When viral videos are more than just cats…

We all love a good viral video. Something that makes us laugh. Or recoil in horror/disgust. Virals are the new ‘water cooler moment’.

And once and a while something comes along that really blows you away. In the case of the new Disney short animation ‘Paperman’, quite literally.

After watching this fantastic animation I realised that without social media I would never have seen this, and I happen to think that would have been a sad thing. Having ranked at the top of many ‘Top Viral’ lists of last week, this short film is fantastic and the fact I got to watch it is a testament to how powerful social media can be when it comes to spreading a message.

Goes to show, the internet is more than just videos of cats….

That Was the Week That Was – 01/02/2013

On our old digital blog – The Digital Times – we used to put together a weekly blog post highlighting the digital and social media news from the week and we’d also post some funnies we found along the way. These posts proved really popular so we decided to kick start them again here on the Honey Digital blog – the ‘new’ home for the Digital Times.

So without further ado, let’s crack a bottle of champagne over the bow and set off on our maiden voyage.

28/01/2013 – 01/02/2013

RIM releases Blackberry 10 and changes name to, um, Blackberry. 

This week saw declining smartphone maker RIM take an ‘everything on black’ approach to the new Blackberry 10 release. Also decides to change company name from RIM to Blackberry. #nobrainer Read an excellent round up of the Blackberry announcement from The Guardian. 

Google+ passes Twitter to take number two social network slot behind Facebook

We are HUGE Google+ fans here at Honey Digital and welcomed this news with a resounding high five. Google+ has now gone from ghost town to party town. Read more about this on The Wall blog. 

Zuckerberg denies a Facebook phone is in the works as shares tumble

In an effort to dispel long-running rumours, Mr Zuckerberg said releasing a Facebook phone was “not the right strategy”. His comments came as his company announced a sharp drop in profits – but an increase in revenue. Read more about this on BBC News. 

And now for some fun…

Valentines day approaches and I think this card says it all for the geek in your life.

Geeky Valentines Day Card

And in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong scandal comes this piece of genius.

 

See you next week for more of ‘That Was the Week That Was’ from the Honey Digital bloggers.

Facebook unveils Graph Search

Facebook Graph SearchYesterday Facebook announced it’s new smart search engine – Graph Search. Many speculated that Facebook were set to announce a new search engine to rival Google, but instead they unveiled a more Facebook specific, natural content search.

Facebook sell this new feature as a way to ‘find more of what you’re looking for through your friends and connections’. You can ‘find people with shared interests’, ‘explore your world through photos’, and ‘discover restaurants, music’ and more.

Say, for example, you know a gig is coming up and you wanted to find friends who were in to the same band to come to the show. By searching for ‘Friends who like Pearl Jam’ or ‘Friends in London who like Pearl Jam’ you can retrieve a list of friends fitting the criteria. All possible thanks to the information and data we share with Facebook and its Open Graph, which includes things such as photos, status updates, location data as well as the things they have “Liked”.

“We’re not indexing the web,” explained Zuckerberg. “We’re indexing our map of the graph – the graph is really big and its constantly changing.” This puts to bed rumours that Facebook was going to go head to head with Google. Search, as we know it, is left to Bing which is the default search engine when the graph can’t return an answer.

This addition to the Facebook platform is an interesting, and possibly needed, one. It also throws up some interesting avenues for businesses. Companies and recruiters, for example, can search for potential applicants who fit their criteria. It also opens another avenue for targeted Facebook advertising when companies can target specific search terms, much like Google Adwords.

Graph Search is still very new and as Zuckerberg himself admits, “There’s a very long list of things that we didn’t do for version one. We have years and years of work ahead of us.”

Graph Search is currently listed as still in Beta on Facebook and you can sign up to be added to the waiting list.

It’ll be interesting to see how this new addition to the Facebook platform benefits users and I am keen to see how businesses start to adopt its uses.

You can read more about Graph Search on Facebook.

 

 

Google adds Communities to Google+

Google CommunitiesOn Thursday Google announced it was introducing Communities to Google+ and this morning we were pleased to see it live and full of activity.

Google describes Communities as a place to  ‘talk about the stuff you’re into with people who love it too’. Any Google+ user can create Communities, which includes features such as public/private membership, discussion categories, the ability to start hangouts and events with members of a Community, and the ability to share something with other Community members any time you hit a +1 button on any site.

Google also recently released stats showing the platform to have surpassed 235 million active users (500 million accounts), finally making it a real contender as a social network. This move to add Communities to the mix shows its commitment to making Google+ a serious rival to Facebook who already have the familiar, and similar, Facebook Groups.

Google+ Communities for businesses

This morning we received a number of enquiries about how businesses can use Communities and if it was worth the investment. We do see a value for businesses in a number of ways:

  • Make a Community private and use it as a staff intranet.
  • Set up a Community in your businesses specialism and promote yourselves as thought leaders in the field.
  • Join other Communities and engage, again showing yourself as thought leaders and experts.
  • Create a customer Community and promote Community only special offers.

You can set up a Community from either a personal page or a business page, or make both owners as we have done with our new Community ‘Plain Social – Social Media for Business’.

Setting a Community up is very simple and Google, as always, give great on screen steps whilst you set one up. It’s really simple so why not go and set one up today – https://plus.google.com/communities

And don’t forget – engage with your audience and Community members! This is what will give you the real value to your new  social media Community and business.

W Straker Office Solutions

Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultancy

W Straker Office Solutions is a Brighton office supplies company. Strakers have been selling office supplies for 150 years. The first William Straker opened W. Straker Stationery in 1863, and the family’s been providing office supplies to businesses of all sorts ever since.  W Straker approached Honey Digital looking to learn about social media and establish their online marketing.

We helped W Straker understand the importance of social media and the communications benefits to their brand. We advised on how they can utilise social channels and blogs to engage audiences and promote their brand.

We also consulted on other areas of online marketing including search and SEO, establishing and delivering their first Google Adwords campaign.

Client Testimonial

“Daniel has helped us to understand the role and importance of social media in today’s working environment. He has helped us create a clear social media strategy and has evaluated what’s best to help our business. Easy to work with, we have valued his work for us and will continue to work with him to develop our business”

Social Media Bandwagoning

Social Media BandwagoningOver the past couple of weeks my attention’s been grabbed by two Facebook marketing virals – Bodyform and Thomas Cook. What’s specifically got my attention  is the similarity/timing and technique involved. This lead me to send a Tweet last week labelled ‘social media bandwagoning’ – a Tweet that gained some positive comments and support.

Both campaigns stem from a ‘normal’ Facebook user posting something amusing and provoking directly on the brands wall, in the case of Bodyform about their TV advertising and for Thomas Cook a man who has the same name. I use inverted commas when referring to a  ‘normal’ Facebook user as the jury it still out as to whether these were set up by agencies who then pushed as a PR piece – the Bodyform video response was made by agency Rubber Republic.

Both virals came out within a short space of time and hinge on the idea of a public post and a brands response (call and response). Both have also proved their ROI by creating great PR and viral buzz.

However, does this also spotlight a lack of creative for Facebook marketing? And this brings me back to my opening point that both are similar and having happened within a short time frame come across as ‘social media bandwagoning’  – jumping on a good, effective and proven piece of marketing.

I am all for great PR/social media innovativeness and thought the Bodyform viral to be one of the best to date. But, has this now opened the gates for Joe Public to post on brands walls in the hope they can get something for nothing (e.g. Thomas Cook/Low Cost Holidays)? And has Bodyform created the viral response to end them all?

The Honey Digital Social Media Hangout

In my position I’m lucky enough to meet a good number of business owners and industry people who have varying and insightful views on social media for business. Through informal conversations we get to talking about views on social media, how it’s working or not-working for them, and some great lessons learned.

I thought these conversations offered some good insight and learnings that could also benefit other business owners and social media users. So I decided to create the ‘Honey Digital Social Media Hangout’ – a series of informal interviews that capture these opinions, insights and thoughts about social media for business from those using it and advising on it.

So without further ado, welcome to our maiden voyage – Episode One in the ‘Honey Digital Social Media Hangout’ series.

In this episode I talk to William Straker about his new business W Straker Office Solutions and how he both uses and engages on social media.

Going forward, these hangouts will be broadcast live on our Google+ page and available for viewing afterwards on our You Tube channel and by free, downloadable podcast (iTunes coming soon).

No time to watch? Then download this episode as an MP3 podcast from our Soundcloud channel now. 

Facebook algorithm changes to affect brand posts

Last week Facebook altered the algorithm that decides what a user sees on their newsfeed. Nothing major you may think, but the main change of this algorithm affects organic brand page posts. Facebooks aim is to de-clutter the amount of posts served up to mobile and tablet users by brands.

Algorithm changes are nothing new and Facebook tends to change these on a weekly basis. However this new change is a real game changer for brands as it minimizes brand page posts being seen by those who’ve ‘Liked’ that page. Facebook defends this move by stating the change isn’t to penalise brand pages and engagement levels shouldn’t be affected.

Many brands are used to rolling with Google’s search algorithm changes and Facebook’s should be treated with similar respect. Brands will need to change the way they post and apply new rules of best practice.

Advertising agency Ogilvy sets out the following guidelines which we agree brands should follow in order to maximise their posting strategy (Source: social.ogilvy.co.uk):

  • The reach for many organic page posts will decrease. The number in this decrease will be anywhere between 5% on the low side to 40% on the high side. Some pages may remain unaffected which are following best practices for page publishing.
  • The change may allow Facebook room to grow its organic/paid offering ratio, in which 80% of content in the newsfeed is organic and 20% is paid in the form of sponsored stories, a form of premium advertising within Facebook.
  • Additional strategy and cadence to page publishing will be required. Brands should develop content with newsfeed interaction in mind.
  • Post at the optimal time. Only you know what’s right for your business, and you can use your Page Insights to figure out what’s working. User engagement with Facebook Pages is highest from 9:00-10:00 pm, and the 18-24 demographic is the most engaged during this time.
  • We recommend two posts per day of sound, sight or motion (audio, photo, video). Brands doing a text-only post at 10:00 am, and then another text-only post at 1:00 pm are not using the new algorithm to their advantage. Posts in this timeframe and delivery method cannibalize one another by overlapping, and having no visual element to maximize reach.
  • To break beyond the new reach limitations on organic posts, certain content should use the sponsored story functionality to highlight the content to a wider audience.

One billion followers….mwwahhhhaaaaa

“This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.” – Mark Zuckerberg

And so it has come to pass. Facebook has hit the big one – 1 billion active users. Quite and achievement for a website that started life as a way for university students to rate whether other students were hot-or-not.

The hope for Zuckerberg and Co would be that this news placates the naysayers and plants the seeds of recovery for it’s devalued stock.

However, there have also been some interesting moves made by Facebook recently that reinforce its position of making money. One such move is the expansion of its controversial ‘Promoted Posts’ feature that lets users pay to get their posts more visibility in the news feed. It costs the user $7 per post with the hope it’ll be used for garage sales, parties, wedding photos and other important announcements.

It’s suggested that this fee is pure profit for Facebook which could see them double their advertising revenue.

But what about the user experience? Many, including myself, have found Facebook to be overwhelming with its advertising. So why would we want to be subjected to more ‘advertising’ from our friends?

And what about traditional, brand advertisers? With low fee’s such as $7, brands may start to question the worth of their advertising on Facebook and ask for new, reduced rate card prices.

Facebook’s danger is of becoming so swamped by advertising that it eventually puts off both users and advertisers. The internet doesn’t need another MySpace.

 

What do you think? Is Facebook in danger of becoming an advertising only platform? Would you use ‘Promoted Tweets’ and if so what for? Tweet us your thoughts: @Honey_Digital

 

You have 10k Twitter followers? So what!

It’s been the brag of the Twitterati – how many followers you have. Like some Hipster game of Top Trumps, the more Twitter followers you have then the more powerful and influential you must be. Right? Wrong.

A British start up has developed a tool which weeds out the spam, or fake, accounts that make up a percentage of any follower numbers. Company founder Rob Waller explains:

“A fake account is set up to follow people or send out spam. They normally have no followers, but follow large numbers of people. An inactive account is one in which there has been no activity for a while. They could be real people, but we would describe them as consumers of information rather than sharers of information. A good account is everything that remains.” The tool analyses an account’s 100,000 most recent followers, but Waller said they hoped to improve its accuracy. Lady Gaga has only 29% “good” followers, Wayne Rooney 30% and David Cameron 37%. Comedians and entertainers also have a relatively small proportion of “good” followers: Stephen Fry 36%, Alan Carr 39% and Ricky Gervais 34%.” (How many twitter followers do they really have, guardian.co.uk, 26 August 2012)

These statistics are particularly interesting in light of recent findings that certain celebrities and politicians have paid out money in order to swell their follower numbers, a practice which adds spam and fake accounts.

To me, follower numbers appears as redundant a metric as Facebook ‘Likes’. Your company or brand has a large number of followers but how many of these actually engage with your messaging? As Waller’s company found out with Twitter, it’s way off what you see on your follower count.

The same goes for Facebook. Despite having numerous ‘Likes’, brands actual engagement scores are low. Really low. A report from Social Bakers revealed that out of the top ten brands on Facebook the average engagement level for any post was 0.1 – 0.7%.

There needs to be a change in thinking away from followers and Likers, which are easily bought, to metrics such as engagement levels as a more realistic measurement of ‘success’ and performance for companies, brands, and individuals on social media.