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.

Global Digital Statshot 001

by Simon Kemp in News

We’ve been publishing snapshots of key digital data for some time now, but we thought it might make sense to bring these numbers together in a regular series of PDF reports, which we’re calling ‘Digital Statshots’.

These Statshot reports are designed to supplement our more in-depth Social, Digital and Mobile reports, which contain individual data points for more than 100 countries around the world. You’ll find all those in-depth reports by clicking here.

Read on for some of the highlights from Statshot 001…

Internet
Global internet users are quickly approaching 3 billion, and we expect numbers to pass this milestone before the end of 2014.

Social Media
Social media usage continues to rise, although much of this growth relates to the increased use of chat apps.

Despite this growth, social networks still dominate the social landscape in most countries, and Facebook continued to register modest global growth in the first 6 months of 2014.

However, active usage of QZone (China’s largest active social network by user numbers) and VKontakte (which still dominates the social ecosystem in Russia and some of its neighbours) appears to have fallen slightly in recent months, albeit only by a matter of 1 or 2 percentage points.

Mobile
We’re pleased to include data from Ericsson’s Mobility Report in this Statshot, which offers a new dimension to our mobile reporting.

It’s worth noting that there are significant differences between the data reported by Ericsson and GSMA Intelligence though, especially when it comes to unique user numbers.

Ericsson reports 4.6 billion unique users, which would suggest global penetration of 63%; however, GSMA Intelligence reports 3.6 billion global users, indicating a global penetration rate of 50%.

Both are obviously very impressive numbers, but it’s important to note the sizeable difference of 1 billion users between the two sources.

It’s also worth highlighting that GSMA Intelligence have revised their unique mobile user figures down slightly since our previous Statshot. However, we believe this revision is likely due to more accurate reporting from individual mobile operators, and is unlikely to reflect a real drop in unique user numbers.

Meanwhile, the number of active mobile connections (sometimes called contracts or subscriptions) is quickly approaching the same figure as the total world population. However, the average global mobile user still maintains roughly 2 active mobile connections, and half the world’s population is still ‘unconnected’.

Mobile Social
Social media usage on mobile is growing rapidly, with the figures reported by key networks suggesting growth of almost 30 million users since our most recent report just 6 weeks ago.

Averaged out, that suggests roughly 725,000 new mobile social users ever day – or more than 8 new users every second.

Recommendations
Given the rapid growth of mobile users and skyrocketing chat app and mobile social adoption, it’s clear that – from a user perspective at least – mobile social is going to be the dominant story in 2015.

So, wherever you are in the world: if you’re putting together your marketing plans for next year, make sure you include sufficient budget for mobile social activities.

And if you’d like to download this Statshot, simply click here (note that you’ll need a free SlideShare account for this).

Some points to note on this report:

  • We’ve gathered all data from third-party sources, all of which we’ve detailed in the footnotes of the relevant slides. You’ll find more information on those sources’ sample sizes, collection methodologies, and relevant time periods on their respective websites. We strive to ensure that all the data we include is as recent and accurate as possible, but please check with the relevant data source(s) if you have questions about individual data points.
  • Where different sources report significantly different numbers for the same data point, we’ve included the different sets of data for convenient reference.
  • You’re welcome to copy-paste these slides into your own presentations, reports, blogs and social media posts; all we ask is that you use the whole image, including the credits and logos for We Are Social and the original data sources. 
  • If you believe you have more accurate numbers for any of the relevant data points, we’d love to hear from you – just drop us an email.

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Marketers’ attitudes to social media

by Deniz Ugur in News

AdWeek recently published this infographic exploring marketers’ social media strategies, delving into marketers’ use of social media, as well as their social challenges and goals.

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30% of Snapchat users in US

by Deniz Ugur in News

Mobile messaging service Snapchat has hit the headlines after Yahoo’s plans to invest £20 million in the app were revealed. GlobalWebIndex has produced this infographic about Snapchat’s demographics and social behaviours of its global users.

GlobalWebIndex found that 30% of Snapchat’s total user base comes from the US, and top markets for the app include the UK, USA and Ireland, with 14% of adult internet users using the service. The most popular demographic using Snapchat is teens; over half of online users aged 16-24 are active on the platform.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #231

by Nick Mulligan in News

Facebook click-through rate has increased
Facebook reach is down (boo!) but click-through rate is up (yay!). A study of 8,000 brand pages from August 2013 to August 2014 has found that, while fan reach dropped by 55% in the period, the click-through rate on links in posts increased by 48%. Still, a higher click-thru from fewer fans isn’t necessarily an increase in real terms, so let’s not all get overexcited. It is Monday, after all.

Facebook releases like button for mobile developers
Facebook has announced the introduction of a mobile ‘like’ button, which can be added to apps by all Android and iOS developers.

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Facebook planning moves into healthcare
Facebook is taking steps into the world of healthcare, according to Reuters. The plans are still in development, but reported moves include “support communities” and “preventative care” apps. Seems it’s only a matter of time until we start seeing press releases for an “MRI scanner with autoshare functionality”.

LinkedIn revamps Pulse
LinkedIn has revamped its news engine, Pulse, with what it’s calling a “redesigned reading experience”. This means a change of font and layout, personalised suggested content and a more prominent navigation feature. Beat THAT, books!

pulse

Yahoo to invest in Snapchat?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo is set to invest $20m in Snapchat at a $10bn valuation. CEO Marissa Mayer will be hoping that the money doesn’t disappear as soon as it’s received! Geddit? Because it’s Snapchat. Oh, fine.

Twitter TV analytics coming to the UK
Kantar Media is partnering with Twitter to launch TV audience engagement ratings in the UK. Similar to their partnership with Nielsen in the US, the feature is expected to show how Twitter conversation can amplify the impact of television and will include the following metrics:

  • Unique authors about a programme and their affinity with it
  • Unique audience (no. of people who have seen tweets about a show)
  • Impressions made by individual tweets about a programme
  • Total number of tweets
  • Tweets per minute, with peaks in volume

Spotify’s #ThatSongWhen
Spotify’s new #ThatSongWhen campaign plays on the significance that certain songs have for people. Any campaign that mentions Cyndi Lauper is alright by me.

Marks & Spencer goes on food adventures with bloggers
British retailer Marks & Spencer has joined forces with bloggers to create ‘adventurous’ food films with its ingredients as the focus. The ‘Adventures in Food’ series features Eat Like a Girl, Hemsley and Hemsley and Deliciously Ella (below).

DHL asks for likes after F1 crash
Tragic accidents are not the time to ask for Facebook likes. As we all know, brands often fall foul of this rule, as DHL did at the weekend. After a crash involving F1 racer Jules Bianchi left him in critical condition, the logistics company posted to its ‘Formula 1 Backstage by DHL page’ saying

Ghastly accident in Japan. Jules Bianchi is fighting for his life. By clicking ‘like’ on this occasion, you’ll be sending Jules your best wishes for a speedy recovery.

The post has now been removed, but one picture is still on the page, along with a fair few angry comments.

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The Power of Parody

by Lee Cassanell in News

Marketing recently published this article by me about parody accounts on Twitter. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:

God is on Twitter and he has 1.5 million followers. Not that many, considering his pedigree, but with a book deal in the bag and an average of four thousand retweets a day, his social media power is nothing less than biblical.

It’s fairly well known that God is the creation of American comedy writer David Javerbaum but there are other, more mysterious figures on Twitter playing the parody game and their reach and influence is growing by the day.

I’ve always been a fan of satire. I wrote a popular satirical newsletter during my college years and I had my own column in a free magazine up north that achieved a certain degree of notoriety and became a big draw for local advertisers wanting to showcase their wares to an alternative audience. But I wanted to take it a step further. I got talking to another writer who wrote for the same film blog as me. We tossed around ideas and before the week was out, we’d created The Studio Exec, a fake Hollywood producer who makes fun of an industry ripe for parody.

Since then our tweets and articles have been picked up by most International newspapers and magazines. We fooled Le Monde and Le Figaro into believing Hollywood was going to make a movie based on the song Gangham Style. We cajoled the director William Friedkin into denying that he wanted to use the Pink Panther theme instead of Tubular Bells on the soundtrack for The Exorcist and Spike Lee threatened to sue us when he temporarily forgot that he had a sense of humour.

The Studio Exec does okay but there are a legion of other parody accounts out there with huge and influential audiences. The Queen has around 1.2 million followers and has published a popular book, Shortlist’s Online editor Benjamin Lee created the popular Michael Haneke parody account and has moved on to Middle Class Problem, and the Fleet Street Fox is busy mocking the newspaper industry on a daily basis.

The majority of these parody accounts are run by highly skilled writers and social media professionals and many choose to remain anonymous because it gives them the flexibility and freedom they lack during their day jobs. From a marketing perspective, anonymity and anarchy are a scary combination. But as brands become increasingly comfortable using social media, working with a parody account should not be as intimidating a prospect as it has been in the past.

Approach a parody account in the same way you would approach a blogger relations campaign. Is your product relevant to the parody? Could you genuinely see the fictional character using, eating or drinking your product or service? Some of the best approaches we’ve had at Studio Exec, for example, have been from manufacturers of tequila and cigars – products that fit perfectly into our character’s lifestyle. Why deal with these delinquents when you can work with a legitimate blogger or celebrity? Put simply, their illegitimacy makes them attractive to both the mainstream and the counter-culture.

Brands also can take inspiration from parody accounts and create their own. Heinz ran a campaign last year with a tweeting Salad Cream bottle, commenting on lunch options. One of the biggest recent successes of a product parody is adidas’s tweeting match ball, Brazuca, which hit just the right informed, but irreverent, tone-of-voice and became the fastest growing Twitter account during the 2014 World Cup.

The success of parody accounts should also tell brands something about their approach to Twitter – don’t take yourself too seriously. Brands like Tesco Mobile and Greggs have both been applauded recently for taking a self-deprecating approach to social or resolving a potential PR crisis with a smile on their face.

Everyone loves a rebel; especially a rebel that makes them laugh and these entertainers are conjuring up exceptional comedy on a daily basis. Funny sells, ladies and gentlemen, and if you’re willing to take an educated risk and get involved with some of these characters; the parody game could be well worth playing.