We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #75
China’s Ya’an earthquake: How social media helped
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that jolted southwest China’s Sichuan Province Saturday morning shook the nation, reminding many of the Wenchuan disaster that happened in the same province in 2008. While social media was not widely used during the 2008 earthquake, this time, Chinese social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Baidu, SoSo and 360 have responded with a homepage search function for people who are looking for their lost family and friends.
For example, Sina Weibo created a hashtag “#ya’an person finder#” for the earthquake. Anyone affected by the earthquake can post their information in the format “#ya’an person finder# + victim’s information + family’s contact details”. The post below shows a Tencent Weibo post by an earthquake victim to let his concerned family know that he is safe:
Last year, we observed Sina Weibo playing its role as a crucial lifeline in the Beijing floods. Increasingly, social media becomes the go-to channel for people to communicate with family and friends in times of disaster. Celebrities, media, and telecom companies are also helping with rescue efforts by pushing out information on social media channels. To pay tribute, Sina Weibo mourned along with the sufferers by changing the whole page black and white.
Sina Weibo launches new layout for traditional media
As Wechat continues its rise in the social media scene, competitor platforms such as Sina Weibo are quick to respond with new functions. It has launched a special layout for traditional media pages, such as the one for People’s Daily as shown below:
In the media edition, posts will now feature a news thumbnail, headline and a summary. Moreover, it is reported that the posts can be targeted based on different audience segments. Similar to Wechat, news updates on Sina Weibo will be based on users’ stated preferences then delivered to them via private messages (私信). Will this be enough to compete with Wechat?
Indonesian President joins Twitter with over 700,000 followers
As reported by Tech in Asia, yet another world leader has joined social media. Last week, Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (also known as SBY) opened a Twitter account. Since his first presidential tweet, his handle, @SBYudhoyono, has gained over 700,000 followers.
Indonesia has one of the largest Twitter user populations in the world, so it is great to see that it is being used as a platform for the president to better interact with the Indonesian people in real-time. Among his 27 tweets so far, the Indonesian president also responded to a few Indonesian citizens asking about plans to develop Indonesia’s poorest region, Papua. With several global leaders also engaging their citizens on Twitter, will Yudhoyono eventually be one of the most active world leaders on social media?
The value of a Facebook fan
The average value of a Facebook fan has risen by 28% to $174 since 2010, according to a study by Syncapse of 2,000 US residents in January and February 2013. The research compared fans and non-fans in a number of topics, including product spending, brand loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value, cost of acquisition and brand affinity, in order to come up with a monetary value of the average fan. It’s worth noting that there are huge behavioural differences between fans and non-fans in terms of social media, with 2/3 of the former group also fans of more than 10 brand pages. 3/4 are likely to share a good brand experience with Facebook friends and 2/3 a bad one.
Questions on Facebook brand pages increase by 30%
From Q4 2012 to Q1 2013, the number of questions asked on Facebook brand pages has increased by 30%, from 953,000 to 1.2 million. This is accompanied by a 49% increase in answers, from 499,000 to 744,000, suggesting that brands are catching up with the necessity of responding via social media. In fact, the percentage of queries that receive a response is up in every sector; Finance are leading the way with 80%, followed by airlines with just below 80%, whilst alcohol brands prop up the other end of the table with under 40%. Despite this, the time it takes for brands to respond has spiked in the last quarter, bucking a decreasing trend. Down from 20.9 hours in Q2 2012 to 19.5 in Q3 and 13.7 in Q4, the waiting time shot back up to 22.6 hours in Q1.
New Facebook app for iPhone and iPad
Facebook has launched a new Facebook app for iPhone and iPad. Major new features include stickers, chat heads, an updated news feed and some changes to photos. Stickers are basically large emoticons; these may present a revenue stream in future with an announced ‘sticker store’, but are currently free. Chat heads, previously announced in ‘Facebook Home’ for Android, will allow users to keep on top of chats wherever they are in the app. The updated News Feed and filters, allowing users to organise what they see depending on whether it was posted by certain friends or people they follow, have been integrated, whilst a couple of photo filters have been added, along with a ‘shared photos’ album containing any images you have sent to particular friends.
Facebook’s Ads API allows cost-per-action pricing
Facebook has announced a new method of pricing available through its Ads API, which allows advertisers to choose their favoured action and set a maximum price per action of that type. This means that, rather than limiting budget to ‘price per click’ or similar, brands can choose the action that they value the most and allot spending accordingly. The system is currently available for page likes, link clicks and offer claims, but is likely to expand further in future.
Facebook set to price video ads at $1 million
Despite being yet to finalise the format for its upcoming video ads, Facebook are reportedly asking for $1 million per day from advertisers to use the system. The adverts, set to be introduced in June or July, will play automatically within the desktop version of Facebook. Four broad demographics have been identified: under-30s and over-30s, divided in turn by gender, with each of these intended to see no more than 3 adverts per day. If Facebook can achieve their asking price, this could serve to be lucrative business for them; however, it’s far from a forgone conclusion that they will succeed in doing so.
Facebook experimenting with ‘Tap to Call’ functionality?
Facebook has reportedly been in talks with ‘tap to call’ vendors RingRevenue, Freespree and Synclio, with a view to integrating the functionality to ‘Home’ and its mobile app. ‘Tap to Call’ functionality would allow a button within adverts that users could click to instantly call the brand advertised. If done right, this could see a world of advertising opportunities on Facebook, with the idea already working wonders for Google. However, there are a couple of counterpoints; critics have wondered about how the service may be impacted by the fact that Facebook ads are currently targeted by interests, rather than intent, and how cautious the network is likely to be with the service, potentially more useful for interacting with friends than advertising.
Facebook’s TV ad for ‘Home’
Hot on the heels of their first TV advert, Facebook have produced another, this time starring Mark Zuckerberg himself. The video, below, shows Facebook’s CEO giving a speech to the engineers who built ‘Home’, until one of them drifts off into the imaginary world of the service itself.
Positive tweets directly linked to sales
A study presented by Deloitte at last week’s Twitter4Brands event in London found that not only does Twitter produce valuable word of mouth advertising, but that positive tweets directly drive sales. One case study was particularly illuminating: that of EA Games and their world-famous title ‘FIFA 13′, which concluded that a 30% increase in positive tweets was more effective in driving sales than a 30% increase in above-the-line advertising. By tweeting about major events they were able to get people talking about the game at the same time as football in general. For example, they launched a giveaway under #86messi when the Argentinian star’s 86th goal broke the record for most times scored in a year, and saw the hashtag mentioned over 50,000 times.
Twitter launch #Music app
Last week, Twitter launched their new #Music app, a platform for fans to locate new music through the social network. Available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, it is divided into four sections: ‘suggested’, ‘popular’, ‘now playing’ and ‘emerging’. The first three are fairly self explanatory: ‘suggested’ and ‘popular’ suggest artists and tracks based in turn on what you follow and what’s trending, whilst ‘now playing’ allows your friends to see what you’re listening to. ‘Emerging’ is particularly interesting, allowing users to find new music through an algorithm that locates music that might not be too well known. Currently, the system seems designed at increasing conversation around music, but there may be opportunity for advertising from record labels and sponsorship.
Twitter introduce keyword targeting to Ads API
Twitter has bulked up its Ads API with the introduction of ‘keyword targeting’, allowing advertisers to target users based on specific words in their Tweets. The key benefit is that this will allow the targeting of intent; Twitter themselves have given an example based on a touring band, whereby the band’s management can target tweets at those who have mentioned them, letting them know that the band are playing in their area. This is a signifcant contribution to Twitter’s increasingly profitable advertising base: eMarketer have predicted that they will make $582.8 million in 2013 and nearly $1 billion in 2014, on the back of $288.3 million in 2012.
Twitter partner with BBC America for branded video
Twitter has launched a partnership with BBC America, looking to expand its branded video output. Video clips will appear in-stream when users click on a Tweet. Having already done so with sports for NCAA’s ‘March Madness’ basketball event (shown below), this represents the first time that such a link has existed for entertainment television.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 29, 2013
WhatsApp is bigger than Twitter
According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the service now has more than 200-million users, making it a larger overall network than Twitter. Moreover, it is being employed heavily by those users, with 8 billion inbound and 12 billion outbound messages every day and no reported drop off since its decision to charge $0.99 a year. With competition growing from Chinese rival WeChat and its 300 million users, of whom 40 million live outside of China, it will be interesting to see how WhatsApp’s growth continues going forward.
New LinkedIn app for iPhone and Android
LinkedIn has majorly updated its iPhone and Android apps for the first time in nearly two years, with a vast overhaul of the activity stream and navigation systems, as well as the introduction of ads. The personalised activity stream is now sleeker, with more visual content, much like the updates that have been made to recent Facebook mobile apps. From here, users can simply swipe the left side of the screen to navigate around the app, creating a more well-rounded overall experience. Adverts will see the network attempt to monetise its success on mobile, in the form of sponsored content within the stream. More detail on the app can be found in the below video:
Google+ comments now visible on Blogger
Those using ‘Blogger’ to update their blog can now integrate Google+ Comments with other responses to their posts. Google have cited the benefits to this, including more straightforward comment management, as well as the ability for readers to filter blog comments, leading to more meaningful engagement and potentially higher traffic as a result. Bloggers can turn on the system, shown below, by selecting ‘Use Google+ Comments’ in the Google+ tab of the Blogger dashboard.
Twitter donates trending spot to #OneBoston
In the wake of the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon, Twitter donated the top promoted spot, free of charge, to the hashtag #OneBoston. As people used the hashtag to send messages of respect and condolence, or even in some cases to encourage charitable donations, the social network released the below tweet:
We’ve provided the City of Boston the Promoted Trend today free of charge through Twitter Ads for Good. Learn more: bit.ly/171q0O9
— Twitter Good (@TwitterGood) April 16, 2013
We Are Social win The Outnet account for social media
The Outnet, discount fashion website owned by Net-A-Porter, has appointed We Are Social as its worldwide social media agency. The company, which previously managed its social media in-house, has 411,000 likes on Facebook and 103,000 followers on Twitter, communities which will be key to We Are Social’s initial focus on “social listening and reporting”, followed by strategic recommendations, content production, audience engagement and creative campaigns. We Are Social US’s managing director Leila Thabet said:
The Outnet is well placed to innovate in social media due to its unique position in the discount luxury market. We’ll leverage our fashion experience to develop a social strategy together, and constantly look to The Outnet fans and shoppers to shape how we create content, position the brand and devise campaigns.
Samsung end Anonymous reviews under Taiwan Fair Trade investigation
Samsung has brought an end to its anonymous online reviews due to an investigation by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission into whether it was paying for fake positive reviews of its own devices and negative of its competitors. The charges, if found to be in breach of fair trade regulations, could see penalties of up to $837,000 per incident. If found to be guilty of criminal charges of defamation, each charge could lead to a 2 year jail sentence. Samsung has stated its commitment to transparent and honest communication, stating that the situation “occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles”.
Epicurious posts insensitive Boston tweets
As many took to Twitter to discuss the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, Epicurious posted tweets suggesting whole-grain cranberry scones “in honor” of the city. The two tweets shown below received a huge backlash from offended Twitter users, eventually prompting the following apology: “Our food tweets this morning were, frankly, insensitive. Our deepest, sincere apologies.” Epicurious is another in a line of brands coming across as “insensitive” at the very least when posting about tragedies. This should act a lesson for brands about keeping your mouth shut when you have no right to enter a conversation.