We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #42


Blog readership in the US

Facebook and Twitter might be what people are talking about but don’t write off blogs just yet. According to estimates in a study published by eMarketer, half of the US Internet population reads blogs at least monthly. This should rise to 60% by 2014. These numbers are in stark contrast to the number of people actually writing blogs with only 11.9% of the US population updating a blog monthly. And don’t expect a huge jump either: by 2014 the number will only reach a small 13.3%.

Social networking in the Asia-Pacific region

Some interesting numbers just arrived straight from the Asia-Pacific region: despite low broadband penetration, 50% of internet users in the region visit a social networking platform at least once a month, and in half of the markets surveyed users spend more than 4 hours a month on social network sites. So not unlike me then.

Retailers and social media

For those interested in social media and retailing we have an interesting study recently published by the Aberdeen Group that reveals that more than half of retailers were pushed into using social media because their consumers were using it. Not to mention their competitors. However they’re catching up quickly: retailers are mainly using social networks (85%), microblogging (51%) and blogging (43%) to get qualitative customers insights, visits and new sales leads.

Let them have Facebook
Well at least for nearly a quarter of US and UK consumers who would prefer to receive news from a brand via Facebook rather than from an official website. The study also analyses the reasons why consumers follow companies on social networking sites. Most would like to receive discounts (50%) while a third do so just for the love of the product. But more importantly 60% of consumers changed their minds about a product after reading a negative opinion on social media outlets.

Which means it’s just as well Facebook has just launched its Page Browser feature that allows you to discover Pages that you might like (depending on the ones that you already like) as well as see which of your friends is most similar to you. Meanwhile, Facebook Places launched in Canada after launching in the UK last week.

Twitter: who are the most influential?
Celebrities are not that influential according to a research led at Northwestern University, Illinois. You might be called Lady Gaga and top the charts in terms of followers but those who get retweeted the most are actually people specialised in their own fields.

Twitter to improve promoted tweet functionality
In order to boost its promoted tweet service, Twitter will soon implement targeting mechanisms based on who users are following. The service should be available in the UK very soon though no firm date has been given. Also in the works, a real-time dashboard to monitor the activity during a promoted tweet campaign.

Users shuns Digg’s new version
The new Digg design is not doing too well with its users who’ve retaliated by deserting the site since the new design launched in August. They have experienced an astounding decline in traffic of 26% in the US and 34% for the UK.

Foursquare 2.0 and the new recommendations engine
Foursquare has rolled out a new update for its iPhone app, dubbing it version ‘2.0’. New features include handy Tips and a To-Dos section that allows you to add a location to your To-Do list for later.

Following in the footsteps of Facebook’s ‘like’ and Twitter’s ‘tweet’ button, Foursquare have also unleashed the ‘Add to My foursquare’ button which connects what you find on the web with your foursquare To-Do list. Websites such as The New York Times and TimeOut Magazine have already started to roll out the button.

Co-founder Dennis Crowley has also revealed that he hopes developers will make use of their API to build tools for all sorts of personalised recommendations.

American Express gets social
American Express are the latest brand to delve into the realm of social media by creating a new way to connect with potential customers. The famous credit card company has hired various money experts and writers to launch their new financial services community called Currency. The new scheme is specifically aimed at helping new graduates manage their incomes better. In conjunction with this activity, Amex are launching an iPhone app called Social Currency built on the Foursquare platform. It allows you to check in to stores and create wish lists with pictures and price tags.

FourSquare and Runkeeper to reward you for running!
If you use Foursquare then you will have been rewarded with a ‘badge’ at some point. Although Foursquare already offer a health and fitness badge (the Gym Rat for example), they have now combined with RunKeeper to offer badges which encourage people to run. The most interesting feature is probably the “without checking in” feature which makes use of the RunKeeper app’s ability to track your runs through GPS by linking your RunKeeper account to FourSquare. Pretty awesome don’t you think?

Become the “Mobile Mayor” to win a Nokia N8 from Vodafone UK

With the UK release of Nokia’s new handset the N8 just round the corner, Vodafone is celebrating it with a ‘Mobile Mayor’ contest. There will be giant display models of the N8 placed in six of their stores and users will have to check themselves into them. The ones that succeed in becoming mayor of the N8 in each store by October 2nd will win the handset upon release. You will also need to post your checkins to Facebook/Twitter with the #MobileMayor hashtag.

Hotels.com appoints We Are Social to handle pan-European social media
Time to celebrate here in the We Are Social towers as Hotels.com has appointed us to handle its social media strategy. We’ll initially focus on France, Italy, UK and Sweden, before moving to the rest of Europe next year.

Disney, let the magic begin

Disney has come up with a clever way to get us to recapture the memories of going to Disney World and Disneyland. It’s asking people to submit their memories on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and a dedicated website. From January 2011, the concept will be extended to the theme parks: during the day the Disney PhotoPass photographers will take pictures, which will then be projected in the night sky. Quite a spectacular way to end a visit to Disney’s magical kingdom if you ask me!

The Social Media seal of approval
Next time you browse the alleys of your favourite supermarket you might want to check your favourite housekeeping products. Indeed Quickie Manufacturing, an American company that produces mops will soon be launching an improved mop carrying the social media seal of approval. How so? It collaborated with a start-up called TwitterMoms, which specializes in carrying out panel-like surveys of products amongst chosen Twitter moms who have over 1,000 users. The aim is to get the ratings and reviews in store through QR Codes on packaging.

Ford wins Gold Medal with its Ford Explorer
The results of the recent Ford Explorer launch on Facebook are in. The announcement on the social network generated a 200% bigger ROI than most Super Bowl ads according to Richard Reed from Social Car News. Even more interestingly Ford’s share of SUV shoppers jumped by a thundering 52%. Not bad, not bad at all.

And finally, a talking tree…

Ever wish you knew what inanimate objects around you think? Well wonder no more with the new Talking Tree. A 100 year old tree in Brussels was equipped with a range of equipment and measuring tools (dust meter, ozone meter, etc…) and lets us know every day how it’s doing. You can follow the daily musings on Facebook, Twitter and on the website.