Archives for December 2013

December 18, 2013Published by: Drew

Battenhall’s first year: 2013 in review


To call 2013 an eventful year would be an understatement. Just nine months ago Battenhall launched, as a new agency to the market, offering clients communications consultancy with deep social media expertise. As a team we were reflecting earlier this week on how 2013 went and how next year is going to shape up, so I thought I would share the story so far.

We have grown from a team of one to a team of 12, all based in London and with a very global outlook, speaking seven languages and travelling overseas to carry out two global briefs so far. We are now on to our third office, outgrowing the first two a bit quicker than we first thought.

2013 was a year of big events at Battenhall. We hosted one of the opening events of Social Media Week London in September, which we had planned to run in our company meeting room. When 800 people registered to attend, we could see that we'd need a bigger venue. We ended up filling the Royal Institution of Great Britain's Faraday Theatre in Mayfair. The event was covered by the FT, The Guardian, Metro and, of course, on the blogs. We were referenced widely in the press this year, something I'm humbled by. The FT wrote about us twice, the other article being about our workplace culture, and we made it on to the BBC to talk social media trends on TV too.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 08.23.39

We published our first major, independent body of work in 2013, a research report into the FTSE 100's use of Twitter and social media. We also published 10 editions of our long-read social media trends newsletter, the Battenhall Monthly. That was on top of 100  posts on our company blog.

The six public job openings that we advertised on our site received 181 formal applications. Although as you'd expect with a social media agency, most of our recruitment is done through Twitter, which helped us grow the team through our network. The talent market really is hot right now it has to be said.

We built and launched two digital products this year for our clients, both of which are out in the open, and two more internally for our team. This is something I'm very proud of as we have developed a design and build capability in-house faster than I thought we could have done this time last year. We have many more digital products in the pipeline, so watch this space in 2014.

We have also broadened out our remit with clients way beyond social media and comms. 50% of our clients retain us to run all of the PR, comms and digital. 10% and growing ask us to manage their above the line campaigns. And we have undertaken 'social business' projects working with planning departments, recruitment and fundraising teams to bring the benefits of social media to entire businesses.

It's not so fast that an agency can start receiving awards, but accolades have started to appear. The biggest of the year was when Battenhall's Anton Perreau was named as one of the PR industry's top young talent, in PR Week's 30 under 30 just last month. I have also had the pleasure of being a judge for the UK Social Media Awards, the Association of Healthcare Comms & Marketing Awards, speaking at delegations at the CIPR and PRCA, and just about managing to keep a foothold in the PR Week Powerbook, when Battenhall was less than a month old.

Anton Perreau Battenhall PR Week 30 under 30

We now have a broad range of clients, some FTSE 100s, some challenger brands, but all of them see the world from the same perspective that we do. Social media and digital are disrupting the media landscape, entire business models, and the communications agency of the future needs to nail the essentials but also have one foot firmly planted in the future. So in 2014 we will continue to seek innovation, both with our clients and in new services, industries and markets that we expand into. It will be our first full year and we hope to be able to count on your continued support for team Battenhall. We can do anything with a bit of support.

December 13, 2013Published by: Drew

From public to private: Instagram launches direct messaging feature

Private photo-sharing is the latest craze sweeping social media platforms. Just recently, Twitter launched a new app that enabled its users to do just that direct messaging.

As if that didn’t already have SnapChat feeling vulnerable, Instagram - which has around 150 million users - has just introduced direct messaging to its service.

No longer is it mandatory for users to share photos of their lunch publicly; they can now share them with their peers alone and also receive private pictures and videos from those they follow.

While this new addition to Instagram will be welcomed by its user base, who now have more choice in how they share their photos and videos on Instagram, what new opportunities does it present for brands?

Certainly, the ability to directly message users provides brands with an opportunity for some customer relationship management (CRM) and facilitate deeper relationships with their customers. Gap has already seen the potential of this by messaging the first 15 individual people who commented on one of its posts with a limited edition Gap product.

As well as this, brands can directly deal with customers' complaints in the same way they might do on Twitter. With direct messaging, brands can truly have one-on-one conversations with its customers and offer a more bespoke service.

With its introduction of video sharing (taking a leaf out of Vine’s book), sponsored posts and now direct messaging, its clear that Instagram wants to be more than just a photo and video sharing service but a social media platform that provides numerous opportunities for users’ and brands’ communication needs. Ultimately, this will make Instagram a more profitable platform for its shareholders.

Whether or not the Facebook owned platform can make this transition is still up for debate but what is certain is that Instagram has big ambitions and, with all the new features it has announced and implemented this year, it certainly isn’t keeping them private.

December 12, 2013Published by: Drew

Man Utd, NYE, Murray, England and Real Madrid rule Twitter 2013

Twitter today published its annual review of the most talked about moments of the year. The 2013 edition is dominated by sport and One Direction. So no surprise there at all.

In its fourth year now, the annual roundup of most talked about things on Twitter provides an essential barometer into what brands, celebrities and anyone using Twitter for engagement need to get their heads around if they want to stay relevant on the ever-expanding social network. The top 10 most talked about events of 2013 include a lot of football. 80% of the most talked about topics in 2013 are sport, then 10% New Year's Eve and 10% music.


Manchester United, One Direction, Andy Murray and the Royal Baby were amongst the other most talked about topics. You can read Twitter's full report here including accounts to follow, topic breakdowns and most shared images and Tweets.

December 11, 2013Published by: Drew

Twitter goes all Snapchat and launches private image sharing


Veteran users of Twitter will appreciate the newest update from the publicly-listed social networking company, which focuses in improving it's DM or direct messaging function. Twitter's DM service has been showing signs of being on its way out for a long time. DMs were one of Twitter's original main functions, but have been relegated to second or third tier for a long time now, with little innovation or TLC from Twitter, it's fair to say.

That has now changed, with Twitter last night launching a new app for iOS and Android which boasts photo-sharing in DMs, a move no doubt triggered by the surge in popularity of private photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat. Social messaging is the hot ticket right now, and Twitter's userbase will surely appreciate this new lick of paint.

DMs are certainly a core service to the average user, but hugely popular also with high-profile accounts, such as brands and celebrities. The opportunity for brands to evolve how they use DMs in customer service I think is pretty huge, as photo sharing on a private exchange can only make communications faster and more meaningful, not to mention more creative.

One could then of course speculate over the possible future of the DM service on Twitter as a stand-alone app, similar to how Facebook offers its private messaging service to its users. I for one would welcome such a move.

December 10, 2013Published by: Steph Bennett

Gary Vaynerchuck is coming to London

On Thursday 12th December 2013, leading social media speaker and author Gary Vaynerchuck will be in London for VaynerWorld, his only 2013 UK talk, Q&A and networking session to launch his new book, 'Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook'.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

At Battenhall, we're big fans of Gary's work he's a real inspiration to those of us who work in social media and marketing. It's Gary's direct, straight-talking approach and ability to focus on the end end goal without distraction that makes him a joy to listen to and a treat to watch on stage. Don't believe us? Well, this is what he had to say when he announced VaynerWorld on YouTube.

"I'm basically going put on the greatest event in London history!  I don't give a crap about The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Clash or Beckham or whoever, not the single best business book event, the single... greatest... event!"

We're delighted to be working with Gary's team and so we are able to offer friends of Battenhall an exclusive 10% off on tickets to his event.

To claim your discount, simply enter 'battenhall' when ordering your tickets.

All ticket holders will receive a free copy of Gary's new book featuring over 80 social media case studies compiled by VaynerMedia. You'll also get the opportunity to network with Gary and other social media influencers, have your book signed and your photo taken with Gary, professionally.

We really hope to see you there on Thursday.

The Battenhall Team

December 4, 2013Published by: Drew

WhatsApp overtakes Facebook for mobile messaging

Fb and whatsapp

As you may have seen if you subscribe to the Battenhall Monthly, we're all over social messaging trends in 2014 right now. Ovum's report on this space from last week shows how social messaging apps are the hottest thing right now and are going to explode next year. It's worth taking a look at their stats.

Well WhatsApp has just done what many expected and has just overtaken Facebook to be the biggest social messaging app on mobile globally. Here are the stats, from a good write-up of this news over on The Drum:

On Device’s five-country research revealed that in the US Facebook still dominates, but WhatsApp is the combined leader with 44 per cent of global respondents who use social messaging saying they do so on WhatsApp compared to 35 per cent on Facebook Messenger. WeChat was the third most popular (28 per cent) followed by Twitter (19 per cent), BlackBerry Messenger (17 per cent) and Skype (16 per cent).

Daily usage of social messaging on mobile devices also shows that chat apps are the dominant way of staying in touch. 86 per cent of respondents say they use chat apps on their mobiles, compared to 73 per cent using their devices for voice calls, 75 per cent using SMS and 60 per cent using email.

If you are not yet looking at how to get the most out of social media for comms and customer service and you still rely heavily on Facebook, WhatsApp is the place you might want to go to for planning ahead in 2014.

December 1, 2013Published by: Steph Bennett

Battenhall working with The International HIV / AIDS Alliance to promote their World AIDS Day campaign

Battenhall are delighted have started working with The International HIV / AIDS Alliance on an awareness campaign for World AIDS Day (December 1st 2013). The campaign highlights the urgent need to prioritise and involve young people in efforts to tackle HIV and to promote the work being carried through a project which they lead called, Link Up.

The campaign features two incredible stories which illustrate the current situation in Africa which are told in two very powerful videos. The first is a very moving film called 'That Time' which is about a 22 year woman called Momina from Ethiopia, and the challenges she faces living with HIV. The second is titled 'Strictly Beza' and it tells the story of Addis Beza, an enterprising young dance troupe based in Addis Ababa who use music and dance to communicate very serious messages about HIV prevention.

That Time

Strictly Beza