Facebook takes its fight against fake news to UK newspapers

If you’re partial to acquiring your news in a print format, you may have noticed something a little different about your newspaper this morning. That’s because from yesterday (Monday 8th May) Facebook will be rolling out ads in several of the UK’s top newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph, to give readers tips on spotting fake news.

Facebook has already removed thousands of fake news stories from its site and plans to hire 3000 more employees to review content going forward.

However, this campaign marks Facebook’s first big move towards combating the rapid growth of fake news, after experiencing growing pressure from high profile individuals and organisations, including MPs, to deal with the ever increasing issue.

While fake news certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, propaganda has been a tool used throughout the ages to influence and control, fresh fears have been raised of late about its growing visibility and impact on key geo-political events. After speculation that fake news on Facebook may have interfered with the EU Referendum and likely influenced the US Presidential Election result, there has been an overwhelming outcry for social networking sites to do more. And with the UK General Election only a month away and France’s Presidential race just concluded, Facebook’s latest campaign seems timely.

Some of the tips you might see published in your newspaper include:

  1. Be sceptical of headlines
  2. Look closely at the web address
  3. Investigate the source
  4. Watch for unusual formatting
  5. Consider the images used
  6. Inspect the date the story was published
  7. Check the evidence
  8. Look at other reports
  9. Is the story a joke?
  10. Blatant lies

This latest move by Facebook in the UK follows on from similar campaigns in German and French newspapers and will no doubt extend to other countries across the globe in due course. Will Facebook be able to eradicate propaganda as a result of its endeavours? Certainly not. Will it be able to pacify the powers that be that it is taking reasonable measures to help combat it? Facebook will be hoping so!

Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday, but will brands be celebrating in the future?

Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday, but will brands be celebrating in the future?

Last Thursday marked Facebook’s 12th birthday, and they were kind enough to let us users be a part of it with their ‘Friends Day’ video experience! The special occasion enabled users all around the world to view a personalised video experience at the top of their news feed, which included photos that were marked as ‘special moments’.

The ‘Friends Day’ videos were pre-populated, but users were able to customise and switch the photos being used to create the video, with their customised version being posted on their Timelines shortly after.

Despite a marked decrease in number of under 18s using the platform regularly, there are still many more birthdays to come for Facebook, thanks to the 1 billion users actively using the platform each month, but how many of these are actually brands? Below are just a few examples of how the big boys are using Facebook in its 12th year:


Nike is arguably one of the biggest brands out there and their Facebook page plays a key role in their overall marketing approach. The page is a balance of new products, science and charitable initiatives, but one way they differentiate themselves is using different pages for each of their product lines. From snowboarding to golf, Nike has a page for all interests. Do you?


When marketing a technology product, it can be challenging not to get too ‘techy’ and alienating your audience. Microsoft’s Facebook marketing is a great example of avoiding falling into this trap.

Their latest campaign was based around the hashtag #5to9, which was designed to focus specifically on a user’s time outside of the office. They also subverted typical workplace acronyms like PTO and ETA, converting them into non-workplace phrases, indicating that their products can be used at home, as well as in the office. Microsoft’s use of social media platforms like Facebook, is in marked contrast to Apple whose use of social media marketing is very limited.


As Cadbury’s Dairy Milk approached their 1 millionth like on Facebook, they decided to celebrate with an innovative campaign – the thumbs up! Cadbury’s built a giant thumbs up out of 1 million pieces of chocolate and allowed fans to participate and engage with the campaign through their Facebook page.

Cadbury’s are still devising quirky campaigns on Facebook now, with their festive #cadvent Christmas campaign last year a great success at generating consumer engagement.

With all of these brand giants embracing Facebook marketing, what does this mean for us marketers of smaller businesses?

Facebook is still developing new ideas for brands to showcase their products; their new Carousel ads, first introduced back in 2014, are a key example. Since then, advertisers have seen carousel ad links drive 30-50% greater consumer spend as a result of the social network. This, along with the rapid rise of video on Facebook, all points to the social media giant continuing to play a central role in many marketers’ social media strategies in 2016 and beyond.

What are your thoughts about Facebook marketing for SMEs?

#MarketingTitbits – Innovative Entrepreneurs, British Brands, Facebook Emojis

innovation-british-emojis1. 10 traits of the most innovative entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship fits perfectly with innovation – producing new ideas, providing better solutions and pioneering new products. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t just the hardest working, but the most innovative too.

If entrepreneurs aren’t flexing their innovative muscles, then success and breakthroughs are difficult to achieve. Innovation is becoming more and more important to brands as markets are becoming more demanding. To this end, Entrepreneur have put together 10 ways to be more innovative, to help get you innovating.

If you want to learn how to be more innovative, click here.

2. 32 classically ‘British’ brands that aren’t actually British

British brands are recognised all over the world for their authenticity and quality; however, these days many are now not owned by British firms or individuals. Many think that Harrods is a quintessentially British brand, but previous owner, the enigmatic Egyptian Mohamed Al Fayed sold it to Qatar Holdings, who currently own it.

HP is the most British brand around, and has been for quite some time. It has been the most popular sauce in the Houses of Parliament; nevertheless it is now owned by Americans – purchased by Heinz in 2005.

To see the 32 iconic ‘British’ brands – no longer british-owned, click here.

3. What Facebook’s new emojis mean for marketers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last through years, the chances are you will have used an Emoji or two to compliment a post or message. Finally bowing to pressure to introduce a ‘dislike’ function, Facebook have turned to the Emoji to satisfy a demand amongst Facebook users to convey more than a ‘thumbs up’ in response to a Facebook post. The new feature on the platform will enable users to reply to a post with one of 5 emojis: Love, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.

The new emoticons provide brands with a real opportunity to encourage their users to reply with a feeling or emotion, rather than just a like, comment or share. Facebook are always looking for ways to improve their user’s experience, and this new feature will be ranked as a major update to the platform.

Click here for more information.

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook’s Dislike Button, Marketing Campaigns, Google’s Q2 Report

dislike-lightbulb-google 21. Why Facebook’s ‘dislike’ button will be both a challenge and opportunity for brands

Facebook features such as ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ have been very popular with their users, and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has now confirmed that a ‘dislike’ button is finally joining the Facebook family. However, brands fear that the new feature could easily create brand embarrassment.

CMO at the Post Office, Peter Markey, believes the ‘dislike’ button could overtake the amount of likes for a brand, causing an uncomfortable situation that needs to be managed carefully. In contrast,  Telefonica’s UK head of strategy, Jonathan Earle, believes the new feature will help engage a new audience and will provide valuable information.

If you ‘like’ the sound of the new feature, click here to read more.

2. 5 of the cleverest marketing campaigns in recent times

In the last few years we have seen some of the memorable marketing campaigns from brands but have they stuck in your mind?

Remember the ‘Dress’ that sparked a lot of attention earlier this year? Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t hesitate to seize the social media moment. They posted a photo of two different donuts – one blue and black, the other white and gold – with the caption, “Doesn’t matter if its blue/black or white/gold, they still taste delicious”.

To see these 5 clever marketing campaigns and draw inspiration, click here.

3. Do your search results stack up against Google’s Q2 report?

Earlier this year, Google published very strong Q2 results, leveraging in particular the continued success of YouTube on mobile devices. However, at the same time they reported a significant decrease in average cost-per-click (CPC).

As many industry observers have already highlighted, the average CPCs are gradually decreasing due to new geographies; however, major markets, such as the UK, are seeing an increase of CPCs on desktops. One major UK retailer reported a 30% increase in their CPCs over the last two years, but will this continue?

Click here for more information.

#MarketingTitbits – Twitter, Alzheimer’s, advertising

twitter-alzheimers-advertising-smaller1. Tips to help your business gain more followers on Twitter
 If you’re using Twitter the chances are you will be tweeting content as often as you can – and if you’re not you really should be. With this in mind, you don’t want to be tweeting to an absent audience; no one wants their tweets to get lost somewhere in cyberspace.

But do not fret, there are a few things you can do to help your business gain new followers. Ensuring that you have some personality is a great way to entice people into following you, tweeting Christmas party images and news about the team is a great way to make things a bit more personal! Searching for people in your industry is another great way to find relevant Twitter followers – not only are they more likely to follow you, they’re more likely to retweet and favourite your posts.

To have a look at more tips for helping your business to gain new followers on Twitter, click here.


2. The Facebook campaign that simulated Alzheimer’s disease

 If you’ve ever had anyone close to you suffer the misfortune of Alzheimer’s disease, you might have a better understanding of how terrifying it is to lose your memory of where you’ve been, who you’ve been with or even who the people are around you.

However, it can still be hard to understand what it really is like for those suffering. For that reason Alzheimer Nederland set up a Facebook campaign to give people a taster of what it can be like for Alzheimer’s suffers. They created images of people, who hadn’t even liked their Facebook page, in places where they had never been and tagged them in the images. The image captions read “Confusing right? You’re now experiencing what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s disease” and then prompted the Facebook user to send the app to a friend.

To have a look at the heart-warming campaign, click here.


3. Six trends in advertising you need to know for 2014

Are you ready for the New Year ahead and the trends that have been predicted for advertising? If not, we’ve found a great article that highlights the six key trends that are likely to affect advertising this year, predicted by the Chief Executive of Econsultacy, Ashley Friedlein.

From real time bidding trends, video advertising and mobile advertising, to read the full article, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – email investment, Google search update, Facebook algorithms

email-google-facebook-smaller1. Why is email investment falling despite high returns?
Marketers tend to be fond of email marketing due to the high return on investment (ROI) that it yields, so why is spending in this channel decreasing?

According to a census of 1,000 marketers published by Econsultancy, email marketing is only second to SEO when it comes to delivering ROI, with 22% rating the benefits of email as excellent. But over recent years, the survey has found that other marketing channels, such as mobile, are of greater focus to marketers.

To find out more about the barriers to email marketing and how to overcome them, click here.

2. Google updates mobile search snippets

Last month, Google announced its plans to change the way URLs are presented in search results and started to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking tool to promote optimised experiences for users.

Currently only available in the US, URLs will be updated as a reflection of site names instead of domains, but available worldwide is the breadcrumbs update that structures data to help users navigate a site. Website owners are being advised to ensure that their site name and breadcrumbs are accurately displayed, and can do so by using

For more on Google’s latest updates, click here.

3. Facebook’s algorithm update: what it means for marketers

With the big mobile algorithm updates from Google dominating conversation on the internet, it’s no surprise that the latest change Facebook has made has been overlooked by some.

A blog post from Facebook outlined how the platform will now prioritise content from your friends over brand pages, seemingly in an attempt to widen the use of paid social reaches. Facebook also wants to encourage brands to generate better content for users that they want to see and interact with. If content is liked, more of a brand’s posts will continue to be distributed higher in a particular user’s news feed.

The update is proving for marketers that engaging and relevant content is more important than ever. If you’d like to know more, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – retail technology, reputable brands, royal celebrations

ecommerce-reputablebrands-royal-smaller1. Shoppers using average five connected devices to purchaseWhen purchasing goods both online and in-store, consumers are now on average using five ‘connected’ devices during the process, whether this be browsing, researching, comparing or buying. Devices range from PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and wearables according to DigitasLBi, which examined retailer trends around the world.

The research found that 27% of consumers will hope to find personalised offers online, while 70% believe they would engage with in-store connectivity like GPS or Wi-Fi tracking if the stores offered consumer benefits. But it’s not just devices that are growing in popularity – social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are also seeing increased growth in direct purchasing.

Could 2015 be the year that changes the retail experience fundamentally? To find out more, click here.

2. BMW beats Google and Walt Disney to become world’s most reputable brand

In a recent study carried out by Reputation Institute, BMW topped the list of the world’s most reputable brands, succeeding last year’s joint first place holders, Walt Disney and Google.

The brands were ranked in accordance to their reputations amongst consumers, based on criteria including innovation, governance and citizenship. The top ranking vehicle manufacturer believes its success is down to internet and social media tools, but also face-to-face interaction itself. Other brands joining BMW in the top 100 include Rolex, Apple, Volkswagen, Nestle and IKEA.

To take a look at the list in full, head to The Drum.

3. How brands wished Queen Elizabeth a happy 89th birthday ft Marmite, Beats, Lidl & Tesco

Last week, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 89thbirthday, and brands across the world came out to celebrate as #QueenElizabeth trended on Twitter for the majority of the day.

Sharing their limited edition royal products on social media were Marmite and Pot Noodle, who created animations commemorating the occasion, while other brands, such as Tesco, Lidl and Surfdome showed their humorous sides.

Take a look at how others celebrated the special day by clicking here.


#MarketingTitbits – Facebook video, Mark Zuckerberg, news articles

facebook-markzuckerberg-articles-smaller1. Facebook video use has increased by 75% globally
In March last year, Facebook launched its premium video platform, competing with the might of dominant video rival YouTube. Statistics have recently been released indicating that 75% of smartphone users now watch videos via Facebook from their devices 2-3 times per day. With predictions for the use of video to grow even more, it’s no surprise that the likes of Twitter and other social networks may be planning to join in.

Brands are becoming increasingly aware of the power that video has to offer, with positive reviews from many brands who say metrics improved as a result.

What do you think of the evolution of video? Will you be using it for your business? To see more, click here.

2. Join Mark Zuckerberg on his 2015 reading challenge

Each year, Mark Zuckerberg makes a rather extreme New Year’s resolution, and this year is no different. Previously, he chose resolutions that included vowing to eat only meat from animals he’d killed himself, while another year involved learning to speak Mandarin. After thousands of suggestions as to what his 2015 resolution should be, Zuckerberg has chosen to read a new book every other week and is challenging you to do the same.

The purpose of this challenge is to learn more about the world we live in – about culture, beliefs, technology and history, etc. If you’d like to get involved with the Facebook founder’s year ahead, he’s set up a page named ‘A Year of Books’, which you can like to join in with the discussions.

To read more into the announcement, click here.

3. The Marketing Year – the top 10 news articles

2014 was a year of ups and downs for the retail world, but what was included in Marketing Week’s top 10 articles of the year?

Tesco is one of the brands that will be wishing 2014 a swift goodbye after appearing in the list 3 times, resulting from the accountancy scandal and the ever-lasting discussions surrounding the future of their original building block – the Tesco Clubcard. Others hitting the top 10 include Coke and John Lewis, while brands such as Paddy Power sit with their heads bowed as they faced the wrath of the ASA with controversial ads.

f you’d like see more about the articles, you can do so by clicking here.

#MarketingTitbits – customer reviews, domains, John Lewis

reviews-domains-johnlewis-smaller1. What to do when customer reviews turn ugly?
Customer reviews are typically seen as a positive thing for businesses, generating an additional 40% increase in revenue per year if used effectively. And although 83% of reviews written are positive, what happens if they you get a negative one?

Some firms have been known to go as far as hiring freelancers to write either glowing reviews for themselves, or to actually post fake negative reviews about competitors and their products, hoping that this will bring consumers to their door. However, a good way to avoid this can be to use a verification system that can often deter any fake reviews. It is also common for customers to blackmail businesses with dreadful reviews in an attempt to be given discounts and incentives. So, what if this happens to you?

The main things to remember if reviews turn ugly are to stay calm, avoid over-reacting, put the review in context and remember that the good often outweighs the bad.

If you’d like to read more, click here.

2. 5 points to consider when choosing a domain name for your business

Domains are extremely important in determining the presence that your business has on the web. So what should you keep in mind?

Do you go for keywords or your business name – or both? Do you also purchase a series of similar domain names so that even with as spelling mistakes, consumers are still be directed to you?

To find out what else to consider, click here.

3. John Lewis 2014 Christmas ad smashes record for most shared

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last week or so, you’ll know that John Lewis have released their Christmas ad offering. The clip is set to be the most shared Christmas ad in John Lewis’s history, overtaking previous favourites, such as ’The Bear and the Hare’. In the unlikely event that you have yet to see it, visit Marketing Magazine.

In its first 24 hours, the ad was shared 202,953 times, up 2% on 2013’s edition. People are now starting to believe that launching on a Thursday is the key to success for adverts, due to nearly half of shares taking place between Wednesdays and Fridays.

The campaign, named ‘Monty the Penguin’, has also incorporated in-store experiential marketing with the introduction of ‘Monty’s Den’, allowing customers to buy their own Monty and to see the characters brought to life.

Click here to read more about the campaign’s success.

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook secrets, B&Q, startups

facebook-b&q-startups-smaller-11. Shh… three Facebook marketing secrets
You may have read some of our Facebook advertising news stories over the past few weeks, but this week even more has been revealed. Some of the most experienced Facebook marketers may be surprised to hear about some of the hidden features that they keep behind closed doors.

Now, Facebook can tell you all you need to know about your audience. For example, you can find out whether they’re using desktop or mobile, their age, and whether they’ve graduated or not. However, if you have an American audience of above 1000, then your ‘spying skills’ can gain much more depth, as you’re able to identify income brackets and even the cars they drive (although, this may be bordering on stalker tendencies).

To check out other insights, click here.

2. B&Q’s new £60m responsive website reviewed

What could you buy for £60m? Fifty Bugatti Veyrons? Possibly a chunk of Buckingham Palace? The list could be never-ending, yet did it cross your mind that you could also invest in a new website for yourself or your business? Maybe not, but that’s exactly what B&Q have done. Will their new web design blow you away?

Econsultancy undertakes a comparison between new and old, so you can make your judgements on whether the more contemporary design works for B&Q. They have now followed in many brands footsteps by introducing the ‘click and collect’ feature, although the products available to take advantage of this are unfortunately limited. An important point is has the company already lost customers by removing the option for a guest checkout, resulting in more shoppers ditching their virtual baskets?

To take a look at the review for yourself, click here.

3. 8 of the most first-world startups on the planet

Why are start-ups aimed at the world’s wealthiest people becoming increasingly popular? Well, it seems that 24% of your average app developers make nothing from their creations, so maybe attracting the millionaires of the world is the way to go. However, if you would like to indulge yourself in the high-life rather than create it for others,  these apps could be perfectly suited to you.

The apps consist of the seemingly normal and of course, the weird. For example, Priv is an app that allows users to pay rather steep amounts for professional beauty and wellness services sent straight to them. Whereas Hangover Club was created to send buyers specialised IV drips to cure the after-effects of the night before, for prices ranging from $175 to $250.

If these apps have interested you, then click here to see the remaining six