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Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 3

Social media news roundup february 2017 week 3
Week three of February has been a busy week for social media news. We’ve compiled the biggest news stories of the past seven days into one handy summary article.
Mark Zuckerberg posts 6,500 word manifesto

Mark Zuckerberg has posted a 6,500 word statement on his page reminiscent of a state of the union address. It reads as a riposte to recent criticisms of the social network and growing anti-globalization sentiment. It also makes a number of statements about the measures that Facebook can take in addressing and tackling a wide range of global issues including terrorism and inequality, with a view to building global community.

“Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community. When we began, this idea was not controversial. Yet now, across the world there are peple left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection.”

Zuckerberg recently denied that he would be running for President of the United States. His statement does not make any direct references to current devisive policies, rather focuses on vague references to empowering global connection and decreasing polarization. Read it here.

Facebook announces the introduction of job postings

Facebook is now muscling into the territory of LinkedIn with the introduction of features that enable job postings and applications from within the social network. The new feature was announced this week on the official blog and began rolling out to businesses in the USA and Canada. Simplicity seems to be the aim of the game here, as Facebook look to make the process of filling vacant roles as simple as possible.

“It's easy for Page admins to create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting a job, Page admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants on Messenger, all on mobile and all in one place… The experience is simple for applicants, too. Job posts may appear in their News Feed, in the new bookmark for jobs, and alongside other posts on business Pages. ”

Facebook continue to make no secret of the fact that they intend to develop a multi-faceted service that limits the amount of time users have to spend on other networks/webpages.

Twitter begins temporarily restricting tweet reach for abusive users

Twitter has begun temporarily restricting the reach of tweets by users who have been flagged as potentially abusive. The new anti-abuse measure restricts tweets so that they can only be viewed by their direct followers. The change was spotted by BuzzFeed and has been described as being reminiscent of a “time out”. Flagged users are greeted with the same message, as shown below.

Twitter restricted tweet reach message

Recruiters complain about LinkedIn’s “confusing” redesign

A number of recruitment professionals have spoken up against LinkedIn’s new redesign, complaining that it has had an adverse effect on the way that members use free and premium service search functions. One user has even decided to start a petition urging the the company to restore perceived lost features, including the ability to tag connections on free accounts, radius area search for premium accounts and the ability to use ‘AND’ and ‘NOT’ in Boolean searches.

Facebook page pays homage to the boyfriends of Instagram

A hilarious Facebook page is paying homage to the boyfriends and partners on whose shoulders falls the responsibility to take those so-called ‘candid’ Instagram photos. Boyfriends of Instagram currently stands at nearly 31.5k likes and popularity is growing at a substantial rate.

The Best Free Social Media Tools For Small Businesses

Best free small business social media tools
By leveraging the right small business social media tools you can ensure awesome results from your strategy - and these are the best tools around.

You could say that a social media strategy was only as good as its best social media tools. It’s not true; a social media strategy is ultimately only as good as the marketer who devises and employs it - but you could say that all the same.

Why? Well, every social media marketer makes use of social media tools to help streamline their processes and maximise the amount that they can achieve. For small businesses, this process can save heaps of precious time and energy that can be much better invested elsewhere.

This index of free small business social media tools is an updated version of a previous list that I combiled back at the beginning of 2016. Each of these small business social media tools I have tried and consider worthy of mentioning.

1. Coschedule’ Headline Analyzer

Nothing boosts a social media marketing strategy quite like the addition of an awesome content marketing strategy. That’s our jam here at Giraffe. Seriously, if you want to get more from social media, start writing awesome web content that your audience will value before posting and promoting it. You can thank us for the results later.

Coschedule’ Headline Analyzer provides quality scores on the strength of article titles and headlines in relation to social media engagement, particularly the likelihood of shares. It also helps to determine the likelihood that a blog title will be beneficial to your SEO.

2. Yoast WordPress Plugin

Yoast is the number one search engine optimisation plugin for wordpress. Users set their chosen keyword for each article they post and are given simple tips to increase the likelihood that they will rank well for that keyword. These include increasing the frequency of the keyword throughout different parts of the content such as headlines and alt text for images. It also gives you little coloured dots which signify the strength of each aspect of your article - and nothing compares to the feeling of turning all those tiny specks green.

Technically it is an SEO tool… Come to think of it, both of the first two examples weren’t really small business social media tools… However, articles put through Yoast commonly experience more click throughs from social due to the optimisation. So certainly worth using. Plus the extra benefits are definetely not to be sniffed at.

3. Socialrank

Socialrank is a simple to use platform that allows you to identify, organise and manage both Twitter and Instagram followers. As small business social media tools go, this is one that will help give you genuine insight into the strengths of your following such as who your best followers are and what they are about. With the use of filters you can see, amongst other things, who your most engaged and influential followers are.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is the preferred social media management tool of millions that allows you to schedule, engage with and grow your audience across all of your social networks from one place. It also offers social analytics. Free features are limited but there is a selection of affordable pro plans available.

Although I have used Hootsuite in the past, it isn’t currently in our arsenal of in-house social media marketing tools. This is mostly down to the pricing structure which can escalate quickly once you start to add extra accounts and services. However, as small business social media tools go, the free version can certainly be useful if you only have a few channels to manage.

5. Tweetdeck

If Hootsuite isn’t for you, that’s completely fine. There are plenty of other social media scheduling tools out there of varying quality. While scheduling for Instagram may be a serious task (there are ways, but they are difficult), Facebook’s in-built scheduling tool is perfectly adequate. It may hiccup every now and then, but with that many users you can be sure that it will be fixed soon enough.

For Twitter, Tweetdeck is a great tool that allows users to create and schedule Tweets, alongside a bunch of other features like creating custom feeds. These can come in really useful for spotting opportunities for interaction. While it may not have as many advanced analytics as Hootsuite’s paid version, that doesn’t stop it being the preferred choice of many social media marketers.

6. RiteTag

Hashtag strategy - what is it? Well, it’s using hashtags. Sounds simple, right! It’s not. Shame. What makes RiteTag one of the best small business social media tools is that it gives instant feedback on your chosen hashtags to help you decide which to use as part of your strategy.

Using the right hashtags is integral to seriously expanding your reach, but left to our own devices we are all guilty of having a few that we always use. We do so mistakenly thinking that they are powerful when they are actually just a waste of characters. If that’s you, I can’t recommend RiteTag highly enough.

7. DrumUp

Depending on how important external content (that is, content from other websites) is to your social media strategy (and the likelihood is that it will be to some extent), DrumUp can be a great tool. It has multiple functions which recommend content for you to share or curate based on your keywords, direct to your dashboard.

The dream is that your content marketing strategy would eventally become so good and so frequent that you would never need to go looking for content to curate - you would always have a steady stream coming from your blog. But until then, DrumUp is a great tool.

8. Canva

I’m pretty sure we are sponsored by Canva at Giraffe… If we aren’t and you are from Canva, get in touch. We are always raving about it. Absolutely everyone in the office makes use of it to create professional looking graphics for social media posts. It’s simple, easy to use and comes with a whole host of graphics, layouts, fonts and images. Power users - hit up either of the two below resources to get more out of it…

9. Pixabay & 10. Pexels

If Canva is the sword of Giraffe Social Media, Pixabay and Pexels are the shield and… force-field? Something like that. Anyway, these two sites are perfect for finding images under Creative Commons CC0. In laymans terms, this means you can do absolutely anything you like with them. Seriously, anything. And you won’t have to thank anybody.

There are a few things to consider when making use of stock images though. Ideally you only want to make use of them as one-off graphics - don’t make them key to your brand such as a permanent placeholder for the homepage on your website. The reason is that many consumers have seen the majority of them before and can spot them a mile off. But one-off use is ideal.

11. Websta

For my sins, I have only just started using Websta and I must say it is fabulous. It provides everything you would expect from a social media management tool - key analytics and insights, custom feeds and the ability to explore content - while allowing you to view and interact with other users’ posts. Instagram’s in-app analytics are currently basic at best - Websta takes those one-step further.

12. Later

Marketed as “The simpler way to plan your visual content marketing”, Later is a scheduling tool for Instagram that allows users to schedule and manage their posts ahead of time. Is it that? Well, it is true that Later allows you to spread out and create a steady stream of content - but it does take some investment. That said, if you use Instagram a lot then these kind of small business social media tools can be a God-send.

13. Website Grader

Hubspot’s Website Grader gives a full report on the strength of your marketing efforts across all of your digital channels. This includes, you guessed it, social media, but also content and SEO. Certain information can seem a little iffy from time to time but it is still really useful if you are strapped for time and looking for immediate direction.

14. Uprank

Uprank is an advanced research tool that analyses and provides data on the strength of your brand’s digital marketing, including website architecture, SEO and social media. It then generates and delivers a digital marketing strategy tailored to your site in the form of comprehensive tasks. Great as a starting point - but lacks the creative and innovative aspects needed to develop an awesome social media posting strategy.

15. AdParlor

AdParlor lets you create free mockups of ads for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. This can give you a much better idea of what your finished campaigns will look like to users on these networks. The brand new interface is sleek and easy to use. As small business social media tools go, this is one that can be perfect to help develop your social media advertising strategy, with scalable and downloadable mockups, instant previews and in-line character limits.

Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 2

Social Media News Roundup Week 2 February 2017
Hardly a day goes by without something happening in the world of social media. Every week we take a look back at some of the biggest social media news stories of the past seven days.
Facebook introduces new weather forecast feature

Facebook hab announced the roll-out of a new feature that puts a full local weather forecast directly within it’s mobile app and desktop site. The social network have confirmed the new feature has launced to around 95 percent of its global user base this week. The new feature is described as an expansion of its earlier “weather greetings”, short informational weather updates that appeared at the top of your feed in the morning.

The new Facebook Weather section is powered by data from Weather.com. It is available via the “more” menu on the mobile app and direct from News Feed on the desktop site. It offers exactly the kind of data that you would expect from a weather app; a full week’s weather forecast. It also features a cartoon-style header that is reactive to the current forecast.

Investors mistake little-known startup for Snapchat

Shares in a little-known video chat and online dating service provider have almost doubled in the past few days because investors mistook it for Snap Inc - the creator of popular social network Snapchat. The amount of daily Snapchat users grew to an average of 158 million at the end of December 2016.

The name of the little-known startup is Snap Interactive. It seems that investors were incredibly eager to invest in the first public offering of Snap Inc, who last week said it had filed for an initial public offering of $3bn. This resulted in shares of Snap Interactive growing by 164 percent.

Twitter announces new measures to tackle harassment and abuse

On Tuesday Twitter announced expansions to it’s efforts to protect users form abuse and harrassment. These include the prioritising of safer search results and the collapsing of potentially abusive, low-quality search results. Twitter have also outlined intentions to identify, suspend and stop the creation of new accounts by those who have been permanently suspended.

Simple Instagram Tricks Beyond Better Content That Actually Work

Instagram tricks beyond better content that actually work
Instagram is about way more than sharing photos. Start using these Instagram tricks and soon you will see more users engaging with your brand.

Social media marketers are insight-obesessive. For this reason, nothing delights me more than when a friend of mine who isn’t a devoted full-time social media marketer helpfully informs me which social networks are big business.

No really, I mean it.

Okay, I will admit that this is due in part to the fact that I take great pride in pointing out when people are incorrect… which is probably an aspect of my personality that could do with revisiting. But it’s mostly because this passion gives me great insight into how each network is currently viewed by users. Most recently it was this line…

Mate, it’s all about Instagram now. All about IG. IG is 🔥 right now.

Just how my friend managed to express the fire emoji verbally I’ll let you decide, but it definetely happened. Normally I would have taken the opportunity to start a discussion about the positives and negatives of single-network social media strategies, but instead I found I had to agree with him. Instagram is, for the mean time at least, most certainly 🔥.

Instagram tricks that work

It’s all well and good to say that one particular social network has the edge over others for inspiring engagement (ten times the average engagement of Facebook to be precise), so long as you explain how that engagement can be unlocked. Luckily there are some simple Instagram tricks that can give you an edge over your competitors and ensure that you are getting the most out of your activity.

Be super specific with your goals

If there is one of our Instagram tricks that casual marketers could do better with its being super specific with their goals, because many don’t really have any beyond “post something great, get likes”. Instagram can be great for keeping your audience aware of the inner-workings of your organisation, but it has much more potential than that - potential that deserves to be stretched! If you want to see more purchases of a particular product, be bold and make that your goal. Create a marketing plan focussed around constantly promoting and bringing awareness to that product including partnering with influencers, and you will hit that goal.

Initiate active following

The best way to grow your following in Instagram is to unashamedly steal your competitors followers. Unfortunately there aren’t any Instagram tricks for engagement in the traditional sense; you want an engaged following, the only way to grow it is through engaging. Utilise hashtag research to identify large accounts within your industry or niche and then begin to engage with their following - like and comment on users posts and follow them, give them a few days to respond before unfollowing any that haven’t followed back and repeating the process.

Attempt to influence the influencers who influence your influencers

This may be a mouthful, but at it’s centre is a strategy that is surprisingly easy to swallow. Influencer marketing is big business, especially on Instagram. Paid shoutouts can be great for certain users, especially e-commerce and bespoke products. However, by taking time to identify not just the influencers you want to potentially reach, but those that influence those influencers, you can substantially cut your budget as your products are likely to be picked up by those other users.

Use Facebook Insights to decide on partners for Instagram

If you’re considering about utilising influencer marketing on Instagram, one of the best Instagram tricks is to check out Facebook’s Audience Insights in order to discover the best users to partner with. The best way to do this is to create a custom audience and upload your customer email list, then click on Page likes. This will give you the best insight into what your audience is interested in.

Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 1

Social media news February
We’re only a few days into February and already it’s starting to look like a big month for social media news. Here are some of the biggest stories.
Facebook celebrates Friends Day with a strange video on a day which isn’t Friends Day

Facebook have released a feature where a strange alien-humanoid-robot-thing made of reaction emojis and pictures of best friends, who aren’t really best friends at all, dances for you on a video. It’s been made all the more confusing by apparently celebrating “Friends Day” - however the offical day marked as Friendship Day occurs in June or August.

Many users have taken to social networking to voice their distress. Many people have said that the photos used aren’t of friends at all but distant relatives and acquaintances that they had been meaning to un-friend for quite some time.

Back in 2015 Mark Zuckerberg posted about Friends Day, citing that it was Facebook’s birthday - but the day wasn’t about them at all, it was about friendship. And because it’s not about them at all, they are obviously allowed to change the date of a official day recognised by the United Nations. We look forward to Christmas when it occurs next Tuesday.

Stastics in Snapchat’s IPO filing show a massive drop in growth after Instagram Stories

According to statistics in Snap’s filed IPO, the introduction of Instagram Stories is likely to have contributed somewhat to a slowing in growth rates of 82% for Snapchat. Although other factors were present for the drop at the end of Q3 2016, such as technical errors and the rise of international competitor Snow, marketers and analysers are pointing fingers to Instagram.

At the time of the drop Snap were also introducing Memories, a feature which saves users’ content within the app. This has been cited as a bandwidth-sensitive feature so it is likely to have also contributed to the slowing-down of growth rates. However, a quick glance at the IPO shows that Snap may indirectly highlight Stories…

“There are many factors that could negatively affect user retention, growth and engagement, including if… users increasingly engage with competing products instead of ours [and] our competitors may mimic our products and therefore harm our user engagement and growth.”

Instagram tests multi-photo galleries/posts

Some sponsored Instagram posts have made use of posting multiple pictures for some time. Now it looks like the average user will soon have access to this function. Members of the Instagram Android Beta Program Have reveled that the latest beta allows users to enable multi-photo selection with a long-press on the first photo.

The feature has been confirmed by The Verge who mentioned that it may have cropped up a little earlier then the social network intended, as attempts to publish albums currently results in an error message. They reached out to Instagram for more information on when it could be expected, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

Maximise Your Valentines Day Social Media Message

Valentines Day Social media marketing message
Love it or loathe it, Valentines Day is another opportunity for you to maximise your social media marketing with a heartfelt promotional message.

What does Valentines Day mean to you? It could just be another day of the year. Or maybe it’s an opportunity for you to secure yourself a place in your partner’s good books for the next few weeks. Or perhaps it calls for some thoroughly embittered snooping at your Facebook friends’ perceived happiness, while cooking up a whole dine-in-for-two for one.

All are suitable ways for yourself to spend the day... some arguably more so than others. But now we have something else to consider. What does Valentines Day mean for your business?

The role of social media in relation to holidays and seasonal events is often one of increased activity. People take to networks to communicate their best wishes to their loved ones and share their own experiences. This increased activity can and should be made use of to expand your brand reach. Because the best social media stategies are a collision of the digital and the real world, companies that succeed in nailing seasonal social media marketing campaigns are commonly the most successful.

Facebook have lovingly leant a hand this Valentines Day

Facebook insights have lovingly put together an infographic with key trends and statistics for the occasion across Facebook and Instagram and published it on Facebook Insights. Some of the key points highighted for businesses to consider this year include optimisation of how brands are seen on mobile and the publishing/promotion of seasonal special offers.

Focussing on the conversations that your target audience engage most with

Possibly some of the most useful findings within Facebook’s study are the sort of discussions and conversations that each audience demographic commonly engage with. These should be used to help decide on the style of campaign voice that you opt for as a result; when you know what your audience want to say, you can emulate that voice and maximise your chance of getting noticed.

Maximising your brand’s marketing message is not just about saying the right thing to get noticed, but about saying the right thing to get noticed by your specific audience. The full Infographic will likely prove useful for you to decide what to talk about, but here are some findings for key demographics.

  • Each gender discussed romance, loved ones and date night ar a similar rate.
  • Women are more likely to engage with discussions about gifts and food & drink than their male counterparts.
  • Young male Millennials are more likely to be anti-Valentines.
  • Young Millennials in general (that is ages 18-24) are most engaged with the anti-Valentines topic.
  • The second-most prominent conversation type for men to engage with was that of proposals and relationship status.

For more information about how to better tailor your social media message this Valentines Day, check out Facebook IQ’s study “Valentines Day: Happens on Facebook and Instagram”. Have a reasonably lovely Valentines Day.

XOXO

Social Media News Roundup: January ’17 Week 4

Social Media News Roundup January Week 4 2017
Seven days is a long time in the world of social media. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest news stories over the past week.
Study shows that middle-aged people spend more time on social media than Millennials

Until now the word “Millennial” has for some unknown reason, had negative connotations. Regardless of the fact that it just refers to a group of people currently between 18-24, it has been widely adopted as a derogatory term, suggesting that those lot are narcissistic technophiles. Because they practically live on the internet, right?

Well, thanks to a recent report by Nielson which looked at users in the US, we now know that Generation X (currently 35-49 years old) are actually the ones who spend the most time on social media, averaging 39 more minutes a week than their young counterparts.

Facebook’s latest update could result in users seeing more longer videos

Facebook looks determined to further hone in on the video-viewing habits of users by changing the way it ranks longer videos in News Feed. According to an announcement on Thursday, professionals realised that percentage completion should be weighed more heavily on longer videos as completing viewing of a longer video is a bigger commitment than a shorter one.

The change will roll out gradually and is considered a routine improvement to Facebook. The update is intended to alleviate instances of longer videos being unfairly penalised for low view percentage rates. Users are unlikely to see a significant change in news feed distribution but those who watch more longer videos are likely to see an increase in their appearance, while some shorter videos may appear less often.

Twitter is replacing Moments with a new Explore section on Android and iOS

As part of Twitter’s new streamlined interface for its Android and iOS apps, the Moments tab will be replaced with a new Explore section. The announcement was made officially on the social network’s blog on Thursday, however users have been reporting instances of testing the feature for a while now. According to Twitter, the motivation for the change is to help amalgamate live-streams, search, trends and Moments feature.

Forging a Destiny of Social Media Influence

forging a destiny of social media influence
If you want to succeed in selling your products or services, you need to succeed in selling yourself first. You need to have social media influence.

What does success really, truly look like in the world of social media marketing? Simply put; influence. Successful brand pages quite openly exploit the influence that they have on their audience for their own gain. Trouble is, building social media influence is easier said than done. You can’t buy it. It won’t come as the result of some innovative new web tool focused on maximising engagement and minimising fuss.

Truly, far fewer marketers are competently cultivating it than would care to admit.

So how do you do that?

Becoming a social media influence for your industry is about more than writing great content that benefits your audience. That can only work in part after you have an identity. You must first identify some vital attributes for your brand and consistently display these in any and all marketing channels that you invest in.

Social networking is about connections. To use a technical analogy, and bearing in mind I have little to no knowledge of this sort of thing, the stronger a connection is, the more current that can pass through it without it breaking. (Is that right? It sounds right anyway.) If you want to have a significant social media influence on your connections you must first have created bonds that are unbreakable. That takes time and persistence; no amount of careful soldering is going to help. (Is that right? I think it’s time I let this one rest and moved onto something I’m more comfortable with.)

One for the Gamers: building a character, forging a destiny

If you’ve ever played a Role Playing Game, you’ll understand the process of building a character. And even if you haven’t, this is a great simile so I’m going to use it all the same and you should definitely read it.

When you build a character you are given a finite amount of character points. You spend them to govern which attributes and aspects of your character are most and least prominent. For example, you might have a natural inclination for high intelligence levels but not be as strong as others. Or you might, like me, cram all of your character points into charisma and be unable to even walk up a flight of stairs without fatigue setting in; but your silver-tongued nature means you can talk peasants into giving you a piggy-back. (Generally not recommended.)

How your brand is represented online, and even more so on social media, needs to be human. It needs to have a face and a voice that users will find instantly recognisable. As you launch (or in most cases now, re-launch) your pages for social media influence, you are essentially creating a character. The attributes that you invest in at the beginning will determine how far you can go towards influencing your audience.

In short, building influence can only occur with consistency of voice and persistence of post. Regardless of industry, these are the characteristics that you should be investing in to get there:

Intelligence - value beyond measure

At the bedrock of influence is value. Quite honestly, if you want people to care what you have to say about your industry then you have to have something good to say about it first. Ask yourself, honestly; is your brand sufficiently showing (not saying) that they hold an expert knowledge of their field? Content marketing is about showing, not telling. You can bet that there will be tens of thousands of brands and professionals in your industry who are happily boasting about being an expert - but how many of those are actually living the responsibility that comes with being an expert and sharing their opinion?

Endurance - consistency of voice

If you want people to care about what you have to say, they have to value you. Value is a reciprocal resource; you have to offer value to be value. Sounds simple, but by golly does it takes time. Only when coupled with dogged persistence will you start to see the expert opinion that you offer on your industry noticed and advocated by those in your online community. Social media marketing is most certainly a long game - just keep at it.

Charisma - unique individuality

Charisma isn’t just for peasant-riding stairwell-dwellers. A little individuality goes a long way. In fact, it’s the only tool in your arsenal that will allows you to stand out from all those competitors of yours who also want to unleash their ultimate influencing power. Be bold in creating a voice that isn’t just valuable to your audience in content, but also in style. Humour is not to be shunned. Salesy waffle-talk is.

Perception - cultivating trust

A perceptive social media marketing strategy isn’t just preoccupied with growth. It focuses on retaining an audience by building, setting and maintaining high standards of trust. The biggest of no-nos is constantly plugging your audience with promotions and salesy waffle-talk. If it was your expert voice that lured them in the first place, those are the expectations that they have. Under-deliver and expect a damaging loss of trust.

Strength - community orientated

What is it they say, there is strength in numbers? Well, forging an influence is about building a community of advocates; a tribe of individuals all united around the knowledge that you offer. So how are you supposed to cash in on that? Be community orientated. Or rather, within the confines of my fabulous gaming simile, guild orientated. Create a community culture, one of inside jokes, catchphrases and camaraderie.

Now, to battle worthy hero. Influence awaits you in the wilderness of... Das I’nTernet.

Social Media News Roundup: January ’17 Week 3

Social Media News Roundup January Week 3 2017
A week is a long time in the digital age. Here’s our roundup of some of the biggest social media news stories of the past seven days
Instagram live lands in the UK

Instagram users in the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Canada are now able to make use of live video broadcasting via Instagram’s Stories feature. Live for Instagram was first announced back in November 2016 but until now has not been available to users in the UK.

Instagram live videos appear in the top Stories slider on the Instagram app. They are available only while the user is broadcasting and disappear immediately.

Users get first glimpse at LinkedIn redesign

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is currently undergoing a big makeover. The new homepage is intended to have a fresh and clean design that enables ease of navigation for users. Business Insider offered a first-glance look in this report.

Among the biggest updates is the top bar where common actions are now far more prominent. Messaging has also received an overhaul in an attempt to encourage conversation between connections. Profiles too have received a major face-lift, looking noticeably sleeker, more easily-digestible and closer to that of the mobile app.

Facebook is opening its first startup incubator in Paris

Facebook is building a huge startup space in a former train station built in 1929 in Paris. Known as Station F, the space will play host to 1,000 startups across 34,000m2 of space over a six monthly rotation of ten to fifteen startups.

Facebook will help each startup develop their business with the help of their network of experts and experienced professionals. They have already picked some of their first intake, including Karos, which helps with carpooling and The Fabulous, a science-based health app.

Following campaigning, a redhead emoji could be on the cards

Following a high-profile, persistent social media campaign, Apple are hosting a Unicode Technical Committee meeting to discuss the introduction of a redhead emoji character. One online petition organised in Scotland gained no less that 20,000 signatures.

Apple emojis have become far more diverse in recent years. There are already six different skin tones available with a selection of different hair styles, but no redhead option. The man who tabled proposal is Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia. He had this to say:

“The lack of a redhead emoji has been the most frequent complaint from users in the past three months… This document aims to move the discussion forward on how this can be addressed.”

Unicode 10.0 is just months away from release. Therefore a redhead emoji would likely only appear at the earliest in 2018.

Finally, Sir Patrick Stewart is set to play smiley poop in The Emoji Movie

Critically acclaimed actor Sir Patrick Stewart has been named to play poop in the upcoming Emoji Movie by Sony Pictures Animation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Emoji Movie is due to be released on August 4th and “introduces a secret world inside smartphones’ messaging apps called Textopolis, a bustling city where all emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user.”

A teaser trailer for the movie was largely mocked on social media, receiving three times as many negative reactions as positive ones. Will Sir Patrick’s performance stink? Would that necessarily be a bad thing? Only time will tell.

Social Media Tactics that Deserve to be Bulldozed

social media tactics that should be bulldozed
There are good social media tactics, there are bad social media tactics, and there are social media tactics that deserve to be bulldozed.

It's official. Just one glimpse on Twitter and it was confirmed to me; time to take out the metaphorical trash of beyond-bad social media tactics. Not controversial tactics, mind. That would suggest that these tactics warranted even a smidgen of advocacy from the deepest darkest fringes of digital marketing.

No. In the crosshairs today are those social media tactics that have gone past being dead in the water; so far past that they have started bloat, smell, and risk contaminating an otherwise fresh experience.

They are ruining it for everybody and they need to be levelled.

The final wrecking ball

Funnily enough it wasn't actually one of these tactics that confirmed it for me, it was the abscence of one. This morning I logged on to Twitter and was greeted by a tonne of notifications (which I was super psyched about) and about double the amount of messages waiting for me (which I was wholey un-psyched about).

As any self-respecting marketer whose account isn't primarily used for customer service would, I ignored the latter and launched directly into exploring my notifications. I was happily replying to interactions with witty GIFs and generally having a great time with our awesome followers, before my hand accidentally slipped. I found my screen populated with automated messages asking me to "collaborate!", "attend a free webinar!", "click for a guaranteed 5k+ followers!", and even one asking what type of bread our business used.

Now, apart from the last one which genuinely made me chuckle, I wasn't engaged by this inbox full of disengenuous ones and zeros. That is until in the centre of it all I found something I did not expect:

A proper, genuine message from an actual, real person.

You see, thanks to the mountains of automated messages we received every day I'd forgotten that direct messaging had another little-known function aside from being a take-it-anywhere robot junkmail cabinet. A barely used function that allows one Twitter user to message another privately. I know - mind boggling.

Down with this sort of thing

I know for a fact I’m not the only one who despairs at instances of marketing idiocy on social media. So once I’d responded to the human being (or might it have been a very convincing bot?) I resolved myself to write this article. What follows is a list of social media tactics that should be condemned to the past.

1. Automated Twitter messages (obviously)

If I hadn’t already made it perfectly clear, automated Twitter messages are on the verge of making the Twitter inbox obsolete for highly-active users. Primarily users make use of the standard “Thank you for following - insert pitch here” format. It’s nigh-on devoid of reason as theres nothing private about it. It may aswell be a tweet.

If you want a user to actually engage with you, reach out with something of value to them. And do it publicly. Direct messaging can and should be reserved for customer service and private matters, which can then be shifted to email. Bulldoze that bot.

2. Facebook groups for events

There is nothing more harrowing than being added to a club-night guest list group by a random promoter acquaintance you haven’t seen since freshers week at University eight years ago. But it happens.

I’m not completely sure where the inclination for creating private groups for public events on social networking came from - perhaps it’s a result of users being stuck in the dark ages. But its about time it stopped. Creating and promoting an event through your page on Facebook is the correct way to do it. Your friends want to be invited - not accosted.

3. Automated Instagram comments

No matter how hard you try to make your automated Instagram comments sound authentic, they just don’t. They are completely obvious. What’s more, they aren’t fair on everybody else as hashtags that are practically owned by bots fluff up engagement rates by polluting them with empty numbers.

And what’s worst, you won’t know where and what has been commented on on your behalf unless it is responded to.

Some services can seem intuitive enough, making use of hashtags to target content that might want to engage with. But at the rate that automated comment services work, sooner or later one of those seemingly random innocent comment combinations is going to look not-so innocent next to a particular photo - say for instance the comment “Wow, gorgeous! 😍was generated next to a photo of a small business owner’s children on holiday. Not good.

4. Mindless, useless tagging

Tagging can undoubtedly come in useful for expanding reach and building social media discourse. But like anything else on social media, it should only be engaged with if it offers value to users. Tagging a user in a conversation that is of little to no importance to them is a redundant endeavour and can actually harm a brand’s image. It is effectively wasting their time.

The key with tagging is to definetely do it when a piece of content or a conversation allows, but don’t go looking for it.

5. And finally, letting your politically fired-up MD run your Twitter account

This may sound ridiculous and obvious, but now is not the time for your brand to start getting politically fired-up. In fact, unless your business explicitly requires your engagement, you’d do well to avoid politics alltogether for the foreseeable future. I chose the above statement as one of the worst cases of political preaching I have ever seen came from the account of producers of novelty coasters whose brand was otherwise rather witty.

So, to recap; don’t let the robots takeover, don’t force users to do something they don’t want to do, and definetely don’t let your political stance ruin your otherwise jovial voice.

Got anything you’d like to add to the list? Tweet us - @GiraffeSM.
(Just ignore the automated response)

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