Author: Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Heather is a writer and filmmaker who covers media and communications, tech, ecommerce and the arts and was listed by Brand Republic as one of the top 200 most influential bloggers in 2011. She is currently VP, Head of Social Content and Strategy at Social@Ogilvy. These posts were written during her time as editorial director of Econsultancy in New York (2012-13).

Prior to her move to Econsultancy, Heather was acting editor of About the BBC, the BBC corporate blog and website, and managed online corporate reputation for the BBC. Previous roles included social media manger for PayPal UK and social media/ PR manager for Groundswell award winner, giffgaff.

Heather speaks at events on social media, marketing, community and filmmaking - previous speaking engagements include talks at ComicCon, Reputation Online Live, Technology for Marketing and Advertising, PR Week, European Customer Experience World, Social Media in Business, Media Camp London, and Digital Surrey. She has also advised on social media strategy for a number of startups and charitable organizations.

Catch up on what you missed over Social Media Week

Over the last week, the Econsultancy team has been jumping from venue to venue, listening in on some great sessions and workshops as part of Social Media Week 2013

As we know our readers are not all based in New York, we thought we'd go through the list of some of the great sessions we saw and share those that have a recorded live stream that we liked so you can watch it for yourself. It's like you were there with out having to deal with subways or the rain of last week. It also means you weren't in New York, but hey, it's much cheaper this way.


How to move 'beyond the like'

As we approach the end of Social Media Week, we caught the last session at Hearst with Beyond the Like for Lifestyle Brands with presentations by Richard Jones of EngageSciences, Eve Sangenito of Brandwatch, David St. John Tradewell of Econsultancy, We Are Social's Robin Grant and Craig Hepburn, Global Head of Digital and Social for Nokia.

One of the biggest takeaways was an urge for marketers to look beyond sheer numbers and to look at who is engaging and what actions these lead to. Why blanket market to 50,000 fans when only 9,000 are actually bringing in the majority of engagement, shares and revenue.


How Ford and Whole Foods manage social communities

I spent a number of years as a social media manager - first for PayPal, then giffgaff and, most recently, I was the corporate community manager for the BBC. I feel a strong affinity to those behind the brand handle after being through the wars myself. It's not uncommon to spend sleepless nights at a keyboard, or take a night bus home so you can stay above ground to tweet during an issue ,or be attached to your phone on your only vacation in months. This is the current state of our community directors and their staff.

It was great to see Ogilvy feature three social community managers on their recent panel, The Rise of the New Community Manager, as part of Social Media Week. The panelists included Karen Untereker, U.S. Manager, Social Media at Ford Motor Company, Ariel Norwood, Online and Social Media Team Leader, Northeast Region, Whole Foods Market and Vanessa Wojtusiak, Head of Social Marketing, iHeartRadio and was moderated by Rachel Caggiano, Senior Vice President, Social@Ogilvy.

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Ford launches first year long user generated ad campaign at #SMWNYC

Social Media Week in New York started big with Ford's announcement this morning with a new Ford Fiesta ad campaign that will use content created only by users - in fact, it'll be their first ever user generated campaign that spans the entire advertising year. 

Ford are focusing on creating a team of 100 social influencers who will create the advertising material that Ford will distribute through a mix of paid media, social media and experiential events. These will be the new Ford Fiesta Agents - I'm just glad they didn't opt for Guru or Ninja. Phew.

So the content the agents create can be in whatever form they choose to do. Ford gives them cars, a camera and in addition to this open remit of any content goes, the group will also have to complete challenges with properties such as American Idol, the X Games and music festival, Bonnaroo.


Nutella gets us out of bed through Facebook

Valentine's gets a brief mention in the midst of chocolate, watches and shoes in our weekly showcase of The Dachis Group's Social Business Index.

Our focus is on three companies – The Swatch Group, Foot Locker and Ferrero International known for the popular chocolate spread, Nutella - as analyzed by the team at the Dachis Group.

We'll also take a glimpse at the top twenty brands on the Social Business Index, a real-time ranking of more than 30,000 global brands based on their performance in the social space, to see how the biggest brands in social are faring.

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Online retailers cash in on Valentine's Day: infographic

Well, it's that day again. Valentine's Day is here yet again to the delight of retailers everywhere. No wonder, when online sales in the US and the UK have continued to rise year-over-year in the run up to Valentine’s Day and retailers have had to learn to scale for seasonal surges.  

The folks over at Rakuten, the online marketplace that's quickly catching up to Amazon and eBay, shared a few stats and a lovely infographic (don't say we didn't give you anything for Valentine's!) detailing the global spending trends surrounding this love-sick holiday. 

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Econsultancy's social media showdown hits #SMWNY 2013

Next week marks the fifth year of Social Media Week in New York and this looks like the biggest one ever. With sessions around the globe, the team has events in  NYC, Lagos, Hamburg, Copenhagen, DC, Miami, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Singapore. Alongside four content hubs at Bloomberg, 92Y Tribeca, JWT, and Hearst, New York will also boast a global HQ including a state of the art, experimental space presented in partnership with MKG and Crowdcentric.

Of course, the most exciting part is that Econsultancy will not only have it's own event with a few of our own staff on panels but as global media partners, we'll be covering some of the 150 events taking place between February 18-22, 2013.

As usual, Econsultancy is trying something a bit different with it's Social Media Showdown at Whole Foods Tribeca.


American Express syncs with Twitter. Gimmick or new social commerce platform?

Strides in social commerce have been made with Facebook and Pinterest but, until today, brands and ecommerce specialists haven't been able to crack the code when it came to Twitter.

American Express and Twitter have announced they are joining forces by allowing members to sync their Amex cards with their Twitter accounts and then tweet special hashtags to make purchases.

This is not the first foray into connecting American Express member cards with social networks. They have focused on the interconnection with commerce and social since it launched its Link Like Love program with Facebook in 2011 and they have been promoting Twitter deals since last year.

But is this Twitter partnership just another gimmick or something more?


Colgate-Palmolive connects with customers with a smile

Our weekly showcase of The Dachis Group's Social Business Index highlights brands in a range of verticals from publishing and retail to travel, with the Dacchis team focusing this week on Vivendi and Colgate-Palmolive.

We also survey the top twenty listings of the Social Business Index, a real-time ranking of 30,000+ multinationals' performance in social.


Top 100 brands see huge growth in Google+ and YouTube in 2012

It's not surprising that Google+ adoption has increased over the past year as Google has integrated the social platform with all its services and YouTube is on the rise as more brands are offering video as part of their content and marketing strategies. But what are the big brands doing?

This morning BrightEdge released their latest Social Share report focusing on social media adoption trends of the top 100 global brands. This quarter, they are focusing on Google with the latest on Google+ and YouTube.


The movement to viewable ads vs served ads: infographic

As we begin to sift the huge amounts of data at our fingertips, we are starting to see a move toward better advertising solutions: more targeted and more relevant ads served to potential customers who will actually act on them. This is needed in display advertising more than any other.

In 2012, we started to see publications shift toward more effective types of inventory from ad servers. Sites such as Forbes and USA Today have moved from allowing served ads to viewable ads, which means advertisers aren't being charged for ads that aren't seen by the consumer. 

Some may consider this a bold move, and those serving the inventory are likely to unhappy with this move, but a movement to a viewable ad measurement, will make the ROI of display advertising reflect the actual truth of what is seen.

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Tackling Twitter and Pinterest in 2013

While we have seen Twitter gradually embraced by most companies over the past five years, newcomer Pinterest didn't even exist that long ago and now we are basing strategies on it.

With our shift in attitude toward the effectiveness and importance of social media to marketers and comsumers alike, we are ever looking to the future of these platforms.

With Twitter's release of Vine (and the resurgence of animated gifs everywhere) and their flipflop in openness with their APIs, it's important to stay one step ahead of the game.