We Are Social's Monday Mashup #70


After something of a hiatus due to the Bank Holidays, we’re back on a Monday…

YouTube continues to grow
For the second consecutive month, YouTube was the fastest growing social media property in the UK in April, growing by 3.12% year-on-year. It now accounts for one in every five UK visits to a social media site.

How are UK retailers doing in social media
An interesting piece from Econsultancy on how UK retailers are doing in social media – it’s notable how traditional retailers like Topshop and River Island are battling it out with online retailers like Amazon and Asos but actually managing to come out on top.

PR revenues increase post-recession
2010 was a good year for PR firms – with fee income rising by an average of almost 10%. We were delighted to be featured in the Evening Standard as one of those with the fastest growth:

One of the fastest-growing PR firms was Farringdon-based We Are Social, specialists in social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with fee income up 190% to £2 million.

In fact, it clearly piqued the Evening Standard’s interest, with them running a follow-up article looking at businesses’ use of social media, again featuring us.

Facebook pays users to watch ads…
On Thursday, Facebook launched a new programme which incentivizes users to watch adverts – by paying them to do so. To start, users will get paid one Facebook Credit – worth ten cents – for watching one of the adverts, which will typically appear in games, with Zynga among the game publishers Facebook has linked up with. It creates a very interesting state of affairs, where Facebook is trying to link its different business activities together – the Credits earnt are designed in part to be spent on Facebook Deals.

This said, having seen how click-through rates have fallen on Facebook ads, it’s questionable whether users will want to go even further and watch a video, when the reward is so minimal.

…And continues to develop its ad programme
Paying users to watch ads is just part of Facebook’s move to dominate the display ad market: an interesting interview with Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Head of Sales, gave a deeper explanation of what their aims are, but there’s no hiding from their success – Facebook now accounts for 31.2% of the US Display ad market, and is on course to surpass a trillion ad impressions over the course of the year.

Most pleasing for Zuckerberg et al, will be the success of Sponsored Stories. Click-through rates on normal ads may be stalling, but a study found that Sponsored Stories have a 46% higher click-through rate, and bring in fans at an 18% lower cost – which will mean that advertisers are still keen to invest in Facebook. They’ll also be able to measure results better – Inside Facebook had an interesting post this week on how Facebook is updating its analytics with audience funnels and conversation data.

New Facebook for BlackBerry app
Facebook released a new version of their BlackBerry app last week – with a number of improvements – particularly with integrating the phone’s native contacts.

Renren’s hugely successful IPO
Chinese social networking site Renren staged an initial IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last week – with impressive results. Shares were originally offered at $14 a share but rose in value to $18. That prices the company at $7.5 billion – far less than Facebook, but, notably, a greater valuation as a multiple of 2010 revenues than Facebook has managed.

Disqus introduces @mentions
Disqus launched a new comment system last week, meaning you can now tag friends in your comments. The move is intended to make the comments on posts both more social, and easier to filter.

Doubtless, we’ll be seeing all of you in the comments.

Mumsnet launches Gransnet
Mumsnet last week launched Gransnet – a spin-off aimed, as the name suggests, at grandmothers. With half of grandparents under 65 years old, and 51-64 year olds the fastest growing internet demographic, it’s possible that the site could be a success. What I’m more interested in though, is what will replace the dreaded ‘biscuit question’?

Farmville – with real animals
Bulding on the enormous popularity of Farmville, the National Trust last week launched MyFarm, which will allow 10,000 members to all vote on decisions being taken on a real farm. Participants will be advised on their decisions through blog posts and videos. This is clearly a barn-storming idea, though whether those on the farm have Moo business cards is still unknown.

Honda’s reciprocal marketing
To celebrate reaching one million Facebook fans, Honda asked executives to reciprocate some of their fans love. So an exec got a tattoo of a guy called Dustin who had a Honda tattoo, and so on. A thoroughly Civic idea.

Lynx’s new app
Last week Lynx launched a new app which is intended to act as a social hub for nights out:

The app collects the videos, pictures, texts, tweets and status updates from each member of the group’s phones, creating a record of the evening in real time.

The app is currently only available in the UK but Lynx expect to roll-on and deliver it to worldwide territories – understandably, as the video below shows a pretty cool app.

Ben and Jerry’s donates unused Twitter characters to Fair Trade
May the 14th is World Fair Trade Day and Ben and Jerry’s are encouraging consumers to donate any leftover characters in their tweets to a linked story, which will extol the virtues of Fair Trade. It’s a nice way of using Twitter to do something good and also generate positive sentiment for the brand. Nice.

First tweet sent from summit of Mount Everest
British climber Kenton Cool became the first person to tweet from the summit of Mount Everest last week – and Samsung did a nice bit of marketing by sponsoring Cool to tweet using a particular smartphone, and mention that he was doing this in the tweet.

It was a good campaign from Samsung – who also shot a nice video of Kenton unboxing the phone at the bottom of the mountain.

A social media loyalty card – using Gowalla
A lot has been said about how the check-in is growing in popularity – and BMI have shown their faith in check-in services by creating a loyalty programme solely using Gowalla. They’re asking users to check-in at different airports to receive recommendations – and eventually rewards.

Your Facebook design could be on a KLM plane…
Meanwhile, KLM have launched a nice campaign which asks fans to ’tile yourself’.

The KLM promotion is based around Delft blue tiles, with Facebook users encouraged to turn photos and profile pictures into Delft type images and then add a caption too. Selected photos will then be added to a specially painted KLM plane which will then fly around the world.

The campaign – and the BMI one mentioned above – hits on an interesting trend from travel companies: that they’re using social media to create more real-life experiences, and it seems to be working out pretty well.

Linkedin and Fortune 500’s collaboration
Linkedin and Fortune 500 have come together to create an app – which makes use of all the data Linkedin holds, to give users a better insight into the different companies – and more importantly, how they can do business with the different companies.

Twitter undermines celeb super-injunctions
It’s well known that many celebrities hold super-injunctions stopping stories being reported by the media, which they acquire at great expense. What they didn’t bank on was Twitter undermining them – with a Twitter account claiming knowledge of many super-injunctions, and a simple Twitter search showing how many people are happy to repeat these claims.

PCC seeks to regulate press Twitter feeds
In a surprising move, the UK Press Complaints Commission announced on Friday that it intended to bring press Twitter accounts under its remit. That it wants to regulate press streams – eg BBC branded accounts – is normal. But that it wants to regulate what individual journalists are saying seems over-the-top. It is one thing to suggest best practice – another to regulate what a particular journo wants to say. That said, Neville Hobson had an interesting piece on why he thinks it is a good idea.