get5ocial

Social Media Agency – Helping you get social!

April 23, 2012
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Facebook status update

The world’s biggest social network has hardly been out of the news lately following its purchase of Instagram, so some of you might have missed the company’s announcement that Facebook users are now able to download a detailed history of their account activity. Here’s the full statement:

“Starting today, you will be able to download an expanded archive of your Facebook account history. First introduced in 2010, Download Your Information lets you get a copy of what you’ve shared on Facebook, such as photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and chat conversations. Now you can access additional categories of information, including previous names, friend requests you’ve made and IP addresses you logged in from. This feature will be rolling out gradually to all users and more categories of information will be available for download in the future. Download Your Information is available from your Facebook Account Settings.”

And as if Facebook doesn’t already know enough about its users, we also learned recently that around a quarter of all Facebook users are adding location data to their posts each month

Finally, socialbakers have released their top Facebook Pages in the UK Q1 2012 report. The report delivers the rankings of the most popular, engaging and responsive UK brand and media pages on Facebook. In terms of fans, confectionery dominates the top ten,with Cadburys Creme Egg, Wispa and Maltesers making up the top three. Time for a snack methinks.

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April 16, 2012
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What next for Instagram and Google+ gets a facelift

What a week. While it remains to be seen what the future holds for Instagram following it’s $1bn purchase by social media giant Facebook, early signs are that the app will remain independent, and, despite generally negative reaction, the purchase doesn’t appear to have stemmed Instagram’s phenomenal growth. Watch this space for more news on what’s next for Instagram.

In the meantime, check out this excellent visual.ly infographic charting Instagram’s incredible 17-month journey from launch to $1bn company.

Elsewhere this week, Google outlined the changes that it claims will lead to a “simpler, more beautiful Google” and create a “seamless social experience”. The most significant upgrades are to Google+, which gets a facelift. It’s all incremental stuff, but in a week that Facebook sent a loud reminder that it won’t readily be shaken from the top of the social media tree, Google’s subtle improvements signal that it’s unwilling to give up the chase.

 

 

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April 2, 2012
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Google Analytics gets social

The topic of how companies measure the value of social media has been hot for some time. As brands increasingly build social media into their comms plans marketers are called on to show the ROI of all that Facebook and Twitter.

Now, search giant Google has weighed in with its own solution – a subset of reports within Google Analytics that purport to, in Google’s own words

“… bridge the gap between social media and the business metrics you care about – allowing you to better measure the full value of the social channel for your business. We wanted to help you with 3 things:
  • Identify the full value of traffic coming from social sites and measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions
  • Understand social activities happening both on and off of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing program”

As with any of these tools we’d recommend getting stuck in and having a play to see what the reports can do, but here are a few things Google has flagged:

Overview Report: see social performance at a glance and its impact on conversions

Conversions Report: which goals are being impacted by social media

Social Sources – find out how visitors from different sources behave

Social Plugins: find the content that’s good enough to share

Activity Stream: what’s happening outside of your website

Social reports for Google Analytics isn’t the last word in social media measurement, but there’s no question that it’s a hugely useful weapon to add to your reporting arsenal.

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March 26, 2012
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Statwatch

We come across a lot of stats here at get5ocial, some interesting, some not so. We thought we’d share a few that have caught our eye lately…

Don’t forget to follow get5ocial on Twitter to stay abreast of the latest social media and technology news.

 

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March 19, 2012
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SXSW Interactive 2012: Highlights

The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) events don’t get a great deal of press in the UK, but they often throw up some interesting trends. Here’s a few of the highlights from this year’s SXSW Interactive:

Take This Lollipop

Very cool. This site won the top award in the Experimental category for 2012. It works via Facebook Connect, trolling through users photos, friend lists, news feeds and other personal information to create a chilling video.

Storify

Winner in the Social Media category, Storify is, simply, a site that helps users tell stories.

Pinterest

Not new to followers of our blog, but a winner at this year’s show for best Breakout Digital Trend.

Eye-Fi

Winner of the Technical Achievement award, Eye-Fi iPad app allows users to upload full resolution photos and videos directly from a digital camera to an iPad.

Highlight

Not an award winner, but one of the most talked about apps at this year’s event, Highlight – in it’s own words – is an app that “helps you learn more about the people around you.”

“If someone standing near you also has Highlight, their profile will show up on your phone. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. When you meet someone, Highlight helps you see what you have in common with them. And when you forget their name at a party a week later, Highlight helps you remember it.”

With similar passive location-based apps – Glancee, Banjo and Sonar – also generating plenty of buzz, it just remains to be seen if (and how) brands can get involved. Watch this space.

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March 12, 2012
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iPad: The best thing since iPad2?

Otherwise rational individuals lose their cool around the time of Apple product announcements. While speculation about what will or won’t be unveiled reaches fever pitch, one thing that’s guaranteed is an unprecedented level of hype.

There was inevitably some disappointment then when the new iPad (not, Apple insist, iPad3 – though everyone else is calling it that) turned out to be an evolution, not a revolution.  Nevertheless, it boasts a better display (the confusingly-named retina display), a more powerful processor, a better camera (able to record HD video) and a wider range of mobile connectivity options. All good stuff.

But perhaps the most important announcement of the day was reserved for iPad2, which is to see its price cut by around $100. The implications for PC makers (more on that in a second) and competitors in the tablet market are serious. At a stroke Apple has made the iPad more desirable and more accessible.

And eyebrows were further raised when Apple CEO Tim Cook showed a graph comparing last quarter sales of iPad against sales for the world’s four leading PC manufacturers. iPad, with 15.4m shipments, led the way, in a scenario Cook describes as “post-PC”. And while anyone who’s ever tried to type anything longer than an email on an iPad might recall Mark Twain’s greatly exaggerated death, he has a point. In the consumer market at least, iPad is rapidly making it’s competitors look like also-rans.

For social media marketers this all means only one thing. More and more consumers are (or soon will be) accessing  social networks on the move, discussing or engaging with brands any time, anywhere.

PS

We enjoyed the recent More or Less show that proved definitively that Apple is not worth more than Poland. Yet.

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March 5, 2012
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Facebook Timeline for Brands

By far the hottest social media topic this week is Facebook’s announcement of the long-anticipated upgrade to Facebook Pages, which allows brands and businesses to adopt the Timeline layout already available for personal profiles.

All pages will migrate to the new layout automatically on March 30, though page owners can choose to take the leap early and adopt the new look now. Several household names, including Marks & Spencer, already have.

There are some important changes brands should be aware of (we’ve summarised these below), but above all the new look and feel brings a much greater focus on design. Pinterest et al have shown that there’s an appetite among social media users for engaging visual content – now brands can use Facebook more imaginatively to showcase a variety of rich and creative content.

  • Welcome tabs are no longer available with the new Timeline design, but brands can now add a large 851 x 315 pixel cover photo at the top of their page. Be warned though that Facebook terms state these cannot contain price or promotional information, contact info, calls to action or references to any Facebook features such as ‘Like’ or ‘Share’.
  • Timeline is a fantastic tool for telling the story of your brand. Bulmers have done this to good effect.
  • The number of tabs/apps displaying above the fold has reduced from 9 to 4, so think carefully about what you want fans to be able to access easily.
  • Posts can be now be ‘pinned’ to the top of a Timeline for up to seven days, making it easier to highlight important news or updates.
  • Fans now have the ability to privately message brands via a button positioned between the cover image and application boxes. There is an option to turn this feature off, but we’d recommend enabling it to allow customers to get in touch directly. Longer term, brands will need to ensure they have the resource to commit to dealing with customer enquires.
Unless you’re way ahead of the game we’d recommend using the time until March 30 to get your brand page in order and develop a design that makes the most of the new layout. Brands will also want to invest some time auditing historical posts and hiding anything they don’t want shown.

For some inspiration, check out how Barack Obama’s campaign is making use of Timeline.

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February 27, 2012
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Who’s really using Pinterest?

Not to be mistaken for a site dedicated to England’s greatest twentieth century dramatist, Pinterest is a two-year-old social bookmarking site that allows users to collect and share things they like online.

Like all the best ideas its premise is simple – members express interests and ideas by ‘pinning’ images to virtual pinboards – and the site has been generating huge of amounts of hype, particularly across the Atlantic, where commentators have noted Pinterest’s popularity among women.

With that in mind we were intrigued by this infographic from Visual.ly, which brings to life Google Ad Planner traffic statistics to compare Pinterest users in the US and UK. The surprise finding is that while in the US 83% of Pinterest users are female, over here in the UK the majority (56%) are men.

While it’s almost certainly too early to draw any solid conclusions about user habits in the UK (a closer look at audience interests uncovers signs that Pinterest is yet to break out of the early-adopter tech community: top US interests include crafts, interior design and fashion; UK users prefer venture capital, web stats & analytics, seo & marketing and content management), it’s worth watching to see how Pinterest’s user profile evolves.

So beware popular wisdom, but don’t overlook the importance of understanding how men and women use social networks differently – a point we raised in our last blog post.

P.S.

It’s also worth giving a mention to Fancy, a site that shares many of Pinterest’s characteristics and is being touted for its more aggressive focus on commerce. Take a look and see what you think.

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February 20, 2012
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It’s a Boy Girl Thing

A new study from Porter Novelli has shone light on how men and women use social networks differently. EuroPNStyles, the PR firm’s annual report, is conducted among more than 10,000 European consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s study:

  • Women are more socially active than men: 65% of women access social media at least once a week, compared with just 51% of men
  • Women are more likely to connect with people they know: 93% of women using social media do so to read posts and view pictures from friends or to comment on their friends’ profiles. For men the numbers dropped to 89% and 84% respectively.
  • UK women lead the rest of Europe in following brands to access deals and offers – this is the motivation for around 64% of women in social media, compared to a European average of just 52%, and 56% among UK men.
  • Men are more likely to use social networks to display status and opinions. In the UK, 45% of men use social media to check into places compared with just 33% of women. Men are also happier to broadcast what they’re saying to the world: 35% of socially-savvy men are Twitter users compared to 27% of women.
  • Men are also more active in the blogosphere: 54% of digitally-active men say they seek out other people’s blogs to read, compared with 46% of women. Men are more active bloggers than women too (34% vs 24%).

For businesses managing a social media portfolio or planning a social media campaign these findings highlight the need to think carefully about which social networks are most appropriate for your target audience.

The payoff for brands that tailor a piece of content or offer according to audience habits is an increased likelihood of generating responses and prompting action. Formulaic campaigns that fail to account for how consumers use social networks are less likely to deliver results.

Social media might trail other marketing disciplines when it comes to behavioral insights, but as we begin to learn more about how consumers are using social networks it’s clear that any brand that isn’t making use of new data isn’t making the most of social media.

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January 28, 2012
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5 Social Media Trends for 2012

1) Cross-media integration

TV and radio ads driving consumers online, QR codes on print ads and outdoor posters. The integration of traditional advertising and social media will continue to evolve in 2012, with advertisers looking to bring consumers into their social media conversation through offline channels.

2) Social TV

Your TV is probably already hooked up to the internet, but until that potential is fully unlocked expect showmakers to focus on the vast numbers of ‘two screen’ viewers who enjoy their favourite shows with a tablet, laptop or smartphone at hand. Already developing apace in the US, we’re anticipating the widespread emergence of in-show polling and show-specific hashtagging this year.

3) Consolidation

Facebook might be king, but there are plenty of competing and complimentary social networks out there. With so many platforms on offer companies need to be selective when choosing which are appropriate for their brand. Fewer and better will be the watchwords this year.

4) Multimedia

You’ve no doubt been hearing lots about Instagram, Viddy, Tout, Pinterest and co lately. Photo and video are nothing new, but this new wave of sites and apps make sharing multimedia content childsplay.

5) B2B brands embrace social media

So far it’s B2C companies that have led the way in embracing the marketing potential of social media. In 2012 we expect to see more and more B2B companies taking advantage of the branding opportunities social media offers and connecting more meaningfully with stakeholders and customers online.

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