Archives for June 2013

June 25, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Battenhall at #GrowWithTwitter

Grow With Twitter

Team Battenhall attended the #GrowWithTwitter event at the London Film Museum today. An event aimed at promoting opportunities for brands on Twitter, the speakers included Stephen McIntyre, Bruce Daisley, Oli Snoddy, Don O'Leary and Dara Nasr from the Twitter UK team as well as Matt Wheeler from Forward Labs, Sharon Flaherty from the Confused.com communications team and Guy Yalif, Head of Global Product Marketing for Twitter.

Stephen McIntyre opened up proceedings. He stated that with 200+ million active users and 10 million in the UK alone, Twitter is changing the nature of live events, giving a first person perspective. In the UK 80% of Twitter users are mobile, meaning they are to be reached on-the-go. Twitter is a short distance between the person (@) and the interest (#) and the top categories people want to hear about are: TV, retailers, tech, news and fashion. 54% of Twitter users follow brands and businesses.

Bruce Daisley, Director of Twitter UK, then discussed how Twitter increasingly acts as a second screen to TV, with 60% of users tweeting while watching TV. It was interesting to see the different types of media and corresponding twitter engagement: with dramas, tweets are 'bookends' (low during the show and high before and after); talent shows' tweet patterns change from constant (through early stages) to high during crucial episodes, such as semi-finals and finals; and there is an interesting correlation between current affairs programmes such as Question Time and chat-shows such as Alan Carr: Chatty Man, in that both genres of show remain constantly active on Twitter, increasing levels of conversation way after the credits.

Grow With Twitter 2

Planning for the moment is key and the example of Lynx really stood out to us as being timely and conversational. During Oli Snoddy's talk, he spoke about an episode of #thedoggingtales on Channel 4, where a masked dogger said that he used Lynx as his deodorant. This was seen to be terrible exposure for the brand. However, the response from the Lynx social media team was to play the tweets, show and hashtag to their own advantage, as you can see here. An example of adapting in the moment, using clear guidelines and a decentralised social media management system.

Finally, creativity in 140 characters was touched upon. Guy Yalif argued against the claim that 140 characters is constraining, suggesting that Twitter is a bridge, not an island. Vine was discussed as improving creativity and to finish it off with a very, very creative 140 character tweet from Smart Car Argentina: here it is. Most importantly of all from today, we have some Twitter branded goods for the Battenhall office. Win all round.

June 24, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Nurturing innovation

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Wouldn't it be cool if we could easily find all the necessary mind power, tools and capital to innovate constantly. It's surprising, but most of the activities we undertake every day are out-dated and inefficient.

In disrupting the traditional agency model, we're constantly searching for new ways to work, collaborate and perform essential job functions in the PR and social space. Turbulence and change generally create opportunities for success. In searching to fill in the gaps, it's become clear that the ability to create and innovate is often hindered by the need to question how useful or possible your idea is.

We are privileged enough to live in a society where individuals (aka. entrepreneurs) are gifted with the opportunity to change something, unfortunately creativity is educated out of us. One of my favorite TED talks was by award winning educationalist, Sir Ken Robinson, explaining that schools kill creativity. His contention? That as we grow older and are educated more, we are taught to repress creativity - essentially educating us to become boring. Robinson questions whether limiting the amount of creativity in the international curriculum actually helps anyone.

At Battenhall, 20% of our time is devoted to innovating the way we work, and whilst that sounds easy, we've had to free up our minds a little to make it happen. What we noticed is that coming up with a problem that needs a solution is as important as coming up with an innovation that needs applying to our world. One can trigger the other, but both need a bit of a eureka moment and are very different processes. So we have built an app which we use internally to capture those moments, and through it we log progress on our innovations, which we then present back to the team as and when we feel ready. Simple!
We'll keep you updated with the things we're doing, and if you have any of your own ideas, get in touch. Let us know if you think this is any good as an approach or if it could be improved.
Changing the way we perceive what is 'possible' starts with an idea the size of a mustard seed - who knew that mustard seed could be such a powerful ingredient.

June 19, 2013Published by: Drew

The new executive must-have: the social media scribe

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is the famous wine blogger turned social media agency boss who has built a 250-strong team at his brand Vayner Media in just four years. His latest move, as covered in Forbes last month, is a focus on demonstrating first hand how important it is to extract and publish first person opinion from company spokespeople on to social media y "tripling down on content".

The opening segment of the Forbes article is worth reading:

Gary Vaynerchuk [...] is relaunching his blog today. Why? “The more content I can put out, the more luck I have,” he says. He’s redeployed an employee at VaynerMedia, his social media consultancy, to “shadow my life” by following him at conferences and key local events to record his remarks and turn them into social media content. “I’ve built the infrastructure around me to become a greater content provider,” he says. “I have someone calling me at the end of the day – there’s now someone in my life pestering me for content.”

What’s more, Vaynerchuk believes it’s only a matter of time before this arrangement becomes common. “Content is the cost of entry to relevance in today’s society,” he says. “The top 1-5% [of executives and social media personalities] in the next few years will have full-time content people around them. There are going to be 500 to 5000 people at this time next year who employ a full-time content person.”

This is a marked trend on this side of the Atlantic too. Content is key, content is king. And social media content is relentless and doesn't normally suit the busy schedule of the company exec or top spokesperson. An article every now and then is usually manageable, but not enough - to be tweeting, blogging and figuring out let alone creating content for Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn and everything else is far too much for the typical brand spokesperson.

For those who follow early adopter trends in web marketing, this concept of an executive assistant for content, or a social media scribe, is clearly a sensible move, and we agree with Vaynerchuk that the value it creates just builds. What will be key over the coming months and years will be to see who takes first mover advantage on the exec social media content stakes.

Image courtesy of Inc.

June 18, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Video killed the Instagram star

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Whilst much of the speculation surrounding Facebook's press event on Thursday has focused on a news reading platform - behind the scenes it seems that Facebook has been planning a huge update to one of its other key services: Instagram.

It's no surprise that video is becoming the medium of choice when sharing with friends - it's popularity has been signposted by the increased conversation surrounding Vine, Twitter's own answer to video sharing. As explained by Jennifer O'Mahony in The Telegraph,

'Shares of Vine clips have surpassed those of Instagram images on Twitter since the addition of an Android version of Vine this month.'

In response, it seems that video may be an addition to the Instagram service as of Thursday. There are strong arguments that the reason for this is because Twitter switched of embedding functionality of Instagram photos, but we'll let the numbers do the talking.

Links to Vine vs. Instagram

Last year Facebook bought Instagram for $715 million (£455m) and unlike so many of its other purchases, it decided to keep Instagram running, and yes it's done well. However as Ingrid Lunden explained with us yesterday on TechCrunch,

'Putting in a video service could serve to further that strategy even more, before new-but-already-popular services like Vine get more of a foothold. It will mean one less app and social network for users to build up, and, for those who like to take and share videos, another reason to visit Instagram.'

It's questionable about what else this surge into the moving image world means for Instagram, a potential answer could be that they're attempting to introduce advertising on the platform, like they tried (and failed) to do before. Moreover, there is no concrete evidence that the new platform will even be integrated into Instagram itself or whether it will be a while new Instagram video app. Let's just hope that in all this corporate hype and planning, the mobile app doesn't lose its appeal.


June 13, 2013Published by: Drew

How to access Twitter’s new Analytics for all users

This afternoon Twitter quietly launched analytics to all users' accounts. The new dashboard, to date available only to select accounts, is available at http://analytics.twitter.com by logging into which ever Twitter account you wish to access.

Below is an example of what you will see when accessing Twitter Analytics, taken from my own personal account @drewb. As you can see there are various data views for analysing tweets, including All (which is the default view and which shows tweet data in reverse chronological order), Good and Best. All this is downloadable as a spreadsheet too for the data nerds. Follower analytics is also available, intermittently right now.

Twitter Analytics

We will update this post with additional information as we experiment with the new Twitter Analytics. Please leave any feedback you have so far in the comments...

June 10, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

PRISM news round-up

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Hugh D'Andrade decided to give the NSA's logo a makeover following recent events. View the original image here.

News on the National Security Agency (NSA) snooping over Apple, Facebook and Google has been on everyone’s lips since late last week. The first of the leaks came out on Wednesday night when the Guardian reported that a US secret court has ordered phone company Verizon to hand over millions of records on telephone call metadata to the NSA. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the NSA and FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading US Internet companies.

The Guardian then revealed classified documents on Friday containing top-sectet information on NSA program PRISM, the program set up in 2007 to help the United States monitor traffic of potential suspects abroad that collects emails, documents, photos and other material for agents to review. The documents state that Prism operated with the assistance of communications providers in the US; AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk and Yahoo. The document also states that GCHQ, the UK’s security agency had last year generated 197 intelligence reports from PRISM and had access to PRISM since at least May 2010. The Guardian last night revealed the identity of the former CIA technical worker as the source of the leads about US surveillance programs: Edward Snowden, who is currently employed by defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

Over the weekend, technology giants have been under pressure as speculation rise on their co-operation with the US spy agencies and as further details emerged. Apple, Facebook and Google have issued strongly worded denials that they had knowingly participated in PRISM. Meanwhile, Mashable look at what the NSA could possibly have found on the internet and Gizmodo at how the NSA logo should really look. Our client Tim Summers from Temple bright adds a legal perspective to the debate: “We must have mechanisms to ensure that governments can be called to account, to ensure that their legal powers are used only for their proper purposes.” Read more on Channel 4 news. We'll certainly be watching closely for further developments on this news.


June 4, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Hitting rock bottom: The power of creative thinking from Airbnb

capn-mccain

Today we heard Joe Gebbla, co-founder of Airbnb, speak at the FT-Telefonica Millenials Summit: The Interactive Generation. Airbnb is a social website that connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. On this platform you can find a place to stay by renting from people in 34,000 cities and 192 countries and it has been very successful to date.

Joe Gebbia said that it wasn’t easy as a startup, as after the 3-month seed funding program the pair were collectively $40,000 in credit card debt. Gebbla said that all startups go through this phase and it’s the perfect time to let creativity flow. This is exactly what they did, as what started as a joke led the pair creating created fictitious cereals called ‘Obama O’s, the Cereal of Change,’ and ‘Cap’n McCain’s, a Maverick in Every Box’ around the elections. Together they designed the box artwork themselves and convinced a UC Berkeley student to print 500 of each, which they then sent to influential tech bloggers. They then started selling the political cereal at $40 per box.

The story was huge in the media and got picked up by national TV and they ended up making $30,000 almost covering all their debts. Soon after Paul Graham the investor said: “If you can convince people to pay $40 for a box of cereal, you can probably convince them to pay to sleep on each other’s air mattresses. You guys are in.” Joe just gave us a good reminder today of the power of creativity!

June 4, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

FT-Telefónica Millennial Summit: The Interactive Generation

FT-Telefónica Summit - The Royal Opera House

This morning the Battenhall team attended the FT-Telefónica Millenial Summit at The Royal Opera House in Convent Garden. This summit was put together to present the findings of the largest and most comprehensive study of adult millennials conducted to date. One of the key facts extracted from this research is that 80 percent of 18-30 year olds believe technology has made it easier to overcome language barriers and get a job. Overall 44 percent of millenials think technology has had an effect on their lives in all fronts.

Of the 12,171 individuals questioned during the survey, around 79 percent of europeans said they owned a smartphone - higher than the global average of 76 percent. Millenials truly are a smartphone generation. Opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals have never been better, however with all these opportunities there are still staggering issues in the digital world. 62 percent of respondents said that technology has widened the gap between rich and poor, even more concerning is that technology is creating a gender gab with millennial men considering themselves more at the cutting edge of tech than women.

If the issues of today's world aren't enough, than it is tomorrow the respondents are concerned about - 63 per cent say it is difficult for their generation to progress from school to the workplace and 39 percent feel they will not be able to retire, and will need to continue working through their elderly years. This study clearly outlines some dire issues that must be solved. But what of the good news that has come from this study?

Of all the respondents asked, around 70 globally believe they have entrepreneurial opportunities because of technological advances and 11 percent of millennial leaders will drive change solely through technology - an exciting and promising number.

José María Álvarez-Pallete - COO Telefónica

José María Álvarez-Pallete - COO Telefónica

José María Álvarez-Pallete, COO of Telefónica explained his own perspective of the research findings, expressing that there should be a great focus on Millennials because they "have the next great idea not just for changing the world, but for for changing their neighbourhood - both important missions." As more technology filters across the globe, it will become an essential feature to developing countries particularly through mobile and tablet devices.

In his address, José María Álvarez-Pallete explained that technology can create great opportunities if realised by governments and influential decision makers. His own belief is that the possibilities of technology should be open to everyone, but that there is work to be done before this is possible. Álvarez-Pallete continued to dissect some of the key CSR projects Telefónica is driving to encourage a generation of leaders and entrepreneurs, Wayra and Talentum.

Wayra - Telefónica's startup accelerator programme was created to nurture some of the best tech ideas and talent within them. The programme now exists in latin America, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the UK. Battenhall works closely with Telefónica as the official brand communications & PR consultant of Wayra. To find out more about Wayra, visit Wayra.org.

Talentum - by creating jobs and digital learning opportunities for young people and university graduates, Telefónica is advocating the youth and technological power of Europe, investing in the talent and potential of young individuals. To find out more about Talentum, visit the Talentum microsite.

To find out more about the FT-Telefónica Millennials survey, visit the microsite at telefonica.com/millennials.