Businesses that have embraced digital are more profitable
Companies that have jumped on board with digital and social media marketing and analytics are more profitable, new research from MIT has found. These companies are outperforming their less tech-savvy peers by 26% in terms of increased profits and 12% higher market valuations. Making this change often comes from digital leadership at the top, and while the banking and travel sectors are attracting top talent, retail seems to be struggling.
54% of top brands are active on Instagram
A new study has shown that more and more brands are signing up for Instagram, with 54% of the world's top brands now active on the platform, a 35% growth since the beginning of August. MTV holds the top slot for the most followers for a brand, and its follower count stands at nearly 1 million. Starbucks, Burberry and Nike are a bit further behind but are sure to catch up with MTV soon.
24% of Brits Instagram all of the photos they share online
A new study says that nearly a quarter of Brits with smartphones are 100% faithful to Instagram when it comes to sharing their photos online, and this 24% rely solely on that platform. An impressive 96% said they share all of their photos online in some way, but almost half said they thought it was annoying when their friends posted too many photos.
Instagram rolls out user profiles on the web
Instagram has introduced web profiles for its users, the first real move away from the platform being mobile-only. The profiles look very Facebook-like, with a Timeline-esque cover photo and small square profile image. It makes sense for Instagram to use the visual cues from its parent company, but even if they look lovely, will anyone bother to visit users' or brands' pages on the web?
Facebook's iPhone app adds photo filters, gifts and faster messages
Was Facebook's Camera and Messenger apps just testing grounds? A big update has now landed for the original Facebook app, which had added the main features of Facebook Camera: photo filters and sharing multiple photos at once. That means Twitter has been left in the dust, as it was just leaked last week that the site was looking into integrating filters into its mobile apps, but hasn't managed to do so yet. Facebook has also rolled out Facebook Gifts, which has been in beta for a few months, meaning that mobile users can buy presents for their Facebook friends through the app. Facebook has also migrated some of the features from its Messenger app into the main Facebook app, including a list of frequently contacted friends and friends who are online, which can be accessed by swiping left across the screen.
ThingLink adds interactive images to Tweets
Sometimes 140 characters isn't enough, and a company called ThingLink has developed a way to include interactive images in tweets, that show when a user expands a tweet. Small circular tags appear dotted around an image, which then expand to a small preview window and can then click through to a site. ThingLink already has partnerships with Soundcloud, Spotify and Eventbrite, so it's easy to click through to audio clips, events, videos or your brand's eCommerce site. It's still early days for this feature, but it will be interesting to see how brands use it to its fullest.
Tumblr reaches 20 billion pageviews per month
Tumblr has hit 20 billion pageviews every month, up from a still-impressive 15 billion at the beginning of this year. As the company continues to grow, its CEO David Karp says Tumblr is doing its best to maintain the balance between giving paid advertisers space and maintaining Tumblr's close-knit community. And Tumblr does that by treating brands just like any other user, without specially-dedicated brand pages.
Pinterest launches private boards, as brands try to link sales to pins
Pinterest is still the world's fourth largest driver of web traffic, standing above Yahoo, Bing and even Twitter. But how often do those visits mean sales? The jury is still out on that question, but eCommerce company Shopify says that Pinterest users are 10% more likely to make a purchase. On the other hand, Zappos discovered that Pinterest users spent less than visitors coming from Facebook or Twitter, even though they shared more from the site. And just in time for the year's biggest buying season, Pinterest has unveiled 'secret boards,' a place to privately pin your holiday gift ideas, but users are limited to just three private boards at the moment. Will this holiday season push Pinterest to the forefront of eCommerce?
Google+'s top 100 brands have just 23 million followers combined
Brand pages have been around for about a year now, and the number of people following these pages has increased, but very, very slowly. Brand adoption of the platform has grown from 64% six months ago to 72% in this most recent analysis, and brands with more than 5,000 followers now stand at 44% of the group, up from 35% six months ago. But engagement is down from six months ago, even as the pages keep growing in followers.
Venue ratings, Facebook friend tags arrive in Foursquare's iPhone app
Foursquare recently added a ratings system, as simple as clicking a heart or a broken heart on a venue page, which has now been incorporated into the mobile version of the app as a rating out of 10. Foursquare's ratings take more than hearts and heart-nots into account though, and the app also looks into popularity, loyalty and tips left by users. Foursquare has also introduced a new friend tagging system that allows users to mention any of their Facebook friends in checkins, not just the ones using Foursquare. Friends will get a notification that they've been mentioned, increasing Foursquare's exposure.
Getting out the vote for Election 2012 on social media
Four years ago, Twitter was a mere fraction of what it is today, and research is starting to come in about how much of an effect it has had on the elections in the US last week. The teams for First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were frantically sending out direct messages on Twitter in the hours before the end of the presidential election, encouraging their followers to find their polling stations and get their friends out to vote. Team Obama also bought Promoted Tweets and a Promoted Trend for Election Day, coming in at about $120,000 per day. New research from Pew has found that social media is one of the main tools, especially for people under 30, that people use to encourage their friends to vote. Almost half of 18 to 29 year olds said friends or family had encouraged them to vote via social media, with 34% saying they had been doing the encouraging as well.
When Election Night finally came around last week, social media went crazy, hitting a peak of 327,452 tweets per minute as news organizations started to reveal the results. Instagram users posted 250,000 Election Day photos, and President Barack Obama's "Four More Years" tweet that included a picture of him hugging his wife was retweeted more than 680,000 times in just 24 hours. His team posted the same image on Facebook, which was liked 3.9 million times and shared 550,000 times, possibly making it the most shared image on social media ever.
Romney's Facebook page might be losing the election worse than he did, as his former fans abandon his page in droves. Disappearing Romney's Like counter is measuring the exodus in real time, and if you leave the page open for a few hours, you can see exactly how many fans have disappeared in that time.
Durex's election ad on Chinese social networks goes viral
The condom brand Durex posted a funny ad on China's Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo on Election Night in the US, and now the ad has been forwarded more than 43,000 times and got 12,750 comments. It somehow passed the corporate filters as well as the government's, so we'll leave the image here, but you'll have to click through for the translation...
FedEx launches 'Ship to Friends' app on Facebook
The parcel company FedEx has created a Facebook app that allows users to create address labels for parcels based on their friends' profiles, and it notifies friends when they're about to receive a package. This isn't much different than what FedEx's website already offers, but integrating its services with Facebook is sure to get even more users.
ASOS creates 'shop-able' video
Online clothing shop ASOS has released a series of videos that feature a running stream of items as they appear in the video that can be pinned to Pinterest or added to your ASOS shopping bag in just a few clicks. Retailers have finally started realizing the amazing potential of shareable and shop-able videos, and this looks like a big trend that's about to take hold.
Pret asks for help to feed the homeless with Foursquare badge
Pret A Manger shops in the UK are donating 5p to charities that help the homeless when Foursquare users check in or when food from Pret's special Christmas menu is ordered. Earning the badge on Foursquare is as simple as checking into any of their stores, and the shop says it hopes to donate £300,000.
And finally (we hope): 'Cakes Are Like Facebook'
Is there anything that isn't like Facebook? First, it was chairs and then pools, and now apparently, Cakes Are Like Facebook. Facebook posted an update that read, "Birthday cakes are made for people to be together. They give friends a place to gather and celebrate. But too much cake probably isn’t healthy. So birthday cake is a lot like Facebook." We hope we don't have to make this a weekly segment of the Monday Mashup, so knock it off, FB.