Right....I've been searching for some pictures of wagons, brass bands and people running.

Then I realised, the biggest thing about being on the bandwagon is timing.  So I made life easier and found a surprisingly decent stock image.1

Ok so why on the bandwagon?

Well as the UK national lottery says: " You have to be in it to win it".

So hey here I am, on the wagon, stuck between the Flugel horn and the Trombone player.

Ok the story so far...

Artist accuses British stationery manufac.... ah sorry... wrong Social Media Fail bandwagon.

Ok lets try again....
  1. Greenpeace creates viral campaign that includes an altered kitkatt logo.2
  2. Video makes it onto Youtube (surprise)
  3. Nestle gets add pulled from youtube due to "Copyright infringement" (double surprise) 3
  4. Add goes VIRAL (No Way!)
  5. Facebook users start altered kitkatt logo as their profile pics and start posting comments on the Nestle facebook fan page. (ok enough with the surprises)
  6. Nestle fanpage moderator deletes posts and comments:

    "To repeat: we welcome your comments, but please don't post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic - they will be deleted."
  7. All hell breaks loose.
    Some more comments by nestle:  

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

    "It's our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus"

    "I think your have missed out the not there, helen" - Correcting someone's grammar

    "Get it off your chest - we'll pass it on. " - in response to numerous messages about the extinction of orang-utans

    "that's a new understanding of intellectual property rights. We'll muse on that. You can have what you like as your profile picture. But if it's an altered version of any of our logos, we'll remove it form this page."

    "Social media: as you can see we're learning as we go. Thanks for the comments."

    "This (deleting logos) was one in a series of mistakes for which I would like to apologise. And for being rude. We've stopped deleting posts, and I have stopped being rude."

    Ok now that you have the story as it stands on Saturday morning 20th of March, lets look at some of the stats.

    Twitter stats
    After serious searching and thanks to Facebook lexicon that is no longer available, I had to use twitter stats to build this argument. 

    Beginning of the week when the campaign by Greenpeace is launched, nestle's daily mentions on twitter is near 0%.

    Wednesday Nestle hit the news due to various palm oil related stories,  greenpeace's "caught red handed report4 " not helping nestle's cause.

    Nestle's Twitter mentions peaks at 0.04% of all twitter chatter on Wedneaday. Now that doesnt sound a lot but it equates to 20 000 tweets per hour at the peak. (Based on latest stats of 50 000 0005 tweets sent a day)

    It seems to die down a bit on Thursday but then surges to 0.06% at the peak of the facebook Fiasco, on Friday,  that's over 30 000 mentions at the peak hour on twitter alone!

    Image from Trendistic.com

    Nestle share price
    If you plot the increase in Social Activity, an interesting story starts emerging. Now I'm not saying this is the exact reason, but its highly probable that this whole Social Media issue is the cause.

    The following graphs6 show week activity and then hourly on Friday. Note dips on Wednesday and Friday.

    I have overlaid the hourly twitter stats with the hourly share stats: (twitter stats adjusted by an hour due to sharestats being in CET)

    What does this tell you? Well for one, it tells me the person who was responding on behalf of nestle on their facebook site is soooo fired.

    So what am I saying?
    Many many blogs will spring up, many an agency will be salivating at the prospect of being able to talk about this gaff.  Personally I think the following are good takeout's for what occured:
    1. Just because you are 25, have a twitter & facebook account, does not qualify you as being able to be in charge of a company's social media responses to crisis. Even if it is "only that facebook page thing".
    2. Social Media strategies & responses are best left with the in-between generation or Gen V as they termed. These are people who are fully immersed in the social media world yet have a number of years experience in business.
    3. In Social Media, everyone is equal. 
    4. In Social Media, everyone has a voice.
    There is a lot of talk about Social Media being a channel for negative feelings and abuse.

    To those people I'd like to say: Go sit in a pub, go listen to the office gossip, go anywhere where more than one person is gathered and LISTEN. Our existance is filled with anger at being manipulated, ignored and taken advantage of by big corporates, governments etc...

    Finally we are all equal and if your displease the consumer you will face their wrath.

    Evolution is not optional, Shift happens.

    Ok on to some more light hearted stuff:

    Biggest bandwagon jumper
    A complete hat's off to Nestle fan, Scott Cochrane with his rather genius Backpacker accommodation posting, between Mariba Alexanderson's posting listing Nestle Australia's contact details and Shelly Pixie's posting of the facebook fail blog on ZDnet.
      Scott Cochrane I salute you.

    Best tweet
     @Nick_Myers: I see planners around the world frantically updating their decks on social media to include a Nestle chart - be warned

    Funniest YouTube video
    Ok not the best video ever but at the moment of writing the blog this was one of two videos that had already been doing its rounds.

    Worst newspaper article headline

    Goes to... surprise surprise.... The Sun with their article entitled: KitKatastrophe

    That's it for today folks, time for me to jump off the bandwagon and wait for the next one. There is always a next one.

    Possible post of interest:

    1Image by Olly |2Greenpeace Video | 3Video news about add being pulled | 4Greenpeace report | 5Twitter Blog measuring tweets | 6Yahoo Finance
    Ahh... well first off let me say im going to miss the old #smwf tag... but we preservere.

    So I walk into the office on Monday morning, not in the mood for work.

    I have my morning Lucazade. I log on to facebook and notice a colleague checking in at Social Media World Forum on Gowalla.

    75 minutes, a frantic cab ride and a full access entry badge blag later,  we're sitting in our first forum.

    The bad bits first
    Unfortunately I want to get some negative comments about the event out of the way so I can relax into the rest of the posting.

    The location was to small, the WiFi dropped out the whole time and listed speakers we replaced with second rate speakers. I can go on and rant a bit on each point, but why? I enjoyed most of the show.

    Now to get on to the good
    The best thing about #smwf? The people I met, the bloggers that blogged and the tweeters that tweeted... There were times I felt we were all in a Social Media type "Group therapy".

    The most surprising presentation?
    Sarah Cullen, Head of Events and Engagement at Asda.
    Yup you read right, ASDA talking at a Social Media event, hence the "The most surprising presentation". Sarah spoke how ASDA is using social media to promote the brand not only to the consumer but to internal staff as well.

    I was very fascinated by something called "the green room" which is basically a employee portal that is publicly available. It host numerous videos of staff neigh colleagues, as ASDA terms them, presenting the latest offers and staff training.
    Fascinating stuff, yet somehow evil in its engineering.
    The most avoided question
    The one question that seemed send any presenter into a fit of avoidance:
    "How do we measure the ROI of Social Media". 
    Ok admittedly this is a difficult question to answer, yet a few people actually made a decent go at it.

    Kerryn Dinsdale Senior PR Manager, Barclaycard owned up and said straight out:
    "We do not measuring social media ROI, We rather focus on delivering the message"
    After absorbing it all, the best answer I could distill out of the waft was:
    the best way to calculate ROI is to drive social Media trafic to traditional quantifiable marketing channels.
    Presentation that made you feel like you've been hit by a truck
    Hats off to Dirk Singer, his presentation was loaded with goodies and he delivered it as if he was drowned in redbull. I don't think I have ever scribbled as fast before.

    His statistic laden presentation on "The future of newspapers in an online world" can be found here. Not a single mention of tablet's or iPad's, kinna makes me wonder if he is missing a trick. Over all a very good speaker, if a bit on the fast side.

    Biggest fail
    Chair Paul Armstrong, Director of Social Media at Kindred kept on calling X-factor, British Idol, second only by Martine Edgell from Mercedes Benz with her comments:
    "My boss does not understand what I do" and then "Don't worry he's not here" 
    which was immediately tweeted, hashtagged and blogged. But don't worry her boss is not on twitter.

    Then again it wasn't until your mother started commenting on your facebook status that you realised she even knew how to turn on a pc

    Sigh... its always the people who should know better that makes the fail list.

    Slickest Presentation
    There were many that were really good, but the one that comes to mind is Adam Graham founding partner of the digital agency, Saint. You too can relive the excitement of Adam's presentation The Future Of Social Media And Its Implications For Brands. Now on slideshare.

    Most prolific tweeter
    Was by far dani_dutra She constantly beat me to some juicy tweets.

     There was a rather large backchannel at the event, well seeing that it is SMWF its not surprising.
    Some chair's and presenters listened and handled the backchannel admirably. I would really like to see future presenters / presentations leveraging and serving content to the backchannel.

    It's a powerful channel that when nurtured can spread the message of any speaker to the four corners of the world, no matter how small the event is.
    Best sound bites
    Most of these came from twitter so apologies if source is not included
    • "Control is so 20th century"
    • Saint Agency's 4C's of brand social media: Culture, Conversation, Collaboration, Compensation
    • Users engage first and refer second. So make sure your content is engaging enough to push referrals.
    • Biggest mistake in B2B SM, not having employes authentically connect to customers. 
    • The more social media feature you add to a network the more sticky the network becomes
    • Biggest challenge of social web today is sentiment analysis. 
    • It's not alchemy: Social media won't turn a bad story into a good one
    • Would apear the best way to calculate ROI is to drive social Media trafic to traditional quantifiable marketing channels
    • Social media is pushed through from the top before strategies are ready
    • 62% of users consult a social media website prior to an online purchase... Chris Tradgett- Buy.at
    • Just because u are 22 doesn't mean you get socialmedia & should run the digital engagement strategy
    • The "geeks and gurus" hype up social media while the normal people just use it
    My favorite soundbite 
    The "geeks and gurus" hype up social media while the normal people just use it

    Best use of the #smwf tag
    Surevine latched onto the event tag and gave away a bottle of magnum champers each day to the best Tweet using the #smwf tag.

    I had a long conversation with them about this as I just could not understand what ROI they were expecting. They were in the SaaS part of the show and footfall was near non existant. So to be honest 98% of Tweeters at the event would not even have been aware of the draw.

    The reason I'm classing this as "Best use" is that I thought this was quite clever to piggy back on the event's tag, instead of running the risk of failing quite badly by no one using a tag of their design.

    Closing view
    There was a lot of talk about "They telling us things we already know", that is true, however they put it in context!

    Technology and sentiment towards Social Media is changing on a daily basis. So I challenge anyone to say they are an expert. When it comes to Social Media we are all beginners.

    Events like SMWF brings us all together and puts social reality in to perspective. All in all it was a good event and I'll definitely be back next year.

    Possible post of interest:
    As a business we send out hundreds and in some cases thousands of direct one to one business emails every single day.

    Every email is an opportunity to reinforce your brand and relay your latest news, press or events to an accepting audience.
    Email stationery enhances everyday business emails by adding unobtrusive HTML and Plain Text components.
    There are a number of considerations to be made:

    1.Your Regulatory Environment

    Your first point of call is to contact your legal department, they will have  a clear understanding of the regulatory environment of your business.

    Things that might be affected by your regulatory environment:
    • Location, length, notification of data storage
    • Is the content private, personal or business
    2. Regionalised email laws
    There is no global email law in place, instead various laws govern various countries and sectors.

    Two note worthy laws are the "CAN SPAM" act of North America and the European Union data protection act.

    It is important to note that the law of the recipients country takes preference.

    More can be found here: http://www.spamlaws.com 

    The above mentioned laws specifically relate to the sending of "unsolicited commercial emails" a.k.a spam. 

    When branding business emails, there seems to be only the UK companies act (updated 2007), that states all business communication must include company registration, place of registration and registered offices. This is also a requirement of the US CAN SPAM act

    3. Standardising corporate brand and identity
    I received an email from a friend who works for the Metropolitan Police and was completely left speechless by her signature, a tiny waving cat and lurid coloured name and telephone number.

    This seems to be quite a common phenomena when the business is unable to provide an email branding solution.

    The answer is to have a system in place (software or hardware) that allows you to manage one central template without having to log into multiple systems, or heaven forbid multiple end user machines.

    4. Disclaimers, Confidentiality, Privacy Statements
    Contrary to popular belief, disclaimers carry no legal weight. It's merely added to attempt to limit liability and is as of yet has not been proven in a court of law to be successful.

    This does not mean you should ignore disclaimers. Its better to have it and not need it, than not have it and suddenly it becomes legally acceptable.

    Confidentiality statements in its nature is slightly different and if used correctly can be a successful deterrent to unauthorised distribution of your content.
    Confidentiality disclaimer should be the first content the recipient reads. There is no point in having it at the end of an email after the recipient has read the content of the email.

    5. Personalised Business cards (contact details)
    Now this is one of my pet gripes. I get an email from someone and its signed of with just "JP".  No name, no job title, no website and no telephone details.

    Sure I can look at the email address and try to figure out the persons name and website, But why should I?

    Their competitor had all their details where I could find them, and guese what? I went with the competitor

    So please do add the following to your email branding:
    • Name & surname
    • Telephone number and / or Mobile
    • Website address
    • Company address
    6. Marketing Messages

    Whether its telling the companies story, boasting about your latest press coverage or inviting recipients to your latest event.  

    Its important to show the recipients of your business emails that your company is out there and active.

    As long as you keep it unobtrusive and relevant, it will be an invaluable and easy scalable solution.
    7. Disclaimer Breeding

    Pet gripe number two is something I call disclaimer breeding.

    As mentioned in point four, disclaimers carry no real legal weight and asking someone to scroll through pages and pages of disclaimers to follow an email chain is just not going to help with their mood. We have all been there, we have all shared the pain.

    Ensure your email branding system allows for the attachment of only one disclaimer per email chain. If it cant do it, try another system.

    8. Group based stationery

    Think about having separate email stationery for different business groups or regions. The marketing department will not necessarily be sending out the same contextual messages as the support department or management.

    Ideally you should have a system in place that allows you to take advantage of existing business groups set up. For example Microsoft Active Directory. 

    9. Opt-out messages
    Now I hear your ask, "Opt-out messages in business emails?", yes however I'm not talking about opting out of communication as in "eblast / newsletter opt-outs" but rather opting out of receiving your branded business emails.

    This can be as simple as providing a template that has no images and just the basic of HTML to ensure a consistent brand look and feel.

    Put the decision in the hands of the recipients by including a, "To no longer receive images in emails from us please click here",  mechanism and then insuring their wishes are upheld.
    phew.. ok almost done...
    10. HTML and Plain Text

    Ensure that you design both a plain text as well as HTML version of your email stationery.

    All email travel the internet as multipart messages, three of those parts are HTML, Plain text and attachments.

    By creating both versions, you ensure that if someone only views your email in plain text, they still receive contact details and disclaimers.

    11. Embedding images
    For me this is probably the most important point when deciding to brand business emails. Ensure your business email images are embedded.

    Embedding images makes the images  part of the email source code.

    The benefit is that you will not get a big security warning about privacy when opening up business email (see image).  These warnings indicate that one or more images are linked and stored on an external server.

    By downloading these images, the sender not only has full visibility of when the email was opened but also of the recipients IP address, System information (operating system, browser, email client) and a whole bunch of other information. Hence the big yellow security warning.

    As you can see there are many considerations to take in to account when doing email branding. There is never been a better time. Email is at the height of its power, its been adopted, embraced and integrated into  not only business but into our everyday lives.

    For impartiality sake I make no suggestions as to which service or software to use. Just drop "Business email branding" into google and you will get a long list of decent services.

    Also see:
    Email marketing is an art form, not just the creation but also the execution.

    It's rapidly changing as new forms of media is introduced and audiences start consuming media in new ways and forms.

    As email marketing evolved more and more misconceptions seem to be formed by understaffed over stressed marketeers, who just don't have the time to explore the new media's and technology.

    So result driven companies are forcing Marketeers to take leave of their senses, to compete in a market that has changed and they don't understand, just so they can increase inbound traffic.

    I've been responsible for email branding and email marketing for a number of years.  With every campaign or branding exercise, I always find the same misconceptions. I have listed a few common ones in regards to email branding and email marketing that I want to address.

    1. Disclaimers are not legally binding.

    It has never been proven in a court of law that email disclaimers will protect you from liability for the content of an email.

    It merely attempts to limit the liability of the senders company.

    However this does not mean having an email disclaimer won’t help. If in doubt, include one. 

    2. People will not click on your links just because the email is from you.

    This is a very big misconception especially from higher up in the business, If anything, business email branding has an even worst click through rate than eblasts.

    Primarily this has to do with relevance of the branding, when you receive an eblast you know from the subject line, topline message and content exactly what you are getting.

    When it comes to email stationery, 99.9% of the time your branding has no relevance to the content. So unless you actually reference the branding item in your email you have virtually no chance of having someone click through.
    So when doing email branding don’t be unrealistic in your expectations, don’t think it’s a quick win lead generation tool.
    However, do use it to reinforce your brand. Showcase you awards and achievements, your events, your press. Just because someone doesn’t click through does not mean they don’t visual consume your brand.

    3. Impressive graphics does not increases open and click through rates.

    I recently received, probably the worst formatted and visually disturbing email. Yet, I read it and I picked up the phone and eventually entered into commercial relationship with the sender…. Why?

    The message and content was relevant to what my needs were at that particular stage.

    This does not mean I would not have gone with a competitor if their email’s looked slicker. It just means that:
    RELEVANCE & CONTENT  trumps design.
    I cannot stress this point enough. In today's world we are bombarded by information and if something is not relevant or lacks decent content. It will be dismissed and ignored.
    4. Measuring open rates is the most important.

    Marketeers are quite concerned by the open rate and number of views. Yes this might be a very important metric, however its terribly flawed.
    There is not 100% accurate way of measuring open or view rates.
     This measurement is solely based on the recipient ignoring a security warning and selecting "Download images" in their email client. Yes some clients do have this automatically set up, but the moment you doing serious B2B emarketing most companies will have much stricter security policies.
    What about mobile users? Images are never displayed on my iphone and by the time I get to the office, I will be ignoring the image laden email because I already read it on the train.
     Unless.... I found the content relevant (see point 3)
    Hubspot released a report that focuses on the current state of the twitterverse.  Social Media Today has done a quite in depth dive into the report.

    What I found rather interesting, and would like to focus a bit more on this short blog post, is the days and times that most people tweet and how you can effectively use this info to plan your tweeting strategy.

    Most prolific tweeting days:  Thursday & Fridays, accounts 16% of all tweets

    Busiest time of day:  10pm – 11pm, accounts for 4.8% of daily tweets

    Most likely days to be retweeted: Mondays & Friday afternoons

    So If we look at the dates and times of the most prolific tweets, then look at the days you are most likely to be retweeted, the following observation can be made.
    Retweets do not happen on the most prolific tweeting days or times.
    This indicates that tweets made during these times are less relevant to the social community  and more self indulgent to the individual. 
    Monday the best retweet day.
    The retweeting trend on a Monday seems to start around 11am, peaks just after noon but then has a steady growth till around 8pm where it then declines.

    Casual Fridays.
    Even though Fridays are the most retweeted day, it would not be the most optimal day for a business tweet. Unless your call to action can be handled outside of business hours

    Blackspot Tuesday.
    Out of the whole week, Tuesday are practically blackspots for retweeting, none but the most die hard tweeters seems to retweet

    So... if you want to have your business to ruffle feathers on twitter, ensure you optimize your online campaigns and social media strategy to be most accessible and retweetable on a Monday...