Social Media Trends for 2017

*The below was originally posted as part of “130+ Experts Reveal Upcoming Social Media Trends of 2017” by the team over at idigic.net & offers my thoughts on what trends we’ll see this coming year in social media.

“2017 will see Facebook continue to grow in terms of users. There will be a shift here away from the more standard one dimensional sentiment-led posts to more immersive content using live video. The recent surge in VR could also make an appearance with brands trying to tempt users into experience-led content updates where they get a full 360 degree experience. (Watch out for Red Bull potentially trialling this first). Research from the team over at Pew has already shown that Instagram & Pinterest have moved further past Twitter in terms of users (http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/) and unless changes are made at Twitter I can see this usage gap increasing further. Snapchat is also going to continue to grow as older users start using the app as the audience starts to move away from its traditionally strong base of millennials.

Although large brands have had a small stake in their social media, 2017 will see the shift finally move from using social as an ‘also-ran’ to the primary communication channel for their digitally led campaigns. We’ve seen brands trial this a little in 2016 (Adidas & Man Utd. for example) however this will become a lot more mainstream in 2017 with major campaign launches starting on social before moving to the more traditional marketing channels.

With this shift in focus, the level of competition in terms of paid social advertising is only going to increase as advertisers look to leverage their brand advocates. Brands will want to get the most for their investment and use people’s own social bubbles to share their marketing messages for them. We’ll also start to see organizations really drilling down on the returns from each of the platforms and instead of splitting their focus on multiple profiles focus their attention solely on those that deliver the performance they need.

Finally, although people should have learnt by now I’m sure we’ll also see our fair share of mistakes and poorly timed/ themed campaigns. I’m also not taking any bets on Donald Trump entering into some sort of argument on Twitter with either another World Leader or Global brand.”

The full post (along with 100+ other opinions) can be found at http://www.idigic.net/social-media-marketing-trends/#matthopson

Enjoy!

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Running The 2016 London Marathon

Hi everyone! I can’t quite believe that it’s pretty much a year since I last wrote anything on here. I’m not entirely sure where the last year has gone but nevermind… Anyway, the reason I’m clearing away the tumbleweeds and breaking the relative silence is that I have a massive favour to ask (or favor for my American friends).

tumbleweed

Like 247,068 other people (a record by the way) I entered the 2016 London Marathon ballot more in hope than expectation. After entering the ballot a number of times over the years I knew that only with a bit of luck was I going to get a public running spot.

ldn magazines

A few months passed and the day finally came when the ballot results were released. It was only a few more (nervous) days later when I received my expected Spider-man magazine that informed me of my unsuccessful entry. This year though, instead of resigning myself to another morning of watching the race on television, trying to hide my jealousy at the number of runners taking part, I decided that 2016 was going to be different. I was going to run, or at least try to run, London.

As the ballot route has now closed I sat down and thought about applying for a charity running place. Just like millions of people in the UK, Cancer has cast it’s horrible shadow across my family and so I know that the impact the diseases have, not only at the time of diagnosis, but also through treatment and after. With this in mind, I went online and started looking at the which charities were involved.

As the father of two healthy, happy little boys, I can’t imagine how hard it must be for parents with poorly children so, Children with Cancer UK immediately stood out as the charity I wanted to support. I filled out the application form and was hopeful that as well as potentially running the Marathon I could really help raise much needed funds for such a well deserving cause.

Children With Cancer UKA week or so passed when an email hit my inbox asking for me to speak to someone at the charity to “confirm a few details”. I fully expected this to be just a case of confirming my name, address, reasons for applying etc. before being told they would let me know. After speaking to the team there I was shocked to be offered a place on their Superhero run team (I actually went so quiet when it was offered, that they had to double check that I was still on the line!).

So this is where we are today, I’m finally able to tick the London Marathon of my list and whilst I’m doing it I am also raising funds for a charity that I know will really appreciate the support and put the money to good use. Training has started and the clock has started ticking. If April arrives as quickly as this year has passed then it will be here before I know it!

You can help me raise much needed funds by visiting my Virgin Money Fundraising Page and donating whatever you can.

Thanks

P.s. If you follow me on Twitter or are friends on Facebook I’ll try not to bore you too much with running posts and training updates but I will be reminding you of my cause (and expected pain) from now until April 24th 🙂

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Does Santa Wear Red Because Of Coca- Cola? – An Actual Coca-Cola FAQ

This week I’ve been reading about the upcoming John Lewis Christmas campaign & ad launch and it got me thinking about how successfully they have managed to positively associate themselves with the Christmas and the festive period with the general public.

The only other large business I’ve seen do this to this extent is Coca- Cola with their “Holidays Are Coming” Christmas campaigns. This campaign is so entrenched in the general public’s christmas psyche that this is actually the top FAQ on the Coca-Cola UK site:

santa_coca-cola

There’s a longer post to follow (hopefully) on how these businesses have managed to position themselves in such a way that they are, in effect, the unofficial start to the festive period but for now this screenshot of the FAQ will have to do 🙂

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My Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks you will have undoubtedly seen your Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube feeds filled to the brim with people taking part in various incarnations of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Ice activity really seems to have picked up recently with a whole host of ‘celebrities’ taking part and with this we seem to have hit a tipping point where people have started questioning those motives behind doing the challenges as well as how/ if/ why other businesses (read: Samsung) & charities (read: Macmillan) might be accused of hijacking the campaign for their own goals.*

What can’t be questioned is how this ‘trend’ has become one of the most successful viral fundraising campaigns ever to take place. I think at the last count the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge alone had raised over $80m dollars from over 1.7m different donors. Compare this to $2.5m in donations The ALS Association have said they received during the same time last year and you can’t really question how much of an impact the campaign has had. Couple this with the various other charities people have included and you really do have to applaud people’s generosity.

As the weeks rolled on I thought I had somehow I managed to avoid nomination and like many others I had started to say that I wouldn’t do a challenge but after reading about the charities & the amount of money raised I couldn’t really refuse when I was nominated by James at All Year Round Clearance – Thanks ‘mate’ 😉

My challenge was in aid of MNDa & you can quickly & easily donate to MNDa by texting ICED55 and your donation amount (e.g. ICED55 £5) to 70070 or by visiting their JustGiving page. You can also donate over the ‘phone by calling 01604 611860 & referencing the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’.

The most important thing to remember here is the original reason behind the challenge. To donate.

Wherever you decide your donation should go, please, if all these videos have made you laugh (or at least raise a smile), donate.

Thanks

For more information on the MNDa visit http://www.mndassociation.org

* We’ll leave the argument over whether the celebrities are truly doing the challenge to promote the charity or just get themselves some precious space in the Daily Mail sidebar of shame for others to debate.

Oh, and if you’ve got this far I’m guessing you want to see my actual challenge… Enjoy…

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FIFA World Cup 2014 Sweepstake Kit

world cup 2014 brazil

With just over 20 days until Brazil kick off the World Cup with their opening game against Croatia & we get a glut of 3 matches a day for about a month (Unless of course you’re an England fan who will lose interest in about 10 days) I thought now would be a good time to share the Sweepstake kit I have created. Everyone loves a good sweepstake and so if you’re planning on roping in all your work colleagues or just your friends down the pub, hopefully this kit will prove useful.

world cup 2014 groupsYou can download your copy of the sweepstake here >> FIFA World Cup 2104 Sweepstake

Whoever you’re rooting for over the next month or so let’s hope the stadia get finished on time and everyone can enjoy the football!

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Becoming A Tough Mudder For Macmillan Cancer Support

One in three of us will get cancer with one person getting the news every 2 minutes

I know that’s not the nicest way to start a post but I wanted to get that information in your head as soon as possible. Not nice is it?

Macmillan Cancer SupportThat’s why in just over 4 weeks, along with four crazy friends, I will be taking on probably ‘the toughest event on the planet’ Tough Mudder all to support Macmillan Cancer Support

Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile assault course designed by the Special Forces that they say is set to test both the mental & physical state of the runners (I personally think they’ve designed it just to maximise the amount of pain they can cause us)

I’ve included a video of the even below so you can see the sorts of things that I’m going to have to go through,

To donate, please visit my Just Giving page or you can go via our Macmillan Mudders team page & see who is mad enough to do this with me.

If you can’t get to the Just Giving pages you can also donate by texting MHTM99 and your donation amount (e.g. £5) to 70070 (like in the picture) just giving sms code

Macmillan rely on their supporters for 98% of their income so they couldn’t provide their services without our help and donations. If you can, please dig deep and help us help this great cause. Some targets that we’re going to try & hit are:

bullet £15 – This pays for 32 copies of The cancer guide.

bullet £100 – Pays for a Macmillan nurse for four hours.

bullet £951 – Pays for a Macmillan nurse for a week.

bullet £1,474 – Operate their phone service for 2 hours – enough time to answer 54 calls and emails from people who need emotional, practical or financial support.

As you can see, any money we raise really will make a difference.

Thanks

Oh, one last thing… If it helps squeeze a few more pennies out of you, I think this is going to hurt…

A LOT.

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The Top 10 Most Expensive Super Bowl Commercials Ever

With Super Bowl XLVII only a few days away, excitement is building & debate raging over whether it will be the Ravens or the 49ers holding the Vince Lombardi trophy aloft at the end and cementing their names in the history books (SPOILER: It’s going to be the 49ers).

For some people the Super Bowl is more than just the game it’s the commercials that air during the broadcast. Figures released by the NFL showed that last year’s Super Bowl (XLVI) attracted 111.3 million viewers and so advertisers are clambering over themselves to get their products in front of viewers with the cost of a 30 second TV commercial looking to cost a whopping $3.8m. Now this may seem like a lot of money to throw at a single advertisement, however, research has shown that a Super Bowl ad is 34% more memorable than an ad that was aired just one month before.

Here are the ten most expensive Super Bowl commercials ever produced. I’ll leave it up to you as to whether they were worth the investment.

1. Chrysler: Imported From Detroit (2011) $12.4m If you’re going to spend this much on a 2 minute commercial, you better hope it’s successful. Chrysler employed Detroit’s own Eminem driving their car around the city ending with the rapper facing directly into the camera to say “This is the Motor City and this is what we do”.

2. Pepsi: Joy of Pepsi (2002) $7.53m After having their other Britney Spears ad banned this one takes viewers from the late ‘50s through to the 21st Century and is actually pretty clever.

3. Budweiser: Delivery Truck Bridge (2010) $5.8m What would a town do if a bridge went out and they couldn’t get their delivery of Buds? Make a human bridge of course!

4. Audi: The Chase (2009) $5.6m Hire a top Hollywood actor (well, Jason Statham), film a car chase with several luxury cars and air it during the Super Bowl. Yep, that’s one way to spend over $5m

5. Coca-Cola: Stewie v. Underdog (2008) $5.4m In this ad, when Family Guy was still funny, a Stewie balloon races a dog balloon to a bottle of coke. Sounds brilliant doesn’t it? Luckily it actually works well on screen.

6. General Motors: Robot (2008) $5.2m Oh look everyone, a suicidal robot. What a great idea for a commercial…

7. ESPN: Sports Heaven (2006) $4.8m How else would you show off your new mobile capabilities apart from a guy walking blindly down the street whilst all the action takes place around him?

8. Cadillac: 0-6 in Under 5 Seconds (2005) $4.6m How about 0 – 4.6m in 60 seconds!?

9. Subway: Make Up For Eating Bad Not Being Bad (2004) $4.4m Apart from having a stupid name this ad introduced Subway’s “eat fresh” slogan.

10. Reebok: Terry Tate – Office Linebacker (2003) $4.2m Even after all these years this ad still makes me laugh WAY too much. IT IS HILARIOUS

Oh, and I know that this is the first post I’ve done for ages, but what with work, taking part in various endurance events and a new son, 2012 was a very busy year! I will be looking at annoying you all with random thoughts a lot more this year.


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The Apprentice 2012 Sweepstake

The Apprentice 2012 Sweepstake

Series 8 of the ever popular (if infuriating) TV show begins tonight in the UK and will no doubt lead to many countless weeks of people screaming at their televisions at the apparent lack of business acumen of all those involved.

Just to make the series a little more interesting we at Screaming Frog are running a sweepstake on the eventual winner.

Feel free to use our template if you want to run a similar thing wherever you are 🙂

Oh, and just because it makes me laugh every time I see it, here’s David Mitchell & Robert Webb’s sketch on the whole thing.

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The Greatest Penalty Shoot Out. Ever

After the Carling Cup semi final this week between Cardiff v Crystal Palace ended with a (poor) penalty shoot out I got talking with a few friends about the greatest penalties we had ever seen.

After some time (and a few drinks) we came up with what could possibly be the best shoot out you will never see. If a team ran through the following penalties I think it would be safe to say they’d probably do okay 🙂

1. Rik Coppens (Belgium v Iceland, 1957) The first two- man penalty famously later recreated by Johan Cruyff in 1982 and again (unsuccessfully) by Henry & Pires.

2. Francesco Totti (Roma Training Session) This back-heeled penalty was copied by Thiyab Awana from the UAE when playing against Lebanon and it drew quite a bit of criticism at the time not only from the opposing team, who were oblviously upset at the ‘disrepectful’ nature of the goal but also from the player’s own coach who immediately substituted him after the goal.

3. Antonin Panenka (Czechoslovakia v W Germany, 1976) This is the penalty that’s been tried & attempted many times, the original (and the best in my opinion) was scored by Panenka in the penalty shoot out that decided the European Championship Final

4. Ezequiel Calvente (Spain u19s v Italy u19s, 2010) The ‘switch hit’ penalty that confirmed the fears of the rest of the football playing world that the Spanish team is going to stay strong for quite a few years to come…

5. Stuart Pearce (England v Spain, 1995) Now the English aren’t known for their penalty taking skils but after taking into account the history behind this shot and the release of emotion behind it means I’ve got to include it.

Like I said above I’m pretty sure the shoot out would not get to sudden death but just in case here’s one extra.

6 (sudden death). Unknown Player Although this penalty wasn’t taken in a Euro final or a WCQ someone mentioned that they had seen in online & I think it probably deserves to be in the list just because it’s great to see the keeper’s reaction after he realises that the goal has been given. Lesson here is don’t celebrate too early!

Are there any others I’ve missed? If you think so let me know in the comments!

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NFL Wembley 2011

On Sunday the 23rd October (or October 23 if you’re from the States) I, along with over 80,000 other NFL fans will descend on Wembley stadium to witness the 5th NFL regular season game to be held in London. This year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to the capital to take on the Chicago Bears.

NFL Wembley 2008

NFL Wembley 2008

I’ve been lucky enough to have attended three previous of the four International Series games. the New Orleans Saints defeat the San Diego Chargers in a very entertaining 37-32 game in 2008.

NFL Wembley 2009

NFL Wembley 2009

In 2009 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned Wembley into a little slice of Tampa when they hosted the New England Patriots & Tom Brady. Unfortunately for Tampa they finished on the wrong side of a 35-7 result.

Each year the tailgate party before the game gets bigger and bigger and last year was no different as visitors where welcomed by a hug replica of the Golden Gate bridge. Once inside the party we were also able to walk around the ‘hall of fame’ which contains memorabilia from all the AFC & NFC teams. This year it proves be be even bigger with live music and events running all afternoon as well as the opportunity to get photos with the Vince Lombardi trophy.

NFL Tailgate Party 2010

NFL Tailgate Party 2010

Hopefully this years event will be as exciting as previous games and as a Dolphins fan, I would love to see the series carry on with maybe the ‘Fins returning to the stadium to banish any memories of their last visit when they lost to the New Your Giants in 2007 (The one match I didn’t get tickets for).

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