Archive for the ‘Social media in 2011’ Category.

Using social media to share good food: Lurpak

Cupcake courtesy of our very own @genbosch

Here at FreshNetworks we are fortunate to have several keen bakers in our team, and we love it when cupcakes, cookies and brownies appear in the office.

Sharing baked treats is a fine example of the social power of food - something which Arla Foods butter brand Lurpak has taken into account with their latest social media activity.

Lurpak has adopted a similar approach to that of Wrigley’s Extra by creating several social opportunities for food lovers to share their creations and recommendations.

Bake Club

The Lurpak Facebook page states that “The First Rule about Bake Club is to tell everyone about Bake Club”, offering a clear call to action. The purpose of the club is for groups to create a baking rota, where automated reminders are sent out to the next baker in line with a reminder ahead of time. The members are then encouraged to upload a photo of their creation, which can then be rated.

Photos can be viewed in the gallery, and they are also automatically posted to the Lurpak Flickr gallery - which is ideal for sharing with off-site members (our client Jimmy Choo would perhaps love this cake). At the time of writing the site had just under 11,000 members and 1,400 photos available on Flickr.

Good Food Finder

In keeping with the message that “Good food deserves Lurpak” the company has created a resource for food lovers to share and recommend their favourite places to find great ingredients. Both the Lurpak website and Facebook page  prominently promote their recently launched iPhone app - which we have tried out.

The app provides a very useful, portable resource, especially when using GPS information to show where to buy quality ingredients nearby - particularly useful if you are in an unfamiliar area. One drawback is that none of the entries we came across  have any comments, so it’s only acting as a user-submitted directory for now.  At present, there is no personal profile information available either and having a real person behind a listing would give more authenticity.

Brands offering staple food products or ingredients require creative approaches to differentiating themselves from their competitors. With this in mind, Lurpack’s “Bake Club” and “Good Food Finder” both demonstrate how social media can generate greater brand awareness and interaction by offering a platform for customers to share their experiences, even if only indirectly connected to the product.

Case Study:

Yesterday I went to a Social Media Week event hosted by the Central Office of Information (COI) that focused on is a programme that was initiated under Gordon Brown’s tenure of Labour leadership and now continues on in a slightly slimmed down version under the coalition government.

The basic idea is that different parts of government, at local and national level, share relevant data they produce with the public. It’s a great idea because it encourages departments to be open and honest, providing the British people with access to the data that they essentially “own”.

Learnings so far:

  • They’ve realised that it’s not an IT project, but a data project. It sounds obvious, but all the early problems were IT related; they soon realised they needed to focus on the data itself.
  • They established public data principles, helping them publish the data in ways people can use it, like using infographics and standard data formats which can be manipulated in Excel. (Click on the infographic above or here to see it enlarged).
  • They learned they need basic data standards across government organisations.
  • They learned that with programmes like this, it’s best to get something out, event if it’s a rough version of what it will eventually become, and then improve it as time goes by. This helps get people engaged in the project early on.

How is the project using social media?

  • They currently have several blogs, with sharing functionality and comments etc.
  • There is a wiki for where people can contribute and learn about the programme.
  • There is an active community engaged around the programme, many of whom are developers and data analysts .
  • They have realised there are distinct audiences they need to communicate with through social media and that there are different best practices for each. For example, they know that all the developers are on twitter and communicate in forums.

For those interested in social, especially it’s applications around government, probably the most exciting news is that the programme has been something of a pioneer in government for trialling the ways social might impact government activity.

It’s become a good hub for testing ideas and working out best practise, and is leading the way in taking social into other parts of government.

Preparing for significant regulation changes in social media

My first session on the IAB Social Media Council had us debating the upcoming regulation changes which will see the ASA’s remit extended to cover marketing on websites from 1st March 2011.

So what? Well the Advertising Standards Authority is “the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media” but until now this did not include websites (and for websites also read social networks, blogs etc). This new regulation means that marketing communications on companies’ own websites and in other third party space under their control, such as Facebook and Twitter, will have to adhere to the “non-broadcast advertising rules” as set out in the CAP Code.

The aim is to drive companies to ensure marketing messages on their websites are legal, decent, honest and truthful. This should go without saying but think of how celebs are used in social media marketing – when they are speaking about a product are they doing so because they are paid? What about the blog you read extolling a product – was that review paid for? Currently this is unclear but the ASA aims to remove that uncertainty.

How? Well, the ASA does not set rules, just guidance so it is currently unclear exactly what will fall foul of the regulations.

On the Council we are looking to lead the way with self regulation and I am interested in your views of how this should be done?

  • Should sponsored tweets feature a hashtag such as #ad or #spon
  • What if a paid brand advocate happens to tweet about the brand, is this ‘paid’
  • What constitutes being paid? Is a blogger who is given product to review ‘paid’?

At FreshNetworks we have always advocated responsible social media practice and support the ASA’s work to clear up this grey area.

I will be updating you as new information comes out and would love your thoughts on this as they will help drive the self regulation response.

Five trends all marketers should watch in social media in 2011

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 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.

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

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.