Here are all of the posts tagged ‘we are social’.

Measuring Facebook engagement

by Abrye Redeker

Written by Jamie Robinson of We Are Social’s London office.

Of all the social networking sites today, Facebook is without a doubt the one that continues to develop at a phenomenal rate. Yet, open discussions about how best to measure Facebook don’t seem to have evolved greatly.

Over the past couple of years there’s been much debate about the changes to Facebook’s content distribution engine. More brands are joining the social network, people are following more of these brands and competition to get a slot in people’s News feed is at a premium.

We all know that organic reach of Facebook posts has dropped. Depending on brand and industry our trackers put the organic reach of individual posts between 1% and 8% – with an average at ~3% for large pages (as a proportion of a page’s Facebook fan size).

As a result, if a brand wants to reach its community, and perhaps more importantly, if it wants to reach new audiences on Facebook, a paid media strategy is vital.

I’m not interested in fuelling the debate as to the reasons why Facebook organic reach has dropped. What I’m interested in is what this means from a measurement perspective.

Socialbakers has recently argued a shift away from the commonly used engagement rate methodology. It’s a pretty strong signal, considering this is what Socialbakers’ Analytics platform was built around. Also, with a large brand/agency client list (including We Are Social and our clients), it’s not unreasonable to suggest that this shift will influence how many marketers will be measuring their Facebook activity in the future.

To recap, the Socialbakers engagement methodology weighs post engagements (likes, comments & shares) by the number of fans of that page (they actually have two engagements rates; a post and a page engagement rate).

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The rationale being that by dividing by the number of fans a page has to give you a percentage engagement figure, you are able to better compare pages of different fan sizes.

Now, Socialbakers is arguing that we should be concentrating on the raw number of engagements – i.e. no longer weighing these by the number of Facebook fans.

The reasoning? That with organic reach dropping and the rise of News Feed based advertising the playing field is no longer level, or to put it another way, that the number of Facebook fans isn’t a true reflection of the opportunity a post has to be engaged-upon. Therefore, from a measurement perspective, it’s no longer considered a good base to measure performance.

For people that rely heavily on this methodology, the concern might be the impact this change has when benchmarking pages of different sizes; i.e., a small page whose competitor has many more fans could move from a leading engagement rate position to a losing one.

For me, that’s the whole point. While I certainly subscribe to the view that your Facebook community is still very important, at the end of the day, any serious brand investing in Facebook isn’t there to only engage a small group of people, who let’s face it, are potentially already loyal advocates. In addition to engaging this loyal following, isn’t the Facebook opportunity also one of reaching and engaging new audiences?

So if your closest competitor is generating many more engagements than you, it’s fair to say they’re reaching more people with their content.

I’m not suggesting that it’s only about reach. Reach for reach’s sake isn’t the objective. We should be all aiming to reach the correct audience with great content. And a proxy for great content can be the engagements it receives.

  • Engaging content often results in a lift in viral reach
  • Engaging content is a signal that the reached audience had some form of emotional reaction to your content
  • Engaging content can have higher recall thanks to the social context displayed (ie. seeing that your friends have engaged with that content / page)

So, where does this leave us from a measurement perspective?

Reach & frequency

At We Are Social, before talking engagement we’d suggest that Reach and Frequency (the average number of times people have been reached) are two of the most important metrics to be measuring on your page.

While individual post reach/frequency is useful, it’s the weekly or monthly reach & frequency that’s important, i.e. how many people are seeing your content and how often. While everyone is fixated on the 1-3% organic reach that individual posts have dropped to it’s the total reach you’re getting at the end of the week/month that you should be focusing on.

Instead of viewing reach as a sub-set of the number of fans you have, approach reach as a market-size opportunity. Use Facebook Insights to gauge your potential market size and plan a paid-media strategy that enables you to reach this audience.

Also, as social media shifts to a more paid approach, brands should invest in research into the impact of “viewed” content and not just “engaged” content.

Business outcomes

This varies by industry / brand – but I’m talking things like click-throughs, conversions to sign-ups, conversions to sales etc. Sure – for many sectors Facebook is going to remain a top of the funnel marketing channel, but that’s no excuse to not track and optimise for business outcomes.

Engagement

Engagement rates shouldn’t be an objective in itself. We should be focusing on the quality and outcome of those engagements. For example, is the engagement positive or negative? What are the key audience takeouts from the engagement? Ultimately, what is the brand or business impact of these engagements (linked to the above).

With this in mind you can measure the engagements that matter and optimise around that.

To do this, engagements should be weighted by Reach (or impressions) – i.e. as a proportion of people who actually saw your content, what was the engagement rate? There are a raft of metrics to use, but using Facebook’s own terminology, at a page level we’re talking about Engaged users / Reach or Consumers / Reach – at a post level Post Engaged users / Reach and Post Likes+Comments+Shares / Impressions etc. Depending on your Facebook objectives you may wish to give higher value to specific interactions (eg – video plays over 95%, post shares etc).

Reach data is of course not public, so this way of calculating engagement rates is only possible for page administrators and can’t be compared to competitor pages. In order to benchmark engagement rates in this way, look to other brand, product or country pages within your organisations portfolio.

Benchmarking engagement vis-a-vis your competitors is where a tool such as Socialbakers will help you. However, it’s vital to understand that the Socialbakers engagement rate methodology isn’t necessarily showing you how engaging content is – it’s showing you how many engagements it’s receiving – which can be highly influenced by paid media.

In reality the change in methodology from Socialbakers only changes one thing – how brands rank against each other. Either methodology (as a % of fans or raw metrics) will still enable you to identify peaks and troughs of engagements. If you’re intent on benchmarking public data I’d suggest that ranking your activity versus your competitors in raw metrics is probably a better indicator of your impact on Facebook.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #147

by Abrye Redeker

Metro Trains leverage content opportunity

Australia’s favourite PSA series leveraged Pamplona’s annual Running of the Bulls for their latest addition to the Dumb Ways to Die videos.

 

Advertisers will increase social ad budgets

Most advertisers are planning to increase their ad budgets for social media, according to an Ad Age survey of 1,682 agency executives. Of those asked, 53% will modestly increase their Twitter budget, compared to 48% for Facebook and 43% for YouTube. ‘Significant increases’ are expected by roughly 10% of respondents for all platforms, while hardly anyone plans to ‘significantly decrease’ budgets on any of the three networks.

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Eventbrite release their ROI figures on social sharing

A 2013 Eventbrite sales analysis shows that social media shares on Twitter drive $10.90 while Facebook & LinkedIn follow with only $4.10 & $3.20.

“This is most likely due to the fact that Facebook has a deeper penetration in Australia, leading to more cluttered and potentially less relevant newsfeeds,” Eventbrite international expansion manager Elsita Meyer-Brandt said. “On the other hand, Twitter is less saturated, meaning less distraction for users. Also, the 140 character limit means users often need to click on links to see more information.”  Read more on Mumbrella.

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Lorna Jane takes the #1 Facebook spot in retail fashion

The Australian Facebook Performance Report shows that Lorna Jane has pulled ahead of Bonds, Nike, Country Road & General Pants to become the most highly engaged Facebook brand in the retail fashion category. With the leading engagement rate of 1.65%, Jessie Dean, Digital Media Manager for Lorna Jane says: “With Facebook ‘likes’ growing at over 4500 per week its clear that customers know the Lorna Jane experience doesn’t end when they buy something.”

Facebook buys LiveRail

Facebook is to further increase its video ad business with the purchase of LiveRail, one of the biggest video ad sellers, which automates the sale of video adverts for the likes of MLB, ABC and DailyMotion. According to Ad Age, a Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the price of the deal. Facebook will use LiveRail’s data when serving ads on its own network, and vice versa. This should help to amplify Facebook’s ‘Audience Network’, which allows advertisers to extend campaigns beyond the social network.

Facebook creates ‘missed call’ ad unit for India

Facebook has produced a new ad unit, the ‘missed call’, exclusively for India. In a blog post, Facebook explained how it will work:

When a person sees an ad on Facebook they can place a ‘missed call’ by clicking the ad from their mobile device. In the return call, the person receives valuable content, such as music, cricket scores or celebrity messages, alongside a brand message from the advertiser — all without using airtime or data.

India has a culture of pre-paid phone contracts, which often include high costs for data and text messages; as such, the missed call is a common workaround. Facebook is hoping to take advantage of this behaviour in the country, which has its second-highest global user base.

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Twitter ups mobile ad offering

Twitter has made two moves to improve its mobile ad offering in the last week. First of all, it is now offering mobile app installation ads, which it has been testing since earlier this year, to all advertisers. Secondly, it has purchased TapCommerce, which helps mobile businesses to retarget ads, for a reported $100m. The two moves display a clear intent by Twitter to focus on mobile advertising.

Tweets appear with ‘buy now’ button

A ‘buy now’ button appeared on several tweets last week, all linked to the @fancy account. The button was only visible on mobile and didn’t actually do anything when clicked, inciting speculation that it was either a test or an accident. However, it looks likely that shopping on Twitter will be here soon enough.

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Vine adds loop count

Vine has added a ‘loop count’, a metric that displays how many times a particular Vine has been repeated. The idea is that this will show which videos are best engaging their audience, which could be big news for brands. We Are Social’s Luke Carrell talked to AgencySpy about the move:

For many marketers, Vine continues to be a bit of an enigma, with its younger audience and tendency to reward quick, quirky humor that can be difficult to get exactly right. While many brands have embraced the platform as an outlet for one-off creative exercises, more robust metrics such as the introduction of content impressions (e.g. Loops) opens the door for gathering insights that can help build smarter content plays over the long term.

Google kills Orkut

Google is bringing an end to Orkut, its original social network, which remains popular in Brazil and India. It released a blog post, which stated that “YouTube, Blogger and Google+ [had] outpaced Orkut’s growth”. September 30th will be the network’s final day.

The World Cup breaks records in social

The World Cup has been one of the most talked-about events of all time online, and there is now more evidence to support that. The total number of Facebook posts, comments and likes relating to the World Cup has reached the 1bn mark, with 11 posts from footballers competing in the tournament each receiving more than 1m likes. Of these, seven came from Neymar, three from Messi and one from Ronaldo. Meanwhile, Brazil’s penalty shootout victory over Chile elicited 389,000 tweets in one minute, the highest figure of all time. The previous record was held by February’s Superbowl, in which a single touchdown caused 382,000 tweets in a minute.

adidas and We Are Social produce real-time World Cup content

Ad Age recently spent the day at adidas’s real-time marketing hub at the World Cup in Rio, a 40-strong delegation that includes some of the We Are Social gang. Their article about the experience highlights adidas and We Are Social’s extensive pre-World Cup preparation, while also discussing the way in which the team deals with reactive content on the ground. So far, adidas is the most talked-about brand of the entire tournament.

 

 

 

We Are Social and adidas celebrate Djokovic’s Wimbledon win

In the immediate aftermath of Novak Djokovic’s thrilling fifth set win over Roger Federer at Wimbledon, We Are Social and adidas Tennis posted a congratulatory tweet and image to celebrate the moment. It was the culmination of two weeks of support for its players, all under the umbrella of #smashthesilence. The tweet itself has received over 1,250 retweets, the hashtag being mentioned 10,700 times throughout the tournament.

We Are Social and evian create #LetsPlay

We Are Social created a campaign for water brand, evian, which encouraged people to live young during Wimbledon. Fans simply had to tweet @evianwater with #LetsPlay. Lucky winners received a personalised Vine, sung by Vive Vocals.

Monster puts job ads in Twitter cards

Monster, the recruitment company, has released a new Twitter card, which displays a full job advert within a tweet. Here it is in all its glory:

Barbie joins LinkedIn

Looking for a career as a plastic toy? Better connect with Barbie – she’s just joined LinkedIn. The move is promoting the doll’s latest incarnation, ‘Entrepreneur Barbie’, whose profile includes details on her long and illustrious career, as well as an explanation of her latest venture, ‘Dream Incubator’.

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Ikea creates Instagram ‘website’

Ikea has created an Instagram page that functions like a website. By featuring products from its Ikea PS collection, alongside a product description, it takes advantage of the network’s layout, as explained in the video below.

Vodafone is curating a Twitter play

Vodafone is teaming up with Spanish actor, Raúl Arévalo, to curate a play from tweets. Twitter users will be encouraged to send in suggestions for lines/directions using the hashtag #firstteatrotuits (first theatre tweets), after which the play will be performed to a live audience in Madrid’s Capitol Theatre. The audience, too, will be encouraged to send in their own suggestions.

AutoTrader.com and Overly Attached Girlfriend

AutoTrader.com has enlisted the help of Laina Morris, better known as ‘Overly Attached Girlfriend’, in its latest online campaign. The online star is featured in a video, in which she uses the site’s various features to help keep her search hidden from her partner. After watching, viewers are encouraged to take part in a similar online treasure hunt.

CALM launches the Twitter #Mandictionary

Male suicide charity, CALM, has created a Twitter campaign, which asks users to tweet their suggestions for vocabulary to express male emotion, using #Mandictionary. The charity hopes the campaign will help promote discussion of male mental health, and intends to use the submissions in future ads.

Twitter trolls Robin Thicke

Music channel VH1 encouraged Twitter users to tweet questions to Robin Thicke last week, using #AskThicke. Naturally, for such a controversial figure, some of the questions weren’t quite what Thicke might have hoped. Many tweets, such as the below, highlighted Thicke’s questionable history and accusations of misogyny.

Ukrainian club creates social media bar

The Boom Boom Room, a night club in Kiev, has a set menu of eleven drinks in its newly-launched “Check-in bar”, each of which can be purchased in exchange for a different social media activity. A hashtagged Instagram selfie is worth one shot, a photo with four tagged friends earns you a bottle of Prosecco and there’s a special drink for a mayor’s badge on Foursquare.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #125

by Rosalie Odtojan in News, Uncategorized

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.

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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.

OnePiece: launches #HackTheSale campaign

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.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #113

by Rosalie Odtojan in News

Dwight Howard signature shots with adidas
Whenever sports stars come to Asia, they do an autograph session. But when NBA superstar, Dwight Howard came to Manila, adidas went all out for basketball fans to do something that had never been done before. Brilliant!

Virgin America: The Safety Video Dance
Virgin America’s #VXsafetydance video is tearing up the internet right now, with over 4 million views in just a few days. It’s interesting, and sure, people already have a lot to say about it but we’ll let you be the judge.

Facebook remains number one for social logins, Google+ making ground
According to figures from Q3 2013, Facebook’s dominance as the source of social logins to websites and mobile apps is under threat. Currently, it holds 51% of social logins, down 1% from the previous quarter, while Google+ has risen 2% to 26%. On mobile, the figures are slightly better for Facebook, with 66% to Google+’s 20%, while overall it is still way ahead in certain parts of the world.

Facebook’s Q3 figures: revenue and mobile usage up
Facebook has released its Q3 2013 figures, with impressive growth in mobile usage reflected in its revenue. In total, 48% of the network’s daily active users are now on mobile, with a total of 874 million monthly active users, compared with 819 million in Q2 or 604 million for Q3 2012.

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This growth is reflected in revenue figures, as 49% of the ad revenue now comes from mobile ads. That’s the ad revenue that makes up $1.80bn of the total $2.02bn for the quarter – a whopping 89% of all the money made by the network. The majority of this ($832m) originates in the USA & Canada, but significant growth can be seen in the graph below for all major global markets.

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Facebook admits drop in teen usage
Last week’s tune-up brought you the news that Facebook had seen a drop in relevance to US teens. Well, now the network has stepped up and admitted it. David Ebersman, Facebook’s CFO, said:

Our best analysis of youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable… [However,] we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.

This is an interesting admission by Facebook – it’ll be worth keeping an eye out on what measures they take to tackle the decline.

A more visual Twitter
Twitter announced an update this week that’s set to add colour to the network: a preview of pictures and Vine videos will now appear front and centre in tweets, rather than users having to click to see media. This opens up a whole new avenue for advertising, in that Twitter can now essentially sell display ads, a system of which some brands have already taken advantage.

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Google+: custom URLs and new hangout features
Google+ announced a couple of updates last week. First of all, it will allow custom URLs for accounts that meet three conditions. That account must be 30+ days old, have 10+ followers and have a profile picture – but good luck finding 10 real followers. On top of this, there are some changes to hangouts, which now support HD, filters, location settings (through Google maps), GIFs and SMS integration.

Michael Kors and the first Instagram ad
Fashion retailer Michael Kors posted the first ever Instagram ad to an, erm, mixed reception. Naturally, considering that it was the first ad users had ever seen on the network, it got a fair number of complaints. However, the post also saw excellent engagement, with over 150k likes compared with their normal average of around 50k. So, as almost always, there are two sides to the story – it’s worth waiting to see how quickly Instagrammers adapt to ads on the platform.

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David Beckham’s Face-book signing
David Beckham last week took part in a book signing with a twist through Facebook. Rather than directly meet fans and sign their books, he instead ‘signed’ people’s Facebook profiles, while taking part in a live Q&A.

Wendy’s #PretzelLoveStories
Fast food retailer Wendy’s has promoted its latest burger, the ‘Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich’, with a campaign named #PretzelLoveStories. Basically, they’ve created a soap opera spoof from tweets around the sandwich, which you can watch below.

Audi renews #WantAnR8 campaign
Audi has re-released its #WantAnR8 campaign, which asks users to create a virtual lap of the Sonoma Raceway track for the chance to win exclusive driving experiences. From the #WantanR8 Tumblr, fans can select exclusive footage and audio to create a virtual video lap of the Raceway, which they then post to YouTube and Twitter with the hashtag #WantAnR8 to be in with a chance to win.

We Are Social UK produce HP Sauce Movember campaign
HP Sauce is a major partner of Movember for the third year running, and We Are Social UK has produced a campaign to celebrate. Mo Bros are asked to complete a different challenge every week, each of which involves posting a Mo-related photo to the HP Sauce Facebook page via an app. For doing so, participants can win everything from exclusive Movember prizes to Mo fund top ups, all of which go towards raising money and awareness for men’s health.

Katy Perry is now the most followed Twitter user
Katy Perry overtook Justin Bieber as the most popular Twitter user last week, with 46.5 million followers to his paltry 46.49 million.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #110

by Stephanie Ryan in News

Worldwide mobile connections to reach 6.6 billion this year
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency no less, has released figures on the growth of mobile connectivity around the world. There are currently 2.7 billion people online, though increasing figures suggest that, by the end of 2013, mobile connections around the world will amount to 6.8bn. That’s a whopping 96.2% of the world’s population, even if there are some people with more than one handset.

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US smartphone and tablet use still on the up
Likewise, smartphone ownership is growing rapidly in the USA at least, according to new research. At the end of 2012, 58% of US mobile phone users had a smartphone, a figure set to jump to 74% by the end of this year and 80% in 2014. Tablet figures are slightly lower, but their growth is no less impressive: from 33% in 2012 to 52% in 2013 and 64% in 2014.

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A third of UK social media users don’t use major platforms
A recent telephone poll of 1,003 UK adults has found that one third of social media users don’t use either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn. The research points at the growth of newer networks, or potentially the revival of old ones like MySpace and Bebo, but it’s not all bad news for the traditional social powerhouses. Of those surveyed, 56% had a Facebook account, 35% YouTube and 26% Twitter.

New Facebook Insights for all
After offering a new set of insights to a select few in June, Facebook has now rolled them out for all pages. For those that don’t know, there are a fair few changes, with an entire new look to boot. Perhaps the most important is the use of simpler metrics; ‘People Talking About This’ has been broken down into a variety of individual actions including likes, tags, mentions and check ins, to allow greater understanding of how people interact with your page, while positive and negative post actions (think, for example, a like vs. hiding a post) have been collated next to one another in the interest of balance. There are also additional insights about the people who interact with your content, rather than simply those you’ve reached.

Comcast allowing viewers to ‘See It’ through Twitter
Comcast, the US TV network that owns NBC Universal, is partnering with Twitter to allow fans to instantly watch and record TV shows mentioned in Tweets. The tweets, linked to NBC’s cable schedule and its Winter Olympics coverage, will contain a ‘See It’ button. Once clicked, users will need to be signed in to their Comcast account, at which point they can carry out a number of actions, from watching on their set-top box or on a mobile device/on demand to recording it in the future and scheduling a reminder. The move shows a significant move forward in Twitter’s aim to capitalise on the chatter around ‘Social TV’ and convert conversation into viewing figures.

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Foursquare updates ads and iPhone app
There have been a couple of updates to Foursquare this week. Firstly, its promoted listings ads are now available for small businesses. Previously only for larger establishments, these ads show up in the explore feed and cost from around $1 to $7 per action. As well as aiming to increase its ad revenue, the network has released the latest version of its iPhone app, with two major changes. First of all, it now has passive real-time recommendations that push directly to the user’s phone when they are in a certain area, previously only available on Android. Additionally, the activity feed has been simplified considerably and now looks as below:

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Smirnoff release ‘Mixhibit’ app
Vodka brand Smirnoff has produced an app called ‘Mixhibit’, which allows fans to assemble tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos into a custom video with music, then upload it to social networks such as Facebook. AdAge spoke to Michelle Klein, Smirnoff’s VP for global marketing, about the app, whose title plays on the use of the brand’s drink in a variety of cocktails. She also went into some detail about the brand’s positioning within social media, as shown in the video below.

TOMS looking to raise awareness on World Sight Day
Fashion line TOMS looked to raise awareness of World Sight Day on October 10th by asking fans to take a photo of themselves wearing sunglasses in an indoor setting, then share it on a social networking site with the hashtag #BeShady. There was no competition element, with the brand instead focussing on awareness, also creating a limited edition pair of sunglasses.

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Tourism Victoria runs live ‘Remote Control Tourist’ social initiative 
Tourism Victoria recently ran a live social initiative called ‘Remote Control Tourist.’ For five days, four tourists with camera helmets acted as the eyes and ears of online viewers. The tourists’ actions were controlled by live commands from viewers over Facebook and Twitter. The tourists travelled 109 kilometres, ate 11 burgers, drank 34 coffees and gave out 203 hi-fives and hugs. Altogether, 8726 user requests were made.

Malaysia Airlines celebrate one million fans with YouTube video
Malaysia Airlines has celebrated reaching one million Facebook fans by posting a video to YouTube, featuring their social media ambassador, singer-songwriter Yuna. The brand has referred to it as part of a strategy to show that it’s “serious about social media”.

Pope Francis joins Instagram
The @Pontifex Twitter account has been such a big success that the big guy has decided to join Instagram. With over three million Twitter followers in English alone (not to mention another 180k in Latin) it’s no wonder that Papa Franciscus has decided to expand his social presences, contributing to the photo-sharing network with images of himself meeting followers of the Church, leading prayers and other papal activites.

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