Here are all of the posts tagged ‘twitter’.
April Fools by brands on social
Vegemite, an iconic staple to Australian culture tweeted that they have a new energy drink as a part of an April Fool’s Day prank.
Google is looking for a “Pokemon Master” by updating Google Maps with pokemon you can find and “catch”
Pepsi scares commuters waiting at bus stops
Pepsi Max has utilised clever digital imagery on bus advertising spaces to kick off their ‘Unbelievable’ campaign. The bus stops displayed alien ships, tigers and giant robots with laser beam eyes to trick passengers and by-standers from a seemingly clear panel. This innovative and creative campaign has lived up to it’s ‘Unbelievable’ proposition.
Australian Social Media Statistics for March
It seems as though blogging networks such as Tumblr and WordPress are popular amongst Australians and Facebook alone has experienced an increase of 20,000 users over the past month. Social media platforms seem to be growing steadily in Australia according to socialmedianews.com.au
1. Facebook – 13,200,000 users
2. YouTube – 12,600,000 UAVs
3. WordPress.com – 6,300,000
4. Tumblr – 4,700,000
5. LinkedIn – 3,650,000
6. Blogspot – 2,900,000
7. Twitter - 2,500,000 Active Australian Users
8. Instagram - 1,600,000 Active Australian Users
9. TripAdvisor – 1,400,000
10. Snapchat - 1,070,000 Active Australian Users
11. Flickr – 790,000
12. Pinterest – 410,000
13. Yelp – 190,000
14. MySpace – 180,000
15. Reddit – 170,000
16. Google Plus – approx 65,000 monthly active Australian users
17. StumbleUpon – 58,000
18. Foursquare – 34,000
19. Digg – 25,000
20. Delicious – 20,000
Twitter is struggling to keep users tweeting
Twopcharts, a site that measures account activity on Twitter, has produced reports that display the platform’s retention issue. Almost 40% of the 20m accounts registered every month send at least one tweet in the first month, but this is likely to decrease to one quarter after a year. It may be the case that Twitter users are logging in but not tweeting. The table below shows the extent of the issue.
Instagram hits 200 million users
Instagram produced a blog post last week to celebrate passing the 200 million user milestone. The network, which has added 50 million users in the last six months, has now seen over 20bn photos shared. Its growth in the US is particularly impressive, where there are now 50.6 million users in total, of whom 35 million access Instagram at least once a month. These figures mean Instagram and Twitter are now very similar in size – the former has more mobile users, but the latter’s desktop usage leaves it slightly larger overall.
Twitter and TV
There were two pieces of research released by Twitter today about Twitter’s relationship with TV. The first discussed the importance of hashtags: 75% of those surveyed believed hashtags were used because they were seen on TV, while 76% thought other users made sure tweets about TV were funny in order to get retweets. Finally, 69% liked seeing celebrities talk about TV on Twitter. The second looked at the way in which people discuss TV on the network, making a distinction between ‘relaxed’ and ‘engaged’ types of behaviour. Analysis of two BBC programmes, Line of Duty and The Voice UK, display the difference between drama and live events. For drama, conversation peaks before and after the show, while talent shows tend to produce sustained chat throughout.
How marketers use Twitter
Twitter’s use for marketers is primarily in increasing brand awareness, as 72% of respondents made clear in a recent survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals.
Perhaps oddly, considering the above goal, Socialbakers found that only 23% of marketers are using Twitter advertising at the moment. This falls in fourth place among social networks, after Facebook (92%), YouTube (35%) and LinkedIn (24%).
Wisemetrics produce research on Facebook reach
Wisemetrics has produced an article about the extent of the decrease in post reach on Facebook. They display that it has been a two-step process, with dips in both August and November, followed by a plateau since roughly January. The larger the page, the bigger the decrease: pages with over one million fans have suffered a 40% decrease, compared with 20% for pages with one thousand.
Facebook is number one for social commerce
Facebook drives by far the most online commerce of all social sites, according to online store operator, Shopify, and accounts for almost two-thirds of referrals to sites operated by the company. In total, 85% of all social orders were driven by Facebook, which amounts to a 129% year-on-year increase. It wasn’t the highest in terms of order value, though, coming in fourth behind Polyvore, Instagram and Pinterest.
Facebook purchases Oculus-VR
Facebook has announced its intention to purchase Oculus VR, known best for the ‘Oculus Rift’, a 3d virtual reality headset. The move is worth $2bn in cash and stocks and is described by Mark Zuckerberg as a “long-term bet on the future of computing.” Nick Hearne, senior creative at We Are Social, spoke to the Drum about constrasting senses of “admiration and trepidation” about the move:
I’d certainly question whether this is even the right move for Facebook right now. For me, Google’s move into robotics with the purchase of Boston Dynamics has more credibility than Facebook moving into virtual reality. We’ll have to wait and see whether this acquisition is an admirable ‘moonshot’, or a case of joining the scramble to snap up any hot new tech companies for Zuckerberg and co.
Other online users were even more sceptical, to the extent that Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, had to take to Reddit to quell fears about the future of his company. He assured users that a Facebook account wouldn’t be needed to use Rift, but didn’t rule out either Facebook branding or in-game advertising.
Facebook expands Lookalike Audiences
Facebook has extended the capability of Lookalike Audiences. Now, advertisers can create audiences based on people who visit their website, use their mobile apps or are connected to their Facebook pages, where previously only information like email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs could be used.
Twitter makes photos ‘more social’
Twitter introduced two major changes to photographs last week: users can now tag up to ten others in a photo and post four separate photos in one tweet. Naturally, certain brands were quick to react, as shown in the below examples.
Twitter partners with Billboard and ITV
Twitter announced two partnerships this week. First of all, the network will be working with Billboard to create social music charts, based on online chatter, which will include a section for ‘new and upcoming’ artists. Secondly, the UK’s ITV has announced that it will start using Twitter’s Amplify service, which will allow brands to purchase pre or post-roll adverts on ITV content across the network.
LinkedIn introduces Insights for published content
LinkedIn has announced a free set of Insights, aimed at showing brands how effectively their content is performing on the site. Not only can companies see which stories are trending on the platform, but each will be assigned a performance score based on the effectiveness of their posts, as well as those of related influencers and employees.
It is this last group that could be key to brands’ success on the platform. Last week, Adweek published a piece on the importance of employees on LinkedIn, discussing how their cumulative reach can be higher than that of the brand itself.
Pinterest is preparing to launch ad business
Pinterest is getting ready to roll out the ad business it has been testing since last September, with a soft launch planned for April. Digiday showed some examples of how the ads will look, which reportedly came from a pitch deck sent by Pinterest to an unnamed agency. Other takeouts from the deck include the main target audience (women on mobile), the cost ($30 per 1,000 impressions) and the plans for targeting, which will occur on both a national and regional basis.
Foursquare launches ‘Tap to Tweet’ ad product
Foursquare has added a new element to its ad offering. Entitled ‘Tap to Tweet’, the system encourages users to tweet pre-written marketing messages on checking into certain locations.
BlackBerry looking to monetise BBM
BlackBerry has updated its BBM instant messenger with two new features, each aimed at raising revenue. The platform will now feature sponsored content, alongside a virtual goods store that allows users to purchase stickers.
The Sun adds hashtags to print stories
British newspaper The Sun has become the first of its national rivals to include hashtags in print stories. A postscript titled “What Do You Think?” appears at the bottom of certain articles, encouraging readers to take to Twitter to discuss the paper’s content.
Nike hosts ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout
Sportswear giant Nike hosted the first ever ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout last week, in partnership with Asos, to celebrate 27 years of the Air Max product. Hosted by MTV’s Rebecca Dudley, the stunt discussed the various different ways in which the trainers can be worn.
Taco Bell buys its first Instagram adverts
Fast food chain, Taco Bell, is promoting its new breakfast menu using the hashtag #WakeUpLiveMas, and will do so by purchasing Instagram ads for the first time. Other social marketing is being employed, too, including Vine videos, Snapchat messaging and the influencer activity we reported in last week’s Mashup.
We Are Social helps Strongbow launch Rio competition
Cider brand Strongbow is asking men’s 5-a-side football teams from the UK to compete for the opportunity to play against one of Brazil’s best female teams in Rio this summer. The team will be coached by ex-footballer Chris Kamara, TV personality Mark Wright and Brazilian coach Janio Cruz. Teams can sign up using a Facebook app, created by We Are Social, which has also produced social content to drive applications.
Wu Tang Clan doubles Facebook audience in one day
Wu Tang Clan announced that they will release just one copy of their next album. This generated so much chat on Facebook that they increased their fan base from 2.9 million to 4.8 million in just one day.
West Ham United announce social media match
English Premier League football club, West Ham United, will be marking their game against Hull City with twelve different pieces of activity on social media, including competitions, tweeting by players and a man of the match vote. We wonder how much it can distract people from having to actually watch Sam Allardyce’s team.
Barack Obama joins Quora
Following in the footsteps of his Reddit AMA, Barack Obama is joining Quora to answer questions on the Affordable Healthcare Act, and will become the first verified account on the site. Unlike on Reddit, he will not be responding live; instead, the President will answer questions that people have already asked on Quora about the act. His answers will be aggregated on his profile and across the site under existing topics.
TV Twitter ratings come to Australia
Nielsen has announced that it will launch Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings in Australia in the second half of this year, making it the third market to get the service. The TV metric, based entirely on Twitter data, will measure the total activity (Tweets, Unique Authors) and reach (Impressions, Unique Audience) of TV-related conversation on Twitter, allowing networks, agencies and advertisers to measure, understand and act on these conversations. This move reflects the growing importance of the second-screen experience, with Nielsen’s Australian Connected Consumers Report 2014 showing that 44% of the online population of Australia participates in social TV. The launch is also a significant marker for Twitter, which will celebrate its 8th birthday this year and the one year anniversary of its first employee in Australia this month.
Global Marketer Week takes place in Sydney
The WFA’s Global Marketer Week has begun, with a number of events from the likes of Google, Unilever, Diageo and adidas. Simon Kemp, MD of We Are Social Singapore, is presenting his latest research on inspiring brand stories, with a panel including senior executives from the likes of Unilever, Fiat and Kimberly Clark.
Eat the Tweet
One of the most interesting things to come out of SXSW this year was the combination of buzzwords – social media and 3D printing. Dubbed the “Trending Vending Lounge,” Oreo’s vending machines print out customised cookies based on trending Twitter conversations. Users were able to choose from a set of hashtags, each of which had a unique flavour and cream colour combination, supposedly chosen by an algorithm that measured sentiment. The cookie fans then were able to watch their cookie being built in just more than one minute, using 3D printing technology.
“Nothing comes between me and #mycalvins”
Calvin Klein is asking people to send them selfies in their underwear – and spreading them on the internet. However, unlike a spurned lover, that seems to be the point. To promote their latest range, the company has reached out to the public to Instagram pics of themselves in the iconic waist-banded underwear and are (thankfully) curating them in the #mycalvin gallery. The initiative kicked off with posts by influencers and celebrities, including Miranda Kerr, Fergie and Trey Songz, the first of which reported 1 million fan interactions and an audience of over 50 million users in under 24 hours. The campaign takes advantage of the brand’s history of models posing in underwear, having featured Christy Turlington, Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg (among others) in the 80s and 90s, adding value to the nostalgia factor with a technological and social twist. With almost 3,000 posts tagged #mycalvins, this campaign is proof that it takes very little for some people to get their kit off.
Time spent on digital increasingly outdoing television
The time US adults spend using mobile phones has surpassed that spent watching TV for the first time, with averages of 151 minutes and 147 minutes per day respectively, according to research by Millward Brown. In China, people spend an average of 170 minutes a day on their phones, more than double the TV time, and people in Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and Vietnam also spend more time on their phones than Americans. Interestingly, eMarketer sources show that mobile accounts for significantly less time than TV, though for the first time digital as a whole has overtaken TV. This study concludes that US adults spent five hours and nine minutes every day on digital media, compared with four hours and 31 minutes in the previous year:
The UK’s figures are slightly behind: in 2013, TV accounted for more time than digital. However, this is set to change in 2014, when digital will account for three hours and 41 minutes of the average adult’s day, compared to three hours and 15 minutes of television. Of this digital time, non-voice usage of mobile phones will account for one hour and 49 minutes.
Instagram photos with faces get more likes and comments
Research conducted at Georgia Tech has found that Instagram photos that contain faces are 38% more likely to get likes and 32% more likely to be commented on. Saeideh Bakhshi, a researcher on the study, attributed this to a human urge to see the faces of others, and found it interesting that this translated into an online context.
Google releases ‘Android Wear’ software
Google has made its ‘Android Wear’ software available to developers, in the hope to gain traction in the smartwatch market. The video below shows off some recent advances in the field.
Forrester argues that Facebook is failing marketers
A blog post from Forrester Research has argued that ‘Facebook Is Still Failing Marketers’. Having made a similar point last October, the piece’s author points to low organic reach, discontent amongst brands and fears over fake fans as reasons to concentrate social efforts on other platforms.
Facebook growing its share of mobile ad dollars
The mobile ad business is growing fast. Up by 105% in 2013, it is forecast to exceed a value of $31.5bn this year. Google remains the biggest player, though its market share is decreasing due to the rapid rise of Facebook as a mobile advertiser. With just 5.4% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, Facebook’s share increased to 17.5% in 2013 and is set to grow to 21.7% in 2014.
Facebook games are hugely popular
According to new statistics, Facebook gaming is an incredibly popular part of the network. Roughly 375 million people (a quarter of the network) play Facebook games each month, and 735m referrals are sent every day. The most popular game? You guessed it. Candy Crush, of course.
Share Facebook albums with a limited selection of friends
Facebook launched v8.0 of its app for the iPhone and iPad recently, with an interesting new feature: users can now share photo albums with ‘only these friends’. Users can already do this for photos and status updates, despite it being reported that this feature, too, was brand new.
TED takes over category on Facebook Paper
TED took over the whole ‘Ideas’ category of Facebook’s standalone news feed app, Paper, last week. The move was in line with the TED 2014 conference and sees Facebook looking to source high quality content for Paper.
The difficulty of Twitter for brands
Last week, we marked Twitter’s 8th birthday with a piece by our very own Emily Hawes, who discussed the development of Twitter as a social network. She pointed out some of its difficulties, highlighting a slowing user growth and decrease in timeline refreshes. She attributed these in part to confusion felt by new users, as well as weaker relationships than on other social networks. This comes at the same time as research that suggests that 30.6% of brands are still unconvinced of Twitter’s value as a marketing resource: 45.1% of brands cited their greatest challenge as “measuring ROI and results”, followed by “building an audience” (42.1%) and “engagement” (36.8%).
Twitter trialling new features, may drop @replies
Twitter is testing a number of new features this week, including the potential ofdropping the well-recognised @reply. The change is included in the alpha version of Twitter’s new Android app and it’s believed that this may be part of a wider move across the network.
Naturally, the move has led to debate about the effects across Twitter. We Are Social’s co-founder Robin Grant spoke to The Drum about the issue, saying:
Since inception Twitter’s been making changes to try and make the platform less confusing. Recently, these developments have picked up even more pace, perhaps as a result of its recent first earnings announcement, where attracting and holding on to new users was flagged as an issue for the platform.
Yesterday’s news that Twitter is experimenting with phasing out @ replies completely won’t be popular with loyal Twitter users – change never goes down well, especially to something as fundamental as the @ reply.
Many see this as one of Twitter’s key differentiators, and the new Twitter tests look more like what happens when you tag people in Facebook posts. But with Twitter’s current focus clearly tuned into keeping new users engaged, rather than placating its existing community, it’s unlikely the prospect of short-term protest will disrupt its long-term plans.
In addition, two more features are being tested. First of all, a new reach figure will allow you to ascertain how many people actually saw your tweets. This should prove useful for brands’ analytics, though Twitter may end up regretting the decision to show people how few followers are seeing each tweet. The second feature, ‘fave people’, allows users to siphon off a select set of contacts and view their tweets in a separate stream.
Twitter pulls #Music app
Twitter has pulled its #Music app from the app store. Existing users have until 18th April with the app, which hoped to make the most of the popular topic of conversation on the network. That one goes down as a failed experiment.
Pinterest looking to grow revenue and users
Pinterest is planning to introduce adverts, with a huge asking price of $1m to $2m per ad. Evidently, the network is aiming its offering at premium brands, though no date has been announced for their launch as yet. This isn’t the only recent move aimed at revenue driving, either; the network is launching ‘Gift boards’, curated entirely from buyable items, which it hopes will raise further money from e-commerce.
Vimeo buys Cameo
Video-sharing platform Vimeo has acquired Cameo, the mobile, cloud-based app that that aids in shooting, styling and sharing short films. Kerry Trainor, Vimeo’s CEO, said of the move:
Vimeo is committed to empowering all creators, and the ubiquity of HD camera phones is driving the largest wave of video creation ever seen. What we love about Cameo is that it gives even novice video-makers the power to create beautiful, well-crafted videos.
We Are Social launches evian on Snapchat
We Are Social UK has been working with evian to bring the water brand to Snapchat, in a campaign which shared exclusive content from evian’s latest ad ahead of its official release. You can see the trailer for the video below. It’s even got a baby Spiderman.
Carlsberg brings happy hour to Instagram
Danish beer brand Carlsberg is offering half price beer to Instagram users in exchange for Instagram photos. Dubbed ‘Happy Hour 2.0′, the campaign asks users to share an image with the name of the venue and #HappyBeerTime (whatever that may be), thus benefitting the drinker, the bar and the brand.
Not your average pitcher of Heineken
Taco Bell promotes its new breakfast menu
US fast food chain Taco Bell is launching a breakfast menu, and promoting it by sending pre-paid ‘burner’ phones to 1,000 influencers and dropping others in secret locations revealed to Twitter followers. These phones will be sent challenges by the restaurant, which can be completed by posting to Instagram or Twitter. They are also capable of phoning Taco Bell HQ. You know, just for a chat.
Nivea Men signs Jamie Redknapp up for Facebook campaign
Soccer pundit Jamie Redknapp stars in Nivea Men’s latest Facebook campaign, appearing in a fictional show named ‘Redknapp’s Grassroots Round Up’. The programme takes the form of humorous, scathing reviews of amateur soccer, into which Facebook users can insert pictures of their friends, while selecting particular insults.
Selfies on The Voice UK
Will.i.am, one of four judges on BBC’s The Voice UK, has been taking selfies during live filming. In doing so, he creates an interesting second-screen experience, whereby fans can consume the same content from two different platforms simultaneously.
‘No make up selfies’ create Cancer charity windfall
As you may well already know, a number of selfies appeared on Facebook this week, taken by women without makeup, in aid of Cancer Research. Two separate Guardian articles discussed the key issues that the meme highlighted: the first pointing out the huge windfall that the campaign had produced for a worthwhile charity, the second arguing that this only came about after it was initially ousted as an empty gesture.
The effect of Turkey’s Twitter ban
The Turkish government banned citizens from using Twitter last week, in an attempt to prevent the spread of dissent. However, users initially found straightforward routes around the ban, including a quick and easy change to a device’s DNS. In fact, data that We Are Social released to the press has shown that the ban has pushed the number of Tweets in Turkey to record numbers, as Robin Grant discussed with CNET:
The main effect so far of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s Twitter ban seems to have actually been inspiring more people to tweet. Banning Twitter is clearly a counterproductive move that will ultimately have the opposite effect to that intended. The Internet was designed to route around obstacles like PM Erdogan, and its users will continue to find ways to do so.
It appears people in Turkey are enjoying the challenge, tweeting via text message, through an anonymous VPN, by changing their DNS — and it seems even those who may have had little interest in tweeting before are now getting involved. As numerous politicians all over the world have discovered to their detriment in the past, it’s not clever to pick a fight with social media. It’s not one they’re likely to win.
Whaling (minus harpoons, thank goodness)
First there was planking. Now, the whacky world of Vine brings you the latest social craze, #whaling – which basically involves hurling oneself about in a whale-like fashion and capturing your efforts on video to share with the world. If Karl Stefanovic does it, it must be cool, right?
Apple adds a selfie section to the App Store
For the narciphonist in every person, Apple has decided to spoil us for choice with a range of selfie apps. We Are Social advises caution around mixing any of these apps with alcohol.
Twitter testing ‘fave people’ feature
Twitter has just given its testers access to a new feature that allows them to keep tabs on their favourite Twitter users and accounts in a dedicated timeline. Our vote: Thumbs up (once you’ve finished scrolling, of course).
The State of Social Advertising in 2014
Socialbakers surveyed over 500 marketing professionals to better understand where social media is heading in 2014; analysing both the priorities and practices of marketers and the state of social media advertising. Remarkably, 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social advertising budget for 2014, despite the growing need to support organic reach with paid advertising.
However, most companies surveyed did invest in social advertising, at varying levels. Interestingly, Twitter appears to struggle to attract advertisers; most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.
Facebook Reveals ‘Premium’ Autoplay Video Ads
Facebook has revealed Premium Video Ads, the long-awaited marketing tool that delivers video ads right into users’ News Feeds and starts playing 15-second clips automatically; similarly to videos on Instagram. The ads will play with no sound unless the user clicks on them, in order to avoid being too interruptive. The ads will start rolling out during late April and will include the ability to target by day-part, along with measurement features supported by Nielsen and Ace Metrix.
A Streamlined Look for Facebook Pages on the Desktop
After recently announcing a redesign of its desktop News Feed, Facebook has announced that there will be a new design for Facebook pages on desktop, to be rolled out over the coming weeks, as seen in the example below.
Facebook has now notified some page admins that they can join a waitlist to have their page converted to the new design, for those extra eager to explore it. The right-side column of the timeline will show all the page’s posts, while the left will hold information about the page or business. There will also be a ‘Pages to Watch’ feature, allowing marketers to monitor pages similar to their own (i.e. competitors) and track those pages’ performances. It also appears that tabs, with images, have returned to Facebook’s new page design on the left sidebar.
Twitter’s Direct Response Pitch: A New ‘Click-to-call’ button
Brands are already using Twitter as a direct response channel, listening for and responding to tweets that mention certain keywords, hashtags or handles. This month alone, Microsoft and Airbnb launched clever real-time marketing campaigns at South by Southwest, responding directly to consumers. In an attempt to go one step further in developing its advertising capabilities, Twitter is currently beta-testing a “click-to-call” button for sponsored tweets, which would allow mobile users to engage with a Twitter ad by calling the advertiser directly. This feature could potentially help Twitter break into the local advertising market. Location-based apps like Foursquare and Google Maps already have click-to-call features in their apps.
One Of China’s Biggest Social Networks Is Going Public
In what could be the biggest social media IPO of 2014, Sina Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging service that’s often compared to Twitter, began the process of going public in the US on Friday. Sina Weibo is seeking to raise up to $500 million in its initial public offering and though not quite as big as Twitter, which has more global appeal, it looks like it’s trying to ride on Twitter’s strong performance following its IPO. Actually, its “selling points” are nearly identical to Twitter’s – which is interesting considering both platforms face stiff competition from messaging applications that are quickly becoming the go-to communications tools for younger smartphone owners, such as WeChat, WhatsApp and Line.
ABC ‘Good Morning America’ Unveils ‘Social Square’
Good Morning America has introduced a new social media studio dubbed “Social Square”. Armed with Samsung monitors and tablets featuring Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Spotify components, the new social media room is aimed at driving conversation and motivating viewer engagement. Some of the main features include an Instagram video chat wall where viewers can ask hosts and guests questions, a Twitter Mirror that allows guests to take selfies and upload them to the show’s Twitter feed, and music streamed from Spotify that will allow guests to pick out songs to play on-air.
H&R Block Taps YouTube Talent For New Social Media Record Label
According to H&R Block, a ‘tax preparation’ company, 56 million Americans will try to do their own taxes this year. The company claims that last year, taxpayers lost more than a billion dollars thanks to inaccuracies in their tax returns. H&R have decided to enlist ten up and coming YouTubers as brand ambassadors to release original songs and videos on a social record label called “Billion Back Records”, as well as using social media to build enthusiasm around getting a tax refund. H&R is also using its Twitter feed to issue challenges for the chance to win music-themed prizes like concert tickets and a guitar. YouTube, taxes, and rock n’ roll?
March Madness And Twitter Ads
For anyone not still reeling from the real-time marketing overload around the Superbowl this year, American brands are now queuing up around college basketball’s March Madness period. As NCAA teams look to beat the buzzer on-court, brands are jumping in on highly relevant promoted hashtags with a mix of pre-planned and reactive content with varying degrees of success. There are no clear slam dunks on display which raises an important question: are marketers planning their real-time strategies to deliver value to their business and consumers, or falling into the trap of jumping into conversations without a clear goal? Judging by some of the brands’ efforts there’s still a lot to learn.
David Cameron’s new Facebook likes
UK Prime Minister David Cameron found himself under scrutiny last week when it was reported that he’d invested an estimated £7,500 to increase his Facebook Like count from 60,000 to 130,000 in one month. He’s now one of the most popular UK politicians on social media (even if not in real life)…
‘Safe Badman’: Argos wins at Twitter
Argos indulged in some top Twitter bantz with a disgruntled customer. When Immy ‘BADMAN’ Bugti tweeted with a complaint about the lack of ‘da PS4 tings’ available at Argos’s Moss Side store, as well as member of staff who had ‘bare attitude’, Argos responded superbly. Its gangsta response has since been retweeted thousands of times, and left Immy satisfied. Respect, yo.
@BadManBugti Safe badman, we gettin sum more PS4 tings in wivin da next week y’get me. Soz bout da attitude, probz avin a bad day yo. LD
— Argos Helpers (@ArgosHelpers) March 8, 2014
ANZ celebrates Sydney’s Mardi Gras
To celebrate its partnership with Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ANZ has remodelled 10 ATMs around the city into gAyTMs. Dolled up in rhinestones, interesting prints and even faux fur (mascarading as a Freddy Mercury-style moustache), the gAyTMs have inspired plenty of sharing across social media. The campaign takes advantage mostly of Instagram – which the bank only recently joined – with almost 2,500 photos shared over the service. Reactions have been mostly positive, to the extent that St George played copycat and created its own gAyTM. ANZ has also committed to donating ATM fees generated by the cash machines to community support group Twenty10.
The Oscars and social media
Yesterday’s Oscars, like any big award shows, generated a lot of Twitter chat, with over 7 million mentions of the hashtags #oscars and #oscars2014 on the platform. A few moments proved particularly popular on social, including a photobomb by Benedict Cumberbatch and Leonardo DiCaprio missing out on an award. However, the clear winner was a star-studded selfie by host Ellen DeGeneres.
The post took just 40 minutes to become the most retweeted of all time, outdoing Obama’s ‘four more years’ from 2012. It turned out to be a well thought-out piece of product placement from Samsung, whose Note 3 was used to take the image, on a night when several brands were looking to get in on the act. Arby’s purchased Pharrell’s famous hat for charity, NASA used mentions of Gravity to display their own images and pizza chain Big Mama’s & Papa’s were delighted when DeGeneres put in an order from the ceremony.
Update: Samsung denies that it paid DeGeneres for the stunt, saying that she “organically incorporate[d] the device into the selfie moment.” Never the less, in honor (or perhaps in response to negative reactions), Samsung has committed $3m to the TV star’s chosen charities.
Facebook ads get grounded
After launching (and misfiring) its first brand advertising campaign in 2012, the social network has been quietly rolling out ads online this year that are much more down to earth. They focus on how users can compliment their off-screen experience with the core utilities of Facebook, particularly the ability to communicate with multiple people at the same time. The overall effect is to demonstrate the value of Facebook in users’ lives with quirky and personable examples of how Facebook utilities can be used for non-virtual self-improvement.
Twitter continues to grow in the US
Twitter’s user base in the US is growing and, as of 2013, accounts for 17.6% of US internet users, expected to rise to 19.2% in 2014. Growth is slowing, however, with 2014′s expected user increase just 11.6% compared to 2013′s 19.4%. Users are maturing, too; a higher percentage of 25-34 year olds than teenage internet users are on Twitter; by 2018, 35-44 year olds will also outnumber teenagers.
Facebook decreases reach for status updates
Edgerank Checker has analysed the reach of Facebook plain-text status updates, concluding that there has been an average 40% decrease between 7th January and 4th February this year, from 18% to 11%. Video posts now have the biggest reach, followed by status updates, while users engage most with photos.
Tagging other Facebook pages can increase reach
It’s not all bad news for Facebook reach, though. Now, when one page tags another in a post, that update may appear in the newsfeeds of those who already ‘like’ its subject. See the post below, in which a Facebook user who ‘likes’ NBA star Dwight Howard is exposed to content from Bleacher Report, in which Howard is tagged.
Facebook pages can edit past updates
Facebook has made it possible for more pages to edit their updates, with the feature now available to all verified pages, as well as some others. There is as yet no known date for a universal rollout.
Facebook puts an end to email
Facebook has put an end to its email offering, officially disbanding the service after acquiring WhatsApp. The feature, introduced in 2010, provided users with an @facebook account, but it proved unpopular. For those who weren’t aware of the feature… well, precisely.
Promoted accounts to appear in Twitter search
Twitter is featuring promoted accounts in search, alongside recommendations of who to follow when users enter certain terms. The network will automatically decide which queries are appropriate, based on advertisers’ targeting decisions.
LinkedIn updates ‘Who’s viewed your profile’
LinkedIn has significantly updated its ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ section. Where users previously saw just names, they will now be treated to analytics, including industry and job title, as well as tips on how to increase the number of views your profile receives.
LinkedIn expands in China
LinkedIn has has launched a Simplified-Chinese language beta site branded “领英”, a joint venture with Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital in a bid to expand its offering in China. Cleverly, the site integrates with Sina, Tencent and WeChat. This means that LinkedIn is now available in 22 different languages worldwide.
WhatsApp to introduce voice calls
WhatsApp, Facebook’s recently acquired messenger service, is set to launch voice calling on iPhone and Android by Q2 this year. The feature will eventually expand to other devices, and will reportedly be free for at least a limited time.
Line opens sticker marketplace to all, introduces voice calling
Japanese-based messenger app, Line, is opening its sticker marketplace to all designers and companies from April. This could be a significant move, as stickers currently account for 20% of Line’s revenue, despite being available to partners only. Like WhatsApp, Line is also launching a voice-calling service, which will be released first in the US, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the Phillipines.
Updates to Google+ for iPhone and Android
Google+ has completely revamped Hangouts for iPhone and iPad, such that the feature now resembles mainstream messaging apps like WhatsApp. Changes include reorganised tabs (Hangouts, Favourites and Contacts), as well as the ability to send videos, stickers and locations.
It’s not just iOS that received updates, though; photo-editing for Android has changed, too. Along with new filters and creative tools, there is increased ‘cloud’ integration, so users can access and edit all their photos from any device.
Snapchat could look to college students
College students could be the key to Snapchat’s success, with 77% of the demographic using the app at least once per day. Of those, 45% said that they would open a snap from a brand they’d never heard of, the number rising to 73% for already-known brands.
McDonald’s joins Snapchat
Talking of brands on Snapchat, a particularly large one has just got involved: McDonald’s. The fast food chain told its Twitter followers about its Snapchat plans, and has since shared several snaps, some including brand spokesperson and basketball star, LeBron James.
Apple begins to embrace social
Apple has launched a Tumblr to promote its iPhone 5C, complete with four different 15-second videos. The move comes as something of a surprise, considering Apple’s historical reluctance to engage in social media.
Boots hosts live-streamed Facebook tutorial
UK high street retailer Boots hosted a 90-minute live-streamed tutorial on its Facebook page last week. The session, directly from the brand’s Nottingham store, contained hair and beauty tips, and was dubbed ‘Feel Like New Live’.
American Idol announces partnerships with Facebook and Google
Reality TV programme American Idol announced partnerships with Facebook and Google last week. The former is set to host ‘live visualisations’, which will “bring a new dimension to the viewing experience and enhances the connection fans have with the show”. Fans will also be able to vote directly via google.com.
Manchester United and Google’s ‘Front Row’
English Premier League club Manchester United has partnered with Google to create ‘Front Row’. By using Google+ Hangouts, the club will be able to show the faces of participating fans on pitchside ad hoardings during the 16th March derby game against rivals Liverpool.
Al Jazeera asks social network users to help #FreeAJStaff
News network Al Jazeera is calling for action to promote awareness about journalists detained in Egypt. Supporters are encouraged to share pictures and messages on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FreeAJStaff, which will be amplified using Thunderclap. Images will be curated on a Tumblr dedicated to the hashtag.
Toyota takes to the road with social mobile app
Toyota is launching a social mobile app to help curate drivers’ road trips with maps, photos and location tags to put the brand at the heart of driving experiences. It lets users store route maps and geo-location tools allow photos to be tagged and stored along the way and shared with friends. Roadtrip can also record where travellers stopped along the way and the landmarks they come across, even when the trip is out of mobile data range, as well as recommending trips and route from other users.
WhatsApp users double in less than a year
Private messaging’s popularity does not cease as WhatsApp reports an increase of over 200 million users since April 2013, now standing at 430 million active users as of January 2014. A staggering 50 billion messages are sent and received on the app per day.
China’s Weibo users decline while WeChat rises
The future of China’s Weibo platforms does not look promising as they have lost 27.8 million users over the past year following the Chinese government’s latest internet crackdown campaign against online rumours. However, as China’s most popular social platforms experience this dramatic fall, the number of users on instant messaging apps such as WeChat has grown by 64.4 million users in 2013 while the total number of mobile Internet users reached 500 million.
The ongoing saga of organic reach on Facebook
Facebook threw another curve-ball this week when it revealed its latest alterations to the newsfeed. They will now show fewer text status updates from Pages, as the latest testing has shown that people are more likely to post on Facebook when they are exposed to plain text status updates from their friends rather than Pages. Facebook have been vague about what brands should do as a result, but they have recommended that when posting links, brands should use ‘link-shares’, as in this example:
Facebook is testing a mobile ad network
Rather than being content to just display ads to it’s own users, Facebook is testing showing ads to users of third party apps. Unlike previous tests, Facebook is working directly with a limited number of advertisers on its own mobile ad network rather than outside ad-serving platforms to display “sponsored content outside of its own properties”.
Watch your b-to-b-back, Linkedin
Facebook is making room for job and b-to-b marketing as it plans to allow advertisers to start targeting users based on their employment details this March. This is expected to appeal to recruiters, placing Facebook in direct competition with Linkedin.
Twitter lends a hand to brands and publishers
Twitter has revealed a shiny new dashboard called analytics for Twitter Cards that will allow brands and publishers to monitor how media-filled tweets perform. This dashboard will then provide companies with personalised tips to help them make more strategic decisions. These new set of tools are already being used by the likes of BuzzFeed, NBC News and ESPN.
Ajax helps you wipe away annoying social trolls
Scouring brand Ajax have develop a new social utility tool, ‘Social Wipes’, allowing you wipe your social slate clean. For Facebook, the tool allows you to unlike pages you’ve liked over the years. For Twitter, it scans all of your followers and people you follow for potential spam bots. Only a week old, Ajax has already helped clean up more than 200,000 page likes on Facebook and nearly 20,000 Twitter spam bots from social feeds. Oddly enough, the brand does not maintain a social presence on either social network.
JBL turns tour tweets into music
JBL has created a digital experience which transforms user tweets into a custom track generated by JBL’s Tweet Music algorithm, converting every letter, number and character into a loop of music. The popularity of the campaign is evident: in just one week of the promotion, JBL received 2,600 mentions using the @JBLaudio handle, compared to it’s typical average of 360. They have also accumulated 3,100 new followers with nearly 1,200 songs created so far. The opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Grammy Awards is no doubt having a positive impact.
Thinking of buying a DLSR? Not after this campaign…
This week We Are Social launched the “why DSLR?” campaign for Panasonic, with a series of videos featuring a bodybuilder, an owl and a duel-style shoot-out between two cameras to promote its mirrorless Lumix cameras. We Are Social will also monitor social conversations surrounding DSLR cameras found on internet forums and across social platforms and will respond to questions about DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Sarah Oliver, Account Director at We Are Social said:
Whichever stage of the purchase journey people are at – researching DSLRs on forums or searching to buy a DSLR on Google, this campaign will surface considerable and credible expert opinion with the power to change their decision.
OnePiece unveils #HackTheSale social campaign
The Norwegian clothing company OnePiece, is inviting customers to share its #HackTheSale campaign on Facebook and Twitter, to communally drive down the price of a onesie jumpsuit. Every time a customer uses the #HackTheSale app to share the campaign on either of the social networks, the price of a Lusekofte Onesie, which starts at £139, will go down.
Microsoft faces a fumble with the FTC
Microsoft didn’t know what they were in for when they signed a content deal with YouTube network Machinima. Machinima recruited YouTube creators to make videos about the Xbox One, however these console enthusiasts didn’t disclose that they were paid to promote the product. As a result, Microsoft has unintentionally disobeyed the FTC’s endorsement disclosure guidelines, which may result in intervention.
Brands’ Grammy Tweet Attempts…
The awards season is truly upon us, beginning with a bang over the weekend with the Grammys. And, of course, that can only mean one thing; social media triumphs and disasters. Antiperspirant brands a plenty tried desperately to jump onto the Grammy conversation, but armpit puns and poor jokes fell on deaf ears. Others, such as Pizza Hut and Fitbit, tried to brazenly join in the conversations, with various jokes, ‘tips’, but alas, failed to win the hearts – or the RT’s – of the Grammy viewers.
However, some brands were right on the money. Pharrell Williams was trending on Twitter that evening, due to his questionable headgear at the awards. Restaurant chain Arby’s, whose logo looks a bit like Pharrell’s hat, was quick off the bat to tweet him just that. The tweet received over 70,000 RT’s, demonstrating the power of social if your timing is right, coupled with a genius comment.
#BBCtrending: ‘Go home train, you’re drunk’
A tweet containing a peculiar picture of a train being transported through a town in Wales has been retweeted more than 2,200 times. The tweet was sent by We Are Social’s very own, Chris Applegate, along with the line “Go home train, you’re drunk”. In addition to being retweeted by the likes of DJs Rob da Bank, Sara Cox and Jameela Jamil, the tweet has been ‘favourited’ more than 1,000 times. Chris shared his secret of triggering a Twitter mini trend with the BBC, declaring it’s down to a combination of three factors; the picture itself, the line, and the timing.
Go home train, you’re drunk pic.twitter.com/paEViGrn7u
— Chris Applegate (@qwghlm) January 17, 2014