Are you thinking about buying a new car? Maybe not right now. But whenever people are looking to buy their first car or replacing their old one, they most certainly will do some research on the web before to find the best deal for their specific needs and budget.
FACIT.COM is Sweden’s first independent guide for everybody who’s looking for a new car. Users can find cars based on a variety of criteria, compare cars, search for dealers or get useful and important advise ahead of their purchase.
The site has integrated the Twingly Blogwatch widget on each car profile. There, users can see what bloggers around the web have said about the specific vehicle. Those interested in buying a car get additional information and experience reports from the blogosphere, and the bloggers can increase their traffic through backlinks on FACIT.COM.
Welcome FACIT.com, we are happy you are with Twingly!
Did you know that even one of the largest ferry operators in the world, Stena Line, is making use of Twingly technology? If not you should definitely read the following inteview with Ronja Gustavsson, Social Web Strategist at the Gothenburg-based company. And if you did, you should read it anyway ; ) Stena Line uses our Blogwatch widget to show blog posts mentioning destinations that are connected to Stena Line’s network of ferry services – like here for example.
Why did you decide to integrate Twingly Blogwatch?
We integrated Twingly Blogwatch into our website in order to create a more transparent presence online, and so that customers have the chance to read other people’s Stena Line travel experiences. We think it is important to highlight our customer’s own stories to show a more nuanced and deeper picture about our products and services.
What importance do blogs have for your business compared to other, more traditional media channels and compared to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter?
Blogs are very much a personal story, and bloggers are big influencers. Stena Line has chosen to work and cooperate with bloggers in the same way as we do with traditional journalists. Blogs help us to gain credibility and to increase the awareness of our products, but they also provide us with constructive feedback that can lead to product development. Through blogs, or other two-way communication (such as Facebook and Twitter) we can secure that what we say and communicate about our products and services is consistent with our customers’ experiences. We can also get a deeper understanding about who our customers are, what they need and how they want to enjoy their journey.
Last year you have done two campaigns where a host of bloggers travelled with Stena Line. Can you tell us a bit more?
We think that there is no better way than to give our customers the opportunity to describe their own journey with us. It gives us and our potential customers a personal story about other traveler’s experiences. We try to have a strategic mindset when working with social media, and any campaign should also be an integrated part of our PR, marketing and sales strategy.
So last year we came up with the idea of a campaign called “The Blogger bus 2011”. We started with asking ourselves the following question: How can we create a credible online campaign involving bloggers? The result of our brainstorming was the idea to fill an entire bus with bloggers and to take them on a trip that they were blogging about. We also partnered with other companies focusing on the same target groups as Stena Line. In order to be part of the journey, bloggers had to participate in a competition, as we decided to look for “Sweden’s best childish fun blogger 2011”. In the end 15 blogging parents and their children got the chance to travel with a bus and ferry to Denmark for four days.
The jury judged the contestants on their blog posts and on how they described their journey from a parent’s and child’s perspective as well as on how children and adults can have fun and play together on their holidays.
We also did a second trip to Germany, but this time we concentrated more on travelers that enjoyed culture, dinning and wine. That hosted activity was named the Guide bus.
What was the main goal of involving bloggers in that way?
Measurements show that the degree of credibility and trustworthiness online is much higher for people we know and even for those we do not know than for companies who we only have business relationship with. Therefore it makes sense for us to be transparent and to let our customers and potential customers tell their own story about how it is to travel with Stena Line.
How will you continue to connect the worlds of blogs and social media with Stena Line in 2012?
We started the year with releasing a social login feature on all our websites in Scandinavia. To avoid customers having to remember yet another password, Stena Line has made it possible to boook trips and review already booked trips through a personal Facebook or Google account. A clear trend within social media is the focus on customer benefits and usefulness, and this is a good example of that. We have a lot of other interesting and exciting projects in the pipeline involving user generated content and social media that we are looking forward to roll out.
The Twingly Blogstream and Blogwatch widget is used by many leading news and e-commerce sites, but that doesn’t mean that other kind of online projects don’t benefit from it. One example are websites of local municipalities, which Twingly enables to highlight and show the discussion about local matters, issues and projects on blogs to visitors and citizens.
The Swedish municipalities Strängnäs, Borås and Tranemo have chosen to put the Blogwatch widget on their site in order to do exactly that. We asked Strängnäs and Borås a couple of questions about their thoughts on connecting their municipality’s website with the blogosphere.
Sofia Lacik works with the communication team at Strängnäs municipality.
Hello Sofia. What’s the story behind the Twingly integration on Strängnäs municipality’s website?
I had used Twingly in the past at another organisation. Then at SSCW I met Twingly CEO Martin Källström and we discussed whether Twingly would be a useful solution for Strängnäs municipality.
How was the feedback when you launched the integration?
When we announced that we would show blog posts about Strängnäs, we only got positive reactions. For us it’s a great way to keep tabs on what’s being written about the municipality, and personally, I feel I’m better informed about topics, opinions and thoughts relevant for Strängnäs that are appearing on blogs.
How much time do you invest into working with social media?
It varies, but usually about 15 hours a week. That includes creating and following up on the strategy and various social media activities, answering questions, replying to comments, publishing news and monitoring the different channels. I also quite often meet with colleagues who need help or support regarding using social media. The communication department spends a couple of more hours a week mainly on monitoring as well as publishing and encouraging other colleagues to try using the social web for their work.
And what’s the next step?
Our goal is to increasingly leverage social media for our work at the municipality, and to make other offices and departments aware of the potential this has for the communication with those interested and those living in and around Strängnäs.
Marie Ingvarsson is the head of marketing and communication at Borås municipality.
Hello Marie. Tell us why Borås benefits from Twingly.
When we launched our social media activities we realized quickly the advantages of Twingly’s tools for our monitoring. Apart from showing the Twingly widget with links to blogs mentioning Borås, we also have used Twingly Live and Liveboard, for example during conferences, to show the latest developments and comments in real time. Of course it also helps that Twingly is a Sweden-based company and that the team has always been helpful and quick to reply to our questions.
Do your social media activities require a lot of time?
That depends. We publish quite a lot on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Bambuser, but then this content has been published through other channels as well, so it doesn’t need to be created from scratch. Our monitoring feeds are updating automatically which makes it easy for us to keep an eye on everything that’s being written about Borås. The setup of the whole work flow and of the accounts has taken a while, and naturally replying to questions and participating in the discussions might require some time – let’s not forget that social media is about communicating and interacting.
Will you integrate Twingly even more on your site? We are thinking about embedding the Twingly Blogstream widget on all of our sites to show incoming links from blogs. Since the content on some of our less regularly updated pages probably isn’t being discussed a lot on blogs, it’s possible that there wouldn’t be a lot of incoming links, so we aren’t sure yet how to do it. In the end, it simply might be a question of being as transparent as possible, which is what we strive for.
What else is on your road-map?
One of the things we are planning to launch are e-petitions, a tool which enables citizens to make suggestions about issues concerning the municipality, to discuss them and to collaborate on them.
Stockholmsmässan is one of the world’s leading and most flexible organisers of meetings and fairs – and a Twingly partner. On any of it’s event-specific websites (e..g Formex), the company has embedded the Twingly Blogwatch widget which links to blog articles discussing the industry or topic relevant for the fair. Petra Rudberg is Digital Media Manager at Stockholmsmässan. We asked her a couple of questions about the importance of social media for public fairs and their upcoming platform relaunch.
Tell us about your experience with the Twingly Blogstream widget so far. What where your toughts when you decided to implement it into your websites?
Twingly offers us the chance to include our fairs visitors’ experience on our website. Fairs center around personal encounters and bloggers are generally good at describing those. We can give you lots of reasons on our site why you should come to one of our events, but many people prefer to hear objective opinions.
How important is feedback from the blogosphere for Stockholmsmässan?
Very important. We are following blogs within every topical sector where we run a fair. There is a lot of conversation surrounding any topic or industry we are covering with our events. Reading what bloggers say gives us inspiration and ideas how to develop and improve our fairs. In fact, bloggers are as important to us as traditional journalists and media, and we regularly invite bloggers to our events, giving them the same attention as we give to other media representatives. Bloggers are welcome to both our events and our press meetings.
Your websites are very appealing from a visual standpoint. Now you are in the process of creating a new concept for all your event-specific sites. Could you explain to our readers what the main goal and improvement will be?
Thanks, we are glad to hear that. The visual aspects have a high priority for us. The main goal with our sites is to give visitors an impression, a hunch what to expect at the event. People coming to one of our sites want to know who the exhibitors and participating organisations are, and what kind of products or services they offer. With the upcoming relaunch, we will put exhibitors into the spotlight. Another measure is to make our sites more interactive. Twingly Blogstream helps us with that, but we also plan to integrate closely with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The ideal situation is that everybody – visitors, exhibitors, journalists and bloggers can have a dialogue via our site.
Today, all your websites seem to be based on a similar template, but still look differently. Will you stick to that approach?
Yes. We run many different fairs with varying needs and context. Some cover physical goods (like Stockholm Furniture Fair), others services or knowledge. All have different requirements, hence we want to make sure they get a web presence which suits their needs and target group. With our new platform there will be even more ways to adjust and customize a specific event website.
In what way will you integrate Twingly into the new concept?
The Twingly widget will have a high visibility as it already has today. We hope we can show you parts of the new design in the beginning of December.
What are for you the most exciting trends within social media?
I’m glad that the initial social media hype has calmed down a bit. It’s not a competition about who has the most followers. The most important benefit is that we can have a conversation with people – like in our case with those interested in our events. I also find the mobile world pretty exciting, and how this brings social media to every aspect of people’s live. At Stockholmsmässan we are currently creating apps for our events. Visiting a fair is a social experience which often leads to a lot of new contacts – exactly like social media.
We frequently write about the Twingly Blogstream service that we offer to our enterprise partners, but there is another slightly different widget solution for partners that we haven’t been highlighting that often: Twingly Blogwatch.
Blogstream is for all sites that want to show incoming blog links. Blogwatch is also a widget that partners embed into their sites, but it’s not necessarily showing links to the partner’s website. Instead, the Blogwatch widget shows blog entries that contain specific search keywords. Those can be combined with links to specific URLs, but the main purpose is to highlight blog posts that mention specific keywords. Site owners can customize the widget and choose to moderate the blog posts mentioned.
Thus, Blogwatch is a perfect tool for sites that deal with a broader topic and that want to show their visitors what the blogosphere is saying about this topic – even if they don’t link to a specific website.
Let’s show you the Blogwatch widget in action:
Stena Line, one of the world’s leading ferry companies, uses Twingly Blogwatch to show blog posts about its destinations (example):
Stockholmsmässan is a leading organiser of meetings and public fairs. They run a host of websites for their different fairs and offer visitors additional context about those fairs with the help of Blogwatch (example):
The Swedish city of Borås has implemented Blogwatch to help citizen understand what relevant topics about Borås are being discussed in the blogosphere (example):
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is transparent about what bloggers are writing about them (example):
Even the Stockholm City Mission has decided to use Blogwatch to support transparency (example):