First things first! The we are social team in Sydney would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Here we all are at our Christmas party late last week. The whole day was really great, and even better that the weather was superb as quite a few of us ended up having a swim in the harbour in the afternoon!
Largely driven by social and mobile channels, it will be interesting to see the tactics utilised by brands to optimise and reach their target market via both channels in the next 12 months, and for example how Facebook advertising via desktop and mobile will develop. For Australian’s “omnichannel marketing” was identified as being of most relevance to our market, with the combination of social and mobile data & insights being blended with offline brand campaigns.
Google reveal the most searched for ads & brands in Australia for 2012
It has either driven us crazy or made us laugh, however the Coles “Down Down” TV commercial has also been the most searched for during 2012. Featuring UK band Status Quo the latest version of the “Down Down” campaign had the band playing guitars shaped as the Coles Big Red Hands. Just in case you want to relive the experience click here to watch the extended version of the ad. The results released by Google Australia reveal that Aussies go to YouTube to watch their favourite TV commercials extending brand experience via video and illustrating the importance of YouTube for brands. In addition, Google also released figures for the most searched brands with the top 3 positions held by Gumtree, the CBA and ANZ banks in 2012.
The Networks being used to connect with brands
SocialVibe have produced research into the networks used by Internet Users to connect with Brands, with Facebook unsurprisingly topping the list. What is also interesting is how well Google+ is doing, outperforming both YouTube and Twitter.
The Global Popularity of Social Media
A report by the Pew Research Center has shown the increasing usage of social networking sites all over the world. Key findings show that in countries like Britain, US, Russia, Czech Republic and Spain, around half the population are using social media. Also, in almost every country polled, social media usage was higher amongst under 30s and those with a college degree. This graph shows the percentage of each country’s population using (and not using) social networks around the world:
Coca-Cola and Cricket Australia partner in Summer campaign
Coca-Cola has launched a campaign in partnership with Cricket Australia giving people the opportunity to watch a one day game of cricket from the “Coca-Cola pop-up beach” at the Sydney Cricket Ground this summer, naturally drinking free Coke! Fans will win the opportunity to watch the game from either a splash pool or sitting in a sand pit at the SCG, and they can win a place on the Coca-Cola beach either via the brand’s Facebook page or specially marked bottles of Coke.
Google Maps is back!
Apple fans all celebrated last week when Google released their new Maps App for iOS, quickly taking it to number 1 position on the free Apps list in the Apple App store. Users have been complaining about Apple’s own Maps App since it was launched in September, when it became the default Map App on iOS devices. Chief amongst complaints was accuracy with Victorian Police advising against using the App when people started getting lost en-route to Mildura, ending up in the middle of a national park miles away from their destination. Key inclusions in the new Google Maps are public transport directions, Street View, developer integration with Google Maps SDK for iOS, search capabilities for locations users search for via Maps (e.g. for booking a restaurant) and of course great results for accuracy, perhaps the most important element of all.
YouTube Capture App launched by Google
Just launched by YouTube is a new iOS App called Capture. As soon as the App is opened it starts shooting video and then once finished users can immediately upload the video to their platform of choice, including Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Videos are always shot in horizontal format even if the user is shooting vertically. Currently just available on iOS devices, Google has said it will also be available soon on Android.
Facebook confirm advertising coming to Instagram
It was confirmed last week by Facebook that advertising is definitely coming to Instagram. The term used by Facebook’s VP/Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson was “monetisation” rather than advertising, however the assumption by most is that for Facebook to start earning revenue from Instagram that advertising will be key. Not a massive surprise but the hope will be that ads will not be intrusive or detract from user experience on Instagram.
Facebook set to launch disposable photo sharing app?
Do you choose to accept this Mission Impossible? Facebook is rumoured to be launching an app for sharing self-destructable text and photos, similar to Snapchat, before the end of 2012. The app, which will be standalone, much like Camera and Messenger, allows users to share a photo or message that can only be viewed for a certain amount of time. The vast similarity between this and Snapchat means the battle between the two will be interesting to monitor over the coming months.
Twitter launch Photo filters
Twitter made photo filters available to both iPhone and Android users, as part of last weeks App update. Twitter has partnered with the company Aviary, who power the photo-editing experience for many Apps, including for brands such as Flickr and Walgreens. The key features offered by Twitter are: eight photo filters, single grid view per photo, option to crop and auto-enhance. Rumoured for some time, many hadn’t expected Twitter to launch this new feature quite yet, however following the recent move by Instagram to remove Twitter cards and general integration the release could be regarded as upping the ante and increasing competition overall.
Twitter rolling out option to download Archive
It has been reported by some Twitter users that they are seeing the option to “Request your Archive”. Seemingly Twitter is rolling out this new feature in waves which gives users the opportunity to request a file containing every tweet they’ve ever sent and emailed a link once ready to download. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo first mentioned the feature in September, promising it would be available by the end of the year. The feature also includes a chart showing the user’s monthly Twitter activity since they opened their account and will also be much easier to locate past tweets rather than scrolling through pages of tweets in chronological order.
Twitter improves Promoted Tweets functionality
Having introduced Promoted Tweets back in 2010, a couple of alterations have been made to the feature this week, intending to provide a better service for marketers. Firstly, when intending a Promoted Tweet to appear in a search, it is now possible to select from three different keyword matching options: exact match, phrase match, and basic keyword match. This means that you can prevent your Promoted Tweet about bacon appearing in searches for Kevin Bacon, simply by adding “Kevin” as a negative keyword. Also, Promoted Tweets will now automatically respond to relevant and related trending topics. This means that, say you’re a vendor of baby clothes, you can have Promoted Tweets react to a new trend about a celebrity baby and increase your overall reach.
Pinterest adds Twitter card support
In a timely fashion just after Instagram switched off their Twitter integration, Pinterest have now added Twitter card support. This means that, whenever a pin is posted to Twitter, you can view it without leaving the page. Here’s what it looks like:
Too many updates the biggest risk for brands in social
SocialVibe have also presented research into why and when consumers stop interacting with brands online. The frequency with which these disconnections occur is encouraging for brands: 24% of consumers would never sever a link with a brand, whilst 39% only do so rarely. Only 10% said this is something they always do. As for why, the overwhelming winner (or loser) is when brands post updates too frequently:
Foursquare release new iOS update
Just released by Foursquare is its latest iOS update with new discovery features such as more information about local businesses including hours, ratings and location. The new discovery features are extending Foursquare’s position as an engine for providing key information about locations. In addition once the user checks-in at the specific location Foursquare will provide more information including tips from friends and other users, who else is at the location and details about their own usage, such as the number of weeks in a row they have checked-in at a certain location.
A wealth of new Google+ Features
Google have launched 18 new features for Google+, intending to make “sharing and communicating easier and more fun than ever.” These include new Android features that allow increased mobility, such as on-the-go profile editing and altered posting tools. Photos have also changed, including backups and animated GIF support, whilst there are also new ways to produce and respond to Event invites. Finally, Hangouts are set to be made smoother for those with lower bandwidths, which could be seen as a move to reach out to poorer countries.
Flickr produces iPhone app
Flickr has launched a radically improved iPhone app, including a number of new features. The most intriguing of these are perhaps the Instagram style features, as shown by this rather handsome dog.
The Pope takes to Twitter
The Pope took to Twitter this week, with 8 separate language accounts including @Pontifex tweeting in English. He opened with the following tweet:
This was followed by providing answers to a set of questions asked earlier in the week from Twitter users across the world, absolutely nailing the papal tone of voice.
A very modern Christmas miracle
We end with another Christmas story – Reddit users have saved Christmas for a father of four. He posted on r/offmychest, a board on which users rant about their problems, about various financial problems that were affecting him and his family. As a result, redditors gathered together to raise over $8,000, enough to pay off the father’s various bills and provide Christmas presents for his children to the extent that he is now trying to redirect help towards other needy redditors. A feel good story for us all this Christmas!