Author Archive: Becks Moring

Facebook Promotion Rules Get A Facelift

All change, all change!

Huge news out of Facebook’s policy department last week — You no longer need a 3rd Party Application to run a promotion.

There will be some of you thinking “Huh? We used to need to do what?” Some of you jumping for joy, shouting “Finally!!” at the top of your lungs and also some who have their heads in their hands at the news that news feeds are potentially going to be clogged up with Like contest after Like contest…

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What are the new rules?

First, lets clarify. You can still run a competition in an app so there is no need to delete your existing apps or throw away any plans to ever run an app promotion ever again – there are still very good reasons to run your promotion via an app.

The new rules are…

  • You can now use Likes or comments as an entry mechanism and/or a voting mechanism.
  • Private messages are also a valid method of entry.


  • You cannot ask a Fan to Share to enter a competition
  • You cannot ask Fans to tag themselves in your content as a method of entry.

The no Shares rules still stands as it would be tough to run a fair contest using this entry method since some profiles are private and you cannot track Shares accurately.

So, what are the pros and the cons to the new rules?


  • Easier engagement
  • More frequent promotions
  • Timely and relevant content promotions – ability to capitalize on current events


  • Harder to track and may be a manual process to gather the entrants
  • Competition overload… Fans may reach social fatigue quicker with all the new contests in the stream
  • Unable to brand promotions like you would within an app
  • Rules still exist for Page promotions and you must still make those clear (manage submissions, choose winner fairly, agreement of terms, acknowledgement that Facebook in no way endorses your competition etc…  More here —
  • Cannot capture email addresses

In short, if you’re looking to run a big campaign promotion then an app might still be best, it looks credible and it allows you to be more creative with your contest. If you’re looking to do short daily giveaways then these new rules have just made that a whole lot easier.

For the words straight from Facebook’s mouth, check out their blog post —


Instagram’s all grown up, with the introduction of Photos of You and video

The changes are coming thick and fast for Instagram. Hot on the heels of their recently added Photos of You feature, which was a very welcome update for brands, they have now added video.

So what are the updates?

redbull_ig_tagPhotos Of You

Brands on Instagram were previously missing out on an abundance of engagement and Reach opportunities that are now being fulfilled by Photos Of You. This new feature finally enables users to tag brands, people or products in their Instagram photos, so users can tag the establishment they’ve taken the photo in or tag the product they are photographing.

Instagram Video

Instagram video has sprung onto the scene as a competitor to Twitter’s Vine. Like Vine, it allows short videos to be filmed and uploaded but Instagram’s version allows fifteen seconds of film rather than Vine’s six and it does not include the famous Vine looping action.

How does it work?

Photos Of You

Photos of You works in the same way that Facebook allow you to tag your friends in your photographs. For example, when a user takes a photo of their Starbucks coffee they’re enjoying with their best friend, they can tag both their best friend and Starbucks in that photo. The photo will then appear in their best friends’ and the brands’ ‘Photos of You’ section.

Instagram Video

When a user taps the camera icon, they will now be given the option of video. They will have to hold their finger on the screen to record continuously and there’s the option of tapping the screen to auto-focus on a specific spot. It also of course, includes the option to use Instagram’s handy filters to make the videos look extra special.

What does this mean for brands?

Ultimately both updates are a positive change for brands.starbucks_ig_vid

Video will allow brands to create great new content using Instagram’s filters and with fifteen seconds allowed, it gives brands more of a chance to get a complete message across. For those brands that would prefer to keep their platform management to a minimum, it means they can at least upload both photo and video to the same platform now.

Photos Of You allows them to tap into the rich user generated content which is probably already on the platform but not yet attributed to their brand, venue or products.

It’s a way to curate content and ensure that your brand name or products are being seen and given credit, thereby increasing your opportunities for engagement and your reach.

However, the update will mean that extra moderation time is required, as it can (and most likely will) result in your brand being tagged in inappropriate photos.

Extra moderation! What’s a brand to do?!ig_tag

First, change your settings so the only photos that appear in your Photos of You tab have been manually approved. This will allow you to keep control of the content related to your brand.

  • Go to your profile page,
  • Select the new Photos Of You button
  • Click settings in the top right and check ‘Add Manually’

Alternatively you can keep the setting as ‘automatic’ (the default) and use ‘untag’ to remove your brand name from inappropriate content.ig_tag_2

  • Go to your profile page,
  • Select the new Photos of you button
  • Click on the photo you wish to view
  • Select the ‘more’ option at the bottom of the photo (the ‘…’)
  • Select Photo Options
  • You can then choose to ‘Hide From My Profile’ OR..
  • To delete the tag completely, choose ‘More Options’
  • Select ‘Remove Me From Photo’
  • You also have the option to ‘Report Inappropriate’

What else?

The photos you approve will now appear in Photo of You, so it has become a useful tool to curate great user generated content. This is particularly useful for brands who already receive a lot of UGC (e.g. Benefit cosmetics) and for those who want to start encouraging it.

It doesn’t appear that this tagging function is available yet for video content so we’ll watch that space to see if this updated.

Want to get creative?

Photo contests and CTA’s are already part of the Instagram landscape but until this point they’ve relied on hashtags. Photos Of You now offers the option of Fans also tagging your brand in the post. Not only does this mean that brands benefit from an influx of great UGC but it also ensures other users can find your genuine account and may choose to follow you too.

Ways to encourage UGC can now be part of your marketing plan. It also enables brands who run several accounts, to tag each other in their posts.

Your marketing plans should now include ways to encourage Instagram tagging Photos of You. Check out some examples of how other brands are already using this feature:





Brands Need Social Media Professionals – Not Gurus, Ninjas, Wizards & Mavens

Whether it’s brands like Celeb Boutique using inappropriate hashtags, or HMV leaving disgruntled soon-to-be ex-employees access to their social media platforms, it seems that some brands still have a lot to learn about social.

One of the latest examples was Luton Airport. Although quickly removed, a post was misguidedly published showing a photograph of a crashed plane on a runway, with the caption:

 Luton Airport Post


The crash that was pictured had unfortunately killed a six-year-old boy and was immediately the focus of negative comments from Fans of the Page.

Luton Airport apologised for the ‘wholly unacceptable and insensitive’ post and also added:

Luton Airport apology

We’re sure that the staff member didn’t mean to cause any offence but this incident highlights the importance of hiring experienced staff to manage your communities and/or having a permissions structure in place.

Timing can also be a factor that brands need to take into consideration. One example of misjudged timing would be from Qantas. They chose to launch a #QantasLuxury hashtag competition asking followers what their ‘dream luxury inflight experience’ would be. At any other time, this campaign would probably have worked very well. There were a pair of first class tickets were in the offing and competitions with great prizes are always a good way to increase your reach.

At that particular time though, Qantas was in the middle of an industrial relations dispute with their workers and many planes were grounded. The hashtag was of course flooded with angry and sarcastic tweets such as the following:

Qantas Luxury Competition


Anyone who’d taken a proper look at the sentiment around the business at that time should have realised that this was not the right time to launch a competition.

When hiring your next Community Manager ask yourself this question:

Community Management Experience



If the answer is no, but they seem like they have potential, then an authorisation process must be put in place before they publish any content to your Pages.


If they do have experience, then check how they are doing with their current communities:

Good Community Management





What might seem like a good idea at the time to an enthusiastic new hire, can often have unforeseen consequences. A workflow or social media tool that manages permissions will ensure someone is double-checking their posts before they go public.

Before publishing, someone needs to be making sure the content is appropriate and checking whether it could be misconstrued but they also need to question timing.

Social Media Publishing Checklist




These examples are just some of many which go to prove that if your brand is serious about social, you need to make sure the people you hire understand the opportunities and the pitfalls.

Hire staff that have the skills to keep it light and fun while recognising bad timing and bad ideas when they see them, and they will help keep your company off the ‘social media fails’ list.




It’s so fun-ny, how we don’t talk anymore…

That’s what Sir Cliff Richard said in 1979 and that’s what a lot of other people are still saying now too.

With more than 8 trillion texts sent a year and over 400 million tweets sent per day, there are those who say that social media and texting has killed real conversation. They say that we never pick up the phone anymore. They shriek that we are disconnected as a community.

In 2013 though, we don’t have to do this to stay in touch. We can read updates, we can tweet, and we can share articles we think our friends will be interested in. We should of course, still make the effort to chat on the phone and have real-life conversations. But have you ever wondered how many of your friendships wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for social media helping you stay connected?

We would hope that we’ve seen the last generation of old ladies keeping the gasman on the phone just for someone to talk to. We are more connected than ever. Whether that’s to friends and family, or to strangers on the other side of the world.

The same goes for brands. Consumers have more access to brands, and brands have more access to consumers. Brands are still in the relatively unchartered territory of having to listen to customers. Really listen. Because customers are telling them out loud, in public what they think of their company. How they can improve, what they are doing right and what they want from them.

Does that sound scary?

It shouldn’t, because it’s gold.

Previously if you cared enough about the future of your company, you might carry out research to see what your consumers really thought. Brands were in a position of power, they didn’t have to listen to the ‘little man’, but that wasn’t necessarily a good position to be in.

Unhappy customers could still vote with their feet and go elsewhere, before the brand even got the chance to rectify a problem or even know that there was one.

Social media can guide your company in the right direction. It can help ensure that you’re making the best decisions for your company and the right decisions for your company to succeed.

Sure — it’s a brave new world when everything is so public and people can openly review your products and services in front of the whole world.
But if this is going to help shape your company vision and inform the decisions you make, who better to listen to than your customers?

That conversation must be two-way though. All too often we still see negative reviews unanswered, decisions being made behind closed doors and brushed under the carpet.

Recently, Amazon UK was on the receiving end of some pretty negative reviews on both their website and their social presences. One of their sellers was stocking unsavoury t-shirts, which once picked up, caused a flood of comments, posts and reviews, all asking for the merchandise to be taken off the Amazon site.

Inside the walls of Amazon, decisions were being made and they were acting upon their customer’s demands. However, you would have had no clue of this on their social platforms. Their Twitter feed was still happily posting and all comments and mentions were seemingly being ignored.

Percol coffee





This had the effect that, even after they had removed the merchandise, people were still threatening to stop using Amazon if they didn’t remove the goods, long after the goods had actually been removed.

Amazon’s open review system is fantastic, it’s an extremely transparent way for consumers to judge the quality of their potential purchases, and as a result we’ve seen countless companies adopt the same system. It’s just a shame that, the same transparency hasn’t yet filtered through to the way some brands manage their social media platforms.

In order to mitigate the amount of posts and let people know they were being heard, ideally Amazon would have made sure the social team was in place to do the following:

  • Release an update on their social pages to apologise and reassure customers that they are looking into complaints and reply direct to customers where they were able to do so
  • Release another update to confirm that they have dealt with the offending products

On the surface of it, ignoring the problem does mean that eventually the problem will seemingly go away. People will inevitably get bored of tweeting about it and they will move on to the next big drama – but what does that do to the reputation of your company?

Miss Representation





Evaw coalition





Just like our personal relationships, brand and consumer relationships only work if they are two-way. A friendship won’t survive if only one person is making the effort to keep in touch and the same goes for brands. Listening is one thing, but brands also need to make sure that consumers know they are listening.

Otherwise, you may well eventually find your brand at the bottom of the friend pile.

How The Black Keys’ drummer could teach brands a thing or two.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the land of Twitter, @BurgerKing and @Jeep were hacked and @MTV and @BET pretended to be.

If you were following Twitter closely, you might have also seen the Twitter spat between Justin Bieber and the drummer from The Black Keys, Patrick Carney.

The Black Keys had enjoyed a successful night at the Grammy’s with three wins for the band and another for the lead singer Dan Auerbach. Afterwards, Carney was interviewed by TMZ and asked whether Bieber should have got a Grammy by now. He replied with “He’s rich, right?… Grammys are for music, not for money… and he’s making a lot of money. He should be happy.”

Bieber then took to Twitter to publish this Tweet to his 34 million followers.


Screen shot 2013-02-25 at 11.37.55







Almost immediately, Bieber’s loyal following had waged war against Carney. While this would have sent many running for the hills and deleting their Twitter accounts, Carney held his own by replying to comments using humour and retweeting particularly funny ‘disses’.











Finally he boldly started to assume the singers identity by gradually changing his name to Justin Bieber and replying as if he was the singer. This of course, further infuriated Bieber fans – as well as picking up some unsuspecting followers who thought he was the real deal.











Aside from annoying a small number of his real fans with a few days worth of ‘Justin’ tweets, he actually managed to ride the storm by meeting it head-on and he also got a lot of love from how he was handling the angry Bieber-fan onslaught.


Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 14.22.28





So what can brands learn from how he handled himself?

Carney dealt with the situation swiftly, without fear and he let his personality work for him.

He was of course, able to be far more ‘cheeky’ than most brands could hope to get away with and while we would never advise brands to use these particular tactics, there are some take away lessons here for brands posting their day-to-day content or experiencing their own social media crisis.

Don’t be scared.

Carney didn’t shy away from dealing with negative comments. Brands – particularly if they are new to social – can be tempted to bury their heads in the sand when dealing with difficult posts (or sometimes, any posts) and may choose to ignore them, hoping they’ll go away.

Ignore the ‘wrong’ one and it could have the potential to turn a customer service issue into a full-blown social media crisis. Rule number one — Make sure you respond quickly to questions or problems.

Carney was swift to act, replied to posts and also retweeted them so it was clear to everyone who visited his profile or anyone following his updates that he was dealing with the situation and may have even discouraged some angry tweeters from joining in. We’ve seen a lot of high profile cases recently where people have been driven off Twitter by a furious mob, simply because they felt like it was easier to run away, rather than weather the storm.

For these larger, social media crises, make sure you have a process written down for managing this type of event – while we’re sure Carney didn’t have his plan in place before the Grammy’s, his quick thinking did help him survive the fallout. Brands may have to go through a series of different stakeholders before a plan can be acted upon, so it is essential that this process be nailed down.

Be yourself. Be human.

We’ve all heard it before, but it’s true. Social should be social. People aren’t interested in interacting with boring staid messaging. They want to feel like a brand or person has an identity. Whether that’s in everyday posts or in how they handle a crisis.

Behind all the big strategies, campaigns and messaging should lie a human heartbeat. Carneys’ decision to go bold and his brilliant use of light-hearted humour in the face of some pretty nasty and sometimes homophobic posts, made this into a much more positive news story that it would have been if he’d hidden away from it. He could have passed this over to an agency and released a statement but he chose to ride the storm with his own personal brand of humour.

For brands, you will know when posts require a serious response but it’s just as important to know when it’s okay to interact in a more human, relaxed way.

People want to feel like they are interacting with a real person. I’m sure everyone following Carney’s news feed feels like they know him a bit better, even when he was masquerading as Bieber, and if you manage to convey this type of messaging for your brand, it will go a long way to help building some brand love amongst your following.

Use humour.

Don’t be afraid to use humour in your messaging if the situation or your branding allows it. A serious customer service issue would not be the place for this method but as Carney saw, treating his crisis with light humour, worked pretty well for him. You also saw this with the recent Burger King hack on their Twitter account. Once they had regained control, instead of releasing a very serious statement, they made it light-hearted and recognised that they had picked up a lot of new followers.


Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 14.28.37





Carney, Burger King and Jeep have all have seen this positive side of their recent social media crises as they’ve added some hefty numbers to their Twitter follower count. It goes to show that if dealt with in the right way, a negative can be turned into a positive. If they keep the right mix of entertainment, value and transparency and let their ‘brands’ personality shine through, they may just keep all their new followers happy.

Keep this mix in your social feeds and you’ll start to reap the benefits too!