Social Media

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Influencer relations – the do’s and the don’ts 

Just over a year ago I started a blog. It was more of a cathartic exercise than anything work related, but it has provided me an invaluable insight into what works for influencers and what’s an absolute turn off. With this in mind I’ve put together my top tips for more engaging influencer relations.

The do’s

  • As with any media, building a relationship first and foremost is paramount to your brands success in being advocated by a influential blogger or Instagrammer. With this in mind, focus on quality over quantity. Identify your key targets from the offset and focus on building really valuable relationships with these influencers.
  • Be prepared to offer value in kind or even payment for features. An influencers time is valuable, not least as many blog, whilst working full time or juggling a full family life. If you value your influencer’s time, you’ll receive more traction when pitching.
  • Make sure your targets are truly relevant and personalise your pitch. If you mention family names or similar it goes a long way to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and you genuinely feel like their platform is the perfect fit for your brand.
  • Use your engaged network as more than just influencers, help them to help you by including phrases like; ‘if you or any of your influencer friends want to come along, just shout.” Or; “As a valued influencer, I wondered if you could recommend any food bloggers too me? Naturally we can send you some cheeky samples for your mummy blog too”. This way you can build an engaged audience that is more likely to really buy into the brand you’re looking to promote.
  • Remind your influencers that you’re available for review opportunities. Make sure you drop them a line from time to time to keep in touch and promote new products etc.


  • Don’t send out generic emails promoting something irrelevant. I receive at least ten random emails per day from PRs that haven’t done their research. This makes me less likely to engage with them when they are promoting a brand that I could be interested in.
  • Avoid saying ‘Hey there’ when emailing en masse, it becomes very obvious that you’re one of many and the PR hasn’t done the research into what type of content will work for your blog.
  • Being afraid to step outside of the box is a no no. Take time to look at what your influencer is promoting and how you could work together on something exciting and new.
  • Don’t focus too much on your own products and lose sight of why you’re contacting your influencer. Consider instead what your influencer is trying to achieve and how they’re audience will feel excited and engaged by a partnership with your brand.
  • Don’t be too formal. The majority of influencers have a relaxed tone, and so respond to a more personalised and tailored approach. Ask how they are, how their family are. Tell them how much you adored their recent post and why.

Have I missed anything?

The Top 10 Sports Stars on Social Media – and Who You Should Be Following

There’s no doubt that the impact of social media on the sporting industry has been huge, with sponsors clambering to strike a deal with the latest hot property from all sporting professions. The top two football teams on social media, Barcelona and Real Madrid, boast a combined media value of $42.5million alone and command an audience of 286million, as fans from across the globe not only support their heroes from the side lines, but from their laptops too.

But how influential are these sporting heroes? And how do they match up to our favourite pop and movie icons, who dominate Twitter and Instagram? Let’s look at the top ten and what makes them so desirable to the world’s biggest brands…

10) Zlatan Ibrahimović (@ibra_official) – Twitter: 4.44m /Instagram: 24.7m

Hailed as the most successful Swedish footballer ever, Ibrahimović is an infrequent tweeter but when he does decide to share he likes to make an impact. When transferring from Paris Saint Germain to Manchester United (for an eye watering £260,000 a week) the striker shared his news with a simple tweet – amassing 222k retweets, 265k favourites and 11k replies from surprised fans. No wonder it’s well known that he “does what he wants”!

9) Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) Twitter: 9.16m/ Instagram: 21.9m

Barcelona star Suarez is as infamous for his culinary habits off the pitch as he is for his impressive soccer skills, but no matter which way you look at it, the forward from Uruguay is social media gold. Just moments after the shocking biting incident in the 2014 World Cup, social media was abuzz with memes and brands jumping on the news from Snickers, to Listerine. Perhaps Luis’s avid followers can’t wait to see what the star does next?

8) Andres Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) Twitter: 15.9m/Instagram: 17.7m

You may need to use the translator function on Barcelona alumni, Andreas Iniesta’s Twitter account, but that doesn’t stop the Spanish midfielder from becoming one of the most followed sports stars on social media. Recently, Iniesta was left red faced as his social media team accidently shared a post of Blanco’s basketball team star Sergio Llull followed by the hashtag #HalaMadrid. The hashtag commonly used by Barcelona’s footie rivals (Real Madrid) was swiftly deleted – but not before a few screen shots were taking by amused fans!

7) Ronaldinho (@10Ronaldinho) Twitter: 14.6m

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho is just as popular off the pitch as he in on and makes number 7 on our top 10 most influential sports stars on social media. Back in December 2016, football was hit with the tragic news that the plane carrying Brazilian club Chapecoense crashed on its way to the Copa Sudamericana final, killing 71 and injuring 6 others. Fans of the semi-retired star created a campaign with the hashtag #ronaldinhonachape calling for him to play for the side. However, plans to involve the famous footballer were down played by the club who chose to find younger players to rebuild the devastated team.

6) Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) Twitter: 11.8m Instagram: 28.8m

Wales and Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale is a prolific tweeter, often sharing his online support for his fellow team mates. Back in 2016, Bale joined over 150 fellow players in joining a new football related social media network,, a site dedicated to offering exclusive content, interviews and behind the scenes footage to news hungry fans. The company has hired former AOL, Buzzfeed and Google executive, Kate Burns, as executive vice-president – who has said that the first of its kind website has been designed to “attract millennials from across the globe“, a critical audience for advertisers to reach.

5) James Rodriguez (@jamesdrodriguez) Twitter: 12.2m/Instagram: 30.7m

He may be a star on the pitch and on social media, but that didn’t stop James Rodriguez receiving death threats last year, after pulling out of the Columbia squad for their 2018 World Cup qualifying match. An online group of trolls called ‘Legion Holk’ sent the player and his family terrifying messages alongside pictures of guns and other weaponry but thankfully, nothing came of the threats.

4) Lionel Messi (Twitter: Zero /Instagram: 70.7m

He may only post occasionally on Instagram, but that doesn’t stop Lionel Messi from safely sitting in the top 5 most influential sporting stars in the world. Arguably one of the greatest players in the world today, Messi has recently struck up a ‘lifetime’ deal with Adidas which will see him wear the brand on the pitch, until the end of his playing career which no doubt will rocket sales for the popular sporting brand.

3) LeBron James (@kingjames) Twitter: 34.6m/Instagram: 29.9m

The only star on this list that doesn’t play football, basketball hero LeBron James just misses out on the runner up spot. Don’t expect him to be posting much recently however, as James is avoiding social media until he leads his team to a second consecutive NBA title (he hopes!).

2) Neymar (@neymarjr) Twitter: 28.6m/Instagram: 79.3m

Barcelona superstar Neymar is our runner up, with a whopping 73.9m followers. Sharing updates from his personal life and off pitch antics as well as football related updates, Neymar was the one to beat in the social media numbers until a certain Portuguese icon took his place…

1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Cristiano) Twitter: 50.9m/Instagram: 95.6m

Ambassador, model, fashion icon and arguably one of the greatest footballers of his generation, Cristiano Ronaldo has recently added another notch to his designer belt – King of social media. Enjoying a combined online audience of over 200million the three-time FIFA player of the year’s popularity has continued to rise to such an extent that this Portuguese superstar is bringing in the big bucks – all $88 million of them.





Image Credits: Wikimedia, WikimediaFlickr, Flickr, 

A new social media timeline for 2017

As social media continues to grow and become increasingly critical to our day to day lives, the number of niche platforms available for us to express our likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams is at an all-time high. No matter what you need to talk about – be it a new TV programme or a new girlfriend/boyfriend – there is always an app to help you get chatting and connecting. From eBay to Tinder and Instagram to Snapchat, our social platforms continue to adapt and develop the PR and marketing landscape. We all seem addicted to checking for WiFi everywhere we stop, and that compulsive need to be connected to those around us is stronger than ever.

I lecture at universities and at various social media conferences and I was acutely aware that I was often talking off a poorly designed timeline and I felt I could do a better version which included the main channels. So I had one created back a couple of years ago and I called it the top 10 game changers in social media. However, that included a lot of sites such as Friends Reuntied – remember them? So now we are back with a new and improved timeline that includes a few more recent additions. We welcome the inclusion of Vine, YikYak, and Instagram – demonstrating how visual, and easy to use platforms, are the perfect channels for connecting not just friends but brands to almost all demographics.

But all is not well in social right now, many brands have tried to create social platforms have failed such as Apple’s Ping and Google’s many platforms and Twitter is struggling with an identity crisis right now as the millenuals and the next generation move to anonymous a more fun networks.

Here is my timeline for social media.



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The real winners of New York Fashion Week F/W 2016

As New York Fashion Week Fashion Week F/W ’16 draws to a close and the fashion pack hits the streets of London, here at Prohibition HQ we’ve been looking into not only the newest trends on the catwalk, but also the newest trends in the use of social media at one of fashion’s biggest calendar events.

It seems that as well as showcasing their new pieces on the runway to the style elite, brands are also trying to expose their wares to the wider world of social media. Many designers are now perceiving likes, shares, re-grams and re-Tweets as the digital equivalent of attendance at catwalk shows and footfall in their exclusive boutiques.

Creating buzz and aligning their products to significant influencers in the industry are just some of the benefits associated with properly utilising social channels during the most prolific event in the fashion calendar. We’ve investigated some of the brands that have really won at New York Fashion Week in terms of digital.

Tommy Hilfiger

The 31 year old brand has never been shy when it comes to trialling new and innovative ideas regarding social media. With past social initiatives at Fashion Weeks such as the InstaMeet or the Vine 360 Booth being well received, the brand is always looking for ground-breaking ways to allow people to engage with it online.gfklkl;

This season was no exception, with the brand opting to create an InstaPit – a photography pit made up of top bloggers and YouTube stars dedicated solely to taking snaps for their Instagram accounts, and for the guys at Tommy to upload live updates from their show to the official Instagram account @TommyHilfiger giving fans and followers real-time access to the collection.


Believe it or not, one of the real winners of NYFW F/W 16 was the social network itself, Twitter. Along with the hashtag #NYFW, another has emerged to track conversation around the event – #fashionflock.

Twitter’s head of fashion and film partnerships, Rachel Dodes said they wanted to ‘invite many of the top influencers and form an exclusive group’, and that, they did. The group was made up of 50 celebrities, designers and bloggers from Marc Jacobs to Kanye West, all of whom are incredibly influential on the social network.

As well as providing the avid NYFW followers with a list of influencers to follow during the event, Twitter saw its opportunity to take on a sponsorship angle with specialist battery pack brand, Mophie, by giving away a customised juice pack case for the iPhone 6 to all members, which can now be purchased via Twitter’s ‘Buy it Now’ capability – social sponsorship at its best.

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is another designer who challenges the ordinary when it comes to showcasing her wares at high profile events such as New York Fashion Week. Last season, Rebecca herself stated that ‘the current fashion show system isn’t working’ and is trying to change the way it works with a new model for her shows.fgdsgfds

The brand aims to make the runway a ‘fully immersive fashion show experience’ aimed at both influencers and consumers, with the focus on instant gratification that is so popular in the fashion industry. The Minkoff brand partnered with technology giant, GoPro to livestream its show on Friday, granting access to not only the world’s best fashionistas, but to style enthusiasts worldwide.

The guys at Rebecca Minkoff also employed virtual-reality technology consisting of two cameras with three dozen separate lenses filming the show, to create a true virtual-reality experience that will be released in a few months. Come spring, the show will be available to watch through Jaunt’s app on Google Play (for Android phones), on Samsung’s Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and on the Google Cardboard platform for iOS.

Ralph Lauren

Fashion heavyweight Ralph Lauren isn’t one to be left behind when it comes to social media, leading the way with innovative ways to gain awareness of its new collections. The label decided to invite a whole host of celebrities and influential bloggers to its debut its Purple Label men’s and women’s Polo range on Thursday. The collection managed to garner 165 million impressions in the first 24 hours following the event – all thanks to high profile attendees such as Ciara, model du jour Bella Hadid and Tyson Beckford.

Although Lauren has scaled back the efforts from last season, where he decided to live-stream the new collection via recently developed channel, Periscope to the heart of London. The brand hasn’t underestimated the effects of social media, inviting all of the stars to a special breakfast and collection presentation dinner and encouraging them all to share on their own channels, generating buzz and chatter amongst the brand’s younger target demographic.


If you’ve read our recent blog post on how brands are using Snapchat, you’ll know that using the photo and video-based platform has become a recent trend amongst some of the world’s biggest brands. New York Fashion Week is no exception, with stories such as ‘This Is FASHION’ and ‘NY Fashion Week Finale’ sweeping the world, the social network newcomer is committed to delivering the latest images and videos direct from the catwalk, to its followers whose invite didn’t quite extend to the front row!

With brands like Michael Kors, Marchesa and DKNY all showcasing their latest pieces both on the runway and behind the scenes, along with candid shots of models in action, the ‘stories’ are delivered straight to our Snapchat accounts without even having to search for the latest updates.

Who do you think did NYFW best? Let us know your thoughts below!

Five ways Snapchat can benefit brands…

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is one of the relatively new kids on the block when it comes to social media platforms, although this does not mean it is any less popular. The channel sees 100 million daily active users all across the world, meaning that an average 8.8 photos are shared on Snapchat every single second.

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Although it started out as a somewhat obscure digital experiment, it has now captured the attention of countless international brands and rival social media platforms, even attracting interest from social media magnate, Facebook, which reportedly offered to buy the up-and-coming channel for the hefty sum of $3 billion.

Facebook isn’t the only conglomerate to see the perks of Snapchat though; countless brands are now beginning to use the channel to reach a large and varied audience. And it seems to be working, with the majority of its user database being connected, not only to their friends, but also to their favourite brands and corporations. More and more people are beginning to use Snapchat to follow their favourite designers, teams and manufacturers in order to keep up to date on their day to day lives and important updates.


In addition to this, in January 2015, Snapchat launched its ‘Discover’ capability to enablemaxresdefault its users to catch up on the latest news and developments from popular channels such as Sky News and the Mail Online. Snapchat claims it is the ‘result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.’ Basically, it’s a new way of exploring ‘Stories’ from different perspectives and editorial teams all combined into the same channel – a great way of experiencing different viewpoints in a more relaxed and informal way.

How can brands use Snapchat?

There’s a variety of ways that brands can use Snapchat profiles to increase engagement from their target community, in addition to their existing social platforms, in order to achieve general brand awareness and resonance with the company. Some of our favourites are listed below.

  1. Providing access to live events is one of the key ways in which brands are captivating audiences around the world. Making people feel as though they are a part of a major event is a great way of engaging audiences through offering them an insight in a different, more authentic way. Events like the Victoria Secret fashion show, Bastille Day in Paris and NFL games are always popular, and allow the average Joe the opportunity to see what goes on at occasions they’d only be able to dream of attending, causing high volumes of engagement in addition to on and offline buzz.
  1. Delivering ‘private content’ is another way of engaging with audiences and gives them access to special content that they wouldn’t ordinarily receive on other platforms. An excellent example of this is when very highly esteemed fashion designers, like Michael Kors and Burberry, choose to debut their new collections to the world via Snapchat. This allows their audience to feel valued and included in such an exclusive event, making them more likely to engage with the brand – through a variety of channels.
  1. As with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, offers and competitions are a sure fire way of boosting engagement and awareness of a brand. An extremely clever example of this was seen through GrubHub in the US. GrubHub was the first ever brand to successfully execute a Snapchat scavenger hunt – asking their followers to reply with a snap to GrubHub’s new Story, which was posted every day. This campaign was the perfect example of creating two-way communication between the brand and its consumers, allowing it to capture user-generated content, whilst increasing loyalty through an innovative idea.
  1. Another way that brands could use Snapchat to their full potential is by showing them behind the scenes of their company. This type of pared-down content really appeals to the self-confessed nosy parker (which happens to be more of us than you’d think) and causes the audience to want to know more about the brand and what happens behind its’ closed doors. McDonald’s is a brand that uses the behind the scenes element to its advantage, by posting pictures and videos of its adverts being filmed, as well as well-known celebrities.
  2. A simple way of making the most of your presence on Snapchat is to partner with influencers on social media. Just as with YouTube and Instagram, the perks of teaming up with a well-known face are phenomenal, (just like some of the costs!) If you have the budget, working with an influential figure on social can bring endless benefits to your business, providing they are on-brand and convey your key messages appropriately. Some of our favourite top influencers are Jenna Marbles of YouTube fame and Fuck Jerry – the notorious Instagram account, which has turned its influence to the world of Snapchat.

What are your thoughts on using Snapchat as a brand? Do you believe in the benefits, or is it just a passing craze that will fade away in time? We’d love to know what you think!

The top social media stories – October 2014

The month of October is always a busy one, with the colder weather creeping in and social media suddenly overrun with snaps of pumpkins. Now we’ve reached the start of November we thought we would take a look back at the best social media articles of the month and why we love them. From Marketing tips and tricks to “how to make women more dateable” our list has it all.

  1.  How social media turned against women…
    by Catherine Buni & Soraya Chemaly (@ckbuni and @schemaly)

This article on The Atlantic looks at how social media content is reminding woman that “what these people are doing is, reminding woman that, no matter what they are still women. They are forever vulnerable.” Touching on the celebrity photo hacking scandal and harassment over social media, the article has an interesting take on social media content and its effects.

  1. How Facebook is changing the way users consume journalism…
    by Ravi Somaiya (@ravisomaiya)

Facebook has one fifth of the world logging on monthly and drives upwards of 20% of traffic to news sites. Facebook is becoming the go-to news outlet for all news needs, they are leading the change on how people consume journalism. The people at Facebook believe that you are in control of the news you want to read thanks to the friends you connect to, and the pages you like.

  1. 10 ways to creatwomene contagious content for social media…
    by Vinay Koshay on Jeff Bullas

Vinay outlines 10 ways to stand and make an impact on social media and provides reasons as to why people like to share things on their platforms. This post provides step by step tips and in depth advice on how to create contagious, sharable content that your followers will love.

  1. Steve Harvey launches website to help women “become more dateable”

By Jeff Bercovici (@jeffbercovici)

American actor, comedian, TV host and author Steve Harvey says that “women are wired differently” and that even the biggest dating sites in the world aren’t right for them. In this article, he maintains that women don’t just want to date, they want to know there is the possibility of a future. He’s joined forces with those behind social matchmaking sites, OkCupid and Tinder. It’s an interesting take on how people see love and why, and how social media is playing a larger role than ever.

  1. Getting organic engagement on Facebook…
    by Nicole Miller (@nmillerbooks)

In this article, Nicole Miller looks not only at how to generate engagement, but looks at what role Facebook should play in a social media strategy. She also looks at her own experiences and the biggest lessons to be learnt when using Facebook as part of a social media strategy. As well as incorporating her own advice and tips she includes the experiences of others on Twitter, to ensure the article provides a broad insight into the matter.

  1. 12 Essential Elements of a social media strategy…
    by Pam Dyer (@pamdyer)

In this piece, Pam Dyer takes a look at how to start from scratch and incorporate social media into your marketing strategy in order to make it successful. Focusing on how to run social media and how to build it into a successful strategy, the piece gives advice on setting out KPI’s and understanding your audience, along with planning a social media calendar and posting the right content.

  1. How are under 30’s using social media…
    by Jillian Richardson (@jrichardson256)

At number seven, Jillian Richardson looks at how millennials are using social media, whilst breaking down four key insights we need to know. The article crunches stats and info, before moving on to provide insights and analysis. The article is a great read for anyone striving to ensure their social media strategy is as effective as can be.

  1. Social media mistakes most likely to cost you a job…
    by Jacob Davidson (@JakeD)

With job prospects still relatively low and social media use continuing to grow it’s important to look at preventing the mistakes that could cost you your dream job. With 55% of employers saying they have reconsidered a candidate based on what they find on social media (61% of that being a negative double take) it’s essential to put your best foot forward on your social media.

  1. The LinkedIn Effect.
    by Rick Smith (@RickSmithAuthor)

Social media has changed the way we interact in almost every area of our lives. This article provides an interesting take on why social media networks are now essential for success in the job market. Looking at how to make the most of social media and how essential our “weak ties” with people can be for our professional success, it’s a must read for any job seekers.

Have we missed something you think we should have included? Then let us know in the comments.

Top Ten Instagram Tools

Top Ten Tools – Instagram

Instagram is one of the newer social media platforms on the block, when compared to digital veterans like Facebook and Twitter. However, it is rapidly becoming one of the most popular, with the site reaching the 10 million user landmark within 10 weeks of its launch. The photo-sharing site now has more than 150 million active users, with 55 million images being shared around the globe each and every day.

Increasingly, brands are beginning to recognise the benefits of being active on Instagram, and to aid marketers and PRs, there are a growing number of tools available to help ensure that your account is as engaging and appealing as possible. Here’s my roundup of the very best.

  1. Gram Feed

Gram Feed is Prohibition’s personal favourite; an incredibly handy tool providing the only aspect that Instagram’s creators seem to have overlooked, a fully-functioning website. The tool not only makes it much easier to browse your own feed, but also to share friends’ images on other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. The clever part, and undoubtedly the most useful for social marketers, is its’ location visualisation capability. You can identify exactly where an image was posted, and when. If you enter a specific location, you are able to see posts made within a specific distance and the people who’ve posted them – allowing you to identify your target audience and interact with them on a channel where they’re already active.

  1. Iconosquare

Iconosquare, formerly Statigram, is an extremely helpful programme which provides really detailed analytics of your account, demonstrating in-depth statistics such as follower growth, how engaging content is and the most popular types of content. This allows you to better tailor you future content to ensure it is as successful as possible and in turn, creates better results. Another interesting feature is its ability to promote posts across other platforms. For example, if you haven’t yet joined the Instagram hype, you can easily install the app which enables you to share Instagram content onto your Facebook page.

  1. Postso

Postso is an Instagram scheduling tool. If you’re managing an Instagram account on behalf of a client, and want your content to reach the maximum amount of people, you may want to wait to post something until your audience’s peak activity time. This may well be 2am, and in these cases, a scheduling tool is pivotal. It may not offer much else in the way of tricks, but you cannot beat its functionality and helpfulness!

  1. Twtrland

Twtrland may well have started out as an analytics tool for Twitter, but it has now branched out into the Instagram arena too. It is key for conducting online competitor analysis, as well as analysing your own data and audiences. Not only can you examine what kinds of content your competitor is using, but you can also access a competitor’s network – meaning that you can compare follower statistics and how much engagement they get on a standard basis.

  1. Simply Measured

Simply Measured is the ultimate tool when it comes to Instagram analytics. It allows you to analyse your brands not only on Instagram, but also on Facebook, Twitter and even new(ish) kid on the block, Google+. This tool allows you to extract data from your account and even run individual reports which can be downloaded into an Excel format, allowing you to analyse the data you choose more closely. It analyses most of the same statistics as the majority of other tools, but it also includes some more obscure information like your most engaging filter, location and engagement outside of Instagram – i.e Tweets and Facebook likes, comments and shares on your photos.

  1. Piqora

Piqora is a popular tool and it provides an extensive analysis of both Instagram and Pinterest accounts. For Instagram, it allows you to find and track your most popular hashtags and successful images – enabling you to share them on your other social media platforms. It also boasts another useful advantage: monitoring conversation. As all PRs and marketers will know, reliable tools for monitoring brand conversation are hard to come by, and when monitoring key influencers and competitors, with Piqora, you can also track brand images shared by particular users.

  1. SnapWidget

SnapWidget allows you to easily embed a photo gallery into your website or blog, and you can even customise its appearance. You can choose whether to display the gallery based on either a username or a hashtag, depending on what you want to track.

  1. Picdeck

Picdeck is an extremely useful tool that can be used to organise accounts. It is the Instagram equivalent of Tweetdeck, and it aims to organise Instagram in the same way that Tweetdeck organises Twitter feeds. When you log in, the app creates a column of the Instagram feed, and like Tweetdeck, you can set up other columns for individual users or specific hashtags that you want to monitor – be this competitors or key influencers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same functionality as Tweetdeck as of yet, as you can’t create new Instagram posts through the programme, or use it for multiple accounts.

  1. Totems

Totems describes itself as ‘the most complete marketing suite for brands on Instagram’, and is undoubtedly an extremely useful tool for marketers whose clients are active on Instagram. It offers an array of advanced social analytics for Instagram accounts – invaluable for reporting back to clients on progress of social accounts. This tool allows you to analyse your audience, track all campaigns, and monitor your competitors all in one easy and simple to use programme.

10. Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch is a really useful Instagram tool for when you want to try out different stylistic features on your images. It also allows you to combine a number of pictures into one portrait. There are also 32 varieties of layout and nine photo aspect ratios to choose from, enabling you to customise your image to exactly how you want it, and to have the correct format for each specific platform – creating a really premium image. Pic Stitch also allows you to apply artistic finishes to your photos, from rounded corners to shadows, numerous patterns and filters. This aspect is particularly useful when making a client’s product or venue look more appealing, and which can be tailored, depending on its audience.


Are you active on any of the tools above? Which ones do you use or swear by? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!



Top 10 Social Media Disasters

Social Media DisastersBusinesses nowadays are becoming increasingly more consumer savvy and one of the ways to engage with a target market is via social media. However, everyone knows that from time to time people make mistakes, but unfortunately on social media platforms there is no getting away from it. Listed below are some of the biggest social media howlers out there.


Hurricane Sandy
American Apparel, Sears, Urban Outfitters and Gap are just a few to mention in accordance with this blunder, which ranks as one of the biggest social media gaffes of all time. Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season, which resulted in 285 fatalities. The companies named above, questionably decided to utilise this natural disaster to their advantage. The brands offered free shipping to those effected and said they should take advantage if they were ‘bored’ while the hurricane was in full swing.

Kenneth Cole
Everything was going swimmingly as global fashion Kenneth Cole launched its new spring collection. That was, however until the brand headed to Twitter to promote its new clothing range. The company sparked enormous controversy when it tweeted “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online”.

NRA American Rifleman
Timing is everything when it comes to social media and I think it’s fair to say that the American Rifleman well and truly miscalculated the timing of this tweet. The American Rifleman is a journal affiliated with the national rifle association. They tweeted a pro gun statement in the midst of a mass shooting.

Celeb Boutique
The clothing company Celeb Boutique jumped on the social media trending bandwagon as they tried to promote a Kim Kardashian endorsed dress. They alluded to the fact that the trending topic of the mass shootings outside a cinema in America was actually due to an item of clothing. Celeb Boutique later apologised for the tweet and claimed they didn’t know about the disaster at the time.

During the 2012 presidential elections KitchenAid got involved in the political sphere by tweeting Barack Obama directly. Unfortunately the tweet was about his deceased Grandmother. The tweet was by one of the social media team and they later apologised for the incident.

Pigalle Boston
As time progresses, different organisations are becoming increasingly respondent to negative criticism on social media. This is usually resolved by an apology or in some cases a good will gesture. However, that wasn’t the plan of action for Pigalle Boston. When the company received some poor customer feedback via Facebook, the restaurant decided to hurl abuse rather than apologise to the customer. If the use of profanities wasn’t unprofessional then the manner in which they handled the situation definitely was.

T.G.I Friday’s
Another great example of a social media mishap is when T.G.I Friday announced a fake Facebook page. They ensured that when the page had 500,000 followers, free hamburgers would be provided to all its customers. What started as a good promotional activity was soon derailed, as the company deleted the Facebook page and faltered on their promise.

Ketchum PR
Ketchum is among the largest and most geographically diverse agencies in the country, however this didn’t stop a senior member of staff at the agency dropping a real clanger and upsetting a major client thanks to social media.  Senior employee James Andrews tweeted a negative statement about the home town of one of its biggest clients, FedEx in Memphis. Again, like many of the other blunders listed above Mr Andrews was made to apologise and later left the agency.

American Red Cross
In 2011, an American Red Cross employee mistakenly sent a tweet stating how they were ‘getting on the beers’ – hardly something you’d expect to see from a charitable organisation. Whilst there was initial fallout with followers making complaints about the tweet, the situation was rectified by both the company and employee, who diffused the situation with a series of explanatory and light hearted tweets.

Tesco is the UK’s leading private sector organisation so it was no surprise that when the horse meat scandal came to light, there was public uproar. People took to the keyboards to vent their frustration at the huge supermarket chain. The social media team then sparked even further outrage when they tweeted at the end of the night, stating they were going to ‘hit the hay’. Tesco later apologised and claimed they didn’t know about the situation before they tweeted.


Have we missed any of your favourites off? Let us know what your top social media howlers are in the comments section below.


The Prohibition Seven Days of Social

3256859352_cf35412c5f_zFast moving, always adapting and often controversial, social media is an area where many of us have divided opinions. We like to keep our ear to the ground in the social media world, and as the week comes to an end, we’ve put together a few of our favourite pieces of social media content from around the web that you might not have spotted.


  1. “Can we auto correct humanity?”
    by Prince Ea (@PrinceEa)
    By far the biggest hitting and most shared piece of social media content of this week (over three million YouTube views) saw musician and rapper Prince Ea take to the camera in a thought provoking video, assessing how social media and modern technologies are leaving us less connected with our ‘friends’ than ever before.
  1. “ I didn’t actually wake up like this (and other Instagram confessions)
    by Amelia Olson
    We’re dubbed the ‘selfie generation’, but are the self facing snaps just an expression of vanity? In this article, Amelia Olson argues that selfies are not a self-obsessed or narcissistic expression, but that Instagram and other social media platforms that allow us to adjust our appearance through brightening effects and filters only contribute to our appearance insecurities. As does the marketing of makeup brands to encourage the public to look ‘photo/TV ready’.
  1. Fortune’s 55 most influential women on Twitter”
    by Caroline Fairchild (@CFair1)
    Social media is a powerful tool, especially for influencers, and with Twitter being the network of choice for some of the most powerful leaders in government, business and industry throughout the world, maintaining a strong Twitter presence has never been more important. If you’re looking for key female influencers to follow on the network, this is Fortune’s definitive guide to the 55 most influential women on Twitter
  1. “23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media”
    by Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
    Social Media is all about engagement, especially when it comes to managing a community for a brand or business. Sharing interesting and engaging graphics is proven, especially on Facebook, to drive reach and increase your audience. However, the success of a post often depends on the make-up and design of an image. This week, our fourth piece of social media content provides one of the most the definitive guides available when it comes to social media image resources.
  1. Teens are officially over Facebook
    by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey)
    We all know the Facebook story, created in a university dorm room, coming from nowhere to take the social media mantel from MySpace and within ten years, it’s arguably the most renowned business in the world. We all love to forecast the future of the most prevalent social network, and in this article, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey looks into the trend for teenagers to stray from the site, in search of more engaging content, from the likes of (Facebook owned) Instagram.
  1. 5 Ways to Use Metrics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
    by Debra Eckerling (@WriteOnOnline)
    Gone are the days when a brand’s social media absence could be glossed over. In the modern, online age, it’s expected that a reputable brand will possess an engaging online presence. With social media marketing being as important as ever, and most if not all brands now taking on newer and more innovative social accounts, it’s important to keep track of those important metrics that showcase just how effective your presence online is.
  1. YouAreWhatYouLike: Find out what algorithms can tell about you based on your Facebook account.
    by Jennifer Golbeck (@jengolbeck)
    Social media users now number more than 1.4 billion—more than half of the Earth’s Internet-using population. We share a lot of information on social media, but it turns out we are sharing far more than we think. Seemingly innocuous information, when analyzed against tens of thousands of other profiles, can reveal secrets you never intended to share.


Photocredit: CC image from Rosaura Ochoa via flickr.

How to be legally compliant on social media

Yesterday morning. the Prohibition team jointly organised a successful breakfast seminar exploring the important issue of legal compliance in social media.

Held in conjunction with leading Intellectual Property law firm, HGF, the central-Leeds seminar was attended by 50 marketing and legal professionals from across the region.

HGF 1Social media undoubtedly provides brands with fantastic opportunities to promote themselves and powerfully engage directly with their customers and stakeholders, as many well-publicised cases show. However, social media can also be a huge trap for those unaware of the potential legal consequences.

The increasingly blurred boundaries between professional and private social media use can pose challenges for organisations, as employees unwittingly go “off message” in their personal social media networks.

These issues were explored in two short, but lively sessions, from Anthony Gold, Partner at HGF, and Chris Norton, Managing Director of Prohibition, as both talked through the challenges, opportunities and risks for brands seeking to expand their use of social media, whilst also discussing some of the key tools for success in this area.

The event was the latest in a series of seminars from Prohibition, exploring all aspects of social media best-practice. Our next events cover online crisis management, and take place at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Ramside Hall in Durham.