Social Whisper

Posts Tagged ‘Social media

There’s an ongoing debate as to the ‘ownership’ of social media, in that where it should sit; Digital, PR, Media, SEO, as a separate entity etc as well the control of its planning and execution. There are arguments for and against each medium as due to its dynamic nature social media can benefit from the skill sets of all these agencies.

However it occurred to me during the discussions at the recent measurement camp that depending on the type of agency the social media activity is being run through that this will also affect how it is measured as well as how highly it is regarded in terms of accountability.

For example take a PR agency. In comparison to traditional PR social media is regarded as being highly accountable as you are able to track how many people have read your article, shared it, linked to it etc

Although in comparison the numbers can appear a lot smaller in contrast to articles published in a national paper, despite the fact that you can’t guarantee the number of people that actually read the article, it can still be regarded as a higher reach medium compared to social media activity.

In comparison if the social media activity is run through a digital agency than it is one of the least accountable parts of the online activity. Where PPC, Affiliates and Display media can track every user and their behaviour online, third party tracking can rarely be used for social media and numbers are more assumptions based on certain facts.

This may mean that the ownership of social media in the future may have an impact on how campaigns are run as well the chance that it may lose its identity and become swallowed up as part of an existing media.

So although there always a requirement for measurement maybe we should stop trying to fit social media around other existing forms of measurement and allow it to develop its own form of accountability and let its success be defined on its own merit.


Over the last couple of days a growing number of articles have been catching my eye which appear to have all originated from a debate in the House of Lords created by neuroscientist Lady Greenfield.

Her comments suggest that social networking sites have a negative impact on our brains, especially in younger people which causes shortened attention spans, encourages instant gratification and make young people more self-centred, resulting with an inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity.

people online

While most articles are reporting on this news without passing much comment there others which are sensationalising this information but are social networks really to blame for this change in behaviour?

The description of ‘shortened attention spans and instant gratification’ has been used many times to describe the lives of people in the western world with every thing from TV consumption to meals have evolved that allows us to receive it when and where we want it.

This change in our behaviour is not a new realisation with everybody from scientists, to the media as well as consumers aware of how time poor our lives have become resulting in a change in our behaviours to become more self centred with weakened connections between friends and loved ones.

So while social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Bebo might be making this change more apparent they may actually be a way of bring us back together as a community.

Despite this I still believe that especially young people need to have developed social skills face to face in an offline environment for this to be the case. People who have no other experience of ‘real life’ and live solely through their online worlds will naturally be distanced from reality.

Two nice little examples which show the effect of WOM (word of mouth) and/or a successful PR campaign.

Firstly the impact Jonathan Ross (@wossy) & Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) have had on Twitter.

twitter traffic graph

This graph from Hitwise (taken from Techcrunch) shows the large increase in traffic since November 2008. Since Ross’s return to his regular TV slot last Friday ( Stephen Fry also appeared) after the Sachsgate scandal numbers a have increased further still.

As awareness of Twitter continues to grow in the UK I would expect these numbers to continue to increase at the current rate for a while yet. I have noticed that even within my offline friends they are starting to talk about this ‘Twitter thing’ and asking how they can get on it.

Secondly the impact on the DEC Gaza campaign from the outrage generated gaza appealfrom the BBC and Sky refusing to show the appeal as an apparent effort to stay neutral. Communities on and off line have reacted in outrage prompting the number of donnations to double overnight since the day of the appeal going out.

While this is great news for the appeal it would of been interesting to know if the appeal would have had the same amount of donnations without the high levels of media attention surrounding the campaign.

In a completely un-internet like style I am going to give a quick overview of the news stories that I was meant to blog about like week but had no time to.

So instead of reporting the news in real time and looking to the future for which the interent is credited for I’m going to do the completed opposite and write todays post on what has already happened! (just in case you are like me and were too busy to take it in last week)

So here goes:

Belkin ‘Astroturfing’ Scandal – Belkin got caught paying a reportedly $65 for people to reportedly write good reviews on Amazon about its products. Their response has been ‘We’re sorry, we didn’t know it was going on’ and they are investigating.

The Pope Gets his own You Tube Channel
– Last week saw the Pope launch The Vatican Channel and become one of the oldest people in the world to have his own You Tube Channel, and slightly ironically spreading caution about spending too much time in social media sites which can isolate you from real life.

The vatican channel

Social Search Engines – Following on from my Twingley post last week and an article I read on The Guardian reccomending IceRocket as their prefered choice of blog search engine. I saw this nice little list on the Online Marketing Blog for Social Search Engines.

Thailand Immigration Tactics – Slightly shocking news and not at all thailand immigrationrelated to online or social media but as I’m heading out that way in a couple of weeks thought I’d add.

Its been reported that authorities have been towing migrants from Rohingya ( Myanmar) out to sea before abandoning them in the middle of the ocean.

Oh and on a personal note I’ve got my Twestival ticket for next month – very excited, and off to the London Bloggers Meetup tonight so if any one reading this is going see you there!

I feel like that I have been betraying my blog slightly with my increasing usage of Twitter to swap and share information so I thought I’d share this here instead.

I read about this on Rick Liebling’s blog  Eyecube ‘Taste the Social Media Backlash‘ (incidentally a few seconds later on Twitter) and think its a genius idea from Burger King!

whopper sacrifice

I know a few people that would quite happily sacrifice their mates (yes Kev you’re the first person I thought of!) for a free burger, but it ties in nicely with a few conversations that have been happening recently about quality or quantity in social media in terms of the number of Facebook friends, Twitter followers etc

Being back in the office I have been catching up on what’s been going on in the blogosphere while I was away (as well as attempting to organise 2009), and have noticed unsurprisingly that many recent posts are currently on  reviewing 2008 as well as predictions for 2009.

Due to the fact that we are now officially in a recession many conversations were surrounding whether 2009 will see more of offline budgets moved into online as companies look to increase the efficiencies of their advertising spend.

The conversations were also discussing how Social media will progress in 2009 and if we will see it becoming more integrated with traditional media.

As my current role in Digital PR/ Social Media/ SEO is in a media agency I though I would share my thoughts and observations and give my 2 cents on the topic.

Like most people I think that in terms of the level of investment in digital arrow_graph1media that it will continue to grow in 2009 as it is currently seen as being pretty much recession proof, although this is the first time this type of media has really gone through a  recession.

A report from SearchIgnite on Marketing Pilgrim suggests that paid search grew by 12% in Q4 of 2008 which also helps demonstrate the point, due to search being one of the easiest mediums to cut budget from due to not having any buying agreements.

In terms of Social Media becoming more integrated with traditional media I think a lot of this will come down to if a particular industry takes ownership of the Social Media space, as it currently sits across a number of disciplines such as Online, PR, SEO….

I don’t think it is necessary for Social Media to be solely run by one particular industry as this will ensure that there is continual growth and innovation in this area, but there is currently some disagreement about where is should sit.

Nether the less depending on the services offered by a particular agency it will effect how integrated social media becomes within an overall strategy, which I think is essential to a successful campaign.

I love receiving information in bite sized chunks so when I see posts that have that have a list of anything I’m always compelled to look whatever the subject happens to be.

I have noticed recently that people have started to mix it up a bit when it comes to making these lists and its no longer specific or tidy numbers such as Top 5 or Top 10. For example a recent post on the Online Marketing Blog has a post called ’26 Tips on the Social Media Web’.

Looking at the advice and suggestions on this list the most common theme was to listen to what people are actually saying.

A quote that I quite like and use in presentations when trying to get this concept across is from Stephen Covey and think it sums it up nicely:

‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood’

So on the back of this I had a little think about what my 5 top tips would be to some one starting out in social media:

1. Listen, Listen, Listen
2. Find out where people are talking about you
3. Don’t attempt to get involved in every network and every conversation all at once
4. Learn from any negativity and don’t respond aggressively
5. Respond to people that join your conversation – even if it is just to thank them for their response


May 2018
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