Here are all of the posts tagged ‘marketing’.
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.
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 appoints Cynthia Gaylor as head of corporate development
Twitter has fuelled rumours of plans for an IPO with the appointment of ex-Morgan Stanley investment banker Cynthia Gaylor, who worked on the public offerings of Facebook, LinkedIn and Zynga. In what was her first ever tweet, she said:
— cynthia gaylor (@cynthiag) May 2, 2013
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.
Where does brands’ Pinterest engagement come from?
According to a study by Digitas and Curalate, 30% of engagement on Pinterest comes from brand accounts. The remaining 70% comes from users pinning content from outside of brands’ Pinterest accounts.
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.
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) April 21, 2013
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) April 24, 2013
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.
This week; strange addictions, a man who’ll paint just about anything and could a goat make it to #1?
The best bits of this week on the web.
BLOGGED: You name it…he’ll paint it.
DAMP: An interactive website about water saving in the UK.
ADDICTED: A very strange infatuation with inflatables.
FRIED: A french fry feast in Korea.
BRAVE: The kitty vs the croc.
TUNED: I knew you were a goat when you walked in.
DUD: Real time marketing sucks.
CURED: How to cure PTHSD ‘Post Traumatic Harlem Shake Disorder’.
WORDSMITH: ‘Friend Zone’ added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Australia first for mobile payments
Mobile money is the next big battleground, with the industry set to generate $A271.9 billion by 2018, up from just $A13 billion in 2013.
With competing products from PayPal and Square already in market in other territories, MasterCard have announced a new digital payment system – MasterPass – set to launch first in Australia by the end of March before expanding to other markets.
MasterPass works with a wide variety of devices, including smartphones, and stores customers’ banking and personal information in the cloud. Shoppers will be able to use MasterPass on the web without having to key in their bank information and delivery address for each purchase, and by waving a smartphone equipped with Near Field Communications technology near a special reader.
So it looks like for the at times woeful eCommerce offering in Australia, there’s MasterPass. For everything else, there’s cash.
The internet’s importance in product purchase decisions
Consumers are more likely to purchase a new product after reading about it on the internet, according to Nielsen research into those with online access. The extent to which this is the case varies by product category; electronics are the highest, with 81% of those surveyed answering that the internet affects their purchasing decisions. Social media plays a large role in this, as 30% stated social channels would influence their decision and 27% took into account content posted on video-sharing channels.
The UK spends more time online than the rest of Europe
The amount of time spent online has increased by 5% throughout Europe to an average of 26.9 hours per person over the month. The UK had the highest overall figure of 37.3 hours, but the most growth was shown by Belgium, whose 22.4 hours showed an increase of 2 hours since this time last year.
Mobile and social leading shift to digital marketing
A shift is being shown from traditional to digital media, with mobile and social leading the way. At the same time as 1 in 3 marketers intend to decrease budgets in print media, 76% are looking to increase their social budgets.
Facebook integrates free calls to iOS app in US & Canada
Whilst users in North America have for some time been able to make free calls over the Internet through Facebook’s messenger app, the network has last week updated its main iOS app to integrate the service. The new app also boasts other changes, including more visible buttons for liking, commenting on or sharing content.
Bugs have been misrepresenting Facebook reach for months
Facebook admitted on Friday that bugs have been leading to erroneously low figures for page reach over the past few months. When updating their mobile apps in August and December, Facebook tried to increase speed by reducing the necessary amount of information sent when displaying news feed stories. However, one thing that was removed ended up being the marker used by Page Insights to measure reach, resulting in reach figures coming out lower than they should have. The bug has been fixed and figures should be back to normal from today. It remains to be seen if this explains the full extent of the decrease in reach we exposed in November.
Facebook update Offers product
Facebook have made a couple of important changes to their ‘Offers’ product. Previously, the only option for users was to click the ‘Get Offer’ button to instantly redeem it, which would in turn automatically generate a story on friends’ news feeds. The first change means that there are now two different options: it is possible either to ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Remind Me’, increasing the flexibility of Facebook offers. Beyond this, users can now choose whether or not to share the story with friends. Combined, these look set to increase the usability of ‘Offers’ and potentially increase the number of users taking advantage of the feature.
Facebook looking to match in-store purchases to advertising
Facebook are to partner with data companies such as Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix to match in-store loyalty card purchases with individual Facebook profiles through their email addresses or phone numbers. The move would, in theory, allow marketers to target Facebook ads to those that have purchased relevant products in the recent past.
Facebook events get cover photos
In place of the thumbnails they had before, cover photos are now available for Facebook events. Unlike pages and profiles, though, this is the only image they will be allowed; events will simply have the large banner at the top, but no profile picture.
Brands increasingly taking to Instagram
Some impressive figures have this week been released about Instagram: 59% of the world’s top brands are now taking advantage of its massive potential audience, which includes 90 million monthly active users, 40 million photos per day and 8,500 likes per second. The extent of brands’ adoption of the network is shown in the graph below:
Sports giant adidas (and We Are Social client) has been highlighted as one of the most successful brands on the network, having managed to double its follower numbers to almost 150,000 under 3 months, averaging over 5,000 comments across 49 quarterly updates.
Twitter launches new ads API
Twitter have officially launched their new ads API, which allows marketers to purchase adverts from within the dashboards they use to manage their social platforms. This will allow brands to run adverts on the network more easily and it will be interesting to see how this affects the number and nature of Twitter ads. One fear is that the number will rapidly increase, a concern that Twitter have quickly looked to waylay, arguing that the changes will simply affect ease for advertisers, not volume. One thing that will be affected, though, is the extent to which ads can be targeted; marketers will now be able to create their own custom audiences.
Twitter testing new way to generate leads
Twitter are testing a new addition to their ‘cards’ functionality; a way for brands to create leads. It will work as shown below in a tweet from Twitter themselves about their small business guide; when clicking on the link, a button appears below saying “get it now” . It will be interesting to see if the system, which is currently still being tested, is rolled out further.
Twitter to add language and importance information to API metadata
Twitter is set to introduce two new features to its existing API metadata. The first allows identification of the language a tweet was sent in, which will be important for translation and filtering. The second allows yet further filtering, this time by importance – or what Twitter considers ‘high value’ tweets. Of the two features, this is set to be the most exciting, especially for brands, who can use the tool to better assess their own performance on the network.
Burger King & Jeep’s Twitter accounts hacked, MTV fake their own hack
This week has been a big one for social media disasters, most notably after thehacking of Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter feeds, as well as MTV ‘fake hacking’ themselves. Obviously, hacks can have hugely negative consequences if left unresolved, but We Are Social’s own Jim Coleman has pointed out some of the positives; notably, they attract a lot of attention. Moreover, they need not be too damaging if dealt with promptly and humorously. Burger King at least did the latter of these fairly well. Although their response could perhaps have been speedier, the lighthearted response, when it did arrive, was amusing and appropriate.
Interesting day here at BURGER KING®, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!
— BurgerKing (@BurgerKing) February 19, 2013
The incidents have sparked debate about Twitter’s treatment of brands, with only one type of account for brands with thousands of followers and individuals with very few. In particular, there have been calls for increased security and the introduction of two-factor authentication. Pinterest valued at $2.5 billion after $200 million funding round As its latest round of funding brought in $200 million, Pinterest has attained a valuation of $2.5 billion. The image-sharing platform has claimed that the money will be invested in product development, international expansion and acquisitions, with CEO Ben Silbermann stating:
Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life. This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.
Social media at the Oscars The Oscars last night were a hotbed for real-time marketing, following on from a similar showing at the Superbowl a few weeks ago. As stars walked down the red carpet, one actress was particularly popular on Twitter; for a time, #JessicaChastain was the second highest trending topic after #Oscars2013. Marketers took advantage of this, with Samsung, American Express, Royal Carribbean, Michaels Stores, Dell and Sprint amongst the many brands who purchased promoted tweets for the topics surrounding said actress. However, it is likely that, rather than being true examples of real-time purchasing, these tweets were purchased beforehand, based on forethought into the types of topics likely to trend. Oreo, heroes of RTM at the Superbowl, attempted a similar tactic again, this time posting four tweets related to relevant films, including one about the night’s fashion with a reference to zombie show ‘The Walking Dead’:
They also used the motion capabilities of twitpics, as can be seen in their James Bond tweet. Interestingly, none of these tweets received quite the same about of interaction as their Superbowl tweet, displaying how real-time marketing depends in large part on being truly reactive, as the blackout tweet was to a greater extent than last night’s.Another brand experimenting during the event was Smart Car, who posted a number of miniature takes on various award winners through Twitter’s Vine app, including the follow for ‘best actor’:
They have since made it clear that they had pre-recorded videos for every possible winner and have been posting the runners up throughout the day. Dulux’s real-time(ish) marketing at the Brit Awards With so much focus on real-time marketing at various big American events, UK brands are looking to get in on the act, too. A lot has been made of the below Dulux tweet, in relation to the Damien Hirst designed award statuette. However, whilst it may be an interesting way of producing topical content around paint, not normally known as the most exciting of products, the real-time element has been largely overblown. In fact, the nature of the statue had been known for months before the awards, meaning that this wasn’t really ‘real-time’ at all. A nice update, yes, but not in fact what has been described as an ‘Oreo moment’.
— Dulux (@duluxuk) February 20, 2013
Ford give away 100 cars to bloggers and influencers
In a ‘social remix’ of their famous 2009 ‘Fiesta Movement’ campaign, Ford are giving away 100 of the vehicles to bloggers and online influencers, including celebrities, in exchange for their documenting the experience. The cars will be entirely free for six months, including petrol, parking and insurance in exchange for using content, which will be used by Ford across their social channels, as well as in traditional media, such as print and television.
YSL launch new ‘Radiance’ range with Facebook app
Yves Saint Laurent are celebrating the launch of their new ‘Radiance’ range with a Facebook app, which allows users to manipulate photos as if by using the new products. Users can upload a photo, which they can then alter by ‘glow’ and ‘vitality’, then share. Users can also download a voucher for a two-week free trial of any two products from the range.
Bulmers and We Are Social launch new flavours through social
Here at We Are Social, we’ve recently produced a campaign to launch two new flavours of Bulmers cider: Bold Black Cherry and Pressed Red Grape. The ‘try it first’ Facebook app will allow fans to enter for the chance to be one of the lucky few who get to try the flavour before everyone else. Key Twitter influencers have also been approached to be amongst the initial group.
Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on dealing with internet trolls.They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne seeks advice on his latest foe, Joker, from his astute cockney butler Alfred.
Mr Wayne (logical, measured, likes to dress up as a bat) is stumped.
“Criminals aren’t complicated,” he tells his trusty manservant, “we just have to figure out what he’s after.”
Let’s pause there. Substitute the word ‘criminals’ for ‘customers’, ‘fans’ or ‘followers’, and you’ve about summed up the way most brands approach community management:
‘Customers aren’t complicated, we just have to figure out what they’re after.’
Most brands have a list of pre-approved responses, an escalation matrix, tone and style guidelines, brand voice guidelines, community guidelines and so on.
They probably have directives to respond to each post or tweet within a set period of time (after all, brands are being judged on how quickly and efficiently they respond to posts), and community managers are tasked with being the arbiters of these directives.
But these directives, these guidelines – these community management ‘principles’ – fail to take into consideration posts that don’t play by the rules.
Picking up where we left him, Bruce Wayne is failing to grasp why someone would commit crimes seemingly without motive.
“With respect, Master Wayne” Alfred tells him, “perhaps this is a man that you don’t fully understand.
“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with.
“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Alfred is of course referring to Joker, but his advice is also true for the arch nemesis of the community manager: the troll.
You can put in place all of the measures and matrices and management you can think of, but there will always be exceptions.
Trolls aren’t looking for customer service – in all likelihood they aren’t customers at all. They aren’t looking for a measured response or a reply within 15 minutes. They aren’t trying to make a point or a serious criticism.
They’re looking for opportunities to create chaos.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a top ten brand or a mom and pop shop, if the trolls see room to ruffle feathers, they’ll have a go.
So if the usual measures don’t work, how then do you deal with a troll?
In The Dark Knight, Joker is ultimately defeated by the people. They refuse to play his game, not giving him the satisfaction.
You can always do the same. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘don’t feed the trolls’, and certainly, that is one way to go.
But comments left unattended look messy and can result in more trolls joining in. And if the troll hasn’t used offensive language, or insulted or threatened anyone, then you really have no room to delete their post or comment.
No, feeding the trolls isn’t the issue. It’s what you feed them that makes the difference, and to understand that, you need to understand the fundamental reason they behave the way they do.
In their own words, they do it “for the lulz”.
So give them what they want. Next time you have a troll, try this; simply reply to whatever they post with ‘lol’.
By ignoring the rules, you’ll both diffuse the troll and let them, and the rest of your community know that you’ve got a personality – that you’re not a machine stocked with automated responses.
Batman had to go to extreme lengths to defeat Joker, building a machine with the power to spy on every citizen of Gotham. But you don’t need to be that rigid, that inflexible. You don’t need to take the hard line.
As Joker would say: “Why so serious?”
So, have a little fun every now and then. Lol the troll.
Marketing magazine recently published an article from me about putting people first. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
A few years ago I attended a screenwriting class taught by a friend at UCLA. The topic that night was television.
After some discussion about the major television networks, a student asked what they generally looked for in a script.
“Well, who are their customers?” my friend asked the class – mostly mature students looking to break into full time writing. Hands shot up, and we all agreed that the viewers, the television audience, were the customer.
“Okay,” he continued, “what is their product, what are they selling?”
“The shows are the product,” a student answered, voicing the consensus.
“Nope,” my friend, a film and television producer, smiled. “Advertisers are the customers.”
“The product is you.”
It makes sense, of course, when you consider the origins of the televised serial narrative – the soap opera – funded by detergent brands in order to promote their wares.
It makes sense, and yet hearing it put like that, well, left a sour taste in the mouth. Something about that model just felt wrong. Obscured. Perverted.
But I’m not here to talk about television.
‘Advertisers are the customers.’
When Facebook went public earlier this year, much like television, people were no longer the customers. Brands were. Users simply became product to sell to advertisers.
When analysts spoke of Facebook’s need to monetise the platform, what they were really saying is that Facebook needs to monetise the users.
Since its IPO earlier in the year, Facebook has been building and testing, deploying and upgrading, optimising and tinkering. Why? To make its ads more effective.
To make users, Facebook’s product, more valuable. Users. You.
But I’m not here to talk about Facebook.
‘The product is you’.
Twitter is battening down the API hatches and locking the doors to its user base in order to more effectively monetise. Tumblr has begun rolling out (thus far relatively un-obtrusive) ad-supported content.
But I’m not here to talk about those platforms, either.
I’m also not here to talk about users, followers, likers, players, gamers, subscribers or customers.
Today I want to talk about people.
Today I want to consider the human.
Humans are an okay bunch. Most keep to themselves. They eat, they sleep, they love and laugh. They live. For a while anyway.
Humans have limited time, which makes them worry. They want ways to make their life easier, less complicated. They want less clutter.
They like new, shiny things. They like information. They like stories. In fact, humans love stories.
Humans buy what we sell. Sometimes because they need it, sometimes because their neighbour has one. If they like it, they’ll tell other humans. Sometimes, those humans will buy one too.
As marketers, humans are very valuable to us. But a single human can be subjected to as many as twenty thousand marketing messages a day.
That’s not very human friendly.
Marketers are human sometimes, but probably not often enough. Instead of finding ways to talk to other humans, to listen, to understand their needs, we spend time and money trying to shout louder than other marketers, and creating new places to put our messages.
How often do you hear a human say, ‘Well golly, those clever souls at Brand X found a devious and downright genius new way to show me ads. It’s amazing – the ad followed me around every other site I visited for days until I just had to buy one of their products. I just had to. It’s brilliant. I’m telling everyone!’
That’s not a speech I’ve ever heard a person give. Marketers… maybe. Perhaps this one is more recognisable:
‘I just read/watched/heard the most amazing/heartwarming/incredible/funny story. Brand X just shared it. It’s really good. I’ll send it to you.’
Humans love stories, not adverts.
When you’re thinking about your marketing plan for next year, when you’re allocating your budget and planning channels; consider the human.
Take some of that budget and hire content producers. Hire storytellers. Start campaigns that put humans first.
2013 is not the year of mobile, or whatever new social network your kids are using. 2013 is the year of the human. 2013 is about finding the right platforms and the right campaigns for the people who want to buy what you sell, and creating stories just for them.
Marketers are human sometimes. Why not think and act that way all the time.
Marketing magazine recently published an article from me on rethinking social strategy. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
In Rocky, a mumbling underdog boxer goes toe-to-toe with a big-talking, well-funded opponent by using unorthodox training methods designed to help him go the distance with the best fighter in the world.
Social media was Rocky a couple of years ago. It allowed the smaller, creative brands to compete with the multi-nationals and their colossal traditional media budgets.
In Rocky II, an injured Rocky has to learn to fight left-handed in order to take on Apollo Creed in a rematch. He adapts to his limitations, evolves, confounding his opponent and ultimately beating him.
Social media was Rocky II about a year ago. Brands who had adapted and evolved quickly were able to gain traction by blindsiding competitors with huge gains in social, ultimately beating bigger, better funded brands in their industry.
Right now, social media is somewhere around the second act of Rocky III.
In that film, a complacent Rocky, a long-time world champion who has learned to rest on his laurels, is soundly battered in the ring by a younger, faster, stronger, tougher, meaner opponent – aptly named ‘Clubber’.
As more brands pour money into Facebook, as the bigger brands get better at social, as your radical approach turns into complacency, you’re now finding it harder and harder to cut through, to grow your followers, to achieve high engagement.
In all likelihood you’re being beaten, and it isn’t pretty. Something has to change.
Back to the film. Shell-shocked, Rocky completely rebuilds himself as a fighter. He starts from scratch, re-thinking his entire strategy, re-learning how to box in a way that will let him compete.
In the rematch, a leaner, fitter, faster Rocky lets his opponent hit him. And then he lets him hit him some more. He lets his opponent concentrate all his energy on hitting him hard for long enough that the bigger, stronger fighter tires himself out.
And then Rocky attacks. He hits Clubber hard when he least expects it, and beats him convincingly.
Let them concentrate on Facebook. Let them take it, they can have it. When they’re not looking, hit them from different angles, from different platforms. Hit them hard.
You need a Facebook page like you need a .com, but Facebook is not a social strategy.
There are over five million brands on Facebook, and counting. You can’t win at Facebook. But you can still win at social.
The 2012 Presidential Election is an excellent example. Barack Obama didn’t win by going after the big majority where he would have probably lost, he won by gaining huge percentages among minority groups – Mitt Romney largely ignored or insulted these groups, he didn’t think he needed them, and it probably cost him the election.
Many brands are doing this exact thing right now in social. Consolidating their foothold in Facebook, relying on the majority user base for engagement and return on investment.
Change your approach. Go after the small percentages, target niches.
Look at Tumblr, 80 million blogs worldwide, more than WordPress, and serving more than 20 billion page impressions per month, more than Wikipedia. Part blog platform, part social network, the potential for great content to go viral is huge.
Look at Pinterest, the fastest growing website in history. Look at Twitter. Look at Instagram.
Sure Facebook has over 11 million users in Australia, and Tumblr only has three million, but add that to the three million on Twitter, the half a million on Instagram and the half a million on Pinterest and those percentages start to add up.
You’re not going to win by trying the same old tactics, or by fighting competitors on their terms. You’re going to win by evolving, by changing tack, by trying something new.
Ultimately, you’re going to win by thinking outside Facebook.
There are exciting times ahead. Social media is only a few years old. New platforms are emerging all the time, each with unique opportunities and user bases, each allowing the savvy brand to refresh their strategy, to change, to adapt.
Each offering another chance to win.
If the coming year brings as many changes as the last, by the end of 2013 we’ll be in the middle of Rocky IV, training in the Russian wilderness trying to work out a way to beat an unstoppable opponent.
Forgive the analogy. My point is that as long as there are new platforms and new opportunities, there will always be a way for you to write your own underdog story with social media.
Whether you decide to get in the ring or not is up to you.
Marketing magazine recently published an article from me on how to think outside the Like box. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
In the movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise has an epiphany. He writes it down. The gist is this: less is more.
He stays up all night working on his mission statement, and when he’s finished, he sends everyone a copy.
They fire him.
When the world is convinced that more is more, trying to convince people to do less is a difficult task. But that’s exactly what I’m about to do. Here goes.
Facebook has us hooked on Likes. We’re addicts. We collect them fanatically, often at great cost. We compulsively check to make sure competitors don’t have more than us.
And it doesn’t end there. We want our Likers to Like everything we post. So we tell them to ‘Like this’, because if we don’t they might not, and if we’re not being Liked then we can’t justify our budgets and – golly gosh – the whole social economy we built might come tumbling down.
But the problem isn’t that we don’t have enough Likes. The problem is that we’re measuring the wrong things.
Take the prompted engagement for example. The prompted engagement is a Facebook-wide pandemic; it’s a virus infecting the content of thousands of brands. You’ve seen these posts. Some of you have posted one: ‘Like this if you X’, or ‘Comment if you Y’.
This isn’t a new tactic in social – just ask the Twitter and Tumblr users who were getting asked to ‘RT if you love Bieber’ and ‘Reblog if you have a head’ years ago.
The prompted engagement isn’t new to Facebook, either. But what was once a quirky engagement tactic used by a handful of brands has now reached such a level of saturation that it’s both difficult to ignore and impossible to escape.
These days when a brand asks me to ‘Like this post’ I unlike them.
How’s that for cut through?
Maybe if we all did the same brands would stop doing it.
A post where you have to ask for engagement is like a cold call. Yes the person picked up the phone, but they didn’t want to talk to you.
You got your engagement, ticked off the KPI, scored well against your competitors, but is that going to help your business? I doubt it. Probably the opposite.
It’s disingenuous. Cheap.
You’re better than that.
Social is not a cold call. It isn’t about meaningless KPIs and empty metrics. It’s about conversations. It’s about brand management and customer value.
A Like doesn’t represent your power as a brand. A prompted engagement doesn’t represent success. Real, meaningful conversations do. And you can’t buy a conversation with anyone worth conversing with (ask a telemarketer).
With a good strategy, 10,000 highly-engaged fans will provide more value than 100,000 indifferent ones.
The trick is, as I said in my previous blog post, to offer valuable content. Hire great people to make your content. Then if you absolutely have to spend money, use it to promote that outstanding content.
Case in point: General Motors. In May, GM pulled $10 million out of Facebook. ‘The ads don’t work,’ they said.
Facebook told GM to try putting that money into community management. ‘Create good content,’ they replied, ‘give people a reason to talk to you.’
The addiction to Likes has made marketers so focused on growing their communities that growth is taking presidence over nourishment. If things stay like this, we’ll be left with a starving mass of under-fed communities producing anaemic engagement.
Don’t be afraid of fewer Likes. A smaller, content-focused community is more likely to attract actual customers, or those who would like to be. Prize pigs need not apply.
Also, don’t be afraid to measure yourself differently. Measure referrals, for example, not engagements. Measure sentiment. Pay attention to comments. Talk to your fans.
Less can be more in social. Fewer ads, more valuable content. Fewer fans, more valuable engagement. Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing. Focus on what your community wants and deliver that.
Back to Jerry Maguire. In a famous scene at the end of act two, Tom Cruise begs his only remaining client, Cuba Gooding Jr. to “help me help you”.
You can help social help you by changing your thinking.
Spend your time and money creating great content, not on telling your fans what to like.
Ultimately, if you’re listening, they’ll tell you.
1. Facebook scam plagues JB Hi-Fi
Yet another Facebook survey scam has hit Australia. This time victims, who don’t know any better, are being lured by the chance to receive $200 JB Hi-Fi vouchers.
Links are spreading like wildfire for the scam because the first step of ‘entering’ is to share a link with your friends for the competition.
It should come as no surprise that after this step, you’re told that you’re a winner. All you need to do is complete a survey to prove that you are human.
This is where the scammers make their money. They get paid for every survey that gets completed.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Mobile engagement on the rise
As an indication of the growing trend for users to engage with social applications via their mobile, we thought we would share some interesting insights gleaned from a competition we are currently running for a client.
The competition was released both as a Facebook application for desktop users, and a mobile enabled website. The competition is being promoted across a range of mediums to attract a broad audience. Because we autodetect the user’s device, there is no bias towards what browsing device the users need to use to access the application. So it might interest you to know that the current statistics are that 39% of all entries are being completed from a mobile device. While it is a limited data set, this would suggest that we are not far away from mobile accounting for half of all engagement with social applications.
However, if the objective is to encourage sharing, desktop users were twice as likely to use the share functions we provided and share the content with their network. 23% of all mobile users shared the link, while 42% of all desktop users through Facebook, shared the link with their friends.
Is this an issue of time on the device, or user behaviour? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
3. Smith Family goes social
The Smith Family Christmas Appeal has gone social in 2011. The Facebook campaign goal is to demonstrate the impact on children who live in jobless families.
An interactive video app has been created that inserts you and your friends into the narrative. The idea is to demonstrate exactly what it feels like to be a kid living without the basics.
The charity said that while donations are key, sharing the message through social media and growing the community of committed fans on Facebook is the priority.
4. Marketing budgets set to rise in 2012
Aussie marketing budgets are predicted to increase by 3.5% on average next year, according to the Australian Marketing Institute.
Almost two-in-five marketers said they expected their 2012 budgets to increase by a whopping 20% compared to this year. Social media spending alone looks like it will increase by 6% across the board.
AMI chief executive Mark Crowe said: “Again we are seeing large budget variances across all sectors. However, overall a further increase in budgets is expected, which represents a consolidation of the strong growth that was experienced last year.”
“Online and new media not surprisingly continue to enjoy high levels of increased usage,” Crowe added. “However traditional media can also look forward to increased usage albeit not at the same level.”
5. Facebook ads get you emotional
Facebook have been selling different types of advertising for a while now and suggesting those that resemble status updates are more engaging than elsewhere online. This claim has now been confirmed by two studies conducted by Neurofocus and Nielson.
The studies used brainwave pattern analysis to determine how effective marketing messages are in different formats. It was found on all measurements (brand recollection, recall and resonance), that Facebook scored better on both attention-to and emotional engagement with the test ads. It’s strong emotional bonds, which have kept traditionalist spending their budgets on TV advertising; perhaps these new insights will sway a few budgets in the direction of Facebook.
6. When Twitter impacts TV ratings the most
Last year a report by Nielsen revealed that Internet buzz can increase TV ratings, recently Nielsen have released a taster of their research project measuring exactly how much Twitter impacts TV ratings.
Importance of different forms of Social Media varies through the lifecycle of a premiere:
Findings show that although social buzz can impact ratings weeks in advance, Twitter specifically has the most effect near to and during airtime.
7. Facebook roll out timeline and private messages
The new Facebook timeline has begun rolling out in New Zealand, and will be available globally in the near future. The redesigned interface shows users activity chronologically right back to birth. Once live, users will have a small amount of time to curate their older activities before it’s all readily visible.
On top of the new timelines, Facebook are also trialling Private Messages between Pages and fans. A seemingly minor update, but it will allow brands a chance to interact with fans in a more direct and individual manner.
8. Twitter gets a redesign and sets its sights high
This week Twitter launched their new updated user interface. The interface provides users a faster, simpler way to find out what’s happening around them and the news they care about. The launch added numerous features most notable the ‘discover’ tab, a tab containing useful and entertaining information customised for the user.
After the launch of the exciting new interface, our Singapore team noticed a few similarities with Sina Weibo. The similarities (and differences) help illustrate how social networking is fuelling great innovations and sharing best practise between them.
The update has also seen the addition of enhanced brand pages:
As part of this release, we are introducing enhanced profile pages that help marketers create an even more compelling destination on Twitter for their brands.
Now, your profile page does more to help you make an impression with a large header image for displaying your logo, tagline, and any other visuals.
You can also control the message visitors see when they first come to your profile page by promoting a Tweet to the top of your page’s timeline. This Tweet helps you highlight your most engaging and important content and better connect with your target audience. The Promoted Tweet on your profile page will appear auto-expanded so that visitors to your page can instantly see the photo or video content that you link to from your Tweet.
This page and the Promoted Tweet are both free of charge and publicly accessible for the whole world to see. Your profile page is your own – your colors, your logo, and your messaging.
These enhanced brand pages will offer a much more customisable experience for their fans, allowing them to present their best content on Twitter, and Ad Age have a great overview of how the launch brands are using their pages. However, as We Are Social’s Jim Coleman said to Econsultancy:
Users will only see these pages when they’re first deciding to follow a brand – so we can expect follow conversion rates to go up slightly, but the new brand pages will make no difference to brands everyday interactions with their followers and customers as this still all happens in the stream.
The intent is obviously to make Twitter more ‘sticky’. Twitter has long been envious of Facebook’s amazing average time on site figures, and this is their attempt to bridge that gap. These changes will definitely move the needle in the right direction, but the question is how much.
Not happy with just releasing a simple, easier interface across all platforms, Twitter have also announced their new total user goal; 7bn people. The changes to the interface should help fresh users get to terms quicker, and perhaps the sky really is the limit for this bird.
In other Twitter related news, an email from Twitter sales suggests the cost of a Twitter fan is between $2.50 and $4. The email discusses the benefits for brands as well as flaunting some enticing numbers such as the 15x increase in impression volume from Promoted tweets.
9. Isaiah Mustafa is ‘MANta Claus’
The well chiselled face of Old Spice is at it again with a promise to gift all 7 billion people on earth this Christmas. The video below is the first of many and gifts a ‘pair of high heeled lady shoes made out of necklaces’ to @beautyjunkies.
Other recipients include the city of Balitimore, 25 of his closest Internet friends and the whole country of Australia. Stay tuned to the Old Spice YouTube channel to see what he gifts the rest of the planet.
10. Wikipedia investigate PR firm for edits.
Wikipedia have suspended at least 10 accounts linked to PR firm Bell Pottinger for content manipulation. It has been said that the accounts were linked to positive statements being added and negative being removed from client’s pages. The main issue being that the firm was not disclosing their link to the brands, helpfully the founder of Wikipedia has offered to go into the company and give them advice on ethical editing of Wikipedia.