EU Debate – How Social Media Might Impact the Outcome of the EU Referendum

June 22, 2016

#Brexit   #EUref   #VoteLeave   #VoteIN

The traditional types of campaigning such as TV broadcasts, pamphlets and print ads are not dead. However, it is apparent from this EU referendum that campaigners are increasingly using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in order to reach new and prospective voters.

These online platforms allow for a faster and more direct form of communication between the politicians and their voters, particularly when it comes to the younger generations. According to a recent poll, 33% of 18-24 year olds surveyed sited that social media was their main source of information about the referendum (

With around 15 million people using Twitter in the UK, and over 30 million using Facebook, social media will undoubtedly play an important role in shaping public opinion about the upcoming referendum. Moreover, considering that Facebook has the key demographics, information about the topic is easily accessible proving efficient for the campaign groups (


From newspapers to online forums

The EU referendum in 1975, national newspapers almost unanimously pushed for the ‘yes’ vote. This time, conventional media seem indecisive about which side to take, allowing online debates and social media marketing campaigns to take centre stage.

So far the ‘Brexit’ campaign has featured heavily online, with the topic periodically trending on Twitter and Facebook. Other platforms, such as Debating Europe, allow the public to directly debate EU issues in real-time with experts and politicians.

Here is a snapshot of some typical EU tweets outlining public opinion:



So how much engagement are the social platforms gaining?

These online campaigns reach a lot of people, with the @DebatingEurope Twitter account having more than 23,000 followers, and the @LeaveEUOfficial account with more than 94,000 Twitter followers and 757,437 likes on its Facebook page.

Here are just a few from hundreds of Twitter hashtags created for the purpose of the debate:

#StrongerIn, #EURef, #GetTheFacts, #UKtostay, #Brexit, #No2EU, #Yes2EU, #LeaveEU, #BetteroffIn, #Betteroffout, #EUReferendum, #stayinEU, #MyEU #OperationCroissant #CatsAgainstBrexit #BritsDontQuit #RemainEU

 These online campaigns are also more direct than newspaper articles or TV reports. They lend themselves to public engagement; a key factor in inspiring people to turn out and vote.

While TV and print are still the most important sources of political news they don’t hold the same unrivalled power they had 40 years ago. With its ever-growing presence in today’s society, social media definitely has the power and potential to sway the vote. It may all come down to which hashtag is trending or which politician’s social media presence is most engaging.

How has social media influenced your views on Europe?




Stand out from the crowd: Reactive marketing for brands

June 9, 2016

With the advent of Netflix and Amazon binge-watching, gone are the days of water cooler conversations discussing the latest finales or releases. Instead, daily chatter is focused on social media conversation: who’s tweeted what, broken up with whom and what’s featured on the trending stories on Facebook.

It even goes one step further. Brands are now expected to keep up to date with reactive marketing, the practice of tailoring your content to the topics of the day, hour or even minute. Keeping up is essential to remain current and relevant. If done well, reactive marketing can vastly improve your target reach and audience engagement.

Reactive posts are a great way to make some noise and show that a brand is listening to the social conversation by providing relevant content to its communities. Reactive posts show brands getting involved in the dialogue around particular issues / stories in an interesting way.

However, brands must be careful not to overstep or mis-step. Reacting can often be a knee-jerk reaction, and runs the risk of not being aligned with brand philosophy, creating a social media firestorm or creating bad publicity for a brand.

Reactive posts should be:

  • Timely e.g. same day as trending
  • Relevant to the brand e.g. consistent with brand values
  • Engaging e.g. interesting to the community
  • Avoid being too political or controversial in any way (unless this is part of a brand’s strategy, tone of voice or guidelines)
  • Have a clear objective for posting e.g. should not be random or look like the brand is jumping on a bandwagon

If you follow these guidelines and keep on top of your reactive marketing, your brand is sure to shine on social.

How will you be part of the #moment?



Twitter on the Decline – Fact or Myth?

April 4, 2016

As a leading social media agency, we have been actively following Twitter performance announcements as they unfold, and are constantly attempting to determine what the future holds for the platform.

According to Business Insider, the Twitter Active User Base figures are at an all-time low.




Not only has there been no growth, but active users have been steadily declining. This is worrying for investors, as the falling rates prove that Twitter cannot reach anywhere near Facebook’s user figures.

According to The Verge (see here), Twitter’s 320 million monthly active users are way behind Facebook’s 1.59 billion monthly active users.


Will Twitter  be a serious social media contender in 2016/2017?

There has been speculation on the ‘Twittersphere’ that the 140 character limit could in fact be lifted. A recent interview with Jack Dorsey, has reversed the thinking surrounding this change, with his comments hinting otherwise e.g. Twitter’s 140-character limit is “a beautiful constraint” and Twitter “will never lose that feeling.” (Source: Tech Crunch)

Even if this character limit change did come into play, it would seem that it just wouldn’t be enough to transform the platform. With Facebook’s innovations being introduced at lighting speed, Twitter will need to do a lot more to be thought of as more than a glorified news channel.


What do we think here at agency:2?

Judging by recent trends, we predict that by the end of the year Twitter stands to lose up to 100 million active users if it doesn’t act fast; this will result in a huge loss in advertising revenues and equally devastating, a great loss in investor confidence.


Will our agency be pulling the plug on Twitter?

The writing’s on the wall, but it’s not signed, sealed and delivered just yet. For the moment, Twitter remains a viable newsworthy platform, thus allowing agency:2 to be in control and up to speed on the latest social media insights and news stories. We continue to proudly support our clients brands on Twitter, constantly making valuable connections with their customers worldwide.

Twitter may need an overhaul of its basic features to inspire user growth; however, focusing on its speed and dominance in the live conversation sphere seems like a much smarter approach.

If there is one thing Twitter still has over Facebook, it’s the service’s uniquely instantaneous reactions to live world news and events as they happen in real-time.



February 25, 2016

Mattel | Barbie

In January 2016, Mattel revealed the evolution of their iconic doll Barbie with the announcement of  three new body types – tall, curvy and petite. The response has been exceptional, with social media leading the conversation.

Having worked with Mattel for over a year establishing their social media presence on Facebook across seven European countries, agency:2 was responsible for activating the social campaign for the launch of the new range, providing responsive and always-on social advertising, community management and sentiment reporting.

To elevate the campaign, agency:2 promoted content on Facebook across relevant markets, using their proprietary Social Insight Engine ad technology to hyper-target specific audiences and extend reach.

Joel Davis, Director of agency:2 says ”agency:2 prides itself on pushing boundaries and leading the way in social media. My team and I are proud to be part of this momentous moment for the Barbie brand, supporting the next innovative step in the brand’s evolution.”




Digging out the data

November 13, 2015

Our founder Joel Davis spoke at the DMA offices about applying social data for brands. Key take home points included: 1) Facebook pushes brands to pay for increased reach; this is made more significant as bigger pages experience lower organic reach 2) 62% of CMOs rate creating more engaging, high quality content as extremely important and high up on their marketing priority list 3) Creating brand loyalty is essential and can be increased through driving engagement, encouraging consideration, high levels of support and driving conversion

Social media at the DMA

social media at the DMA

Top 5 video seeding tips

October 10, 2015

People often refer to the term ‘viral video’. However, without video seeding and organic growth all you have is a video – it is the seeding and sharing that make a video ‘go viral’ / reach its potential.

This means that ‘video seeding’ should be an integral part of an online video campaign.  A successful seeding campaign, which is fully integrated across your entire brand’s marketing activity, will get your content seen on social channels and plant it across the web, ensuring it gets in front of as many of the (right) people as possible.

A critical element of any online video campaign is, of course, creating a great piece of content; one that is as ‘watchable’ as possible. There are a number of key considerations. Think about the length of the video (ideally it shouldn’t be over 2 minutes) and understand the intended aim of your video and set out clearly defined KPIs so that you can measure its success. Most importantly, make sure you have created a video that is compelling enough for your fans to want to watch and share with their friends. By completing this check list of online video best practice you’ll be the ideal position to launch your seeding campaign.

Here are our top 5 essential steps to give your video the very best chance of success:

1.       Optimise the videos for search

Whether you’re hosting your video on YouTube, Vimeo, MetaCafe or another video site it is crucial to optimise it for search in order to maximise the number of video views.

YouTube, for example relies on three key signals when ranking your videos within the YouTube search results:

  • Keywords in your title and description
  • Number of video views
  • Video ratings

It is crucial to think about what keywords you use in the titles and descriptions when uploading your video. At the outset you must carry out keyword research in order to uncover niches in the targeted terms.  Use your brand insights to decide upon your keywords in your title, description and tags and ensure each is fully optimised. Here’s a checklist to ensure your videos are fully optimised:

Title:  The title is very important to SEO. Make sure it grabs the attention of your target audience and use high volume keywords. You have 99 characters to optimise your title text so search engines can easily categorise it and your audience can find it. Think carefully about your target keywords, as well as any other keywords you may want to rank for, and choose a title that is popular enough to drive viewer numbers. Another important factor to remember is that before you even upload the video you need to optimise the file name of the video using your keywords.

Description:  The video description should explain exactly what is being shown in the video. You have 5,000 characters in which to describe your video (though keep in mind only about 25-30 characters will be visible in your YouTube search results) and optimise it for key terms. The YouTube Creator Playbook advises putting the most “compelling” information at the beginning. It’s important to avoid key word stuffing, however you must also make it as easy as possible for search engines to find your content – getting this balance right is crucial.

Tags: Tagging your videos allows you to choose a range of words or phrases that will help search engines and your audience to find your video. The key to using tags effectively is to choose unique keyword phrases that you think people would use to search for your video. As a rule of thumb around 5-10 tags for each video is best practice. One tip that may also prove useful is to include any misspellings of your brand name.

2.       Use social bookmarking tools

Submitting your videos to social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon is an extremely useful way to set in motion your video seeding campaign. During the initial launch of the campaign these sites can help to drive increased traffic to your videos.

Submitting to these sites will also help your video get indexed faster and will help to optimise your video by providing additional inbound links and improving video search engine ranking.

However, as a brand you must be extremely careful how you promote your video. If the audience think that you are simply pushing out a video while offering no value this may be seen as spamming and could result in a backlash from online users.  One way of avoiding this is to use Reddit’s sponsored links, which allows brands to upload content while avoiding accusations of spamming.

3.       Maximise organic growth

For brands social media is all about creating compelling content that has great viral potential, content that fans want to talk about and share. The more creative and innovative you can be the more inclined your audience will be to share your content and engage with the brand.

Make use of the viral nature of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as well as leveraging your other marketing channels such as your website and newsletters. By creating an integrated strategic marketing approach and optimising all of your channels will greatly increase the exposure of your video.

This will also bring with it optimisation benefits. Google use the number of links to your video to determine its position in the search rankings, so by encouraging people to share your videos across the social web you will also boost your SEO results.

4.       Use advertising

While organic growth and manual seeding are powerful ways to boost the number of views your video receives social advertising is also an extremely effective way to reach specific audience groups.

Strategic advertising can be run on video sharing channels themselves such as YouTube who offer a range of options, such as promoted videos as well as ‘InVideo Ads’.

Facebook’s advertising platform also offers a powerful and highly targeted way to promote your video. With the ability to target by age, sex, location and also by interests it provides an invaluable way to promote and drive traffic to your video channel.

For more information on video advertising visit

5.       Blogger outreach

Blogger outreach is another extremely effective strategy when running an online video campaign. Working with prominent bloggers you can connect with targeted groups of consumers who you know are interested in your offering and are receptive to your messages – this will guarantee your brand word of mouth recommendations across key communities.

With access to influential, relevant and trusted influencers you will be able to successfully drive traffic to your video and leverage the passion and enthusiasm of the target audience and amplify the reach of your video.

Optimisation + great content

‘Optimisation’ is key when it comes to video seeding. When you have uploaded your video you must optimise the key words so that search engines can easily find it. Then, in order to optimise the reach of your video, you must use social advertising and social bookmarks. Finally you must optimise the power of your message by leveraging trusted influencers on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

It is worth exploring YouTubes showcase ideas to inspire new ways to engage within video apps.

These tactics will help to maximise the chances of your video being seen by as many people as possible – and are key to helping videos reach their potential. However, it’s also vital to keep in mind campaign effectiveness will be limited unless you have a great piece of video content which people want to share and engage with in the first place.

So, when launching your video, remember that it requires the perfect combination of great content, measurable objectives, a comprehensive seeding strategy together with continuous optimisation. Only then are you giving it the very best chance to go ‘viral’.

Welcome to the world of Next Gen Social Insights

September 11, 2015

Social media week, September 14-18, is coming up and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Joel Davis will be talking about new technologies and advancements in social insight tools which can transform social media marketing from traditional to extraordinary.

We will take marketers on a journey from relying on gut-feel to trusting the insights and utilising them strategically. Using these innovative tools can transform ROI and elevate its priority level. With new usable platforms and a view into next gen social technologies, marketers can shape their 2016/2017 social strategies and contribute to an evolving landscape.

This event is now sold out. Follow us on @agency2 and take part in the conversation about #smartersocial. Thursday 17 September, 9:45 – 10:35 am.

Social accounts for highest percentage of online activity

September 4, 2015

We all know social media usage continues to rise, but did we realise how much of our leisure time it accounts for?

Out of all online activity, social media usage has grown in popularity to take up the highest percentage of our time. We are on our devices more than ever and increasingly engaging with a wide variety of social media networks. Not really breaking news, although the figures are quite staggering.

From research undertaken by UKOM and Comscore, The Guardian reports: “Time spent on sites including Facebook, Gawker Media and Reddit account for 17% of all time people in the UK spend online” (See here for full article.)

With brands able to reach consumers at virtually every turn, it is more important than ever for their strategies to be fully aligned with clear targets in place. The opportunity to utilise social as part of a wider marketing strategy has never been this great.

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.

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