Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency, with offices in London, New York, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore, Sydney & São Paulo. We help brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media.
We’re a new kind of agency, but conversations between people are nothing new. Neither is the idea that ‘markets are conversations’.
We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
If you’d like to chat about us helping you too, then give us a call on +44 20 3195 1700 or drop us an email.
This might have seemed like a rather defensive move from Mayer – and it certainly isn’t the norm for this kind of statement – but she knew that the focus would immediately jump to Yahoo’s track record when it comes to acquisitions, which isn’t great. The internet giant has snapped up a number of startups, including personal website creation tool GeoCities, internet radio company Broadcast.com and more recently social bookmarking service Delicious, none of which were nurtured into an outstanding success, to say the least.
The acquisition that has seems to have drawn the most parallels with the Tumblr deal is that of Flickr – an amazingly successful photo sharing social media start-up with a passionate and large user base, which Yahoo was rumoured to have paid about $35 million for in 2005.
At the time of Monday’s announcement, critics noted that while Yahoo didn’t screw Flickr up, it also didn’t really give it any attention either.
However, it seems that Yahoo was prepared for this, and just a few hours later a new and improved Flickr photo platform launched, with Mayer, stating her ambition was to make Flickr “awesome again,” with “bigger images”, creating a user experience that is “more immersive, more expressive.” And it does look better, slicker, certainly an improvement on the previous version. Round one to Yahoo.
The issue of Yahoo picking up Tumblr and doing nothing with it is not, however, the key concern. What is, of course, is advertising. Tumblr’s stance on this has always been fairly clear to date – “We’re pretty opposed to advertising,” David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, said three years ago. “It really turns our stomachs.” So the acquisition of the platform by Yahoo, which currently generates 76% of its revenue from advertising, hardly seems like a match made in heaven.
Given that Tumblr’s 2012 revenue was just $13m, according to a report by Forbes magazine, analysts have already suggested that Yahoo has overpaid for the deal, and Mayer will clearly need to ramp up the monetisation of the platform in order to make the price tag worth it. However, she’ll need to walk a tightrope between the need to monetise and, on the other side, upsetting Tumblr’s users by showing them too many ads, especially bad ones.
Mayer has tried to allay these concerns by describing the advertising planned for the site as ‘meaningful’, following the form and function of the platform. And it could be that if done correctly, relevant ads could actually add to the user experience. But it will be a real balancing act to get this right, and Mayer will need to tread very carefully indeed – as we’ve seen from Facebook, brand posts done well can feel native and unobtrusive, whereas bad ones feel like blatant advertising.
What makes the price tag, and the risk, worth it for Yahoo? One major gain for Yahoo in this deal is in relation to mobile. Companies like Facebook and Google still trying to crack it, and this acquisition helps Yahoo take hold of a large and engaged mobile audience immediately. It now has potential access to a hoard of young mobile users – an audience that marketers desperately covet. More than half of Tumblr’s users engage with the mobile app an average of seven sessions per day, and with Yahoo’s audience large but aging, Mayer has essentially bought a whole new generation of consumers.
One positive piece of news is that Karp will continue as chief executive officer. At the time of the announcement, Karp felt it necessary to reassure people that Tumblr would not be “turning purple”, in reference to Yahoo’s corporate colours. He continued “Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing.” Mayer will need to back this up by giving Karp the freedom to grow and innovate the Tumblr platform, allowing him to maintain the brand identity that has made Tumblr so popular to date.
Only time will tell whether Tumblr will revitalise Yahoo, or Yahoo will turn Tumblr into a corporate shadow of its former self – concerns over Tumblr’s sanitisation have not gone unnoticed. Personally I’d favour the former. The eyes of the entire industry will be closely watching to see what Mayer makes of it and she will be determined to succeed. And it’s safe to say this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the Yahoo acquisition train – one thing’s for sure, at the helm of Yahoo, Mayer certainly does not plan on resting on her laurels.
The three day design festival which is Clerkenwell Design Week kicked off yesterday, and with more architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, you can really feel the buzz here in EC1 (We Are Social’s London office is bang smack in the middle of the whole thing in St. John’s Square).
With a history of design that flows through each of their models, our client Jaguar is a proud sponsor of Clerkenwell Design Week for the second year running. While working closely with Jaguar’s Advanced Design team, we were interested to hear how for them, inspiration can come from anywhere, not just the automotive world.
The theme of inspiration is exactly what Clerkenwell Design Week is all about for many people – whether it’s from an architecture studio, a design exhibition or (a favourite of the We Are Social crew) a cute little lamb in a jumper:
Drawing on this (the theme of inspiration, not the lamb), we wanted to challenge attendees at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week to capture what inspired them over the festival and share it on Twitter using the hashtag #JaguarCDW. It’s been great to see the variety of #JaguarCDW exhibits that have inspired attendees, including the Jaguar F-TYPE on display:
There’s still time to enter if you’re visiting Clerkenwell Design Week this year, or just happen to be passing by. There are prizes up for grabs for the best entries – four lucky winners will each win a pair of National Art Passes giving them free and discounted entry to museums and art galleries across the UK.
Aside from the competition, Jaguar has also been involved in another Clerkenwell Design Week project. Jaguar challenged students from the Royal College of Arts (RCA) in London to create their vision of Jaguar’s future design language. During the last few weeks, the winning students have worked with Jaguar’s Advanced Design team to create a stunning new art installation based on their vision, which takes centre stage at Clerkenwell Design Week.
During this project we’ve worked closely with influential design bloggers, giving them the opportunity to meet and interview the winning and runner up RCA students and Jaguar’s Advanced Design team to find out more about the process – something that has been received really well due to the high quality of entries and, of course, the impressive art installation:
Extending this concept of inspiration, we also filmed a series of interviews with key design individuals from the festival, asking them where they draw inspiration from and what design means to them. The interviews were filmed in the back of the luxury Jaguar XJ Ultimate and included questions put forward by our design bloggers. The bloggers will then be given the films with their questions included to share with their readers as well as targeted to key individuals with an interest in design via LinkedIn.
Collaborating with the passionate RCA students and Jaguar’s Advanced Design team on this project has been an amazing experience. Jaguar has been synonymous with British Design ever since the iconic E-TYPE was launched in the 60s. By bringing the design community closer to the design process we hope to show that this continues today – showcased by the latest in a distinguished bloodline – the all-new F-TYPE.
Jaguar strongly believes that inspiration can come from anywhere and Clerkenwell Design Week has been the perfect opportunity to showcase this. If only every day involved a lamb in a fluffy jumper, the world would undoubtedly be a more inspiring – and happier – place.
We were in a pretty good mood anyway, but the evening’s entertainment certainly added to it. Russell Kane’s excellently inappropriate comedy performance kept people on their toes and there was also some unexpected entertainment in the form of an unmoderated tweet wall. This kept everyone amused for the first hour of the night as different tables pushed the limits of what is acceptable. Very little wasn’t, but it was hilarious and although unintentional, added to the atmosphere of the night.
It was great to see some fantastic work on display from agencies across the board, so a big congratulations to all the other winners and nominees. Let’s hope this quality of work is a good sign for the rest of 2013!
Exposure to car brand tweets increases brand consideration Research produced by Twitter into 1800 UK Twitter users has found that those exposed to a tweet by an automotive brand are more likely to visit their website, search for an auto-brand or engage in ‘lower-funnel’ activities, including registering for a test drive and locating a dealership. Dividing the participants into three groups: those who had been exposed to at least one automotive brand tweet and two control groups representing the average Twitter user and average internet user, they found that those in the first group were 74% more likely than the average internet user to visit the website of a car brand, 54% more likely to search for one and almost twice as likely to engage in the lower-funnel activities mentioned above.
The most talked-about brands on Facebook Socialbakers has produced a list of the top-10 brands on Facebook by the ‘people talking about this’ metric, both in the US and on a global scale. Interestingly, New York-based ‘DealDash’ top both categories, despite a much smaller audience than other pages, suggesting that people enjoy talking about low-priced offers to an extent that even Coca Cola and Walmart cannot replicate.
The finance industry ranked highest of all sectors for response rate at 62.8%. Considering their equivalent for Q2 2012 was 27.4%, that also amounts to the biggest year-on-year increase.
Social media users attempt to perfect their persona online Social media users seek validation from others and look to attain this through massaging the truth in their online personas, according to research from the Future Foundation. 34% of social media users agree that they hold a “strong desire” for recognition from others, which has led to certain ways of behaving online, including 68% of drinkers admitting to de-tagging themselves from at least one photo. In total, 44% agreed with the statement “I wish I could be more like the person I describe myself as on social media.”
Yahoo to purchase Tumblr for $1.1 billion As has been rumoured for the last few days, Yahoo is set to purchase Tumblr in a deal worth $1.1 billion, as announced by both parties today. For the full low down on the deal, and what effect it’s likely to have, check out our full blog post on the subject.
Facebook bringing structured updates to mobile Facebook’s structured updates, which allow users to share how they are feeling or an activity through a set of pre-ordained emoticons, are being rolled out on mobile. Available to some desktop users since January and more widely rolled out in April, the feature is now accessible via m.facebook.com, though not yet on the platform’s iOS or Android apps. Constructing one of the new status updates will look as follows:
Then, once it’s been posted, you’ll see something like the following:
Twitter strikes deals with ESPN and Fox Twitter is looking to grow its connection with the TV industry through two new deals with ESPN and Fox. The first will see ESPN host highlight clips of major sporting events within its tweets, an opportunity for both rich content and mutually beneficial advertising opportunities; ESPN will sell ads within the clips and have also agreed to purchase a minimum number of ‘Promoted Products’ from Twitter. Fox, meanwhile, are set to feature show previews, recaps and more.
YouTube introduces new functionality to allow purchase of goods Google last week announced a new ‘channel gadget’ for consumer goods brands. The plan is to allow users to seamlessly move from watching, say, a video about hair straightening, to looking at featured products, browsing retailers and checking prices and availability, then purchasing the product online. Unilever are set to be the first to use the system, for their TRESemmé haircare range.
The new Google+ Google+ has made a number of updates to its service, specifically in stream, related hashtags, hangouts and photos. The updates to stream are intended to create a more visually immersive experience across all devices, with changes including a multi-column layout, larger photos and animated elements, such as the sharebox bouncing and cards flipping or fading.
Related hashtags look to enhance your ability to enter conversations about the topics you love. So, whenever you write a post about, say, your favourite sports team, Google+ will determine what it’s about and tag it accordingly. The system can then identify and rank conversations and allow you to click on the relevant hashtag for more opportunities to browse related content.
Hangouts have been expanded as stand-alone apps on desktop, iOS and Android for sharing not just live video, but also text and photos. Additional features such as a conversation history and notifications synced across devices attempt to produce a more seamless overall experience.
Finally, photos have been upgraded with four different ‘auto’ features. Assuming permission is granted, Google+ will ‘auto-upload’ your images to the network, preventing them from being left on your phone and ensuring that they’re backed up online. ‘Auto highlight’ helps choose the best images in any given album by emphasising or de-emphasising on a number of factors, from the people and landmarks present to the quality of image or fact that it’s a duplicate. For those photos that aren’t as high quality as others, ‘auto enhance’ will fix things like the light and focus. Finally, there’s a feature called ‘auto awesome’, which looks to automatically create exciting content from the photos you upload. Say you upload in a series of similar photos, for example, Google+ will try to create an animation from them. If you post a few different family portraits, the feature will choose their best smiles and compile this into one image.
Pinterest release new brand-friendly pin Pinterest have produced a new type of pin, which allows for additional information to be shared beneath the pin when a user clicks on it, with different variations for food, retail and films. The first will include a recipe list, the second a list of purchase locations and the third additional information such as cast, ratings etc. Whilst these pins will currently only link to an initial list of partner sites, they already include big names such as eBay, Etsy, WalMart and Netflix, and the list is certain to continue growing.
Blackberry to launch BBM on iOS and Android Blackberry are planning to launch their ‘Blackberry Messenger’ (BBM) service on iOS and Android this summer, which will include a “social engagement platform” called ‘BBM Channels’ that is looking to connect users with their favourite brands and celebrities. According to Blackberry, BBM has more than 60 million monthly active users and over 51 million daily, with daily active users spending an average of 1.5 hours a day on the service. Around 10 billion messages are sent via the service each day, suggesting that it will be interesting to see BBM go up against competitors like WhatsApp and WeChat.
Polyvore’s success for indie fashion brands Fashion social network Polyvore released a mentorship campaign earlier this year, aimed at promoting less well-known designers to a new audience. Judging by their latest results, it seems as though it has been a success. For example, an accessories brand named Meredith Wendell was picked up by Shopbop, a retailer owned by Amazon, with Polyvore continuing to drive 20% of sales. Shoe designer Madison Harding saw overall sales increase by 2,250%, with 70% of traffic through Polyvore. This goes to show the extent to which social engagement can be used to grow indie brands; indeed, Polyvore are planning to make the campaign a yearly affair, with a new set of designers each time.
Facebook bans ‘Social Roulette’ Social Roulette, an application that offers a 1 in 6 chance of deleting a user’s Facebook account, has been banned by the network. The idea of the game is to connect to your Facebook profile and ‘spin the barrel’. 5 out of 6 times this will just post a message on your behalf saying ‘I just played Social Roulette and survived’, but if you’re unlucky (or lucky, depending on how you look at it) the app will delete your entire Facebook presence. Or it would have done. Facebook has removed the application for ‘violating its platform policies’.
We Are Social’s ‘Tweet & Shoot’ campaign with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga We Are Social has partnered with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to create a ‘Tweet & Shoot’ campaign for BNP Paribas, sponsors of the French Open for the last 40 years. This Thursday, in the build up to Roland Garros, Tsonga will take on tennis balls fired by a machine in a secret location somewhere in France. However, this isn’t just any tennis machine; the campaign is using brand new technology that fires balls based on encoded hashtags from Twitter. Fans can enter a competition in advance to become one of 40 ‘VIP trainers’, who are guaranteed to have a ball fired and receive a ‘Tweet & Shoot’ tennis ball as a memento. Many others will also see their tweets turned into tennis shots through the system explained below:
Oakley, Sunglass Hut and Shaun White’s ‘Gold Rush’ To celebrate the launch of Oakley’s new Shaun White collection, the sunglass manufacturer has produced a Facebook campaign that encourages users to match a Shaun White quotation with one of their own Facebook pictures. The 5 photos judged by the man himself to best summarise the pictures will win a pair of gold-plated sunglasses.
We Are Social launch #beginwithabulmers We Are Social have produced a campaign for Bulmers, encouraging the cider brand’s drinkers to share their experiences of starting off a great experience with a Bulmers, in exchange for a number of rewards throughout the summer. This includes a #beginwithabulmers Facebook app, where fans can share their ‘good times that begin with a bottle of Bulmers’ – We Are Social will also be tracking all mentions of the hashtag across Facebook and Twitter, whose volume will contribute to unlockable milestones and prize giveaways. On top of this, digital outdoor displays will display the best entries in real time across the UK, while XFM will produce a guide to what listeners are doing on Friday evening based on the campaign tweets.
Nike ask football fans to put their country first To celebrate the launch of their first ever England shirt, Nike are producing a campaign called ‘Country First Club Second’. Running through social media, Nike will encourage fans to show pride in the new shirt, to be worn by England for the first time against the Republic of Ireland next Wednesday. The timing is certainly good, as the domestic football season draws to a close to be replaced by a number of International friendlies and World Cup qualifiers and it will be interesting to see if Nike manage to capture a wave of patriotic sentiment. The shirt itself was first shown via Twitter, with England international Jack Wilshere posting:
F&F and We Are Social’s ‘Seven Days of Summer’ F&F are promoting the launch of their Summer 2013 range with a ’7 Days of Summer’ campaign, created by We Are Social. Revealing a new trend each day for seven days, F&F are asking fans to upload a photo of their take on the look to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or a video via Vine. One winner from each social channel will be selected to receive a £75 voucher and the best will be featured on the ‘Inspire Me’ section of the F&F site. We Are Social’s own Deola Laniyan said:
This campaign will show off F&F’s summer collection in a lighthearted way that will appeal to fashion fans. F&F is all about making fashion affordable, and we’re looking forward to seeing how imaginative people are in pulling together their looks.
Volvic Juiced produce games for Facebook and digital billboards We Are Social has produced a Facebook game for Volvic, in which fans attempt to align similar types of fruit in a row, incentivised by prizes including surfing and zorbing sessions. This is being supported by activity on digital billboards in Bluewater shopping centre, where fans can play a game attempting to crush virtual apples. Every player will win a bottle of the drink, whilst some will be selected for other prizes such as Frisbees, Super Soakers and underwater cameras.
Guardian celebrate 1 million followers on Twitter UK newspaper The Guardian has reached the 1 million follower milestone on Twitter and is celebrating with a #1msides campaign, playing on the idea that there are ’1 million sides to every story’. The newspaper is looking to find out more about its followers by asking them to tweet a picture of where they are with the relevant hashtag. They also posted a Vine of their journey from ‘The Manchester Guardian’ to today:
The Guardian are lightyears ahead of their British news rivals on the platform, with even their closest rival, the FT, on 789,000 and no other paper above 300,000. Activities like this are clearly the work of a paper embracing the age of social media.
Discount for tagging on Instagram The ‘Sweden Calling’ pop up store has offered shoppers a 5% discount for uploading a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #swedencalling, or by checking in on Facebook. The idea displays both the growing importance of Instagram, as well as a nice way for a small business to create a cheap social campaign.
Colin was here Sky News followers were surprised last week to notice a tweet reading simply ‘Colin was here’. By the time it had been deleted and blamed on a hack, a number of others had managed to get in on the joke:
An interesting method of dealing with complaints ‘Amy’s Baking Company’ from Arizona last week gave an absolute masterclass in how not to deal with complaints online. Having featured on an episode of ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’ in which the chef claimed they were beyond help (see clips from the show here), ABC received a number of complaints on social. They responded in the most vitriolic fashion, including posts like:
Eventually, they released a statement claiming that all of their online presences had been hacked simultaneously, but never fear! They had the FBI on the case.
Their comments, naturally, led to a huge response from trolls, including many coming in from Reddit. The number 1 response to their FBI tweet? This.
On Tumblr, there’s a number of different places where we think we can monetize in a way that is meaningful and really addititive to the user experience.
For example, Tumblr has what’s called the “dashboard”, which is their version of the newsfeed — or in old school terms, an “inbox” for the blogs you follow. So basically different bloggers that you follow can all appear there in your feed.
And today, Tumblr already does some advertising, though minimal, in that feed. We would like to look at them and understand how we could introduce ads — in a very light ad load — where the impact is really created, because the ads really fit the users’ expectations and follow the form and function of the dashboard.
We also see some opportunities to possibly work with bloggers who want ads, to provide ads on their Websites. That would always be done with the blogger’s permission.
All in all, the deal presents both a great risk and an exciting opportunity. The $1.1 billion amounts to roughly 1/5 of the $5.4 billion that Yahoo still own in cash from sale of stocks in Alibaba Holdings Group, a Chinese internet company. Nevertheless, as Tumblr’s figures above show, this money could prove to be well spent, especially if it manages to push Yahoo’s share price up to $33, the figure for which co-founder Jerry Yang refused to sell the company to Microsoft five years ago.
To sum up, when talking to The Drum about the issue, We Are Social’s Robin Grant said:
With Yahoo’s entire ad sales team now likely to be selling Tumblr ads, Mayer will need to walk a tightrope between the clear need to monetise and, on the other side, upsetting Tumblr’s users by showing them too many ads, especially bad ones. Mayer will also need to give Karp the freedom to grow and inovate the Tumblr platform, something they seemed unable to do in the past with their Flickr acquisition.
Last Wednesday, after several weeks of hard but gratifying work, the team here at We Are Social in Paris served up one of our most groundbreaking campaigns to date.
As you may have read in Creativity, Campaign or Creative Review last week, we’re working with BNP Paribas to help train Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, French No. 1 and World No. 8, through Twitter ahead of the French Open.
This exciting campaign marks 40 years of partnership between BNP Paribas and Roland-Garros – The French Open. It enables members of BNP’s We Are Tennis community – as well as tennis fans and social media users everywhere – to enjoy a unique and memorable sporting moment, which unites them in a common goal: to help a world-class tennis player achieve victory at one of the year’s biggest tournaments!
The big day takes place in France this Thursday, the 23rd May, at 5pm CEST (11am EDT, 4pm BST). At a tennis court in a top secret location, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will take on shots fired at him that have been carefully chosen to challenge him by tennis fans worldwide.
So what, you might ask? Well, there’s a big twist… We’re using technology that’s never been seen before – a social media-controlled robot, connected to the internet and Twitter via 3G, which is able to fire tennis balls based on encoded hashtags in Tweets sent by social media users.
That’s right – social media users will actually be able to determine the trajectory of the shots, with each one mapped precisely to the positioning of the user’s choosing. All they need to do is go to tweetandshoot.wearetennis.com, and log in via Twitter, then they can drag-and-drop a tennis ball on a virtual on-screen tennis court and adjust the positioning of their shot to challenge Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, adding a personal message of encouragement to Tsonga before their Tweet is sent.
If you’re a die hard tennis fan and don’t want to leave anything to chance, I’d suggest getting involved early to be in with a chance of becoming one of our 40 ‘VIP Twitter Trainers’, who will be selected from BNP Paribas’ social communities through a competition we’ve been running on the Tweet & Shoot site.
These lucky people are guaranteed to have their balls served LIVE – and they’ll get a cool souvenir ‘Tweet & Shoot’ tennis ball to help them remember their day. But don’t worry if you miss out – it’s not just the VIP Twitter Trainers that’ll have their shots played out on 23rd May. All those who sign up on the Tweet & Shoot website will be in with a chance of having their shots selected – so keep trying!
We’ll also be building up the excitement even before before Jo-Wilfried Tsonga arrives on court. From 11am CEST on Thursday, there will be a series of mini challenges where users can test out the capabilities of the robot by trying to hit targets placed on the court, using the same encoded hashtag format that will be put into play in the training session at 5pm. It’ll give users the chance to see how this futuristic technology works as well as having a bit of fun warming up the robot before he shares the court with one of the world’s biggest tennis stars.
So that everyone can keep track of what’s going on and fully experience the event, the whole day’s action will be streamed live on on the Tweet & Shoot site.
As you can imagine, this campaign has involved the use of some really complex technology to achieve something that’s never been done before. But despite this,it is still incredibly simple for everyone to get involved, making this innovative social media activity accessible on a global scale.
So, do you fancy trying your luck against the French No1? If the answer’s yes, visit tweetandshoot.wearetennis.com and help Jo-Wilfried Tsonga triumph in the French Open!