tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2018-02-21T15:19:34+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69816 2018-02-21T15:19:34+00:00 2018-02-21T15:19:34+00:00 Great social media customer service is proactive, not reactive Tamara Littleton <p>But two major trends have emerged that are changing brands’ thinking, to view customer service as proactive, not reactive: </p> <ol> <li>Great customer service is a differentiator for brands; and </li> <li>Companies are using technology to anticipate the needs of customers in order to deliver relevant, personalised service. </li> </ol> <p>We know that much of this customer service is delivered via social media. Nearly 70% of consumers have said that they have used social media for customer service issues on at least one occasion, according to <a href="http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2013-social-media-benchmark-study">research</a> published as early as 2013. And customers spend 20-40% more money (<a href="http://www.bain.com/Images/BAIN_BRIEF_Putting_social_media_to_work.pdf">Bain and Co</a>) with companies when they engage and respond positively to customers on social media.</p> <p>With customer service teams already stretched, how can brands deliver great, proactive customer service on social media? </p> <p>There are four things that brands should be doing. </p> <h3><strong>Use bots to free up humans to be brilliant</strong></h3> <p>Bots can be used to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service">triage queries</a> or automate simple responses. Automating non-complex, routine queries (such as “when will my parcel arrive”), if done properly, doesn’t negatively impact the customer experience.</p> <p>Instead, it takes the pressure off human customer service agents or community managers and frees them up to do what they do best: using their skills to proactively engage with customers, creating personal connections and seeking out opportunities to surprise and delight.</p> <h3><strong>Use data to predict customers’ needs</strong></h3> <p>Analytics and social listening tools can identify trends in behaviour, spikes in queries, or changing demands. This data gives you insight that your team can use to predict what your customers need and want, and deliver it.</p> <h3><strong>Use emotional analytics</strong></h3> <p>Emotional analytics help to understand not just what your customers are saying, but <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68782-three-ways-brands-are-using-emotional-analytics-to-connect-with-customers/">how they feel about your brand</a>.</p> <p>That might be a reaction to a campaign or a product, or to an issue that your customers feel strongly about. That insight will connect you to the things your customers are passionate about, and inform your future campaigns and service. </p> <h3><strong>Invest in the best people to connect with your customers</strong></h3> <p>If customer service is your brand’s differentiator, you need great people to deliver it.</p> <p>These people will be able to take the insights from your data and use it to engage proactively with customers. They’ll use their initiative to spot opportunities to create personal connections with customers that will build loyalty. They’ll be skilled at spotting and resolving issues before they become full-blown crises. And they’ll do all this while sticking closely to the brand’s values and tone of voice. </p> <p>Great social media customer service takes human skill, initiative and intelligence. It takes technology to deliver data for humans to know where their skills are most needed. And it takes humans and technology to work together to deliver it at scale for brands.</p> <p><em><strong>More on social customer service:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-customer-service">Social Media Customer Service Training</a>, London</li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68481-seven-guiding-principles-for-implementing-social-customer-service">Seven guiding principles for implementing social customer service</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69801 2018-02-15T10:25:00+00:00 2018-02-15T10:25:00+00:00 Are virtual stars the next step for influencer marketing? Nikki Gilliland <p>But who is behind Lil Miquela, and what is her purpose?</p> <p>More to the point, will virtual influencers be the next big thing for influencer marketing? Here’s more on the story so far. </p> <h3>Who is behind Lil Miquela?</h3> <p>Miquela Sousa fits the typical bill of an Instagram influencer. She is a 19-year-old model of Brazilian and Spanish descent, currently living in Los Angeles. A real ‘fashionista’, her Instagram feed is filled with designer ‘outfit of the day’ posts. She’s also a keen musician, having released a number of her own songs on Spotify.</p> <p>The only real distinction – she’s fake. Though she is the brainchild of someone clearly very dedicated to keeping the illusion alive.</p> <p>So far, there’s no real concrete evidence as to who her creator actually is. When she first appeared on Instagram back in 2016, the main theory was that she was part of a large-scale advertising campaign, with some suggesting that it was a clever plot by The Sims.</p> <p>However, there’s no been no sign of brand involvement since, only further reports that she’s the invention of various digital artists and animators.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2267/Lil_Miquela.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <h3>Creating a virtual community</h3> <p>One of the most interesting things about Lil Miquela is the extent to which she blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. She’s not just a voiceless face, as she (or whoever is behind her) is very active online, typically replying to comments, DMs, and even partaking in media interviews.</p> <p>There’s also the fact that she alludes to her virtual identity, recently telling Business of Fashion that she’d ‘like to be described as an artist or a singer or something that denotes my craft, rather than focus on the superficial qualities’.</p> <p>So what is her ‘craft’ exactly? Well, the same as any other influencer it seems. And in some ways, Lil Miquela feels more ‘authentic’, even expressing deeper personality than her real-life counterparts. </p> <p>Unlike personalities that project a one-sided image, Lil Miquela uses her channel to post content relating to social and political issues – she’s shown support for causes including Black Lives Matter, DACA, and transgender rights to name a few. She also posts about humorous and relatable scenarios, commenting on pop-culture and expressing admiration for celebrities. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2268/lilmiquela_social.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <p>So, does it matter that she’s not real? For her hundreds of thousands of followers, the answer appears to be not really. After all, they get from her the same (if not more) than they do as other influencers. Even the chance to buy Lil Miquela merchandise, albeit without the opportunity to meet in person at a launch or event.</p> <p>There’s also just the fascination and added mystique that comes along with someone who appears so human, but who actually isn’t. The film ‘Her’ springs to mind. </p> <h3>Modernising an old strategy</h3> <p>While CGI influencers might be a new phenomenon, virtual celebrities have in fact been around for years, with examples including the band Gorillaz and Japanese singer Hatsune Miku. </p> <p>Lil Miquela isn’t the only modern example either. Recently, beauty brand Fenty re-posted a photo of virtual model Shudu Gram, generating massive interest in photographer Cameron-James Wilson's latest creation.</p> <p>While there has been some negativity towards the use of a virtual model - with some saying that it promotes the dilution and distortion of real images - others have suggested that it is the natural next step in a world that’s already characterised by filters and perceived 'perfection'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2269/Fenty_beauty.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></p> <h3>What does it mean for brands?</h3> <p>Lil Miquela’s rapid rise to Insta-fame poses a big question for brands and publishers. Does it matter if an influencer is fake if they have the same ‘influence’ as someone who is real?</p> <p>I don’t think it necessarily does, mainly because the problem within influencer marketing is largely to do with misleading content. For example, if an influencer is being paid to promote a product but fails to disclose it, or worse - lies about it. This is when audiences feel like they’re being scammed, ultimately leading to negative sentiment towards the brand and influencers involved.</p> <p>In contrast, if virtual influencers are transparent - with no pretence that they’re actually real - there’s no reason why brands shouldn’t feel comfortable partnering with them or using them in campaigns. </p> <p>Similarly, it might be a case of whether or not the influencer’s identity (virtual or not) fits in with that of the brand’s. In the case of Fenty, which typically promotes the values of diversity, creativity, and expression, the image doesn't seem too out of place in its feed.</p> <p>In terms of consumer reaction, it also helps that we are becoming more and more used to technology within the context of everyday life. From chatbots to digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, we’re already used to interacting with fictional characters, and more importantly, we're being influenced by what they tell us. </p> <p>Lastly, virtual influencers could also mean greater control for brands, with partnerships resulting in less danger of <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69709-will-influencer-marketing-take-a-hit-after-the-logan-paul-firestorm" target="_blank">scandals or controversy</a>. What’s more, if they begin to create their very own influencers, this control could be taken to another level. Essentially, brands would be able to create an ideal representation of what it is they stand for, and a spokesperson that their audience is most likely to identify with.</p> <p><strong>More on influencer marketing:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69697-is-the-influencer-marketing-bubble-set-to-burst" target="_blank">Is the influencer marketing bubble set to burst?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution" target="_blank">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69792 2018-02-12T12:44:00+00:00 2018-02-12T12:44:00+00:00 How Lego uses Instagram to inspire fans of all ages Nikki Gilliland <p>We’ve previously talked about its YouTube channel on the blog before (as well as its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69592-examining-lego-s-social-success-and-how-it-boosts-roi" target="_blank">overall social strategy</a>), so now let’s take a look at Instagram – and how Lego uses it to increase love for the brand.</p> <h3>Education vs. inspiration</h3> <p>Lego posts a variety of creative content on its Instagram channel, however there appears to be an overarching focus on two things – inspiring parents, and educating and entertaining youngsters.</p> <p>The aim of inspiring parents is an obvious one, with parents having both oversight of the social media activity of their children and control of their funds to buy Lego products.</p> <p>The brand is particularly clever at engaging adults by using relatable and subtly humorous content. If you’ve seen the Lego movie, you’ll know that this strategy was also used to ensure it’d be a hit with all ages.  </p> <p>Some content is directly geared at parents, with clever Lego displays illustrating common and relatable family scenarios. At other times, its posts are a little more off-the-wall, designed to be impactful in the feed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2195/Lego_funny.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="462"></p> <p>With kids and youngsters being a core part of its target audience, Lego also uses Instagram to focus on ideas for education and play. The account typically makes use of video in this instance, using Lego for learning.</p> <p>This has value for both children and parents, encouraging users to refer back to the channel as a regular source of inspiration and information.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2294/duplo.JPG" alt="insta lego" width="760" height="464"></p> <h3>Hashtags</h3> <p>While hashtags are typically thought of in relation to Twitter, Instagram’s recent update to enable users to follow specific hashtags have upped their importance on the platform. </p> <p>Lego has traditionally relied on hashtags in order to collate and categorise content, mainly so that users can easily find and upload related posts. Its hashtag #legoideas – which is related to the Lego website that allows people to share ideas for new sets – is one of the most popular and commonly used.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2198/user_generated_content.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="465"></p> <p>The use of hashtags also means that Lego can capitalise on user generated content, re-posting the best ideas in order to reward loyal fans and create a continued cycle of brand advocacy.</p> <p>Lego has also partnered with other companies in order to drive interest from elsewhere on the platform. For example, on the back of electronics brand Belkin creating a special, customisable Lego phone case, the brand asked their customers to show off their own personalised cases by tagging their Instagram photos with #LEGOxBelkin. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2197/belkin.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="460"></p> <h3>Promoting Lego Life</h3> <p>With an audience of 2.4 million, last year Lego decided to replicate its success on Instagram with the launch of a new visual app – this time specifically designed for young users. Lego Life is a place where kids can share their Lego designs, with the app bearing a striking resemblance to Instagram and its news feed.</p> <p>There is a visualised hashtag system which allows users to quickly find their favourite Lego sets, as well as the ability to like and comment on posts.</p> <p>The idea is that kids can feel safe and secure on the network (there are a number of safety features, as well as a ban on personal info or photos) to enable them to further engage in the Lego community.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2194/lego_life.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="320"></p> <p>Alongside its similarity to Instagram, the brand has also used the latter to cross-promote Lego Life and drive downloads of the app.</p> <p><a href="https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/lego-learnt-building-social-network-kids/1450551" target="_blank">According to reports</a>, Lego Life has proven to be a success, with the brand finding a distinct correlation between the number of times kids return to Lego Life and an increase in the sessions of playing with Lego. In turn, this is also said to increase the number of bricks bought.</p> <h3>Interactive ads</h3> <p>Alongside regular brand content, Lego has also entered Instagram’s advertising arena, seeing success with its paid-for campaigns. One in particular, created to promote its new ‘Boost’ playset, used the platform’s Canvas ads in Stories.</p> <p>The ads involved a mixture of full-screen images, video and calls-to-action in order to display various features of the product. This meant the ads were highly immersive, grabbing the user’s attention to showcase how they could replicate their very own Boost robot. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2193/Lego_Boost.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="753"></p> <p>Instagram itself has <a href="https://business.instagram.com/success/lego?locale=en_GB">suggested</a> that the ad campaign was highly successful, generating greater levels of awareness alongside a 58% lower than average cost per click and a 45% lower CPM.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the use of Canvas also helped to make the ads feel native to the platform. This is a key component of any successful advertisement, but even more so on Instagram, where users are likely to be particularly wary of branded and sponsored content. </p> <h3>What can we learn?</h3> <p>So, what can marketers learn from Lego’s use of Intagram? Here’s a few key takeaways:</p> <p><strong>Consider parents a target.</strong> While Lego typically appeals to children, the brand recognises the importance of engaging with parents and adults who are likely to impact decisions on digital access and purchasing. This doesn’t only mean posting ideas for activities and games, but creating humorous and quirky content that solely appeals to an older demographic.</p> <p><strong>Focus on user interaction</strong>. Likes and comments are important, but Lego recognises the value of real user involvement on Instagram and other social channels. Its focus on user generated content is key, as is posting content that encourages action or communication. </p> <p><strong>Ads don’t have to be off-putting</strong>. Most brands have a presence on Instagram, but not all venture into advertising due to fears over putting off users or interrupting organic interest. Lego’s use of Canvas shows that not all ads have a negative impact on the user’s experience. With a highly immersive, quality campaign, it shows that Instagram advertising can actually increase brand sentiment and even have a real impact on sales.</p> <p><em><strong>Other Instagram success stories:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69191-five-lessons-retailers-can-learn-from-wayfair-s-instagram-channel" target="_blank">Five lessons retailers can learn from Wayfair’s Instagram channel</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69053-how-maserati-uses-influencers-to-drive-its-instagram-strategy" target="_blank">How Maserati uses influencers to drive its Instagram strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69433-five-ways-charities-can-use-instagram-to-drive-awareness-and-engagement" target="_blank">Five ways charities can use Instagram to drive awareness and engagement</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69790 2018-02-09T12:45:00+00:00 2018-02-09T12:45:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Consumers open to automatic buying via digital assistants</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-next-revolution-of-search/" target="_blank">Next Revolution of Search</a> report has revealed that consumers are more open and willing to experiment with intelligent digital assistants, making this the next logical extension of search. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">80% of survey respondents said that it would be “incredibly useful” if a personal digital assistant could help find the options right for them. Meanwhile, the report highlights the potential benefits of automatic buying using digital assistants, meaning purchases or transactions that have little or no input from consumers. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">75% said that this kind of service would be useful to them, and 67% said they would be likely to have products delivered automatically if there was no unexpected change or variation in price. Even among those who are sceptical of such a service, 90% admit that it would make their lives better to have products they use regularly delivered automatically.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2178/Stats.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="510"></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em><strong>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-next-revolution-of-search/" target="_blank">report in full here</a>. </strong></em></p> <h3>Tide sees the most Super Bowl conversation</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">According to Talkwalker, there were 5.3 million mentions of the Super Bowl across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram last Sunday. Online conversation peaked at the halftime show, with one million mentions of Justin Timberlake, and 117,200 mentions of his tribute to Minneapolis hero, Prince. Despite not making a surprise appearance, there were still 43,800 mentions of his previous halftime show co-performer, Janet Jackson.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to brand ads, Tide generated the most conversation with its ad featuring David Harbour from Stranger Things. There were 163,800 mentions of Tide during the event. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Another advertising highlight was the Mountain Dew and Doritos joint ad featuring a rap battle between Morgan Freeman, Peter Dinklage, and Missy Elliot. The ad was mentioned 115,100 times overall.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/doP7xKdGOKs?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Customers fed up within five minutes</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">It only takes five minutes for US consumers to feel fed up with a customer service experience – that’s according to a new report by Point Source (based on a survey of 1,008 US consumers). It found that 34% of customers on hold with a retail customer service agent want to switch to a chatbot after five minutes. However, 59% of consumers will also grow frustrated if a chatbot doesn’t provide them a resolution within the save time frame.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Data privacy is still pressing issue for people too, with 41% citing this as a cause for concern when using a chatbot. 44% say accuracy of information provided, while frustrations over chatbots not understanding intent or language remains the biggest – 51% cite this concern.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">When asked about why customers might want a chatbot’s help, the majority of respondents said they are open to interactions throughout the majority of the customer journey, such as when researching online and tracking and order. However, there still appears to be resistance post-purchase, with 80% of retail customers not being comfortable with chatbot assistance when resolving problems with an order, and 71% saying the same for the in-store experience.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2177/PointSource.JPG" alt="" width="395" height="618"></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>More on chatbots:</strong></p> <ul style="font-weight: 400;"> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69716-why-fashion-and-beauty-brands-are-still-betting-on-chatbots" target="_blank">Why fashion and beauty brands are still betting on chatbots</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">What makes a good chatbot UX?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Mobile commerce on the rise in Asia</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">According to a <a href="https://www.warc.com/content/article/event-reports/five_asian_retail_trends_for_2018/120035" target="_blank">report by Warc</a>, the popularity of shopping on smartphones is also on the rise in Asia. 71% of Asian consumers are said to use their smartphones to help them shop, compared to 59% of all global shoppers.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">There are also two markets in particular where smartphone usage is booming. 76% of shoppers in Indonesia are using their smartphones, and 90% of shoppers in China are doing the same. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">While the in-store experience is also a big focus in these markets, mobile commerce is also becoming an increasingly natural and instinctual experience, as shoppers forgo desktop entirely and go straight to smartphones.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2176/smartphone_shop.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>Ad engagement 29% higher on premium sites than social</h3> <p>Social media is typically associated with high levels of attention, however, when it comes to ads, studies suggest that it could be failing to properly engage users. This is the basis of <a href="http://www.newsworks.org.uk/%2FMedia-Centre/engagement-is-29-higher-on-premium-sites-than-on-social-media" target="_blank">recent research </a> by Newsworks and the Association for Online Publishing (AOP), which aimed to find out why the context of quality editorial generates greater engagement than social. </p> <p>The research measured participants’ brain responses to identical ads in different contexts, analysing a number of areas of the brain in order to identify key research metrics. </p> <p>It found that ads seen on a premium publisher site are viewed for 17% longer, create 29% higher engagement (due to personal relevance) and generate greater levels of left brain and right brain memory encoding than ads on Facebook and YouTube. Memory encoding is key because it correlates with decision-making and purchase intent. </p> <p>Lastly, ads seen within a premium context also provoke stronger, more positive emotional responses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2174/Newsworks_and_AOP_press_release_spider_graph.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="438"></p> <p><strong>More on ads:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69708-five-trends-for-online-advertising-strategy-in-2018" target="_blank">Five trends for online advertising strategy in 2018</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67704-four-useful-tips-for-making-online-ads-relevant-personal/" target="_blank">Four useful tips for making online ads relevant &amp; personal</a></li> </ul> <h3>Generation Z consume 10 hours of digital content a day</h3> <p>Adobe has revealed that Britain is a nation addicted to digital content, as millennials spend 8.5 hours a day consuming digital content, while Generation Z spend a staggering 10.6 hours a day doing the same.</p> <p>This news comes from a survey of over 1,000 UK consumers on their daily digital habits. The results also show that, despite increased consumption, users are also becoming increasingly sceptical about fake news content. </p> <p>77% of those surveyed said that they are more careful about the content they engage with than they were five years ago. As a result, consumers respond strongly to branded content if it provides an authentic, well designed, and relevant experiences. 46% of consumers say that this would inspire them to make a purchase.</p> <h3>UK shoppers turn to smartphones for groceries</h3> <p>Shoppercentric’s <a href="http://shoppercentric.co.uk/news/" target="_blank">Stock Take Index</a>, which comes from a survey of over 1,000 Brits, has found a substantial increase in smartphone usage for grocery shopping. </p> <p>While computers and laptops are the most used touchpoint – up 6% on 2017 to 63% of shoppers - smartphones saw a bigger increase of 18% to reach 45%. Tablets secured the third place spot with 29% of shoppers using the device.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the report also highlights an increased use of discount stores – up 13% on 2017 to 57% of UK shoppers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2175/shoppercentric.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="423"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69784 2018-02-09T11:00:00+00:00 2018-02-09T11:00:00+00:00 Start Me Up! Qutee, a data-driven discussion platform Ben Davis <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> In one sentence, what is your product/service?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> <a href="https://www.qutee.com/">Qutee</a> is a data-driven discussion platform that lets community owners curate online discussions and engage with audiences in a more meaningful way, using advanced sentiment analysis tools that ensure every voice is heard. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What problem(s) does it solve?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> The internet needs an overhaul of its approach to comments. Even on news outlets’ channels, reams of audience comments die and disappear in hours without being properly explored. We developed Qutee to put a stop to this comments chaos.</p> <p>Qutee lets digital community owners regain control of the debate by transforming masses of qualitative comments and quantitative poll data into tangible insight on how audiences think and feel. This insight can be used to inform future content. For consumers, Qutee provides a genuine chance to contribute to debates and feel that their opinions are being heard – providing true data democracy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2188/quteepoll.gif" alt="qutee poll" width="240" height="428"></p> <p><em>A Qutee poll</em></p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or growing your team?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> The initial challenge was finding a way to test during beta with a relevant audience. We achieved this by partnering with tech influencer Marzbar. </p> <p>The subsequent feedback and user data helped us refine the UI/UX and on-boarding at a very granular level. </p> <p>The next challenge was how to grow ‘grade A’ communities providing great data stories that we could use to showcase what the platform can do. </p> <p>Via Marzbar we quickly had an influx of other influencers asking to join and become strategic partners. We decided at that point to focus on influencers with university degrees in gaming and tech. The result has been stellar retention rates, and some really insightful discussions and data stories.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How will the company make money?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> We recently came out of beta and are focusing on generate revenues via advertising and affiliates, and also by licensing the core technology and API.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Who is in your team?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> We currently have 10 employees. Our board includes the former senior Facebook head of worldwide government relations, Elizabeth Linder, and consumer data expert Jim Hodgkins, formerly CEO of VisualDNA and Experian.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Where would you like to be in one, three and five years' time?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> This year we would like to reach around 5 million monthly active users (MAUs) and establish Qutee known as the place for elevated debate and data democracy. </p> <p>In three years’ time I hope that our core tech will be ubiquitous across the web and that Qutee will have in excess of 100 MAU. </p> <p>Five years? I’d like to be on one of Elon Musk’s space ships looking down on the blue dot!</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Other than your own, what are your favourite websites/apps/tools?</h4> <p><em><strong>TW:</strong></em> In terms of pure day to day? WhatsApp, Small PDF and Keynote. Skype I used to love until the “snapchat” update.</p> <p>In terms of websites? I have found I visit far fewer than ever before, just simply because of the excess of video ads and the subsequent downgraded experience.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69774 2018-02-06T14:00:00+00:00 2018-02-06T14:00:00+00:00 The fake follower economy is beginning to crumble Patricio Robles <p>But it looks like fake follower economy is set for a potentially big fall. </p> <p>This past Saturday, New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/technology/schneiderman-social-media-bots.html">opened an investigation</a> into Devumi, a prominent purveyor of fake followers.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/social-media-bots.html">New York Times exposé</a> published the same day Schneiderman announced his investigation concluded that Devumi was in control of more than 3.5m fake Twitter accounts and has used them to sell more than 200m fake followers on the popular social media platform.</p> <p>Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Devumi's business is that many of the fake accounts are alleged to use photos and other personal information taken from the social media profiles of real users. In other words, Devumi is accused of engaging in a form of social media identity theft.</p> <p>Impersonation and deception are illegal in New York, and that's the angle attorney general Schneiderman is taking in pursuing Devumi.</p> <h3>An inconvenient truth</h3> <p>How did Devumi and shady businesses like it get so big? The answer is simple: there's big demand for fake followers and engagement on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And this demand often comes from the very individuals and businesses who would like the world to believe that they need Devumi's “services” the least:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Times reviewed business and court records showing that Devumi has more than 200,000 customers, including reality television stars, professional athletes, comedians, TED speakers, pastors and models. In most cases, the records show, they purchased their own followers. In others, their employees, agents, public relations companies, family members or friends did the buying. </p> </blockquote> <p>Why would high-profile individuals and companies risk their reputations buying fake followers? It's simple economics. As the New York Times revealed, the cost of fake followers and engagement actions is often measured in pennies, a small price to pay for inflated metrics that can lead to big bucks.</p> <p>Virtually all of those big bucks come from brands, of course, which have embraced influencer marketing in all its forms in an effort to better connect with consumers online.</p> <h3>Just how badly are brands being duped?</h3> <p>Thanks to the rise of influencer marketing, there are influencers routinely earning five, six and even seven figures for sponsored social media posts. How much they earn is largely a function of the size of the audience they appear capable of reaching. The bigger the audience, the bigger the paychecks.</p> <p>While there are tools and methods brands can use to assess the quality of an influencer's audience, none are perfect and it would seem few brands are doing significant due diligence on their influencer marketing transactions. In many cases, sponsored social media posts are bought through automated or semi-automated platforms, or by ad agencies.</p> <p>All indications are that some if not much of the spend is for naught. Case in point: the Times identified two teenagers, Arabella and Jaadin Daho, who reportedly earn $100,000 annually through influencer marketing. They <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5030582/aspiring-child-youtubers-callum-ryan-erin-bradley-arabella-daho/">have worked with</a> brands including Amazon, Disney, Louis Vuitton and Nintendo.</p> <p>But, according to the Times, their Twitter accounts “are boosted by thousands of retweets purchased by their mother and manager, Shadia Daho, according to Devumi records. Ms. Daho did not respond to repeated attempts to reach her by email and through a public relations firm.”</p> <h3>An urgent wake-up call</h3> <p>This sort of dubious social media arbitrage, in which supposed influencers turn pennies into dollars at the expense of brands using fake followers and engagement, is obviously not healthy and is also unsustainable.</p> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69343-are-marketers-underestimating-the-fraud-threat-to-influencer-marketing">the existence of what can only be described as fraud</a> has been known for some time, companies like Facebook and Twitter face numerous technical challenges in cracking down on fake accounts. They have also been disincentivized from engaging in major purges of accounts, even if they're fake. That's because, just as it is for influencers, more is better for these companies. </p> <p>But the recent news, which included the revelation that a Twitter board member purchased at least 65,000 fake followers, along with law enforcement action, suggests that the fake follower economy is now too big to ignore.</p> <p>Already, Twitter is apparently cleaning house. As The Daily Mail <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5341637/Celebrities-lose-followers-Twitter-rids-fake-accounts.html">detailed</a>, a number of high-profile users are seeing their follower numbers drop significantly in the wake of the Times piece. And one celebrity – Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood – <a href="https://www.eater.com/2018/1/29/16944770/paul-hollywood-deletes-twitter-account">has deleted his Twitter account</a> after being outed as a Devumi customer.</p> <p>For everyone involved, the writing is on the wall. Savvy brands whose dollars have largely fueled this craziness will get in front of the collapse and adapt their influencer marketing and broader social strategies accordingly.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69763 2018-02-01T10:06:14+00:00 2018-02-01T10:06:14+00:00 Six of the best travel brands on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest & LinkedIn Nikki Gilliland <p>So, which brands are succeeding on social? Here’s a run-down of how brands are utilising various platforms and why their strategies are working.</p> <h3>Booking.com and YouTube</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.tnooz.com/article/youtube-video-influence-on-travel/">research</a>, 50% of travellers use online video before they book a holiday, largely for decision-making purposes on where to go, as well as researching accommodation and activities. Due to this, it can be incredibly helpful for brands to think like a publisher rather than an advertiser. In other words, to create informative content (such as destination guides) to help viewers make an informed decision during a moment of need.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/" target="_blank">Booking.com</a> does this particularly well on YouTube, creating a series of local travel guides about popular places such as Lisbon, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1992/booking_guides.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="432"></p> <p>More recently, it’s taken a more inspirational tack, with a campaign based around the travel stories of its 14,000 employees in 2016. The main video, ‘One Mission’, effectively builds a chronological portrayal of travel, starting from arrival at the airport and all the way to touch-down home. A great example of video storytelling.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_jLx_Z8mV2g?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Soho House and Instagram</h3> <p>When you think of travel brands, you tend to think of online travel agencies or airlines. However, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69555-six-excellent-hotel-websites-and-how-they-encourage-direct-booking" target="_blank">hotel and hospitality brands</a> also come under this umbrella – and they are becoming particularly adept at using social to increase awareness and extend reach.</p> <p>Instagram is arguably the ideal channel for hotels, especially luxury ones. With its visual and curated nature, the platform allows brands to showcase the very best of what they have to offer, tantalising guests with beautiful design and luxurious customer service.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1993/soho_house.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="478"></p> <p>With 313,000 followers, Soho House has built an impressive following on its Instagram channel, which is populated with stunning (and unashamedly cliché) lifestyle imagery.</p> <p>From flat whites to furnishings, it cleverly shines a light on elements of its hotels around the world – and undoubtedly instils the desire to visit.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1994/soho_house_2.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="475"></p> <h3>Lonely Planet and Pinterest</h3> <p>While people on Instagram might prefer to simply marvel at travel imagery, Pinterest users are reportedly more proactive, with an average of <a href="https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/2017-travel-trends-top-destinations-and-how-to-be-there-before-they-book">2m travel-related saves</a> taking place on the platform each day. This means that users are saving ideas in order to help make informed decisions, building and curating their own travel boards (i.e. 'solo travel' or 'family destinations').</p> <p>Despite this, there aren’t many brands that take the opportunity to create bespoke content for the platform. One that does is Lonely Planet, having built up a wide selection of boards. From ‘Wellness and Travel’ to ‘Tastes of Thailand’, it aims to engage users based on specific interests. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1995/lonely_planet.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="560"></p> <p>Lonely Planet also incorporates content from third-party sites and bloggers in its Pinterest boards, which help to create a sense of community. It even accepts contributions from the public, meaning that its audience is likely to feel involved and more connected to the brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1996/lonely_planet_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <h3>KLM and LinkedIn</h3> <p>According to a survey by MRI, LinkedIn users aged 18 to 44 are over twice as likely to join flight and hotel <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68114-six-tips-for-loyalty-program-success" target="_blank">reward schemes</a> compared to users of other social networks. What’s more, they’re also twice as likely to travel internationally and are more likely to show loyalty toward brands.</p> <p>This might come as a surprise to many, but some travel brands have been keen to capitalise on LinkedIn’s power for a while now. Back in 2014, KLM airlines was one of the first brands to offer a 24/7 service via LinkedIn, allowing users to contact the brand via the social platform.</p> <p>Since, it has continued to harness the platform’s shift into a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66159-how-to-use-linkedin-s-publishing-tool-to-increase-your-social-reach/" target="_blank">publishing network</a> rather than just a professional one, using it to distribute brand content. It publishes blogs and articles on a regular basis, aiming to push LinkedIn’s large user-base towards it website, as well as position itself as an expert voice on the aviation industry.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1999/KLM.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="594"></p> <h3>Delta Airlines and Twitter</h3> <p>Twitter is often used by travel brands as a customer service channel, with companies reportedly seeing a marked increase in customer satisfaction on the back of timely and relevant responses. </p> <p>However, Twitter can also be used as an effective tool for branding – particularly when it comes to competition between companies.   </p> <p>Delta Airlines is one airline that has displayed both strategies in the past, using its Twitter account to provide customer support, as well as the occasional bit of shade when necessary. For example, when a United Airlines passenger was refused to board a plane because she was wearing leggings, Delta fired back with a cheeky retort.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings. )</p> — Delta (@Delta) <a href="https://twitter.com/Delta/status/846393226890280966?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 27, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Similarly, when American conservative commentator Ann Coulter launched a tirade against Delta last year, the airline responded with what was described as a ‘bold and strategic’ approach. As a result, many applauded the airline’s defence of its own values, and supported its decision to call out Coulter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/AnnCoulter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AnnCoulter</a> Additionally, your insults about our other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary.</p> — Delta (@Delta) <a href="https://twitter.com/Delta/status/886714198880866305?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While using Twitter in this manner can be a potentially dangerous strategy, Delta shows that if a brand’s tone is consistent and in line with its wider character and values, it can be a way of enhancing exposure and building positive sentiment.</p> <h3>Aer Lingus and Snapchat</h3> <p>Snapchat is not the most obvious channel for travel brands. Surely the picture-perfect world of Instagram is where it’s at? Perhaps when it comes to destination marketing, yes, but for brands wanting to give more of an insight into their company culture or a sneak peek at behind-the-scenes – Snapchat Stories can be hugely effective. What’s more, it’s also ideal for targeting the platform’s young and highly-engaged user-base.</p> <p>Aer Lingus is one brand that uses Snapchat in this way, posting content about what it’s like to work for the company. Its Stories often provide insight into flights and company events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1991/aer_lingus.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="329"></p> <p><em>(Image via <a href="https://www.socialtalent.com/blog/recruitment/6-best-employer-brands-snapchat-right-now" target="_blank">Social Talent</a>)</em></p> <p>It also uses the platform to announce new routes, such as the example below which is in celebration of the new Aer Lingus route into LA. All in all, it gives a refreshing and unique insight into its brand, which could help to inspire future careers as well as travel.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/r_xNM0lE0cg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69207-how-six-travel-hospitality-brands-use-personalisation-to-enhance-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">How six travel &amp; hospitality brands use personalisation to enhance the customer experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69652-four-key-digital-trends-impacting-travel-and-hospitality-brands" target="_blank">Four key digital trends impacting travel and hospitality brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69307-eight-examples-of-top-notch-copywriting-from-travel-brands" target="_blank">Eight examples of top-notch copywriting from travel brands</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69759 2018-01-31T14:59:40+00:00 2018-01-31T14:59:40+00:00 The best social stories and campaigns from January 2018 Nikki Gilliland <h3>Dollar Shave Club arrives in the UK</h3> <p>First founded in the US in 2011, Dollar Shave Club went on to be acquired by Unilever in 2016. Now, the razor subscription brand has launched in the UK, marking its arrival with a creative social and experiential campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Greetings from America. Dollar Shave Club is bringing our great shaves to the U.K. The annoying stuff from America? We’ll leave that stateside. Great shaves start here → <a href="https://t.co/7fNiZY4SPJ">https://t.co/7fNiZY4SPJ</a>. <a href="https://t.co/voXhqOs3Jj">pic.twitter.com/voXhqOs3Jj</a></p> — Dollar Shave Club UK (@DSC_UK_) <a href="https://twitter.com/DSC_UK_/status/956919684929998848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">26 January 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>Dollar Shave Club launched a pop-up in Old Street station this January, offering passers-by free shaves, foosball tournaments, and live comedy. Meanwhile, the brand has also partnered with a number of social influencers to create content and hype around the launch.</p> <p>Will the brand see success in the UK? We’ll have to wait and see, of course, but if the hotly anticipated UK ad matches up to the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65405-dollar-shave-club-s-content-marketing-strategy-since-that-video">classic US version</a>, it’ll be off to a good start.</p> <h3>Visa jumps on winter Olympics for sport-themed campaign</h3> <p>Since 2000, Visa has been accepting athletes from around the world into its ‘Team Visa’ programme to provide the support and resources to help them achieve their sporting dreams. Ahead of this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Visa has launched a special campaign featuring its 2018 line-up.</p> <p>The video, which is featured on Visa’s own social channels as well as the athletes involved, sees the use of various payment technology such as wearable devices and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69577-restaurants-are-going-cashless-here-s-three-reasons-why" target="_blank">contactless technology</a>. Involving British hopefuls Elise Christie and Billy Morgan – it marks an inspiring start to the year ahead for sport and social media. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PyeongChang2018?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PyeongChang2018</a> is just 24 days away, and I’m stoked to join the rest of the members of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamVisa?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamVisa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Visa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Visa</a> <a href="https://t.co/c2zMIq0wnE">pic.twitter.com/c2zMIq0wnE</a></p> — billy morgan (@billymorgan89) <a href="https://twitter.com/billymorgan89/status/954055355562123264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Alibaba launches first-ever brand campaign</h3> <p>Another brand that has been celebrating the world of sport this January is Alibaba, which has marked the start of its eleven-year Olympic sponsorship with it’s first ever brand campaign. </p> <p>Running on social and TV in the UK, US, Japan and China, the ‘to the greatness of small’ campaign celebrates sporting underdogs – which also serves to highlight the ecommerce brand’s support of small businesses.</p> <p>Thanks to its success in China, Alibaba is the largest online and mobile commerce company in world. With its Olympic partnership, it is evidently hoping to expand its global reach, capitalising on the opportunity to engage through sport and empowering storytelling.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zh8sM3_Zv3k?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Tena asks social users to ‘squeeze along’</h3> <p>Bladder weakness isn’t exactly the sort of thing you want to shout about, but the latest social media campaign from Tena intends to make the topic less taboo. With the aim of driving downloads of its ‘My Pelvic Floor’ fitness app, the campaign involves videos asking viewers to ‘squeeze along’ – demonstrating how simple it is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.</p> <p>With many women unsure or unaware of how to do the exercises, the videos are a particularly clever way to educate viewers as well as drive downloads of the Tena app. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Foooopsmoments%2Fvideos%2F906453862847777%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=476" width="476" height="476"></iframe></p> <h3>Twitter announces #BrandBowl</h3> <p>The Super Bowl is a much-talked event on social media every year, with most of the conversation relating to the best halftime ads. At the end of January, Twitter announced that it will be hosting #BrandBowl in conjunction – a competition for the best social and TV ads from the Super Bowl.</p> <p>The contest will recognise different categories, including an award for the highest percentage of tweets related to a brand during the game, an award for the brand with the highest tweets per minute, as well as one for the highest number of retweets. Meanwhile, the #Interception award will recognise the TV ad that generates the most conversion on Twitter. The winners will reportedly win rewards in the form of Twitter ads and greater consumer reach.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Can't wait to see new commercials as they're released during the big game?</p> <p>Retweet to subscribe for updates throughout the game on February 4th and catch all the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BrandBowl52?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BrandBowl52</a> advertiser spots from <a href="https://twitter.com/TwitterMktg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TwitterMktg</a>. <a href="https://t.co/wDb50gPCet">pic.twitter.com/wDb50gPCet</a></p> — Twitter Marketing (@TwitterMktg) <a href="https://twitter.com/TwitterMktg/status/958021942614753285?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 29, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Snapchat allows content to be shared outside platform</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69747-snapchat-is-finally-opening-itself-up-to-the-web">Snapchat has made it possible</a> for people to share content found on its platform on third party sites and blogs. Currently, the type of Stories available to share (via a link) include selected content in the Discover tab, as well as Search Stories. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The motivation behind the move is likely to be Snapchat’s stalling growth, with the platform adding a disappointing 4.5m users in Q 2017 to reach 178m daily users. To put this into perspective, Instagram now has 500m daily users.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">However, now that users can share Snapchat Stories elsewhere, it means that people who aren’t already on the platform might be more inclined to give it a go. Meanwhile, third-party brands and publishers will be able to incorporate Stories into their content (much like embedded Tweets or Facebook posts).</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1957/stories.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="363"></p> <h3>ABTA jumps on ‘foot selfie’ trend for new travel campaign</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">ABTA – the leading association of travel agents and tour operators in the UK – launched a campaign on Boxing Day to highlight why holidaymakers should book with an ABTA member throughout January. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Called ‘Travel with Confidence’, the campaign taps into the social media trend of taking ‘foot selfies’ while abroad in order to demonstrate the wide range of destinations from ABTA brands. Alongside this, it has also been promoting the hashtag #beABTAsmart, and a competition giving social media users the chance to win prizes.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" style="font-weight: 400;"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Get fitter and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/beABTAsmart?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#beABTAsmart</a> in 2018 by entering our Travel with Confidence <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Competition?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Competition</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Win?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Win</a> a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FitBit?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FitBit</a> Alta HR. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Getin?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Getin</a>! <a href="https://t.co/hyYKhgqzQ4">https://t.co/hyYKhgqzQ4</a> <a href="https://t.co/Tob5Pz2gCj">pic.twitter.com/Tob5Pz2gCj</a></p> — ABTA (@ABTAtravel) <a href="https://twitter.com/ABTAtravel/status/948893038448926721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 4, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>WhatsApp rolls out new app for business </h3> <p>Towards the end of January, WhatsApp announced the launch of the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69738-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-whatsapp-business">WhatsApp Business</a> app in select countries including the UK, US, Italy, and Indonesia. The app (which is free to use) acts much like a Facebook page for small businesses, allowing them create a presence on the channel and use it to connect and communicate with customers.</p> <p>The app offers specific messaging tools, such as ‘quick replies’ and ‘away messages’ to make customer service as easy and as accessible as possible.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1956/whatsapp_for_business.JPG" alt="" width="340" height="494"></p> <h3>The #MeToo movement trundles on </h3> <p>Hashtags don’t often stay relevant for very long, but the #MeToo movement – which is used on social media to demonstrate the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment – has continued trending throughout January. This has been largely due to allegations against comedian Aziz Ansari, as well as a story called 'Cat Person' published by the New York Times – both fuelling the debate around consent and sexual boundaries.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the prevalence of #MeToo has spurred on #TimesUp – a movement led by 300 high-profile women to end discrimination, pay disparity, and harassment in Hollywood. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1955/witherspoon_insta.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="440"></p> <h3>Facebook prioritises friends and family</h3> <p>At the start of the month, Facebook announced that it would be changing its News Feed to prioritise posts from friends and family rather than news and other public content. Up until now, the algorithm has focused on surfacing ‘relevant’ content, based on ‘likes’ and other forms of engagement. That’s all set to change, as Facebook will now concentrate on meaningful interactions between people.</p> <p>So, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69721-why-the-facebook-news-feed-update-might-be-the-wake-up-call-that-marketers-need" target="_blank">what does this mean for brands and publishers?</a> Despite the strong probability of a short-term hit to traffic, the general consensus appears to be that the changes will lead to better, more quality content over time. With the goal of changing user behaviour from passive scrolling to active and socially meaningful experiences – it could mean greater engagement for brands in the long run.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">News Feed FYI: Bringing People Closer Together <a href="https://t.co/vnETChx1ts">https://t.co/vnETChx1ts</a></p> — Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) <a href="https://twitter.com/fbnewsroom/status/951612674151940096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 12, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>YouTube tightens rules amid ad controversy</h3> <p>YouTube also kicked off the year with a platform update - and it comes on the back of recent controversy over inappropriate content. With big brands increasingly concerned about advertising appearing alongside unsavoury and offensive videos, YouTube has taken steps to prevent shady characters from taking advantage of the platform’s monetisation opportunities. </p> <p>Now, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69756-eight-tips-for-a-killer-youtube-strategy/" target="_blank">YouTube creators</a> will be required to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of videos watched in the past 12 months before they can place ads on their content. Meanwhile, YouTube has also announced that it will employ more moderators to manually monitor and flag up dangerous content, signalling a greater emphasis on safety and control on the platform.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We've made updates to the YouTube Partner Program to strengthen our community &amp; prevent impersonators + spammers from harming our platform.</p> <p>We understand this affects many channels, but believe it's necessary to protect our creators. </p> <p>For the full update <a href="https://t.co/phnMnAHDaD">https://t.co/phnMnAHDaD</a></p> — YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) <a href="https://twitter.com/YTCreators/status/953401966406889472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69400-ask-the-experts-paid-social-media-trends-challenges-strategy/">Ask the experts: Paid social media trends, challenges &amp; strategy</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69756 2018-01-30T10:08:00+00:00 2018-01-30T10:08:00+00:00 Eight tips for a killer YouTube strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, with this in mind, here’s a few tips for brand YouTube strategy in 2018, with reasons why the platform should still be top of mind for social media marketers (and remember to check out our video strategy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/online-video-best-practice-guide">reports</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies/">training</a>).</p> <h3>1. Create lean-back content</h3> <p>One of the biggest misconceptions about YouTube is that success only happens if a video goes viral. It’s often thought that if you can’t deliver cats getting up to mischief or show a prank going wrong – it’s not for you. </p> <p>This is widely off the mark, of course, especially considering the changing ways in which users are now consuming video content. </p> <p>While it’s true that a lot of people are watching YouTube on their mobiles, this doesn’t necessarily mean they want extremely short, or purely entertaining videos. Google suggests that when it comes to video viewing, mobile is a lot like TV, meaning that people are in fact watching in the evening, at home, and to relax.</p> <p>As a result, brands must no longer think of YouTube in the context of ‘on-the-go’ entertainment. Instead, there is scope for lean-back content, i.e. longer videos of more variety – whether informative, educational, or indeed entertaining. </p> <h3>2. Be consistent</h3> <p>One characteristic that the most successful YouTube channels share is consistency. The most obvious way being how often videos are posted, with big brands typically posting every couple of days or even every day.</p> <p>However, consistency does not necessarily mean having a highly populated channel. Instead, brands can create consistency in terms of format, meaning that they post the same style of content. This can also come through featuring the same people or coming back to a recurring theme or topic. The overarching benefit is that viewers get to know what to expect from a channel, with familiarity helping to build loyalty over time. </p> <p>In order to achieve consistency, it is vital that brands build a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69665-how-to-start-planning-a-successful-content-strategy" target="_blank">content plan or strategy</a>, mapping out when and what videos will be created and posted. </p> <h3>3. Build a community</h3> <p>While ephemeral video can be effective for capturing the attention, it tends to create a passive user experience (where the viewer is simply watching rather than interacting). </p> <p>In contrast, the beauty of YouTube is that it creates a sense of community for brands, with each channel having the potential to build a loyal and highly engaged audience. </p> <p>There is the common understanding (from both creators and viewers) that comments are expected and appreciated. Brands should therefore be ready and willing to respond in order to build a relationship with the audience alongside a cycle of communication and interaction.</p> <h3>4. Encourage action</h3> <p>Again, it is important for brands to prompt users to leave comments, but there are also a number of other ways brands can help to build an audience and promote loyalty. YouTube cards are one simple tool – they are pre-programmed notifications that pop up in videos to point viewers elsewhere (in a shoppable video, for example, a card might link to a featured product).</p> <p>End screens are also a valuable tool. These allow brands or creators to promote up to four elements at the end of a video, such as another video, playlist, or an external website. This lets the viewer know that they can take further action, which could help to keep them within the channel walls rather than clicking away elsewhere.</p> <h3>5. Optimise for search</h3> <p>While success on YouTube is bolstered by features like quality content and consistency, it’s still important for brands to ensure that videos are getting the maximum exposure possible. So, how can you get your video to rank highly? There are a number of simple things you can do to help your content, such as including a major keyword in the title, using relevant tags, and a lengthy and well-crafted description. </p> <p>Customised thumbnails can also be effective for generating views, with branded design again helping to create consistency and familiarity for viewers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1921/Lowes_YouTube.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="389"></p> <h3>6. Think mobile</h3> <p>Google suggests that three in four adults report watching YouTube at home on their mobile device. </p> <p>Not only is it clear that more people are accessing video content on their smartphones, but it seems this might also prove to be an automatic positive for brands, as YouTube mobile users are also reported to be twice as likely to pay close attention while watching compared to TV viewers.</p> <p>This is because the act of watching video on mobile offers less distraction. In comparison, while watching traditional television, viewers might be more likely to partake in another activity at the same time, such as cooking, cleaning, or using another device. </p> <p>So, how can brands capitalise on this? Again, it is about thinking of the user need, with a mobile-first strategy helping to deliver content that’s relevant and engaging in a real-time context.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1922/adult-youtube-home-consumption.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="312"></p> <h3>7. Think about micro-moments</h3> <p>So, what kind of content should you be creating? According to Google, it's helpful for brands to consider the ‘micro-moments’ your audience might be experiencing, in order to come up with relevant content.</p> <p>In other words, to consider why a person might be turning to the internet to look for help, information, or entertainment – and how a brand might be able to create content to intercept and deliver on this need. </p> <p>Beauty brands tend to be particularly adept at this, conveniently capitalising on the demand for tips, tricks, and make-up tutorials. It doesn’t always have to be educational, however. Cosmetics brand <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69754-how-lush-is-raising-the-bar-for-in-store-experience/" target="_blank">Lush</a> often posts videos relating to its stance on ethics and sustainability, which is likely to appeal to those of a similar mindset.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B10rNsMUsck?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>8. Be wise with influencers</h3> <p>YouTube and influencer marketing has enjoyed a fruitful relationship over the past few years, with brand partnerships typically leading to increased exposure and reach. In recent times, however, we’ve witnessed the likes of PewDiePie and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69709-will-influencer-marketing-take-a-hit-after-the-logan-paul-firestorm" target="_blank">Logan Paul getting themselves in hot water,</a> leading to many brands perhaps reconsidering their involvement with influencers.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with some adverts being shown alongside extremist content – it’s unsurprising that a few brands have removed themselves from the platform entirely.</p> <p>But do brands need to be overly cautious? YouTube’s decision to crack down on problematic videos is (hopefully) going to lead to fewer issues for advertisers. So then, in terms of influencers, it is perhaps wise for brands to tread even more carefully when partnering with big name creators, or indeed those whose content has the potential to be controversial or inflammatory.</p> <p>While this might sound like an obvious statement, it didn’t stop the likes of Nike and Pepsi previously working with Logan Paul – a regrettable decision in retrospect. That being said, as long as brands exercise caution - and partner with influencers that match their own brand values - there's no reason why the 'YouTuber' trend won't continue to flourish.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend" target="_blank">How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68340-seven-kids-baby-ecommerce-brands-using-youtube-to-reach-parents" target="_blank">Seven kids &amp; baby ecommerce brands using YouTube to reach parents</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2018-01-29T15:33:00+00:00 2018-01-29T15:33:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p>