Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Posterous’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #66

by Karen Wee in News

Social Media Week kicks off in Singapore 
Social Media Week Singapore is back from 18 to 22 February 2013. The global conference held biannually in various cities aims to connect social media enthusiasts, practitioners and C-level executives seeking to collaborate and share ideas in a swiftly evolving social media world. We tracked the buzz on the first day. 877 tweets were recorded by 300 users within an 8 hour period. This activity resulted in 2.4 million estimated impressions on Twitter. The key theme for the day was “Adding value as opposed to advertising your brand.” Covered by Damien Cummings during his keynote address, he explained that “Conversations, consistency and a true relatable voice are key when talking to your audience.”

Tencent’s WeChat tests ‘Custom Menu’ feature for brands 
WeChat’s 300 million users (and counting!) may soon be able to execute transactions within the app. A recent report stated that the highly popular social messaging app is testing a new feature that allows brands to customize menus, offering consumers access to a suite of options allowing them to get in touch or transact with the organization. In the screenshot below, a beauty provider has customized the menu to offer users quick access to the official website. There is a button to call for appointments and a button to get details of the closest shops based on the user’s location. Though WeChat doesn’t have a mobile payments feature yet, its parent company Tencent has one called Tenpay. With more changes to brand accounts being rolled out for the rest of the year, industry watchers expect in-app purchases to be available soon with WeChat taking a cut of every transaction.

Brad Pitt banned on Sina Weibo too?
Slightly over a month since Brad Pitt joined Sina Weibo, it seems his account has been deactivated. Users trying to access his profile are shown the following error message instead.

Though it is unclear if the actor chose to remove his account on his own accord or he was dropped by Sina Weibo, it is widely speculated that the ban on him in China has extended to the virtual world. In case you’re wondering what the ban is about, Brad Pitt’s role in the 1997 movie “Seven Years in Tibet” has incensed the Chinese government to the extent that he has been barred from entry into the country.

LA Lakers Kobe Bryant joins Sina Weibo
Brad Pitt may be off Sina Weibo but another Western celebrity has joined the growing ranks of international stars on the network. LA Lakers’ star basketball player Kobe Bryant started his verified account on Valentine’s Day and amassed close to 200,000 fans within a day. Kobe hasn’t posted anything yet but his fans have been posting messages in English and Chinese with some enthusiastic fan groups offering to translate messages. Tech in Asia’s correspondent, C. Custer, opines that while Weibo is where cool stars are flocking to these days, the really cool ones can be found on WeChat. What’s your view?

Korean KakaoTalk launches digital publishing platform
Social messaging apps seem to be the way to go judging by how quickly they seem to be rolling out new features and accumulating users. 70 million user-strong KakaoTalk has launched Kakao Page, a media and content publishing platform for companies. Though it seems similar to WeChat’s customer-relation management function, Kakao Page seems to incorporate more features and is aimed at specific publishing and monetization. Only available in Korean at the moment, the app targets content creators and charges for the published material. This is widely viewed as competition to magazine subscriptions at Apple’s NewsStand or Google Play. This latest feature has strengthened the chat app’s offering, which also includes social gaming (currently only available in South Korea and Japan).

Good use of social media linked with brand perception and purchase intent
The J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study, released last week, has recorded a link between good use of social media and a number of factors affecting businesses’ bottom lines. The study of over 23,200 online customers found that of those who were considered ‘highly satisfied’, with satisfaction judged via a number of factors on a 1,000 point scale, 87% indicated that their social interaction with the company had strengthened purchase intent. Among those who were ‘less satisfied’, one in ten stated a negative impact on their likelihood to purchase from the company.

Consumers worldwide getting social with brands
The extent to which consumers interact socially with brands varies globally, according to research by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor. In India, 40% of internet users agreed strongly that they were likely to check brand pages regularly, followed by 39% in Brazil and 35% in Indonesia. European figures can be seen in the graph below:

Social network popularity varies across different US demographics
The popularity of different social networks amongst US Internet users varies by demographic, according to research by the Pew Research Center. 26% of black users claimed to use Twitter, in comparison with 19% of Hispanic users and 14% white. A similar trend was apparent on Instagram, with each demographic displaying 23%, 18% and 11% respectively. The whitest social network is Pinterest, where the 18% of white users survey outweigh the Hispanic 10% and black 8%. Twitter is also shown to be more popular in urban areas, whilst Pinterest is most popular amongst those who earn between $50,000 and $74,999.

Mobile Twitter use in the UK
Twitter have released a set of figures about UK mobile usage of the network. The overall figures are impressive: 80% of Twitter users access the platform via a mobile, with 66% using it in front of the TV, 50% before bed and 1 in 3 during their commute. The network is truly social in an offline sense too, with a third of users accessing the platform whilst in social situations, such as interacting with friends. Finally, the news is good for brands; 67% of mobile users follow brands on Twitter, 45% are likely to recommend the brand to someone they know and 25% follow more than ten brands.

More women are using social around meal planning
US women are increasingly using social media as a tool for meal planning. Not only did nearly half admit to using their smartphone more while shopping, but particular social networks like Pinterest are providing sources of culinary inspiration: 30% reported using Pinterest at least once a week, with 75% of those stating that it provided aid with trying new dishes. In fact, Pinterest was one of the top five recipe sources amongst US mum Internet users, even more popular than finding ideas through friends.

Facebook looking to movies, TV, books and fitness as sharable content
Facebook’s VP of partnerships, Dan Rose, has been discussing what content he thinks will be big for sharing on the network in the upcoming year. He stated:

 

2013, we think, is going to be the year of movies, books and fitness.

 

It is fairly straightforward to see how this could work for film and fitness, with Facebookers already regularly sharing the films they watch on Netflix, or whenever they’ve completed a run with various sports apps. Apps like Goodreads have been mentioned as ways to share the books one has read, though it would perhaps be more prudent to look into automatic sharing with e-readers to promote the desired behaviours. Rose added that the platform is in talks with the likes of Dish Network and Comcast to create a social TV programming guide.

Facebook introduces ‘buy tickets’ button for events
Facebook have introduced a new feature for events: a button that reads “buy tickets”, linking to an off site location for users to complete a transaction. Whilst those planning an event were previously able to include a link for the same purpose, the new button adds emphasis, highlighting the option to those visiting the event page. It is worth noting that it is still necessary to leave the page in order to go through with the order, though. The new feature, currently available only to pages, will look as below:

Eventbrite have announced seamless integration with the feature, allowing users to take advantage of it simply by clicking ‘Publish to Facebook’ from within the Eventbrite page. They have also announced that, once the button is rolled out to all users, they will extend their service to mirror this.

Facebook push ‘Gifts’ feature on Valentine’s Day
For last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts, it’s hard to beat petrol station flowers. That stellar romantic advice aside, an alternative was offered this year by Facebook, who pushed their ‘Gifts’ feature by promoting limited edition $1 Valentine’s Day presents at the top of Newsfeed. Those who have listed themselves as ‘in a relationship’ received messages like the below, mentioning their partner by name and encouraging them to purchase a gift, whilst more generic messages were sent to others.

Facebook allowing you to promote friends’ posts
In a further attempt at monetisation, Facebook are allowing users with fewer than 5,000 friends or subscribers to promote and share their friends’ posts. The post will then appear in Newsfeeds, with a reference to who sponsored it. The platform are continuing to experiment with the cost of promotion, but InsideFacebook have identified $7 as a rough average.

Posterous to shut down on 30th April
Since being acquired by Twitter, blogging platform Posterous has decided to shut down for good, with staff set to concentrate on their partnership with the microblogging website. They have released details of how to download all of your posts, along with recommendations for the importer tools of WordPress and Squarespace in aid of those who wish to continue blogging.

Improved Twitter synchronisation from American Express
American Express have upgraded their save-by-tweet service, which allowed users to save deals by tweeting a certain hashtag, into a pay-by-tweet equivalent, which allows items to be purchased through exactly the same mechanism. Firstly, users sync their AmEx card to Twitter. Then, when they use one of the offer/product hashtags, they tweet it to claim whatever may be stored with it. All they then have to do is confirm the payment. The simple process is explained further in the below video.

Over 100,000 Vines posted to Twitter last weekend
Twitter users posted 113,897 Vines to the platform during the weekend of the 9th-10th February, an average of 3,324 per hour. These high figures, in part a result of a busy weekend that included New York Fashion Week, the Grammy Awards and a hurricane hitting the Northeastern US, display a swift initial uptake of the app. Whilst the figures might not quite match the 1.3 million photos uploaded to Instagram during Hurricane Sandy, they amount to a tenth of that number – certainly impressive for what is still a very new app. It will be interesting to see if Vine can continue to grow at the same rate; if so, it may well end up being a very valuable asset for Twitter.

The use of Vine at New York Fashion Week
A large amount of the Vine activity this week came through New York Fashion Week, with large institutions such as the Wall Street Journal making use of the video-sharing application. The newspaper curated content from a variety of social platforms, including Instagram and Twitter, into a page that included the videos. A similar piece of activity came from designer, Matthew Williamson, who used the app for sharing content live from the catwalk, enlisting the help of photographer Sean Cunningham to ensure a professional finish. The content, starting with the introduction below, can be found through the hashtag #MatthewMagnified or at the @MWWorld account.

Grammy Awards encourage fast work from brands
Hot on the heels of the Superbowl, when Oreo were lauded for their quick work in producing a tweet about the blackout, the Grammy Awards have seen similar action from brands. This time, Oreo produced a cute picture of one of their biscuits in formal attire, but were outdone in the reaction stakes by the likes of Mastercard and Spotify:

  

Heineken helping find reservations with #tweetforatable Heineken USA decided to help out Valentine’s Day stragglers by booking tables for them at “cool, man of the world” restaurants. By tweeting with the hashtag #tweetforatable, Twitter users are entered for the chance to win a reservation at a top restaurant. Even before Valentine’s Day, Heineken were claiming to have received 1,000 entries, with reservations still available on the day.

GE run #IWantToInvent campaign for Inventors’ Day
Inventors’ Day is designed to celebrate those who come up with the out-of-this-world ideas that have shaped the course of human history. To celebrate, GE gave Twitter users the opportunity to be an inventor for a day; of tweets that came in with the hashtag #IWantToInvent, the best were chosen and sketched by a professional illustrator. They hashtag was used 2,600 times and GE themselves received 1,400 interactions, including tweets from other brands like Trident, Tropicana and Ritz. An example of the images can be seen below, whilst GE have collected all the sketches into a Facebook album.  

KLM produce personalised ‘Must See Map’ through social
Dutch airline KLM have created a campaign that collects tips and recommendations from your friends via social media to produce a personalised ‘Must See Map’, which you can use when visiting your destination. A nice example of how to combine social and print.  

Skittles building a rainbow from sweets, streaming activity online
Confectionery brand Skittles are creating a rainbow online, to be made out of batches of sweets that will be added in innovative ways every ten minutes. The activity will be live streamed via a number of webcams, with the resultant video added to YouTube. In addition, 100,000 fans will be able to claim their own sweet within the rainbow, which they can personalise by adding a message.

Lipton targeting younger audience with Instagram competition
Tea brand Lipton have created a four-week Instagram competition, which encourages the submission of photos that celebrate a different one of Lipton’s core values each week, such as #LiptonBrightness. There will be weekly prizes up for grabs, as well as a grand prize of an all-expenses-paid safari for two in Kenya. The campaign is running across 11 countries, aimed at engaging 22-30 year olds, as opposed to Lipton’s current older demographic.

We Are Social produce Plus Size campaign for F&F
In conjunction with British Plus Size Fashion Weekend, We Are Social have created a campaign for F&F clothing with the tag line ‘Feel Fabulous with F&F’. The activity was introduced by inviting three bloggers to become reporters for BPSFW and providing them with an F&F outfit to wear during the event. These bloggers will then write posts about the experience, as well as selecting top fashion picks to be seen by F&F Facebook fans. This is to be supported by Twitter activity, in which the clothing brand will encourage users to tweet using the hasthag #FeelFabulous in order to receive a £25 voucher.

BMW bring child’s drawing to life
Lots of kids draw. Lots of kids love cars. Not many kids get their drawings turned into a state-of-the-art design by a car manufacturer. However, BMW have changed that for one lucky child, whose drawing was turned into a full prototype for a seriously futuristic looking car, complete with the four-year-old’s chosen specifications. They then posted the image to their Facebook page, with the following message:

Eli, we think you might be onto something. Our marketing department worked a little photoshop magic to bring your dream to life. We’ll be sure to pass this on to our product designers. Thanks for sharing your idea and for being a BMW fan.

Tesla Motors and NY Times clash via social media
A slightly less charming automotive story now, as Tesla Motors and the NY Times clashed via social media. The newspaper had reported problems with Tesla’s new Model S, which the car manufacturer then responded to in a long, frank blog post, full to the brim with irrevocable data in defence of their vehicle. Tesla then posted their blog to Facebook and Twitter, encouraging and engaging in discussion with a fairly neutral tone. Their founder, Elon Musk was more partisan, taking to Twitter to vehemently argue against the claims. As a result of all this, CNN got involved and found no problems with the car, which goes to show how a quick and full response to criticism can create a shift from negative to positive.

Makers Mark bows to Twitter pressure to not dilute bourbon
Bourbon manufacturer Makers Mark last week announced plans to reduce the alcohol content of their bourbon, in order to allow for a shortage caused by increased demand. However, they received such backlash on Twitter that they have been forced to backtrack, tweeting that they will retain the beverage’s original strength. This should act as a lesson in the power of Twitter for swaying the actions of brands, as shown by the graph below, depicting Twitter mentions of Makers Mark from the day before they announced the change:

Social media and US politics
Last week, President Obama’s ‘State of the Union’ address created a lot of excitement across social media, particularly in the realm of real-time Twitter advertising. First of all, a number of organisations purchased promoted tweets with the hashtag #SOTU in the time leading up to the event, with nonprofits including Chevron, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bankrupting America, Heritage Foundation, the National Association of Manufacturers and Society for Human Resource Management looking to steer online conversation towards their interests. During the speech, the @BarackObama and @whitehouse accounts both live tweeted much of what the president said, including additional content where relevant or effective. The action on Twitter continued further after the event, with mockery of Republican Senator’s response to the speech, in which he hurriedly sipped at his water. However, his response managed to make a joke out of the issue and deflect criticism:

Poland Spring, too, released a humorous tweet about the incident. However, they did so a couple of days later, rather than in real-time and, as such, were largely criticised for a failure to understand social media. However, the fairness of this has been disputed, with arguments cited in their defence including ‘unrealistic expectations’ and the fact that this was not a crisis, so did not require immediate action. Despite all this, Twitter was not the only lively platform. In the following days, Obama hosted a Google+ hangout, called ‘Fireside Hangout’. For a feature that is sometimes derided, having such a high profile event displays that the potential that still remains.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #20

by Cai Yu Lam in News

China’s social media and Internet landscape
CIC has created a concise infographic that shows the leading Chinese web and social media platforms in each category alongside their western counterparts for 2012, from content-sharing services similar to Dropbox (which is blocked in China) to social aggregators and dating networks. Even though some don’t exactly fall within a standalone category, such as Sina Weibo which has features that are similar to a social networking site other than its 140-characters micro-blogging function, this is still a great introduction to China’s web scene.

Sina Weibo’s real-name registration peculiarities
Even though Chinese micro-blogging service Sina Weibo‘s real-name verification deadline on March 16th has passed, it appears that many users who have not verified their real identities are still able to post through their unregistered accounts. We’ll keep a lookout to see if and when the ban does come into effect. Read more about Tech In Asia‘s Charlie Custer’s experience here.

Social media not a main driver of news
Even though Facebook and Twitter have well over a billion users between them, and host a constant stream of news and content through its users’ posts, Pew Research Center’s 2012 State Of The News Media report discovered that users are far more likely to go directly to a news website, search online or visit a news aggregator than specifically head onto Facebook or Twitter to search for news. Only 9% of respondents get news through Facebook or Twitter recommendations, as compared to 36% who head directly to news websites or applications, or the 32% who specifically type in a keyword search. Even though ample sharing of news occurs on Twitter and Facebook, these platforms have not become a replacement source through which people search for news explicitly.

Search vs. Social
This infographic by MDG Advertising pits search marketing against social media in terms of the results they bear for marketers. Search triumphs over social in terms of lead generation, where it drives 41% of lead generation as opposed to the 34.2% by social media in B2C, and 57.4% as opposed to 24.8% for the B2B sector. However, social media is a greater driver of brand awareness. Together though, they make a powerful combination. 50% of marketers say social media has impacted their search engine marketing, and 29% have merged parts of their social and search strategies. As demonstrated by Google’s social search functionalities, search and social are becoming increasingly intertwined and marketers should leverage on both to better reach relevant audiences.

Facebook’s global takeover
eMarketer predicts that there will be 1.43 billion social network users in 2012, which amounts to a substantial share of the world’s entire population. 1 out of 5 people will use a social network this year and Facebook is a key reason for this. Facebook has rapidly expanded into India, Indonesia and Brazil who now join the US and Mexico in the top 5 Facebook countries:

In fact, if Brazil maintains its current growth it could easily jump from fourth to second place, as soon as next month, having already taken over Google’s Orkut which had been leading in Brazil since 2004.

Facebook is also doing well in Japan, where they now have 10 million monthly active users. This figure has doubled in the last 6 months.

Share Dropbox folders with Facebook friends
Dropbox has joined in the Facebook Open Graph party and now allows its users to connect to Facebook so that content can be shared amongst friends. Users no longer have to input the email addresses of intended recipients in order to share content. Sure makes life a little easier.

Facebook updates Timeline Page ‘beginnings’, adds recommendations and launches Mobile app stats
Facebook has added the option to describe the beginning of a page as ‘created’ or ‘launched’. The original options ‘founded’, ‘started’ and ‘opened’ are still available but these new variations make a lot of sense for the different types of entities that run pages on Facebook.

Facebook have also introduced a recommendations feature for place pages that have switched to the new Timeline format. These are displayed in a box beneath friend activity and include a prompt for people to write their own recommendations. These are only available to pages that are associated with locations so if a brand wants to enable this function page owners have to provide an exact address in their About sections.

Another development from Facebook is the launch of a new Mobile Referrals dashboard in App Insights which helps understand the traffic an app receives from Facebook mobile sources. This features data on total mobile app clicks and source, demographic and device breakdown amongst other insights.

Facebook Timeline Apps and Foursquare’s new Facebook look
In other Facebook news, 3,000 Timeline apps have spawned since Facebook launched the platform 3 months ago and last week Foursquare among others such as Nike and VEVO unveiled theirs. These new launches are likely to persuade more brands and startups that Timeline app development is worth their investment, meaning that soon there will be even more apps channelling user behaviour into Facebook’s content feeds and ad targeting engine. Pinterest is a key example of the success of Timeline apps as it has seen its Facebook userbase grow by 60% since it launched its Timeline app in January. The Onion definitely wins the award for the most amusing integration below:

Foursquare’s Timeline app has a new look for check-ins, badges and mayorships. This features check-in photos showing up full size, a summary of a user’s past month foursquare activity and if a person checks in a few times these will display as a story rather than separately. Neat!

Blogs are not dead. There are 6.7m bloggers, half aged 18-34
NM Incite have released research that shows that consumer interest in blogs continues to grow with over 181 million blogs at the end of 2011, up from 36 million just 5 years ago. Not surprisingly this mirrors a growth in bloggers – 6.7 million of them publishing through blogging websites such as Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr whilst another 12 million write blogs using their social networks. The question is, who are these bloggers? Well, half are aged 18-34 and the majority are women, over 2/3 of which are mums.

Social media ads ‘justifying hype’
ZenithOptimedia have boosted their forecast for 2012 global internet adspend by 4.5%, now predicting a spend of £2.2bn. The sudden rise of social is evident in a revision to its US forecasts, which had pegged social media spend for 2012 at $1.33bn (£851m) in December, but now predicts $3.42bn (£2.2bn), partly due to $1bn (£640m) of display spend being recategorised as social media spend, and partly due to the medium growing faster than previously thought. Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at ZenithOptimedia, said:

Social is justifying its hype now. A third of all display impressions in the US are social. Advertisers are learning to be less interruptive.

Why James Whittaker left Google…
James Whittaker, who worked on Google+ as a development director, has written a controversial blogpost describing why he left Google. He described his passion for Google when it used to be a technology company that empowered their employees to innovate whereas now he sees it as an advertising company with a corporate focus. He has an interesting take on Google+:

Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. YouTube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point.

Officially, Google declared that “sharing is broken on the web” and nothing but the full force of our collective minds around Google+ could fix it. You have to admire a company willing to sacrifice sacred cows and rally its talent behind a threat to its business. Had Google been right, the effort would have been heroic and clearly many of us wanted to be part of that outcome.

As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it. People were sharing all around us and seemed quite happy. A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice, “social isn’t a product,” she told me after I gave her a demo, “social is people and the people are on Facebook.” Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.

According to Whittaker Google+ deserves a -1, what do you think?

Versus – Google+ Hangouts Debates
Google have raised the profile of Google+ Hangouts by introducing live debates under the banner of Versus: The Google+ Debate Series. The first one happened last week and featured Richard Branson, Russell Brand, Elliot Spitzer and Johann Hari talking about drugs.

The expert’s view on Twitter’s acquisition of Posterous
Twitter recently announced the acquisition of blogging platform Posterous. The exact details of the deal have been kept secret but Econsultancy have brought together various expert views to discuss the motivations behind the takeover and what it means for both Twitter and Posterous including those of our very own Mr Jordan Stone.

Pinterest is now a top 30 US website
As we all know, Pinterest has been the subject of much attention recently and this is set to continue with the news from Experian Hitwise that it is continuing to rapidly grow. After cracking the top 60 list of US websites six weeks ago they have now entered the top 30. The site received more than 103 million visits in the US this February, which was up 36% on January. With revelations the company is working on an iPad app, growth seems unlikely to slow soon.

Volvo wants in on #linsanity
Volvo Cars has just signed an agreement with NBA New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin, who will likely be the focus of an ad campaign for the brand’s increasingly important Chinese auto market. Volvo hopes to double its global sales to 800,000 by 2020 after having sold about 47,000 cars in China last year. This move seems to be aligned to Volvo’s social media strategy, especially since Jeremy Lin blogs in both Mandarin and English, and has a Twitter following of more than 664,000. Earlier in Septe mber 2011, Volvo’s VP-Global Marketing Richard Monturo pronounced that the company is focusing on social media and digital.
“We think the primary device in auto marketing is the Internet. We have teams focusing on how we can upgrade the user experiences in all our social presences. We’re using the ‘designed around you’ idea but trans-creating around the world.”

Let’s see if the Linsanity phenomenon can help shift its car sales in China.

American Express gets customers tweeting for dollars
The Tweet and Save program recently launched by AmEx got customers saving $1.3 million dollars in nine days, on products such as burgers and iPads. It works by customers syncing their AmEx cards to their Twitter accounts, Tweeting using hashtags such as #AmExZappos the coupons are then loaded directly to their credit cards and can be redeemed at point of purchase. A win-win for both Twitter, AmEx and its partners.

Zappos TweetWall shows products as they trend on Twitter
Taking more than a little influence from Pinterest, Zappos’ new TweetWall displays a page of products in real-time as they are being talked about on Twitter. This allows shoppers to see what’s trending as well as discovering fun talking point products.

McDonalds #shamrocking has greater success than #McDStories
Following the #McDStories debacle where McDonalds’ own hashtag was hijacked by disgruntled customers, the company are back and seem to have learned a valuable lesson by creating a somewhat more successful meme. Taking its inspiration from Planking and Tebowing, customers share pictures of themselves doing a jig whilst holding a shamrock milkshake. See example below…

‘Dethroned’ app allows you to behead your Facebook friends
In order to promote the premiere of HBO’s returning series, Game of Thrones, they’ve unveiled a new Facebook app that allows fans of the series to battle against each other in a loyalty contest which is judged by the players’ mutual friends. Once the winner is decided, a video plays showing the winner vividly beheading the loser and holding up the head of this now-vanquished foe… gory, but we say let the games begin!

PG tips is ‘most engaged with UK brand’ on Facebook
PG tips has been crowned the most engaged with UK brand on Facebook. The page themed around Johnny Vegas and brand character Monkey got nearly 2 out of 10 of its fans actively liking, commenting and responding in one 7 day period. The most popular post being on Valentine’s Day… ‘Like this post for a Valentines surprise,’ the suprise being an e-Valentines card from Monkey. Other top rated brand pages for February were Jaguar and Bang & Olufsen.

Twitter agrees to help Locog prevent ambush marketing during Olympics
Non-sponsors of the Olympics will be prevented from buying Twitter ads based on Olympic game related hashtags such as #London2012.

Domino’s increases social media effort
Domino’s UK has created as a TV advert that will only be shown on Facebook to its fans in order to promote a free cookie offer for fans who spend £10 on pizzas.

In the meantime, Domino’s Australia are letting their Facebook fans decide what the next Domino’s pizza will be: from toppings to dough, the fans can decide what the “social” pizza will taste like. How the pizza will turn out is anyone’s guess, but it appears Domino’s may have another social hit on its hands. Who knew pizza could be so shareable…

Peugeot Panama launches Pinterest puzzle
As we all know, Pinterest has been hogging the marketing headlines for the last few weeks, so it hasn’t been a surprise to see an increase in the number of brand competitions running on the platform. Peugeot Panama is one of them. They’ve been asking fans to find the missing puzzle parts of their models across the Peugeot Panama Pinterest account, their Facebook page and also their website… However, the tale does not have a happy ending as unfortunately, the Pinterest layout was slightly updated during the activity, rendering the competition obsolete.

Topman relaunches its lifestyle website to be more social 
The new Topman CTRL website will host curated content by Radio One’s Huw Stephens who will be using Facebook, Mixcloud, YouTube and Instagram to feed music and lifestyle content directly through to the site. Visitors will also be able to submit their own content to the website. This could be the perfect delivery method to promote CTRL as a lifestyle site rather than something more corporate and could prove to be an excellent way to extend the brand online.

Jimmy Carr supports Starbucks’ Free Latte day on Twitter
To promote their brand new double shot latte, Starbucks invited customers for a free latte last week. The in-store promotion was supported by a selection of celebrities on Twitter such as Jimmy Carr who posted several tweets to express his enthusiasm about the latest addition to the Starbucks range. Although we wouldn’t dare doubting Jimmy Carr’s passion for a latte, it does seem that he should have added #thisisanadvertforstarbucks on the end…

How a TV hashtag has been sparking conversation: Channel 4 and Dispatches
When Channel 4 aired an episode of Dispatches about tickets resellers last week, it flashed the #ticketscandal hashtag on the screen throughout the show. Reactions about the underhand practices showed in the documentary were fairly heated online and it spawned several Twitter trending topics that night (including the name of the show but also the name of one of the incriminated resellers). Twitter figures show that there were a total of 11,870 using the hashtag in the course of 24 hours. It would be interesting to see how the rating figures were affected by the online conversations that night before we can deem this a complete social TV success.

Blogger relations done right
We were pleased to see our campaign for Orange’s ON Voicefeed featured by Econsultancy in their 9 examples of great blogger relations. They gave a great review of the “digital only” launch of ON Voicefeed in Spain which included a beta-testing phase with key tech Spanish influencers. Win!

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #19

by Cai Yu Lam in News

We Are Social across the pond
This week’s big news is of course that We Are Social has opened in New York, our eighth office worldwide. Those who have been following us since the beginning know that this has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to start making a difference for US based marketers.

#WeAreSXSW
There’s just one day left of the social media circus that is South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. That means there’s just 24 hours left for you to say hello to the We Are Social team there.

Largest Chinese video sites Youku and Tudou merge
China’s two largest online video sites Youku and Tudou have merged to form a new entity named Youku Tudou Inc. So far it seems like both sites will retain their separate brands and URLs, except they will now together claim almost half of China’s online video market share. Even though there was allegedly speculation last spring that Youku would acquire Tudou, this merge is interesting given the battle both companies have been embroiled in the past year over alleged copyright infringement

Citibank Singapore’s social credit card
To better leverage the 1.5 million Facebook users under the age of 35 in Singapore, Citibank has launched its Clear Platinum Card which allows Facebook users to ‘check-in’, win badges, gain rewards, and earn points which can then be converted into Citibank dollars through its Clear 24.7 Facebook app. Jacquelyn Tan, head of credit payment products at Citibank Singapore explained the rationale behind Citibank’s social media approach with its new credit card:

Social media focuses on one thing – the consumer and his voice. With the new Citibank Clear Platinum card, we are building on the role of the consumer’s voice in this social media space to give cardmembers the power to actively customize their own card experiences, from merchant promotions to events, for the first time in Singapore.

Yahoo!’s new lifestyle site for women in Southeast Asia
Yahoo! rolls out yet another online product in the form of Yahoo! She, an online lifestyle hub for women in Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines that will host community-generated content in addition to locally relevant content from female lifestyle publications, expert columns, polls and sponsored content. Yahoo! She is aimed at 18 to 34 year olds and is modelled after Yahoo! Shine for women in the US, which sees more than 38 million unique visitors every month.

Instagram to launch Android version, finally
Instagram‘s co-founder Kevin Systrom announced at SXSW on Sunday that the long-awaited Android version of Instagram will be released “very soon”, and is currently being tested in private beta. Systrom revealed that the Android app is fast, works well on large screens and can share photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social networks. We’ll believe it when we see it. At the same time, it was announced that the iOS version of Instagram has seen some 27 million downloads to date.

India puts Facebook on trial
This week, India begins a trial against Facebook and 11 other online services it has found in violation of its law that requires Internet companies remove any material that “seeks to create enmity, hatred” and deemed “ethnically objectionable, grossly harmful, defamatory or blasphemous” within 36 hours. Given that Facebook and the other online services have clarified that they can’t be held liable for content posted by users, we don’t expect a devastating outcome, yet this episode does signal a potential clamp down on users responsible for offensive statements made on social media in India.

Posterous is Joining the Flock at Twitter
Posterous have announced on their blog that they’re being acquired by Twitter. Twitter themselves had this to say:

Today we are welcoming a very talented group from Posterous to Twitter. This team has built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple—a goal we share. Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.

CNN in talks to acquire Mashable
In other big acquisition news, rumours are making the circuit at SXSW that CNN is in talks with Mashable and could potentially acquirethe Internet media start-up founded by Pete Cashmore. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for whether the deal does indeed go through.

Facebook’s growth dwindles, Twitter still climbing
Facebook’s userbase still dwarfs Twitter’s, and its double-digit growth could only hold out for so long.

However, although Twitter’s user numbers should double by 2014, it will still have only a fraction of the users that Facebook does.

What to watch for on TV
Not sure what to watch on telly tonight? A new study says nearly 40% of Brits turn to social media to help them find the must-watch programmes of the evening. It underlines the ever-growing trend for dual-screen viewing.

Facebook’s ‘Interests’, check-in API, animation on tabs, mobile comments
Facebook now allows users to add their interests to lists, and follow collections of pages, subscriptions or friends, in a move similar to Twitter lists, but more clearly, Google+ Circles. Facebook has had an option for lists since 2007, but most of its users haven’t used the feature. With Facebook now promoting celebrity-curated lists, they’re clearly pushing the features, like they did with Questions early last year.

In the first sign of the results of their acquisition of Gowalla, Facebook also wants to become the backbone of your location data through updated APIs that will let the locations sent from other apps live as a layer on your Timeline. Check-in services will be able to pull your friend’s check-ins – from other services, perhaps – and therefore create more chance of meetups. Nice.

In an update to pages, brands can now have animations and video that play on apps and tabs without the user initiating it, a departure from pre-Timeline policy. With an animation already playing, it should be easier for brands to drive engagement.

On the mobile front, Facebook app users can now like or comment with a single click from their News Feed in the new design.

Big updates coming to Twitter brand pages
Taking a few notes from Facebook and the recent launch of Timeline for brand pages, Twitter is plotting more visual page updates for brands that are spending with the network. Although Twitter is still being hush-hush about specifics, rumour has it that soon e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes will be available directly from the site. Twitter is also continuing to improve its language options, adding Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu last week, as it continues to try and further grow the userbase.

Google exec says: Maybe you’re just doing it wrong
Google+ is no ghost town according to Vic Gundotra, a senior VP of engineering at Google. He countered the no-man’s-land claims with stats about the network’s rapid growth, trumpeting 100 million active users over 30 days. Can’t see what people are posting? Maybe it’s their privacy settings. We can’t help but be a little dubious.

On the plus side, if you do use Google+ and people +1 your content, Google is now encouraging users to say thank you. How cute.

Converting the location app Muggles
Foursquare and the like were unsurprisingly quickly adopted by dedicated tech geeks, but now Foursquare wants to reach out to the average Joe Smartphone through specials and deals. The service hopes that partnerships with ubiquitous, everyday companies, will lead non-techies to its side.

Pinterest quickly climbing the referral ranks
Last month, Pinterest overtook Twitter as a source of referral traffic to sites with the Shareaholic widget installed:

AddThis has also let readers peek into its site analytics, and, perhaps as a by-product of all this sharing, growth from Pinterest continues to skyrocket:

How long until Pinterest is up there with the likes of Twitter?

Social TV app Zeebox gains 22,000 users during ‘Dancing On Ice’
Phillip Schofield, the host of ‘Dancing On Ice’, tweeted about Zebox four times during last week’s show, and it gained 22,000 users as a result. However, Zeebox has been adding as many as 15,000 users an hour since the launch of its TV campaign anyway…

Channel 4′s new channel with schedule based on online conversation
Last week’s FT Digital Media Conference in London saw Channel 4 announce the launch later this year of a new channel – called 4seven – which will give viewers the chance to catch up on the most ‘talked about’ shows from the previous seven days. As well as traditional media, this will also include social media buzz. Considering Channel 4 say the new channel will help to increase engagement with viewers, it seems likely that programming will be strongly influenced by online feedback.

Barclaycard crowdsource credit card features
Barclaycard are trying to open up to consumers in a bid to win back their trust. They plan to do this by asking customers to name what features they would like in their new credit card – e.g. where call centres are – before actually producing the card. In addition, they’ll disclose how much profit they make from the card.

American Express: Sync. Tweet. Save.
American Express is letting customers get money off a selection of stores, by tweeting special offer hashtags from retailers including McDonald’s, H&M and Best Buy. With the mechanic to get the discount so easy – simply to retweet – it’s unclear whether this is actually any good for engagement, but it’s still an interesting step in the social commerce path.

Walgreens launch barcode redemption on Foursquare
Without wanting to get over-excited, Foursquare just beaome genuinely useful. For so long, it was nigh on impossible to redeem a special because cashiers in any large chain didn’t understand what was going on.

Now, that’s all changed. Walgreens ran a special which created a barcode on the phone screen, which could be scanned like a normal product by the cashier, and thus work together with normal checkout systems. It might seem simple but it’s a genuine game-changer as far as mobile check-in apps are concerned.

bmi launch Pinterest lottery
Pinterest is all the rage right now and marketers are keen to get involved, but bmi’s Pinterest Lottery just seems a bit 2010. They’ve created five boards featuring five different destinations, each with nine pictures on them.

Users can re-pin a maximum of six pictures, and whoever has re-pinned that pictures goes in a draw for the chance to win a free flight. The problem with this: ‘re-pin to win’ shows no real engagement with the brand – it’s like ‘RT to win’ on Twitter. It doesn’t feel very social.

Fanta hide characters in their Timeline
The launch of Facebook Timeline has obviously brought new challenges for marketers – as well as new opportunities. Fanta took the opportunity, by hiding characters on their Timeline:

On the 29th of February, Fanta posted a status update saying that the leap year day had thrown Fanta time out of kilter and four Fanta characters, Gigi, Lola, Floyd and Tristan had been brought into the past and hidden in the timeline. The first character hidden was Gigi; users were given the clues to identify the year she was in, and then had to ‘like’ an image of her to bring her back to the present.

Fanta – with their 2.6 million fanbase – asked for 1,956 likes to bring the character back, but managed just over 900. The key takeaway from this is that while there’s definitely cool stuff to be done with Timeline, it might not drive as high engagement as expected.

Heinz launch another ketchup via Facebook
Last year, our We Are Social team in London launched Heinz Limited Edition Ketchup with Balsamic Vinegar on Facebook and it went down a treat. This year we wanted to go one better, so before their new Limited Edition Ketchup went into supermarkets, we created a game where fans could either win a bottle of the new ketchup, or buy one. Without any media support, 50,000 fans played the game.

Twitterscrabble: how to promote a new product
To promote the launch of Scrabble Trickster, Scrabble have created a microsite to get people involved in the traditional board game, exclusively via Twitter.

Users landing on the microsite are challenged to write the highest scoring ScrabbleTweet from a set of 100 random characters. Once you’re happy with your entry, you can tweet it for judgment:

Mars found not guilty by the ASA
The Advertising Standards Agency published its adjudication into the celebrity sponsored tweets Mars purchased – and concluded that Mars did not need any action taken against them, as the ‘#spon’ in the fifth tweet each celeb posted was enough to make it clear that the previous four tweets were also sponsored. As crazy as this judgement seems, it sets an interesting precedent.

Newt Gingrich launches anti-Romney timeline
Newt Gingrich’s campaign last week launched a Facebook Timeline attacking fellow Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his record, particularly that he’s a liberal. Despite prominent coverage on Mashable, the Page has garnered only 1,000 likes, suggesting the Gingrich campaign might want to, ahem, give it an abortion.

Red Cross launches social media operations centre
The Red Cross have launched a social media operations centre, which should help them find victims in times of trouble and offer them help, as well as recruit volunteers.

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Five Friday Facts #9

by Cai Yu Lam in News

We’ll round off this first week of 2012 with our 5 Friday Facts. Hope everyone managed to conquer that dreaded backlog amassed over the holiday break!

Social interactivity higher in China and India than in US
Forrester’s Social Technographics data shows that 80% of Indians and 76% of Chinese netizens surveyed are creators of content, as compared to a mere 24% of Americans. This means that 8 in 10 adults are blogging, publishing web pages, or uploading videos online in India, with China only slightly behind.

A billion texts sent from Kakao Talk everyday
South Korean mobile application Kakao Talk is a chat messaging service that sees 1 billion texts sent through its service everyday. Similar to Whatsapp in which users can send and receive messages inclusive of text, emoticons, photos and videos, Kakao Talk has more than 30 million members, most of which are daily active users, while 6 million are allegedly overseas users.

Groupon leads group-buying market in Taiwan
Groupon has 52.37% of market share in the group-buying industry in Taiwan, nearly twice that of its closest contender Gomaji, which has 24.2%. Groupon seems to be faring better in Taiwan than it did in mainland China, even though the entire industry shrank slightly by 0.9%.

Consumers prefer sending emails in their communication with brands
Even though brands are increasingly relying on social media to better engage their customers, it’s interesting to note that email is still the preferred channel for those who wish to communicate with a brand. A survey by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium showed that 65% of consumers surveyed would send an email, 50% would fill out a form on the company website, while 44% would call a customer service line. In comparison, 33% would post on the brand’s Facebook page, while only 12% would tweet. Of course, with the new private message function on Facebook, we might see the preference for email decline.

Social media resolutions for the new year
Posterous surveyed 2,000 Americans to discover what were some social media New Year’s resolutions they had. Privacy was the topmost agenda, with 44% of respondents wishing to create a platform to share content privately with close friends and family, while 42% of respondents wanted to be more careful about what they shared. 25% of respondents vowed to spend less time updating their social media accounts. We’re not fooled.

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