Social Media Report - Friday 17th June 2016

Hot Topic...

Microsoft moves into enterprise social media with LinkedIn acquisition

Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn, the social network for professionals that counts some 433 million users, in a $26.2 billion cash deal. The transaction, which has been approved by both boards, will require regulatory and other approvals. LinkedIn will retain its branding and product, and CEO Jeff Weiner will report to Microsoft’s Satya Nadella. The deal is Microsoft’s biggest ever. LinkedIn gives Microsoft far wider reach in terms of social networking services and professional content, delivering a sales channel to sell more of its products and complement those that it already offers for collaboration and communication. “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said in a statement, noting that that LinkedIn is "how people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done." It's a key tool in the professional work space, with its 433 million members and more than 2 million paid subscribers. Microsoft itself has more than 1.2 billion Office users, but it has no social graph and has to rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and others to provide that key connection.

LinkedIn is active in over 200 countries and can boast 45 billion quarterly page views. It is also one of the world’s biggest repositories of job listings, with some 7 million active listings current. LinkedIn’s core business is based around recruitment ads and, to a lesser extent, premium subscriptions for users. Reid Hoffman, co-founder and current chairman, commented: “I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business.”

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

UKTV Play launches integrated campaign

UKTV has released its first major campaign to promote its video-on-demand brand UKTV Play. The broadcaster’s "Love your thing" campaign, which aims to show the platform as an "energetic and disruptive" brand, will be supported by national digital out-of-home ads, utilising location and weather-based triggers, handled by Antidote. Social media activity, handled by Social Life, will focus on the hashtag #Loveyourthing and make use of a novel Facebook Chatbot, through which UKTV can recommend shows to watch. “The idea behind the Facebook Messenger chatbot is to create an accessible and guiding expert for viewers looking for something that will be great to watch,” said UKTV’s chief marketing and communications officer, Zoë Clapp. “[Messenger] is an app our users already use many times a day. It’s designed to be a convenient way to help viewers find something new to watch, through a personalised, curated and individual experience.”

"With this campaign we’re binning the sad old notion of a TV ‘guilty pleasure’ and celebrating the nation’s favourite pastime. Whether your thing is natural history, real crime, period drama or classic comedy, UKTV Play will be with you”, said Clapp.

Social Media Brands...

Social media 'outstrips TV' as news source for young people

Social media has overtaken television as young people's main source of news, according to a report for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which found that 28% of 18-to-24-year-olds surveyed cited social media as their main news source, compared with 24% for TV. The study also suggests that 51% of people with online access use social media as a news source, warning that a “second wave of disruption" has hit news organisations around the world, with "potentially profound consequences both for publishers and the future of news production." The trend is being driven by the rapid acceleration of smartphone use - 53% of those surveyed reported using their handheld device to access news content. Facebook is now ranked as the most powerful force in global news, with news via social media particularly popular among women and young people. Facebook was used by 44% of all those surveyed - to watch, share and comment on news, followed by YouTube on 19%, Twitter on 10% down to Snapchat at 1% or less in most countries.

The report suggests users are noticing the original news brand behind social media content less than half of the time, which is likely to worry traditional media outlets. The report is supported by BBC News, Google and Ofcom, among other partners.

Brands now favour social media influencers over traditional celebrity ambassadors

A poll of 500 industry professionals by influencer network app Takumi finds 38.3% of PR and marketing experts said they worked directly with social media influencers on brand campaigns across platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and 82% are now working with influencers in some capacity. Social media creators were most popular among marketers, ahead of musicians, sports stars, actors and models. On average, marketers said they spent £42,000 per-year commissioning influencer campaigns, with musicians being the second most prevalent choice for brands, followed by sports stars and bloggers. YouTube was found to be the preferred platform for influencer-lead initiatives, with 57% of marketers having done deals with YouTube vloggers like Zoella or Alfie Deyes. Twitter was slightly behind as the number two choice, and while 38% said they hosted promotions on Instagram, Snapchat registered 14%, Pinterest 8% and Periscope just 2%.

Takumi CEO Mats Stigzelius said: "We expect the next few years will see influencer campaigns become a standard element of the marketing mix, and predict social media influencers will be the go-to for authentic message distribution over and above the Millie Mackintoshes of this world."

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