Liberate Media blends online PR with offline PR expertise to form a uniquely positioned social media agency.

Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

A look at international social network growth

November 19th, 2013

This post was originally published as a guest post on Mob76 Outlook


We often hear about the never ending growth of the big western social networks. User number announcements for Facebook and Twitter are now international news, but this is really only the tip of the iceberg.

In the West we usually assume that social networks revolve around U.S culture, but that is far from the case.

Global social network data tells us a much more interesting story, and this post delves into the key figures from BI Intelligence’s global social media census 2013.

According to the census, Facebook is truly international, with Eighty-six percent of its 1.16 billion users living outside of the United States.

To read the full piece, please follow this link


read more

Social CRM experiment – courtesy of The BBC

September 27th, 2013


It’s fair to say that Social CRM is a hot topic on this blog, posts such as ‘70% of those helped by social customer service return as a customer’ and ‘the dawn of the paid complaint’ being two recent examples.

However, the pull of social CRM is now going very much mainstream, as proved last week by a piece on the One Show, BBC One’s 7pm magazine show, which was sparked by stories on BA (see paid complaint story above) and Virgin Media who charged a dead man for late payment, the bill for which was then posted online by a disgruntled relative.

The feature itself included an insight into London Midland’s social team, showing how they deal with Twitter conversations, but focused mainly on an experiment to see whether complaining to a business through Twitter gets you a faster response than email.

The One Show contacted the following organisations: BT TV, Monarch Airlines, South West Water, EDF Energy and Barclays, who are also the most complained about organisations accordingly to their industry regulators.

The Tweet simply asked the companies to contact the sender regarding a problem. So which got the quickest response?

Well, as we would expect, it was the Tweet. And all five organisations replied personally and quickly to the tweets.

The response times were as follows:

Monarch Airlines – 3 minutes

EDF Energy – 3 minutes

Barclays – 7 minutes

South West Water – 11 minutes

BT TV – 70 minutes

After 24 hours only one company had responded to the email and that was Barclays – in 7.5 hours.

So if proof were needed that social complaints and social CRM is now completely ingrained in our society, you only need to look at the One Show.

You can watch the One Show feature here.


read more

Twitter takes the lead in dual-screen ad models with Amplify

May 31st, 2013

Using social networks such as Twitter when watching TV has become a strong trend, especially when related to sporting events and popular series or lifestyle-specific programming.

In fact, according to Twitter, Ninety-five percent of live TV conversation currently happens on Twitter, (Bluefin) and half of all Super Bowl commercials had hashtags on them, helping guide viewers to the collective conversation.

Last week, at Internet Week New York, Twitter announced a new service called ‘Twitter Amplify’ that allows media brands and their advertising partners to promote television clips on Twitter, basically bringing real-time video into the Twitter platform.

Here’s an example from Twitter focused on the NBA, which is pushing the best Rapid Replays from TV, through a Tweet, to your mobile phone encompassing Sony Pictures, Sprint and Taco Bell. As you can see, the video also features a link to an ad.



Speaking at Internet Week New York, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talked about how the company has made advertising a more “frictionless” experience because of its emphasis of real-time updates, and adding more broadcasting-like experiences into Twitter will further that concept.

Twitter Amplify has launched with a range of media partners including A&E, BBC America, Conde Nast, Discovery, Fox, Major League Baseball and the WWE. A full list of media partners is available via Twitter’s blog post on the subject.

The ads promise to help advertisers extend their messages beyond broadcasters’ TV audiences to reach their Twitter followers as well.

In addition to Amplify, Twitter also announced plans to begin testing TV ad targeting with select partners.

Using a new TV Ads dashboard, Twitter claims its partners will be able to target their messages, in the form of Promoted Tweets, to Twitter users who have already seen their ads on TV.

Twitter is also stepping up its security with a two step authentication process to avoid repeating recent embarrassing hack examples. And in another ad-based move, Twitter has also signed a deal with Starcom to allow the companies to combine resources for measuring and tracking data and advertising.

These moves will certainly add to Twitter’s growing media relevance and build on its monetisation plans that started slowly, but are now kicking into gear.




read more

Is Facebook’s power beginning to wane, or are we seeing the next evolution of the network?

May 23rd, 2013



Last week there was a bit of a stir caused in no small part by the following tweet from Rupert Murdoch:

“Look out Facebook! Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago.”

So is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? Or is this just a bit of negativity from the man that acquired MySpace in 2005 for $580m, but sold it for $35m six years later, having done very little to evolve the network, or react to the growing popularity of Facebook?

My vote goes to option two, and a bit of sour grapes from Mr Murdoch. However there has been the odd suggestion that Facebook is starting to fall in popularity, based mainly on engagement figures, but this seems far from being a major concern for the all powerful social network.

The story goes that younger internet users are being lured away by mobile sharing apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Instagram, which has 100 million monthly users and was of course acquired by Facebook last year.

This angle is supported by the wider feeling that niche social networks are gaining in popularity and some users are beginning to move away from the big networks. However, this needs to be put into perspective.

In the US Facebook has 142 million unique visitors a month, down more than 10 million in a year, according to Nielsen. But the company’s figures also show the Facebook app had 99 million unique users from Android and Apple smartphones in March, a rise of 37 million on a year ago.

Measuring users and movement between platforms on Facebook is difficult, as smartphone users are switching their Facebook time to apps.

In October 2012, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the site had reached 1 billion monthly active users, and according to eMarketer, Facebook will make $6.6bn this year, up from $5.1bn in 2012.

Facebook’s move from desktop to mobile has been ongoing for sometime and; after Google, Facebook is now the second-biggest mobile advertising publisher.

Put simply; they get mobile.

read more

Twitter Tirades never end well

April 12th, 2013


read more

A deeper look at the demographics of Social Media Users

February 19th, 2013

The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.

You can download the full report here:

In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.

Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.

Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.

Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.

13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.

40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.

The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:

As of August 2012:
• 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
• 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.

Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.

Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).

read more

2012 a year in social network numbers

December 21st, 2012

As we quickly approach 2013, many people are in reflective mood as they look to round-off their year with a 2012 summary post.

I’m going to keep it simple and avoid the fluff by hitting you with some of the statistics that evidence the ever-widening reach of social networks.

So sit back and spend a few minutes taking the numbers in while we rejoice in the fact that the world didn’t end today, at least not yet:

  • 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. (source: AllTwitter)
  • Monthly active Facebook users now total nearly 850 million. (source: Jeff Bullas)
  • 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile. (source: All Facebook)
  • More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (source: Uberly)
  • 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
  • 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (sources: AllTwitter)
  • 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter. (source: Marketing Land)
  • Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (source:Web Analytics World)
  • In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday. (source: Infographics Labs)
  • 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. (source: Digital Buzz Blog)
  • Instagram was one of the largest acquisitions of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009. (source: Factbrowser)
  • According to Followgram’s research, 37 percent of Instagram users have never uploaded a single photo and only 5 percent of users have more than 50 pictures. (source: Siliconrepublic)
  • It took just 10 months for Instagram to reach the milestone of 150m pictures uploaded. (source: Siliconrepublic)
  • 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, while 50 percent of all Pinterest users have children. (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. (source: Arik Hanson)
  • The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times per day. (source: AllTwitter)
  • Google+ pages appear in search results for 30 percent of brand term searches for brands with G+ pages, up from 5 percent in February 2012. (source: Bright Edge)
  • 48 percent of fortune global 100 companies are now on Google+. (source: Burson-Marsteller)
  • Google+ is expected to attract 400 million users by the end of 2012. (source: Remcolandia)

Source – Huffington Post

read more

Notes from Social Media Marketing 2012 #SMM12

October 26th, 2012

Yesterday we attended Social Media Marketing 2012, which promised to take a more critical look at social media marketing by focusing on the realities, challenges and what we need to do better, not just the positive stories and back-slapping habits that have become the staple of social conferences.

I have summarised six of the presentations from the day’s discussion,but you can see the full programme here.

1. First up was Mat Morrison, head of social media, Starcom MediaVest Group, who told us: nearly Everything you thought you knew about Facebook is wrong.

Mat kicked off by making some very pertinent points about Facebook marketing, including: “It’s all about the newsfeed not the page.” And confirming that asking people to click the ‘button’ on the left or above, which is a common instruction when encouraging participation, is fine on the page, but doesn’t work in the newsfeed.

In other words, when you are talking to customers, don’t assume they are on your Facebook page, they are probably seeing it in their feeds.

He also reminded the crowd that Facebook apps can be difficult to use on mobile, and with such significant traffic coming mobile users, the potential wastage is significant. Therefore, always think

When he asked if everyone knew what Edgerank is, only one soul was brave enough to say no, to which Mat nailed the explanation with: “Facebook Edgerank is a gnome that decides what stories you see.

Mat proceeded to take us through a few examples of brand engagement with Cineworld and ASOS, who make mistakes early and fix fast, and are a great example of a consumer Facebook page. You can see these in his presentation (see title of his presentation in this post)

Mat asked us to remember:

1. A page isn’t a destination
2. It’s all about the newsfeed
3. A Page isn’t a community
4. Almost no one sees Fan posts
5. Think mobile first

2. We then moved onto our second presentation from Ruth Coates, marketing programme manager – Europe – Staples and Katy Howell, MD, Immediate Future, who gave us an insight into Social strategy in practise: How to meet the challenges of adopting a Social approach

Katy Howell made a good point in relation to strategy to kick-off, focused on where to start in social. She confirmed it’s not just about ‘listening’, it’s about understanding the organisational opportunity for social media.

This means an internal as well as external audit is important, looking at how the organisation uses and wants to work with social, and how social impacts many different elements.

She also suggested that an audit should look at 2-3 years of data, not just 2-3 months, which will not account for seasonal or event-based variations.

Ruth Coates from Staples identified the main internal challenges that she had experienced in relation to developing a social media strategy:

1 Change management & selling the concept

2. Business value: making social ROI-able, i.e. what does social mean to the organisation, not just metrics, but how does social impact organisational value?

3. Harnessing resource in a decentralised organisation, which was amplified by Staples’ huge challenges with multiple territories, multiple offices, multiple languages.

Katy then identified the four steps in establishing that there are enough conversations around the issues related to the brand to justify a social campaign:

1. Shouting out and asking questions – what are these conversations about? Are they just mentions or is there depth, are there questions? Understand this first, then roadmap.

2. Who is talking? Not just who has influence? But who are these people connected to, what are the communities?

3. Diving into the detail – how are they talking?

4. Social media is leaky – social now impacts what goes instore, online, direct mail, photos on Pinterest etc.

Katy summarised this by confirming that social media is data and spreadsheets, and that you need statistically-relevant samples, which confirm the tones of discussions, impressions and ideas, passion, points what are they saying, associations, what specifics are they looking for, behavioural trends.

You then need to create taxonomies to identify correlation and trends.

Strategy is a lot of heavy lifting on the data if you want to get to the goal of adding value to the business.

Once the strategy was ready to roll out, Staples then identified recommendations to move forward:

1. Pilots to validate – Set timeframes, set outcomes, lower investment to see how it works.

2. Phase your approach – in this case a multi-year phased approach, looking at this over time to develop at the pace of your business so that it can integrate with business communications and existing focuses.

3. Tiered implementation – don’t force people to get involved. Pick out pockets where there is eagerness and resource, and demonstrate learnings to the wider business to enable overall internal sell in.

Internal structure
1. Structure the programme and measurement – set up forums to discuss social on a monthly basis internally with teams, best practises, ideas, development.

2. Intensive training framework – ongoing training across the business to continually move forward.

3. Set out the polices and escalation - from guidelines to appearance of profiles and how to react to crisis.


- Cross functional groups – don’t miss out on ideas and opportunities for the business.

- Great communications – communicate the results of social and let people know how the social focuses are going.

- Ideas forum – cross-team and territories to develop ideas.

Since beginning the new social strategy in February 2012, Staples’ EU presence has grown by:
• 9 x FB profiles
• 5 x Twitter profiles
• 7 x G+ profiles
• 6 x YouTube channels

Staples closing comment: “It’s not about building 8 million fans, we would rather have 100,000 fans that deliver value”

3. The next session that I covered was on The Olympics: Big data meets Big event, presents Big challenges by Naomi Trickey, Sales Director for EMEA, Brandwatch

Naomi gave us an overview of data from recent events and news issues, e.g. U.S presidential election, superbowl, etc and confirmed that big data presents big challenges.

She also asked the question; What is Big Data? Suggesting size is not the only thing that matters, it’s also variety, volume and velocity.

She backed this up with a quote from Scott Thomson, head of research, Hypernaked: “Reality is easily accessible data, but you have to frame the right questions”

Naomi confirmed that Big = Relevant and data needs to be relevant. She also confirmed that greater social buzz does not result from a higher advertising spend, a recent example of which has been advertising around the Superbowl.

4. Jeremy Waite, Head of social strategy Adobe EMEA
What’s the Real Value of 1 million Fans?

Jeremy, who is always entertaining and informative in equal measure kicked off with a great quote on social media from Scott Stratten “Social media doesn’t fix anything. It just amplifies things. If your restaurant sucks, it just sucks harder in social media. IT doesn’t make your chicken fingers taste better or your beer taste bolder. social media is not a good place to go if you’re terrible at what you do.”

He also gave us an excellent example of useful content in the form of the recent 007 Skyfall ticket give away video by Coke Zero.

Jeremy suggested that Coke understand it’s all about content and achieved 4 million views in 4 days, probably with a hefty seeding budget.

Jeremy then moved onto the focus of his presentation, which was ROI, quoting both:

Forrester “90% of content marketers only track engagement metrics”


Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Skittles’ ad agency “Anyone who says they can track Facebook activity to sales is in a bubble and living on a spaceship.”

To make his point about the mismatch between traditional ROI and social metrics.

Traditionally the metrics that marketers have used to put a value on a relationship, (that don’t work):
- Fans, followers, subscribers
- Impressions and reach
- Change in sentiment
- Click through rates
- Share of voice
- Engagement
- Dwell time

Jeremy also used a trailer for the movie Money ball to illustrate the importance of ROI.

In brief, Moneyball is a film about the Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that followed a revolutionary way of buying a winning baseball team, with a tight budget, based on player analytics and a supporting algorythm

Jeremy confirmed this is basically a film about ROI

“This is getting everything down to one number. Using stats the way we read them, we will find value in things that nobody else can do.”

He made the point that we can compete in social with those on bigger budgets.

So what is ROI? Jeremy confirmed ROI in social media is the same as ROI in any other area of business.

“How much do I spend, how much do I make, what’s the difference?”

Jeremy confirmed we shouldn’t confuse social media measurement with ROI, the two are separate.

He recommended Olivier Blanchard‘s book: Social media ROI and ran us through an example of ROI on an Angry birds campaign.

5. Michael Litman, senior social strategist, AnalogFolk gave a great presentation on
Pinterest, what is it and why should you care?

He offered some great statistics, including 51% of interbrand top 100 have presence on it and Pinterest is growing, while Twitter, and other network growth is slowing.

He also highlighted that the usage of Pinterest differs from the UK to U.S, e.g
- U.S 83% female
- UK 56% male
- UK interest sectors – Venture capital, PR, content management
- U.S sectors – retail, creative
- 30% of UK users in the highest income bracket vs 5% in US
- Age group of users is mostly 25-44

- Pinterest first social network to reach 10m unique users
- Pinterest is in fact a power channel to build a strong social brand.
- Pinterest is taking traffic away from ‘traditional’ engines and delivering to retailers

6. Squeezing the social SEO value out of your social media campaign
Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director, SiteVisibility

You can see Kelvin’s full presentation here

In summary:

Google is trying to do something that we can all do instinctively – i.e. identify that this website is better than that website.

Google believes the way it is going to improve its algorithm is to understand the social web.

This is the future of what Kelvin referred to as off-site SEO, focusing on three key areas of Author rank, links and social shares.

He believes that G+ is essentially a tool to answer these focuses as it helps Google to find your content quicker and gave us a number of practical implementation points to make the most of Google+, which you can see on the presentation and include:

- Use chrome plugin – share to schedule updates

- Add Google+ sharing buttons to your website

- Use opengraph protocol

- Use Rel author mark up

Overall he suggested we Ignore the haters, because although Google+ isn’t as popular as other networks,  it is hugely relevant to your Google ranking and that is essential.

He believes Google+ is here to stay, will only become more important and is having a bigger influence than most of us realise.

Kelvin also believes that search marketers make good marketers because people that understand search, understand people, which makes them great marketers.

Social Media marketing 2012 was a great success, and everyone that we spoke to thought it had delivered on the objective of taking a harder look at social, so congratulations to the Our Social Times team.

read more

The power of a Tweet helps J.C. Penney shares jump 10%

July 27th, 2012

We often talk about the power of social media and how reach is ever expanding, but stories like this one are a beautiful and simple example of this in action.

Reuters has announced that shares of J.C. Penney jumped almost 10% briefly on Wednesday this week after Nina Garcia, Marie Claire magazine fashion editor and judge on television show “Project Runway” tweeted about the department store’s revamp mentioning chief executive Ron Johnson.

I’m @jcpenney’s HQ. Thank you Ron Johson (sic) for the walk through of JCP’s prototype. Get ready to shop! Its (sic) going to be a game changer!”

J.C. Penney shares rose to as much as $23.09. The stock was up 4.9 percent at $22.02 later on Wednesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

Although the link between the tweet and the rise in stock cannot be clearly made, TD Ameritrade chief derivatives strategist J.J. Kinahan immediately referenced the tweet when explaining the share spike, and there did not seem to be any other obvious contributing factors.

J.J. Kinaham said:“With that we saw the stock go sharply higher, along with increased buying in call options, a bullish play.”

Interestingly Reuters also mentioned that Garcia recently became J.C. Penney’s “Style Voice” and fashion collection curator, so it’s up for debate whether the tweet was entirely unlinked, but the point remains that an influential tweet seems to have had a huge impact on share price, and helps to prove the influencer status that Twitter can now claim.

read more

Dom Dwight, Little Urn, human voice and Facebook Tea – Facebook Marketing 2012

July 18th, 2012

Dom dwight

Dom Dwight, Yorkshire Tea

They started with blogging. They had loads of stories they wanted to tell, and it seemed a natural place to do it. Twitter they were using for listening mainly, and for reporting back what people were saying about the brand, which built more enthusiasm for social in the company.

And then they spotted an opportunity for linking it up with TV, when they realised so many people complained about bad tea when abroad. Especially in the US… They sent a tea van to the US, to support the UK’s people, and tracked the journey on Facebook.

What did they learn?

Video is tricky! They did 10 stories, but at two to three minutes long they were too long. The short clip of Little Urn struggling up the hill did 50 times better. They’re not likely to commission a video company to spend £10k on a video. They’ll do it with a flip cam.

Don’t force it. The competition for uploading photos and getting them liked wasn’t great, and there was a vote exchange syndicate at work at the time. And every time they mentioned the competition, a vocal minority complained about its existence. Make things that people want to share, don’t create a transitional mechanism.

Stay on their level. For all the carefully crafted messages in the world, sometimes a Saturday morning comment on the weather will get more engagement – or a comment about tea tasting better in your favourite mug.

The most you can do is influence and steer the conversation – you can’t control it. And they learnt to integrate events, social and PR. When a member of One Direction tweeted that they missed their Yorkshire Tea, they tracked them down, and served them tea… They got on the BBC and Channel 4 through serving tea at the Hockney exhibition.

They don’t draw a big line between Facebook and Twitter. They’re a bit more selective about what they put on Facebook – they try very hard to keep the tone of voice human.

Keep room for flexibility in all your planning. In Homeland someone mentioned that their favourite tea was Yorkshire Gold – lots of people thought it was product placement, and said as much on social media. They were able to join the conversation denying that. They struck up a relationship with Tim Burgess who used to be the frontman of The Charltans – and Dom ended up taking to him about Homeland and tea and Twitter. And the agreed to livetweet Homeland for Tim when he was away…

April 1′s treat was a t-shaped tea bag. Their tea experts sent a silly photo with fake moustaches, done for one of their number’s birthday, for him to share on the Facebook page. Co-creation, like mug designs, goes down well. Corgi has made a Little Little Urn van – which has been ridiculously popular. They advertise it by posting silly photos of it in strange places.

And did you know that tea can save a sheep’s life? Rhododendron leaves are poisonous to sheep, but two solid days of Yorkshire Tea was a great antidote for a lamb – and telling the story went down a treat on Facebook.

read more

"I found a higher degree of contacts and enthusiasm and then something far more interesting. They listened, challenged and questioned with a focus and knowledge that I've never experienced before."