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The last time we heard, Facebook was struggling with ‘waves of disenfranchised youngsters looking for a hipper alternative’.
Twitter is apparently struggling, with a drop in daily engagement, projected sales for the next three months falling short of expectations and a stock price plummet.
Instagram has stuck the knife into fledgling platform Vine by offering similar video capabilities for its already large incumbent audience. Brands seem to prefer it too.
It’s not looking pretty out there for our favourite social networks. Of course, whether you trust any of the above reports depends heavily on how much sway you have with the respected sources and how much confirmation bias is at work.
Let’s take a look at some actual statistics to see how healthy social media channels are in 2014.
Every once in a while a campaign comes along that just puts a massive smile on this churlish blog team’s face.
Virgin America is having an excellent year in the digital world. In June it managed to turn the process of booking a flight into a joyous process with its brand new website (as thoroughly documented in Ben Davis’s 30 little things I love about the new Virgin America website).
It’s also excelling itself in the world of social video. I'm a huge fan of its branded Instavids.
This week sees the launch of a gigantic multichannel, world-building content campaign that is as hilarious as it is inventive. It’s also kind of boring and an expert lesson in what not to do on almost every digital channel in existence.
Welcome to BLAH Airlines. Here's why it's so brilliant.
Sports and fitness are innately social activities, so health brands have reaped huge rewards from the rise of social media.
Two great examples of this can be found in the massive popularity of Tough Mudder and Cross Fit, which emphasise team building and camaraderie alongside physical exercise.
Another business built around a fitness community is Sweaty Betty. It sells sports gear for women online and in more than 30 stores across the UK.
These boutiques offer a drastically different shopping experience to the giant soulless warehouses from the likes of Sports Direct. In fact Sweaty Betty even hosts regular yoga classes and other fitness events.
With so much emphasis on building a community, I thought it would be useful to take a closer look at some of Sweaty Betty’s social activity.
Read on for a whirlwind tour of its various social profiles, or for more on this topic read our post on how Nike uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
As a new month begins it’s time to look back and round up some of the most noteworthy social campaigns we’ve seen in the last 30 days or so.
This time it includes Burberry, Topshop, Peugeot, Paddy Power, Stonewall, Grant's Whisky and new Instagram ads.
Paddy Power is among the brands that will be speaking at Econsultancy's Festival of Marketing in November. The two-day celebration of the modern marketing industry also features speakers from LEGO, Tesco, Barclays, FT.com and more.
The US online fashion retailer makes a rather bold statement in the about section of its website.
“Customer service isn’t just a department!” The entire organisation is built around one sole mission: to provide the best customer service possible.
A lot of brands may say that customer experience is at the core of their strategy, but how many follow through with this statement in practice?
Graham Charlton discussed what Zappos could teach us about staff and customer retention last month. It’s largely about making the working environment as happy as possible through plenty of staff recognition, trust, responsibility and plenty of perks.
For the customer it means ‘delivering a WOW philosophy’ through excellent service, customer focused metrics, surprising people through under-promising and over-delivering and remaining ever personal.
So Zappos delivers ‘happiness’ for its employees and for its website customers. How about its social channels? Given Zappos focus on customer service, does this extend to the channels where more and more consumers are expecting interaction from brands?
Here is our tribute to the most wildly exhilarating, hair-raising, knee-weakening mini advertorial marvels you can watch in less than six or 15 seconds.
Think this list will be dominated by GoPro and Red Bull? Well yes obviously a few of them will be by those titans of extreme content marketing, but you’ll be surprised at how many other brands are getting in on the danger-courting game.
It’s pretty obvious why footage of daredevil escapades work so well on social, dangerous stunts and high adventure speak to our very basic desire to be gripped from the safety of our small screens, and these videos are some of quickest to pick up velocity across channels.
Plus with advancements in hardware, especially thanks to GoPro itself, it’s now possible to capture events from angles never dreamt of before.
Climb inside the helmet of a deep-sea diver, cling to the end of a skateboard as it does a 360-degree flip, jump out of a balloon hovering above the stratosphere. All is possible now and the only limit is human endurance.
If you want some killer advice on how to improve your own social video efforts then check out these best practice guides: how brands can be brilliant at Vine and how brands can be brilliant at Instagram video.
In the meantime, here’s some compelling inspiration…
LEGO makes for a brilliant and satisfying case study for hundreds of reasons.
It helps that it’s one of the most beloved brands on the planet, appealing across generations and ages. It constantly remains relevant by aligning itself with quality licenses and innovations, whilst staying true to its own brand identity.
Therefore it’s great idea to check in with the company on a regular basis to see what it’s been doing on its digital channels, to offer inspiration for your own endeavours.
We also have LEGO’s global head of social media Lars Silberbauer-Anderson talking at our Festival of Marketing in November, so please join us for a two day celebration of the modern marketing industry.
London Fashion Week is over for another year, and what a week it's been.
The Econsultancy content team have been to exactly zero catwalk shows and no glitzy parties, and quite frankly we're exhausted.
Thankfully our friends in the world of fashion were kind enough to share all the glamour via social media, so we have a fair idea of what went on at the major fashion shows.
Data from Hotwire PR shows that Burberry managed to drive the most conversations around its show with 21,958 tweets, while Topshop came a distant second with 9,108.
This is likely because they're two of Britain's most recognised fashion brands, but both have also engaged in some interesting social activity around London Fashion Week.
I have found it virtually impossible to find credible Instagram accounts around marketing and digital topics, why is this?
For someone who works in social media, I was restrained to get involved with the Instagram hype.
Having been a Twitter user since near launch, I regarded them as fairly similar products and didn’t really want to condemn myself to even more social network hours a day.
However, my love of food got the better of me and now, as an avid Instagrammer, I do not look back.
It’s the big one. The bout to beat them all: ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’. ‘The Thrilla in Manila’. ‘The Brawl for it All’… These will all seem like mere ‘Fisticuffs in Magaluf’ when this contest is over.
In the red corner, unsurprisingly… Red Bull, with its commitment to broadcasting the most extreme of escapades to a worldwide audience, including a whopping 3.7m YouTube subscribers and a high concept strategy of putting thrills and spills before energy drink sales.
In the blue corner, strapped head-to-toe in tiny cameras so viewers can witness every single punch in glorious high definition clarity… GoPro, with its intimidating dominance of social video, constant gracing of the top ten biggest brands on YouTube and an effortless ability to marry its products perfectly with its content.
Two giant brands. One arena that can barely contain them both and one glorious winner, turkey-trotting over the shattered bones of its crushed opponent.
I am but the lowly referee, cowering to avoid the blows, but too fascinated to look away. So let’s take a glance at these titans in the content marketing and social worlds and see which will be crowned the ultimate champion.
You know the one I’m talking about…
The one with the hypnotically charismatic handsome guy with a terrible throw.
The one with the blunt machete, bear suit and single best use of a swear word in any advert ever.
The one you’ve seen highlighted at every single marketing conference you’ve attended since 2012.
No? Really? Fine this one then...
Carla Eid is head of Microsoft Mobile's Connects programme, its community of customers and advocates.
I asked her a few questions about what working with that community entails. How does the brand get involved and what benefits does it see across content production but also, of course, in sales.
Take a look and, in the community spirit, feel free to leave comments or further questions.