Archives for May 2014

May 30, 2014Published by: Drew

PR Week asks Battenhall: Hit or Miss on Heinzgate?



This week I was asked to deliver PR Week's Hit or Miss. The topic was the Heinz brand-jacking, where a Twitter veteran of five years and 37,000 tweets started imitating the baked beans company online and subsequently got his account suspended following a tough response from Twitter and the brand police.

What happened could so easily have been put to Heinz's advantage, as I explained in PR Week. But instead I fear Heinz missed a golden opportunity to show that they get how social works and that they know how to engage an audience.

The full piece on PR Week is here.

PR Week Hit or Miss - Battenhall

May 22, 2014Published by: Drew

Twitter takes over The European Elections 2014


Labour? Conservative? UKIP? Green Party? Those are just some of the parties the electorate can choose to vote for in the European Parliament elections happening today. As we live in the social media economy, people have taken to twitter to express what they make of the whole election and some haven't held back. One BBC journalist was maybe a little too vocal on Twitter about her opinions on a particular party, resulting in the BBC removing her from covering the electionsAfter all, a journalist covering any election should be impartial.

Others decided to monitor the build-up to the election. Pew Research Center conducted analysis into the Twitter conversation surrounding the European Elections and garnered some interesting insights. By analysing more than 1.2 million tweets in English, French and German, it discovered that 31% of opinions about the EU in English were positive compared to 39% negative and 30% neutral opinions.

At Battenhall HQ, we've conducted our own analysis of the Twitter chatter on the European Elections by analysing trending hashtags around the event. The two most popular hashtags are:

#useyourvote (official): 5,662 mentions

#whyimvotingukip (unofficial): 233, 536

Screenshot 2014-05-22 14.23.40

It's interesting to note that the unofficial hashtag has overtaken the official hashtag in the number of mentions. Also, it's rather amusing that #whyimvotingukip has been hijacked with ironic tweets from Twitter users stating why they would "vote" UKIP by poking fun at the party's policies.

UKIP has just learnt a Twitter lesson - political parties are never safe from Twitter's humour.

May 21, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

A wrap up: BBC’s experiment on WhatsApp and WeChat


You may have seen our blog post last month on news media taking to messaging apps, with the BBC pioneering this during its coverage of the Indian elections. Today, the experiment has ended and we received the above message from BBC News on WhatsApp, telling us that the BBC News India election service had come to an end and asking users for feedback.

The service was not only on WhatsApp - the BBC launched channels across several social messaging platforms, including WeChat, Line and BBM - all focusing on news gathering and content promotion in the region.

We kept a close eye on how this experiment unfolded. Here are our top three observations:

1. Single purpose service:
Whichever BBC channel you decided to add, whether WhatsApp or WeChat, the service was very obviously tailored to you for one purpose; to update you on the elections - no other gimmicks. Looks like the BBC paid close attention to the rise of 'the invisible app' and the importance of maximising one app's usefulness without monopolising the users' attention.

2. Multimedia and interactive content:
On no occasion did we receive more than six messages a day on WhatsApp and WeChat. The content was not limited to messages either - the BBC tried everything. We received voice notes of interviews with key politicians and commentators, short video summaries of people's opinions, graphs and images showing election maps and poll updates as well as images of headlines in India. Images and videos were sometimes slow to appear, but a heads up was always given beforehand. We were also frequently asked our opinions and views as the elections progressed, which you could share simply by messaging back.


3. Global audience:
The messages were not only in English but also in Hindi. Thanks to the popularity of these messaging apps, a global audience was expected to tune in so an English only news service would not have made sense.

We are waiting for the BBC to release stats on how many people actually followed this experiment, but we think all the ingredients for success were definitely there...

May 20, 2014Published by: Drew

How digital is transforming business in the social media age

The newest piece of research out from McKinsey looks at how CEOs can address the strategic challenges brought about by the 'digital revolution' going on right now. The consultancy firm's graphic, below, shows the importance of being an early adopter, so as to be able to spot digital trends that will go beyond the tipping point and become the 'new normal'.

Courtesy of McKinsey

McKinsey summarises that digital trends can transform businesses in the following three ways:

  1. Enhancing internal and external communications
  2. Using social data to improve management decisions
  3. Creating new business processes or products that suit the digital age

We are well on board with this agenda and seeing it ourselves first hand. The McKinsey article in full is well worth a read.

May 16, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

Twitter freshens up its service

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 15.04.29

In response to all-time low user growth figures, Twitter has been busy experimenting and introducing new features. In a recent Bloomberg interview CEO Dick Costolo spoke about the future of Twitter and his aim to create a more visually engaging network while making it easier for newcomers to use.

The most recent feature announcement is the Twitter mute button which allows you to 'turn off' annoying users rather than unfollow them. This new feature is particularly valuable to those who use Twitter to network professionally and want to avoid awkward situations. But, it's also fantastic if you’re looking to silence irrelevant noise...not a Eurovision or Superbowl fan? Simply mute the over-sharers!

Costolo also hinted at a ‘whisper mode’ which would allow users to move their public conversations into a private mode. Currently Twitter only allows users to private message one-to-one, whereas this feature would enable private group conversations. If a whisper mode is introduced it will likely pose a challenge to brands looking to own specific moments on Twitter. On the other hand, it may allow brands the opportunity to communicate privately with influencers and open up new connections.

Twitter's mute button and the hint of Twitter whisper come just after Twitter rolled out new profile designs which many commented look very similar to Facebook. With the new ability to pin tweets to the top of profiles, mute content and the potential to create group messages, this feels like yet another step towards Facebook's approach.

If Twitter does introduce a whisper mode, could it pose a serious risk to Facebook's user base? After a quick poll of the Battenhall team, many of us only use Facebook to group message loved ones, to catch up and to organise social plans.

We’re interested to see how much Twitter will change and whether the Facebook similarities will result in a Hunger Games-esque show down of the two networks.

May 14, 2014Published by: Drew

The rise and rise of Instagram: New data shows rate of posting to Instagram has almost overtaken tweeting


Anyone who uses both Twitter and Instagram regularly will no doubt be surprised at this new data that has been compiled by Domo. It shows that the number of photos and videos posted to Instagram is almost equal to how much goes on over on Twitter.

Considering the effort it takes to capture (filter!) and post to Instagram versus bashing out a sentence on Twitter, this shows just how fast Instagram is growing and how it has become one of the power players on the social networking circuit.

Key stats from the research (shared every minute):

  • 204 million emails are sent
  • 2.4 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook
  • 4 million searches are carried out on Google
  • 0.34 million WhatsApp messages are sent
  • 0.277 million tweets are sent
  • 0.216 pics / videos are shared on Instagram
  • 3,472 pins go up on Pinterest

May 12, 2014Published by: Drew

Roy Hodgson picks his England Squad. How did fans react on social media?


For any supporter of England's football team, there are two important factors that help predict England's chances of football glory in the World Cup. Firstly, it's what group England will draw in the World Cup and secondly it's what squad the manager will take to the World Cup. Already knowing the answer to the former, today, fans got their answer to the latter as England Manager Roy Hodgson finally revealed who he would be taking to the World Cup in Brazil. Like supporters at a West Ham derby in Upton Park, English football fans went crazy on social media.

Ahead of Roy Hodgson's announcement, telecommunications firm, WDS, attempted to predict the squad by analysing fans' tweets. Using a social media monitoring tool, it counted the number of popular tweets a player received on Twitter versus the number of negative tweets. This was the basis for its team selection which you can view here.

Over here at Battenhall HQ, we decided to analyse how much social media traffic Roy Hodgson's announcement managed to generate. Using some nifty social media software of our own, we looked at the top trending hashtags concerning the announcement and below is what we found:

  • #WorldCup - 37,868 mentions
  • #EnglandWorldCupSquad (trending UK hashtag) - 22,109 mentions
  • #ComeOnEngland (promoted hashtags)- 5,609 mentions
  • #Lampard - 391 mentions
  • #RoyHodgson - 283 mentions

From our initial analysis it looks like the promoted hashtag wasn't worth the investment...

May 8, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

Internet of Things in action with LG’s HomeChat

LG HomeChat

You may have noticed from previous blog posts that the team here at Battenhall have a sweet spot for the Internet of Things and the endless possibilities this development brings. The most recent news that got us quite excited is that of LG launching fridges, washers and cookers that chat.

As reported by the BBC, the new text chat service allows fridge owners to see what food is inside as well as controlling other home appliances. Bad news is, the app can only be used in South Korea for now, but plans are to extend it to US and UK markets soon after. LG's HomeChat appliances communicate with their users via Line, the popular chat app in Asia, and has features such as a Freshness Tracker that can tell you about items that have passed their expiration dates and remote washing machine activation. Samsung also has its rival Smart Home service in Asia, which has similar features.

It will be interesting to see how hacked homes develop further, as some experts think products that offer these features will only appeal to a niche audience. In the meantime, we also had a go at making appliances chat: every time our office beer fridge opens on a late Friday afternoon, this is automatically tweeted by our friendly BattenBot, the Battenhall Bot. Sadly tweets cannot yet force open the beer fridge... we're working on that!