FreshNetworks: Topshop, Telefónica Europe and other highlights from the quarter

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What a busy quarter we’ve had here at FreshNetworks . As a proudly independent social media agency we’re pleased to say that we’re continuing to strengthen our client portfolio.

Some of the highlights from this quater include helping Telefónica Europe, otherwise known as O2 to its customers, develop a consistent strategy for using social media across multiple European markets.

Our consultancy team created a social media strategy to provide clear guidelines and policies for all Telefónica Europe businesses to operate within, while still allowing each individual market a degree of flexibility. This includes developing an analytical framework for measuring success from all social media activity across five major markets, and, as a result, we’re now Telefónica Europe’s retained social media agency for all Group-sponsored social media projects and programmes.

We also helped fashion retailer Topshop launch ‘Wish You Were At Topshop’ - a Summer holiday themed digital campaign at its London, New York, Dublin, Manchester and Liverpool stores.

Using  technology developed by our in-house tech team, we enabled shoppers to create their own digital ‘Wish You Were At Topshop’ postcard. As well as getting a printed copy of the postcard, customers could upload their perfected image straight onto Topshop’s gallery, as well as their own Facebook page, allowing them to share the photo with friends both on and offline. We’re proud to have helped Topshop become the first in the industry to work with Instagram.

Helping Hodder & Stoughton launch the latest James Bond adventure, Carte Blanche, written by Jeffery Deaver, was also a highlight for us. Using a mix of clues and questions in social media and in the real world Bond fans were challenged to to solve a series of cryptic clues for the chance of winning a chauffeur-driven ride in a new Bentley Continental GT  (the car driven by Bond in Carte Blanche) an overnight stay for 2 in the five star Lanesborough Hotel in London, an exclusive copy of Carte Blanche a day before the rest of the world and the chance to meet Carte Blanche author Jeffery Deaver to discuss, first-hand, the details of the book. Much to the delight of the male members of our team, they also got to meet beautiful bond girl Chesca Miles.

Aside from our client wins we’ve been out and about helping businesses understand that value of social media. Charlie, Matt, and Helen have spoken at no less than 14 different conferences and events this quarter, including the Financial Services Forum, the European Customer Experience World and Internet World, and we also ran our own Financial Services roundtable event for senior level decesion makers of some of the biggest financial services brands in the world.

Picking up yet another award for ‘best social media strategy’ at The Drum Marketing Awards helped to highlight how much we’re continuing to  grow and develop as a team. In fact,  we’re expanding and as a result we’re currently looking to hire a Group Account Director, an Account Director, Account Managers, Social Media Managers and a Social Media Executive. So if you fancy working for a busy, fast growing social media agency why not drop us a line.

So as we start on the first day of Q3 we look forward to working with some exciting new retail, FMCG and financial services clients, as well as continuing our relationship with existing ones.

Social business: the 4 steps to success

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Connecting with social businessSo far in our social business blog post series we’ve looked at defining the term ‘social business‘, as well as examining three examples of multinationals who are implementing it.

To make it easier to start thinking more about social business, here are four steps that can help ease a company’s transition from being social media users to a full social business.

1. Put people first - not tools

Social media may still have a somewhat intimidating air of the unknown about it for some businesses. It’s important not to forget the fundamental element is in the word “social”: communication and forging relationships is the key -  something that any successful business should already be familiar with.

2. Evaluate the structure of your organisation

An evaluation of how the company is structured for social media use is a good starting point. While social business offer cross-silo communication and collaboration, issues may remain  over the “ownership” or “control” of the channels. In practical terms, the technology should be owned and maintained by IT, but departments should own their own processes. However these processes should be standardised across the business as a whole to ensure best practice and maximum return from social media.

3. Start small and build momentum naturally

The scalability of social business is one of its best assets. Running pilot schemes allows flexibility and opportunity for tools and practices to be evaluated properly. Internal early adopters turned evangelists will be able to demonstrate the real value of social business to colleagues.

4. Educate your workforce

Applying social business will come naturally to some, but for many the change in process and practice may be overwhelming. Social business requires a change in company culture as much as it does technology, and so guidance and education is important to ensure successful, company-wide adoption. Use evangelists to energise the company and demonstrate the benefits of social business to encourage word-of-mouth to spread the message, but dedicated training is a worthwhile investment to ensure a consistent adoption across the board.

5 reasons why people follow brands on Twitter

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Follow us on Twitter

Image courtesy of Todd Barnard

As a social media agency we’re always interested in what makes people interact and engage with brands online.

We’ve already written about why people follow the UK’s top brand on Twitter, and a recent report from ExactTarget builds on this analysis  further by revealing why people follow companies on the popular microblogging site.

Here are the top 5 reasons why people follow brands on Twitter:

1. To get updates on future products

38% of respondents said that they use Twitter to get updates on future products or new product developments.

From a brand’s perspective, this shows that Twitter is a useful PR tool for creating buzz around a new product launch. It would also work well for innovative companies who continuously update their offering or for FMCG businesses where new products are frequently launched.

2. To engage with the company or brand

32%  of respondents said they wanted to stay informed about the activities of a company or brand, with a further 20% stating they become  followers to interact with, share ideas and provide feedback about services or products.

From a brand’s point of view, this proves the value of Twitter as both a customer engagement and customer feedback tool.

3. To save money

Saving money seems to be another key motivator for people to follow brands on Twitter. 31% of respondents said that they follow a company to receive discounts and promotions. A similar percentage of people also hoped to get “insider” information about upcoming sales, discount events and free samples.

This means that businesses could use Twitter to feed out discount codes and coupons in order to encourage brand loyalty and drive sales.

4.  For entertainment

For 26% of the people surveyed, following brands on Twitter was simply for entertainment and no other reason.

With this in mind, perhaps brands and businesses need to evaluate the way they engage people through Twitter and include more fun, interactive content, like videos and pictures, rather than just a news and updates, in their Twitter stream.

5. To display loyalty

23% of people surveyed said they follow brands or companies to show support. In other words, it is to show their loyalty to others.

For a brand or business, this type of user could be a key influencer and, as a brand advocate, if you engage them in the right way they will help spread positive word-of-mouth about your products or services.

It would be interesting to know why you follow brands on Twitter.