I have been talking about SEO, or search engine optimisation, quite a lot on Twitter this week.
A few clients have asked for SEO advise and there seems to be more and more reports coming out demonstrating the positive effects Social Media activity is having on search rankings.
Google regularly make changes to their algorithm which dictates the relative position of websites for any given search query. This used to be referred to as the Google Dance, I believe in reference to the waggle dance made by bees returning to the hive after finding a fresh source of pollen.
The Google Dance would occur on a monthly basis and raise much discussion as the industry would debate the impact of the latest changes. The “Dance” has now been depreciated in favour of smaller, but almost daily updates.
Penguin & Panda
Much like software updates they are now made in increments, with major updates occurring only occasionally, and the latest major updates have been given the names Penguin and Panda.
It is with this in mind that innocently sent the following Tweet:
This resulted in an unexpected reply:
It seems that Google and myself aren’t the only ones with an interest in Pandas at the moment!
Chengdu Panda Awareness Week
Ogilvy PR, in London, are currently managing @ChengduPAW on behalf of the City of Chengdu, in China to promote Chengdu Panda Awareness Week. They are using a spot prize mechanic to spread the word about Chengdu Panda Awareness Week, which starts on 2nd July.
At the moment they giving away prizes at random to people that tweet the word ‘panda’ and approaching them with a personalised tweet and photo. They have lots more exciting initiatives coming up for Panda Awareness Week so ensure you follow @ChengduPAW to keep up with the campaign.
Chengdu Panda Base
The city of Chengdu in China has been the traditional home of the giant panda for over 8 million years, and is the location of the Chengdu Panda Base, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of the giant panda.
The Panda Base, founded in 1987 (this year marks its 25th anniversary) with six giant pandas rescued from the wild, is now a leading global centre for panda-related research and breeding. Since 1987, the Panda Base’s carefully controlled breeding programme has increased its local panda population to 108, with the goal to increase this further to between 120 and 150 over the next decade.
Ultimately, the Panda Base’s mission is to reintroduce giant pandas bred in captivity back into their natural habitat to support and boost the world’s wild panda population.
The purpose of Panda Awareness Week is to raise awareness of the work being done to protect and nurture the giant panda, both through Chengdu’s traditional relationship with the panda, and the Chengdu Panda Base.
Panda Awareness Week activities will run from 2nd to 6th July with celebrity wildlife presenter Nigel Marven visiting a range of schools to spread awareness for the plight of the giant Panda and the work being done to protect this marvellous animal.
Good to their word I received my Panda speakers along with a covering letter highlighting further initiatives in the coming week.
All prizes winners that Tweet a photo of their prize to @ChengduPAW and include the #HugaPanda hashtag will be entered in a prize draw for a weekend visit to see the only two pandas resident in the UK at Edinburgh Zoo.
In addition they have something special planned in London on the 4th of July, no other details given, along with celebrity wildlife presenter Nigel Marven visiting a number of schools during the week, 2nd to 6th July, to spread awareness of the plight facing the panda.
This marketing activity is a great example of cross channel promotion being used to spread the campaign virally. It is also interesting that the traditional PR channel is now actively using social media to drive campaign awareness.
I am sure I won’t be the only blogger to write about this and what inspired me to was not the prize but the unique, personal and surprise approach. The effort taken to write my Twitter username on a piece of paper, take the photo and then send the prize by special delivery demonstrates the quality of the campaign.
A well deserved cause, with a great campaign from a marketing company better known for a traditional approach.
Could initiatives like this from Ogilvy mark the acceptance of Social Media into mainstream marketing?