We Are Social: Tuesday Tune-Up #10
News limited announces digital subscriptions
Yesterday, News Limited senior execs gave social media personalities and bloggers the big scoop on their plans to create digital subscriptions for traditional news sites. It will be a freemium model, with some content being free and some behind a pay wall. The reasons given; to sustain quality journalism, prop up display revenue, SEO and to transition the business from newspaper brands to ‘media franchises’. Only time will tell if the ‘The Grand Experiment’ will succeed.
Brands fail to respond to customer queries through social
According to a study released by Socialbakers, ‘companies only respond to 5% of all their Wall questions on average’, with the telecoms, airlines and retail sectors leading the way and responding the most.
The trend doesn’t appear to be limited to Facebook either; a study published last week by Maritz Research revealed that 71% of companies ignore customer complaints posted on Twitter. The encouraging news, however, is that of the respondents surveyed who did receive a response, 34.7% were ‘very satisfied’ with it.
The value of social for brand marketing
The results of a new report published by Nielsen last week reiterates the important role that social media plays in making purchasing decisions. According to it, “60 percent of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites” making an even stronger case for brands to be active within the space.
The global research also shows that “social media users are also interesting in collaborating with their favourite brands, with 60% of 18 to 34 year olds saying that they want to give product improvement recommendations” – encouraging given that nearly 1 in 4 respondents who were interviewed for the survey claimed that they share negative experiences in order to ‘punish companies’.
Brands invest in social whilst CMOs struggle
A new UK survey by the ISBA reveals that 100% of the 50 brands they interviewed are using social media in some way, and 78% said that was ‘a long-term commitment’
A growing trend highlighted by the research was, 48% brands having a social media steering group, involving people from all aspects of the business meeting to ensure coherence throughout the entire company for social media strategy.
96% of brands are using agencies to help, with the agency’s role evolving to provide broader strategic thinking and innovative ideas and executions, and almost a third of brands relying on agencies to provide them with education and training.
This research coincided with IBM releasing the results of their CMO survey which revealed that while 68% of CMOs feel unprepared when it comes dealing with social media, 82% plan to increase their company’s use of social media.
And while they admit consumer data and input are key to their companies’ futures, only 26% of CMOs track blogs, 42% track third-party reviews and 48% track consumer reviews and see them as tools in shaping their marketing strategies. Instead, they are still relying on traditional sources such as market research (82%) and competitive benchmarking (80%). Pick up the phone guys – we can help!
Samsung increases social spend
In a move that confirms some of the above, Samsung USA is increasing its social spend:
Over the past three years, we’ve seen consistent increases in our overall marketing spend with regard to social media. I expect that to continue.
We have traditionally spent a lot of money on owned media trying to drive conversations and better listening. The paid side commenced this year, but we’ll be more aggressive in growing that next year. We’ve tried to grow our social base quite organically in the past couple of years and we’ll complement that with paid media in the next couple of years.
Facebook ads are cheaper AND more effective. Or are they?
‘Cheaper’ and ‘more effective’ are not normally two words you hear together in the same sentence but according to a new report from TBG Digital, click-through rates have increased by 18.5% from Q2 to Q3 2011 in the UK and other key markets. This coincides with the cost per click decrease of 10.8%, which means cheaper ads, thus more advertisers shifting their spend to Facebook. However cost per thousand impressions has increased by 7.1% and brand advertising is also on the rise, now accounting for just over half of all Facebook advertising.
However conflicting research from Efficient Frontier found that ad spend had increased by 25% in the past quarter BUT that cost per click had increased by 54% due to increased competition and the increase in brands advertising on Facebook.
According to the research, 84% of Facebook engagement can be attributed to ‘Likes’ which are credited to Facebook advertising. Brands are increasing fan counts by 9% per month increasing fan base by 2x yoy.
The effects of Facebook’s newsfeed changes…
Pages are receiving 21% more comments and 9% more likes after the recently changed newsfeed. However there is a decrease of 25% in impressions per post according to a study by Page analytics provider EdgeRank Checker. This is a far more positive outlook than original statistics from EdgeRank Checker’s preliminary analysis a week after the changes. These positive statistics may be due to the way the hybrid newsfeed increases the visibility of recently published posts with a lot of feedback. This means updates need to be more engaging than ever before to attract likes and comments and be pushed further up that newsfeed. However, it is still early days so watch this space over the coming weeks…
Facebook extends Facebook Platform to mobile
Facebook’s announcement that they’re ‘extending Facebook Platform to mobile’ marks the start of an exciting new chapter for developers and marketers alike. Gone are the days of only being able to access apps through websites and on Facebook.com, soon users will be able to access apps from their mobile device.
Bookmarks are set to be one of the ‘key re-engagement channels’ for apps on Facebook. Using an app when accessing Facebook through the desktop browser will leave a bookmark of the app on the user’s main navigation. With the extension of Facebook Platform to mobile, users will get bookmarks to the mobile versions of these apps – such as those below:
The new Requests dialog for mobile will allow users to invite their friends to an app and to respond to friend requests anywhere that the app is supported:
The update will also offer mobile web app support for Facebook Credits (though these are not allowed in iOS apps or mobile web apps running within a Facebook iOS app).
In addition to this, Facebook also released their official iPad app last week, which contains a whole host of handy features like multi-conversation chat and a full screen photo viewer. The announcement will have undoubtedly upset developers of third-party apps, but with iPads now driving more web traffic than iPhones, it was only a matter of time before Facebook released an official offering.
Facebook’s iPhone app has also had a revamp, boasting an overhaul of the navigation system and the ability to access third-party apps.
Google+ hits 40M users
Despite a Google programmer seriously letting rip into Google+ claiming the platform was a ‘pathetic afterthought’, according to Google themselves, Google+ has amassed an impressive 40M users in the space of just four months.
Last week Google announced two new improvements that they’re planning to introduce to the service – real-time search and improved hash tag support:
Foursquare launches new Radar on iOS 5
Described as ‘a huge step in the evolution of Foursquare’, foursquare Radar uses iOS 5’s new location features to push to-do list notifications, list info, tips and updates from friends nearby – all in real time. Working in the background of your iPhone, the new version of Radar is said to ‘help you spend more time with the people and places around you’, without even having to open the app.
Facebook takes on Cyworld in Korea?
A recent report from Rankey.com indicates that Facebook has overtaken South Korea’s dominant social network Cyworld in terms of monthly visitors:
This might seem strange as in comparison with Cyworld’s 25 million users, Facebook only has about 4 million to date, but it appears that many of Cyworld’s users are inactive ones.
Walmart strikes deal with Facebook to offer richer shopping experiences
Walmart launched a cool new Facebook app last week that allows shoppers to receive a more local experience from the multinational corporation. The partnership with Facebook sees Walmart launching 3,500 individual store pages, which users will be directed to for local special offers. The app also boasts a ‘store map’ feature to help you find where a specific offer is available – no more aimless wandering around the aisles for us then!
eBay to offer ‘social shopping’ experience
Last week also saw eBay unveiling a new partnership with Facebook. The new offering is said to be utilising Facebook’s ‘Open Graph’ to allow customers to enjoy a new ‘social shopping’ experience. The partnership appears to take advantage of Facebook’s new ‘Gestures’, with customers being able to ‘want’ or ‘own’ specific listings on the auction site. Inside Facebook has more on the longer term implications of partnerships like this for Facebook.
TopShop sends students on SCVNGR hunts
TopShop UK has joined forces with location-based game SCVNGR. Students are invited to take-on one of TopShop’s challenges to earn points and subsequently win prizes. Challenges range from taking a photo of the item you would most like to receive for your birthday’ to telling TopShop ‘your favourite TopShop denim style for Autumn/Winter’ – a smart move from the high-street giant as completing a challenge requires you to create content.
HarperCollins gives Facebook fans a sneak peak of new novel
And finally, last week We Are Social Australia launched a new Facebook app for Harper Collins and Belinda Alexandra’s new novel, Golden Earrings. The app allows you to preview 30 pages of the work on the author’s Facebook page, all you need to do is ‘Like’ the page and say something about the book on Facebook or Twitter.