Archive for the ‘George Cathcart’ Category.

Identifying influencers using Google+ Ripples


Google+ Ripples is an app that sits natively within Google+, allowing anyone to see the reach and influence of a particular post in G+ once it has been shared. On top of this, you can visualise the spread of the post over time with a scrolling bar that allows you to see the impact a post has at any point along its lifeline.

The magic of Google+ Ripples, however, is the ability to search out and target influencers.

People that re-share your content and get large numbers of subsequent re-shares have larger ‘ripples’ which makes it very easy to see who people pay attention to, and quickly.

While there are people who argue that influencers on Google+ don’t mean anything as the service is minute compared to Facebook, you have to consider the fact that influencers on other social networks that move to G+ often carry that influence across, so not only can ripples be used to find influencers on G+, but there is a good chance that these people exert clout in other arenas too.

There are other levels to the Google+ Ripples tool though. For example, if you were a recruiter looking for android developers to work on a project you could use Google+ Ripples to find people talking about and sharing content about android development.

As Ripples is completely public, this means that if two competing brands release content, they can effectively benchmark how successful those pieces of content are at a very granular level – to the degree where brand ‘x’ might get 500 shares, with 100 of those occurring at a second level, while brand ‘y’ might get 500 shares with 300 of those at the second level. In this example brand ‘y’ is more effective at leveraging key influencers to spread their message, while their first level influence is lacking. This creates a highly competitive environment in which brands need to stay creative and innovative in order to be successful in capturing the maximum share of voice.

It’s worth noting that Google does plan on plugging adwords into Google+, and that they will have something to do with Ripples. While industry chatter on this is vague and unclear, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that you could run adwords campaigns to reach out to influencers with  pretty impressive levels of detail and optimisation.

We’ve said before that Google+ isn’t a competitor to Facebook but the future of search engine marketing and with functionality like Ripples being one of the key USP’s of Google+ we think there are some exciting times ahead for the service.

If you haven’t added FreshNetworks to your Google+ circles yet, then make sure you do so now!

Social media case study: Kabbee - growing a pool of evangelists from the outset?


Kabbee is a mobile app-based service on both Android and iOS that allows Londoners (at present, other cities to come soon, as well as black cabs) to book minicabs on their smartphone from wherever they are in the city. It boasts a massive database of over 4000 minicab drivers from 60 fleets, all of who go through a process of being accredited in order to be given access to the users who need transportation, which essentially makes Kabbee a middle-man to get you a minicab that you can trust quickly.

This isn’t, of course, the first time that a minicab service has ventured into the mobile app market. There are similar apps available to people in the USA, and Addison Lee also has a well-known app that allows you access to their (huge) fleet from the comfort of your touch screen.

Kabbee, however, is slightly different to the others. It is a fully serviced suite that allows you (crucially) to pre-load your account with cash so that you can pay for a cab even when you’ve spent all your paper money, as well as compare minicab prices and then rate the journey when you’re done. Not only does it make getting a minicab easier if you’re in a part of London that you don’t know well, but it also introduces an element of healthy competition between the minicab services that was hitherto non existent.

Where’s the ‘social’?

A friend of mine recently asked for some app recommendations for their new iPhone on Twitter, where I then pointed them in the direction of Kabbee. Not too long after this I received the following tweet:

This is impressive for more than one reason; I have used the service to compare prices previously but didn’t actually create an account, so not only have they turned me into a brand evangelist (I really am impressed with their proactive approach here) but they’ve also made me sign up in order to get my reward.

This is a great example of how social media monitoring and small gestures of appreciation to vocal people can grow a pool of evangelists for a brand that is, for all intents and purposes, pretty unknown.

When you’re a new company, this is the kind of work that really helps grow your core audience early on – it’s all about positive word of mouth from the outset.

Social media case study: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines


Social media campaigns are absolutely everywhere now. Seldom that original, and often poorly executed, the space is becoming so turgid with a mix of good, bad, ugly and downright embarrassing examples of campaigns that it’s becoming harder to stand out from the crowd.

But as with everything, there are a few shining stars in the ether, and one of those in the social media space is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Granted, they are incredibly vocal and they are never not doing something, but there are 3 campaigns in particular that stand out for me from KLM that deserve some recognition.

KLM Surprise

First up is the KLM Surprise campaign. KLM wanted to reach out to KLM passengers in the real world to reward them for flying with KLM. They monitored check-ins on Foursquare at KLM locations and did some social media monitoring to find the people that mentioned KLM in their check-in. When they had a picture of who the person was, their activities, interests and personalities, they hunted them down, bought them a small gift,  and gave it to them as they waited for their flight.

This campaign really punched above its weight for a few reasons. The numbers paint the first picture: 1 million impressions on Twitter alone came from the few weeks of gifting. The shady area of impression analysis aside, that’s a pretty major number and one to shout about (which they do indeed do). The other side, and the real gem here, is their insight in taking the offline conversation back into the real world, albeit briefly, and managing to turn an average day in a few customers lives into a pretty awesome day that they felt the need to share. Brands these days are so hung up on the digital conversation that they often forget the power of the offline element too.

Tile & Inspire

The Tile & Inspire campaign is another great example of KLM both engaging their fans but also re-affirming their Dutch brand identity in one fell swoop. Using a Facebook app, fans could upload a photo of themselves that would be made up in the style of a delft tile and entered with a chance of being painted onto a real Boeing 777-200.

In doing this, KLM sent out a very clear message to their fans: we’re serious about you. We want to have our customers woven into the fabric of our brand, and we’re excited about a future where our customers shape how the world perceives us. It’s an important lesson – if a brand is not sincere in their involvement of their customers then they won’t reap the rewards that they are after.

Live Tweet

The Live Tweet campaign took a bunch of KLM employees (140 to be precise) and used them as a ‘live’ tweeting medium for a single day. Each person had a character, and they were used to spell out tweets as replies to the tweets that KLM were receiving.

Yes there will be those that are screaming that they are just re-hashing the work of W+K on the Old Spice campaign, and yes there is some cross over, but it was executed pretty well. The purpose of this campaign was to highlight their social media services – to let people know that there are people on the other end of Facebook and Twitter 24/7 waiting to help out. It’s just another example of how KLM is telling their customers that they are invested in being as accessible and helpful as they can be, and social media is one of the best ways that this can happen.

You can pretty much sum up KLM’s ideas on how important their social media audience is with this advert; drawing a parallel between football fans and the passion inherent in supporting a team with an airline is an unusual association to create, but with the hyperbole aside, it’s one they seem to believe in none the less.

Social media case study: The #Turkcelltweet Campaign by Turkcell


Turkcell, a Turkish telecoms company, was looking for a way to market their new offering - smart phones bundled with internet packages.

However, their biggest problem was that their target market - heavy internet users- was ‘immune’ to the traditional online advertising techniques that they frequently used.

Hence the development of the #Turkcelltweet campaign.

The #Turkcell Tweet Campaign

The #Turkcelltweet campaign involved covering a box, with a smartphone inside it, with post-its containing small messages which people had to tweet to get them removed.

Along the way word and picture games were played and the winners won packages and minutes. Finally, to win the phone, the participants had to get a their message re-tweeted by a famous celebrity.

Here’s the video showing how it worked:

(you can see the video with a voiceover here)

Headline stats:

  • The campaign ran for 3 hours a day, for 7 days.
  • 56,734 Tweets under #turkcelltweet.
  • 8 days on the trending list.
  • Several big celebrities got involved.
  • 3.6million campaign impressions.

Why this is a great campaign

Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of this campaign is the insight that was used in order to inform their competition strategy; accepting that their target market was immune to their traditional marketing and advertising methods  and moving into their domain on Twitter to approach them is very clever.

One of the other things that really stands out is the mechanics of the competition itself. By restricting the competitionto 3 hours a day, they focused the activity and increased their chances of hitting the trending lists. On top of this, the use of post-its and word games allowed for the control of pace, and the incentivisation of prizes along the way was a great way of keeping people invested in taking part.

What didn’t quite add up

In a way the campaign’s biggest hook was its biggest weakness; Twitter is a relatively ephemeral medium, and although the recent changes look to be addressing such gaps, it’s a well known fact that a huge number of people leave the web UI in favour of third party apps like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Seesmic. It is this ‘flash in the pan’ nature of tweeting that makes continued engagement with Twitter followers incredibly hard compared to somewhere like Facebook, for example.

Plus,  while the campaign had some big campaign impressions stats, it is questionable how much this campaign actually added to the bottom line. It is a great case study though, from the idea and execution perspective, and there may well be reasons why the business benefit to Turkcell can’t be shared.

In Summary

At the end of it you can’t really fault this campaign that much, and if you do then you’re trying too hard. It is the sheer simplicity of it that really grabs the attention: how could a box covered in post-its create such a wave of interaction? The answer is right there - it was a simple campaign that built a foundation on using actionable insight in order to make their target market take notice.

5 examples of job hunting with social media


Job hunting in the age of social media can be a difficult thing to do. Trying to differentiate yourself in the sea of voices created by social makes it harder to stand out from the crowd and throwing a few pictures at the top of your CV isn’t quite going to cut it any more.

Below are 5 of what we think are the best examples of people and companies using social media to help with job hunting. Enjoy.

1) Graeme Anthony and the C.V.I.V.

When Graeme Anthony sent his prospective C.V.I.V. (curriculum vitae interactive video) he didn’t anticipate the amount of buzz it would create. Although not originally intended for the public eye, you can appreciate why it went down so well. A truly pioneering effort from someone that clearly ‘gets’ the digital mindset.

2) Laura Tosney

Laura, like Graeme, understood the power of video for job applications and the touching stop motion video below showcases Laura’s creative side beautifully. Again, like Graeme, this got the attention of her soon-to-be-employer quite effectively, and she got the job.

3) Susan Lewis hires a boss

Every once in a while someone comes along and turns a concept on its head. Susan is one such person. Reflecting on the traditional model of ‘person asks company if they could work for them’, Susan broke the status quo, and started a blog where she hired her boss. The uptake on this wasn’t unanimously good, but this kind of change in attitude isn’t going to wash with everyone. You can read the blog here.

4) Alec Brownstein – The Google Job Experiment

Falling perhaps slightly outside of the social media remit, but incredibly relevant all the same, the Google Job Experiment by Alec Brownstein was an incredibly insightful reflection on the (what some call narcissistic) tendency of people to Google themselves. Armed with this knowledge, he paid for a Google Adwords campaign to target 5 high-level executives. Check the video below to see the results.

5.) The Saatchi & Saatchi Internship

This time the shoe is on the other foot, and Saatchi & Saatchi have used social media to recruit for their summer scholarship.

At a basic level, the brief asked grads to start a new Twitter account and get as high a rating as possible. The top 250 applicants would move onto the next stage of the process. This is a fascinating use of social media to hunt for grads, and a similar campaign back in 2010 using Facebook groups resulted in 5 full-time hires.

The facebook group can be found here.