P&O Cruises unfurls social media campaign to share celebration of 175 years of heritage

P&O Cruises celebrates 175 years of heritage today with The Grand Event. For the first time, all seven ships in the P&O Cruises fleet will sail from their home port of Southampton.

To mark The Grand Event, we’ve created two social media applications for the P&O Cruises website and Facebook page to allow fans on ship, on shore, and at home to take part in the celebrations and share their shipboard memories and dreams.

P&O Cruises Postcard Memories’ has been created for the longstanding P&O Cruises community. Fans can upload their cruise ship memories to a dedicated timeline, creating a place to celebrate all that they love about P&O Cruises. Anyone can browse the timeline, filtering the postcards by ship and year.  The timeline runs as far back as each ship’s lifetime.

P&O Cruises Photo Mosaic’ is aimed at a broader audience and invites people to upload a picture of themselves to become part of a large anniversary photo mosaic. This allows people who may not have yet travelled with P&O Cruises to get involved in the celebrations.

We’ve also built a social media dashboard to sit on the dedicated 175th Anniversary website.  The dashboard will pull in all social media mentions of the #GrandEvent – from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in real-time; allowing people to follow from their computer, tablet or mobile.

P&O Cruises head of digital marketing Claire Hazle said, “P&O Cruises has such a fascinating heritage with a truly engaged passenger community. Celebrating 175 years of heritage is as special for them as it is for us. The team at Headstream has created something that really celebrates this community feeling and allows our fans across the world to get involved in the celebrations.”

“Engaging our community through social as well as traditional channels is vital for us. It is a key part of our marketing and customer engagement activity, helping us to increase brand awareness and build valuable relationships with our current and future customers.

The social media activity will peak in line with Tuesday’s Grand Event, but the postcards will become part of P&O Cruises extensive digital archive.

giffgaff: Talking the talk in social

This is the second of our catch ups with #sb100 brands from last year’s ranking.

giffgaff was one of the top 5 brands in last year’s Social Brands 100, and number 1 amongst telecoms brands.  It could be argued, that giffgaff was born social; it’s a fully independent network run in part by its community. Members are rewarded for contributing to customer service, product development and growing the community, receiving rewards in the form of airtime, cash or a charitable donation.

We spoke with CRM Manager Claire Kavanagh, read the full interview on The Wall.

first direct: A bank with social in its DNA

While the research is underway for this year’s ranking, we’ve been catching up with a few brands who ranked last year. First, we spoke to Amanda Brown from first direct. The bank ranked 27th in 2011 and has been nominated again this year along with six other financial services brands.

The full interview is up on The Wall – how do you feel banks are doing in social?

Social Brands 100 Nominees

Nominations have closed and almost 300 brands are on the Social Brands 100 longlist. Almost 20 different sectors are represented, from FMCG to automotive.

That’s a big list of names, so instead of an incredibly long blog post we’ve organised them into a pdf. You can download the list sorted alphabetically by brand and by industry. Our data analytics partner Brandwatch also created this fantastic word cloud of all the nominated names. Click on it to see a bigger version and to play ‘spot the brand’.

So, what happens next?  The complete methodology can be read here, but right now, Brandwatch are assessing each brand’s engagement levels and interactions on Facebook and Twitter using the bespoke algorithm they developed for the research.  Expect a shortlist announcement towards the end of March. Good luck to all the brands nominated!

What to do with the data for ‘Brand Me’?

I really care about databases.  It may not make for great dinner party conversation, but a well-maintained database has always been essential to marketers who want to understand and connect with customers.  Social media has taken this information gathering to a whole other level and I hold all kinds of data on myself now. Millions of us are going about our daily lives collecting data on all kinds of platforms that would make marketers giddy with excitement.

Read the rest of this post on The Wall.

Social brands think small

Excerpt from my latest blog post. Read the full piece on The Wall.

So it’s finally happened; Facebook has filed for ‘the largest technology IPO in Wall Street history’. Everything about Facebook is immense; almost 850 million users and 2.7 billion likes and comments every day. As recently as the summer of 2008, Mark Zuckerberg was celebrating the 100 millionth user, that means 750 million people signed up in 3.5 years alone. Then there’s Twitter, hitting 500 million users any day now, not to mention Linkedin, who reported 135 million members in November 2011.

These numbers are trotted on a regular basis, but they never fail to make my eyes water. Of course, all these platforms have enormous amounts of information to share with marketers so brands aren’t exactly shouting into the wind, but in the race for likes and followers, many still do forget a few basic social principles; be authentic and relevant. That can often mean thinking small.

Social Brands 100 in Review

With the launch of the second Social Brands 100, we’ve compiled some comments and insight on last year’s ranking by representatives from the ranked brands, industry and press.

Nominations are open for this year’s ranking. Let us know what brands you think should be recognised by tweeting @SocialBrands100 with the names of your favourite brands using #sb100.

The ranked brands:

Stuart Handley, Dell: The listening revamp

Claire Kavanagh, giffgaff: giffgaff leading the way: ranked telecommunications Most Social

Jas Dhaliwal, AVG: Top 100 social brands, how we came 15th

Sarah Pettegree, Bray’s Cottage Pork Pies: Say What? We’re What?


The industry:

Anne McCrossan, Visceral Business (and SB100 panellist): The state of the social brand

Ted Hunt, thisishelpful (and SB100 panellist): Social washing

Neville Hobson: 100 brands ranked by social ability to engage

Helen Brain, Mediacom: The top most bestest social brands

John Bell: What makes brands social

Rosemary Bird, Pure Content: Brands embrace social media but not geo-tracking


The Press:


The Wall: Top 100 social brands revealed as Dell, Nike and Starbucks top table

Contagious: Social Brands 100

The Drum: Brands failing to use geo location social media services

Retail Week: How retailers can become more sociable

Third Sector: Child’s i Foundation ranks highly in list of top ‘social brands’


Biz-community: Social Brands 100 launches today

Propmark: Social Brands 100 destaca Twitter como a rede preferida das empresas

Marketing Media Review: Dell, Nike и Starbucks возглавили рейтинг «Топ 100 социальных брендов»