Tiger boy by David K

15 content ideas for primary schools on Twitter

I’m chatting to one of my local primary schools about using Twitter. Like many organisations, they’ve set up a feed, but don’t seem quite sure why they’ve done it or how to make the most of it.

Twitter is a great way to connect with the surrounding community (hyperlocal publishers are always great sharers of local content) as well as a means to get your school noticed by the wider educational establishment. Twitter lists are a good way to keep tabs on local media and education experts.

But what should primary schools actually tweet about? Here are some ideas:
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Bowie tribute in Brixton

Rebel Rebel: 5 cool things David Bowie said about the Internet (nearly 20 years ago)

I was never that into David Bowie while he was alive. His music was okay, but then so was that of The Bee Gees and Sister Sledge and a lot of other people. Bowie dressed flamboyantly, but then wasn’t that what all glam rockers did in the 1970s? He sometimes did duets with other middle-aged pop stars. In the nineties he married a supermodel and moved to New York. To be honest, he seemed a set part of the Establishment.

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Burberry's Christmas 2015 campaign on YouTube has been viewed 12.3m times

Less is more: the social media strategy of luxury brands

Christmas is coming – and luxury brands’ coffers are getting fat. We’re feeling festive so we’re happy to wallow in nostalgia and fantasy. And what’s wrong with that?

Luxury brands do their marketing very differently from everyone else. Whereas for most, social media is a matter of engagement, luxury brands have a different type of relationship with their audience: it’s all about aspiration.

So while an inexpensive fashion brand like (say) George at Asda might be super-chatty and responsive to its audience, Burberry will remain aloof, letting fans and followers do the talking. This is the “velvet rope” approach – discussed in detail in a panel I blogged at London Social Media Week.

This strategy of exclusivity is well-illustrated in a recent report from Brandwatch: Social Insights on the Luxury Fashion Industry. The report analysed more than 200,000 Twitter conversations around luxury fashion brands and found 99.63% of mentions (tweets, replies and retweets) came from consumers, with posts from luxury brands’ Twitter accounts making up just 0.37% of the conversation.

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Royal Holloway - Founder's Building

Social media – the art of digital storytelling

On 3 December I gave a lunchtime seminar at Royal Holloway University of London. The brief was to give an overview of social media marketing and also talk about how social tools are being used in other aspects of business, such as CRM and project management. Here are the slides: Social media – the art of digital storytelling.

Royal Holloway was originally a university for women – men weren’t admitted until 1965! The Founder’s Building – in all its Victorian gothic glory – is quite amazing. It wasn’t snowing, as in this beautiful pic, but it was cold enough. I hope to get the chance to visit again soon.

Photo: S Tore

Bleach London Psychedelic Soho Hair Rave

Bleach London: the ultimate social salon

Creative, visual and consumer-facing – why would hair salons have a problem with social media? But the conversation on social media in the UK is dominated by just one name: Bleach London.

The Dalston salon’s YouTube channel (above) has 4.7K subscribers. It has 50K fans on Twitter, 70K on Facebook and 240K on Instagram. Bleach’s “how to” videos notch up an average of 11K views, and a new hairstyle can be trending on Twitter within hours (witness the excitement around Lottie Tomlinson’s new #RainbowRoots on 5 November).

Just to put Bleach London’s online presence in context, out of the ten UK salons I surveyed, Bleach takes 74 per cent of social mentions (see Brandwatch graphic below). Bleach London’s nearest rival in terms of social voice comes from Mark Hill in Hull – a savvy salon with its own product line in Boots and a staunch fanbase among Geordie Shore cast members. But Mark Hill still only gets 10 per cent of social mentions.

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Meaning 2015 audience

Is your social purpose more than skin deep?

There’s a lot of it about.

In January, Edelman’s Trust Barometre said the UK was at an all time low in terms of public trust for charities, NGOs, business and media. The PR giant recommended companies demonstrate clear personal and societal benefits, and behave with integrity, in order to build trust.

In February, the PRCA ran a packed-out event, Should Brand PR Have A Higher Purpose?, where the likes of Coca-cola and McDonalds argued that social purpose was core to their business strategies. (There’s a good write-up on Gorkana by the panel chair, Ruth Allchurch.)

In June, I went to the launch of Reclaiming Agency - a report on the future of advertising. The report concluded that advertising creatives should start using their collective nous to address sustainability, inequality, poverty and other big social issues facing the world.

Not to be outdone, in September, marketing and media industry bible The Drum relaunched with a brand new strapline: How Marketing Can Change The World.

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Lemn Sissay at TDCMCR

If marketing’s a conversation, why is everyone shouting?

Just back from Thinking Digital Manchester. And the over-riding message was for us to all turn off our devices and go and do something more interesting instead.

Yes! From a digital conference!! You don’t go to digital events expecting to be told to go off-grid and head for the hills, but the most awe inspiring speakers in Manchester seemed to do just that.

Whether it was “digital obesity” from Eddie Obeng, Stephen Waddington talking about the Internet being full of sh*t or Tom Chatfield warning that all our time risks becoming the “same”, the loud and clear message throughout was that the digital (marketing) industry needs to take a proper look at itself in the mirror – because it’s getting kind of ugly.

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How to create a workplace built on trust

Dareconf_28Sep_105

Dare Conference has been going for three years but this is the first year I’ve been able to attend. It seems unique among conferences in that it focuses on collaborative business culture from a digital/ geek standpoint. Founder Jonathan Kahn used to be a web designer, but he grew frustrated at the disconnect between espoused workplace values and the reality – and set up DareConf to bridge that gap.

The first thing about DareConf is that it’s great for networking (in the best sense of the word): getting the chance to connect with like-minded people on a deeper level than you might do at a purely speaker-focused event.

The conference is a mix of presenter-led talks and interactive workshops (like the one above). The excellent talks – where four people (Rifa Thorpe-Tracey, Laura Morgan, Penny Walker and Holly Burns) spoke about overcoming their own problems at work – set the tone for the interactive sessions.
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Will Hayward of Dazed: his plea to move beyond "content" fell on deaf ears

3 key trends from Social Media Week 2015

There was a hint of rebellion bubbling under at last week’s Social Media Week London. But despite Will Hayward of Dazed (above) kicking off the conference with a fabulous call to arms – wanting all of us to turn off our ‘content pipelines’ and start doing something more interesting instead, most sessions reverted to business as usual, focusing on brand-building tips and tactics.

Here are my top three takeaways from the week:

1. Short-form visual content is overtaking the written word: the most popular ‘word’ online in 2014 was the heart emoji (Twitter’s Tariq Slim). Twitter reported a massive rise in short-form content (Periscope, stop motion Vines and gifs). Jonathan Davies from Buzzfeed noted the same, citing animated Vines and gifs. Ed Couchman from Facebook has seen a huge rise in emoji, stickers and photos. By 2018, he says, 9/10 pieces of Facebook content will be video.
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