We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
For the 500,000 people who’ve been reading our recent reports on the state of Social, Digital & Mobile around the world, the next important question becomes:
“What should my brand do to take advantage of these amazing opportunities?”
To answer that question, and help marketers to translate interest and enthusiasm into action, we’re delighted to share a refreshed version of “Making Friends & Influencing People“, our popular guide to strategic social media marketing.
This guide is designed to help everyone across your organisation – from you, to your interns, to your CEO – to make the best possible use of social media.
We’ve split the guide into three parts:
- Some headline statistics to help you set the context when presenting the case for social media to non-marketers;
- The ‘10 Commendments‘ – the ‘mandatories’ for building strong brands in social media;
- Our robust 8-step framework for building a strategic social media plan
The ‘10 Commendments’ deserve a little more introduction though.
First up, the name – and no, it’s not a typo. Social media is a welcoming and inclusive place, and instructive commandments would seem out of place, so we prefer ‘commendments‘ – in other words, friendly recommendations and suggestions.
1. Focus On People, Not Technology
Social media is all about interacting with other people. Technologies and platforms are great, but ultimately they’re just means to an end, so focus on the human benefits rather than the technological possibilities. (More on this topic here)
2. Build Conversations, Not Campaigns
Many short-term marketing campaigns are like pick-up lines: they’re a great way to get the conversation going, but they’re hardly a sustainable basis for a long-term relationship. If it’s enduring value you’re after, think and plan for on-going conversation, not just a quickie. (More on this topic here).
3. Use Content As A Means, Not An End
Content is a fantastic way to start a conversation, but for most brands, it’s the conversation that drives the ultimate value. Whenever you’re planning or posting content of any kind – whether it’s a one-line status update or an hour-long video epic – ask yourself what happens next: “What do I want the audience to do with this content?”
4. Add Value To The Audience’s Life
When it comes to social media, a brand isn’t just up against its competitors; it’s competing with everything in its audience’s life: Photos of kittens. Updates from last night’s party. Those scandalous celebrity pics. So, if you’re not adding distinct value, you’ll likely just disappear into the stream. As a result, you need to clearly articulate how you’re adding relevant value to the audience in the context of their whole life, not just how you’re different to the other brands in your category. (More on this topic here)
5. Listening Is The New Shouting
Understanding people’s wants, needs, and desires has always been the foundation of great marketing, but building that understanding at scale has traditionally been too expensive or too complex. That’s changed significantly with the advent of social media listening tools, which allow marketers everywhere to stay in touch with what their audiences are talking about, sharing, and in some cases, actually buying – for example, restaurant brands might track the #foodporn hashtag on Instagram to identify the most popular dishes of the moment around the world. However, remember that the tools don’t do much on their own – you’ll need to analyse and interpret the data before it can add value to your brand. (Find out more here)
6. Spread The Love
Occasionally, brands strike marketing gold, and their audiences share their updates like wildfire. This is the one-in-a-million shot though; if you’d prefer better odds, putting some ‘financial amplification’ behind your social activities is a more likely way to ensure your investments deliver satisfactory returns. That’s not just about ad dollars though – remember that better crafted content is more likely to drive organic sharing too.
7. Be Prepared
The best thing about social media is that everyone can get involved. However, the bigger the crowd, the more likely it is you’ll have to deal with different, and sometimes conflicting, views. As the old adage says, “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” In reality, there’s a very high chance something, somewhere will go wrong someday, so it’s better to prepare for that day now than to wait until you’re in full-on panic mode. Fortunately, you can read about that in much more detail here.
8. Measure Your Progress
If you’re still of the opinion that half of your ad dollars are surely wasted, but you just don’t know which half, we’ve got good news for you: that should never be a problem you face in social media. Sure, you’re unlikely to ever reach 100% ad efficiency, but if you’re measuring your social media activities properly, you should always know which half of your dollars is working harder for you, so at least you know which dollars to reinvest elsewhere.
9. Optimise As You Go
Following on from the previous Commendment, we have more good news: once you’ve identified which elements of your social media activities need to be tweaked, it’s relatively easy to change them as you go. Even paid media elements can be changed and optimised in real-time.
10. Be In It For The Long Term
Social media success rarely comes overnight, and if it does, it rarely lasts. Social media really is all about relationships, and as with all relationships, you get out what you put in. Invest with a longer-term view, and expect to ‘give’ plenty before you ‘get’ something in return. However, by offering a clearly articulated value proposition to your social audiences over time, they’re more likely to stay with you over the longer term. If you’re wondering about the ROI of that longer-term approach, take a look here.
These may be things you’re already practising every day in your social media work, but ensuring the rest of your organisation is on board too will help you succeed.
So, if you’d like to share a copy of the complete Making Friends & Influencing People guide with them, why not download a copy now (simply click here) and send it over to them.
Juventus launched a campaign that built an even stronger relationship between the football club and its international fanbase, bringing fans even closer to the matchday experience with #LoveJu – a sporting and social media first.
#LoveJu stemmed from Juventus’ incredibly passionate supporters, who are always looking for a new way to show their dedication and love for their favourite club.
The concept not only engaged supporters and was the first of its kind to be enacted at a major sporting event, it also put fans at the forefront of an important global milestone for the club.
Earmarking their match with Inter Milan as the ideal opportunity for maximum passion and global visibility, the club offered fans the chance to do something that had never been done before – ‘choreograph’ the stadium into a Juventus inspired design.
The brief was issued via Juventus’ social media channels and on the big screens at games – and fans from all over the world took up the challenge.
The response was incredible. Over 3,000 designs were submitted via a bespoke application on Juventus’ official Facebook page, and 18,500 tweets were sent using the #LoveJu hashtag.
As the teams took to the pitch, the sight that greeted them was a sea of 12,700 coloured cards, covering a total area of 8,000 square metres displaying the victorious choreography design. These were held aloft by those occupying the stadium’s East Stand.
Reach did not just extend to the stadium. International news organisations reported positively on the initiative, while footage of the winning entry, submitted by 16-year-old Steven Kem from France, was beamed live to tens of millions of viewers across the globe.
The team also complemented the effect of #LoveJu, with captain for the night Giorgio Chiellini commenting enthusiastically about the importance of the choreography in helping Juventus to 3-1 win on the night!
$19 billion for what? That’s the question we wanted to answer by digging into the data surrounding WhatsApp usage. We used our findings to create this infographic, which helps to explain why Facebook’s acquisition of the mobile messaging app will likely play an important role in its long-term strategy.
We found that 70% of WhatsApp users are active every day, and these users are sending more than one billion messages per day – that’s the same figure as the total global SMS traffic.
The geography of WhatsApp usage proved just as interesting, with Europe and emerging markets (such as India and some African countries) being key contributors to the platform’s rapid growth.
Twitter continues to grow in the US
Twitter’s user base in the US is growing and, as of 2013, accounts for 17.6% of US internet users, expected to rise to 19.2% in 2014. Growth is slowing, however, with 2014′s expected user increase just 11.6% compared to 2013′s 19.4%. Users are maturing, too; a higher percentage of 25-34 year olds than teenage internet users are on Twitter; by 2018, 35-44 year olds will also outnumber teenagers.
Facebook decreases reach for status updates
Edgerank Checker has analysed the reach of Facebook plain-text status updates, concluding that there has been an average 40% decrease between 7th January and 4th February this year, from 18% to 11%. Video posts now have the biggest reach, followed by status updates, while users engage most with photos.
Tagging other Facebook pages can increase reach
It’s not all bad news for Facebook reach, though. Now, when one page tags another in a post, that update may appear in the newsfeeds of those who already ‘like’ its subject. See the post below, in which a Facebook user who ‘likes’ NBA star Dwight Howard is exposed to content from Bleacher Report, in which Howard is tagged.
Facebook pages can edit past updates
Facebook has made it possible for more pages to edit their updates, with the feature now available to all verified pages, as well as some others. There is as yet no known date for a universal rollout.
Facebook puts an end to email
Facebook has put an end to its email offering, officially disbanding the service after acquiring WhatsApp. The feature, introduced in 2010, provided users with an @facebook account, but it proved unpopular. For those who weren’t aware of the feature… well, precisely.
Promoted accounts to appear in Twitter search
Twitter is featuring promoted accounts in search, alongside recommendations of who to follow when users enter certain terms. The network will automatically decide which queries are appropriate, based on advertisers’ targeting decisions.
LinkedIn updates ‘Who’s viewed your profile’
LinkedIn has significantly updated its ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ section. Where users previously saw just names, they will now be treated to analytics, including industry and job title, as well as tips on how to increase the number of views your profile receives.
LinkedIn expands in China
LinkedIn has has launched a Simplified-Chinese language beta site branded “领英”, a joint venture with Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital in a bid to expand its offering in China. Cleverly, the site integrates with Sina, Tencent and WeChat. This means that LinkedIn is now available in 22 different languages worldwide.
WhatsApp to introduce voice calls
WhatsApp, Facebook’s recently acquired messenger service, is set to launch voice calling on iPhone and Android by Q2 this year. The feature will eventually expand to other devices, and will reportedly be free for at least a limited time.
Line opens sticker marketplace to all, introduces voice calling
Japanese-based messenger app, Line, is opening its sticker marketplace to all designers and companies from April. This could be a significant move, as stickers currently account for 20% of Line’s revenue, despite being available to partners only. Like WhatsApp, Line is also launching a voice-calling service, which will be released first in the US, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the Phillipines.
Updates to Google+ for iPhone and Android
Google+ has completely revamped Hangouts for iPhone and iPad, such that the feature now resembles mainstream messaging apps like WhatsApp. Changes include reorganised tabs (Hangouts, Favourites and Contacts), as well as the ability to send videos, stickers and locations.
It’s not just iOS that received updates, though; photo-editing for Android has changed, too. Along with new filters and creative tools, there is increased ‘cloud’ integration, so users can access and edit all their photos from any device.
Snapchat could look to college students
College students could be the key to Snapchat’s success, with 77% of the demographic using the app at least once per day. Of those, 45% said that they would open a snap from a brand they’d never heard of, the number rising to 73% for already-known brands.
McDonald’s joins Snapchat
Talking of brands on Snapchat, a particularly large one has just got involved: McDonald’s. The fast food chain told its Twitter followers about its Snapchat plans, and has since shared several snaps, some including brand spokesperson and basketball star, LeBron James.
Apple begins to embrace social
Apple has launched a Tumblr to promote its iPhone 5C, complete with four different 15-second videos. The move comes as something of a surprise, considering Apple’s historical reluctance to engage in social media.
Boots hosts live-streamed Facebook tutorial
UK high street retailer Boots hosted a 90-minute live-streamed tutorial on its Facebook page last week. The session, directly from the brand’s Nottingham store, contained hair and beauty tips, and was dubbed ‘Feel Like New Live’.
American Idol announces partnerships with Facebook and Google
Reality TV programme American Idol announced partnerships with Facebook and Google last week. The former is set to host ‘live visualisations’, which will “bring a new dimension to the viewing experience and enhances the connection fans have with the show”. Fans will also be able to vote directly via google.com.
Manchester United and Google’s ‘Front Row’
English Premier League club Manchester United has partnered with Google to create ‘Front Row’. By using Google+ Hangouts, the club will be able to show the faces of participating fans on pitchside ad hoardings during the 16th March derby game against rivals Liverpool.
The Oscars and social media
Last night’s Oscars, like any big award shows, generated a lot of Twitter chat, with over 7 million mentions of the hashtags #oscars and #oscars2014 on the platform. A few moments proved particularly popular on social, including a photobomb by Benedict Cumberbatch and Leonardo DiCaprio missing out on an award. However, the clear winner was a star-studded selfie by host Ellen DeGeneres.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
The post took just 40 minutes to become the most retweeted of all time, outdoing Obama’s ‘four more years’ from 2012. It turned out to be a well thought-out piece of product placement from Samsung, whose Note 3 was used to take the image, on a night when several brands were looking to get in on the act. Arby’s purchased Pharrell’s famous hat for charity, NASA used mentions of Gravity to display their own images and pizza chain Big Mama’s & Papa’s were delighted when DeGeneres put in an order from the ceremony.
— Arby's (@Arbys) March 3, 2014
— NASA (@NASA) March 3, 2014
— Big Mama's & Papa's (@BigMamasNPapas) March 3, 2014
Al Jazeera asks social network users to help #FreeAJStaff
News network Al Jazeera is calling for action to promote awareness about journalists detained in Egypt. Supporters are encouraged to share pictures and messages on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FreeAJStaff, which will be amplified using Thunderclap. Images will be curated on a Tumblr dedicated to the hashtag.
Crédit Photos : François Tancré
It’s been 4 years since I arrived in Paris to set up We Are Social France, after having worked at We Are Social in the UK for a couple of years before that.
Time flies quickly, and the Paris team is now almost 70-strong, and as a result we moved into a brand new office earlier in the year which will allow our ‘Gremlins’ to grow and multiply even more in the coming years.
So, on Thursday 6th of February, we coupled our 4th birthday with a housewarming party and celebrated this double event with our clients, partners, colleagues and business friends with a huge #weare4 party. And we had a couple of guest stars from the We Are Social global team: Nathan McDonald and Robin Grant!
A big thanks to those who partied and celebrated with us until late in the morning but, most of all, thank you to everyone for their support over the past 4 great years. We’re already looking forward to celebrating our 5th birthday in style!