Social Media Report - Friday 6th May 2016

Hot Topic...

Social media explodes as Leicester wins the Premier League

Football fans across the world took to Twitter to celebrate Leicester City’s unbelievable success story, going from 5000-1 outsiders to win the Premier League. The social network has produced a graphic revealing the phenomenal global spread of conversations on its platform as the final whistle neared in the Chelsea v Tottenham 2-2 draw, which confirmed the club as champions. Twitter data revealed there were 5.5 million tweets sent on Monday night, as Spurs failed to keep their title hopes alive. The platform saw an 86% increase in normal activity on the night, with as many tweets mentioning the word ‘Party’ as there were on New Year 2016. Twitter responded to the surge in #Havingaparty tweets in a one word post: ‘Wow’. Gary Linker tweeted: ‘The biggest sporting shock of my lifetime, and it’s only my team.’ Social media users reminded the former England star of his promise to present the first Match of the Day of the season in his underwear if the Foxes pulled off the historic victory, with a number of tweets suggesting what he should wear.

The victory led to the lcfc Instagram account experiencing a bigger growth in followers than any other UK account over the past month. The club had 609,000 followers on the platform on Tuesday morning, picking up 100,000 fans in just 24 hours. The total was up 71% from the 336,000 recorded on 27 March and was eleven times more than this time last year, when Leicester has just 45,000 Instagram followers. More social media activity is expected this weekend when Leicester is presented with the trophy after its tie against Everton on Saturday.

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Call of Duty experiments with Facebook chatbots

Gaming franchise Call of Duty is using its social media posts to direct fans to interact with a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, as part of a publicity drive around its new title release later this year. A video informs fans they are using a ‘secure channel’ as they engage with chatbot Lt. Reyes. Gaming enthusiasts are then able to solve a puzzle hidden within the conversation threads. Lt. Reyes, one of the characters from Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, provides clues for players to find a 12-digit code across social media channels and Call of Duty maps. When the code is entered correctly it provides a link to the Infinite Warfare trailer and a player card to be unlocked in the game. The social media promotion by publisher Activision Blizzard seeks to establish a wider narrative and gain the attention of the public prior to the launch of the new franchise title.

The tie up comes as Facebook ramps up its use of chatbots in Messenger. The social network is looking at using the chatbot technology to message users based on the websites they have previously visited. Bots on Messenger is currently under test, with companies such as KLM airlines sampling the technology which allows users to start a conversation with a brand. Facebook stressed upon launch, the tool will be heavily moderated to avoid users falling victim to spam.

Social Media Brands...

Twitter rolls out smart Connect tab to help users find accounts to follow

Twitter has launched a new feature aimed at attracting more people to its platform by helping them find the best accounts to follow. The smart Connect tab will offer follow recommendations based on user location, who they already follow and major events happening on Twitter, as well as showing the top stories from across the world. The button aims to address complaints from new users who find it hard to build their network and who are unsure of what they are supposed to do on the platform. This uncertainty in part explains why there are reportedly nearly a billion inactive accounts of the site. The Connect feature is similar to a previous Find People tab provided in the same space. Users will also be able to find their friends on the social network by syncing contacts from their address book. Twitter said the tab will continue to evolve over time as it refines suggestions based on users’ activity.

Along with the rollout of its Connect tab, the social network has also launched a redesign of its mobile website. The revamp has tabs for Home, Notifications, Messages, Search and Me. The options to access settings, logout or the new Connect button can be accessed in the Me tab. The new design matches that of the Android app overhaul, which Twitter has been testing for nearly a month, with a launch due soon.

Facebook rewards 10-year-old for Instagram hack

Jani, a 10-year-old schoolboy from Finland, has been awarded $10,000 from Facebook's bug bounty programme after discovering a vulnerability that allowed anyone to delete comments on Instagram by planting malicious code into the photo-sharing app. Jani is the youngest person ever to receive the reward, even though he is officially too young to use Facebook. The previous record holder is thought to have been an unnamed 13-year-old. The schoolboy told a local newspaper he had been interested in coding and video games since the age of eight, and dreams of a job in information security. Jani, who is from Helsinki, told the paper that he planned to use the money to buy a new bike, football equipment and computers for his brothers. He made the discovery in February, and Facebook said the vulnerability was quickly fixed..

Since its launch in 2011, Facebook's bug bounty initiative has paid out $4.3 million to more than 800 security researchers and enthusiasts. In 2015, the average payout on the programme was $1,780 - with people from India, Egypt, and Trinidad and Tobago receiving the highest number of rewards.

Growing demand for Snapchat’s custom geofilters

Snapchat is earning revenue directly from everyday users eager to create their own content. With prices beginning at $5 and rising into the thousands, people can buy and design personalised short-term geofilters, location-based graphics overlaid on videos and photos, to help celebrate events such as birthdays and weddings. The cost is based on how long the geofilters are available – from an hour to 30 days, and the geographical area being covered. The products were launched in February for both individuals and businesses, with a spokesperson for Snapchat revealing 40% of the thousands of submissions it receives each week are now from individuals. The growing popularity of the service comes at a pivotal moment for the social network, which has recently been valued at $16bn, the same figure it was valued at in May 2015.

The UK government recently used a Snapchat Filter campaign to highlight the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs. The Department of Transport used the platform as part of its Think! public health initiative which ran throughout March. The campaign invited users to put themselves behind bars using a Snapchat filter, to raise awareness of a roadside swab used by police to make arrests. The government investment in the social network emphasises its growing importance for both public bodies and brands looking to reach young audiences.

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