Category Archives: Uncategorised

Christmas and New Year opening times

We’d like to wish all our clients and colleagues a merry Christmas. It’s been a great year and we’re proud to have worked on so many new projects in 2014. Thank you.

Although the office will be closed, emails to Hans will be checked periodically for urgent website requirements. Otherwise, we’ll return on the 5th January.


8 Steps when collaborating on Social Media

We did a presentation for Family Arts Campaign to their networks about collaborating on Social Media projects recently.  Here are a few of the points we made.

1) Finding partners to work collaborate with.
We’re using the term partners in the widest sense. So start off with the obvious: media partners; client/suppliers, in house team members etc. Then extend the list by searching through people who are already following you. have a number of free reports that include a free analysis of your most influential twitter followers. will do cross over analysis of three different twitter accounts. Tools like these will help you find partners that already have a connection with you.

We also use keyword searches on Facebook and Twitter to identify new partners. Don’t just use followers as an indication of the best potential partners to collaborate with. Look at interaction, what they share, how often, comments and likes.

But also think outside the box. We showed an example of X Factor doing a social media partnership with Domino Pizza’s – ideal for those hungry friends watching Saturday Night TV together.

 2) Use a social media plan when collaborating
If you’re going to be collaborating on a project it’s best to have a social media strategy in place to outline how your collaboration will work.  Social media is responsive, and needs to appear responsive but it’s always worth being organised, especially when partners are involved.

You need to consider what your collaborative partner wants to say on your channel. Does this fit with your organisations values? This should be considered before a partnership begins meaning all parties are clear on messages being put out into the public domain. This could be as simple as devising social media posts for the partner organisation to share, or giving them access to photos and videos you’re using. Alternatively, you could share social media plans so partner organisations know when you plan to post so they can align their posting with you.

3) Using tools to help collaborate on Social Media
The wonderful thing about the internet is that there are some great free tools to facilitate collaboration online. But the fact that many are paid for indicates how serious Social Media Management has become for companies. For simple sharing of to do lists to aide shared campaign planning, Basecamp is our favourite. There’s a free version to get you started. It’s simple to use but has enough facilities to make it useful. For sharing assets such as videos and photos we use DropBox mainly (we have a pro account). Twitter and Facebook have a number of tools built in that we use for working together on a campaign. Our favourite tools are Twitter Lists for organising the most important feeds so we can see at a glance tweets that are most important to us. Twitter Notifications are also essential to get alerts on our mobile to the most precious content we need to be aware of. Hootsuite Pro will allow us to manage multiple Social Media accounts with analytics and team assignment included. There are other tools out there for sharing content creation tasks and we looked at other social media management tools such as Post Planner, Sprout Social, Rignite and Social Oomph which all come at a monthly cost.

4) Create engaging content
If you’re going to be engaging in each other’s content it needs to be credible, interesting and hopefully bring in new audiences for both of you. Your online content needs to be strong if you want other people to share it. Think about what content works well for you, will this work well for a partner organisation also? Can you help create new content for another organisation which will help push up your own organisations followers?

We found a great example of this: A travel blogger asked 30 travel experts; ‘If they had just one day in Paris, What would they do? He was given lots of different ideas which he them complied into one blog post. This created interesting content (which the blogger didn’t have to go to too much trouble to put together). He then has credible content on his blog that is of interest to his audience and new audiences, and those 30 travel experts have a reason to talk about him, promoting him and his blog to their social networks as he’s featured them on his blog.

 5) Choosing channels to collaborate on.
Companies need to be present where their customers spend their time online. Over the last five years, that has become significantly more challenging. There are probably about 10 social media platforms any marketer must know about at any one time and they change constantly. It’s why with our resources in the arts sector, if we can, we want to choose collaborators that complement the channels we’re already using. It might be a partner that already has a good presences on Instagram for example. We not might be in a position to create good enough content ourselves but occasionally might be able to create content that they may wish to push.

6) Share Each other’s Work
A really easy to way to collaborate is to post to your social networks on behalf of another organisation. It is something you should monitor closely, and be sure it’s only content that you think would be of interest to your followers, or in the theme of your organisation. If you can become a trusted online voice, and to be seen not to be shouting just about yourself then audiences will pay more attention to what you’re saying.

 7) Create Events
By collaborating with another organisation you can create movements within social media that wouldn’t necessarily work if done alone. Here are two ideas that your organisation could set up relatively easily.

The first is a Twitter Chat.  Magazines such as Glamour or Cosmo regularly run a Twitter chat, newspapers, radio stations with hashtag #ask….. They then rely on fans to tweet them with comments or questions, which gives them great content for their radio show, magazine/news story but also means they gain a wide reach online.  You can arrange your partners to tweet questions, promote the Twitter chat and talk about the event on their channels. Your chat would reach so much further by asking all your partners to get involved.

The second idea is a Thunderclap. Thunderclap is a website that you sign up to if you have a particular message. It is usually a strong, clear message; for example it could be to drum up support for a cause, campaign or project to raise awareness. You sign up to Thunderclap on the website through your twitter account and tell the site what you want to tweet and when you want to send it. You can then share a Thunderclap link with your friends and followers online inviting them to sign up to tweet with their twitter account. On the time and day that you originally selected, your tweet will go out on your account and every single account that signed up to your Thunderclap, aiming to send a ripple effect across Twitter.

8) Measuring the effects of your collaboration
We liked’s metric crib sheet which included a list of metrics you might want to track on a campaign.

When collaborating, its really useful if all partners share any relevant statistics from previous campaigns that can be used as benchmarks. Then when appropriate, agree some weekly measurements that partners will find useful. Site’s like will gather a number of statistics and email them to you on a daily and weekly basis for you to forward on.

While Facebook already gives great Insights about your followers and posts, Twitter, at the moment does not. However paying a small fee to promote a tweet will unlock their statistic package for you.

Google Analytics include Social Media profiling and URL shortening sites like will help you track how many click throughs you get on your posts.

With the Social Media landscape changing so fast, the online locations where our audiences spend their time is multiplying. Their insatiable appetite for content is increasing and the time they spend online as they wake up, go to bed, commute, have dinner, take a bath is so huge that we can’t possibly fill these demands. With our own often very limited resources, it’s about being smart and collaborating with partners to meet those demands.


Family Arts Festival Mobile App

HdK are having a proud moment this week as not only are you looking at our brand new website, but we’ve also launched our first ever mobile phone app!

We’ve collaborated with the Family Arts Festival to bring you the Family Arts Festival App. Upload or take a family selfie and custom it with the accessories – Mr Potato Head style! We hope you enjoy playing around with the app and if you submit a picture you’ll be in with a chance to win £200 worth of theatre tokens through the Family Arts Festival.

The app is available on Apple and Android so head to your app store, search for ‘Family Arts Festival’ and download the free app – Have fun!

We hope this will be the first app of many!

Digital Marketing and the Arts

At the end of last month Sophie headed out to the yearly TFM&A conference to discover the latest developments in the world of digital marketing. It’s key for us as a company to keep on top of news trends and ideas and find ways of incorporating them into the digital marketing campaigns we work on within the arts sector.

The day made a big change from the usual dance exhibition days I’ve been to before, such as Move It, where pretty ballet costumes and tutus were replaced by stalls selling emailing systems, sales companies and I even spotted a 3-D Printer amongst the crowd.

The biggest pull pf the day for me were the talks given by a variety of industry professionals. Vincent Sider, the VP Social of BBC WorldWide talked about ways to engage your audience; using the example of BBC Television Programme Top Gear. This applies greatly to us in the arts, (not the cars!) as our digital marketing campaigns not only have to create interaction with current arts fans but engage new ones also. He stated that Twitter, for example, is well used to reach a large volume of fans whereas Facebook can reach a lot more targeted audience. Facebook allows us to communicate effectively with arts fans, whereas Twitter allows us to join in more public conversations and reach a wider, more general audience.

Dave Chaffy of Smart Insights questioned what it was we believed would be the biggest trend of digital marketing in the year ahead. He narrowed it down to five points:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Conversion Rate Optimism
  3. Mobile Marketing
  4. Search Marketing
  5. Social Media Marketing.

Each area is of high importance, but Dave highlighted Content Marketing as the most important. Content Marketing is the area that the arts excels in due to having great content in the first place, whether that’s a dance piece, a play or a piece of music. We need to use the content we create, choreograph or write as part of our online content. It is that which our fans want to engage with.

Liz Stanley, an Engagement Marketing Strategist, encouraged us to engage on Social Media with those we work with. In the arts we can take that a step further. Not only can we engage with our organisation to reach a wider audience but we have a whole community within the arts who are interested in your product. See a dance company premiering their new work? Ask them about it, re-tweet reviews on the piece and importantly go and see it and tweet about it! The arts is a small community – we can use that to our advantage to reach a wider audience.

The final speech of the day came from Facebook’s very own Catherine Flynn. She stressed that the world is mobile. 53% of the revenue that comes from Facebook is from mobile. Make sure you digital campaign is mobile friendly – this means a responsive design for your website, allowing the site to be viewed on numerous screen sizes. If you’re placing a link to your site on Twitter or Facebook, there’s a very high chance your audience will be following the link on a mobile. Make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for and in turn this could create a loyal user.

It was great to re-cap my practices during TFM&A and ensure I’m looking at my current campaigns with fresh eyes and TFM&A allowed me to step back, think and do just that.


You can find us over at @hdk_assoc

Dinosaur Zoo Live

A Change of season brings a change of company members

It has been a busy few months here at HdK Associates as we’ve been working hard on various projects and enjoying the sights of summer as it starts to settle in (and hopefully stay around for a while!).  We’ve been busy developing a number of new projects with clients. Recently we’ve launched a microsite for Dinosaur Zoo and the new tour for Peppa Pig. Speaking of Peppa Pig, we’ve also just launched their Facebook App for the Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Live Tour. We’re also helping our friends at Corner Shop PR with the Performance Preparation Academy website and launched a new site for Dance Touring Partnership.

We have also had a few changes to the company, as Catherine left in early May and our new Social Media and Online Arts Marketer is Sophie Hicks. Sophie has just graduated from the University of Surrey with a degree in Dance and Culture and spent a placement year working in the Arts industry as a Marketing and Development Assistant.

Sophie is really interested in audience engagement and interaction online, and has spent the last year researching Developing Arts Audiences though Social Media for her B.A Dissertation. All the exciting Social Media projects we are currently involved in are perfect for what she enjoys! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@Hdk_assoc) to find out what she’s got to say.

A brief guide to EdgeRank

EdgeRank was introduced by Facebook in April 2012 to determine what is shown on your newsfeed and how high.

As Facebook became bigger, and users started to Like more and more pages, it needed to start filtering content on people’s newsfeeds from these various Pages, so you see the most relevant important news to you. This means the more people engage with your content the more it will show as Facebook considers it what you want to see.

So how do you ensure as much of your content as possible is going to be seen by people who have Liked your page? Firstly it is important to understand the basic EdgeRank measures:

Affinity: How closely are you tied to the viewer? How many times have they interacted with your page before?

Weight: Given to the post by actions such as Likes, comments and tags etc.

Time Decay: Value of content lessens as time passes.

Under your posts is displayed the number of people who have seen it. Obviously this grows over the day as it more people engaged with it. It is probably best to check back after a day for  a true reflection of the Reach of the post.

It is really important to keep a check of which posts are doing well and notice any patterns, such as: which people engaging with your videos; are images more popular; are there any times of the day you get more engagement?

You’ll also see a message underneath the post asking you if you want to promote It. At the same time as introducing EdgeRank Facebook introduced this Promoted Posts facility, which effectively means you can pay to increase the Reach of any post, subject to a few restrictions. This was quite controversial at the time, and there are differing accounts as to how effective it is. At HdK we do use promoted posts from time to time and if the client has a fairly significant following, have found utilising the option to target the people who Like Your Page, as opposed to all their friends as well, could be the more effective way to use it. This way you are sure to be reaching people who are interested in your brand or type of company, perhaps reigniting their interest in your page and thus encouraging them to engage more with your posts. (Although this of course will vary from post to post.)

Lastly it is worth pointing out that visual content – strong, striking images – is the most engaged with type of content. This means if you want to attain a good score on EdgeRank and reach your followers, in general short text-status-updates are nowadays pretty unlikely to be seen. There has been lots of blogging and writing about the ‘Power of the Image’ on Facebook especially with the imminent introduction of the new newsfeeds and the emphasis on rich photos. Here is a link to read more.

Further reading we found useful:

What is EdgeRank?

8 ways your content strategy should change with the new Facebook newsfeeds

EdgeRank Checker


Facebook launch Graph Search

Graph Search
Builds on the newsfeed and timeline, which are already part of Facebook accounts, to amalgamate information within the search function which is interesting to you; such as all the photos you have ever liked, or which restaurants your friends have been to nearby.

Personalising results
If 2 people do a google search for ‘apple’ both are going to get (almost) the same results. In their promo video Facebook say that the potential depth of personalisation with Graph Search is much, much greater. New questions can be asked, which are more subtle, nuanced.

Facebook say
‘Facebook used to be about communicating with people you know in the real world, now it is also about finding and connecting with people you should know. This will make the world feel a bit smaller.’

Graph Search is currenty only available currently in the US. but you can go on the waiting list.

Further information can be found here

You can see the official Facebook videos here


Dance Touring Partnership

A new year

We’ve got a number of project’s to look forward to this year with both old and new clients. Look out for new sites for I Was A Rat, Dance Touring Partnership, TAU Trust amongst others. We’re also doing some interesting social media work that we can’t quite announce just yet.

Best wishes to all of you for 2013

Christmas is coming…

As I write, Christmas is only around the corner. Curse my sweet tooth and addiction to chocolate!

We’re really happy to have launched a new website for Salisbury Festival recently and for the D’Oyly Carte/Scottish opera production of Pirates of Penzance amongst others.

We intend to close on Thursday 20th December (with a party in the afternoon) and although emails will be checked at various points over Christmas the office wont be open until 2nd of January with everyone back to their desks as normal on the 7th January.

Emails will be checked and an auto response will have any emergency contact numbers.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!