Social Media Frontiers

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Burberry In 2015

Burberry is taking to social media in an effort to become a more accessible brand for 2015.
It is safe to say that Burberry is really paving the way for the fashion industry with its social media marketing campaigns.

Their most recent endeavor sees a tweet-activated camera on the catwalk of London Fashion Week. All users have to do is use either the hashtag: #Tweetcam or the @Burberry Twitter handle and they will receive a Tweet back from Burberry including a photo. This photo will be of the catwalk taken at the time the camera was activated by the user’s initial Tweet and the picture will include the user’s Twitter handle.

This is one of many ways that Burberry has increased its social media presence over the last few years. In comparison to other designers, Burberry is on a complete other level with their use of Twitter. In 2011, they gave their followers sneak peeks on Twitter before their shows. They used Twitter to stream their catwalk live in 2012 and were the first luxury brand to make use of Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ function.

Burberry has also partnered with Channel 4 to create personalised adverts which include a bottle that is monogrammed to have the viewer’s name engraved on it. All you have to do is be a registered viewer who is logged into your 4oD account.

They have also introduced several interactive billboards across London and New York, which allow Smartphone users to have their monogrammed bottle created and put up live on the billboard screen for bystanders to see.

Whilst at first the 4oD ad seemed a bit disconcerting and the photos with your Twitter Handle seem borderline pointless, at least Burberry are putting themselves out there. They have put personalisation and accessibility at the heart of their recent campaigns which is modernizing them and opening their brand up to be far more interesting and fun than others of a similar kind.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Burberry's New Use For Twitter

Cold Reception for Winter World Cup

Following the recent announcement that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will see the date moved to November – December, the internet has lit up with users criticising the decision. The hashtag #Qatar2022 was trending on Twitter on Tuesday following the announcement. Aversion to the decision is particularly prevalent here in the UK as it will disrupt premier league fixtures and conflict with Christmas events.

The decision was made due to conflicts with existing events such as the Winter Olympics in January / February and Ramadan in April. Holding the Cup between May and September is out of the question as temperatures are expected to reach in excess of 40 degrees, sparking concerns over the health of players and fans. This left organisers in Qatar will little choice but to suggest a late November to December date.

This all means that the final could be set for as late as 23rd December, although with that date falling on a Friday in 2022, Sunday 18th seems the more likely option. Jim Boyce, Vice-President of fifa, has expressed concerns over the final:

"That's the only reservation I would have and I would like it a week earlier, but I want to wait until the Fifa executive committee meeting to hear all the details about the dates."

Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League, backed up Boyce’s remarks, asserting that efforts must be made to “keep the Christmas and New year programme intact.”

Professional football leagues in an estimated 50 countries will see wide spread disruption as a result of the cup, causing mangers such as Stoke City’s Peter Coates to publicly slate the decision, referring to it as a “disaster”.

"The only saving grace is that we don't have to think about it for a long time. It couldn't be more disruptive."

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will almost certainly have to be set back to avoid further conflicts for the players involved in both. The length of the World Cup will also be reduced by a few days to fit into the proposed schedule.

Since the announcement, the hashtag #Qatar2022 has been used by many to draw attention to the startling statistics detailing the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers, and to call for a boycott of the 2022 Cup in protest.

Looking at the various factors, it does seem a strange decision for fifa to go to such lengths to hold the World Cup in a country with little football culture historically, and which has been criticised over recent years for attitudes on issues such as homosexuality and racism. These are major issues which governing bodies have been making efforts to expel from the footballing world for years now, and this particular choice of venue may be detrimental to that cause.

Sam Bonson
Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info 

Outrage Over Qatar World Cup

Our Friends

Facebook is looking to increase its advertising foothold in the UK, starting with a brand new TV advert promoting the site, but also seemingly just promoting friendship in general. The ad depicts a whole spectrum of different events in people’s lives, ranging from joyful to romantic to frightening, with the value of friendship being the prevailing theme. 

The piece ends with the instantly recognizable ‘F’ logo fading in with a white background. No address, no name, just the logo, exemplifying just how massive Facebook has become.

The ad has been floating around online for a little over a week, as well as appearing during a UEFA Champion’s League game. In addition to this, outdoor ads have been placed in Oxford Street station and are likely to start popping up elsewhere before too long.

The campaign has been spearheaded by Scott Trattner, executive creative director of The Factory, Facebook’s internal creative team. Trattner previously worked for a media agency tied to Apple, which would go some way to explaining the soft-focus, stripped down, Apple-like veneer of this ad and the campaign it belongs to.

A few other ads under this umbrella have been circulating in the US for quite some time and with Mark Zuckerberg making no secret of his intent to spread Facebook’s influence to the farthest corners of the planet, expect to see it popping up in more countries as time goes by. In fact, this series is stylistically similar to the ads Facebook have been running for, which emphasize the importance of bringing the internet to the parts of the world which have yet to properly implement it.

The jury’s out on whether or not Facebook actually need televised advertising, but to me this feels less like a reach to pull more potential users in and more a celebration of the site’s success and an affirmation of its ethos. 

Zuckerberg wants everyone to know that Facebook stands for connectivity and that it’s synonymous with friendship now, more than a website. Make of that what you will, but you have to admire just how far the site has come in the past 11 years. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Facebook Unveil First UK TV Ad

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Become a Tumblr Titan - Guest Post

Compared to larger social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, more often than not, Tumblr is overlooked as part of a viable busines strategy. However, Tumblr has grown at a rate of 74% last year and the number of active users is close to 50 million by now. Clearly this is a force that online publishers, internet marketers or even just a social media enthusiasts can no longer ignore.

Bold and Beautiful Design

The format of Tumblr places it closer to a blogging platform than a typical social network. Photos, GIF memes, videos and more come alive on Tumblr. If you have good visual material at your disposal, Tumblr can be a very good medium with which to share them with the world. It’s also a good way to discover exciting content by other publishers in case you are in need of the same. Furthermore, it offers many customizable design options for branded “Tumblogs,” thus offering a more unique visual experience for different kinds of brands. It’s almost like building your own site rather than just opening a social networking account. 

Better Content

While this is not necessarily by design, Tumblr does seem to many to offer more appealing content. This may also be because it has not become a mass medium like some of its competitors. Ultimately you will not find less users posting trivial items about their day to day activities. You are more likely to end up with witty, intelligent and creative material; however the same is expected from you also as a publisher. 

Less Censorship and More Freedom

Some of the major social networks have become so paranoid about maintaining their mass fan base and being politically correct that they are taking a hard stance on anything remotely controversial. Tumblr is more personal and yet a more open medium with less censorship. It also does not press you to use your real identity if that suits you. The focus is on what you share rather than who you are and this can be a very liberating feeling. 

Better Privacy and Improved Identity

Tumblr offers greater privacy in ways that you probably never imagined. For instance, on Twitter you will likely be judged by your number of followers, no matter what you have to share. But on Tumblr you can hide that information and let your content speak for itself. You can schedule posts like Facebook but unlike Twitter. Your Tumblr posts are searchable like Twitter but unlike most of those in Facebook. In this instance, you’re more-or-less getting the best of both worlds.

Young Audience

Research has shown that Tumblr is very popular among the 13-25 age group. In fact, 61 percent of teenagers consider it to be their favourite social network. If you want to target this younger demographic, Tumblr is where you should start. Starting young also allows you to cultivate long term relationship with people over the years that can translate into something more fruitful later on. 

Dofollow Links

Finally and most importantly, Tumblr is a huge boost for SEO, in case you are trying to promote a website through it. Links can be incorporated in Tumblr posts in a more sophisticated manner compared to both FB and Twitter. Also unlike most major social networks as well as online forms, these links are “Dofollow” links. Basically, Dofollow links contribute hugely to the search engine rankings of that of the site that is being linked to. Most public sites choose to keep it “Nofollow” as people tend to spam the sites with random links for SEO. But Tumblr thankfully is one of the last big sites remaining where you can build Dofollow links easily.

Final Thoughts

It’s obvious that Tumblr has many benefits and can be a very strong, complementary measure to enhance your social branding and marketing activities. So, the question is how to plan a quality Tumblr campaign and what to keep in mind for the same. For more information, check out the infographic below.

Written and created by Amy Williams for Social Media Frontiers

Amy Williams is a journalist and former social worker based in Southern California. As a mother of two, she hopes to use her own experience as a parent to help other parents raise their children to be the best that they can be.

How To Become A Tumblr Titan

Child Friendly Viewing

Google have recently announced a new addition to the YouTube family with the launch of ‘YouTube Kids’, an app aimed at creating a safer viewing environment for children. The new app went live in the US on android phones on 23rd February, with plans for release on other platforms and in the UK soon.

The Kids app basically offers a limited version of YouTube, with only select channels verified as child friendly being available. The content will be provided by popular children’s shows such as Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and Thomas the Tank Engine, among many more. In addition, LeVar Burton, who gained fame for his involvement in Reading Rainbow, has plans to create an exclusive new series on YouTube Kids called uTech, which will focus on next generation technologies.

To give parents an extra measure of control, the app includes a timer to limit viewing time. After the set allotted time the app will close and demand a password to reactivate, thus allowing parents to keep a tight control over just how long their child spends staring at his tablet. Comments are also disabled to protect children from the inevitable barrage of abuse, profanities and religious debate that somehow seem to clog up every single comments section on the site.

The user interface has been tweaked to make it more accessible to young children, with the toolbar gone and replaced by just five large icons to filter results. Viewers can choose between kids shows, music videos or educational programming, as well as an explore option that displays the most popular videos, and of course an integrated search engine to filter results more specifically. The search option includes voice commands for children not yet able to write, and any attempt to search a curse word will be disallowed displaying the message ‘Try Something Else’.

According to Google project manager Shimrit Ben-Yair the app’s release follows countless requests from parents to make YouTube safer: 

"Parents were constantly asking us, can you make YouTube a better place for our kids. We've seen 50% growth year over year in viewing time on YouTube, but for our family entertainment channels, it's more like 200%."

The move has been endorsed by the NSPCC and other children’s charities. A representative for the organisation commented on the launch:

"Keeping children safe online is the biggest child protection challenge of this generation. So it's good to hear about the launch of YouTube Kids. I'm sure it will be embraced by parents wanting increased reassurance that their younger children won't be exposed to inappropriate material."

The universal reaction to the announcement seems overwhelmingly positive, and the new app looks set to have massive global success. Child safety is a rising concern when it comes to online activity, and it’s good to see a company try to do something to tackle the issue head on.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info 

YouTube Launch Kids App

Filters In The Future 

Our ever popular photo-sharing network is projected to generate $700 million this year. That's going to jump to $5.8 billion in revenue in 2020 according to new estimates from analysts with Cowen & Co.

That is some remarkable growth. I can only imagine that Facebook is gleefully rubbing its hands together after it’s smart move to buy Instagram. I wish my investments would do that well. Maybe it’s time for all of us to purchase just a little bit of Facebook stock?

This prediction for greatly increased revenue is based on another prediction that the report makes. Cowen’s report estimates that by 2020, Instagram’s user base will have more than doubled to 680 million picture happy fanatics.

I don’t see why that’s a too farfetched idea. Every day I find that more and more of my friends who have always sworn off from Instagram and its filters have finally taken the plunge and started following me. It’s only natural – Give in to the dark side of filtering everything. Even some games have the right idea.

Naturally, the huge increase in user base leads to a huge increase in advertisers utilising the photo-sharing platform. Hence the ridiculously massive projected revenue for 2020.

Here’s what the analysts at Cowen & Co said in their report concerning Instagram’s revenue.

‘Given the user scale, adv. interest, shifting TV ad spend to Digital and FB’s monetization capabilities, we are more confident in our Instagram revenue ramp from $0.7BN in '15 to $5.8BN in '20.’

Facebook picked up Instagram in 2012 for what was a relatively modest $1 Billion. (I say modest when we speak about the realms of money these places dish out) and since then it’s now estimated to be worth about $33 Billion. Once again Facebook are showing us how and when to pick up brands.

Instagram now boasts more monthly users than even twitter and it still shows no signs of slowing down. It’s the social media giant that we all hate to love.

Did you know, that in 2014, if you stacked up all the Instagram photos on top of each other that were uploaded within 12 hours, you’d have a stack as high as Everest? In 6 days you’d have a stack that would reach the outer edge of the earths atmosphere. This was all last year as well, these figures are only going to go up. Take a quick look here.

I think it’s very safe to assume that Instagram are going to hit their revenue markers for 2020. It may sound like a ludicrous amount to us now, but they show no signs of slowing down.

Time to filter everything.

Tom Welby

Tom has a degree in Creative and Professional Writing and now he currently manages, edits and writes for this blog. His other interests include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info  

Instagram Revenue To Hit $5.8 billion by 2020

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Oculus Rift: Nearly a Reality

Facebook's development of the Oculus VR is moving quickly as we go into 2015, but what exactly are Facebook's plans?

In March 2014 Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR, the leading product in virtual reality gaming. After a massive total of two billion dollars were exchanged in a combination of Facebook stock, cash and incentives for the brand, the question on everybody’s lips: what did the multinational social networking site want with a gaming device?

There were initial concerns that headstrong Zuckerberg might turn the innovative headset away from gaming and into a social platform. On his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said, “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Facebook Chief, Chris Cox explained earlier this week at the Code/Media conference that the company was already developing their own virtual reality apps. Although detail was limited and the release date of these apps is a long way off, Facebook have said that they want to be able to send bigger and fuller pictures using VR, instead of the snippets that can currently be uploaded to Facebook.

Nonetheless, this is not to say that Oculus has abandoned gaming altogether. The original developers and creator, Palmer Luckey, have continued to work on their projects with little interference from Facebook. The demo of Crescent Bay, a standing-up virtual reality game, was trailed early this year and the reviews were more than encouraging.

The relationship between Facebook and Luckey is currently proving to be highly beneficial and is really accelerating the progress of Oculus which has developed greatly since its prototype in 2012.

Luckey is able to focus on the engineering of the product, whilst Facebook can take on all the paperwork and recruitment that a normal company in its early stages would be battling with. However, the headset still isn’t available for the general public to buy and there are still problems with input devices and sound quality.

But overall, progress is moving at lightning speed and who knows what the future holds for Oculus when there is a company as formidable as Facebook behind them.

Megan Herdson

Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Virtual Reality Apps On Facebook