Here’s our top five of the digital stories that have caught the Brasscals’ beady eyes this week, including Social Brands 100, the EU Privacy Directive, Facebook games, Jubilee overload and, of course, monkeys. Enjoy and feel free to comment as always!
Sally Barr, Online PR & Social Media Manager
On Tuesday the top 100 social brands ranking was published. There was a launch event. There was wine. And there was a load of the top social brands and agencies in a room.
Innocent topped the ranks to scoop the number one position, well done Innocent. Two of our clients were included in the top 100 as well.
The panel discussion at the event was very interesting. There was talk of customer service being delivered only through social media and whether you should prioritise talking to followers who have the biggest followings, amongst other subjects.
Brands were ranked by a number of factors, but a few of these were based on how much you interacted with your fans. With many customer service channels being shortlisted, this measurement would have been in their favour as a social customer service channel is more likely to respond to every fan interaction.
What I found most interesting was that the ranking also measured how active brands are on YouTube and Foursquare. It was mentioned by one of the panel that YouTube and Foursquare are not being used enough by brands as part of their social strategy. While this is a valid point, it suggests that the more channels a brand has presence on, the better. When developing social strategies we know that this is not necessarily true. From an agency point of view we need to recommend the most effective channels that will deliver the best return, and a broad-brush approach is not always the best option.
The event stirred various debates around interesting topics and was a great opportunity to see how very different brands tackle social media.
Gill Ball, Head of Digital Client Servives
This week Twitter announced it will honour requests from users who do not want their online behaviour tracked. This is in contrast with companies such as Google and Facebook whose business models rely heavily on collecting user data.
Online tracking through code embedded in websites known as “cookies” underpins the business models for many online companies. Data is often used to track behaviour and help provide a more personalised experience. Looks like challenging times ahead for many online businesses with the new EU Privacy Directive coming into effect this month.
And how rigorous will companies be? Only time will tell. Having spoken to various legal teams, there seem to be different views and a real mixed-bag of solutions already out there.
Many have spoken out against the new law claiming it’s simply a restraint to trade online at a time when businesses need all the help they can get. Not surprisingly then, 95% of companies have yet to comply, according to a recent KPMG study.
On the surface this might seem like a dull topic but, as usual with the introduction of new legislation, it’s not without its bumps in the road.
As Zack Whittaker at ZDNet points out, despite the law taking effect over the weekend, EU institutions including the European Parliament and the European Commission are not practicing what they preach. On all European Union institution websites, you will be lucky to find a single page that asks the visitor for permission to set cookies. But they’re using them all the same. Whoops.
And you can always rely on The Daily Mash the lighten the mood. The cookies message at the top of each page is my favourite find of the week.
Paul Mallett, Managing Partner
These guys from the East Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program contacted me this week about a photo I took of a patas monkey in Gambia.
They are putting together species photo maps which track the range of different primates across the whole of Africa. By tracking the biogeography of different species they aim to provide a resource which can be used in a number of ways, from understanding human impact on species through to migration patterns.
Once upon a time the idea of tracking a species across an entire continent would have been pure science fiction, but now, with the advent of Geo-tagged photography and global online communities such as Flickr, it has become a reality.
All the researchers need to do is to find a photo, review its meta-data and pull it straight into a map and hey presto!
Mine’s the cute-looking one on the West Coast
This story caught my eye this week as I get hay fever just about every year, and the minute I forget to take the antihistamine in the morning my eyes well up, and I look like I’ve been chopping onions all night.
It’s a nice little Facebook game developed by We Are Social, and is claimed to be the first of its kind to be able to be played and shared through a user’s newsfeed. Players have to empty a box of tissues as quickly as possible and are able to share their scores in their newsfeed. Friends can compete by playing the game in their newsfeed, rather than having to visit the Kleenex fanpage. Mixed with a pollen counter by region and simple tips, I thought it was a neat little campaign.
The Facebook activity forms part of a wider campaign which includes experiential activity and radio sponsorship on Capital FM and Heart FM, with media planning handled by Mindshare.
Leah Kayles, Social Media Editor
Even the most ardent Republicans among us can’t have failed to notice that this weekend is a certain monarch’s diamond Jubilee celebrations. Whether you’re a fan of the royals or not, there’s no escaping the mountains of regal marketing that have flooded our high streets, supermarkets, Facebook newsfeeds, mobile phones and emails over the past few days. Some of it more relevant than others.
Of course, you expect to see Jubilee-themed tins of biscuits, Pimms on special offer and bunting at every turn, but you can’t help get the feeling that some brands might be trying to shoehorn the celebrations in where they don’t quite fit.
A mobile phone company (which shall remain nameless), for example, whose ‘Jubilee’ text message to customers urged them to enjoy the celebrations but, if you’re going abroad, don’t forget to sign up for the data roaming package!
Her Royal Highness would be proud.
Top of the pops for misjudged Jubilee marketing has to be this email, however, which was sent to my male boss:
Hey, what man doesn’t need a new floral tunic to celebrate the Jubilee in?
And brace yourself for plenty more of this to come over the next four days. Still, you can console yourself with the fact that it’s free time off work and an excuse to drink shedloads of Pimms and eat your bodyweight in Jubilee buns. It’s what our Lizzie would want.
Happy Jubilee your Madge.