What’s more powerful today – content or community?

July 16, 2015

Social media trends are continuously changing. Reactive content is on fire, videos are taking the lead and Instagram is the new black.

Brands are constantly trying to maintain their social currency, by creating strong communities of like-minded fans who engage with their content.

In some scenarios, we need to consider what’s more powerful…content or community?

Communities move on

Think about new mums. Early motherhood is lonely and mums often find support in the mummy community. But, babies are small for a very short time. What happens when they move on from their current stage? They need something new to engage them, something new to talk about other than nappies and baby food. A mum engaged may leave the community to find something else.

Contrast this with book lovers. They will always be book lovers. A passion doesn’t usually fade; in contrast, it may grow over time. These fans are likely to stay part of a community that they engage with. Unless, the content grows stale and doesn’t keep them there.

How to keep fans engaged for longer

So where does this leave a brand’s marketing strategy? Is it better to focus on building the community or producing high quality content? The answer is balancing the business objectives with the audience’s needs – strategies that encompass the proper use of social media and are aligned with business goals, will be more successful towards building communities and keeping them.

Social Media: Connecting the dots

March 27, 2015

On Tuesday 31 March, 2015 our director Joel Davis, will chair a presentation at the DMA in central London.

What is the DMA? The biggest marketing body in Europe, the DMA aims “to connect, enable and inspire our members to drive business growth” primarily through digital communications. Their objective includes facilitating a marketing evolution of growth at both a business and industry level.

The presentation is called Social Media: Connecting the dots and will touch on various aspects of social including successful strategy, integrating social media with other channels, current technology and case study based insights.

Joel says “It is a great opportunity to share industry secrets towards building optimal social strategies.”

The talk is now sold out – however, there is a waiting list for those who are interested.

Social for selling

February 6, 2015

A new report by Shareaholic this week highlighted the following: Social media has become the number one driver of ALL website referral traffic. In 2014, the figures rose from 22.71% to 31.24%, a massive increase over this time period.

This is a significant opportunity to consider; although this growth may not be sustainable, it is definitely something for businesses to focus their marketing campaigns on now.

Which channel is the biggest referrer? Unsurprisingly, Facebook is still tops by a wide margin (24.63% in December 2014 vs. next best channel Pinterest at 5.06%). Despite the challenges of decreasing reach resulting in increasing media spend and younger audiences leaving etc., Facebook remains the channel of choice to get the word out about your business. Not to mention, social media traffic referrals grew by 59.58% in this same time period.

What does this mean for marketers? If social media is now the number one referral method where both good and bad feedback can go viral, your business needs to ensure the following is in order:

• Customer satisfaction – expectations of service are high and fans are now posting their grievances on social media pages. If your business is not able to deal with criticism and complaints effectively, it will ultimately affect your sales negatively.

• Moderation – social media trolls are active and can be vicious. Moderation is key towards managing press and ensuring negativity is dealt with appropriately.

• Quick response times – customers are online 24 hours a day. If they can’t reach you immediately, they will move on quickly to the next best seller.

• Community growth – engagement is key towards building your brand, and will contribute to healthy sales. An engaged community will lead to strong brand awareness, driving clicks to your website.

A focused social media strategy will ensure your website will be seen, ultimately leading to increased sales and return on investment

Social Media Networking By Age Groups

January 23, 2015

“It wasn’t like that in my day….”

“When I was your age…”

These idioms are now applying to social media too.  Channels are changing quicker than we can take a selfie. The younger generation is continuously finding new ways of communicating and moving on from previous popular sites whilst the older generation is started to get socially active more than ever before.

An American report entitled “Social Media Update 2014” (see link here) concluded that whilst Facebook remains the most popular social networking site, others are growing at a higher rate. What does all of this data mean? What are the current trends?

Let’s look at social media by age group:


Users of social media are bound by terms and conditions and age restrictions. The youngest user of Facebook is required to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account (and older in some jurisdictions) and Twitter restrictions clearly states that the site is for users over 13. Do these age limitations stop the youngest users from interacting on social media? This guide on how young kids should be in order to join Instagram is viewed over 400 times a day, so this is clearly on the minds of parents and tweens. We shouldn’t assume that all youngsters follow the guidelines and avoid social media; rather the opposite.


An article in the Telegraph (see here) found that “Teenagers are moving away from ‘traditional’ social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in favour of mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.” It would seem that teenagers want something instant and immediate, and don’t have time for Facebook which may now be seen as ‘uncool’. Whilst the jury is not out as to whether teens have abandoned Facebook and Twitter, the trend seems to be moving towards this age group using other apps as well. A common sense media article highlights the sites that teens are most likely to use.


For this group, it’s all about the photos.

Instagram is now more popular than Twitter (source), and this age group is partly responsible. According to the report mentioned above, half of online adults aged 18-29 used Instagram, and more than half use it every day. However, as Business Insider pointed out, Facebook can’t be ignored and is still the most popular social network with 58% of all age groups saying they have a personal profile page.

30-49 year olds

According to Pew Research Internet Project (see here) for adults age 30-49, a whopping 82% of them use social networking sites. This is only marginally less than 18-29 year olds, of which 89% use social networking sites. However, it is important to note that this is the only age group in the Social Media Update report that dropped in Facebook usage – could this mean that as usage is up, maybe this group is looking elsewhere as well?


Although Facebook was originally launched at Harvard for college students, the user demographic has changed and continues to change! By 2014, according to the Social Media Update, more than half of online adults 65 and over are now using Facebook, which is the biggest jump amongst all of the age groups. Online usage of all social networking sites increased but not as significantly as on Facebook.

Interesting trends! Is it worth breaking down the data to see where best to focus your social media marketing in 2015.

Social networking sites. Ones to watch in 2015?

December 24, 2014

Exploding onto the scene, making a quiet entrance or growing in popularity?

There is always talk about which new social media platforms are replacing the existing channels.  Although it is never as simple as a platform becoming obsolete in a matter of days, new tools and apps and sites are popping up all the time. Whether or not they will grow in popularity and gain cult-like status or disappear into the cloud ether never to be seen again, only time will tell.

WeChat – mobile voice and text messaging service from China, WeChat has now become the largest standalone messaging app by monthly users. More than 100 countries can register their phone numbers and sign up through Facebook.  Bye-bye WhatsApp?

eva – a video based social networking site. Describing itself as “the mobile YouTube for the Instagram generation,” eva is set up for people looking to share content and express themselves through video. What do you think: is this innovative or been done before?

Instagram – not new by any stretch, Instagram has now taken over Twitter in monthly users and Citigroup has raised its valuation to $35 billion (see source) from a mere $19 billion. The platform appeals to younger users and has grown significantly in popularity. Is this the dawn when Instagram becomes the new Facebook?

Yik Yak – yakking is what people do best. Sharing content on Yik Yak is private and creates a live feed of what’s going on around town.

tsu – “We believe in quality content, real ownership, and the value of one’s own network.” Tsu claims to be socially responsible, rewarding users for quality content and allowing users to maintain ownership of their content. One million users joined in just over one month, that’s not too shabby!

We can’t complete this post without mentioning Facebook and Twitter.  The two most popular social media sites are going to need to change with the times to keep up, stay fresh and resonate with young audiences.

Trends in Social Media for 2014

January 7, 2013

What trends in social media are we expecting over the next few years?

We know that it has only just turned 2013, but at agency: 2 we like to always be two steps ahead of the game, so our minds are already drifting to what will be the trends in social media for 2014. We predict that the social networking sites that will be most successful in 2014  will be those which make the most effective use of data, and allow users to get the most targeted and relevant experience.

We believe the most successful social networking sites will use the tri-factors of user behaviour data, user intent data and demographic data to create the most valuable & relevant experiences.

Social networking sites which make the most valuable use of this tri-factor will add the most value for users and ensure that they keep on coming back to that specific site.

By 2014 engaging content will be more important than ever, with everything on social networking sites having a clear intent and purpose. In our last blog article we discussed how we believe that sites such as ‘Newsle’, which cut through the clutter and ‘social noise’ on the web to provide a specific purpose, will increase in popularity. If social networking channels can provide a valuable service which enhances the user’s web experience and generates positive results they will be successful (as seen with LinkedIn).

At agency:2 we are looking forward in the next few years to using our knowledge and experience to ensure that brands can successfully target their messages at the right people, with a focus on the needs and desires of specific individuals.

Find your ABC1s through location based services

May 10, 2012

The folks at Flowtown have cut through the data on users of geo-social networking and location-based services to produce this infographic – and guess what? it’s the under 30 year old males that lead the way. Delving a little further into the whos and whats shows us that users with spending power look to location-based services to find out what brands can offer them. And with the data showing that those people most likely in the US to access these services on their smartphones are in the higher – the learning for brands is that location-based services can help you find your target market.

(c) Flowtown http://www.flowtown.com

Cookie Best Practice

April 20, 2012

From 26 May 2012 websites operated in the EU will be required to inform their users that they are being tracked with cookies, and to ask users for their consent. There’s much that brands can do to support site architecture changes by reviewing how they relate to their B2B and B2C customers in two areas:

1. Transparency

Businesses using cookies must be completely transparent in how they collect, store and use data.

Make sure your privacy policy is up to date and that you’ve provided information on how to reject or delete cookies. By making it clear you’re using them, what they are being used for and how users can control them, you’ll educate people about how they are essential for personalisation.

2. Responsibility

Data must be used responsibly. There has been very little misuse of cookies by B2C and B2B companies and this must continue.

Businesses must be aware of all cookies utilised within their website – the legislation includes both your own cookies as well as cookies set by a third party. So remember, you are responsible for all cookies on the site and ensuring they comply with the legislation.

Ultimately, when used responsibly and effectively, cookies are an invaluable way of enhancing the user experience and customer satisfaction, as well as providing marketers with a vital tool to improve conversion rates. Transparent and responsible use of such data will safeguard these benefits for both parties.

On your marks – going social for the Olympics

April 12, 2012

The London Games begin in just over 100 days’ time involving many thousands of spectators, participants and sponsors:- the physical architecture is more or less in place, the infrastructure pretty much on track, the athletes are reaching the apex of their training, games volunteers have been recruited, and trade in tickets, travel and accommodation is ramping up.

Heralded as the ‘Social Games’ (following on from the ‘twinter olympics’ in Vancouver 2010) the challenge for one of the most tightly-protected super brands is to nourish authentic social engagement around what is arguably the biggest show on earth. A snapshot of the twittersphere shows that push marketing is in evidence: – the obvious messages are getting traction [who IS coming down to the CocaCola Olympics Gig in Hyde Park]; along with issues that reflect the UK national news agenda [anti -cuts ‘street parties’ to rival Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympics?]; and the troubled global backdrop [somali Selectors worry will people they choose now still be alive come July?].

The learning from recent Games is that the three ‘Cs’ – conversation, collaboration and community – that underwrite successful social campaigns can be achieved with planning, structure and insight. Not all of which is yet in evidence in official Olympic channels.

By Rachel Moses

Social TV: One to watch?

March 1, 2012

TV is inherently social; shows have been weekly appointments to gather around the screen and it is a small step from watching a show to telling friends or blogging what we think about it.  The proliferation of second screen devices means viewers are able to explore, share and engage with content before, during and after the screening event – and in so doing become users or even contributors.

We are talking about fundamental changes to how programme makers, advertisers and viewers connect, moving from a shout media model to an interactive one.  Specifically, developments are in content –  how programmes are broadcast and created;  in discovery – how we find new shows to watch or information about on screen products; in engagement – amplifying conversations around particular shows or products; and in integration – multi-platform screens and apps.

What this all adds up to is the opportunity for fully integrated campaigns across broadcast, digital, print, outdoor and social media.  With the technology and hardware in place brands are starting to create responses that capitalise on diversified touchpoints – but are campaigns reaching their potential?

NBCUniversal’s Telemundo Media premiered their Spanish language drama ‘Relaciones Peligrosas’ that connects with twitter fans to develop the on screen narrative – a slow burn in terms of social media engagement, the real pay off will come as this new show gains momentum.

Coca Cola’s campaign for Superbowl XVLI (with viewing figures of 111 million) involved their polar bear characters hosting a virtual party and interacting in real time with fans via facebook and twitter – a victim of its own success as the facebook app crashed the website, creative content was less impressive leading it to list on polls for the worst Superbowl ad.

Honda’s Jazz car campaign in 2011 is an example of augmented TV allowing viewers to grab characters from the ad by swiping their iphones in front of the screen – a fun idea, well delivered, but the numbers show an incomplete return on investment with YouTube hits at 200,000 after one year (100,000 of which achieved in the first 2 weeks).

Marks & Spencer have launched an app for Samsung smart TVs with advice and buying tools across its product range, although online shopping does not feature – an example of early adoption, possibly too early adoption as the obvious shopping function is not enabled.

Sky UK are working with Zeebox to integrate their TV schedule and content into the app that syncs to Facebook and Twitter to create a social media TV companion – and rolled out during Sky UK’s Premiership Football coverage on 3 March 2012.  This tie in offers a powerful all in one solution that knows what viewers are watching, shows them what their friends are watching and provide links to shop for products and download.

Social TV has great potential for brands to enliven the conversation that they have with consumers, to engage with a light, playful touch and to build mass communities around their products and services.  And the building blocks are accessible, so even smaller budgets can get cut through and benefit from longer touchpoints.

By Rachel Moses

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