Social media war -which platform comes out on top?

On Thursday it was #SocialMediaDay (not as exciting as #NationalCheeseDay if you ask me) and it stirred up quite a bit of excitement on Twitter. Social Media isn’t a new concept anymore and it’s come a long way in a very short amount of time.

@buffer made an eye-opening point when they tweeted about the origin of #SocialMediaDay:

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So, we’ve gone from social media being seen as ‘too techy’ to something most of us can’t live without. I mean, what else are you going to do as soon as you wake up, whilst you’re on your lunch break, and right before you go to bed?

Thinking about the evolution of social media, I found myself wondering what the most favoured social media platform is. Once upon a time is was Myspace and Bebo, so now what? I did a little digging into some research to determine a potential winner.

A number of organizations have done research into this, one of which being Age UK who posted a poll on their Twitter during the excitement of Thursday. ‘What was the verdict?’, I hear you ask…

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So, Twitter won Age UK’s poll (potentially because it was run on Twitter), however Snapchat was not included in this. Many social media experts would be in uproar, I’m sure. Especially considering how a number of reports show that in June Snapchat beat Twitter in daily usage figures. Snapchat reached a cool 150 million daily users, whilst Twitter is running at 140 million daily tweeters. You could argue that 10 million people favour Snapchat over Twitter…

Interestingly, another study from this year suggests that Snapchat might not be the favourite. Portsmouth Together ran a local survey to find out what the most popular social media platforms are. This came after they repeatedly heard that the young generation didn’t use Facebook (maybe it was that little blue birdy telling them fibs? *tweep tweet tweep*).

Their study revealed that it isn’t in fact a fight between Twitter and Snapchat for 1st place. Facebook was in fact the most regularly used social media platform (71%). Twitter came in second with 23.7% whilst Snapchat didn’t even make the podium! Instagram came in third with 21.3% leaving Snapchat out of the camera shot (get it) with 16% regular users.

Even more research suggests that Facebook is still the king of social media:

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Smart Insights reported that Facebook is a considerable distance ahead whilst 2nd and 3rd place are also owned by Facebook. 63% of participants have access to the Facebook app with an average of 15 days a month online. What is perhaps the most interesting stat is that the Facebook app is on average accessed 8 times a day. And again, similar to Age UK, Snapchat was not included. I wonder why that might be, especially considering the daily usage figures…

But what about age groups? Age plays a big role in which social media platforms are used. Take a look at Smart Insights results, it speaks for itself:

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So, it would seem that Facebook is the current winner (from this brief look into some research) with Twitter following beyond. The question I’m left with is,

‘where does Snapchat fit in and why is the research conflicting with daily usage figures?’.

What do you think? Have your say:

 

 

Lidl don’t waste any time, especially when it can make great PR

Zayn Maliks shock exit from One Direction caused outcry (and a lot of jokes) on Twitter, however, Lidl seem to have responded with the winning punch line. I often post blogs about creative PR, but I especially appreciate PR teams that handle situations with quick and witty responses. Lidl, upon hearing the news, tweeted a photo of the One Direction Easter Egg for sale in stores with the tweet reading, ‘#Awkward – looks like we’ll just have to knock a 1/5 off too. #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik #ByeZayn‘  Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 18.27.08

People’s tweets back to Lidl showed their support for the humorous reduction with one person tweeting, ‘Lidl are now offering 1/5th of their one direction Easter egg. That’s some genius marketing right there.’

Lidl Ireland even went on to make a hashtag #lidllaughs and tweet with it a photo of the easter egg with writing ‘*still featuring Zayn’

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The funny tactic has brought a lot of awareness to the brand over social media and potentially brought in new customers with one tweet in response saying, ‘This is hilarious, makes me want to shop at Lidl now.’

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 19.00.18I always think that timing is very important when planning PR and marketing tactics and the can be very effective for gaining awareness. A similar case was in 2013 when Oreo tweeted in response to the Superbowl blackout as shown to the left.

Oreos clever and witty post received 10’000 retweets in the first hour alone and became one of the most rememberable ads from the 2013 Superbowl. It just shows how effective it can be to have a PR team on standby for whenever something happens that can be used as an opportunity.

 
 

Lidl used a similar tactic in response to Sainsbury’s slip up over internal communication:

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What do you think?

The war on morality: Sainsburys Christmas advert 2014

Sainsburys’ official Christmas 2014 advert has recently been released and it has caused some controversy on whether it’s morally ‘ok’ to use times of war for profit gains.

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The advert was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion and depicts the extraordinary story of 1914 where British and German soldiers put down their guns, arose from the trenches and played in a friendly football match. All in the favour of Christmas. The famous truce shown in the advert emphasises how Christmas brings everyone together, including people from different cultures and even people with conflicting views. Just like the soldiers of WW1. If you haven’t seen it yet (where have you been?) you can see it here.

I personally think the advert has been made well and tells a meaningful story about compassion and celebrating Christmas with everyone. However, many people have taken offence to the depiction and have shared their opinions of the advert on YouTube comments and Twitter hashtag.

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Even though my first reaction to seeing the advert was positive and definitely a ‘goose-bump’ moment I can see where the people with negative views are coming from. The advert is promoting Sainsbury’s at the end of the day and the use of such a rememberable time could be seen as crossing a moral line. However, I do not think the advert glorifies war or down plays the importance of the real soldiers doing their part in WW1.

Many of the YouTube comments have grown into debates as other users are getting involved to either defend Sainsbury’s or agree with the offence-takers. One user made the point that big Hollywood films, such as Saving Private Ryan, use times of war and don’t necessarily emphasise the true environment of what it’s like at war and these films make money from it as well. So is the problem simply against advertisements using such content or perhaps against supermarkets trying to play on the customers emotions as a way of making money. It is also important to bear in mind that the chocolate bar featured in the advert is on sale at Sainsburys for £1 and all profits from the sales of this will go to The Royal British Legion. I think this could possibly be another case of ‘there’s always one that’s not happy’ but in this case there’s quite a few unhappy viewers.

What do you think? Love the ad, hate the ad, not too sure? Let me know.

The best of the beautiful game campaigns

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you wouldn’t have been able to escape the lead up to the 2014 World Cup. Having said that, there’s been so much hype about the 20th World Cup that it would probably find its way under the rock anyway.

(I must say that I have never watched a football game before so I can’t say that I’m not a fan of the sport. I do like watching sports so perhaps I would enjoy it, however, my only dislike with the game is the over-the-top hooligan fans that come with it. The ones that get into fights when their adored team loses or starts riots in a town centre pub when they disagree with a refs decision.. This type of football crazy fan makes me think negatively about the sport and therefore have steered clear. But what I have been interested in is the overload of football themed campaigns that have been released this summer.)

Many companies have jumped on the opportunity to release a timely campaign that fits in with the build up to the World Cup. Brands like Nike and Pepsi have pushed the boat out, so to speak, and have created some extravagant campaigns, whilst others have simply paddled in the shallow waters with a more simple approach.

Here’s a look into some of the campaigns that have launched to coincide with the 2014 World Cup:

Pepsi

Kristin Patrick, Pepsi’s global chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg in April: “It’s the first time we’ve rolled out a global football campaign to this magnitude. It’s in 130 countries, and we have a large body of content from television, short films and digital content. We have events happening every single month leading to up to the summer.”

Nike

Nike’s ‘Winner Stays’ ad, the second in its ‘Risk Everything’ 2014 football campaign, has attracted more than 70 million YouTube hits so far.

Beats by Dre

Adidas

Adidas, an official partner of FIFA has 17 million Facebook likes and one million Twitter followers.

The advert creation isn’t the only element of the campaign as Adidas promises to have 50 people in its Rio ‘war room’ located at the home of Flamengo FC. “Our target is to be the most talked about brand at the World Cup,” says Rob Hughes, senior global football PR manager, adidas global football. “We will have our legal, marketing and FIFA teams to help expedite approvals, to ensure we are best placed to publish content and drive media spend, no matter what the time, day or time zone.”

It is clear, however, that a company doesn’t need to be an official partner or sponser with FIFA. Coca Cola’s campaign has been over-shadowed by Pepsi even though Coca-Cola is an official partner and sponsor.

CocaCola


Twitter also got involved by creating ‘hashflags’. This new feature turns a hashtag and 3 letter abbreviation into a colour icon of the countries flag.

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So to sum up the campaigns, it is clear that a visual and interactive approach has been used by many big-name brands as way of establishing themselves within the World Cup. Social media has, of course, hit the ground running with new features and engaging ways for fans to communicate throughout the World Cup. There is a lot more that could be said about new campaigns and features but I feel like this post is now rather long, so here are a couple of links for you to use if you wish to read more about this.

Tech Giants Play The Game

War Rooms

A Day That Will Go Down In History #equalmarriage

After waking up nice and early on this beautiful Saturday morning (29th March 2014) I opened up Twitter to browse through my timeline and trends as I normally do. I was shocked to see another natural disaster effecting so many with aftershocks still rippling across California as I write this. Many people taking to Twitter to share their worries and advice to people who have been affected by the 5.1 magnitude earthquake. However, I was also drawn to the hashtag #equalmarriage that is currently trending worldwide (9.40am). Today is the day that same sex couples can wed in England and Wales. Such a world we live in that people had barriers stopping them from loving who they want. I’m not much of a religious person so I am not arguing against peoples religious beliefs, but in my opinion in a world of hate and war, love should be accepted with open arms.

The hashtag is overwhelming to read, with so much love and support being shared on this defining day.

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These are two examples of tweets that are at the top of the hashtag feed, by @2lovelygays and @xMATTxLAWx. Along with every positive tweet comes a rush of favourites and retweets, showing the support made possible through this social media platform.

However, you can’t please everybody and of course there are some people with opposing views on equal marriage who have also taken to twitter to share their opinions.

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Here @TheDaiLJew has posted a screenshot from the Telegraph comments feed on an article about equal marriage day, which shows some of the negative views. However, overall the views being shared are that of congratulatory support, which in my opinion is a great step for England and Wales. One that supports positive social change. I am pleased to be able to recognise today for a defining time that will be remembered and taught about as English history for future years.

The Power of the ‘Ordinary’ Person

Ordinary is a funny word to use, I find. As is ‘normal’, as I have a big interest in the philosophical questions of what is ‘normal’ and who decides what is ‘ordinary’? However, by ‘ordinary’ I mean the non-professional, the average citizen, or the industry nobody. I mean the person who happens to be walking by as something phenomenal happens and they pull out their camera phone, send it off to a news corporation that then sparks off a viral news story.

I first learnt the basics of Citizen Journalism at A-Level when studying Media Studies. My tutor, Stephen Jones (who I will always give credit to for getting me to university) presented an interesting class where the students took to social media sites to find out what the ‘average’ person was talking about. At that point we all saw the twitter trends about Bin Laden and we all found out about his death via Twitter then and there in that class due to the power of the ‘average’ person. It was ideal and it was a real-life case study that we were learning from and it couldn’t have been any more current. After that I never really focused on Citizen Journalism again as the curriculum moved on and it hasn’t been presented to me again in any other studies, however, I am very interested in the impact it has upon the media, journalism and PR industry.

Twitter is a very popular platform for people to voice their opinions on and the hash-tag trends allow people to be up-to-date with the most popular and currents stories. For example, Worldwide, ‘Syria’ is trending (Monday, 26th August 2013). I had heard briefly about the news of a chemical attack against Syria on the radio but found out more of the ‘facts’ via the twitter trend. I say ‘facts’ in inverted comas as there is always the possibility of the news being exaggerated or misinterpreted by the ‘ordinary’ person. And of course the tweets that form the hash-tag trend are mostly a matter of opinion and can’t be expected to be the truth. So when looking at how much of an impact citizen journalism has on the media industry we first have to answer the question: Do people trust citizen journalism or is it being by-passed as opinion? Also, how much more trustworthy are the ‘proper’ news channels compared to the ‘ordinary’ person when it comes to bias or influential news reporting?

I created a short survey using surveymonkey.com to find out what peoples thoughts were. Below are the results.

 

Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and the results have confirmed what I had thought: The majority will side-step Citizen Journalism due to it being fed by opinion. It was interesting to see that a few people were ‘not sure’ whether they had contributed to Citizen Journalism as this could show a lack of understanding in the area.

I would love to hear your views or answers to the survey so please do feel free to leave a comment.

Royal Baby Banter Boom

If there was a time that would be perfect to create a clever and humorous pun for product promotion or a brand campaign then now is that time. Many brands have taken the birth of the royal baby as an opportunity to come up with clever puns including Warburton, RyanAir and Coca Cola.

One of the main features of a good campaign is the timing of release. It’s not just about throwing a press release out there at any given moment; timing is everything. For example, the Oreo SuperBowl blackout takeover (If you’re not aware of this check it out – http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/02/oreo-twitter-super-bowl/) that showed everyone how timely ads should be done. Although these royal baby adverts aren’t exactly quick off the mark, we can all assume they’ve been in planning for 9 months, they’re definitely on the topical bandwagon.

My favourite has to be Warburtons advert although RyanAir also put up a good effort in the pun play-offs with their promotion for cheaper flights:

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Whilst some brands took the humorous route others went for a more sophisticated approach such as Coca Cola and GH.Mumms Champagne:

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Of course, with any exciting thing to happen in the UK comes with it the explosion on Twitter. (Of course, Facebook and other sites as well but Twitter is the leader of hypes.) Many took to Twitter to share their happiness over the announcement that Kate Middleton had gone into labour whilst others opted to share their lack of interest in the new Prince. (Personally, I’m all for the excitement of it; the future King has been born. It’s a big deal!) There were many funny tweets posted and one of my favourite ones is “@_Snape_ Dear William and Kate: If William is 100% royal and Princess Kate is 0% royal, will that make your son a half-blood prince? #RoyalBaby”.

BPzd56KCcAADnyiThe main hype though was the baby’s name. What would it be? Again, many people took a humorous route suggesting typically British names like Dave and setting up a petition for the new Prince to be presented to the world held up like the scene from The Lion King. A petition that was obviously never going to get passed. Some people thought about it seriously though and James and Andrew seemed to be the most popular name being mentioned under the hashtag #royalbabyname. I quite like the name James and HRH Prince James of Cambridge has quite a nice ring to it, in my opinion.

I love a good Twitter hype, especially when it’s about something so exciting rather than another Belieber takeover…