#hardandfast a summary of the @TheBHF Promoted Trend on @TwitterUK

Interesting use of Twitters ‘Promoted Trend’ ad product in the UK today from the guys @TheBHF 

Using the hastag #hardandfast promoted in UK trending topics, they have created intrigue and interest in their new ad, promoting the basics of CPR as demonstrated by Vinnie Jones. Drawing visitors to Twitter.com in to the conversation with the trend, they drove conversation and YouTube views for the online launch of the ad. 

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Here are a couple of the examples of the tweets that masthead the conversation:

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As far as I can ascertain (by 11pm on the 5th Jan 2011) they have gained about 5K clicks on the link http://bity.ly/hardandfast+ driving 38K+ views of the on the ad, (although I would expect this to be higher as YouTube views tend to lag), all in all a success for engagement based campaign for the charity.  

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One particularly nice feature was this YouTube annotation driving to an auto-populated tweet to share the ad (including the hashtag obviously).

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The hard working @TheBHF team even found in what must have been a busy day to reply to some of their mentions, including those from influencers and Z-List celebs

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Slightly disappointing follower growth though according to TwitterCounter but I guess Twitter have always been explicit that this is not the point of this product…you’ve got Promoted Accounts for that! 

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Vinnie is a perfect ‘social media’ star for the campaign and using his media friendly personality and story about his own wife Tanya’s heart transplant as a PR ‘hook’ to gather useful column inches although it might have been nice to embed the video in these articles or revisiting after social launch. 

All in all then a strong performance of driving conversation in social media, and premiering content online before ATL launch. It’ll be interesting to see what social calls to action are afforded on the above the line comms.

I guess the only thing missing is a tweet from the ‘Hard man’ himself who appears not to have tweeted for 6 months ;-( 

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(image courtesy of TheSun.co.uk)

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://twittercounter.com/embed/?style=graph&usernames=TheBHF&height=300&width=500&data=followers&chart=weekly&type=line”></script><noscript><a href=”http://twittercounter.com/TheBHF”>BHF on Twitter Counter.com</a></noscript>

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Want to know the Future? I have it…HERE, NOW!

Want to know what the future looks like? Well you could watch a YouTube video about ‘yoof’ or check out this nice looking presentation on slideshare.

Ignore the wanky beginning…war Dubai etc…the meaty stuff kicks in later on.


5 great things about a social media World Cup (#worldcup)

As if the World Cup wasn’t cool enough there are now a wholehost of awesome social media tools, graphics and games to take the fun to a higher level!

Here are a few of my faves

1) The Vuvuzela feature on YouTube
Just when you thought you could give your eardrums a rest, away from the TV and watching your online vids, YouTube add in a feature to blast the living daylights out of any content. Sounding like the trackside of a F1 Grand Prix the football icon unlocks the thunder of the horn. I love it in short bursts but by the fifth or sixth time I had blasted it out of my speakers colleagues not so enamoured with the constant footie were losing patience.

Here’s your chance to use the Vuvu’s to runi the Official World Cup theme song (you have to watch in youtube proper for it to work and hit the football at the bottom).

2) The Twitter icons
Whenever you hashtag any tweet with either a nation or WorldCup you get a pretty logo. I like this.

And you can see how popular the World Cup has been on Twitter here

3) Livepitch
Anyone with an iPad must be thinking that it is the best accompanyment to any TV experience, acting as a perfect accompanyment to give you the stats as you watch. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t use this in public but if you like the idea of live stats as ammunition to criticising the manager then this is the device for you.

4) The Foursquare CNN Badges
Everyone on Foursquare wants badges and these are the most unattainable ones. For one you need to go to South Africa, for the others you need to watch the match at a CNN santioned venue (presumably US only!). BOO

5) The Guardian Twitter live games
Following up on their England Vs USA recreated in Lego the Guardian smash it iagain with the opportunity to re-live games through twitter feed. Nice simple, great execution, its what social media was made for!


Corporate trouble in Tweetdom?

As part of my IAB Social Media training we have been asked to look at corporate Twitter strategies and pick a good and bad example of brands using the platform.

I have found this a pretty difficult task, for several reasons, what brand to go for? Do I even consciously seek out brands that I like, and does anyone? You need a reason to follow, a prime example being one that our tutors cited, which was the Twelpforce, a team of consumer advice/help tweeters working on behalf of Best Buy in the US.

Added to this the actual search/find people (or brands) function on twitter is not that helpful or user-friendly. Twitter is much better at picking up trending topics, via hashtags for example, and what people are saying about them rather than finding the corporate profile.

From a background working in audio, and especially podcasts I learnt a valuable lesson in instructing brands, namely that you have to have something to say, or to offer people something that they want. In podcasting this often translates to tapping into the existing behaviours of users, so offering content genres that are already popular, like music or comedy. This was successfully executed by the likes of Cobra Beer who launched a successful comedy podcast fusing beer and banter, the pubcast

Twitter is much the same, save for a few examples like Nike or Adidas no one will bother to follow or keep on following a brand that doesn’t offer them something.

This task also brings in to focus the argument on where social media fits in the marketing/advertising/pr sphere. Some of the most effective Twitter profiles I’ve seen where those responding to adverse events. Two of note here are the ash cloud (or should I say hashcloud #ashcloud) and the BP oil spill. Airlines lines, such as KLM (http://twitter.com/KLM) used their Twitter and other social media tools during the ash cloud to inform, reassure, and engage their customers, alleviating pressure on call centres and websites. As passengers were faced with this trouble, it made sense to dissipate information in the most reactive and up to the minute channels, where stranded passengers were already active.

BP are making a bold go of it as well although run out of the USA http://twitter.com/bp_america

As for the failures in Twitter, apart from the large amount of absentees (only a quarter of brands actually active) it has got to be those who are limping through the process and there are so many to choose from but I thought I would highlight one that had specific reasons for failing.
I have chosen Haagen Daz’s http://twitter.com/MeltTogether this isn’t actually their full company profile but one that was set up (and dropped) to tactically support their Valentines messaging. It breaks the first rule of such consumer dialogues which is that conversation has to be ongoing. Additionally the mechanics of generating followers means that they were almost doomed from the outset as it’s really difficult to generate any meaningful amount of followers in such a short window.

Bucking the trend, and falling in the ‘good’ camp is the twitter fuelled game called the “Twitter Cup” I like this usage of Twitter because it uses the platform as a means to generate response to power something else. There’s no significant barrier to entry and its something that taps into the buzz around the world cup and people passions for their nation.

To summarise, what I have learnt is:
1) Most corporate twitter presences are not very good
2) The find people function on twitter leaves a lot to be desired
3) As a result of the above we need to make sure brands are visible and clear with twitter profiles and link from elsewhere direct to the profile through other comms.
4) Twitter is global and brands need to have a global and local strategy
5) The majority of brands aren’t using it to its potential
6) Staking claim on twitter usernames is vital for brands
7) I was naturally driven to see success in numbers of followers but we need more than this as a metric, it’s about engagement and usefulness after all.