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Social Media News Roundup: April ’17 Week 4

social media news roundup
In the news this week - Instagram reaches 700 million users, Pinterest looks to reinvent itself and Twitter wants to live-stream 24/7…
Twitter shares rise as users grow at higher-than-expected rates

Shares in Twitter surged more than 10 percent this week. Alongside better than projected revenues and earnings, investors cited an increase in users. The social network, which struggled to grow its user-base in line with rival networks throughout 2016, said it was “proud to report… accelerating growth in daily active usage for the fourth consecutive quarter, up 14 percent year over year.”

Although no actual numbers were released for daily active users on the network, Twitter announced that monthly active users were  9m more than the previous quarter at 328m, 7m more than expected. Chief executive Jack Dorsey said this:

“While we continue to face revenue headwinds, we believe that executing on our plan and growing our audience should result in positive revenue growth over the long term.”

Twitter’s ambitions to live-stream 24 hours a day

Twitter is making a stand to increase its dominance in the world of social networking live streaming with plans to broadcast news, sports and entertainment 24 hours a day. Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto spoke about the company’s ambitions in an extensive interview with BuzzFeed News:

“We will definitely have 24/7 content on Twitter… Our goal is to be a dependable place so that when you want to see what’s happening, you think of going to Twitter.”

New app helps Instagram users choose a caption for their photo

Former Made In Chelsea star Amber Atherton has launched an iOS app that uses computer vision technology to offer up potential captions for photos. Rubric, which has already been downloaded over 7,000 times, attempts to detect what is in a photo, allows users to choose a subject, before suggesting captions such as quotes, phrases and song lyrics.

Instagram reaches 700 million users

Instagram looks set to be Facebook’s next venture to reach 1 billion users. The social networking app has gained an additional 100 million monthly active users in the last four months, putting the total at 700 million active users a month. The team said this on the Instagram Press Blog:

We’ve made it even easier for people across the globe to join the Instagram community, share their experiences and strengthen connections to their friends and passions. With new features like stories, live video and disappearing messages in Direct, people now have more ways than ever to express themselves and feel closer to what matters to them.

Pinterest looks to reinvent itself with major ad campaign

Pinterest is hoping to reinvent itself as a visual search engine and not a social network in its first major ad campaign this summer. Unlike networks such as Facebook which are looking to virtual reality, Pinterest wants to inspire real lives. CEO Ben Silbermann said this:

“I hope that Pinterest would someday be so useful to people they could so reliably get inspiring ideas that they wouldn’t be able to imagine how they used to just go through life and find inspiration for things.”

Bad Social Media Techniques You Need to Stop Right Now

Bad social media techniques
If you are unknowingly utilising bad social media techniques as part of your strategy, you might as well not bother. One cowboy tactic can ruin everything.

Sometimes all it takes to elevate a social media campaign from great to magnificent is one teeny strategy addition. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the opposite. Make one erroneous strategy addition, no matter how teeny it is, and your results can plummet.

One thing in particular has made identifying bad social media practices a much harder process than it needs to be; Marketing.

A fairly scathing statement now I look at it written it down, and an ironic one to boot. But true because often these practices are better marketed than best-practice strategies. Why? Well, they can make guarantees about vanity numbers simply because they use underhanded methods; case and point, buying followers. Genuine services have to work on projections justified by the strategies they create, and by previous results from similar strategies.

Why we all stumble into bad social media techniques

There are so many things you can work to achieve on social media, and so many ways you could potential achieve those things. Building social media marketing takes time and a great deal of A/B testing. At some point, we are all going to try something that turns out to be a bad idea in the long-run. The greatest of these being, y’know, giving it up all together.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some strategies are downright boring to work on but get the job done perfectly well. These can often result in apathy - and from that place of despondency we can stumble into bad social media practices too. The greatest of these again being, y’know, giving it up all together.

On that note, here are some bad social media techniques that you’d do well to avoid:

1. Using a curation tool for personalised shortlinks

Some content curation tools, in particular the ones that use sales buzzwords to market themselves, allow you to add your own call to action banner to a piece of content via a personalised shortlink on Twitter. Any content writer who has had their work curated this way (ahem) will tell you that it is dishonest and frustrating.

These apps, such as MarketHub.io, effectively create a duplicate version of your page with somebody else’s call to action (often with the words free webinar included) slapped across it. In many cases, this call to action doesn’t disappear when internal links are clicked. This is misleading, making visitors think that the brand or person on the CTA is affiliated with the website or content.

These are the kind of bad social media techniques that not only harm your own brand, but even worst, can effectively destroy the hard work of another innocent content marketer.

2. Buying followers

If I hadn’t already made it perfectly clear, buying followers is the thing that you should never, ever do. These are nothing but empty numbers; bots and fake accounts that reduce your reach and flag your pages as spam. I’ve gone into this in full and complete detail in my previous article ‘Why you should never, under any circumstances, buy followers’.

3. Using vanity hashtags

I’ve gone into this previously in my article “Why popular hashtags are ruining your strategy”. I’m not totally convinced that vanity hashtags is a recognised term, but it should be. What I’m referring to is using hashtags that exist primarily because they rhyme or roll off the tongue nicely; case and point, #mondaymotivation.

Social media managers and marketers often end up including these hashtags in their posting strategy because they are relevant; which is fine. But when they are engaged with for no reason but numbers, they simply end up marketing to other marketers who are just looking for numbers.

4. Using auto-DMS on Twitter

I’ve made it perfectly clear in the past that automated Twitter messages are the single most annoying and pointless technique ever to darken the doors of social media marketing. These are often sent via following/un-following software/apps that are standard sales pitches. They have effectively made direct messaging on Twitter utterly redundant for anybody who ever wanted to use it for, I don’t know, direct messaging other users.

5. Spending all your resources on so-called “viral” content

Ah, “viral”. Many an MDs favourite term and one that, when heard, makes social media managers shudder. This idea that you can somehow create social media content that is so mind-bogglingly good, so shareable, that the process of merely posting it on your wall will mean that the whole internet will leap on it is totally nonsensical.

I’m not saying that things don’t go viral, that would be a fallacy. However, the idea that you can fabricate virality (not a real term) is. Things go viral when the planets align - the most we can do is create awesome content and ensure it is fastidiously distributed/promoted to the right people.

Constantly piling all your resources into content creation is not a sustainable strategy. You need to be interacting with real people consistently, always conducting network analysis and tweaking your strategy as needed, posting daily in order to make sure your message is getting across.

6. Not giving your strategy the time of day

This is a point that I cannot stress enough. The best social media marketing strategies are built, sustained and made-whole by analytical data. When you start a social media marketing strategy you need to be persistent with it. That way you can see what is working, what isn’t working, and where you perhaps need to redistribute your investment.

Social media isn’t a sales channel. However, many professionals are sales minded. If that’s you, turn your eyes away from your bottom line because unless we are talking about social PPC, it isn’t advertising. Instead, conduct a little social listening - see how much people are talking about your brand now.

7. Thinking social media is the only thing that needs work

If you are building an engaged, relevant audience, and traffic from social networks to your sites is high but those leads aren’t converting into sales, the issue is likely to be somewhere else. You need to have one clear brand message across all of your channels - your website, web content, email, outbound, inbound, Homeward Bound, ALL of those buzzwords.

One final, happier note

Instagress, the spammy auto-comment/follow-unfollow bot service for Instagram, has been closed. So at least that’s one less bad social media practice that we don’t have to worry about.

And you can use relevant hashtags without getting hundreds of bots telling you that your picture of your lunch is “WOW! Inspiring! 😍”.

Social Media News Roundup: April ’17 Week 3

social media news roundup april 17 week 3
In the news this week - major announcements from F8 Facebook Developer Conference and Instagram automation crackdown…
Mind-reading brain-computer typing interface

Perhaps the biggest reveal of Facebook’s F8 conference was the announcement that the company’s immensely secretive Building 8 R&D lab were working on a direct brain-to-computer interface which would allow users to type by thinking. Intentions to create this kind of technology has been hinted to in the past when the research division posted job ads for Brain-Computer Interface Engineers and similar.

Facebook’s vision is to be able to optically scan a human brain 100 times per second and convert that to into text at 100 words per minute - that is five times faster than conventional phone typing. It’s safe to say that this technology is in its (very) early stages but it could one day spell major developments to VR and AR.

Augmented reality developer platform

Facebook announced the launch of an augmented reality camera effects developer platform, allowing outside developers to contribute AR filters to the network. Facebook is clear that allowing developers access to the platform will benefit them by offering a much more diverse array of experiences.

Alongside the options for developers to soon be creating on the AR tool, right now anybody is able to make use of Facebook’s Frame Studio to create image filters that will appear on Facebook Camera to friends or page fans.

AI-powered additions to Facebook insights

Facebook have updated analytics in a way that make it easier for users to monitor important metrics and better appreciate the value of certain insights at a glance. They are integrating machine learning into the platform, opening up new opportunities for granular analysis and monitoring.

At the centre of the updates to Analytics announced at F8 was AI powered automated insights. Engineering manager Amit Finkelstein said this:

“With this new feature, you’ll see insights such as changes in purchases for a new version of your app or variations in engagement across people in different cities. Getting to these insights quickly and in an automated way helps you easily identify where to dig deeper and determine a plan of action.”

Launch of VR hangout platform Spaces

Facebook Spaces, a social VR hangout space, has been launched in beta for Oculus Rift + Touch. It is significant as it is the leading social network’s first significant integration of social virtual reality. into its core product. In the app, up to four friends are able to join a space, draw, chat, watch 360 videos and take VR selfies in a quirky and fun environment.

Messenger bots for groups, Messenger QR codes and bot discovery tab

Facebook has launched three new, significant ways to allow user to find and engage with bots on Messenger. Chat extensions allow users access to Messenger bots in group chats - such as sports ticker bots and collaborative Spotify playlists - whereas the discover tab addresses the discovery issue faced by developers for quite a while. Now users are able to discover “recently used bots [and] popular experiences”.

Facebook have also added new parametric QR codes for Messenger bots. In their newsroom post, they said this:

“Our new parametric QR codes will enable people whenever they are out and about at events, like at basketball games and concerts, to be able to find out more from a bot for Messenger, just by simply scanning the code in the Messenger camera."

Instagram offline mode for Android

Users of Instagram’s Android app have been given an offline mode. At F8 the social network announced it wanted to offer support for using most of its features without internet access and much of this is now available on Android; the preferred device type in the developing world. Instagram say that more is coming in future months and the prospect of an iOS offline version is also in the pipeline.

Could this be partly in response to Snapchat’s CEOs ill-advised comments on their user-ship as a way of Instagram cementing their support for users in developing world? Almost certainly.

Instagram taking the fight to spammy automation software

After months of spammy auto-comments, Instagram are cracking down on fake account activity created by bot software, beginning with the closing of third-party automation service Instagress. Instagress, which allows automatically likes and comments on other photos, was forced to shut down on Thursday. Needless to say, for genuine users the prospect of a mass-exodus of bot activity on Instagram is just terrific.

Social Media News Roundup: April ’17 Week 2

social media news april 17 week 2
In the news this week - Snapchat announce new product, Twitter tests a complaints bot and a guy is 15m RTs away from a lifetime of chicken nuggets…
New Snapchat product confirms whether ads increase foot traffic

Snap is launching a significant new product which will allow businesses to see whether users visit their stores after seeing their advertisements on the app. Snap to Store looks at the number of people who visit a store within a week of viewing a vertical-orientated mobile ad on the social network.

This new product could enable marketers to correlate their campaign with genuine foot traffic in a much more significant and reliable way. Currently only used by select stores in the US, it makes use of location tracking via GPS to determine users’ movements.

Survey suggests Snapchat still teens’ favourite app

A recent survey of teenagers by Piper Jaffray has confirmed that, despite Facebook’s continual casual thievery of its products, Snapchat continues to be the app of choice for young people.

According to the research 81% of US teens said they use Snapchat every month. 39% confirmed that it is their favourite app, a fairly substantial figure when compared to the next biggest Instagram at 23%.

Twitter support testing a complaints bot

Twitter has begun testing a customer service bot to help handle questions and complaints via the company’s @support account. It can now serve automated replies to basic queries around five specific topics. According to Buzzfeed News, these include account impersonation and abuse reporting. A company spokesperson said this:

"We're testing a new @Support DM tool to make it easier for people to get help with certain support issues, directly on Twitter. This is a very early test and will be limited in scope for the time being."

Carter Wilkerson a mere 15 million retweets away from a year’s supply of chicken nuggets

A teenager from Nevada is (probably not) on the way to landing himself a year’s supply of chicken nuggets from American fast food chain Wendy’s. Carter Wilkerson, a self professed nuggs lover, may well set a new world record for retweets after reaching out to the restaurant, asking how many retweets he’d need to land himself a year of free nuggets.

The current world record for retweets is held by Ellen DeGeneres - the famous oscar selfie - which has more than 3.3m retweets. One Twitter user has estimated that a year’s supply of nuggets would cost Wendy’s around $650 dollars - whereas 18m retweets would be worth around $72,000 in advertising.

Unique Ways to Celebrate Easter in the Office

Unique ways to celebrate easter in the office

There are tonnes of unique ways to celebrate Easter in the office, many of which can help your team bond and make for awesome social media content.

We love a holiday at Giraffe. We want to encourage as many companies as possible to get celebrating pretty much everything that they can.

Social media is the ultimate way to get your brand looking human and interesting. Users are far more likely to follow, recommend or enlist the services of a company that look real and fun. Easter is the perfect opportunity to have some fun around the office. After all, you made it through the cold winter; you deserve it.

This year we've decided to have an Easter egg hunt with a difference. On Thursday 13th April at 2pm, we're going to blindfold a member of the team, set up a live stream next to an egg somewhere in the office, and get our followers to direct them to it. Great right? We thought so too - catch it here.

Aside from that, here are few ways you could get your colleagues embracing their inner-child:

Have your own egg hunt with a twist

Let’s face it; most of us miss being able to go on an Easter egg hunt, so have an extra-special one of your own in the office. You can get really cheap plastic eggs from various craft stores; fill these with specially selected office perks such as “Doesn’t have to make the tea for a week” or “Coupon for one free lunch on the boss!” Please note; you may want to check with the boss first. Be unique!

Social media tip: Get some photos of your staff with their baskets full of eggs and share them on Facebook. If you’ve really embraced the whole employee advocacy on social media thing, tag them all - this will help to hugely boost your post reach and engagement rate.

Go full-blown Faberge

Aside from being my favourite sub-headings I have ever written, this one is great fun if you have an office full of creative types - or even more so if you don’t. Why not spend an afternoon reliving those days at school when you painted eggs?

You could even go with a theme that represents your company - we'd probably go for our favourite memes or Ping Pong champions of the 21st century. Blowing-out eggs is much easier than you think, but if you have a big office or just can’t be bothered, many craft stores sell polystyrene eggs that are perfect for painting.

Social media tip: Share photos of everyone’s egg-fforts (egg efforts, sorry) across your social networking accounts and get your followers to vote for their favourites!

Easter Bake-off

It’s a fact universally renowned that everybody loves cake. There’s something tremendously transformative about the existence of a victoria sponge in the workplace. Alongside being the perfect accessory to tea or coffee, cake is perfect enjoyed on it’s own. It also helps makes the office look more homely. It smells good. Did I mention it tastes nice?

Cake.

Yes, cake can do wonders regardless of the season, and Easter should be no exception. Being a holiday that has become of chocolate and sweet treats, an office Easter Bake-off is a no-brainer. If you really want to go with the season, you could always make an edible Easter bonnet.

Social Media Tip: Create a new Pinterest board especially for all of your Office baking efforts and encourage foodies to share. Food also does awesomely well on Instagram - get hashtagging!

Let your Easter-magination Run Wild

However you end up celebrating Easter in your office, do it your way. There are plenty of things you can do over and above a little decoration and a few chocolate eggs lying around the place.

From all of us at Giraffe Social Media, have a brilliant Easter!

Social Media News Roundup: April ‘17 Week 1

Social media news roundup april 17 week 1
In the news this week - Twitter unveils new API, McDonalds take CVs via Snapchat and Facebook’s AI guy confirms robots won’t seek world domination…
Facebook’s campaign to help people spot fake news

Facebook in launching an educational campaign to help people understand, identify and limit the spread of fake news. For three days a link to an article on “Tips to Spot False News” will appear on the top of users’ news feeds. Beginning today (07/04/2017) users will be able to see and click the link to the tips article. These tips include studying an article’s URL, investigating sources and being sceptical of sensationalist headlines.

Will it be enough? BBC tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones thinks not. He said “…one has to suspect that it will be read in the main by people who are already suitably sceptical about hoaxes and propaganda. So I’m not convinced that this will be seen as a game changer in the battle to make Facebook a place you go to find the truth, rather than wallow in your friends’ prejudices.”

One in five Facebook videos is now live

After a suitably rocky start riddled with controversies, it seems Facebook Live is beginning to entrench itself as the go-to for live streaming social media. According to the network, Live now accounts for one-fifth of video content shared on the network. Fidji Simo, the company’s head of video also claims that Live broadcasting daily watch time has quadrupled in the past year:

“…Now, one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast – and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x. Every day, we get to enjoy new use cases for Live that we would never have thought about.”

Twitter unveils new API to try and win back developers

Twitter is trying to rekindle it’s relationship with developers by releasing a new API platform with a focus on transparency. The social network unveiled it’s vision for the platform in a blog post, stating their goal as “to create an integrated Twitter API platform that serves everyone, from an individual developer testing a new idea to Twitter’s largest enterprise partners.”

For the first time, Twitter have made public their roadmap for what is planned. Historically, Twitter has had a fairly poor relationship with its developer community, one which lacked consistency and coherence and constantly went back on permissions. Their new API is clearly an attempt to clear the air and win them back.

McDonalds Australia is now taking job applications via Snapchat

McDonalds Australia is asking potential applicants to apply using Snapchat. It has created a McDonald’s themed lens - complete with cap and employee badge - that users can try on and send a 10-second video “snaplication”. Once reviewed, applicants are redirected to the digital careers hub where they can download an application form.

McDonald’s Australia COO Shaun Ruming explained “we’re the largest employer of youth in the country, so we’re trying to look for new and innovative ways to recuit crew people… it certainly won’t replace a thorough face-to-face interview, but we’ll obviously take it into account.”

Facebook’s head of AI confirms robots won’t seek world domination

Yann LeCun, head of Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab, is pretty big in the world of AI. His contributions have helped put self-driving cars on the road. Facebook is increasingly using AI in its products - from image recognition to voice controlled assistance to in-depth learning algorithms. In response to questions about machines taking over in a recent interview, he said this:

“We have a lot of checks and balances built into society to prevent evil from having infinite power. Most companies are not either working for good or evil—they're just maximizing profits. But we have all sorts of rules and laws to prevent our economy from going haywire.

It will be the same thing for AI. Learning to build AI systems that are safe—not because they're going to take over the world, but because you want them to work reliably—is going to take some time, similar to how long it took people to figure out how to build airplanes that don't crash.”

Simple Social Media Post Structures for Constant Growth

Social media post structures

Building an awesome and original repertoire of social media post structures is a great way to cement your social strategy for constant and continual growth.

From the smallest manufacturer to huge multi-national corporations, from the up-and-coming influencer to the biggest name in the social game, we can all struggle when it comes to juggling content originality and posting frequency.

Social media users are in a position where they have a vast amount of different businesses and organisations vying for their attention on a day to day basis. It’s incredibly important to ensure that you grow your pages with the correct audience in mind to ensure you are building a community of advocates for your brand. However, even if you have the most die-hard fan base imaginable, sooner or later repeating the same content is going to turn people away.

Why you need an arsenal of awesome social media post structures

Constant growth requires commitment to your audience. It’s all too easy to get despondent when your likes begin to tot up, but this is dangerous territory - if anything, at this stage marketers need to invest more and more into their posting strategy to ensure that their current audience remains interested and reactive.

Repetitive content turns off consumers, which in turn damages your reach. To keep those guys on your side you need to constantly be reminding them why they liked your brand in the first place. Doing this requires you to use a variety of social media post structures that invite engagement.

Here are a few ideas to help you on your way:

1. Industry expert knowledge and advice

Providing useful advice and guidance can be valuable content for businesses whose audience follow them for their expert knowledge. Couple this with original, expert content from your own blog and you're on to a winner. This can also be done as single entities without links to external content, however these posts should be limited.

Often marketers can over-rely on tips and advice for social media content, and at this point audience members begin to lose interest. It’s also important that you don’t rely heavily on piggy-backing clichéd post structures such as #WednesdayWisdom, #MondayMotivation and #FridayFeeling.

In small portions these social media post structures can help with reach and engagement, but using them as a primary part of your posting strategy looks lazy and uninspired, a process known at Giraffe Social Media as “Pirate Posting”. Yargh.

2. Topical posts

Using your posts to comment on relevant trending topics when they crop up can be a great way to diversify your strategy and generate significant reach and impact. If you’re savvy enough to make use of the relevant hashtags you put your content in prime position to be discovered by new users.

Be sure you don’t limit yourself to only engage with news and trends from your own industry. Take big media stories such as seasonal events and global tournaments and look these through the lens of your industry. This style of posting often results in a boost in engagement rates because it not only interests your own audience but also wider social media users

3. Start a social face off

If the trending topic allows, a great way to encourage engagement is to structure your post as a head-to-head and ask users to side with their choice. This can also be done with two similar products or aspects of your industry. Not only can this provoke a discussion, it can also provide beneficial insights into your community’s preferences which will help you to tailor your future content as suits.

4. Just do more video

Do more video. Whether it’s raw, behind the scenes footage captured by a member of staff or a high-spec professionally produced video of a day in the life of your business, video gets way more engagement than any other type of content. Visual is integral to catching a user's’ eye.

Developments in smartphone technology and social networking features have also made the process of doing live video broadcasts 100 times easier. This is something you should certainly be doing as it literally personifies your brand and makes your audience feel they are part of an exclusive group.

5. Pose your questions as fill-in-the-blank responses

Every social media manager worth their salt appreciates the importance of asking questions to provoke engagement from their audience. In order to get the largest amount of responses possible it’s a good idea to make the process of responding require little energy.

Fill-in-the-blank quotes are a great way of achieving this. They provide users with a pre-structured response - and also the opportunity to be humorous, which many find hard to resist.

Social Media News Roundup: March ’17 Week 5

Social media news roundup march 17 week 5
In the news this week - Facebook tests a new News Feed, Twitter removes names from tweet replies and Instagram is officially labelled as narcissistic…
Facebook tests new rocket ship News Feed

Facebook is testing a new feed of alternative content that users may be interested in, in the shape of a rocket ship icon adjacent to the News Feed button. This button has been spotted both at the top and bottom of the screen, depending on whether users are on the iOS or Android app. It includes content such as posts, articles, photos and videos from sources that users haven’t yet followed but may have an interest in based on what they currently like.

The new feed is part of Facebook’s attempts to better angle content towards user’s interests, while also encouraging engagement with content outside their own inner circle. Facebook believe that it could help limit misinformation and the spread of fake news by encouraging engagement with a broader array of media organisations and pages.

Facebook is bringing chatbots to groups in Messenger

According to TechCrunch, chatbots will soon be available on Facebook Messenger for a variety of functions, such as updates and new tickers for group members. These include sports bots, e-commerce bots and news bots, helping keep participants aware and informed on specific news and events.

It’s not yet clear how chatbots will be added to groups. The announcement has also been made that Facebook is opening its API to allow users to build their own bots for their own specific groups.

Twitter removes usernames from character count in tweet replies

Twitter is going to make tweet replies longer by stopping usernames from counting towards the 140 character count in responses. Originally announced back in May 2016, the update means that users will have more room to continue their dialogue via interactions.

The update has been met with some scepticism, particularly around the subject of Twitter canoes - situations where two or more people take to one of your tweets to start a heated discussion that doesn’t actually concern you. Beforehand usernames could be omitted in order to limit this. However, with that possibility removed it could result in some larger-scale frustration. Twitter has added a thread-specific mute button to help tackle this.

Instagram is officially the most narcissistic app

Instagram has been named as the number one app for narcissists, according to a survey. Undertaken by LendEDU, the survey found that 64 percent of millennials believe Instagram is the vainest social media app, ahead of Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter combined.

Introducing The Viral Button – Viral Social Media at Your Fingertips

Giraffe Social Media Introducing The Viral Button
Want the whole world to see and share your social media campaigns but just don’t know where to start? Time to hit The Viral Button.

Are you tired of creating fabulous social media content that you’re certain is guaranteed to go viral, only to notice later that it hasn't gone viral at all? You’re not alone. Making stuff go viral is one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century, right up there with getting an old key on a brand new keyring immediately after trimming your fingernails.

Independent research suggests that over 98% of social media users don’t understand why things go viral at all. The same independent study revealed that a shocking 87% of so-called social media experts don’t understand or practice Virality. They would much rather choose to believe that it is impossible to guarantee a campaign will go viral.

The truth is out - Virality is easier than you think

Making things go viral, or the practice of Virality, is actually a far simpler concept than initially thought. It’s a process that has been used by all of the most successful viral marketing campaigns of the past decade. While they might seem simple, at the heart of them all has been one very similar piece of code.

We can’t go into the intricacies because our patent is still pending, but Virality is basically a process that uses a highly intelligent and reactive algorithm alongside simple concepts.

These simple concepts are things that social media managers have been dabbling in for years - for example, audience insights, engagement rates on posts and prominent network activity times. The top secret algorithm understands the fundamentals of how these concepts are intrinsically linked, and is able to essentially provide mega-optimisation as a result.

We've simply put this algorithm into a playful plug-and-play platform. So now it really is as simple as the push of a button.

Why we created The Viral Button

We created the viral button because we understand the pressure of being asked to make something go viral and having no idea where to start. We also think it’s unfair that the art of Virality be reserved for the privileged few.

Clearly, you don’t want everything to go viral because that could be detrimental to your brand in the long run - just your very best campaigns, maybe once every couple of years. It’s also important that we stress that we are unable to take any responsibility for the ramifications, positive or negative, of viral social media campaigns as a result of use of The Viral Button, whether intentional or accidental.

Interested? Keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest production and release date updates.

Social Media News Roundup: March ’17 Week 4

Social media news roundup march 2017 week 4
In the news this week - Instagram announce a bunch of updates, Twitter consider a premium Tweetdeck, and Ed Sheeran stands up to Facebook for a busker…
Instagram rolls out option to save live videos to your phone

Instagram has begun offering users the option to download their Live streams as videos to their phone. The new feature was announced on a post on the Instagram blog at the beginning of the week. Once a broadcast has finished a save button appears in the top right-hand corner.

Although downloaded videos do not include any live interactions, comments, likes or viewer count information, the feature nevertheless has merit for users who want to either study their Live feed or re-purpose it as content for another network.

Instagram begins blurring content marked as ‘sensitive’ to all users

Until recently, Instagram had a very simple way of dealing with content - either it was deemed okay for posting and made it through their censors, or it was banned. Not anymore - starting soon the app will begin blurring out photos and videos marked as containing ‘sensitive’ content.

The Verge approached Instagram for clarifications on what qualifies as sensitive content. The app confirmed that what was banned before will still remain banned. Blurring will first be focussed on posts depicting violence, such as those from animal rights groups sharing content to expose animal abuse.

Facebook rolls out Live for desktop and laptop computers

People across the world will now be able to go live on Facebook direct from their desktop or laptop computers. Facebook Live has been accessible via mobile devices for over a year now and has facilitated a great deal of ‘on-the-go’ and hand-held broadcasts. The desktop option gives a much more professional, stable feel to broadcasts.

The social network has also given personal profiles the option to use streaming software while going Live - such as gamers streaming their PC gameplay or tech experts sharing advice on how to achieve more on a piece of software. Check out their how-to guide here.

Ed Sheeran defends busker who was banned from Facebook for covering his song

A full-time busker from London named Charlotte Campbell was blocked from accessing her Facebook page for three days for including a teaser video of an Ed Sheeran cover she had posted on her YouTube channel. After discovering the ban, the 27 year old singer posted a explanatory video to her YouTube page. When he found out, Ed Sheeran himself got in touch with her apologising. Below is a transcript of his comment to Charlotte:

“Just seen your video, it definitely has nothing to do with me, I bloody love seeing people cover my songs, one of the best things I get out of this job is seeing other people find enjoyment too. I asked whats gone on and apparently its a bot that Warner have that works on some weird algorithm (I have no idea what that means) but its just bad luck that it was your video. I’ve had a word, and I’ll get it sorted. Sorry again. Keeping doing what you do, tis ace. Ed x

Instagram plans to introduce new in-app booking feature

Instagram plans to release a new feature that will allow users to book appointments from with the app within the next few months. The announcement was made in a post that also explained that it was keen on helping businesses to grow and to play its part in deepening the relationship between users and businesses.

Twitter considers offering a premium version of Tweetdeck

A spokesperson for Twitter has announced that the social network is conducting a survey “to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck.” Suggestions have been made the a premium version could include “more powerful tools to help marketers, journalists, professionals and others in our community find out what is happening in the world quicker”. The spokesperson said this:

"We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people's Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we're exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals."

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