You didn’t offer a whisper of protest to the new format for the summary of stories and posts from around the Web, so I’m sticking with it. By the way, I’m writing from a hotel room in Los Angeles—my hometown—where I’m speaking at the Global Intranet Forum. You’re welcome to follow my link blog, where I collect the items from which I draw material for the Wrap, as well as for my podcast, For Immediate Release.
Apple, notoriously absent from social media when it comes to hardware, has launched into social media in an unlikely place. The Tumblr blog at isee5c.tumblr.com is dedicated to the lower-cost, multi-color iPhone. The site is made up of short animated ads for each of the phone’s colors. Apple’s choice of Yahoo’s visual blogging platform “vindicates CEO David Karp’s vision of the platform as a home for high-quality brand creative.” Read more.
Getty Images has taken another huge step into social media by providing embed codes for select images that anyone can use for non-commercial purposes. The company says it wants people to stop copying its images, from which Getty gets no attribution or the potential for income. The embeds will also allow Getty to reach out to those using the images commercially and recommend alternatives. So far about 40 million of Getty’s 150 million images are available for free social media use. Read more
How do you volunteer your time? For 10 communicators, their volunteer efforts are focused on helping the new government in Ukraine convey its legitimacy and beat back propaganda from Russia. The Ukraine Crisis Media Centre is the work of 10 communicators who decided to apply their skills to help the besieged country, establishing a presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. According to Brand Republic, “The group consists of experienced comms people working on a voluntary basis.” They have already hosted a series of media briefings from a hotel in Kiev’s Independence Square. Read more
Inspired by Sweden’s Twitter project, with ordinary citizens taking control of the country’s official account for a week at a time, the Church of England has launched @OurCofE, which will offer “daily insights into what faith looks like in action.” According to Christian Today, “Bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers around the country will be given a different week each to tweet about their life as part of the Church.” Read more
Sephora has reaped the benefits of peer-to-peer marketing for a long time with Beauty Talk, it’s white-label community. Now the company is rolling out Beauty Board, part of its iPhone app, that lets fans share photos with each other. The tool within the app is available only to members of the company’s Beauty Insider loyalty program. Members can scroll through the feed of pictures and shop directly from any image. Those adding images can tag them to add details about the products and techniques they used to achieve their look. Read more
We’re getting more and more accustomed to using social visual tools. In the listing of this week’s FIR podcasts, I mentioned an interview with the CEO of Foko, described as “Instagram for the enterprise.” I also read this week about Pie, which gives your company the ability to create proprietary internal pinboards. The free app is designed to “help teams collect, organize, share, and discuss the business-related links, visuals, content, and more that they find in and out of work every day.” And it looks exactly like Pinterest. Read more
Recruiters are starting to gravitate toward Snapchat as a channel for attracting candidates to their companies. “Using an app that requires users to send a photo or 10 second clip rather than a long-winded CV and cover letter will be appealing to a lot of recruiters and hiring managers,” writes Lauren Riley. Read more
While there’s still a lot of head-scratching going on over Facebook’s $19 billion investment in WhatsApp, marketers are taking the whole mobile messaging space more and more seriously. WhatsApp’s biggest competitor, China’s WeChat, is routinely shrugged off as a marketing tool, yet companies like Burberry, Pepsi and McDonalds are finding clever ways to get their messages out to WeChat’s nearly 300 million monthly active users. WeChat is working directly with Burberry to “develop content and improve storytelling” via the medium designed for one-to-one interactions. McDonald’s and Pepsi have both tapped into WeChat’s voice feature. McDonald’s launched a contest asking users to record a “Big Mac Rap” in the style of a hit Chinese singing show. Read more
Speaking of mobile messaging apps, WhatsApp—along with Facebook—are leading to the demise of a lot of Europe’s native social networks. Research from GlobalWebIndex reveals that “some of Europe’s original social networks experienced sharp drops in active user numbers in the last six months of 2013, due to the growth in chat apps such as WhatsApp, and of course the relentless spread of Facebook.” For example, Hyves, which had amassed 10 million users in The Netherlands, has effectively shut down as a result of defections to WhatsApp and Facebook. Read more
You can take our land lines, but we just gotta have our Internet. A study from the Pew Research Center queried Americans about six communication technologies, and more than half said it would be “very hard” to give up the Net and 61% said it become essential to them. “Translated to the whole population, 39% of Americans feel they absolutely need to have Internet access,” the report says. Almost 50% would have a hard time give up their smartphones. On the other hand, we’d find it much easier to give up TV and land-line phones. One curious result of the study: only 11% said social media would be hard to give up, while 40% said ditching Facebook, Twitter and other social media wouldn’t be difficult at all. Read more
You know all that work you put into getting a fan to follow your brand? You’ll lose 15% of them within three weeks if you haven’t engaged them by then. Social marketing company SocialBro released the study results, noting that influencers don’t have much trouble keeping their followers, but everyone else needs to engage those followers or we’ll lose 20% of new followers within a week and 40% after three weeks. (The 15% figure is derived by including influencers, who lose only 1-3% of new followers within a week if they don’t engage them.) The lesson: “Interact with people or they’ll rightly start to wonder why they bothered following you in the first place.” Read more
As concerns about privacy mount at the same time marketers leverage big data to deliver targeted content, the importance of building trust with customers has never been more important. Even though most consumers worry about how companies will use data companies collect about them, 79% are more likely to offer that data freely to a “trusted brand.” A consumer behavior study from SDL covering the US, the UK and Australia says companies need to understand what kind of information consumers are willing to exchange with the brand. For instance, they’re willing to share gender, age and income with a trusted brand, but spouse names and lists of family and friends are among the information they’d prefer to keep to themselves. Most people don’t read website privacy policies, though. Read more
News shared on Twitter should be verified by a reputable newspaper. If that sounds somewhat extreme, consider that it’s the belief of more than half of Twitter’s users, according to a study from YouGov. 62% of Twitter users want a respected newspaper brand to confirm the reports they’re reading are true. Another interesting result: 60% of Twitter users engage on Twitter with news providers they generally don’t read anywhere else. Read more
Should you make a big deal over the impressions your social media effort attracted? Dubai is touting the 50,000 tweets that include the #MyDubai hashtag—an tourism initiative launched by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed—resulting in 349 million Twitter impressions. “The social media initiative #MyDubai has gone viral,” The National proclaims. But not so fast. Measurement goddess Katie Paine wonders “why companies continue to focus on producing millions of impressions when so many are wasted. “Companies and organizations that spent the most on buying impressions do not necessarily survive. No one ever accused Polaroid, Circuit City, or Tower Records of being silent in their marketplaces…A system in which you have gazillions of brand messages competing against each other to try to make a human connection ends up simply confusing the audience and wasting a great deal of money.” Read more