March (social media) madness

How did it get to be March already?! We may only be two days into the month but here is a round up of some social media news & campaigns that have caught my eye over the past few days.

Tap, tap, tap. Clap, clap, clap. Whiz from Hermès

This video caught my eye as I whizzed through my newsfeed. I liked it, simple, fun, how can you not like lots of dancing shoes? The content has had 287k views, not bad (depending on the level of media spend of course). I checked their other social channels, not much sign of the campaign, a missed opportunity I mused. Then I clicked through to the site, where I found a similar piece of content but very little information about any of the products or a simple journey to encourage me to shop. So if the objective was to use quality fun content to raise brand awareness tick, but I would be interested to see the conversion.

Twitter gets personal

New to Twitter you can now add a personal picture from your customer service team when conversing with customers via DM. Custom profiles is currently in beta and first to use the feature is T mobile through their @TMobileHelp account where you see a the picture and name of the agent who is dealing with your query. Personalising the social customer service experience can only be a good thing and could be very useful to sectors such as retail & travel where brand loyalty is critical.

No emoji for that?

Well there might be soon as Facebook is about to roll out another 1620 new emojis, bringing the total available to over 2000 on the platform. The update applies to desktop only but is further evidence of the importance of visual content in modern communications, thumbs up to that.

What is happening in Sweden?


I’m sure many of you have seen the ‘what’s happening last night in Sweden’ footage from the US earlier this month. Rather than dwelling on the politics of the situation I was interested in the use of the @sweden Twitter handle. Until this point I had not come across this account which was set up in 2011 by Curators of Sweden as a project from various Swedish cultural institutions. The idea is simple, every week a new Twitter user gets to manage the @sweden account. The rules are simple too; they have to be an active Twitter user and be a resident of Sweden or a citizen of Sweden living abroad. Hate speech and self promotion are not encouraged but each week the curator can write what they want unless they; violate Swedish law, promote a commercial brand or are a security threat in which case the Tweets can be deleted. The idea is that the world gets to see unedited thoughts, information & content which will show a diversity of opinion and ‘arouse curiosity for Sweden and everything the country has to offer.

This is of course a high risk strategy, open to many pitfalls and there have of course been occasions in the past where the curator has gone ‘rogue’ but overall a brave and interesting one and a tactic which has certainly raised the profile of Sweden over the past few weeks. I can only imagine what Emma Johansson, the school librarian must have thought when the world of Twitter reacted to the words of Trump, it is worth taking a look at her archive  if you have 5 minutes to kill.

Picture credit Jon Flobrant, Sweden via

John Lewis trial chatbots

Chatbots were something we were keen to trial at John Lewis when I was managing the social media team there until last year, so I was pleased to see they are running a trial with The John Lewis Valentines Day Gift Finder. I had a go of course and it worked like a dream, giving me a quick and easy journey to suggested gifts then linking through to the site to shop. even when I was not sure I had the right suggestion I was given the option of contacting customer service. A nice example of where a chatbot can give an added value customer experience.

UPDATE – the day after I wrote this I got a notification through Messenger from the JL Valentines Gift Guide asking me if I was still looking for a gift – an even nicer touch – I just hope I now don’t get stalked!


Revenge is a roach – apparently


I spotted a campaign from Bronx Zoo yesterday which caught my attention. Back by what seems to be popular demand, you can name one of the resident Bronx Zoo Madagascar hissing roaches in honour of your ex. For a $10 donation you get a digital naming certificate, for $35  or $50 you can add a toy or chocolates. Judging by the fact that several of the donation options are ‘sold out’ a video about the campaign on the Cosmopolitan Facebook page has had almost 242k views there is an appeal for naming a roach after your ex. This works I think because, its seasonal, fun, shareable and based on some sort of truth/insight

Tips for Influencer Management


Working with vloggers, bloggers and other influencers is no longer a new social media tactic but for those new to the idea here are some tips for how to make things work for you.

Match your influencers to your customers

This might sound obvious but making sure your influencers are right for your (and their) brand, objectives and audience is important. Ideally the partnership should fit and not feel forced.

Be authentic

The whole point of working with influencers is that they have authentic tone and content which their followers love – so don’t try and change this.

Work on relationships

Building relationships with customers and influencers is important – this is Public Relations in the digital age. Building a community through relationships is time consuming and resource heavy but tends to pay off in the long term, especially for brands who have high customer service expectations.

Be aware of the regulations

There are guidelines in place for influencers and brands alike thanks to the ASA and CAP code, for example, you don’t necessarily have to be paying an influencer to be seen as running advertising, the degree of editorial control is also important.

Set up guidelines

A set of guidelines outlining how you work with influencers might be a good idea as it will align teams, especially in larger organisations where there could be multiple interested parties.

Image by via


Social & email team up


The world of digital gets ever more complex as we aim to simplify customer journeys and each day brings a wealth of news which stretches across device, channel and technology. Now Mailchimp has joined up with Facebook to enable Facebook ad management through its platform. Joining the world of eCRM and social closer together is becoming increasingly possible thanks to advances like this and something I expect will become more ‘Business as Usual’ in the future. The advantages of using data across channels will bring advantages of targeting and finding look a like audiences.

Here are some thoughts on how to make this work for you…

  • Be clear on your objectives – how will bringing the channels closer together help your customers and achieve your targets?
  • Think about flight control so that customers are not being bombarded across or within channels.
  • Check your marketing permissions to make sure you can contact customers across channels
  • Align your stakeholders, making sure legal, data, brand and online teams are aware of your plans
  • Test, test, test, some customers might prefer social, some might prefer email – understanding this & segmenting your customers based on preferences will improve KPI’s and reduce potential complaints
  • Ensure you have social monitoring/customer service in place so that any questions & comments can be managed quickly

Find out more about this collaboration here. For advice on social marketing please contact me




knowyourlemonsdotcom-12signsThis campaign caught my eye in January, and that is exactly what it is aiming to do; drive awareness of the need to recognise the symptoms of breast cancer. The visual of lemons in an egg box to educate people on the symptoms of breast cancer is the creation of designer Corrine Beaumont who lost both grandmothers to breast cancer. #knowyourlemons is run by her charity, Breast Cancer Worldwide and has three aims; 1. Literacy, education of the symptoms of breast cancer is often text based whereas #knowyourlemons uses visuals to help people know what to look for. 2. Taboo, finding a way to get over the taboo of body image. 3. Fear, helping people overcome their fear of the subject.

Why I like this campaign…

Creative – the use of a fun visual image to communicate a message means little language is required – powerful in a global campaign.

Emotive – the subject is a global issue, and an opportunity for people to share their stories (shared over 30k times on Facebook since January).

Positive – yellow is one of the most powerful colours, its eye catching when scrolling through a newsfeed.

Find out more about the campaign here

2017 & Social Media, what happens next?


What does the world of social media hold for us in 2017? There are a few things that are likely to continue from 2016; the pace of change, the growth of Snap, the increasing amount of media spend moving into online etc, etc. Below are a few thoughts on what other developments we might see from social media in 2017.

Specialism in social skills

As social becomes increasingly sophisticated there is likely to be a growth in specific social skillsets. This is a trend which started a few years ago as advertising became vital to success and resulted in social ‘media’ specialists. I suspect we may soon see an increasing level of social skills, for example, social content, social analytics and social advertising roles. However, only the bigger brands will need/justify this level of sophistication and therefore perhaps agencies will have to provide some of the heavy lifting in resource.

Micro influencers

Influencer marketing has proven to be a huge trend over the last few years, in 2017 I would expect to see more ‘micro’ or smaller influencers becoming part of the strategies of some brands who are seeking value for money.

The gap widens

Linked to point one, as social continues to develop it may become a reality that bigger brands, those with the infrastructure, budgets and resource are the ones that capitalise on channel sophistication and smaller companies find it harder to prove the value of social. However, social continues to play a major channel for protecting & promoting brand reputation as well as driving awareness (budget depending) and therefore it can’t easily be ignored.

Technology & data

The joining of data is likely to be a theme across online marketing in 2017, with more companies investigating joining customer journeys through technology such as Data Management Platforms. The linking and use of social data to understand and influence customer decisions is in many cases relatively new and therefore an area for opportunity this year.

To discuss your social media needs please email

Image credit Kazuend from

What 2016 meant for social media

There is no denying 2016 has been a busy year for social media channels, every day brought an update of some kind or another to one or more of the major social networks as they continue to jostle for the attention of the masses. Here is a summary of some of the key trends we saw in social in 2016.

Faking It. Fake news goes public

Whether or not you believe that social media had a significant role to play in the outcome of some of the political turmoil of the year the fact is that the world woke up to the fact that fake news on  social media channels is an issue. The subject was brought to a head during the US election with Facebook firmly in the media spotlight. In November Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook are looking at proposals to tackle misleading content including labelling of suspect content. The focus is likely to remain on social channels until they can show the issue is being stamped out.

Living in the moment

2016 was the year of live streaming, with the major channels now offering a live streaming option and people becoming more confident in the use of live video. Social channels suit this technical enhancement perfectly as they are the ‘go to’ method for sharing what we doing/thinking/feeling, who we are with, where they are etc etc. Now we can do all of this and can live in the moment with them. Brands have been quick to capitalise, showing us everything from live make up tutorials to sporting events.

Snapchat, or Snap gets serious

2016 seemed to be the year where Snap, formerly known as Snapchat grew up. You could tell it was moving into the big league the moment Facebook & Instagram started copying what Snapchat was loved for. The growth figures for Snap in 2016 were projected to be +27.2% to 56.8 million US users in 2016 according to eMarketer*. If this prediction rings true Snap will continue to grow throughout 2017 to 66.6 million users in the US, making it a serious social media contender.

The rise, and rise of Instagram

At 600m users, 100m of whom joined in the last six months of Instagram shows no sign of weakening popularity. From a tech point of view Instagram has had a year of developments, from the end of the chronological feed to a new logo, the launch of stories, zoom, stickers, comment moderation, live streaming and analytics 2016 was a never ending stream of updates.

So what will 2017 bring the world of social media? Watch this space, predictions coming soon!