Archive for the ‘Social media agency’ Category.

“Would you like social media with that?”Agencies and social media

Image courtesy of Victor and Spoils

In the last month or so there’s been quite a lot of discussion about what agency models will look like in the future.

In the context of social media, here at FreshNetworks we have seen a shift over the last year. More and more niche agencies, with services such as SEO, PR, affiliate marketing or other digital disciplines, are reinventing themselves as “generalists”, offering social media alongside their former specialty.

Even large ad agencies are positioning themselves as “360″ or integrated agencies, using social media within their core services.

This is hardly surprising given the rise of social media. As it continues to develop, these agencies are starting to see both the opportunity and also perhaps the threat to their existence, considering that social impacts a wide range of channels.

For brands with small, internal teams, a one stop shop can seem like a more attractive option. However, in a recent interview in Marketing magazine, Keith Weed, CMO for Unilever said:

“the easiest thing would be to deal with one agency, which can lead and integrate, but, frankly, I will go for the best before the easiest”.

“Best” can mean lots of things, but to me the successful agency of the future will offer their clients a service that disrupts the norms with new and innovative uses for social media.

Take, for example, US agency Victor and Spoils. They are the world’s first creative agency built around crowdsourcing principles. They have reinvented the pitch process and are using social media and crowd sourcing to come up with creative concepts.

This video shows the Harley Davidson campaign that was chosen by Harley Davidson from over 100 ideas that Victor and Spoils crowdsourced through their existing online community of creatives.

How did they get the attention of Harley Davidson? Through a tweet of course ( see Victor and Spoils’  blog for more info). Could you imagine a large, integrated agency approaching a client in this way?

Four steps for businesses to get started with social media

Many businesses want to get started using social media or want to make their use of social media more effective. There is often a benefit of talking to a specialist social media agency. But for all businesses and organisations, whatever their size and whatever their focus, there are four simple steps that will put you on the right track with social media. Make sure you are using it but doing so in an informed way.

The presentation below takes you from listening and understanding what people are saying, to measuring and evaluating the impact you are having in four simple steps. If you want more information on this or on how to get started with social media then look at the FreshNetworks guide to Getting Started in Social Media.

Social TV and the future of advertising

On Tuesday, as part of social media week,  I attended an event on “The Future of TV Advertising - Keeping it Social”. The discussion centered on how social media can bring the fragmented viewing experience back to a shared one.

Here are the main points of interest from the debate:

Traditional TV adverts

  • Ads can get exponential views on YouTube – people will search for, and share, their favourite ads.
  • Sky offers viewers a ‘green button’ for ads to be recorded for re-viewing or sharing with friends.
  • TV ads don’t even need to be broadcast during the Superbowl – this year a large amount of “Superbowl Ads” were launched on Youtube and never broadcast on TV - huge savings!
  • Lynx/Axe has released an advert virally, aiming to learn how to edit/adjust it for the broadcast version, with the hope that final version will then once again go viral. (People I spoke to afterwards were doubtful about the practicalities and costs of doing this – but it’s an interesting experiment).
  • TV ads are not the be-all and end-all! ABInbev are now realizing the importance of digital for engaging young beer drinkers while they’re still developing their tastes, before they get cemented on just one or two brands.

Viewing devices for the future

  • 2010 election debate – interaction from Facebook and Twitter demonstrate that live social commentary has well and truly arrived.
  • However, tablets will be the next big thing with UK tablet ownership to reach 8.6m by 2014.
  • Internet connected TVs will be mass-market in 2014 and are offering another avenue for ad content and social recommendation to be integrated in the viewing experience.

Social TV products to watch out for

  • Miso -allows users to check-in to what they are watching; like 4square for TV (e.g. badges)
  • GetGlue - same as Miso
  • Starling - for “event TV” – allows audience to interact and discuss live with other fans, or restrict the circle to your friends

Examples of social integration with TV:

  • Grey’s Anatomy -apparently a recent broadcast (last week in the US) overlaid an iPad app on the show. One of the characters is using twitter in the episode, and it was possible to follow this stream. This is being described as an example of what may appear in the UK when product placement regulations are loosened.
  • Facebook events -setting up a Facebook event allows fans to RSVP to a show – share with their friends what they will be viewing in advance. The panel member from Facebook said this is already taking place and that we should all have seen this before. We haven’t as of yet so we’re interested to see if anyone else has?
  • Facebook games running alongside broadcasts
  • Million Pound Drop Live has hundreds of thousands of people playing along in parallel to the broadcast via a Facebook game. This is claimed to be just 10% of the viewing audience and so is just the start of things to come.

The key thought which came from the event was that brands who are already social-conscious will be the ones to succeed with these future tools. The adage of not shouting but listening has to be kept in mind – the brands that can find a way to lead from the 30-second “shout” into a social conversation will go on to lead the way.

If you’ve got any pics from social media week events why not upload them through instagram so they can appear on our social media week instagram photo wall? Just tweet them with the hashtag #smw and we’ll pick them up!

Social media case study - Wrigleys Extra v Polo mints

A few months ago I came across a blog post which compared Nestle’s Polo Mint social media campaign to that of  Mars - owned chewing gum brand Wrigley’s Extra.

Now that the campaigns have been going for a few months it’s interesting to see how things have developed.

Polo Mints

When it comes to eating Polos, are you a “sucker” or a “cruncher”?  An app on Polo’s site helps you determine which camp you fall into and then invites you to join fellow Suckers or Crunchers on a tailored Facebook page depending on the outcome.

At the time of writing, the combined total of fans for both pages was just over 56,000.

There are a variety of  Polo-based games on the site, all of which feature a running total score for each of the respective “teams”, promoting a lighthearted form of competition between the two sides that’s not dissimiliar to Cadbury’s spots v stripes campaign.

Beyond these gadgets however there is very little discussion taking place on either the “Suckers” or “Crunchers” wall. If you filter out posts made by the page admin you can see that the  community has suffered from a degree of neglect.

The most recent posts at the time of writing this blog were from 24th December announcing the close of a competition, and the weeks prior to that have simply been messages to encourage participation.  General posts that are unrelated to games or contests are usually statements rather than launch points for discussion; for example,  “I crunch therefore I am” or “Make it last - suck it”. While these posts do generate some response, the limited scope in terms of content is apparent, hence the lack of real engagement.

Wrigley’s Extra

While Polo’s campaign has the interesting dynamic of pitting fans against each other,  Wrigley’s approach demonstrates a method that goes beyond the way its product is consumed, and promotes community discussion for “foodies”  and people who are interested in good food and eating.

The Wrigley’s page is created with the premise that strongly flavoured food and drink, while one of life’s pleasures, are not necessarily things we wish to carry with us for the rest of the day on our breath.

This simple message is not directly centred on the product itself and offers several options for sustainable engagement. A clear example of this is the Enjoyment Map - a simple Google maps app that allows Wrigley’s fans to share and rate their favourite “foody” destinations.

If you filter the posts properly there is a near daily drip-feed of discussion points, ranging from debates on the best pickled food (onion, egg, or gherkin?) to the best national cuisine (which prompted a very long discussion and over 123 comments).

These discussions are generally well received, and topical timing (“Anyone else’s coffee machine working overtime today?” on a Monday, for example) fosters a united feeling between the members themselves, as well as between the members and Wrigley’s.


At a top level, there are more Facebook “Likes” on the Wrigley’s page than on the two Polo Mint pages combined, and well over 2.5 times the fans. Looking beyond the superficial comparison of the fan counts, it is the sustainable conversation topics and levels of engagement from Wrigley’s that makes its community the most valuable.

While Polos identified a fun and lighthearted approach to giving their fans a sense of identity, the campaign is centred around the product itself and by looking wider, Wrigley’s will be able to sustain engagement for as long as their fans enjoy eating and drinking…which will probably be a long time.

Social media week - instagram photo wall #smw

It’s social media week and as there’s so much going on all around the world we’ve decided to create  a lasting visual tribute to all the individuals, brands and agencies that are involved.

We thought it would be fun to experiment with photo sharing tool Instagram, and so over the weekend we created a live photo wall which pulls in images, in real-time, from social media week events all across the globe. Check it out at

Now it’s up and running we need you to help us capture social media week.

Think about what makes Social Media Week for you. The people you meet? The places you go to? The speakers that inspire you? Whatever it is, we want you to get your iPhone out,  snap it, tag it with #smw and then share it with Instagram.

Why Instagram?

It’s social, it’s simple and it makes even the worst photo look fantastic. (If you’re not already on it, you can download it for  FREE  from the Apple App Store).

How to get involved:

  • Take your Social Media week 2011 photo with Instagram.
  • Tag it with #smw.
  • That’s it. We’ll do the rest.

Look out for your photos at

Don’t have an iphone? Just upload your images to twitter with the #smw hashtag and we’ll pick them up from there.