Welcome to this week's Tuesday tune-up filled with the latest social media news from around the globe! Starting with the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl 2013 Commercials & Power Outage
It would seem that at times the Super Bowl entertainment and ads are more important than the actual game itself and the teams playing. This year many brands launched teaser ads to build momentum in the week before the game. The full list of Super Bowl 2013 commercials can be found here. The Coca Cola campaign which had started with a teaser ad a week ago, and was closely linked to a digital activation where fans could vote during the game, had issues with interactivity as their site went up and down. In terms of actual social media mentions within the ads themselves, Twitter was the clear winner with 26 mentions whilst Facebook had just 4. During the third quarter, a power outage meant the game was delayed and during this time some clever brands took to Twitter with "power outage" themed tweets. Oreo put together a creative and tweet in minutes, with the caption: "Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark", and it was re-tweeted 10,000 times in one hour. Oreo was also the only brand to promote their Instagram account within their Super Bowl ad growing the total followers of their account to approximately 38,000.
In addition, post game Twitter published a blog post with the statistics from the game including the moments that generated the biggest peaks of Twitter conversation which are measured in Tweets per minute (TPM). The biggest peak on Twitter was during the third quarter power outage with a massive 231,500 TPM, also 183,000 TPM as the game finished and was won by the Baltimore Ravens. Beyonce was a huge talking point as well with 268,000 TPM at the conclusion of her spectacular half time show.
Marketers to spend more on social in 2013
The number of marketers either purchasing media or sponsored content in social is set to grow in 2013, with 64% of those surveyed by Nielsen claiming they intend to increase their social budget in the future. This is likely to start as a small increase (between 1 and 10%) but nevertheless displays a shifting attitude towards more robust use of social media as a marketing tool.
First Australian campaign using Vine launched by Sunny Queen Farms
It didn't take long! Twitter launched their video application Vine a little over two weeks ago. In an Australian first, Queensland brand Sunny Queen Farms has launched a campaign featuring their mascot "Sunny the Egg". The video has been used also on their Facebook page to add to the Twitter campaign.
On Friday Twitter sent an email to approximately 250,000 users advising that their accounts may have been compromised in the last week. In addition Twitter published a blog post advising that they had detected unusual access patterns leading them towards the understanding that there had been unauthorised access attempts to user data. The users affected were emailed advising that Twitter had re-set passwords, and that they needed to create a new password to again access the platform. The Twitter hack comes following similar issues at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Harris Farm Markets launch The Crop
Australian brand Harris Farm Markets has launched a new interactive social campaign called "The Crop". The campaign is being housed on the brand's Facebook page, and supported by an above the line campaign. The concept of the campaign is that fans are able to choose the vegetable seeds they would like to be planted, and once the crop has been harvested they will be able to go to their local store and pick up the vegetables they selected online.
Pinterest testing new design
One of 2012's favourite social media networks Pinterest is currently testing a new look, with a group of selected users trialing the changes. The changes include new search navigation options, images will be larger, and when viewing one pin the user will be able to view more from the same board. For brands, these changes provide opportunities to optimise and highlight content in order to drive traffic and also sales from the platform.
YouTube to launch paid subscriptions
YouTube is apparently planning to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels. It has been reported that YouTube has contacted a select group of channel producers asking them to submit applications to create channels where users would have to subscribe to gain access. It is suspected that the cost will be approximately $1 - 5 per month. Further thoughts regarding a paid model for YouTube also include that users will be required to pay for access to content libraries and live events.
Facebook’s 2012 growth
Facebook have in the last week shared their latest ‘active user’ figures for the end of 2012. The network now counts 1.056 billion monthly active users, a 24.97% increase since the same time in 2011.
In terms of daily active users, the platform has now reached 618 million, up 34 million from the previous quarter. Interestingly, mobile daily active users surpassed their desktop counterparts for the first time, showing that those who access Facebook regularly are increasingly doing so via mobile.
The number of pages has increased to 50 million and apps to 10 million, in comparison with 42 million and 9 million in April, whilst there are now 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day. All this has contributed to a strong financial quarter for the network, with $1.59 billion in revenue up from $1.13 billion in Q4 2011. In terms of profit, however, there is a more mixed story: $64 million profit in Q4 2012 was a huge improvement on the $59 million loss in Q3, but down from $302 million at this point last year.
Facebook set to grow headcount in 2013, looking at increasing revenue
Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that 2013 will see Facebook grow in staff numbers, looking at further development of money-making streams such as Graph Search and Gifts. The platform, which grew by 44% to 4,619 employees in 2012, will increase its headcount even further, in order to invest on research and development for products that can increase Facebook’s long-term revenue. The statement also acts as a warning to investors that Facebook intends to focus on long-term over short-term profits, as the rise in staff will increase the platform’s expenditure by 50%.
Facebook release 'Articles related to'
Facebook has launched a news discovery function titled 'Articles related to' which provides users with links to content mentioning Pages that they like. It will work by showing popular or trending stories about a Page that the user likes. One theory regarding the eventual reason for this function is because it may be the beginning of a dedicated news-only feed on Facebook, created specifically for each user.
The launch of Facebook's own Gift card
Facebook has launched their own gift card, called 'Facebook Card'. The reusable gift card will mean users just have one card that maintains balances for a number of different retailers. The gift cards will initially just be rolled out and available in the USA. Users will be able to view their balances on the Facebook desktop and mobile app versions. Facebook will likely also be able to gather data on user spending habits and target ads in the future for favourite retail brands.
Facebook testing verbs for status updates
Facebook has begun trialing a new system that provides a more structured method for users to share what they’re doing, such as watching or reading. As well as posting a normal update, there would be an option when writing a post to select from a drop down menu of feelings, films, books etc. or choose to write your own.
The example below shows how this would work for someone watching the film ‘There Will Be Blood’.
Facebook increasing transparency of targeted ads
Facebook has decided to make it more transparent when ads have been targeted, choosing to display the blue ‘AdChoices’ icon to a user when an advert that has been targeted for them, subsequently allowing users to opt out. However, the changes do not display wholesale transparency. Firstly, this only applies to display ads served through the FBX ad exchange. Secondly, the icon appears only when someone scrolls over the grey x in the corner of the advert, which itself only appears when the advert itself is scrolled over.
Facebook’s image-based commerce
A tech company called Stipple, which provides the ability to add certain functionalities to images, has now extended the service to the Facebook stream. This allows brands who use Stipple to display pricing information on images and looks towards an eventual move to provide real-time purchasing in users’ news feeds.
Foursquare’s improvements for businesses
Foursquare has enabled a number of improvements for businesses. Firstly, they have released an app that allows business managers to more easily share updates, specials and discover information about their customers. The app, for iPhone and Android, is aimed at local managers who can switch between a few locations; an entire chain must still be managed via desktop. Furthermore, businesses can now choose to have their Twitter handles shown any time someone shares a check-in on Twitter, facilitating organic cross-platform growth.
HMV Staff take over Twitter account
In the continuing saga's surrounding UK music retailer HMV (who recently went into administration), HMV employees took over their company Twitter account, tweeting live and venting their frustration as many staff were being made redundant. The tweets were eventually deleted by the company, with the brand also asking followers not to abandon their stores.
Taylor Swift set to help Diet Coke in social
Diet Coke has announced a partnership with Taylor Swift across all their marketing channels, from TV to print and digital. Interestingly, the deal’s launch depicts a distinctly social aspect to the campaign, with the singer announcing it in a 45-second YouTube video. Moreover, she encouraged her 39 million Facebook fans to ‘like’ the Diet Coke page as a resource for exclusive information about her upcoming tour, suggesting that one key aspect to using the brand advocate is to grow the brand’s online communities. It is worth noting that Taylor Swift has a huge online presence, particularly on Twitter, where her 23.5 million followers puts her only a few million behind US president Barack Obama.
IBM launch on Tumblr
IBM has released a Tumblr called IBMblr, aimed at ‘celebrating innovation’. Whilst the brands that tend to find the most success on the platform are ones with a strong visual element, such as design or fashion companies, IBM has a wealth of content to draw upon, having filed the most US patents for 20 consecutive years. As such, IBMblr will feature images of products from the past, as well as ideas about the future of technology. Whilst this is a bold step for a B2B brand, it will be worth following whether or not they manage to locate an audience on the platform.