Archive › January, 2012

Vote for the Community Manager of the Year

Voting has now closed. The winner will be announced at our Social Media Week event, Social Media Survival: How to make it in-house on Thursday 16 February 2012 (some spaces still available).

Following our call for nominations on Community Manager Appreciation Day last week, we’ve sifted through your nominations and now give you our final list for public voting.*

Your votes will decide the winner, to be announced on Thursday 16 February 2012 at our Social Media Week event, Social Media Survival – How to make it in-house (sign up to attend here). We can also reveal that, as well as the coveted title of Sociagility Community Manager of the Year, the winner will receive an iPad 2!

Voting closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 5 February 2012. So get voting! (NB. voting will be monitored and any suspicious activity may result in votes being taken away. You have been warned!)

The voting form can be found at the end of this post. Before you vote, please read a bit more about the nominees.

James Ainsworth (@alterianjames), Alterian
Twitter bio: Hi I’m James Ainsworth. I am Community Manager for Alterian’s Email & Database, Web Content & Social Media solutions. Can I help you? Let’s talk. Do disturb.

Dan Barret (@dangerawesome), Guinness World Records
Twitter bio: Community Manager/Social Media @ Guinness World Records. Columnist for Love reading, writing, Magic: the Gathering, and metal. Views my own.

Vincent Boon (@vincentboon), giffgaff
Twitter bio: Head of Community at Please be aware that tweets from this account are personal.

Ally Branley (@allylondon), Channel 4
Twitter bio: Community and Social Media Manager at Channel 4. Gardener, foodie, musician, occasional film-maker. My views only etc.

Sarah Drinkwater (@sarahdrinkwater), Google
Twitter bio: Community Manager for @googlelondon, writer, blogger, gin drinker, bedroom DJ and dress addict.

Andrew French (@gloryhorn), Betfair
Twitter bio: Journalist. Football PR. Marketing. Now Community Manager @betfair. Curry eater. Watford fan. Generally cheerful. All views are my own (who’d want them anyway).

Alexandra Goldstein (@mokuska), Dogs Trust
Twitter bio: Blogger, community manager, mum, digital marketer @dogstrust. My words here only. Disney fan (NDW #25). @BitchBuzz @thefworduk contributor.

Katie McQuin-Roberts (@mcquinny), Aardman Digital
Twitter bio: Community Manager in @aardmandigital. You’ll mostly find me Tweeting about animation, cute animals, food and films.

Nick Petrie (@petren), The Telegraph
Twitter bio: Community Manager @Telegraph. Co-founder @Wannabehacks. Interested in communities, conversations, storytelling.

Hannah Waldram (@hrwaldram), The Guardian
Twitter bio: Community coordinator, news, @Guardian. Tweeting about media, data, hyperlocal news, & dance. Personal views here only.

Owain Wood (@owainwood), Red Commerce
Twitter bio: #Recruitment #Marketing guy with penchant for Social Media, #websites, #technology & innovation, Part-time #geek, #music lover, Blogger & #NFFC fan.

* Not all those nominated made it onto the final list, either because they weren’t based in the UK, didn’t work in-house for the brand they represent, or weren’t in a primarily social media/community management role.

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Nominations open for Community Manager of the Year

Voting has now closed. The winner will be announced at our Social Media Week event, Social Media Survival: How to make it in-house on Thursday 16 February 2012 (some spaces still available).

Today is the third annual worldwide Community Manager Appreciation Day (background here). It’s a chance for peers, customers and suppliers to publicly acknowledge the work that in-house social media and community managers are doing to put a human face on their sometimes monolithic-looking corporations, using the power of digital and social media.

To celebrate, we’re taking it one step further. We strongly believe that building competitive advantage through social media has to happen in-house, with the right systems, processes and – most importantly – people. So, as well as publicly applauding your favourite community manager using the #cmad hashtag, we’d like you to nominate the smartest UK-based in-house social media and community managers you’ve come across in the last year for our Community Manager of 2011 award.

But hurry, you need to make your nominations by midnight GMT on Friday 27 January 2012, using the form below. You can nominate as many different people as you like, but they must work in the UK.

Community managers: no nominating yourself please, but feel free to ask members of your customer community to nominate you.

On Monday 30 January, we’ll publish a shortlist of the most deserving nominations as judged by us and a few independent experts. You’ll then have a week to vote for your favourite and the winner will crowned Community Manager of 2011 at our Social Media Week seminar on Thursday 16 February, where they’ll also get a nice prize.

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Klout, Kred or PeerIndex? It doesn’t matter

While conducting an analysis recently around a bunch of organisations in the same sector, we looked at their respective Klout, Kred and PeerIndex scores. Regular readers of this blog will know that we’re not huge fans of these fairly simplistic measures of ‘influence’ – we obviously prefer our own multi-channel, multi-attribute methodology. However, as long as they are viewed for what they are – just three examples of a much wider cosmos of indicators of social media performance, meaningless on their own but potentially insightful as part of a broader analysis – they can help motivate and focus attention.

Armed with the data, we thought it would be interesting to see if there was any kind of correlation between these competing influence measures.

What we found is that there isn’t really anything to choose between them. Of course, they’re all measuring the same thing so I guess one would expect to see strong correlations. So it doesn’t really matter which one you use. Here’s the data:

Correlation between Klout, Kred and PeerIndex

First up, we looked at PeerIndex. Taking the scores of our sample of 39 organisations, we found a Pearson r value of 0.573 between PeerIndex and Kred, and a slightly higher r value of 0.595 between PeerIndex and Klout.

Based on our sample, both exceed the critical values for r at the 0.01 confidence level, demonstrating a statistically significant relationship between both PeerIndex and Kred scores and PeerIndex and Klout scores.

Then we looked at the relationship between Klout and Kred. When the r value came out at 0.846, we couldn’t quite believe it. On the basis of this, we could confidently state that 99.9 times out of a hundred the relationship between the two scores is not a result of chance.


Whilst Klout, Kred and PeerIndex correlated strongly with each other, whether they’re measuring the right thing is a different matter. There’s no relationship with brand value, for example, unlike our PRINT™ system. When applying the PRINT Index™ to the 50 most valuable global brands, there was a statistically significant correlation between social media performance and brand value. But there was no such correlation for the PeerIndex and Klout scores for the same brands. Kred wasn’t launched then but given the correlations above we can safely say the same would have applied.

So there you have it: three measures of social media influence that are going to produce similar results regardless of which you use, but none of which – on their own – mean anything.

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Has Wikipedia gone dark …or just more shades of grey?

So, today Wikipedia has ‘gone dark’ for a day in protest at potential US legislation and it is credit to this amazing example of altruistic crowd-sourcing that many others have also come out in sympathy. And today also, Holmes Report’s Arun Sudhaman has stirred the Pottinger by tweeting PRWeek’s report on Jimmy Wales’ recent spat with Lord Bell.

Now I also value Wikipedia – enough even to put my hand in my pocket to help the cause. And, paid agent or not, I agree it’s just wrong to ‘astro-turf’. But there’s very grey area between astroturfing and editing and I find myself agreeing almost completely with Lord Bell on this (if not necessarily his wider world view).

The Wikipedia argument about deliberate or accidental inaccuracies in their articles is that everyone has the ‘right’ to ‘engage’ and thereby get them corrected. So no harm done, the knowledge democracy prevails etc. The problem is a right is no right at all if it cannot be exercised.

First, the rules for those with a perceived (by whom?) conflict of interest are, by Wales’ own admission, unbelievably complicated and members of the editing community able or willing to take up a conflicted party’s cause relatively few. Personally, having been in the position of spending many frustrating months trying to engage to get some simple errors of fact corrected, I can tell you that it can often seem to constitute a conspiracy more than a community. I have had employees following Wikipedia’s rules to the letter, yet still subjected to abuse and accusations by those whom we were supposed to ‘address’ for help.

Second, what exactly is wrong with someone being paid to deal with this nightmare? Are they any more likely to be lying, or just plain wrong, than someone who is motivated by politics, religion, grudge or ignorance? Let alone personal malice. Is Wales engaging with them in the pages of the world’s media too? There at least , there is a right of reply, editorial boards etc.

Don’t get me wrong. Wikipedia, used properly and thoroughly cross-checked by those members of its community that really care about quality, is one of the real boons of the first Internet age – a ‘people’s encyclopedia’ free to all, up to date and accurate. But what a shame if it grinds to a halt under the weight of its own administration, lawsuits or simply loss of reputation.

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New year, new guidelines, new metrics?

The Law Society’s new social media guidelines for professionals have prompted some interesting comment – not least that the Society is trying to play catch up in an area about which it has previously been thought less than expert… One of the most thoughtful commentators is Jon Bloor writing on his PeninsuLawyer blog. He addresses a range of important questions and highlights two key issues which emerge:

  • is there a measurable benefit to law firms from social media?
  • how to separate/manage the personal and professional?

Taking the personal/professional question first. This is not unique to the UK legal profession. Most of the issues have been addressed by other professional services organisations.

Marketing is one obvious area. In my former life as a CMO, I decided guidance was job number one: letting people know what was advisable and what was not… and explaining that common sense (and company employment contracts) applied on Twitter and Facebook as much as in any public forum, even the bar or pub.

Issues to do with client confidentiality and ‘poaching’ apply to most professional services firms. UK solicitors may be bound by additional professional restrictions but this is a matter of degree. And the same red herrings apply regarding whether an employee can be simultaneously an ‘individual’ and, separately, a ‘lawyer’.

But this is, in the end, merely tinkering – the real question is how to maintain professional secrecy in a world of pervasive, instant transparency. Legal firms are caught up in the same dilemma facing us all – in a world where everything must be assumed to be open – however unfair, inconvenient or damaging – what kind of business privacy is legitimate?

Of course, a lot depends on whether you approach the topic as an opportunity or somewhat fearfully. The Law Society’s practice note, perhaps like the profession itself, seems uncertain on this – even contradictory in places.

As a CMO for a marketing firm, I was naturally very positive about social media. When we produced our guidelines in 2005, it was still relatively early days and we wanted to ensure that we walked before we ran – and that when we stumbled, we learned. But we also wanted to ensure that they worked for us, not just the industry. By the same token, although The Law Society’s guidance is a good start, individual law firms will still need to create their own specific principles and guidelines that take best practice from the profession (and elsewhere) but fit with what their own organisation is trying to achieve.

New metrics?

But guidelines aside, as ‘social marketing’ becomes much more mainstream partners in many firms will still be asking if it really matters for them as opposed to their clients. For example, the Law Society report says, in effect that there are no metrics to show that social media is beneficial to law firms in attracting business.

As my colleague Niall Cook has set out, this has to start with the business itself and how it measures operational and marketing success. In our PRINT™ methodology, we have tried to provide a framework for marketers to use to measure how social media is supporting the achievement of their goals. But without these goals, no metrics are useful. So is the problem here social media metrics, or the traditionally indifferent attitude of law firms towards marketing?

Time will tell if the new SRA guidelines for alternative business structures (ABSs) – the so-called ‘Tesco Law’ introduced a month or two ago without a squeak, let alone a fanfare – will change this. The new Law Society guidelines themselves are unlikely to do so.

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Five essentials for your 2012 social media plan

It’s just five working days into the new year, and already we’ve seen discussions and postings from people asking what they should be thinking about for their social media plans this year. So here’s our take:

1. Agency review

If you’re using an agency for advice or campaign work, now might be a good time to have them independently reviewed by someone like us to ensure you’re getting the best advice and the best results. And if you’re not using an agency, 2012 could be the year that you’re going to need one, either to help execute campaigns or to make sure you have the right objectives, resources and metrics in the first place.

2. Benchmarking

There’s a lot of talk – and therefore confusion – around social media measurement, monitoring and management. In addition to all these, one thing that you might want to add to the list for 2012 is benchmarking. By comparing your social media strategy against competitors and/or industry best practices, you may be able to learn why others are more successful and, more importantly, how to improve your own performance.

3. Structure

Is your organisation structured for effective digital/social marketing? Make 2012 the year where you bring those disconnected pockets of excellence together under the most appropriate organisational model for harnessing social media.

4. People

What many organisations grappling with social media for the first time are finding is that having the right people is key. But as well as ensuring that you’ve made provision in your 2012 headcount, make sure you invest time in finding them. There are lots of social media ‘gurus’ out there, but maybe only a handful that have the experience, attitude and aptitude that you need. If you can’t hire outright, think about internal or even external secondments.

5. Skills

Last, but by no means least, don’t forget to include some effective training in your 2012 plan. As you already know, the social media world moves quickly, not only in terms of tools and platforms but also the skills that are required to remain competitive as your peers get their own social media houses in order.

So there you have it: five essential things for your 2012 social media plan. If you want to know how we can help or if you’ve got a different view, we’d love to hear from you.

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Did the Internet get it wrong in Iowa? [Infographic]

Our analysis earlier this week described Iowa as the first truly ‘social’ primary in this year’s Presidential race. But – along with other studies – indications about voting intention based on analysis of the candidates’ social media performance proved premature. Whilst the candidate’s social profiles certainly are very different, it’s still not clear how this figures into the merry mix of political marketing techniques.

The infographic below compares each candidate’s share of the vote and some of the key social media metrics published in the weeks leading up to 3 January and concludes that the winner in terms of predicting the result in Iowa was…

…the mainstream news media. Maybe the professionals know a thing or two after all?

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Political Brands Need Social KPIs Too

The analysis below described Iowa as the first truly ‘social’ primary in this year’s Presidential race. But – along with other studies – indications about voting intention based on analysis of the candidates’ social media performance proved premature. Click here for an infographic comparing each candidate’s share of the vote and some of the key social media metrics published in the weeks leading up to 3 January.

A very Happy New Year to all – and what better time to launch another study?

As I am sure you know, 2012 is US Presidential Election year and the fun starts with the Republican party primary elections, state by state, to decide who should challenge President Obama in November. First up is the Iowa primary tomorrow so we decided to apply PRINT™ to analyse the candidates’ social media performance. Here are the results:

  Rank PRINT Index™ Popularity Receptiveness Interaction Network Trust
Ron Paul 1 145 87 50 279 164 145
Newt Gingrich 2 109 92 195 46 107 106
Michele Bachmann 3 84 76 108 66 67 102
Mitt Romney 4 79 86 38 69 98 105
Rick Perry 5 78 170 94 -21 148 -2
Rick Santorum 6 70 66 102 70 37 75
Jon Huntsman 7 64 64 78 17 80 82

The full results are probably mainly of interest to followers of the US political scene but what we found most interesting is the amazing correlation between our survey results and actual voting intention.

Comparing our study data with polling data from respected independent US political polling firm Public Policy Polling, we discovered a strong, positive correlation between social media performance and voting intention in the Iowa caucus.

We also found an equally positive correlation between an effective Facebook page, as measured using PRINT, and national voting intentions.

Both were at a statistically high 95% level of confidence.

For the statisticians among you, here are the details:

  1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were computed to assess the relationship between the social media performance of each candidate (using the PRINT Index™) and their polling results in Iowa (using data from Public Policy Polling). There was a positive correlation between the two variables, r=0.825, n=7, p=0.05.
  2. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were also computed to assess the relationship between social media performance of each candidate’s Facebook page (using the PRINT methodology) and their national polling results (using data from Public Policy Polling). There was a positive correlation between the two variables, r=0.818, n=7, p=0.05.

We are not, of course, suggesting a predictive quality for PRINT – our study was 21 December anyway and a lot can change in days during primaries. But these results suggest that the connection between social media performance and voting intention cannot be ignored and that it is not just commercial brands but politicians too who need real social KPIs.

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