Archives for February 2015

February 28, 2015Published by: Drew

Social media for internal communications: notes from Battenhall’s IoIC talk

Yesterday I travelled to Leicester to talk at the Institute for Internal Communications on future social media trends and internal comms. The IoIC's gathering was in Leicester and preceded the institute's awards.

Speaking to the client-side delegates about the challenges faced by internal communications professionals, it's clear to see that with minimal resource and an audience that is increasingly disengaged from traditional communications channels, social media, video and private messaging apps are a major hot topic.

My talk focused on how internal communications practitioners can prepare for the year ahead, and included these four steps:

  1. Audit your audience: make use of the most sophisticated social media analytics tools to ensure you are using the social networks and messaging platforms to connect with your audience.
  2. Track conversations on social: use smart systems to bring the information you need to you. Technology should put you on the front foot and save you resources.
  3. Experiment in messaging and mobile: think beyond social media in the year ahead. Think WhatsApp, Snapchat and WeChat.
  4. Innovate 1:9:90: Spend 90% of your time on the important stuff, 9% on innovations, and 1% on Moon Shots.

Lastly, to help internal comms teams manage how to use social privately, publicly and as a combination of the two, we have created the below thee-level system that maps out where / which social networks can come in most useful.

social media for internal comms - battenhall

The slides from my talk sadly aren't online, but you can contact us for more info if you are interested in this topic.

February 23, 2015Published by: Drew

Catch Battenhall speaking at the Institute of Internal Comms conference this Friday

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Battenhall will be at the Institute of Internal Communications' conference this Friday, 27th February, where we will be presenting on how social media is shaping up for engaging internal audiences. We'll be looking at future trends, innovation in social media, and presenting some of Battenhall's independent research on the space too.

Applying our social media insights to internal comms challenges is something we like to geek out on, and with the rate of innovation from the social media world, it's never been quite so exciting as it is right now to work in internal comms.

If you're not attending in person you can follow @ioicnews on Twitter for updates and more on the event is on the IoIC's website here.

February 20, 2015Published by: Janey Spratt

Google launches ‘KidsTube’ app

_81131384_youtubekidslogoToday, YouTube announced that it will be launching a YouTube Kids app in the US on Monday. This will be a free, Android only app designed specifically for the younger generation and their tastes.

The app will offer family-friendly content under the categories of shows, music, learning and explore - allowing children to browse safely. Kids will be able to search for specific topics; however parents can disable certain ‘nightmare inducing’ searches (think sharks, spiders and dinosaurs!). Parents will also be able to limit the amount of time their child spends on the app.

The news will be reassuring to parents particularly as a recent Telegraph article looking at the history and future of YouTube points out that  "Almost anyone can upload almost anything to YouTube, for free, and be in with a chance of reaching its one billion monthly users – whether they’re activists, terrorists, politicians or pop stars (or just the proud owner of a “mutant giant spider dog”). It has changed our world."

YouTube really has changed our world and in recent years, we’ve seen the rise of YouTubers and YouTube talent. Similarly, 'KidsTube' has the potential to change how the future generation consumes media. We see kids playing on iPads on public transport or in restaurants more and more - it’s alarming how competent some young children are with the various iPhone and iPad functions, learning ‘swipe to unlock’ before learning to walk or talk.

We’re thrilled to see one of the top social networks taking measures to keep kids safe online as well as the impact this might have on children’s entertainment trends. We can’t wait to see how this new app impacts digital trends for generation Z.

Image credit. 


February 19, 2015Published by: Charlie Sharpe

Facebook’s second coming: Could VR research revive the social network?

Virtual-reality-speeltje-of-bruikbare-marketingtool_900_450_90_s_c1_smart_scaleAs you all may be aware, the once giant of social media - Facebook - has been struggling recently. The number of new users joining is declining and, while it now has 1.35 billion users across the globe - 35 million ahead of Youtube - other social platforms are beginning to close the gap. It is fast becoming a common view that the site is inundated with advertising and is no longer popular among social media's target audience - Facebook is out of date. Some reports have even suggested that the network’s days are numbered and that the near future is one without it.

However, almost a year after the company's $2bn acquisition of the virtual reality company Oculus VR, Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox has announced that research into virtual reality app creation has begun. "The first time you're in [a virtual world], you realize you are looking at the future," Cox said. "You look around, and it's beautiful." (PC Magazine). Cox went on to explain that, when users share videos, posts, photos etc on Facebook they are not just sharing media - they are sharing an experience. Could this be a sign of a daring comeback? Only time will tell.

For now though Cox has announced that the technology is still a long way away so don't expect to be reliving your friend's ski trips or a Beyonce concert tomorrow!  The same is true for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, but for now Facebook can only hope that VR technology will be its saviour.

February 13, 2015Published by: Fereshta Amir

Could Yik Yak be the next big thing in mobile?

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We'd bet our bottom dollar that most of you who are reading this are familiar with WhatsApp and have used it at least once, have heard of SnapChat and have read an article or two about WeChat's popularity in Asia by now. Well, there's a new player in the messaging app game that is worth taking a note of: Yik Yak.

Yik Yak is a hyper-local so-called 'gossip' app which has so far raised an impressive $10 million in funds and has taken US college campuses by storm (let's not forget that social giant Facebook started life there!)

We've been playing around with the app and the first thing to note is that it is very student and teen heavy, as expected. Users can post anonymous 'yaks', or text posts, into the Yik Yak ether which can then be voted up or down by other 'yakkers'. Everything you see on your feed is from other users within a 10 mile radius known as a 'herd'.

The posts with the most votes are ranked higher and can be commented on too. Everyone can post a yak and be a yakker and everything is anonymous - there is no such thing as photos or avatars to identify users. The below should give you a gist of the ever changing and random content you could see pop up on your feed.

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Yik Yak is available on at least 1,500 college campuses and according to the founders it's starting to get a pretty good foothold into other English-speaking countries like Canada, the U.K. and Australia. It's growing fast and we're keeping a very close eye!

February 11, 2015Published by: Drew

How YouTube has changed advertising

how youtube changed the world

A long-read worth reading if you work in communications is this feature in The Telegraph on the history and future of YouTube, it's impact on politics, brands, advertising and beyond.

The feature looks at how the social network, which for 9 years has been owned by Google, has made the world a more transparent place, and more lately has changed how organisations interact with the public, both direct and through the new YouTuber influencers.

The piece looks at how politicians are tailoring speech length to YouTube in order to increase views (3mins 29 is a good length), how product launches and promotions have been revolutionised, and how brands such as Topshop work with Vloggers like Zoella and get a whopping 40% / 2.8m clicks on product endorsements. The piece goes on to say:

The internet was meant to kill off advertising. Instead of sitting through annoying commercials during television broadcasts, we’d go online to watch uninterrupted dramas, comedies and silly clips. Curiously, though, last year's ten most-watched (non-music) videos on YouTube included four adverts.

Well worth a read for social media video experts and beginners alike.

February 1, 2015Published by: Drew

The Battenhall WhatsApp stats show engagement wins over noise

WhatsApp engagement data - Battenhall.001

Since March 2013 we have been publishing our own analysis and curated news stories covering the social media, digital and mobile comms space over three main channels: this blog, our Twitter account and the Battenhall Monthly email newsletter. Last month we launched a new channel, the Battenhall WhatsApp. We've been publishing 2-5 stories daily on this new WhatsApp channel.

Brands are increasingly using WhatsApp for open dialogue with their target market, and we've been doing some work in WhatsApp for clients too, so we thought we should eat some of our own dog food.

Feedback from people who have signed up so far has been really interesting. Some wonder why we would want to use WhatsApp at all, the vast majority have welcomed this new communications channel, some of our subscribers message us wanting more, some wanting less. Some just WhatsApp us saying thank you (which is so nice!!).

The reason we feel that brands are taking the leap and using WhatsApp is two-fold: firstly it's where the audience is - 700m users and counting can't be ignored; and secondly is the high engagement levels - common sense would say that WhatsApp messages are missed less than emails and tweets, so even small WhatsApp lists can be far more effective than large Twitter or email channels. There is little evidence around to support this theory however, which is why we thought it a good idea to write this post.

Our channel is still small, just over 100 subscribers at the time of writing, but it is growing fast. Below and in the chart above is a summary of key learnings and some stats for the two main factors that we've been able to extract from WhatsApp that allow us to compare it to Twitter and email - namely open / engagement rates, and click through rates. Note overall list size does vary, but not hugely.

  • WhatsApp lists grow organically quicker than you think
  • Content on WhatsApp and on email is far less viral than Twitter, naturally
  • Engagement rates on WhatsApp average at 85%, far beating our own Twitter and email stats by a long shot, as well as industry standard Twitter and email stats
  • Click through rates on WhatsApp average at 48%, again far beating our own Twitter and email stats
  • We have found the newly-launched WhatsApp web client useful in managing content and responses, but the mobile app is still more useful

This new WhatsApp channel is an experiment for us, but the way things are going so far we think it will be here to stay.