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.

The Potential of Wearable Social

by Matthew Payne in News

The smartphone may have completely revolutionized the way we communicate, to the extent that many of us feel incapable of surviving without one. But thankfully, technology hasn’t ground to a halt, and we’re now on the brink of a new era, as Wearable Tech starts to become mainstream.

Last night Apple unveiled its Watch, Google’s Android Wear has already hit the shelves; consumer tech is undergoing a revolution. And these gadgets allow us to become even more invested in the internet and social. It’s exciting, it’s new – but this is just the beginning – there’s much more to come, and it will undoubtedly impact social and the brands using it.

The size of wearable technology reduces messaging space and experience, so information on smart devices needs to be useful, or risk of being removed. Thus social media apps need to be simple, and will better support things like notifications, one-to-one messages and photo albums that can be viewed with a simple swipe.

Currently, brands on social media are creating campaigns that are easy to digest, simple and straightforward, for the benefit of the user. With wearable social, brands will need to make content even more concise – the well-worn phrase “quality over quantity” has never been more apt. Brands developing content for wearable tech will face a similar challenge to those producing banners of old – they used to annoy many users, but they were were clicked on. The better thought out ones put forward a simple message or call to action for users who wanted what they were offering.

Creative, Design, UX & Development teams will also need to adapt to the way that wearables are redefining the user experience. With each new device comes a new design language, with different challenges. People expect their products to be intuitive, so analysing natural behaviours and adapting to accommodate will be essential if social is going to be viable on wearable devices.

Whilst waiting for figures to be released on sales for both Android Smart Wear and the Apple Watch, developers and brands, including social networks, will be keen to take up the all important real estate on the watch.

Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat have already had a crack at the Wearable Social market.  Snapchat’s Snapchat Micro on the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch stealthily captures stills using the Gear’s camera, Facebook launched on Google Glass last year, allowing users to upload photos from their hi-tech specs to their Facebook timelines and Pinterest has updated its Android app to add Android Wear compatibility.

With platform adoption, of course, comes opportunities for brands to connect with consumers. But what now remains to be seen is how branded content will work within these applications. Something you wear constantly on your wrist is automatically more personal than a phone that you keep in your bag or pocket; content absolutely has to be something that people want, need or find useful.  Brands will need to be less business-to-consumer and more person-to-person. Tolerance for non-relevant content will be even lower than ever before, and brands won’t be given any second chances.

Lastly, an important point that could easily be forgotten by us in the tech community, as we get worked up about new features and functions. Wearable tech has finally started to leap over one of the biggest hurdles to mainstream adoption – fashion. The latest wearable tech no longer looks clunky, or ridiculous, it’s smart and sexy. Brands take note – it will be less time than you think before a smartwatch is on the wrist of your target consumer. We’re looking at the future.

Global usage of Vine

by Deniz Ugur in News

A GlobalWebIndex study analysed the top markets for Vine worldwide, and found that teens aged 16-19 are much more likely to use Vine compared to the average internet user.

In the thirty-two countries that were included in the study, Vine enjoys the greatest usage figures in the USA, where 9% of internet users engage with the app each month – a figure that  rises to an impressive 25% among teens. This pattern is repeated Canada, the UK and Australia, where 16-19 year olds are typically three or four times more likely to be Vine users.


50% of teens using Snapchat

by Deniz Ugur in News

A report by GlobalWebIndex analysed teen usage of Snapchat across the platform’s top five markets.

The teen demographic – 16-19 year olds – has been identified as the predominant group using Snapchat, and in the UK and Canada, figures show almost 50% of teens are monthly users. In the other three top markets, USA, Australia and Ireland, monthly teen users exceed forty percent.

According to GlobalWebIndex, Snapchat is more popular than WhatsApp in all five of these countries, and has also passed Facebook Messenger in Canada and USA in terms of monthly users.

snapchat infographic

Should we all be more boring?

by Nick Hearne in News

Could boring be the new interesting? James Ward has a knack for mining the mundane to produce unexpected internet gold. He was recently featured in the Guardian, discussing his endless fascination for ‘boring’ things and five others who share similarly obscure passions.

James visited We Are Social for a typically bizarre presentation of his greatest hits, drawing parallels between himself and the work of Austrian rapper Falco (yes, r-r-r-r-Rock Me Amadeus Falco!)

I Like Boring Things seems like a humble website title in today’s landscape of hyperbolic click-bait. The website covers such beige topics as cheese, Chas N Dave and ‘How Many Little Pens Do Argos Use In A Day?’ But James Ward has built a cult following of dilettantes that find similar fascination in the minutiae of day-to-day life.

This website has resulted in BluTack trying to qualify their “thousands of uses” packaging claim (James is still adamant that there are only 4 real uses); a stack of rejected applications for every single job at Argos, from warehouse to board-of-directors level (well, it is the only way to access the sort of pen usage data James needs to answer the previous query). It also saw the genesis of the ‘Boring’ conference; set up to fill the void left by the cancellation of Russell Davies’ ‘Interesting’ conference. A cautionary word from James: if you say you are going to do something as a joke, say it in the pub, not on the internet. A jokey tweet might rapidly escalate into something that you actually have to do… like organising an entire conference about boring things.

Boring Conference sold out in 2 minutes. Moved to a bigger venue. Then sold out 5 minutes later. All through social media word of mouth and James’ devoted followers-of-the-mundane. The capacity crowd was enthralled by talks on ‘Milk Tasting’ featuring suggested cereal pairings, A Guide To Car Park Roofs, and one man’s attempt to document and catalog his sneezes. Boring proved to be interesting and received wide press coverage. There seems to be a little bit of ‘Boring’ fascination within us all.

Stationery Club followed. Like a Book Club, but with members trying out a pen for a month, then pontificating its merits or shortcomings. Again, the popularity snowballed. James even “sold out” to 3M and held a live video QA with Geoff Nicholson, an instrumental member of the team that developed the Post-It Note, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the product.

James Ward’s latest endeavour seems to have found a mathematical formula for engagement on Facebook. Counting. Yes, counting. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…etc. you get the idea.

Currently racking up a whopping 45,000+ comments on one post from April 2014. The rules are simple. You must count up one whole number from the previous person. This is devilishly unforgiving, any duplicate numbers or numbers not in sequence will nullify the count and it will start again at 1. Sounds boring? Not at all! Try it and feel the angst as your fingertip hovers to update your number. This update could either prolong the count, or potentially kill it and provoke the good-natured ire of the counting community.

So what is the magic that makes all of these seemingly mundane activities so popular online? James Ward believes that the secret is to take a single-minded idea much further than it makes any real sense to do. He genuinely appears incredulous that he constantly invents these small ideas on the internet which end up consuming his every waking moment. Did I mention the year he spent cataloging the storage conditions and prices of Twirl chocolate bars in the newsagents of London? I won’t bore you with that one now…

James Ward’s book ‘Adventures In Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case’ is published on Thursday.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #227

by Nick Mulligan in News

Social is increasingly important for marketers
The CMO Survey was released last week. The survey of 351 ‘marketing leaders’ shows social is becoming ever more important to brands; it now makes up 9.4% of marketing budgets, expected to rise to 21.4% within five years.

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However, as you can see below, ROI is still proving tricky. Particularly sad is the big blue section, made up of the 45% who can’t show the impact of all the fantastic work they’re doing. Expect to see increases in budgets for measuring ROI.

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How cost efficient is social advertising?
Very! Wonderful news. Q2 analysis by Neustar has found that social ads outperformed ad networks, portals and exchanges for cost efficiency. Look at the graph, the graph says it all:

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How social network ads affect buying decisions
So social ads are cost-effective, but which platform is king? Analysis by AoI Platforms of data from 500m clicks has found that YouTube is the best social network for introducing customers to new products, with Facebook coming in second. YouTube manages to perform well throughout the buying decision process, unlike Twitter, which is pretty much only useful during the middle phase.

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Over 50% of people have a mobile phone
Half of the world now owns a mobile phone. At the time that we published our article on the subject, there were 7.258bn global citizens (though a few more have probably arrived in the last week), compared with 3.630bn unique mobile users.

Facebook video views at 1bn a day
Facebook video views grew by 50% month-on-month between May and July and, since June, there have been 1bn every single day. Fidji Simo, Project Management Director of Video at Facebook, wrote:

Video is one of the most engaging and immersive ways to tell your story. Whether capturing breaking news, a baby’s first steps, or rising to a friend’s challenge for charity, it is a remarkable storytelling medium.

He doesn’t say what percentage are ice bucket challenges. We may soon know, though, as videos from public users and pages are set to display a view count in the near future.

‘Privacy Checkup’ debuts on Facebook
Facebook has rolled out ‘Privacy Checkup’, which it has been testing since March. Each user who logs in will see an option to edit their settings, guided by a cartoon dinosaur. (A tyrannosaur? Our taxonomy skills have left us wanting.) Here’s how it all works:

Twitter adds a buy button for mobile commerce
Get set to start purchasing through Twitter – the network has just added a ‘buy now’ button for iPhone and Android. It’s chosen 25 beta partners, which include two brands (Burberry and Home Depot), but are largely made up of celebrities. Musicians are an important part of the partnership, and celebs will be able to act as paid influencers for brands. You can find out about how it works in the below video:

Snapchat adds London geofilters
Snapchat has added 30 London-specific geofilters, which are only accessible in certain parts of the capital. Two of them have been revealed: the London Eye and Tower Bridge, but the other 28 remain a secret for now. We can confirm that our London office isn’t one of them.


Netflix adds greater sharing controls
Netflix is allowing users increased privacy over what they share on Facebook. Previously, anyone who had linked their accounts would automatically share what they’d watched with any Facebook friends signed up to Netflix. Now, you can tell everyone about that Scandinavian crime drama, but keep Gossip Girl to yourself (or vice versa, of course).

Social media talks about the NFL
The new NFL season kicked off on Thursday to a roaring online reception. There were 15m total Facebook interactions from 8.5 million users, and the network released a map of the most popular team in each US county, measured by official page likes:

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Frito Lays used the event to commence its latest campaign, in which fans must like a ‘Fire Drill Alert’ posted during Thursday night games, for the chance to win prizes from tubes of Stax to Superbowl tickets.

Brands take to social for Transfer Deadline Day
It was also a big week for non-American football, as the transfer deadline passed for British clubs. A number of brands jumped on the event, including Norton, Cadbury and, of course, Paddy Power.

Asda set to launch YouTube commerce
Walmart-owned UK supermarket chain, Asda, is set to allow YouTube users to purchase its products without leaving the site. A new partnership with e-commerce service, Constant Commerce, will allow the brand to display a list of products alongside its videos, which users can add to their basket before checking out, without ever leaving the video.

Samsung launches #thatsucks campaign
Samsung has been walking the ‘fail’ tightrope with its latest vacuum cleaner campaign, dubbed #thatsucks. It has received a couple of negative responses, but in large part shows that it’s possible to take risks in social and succeed.

adidas crowdsources NYFW show
adidas put on the world’s first crowdsourced fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Dubbed #NEORunway, almost every element of the show was chosen by fans – from hair and makeup to music, outfits and even set design.

Starwood looking to LinkedIn with $30m campaign
Hotel chain, Starwood, is putting LinkedIn at the centre of its latest campaign, worth $30m. It is looking to promote its ‘Starwood Preferred Guest’ loyalty programme in the business market, making LinkedIn a good fit, though it will also increase the volume of its content on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

EA creates social media sitcom
EA is pushing the launch of the Sims 4 with a sitcom that takes place on social media. Four different characters, each with a personal Twitter account, will act out the story over two weeks. It’s based on ‘Gone With The Wind’, so they’ve taken a punt and are calling it ‘Gone With The Sims’.

Snuggle Bear gets social
Snuggle is bringing its mascot, the Snuggle Bear, into the 21st century. He’ll be debuting on various social channels for his 30th birthday, as part of an editorial-led campaign across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Now, you’ve been very good and finished your whole mashup, so here’s a picture of the cuddly chap. Don’t say we don’t treat you.