Posts Tagged: Twitter

Keeping safe and social

This
week the IAB hosted an event on ‘How to be safe and social’ to explore
how brands and consumers are protected when engaging in social media. This
follows research from the IAB and ISBA that found that only 55% of UK
brands currently have a social media policy with many also cautious about
the perceived lack of control they face when using social and embarking upon
real-time conversations with consumers.

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Big money in social media- quite literally!

If the buzz across the social sphere is to be believed, Facebook and Google executives have entered initial acquisition talks with Twitter, estimating the value of the microblogging site upwards of £10 billion. Combine this with LinkedIn’s recent IPO announcement and we have proof beyond Facebook that there is big money in social media – quite literally.

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Conversation not Broadcast

In the first digital generation, marketing employed a system which favoured interruption and direct sale. Brands would force their stories onto unsuspecting spectators, purchasing online real estate in mass and appearing, without warning,….and it worked!

 

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Why Twitter doesn’t matter at all (in this election)

At the beginning of the campaign we weren’t really sure, but by last night it was blindly clear. Twitter, and social media generally, in this election campaign do not matter – not in the wider scheme of things at least.

The blizzard of tweets last night, 154,342 in all (up on the second debate but down on the first) were in the main anti Cameron in nature– Tweetminister’s sentiment score had it as Clegg 3.13 (-0.5), Brown 2.99 (-0.15), Cameron 2.96 (-0.22) #leadersdebate.

Clegg was the clear winner on Twitter and on Facebook and Brown it appeared to be agreed had done better. It was Clegg one; Brown two; and Cameron three.

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The politics of social media and CLTs (career limiting tweets)

I feel sympathy for Stuart MacLennan but his case shows that a lot people still do not get social media, and Twitter specifically, or seem to understand they are in the personal publishing business no different from a blog.

He isn’t the first social media casualty and he probably won’t be the last, he’s just the one who made the front pages in the same week that John Prescott urged supporters to engage in click fraud and a week after UKIP PPC Paul Wiffen was suspended after hitting out at a blog post highlighting the party’s immigration policy.

Who knows how MacLennan would have fared trying to take on the SNP’s Angus Robertson in Margaret Ewing’s old seat, but he showed he was the wrong candidate.

When I first heard it I did the same thing that Labour Party officials did. My reactions was: “he’s being held up for tweets that he wrote a year ago? That seems harsh”.

On reflection (and by reflection I mean reading his tweets) he had to go as he crossed the line. Some have bizarrely called for MacLennnan to be given a break with Rory Sutherland writing a piece on the Spectator site and tweeting “Reinstate the Moray One. Appalling Twittergate treatment of Lab candidate”.

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#Askthechancellors points to a much more social future

Last night’s debate #Askthechancellors had few surprises but it did prove to be a big hit both in terms of the 2m who tuned in at the peak and thousands who took part in what was the first mass social media political event in this country.

It is true that many many more watched ‘Eastenders’ (2m versus 9m), but not I think a let down as this was really the warm up for the three 90 minute leader debates.

I enjoyed last night’s event and it offered up some surprises even if for me, like most (I’m guessing), it confirmed my existing prejudices.

Looking at Twitter and the blogs this morning that seems to be the overall reaction with the Liberal Democrat Vince Cable showing stately wisdom (not to mention the evening’s sound bite with “pin-striped Scargills”) than his rivals Alasdair Darling and George Osborne (I know it wasn’t just me who thought he looked like the head boy).

Tory Osborne struggled, but to be fair he also scored with his death tax remark that Darling looking uncomfortable at times bought upon himself. But even that score wasn’t enough to dispel the overall impression that Osborne was the loser.

This was all confirmed by viewers who took part in an online vote during the programme that awarded victory to Cable with 36% of votes, compared with 32% for Darling and 32% for Osborne. Coincidentally this chimes with a YouGov/C4 poll before the show that gave Cable victory (do a lot of Lib Dems watch Channel 4?), but put Darling second rather than tying.

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Reaching undecided voters online

There can be little doubt that the role of the internet in the 2010 election will be significantly different to what we saw in 2005. The 3 parties haven’t all just changed their leaders – their overall approach to a medium that played (at best) a bit-part at the last General Election has also changed completely.

Through blogs and Twitter, we’ve seen a revolution in the way political parties communicate internally – with sites like ConservativeHome becoming must-reads for party members messaging each other about the political events of the day.

But the big question at this election is how best to use the internet to reach out beyond the people who will already vote for you to the huge number of undecided voters. We know they’re unlikely to be reading the political blogs or following even their local MP on Twitter – so how do you reach them?

Well, we know they’re definitely searching on Google, connecting with friends on Facebook and quite often starting any web browsing session on a portal like MSN or Yahoo to find out what’s going in the world today.

That’s why search plays such a big part in our online strategy. For example, when we relaunched Conservatives.com in 2008, we ensured that the site was properly optimised for search so users could find key policy information easily using Google. And that work paid off, as proven by recent research by the natural search conversion agency Tamar.

And Google Adwords, which allow us to strategically place messages according to users’ search terms, are important too. For example, on Wednesday anyone searching on Budget-related terms from “Alistair Darling” through to “car scrappage scheme” would be presented with an advert for George Osborne’s video response on YouTube.

Research by Diffusion found that our strategy on Facebook has also paid off, with innovations like our “donate your status” campaign during last year’s European elections helping to send our key messages from our supporters on to thousands of undecided voters. PR Week concluded that the Conservative Party “dominates” Facebook, with more supporters on the platform than the other two parties combined.

We’ve also recognised that it’s important to engage with people on the sites they already visit rather than expecting them to come to us. MSN (which reaches an astonishing 50% of the UK online audience) recently played host to an interactive webcast with David Cameron, and we have worked with Mumsnet, LinkedIn, the Army Rumour Service, Money Saving Expert and SAGA in the past few months alone.

Mark Hanson (writing on this very blog) is right to say that it’s important to keep your own supporters informed, and to give them the tools they need to fight a successful election campaign, both offline and online. That’s why we launched MyConservatives.com, which allows our supporters to fundraise and campaign for the candidates they support and the issues they care about.

It’s also why we’ve invested so much in e-mail, which remains by far the best way to get in touch with large groups of supporters. ReturnPath research found we scored a “landslide” victory over the other parties when it comes to e-mail, with Labour going a full 58 days without sending a message to their subscribers.

So, with the election campaign proper just around the corner, it’s going to be an exciting few weeks and I’m looking forward to keeping you up to date on this blog.

Craig Elder (@craigelder)

Online Communities Editor, The Conservative Party

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Why digital advertisers should welcome the extended self-regulatory rules

At the end of last year I wrote about the top priorities for digital media regulation in 2010. One of which was the industry’s extension of the remit of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) into new areas of digital media space.

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Farce-book? Is Google Buzz set to become new social networking king?

Today the ‘Buzz’ is all Google as their brand new social status feature makes its debut. It’s automatically integrated into the already highly successful Gmail – so you don’t even have to set it up; you’re already following the people you email and chat with. If your web mail is elsewhere it’s slightly trickier. However, they do offer the option to assimilate Twitter – probably with a view to eventually squishing it! Okay, here’s the geeky bit… you can even access it on your mobile and see what people are ‘Buzzing’ about nearby and call-up Google Maps to see geo-tagged Buzz posts.So, is it really the future of social networking? Well, on functionality alone it has a big thumbs up. It’s about more than just status updates – you can include full- sized photos and watch videos ‘in update’. But do you really want this level of integration in your life? You can restrict who sees what, but there’s always the danger that you’re going to say something that someone else doesn’t want to hear. Also, friends could get jealous because they can see who you email and chat with most. Of course, if you’re happy mixing business with pleasure then this isn’t a problem. The big challenge is getting people to actually switch. There seems to be a growing disaffection with Facebook over privacy issues, so maybe now is the perfect time for Buzz to move in for the kill.

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New media is two words, not one

If you go on TED.com you’ll see Evan Williams, the guy who created Twitter, speaking about how he still isn’t sure what it’s going to end up being used for.

Sometimes the invention happens before there’s a need for it. Our minds work on a supply and demand basis. But technological innovation isn’t always like that.

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