We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
Social ad spend to hit $23 billion globally
New figures from eMarketer show that advertisers will splash out a huge $23.6bn on social networks this year, a 33.5% increase on 2014. The publication estimates that, by 2017, this figure will rise to $35.98bn, or 16% of digital ad spend globally. Unsurprisingly, a lot of this investment is finding its way to Facebook. eMarketer estimates that the social giant will collect $15.5bn in ad revenues this year – that’s 65.5% of all social network ad spending worldwide.
Mobile use overtakes desktop for first time
This year, time spent on mobile devices by UK adults daily will surpass that spent online via desktop and laptop computers. eMarketer estimates that UK adults will spend two hours and 26 minutes each day with mobile devices this year, up 27 minutes on 2014 and an almost fivefold increase from 2011. eMarketer calls the growth ‘vigorous’ – we’d be hard pressed to disagree.
Sport and entertainment get us tweeting about TV
When it comes to tweeting about TV, sport is what’s capturing our attention, according to Kantar. It found that 42.3% of UK tweets about TV were related to sports, followed by 38.1% about entertainment. Second screeners were common (63% of respondents) but a large majority of them said what they were doing was unrelated to the TV content they were watching.
Facebook owns four of the five largest social networks
Facebook has rather a lot of users. Projected Q1 2015 figures from Business Insider show quite how many, especially when you take into account the other platforms it owns. Of all social networks and messaging apps, Facebook is the largest with 1.43 billion projected monthly active users, followed by WhatsApp with 725 million. In third place we have Facebook Messenger (600 million) and fifth Instagram (300 million). In fact, WeChat is the only member of the top five that Facebook doesn’t own.
Teens still care about Facebook
A new study by the Pew Research Center has found that Facebook is still the most-used social network among American teens aged 13-17, as 71% of respondents admitted to using it. This was followed by Instagram (50%) and Snapchat (40%). Boys use the site marginally more than girls, though respective figures of 72% and 70% show that it’s pretty close.
Twitter homepage attracts logged-out users
Twitter has a new homepage, designed for those who either aren’t signed in or are not using the platform at all. Users can click one of a selection of topics to be shown popular tweets around that subject, with categories including Pop Artists, TV Shows & Stars and (of course) Cute Animals. It’s only available in the US at the moment, but expect a broader roll out soon as internet users demand an easier way to find images of puppies in knitwear.
Twitter suggesting tweets you may like
Twitter is testing a ‘you may also like’ feature on the right-hand-side of individual tweet pages on Twitter.com. The functionality, which you can see below, is currently only available to certain users. Sadly, I’m not one of them.
Periscope is winning the live-streaming war
Twitter-owned Periscope is growing more quickly than its rival, Meerkat, which has actually seen a dip in its monthly active users since the start of April. Twitter’s superior resources are proving decisive, as are some potentially sneaky tactics, such as cutting off Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph.
On another, possibly unrelated, note, if you google ‘Meerkat vs.’, it autocompletes with ‘cobra’ ahead of ‘Periscope’. So there you go.
LinkedIn announces Marketo partnership
LinkedIn has partnered with marketing software company, Marketo, which specialises in automating digital marketing across email, social and the wider web. Its software will be combined with LinkedIn’s ‘Lead Accelerator’, which marries data about visits to brand websites with LinkedIn’s own demographic data. It’s essentially aimed at making adverts more relevant and (you guessed it) more profitable.
Snapchat overhauls its ad offering
Snapchat is changing the way it does ads. First of all, it has announced the withdrawal of ‘Brand Stories’, its first ever ad unit, which essentially allowed brands to put photos/video content in front of users that aren’t following them. It’s hinted that this ad format may be coming back in a different form, but for now the focus shifts to ‘Our Story’ and ‘Discover’. The former is set to be renamed and refocussed on live event feeds, as the platform sets to position itself further as a traditional media outlet for the social age.
Tumblr releases version 4.0 of its iOS app
Tumblr has unveiled version 4.0 of its iPhone/iPad app, along with a number of updates. Some of these are aesthetic, including a new icon, new notification widget and gifs that load in a ‘much more pleasing fashion’. Some allow easier blog management, including the ability to start secondary blogs, delete blogs and more easily include videos. To celebrate, here’s a gif. It doesn’t explain much, but it is very pretty.
Tumblr adds ‘Sponsored Day’ to its ad offering
Tumblr has launched a new ad unit, called a ‘Sponsored Day’, which allows brands to post an ad that will appear at the top of users’ feeds for, well, a whole day. Nike is the first advertiser to get involved, encouraging us all to embrace our ‘uncomfort zone’. Maybe tomorrow, Nike. It’s Monday.
Foursquare unveils location data ad feature
Foursquare has unveiled a new feature called Pinpoint, which uses its location data for ad targeting across mobile devices and the web. Location data is almost certainly Foursquare’s strongest suit, so this could well be a powerful move by the network.
Add Instagram to your Tinder profile
You can now sync your Instagram and Tinder profiles to show potential partners how much fun your life is, or at least that you can choose a good filter.
First Direct and We Are Social launch #SavingCup
First Direct and We Are Social took to Twitter to promote the bank’s SaveApp product, which helps users swap small purchases to save for big ones. They hired illustrator Mr Bingo to personalise coffee cups with people’s saving goals, including this for a follower who wanted to fly to Disney in Tokyo.
— first direct (@firstdirect) April 15, 2015
Lenovo and We Are Social create #LightandSeek exhibition Lenovo and We Are Social created a one-day-only art exhibition, powered entirely by the brand’s Yoga Tablet 2 Pro. Dubbed #LightandSeek, users were encouraged to take photos of their favourite pieces and upload them to Twitter using the hashtag. The event was accompanied by a live Instagram guide.
A virtual Instagram run with Reebok
Reebok took Instagram users on a virtual run around San Francisco last week with ‘Hunt the Pump’. Users who followed @zpump_startingline saw a grid of photos, one of which contained a hidden Reebok Pump logo. Liking the photo and clicking the panel took users to the next destination on their ‘run’, where the quest continued. If only it burned calories at the same time…
Nars adds a twist to Twitter competitions
Fashion retailer Nars ran a Twitter campaign last week, in which it encouraged users to tweet about its latest collaboration with Christopher Kane. Every tweet triggered a hammer to knock on one of two orbs located in Nars HQ, depending on whether it came from the UK or US; the two tweets that eventually broke the orb won the prize inside, the complete Nars and Christopher Kane collection.
Paddy Power tweets joke about police brutality
Paddy Power took its “TOP BANTZ” Twitter strategy a little far last week, making a joke that referenced police brutality against young African American men. It’s the latest in a string of intentionally controversial marketing attempts so, while other brands might apologise and remove the tweet, it’s still sat proudly on the Paddy Power Offers page.
Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male. The stats: http://t.co/GOOdyAszNo
— Paddy Power Offers (@PPOffers) April 13, 2015
At We Are Social, we’ve been working hard to provide the best social customer service for a wide range of clients, across multiple local and global markets. This year, our Expedia team was awarded Qualiweb’s ‘Excellence for Best Social Media Customer Service’ in the French market. Here, Giulia Braun, senior account manager on Expedia, talks about why great customer service on social is essential for brands.
Over the years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people contacting brands directly through their social channels – whether they’re requesting support, expressing a complaint or even giving positive feedback. It’s not surprising that many people prefer to send a tweet rather than spend hours on the phone. Social channels have become the go-to place for getting a brand response.
Customer service is often considered the less glamorous side of social media, neglected by marketers who think it’s either expensive or a service that will not benefit the brand through any concrete acknowledgment. But a lack of response to customer queries on a brands’ social channel looks impersonal and solely focused on one-way marketing messages. These are social channels after all. If we don’t respond to customers when they need us, why would they bother engaging with our content, no matter how brilliantly creative it is?
Customers expect to be able to make themselves heard, especially if something hasn’t gone their way, therefore, brands should take this as an opportunity to hear them out and actively try and rectify the situation. This not only ensures damage limitation but it can even turn potential #epicfail situations into positive sentiment. If poor customer experience has a viral effect, so does brilliant customer service, as Virgin demonstrated with this timely intervention:
So what defines first class social customer service? There are four key elements to consider when managing your customer responses on social:
Tweeting a brand with a query feels much closer to texting than emailing, therefore people expect a very quick response. At We Are Social, we have worked with our community managers to put an effective escalation process is in place, ensuring all issues are handled in the most time-effective way and the most delicate responses get a speedy client sign off.
Showing the human side of the brand makes people feel looked after, whereas pre-packaged template responses often end up infuriating them. Any brand’s tone of voice can be adapted to ensure that customers feel they’re having a conversation with a human as opposed to a robot and are responding specifically to their query. Of course, you need not necessarily go as far as O2 did in this instance:
Having community managers who are passionate and knowledgeable about the subject area is also key to giving customers genuinely useful support (i.e. travel experts on Expedia and football enthusiasts on adidas, series lovers on Netflix UK).
@laughingturtles Combine it with a spot of rowing machine action – just like Frank would.
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) March 5, 2015
It’s not always possible to solve a problem straightaway, so it’s often a case to manage expectations and let customers know the team is on it and give them a clear deadline their issue will be solved by. It’s also good practice to include working hours on your channels’ bios so that people know that you’re not ignoring their 3am complaint.
That’s a wrap! We’re off for a rest but we’ll be back from 7am. See you bright and early Twitter world ^Ed
— npower help (@npowerhelp) April 13, 2015
Nailing customer service can grow your business and strengthen the relationship with your audience. Great customer service doesn’t always give you fame and glory, but provides true value to your customers, and a reason to build preference on future purchases. Plus, as Expedia has just discovered, it can actually win you awards.
GlobalWebIndex has produced a report detailing the social networking motivations of individuals. It shows that globally, 55% of internet users use social networks in order to stay in touch with what their friends are doing. This was followed by 41% stating that they get news updates from social and 41% who use it to fill their spare time. According to GlobalWebIndex:
These top three motivations have one common characteristic – they are all related to passive forms of networking. Indeed, as we explore further in our Passive Facebooking report, many social media users are coming to view social networks as sources of content rather than platforms which require active contributions.
Equally telling is that only 27% of internet users say that they are using social media to share details about their daily life. By some margin, this motivation is less important to networkers than sharing opinions or photos/videos. Clearly, then, many internet users have become more comfortable using social media to publish content rather than to broadcast personal details.
Facebook reveals messenger.com
Still reeling from the passing of MSN Messenger? Well, it’s good news for desktop chat fiends, as Facebook has launched a dedicated web interface for its Messenger app. It’s available to English speakers worldwide. Of course, you can still message via facebook.com if you prefer.
Twitter updates RTs, Search and app brand profiles
Twitter has updated its retweet feature, making it much easier to add a comment before sharing a RT with your followers. You can see how it works in the below example, which I just found on the internet somewhere and definitely didn’t spend time creating.
The network is also making a couple of updates to its ‘Search’ function: detailed ‘trending topics’ within Search are replacing ‘Discover’ on mobile, while they’re experimenting with simplifying the desktop layout, including an option to view ‘Live’ tweets in chronological order.
New Twitter search UI rolled out to Safari (not on Chrome yet) is much better. Hope better search results are next. pic.twitter.com/btGT5yQiYi
— Eugenie Sills (@esills) April 7, 2015
Finally, they’re are testing letting businesses pin an app to the top of their profile in Twitter’s iPhone app. The feature is currently being tested by the likes of Periscope and Uber.
Interactive cards to appear on YouTube ads
YouTube is now allowing advertisers to add interactive overlay cards to skippable video adverts. This allows brands to include more information and could well be lucrative for YouTube; now, if viewers skip an ad but click on the card, the platform will still receive a fee.
LinkedIn buys Lynda.com
LinkedIn has made its biggest acquisition to date, the $1.5bn purchase of online education site Lynda.com, home to videos and tutorials on everything from Photoshop to web development. LinkedIn users will now receive prompts to relevant courses, as explained by content head Ryan Roslansky:
Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill.
Ad Age discussed the value of the move beyond LinkedIn’s plans around “connecting people to opportunity”. It will provide access to Lynda’s data and all that entails; we could well see the ability to serve ads to those who have completed certain courses, or recruiters being notified when they do so.
LinkedIn launches Elevate
LinkedIn has unveiled its latest app, Elevate, which suggests articles to users and allows them to share said stories across LinkedIn and Twitter. Anyone can download the app, but you’ll have to pay to use it. If you do subscribe, expect to see more networks, such as Facebook, added soon.
Snapchat’s Coachella filters
Snapchat released a set of time-specific geofilters for Coachella. Each related to a certain artist and was only available while they were on stage. Sadly, there wasn’t one for Shorty Jizzle and the Plumber Cracks.
Brands jump on Instagram’s carousel
A number of brands are using Instagram’s new ‘carousel’ ad feature, which includes four photos and a link. Examples we’ve seen so far: Old Navy has produced a day-in-the-life series, Showtime has highlighted characters from ‘Penny Dreadful’ and Tiffany has juxtaposed a watch with New York architecture.
Mountain Dew turns fan tweets into ads
Mountain Dew has brought back its popular Baja Blast flavour for a limited period. To promote this, it started posting discreet images of the flavour on its social channels, without making an overt announcement. This led to a fair bit of excitement on Twitter and beyond; the brand is now using celebratory user-generated tweets in its own online ads.
Stuart Weitzman combines Instagram and Facebook ads
Fashion brand Stuart Weitzman has launched a campaign that ties together Instagram and Facebook ads, as users are served videos on the former, followed by product posts on the latter. The promotion also includes the use of cinemagraphs, which, in the words of fashion icon Mugatu, are so hot right now.
Brands prepare for the return of Game of Thrones
GAME OF THRONES IS BACK. Brands are as excited as I am, or at least they’re telling us so on social media. Here are some examples, including Sesame Street’s Iron Throne-worthy ‘Game of Chairs’.
— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) April 5, 2015
— someecards (@someecards) April 10, 2015
The Game of Chairs determines who will be king or queen of Jesteros. Who will take the crown? http://t.co/vgrsz1gUxs
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) April 6, 2015
WhatsApp rules the west, Tencent owns China and Facebook is pimping up Messenger to rival them both. Instant Messenger marketing is the new social media and your brand is ready for it, right? Just in case you’re not fighting fit We Are Social is holding an event on Wednesday the 22nd of April in London called Instant Messaging 101 to get you up to speed. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ll be talking about.
Over the last couple of years use of instant messaging apps has risen dramatically. Consumers use platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger to talk to friends play games, shop and even do a spot of internet dating.
Facebook remains the most popular social platform globally but messaging apps are also a force to be reckoned with. China-based QQ is the second biggest social platform worldwide, and Facebook-owned WhatsApp is third.
Tencent owned QQ is the emperor of Chinese IM and has 829m active monthly users. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest number of simultaneous online users on an instant messaging program with 210,212,085 users online on 3rd July 2014.
WhatsApp is the second most popular IM platform, with 700m active monthly users. It’s growing at a rate of around 800,000 users per a day with users sending 30 billion messages daily. Tencent’s WeChat dominates mobile messaging in APAC. There are more official accounts created on WeChat each day in China than there are websites brought online.
Mark Zuckerberg announced during Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco that developers can now add a Messenger button to third-party apps so content like personalised music, message, videos and GIFs can be pushed out to friends. ESPN and The Weather Channel are among the 40 apps that now support Facebook Messenger.
It’s clear that IM is big, and it’s not going anywhere. So, here at We Are Social in London we are holding an event called Instant Messaging 101 that will tell you all you need to know about the rise and rise of instant messaging platforms, what the social thinking is behind their success and what your brand needs to do right now.
- An Introduction to brands using Instant Messaging – We Are Social
- Tom Bowman, BBC – Zero to 1 Million LINE users in 4 months
- Anthony Green, Kik – The Race to Become the WeChat of the West
- What do Millennials actually want from brands on IM? A panel of students from Ravensbourne college will take questions from the room on how they use Instant Messaging and Social
Time – 6.30 pm 22nd of April
Venue – We Are Social, 1 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4PN
If you would like to come to this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org