We Are Social's Monday Mashup #96


What motivates us to use social networking sites?
According to a survey by Pew Internet, 66% of US online adults use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with a variety of motivating factors:

Social media drives sales for luxury brands
Burberry announced a 29% increase in revenue over the past six months after a successful social media marketing strategy. Angela Ahrendts, CEO, attributed Burberry’s strong first half to “our continued investment in innovative design and digital marketing”.

Google+ continued lack of growth
Experian Hitwise have released statistics showing how Google+ recorded its third biggest week in terms of traffic last week, after a spike when accounts were opened to all. Nonetheless, data given to the LA Times shows the site has lost visitors in 11 out of 21 weeks since launch, regularly falling between 10% and 20% from one week to the next.

More to the point, Google+ has struggled to expand outside America: according to ICM Research, only 4-5% of 40 million registered users are British. Amusingly, 17% of respondents claimed to use Google+ but in reality only a third do so – with the remainder mistaking it for something else!

Google+ Brand Pages lack followers…
There is yet more speculation about the success (or failure) of Google+ from BrightEdge, whose recent study found that 61% of top brands have created Google+ pages but few people are following them. Brands like Coca Cola, McDonalds and Verizon only have dozens of fans in comparison to their millions on Facebook. In total the top 100 brands have over 300 million Facebook fans in comparison to just 148,000 followers on Google+.

Could music help Google+ whistle to a new tune?
Google launched its highly anticipated digital music hub, Google Music last week. It could breathe fresh life into Google+ as ‘once someone makes a purchase on Google Music, he or she can give Google+ friends a full listen to a track, or even an album, for free’. Neat.

Google+ Pages integrate third party tools and multi-admin access
Google have also announced that they are enabling six third-party tools (Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, HootSuite, Involver, and Vitrue) to test Google+ functionality in their management tools, immediately. With multi-admin access not coming within the site until Q1 2012, this is a welcome boost for brands.

There’s also a new AdWords feature, appropriately named, Social Extensions, which will enable brands to link their page to their AdWords campaigns. According to Google, this is big news:

With Social Extensions, consumers will be able to see all the recommendations your business has received, whether they are looking at an ad, a search result or your page. This means your +1’s will reach not only the 40+ million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day.

Finally they’ve added trending topics. This is a list of the top 10 most popular discussion items on the social network. I wonder where they got that one from…

Facebook’s Sponsored Stories in real-time ticker
Facebook have now included their Sponsored Stories into the real-time ticker. According to Nielsen 68% of people are more likely to remember seeing them and twice as likely to remember the message than a normal ad. Although proven to be effective, the new placement will be somewhat irritating, so brands will have to be cautious in using it.

LinkedIn continues to grow and reinvents business cards

Experian Hitwise data shows that LinkedIn is now the number one jobsite in the UK and has more than doubled its traffic in the last year. Not only have they experienced continued growth but LinkedIn has launched a new CardMunch iPhone app which has brought business cards kicking and screaming into the digital world. It allows the user to have access to more in-depth information about the person behind the card via their LinkedIn profile.

Foursquare’s expertise badges
Are you a Mexican food lover or a devout veggie? If so you can prove your expertise in a certain area with Foursquare’s new ability to ‘level up’ with their badges. The user has to complete the levels by visiting a certain number of unique places. Some of our favourite badges include don’t stop believin’, greasy spoon and ski bum. We’ll leave it to your imagination to guess what these badges are awarded for…

Foursquare focuses on discovery
In other news from Foursquare HQ, they have launched an all new website design with a live giant map on the homepage, showing a variety of colour coded places of relevance: trending places are shown in yellow, places on your lists in green, ones with specials in orange and popular ones in blue. You can also see where your friends are and can receive recommendations. Foursquare hasn’t stopped there, as the logged out homepage has also seen a revamp, placing emphasis on the new ‘expertise’ angle.

Skype launches Facebook-to-Facebook video calls from within Skype
Last week Skype announced they had reached yet another Skype-Facebook partnership milestone: Facebook-to-Facebook video calling from within Skype. Simply connect your Facebook to your Skype account, select a friend and get calling.

Send money via the new PayPal Facebook App
PayPal just made it easier for us to send money whenever and wherever we want. 80% of active PayPal users are also actively using Facebook, so in light of this they can now send money directly via the new Send Money app, which allows users to send actual gifts instead of wall posts.

‘Share What You Wear’ with RNKD
Zappos co-founder Nick Swinmurn is reinventing loyalty programs for clothing brands and retailers. RNKD, pronounced ‘ranked’, is still in its beta version but in essence it allows users to upload photos of their clothes and then tag them by brand. It then assigns a user rank according to the contents of the virtual closet and awards badges accordingly.

Foursquare Thanksgiving team-ups
In an aim to support small businesses this Thanksgiving, AMEX have partnered with Foursquare to offer a huge discount at local businesses on Saturday. Foursquare users who check in and spend $25 or more on their AMEX cards will receive $25 credit on their statement. Toys R Us are also offering a Black Friday treat with the opportunity to earn their Geoffrey Holiday badge and 15% off any spend of $150 or more.

Virgin tweets live flight statuses
Virgin Atlantic is now offering customers flight status updates via Twitter using the @VAAInfo account. So if you want to know the status of your flight, send a tweet and you’ll receive a response ‘within seconds’, but with Virgin’s well-known brand of customer service: the tweet might begin ‘hello gorgeous’.

Walmart’s 12 Days of Giving
It is the season of giving, and to get into the true festive spirit, Walmart has launched a charitable Facebook campaign named the 12 Days of Giving. Their 10.3 million fans are asked to nominate local good causes and non-profit organisations for a stake of their $1.5 million holiday grants.

Citroen’s Twitter race
Citroen have launched a race where the route is determined entirely by its followers’ tweets. Instead of racing against other cars, followers will compete to direct the new Citroen DS5 towards them with a chance to win it.

Renault: Ange & Demon
We Are Social’s Paris office have created a street fighter style Facebook game which allows players to choose an Angel or Demon character to fight their way through a variety of challenges and win prizes for the best performances. This is to promote the 666 limited edition Clio R.S. Ange & Demon cars.

Jeweller shares soppy love notes via Facebook

Robbins Brothers, a Californian jeweller has come up with an extremely cheesy Facebook campaign. All fans have to do is write a love note to that special someone on the brand’s Facebook page and they will upload it onto a digital billboard on a local freeway. And, if that isn’t enough they will also take a photo of it so you can share it with your loved one. Whoever said that romance is dead is clearly mistaken…

Samsung turn tweets into art

To promote their new Galaxy Note handset through Twitter, Samsung are turning tweets into artwork using some of the phone’s digital pen and memo service. To see your tweet created into art simply tweet Samsung with the hashtag #createmytweet.

Mr. Cowell Is finally tweeting
TV supremo, Simon Cowell, has finally joined the world of Twitter. It seems that his only purpose so far has been to wind up Piers Morgan with claims he is ‘deluded’ and mock rival X Factor judges. At least even in social media he is living up to his nickname of Mr. Nasty…

Busted Bloggers
47 South Korean bloggers have been penalised by the government for posting false reviews to make money. These ‘power bloggers’ did not tell readers they received commission from 2-10% of total sales in return for writing favourable reviews of products and organising group purchases. The most profitable blogger earned almost $800,000 in commission.

Divorcing couple ordered to swap Facebook passwords
A Connecticut judge recently ordered a divorcing couple to swap their log-in details for their Facebook and dating website accounts so that their lawyers could conduct ‘discovery’ through them. The power of social appears to have no bounds as both our online behaviour and how we communicate are even having an effect on our legal systems.