tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/twitter Latest Twitter content from Econsultancy 2017-05-24T08:19:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69111 2017-05-24T08:19:00+01:00 2017-05-24T08:19:00+01:00 If you want to improve your marketing ROI, stop spending on social media James Hammersley <p>My agency did this because our experience with our clients suggested that social media traffic, specifically that from Facebook and Twitter, performed significantly worse in comparison to any other source. Indeed many of our clients found that stopping investment in such traffic improved conversion significantly and improved ROI for acquisition investment as a whole.</p> <p>[<strong>Editor's note:</strong> This post is written by a guest blogger and doesn't necessarily reflect Econsultancy's views, nor does it refer to Econsultancy's research team.]</p> <p>We publish a six-monthly update that covers <a href="http://goodgrowth.co.uk/publications-and-articles/?cat=6">the research published</a> over the period and despite our continuing search there is still no empirical link between money spent and commercial outcome gained that suggests performance levels to compete with other digital channels. </p> <p>In fact, the reports that have been published in the last nine months have if anything started to suggest that, rather like Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor, we may well be spending on a carefully woven story stitched together by social media platforms looking to justify their valuations and agencies looking to retain their fees. Is it time we challenged ourselves to stop drinking the Kool-Aid?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6329/emperors_new_clothes.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="525"></p> <p><em>Emperor's new clothes</em></p> <p>Why do we think it’s time to stop and reflect? Just look at these outcomes from recent third party reports: </p> <ul> <li>76% of retailers are <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/09/29/why-76-retailers-are-boosting-their-social-media-budgets">spending more on social media marketing this year</a>, yet the same survey suggests that whilst they do this, the most cost effective channel is email marketing.</li> <li>89% of marketers <a href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2016.pdf">believe social media marketing increases exposure</a> and drives traffic but only 51% believe investing in social media improves sales.</li> <li>48% of marketers <a href="https://komarketing.com/industry-news/seo-social-media-effective-difficult-execute-3238/">say social media is the most difficult channel to get right</a>.</li> <li>90% of marketers believe <a href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2016.pdf">social media is important</a> but 92% do not know <a href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-dos-donts-effective-social-media-management/169626/">which social media management tactics are effective</a>.</li> <li>60% of consumers have <a href="http://internetretailing.net/2017/02/omni-channel-sales-throttled-shoppers-wont-buy-sms-social-chat-despite-loving-mobile-apps-email/">concerns over social media channels</a> being at risk of phishing attempts or fraudulent profiles.</li> <li>43% of marketers <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/03/16/social-media-spend-failing-live-expectations/">questioned on their experience of investment in social media marketing</a> said they “haven’t been able to show impact yet”. 38% claim to have a “good qualitative sense of the impact, but not a quantitative impact” while just 18.4% have proved the impact quantitatively.</li> </ul> <p>That’s not to say that there haven’t been reports of a commercial impact:</p> <ul> <li>68% of respondents to one survey said <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/09/29/why-76-retailers-are-boosting-their-social-media-budgets">Facebook ads increased sales</a>. </li> <li>Sony <a href="http://www.josic.com/using-social-media-to-increase-sales-and-brand-awareness">announced in February</a> that through Twitter it had earned an extra £1m in sales and Dell announced in June last year that its presence on Twitter accounted for $3m dollars increase in sales.</li> <li>And <a href="http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/04/07/more-half-b2b-marketers-struggle-measure-value-social-media-0">one survey suggested</a> that investment in social by B2B marketers can drive sales upwards of £50,000 per month.</li> </ul> <p>The reports on B2C success are far fewer in number and both those quoted above fail to meet a core test about reliability in that they don’t benchmark this performance in terms of ROI. They also do not give a sense of scale. For example, the uplifts quoted for Sony and Dell would be lost in the rounding compared to their monthly sales, let alone their annual totals. </p> <p>Of all the B2C channels, Pinterest looks the most promising but <a href="https://www.clickz.com/how-pinterest-boosts-its-ecommerce-potential/102950/">the latest report</a> isn’t independently verified and there is no value data as opposed to activity data. So the jury is out, but the more direct link available between product and purchase suggests Pinterest could have a better ROI.</p> <p>B2B is much more interesting. There is an emerging argument for <a href="https://hbr.org/2016/11/84-of-b2b-sales-start-with-a-referral-not-a-salesperson">a commercial link in B2B activity</a> on LinkedIn and an opinion poll reported here <a href="http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/166003/file-25222284-pdf/docs/social_media_sales_quota.pdf">reinforces that story</a>, although doesn’t add to the evidence base. In my agency's own experience however, social advertising has a poor ROI and even sponsored posts, whilst garnering Likes, fail to deliver an acceptable ROI compared to other sales channels.  </p> <p>However using LinkedIn as a relationship sales channel (sometimes called linked selling) has proven a successful way to build an ‘opted in’ marketing database and generate leads. We have met a number of professional service firms who use this channel to drive their outbound new business activity but to date we can find no published research to quantify effectiveness. </p> <h3>Lies and stats</h3> <p>It was Disraeli who said there are lies, damned lies and statistics. In reality, both sets of numbers we have quoted here are unverifiable. They are either opinion or an incomplete ‘fact’ put into the public domain.  </p> <p>Many are placed into the market by an interested party (the channel or an agency) and for those of us who are driven by data this suggests that they all need to be covered by a health warning.  </p> <p>One of the consequences of this lack of transparency is that some in our industry are developing a narrative that undermines the claim of digital to be the ‘measurable’ marketing channel and introducing the concept of ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">dark social</a>’. We’ve come across some choice pieces of digital jargon over the years but this one should make us all worry – it's best defined as the digital equivalent of the ‘missing link’, providing a justification for continuing investment in social media on the basis of belief rather than transparently valid data.</p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>I admit it, we are obsessed by commercial value and there may well be ‘above the line’ marketing benefits of brand and product awareness that this type of investment generates. There is very little evidence however that can justify investment on the basis of an ROI that can compete with AdWords, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email</a>, digital display or re-marketing.</p> <p>If your concern is ROI and optimising performance of your marketing funds then my advice is to put value over inputs. After all, more poor quality traffic reduces overall effectiveness and wastes scarce resources, no matter how many other marketers are walking around with no clothes on!</p> <p>[<strong>Editor's note:</strong> Just to reiterate, this post is written by a guest blogger and doesn't necessarily reflect Econsultancy's views, nor does it refer to Econsultancy's research team.]</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/"><em>Social Media Training Courses</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/"><em>Social Media Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4489 2017-05-22T11:14:00+01:00 2017-05-22T11:14:00+01:00 Social Quarterly: Q2 2017 <p>The <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> is a series of presentations by Econsultancy, which curate the latest trends, developments and statistics in social media. The reports focus on distilling the most recent data and trends, aiming to provide a guide to what's happening now in social media and what you should be keeping an eye on.</p> <p>Social media evolves rapidly, and the <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be translated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p><strong>This edition of Social Quarterly includes</strong> Facebook’s introduction of ‘Stories’, the introduction of ‘Cabana’ from Tumblr, additional AR filters on Instagram and new ‘Trending Stories’ from LinkedIn, amongst other innovations.</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68929 2017-05-16T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-16T10:00:00+01:00 Digital crisis comms: How TfL's social media team copes with Tube strikes Nikki Gilliland <p>So spare a thought for Transport for London’s social media team, who see their daily tally of 2,500 Twitter mentions increase by a whopping 2,000% on a strike day.</p> <p>I recently spoke with TfL’s social media and content lead, Steven Gutierrez, to find out about the network’s approach to crisis communications, specifically when it comes to dealing with strikes. Here’s a summary of what he said, as well as a bit of further insight into the topic in general.</p> <h3>Multiple lines of communication</h3> <p>The <a href="http://managementhelp.org/blogs/crisis-management/2015/02/07/crisis-stats-you-should-remember/" target="_blank">OMD Group suggests</a> that just 54% of companies have a crisis plan in place. Unsurprisingly, it’s a necessity rather than an option for transport networks, with TfL taking steps to ensure there are multiple lines of communication open in the event of any planned or unplanned events.</p> <p>In total, TfL has 21 Twitter accounts, including individual accounts for Tube lines, rail lines, as well as dedicated channels for customer service such as <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts" target="_blank">@TfLTravelAlerts</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLBusAlerts" target="_blank">@TfLBusAlerts</a>. </p> <p>Despite offering multiple ways for users to check the status of the network, however, Steven suggests that manpower is still pretty limited. </p> <p>TfL’s First Contact team is made up of just a few members of staff – an amount that stays roughly the same during strike days. Similarly, each bus or rail line is manned by one or two people, meaning that there are usually around half a dozen people dealing with a huge volume of queries. </p> <h3>Broadcasting info and prioritising mentions</h3> <p>So, just how does TfL cope with the 2,000% increase in mentions when there’s a strike?</p> <p>With such a massive influx, it’s impossible for the team to reply to questions individually. In order to cover all bases, TfL broadcasts an overview of information to followers via its social channels and links to the website with is kepy up to date with live information, with the aim of reaching customers before they feel the need to reach out to the network.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4966/TFL_mentions.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="244"></p> <p><em>TfL's brand mentions on Twitter</em></p> <p>While TfL might not answer every question, impressively every single mention is still checked by an agent. To streamline the process TfL’s social team uses a tool called CX Social, which is also used by O2 and McDonald’s.</p> <p>According to Steven: “It makes it possible to handle many accounts, collaborate and triage messages to the most relevant team. I don’t think we’re limited by any tech our teams are well equipped.”</p> <p>Of course, not only does this give the team insight into what kind of information customers are actively seeking out, but it also means TfL is privy to people’s anger and frustration, too.</p> <p>That being said, Steven suggests that the majority of feedback is based on customers needing information, meaning a relatively small amount is actually abusive. “Increasingly customers thank the social media team because I think some realise how hard it is to work through a strike!”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4967/Sentiment.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="304"></p> <p><em>Sentiment analysis of TfL brand mentions on Twitter</em></p> <p>Perhaps TfL’s commitment to communication is part of the reason why. In contrast, you’ve only got to look at an example like Southern Rail, which has come under fire for an inconsistent and incompetent approach to crisis communications.</p> <p>Even after it received complaints for a lack of visible compassion, Southern Rail angered commuters even further with its misjudged call to ‘strike back’ at RMT.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/SouthernRailUK">@SouthernRailUK</a> When people waited three hours at Brighton last night, was that because of strikes?</p> — Cr O'Grizimov (@Mr_Ogrizovic) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mr_Ogrizovic/status/782841247706873856">October 3, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Reversing the message</h3> <p>As well as using broadcasts to pre-empt and stem the flow of incoming customer queries, TfL’s strategy for strike days is to reverse its working message. In other words, instead of telling customers what Tube lines are not working, it tries to tell them what ones are still running instead.</p> <p>Alongside this, it typically stops or reschedules any promotional campaigns in order to allow more pressing news to cut through.</p> <p>Together, this approach is effective for instilling trust and encouraging a positive mood, with TfL promoting the fact that it is working hard to help the customer – not pushing its own agenda.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A possible Tube strike will significantly affect services from Sun eve to Wed morning. Stay up to date here: <a href="https://t.co/9bQz35k9Xa">https://t.co/9bQz35k9Xa</a> <a href="https://t.co/DOKNlcdR0B">pic.twitter.com/DOKNlcdR0B</a></p> — TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts/status/827486881415839744">3 February 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Steven, a strike isn’t necessarily the most stressful event that a transport network like TfL can encounter. With storms, flooding or snow having a massive impact on the running of Tube lines, winter is typically the most demanding season.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with unforeseen accidents often harder to deal with than planned strikes (such as the helicopter that crashed in Vauxhall a few years ago), the team is essentially on constant standby throughout the entire year.</p> <p>In order to deal with an unplanned event, TfL has a defined process in place:</p> <ul> <li>One of the first steps is usually an acknowledgement of the issue.</li> <li>The next step is to coordinate a response based on verified information.</li> <li>At the same time all unnecessary activity (promotions, advertising, etc) is stopped</li> <li>TfL’s main accounts including @TfL and the TfL Facebook will lead on news and customer service accounts like individual Tube lines will broadcast service updates.</li> <li>TfL’s website will usually carry a dedicated webpage with more detailed travel advice and the Press Office will provide updates to the media.</li> <li>TfL continues providing updates from all relevant accounts and update the website regularly until things go back to normal.</li> </ul> <h3>Maintaining a genuine tone of voice</h3> <p>During busy or stressful times, rushed responses could potentially mean <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">brand tone of voice</a> goes out of the window.</p> <p>However, Steven emphasises that the network strives to maintain a genuine and friendly tone no matter what, with staff encouraged to be genuine and express themselves.</p> <p>He says that it helps that the majority of social media agents are part of the company's wider contact centre, meaning they also deal with calls, emails and letters as well as social media platforms. In turn, this encourages them to maintain a natural-sounding and friendly tone regardless of the channel.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good afternoon all, Mark and Tariq are here to help. <a href="https://t.co/JfJ3ETqwIX">pic.twitter.com/JfJ3ETqwIX</a></p> — TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts/status/833702140300378117">20 February 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While TfL clearly prioritises one-to-one human interaction, that doesn't mean it dismisses automation in all senses. Alongside automated ‘welcome’ messages on both Twitter and Facebook, TfL recently partnered with Twitter to offer a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">chatbot ‘status checker</a>' that users can interact with via direct messages.</p> <p>Interestingly, Steven hints that it's not the only bot in the works. “We are developing chatbot experiences on other platforms... and our editors are working on the script to ensure it has a friendly tone of voice throughout.”</p> <p>However, TfL is likely to rely on its distinctly human approach a fair few more times in the future at least.</p> <p><strong><em>Now read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68876-how-tfl-s-community-managers-engage-with-london-s-cyclists/" target="_blank">How TfL’s community managers engage with London’s cyclists</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69077 2017-05-11T09:50:00+01:00 2017-05-11T09:50:00+01:00 Three reasons fast food brands use secret menus Nikki Gilliland <p>So, (sugar-aside) why are consumers such suckers for a secret menu? Here are just a few reasons why it tends to work.</p> <h3>1. Inherently shareable nature</h3> <p>It appears social media users cannot keep anything a secret these days. It’s been just a few weeks since <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67085-starbucks-new-london-digital-concept-store-puts-focus-on-customer-experience/" target="_blank">Starbucks</a> released its Unicorn Frappucino in the US, and there are now over 150,000 images using the related hashtag on Instagram.</p> <p>This was the aim, of course, with Starbucks deliberately creating a drink that they knew users would love. Regardless of whether or not it actually tasted nice (or could induce diabetes), consumers bought the item purely for the chance to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">post a selfie with it</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5967/Unicorn_Frappucino.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="635"></p> <p>Other brands have also seen secret menu items go viral in this way – but it’s not always on purpose. </p> <p>Arby’s, the US fast-food chain, found that customers were requesting its ‘meat mountain’ special in restaurants – a stack of meat that was originally featured in a promotional image. The restaurant began making it for those who asked, leading to customers spreading the word on social and ultimately creating Arby’s first ever secret menu item. </p> <p>Unsurprisingly, as more and more brands have introduced secret items, consumers have also become extra savvy when it comes to sharing them. In fact, hashtags and websites, such as Hack the Menu, are dedicated to promoting the most recent items as well as offer reviews and opinions.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">About to conquer the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MeatMountain?src=hash">#MeatMountain</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/Arbys">@Arbys</a> <a href="https://t.co/cSzxPFuKMX">pic.twitter.com/cSzxPFuKMX</a></p> — Sigmon (@sigmonwrestling) <a href="https://twitter.com/sigmonwrestling/status/853774822878433280">April 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>2. Allows brands to experiment</h3> <p>While a secret menu is a great way for brands to generate buzz, it can also be used in a more functional capacity. </p> <p>This means that instead of adding a new item to the main menu - which comes with the risk of customers not liking it or bemoaning the loss of an item it could have replaced – brands can still introduce it without the pressure or commitment.</p> <p>With less investment on marketing spend to promote new items, consumer response can be gauged to establish whether or not it’s worth introducing long-term. Often, items will find their way onto the main menu eventually. Take Starbucks again, for instance, whose 'pink drink' (now known as the Strawberry Acai Refresher) first made the rounds on Instagram last year.</p> <p>Brands like Panera and In-N-Out Burger also do this on a regular basis, even creating a permanent ‘not-so-secret’ menu for items that prove continuously popular.</p> <p>So, why don’t they just create a bigger menu overall? Ultimately, the sort-of-hidden element is all about customer service, offering people increased flexibility and opportunities to customise orders, without overwhelming or saturating the main menu. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5968/In-N-Out.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="700"></p> <p><em>In-N-Out Burger's 'not-so-secret' menu</em></p> <h3>3. Builds customer loyalty </h3> <p>Lastly, one of the biggest reasons brands use secret menus is that it instills a sense of importance in customers. </p> <p>People feel like they are getting their hands on something rare, or as if they are part of an exclusive club. As a result, they are more likely to forge a memorable or more meaningful connection with the brand, meaning they are also more likely to return again in future. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/JuniperandIvy">@JuniperandIvy</a> slays the California classic <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InNOut?src=hash">#InNOut</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/burger?src=hash">#burger</a>brioche and homemade animal fries <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/secretmenu?src=hash">#secretmenu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/foodie?src=hash">#foodie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cheeseburger?src=hash">#cheeseburger</a> <a href="https://t.co/ERysWppZ0u">pic.twitter.com/ERysWppZ0u</a></p> — Laura Taylor Namey (@LauraTNamey) <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraTNamey/status/858165997932470272">April 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Does it always work?</h3> <p>Of course, the strategy does not come without its downsides. As the Unicorn Frappucino demonstrates, brands run the risk of veering into gimmicky territory, resulting in the view that secret menus are purely a money-making scheme rather than something for the benefit or thrill of customers. </p> <p>Meanwhile, brands must also consider that staff will have to manage orders of customised items in stores and restaurants – as well as avoid potential waste.</p> <p>On the other hand, with huge opportunity for brand awareness and increased sales, it's little wonder so many restaurants can't wait for us to shout about their so-called 'secrets'. Consequently, it doesn’t look like the trend will disappear anytime soon. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/">Four delicious examples of food &amp; drink brands on Instagram</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank"><em>A day in the life of... a food &amp; drink startup entreprene</em>ur</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4147 2017-05-02T12:45:00+01:00 2017-05-02T12:45:00+01:00 Social Media Best Practice Guide <p>According to research by GlobalWebindex, <strong>93% of internet users have at least one social media account</strong>. With social media touching so many areas of an organisation, the process of getting social media right has never been more important.</p> <p>This <strong>Social Media Best Practice Guide</strong> contains actionable, real-world insight with detailed explanations to help you start and improve your performance on social media platforms.</p> <p>In order to enable you to quickly access the information you need to start improving your marketing efforts, the guide is available as two individual reports:</p> <h3><strong>1. <a title="Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide</a></strong></h3> <p>The aim of this research is to identify <strong>best practice approaches, techniques, measurement considerations, challenges and opportunities for creating your social media strategy.</strong></p> <p>As social media platforms continue to evolve at a rapid rate we also cover some of the exciting developments taking place in social media.</p> <h3><strong>2. <a title="Social Media Platforms Overview" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-platforms-overview/">Social Media Platforms Overview</a></strong></h3> <p><strong>We've updated our social media platforms overview guide in 2017</strong> to account for the rapid developments occurring in this space. This report's purpose is to provide <strong>a snapshot of the major social media platforms and the most pressing considerations for marketers looking to generate the most value from social media</strong>.</p> <p>It provides a summary of the main features of these platforms, and outlines some of the options available to marketers when developing a paid, owned and earned strategic approach to social media marketing and communications.</p> <p>From Snapchat Lenses and Geofilters and Facebook's latest innovations to Live Video, Augmented Reality and Chatbots, our 2017 edition will ensure that you're up to date with the latest platform trends.</p> <p>Throughout both reports, we bring you <strong>examples of how companies are using social media in different ways, as well as insights from companies interviewed</strong> specifically for these guides.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_IhT9S2YEyY?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>The methodology involved two main phases:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Phase 1:</strong> Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.</li> <li> <strong>Phase 2:</strong> A series of in-depth interviews (20 interviews in total) with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers, communications leads and social media strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as aerospace, retail, hospitality, public sector (including government), SaaS, FMCG, non-profit, agency, financial services and media.</li> </ul> <h2>Lead author</h2> <p>The lead author for our social media best practice guides is <strong>Michelle Goodall</strong>, an experienced consultant. She has more than 17 years’ B2C and B2B experience client and agency-side, providing digital transformation and social media strategy advice and support.</p> <p>She has worked with a wide range of clients, including London2012, BBC, Direct Line Group, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barclays Bank, Coca Cola, Unilever, US Embassy, and many others.</p> <p>Michelle is a trainer and consultant for Econsultancy and can generally be found curating things that smart people write / make / do and getting to grips with Peach and other peripheral / transformative / game-changing technologies for her clients.</p> <h2>Contributors</h2> <p>The author and Econsultancy wish to extend sincere thanks to the following respected professionals who have contributed to the report:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Richard Bagnall</strong> – CEO, PRIME Research UK &amp; SVP PRIME Research Europe</li> <li> <strong>Vikki Chowney</strong> – Director of Content &amp; Publishing Strategies, H+K Strategies</li> <li> <strong>Sarah Coggins</strong> – VP, PR and Social Media, Virgin Atlantic</li> <li> <strong>Raluca Efford</strong> – Head of Digital and Social Media Marketing, Direct Line Group</li> <li> <strong>Marisol Grandon</strong> – Head of Creative Content, The Department for International Development (DFID)</li> <li> <strong>Katie McDermott</strong> – Marketing Director, Gourmet Burger Kitchen</li> <li> <strong>Will McInnes</strong> – Chief Marketing Officer, Brandwatch</li> <li> <strong>Kerry Taylor</strong> – Senior Vice President Director of Television, MTV Networks</li> <li> <strong>Guy Stephens</strong> – Social Customer Care Consultant, IBM</li> <li> <strong>Stephen Waddington</strong> – Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum</li> <li> <strong>Scott Wilkinson</strong> – Head of Brand, Acquisitions and Digital, Virgin Media Business</li> <li> <strong>Tom Barker</strong> – Head of Digital, National Trust</li> <li> <strong>Rachel Miller</strong> – CEO, IC Crowd</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4148 2017-05-02T12:45:00+01:00 2017-05-02T12:45:00+01:00 Social Media Platforms Overview <p>Part of our <a title="Social Media Best Practice Guide" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Best Practice Guide bundle</a>,<strong> we've updated and refreshed this report for 2017</strong> to reflect on the latest trends and to provide <strong>a snapshot of the major social media platforms and the most pressing considerations for marketers looking to generate the most value from social media</strong>, as well as what to consider when making the business case for social media platforms.</p> <p>From Snapchat Lenses and Geofilters and authentic content such as Live Video to the opportunities of augemented reality and chatbots in social media, we've got the latest trends covered in this 2017 edition of Econsultancy's social platforms overview. </p> <p>The report provides a summary of the main features of social media platforms, and outlines some of the options available to marketers when developing a paid, owned and earned strategic approach to social media marketing and communications.</p> <p>Throughout the report, we bring you <strong>examples of how companies are using social media in different ways, as well as insights from companies interviewed</strong> specifically for this guide.</p> <p>For more details on <strong>best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities for creating your social media strategy</strong>, read the complementary <strong><a title="Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide</a></strong>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_IhT9S2YEyY?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>The methodology involved two main phases:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Phase 1:</strong> Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.</li> <li> <strong>Phase 2:</strong> A series of in-depth interviews (20 interviews in total) with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers, communications leads and social media strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as aerospace, retail, hospitality, public sector (including government), SaaS, FMCG, non-profit, agency, financial services and media.</li> </ul> <h2>Lead author</h2> <p>The lead author for our social media best practice guides is <strong>Michelle Goodall</strong>, an experienced consultant. She has more than 17 years’ B2C and B2B experience client and agency-side, providing digital transformation and social media strategy advice and support.</p> <p>She has worked with a wide range of clients, including London2012, BBC, Direct Line Group, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barclays Bank, Coca Cola, Unilever, US Embassy, and many others.</p> <p>Michelle is a trainer and consultant for Econsultancy and can generally be found curating things that smart people write / make / do and getting to grips with Peach and other peripheral / transformative / game-changing technologies for her clients.</p> <h2>Contributors</h2> <p>The author and Econsultancy wish to extend sincere thanks to the following respected professionals who have contributed to the report:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Vikki Chowney</strong> – Director of Content &amp; Publishing Strategies, H+K Strategies</li> <li> <strong>Marisol Grandon</strong> – Head of Creative Content, The Department for International Development (DFID)</li> <li> <strong>Will McInnes</strong> – Chief Marketing Officer, Brandwatch</li> <li> <strong>Kerry Taylor</strong> – Senior Vice President Director of Television, MTV Networks</li> <li> <strong>Tom Barker</strong> – Head of Digital, National Trust</li> <li> <strong>Rachel Miller</strong> – CEO, IC Crowd</li> <li> <strong>Stephen Waddington</strong> – Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68967 2017-04-05T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-05T15:00:00+01:00 The best social stories and campaigns from March 2017 Nikki Gilliland <h3>Facebook introduces Stories</h3> <p>Another month, another <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68946-what-the-commodification-of-snapchat-stories-means-for-marketers/" target="_blank">Snapchat-style steal</a> from Facebook. This time, it’s in the form of Stories, a feature that allows users to overlay special effects onto photos and videos. </p> <p>Users can then share them in the News Feed or as a disappearing private message through the new Facebook Direct.</p> <p>While the feature is pretty much identical to Instagram Stories, the main difference is that you can control exactly who sees the posts by using the privacy feature (much like you can with any other post on Facebook). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5243/Stories.png" alt="" width="350" height="717"></p> <h3>Ted Baker releases 360 degree shoppable video</h3> <p>It was a big month for retail brands, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68900-ted-baker-uses-360-video-and-instagram-stories-for-new-ss17-campaign/">Ted Baker’s Spring/Summer marketing campaign</a> being one of the most notable.</p> <p>‘Meet the Bakers’ was a multichannel effort, centring around an episodic sitcom about a fictional (and rather secretive) suburban family.</p> <p>It included activity on Instagram Stories as well as in physical stores, however its shoppable film was the best part, with VR technology and 360-degree technology allowing consumers to become fully immersed in the Bakers’ story. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZSSfIlQnZb8?wmode=transparent" width="656" height="367"></iframe></p> <h3>YouTube to remove 30 second unskippable ads</h3> <p>There was some good news for impatient souls last month, as YouTube announced that it will be removing 30-second unskippable ads from its platform. The only catch is, you’ll have to wait a <em>little</em> bit longer, as it’s not actually happening until 2018.</p> <p>The move is part of YouTube’s effort to create a better user experience for viewers, and while a shorter time-frame might prove tricky for advertisers, there will still be the option for 20 second unskippable ads. Read why it could prove to be a good thing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68841-youtube-to-remove-30s-unskippable-ads-what-does-it-mean-for-brands/" target="_blank">all-round here</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5241/YouTube.JPG" alt="" width="645" height="388"></p> <h3>Heinz resurrects Don Draper’s ad pitch</h3> <p>TV fans might recognise the slogan, ‘Pass the Heinz’, which was originally featured in a season six episode of Mad Men. Now, more than 50 years after Don Draper’s Heinz pitch was rejected, the ketchup brand has decided to make it a modern reality.</p> <p>Heinz’ campaign will involve three print ads which show close-ups of burgers, fries and steaks looking ‘tantalisingly incomplete’ without everyone’s favourite condiment. It will also run on social media, with fans of the show already showing support on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Oh, how we miss you, Don. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/passtheheinz?src=hash">#passtheheinz</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dondraper?src=hash">#dondraper</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/madmen?src=hash">#madmen</a> <a href="https://t.co/72CPZrHQlE">https://t.co/72CPZrHQlE</a> <a href="https://t.co/rI4HvTArLO">https://t.co/rI4HvTArLO</a></p> — Amy Ingoldsby (@AIRetail) <a href="https://twitter.com/AIRetail/status/846488590423130114">March 27, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Fusing popular culture and creative copywriting, the campaign is particularly clever as it still works even if you’ve never seen an episode of Mad Men in your life (Editor's note: it's possibly the best of the big four box sets).</p> <h3>LinkedIn wants to become a news platform</h3> <p>With the introduction of Trending Storylines, LinkedIn has taken steps to become a news platform as well as a networking channel.</p> <p>Designed to help you ‘discover and discuss news, ideas and diverse perspectives’ – the feature will use an algorithm as well as an editorial team to deliver relevant stories to users' news feeds.</p> <p>Currently only available in the US, Trending Storylines is set to roll out to other markets in the very near future.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/snYkqz7CA-Y?wmode=transparent" width="800" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Apple announces Clips</h3> <p>Last month also saw Apple announce its new mobile video app, Clips.</p> <p>While it will have some features similar to Instagram and Snapchat, mainly in the form of overlays, emojis and music - there’s far more to it than that.</p> <p>As well as allowing you to share video creations on other platforms, the tool will include facial recognition to identify people in videos and ‘Live Titles’, which will turn spoken words into on-screen text.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5239/Apple_Clips.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="506"></p> <h3>The Body Shop celebrates quirky Mums</h3> <p>March also saw Mother’s Day in the UK, with a whole host of retailers rolling out campaigns to target gift-buying consumers.</p> <p>The Body Shop’s ‘Rock it like a Mother’ example was one of the best of the bunch, with the brand rolling out a multi-channel campaign encouraging users to share photos of the women that have passed on quirky and empowering traits. It also held events in-stores, with free makeovers being offered to mums. </p> <p>With most brands relying on standard gift guides, its emotion-lead campaign made a refreshing change.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68888-six-examples-of-mother-s-day-marketing-from-online-retailers/">More Mother's Day campaigns</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5267/Body_Shop.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="536"></p> <h3>Facebook launches Town Hall feature in the US</h3> <p>The end of March saw Facebook launch ‘Town Hall’, a feature that lets US mobile and desktop users contact their local, state and federal government representatives.</p> <p>If you like or comment on a post by a local representative, you’ll then be invited to email, call or message them – the idea being that users will have a greater opportunity to voice their concerns, which conveniently for Facebook, will happen away from the News Feed.</p> <p>It comes on the back of accusations that the platform did little to prevent the spread of fake news in the run up to Trump’s presidential victory.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5242/Town_Hall.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="723"></p> <h3>Tinder invites the most desirable to use Select </h3> <p>It was revealed that Tinder has been running a secret version of its app solely for the most desirable users.</p> <p>Members-only Tinder Select is said to be made up of elite personalities, including models, actors, CEO’s and other affluent types.</p> <p>While it’s not exactly clear how Tinder decides who is invited, the platform’s ELO algorithm is likely to be a factor in helping to determine the most popular and desirable candidates. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5240/Tinder_Select.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="385"></p> <h3>The internet falls in love with four-year old Marion Kelly</h3> <p>Finally, if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, why not take a little inspiration from the star of last month’s biggest viral video – Marion Kelly.</p> <p>The now famous four-year-old made waves when she hilariously crashed her father’s live BBC interview, just as he was in the middle of talking about the impeachment of South Korean president, Park Geun-hye.</p> <p>It didn’t stop there, as Marion equally impressed during the family’s subsequent press conference, where she appeared as nonchalant as ever.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When you know you're BBC interview kid and don't have to even try anymore. <a href="https://t.co/fIcmpZCFlt">pic.twitter.com/fIcmpZCFlt</a></p> — Rachel Waterman (@RW_HofV) <a href="https://twitter.com/RW_HofV/status/842287618440237056">March 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68944 2017-03-30T13:55:00+01:00 2017-03-30T13:55:00+01:00 United shows how brands can stand up to social media mobs Patricio Robles <p>The incident was witnessed by Shannon Watts, who posted about it on her Twitter account, which has more than 34,000 followers. "Since when does @united police women's clothing?" she asked.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">2) She's forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can't board. Since when does <a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> police women's clothing?</p> — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) <a href="https://twitter.com/shannonrwatts/status/845993122186211332">March 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Watts' tweets sparked a firestorm on Twitter that even caught the attention of numerous celebrities who collectively have millions of followers. They too jumped into the fray, criticizing the airline.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> I fly a LOT. About to go on tour all April and changing all my <a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> flights to other airlines</p> — Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) <a href="https://twitter.com/SarahKSilverman/status/846081905711710209">March 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While some headlines suggested that United was engaging in sexism and arbitrary foolishness, there was actually a less nefarious explanation for what happened: the passengers who were denied boarding were "pass riders" and subject to a different dress code than regular fliers.</p> <p>Pass travel is a perk given to airline employees, which can also be extended to friends and family, and it offers travel at no cost or a heavily discounted cost. Pass riders are considered to be representing United when they fly and thus they are subject to the dress code.</p> <p>United's dress code for pass riders explicitly states that certain clothing is not permitted. This includes "form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants and dresses."</p> <h3>Outrage on demand</h3> <p>United's legging incident demonstrates the fact that social media can be a source of outrage on demand. In an instant, and with little more than a tweet or two, brands can find themselves under attack from trigger-happy individuals all too eager to rail against a company regardless of whether or not they have accurate information or all of the facts.</p> <p>While reasonable people might suggest that United's dress code should be revisited, and less reasonable people will argue that companies shouldn't be able to implement a dress code at all, the truth is that many companies have dress codes and most are sensible and appropriate to the line of business the companies operate in.</p> <p>As pass travel is a benefit offered to airline employees, it's not unreasonable for United and other airlines to hold their pass riders to a different standard than paying customers, who can of course wear leggings if they so desire. As one individual who flew as part of a similar program <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/27/opinions/united-airlines-leggings-opinion-cevallos/">noted</a>, United's dress code is less stringent than the "business casual" dress code that many employers enforce.</p> <h3>Sometimes doing the right thing isn't easy or popular</h3> <p>Since the full and accurate context around the leggings incident has became known, more observers are acknowledging that this was a scandal that wasn't. And given the facts, United probably won't suffer any lasting damage from this incident, which explains why the company is sticking to its guns. Instead of apologizing, United has taken the time to explain its position.</p> <p>If there's one thing United could have improved, it might have been the speed at which it responded to this incident. While the airline quickly responded to Shannon Watts' tweets, as the backlash grew the company might have been wise to even more quickly post and link to <a href="https://hub.united.com/our-customers-leggings-are-welcome-2331263786.html">a statement on its website</a> better explaining the specifics of the situation, because 140 characters isn't always sufficient for providing a detailed response. </p> <p><strong>But otherwise, United's overall handling of this incident is a great case study demonstrating that companies don't have to give in to social media mobs when they have a leg to stand on.</strong></p> <p>Apology for apology's sake might be expedient when facing a social media backlash, but brands shouldn't be afraid to demonstrate some backbone when they're upholding their values, enforcing their established policies that have been applied consistently and fairly, or disputing inaccurate claims.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68937 2017-03-24T15:05:08+00:00 2017-03-24T15:05:08+00:00 Stories from SXSW 2017: ad blocking, content distribution, and Joe Biden Nick Hammond <p>These looked at the areas of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">ad blocking</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencer marketing</a>, social video, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66752-10-steps-to-better-content-distribution/">content distribution</a>, and the thoughts of Joe Biden, former Vice-President of the USA.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP67501">Ending The Ad Blocking Wars</a></strong></p> <p>The panel for this session included representatives from Brave Software, The New York Times, Digital Context Next and The Christian Science Monitor. They considered whether publishers can improve the ad experience to persuade readers to turn off blockers? Or will add blockers bring about the end of the free web?</p> <p>As you may imagine there was no simple solution to this conundrum. The two biggest players in the digital space (you know who they are) are not affected by ad blocking and therefore are not bothered by its effects. </p> <p>Although ad blocking is plateauing (<a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/uk-ad-blocking-levels-stabilise-22/1425085?bulletin=campaign_breakfast_briefing&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&amp;utm_source=20170223&amp;utm_content=www_campaignlive_co_uk_ar_6">at least in the UK</a>), the real squeeze is on smaller publishers, the little guys getting caught in the middle. These organisations are caught in an imperfect storm, made up of greater reliance on ad revenues and lacking the engineering investment levels and knowledge to respond to the threat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/5034/adblock-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="163"></p> <p>As a result of this, there is a real possibility of local, smaller publishers, starting to disappear. This could create a regional ‘news desert’ as even more people seek their news from social media. Currently 44% of Americans use Facebook as a news source and the number is rising. </p> <p>There was also a discussion around different types of ad blockers. Much of the debate tends to be around the big players, such as AdBlock which has 200m downloads; but there are other providers with different business models. <a href="https://brave.com">Brave Software</a> (represented on the panel) doesn’t just remove ads – it replaces them with new ads and splits the revenue between publishers, users, network partners and the company itself.</p> <p>Brendan Eich from Brave suggested that this software is the first ‘post-bad’ ad blocking solution. Still early days for this, 'softer' ad blocking model and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.</p> <p>Predictably, content was identified as a way to get around this challenge. The NYT emphasized the importance of engaging content – ‘pull instead of push’ – and advised strongly against using technology to push advertising onto consumers.</p> <p>Sponsored ‘native’ content is not necessarily the panacea to solve this problem, as publishers often tag creative to acquire more data; these are then identified as ads and therefore blocked. </p> <p>Ad fraud was a serious related issue discussed, with an estimated 23% of global video traffic being served to robots. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP65228">The Hundred Thousand Dollar Snap(chat)</a></strong></p> <p>The panel for this one was ShopStyle and Neiman Marcus, who considered the opportunities and challenges arising from social commerce, as well as the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">growing importance of influencers</a>, particularly within retail.</p> <p>The background to this is the change in consumers’ consumption of media and the importance of the mobile channel. 30% of all time online is spent on social and 60% of that is on mobile.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5033/snapchat_logo.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="243"></p> <p>As is often not the case, influencer activity should be approached in the same manner as any other communications campaign. It is not safe to assume that a single endorsement – ‘one and done’ – will do the trick. An effective frequency of ‘seven’, was mentioned as appropriate to the fashion retail sector. As with other channels, planning should be considered over an extended activity period, not as a series of one-offs. </p> <p>In addition, activity should not undermine influencers connections with their followers, and these retail influencers can be initially incentivised through special deals to offer to their followers. </p> <p>An interesting analogy compared the purchasing process for expensive items, such as for a Chanel bag, to the dating process; where buyers return to the store to view and interact with the product over time. In instances like these, iterative influencer messages can be effective in moving an individual closer to purchase.</p> <p>Strategies need to be different across separate social channels. Facebook is all about advertising, whilst Instagram benefits from a more organic approach. Snapchat is the new kid on the block and the hardest to measure. </p> <p>Above all, brands need to work out when to act as themselves, or through influencers in the social space. What are the key KPIs, how to measure these and how to ensure valuable content lives effectively beyond social channels? </p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP97038">Social Video and The Future of Consumption</a></strong></p> <p>Representatives from Vox Media, Vice Media and the New York Times joined this panel to discuss how social media is impacting video journalism. This session made very clear that Facebook is now the platform for video consumption. </p> <p>The NYT identified Facebook as ‘the stage’, and the essential channel for engagement and getting time with its audience. A major focus for NYT is around <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">Facebook Live</a>, which is being used to provide real-time coverage of news events. They are even looking at using this channel to create crowd-sourced investigations, a kind of mass citizen journalism.</p> <p>The upside of the live video phenomenon is that brands have an opportunity to powerfully engage with a massive audience, using current, exciting and rapidly changing content. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnytimes%2Fvideos%2F10151119750979999%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="476"></iframe></p> <p>The downside of live unedited content, is a concern around quality and the loss of editorial perspective. As a result, insightful user comments can be important to create context; but recognising this may not always be the case, Vice has indicated that all user comments are monitored in real-time.</p> <p>More controversially, the <a href="https://tytnetwork.com">The Young Turks</a> news channel is allowing users to pay to have their comments listed. Although the rise in importance of user comments can be seen as a democratic trend, allowing a financial bias on inputs would seem rather less altruistic. </p> <p>Another concern is that a publisher brand cannot easily prevent incorrect stories or unsuitable content being viewed. They can provide a retraction or an alternative perspective later on; but this may be seen by many fewer people. A good example of this would be the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/10/technology/hillary-clinton-google-search-results/">SourceFed Hilary Clinton conspiracy theory</a>. </p> <p>For me, this progression towards an ‘always-on’ society is worryingly redolent of Dave Eggers' book, and now film, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOXARv6J9k">The Circle.</a></p> <p>In any event, the benchmark for how quality video is defined is changing rapidly as we transition from a ‘TV-centric’ to ‘mobile video-centric’ world. In the digital space, where everyone with a phone is a director, quality is now less about production values and more about the story, speed and authenticity. </p> <p>Separate approaches to video content are needed across different channels. For example on Facebook a ‘raw’ approach is more appropriate and authentic. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67977-four-examples-of-brands-using-an-episodic-content-marketing-strategy/">Episodic content</a> on Snapchat is popular, with bitesize ‘episodes’ being used to tell a story in a manner entirely fitting to the medium. </p> <p>With live video, there is also a greater ethical onus on brands to decide what they will show and what they will not. A good example of content that could be considered to be on this demarcation line is <a href="http://mashable.com/2016/10/21/snapchat-breaking-news/#i0SLEFuJPsql">Snapchat’s coverage of the conflict in Mosul</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP65066">Content Distribution Platforms – Friends or Foes?</a></strong></p> <p>The panel for this session included The Economist, Conde Nast International, The Young Turks and ABC News. They looked at how<em> </em>publishers are becoming more reliant than ever on content distribution platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat to reach new audiences. </p> <p>A good starting point for this session was mention of Emily Bell’s 2016 article <a href="http://www.cjr.org/analysis/facebook_and_media.php">Facebook Is Eating The World</a>.</p> <p>Facebook is the key platform under consideration here, as it increasingly becomes the place where online content is consumed. It’s importance and control over brand content has increased with the rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67544-facebook-to-open-up-instant-articles-what-publishers-need-to-know/">Instant Articles</a>, as opposed to publisher feeds, keeping traffic within the Facebook ecosystem. As an aside, Snapchat was seen to be on the rise but not currently a viable global option. </p> <p>With this is in mind, the panel considered that Facebook was both a friend and a foe. It was seen to be a friend in terms of providing a broad distribution platform and a foe with regards to its control over advertising revenues. </p> <p>According to Steve Oh of The Young Turks, the key to content success with Facebook is threefold:</p> <ul> <li>Creating regular, relevant content</li> <li>Swift use of new product features released</li> <li>Focus on building an audience </li> </ul> <p>The Economist’s approach is to focus on bite size content that lures customers towards subscription, with news topics including ‘on this day’ and ‘famous quotes’. A specific approach is with ‘Vimages’, using Facebook <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/09/with-vimages-the-economist-is-using-facebook-to-make-low-budget-video-versions-of-its-stories/">to re-package magazine stories into video form</a>.</p> <p>One of the questions in the session, was how to keep up with the rapid changes at Facebook and the best ways to share content. There was no clear answer, but suggestions included looking for Newsroom tips, and Google Alerts pertaining to Facebook algorithms. </p> <p><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP61899"><strong>Art + Science: Videos That Inform, Inspire &amp; Scale</strong></a></p> <p>Finally, PopSugar's David Grant discussed what brand marketers need to know about creating video that engages their target audience at scale while delivering on brand KPIs. The session sought to explain the success of PopSugar in targeting millennial women.</p> <p>The starting point for the brand's success is to understand, as does Snapchat, the increasing cultural relevance of the camera (<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera.html?_r=0">as identified in this NYT article</a>) and that humans naturally gravitate towards content that is made up of <a href="http://www.kvibe.com/2015/03/17/why-we-as-humans-gravitate-towards-video/">sight, sound and motion.</a></p> <p>PopSugar creates videos that inform, and are created from a combined perspective drawn from its brand, brand partners and their data. PopSugar has created its own tool, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-popsugars-new-tool-will-help-you-stay-ahead-social-media-trends-174640/">Trend Rank</a>, to help it identify areas of content focus, supply ‘velocity data predicting’ and find trends ahead of time.</p> <p>Grant observed that, with video, companies typically have only one second to make an impact, so selected content has only that time to have an effect. </p> <p>Some examples of PopSugar's recent successful native content campaigns are: </p> <ul> <li>Doubletree by Hilton: ‘Find Your Happy’ campaign. Building on the fact that Hilton always leaves a cookie for its guests, PopSugar a campaign focusing on wider acts <a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Random-Acts-Kindness-You-Can-Do-Every-Day-40742607">of kindness and generosity</a>.</li> <li>Garner Shampoo: ‘Photo Ready Mums’. Based on the insight that mums often take pictures of the family, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzaKYqPYKyo">but regret that they are not in the pictures themselves;</a> this campaign shows how mums can be in the photos, and look great, with the help of Garner. </li> </ul> <p><strong>Joe Biden</strong></p> <p>And finally, some lessons from the keynote speech of SXSW 2017 (and a totally inspiring moment) from Joe Biden, former Vice-President of The United States. </p> <p>Perhaps more recently famous for his (unwitting) appearance in <a href="http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-barack-obama-joe-biden-tweets/">a sequence of memes with Barack Obama</a>, Joe Biden appeared on stage in Austin to raise awareness and seek support for his <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/09/biden-outlines-steps-to-pursue-post-obama-cancer-moonshot.html">cancer Moon-shot agenda</a>.</p> <p>He discussed the progress made during Obama's presidency by the call for innovative solutions to tackle the barriers that prevent faster gains in ending cancer; and described how he plans to remain in the fight. </p> <p>This talk has a wider relevance for business because, as Joe Biden put it, organisations involved in the cancer treatment process had become ‘siloed by design’ and their ability to face the growing threat of this disease was limited by this lack of co-operation.</p> <p>One of these silo-related issues was the low number of patients involved in clinical trials (only 4/100) as there was no system for companies to match the correct trial drugs to the correct patients and vice versa. In addition a database of patient learnings was not being effectively shared between hospitals.</p> <p>Biden’s efforts to break down the barriers in the cancer treatment process are a lesson to organisations who may have similar silo problems. </p> <p>Organisations in this process have started to collaborate and other bodies have become involved in the fight. NASA is adding information regarding the impact of radiation on astronauts, and Amazon has provided free cloud data storage for the project.  </p> <p>There is also focus on clear KPIs and where the biggest return on investment can be derived. As Biden said, of any process "where everything is treated as equally important, then nothing is considered important."</p> <p>The key to the project’s increasing success (apart from the obvious profile of the promoter) is the open sharing of information, offering clear encouragement and, of course, giving hope.</p> <p>Inspiring stuff and a lesson to all businesses interested in breaking down silos and identifying priorities.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4434 2017-03-10T16:00:00+00:00 2017-03-10T16:00:00+00:00 Social Quarterly: Q1 2017 <p>Social media evolves rapidly, and the <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be translated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p>This year's <strong>first edition of the Social Quarterly </strong>looks at Instagram's new stickers and carousal features, Pinterest's new visual discovery tool, the introduction of Snapchat-like features to Facebook-owned platforms, how Twitter is combatting online abuse as well as social engagement stats on the Super Bowl. Plenty to whet your appetite!</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul>