Top Tweets of the Week (wc 24 Jan 2011)

There was some really great material circulating on the wires this week. Here’s my pick of which what interested and inspired me this week.

MONDAY: Interesting social media statistics. A re-post from the highly active @jeffbullas but worth reading if like me, you are preparing a number of client and speaking presentations and want to ground some of your social media ideas in some firm research.

MONDAY: From the B2B Marketing magazine site’s Knowledge Bank, a useful piece on using white papers in your marketing

TUESDAY: This piece from @hubspot talking about five misconceptions about marketers provoked some debate online when I put to a number of Linkedin groups

TUESDAY: A great piece illustrating how Econsultancy have put a ten point social media plan in place. via @Econsultancy

THURSDAY: Interesting tips on setting up your own podcasting show via @smexaminer

FRIDAY: How to avoid the seven deadly sins of search marketing via @utalkmarketing. Selected not just because of the content but the interesting way in which it has been written.

What did you stumble across this week worthy of having a look at?

Dangerous promises

danger_signNH Hotels and American Apparel are the latest high profile brands to fall foul of the ASA because of their failure to comply with ASA guidelines. In both cases, a model who appeared to be under 16 has been sexualised.

These follow hot on the heels of other banned and rebuffed adverts including Courage’s confidence beer ad, the Iggy Pop fronted Swiftcover ads, the anti smoking ad, and Cow and Gate’s follow on milk ad

All were found wanting in either their presentation or their promises. Some companies can afford to take a bit of negative PR but most can’t. So, if you’re advertising at the moment, make sure you don’t get caught out by checking your adverts conform to the checklists provided by CAP who regulate ASA guidelines for marketing in the UK.

Adverts should be evidence based, be socially responsible, compare any other products in a clear and fair way, include all non optional taxes in pricing, have model permission, contain sales promotion details, contact details. Find out more by going to the new CAP CopyAdvice site

Friends Reunited & the benefit of hindsight

friendsReunited-hiresNo, its not a new take on the Harry Potter franchise.

Today’s newswires are reverberating with the news that Friends Reunited acquired by ITV for £170m in Dec 2005 was today sold for £25m.

From the outside, it doesn’t look like they did a great deal to commercialise the site, using it solely as a programme sponsor to try and drive traffic. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter then came along, entered the public consciousness and altered the digital social landscape irreversibly.

As a very occasional user, I was never prepared to pay to join, rarely visited the site and seldom used it to look for people from old schools or workplaces. It just never offered enough.

Which highlights ITVs greatest problem; they have a single revenue stream that is declining, and can’t quite decide where to take the business next. The BBC enjoys public funding, manages one of the world’s best and most used websites, operates an impressive on demand service (iPlayer) and has additional revenue streams from lucrative global, book and DVD sales. Sky maximises sales of a diverse product portfolio from an increasingly loyal customer base. ITVs commercial future is less assured. Production companies like Simon Cowell’s Syco take the lion share of revenue from leading shows, the on demand service is stalling, and attempts at quality programming hit the wall.

A salutory lesson in trying to buy success indeed.

We read every day in TechCrunch about the next big tech firm being valued for millions. If you’re considering a purchase, taking the time to align new purchases with overall business objectives, having a clear customer offering, and getting the cultural fit right should take some of the risk away.

That’s if you want happy shareholders, happy customers and if you don’t want to be a major case study for business students for the next twenty years.