Why Ice Cube had the right idea about promotion…

Ice Cube once said “you better check yourself, before you wreck yourself”, which is entirely relevant to present circumstances. Wise words Ice, there are a few people who could use your sage advice when it comes to the usage of social media and its many superb tools. Although brands are starting to come to terms with transparency of social media, it seems some consumers still haven’t understood this and continue to use tools for dialogue as tools for just general chatter….

Twitter seems to have become the problem child of this. Some users know that it is a town square of interesting self-promotion, GuyKawazaki delivers musings on media and leadership, Stephen Fry talks interestingly about his global experiences, Will Self delivers rich prosaic about things that disappoint/annoy him. John from round the corner talks about his dull life and the fishnchips he had on Friday night. Its this area which really starts to grate after a while and although my friends timeline is fast enough that I can avoid this boring chatter, unfortunately it still seems to get to me. I know I could unfollow him, but why should I bother.

However wise Ice was I am sure he couldn’t have predicted the meteoric rise of Twitter and its daily almost shameless self-promotion usage by one and all. (As I am sure Ice would have said.) Here are a couple of things I have learnt from Twitter…

1) Twitter is a great promotional tool when you have something to say. I use it as an extension to my blog and to drive traffic here. Unfortunately, my blog is not updated as much as it should be so my traffic dwindles. I do know some people that blog too much and update their Twitter too much, so my recommendation is to create 3 business worthy updates a day. By business worthy I mean relevant to the industry you work in but…

2) Decide what your personal objectives is for your Twittering. My personal objective is to connect with friends and make new acquaintences within the industry. However, I am careful not to share too much personal information, I have a mobile phone to do this. My priority is really to give myself access to a really interesting professional network that I couldn’t have otherwise reached. LinkedIn just doesn’t seem to have been able to do this for me yet.

Perhaps I am being a bit too cut-throat about it, but I believe we all have a role to play in making conversations on Twitter and other social areas more interesting. Some users could do with checking themselves before they wreck themselves and the very technology they are using.

Lovely site, lovely set-up..

Those who read this blog normally will know I don’t normally recommend sites or review them in great detail. However, I have decided to buck the trend somewhat to talk about the fabulous Baby Friendly Boltholes site. You can access it here. Since becoming a father to my gorgeous son Oscar, I have spent hours scouring the internet trying to find decent, yet stylish accomodation for a family holiday. Most cottages in the UK look like a damp, unpleasent experience, yet say they “can cater” for children.

BFB as its called when you are in the know, really goes the distance in terms of offering everything a wanna-be yummy daddy and mummy want from a holiday. The site is really great to use, the set-up easy to understand and in most cases the accomodation is totally stunning. I won’t tell you where we are looking at booking but it is absolutely lovely compared to the dross I have seen other sites peddling out. Why should I get poorer, cheaper looking accomodation just because I am a Dad?

One of the things that stands out most for me is the desire to please members. In particular as I was enquiring about a property, they asked which other areas of the world they should be investigating for BFBs. New York and Florida seem the popular choice, but I opted for San Fran – the 2nd best city in the world after the big smoke of London.

Anyway, check BFB out – but only if you are a wanna-be stylish parent like me.

Is Facebook getting older?

If the latest Nielsen stats are correct, then it appears to be growing more quickly than ever in the 35-49 age group. Being 30 myself, I have never seen Facebook as the preserve of the young – I think this is more to do with the image Facebook would like to give off than what it actually is. From the stats I have seen recently with Habbo – the first port of call for a younger audience is Bebo with Facebook seeming to be the preserve of the student population and older.


Does it really matter if Facebook gets older? A recent presenation that I saw suggested that the older audience and younger audience have two very different ways of using FB. The younger audience use Facebook to give quick updates, so their status is their most important asset. They love to comment on other people’s status. The younger audience uses networks like park benches, a place to hangout, jockey for status, gossip etc.

The older audience visit less regularly but are more involved when they do visit. They are more likely to reply to messages than reply on people’s walls. They are much more curious about people and look up those from their past.

It doesn’t seem a major issue to me that Facebook is getting older, in fact it probably enhances the site content overall. Bringing more non-youth brands to the “square”, creating more interesting conversations flows, and pages.¬† I think its a good thing but then I am edging towards 35…. older audience pah!

The Social Media Rapper…. now he really is a guru

Howdy. Strange times when social media has made it into rap format or is that hiphop – something which I need confirming myself. What is hiphop? What is rap? Where are the lines drawn?

Anyway, I digress. I think this has been going for awhile but only just found The Social Media Rapper. Absolutely love it, so thank you… you guru you. Hopefully next will be his Behavioural Targeting Rap.

Lame effort from YouTube on Paddy’s Day

if you go to YouTube.com, they have a new green logo to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day. Oh and some irish videos on the front page. Weak. Very Weak.

Couldn’t Guinness have done some phenomenal takeover instead?

Don’t Twit until you have who’d..

As the usage of the name Twitter rises in marketing articles from San Francisco to Soho (London Soho), its clear there is an awful temptation for brands to just jump straight in. Yet taking the time to understand what people are saying and just as importantly the tone of voice they are using is key to succesful twittering.

Brands can do this by the very useful Twitter search. I personally use TweetDeck so can do it through this application. What this is great for, unlike Google, is giving immediacy on search terms. Google just gives you the most popular results, Twitter takes it to a much more interesting level. A PR announcement? Twitter it. A product problem? Twitter it.

Anyway, Twitter search enables a really relevant and immediate search. However, what I also love about it, is that it enables you to see the tone of voice with which people refer to your brand or product term. This for me is extremely interesting as it opens up the sorts of terms that you may not necessarily connect with your brand. e.g. Ticketmaster would have been reeling from its bashing it got on Twitter recently.

It also shows how you can condense a very important message into 140 characters, something that ad agencies could really take an interest in.

So once we understand tone of voice and what people are saying we can start to connect. But how do we decide what we are going to do? Unfortunately some companies have gone out there and got twittering a bit too soon. Others like Comscore and Dell have taken a more measured approach and have seemingly set objectives for what they are trying to achieve.
What I don’t want, as a Twitter user, is constant sales messages from brands that I have signed up to follow. What I want to see is a bit of inventive marketing and push messaging. Hows about British Airways pushing travel guide content? e.g. We saw this article and thought it might interest you. What about brands retweeting interesting conversations they have seen or heard?

Liberia blogger keeps it analogue

From PSFK:


I think this is one of the coolest and most interesting communication devices I have seen for ages. I haven’t myself heard of this amazing wonder which is known as a blackboard. The device used to “write” on the board is called “a piece of chalk”.

Joking apart, I actually find this a genuinely interesting story about  a need for communicating to an audience who in alot of cases cannot read. Therefore, Alfred Sirleaf has created his own blackboard updates to craft the information in a way that his passers-by can understand and quickly digest.
I just wanted to post because I think its smashing.