2014 has seen Pinterest and Tumblr leaving Facebook trailing in terms of new user engagement with Tumblr’s active users growing by 120% and Pinterest by 111% against Facebook’s 2%. Instagram has also slowed since the beginning of the year. Of course Facebook is bound to be reaching saturation point now that it has conquered the older market but if current trends continue it would show a leaning towards curating rather than generating material. As more people adopt social media there is space for those who prefer it to take a more passive role. All of this is great news for brands who have a good legacy of content already online, especially in terms of imagery.
As part of our ongoing relationship with Christ The King College in Preston, we are pleased to launch their new website. Our brief was to create a simple portfolio site that would be easy for staff and students to update and would keep to the boundaries of the budget available. Built in WordPress, the website acts as a hub for student and parents, keeping them updated with what is going on on a daily basis. It is also used as a recruitment tool for prospective parents, clearly highlighting the school’s benefits and providing instant access to the prospectus. Christ the King College is a specialist maths and computing college, it was therefore a priority that their site although simple, was well designed and easy to keep up to date.
The post-Olympic figures are out showing a disappointing decline in online retail sales. Whilst many anticipated a hike owing to the number of Londoners working from home for the month, sales in fact fell 11% from July. Maybe people were simply taking advantage of the break from the office because M-commerce (mobile) sales saw a massive increase rising by 294% year on year or 280% if you extract travel.
(Source IMRG Capgemini retail sales index)
Online traffic experiences sharp fall
Interestingly visits to major search engines in August also decreased – by 100 million (when compared with July) and 40 million when compared to August 2011. This is the first month in 2012 when there hasn’t been an increase in search activity.
(Source Experian Hitwise)
Top August 2012 search terms not what you’d think
Another surprising statistic relates to August search terms. Olympic related terms didn’t feature within the top ten searches, the second most popular of which was ‘Prince Harry Vegas Pictures.’ No prizes for guessing what September’s top term will be.
Enjoying dinner in a restaurant with clients last night, the conversation turned to Social Media. We thought we’d play around with the Wine Demon app and rated the wine we were drinking (a Mirror Lake Sauvignon Blanc which was incidentally very good). Imagine our surprise today when we received an email from Wine Demon saying that we were the daily review winners and they were sending us a cheque for the wine.
This set us thinking. Wine Demon is an app operated by Naked Wines. Why would they not simply offer us a wine of their own as a prize to incentivise us to buy a new case? This is the channel that most retailers take, using social to create revenue.
However that would have taken the social joy away from our interaction with Wine Demon. This is an example of somebody really understanding the social element. Our whole team is now inspired to review every wine they come across (it’s the weekend, there will be many!). Naked will start to gather more market and customer intelligence, we’ll have fun with the app. A win:win all round.
Today is Nelson Mandela’s 94th brithday. A living legend, there is no doubt that he changed the world for good, but how differently could he have done it today using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google?
One of the important things to bear in mind when designing a website is the different needs that users have. Some will be accessing your homepage for quick information – your contact details for example. Others will be visiting your site to find out more about your brand and decide whether they want to become a customer or not.
To cater for both these customers, we apply the 30:30 rule. Customers should be able to get what they need within 30 seconds but there should be enough interesting content to keep them involved for 30 minutes.
Always prioritise the 30 second skimmer because they’re likely to be an existing or potential customer. But gradually develop enough content for the 30 minute researcher – these are the people who become evangelists for brands they decide to trust.
Until now, kids’ faith in technology has been unshakable. For kids who relegate DVDs and email to the realms of ‘old technology’ there have been a few shocks this spring. Firstly we had the suspension of the Playstation network and then this week, Disney apparently forgot to renew the Club Penguin url. This meant that kids were met with a picture of an old bloke playing golf instead of cyber seabirds. How analogue can it get!
I wonder what the uplift in computer mouse sales has been. Will parents replace the thousands that have been destroyed by the jabbing disbelief of the kids who don’t realise that ultimately it is fallible human beings (largely of their parents’ generation) who bring these technical wonders to life on a daily basis.
We are pleased to be working on a new e-commerce website for Balthazar, a UK based company that runs spas and sells beauty products in Saudi Arabia. A fascinating challenge, we are creating a completely different user experience. Female consumers in Saudi are cash rich and spend a lot of time researching products on the web. As they are currently not allowed to drive, their store based retail experiences are restricted. We will therefore be working to transfer retail theatre to the online journey.
As Facebook continues its drive for world domination, savvy businesses are already using F-commerce tools to drive brand presence and sales. Whether with a simple link to their main site, or with full transactional capability, here is a handful of the most inspirational FB shops:
Alton Towers – prebook tickets online
Diesel – perfect integration of Social Media for an expanded digital footprint with their DieselCam – yes they did it before Mary Portas.
FC Barcelona – leading the way with merchandise
The Boston Tea Company – making it easy
Heinz – our favourite – particularly clever. They create limited edition items for Facebook fans and the page can only be accessed if “liked” first
Malaysia Airlines – book seats without leaving Facebook
The key, of course lies in building an effective strategy that integrates both on and offline marketing from the outset. Different routes to market on Facebook are highlighted on Janice Diner’s ecosphere chart below which outlines strategies for direct sales on Facebook and other approaches that drive traffic to main sites via Facebook.
It’s fascinating and it’s certainly just the beginning.