We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
Crédit Photos : François Tancré
It’s been 4 years since I arrived in Paris to set up We Are Social France, after having worked at We Are Social in the UK for a couple of years before that.
Time flies quickly, and the Paris team is now almost 70-strong, and as a result we moved into a brand new office earlier in the year which will allow our ‘Gremlins’ to grow and multiply even more in the coming years.
So, on Thursday 6th of February, we coupled our 4th birthday with a housewarming party and celebrated this double event with our clients, partners, colleagues and business friends with a huge #weare4 party. And we had a couple of guest stars from the We Are Social global team: Nathan McDonald and Robin Grant!
A big thanks to those who partied and celebrated with us until late in the morning but, most of all, thank you to everyone for their support over the past 4 great years. We’re already looking forward to celebrating our 5th birthday in style!
Sprout Social has published this infographic on the increasingly social nature of customers, and how brands are responding to them.
The guys at Sprout have created the infographic to highlight certain findings from their Sprout Social Index. It draws attention to the rise in consumers engaging with brands on social media, and how brands seem to be finding it more and more difficult to respond. In Q3 2013, for example, Sprout claims that four out of five consumer enquiries went unanswered.
It’s clear that, with social media becoming increasingly important for brands’ customer service, they need to be doing more to handle this communication effectively.
If you’re serious photographer, you need a big camera with a whopping lens, right? That’s the assumption many people make, so they follow the herd and head straight for a DSLR. Less bulky ‘mirrorless’ cameras aren’t even on the radar.
As you may have read in Campaign, our job was to disrupt this purchase journey, drawing attention to Panasonic’s Lumix range. How? By doing one of the things We Are Social does best. Listening.
Google Trends revealed something very interesting: growing speculation about the future of DSLRs. The most popular search terms about DSLRs were overwhelmingly negative:
Further probing revealed a great deal more debate, mostly on niche camera forums, buried far, far away from the typical purchase journey.
And so our idea was born. We’d simply surface the genuine opinion and evidence already out there.
We built whydslr.co.uk, a web forum organised entirely around the most commonly asked search queries, curating the latest articles from bloggers and experts around the web to answer them:
We also created the first in a series of video tests pitching DSLRs against comparable mirrorless Lumix models, all answering common Google search queries.
To create an audience, we bought the top slot on Google Adwords, ensuring that when anyone searches for DSLR cameras, their journey is interrupted by considerable speculation about the big demise of the big cameras.
Blogger outreach is underway too: we’ve set the most relevant bloggers and influencers their own Lumix vs DSLR tests to complete. While a comprehensive listening and responding programme ensures that when people are chatting online about the merits of DSLRs, we’re quick to respond, inviting people to visit our forum before they buy their new camera.
After just a couple of weeks, we’ve already had over 2,600 inbound links to whydslr.co.uk helping the site appear near the top of organic DSLR search queries – and we’ve had thousands of unique visitors to the site, without any paid media beyond adwords.
This is just early days for a platform designed to last as long as DSLRs do. But already, we like to think Why DSLR? proves two things. You don’t need a huge camera to take nice pictures. And you don’t need a big, traditional media spend to create a hard-hitting social campaign.
Campaign recently published this article by me looking at the new social media categories at Cannes and the concept of social thinking. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full here:
Social media recently overtook pornography as the number one activity on the web. (Stop press, get this onto the front page!)
Armed with this and many more startling insights, we recently approached Cannes Lions to put our case forward for a new Social Lion. And although a dedicated Social Lion hasn’t yet materialised, 15 new Social specific categories within Cyber Lions 2014 have.
It’s a great step forward because social thinking will define the ideas of the future. To be clear, by ‘social thinking’ I don’t mean Facebook and Twitter tactics. I mean ideas based on an understanding of social behaviour. Big ideas that people want to share, talk about, get involved with and belong to.
Let me throw more stats at you. Brace yourselves for this one… Social media is more popular than TV.
What?! You’re thinking I’m biased, but I have numbers: social media now absorbs 26% of people’s media time, compared to TV’s 23% according to GlobalWebIndex.
And the trend’s only going one way. In the last two weeks alone, 2 million more people have become active users of social platforms.
So if all this is the case, why are we still heroing the big budget TV ad in the UK? Why does TV make up such a disproportionate chunk of most campaign budgets? And why are most TV ads still talking at people, not with people?
Maybe it’s because we’re a mature market. Whole marketing departments, agencies and processes have been set up around producing the TV extravaganza, airing it with Coronation Street, then if there’s any budget left, asking a digital agency to ‘do something social that fits with it.’
That’s not always an easy or especially productive task and is perhaps that’s why our nation isn’t winning many Lions any more. There’s also an assumption that big expensive business problems require big expensive advertising solutions (see Rory Sutherland’s excellent talks for more on this).
The model usually goes like this:
Come up with a big ‘broadcast’ idea. Socialise it.
But what if it went like this?
Come up with a big ‘social’ idea. Broadcast it.
Look at the world’s ten most award-winning campaigns of 2013 according to the Big Won Report. You could argue every one of them is closer to the second model, not the first:
1: Dumb Ways to Die, 2: The Beauty Inside, 3: Clouds Over Cuba, 4: Real Beauty Sketches, 5: Driving Dogs, 6: Love In the End, 7: Telekinize the Rainbow, 8: Our Food Your Quest, 9: Nike + Fuelband and 10: The V-Motion Project.
The Beauty Inside in particular is a shining example of the social-first model. A profound, episodic brand film that beautifully taps a human truth, acted out by real fans. The idea would have made for a spine-tingling TV campaign. It didn’t need one, receiving 70 million views without traditional media costs.
More and more clients are cottoning on to the explosion in social. Apparently almost half are planning to increase social media budgets this year, at the expense of traditional channels. Some forward-thinking clients are even placing social as the starting point of the idea rather than a bolt on.
For instance, our #LiveYoungJanuary campaign for evian, which you’ll hopefully have seen in the Metro every day last month. It’s one of the UK’s biggest print campaigns of the year so far, yet it’s first and foremost a social campaign, using traditional media to drive buzz. That’s the way we like it.
evian no doubt has greater trust in the potential of social after our ‘Wimbledon Wiggle’ campaign last year, a dance craze that reached over 90 million people at a fraction of the cost of a traditional TV ad.
Let me finish with what personally made me a social convert: The Gnome Experiment, an idea created by We Are Social colleagues Graham Jenks, Nick Hearne and myself, back at OgilvyOne.
Reach after one month was over 350 million – triple that of the Superbowl. The Gnome Experiment is now part of the teaching curriculum in several countries and I’m one of the only people to have ever held a TED Talk about an advertising campaign. All this cost less than £30,000 (plus blood, sweat, tears – and a near law-suit from lawyers at the CERN Hadron Collider, but that’s another story).
And yes, the gnome performed in awards too – it was the world’s most awarded Direct idea of 2012 (The Big Won Report) and the world’s most awarded PR campaign of 2013 (The Holmes Report).
Why did it do so well? Because it was something people wanted to talk about. It didn’t rely on Twitter, Facebook… or any channel actually. It was a conversation piece that tapped into genuine interests of real communities: scientists, teachers, students and gnome lovers everywhere. A social idea.
So if you’re gunning for a Lion, the new Social categories represent a huge and untapped creative territory to mine. They also give the UK a big chance to reclaim our credibility – but we might need to change the order we look at advertising first.
Twitter is growing strongly in the UK
Twitter’s UK growth is set to continue at least until 2018, according to eMarketer. Growth is estimated at 13.4% in 2014, compared with 4.8% for rival Facebook, which means that almost half of the UK’s social networkers will be on Twitter by 2018. However, it is set to slow to 4.3% by 2017 and 2018.
Facebook’s ROI has been underestimated
A study by seven large packaged-goods companies, in partnership with Facebook, Google and Nielsen, has found that marketing-mix models tend to underestimate Facebook ads’ return on investment by up to 48%. By measuring impressions instead of clicks, the ROI of Facebook ads increased by up to 75%.
Facebook buys WhatsApp
Facebook last week announced its acquisition of messenger service WhatsApp for $16bn, or $36 per monthly active user. The Guardian produced a profile of the deal, including the history of WhatsApp, which examines the pros and cons for Facebook. Benefits include the potential for reaching younger users and those in emerging markets. The move comes after rapid growth on WhatsApp; here’s how its user base compares with other big names within the same time period:
Buzzfeed shares on WhatsApp
Last week, Quartz reported that Buzzfeed articles were being shared more frequently on WhatsApp than on Twitter by iOS users, leading to the consideration that publishers may need a WhatsApp strategy. A riposte by Nieman Journalism Lab claimed the figures were skewed; they showed the number of times a user clicked on the ‘share’ button for each platform at the bottom of a Buzzfeed article, not the actual number of impressions. Digiday discussed whether or not publishers should devise a WhatsApp strategy; the piece argues that, while the platform is undoubtedly huge in terms of its user base, it may be a while until it is considered a place to share news.
Changes to Facebook ad targeting
Facebook has updated the way in which advertisers can target different audiences on the platform. First of all, it’s good news for business-to-business marketers (but bad for LinkedIn) as users can now be targeted based on job title. That isn’t all, though; other options include location, demographic, interest and offsite behaviour.
Facebook ad spend focussed on Europe and North America
Facebook’s ad spend is primarily concentrated in North America and Western Europe, despite huge user bases across the world. North America accounts for 52% of global ad spend for just 15% of users, while Western Europe gets 35% for a 14% share of users. The map below shows the potential for growth in other markets, though it’s worth remembering that the average value of each consumer will vary by region.
Twitter’s Marketing Platform Program
Twitter has expanded its Ads API and is now calling it the Marketing Platform Program. The set of partners is intended to increase ROI on Twitter ads and, according to the network, includes all “Ads API partners as well as those in measurement and targeting”.
LinkedIn publishing platform for all
LinkedIn has for some time allowed a network of certain ‘influencers’ to post long-form blogs on the site. It is now opening the publishing platform to all users in a staged move over the next couple of months.
Tide’s Winter Olympic Vines
After the success of using Vine in a Halloween campaign last year, Tide has produced ten more Vine videos around the Winter Olympics. Two examples, with different levels of success, can be seen below.
— Tide (@tide) February 17, 2014
— Tide (@tide) February 19, 2014
Coke’s World Cup Moments of Happiness
Coca-Cola has launched a ‘Moments of Happiness’ campaign for the upcoming World Cup, in which it asks filmmakers to submit video clips around happiness, for the chance to appear in the video for their World Cup ‘anthem’, entitled ‘The World is Ours’. At least 20 winners will appear in the video, while three will be selected to receive $1,000 each.
The Brit Awards and social media
Despite their lowest TV ratings for 15 years, the Brit Awards were a huge success on Twitter, with over 4.17 million tweets. Roughly 2 million of these were votes for the ‘best video’ award, won (shock horror!) by One Direction and their Twitter army. Naturally, brands wanted to get a slice of the action, and it was the first time that British brands made use of Twitter’s Amplify platform.
Twitter users could get exclusive video content through Amplify, with pre-roll ads for Brits sponsor, the haircare brand, VO5. Another sponsor of the event, Mastercard, was not so successful in its social media offering, when news that it had requested specific tweets from journalists in exchange for accreditation went viral. Bookmakers Paddy Power were quick to react on Twitter.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 19, 2014
Pepsi Max using Vines for billboard ads
Pepsi Max is putting Vines on UK billboards, under the hasthtag #LiveForNow. The billboards, which have already been taken over, currently ask people to submit their ‘unbelievable Vines’, which will then be filtered and shown on screen.
KLM partners with Facebook and Twitter for social commerce
The Dutch airline, KLM, announced a partnership with Facebook and Twitter that will allow customers to purchase tickets through the networks. As well as the obvious ease for consumers, this blog post highlights the principal benefits for the brand.
Burberry partners with WeChat
Burberry is looking to grow its Chinese consumer base by partnering with Chinese messenger app, WeChat. Burberry followers will be able to view the brand’s Fashion Week AW14 Womenswear show and personalise digital versions of the collection, in order to unlock exclusive audio content from a senior member of the Burberry design team.
Madewell’s Instagram Flash Mob
Clothes retailer Madewell hosted an Instagram flash mob last week, in order to promote its denim range. Using the hashtags #denimmadewell and #flashtagram, a group of 500 Madewell employees, bloggers and magazine editors all simultaneously uploaded images of their favourite Madewell jeans.
Betfair uses Snapchat for exclusive odds
Betfair, the bookmakers, offered exclusive odds on English Premier League fixtures to Snapchat users this weekend. Only those who followed the brand’s account were eligible to receive a message containing the increased odds.
Create your own Instagram adventure
Macmillan Publishers is using Instagram to promote a new book for teenagers. Making use of the ‘tagging’ feature, users can follow a ‘Create Your Own’ adventure, with each click directing the participant to a different account to continue the story. An example is seen below – do you fight back or keep still?
Creme Egg’s Google+ bake off
Cadbury’s Creme Egg is using Google+ to discover new recipes. Hosted by Eric Lanlard, the mastermind behind Creme Egg brownies, the #CremeEggBake asks users to submit their own crazy ideas, with Lanlard set to bake his favourites in a live hangout on the network.
Google and Saatchi Gallery’s Motion Photography Prize
Google+ has partnered with the Saatchi Gallery to produce a gif-making competition, dubbed the ‘Motion Photography Prize’. Users can submit their creations to a panel including director Baz Luhrmann and artist Tracey Emin, with the winner’s work set to appear in the gallery.
#UseMeLeaveMe at SXSW
Those attending this year’s SXSW in Texas may be able to make use of free transport and accomodation. Adobe’s #UseMeLeaveMe campaign includes a free biking programme, in which the vehicles have their own personalities and are capable of posting to Twitter while you use them. There is also a ‘Buds for Beds’ competition, which encourages attendees to explain why they are the ‘deservingest of the deserving’ (sic), for the chance of winning free accomodation at the event.