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A social year in review

The Most Important Facebook Updates of 2013

1) Facebook introduced social search with Graph Search

This new search functionality allows anyone to search and find terms in posts, updates, check-ins, pages, apps, groups, and comments from your friends or those who post publicly.

Brands, this one is for you, with more data from Facebook comes the ability to dig deep into the trends and behaviors of Facebook users.

2) Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm with a new 20% rule

Facebook’s main goal, to provide a “customised newspaper”- like experience came one step closer this year when they updated their Edgerank algorithm to include new features that have a big impact for brands. This included a new rule for ads, images in ads can’t be made up of more than 20% text.

Brands advertising on Facebook are now strongly encouraged to make sure they’re choosing relevant, compelling images to accompany their ads.

3) Facebook launched clickable #hashtags

In an effort to “help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations” in 2013 Facebook joined the hash tag trend.
Brands can click on hash tags to surface all content for that hash tag, thus making it easy to see popular sentiments around a certain topic.


The Most Important Twitter Updates of 2013

1) Twitter images began showing automatically in users’ streams

In an effort to keep up with the visual marketing trend, Twitter announced this fall it would be shining some light on images in your Twitter feed by showing images directly in your stream. Woohoo! Big news to deliver creative content!

2) Twitter went public

There was a lot of chatter about Twitter’s initial public offering in November 2013. At the time of its IPO, Twitter hadn’t made any money. In fact, the social networking site reported a net loss of $134 million at the end of October. However, the network with 232 million monthly active users is focused on driving revenue through its ad platform, which is currently its main source of revenue.

Brands should take notice that Twitter will be trying create a richer experience for both users and advertisers alike and most likely focus on adding features relating to advertising in the future.

3) Twitter introduced Lead Generation Cards

In late 2013 Twitter launched Lead Generation Cards, a new type of Twitter Card that allows brands to collect leads from directly within tweets.

Getting lead information from these Lead Generation Cards is as simple as one click for users, who don’t need to fill out any forms to become a new lead from a Card. Here’s what a Lead Generation Card looks like on Twitter:


This update is important for brands because it shows us that Twitter is concerned about our conversion rates, too — and they want to help.

Making the submission on a Lead Generation Card one-click is Twitter’s way of making your content and ad pounds work harder for you, because you’ll be getting more leads in the door then you were before.


The Most Important Instagram Updates of 2013

1) Instagram launched sponsored ads

The introduction of paid advertising on Instagram seemed like an obvious development following Facebook take-over of the micro-blogging platform in 2012.


While most brands don’t have access to this feature yet, it’s still an important update because it gives brands a glimpse into the future of social media marketing on Instagram.

2) Instagram added video to its visual platform

The age of social video has arrived, first Vine and now Instagram! 2013 saw a huge update from parent company Facebook this year, as its users gained the ability to take videos in addition to photos with the app.

According to AllFacebook, posts that include a video are shared 12x times more often than links and text posts combined, it’s time to start filming!


Mission accomplished

It’s been a while since I last posted, and for that I apologise, but there’s good reason for my silence. Basically I’ve been working around the clock to get this completed…

Check it out, a 4 day event supporting Windows Phone and Gingerline. All done now.

Mission accomplished.


The 10 most-followed brands on Instagram

In a recent report the top 10 most followed brands on Instagram were revealed, here we take a quick look at who they are and what they’re snapping.


The Ellen Show

  • Shares funny, creative photos – This content is similar to that of the TV show, regular fans will engage with Ellen’s social channels to see more content, bridging the gap between TV and personalised content. Whilst much of the content is of guests and funny animals little is actually of Ellen herself, highlighting you don’t have to give much away to engage your core audience.
  • Tone of voice – TOV is very engaging, short and funny as if Ellen herself were writing the captions.

National Geographic

  • Shares photographs captured by their photographers. What’s interesting is that they always acknowledge the photographer behind the lens, engaging their community by doing so.
  • Shares behind the scenes pack shots from when photographers leave for assignments as well as important meetings, capturing the personality of the brand.
  • TOV – Copy is lengthy with a lot of detail, offering their viewers information on the photographer, location and story of the shots.

Victoria’s Secret

  • Shares a full catalogue of images, from models and advertising shots to behind the scenes at shoots, make up, models in training and girls nights out. The extensive breadth of content helps personalise an otherwise quite exclusive and niche brand.
  • TOV is personalised and relaxed, encouraging users to engage by answering questions.


  • With their very short yet effective tag line, ‘Just Do It’, everything Nike produces across their social channels reiterates their marketing plan, creative, inspired imagery with empowering copy. Nike’s Instagram presence is no different. Photos shared frequently to empower and inspire a new generation.
  • TOV – Similar to their striking imagery, Nike’s TOV on Instagram reiterates it’s powerful strap line with short, engaging lines to empower others, such as ‘Why ride when you can fly’ (this supports an image of a BMXer jumping down a set of stairs).

Forever 21

  • Engaging a younger audience, Forever 21’s strategy on Instagram amplifies it’s in store and online personality via the use of colourful, busy photos of young models, make up, accessories and fashion.
  • TOV – Their tone of voice on this platform is very much geared towards their young, trendy key audience.
  • An almost over the top use of hash tags and icons to help illustrate and amplify photos encourages their younger audience to relate and engage with their content, driving online fans to their stores via this consistent brand presence.


  • With their luxury products in store, quite surprisingly Louboutin’s approach on Instagram is a lot more ‘mainstream’, photos are often shared in a grid format, giving viewers the opportunity to see more than one product in a photo.
  • The majority of their photos are product shots on white backgrounds, however on occasion products are shot in ‘real world’ locations with copy to personalise the brand, for example a pair of Latcho’s have been photographed on a kids slide with the copy ‘Latcho wants to play’ underneath it.
  • TOV – There is an inconsistent tone of voice on Instagram, many photos use short, powerful statements such as ‘Tough Girl’ or ‘Flower Girl’ whilst other copy is lengthy and gives more reason and background to the shot.


  • MTV use Instagram very well to market their brand, similar to their other social channels Instagram is used to share behind the scenes, exclusive content in short, digestible formats. 
  • Much of their content is ‘Instagram videos’ rather than just photos, encapsulating MTV news and short interviews in 15 second bursts. Their creative content receives high engagement from a generation used to seeing their brand represented in similar ways on TV and online.
  • TOV – Their tone of voice is young and engaging, encouraging their young fan base to share and answer questions on the platform.


  • Starbucks presence on Instagram is young, creative and highly engaging. Curated to tell a story each photograph has been carefully considered and edited, producing regular beautiful shots of the journey and personal enjoyment of coffee.
  • Photos range from environment shots where models/ people are enjoying coffee in situ to product shots and origin shots, to help sell the story of the everyday coffee bean.
  • Tying in topical days, such as ‘National Ice-Cream day’ Starbucks utilises opportunities to tell the brand story.
  • TOV – Personal, informative and casual, engaging fans of all ages.

Please note 9Gag and Sneakernews have not been analysed as they’re not brands, but user generated blog.


Ads are coming to Instagram

Three weeks ago Instagram announced their plans to introduce adverts to the platform. Initially only in the US the first ads will begin rolling out from just a handful of brands that are already creative, engaged members of the Instagram community.

The ads will be labeled “Sponsored” and have a button to hide them. If you tap the three dots ‘more’ button (…), an ad will be hidden and you can provide feedback on why you didn’t like it, or choose to opt out of that particular ad.

The initial sample ad comes from Instagram itself, and it will be the first ad that many Instagram users in the US will see.

With the ability to hide and feedback on ads, soon ads delivered to consumer recommendations and preferences will be filtering our feeds as seen on Facebook, with the opportunity for brands to target users in a similar way.

So what do you think of the new ads?





The recent ELLE campaign #IAmAWomenAnd is a brilliant example of fighting real world causes in a creative, integrated and highly engaged way.

Street graffiti leads to online Twitter search which leads to human involvement which helps amplifying the awareness of a real world cause. Creativity + World issues = Engagement. I absolutely love it.







“We believe that feminism should still have a role in women’s lives, but perhaps it has an image problem. So for ELLE’s November issue, we partnered three leading feminist thinkers with three award-winning advertising agencies to ‘rebrand’ feminism. One of our teams – satirical website Vagenda, alongside Nike’s preferred agency W+K – decided to smash stereotypes with their concept.”


Simple, yet highly effective.



Photo sharing on Twitter

A new study (based off an examination of nearly 500,000 random, public tweets) published by Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s social-media scientist, found that tweets including photos shared via pic.Twitter.com are nearly twice as likely to be retweeted as those without the link.


However, interestingly not all pictures created are equal. Sharing a photo from Facebook or Instagram on Twitter does not improve the likelihood of getting a retweet. In fact, it’s the opposite. A tweet containing a link to an Instagram photo is 42% less likely to be retweeted than a tweet without an Instagram link, according to the study. That number is 47% less likely for Facebook photo links.


Twitter users used to be able to embed Instagram photos directly into their tweets, however as of last December when Instagram was bought by Facebook, the platform changed that functionality so that a link appears instead, directing those who click on it to Instagram.


Watch Walter White’s life in one awesome GIF

This GIF tracks White’s entire transformation from a lovable chemistry teacher in season one to the self-destructive, determined man whose full bad-ass potential culminated in season five. Awesome!



Reaching The People Who Matter To You – Ed Couchman

For those of you who have been stuck in a dark hole and aren’t aware, this week is Social Media Week in London. Unable to actually make it down to some of the talks I’m spending a lot of time with headphones in, listening to streamed presentations at my desk. Multi-tasking at it’s best.

First up, Facebook’s, UK Head of Sales, Ed Couchman discussing ‘Reaching the people who matter to you’. Here are a few highlights.

  1. Linkedin is the business you, Facebook represents the real you
  2. Mobile is not a trend, you must align yourself to accomodate
  3. 24 million people use Facebook everyday of which 20 million are accessing it through mobile
  4. 1 in every 4 minutes are spent on Facebook or Instagram
  5. 47% of users are using it on mobile only
  6. Time to refocus your company. New mantra, mobile first, mobile best
  7. On average users are using their phones to access Facebook 14 times a day
  8. Users spend most of their time in their newsfeed
  9. Users who see a TV ad that is then supported with a Facebook ad are 4 x more likely to buy
  10. The newsfeed is the most engaging place for brand your message

To see the whole talk (and I would recommend it) watch it here:


‘Blazed’. A Curious ad on a serious subject

In this unusual, yet atmospheric ad for the New Zealand Transport Agency three children sit in a parked car, arguing about whose dad is more irresponsible when drug driving, it’s comical take allows it’s audience to digest the content without the fear of being lectured, or the premise of an unwanted surprise.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, it’s presence reminds me of a cinematic film, it’s dialogue, although, at times difficult to understand is humerus and entertaining.

For me, Clemenger BBDO, the agency behind the ad, have mastered a new medium for these hard hitting subjects. What do you think?


Fabulous Fashionistas, looking good at 80

Bridget SojournerThose who know me know I’m not really into fashion, I buy what I like and wear what’s convenient, style icon I am not. However sitting down to watch some TV last night I noticed a new Channel 4 documentary, ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’, something drew me in. I got comfortable on the sofa and within minutes was hooked. This was the anti-fashion fashion show.

The documentary interviewed six women trying to change people’s perception of getting old – through fashion. It was apparent whilst watching the programme that each one had overcome obstacles, losing partners, losing jobs, or facing the inevitable stigma of getting old but, quite interestingly, instead of slowing these women down these obstacles had ignited something within them.

These women, with the average age of 80 brought a breath of fresh air to the night’s viewing, Gillian, Jean, Bridget, Sue, Daphne and Lady Trumpington have something inspirational in common – to keep going, look fabulous and to have fun.

The hour long documentary was entertaining throughout, and made me, quite frankly feel utterly lazy as I watched one of the ladies, 75 + on yet another long run in order to stay in shape whilst a second performed her morning 45 minute morning routine of stretches.

The most inspirational part of the programme though was that not one of them claims to feel like an ‘old person’, they take each day as it comes and never apologise for who they are.

If you missed it, don’t be put off by the title and catch it here.