Holy smokes! Now even the Pope’s on Twitter

I was pleased to discover today that the person who broke this story was none other than my brother Edward Pentin. Nice work bro!

So if you’re looking for some divine inspiration to break up your twitter feed, who better to follow than  Pope Benedict XVI himself.

Lady Gaga may have some competition on her hands!

Infographic: How to get more clicks on Twitter

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a great empirical study by Buddy Media which outlines ways in which to optimise the engagement of Facebook wallposts. So what about Twitter?  Well there’s an infographic for that too, courtesy of Hubspot.

via www.vincentabry.com

Trick or tweet!

When I arrived at TMW offices today I discovered an unsuspecting pumpkin in the cafe rigged up to a laptop. It transpired that the pumpkin has hijacked the agency twitter account and is posting random tweets whenever you push his nose…!

We also had some other impressive entries in the pumpkin competition which you can see here.

If you know of any good campaigns which tap into Halloween feel free to share below.

A new framework for measuring social media

As part of my role on the IAB Social Media Council, I’ve been working on the formulation of a new framework for measuring social media activity.  We firmly believe the industry needs to be much more aligned when it comes to measurement.  Not only will a robust methodology help us evaluate our own success but it will also help us when it comes to draw comparative learnings from other players in the industry.

But this isn’t possible unless there’s a lot more standardisation in the way we measure social media activity.  Hence this model.

I’ve called it the IAB Framework, not just because of the association with the Internet Advertising Bureau but also because the acronym  respresents the 3 stages of the methodology I’m proposing. Quite chuffed with that one actually 😉

  • Intent
  • 4 As – Awareness, Appreciation, Action and Advocacy
  • Benchmark

You can view the rationale behind this framework in the presentation below or alternatively read the post I wrote last week on the IAB Social Media Blog.  In fact, I discovered over the weekend that this was the most tweeted presentation on Slideshare, making it onto their home page under the  ‘Hot on Twitter’ section. Clearly it must have been when most of the twitterati were asleep!

I’m also pleased to say (and somewhat relieved) the Council is largely in agreement this framework and will be promoting it to the press in a couple of weeks.  So let me know if you’ve got any feedback or suggestions as I’d rather hear your feedback now than after it’s in the public domain!

If only all our social media activity was this successful!

Here’s a rather neat infographic to demonstrate the ‘stratospheric power’ of social media when everything miraculously falls into place!

Well that’s the theory anyway.  Just not quite so ‘easy-peasy’ in practice!

via Giles Rys Jones, Interactive Marketing Trends

Customers who vent their anger in social media

[Updated 22.3.10]

We all know that the growth in web 2.0 has helped to shift power away from brands towards consumers but nothing demonstrates this more clearly than when you see customers using this platform to vent their anger and frustrations.  Whereas in the good ol’ days we’d have to brave the elements and take to the streets in order to be heard, nowadays we can protest from the comfort of our laptops whilst sipping a cup of Horlicks. Far more civilised!

Here are a few examples I’ve come across recently which I’ll try to update over time, but feel free to add more if you know any better ones.

Nestle’s Facebook fanpage

Rather than be a place to galvanise its legions of brand ambassadors, Nestle’s facebook page seems to be nothing more than a festering pit for aggrieved fanatics! You only need to look at the stream of comments on their wall to see that there’s unhealthy mix of consumers who use this forum to vent their anger against the brand’s unethical policies or else to rally support for their latest anti-Nestle Greenpeace initiative.

But what’s really gathered momentum recently is the backlash to the following provocative comment by Nestle moderators…

Not surprisingly the moderator was challenged by a ‘fan’ to try to embrace social media and have a conversation rather than preach.  Now surely the sensible thing to do here is to try to defuse the situation with a mix of charm, empathy and humility.  Unfortunately for Nestle, the ruffled moderator had other ideas and only succeeded in adding rocket fuel to the fire…

“Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.”

Needless to say, the backlash has been immense and on a global scale.  (via Brazen PR).


Twitter was bombarded by an avalanche of #saveBBC6music hash tags, after the Times reported that the BBC is to announce the closure of two digital radio stations: 6 Music and Asian Network.  They also have a fanbase on Facebook with 152,000 trying to save the station.

H & M – accused of being uncharitable

When H & M were caught dumping and shedding their ex-stock instead of giving it to charity it was first picked up by the New York Times. H & M chose not to respond until it became the 2nd highest trending topic on Twitter. It was only then that they decided to issue an apology on their Facebook page by which time the damage had already been done.   You can read more about this here by econsultancy.

Pears soap – Bring Back The Original Pears Soap Facebook Page

Woe betide any manufacturer who decides to change their much loved products without consulting their loyal fans.  When Unilever recently changed their formula for Original Pears Soap it created such a stink that their fans have started a fan page to get it changed back.

Thrifty – a disgruntled customer galvinises support on Twitter.

14-11-2009 13-13-13

South West Trains – a classic case of e-squatting where an aggrieved passenger for South West Trains registers the company name on Twitter and starts tweeting outlandish excuses as to why they provide such a shoddy service.  Makes for some amusing reading.


United Airlines – You’ve probably seen this one and bought the single already.  If not, this is what happened.

  • Musician gets guitar smashed in transit.
  • United Airlines ignore his complaints.
  • He writes song about it.
  • Result. 6 million views on YouTube.
  • Moral of the story – ignore angry musicians at your peril.

Easyjet – no frills airline easyjet is renown for two things. Cheap flights and crap service.


KFC – nearly half a million KFC fans campaigning to get finger lickin’ food delivered to your door. They’ve just got one more fan!kfc

Motrin – a spoof video in response to their controversial ad targeting Mums

Mega big banners with live Twitter feeds

The technology to stream live content via banners has been around for a few years but it’s only now that a brand has realised the potential of incorporating live updates from Twitter.

As part of the launch for the new Volvo XC60, the car brand has used Double Click’s rich media dynamic data feed capability to create a banner campaign which hosts live Twitter updates. The ad was displayed on YouTube’s home page.


Because this is a media first, the campaign has been well documented within the marketing press. However, few have picked up on the fact that the Twitter updates are only from ad agency professionals rather than the general public, resulting in tweets which feel rather too contrived and self indulgent in my view. So top marks for being the first to integrate a social media platform into display advertising but unfortuantely it drops a few points due to lack of authenticity and not fully capitalising on the true potential of social communities.

But incorporating Twitter feeds is not the only thing different about this campaign. The expandable masthead measures a mega 950 x 250 pixels when rolled over, filling half the page. This might feel too in your face for some consumers but for any potential car buyer within the consideration phase it provides a rich source of information including photo galleries, videos, 360 views and an advergame which demonstrates the new automatic braking features of the XC60.


Google has only been offering this media space since last year apparently and it’s not hosted on the home page every day unlike Yahoo or MSN, so in theory there’s less risk of the audience becoming desensitized. One thing’s for certain, Volvo has shown that with a bigger canvas it’s possible to deliver a very rich online brand experience without having to drag consumers kicking and screaming to another microsite!