Category Archives: Inspiration

50 Things You Don’t Need in 2014

As 2013 draws to a close, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some well-loved things that suddenly find themselves obsolete in our fast-changing world.

I can’t pretend this is a comprehensive list of all-things-obsolete, but coming up with fifty was far easier than I first expected!

What did I miss?

This Is Not An Insight at Social Media Week

It’s Social Media Week (#SMW) in London and other cities around the world.  And, like any social media conference, the microphone seems to attract more than its fair share of nonsense and misguided opinions masquerading as facts.

Fortunately there’s a deliciously barbed anonymous Tumblr page to bring our attention to some of the most mindless tweets emanating from any of SMW’s events across the capital. Not every victim deserves the pillaring they get, but others have no-one to blame but themselves.

Stunning revelation

2006 called

The irony of the social media industry’s biggest enemy being social media itself isn’t lost here.

We’re all guilty of a lazy tweet here and there, and not everyone was early to the party. But let’s hope that this very not-so-gentle kick up the backside may encourage our industry’s spokespeople and observers to start thinking more deeply about the issues and the profound importance they have for our society. I know our industry can do better than this.

How To Fly A Plane With A Hashtag

Race the Plane microsite

It may be a barely veiled attempt to drive Twitter mentions, but you have to admire BA’s Race The Plane competition that’s running in the UK today.

The campaign idea is simplicity itself. Twitter users can race (virtually) a BA jet flying from London to Toronto by tweeting with the hashtag #racetheplace. Presumably—although it’s not explained on the microsite—every tweet increases the distance travelled by the “tweetliner.” Meanwhile, back in the real world, a BA Dreamliner plane is making the actual journey with the distance it has travelled shown on the site.

It’s unclear what the point of the game is, other than giving Twitter users the chance to win flight tickets by taking part. Whether the Dreamliner or Tweetliner arrives first at its destination seems largely academic, but that hasn’t stopped some feverish tweeting from people willing the Tweetliner to win!

We shouldn’t analyse this too deeply, but I can’t help wondering if any of this is actually happening in real time? The two planes seem remarkably close today, just as the marketing team would want to stoke up continued tweeting.

But, that stuff doesn’t really matter. BA has taken a simple idea, presented it tastefully and simply in a dynamic, responsive site, incorporated a succinct promotional video and social proof in a Twitter stream, and seems to be driving lots of mentions across the Twittersphere. Plus they’ve made it easy for players to share the competition to Facebook, and Google+ too, what’s not to like?

Top Picks for Social Media Week London 2013

There’s just one week to go until Social Media Week hits cities around the globe, from Berlin to Mumbai and Bogotá to São Paulo.

No prizes for guessing where I’ll be though: London!

Content-Cookery-School-HatAnd this year I’ll be hosting a Content Cookery School breakfast briefing with Emarketeers where I’ll be exploring Content Marketing and the new era of content co-creation that looks set to shape the social web for years to come.

This event will take place at the lovely Malmaison hotel in Charterhouse Square in London (nearest tube stations: Farringdon or Barbican) at 8.30-9.30am on Thursday 26 September.

Registration is now open; you can book your place here. We’ll even give you a light breakfast!

I’m also planning to show my face at several other events throughout the week. I’ve listed these below; if you’ll also be at one of these events let me know so we can say hello!


For more information about Social Media Week, visit

Which UK Brands Are Winning On Facebook?

Socialbakers has released its latest report into top brand performance in the UK and, no surprise, big names like Amazon, Coca-Cola and iTunes lead the league when ranked on their number of followers.

But “as any fule kno” measuring the number of fans alone is a pretty pointless exercise. Having fans counts for nothing if they don’t engage with your content because Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm will help ensure that little more than 5% of your fans will ever see your posts.

So the chart that’s more insightful is actually the ‘Post Engagement Rate’ table which ranks brands by the number of fans who engage with the brand’s posts. And here we see brands like Blossom Hill, a winemaker, and Whiskas, a pet food brand, performing well:

Socialbakers August 2013 Facebook Engagement Rate Table

Take a note of those engagement levels. Of the brands that Socialbakers monitors, the top performer in August 2013 was Blossom Hill with 2.18% engagement, mostly derived from the summer image below that drove huge engagement (20.4%) towards the end of the month:


However, the average engagement level of all brands on Facebook was 0.18% in August. To put that into perspective, for every 10,000 fans you amass you can expect to get just 18 points of engagement (a ‘Like, comment, share etc.) for each post you make.

Blossom Hill seems to be focussing its Facebook marketing on a heavily visual, photo-based strategy and, for now, it seems to be working. It’s certainly quite distinctive and consistent, helping ensure that each first point of engagement with a fan should lead to repeat interactions. And it’s a world away from the lazy tactics used by brands like It’s good to see a smart strategy, based on bringing entertainment and utility to people’s lives, paying dividends.

How do your results compare? Are you beating the 0.18% average, and what would it take to compete with brands like Blossom Hill and stretch to the dizzy heights of a 2% engagement level?

You can download the Socialbakers tables from here.

The State of Friendship in a Social Media World

I’d love to attribute this image to someone, but I have no idea where it first appeared.

But it’s great and says a lot about the shifting meaning of ‘friendship’ and the inescapable shallowness of many of our daily interactions in a digital world:

Modern Friendship in a Social Media World

Many thanks to whoever created this. I’m sure we’d make great friends.

Happy Friday everyone!

%d bloggers like this: