Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Singapore’.
Singaporeans are not interested in paid content
Outbrain, a content discovery platform, has recently released its inaugural Asia Pacific Content Consumption Trends report based on data pulled from 100,000 sites. The study revealed Singaporeans to have the highest bounce rates across six markets, with Australia being the most engaged with paid content. This means that visitors “bounce” or leave the site rather than viewing for much longer. Interestingly, these APAC consumers prefer to consume content on their mobile phones and tablets at night as per shown below:
LinkedIn appoints President for China region
Derek Shen, founder and former CEO of Nuomi (a Chinese site similar to Groupon) is now the president of LinkedIn China. This appointment marks an official move into the Chinese market, which to date has over four million members. Could a localized language site soon be in the works?
WhatsApp has 35M users from India
Last December, WhatsApp shared its India numbers to be 30 million monthly active users. Yesterday, it revealed its latest growing numbers to be over 35 million active users, with a consistent increase of approximately 5 million active users every month in the country. This can be due to its second operator tie-up with Tata Docomo that offers Unlimited Whatsapp data packages for Rs.15 and Rs.30. With its current global count of 430 million active users, we reckon it wouldn’t be long before they cross the 500 million mark.
Facebook ads influence car shoppers mid-funnel
Facebook have shared a study that found automotive ads on the social network cause a 50% increase in visits to car-model pages, 46% increase to all product pages, and a 10% increase in internet-wide searches, indicating paid promotion heightens the average time spent looking at specific vehicles. It also suggests auto brand rivals suffer when Facebook advertisements are implemented, seeing competitor brand searches across the internet drop by 3%.
Facebook ‘Trending’ has arrived
Facebook has announced the imminent roll-out of its new Trending feature on its web version to users across the USA, UK, Canada, India and Australia. The trending topics will be identified by an algorithm, “highlighting topics that have had a sharp increase in popularity, as opposed to overall volume”. Descriptions accompanying each trend will add to the more personal touch Facebook has aimed to achieve. As it standsno plans have yet been announced to sell sponsored trends, however this could be a source of revenue for Facebook further down the line.
Facebook could be set to launch news reading app this month
Re/code is reporting that Facebook is planning a news reading mobile app, Paper. The new offering is likened to Flipboard and is said to include rich media content alongside status updates from Facebook users, and is reportedly set to launch later this month.
Twitter develops tailored audience offering for ads
Twitter has released three new ways for advertisers to create tailored audiences to target its ad products against, enabling them to define groups of existing and potential customers.
The CRM approach creates tailored audiences from an internal CRM database or an ad partners database, with “unreadable scrambles (called hashes) of email addresses” matched to Twitter accounts.
The Twitter ID approach uses usernames or user IDs to create a tailored audience. This approach could be used to target influencers with a large following, and build relationships with them, in the hope they’ll spread the brands message.
The third, exclusion targeting, will enable advertisers to exclude CRM and Twitter ID audiences from the set of Twitter users reached. Using Twitter targeting options (interests, keywords and TV) users already following or engaging with a brand, or users who won’t be interested can be excluded from a campaign.
@ mentions have arrived on Tumblr
Tumblr has graduated from blog network to social network in recent times. With theaddition of the long-awaited user mentions feature, it is now possible to tag friends in Tumblr’s compose screen using an @ symbol.
BBC News launches Instafax
The BBC is currently trialing a short-form video news service delivered to Instagram users, named Instafax. December saw mobile and tablet viewing figures overtake desktop use for the first time, and Instafax is the BBC’s response to this news.
Acura uses Twitter preview, to preview stop-motion project
Honda brand, Acura, took to Twitter to promote Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which the Acura NSX prototype featured. They tweeted single frames from a stop-motion gif, each displaying in Twitter’s timeline image preview with the result of a visual flip book as you scroll down the page. Twitter users got involved during the show using #NSXCoffeeRun, and 150 fans were rewarded with a @tweetacoffee Starbucks gift card.
Subway go mad for gifs this January
Sandwich brand Subway are tempting those dieting this January by launching 73, soon to be 100 animated gifs with the hashtag #januANY for a mini-campaign across Facebook and Twitter, using both paid and organic messages. The idea is that consumers will rapidly share these unusual animations with their friends and family via social media channels.
You could #BeeFamous with Applebee’s
American food chain Applebee’s has two TV spots to fill to promote their more diet-friendly ‘Under 550 Calories’ menu, and for your shot at six seconds of fame you simply have to capture your ‘unbelievable’ reaction to the special menu items with a vine and share it on Twitter using #BeeFamous. If you’re successful you’ll be sent to bee-famous.com to await further instruction. This method has been tried and tested previously , most notably by Dunkin Donuts during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show featuring animated content posted to Vine from the brand. Submissions will be accepted until January 26th.
— Colt Paulsen (@ColtPaulsen) January 19, 2014
Real fans could be #FlyingToMadrid
Emirates and Real Madrid launched their ‘Fans For Real’ campaign on Google+, giving their biggest fans the chance to win flights to Madrid and watch the team in action. To get involved users must +1 Emirates and Real Madrid’s Google+ pages, upload and share content using #FansForReal and #FlyToMadrid. The campaign launched with the below video depicting what the winners experience could be.
The Mindy Project is matching on Tinder
American TV series, The Mindy Project has broken new territory with Tinder. The show announced in November that there would be a Tinder-themed episode in the new year, and to co-inside with this the show has been advertising on the app, matching users with fake character profiles.
Vlogger takes over brand Snapchat account
WetSeal, a teen retailer is one of the latest brands to turn its hand to Snapchat marketing. They partnered with influencer and vlogger Meghan Hughes who manned their account for two days in the lead up to Christmas, creating a Snapchat story. Meghans story was “stitched together from multiple snaps and broadcasted to a larger audience”, and remained visible for 24hrs, making it possible to replay it as often as someone liked. The results speak for themselves, WetSeal gained 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of the story for WetSeal, and vlogger Meghan was able to interact with her fans and followers in a whole new way.
Brands are joining Jelly
The new and much talked about social query app, Jelly from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has been live for two weeks and already brands are trying their hand at it. In the UK Carphone Warehouse, Nandos and Asda have begun to experiment with the app, with varying levels of success. And in the US Whole Foods, Lowes, Shutterstock and Ben & Jerry’s are also dabbling in asking fun, interesting and thought provoking questions. For some though, brands’ use of the app is ruining the user experience.
Following on from We Are Social’s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.
It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.
These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.
These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.
The Global Picture
Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:
Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.
We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data in the report – here’s the APAC picture:
In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.
The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:
Asia-Pacific In Context
APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:
click to enlarge
Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:
However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:
It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:
It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:
- The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
- However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
- There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.
2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.
We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.
User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):
It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:
- Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
- Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
- On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.
We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.
Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).
China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.
We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:
- The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
- The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.
However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:
- WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
- WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
- LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
- Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide
We’re pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.
As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.
Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.
It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.
However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:
The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.
Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.
While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:
It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.
You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.
The Individual Country Story
We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.
Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.
In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:
Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.
Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.
However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.
The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:
It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.
However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.
We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.
East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:
As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.
Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.
Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.
Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.
Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:
Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.
We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:
As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.
The India Changes
Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:
So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.
Be sure to check back to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!
Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank GlobalWebIndex and GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.
UPDATE: We’ve amended this post, and some slides in the original report, due to a request from one of our data partners.
Twitter expands its reach in India by partnering with Airtel
With no extra charge, subscribers of Airtel Digital TV in India can soon start tweeting whilst enjoying their favorite TV show or viewing tweets related to it. The tie-ins of Twitter and TV providers around the world has been making headlines for quite some time, which is often referred to as an indication of the emerging second-screen phenomenon. With an user base of 15 Million people, the invasion of Twitter into the digital TV platform in India seems inevitable. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for both parties as Twitter can enrich its revenue stream through TV ad placement whilst Airtel can benefit from the promotion of its additional internet services. How are the Airtel subscribers taking this? Well, we would be keen to hear your thoughts on this.
2 in 3 e-shoppers in India are influenced by social media
In a consumer survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan recently, it’s revealed that over 67% of Indian online shoppers refer to social media before making their purchase. Moreover, 40% of web users aged 18 -35 who took part in the study admitted that they once acquired items after seeing them in a social networking site. In essence, the widespread adoption of smartphone and feature phones has significantly transformed the decision path of Indian consumers by allowing them to get online and stay connected more easily. Companies who embark on this journey and make social media work to their advantage are definitely reaping the benefits.
Line’s stickers turned into dramatic mini-soap operas in Taiwan
Last month, we wrote about how Line tried to compete with WeChat by offering the fun series of Wandoujia stickers in China. Perhaps it is hard to beat the giant that WeChat has grown to become, but the Japanese chat app’s popularity is hinted everywhere in Taiwan: on billboards, in subways, at night markets. Interestingly, Taiwanese fans have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their addiction to the cute stickers by creating funny mini-soap operas out of them. If you’re a huge fan of these animated characters who can read Chinese, check them out!
91 Million social media users in India by end of 2013
It’s estimated by IAMAI, the Internet & Mobile Association of India that the number of social media users in the country will touch the 91M hallmark by the end of this year, reflecting a growth rate of 17% from June. Facebook which enables users to stay in touch with friends, publish content, as well as search for contacts would remain as the most popular platform with a penetration rate of 96%. The promising outlook for social media can be attributed to the influx of affordable smartphones as well as mobile data plans in India. Interestingly, “non-working women” is predicted to be the next segment to be swept along by the social media stomp.
Berocca to make cool easy in Singapore
Berocca is looking to make it easier to be cool for teenagers in Singapore, by creating a desktop widget that compiles interesting content from around the web. Users can then be the first to share this on their own social presences, hopefully upping their own status.
The growth of mobile use for UK internet and shopping
The UK is becoming increasingly mobile as a market, after a study last week predicted that 57% of the country’s internet users will get online via a mobile in 2013, compared with 40% in 2012 and 20% in 2011.
Once online, m-commerce is key for segments of the UK mobile community. 10% of UK consumers use a smartphone as their main shopping method, while 22% make purchases on their phone. This makes Britain the European market leader, with 15% of Germans making mobile purchases, followed by 8% in the Netherlands and 4% in France.
Social referrals growing across the board
Shareaholic released its social media traffic report last week, with positive news for many social networks. Pinterest remains a surprisingly important source of traffic, second only to Facebook. The top three networks, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, increased their referrals by 55.81%, 66.52% and 54.12% respectively and now together account for 15.22% of all traffic to Shareaholic’s publishers. YouTube and LinkedIn also increased their share (by 52.86% and 34.51%), while Google+ remains a relatively unimportant source with a cumulative 0.04% figure.
47% of US advertisers to up social spend
A spring survey of US advertisers found that there are set to be increases in a large number of social budgets.
Facebook ads performing well
Facebook ads are up on all key performance indicators, according to global analysis of 85bn ad impressions. From Q2 to Q3 2013, click volume increased by 14.4%, conversion rate went up 2.36 times, revenue up 2.16 times and return on investment up 3.04 times.
Facebook allows retargeting through newsfeed ads
Facebook has released a new method of ad targeting, which allows advertisers to directly retarget people who have visited their site or app through native ad formats in the newsfeed. This means that retargeting can now take place not just on desktop but also mobile, where ads appear only in the newsfeed and not via the page sidebar – it’s the first time that such a system has been in place for mobile devices.
FBX adds Google, offers very cheap impressions
Facebook has added Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager to its ad exchange, FBX, which allows real time bidding and traditional display ad retargeting. This could well be big news, considering the huge number of advertisers using the system.
In other news, it has become apparent that ads can bought very cheaply through FBX. In fact, 50% of impressions cost less than or equal to US $0.50, as shown in the below graph.
Twitter ups US revenue, but slows on growth and may close #Music
Twitter has announced an increase in its US revenue, leaving it likely to hit $500mn for the year. The first nine months have seen revenue of $422.2mn, up 106% year on year – suggesting strong figures ahead of the platform’s mooted IPO. However, it’s not all good news for the platform, as its growth has slowed to 6.13% in Q3 2013, down from 10.6% for the same period in 2012, as shown in the below graph. It’s also planning to close its mobile #Music app after just six months, with its market share dropping month on month.
Twitter introduces scheduled tweets
Twitter is looking to emulate Facebook by introducing the ability to schedule updates. Previously, Twitter users could schedule tweets by using a client such as Hootsuite or Buddy Media, but the ability is now on offer to users of Twitter’s Ad products directly through the native platform, and applies to both promoted and organic tweets. For more details, see our blog post on the subject.
Receive Twitter DMs from any user
Another Twitter update, this time to its direct messages. Previously, you could only receive DMs from users you follow, but this has all changed with the ability to receive them from any user. The system could well be useful for brands, who can now receive such messages without having to follow each individual consumer.
Twitter’s new Android app and sketching
Twitter has also released a new app this week, its first for Android tablets. The most interesting development allows users to ‘sketch’ a tweet using their device, then upload it to the network. Announced, naturally, in a tweet, a particularly pleasant response came from Samsung.
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) October 10, 2013
It’s not yet clear whether this is to be rolled out across Twitter for other devices, but if so, it would be considered a major change in the platform’s functionality.
The social features of Microsoft’s XBOX One
One of the major releases planned for the next generation of consoles, Microsoft’sXBOX One is set to have a decent number of social features, including community achievements, a Twitter-esque ‘feed’ and the ability to follow professional gamers. More details are included in this video:
Vine-based TV ads by Mountain Dew
Drinks brand Mountain Dew is launching a set of Vine-based TV ads. These will show on NBC Sports and ESPN during Nascar, and can hardly be less interesting than watching cars go round in circles for hours on end.
Tide using Vine for Halloween
Detergent brand Tide has been using Vine this week, too. It is planning seven separate short videos for Halloween, each around a different spooky theme.
— Tide (@tide) October 18, 2013
Jose Cuervo’s #PartyAnimals ‘Howl’ app
Jose Cuervo has launched a ‘Howl’ app under its #PartyAnimals theme, which uses SMS technology to allow users to create a ‘pack’ of friends. When on a night out, users can then ‘howl’ to their entire ‘pack’, or ‘text’ all their ‘mates’. It sounds good to say ‘howl’ and ‘pack’ though, so go Jose Cuervo.
We Are Social create #MoetMoment
We Are Social has created a global social campaign for Moët & Chandon, under the hashtag #MoetMoment. Users upload images or memories of moments that they deem worthy of a bottle of the champagne to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr using the hashtag, with the best each week receiving a golden Magnum of Moët Impérial.
ASOS send discount codes on Snapchat
Online fashion retailer ASOS used Snapchat to send customers 10 different discount codes, each of which disappeared after 10 seconds, requiring users to either screengrab or write them down quickly. They also tweeted the following to push people to the promotion:
Er, hello @Snapchat! Yeah, we’re totally on there… and we have some secrets to spill. Get following ‘ASOSFashion’
— ASOS (@ASOS) July 3, 2013
C&A Brazil promote partnership with Instagram campaign
C&A Brazil is launching an Instagram campaign to celebrate its partnership with Roberto Cavalli. Based on the idea of ‘Cavalli rules’, fans are asked to post a photo to the C&A account with the hashtag #loucasporcavalli (#prayforcavalli) explaining how they interpret said rules. The best will be selected to win an invitation for the Cavalli collection’s pre-sale event, a book about Cavalli and a C&A gift card.
Carphone Warehouse’s #OnceInABlueMoon
UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse is promoting the launch of the new HTC One Vivid Blue with a Twitter campaign called #OnceInABlueMoon. Users are asked to tweet moments in their own lives that fit the hashtag, for the opportunity to win one of the new phones.
Unicef’s #emptyplate campaign for World Food Day
Global charity Unicef created a campaign for World Food Day that aimed to highlight hunger by playing on the tendency for people to post images of their food online. It asked Instagram and Twitter users to instead post an image of an empty plate, hoping that this will raise awareness of those going hungry across the world.
British Gas and the art of the social fail
UK energy company British Gas hiked their prices by 9% last week. Now, this is something that Twitter might just have had something to say about, but the company meant and made it a whole lot worse by offering them a hashtag to use. Offering people the opportunity to #AskBG, they received a number of hugely negative comments, as discussed in our blog post from last week. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they then chose to promote Facebook updates just as the conversation was dying down, highlighting themselves to a whole new audience and bringing on fresh criticism. Like many of their customers may be driven to this winter, all they ended up doing was feeding a dying fire.
Sina Weibo expands to Singapore and Indonesia
According to Techinasia, Sina Weibo has officially appointed Trends Media as Sina Weibo’s Singapore and Indonesia exclusive reseller, supporting its expansion in the region. The main focus of expansion will be to increase the number of sign-ups of the ‘blue V enterprise-verified’ Weibo accounts. It is similar to Facebook brand pages but it attempts to help brands in Singapore and Indonesia to effectively target Chinese speaking users on Sina Weibo. About 70% of the Singapore’s population are able to converse in Mandarin. Singapore is fourth largest nation in terms of registered Sina Weibo users globally with 1.5 million registered users. However, Facebook and Twitter are still most used social media platform in Singapore. Will Sina Weibo become major social media platform in Singapore? Only time will tell.
Rakuten buys singapore-based video streaming site Viki
According to Techinasia, Rakuten has officially revealed the acquisition of video streaming site Viki. Viki is a Singapore based start up company offering premium TV shows, movies and music video content with crowdsourced subtitles, allowing multi language users to consume the content created from various nations. The acquisition appears to be one further step for Rakuten to go beyond e-commerce and attract worldwide users with unique service to compete with the market leaders like Amazon. This move is in line with its investment in social bookmarking site Pinterest and acquisition of Spanish online video service last year. It will be interesting to see how Japan originated e-commerce site, Rakuten will shape its path to become international digital content provider.
DrawChat joins Chat app competition in Asia
The Japanese startup known for developing the popular photo customization app DecoAlbum, has released new chat app, DrawChat. It’s the first Facebook API that utilized messenger featuring doodling and handmade emoticons. While drawing functionality and a set of cute emoticons are nothing new (as we have seen them from Taiwan-made messaging app Cubie), DrawChat is expected to be more accessible by connecting with your Facebook friends. Do you think DrawChat will be able to grab Asia’s competitive chat market, by leveraging Facebook messenger API?
Facebook open newsfeed competitions
Facebook, which previously stipulated that an app be used for pages to run a competition, has decided to allow them through the newsfeed. This should be interesting for brands, who will no longer require the budget necessary to create or lease an app; fans can enter simply by liking, commenting on or sharing a status. For the full lowdown, take a look at the post we’ve written on the changes.
Update to conversations on Twitter
Twitter has updated how it presents conversations, intending to make them easier to read. Now, tweets that are part of a conversation appear in chronological order, with a little blue line connecting them to make it clear what’s going on. The video below explains the update.
Twitter test ability to tweet excerpts from articles
Twitter last week performed a test with the New York Times that allowed users to tweet certain sections from an article, not just the headline, as had previously been the case. In one article about Saturday Night Live, the network chose certain sections that they felt people were likely to want to tweet, then highlighted them such that they could be automatically selected for sharing. The newspaper noted that the story was shared 11 times more frequently than the average from their top 500 articles of the last month, so it’s likely that we’ll be seeing this tool more in the future.
Location aware recommendations on Foursquare without checkin
Foursquare has announced that it is trialling push notifications based on location, without users having to checkin. The system will suggest occasional places to eat, or sights that you should see if in a new city and will function based on a variety of location signals. By not using GPS alone, it manages to dramatically reduce the battery life necessary, making this a possibility for the first time. The system is being rolled out to a few thousand Android users for testing.
Tumblr creates collaborations for New York Fashion Week
Tumblr has linked 20 fashion bloggers with designers and relevant organisations tocreate content for New York Fashion Week. These will take the form of ‘apprenticeships’, with the bloggers learning from their mentors and helping them produce an installation, which will be displayed in a New York gallery during the event.
Pinterest and Fashion Week
Pinterest, too, is ramping up its Fashion Week activity and has created a dedicated hub where designers and other influencers can share their various inspiration, featuring content from the likes of Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta. In addition, the network has partnered with the television channel ‘Style Network’ to bring an on-screen ‘It List’, featuring the top ten trends for the upcoming season.
ESPN using Twitter’s Amplify for sport highlights
Sports broadcaster ESPN is set to use Twitter’s social TV platform, Amplify, to show highlights of the college American football season on Twitter. These will be pre-rolled by adverts for Verizon Wireless as part of a larger #DidYouSeeThat campaign, which will extend to ESPN’s on-screen TV coverage of the sport. The move comes after similar deals by Twitter for the MTV VMAs and with the USTA for US Open coverage – evidently, Twitter is working hard on bulking up its already strong links with TV.
GAP make us of .gif on Facebook
After tech firm Giphy has created a product that allows .gifs on Facebook, high-street fashion brand GAP has made use of the technology. It posted its first .gif, shown below, to its Facebook page last week, accompanied by #BacktoBlue copy.
Co-op produces Snapchat campaign
The co-operative is set to become the first major UK brand to use Snapchat in a marketing campaign, promoting their electrical business. Customers will be sent a code for a £30 discount on a laptop, which will ‘self destruct’ after a short time, as with all Snapchat messages.
Day Two of the iMedia Agency Summit kicked off with a series of roundtables, and I hosted a great discussion on “Demystifying The Complexities of Social in a Diverse Region”.
I was joined by delegates from Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and the UK, each of whom highlighted the specific nuances of the social media landscape and audience behaviours on their respective markets.
- Brands can’t just adapt global campaigns for social in Asia; the cultural context means we need a dedicated approach for local needs.
- Industry growth and improved ROI requires greater involvement from senior marketers within client organisations and agencies.
- Listening technologies still don’t offer a universal solution across the region, and this is a major barrier to improved success.
- Marketers need to think more about how to deliver meaningful social value, instead of antisocial product spam.
- We need to build social communities that people find welcoming and rewarding, and not egocentric brand fan clubs.
In-Depth Conversation Review
We started the roundtable by discussing the diversity of technologies and platforms around the region. Facebook and Twitter are still the dominant networks in markets like Malaysia and Singapore, but we’re seeing increased use of new platforms and services such as WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk, especially in Northern Asia.
However, while audiences have jumped on these platforms at a startling pace, Miki from Comnico suggested that many brands in Japan still struggle to use these platforms for marketing, especially where the interactions are more personal, private and contextual. She stressed that large-scale social media marketing in Japan is still dominated by Facebook and Twitter, whom she feels are better set up to cater to the needs of big brands.
Hanh from VietBuzzAd stressed the continued importance of forums in Vietnam’s social media ecosystem, pointing out that forum seeding and paid interactions still form a large part of many Vietnamese brands’ investments in social. Contrary to Miki’s experiences though, Hanh says that brands in Vietnam are already exploring how to use chat apps for marketing, and she’s been involved in activities for a fast-food chain where chat apps played a central part of communications. She believes that the mobile nature of these apps makes them ideal for marketers who want to connect with Vietnam’s permanently mobile youth.
This kicked off questions around the kinds of content brands are using in different channels, and Lola from Tribal in Malaysia pointed out the difficulties in managing consistent brand delivery across the region, whilst also catering to local cultural and linguistic nuances. This was a theme we discussed at the iMedia Brand Summit a few months back too, and it continues to challenge both agency and client-side marketers alike.
One thing all participants agreed on, however, was the need to develop content specifically for Asian audiences. Simply translating a global campaign into Asian languages rarely delivers meaningful audience engagement, because the ways Asian audiences engage around content are different. Asian audiences can be more reserved in the way they interact with content in social media, so brands need to make extra effort to ensure the content is tailored to specific audience needs and behaviour.
This segued into a conversation about how difficult it is to measure success across different markets. The cultural dimensions of engagement mean that it’s very tough for brands to benchmark and compare success metrics across markets like the Philippines, whose audiences are culturally more socially gregarious, and those in, say, Japan, whose audiences are often more reserved.
Kate from Profero said that these differences really struck her as a recent arrival to Asia; she wasn’t prepared for the diversity of platforms and technologies around the region, and the challenges this diversity causes. She noted that marketers in the West are used to using a single tool that can collect comparable data across markets – often in different languages – but that this was currently still unfeasible in Asia, where no single social listening tool covers all of the top languages.
This not only makes marketers’ jobs more difficult, it also makes it more difficult to compare the successes of activities across markets. As a result, marketers in Asia spend lots of time simply collecting data, rather than analysing it, and as a consequence struggle to gain the same momentum as their Western counterparts. This compounds the challenges marketers face when trying to develop regional activities, as it’s much more difficult to find common insights to inform strategy.
The difference here isn’t one of skills though; rather, it’s often about access to reliable tools and technology that would allow marketers in Asia to optimise activities more efficiently, and report their successes more accurately.
Many complexities stem from differences in how people around the region do business too; the challenges we face are not just technological, but also relate to the ways marketers approach things in their individual business cultures. Lola pointed out that differences in business culture can make it tougher to gain traction with regional clients too, so it’s imperative that agencies build strong relationships with senior marketers.
She suggested that social media doesn’t always get enough senior attention within larger agencies, and that by making it the domain of junior teams, social media would continue to remain a novelty, and would always struggle to gain the backing that it needs. She stressed that youthful enthusiasm had huge value, but agencies also need people with broader experience and an understanding of business to work on social activities.
In particular, senior marketers continue to worry about negative comments and ‘trolling’, and this is particularly important in Asia where senior marketers have an elevated need to ‘manage face’. This often makes it more difficult for senior managers in Asia to take big risks, and as a result, social media remains a marginal activity in traditional industries like Banking and professional services.
Hanh noted that this is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult for agencies to find a good remuneration model. She noted that clients are used to paying for people’s time when it comes to producing social content (e.g. images), but they don’t really understand the value of activities such as community management, so don’t want to pay for them. Consequently, many agencies in Vietnam have been including these for little or no cost, which has further devalued them in clients’ eyes.
Miki said the situation in Japan was equally tricky for two reasons: firstly, because too many of the people working in social media are very junior, and secondly, because very few senior marketers use any form of social media in their personal or professional lives. She said that even when clients were keen to get involved in social media, it was more as a result of looking at what their competitors were doing, rather than because they saw a unique opportunity for their own brands.
This leads to a lot of copying between brands. The resulting lack of differentiation results in much lower engagement, creating a vicious cycle where senior marketers don’t see any meaningful value in social media. Miki noted that this problem is particularly prevalent in Japan, where few people speak English well enough to be able to benchmark what brands in other countries are doing, and as a result, Japanese social marketing has become a bit of an echo chamber.
Lola said things are different in Malaysia, where clients are more comfortable paying for strategy and listening, although on-going community management is far from being an attractive, scalable opportunity despite its potential to add value to clients’ brands.
Cristel from OMG noted that Filipinos are generally highly social anyway, and are much more likely to click ‘Like’ or follow brands than people in other cultures. As a result, social media seems to work well for many brands locally, and marketers are getting increasingly involved. Social media is popular across the population, but when it comes to people in lower socio-economic groups, social media activity is driven by interactions with celebrities and staying in touch with family members who are working overseas.
Interestingly, however, the majority of the 93% of internet users in the Philippines who already use Facebook, most still access predominantly through desktops due to the cost and patchy reliability of mobile data. This means that internet cafes are still very important around the country, although home internet access is on the increase.
We then got into a heated conversation about the need for brands to add distinct value in social media. We agreed that too many brands are still filling in content calendars, rather than understanding how the brand can actively offer entertainment, information and education to its audiences through social activities. Kate made the important distinction between ‘Liking’ a brand page, which is a one-off, versus ‘Liking’ individual content and posts, which is what brands need to strive for. If content doesn’t continue to offer value, people will quickly ignore it. In particular, as an industry, we need to take a stand on unscrupulous marketers, and the proliferation of spam.
Social media’s role in political issues is also causing concerns for marketers around the region, especially in areas like China and Vietnam where people are turning to social channels for more ‘activist’ activities. Political beliefs aside, this makes the social environment more tricky for marketers to navigate, and fears that certain (or even all) channels may be blocked continue to worry brands and agencies across the region. We agreed that open social media were preferable to highly regulated platforms, but that, just like in offline communities, some degree of protection and moderation was needed to ensure people’s safety and a welcoming environment for everyone.
In a similar way, the wide array of religious beliefs around the region also adds to the complexity for marketers. For example, if a brand wants to make a social media app for a particular religious festival, laws and cultural sensitivity may require them to create such an app for all relevant religious festivals. Marketers need to show a high degree of social, cultural and religious sensitivity when engaging with Asia’s multi-ethnic audiences.
However, we also agreed that traditional media are often a large part of the problem, sensationalising stories about social media, and focusing heavily on the negative aspects of social media behaviour. Sadly, this sensationalism often extends to the marketing trade press too, so it’s important for agencies to offer meaningful contributions to stories that help to mitigate the issues.
Cristel then made the point that too many brands focus on sales and trade, and they’re missing the ‘engaging heart’ of social. If marketers are not matching cultural context, they’re going to struggle to engage people. She contested that audiences go to social media to have a conversation with their peers about the things they care about – not to be sold products – so marketers need to offer people something to connect around that adds social value.
Hanh noted that many marketers resort to competitions for this though, which again contributed to the erosion of social value. She and Cristel both said this has led to the rise of ‘professional competition entrants’ in their markets, and sometimes whole families make a living by entering social competitions and voting for each other in order to win. Marketers and audiences alike are increasingly frustrated about this, and it’s rendering competitions less and less effective.
Cristel brought the roundtable to a fitting conclusion by noting that brands are still stuck in conversations about quantity, but the real opportunity is one of quality. Too many marketers are envious of their competitors’ “vanity scores” (e.g. Facebook Page Likes), but they’re not looking at whether the size of the community actually delivers any value. As an industry, we need to stop focusing on ‘lowest common denominator activities’ (e.g. “like this post if…”) that dilute the quality of engagement and make social media marketing far too antisocial.
If you’re looking for more insights into the diversities of social media around Asia, be sure to check out our Social, Digital and Mobile series of reports.