Archives for September 2015

September 30, 2015Published by: Drew

How Snapchat Live Stories are reinventing the news

Snapchat Discover

As Battenhaller Dom Whitehurst mentioned at our Social Media Week lecture earlier this month, Snapchat is THE news channel for Generation Z, aka the screenagers. If you needed convincing, this article by Nieman Journalism Lab is well worth a read. It explores how Snapchat is using geofencing and curated snaps from users to create Live Stories.

According to Snapchat, 15 million people are viewing Live Stories daily, and these stories aren't just themed by location; events, brands and trending topics all get a look in. According to Nieman Lab, it's all about getting a deeper and more real perspective on events as the happen:

“At Snapchat, we have everyone’s camera at our disposal,” said Peter Hamby, Snapchat’s head of news during a talk Tuesday at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Media, Politics and Public Policy. Snapchat’s Live Stories disappear 24 hours after they’re published, and Hamby compared them to television in the era before DVR — people would gather around their sets to watch big moments unfold because they wouldn’t be able to rewatch them.

It's clear that the volume and variety of content coming through Snapchat's Stories is making waves in the news media, and will be very interesting to watch as this develops.

We're @battenhall on Snapchat. And below our Snapcode if you'd like to add us. Follow for updates on Battenhall life, work and goings-on in general.

battenhall snapchat

September 23, 2015Published by: Drew

Instagram hits 400m users, WhatsApp passes 900m

instagram 400 million

Instagram last night announced that the social network has has reached 400 million global active users, a jump of 100 million this year, posting 80 million photos and videos a day. This comes quickly after we heard just two weeks ago that WhatsApp has now reached 900 million active users globally of the messaging app.

The two sister companies certainly seem to be getting something right, with pretty staggering growth numbers. They are very much pulling away from the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember, Twitter has has only 316 million active users, a total which the company has hovered around for the last year. And Linkedin is at just 380 million registered members (it doesn't count its users the same way as the others - the active users would be far lower).

So where are Instagram and WhatsApp getting it right?

Instagram has announced that it added 100 million users this year. The biggest growth has come from Brazil, Indonesia and Japan. It has introduced new functions like landscape and portrait sized photos. forwarding photos to friends, and direct messaging, yet all the while it has remained very simple to use, something that is clearly resonating with new users, and I would say is something neither Twitter not LinkedIn can boast.

WhatsApp's utility and simplicity continues to be its main asset. This year it released to allow its users to flip from app to laptop seamlessly.

Over the coming weeks and months it will be interesting to see how Twitter and LinkedIn's own numbers grow, and whether we see any radical changes to their platforms to channel the simplicity which is clearly so important for growth in this space.

September 17, 2015Published by: Drew

Review of Battenhall’s 2016 social media trends briefing

Battenhall Social Media Week 2015

This Monday we hosted 150 VIPs at our annual social media trends briefing event. We began running this event when we were just months old as an agency, and in our first year there was queuing round the block to get in (and cronuts), then in our second year there was cover story news of our talk (in the Daily Telegraph no less), so we had our work cut out this year to make our event bigger and badder than ever.

Our venue was the brand spanking new Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly Circus. The venue started to fill at 7am, as our guests tucked into some pastries and power networking before the speakers took to the lectern. Here is how we planned the order of events:

  • Part 1: our launch of the new FTSE 100 social media report and key findings
  • Part 2: vlogging, by Steph Bennett
  • Part 3: millennials, by Dom Whitehurst
  • Part 4: badvertising, by Janey Spratt
  • Part 5: anti-social, by myself
  • Wrap-up: our live poll of what the audience is planning on social media in 2016

The results: our event was the top trending topic on Twitter in the UK, and with write-ups in the Telegraph, City AM, Management Today, The Drum and across the web. The best way to review how the event went is through the write-ups online. The attendees and those tuning in from their desks took better notes collectively than any of the Battenhallers could have. So if you missed it, here is how it went.

September 14, 2015Published by: Drew

Burberry tops 3rd annual FTSE 100 social media report

Battenhall FTSE 100 report 2015 small crop new

This morning at the opening session of Social Media Week London, we unveiled Battenhall's third annual report on how the FTSE 100 list of companies uses Twitter and other social media. The report is now live and downloadable in full on

Burberry has taken the social media crown for a third year running, and bottom of our rankings is Shire, the pharmaceuticals company, with just 30 followers. The report looks at the brands with the most influence, the risers and fallers, and contains case studies based on interview with the FTSE 100s in addition to exclusive research.

The new report shows that brands have over the last 12 months become more active on Twitter, and whilst there are more high-profile, verified and active accounts in total, nine companies are still not on Twitter at all. There are more Twitter Millionaires than ever before, with both Burberry and Sky breaking the barrier, and the FTSE 100s' audience on Twitter has doubled in the last 12 months, from 6.4m to 12.4m followers collectively. With case studies, data on year-on-year progress, and which brands have switched their social media strategy in the last 12 months, our new report is the most comprehensive produced to date.

Download the full report here [free to access].

September 10, 2015Published by: Drew

We’re hiring: donut eating not compulsory, but.

Battenhall Donut Thursday

Battenhall is a new agency on a mission. We are building something truly exciting and we are looking for the industry's best PR and social media consultants to join us on our journey.

We are two years old, and already ranked as number one social media agency in the UK, best small agency, best new agency in Europe, Middle East & Africa, and named 'agency of the future' by the PRCA. We are known for working differently too: all staff get a big tech allowance to spend on whatever they want, an unlimited holiday allowance, flexi and remote working as standard, and a salary to attract the best in the business. We have been named as one of the world's top 11 companies for our perks. Phew.

We are looking to assemble a team of the industry's brightest minds in our London HQ. To apply for any of the below openings email us on with a brief introduction and include your CV, LinkedIn or school report.

PR consultants (1-5 years experience)

Due to a number of new client wins, we are looking for talented PR account executives and managers with agency experience and a passion for digital and social media. Our clients include household consumer brands, B2B organisations, exciting startups and FTSE 100s. It doesn't matter what kind of client experience you have, but a good knowledge of PR in the digital age and a hunger to work in a progressive environment like ours where PR is integrated into social media campaigns from the beginning.

The ideal candidate will have experience of writing in a range of styles, from blog posts to press releases, speeches to tweets, and feature articles to new business proposals. You will also have experience of working directly with and pitching ideas to trade, broadcast, national, online and social media.

We are looking for great account managers and executives, and will give you experience in running campaigns, looking after clients, new business and content creation, all the time working as part of an integrated team that's at the cutting edge. Whatever your level of experience, we're flexible and simply looking for hungry, talented individuals who want to work in a supportive and forward-thinking environment.

Social media consultants (1-5 years experience)

Battenhall lives and breathes social media, but our work is applied to PR, research & insights, content marketing and community management too. We're hiring client facing consultants with experience in these fields. Ideally you will be an executive or manager level consultant in an agency, looking for your next step up the ladder.

We're looking for new joiners who have a bit of experience in the game, but your background in terms of the industry and client experience can come from anywhere - our client roster is diverse, so we look for diversity in new candidate experience too.

You will be involved in client handling, digital and social media content creation and analytics, influencer work, multimedia from web build to animation and video, and clients spanning all sectors. Above all else you will have a passion for social and a desire to be part of winning team. Boom.


Photo courtesy of the Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and WhatsApp accounts of Battenhallers on #donutthursday. You don't HAVE to enjoy eating donuts to work at Battenhall, but.

September 7, 2015Published by: Joe Cant

Live streaming apps: innovation, or a step too far?


Live streaming, as with any innovative medium, has its ups and downs. An unfortunate event which has brought it to light recently was the recent tragic events in Virginia, USA, in which Alison Parker and Adam Ward were gunned down during an interview on live TV, with the killer filming and uploading the entire scene on social media, we look into the effects social media, in particular live streaming, has on society today.

When we look at innovative and popular social media services such as the live streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, Snapchat with its 4 billion pieces of content uploaded daily, and Instagram which has 300 million active users each month, the potential to disrupt and create problems for broadcasters and established industries is huge.

With the opportunity to broadcast live video wherever you are with just a mobile phone, the need for live TV reporting equipment; vans, cameras and sound operators is increasingly becoming obsolete. Now, if a bystander witnesses a newsworthy event, live streaming apps allow them to become an amateur news reporter for the day - or at the very least a cameraman!

These new apps are not just influencing news reporting and the media landscape but also the sports industry. The ‘fight of the century’ provides a good example. Broadcasters of the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in May suffered as a result of Periscope users live streaming the match for free, rather than paying the $100 pay-per-view charge.

The US National Hockey League, have tried to fight the growth of user generated content by banning live streaming apps in its games. There are clearly concerns where live streaming is concerned. But why? Of course, money. But also brand reputation and experience. Let’s take Wimbledon, the UK’s biggest tennis competition for example.

Wimbledon is broadcast live on BBC throughout the tournament had its own live Periscope stream of the ticket queue outside the grounds, but it banned the use of the app inside the tennis courts. By setting these standards for the tournament are the All England Lawn Tennis Club trying to preserve the quality of content created on site? Or perhaps the image of the brand and the tournament? Or even the eagerness to capture moments on court that not only distract supporters from watching the game instead of their phone but also distracting the players? It’s most likely to be all of the above. But does it even matter?

Whatever the reasons may be, how can you ‘ban’ something that is legally available to the public and is socially encouraged?

The idea behind these apps is that, business aside, they’ve been made to better social media, social interaction and networking. So as a product and service, they’re almost ‘too disruptive’ because they cause complications for already well-established industries, leaving governing bodies only one choice: to ban the use of these apps to protect their TV deals and reputations.

But is it really a huge problem? Do those that ‘ban’ these apps think that enough people are going to tune in to somebody’s shaky, handheld Periscope video, with vertical coverage of a hockey playoff game, or a boxing match from a fairly poor viewpoint?

As well as comparatively bad coverage, the cameras, replays and commentary happening on top rate sports broadcasting channels all provide those vital, in-game, details, and in their own industry they are second to none, using features such as the SkyCam and HD slow motion replays. Can you imagine a football match without watching the goal or the red card tackle again in replay?

It’s uncertain how the live streaming app market will develop, and how their relationships with related industries will work. But it looks like they could be here to stay, if they’re allowed!

September 4, 2015Published by: Drew

Battenhall bolsters senior team with trio of appointments


2015 has been a smashing year here at Battenhall Towers. The speed at which we've been lucky enough to grow our client base has bowled me over, we've won a couple of prestigious awards, and we have recently moved to a larger London HQ. Today I can announce our appointment of three new consultants, bolstering our senior management team. Bradley Tubb joins as Senior Account Director, Dom Whitehurst as Account Director, and Jonny Atter as Account Manager. The senior appointments come as our 33-strong team turns two years old.

Brad (on the right in the above pic) joins us from Clarity PR, and will work on strategic agency development and Battenhall clients including TD Direct Investing, PwC and Intel Security. Bradley formerly worked as a journalist at the Manchester Evening News, so is teaching those of us with non-journalistic backgrounds a thing or two about storytelling, as well as Star Wars and how to make perfect scrambled eggs.

Dom (on the left) has joined with experience of both PR and social media agency roles, most recently at Hotwire where I worked with him as a founding member of the agency’s social media division 33 Digital. Dom also brings with him education sector experience, having worked for four years as a science teacher, which he is applying to our rapidly expanding education sector client base.

Jonny joins us from Edelman, tow work primarily on Battenhall’s social media clients, including Florette, Iceland and English Heritage. A specialist in social media data & insights, and also online video, Jonny is overseeing Battenhall’s work with Vloggers and in creating client video content.

It’s an honour to welcome new specialists to the agency as we grow our client roster. We are continuing to expand our team and we're hiring at all levels, so if you are looking for a new challenge, please do go take a look at our jobs page and get in touch.

September 1, 2015Published by: Anton Perreau

LinkedIn Launches Messaging Platform

LinkedIn mobile messaging

The new LinkedIn messaging platform has a clean, crisp design. Perhaps a hint at the new look of LinkedIn? Image via

For a long time, LinkedIn has relied on a messaging system called 'InMail' - however this was always much more like email than messaging, which feels alot more like texting. Now - a little late to the game, LinkedIn has launched a direct messaging option - fast, casual messaging that works a bit like the features so many other social networks launched  along time ago.

The new interface for LinkedIn's messages is clean, clear and allows you to attach images, GIFs, emojis and stickers. LinkedIn's new feature is only being rolled out to an initial "10 percent ramp to English global members," meaning that many of you may not see it for a little while. But tweet us your first impressions of it when you get a look in. The rest of the userbase will see the update in the coming weeks, the company said.

No surprises too that LinkedIn may be adding a bit of smart artificial intelligence to it's messaging product someday, as explained in re/code“We're excited about concepts like intelligent messaging assistants that can help suggest people you should message or provide you with relevant information about that person before you start a conversation,” wrote Mark Hull, LinkedIn’s director of product management, in a blog post. “Or the possibilities with voice and video to make conversations more compelling.”

To learn more about this new feature from LinkedIn, read about it on the LinkedIn blog. To share your own thoughts, tweet us at @battenhall.