We Are Social's Tuesday Tweakup #10


Social networks grow userbase and engagement
eMarketer posted an interesting study of which countries they expect to grow the fastest this year in terms of social networking users – the growth in the Asian market once again underscores how important it is.

The science behind ‘Why tweets go viral?’
According to researchers at Indiana University, the likelihood of a post going viral has more to do with chance than the actual content or the author who started the meme. Researchers created a virtual model of a social site and pumped memes into the program to see how the network reacted. They discovered that the model behaved similarly to real networks, and showed that chance plays a much bigger role in whether or not a meme goes viral than was previously thought.

Facebook fans are your best customers
Forrester have released a nice bit of research which makes an important point: Facebook fans are your most loyal advocates and customers, providing they’re true fans. In other words, there’s lots more to be said for having 20,000 really engaged fans who love the brand, than 80,000 fans who are only there because they click on ads.

Of all the different modelling factors used, being a Facebook fan was by far the best factor in predicting whether somebody will purchase from the brand as shown by the example of Best Buy:

Sunday is the most social day on Facebook
According to Socialbakers, the best time for brands to engage fans is Sundays. The company reviewed user activity by the week and hour for over 10m Facebook pages and places to reveal a snapshot of the best times of the week to score maximum engagement for brands within social media. Perhaps the most interesting finding was from the Telecoms industry, and how much more popular posts on Sundays were compared to any other day of the week.

Eye movement study reveals six must-know things about Facebook Pages
A new study that tracked the eye movement of users visiting six branded Facebook Pages, suggests the new timeline layout is ‘flawed’ as features are overlooked or unnoticed. Although it’s a catchy stand-out quote, the reality is that the study looked at just six brands. Sure, some people might overlook the cover photo – but that’s the challenge for marketers: creating an interesting cover photo, and using Timeline to enhance their Facebook Page.

Facebook + Instagram
Facebook announced yesterday that they have bought Instagram in a $1 billion deal. Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on his Facebook profile:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook. For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

It appears the deal has been in the pipeline for some time, as the two companies have been working together for the past few weeks on Instagram’s new Open Graph integration.

The plus side of the deal for users is that it allows Instagram to roll out a Timeline application without friction for users but the news has not been widely welcomed, with Twitter users planning an #instaExodus this Friday, although whether this will gain enough users to cause Facebook any worries is doubtful.

All in all, it’s been a particularly good week for Instagram after their Android app launched with a bang, bringing 3 million new users to the photo-sharing network overnight. Instagram is now the world’s biggest mobile only social network (outside of China) with 32 million users, and it could realistically reach 50 million users by the end of the year.

Updates to Facebook Insights
Facebook are upgrading their Insights to better capture the viral, organic and total impressions of posts. They’ll be attributing impressions from post shares into impressions from the original page post and also capturing impressions on an ongoing basis instead of the previous 28 day cut off. That last bit is probably the most interesting: it means the value of social SEO will be much more easily discernable to community managers.

LinkedIn’s new Group Search
LinkedIn has updated the way users can search through the 1.2 million groups on the site. The upgraded tool now searches the content of conversations and not just the title, whilst also showing which of your connections are in the group, making it easier to find quality content relating to you.

Google+ grows again, adds Google Analytics and Google Contacts
Rebuffing the continuing media slant that Google+ is a ghost town, new figures have emerged which suggest the site grew 27% in March to 61 million monthly unique visitors. There’s certainly a case to be made that if the media were more positive about Google+, more people would use it and so on.

Nevertheless, Google continue to try and make Google+ more appealing to marketers: according to leaked slides, they plan to add Google Analytics to pages which will help track growth, visits, and so on. In addition, they’ve incorporated Google Contacts so that when you click on a user’s profile, their address and details will be visible to you if they’re a friend of yours.

Pinterest keeps on growing
According to Experian, Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social site in America beating out Google+ and LinkedIn and experiencing a 50% increase in traffic between January and February alone.

Nonetheless, the value of this research is limited – everybody knows Pinterest has been growing, it’s whether it can keep growing which is the big question, and it’s the next six months which will be the tipping point for Pinterest.

Tumblr upgrade Facebook integration
Tumblr have improved their Facebook integration so that users can share posts, replies and likes straight to their Facebook Timelines. Nice.

Citroen crowd-source car design
Citroen have launched a Facebook app called the C1 Connexion Project, which will let Facebook fans design a version of the C1, with the most popular going into production. Citroen have allowed users to customise six elements on the car in one of the best attempts at crowd-sourcing we’ve seen.

Nissan’s Bollywood Facebook campaign
Nissan have released a five minute video which came from a Facebook campaign that recruited 20 people to star alongside Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor in the video. The campaign was a great success, with 2,300 entries and manifold new fans driving Nissan to be the top car brand in India.

Interactive billboard which changes with Facebook likes
Bronx shoes, a South African shoe brand, have launched a brilliant new campaign: a billboard which grows a beard according to the number of Facebook likes the Bronx Page gets. If the campaign goes viral, the billboard really could be a hair-raising prospect.

MTV Voices includes ‘I Care’ button
Alongside the ubiquitous Facebook ‘Like’ button, the updated MTV Voices hub features a newly launched ‘I Care’ button. Clicks on the button will be aggregated on a new site which will reflect ‘the most cared about topics worldwide’.

Reebok partners with PeerIndex for reputation-based giveaway
Reebok has teamed up with PeerIndex to offer free personal training sessions and shoes to those who are influential online about fitness. Reebok aims to drive positive brand association and traffic to the PeerIndex microsite through the discussion generated on social media, but as seems wont with this type iof campaign, the actual story hook is limited.

Government uses anti-government hashtag to respond
After last week’s leaked proposals against the UK government’s plans to snoop on what their citizens do online, a sarcastic hashtag called #telldaveeverything emerged, mocking David Cameron’s desire to know all about our lives.

Interestingly, the official Home Office account used the hashtag to respond – and considering the number of people monitoring it, this was quite a social media savvy response. Shame the original policy isn’t.

How Starbucks embraces social media
Aside from the many Instagrams of people drinking coffee, Starbucks have achieved real success in social media. Much of the reason for this is the brand’s openness. Many brands stay quiet on controversial issues to try not to alienate customers, whereas Starbucks embrace these issues.

While there’s clearly scope for negative responses to the positions Starbucks takes, Morgan Arnold makes a very good point:

Because consumers’ emerging awareness that their clothes, food, computers, and coffee actually come from somewhere, and that the processes of delivering those things are fraught with all kinds of ethical and political questions, means that brands will have to increasingly engage with consumers over these questions. It’s the internet, in large part, which has helped provoke this consumer awakening – and it’s social media that will keep the debate going. Companies would do well to understand that real consumer engagement might mean more than just funny tweets and exclusive bargains.


Johnson & Johnson close Facebook Page due to negative comments
The flip side of trying to increase engagement with your brand is that negativity can ensue. This was the case with Psoriasis 360, a Johnson & Johnson product, which closed its Facebook Page because of a tide of negative comments. Although they say they struggled with the strict rules which Pharma brands must abide by, the reality is that they didn’t appear to have a well thought out social media strategy, and it bit them in the end.