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Following on from We Are Social‘s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.
It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.
These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.
These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.
The Global Picture
Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:
Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.
We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data for every country in APAC. You’ll find the individual country and sub-region data in the full report , but here’s the APAC picture:
In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.
The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:
Asia-Pacific In Context
APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:
click to enlarge
Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:
However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:
It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:
It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:
- The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
- However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
- There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.
2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.
We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.
User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):
It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:
- Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
- Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
- On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.
We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.
Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).
China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.
We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:
- The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
- The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.
However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:
- WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
- WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
- LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
- Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide
We’re pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.
As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.
Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.
It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.
However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:
The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.
Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.
While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:
It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.
You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.
The Individual Country Story
We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.
Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.
In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:
Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.
Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.
However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.
The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:
It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.
However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.
We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.
East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:
As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.
Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.
Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.
Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.
Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:
Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.
We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:
As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.
The India Changes
Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:
So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.
Be sure to check back to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!
Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank Tom Smith at GlobalWebIndex and Matt Ablott from GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.
Facebook introduces images in comments
Last week saw Facebook roll out the option to include images in comments, for ordinary users and brands alike. It will undoubtedly help Facebook to compete with sites like Tumblr and Pinterest which are currently far more visual.
Instagram Video is here!
In a move which wasn’t a huge surprise, Facebook introduced video on Instagram last week, a story we covered in full at the time. The videos will be 15 seconds long and their introduction comes as no shock after the enormous success of Vine: the number of Vines shared on Twitter had surpassed the number of Instagrams.
With the option to add filters as well as the added time compared to Vine, our own Global MD Robin Grant told Marketing that Instagram Video is “Vine on steroids” declaring that Instagram Video “packs a massive punch … in the battle of video one-upmanship”. In addition, Grant says that Instagram video will appeal to brands far more than Vine as they had previously been “on the receiving end of criticism for shaky, unprofessional looking Vines”, something which Instagram Cinema could fix.
Crucially for Instagram, the 15-second length of their videos will make them very attractive to advertisers, given they are the same length as a TV ad – and with users’ loyalty to Instagram, it could prove a great incentive to get them watching adverts once again. Certainly, the move has appealed to brands, with Burberry and Lululemon part of an exclusive launch group which posted videos while the official launch was still ongoing.
Other large brands who were quick to jump on the bandwagon included Nike, General Electric and the band Foo Fighters. It should come as no surprise that brands are keen to get involved: 5 million clips were uploaded to Instagram Video in its first 24 hours. It will be interesting to see how brands adapt to the launch of Instagram Video – and how much this list of the top 50 brands on Instagram changes.
Twitter releases cost of TV ad targeting product
Twitter has announced that their ad product to target certain TV users will come at a hefty price tag: it carries a minimum spend of $100k. As the new video below shows, brands will be able to reach audiences tweeting about the particular programme during which their ad airs, meaning the outlay could be well worth the return.
Twitter is developing geo-targeted ads for retailers
Twitter is working on a mobile-only ad product which will be available to users who are clearly within close vicinity of a store. This could be particularly useful for large chains such as McDonalds which have stores throughout cities. It’s important for Twitter to make this sort of product available, as it’s one area where they’re clearly lagging behind Foursquare.
It’s therefore no surprise that Twitter has acquired Spindle, a startup that focuses on (you guessed it) check-ins and discovering cool places nearby.
YouTube invites brands to join its Partner Program
In a bid to encourage brands to act more as publishers, YouTube announced at Cannes that it plans to invite advertisers into its Partner Program. What this means is that Youtube will be providing brands with all the tools, data, services and training it provides its top content creators. Initial brands approached include AmEx and Pepsi, with YouTube hoping to have 100 joined up by the end of 2014. The idea behind the Program is to get more brands sharing top quality content on YouTube, rather than merely using it as an online housing-ground for their TV ads.
Yahoo completes Tumblr acquisition
The Is were dotted and the Ts crossed last week, as Yahoo completed its acquisition of Tumblr. Yahoo has emphasised that Tumblr will continue to be run independently and its no surprise really: Tumblr’s stats are immense, with 900 posts per second and 24 billion minutes spent on the site each month.
WhatsApp surpasses 250 million users
According to its own figures, WhatsApp now has over 250 million users. This is more than it had before.
NBA Finals an enormous success – including on Twitter
The incredibly competitive NBA Finals extended to Twitter, where conversation levels were huge throughout the seven games. According to Twitter:
During the course of the NBA Finals, more than 26.7 million Tweets were sent throughout the seven-game series. Game 7 alone saw 7.4 million Tweets, with a peak of more than 150,000 Tweets per minute at the conclusion of the game.
Tourism NZ wants to take an Australian same-sex couple to the end of the rainbow
In celebration of New Zealand’s new marriage equality law, Tourism New Zealand is looking for an Australian same-sex couple to fly across the Tasman to tie the knot. Applicants are invited to enter the competition via the Star Observer’s Facebook Page. To be eligible to win, applicants must upload a picture of themselves and state why they would love to get married in New Zealand. The winners will receive return flights to New Zealand, accommodation, a wedding ceremony and a reception for up to 20 people.
Dumb Ways to Die picks up more Lions in Cannes
Australian dominance has been asserted at the 2013 Cannes Lions, with the popular campaign picking up more awards than any other campaign in the Festival’s history (it should be noted, however, that there are now more awards to win as new ones are introduced yearly). The hit viral video swept the floor at the prestigious festival, with five Grand Prix awards, 18 Gold Lions, three Silver Lions and two Bronze Lions.
Get Wiggling for Wimbledon
We Are Social UK has launched a campaign around Wimbledon for evian. The campaign asks users to upload their own ‘Wimbledon Wiggle’ (the signature move players make when waiting to receive serve) for the chance to win Wimbledon. Don’t know about you, but we think it’s ace and definitely a winner.
Diesel launches Reboot Tumblr
Diesel has launched a Tumblr called Diesel Reboot which encourages fans to submit content which inspires them. Providing its not copyrighted, it will be posted on the Diesel Tumblr.
Pigeons to live-tweet their journey across Europe
To try and promote Fogg’s borderless internet access card, four racing pigeons have been released across Europe, each with their own Twitter account which will document their journey. The pigeons’ specially-designed 28g backpacks will carry a Fogg Sim card connected to a GSM database which will activate the tweets. The pack will also hold a GPS tracking device to follow the birds’ routes.
Natwest make a joke
Natwest proved an old insight true last week: that a joke about a bit of topical news can really fly on Twitter, especially if it comes from an unexpected source:
Peppa Pig’s Facebook page hacked
Peppa Pig World saw it’s Facebook page hacked last week – which was a pretty minor story providing that you weren’t the Daily Mail, who managed to work themselves up into a frenzy about how all children who’d witnessed the posts would have their lives ruined forever and ever and ever. Let’s conveniently forget that kids aren’t supposed to be on Facebook then.
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 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.
We Are Social are excited to announce that we have been selected as an A-List partner on a new international program launched today by social platform, Tumblr.
The program has been designed to help brands work with the right partners to get the most out of the Tumblr platform, by equipping participating agencies with the right advice, resources, and tools to give their clients the ultimate Tumblr experience.
We Are Social will be involved in the A-List Partnership Program through all of our 8 offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore, São Paulo, and here in Sydney – the only agency in Australia named as an A-List partner.
The program will give the agency access to support and training from Tumblr’s strategists and access to the platform’s API team and Firehose data so that the agency can ensure its clients are getting the most out of the opportunities offered by Tumblr
Tumblr hosts more than 80 million blogs and 34 billion posts, and each day users create more than 70 million new posts.
We Are Social Australia managing director Julian Ward said: “At We Are Social we’re continuously looking to operate at the forefront as the market continues to evolve, in terms of developing the most engaging and innovative social engineered strategies for our clients.
Tumblr is an incredible platform for brands; part blog-platform, part social network, the potential for great content to go viral is unparalleled. Tumblr is already part of our strategy for many of our clients, allowing them to communicate in a unique and creative way, and reach a different audience than they might be able to with Facebook.
With this partnership we’ll be able to offer our clients more in terms of knowledge and expertise about Tumblr, and crucially, with access to the Tumblr Firehose we will be able to offer insights and analytics to help track performance, craft better content and improve reach.
Ultimately, the partnership will help us improve the service we offer to our clients, allowing us to maintain our position as the world’s largest specialist social media agency.”
Rick Webb, marketing and revenue at Tumblr, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the early success brands have had using Tumblr to tell their stories, and we’ve been honored to work with some of the most creative and talented agencies around the world,” said Rick Webb, Marketing and Revenue at Tumblr.
“We’re so excited to step up our service and to offer these great partners another level of the tumblr experience.”