We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #176


72% of Online US adults use social networks
The Pew Research Center has found that, of all US adult internet users, 72% are now using social networks. The study, which has been ongoing since 2005, has also found that triple the number of over-65s (43%) are using social networks than were in spring 2009 (13%). Currently, 18% of US internet users are on Twitter, with 30% of 18-29 year olds using the site, amounting to the highest Twitter penetration of any age group.

‘Liking’ content makes people more likely to do the same
According to research presented in the journal ‘Science’, if you ‘like’ an article, someone else who reads it is more likely to do the same. The study, involving numerous academics from different universities, took a list of comments on a website where users submit links to news articles and added fake up or down votes, to see how this would manipulate ongoing interactions. They found that, if a piece had already been given a fake positive score, the first person reading it was 32% more likely to up vote, though there was no impact on subsequent negative votes. Interestingly, adding a fake negative vote had no effect on future votes.

The top reasons for marketers to use social media
Consumer engagement and brand lift are the two top reasons for using social media, according to a US survey of marketing professionals. Both of these were given as reasons by 67% of participants, followed in third place by ‘influencing customer behaviour’ with 61%. In fourth place was ‘positive sentiment’, down from 1st in 2012, which figured in 59% of responses.

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Which brands get most Facebook engagement?
Recent analysis into the Facebook activity of the top 50 US retailers during the first half of 2013 has resulted in some interesting results. While half have seen an increase in the total volume of engagements over a six-month period, the other half saw a decrease, with only two of the top ten increasing overall. Image updates are still more prevalent than videos, amounting for 80% and 3% of posts respectively. For engagement, luxury brands are the most successful, receiving 19,469 fan actions for every post, while brands that depend on mass appeal appear at the other end of the spectrum, as shown by the graph below.

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More tweets leads to increased TV viewing and vice versa
Research by Nielsen has found that there is a correlation between an increase in the volume of tweets about a TV show and its live viewing figures – the report even goes so far as to call it a causation. In a minute-by-minute examination of 221 primetime episodes, they looked into whether an increase in viewing figures had an effect on the volume of tweets for the next 5 minutes, finding that, 48% of the time, it did. They then examined the inverse, to see how a change in tweet numbers affected the next 5 minutes’ viewing figures, noting that the same was true 29% of the time.

Changes to Facebook’s Newsfeed
As we reported last week, Facebook has made three new updates to its Newsfeed: story bumping, last actor and chronological by actor, each affecting the order in which stories appear. Story bumping means that, if a user misses any story from a friend or page, it is eligible to be bumped to the top of their feed. Facebook’s initial test into 7,000 users of the feature has shown that it leads to a 57-70% increase in the numbers of stories read, raising interactions by 5% for stories from friends and 8% from pages. Last Actor takes note of the most recent 50 people/pages with which a user interacted, giving the stories from each a slight bump in relevance, while Chronological By Actor allows users to see all the stories from any person/page in chronological order, useful for following live events and the like. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t major changes, but do seem to be aimed at an increase in engagement, as We Are Social’s Global MD, Robin Grant, told Ad Age:

Is this a sign that Facebook is so worried about decreasing user engagement that they’re changing how the news feed works to try and stem the tide?

Facebook experiments with ‘trending topics’
Hot on the heels of verified accounts and hashtags, Facebook is experimenting with another Twitter-inspired feature: trending topics. The system will be tested with a limited number of US users on Facebook’s mobile website, displaying a trend from the day at the top of the page, as shown below. If users click on this, they will see everything that their friends are saying about it, followed by posts from strangers. Only time will tell if this is introduced to all users.

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Facebook to stop supporting rich media in ads
We’ve seen a lot of ad-simplifying by Facebook in recent months. This is now being taken a step further, with the removal of support for Adobe Flash and other rich media in desktop ads, described in their updated regulations as “audio or flash animation that plays automatically without a user’s interaction or expands within Facebook after a user clicks on the ad”. Inside Facebook claim that there is a further move to do so on mobile, citing the ‘CEO of a Facebook PMD’ as their source.

Twitter partner with Datalogix to measure tweets’ effect on purchase
Twitter has recently entered into a partnership with Datalogix in order to measure the correlation between tweets and sales for consumer packaged goods marketers. This works as follows: Twitter provide the email addresses (scrambled for anonymity) of those who have been exposed to a brand’s tweets, compared with those who have not, to Datalogix, who match this information to their own purchase data. In a recent test of 35 brands across a variety of industries, it was found that those who interacted with a brand’s promoted tweets purchased 12% more of that brand’s products than the control group. Indeed, those who were simply exposed to the tweets, without even interacting, purchased 2% more, increasing to 8% for organic tweets. Users exposed to five or more organic tweets purchased three times as much of the relevant product.

Instagram 4.1
Instagram has announced the latest major update to its mobile app: Instagram 4.1, citing 3 major updates to the platform. The first of these is the introduction of video for Android 4.0 users, in line with its iOS version. There’s another update to video, too: the ability to import a film from your phone’s library, regardless of when it was recorded, and trim it to the correct length. This is good news for brands who want to upload pre-recorded adverts to the network (although that’s not necessarily a good idea!). Finally, the iOS version now features an ‘auto straighten’ function, which corrects crooked photos with the press of one button.

Pinterest in the UK
Pinterest has undergone steady growth in the UK over the last year, increasing its monthly unique users from 1.3m in May 2012 to 3.2m in May 2013.

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Interestingly, it is not overwhelmingly populated by female users. In fact, almost 40% are male, with roughly the same percentage under the age of 35.

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A survey of 1,400 Pinterest users has also released findings on how people interact with brands on the network. ‘Providing inspiration for a future purchase’ was the number one incentive for following a brand, mentioned by 58% of those surveyed, and the third highest reason for pinning brand content, with 43%. In this category it was beaten only by ‘liking the image’ (51%) and ‘wanting to come back to it later’ (50%).

Bebo relaunches with ‘cock and balls’ video
Bebo founder Michael Birch, having repurchased the network for £1m, has announced plans for an overhaul with a tongue-in-cheek video featured on the site’s landing page. The video, shown below, explains the number of ‘cock and balls’ featured on the site and highlights plans for the future.


Porsche’s Facebook fans create limited edition 911
As part of the celebrations for ’50 years of the Porsche 911′, the automotive brand allowed Facebook fans to create a limited edition, fully customised version of the car through a series of votes. Now, the results are in and the community have settled on Aqua Blue metallic paintwork, white 20 inch wheels and an Aerokit package; the fully built car is now being offered for test drives at the Porsche Experience Centre in Silverstone.

General Electronic’s #6SecondScience
GE is hosting a science fair on Vine, encouraging people to submit their own videos using the hashtag #6SecondScience and tweeting/blogging the best examples. The activity, a sample of which is shown below, will be supported by influencer outreach, as well as ads on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Mashable and Buzzfeed.

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HTC post Vine video teaser
Mobile manufacturer HTC has created a Vine video to tease a new product. The video shows a man, believed to be new brand ambassador Robert Downey Jr., getting out of a helicopter. Rumour has it that the clip is in reference to the upcoming HTC One Max, the next mobile handset to be released by HTC.

Domino’s Pizza celebrate innovation with #PoweredByPizza
Domino’s Pizza has created a campaign to celebrate innovation through crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Dubbed #PoweredByPizza, the brand is offering gift cards to people who pledge funds towards certain ideas that they consider ‘innovative’.


Jack in the Box launch Vine campaign
US burger chain Jack in the Box has created a campaign on Vine, which showcases 101 ways for customers to ‘Go Big’. Looking to promote new additions to the menu, each including ‘big’ in its title, the videos are being promotion on Facebook, Twitter and via a special ‘Go Big’ website.

Subway create integrated campaign for new sandwich
Subway has launched an integrated campaign for its limited edition ‘Mango Chicken Sub’ in the UK. In the TV ad shown below, a girl named Janet is constantly disappointed by life, until she tries the new edition. In social, they’ve created a Facebook game dubbed #WinLikeJanet, an online teddy bear hunt using Google Earth, based on Janet’s desire to win a teddy bear in the advert.


ASDA lets Facebook fans vote on magazine cover
UK supermarket chain ASDA allowed Facebook fans to vote on its latest magazine cover from 2 mock ups. The chosen winner is shown below:

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M&S support Back to School season with #TellingTales
UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer is pushing its childrenswear for the upcoming Back to School season with a Twitter campaign called #TellingTales. Parents are asked to use the hashtag to share the most creative stories their children have ever told about messy uniform, with the best entries turned into pictures by 6 top illustrators. The winning parents will receive a framed print of their artwork, which will also be featured on M&S.com and Twitter.


Social responses to Shark Week
With the large volume of online conversation surrounding Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, it’s natural that a number of brands want to piggyback off the event – The Drum has produced a list of some good examples. Volkswagen created a series of Instagram stop motion videos.

Laundry detergent Tide created a video for Vine, which they then tweeted.

Doritos posted the below to both Facebook and Twitter, using the tagline ‘The Snacker becomes the Snack’.

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Finally, Georgetown Cupcakes produced a special line called the #SharkWeekDozen, promoted on Twitter with the following.

Dispatches documentary reveals social media malpractice
The UK’s Channel 4 documentary series, Dispatches, revealed this week a great deal of social media malpractice by certain brands, who are purchasing interactions from ‘click farms’ in Bangladesh, where low paid workers are creating fake interactions, follows and YouTube views. Celebrities were also outed as having accepted money for endorsements, after an undercover reporter paid £1,000 for tweets on a fake watch, then mentioned by comedian Russell Kane, weather presenter Sian Welby and reality television “star” Cara Kilbey. Talking to Marketing Magazine, We Are Social’s Robin Grant criticised the practice and called for immediate action:

The ASA and OFT should take immediate action to make a public example out of offenders, and bodies like ISBA, IPA and IAB need to work to ensure clients are aware of the legal risks these unscrupulous agencies are exposing them to.