We Are Social's Monday Mashup #66


Top brands focus on social media
Marketing has a feature looking at the top 100 online advertisers in the UK, but as they point out “the significant investment in social-media monitoring remains hidden from view”. They go on to point out that research from the American Marketing Association has found that social media will account for 9.8% of US marketing budgets this year, and will rise to 18.1% over the next five years. Seeing clear empirical evidence of how big brands are using social media effectively will doubtless cause a snowball effect, and drive greater investment in social across the board.

This is backed up by the latest research from eMarketer, with companies are becoming more comfortable on social networks, with 84% involved in at least one of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs, and 25% active on all four. It’s interesting to see the regional variations in how different companies are using Facebook:

The biggest growth can be seen on Twitter, with 12% more companies active compared to last year, and this has in turn led to greater listening and responding, again with some interesting regional differences:

Engaged Facebook fans are worth more
The trend towards greater engagement across all social media platforms suggests big brands believe it is a worthwhile investment – and quite right too, with new research from Syncapse finding that those who tweet, like, and share details of new marketing campaigns, are worth $22.93 to a brand in earned media.

And recent research from Millward Brown, in partnership with the World Federation of Advertisers has found that the most successful Facebook pages aren’t necessarily those with the most fans. Using a FanIndex rating, which measures engagement, it found that the more brands put in to their fan pages, the more they get out in terms of brand response. Among the fan pages studied, as a general rule the brands that posted more frequently generally achieved higher attitudinal ratings and were more lively communities.

Top Facebook markets by percentage reach
The data is out for February 2011, and it might make surprising viewing for some – the market with the highest Facebook reach (amongst the country’s internet users), was the Philippines, with 93%.

Still room for social networks to grow
Adele Gritten of YouGov wrote an interesting piece for NMA this week about how there’s still room for plenty of growth for the big social networks – pointing out how 49% of the over-55 demographic on Facebook has joined within the last two years.

Clearly, there’s still room for growth at both ends of the spectrum, but marketers may well be more interested in older demographics: according to research from Forrester, despite 12-17 year olds being the most active demographic on Facebook in terms of site visits, only 6% of them are interested in liking a brand, half the figure for those aged 18-24; this suggests that resources can be better spent on older demographics.

20,000 children banned from Facebook everyday day
Meanwhile, Mozelle Thompson, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, has revealed that 20,000 children under 13 get banned from the site every day for lying about their age, with over seven million children blocked from the site each year.

Facebook tests out real-time advertising
For a long time, Facebook has delivered targeted adverts based on historic wall posts and status updates, but they’ve now gone one better: they’re testing out real-time targeted ads, so if you say you fancy a pizza, it might suggest you like the Pizza Hut page for a discount (hypothetically). They’re currently testing this out with 1% of the userbase – around six million people – but it looks an excellent way for them to add to their ad revenues.

The ramification of this move are enormous – most obviously, in terms of more refinement in targeted advertising.

New Facebook Questions format
The old Facebook Questions was something of a niche product, but its now been over-hauled to help it become an integral part of day-to-day use of Facebook. The old product had a market penetration of 0.05%, so clearly, the take-up on Questions can only improve (which it seems to have done) but while the new format may seem to focus on opinions rather than facts, Facebook hope it will draw on the wisdom of crowds.

LinkedIn hits 100 million users
LinkedIn proudly announced last week that the site now had over 100 million members – and with the site adding a million members a week at the moment, and with growth rates increasing, it seems the only way is up.

MySpace loses 10 million users in a month
The news is less good at MySpace, where the decline only seems to be getting steeper – according to ComScore, the site went from 73 million users in January to 63 million in February, a staggering ten million drop. It really does seem like MySpace is in an irrevocable decline, which is a bit of a shame.

Coca-Cola invests in social media in the UK
The Grocer has reported that Coca-Cola cut its ad spend by 6.8% in 2010 and invested in social media.

Saab become social
An Australian Saab enthusiast, Steven Wade has managed the impressive feat of landing a job at the company in their social media team, solely through his Saab-loving blog. What’s more interesting are the comments from Saab chair Victor Muller about his hiring:

It is a given that you have played a key role in saving Saab last year by mobilizing tens of thousands of enthusiasts to rally in support of the company. You have single-handedly proven the importance social media has nowadays in situations like the one Saab went through. You became one of my most powerful allies in those trying times which now are fortunately behind us

Hiring Wade is designed to bring the company closer to its customers, and with his love of the cars, he seems perfectly designed to do the job. As such, we give Saab 9.5 out of 10 for the whole story.

Courting Foursquare at the Sony Ericsson Open
Sony Ericsson have a strong relationship both with Foursquare and with tennis, and they’ve brought the two together at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Users who earn the Xperia Tennis Fan badge by checking in at the Tennis Hotspot venue will receive a discount on tickets to matches, and the opportunity to meet the players through press conferences and player autograph sessions. What an ace idea…

Warner Bros expands Facebook film renting service
Warner Bros today announced that they were adding new films to their Facebook rental service – with Harry Potter and Inception now on offer.

How journalism has turned social
While George Osborne was delivering the budget last week, the BBC tried to make its coverage more social by creating their own dedicated hashtag relating to the Budget – #BBCBudget. What was particularly interesting was when they promoted the hashtag on air, usage clearly rose. But more than this, because viewers were choosing to use the hashtag, when the BBC wanted to make their coverage more social, they could draw on these opinions easily.

This relates to the discussion about broadcasters and newspapers taking up live-blogging – although they clearly bring in a lot of hits, the minute-by-minute updates do have problems: most notably, that the facts of the story get buried in earlier updates and the actual ‘story’ is lost amidst analysis and counter-arguments. Clearly live-blogging is here to stay, but it will be interesting to see how media companies adapt to deal with these problems.

SXSW Film – dominated by bloggers
It was fascinating to read Catherine Shoard’s account of SXSW Film and how well bloggers were treated – it looks like we’re reaching a tipping point in the film industry, where people realise that big bloggers are the true opinion formers.

Shirky and Gladwell fight it out over the power of social media
In an interesting discussion about the power of social media, Clay Shirky and Malcolm Gladwell have been going at it hammer and tongs. While the full article is worth a read, one particular quote from Shirky stands out above the rest of it: “the effect of the Internet on traditional businesses is less about altering internal practices than about altering the competitive landscape: clothing firms now have to compete with Zappos, bookstores with Amazon, newspapers with Craigslist”.

UK agencies ranked by social media influence
In a story which warmed our heart, we were glad to see we’re ranked fourth amongst UK agencies for social media influence. On that note, make sure to tweet and share this post!