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Habitat is back on Twitter September 16, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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If ever a brand learnt the rules of social media engagement the hard way, it was Habitat.

Their misuse of hastags such as #iraqwar and #iranelection to promote their products involved a serious error of judgement.

Now they are back on the social network with a different tone and approach. I like the quote from a Habitat spokesman in a story by New Media Age:

“Since reactivating the account, there’s been a really positive response from the Twitter community, so we’ve learnt that it’s clear consumers genuinely want to hear from brands they’re interested in, as long as the information is relevant. It’s also clear that you have to engage with a community on their own terms.”

Good luck to them!


E-Commerce Community: If You Build a Branded Online Community, Will Customers Come? August 7, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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An interesting article from E-Commerce Community  identifying a trend amongst brands to adopt community elements on their websites.

That a growing number of consumer brands are transforming their existing static Web sites into interactive online communities is a trend that is not only recent, but also rapidly accelerating.

It also has some great, solid case studies from Motorola, Sage and Kodak.

**Found via e-mint. If you are a manager of an online community it really is worth checking out their fantastic mailing list.

NMK – Measuring Social Media: Exclusive Interview with Omniture July 30, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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New Media Knowledge have published a great interview on online brand management with Neil Morgan from web analytics firm Omniture.

Some choice quotes:

“Whilst creatively you may want to get external agencies in to share their expertise for social media marketing we think it’s essential to keep the measurement and optimisation in-house… This way you will track the impact of social media campaigns the same way you do for other marketing, making it directly comparable.”


“If there’s one person on Twitter sounding off and they have just ten followers, it’s safe to assume that will simply be lost in the inconsequential noise of social media. If it’s Stephen Fry complaining to 660,000 followers, you might like to take it a little more seriously. Much of that kind of judgement call has been commonplace among brand managers for years. All that has changed is the scale, reach and media.”

Worth a read.

Who should be on our blogroll? July 28, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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As this blog emerges blinking into the bright, shiny online world it is faced with a number of tasks.

One of the important ones is filling up its blogroll with links to first-class blogs by those working in and writing about brand management/social media strategy/corporate blogging.

Can you help us? Recommendations would be appreciated!

NB. Self promotional recommendations will not be accepted – nice try though Kenny! 🙂

Is professional twittering pointless, annoying and against the “new media spirit”? July 27, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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Status UpdateWhat do you think? I’m curious to know before I put my two-penneth in!

Zappos – did PR win over social media openess? Does it matter? July 27, 2009

Posted by Joanna Geary in Discussion Points.
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The announcement that Amazon had bought shoe business Zappos in a cash and share deal worth $800 million, has left Adam Kleinberg, CEO of US creative firm Traction, spitting feathers.

Over the past few years Zappos has been building an enviable reputation as a company the knows how to use the web to build brand and a swathe of loyal customers. So much so, it has even launched its own subscription video service – Zappos Insights – to share its secrets… for a price.

It also recently launch a request for proposal (RFP) to agencies over Twitter.

It is the latter that Adam labels a pure “PR stunt” in a post on his imedia connection blog, claiming it was an exploitative move  aimed at impressing suitor Amazon.

From where I sit, Zappos greedily took advantage of agencies’ desperation to show Amazon why the should pay a premium for an online brand who just had to lay off 8% of their workforce. Seems to have worked.

Was it greedy to undertake the RFP publicly over a social network? Was it a PR move? Does it really matter if it was?

One of the main reasons that brands might look to use the web to become more transparent is, surely, to build trust between them and potential customers? If that is not in the realm of public relations, then what is?