Social shopping, Chilean miners and how not to crowdsource – a look at October’s top social media news

Can you believe it, it’s the end of October already. Summer days are officially over and the Christmas build up is upon us. We’ve put together a summary of the top social media stories this month, for your delectation and in case you’ve been stuck down a hole for the last 30 days.

The  Social Shopping Explosion

This month we launched our research ‘The Social Shopping Explosion’. As a social media agency, we were interested to examine how social is changing the way we shop so we explored the motivations and mindsets of consumers online. Here are some of the key insights from our report:

  • 46% of online shoppers do not have a clear idea of what they want to buy when they go online. Emerging groups of shoppers, termed gatherers and collaborators, are spending time on social platforms researching and sharing information prior to making a purchase
  • 60% of UK online shoppers would be more likely to shop at a site that rewarded them for reviews or recommendations
  • Retailer incentives do not affect the credibility of customer reviews (32% think better of a brand that has been recommended, 30% when the recommendation has been rewarded)
  • Only 11% want transactional rewards (discounts etc.), 82% want both transactional and experiential rewards (private shopping days, product testing etc.)

You can download the report by visiting

Google news and sharing

Google announced a new feature to its News search last week. For some search terms, news results are now displaying a ‘shared by’ number alongside the link. This means how many times the story has been shared on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. At the moment, it seems Google is only displaying these results on the main page, when you click on the News page there are no ‘shared by’ numbers. What remains to be seen however, is whether this new social search feature will affect the way Google ranks results but it’s certainly something that SEO strategists should be aware of.

How not to crowdsource

We all learnt a lesson from Gap this month following the backlash surrounding the company’s decision to change its logo. Gap showcased its redesigned logo but it was met with consumer resistance on Facebook and Twitter. The company’s Facebook page, that has more than 800,000 fans, received more than 1,107 comments when it announced its new logo.  It was even a trending topic on Twitter. Gap then asked its fans for feedback and wanted to crowdsource ideas for a new design.  Gap took the decision to revert back to its original logo at the advice of its online communities and embarrassingly issued a statement from Marka Hansen, president of the Gap brand in North America, which said: “this wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.” This is a good example of the power of online communities. Gap was right to listen to its fans and revert back to the original. However, its reputation could’ve been saved, along with a lot of time and money, if they’d engaged with this community beforehand.

Greater Manchester Police turn to Twitter

With the spending cuts looming, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) took to Twitter to raise public awareness of police work. For a 24 hour period GMP recorded each of the 3,205 incidents they had to deal with on Twitter. From the serious to the trivial, people were encouraged to follow their work using the hash tag #gmp24.  The experiment proved successful with 28,000 additional followers that day. Twitter’s features, such as its live and concise updates, made it the perfect platform for the police’s current activity to be demonstrated.

Chilean miners rescue

The rescue effort to free the Chilean miners finally came to a conclusion this month, when all 33 miners were successfully bought back to civilisation. The social media world was awash with real time commentary about the rescue. As well as the large news sites streaming live videos and updating news stories and blogs, millions of people turned to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the rescue mission. Numerous Facebook pages were set up, some with over 2,000 fans, and Chilean miners became a top trending topic on Twitter throughout the day.

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