For guys who can’t grow facial hair… look away now.
For all other beard lovers take note. South African creative marketing agency Bletchley Park along with Bronx Men’s Shoes have come up with an innovative Facebook campaign which utilizes an interactive beard growing billboard, in Cape Town.
The bloke in the billboard ‘grows’ facial hair for each Facebook ‘like’. Also if like me, you want to watch what it is actually like to grow substantial facial hair, you can view the livestream on Bronx’s Facebook fan page.
This runs alongside a competition for Facebook users to invite their friends to also like the page to win… a pair of shoes.
If we can all think back to university for a minute; what was the worst part of your time there? Was it this? Could it be something along these lines? No, the man who ruined it all and a name that should send a shiver down your spine is Edward Laurens Mark – the pioneer of parenthetical referencing, or the Harvard System.
Having spent the last few days with colleagues standardising references in a soon to be published text, my disdain for Mr. Mark has reached new heights.
Edward’s first foray referencing came in his role as Hersey professor of anatomy and director of Harvard’s zoological laboratory. In 1881 Mark published a landmark paper on the common garden slug, then on page 194 of that work appears a parenthetic author-year citation accompanied by an explanatory footnote. Indeed, a former student of Mark, Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the first students to write his thesis using this style. Mark’s basic system, which only became known as the Harvard System in the mid 20th century, remains intact and is still in use by many students, journals and academics to this day. [Source: http://www.uefap.com/writing/referenc/harvard.pdf].
All in all, my contempt for Edward is similar to schoolchildren who bemoan the work of William Shakespeare. Similar to taking Benilyn cough syrup for a cold. Hard to swallow, but when it’s all said and done – it’s good for you.
Referencing has moved on a little since the days of Edward Laurens Mark, so here’s a little social media referencing 101:
Krums, J. (2009) There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy. Twitter [online] Posted 15 January. Available from: http://Twitter.com/jkrums/status/1121915133 [Accessed on: 08 March 2012]
Tip: if real name is unknown, reference the username.
Seconds after I got home last night; “Have you seen Kony 2012 trending on twitter? All the kids are talking about Rihanna, Beyonce, and even Stephen Fry tweeting about it…” My first thought, I’ve been left behind by 13 year olds, then the obligatory, “I’ve had a busy day, and no I haven’t.” “Well can you see if it’s suitable to show my form tomorrow morning?” So I dutifully investigated.
Invisible Children have created a viral video outlining the actions of Joseph Kony. Using the hashtags #Kony2012, #StopKony, and the phrase “Make Kony Famous”, Invisible Children’s cause was trending worldwide in hours. By targeting the key gatekeepers to the masses – celebrities or culturemakers – Invisible Children have gained more support in 24 hours than in their past 9 years of activity.
A look on Social Mention, reveals a strength ratio of 99% (mentions in last 24 hours divided by total possible mentions) for both #StopKony and #Kony2012, and a sentiment of 3:1 in favour. The video alone has well over 15million views less than 96 hours after release. What marks this out from the usual ‘viral video de jour’ is that this video isn’t a Hollywood Megamercial or a dancing M&M, it’s about warlords, genocide and human rights.
But, who are Invisible Children? There are indeed legitimate concerns about their strategy and finances. Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they haven’t had their finances externally audited. They’re a group in favour of direct military intervention via the less than reputable national Ugandan Army. Plus it seems the majority of their income goes towards creating campaigns such as this (actually the 11th in a long production line). Musa Okwonga offers an insightful background to the rights and wrongs of supporting this campaign in The Indy.
However it is undeniable that as a viral video, it’s objective [Tick] and sentiment [Tick]. However, as an ongoing social media campaign will it create that longed for ‘stickiness’? As a mobilisation tool - how many will actually participate in the April 20th event? For that we must wait and see.
My conclusion? Show it to them, it’s a beneficial way to educate them about social media campaigning and viral marketing, whilst also providing an understanding to both sides of the morality debate and - they’ve probably watched it already too. I wrote down a few simple points about public relations including a watered down version of the CIPR definition, I also asked to put the question to them “do you know what PR is?” Apparently she’s setting some homework about social media campaigning too. I’ll let you know the results.
If you haven’t checked out the video, have a look when you’ve got a spare half hour;
So, #savetheintern is now trending on twitter. Which side is the mob going to fall on?
It was a silly thing for the intern to say. But let’s not pretend that phrase isn’t commonplace in social media land. However, it is crude to use, and for me, inappropriate from this particular micro-blogger.
My problem here is that in the Twittersphere I find it strange having other individuals being the ‘voice’ of another individual, and especially when you’re an elected member of parliament. CIPR’s social media guidance encourages openness and transparency online, “it is important they are upfront about who they are”, if not “it is best to be open and clearly state which ‘@person’ typically ‘manages’ the channel”. To me, this afternoon’s episode has cast doubt over the authenticity of what I believed to be one person’s opinion.
Tom is probably the MP who most interacts with his audience through social networking. For those who don’t follow Tom, he offers great insight into a life we know little of, it’s fun, but let’s not also forget that it’s been part of Tom building his own brand online. Will this be tarnished because of what was said? I doubt it. Will it be tarnished over the authenticity of his tweets? Perhaps.
As it is, the mob has been generally appeased by an open, transparent and swift apology. But still, some important lessons here in a quick 10 minute timeline.
My morning was spent at the office of Ketchum Pleon at AMEC’s ‘Big Ask’ Conference; my brief was two-fold. Win hearts and minds with regard to our very exciting new membership structure and in doing so not to make a fool of myself [but more of that later*]. Second and my raison d’être for attending was the opportunity to learn from the experiences of an expert panel of industry leaders discussing setting standards for social media measurement.
This was the launch-pad for a consultation process on social media measurement standards, and follows on from a resolution made at AMEC’s European Summit in Lisbon in June to make the development of global social media measurement standards a priority by 2020. Fundamental stuff.
From a line-up of some cracking speakers there were many fantastic points raised.
Nick Masters, Head of Online at PwC had a tough job following Microsoft’s Pete Devery, hit the proverbial nail on the head. Nick gave a candid view and was brilliantly frank in stating that as a profession we can’t prove any reputational benefits in the social media results we’re currently providing, pointing to the scraps of evidence he attempts to provide in each and every meeting which have no solid data to stand on. To further highlight this point Nick talked of the fact that we can’t currently assimilate where our content ends up, who views it and how this is further distributed through their cohorts. How can we get better at measurement when we don’t know where to find the results? let alone what should be measured? There did however emerge a consensus that retweets, likes and dislikes are not a basis for standards. There was definitely a difference in opinion between the panel and in the audience about the next step forward. Half the room was yet to be convinced by a standardized metrics model, who advocate to measure campaigns using bespoke metrics. There were then those who want further collaboration across the industry to devise a standard measurement model. However, is a common model plausible? Can there be a set of metrics or tools that can be considered as standard when your organization, your stakeholders, your strategy, your tactics are all unique?
For me the Big Ask raised one important resolution, to educate in-house stakeholders on the concept of impact and influence to help move away from AVE. It is impossible to put an AVE value, or a number, on social media output which gives real meaning, despite the anecdotal revelations revealed by the panel and people I spoke to.
So, what should the resolution be? My hope from the consultation process is that we see a production of a rubber stamp that can be put on a variation of metrics and methods. In particular sources of data need to be trusted and consistent, with a potential to build a framework around those. This is not an industry standard, but a flexible approach that acknowledges that in digital and social campaigns, measurement, forming part of an overall strategy which aligns with business objectives, should be unique and not a one size fits all approach.
*The part on making a fool of myself.I somewhat succeeded on that front. Nonetheless, and take note, never ever, call yourself up-to-speed on all things digital/keen on social media and then forget what you’re twitter handle is. Total. Fail.
Last Thursday evening at Social Summer, Russell Goldsmith of markettiers4dc gave the case for using broadcast/video as a tool to engage with audiences online. As PR’s have won the land grab for social media, it is fitting that we become more keenly involved in the creation of video content. So is the camera mightier than the cursor? It is estimated that 33 billion videos have been watched across the web, with an average video duration of 4 minutes. YouTube, one of many of different video-sharing websites, has 31million unique users every month in the UK alone – that’s a reach of 60.5%, over 3 ½ times that of Twitter. Video also makes you stand out online. Facebook’s ‘Edgerank’ algorithm, is used to rank posts on a user’s ‘top news’ feed to determine which posts should, and shouldn’t, be shown on top of the ‘top news’ feed. Edgerank decides that your ‘top news’ is the news that has the highest level of interaction, amongst others such as recency, personal behaviour, author etc. By their very nature, videos (and pictures) encourage interaction, create click-throughs and generates discussion. Google works in a very similar way. Russell ran through some terrific examples of work markettiers4dc have undertaken recently. A great standout from the deck is work done by Jaeger who, to maximise viewing, embedded LinkTo™ technology on their catwalk videos to enable the audience to engage with the video to gain more information on featured products and add them into their shopping basket. Is this the interactivity of the future? Imagine watching live football on TV and it being possible to pause and purchase your favourite players football boots, or the replica match ball? All in all if a picture is worth a thousand words a video is definitely worth a couple of thousand. Oh and if you need further convincing to invest in that video tech, Ragan’s PR Daily gives 10 great reasons why it’s an essential investment. If you want to check out more of the Social Summer content from the CIPR go to cipr.co.uk/socialsummer and you will find a link that will take you to the previous session’s decks. Also, Russell is running a Freshly Squeezed session in early September titled ‘Using Video Online’.