Here are all of the posts tagged ‘MySpace’.
Social Brands Part 2
In last week’s first post in our series on Social Brands & The Future Of Marketing, we noted that, “the most successful brands don’t just predict the future; they define the future on their own terms.”
We’re continuing that theme in today’s second post in the Social Brands series, exploring the importance of building social marketing activities around the people you care about, and not around specific technological features or platforms.
The Motivations Driving Social Networking
Most people visit social networking sites in order to connect with other people: to stay in touch with friends and family; to share things with colleagues and professional peers; and even to meet strangers with similar interests and needs.
Because of this, most people see social media as a means to an end, with that ‘end’ being social interaction.
Of course, there are many times when technology plays an important part in facilitating these connections; things like the filters on Instagram, or the sharing features common to most social networks, are all important aspects of our social networking experience.
However, people connect around the personal, social benefits these elements provide, and not around the functionality itself.
Critically, if those social benefits don’t exist – if the people we want to connect with are not present, or if our networks move on – then the platform quickly loses its value.
We’ve seen this happen many times before; the declines of Second Life, MySpace, and Friendster were all driven by the migration of their audiences, not by technical failures.
Sadly, when audiences move on from an incumbent Big Platform – and they invariably do – marketers quickly lose out.
The investments they’ve made in building large audiences specific to that platform stop delivering meaningful returns, because those audiences are invariably ‘non-transferrable’ (how many brands succeeded in migrating their Second Life audiences wholesale into Facebook without paying for the privilege?).
As a result, marketers need to stop relying on buying attention within specific platforms, and find a more resilient way of managing their social media activities.
From Platforms To Communities
The trick is to stop seeing social media as media, and to focus on the motivations and behaviours that drive people’s social activities instead.
Instead of buying attention in the hottest platforms of the day, tomorrow’s top brands will spend time understanding how to deliver value to the same people across different settings and contexts.
They will focus on nurturing active communities that choose to engage with and around the brand and its activities wherever and whenever they can.
Critically, they will use new platforms to offer incremental value – not simply as another means to interrupt people.
From Eyeballs To Heartstrings
The secret to building these ‘migratory’ communities is to understand people’s wants, needs, and desires, and to build engaging connections around them at every opportunity.
We need to understand what brings communities together, and build our strategies around their shared interests and passions, and not around technical functionality or platforms.
Above all, we need to add value to their lives at every opportunity – a topic we’ll explore in more detail in the next post in this Social Brands series.
Want to join the conversation? We’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions, so why not share them in the comments.
Americans of all ages turn to the Internet to get their news
A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that the Internet is the main source of news for 41% of American adults, surpassing newspapers and getting closer and closer to the power of television as a news source. This data confirms a trend that has been visible for at least ten years – that more and more adults turn to the Internet for both national and international news.
But what’s particularly interesting – and new – is that the research shows that in 2010, the 18-29 demographic used the internet as its main source for catching up on the news, ahead of TV:
Corporate Blogs are still relevant
A survey covered by eMarketer shows that nearly a quarter of Fortune 1,000 companies have a corporate blog. The survey examined the reasons these companies maintain blogs:
MySpace to limit their international operations
Things aren’t exactly rosy for MySpace at present. The company, which was acquired by News Corporation in 2005 for US$580 million, is set to limit its international operations by announcing a major restructure, according to The Telegraph.
After layoffs that took place a few months ago, MySpace’s international presence extends simply to offices in London, Berlin and Sydney with roughly 150 employees combined. But with this evening’s news that much of the London office will close – leaving just a ‘skeleton’ staff – it’s clear that they’re not really backing the relaunch of the site; indeed, what’s far from clear is what the future of MySpace actually holds.
LinkedIn to go public in 2011?
According to Reuters, the social networking site LinkedIn plans to go public in 2011, although a spokesman for the company said “an IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider” in the future.
However, news from Silicon Alley Insider doesn’t bode well – they claim that LinkedIn’s ads are not working at all well for marketers, with examples of ads with an average cost per click of $14.89 and very small conversion rates.
Facebook’s revenue figures and 750 million photos over NY weekend
This has been one of the stories of the week. Is Facebook valued too high or even too low? There are opinions across the spectrum, but what is clear is that its business is generating huge revenues. According to documents distributed by Goldman Sachs, Facebook generated $1.2 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2010 and is expected to keep growing in the next fiscal year.
Talking of years, this one started well for Mark Zuckerberg and co, with almost 750 million photos being uploaded to the site over the New Year’s weekend.
Twitter starts 2011 with a new record
That’s right. Even though we are only 10 days into 2011, Twitter has already started making headlines and breaking records that seemed unbreakable. As published on the Twitter Blog a few days ago, minutes after midnight in Japan on January 1st the company set a new record with 6,939 Tweets sent per second.
This is partly because of the huge growth in mobile for the company – Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed at CES that 40% of all tweets come from mobile devices, up from 20-25% a year ago.
To see how Twitter was affected by the New Year, just look at Twitter’s visualisation of how it was slowly brought in around the world.
Why is Quora growing so fast?
Quora, the Q&A service created by Facebook’s former CTO, was founded in June 2009. But it wasn’t until recently that it started gaining traction in the online world and making the rounds of Twitter and several very important blogs. So, why did it take the site more than a year to become “popular” as it doubled its normal activity in the month of December?
Sysomos tried to address this by pointing out the associated spike in social media mentions (especially on Twitter), but also confirming the importance of TechCrunch in the site’s growth.
In spite of the huge number of new registrations, at We Are Social the jury is still out on Quora – with some finding it useless, a point epitomised by this satirical site.
Citibank goes to Twitter
Banks, over the years, have been reluctant to get involved in social media. But at least Citibank has decided to give it a try and start responding to those not happy with their service on Twitter. The man behind the account? None other than Frank Eliason, the who ran the famous @Comcastcares account.
‘Foursquare’ your meal and win a dinner for two
Remember the new photo support that was added to Foursquare in recent weeks? Well, Olive Valley, a restaurant in Brooklyn, has seen an opportunity and has started the first foursquare-based photo contest. Customers are encouraged to take photos of their meals and share them via Foursquare’s check-in system. The best ones that are submitted will win a dinner for two.
Ryan Babel charged for Twitter post
In what is to our knowledge a first, Ryan Babel has been charged by the FA for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb in a Man United shirt on Twitter, following Liverpool’s defeat to Man United in the FA Cup 3rd round. This was in spite of later removing the post from Twitter. But it’s hard to sympathise with Babel when it was his dive which meant Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League in 2008. What’s the Dutch for ‘what goes around, comes around’?
Where did all the spam go?
According to the BBC, spam e-mail levels have been falling dramatically since August, and especially since December.
There is no certain explanation for this unusual situation, but experts agree that this does not mean spam is over – spammers might well simply be targeting new services, such as Twitter and Facebook…
Fortune 500 companies embrace social media
The American magazine Fortune, has long compiled its Fortune 500 list, which details the top 500 PLCs by gross revenue. SMI reported this week that 22% of companies in the list now have an active company blog (a 6% increase from 2008). Of these companies, 31% now use their blogs for video posts – a 10% increase from 2008 to 2009. With no data out yet for 2010, a further increase in top companies blogging looks likely.
That said, the number of Fortune 500 companies blogging compares unfavourably with Inc. 500 companies – the list of the fastest growing companies in America. There, 45% maintain an active company blog, suggesting that social is the way forward.
Marketers use social for SEO
A study from search marketing software provider SEOmoz has revealed that one of the main reasons companies blog is for SEO. 71% of respondents to the survey said they use social media as part of their SEO strategy, with Twitter an easy way to drive inbound links. 20% of those who responded said that improving visibility was their main reason for embracing social media. It’s interesting to see just how important social media has become to SEO – in fact you could argue that once you’ve taken care of the hygiene factors, SEO is purely about social media these days.
Facebook’s astounding growth
15 months ago, Facebook was in a battle with Twitter as to whose ‘live search’ feature would work better. While it would be disingenuous to say that Twitter’s had a bad year (30% year-on-year growth in the US) it doesn’t quite compare with Facebook’s 55% year-on-year growth. Facebook has had such a good year that according to Hitwise, it now accounts for one in four page views in America. That, truly is amazing.
Facebook Credits on sale in the UK
From this week, gift-cards for Facebook Credits – its virtual currency – will be on sale in UK high street shops including Tesco and Game. Facebook Credits can be used to buy virtual objects within games and can also be earned through some applications (in a manner similar to air miles). Deborah Liu, manager of product marketing for Facebook Credits was quoted as saying that
using major retailers such as Game, Tesco and others in the future is also intended to give small developers who sign up to use Credits a wider reach into a new source of income.
This seems a good idea and ties in with the general perception of Credits – that they give a trusted and convenient way to buy premium features within apps.
MySpace introduces Mashup with Facebook
The re-launch of MySpace is gathering pace with its launch last week in the UK and now MySpace revealing its new feature: Mashup with Facebook. As the video above shows, simply by using Facebook Connect, MySpace can import a user’s likes and create a stream around it. As the new MySpace is all about being an entertainment destination, this seems a really cool new feature – it means that MySpace will know what a user already likes and therefore, can recommend new content and introduce users to things they might not know about. It also means MySpace is living up to its word about it being an entirely different product from before.
Twitter launch official analytics product
According to Mashable, Twitter has started inviting users to test a new real-time analytics product. This comes as no surprise since a Twitter exec said earlier in the year that we should expect a Twitter Analytics product by the end of the year; but what will be an unwelcome surprise to the third-party clients which already offer analytics, is that Twitter plan to offer this service for free. As the screenshot below shows, Twitter will be offering extensive analytics, and it’s hard to see how these businesses can survive.
Foursquare launches partner badge program
As part of changing the way it displays badges, Foursquare now differentiates between Foursquare badges and partner badges. Partner badges come from other organisations and have a distinct shield shape to highlight that they’re not from Foursquare. For the first time, they’re encouraging organisations to take part in its partner program by applying online. Early partner badges have come from the American Red Cross and MoMA, among others.
Foursquare’s response to Facebook Places
On Thursday Foursquare launched a pilot programme together with Safeway and PepsiCo which may well be an indicator of the direction the company is headed in.
The new idea is to tie existing loyalty accounts with Safeway into Foursquare. It’s designed that it can move bigger and could even incorporate Walmart. But crucially, it’s designed to be a far longer-lasting rewards programme than what Facebook Places had to offer – there were 10,000 pairs of Gap jeans to give away but then they were gone. As Austin Carr from Fast Company explains:
Now, when participating customers earn Foursquare’s “Gym Rat” badge, they might be offered a SoBe Lifewater; or, if you often check in bright and early, Foursquare will recognize you’re a morning person, and may offer Tropicana orange juice or Quaker Oats–all specials on PepsiCo products, redeemable at Safeway stores.
Foursquare only has 4 million users compared to Facebook’s 500 million; but this seems a far less ephemeral way of handing out rewards, and indeed, may well help grow their user base.
Coca-Cola team up with SCVNGR, Disney with Gowalla
Coca-Cola have shown that they believe the location based world is bigger than just Facebook and Foursquare by teaming up with SCVNGR, the location based gaming app. This follows from Ben and Jerry’s working with Stickybits, and suggests that the big companies aren’t just going straight to the market leaders. Coke are using SCVNGR by asking users to complete tasks in the real world in return for prizes ranging from bottle openers to gift cards. The campaign is currently only for 10 malls in America, but if successful it may well be rolled out further. Disney have also launched a new location-based campaign for their theme parks. They’ve teamed up with Gowalla to create virtual passport stamps to collect while going round the theme park. This is sure to be popular with kids!
Onitsuka Tiger’s Facebook Places campaign
Onitsuka Tiger ran a pretty cool campaign to tie in with the Sydney Bicycle Film Festival. As the video shows, all people had to do was check in with Facebook Places at three of the locations and then post on the wall of the Facebook page, to be in with a chance to win. The campaign was the first of it’s kind in Australia so it’s success is really impressive: over 50% of attendees at the first event checked in, giving Onitsuka Tiger huge exposure.
Facebook as a real book
Bouygues Telecom wanted an idea to launch their Facebook platform with, and came up with the very cool idea of creating a real book…
Brands invest in online co-creation
This week Tim Burton launched a collaboration with MOMA in New York to tell a story on Twitter – by making use of user-generated content. This seems very similar to the work we did at Halloween, where we used the Tesco Twitter account to tell a great ghost story. There’s an interesting wider point about this though which is discussed in this week’s NMA. It highlights how New Look launched MyLook to give customers a say in business decisions, and how it’s looking to take this forward with a loyalty scheme. But Jim Coleman, our very own client services director, makes a very salient point in the article:
There are those low-engagement brands where using social media to divulge opinion and insight is just not going to work, or at least it may not provide enough of a trend to gain real insight; and then there are those that are high-engagement, such as Marmite, Tesco and Dell, who’s brand ubiquity generates enough conversation to make it useful for the brand.
What this hits on is the crucial point: online co-creation doesn’t work without an existing audience.
Question Time as big as The X Factor
David Dimbleby made an interesting aside during last week’s Question Time when he pointed out that the Question Time hashtag – #bbcqt – is now bigger than The X Factor on Twitter. The Guardian ran an interesting article on how it’s helped the programme develop, but it also alludes to a general point about how TV is now consumed: research from Cisco suggests that 47% of 16-to-24 year olds regularly engage in ‘social TV’ – writing about a programme on the internet while watching it – and whilst this percentage falls among older demographics, it explains why TV programmes like Question Time are so popular on Twitter.
The newest Youtube sensation
Natalie Tran has almost 800,000 subscribers to her Youtube channel which is the 22nd most popular of all time. It’s fair to say that she’s a Youtube sensation. Her two minute long videos are basically ‘skits’ where she plays all the parts. In a surreal way, they’re funny, and they’re clearly incredibly popular. But, the good news is, in spite of all this popularity, she has no ambitions to be the next Justin Bieber. Phew.
MySpace relaunches with different focus
Over the past few years, MySpace has faced its fair share of challenges. A quick straw poll in our offices found that while most people still had a MySpace account, few had actively used it since registering on Facebook. Which is why it’s is worth noting MySpace’s relaunch as a ‘social entertainment destination’. According to MySpace CEO Mike Jones, the site lost $100 million last year while external analyst David Bank put the figure closer to $350 million. Whatever way you look at it, they had to do something to try and turn their fortunes around. And according to Jones, that’s exactly what they did:
This is a full rethink. This is an entirely different product.
Time will tell that if by re-positioning itself, MySpace will reclaim it’s previous market share and glory. We’ll certainly be following its progress closely…
Facebook page managing made easier
Facebook have launched a new Page Manager, designed to make managing Pages easier and quicker. At the centre of the new design is a single, left-hand navigation to access the different aspects of your Page, from applications to admins.
When is Facebook used most?
An interesting study from Vitrue revealed that 3pm EST on weekdays is when Facebook users are most active. There were other noteworthy findings including the news that Sunday is the day when fans are least active. Perhaps this is because pages are only updated during the ‘working week’ but nonetheless it suggests that people use Facebook less at weekends.
These findings are important as they help brands to know when to target users. As the graph below shows, there is a huge disparity between when users are most active and when users are least active. What’s important for page managers is to maximise interactions with the page and to create more conversation. Statistics such as these should help them achieve this goal.
From Russia with likes
According to comScore, Russia has the most engaged social networking audience worldwide. In August, 74.5 % of the Russian online population visited at least one social networking site.
But what makes the Russians such an important audience is that they spend on average 9.8 hours in the month on these social networking sites. This compares very favourably with the average of 4.5 hours and the next closest country with a relatively large online population is Turkey, which only averages 7.8 hours per visitor.
It should come as no surprise therefore, that Facebook is trying to expand in Russia. They’ve agreed a deal where they will provide page updates to Yandex in return for extra exposure in Russia. Currently, Facebook has only registered 1.1% of the Russian population so the partnership with Yandex marks a new way of gaining exposure to Russia’s 60 million internet users.
Nasza Klaza up for sale?
Moving further west, it’s rumoured that the top Polish social networking platform – Nasza Klaza – is up for sale for €130 million. At it’s height the service had over 27 million users, but with Facebook rapidly gaining on it’s market share, it would make sense for it’s current owners (Tiger Global) to sell while it’s still the premier social network in Poland.
German firms ban Facebook and Twitter
It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this story, but most of the 30 blue-chip firms listed in Germany’s DAX stock market are banning employee use of social networking sites. Porsche says it’s intended to protect the company from industrial espionage, while fellow car firm Daimler cited concerns about employee productivity. If it wasn’t so obvious, we’d make a joke about Germans desiring efficiency…
Digg’s massive hole
In August, Digg released a major new design which met with a user backlash. Since then, things have only gone downhill for the company: they’ve lost 70% of their page views and 30% of their unique visitors. The numbers for October are not yet out but compared to a year ago, they’ve lost 16 million visitors. No wonder the company has had to let go a third of its staff.
Real-time analytics from Google
Last week Google released a new interface for Feedburner which provides real-time stats about where clicks are coming from. Rather than seeing a whole day’s updates at once, instead one can click on ‘last two hours’ and see updates come in instantly. PostRank have also taken advantage of this development to include Feedburner information in their own engagement dashboard.
WPP and Buddy Media working together
WPP, the world’s largest communications services group and Buddy Media, the Facebook management system of choice for many brands, are working together to help brands “more effectively scale their marketing efforts on Facebook”. It’s a huge vote of confidence for Buddy Media, as WPP are adding a further $5 million to the $23 million investment which was recently announced.
Disney’s Facebook fans
Disney has created an innovative leaderboard on all its pages which tracks how many fans it has over all its different brands. It’s clearly working because as well as having over 69 million fans, the Disney page itself gained 534,800 new likes last month, making it one of the top growers on Facebook.
Check into billboards with Facebook Places
Facebook Places was only launched a couple of months ago and it continues to spark interesting ways of using Facebook. This week, brings news of a campaign on behalf of Cheryl Cole to win tickets to one of her concerts – all you have to do is check in (using Facebook places) to one of the billboards where her new album is advertised.
This is interesting for advertisers insofar as it should provide good data about which billboards are effective and which aren’t. In other words, social media is now being used to help conventional advertisers work out where to market their product.
Busy week for Foursquare
Foursquare have created an ‘I Voted’ badge for the 2010 American Mid-Term elections tomorrow. This should be an interesting way of gauging turnout, akin to how The Guardian used #ukvote to create a map of where people had voted in the General Election in May.
They’ve also teamed up with Mazda for a cool campaign in America where there’s a Mazda 2 up for grabs. Mazda have created three badges which are quite hard to attain, and if you can get two of them, then the ‘Inner Driver’ badge will be unlocked and you’ll receive instructions on how to enter the draw for the Mazda.
Finally, they launched two new badges for Halloween. The first, was easy to unlock: it just required use of the word ‘Halloween’ as part of a check-in. The second was much harder, requiring swarms on the night of Halloween itself.
Orange ‘Balloonacy’ race returns
In 2008, Orange ran a Balloonacy campaign, in which 40,000 users flew balloons across a course of 1500 websites. This year they’re running the campaign again but making it more social: balloon owners will be able to boost their balloons by tweeting and posting status updates about it, and balloons will go faster if friends give them a boost. With a first prize of an eleven night trip to Kenya, don’t be surprised to see tweets about this in your Twitter feed.
Skittles spread everywhere
Skittles have opened a Rainbow Call Centre, manned by 15 staff, which will ‘rainbowfy’ status updates. According to NMA:
Status feeds will be converted into a “weird and wacky” video clip that will then be posted on the user’s profile page. The social media engagement campaign is running for the next two weeks, after which fans can vote on their favourite video from the library.
This marks the second stage of Skittles’ new social media campaign, after last week they submerged a fan in Skittles.
Election motivates internet pranksters
The Mid-Terms have been hotly contested in America, with Tea Party candidates coming to the fore. Internet pranksters have tried to combat this by changing their profile pictures in a practice called letter-bombing and then posting together on a page wall. They had great fun with Sarah Palin…
Corporate Twitter #fail
And finally, hat-tip to Malcolm Coles for spotting this tweet from Cheapflights.co.uk. Someone out there will be a lot more careful in future about which account they’re logged into…
Social Media Dominates Asia Pacific Internet Usage
Nielsen announced its Asia Pacific Social Media Report and found the region has undergone an unprecedented level of growth in the past year. Notably, social media is seen as having a noticeable impact on consumer purchasing decisions:
In Asia Pacific, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. This is particularly so for purchases of consumer electronics, cosmetics and cars – products where consumers are most likely to base their purchase decisions on online product reviews.
The report looks at Internet usage across Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and China.
Foursquare in talks with Google, MS and Yahoo! about search partnerships
The Telegraph reports that Foursquare is in talks with the three major search engines which could allow people to look up the most popular bar or restaurant in their area in real-time. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, has said:
Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search… Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending
It’s worth noting that Twitter’s first commercial deals were with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, licensing its real-time feed of information.
Say Hello to the New MySpace Profiles
After reports of falling traffic figures, it looks as though MySpace is trying to change its fortunes by completely redesigning its user profiles. MySpace confirmed that it was demoing a new look and feel to the site, which includes:
- An improved UI and navigation menu
- A Facebook like newsfeed with a user’s recent activity
- Social network integration with other sites like Facebook or Twitter
Facebook will announce 500 million users; announces 150 million on mobile
In anticipation of hitting the half billion user mark, Facebook is planning to mark the occasion with a new consumer marketing initiative called ‘Facebook stories’ in which they hope to celebrate the impact of the social network on their users’ lives.
The announcement is expected any day now, and will sit alongside other large milestones announced last week, such as hitting 141 million unique visitors in the US (comScore). There are also an estimated 150 global mobile users, according to Facebook’s Head of Mobile Products Eric Tseng, who also indicated last week that we can expect to see Facebook’s “Like” buttons in mobile applications soon.
The New York Times notes that with this impressive growth, comes some grim challenges at the social network grapples with how to handle deaths in the system as older users die:
Now, people over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone… People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse.
That said, big steps have been made to improve the ease with which ‘ghosts in its machine’ are identified, and profiles can be “memorialised” such that grieving friends can still post messages on those pages as a tribute.
Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums
Since the iPhone 4’s release last month, Apple has been going through a bit of a rough time with widespread reports of an antenna design flaw that was causing the mobile signal to degrade and calls to be dropped.
Consumer Reports last week released independent findings that confirmed there was a design flaw with the iPhone 4 which caused problems with its reception. This news spread quickly online, but Apple made the questionable decision of “deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums”, which deepened the crisis further.
Old Spice social media campaign
Last week Old Spice / Wieden+Kennedy turned a lot of heads with its innovative use of social media for its ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign. We’ve twice written about the campaign so it needs little summary here – head over to our previous posts to learn more.
Starbucks is the first brand to reach 10 million Facebook fans
Following on the heels of Lady Gaga becoming the first ‘person’ to gather 10 million fans, Starbucks has now become the first brand to collect 10 million fans for its Facebook page. According to Inside Facebook:
The company’s audience of 10 million people around the world has been hard won with marketing, promotions and advertising. Over the years Starbucks has given away free ice cream on Facebook, been recognized by Facebook [for fan page innovation] and was also the most popular brand [on the social network].
Ben & Jerry’s drops email in favour of social media
Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is looking to abandon its current email marketing activity in favour of using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage with customers on an ongoing basis. The decision was based on the feedback they received from customers who would prefer being contacted via social media. Ben & Jerry’s still plans to send one email update to customers each year, and the company has received “mainly positive feedback on the decision” thus far.
K2 Skis redirects entire company website to Facebook
K2 Skis has made the bold decision to redirect the company’s entire website to its Facebook Fan Page in an effort to boost its fan base. By becoming a Fan of their page, users will be able to see next year’s line up. All Facebook notes that this is the first time they’ve “ever seen a company shut down their corporate site as part of a promotion,” but it doesn’t appear to be driving significant numbers just yet.
BT uses social media to decide ending for TV ad campaign
BT has taken to Facebook in order to have the public decide the ending to their long-running ‘Adam and Jane’ TV ad campaign. Fans of the “Please don’t let Adam and Jane off the BT home hub advert break up…” Facebook group were given a sneak peak of the ad before it aired this weekend, and asked to vote on the ending which will be aired in late August.
The Human Avatar
This just about sums up The Human Avatar campaign for EA’s new game All Points Bulletin (APB). To tie in with the customisation available in the new game, APB decided to take a real person and over the course of several weeks transform them into a real-life avatar that will be released in the game – all to be decided by votes via their website. After selecting the candidate Josh, users then voted on his haircut (cyber punk), piercing (septum) and tattoo (back wings).
Visits to MySpace UK have halved in 6 months say sources
UK visits to MySpace have dropped from a from a peak of just under 10 million at the start of the year to around 5m as of the end of June 2010, according to a TechCrunch Europe source.
MySpace maintains the figures “aren’t accurate,” however independent measurement service comScore shows a similar decline in MySpace UK’s traffic over the past 12 months. Interestingly, Facebook is the third biggest referrer of traffic to the site.
Orkut about to fall to Facebook in India
Google-owned social network Orkut’s fortunes in India may soon be changing, as Facebook narrows the gap with the country’s most popular social network:
In May, 2010, Facebook attracted 18 million unique visitors in India, compared to Orkut’s 19.7 million (comScore). In the past year, Facebook grew 177 percent from 6.5 million Indian visitors, compared to 35 percent growth for Orkut.
By contrast, Orkut remains dominant in Brazil, “with 29 million visitors a months versus only 8 million for Facebook”. ‘Western’ social networks can sometimes run into challenges in gaining a toehold against local competitors (e.g. Facebook vs. China’s RenRen, 51 and Kaixin001), but Facebook’s growing popularity in India and Twitter’s rapid adoption in Japan suggest that this is not always the case.
Foursquare launches location layers – this is Big
Two Foursquare ‘location layer’ campaigns announced last week from the Independent Film Channel and Huffington Post signal big moves for the location-based service. The campaigns allow users to ‘opt-in’ to get news/tips/content pushed to them whenever they check in near an annotated location.
The development is culmination of several other experiments by Foursquare with partners, such as the Canadian newspaper chain Metro’s review integration in January, and the Wall Street Journal’s location-based news in April.
Social media boosts Domino’s Pizza’s UK online sales by 61.4%
NMA reports that online sales for the Domino’s have increased by 61.4% in the first half of 2010, in part down to innovative social media marketing over the past year:
Our main Facebook site has in excess of 36,000 fans and there are numerous fans of individual store sites too. In addition, we have led the way with social media initiatives such as affiliate marketing, our superfans programme and the development of a link up with Foursquare, the location-based social media site.
BMI integrates live Twitter feed onsite for city destination pages
BMI destination landing pages for cities around the world now incorporate ‘the uncontrolled madness’ of Twitter, thorough a feed dedicated to Tweets about the city in question. The Feeds are moderated for “swearing, competitors and racial slurs,” and feature alongside travel-related content like maps, tips and things to do. BMI wants to demonstrate their belief in transparency by moderating the feed as little as possible, and note they rely on an automatic filter list to automate most of it, and manually monitor sensitive destinations.
UK Government to use Facebook for ideas on cuts
The UK Government is teaming up with Facebook in the hopes of using the social network to harness ‘civic spirit’ in the country, and allow people to submit ideas for where public money might be saved. The UK is the second largest country on Facebook, with over 26 million UK users. Users will be able to get involved:
…via a ‘Spending Challenge Channel’ on its Democracy UK page. There will also be microsites specially tailored to focus on key issues open for discussion and debate among the voting public.
The move follows the previous week’s launch of the Your Freedom website which was aimed at allowing users to submit suggestions for legislation they would like to see repealed or modified.
Facebook unveils child safety ‘panic button’ (which is just an app)
Facebook has announced that it will incorporate a ‘panic button’ to the social networking site, aimed at children and teenagers to allow them to easily report abuse to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).
Facebook had previously resisted adding a panic button, and its launch follows ‘months of negotiations’ between Facebook and CEOP. But as Techcrunch reports:
while a few media outlets are reporting today that it has launched [a panic button], the reality is somewhat different. What Facebook is launching is a tailor-made marketing application and campaign for a government body which till now had no presence at all on the social network. That’s quite a different thing altogether.
Bebo had previously announced adding a panic button last November (not that it did them much good).
‘One third of young women check Facebook when they first wake up’
A recent study polled the habits of 1,605 adults using social media between May and June 2010, and uncovered some interesting online habits from both men and women on Facebook. Chief among them:
- One third of women aged 18 to 34 check Facebook when they first wake up
- 21% of women aged between 18 to 34 check Facebook in the middle of the night
- 50% are happy being Facebook ‘friends’ with complete strangers
Facebook’s OpenGraph, Three Months Later
Three month’s after the announcement of OpenGraph at the Facebook F8 conference, fbLike has compiled a list of six OpenGraph use cases including CNN, Yelp, IMDB, Fandango, Levis and themselves.
In particular, the simplicity of the ‘like’ button comes into it own for Yelp, IMDB, Levis and Fandago, which allows for easy recommendations to be shared directly across a users’ new feed.
Burson-Marsteller Fortune Global 100 Social Media Study
Burson-Marsteller released the findings of their Fortune Global 100 Social Media Study which looked at the social media usage of the 100 biggest companies on the Fortune 500 list. The study found that 79% of the companies use at least one of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs.
Like the Fortune 100 study found, Twitter is the social media platform of choice among the Fortune Global 100. The study found that 65 percent of the largest 100 international companies have active accounts on Twitter, 54 percent have a Facebook fan page, 50 percent have a YouTube channel, and one-third (33 percent) have corporate blogs. Only 20 percent of the major international companies are utilizing all four platforms to engage with stakeholders.
Social media participation by companies varied globally by region, and it appears that large firms are getting more comfortable using social media and are broadcasting less, and engaging more. You can download the complete analysis of these findings as a PDF.
Sony generates over £1m in sales through Twitter
Speaking at the Marketing Week Social Media for Brand Building event, Sony revealed that they generated over £1m in sales through Twitter. Nick Sharples, head of corporate communications has said that Sony sees Twitter “as a viable sales platform, as well as a tool to amplify PR activity.” This revelation by the tech giant echoes the headlines made last December, when Dell announced they had driven US$6.5 million in revenue thanks to Twitter.
Facebook page updates to appear in Google
Last week, Google began indexing status updates from Facebook Pages and including them in its real-time search results. This marks the first time that Google has integrated information from Facebook, and follows similar announcements in recent months that Google had integrated Twitter and MySpace updates in its results.
The information it is allowed to integrate is more limited than the deal the social network has in place with Microsoft’s Bing. Google can only index status updates from Facebook Pages – which are ‘for organisations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information to fans in an official, public manner’, according to the network’s own definition, and act more as marketing tools.
Yahoo! signed a deal its own last week with Twitter, “which not only takes in search, but also a deeper integration of the microblogging service’s tools.”
It’s time for We Are Social’s Monday Mashup, our pick of some of the web’s finest social media developments.
PleaseRobMe.com reveals dangers of social networks
If you’re a heavy user of Foursquare and Twitter, you might want to take notice of PleaseRobMe.com. The website made the headlines by highlighting in real-time the whereabouts of people who checked in on Foursquare and shared their location on the web via Twitter. The goal of the three Dutch developers who set up the site was to highlight the dangers of publicly telling others your location on the Internet because it “ leaves one place you’re definitely not… home.”
The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc. Because all this site is, is a dressed up Twitter search page. Everybody can get this information.
Facebook become America’s second most popular website, beating Yahoo!
Compete.com revealed that Facebook had surpassed Yahoo as America’s second most popular website. Facebook drew nearly 134 Million unique visitors in January 2010, compared to Yahoo’s 132 Million visitors.
While traffic figures are important, the blog notes that the real story is around user engagement and on this front Facebook wins hands down:
Check out how monthly Attention (time spent on Facebook.com as a percentage of all time spent online each month) ramps over the past year for Facebook, while both Yahoo and Google show a decrease. In January, 11.6% of all time spent online was spent on Facebook (compared to 4.25% for Yahoo and 4.1% for Google).
The recent launch of Google Buzz is no doubt aimed at eating into the amount of time that users spend on Facebook, but time will tell if Google can be successful here.
MySpace real-time search goes live on Google
MySpace announced on their blog that Google search now picks up publicly available updates from MySpace users in real-time.
… when you search for anything on Google, as part of your search results you will see live updates from MySpace users, including news, photos, and blog posts that they have chosen to publically publish. Further, all of these updates will be ranked to reflect the freshest, most relevant results, making it easier to find the latest information on anything you’re searching for on Google, including the music and artists you enjoy most.
MySpace now joins Twitter as one of the services that are now live in Google’s real-time search, announced last year.
Outlook gets social with LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace
Microsoft announced a number of major developments for Outlook, including a public beta of LinkedIn for Outlook and partnerships with both Facebook and MySpace. The highlights of LinkedIn for Outlook include:
- The ability to connect to your LinkedIn account directly from within your Inbox, and add connections
- The ability to view status updates and photos from connections next to an e-mail message they have sent
- The ability to receive automatic updates to Outlook contact information directly from LinkedIn
- The ability to synchronise mobile contact information with information from LinkedIn
Meanwhile, the Facebook and MySpace partnerships for Outlook 2010 will enable users to more easily connect co-workers and colleagues, as well as friends and family within their Outlook Inbox.
The LinkedIn public beta is available now, and Facebook for Outlook and MySpace for Outlook will be available later this year as the official release of Office 2010 approaches.