“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under” – Edward Snowden
Let’s not beat around the bush: one of the services that 1000heads offers is the tracking of online public conversations to help businesses make better decisions about how to engage their customers, and to optimise business practices. But we only track public conversations; that is, we only track open forums, public posts on social networking sites, and freely accessible blogs. The data we track could technically be tracked by anyone, but the cost of developing the infrastructure to capture all the data, store it, make it searchable and develop insights from it, is simply not economically viable for either an individual, or even a large enterprise. It’s not their core business; it’s ours.
We do this because we feel it’s important to listen to audiences, to converse with them, and to find ways of delivering better customer experiences. We strive to ensure we are working with conversations conducted by adults, and we are deeply conscious of the responsibility placed on us to protect customer data, and to ensure we are only collecting information that is considered to be in the public domain. We respect that not everyone wants to contribute to public conversations, and we are willing to facilitate the exception of any data – even after public sharing – that a user prefers us not to track. We are guided by a clear ethical code, and we have a history of turning down projects which would require us to support brands that have acted in an exploitative fashion.
In other words, we’d like to think the tracking we do is a positive thing both for consumers and for businesses.
The trouble is that the companies that own the networks where social conversations happen online, and the government intelligence agencies like the NSA in the US, are saying very nearly the same thing: it’s all for the good of our customers / the people. The difference is that they are tracking not just public conversations, but also private conversation. And in the case of government intelligence agencies and other network intermediaries, there is the possibility that institutions are demanding access to such data, without the knowledge of the users who have accessed private channels for communication.
I should acknowledge that this mass data collection exercise may all be benign; a learning exercise to help understand how to better facilitate communication, and to protect the community. But it doesn’t feel like it. It feels intrusive. And if the revelations of Wikileaks and Edward Snowdon have taught us anything, it is that data can be used not just to learn and to improve, it can also be used to subordinate and to control.
It’s too simplistic, and indeed dangerous to suggest that all governments and businesses should simply stop listening to commentary online. As citizens and as consumers, we wish to be heard; we want organisations to meet our needs. But we don’t want to lose our autonomy, our integrity and our capacity to choose our own destiny.
Marketing may be about influence but it is not, and should never be, about domination. And data tracking should always be used to inform strategy, not to subjugate.
Every day, along with the rest of our team at 1000heads, I work hard to ensure I think about, learn about and try to improve our data analysis. Careful vigilance is needed to ensure we support not just freedom, but civilisation, progress and quality of life. That’s how seriously we take what we do.
The waters of social data tracking may be murky, but it’s our job to keep the tank clean to achieve transparency. Only then can we be sure we are working for social good.
Shawn Levy’s new film The Internship shows just how weird and competitive the world of internships can be. In a tough job market, internships have an increasingly bad name; is all too easy for firms to exploit young people desperate for a foot in the door and some schemes are little more than unpaid slave labour.
So what does it take to create a truly valuable internship in an agency like 1000heads – and how can prospective interns find the perfect fit?We set up our intern scheme in October 2012. We wanted to do things differently, setting up an ethical paid scheme that would either lead to a permanent role within 1000heads or provide top quality skills enabling our interns to secure a role elsewhere.
What works? Giving each intern a line manager, with clear goals and objectives that are reviewed monthly. Getting past interns to mentor the current intake. Encouraging them to integrate themselves into the agency, providing experience on live accounts across all the sectors of the business. And collating 360 feedback at the end of the scheme, so that even if they don’t secure a role, they know their strengths and areas to develop.
In the past year we have taken on 15 interns and 7 have joined us on a permanent basis. We now receive over 300 applications each quarter for the scheme, which now includes Design, Developer, IT and HR roles. Interested? Get in touch! But first read what three of our interns-turned-full-time-employees have to say about their experiences…
Ben Parsons, Account Executive
Having done a handful of internships before 1000heads, I felt like a veteran traveller of the intern world, but my first day felt like a breath of fresh air compared to previous companies. We were introduced in the Monday morning ritual of Heads Together and then thrown straight into the company.
During your first few weeks you are made to feel at home, getting completely immersed in your team’s work. Working on team with a client as big as Nokia was great and gave me a glimpse into what 1000heads was all about. It was a genuine eye opener and a real learning curve for me in my first month. By the end of my internship, working as part of the Nokia Connects team was a real buzz.
Following my first month I was put into a team that was pitching for a new client. Once again I was treated as an employee, not an intern. Being brought into brainstorming sessions and being given the opportunity to express my thoughts on the direction of the project meant I could really get stuck into living and learning the WOM way.
I discovered 1000heads through my uni careers website and was immediately pulled in by the unique nature of the agency. The 3 month paid contract was a real draw as I have done several unpaid internships; it was great to see a company respecting their interns!
Michael Anton, Word of Mouth Analyst
Getting thrown in the deep end did feel daunting, but after I’d written copy for CBS’s Look for Longer competition, kicked off a research project about how people watch catch-up TV, and brain-stormed ways to crowd source video footage from live music events -all in the first day – I knew my time at 1000heads was going to be anything but boring.
By treating every new intern like a new employee, rather than a new tea-brewer, I instantly felt valued and quickly started learning a ton of brand new skills, which isn’t something that every other intern I know has felt…
Whilst work started off with a little bit of everything, I soon realised that the sort of project I most enjoyed was research-based. A couple of conversations later, I’d been assigned to gather the insights for a whole range of current and potential clients. It was empowering to get trusted with so much as an intern, and just as liberating and exciting to know that I could help steer my own experience in the scheme.
Despite the online focus of some of the work at 1000heads I actually found my way into the internship by using a really old-school technique; I went and met people. That’s not to say that emailing a faultless CV, sprucing up your LinkedIn profile or uploading engaging cover letters isn’t important, but, by meeting our HR Manager in person at a careers fair, and asking our Creative Director some questions after I saw him give a presentation about our Say it with Skype campaign, I really managed to get my foot in the door.
I’d seriously recommend that those interested in WOM and social media do the same and start attending events, talking to people in the know, and, of course, coming to see some of the current ‘heads speaking at events around the country.
Ebru Karatufek, Community Executive
Finding the one is tough. That awkward silence, the sweaty palms, the anxious looks across the table, the nervous wait for them to call. The intern-employee dating scene has really stepped up, and seems to require almost comical reserves of cash, patience and skills. Here are my top tips:
1. No one will love you until you do
Whether you need to buy yourself a crisp new shirt, reread that article from Mashable or note down everyone’s names; do what you need to do to secure your confidence when you walk through the door. Nothing will represent you, your experiences and all your capabilities better than you. Be conscious of your skills and what you have to contribute and don’t be afraid to show them.
2. Make time for each other
To get to really know each other, like really, you simply have to put the time in. Say yes to everything, never moan, never stray. Read around the hot topics they would care about (make a list of bookmarks of relevant websites and read them every morning), contribute your opinions and ideas (you simply have to have an opinion and speak up), and engage with their concerns and dilemmas (be proactive, join conversations, offer an alternative viewpoint). Chocolate tiffin squares for the desk probably won’t hurt either.
3. Make the most of your differences
This is just as important for the employers as it is for the interns. Really listen to the experiences and characteristics that make the person who they are, rather than another potential tea maker. Capitalise on the individual and push them so that they are challenged and valued. Interns are hungry and want to prove themselves, so give them something to really get their teeth stuck into.
One third of consumers will take to social media to vent about bad customer service. Of these, women are twice as likely to take out their frustration online. This shouldn’t come as any surprise: women talk, women talk in great detail to their friends, and women will go out of their way to share a bad experience. This is a particularly thorny issue for the beauty industry. Operating in a space which can be full of confusing jargon and competing claims, beauty brands can come under serious fire if their service doesn’t live up to their hype.
On the other hand, beauty inspires huge volumes of passion and advocacy, and women are eager to shout about the products that really work. 71% of customers will recommend a brand that gives them a ‘quick and effective’ response on social media, so a presence that is helpful, knowledgable and friendly can cement the reputation of a beauty brand.
Liz Earle’s scrupulous approach to customer service is something we have held in high regard since long before we started working with them. From the outset, founders Liz and Kim established clear principles for the company. Their commitment to the highest standards of quality and service goes beyond customers to embrace everyone who works there was well as their associates. In short? Happy workers equals happy customers.
Liz Earle’s focus on fairness and rewarding customer loyalty translates into social media, as the example below demonstrates, incredibly well.
Working with Liz Earle has taught us three golden rules to beauty customer service:
1: Know your product inside out. Confidence inspires confidence.
2: Be genuine. If a product won’t suit a customer’s skin – (translating that to agencies, if a certain campaign idea simply won’t achieve the results your clients are after) – be honest. You’ll almost always end up better off. Trust is more valuable than an unsuitable sale.
3: Be prompt. Social media moves quickly and people won’t wait around for your answer – they’ll find someone who gets back to them straight away. If you’re going to be present on a real-time platform, you have to be prepared to play by the rules.
Times have changed. Mobile communications now form a core part of people’s work lives far beyond the clichéd city boy. Here’s our very own Richard Potts representing modern business with his Nokia Lumia 920.
We kicked things off with reviewing the Nokia company page on LinkedIn and made some immediate changes to the editorial strategy:
- Nokia’s +160,000 followers are spread across the globe – we tweaked the publishing schedule to cover more countries, with a focus on the beginning and end of day in Europe, America and Asia, immediately more than trebling the response rates and volume of impressions for status updates.
- Much of the content shared via LinkedIn status updates was a replication of engagement from other Nokia channels – we shifted the editorial focus of the page to three core pillars: product KSPs for business, smarter working and innovation.
- Nokia careers updates were already strong and a vital recruitment tool for the company, so this element stayed put.
Next we tweaked the page visuals:
- LinkedIn offers four slots for banner images shared across the main page and the products & services tab. We updated these to reflect Nokia’s business messaging.
- We also added an element of social endorsement by creating banners that feature a Lumia user, their profile pic, and a quote taken from their Twitter feed that communicates why they love using Nokia Lumia.
- We also added testimonial content to the video slots on the page – like this one from Benjamin Ellis.
- Rather than simply create a list of the product range, we used this as an opportunity to communicate the benefits of using Nokia for work purposes.
- We added a section each on MS Office integration, navigation, security, support, accessories.
- We also added calls to action to trial a Nokia Lumia for your company, follow Nokia on Twitter, and to check out Nokia’s smarter working content – themed around designing your day.
“The Nokia LinkedIn page is a core channel for us in engaging professionals and business decision-makers, distributing content and fuelling conversations that drive consideration of the Nokia Lumia range as the best smartphones for business. Adding also the opportunity to trial a Nokia Lumia for your company has turned the page into a lead and advocacy generator that delivers measureable business value.”
LinkedIn’s Category Head for Tech & Teclo Will Koch said:
“Nokia’s LinkedIn Company Page gives them a real social media presence and allows them to create relationships with their audience, tell the story of their business and showcase both their brand and products. Offering their LinkedIn followers the opportunity to trial a Nokia Lumia for their company is a unique approach that is resonating with the business decision makers on LinkedIn that they are targeting.”
1000heads’ leadership in the evolution of B2B marketing was recognised recently with an award for our creative work on Royal Mail’s Market Reach. We’ve also been helping Western Union Business and Getty Images with their social strategy and activation. We’re really proud of the work we’re doing in this field, so if you know someone in need of some support on B2B social, well, this might be the perfect time for a cup of tea.
When sports giant Salomon came to us at the end of last year asking how we could help them achieve their business objectives through digital and social, we knew we were embarking on an exciting journey. Having monitored conversations for Salomon for a while now, we rapidly identified a big opportunity with Salomon’s highly engaged and passionate customers, and two particular areas of growth for advocacy.
First, we looked to Salomon’s global Facebook page, with the aim of growing its fan base as well as its vibrancy. With more than 11,000 fans acquired in the first quarter and an engagement rate of 0.5% (more than twice the average for a page this size), the page is proving a great way for Salomon to connect with its audience.
In parallel, we developed an influencer programme focused on stimulating positive word of mouth for the brand through product trials and reviews by trusted members of the running community. The Insider Program is set to kick off this weekend alongside a series of UK city trail events, designed to coincide with Salomon’s new brand campaign: #DesignedForFreedom.
As an enabler of greater freedom of movement since 1947, it only makes sense that, 66 years later, Salomon should reaffirm its core brand values through a fresh new campaign. This week, #DesignedForFreedom kicked off with an inspirational short film, as well as some front page action on Salomon.com.
The video aims to capture the spirit of the brand while showcasing the obsession of Salomon’s core consumers – outdoors – in a heartfelt and artistic way. Niclas Bornling, Marketing Director at Salomon explains: “In the work to tie the brand’s many product categories, practices and consumers together we drilled down into the core of the Salomon brand and found one single common denominator: everything Salomon makes is designed to enable greater freedom of movement so that the consumer can experience greater freedom of spirit. The campaign, Designed for Freedom, encapsulates this commitment and aims to speak to the very core reason to why everyone, from top athletes to recreational consumers, do mountain sports.”
For Niclas, digital is the media of choice for this campaign: “We choose to launch the campaign through digital media as this allows us to transfer the emotional nature of the message in a very compelling way. It also gives a platform to engage in a dialogue with a wide consumer base spanning through a multitude of sports communities and local cultures.”
It’s just the beginning of exciting things to come from Salomon in digital and social, as the conversation around the campaign already shows. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and let us know what#DesignedForFreedom means to you!
On Friday 17th May I had the chance to wear my kilt. I like wearing my kilt because it generally means one of two things: Either, someone is getting married or, some of our work has been nominated for an award…
The Rev Awards celebrate the best digital work from the UK (not the best sermons) and this year our work for Skype, CBS and Royal Mail was plucked from the entries and given pride of place on the nominations board. But it didn’t stop there. On the night we were chuffed to pick up Best B2B campaign for Real: The Physical Network, our innovative B2B project for MarketReach at Royal Mail, as well as a commendation for Say it with Skype – great recognition for everyone involved.
But wait! Just this morning, the month got even better as we discovered we’d been awarded not one but two Bees Awards – the international social media awards based out of San Francisco. This time Nokia Agora picked up and award alongside Say it With Skype – a fantastic scalp for the social and data teams at Nokia and 1000heads who’ve worked to create a product that’s useful, impactful and looks darn sexy too…
The great thing about picking up awards isn’t the dinner or the celebratory gin (it is this a bit though), but the knowledge that without a client, a brief, an insight, a strategy, an idea and an awful lot of hard graft from a lot of people – AKA ‘the work’ – it wouldn’t happen.
Here’s to plenty more great work (and congratulations to all the other winners too).
Every day mothers and fathers around the globe go through a storm of strong emotions as their children grow up. Witnessing them learn to walk, talk and make sense of their world is one of the most powerful journeys most of us will go through. And far from just providing distraction, children’s TV can be a major supporter of that learning process when produced in the right way. Not to mention an education for parents, who find themselves getting to know some pretty extraordinary characters along the way!
So when BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand approached us to help them build engagement on their pre-school channel’s CBeebies Australia Facebook page, we jumped at the chance. Sharing that journey with parents is a privilege, not to mention an exciting opportunity to prove the value of social in an area that has important practical significance.
Over the years, the CBeebies Australia Facebook page has become a great place for parents to engage both with the channel and with each other. With tips, trivia and suggested activities to do with the kids, parents are able to share their points of view, swap advice and generally feel connected at such an intense time. Our job was to build that community while driving advocacy out into the wider web, as well as into these parents’ lives. So we created a dynamic hub that would live on the Facebook page for the entire year. The hub displayed relevant videos and programming information in real time, then every two months became the gateway to programme-themed competitions.The emphasis was on enabling parents and kids to explore together, and on reflecting the CBeebies motto of educating and entertaining little ones through play.
The first competition was aimed at highlighting their popular show, ‘Mr Bloom’s Nursery’. We decided to focus on growing fruit and vegetables, the show’s main theme, creating questions that children and parents could answer together in a 14 day trivia competition. We supported the competition with Facebook promoted posts, and managed to get a CPC lower than the national average, all the while increasing the CBeebies Fan base by 10% in just 2 weeks.
We are launching the second competition in 3 weeks and we are very excited about what’s ahead over the next ten months. For every piece of engagement, we want to emphasise the joy that parents share in learning with children in these crucial formative years. Stay tuned!
That was the question at the heart of Gorkana’s breakfast briefing last week, and I was delighted to be invited to present our ongoing work with Nokia Connects. It was a fantastic event; not only were my fellow speakers – Warren Johnson, Amy Butterworth and Azeem Azhar - of the highest calibre, but the audience had some super-sharp questions.
I am unashamedly proud of our Nokia Connects programme. It captures everything I believe is essential to a great social campaign:
- a people-focused approach
- the combination of social media and the real world
- the integration of multiple channels and business departments
- fantastic, tangible business results
- an incredibly close and robust relationship between agency and client
- a long-term commitment to bringing a brand closer to its customers, in big and small ways.
Below is the video of my presentation but do visit Gorkana’s site and watch the full set. There is always more to learn when it comes to listening to, engaging with and growing advocacy, and it’s an essential skill for businesses that want to survive and thrive.
Twitter users are being given a chance to win a Nokia Lumia 820 – as well as a personalised 3D printed case with their Twitter handle on the back cover – by tweeting ‘something fun, entertaining, witty’ to the @Nokia_Connects account while using the hashtag #Lumia820.
For a better idea of how it all works, check out this short video:
There will be a longer video and more detailed interviews released next week, but suffice to say the early adopters in the mobile community have been jumping at the chance to combine their love of great devices with the chance to try out some cutting-edge 3D technology.
In the midst of complex multi-platform, multi-agency, high-rolling social campaigns, it can be easy to forget how simple a successful word of mouth deployment can be. Advocacy really is all around us, just waiting to be harnessed, and sometimes all it takes is a keen ear and a quick mind to set a grassroots movement in motion.
Here’s the story of how we recently just did that in Sydney office, for fun.
An accidental insight
A truism oft-repeated in our Sydney office is that ‘nothing with bacon can ever taste bad’, along with its partner-statement, ‘if in doubt add bacon’. So when I stumbled upon a link that was titled ‘bacon shortage 2013’ I instantly shared it with my colleague Chris via Twitter (despite the fact that, obviously, we sit a few meters away from each other.)
This prompted a wider Twitter conversation about how much everyone loved bacon, and what they would do without this beloved ingredient. How much poorer our pasta bakes would be. And where would our blankets be without their pigs?
Fortunately for all, a new article surfaced that assured us that Australia would not to be affected by the bacon shortage. Panic over. But based on this new insight into the power of bacon as a conversational trigger, we began discussing ways we could celebrate. James Coyne soon suggested that we have a bacon party; Hannah DeMilta joined the #baconparty committee; and one by one the #baconparty gained a following.
The conversation that started it all
The spark ignites
After much debate, we settled on a party date then each began spreading the word through our own networks and anyone else we stumbled across who seemed to have a similar bacon fetish. Over the next two months the #baconparty hash tag was used almost daily, and it didn’t take long for all sorts of strangers to jump on board. People started sharing bacon memes, bacon recipes, crazy bacon-inspired products (perfume, toothpaste, lip balm), comments every time they were eating bacon, and pictures of them eating their favourite bacon dish. The word ‘bacon’ on twitter began to become synonymous with #baconparty, and it got to the point that each time we saw anything online related to bacon, we would send a tweet to the hashtag community.
From online to offline
The conversation was also prominent offline, as we all heard stories of people talking about #baconparty over coffee, at meetings and over a wine on the weekend. It seemed to pop up everywhere we went. It was glorious to hear how a simple conversation between four bacon fans created so much conversation and intrigue.
Our humble little community of passionate #baconparty fans became a classic example of WOM success, thanks to some key elements:
1. It created intrigue
2. Allowed people to share their passion
3. Made people think about the event each time they ate bacon
4. Gave people a lighthearted, levelling excuse to interact and enthuse with one another
5. It promoted multiple uses for one product – bacon in dessert is a revelation…
Even though we didn’t intend for the original discussion to lead to daily mentions and an event in Sydney, it happened. We weren’t trying to sell anything; we simply united a collective of people who loved bacon.
So, on Saturday 8th December bacon lovers of Sydney united at Bronte beach to celebrate and share their creations. Unveiling the dishes one by one, we progressed from bacon crackers and quiche to pasta dishes and then dessert. Our collective bacon degustation menu was extraordinary in its creativity and effort – think bacon, zucchini and Brie muffins; pasta, choc chip and bacon cookies; bacon flavoured chips and my very own pig shaped cupcakes.
After we sampled the menu we began chatting to one another about what brought us to the #baconparty. Some had come with friends, others heard about it on Twitter and Facebook. #baconparty united people who otherwise wouldn’t have met, people who lived on opposite sides of Sydney and those who don’t even know what a hash tag is.
Tweets on the day
Overall, #baconparty was a great idea that was not only fun for all who came along, but it showed us how a simple idea can spread if you really know what your audience wants. It’s all about creating a community that people want to be part of, providing some prompts and unifying tools, then letting it grow – delightfully out of your control.