We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #295

What keeps marketers up at night?
According to research by the Korn Ferry Institute, it’s ‘improving customer experience’ that is top of CMO’s agendas when it comes to marketing objectives. In second place came ‘the ability to prove ROI’, followed by ‘Staying ahead of digital technology’. What do they think about Kanye Vs. Wiz Khalifa? The jury’s still out…

emarketer customer relationship

More than half of America will use Facebook this year
The eMarketer social usage forecast is out and it’s all sunshine for Facebook as it’s predicted over half of the US population will use it in 2016. Instagram is in second place with 27.6% predicted to use it and Twitter takes the bronze with 17.5%. This also means that Facebook is set to rake in the majority (73.4%) of the US social ad spending. The only way in which Twitter beats Facebook is through the percentage of people accessing the service via mobile. 92.3% of Twitter users log on using mobile, with 86% of Facebook users doing the same.

US FB Users and Penetration

Facebook brings us even closer to Kevin Bacon
To commemorate Friends Day, Facebook used its Friends Graph to calculate the degrees between its 1.6 million members. Turns out we’re much closer than the previously believed 6 degrees, it could be as little as 3.57 degrees (not as catchy admittedly). This only includes people who have Facebook accounts but currently, 72% of adults do. So unless I’m mistaken, Robert Redford’s my dad, right?!

Facebook updates newsfeed algorithm based on qualitative feedback
Facebook has added an additional human layer to assess how much users are enjoying content on their newsfeeds. Normally content is ranked by users’ actions e.g. Likes, clicks, comments and shares, but now a group called the ‘Feed Quality Panel’ will be assessing content on a deeper level, providing paragraph-long explanations as to why they the like or dislike a post. Along with this. Facebook is surveying tens of thousands of users every day, gathering information which captures not only if they Like something but how much they actually like something. It will also monitor whether content is liked before or after reading, as a Like after something is read is seen as more valuable than before.


Facebook’s newsfeed mantra is “showing people what they want to see”, and this latest update shows its dedication to making this happen. Other algorithm changes which show a move towards this include factoring in how long people spend reading articles, prioritising content from users’ friends and family, penalising overly promotional content and targeting Likebait/clickbait.

Facebook makes it easier to post in multiple languages
Facebook is testing a feature for page managers which makes it easier to post the same post in multiple languages, so users abroad will see your content in their native tongue. It avoids any potentially awkward situations brought about by Facebook’s current translation tool.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 16.25.11

Instagram increases ad length to 60 seconds
Previously capped at 30 seconds, brands will now be able to run 60 seconds video ads on Instagram, making it even more compatible with the needs of advertisers following on from the removal of the ‘everything must be square’ rule. This new developments makes it easier for Instagram to steal ad spend from television and one of the first ads to run is the T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial starring Drake.

WhatsApp celebrates 1 BILLION users *puts little finger to mouth*
WhatsApp has thanked its now 1 billion users for getting them to this massive milestone and using their service for sharing ‘vital information’ among other things. All I can say is: WhatsApp, you’re welcome and thank YOU for helping me spread that #bieberweener pic around my friends so quickly.

Developers claim number of tweets is in serious decline
According to a sampling data from Twitter’s API, the number of tweets by Twitter users has fallen by more than half since a peak in August 2014. A Twitter spokesperson has refuted these claims saying simply: “This data is not correct”. Some theories suggest that Twitter is now filled with people who don’t actually tweet and also that younger users who are constantly messaging their fellow #beliebers and #Directioners etc have now migrated to Snapchat and Instagram.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 16.40.26

A Twitter gif button is being tested
A gif button is reportedly being tested on Twitter. I reached out to We Are Social Co-Founder, Robin Grant, who had the following to say:


Brands invest in custom Twitter emojis for Super Bowl
It turns out you can put a price on fun, if that fun comes in the form of custom Twitter emojis. For this week’s Super Bowl, brands like Pepsi and Budweiser reportedly paid up to $1 million dollars for branded Twitter icons, as part of a package that could also include a combination of Promoted Trends, Promoted Moments and Promoted Tweets. Pepsi, which said this year that it would be putting 40% of its Super Bowl campaign budget towards digital, ran a Promoted Moment during the event, with a custom emoji of music notes floating out of a can popping up whenever someone used their hashtag #PepsiHalftime.

Mobile game Cookie Jam first to run Snapchat app install ad
Snapchat has impressed advertisers with its BIG numbers (100 million active users, 7 billion video clips watched a day), but at the same time has attracted some criticism for its lack of meaningful data for brands looking to invest. The platform is now taking steps to resolve this. After it was recently revealed that it’s building an API into its platform that will help brands measure and target their campaigns, Snapchat is now launching app-install ads. Last week, iHeartRadio’s Discover channel ran an ad that instructed users to swipe to download SGN’s mobile game Cookie Jam, allowing users to get the game without leaving Snapchat. It’s too early to see the results yet, but no doubt marketers – especially those targeting a younger audience – will be watching closely.

LinkedIn kills off ad network
Just because it works for Facebook, doesn’t mean it works for everyone else. LinkedIn found this out the hard way, as it announced that it’s pulled the plug on its ad network – which allows advertisers to use its data to target ads to people outside the platform – just 12 months after launch. LinkedIn CFO Steve Sordello said of the network’s closure: “While initial demand was solid, the product required more resources than anticipated to scale.” Bad news for LinkedIn, which just reported an $8million net loss in Q4; it’ll be hoping to turn things around quickly in 2016.

LinkedIn shares plummet following poor revenue guidance
Off the back of LinkedIn’s Q1 revenue guidance of $820 million, a loooooong way off the $867 million investors projected, analysts downgraded its stock amid fears over its growth. And as a result, shares in LinkedIn fell 42% on Friday, losing $10 billion in value. Ouch.

The super social Super Bowl special
If there’s one thing Twitter’s good at, it’s taking down celebs 140 characters at a time. Quantitive data proved that Beyonce definitely won the battle of the Super Bowl half time show between her (147,000 tweets/min), Bruno Mars (28,000 tweets/min) and Coldplay (83,000 tweets/min). Qualitative research also showed some interesting findings…

Brands like Pepsi, Amazon and Budweiser showed their digital mettle by using various different platforms to generate anticipation before their big ad reveal during the actual Super Bowl. Instead of just sticking their ad on YouTube ahead of time like in previous years, Pepsi sponsored a Twitter Promoted Moment and invested in a custom emoji (as mentioned above) and also took part in the first Super Bowl Live Story on Snapchat.

Some of the Super Bowl ad brands have also been thinking clever with their Facebook ads by personalising their targeting. For instance, MINI, whose campaign is called ‘Defy Labels’, has been targeting Facebook users based on interests that coincide with their celebrity endorsers. Therefore tennis fans will be exposed to a Serena Williams message from MINI and hip-hop fans could see MINI-branded content from T-Pain in their feeds. Fans that engage with this content will then be served lead-generation ads to get them behind the wheel.

Snapchat was heavily used by brands this year for the first time during the Super Bowl, both pushing out their own content or getting a helping hand from influencers. Amazon used influencer David Lopez to show off the features of its new voice-controlled echo technology, and Gatorade released a filter which meant you could take part in the notorious ‘Gatorade Dunk’ (that’s Serena Williams by the way).

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 17.55.45

Taco Bell worked hard to spice things up on Snapchat by trying to entice people to their account with promises of revealing a new item on their menu. As they were not an official Live Story sponsor, this was planned as more of a ‘hack’ with top Snapchat personalities like Shonduras and the musicians The Mowglis helping spread the news about the mystery new items.

But after all these fancy-pants social strategies played out, which brand was dominating Twitter with 9,000 tweets a minute when its advert aired? The insurance brand Esurance, who gave users the chance to win up to $1 million in exchange for tweeting #Esurancesweepstake – and I can’t for the life of me think what motivated that!