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Blogger relations, changes at Twitter and Facebook and this week’s bits and bytes

Tasty blogger relations: At Sainsbury’s, we cultivate a tasty relationship with around 100 food bloggers. Our delicious community is full of food obsessed people who love nothing more than rising to culinary challenges ranging from creating something with our by Sainsbury’s ready rolled puff pastry or sharing their kitchen hero recipes with us.

More often than not, @a_little_wine and I will sit there going through coverage alerts and fight the urge to lick our screens, so scrumptious are the creations from the community.

We refer to them as our food blogger community – but you could also refer to them as brand advocates. Which is why I thought this post about the power of brand ambassadors was a great summary of what these kinds of communities can do for a brand: generate trust, credibility, engagement and impressions – and I’d add a fifth to the mix and that would be high quality content. We regularly share creations from the community with our Twitter followers to inspire them to try a new product or recipe they might otherwise not have come across.

#TwitterIPO: Twitter’s share price went from the initial public offering price of $26 to $45 within minutes after shares were finally made available on the New York Stock Exchange. That means the company went from being worth $18bn to a wee bit over $30bn. CNBC reckons it’s worth exploring Twitter’s business model and prospects and whether “a community of ephemeral messaging” can morph into a serious, profitable venture.

Storify + Twitter: My favourite development of the week (besides Arsenal beating both Liverpool and Dortmund) comes from Storify. The go-to-tool when it comes to curating the web in just a few clicks has just made it easier to then share your digital collages with your followers by allowing a sort of slide show to embedded into Twitter. Extremely nifty and an excellent way to take advantage of Twitter embeds as it effectively allows you to go waaaaay over the 140 character limit in one tweet.

Who better to demonstrate than President Obama himself.

Is Facebook’s walled garden coming down? Facebook and Twitter are coming ever closer in functionality, freely copying features from each other. Facebook adopted Twitter’s hashtags, Twitter adopted Facebook’s way of displaying links. Twitter copied the share button with its retweet button. Twitter also copied the idea of the favourite button from Facebook’s like button. Twitter even copied the idea of an IPO. Sheesh.

The one big remaining difference between the two networks though is that they are at different ends of the public vs private scale: On Facebook users tend to share a lot of personal information with a smaller group of friends, while on Twitter users share very little personal information with pretty much anyone.

That big difference might be changing with Facebook’s announcement this week that it is removing an old setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name.” This will mean that anyone will be able to look up your Facebook profile using your name and see what they already have permission to see. Facebook explicitly states that “removing this setting doesn’t change who can see your photos, status updates or other things you’ve shared.”

I do hope they keep that point of difference alive – I know I will be keeping my eye on Facebook’s privacy settings quite closely when this feature rolls out soon. Inside Facebook has a 5 step guide to protect your Facebook privacy (for what its worth).

The thumbs up gets the axe: Say goodbye to the Facebook thumbs up – the iconic symbol for digital approval is getting the chop, in favour of a more corporate and cold Facebook F. The change will happen over the next few weeks, according to the Facebook developer blog.

Source: Facebook

Books still relevant to youth shock: In my final year of high school, I received a pager for Christmas. I was well chuffed. No my friends could call my pager and I would see the number and I could call them back. We developed codes. 999 meant call me back immediately. 143 meant I love you. Yes, we spelt out boobs. It was the first portable digital screen in my live and it was awesome.

Fast forward to today and 17% of children in the US under the age 8 use a mobile device at least once a day. This stat comes from a recent Common Sense media study. If anything, I’m surprised (and relieved?) it isn’t higher and that books still play such a big part.

Hang on, I’ll get you some ice for that burn: Pepsi celebrated Halloween last week with some creative depicting a can of Pepsi dressed up as a can of Coke. The line reads: “We wish you a scary Halloween”.

In response, Coke quite brilliantly used exactly the same image, but changed the tagline to “Everyone wants to be a hero”.

Ouch.

While we’re on burns: Betty Productions ask musician Whitey if they can use his music in a new TV show for free as there is ‘no budget for music’. He, um, declines (HT @tomparker81).

Video of the week: Meet the Footbonaut, a 360-degree-ball machine that fires footballs at players from all angles, requiring them to control and dispatch the balls into the appropriate square. Cutting edge technology currently in use at Borussia Dortmund – but still not as good as having an on-fire Aaron Ramsey in your team.

And finally: Hats off to @TescoMobile for the masterclass in Twitter sass (it’s OK. They only made it into Buzzfeed. We made it onto Time Magazine, thanks to @tomparker81).

80 social media rules, Google+ is The Matrix and this week’s bits and bytes

@SainsburysPR’s favourite tweets: As ever, at the end of the month at @SainsburysPR, we look back at our favourite Tweets of the month. May was yet another fun month, with a range of Tweets from fashionable ways to wear Sainsbury’s carrier bags, the Sainsbury’s Summer Series to Tweets about products our customers love.

Animated business review: Sainsbury’s published its Annual Report this week and to tell the story of how we performed over the last financial year, we created five quirky stop-frame-animated clips of our five areas of focus and why we believe our values make us different.

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 22.01.49
Source: Sainsbury’s Annual Report 2013

3 Must read posts this week:

  1. Adobe’s head of social media and general good guy @jeremywaite pulled together a rather brilliant list of 80 social media rules. The kind that you can happily print, frame and hang on your wall and follow.
  2. The Guardian’s tech editor @charlesarthur believes that we’ve all been looking at Google+ the wrong way: It’s not a social network like Facebook. Yes, you can follow friends and people and add them to circles and message them and post stuff and comment on things. He reckons that Google is more interested in all the other things you’re doing when you’re logged in to Google, Gmail, Youtube and Google Maps. Because that’s when you’re feeding Google information about your needs, likes and interests and wherabouts as well as movements. In turn, Google learns what you want and delivers that reality to you.
    Arthur compares Google+ to the computer construct of The Matrix films, where humans are kept in suspended animation, plugged into a dream world as their bodies’ BTU power the machines that have taken over the world (man, I love that film).
    Next time you’re searching for something, or looking on a map, or searching on YouTube, you’ll see what Google has decided are the “most relevant” results (and of course the “most relevant” adverts). If you frequent climate change denial sites, a search on “climate change” will turn those up ahead of the sites run by rational scientists. Whatever your leaning, politically, sexually, philosophically, if you let Google+ see it then that will be fed back to you. It’s the classic “filter bubble”.
  3. Rory Sutherland writes in Wired about four psychological theories as to why Amazon enjoys unrivalled success – and his argument for how we go about saving marketing.

Social media assistant: Gary Vaynerchuk, prolific über-blogger and boss of VaynerMedia, has hired someone to shadow him and produce content for dissemination across his social media properties. A full-time social media shadow. The idea is that while Gary is speaking at conferences, discussing social media in meetings or just chatting with people over lunch, there will always be someone to record and publish his thoughts.

My first reaction: “That’s bonkers”. Surely it can’t just be about the amount of content? But then, this:

Vaynerchuk’s broad-based social media push goes back to his belief that “it’s not good enough to just produce long-form content; you have to put out micro-content to drive awareness to it.” He’ll be creating “content native to the platform where the audience is,” which means that he [as captured by his assistant] might take a concept and write a blog post about it for his WordPress site, film a video, create an animated gif for Tumblr, post a quote on Instagram – or all of the above.

I think the point is that you or your organisation has to embed social media infrastructure, processes and training into the way you do business. Only then will your people  be able to produce content that speaks to your customer, tells the corporate story and helps achieve your business goals. For Gary that means socialising his every utterance, for others that could be as basic as making sure that more people at your company are savvy enough to understand what kind of message would play well in the outside world, how to capture it and how to get it out.

Vine now on Android: How else to announce that Twitter’s six second video sharing app Vine is now available for Android phones than through a Vine? The Android version has everything that the 13 million iPhone users already know, as well as a unique to Android function: zoom.

Visualising Tweets: Nifty work from the guys at Twitter who’ve plotted some incredibly accurate maps using nothing but the geographic information from geotagged Tweets. Unsurprisingly, major cities appear as bright spots of heavy Twitter activity, with major roads and even ferry traffic routes clearly visible when you zoom in.

Source: Twitter Office on Flickr

Videos of the week: Last week we had Hahn sort out the problem of spilled beers, this week it’s Burger King at the forefront of fast-food R&D with their Hands Free Whopper technology.

How much is a can of Pepsi? One Facebook Like.

A marvellous new campaign from the community run mobile network Giff Gaff: Don’t be scared.

And finally: Actors laughing between takes.

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