We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
Apple Watch to feature social apps
Following its grand unveiling last week, it has been revealed that Facebook, Yahoo, Pinterest and Twitter are among the companies already developing apps for Apple Watch. While certain features such as the ability to receive and act on Facebook notifications have been demonstrated, it has not yet been announced whether ads will be included in the small-screen apps. The wearable device got a relatively subdued 336,000 mentions on Twitter right before and after its unveiling, compared to the hefty 1 million-plus mentions of the new iPhones launched the same day. The gadget will be released early next year, so (Apple) Watch this space!
Facebook takes on YouTube
Facebook joins Yahoo in taking on YouTube as a distribution platform for multi-channel networks and their stars, approaching some of YouTube’s biggest content producers to get them to distribute their videos directly on the social platform. Already, some have experimented with putting some of their top YouTube series on Facebook, including Disney’s Maker Studios and Collective Digital Studio; the latter making its animated viral hit “Annoying Orange” available on the social network. The competition is no surprise, as “more brands divert their focus from broadcast TV to online video”.
Facebook tests self-destructing posts
Facebook is trialling a new feature on a small number of users’ iOS devices that lets you schedule the deletion of your posts in advance. The feature gives users a set of choices from one hour to seven days before a post is deleted– an update potentially very useful addition for brand and business Pages. Facebook has tried its hand at self-destruction before; in June it released a Snapchat clone called Slingshot.
Facebook Messenger lets users doodle over photos
Facebook has released an update to its Messenger app for Android that lets users edit photos from their device’s gallery by drawing or typing all over them. Interestingly, the update does not currently work with photos taken via Messenger’s built-in camera. To use, people simply need to tap on the photo icon in the bottom control row, and then they are given the option to write, text or draw.
Buy your mate a Budweiser through Facebook
Budweiser is trying its hand at social commerce with the launch of two new programmes on Facebook. “Bud Light Birthday” lets users hand out free beer vouchers to friends on their Birthdays (providing they’re of-age), while “Bud for Buds” celebrates allows users to buy vouchers to send as gifts for any type of special occasions. To redeem the offer, the recipient simply needs to click on the link and show the ID to a bar’s point of sale. From there, it’s beer o’clock!
Debenhams encourages co-buying in Christmas lead-up
UK department store Debenhams is turning shoppers into brand advocates by encouraging them to share special offers online with friends. Shoppers who join the social scheme will be incentivised by group leaderboard-based gamification activity, designed to get their friends spending money at Debenhams, too. Prizes include a styling session and vouchers worth hundreds of pounds. Debenhams’ Director of Ecommerce, Ross Clemmow, says:
Co-buying is an innovative approach in connecting with new customers through our existing most engaged customers. The format acts as a great way to strengthen the customer experience and further drive sales.
Topshop’s SS15 launch on Facebook
Topshop, the UK high street fashion retailer, launched part of its SS15 ‘Unique’ collection not on the runway, but exclusively on Facebook. The range was made available to buy immediately after the end of the show, a ‘fast-fashion’ shift that has also been embraced by luxury fashion brands including Burberry.
Each season, it becomes clear that social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in Fashion Weeks worldwide, and this is faring well for brands too. As NYFW draws to a close, results show Twitter mentions are up a huge 1,113% this year for sponsors including WGSN, Samsung and Mercedez-Benz.
A branded response to #AppleLive streaming
Apple product launches are undeniably huge social media moments, attracting global conversation. So naturally, marketers jumped on Tuesday’s live streaming of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch unveiling in their masses, with some doing better than others. MasterCard, an initial partner of Apple Pay, used the event to promote the new feature:
— MasterCard (@MasterCard) September 9, 2014
Denny’s brought some humour to the night in highlighting the technical issues suffered by frustratingly trying to livestream.
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) September 9, 2014
Competitors also had their say, with HTC and Windows playing a seemingly friendly game of social media banter, amongst Blackberry’s slightly pitiful reminder that it’s still around.
— HTC (@htc) September 9, 2014
— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) September 9, 2014
Of course, Oreo didn’t miss out on the opportunity either, with yet another real-time Photoshop response.
Just like a twist – it’s all in the wrist. pic.twitter.com/UDzFDAb78G
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) September 9, 2014
How brands Tweeted about the second #RoyalBaby
Last Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially announced they are expecting another child. With 260,000 tweets sent throughout the day about the big announcement, #RoyalBaby began trending around the world with more than 70,000 uses of the hashtag. Several of the tweets celebrating the news came from brands. One of the quickest to offer its congratulations was @NissanUK, who managed to produce an ad just seven minutes after the news broke. Featuring the Nissan X-Trail seven-seater, the company tweeted a picture of the interior of the vehicle with a crown on each seat:
— NissanUK (@NissanUK) September 8, 2014
Brands’ Twitter reactions to 9/11
Last week saw the 13th anniversary of 9/11, an occasion where many brands undoubtedly wanted to become part of national conversation. Some brands commemorated tastefully, such as New York retailer Century 21, who posted a picture of a memorial painted by artist Mr. Brainwash at one of its stores, and Walmart and Nordstorm posted unbranded images of the Manhattan skyline.
Always Remember. pic.twitter.com/2SsTeoemjf
— Walmart (@Walmart) September 11, 2014
However, unsurprisingly, not all brands remembered the date with such grace. Build-A-Bear was forced to remove a tweet of a teddy bear in fatigues after it received much to-be-expected criticism, while several brands including Dunkin’ Donuts and Applebees invoked the wrath of Twitter critic, Mike Monteiro. His comments made many look twice at 9/11 brand tweets - you can read some of his replies below.
— Mike Monteiro (@monteiro) September 11, 2014
Thank you @Applebees. When we pulled Mother’s body out of the wreckage we dragged it to Applebees. And you guys gave us free sodas.
— Mike Monteiro (@monteiro) September 11, 2014
A GlobalWebIndex study looked into Pinterest’s top markets worldwide, and discovered North America to be the biggest stronghold for the platform, where a third of adult internet users have a Pinterest account.
Canada, Indonesia and South Africa follow closely with around 30% of internet users on Pinterest, while European countries including Germany, Poland and France account for the lowest Pinterest uptake at just 10%. On a global level, the study reveals that 16% of internet users aged 16-64 have a Pinterest account.
As part of We Are Social’s work with The World Federation of Advertisers, we’ve been exploring the factors that define best practice marketing in today’s connected age.
Last month, we shared the marketing activities that the world’s top marketers believe are setting today’s gold standard, and what those particular brands do to succeed and stand out.
In today’s post, we go beyond those activities and dig deeper into the factors that determine overall brand success.
The 3Ps of Great Connected Marketing
Our conversations with more than 100 of the world’s top marketing practitioners revealed three critical factors that enable brands to become leaders in our increasingly connected, digital world:
You’ll find a thorough analysis of each of these ‘Ps’ – together with specific examples and case studies – in the SlideShare embed above, but here’s a brief synopsis of each one:
In order to succeed today, brands must go beyond selling things. Making a profit isn’t compelling to anyone outside of your company, and companies that are seen to make too much profit often lose public favour.
At the same time, product-centric differentiation no longer offers a sufficiently sustainable advantage either; for your customers, products and services are simply means to an end, and brands are increasingly at risk from leftfield alternatives that can destroy entire industries overnight (think Kodak).
As a result, our role as marketers isn’t to make better things; rather, it’s to make things better – to make valuable contributions to people’s lives.
That ‘purpose’ doesn’t always need to be about saving the world though; as long as we’re adding value to people’s lives, we’re achieving that ‘added value’ goal.
▶Actionable tip: Define your brand by what people can buy into, not just what they can buy.
The things that make a brand ‘popular’ are very similar to the traits that define popular people.
It’s no secret that we are drawn to people who are generous, caring, entertaining and inspiring, and these are characteristics that brands should strive for as well.
However, we need to go deeper too. Top marketers consistently highlight traits like transparency, sincerity and integrity as the cornerstones of the brands they most admire.
Above all, though, brands need to demonstrate empathy – the ability to really understand the people they care about, and actively connect with them on their terms.
▶ Actionable tip: use your brand’s values to build your brand’s value.
Too much of today’s marketing is still about screaming for attention – interrupting people in order to deliver a wholly egocentric sales message.
The problem with this approach is that it’s far too easy for people to completely ignore it.
In a ‘media’ environment that is increasingly dominated by user-controlled devices like smartphones, something more interesting, compelling and valuable than your advert is only a quick finger movement away.
‘Awareness’ doesn’t mean much on its own either – it’s easy to win people’s attention for a split second, but so what? In order to succeed, brands must convert “I’m aware” into “I care”, otherwise their investments have been futile.
The surest way to ensure you engage your audiences is to actively involve them in your marketing efforts; we need to replace interruption with interaction.
Taking this deeper, and to paraphrase John Willshire, we need to stop trying to make people want the things we’ve already built, and instead, build the things they actually want in the first place.
Actionable tip: aim to become a democratic brand – a brand of the people, by the people, for the people.
WhatsApp’s popularity continues to rise on a global level, with an increase from 16% of internet users on the app in 2013 to 24% in 2014. WhatsApp usage is greatest in the regions of Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, GlobalWebIndex reports.
However, when analysing WhatsApp by country, Malaysia comes out top with 77% of mobile internet users on WhatsApp, followed shortly by South Africa and Singapore at 76%. In comparison, China, South Korea and Japan have less than 4% of mobile internet users using WhatsApp, partly due to the popularity of apps like WeChat, Kakao Talk and LINE.
WhatsApp users are also actively on other social networks, with Facebook and YouTube having the highest amount of WhatsAppers at over 70% each. WhatsApp users are also more likely to follow their favourite brand and share brand content than those who don’t have the app.
The smartphone may have completely revolutionized the way we communicate, to the extent that many of us feel incapable of surviving without one. But thankfully, technology hasn’t ground to a halt, and we’re now on the brink of a new era, as Wearable Tech starts to become mainstream.
Last night Apple unveiled its Watch, Google’s Android Wear has already hit the shelves; consumer tech is undergoing a revolution. And these gadgets allow us to become even more invested in the internet and social. It’s exciting, it’s new – but this is just the beginning – there’s much more to come, and it will undoubtedly impact social and the brands using it.
The size of wearable technology reduces messaging space and experience, so information on smart devices needs to be useful, or risk of being removed. Thus social media apps need to be simple, and will better support things like notifications, one-to-one messages and photo albums that can be viewed with a simple swipe.
Currently, brands on social media are creating campaigns that are easy to digest, simple and straightforward, for the benefit of the user. With wearable social, brands will need to make content even more concise – the well-worn phrase “quality over quantity” has never been more apt. Brands developing content for wearable tech will face a similar challenge to those producing banners of old – they used to annoy many users, but they were were clicked on. The better thought out ones put forward a simple message or call to action for users who wanted what they were offering.
Creative, Design, UX & Development teams will also need to adapt to the way that wearables are redefining the user experience. With each new device comes a new design language, with different challenges. People expect their products to be intuitive, so analysing natural behaviours and adapting to accommodate will be essential if social is going to be viable on wearable devices.
Whilst waiting for figures to be released on sales for both Android Smart Wear and the Apple Watch, developers and brands, including social networks, will be keen to take up the all important real estate on the watch.
Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat have already had a crack at the Wearable Social market. Snapchat’s Snapchat Micro on the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch stealthily captures stills using the Gear’s camera, Facebook launched on Google Glass last year, allowing users to upload photos from their hi-tech specs to their Facebook timelines and Pinterest has updated its Android app to add Android Wear compatibility.
— Matt McGee (@mattmcgee) September 3, 2013
With platform adoption, of course, comes opportunities for brands to connect with consumers. But what now remains to be seen is how branded content will work within these applications. Something you wear constantly on your wrist is automatically more personal than a phone that you keep in your bag or pocket; content absolutely has to be something that people want, need or find useful. Brands will need to be less business-to-consumer and more person-to-person. Tolerance for non-relevant content will be even lower than ever before, and brands won’t be given any second chances.
Lastly, an important point that could easily be forgotten by us in the tech community, as we get worked up about new features and functions. Wearable tech has finally started to leap over one of the biggest hurdles to mainstream adoption – fashion. The latest wearable tech no longer looks clunky, or ridiculous, it’s smart and sexy. Brands take note – it will be less time than you think before a smartwatch is on the wrist of your target consumer. We’re looking at the future.