Category Archives: Social media strategy

Artisan Coffee Instagram

Artisan wins social media at the London Coffee Festival

The London Coffee Festival is the perfect opportunity for gourmet coffee shops to boost their social media presence. I looked at how ten of London’s leading independents performed on social during this year’s event.

Out of the ten brands, west London coffee shop, Artisan, won the largest share of voice: 31 per cent of the conversation (see fig.i). Artisan has a respectable and engaged Twitter audience (4K) – but nowhere near as many followers as the more established Prufrock and Kaffeine (16K and 15K respectively). So, what was the Stamford Brook & Putney-based coffee shop doing right?
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Marques Almeida

Burberry, McQueen and Marques Almeida are stand-out social media stars at London Fashion Week

The big news from February’s London Fashion Week came from Burberry: this was the last show in which clothes would be previewed for a later season. From September, the public will be able to buy all Burberry clothes as soon as they have appeared on the catwalk. This announcement, and the discussion around it, helped Burberry to a huge share of the online conversation during #LFW16.

There were more than 80 designers showing their Autumn/ Winter lines this week so, to get a snapshot of social media activity, I compared five of the top UK designers with five up and coming labels. I used Brandwatch’s analytics platform to measure variables such as share of voice, output, sentiment and topics. Here’s what I found…

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M's Valentine Chocolates by Cocreatr

It’s not all roses for chocolatiers on Valentine’s Day

Everyone loves something sweet from someone they love – and chocolates are the UK’s most popular Valentine’s gift. So how are chocolatiers using social media to ensure that out of the whopping £1.9 billion UK Valentine’s spend, they get a decent slice of the action?

I looked at eight of the best independent chocolatiers on Twitter to see how they’ve performed in the last month. Here’s what I found (thanks Brandwatch for the data and analytics):

1. In terms of audience, Rococo Chocolates are most loved of business executives, Hotel Chocolat of politicians and Green & Black’s of fitness gurus – so now you know! (See fig.1 for breakdown and more details). Women love Chococo and Hotel Chocolat while men tend to go for Paul A Young or Mast Brothers (both brands with something inherently manly about them).
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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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Beauty and the (social) beast: why do salons struggle to get social media marketing right?

Spa Accents by Karl Cossio

According to latest research from Habia (the government appointed sector skills body), seventy per cent of UK beauty salons use some sort of ICT in running their business. The vast majority of salons who use a computer use it for their company website (77 per cent), for Facebook (73 per cent) and/ or for Twitter (27 per cent).

Marketing and promotion skills are cited as the number one priority in terms of skills business owners would like their staff to have (68 per cent of business owners), but most salons don’t have any kind of training plan or a training budget. I’m taking a wild guess they don’t have a social media marketing strategy either.

I took a sample of ten independent beauty salons and used Brandwatch to track how they performed on social media over one month. The salons are spread across the UK so aren’t directly competing with each other – but I wanted to get a UK-wide feel for best practice – to find who has the best share of voice on social, if you like.

Here’s what I found…

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Six top tips for 2015

Sparkers by Ben K Adams

Five years ago this month, I published Monkeys with Typewriters – a bit of a hippy treatise on the importance of social media to business. I wanted to look at how social tools could help businesses and all their relevant stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers and the like – be more productive, effective and – yes – even fulfilled and happy, because they would be communicating a whole lot better. Well, that shouldn’t be rocket science, should it?

Half a decade on, the six behavioural changes outlined in the book are still relevant and, if anything, even more mainstream today. And I stand by them. Here’s what they are – and how to incorporate them into your everyday way of doing things in 2015.

1. Go forth and co-create!

The DIY and customisation trend is only getting bigger. Why only the other week The Guardian Guide ran a special on it. Creative Commons licensed photos are increasingly used on websites as an alternative to stock photography and just last July Google added a usage rights function to its image search. The web is overflowing with free, re-usable material – don’t be afraid to experiment. Set up a playlist on Spotify or Soundcloud. Start your own WordPress or Tumblog and share anything that takes your fancy. Find inspiration by curating some Pinterest boards. Join a #tag conversation on Twitter and realise that sharing and responding to other people’s ideas is just as enjoyable as broadcasting your own. Instragram and Vine stuff you see around you. Free your inner creative genius.
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Say hello to social – or wave goodbye to your top talent

Freedom by Thorsten Becker
Does your boss ban Facebook? Is YouTube access blocked from your office? Do colleagues look nervous when you mention Twitter? If so, chances are your employer is a large corporate or public sector organisation with deeply-ingrained concerns about productivity and time-wasting. Many large companies (and the more traditional smaller enterprises) have a myriad of communications restrictions in place.

IT departments nearly always cite security and legal issues as justification for this draconian behaviour. A few years back I heard a talk by the head of social media at a leading US retail bank. He referred to legal, compliance, fraud and security as the “four horsemen of the apocalypse”. It’s difficult for ordinary employees to argue, he said, when confronted with effective corporate death as an alternative.

So what about startups – are they cool with social and other new technologies? Well, yes, they generally are. They’re digital natives, aren’t they? It’s hardly surprising that a recent survey by online recruitment platform Tyba found 68 per cent of people working in big companies said they’d move to a smaller startup if they had the chance…and bad IT was cited as a key reason by 27 per cent of respondents.
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Aspiration nation – why we all want a piece of Pinterest

Pinboards by Shannon Lamden on Flickr

Twitter is for now and Facebook’s for yesterday – but you can see the future on Pinterest. From recipes, wishlists and wedding plans to visualisations of new husbands and dream homes, Pinterest has it all.

In a neurotic, self-obsessed, keeping up with the Joneses world, what could be better than a social network that defines not so much who you are, but who you want to be?

Pinterest’s 70 million users (“pinners”) share what they want, not what they own. For a generation where identity is built around shared ideas and experiences, Pinterest could be the de facto social network.

“Pinterest is a search engine, first and foremost” says Sarah Bush, Pinterest’s UK country lead. Pinterest wants to take on Google – by being a social discovery engine where images are curated by other people. A Google search for “red dress” (for example) will serve up a selection of sponsored links under the “shopping” tab – Pinterest gives you a range of styles selected and commented on by fellow users.

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