We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
Indonesian startup brings back nostalgia of developing photos
Claiming it’s not a competitor of Printerous, this Indonesian startup called Pictalogi serves to bring back the novelty of printing photographs chosen across three photo sources. The site allows users to select their images from Facebook and Instagram and collect it into a pre-set photo album and print it.
An interesting and refreshing deviation from how we use real-time methods of sharing our photographs today, as opposed to how photography initially started out to be.
Facebook election tracker for upcoming Indian elections? Sounds social.
Facebook wants to be at the heart of the debate – a debate that involves 814 million eligible Indian citizens surrounding talks of the election candidates for the upcoming Indian national elections. Facebook rolled out its Indian election tracker along with a trend tracker that counts mentions on Facebook for each of the leading politicians and election candidates.
Definitely a good way to hear the voices of the people in light of a large national event.
Let’s quit all the social media rumor-mongering and just #prayforMH370
In light of the recent disappearance of a Malaysian airlines flight MH370 that was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Saturday, it is evident that social media has taken over newsfeeds by storm with a mix of both inappropriate and inaccurate reports of the incident. We all know how our friends on Facebook have turned into ‘investigators’, culling information that only to add on to the drama of the investigations. It’s time we stopped, took a step back and remember to socially mention with ethics. Tech in Asia said it well when they wrote on how the usage of social media has spread news of this incident in a way we hope to improve.
Facebook Page organic reach keeps falling
Further evidence has arrived of a decrease in the organic reach of posts from brand pages on Facebook. An analysis of 106 country-level brand pages found that average organic reach dipped from 12.05% in October 2013 to 6.15% in February this year; for the 23 pages analysed with 500,000 fans or more, the equivalent decrease was from 4.04% to 2.11%. If you’re concerned about this change, then read our recommended approach to dealing with the issue.
Facebook redesigns desktop News Feed
Facebook has made a number of changes to its desktop News Feed. After an unpopular dramatic overhaul around a year ago, the social network has played it fairly safe, with a new design that includes different iconography, larger photos, fresh fonts and the presence of story cards, along with a large search bar at the top of the page. The redesign is being pushed out gradually – if you haven’t got it yet, here’s what it looks like:
Facebook Messenger launches on Windows phone
Facebook has launched a version of its Messenger app for Windows phone. The service, which has been available on iPhone and Android for some time, has a 4.5 star rating from users.
Twitter ad revenue increases
Twitter’s ad revenue increased by 110% to $664.9m in 2013. The growth came as a result of a higher number of ads, although the cost of these ads actually fell throughout that time – by 18% in Q4 2013, or 67% for the whole of the year.
Foursquare location data being used to target ads
Foursquare is bulking up its ad offering by partnering with Turn, an ad targeting firm. This will allow the use of Foursquare’s location data in the serving of ads on mobile and desktop, by anonymously matching user email addresses with web cookies.
Getty allows images to be embedded for free
Stock image site, Getty, has added an embed feature, which renders around 35 million images free for non-commercial use. The move, which could radically alter the way in which stock images are used, looks to tackle illegal image use. When an image is embedded, it will automatically appear with full accreditation.
Mondelez partners with Facebook
Confectionery giant Mondelez has announed a ‘global strategic partnership’ with Facebook, amounting to a 52-country ad deal that includes the USA, UK, France, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Gulf States. Mondelez’s VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Bonin Bough, commented:
For the first time, we’ll be able to incorporate Facebook at the core of our media investment plans. This isn’t just about having a social-media strategy; it’s about digitizing our entire approach to communications.
Airbnb comes to the help of SXSW
Airbnb got in on the action at SXSW by trawling Twitter for those in need of help at the festival and coming to their rescue with more than 100 ‘rewards’, ranging from providing a pair of cowboy boots to furnishing a whole apartment within two hours. This isn’t a new idea for Airbnb, which says it conducts this kind of social media listening and responding all year, usually dishing out five to 10 rewards a week. But it’s certainly put the company in the good books of SXSW attendees over the last few days.
Sina Weibo now has another 2.5 million daily active users
Last quarter was a successful one for Sina, with an additional 2.5 million daily active users. The number of users increased by 4.2% from 58.9 million in September to 61.4 million in December.
WeChat launches Mac app
A web version of WeChat is already available for users to chat on their PCs but there will now be a desktop Mac client – in both English and Chinese. Users need to have Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and above to install the client, and scan a QR code to sync their mobile version to the browser.
Chinese Vine-like app Weishi gaining popularity in China
Tencent’s new app Weishi may just be on its way to success just like its predecessor, the hugely popular WeChat. On Valentine’s Day, it received 160 million video views on a single day, with “millions” more outside the app itself. It is no surprise that the app is in the top three most downloaded social networking apps in Apple’s App Store in China from end December to February 25, 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Oscars and social media
Last night’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.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
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.
— Big Mama’s & Papa’s (@BigMamasNPapas) March 3, 2014
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.
As part of our on-going look at Social, Digital and Mobile around the world, the folks over at InternationalBusinessGuide.org shared this great infographic with us.
We were particularly interested to note that messaging is the most frequent activity on smartphones, even ahead of checking the time.
Added together, people are checking social media and messaging each other 32 times a day – that’s equivalent to twice every waking hour:
LinkedIn launches Chinese-language site
LinkedIn pursues Chinese users more aggressively through a localised version of its site and a joint venture with Sequoia China and CBC Capital. The Chinese version of the professional networking site, branded “领英”, also includes integration with popular local social networking sites, Sina Weibo and Tencent WeChat.
Indonesian Idol rakes in money through Twitter votes
Indonesian Idol, the Indonesian version of popular singing talent show American Idol, has implemented a voting system called Twitter Vote which charges users money for each vote they cast. Fans are charged IDR 2,000 (S$0.22) for every vote cast through the hashtag #Vote(idolname) while mentioning @IndonesianIdol. Fans can also use #Supervote(idolname) to give 20 votes to their favourite idol in a single tweet and can pay using credit card, bank transfer, Doku Wallet or from convenience store chain Alfamart.
Sina Weibo reportedly planning an IPO
According to a report by the Financial Times, Chinese microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, is looking to raise approximately $500 million through a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has also reportedly hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs for the IPO, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of the year. The site may be valued up to $7-$8 billion and is set to be one of the biggest deals from China this year.
KakaoTalk to launch cash gifting feature
Sirgoo Lee, the co-CEO of KakaoTalk announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that his company is working on allowing “modest amounts” of money to be sent through its messaging service, although it is unclear if this feature will be available outside of South Korea. Japan’s Line and China’s WeChat have recently integrated similar financial services into their messaging apps, with five million users participating in WeChat’s Chinese New Year money gifting scheme.
Facebook’s ROI has been underestimated
A study by seven large packaged-goods companies, in partnership with Facebook, Google and Nielsen, has found that marketing-mix models tend to underestimate Facebook ads’ return on investment by up to 48%. By measuring impressions instead of clicks, the ROI of Facebook ads increased by up to 75%.
Facebook buys WhatsApp
Facebook last week announced its acquisition of messenger service WhatsApp for $16bn, or $36 per monthly active user. The Guardian produced a profile of the deal, including the history of WhatsApp, which examines the pros and cons for Facebook. Benefits include the potential for reaching younger users and those in emerging markets. The move comes after rapid growth on WhatsApp; here’s how its user base compares with other big names within the same time period:
Buzzfeed shares on WhatsApp
Last week, Quartz reported that Buzzfeed articles were being shared more frequently on WhatsApp than on Twitter by iOS users, leading to the consideration that publishers may need a WhatsApp strategy. A riposte by Nieman Journalism Lab claimed the figures were skewed; they showed the number of times a user clicked on the ‘share’ button for each platform at the bottom of a Buzzfeed article, not the actual number of impressions. Digiday discussed whether or not publishers should devise a WhatsApp strategy; the piece argues that, while the platform is undoubtedly huge in terms of its user base, it may be a while until it is considered a place to share news.
Changes to Facebook ad targeting
Facebook has updated the way in which advertisers can target different audiences on the platform. First of all, it’s good news for business-to-business marketers (but bad for LinkedIn) as users can now be targeted based on job title. That isn’t all, though; other options include location, demographic, interest and offsite behaviour.
Facebook ad spend focussed on Europe and North America
Facebook’s ad spend is primarily concentrated in North America and Western Europe, despite huge user bases across the world. North America accounts for 52% of global ad spend for just 15% of users, while Western Europe gets 35% for a 14% share of users. The map below shows the potential for growth in other markets, though it’s worth remembering that the average value of each consumer will vary by region.
Twitter’s Marketing Platform Program
Twitter has expanded its Ads API and is now calling it the Marketing Platform Program. The set of partners is intended to increase ROI on Twitter ads and, according to the network, includes all “Ads API partners as well as those in measurement and targeting”.
LinkedIn publishing platform for all
LinkedIn has for some time allowed a network of certain ‘influencers’ to post long-form blogs on the site. It is now opening the publishing platform to all users in a staged move over the next couple of months.
Tide’s Winter Olympic Vines
After the success of using Vine in a Halloween campaign last year, Tide has produced ten more Vine videos around the Winter Olympics. Two examples, with different levels of success, can be seen below.
— Tide (@tide) February 17, 2014
— Tide (@tide) February 19, 2014
Coke’s World Cup Moments of Happiness
Coca-Cola has launched a ‘Moments of Happiness’ campaign for the upcoming World Cup, in which it asks filmmakers to submit video clips around happiness, for the chance to appear in the video for their World Cup ‘anthem’, entitled ‘The World is Ours’. At least 20 winners will appear in the video, while three will be selected to receive $1,000 each.
The Brit Awards and social media
Despite their lowest TV ratings for 15 years, the Brit Awards were a huge success on Twitter, with over 4.17 million tweets. Roughly 2 million of these were votes for the ‘best video’ award, won (shock horror!) by One Direction and their Twitter army. Naturally, brands wanted to get a slice of the action, and it was the first time that British brands made use of Twitter’s Amplify platform.
Twitter users could get exclusive video content through Amplify, with pre-roll ads for Brits sponsor, the haircare brand, VO5. Another sponsor of the event, Mastercard, was not so successful in its social media offering, when news that it had requested specific tweets from journalists in exchange for accreditation went viral. Bookmakers Paddy Power were quick to react on Twitter.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 19, 2014
Pepsi Max using Vines for billboard ads
Pepsi Max is putting Vines on UK billboards, under the hasthtag #LiveForNow. The billboards, which have already been taken over, currently ask people to submit their ‘unbelievable Vines’, which will then be filtered and shown on screen.
KLM partners with Facebook and Twitter for social commerce
The Dutch airline, KLM, announced a partnership with Facebook and Twitter that will allow customers to purchase tickets through the networks. As well as the obvious ease for consumers, this blog post highlights the principal benefits for the brand.
Burberry partners with WeChat
Burberry is looking to grow its Chinese consumer base by partnering with Chinese messenger app, WeChat. Burberry followers will be able to view the brand’s Fashion Week AW14 Womenswear show and personalise digital versions of the collection, in order to unlock exclusive audio content from a senior member of the Burberry design team.
Create your own Instagram adventure
Macmillan Publishers is using Instagram to promote a new book for teenagers. Making use of the ‘tagging’ feature, users can follow a ‘Create Your Own’ adventure, with each click directing the participant to a different account to continue the story. An example is seen below – do you fight back or keep still?
Creme Egg’s Google+ bake off
Cadbury’s Creme Egg is using Google+ to discover new recipes. Hosted by Eric Lanlard, the mastermind behind Creme Egg brownies, the #CremeEggBake asks users to submit their own crazy ideas, with Lanlard set to bake his favourites in a live hangout on the network.
Google and Saatchi Gallery’s Motion Photography Prize
Google+ has partnered with the Saatchi Gallery to produce a gif-making competition, dubbed the ‘Motion Photography Prize’. Users can submit their creations to a panel including director Baz Luhrmann and artist Tracey Emin, with the winner’s work set to appear in the gallery.
#UseMeLeaveMe at SXSW
Those attending this year’s SXSW in Texas may be able to make use of free transport and accomodation. Adobe’s #UseMeLeaveMe campaign includes a free biking programme, in which the vehicles have their own personalities and are capable of posting to Twitter while you use them. There is also a ‘Buds for Beds’ competition, which encourages attendees to explain why they are the ‘deservingest of the deserving’ (sic), for the chance of winning free accomodation at the event.
For the 500,000 people who’ve been reading our recent reports on the state of Social, Digital & Mobile around the world, the next important question becomes:
“What should my brand do to take advantage of these amazing opportunities?”
To answer that question, and help marketers to translate interest and enthusiasm into action, we’re delighted to share a refreshed version of “Making Friends & Influencing People“, our popular guide to strategic social media marketing.
This guide is designed to help everyone across your organisation – from you, to your interns, to your CEO – to make the best possible use of social media.
We’ve split the guide into three parts:
- Some headline statistics to help you set the context when presenting the case for social media to non-marketers;
- The ‘10 Commendments‘ – the ‘mandatories’ for building strong brands in social media;
- Our robust 8-step framework for building a strategic social media plan
The ‘10 Commendments’ deserve a little more introduction though.
First up, the name – and no, it’s not a typo. Social media is a welcoming and inclusive place, and instructive commandments would seem out of place, so we prefer ‘commendments‘ – in other words, friendly recommendations and suggestions.
1. Focus On People, Not Technology
Social media is all about interacting with other people. Technologies and platforms are great, but ultimately they’re just means to an end, so focus on the human benefits rather than the technological possibilities. (More on this topic here)
2. Build Conversations, Not Campaigns
Many short-term marketing campaigns are like pick-up lines: they’re a great way to get the conversation going, but they’re hardly a sustainable basis for a long-term relationship. If it’s enduring value you’re after, think and plan for on-going conversation, not just a quickie. (More on this topic here).
3. Use Content As A Means, Not An End
Content is a fantastic way to start a conversation, but for most brands, it’s the conversation that drives the ultimate value. Whenever you’re planning or posting content of any kind – whether it’s a one-line status update or an hour-long video epic – ask yourself what happens next: “What do I want the audience to do with this content?”
4. Add Value To The Audience’s Life
When it comes to social media, a brand isn’t just up against its competitors; it’s competing with everything in its audience’s life: Photos of kittens. Updates from last night’s party. Those scandalous celebrity pics. So, if you’re not adding distinct value, you’ll likely just disappear into the stream. As a result, you need to clearly articulate how you’re adding relevant value to the audience in the context of their whole life, not just how you’re different to the other brands in your category. (More on this topic here)
5. Listening Is The New Shouting
Understanding people’s wants, needs, and desires has always been the foundation of great marketing, but building that understanding at scale has traditionally been too expensive or too complex. That’s changed significantly with the advent of social media listening tools, which allow marketers everywhere to stay in touch with what their audiences are talking about, sharing, and in some cases, actually buying – for example, restaurant brands might track the #foodporn hashtag on Instagram to identify the most popular dishes of the moment around the world. However, remember that the tools don’t do much on their own – you’ll need to analyse and interpret the data before it can add value to your brand. (Find out more here)
6. Spread The Love
Occasionally, brands strike marketing gold, and their audiences share their updates like wildfire. This is the one-in-a-million shot though; if you’d prefer better odds, putting some ‘financial amplification’ behind your social activities is a more likely way to ensure your investments deliver satisfactory returns. That’s not just about ad dollars though – remember that better crafted content is more likely to drive organic sharing too.
7. Be Prepared
The best thing about social media is that everyone can get involved. However, the bigger the crowd, the more likely it is you’ll have to deal with different, and sometimes conflicting, views. As the old adage says, “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” In reality, there’s a very high chance something, somewhere will go wrong someday, so it’s better to prepare for that day now than to wait until you’re in full-on panic mode. Fortunately, you can read about that in much more detail here.
8. Measure Your Progress
If you’re still of the opinion that half of your ad dollars are surely wasted, but you just don’t know which half, we’ve got good news for you: that should never be a problem you face in social media. Sure, you’re unlikely to ever reach 100% ad efficiency, but if you’re measuring your social media activities properly, you should always know which half of your dollars is working harder for you, so at least you know which dollars to reinvest elsewhere.
9. Optimise As You Go
Following on from the previous Commendment, we have more good news: once you’ve identified which elements of your social media activities need to be tweaked, it’s relatively easy to change them as you go. Even paid media elements can be changed and optimised in real-time.
10. Be In It For The Long Term
Social media success rarely comes overnight, and if it does, it rarely lasts. Social media really is all about relationships, and as with all relationships, you get out what you put in. Invest with a longer-term view, and expect to ‘give’ plenty before you ‘get’ something in return. However, by offering a clearly articulated value proposition to your social audiences over time, they’re more likely to stay with you over the longer term. If you’re wondering about the ROI of that longer-term approach, take a look here.
These may be things you’re already practising every day in your social media work, but ensuring the rest of your organisation is on board too will help you succeed.
So, if you’d like to share a copy of the complete Making Friends & Influencing People guide with them, why not download a copy now (simply click here) and send it over to them.