Steve Richards

About Steve Richards

Five lessons for effective blogger outreach

Earned media is becoming an ever important aspect of the modern marketing mix with recent research showing blogs as one of the most trusted digital sources guiding consumer decisions.

Given that 92% of global consumers value word of mouth recommendations over all forms of advertising, it’s clear that marketers and advertisers have a lot to learn before they can reliably win consumer trust. 

Can commercialism ever sit comfortably in social?

Pinterest seems like it should be one of the great social media success stories of recent years.

It’s got 70m users, 80% of whom are female and 35% of which use Pinterest on their mobiles.

A demographic skewed towards women with decent incomes: an advertiser’s dream…surely…?

Social media audiences: the purest judge and jury?

This weekend sees the first ever YouTube Video Music Awards streamed online. In many ways, it’s like a lot of other music awards: there’s glitz, there’s glamour, and there’s Lady Gaga, One Direction and Rihanna (though Cher’s invite is presumably still in the post…).

However, the YouTube awards are different in one major way. Any videos shared across Facebook, Twitter or Google+ since September 2012 contribute to deciding the winner, alongside user votes.

Just over a year ago, in August 2012, Nielsen revealed some research that revealed YouTube as the number one music discovery source for under 18s – a figure that can only have grown in the past 12 months. Arguably, this makes these awards the most relevant of all.

Has social media grown up?

In the years since the emergence of social as a separate entity for marketing purposes (roughly from around the birth of Twitter in 2006) we’ve figured out a lot about what social is, how it works, and what it means for marketers.

Now you could talk directly to a brand, and have them listen to you.

For consumers, this was great. For brands, it presented opportunities and challenges. It also entailed a pretty major shift in thinking.

So as memories of Social Media Week fade, has social now grown up?

Has social changed corporate culture forever?

“It’ll be easier if I just Dropbox you” is now a relatively familiar phrase to anyone in an office.

It used to be called ‘shadow IT’ but the prevalence of a BYOD culture in work environments means that with every employee working on their own device of preference; sharing documents and working socially, has become the norm.

Pitches are created in Google Docs, updated by all parties concurrently and the age of positive collaboration is upon us, right?

How web design can be used to drown out the trolls

If there’s one constant in any griping discussion about the internet, it will be either the presence of trolls, or rants about trolls and trolling behaviour on just about any website you care to mention.

I should say, for the purposes of this article, that we’re not talking about the appalling abuses received by women lately on Twitter – which has moved far beyond trolling and into the space of criminal threats – but about the hijacking of discussions and similar.

Yahoo and Tumblr: the dangers of speaking too soon

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years from working in digital marketing, it’s that first reactions to tech news stories are rarely accurate.

The time to form an opinion, in my experience, is when the stories ending in question marks die down. 

When the Tumblr news broke (Yahoo’s planned acquisition @ $1.1bn) we were predictably flooded by instantaneous musings and misunderstandings around the network and its new owners.

Speculation then moved onto what Yahoo should do with its new toy, with a common concern muted as the nonsensical introduction of spammy ads.

Do brands need to care about Vine?

It launched, like no other social network before it, with instructions on how to create the perfect steak tartare and very quickly, became all about spam, pornography and regulation. 

Vine is one of the raft of new launches from Twitter. It’s novel, it’s got some spammy teething problems and it’s already had its first #fail

But, assuming that all of this can be fixed (and this is social behemoth Twitter we’re talking about, so that’s a fair assumption) what does Vine mean for brands?

Social CRM no longer a myth?

Big news recently from Facebook: companies can now link their customer data, including phone numbers and email addresses to those provided by people on Facebook.

It mightn’t seem like much, but this move, initially for ad targeting only, could be huge.

Social Olympics: Nike versus Adidas

At the time of writing this article, there are just 40-something days left to go until the Olympics begins. And there’s been a lot of chatter  so far this year about how well Nike has capitalised on the ‘Summer of Sport’ theme.

So we thought we would take a closer look at how Nike (not a headline Olympic sponsor) has fared compared to headline Olympic sponsor Adidas in the social stakes on some comparable key terms.

Social customer service: eight things to consider before you start

There is a need to step back and think strategically about your social customer service offering before you leap in and do it. 

By now, most brands realise that they can’t ignore it. They will probably have seen the case studies of people getting social customer service right and feel a slight sense of panic about getting it wrong as barely a week goes past without a social customer service failure going viral. 

But as Luke Brynley-Jones outlines in the previous link, though they know it’s important, so many companies are a long way off developing a coherent approach here, and for a multitude of reasons.