Page 1

Social Media Portfolio 2011


Contents

Section 1

Planning Materials

Section 2

Manuals

Section 3

Blogs


SD Properties- Social Network Marketing Notes Planning Social Network Planning using the Neher Model: 1. Listening- Following and listen to consumers, track behaviour and attitudes/trends. 2. Strategy & Objectives- What is it you want to achieve? How do you want to do it? (Essential for ROI Monitoring) 3. Audience Profiling- Who are you networking to? 4. Content- What will inspire? What will engage? What will create dialogue? What will crowdsource? 5. Tools- Platforms? YouTube, Facebook, Linked In? Have to be congruent with primary objectives 6. Implementation & Execution- Posts must make sense and be targeted, don’t jump in too quickly; plan the initial posting stages making them succinct and targeted. 7. Tracking and Measurement- Management is essential for long-term success, can use integrated software e.g. Klout, Flurry etc. To manage all your social networking platforms in one piece of software. 8. Adjustments- Refine strategies and adjust accordingly, need for constant concurrent evaluation. Social Networking Planning using the POST Model: POST stands for: People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology: People- Who is your target? (Profiling, market research, trends etc.) Objectives- What do you want to achieve? Strategy- How are you going to achieve it? Technology- What Social Networking Platforms are you wanting to use? Strategy Styles Saturation StrategyMain aims being promotion, brand awareness and creating a social media presence. Primarily used for initial stages when penetrating social networking space to get noticed. Key Characteristics are: lots of posts, a lot of the time, ensuring you are always present on feed lists and “most recent” lists, creating a continuous presence. It is also a necessity to keep up with current Hash tag trends to be easily found by consumers when trend searching, and to encourage re-tweets/posts and follower increase. Engagement StrategyThis strategy is the Social Networking equivalent of CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing). The main aim of the strategy is to build a dialogue and online relationship with the consumer. This is done via posting questions, statements and links to encourage “liking” and comments. This method is essential for reliable ROI in tracking stages as high numbers of followers and fans do not necessarily mean awareness, engagement is what secures effective ROI. There is still a need for trending and re-tweet engagement in this strategy. YouTube This is a highly saturated social networking vehicle for B2C engagement in the studenthousing sector within South Yorkshire. Several local competitors have a channel e.g. Opal, Digs, IQ. Examples can be seen overleaf:


IQ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfwqcAM-BGY

Digs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZLm3BNc9CU&feature=related

The key themes of each video are students discussing their experiences of living inside the said property developments, and their experience of the host city. The fact a student is speaking of their experience makes the source of high validity and very relatable to the student base as its coming from “one of their own”. From the video clip screen shots it is evident viewer numbers can hit the 1000’s with a YouTube vehicle alone, which can only be increased via multi platform integration. The key video elements necessary for effective YouTube promotion of student housing are:      

Financial Benefits Locational Benefits Social Benefits Furniture/Décor Quality Emphasis Mini Profile of the host City (Sheffield) Mini Profile of the Student (Make engagement on a more personal level, relatable) Twitter

Strategic FollowingWhen setting up your Twitter account it is essential to follow the right users in order to create a relevant feed. For SD properties this would mean following bodies such as SHU and Sheffield University Twitter accounts, Both Student Union Accounts and Student based communities such as SHU Diamonds Cheerleaders or the Rugby Club. By doing this it means feed lists will alert the SDP user to any upcoming events and news before they are officially released via more traditional PR methods such as Press.


Strategic following can also be used to monitor competitor activity by following their accounts and monitoring their twitter trends, this would allow SDP to effectively manage competitive marketing strategies by having constant access to competitor activity. This method however means competitors can monitor SDP activity as well, which could backfire. An example is @digs_student (Digs Student Accommodation Twitter Account):

Barnsley Uni. Campus Huddersfield University Student Beans

UCAS

Hash tag “♯” TrendingThe main method of twitter search is by “trending” this is done via “hash tags”. An example can be seen below:

As seen above the hash logo turns the accompanying word into a custom hyperlink, which would send a viewer to the hash tag feed. This allows for maximum exposure to readers. The hash tag also allows for highly specified targeting as only readers interested in the trend will be reading the feed, meaning targeting is built in to the trending procedure. The Huddersfield University tweet above trends both “UCAS” and “Leeds” meaning only readers of the UCAS trend and followers will be exposed to the tweet. External Software ManagementThere are many pieces of software available that allow for efficient management of a single or multiple accounts, the two most well known and user friendly and effective are Tweetadder and Hootsuite. Tweetadder is the easier for first time users such as SDP, however Hootsuite is favoured for remote management, for example via Smartphones or Tablets, The benefits and drawbacks of each would be discussed on a consultancy basis. Overleaf are examples of the two software user interfaces, the former being Tweetadder and the Latter, Hootsuite.


Facebook Fan PagesA fan page is a corporate Facebook profile; where instead of having friends you acquire fans. The more fans acquired means higher exposure as more mini-feed space you have the ability to acquire, however this is also dependant on the frequency of you posting behaviour. This can be more easily managed via integrated software, which will be covered in the latter part of the social networking proposal. The ability for comments and “likes� added to each Facebook post also allows for an engagement strategy to be used, creating a constant and limitless dialogue with your audience, the engagement procedures lends itself to building brand favourability an relationship development with SDP’s consumer base.

The above image has circled the key engagement areas available for SDP to create networking relationships.


Facebook Advertising-

Facebook advertising is similar to classifieds but in an online format, as can be seen the image and text are fully customisable along with bespoke targeting and pricing methods, pricing being dependant on choice and reach of targeting chosen. The bespoke method of design allows for fully customisable targeting which can be adapted seasonally, monthly etc. at SDP discretion. LinkedIn The interface of LinkedIn been the most corporate and professionally perceived of all social networking platforms lends itself to much more effective B2B networking. The corporate credibility factor of the vehicle lends itself to creating a reputable image for SDP.


The main benefits of this vehicle are the accreditation and recommendation credibility, such as seeking approval and recommendation from associated professional bodies such as the universities themselves through connection and recommendation. This can be seen below:

The circled elements of the above screenshot show elements of the LinkedIn interface that could maximise the scope and credibility of professional social networking. Mobile

The main distinguishing factor between standard telecommunication and mobile for B2C networking would be the use of contemporary smartphone IM (Instant Messaging) software. The creation of Corporate Blackberry Messenger account, or Whatsapp Messenger (The first two images of the above trio) allow for constant consumer contact, not just from the office. The student market show favourability towards this medium, with Mintel Reports revealing that 52% of students state IM as their main communicative medium for their smartphone use. Pingchat (the third logo of the trio) along with Whatsapp are also compatible with all smartphone software (Blackberry, IPhone and Android), meaning the reach is further maximised. The highly personal method of contact also means the relationship management of the student market is increased, and shows that SDP are in tune with their target markets taste and trends.


Blogging There are two main methods available for SDP Blogging: Social Feeds and External Servers. Social FeedsA social feed is a micro-blogging system that is integrated into your webpage and managed under the website umbrella CMS (Content Management System). This allows for easy blog post updates and immediate publication. The key themes of micro blogging of Social feeds are Internal news updates, although internal this can lend itself to building a personal rapport with website users.

The image above highlights the social feed system which is presented via a widget system on the bigbang website itself. External ServersThis system allows for much more extensive and journalistic style blog posts, presented via external hosting sites, familiar names in this sector are Blogger, Tumblr and Wordpress. These hosts allow for a personalised homepage to be created by SDP on which to display blog posts, which through integrated software can be posted on other vehicles such as Twitter and Facebook. The “following� mechanism is also available on most blog servers, for following corporate bodies, competitors and target audience members themselves. Overleaf is a traditional image of a corporate blog, by competing company Dig Student Accommodation.


It is evident from the image above of the syncing capabilities with external social networking vehicles such as Facebook and Twitter along with RSS feed capabilities to encourage a loyal readership base. Integrated Management Due to the multitude of available vehicles for social network marketing in SDP, in order to reduce clutter and confusion it would be essential to managed all accounts via integrated software. The most user friendly and accredited software available for this is Tweetdeck. This allows for multiple account management from piece of software used via spreadsheet/database style format, which allows for synchronised updates on multiple vehicles, allowing for a professional integrated message to be evoked. The Management system is also available remotely via a smartphone application. Twitter also owns Tweetdeck, so credibility and reliability is optimum. The image below shows an example of Tweetdeck user interface.


Evaluative Methods The main evaluative methods are based on ROI methods. As previously mentioned this can be much more effectively and easily done via integrated analysis software such as Klout or Flurry, shown below:

Klout is an evaluative measure that accesses and analysis your social networking accounts, measuring your engagement and presence converting it into a numerical score on which to judge your effectiveness. This method can also be integrated with the previously mentioned software, Hootsuite.

Flurry is online software available to measure the ROI of mobile applications and software, which is presented in a graphical manner. This method would be necessary is a smartphone application was to be created.


Shaw Gibbs Twitter Manual Social Media

Š 2011 bigbang marketing T: 0114 384 0004 667 Eccesall Road E: enquiries@bigbangmarketing.co.uk Sheffield, S. Yorks S11 8PT W: www.bigbangmarketing.co.uk


Contents

1.What is Twitter?

2

2.Signing up 3-4

3.Populating your Profile

5-6

4.Start Tweeting 7

5.Followers and Following

8-9

6.Engaging with Users 10 7.Twitter Jargon 11-12 8.Privacy and Logging Out

13

14

9.FAQ’s


1.What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as “tweets”. Twitter can be used on both a personal and professional level, with differing objectives, for example a personal reason may be to connect to friends, a business reason may be to build an interested community within which you can quickly access and connect with your market. In terms of Business use Twitter has over 190,000,000 users who can be targetted by group and/or interest, so segmenting a large market is easily achievable. Also with several third party applications (explored in the ‘Hootsuite” bigbang manual) you can target by time via tweet scheduling, meaning well timed marketing is accessible at zero cost. Twitter can also be accessed on tablets and smartphones meaning you can tweet anytime anywhere with the click of a button.


2.Signing up

1. Open up a browser window and enter www.twitter.com to be presented with the page above. Under ‘New to Twitter?” Enter your name, email and password and click ‘Sign up”.

2. On the following page, name, email and password will be pre-populated, with the username field empty. Enter your desired username, if the username has already been taken, either take one of the names suggested or through a matter of trial and error chose a name that is free. 3. Once all your details have been entered you should be presented with a banner across the top of your browser window asking you to validate your email address, click the link within this banner to be led to your email inbox. Once in your inbox, open the email and click the verification link. The link will lead you to your personal Twitter homepage. Once on your homepage click “Profile” in the top banner to be presented with your personal Twitter feed, which should resemble the image overleaf.


Signing up Cont...


3. Populating your Profile 1. On your profile page, click “Edit your Profile” in the grey banner under your profile header.

2. Once on the editing page you will presented with a page which resembles the image above, with step by step fields to fill in your profile:

a) Chose a display picture (Jpeg, Gif or PNG) Make sure it is SFW (Safe for Work).

b) Enter a recognisable name, so people will know its you.

c) Enter your location eg. Oxford

d) Enter a website which you own/represent eg. your Facebook profile, a Portfolio or a Company

Website.

e) Enter a Bio of yourself, ensure the tone of your text matches the objectives of your Twitter profile

for example, a Company account and a Personal account will have very different objectives and

tone.

f) Sync your Facebook account with your Twitter, this can be done by clicking the Facebook button,

which will bring up a window in which to verify permissions to your chosen Facebook account.

(This step is optional).

3. Once completed click the blue “Save” button at the base of the page.


Populating your Profile Cont...

4. Once you’ve saved you profile settings, click across to “Design” to select a background design for your profile. You have the choice to select predefined design templates or to upload you own image such as a photo or company logo. To choose a template click the template swatch on the page and click ‘Save

Changes”. To upload a bespoke background image click “Choose File”, making sure the image is Gif, Jpeg or PNG then click “Save Changes”. 5. Once finished click “Profile” in the top navigation bar, your page should now look something similar to the image below:


4. Start Tweeting

1. When logged into Twitter, click on “Home” in the top navigation bar and you will be presented with a page resembling the image above. Under the title ‘Whats happening?” enter the content of your first tweet in the white text box. Be aware of your character count displayed at the bottom right of the text box (you have a 140 character limit). Once you have finished typing click the “Tweet” button at the bottom right of the text box. Your tweet will now appear in the “Timeline” tab below the text box, as shown below.


5. Followers and Following Following Users

1. As shown in the image above, click on “Who to Follow” in the top navigation bar. Once clicked, the page should resemble the image below:

2. Clck within the “Who to Follow” text box, shown above and enter your chosen search term and press “Search”. Below under “View Suggestions” will be a list of all users associated with your search term. To the right of the users bio will be a “+Follow” button, in order to follow this user click this button to add them to your “Following List”. If you are already following the user the button will appear as “Following”, if you hover over a “Following” button it will then appear with the option of “Unfollow”. 3. Users will then appear on your profile as shown below:


Followers and Following Cont... Acquiring Followers

1. When a user has chosen to follow you, you will be sent an email to your registered Twitter email address which will resemble the image above. Included in the email will be a bio and username for the user. You do not need to do anything with this email, it is simply an alert to inform of your follower accqusition. 2. Once a user has chosen to follow you they will appear on your profile, as shown below:


6. Engaging with Users There are two ways of directly engaging with your followers and the wider Twitter community, known to Tweeters as “Hashtags” and “@”. Hashtags

1. Open your Twitter homepage, within the textbox type your tweet (be careful not to use all 140 characters). 2. After your tweet type a “#” symbol along with a “tag” (a keyword/phrase about your tweet), if multiple words, include no spaces for your tag to be recognised, as shown above. Frequently used Hashtags will then appear in your “Trends” widget to the right hand side of your homepage. (These will be explored further in “Twitter Jargon”). @Mentions

1. If you wish to tweet directly to a user you would use an @mention. 2. When typing your Tweet enter a “@” symbol after which start typing a users name (as shown above) which will bring up a drop down menu within which to select your chosen user. 3. Type the rest of your directed tweet after inserting the “@” and click Tweet. Once sent the Tweet will appear in your feed as well as the chosen users “@Mentions” tab, shown in the right hand side image above.


7. Twitter Jargon Hashtag Hashtag’s (#) are ways to start trends and incorporate your chosen tweet into Twitters pre- existing “Trends”. This is done by entering a phrase or word attached to a #. eg. #bigbangmarketing. If you chose to follow trends within your tweets use popular terms, examples being things such as popular TV shows (#BB stands for Big Brother) or organisations (#NHS for the National Health Service). Tweet Tweet is a term used to describe any post you publish on your Twitter account. @Mentions This is a function that allows you to direct tweets at specific users by intergrating their Twitter username directly after a @ symbol. Once sent they appear in the user’s feed under the “@Mentions” tab. Twitpic Twitpic’s are tweets which are accompanied by an attached image. Twitter also provide this service for videos known as Twitvid. Third party providers also provide this service, mainly from mobile devices, a popular third party provider is yfrog. It can be done by clicking the camera icon as shown below:

Trends Trends are closely related to the use of Hashtags. Twitter monitors Hashtags given to tweets and publishes popular Hashtags as trends, which can be seen to the right hand side of your Twitter homepage. If a Trending Hashtag is clicked it will show all tweets posted with that particular tag.


Twitter Jargon Cont... Bit.ly’s Bit.ly is Twitter’s URL shortening service. If you attach a link to your tweet (done by simply copy and pasting a link into the textbox) it will condense the tweet into a URL starting “bit.ly”. This is primarily used to fit in line with Twitter’s short character limit. An example can be seen below:

Retweet A Retweet is a repost of a tweet, originally tweeted by someone else. When retweeted the tweet will be posted with the original user’s name and image, but with a green arrow in the top left hand corner to indicate it is a retweet, not an original post, as shown below.

Locked Tweets Locked tweets are tweets that are privatised so only followers of the user who posted it can view it, these posts will be accompanied by a padlock symbol at the bottom of the post. If a user locks their profile as a whole when you try and view their profile there will be a warning box in their mini-feed as shown below.


8.Privacy & Logging Out Privacy 1. Scoll over your username in the top navigation bar and click to settings. 2. Once on the settings page, scroll to the bottom of the page to be presented with a ‘Protect my Tweets” option, click the accompanying button to make your tweets locked. (As explained under “Twitter Jargon”).

Logging out 1. In the top navigation bar, click on your username and scroll down to sign out, as shown below.

2. Once succesfully signed out, you should presented with the page shown below.


9. Frequently Asked Questions 1. “I want to permanently delete my account, how do I go about it?” If you scroll over your name in the top navigation bar, scroll to “settings”. Once on settings scroll to the bottom of the page and click “deactivate account”, once clicked confirm you deactivation again and your account will be deleted.

2. “I want to edit my followers/people I’m following, what do I do?” Click on the followers/following links at the right hand side of your profile (shown) below. Scroll over the “Following” button next to the users profile bio, click the button in order to unfollow, once clicked the box will change to red stating ‘Unfollow”.

3. “How do I edit my profile details? Scroll to your username in the top navigation bar and click settings. Once on the settings page click “Profile” which will allow you to edit your display name, picture and bio. 4. “How do I delete a specific Tweet?” Scroll over the tweet you want to delete, this will turn the tweet red and a trashcan titled “delete” will appear in the bottom right hand corner, as shown below, click this in order to delete the tweet.


Š 2011 bigbang marketing 667 Eccesall Road Sheffield, S. Yorks S11 8PT

T: 0114 384 0004 E: enquiries@bigbangmarketing,co.uk W: www.bigbangmarketing.co.uk


Shaw Gibbs Tumblr Manual Social Media

Š 2011 bigbang marketing T: 0114 384 0004 667 Eccesall Road E: enquiries@bigbangmarketing.co.uk Sheffield, S. Yorks S11 8PT W: www.bigbangmarketing.co.uk


Contents

1.What is Tumblr?

2

2.Signing up 3

3.Populating your Page

4-6

4.Posting a Blog

7

5.Followers and Following

8-9

6.Engaging with Users

10

7.Different types of Blog

11-12

8.Privacy and Logging Out

13

14

9.FAQ’s


1.What is Tumblr?

Tumblr is a blogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog (the Tumblr term for “Blog”). Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. Tumblr’s key USP as a blogging platform is ease of use. It can be used for both personal and business purposes. An example of personal use would be using a tumblelog as a online journal or diary that you share online. Business use could be something such as a company using the platform to demonstrate knowledge of their market by posting blog’s topical to industry at that time. Tumblr can be used with a standard Tumblr URL eg. “businessx.tumblr.com” or by redirecting to your own site domain eg. “www.businessxonline.com”. Both URL types have exactly the same user interface to reduce complication and confusion. The site ranks as the 10th largest social network with 6.8 million weekly visits, 5 billion unique posts and 17.5 million bloggers using the service.


2.Signing up

1. Open up a browser window and enter www.tumblr.com to be presented with the page above. Enter your email address, desired password and blog title, which automatically appear as part of your URL “___@ tumblr.com. 2. Confirm the captcha (distorted phrase) on screen (follow on screen instructions). 3. You should now be presented with your own “Dashboard” resembling the image below:


3. Populating your Page 1. Click on “Customize Appearance” highlighted in the previous image by ‘Pick your theme”. 2. Once on the customization page click “Info” to fill in your blog title and bio paragraph, as shown below:

3. Click onto “Theme”.You now have an option, you can either chose a predefined theme or upload bespoke images to create your own design, the two options are shown below: a) Predefined Themes

1. Click “Theme” in the top navigation bar. You will be presented with the avaliable themes, once you have chosen your theme, double click on the thumbnail and it will appear as your background.


Populating your Page Cont... b) Bespoke Designs

1. Click on “Appearance” under which you can edit your background colour, font style and size and background image. Your header image, if uploaded would appear in place of your title text, if you choose this option it is generally a jpeg of your brand logo, or something similar. When choosing your back ground image make sure it is relevant to the theme and content of your blog. (if you choose a fully opaque background image, it will cover up your background colour, which will then only be seen in your text colour). 4. Once you have finished all the above steps, check your template page, which should look something similar to the image below (but with your own design concept). Once finished click “Save and Close” to return to your personal dashboard.


Populating your Page Cont... 5. Once back on your personal dashboard page click “Pick Avatar” as shown at the left handside of the image below, select an image from your files (the format should be jpeg, bmp, png or gif) and click “OK”. Your image should now upload to your avatar space.

6. Once your new avatar has succesfully uploaded click the avatar to be lead to your profile, which should now resemble the image below. (Populated with your own images and text.)


4. Posting a Blog 1. On your dashboard you will see a panel at the top of your page (as shown below). Click on “Text”.

2. Once “Text” has been clicked you will be lead to a page (shown below) to enter your blog title and text. We suggest creating the document in Word first to ensure all spelling and grammar is checked correctly, after which you can copy and paste in the textbox.

3. Once your post is complete click “Upload Photo” at the top right of the text box in order to attach an image to your text post. 4. Once your post is complete click “Create post” at the bottom of the page in order to publish the entry to your blog feed. NB: As can be seen in the top panel, there are multiple types of blog that can be created, these will be explored later in the manual.


5. Followers and Following Following Users 1. On your Dashboard click “Add and Remove” to the right of your top panel. There are two options for searching blogs to follow: category search or importing contacts. a) Category search

1. The above shows “Spotlight” displays featured Tumblr users. On the right hand side of the page are categories which allow you to view bloggers within your chosen category. If you see a blog you would like to follow, scroll over the avatar and click the “+Follow” button in the bottom corner of the image. Once clicked the blog will appear in your following tab. b) Importing Contacts

1. Click on the “People you know” tab, add your email and password and Tumblr will match any of your contacts with tumblr and follow them on your behalf.


Followers and Following Cont... Acquiring Followers There is no specific function on Tumblr within which to accquire followers. The main method bloggers use for Tumblr is self promotion via other social media platforms. This can be done by integrating you Tumblr URL into the bio’s and posts of other social media profiles. In LinkedIn you can publish your blog as part of your personal information, or in Facebook within your contact information tab, as shown below:


6. Engaging with Users There are two ways of directly engaging with your followers and the wider Tumblr community, known to Bloggers as ‘Reblogs” and “Likes”. Reblogs are other users blog posts which you re post within your feed, Likes are acknowledgements to the blogger that you enjoyed reading their post. Reblogs

1. On your Tumblr dashboard select a post you would like to reblog in your dashboard feed, click on “re blog” in the top right hand corner as seen above. It will then appear in your own feed as shown below:

Like 1. In the top image you will see a heart symbol in the top right hand corner, known as a “Like.” 2. To like a blog click the heart. Once liked your tumblr profile will appear in the post’s notes, (shown in a drop down menu at the bottom of the blog post) to alert the blogger of your like, shown below:


7. Different Types of Blog The top panel of your dashboard will present all types of blog post available as shown below:

Text A text post is the most recognised and widely used type of blog post, housing a simple text entry (with or without an image). This is achieved by simply populating the text box with copy, accompanied with a title. As shown below:

Photo This is simply a post housing an image, it can be achieved by clicking Photo above and following the onscreen prompts, as shown below:

Quote A quote is created in the same way as a text post, except instead of paragraphs you enter a qoute, accompanied by a source instead of a title, as shown below:


Different Types of Blog Cont... Link A link post is created in the same way as a text post, including a title and copy, but instead of paragraphs of copy the box simply houses a link to the site in question. It is presented as shown below:

Chat A chat post is created in the same way as a text post with a title and a body of copy but instead of a standard body of copy it would be populated with dialogue, as shown below:

Audio & Video Audio and Video posts are created in the same manner (shown below), you have an option of: uploading a file, embedding a file, or sourcing a file from a URL, all of which are directed with onscreen prompts. This style of post is the most time consuming to create in terms of posting time due to the uploading of potentially large files.


8.Privacy & Logging Out Privacy 1. Click on the cog icon in your top navigation bar, then scroll to the bottom of the customization menu to block user as shown below:

3. When prompted, enter the URL of the blogger you would like to block, and click the “Block” button. The specified user is now blocked.

Logging out 1. In the top navigation bar, click the on/off logo to the far right, as shown below.

2. When prompted, “Do you want to sign out of Tumblr?” Click “OK” and you will be succesfully signed out.


9. Frequently Asked Questions 1. “How do I delete/edit a post once I’ve published it?” On your dashboard page scroll to one of your posts you would to delete in your feed, scroll over the post. You will now see two buttons appear in the top right hand corner “Delete” and “Edit”. To delete your posts simply click delete for it to be instantly and permanently deleted. To edit your post click “Edit” to be lead to the standard post creation page where you can edit and republish your post.

2. How do I edit my Followers/ Who I’m Following? To edit who you are following, click on “add/remove” to the right hand side of your dashbaord top panel (shown below). Once on the following page click “Following XX People”. After each of the blogs your are following has loaded you will see an option to the right hand side of their bio to “-Unfollow” if you select this option , they will be unfollowed immediently. To edit your followers, the only way to remove a person who is following you is to block their blog, as shown in the “Privacy & Logging Out” section.

3. How do I delete my Account? In order to delete your account follow the same intial stages under privacy, but instead of clicking “Block Other Users”, click ‘Delete your Account”. Confirm your password and confirm you would like to delete. Your account is now permanently deleted.


Š 2011 bigbang marketing 667 Eccesall Road Sheffield, S. Yorks S11 8PT

T: 0114 384 0004 E: enquiries@bigbangmarketing,co.uk W: www.bigbangmarketing.co.uk


Shaw Gibbs LinkedIn Manual Social Media

Š 2011 bigbang marketing T: 0114 384 0004 667 Eccesall Road E: enquiries@bigbangmarketing.co.uk Sheffield, S. Yorks S11 8PT W: www.bigbangmarketing.co.uk


Contents

1.What is LinkedIn?

2

2.Setting up your Profile

3

3.Populating your Profile

4-5

4.Establishing Connections 6

5.Invitations and Introductions

7

6.Recommendations 8 7.Groups 8. Organising your Content

9-10

11-12

9.Sharing your Profile

13

14-15

10.Building a Company Page

11. FAQ’s 16


1. What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social media platform used primarily for professional networking. LinkedIn has over 120,000,000 members spanning more than 200 countries. LinkedIn can help connect you to your contacts, employees and networks alike. With built in features such as groups, discussion boards and recruitment channels, LinkedIn caters for all your professional needs in one user friendly platform, think of it as an online CV, only a hundred times more productive. Key Features are listed below: •

Contact networks and extended contact networks (through 2nd and 3rd level contacts)

It can be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in your contact network.

Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.

Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.

Users can post their own photos and view photos of others to help in identifying peers.

Users can follow different companies and can get notification about the new joining and offers available.

Users can save (i.e. bookmark) jobs/opportunities which they would like to apply for.


2. Setting up your Profile 1. Open up a browser window and enter the URL www.linkedin.com 2. In the top navigation bar of the page click “Join Today”. 3. On the joining page you will be presented with two boxes:

a) Enter Details

b) Link to Facebook

It is recommended you enter your details via option “a” to make sure they are up to date and no fields are missing, such as middle names etc. 4. Enter employment and company details as prompted. 5. Click “Skip” under “See who you already know”. (This will be covered later) 6. When prompted click “Send confirmation Email”, when prompted click “Go Now” to open your

email inbox. Once the email is open click ‘Click here” to verify your account. 7. Close all previous browser windows, leaving open only the hyperlinked window from your email

and sign in with your previously created details. Your account is now live. 8. Click “Skip” on “Do you know these people”. 9. Click “Skip” on “Send Invitations”. 10. Click ‘Choose Basic” 11. Your landing page should now look similar to the image below:


3. Populating your Profile

1. Scroll over “Profile” on the top navigation bar, click ‘Edit Profile”. The page should resemble the

above image. 2. Click “add photo” (ensure it is sensible and Safe for Work (SFW)). a) Choose file b) Upload (Make jpeg if possible) c) Change privacy settings to “Everyone” d) Save


Populating your Profile Cont... 3. Before you continue have in front of you a recent copy of your CV, for reference when populating your profile. 4. Click “Add a current position”, follow the on screen prompts and save changes when finished. 5. Click “Add a past position” and follow the on screen prompts similar to those of step four and save changes. Repeat this step until all positions on your CV have been imported 6. Click “Add a School” and follow the on screen prompts, repeat this step for every Educational Institution on your CV, saving changes after each entry. 7. Skip “Recommendations” this will be covered later. 8. Click “Add website” and follow the on screen prompts. Do not upload any not safe for work (NSFW) content or social media profiles. 9. Click “Add a twitter account”, if your are entering a personal account ensure it is SFW. 10. Click “Add summary” and follow the on screen prompts, this section is similar to that of a personal profile on your CV, populate accordingly. 11. Experience, Education and Additional Information should have synced with your previously entered information. Skip to “Personal Information”, click “Edit”. Add all details of which you are happy with been publicly viewable. If you entering emails ensure it is of a professional tone. 12. Edit contact preferences to your personal taste by clicking “Change contact preferences” and following the onscreen prompts. 13. Your profile is now finished to an acceptable standard for the time being.


4. Establishing Connections

1. Hover over “Contacts” in the top navigation bar and click “Add connections” from the drop down menu. 2. Once clicked you should be presented with two options. For option one “See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn” double check your email address is entered correctly and click continue this will send invites: a) To all your email contacts registered to your chosen address. When/If they accept your invite, you will be sent an email notification and a message to your LinkedIn inbox. OR b) Enter email addresses (seperated by commas) in the right hand box and click send invitations. This

bespoke method is recommended in order to avoid been perceived as a nuisance sender.

NB: If your invitees are already on LinkedIn responses will be quicker and easier to register. However if they do not yet have an active profile, it would be at the invitees discretion to create a profile in order to connect. Do not worry if this process takes a week or two, your connections will gradually build over time.


5. Invitations and Introductions Invitations

1. On the right hand side of the users profile whom you would like to connect with there will be an image identical to the one above. Click “Add [name] to your network”. 2. When clicked, the box on the right will appear. Choose an option of how you know the user in question and click send invitation. If you do not know the person at all you will achieve a better response rate if you are introduced through a mutual connection. Introductions

3. On the right hand side of the users profile whom you would like to be introduced to, there will be a button identical to the one at the top of the page. Click “Get introduced through a connection”. 4. On the “Compose introductions” box you should highlight the connection that you choose to be the introducer. 5. Once selected you should follow the online prompts (see right hand image above) to compose your introductory message. When completed, click the “Send” button. NB: It is completely at the introducers discretion to accept or reject your introduction request.


6. Recommendations Requesting a Recommendation

1. Click “Ask for a recommendation” on your main profile page. 2. When led to the second level page (right hand side image) follow on screen prompts for filling in the role, connection, the person who will recommend you and an attached message. (The chosen Connection will need to be affiliated with the role in question). 3. If the user chooses to accept your recommendation request a notification will appear in your LinkedIn in box with a preview of their recommendation for you to approve. Once approved it will appear on your profile as “Recommendations: 1”. Giving a Recommendation

1. You will recieve a message to your LinkedIn inbox similar to the above left image. 2. Click the “Confirm” button and commence you recommendation via the onscreen prompts. 3. Once all boxes are filled, click send and the user will be notified via a message to their LinkedIn inbox.


7. Joining and Contributing to Groups

1. To join a group click “People” next to the search bar and scroll down to “Groups”. Enter a search term eg. ‘Marketing” and click the magnifying glass icon to search.

2. On the left hand widget of the following page, select your category of interest and your chosen language, click search again to refine your search further. 3. The title and bio of each group are shown on the right hand side in order for you to assess the applicability of the group to your interest. If applicable click “Join Group”. (Some groups are private hence you will need to wait for your request to be approved, the group will appear on your profile once approved.)


Joining and Contributing to Groups Cont... 4. Once aproved the group icon will appear on your profile in the “Groups” section, as shown overleaf. To enter a group click the icon on your profile to open.

5. Once on the group page, to contribute a post to the group as a whole create, a post in the text box below the top navigation bar. When completed click “Share”.

6. To share a post on a specific discussion within a group, click the blue discussion title to enter the discussion board. Once inside the discussion scroll to the bottom of the page to be presented with a text box as shown above. Enter your text in the text box and click “Add comment”.


8. Organising your Content The way you choose to organise your profile content and layout can make finding your away around LinkedIn much easier, there are are two main ways to do this: Connection Tagging, In simple terms meaning categorising your contacts by group eg. Friends, Employees etc. Secondly, Mini Feed Personalisation, this refers to a personalisation of which content you do and do not see on your home page feed. a) Connection Tagging. 1. In the top navigation bar of your homepage click “Contacts”,this will load a page resembling the

one below:

2. Click on a contact from the onscreen directory. When the contact’s page appears to the right hand side, scroll to “Tags”. Once clicked on “Tags” a drop down menu will appear (shown below) with predefined tag categories, you have the option of adding to one of these groups, or for a bespoke tag enter your tag title in the text box and click the “+” sign to assign your chosen contact to this new category. Once done click ‘Save”. Your contact will now appear under your chosen tag to the left hand side.


b) Mini Feed Personalisation 1. Click your name in the top right hand corner of your screen, scroll and click to “Settings” 2. Under account in the left hand tabs (shown below) click “Customize the updates you see on your

homepage”.

3. Under the pop up menu (shown below) select/deselect the options of which content you would like to appear on your homepage feed ( this will create a more personally relevant feed). Once finished click “Save Changes” to change settings.


9. Sharing your Profile

1. There are four ways to share your LinkedIn profile:

a) Via email

b) Downloadable PDF

c) Screen Print

d) Social Media

2. To share your profile via email click the “Share” button shown above, located under the main header of your profile. This will allow you to compose a message similar to that used when inviting contacts. 3. To download your profile as a PDF click the “PDF” button, which will automatically download the content of your profile into a CV like PDF. 4. To print your LinkedIn profile page as it is seen on screen click the “Print” icon. 5. To share via social media, copy and paste the link shown above under ‘Public Profile” and paste into status boxes or personal information tabs on platforms such as Google+ and Facebook. 6. Now your profile is complete you can log out of your profile by hovering over your name in the top navigation bar, in the drop menu scroll to “Sign Out” as shown below.


10. Building a Company Page

1. On your personal profile page, click on “Companies” in the top navigation bar. Once loaded the page will resemble the image above. Click ‘Add a Company” as highlighted above

2. On the following page, shown above enter your company name and your company email address. In order to be able to create the page it must be registered as your current position on your personal profile and the email entered must be linked to a company domain eg. “name@companyx.co.uk”. 3. Once the details have been entered you will be presented by the page overleaf. Follow all onscreen prompts. to fill in the field boxes. Be aware that all fields marked with a red asterix are mandatory. It is only necassary to upload a standard logo (preferably in Jpeg format). Do not worry about filling in careers, products and services or Analytics, these are advanced features and are not necassary for page completion. Once all fields have been field click the “Publish” button in the right hand corner of the page.


Building a Company Page Cont...


11. Frequently Asked Questions 1. “Although I have populated all my profile, the progress bar is not at 100%, what should I do?” The progress bar (below) is a guide for long term profile progress such as gaining recommendations, joining groups and contributing to discussions. This can only be acheived through long term activity on LinkedIn, it is nothing to worry about short term.

2. “ My details have changed and I’m worried my profile is going to become outdated, how do I edit specfic parts of my profile?” Each section of your profile has a blue “Edit” or “+_______” on the right hand side. if you click this button you can edit a specific section of your profile content. Remember to save changes after editing.

3. “ I no longer want to use LinkedIn, how do I permanently delete my Profile?”

Scroll to your name in the top navigation bar and scroll to settings and highlight “Account” as shown above. Now click close account, you will be asked to choose a reason, if you do not want to disclose click “Other”, on the next screen click “Continue” this will require you to verify your password, after which you account will be permanently deleted.


Š 2011 bigbang marketing 667 Eccesall Road Sheffield, S. Yorks S11 8PT

T: 0114 384 0004 E: enquiries@bigbangmarketing,co.uk W: www.bigbangmarketing.co.uk


Google+ - The bigbang Lowdown

So, it seems my first two weeks have gone down a storm managing social media here at bigbang, increasing twitter following by 420%, getting a Facebook page up and running and now starting this blog, pretty exciting I’ve got to say! However while doing my research I’ve come across the new social media phenomenon known as Google+, I was intrigued to say the least, especially as it’s from the universal megabrand. My aim within this blog is to try and weigh up whether it is worth gracing Google+ with bigbang’s presence. Will it benefit bigbang? Or just make my brain even more confused on early Monday mornings? According to online statistics, it seems Google+ is the definitive front-runner for Prom King at the Social Media Summer Ball. With “App” capabilities already dwarfing that of Facebook, and two thirds of current Facebook users already saying they’re ready to ditch their Facebook profiles in favour of Google+, it would seem we’re all ready to leave Facebook to pack its bags and head to the Social Media Retirement Home. This shows in statistics by TNW that Facebook seems to be more at risk from Google+ than Twitter as comparative to Google+ Twitter has 60% preference rates whereas Facebook only has 33%. However with over 700,000,000 Facebook users it’s not likely that Facebook is going to dramatically plummet to its demise anytime soon, but it could be facing its first true competitor in terms of similarity of function and user interface, only time will tell. Hands up, I admit, I’m an analytical junkie, getting giddy at the sight of a “%” symbol but my inner cynic leads me to question, is the true detail of Google+ hiding within a minefield of numbers and symbols? As it edges ever closer towards my lunch hour, in desperation to find some qualitative reviews I ironically stumble upon “The IT Donut” with a qualitative


Google+ review to help balance out this debate which at the minute is about as balanced as a McDonalds lunch! As deduced by the Donut this isn’t Google’s first attempt at breaking into social media, with all of the previous attempts flopping after initial publicity stages. But is Google+ going to break the mould? Contrary to my cynicism, this situation is undeniably reminiscent of the “Is Facebook posing any competition to MySpace?” argument all those years ago, and we all know how that turned out. In order to reach some level of conclusion on the topic, below is a compilation of 8 “vs.” topics on which to judge the competitors in what seems to be the social media equivalent of the recent Haye vs. Klitschko boxing match. So without further a due, with bigbang as your trusty referee I present to you the 8 rounds within this social media battle: 1. Business use vs. personal use The key decider in this instance would be the comparison of “circles” vs. “groups”. Both are personalised segmentation methods for grouping your friends and contacts. However only in Google+ are business circles an option, this would seem to do the same job as LinkedIn and Facebook within one platform, making management and ease of use at an optimum level. K.O: Facebook Score: Google+ 1 Facebook 0 2. Mini-feed personalisation This is referring to the options of personalising which posts appear in your mini-feed. Options on Facebook only allow editing by “Top news” and “Most recent”. Whereas Google+ allows tailoring your mini-feed by “circles” with optimised faster image viewing, something Facebook has yet to grasp. K.O: Facebook Score: Google+ 2 Facebook 0 3. SEO (Search engine optimisation) Does this section really need much expansion? Google+ is developed by the worlds leading search engine. K.O: Facebook Score: Google+ 3 Facebook 0 4. Targeted advertising


The targeting capabilities of both platforms are relatively advanced due to the scope of targeting several million users (Getting that way for Google+). Both platforms run into a stalemate situation, however it is important to keep in mind the age difference between the two platforms, and if it’s at a stalemate stage thus far Facebook potentially have some hefty competition in the pipeline. K.O: Draw Score: Google+ 3 Facebook 0 5. Interest tailoring Facebook’s only interest tailoring is via the advertising sidebar whereas Google+ have internal software known as “Sparks”. Which not only integrates the advertising platform, but also interest groups and personal profiles. Facebook only recommends interest groups and personal profiles via mutual friendships, making it an overwhelming Google+’ clear win. K.O: Facebook Score: Google+ 4 Facebook 0 6. Social Media clutter Again we reach a stalemate, both have incorporated blocking lists and choices on which announcement you are officially notified of via alert and/or email. Although this is stalemate, as previously mentioned age relative Google+ would be the winner. But objectivity calls the shots… K.O: Draw Score: Google+ 4 Facebook 0 7. Interface Flexibility Both platforms offer use on Tablet PC’s and Smartphones for mobile access. A stalemate again you’re thinking? No. Due to Google having teamed up with Android for the “Google Phone” they have a clear advantage. K.O: Facebook Score: Google+ 5 Facebook 0 8. Developer expertise As previously discussed by Donut, Google have had multiple failed attempts at breaking into social media before Google+. Although everyone loves a tryer, surely Zuckerberg deserves credit for hitting the nail on the head first time round?


K.O: Google+ Final Score: Google+ 5 Facebook 1 So wrapping up this epic battle it’s evident that we crown Google+ the winning platform. Having done our homework both quantitatively and qualitatively it’s safe to say the judgement is fair. However, who am I to say that, as a Male I’m part of the 88% majority of this eloquently quoted “social networking sausage fest”(Web Info News). What are your thoughts? Tweet us, or Facebook us and let us know.


It’s all Pink & Blue to Me!

Its not hard to notice the shameless use of gender stereotypes in marketing, just flick through channels on weekday evenings and its all sport related beer advertisements and women gossiping over a bottle of wine. This strikes a chord particularly for me as I could take or leave a crate but would kill for a bottle of rosé on a Friday evening, surely I can‟t be the only bloke who‟d rather have a bottle of wine on the back garden than a rowdy kick about with a bottle of Stella? The words eloquently sung by Paula Abdul, “we come together cos‟ opposites attract” sums up the problem with gender specific marketing perfectly, I‟m not saying on a whole encompassing level but certainly a good few consumer markets out there. The psychological boffins sum this up with their use of balance in gender scales, big butch man attracts petite girly girl, the laws of nature almost. So why does gender marketing seem to bypass such noted theory? I mean I cant possibly be THE girliest of men, because I‟d rather jump into a pool of piranhas then go to a shopping centre, but most of the time I do bite the bullet to feed my unhealthily out of control cardigan addiction and like the stereotypical women‟s dream of a massive walk in wardrobe, I‟d sell my soul for a cardigan clad passage to Narnia, not so much a walk in fridge of beer bottles, like the iconic Heineken advertisement linked here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=felQNTy1MA. I‟m fully aware I‟m not your stereotypical blokey blokes beer swiller, hence I‟m watching an advert which I‟m not a target for, however as irrelevant as I find it I can‟t help but smile at it. As inoffensive as a man I find this, I know some adverts for women, after reading some blogs can really get the steam billowing out of their ears, mainly confectionary/dessert advertisements such as Haagen-Dazs where women use confectionary as an outlet for stress, enhancing the stereotype of female weakness. Somehow due to pressure groups this is much more offensive then seeing only big burly men drink beer, however in my opinion stereotyping is stereotyping, male or female. It‟s not only in the B2C arena this happens either; B2B is increasingly laden with stereotypes. The main type of stereotyping in B2B is job role stereotypes, for example when thinking of an IT manager a page 3 model isn‟t exactly the first thing that pops into your head, similar in the way that you‟d have quite a shock if there was a 6 foot bodybuilder flexing his biceps working in a recruitment agency, however this doesn‟t mean it‟s impossible and objections to the rule should never be simply disregarded. Certain job roles are distinctly gender specific, as the title suggests Blue and Pink, which means they tend to market to their own kind without thought. This could mean they are isolating a huge proportion of their potential target market, their loss in terms of profit margins, in my opinion. Just because “Pinks” or “Blues” run a company does it necessarily mean they are solely marketing to their own kind? To be topical one heavily blogged about gender specific hiccup comes from Cancer Research UK being criticised for their heavily female branding strategy. As a charity this could mean financial donors could go elsewhere because they want to support a whole encompassing charity not a wrongly regarded gender specific charity, purely down to the “girly” brand, which


is said to be due to their heavily pink branded “Race for Life” which is seen to completely isolate male markets. From my hours of research on YouTube it seems the only way to appeal to everyone is to not use genders in mass marketed products at all, or take heed from Benetton and incorporate every single demographic in your advert at once. Absolut showcase this perfectly in their „Absolut Blank‟ campaign using art as a non gender biased communicative medium, seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqC0dvN7U3U. Neither feminine nor masculine, its almost mass marketing perfection, mind you I‟m prone to an Absolut or seven so maybe my view is not entirely objective, just to bare that in mind. Don‟t get me wrong I‟m not proposing some crazy marketing revolution where we have the Marines advertising lipstick and Ballerina‟s swigging cans of Carlsberg, but then again pigeon holing isn‟t entirely effective either. Like I‟ve said in quite a few of my blogs, if you let common sense pave the way, things should be hunky dory.


Brand Icons... Back in’t Day.

After a long nostalgic chat in the office and a quick browse of Brand Republic News we got onto the subject of Brand Nostalgia, and how the memories of certain brands bring back old, fun memories purely through the image of three cereal endorsing midgets or a sexily suggestive rabbit. This comes after the re-release of specific brand icons for anniversary purposes, prime examples been the recent Dulux and Fairy liquid 50th anniversary campaigns which portrayed a feeling of heritage by the means of recycling old advertising snippets and images, namely the iconic white bottle with the green baby logo and the shaggy Dulux dog. The latter which has become so iconic I’ve known several people to refer to English Sheepdogs as “Dulux Dogs” instead of their proper name. Now, no one can deny that shows the mind-blowing effect of long-term brand iconography, right? I’m not meaning to sound like I’m sat here in my dressing gown and slippers eating Werthers original, passing time in the Midsomer Murders advertising break, but surely if I was going back a few decades I wouldn’t feel the need to pass time during the advertising break purely because the iconography was so much more engaging and memorable, in order to build this as a good marketing blog, in the words of Kylie “All you can do is... Step back in time.” I was taught at University that ironically hating an advert makes it more memorable than liking an advert, but surely creating positive brand association means liking an Advert. For example, when I was a kid I didn’t like Monster Munch better than Wotsits or Quavers because they tasted better, but because I loved the Monsters, The big orange pickled onion monster been the best. But Nowadays my pure hatred for the “Go Compare” man would not make me choose it over any other comparison website, I’d actually do anything to avoid using it! Which to me shows it is evident modern brand


iconography is failing quicker than a dyslexic man on countdown (I can say that cause I am dyslexic!) On a more local note, sticking to my Sheffield routes, how much do I miss the regular Ronald McDonald visits to the Orchard Sq. McDonalds? Loads! On our birthdays, we all used to sit in the specialised seating area with Ronald McDonald munching on our nuggets surrounded by balloons in our silly McDonald hats, arguing who got to sit next to Ronald. But according to recent news, there are debates about whether to pull Ronald McDonald from the McDonalds brand due to his symbolic links to childhood obesity rates, surely a singular clown cant be fully responsible for such a hefty social issue? The previously mentioned Ronald McDonald example proves my point exactly, back in 1994 this was perceived as a nice, fun event from a comical, childhood icon helping celebrate a young child’s birthday, however, this is now perceived as a disgusting perversion and threat to child safety. Another prime example is Jif/Cif, which for issues relating to language barriers was classed as discriminatory, so the “J” was changed to “C” to improve European ease of pronunciation. I know in the industry I work within semiotics and semantics are paramount. Nowadays the main problem with this seems to be reading into something has become confused with distorting something, meaning political Correctness is out of this world. Fair play, I’m not denying that Aleksandr the Meerkat and the GoCompare man are mildly entertaining and memorable but in my opinion they don’t even compare to the Caramel Bunny or Snap, Crackle and Pop. Maybe it’s me getting old and gripping to my childhood before I have to pretend I’m adult and mature and a more permanent basis, but to be colloquial “Wern’t it Better Back In’t Day?” Let us know: Who were your favourite brand icons when you were a kid? Who are your favourite now? Tweet us your answers @bigbangmktng. I’m off to Reminisce, so till next week…. BV.


Summer with Santa

So as we’re all battling to catch a few rays through the clouds, desperately fighting the war against translucency, our friends in retail are more focused on gift-wrap and baubles. It was released last weekend that major department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges are already setting up their Christmas marketing campaigns. Don’t get me wrong visiting the Harrods grotto was always something I looked forward to when I was a kid, but rarely was it juxtaposed with my jelly shoes and shorts, however nowadays July is regarded as the month of Christmas retail. What baffles me is the override of holidays and events in this final half of the year, which have always seemed to be influential in retail such as “back to school”, Halloween and Bonfire Night. It seems like this year it’s going to be Santa riding his firework powered sleigh led by flying pumpkins, I cant deny its going to be interesting. Surprisingly some people are catching on to this, only released last weekend in the world of social media and the Harrods campaign already has 150,000 followers, either toddlers have now got Facebook profiles or people are actually getting into this, in the Summer! I’ve barely had to chance to morph from a pasty Yorkshire lad to David Dickinson and Christmas is here, I’m still trying to get my head around the fact its August already and people are writing Christmas lists, if it keeps going on like this by the time September comes around I’ll be getting invites to NYE parties. It baffles me that people are so eager to wish their life away! Although in such massive stores the visual merchandising can be extremely sectioned off and kept away from the board shorts and flip flops, surely the


message of the store would be very contrasting as if walking between different time zones never mind different retail sectors. Not only that, but as I’m saving up for my summer holiday now I feel a inner guilt thinking I should be buying ribbon and wrapping paper rather than sunglasses and baseball caps. Surely this kind of of über early planning has a much more negative effect on certain audiences than expected, however I am a shopping centre at midnight on the 24th with a strong black coffee kind of guy, rifting through the remnants of December’s leftovers. Maybe my opinion isn’t entirely objective? So what are your thoughts on an early Christmas? Does the sound of Christmas music turn your stomach, or do you swan around the house in a tinsel boa? Let me know; am I grumpy or just a realist?


The dreaded 3 words… Back to School.

So its that time of year again, the end of August is rapidly edging closer, the summers drawing to a close (bearing in mind it never really began), it can only mean one thing, the “back to school” advertisers are back in full force. This can obviously mean different things to different people; the Kids and Teachers are overcome with tears and Parents are throwing parties. But what does it mean for marketing, obviously it means a field day for stationers, kids retail and high street shoe stores. If you’re like me and enjoy nothing more than getting in your PJ’s after work and slobbing in front of trashy TV you can’t have helped but notice the reams of school gear gracing your TV screens. Like a large majority of products, children’s school products have distinct seasonal fluctuations, August been their most exhaustive. I must admit if nothing else the TV advertisements do put a smile on my face. No matter what your age its hard to deny that such advertisements fill you with the cringe worthy nostalgia of the days when your biggest worries were which scantily clad celebrity to wrap your workbooks in and how many gel pens you had in your pencil case, the “Good old days” for the majority of us. More weirdly fascinating in todays age is the saturation of Social Media vehicles with the “Back to School” trend. If you type “Back to School” in YouTube you will be presented with a list of videos consisting of 12 year old girls presenting an in depth analysis of the drastic social effects the shape of the pleats in your school skirt can have on your entire childhood. Although its well known that YouTube is the infamous platform for the next generation’s drama queens I’m baffled that such things are not only been posted, but being watched, with some videos hitting over 80,000 views!


I can’t deny, I’m entirely grateful I was a 90’s kid wearing my new edition kicker’s shoes listening to “Spice up your Life” on my portable CD player on the school bus, to me the pressure of school trends was more than enough back then, never mind today! Nowadays Social Media and TV advertisements alike are putting capricious pressures on school kids, such as your blackberry case matching your bag and the pattern of your tie not clashing with the design of your lunchbox. I can safely say I, never mind my parents, would have more than likely been in an asylum by my 16 th birthday if I was a child in 2011 under such fickle, yet increasingly prevalent social pressures. Most kids nowadays have enough pressures from everyday school life, with extra pressure such as fashions statements through clothing and having the most up to date technology. Social media could be seen to be giving bullies more ammo than ever before with an ever exhaustive list of points on which to target their taunts, making the not so privileged children the dart board’s of the playground, as they struggle to keep up with the school trends of 2011. Although I am coming across a tad Victor Meldrew, I am discombobulated to how childhood could have had such a dramatic loss of naivety and fun where instead of crisps and football at lunch break, the new focus is fashion statements and “my phone’s better than your phone” competitions. I suggest we revert back to the time where the only pressure was what to have for lunch and how much homework we could dodge when we got home. Don’t get me wrong, things such as my smartphone are now my life (sad to say I know), but if this was just 5 years ago that wouldn’t be the case. In my opinion, advertisers and children themselves shouldn’t put such pressures on school kids to play the role of a 22 year old graduate when they’re still a happy go lucky school kid.


Wake up and Smell the High Street

The trends been going on for a while now that sat in front of a PC in your PJs to do your weekly shop is the new trip to the supermarket, to be fair I can understand the appeal of it. Lugging around a heavy trolley dodging an orchestra of screaming kids to run into a grouchy middle-aged woman doesn’t exactly give me the biggest buzz. But now the high street gurus have come up with an innovative way to entice you back to their high street stores, a quirky venture in experiential marketing, known as scent marketing. The main concept behind this phenomenon is that if the place smells nice it will entice you to shop there, with studies from Prof. Anla Stor of America proving that if a store is effectively scented it lengthens the average time spent there by 54%. This is totally believable; as I know I’d much rather spend 20 minutes in the local Cupcake shop at 6:30am than my Gym’s changing rooms at 6:30pm. But surely this would mean that stores such as Boots and Lush should be making Million Pound profits as they are possibly the most scented product laden stores on the high street. However smells such as Lush are said to deter people as there is no distinct scent, just a severe amalgamation of essential oils. According to airaroma.com the key to affective scent marketing is matching a scent to your brand identity, as 75% of your daily emotion is scent responsible, hence the memory of the brand is stronger if scent associated. An example of this is Hollister, a fashion brand that scent their shops with a beach, sea style scent to reflect the brands identity of summery, casual, California style clothing. Although to me this just doesn’t appeal, as when I’m stressed in my local shopping centre literally daydreaming of being at home with my feet up the a subtle scent would bypass me. However it must work on the majority, as


every time I pass our local store there are queues outside just to have a browse inside! Crazy, right? I’d much rather just nip to Debenhams; rub some Jean Paul Gauiltier Tester strips under my nose and power through, but each to their own I suppose. The key factor behind this is, until Air Wick start a partnership with Microsoft I can’t see this experience been available to Internet shoppers anytime soon. However FMCG seem to have pioneered the scent trend among the high street at this moment in time. Net Cost super markets in the US according to CBS news have starting varying their scent marketing by aisle, with Chocolate in the confectionary aisles and Focaccia in the bakery Aisle. They say that sales in these aisles have risen by 7% post scent marketing installation. The main difference is with FMCG the main aim isn’t brand association but psychological manipulation to purchase products through scent stimulated taste. I know I’m making Net Cost sound like criminal masterminds, but it is quite manipulative really, as I’ve got to admit, if someone waved a freshly baked cheesecake under my nose, I wouldn’t exactly be reaching for the fruit bowl. To try and test this bigbang have taken to some primary research, to try and disprove our inbuilt scepticism. We have placed scented Yankee Candles on our desks to try and help our productivity, with the scented candle titled “Island Spa”, having scents including lemongrass and citrus, it is meant to increase invigoration and effectiveness at work. To be honest it just reminds me of been on Holiday with a name like Island Spa, and I’m laidback on my chair while writing, sipping on my Red Bull as if it was a Pina Colada. Tomorrow we’re going to give “Pink Sands” a whirl, I’ve got to say the semantics don’t differ much in my mind, except it’s a bit more feminine, so I might have some feathers and sparklers in my imaginary Pina Colada with that one tomorrow. As pioneering and futuristic this may sound its easy to forget certain niche brands have been doing this for years, mainly in the leisure sector. Back in the day in 2006 when I was carefully styling my pre pubescent bum-fluff to match more effectively to my McLovin’-esque fake ID to nab an underage entry to Po-Na-Na I can remember their early adopted scent marketing techniques, as when we entered there was a smell of Moroccan, Eastern scents to match the Middle eastern style brand identity of the man in a Fez. However due to the niche identity it was missed completely by the radar of marketing bloggers at the time. So as undeniably affective this technique has the potential to be, it’s got to be remembered this isn’t simply a newcomer to the marketing world but an adapted old school method that’s got big. Think of it as the marketing equivalent of Peter Andre, post Katie Price. I’m off to go and test this productivity test a bit further, this 900 word blog isn’t exactly lethargic so maybe I’m been a bit harsh on the theory... only time will tell.


I Retweet a Riot…

Unless you’ve been living under a stone over the past week or so you’ll more than likely have heard of the huge riots taking place in London and other big cities across the country, burning down retail stores, petrol bombing and setting cars alight. Maybe the Kaiser chiefs were on to something after all… So you may be asking how this relates to marketing, its got to be the revolutionary and dramatic impact of social media on the planning behind the riots, be that both the negative and positive effects. While at work I obviously use social media on a professional level but outside work its all about posting updates to seek sympathy for my Sunday morning hangovers and keep in touch with old university friends not round up some locals to go on an arson spree, I’d much rather drink alcohol not use it to burn a car to ashes, might be just me but surely that seems more logical. In terms of the widespread anarchy on a national level the phrase “jumping on the bandwagon” springs to mind. Although the fiancée of the “innocent” man behind the incident that sparked the riots says he wasn’t a gangster, just “popular”, I’m sure he doesn’t have thousands of friends across the whole nation, because that would be a Facebook friend’s number to envy! Surely some of the logically challenged rioters just took it as a chance to nab a free microwave from the local shop and couldn’t care less about the “innocent” man that started it all. I’m sure we’re all going to be seeing the select few posing with their sparkly, new microwaves, sofas and TV’s beaming with a misguided sense of pride in their new profile pictures, the pride of Britain without a doubt, right?


But unlike our outstanding summer weather social media has also led the sun to shine through the clouds as some of the less etiquette challenged amongst us have taken to Twitter and Facebook for a positive impact. Through the means of hash-tag trending on Twitter and Facebook groups the respectable ones amongst us have organised clean-up groups to clear up the disastrous aftermath of the rioting, picketing on the streets with brooms and dustpans in tow, enough to make Kim and Aggie shed a tear reminiscent of a proud mother. So as much of a bad stick as social media is getting within this context it is undeniably a double edged sword and not due to the platform but the manner in which the individual chooses to use it, fair play security restrictions and policing of the platforms could be tightened, as they are coming across about as slack as Fern Britton’s old belt collection, but they can also salvage their own dignity with the right users behind the keyboard. Its obvious social media users are similar to the little girl with the curl, when there good they’re very, very good, and when they’re bad they’re horrid. It just lies in the platforms hands to get rid of the bad and let the good pave the way for radical, and innovative use of the platforms.


The face behind the logo…

SDP are relatively new to the blogging scene and all you know of us at the moment is an amalgamation of green and grey, so I feel it’s my responsibility to expose to you who the faces are behind SDP and who’s behind the office doors? So I took the liberty to interview the driving force behind SDP, Symon Donovan, and the SD of SDP. For our second post Symon discusses his vision for future student property, regeneration and motivations of what drives his passion for superior student housing here in Sheffield. So here is what I learnt…In a nutshell Symon’s mission is to compliment the stereotypical student housing such as terraced houses with unique quirky developments, with a distinct local heritage, to allow students to get that feeling of the cultural vibe here in Sheffield, be it in a traditional terraced home or a modern development. Symon highlighted that Sheffield is one of the leading cities in graduate retention post University. The driver within SDP’s current developments is to achieve the feeling of a living as a young professional whilst an undergraduate, to make the transition from student to graduate as seamless as possible. This has lead to SDP, alongside its terraced properties, focusing on new student developments. Symon defines his unique selling point (USP) as “superior student living with a competitive rent package”. This is evident with the fact that SDP were the first Sheffield student property company to offer an all inclusive rent package so students could get the lifestyle with minimal financial stress. This I completely empathise with, as the complication of taxes and bills has already got me in a spin, and I’ve only been out of University three months. My advice to any student would be, “make the most it, you’ll miss it when it’s gone!” So, lets look at Symon’s current three developments, If you’re unfamiliar with Symons property developments (Hawk Works, The Barracks and The Royal) allow me to enlighten you on the underlying passion for his focus on heritage and cultural emphasis behind all his


development concepts. The three properties in question have a collective history of over 400 years along with two of which reside in conservation areas and one on the edge of Sheffield’s china town, undeniably cultured, right? Being seeped in that “Good Ol’ Yorkshire” feel, this is a huge selling point, as a student, you’ll come to realise, the city you live in is just as important as the lecture halls you’ll fall asleep in. The SDP strength of modernisation without ignorance to heritage achieves that enviable juxtaposition of young meets old perfectly, achieving the “Friends” lifestyle but as a student. Lets face it, being able to say you lived in a cutlery factory, army barracks or pub, as a student is a definite long-term talking point! Lets remember all the above mentioned three developments are the most topical in SDP at this moment, two other of Symon’s development offerings lay in Wesley House and Park House. Wesley House is a grade two listed partnership residence with SHU, for all you parents out there, partnership with a university, equates to a big thumbs up on landlord quality. Park House is a century old converted school, university residence halls, so if you’re coming from six form, count it as a home from home, but with that SDP twist to get you into that Sheffield vibe. So to wrap this up the final question: where is SDP going, what does the future have in store? Symon believes the future of SDP resides in large property developments, such as the Barracks and Hawk Works and handpicking these unique properties and working his magic to turn them into the next Sheffield student haven. Keep your eye out, that local derelict factory or warehouse could soon become the property of your dreams, it seems in this arena SDP are well on the way to benchmarking themselves as the superior student development company in Sheffield, if not even further afield!


Appvertising

If you are an owner of an Android or IPhone like myself it would have been hard to resist a quick browse of your app store and be presented by the endless reams of apps available FREE at your disposal, Angry Birds been one of the most hyped. Now, you don’t have to be a genius to realise you don’t get anything for free, so what pays for your free games becomes advertising revenue from the advertisers to the developer. With hours of gameplay on Angry Birds alone hitting a global total of 200,000,000 minutes per day this equates to 16 years of advertising exposure every hour of the day, if that’s not saturation I have no idea what is. Fair play I do avidly play with my apps on the bus to avoid an old passenger reciting their autobiography to me, not particularly to browse the adverts but subconsciously they must have some effect. Social psychologists have found that 58% of smartphone App users say during use their mood is affected in a positive manner, meaning by subconscious associations they link these emotions to the product advertised. For example, Pirates of the Caribbean is currently advertising on a few of my HTC app’s and when seeing billboards and TV ad’s for the film’s DVD’s, I feel I have taken a more positive response, although this could well be a placebo effect it is still achieving the desired positive response through one means or another. This


also looks unlikely to change as 76% of all free app users say they wouldn’t upgrade to paid versions (i.e. no adverts), as they do not yet find the advertisements a nuisance. On the other hand with 500,000 apps and 85,569 developers on IPhone apps alone it means the market is extremely saturated with the majority of apps not having a specific niche appeal for targeting, meaning the possibility of becoming the shiniest needle in the haystack seems highly unlikely. However in a market worth an estimated £566,000,000 with 32% of revenue coming directly from advertisers it seems it couldn’t help but be a wise decision to make, with a 190% increase of advertisers in 2010 alone, you’ve got be in the race to have a chance of winning. But… Healthcare professionals and psychologists could pose a problem to the prolific rise of in app advertising by increasing public fear of the negative raise in app addiction and its effect on your lifestyle and health. App addiction is said to chemically manipulate your brain signals via excessive dopamine production. In layman’s terms when you pass a level on a game you feel a compulsive need to get that buzz again… and again… and again, therefore play your thumbs to the bone for the adrenalin rush, it’s like the geek’s new drug of choice. According to American Psychologists this is a big worry as it has increased anxiety levels in the 18-24 markets by 19% since 2008. However seen as in the past three years on Angry Birds, 100,000,000,000 birds have been catapulted, which is the same estimated total number of birds on earth today! I can’t see mobile apps fading into the reject cupboard anytime soon. So here’s to the future of crazed phone app addicts, who are also amazing consumers of advertising… obviously!


Crowdsourcing… The source of all knowledge?

In the advertising campaigns of several huge UK brands recently crowdsourcing has really been taken on board taking the lead role in interaction between brand and consumer, instead of just eating Ben and Jerrys we are digitally creating our own concoction and eating food from Asda that was chosen for us by our peers. What does these mean for the brands, are the consumers to be trusted with their future releases or is it purely a “pass the book” attitude that seems to be the way forward for FMCG NPD. Walkers, Ben & Jerrys and Asda seem to be the front-runners in the crowdsourcing craze. Now in my mind, seeing crowds of people burning cars and looting Poundland recently doesn’t exactly make me think “ what an innovative group of consumers”. But each to their own I suppose, is it more on the lines of who knows a consumer better than a consumer, crazy rioting chav or otherwise? Take Ben and Jerrys, allowing worldwide ice cream enthusiasts to determine their new flavour release in their comically titled “do us a flavour” campaign, consumers create a flavour online and put it up for a global poll, look out for “coconougat”, that’s my delectable addition to the flavour pool, the best one obviously, among the questionable concoctions that don’t exactly make the mouth water. Even more weird a campaign, who can forget eating squirrel flavoured crisps a few years back, in Walkers attempt at crowdsourcing, which in my mind


stood on the fine line between innovative and weird, give me Worcester sauce over heavily spiced rodents any day! So what do I think of the influx in crowdsourcing behaviour? Although I think no one knows the consumer base like they know themselves, their general approach to the legitimate, business level of crowdsourcing is questionable, hence the offerings of hedgehog, squirrel or chocolate flavoured crisps. When an average UK consumer comes across crowdsourcing for FMCG products it seems to cause a subconscious revert to a five year old child raiding grandmas pantry to make a witches potion not necessarily an innovative, tasty new ice cream or crisp recipe. Its not only the crazed, would be chef among the FMCG consumers that are muscling into the crowdsourcing trend either. B2B markets have also hitched a ride on the bandwagon with several industry forums pitching up on the web to help lead business development from within, from the employees themselves. UK Business forums.co.uk have led this B2B crowdsourcing trend, creating a platform on which to forum about anything relevant to your business you could possible imagine, think LinkedIn forums, but stand alone. To me, B2B crowdsourcing has much more potential as people have much more a professional level of interest in the development of the business in question and can gain a sense of pride from their role played within it, rather than taking it with a pinch of salt and a chance to go a bit wacky. A definite way forward in my eyes, not only for development of a business but in terms of HR, as morale and team unity could potentially soar with this tactic. So, as gimmicky as it may seem crowdsourcing has the definite potential to be a crowd-pleaser, maybe with a bit of careful monitoring on the involvement of consumers, maybe a mental stability check before hand? But in terms of B2B the possibilities seem to be endless and laced with positivity, full steam ahead yes?


Google vs. Facebook… Round Two

So if you are a regular reader you’ll know our first ever blog was on Google+ vs Facebook, where Google+ came out as the reigning champion, but thinking more long-term, what’s the score to date? I have profiles on both platforms and after two months on Google+ still only have my initial wall post and one photo upload. The phrase “old habits die hard” seems to be the key player in this battle which is fighting Facebook’s corner, although Google+ does have a more technologically capable and advanced user interface, better the devil you know seems to be over coming the differences in quality. No matter how amazing a social media platform is, without users, it renders itself useless, and Google+ is yet to prove a truly realistic competition to Facebook’s millions of users, in terms of both use and loyalty. Fair play, Google has its avid and loyal fan base of over 20 million, but it is nothing comparison to the dedicated Facebook fans tipping numbers of 70+ million, myself included. After writing the first blog, the thing that seems to be the bug in Google’s portfolio is its previous failed attempts at Social Media offerings, when comparatively Zuckerberg hit the nail on the head from day one, pushing not one but two key players (MySpace and Bebo) into the shadows in the blink of and eye, something Google+ has yet to compete with. In the minds of social media enthusiasts, the idea of Google+ as a fad is becoming more and more of a reality. Handling social media for a company myself, my anticipation for Google+ business pages is waning and the novelty is fading faster than British summertime. The problem in the competition seems to lie in the users natural ability to match their personality to that of the platforms. In my mind Facebook is for the consistent, fun, witty, social person, whereas Google+ is more suited to the older, sensible, professional communicator. Every person has their individual tastes, for example a Biker, obviously has a passion for motorbikes, but is bound to have a preference between a Harley and a Suzuki.


At this moment in time, it says a lot that the most followed Google+ profile as of yet is that of Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, a conflict of interest if I’ve ever seen one, which highlights the pitfalls of platforms attempting to copycat one another. With the rapid growth and adaption of each platform in a bloodthirsty need for success the answer in my mind lies in presenting white flags and shaking hands, as each brand is so differentiated the platforms should be complimentary and target their own demographics. I am fully aware I maybe coming across as a tree hugging hippy, but to me the competition is ridiculous as they both attract such different demographics groups the competition now seems to be a petty playground level which could readily be resolved, it’s the social media equivalent of Smart Cars and Hummer’s trying to compete, yes they are both Cars but attract completely different people for completely different reasons, so take heed Google+ and Facebook, it seems replication isn’t always the best option.


Blogged to Death

I think it’s safe to assume that most people within a business environment are fully aware of SFW (Safe for Work) and NSFW (Not Safe for Work) content, and what they can and can’t write or read in a work environment, but blogging… where does this sit? Is it simply opinion publicly expressed online, but little thought is given to the repercussions that can occur. Take the Blog el Narco, a Mexican blog site that denounces local drug cartels anonymously. A couple in their mid 20’s denounced a local cartel only to be later found hanging from a bridge dead, as their identity was uncovered via their IP address. Obviously this example is incredibly rare and extreme, however professionals in the UK and further afield have been known to be sacked or reprimanded after blowing off steam on their personal blogs, again not in the workplace, but tagged by association, where is the line drawn between your work life and personal life, particularly online? My opinion with blogging is drawing a fine but distinct line where you are no longer defined by your job title and become a stand alone personal identify associated with your work life, this can however, be increasingly ambiguous. Take a friend of mine from my degree course, who got turned away from a graduate job because the company were so shocked at the use of bad language and questionable photos on her personal Wordpress blog. Obviously the solution is in the adjustment of privacy settings, but then you could be blocking out your friends and important professional networks in the process too. Defining personal vs. corporate profiles seems to be the answer, however with increasing HR detective work being done via social media, if we do privatise, are we missing out on success through being headhunted… a double-edged sword if there ever was one. Take Micro blogging sites, they are notorious for being the cause of rows. A notorious celebrity micro blogger Lily Allen has become infamous for her brash, blunt tweets causing yearlong rifts between celebrities here in the UK. But nowadays sites such as Twitter are a necessity for celebrity PR, hence cannot be overlooked. For years in the UK the main worry has been the privatisation of public space, whereas in our online community it seems it is more the publicising of private space. Although it is at your discretion what to


share via your blog, the lack of control you have over the readership means the point of blogging has been downtrodden. In the UK Dictionary the word Blog is defined as: “A Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites” As the looming cloud of fear hangs over your content, the level of opinion is diluted to near nothing as the fear of offending someone, or appearing as politically incorrect overrides the desire to express your opinion. Meaning the impact of blogging is lost. A key role of my job is to promote the positives of blogging for business, and I don’t mean to be the pot calling the kettle black, but I guess what I’m saying is blogging is not necessarily amazing for everyone. The main concept behind my thinking is if you can’t do it properly don’t do it at all, or… ask someone how to do it. The marketing power, both personal and corporate can be mind blowing; baring in mind your profile is designed properly. Do it wrong, and you could be round the job center or in the worst-case scenario arranging a date with the grim reaper much earlier than expected.


Q(uee)R Barcodes

If you’ve read a magazine, seen a billboard or received an email recently, which I can safely assume is the majority of us, you will have probably noticed a bombardment of queer looking barcodes. Don’t get too put out by these new barcode like images, they are the new buzz in interactive marketing, and you’re only going to see more and more of them as time goes on, experiencing a 1200% increase in use over the latter six months of 2010 alone. The quirky little pixelated squares are known as QR codes, QR standing for Quick Response. These coded images can make the most standardised advertisement an interactive experience, being used for scannable links to websites, automated text messages, image downloads and viral videos. Set far apart from its modern uses, QR codes were first created for the automotive industry to help get quick responses when identifying parts, the car parts are now substituted with anything from images to text messages. Sceptics have slammed QR codes stating that they are only available to smartphone users (as they have built in scanning capabilities) and tend to isolate older markets due to technophobia. This is said to be a problem for older demographics as major consumer brands such as Starbucks, McDonalds and Pepsi are using them, meaning all demographics are going to be exposed but only certain demographics are going to engage, is this all a fad and a waste of time then? The answer from major QR developers is a resounding no. Supporters of the QR code believe if older generations can welcome tablet PC’s, chip and pin and games consoles like they seem to have, QR code acceptance will simply follow suit. With the mention of chip and pin, Starbucks are currently researching possibilities to incorporate QR codes into their cups so once scanned, the drink is automatically paid for via your mobile device or tablet. However with stats showing that 52% of the UK have seen a QR code but


only 28% have interacted with one, this isolates a 24% sector of QR ignorance, or non acceptance, which would have to be swayed in favour of QR codes for them to stand a real long term chance in the realm of marketing. In a more localised context, lets look at the benefits to the advertiser and the end user. Speaking from experience, as an end user, QR codes do seem to have sped up the interaction process with an advertisement. In the past I have found myself trying to memorise a web address from a billboard or magazine advertisement only to get to my PC and ask myself questions such as “hmm, was it .co.uk or .com, was it hyphenated or one word?”, QR codes eliminate this by acting as the a hyperlink themselves, heightening the probability of a positive outcome from the interaction between media and end user. There is one word from the use of QR codes that is music to an advertisers ears… analytics. Google analytics have recently incorporated QR codes within their analytics, meaning QR productivity is now no longer singularly reliant on the hype of a trend, but can be backed up with cold hard quantifiable data, subsequently leading to much happier advertisers. The tech heavies of the world, Japan and the USA are already QR fanatics meaning if history is anything to go by the UK should catch up soon, and QR’s will only saturate the market more and more. If QR has managed to win over 52% of consumers in its infancy period, long-term it seems it’s well on track to securing itself as a well-respected marketing channel. QR has already broke into the fields of Fine Art, Architecture, Fashion and Food & Beverage markets. Obviously bigbang is on the QR trend too, well, we can’t talk the talk if we don’t walk the walk can we? We currently have clients from various sectors requesting QR integration on material ranging from window graphics to exhibition stands. As previously mentioned, with QR use now been quantifiable with Google analytics we’re looking forward to seeing the results from recent campaigns


RIM Resurrected?

If you have a friend who owns a Blackberry, or own one yourself you will have found it hard not to notice the media frenzy around the Blackberry downtime over the past week, sending the smartphone addicts into the deepest pits of BBM (Blackberry Messenger) withdrawal. With no Internet, App’s or Instant messaging available for 3 days, was this end for Blackberry as a smartphone heavyweight? It is well known in the Smartphone market the competition stands as a tripod: consisting of IPhone, Android and Blackberry, with a fiercely competitive environment, battling a bloodthirsty battle for market share. Blackberry’s niche target within the market is emails and instant messaging, achieving its cult BBM following. Both of the two features were effected by the downtime, how to fix this? RIM’s answer was to give away apps to Blackberry users (around the value of $60 per handset), yes it’s a smart initiative, you lost your access to apps so here’s a few more to play with, but did it really work? With my knowledge of Blackberry users (myself being a Blackberry-HTC convert) I can safely say apps seem to be the perfect olive branch to offer to disgruntled RIM consumers. Take one of our resident “bigbangers”, a Blackberry user, but not an app user therefore barely batted an eyelid at the downtime, the phone still rang so what was the problem? Compared to my younger sibling, at the age of 20 and a BBM addict she was close to been thrown in an aslyum at the paranoia of missing important (the term been used loosely) instant messages from friends. Giving the option of this free app as a olive branch seems perfect, to the former Blackberry user in question an unessacary complication, if apps were not used before, hence the user not affected, why would free ones be downloaded? But still the sentiment is appreciated. However to the latter user in question, the perfect way to get Blackberry back in their good books and back on the path of phalange fitness, more apps to get scarily obsessed with. In my opinion this seems to be the perfect way of roping back in the possible wayward users, drifting from Blackberry Beach towards HTC Hills and IPhone


Island. As previously mentioned even the users who would not use the app’s offered still feel a sense of their custom being valued, meaning brand loyalty is secured. CRM definitely seems to be have been the light at the end of the murky three day tunnel meaning RIM are not on the scrapheap, If you make your customer feel you appreciate them they return the favour, ignore the glitches and your relationship could end quicker than a fling with Katie Price. Obviously the waters of the smartphone market are always going to be as choppy as Edward Scissorhands with the shakes, as new competitors will always be entering the market and Apple recently being crowned the most valuable company in the world doesn’t exactly mean there going to become shy and retiring anytime soon. So yes, a big pat on the back Blackberry, you may have just pulled this one off, but seen as it seems the lifespan of a successful smartphone brand is a marathon not a sprint it seems like its going to have to be kept up to prove yourself as a worthy competitor to the little green robot and the apple. Till Next Week… BV


bigbang Social Media  

While in my role as Account Executive at bigbang marketing I was responsible for a huge growth in social media. Within this document is sho...

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