We Are Social has always been at the forefront of new social platforms and behaviours with our clients’ marketing, but that was yesterday. ‘Now’ isn’t waiting for anyone. So it’s my job to create a renewed culture of innovation that keeps us (and our clients) ahead of social technology and trends.
My plan is simple. Panic.
Well that’s what I did to start off the project without any real idea of what an Innovation Director was supposed to do. My first few months in the role featured some weird social experiments, horny rabbits and a lot of sentences featuring the words “no, Tom that’s a sh*t idea”.
But one of the pieces of work I’m most proud of being a part of is the Curiosity Stop; a monthly round-up of what We Are Social’s 10-strong office network thinks is inspiring innovation. We’re looking for ideas that makes something better, faster or cheaper. Is it truly innovative, disruptive, does it have a social implication and most importantly – does it make you smile?
One of this month’s selections that ticked the smile box for all of us was the Hands-Free Tinder app for the Apple Watch. Enough of this swiping left and swiping right – the app allows you to choose with your heart, not your head. As your potential matches are offered, the app monitors your heartbeat; if it goes up at the sight of someone, they get a heart. If it goes down, you say goodbye. Finding the apple of your eye has never been so simple.
We also loved adidas’s new shoes, made entirely from plastic rubbish found at the bottom of the sea. This knit-together plastic eliminates waste by avoiding pattern cut-outs.
CropX is another innovation that caught our attention. With California suffering from a drought, farmers are struggling to irrigate their fields with the small amount of water they’re allowed to use. CropX uses only three sensors and a app, meaning it is a lot more affordable than traditional irrigation tech. Each day, the sensors work out which parts of the field need water. They then beam this information to sprinklers, so they don’t needlessly waste water.
We Are Social writer Charlotte Miller’s summary of the 41 Curiosity Stop innovations is as it should be – funny and easy to understand. Innovation isn’t just for horn rimmed bespectacled Wired readers. Innovation is a language the whole industry should be speaking and Curiosity Stop is our attempt to get everyone to listen.
With lovely long summer days comes the much less welcome increase in pollen count. For all those suffering from hay fever across the UK, it can be a very uncomfortable time. Even if you don’t get affected yourself, I’m sure you can identify with being stuck on a crowded bus or train in the heat next to someone with a streaming nose, sneezing every few minutes.
As the country’s leading tissue brand, Kleenex knew this was a conversation it should be involved in, as well as an opportunity to let people know about its Sensitive range, with hypoallergenic qualities. So they asked us to come up with a fun, relevant way to speak directly to hay fever sufferers.
Through social listening, we discovered that hay fever sufferers certainly don’t hold back when it comes to talking about their allergies on social; the most commonly used emojis are those showing crying and desperation.
Hayfever is trying to mess with my life today! No tissue to save my life 😭
— Rio-Romaine (@RioRomaine) April 15, 2015
— Alix (@thewoodstoday) April 10, 2015
In these moments of despair, we wanted to reach out to people to show them that we care and want to help, by engaging with them in a way that is uplifting in keeping with Kleenex’s overarching strategy around offering gestures of care. To do this, we decided to reach out, using Twitter, to those most in need this summer – the hardcore hay fever sufferers.
In an attempt to turn some of their sad or distressed hay fever vibes into a more positive feeling, we created ‘Hay Fever Heroes’ to surprise and delight the social community, and hopefully help Kleenex turn their bad day into a better one. We identified Twitter users sharing the most dramatic and funny tweets about their hay fever, and reached out to them with a message of support, making those with the best messages our #HayfeverHero of the day.
— Kleenex (@Kleenex_UK) July 16, 2015
The activity isn’t just limited to Twitter – all our Hay Fever Heroes are sent a hay fever rescue pack, which includes a selection of Kleenex Sensitive tissues and a personalised certificate of hay fever heroism. The campaign has only just kicked off and we’ve already seen a positive response to the first packs we have sent out.
— Libbie Nickson (@itsLibbie) July 21, 2015
We’ve still got another month to find many more of the UK’s Hay Fever Heroes, so if you’re suffering, make sure you share it on social, and don’t hold back! We’re waiting to hear from you.
GlobalWebIndex has produced an infographic detailing membership, visitation and active usage for both Twitter and Instagram in the UK. The research shows that Twitter has a significant lead over Instagram in all three areas, with around twice the level of members, visitors and active users compared to the image-based platform.
New video tools available for Facebook Page admins
In the next few weeks, Facebook will roll out new tools for publishing videos. The tools will give Page admins the ability to customise who sees a video by age or gender, as well as being able to exclude videos from the News Feed and Timeline and publish only to their Page’s Videos tab. Admins will also be able to allow or disallow video embeds on third party sites as well as labelling videos based on specific interests, such as news or entertainment.
Instagram improves its web page search
Finally, after a long three year wait, Instagram users can search for hashtags, locations, and user accounts through the platform’s web page. Although Instagram has stated that the web is not their main priority, the new search features are a welcome change to someone who might be stuck at a desk all day, looking for cute pictures of cats.
Twitter makes it easier for brands to plan event activations
Twitter is the go-to place when it comes to following real time events and now the platform is making it even easier for brands to plan ahead for live campaigns. Its newly introduced event targeting is broken down into three areas: the ‘event calendar’ identifies major global events, ‘event insights’ allows marketers to gain access to learnings from audiences who followed an event last year and, finally, ‘event activation’ allows marketers to target relevant groups of people following this year’s event with just a couple of clicks.
New look for YouTube’s mobile site and app
YouTube has been making various changes recently. Not only can you now watch vertical videos in full screen on its app, but it has also introduced a new mobile interface. Now, when users visit the platform on either web or app, they will be greeted with three new tabs. The three-panelled look is designed to make it easier for people to find different videos by showing content based on their past viewing habits, the channels they subscribe to and their account activity. This is only currently on Android but will be rolled out to iOS soon, and highlights the importance of mobile in YouTube’s growth strategy.
YouTube makes ads more interactive
Always keen to skip an ad on YouTube? Well, now the platform is trying to hold your attention as it introduces 360 degree video advertising, following on from the launch of 360 degree videos in March this year. YouTube claims the more interactive videos have a 36% higher view rate than average. Here’s Bud Light taking advantage of the new feature.
LinkedIn ramps up business marketing
LinkedIn is keen to develop its business marketing from its premium subscriptions and job ads. Now, it’s bringing paid-for lead-generation to its Slideshare service, allowing companies who have uploaded documents to block their content until a user has provided their contact information. Marketers will be charged on a pay-per-lead basis. It’s certainly not the last we’ve heard from SlideShare, with its head of marketing stating that lead-gen is “laying the foundation” for more updates to follow.
The Rick and Morty interactive games comes straight to Instagram
One of the sci-fi fans – Instagram has released a new interactive game based on the world of Rick and Morty. Through 80 linked Instagram accounts, fans can explore up to 11 planets in the ‘Rickstaverse’ to find hidden objects. If this sounds like a lot to take in, take a look at the video below which explains it all pretty well.
We Are Social has been one of the fastest growing agencies both in the UK and globally over the last seven years. In London, we’re currently looking for new team members across our client services, research & insight and editorial
Here at We Are Social in London, we’ve been embracing the British summer sun in more ways than one. We kicked off the summer season in Cuban style, at the Queen of Hoxton with an evening full of sun, cocktails and music… not to mention the delectable Cuban sandwiches!
July also saw the unveiling of our exciting benefits re-vamp. We’ve improved our July and August summer hours so that everyone can maximize their opportunity to leave the office early and enjoy relaxing in the sun.
We’ve also introduced Long Service Awards, a new way to reward our employees for their dedication and commitment to We Are Social, by celebrating long-standing members of the team with gifts and long service bonuses.
In appreciation of longevity of service, coupled with the sought after work life balance, basic holiday entitlements have been increased by three days and employees’ holiday entitlements will increase by one day for each year of service – with no cap. In addition we’ve introduced sabbaticals, where employees can take up to a month (after three years of service) or up to three months off (after five years) to travel, volunteer or just try something new.
In continuation of our ongoing partnership with Kids Company, our charity partner for 2015, employees are now able to use half a day each year volunteering, with options such as becoming a mentor, hosting careers talks or taking part in a host of fundraising activities, such as an impending sky dive…
Alongside all this fun, the We Are Social family continues to grow, and with new clients coming on board and more exciting work to deliver, we’re in need of more amazing, talented, collaborative people to come and join the team. In London, we’re currently looking for Senior Account Managers and Account Directors, Research & Insight Analysts and Directors and Senior Editors with automotive experience. If you think you’d fit the bill, then drop Lauren (did we mention she is our fabulous new Recruitment Manager?) a line. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!