social marketing

Aldi vs. Lidl: how do they use Facebook and Twitter?

Lidl surprised consumers in the UK recently with its new TV campaign that aimed to alter perceptions of the brand.

Popular opinion suggests that you get what you pay for at Lidl, so the products match the low, low prices.

However the #LidlSurprises ads play on that image by showing consumers who are pleasantly surprised at the quality of the retailer’s various produce.

The campaign comes as the grocery chain is plotting a £220m UK expansion that will help it to further capitalise on its already soaring sales figures, with revenue expected to reach £4bn in 2014 up from £2bn in 2010.

It’s rival for the crown of the people’s favourite budget retailer comes in the form of Aldi, which achieved sales growth of 35.3% in Q1 2014.

Both retailers have been trying to reinvigorate their marketing with a focus on digital and social media, so I thought it would be interesting to see what Lidl and Aldi are up to on Facebook and Twitter…

How brands can be brilliant at Instagram video

The very first article I wrote for Econsultancy was a comparison of Vine with Instagram’s then newly adopted video functionality. 

Instagram added an extra nine whole seconds to Vine’s bordering on the absurd six. In the year since its introduction and the writing of that article, expectations that Instagram, with its incumbent 200m users and massive wealth of brands already using the format, would crush the fledgling Vine have ranged from the sensible to the hysterical.

Thankfully right now things are looking a lot more positive. With just nine extra seconds and its various filter settings, Instagram video has managed to separate itself from Vine and surprisingly each remains unique in its own way, with brands tending to choose one or the other platform based on its own audience, content and tone of voice.

I’ve been doing a monthly round-up of the best branded Vines and Instagram videos for the last year and in that time I’ve learnt a thing or two about what makes for a great super-miniature video. Plus I’m an overly critical curmudgeon with an extensive background in no-budget filmmaking so basically I’m all over this.

So based on the above shaky qualifications, I present my tips for making brilliant branded Instagram videos.

Why is LEGO’s social media strategy so outstanding?

LEGO is one of the most beloved brands on the planet. 

Its ability to remain popular for more than eighty years is a testament to the quality of the product and the strength of imagination it fosters in every generation.

To remain relevant in the last couple of decades is certainly attributable to its many licenses and partnerships with equally loved properties. Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Simpsons.

This year has seen perhaps its biggest success so far with The LEGO Movie, a triumph of content marketing that has completely dominated the marketing world.

Almost every media outlet and publisher including us (this is now my fourth article in a row about LEGO), produced content around The LEGO Movie, not just because it’s topical, but because there is so much love for the brand.

It was incredibly apparent how every article written about it radiated with positivity and nostalgia.

Why marketers need to prepare for back to school shoppers now

We’re quickly approaching summer, the time of year when students wrap up the school year and head off to camp, the beach, and a number of other fun activities.

But there is no summer vacation for marketers, who need to turn their attention to developing strategies to capture back to school shoppers when the summer ends in a few short months.

However, deciding who to target with your campaigns, parents or students, can be a challenge.

The good news is that, when it comes to back to school, there are more similarities than differences between the groups.

What do we get out of brands interacting with each other on Twitter?

What about us little guys, huh?

One of the surprising results of brands adopting social media as a marketing channel is the creation of an unpredictable little corner of Twitter known as ‘that weird thing that happens when brands talk to each other’.

As a child of the 80s and therefore a survivor of the Cola Wars, it feels inexplicable that two corporations would even acknowledge each other’s existence, let alone engage in friendly banter with each other in a public setting.

Bitter rivals, divided by capitalism, hurling rocks at each other from behind the safety of multi-million dollar television ad campaigns is what we’re used to. 

Not this…

The challenges of real-time marketing in social

51% of brands find extracting insights and data from real-time social marketing a challenge.

Almost two-thirds of brand marketers say that monitoring trends and headlines is essential for best practice real-time community management in social media. Yet over half say getting real-time data and insights is the biggest obstacle.

This finding comes from a recent survey carried out by immediate future asking B2C and B2B brands how they are managing real-time communications in social media.

Whether you believe that real-time social engagement is the future of marketing or just a fad, right now there is no greater means of increasing brand perception and building customer relationships then through social channels.

WiFi’s role in digital innovation and marketing in 2014

In 2014 WiFi will change dramatically, and much of that evolution will be sparked by Hotspot 2.0, which is already gaining wider adoption. 

Looking at the data, global mobile data traffic grew by 70% in 2012 and the average smartphone usage rose by 81%.

In 2013, mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global internet in 2000. This will continue to grow in 2014, fostering the development of WiFi in the process. 


A look inside GoPro’s dazzling YouTube strategy

GoPro is the fifth biggest brand on YouTube according to The Touchstorm Video Index and as only 2% of the top 5,000 YouTube channels are from brands, this is a considerable achievement.

With 1.7m subscribers to GoPro’s YouTube channel, how does this California-based digital camera manufacturer keep its audience entertained and engaged, on a social video platform notoriously difficult for brands to achieve success on? 

If your answer is “because GoPro makes the kind of exhilarating, extreme sports videos that make you lose control of your bodily functions while sat at your desk” you’ll be half right.

Here I’ll be taking a look at GoPro’s YouTube strategy, using the best practice tips I laid out in my article from last year: YouTube strategy for brands.

Pinterest overtakes Facebook for UK referral revenue

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to retail sites in Q4 2013 with revenue-per-visit (RPV) increasing across all social channels.

However, Pinterest is taking swift advantage of Facebook’s slowing growth by achieving a 50% quarter-over-quarter increase in RPV. 

That’s not to say that Facebook didn’t end 2013 in a big way. In fact it broke multiple records as per usual.

These findings come from Adobe’s recently released social intelligence report for Q4 2013. The report reveals an otherwise massive end of year for Facebook with click-through-rate (CTR) up 365% year-over-year and 41% quarter-over-quarter.

This follows another recent report from Kenshoo revealing that Facebook ads drove a 60% increase in sales revenue in the same quarter.

However, as stated at the top of the page, things are certainly not all rosy for Facebook, with other social media networks asserting their positions and overtaking Facebook in key areas.

Let’s take a closer look at the report.