Archives for November 2013

November 21, 2013Published by: Drew

Tweets used live in the House of Commons for first time in Prime Minister’s Questions

Courtesy of Sky

Up until two years ago, emailing and tweeting was not allowed during Prime Minister's Questions, the televised, agenda-setting Wednesday morning ritual. Yesterday for the first time Prime Minister David Cameron used tweets coming in from people not in the House of Commons as ammunition to fuel the debate.

Sky News has a great report on what happened and how it developed. The PM taking on board tweets and addressing them live is a watershed moment, as now a precedent has been set, and we will see this happen more and more. More engagement is a good thing, but the deluge will need managing too...

Here's Sky News' report by political correspondent Sophy Ridge:

A little bit of history was made at PMQs today.


For the first time, the Prime Minister used a tweet sent from someone watching the session from outside the Chamber as ammunition at the dispatch box, almost in real time.


The former Labour MP, Tony McNulty, is known for off-message tweets.

While watching PMQs, he used the social networking site to say of Ed Miliband: "Public desperate for PM in waiting who speaks for them - not Leader of Opposition indulging in partisan Westminster Village knockabout."


Quick as a flash [...] Education Secretary Michael Gove spotted the tweet and flagged it up to David Cameron, who read it [...] less than six minutes after it was sent.


The incident demonstrates Mr Gove's sharp political eye (and will no doubt open up a debate about which username the Education Secretary is watching Twitter from, as he has no official account).


November 14, 2013Published by: Drew

How to get started with the new Twitter advertising system for reputation management and brand engagement

Twitter ads

Twitter this morning announced that any account in the UK, Ireland and Canada can now take advantage of its new self-serve advertising set-up. Previously only available in the US, this new service allows you to buy your own ad space on Twitter, simplifying the process and making it more flexible and affordable to get your advertising started.

This is a big opportunity for brand engagement and reputation management. If you want more people to see your account, you can now more easily set up launch a promoted tweet, which drives clicks and views, or a promoted account, which drives followers.

If you ever need to respond to a crisis issue, it's important that the right tweet appears when people are on Twitter or searching for you. Promoted tweets are a great tool for reputation management in this way.

And if you are looking to reach your target audience and engage new users on Twitter, promoting your account literally puts a price on a new follower and is a worthwhile addition to your online marketing spend.

To get started just go to and their system will walk you through getting set up.

November 13, 2013Published by: Drew

How Twitter’s new Custom Timelines can be used for brands

Custom Timeline

Twitter has just released a new service which is it calling Custom Timelines. You can read all about what it is and how it works over there, but we've been experimenting with it here at Battenhall to see how it can be best used for brands, content publishers and in community management. Here are some tips on getting the most out of Custom Timelines and how the new set-up works.

First you need to go to If you don't have an account, or if it's been a while since you last used it, Tweetdeck is now in your browser, no software download needed, and you can get up and running in a few minutes.

Once you are up and running in Tweetdeck, click on the 3rd icon from the bottom left and you will see Custom Timelines pop up. Set one up, give it a name, then start dragging and dropping tweets into it. It's best if you pick a theme, then use search inside Tweetdeck to create a new column and drag tweets into our Custom Timeline.

Then you need to share the timeline for others to see. You can do this by clicking on the slider icon to the right of your Custom Timeline name and you have three share options - view on, embed on to a website, or tweet about it. At the bottom of this post here on our blog is an embed of one of the Custom Timelines that we have created, all about the most current brand issue to emerge right now, the Haggerston Tesco Tumblr.

Twitter says that coming soon you will be able to automate what tweets appear in a Custom Timeline, which will make the streaming of content on to Twitter for brand channels much more sophisticated than the current alternatives.

If you are a brand, content publisher of blogger, here are some ways you could get the most out of this new Twitter feature:

  • Themed tweeting: brands are always looking for creative ways of publishing themed content, whether it's about the day's news or a product or service. This is an elegant way of setting up specialist streams of brand and consumer tweets.
  • Customer service: publish your own and your customers' tweets to address issues from people to people without having to always be the brand.
  • Investor relations: create Custom Timelines from one main brand account dedicated at the investor community, including news, briefings, product information and influencer opinion
  • Event live tweeting: think Storify but in an exclusively Twitter environment
  • News channel: create a brand news feed that pulls in your own announcements, news coverage, expert opinion and more

Twitter has published some early brand examples of how Custom Timelines are being used. If you have any other interesting uses, let us know.


November 12, 2013Published by: Drew

Flipboard moves into ecommerce with brand tie-ups

Flipboard, the popular news aggregation app, has announced that it is branching out into the lucrative domain of e-commerce. Today, Flipboard said that it would be enabling individuals and brands to create their own personal catalogues on the site.

This move towards an online magazine catalogue service isn't surprising. In March, the site introduced a feature to its service which gave users a way to create a magazine with collated articles across the web that others could read. It is only natural that the next evolution for the platform would be to give brands and users the power to create their own magazines with their own content.

By enabling users and brands to create online magazines with their own content, Flipboard has created another revenue stream for brands and media companies, something which the media is now calling for Pinterest to address by making moves back from the opposite direction.

Users who browse through a brand's magazine will soon be able to make purchases directly from a brand's Flipboard. Banana Republic and Levi's have already launched their own catalogues on the site which are both worth checking outAs online retail continues to grow in the social media space, don't be surprised if Flipboard becomes a major destination for online shopping not just for brands but for consumers as well.

November 7, 2013Published by: Drew

Some thoughts on our future with Twitter on IPO day

Courtesy of The Guardian

Right now Twitter is experiencing its first day as a public company, its shares trading on Wall Street and the world turning its gaze on the hottest tech ticket in town. I thought I would share some of my thoughts on Twitter's existence to date and the possibilities it could bring in the future.

My personal experience of Twitter goes way back to when it was first invented. I began using it in 2006, although I found it rather a blunt instrument back then... this tweet of mine from January 2007, the earliest one I can find online, shows the difficulty I had. But soon after that, it all began to catch on. For me at least.

You can see from as early as May 2007, I was a cheerleader for the new social network. I even said back then that I thought it had the potential to bring change to the social media landscape. Something that most around me that would tolerate my ramblings did not agree with for a good two years after...

Now there is no ignoring Twitter's impact on the way people, businesses and governments communicate, engage and transact. At present, Twitter's IPO has pegged the value of the company at around $31 billion, with shares 30 times oversubscribed opening at $45.10 and reaching highs of $50.  I won't go in-depth on the financials, there are plenty of markets experts who can do that (The Guardian is covering the IPO in a good live blog here). But I thought I would say a few things about Twitter's achievements to date and its potential in the future as a communications platform, as communications advisory is what I get paid to do for a job.

  • Twitter has fundamentally shifted how businesses communicate with the markets, with their customers and with the media. You can see in Battenhall's FTSE 100 Twitter report from September this year just how much. the disruption we are seeing around us due to Twitter and other social media is bringing huge amounts of change in good and bad ways for brands (for bad - think the social media crisis).
  • The way that Twitter opens up conversations to make messaging social has transformed how we want to keep in touch with one another, and you can see this across the board, from how celebrities engage with fans to how teens keep in touch with one another.
  • Brands want in on the action, and Twitter's advertising options are still in their infancy. Currently you can only advertise in the stream, in trending topics, in search results and under 'who to follow', none of which are obtrusive or obvious to many. We will see huge changes here in the future as Twitter flips the revenue switches.
  • To the beginner, Twitter is still not very easy to use. We should expect to see big changes here, as Twitter goes even more mainstream. Expect to see the way functions such as Lists, DMs, @replies and hashtags work change a great deal in the future.
  • Twitter should be seen as a new infrastructure, and not just a social network. Look at this way and you will see there is a lot more disruption to come. Already the service has changed communications amongst consumers and for brands and the media. What comes next will bring changes to all aspects of technology and digital in our day to day lives and in business. Just look at what some of Twitter's founders are up to now and you will get an idea of what's coming next.

Personally I am really excited about how Twitter, something that I once saw as a shiny new thing, is being seen on a huge platform as a force for good, for change and as a substantial business in its own right. I can see the future innovation that it will bring and I cant wait to see how the world will change with it.

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

November 7, 2013Published by: Drew

Facebook axes the ‘Like Thumb’

It's the end of an era. After its first emergence back in 2010, the 'thumbs-up' icon that you click when you like something on Facebook is being axed by the social network. Instead, you will click simply on the Facebook 'F' icon and the word Like when liking things.

Facebook new Like icons

So what this means if you work with Facebook and use its buttons on your internet real estate is that you will need to switch over to the new buttons. A run-down is here and you can see what they look like in the above image (thanks Biz Insider). What it also means is that this is the end of an era. RIP Like, like.