We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #32

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Social networks around the world
Social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza updates his World Map of Social Networks twice a year in June and December, and has recently published his latest June 2012 map. Noticeably, China and Russia are still holding strong against the dominance of Facebook, which is the top social network in 126 out of the 137 countries analysed. In Asia, Tencent Qzone reigns supreme in China, followed by Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo, while Zing Me is still the top social network in Vietnam. Interestingly, LinkedIn is the second most popular social network in India ahead of Orkut. An odd finding is that Facebook is the top social network in Japan, even though we’d have pegged Twitter for top social network.



Facebook sees high engagement in Japan
Facebook has been gaining popularity in Japan, and user growth is forecasted to remain strong through 2012 at 51.5% for a total of 11.5 million users by year’s end. Engagement is also strong amongst Facebook users in Japan, according to a February 2012 Macromill survey of Facebook users in Japan, translated by What Japan Thinks. Apparently 52.8% of Facebook users in Japan access the site daily, while 25% access the social network at least twice a day. Users aren’t merely logging on more often; they are spending more time on-site as well, with 28% spending an average of 30 minutes or more on the site every time they log on. The battle for top social network in Japan continues to be a close one between Facebook and Twitter.

Kotex’s social media-focused campaign in China
Feminine care brand Kotex broaches the taboo subject of menstruation among young women in China by introducing a fictional ‘Aunt Agony’ character An Xiaoqi, who talks about the daily life of a young woman in modern Shanghai through her Sina Weibo account, which has nearly 152,289 followers to date. The weibo-driven campaign ‘Stuff Girls Don’t Say’ is designed to raise awareness about the Kotex brand, educate women about personal care issues and eliminate the stigma surrounding the subject of menstruation through hilarious real-life situations depicted through Sina Weibo and a Kotex-sponsored online video series.

Puma leverages on social media in Asia
As part of its Spring-Summer 2012 social campaign in selected cities in Asia Pacific, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, sports brand Puma launched its Puma Dream Team app , which generates a user’s social infographic based on their activities on Facebook, which they can then share with their individual social networks. Through the social activities they’ve engaged in for the last three months, users will find out the ‘Teammate’ role they play in each team they create. To encourage footfall in retail store offline, users of the app will receive shopping vouchers that can be redeemed in Puma stores for every team they create. More than 3,000 profiles and activities have been analyzed and installed a month since its launch, with 300 shopping vouchers and coupons claimed within three weeks.

Sina Weibo’s app update offers online shopping features
Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo has updated its official mobile app, now with added support for mobile commerce. What was previously the ‘nearby goods’ feature is now accessible in its ‘Discover’ tab, which allows users to browse nearby e-commerce items and purchase any of them from within the app itself. This mobile commerce function is somehow not supported on Sina Weibo’s browser homepage as yet, but even though online items are currently filtered only by location and lacks support for specific searching, this is an interesting development to keep an eye on as Sina Weibo continues adding more powerful functionalities.

New Chinese social features for Apple iOS 6
Apple’s WWDC keynote in San Francisco addressed several new developments that will be of interest to its Chinese users, especially in terms of social media functionalities. There will be support for Chinese search giant Baidu as a search provider, sharing capabilities to Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo and video-sharing to online video sites Youku and Tudou

How much are a brand’s Facebook fans engaging with its page?
As social marketers try to find the magic key to unlock fan engagement, the highly respected Admap has released a new study that points out that most of them aren’t doing a great job. In any given week, on average of less than 0.5% of Facebook fans engage with a brand they are fans of. The category that the brand page sits within makes some difference, with automotive the most engaged category with 0.98% engagement:

Which goes to show how much difference an agency such as ourselves can make, for example, by helping Jaguar to achieve more than 12x the automotive average and withPG Tips more than 33x the average for beverages/soft drinks.

Social signals are now most important search ranking factors
In news that will turn the SEO industry upside down (and most likely divert search budgets to social), a new study from Searchmetrics has revealed that Facebook is king for brands that want to boost their Google rankings. Shares and ‘Likes’ on Facebook dominate the list of factors that affect search rankings, with Twitter also having a big impact:

Perhaps not surprisingly, Google+ actually scored the highest correlation with search rankings, but the study’s author said the network “does not currently have enough users for us to be totally confident about this finding”.

B2C and U.S.-based companies most likely to track and follow up on social
B2B companies and companies outside the United States are falling behind on social media monitoring. Satmatrix surveyed 1,000 global B2B and B2C brands and found that they monitor social networks to varying degrees, with a frightening 28% of all companies surveyed not monitoring or tracking mentions of their brand online at all.

Twitter bots boost follower counts
As many as 46% of Twitter followers of major brands could be bots, a professor of communications has warned. However, with a small sample size of 10,000 followers for each of the 39 brands tested and an algorithm instead of a person determining who’s a bot, these findings are bound to be a bit exaggerated.

Facebook launches App Center
Facebook has taken its first big step into creating an app ecosystem for desktop and mobile, with the launch of its App Center. Looking for a new game or want to see what apps your friends are using? The App Center gives personal recommendations and shows you what your friends are doing when they aren’t updating their statuses.

Twitter adds photos, hashtags, usernames and more with Facebook integration
Every day, Twitter users send out 400 million tweets, mostly on mobile. That’s only set to increase (and it has, even over last month, when 340 million tweets were sent daily) partially through increased integration with Facebook. Because of an update from Twitter, thumbnails and links to hashtags and Twitter handles now appear when Twitter accounts post automatically to Facebook using their app:

A Twitter spokesman said:

We have fixed many issues with the Twitter for Facebook integration, including the ability to post to Facebook Pages, and added some new features. The updated Twitter for Facebook integration now includes additional rich media experiences related to the first photo, URL, @mention or #hashtag in the cross-posted Tweet.

Twitter launches its first TV ad
Twitter is sending the message that it’s all grown up after buying its first TV ad during Sunday’s Nascar coverage in the US. The ad promotes its new (commercial) partnership with Nascar.

#allnew4sq grows out of its ‘check-in app’ shell
Foursquare’s redesign has morphed it into a full-fledged recommendations app that should have the likes of Yelp and Urbanspoon shaking in their boots. Version 5 isn’t just an update to the mobile app, but also an overhaul of Foursquare’s website, which now mirrors the mobile experience. It also adds a news feed of sorts, detailing your friends’ check-ins, photos and tips. Although founder Dennis Crowley admits that the latest version takes the spotlight away from the check-in, it’s heavy on the recommendations, and the amount of data that the app collects could allow Foursquare to predict “what’s going to be going on in downtown Manhattan two hours from now”.

Maroon 5 promotes its new single through Foursquare
The band is giving away free downloads of its new single ‘Payphone’ when fans check-in on Foursquare to, you guessed it, a payphone. And although we wouldn’t have any trouble finding one of those delightfully iconic red boxes here in London, this sweepstakes is only available across the pond in seven major U.S. cities.

adidas creates football Tumblr for UEFA Euro 2012
We Are Social’s client adidas has just launched a football Tumblr that will only help stoke the excitement for Euro 2012. Drawing content from both established names in football and up-and-coming sports writers, the Tumblr will be the place for football GIFs, cinemagraphs and a look at the games from an insider’s perspective.

Will Facebook dominate the so-called ‘Social Media Games’?
With 46 days until the Olympics, sponsors have been pushing their Games campaigns, with the focus heavily directed at Facebook content. Cadbury lands at the forefront of this effort, sending fans who’ve bought a chocolate bar with a promo code to its Facebook page to enter and instantly win. CommsCorner highlights 10 innovative (and a few less so) campaigns.

Elle UK want to spur magazine sales through social
The magazine’s biggest push yet into social media has brought back some rewarding numbers. After teasing fans with exclusive behind-the-scenes content of a semi-naked David Beckham, Elle posted big increases in page and video views with fans finding the content via Facebook and Twitter. The publishing industry has been slow in places when it comes to fully adopting social, but Elle’s momentum shows what is possible.

Burberry tweets a personal thanks to its 1 million followers
Using the promoted hashtag #thanksamillion, Burberry is sending out a simple but lovely personal animated thank you to its followers, though with a distinctly less personal tweet.

Next reminisces about 30 years of fashion through Facebook and Spotify
To celebrate its 30-year anniversary, high-street retailer Next has dug through its closet of history and created an interactive timeline featuring a series of shareable images that sum up fashion moments, each accompanied by a Spotify playlist.

Costa Coffee says hello to Twitter after four years of silence
Despite posting content on Facebook and Tumblr, Costa has neglected Twitter since October 2008 when it posted, “We’ve finally arrived on Twitter!”. Well, maybe now it actually has, with its second tweet in four years saying “It’s been a long time between tweets…but we’re back!”. Costa promises more content coming soon, and it will be intriguing to see whether it can take on Starbucks in social.

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