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.

Fun & friends: why teens use Snapchat

by Deniz Ugur in News

GlobalWebIndex has produced an infographic highlighting the top Snapchat markets amongst young people aged 16-19 and their reasons for using the platform.

In Snapchat’s home country, the US, three in every ten teens use the messaging app. It’s also booming in the UK and Ireland, with 37% and 35% of teens using the service respectively.

The most popular reason for teens to use Snapchat is that they consider it fun, with 69% giving this as a reason for using the platform. Those questioned also cited the fact their friends were on it and that it’s free as strong factors in its appeal. Privacy comes at the bottom of the list – while a significant 30% said this was important to them, it’s certainly not the deciding factor for teens using the platform.

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The Big Sauce Debate: Red vs. Brown

by Nicki Page in News

Hold on to your bottles as we’re set to get the UK debating, with the Heinz “Red vs. Brown” campaign.

Tapping into the long-standing conversation about people’s preference between ketchup and brown sauce, Red vs. Brown encourages Heinz fans to back their favourite bottle, activating debate across both the Heinz Tomato Ketchup UK and HP Sauce UK Facebook pages.

We’ve created signature content set to rile up the team spirit and passion of sauce lovers, as they testify why a dollop of ‘red’ or ‘brown’ completes their favourite dish.

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To harness the debate we’ve created bespoke designs, such as bottle foam fingers and branded bunting. Content will also direct Facebook users to redvsbrown.co.uk, where they can vote for their favourite sauce in a bid to win a year’s supply.

Results of the vote will be used in reactive updates on the Facebook pages, creating real-time content that will encourage each side to ‘keep up the good work’.

Choosing between ketchup and brown sauce has always sparked discussion on the Heinz communities, and this campaign is set to expand and own those conversations. To get things heated, there will also be some cheeky propaganda posts from each brand, attempting to sway users of the competition over to their side…

Heinz is also working with Bauer radio stations Absolute Radio, Magic and Kiss, and each station will broadcast live discussions about the sauces and encourage their listeners to get voting on the site.

In addition, an in-store promotional strategy will run in Morrisons, comprising of posters driving people to redvsbrown.co.uk and asking shoppers to vote for their favourite sauce.

Passionate about the sauce you pour? Make sure your voice is heard and your vote gets counted and visit the Heinz Tomato Ketchup UK or HP Sauce UK page.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #253

by Rhoda Sell in News

Brands post more on Instagram than Facebook
As organic reach on Facebook reaches an all time low, brands are turning to Instagram. A new study has shown that the world’s top 250 brands post on average 9.3 times a week to Instagram, but only 8.8 times to Facebook. Recently topping 300 million active monthly users, Instagram is proving to be an attractive place for brands, not least because all content posted will reach every single fan’s feed.

Facebook to provide topic data to brands
Through a partnership with DataSift, Facebook will now offer brands an insight into who is talking about what on the platform. This aptly named ‘topic data’ will include the demographics of people discussing a given topic, the specific things spoken about within it, such as brand names or products, and even the sentiment of the discussion. Advertisers will also be able to filter by the location and demographic information of the people within the conversation.

Twitter adds two new features for advertisers
This week, Twitter has launched a new analytics home page and in-tweet promotion feature, to make it even easier for brands to promote themselves on the platform. The analytics home page will provide a holistic view of tweet activity, such as how many people have seen your tweets, mentioned your username and shared your links. Also updated is the ‘quick promote’ feature which can now be done directly from a Twitter profile rather than through the analytics tool.

Twitter experiments with TV timelines
As the popularity of second-screening during live TV grows, Twitter is experimenting with ways of making this experience easier and more enjoyable for users. The new feature would track when users are talking about or searching for a particular programme and offer them the option to try out the show’s dedicated timeline. If the user accepts, they would see a new Twitter interface showing three column feeds (highlights, media and all) helping audiences to delve deeper into TV conversations and the promise of more eyes on your hilarious X Factor tweets.

Twitter buys live video app, Periscope
Its been confirmed that Twitter has acquired Periscope, a beta stage startup that lets users “explore the world in real-time through someone else’s eyes”. The move into live video is an obvious one that fits seamlessly with the real-time news element of the platform as well as their current focus on video content. The deal has come at a time when Meerkat, a similar live streaming video app, has gained a lot of traction. But, Twitter might have put a stop to Meerkat’s exponential growth by cutting access to the platform’s social graph, essentially making Meerkat users build their own following from scratch rather than using the fan base they have already acquired on Twitter.

YouTube launches 360-degree video
YouTube makes the first steps towards a virtual reality offering by introducing 360-degree videos. The videos can be watched through a browser, but also on mobile, with the android app allowing users to change the viewing angle based on where the phone is pointing. This feature means the android mobile app can be used with a Google Cardboard headset. YouTube have uploaded a playlist of the first 360-degree videos that are available.

Alibaba invests in Snapchat
Chinese e-commerce group, Alibaba has invested $200m into Snapchat. The deal pushes the value of the four-year-old photo-messaging app to an impressive $15 billion, putting it in the top ranks for privately-held start-ups. Snapchat is currently blocked in China, so it is still unclear of Alibaba’s plans for the app.

Apple buys all Twitter ad space for smart watch launch
In a bid to stop rival brands hijacking conversation around the Apple Watch unveiling, the technology giant bought out Twitter ad space on the day of the launch. Firstly with a promoted trend around the ‘Apple event’, but also with promoted tweets linked to all keywords associated with Apple and watches. The move follows on from last year’s iPhone 6 launch, where Samsung managed to steal much of the Twitter conversation.

Brands bid for attention during Apple Watch launch
Of course, that didn’t stop brands trying to join the conversation, so here’s our pick of some of the best and worst attempts…

Content marketing: not cheap, but clever

by Charlie Cottrell in News

The Guardian recently published a Q&A with Outbrain about my thoughts on digital content marketing. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:

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What are you most excited about in the digital marketing space at the moment?
It’s impressive to see the incredible velocity of change of social media in marketing. This isn’t a bolt-on media any more. The functionality of platforms, their reach and the human impulse to connect have made social media intuitive; the way we use those media for marketing has to be intuitive too. 18 months ago we were merrily showing TV ads on Facebook and building tenuous game apps, whether we were selling sports drinks or sports cars. You could just about get away with being “samey”.

But our audiences are ever more savvy, picky and vocal. They’re forcing us to raise the game. That’s an exciting challenge to have. It means when you get a client with vision, you’ve suddenly got the opportunity to create world-changing work. The Red Bull Space Jump proved that nothing is out of bounds.

What’s your favourite example of innovative digital marketing?
Our client Adidas Football produced incredible work for Brazil 2014. There had been a lot of hype within the industry about this being the ‘social World Cup’, but when it came to it, most people’s work was the same old thing – a flashy TV ad and some tweets. Adidas came at it social-first and stole the show. They ran gorgeous content across their social channels that captured the authentic spirit of the fans, and they got it live in seconds. They even used buildings as broadcast channels, and didn’t miss a beat. The campaign was innovative because it married the quality and pace of traditional sports broadcasting with the incredible reach and virality of social. I’ve never seen a brand get messaging right at such a scale and with such speed before.

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What’s next for digital content?
I hope, considered storytelling. There’s a gap widening between brands who are looking at the long-game and investing in content and those who still favour a method of butting into people’s digital activity with push-messages. Consumers demand more from brands – they buy into storytelling – but storytelling is an art and it takes time to perfect. Content marketers will have to take the time to work out what they should say and how best to say it, if they don’t want their audiences to tune out – or worse, switch them off.

This makes marketing an exciting place for people from editorial backgrounds as brands can now be producers of the very best content – content that challenges print, TV, even cinema for quality and audience share.

What defines good content?
Integrity.

What is the biggest myth about content marketing?
That it’s cheap. If you want to produce really great content at the volume social and digital channels demand, you need to invest in time and talent. There’s a reason that editorial staff are being picked up by agencies and platforms and that’s because these are people who know how to grab and retain the attention of a demographic. Content marketing is not cheap, but it is clever.

How are you amplifying and maximising your content?
I’m geekishly into data. As an agency, We Are Social is driven by data. Data gives us insights about our audience that helps to focus our work so, from the start, it’s more relevant to the right people. We use data to make sure we’re reacting to the right trends – that means our content is timely and relevant. And we use it to create media models that mean we can get our content in front of people we think it will appeal to most, without them feeling spammed. Editorial has always been a competitive industry, anything that gives you an edge is a weapon in your arsenal, and in digital that’s data.

Where do you go for great content?
The Onion, Heat Magazine, @HistoryInPix and I’m a recent disciple of the podcast “This American Life”. I also love what Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is doing for a generation of teen girls brought up in a world that lauds butt-selfies over brains.

Please provide a link to great content you have #discovered recently and tell us why you think it’s great?
The #foxnewsfacts hashtag was great because it fought fear with humour.

I could lose hours on Interestment too. It’s great fodder for making you seem amusing, intellectual and generally well-rounded to your Facebook friends.

40,000 Meerkats – and counting

by Jamie Robinson in News Google+

If you haven’t come across it yet, get ready to start hearing a lot more about Meerkat, the new iOS app that links directly to Twitter, offering live video streaming capabilities. We decided to take a look at the numbers behind the app and where its potential lies.

Since Meerkat’s launch on the 27th February, there have been over 40,000 Meerkat links shared on Twitter, from just over 27,000 people. The peak was on Monday the 9th March with a total daily volume of 6,476 links shared.

So far, 79% of those that have tried Meerkat have Meerkated just once, 19% have Meerkated 2-4 times only 1% over 5 times. But it is early days – and how many times can you really live stream an office tour?

To date, we’re seeing Meerkat dominance from the USA (35% California, 25% New York), with a strong male bias (85%). As would be expected, we’re seeing early adopters primarily from the tech/startup scene, but communities around media and entertainment are also getting involved.

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As it stands Meerkat links offer little insight as to the content of the live streams, as many people aren’t annotating their links with a clear description. Granted, Meerkat’s model is based on being alerted about videos streamed by your Twitter friends, but if you were to search for the stream of recent Meerkats it’s difficult to discover relevant or interesting content. Count on there being a number of Meerkat search and discover apps out there very soon. Location-based Meerkat discover could also be very interesting.

Use has been varied, but we’ve seen lots of office tours, commutes, people at their computers, people sharing what they’re watching on TV and yesterday I watched two geese walking in the snow somewhere in Canada…. Twitter account @bestmeerkats is already curating some of the most interesting Meerkats out there, ranging from museum tours, dog walks, football practice and celebrity Q&As.

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A few people have literally gone Meerkat mad. The most active user to date is @CurlySafia, who has Meerkated 97 times at time of writing – mostly about her daily routine and a few software tutorials.

So what next for Meerkat – and what are the opportunities for brands? Often new social channels are designed with users in mind, and brands are like the uninvited guest at a party that have to try and be cool and fit in. This isn’t so true for Meerkat because fundamentally it’s live video – and most user generated live video is, let’s face it, awful.

As the channel matures we’ll see better content from a few creative types but it will certainly be a case of needle/haystack.

Bad user generated content is likely to make people avoid Meerkat links on Twitter, so there’s a danger the app could self implode because of this. But – this is where brands come in. Meerkat allows brands to give real time behind the scenes videos of their products, events, people and places – the list goes on. Imagine a Meerkat from an adidas tennis player at Wimbledon as they sit by the net mid game or at the launch of the next Google product backstage as a sneak peak for fans only. CNBC is first out of the brand blocks, already experimenting with the app to webcast Jim Cramer’s ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate “Mad Money’s” 10th anniversary.

As I hinted earlier I think that a future discovery engine could add a rich layer to a platform like this, i.e. the ability to search for “live now” moments based on location or context.

It’ll be interesting to watch Meerkat organically evolve to see if it can find a genuine role in the social app scene.