Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency with offices in New York, London, 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 (+1) 646-476-2893 or drop us an email.

10 myths about YouTube users

by Harriet Middleton in News

Google’s latest report looking into YouTube’s current UK audience demographics, has revealed quite a lot about the nature of Britain’s YouTube users. Google used key findings from the report to create the following infographic, which goes against many of the assumptions you might be inclined to make when it comes to YouTube.

For example, despite often being considered a platform for teens, the report shows that 90% of UK YouTube users are 18 or older, and 50% are over 35 years old.

The report also provides interesting insights for brands using YouTube as an ad platform. It claims that 41% of UK YouTube users have taken action after watching an ad on YouTube, indicating that investing in these ads can pay off.

YouTube infographic

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tweakup #17

by Nick Mulligan in News

Adobe releases stats on Facebook ads
Adobe has released its quarterly report on Facebook Advertising for Q1 2014, and it’s good news for Facebook advertisers. The stats show cost per click decreasing 2% year on year and 11% quarter on quarter, while click through rate has jumped 160% year on year and 20% quarter on quarter. Other results include an increase in engagement and video views, plus evidence that suggests most engagement/video views happen on Fridays.

Facebook launches ‘Nearby Friends’
Facebook is rolling out a new feature for US iPhone and Android users, named ‘Nearby Friends’.

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The opt-in system allows users to browse the approximate locations of all their friends who have also signed up, as well as to receive push notifications when one of them is nearby. Mashable has played around with the system and posted an article about it, in which they examine its various features. The author discusses how to turn on the system and displays how it shows only a rough location, even after opting in, unless a user chooses to share more details with a friend. Naturally, Nearby Friends is collecting a lot of data, and the piece makes a point to discuss the long-winded process of erasing it. Facebook hasn’t ruled out using the feature’s data to serve ads in the future.

Facebook to reveal mobile ad network?
Facebook is rumored to be set to launch a mobile ad network. Details are slim on the ground just now, but allegedly all will be revealed at the F8 developer conference at the end of this month. You know where to come then, don’t you? Yes, your favourite weekly round up of all things social media.

Facebook to launch ad segment for the World Cup
Facebook looks set to create a new audience segment for its largest advertisers, made up of those watching this summer’s World Cup. It would be the first time that the network has created a segment specifically for a TV event, pitting it against Twitter, the reigning champion of social TV. Advertisers can already target an audience segment named ‘FIFA World Cup’, but the new alternative will be updated daily to include those who start to show interest after the event begins.

Twitter to offer mobile ads beyond its own app
After purchasing the mobile ad exchange MoPub last September, Twitter now has the ability to offer mobile ads beyond the Twitter mobile app. The social network, which attributes 75% of its business to mobile, can now show ‘app install’ ads in apps across MoPub’s network, including WordPress, OpenTable and Songza.

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Google+ updates ads
Google+ has made three updates to its ad offering. Firstly, +Post ads, which turn G+ content into display ads, are now available to all pages with 1,000 followers or more. Secondly, brands can now choose to automatically promote their most recent update and only pay once it receives engagement. Finally, it is possible to promote a Hangout to a +Post ad, allowing users to either RSVP, watch live or watch a recording.

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Weibo’s value jumps after IPO
Weibo, the Chinese microblogging platform, went public last week. From its IPO price of $17 per share, its value shot up 19% in the first day, closing at $20.24. Day two saw further growth of 12% by the time markets closed, at one point reaching the $24 mark. Looking good so far, Weibo…

Line to allow developers to create and sell stickers
Messaging app Line will allow users to make and sell their own sets of stickers for use in the app. The stickers, which comprise a set of 42 images, must pass a test by the network, before being sold for JPY 100 (around $1). The profits will be split 50/50 between developers and the platform. A Line spokesperson said:

Line will further be able to answer the needs of users through the sale of stickers made by creators worldwide, and hopes to further speed up its global expansion by offering even more localized stickers.

It should also help increase Line’s revenue.

Record or watch Sky through Twitter
The UK’s Sky TV is allowing Twitter users to watch and record their favourite shows through the network. Once someone’s ‘Sky ID’ is linked to their Twitter account, they can click on any tweet from Sky that includes the hashtag #WatchOnSky to reveal buttons labelled ‘Watch’ and ‘Record’. You can probably guess what clicking them does.

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Esquire premieres show on Facebook
Esquire TV has premiered the first episode of its new programme ‘Lucky Bastards’ through Facebook. The quality of the series, which follows six rich men around New York City, looks… questionable. Feel free to disagree with us, of course:

We Are Social and Evian bring Spiderbaby to Twitter
We Are Social has helped Evian bring its sponsorship of the new film, Amazing Spiderman 2, to life on Twitter. Using the hashtag #AmazingBabyRescueMe, the water brand asked followers to tweet in their everyday dilemmas and receive a personalised response from the Amazing Baby character. Replies included tweets, Vines and illustrations, such as the below:

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Dos Equis starts marketing on Foursquare
Dos Equis has brought its signature character, the ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’, to Foursquare. Continuing with his classic tone of voice, which has even spawned its own meme, the page will be populated by content like the below.

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Buick and Ford use influencers on Vine
Automotive brands Buick and Ford have both teamed up with Vine stars in order to extend their reach on the platform. Ford has partnered with Rudy Mancuso, who has over 4 million followers, and Buick with Zach King (1.1 million).

US Airways post interesting image to Twitter
US Airways posted an ‘unsavoury’ image to Twitter last week. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a Buzzfeed article that shows the picture, which is very NSFW. The airline has apologised and has said that it’s investigating exactly what went on. However, the employee won’t be losing their job. We Are Social’s own Leila Thabet discussed why with Mashable, comparing it to other ‘Twitter fails’. As it’s so clearly a mistake, the brand has managed to sidestep major criticism – it isn’t the same as when Kenneth Cole made light of the Egyptian political situation to try and boost sales, for example.

NASA asks everyone to post a #GlobalSelfie
Had enough of selfies? NASA hasn’t. The organisation is celebrating Earth Day by asking people around the world to post pictures of themselves, wherever they are. The images will then be compiled, along with shots from NASA’s satellites, into a giant mosaic of the entire planet. As selfies go, these ones sound pretty good.

The digital behaviours of global teens

by Cat Millar in News

As one of the most debated and sometimes maligned generations, today’s teenagers have even greater reason than their predecessors to feel that ‘no one understands’ them. Thankfully, via an exclusive preview of GlobalWebIndex’s Q1 2014 Teens Audience Report (which you can download here), we can now report on the facts, as told by teenagers themselves, and reveal the ramifications for brands.

The report shows a generational realignment of social, with 25-34 year olds now representing the largest share of users across most of the major social networks, coupled with the rise and rise of mobile apps for the teen audience. Snapchat (+60%), Kik (59%) and WeChat (54%) all enjoyed a rapid increase in global user numbers between 2012 and 2013.

Yes, Facebook might not be ‘dead and buried’ quite yet, (it continues to be the most popular platform globally among young people, with 87% of teens having an account, excluding those in China), but active usage amongst this age group is declining, down from 48% to 39%. This is a problem all the mainstream platforms are experiencing, including YouTube (-7%); Twitter (-3%) and Google Plus (-4%).

Underlying this, as the report shows, is the increasingly mobile and real-time nature of social media for this audience. Teens are now spending more time online via their mobile phones – with 65% spending more than one hour a day, 18% higher than in 2012.

Facebook has had the foresight to recognise this fracturing of the social media landscape and has moved toward more niche, ‘mobile first’ platforms – initially with its purchase of Instagram and more recently with WhatsApp. However, most brands still haven’t figured out how to use these apps to deliver effective marketing campaigns. This is something that must change if brands want to reach the teen audience.

As the report shows, these platforms have a growing importance in how teens discover brands, with more than 20% now turning to apps and social media when actively seeking information on brands. And clearly, young people are consuming less traditional media compared to the rest of the population.

This is something that We Are Social tried to address when we worked with evian to tease its new campaign film via Snapchat, helping drive excitement and bring its historically very popular content to a new audience. McDonalds has also begun testing out the platform, following in the footsteps of early adopters such as Taco Bell and MTV.

Brands aren’t just experimenting with Snapchat to target younger audiences. For example, Burberry’s recent ‘digital innovation’ partnership with WeChat brought the brand to a sizeable audience in China, offering them behind the scenes access and personalised content.

So, the use of messaging apps in campaigns can help brands target the teen audience, reaching them in a relevant way by providing entertainment and rewards. A handful of brands have begun to experiment with this, while Facebook has invested heavily in meeting the demands of this younger audience. The GlobalWebIndex Teens Audience Report shows this kind of experimentation could pay off for brands when it comes to teens.

Using social to create a political tsunami

by Lorya Noseda in News

On Friday, I got the exciting news that the campaign I worked on for the Cambodia National Rescue Party was awarded Bronze in The Warc Prize for Social Strategy. The prize recognises social ideas that drive results, which is exactly what the Political Tsunami campaign aimed to do.

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Last year, while I was working in Singapore, I had the opportunity to be involved in Cambodia’s national elections campaign. Together with Pete Heskett and Jamie Macfarlane, we took on this project in our free time and for the first time ever, fought an entire election campaign on Facebook.

The challenge seemed impossible. Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has a stranglehold on every mass media channel and uses intimidation at the polling stage, and so the status quo has prevailed for the past 34 years.

Our pro bono client, Sam Rainsy, Cambodia’s long-standing Opposition Leader, president of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was forced into political exile, and had remained there, since 2009. And ever since he had been losing touch with the people of Cambodia – not to mention the fact he would be absent in the run up to the crucial national elections in July 2013.

Our challenge was to find a way to “virtually” bring Sam Rainsy back in the country and make him a part of the daily lives and conversations of the Cambodians, even if he couldn’t be physically present.

Facebook is the fastest growing social networking site in Cambodia and was the favourite outlet for youths to express their opinions, especially those daring to criticize the government.

So we turned Sam Rainsy’s Facebook page into Cambodia’s number one rallying place for a restless youth who were eager to discuss the political issues of their country.

Over the course of four months, we encouraged mass participation by creating rich and diverse content every day. We published topical news, supporter testimonials and vox pop videos to stimulate debates around issues like corruption, land seizure and human rights. We then let our supporters lead these discussions, with debates continuing over hundreds of posts in the form of hundreds of comments and user generated content.

 
As we didn’t have access to national TV coverage, we created our own channel: “Rainsy TV”, a series of short online videos touching upon the key issues of the election, published weekly on our Facebook page.

 
Once we’d built a solid Facebook supporter base, our challenge was to mobilize our online supporters to take offline actions.

We asked our core young online activists to carry our message to their parents. Their parents’ generation would traditionally be government loyalists, a legacy of the government’s role in overthrowing the Khmer Rouge. So we asked their children to remind them to look forward, not back.

We created the “Rescue Pack”:

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A week before the election and after four years of political exile, Sam Rainsy was finally given an amnesty by King Norodom Sihamoni and allowed to come back to Cambodia.

As his return wasn’t covered on television, we created our own live coverage, broadcast on our Facebook page to enable everyone in Cambodia to celebrate his return. More than 325,000 people watched our live videos on Facebook and website. And more than 100,000 welcomed their Leader and marched in the streets of Phnom Penh in the name of Democracy.

As we approached Election Day, we wanted to help people memorize the party number – 7. We launched the Facebook meme “7”, asking our fans and their friends to upload photos of them showing their 7 fingers.

We also enabled people to register their names and phone numbers to monitor the election and reduce fraud.

On July 28th, 2013, Sam Rainsy’s party (the CNRP) made unprecedented gains, picking up 55 seats out of 123 – an 89% increase on the last election.

For the first time in the history, the ruling party lost 22 seats, scoring just 68 seats in 2013 compared to 90 seats in 2008.

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By the election, Sam Rainsy’s Facebook page gained 182,000 likes. This meant that an incredible one out of three Facebook accounts in Cambodia liked the page.

Today, Sam Rainsy has become the No.1 Facebook page in Cambodia, with nearly 500,000 likes and skyrocketing engagement rates (ranging from 10 to 15%).

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Facing the massive elections fraud, with at least 1.25 million people not included on the electoral roll, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has boycotted its 55 seats in the National Assembly. They have led nationwide demonstrations, rallying hundreds of thousands of people for the past eight months and are currently negotiating the organisation of new elections.

Facebook has permitted a real democratic advancement. And this ‘Cambodian Spring’ is only beginning.

The Social Smackdown

by Tom Ollerton in News

Why do conferences always have boring panels, bad coffee and make you feel a bit empty inside?

We couldn’t work it out either. So we designed a session for busy people who want useful, inspiring content and the best coffee in London.

We called it a Smackdown. No idea why, just sounded fun.

We’ve outlawed branded stress relief balls, back slapping and canapé breath and instead insisted on 3 punchy ten minute presentations from the best brands in social.

Our next event in London is on the morning of the 13th of May with Panasonic, Beats By Dre and a very special guest. It’s a brand only event, so you won’t have to deal with any new business soul suckers.

If you work for a brand, and would like to come along, please drop Alex an email.