By Nick Johnson - September 27th, 2011

Hi everyone, First off apologies for last week. We moved servers and managed to screw up our blog at exactly the wrong time (ie roughly one minute after sending the Tuesday Update). For those of...

Hi everyone,

First off apologies for last week. We moved servers and managed to screw up our blog at exactly the wrong time (ie roughly one minute after sending the Tuesday Update). For those of you that missed last week's installment, you can find it here.

This week we investigate the impact of Facebook's new features for brands, look at how you can judge whether a social media 'outcry' justifies action on your part, and highlight a warning about how you work with your social media agency.

The huge potential of Facebook's Open Graph for brands

Simply Zesty have just put out a case study on how The Guardian (UK media company) are taking advantage of Facebook's new features to boost engagement and awareness across the social network.

The Guardian's new app has experienced enormous growth incredibly quickly, and has quickly surpassed their 'old-model' Facebook page. Simply Zesty give you some reasons for this - from the potential for organic, viral growth when tapping into the open graph; to an increased exposure to new, relevant content for readers; to the fact that there's literally 'no escape' from app content once your friends start using it too. I'm guessing that last one will become a problem rather rapidly.

More on what The Guardian have done - and how you can leverage their best practice for your brand - here.

How Facebook's new features are ruining brand engagement

And now to the other side of the story. 'Unicorn Booty', the friskily named news site for LGBT communities, has seen their Facebook engagement stats annihilated since the new features were announced at the F8 conference.

The site had spent an awful lot of time building up their Facebook followers, and using the network to boost engagement on their Fan Page. Their work meant that 10,000-20,000 new visitors were heading to the Unicorn Booty homepage from Facebook, daily.

And now that number has halved. Suddenly, their stories do not appear in news feeds, and followers who liked and shared their content simply don't see it any more.

For a look at the risk Facebook's new changes pose to your brand, read more here.

Survey results on social media integration in large companies

The CMO Survey have recently revealed findings from their comprehensive August 2011 survey. This time they focused on how social media was being integrated into companies. And found that marketers have an awfully long way to go.

Whilst spend is increasing to 17.5% of marketing budgets within 5 years, at the moment a full 22.3% of respondents said their social media activity was 'not integrated at all' in their firm's overall strategy. More statistics, and a few questions you can answer on your own level of integration, here.

Taking social media outcries seriously - art or science?

Our very own Alex Wilson has written up a new piece on social media reputation management and crisis communications. In it, she investigates whether brands currently fold to consumer pressure too easily (remember Gap?), or whether quick and comprehensive responses to crises brewing is essential.

Social media has revolutionised reputation preservation and brand protection - and Alex goes into detail on how some companies have changed, and how you can get better at reputation management in this new space yourself. More here.

Why your brand should be using gamification strategies right now

The debate about the merits of gamification rumbles on. On Mashable, Elizabeth Shaw reveals herself to be extremely pro.

In her article this week, she points out the four reasons behind gamification's current popularity:

  1. Consumers want it
  2. Social media enhances it
  3. Gamification vendors enable it
  4. Early starters have proven it

With info on the various game mechanics you can incorporate into your own strategy, detail on why gamification works, and even a few corporate examples you can learn about, it's a worthwhile read.

A warning: The two types of social media agency

A broadside from Olivier Blanchard caught our attention today. In it, he sets out a healthy - and a deeply unhealthy - relationship between brands and their social media agencies.

He says there are two prevailing models for social media agencies - one which works hard to help the client achieve their overall business goals, and one which works hard to relieve the client of as much money as possible. Alarmingly, the latter appears to be finding more and more favour.

If you work with a social media agency, please do take a minute to read the piece. And consider which side of the road your agency falls on.

Until next week,



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