Archives for November 2014

November 26, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

YouTubers: brand endorsement crack down by ASA

maxresdefaultWe recently blogged about the rise of YouTube celebrities and for years now brands have been tapping into their highly engaged audiences through brand endorsements.

The influence of these YouTubers has been picked up by the media this year, uncovering that YouTubers can earn in the region of £100k in return for a day of product endorsement on their channels.

The latest revelation comes from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who have noticed that some YouTubers have been breaking advertising standards. Today, the ASA have ruled that Vloggers must clearly declare when a brand has paid for a product to appear in a video.

YouTubers must now clearly mark ‘advert’, ‘promo’ or add a symbol onto the video or in the title. Simply saying ‘this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of *brand*’ isn’t going to cut it anymore. These changes are to protect the YouTuber's audiences who are often very young in age.

In our experience, we’ve managed relationships between brands and YouTubers where both parties have been keen to endorse the campaign message while making it look as natural and as discreet as possible. So these new rules will be a significant change for YouTubers as they work hard to maintain relationships with their loyal subscribers.

With this standardised approach to YouTuber endorsements being enforced by the ASA, the crucial effect yet to be seen will be the impact on subscriber loyalty and engagement. Does this new ruling change the commercial opportunity for brands and YouTube partnerships?

YouTubers owe their success to their loyal fanbases - they know better than anyone that the right content tailored to the audience has the potential to draw in mass support and engagement. As YouTubers grow their fanbases, commercial opportunities begin to appear and the line between fan loyalty and financial gain can become blurred. If the new ASA ruling jeopardises fan loyalty, we predict YouTubers will simply minimise the volume of product placement on their channels to avoid losing subscribers. It may be that YouTubers move over to brands' owned channels when promoting products in return for payment.

Read more on the changes here.

Image credit.

November 24, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

The social media food porn effect

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Today, The Drum announced @Nandosuk as the most engaging brand on Twitter in the UK, coinciding with The Forbes Top 25 restaurants on social media. It got our team thinking, why is it important for food brands to be recognised on social media, ahead of their competitors?

Here’s three reasons why we think it’s important for food brands to be prominent on social media:

1. Top of mind

When you walk into a supermarket or plan to go out for dinner, your decisions are generally based upon what’s top of mind. Food brands need to have a presence on social media so that consumers have fresh, positive brand associations that they remember when they walk into a store or down the high street. It’s all about standing out from the crowd!

2. The food porn effect

Food brands are investing more and more in food porn whether it’s visual imagery, a video or a Vine. The ‘food porn effect’ refers to powerful photos of delicious looking food and the emotion that it sparks among the people you share it with. It taps into a passion for food, how people share pictures of food, take pictures of their meals whether it is in a restaurant or at home, and has the aim of getting a reaction from other people online.

Through their posts food brands aim to generate a sense 'needing' or ‘wanting’ a particular product or meal which, in turn, drives behaviours such as cravings. With creative content and timing, brands can tap into emotions and moods that will increase engagement around the brand, make an emotional connection and ultimately drive sales.

3. Deepening the customer experience

For all brands, social media is a powerful tool for managing the customer experience, interacting with them on a direct and public level.

Food brands need to be listening to what their customers are saying, whether it’s around a particular part of their experience, the service provided, a specific branch or an item on the menu. They can make a direct and personal interactions with customers, deepening their experience and creating positive experiences. Ultimately, creative engagement with customers and positive word of mouth drives social media brand advocates.

oreoIt’s not easy for food brands to be creative on social media as a lot of the time they’ve a small selection of products to talk about. For example, Skittles and Oreo are time and time again recognised for their excellent social media content yet only have one product to talk about.

With so much competition out there, food brands need to have their finger on the pulse, be thinking creatively and act quickly. Speedy, creative content has the power to engage customers, generate emotional connections which drives behaviours.

Photo credit 1, photo credit 2.


November 22, 2014Published by: Drew

Battenhall’s social data insights in today’s Guardian

Guardian Twitterstorm

Battenhall social media data analysis was used on page 9 of today's Guardian newspaper coverage of the twitterstorm that has taken hold of the UK, when MP Emily Thornberry tweeted something that would end with her ultimately losing her job as a Labour frontbencher.

Thornberry tweeted showing a picture of a house in Rochester with a van on its driveway and three St George's Cross flags on its front with the caption "Image from #Rochester". Replies ensued, online and off. "Don't be alarmed, that's just a working class person, they are actually often very nice" read one.

We took a look at how it all developed, which tweets and blog posts caused the rapid spread, how reactions from the twittersphere influenced the media, the public and ultimately the make-up of the Labour Party. Our findings are in The Guardian's graphic, above, and in print in today's paper.

Battenhall social media data insights

We're increasingly being asked to have our social data insights used to help the media with their reporting. Here we are, above, in Sky News, The Telegraph and in City AM in just the last two months. If you are on the look out for some similar insights for brand or news analysis, do get in touch.

November 21, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

New Social Network ‘This’ launches

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Whilst many social networks are self-proclaimed 'Facebook killers', few have actually been able to convert a considerable number of the masses that flock to the social network daily. In November, a new social network named 'This' launched, and whilst it doesn't claim to be a Facebook killer, it might just give the social network some serious competition. Why? Because this social network is solving one of the biggest issues at the moment - noise.

It’s no surprise that most of the time, the key things people are sharing on social media networks are links with their own third party endorsement for the content, complemented by some reasoning from the sharer. For those wondering where this fits on the magic triangle of social networks, it's finer curated than Facebook and much more streamlined than Twitter. You don’t really have to go far to find a user that is fed up with the way some existing social networks have become.

Unlike App.net and Ello, this social network doesn't rely on the masses to be a success - it's simply a hat tip to the fact that there is plenty of good content across the web, and that people love sharing content with their communities. Whilst This does have a long way to go, it's already proving a point - follow the right curators on the network and you'll read just the right amount of varied content daily from across the web that you actually need. Anyone familiar with “Media Twitter” will recognise plenty of names on the service’s growing user list. This offers a different experience for those digital natives, as explained by Pando Daily, "This offers sharing without the pressures of The Stream(TM)".

The project, funded incubator-style through Atlantic Media, was envisioned by Andrew Golis - a sort of entrepreneur-in-residence at the company. Every media organisation, newspaper, magazine and outlet has a set of 'must reads' for the day - now with This, everyone can be a curator of their own. To learn more about This or to sign up to become a member, visit: this.cm


November 21, 2014Published by: Pauline Leger

Changes are afoot at Facebook… again!

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Things are changing again on planet Facebook. Last week, the social media giant announced its decision to reduce visibility of overly promotional posts on your timeline from brand pages. Next came Facebook at work, a unique service with the same features as Facebook that you could use exclusively with your work colleagues - a potential rival to LinkedIn. This was swiftly followed by the announcement that a new app had been developed to cluster all your groups together in one place. So what does all this mean for brands and users of Facebook?

Promotional Facebook posts

Results from a recent satisfaction survey conducted on hundreds of thousands of people about what they'd most like to see change on Facebook were pretty clear. Users want to read more about their friends and the pages they liked, and less about promotional content from brands.

Three particular types of content that just are a no-no for the users include:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

While Facebook has some measures in place to lessen the frequency posts from brands, promotional content comes mostly from those pages which the users had chosen to like. Ads however, are managed with tight controls over promotional text on images and through paid targeting.

From January 2015, Facebook will be activating new measures to limit posts that are too pushy or promotional. Brands will therefore have to re-work their messaging, as anything considered too sales oriented, using promotion out of context or re-using content from ads will not be visible.

Facebook at work

According to anonymous sources, Facebook is testing a new version of it's social network called Facebook at work. Many companies restrict or limit the use of Facebook at work but it seems this could soon be a thing of the past with 'Facebook at work' - a version for professionals that would offer the exact same options as the original website with a news feed, messenger and groups and yet be completely separate from Facebook itself. If 'Facebook at work' comes to life, it could be a massive hit, allowing people to use the internal social network to communicate with their peers, managers and the like without having to feel guilty or to face potential issues. Facebook have not commented on the leaked news so far but it has been widely shared in the media.

Facebook groups

Last but not least, a new Facebook app, 'Facebook Groups', was made available few days ago. 'Share what you care about with the people who care about it most' is the message the social network is delivering to invite users to come and view all their groups in one single app - just as we saw with the launch of messenger. This new app will allow them to interact and jump from community to community in a more seamless manner. Although groups is one of their main features, the expectation is that this will increase and encourage it's use.

What's next I wonder? To be continued...

November 20, 2014Published by: Drew

Future social media trends in healthcare: #AHCM2014 keynote

AHCM2014 Battenhall

This morning I attended the Association for Healthcare Communications and Marketing's annual conference in Leeds to deliver their keynote talk, on social media trends in 2015. As a judge for the industry association's annual awards, for a second year, and having just delivered this talk to a room packed with enthused, engaged and innovative communications professionals, I can say without doubt the healthcare industry is itself in rude health when it comes to social media.

Below are my slides from the keynote, and here are some of the key pieces of interaction from people in the industry who were at the event. Please do feel free to download and share the slides as you wish.

Photo courtesy of Oliver Jelley.


November 19, 2014Published by: Sharmin Cheema-Kelly

Apple users like grilled halloumi and exercising, while Google users spend 50+ hours online a week

Ever wanted to experiment with research on what audience your brand resonates with the most? Or flip that maybe, what brands, media, social media and people your target audience trust the most? Enter YouGov Profiles.

Last week YouGov unveiled its media planning and audience segmentation tool at the Festival of Marketing which aims to provide marketers with a more detailed insight into the lives of their customers, as well as the products and services they use. However it is only since yesterday that it has taken the internet by storm with publications such as The Guardian, The Times, and CNET reporting about it, and with over a thousand people logging on to the app each second.

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YouGov collates this data by integrating 120,000 data points from more than 200,000 active UK panellists collected in the YouGov Cube to illustrate how each person engages with traditional (TV, radio, newspapers) and new media (online, mobile, social), which it dubs as being “unique to the research industry”.

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YouGov profiles consumers by looking specifically at their demographics and lifestyle, brand usage and perceptions, media consumption, digital and mobile behaviour, social media activities, and attitudes and opinions. For example, a quick search of Apple reveals that most of its users are females aged between 25 – 39 in Media/Publishing or Advertising/Marketing/PR who like exercising and who sometimes splash out on products they might not need. Apple users also describe themselves as “clever”, prefer shopping at Waitrose, and spend between 31 – 35 hours/per week online.

The data doesn’t show a “typical” customer, but those whom the search subject would appeal to most, according to YouGov. With over 30,000 search terms available, YouGov Profiles highlights the importance of big data in providing an insightful portrait of consumers and will no doubt be a useful tool for marketers in future.

November 14, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

Kardashian vs Comet: Did Kim’s bum break the internet?

kim paper cover

Kim Kardashian's bum featured on the front page of Paper's latest issue with the headline 'Break the internet Kim Kardashian'. The cover caused a ruckus on social media - her bum trended on Twitter with blanket media coverage but did Kim's bum break the internet as intended?

We crunched the numbers to see whether Kim's bum broke the internet more than other recent trending news; the Rosetta comet landing, the John Lewis and the Sainsbury's Christmas adverts - here's what we found.

In the below analysis we used Radian 6 to demonstrate the number of mentions around each topic, showing that Kim Kardashian's bum did indeed, metaphorically at least, break the internet:

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Number of mentions:

  • Kim's bum (light blue line): 1,798,520 mentions
  • Rosetta comet (dark blue line): 1,189,274 mentions
  • John Lewis advert (green line): 395,280 mentions
  • Sainsbury's advert (orange line): 92,777

However, when we take a closer look, we can actually see that the Rosetta comet generated a larger spike in mentions upon breaking (dark blue line):

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The verdict? Kim's bum didn't literally break the internet however over 1.7 million people were talking about the image and the sheer volume did drown the web. The Rosetta comet generated a bigger spike over a short period, so it all depends when you were online as to whether it's bottoms or comets that you will remember from this week.

Rosetta Landing

Image courtesy of Nasa.