The internet's importance in product purchase decisions
Consumers are more likely to purchase a new product after reading about it on the internet, according to Nielsen research into those with online access. The extent to which this is the case varies by product category; electronics are the highest, with 81% of those surveyed answering that the internet affects their purchasing decisions. Social media plays a large role in this, as 30% stated social channels would influence their decision and 27% took into account content posted on video-sharing channels.
The UK spends more time online than the rest of Europe
The amount of time spent online has increased by 5% throughout Europe to an average of 26.9 hours per person over the month. The UK had the highest overall figure of 37.3 hours, but the most growth was shown by Belgium, whose 22.4 hours showed an increase of 2 hours since this time last year.
Mobile and social leading shift to digital marketing
A shift is being shown from traditional to digital media, with mobile and social leading the way. At the same time as 1 in 3 marketers intend to decrease budgets in print media, 76% are looking to increase their social budgets.
Facebook integrates free calls to iOS app in US & Canada
Whilst users in North America have for some time been able to make free calls over the Internet through Facebook's messenger app, the network has last week updated its main iOS app to integrate the service. The new app also boasts other changes, including more visible buttons for liking, commenting on or sharing content.
Bugs have been misrepresenting Facebook reach for months
Facebook admitted on Friday that bugs have been leading to erroneously low figures for page reach over the past few months. When updating their mobile apps in August and December, Facebook tried to increase speed by reducing the necessary amount of information sent when displaying news feed stories. However, one thing that was removed ended up being the marker used by Page Insights to measure reach, resulting in reach figures coming out lower than they should have. The bug has been fixed and figures should be back to normal from today. It remains to be seen if this explains the full extent of the decrease in reach we exposed in November.
Facebook update Offers product
Facebook have made a couple of important changes to their 'Offers' product. Previously, the only option for users was to click the 'Get Offer' button to instantly redeem it, which would in turn automatically generate a story on friends' news feeds. The first change means that there are now two different options: it is possible either to 'Shop Now' or 'Remind Me', increasing the flexibility of Facebook offers. Beyond this, users can now choose whether or not to share the story with friends. Combined, these look set to increase the usability of 'Offers' and potentially increase the number of users taking advantage of the feature.
Facebook looking to match in-store purchases to advertising
Facebook are to partner with data companies such as Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix to match in-store loyalty card purchases with individual Facebook profiles through their email addresses or phone numbers. The move would, in theory, allow marketers to target Facebook ads to those that have purchased relevant products in the recent past.
Facebook events get cover photos
In place of the thumbnails they had before, cover photos are now available for Facebook events. Unlike pages and profiles, though, this is the only image they will be allowed; events will simply have the large banner at the top, but no profile picture.
Brands increasingly taking to Instagram
Some impressive figures have this week been released about Instagram: 59% of the world's top brands are now taking advantage of its massive potential audience, which includes 90 million monthly active users, 40 million photos per day and 8,500 likes per second. The extent of brands' adoption of the network is shown in the graph below:
Sports giant adidas (and We Are Social client) has been highlighted as one of the most successful brands on the network, having managed to double its follower numbers to almost 150,000 under 3 months, averaging over 5,000 comments across 49 quarterly updates.
Twitter launches new ads API
Twitter have officially launched their new ads API, which allows marketers to purchase adverts from within the dashboards they use to manage their social platforms. This will allow brands to run adverts on the network more easily and it will be interesting to see how this affects the number and nature of Twitter ads. One fear is that the number will rapidly increase, a concern that Twitter have quickly looked to waylay, arguing that the changes will simply affect ease for advertisers, not volume. One thing that will be affected, though, is the extent to which ads can be targeted; marketers will now be able to create their own custom audiences.
Twitter testing new way to generate leads
Twitter are testing a new addition to their 'cards' functionality; a way for brands to create leads. It will work as shown below in a tweet from Twitter themselves about their small business guide; when clicking on the link, a button appears below saying "get it now" . It will be interesting to see if the system, which is currently still being tested, is rolled out further.
Twitter to add language and importance information to API metadata
Twitter is set to introduce two new features to its existing API metadata. The first allows identification of the language a tweet was sent in, which will be important for translation and filtering. The second allows yet further filtering, this time by importance - or what Twitter considers 'high value' tweets. Of the two features, this is set to be the most exciting, especially for brands, who can use the tool to better assess their own performance on the network.
Burger King & Jeep's Twitter accounts hacked, MTV fake their own hack
This week has been a big one for social media disasters, most notably after the hacking of Burger King and Jeep's Twitter feeds, as well as MTV 'fake hacking' themselves. Obviously, hacks can have hugely negative consequences if left unresolved, but We Are Social's own Jim Coleman has pointed out some of the positives; notably, they attract a lot of attention. Moreover, they need not be too damaging if dealt with promptly and humorously. Burger King at least did the latter of these fairly well. Although their response could perhaps have been speedier, the lighthearted response, when it did arrive, was amusing and appropriate.
Interesting day here at BURGER KING®, but we're back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!
— BurgerKing (@BurgerKing) February 19, 2013
The incidents have sparked debate about Twitter's treatment of brands, with only one type of account for brands with thousands of followers and individuals with very few. In particular, there have been calls for increased security and the introduction of two-factor authentication.
Pinterest valued at $2.5 billion after $200 million funding round
As its latest round of funding brought in $200 million, Pinterest has attained a valuation of $2.5 billion. The image-sharing platform has claimed that the money will be invested in product development, international expansion and acquisitions, with CEO Ben Silbermann stating:
Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life. This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.
Social media at the Oscars
The Oscars last night were a hotbed for real-time marketing, following on from a similar showing at the Superbowl a few weeks ago. As stars walked down the red carpet, one actress was particularly popular on Twitter; for a time, #JessicaChastain was the second highest trending topic after #Oscars2013. Marketers took advantage of this, with Samsung, American Express, Royal Carribbean, Michaels Stores, Dell and Sprint amongst the many brands who purchased promoted tweets for the topics surrounding said actress. However, it is likely that, rather than being true examples of real-time purchasing, these tweets were purchased beforehand, based on forethought into the types of topics likely to trend. Oreo, heroes of RTM at the Superbowl, attempted a similar tactic again, this time posting four tweets related to relevant films, including one about the night's fashion with a reference to zombie show 'The Walking Dead':
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 25, 2013
They also used the motion capabilities of twitpics, as can be seen in their James Bond tweet. Interestingly, none of these tweets received quite the same about of interaction as their Superbowl tweet, displaying how real-time marketing depends in large part on being truly reactive, as the blackout tweet was to a greater extent than last night's. Another brand experimenting during the event was Smart Car, who posted a number of miniature takes on various award winners through Twitter's Vine app, including the follow for 'best actor':
They have since made it clear that they had pre-recorded videos for every possible winner and have been posting the runners up throughout the day.
Dulux's real-time(ish) marketing at the Brit Awards
With so much focus on real-time marketing at various big American events, UK brands are looking to get in on the act, too. A lot has been made of the below Dulux tweet, in relation to the Damien Hirst designed award statuette. However, whilst it may be an interesting way of producing topical content around paint, not normally known as the most exciting of products, the real-time element has been largely overblown. In fact, the nature of the statue had been known for months before the awards, meaning that this wasn't really 'real-time' at all. A nice update, yes, but not in fact what has been described as an 'Oreo moment'.
— Dulux (@duluxuk) February 20, 2013
Ford give away 100 cars to bloggers and influencers
In a 'social remix' of their famous 2009 'Fiesta Movement' campaign, Ford are giving away 100 of the vehicles to bloggers and online influencers, including celebrities, in exchange for their documenting the experience. The cars will be entirely free for six months, including petrol, parking and insurance in exchange for using content, which will be used by Ford across their social channels, as well as in traditional media, such as print and television.
YSL launch new 'Radiance' range with Facebook app
Yves Saint Laurent are celebrating the launch of their new 'Radiance' range with a Facebook app, which allows users to manipulate photos as if by using the new products. Users can upload a photo, which they can then alter by 'glow' and 'vitality', then share. Users can also download a voucher for a two-week free trial of any two products from the range.
Bulmers and We Are Social launch new flavours through social
Here at We Are Social, we've recently produced a campaign to launch two new flavours of Bulmers cider: Bold Black Cherry and Pressed Red Grape. The 'try it first' Facebook app will allow fans to enter for the chance to be one of the lucky few who get to try the flavour before everyone else. Key Twitter influencers have also been approached to be amongst the initial group.
Fulham Football Club launch on Foursquare
English Premier League club Fulham has launched on Foursquare, providing special offers, as well as a badge, to fans who like the club and check in at matches. Integration with apparel is significant, with discounts available at the store for those who check in, as well as a t-shirt on sale including the club's Foursquare badge, which in turn makes wearers eligible for further discounts. The app also includes game-day specials at local pubs and recommendations for spots near stadia based on Foursquare Explore.