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Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tune-up, and round up of social media news from around the globe.
Yahoo to purchase Tumblr for $1.1 billion
As has been rumoured during the past week, Yahoo is set to purchase Tumblr in a deal worth US$1.1 billion, as announced by both parties yesterday. For further details on the deal, and what effect it’s likely to have, check out our full blog post on the subject.
Flickr gets big revamp
Following on from the big news about the Tumblr acquisition, Yahoo has also announced a major revamp of the photo-sharing network Flickr. The three major changes announced provide a completely new look and feel to the platform. These changes include a grid layout with big pictures in full resolution, a newly updated Android app (now the same as the iOS version) and Flickr is now offering every user 1 terabyte of free storage. Users can now easily share photos to their favourite social networks, of course including Tumblr.
Yahoo partner with Twitter to personalise Homepage Newsfeed Yahoo announced late last week that it has partnered with Twitter to bring tweets directly into the Yahoo homepage newsfeed, on both web and mobile. Tweets will now appear directly in the Yahoo news feed and is divided into sections including ‘All Stories’, ‘News’, ‘Local’ and ‘Sports’.
The use of tablets to access social networks has almost doubled from 18% to 35% in the past year.
95% of Australian social media users are on Facebook (down from 97% in 2012).
Google+ usage has grown from 8% in 2012 to 15% in 2013.
67% of social media users use their smartphones to access social media. This is up from 53% in 2012.
65% of online Australians are using social media and 45% of those users access social media daily.
29% of small businesses and 24% of medium business that use social media have no strategy to drive traffic to their social media accounts.
Discounts and giveaways are the key reasons why consumers follow brands however only 28% of small and 33% of medium businesses with social media sites actually offer incentives.
In the last year SME’s in regional Australia have adopted social media faster than in metropolitan areas. The growth in regional Australia has risen from just 10% in 2012 to 35% in 2013.
Aside from the above, the report also reported that Australians access their social media first thing in the morning, and just before going to bed. 37% of Aussie social media users access their networks in the morning (probably from bed!), and 42% do a final check just before going to sleep. It is possible to download the report here.
Exposure to car brand tweets increases brand consideration
Research produced by Twitter into 1800 UK Twitter users has found that those exposed to a tweet by an automotive brand are more likely to visit their website, search for an auto-brand or engage in ‘lower-funnel’ activities, including registering for a test drive and locating a dealership. Dividing the participants into three groups: those who have been exposed to at least one automotive brand tweet and two control groups representing the average Twitter user and average internet user, they found that those in the first group were 74% more likely than the average internet user to visit the website of a car brand, 54% more likely to search for one and almost twice as likely to engage in the lower-funnel activities mentioned above.
The most talked-about brands on Facebook
Socialbakers has produced a list of the top-10 brands on Facebook by the ‘people talking about this’ metric, both in the US and on a global scale. Interestingly, New York-based ‘DealDash’ top both categories, despite a much smaller audience than other pages, suggesting that people enjoy talking about low-priced offers to an extent that even Coca Cola and Walmart cannot replicate.
Social media users attempt to perfect their persona online
Social media users seek validation from others and look to attain this through massaging the truth in their online persona’s, according to research from the Future Foundation. 34% of social media users agree that they hold a “strong desire” for recognition from others, which has led to certain ways of behaving online, including 68% of drinkers admitting to de-tagging themselves from at least one photo. In total, 44% agreed with the statement “I wish I could be more like the person I describe myself as on social media.”
Facebook bringing structured updates to mobile
Facebook’s structured updates, which allow users to share how they are feeling or an activity through a set of pre-ordained emoticons, are being rolled out on mobile. Available to some desktop users since January and more widely rolled out in April, the feature is now accessible via m.facebook.com, though not yet on the platform’s iOS or Android apps. Constructing one of the new status updates will look as follows:
Then, once it’s been posted, you’ll see something like the following:
Twitter strike deals with ESPN and Fox
Twitter is looking to grow its connection with the TV industry through two new deals with ESPN and Fox. The first will see ESPN host highlight clips of major sporting events within its tweets, an opportunity for both rich content and mutually beneficial advertising opportunities; ESPN will sell ads within the clips and have also agreed to purchase a minimum number of ‘Promoted Products’ from Twitter. Fox, meanwhile, are set to feature show previews, recaps and more.
YouTube introduces new functionality to allow purchase of goods
Google last week announced a new ‘channel gadget’ for consumer goods brands. The plan is to allow users to seamlessly move from watching, say, a video about hair straightening, to looking at featured products, browsing retailers and checking prices and availability, then purchasing the product online. Unilever are set to be the first to use the system, for their TRESemmé haircare range.
The new Google+ Google+ has made a number of updates to its service, specifically in stream, related hashtags, hangouts and photos. The updates to stream are intended to create a more visually immersive experience across all devices, with changes including a multi-column layout, larger photos and animated elements, such as the sharebox bouncing and cards flipping or fading.
Related hashtags look to enhance your ability to enter conversations about the topics you love. So, whenever you write a post about, say, your favourite sports team, Google+ will determine what it’s about and tag it accordingly. The system can then identify and rank conversations and allow you to click on the relevant hashtag for more opportunities to browse related content.
Hangouts have been expanded as stand-alone apps on desktop, iOS and Android for sharing not just live video, but also text and photos. Additional features such as a conversation history and notifications synced across devices attempt to produce a more seamless overall experience.
Finally, photos have been upgraded with four different ‘auto’ features. Assuming permission is granted, Google+ will ‘auto-upload’ your images to the network, preventing them from being left on your phone and ensuring that they’re backed up online. ‘Auto highlight’ helps choose the best images in any given album by emphasising or de-emphasising on a number of factors, from the people and landmarks present to the quality of image or fact that it’s a duplicate. For those photos that aren’t as high quality as others, ‘auto enhance’ will fix things like the light and focus. Finally, there’s a feature called ‘auto awesome’, which looks to automatically create exciting content from the photos you upload. Say you upload in a series of similar photos, for example, Google+ will try to create an animation from them. If you post a few different family portraits, the feature will choose their best smiles and compile this into one image.
Pinterest release new brand-friendly pin Pinterest has produced a new type of pin, which allows for additional information to be shared beneath the pin when a user clicks on it, with different variations for food, retail and films. The first will include a recipe list, the second a list of purchase locations and the third additional information such as cast, ratings etc. Whilst these pins will currently only link to an initial list of partner sites, they already include big names such as eBay, Etsy, WalMart and Netflix and the list is certain to continue growing.
Blackberry to launch BBM on iOS and Android
Blackberry is planning to launch the ‘Blackberry Messenger’ (BBM) service on iOS and Android this summer, which will include a “social engagement platform” called ‘BBM Channels’ that is looking to connect users with their favourite brands and celebrities. According to Blackberry, BBM has more than 60 million monthly active users and over 51 million daily, with daily active users spending an average of 1.5 hours a day on the service. Around 10 billion messages are sent via the service each day, suggesting that it will be interesting to see BBM go up against competitors like WhatsApp and WeChat.
Polyvore’s success for indie fashion brands
Fashion social network Polyvore released a mentorship campaign earlier this year, aimed at promoting less well-known designers to a new audience. Judging by their latest results, it seems as though it has been a success. For example, an accessories brand named Meredith Wendell was picked up by Shopbop, a retailer owned by Amazon, with Polyvore continuing to drive 20% of sales. Shoe designer Madison Harding saw overall sales increase by 2,250%, with 70% of traffic through Polyvore. This goes to show the extent to which social engagement can be used to grow indie brands; indeed, Polyvore are planning to make the campaign a yearly affair, with a new set of designers each time.
Facebook bans ‘Social Roulette’
Social Roulette, an application that offers a 1 in 6 chance of deleting a user’s Facebook account, has been banned by the network. The idea of the game is to connect to your Facebook profile and ‘spin the barrel’. 5 out of 6 times this will just post a message on your behalf saying ‘I just played Social Roulette and survived’, but if you’re unlucky (or lucky, depending on how you look at it) the app will delete your entire Facebook presence. Or it would have done. Facebook has removed the application for ‘violating its platform policies’.
We Are Social’s ‘Tweet & Shoot’ campaign with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
We Are Social in Paris has partnered with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to create a ‘Tweet & Shoot’ campaign for BNP Paribas, sponsors of the French Open for the last 40 years. This Thursday, in the build up to Roland Garros, Tsonga will take on tennis balls fired by a machine in a secret location somewhere in France. However, this isn’t just any tennis machine; the campaign is using brand new technology that fires balls based on encoded hashtags from Twitter. Fans can enter a competition in advance to become one of 40 ‘VIP trainers’, who are guaranteed to have a ball fired and receive a ‘Tweet & Shoot’ tennis ball as a memento. Many others will also see their tweets turned into tennis shots through the system explained below:
Oakley, Sunglass Hut and Shaun White’s ‘Gold Rush’
To celebrate the launch of Oakley’s new Shaun White collection, the sunglass manufacturer has produced a Facebook campaign that encourages users to match a Shaun White quotation with one of their own Facebook pictures. The 5 photos judged by the man himself to best summarise the pictures will win a pair of gold-plated sunglasses.
We Are Social launch #beginwithabulmers Our UK colleagues have produced a campaign for Bulmers, encouraging the cider brand’s drinkers to share their experiences of starting off a great experience with a Bulmers, in exchange for a number of rewards throughout the summer. This includes a #beginwithabulmers Facebook app, where fans can share their ‘good times that begin with a bottle of Bulmers’ – We Are Social will also be tracking all mentions of the hashtag across Facebook and Twitter, whose volume will contribute to unlockable milestones and prize giveaways. On top of this, digital outdoor displays will display the best entries in real time across the UK, while XFM will produce a guide to what listeners are doing on Friday evening based on the campaign tweets.
Guardian celebrate 1 million followers on Twitter
UK newspaper The Guardian has reached the 1 million follower milestone on Twitter and is celebrating with a #1msides campaign, playing on the idea that there are ’1 million sides to every story’. The newspaper is looking to find out more about its followers by asking them to tweet a picture of where they are with the relevant hashtag. They also posted a Vine of their journey from ‘The Manchester Guardian’ to today:
The Guardian is light years ahead of their British news rivals on the platform, with even their closest rival, the FT, on 789,000 and no other paper above 300,000. Activities like this are clearly the work of a paper embracing the age of social media.
Discount for tagging on Instagram
The ‘Sweden Calling’ pop up store has offered shoppers a 5% discount for uploading a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #swedencalling, or by checking in on Facebook. The idea displays both the growing importance of Instagram, as well as a nice way for a small business to create a cheap social campaign.
An interesting method of dealing with complaints
‘Amy’s Baking Company’ from Arizona in the US, last week gave an absolute masterclass in how not to deal with complaints online. Having featured on an episode of ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’ in which the chef claimed they were beyond help (see clips from the show here), ABC received a number of complaints on social. They responded in the most vitriolic fashion, including posts like:
Eventually, they released a statement claiming that all of their online presences had been hacked simultaneously, but never fear! They had the FBI on the case.
Their comments, naturally, led to a huge response from trolls, including many coming in from Reddit. The number 1 response to their FBI tweet? This.
Time spent on Google+ far behind Facebook
Google+ users spent an average of 6 minutes 47 seconds on the network during March, a far cry from the 6 hour 44 minute average on rival platform Facebook. Whilst this does represent growth from the 3.3 minutes spent in February 2012, in contrast to Facebook’s dip from 7 hours 9 minutes in March 2012, the rate at which G+ is catching up can be, by these figures at least, dismissed as negligible. Figures reported by Nielsen also revealed 20 million unique US users of the G+ Android and iPhone apps, a 238% increase from March 2012 and 28 million desktop users, up 63% in the same period. However, there is likely to be some crossover between the two groups. In fact, accusations have come in that Google+ is essentially a ‘desolate wasteland’, based on the activity of the top 100 global brands. According to research by Millward Brown, 40% of these posted to Google+ either infrequently or not at all, with seventeen (including Nike and Pepsi) not having posted anything for over a week. McDonald’s, as shown below, have never had a single post.
How much Vines are shared Research has been produced into how much branded Vines are shared to celebrate the app turning 100 days old. They discovered that branded Vines are shared 4x as often as branded online videos and, of the top 100 most shared, 4% of Vines were branded, compared to 1% of online videos. In total, 5 Vines are shared per second; more of these come during the weekend than the rest of the week combined. Time-wise, Vine frequency peaks from 10am-11am Eastern Time.
75% of top US retailers and restaurants are on Foursquare Three quarters of the US top 100 retailers and top 100 restaurants are now on Foursquare, of which a full list can be found here. As for smaller businesses, Foursquare claim that over 1 million businesses have been claimed, but this includes some chain stores; only 17% have ever tried a promotion with the network. Larger businesses are seeing a positive effect from their campaigns; Bloomin’ Brands had 678 users redeem an offer for Outback stores in Richmond, VA, which gave a free appetiser for every second check in. Karen Soots, VP of media services at Bloomin’ Brands, praised the campaign’s effect, saying that if they were to do that nationwide at many restaurants over three weeks, it’s “millions of dollars in incremental revenue”.
Facebook about to spend some more pocket money
After last years acquisition of Instagram, it was widely considered that Facebook’s major acquisition strategy was primarily defensive rather than offensive. Yet this week there are rumours that Facebook are in final stages of talks with mobile-device driving application Waze, in a deal that could be worth as much as US$1 billion. Waze is a crowd-sourced GPS driving app with just shy of 50 million users, and this acquisition sees Facebook taking another step into the mobile world, whilst acquiring a hugely valuable asset in the map space. It is a hugely proactive shift for Facebook, looking to cement their positioning in the mobile market place, after the launch and subsequent fall of Home in the past few weeks. Keep. Your. Eyes. Peeled.
Hamilton Island and Weibo Announce Landmark
In an industry first, Tencent, China’s largest social network with over 800million+ active users has partnered with Australia’s Hamilton Island to broadcast the Great Barrier Reef island to the booming China market.
This week Hamilton Island is launching its official Tencent Weibo channel, kicking off the partnership and commencing its strategic deep engagement with China’s affluent travellers of the future. Working closely with Tencent, and Hamilton Island’s first Chinese ambassador Chao Xian Yang, Hamilton Island plans to build a strong Tencent Weibo community and fan base for Whitsundays’ island.
When should you pin?
A new study by Digitas and Curalate recently shed some light on Pinterest engagement specific to the Fashion/Retail, Automotive and Electronics sectors. For all three markets, the study revealed that, unlike Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest is all about users telling the brand story. In fact, 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users versus brands. See more here
Target launch deals with Facebook
Retailer Target has produced a set of offers, which will automatically generate Facebook posts when claimed, unless the user turns this feature off. Starting with around 700 discount offers and expected to grow to 1,000, the campaign is set to be hosted on a Target website called ‘Cartwheel’. Users can claim a deal at any point, producing a unique barcode that tracks every offer they claim. This barcode is then scanned at checkout. Cartwheel works seamlessly with mobile, meaning that a discount can be claimed at any point in the process, even as you’re walking towards the checkout.
AA’s first class lounge open to those with high Klout scores American Airlines have decided to open their ‘Admirals Club’ lounges free of charge to those with high Klout scores, regardless of whether they’re due to fly with AA. Anyone with a score of over 55 will qualify for a free one-day pass in any one of 40 airports and can take advantage of the benefits including free WiFi and beer. The campaign hopes that these people will then tweet or post to Facebook expressing their gratitude, though this is not a requirement of claiming the offer.
Huggies ‘TweetPee’ This week, in weird app news… introducing ‘TweetPee’, a nappy sensor plus Twitter alert that tells parents when their baby needs changing. The campaign from Brazil also allows parents to keep track of the number of Huggies they’ve used and even order online when they’re running low. The campaign is certainly a fun and innovative one – we wonder how many parents will be hooking their children’s nappies up to Twitter.
Coke zero’s #motherpiece campaign for forgetful children Yesterday marked Mother’s Day in many countries across the world, the day of the year that celebrates children forgetting to get their mum anything. Coke Zero to the rescue! They targeted absent-minded children (particularly boys, for some reason) and asked them to tweet their best excuses with the hashtag #motherpieces, pushing the campaign through a set of promoted tweets. The best entries were then selected to send in a personal photo, with 10 classically-trained painters on hand to create a ‘motherpiece’ of the winner. If they sent in their home address, they’d also receive a framed copy. Mother’s Day salvaged.
A social farewell to Sir Alex Ferguson Last week, the news broke of Sir Alex Ferguson retiring after 27 years in charge of English Premier League football club Manchester United. Twitter was quick to react, with over 1.4 million mentions of the story in the hour following its announcement.
The hashtag #thankyousiralex, used in all of MUFC’s communication surrounding the topic, was mentioned more than 100,000 times in the first hour. The hashtag ended up being one of many trends – the story took up 8 of the trending spots in the UK and 4 worldwide. A number of brands managed to jump on the bandwagon, too; both Nando’s and Premier Inn poked fun at the idea of ‘Fergie time’, the inexplicable period of extra time added whenever Manchester United needed points.
In honour of Sir Alex Ferguson we’re proud to introduce #NandosFergieTime – all our Manchester Nando’s will be open 5 minutes later tonight.
8 out of 10 Australian users connect with brands
According to eMarketer, this year 11.4 million people in Australia - more than half of the population - will be social network users. And that’s not all. According to a December 2012 survey from Latitude Insights and The Social Hatch, 82% of social media users had connected with a brand via a social site.
On Facebook nearly three out of 10 users reported connecting with 11 or more brands.
Half of Australia’s social brands don’t talk to customers A recent survey has shown that of the ASX100 companies, only 50% are using social media to talk to their customers. Telstra, Coca Cola and Woolworths have more than 340,000 Facebook fans each, but at the time of checking, none of the companies had responded to any of the last of 10 posts on their timelines according to The Australian.
Retailers Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi have disabled comments on their Facebook pages.
With Australians being some of the most brand friendly social media users in the world (see above article), not engaging these users in conversation or actively listening and creating a dialogue is not just a missed opportunity, but a misunderstanding of the role of social media in marketing.
Social is a conversation. If you want to talk more about how you can be part of the conversation, then let’s chat.
Facebook report Q1 earnings & increase in monthly active users Facebook has reported its earnings for Q1 2013, announcing revenue of $1.45bn, up 38% from Q1 2012. 85% of total revenue came from advertising, amounting to $1.25bn, up 43% from Q1 2012.
The network simultaneously noted an increase in Monthly Active Users (MAUs). While growth slowed down in markets like the US, Canada and Europe, MAUs were up from 901 million in Q1 2012 to 1.1bn a year later, while Daily Active Users (DAUs) increased from 526 million to 665 million in the same period.
A great deal of this growth was down to mobile. Q1 2013 saw 751 million mobile MAUs compared to 488 million the year before, while there are now 189 million Mobile Only MAUs.
Twitter was valued at $9bn after an offer to staff in January and is set to hit global ad revenue of $1bn by 2014. This, along with the above appointment, has led to speculation by The New York Times that “next big step is to go public on the stock market, and insiders say the current goal is to have an initial public offering in 2014″.
Twitter ads now available to all US users Twitter’s self-serve ads interface, launched in March 2012, is now available to all US users. Previously accessible only by invite, Twitter has used the period to improve on a number of features, from targeting to reporting, and decided to open the self-serve platform to everyone in the US. All you need to do to gain access is visit the page at business.twitter.com and answer a few questions. There has been concern that the increased demand will lead to either a boost in the number of ads appearing in users’ streams, or the price of ads. Russ Laraway, senior director of small- and medium-sized business at Twitter, has stated that “There will be no change in the frequency with which ads show up in timelines”, though it is not clear how price will be affected.
‘Photos of You’ on Instagram Instagram has launched ‘Photos of You’, which essentially allows Facebook-style tagging of people and brands in photos. Previously, users would @-mention one another, as if on Twitter, to perform a similar function. This form of tagging comes with another key feature: it makes a full archive of all photos someone has been tagged in that appear on that user’s profile, assuming they have given permission. To prevent privacy complaints, Instagram has built controls that allow manual selection of which photos are visible to others. The feature looks to foster increased communication between individuals, but may also be beneficial for brands to interact with each other, as well as influencers with high follower counts and normal users.
Twitter updates Vine for iOS Twitter has produced a couple of updates for the Vine iOS app, including the ability to shoot with the front-facing camera and tag others in posts. Where it was previously only possible to shoot with the camera on the back of the phone, the screenshot below displays a small button in the bottom left of the screen that allows switching between cameras. You can also see that @-mentioning is set to work much like on Twitter, Vine’s parent platform.
Path exceeds 10 million users Path, the social network that limits you to 150 friends, has exceeded 10 million users for the first time. After reaching 2 million in Feb 2012 and 3 million in June 2012, the figure sees a large milestone for the platform. They’ve since added a search feature in December and released version 3.0 in March this year, which supported messaging. While the number of registered users is an impressive start for Path, it will be interesting to examine how many active users they manage to retain.
J.C. Penney asks fans to come back on social media Last year, J.C. Penney decided to get rid of sales and coupons, focussing instead on regular, low prices. The move was a disaster and they’ve recently taken to social media in an attempt to remedy it. They took to Twitter with the hashtag #jcplistens, whereby fans were asked which changes should be kept and which reversed. The move is a nice example of a brand using social media honestly, in an attempt to connect with fans. It will be interesting to see if it helps their ailing figures.
Mountain Dew purchases promoted tweets for apology Another example of a big brand mistake was Mountain Dew’s ‘Felicia the Goat’ advert, which was criticised as both racist and misogynistic. Last week, they purchased promoted tweets to expand the reach of their apology, letting users know that they had pulled the advert. It’s an interesting idea: on the one hand, it allows the apology to be seen by as many people as possible. However, it also provides potentially unnecessary promotion to the original issue.
Lowe’s post six-second tips on Vine Lots of brands are using Vine. Some are doing it well, some aren’t. Hardware storeLowe’s has strongly entered the former camp with their latest campaign, using Vine to post six-second home improvement tips. The medium brings to life content that is relevant but not necessarily exciting, while the tips themselves are useful, not an unnecessary experiment with a new medium. As such, the form and content compliment one another perfectly.
Red Bull’s ‘Imaginate’ Pinterest puzzles Red Bull is asking fans to solve Pinterest puzzles based on stunts performed by trials cyclist Danny MacAskill. Six videos will be released, each showing a different trick, which fans must watch in order to solve a puzzle on Pinterest. This involves pinning content in the correct order to create an image of MacAskill. Those who do so correctly will be entered into a draw to win signed photos of the cyclist.
Hugh Jackman answers Wolverine questions To promote the upcoming release of ‘The Wolverine’, in which he plays the title character, Hugh Jackman answered the Twitter questions of 11 fans in a series of YouTube videos. He also tweeted the answers and posted links to the videos from his official @RealHughJackman account. This is the latest in a series of social stunts around the film, including a 6-second ‘Tweaser’ released through Twitter’s Vine app.