Social media will influence £3 billion of UK sales
We all have that Pinterest board that functions as our online wish-list trolley, should we ever happen to win the lottery, right? And a new study commissioned by eBay says that the number of social media users who use social platforms when thinking about what to buy is only set to increase and that social networks will influence £3 billion of retail sales in the UK. Nearly half of all social media users are already relying on reviews and seeing what their friends are buying to inform their own decisions.
Facebook super fans can get a campaign rolling
Call it clout in action: Friends of active Facebook fans are more likely to interact with a brand if they see their friends doing it. A new study from Wildfire found that the best performing Facebook pages have bigger numbers of brand advocates and sharers who not only participate in a campaign, but who also share it with their friends and influence them to participate.
Budgets for Facebook ads are on the rise
Marketers are pouring more of their budgets into Facebook ads, and those budgets are now increasingly more quickly than those for search ads. Despite questions about Facebook ads' effectiveness, some clients' budgets have increased by 36% since the beginning of the year, according to Kenshoo. While paid search ads aren't suffering, the amount spent there is becoming stagnant.
Facebook's test of sponsored search results now added to API
Facebook had announced sponsored search ads in beta last month, but it looks like those ads are a step closer to becoming official. These ads appear in Facebook's search results when you're hunting for an app or a page in the top search bar. This feature has already been opened to some game developers, like EA and Kixeye, who are both bidding on Zynga game searches, meaning that when you search for "Cityville", a sponsored search for SimCity Social could appear above it. Will this mean that pages have to advertise to be seen first? Facebook is also playing around with the design of the results and has already changed the size of the search box and added a "top hit" section.
Facebook app on iOS gets a speed boost
Facebook's new version of its app for iPhone gives users a much-desired increase in speed, as well as switching up the design for check-ins, making it easier to see where you are in relation to the places listed. This is a great update, but we're still jonesing for a 'Share' button and being able to upload multiple photos without having to switch to Facebook's separate camera app.
Facebook tests out 'subscribe to page' button in newsfeed
The not-incredibly-well-known 'subscribe' button has now made its way to the newsfeed, which appears next to the 'Like' option you see when a friend has liked a page. Using the subscribe button means that the page's updates will appear in your newsfeed, but you don't have to make your relationship with the page 'Like' official.
Tumblr 'truly disappointed' by Twitter's mission for consistency
The option to find fellow Tumblrs from your Twitter followers list is now gone, after Twitter's recent decision to crack down on who has access to its API. Tumblr is the latest in a series of big names to fall from Twitter's grace, even despite Tumblr enabling Twitter's new "cards", which allow tweets to be shown in a uniform way, on 70 million blogs. In a statement, Tumblr praised the ongoing relationship it maintains with Facebook and Gmail.
And once again in its quest for consistency, Twitter has removed the ability for users to see which client was used to post a tweet.
Play.com's fans spent £2 million through its Facebook page
What's the value of a fan? Play.com's answer is roughly £6 per fan each year. The site found that its engaged fans spent on average 24% more than non-engaged fans and that customers who clicked 'buy' for the first time because of a Facebook referral spent 30% more than the average customer.
Cadbury adds 260,000 social media fans during the Olympics
Looks like Cadbury went for Olympic gold too. The brand had a huge upshot in followers and fans on its social media accounts after its Olympics sponsorship, including hitting the 2 million-mark on Google+. It also claims it was the first brand to use a Promoted Trend for the 2012 Games. What tricks will they pull out of their hat for the Paralympics?
What kind of Heinz bean are you?
In what Ad Age has called the "cutest social media campaign of the year", we here at We Are Social have crafted the ultimate personality quiz, and after a few short questions, you'll know your personality type down to the bean. And if you're lucky, you could even win your name carved on one! Go on, spill the beans, which one are you?
PG tips' Monkey gets Facebook fans' holiday love
In between cups of tea, we've brewed up another brilliant campaign for PG tips and their beloved Monkey. This year, Monkey unfortunately couldn't take time off for a summer holiday, so he's asked fans to send him their holiday snaps for a chance to win a year's supply of tea and a day out at Go Ape. We're getting green with envy scrolling through these photos...
Lynx demonstrates its Effect by reaching 1 million Facebook fans
The delighted Unilever brand Lynx has launched a commemorative video that celebrates reaching 1 million fans on Facebook. The video includes more than 30 references to the successful 'Lynx Effect' campaign. The video shows a Rube Goldberg machine activated by a man who watches as scents and previous campaigns get engulfed by the machine and eventually sprays the man in Lynx.
Orange France tumbles past 500,000 fans
Unilever weren't the only ones celebrating last week, and when Orange France reached 500,000 fans, they celebrated by launching an amazing GIF-filled Tumblr of maybe every GIF on the Internet. Take a look only if you have at least a few hours to spare.
Orange shows its youthful side with U24
Orange has launched a new offer targeted at customers under age 24 that provides them with free unlimited calls and texts to other Orange and T-Mobile customers. To help the promotion, they've created the very cool U24 Videogram Facebook app, which allows you to select Facebook friends, choose a style and create a personalised video to be shared.
Thomson hopes Google+ Hangouts and Twitter will help holiday hospitality
The holiday brand Thomson is making the groundbreaking move of incorporating Google+ and Twitter closely into a holidaymaker's trip. Research has shown that consumers are using social networks regularly before travelling, and Thomson wants to tap into this by providing resort-specific hashtags so that customers can interact with dedicated Thomson staff, called iAdvisors. Alongside this, Thomson will be welcoming customers pre-departure via a Google+ Hangout. So much for turning off during your holiday.
Costa Coffee launches 'Coffee Club' Facebook app
Costa has just released a new Facebook app that allows its 3-million-member Coffee Club access to their loyalty points online, and fans will be rewarded for registering their card on Facebook. We're just hoping that you get a notification when you're in need of a coffee.
Complaint on Odeon's Facebook page has gotten 140,000 'Likes'
A Facebook user left a 466-word complaint note on Odeon's official Facebook page, which has garnered hundreds of thousands of 'Likes' and more than 12,000 comments. It was posted over the Bank Holiday weekend when the page was most likely left unmonitored. There might have been an official response now, but it's been buried by fans sympathetic to the poster.
Marketing stunt throws fictional toothpick character into the spotlight
What are Brazil's most popular Facebook pages? Brands and celebrities no doubt top the list, but a newcomer has crept into the upper echelons: Gina Indelicada, a fictional, advice-giving character taken from a toothpick brand that had her on its boxes in the 1970s. So what is Gina doing now? Riccky Lopes, a 19 year old advertising student who doesn't work for the toothpick company, has reimagined her as a sarcastic sage, doling out words of wisdom and answering questions from the page's fans, and in just 12 days, there are 1.5 million of them. And fortunately, the CEO of the company doesn't plan to shut the page down: “We never expected this kind of attention, and we certainly don’t intend to sue Lopes for it. Instead, we want to partner up with him."
Does money buy social success?
Is there no end to what money can buy? Todd Rutherford, a new Internet entrepreneur of sorts, has turned the world of book reviews upside down by starting GettingBookReviews.com, a website that promises authors an online book review ranging somewhere 'between enthusiastic and ecstatic'. And The New York Times has just published an expose on wannabe celebs buying fans to make themselves appear more bookable, with comedian Dan Nainan bragging that he spent just $424.15 on 200,000 Twitter followers.
In the light of this and after learning that many high-profile Saudis were also buying followers, perhaps it's not surprising that Sheikh Abdullah has issued a fatwa saying that the practice was not only pathetic, but also that it's sinful and dishonest. Issuing religious dissents about social networking might seem outside of his field of specialty, but it does ring true for a worldwide online culture that's obsessed with getting as many likes, followers and retweets as possible.