We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #52


Big jump in marketers use of social media for holiday season
eMarketer has posted some interesting research on the changing social strategies for marketers this holiday season. It revealed that 75% of respondents included social networks within their marketing strategy (a steep rise from 51% in 2009), 18% of which said that at least 20% of their strategy is social.  Topping the ranks of platforms used by marketers is Facebook with 91.9%, followed by Twitter at 60.8% and less closely by YouTube with 20.3%.

As highlighted in the graph above, we can see a steep rise in social strategies in the US with 37% of multichannel retailers boosting their ‘strategy’ to include Facebook and Twitter. A large chunk of this centres around Facebook (14%) with many brands making use of the ‘like’ button.

Banner ads are ignored
AdweekMedia/Harris released a telling piece of research this week, revealing the types of advertisements we are most likely to ignore. A staggering 43% cited Internet banner ads as the most annoying, followed by 20% who found Internet search-engine ads a pain. The research also showed that there isn’t much of an age divide, although when it comes to TV advertising the 50+ age group was far more turned-off by TV adverts (20%) than 18-24 year olds (9%) and 35-44 year olds (14%).

Google tweaks algorithms to stop brands profiting from bad reputation
Raising your Google ranking is high on most retailers’ wish-lists, but an in-depth report from the New York Times showed how a glasses reseller was able to gain in Google ranking due to dozens of complaints on forums. This negativity was then mistakenly interpreted as popularity by Google’s algorithms. Google has rushed in a crash program to resolve this issue, without giving away too much about how they arrived at the solution. What is certain is that people saying bad things about you could now directly impact your search rankings, and should be taken more seriously than ever (as always, we’re always happy to have a chat to see if we can help).

Facebook strengthens support for UK ad industry
Facebook has vowed to increase its European staff headcount and expand its Preferred Developer Programme “to help agencies and developers create more effective ad campaigns on the social network”. Citing criticism that it has not communicated changes to its rapidly evolving platform effectively, Facebook has vowed to be more responsive to agencies about “how best to implement campaigns, and how it can be less of an impediment to developers.”  The will surely be well-received, after Facebook saw a 6.2% decline in approval rating in the overall experience category in a recent IPA online media owner’s survey.

Using email contacts to build your Facebook page
Facebook has made the job of building a community slightly easier for admins of “any new or smaller Pages”:

[Admins] now have additional tools to invite their customers and web contacts to connect with their Facebook Pages. We have created two features that allow you import your email contacts and invite them to connect to your Page.

For newly launched pages, or those that are starting from scratch, this can be a very targeted and low cost way of getting the fan numbers up. We see big potential here, as the service allows admins to either upload a contact file or import web email contacts.

Facebook opens promotions
Facebook announced that they would no longer require brands – or anyone else for that matter – to ask for prior written permission to administer a promotion on Facebook. They’ve also removed the requirement for a ‘minimum media spend’ for the promotion. They are of course still subject to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines and Platform Policies. As this will be good for both brands and people, the only question is why they didn’t do it sooner?

New version of Facebook for Android includes Places
Friday marked the release of Facebook for Android version 1.4 – the first update since August, which adds Places and Groups, at last!

Foursquare on the verge of hitting 5 million users
Foursquare has confirmed that they will hit the 5 million user milestone in the next day or two. This means that its newest million users would have been added in 45 days compared with 48 for the previous million. Some suggest, the quicker pace of adoption could be down to all the Foursquare related deals offered on Black Friday.

Gowalla integrates with Foursquare
Many were surprised last week to learn that Gowalla had integrated with Foursquare. Gowalla CEO Josh Williams said they made this bold move because:

many users loved the design of Gowalla but most of their friends were using Foursquare or Facebook Places to check in. This move gives Gowalla uses the best of both worlds — the beauty of Gowalla with the ubiquity of Foursquare and Facebook.

Perhaps this will work out well for Gowalla. But with complaints that the venue matching between the two services doesn’t actually work, it may just mark the date that they ceded their user-base to Foursquare.

New LinkedIn ‘share’ button
In an apparent attempt to make the professional network more social, LinkedIn has launched a ‘share’ button. Whether it will succeed in this aim is an interesting question, considering the ubiquity of Facebook Like and Retweet buttons. Judging by the comments on the LinkedIn blog, it seems this is something people have wanted for a long time.

BBC advice to staff on Fifa decison: do not seek comment on social media
The use of the social web as a forum to challenge brands is well known and the latest victim looks to be the BBC. Following England’s failed World Cup bid and the airing of a Panorama programme on possible FIFA corruption earlier in the week, the BBC’s Twitter and Facebook feeds were swamped with comments peaking at near to 100 per minute. In response to this, the BBC sent out an internal email advising its staff to ‘not solicit comment on Facebook or twitter.’ Oh dear.

Fur flies over DKNY Facebook page
DKNY this week learnt the hard way that you should never mess with animal lovers. The storm began with 13 protesters changing their profile pictures to letters to vertically spell “DK Bunny Butcher” on the DNKY Facebook page and led to a deluge of negative comments. The most shocking thing about this, is that DKNY made no efforts at all to respond to or apply any damage limitation strategies to this consumer backlash. In fact, they just deleted the posts and applied a redesign to the page a few days later. Time will tell what damage they did to their brand by doing so.

Southwest Airlines and Sears location based campaigns
Samsung USA/Sears teamed up with the Boomer Esiason Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis and Southwest Airlines have partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to launch two big cause-related campaigns using location-based services this week.

Southwest Airlines will donate $1 in the form of a free travel credit (up to the value of $300,000) for each mobile check-in via Foursquare or Facebook Places when customers get to the airport.

Sears and Samsung USA on the other hand, will donate $5 for ‘social actions’ taken this week with a goal of raising $150,000. These include Foursquare check-ins to Sears stores and the Samsung Experience in New York, Facebook sharing and tweets including the #TackleCF hashtag.

Gap integrates ‘Add To Foursquare’ button in online campaign
Gap’s latest move in social media has been to incorporate an “Add To Foursquare” button to its latest online campaign.  Similar to the ‘like’ button for Facebook, this allows instant sharing to its customers’ friends, with the added benefit of adding a location. In return for the check-in the consumer is given a 30% discount as a reward, and Gap will throw in $1 to charity CampInteractive.

Coca-Cola’s Piccadilly Circus sign to feature Christmas tweets
If you have ever wanted to see your name in bright lights, the latest Coca-Cola Twitter campaign could make your dream come true.  All you need do is follow cokezone and tweet your Christmas message. If you are lucky enough to be selected you will receive a DM, and your message will appear on their Piccadilly Circus sign five minutes later. Fear not, if you are unable to view it live, you can view the tweets via their webcam.