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The Queen joins Facebook

Monday, November 8th, 2010

With this weekend’s launch of its Facebook page, the Monarchy has again misunderstood the point of social networking.

Whilst we would not expect to befriend the Queen, become her neighbour in Farmville or virtually “poke” her, it’s reasonable to expect more than staid announcements of visits, promotion of other Monarchy web properties and court circulars.

In fact, the Monarchy has not attempted anything it already does on other web sites, bringing into question why it bothered at all.  It’s a classic example of half-baked social networking – riding the latest craze without a cause.

In the Monarchy’s defence, it has opened itself up to comments from Facebook members.   The membership does not disappoint, with the perhaps predictable mix of:

  • Badly-spelled sycophancy (“It’s good to see,things are changeing…good morning royal family,may god keep you safe allways love john xx“)
  • Expressions of disbelief (“omg the queen“)
  • The race to leave the first comment against a picture (“First comment!“)
  • Calls for a republic (“Would be nice if you asked us before assuming you can be head of state…“)

It will be interesting to see if the Monarchy embraces social networking fully by replying to comments rather than simply deleting them, however much at odds with the organisation.

As for Facebook itself, the Queen becoming a member is either a sign that it has reached a critical mass meaning nobody can afford to ignore it, or it has jumped the shark.  Only time will tell.

Fish.Net is hosting the first of two free masterclasses covering effective web marketing later this month.  If you are based in the Oldham area, please contact us to register your interest.

Competitors exploit airline demise

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The travel industry is extremely competitive, so it’s no surprise that the demise of Kiss Flights has led to other holiday and flight sellers scrambling to pick up affected customers.

A search on Google for “kiss flights” the morning after the airline went bust reveals how quickly travel agents’ marketing teams have reacted to the news – take a look at the sponsored links:

Google results page for Kiss Flights, showing competitors advertising rebooking services

We can see three types of adverts here:

“Rebook your flights with us! (Please!)”

First Choice, Jet2, On The Beach and others all want to sweep up customers left in the wake of Kiss Flight’s demise.  They (just about) stay on the right side of line between identifying the customer’s needs and exploiting the demise of Kiss.

I can’t help think that some of the ad writers had a feeling of glee when they found out their competitor’s closure, but they are at least channelling this in a way which will help affected customers!

“Book with us – you can be assured that your booking is safe”

Thompson, Co-operative Travel, TVL4U and Fleetway assuage customer concern by mentioning ATOL and/or ABTA in their ad creative.

With Kiss being just the latest UK travel industry casualty of the summer (right on the tails of Sun 4 U and Goldtrail), customers will be seeking assurance that the risk to their holidays is low and that their money is protected, should the worst happen.

Confidence in the scores of travellers who rebooked with Kiss after Goldtrail’s collapse will be particularly low.

Membership to schemes such as ATOL and ABTA can help reassure customers,

“We don’t want our reputation to be dragged down with Kiss, so we’d better make it easy for customers to get a refund.”

Lost Cost Holidays resold flights with Kiss, and their response is to look after their affected customers.  By advertising 100% refunds on flights, they’re demonstrating customer care and shielding their brand’s reputation from the fallout of customer complaints about Kiss.

Reacting to Events

Reacting to events is a good way to show that you are aware of and care about your clients’ concerns.

Technology such as email, paid search advertising (PPC – Pay Per Click) and social networking bypass traditional PR techniques and connect you directly with your audience quickly and cheaply.

Fish.Net are experienced in delivering messages in this way – call our Web team on 01457 819600 to find out how we can help you.

Looking back over 2009

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The media’s bleak picture of economic woe belies the positive approach and growth of most of our clients in 2009.  Optimistic yet cautious, companies have turned to Fish.Net to help retain a healthy outlook and further promote their business.  Indeed, Fish.Net has expanded its team to accommodate the additional work in helping companies adapt in these challenging times.

Continue reading to find out more about how Fish.Net has helped clients keep prudent and market through the downturn.


New Year (Screen) Resolutions

Friday, January 8th, 2010

new-years-resolutionAlmost inevitably, this time of year brings Web designers to ask “What is your New Year Resolution?“.

1680 by 1050 pixels” is 2010’s typical answer in the Fish.Net office, referring to the screen resolution set for our monitors.  Hilarity ensues.

As well as giving the opportunity to rehash a really bad pun, the new year is a reminder that there is no universal standard screen resolution or system configuration, and of the challenges this brings to Web site designers and owners.


Get me to the top of Google!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

We are frequently asked by clients to help improve their Web site’s position in the search engines.  Web users  are increasingly shunning other methods of Web navigation such as directories and browser address bars in favour of relying on the likes to Google to send them in the right direction.

The abandonment of the Web address is so prevalent that digital TV channel More4 invites users to “search online for Programme Name” rather than reading out a cumbersome Web address.  A good search engine presence, especially for your company brand, is therefore essential.

In the first in an occasional series of articles about how you can boost your search presence, we take a look at how you should identify pertinent key words for your site.


Beware the World Business Guide!

Friday, July 31st, 2009

wbgOur advice for how to deal with unsolicited email is simple:  simply delete it.  Spam sent by the “World Business Guide” shows why.


The value of knowing your clients

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

I bought a couple of DVD box sets of the sublime Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Amazon a while back to replace some ageing VHS cassettes.  Since then, the etailer has periodically emailed me information about what it considers related products, along with special offers.

Despite my hatred for spam, I don’t mind receiving these emails.  So what is Amazon doing right, and how can smaller companies learn from it?