— blending the mix

That was the week in social 4th November 2013

Getting through thousands of pieces of content per week, I figured that there would be some value in sharing some of those most relevant pieces in a weekly blog post. Like Scott’s, this also goes around various people within the Telefonica business to help them keep track of the major changes and trends in social media.

There may also be a bit of a Telco and Mobile sector element to it which again picks out the most interesting headlines impacting our sector.

I’ll be putting this out every Friday afternoon as a bit of a wrap for the week but if you want to make sure you get this and any other posts I put out on the blog, make sure you subscribe here.

That was the week in social 4th November 2013

Overview

So, what a week. Blackberry lost a CEO and gained $1bn, profit-less Twitter went to IPO and almost doubled its share price within the day and Instagram launched its first ever ad campaign. If ever there was a moment in the last few months that proved social has converged with other media, this one was it. The connection between Paid Owned Earned media is now an unquestionable fact of social and should bring with it, dramatically different operating models and processes.

Platforms

Facebook

Somewhat overshadowed by the Twitter IPO news, Facebook hasn’t had the best of weeks with claims that it is losing the race to attract and retain teens (Pew research) whilst Forbes also highlighted that both Facebook and Twitter are losing ground to Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Adding to the woes, Business Insider reports that Pinterest, out of all the young pretenders is the fastest growing platform for sharing content whilst Instagram is the fastest growing platform for marketers (clear?!) – a point I also raise in this post about the increasingly ageing traditional social network and rapidly mobile emerging platforms.

You can’t even give Facebook a thumbs-up these days with the news that they have also now dropped the thumb to give us new Like and Share buttons. Boo :-(

Facebook Like Share

Twitter

With Twitter going public at $26 per share (and ending Day 1 at $44.90) being such big news, you can see why IBM decided to inform Twitter this week of infringements relating to Location, Advertising and Contacts patents. Taking in to account the attack from other, emerging mobile-first networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat (and now Context!) and you can see why Twitter is understandably nervous about criticism of its lack of profits.

There can’t be any coincidence why it is exploring new methods of embedding visual media (and no doubt ads) into your timeline and exploring other app install formats, previously the poster-boy format for Facebook.

Finally on Twitter, interesting research by e-consultancy suggests that 72% of customers who complain on Twitter expect their complaint to be answered within an HOUR. Are you ready for real-time care?

Instagram

Instagram’s big news this week has been the successful (or not) launch of in-stream ads for fashion designer, Michael Kors. Over 5% of the 6.15m ad views led to likes (are we STILL counting that as a measure of success?!) whilst 20% of the comments were deemed to be negative. Make up your own mind, but there’s definitely some potential there – but they’d best get it there quick before Telefonica’s friend, Carlos Slim’s new Instagram competitor, Mobli starts gaining ground.

In other Instagram news not already covered above, research todays suggests that blue images get you the most likes. Pretty good news if you’re working in O2 i’d say!

Google

Its been a pretty busy week for Google too, launching a fantastic new “Helpouts” product – a Google hangout where you can pay for expert advice:

Google has also, mercifully, made some significant changes to its YouTube comments system to not only help reduce anonymous trolling (by tying in to a Google+ account), but also to present comments that are more contextually relevant to you. It might not make a better person, but it goes some way to cleaning comments up and hopefully allow ing brands to have more meaningful conversation in their YouTube comments threads:

New YouTube commens

And finally…Google also launched a new “Private Communities” feature to Google+. An interesting feature which mimicks in some way the closed nature of old Facebook Groups but importantly for Internal Comms, networks like Yammer. I think we’re some way off seeing Google+ as a Yammer replacement but it’s a clear win for developing and nurturing advocates and influencers.

Research and Insights

Some interesting stats out this week:

Top 10 social sites - October 2013

Top 10 social sites – October 2013Shareaholic-Social-Traffic-Referrals-Sep2012-2013-Nov2013

ZenDesk-Customer-Satisfaction-by-Support-Channel-in-Q3-Nov2013

Social care is unquestionably on the rise, but people still prefer voice. With an ageing social media population more used to voice care, how can brands split their services efficiently?

 Summary

So whilst the news of Twitter’s IPO will undoubtedly dominate the headlines, I can’t help feel that the IPO represents an interesting shift in power. Yes Facebook will evolve its services (perhaps more out of necessity than desire), but it is being increasingly attacked by mobile-first channels. And whilst these are challenging times for Facebook, it’s still making good money and far from failing marketers.

Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest, WeChat and Context are not only all growing FAST, they are truly mobile-first networks, and importantly are all image-based which presents some truly interesting challenges for brands. Images are so often shared on the go, in real-time. How are brands going to gear-up for that kind of marketing interaction?

As the original mobile-first network, Twitter has arguably more experience in the tank to not only monetise effectively but to outlast the competition – after all, many of them merely add a degree of functionality to Twitter’s core offering, but the pressure will be on to ensure that the user experience is not compromised.

But, with an increasingly close relationship with TV, perhaps Twitter’s revenue play is not just ads, but partnerships – such as Tweetserve, the world’s first account management system via Twitter.

Now, anyone got the number of a trustworthy stockbroker…

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