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By Anthony Johnson, Apr 30 2016 07:11AM

This week’s news on all things social, digital and web

We love social media, digital marketing, and the online world. After all, that’s why we do what we do. Through our online travels, we come across a variety of information that can be helpful, amusing, or even shocking. We didn’t want you to miss out on this so here’s a roundup of what’s been happening lately.

The Twitter popularity contest: separating the real from the fake

So, last week, we shared the 10 most popular accounts on Twitter but since then we’ve been playing with TwitterAudit which shows you how many of these millions of followers are real. We thought it’d be interesting to re-look at the same top 10 and give you the run-down on how genuine their multi-million follower base actually is.

Rank Who Twitter handle Followers % real

1 Katy Perry @katyperry 87,078,571 39

2 Justin Bieber @justinbieber 79,883,755 42

3 Taylor Swift @taylorswift13 75,681,012 33

4 Barack Obama @BarackObama 73,511,545 37

5 YouTube @YouTube 61,511,871 72

6 Rihanna @rihanna 59,363,596 38

7 Lady Gaga @ladygaga 58,469,565 45

8 Ellen DeGeneres @TheEllenShow 58,184,051 74

9 Twitter @twitter 54,393,731 52

10 Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake 54,221,824 39

Fascinating stuff, isn’t it? Have a play for yourself and find out where you (or anyone else) ranks on the scale of genuine vs fake followers.

Revelations that blew our minds this week

Coachella has been blowing up on everyone’s Instagram but the #BTS scoop is that most of the celebs posting pics from Coachella aren’t actually there. They’re at super-exclusive, super-secret pool parties nearby. Also, did you know that if you want to drink at the festival you have to go into a special pen which has a 2 drink maximum? Now, we obviously aren’t promoting reckless OTT drinking but, really, booze-shaming at a festival? It’s a step too far.

Kim Kardashian is 4 pounds away from her pre-baby weight. Do we care? No. Do you care? No. What it does show is the growing power of Snapchat in engaging different audiences online. Brands are harnessing the power of Snapchat to connect in new ways with different content and, most importantly, showing pretty impressive stats in doing so. It won’t be for everyone but could it work for you?

There are now 1.65 billion active users each month on Facebook. We tried to do the maths on how many times the size of the UK’s population (63,843,856) this was but there weren’t enough decimal places on the calculator. If you’re better than us at numbers, perhaps you can do the sum and let us know the answer – we’d appreciate it.

Is Apple’s shine starting to wear off?

The headlines are stark - Decline in iPhone sales leads to first revenue decline in 13 years for Apple - supported by all manner of troubling statistics:

• Their share price dropped 7% in response to the news

• Sales had decreased by 13%

• iPhone sales, which make up the lion’s share of their revenue, dropped by 16%

Apple is now predicting that sales will decrease further in Q2 – from the current $50.6bn to $41bn – $43bn. Given that their sales are still safely in the tens of billions of dollars, it’s unlikely that they’ll be following in the footsteps of BHS (it’s been like the Woolworths trauma all over again!) anytime soon.

Is it a reflection on Apple? Not really, it’s down to the slowing economy in China which is the company’s second-biggest market. Tim Cook is promising us some ‘amazing innovations’ which are in the pipeline. Given Apple’s history, we’re tempted to believe him.

Our insider recommendation

Hashtags – which ones are the most effective to use? There are two really great tools you can use to figure this out: – it’s not the slickest looking User Interface you’re likely to find on the web but it is easy to use, FREE and really helpful. Find related hashtags to a topic, how popular they are and who the key influencers are in two clicks. It must be a good tool if it can make us overlook the design element.

By Digital 4 Trade

By Anthony Johnson, Apr 26 2016 06:44PM

This week’s news on all things social, digital and web

We love social media, SEO, digital marketing, and the online world. After all, that’s why we do what we do. Through our online travels, we come across a variety of information that can be helpful, amusing, or even shocking. We didn’t want you to miss out on this so here’s a roundup of what’s been happening lately.

You won’t believe how much can happen in just 60 seconds

The stats are staggering. You can check out the full breakdown below but here’s a few of the ones that jumped out at us.

In one minute:

150 million emails are sent – how many do you think are deleted without even being read?

8 million WhatsApp messages are generated – we’ve always got plenty to say for ourselves, but even our minds are blown by this.

38,052 hours of music uploaded onto Spotify – a 168% increase on the previous year.


Panic hits Instagram

If you’re a follower of Instagram, you might have noticed a recent moment of hysteria where everyone was telling you to turn on push notifications for their posts. It was a pre-emptive move in response to Instagram announcing that they would be moving away from a chronological feed – aka Facebook implementing the equivalent of their ‘Top Stories’ algorithm. The response to Instagram’s announcement was negative: #RIPInstagram says it all.

The rush to encourage us to turn on push notifications was a bit hasty as the change hasn’t even been made yet.

Social media cries foul over Twitter's new China boss

The appointment of new Managing Director of Greater China, Kathy Chen, has been met with great scepticism in the TwitterSphere with some arguing that the appointment is the “murder of freespeech (sic)”. Read more here.

Since Facebook’s F8 Conference last week, the word chatbot is everywhere…what is it??

You’ve probably heard the word bot before as it’s been widely used in other contexts for ages. Bots are used to automate a specific task and some of the most well-known uses have been for spam. In fact, you owe them a thank you for the ‘prove you’re a human’ verification you have to go through when completing forms online. They don’t have to be bad and Facebook are attempting to use them increase productive.

They are developing chatbots to communicate with people, for example to offer customer support via Messenger. The complexity in this task is that the bot not only has to learn language but also the nuance, context, and inference of those words. Think about when you’re learning a new language – even if you knew all the words in that language, that isn’t enough to be able to communicate in that language. There’s already been one high-profile example of this going wrong: Microsoft’s Tay which went on a genocidal, racist rant on twitter after being fed phrases online. As you’d imagine, it was taken offline quite quickly.

Let’s see how Facebook competes with Microsoft, Slack and everyone else already developing chatbots.

Who’s winning the Twitter popularity contest?

If you want to find out which accounts on Twitter are the most popular, you should check out TwitterCounter. As it stands, the 10 people with the most followers are:

Katy Perry (@katyperry) – 87, 078, 571 followers

Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) – 79,883,755 followers

Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) – 75,681,012 followers

Barack Obama (@BarackObama) – 73,511,545 followers

YouTube (@YouTube) – 61,511,871 followers

Rihanna (@rihanna) – 59,363,596 followers

Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) – 58,469,565 followers

Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) – 58,184,051 followers

Twitter (@twitter) – 54,393,731 followers

Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) – 54,221,824 followers

Go and check it out for yourself – perhaps you’ll find where you rank on the list? Don’t surprised if the follower counts differ from what we’ve said as they’ll probably even be different by the time I finish typing this sentence. What a fast-paced digital world we live in.

How many hashtags is too many hashtags?

The actual number depends upon which site you’re using and, in some cases, who your audience is. Here’s a quick reference guide for the major sites.


Quite simply on here, if you’re using any hashtags at all you’re using too many – they don’t work. There’s no point. (unless your sharing to Twitter!)


You absolutely, definitely must use hashtags on twitter as tweets with the right hashtags get more than double the engagement levels of those without any hashtags. It seems like a quick win in generating a greater return – just don’t get too carried away with thinking the more, the merrier: 1 to 2 is ideal. Any more than 2 and you’ll actually see a decline in engagement levels.


Go crazy! Posts on Instagram with 11 or more hashtags get the highest levels of engagement so if you’re looking to increase your insta-following quickly #hashtag #everything.


Opinion is still split about the effectiveness of hashtags on Facebook. Early feedback on their use suggested that using no hashtags created greater interaction than using any hashtags. Opinion has shifted somewhat now with it now being thought that, like Twitter, if you’re a business targeting other businesses, use 1 or 2 hashtags to maximise both your reach and interaction levels. If you’re targeting a more community-oriented style (like you might find on Pinterest) then there’s potentially scope to add in a few more.

If you’re using Google+ or what to find out more, check this out.

Our insider recommendation

Check out – it’s a free and highly visual representation of how your website is performing: so simple, so easy to use and understand – it’s just all the key metrics at a glance.

Interested in getting personalised advice on how to make the online world work for you? Get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer.

By Anthony Johnson, Feb 22 2016 08:35PM

#Trademarks – Brand protection in the Social Media Age

When a new marketing tool such as social media comes along, the opportunities offered can be incredible. Marketers, particularly digital marketers, need little persuading of its advantages. However, beyond the reputational risks – often discussed at marketing conferences – that inevitably come with profile-raising tools, marketers also need to consider other associated legal risks, such as intellectual property. This is particularly relevant to instant media like social Facebook and Twitter where the consequences of one small mistake can balloon within hours.

Years ago, lawyers had plenty of time to run clearance searches on new brands and sub-brands and then protect them with trademarks. Nowadays, with a massive increase in different media channels, it is important for marketing and legal departments to work together to clear trademarks for use and steer their respective businesses on brand selection.

Together, we need to consider all the possible applications of brand assets across all the different forms of social media available and monitor the ever-growing digital world to ensure others are not misusing your brand.

Ten different social media platforms could mean more than 100 different applications of all your brand assets – whether it is your logo, your brand name or your strap line. You need to anticipate all the different potential uses of your main and sub-brands: advertising, app icons, hashtags – these could all be worth protecting through trademark rights, but also potentially infringe other parties’ existing rights.

Some companies like the Coca-Cola Company have already begun trade marking some of their hashtags: ‘#smilewithacoke’ and ‘#cokecanpics’. Although few competitors are likely to use these hashtags, these trademark rights may deter them from using similar hashtags for their own campaigns. Whether or not you choose to protect your hashtags with trade marks, you should treat hashtag strap lines like any other strap line and, where appropriate, clear it for use before hitting “Tweet”. Strict guidelines should be in place to cover all social media posts to ensure any infringement risk is minimised.

When third parties use your brand on social media without consent, you need to consider whether to do anything about it and how to act. Even if you do not like what another brand is doing, you need to consider whether it presents enough of an issue for your brand to warrant action. Like with any defensive action, the monetary and reputational risks of pursuing infringers always need to be taken into account.

With the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram here to stay for years to come, businesses need to ensure that they have proper processes in place to ensure their marketing in the social space is as compliant with trademark law as any other channel.

By Matthew Sammon, Head of Trade Marks, Marks & Clerk Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys

By Anthony Johnson, Nov 29 2015 05:07PM

What is better than one view on your website? More views! Have a website but the traffic numbers are lacking? Looking to drive traffic to your relevant and exciting content? Follow the tips below to gain a larger audience and leave a lasting impression while doing so.

Content is king.

With the search engine algorithm updates and the need for good content, it is no surprise how imperative great content is. Write for your audience, not robots. This will help build your brand AND improve your online visibility. Link for relevant content and keep the links to a minimum (3-5 links). Don’t forget linking to your own website and other pages – this is data-rich food for search engine crawlers. The added bonus is your users will have the content they need in a sensible way. This builds trust and credibility.

Social integration.

Social Media is the current landscape to connect with your audience. Chances are, your business is utilizing a multitude of social channels and engaging with your audience. Be sure to add a call-to-action on these social channels to get more information on your website. 140 characters to inspire and have your audience seek for more information. Use your social efforts to drive traffic to your site. Looking to gain more traffic on social media channels? Use it regularly and use #hashtags appropriately. Unfamiliar with #hashtag*? The hashtag connects your message with the #topic or #cause so those seeking information can easily find it.

*Too many #hashtags can have the reverse outcome and users will see this as spam instead. Opt for 1-3 hashtags per message.

Multimedia = attention grabbing

Images and video capture the attention of your users and search engines alike. Multimedia increase visibility because all are inherently intrigued by visuals. Including an image/video on your press releases, blog posts, social media channels and website puts a bull's eye target for your users' line of vision. Simply put: multimedia gets noticed and being noticed is the first step in driving traffic to your website and brand. Take the next step and use the multimedia efforts within your social media strategy.

Written by Amanda Eldridge, PR Newswire

By Anthony Johnson, Aug 3 2015 09:26AM

Mobile phones are still the new gaget on the block when it comes to your marketing mix, but based on consumer reaction and adoption, it’s a digital marketing sensation.

From its inception, using the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 as the starting point for the mobile revolution, it has been unstoppable.

From smartphones to tablets, people have an almost insatiable capacity to adopt mobile technology into their lives and welcome mobile marketing. Just think about how quickly mobile technology has progressed over time. Remember your first cell phone?

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that you were playing snake and sending rudimentary text messages to friends! Now you can play 3d games and interact with friend you have never met through Social Media.

In just a short amount of time, mobile has evolved to be a central mode of communication for consumers. Being tied to a mobile device is now the norm and not the exception. The standard mobile phone’s capabilities have expanded to replace almost every other peripheral device — from maps, to calendars, to desktop computers. Mobile continues to grow, now including Internet of Things devices that help consumers monitor and streamline aspects of their lives from fitness, to smart cars, to appliances.

But how can marketers effectively engage on mobile devices?

Because mobile devices are very personal — 44% of mobile phone owners sleep with their phones next to their bed so they don’t miss a message, call, or update — marketers need to be thoughtful about how they deliver marketing messages now as the readerships are 10 fold and the type of reader 100 fold.

Consumers and potecial clients are looking for communication that is more personalised these days, and marketers must deliver this message right or risk being seen as an interruption and deleted.

Essentially, successful mobile marketing is about trust and relating to ones needs.

But to build that sort of bond, marketers must look at the bigger picture and even past mobile devices by creating a long-term, personal conversation with their audiance across many different platforms.

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