We Are Social: Tuesday Tune-Up #3
Hurricane Irene causes social media storm
(Above: Grand Central Station all but deserted. Photo via MTAPhotos on Flickr)
Hurricane Irene proved to be the biggest event of the past week, both in real life and in social media – a storm not even earthquakes or news of Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO could weather.
Authorities in the US closed down much of the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend and advised the public to stay indoors, flooding popular social networks with storm-related activity and updates.
There were an estimated 1.6 million Tweets about the hurricane, though Facebook naturally claimed a large chunk of the social pie (including a shameless affiliate scam).
The guys over at SocialBakers have cooked together some stats around the three most engaged Facebook pages during the crisis; Fox News, CNN and The Weather Channel.
Due to the national appetite for bite-size updates on the storm, The Weather Channel’s Facebook page jumped by 21,391 fans on Saturday alone, and Fox News managed a whopping (terrifying?) 30% Engagement Rating.
Those of you interested in the social media reaction to the East Coast Earthquake, keep reading below.
Those of you mortified by the Facebook dominance of Fox News can cheer yourselves up with some hilarious Twitter reactions to Steve Jobs resignation, courtesy of BuzzFeed.
Twitter: Faster Than Earthquakes
Of course, the hurricane wasn’t the only natural disaster the US East Coast was subjected to last week, it was just the biggest.
The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Virginia last Tuesday (EST) was comapratively weak in light of other recent earthquakes, but it did demonstrate incredible power in one area; social media.
Twitter users in New York were able to learn about the earthquake from friends in Washington, D.C. before they felt the shockwave… a mere 30 seconds later.
Twitter were so taken by the story they made a short film to brag about being ‘faster than earthquakes’;
Take that Feebees.
Commonwealth Bank’s new CMO warns of the end of traditional advertising
In what is a further indicator that the establishment is embracing the revolution, new Commonwealth Bank Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Lark said marketing and IT will need to work more closely together in order to drive greater consumer participation.
Lark highlighted Commonwealth Bank’s recent tie-up with Facebook Deals offering two free movie tickets every months for a year to customers who opened a transactional account at the bank, liked the company on Facebook and checked in at a branch using Facebook Places, as an example of encouraging participation.
Facebook react to Google+ ‘Circles’ by introducing sharing options
Facebook users update their profiles almost as much as the Facebook developers do – the latest series of changes to the Effbees are a host of new privacy options that respond both to the functionality of Google+ Circles, and to calls to give users more control over the privacy of their content.
Luckily those nifty Facebook types are also pretty handy with iMovie, so here are the new updates explained via the medium of (slightly creepy) video walkthrough;
Facebook not killing Places and Deals
In a classic case of a myth wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a ‘wtf?’, confused users and news outlets responded to changes in Facebook’s privacy options by announcing the death of Places and Deals.
While the confusion may be warranted, the rumours are false – Facebook are in fact expanding location-focused features, while simultaneously de-emphasizing the mobile check-in.
To help the tired and confused, AllFacebook put together a quick graphic demonstrating the changes;
Websites with Google+ button get 3.5x the Google+ visits than sites without the button, but Google say; “We need to improve”
HubSpot compared referral traffic levels to their 5000+ customer websites from Google+ for websites that have Google’s +1 button installed and for those that don’t.
The result? Websites that use Google’s +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than websites that don’t have the button installed.
Great news. No? Apparently not.
In what amounted to a “State of Google Plus” talk earlier this week, Google’s Bradley Horowitz said “we need to improve,” hinted at some features that may be in Google’s pipeline and called Facebook’s new sharing controls “familiar.“
Interactive marketing spending to hit $76 Billion by 2016
A new report by Forrester Research forecasts that U.S. interactive marketing spending will reach $76.6 billion by 2016, equal to TV spending this year and comprising 35% of all advertising- a big leap from the current 19% spend.
“The highly measurable returns of digital marketing are driving these ever-increasing investments. It not only works, you can prove it works,” says Forrester Senior VP Josh Bernoff.
“Social media spending will already reach $1.6 billion this year. When spending passes a billion dollars, you can’t call it experimental.”
SEO makes a big difference to Facebook pages
Search makes up 34% of all external referral traffic to Facebook Pages, with Google 27.5% coming from Google, according to a six month study of 1,000 Pages by analytics provider PageLever.
Twitter launches User Galleries
In great news for fans of photos, galleries and photos in galleries, Twitter have responded to the lack of online photo galleries with a new photo gallery function.
User galleries aggregate the images you’ve uploaded in your Tweets into an organised page, where you can view up to 100 of your recent images, though images in Tweets will not be displayed if the Tweet was sent before January 1, 2010.
The images included in user galleries can come from Twitter, yFrog, TwitPic, Instagram and other image sharing services supported in Twitter’s details pane.
Ticketmaster teams with Facebook so you can sit with your friends
Ticketmaster is launching an add-on to their interactive seating map that allows users to connect to Facebook while browsing for seats, and see where friends have purchased tickets (the friends who have tagged their seats, that is).
The feature is now used in more than 300 venues (for 9,000 events and counting), says Debbie Hsu, Ticketmaster’s director of product management.
Top Gear launches Facebook Credits on demand video
Top Gear has become the second BBC Worldwide brand to launch video-on-demand content on Facebook, using Facebook Credits as payment.
PlayStation Home getting a redesign to focus on social games
Ever since PlayStation Home launched, Sony has been toying with different ways to incorporate games into its virtual world, with various levels of success.
Now the company has announced that the entire service will be completely redesigned, representing the change “from a social network to a social game platform,” according to Home director Jack Buser.
UK Government about-face on tighter social network controls
Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to ban rioters from social media sites were dismissed by the Home Secretary at a meeting with social media bosses yesterday.
The news comes despite research from marketing agency MBA has found that 50% of those surveyed are in favour of shutting social networks when faced with extraordinary circumstances such as riots.
ESPN launches real-time digital outdoor campaign
ESPN claims the outdoor campaign will be the first UK campaign to integrate live, real-time content and debate, by featuring comments from ESPN football presenters Ray Stubbs and Kevin Keegan while they are on-air.
In the outdoor ads, Stubbs and Keegan will ask questions or raise subjects for debate across the weekend. Some of these topics will be discussed on air and passers-by will be encouraged to respond on Twitter, using the hashtag #espnuk.
The ESPN community managers will need to be on the ball, as any slips in moderation could result in a few own goals… and maybe even a red card (oh yes we did).
Fun fact of the week: Instagram was a happy accident
Blog of the week: F You Yelper
Fun nickname for Facebook of the week: Effbees