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Internet Marketing Handbook Series

Become part of the online community



Brand building

Guide to social media:
become part of the online community

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,

To do my duty to the leading media owners and
agencies in the UK internet industry,
To help consumers,
And to keep the IAB trooper’s law.

Introduction 2
What is social media 4
10 rules to get you started, from the IAB
Social Media Council 6
The definition and role of social media
The landscape: the rise of social media platforms and practices
and the resulting consumer behaviour 8
The difference between ‘getting it’ and ‘doing it right’ 14
An introduction to online PR and blogging 22
The art of online conversations and the tools to help you 28
Stories, passions and actions – How BRAVIA Bunnies inspired
the social media conversation 34
Branded Utilities (and how brands from all sectors engage
the social media consumer) 40
When creativity and display advertising meets social media 46
Using social media to increase paid-search
marketing effectiveness 52
Integrating social media 58
Planning and evaluating social media campaigns 60
Social media measurement – the basics 64
The future: where we are now and where we should be 70
Jargon Buster 74

SocialMedia Handbook

As an IAB trooper
I promise to always use
online in a respectful and
responsible fashion.


By Amy Kean,
Senior PR and Marketing Manager,
Network Internet Advertising Bureau

‘Social media’ is more than a concept, and certainly

more than a simple add-on to the rest of your
campaign activity. Social media is more than a
simple PowerPoint slide full of ‘web 2.0 logos’, and
it’s no good to us marketers unless we know how
to use it. Social media is a dynamic, exciting, and
relevant communications tool, and highly effective
in engaging consumers. But we all knew that
already, right?

There have been some truly amazing and inspired campaigns in 2008 which
really made the most of what social media offers. We’ve had the Facebook,
MySpace and Bebo success stories, where brands have penetrated an
already-popular online presence with engaging content that people actually
want to interact with - O2 and Cadbury being great examples. There’s been
the standalone activity that has successfully tapped into the very essence of
the online community, like Balloonacy, from Orange – the first ever balloon
race across the internet. A fan of widgets? In terms of creating useful
online applications that get right in front of consumers on their own terms,
there’s been loads of brands who have flown the flag: UPS have done it to
stay ahead of their competitors; so have Cancer Research, with a Google
application which measures your alcohol intake; Amazon’s full of them and
even Kimberly Clark have embraced these branded utilities (don’t ask!) All
this is in addition to the hundreds upon thousands of conversations that
take place online every day about brands, products and services, whether
you want them to or not.

In July 2008 we launched the IAB Social Media Council – a group

comprising all the UK’s major players in this space, established to help
advertisers fully understand the formats available, and how to use them.
One of our first jobs was to produce this handbook, and in the next fifteen
or so chapters we’ll show you how to do it properly. With essays on the
rise of social platforms, their role in the media landscape,
the art of conversation, a ‘how to’ of online PR
and blogging, plus ‘social’ display advertising
alongside sections on integration, planning
and measurement, concluding with a
compulsory look to the future (phew!),
we think we’ve done a pretty good job.

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper never shouts

What is social media?

Social Networks

Business Community


Blog Vlog Corporate Blog Radio (Podcasts)

Integrated homepage Amazon reviews Create shopping lists Top 10’s


IAB News, blog Content sharing Blog search


Consumer Content

Branded Applications/Utilities

UPS Widget STA Travel It’s Sunshine O’clock - Cancer

Pimms Research

Crowdsourcing / Community Sites

Swapping & Music Open Video

trading community blog encyclopedia dictionary

Social Display advertising

Fill The Indigo Balloonacy - Orange Supersonic by Nike Resident Evil

by O2

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper has self-respect

and respect for others, even at
industry parties.

10 rules to get you started

from the IAB Social Media Council

1. Don’t run away: Don’t dismiss social media as a fad or as just a

few spotty bloggers writing in a darkened room somewhere. Social
Brand building
media spreads far and wide and further than you think, from Wikipedia
to Facebook. Even search engine results are social media of a kind
– created in part by users via the pages they create and links they
An IAB trooper
forward to each other.
is interactive.
2. Let go: And by this we don’t mean let go of your brand – people are
already talking about your brand online so a lot of control is already out
of your hands. Rather, let go in your mind; stop worrying about losing
control and instead look at it for the opportunities it now offers.

3. Get a feel for it: The world of social media may be big and scary,
so don’t dive straight in. Take time to try out small ideas and get
comfortable. Free tools such as Technorati and Google Pagerank can
help pick the most salient and popular social media sites out there.
Don’t just look at what one person says, but what others have said in

4. L
 isten: What people are saying about your brand is, of course, important
– both the positives and negatives, but the true art of listening also
considers this: how are they talking about it? Is it really engaged with
your brand and its online presence or are you barely worth a mention?
Then start thinking about what you can do around it..

5. N
 egative isn’t necessary bad: Not everyone is going to love you
or your brand. Be prepared for some criticism, and consider it to be
a healthy thing (in moderation) – universal acclaim looks suspicious.
Criticism can be an effective way of motivating and rallying your own
supporters and evangelists.

6. Join in: Start a blog. Or a social networking presence, YouTube

channel or Twitter feed – whatever strand of social media fits best.
Look at what your most engaged consumers are doing and make sure
they are catered for. If they’re posting your ads, make more of them
available and shareable. If they’re dying to sample your latest product
on their blog, send them a free sample to review.

7. L
 et them share you: An all-Flash website with all the content locked
makes it hard to share. Ditch the splash screens and intros, make sure
your site’s content is directly accessible and has short, easy-to-spread
URLs. Don’t break links by moving or deleting stuff.

8. D
 on’t cheat! Giving yourself fake reviews on Amazon, a ‘fan’ blog run
by your PR team, post your latest ad to Digg saying ‘this rocks!’ won’t
wash. Not only will you probably get found out and end up causing
more negative PR than positive, but since May 2008 it has been against
UK consumer law to ‘falsely represent oneself as a consumer’.

9. Speak their language: Don’t blanket-send bloggers press releases,

they’ll just bin them and block you. Read what they have already said
about you, then talk to them in plain English, avoid hyperbole and
buzzwords. Keep emails short and to the point. And don’t send 10MB
attachments without checking if it’s OK first.

10. Have fun: The more you show passion for your own brand, the more
your consumers will as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment or try new
things – the flexibility and agility of web 2.0 tolerates failure a lot less
harshly. It’s better to give something a go than do nothing and let your
competitors take the opportunity instead.

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper makes

their advertising
entertaining and useful
for consumers.

The definition and role

of social media

by Fraser Rattray, Trade Marketing Manger at

Fox Interactive Media
Social media, web 2.0, widgets, tag clouds... Just
some of the terms that are fast-becoming part of
online vernacular. But where did these terms come
from, and more importantly what do they mean?

Social media is more than the collection of sites that have entered
the mainstream through the phenomenon described as web 2.0,
It represents a wholesale change in the way the internet is used
by the consumer. What differentiates web 2.0 from the web as
we used to know it is not any notable advances in technology,
but instead the application of technology. It’s about people
connecting, not just to each other, but through a shared interest
such as a new album, a funny clip, a movie that’s coming out,

a video game, a car, a party, a local venue, anything. This defines the
content and culture that’s important to them. No better is this illustrated
than by social media - the process whereby information is dynamically
created and shared to maximize collective intelligence.

But hasn’t the internet always been social? Instant messaging has been
around since the 1980s, customers of Amazon have long enjoyed making
purchase decisions based on customer reviews, and what was Friends
Reunited if it wasn’t a precursor to Facebook?

Social networks

Social networks are the most prominent of the social media offerings
due to their phenomenal growth and considerable media attention. The
immediacy of the internet combined with the ease of communicating to
a massive audience with a strong desire for self-expression has been
instrumental in this growth.

Social networks offer advertisers reach and engagement at an

unprecedented level, combined with clear branding opportunities. The
music industry has been quick to exploit these opportunities with MySpace
artist profiles swiftly replacing official band websites. As brands themselves,
the artists benefit from a frequent dialogue with a loyal audience, allowing
them to communicate the latest product offering, exclusive content and
events, as well as providing tools to dissipate these marketing messages
virally amongst their fans’ individual communities. The relationship is
further enhanced through blogs and one-to-one communications
between the band and their fans.

How the portals have reacted

The adoption of social networks is clearly changing the way online is

consumed. Rather than a passing trend, social networks are fast becoming
the default destination for all aspects of the online experience - from email
to film, search to music downloads. Indeed, when 18-24 year old Brits

SocialMedia Handbook

were asked how they would spend 15 minutes of free time, 45% claimed
they would check out their favourite social networks. And they aren’t
just killing time. These sites are being used to put cultural, creative and
commercial skills to profitable effect - as seen by the growth of socio-
Engagement environmental networks, new businesses (750,000 of them) and fanzines
on social networks.

Brand building
This behaviour has not been lost on the portals and search engines who
are either developing their own social media offerings or snapping up the
emerging players. Yahoo! started the ball rolling with the purchase of the
online community GeoCities back in 1999 in a $3.6 billion deal which
gave an early indication into the perceived value of social networking. The
Sunnyvale company then went on to acquire Flickr in 2005 and video
editing site Jumpcut a year later. By this time the likes of MySpace and
Facebook were attracting considerable attention and keen to be player
sin social networking, Yahoo! developed Yahoo! 360, although it failed to
trouble these new start-ups.

Nevertheless, social networks were firmly on the map and for Rupert
Murdoch’s News Corp the $580m acquisition of MySpace’s parent
company Intermix Media in 2005 provided a valuable online addition. This
purchase signalled the start of a scramble for a foothold in social media
with the established media owners buying up the likes of YouTube (Google,
$1.65bn), Bebo (AOL, $850m) and a 1.6% stake in Facebook (MSN,
$240m - valuing the social network at a mind boggling $15 billion).

Photo and video sharing sites

Whilst a huge amount of media is uploaded onto social networks (17 million
photos and 105 thousand videos are uploaded onto MySpace each day
alone) there are of course specific photo and video sharing sites.

Flickr is one of the earliest social media applications. Renowned for
its wealth of quality photographs, this site has evolved from a tool for
sharing photographs into an online community, with users prompted “Since launching
to find friends and view/comment on their images (as well as those mobile internet in
from the whole community). It is credited with being one of the first 2007 Vodafone has
sites to implement tag clouds which provide access to images tagged seen significant
growth in customers’
with the most popular keywords.
use of social
networks, email
YouTube has singlehandedly turned video sharing into one of the most
and search,” says
important parts of internet culture. Although much maligned for poor Al Russell Head of
quality content, 100 million videos are watched on the site each day, Internet Services
13 hours of video are uploaded every minute and in 2007, YouTube at Vodafone UK.
alone consumed as much bandwidth as the entire internet did in “Working closely
2000. This consumption only looks like increasing as sites such as with internet brands
such as MySpace
these continue to exploit other channels such as mobile (including the
enables us to offer a
iPhone) and TV. PC like experience
to ten million of
Social media goes mobile our customers on
mobiles and allows
Many social networkers are so dependent on their online communities them to make the
that they rarely use webmail accounts like Gmail and Hotmail, most of the Internet
meaning that friends not on the same social network can fall into a whenever and
communication desert. They frequently use their mobile phones to log wherever they are.”
into social networks such as MySpace - which launched a new mobile
page with Vodafone in August 2008 and saw UK page views double.
In fact of the UK’s 21 million mobile phone subscribers who belong
to a social network 25% visit a social network each month.1 This has
prompted Vodafone to launch the “Vodafone to Connect Friends”
application on Facebook, enabling all UK mobile users to send text
messages from their Facebook profile to friends, whether they are on 1 Nielsen Mobile

Facebook or not. Advertising Report; 3/08

An IAB trooper makes their advertising entertaining

and useful for consumers.

SocialMedia Handbook


Network Online forums, wikis, podcasts and blogs are fundamental to social media.
A blog is essentially an online diary or notebook which generally focuses
on a certain subject and invites readers to leave comments. The speed at
which they can be created and the low cost to entry means that blogs are
often the first source for information and as such the better known ones
Brand building
generate a lot of interest for media professionals. Tech Crunch, Valleywag
and mashable are established blogs for the industry they support and
blogs, of course, have their own search engine – Technorati.

Another favourite social media application is Twitter. Whilst blogs are

confined to online, twitter is a micro-blogging tool that allows users to
send and read posts (tweets) of up to 140 characters via the Twitter
website, instant messenger, SMS, RSS, email and through applications
such as Twitterrific.

Media owners have learnt to let go of their brand and

advertisers must follow

One of the most notable characteristics of social media is the amalgamation

of content from different sources on the same page. This movement has
been spearheaded by the consumer and media owners have learnt not
only to let go, but also to encourage developers to create applications to
host external content on their sites and more importantly port their content
elsewhere. For example, the BBC has long provided RSS feeds of their
news items for consumers to paste into the personal profiles and Yahoo! is
looking to open up its music offering to Apple’s iTunes and Amazon.

This practice is due to an agreement known as OpenSocial – a set of

application programming interfaces (API’s) for web-based social network
applications developed by Google, MySpace and a number of other social
networks as an alternative to the facebook platform. Bebo, Friendster, hi5,

orkut, Linked In and Yahoo! are amongst those supporting the platform.
Advertisers must learn from this and accept that with social media it’s all
too easy for their brands to be interpreted in different ways through ‘mash-
ups’ and talked about on blogs, networks and offline communications.
Consumers are incredibly brand-savvy and expect more from advertisers
particularly when they appear on their own personal web space. If they
get it right, they can harness the power of this movement quickly and
with minimal effort - as Chris Moyles did when plugging his radio show
Facebook page, rapidly attracting 500,000 evangelists of the show and
influencing countless others through their individual communities. Through
this viral marketing how many of these friends will become listeners and
how many listeners will become super-listeners?

Why is Chris Moyles so big?

What makes one blog, video or social network profile an overnight

sensation whilst the next disappears into the abyss? Naturally the
relevance of the content and the offline vehicles for its promotion help
greatly. There is a great deal of overlap between the Chris Moyles Show
and the Facebook audience but the main driver is of course the content.
As mentioned before people are connecting through a shared interest,
in this case the fabric of the show itself and their ability to determine the
content moments before it goes on air. But there is also a science to it.
It is known as social media optimization. No discussion on social media
would be complete without mentioning Wikipedia and its definition of
SMO is “a set of methods for generating publicity through social media,
online communities and community websites.” In short it is about keeping
your content fresh, linking to those who link to you, making it easy to tag
and bookmark your content (through Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Del.icio.
us etc) and finally letting go of the brand a little. It’s their brand now so
encourage them to take your content and play with it.

An IAB trooper makes their advertising entertaining

and useful for consumers.

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper is friendly,

knowledgeable, confident
and helpful.

The landscape: The rise of

social media platforms and
practices and the resulting
consumer behaviour
by Alastair Little, Senior Digital Communications Manager EMEA,
Universal McCann

Subject: You have a new email – somewhere else

Life has changed dramatically over the past few years. I

used to drift pleasantly through the day, doing things that I
wanted to do and pursuing my own goals. Now my hours
are filled for me.

At time of going to press I have 406 unread emails in Hotmail, including

one from Mr Wang Chan, an Executive Director of The Bank of China,
offering me access to unclaimed funds at his bank, as well as untold
numbers of MySpace friend requests from bands I don’t know.

I have 149 unread Facebook messages, which means I’ve had at least
149 emails to my work account telling me that someone has sent me a
message on Facebook. Since when did I need an email to tell me I have
a new email?

When I do log on to Facebook for a bit of ‘housekeeping’, someone pops
up on Facebook Messenger to tell me about their day. This is ironic, since
whenever I log on to Windows Live Messenger at work, that is exactly
what I end up doing all day.

It’s a good laugh though. Never before have I had such an endless supply
of entertainment in my life – nor have I been quite so distracted.

We’re all media owners now

In the US, social networking site MySpace has overtaken Yahoo! as the
biggest player in the online market – growth which is directly propelled by
the deluge of user-generated content. Media comes from more sources Source: ‘Any Time, Any
Place: Understanding The
than ever before, a challenging trend for advertisers trying to capture
Connected Generation’
consumers’ attention. Alongside internet usage, 83% of mobile phones in (Universal McCann)
Europe have cameras and 99% of their owners have used that functionality,
with a further two-thirds claiming to have sent a picture MMS to friends.2

My phone has a 5MP camera and features a 140 MHz processor. It’s
hard to believe that the original Nintendo Entertainment System ran on just
over 5 MHz of power. As the march of Moore’s Law continues, content
creating hardware (and software) will become more accessible, more
powerful and more empowering. GarageBand, Windows Movie Maker
and iPhoto are all bundled with hardware; I can now get a version of Pro
Tools, the music industry’s standard studio workstation, for about £300
– which is incredibly powerful software. The net result of this (no pun
intended) is that big media companies have experienced an explosion of
potential competitors. As have advertisers.

The digital media landscape, particularly where it’s social (most of it), has
become democratic: social networks and companies like Google (see the
Android Developer Challenge) are encouraging a barrage of contributions
to the internet through open application programming interfaces (APIs);
Twitter was created in 24 hours using Ruby on Rails and is now a multi-
million dollar business; anyone can create a fully functioning blog for free
in minutes using services like Blogger and Wordpress.

SocialMedia Handbook

In 1993, the Chairman & CEO of Bell Atlantic said, “The time is not far
off when you will be answering your television set and watching your
telephone.”3 What sounds like a futuristic statement to some has become
a reality for users of the iPhone and other such handsets. Their phone
Source: ‘A Baby Bell
Primed For The Big Fight’, usage provides an early snapshot of mass consumer behaviour in the
Edmund L. Andrews (The future, over-indexing as they do against sophisticated computing habits.
New York Times) Already in Japan, only 24% of mobile phone usage is attributed to calls
and there are only three markets left in the world where that figure is north
4 Source: ‘Any Time, Any
of 60%: Thailand, Taiwan and the US. 4
Place: Understanding The
Connected Generation’
(Universal McCann) Q4 2007 Data Usage (past Month)
iPhone Owners 18+ Compared to All Subscribers 18+

All Subscribers 18+ iPhone Subscribers 18+


SMS (Short Message Service) 43% 73% 168

Email 12% 78% 665
IM (Instant Message) 9% 21% 237
MMS (Multimedia Service) 19% 30% 157
Video Message 5% 18% 374
Wireless Internet 13% 76% 607
Ringtone 15% 32% 210
Full-Track Music 3% 36% 1117
Games Downloaded 8% 11% 147
Online Games 2% 10% 426
Video/Mobile TV 3% 35% 1226
Software Application Download 5% 34% 629
GPS (Global Positioning System) 3% 28% 839

Source: Nielsen Mobile Attitude and Behaviour Survey (Q4 2007)

As for answering your TV, Yahoo! and Intel have announced their plans
to develop widgets for televisions. Anything that can be digitized will be
widgetized (sorry), allowing further sharing and distribution of multimedia

As Wi-Fi becomes ubiquitous, and even more so when WiMAX becomes
economically viable, we will see whole counties (possibly the whole of the
UK) become wirelessly enabled. It’s never been as easy to contribute to 5 Source: http://
the media landscape – and more access points and platforms, coupled
with higher data transfer speeds across all formats, will propel this trend of facebook-graffi.html
consumer participation in the media.

Talk to the hand

Google says there is roughly 14 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube

every single minute, which is a staggering statistic. I prefer the perspective
of La Times blogger David Sarno (a.k.a. Web Scout), who in February
2008 wrote:

“Web Scout’s First Law of Internet Culture: 99% of everything is crap…

YouTube has nearly 70,000,000 videos, so many of which are terrible that
you wouldn’t be mathematically remiss by rounding its crap fraction up
to 100%.”5

An IAB trooper is friendly, knowledgeable,

confident and helpful.
SocialMedia Handbook

Well put sir. But even 0.01% of 70 million still leaves 7,000 videos for my
friends to enjoy and share with me as links, emails, messages, etc. Add that
to the stuff I want to consume of my own volition – music, podcasts, BBC
iPlayer, GTA IV, beer, steak and chips – and suddenly it’s understandable
that the last thing on earth I have time for is an unnecessary pop-up advert.
If I wasn’t looking for you or your product, the least you can do is give me

something special enough to be worth talking about down the pub.

Brand building

To grab people’s attention is harder than ever. Hardly anyone goes to

brand websites because there are too many better things to do and only
so many hours in the day. How many brand pages on social networking
sites are out there with less than 200 ‘fans’?

Even if you reach out to consumers, they can close their browser, ignore
your ad or better still blog about how annoying you are to the hundreds
of people in their social network or subscription base. It’s all on the
consumer’s terms now. This is indicative of the on-demand behaviour
that is becoming the norm across all media channels (see Sky+ and BBC
Radio 1 podcasts for two examples), which is what makes understanding
social media so important.

Brands need to start leveraging their relationships and resources to bring

truly awe-inspiring experiences, opportunities and services to their desired

Case study: Intel Powers Music

In H2 2007, Intel wanted to engage music creators and convey the

benefits of multi-core processing. The brand promise was ‘Multiply Your
Music’, so Universal McCann created a pan-European MySpace music
programme that delivered this on two levels.

MySpace’s calling card since inception was the 4-track music player,
which bands would install to showcase their demos. In delivering the
brand promise, Intel launched the official 5-track music player, literally
allowing bands to ‘multiply’ their music on the social network. While this
exclusive sponsorship undoubtedly brought value to the audience, it was
deemed that something more would be needed to drive excitement and
allow the brand to spend time with its consumers.

In solving this problem Intel launched the Supergroup initiative, asking

the MySpace audience in six European markets to vote for their favourite
singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer from anywhere in the world, to form
one MySpace Supergroup. 6 million profile views, 61,000 friends and over
25,000 artist submissions later, the winning band members were chosen.

An IAB trooper is friendly, knowledgeable,

confident and helpful.
SocialMedia Handbook

Those winners were then flown to London for four days, rehearsing in
Bush Studios in Shepherd’s Bush, before going to Universal Music to
record a single in their studios, which is out now on iTunes and all major

digital music stores. The artwork and band name were also chosen by the
MySpace community, who were handed full control of the project.

In addition to recording a single for the world’s largest record label, we

Brand building
arranged for the winners to each have a one-on-one interview with Louis
Bloom – a top A&R executive at Island Records and 2007’s second most
successful A&R man in the world according to (to
Interaction put that in perspective, Simon Cowell was ranked number eight). Louis
listened to their demos and gave them advice on how to further their
careers, a truly invaluable experience for any aspiring musician.

A Dynamic Logic study showed that all of this excitement, coupled with
great content from Intel on how to get the most out of home studio
recording, yielded massive spikes in brand affinity metrics and purchase
intent across the hundreds of thousands of people that visited the Intel
MySpace page.

Moving forward

So who’s doing what, and why is it significant? Amazon and

have shown us that user reviews and lists are now so much more powerful
than the product write-up. Brands such as McDonalds, Dell and Cancer
Research UK all have consumer feedback forums and blogs allowing
people to interact directly. Even Google, Yahoo! and Facebook all have
company blogs that allow them to communicate instantly with their ever-
expanding audiences. In a sense, this means going back to basics - in
the absence of call-centre staff consumers still want to be able to talk to
someone, to voice their concerns and even give credit where credit is due,
rather than being directed to a set of frustrating online FAQs.

We’ve always consumed media socially but it’s becoming far more
automated. In the short term, our web activity is going to get more
communal. Services like OpenSocial, Facebook Connect and Microsoft
Source: http://
Live ID are battling it out to become a singular log-in point for users across
the web. com/webscout/2008/02/
If one becomes the standard, we’ll see many websites sign up to the
service so they can capitalise on registration details and behavioural activity
by increasing the relevancy of their advertising (and charging media buyers
a premium in the process). This also involves displaying search results and
other content based on our ‘social graphs’, which means what our social
network friends have clicked on will be deemed more relevant.

Consider Microsoft’s deal to integrate Live Search within Facebook. This

will have a profound effect on the way search is displayed to users, as the
social graph maps over mathematical algorithms.

In the longer term, we will see many more examples of this to come,
across a multitude of media platforms. Intel and Yahoo!’s TV widgets are
just the start.

Sex and the City –

Carrie’s Mac Book campaign
New Media Maze

New Media Maze developed a

campaign for the Sex and the City
movie - ‘Carrie’s Mac Book’ Users
were given ‘faked’ access to Carrie’s
macbook using a flash interface.
Challenges were set and completed
through a series of user participated
chats with Carrie’s friends, and users
were then rewarded with access to
Social media exclusive Sex and the City content.
in action

An IAB trooper is friendly, knowledgeable,

confident and helpful.
SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper puts their

advertising in front of the
right people

The difference
between ‘getting it’
and ‘doing it right’

by Marcus Siddons, Media and Mobile Director, Graphico

Brand building Social media can look like an easy bandwagon to

jump on. Most of us use social media whether it’s
shopping comparison sites, YouTube or some form
of messenger, but understanding how these might
be used from a brand’s perspective can involve a
different mindset. While most marketers have a
solid understanding of how to research, plan and
implement campaign-based media activity, social
media can require a different approach.

Anyone with access to the internet can ‘do’ it – that’s the essence of social
media but for a brand to ‘do it right’ involves a real understanding of the
medium. As a first important step therefore, living and breathing social
media is vital. If you want to get more involved with photo-sharing, for
example, then make sure you’ve got an account with each of the key

The second key differentiator for those who are doing it right is an
understanding that social media is not, on the whole, campaign based
activity (although it can of course play an important role in this). Consumers
are talking about, and interacting with your brand 24 hours a day, 365 days
a year. Social media is therefore like oxygen to the current generation
of connected youth in particular – your social media strategy needs to
reflect this raising important considerations in terms of how you resource
it both internally and via third party agencies. This may seem like common
sense but is essential in gaining consumer understanding.

At Dell’s business notebook launch, Andy Lark shared his views on

social media (

“The Social Media Team is the core of Dell’s business’s marketing strategy.
The dedicated team focus on listening to the customers by engaging
with blogs, wikis, forums etc. The other elements of marketing are less
important as they have become more transactional and tactical in nature,
whereas social media is much more strategic,” says Lark.
It’s about how you use listening and coalescing
with conversations that are going on to back up
and inform everything you do. He suggests
the notion of traditional media ‘was killed
a while ago’.

SocialMedia Handbook

Social media is also often best viewed as a research and insight activity.
It gives brands an unprecedented chance to listen to and respond to
consumers. While understanding target audiences clearly remains
important, social media is better viewed as a way of exposing the trends
around wider topics and understanding how your brand should (or

shouldn’t) respond. This is not therefore about a small ‘representative’

group of people in the form of a focus group but the chance to access a
Brand building World Wide Web-sized focus group. This requires a real shift in thinking.

Top 5 differentiators between those that ‘get it’ and ‘do it right’:

1. Understand Social Media activity runs 24hrs a day, 365 days a year.
2. Resource it correctly (i.e. have the right internal and external teams
in place).
3. Value all engagement – even if it doesn’t create an obvious and immediate
benefit (research and associated insights can be hugely valuable).
4. Expect the unexpected – results are sometimes far better or worse than
anticipated. If the message has been correctly constructed, it will have
an effect on the recipient, even if they don’t get back to you.
5. Exploit your own website – consumers have high levels of trust in brand

Case study for

Slicethepie is an innovative business model described as “an online

financing engine for the music industry that turns every music fan into a
record label”. Launched in June 2007, it was recently named by Wired
Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Hottest Music Sites” in the world.

It harnesses the power of the internet to enable
music fans to:
• Discover
• Invest in
• a
 nd share in the financial success of emerging

A word of mouth campaign was planned and

implemented pre-launch in order to:

• Drive band registrations pre-launch

• R
 aise awareness of Slicethepie ahead of the
site launch

Why was word of mouth marketing used

for it?

WOMM was the natural choice for the pre-launch

phase for a number of reasons:

• F
 irstly, it was felt that it would be the right
medium to build credibility for Slicethepie.
• S
 econdly, as the concept was new and it needed a proper ‘conversation’
to introduce it. WOMM was identified as the ideal medium to open such
a conversation with key individuals.
• T
 hirdly, the internet has played a key role in changing the music industry
in the period preceding Slicethepie’s launch and so it was the natural
medium through which to work.
• F
 inally, the fact that Slicethepie’s business model is internet-based and
will appeal to internet savvy individuals confirmed WOMM as the correct

An IAB trooper puts their advertising in

front of the right people 25
SocialMedia Handbook

What was the aim of the campaign?

The key objective was to drive registrations pre-launch. Those who
registered were able to enter the first Arena. It was also important to
create a credible buzz prior to the launch and so get key influencers talking
about the concept and the site.

How was the campaign rolled out using word of mouth?

Brand building

A team of buzz marketers worked through a number of channels to open

conversations. This was carried out in an open and transparent manner.

MySpace and Bebo proved excellent sources of contacts and the team
used an informal and personal approach - posting comments and
messaging. Personalising messages was vital.

A sophisticated influence tracking system identified key individuals in the

broader blogosphere and also on niche music sites. A direct conversation
was then opened with them to introduce the Slicethepie concept and get
their feedback.

Initially, the contact didn’t reveal the brand name, but rather created
interest and asked if the recipient would like to be involved. For those who
responded positively, a second communication was sent which included
the name and also linked to a YouTube area which featured a couple of
user testing videos (one longer ‘taster’ video and one shorter ‘funny’ clip).
The final message gave bands exclusive password access to the pre-
launch site.

After the launch, a Facebook application was created which targeted people
within a social networking environment. The Facebook apps focussed on
the most ‘chattable’ aspects of the site and featured Slicethepie’s ‘Watch
List’ and ‘Scout Profile’ areas.

What were the results?

June 2008 was the first anniversary of the launch of www.slicethepie.

com and here’s an extract from their RSS feed:

“It’s been exactly one year to the day since the Slicethepie website
launched! One year has seen a vast number of achievements and with 16
financed Artists, 4 awards, over £1/4 million pounds raised in total, 10,000
Artists signed up so far, an army of 60,000 music fans and Investors and
over 1 million reviews submitted to date.”

The WOMM campaign was fundamental to the success of the concept.

It exceeded target registrations pre-launch but most importantly, targeted
the right people, delivering valuable feedback and enabling the concept to
build credibility pre-launch, from which the site has grown.

Social media
in action

O2 –
Fill the Indigo campaign
AIS London

O2 asked archibald ingall stretton to raise awareness of their music

credentials and deliver a real experience for the brand thought - We’re
better, connected. So, they took the Indigo2 venue - the live music venue
next to the arena in The O2 which has witnessed show-stopping sets from
the likes of Prince, Crowded House and the Manic Street Preachers - and
matched it with the simple premise - if you can fill it, you can win it.

By firstly setting up a guest list on entrants were

then encouraged to use their social networking skills to recruit friends.
This was the ultimate test of popularity and social networking skills.

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper has faith in online,

even in times of recession

An introduction to
online PR and blogging

by Lloyd Salmons, Director of Outside Line

People’s perception of online PR takes many forms,

Interaction so firstly I thought I would offer up my perspective of
what this entails. To me, online PR is the practice of
building relationships with digital media owners, in
order to leverage promotional benefit for your brand or
product. The best way to do this is to create ideas and
campaigns, which are sympathetic to the wants and
needs of the digital media owner and their audience.

This means that coverage is gained through an editorially led route

as opposed to a straight paid-for media route, which arguably has
a greater impact on the reader, as it encourages conversation and a
deeper engagement with the brand than a superficial piece.

Who are digital media owners?

Traditionally digital media owners were the “portals” owned by major

ISPs and search engines such as Yahoo!, and print publications that had
a strong online presence, from The Guardian to NME, that are now as
successful if not more prevalent online than they are in print.

The success of these sites saw a new wave of online-only publications

spring up, sites such as Slate or Pitchfork have been built specifically on
web audiences and have little or no offline presence. Often these brands
will have a smaller readership but what they do offer is an opportunity to
reach a targeted and dedicated audience.

However in today’s world, the landscape of the digital media owner has
changed dramatically, with the real sea change being the ability to ‘self

The advent of free publishing tools, faster and wider provision of broadband
and cheaper high-quality cameras and videocameras have led to the
dawn of web 2.0, which has meant that anybody now can publish their
own content and media online.

Blogs, forums, wikis, social networking sites (to name just a few) have
created a new breed of publisher, one with no start up cost, no commercial
imperative, and most importantly no editorial guidelines.

A person with a point of view can now reach a vast audience. All they need
to do to grow their readership is to be committed and passionate about a
subject and if people like what they say their audience will blossom.

What’s more the opinion of these self publishers is often taken as a more
trusted source of information than traditional forms of media, certainly
when it comes to product reviews.

SocialMedia Handbook

This has led those ‘traditional’ online media providers to change and adapt.
Mainstream sites are adding social features such as commenting, UGC
uploading and content sharing. This is the first step in the web becoming
a truly conversational ecosystem. All of this means brands now have a
myriad of promotional opportunities online. There is a community for just

about every topic imaginable, but playing in this new environment means
adapting your techniques as the old rules no longer apply.
Brand building

Conversation is king

The rise in social media has led to change in the way we see communication
with consumers. The previous ‘broadcast’ model was a monologue where
messages were crafted but now people are actively participating and
responding to what they watch and read.

This means the best campaigns are crafted to create dialogue with

Campaigns should contain components which generate discussion in blogs

and forums, content which is easily shared through social bookmarking
and embeddable in other media.

The end result should be a much wider exposure to the initial outreach.
What’s more, it doesn’t have to be a one hit wonder, as consumers respond
the brand can join in the debate, respond and react. By participating and
engaging in your audiences’ activities you have a real opportunity to connect
with your consumer and make more meaningful relationships with them.

Different rules or techniques

This is all very well, but brands may be worried that if they engage in social
media they are somehow losing control.

There is good and bad news here.

If you type your brand’s name into Google, you will see an alternative
homepage, created by other people who are already talking about you so
the control that you desire has already been conceded for the most part.

Brands that recognise this and seek to become active members of these
communities, enhancing and enriching said community can help to shape
the thoughts and opinions of key influencers which, in turn, benefits them.

It can be tempting in this environment to take the easy route, of just using
blogs and wikis to promote your product or brand without disclosure,
using the comments or UGC saying “xxx is great!” After all, what’s the
worst that can happen?

The answer is simple. If you lie, you will get caught out; authenticity and
trust are key factors in the social media environment – and brands that
have tried pulling the wool over consumers’ eyes have been named and
shamed with relish by bloggers and since 2008, not only do you lose
brand value and trust by doing so, but it is now against the law, so the risk
has a legal dimension.

The alternative, while it looks and sounds harder, is the one that reaps
rewards in the long run. Be authentic. Don’t shy away from criticism, and
engage with your detractors as well as your enthusers. The brands of
the future will be the brands that converse, and just like a face-to-face
conversation, nobody likes being lied to.


This doesn’t mean that suddenly marketing has changed forever and
everything that once was is no longer in effect, in fact far from it. What
it means is that online we have new opportunities. We can mix up the
approach and have seen that brands that engage communities in a
meaningful way are reaping the benefits.

An IAB trooper has faith in online, even in times of recession

SocialMedia Handbook

Steve Rubel SVP with Edelman Digital created some thoughts around this
which sums things up perfectly so, with kind permission, here it is:

1) Controlled Communication: One-way tactics such as TV advertising,

online advertising and media relations that are great for branding and
visibility, but are seldom collaborative. What’s old still works.

Brand building

Open Open
Communication Collaboration
Online initiatives such as viral videos, that Win-win initiatives that open a dialogue
are designed to generate discussion, but toward reaching a broader goal.
not necessarily produce a shared

Controlled Controlled
Communication Collaboration
One-way tactics such as TV advertising, Programmes that facilitate participation but
online advertising and media relations. are more controlled e.g. Dell IdeaStorm


Talk Action

2) Open Communication: Online initiatives, such as viral videos, that are

designed to generate discussion, but not necessarily produce a shared
outcome. Most corporate blogs are often up in this quadrant. The more
collaborative blogs move “right”.

3) Controlled Collaboration: Programs that facilitate participation but

are more controlled, for example numerous efforts to solicit consumer
generated ads.

4) Open Collaboration: Win-win initiatives that open a dialogue towards

reaching a broader goal.

Social media The Carphone Warehouse –
in action X Factor Challenge
CHI & Partners

The X Factor Challenge lets viewers sing and draw themselves for
a chance to appear on TV during the show’s ad breaks. Having
the web experience at its centre, the campaign uses TV, mobile
and social media to engage the user in different levels. From simply
watching and judging someone’s performance to creating their
own, sharing it via their mobile and, ultimately, starring on TV.

On the site, users can get the lyrics for eight classic singalong
tracks and then choose to record their performance via a freephone
number on their mobile or their computer’s microphone, also
creating an animated character. They can then send performances
to friends as an email, upload it as a personalised message to
Facebook and even send it on, for free to their mobile as a video

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper belongs

to the world wide web.

The art of online

conversations and the
tools to help you

by Richard Pentin, Senior Strategist at Digitaltmw

There’s a plethora of ways for brands to engage

consumers in social media but proactively engaging
in direct online conversations is probably one of the
least practiced. And for good reason. This has its
fair share of booby traps, minefields and trip wires
to deter even the most adventurous of marketers.
Get it right however and you probably have one
of the most purist forms of one-to-one marketing
there is.

Whether you like it or not, consumers are probably talking about

your brand in blogs, social networks, forums and chat rooms.
Whilst some will be raving about you, others may be ranting
about you in equal measure. Or worst case scenario, they may
not be talking about your brand at all!

This presents the brands of today with a simple choice: ignore it and live
with the consequences or learn to embrace it. In this chapter we will try
to explain how a brand might try to embrace it, whilst mastering the art of
online conversations. We provide a helpful framework on how to approach
this whilst also highlighting some of the potential pitfalls to avoid.

1 Buzz monitoring

 he secret of a good conversationalist is to listen to your audience
before blindly diving in head first. The same logic applies to any brand
wishing to join a conversation in social media. Fortunately, there are a
number of tools at your disposal to do this.

Free social media tracking tools

 echnorati, Google Blog Search, Blogpulse, digg and reddit

are just some of the free resources available to help you
track social media. These tools can basically tell
you when your brand - or your competitors for
that matter - are being mentioned. There are
also ways to track blog comments,
such as which is useful if
you want to see how a conversation unfolds.

SocialMedia Handbook

 ut not all conversations happen on blogs. Forums and message boards

can be brimming with discussions about your brand and you wouldn’t
even know about it. Fortunately sites such as will keep

an eye out for you and even inform you by RSS whenever your brand
crops up.

 hat about if people post a video about your brand? Well Google
Brand building
Video has that covered too - pretty useful if it happens to be a damaging
or misleading review on your product or services and even better if it’s
singing your praises as you might want to link some of these on your
corporate website or blog.

Fee-based social media tracking tools

If you’re looking for something a little more involved you can buy a licence
from a press clippings provider. These companies have feeds from all the
major publications in the UK, Europe, US or rest of the world and will
issue a number of search agents with the licence so that you can track
important keywords across the net and forward any relevant articles to
key stakeholders.

If you want to listen at an aggregate level then you may want to consider hiring
the services of a specialist buzz monitoring company. These companies
have sophisticated proprietary tracking tools to monitor conversations as
well as determine whether the threads are generally positive or negative.
Some can even tell how influential a given blogger might be.

2. Reactive engagement strategies

Having identified and listened to conversations about the brand you can
then decide how best to respond. Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs
lie but there are occasions when you may want to respond to a negative
or positive conversation. On a macro level you may need to refine your
PR strategy, do a tactical campaign (e.g. ‘T5 is now working’ campaign

for Terminal 5) or you might need to channel this feedback into new
product development. On a micro level you might even participate
directly in the original conversation itself.

If you want to adopt the latter approach it’s worthwhile considering
recruiting and training professional members of staff about the brand,
product or campaign. However, if the salary bill doesn’t quite stretch
that far it’s possible to hire specialist moderators to act on your behalf.
Provided they are fully briefed and given clear Rules of Engagement,
they can provide a level of personal service to your target audience
which is normally reserved for the shop floor or call centre. The
numbers of brands who actually operate in this space are limited but
there perhaps lies the opportunity.

3. Proactive engagement strategies

 Proactive engagement strategies involve creating opportunities to talk

about your brand or sector when none exist already. If you look at
discussion forums within your sector and find there are no opportunities
to talk about your product category or brand, why not create one and
kick start the conversation?

Case study 1: Infiniti

Infiniti, the luxury car brand of Nissan, recruited a network of moderators across Europe with
the specific remit to participate in online conversations and field questions about the brand as
it approached its official launch in Europe. Using a number of blog alerts and news feeds the
moderators were able to identify Infiniti-related articles and blog posts and provide additional
information or guidance about the brand’s arrival in Europe. They were completely transparent in
their association with Infiniti and since Infiniti was a relatively unknown commodity the moderators’
presence was largely welcomed as a valuable source of information.

During 2 months of the campaign going live, the moderators engaged in more than 1000
conversations. In fact, 13% of Infiniti’s web traffic originated from these very sites alone.

An IAB trooper belongs to the world wide web.

SocialMedia Handbook

Case study 2: Whitehall Counter Terrorist Unit

You wouldn’t normally associate the Whitehall Counter Terrorist Unit with the art of online conversations
but if recent press reports are to be believed maybe brands should take note. According to a secret
Home Office paper leaked to the Guardian, Whitehall counter-terrorism experts intend to exploit
social media to ‘taint the al-Qaida brand’. They aim to do this by channelling certain ‘messages
through volunteers in internet forums’ as part of their global propaganda campaign.

By law, commercial brands have to be much more transparent than this but it’s interesting that the
CTU have recognised the power of conversation in social media in their quest to influence consumer

4 Do’s and don’ts

1) No spamming – don’t bombard sites indiscriminately.

2) No astroturfing - don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Not only is
it unethical, it’s now against the law!
3) Be transparent – ensure your moderators clearly state their identity
in their profiles.
4) Add value – brands are not normally welcome in these environments
so only participate if you have something of genuine value to say.
5) Act with humility - always act with a degree of humility and don’t be
too pushy.
6) Don’t hit and run – if you start a conversation be prepared to finish it.
Sociological studies on conversation analysis reveal you need a series
of ‘turn-taking’ or ‘repair’ scenarios to hold a legitimate conversation,
so make sure you have enough new content or advice to provide
ongoing dialogue.
7) Rule with an iron fist – don’t give your moderators free rein. Tight
Rules of Engagement are key to ensure you retain control and they
work within clearly defined remits.

) R
8  eporting – empower your moderators to report back to you as
it’s impossible to monitor every conversation in real time, particularly
if it’s in multiple languages. Also make sure escalation procedures
are in place to ensure you react to any potential problems quickly
and efficiently.
9) S
 pot check – factor in several spot checks after the campaign has

In this day and age when you think you need the latest widget or viral
asset to capture the consumer’s attention, it’s often easy to overlook the
most basic of communication tools at our disposal - the art of making

After all, isn’t that what marketing is really all about?

1. Buzz monitoring: 25 free social media tracking tools
2. ‘Marketers’ stealth on the web will not pay for long’ by Ben Richards and Faris Yakob,
Financial Times, 26 May 2006,
3. Revealed: Britain’s secret propaganda war against al-Qaida by Alan Travis, home affairs
editor, The Guardian, 26 Aug 2008
4. The value of online conversations by Brian Solis, PR 2.0 blog, 17 January 2008

An IAB trooper belongs to the world wide web.

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper is to be trusted.

Stories, passions and actions

– How BRAVIA Bunnies inspired the
social media conversation

by Katy Howell, Managing Director, Immediate Future

Of the plethora of emerging models and methods for
engaging with social media, amplifying a brand marketing
campaign can often be the simplest way to start the
conversation. A company can maximise existing assets,
build expectation, heighten awareness and create an
ongoing dialogue that can be the beginning of a strong
relationship between brand and online influencer.

Sony Europe’s BRAVIA team proactively engaged the social media

consumer with its advertising campaigns and inspired high levels of
buzz and chatter. Establishing relationships with influencers enabled
the electronics giant to maintain trusted dialogue with advocates long
after the campaign ended.

The final advert in the Sony BRAVIA trilogy
was eagerly awaited by bloggers, forums
and power networkers alike, so it was
imperative that the brand met expectations.
Moreover, with the increasing numbers of
active social network consumers there is
always an opportunity to engage with new

Consumer action: See it, trust it, do it

Amplifying a campaign is a great way to start participating in the

conversation, but there is a great deal more value for the brand.

As a discrete programme, this technique increases visibility across search

engines and popular sites ensuring greater awareness, even before the
advertising launches, whilst the proliferation of positive comments banks
brand equity and safeguards reputation. Finally, whilst conversation is not
a comfortable place for an obvious call to action, peer recommendations
do drive traffic to websites, encourage views of video and inspire
downloads of content to share. The result is an enrichment of the whole
marketing campaign by intensifying the messages and deepening the

Talkability: stuff that inspires the chatter

A key element to triggering the conversation and inspiring ongoing dialogue

is the need for a value exchange. In social media the value comes from
providing social currency or social objects. This is sharable content that
encourages bloggers, networkers and chatterers to talk about a brand.
Sometimes it’s content that is entertaining, often it’s informative and
increasingly it’s participative. It could be video, photographs, a game, an
infographic or even a tech spec – anything that is easily exchanged and
has value for the brand’s network of influencers.

SocialMedia Handbook

In an integrated marketing campaign, content is being produced by many

marketing disciplines from above the line through to digital marketing. The

opportunity is to pool the assets and create simple extensions such as

‘behind the scenes’ and outtakes. For Sony BRAVIA, the multi-coloured
Engagement ‘Play-Doh’ bunnies pouring through the streets of New York (made possible
through the use of ‘Stop Motion’ animation, seen in films like Wallace and
Gromit) to a thumping track by the Rolling Stones, provided ample assets
Brand building
for triggering online chatter.

Storytelling: quirky, exclusive and shareable


If social currency is the trigger, then it is storytelling that is the bullet that
carries the invitation for dialogue. Social media consumers want to tell
stories. Whether it’s a blog post, a comment or a tweet, it is the story
that inspires the passing-on of information. Make it secret, exclusive and
shareable and the brand story will take on a life of its own as it is told
across the web.

Add keyphrase rich content and link to relevant landing pages and you
also create a vehicle for search engine optimisation. Then as the stories
spread, they connect a network of influencers discussing the brand and
products that benefits SEO and raises awareness.

Passion: connecting to people

Conversations don’t focus on groups of networkers that fit into neat

demographic profiles. People follow passions, and creators and influencers
tend to be the most passionate conversers. Finding these influencers
starts with uncovering all the conversations associated with the brand,
its campaign and relevant topics. For the BRAVIA campaign, core interest
groups were discovered that included advertising, technology and style
communities. Clusters that were also relevant were New York networks
(the shoot location), film production and arts and culture groups.

Within each interest cluster two types of influencer were identified using
clear and measurable metrics: those that had popularity and those that
had authority.

This allowed stories and assets to be tailored to relevant interest clusters

and for conversations to be had with influencers that would spread the
word and raise awareness, as well as influencers whose endorsement of
the brand would be valued in their community.

Timing: optimising the conversation

For Sony, the key to campaign success was the timely nature of
conversations – picking the right points to ignite discussions. Anticipation
was built throughout August and September, ahead of the October ad

An IAB trooper is to be trusted.

SocialMedia Handbook


Stories were carefully released as teasers and sneak previews, exclusives


and insights: supplying influencers with new information about the advert
and distributing assets such as the ‘making of’ video and ‘limited’ images
Brand building of multi-coloured bunnies. By the end of the campaign, storytelling,
distribution of assets and consumer sharing, generated in increase of
almost 700,000 brand mentions.

To introduce the advert to a wider online audience, the ‘teaser’ for the
ad was posted on video sharing sites such as YouTube and DailyMotion,
driving further interest ahead of the launch with over 200,000 views. Post
launch, the full commercial was posted - attracting more than half a million

One step further: real world and real time

Meeting influencers offline can deepen the engagement with social media.
Sony brought a select number of bloggers to the ad shoot in New York,
where they were given the chance to meet members of the production
team to gather exclusive content for their postings.

Micro blogging site Twitter was used by Sony’s Ruth Speakman to keep
influencers updated on events as they happened across the course of the
shoot, providing a live feed of exclusive content to followers.

Sony listened to the conversations from the start of the campaign.

Questions were answered, issues addressed and requests for further
information always met.

Benchmarking: establishing metrics for ongoing communications

Beyond the hard numbers of views, brand mentions, coverage, sentiment

and search results, Sony gained recognition within the blogosphere for its
willingness to engage with influencers.

The data also provided Sony with clear benchmarks for continuing the
conversation and creating further campaigns. Sony Europe now has a
continuous programme of social media engagement that manages the
brand reputation and maintains conversations throughout the year.

An IAB trooper is to be trusted.

SocialMedia Handbook

IAB troopers interact

every day

Branded utilities
(and how brands from all
sectors engage the social
media consumer)

by Anthony Effik, Head of Planning, Publicis Modem

Brand building Two new forces changing the web

There is fossil evidence that suggests the use of tools

has been central to human evolution. Tools help us
both consume and produce more. The more advanced
our tools, the more productive we are and the more
indulgent we can be to ourselves. The World Wide
Web is perhaps our most advanced tool yet, and is
still evolving. The next few years promise to usher
in a new phase of change, driven by the emergence
and blending of two new sets of tools – the notion of
the branded utility, and the use of social media. Both
promise to revolutionise the web and the way brands
and consumers interact.

Applications in ‘The Cloud’

We no longer need to buy shrink-wrapped software from giants like

Microsoft, but can now instead use them free over the web in exchange
for having advertising presented to us on that page. The advances in
web technology mean that the differences between a web page and a
software application have become blurred. These applications vary from
accountancy software, to email systems like Hotmail, through to maps,
and Google Doc’s word processor and spreadsheet applications. They are
centrally stored in a place that is now being called the Cloud, and can be
accessed from anywhere. Thousands of the new applications are being
created by firms, such as Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Facebook that
are aiming to profit from the Cloud, through the selling of advertising.

How social media has ‘raised the bar’

Brands are now trying to catch up with this new world. We’ve moved from
a web where you simply read from, to a web that you can also write onto.
The bar has been raised, and old school approaches based on messages
are being replaced by brands focusing on helping by creating applications
that are both useful and/or entertaining to their audiences. This is the idea
of the branded utility. This move is necessitated by the need to standout
in a world full of the noisy sound of conversations, where there are billions
of web pages indexed on Google, and Technorati tracking 112.8 million
blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.

SocialMedia Handbook

From head to hand

From head to hand
Brands are also increasingly creating
applications for the Cloud in an attempt
to cut-through the clutter and competition
on the web, setting out to develop
advertising so good, it is a service. The
age of conversations moves the focus of
brands from the head to the hand, from
messages to experiences. Experiences
created through branded applications
Image 1. The new model versus the that demonstrate the brand, or enable
branded utility model
the customer.

Some brands are running into the

Cloud already

An iconic recent example is the Nike+iPod Sports

Kit that allows you to set up music playlists for your
running, track your runs, and is fully integrated
into a Nike+ website where you can connect with
others in a community, analyse your runs, and
do much more. There is also the New York City
Department of Education ‘Million’ project, which
is an interactive rewards program that gives free
mobile phones to students who then have to earn
Image 2. Droga5’s Million mobile free talk time and text-messaging rewards through
measured performance in school attendance,
behaviour, classroom participation, homework
and grades.

Shock news: being useful is not new

Of course, being useful is not really a new thing, we are returning to the
smart things we did before the broadcast age - we’ve gone full circle.
Consider Guinness who, according to Wikipedia, commissioned Norris
and Ross McWhirter (who had been running a fact-finding agency) to
compile what became The Guinness Book of Records in August 1954.
One thousand copies were printed and given away. Alternatively consider
Michelin – who, again, according to Wikipedia - published the first edition
of a guide to France in 1900, to help drivers maintain their cars, find decent
lodgings, and eat well while touring. This Michelin example is particularly
striking when you think of Michelin Stars being the most coveted award in
dining from a tyre manufacturer.

The next stage in branded utility, the social utility

The emergence of branded utilities has dovetailed with the emergence

of social media, and the two are now blending to create new, even
more powerful tools. What has changed with the advent of social media
is the ability to harness the power of communities, and thus collective
intelligence and resources. This is the notion of the social utility, which
is what Facebook calls itself. Facebook’s applications and groups are
examples of tools that harness the power of the community to create tools
and services. Its applications, in most cases, are only really possible when
you have a community of people sharing and contributing.

For me one of the best examples of a branded social utility is still Amazon,
and although it would not see itself in this way, it continues through its user
reviews and ratings to build community, and uses this to create tools that
are useful and helpful.

IAB troopers interact every day

SocialMedia Handbook

User reviews and ratings are partly about teaching Amazon what you
like, but the reviews are a form of indirect reciprocity, which evolutionary

psychologists would say is an investment into the community, done to

build reputation, self-esteem and status, and getting something back in
Engagement the future. Its user reviews and ratings have also now become a platform
for services, such as Pluribo, which is a Firefox extension that automatically
codes and summarises the user reviews on any given Amazon page,
Brand building
saving you the hassle of reading through the endless lists. This has been
the secret to its success. And it continues to innovate with its collaborative
filtering technology with innovations like ‘Customers Who Viewed This
Item Also Viewed’.

Brands from all sectors can engage the social media consumer, and
build branded utilities to help them differentiate their brands. It requires a
different mindset from traditional broadcast messaging, and a willingness
to open up to the collaborative economy, and start to accept user reviews,
ratings, and other forms of user generated content. This means bringing
down the walls between the organisation and audience, and making them
partners, co-creators, and most importantly, genuinely trying to help them
by offering tools, widgets, and applications. Being helpful is the most
customer-centric thing you can do right now. It’s as simple as that. Thus
one of the first tools man ever learnt to use is now the hottest tool in digital

Social media
in action

Sky Sports –
Heroes Evolution campaign
In the build-up to the new season, pessimistic football fans in pubs,
bars and workplaces up and down the country feverishly speculate
about what will become of their beloved team. Recognising this as an
opportunity to capitalise on this pre-season excitement and engage
fans in a debate, AKQA created a campaign that let fans voice their
views not just around the water cooler or in the local, but live and
online for all to see.

The creative invited fans to share their opinions via expandable rich
media placements, the results of which were then fed in real-time
to perimeter board-style sky and banner placements. In total, the
campaign gathered some 225,000 votes and drove numerous Sky
Sports subscriptions.

SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper has courage in

difficult pitches

When creativity and

display advertising meets
social media

by Dan Lehner, Social Media and Video Ad Solutions Manager,

Yahoo! Network

It seems that, of late, as many column inches are dedicated
to how social media sites are monetised, as to their latest
product innovations. This perhaps shouldn’t come as a
surprise given the huge valuation of sites such as Twitter,
YouTube and Facebook and the huge numbers of engaged
users (and user data) they draw. It’s clear that social
media and advertising have the potential to become happy
bedfellows. However, actually turning this potential into
ad revenue has proven tricky thus far: the previously
untouchable Facebook got their fingers burnt on the Beacon
ad platform and even Google freely admit they can’t figure
out how to best advertise against YouTube videos.

Of course, these days, any site worth its salt has ‘social features’ to it, so
to draw a clear distinction between e.g. MySpace ‘a social media site’
and Yahoo! ‘a portal’ is erroneous. Media owners of all shapes and sizes
are converging on a form of Media 2.0 – sites that offer pro content, UGC,
community tools, editors, feeds, blogs ….

…and display advertising.

But the perceived chaotic nature of social sites and the proliferation of un-
moderated content means some brands are hesitant to advertise in these
new environments (despite freely advertising in print products for years!)

However increased editorialisation – creation of safe, legal, high quality,

brandable clearings on these sites - and more transparency of the ad
booking process-ease these concerns. For example, Yahoo! Video
relaunched this year with a clear distinction between pro-content and
user-generated content. For the user there is no difference – all videos
can be accessed all the time. But the pre-roll advertising only ever runs
against the pro-content.

SocialMedia Handbook

Furthermore, there are plenty of reasons why social media offers an

improved environment for display advertising. The users are certainly
engaged: 6.5 billion page views and 2.5 billion minutes per month on
Bebo tells its own story. The folksonomy approach to organising and
Engagement surfacing content – plus the amount of declared personal information - on
social media ensures both content and advertising can be more relevant
and engaging.
Brand building

Many brands successfully use social media as a means of ‘online PR’

or brand reputation management – and there’s no doubt this is a very
valuable communication platform. However, in the offline world, no
brand would ever consider PR without advertising. It’s no good having
consumers think your brand is brilliant if they can’t then buy your products.
In short, if you’re integrating your brand into a social site, you should be
advertising on the site too.

Take an example: creating a sponsored

profile or a sponsored group - a brilliant
way of connecting in a real way with your
target audience: the viral tools allow your
message to spread from fan to fan, there’s
strong engagement, strong word of mouth,
and a really credible brand association.

But how do you control who sees that

message? How do you ensure relevancy
of communication? How do you ensure
optimal frequency of message? How do
you determine ROI? What’s the value of a

This is where the value of display advertising comes in. The advertising
that Yahoo! serve on Bebo, for example, can be targeted by age, gender,
geography, behaviour and content. Campaigns can be frequency capped
and can be bought on a CPA basis. Furthermore, your integration page
can be pixeled and the users who visited the site can be re-targeted with
additional advertising (or, indeed, excluded from future campaigns to level
out the frequency of messaging). There’s also the opportunity to further
increase the reach of the campaign through ‘Look-a-Like Modelling’ -
serving ads to users who are similar (in demography or behaviour) to those
who visited your integration.

Display advertising also helps quantify success in these campaigns. Until

we develop a set of tools for demonstrating the ‘brand’ value of more
integrated social media activity, we are reliant on traditional metrics such
as CTRs and CPAs on associated display ad campaigns to demonstrate

Advertising campaigns are also a really strong way of cementing the

credibility of association – for example, through co-branded media – as
well as offering a stamp of authority to the activity: ‘yes, this is us, not
someone claiming to be us’.

For example, when Sainsbury’s

sponsored the Food and Drink
category on Yahoo! Answers,
they integrated themselves in the
community, sharing recipes and advice
… but they also ran brand advertising
on every page of the Food and Drink
category and across the Yahoo!
Network to cement the association.

An IAB trooper has courage in difficult pitches

SocialMedia Handbook

For some brands, integrating within social media sites is not what they’re
after. It might be considered too expensive, too high maintenance or too
risky. There may not be a compelling enough call to action to create

a community around your brand. This doesn’t mean that social media
advertising should be altogether dismissed, however. Provided your
target audience are there, in big numbers, you should still fish where the
fishes are.
Brand building

One thing we know about social media sites is that users like spending
huge amounts of time there, it’s their default media consumption for killing
Interaction time. Rich media advertising offers the opportunity to engage users
with interactive games, video trailers and embeddable social widgets –
essentially all the functionality you would expect from a sponsored profile.
As with any activity in social media the key point is not to detract from,
interrupt or invade the experience.

So approaching advertising on social media sites should use the same

basic principles as in all advertising. The fact that you can deliver
engagement and word of mouth goes almost without saying, however you
use social media. But to achieve genuine reach and relevancy of message
plus optimal frequency and accountability requires display advertising –
either in conjunction with or independently of more integrated activity.

Over time, advertiser fears of UGC will decrease though users’ fears
of invasion of privacy may increase – but amongst all of this, the same
principles apply: keep the message engaging, add value, be authentic
and understand the medium you’re working in.

Resident Evil Extinction –
Extinction campaign
Greenroom Digital

This campaign sought out to engage participants online

right up until DVD release day through the use of online
PR, seeding an advertising campaign to drive traffic to
the Resident Evil Extinction website. Users signed up and
created a competition avatar which they looked after until
the day they were released onto the web into some never
seen before live rich media placements over a number of
sites. Here, they were killed off throughout the day...until
there was only one.

Social media
in action

SocialMedia Handbook

IAB troopers’ motto:

be engaging.

Using social media to

increase paid-search
marketing effectiveness

by Leon Bailey Green, Consultant for Market Sentinel

Network By using social media tracking and analysis to gain

insight into consumer thought, brands face the challenge
of communicating their findings to the agency tasked with
getting the most out of their search budget.

Any good search agency will tell you the more they understand the
motivations of your customer the more effective the campaign will be.
It’s that old phrase of knowing your client’s client. Your paid search
account managers are trying to get your customers to engage with
you, so they need to know about both of you almost equally.

Taking into account what you have read about monitoring

conversations and engaging in online PR, you should be planning
how you are going to keep in touch with your customer’s needs, their
thoughts on you and their sentiment towards your marketplace. You
will then need to pass on this knowledge to your search agency to
improve the effectiveness of your campaign.

As a brand, as well as the usual demographics, you should be aiming to use your
ongoing tracking, monitoring and research of social media to tell your search
• Which social utilities your customer base uses i.e. are most of your
valuable customers using MySpace rather than Facebook, are you
a travel company who finds a lot of its customers use Flickr to host
holiday photos?
• W
 hich message boards/forums do your customers, and potential
customers use?

Remember your search marketing budget can be used across areas other than
search engine results pages. By knowing which social networks and utilities your
customer base frequents, your account managers will be able to take advantage of
any internal search marketing opportunities.

Finding out the discussion areas (message boards and forums) used, could also
open the potential for search budget, as many forums include adverts from paid
search platforms such as Google AdSense. But be careful and be constantly
monitoring, as your adverts could appear within threads that are uncomplimentary
to your brand.

Make sure you are engaging whenever conversations like this appear; otherwise
your advertising becomes more than redundant. You should be encouraging
whoever is in control of your conversation monitoring to alert your search marketing
team when an ad is appearing within a negative thread.

Forums will also give you an understanding of the language and phrases used
by your customers. You need to know if your market is calling your product by a
different name, and you need to be including your words in your search campaign,
as keywords and in the creative copy. Why stop there? Pass on this intelligence to
your offline marketing team too and use those words in your literature!

Those who embrace online social communities and groups will turn to message
boards in times of brand uncertainty. If they want to be sure about a purchase they
are about to make they will seek the advice of the community. You need to know
what the anxieties about your marketplace and brand are – so you can alleviate
their fears in your ad copy – know your customer’s insecurities and increase your
click through rates by confronting them from the off.

SocialMedia Handbook

As an IAB trooper I will never

interrupt the internet user’s
session with irrelevant marketing
messages, and will never talk to
consumers without permission.

Integrating social media

by Dhiren Shingadia, Social Media Manager, Harvest Digital

We know that social media is an exciting new way for brands

Engagement to interact with customers. It is important that social media
is not created in a ‘silo’ – it works best when fully integrated
with other marketing activity, both on and offline.

Offline integration

Full integration is a two-way street. We need to consider how social media

can amplify the impact of offline communication initiatives. At the same
time, social media should be consistent with offline in terms of tone of
voice and brand.

• TV, press, radio

Traditional broadcast media are good places to “seed” and trigger
conversations, which require audiences to participate in social media
initiatives online. A good example of this could be a radio ad, which

asks listeners to participate in online debate about hot topics that the
brand is associated with; for example an energy company discussing
climate change.

Events in one communication channel can directly affect engagement

levels for social media initiatives. A humorous, entertaining TV, press or
radio ad can soften brand perceptions and encourage positive brand
engagement within digital social environments.

• PR
PR has long been a tool for many marketing needs but we’re now at
a stage where social media, namely blogging and managing blogger
relations can be integrated into any traditional PR strategy.

Whilst PR practitioners can address formal relationships and

announcements within traditional offline/online media, brands should
feel empowered (with guidance) to blog, provide business insights and
relevant information to audiences. The nature of blogging gives brands
the chance to deliver a different tempo of PR activity, with a stream of
quick comments and reactions complementing major press releases
and events.

• Brand Events
If we were to stand back and compare all aspects of online and offline
marketing, no method or discipline more closely resembles digital social
media than bespoke events. They are social in the truest sense and they
encompass all the fundamentals of modern social media marketing.

Notable brands have already hosted branded events such as music

festivals, however, this work can be taken even further by engaging
audiences through online digital social media via microsites, social
network communication and branded applications all linked to these

SocialMedia Handbook

Online integration

Social media should really be seen as a communication channel that

facilitates conversations, builds relationships and syndicates information
about your business. In many ways social media should be perceived as
a natural extension of a business’s normal communication methods such
as email, fax and telephones.

With this in mind, digital social media integration can be a straightforward

process. Start by assessing what content a website and a business has to
Brand building

offer and the purpose it serves?

Interaction A typical organisation will have people carrying out research, managing
photo and video assets, putting together presentations and updating a
corporate website 2-3 times a day with information such as special offers
or company announcements. How can all of this be transported into the
social realm?

• Research
Research can be posted onto blogs, article websites, syndicated via
RSS and tagged on social bookmarking websites. If there is something
an organisation is researching you can be sure that other people on the
web will find it interesting.
• Video and photography
Photo and video assets (providing they are informative, entertaining or
deliver some kind of value) can be placed onto media hosting sites such
as Flickr and YouTube, these website platforms allow media assets to
be distributed and viewed by people who would not directly access a
corporate website or otherwise interact with a brand.
• Microblogging
If a corporate website or blog is being updated frequently throughout
the day why not have a webmaster simultaneously update a microblog
such as Twitter, Jaiku or Pownce. Users of these platforms are likely to
follow a brand if its microblog provides useful updates or the brand has

equity with platform users. A good example of a microblog is the No.10
Downing Street twitter microblog, which has over 4,000 followers.
• Slide sharing
 inally if a brand or business has put together some useful presentations
why not place them on a slide sharing platform where other people
can use them and comment on them. This activity can be extremely
useful for brand owners as commentary, be it positive or negative, can
help tailor future work whilst simultaneously providing valid grounds for
conversations with audiences.

All these tools help to facilitate conversations, build relationships and

generate genuine brand engagement. Brands should not see social media
marketing as a way to drum home repetitive sales messages. Social media
is a personal brand conversation tool more like telephones and email – you
wouldn’t pitch down the phone each someone calls your office, and the
same rules apply with social media communication.

A final real world example of early social media integration has to be related
to SEO. Elements of social media such as blogging, user-generated
content, provision of branded web applications and branded content
have enabled SEO practitioners to extend their content strategies across
websites in order to maintain and achieve search engine rankings more

As brands progressively embrace social media they will start to influence

audiences through content and conversation, resulting in gradual impacts
on measured performance indicators such as sales and website traffic.
Patience is therefore important as dialogue and influence will gradually
provide returns.

With Semantic Web Optimisation (SWO) and Enterprise 2.0 now gaining
magnitude, brand and business opportunities for social media integration
will continue to grow. As simple as it sounds, it is important to get on the
‘bandwagon’ as early as possible.

As an IAB trooper I will never interrupt the internet user’s

session with irrelevant marketing messages, and will never talk
to consumers without permission. 63
SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper learns

from their less effective
campaigns to make their
future campaigns better.

Planning and evaluating

social media campaigns

by Leo Ryan and Iain MacMillan, Founders, Ryan MacMillian

The social media difference

Brand building
Faced by issues such as media fragmentation and
device convergence, brands are hoping social media
might be some form of panacea. And while they’re seeing
a lot of interesting ways to interact with their audience,
it’s hard to know which ones are worth pursuing. Most
social media activities sit outside of the established
media planning and measurement frameworks that
advertising relies upon. It is clear that if brands are
going to use social media they need an organised way
of planning their activities and measuring their impact.

Of course, the issue is that no one quite knows what the impact of a
social media activity is going to be until it is running. Not that traditional
media has it any better - there’s no more of a guarantee that a TV

advert will be more motivating to an audience than a blog post. However,
experience gathered over many years and the acceptance of media owners’
audience estimation processes is enough to put most doubts to rest. Social
media has neither of these, which creates the challenge and the opportunity –
to find new ways to plan activities and measure effectiveness.

Your audience is your distribution channel

A significant difference between social media and traditional broadcast media

is that, as we’re reliant on the audience for our distribution, we can’t just ‘buy’
eyeballs. Therefore, considering the balance between the interests of both the
brand and audience is vital. Both parties have a strong vested interest in what
is being communicated and the way it spreads - it helps to think of it as a
contract or transaction, with the brand and the audience as the signatories.


We believe a framework for thinking is required to help us plan activities,

estimate and measure results. This framework is based on five principles of
good social media marketing. And significantly, each of these is important
to both the brand and to the audience. In this way we make sure that the
interests of each are not just represented, but become shared.

i) A  n activity needs to be knowledgeable; it needs to impart some of the

brand’s knowledge to an interested audience.
ii) It needs to be useful, not just to the brand but to the audience as well.
iii) It should contain an element that is desirable to both the audience and to
the brand.
iv) The whole activity should be open, both literally and figuratively. The brand
should be transparent about their motivations, and the audience should be
able to engage and interact with the activity.
v) F  inally it should be shareable. The brand should be providing something
of value to the audience, and the audience should be able to take it away
and share it with others.

These five principles can be represented by the simple acronym KUDOS:

Knowledgeable, Useful, Desirable, Open and Shareable.

SocialMedia Handbook

Planning social media activities

Network KUDOS can serve as a checklist to make sure each component of your
activities and tactics is knowledgeable, useful, desirable, open and
shareable. These activities might vary wildly from one brief to another – from
content and information to fuel conversations, to tools and services that
might facilitate community action.
Brand building
The KUDOS framework allows for this variance while maintaining a uniformity
that makes a comparison of metrics possible.

Interaction Estimating results

During the planning stage, you can look at each of the five KUDOS elements
for the proposed activity and give them a qualitative score out of five, based
on benchmarks created from previous campaigns. Then use this as one of a
number of factors in estimating the likely interest in an activity.

Measuring the success of the activity

The issue with social media is not finding things to measure - there’s an
embarrassment of riches in terms of data - but knowing which metrics are
useful and meaningful. You can use the KUDOS framework to select five
attributes that allow us to track and optimise activity.

As an example, blog relations activity and downloadable video content might

use the following metrics:

Attribute Blog measure Video measure

Knowledgeable In-bound links In-bound links
Useful Google Page Rank or Digg Downloads
Desirable Page views Total views
Open Comments Comments
Shareable Subscriptions to RSS Re-postings

Measuring the impact and effect

What we haven’t done yet is measured the effect. The effect is difficult
to measure as it occurs over a long period of time, happens in many
disparate locations and can be attributed to many factors. But it’s possible
to use social media to provide some indication of the effect. We can use
various standard digital measurement techniques to track people who
click through directly from one of our social media assets to purchase or
register. However, it’s much harder to estimate how many more people
might have heard about our product via the word-of-mouth our social
media activity has generated, and then acted upon this information.
Furthermore, traditional media uses complex (and often expensive)
econometrics processes to gauge the effects of their brand building efforts
– but this will be beyond the social media budgets of most clients.

In both these cases, some indication of the effect of social media activity
can be found by measuring the change in the interest level around the
brand or product. We do this by analysing its share of conversation

By looking at the volume and quality of the commentary around a brand,

we are able to see the accumulative effect of all its marketing and offline
activity. One should note that this is not a stand-alone measure of the
change caused by social media; it is a measure of the impact as it occurs
in social media. However, by drilling into this data and analysing what
topics people are talking about, we may be able to attribute some of the

An IAB trooper learns from their less effective

campaigns to make their future campaigns better. 67
SocialMedia Handbook

Social media measurement – the basics


Conversation trends

Social media is all about user generated content and conversation, and

there are already a vast array of tools that allow you to measure trends
Brand building
in conversations. This makes it easy for you to look for words or terms
that are related to your campaigns such as brand and product names.
Importantly, Google Trends ( lets you monitor
Interaction how popular searches are across the biggest social media site in the
world: Google. Nielson’s Blog Pulse ( shows what are
currently the most popular news stories, conversations and more across
blogs. Whatever the form of social media, there is now a tool to help you
monitor it, in fact, even Twitter has a dedicated conversation tracker (twist. On top of this small selection, check around for other tools to
help you monitor and plan.

Get reading

The internet is all about quantitative research and number crunching…

NOT! If you can identify where the most influential forums and pages with
user comments are, then read them and do a bit of qualitative research.
Try to identify patterns and trends in the conversations. Obviously you
can’t focus too much on a minority of users, but if you start to see patterns
emerging in conversations, these can be extremely useful. It obviously

makes it a lot easier if you have your own forums and comment areas.
Using this direct feedback is one of the best methods of researching
into trends.

Website analytics

Let’s not forget the basics when it comes to measuring social media.
Often your standard web analytics are going to offer the best form of
measurement because you can see which sites people originate from,
where they click off to and what content they are most interested in
on your website. Couple this with the information you can obtain from
conversation trend tools and qualitative research of forums and you can
begin to build one powerful little picture of the social landscape. Site
analytics tools include Site Intelligence, WebTrends, Google Analytics,
NetTracker and many more.

Measuring applications and virals

Applications on the likes of Google and Facebook will all come with their
own measurement packages for you to use that vary in detail. You can
go the extra mile by including items such as graphics or small pixels
which are hosted on your own servers to find out how many times they
are downloaded. This will give you an additional insight into the amount
of times one of your applications is used.

An IAB trooper learns from their less effective

campaigns to make their future campaigns better.
SocialMedia Handbook

An IAB trooper is interactive.

The future: where we

are now and where
we should be

by Antony Mayfield, Vice President, Head of Social Media,

The past is but iCrossing
the beginning of a
beginning, and all
that is or has been You would be forgiven if your mind was boggling
is but the twilight of at this point, after a dozen or perspectives on
the dawn. what’s going on in social media and advertising. My
The Discovery of the
apologies then, because we are going to push the
Future (1901), H G Wells
bogglement one step further in this final chapter with
a look to the future of social media and marketing.

Caveat time

Only a fool would put his name to predictions about something as

fast-moving and complex as the emergence of social media on
the web, where it will go and what it means for the industry. In lieu
of a fool, you have me and this chapter.

In seriousness though, it is not a cop-out to say the one thing you can
expect in social media and marketing in the coming decade… is the

The shape of things to come

In the face of such hopeless odds of being absolutely right, let me offer
three trends that will be important for us to pay attention to when it comes
to evolution of social media and indeed the whole web, certainly over the
next couple of years, if not the next decade.

1. Growth: Big numbers, like the 100 million users of Facebook, trick us
into thinking that the revolution has happened, it’s arrived and we can
now make sense of it. But studies by analyst house Forrester show
that the longer people have broadband at home the more sophisticated
their use of the web becomes, the most likely they are to use social
media. Expect growth, lots of it.

2. Ubiquity: While the numbers of people uploading content, leaving

reviews, starting blogs, taking part in forums will continue to grow, so
6 Source: ‘Any Time, Any
will usage. Some have described social networks becoming like air, an
Place: Understanding The
ever present layer on the world that we will be constantly dipping into Connected Generation’
using mobile devices. (Universal McCann)

3. Ambient intimacy: The Facebook newsfeed feature and latterly

micro-blogging services like Twitter have given rise to a phenomenon
sociologists are calling ambient intimacy, where large groups of people
are able to share their thoughts and opinions 6. The reaction of early
adopters has been one of nervousness followed by blissful embrace
of this new way of communicating. Again, it is early days for this form
of communication, this sub-set, feature of social media but it is likely
to develop further and will have implications for how content and
conversations work online.

SocialMedia Handbook

All tomorrow’s brands

And for the marketing industry, what’s the future likely to bring? Let us take
three trends here too:

1.Useful marketing: As Google says, “It’s all about the user”. When it
comes to being successful on the web this is a key principle and one
which increasing numbers of brands are learning as they begin to engage
Brand building

with people in social media. Marketing must be useful in order to earn

attention, and earned attention is the only kind there is when users can
choose to ignore or block advertising if they wish. In this context, even
paid for space is simply seen as buying opportunities to earn attention.

2.Data-driven everything: Data in marketing has often been seen as

the preserve of direct response specialists. With so much data available
in the networks about people that are important to a brand, about the
needs and behaviours of customers and influencers, there will be no
corner of marketing in social media that can’t be measured, no insights
that cannot be supported with evidence in the form of data. As social
media use becomes more ubiquitous we will see even “offline” campaigns
and content as being often measurable, as echoes of their influence are
seen in changed online behaviours.

3.Native digital marketing: The first phase of web media and marketing
might be thought about as a time when models of thinking were imported
from channel media (broadcast, print) to a world of networks. In the
coming years we will see consensus emerge around new models of
research, planning and execution in a web that is dominated and defined
- particularly in terms of the user experience - by social media. These will
be what we might call truly native, digital strategic marketing approaches,
informing the strategy for brands from a perspective that is web first,
embracing its full potential.

Caution: revolution in progress

If there has been a constant in my conversations with clients and colleagues

in the industry over the past couple of years working in social media it has
been that everyone feels as if they are behind the curve. In a way everyone
is: how can a whole industry adapt at the pace of the web?

The preceding chapters in this book represent a range of views from the
pioneers in the UK marketing industry. Do not expect them to agree on
everything, or to be right on everything - it would be incredible if they

When you look closely at revolutions past - be they technological, political,

commercial or combinations of all three - there is a recurring theme about
the perceptions of people living through them: they rarely know what is
going on.

So, enveloped as we are in the “fog of revolution”, what hope have we of

being right about the future of social media and marketing? Not much.

Media and brand owners and their agency partners alike need to keep
their minds resolutely open to possibilities. As F Scott Fitzgerald famously
said, “...the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed
ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

The most successful brands and agencies in this new world may well
support the ones that are able to hold several, sometimes opposed, ideas
about the world in mind simultaneously, behaving in an agile way to push
resources to the ones which turn out to be most successful.

An IAB trooper is interactive.

SocialMedia Handbook

As an IAB Trooper I will

respect and hold my
agency in the higgest
regard at all times as I
know that without them
my job would be

Social Media
jargon buster
with thanks to Immediate Future –

Brand building
An aggregator, newsreader or read feeder, is a bit of software which collects
news from websites, blogs, podcasts and vlogs and delivers them to your PC
in a simple format. It is also the name of an Arnie Schwarzenegger character.
Oiill be back.

You know when there’s a grass-roots buzz about a product? And it seems
that everybody is blogging about it? Sometimes it turns out these blogs have
actually been written by a PR company. Who’d have thought? Well, that’s
Astroturfing. Artificial and plastic.

Although now being used by businesses, a weblog or blog is more often than
not a frequently updated personal online journal kept by a blogger. Entries
or posts are in reverse chronological order and can be insightful, witty and
philosophical. Or maybe not.

Blog Storm-
A blog storm or blog swarm is when bloggers in the blogosphere write thousands of
posts about a subject which then forces the story into the mainstream media. Never
underestimate the power of the blogger.

You know how it is. You’ve just found an online flight to Fuerteventura for only £4.50
and now you can’t remember what site it’s on. In future save your fave site addresses
by bookmarking them. Just click the bookmark button or the ‘add to favourites’
button on your browser tool bar. Ole.

Often created by word of mouth and viral marketing, buzz is the word-on-the-street,
ear-to-the-ground, finger-on-the-pulse kind of thing that gets people jumping up and
down with excitement about a product or service. You also get a buzz when you jump
out of a plane. Woo-hooo.

Chicklets are the small, often orange buttons, which are links to web feeds such
as RSS and Atom. Absolutely nothing to do with Bridget Jones’s diary. Or small

Cloaking is when a website returns different web pages to the search engine spiders
than it does to regular visitors. Cloaking is an attempt to distort search engine rankings
and give the site a higher ranking. It’s a bit of skulduggery that could get a site banned
from the search engines.

A bit like outsourcing where you pay people £3 an hour to stuff envelopes,
crowdsouricng is when a company involves a large number of enthusiastic volunteers
to create content, do research and solve problems. Free of charge. Well they might
send you a badge or something.

SocialMedia Handbook

is a user generated content site where members submit (mostly techie) articles and
news items they’ve found on the Web. The articles are then voted for and the most

popular published on Digg’s front page. Can we Digg it? Yes we can!


ebooks or eBooks are electronic versions of traditional printed books which can be
Brand building
downloaded from the internet and read on your PC or hand held device. e-books take
up less space and use less trees. And you never forget which page you’re on.

Early adapter-
A bit like Angelina Jolie or Madonna, early adopters are companies or people who sign-
up to new technologies or marketing techniques, as soon as they become available, to
get ahead of the pack. Early adopters make up 13.5% of the population. Fact.

Folksonomy refers to people classifying their blogs, web pages and pictures with
informal descriptions or tags. So on Flickr, the tags for a picture of freshly-cut grass
might be green; spring; nature; hay fever; sniffles; headache. Folksonomy are also
people who go to barn dances.

Gathering together a list of influencing social media, such as niche blogs, mainstream
blogs and forums, which relate to a specific topic, is known as mapping. When preparing
an online campaign, mapping is a useful planning tool. So is an A-Z. Where are we?

Microformat is a data format which works alongside XML and HTML. Inserting
microformat tags into your website or blog means the content can be more easily
defined which helps the search engines do a better job. Small, unobtrusive but helpful,
Microformats are a bit like The Wombles.

Net Promoters Index-
The number of people who would recommend your product, service or topic minus the
number of people who wouldn’t - is known as the Net Promoters Index. The results are
collated by monitoring message boards and blogs. The power of the Web: we love it.

Networks are made up of nodes and connections. In a social network, the nodes
are people and the connections are the relationships. Networking is the method of
strengthening those relationships. ‘What’s your name, what does your company do?
Here’s my card. Call me’.

Short for Packet Internet Grouper a Ping is what alerts the original poster of a blog that
someone has made a reference to that post in another blog when using TrackBack. A
ping also notifies blog tracking software when the content of a blog has changed. Ping
also refers to knicker elastic.

Like Atom, RSS is a web feed which enables you to be notified when the content of a
blog or site has been updated. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site
Summary or RDF Site Summary or really something stupid. Possibly.

Search Engine Positioning-

Search engine positioning or promotion refers to the constant monitoring and modifying
of a website in order for it to achieve higher search engine rankings. A close relative of
SEO. In fact they have the same mother: Search engine marketing.

Seeding refers to ‘viral’ agencies which place messages, pictures and videos on
such sites as YouTube or Flickr and then just leave them there. No interaction. No
conversation with the customer. It’s a all a bit seedy really.

As an IAB trooper I promise to always use online in

a respectful and responsible fashion.

SocialMedia Handbook

Social Bookmarking-
Social bookmarking is when you share your favourite or bookmarked websites on a

public web based service such as The list of your favourite sites can be
then be shared with others who have similar interests. It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling
doesn’t it?

Social Currency-
Brand building Social currency is used to define the value that people have in a social setting:
some people are rich, rich, rich whilst others are overdrawn. Social currency is also
something that provokes interest and quickly gets passed around. Like a joke. So a
man walks into a bar. Ouch.

Social Media –
We refer to social media, in a commercial sense, as: the creation of useful, valuable and
relevant content and applications by brands, or by consumers with specific reference
to brands, that can be shared online, facilitated by web 2.0 technology.”

Tag Cloud-
A tag cloud is a visual representation of the popularity of the tags or descriptions that
people are using online. Popular tags are often shown in a large type and less popular
in smaller type. So, on Flickr, the tag Party is shown large and the tag Hiking is small.
Why are we not surprised?

Vlog or Vblog. Short for videoblog. Refers to a blog that has video content. Vlog is
also a big, beefy potato farmer from the Ukraine.

A Widget is a piece of code that enables you to pull in data from another website onto
your own site or blog which is then constantly updated. For example, news headlines;
local weather; footie scores. So all the really important stuff you need to keep up to
date with.

A wiki is a website where you can add, remove, edit and change content. The best
known wiki is wikipedia: an online encyclopaedia created by thousands of different
contributors across the world. Wiki wiki means rapidly in Hawaiian. Not a lot of people
know that.

Traditionally WOM or word of mouth was an over-the-garden-fence way of sharing
information. These days word of mouth also refers to text messages, blog posts,
message board threads, instant messages and emails which all create a buzz. So
word of mouse. Geddit?

Trooper Amy Kean, senior PR and marketing manager, IAB
Trooper Jack Wallington, programmes manager, IAB
Trooper Chloe Chadwick, marketing executive, IAB
Trooper Harriet Clarke, team assistant, IAB

As an IAB trooper I promise to always use online in

a respectful and responsible fashion.

Internet Marketing Handbook Series

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