Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.
At the beginning of this month, Instagram rolled out ads for the first time. The image and video-sharing platform debuted its newsfeed ads through a post from fashion label, Michael Kors. The much-documented reaction was mixed; while the photo obtained over 150,000 likes in just 7 hours, it also attracted a number of negative comments.
Since then, a handful of big brands have joined Michael Kors in venturing down Instagram’s advertising path, including Burberry, adidas, Levis, Lexus and Ben & Jerry’s. Now, one month in, it is clear that some ads have been more successful than others.
In the early days, user reaction to ads of any kind on Instagram was not particularly positive. Lexus, for example, had a wave of criticism similar to that of Michael Kors, with its post getting 1000 comments – most of which were negative.
General Electric received an equally unfavourable response when it put out its first sponsored post in early November.
In contrast, Ben & Jerry’s is one of the first Instagram ad success stories. Named by Ad Week as the “early winner in [the] Instagram ad race”, the ice cream brand is really getting it right. Recent data revealed that Ben & Jerry’s has seen a 20% increase in followers since it began using ads, and its posts are receiving significantly less criticism than any other brand advertising on Instagram.
The initial reaction to Instagram ads is not unusual – the same reaction was seen when Facebook began to monetise its platform five years ago, and when Twitter first introduced Promoted Tweets.
Though the first newsfeed ads have been bombarded with comments (both positive and negative), this is mainly a response to Instagram itself, rather than the brands using it. Though user comments show divided opinions, the huge number of likes seen across the first sponsored ads – much more than each brand’s organic posts – shows that clearly not all users are averse to the new updates.
As a young advertising platform, Instagram’s targeting opportunities are less sophisticated than its competitors. At the present time, it is vital that promoted content is relevant and interesting for as broad an audience as possible. This is where Ben & Jerry’s are outperforming other ad brands; they focus on awareness, rather than obviously driving sales. Their content is simple, pleasing to look at and – importantly – free of promotional slogans and sales messaging. Most importantly, Ben & Jerry’s produce images similar to those users would upload themselves, allowing seamless integration with the newsfeed without looking out of place.
Before advertising on Instagram, it is important for brands to consider whether this is the right platform for them, and how relevant their content will be for the typical user. Those going ahead would do well do well to take some tips from Ben & Jerry’s.
When a customer walks into a shop and buys a product a marketer would be justified in thinking “Job done! My marketing has worked”.
At We Are Social we disagree. We call this kind of sale a ‘dead sale’.
A dead sale is when a customer buys a product and doesn’t share this with their friends via social networks. We believe that smart brands are encouraging their customers to share their purchases on social networks.
We call this a ‘social sale’.
We’ve written a tasty deck on which brands are doing this now and how your brand can do it in 2014. This presentation is only available to subscribers of the We Are Social monthly newsletter. If you’d like a copy of The Social Sale please email Alex and we’ll put you on the list and send you a copy.
Following a sell out event at Social Media Week London, this morning at We Are Social HQ we hosted our second Social Media Content Smackdown.
Presenting alongside some of the We Are Social senior team, we had a stellar line up of brands; Jason Wills from Thorpe Park, Aman Matharu from PepsiCo and Patricia Klein of Cisco. While each brand outlined very different challenges and solutions in their particular markets, there were a number of overriding messages to come out of the talks.
Firstly, the need to engage with your audience on the channels where they already come into contact with your brand, rather than expecting them to follow you. Or, “fish where the fish are” as Aman put it.
Secondly, whether you’re a b2b brand like Cisco, or selling directly to consumers like Pepsi Max and Thorpe Park, remember that people buy from people and not from a faceless brand. Tone of voice can make a big difference here – brands should be using an engaging tone that stimulates two-way conversation.
Curate, create and share content that inspires and delights your audience (check out Pepsi Max’s sausage BBQ) – whether they’re company decision makers, millennials or parents. In doing this, companies can transform social media posts from characterless comments to valuable interactions.
Finally, use research and insight, not just to find out what makes your audience tick, but also to identify who that audience is in the first place. Sometimes, it’s not as obvious as you’d think. If you know exactly who you’re targeting, it’s much easier to come up with the content and tone that will really appeal to them.
Aside from the talks themselves we also learned that a table football table makes a surprisingly good coat stand, and that at 9am on a Tuesday in a room full of marketers, a professional barista is worth every single penny.
If you’d like to register your interest for future Social Media Smackdowns, please drop Harriet an email, or if you’re interested in seeing some of the content shared at today’s event, please email Alex.
— Sue Jackman (@SueJ_BL) November 26, 2013
Worldwide social users reach 1.61 billion
According to eMarketer, there are now 1.61 billion monthly users of social networks worldwide – up 14.2% from 2012. This is set to increase to 2.33 billion by 2017, though growth will gradually slow to 7.6%. The highest penetration still exists in the West, with 63.5% in the Netherlands, but the highest growth is in India, with 37.4%.
Germany overtakes UK for social network users
The UK has lost its place as the largest social networking population in Western Europe to Germany, with 32.1 million to the other’s 33.1 million. The current top five is set to stay that way until 2017, too: after Germany and the UK come France, Italy and Spain. The UK retains the largest volume of Facebook users with 29.9 million, followed by France and Germany with 22.1 million.
Facebook trials autoplay videos
Facebook has been trialling new ways to display video in the newsfeed, with ‘autoplay’ features limited to native Facebook videos – other clips, from the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, will still appear as a thumbnail with a play button. Those selected for autoplay will do so when a user scrolls over them – if clicked, they will then expand and unmute.
Facebook simplifies scheduling, allows drag and drop photos for pages
Facebook has introduced two features to make life easier for page admins. First of all, post scheduling has been simplified, with a calendar appearing when the user needs to select a date, along with easier time selection. Additionally, admins can now add photos using the ‘drag and drop’ system already available to other Facebook users.
Instagram launches for Windows Phone, experiments with messaging
Instagram has launched a beta version of its app for Windows Phone – which can take photos, contrary to certain reports. You’ll need to use your native camera app, rather than the Instagram app itself, but it can be done. The app is still lacking video, however. This comes amidst news that the network is planning to expand its offering by introducing private messaging and even experimenting with group messages.
Five countries account for half Twitter’s MAUs
Half of Twitter’s monthly active users come from just five countries – the USA, Japan, Indonesia, UK and Brazil. 24.3% come from the USA, followed by 9.3% in Japan and 6.5% in Indonesia. The UK and Brazil follow with 5.6% and 4.3% respectively.
Twitter introduces TV conversation targeting
Twitter has introduced a new form of ad targeting, which allows brands to show ads to people tweeting about a particular programme. The system is available through Twitter’s self-serve ad tool, meaning it’s not limited to just big brands. The move seems to make sense, and the network produced two pieces of research last week to support it. One study showed that the cost per incremental acquisition is 36% lower for TV and Twitter advertising than in TV alone.
Moreover, TV ads and Twitter paid media produce 8-16% more sales than TV advertising alone, according to analysis of 30 US Consumer Package Good brands.
Vine adds 19 new languages
Vine is looking to expand into new markets with 19 additional languages. There’s Filipino and Polish for Android, while both Android and iOS receive (deep breath): Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai and Turkish. And exhale.
LinkedIn has two new features
LinkedIn has introduced two new features: Showcase Pages and Talent Updates. The former essentially allows brands to segment and display content for specific audiences in addition to their main brand pages. The latter is a recruitment tool; when brands share talent updates to their followers, these will appear in users’ feeds – those who engage can then be contacted by the company with a view to being hired.
Pinterest create ‘Place pins’
Pinterest has released a new feature: Place pins. These allow users to add a location to every item pinned, which allows for the production of maps that function as guides to cities or other locations. People have already started doing some interesting stuff with the feature, such as Time Out’s guide to Christmas in London or the below map of Hong Kong.
All go in the world of Snapchat
Snapchat is reportedly seeing more images uploaded each day than Facebook. The disposable photo-sharing app now sees 400 million ‘snaps’ a day, according to CEO Evan Spiegel, up from 350 million in September and 200 million in June – that in comparison to Facebook’s 350 million photos uploaded globally each day. Spiegel also revealed some demographic information on the network: 70% of its users are women. All this information could come in useful to those looking to invest, with chinese web giant Tencent rumoured to be interested; in fact, it has emerged in the last week that it has already got in there, as an unnamed minority participant in Snapchat’s last $60 million round of funding.
Foursquare opens ad space for brands without a location
Foursquare is welcoming advertising from brands without a location, with Mastercard set to become the first. The move sees the network look to expand its ad revenue and could well be successful, given the whole new realm of brands opened up to advertising on the platform.
Google updates Hangouts and iOS7 G+ app
Google has made some alterations to Hangouts, rendering them more suitable for the workplace. The feature now supports a global address list, as well as settings that allow privacy to be limited by country. Finally, there is 24/7 support available, just as with Google’s Talk product. Meanwhile, the new Google+ app for iOS7 has an interesting new feautre: the ability to upload Camera Roll photos and videos to the cloud, allowing the app to function as a cloud storage device.
KLM’s socially-inspired in-flight gift service
Dutch airline KLM has created a gift service named Wannagives, which allows people to select and purchase in flight gifts online. Nick Botter, KLM social technology manager, has stated that the system was inspired by a huge number of requests via social media for something of its ilk.
Birds Eye allow consumers to trace their food’s origin
Food manufacturer Birds Eye has created a Facebook app that allows users to trace the origin of their frozen peas. Traceable packs will include a unique code that allows users to see where their peas came from, along with video content about the process from farm to freezer.
Jaguar and We Are Social launch F-TYPE Coupé with #FromTheShadows
The new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé was unveiled last week in Los Angeles, with We Are Social providing a social media campaign to celebrate. In the build up to the event, a hidden code could be entered into the website to display exclusive content around the car; since its release, a Tumblr has been created to exploit the hashtag #FromTheShadows.
Lexus reveals two cars on Vine
Lexus has revealed two of its latest cars on Vine: the Lexus RC sports coupé and Lexus LF-NX turbo compact crossover SUV concept. After asking followers to tweet with the hashtag #LexusInTokyo, they chose two tweets to respond to with the images, becoming the first automotive brand to launch a model via Vine.
Pepsi Sweden get burnt by voodoo
Uh oh, Pepsi. When Sweden played Portugal last week for a place in the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo was highlighted as the latter’s danger man. As such, Pepsi Sweden created some posts showing a Ronaldo voodoo doll, which then had its head crushed by a can, amongst other things. There was an online backlash, particularly in (you guessed it) Portugal, with a Facebook page called Nunca mais vou beber Pepsi (never drink Pepsi again) receiving almost 200,000 likes. That’s all for this week, so I’ll leave you with one of the images that caused so much anger.
Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on the importance of social in mobile. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
So, the 65% smart phone penetration in Australia convinced you that you needed a mobile presence. You optimised your website for mobile, reviewed the options and have now decided that a native app is the way forward. You have answered all your marketing questions, you know the target market segment and maybe even have a brief idea about what your app will do… So what’s next? Social integration of course!
For some, social sharing for mobile apps may seem like a joke at first. In the past many app developers would have laughed at the suggestion that people want to share their experiences of your app through a wide variety of social media streams. In fact, it wasn’t until the release of iOS 6.0 in September 2012 that a native framework was introduced for developers on that platform. Now the question has changed from ‘why social’ to ‘which social streams will work with your app?’
The mobile apps landscape has changed drastically over the years. For the user, an app has always assisted with any number of tasks from finding the weather, or a bus, to dispelling boredom on the commute. That hasn’t changed. But now if your weather app doesn’t provide a way to tell your friends about the weather, share a picture of the latest graffiti on the way to the beach, rate the ice cream peddler’s quality or shoot a stop motion picture of your friend being swept off their feet by a big wave, then it’s hardly a weather app at all! AppZapp is a great example of an app, where users can find out the latest app deals, set up price alerts, share wish lists, ratings and even engage with other users in a community.
Okay, so this is may sound a little blasé, but in truth, social media share-ability in mobile apps helps brands connect with users, users connect with their friends and then, in essence, brands to connect with users’ widespread network of friends, acquaintances and followers. Once brands engage more deeply with their users it is possible to harness greater understanding of what users want, what they need and where brands can improve services to make every experience better. Basically, socialising mobile apps can help brands transform into the companies their users want them to be while engendering a relationship of true trust.
While building engagement through standard channels such as Facebook, Twitter and other social media, it is important to note that these are only one part of the whole conversation. Mobile not only forms an important part of your social ecosystem, by extending your relationship with your customers. It also allows you to reduce exposure to the risks that may occur should changes occur in these channels by giving you an owned digital platform that can be tailored to your needs.
By now, no doubt, you are truly converted to the fact that you need social media to keep both your users and you ‘appy’. So if you are just taking those first few tentative steps, or even if you have a long standing app, take look at any piece of text, image or video and ask yourself: ‘Would I want my other people to see this?’ If the answer is yes, then the next question is how?