war room

Social Scanner: Don’t shut down your brand war room

Plus, there's a $6 billion social network without any members

For marketers, tent-pole events like the Oscars, the Olympics and the World Cup are all-day-and-all-night affairs. The “war rooms” brands set up during these attention-grabbing cultural moments are no-sleep zones designed to allow them to listen to consumer chatter, respond and deploy content in real-time.

But the day after the big show, most of these newsroom-style hubs are deflated, sending social marketers back to their desks, far from the execs and lawyers who give them the speedy go-ahead to press “post” during massive events.

What if they never shut down? What if, like the newsrooms of the journalism world, brand newsrooms were a constant fixture in marketing? After all, social media is live 24/7. Shouldn’t brands be too?

Several PR firms have already taken this approach, including Edelman Canada, which gave its creative newsroom offering a full-time physical space in its Toronto office back in January. Media Profile has similarly implemented regular meetings to discuss current events its clients could take advantage of.

While few brands have the budget to keep their newsrooms alive and staffed every day to the extent they do during the Super Bowl, working some form of the newsroom into a brand’s daily practice could have a big payoff.

“Rather than a temporary high-alert system, the war room should be a steady living, breathing extension of all social media marketing efforts,” writes Brand Networks CEO Jamie Tedford in MediaPost. “While the World Cup may only occur every four years, every day has real-time moments that brands can own, as long as they’re on the lookout for them.”

By investing in newsrooms on an ongoing basis, marketers can spot moments that are less pervasive, but have a closer relation to their brand. A bonus? There’s less competition, and you’re more likely to start meaningful, one-to-one conversations with consumers.

Pinterest is making it easier to discover brands

Pinterest had added an upgraded “follow” button designed for businesses and brands. When consumers click on the button, they’ll get a pop-up preview of the most recent pins from a brand, giving them an idea of what it posts. Once they click “follow,” the brand’s posts will automatically show up on their feed. “Helping people find the latest pins from their favorite brands and publishers on Pinterest is an important way for them to discover stuff they like, and we’re hoping [the Follow button] will make that easier,” Jason Costa, project manager at Pinterest, told ClickZ.

The $6 billion social network with no members

It’s a story ripped straight from the script of The Wolf of Wall Street. CYNK, a social network with no members, revenue or assets, surged towards a $6 billion valuation trading as a penny stock. Founded back in 2008 as a “web based social network,” the company has been “in development” for eight years. While plenty of social networks, apps and other startups have dodged questions about sustainable revenue in the past, CYNK makes no qualms about the possibility it will never make any money, stating it can’t guarantee it will “sustain positive cash flow at any time in the future.”

There has to be a Silicon Valley zen koan somewhere in there.

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The Numbers

There has been plenty of debate about the sway of social media over actual purchase decision, and the latest results out of Gallup are grim. The firm found that, in the U.S., consumers reported that social media has very little sway on purchases. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the study.


Consumers who say social media has “no influence at all” on their purchases


Consumers who say social media has “some influence” on their purchases


Consumers who say social media has “a great deal of influence” on their purchases


Millennials who say social media has “some influence” on their purchases, the largest cohort to list social as a purchase driver


Baby boomers who, in comparison, say social media has “some influence” on their purchases

Media Articles

Space streaming The Expanse before broadcast premiere

Bell specialty channel partners with Shazam to offer mobile streaming

More than half of video ads run cross-device (infographic)

Videology report shows cross-device beats 50% benchmark for first time

Rona takes two tablets, embarks on holiday campaign

Retailer partners with Toronto Star Touch and La Presse+ on interactive catalogue

Pattison Onestop partners with CBC for news content

Deal includes office buildings nationwide, transit and residential screens in Edmonton

L’Oréal opens Montreal content studio

In-house facility capable of quickly producing content for social media channels

Sun Life partners with AOL on web series

Two Minutes to Transform features advice from high-profile Canadians

How marketers are driving the innovation of direct mail

Three examples of how creativity is driving the innovation of direct mail

Fido begins an agency search

RFP includes social, digital, TV/video, OOH, retail and communications

Consumers are hungry for restaurant technology (Survey)

Wait times and mobile payments are among the digital capabilities diners want