Posts Tagged ‘social media’

The Sun and PR Week have both covered a story today about footballers being banned from social networks by their clubs (specifically Manchesters United and City). Footballers and social networks, particularly Twitter, aren’t often the best mix: see Ryan Babel and Darren Bent for further details.

Despite the freedom of speech argument, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to social media a certain amount of common sense is required, and without wanting to resort to stereotypes, footballers aren’t considered one of the more sensible facets of society, so perhaps a blanket ban is best. Fans are still going to go and watch the match/purchase merchandise etc., and at the end of the day that has to be the consideration of the business – does a presence on SM by individuals have a positive effect on the bottom line? In this instance I don’t think it does.

Having said that, Bent has learnt from his mistake in the summer, and he now provides an intriguing insight in the day-to-day workings of a professional footballer’s life. As long he steers clear of engineering transfer moves on Twitter again, he could become a case study of how public figures should operate online.


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Great article from Econsultancy on Marks and Spencer’s social media strategy here. Sienne Veit, business development manager of the retail giant, talks about how M&S has implemented a social media strategy, where it has been successful, how it deals with difficult issues (such as Busts 4 Justice), Twitter and how it measures success. Interesting case study.


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Just seen the US Federal Trade Commission is going to be cracking down on astro-turfing. Before the all-weather pitch fans amongst you get up in arms about this threat to a hockey player’s civil liberties, they’re talking about the nefarious business promoting practice type, not the fake grass type. Without wanting to sound too sanctimonious, it’s about time too. It might be that I’ve spent the last couple of years listening to division6 and others at the agency talk about the need for transparency on t’Internet, but when people get caught astroturfing (also known as flogging and puppeteering, apparently), it seems school-boy in the extreme.

The US is slightly behind the UK and the EU on this, with our legislation coming into effect last year (although there are questions as to how effectively it can be policed). Perhaps with the threat of punishment in the offline world, we’ll now see a clean up of online practices. Definitely worth seeing how things progress.

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A couple of US students have been signed up by Penguin to write a book which will turn classics from writers such as Shakespeare and James Joyce into no more than twenty 140 character tweets. Aside from the fact that people younger than me are getting book deals (always a sore point), it’s caused quite the stir in the media, with the Telegraph and the Guardian covering it.

The pair of culture wreckers/trend setters/whatevers said they wanted to “capture the grandest ventures of their generation that best expressed the soul of 21st century America”. Meaning they wanted to make a lot of money out of other people’s ideas.

Making great works accessible to the masses or the epitome of the dumbing down of culture? Personally, I won’t be shelling out for a book of extended blurbs. However, there in lies the book’s potential. 20 x 140 characters is 2800 characters, twice the number used in this description of Ulysses. This tome of shortened great works could become a catalogue of extended product descriptions, something that publishers already produce as part of their sales and marketing collateral to tempt booksellers. Co-incidentally, Penguin does a nice line in modern classics (I’m currently reading one myself).

Perhaps this is the future of publishing. Producing books of twitterature, the publishers would be charging the consumer to view a catalogue of relevant work. Said consumer, if intrigued by what they’ve read, could then toddle off down the bookstore/login to Amazon, buy relevant book, and the publisher gets more money. This isn’t the end of high culture and the written word, this is the publishing industry making sure they get ROI from their marketing collateral.

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‘Mad Avenue Blues’ is a really funny (in my humble opinion) re-working of the Don Mclean classic ‘American Pie’, which you may remember was not so lovingly butchered by Madonna a few years ago.

At almost 10 minutes long, it is the same length as the original version of the song and has a multitude of silly pictures of ad execs in cheesy old school poses (think Mad Men for those who have seen it) to accompany it.

The basic gist of it is how advertising industry has been challenged by the explosion of online content. Example lyrics include: “Bye bye, those big upfront buys, pitched the client who was pliant, but the pitch didn’t fly…singing ‘tech has taken us for a ride…'”

Watch it here:

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Lance Armstrong and the LIVESTRONG brand are savvy marketing machines. When Lance is not training for his return to the Tour de France he is updating his fans on Twitter, via his personal site or the Livestong site.  The Livestong website is aiming to become the ” the definitive daily health, fitness and lifestyle destination..and help people take action to make the most of their life, their time, their body and their world.”

Lance and his team produce a ton of cool and interesting content on a variety of platforms – articles, pictures, videos, blogs, tips, applications – and he has build himself a following of over 700,000 on Twitter alone.

Smart and professional, yes. Perfect? No. Last week, when attempting to post videos of his latest training ride on Twitter, Lance accidently posted his personal email address to nearly three quarters of a million fans. The emails immediately began pouring in. One response might have been to ignore the problem, change email adress and never mention it again.  He decided on a different approach. He immediately acknowledged, thanked everyone for the emails, and within five hours had posted a video response that explained the situation and sharing some of his followers’ emails.

A potentially difficult situation brilliantly managed. Some of the biggest brands in the world could learn a thing or two.

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This is really cool. Some brilliant pics of Obama’s first 100 days – all available to share and reproduce. (if credited properly)

Credit: Official White House Flickr Stream

Credit: Official White House Flickr Stream

If you’re into photography – this from National Geographic is also well worth a regular look. And while I’m at it, the pictures in this travel article are just amazing.  I want to go!

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