We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #62


Welcome to the Melbourne Cup (aka The Race That Stops a Nation) edition of the We Are Social Australian Tune Up!

The field is set…and they’re off!!

Melbourne Cup – National Holiday?
Today at 3pm Australia will stop for the Melbourne Cup. It’s a given; as well as the fact that the queue outside every TAB will be long, usually filled with Aussies putting down their once a year bet. Tell a foreigner that the nation completely shuts up shop and they generally won’t believe you, until they themselves experience a Cup day. So its hardly surprising that every year we discuss whether Melbourne Cup day should just be proclaimed as a national public holiday. In Victoria the day is already that. This year, Sportsbet has added to the discussion by launching an online petition in most part through social media channels to turn the Melbourne Cup into a national holiday. Sportsbet who also earlier this year had a bit of fun with the Commonwealth Bank ‘Can’ campaign by posting a video with the headline ‘Punt’ is asking Aussies to simply sign up at the petition website which also includes an overall tally of those in agreement.

Facebook Testing ‘Pages Feed’
Late last week it was reported that Facebook is apparently testing a new feature for users to view content updates from Pages. The users who are part of the test can access a ‘Pages Feed’ link in the left hand side navigation of their feed. The consensus though is that not all page posts will be eliminated from a user’s news feed, and that top brand and sponsored posts will likely still be included. This follows on from another announcement made in the past week that users will also be able to opt into receiving notifications for when a brand page has posted an update. Both of these new features can be regarded as the way Facebook is looking to accommodate users who have complained of missing posts from their favourite brands, especially following algorithm updates. On the flip side, it also means brands need to bolster their content strategy in order to continue to keep their fans interacting with their posts especially regarding themes, total posts per day and the use of Facebook promoted products. Or another strategy already being used by brands is to advise fans to add them to their Interest List and therefore ensure they will be able to easily access all their Facebook content.

Australian Online Video Ad Revenue to hit $442 million in 2017
The Australian Online Video Market 2012 report has shown that the online video ad market grew 58% in the 12 months to June 2012 to $86 million. Along with these statistics, the report has estimated that the market will continue to grow at a rate of approximately 39% continuing until 2017 meaning ad revenue will hit $442 million. The report found also tablets are regarded as being one of the key reasons for why TV watching behaviour is changing, noting approximately 51% of tablet owners indicated they are viewing less on TV and also stressed the importance for online video advertising being incorporated into future campaigns by brands as a way to engage this changing audience. Alternatively, tablets offer a great ‘second screen experience’ for consumers when watching TV, especially for gauging social media sentiment, and can be another opportunity for brands to engage their target audiences.

Instagram launches Web Profiles
Instagram has just launched a web interface for user profiles (already being likened to Facebook), being rolled out this week to its approximately 100 million users. Functions available include being able to Like and Comment on other user’s photos, browse your own and other users photos plus to update your bio and profile photo. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom reportedly hinted that other web functions are on the horizon, however they will remain first and foremost a mobile player. Access your Instagram user profile here:  http://www.instagram.com/username

Customers up to 30% more likely to buy when engaged on social
Customers who interacted with a brand on social media increased their purchases by up to 30%, according to a new study. It also found that there’s a direct correlation between how much a customer participated in the social conversation and how much more likely they were to buy.

Executives use social media themselves but keep it out of the office
New research from Stanford University has discovered that even though 90% of CEOs, senior executives and corporate directors claim to understand the effects of social media on their organizations, only 32% actually monitor and measure their social performance. The majority of these execs, who are from both public and private companies, said that they had personal LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, but just 59% of their companies use social media to interact with customers. Sadly, the figures drop off quickly when asked if they use social media to advertise (49%), research customers (35%) or research competitors (30%), and most executives seem unsure what to do in this space.

Facebook lets businesses swap check-ins for free Wifi
Facebook is trialling a new service that lets local businesses offer free Wifi to their customers after they’ve checked in on the social network. Customers will be directed to the business’ Facebook page to check in and can then browse elsewhere on the web for free. Page owners will be able to track how many ‘Likes’ their page gets from this test. As usual, there’s no word yet on whether this service will become a full-fledged offering to businesses outside of this small test group.

Facebook is like … weird ads
When Facebook hit 1 billion users, it released its first ad, which compared the site to lots of random objects, most memorably to chairs. But now Facebook has released a second ‘version’ of this, thankfully just an image this time, but it’s just as odd as the first. The social network posted a status update with an image of a pool, and the update says, “Swimming pools are filled with people. Some you know. Some you don’t. And every once in a while you see something that maybe you shouldn’t. That’s why swimming pools are a little like Facebook.” Dig through the resulting comments for a good laugh.

Twitter to add Instagram-like photo filters
Twitter is planning to add photo filters to its mobile apps to encourage users to give up Instagram. So far, it sounds like there are only two filters in the works at the moment, so you’ll soon be able to color your photos in 1960s Kodachrome or an 1890s sepia tone. Twitter has been in the market for a photo service similar to Instagram ever since Facebook snapped it up, and it seems like it didn’t find any suitable contenders and decided to build its own version instead.

Google makes Google+ Hangouts look pretty
Google has redesigned Google+ Hangouts and added a hide-able sidebar that makes apps easier to manage and colorful notifications. Although this is a good step toward a cleaner and easier-to-use format, are all of these minor changes too little too late for the fledgling social network?

Twitter reveals beautiful visualization of 2012 Election issues
Twitter has done some data crunching and has created an interactive map of the US that shows engagement rates with the presidential candidates’ tweets and which topics in this election resonate most in certain states. See which of Barack Obama’s or Mitt Romney’s tweets had the most interactions and where those interactions came from. Twitter is stacking up with the best of the pollsters by finding out what topics are most important to New Yorkers vs. North Dakotans from the sources themselves.

Walmart launches themed ’12 days of giving’ app
Walmart has created a Facebook app that gives back to local communities through a series of themed donations to selected nonprofits, including military assistance and disaster relief. Walmart’s Facebook fans can nominate a nonprofit of their choice with a 200-word description of its work, and a panel from Walmart will select 12 organizations to get a slice of the $1.5 million fund. The app is also filled with short quotes from the winners from last year’s similar app to show how much the donations meant.

Man City releases ‘sticker swap’ Facebook app
Fans of Manchester City’s Facebook page can become the players themselves by swapping their favorite footballer’s face with their own to create a ‘sticker’ to be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Choose one of six City players and let the app do all the photoshopping work.

Foursquare shows the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy
Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the US last week, and Foursquare showed a telling check-in map of Manhattan that demonstrated how quickly the area was abandoned. Central Park was nearly empty of all online activity, and a lack of check-ins certainly means that stores in the area are having trouble getting on their feet after the storm.

Twitter sees 20 million mentions of Sandy, proves itself as a ‘truth machine’
During the Frankenstorm, many turned to Twitter as their source for news, as The New York Times lifted its paywall, and Twitter made a special #Sandy landing page as a one-stop news destination. More than 20 million Sandy-related tweets were sent over the five days in the lead up and landfall of the storm. The term “Sandy” also peaked at 20% of all searches on Twitter. Mobile usage hit a high on October 29 when many in the New York area lost electricity. The storm also seems to have knocked the sass out of tweeting New Yorkers (temporarily), and people in the land of sarcasm giants Buzzfeed and Gawker had a big attitude shift when bad weather arrived. Twitter users dropped the usual snark and went into information mode, and the majority of trending topic were Sandy-related. Buzzfeed even publicly outed a user who was spreading false information during the storm, showing Twitter’s amazing ability to be a ‘truth machine.’

How did brands react to Hurricane Sandy?
Turning to how brands reacted, airlines were some of the biggest companies affected by Sandy, but it’s not an industry known for being very responsive in social. Socialbakers found that American Airlines was the most responsive airline on Twitter and answered 602 out of 711 tweets from its followers, with an average response time of 16 minutes. Lufthansa performed the best on Facebook, responding to almost 80% of comments. Most other brands didn’t post anything during the storm, which is probably for the best, as a few that did used it to promote online shopping or other salesy updates that were distasteful in the wake of the storm’s destruction. A few brands that did post wished their fans the best or told them where to find emergency information about their services.