets for the company is for LinkedIn to become the definitive, professional publishing platform,” says Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn. “We do this because we want LinkedIn to be the place where members can become productive, successful professionals – not just when you’re trying to find a job, or search for another person.”

Reading between the lines, LinkedIn acknowledges that it needs a hook to make it more of a daily, or at least weekly, destination for end users, rather than a place you go to update your resume when looking for work.

The company first launched its ‘Influencer’ network in 2013 with 150 thought leaders, and has since grown that to around 500.

Today, Influencer posts receive high amounts of traffic and see over 20,000 unique views, over 250 likes and 80 comments, on average.

Currently, LinkedIn’s publishing system lets the Influencers share text accompanied by images, with no limitations on word count. These posts are pushed out to the LinkedIn homepage, where featured items rotate between four top-level positions. The posts also appear in an email digest, in the flagship LinkedIn application and in the Pulse app (the news reader app that LinkedIn acquired last year).

For members who choose to participate, the posts will appear on their profiles where they will ‘live forever’ as a part of your professional identity. To reach those who can benefit from that knowledge, LinkedIn will tap into its understanding of users’ industry and interests to better target the right posts to the right people.

“One of the great things about LinkedIn is when you create a profile on LinkedIn, we know a lot about who you are, your industry, your function in your company, etc. – we have great insight into the interests you care about,” he says. So for example, if LinkedIn sees you’re a graphic designer and it sees a piece of content algorithmically trending on the subject of graphic design, it will make the match.

LinkedIn may be looking to deliver more personalised insights and increase user engagement, but what the end result will be remains to be seen. It can play out in a number of ways, but our money is on more sales patter and increased transparency for companies and job candidates.


[Source: LinkedIn; Pulse, Tech Crunch]

Facebook Logo

Facebook page admins: See who’s posting

Facebook LogoIf you’re an admin on a Facebook Page, you’ll have seen that Facebook’s started posting a message at the top of Pages to notify administrators that their the names will soon start to show up next to their posts and comments. The feature, which will only be visible to other administrators, will launch on February 20 but will not be retroactive: only posts and comments on or after that date will be identified.

The ‘Learn More’ link above takes you to a Help Centre page titled “If multiple people help manage my Page, how can I see who posted something?” The answer says Page posts will show the name of the person “below the name of your Page next to Posted by” while Page comments will show the name “below the comment next to Commented on by.” Last but not least, you’ll also be able to see who posted or scheduled posts in your Page’s activity log.

For those who manage Facebook Pages with multiple admins, this is a welcome feature.

[Source: Facebook/All Facebook/TNW]

Social Media Listening

8 Tips for Social Business | Part 3

Listen & Learn

Social Media ListeningThere’s no question. People are talking about your organisation. And if by chance they’re not, then they’re talking about your competitors and starting a conversation you’ll have trouble being a part of. Don’t let your organisation get left behind. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos once described your brand as, “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Today, not only do you have an opportunity to be in the room but to take an active role in the conversation itself.

Good search practices start with monitoring for mentions – the good, the bad and the ugly – of your organisation, but can also focus on topics related to your business where you may wish to become an influencer. At HootSuite we monitor for off- as well on-brand messages in order to assist users who may not spell HootSuite correctly 100 percent of the time. Undoubtedly Hilton adjusts its search parameters to exclude mentions of either Paris or Perez. With social, it is also possible to monitor certain users or organisations closely without them knowing you’re listening.

Gather your feedback. There are some interesting disconnects between consumers’ and businesses’ perceptions on why people engage with organisations via social media. 73 percent of businesses feel consumers want to learn about new products while only 51 percent of consumers give that as a reason. 61 percent of businesses think consumers want to be part of a community. Only 22 percent of consumers support that thought while 61 and 55 percent of consumers want discounts and to purchase something respectively. Better monitoring, listening and analysis of conversation and feedback could lead to programs across departments from advertising to customer service, HR or sales to close these gaps and build more empathetic, customer-centric relationships.

Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Social Media Training Wokshops

Social Media Training

Throughout 2013 we facilitated a number of social media workshops, helping SME’s to utilise social media effectively. We were also lucky enough to be asked to speak on using social media effectively for business at a number of conferences.

We’ve now started our 2014 social media training courses and thought it would be nice to share a little taster of what we presented last year. Here’s the intro slides and stats from 2013’s courses:

If you’d like to talk to us about our social media courses, please contact us.
You can also find out more on the courses we offer on our social media training page.