Category Archives: Social Media

Burger Wars

In the wake of the horsemeat fiasco, it has today emerged that Burger King’s Twitter account has been hacked with the profile picture being replaced by a McDonalds logo and a message that the company had been sold to the rival hamburger chain.

Burger Wars

“We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you,” one post read.   It also posted messages such as: “If I catch you at a Wendys, we’re fightin!”

The tweets stopped after a little more than an hour and meanwhile McDonalds tweeted in response to the apparent hack: “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”

It is not known who might be responsible for the breach but I do wonder if it has anything to do with the Animal Rights Movement … after all, isn’t hacking a horseriding discipline?

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Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh!!!

This week’s headlines would have been a gift for Frankie Howerd who, for my younger readers, was an English comedian and comic actor who died in 1992.  Famous for several catchphrases, I have used artistic licence to tweak one of these as a headline for this post – I’m sure he would have approved!

You must have been on another planet if you haven’t heard about the outrage of the revelation that the beef content in one Everyday Value burger sold by Tesco was actually 29 per  cent horse meat.Tesco article

There are of course many countries that find eating horsemeat totally acceptable [across Europe and South America for example], but in the UK we seem to find it abhorrent – but the main reason to be scandalised is not that Tesco was selling burgers containing horse, but that they weren’t labelled as such.  It’s not illegal to sell horsemeat in the UK, but it is illegal to sell food containing ingredients that aren’t listed on the label.

Of course the Social Media networks had a field day and the jokes were coming thick and fast.  However, no-one expected Tesco’s themselves to score such a spectacular “own goal” as they did last night when they tweeted this:

Tesco tweet

Despite claims that they had scheduled the tweet before the scandal broke, I can’t help but think this could come back and bite them on their proverbial backside [trying desperately not to succumb here to the temptation of a quip about a horse’s ass].   It may on the other hand prove to be the best marketing strategy ever … only time will tell.

So I leave you with my own favourite tweet on the subject … have a great weekend!

Food allergies are a pain … dairy products make me sneeze and #Tesco burgers make me a little hoarse!!!

#ridiculous

The world really has gone mad!    We read today about another poor baby being given THE most ridiculous name I’ve heard of to date!  Crazy baby names are nothing new, in fact they seem to be almost de rigueur in some circles but Hashtag?  As in, well, #hashtag?  Really?

“Hashtag Jameson was born at 10 o’clock  last nite,” the proud parent announced on Facebook  last Saturday night. “She weys 8pounds and i luv her so much!!!!!!”  Spelling-challenged friends started leaving equally creative congratulations in the comments.  “Aww babes you finally had youre Tweetybird xxx,” one wrote.

Now this could of course be just another poorly executed viral marketing campaign but it’s well within the realms of possibility – if Frank Zappa can call his offspring Moon Unit and Gwyneth Paltrow call hers Apple, why can’t a non-celebrity chose an equally ridiculous moniker?

The internet has of course been awash with some slightly cruel hashtags of their own, including #Foolishparents,  #YourParentsHateYou, #StupidestNameEver but despite the initial shock of this most recent naming debacle, parents have always named their kids after things that are important to them, whether it’s a beloved relative, a hot celebrity or, today, social media.  In 2011 a couple in Egypt named their daughter Facebook, while in Israel another was named Like.  Now that little Hashtag has arrived, all we need is a tiny Twitter, a sweet little YouTube and a delightful Digg and the social media baby name trend will be properly established!

Let us hope that little Hashtag will find a way to avoid problems in the playground that will surely happen when you carry such a mighty burden, but you can’t help but wonder what it will be like for her in 20 years time when she has to explain what a hashtag is!

They’re metaphors Richard

We should perhaps forgive the poor naive men who think that women spend their ‘time of the month’ horse-riding along beaches, rollerblading and skydiving, and that period blood is blue, for there are, it seems, a few of them out there.

One of these is Richard Neill, a disillusioned boyfriend who light-heartedly bemoaned being mis-sold the truth about menstruation on Bodyform’s Facebook page. His witty tale of woe prompted much amusement on the social networking site, and his message has, to date, received 86,743 ‘likes’ and 3,735 comments.  This is what he wrote on 8th October:

“Hi, as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years.
As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this  wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many  things, I felt a little jealous.
I mean bike riding, rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I  get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings!! Dam my  penis!!
Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen …..you lied !!
There was no joy, no extreme sports, no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no.
 Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady  changed from the loving, gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin.  Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform, you crafty b*gger!”

Spotting a golden PR opportunity, the company responded with this hilarious spoof video response that has to be the funniest video I’ve seen in a long time – ladies, please watch and enjoy!

Think before you tweet!

I am all for freedom of speech but there are a few basic rules to follow when you decide to use Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook or if, like me, you want to also blog as well.  The main one being:

Think before you hit the Post or Publish button!

This advice is never more important than if you are a person who is already in the public eye – footballers especially please take note!  Some of the worst offenders have been:

  • Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand who was fined £45,000 in August for bringing the game into disrepute after responding to a racially-suggestive tweet about Ashley Cole
  • Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was also fined £6,000 in the same month after he used a derogatory term about Tottenham fans
  • Then Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was fined £10,000 in January 2011 after he linked to a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt

So there was little surprise this morning when I read that Ashley Cole has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association in relation to a Twitter comment he posted about the governing body.   Responding to the FA’s judgement in the John Terry racism case, he tweeted on Friday: “Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT***S”.   He has now deleted this tweet and issued an “unreserved apology” to the FA but the damage has already been done and he has until 16:00 BST on Thursday, 11 October to respond to the charge.

However, when former England captain Alan Shearer told the BBC at the weekend that Cole should be banned for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino as a punishment, Cole, 31, then responded by retweeting a message which criticised Shearer.  When will he learn?

Former England left-back Graeme Le Saux is working with the FA to guide players on how they communicate.  The former Southampton, Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers defender Le Saux is currently helping to make videos for the FA which will be shown to players about how the governing body operates and the punishments they can hand out for unacceptable behaviour, including the use of social media.  He said this weekend – “The whole pleasure and access that social media gives you is that you are in control of what goes out there, but you must be sensible enough to hold that back.”

Social Media is not for people to bully, insult or intimidate, it is for communication.  My advice to these players is straightforward.  Instead of using your hands to type insulting messages for all to see, try just using your feet to kick a ball – this is after all what you’re being paid for!!!

#KnowTheCode

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the irreverent male body spray Lynx taking advantage of the Prince Harry story.  The Company ran these tongue in cheek adverts that reinforced what the brand is promising – helping get young men into naughty situations with attractive young ladies!

The adverts, playing on a previous campaign idea of the Lynx man being hounded by scantily clad women, have run with the tagline ‘Sorry Harry. If it had anything to do with us.’

Another advert has featured a pair of Union Jack briefs with the line ‘One has unleashed the chaos.’

Already used in newspapers, including The Sun which was the first paper to print the controversial pictures of Harry in the buff, the Lynx Effect ads have prompted a huge response on Twitter and Facebook.

It was also a masterstroke by Las Vegas itself to also use the event to reflect and reinforce their brand story of “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas“.   They ran the two adverts below, along with a social media campaign called #knowthecode . It was all about reminding people that the code is to ensure what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  

                            

I’m sure he thought that a lads holiday in Vegas wouldn’t be anywhere as big a minefield as serving in Helmand Province where he was dodging bullets and rocket attacks from Taliban insurgents and performing patrols in hostile areas – the mobile phone is clearly a much more dangerous weapon!!!

Keeping it simple

This picture is doing the rounds on the social networks today – a great advert for the Glasgow subway I think – You may just go round in circles but at least you can’t get lost!

Basking in reflected glory?

The internet has responded in fine form to the Chelsea skipper, John Terry, donning his full kit to receive the Champions League trophy last night. If you’ve been on planet Mars for the past few weeks you will not know that Terry was suspended from taking part in this crucial fixture due to an extremely stupid tackle in the semi against Barcelona that saw him receiving a sending off. However, last night, when Chelsea were the ultimate victors on penalties, Terry changed out of his suit and into his kit to go and receive his winner’s medal and lift the trophy.

My 3 favourite tweets are:

During the match – a spectator

Steve Fitzpatrick @fitzpas
“Doing a John Terry today, going to don my full chef outfit to carve the lamb – after my wife has spent three hours cooking the food.”
 
David Hepworth @davidhepworth
“Bet John Terry was one of those kids who insisted on blowing out the candles on other people’s cakes.”
 
and
 

After the match – taking part in the celebrations

Football Jokes @footballfunnys
“Why is everyone criticising John Terry for wearing his kit? He needs to keep his suit clean for court.”
 

And am I the only person who sees his inclusion in the squad for the Euros and Rio’s absence as sending out the wrong message???

 

Happy 1st Anniversary!

It seems hard to believe that I started this blog a year ago today.  When I published the first post I was very unsure about whether I would be able to commit to blogging on a regular basis but now I can’t imagine not doing it. It has become a way of life – a place where I can explore ideas; share experiences and reflect on things I’ve read about.   Along the way I have learned a lot about blogging and so I’ve decided to share some of what I’ve learned, today, on my blog’s 1st Anniversary.  Here goes:

1.  It’s what you write that matters

It might sound obvious but it’s all about the content.  Find a theme that is clean and uncluttered so that people can just concentrate on what you have to say.  Pick interesting topics to write about and find your own writing style.  It isn’t a good idea to “nick” content from other writers but it is ok to use other’s ideas for inspiration!

2. It’s okay to post at your own pace

Starting to write a blog can be intimidating, particularly when you see that some bloggers post at least once a day, sometimes more.  I originally set out thinking that I would blog at least twice a week but I quickly realised that it was important to not just write for writing sake but only when I had something to say.  On the basis that this is my 127th post, I’m still meeting that target on average!  How often I post is affected by a number of factors but mainly by my workload.  Remember that quality is far more important than quantity! 

3. It’s important to post material that is provocative (from time to time)

I’m not suggesting here that you set your stall out to… but it will come as no surprise that many of my most read posts are the ones that were a little contentious, that focused on challenging issues where others will certainly have an opinion. And it is also good to pick up on topics that are being readily discussed. Here are some examples of posts that caused a storm:

4. Make sure your about page is up to scratch

The about page on your blog is arguably one of the most important pages as many new readers who come across your blog will want to know more about it and the person behind it. Who are you? Why do you write this blog? How often can they expect to see new posts? These are just some of the questions a new reader may have.

5. Harness social networks to spread the word

If you want to grow the number of visitors to your blog you must harness the power of social networks. Twitter and Facebook are two of the most powerful tools in driving people towards my blog content and have helped connect me with many other bloggers who share similar ideas and write about similar topics.   It is also worth sharing your content on topic specific forums if they let you – I’ve been banned for life by some of the Football boards as they seem to think I’m advertising, despite pointing out there is no financial gain whatsoever – hey ho!

6. It is about discussion

Most bloggers are looking to generate discussion around their posts. This is what the blogging thing is all about and it’s really important that you respond to comments from people.  I try to reply to comments within 24 hours although occasionally life gets in the way.

The commenting does not end there though.  It is not all about you.  If you want to drive people towards your blog and encourage them to comment on your own posts then you must comment on other people’s blog posts. It raises your profile amongst the blogging community and will encourage people to look up your blog when they have seen you comment on their own posts.

7. Understand SEO and analytics

Without going into too much detail, if you are serious about blogging and see it as more than an opportunity to collect your thoughts then it is worth taking a bit of time to understand ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. In very basic terms this is making your blog more visible to search engines like Google. I could end up writing an entire post on this and only scratch the surface in many ways. To really get a handle on how your blog is doing it is also worth signing up to Google analytics.  There is a very handy WordPress plugin to help with this.

And with that I will bring this post to an end.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last twelve months of blogging and I’m very excited about the next twelve.  There are some amazing events coming up such as the London Olympics later this year and the Glasgow2014 Commonwealth Games in 2 years time so expect lots more posts from me over the next few months and years!

Give that man a Knighthood!

Well now that the Queen has finally bowed to public pressure and stripped “Fred the Shred” of his Knighthood, does that mean there is one going spare? If so, who is more worthy than one Mr Chris King (aged 27 & 1/3)?

For those that have missed this story, Chris King is the writer of the letter from Sainsbury’s that has made such a stir on Social Networks over the past couple of weeks.

In May 2011, Lily Robinson (aged 3 & 1/2) wrote to the supermarket, suggesting that the bread should be called giraffe bread.

She received a letter back saying that renaming it was “a brilliant idea”.

Lily’s letter said: “Why is tiger bread called tiger bread? It should be called giraffe bread. Love from Lily Robinson age 3 and 1/2”.

Chris King from the Sainsbury’s customer services team wrote back: “I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?”

But he went on to explain how it had got its name: “It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”

He included a £3 gift card, and signed the letter “Chris King (age 27 & 1/3)”.

For once, on receiving such positive publicity, there has been a statement today from the supermarket saying:

“In response to overwhelming customer feedback that our tiger bread has more resemblance to a giraffe, from today we will be changing our tiger bread to giraffe bread and seeing how that goes.”

Apparently Mr King no longer works for Sainsbury’s but is studying to be a primary school teacher – he sounds as though he’ll make a terrific teacher and will surely cost the UK a lot less than those scurrilous bankers … Arise Sir Chris!

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