Tag Archives: Social Media

Digital Zeitgeist

9 Aug

Platform News

Facebook introduces embedded posts

What’s happening: Facebook have begun rolling out Embedded Posts that let people add public posts from Facebook to their blog or web site. When embedded, posts can include pictures, videos, hashtags and other content. People can also like and share the post directly from the embed.

Why it’s interesting: Up to now, one distinctive difference between Facebook and Twitter has been openness; FB being a walled-garden (talk amongst friends only), while the Twitter is an open party (friends and anyone else who will listen). However, Facebook’s efforts over recent months have indicated a shift to make its content more accessible outside of just your circle of friends – Graph search, hashtags, following users without friending and now embedding.

Facebook announce newsfeed changes

What’s happening: Yesterday, Facebook held a press conference to discuss three small tweaks to Edgerank (Facebook’s algorithm for feeding you relevant content) – we recommend reading up on edgerank if this is unfamiliar before carrying on.

Story Bumping

Previously, the news feed would rate all the stories published since the user last logged on, and show users only the ‘best’ (i.e. top ranked) ones when they did log on. With Story Bumping, Facebook draws from the back catalogue and considers ALL the posts the user hasn’t seen, basically helping show users more new material. From Facebook’s initial testing of 7,000 users, Story Bumping leads to an 8% increase in (brand) page interactions.

Last Actor

The Last Actor feature keeps track of the last 50 people or pages you interacted with and gives these people or brands a small bump in relevance. Brand pages will want to try and stay in that magic 50 to increase the likelihood of their posts being seen by fans.

Chronological by Actor

Facebook users have always been keen to see updates in the order they were posted. Facebook will attempt tackle this with chronological tweaks, so that you see posts from the same friend or brand in chronological order. Useful for following live, real-time updates for a sports match, TV programme or similar.

Why it’s interesting: These updates, particularly Last Actor Signal and Story Bumping, are looking to reward people and pages who have a compelling story to tell, and in an engaging way. Posts that are inherently good (offer value to the reader) should typically enjoy more time in their followers’ feeds. It is therefore more important than ever to ensure, as brand guardians, the quality of our story in print and TV is matched on Facebook, as well as other social channels.

Identify and engage with ‘Top Fans’ on YouTube

What’s happening: YouTube has created a Top Fans feature, making it easier for creators to keep in touch with their most influential and most engaged fans. Announced last week, Top Fans will feature a dashboard for creators, a feed of Top Fans’ activity and the ability to post content exclusively to Top Fans. Plus, if a creator syncs their Google+ and YouTube accounts, creating a circle for their Top Fans, they will be able to access demographic information about them.

Why it’s interesting: This will allow brands to easily design and execute advocacy programmes specifically for its YouTube audience. 

Creative uses of technology by brands

Armani partners with fashion bloggers for Instagram Ads

What’s happening: The luxury brand is working with Chiara Ferragni, whose 1+ million followers make her one of the most influential fashion bloggers on Instagram, and a couple others (@galagonzalez and @fashionfoiegras so far) to create videos promoting its new perfume called Si by Armani. The viewers peek into the bloggers’ lives, and learn to say yes (Si) to dreams and to their world.

Why it’s interesting: This is a great example of using influencers in creative ways beyond the standard blogger / PR media blasts. For Armani, partnering with a few highly influential Instagrammers allowed them license to tell their story to a very relevant and concentrated audience while still delivering reach. 

Socially connected experiences

The Sound of Honda Installation – video viral

What happened: In 1989, Ayrton Senna completed a lap of the Japanese F1 circuit in Suzuka, setting a new world record. On board was Honda’s engine telemetry system which recorded information from the car. Now, almost 20 years after his death in Imola, Honda is using that same data, along with some giant speakers and lights to recreate that incredible lap as a beautiful online video.

Why it’s interesting: This demonstrates the effectiveness of branded content done right – currently nearing 1.5m views. With all video content wanting to go viral, the question isn’t just who is the audience we are targeting but also what is it about the video that will get people talking about it and sharing? For Sound of Honda that was creating a cool data visualisation on the racetrack Senna broke records on.

Tweet to unlock exclusive pages from Rio’s new book

What happened: To launch Rio Ferdinand’s new book, fans are being given a sneak peak of some of the pages from the biography. The only ask is they need to tweet with the hashtag #RioRedDecade to help unlock 5 exclusive pages before it’s released as well as some sweet prizes and shout outs from the big man himself.

Why it’s interesting: The tweet for treat mechanic is nothing new – Tweet Shop, Twitter vending machines – but it is a very effective way of generating groundswell through a very simple value exchange given the natural propagation of conversation on Twitter.



Digital Predictions for 2013

30 Dec

So last year I was rather swept up with hype (buzzwords / what the tweeps were raving on about at SXSW) during my 2012 Social Media predictions. Explains why most were a little off-course. This year looking out is a little more reserved. Grounded. But this isn’t just a reflection of another year of experience under my belt. Maybe a little wiser. I’m sure as hell not getting smarter. This is a reflection of how we, as a society, are embracing these platforms and new technologies. Below are my thoughts and predictions for Social Media the Digital landscape in 2013:

The slow death of social media as you know it (agency side at least)


Ridding the term ‘Social Media’ would be a great place to start. It just feels a little beguiling. Who titled platforms such as MySpace, Bebo, Facebook that anyway? Was emails to and from a friend not social? How about MSN. You’re telling me messenger and those chat rooms (emo, punk, ska, whatever was my gang) wasn’t social? Platforms aren’t social, people are.

Apart from being descriptively inaccurate the title also suggests compartmentalised activity,”I’m just going to make a cuppa, take Marly for a walk then do some Social Media.” Social isn’t just a stand-alone piece of activity. It’s a layer on top of everything we do. Equipping us with the tools to share our thoughts and experiences to our family, friends, communities and complete strangers.

With a better understanding of the above we will see a shift away from building Social Media platform ideas towards Digital solutions that are inherently Social.

MySpace will fail


There’s a key ingredient for the success of a community platform – critical mass. Without it the platform, as an enabler, holds little worth. Take mobile phones for example; wonderful little things that connects us to our friends through a call, text, Whatsapp, tweet etc. We all take these devices for granted but what if no one else was using one? Wouldn’t be as appealing would it? Now add to the mix a host of rival communication methods that your friends already use. Not much incentive to stick to the ol’ dog and bone if that was the case. That’s what MySpace is facing in the other corner.

4G will accelerate smart phone consumption

A few reason why 4G will be a massive game changer for digital:

  • 4G will accelerate media consumption on mobile: The speeds at which we can download / stream data to 4G-enabled phones will boost adoption of media streaming services and create a stronger lean towards consuming more video clips, show and movies on our phones than ever before.
  • User experience: I’ve been part of BBH Labs for 10 months now and one thing more than anything that has stood out in the wealth of learnings is UX. This is an absolute deal breaker if you’re hoping visitors to enjoy their experience and want to come back to your page, app or thing for more later on. As you’ve probably experienced at some point, 3G has a habit of being pretty slow whether loading the next level of a game, waiting for content to populate on a page or buffering streaming content. This won’t be such an issue with 4G providing a richer and smoother mobile UX that will see users coming back for more.
  • 4G will drive down the price of smart phone devices: As we trade up for 4G, 3G and other smart phones will be looking to still attract consumers; driving down cost-to-purchase seems a clear path. This will mean more people will be able to afford an internet-enabled smart phone increasing the percentage of us who is connected to the web and everything around us. That leads nicely onto my next point…

A more connected world; the internet of things


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that the internet can be harnessed to enable us to communicate with the machines around us, and the machines with each other. By using the internet, the objects around us become capable of communicating for us.

Technologies such as radio-frequency identification (oyster cards), sensors or cloud-computing, the machines you use everyday could send you updates – when your washing load is done or when the kids are raiding the fridge for a midnight snack.


There are many examples IoT in action already. Take your Sky+ box which can be commanded by your iPhone no matter where you are in the country. Philips’ Hue LED light bulbs allow you to control the colour and mood of lighting from your phone. Even the garage door that opens when it senses your car is approaching.

This is just the tip of the iceberg and as our smart phones becoming not just the hub of communication but our lifestyle remote we will continue to see ways how objects around us serve to benefit our lives and experiences.

– So that’s my thoughts for what to look forward to in 2013. Technology has been moving a lot faster than the people using it so I personally look forward to the industry taking one step back and designing on-message campaigns of real value and mass reach. In short, let us put the people first 2013 and begin serving them branded content and services that benefit, entertain and connect.

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