Author: Steve Richards

Steve Richards

Digital marketing background, having co-founded Swordfish in 1998.

MD of social media agency, Yomego since 2008. Launched the Social Media Reputation (SMR) service which provides data combined with actionable insight tailored to clients' marketing strategies and KPIs. The 'SMR score' benchmark is a popularity index which ranks brands alongside their competitors.

How social CRM will change the way brands deal with customers

Type ‘social CRM’ into Google and you get around eight million results, most of them using a different definition of the term. 

But what can social CRM really achieve? And how can this potential be quantified?

In an ideal world, social CRM would give us the ability to integrate a brand’s existing customer data with their social media interactions.

In theory, social CRM should provide detailed information from a number of different sources and make the info available to whoever needs it.


Social and the grey market

It’s easy to assume social networking is the domain of the young.

Generation Y might have grown up with social, but there’s a growing number of people over 60 for whom social media is every bit as important.

People over the age of 55 are the fastest growing group joining Facebook, according to research from Nielsen - and a survey by Kantar Media’s TGI MobiLens claims that people over 50 are more likely to use social networks on their mobiles than people under 30.

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Why social customer service will come of age in 2012

Social media and customer service would seem to be a match made in heaven. In 2012, more and more brands will commit beyond simply responding to customers on Twitter.

Brands are actively recruiting customers into online communities to help them develop products, give feedback and report issues.

First Direct’s ‘Live’ community discusses openly anything from savings rates to charitable donations, and includes a (very brave) sentiment tracker on the front page to show, live, what people think about the brand (it’s overwhelmingly positive at the time of writing).


11 of the best social media campaigns of 2011 (and what we can learn from them)

There are so many different metrics we can use to judge the success of a social media campaign:  views, sales figures, donations, likes, even mentions, but perhaps the most important is the intangible.

Was it memorable? Did it resonate with the audience? I asked around the office for the team’s favourite social media campaigns of 2011.

Our favourites don’t necessarily represent the campaigns that have had the highest impact, or the biggest budgets spent on them. They were just good, different, or downright odd.

Anyway, here are our favourites. We’d be interested to read yours …

Heineken: This is the Game

Using social media to make your sponsorship budget go further

Apparently, the 2012 Olympic Games aren’t just any old Games. They’re the world’s first social Olympic Games.

Sponsors are lining up their social campaigns, most notably BT’s Storytellers and Lloyds TSB’s ‘Local heroes’ campaigns.

But what of the (hundreds) of brands sponsoring major but non-Olympic events? The Grand National, FA Cup, Six Nations, Wimbledon, and the soon-to-be-not-the-Carling Cup? 

We did some digging around to see how some of the brands currently sponsoring major events are using social media to make their sponsorship deals go further...


The opportunities (and pitfalls) of Google+ branded pages

The launch earlier this week of branded pages on the social network, Google+, will have registered on the radar on many marketers.

But is it worth them getting involved? And how should brands go about it?

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Will f-commerce succeed?

At the end of September, Magners announced that it is starting to sell limited edition cider directly via its Facebook page. 

Asos was the first UK retailer to open a fully transactional Facebook store in January this year.

On the face of it, f-commerce seems to be taking off, so should brands be launching F-commerce stores? 


Five tips for using Facebook for customer service

If we get bad customer service online, we vote with our feet. We stop doing business with the company in question, or take action against it. We call it out on Facebook, Twitter and (in the famous case of United Airlines) we notoriously write songs about it.  

Although most brands use social media to market themselves, relatively few provide really excellent customer service.

Here are my top five tips for getting customer service right on Facebook...


Social media: what happens when the L-plates come off?

We’ve seen a real shift this year in the understanding of how social media can be integrated within consumer-facing organisations.

The conversation has moved on from ‘how do we get involved in social media’ to ‘which areas of the business do consumers expect to interact with us over social channels?’

Social marketing has evolved, brands have a clear focus on ROI, and the debate is altogether more sophisticated.


Will Olympics sponsors make the most of social?

Billions are spent by global brands on sports sponsorship. Olympic sponsors will have to learn the lessons from last year's World Cup and make the most of social media to get value out of their sponsorship deals.


Top 50 brands in social: seven key takeaways


What we learned from analysing the top brands in social media, and food for thought for brand owners starting to look at social reputation monitoring.


The top 50 brands in social media

We've been charting the performance of the top 50 brands on social media (and looks at why some brands have done better than others), and there are some interesting results.