We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #67


More delays for FDA Social Media Guidance
The FDA’s widely anticipated guidance on social media has been delayed for the second time in four months, and the agency seems unwilling to provide a timetable for publication.  In a statement discussed by Pharmalot, the FDA insists it is committed to this task, declaring that “policy and guidance development for the promotion of FDA regulated medical products using the Internet and social media are among our highest priorities”, promising to address a number of issues. But they might not get it done until 2013. Which sucks. In fact it really sucks. The pharmaceutical industry everywhere, including in Europe, has been hanging out for this, before understanding the regulatory risks of engaging social media. We’re guessing progressive pharma companies will now start to carefully experiment on their own….

Interactive Marketing not so interactive
Marketers are falling behind their consumers thanks to CMOs who are failing to deliver the consumer experience through their interactive marketing teams. A Forrester Research report on “The Future of Interactive Marketing” explains that consumers expect their information to be shared between their different devices – mobile, website, call centre – whilst marketers still lack the required skills, resources and technology to make this a reality, with a lack of dedicated staff and a tendency for interactive teams to be siloed within marketing organizations away from creative and production departments the main stumbling-blocks.

The future of interactive marketing, according to Forrester’s Research Director Emily Riley, lies in “enabling collaborative consumer relationships” and an approach based on a C.O.R.E framework – customise, optimise, respond and empower. Interactions should be customised across channels, optimised to be delivered in real terms, responsive to consumer’s concerns in real time and empowered to test new things.

Social Networking Engagement
There may be record numbers of users with social media profiles, but how active are those users? A survey from eMarketer found that almost half all respondents had logged in to Facebook in October 2010, compared to just 13.4% to Myspace, 11.5% to LinkedIn and 9.6% to Twitter. However it gets interesting when you look at the usage frequency of their user bases:

Facebook, again, clearly dominates…

Meet the “Twitter Elite”
Jennifer Whitehead has introduced the next buzzword term for social media marketers – the “Twitter Elite”. A new survey has identified that only 20,000 users, a very small proportion of the microblogging site’s total users, are responsible for 50% of Twitter’s attention. The survey categorises five types of user – celebrities, media, organisations, blogs and bloggers, and ordinary users – and concludes that celebrities are tweeted at the most by other members, followed by media users, whilst blogs and bloggers retweet the most content. The survey also mentions that Twitter users tend to follow and listen to users who are similar to themselves.

Social Endorsements outrank Advertising
New research discussed by Online Media Daily suggests that celebrity brand endorsements on social media sites prove at least 50% more effective than traditional display ads on Facebook. Comparing 200 celebrity endorsement campaigns on Twitter and Facebook with more conventional ads placed on Facebook, the conclusion is that “Dollar for dollar, you are actually going to receive more branding and more impression impact using streamed endorsements on Facebook and Twitter than people seeing an ad on Facebook because the engagement rate is so much higher, according to Ryan Steelberg, CEO of Brand Affinity Technologies. Of the two, endorsements on Facebook were stronger than those on Twitter, increasing clickthrough rates by 1700%.

Russian Facebook becomes “Invite Only”
blog post from Katya Trubilova reports that Vkontakte, ‘the Russian Facebook’, introduced a new registration scheme in February, meaning that the only way to become a member of the country’s biggest social network is through an invitation from an existing member. New users will also now be required to provide a mobile phone number when registering with the site, purportedly to enable users to access their accounts if they forget their login details, though it is suggested this move may help Vkontakte deal with its serious spam problem.

Critics have noted that these measures may prevent foreign users and international businesses from accessing Vkontakte users, and have speculated that the new registration process may actually be an effort to make money through selling invitations or users’ mobile numbers. It could also be seen as a drive to position the site as a more exclusive and thus desirable network, allowing the site a competitive advantage over Facebook and Odnoklassiniki.

Twitter’s new tool to turn all sites into a lightweight Twitter client
Last week Twitter launched its Web Intents, a new API tool which lets people interact with Twitter content on third-party websites. Nice.

Google takes on ‘Like’ with +1’s
Google have launched their answer to social sharing – the +1:

Facebook improves web setup for mobile
250 million people now use Facebook from mobile devices each month – that’s an incredible 150% increase on last year’s figure of 100 million users per month. To make it easier for users and developers alike, Facebook is consolidating all of their mobile efforts under one site. It uses a sophisticated framework that adapts in real time to what device you’re accessing it from (so if you don’t have location services, you won’t have access to places) and should improve the overall experience for users over.

Foursquare tops 8 million users, Gowalla to open a UK office
In the same week that Foursquare announced they’d crossed the 8m user threshold, Gowalla CEO Josh Williams announced that the company plans to open an office in London. We wonder when they’ll be checking in…

GetGlue introduce sports check-in button
GetGlue already rewards fans for checking in virtually to their favourite TV shows, films & music, but now they’ve gone one better by engaging the sports community. As part of the re-design of the app, they’ve created a dedicated sports check-in button, with active users getting a discount on team merchandise. A key part of this is a partnership with Foursquare, which will allow its userbase to check into events, as well as locations.

Discover apps through social recommendations
While Facebook continues to hesitate over recommending apps to you based on your friends’ taste, two third-party developers have stepped into the void. Vivek Agrawal and Shalin Mantri have built Apptitude, to show you which iPhone apps your friends are using, and the app has been making impressive progress in the App Store.

Samsung accused of faking Galaxy Tab testimonials
It seems almost unbelievable that Samsung would fake testimonials – and yet this is exactly what they’re accused of. Though the tablet market is clearly very competitive, if they’re guilty of astroturfing, it’s an astonishing move – as Econsultancy put it “the most valuable feedback companies can obtain is honest feedback”. Quite.

Budweiser says no to drinking and driving
Budweiser this week launched a new campaign on Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo (in effect their version of Twitter) telling users to ‘say no to drinking and driving’. Those taking part in the campaign, can accumulate entries into a prize draw with some good prizes on offer.

Facebook users lend their status to African mothers
AMREF launched a campaign last week to coincide with Mother’s Day, where Facebook or Twitter users can ‘donate their status’ to six African women, with their status being updated twice a day with a message from one of the women to raise awareness of the charity’s work in training midwives and health workers in Africa. The focus of the campaign is around how a little money can go a long way in Africa, and we back this noble cause to the hilt.

MLB picks its social media ambassador
Major League Baseball has launched its first full social media campaign in earnest – after over 10,000 entries, a man named Mike was chosen as the MLB Superfan to tweet about the season ahead. Looks like a very well pitched campaign…

Westfield’s Twitter mirror
As part of its Big Fashion Wardrobe event, Westfield unveiled a Twitter mirror so that people can upload pictures of potential outfits to Facebook and Twitter and receive instant feedback from their friends. Impressive stuff.

Check-in and a billboard will feed your dog
One might think this barking idea is an April fool, but its genuinely true: if you check in on Foursquare to a Granata Pet billboard in Germany, the billboard spits out dog food. The possibilities for the future really are endless…