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Live stream revolution: Twitter embeds periscope – what will it mean?

2016 can be seen as the year live video was pushed into the mainstream. Facebook’s monumental roll out of Facebook live is a testament to just how serious tech giants are taking the live stream movement. Cisco estimate that by 2020, 75% of mobile data usage will be video. Twitter and their subsidiary Periscope have been pioneers of the livestream, and they recently announced that the app would become embedded into Twitter itself—a prediction that many have held for a while. But what will this mean for the app and the industry?

Twitter live

Twitter boost

The embedding of periscope directly into Twitter is a boost for the site’s general functionality. It’s no secret that the firm has struggled with its valuation for a while, and a lot of this is due to the inability to attract new younger users. Live stream embedding which can be retweeted like a traditional tweet could help spread interest in the app, and give it a vital dose of innovation.

Opportunities

Opportunities for those who deal with social is huge. Businesses can use this new form of content to provide commercial communications like interesting Q&As with influencers and behind the scenes content for hardly any budget at all. Although it’s been around a while now it’s still a fresh and exciting way to communicate for brands and influencers alike, and while this is unanimously true for all live streaming platforms, twitter live has the vital retweet component, meaning the right content will spread, and spread fast. Twitter is about news and about the now – much more than any other platform – it’s one reason so many PR people use it.

Spontaneous revolution

The overriding reason for excitement in live streaming is due to its spontaneous nature. Any user can pull out their phone and stream all around the world instantly although for our more luxury clients this isn’t how we would do it. This raises great opportunities for small firms looking to use social, but also major issues. For example, a PR disaster could be spawned when something isn’t going quite right and there’s a user on hand to capture it all live. Livestreaming is revolutionising social PR, both for better and for worse, and firms must be ready for it but personally I love it. I mean who didn’t enjoy watching the puddle in Newcastle being live streamed last January.

Examples so far

An exciting snapshot of how Twitter live could function came in the form of the US debates earlier in the year. Live coverage was combined with relevant tweets and it was by all accounts a slick experience – one which could well become the industry standard. Furthermore, they are set to do the same for the Golden Globes. Watch this space in the New Year, where we will expect to see huge increases in usage in Twitter’s new offering, and live streaming as a whole. I will certainly be using it for some of our bigger brands next year.

#HelloNetto – Tasty Pastry Anyone?

As part of our work with Scandinavian supermarket chain, Netto, we were tasked with helping to launch Netto’s new Queen’s Road store in Sheffield – part of the firm’s plan to open 15 stores in 2015.

overviewWe wanted to get locals talking about Netto online, so what better way to do it then by getting potential customers to experience some of the great tasting (and surprisingly good value) produce Netto has to offer.
Our #HelloNetto tasty pastry Twitter take-over did just that. One of Netto’s hero products is the Copenhagener – a delicious almond and poppy seed pastry that is to the Danish what the croissant is to the French. Netto prides itself on its fresh pastries which are only 29-39p each.

selfie stationWe wanted to educate people on these tasty pastries – so for one day only – a week after the new store opened – Sheffield businesses were able to tweet for a treat! Our promo team delivered freshly made Netto pastries to organisations in and around the city in return for a tweet! The branded pastry boxes included a selection of Netto’s fantastically priced pastries along with details of the new store.

Recipients we encouraged to share their team’s thoughts about the pastries with the hashtag #HelloNetto. Throughout the morning, we delivered pastry boxes to more than 60 Sheffield businesses, receiving tweets from the city’s biggest brands and we even received requests for deliveries to Netto’s main competitors such as Asda and Upper Crust.

An in store selfie station complimented the online activity, with customers posing for a #HelloNetto selfie in return for a free pastry.

DixieThe campaign’s hashtag was trending in Sheffield all day with brand mentions and engagement sky rocketing across the board. Netto’s share of voice rose from an average of 1.2% (with Aldi and Lidl) to 21.4% on the day of the campaign. Radio drops offs led to campaign mentions by Capital FM and Heart FM presenters. The stores sales figures were the most successful of all new stores launches this year.

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 Match.com, 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.

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.

Prohibition delivers innovative social media ‘tweet shop’ for national housing organisation Keepmoat

Last month, we were lucky enough to work alongside Keepmoat, one of the national market leaders in sustainable community regeneration and housing, to help them to stand out at key industry trade show, CIH, held at Manchester Central.

Briefed by Keepmoat to make its presence at the conference stand out amongst the crowd, we were tasked with creating something to differentiate their event stand from competitors at the event, and achieve a measure of event amplification which would make the organisation stand out in terms of visibility.

Through taking a strategic approach to social media, we created a blend of exciting stand themes, and event commentary which increased the footprint of Keepmoat’s stand, in turn driving footfall and creating a real buzz around the company’s offering.

The strategy we undertook centred around a ‘Tweet-Shop’ on the Keepmoat stand, which gave CIH visitors the opportunity to pay for multiple food and drink items by simply tweeting. Creating a large presence in the social media sphere, the stunt succeeded in providing online visibility of Keepmoat’s presence at the event, prompting social media users to head to the stand and promote it.

In addition to encouraging guest participation in the tweet shop, we worked throughout the event to provide a live commentary of goings on inside Manchester Central, letting interested followers on Twitter know of keynote speakers and demonstrations taking place at the Keepmoat stand.

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.

The 10 Best April Fools Stunts

Google
Regular pranksters Google certainly did not disappoint this year! Now I could probably write a whole post purely on Google’s April Fools stunts from yesterday, but I’ll cut to the chase:

Google Nose: First up is Google Nose, as its name implies, the service lets you search to find out what your queries smell like. You make think that only an idiot would believe it, but after reading some long technical words, many of us must have pulled our screens a little closer and had a sniff!

Google Maps Treasure Mode: Google created a treasure map mode on Google Maps along with a video announcement telling us that the ‘Google Maps Street View team’ have found a treasure map belonging to an infamous pirate. They said the map contains a variety of encrypted symbols which you are tasked with decoding.

Gmail Blue: This one is said to be a dig at Microsoft’s future Windows 8 revamp, also to be named Blue. Google created an almost two minute long video explaining the new technology that is going into their new Gmail design, only to find out at the end, that they just coloured everything blue!

Google seemed to have a bottom-less budget in their marketing and PR department this year. They also made up pranks with Google+, Australian Google Street View, Google Enterprise and…

…YouTube
YouTube took to their blog and posted a video to tell us that their site was set up merely as a way to find the best online video in the world. The video claimed that they had enough footage to end the competition and close down the page.

Bing
If you happened to be on Bing.com yesterday (which I’m sure you didn’t), you would have got a shock. The site completely changed how it looked if you typed “google” in the rival search engine. It was still regular Bing under the surface but the layout was a copy of Google’s. And just for an extra dig, you could either press the “Search” or the hilarious “I’m Feeling Confused” button instead.

Twitter
Yesterday morning Twitter announced it will no longer allow the use of vowels in tweets. The social networking site said that by eliminating vowels, they are helping tweeters to a “more efficient, and ‘dense’ form of communication.” And if you really can’t live in a world without vowels, Twttr (as it renamed itself) will allow you to tweet A, E, I, O and U for the small fee of $5 a month.

Sony Animalia
Sony had us all laughing with a video telling us they are releasing a new “Animalia” line of products for your tech product-starved pets. Because apparently your hamsters needs a good beat whilst on their exercise wheels and your cat would love some headphones to block humans out!

Virgin Atlantic Glass Bottom Plane
The folks at Virgin Atlantic Airways can never pass up an April Fools. This year they took to Richard Branson’s blog to reveal a glass-bottom airplane supposedly made so we can “appreciate the beauty of the British landscape” whilst flying!

BMW Pram
BMW unveiled a new product yesterday, a pram! Or should I say ‘the limited edition BMW P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile).’  Available in Princess Pink or Royal Blue, the soft-top convertible has been designed especially for the arrival of the new Royal baby.

The Metro
I won’t deny it, this April fool even got me! The Metro published a roundup of stunts from yesterday such as The Sun joking that the Angel of the North will be renamed ‘Cheryl Cole’ and the Guardian trying to fool us that scientist have bred rabbits with human ears. Only when you get to the end do you realise they were all completely made up!

Sacla Italia
Italian food brand Sacla added a touch of tech to its April Fool’s joke with the announcement of its latest product, ‘Twitteroni pasta – Eat what you tweet’. Rather like tinned alphabet spaghetti, Twitteroni pasta is shaped into letters, but also includes hash tags and the @ symbol.

The Huffington Post
The latest addition to the London skyline became the world’s best thrill-ride according to The Huffington Post yesterday when they unveiled ‘The Shlide’ – the helter-skelter style slide around Europe’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard.

 

What was your favourite April fool’s stunt from yesterday? Is there anything I’ve missed?

TWEET FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE WITH LivesOn TWITTER APP:

Communicating with your loved ones from beyond the grave has always been a task left to the mediums and Derek Accoras of our day, but now the creepy séances, flickering candles and moving objects are a thing of the past. As long as the dead had Twitter, they can stay alive via a new Twitter app, LivesOn by favouriting tweets and posting links to topics they once liked. Your loved and lost can truly stay alive through the power of social media, but is this revolutionary or just down right creepy?

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It’s evident that this app will most definitely divide peoples’ opinion on whether it is morally acceptable to keep the dead alive via twitter. However, for some it might be a new and incredible way to keep their lost ones a little closer to them after they have gone. LivesOn acts in a different way to how Dead Social, another post death tweeting service works, by not having you schedule your tweets before you pass away. During your time using Twitter when you are still amongst the living, LivesOn analyses your online Twitter behaviour to then select tweets once you’ve passed and share links with your followers online.

Developed by London based ad agency, Lean Mean Fighting Machine, one of the creative partners, Dave Bedwood spoke out to the Guardian saying, It offends some, and delights others. Imagine if people started to see it as a legitimate but small way to live on. Cryogenics costs a fortune; this is free and I’d bet it will work better than a frozen head.”

As a big Twitter user myself it almost seems palpable that I live on in a world I seem to spend so much time in. Although if I’m truly honest, I’m not really too sure if anyone would even notice my ghost tweets haunting the online social world, with all the social traffic, I’m pretty sure I would go un-noticed. But is this really a way for us to enhance our memories and extend our relationships even when we’re gone, and do we need to keep the relationships going when we’re not around? I personally don’t believe apps like these are adding value to our lives, the memories of who we were, left with the people we love, outside a networking bubble is what truly keeps us alive after we’ve gone.

To me, it does seem quite creepy and a little insensitive to the ones we leave behind, however is this just the evolution of social media? If so, what is to come next, can it get much more invasive, unique or crazy? I am intrigued to find out what lies ahead in the future of social media, it will inevitably get even more extreme in some way shape or form.

With life becoming more digital than ever before, apps such as LivesOn and DeadSocial seem to be the same as leaving letters behind for your loved ones, but just more interactive. As long as you believe your family and friends can deal with the impact of ghost tweeting then I would say go right ahead and truly discover the power of social media.

One question I do have is when does it actually know you have died and could it then re-tweet messages from my funeral as that is very strange and just plain wrong? I think I will leave it for now because it all just feels a bit too insensitive to me and I don’t want to go jinxing myself.

Heard on the Vine about Twitter’s new way of video sharing?

Despite already enabling us to share our pictures from Instagram and our videos from YouTube, Twitter now has a new way to share videos within its tweets. Twitter has shown us how brands can connect with their target audience, by providing an open door to the vast ocean of consumers. Due to the concise nature of Twitter posts, the public give every word they tweet the full consideration that they need to give to produce an accurate response or opinion that they have in mind. The function of the RT (retweet) for the average person can boost promotion of brands; it provides free advertising. Video sharing presents an interesting marketing opportunity.

Step forward – Vine. Vine is the new app behind video sharing on twitter, the essence of which is to display segments of video recordings or footage which have been trimmed down to six seconds (which some may argue is not long enough). When you capture a shot with your smartphone it captures one continuous shot, but with Vine it gives users an interspersed recording, it snatches snippets of the video thus auto-generating a longer piece stitched from these shots. This whole conception came about when Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, tweeted a six second video of himself making Steak Tartare using Vine, the small video-sharing start-up that Twitter acquired in October. Costolo’s tweet is most likely a hint that Twitter plans to integrate Vine in the same way they let users share Instagram photos with their tweets. At this moment in time Vine will only be available for ios users since the service requires them to download it as a free ios app. The Financial Review reports hearing from sources that Twitter will add integration in Australia in the “coming weeks”.

People who have used the app say that it is simple to use, with users only needing to press and hold a record button to start making a clip. When the button is released, the video pauses, enabling a full six-second clip or series of ‘vignettes’ that provide a smash cut effect, and then uploaded videos can be posted on Twitter.

By adding the feature, which allows users to record and distribute videos to millions of people, there is a sense that privacy will be lost by accidental postings, much like we see today with pictures and misdirect messages. I give it a week, if Vine is launched on Twitter, that someone, somewhere will record something that no-one on this earth needed to see or hear.

For brands, it will be possible to show things like: What they intend to sell, how much it will cost, specific functions or features of the item, and when the item will be out in shops. But all in just six-seconds? To be honest I don’t really see a movement from TV  advertising (which offers at least a minute of advertising for brands) or movement from YouTube advertising (which offers at least 15 seconds) of advertising, to six short seconds on Twitter. For brands that can advertise in just a few seconds, for example about a simple product like a bar of chocolate, there is potential to take up this idea and promote and advertise their brands using Vine.

The benefits of video marketing in general include: Less investment needed for video marketing; a branded video doesn’t need an expensive, spectacular studio to impact audiences online; the very essence or message of a video just needs to resonate with audiences. So the components of even a six second video on Twitter could cause it to go viral. These components include; funny, edgy, inspiring, shocking, authentic, visual or something that relates to peoples own personal experiences. Some companies and brands such as Samsung, Jobsite, and eHarmony have found that having a savvy storyboard and integrating into social media (YouTube) offers an abundance of exposure, interactivity and, more importantly, a 6 second video will be much cheaper. Precise targeting, using digital video marketing, gives brands the ability to specifically focus on their target audiences or consumers with ease.

With good content and good access (which Twitter already offers), this may drive a mass of consumers to a brands’ Twitter, Facebook or even its YouTube channel, providing more exposure for the brand. People that like brands’ videos are likely to tag, hastag or even retweet them, again gaining more exposure and increasing the levels of traffic on their social media channels.

Obviously, the goal of video marketing is to get content to catch like wildfire and spread across the globe (like the Gangnam Style video). With Twitter’s new way to share videos there may be a flood of brands using this method that’s cheap, interactive and gains major exposure on social media.

Dom Hofmann, Co-founder and GM of Vine, said:

“They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky and we think that’s part of what makes them so special”. He also claimed that “the two companies share similar values and goals.”

In addition to this, Michael Sippey, Twitter’s Vice President of products, wrote:

“Like tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity.”

I personally would give Vine a try, and am interested to see how consumers will respond to this new way of video sharing because the public, consumer or customer is very honest about a product and will surely express whether they like it or not. Then again it could just be another social flash in the pan that we all get excited about and then it just fades away.

The legal implications of social media.

As PR experts, we know the major benefits that using social media sites can bring and are aware of how to use them properly.

However, some people out there do not know the full ramifications of what they post, despite  the laws being easy to access, such as on the BBC’s website, which clearly explains social media etiquette. With members of the public using these sites as a way to put across a message, it is essential to know that legal proceedings could be brought if you write the wrong thing.

The benefits of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are well known to us in the PR industry. An ability to communicate directly with audiences, an opportunity to gain greater exposure and an ability to broadcast important news means that social media is an invaluable tool for us to use everyday. However, people who use these sites for the wrong reasons may be unaware of the risks that they take.

If a company or person broadcasts something that may be classed as defamatory towards another, under the Defamation Act 1996, then this can lead to libel proceedings. This can be seen with the example of Lord McAlpine, who threatened to sue everyone who tweeted or re-tweeted some of the defamatory posts that were made about him on Twitter. It would be a PR disaster for and libel proceedings to be brought because of posting something on a social media site, and would certainly be damaging to a person/companies reputation. Therefore it  shows how important it is that we know what is acceptable to publish and what is not.

There are several myths surrounding the legal implications surrounding posting on social media, as TaylorWessing has discussed. For example, the fact that posting on these sites acts as a publication means that you may be subject to libel proceedings if what is posted is defamatory. The general public still seem unaware of this, whereas in the PR profession it is well known.

We have previously discussed on our blog the defamation laws surrounding social media sites, and noted how the laws are changing. This makes it ever more important for others to know what we already do about the legal implications of posting defamatory material.

I think it is surprising that there are still so many who are unaware of the risks that they take when publishing potentially defamatory statements. For people and businesses to make the most of social media a good understanding of the laws is essential.

How do you feel about libel and social media? What changes need to be made now everyone is using social media?