Tag Archives: Facebook

Clutching at straws?


There are a fair few social media apps that I feel are just around because they’re different to the norm, such as Facebook, Instagram, Vine etc but that doesn’t mean they’re any good.

The latest one to come to fruition is an app called Whisper, it is a free iOS and Android mobile app with an associated paid online service which allows users to send messages anonymously and receive replies, basically Facebook/Twitter without the username. It was first launched in March 2012 under the original name ‘WhisperText’. Users post a message which are then published displayed as text superimposed over an image which are similar to greeting cards like the image below:


It is doing incredibly well for an app that doesn’t get as much mention as big game players, getting on average 3.5 billion page views each month which has got venture capitalists interested, and no wonder!

In May 2013 the owners of the app added a service cost of $5.99 (around £3.59) meaning receiving messages was free but sending messages required payment. In my opinion that was the beginning of the downfall of the app, and the fact that in February 2014 the service charge was made free for ‘most users’ but paid messaging was something that was required for certain users for certain reasons.

I struggle to see the point in this app, I understand that it serves its purpose of a social media app that allows more anonymity than most others but I just don’t understand. Maybe thats naive of me but I’m sure most people would agree that it is some what unnecessary, then again, a lot of people would say that about social media as a whole.

Even though I am a Social Media Executive Intern, I think social media on a personal basis is somewhat pointless, meaning I don’t think many people actually need to read about what you had for dinner or the fact you’re bored, but social media for a business is priceless.

I suppose we will all find out how popular this app is if Facebook tries to buy it in a few months!

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Are you doing social media right?


Many people think that I just get paid to sit on Facebook all day and don’t do anything productive, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media has to be done correctly to save yourself from the consequences of bad PR for yourself AND your client. There are certain steps in which you should take in order to ensure that you are getting the most out of the tool that has the potential to connect you to so many more people than tradition PR and Marketing allows you to.

A lot of companies who don’t specialise in a communication vocation think that they have to do social media just to ensure that they are keeping up with competitors. What needs to be understood is that it is a free tool and just takes man-hours to make it right. I’ve been to many interviews for PR and Social Media job roles and when I’ve done research in to the company in question I’ve more often than not been left a little let down by the social media already in place.

If you find yourself with fewer followers than everybody else, you need to look at what YOU are putting out on the social media platform, not wonder why people aren’t falling for your spiel. You need to ensure that you are updating regularly, with relevant information to your business (or just what you want to put out there) so that your followers know when to check back with what you’re saying. If you post on a Monday, and then don’t post for two weeks and post on a Friday, followers won’t know when to check back and gradually fall out of the routine of checking back with what you are saying.


When you think of Facebook and Twitter, chances are you think of your friends or an organisation just broadcasting what they want you to read and there isn’t much room for engagement. In order to gain followers and boost your reputation, you should post content that will generate conversation, don’t forget that this is SOCIAL media and is very much a two way communication channel, use it to your advantage and don’t let it hinder you.

What most companies need to understand is that their Facebook and Twitter feeds are not meant to be glorified ad streams, and need to have good quality content that generates conversation to ensure that followers don’t lose interest. I often find that the easiest way to make people aware of your brand is to not really advertise it at all on social media (within reason, obviously) and a great example of a brand that has got it right is believe it or not, Tesco Mobile. The fact that their Twitter account is more often than not, dedicated to tweeting everybody who tweets the brand with funny, on the line, witty replies is pure genius in my eyes.

Another sin that many people commit on social media, is just auto-post updates across all of their social media platforms. Facebook is incredibly different to Twitter, which is different to Pinterest, which is different again to Linkedin. Look at it this way, you wouldn’t have the same conversation you have with your best friend with your grandma would you? So don’t do it on social media either. Make sure that you connect effectively with each audience to maximise the success of your social media efforts.

It is important to set a social media plan to ensure that there is structure to your posts. Even though many people think that social media is spur of the moment and shouldn’t be thought about to much, there needs to be some sort of similarity in posts so you don’t veer of the mark too much. In order to make sure that there are guidelines, you should figure out the following:

  • Who is responsible for updating your social profiles

Try not to have too many people writing on social media profiles, if your company has a social media team, leave it to them, as silly as it sounds, tone of voice is very important. Consistency is important for keeping your readers interested.

  • How frequently your social profiles will be updated

Figure out a schedule and keep to it, your readers will appreciate the effort of consistent updating and enjoy the content even more.

  • What type of content you will post

It won’t make sense for your readers if you post something extremely serious or sales related to your brand and then post a picture of a puppy with no accompanying copy.

  • How you will use imagery in your posts

Will you include and image in every post? Will your content be mostly images? Imagery plays a big part in how engaging your post is. If a huge lump of copy is teamed with images to break it up, the more likely your readers will finish reading.

  • What tone of voice you will use when posting

This, to me, is the most important of all. If you are writing on a blog and using the tone of voice you would use when talking to your clients, you’re doing it wrong. Figure out whom you are speaking to and adjust accordingly.


The worst thing a company can do, and I’ve been subject to it, is to delete negative social mentions. It WILL happen, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I had a dragged out argument with Boohoo over the terrible customer service I had received regarding a problem on their end, and when I commented on their Facebook wall asking for some help because I didn’t know who else to speak to anymore, they messaged me privately and deleted my comment off their wall in order to save their reputation from taking a knock. I personally think that if you publically handle a negative situation, the better you appear to your consumers.

I am no professional when it comes to social media, and I don’t confess to be. I don’t think anyone should say that they are and if you find a method that works for you and your business, stick to it. There are no ‘rules’ that you should follow, and this post isn’t to say that you are doing your social media wrong, but simple hints and ‘guidelines’ to help improve your social media presence. I’ve done extensive research in to social media for the past year and a half, and always kept up to date since starting university in 2010. I did my dissertation on how to be influential on Twitter so I feel I do have some insight in to making it work!

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No such thing as bad publicity?


Like the title suggests, is there anything such as bad PR? I personally think there is, from both a consumer and a PR point of view. If a brand you like is being publicised in a negative way, you are less likely to want to continue to use the brand, and from a PR point of view, if your client is receiving a considerable amount of negative press, well your job just got a whole lot harder!

An example of this came to light a couple of days ago. As I was on Facebook, I came across a link that was doing the rounds on the social media website that revealed two very popular high street shops, H&M and Topshop, that have stores all over the world. Topshop are all to a custom to a disaster or two in the past, such as the tax evasion and sweat shop allegations but this time after secret filming came to light of workers of a sub-supplier for both stores in China were found to be plucking fur from rabbits who were sadly still alive and go through this every three months once the fur grows back again. The footage was released by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) showing the awful, despicable act.

H&M were the first high street shop to acknowledge the fact that some of their items were being produced in this way and quickly ceased and recalled all items of clothing and took them off their website and off the shelves in stores. I personally think that this is a great show of respect and concern for ethical trading by H&M, and from a PR point of view it is extremely clever, taking a very serious situation and turning in to something that benefits them reputation wise. What H&M didn’t bank on was the way in which Topshop are handling this situation, once again, I find that Topshop have half heartedly halted the sourcing of Angora wool purely because they know they have to, rather than because they genuinely believe in ethical trading like H&M have shown themselves to do.

I say this because they have continued to sell the rest of the stock of the 42 items of clothing that are made of Angora wool, clearly on a money making scheme which is definitely what the point of business is, but sometimes I fear companies do more damage to their reputation in the long haul in what could be a short term money loss situation, and I’m sure Topshop aren’t doing that bad!

There is currently a petition to stop the sales of the remaining stock of the Angora wool garments in Topshop and at present there are just short of 101,000 signatures on the petition and the total needed before action is taken is 120,000. H&M have said that they are going to step up their inspections of its sub-suppliers in order to stop anything like this happening again in the future and has released a statement saying customers who have previously bought Angora products in the past from the store can take them back for full refunds, which is a fantastic approach to take and definitely keeps the respect and loyalty of regular customers but also attracts new customers who wouldn’t normally shop in the affordable clothing store. Topshop is doing the complete opposite and is showing a very poor attitude in such a serious matter that is becoming increasingly apparent to todays society, especially when there are more humane ways to treat animals rather than what was looked over in the past.

Topshop’s PR department need to tread carefully in the following days as it is easy to let this situation turn in to a huge disaster, I personally think that they should just swallow their pride and pull the items now to show that they do actually care about the issue and not all the money that their over priced garments are going to make them in this holiday season!

Much like Tesco’s horse meat scandal earlier this year, the way in which they handled it was somewhat questionable considering the apology they released didn’t sound like they were sorry about the situation, but rather that they were sorry for being caught before trying to pass the blame on to everybody else rather than themselves.

I think that companies who are major players in their sectors should genuinely concern themselves with issues such as the ones spoken about in this blog, purely because it puts a sour taste in peoples mouths, and tarnish’s the brand, a quote that jumps to mind is ‘forgive but never forget’, even though their customers will remain loyal, they will forever be brought up in questionable times.

Crisis management at the ready!

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Back in May of this year, a fantastic example of a really bad PR decision came from a company called Ferraro, better known as the creator of a very popular chocolate spread named Nutella. Any company who wants to move forward and use social media as a tool rather than fear the advances it brings, knows that you have to utilise any social media hype.

Nutella is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, and back in 2007, an American fan, Sarah Rosso, who lives in Italy decided to create World Nutella Day in order to show her dedication to the brand and maybe talk to some like minded people and just have a bit of fun with the Facebook page.

Fast forward to May 2013, and after 7 years of World Nutella Day, Ferraro decided that they were just not happy with the concept whatsoever and delivered a cease and desist letter to their #1 fan ordering her to shut down the fan page as there was a misuse of the brand.

The social media backlash to this was huge, after Rosso published the letter she received to the fan page she created, users took it upon themselves to comment on the official Facebook page for Nutella to express their disappointment in the way in which they went about this situation.

As I am someone who has grasped the concept of social media, and understand what it can do for a company, Ferrero completely missed a trick, not only were they receiving the benefits from a brilliant social media campaign, they were doing so for free with no work to do on their behalf! Stuff social media executives dreams are made of! Considering Nutella doesn’t even have an official Twitter feed, they should really have taken this in their stride and sent a letter of appreciation and a free jar of Nutella to Rosso at the very least!

After the huge social media backlash Ferrero went on to drop the cease and desist action which in turn saved World Nutella Day, head over to the website to see what it is all about, and prepare for the 8th World Nutella Day!

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The low down on vloggers


As I like to keep up to date with all social media platforms, one that seems to shy away from ‘mainstream’ popularity seems to be YouTube. As the majority of people know that YouTube is a video sharing website with varying content, I don’t need to go in to too much detail of the basics of the website. What I will go in to though, is the rising fame ‘vloggers’ are finding for themselves. Vloggers are people that video blog, or ‘vlog’, their lives and upload the videos to their subscribers. The top vloggers I have noticed, who have a huge following of subscribers are:

  • Zoella (Zoe Sugg) – 2,611,816 subscribers
  • PointlessBlog (Alfie Deyes) – 1,430,821 subscribers
  • Marcus Butler – 1,631,663 subscribers
  • Jacks Gap (Jack & Finn Harries) – 2,951,126 subscribers
  • DailyGrace (Grace Helbig) – 2,230,481 subscribers

Each vlogger creates great content for their subscribers and have really found a natural approach to the way in which they create content. Now what I have an issue with, is when it comes to rating the most popular YouTube uploader’s as it seems to be channels like One Direction and mega celebrities like them. The 5 channels I have mentioned have chosen to make YouTube their career for the time being and are doing a very good job of it, so it must be frustrating to see One Direction’s channel attracting nearly 10,000,000 subscribers when all they upload are music videos and short videos advertising the longer ones!

YouTube is a huge business to be part of, there is a lot of money to be made! In order to earn good money from YouTube you have to create original content and you have to create it regularly and have your content viewed by thousands of YouTube users. A lot of users try and fail to attain the success of the aforementioned vloggers, but much like celebrities, vloggers have dedicated fans that watch every single video they upload and share the content on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

I think YouTube used in this sense is great to see, many people just use it to listen to the latest music for free, or watch funny clips and pranks, but there is a huge world of vloggers who create brilliant content for a huge variety of people with different interests!

I think from a public relations point of view, YouTube is a fantastic platform for business to reach a huge amount of people in original and creative ways. Just like Twitter and Facebook, if you get it right, the world is your oyster!

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Beating the bullies


Over the past month or so, I have been watching a very unnerving story unfold over in America. Shea Shawhan an 18 years old girl from Plano in Texas has been subject to horrendous bullying by some extremely nasty people at her school.

Shea has a frontal lobe brain injury. Her frontal lobes were damaged during birth from seconds of not having oxygen, which in turn caused severe swelling and overstimulated her brain. Due to this she endured multiple seizures for the first 14 days of her life and has suffered these seizures ever since. This is not epilepsy, like some people may assume, but a life threatening malfunction of the brain. Shea looks like any other 18 year old girl, but has an IQ under 70 and zero reasoning skills. It could happen to any one of us, if you were in a car crash and damaged your frontal lobes, you would still look like you, but would have what Shea has.

Keri Shawhan, Shea’s mum, set up a Facebook page to raise awareness of the situation, in the hope things would change. Shea was receiving awful text messages and it obviously needed to end. This brilliant example of how social media can be used to help a situation such as this, normally all you hear about on the news is about another case of cyber bullying!

This story went global and a huge amount of people around the world got behind Shea and helped her and her true friends succeed in finding out who was behind the horrible act and see something serious happen. It was a pleasure to read in the news the other day that somebody had been arrested in connection with the harassment of Shea, what a great result!

Head over to the Facebook page to read up on the progression of the campaign to stop bullying like this case, and buy a T-Shirt to raise money for some great causes!

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Since writing my dissertation on what it takes to be classed as influential on Twitter, I have come to know Klout very well. Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the Klout score, which is a numerical value between 1 and 100 (1 being the least and 100 being the most influential). In determining the user score, Klout measures the size of a user’s social media network and correlates the content created to measure how other users interact with that content.

I have used Klout for around 12 months now, and I have managed to increase my score from 14 to 51. I looked at 3 different celebrities in my dissertation, each with varying Klout scores to see what differentiated them from each other and what someone using social media would have to do to attain and maintain a good Klout score.

I found that I had to engage more with my other users and post content that was of interest to get conversations started. I added all of my social media networks to my Klout account which resulted in my improved score of 51. After getting the hang of Klout, I thought it lacked something, it is a very basic application in the sense that there is not much to do on it. You can answer questions other users have based on topics you are interested in, which is a nice touch as it allows you to apply your knowledge to help other users.

The people over at Klout have just added a new aspect to the site, which I love! You update your status’ and tweets to Facebook and Twitter through Klout and it tells you the score impact the update has on your score, which allows you to see what type of content is beneficial to your score, rather than waiting for your score to go up or down without really knowing what the content is doing for you.

I think anybody who uses social media, whether it is for business or personal use, or even both, should know their Klout score and aim to increase it to give your consumers the best content possible!

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