We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #61


Facebook’s recommends upcoming concerts in newsfeed
It has been reported that some Facebook users are seeing a new feature called “Upcoming Concerts” in their News Feeds. The feature suggests nearby music events based upon a user interests, music listening activity and friends and seems to be being tested by Facebook currently. This is certainly a great example of how Facebook can leverage data, hopefully be viewed positively and provide useful suggestions for users to act upon. The feature is also an extension of  “Suggested Events” which is found in users Events Calendar.

Staggering Social Media facts from the Globe
Econsultancy recently published a list of 15 quite incredible social media facts from around the world, providing an eye into the social media ecosystem and how networks are consumed globally. Such statistics are certainly important for brands and marketers to recognise and understand when launching social campaigns in different countries; especially with regards to which networks are the most popular and likely to achieve strong engagement. The list included the following facts:

Hurricane Sandy & Facebook
Whilst the aftermath following Hurricane Sandy is only just starting to be discovered, early statistics released by Facebook show that the five most talked about terms have been:

  1. we are ok
  2. power – lost power, have power, no power
  3. damage
  4. hope everyone is ok
  5. trees

Facebook proved to be a massive communication device used during Hurricane Sandy to share updates and news with family and friends. Social media has certainly played a significant role in providing images, videos and updates to people across the world and giving a real-time view of the devastation occurring. In fact the media (when they weren’t crazily trying to report from flooding beaches) seemed to rely heavily on social media for hurricane updates. It will be interesting to read overall social media statistics around the hurricane as they are published.

Hurricane Sandy Sale Fail
As American east coast residents evacuated their homes and bunkered down for Hurricane Sandy, the US retailer American Apparel sent out a subscriber email offering 20% off all their stock for 36 hours, just to the states where the hurricane was expected to hit. The call to action to customers was to shop “In case you’re bored during the storm”. As we would all expect this offer was not exactly well received. The huge online reaction was negative especially on Twitter with users citing previous American Apparel cases, promising to boycott the brand, and asking for re-tweets as a show of agreement of their bad taste. The story was shared around the world, no doubt will affect customer perception of the brand and is a definite social case study in the making.

Fancy on the Increase
Fancy, an e-commerce style platform and regarded as being a key competitor to Pinterest has released numbers that they now have more than 2 million users and are averaging more than US$200,000 in sales per week. Fancy launched in late 2010, is a social shopping and blogging platform where users can like products and eventually purchase them as well.  Like Pinterest, the strength in the platform is definitely its design and strong eye-catching images that appeal to users. Mobile applications are available and the company also advised this week that they are experiencing strong results from Android users.

Facebook’s revenue on the rise
Facebook has reported $1.2 billion in revenue for the third quarter, up from $954 million from this time last year, beating analysts’ expectations and sending Facebook’s share price soaring. The lion’s share of Facebook’s revenue came from advertising, which has grown steadily since 2011.

Facebook hit 1 billion users just over a month ago, and its biggest growth has been in Asia, especially Japan, which had a 216% increase in users in the last year. The number of monthly active users in the US and Europe has also increased since the last quarter, though those markets have slowed down now.

Facebook Mobile is marching toward widespread adoption and has now crossed the halfway point in terms of number of users. About 600 million people access Facebook via their phones every month, a 61% increase since last year. The company reported that 14% of its ad revenue came from mobile this past quarter.

Brands see up to 5x more reach with Facebook ads

It’s no surprise that brands that pay to run advertising on Facebook are seen by more users, especially with the recent changes to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. But how many more users see these posts exactly? Facebook investigated the top 100 brand pages by fan base and found that using paid-for ads exposed the page to five times as many people. The reach of a single post is amplified more than 100%, and the reach of all page posts from that week increased significantly as well. The study also found that these new fans love to shop more than the average internet user, both online and in store, and are more engaged with the brand and the category. Amazing content can go a long way, but paying to have it pushed up the newsfeed seems to go even further.

Twitter introduces gender targeting for Promoted Products
With Twitter’s simple profile, it’s not always easy to tell the guys from the girls based on a simple bio, but Twitter is trying to do just that to make it easier for marketers to target their campaigns on Twitter by gender. However, Twitter isn’t adding this option to users’ profiles, but instead it’s looking at “signals” in users’ tweets, such as their account name and who they follow, similar to what it uses for interest targeting. And when gender can’t be determined, those users will not be exposed to the ads. Twitter has said that its predictions were found to be 90% accurate in tests.

More than 2,000 brands now have ‘expanded tweets’
Twitter has announced that it now has more than 2,000 partner sites on board for Twitter Cards, which expand tweets to include more of a description of the linked content, as well as interactive media. The potential for this is huge, and Twitter might be headed down the right trail to monetization if it can take a slice of sales from tweets.

Pinterest motivates more online shopping than Facebook
A new study has found that Pinterest is one of the top online destinations for online shoppers looking to browse, easily topping Facebook in terms of engagement and where Internet users go to keep up on the latest trends. 70% of respondents said that they turn to Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy, with just 17% saying they used Facebook for that. More Internet users also said they are more likely to follow a brand on Pinterest to get special offers compared to liking them on Facebook.

In other news, Pinterest users can now verify their website on their profile page, similar to Twitter’s verified accounts. But unlike Twitter, Pinterest users can request verification themselves, and when approved, a red circle with a checkmark will appear next to their site name.

Yelp buys Qype for $50 million
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em. That’s the latest from Yelp’s biggest European rival Qype, which Yelp has just purchased, as it looks to grow in Europe and become a stronger competitor to Google. Earlier this year, Qype soared ahead of Yelp in terms of the number of places reviewed in Europe, which stood at 860,000, so it looks like this is a good deal for Yelp’s expansion.

Romney’s Facebook app finds your most influential friends in the election
If you’re stuck in a heavy red or blue state for the presidential election, a new Facebook app created by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s team will find your Facebook friends who are most likely to have sway in the election and lets you sway them with a private message or a post on their wall. But will taking a stance on social media change your friends’ minds? Nearly 20% of social media users say they block friends who spout off about politics on their pages, even though 2010 saw a 2% increase in voter turnout, a boost thanks to political messages sent on Facebook.

Littlewoods airs live gadget show on Facebook
In the run up to Christmas, retailer Littlewoods is live streaming a gadget show on its Facebook page and website. Viewers can interact with the show by submitting questions and entering competitions, all of which is optimized to be viewed on mobile devices. This is the second time Littlewoods has done this, after an apparently successful first run in June.

Tesco Wine and Topshop reveal campaigns to celebrate Halloween
Halloween might be on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a party. To celebrate, We Are Social UK developed the #HalloWine hashtag to get Tesco Wine’s followers in the Halloween spirit with the chance to win a few bottles. Topshop is also using a dedicated hashtag and is asking its followers to submit photos of their Halloween costumes using #TrickorTweet to win in-store goodies. Followers can present their tweets to staff at special ‘tweet shops’ in selected stores, where they will get to take home free cosmetic products. The shop is rewarding the best daily photos with £100 gift cards.

New campaign asks Facebook users to ‘Like’ the rainforest to save it
Coffee company Kenco has created a new campaign that vows to protect a square meter of Colombian rainforest for every ‘Like’ it gets on its Facebook page. Facebook fans can return to the page to see how their area of the rainforest has grown over time, as the Likes keep pouring in.

Tweet your composition to save Amsterdam’s orchestra

Amsterdam’s Metropole Orchestra could be on its last strings because of cuts to public broadcasting in the Netherlands. In an attempt to save it, they’ve paired Twitter with a digital piano interface and asked fans to tweet their compositions. The orchestra will select and perform the most interesting Twitter songs and play them in a live broadcast from the studio.

Social media reactions to Lance Armstrong controversy 

Our very own Head of Insights and Analytics Michael Batistich had an article published in The Australian on October 29th about the social media reaction to the recent Lance Armstrong controversy.  The story discussed the total global social media mentions generated (1.3 million) and then specifically for Australia (33,843) from the last two weeks since the US Anti-Doping agency had released their official findings about Armstrong’s dope use throughout his career. An interesting finding mentioned was that here in Australia the overall sentiment was not entirely negative, but turned more towards jokes being posted, comments on Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation and surviving cancer. The article led with a headline about crisis management strategy and this Michael pointed out is what brands and individuals need to really take note of when such a huge issue arises.