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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)

Why Popular Hashtags are Ruining Your Social Media Strategy

Hashtags ruining your social media strategy
There are two different ways to use hashtags to drive your posts. Both will expand your reach - but only one will have a lasting positive effect.

Early one morning last week I was asked by a close friend of mine whether hashtags still matter. My response was, justifiably, abrupt. Yes, obviously hashtags still matter. While their applications may vary from social network to social network, they are one of the few remaining organic tools that social media marketers still have in their arsenal; one that allows them put their content in front of previously un-reached users.

My frustration was valid - you see, my friend is an incredibly tech-savvy professional with a firm grasp on the ins-and-outs of social media marketing. While this would be a respectable question for somebody less clued-in to ask, for her it felt a little… well, silly.

But the more I got to considering the way that some businesses are now using hashtags in their strategies, the more my friend’s question seemed justified. So I apologised for the curtness of my response. I ensured her that it was definitely due to the early hour and my low caffeine reserves, and not at all a result of my now making the majority of my social interactions on Twitter and forgetting what appropriate human communication looks like.

The issue with popular hashtags

Hashtags serve a selection of different purposes. For users they offer a quick-glance insight into the content of a post, while also serving as shortcuts to developing conversations that matter to them. For businesses they are a tool for putting their brand voice directly in front of those users, and of keeping track of their campaigns.

Engaging with popular trends week-in week-out is a great way to extend your reach. The issue where some business is concerned surrounds engaging with hashtags that remain only popular to marketers. Sure they trend - but they only trend because they are overused by social media managers struggling for originality. And you will certainly receive engagement - but it is likely to be from the very same users, and not anybody who could eventually become an advocate for your brand.

Marketers marketing to marketers (often about marketing)

In the past they were used to complement the creation of creative campaigns. However, for some users (not all, mind) they are now more often used where brands are struggling for originality; they have become something to fall back on.

Take #MondayMotivation for example. Now, this may be a relevant hashtag for a family service that focusses on supporting people, but possibly not so much for a corporate electrician. However, the latter might have posted about it once and seen a nice amount of engagement, and so continually do so, unwittingly serving an audience who aren't their customers at all.

At this point we merely have marketers inadvertently marketing to other marketers (often about marketing), and raving about their results... regardless of the fact that those results have just come from other marketers who marketed to that marketer, inadvertently. Sounds bad, right?

Hastags: we must use them - not the other way around

Hashtags are an integral part of your social media marketing strategy. That means that you have to do your research in order to get anything out of them. Simply moulding your calendar around weekly trends and resorting to the same hashtags won’t work. Don’t let a fancy piece of alliteration decide how your posting strategy is going to look.

If you’re struggling to start using better hashtags, consider making use of a tool like Ritetag or Tagboard. The former is a great tool for reviewing the performance of current popular hashtags, whereas the latter has a handy grid layout that allows you to analyse the strength of specific hashtags. Still lost? We'd love to help - reach out @GiraffeSM.

Beware These 9 Popular Social Media Myths

Popular social media myths busted

There is so much so-called “advice” on the Internet that it can be difficult to work out what is actually true and could make a difference to your digital marketing efforts - so let's bust some social media myths.

Social media allows businesses to market themselves in a place where their customers are naturally comfortable and willing to listen. Because content marketing has become such a prominent and effective tool for maintaining a steady market on your website, many people write and promote their own blog articles - including social media heads and digital marketers. The problem is that some of the tips that they include in their articles may well appear to be classed as common knowledge but, in reality, have little to no grounding in fact.

We’ve set out to bust some of the most popular social media myths so that you can have a better idea as you launch into your own digital marketing efforts...

MYTH #1:
Integrating all your networks is the path to success

There are plenty of social media automation tools out there that allow you to integrate and post your content across multiple networks. This isn’t always a good thing. Because each social network has its own restraints and features, one piece of content simply cannot be suitable for all of them. Remember that your messages are not catch-all and need to be tailored specifically to each network.

MYTH #2:
The more followers the better

A huge social media following does not always spell success. It’s far better to grow your network steadily within the right audience; after all, these are the people who are going to consider using your services. social media gives new light to the concept of specifically targeted marketing. Sometimes all it takes is a small following of the right people for your network to grow organically. As far as social media myths go, this is one of the worst and can be damaging.

MYTH #3:
It’s impossible to track ROI on social media

Tracking ROI through social media can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. Any social media marketing company worth their salt should have access to the right analytical tools and reporting software that can help track leads that have come directly from social media.

MYTH #4:
The popularity of your social media pages has a direct impact on your web search results

Some people seem to think that the strength of your social media pages has a direct impact on your website’s Google rankings, as studies have pointed out a correlation between high Facebook activity and good ranking on SERPs. It doesn’t - it has an indirect impact that’s all down to content marketing. If you want your social media to have a positive effect on your search results you need to be creating awesome content on your website and encouraging shares, clicks and links through social networking.

MYTH #5:
Only promoted posts give you a reach worth shouting about

It’s a matter of time and about building an engaged audience. If you spend time investing in building the correct audience, eventually the amount of engagement on your organic posts will be able to stand up to the might of your promoted posts.

MYTH #6:
Interacting with your competitors is bad for business

It’s understandable that some businesses are wary about interacting with their competitors on social media - it’s something that is simply not done down any other marketing avenue. However, their audience is your audience, and interacting with them will get you noticed. You aren’t poaching their customers - you are simply promoting the beginning of a discussion that will hopefully grow among users and become mutually beneficial.

MYTH #7:
Follow and retweet competitions are the best way to grow

Follow and retweet competitions can grow your following quickly over a short amount of time - but after your competition is over you are likely to find out that many of your entrants were only interested in the free iPad that you were giving away and they will inevitably unfollow you. That’s not to say competitions aren’t great though - it’s just much better to create something that is interactive and requires a particular action to enter. While you will have less entrants, you will find that you grow a far more engaged audience as a result.

MYTH #8:
You can guarantee a certain amount of growth

While social media is a great digital marketing tool, that also makes it very competitive. Be wary of any social media management service that makes a promise about the amount of followers they will get you - this is one of the most toxic social media myths. Quality social media marketing companies will always research and undertake the best practice to get the best results for your industry but it is impossible to guarantee results. There are a number of illicit services that can buy you followers and none of them are even worth considering.

MYTH #9:
Social media is just a fad

The concept of social media has been around for years, way before the Internet boom of the nineties. There are now 2.307 billion social media users worldwide - over 31% of the global population. So I think we can safely assume that it’s here to stay.

What Happens When You Ignore Social Media Marketing?

What happens when you ignore social media

We’re at a point in time now where choosing to ignore social media is laughable. Without it things look very bleak indeed..

The reason is simple - it’s a marketing avenue where even the nichest of audiences can be found, one that facilitates brand awareness and advocacy on a herculean scale whilst also granting access to intuitive and measurable advertising.

When we talk about social media marketing we can all benefit from recognising that we’re no longer referring to a new concept. Social media is now about what we do not what we could do. This means that businesses who now engage in social media marketing (which should be absolutely all of them to one extent or another) can do so with a complete understanding of what each network can (and can’t) viably achieve, hence the possibilities become achievements and the future becomes the now.

The numbers are still significant and still growing - average daily social media usage among internet users reportedly amounts to 118 minutes this year, up from 109 minutes daily during 2015. The idea of pulling the plug on it needn’t bear thinking about - but just in case you are, here’s what happens when you ignore social media marketing.

Web traffic slows down and your content has very little impact

Because so much of our daily internet usage is taken up by social networking, a significant chunk of discovery for external sites comes from there. Opting to rely wholeheartedly on traffic from your blog and organic clicks from search engines will undoubtedly result in a noticeable slowing down of web traffic.

Social media isn’t about blindly posting your brand in front of random people, it’s about distributing the expert or entertaining content from your website to those who are likely to have use for it. Figures released last year suggested that Facebook now accounts for more traffic to news sites than Google. Content marketing is pretty useless without a clear social media distribution strategy; in order to increase your chances of your content getting noticed, shared and curated by influencers, you need to make sure it is sufficiently published.

If you aren’t noticing a high level of engagement or clicks on your content, it’s likely to do with how it is optimised for that particular network. Not one site is the same, so be aware of what performs well wherever you are posting and ensure your content is suitably tailored to each.

You risk being seen as the friend who never comes out and brand awareness significantly drops

Social media is integral to building awareness of your brand by real people. Social media brings with it something of a label that validates your business among the 24/7 culture of the 21st century. When you aren’t remaining active on there you risk losing that potency.

Remaining active on social media is about positioning your business beside users’ personal life; sooner or later you are likely to be integrated. As those discussions grow, so can your audience. When you are nowhere to be seen, people start to forget about you and instead turn their focus to those that are there; your competitors.

Your industry stops appreciating your voice and you lose customers to competitors

This is particularly significant for those in a B2B industry. Utilising content marketing alongside social media marketing is the perfect way to develop and expert, a professional voice that builds trust and awareness in your brand. When you let that slip often those in your industry begin to forget about you.

On social media your audience expect to be listened to. Regardless of whether they have something positive or negative to say about your brand, they expect a response. By not remaining reactive and retaining your professional online voice your risk alienating customers and losing them to your competitors.

Facebook research looks to allow people to communicate via brain waves

Facebook wants to read your brain waves
Facebook may be investing in futuristic technology that uses neuroimaging and electrophysiological data to let humans communicate via brain waves.

Last year Facebook created an uber-secretive research division named Building 8. Headed up by ex-Google Advanced Technology and Projects Group Executive Regina Dugan. Its vision is to developing innovative consumer hardware products that advance their ultimate aim of connecting the world. A worthy assignment, granted - but what specifically are these products they speak of?

Sadly, we don’t really know. That’s the issue with top secret research facilities. They do tend to be rather… well, secretive. Anybody who was ever a fan of 90s zombie horror can tell you that. However, several recent job postings suggest that they are working to make Mark Zuckerberg’s previously cited dream of communicating via brain waves a reality.

One such job posting seeks a Brain-Computer Interface Engineer with a Ph.D. in neuroscience (or similar) and at least three years experience working with “brain-computer interface technologies or other applications or machine learning methods to neuroimaging and/or electrophysiological data”. Another seeks a Neural Imaging Engineer with a Ph.D. in Physics (or similar) to “design and evaluate novel neural imaging methods based on optical, RF, ultrasound, or other entirely non-invasive approaches”.

Wait, seriously, what?

In layman’s terms (if such technology can actually be described in layman’s terms), neuroimaging technology seeks to scan, understand and discern what is happening in the brain, specifically through brain waves. Previous technology has made use of headbands to measure brain waves activity. While there is no way of telling exactly what methods Facebook will use and the kind of product that they will eventually create, they are likely to build on previous known technology.

The creation of such a product is likely to be a long time coming. Nevertheless it would represent a major breakthrough in computing and would elevate Facebook, already the uncontested leader in social networking, to the top of the world of science and technology.

This may just the tip of the iceberg for groundbreaking, innovative research projects to come out of Umbrella Corp. Sorry, did I say Umbrella? I meant Building 8. Clearly.

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