Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Twittervision: watching twitter in real time

I heard about a completely divine little application, called twittervision,  from a tweet by Stephen Fry [yes, the real one] that allows you to watch tweets as they happen around the world.It's utterly lovely. 

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Flickr photos as a rotating galaxy

I can't get enough of this neat little Flickr application that Dirk Singer tweeted about called Tag Galaxy.  You choose a key word and it converts all the tags linked to your key word in Flickr into a solar system. Your key word is the sun and the linked tags are the orbiting planets. The planets sizes are determined by the amount of photos tagged with that word. 

Here's one for the iPhone I prepared earlier:

There's probably not a 'business critical' use for this clever piece of software, but frankly, who cares. It looks fab and it's a great way to illustrate a brand's presence in Flickr. 

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Social media status generator

I'm loving this neat little site that generates social media statuses for you. It's called Generatus and is particularly handy if you are running low on fuel for your imagination or you just can't be arsed tweeting or updating Facebook.

There is even a Tag Cloud of options that allows you to choose the type of status you want to generate. The one above is from the 'insults' collection. 

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Venn That Tune - music by Venn Diagrams

I heard about the book Venn That Tune via Twitter and I don't think I've been able to stop grinning since. It's pure genius - it converts songs into Venn diagrams.
It's something that Will McInnes would love - him being the master of the OVD [overlapping venn diagram].

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Three things to measure social media

After meeting with the incredibly smart data boys last week, we decided to measure our test social media campaign by working out the cause and effect relationship between:
  1. The activities we do as part of the campaign
  2. The outputs they achieve
  3. The business results
These are:
  1. Activities: no. of bloggers engaged with, amount of content posted on a Facebook Page, no. of posts on the client's blog.
  2. These would result in posts about the product/brand on the blogs engaged with, amount of people Fanning the Facebook Page, no. of subscribers to the clients blog.
  3. Ideally, the results in 2 will lead to increased sales.
Smart Nick [as Data Nick is affectionately known] has asked for a list of in store promotions, advertising activities, sales promotions and PR activities running at the same time. He has also asked me to draw the awareness distribution curve for each activity. This is the shape of the curve that describes the volume of people who are reached by an activity over time. For example, the curve for an article in a monthly magazine will peak in the first few days when it is first published then tail off.

He will then take everything into account in some fancy software and work his mojo to come up with a model. As long as I get all my info and distribution curves correct. Gulp. No pressure then. 

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tool to track a website's history

Our new SEO dude, Charlie Brookes, told me about this nifty little site, called Way Back Machine that allows you to track the history of a website. You just type in the website address and it brings up a table of all the changes a website has made since it was first built. The cool bit is that you can click through to the website to see how it was Way Back When.

For example, Apple in 1996:
As you'd expect, pretty text heavy. 

Apple in 1999:
Apple in 2001

Not sure how useful this will be yet, but, for me, it's just really interesting to see how sites have changed over time.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Tool for Tracking brands on Twitter

Came across a cool little tool for tracking brands on twitter, called Tweetscribe. It allows you to track conversations about brands, people and products and get the searches via an RSS feed. 
The thing that is really cunning [IMHO] is the fact that you can do pretty thorough searches: by key words, by twitterer [is that the right name for someone who twitters?] or by exact phrase.

To test it out I did a search on my name [I'm not really vain, honest] and found out that I'm a very good singer, apparently. 

[Obviously, there are two Robin Wilson, unless of course karaoke bars in West London record drunken singers].

Joking aside, this can be really useful for monitoring conversations about a client's brands or for researching what's been said about a competitor or prospect. Which is nice.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Social technographics profiling tool

Forrester have created a nifty little tool that gives a broad-brush indication of how a group of people will behave in social media, based on their Social Technographics model described in Groundswell

I did a quick profile of 25-34 year old women in the UK and it showed that the biggest segments were Joiners [people who join networks and communities e.g. Facebook] and Spectators [people who view social media and get info, but don't necessarily contribute].

It's pretty broad and I'm not sure how accurate it would be in planning a social media campaign, but it gives you a good indication of where to start your thinking. 

Using this example, you'd probably want to think about creating a Facebook Page with loads of useful content and info, rather than creating a lot of content that they can re-use on blogs, as only 17% are Creators [people that create stuff in social media]. 

Useful report to help prove value of ROI

Razorfish have produced a useful report on how social media is influencing sales. Its great ammo for dropping into pressos and conversations. My fav stat is:
"4 out of 10 connected consumers made purchasing decisions based on social advertising"
Full report is here.

Just wish the analysis was for the UK not just the US.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Obi Wan Obama

Help us Obi Wan Obama, you're our only hope

Client says yes to Social Media modelling

Hallelujah! A very generous, smart, good looking, well dressed and sure-to-be-going-to-heaven client [you know who you are] client has said yes to being a case study for modeling the impact of social media on sales.

They've started sending us sales data - online and in store - and details of all marcoms activities for the last two months so King Mark of Data and Prince regent Nick can start working their mojo on the numbers.

I just pray to all the gods above [and below] that the social media campaign we're running for the un-named yet lovely client works as well as I hope. 

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Analysing data to calculate impact of Social Media

Those geniuses [or is it Genii?] in our data dept reckon they might be able to help out in my quest to come up with a way of measuring the impact of social media on sales. Woo Hoo!!

A quick chat with the smart, urbane, witty and surprisingly well dressed Mark, or the 'data-modeling-king Mark' as he is known to his friends, reckons he has done something similar for our client Sainsbury's Bank. 

He took three years of online sales data and looked at when campaigns ran, correlated them to sales trends and accounted for seasonal trends and other external factors and came up with what presence in different sites lead to increases in sales. This is where I bow down in awe and chant:
"we're not worthy"

Ok, the task of getting three years sales data and details of all sales and marketing campaigns for one client may be in the same league as a young man in a loin cloth facing down a Kracken - but Perseus persevered and won.

I'm hoping with the help of the McCann 'data deities' and with valuable thinking [already] from Chris, Paul, Amelia and Jonathan, we might just get somewhere [either that or die a futile death in the belly of a fictitious and slightly unrealistic Norwegian sea monster].