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Social Media News Roundup: August ’17 Week 1

social media news august 2017 week 1
In the news this week - Facebook heralds faster webpages, Instagram Stories celebrates first birthday and celebrities on Twitter are robots...
Facebook update gives preference to faster loading web pages

An upcoming Facebook update will soon give preferential treatment to faster loading web pages. Facebook has announced that throughout the next few months it will be rolling out an update to News Feed that will effectively serve up more stories that load quicker on mobile - and less stories that don’t. In the update Facebook’s algorithm will begin to take into account estimated load time for links within the mobile app.

Facebook have stated that as the update gradually rolls out they anticipate that the majority of Pages won’t witness any significant changes to their own distribution. That said, business users will noticeably slower-loading webpages may see a decrease in referrals, so now is a good a time as any to work to improve site speed and mobile optimisation.

Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to hold first meeting

Last month Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, in a bid to “formalise and structure how companies work together to curtail the spread of terrorism and violent extremism [across] hosted consumer services” (Twitter).

On 1st August 2017 the first official workshop will be held in San Francisco, gathering tech industry representatives and both government and non-governmental organisations to share data and best practices to counter the threat of extremist content online.

Instagram Stories becomes one year old

On Wednesday 2nd August Instagram Stories officially reached one year of service. Instagram marked the milestone with a post on their official press blog. Within Stories’s first year, Instagram have rolled out more than 20 new features and tools, such as stickers and Boomerang capabilities.

Data now shows that over half of business users now utilise Instagram Stories as part of their social media marketing strategy, overtaking Snapchat. Findings also show that one in five organic Stories from businesses result in a direct message as response.

LinkedIn Lite launched across 60+ countries

In a bid to expand accessibility for members on an International scale, LinkedIn Lite mobile web and Android app has been launched to over 60 countries across the world. Included in the launch were Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa, amongst others. LinkedIn Lite is marketed as a “lighter, faster version of [the LinkedIn] flagship product and includes all key features such as the news feed, messaging and notifications.”

Facebook to increase use of third-party fact checkers

Facebook is to begin utilising a new, cutting-edge machine learning algorithm to flag up articles bearing the hallmarks of being agenda-driven, the latest addition in their bid to tackle “fake news”. Flagged articles can then be further reviewed by human fact-checkers. Facebook news feed product manager Sara Su said:

“In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share.”

Study finds celebrity Twitter accounts act like bots

A new study from the University of Cambridge has shown that celebrity Twitter accounts with more than 10 million followers display more bot-like behavior than those with fewer followers. Students analysed a total of 3,535 accounts and determined that of those 1,525 were bots and 2,010 were humans.

Researchers then created an algorithm that utilises 21 features to pinpoint bots. They then discovered that celebrity accounts share some of these features. Cambridge PhD student Zafar Galani, who led the research, said:

“A Twitter user can be a human and still be a spammer, and an account can be operated by a bot and still be benign… Bots typically tweet a lot and upload content in order to gain attention of their audience. Celebrities too do exactly that, but instead of uploading depersonalised content, like bots do, they upload and share content and news from their daily lives.”

50 Ways To Be Better & Generate Demand On Instagram

Generate demand on Instagram Marketing
If you want to generate demand on Instagram, first you have to acknowledge the need to be better. We've put together fifty ways you can begin to do just that.

Instagram now sees over 400 million active users, daily. So whether you like it or not, this isn’t a social network to be sniffed at. Any marketing channel with numbers that substantial deserves to be given some serious thought. If you’ve spent the last few years shouting about the fact that your brand or organisation is too niche or unorthodox to be on Instagram then maybe it’s time for a rethink.

As with anything, to generate demand on Instagram you are going to have to put the work in. Most of us are well aware of when we need to be better at something. In fact, “just be better Mark” is one of the most common criticisms that I hear. The problem with being better at something is it takes three steps, each requiring more investment than the last:

  1. Acknowledging that you need to be better: This can sometimes be difficult, but if people tell you that you need to as much as they do me, eventually it will sink in.
  2. Finding out how to be better: After acceptance comes seeking help. If you want to generate demand on Instagram that’s where this article comes in.
  3. Actually doing the things that will make you be better: Finally, the most frustrating step in the road towards being better is doing those things that you learnt about that will make you be better. In the case of Instagram, this means that you are going to have to actually use it - well.
Using Instagram correctly

Before we continue, we should probably confirm what Instagram is and isn’t. Where businesses are concerned, Instagram is a community building and demand generation tool, not a sales tool. If you overuse the word sales when referring to it, you are setting yourself up to fail. What you need to be selling is the lifestyle associated with your brand or products. You can't sell direct from Instagram, but you can generate demand on Instagram

I am going to go out on a whim in speculating here that there is more than one reason why Instagram still haven’t given us the option to embed links into normal posts yet. Reason one, (the most obvious) is that they want you to pay for their advertising. But reason two is likely that they want to retain their original sense of authenticity as a community, and not allow it to become a network full of overzealous businesses constantly shouting about how great they are.

While they have specific brand accounts now, there is still a significant feeling of consistency across the board. You need to be building demand, making people want in, building a community of people who love your stuff, encouraging organic advocacy through word of mouth and shares/user generated content.

How to generate demand on Instagram

Once you’ve decided that you want to generate demand on Instagram, get to studying the below. Almost like an Instagram marketing cheat sheet for businesses who want to be better, what follows is fifty of our top tips for generating demand and generally being better on IG.

  1. Write a bossing bio: You Instagram bio needs to be short, succinct, and describe who you are, what you do and why you do it. Use the rule of three and be human.
  2. Brand your page: Your Instagram page should live and breathe your brand. Be sure your profile picture and bio reflects your brand in colours, imagery and style.
  3. Brand your feed: Further to your page, all of your feed should have the feel of your brand, reflecting the feel and themes through colours and content.
  4. Work on your branding: If you can’t get the last two, it’s probably time to step back and take a look at your branding. Remember, it’s more than a logo, it’s about personality and how you are perceived.
  5. Ensure a mobile-optimised link in bio: It should be clear where your link-in-bio goes to, but alongside that, be sure that this page is optimised for mobile otherwise this reflects poorly on your brand.
  6. Emoji for effect: There’s nothing wrong with a good emoji - so long as it’s the right emoji! Don’t overuse them, they should be engaged only when they make sense and compliment your post.
  7. Post a variety of content: Variety is the aim of the game. Be sure to start building up different styles of content - post people, place, things and thoughts, not just one!
  8. Create a posting strategy: Having a posting strategy will make it far, far easier for you to have a rich and varied Instagram feed without having to think about what you are going to post each day.
  9. Post more real people: Instagram is for people! Don’t just post your products, be sure to post people engaging with and advocating your products. Generate demand on Instagram by making people want to be those people.
  10. Mention those real people: A simple way to expand your Instagram reach is by mentioning the people within your Instagram posts.
  11. Connect with locals: Connect with local businesses and give your local brand a footprint by using geo-tags and always adding location information.
  12. Create a custom hashtag: A custom hashtag is a great way to solidify one specific campaign or aspect of your brand. Be individual and on-brand.
  13. Promote your custom hashtag: There’s no use in having a custom hashtag if nobody uses it! Be sure to promote yours through posts and in-store.
  14. Use Instagram Stories: Instagram Stories are a great way to expand the variety of content on your Instagram feed and build demand for your brand lifestyle. Add to it regularly.
  15. Vary your Stories content: If you want to get more views on Instagram Stories, create better graphics, do better video, create fun Boomerangs - continually vary your content!
  16. Start going Live: Live streaming isn’t the past, it’s the present and the future. Live video adds a sense of exclusivity to your brand and makes your community even more committed to you.
  17. Promote your Live Instagram content: Obviously there isn’t much use in broadcasting if nobody knows you are going to be doing so…
  18. Utilise brand listening: Search for mentions of your brand, hashtags and products to see who is talking about you - and what they are saying.
  19. Repost mentions: User-generated content is the one. When you discover good-quality posts by advocates, respond by reposting them.
  20. Post behind the scenes content: Behind the scenes content fosters a sense of exclusivity for your brand and encourages more likes as users want in. New product teasers are a great way to generate demand on Instagram.
  21. Tag other brands: Using products or collaborating with other brands? Be sure to tag them in your posts to expand your reach.
  22. Engage with potential customers: Once you identify potential customers, like and comment on their posts to get your brand on their radar.
  23. Try active following: Active following is simply following a bunch of (relevant) users, unfollowing those who don’t follow back, and repeating the process to build your audience.
  24. Use better hashtags: A killer hashtag strategy is integral to a great Instagram marketing strategy. Be sure to search for the best and most relevant ones for your industry.
  25. Use the hashtag dots properly: Be sure to write all of your hashtags on a note with five vertical dots (not full stops) above. This will collapse your hashtag comment and make your post visually pleasing.
  26. Create community exclusive offers: If you want to foster a sense of community and exclusivity, post exclusive offers as content that only your Instagram community have access to. This is a great way to generate demand on Instagram.
  27. Show posts in-shop for offers: If you want to keep a handle on how successful these exclusive offer posts are, make it so that they have to specifically show you the post to benefit.
  28. Create user-generated competitions: A good way to get more users posting about your products and brand is to make competitions that require you to post a picture to enter.
  29. Stockpile and repost user-generated content: When you find user-generated content, make a note or stockpile it and add it to your posting strategy, ensuring you note the user when you do so.
  30. Try sounding human: Instagram was made for humans, by humans. It makes sense that to be successful your brand needs to sound human. Human.
  31. Become a microcopy boss: If you want people to read, understand, and love your posts, learn how to write microcopy like a boss.
  32. Try long-form text: Posts don’t always have to be about the image. Sometimes a simple picture accompanied by long-form text - e.g. a recipe or poem - can be hugely beneficial.
  33. Learn basic photography: Obviously on an image sharing platform like Instagram, pictures really do matter. So it’s definitely worth getting better at photography!
  34. Practice photo editing: Edited Instagram photos generally perform better than their unedited counterparts. Learn how to edit better.
  35. Create a profile for a product launch: If you are launching a new product, it can sometimes be worth making a separate profile for that product specifically. Then follow the next steps..
  36. Promote that profile through mentions on posts: Post about your new product, mentioning the product in the text, e.g. “Get yours @BuyNewProduct.” Finally...
  37. Use link-in-bio to purchase that product: When the user reaches that new profile, create a nice profile with a link-in-bio that goes direct to a buy now page.
  38. Reach out to influencers: Influencer marketing is a great way to build you brand notoriety. Find who the biggest players in your industry are and reach out to them.
  39. Respond to all comments: It’s not just about posting - to make a user an advocate you need to be responsive! Respond to all comments well, with wit and in good time.
  40. Promote your Instagram account across other networks: Be sure your Instagram page is promoted across your other networks, for example your website, Facebook and Twitter.
  41. Work on your schedule: Continually refine your posting schedule so that variety becomes your brand’s middle name.
  42. Never over-post: Be sure that you aren’t bombarding users with messages and turning them off. It’s important to strike a balance to ensure you aren’t over-posting.
  43. Post at peak times: Want to get more likes and engagement? Peak times for posting are cited to be Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and weekdays at 5pm. Allegedly. This is always subject to change.
  44. Trial posting at different times: It’s much better practice to engage in A/B testing and trial posting a different times throughout the day to see what works for you.
  45. Add location info to posts: Location info will expand the reach of your post and make sure that people know where you are and what you’re up too, always.
  46. Get consistency for your images: If you want to maintain your brand look and feel, create your own image style right down to common colour palettes and filters/edits.
  47. Search keywords for prospects: Take advantage of Instagram’s search function to find new prospects for your business. Search for keywords and hashtags related to your business.
  48. Engage with your competitors audience: There’s nothing wrong with engaging with your competitors audience and making them aware of your brand.
  49. Understand your top posts: Always look at your insights to see which of your posts are doing the best. This will help you better understand what your audience like to see the most.
  50. Always observe, always refine: Finally, the most important thing is to endeavour to observe where likes are coming from, what works for you, where you audience is growing, and continually refine your strategy for the best possible results.

Social Media News Roundup: July ’17 Week 3

social media news july 17 week 3
In the news this week - Twitter updates users on safety, Amazon is building its own messaging app and Snapchat will have a daily news show...
Twitter updates users on work to make network safer

A recent post on Twitter’s official blog provides data on products introduced to increase safety and limit abuse on the network since January. The article states increased action on abusive accounts as a key signifier for progress. Twitter now cites taking action of ten times the number of abusive accounts every day compared to this time last year.

The post also mentions driving change in behaviour through limiting account reach, and providing personalised controls for users to customise their experience. According to Ed Ho, general manager, consumer product and engineering, what can be expected now is more improvement, transparency and speed.

“While there is still much work to be done, people are experiencing significantly less abuse on Twitter today than they were six months ago… Online safety is an issue best solved in partnership with others, so we’ll continue to collaborate with our Trust & Safety Council, industry experts, and academics to solicit ongoing feedback.”

LinkedIn data shows best content types for maximum engagement

LinkedIn has published data that shows the content types that employees should be sharing for maximum engagement rates. Employee advocacy strategies are often the most successful when it comes to extending your brand reach across social networks, particularly for professional networks such as LinkedIn.

According to data by LinkedIn Elevate, SlideShare presentations are the most popular type of content for sharing. In the past year, SlideShares received 44% more shares than other content types. Other successful content types are those that grab attention, and rather unsurprisingly video content sees around 6% more engagement than articles, images and SlideShares.

Amazon Spark looks like Instagram for e-commerce

Amazon’s latest mobile app feature is a scrollable feed of photos and captions uploaded by other users with links to product pages, reminiscent of an Instagram for e-commerce. With Amazon Spark, Amazon is working to turn reviewers into advocates and influencers within its own unique community.

While the feature does feel like Instagram and Pinterest, it has some advanced features geared towards e-commerce. Most notably, products within posts are linked through to their respective pages on Amazon, so users can make immediate informed purchases via click-throughs. It functions like a shoppable Instagram feed, including products related to pre-approved categories by the user.

Amazon is building its own stand-alone messaging app

Amazon is reportedly working on its own full-feature, stand-alone messaging app that is compatible across desktop and mobile devices. Suggestions have been made that the so-called Anytime app will be an all-in-one service, enabling a whole host of different features such as group messaging, photo and video sharing and games. It is also likely to allow users to engage with other Amazon services such as shopping and Amazon Music.

NBC News is producing a daily news show for Snapchat

Beginning next Wednesday, NBC News will be producing and broadcasting a live news show called Stay Tuned twice a day for Snapchat. According to sources, the show is the latest in developments by parent company Snap Inc. towards making the network a go-to destination for exclusive shows.

Each edition of Stay Tuned will cover the day’s biggest news stories in a crisp two-three minute segment. The company’s head of original content Sean Mills believes that Stay Tuned also represents an increased focus for Snap on the specific genre of news. Of their ambitions, he said:

“Our ambition is very much that when something happens in the world or there’s a news event, that our audience would turn  to Snapchat increasingly to get that news.”

Social Media News Roundup: June ‘17 Week 4

Social media news roundup june 17 week 4
In the news this week - Facebook announces new features for group admins and Instagram wants to buddy up with Hollywood movie stars...
Facebook is adding new features for group admins

On Thursday 22nd of June Facebook held their first Communities Summit in Chicago. Attended by hundreds of group admins, at it Facebook announced several new features to help users grow and manage their groups. According to a post on the Newsroom, more than 1 billion people around the world use Groups, with over 100 million being members of “meaningful groups” - those that quickly become a central part of their experience on the social network.

Among the features announced were Group Insights, offering admins real-time growth, engagement and membership metrics, membership request filtering, post scheduling and group-to-group linking. Full details of all of the updates can be found on this post.

Facebook trialling new tools to deter profile picture misuse in India

Facebook have added an optional ‘Picture Guard’ tool for users in India in a bid to deter profile picture misuse on the network. According to a post on Facebook’s Newsroom, when an extra design layer is added to a picture other people are 75% less likely to copy it.

The guard tool effectively renders pictures less accessible. Those with the tool added cannot be downloaded and people you aren’t friends with cannot tag people in it. Alongside that, on Android devices Facebook prevents the use of screenshots. Facebook have said that they will use their experience with the tool in India to consider expansion to other countries.

Facebook offering free advertising to anti-terror groups

Facebook will give free advertising credit to anti-terror groups in a bid to crack down on radical propaganda and terror across the network. The social network has previously been criticised for not doing enough to counter extremism. The new initiative is being referred to as a “counter speech” campaign and will be focussed in the UK. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, announced that they will give advertising credit to groups such as the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Announcing the initiative, she said:

“No one should have to live in fear of terrorism, and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading… There is no place for hate or violence on Facebook. Partnerships with others - including tech companies, civil society, researchers and governments - are a crucial piece of the puzzle.”

Instagram looks set to bolster ties with Hollywood influencers

Facebook is currently looking to engage with Hollywood celebrities and direct them to its Instagram unit, in a bid to keep pace with YouTube video content and fend off Snap. Celebrities and high-profile users play a crucial role in encouraging audience growth.  

Looking at a job ad on LinkedIn, Instagram are hiring for a new executive in Los Angeles to help  “drive high impact and authentic use of Instagram for public figures” leading “outreach efforts with entertainment industry influencers”.

Instagram expands options for live videos with Stories

Instagram now offer users the option to share a replay of their live videos to Instagram Stories. According to a post on their press site, millions of people have used live since it's introduction in November. Once a live broadcast has ended, users will be able to tap “Share” at the bottom of the screen and a replay will be available on Stories for 24 hours.

Effective Competitor Analysis for Social Media Greatness

social media competitor analysis

One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure success for your social media marketing campaigns is through effective competitor analysis.

Businesses have now grown to understand the potential that social media offers as a marketplace. However, due to it being so mainstream, many are unwilling to invest time and energy into planning and preparation.

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in the preliminary stages is launching forward without defining clear goals and establishing what tactics will help achieve those goals.

Like a great deal many things, planning is key to success on social media. Competitor analysis is a key part for this. It not only allows you to garner ideas, it also gives you a clear idea of benchmark expectations for growth and engagement. These can then be cross-referenced with your own results further down the line.

Many businesses on social media forget competitor analysis when they launch their social media pages. But the truth is competitor analysis often turns out to be one of the most useful and valuable studies that a marketer can undertake before getting going.

The key points below will help you better know what to look for when conducting competitor analysis for social media...

1. Identify your competitors and what Social Networks they use

You probably already have a good idea of who your competitors are, however, it’s a good idea to double check that these are the same on social media. Those who you consider less prominent competitors in general may have cracked social media on a bigger scale than others!

Look across absolutely all networks to see which they use. Remember that Facebook and Twitter aren’t the be all and end all of social networks. Some businesses get an awful lot of  their brand awareness and engagement from things like Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and (particularly for B2B) LinkedIn.

2. Consider their Social Media voice and rates of activity

Social media was created by humans for humans. If they have cracked it, your competitors voice on social media will reflect that and differ from their general professional voice. It will generally be more personable.

Do they use humour? Have they opted for a friendly, helpful tone to encourage interaction? Whatever it is, consider how it might effect audience engagement. After that, analyse the frequency at which they post on each network.

3. Consider following and engagement ratios

This step helps you to gather the sort of data that will help you to analyse your results further down the line. Analysing engagement rates also gives you a good idea of how popular each competitor is with their audience in comparison to each other.

Depending on how thorough you want your analysis to be, this can again be a time-consuming process. If one competitor has lower engagement on their posts by their followers than others, consider why. Do they engage actively with them? Is there something about the content that could be affecting it?

4. Identify the style of content that works for them

Content! It's a golden word. It’s what entices your audience to engage with your brand and increases your reach. By measuring how successful each content medium (video, live, graphics, polls, competitions, etc.) is with their fans you can give yourself a better idea of the kind of things that might work for you.

5. See how they integrate their channels

It’s important to remember that social media was created to be integrated! Many companies are successful on social media because they create great blog content on their own website and share it through their social channels. Chances are that if that content is popular with their audience, it could be for you too.

Social Media News Roundup: May ’17 Week 4

social media news roundup may 2017 week 4
In the news this week - Twitter adds 69 new emojis, Facebook allows fundraising for personal causes and Instagram begins to understand links…
Twitter adds 69 new emojis, becoming the first social network to support Emoji 5.0

Twitter has become the first social networking site to support the newest round of emojis, finalised in March. Included are separate flags for England, Scotland and Wales, chopsticks, steak, a porcupine and a zebra.

The newest round of emojis, known as Emoji 5.0, was released only last week. Twitter’s custom set is known as Twemoji and includes all 69 images of the latest update (239 with skin tone variations and duplicates.) Support for Emoji 5.0 currently isn’t available on iOS or Android devices - so the new lineup of emojis are only available on Twitter’s desktop site for the time being.

Facebook expands Fundraisers to allows user to raise money for personal causes

Facebook has expanded its fundraising feature to allow users to more easily raise cash for a variety of causes, including personal causes. With Fundraisers, Facebook look to take on popular crowdfunding services such as Just Giving and Go Fund Me. Crowdfunding campaigns already rely on social media marketing to be successful, and with Facebook appearing to take a smaller percentage than other options, it could be something of a no-brainer feature.

Fundraisers began testing in March and have recently been developed to allow users to fund raise for a number of other personal causes. These include educational supplies, medical procedures, personal emergencies, and community projects. In an article on its Newsroom, Facebook said this:

“People can create a fundraiser to quickly raise money on Facebook and easily reach their friends in a few taps, without leaving Facebook, and can share fundraisers to help build momentum. People can learn about the person who created the fundraiser and the person benefiting from the fundraiser, as well as see which friends have donated.”

Twitter Apple TV app supports live, 360 degree video and Periscope’s global map

Twitter has updated its Apple TV app with some new, significant features. It has now become the first Apple TV app to support live 360 degree video, which makes use of the Siri remote to move the video and view from different angles, offering a more immersive viewing experience. Twitter is making significant inroads into the live streaming market, including announcing earlier this month a series of live shows from Viacom, Live Nation, BuzzFeed and WNBA amongst others.

Alongside premium live content, viewers on the Twitter app for Apple TBV will also have the option to explore via the added Periscope map. This will allow them to find user-generated live content, both standard and 360, from across the globe.

Instagram expands direct messaging with support for links and raw photo sharing

At last count, Instagram direct messaging was seeing around 375 million monthly active users, and that number is undoubtedly growing. In response, the social network has now added a couple of new features intended to make it a more useful messaging option. Support has been added for external web links, and now inclues inline previews for URLs.

Alongside supporting links, Instagram users are also now able to send original, unedited photo and video content with other users. The ability to send photos in their original aspect ratios will reduce the amount of time users will have to spend on external messaging platforms. These updates are currently rolling out to iOS users and will be coming to Android soon.

Twitter launches DM cards for brands, a new way to promote their chatbots

Twitter have launched a new way for brands to promote and share the bots and customer experiences they have created. Direct Message Cards can be customised to help drive discovery of these experiences via Promoted Tweets or organic posting. DM cards can be embedded with custom image of video creatives and up to four call-to-action buttons.

One of the launch partners for this new feature is Patrón Tequila. They are using DM cards to help drive discovery of its messaging bot. So-called ‘Bot-Tender’ creates personalised cocktail recommendations based on a users responses to questions about occasions and flavours, amongst other things.

Instagram announces location-based stories for Explore and adds an ‘archive’ option

Finally, Instagram have announced the roll out of Location Stories for its Explore page - after a similar feature was (rather unsurprisingly) released by Snapchat less than two months ago. By enabling users to search for Stories from strangers whose privacy settings are set to public based on their location, Instagram offers users another level of discover-ability for their Stories content.

Alongside location-based stories, Instagram have added an ‘Archive’ option in the hope to deter permanent deletion of out-dated or under-performing posts.

Social Media News Roundup: May ’17 Week 2

social media news roundup may 17 week 2
In the news this week - Twitter signs deal to live-stream NFL content, Instagram allows uploads from it's mobile site and that guy who really wanted some chicken nuggets gets some chicken nuggets...
Twitter signs deal to stream NFL content (but no games)

Twitter may have missed out on the chance to live stream NFL’s Thursday Night Football games to Amazon, however they have bagged themselves a deal to stream specific content on the network. The agreement will allow Twitter to stream a selection of official NFL video content to users, including a 30-minute digital show, airing five nights a week during the season.

Alongside the exclusive digital show, NFL coverage by Twitter will include Periscope broadcasts of pre and post-match snippets, such as warm-ups and interviews. NFL reported James Palmer tweeted about the sort of content that will be included:

New LinkedIn feature uses location information to suggest nearby users

LinkedIn has introduced a new feature intended to “maximise the benefits of Linkedin… [and] provide you with opportunities to network with other LinkedIn members at conferences, events and more in your proximity.” Once privacy settings are enabled to allow as such, it will use mobile location information to share profile information with nearby users.

The new feature could certainly improve discoverability at networking events if used correctly. Once enabled, the names and profiles of first-level connections nearby will pop up.

New Facebook partnership looks to bolster 360-degree video

A new partnership between Facebook and Blend Media looks to create a “creator community” of 360-degree video project workers. Blend Media is a tech platform that works alongside brands, agencies and publishers, and through the partnership Facebook will have access to their premium content library. Likewise, Blend Media will have unique access to the social network’s 360 team.

The partnership is important because unlike other styles of video, user-generated 360-degree video isn't really a thing yet. Although conventional video content is still noticeably more engaging that 360, over half of buyers and sellers in the UK believe that it will prove one of the best revenue streams over the next 12 months. Founder and CEO of Blend Media, Damian Collier, said this:

“Consumers both expect and deserve high quality engaging content, and no medium is more engaging than 360-degree video and VR. As a relatively new format, there’s a need to help nurture and support the creator community in the 360-degree video space…
Facebook’s commitment to driving innovation in video could not be more apparent. They also understand more than anyone that users are increasingly engaging with 360-degree and VR content, in many cases watching 360-degree video for considerably longer than fixed video,”

Twitter embraces AI to power tweet recommendations

Twitter has joined the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft in embracing the power of artificial inteligence with new technology that better provides accurate tweet recommendations for users. The social network is making use of deep learning, which involves the “training” of software through repetition and variables.

Until now Twitter’s tweet recommendations were based on a far less advanced algorithm. However, with the addition of more intelligent AI systems, they hope to boost engagement rates and time spent on the social network by its users.

Chicken nugget addict breaks re-tweet world record

The world record for the most re-tweeted tweet ever, originally held by Elle DeGeneres for the famous Oscar Selfie, has been broken by a guy who really wanted free chicken nuggets. We won’t go into all the details, because it really is that simple. Carter Wilkerson’s tweet reached 3,430,249 retweets on Tuesday, enough to bag himself a year’s free supply of chicken nuggets alongside a donation of $100,000 to a charity by US fast food chain Wendy’s in his name.

Instagram rolls out sharing from its mobile site

Finally, Instagram has rolled out the ability to upload images direct from it’s mobile sight. The upgrade also included a light version of the Explore tab. Although there is still no posting available via the desktop version, by inspecting their webpage users can view the mobile sight and upload images from their desktop computer. See the process in the video below.

How to Optimise Content for Social Media Distribution

optimise content for social media

If you want to see the greatest amount of interaction and engagement on your posts through social media, you need to be sure you optimise content for distribution on those networks.

You can have written the most meticulously researched, expertly analysed article imaginable that is destined to change perceptions within your industry - but if you haven't spent a good amount of time (more time than spent writing, even) on distributing and promoting it, then don’t expect a huge ROI any time soon. Or ever.

The most successful content marketers aren’t always the best writers. They are the ones who understand the social media landscape. There are many reasons social networks are the ultimate content distribution platform. To start with, they offer the ability to easily integrate and share content. They also have the power to target a specific sub-section of users. This all maximises the possibility for widespread engagement, resulting in an insurmountable reach.

Why you need to optimise content for distribution

While the vast majority of marketers have a good grasp of the positives, not all of them are using social media to its full potential. The ones who are are the ones who optimise content properly for distribution.

Look at it this way. You may have pinpointed the correct network and the exact time of the day to post for the highest rate of clicks, but if you haven't properly optimised your headline, image or message to provoke a response from the widest variety of users, you can't realistic expect those clicks. Here is some of our best advice for optimising your content for social media distribution.

Get serious about your headlines

Writing a better title or headline for your content will not only work wonders for content distribution, it could also have a far better long-game impact on your SEO. Great content writers can spend hours meditating on the best headline structure as it is just as, if not more, important than the article itself.

No serious marketer ever wants to advocate clickbait, but it’s undeniable just how well a title that develops intrigue and hype at first glance can fare on the internet. If headlines aren’t your strong point or you’re looking for something to help direct you, we recommend CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool.

Remember, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from tailoring your original headline for each particular network. Distribution should be ongoing - it’s not a one post thing - so you can afford to A/B test different headlines and get a better feel for what sentiments, structures and power words get the best reaction with each audience.

Put more thought into your graphics

There’s little point in explaining the importance of visual content on social media; anybody who uses it will already understand. Content writers are also fully aware of how it can be useful to utilise graphics and other types of content (embedded posts, videos, etc.,) within the body of an article to reduce bounce rate. But crafting posts that get the most engagement goes beyond adding a generic blog title graphic.

Consider how you can merge your headline and your graphic to instil the most amount of intrigue and encourage the biggest response. In order to utilise networks such as Instagram, you can also create bespoke graphics making use of figures and specific specks of information from your article, and include the URL in your page header.

Get your colleagues involved in distribution

Humans trust other humans’ judgement more than they do that of a brand. Content distribution isn’t just about what you post as your business or organisation, it’s also about getting your colleagues and advocates involved too.

This is particularly important on professional networks such as LinkedIn. To make this a more attractive thing, figure out ways to integrate the comments and expert opinions of employees within your content. This will give them a sense of ownership and encourage their advocacy, while also having the positive effect of giving a heightened professionalism to your article.

Social Media News Roundup: May ’17 Week 1

social media news roundup  may 17 week 1
In the news this week - Facebook tests new loyalty rewards scheme, Twitter’s TV app made available on Roku and Pinterest releases top 10 travel destinations…
Facebook rolls out emoji reactions for comments

Facebook users are now able to react to comments on posts with an emoji. Reaction emojis were first released a year ago, offering users the ability to respond to posts with the expressions ‘Love, ‘Haha’, ‘Wow’, ‘Sad’ and ‘Angry’, however they have only recently began offering this feature for comments too.

The feature has only just introduced the functionality. For that reason, not every user will be able to make use of it just yet. A spokesperson for the company said:

“We’ve heard from people they’d like more ways to show their reaction in conversations on Facebook, so we’re rolling out the ability to react to comments.”

Facebook tests new loyalty rewards scheme

Facebook is trialling a new rewards scheme that allows users access to a personalised QR code that can be scanned at certain shops to give them access to discounts and loyalty rewards. The feature was spotted by Techcrunch and can be found under the More section on the mobile app. However it is currently only appearing for a small subset of users.

As yet, it isn’t clear what kind of discounts will be available through the scheme. The new feature could be evidence of Facebook trying to encourage more advertisers onto the network by providing them with the ability to track advertising to the point of sale. This is an area that Snapchat has recently invested in with the release of ‘Snap to Store’. When approached about the feature, Facebook said:

“To help businesses continue to connect with customers where they are, we’re running a small test that enables people to use the Facebook app to collect and redeem rewards when they make a purchase at a participating store.”

Security warning issued over “10 concerts” Facebook meme

Security experts are warning Facebook users against engaging with the popular ‘10 concerts’ post meme, which could be a clever phishing attempt. The viral posts encourages users to share a list of nine concerts that they have been to alongside one they have. However, it could be a hackers attempt to discover a crucial piece of important information from users - the first concert they went to - which just so happens to be one of Facebook’s security questions.

Google and Facebook now control one-fifth of global ad-spend

Research shows that last year Google and Facebook accounted for one-fifth of global advertising spend - almost double the figure of five years ago. According to data and analysis agency Zenith, Google attracted $79.4bn in ad revenues last year, while Facebook pulled in $26.9bn. Internet-only media companies are currently dominating the market, forcing traditional publishers far behind.

Twitter’s TV video app now available on Roku

Twitter has taken yet another step forward in positioning itself as a video platform by releasing an app on supported devices that allows users to access live video streams - even without an account. Already available on Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV devices, the latest device to receive the app is streaming TV and media player Roku.

Pinterest and Airbnb release the top 10 trending travel destinations

Pinterest has teamed up with Airbnb to bring users a list of the top trending travel destinations on the network right now, alongside some awesome places to stay in those locations. Some might come as something of a surprise to users. In reverse order, they are…

10. Barcelona, Spain
9. Santorini, Greece
8. New York City, USA
7. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
6. Kyoto, Japan
5. Reykjavic, Iceland
4. Highlands, Scotland
3. Courchevel, France
2. Tenerife, Canary Islands
1. Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Social Media For Startups: Three Steps to Success

Social media for startups

Social media for startups is essential. Used correctly, it can help shape your brand, create lasting relationships with consumers and reach out to potential employees.

Digital marketing budgets are now at an all time high, a result of a nation obsessed with social networking, online shopping and digital media. The nature of social means that you are able to benefit from instant feedback during the preliminary stages of your launch. Harnessing this potential is invaluable to positive evolution and cementing confidence in your brand.

So why social media for startups? Well, when you put them on paper, the benefits are obvious. Social networks offer an easy, direct passage to your audience. Targeted ads mean that you can put your brand message in front of those people (who could potentially become advocates) while it is still new and innovative.

Relative to other aspects of a digital marketing strategy, social media for startups also requires less investment in order to be optimised. Social networks offer just the right amount of customisation for your brand; not so much that you require an adept coder to look professional, and yet not so much as to restrict you to a white-label account.

To make it easier to tap into social media for startups, we’ve put together three simple steps that can make all the difference:

1. Create your strategy before your profile

Before you get going, you need to know what you want to achieve. This means creating your social media strategy before you even get round to creating your profile[s]. In order to achieve your goals, every little piece of content you include will need to stem from your strategy - and the best way to know that you have done this is to have it at the forefront of your mind before you get building. Define your goals; your primary and secondary objectives could be any combination of the following:

  • Build brand awareness
    All startups will, whether intentionally or not, be using their social to build awareness of their new business.
  • Distribution of content
    If engaging, unique and niche specific content is an integral aspect of your startup venture, you should be using social as a primary method of preliminary distribution, driving potential consumers to your website.
  • Increase web traffic
    This will stem from your content, and ultimately rely on how well you have disseminated your brand identity into your posts.
  • Locate and acquire potential customers
    The ultimate goal for most startup strategies is to locate and acquire potential customers - but to do so you must first understand which steps you will need to take to get there.

Knowing your objectives will also help define the tonality, feel and frequency of your posts, and also the variety of audience you reach out to. These things also have roots in your brand identity. Defining your objectives will allow you to reach your goals.

2. Choose your channels wisely and listen to your audience

Not all social networks will be suitable for your objectives. Consider where the majority of your audience will be hiding. While there may be billions of users on one network, this amounts to nothing if they are not the right sort of customer for your business.

Social media can be utilised just as well as a customer service tool - a priceless aspect of building a business. Use your channels to listen to your customers and see what they have to say. You essentially have yourself a focus group of potential consumers!

3. Experiment and be willing to evolve

Take advantage of these early stages of your business and allow yourself to experiment with different content styles and engagement techniques and see what works for you! Always be willing to evolve as you discover more about your industry.

Throughout the process of building social media for any startup venture, be sure to evaluate often and comprehensively. If you follow these simple tips, you are sure to be on track to getting your startup noticed - and that could happen a lot quicker than you first expect!

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