Archive for December 2010

Five trends all marketers should watch in social media in 2011

Tweet

New year card 2011 (II)

Image by DailyPic via Flickr

Through December we’ve run an informal series on social media in 2011 - trends and developments that we are witnessing at FreshNetworks with our work with clients across Europe. Social media budgets are set to rise across Europe and they are not just in marketing or communications functions. The real shift that has started in 2010 and will develop and mature in 2011 is a move from social media marketing to social business. Recognising and capitalising on the fact that social media has impacts and benefits across a business and using social media strategically where it can have the biggest and most important impact.

The task in 2011 will be for brands to consider where social media can have the biggest impact across their business and how they will adapt and change to realise these benefits.

Here are five trends that we are seeing in social media marketing (and beyond) and that we expect to see more of in 2011.

1) Social media marketing budgets set to rise

Research shows that not only are budgets for social media marketing rising, but an increasing number of brands are prioritising this spend over other media. The truth behind this may just be that spend in this area has moved from being exceptional or experimentation to more regular spending. Or it may be that more areas of the business are starting to see social media as a a core part of their activities. But whatever the cause, overall budgets to spend on social media is rising and will rise more in 2011.

This will reinforce the need to make sure that brands are using social media strategically, and that it is not just being used by one function or team. A brand that is just using social media as a PR tool is almost certainly missing out on other opportunities or ways in which it can help.

2) Location-based marketing should be about more than just vouchers

Location-based tools and services continue to develop and with them opportunities for location-based marketing. If 2010 was the year that these tools developed and were used by more people, 2011 will be the year that more brands use them, where appropriate, in a way that adds value. We should see more location-based marketing and more innovation with these tools.

Innovation means both doing old things in new ways, but also doing new things altogether. Whilst there is a role for using location-based services to distribute vouchers and discounts (of the ‘check in here and get 10% off’ variety), location-based services can and should be used for so much more. The trend in 2011 should be for experimentation and trying completely new things, things that we can only do because we know where people are.

3) The rise and rise of the social graph

The social graph has yet to be used effectively by many brands. We’re seeing some innovation - such as the use of Facebook’s social graph on Amazon.com to tell you when it is a friend’s birthday and suggest books they might like based on their Facebook profile. But such uses are rare at the moment.

The real opportunity for the social graph to bring social elements to an existing website - allowing a brand to pull the best and most useful information and relaitonships from Facebook and other sites to their own site. In doing so they break the argument there has often been between engaging on platforms like Facebook or on your own site. With social graph you can engage people offsite and onsite using the same data.

4) We should all be talking about value from social media

As brands spend more on social media, they will be forced to prove the value they are getting from this spend. This will move us from measuring what can be measured (Twitter followers, traffic etc) and working out how these show benefit, to having to show the business benefit that is being realised by using social media. It may be a reduction in contact-centre calls because you are servicing customers online, it may be an increase in spend per year from those customers you are engaging online, or it may be direct sales you can attribute to activities in social media.

2011 will see brands building models and showing the value that they are getting from their expenditure on social media. We will move from measuring what can be measured to showing value.

5) Social media is not just about marketing

Finally social media has always been about much more than just marketing. It is about communications, public relations, customer service, insight, new product development. In fact there are many areas of a brand that can benefit from engaging with people through social media. And the areas where a brand can realise most value may not be in marketing but in other areas. 2010 has seen increased discussion of ‘social business’ - where social is used across a business, changing processes, products and services to bring more value to the brand and to consumers. In 2011 we will hear much more about social business, and probably less about social media marketing.

6 Social Media Memes of 2010

Tweet

Antoine Dodson

Here’s a roundup of six key social media memes from 2010. There are many lessons to learn from these crowd-sourced social media riffs - what kicks them off, how they spread and what groups adopt them. However, we’re going to leave the psychoanalysis to others and just give you the list:

Sad Keanu Meme
There have been hundreds of  parodies and recreations of a set of sad Keanu Reeves photos. Keanu was caught sitting on a park bench, looking glum with only a few pigeons to keep him company.

This video is up there with the best from the meme:

Double Rainbow
An awe inspiring moment, captured by a man clearly full of awe. It comes into it’s own after 24seconds and he finds it all too much after 60seconds.

The meme has been remixed in photos and videos. Here’s the double rainbow song:

Leonardo DiHapprio (or the Leo strut) meme
There have been hundreds of photoshopped (apparently now a verb) recreations of Leonardo DiCaprio’s happy strut. A photo of him was taken during the filming of Inception and it is generally photoshopped to appear in disaster images, looking carefree.

Here’s a non-disaster verion:

Antoine Dodson and the Bed Intruder
What started as a horrific story has propelled Antoine Dodson to web stardom this year - culminating in the release of a Christmas video (Chimney Intruder). To get the full effect of the meme, you should start by watching the brief news report that made him a star and then the remix music video that took him from commentator to superstar. Not only have many images and videos been created, there was even an Antoine doll for sale on eBay (pictured above).

The remix:

Epic Beard Man
A simple misunderstanding on a bus that turned grizzly. Epic beard man came out on top (both in the fight and the remixes).

The StreetFighter version:

Any memes we’ve missed out? Or lessons learned from all of this?

A great meme resource is Know Your Memes

2010 highlights at social media agency FreshNetworks

Tweet

Picture12010 has been a brilliant year for the team here at FreshNetworks. As a social media agency we’ve grown both in size and stature and we’re proud to have added several leading brands to our books including Telefonica, Royal Bank of Scotland, LMAX, Lego and Spar.

Our client portfolio is not the only thing that has grown significantly over the last year.

We’ve increased the size of our team and several new people have joined the businesses, including senior hires Mark Jennings , our new Account Director, Kerrie Lapworth as our Head of Production and Joy Taylor , who will be joining us in January as an Account Director. We’re looking forward to  kicking off 2011 with a permenant team of 34, with many more hires planned throughout 2011. Keep an eye on our job page to see which roles we’re currently advertising.

In other news, we’ve been on social media scavenger hunts, cycled around London dressed as Father Christmas, stopped by Prince Philip and had breakfast with the Prime Minister.

Awards and Recognition

Over the last few months we’ve also been shortlisted for several awards, including the Drapers Etail awards and the Ecommerce Expo awards for our work with Jimmy Choo.

The Jimmy Choo Trainer Hunt was also a finalist in the Forrester Groundswell Awards. Ever since the book Groundswell was written, the Forrester Groundswell Awards have been regarded as the most prestigious social media awards on the planet. Along with GiffGaff, the revolutionary new mobile network, we were the only other finalist from the UK.

photo

And not only did we win the Don’t Panic Some Comms award for the best social media campaign (for our work with Jimmy Choo) but we also won the Grand Prix award - the best of the best award for being overall winners. While we don’t necessarily believe that awards are the best indication about an agency’s ability to deliver value to clients, it’s always nice to be recognised for our efforts.

We’ve also been shortlisted for a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) award for LV=’s community and have been recognised for our work with various not-for-profit and public sector organisations with a Future 100 award. It’s been a great year and we’re certain our success will continue throughout 2011 and beyond.

Our blog

We’re very proud of our blog and the fact that we’re ranked so highly  by both AdAge Power 150 and Wikio for the social media and marketing information that we share. Here are 10 of our best blog post from 2010:

Social Media Speaking

In 2010 the team was much in demand as speakers about social media. We spoke at over 70 events including: IAB Europe, Retail Week, AdTech, Istrategy, CIM and the The Economist conferences. We’ve also been interviewed by or quoted in every major UK newspaper and several marketing and new media magazines.

So all that’s left to say now is “thank you” to all our readers, supporters and clients over the last year - it’s been a great year and we hope you’re looking forward to 2011 as much as we are.

You might like to take a look at our team Christmas video - 30 Santas, 2 reindeers and several “Boris Bikes” spreading a bit of Christmas cheer around London. Have a great Christmas!

untitled

Social Santas and Christmas fun

Tweet

At this time of year, what better excuse to get people out of the FreshNetworks office than a synchronised cycle ride round central London dressed as Father Christmas? And all for no reason whatsoever, apart from the fun of it.

Tourists thought we were delightful, cabbies called us a menace and the police tracked our every move - convinced that, at any moment, we might start a student protest.

With mince pies in our bellies and iPhones strapped to our Boris Bikes we tweeted all the way to Buckingham Palace. Arriving just in time to catch Prince Philip who stopped his car to ask what we were up to and to wish us a Merry Christmas all round.

Thank you Barclays and thank you Boris. We love your bikes. And thanks to Asylum Films (our favourite London production company) for making the movie.

social-media-agency-santas

Why we’ll all be talking about the value of social media in 2011

Tweet

337/365: The Big Money
Image by DavidDMuir via Flickr

The debate and discussions about measuring social media, and those about social media ROI, often focus more on what can be measured than on the value that social media is creating for a brand. Over the last few years as brands have been experimenting with social media this is not unexpected. When we go through periods of innovation and experimentation we always tend to explore and discover the new tools we are using. But as social media has become more mainstream for brands, both as part of the marketing mix and more broadly across the business, we need to move from discussing the things we can measure to the things we should measure. From measurements to the actual value that social is adding to a brand.

Measuring and then evaluating the value that social is adding to a brand will be different from brand to brand. They are using social in different ways, across different parts of their business and are used to measuring value in different ways. There is not one solution, a panacea for all our social media measurement ills. Things are more complicated than that. However, this does not mean that we cannot measure the value we are having when we use social media. And as social media has moved from innovation and experimentation to more mainstream we need to take a more mainstream approach to value. And we need to talk about what we are measuring and the value social is creating.

There are many things that are not examples ‘value’ from social media - a large number of followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook for example, or a large number of visits to an online community. Such things, whilst easy to measure, are not, in themselves, examples of business value. It is relatively easy to get more Likes of your brand on Facebook (running Facebook advertising being one obvious example), and this may open up more people you can broadcast your messaging to via their wall, but business value comes not from having Likes, but from what these people do for you. Brands and social media agencies need to talk more about this, about what their social media is doing for them and the value it is adding.

Now that social is a mainstream part of business, value should be expressed in more mainstream terms. We should be talking about things such as a lowered cost of new customer acquisition, and increased lifetime value of customer, a reduction in average customer serving costs, increased customer satisfaction, or greater brand awareness. We should be talking about actual value to the business rather than social media measurements. We should be talking about why we started using social in the first place and the impact it is having across the business

There are many things we can and should measure, but in 2011 the conversation will be about the value social is adding to a brand. Brands should be talking internally in these terms and they should expect any social media agency that works with them to be talking in these terms too.

This post is part of an informal series: Social Media in 2011.