Here are all of the posts tagged ‘brands’.
Twitter increases focus on Asia
In an effort to increase global engagement and revenues, the newly-listed social media company has gone on an aggressive hiring spree in Asia. The company has reportedly staffed five key marketing and communications positions in the last two months, and is said to be currently hiring for more than 20 positions in the region.
Possible LinkedIn integration on WeChat
The upcoming WeChat update could possibly come with LinkedIn integration and an Android makeover for the popular messaging and social media app. The following screenshots from a private beta version were released on Pingwest.
LinkedIn currently has more than four million registered users in China. Analysts predict that a Chinese-language version of the professional networking platform could be released soon.
Reverse takeover lands mig33 on the ASX
The Singapore and Indonesia-based mobile social networking company, mig33, is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Australia-listed mining exploration company, Latin Gold, acquired it in a reverse takeover, which allows mig33’s shareholders to become majority owners of the combined group. Latin Gold will also take on mig33’s company name.
Wongnai, Thailand’s Yelp, grows to 1 million users
Thai restaurant review site, Wongnai, revealed that it has reached its goal of 1 million registered users since its establishment in 2010. Available both as a website and mobile app, the review site currently sees approximately 220,000 active users per month. Despite its success thus far, Wongnai has not revealed any plans to expand its services beyond Thailand.
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.
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.
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.
Pinterest experiments with GIFs
GIFs may no longer appear just as static images on Pinterest, who are experimenting with a new play button that features on the bottom left of embedded animated GIFs.
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 last night 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.
Social media plays a spectrum of roles in daily life. But how is it different from sending an email, or dialing a phone? You could say that they all started by providing a common function: by allowing convenient and accessible communication. As platforms like Facebook gained momentum, however, the social comms component evolved to provide another value. What was formerly used as an alternative for face-to-face, just like emails or phone calls–evolved to become a canvas for establishing, reinforcing and redefining concepts of self-identity. Even amongst unfamiliar faces, it’s important that we represent some parts of who we are. Online, social media has evolved to require just that. No longer are these platforms solely about speaking with people you know, or perhaps even want to know on a personal level.
Social media has become a platform for the performance of personal identity–a value that is inscribed in its primary value as a means for conversation.
As such, it’s no surprise that TescoMobile’s recent Twitter conversation went viral. It’s crucial to recognise that this conversation started out as one that could have easily been as mundane and insignificant as overhearing a customer service call over the phone.
This conversation went viral precisely because that’s not what happened at all. While the customer’s (somewhat confusing) gripes were addressed early on, that only served as a springboard for TescoMobile to launch into a highly engaging conversation with the dissatisfied customer’s ‘whistle blower’, Riccardo Esposito.
Instead of merely thanking Esposito for ‘bringing this to our attention’ (yawn), TescoMobile framed their appreciation in the context of playful banter. The quirky and captivating tone of voice keeps Esposito engaged, and before long, multiple brands are involved in this strangely spectacular performance of delightful creativity and imagination.
While the conversation effectively steered the topic away from the initial complaint, the brand gained most from its ability to balance humour and humility with effortless finesse.
In the end, this humorous, tongue-in-cheek narrative was never about managing customer service, or even about improving upon common marketing metrics like response time, conversions or engagement rates.
This conversation is ultimately about the magic of social media. It exemplifies how the measurable qualities of clicks and impressions are always underwritten by an ineffable chemistry, the odd science that can make or break the relationship between an audience and a brand.
What this conversation suggests, is ultimately a case for the importance of identity in conversation. When brand messaging sounds more like a friendly chat; when tone of voice hints at totems of personal identity; when brands aren’t afraid to wear their hearts, hopes and humanity on their sleeves–perhaps that’s when a passive fan becomes a loyal friend.
If you need proof, take a look at Twitter reactions to TescoMobile below:
When people buy brands, they’re usually paying for something more than a core product or service.
For example, they don’t really pay for the liquid inside a shampoo bottle; they pay for beautiful hair, and for the confidence which that brings.
Ultimately, people pay for benefits; products and services are simply a means to an end.
The most successful brands understand that broader, benefit-led marketing allows them to extend their impact beyond core products and services to deliver ‘augmented’ offerings that create far greater value to both them and their audiences.
This approach applies to brands across almost all categories:
- Nike sees large-scale participative events like its We Run races as core revenue streams in their own right, not just activities designed to increase sales of the brand’s apparel.
- Apple’s App Stores and iTunes Store move the brand from a manufacturer to a lifestyle brand whose impact extends well beyond the technology sector.
- Madonna purportedly earns more money from concert ticket and merchandise sales than she does from album sales.
- Red Bull has gone so far as to reposition itself as a ‘media and experiences company’, using its ‘extreme stimulation’ proposition to extend the brand’s offering well beyond its heritage of energy drinks.
- American Express doesn’t just offer payment services to its merchants; it uses activities like its OPEN forum and Small Business Saturday initiatives to become an overall ‘partner in success’.
It’s clear to see why this approach works: augmented experiences offer people something more than a mere means to an end, and as a result, they succeed in delivering a differentiated value proposition that people are willing to pay more for.
Moreover, these experiences are inherently more ‘social’ than simple products and services too – it’s easier for people to share an experience than it is for them to share most products.
Critically, there are also more compelling reasons for people to talk about great experiences than there are for them to recommend specific products.
As a result, augmented experiences can inspire a social media impact that extends well beyond the reach of customer reviews or the brand’s own social media posts.
So, when it comes to your brand’s social media, don’t just think about how you’ll drive greater engagement with your own social media posts; use augmented experiences to inspire organic audience conversations, and become a brand that’s always worth talking about.
Read more in the Social Brands series by clicking here.
The nature of that value exchange will vary between brands and audiences and over time, but in order for marketers to deliver maximum value to their brands, it holds that they need to understand what value looks like for their audiences.
This isn’t just a case of asking people what they want, though; as Steve Jobs astutely pointed out,
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” (from this great collection of Jobs quotes)
If you want to deliver real value to people, you need to understand them as people: their behaviour, their attitudes and beliefs, their motivations… In short, you need to understand their lives.
Conventional marketing research is great at finding specific answers to specific questions, but the real magic for marketers lies in modern-day anthropology – not the 19th Century ‘home-stay in Borneo’ variety, but a fresh, always-on digital approach to meaningful people-watching.
Enter Social Media Listening
Every day, hundreds of millions of people all over the world share valuable insights and information about themselves via publicly accessible social media.
Not all of these posts mention brands, but that doesn’t mean they’re not of value to marketers.
Indeed, almost all public posts can help inquisitive marketers to build a rich understanding of their audiences that they couldn’t gather elsewhere.
Even the much-bemoaned practice of posting “photos of my lunch” can reveal powerful insights into an audiences’ worldview: do they opt for expensive restaurants? Do they look for healthy alternatives? Do they mention brand names or generic topics?
When we explore people’s social media activities with an open mind, we’re almost certain to find something of value.
However, almost all marketers miss this value, because they’re too busy ‘listening’ for explicit mentions of brand names or campaign hashtags.
As a result, we’re leaving far too many rich insights uncovered in the feed.
Big Data vs Big Insights
One of the reasons we’re missing this value is that marketers are often too egocentric when it comes to their brands.
This isn’t a judgment on marketers as people, mind – more often than not, this selfish focus is driven by a the demands of the quarterly sales cycle, and the quick wins that are invariably the easiest ways to achieve short-term targets often come at the cost of seeing (or seizing) bigger, longer-term opportunities.
This focus on ‘delivering the numbers’ means marketers spend too much time looking for ways to insert themselves into conversation.
Put simply, we spend too much time looking for opportunities to interrupt people.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Indeed, this interruptive approach – even though it’s become ‘industry standard’ – contravenes one of the most important rules of effective communication: when you’re talking with someone, actively listen to what they’re saying, and don’t simply wait for your turn to speak.
Sadly, too many brands don’t even wait for their turn to speak though; they’ve become used to interrupting audiences whenever they have sufficient budget.
Even amongst those brands that do listen, most only do so on an ad-hoc basis, usually by using traditional market research techniques to ask a series of brand-oriented questions.
This approach does offer a certain value, of course, but the danger is that marketers only pay attention to a summary of aggregated findings, and miss out on the opportunity to dig deeper into the motivations and contexts behind people’s statements and behaviour.
In order to become more successful, marketers need to move beyond this ‘brand egocentrism’, and start to think of their brand’s activities in the broader context of people’s whole lives.
We need to spend more time actively getting to know our audiences, and being personally involved in the listening process.
Social Listening vs Social Monitoring
Fortunately, rich insights are readily available to marketers with the willingness to listen.
By paying attention to the statements and conversations that people share in public social media, we can gain a far deeper understanding of what people actually want, need and desire.
We don’t need to collect everything in one go, either; by spending just 5 minutes a day actively listening to the conversations of a subset of your audience, you’ll quickly gain an affinity for the things they care about.
More importantly, these insights can add value well beyond your social media activities too; most people (i.e. non-marketers) use social media to talk about a wide variety of their everyday lives, so proactive listening can inform every aspect of your brand’s value proposition: advertising, packaging, CSR opportunities, in-store activities, and even R&D:
In order to do this effectively, though, we need to move beyond ‘ego monitoring’.
Instead of listening only to what people are saying about your brand, use more generic keyword terms in your searches.
For example, if you’re a shampoo brand, don’t just listen out for mentions of Pantene, Dove and Head & Shoulders; ultimately, people don’t pay for shampoo, they pay for beautiful hair, so listen out for the broader conversations they’re having about hair.
By adopting this broader approach, you’ll quickly gain insights into people’s problems and motivations, their preferences and their needs.
Furthermore, by moving beyond the simplistic measurement of ego metrics like share of voice or campaign engagement, you’ll start to find opportunities to join organic audience conversations where your brand can actually add real value, without needing to interrupt them.
The bigger opportunity in social media listening is that it can help us use communications to add value and become welcome participants in bigger conversations.
The first step towards uncovering these rich insights is to identify who you want to listen to.
Don’t restrict this definition to your consumers; listening to broader groups such as influencers, advocates, detractors and even NGOs and regulators can help add rich and unexpected insights.
Once you’ve defined your audience, you’ll need to find where they are in public social media.
You don’t need to find everyone in your audience of course, and you certainly don’t need to analyse every one of their posts.
The way I usually get started is to find a few dozen people talking about something generic (but brand-relevant) on Twitter, and then read through some of their other recent posts. Inevitably this will include some photos of lunch, but I start to get an affinity for who they are as real people.
Once you do this a few times, you’ll probably want to adopt a more systematic approach.
Start by putting together a simple list of keywords, and make a regular ‘appointment’ to listen to the people who’re talking about them.
Select a few people from these conversations at random, and take some time to listen to what they’re saying about other things too; this way, you’ll quickly build up an intuitive understanding of your audience that goes well beyond demographics.
Using social listening tools can help make your anthropological efforts more effective too; harness the power of always-on listening tools like Tweetdeck and HootSuite, as well as powerful aggregators like Sysomos and Radian6.
Once you have your tools set up, you’ll only need to listen for a few minutes every day before you start to identify new ways to add value to your audiences’ lives and to your brand’s bottom line.
Go on, try it out now.
Last week was filled with fantastic events and invaluable experiences for all of us here at We Are Social Singapore.
The conference packed a huge variety of events throughout each day, putting a round-the-clock spotlight on social media over the course of five days. Some events started as early as 8 am, while others didn’t end until well-past midnight.
Thankfully, for those who couldn’t attend all 41 events on the schedule, live-tweeting and the event-specific hashtags made it easy to follow and contribute to the discussions online.
We Are Social research shows that, over the 5 days of events, there were 4,993 tweets about Social Media Week from 1,153 unique users, delivering an impressive 13.3 million impressions on Twitter alone. #smwsg accounted for 98% of the tweets, with #planwathena and #smwsgwomen also delivering impressive reach. We Are Social’s very own #smwlivestrat, #smwtoptips and #sataysocial also created significant buzz on Day 4, accounting for almost half of that day’s social media activity.
The overarching theme of the week revolved around the true value of social media for brands. Compared to SMW last year, SMW 2013 saw a dramatic shift in brands’ understanding of the potential of social media, and where it fits into their overall business plans. An indicator of this increased appetite for social media, and one of the many great things about this year’s schedule, was the variety of events with a very specific focus.
Some of these events addressed particular platforms, such as Growing up on Facebook and Change the World with a Hashtag. There were events dedicated to niche audiences too: Love in a Time of Social Media looked at the developing convergence of social media and online dating, while The Future of Recruitment looked at the intersection of social media, recruitment and professional networking.
There were also events with a demographic focus, with many of Friday’s events dedicated to empowering and engaging women. This theme corresponds with the overwhelming support expressed for The Athena Network, who secured Diageo’s Plan W funding thanks to 1,934 #planwathena hashtagged tweets over the course of the week.
Another recurring theme was the topic of careers in social media, demonstrating that the industry is succeeding in differentiating its role within the nebulous concept of “marketing”. In particular, the panel of experts at We Are Social’s Tips from the Top event shared a variety of insights into how their own careers in social media are becoming far more specialised, more organised, and more tightly oriented toward the skills required to understand the real meaning and value of engagement, conversation, insight and long-term social strategy.
The We Are Social team had a great time, both learning and contributing to Social Media Week Singapore – not to mention partying, networking and making new friends all week! The wrap-up party was a blast, if somewhat bittersweet; good times always seem to go by so fast! However, we’re already looking forward to SMW14 – if this year offers any indication of how quickly social media can grow in a year, we’re sure that the next season will bring even more new ideas and exciting events.
So, until next year…