tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/twitter Latest Twitter content from Econsultancy 2016-04-28T13:56:46+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67796 2016-04-28T13:56:46+01:00 2016-04-28T13:56:46+01:00 Are brands ruining #EdBallsDay? Andrew Chrysostom <p>Firstly, a potted history of the Twitter phenomenon that is ‘Ed Balls day’.</p> <p>Five years ago, the former Labour shadow secretary was shopping in a supermarket for ingredients to make a slow cooked pulled pork shoulder. That’s right, Ed Balls was pulling pork before you.</p> <p>He had searched for an article about himself on Twitter using his phone and then at 4.20pm accidentally tweeted his own name.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ed Balls</p> — Ed Balls (@edballs) <a href="https://twitter.com/edballs/status/63623585020915713">28 April 2011</a> </blockquote> <p>Then the internet happened.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Happy <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EdBallsDay?src=hash">#EdBallsDay</a>. Here is a poem entitled "Ed Balls". <a href="https://t.co/7EkVVISWGp">pic.twitter.com/7EkVVISWGp</a></p> — Brian Bilston (@brian_bilston) <a href="https://twitter.com/brian_bilston/status/725576230322462721">April 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Naturally, it gathered thousands of retweets with users keen to showcase a classic ‘dad on social media’ moment.</p> <p>But after five years, there’s a feeling that #EdBallsDay has become too commercialised.</p> <p>Much like Christmas, has enthusiasm dulled as the spirit of the holiday is gradually being taken over by brands?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's a shame Ed Balls Day has lost its true meaning. Too commercialised these days. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EdBallsDay?src=hash">#EdBallsDay</a></p> — David Wriglesworth (@Wriggy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wriggy/status/725573267243864064">April 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Recently, the death of Prince put a lot of corporate social media channels <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67781-why-do-brands-continue-to-make-stupid-social-media-decisions/">under scrutiny</a> for attempting to make themselves relevant in a context that has nothing to do with their brand values.</p> <p>While corporations joining in on this Twitter in-joke is nowhere near as insensitive, there’s an overwhelming feeling of... why?</p> <p>Laboured puns desperately trying to shoehorn either ‘Ed’ or ‘Balls’ into a product, corporate handles tweeting their own names – there’s an overwhelming feeling that brands are joining conversations that they were neither invited to, nor welcome in.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">TwistED DoughBALLS. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EdBallsDay?src=hash">#EdBallsDay</a> <a href="https://t.co/FwTWc82XHD">pic.twitter.com/FwTWc82XHD</a></p> — Domino's Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dominos_UK/status/725595851708596224">April 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/MetroUK">@MetroUK</a> Stop it.</p> — Oscar Tollast (@DorsetEchoOscar) <a href="https://twitter.com/DorsetEchoOscar/status/725583884973395968">April 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>The meta-culture of social media is one of the things which gave prominence to its rise.</p> <p>From the days of using forum acronyms <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=IRL">IRL</a>, there has always been a unique element to nuances that develop purely in niche communities.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Google</p> — Google UK (@GoogleUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoogleUK/status/725579001318793216">April 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>These in-jokes quickly become stale when either the subject of them becomes too aware of the publicity, or when they feature in advertising campaigns.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PrSPuBYm-Cw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Fortunately for the online community, the politician took the fame in good humour and even joined in on the joke, integrating the spike in awareness to his political campaign (sadly Ed lost his seat in the last election).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here we go again… ! RT @edballsmp: Ed Balls <a href="http://t.co/EhIPfbmQRo">pic.twitter.com/EhIPfbmQRo</a></p> — Ed Balls (@edballs) <a href="https://twitter.com/edballs/status/593072495395282944">28 April 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Brands tweeting about Ed Balls feels a bit like your parents liking a Facebook status about a messy night out you’ve been on.</p> <p>So mum, dad, Metro. Let the kids have their fun, and don’t spoil the party.</p> <p>Having said that, we’ve just written an entire blog post about Ed Balls day.</p> <p>Far from trying to join the branded party, just know that at Econsultancy we celebrate the true spirit of Ed Balls day.</p> <p>Whilst we won't be tweeting 'Ed Balls' or 'Econsultancy' at 4.20pm today, we will be watching this. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CVaaiwjRGNw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67725 2016-04-11T15:15:00+01:00 2016-04-11T15:15:00+01:00 McDonald's provides a new template for so-bad-it's-good TV adverts Ben Davis <h3>A renaissance for bad ads?</h3> <p>If we're honest, bad TV commercials are not rare things. Even so, the past six months has felt like a pretty lofty watermark.</p> <p>Tesco's return to big marketing spend with its <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vf6Hk3YshA">'wacky-family' adverts</a> was a classic example of humour gone wrong. Many questioned whether the Tesco brand was right to go for funny in the first place.</p> <p>Hot on its heels this year has been <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au0Qg2QiFL0">GoCompare's genius</a> (in my eyes), with its iteration of the '<strong>one</strong> annoying, repetitive catchphrase' model for price comparison websites.</p> <p>Yep, GoCompare now has 100% more annoying catchphrases, thanks to a peppering of the word 'fantastic'.</p> <p>However, McDonald's hasn't achieved the so-bad-it's-good status by design (like GoCompare) or through bad script and direction (Tesco) but through a confused multichannel interactive promotion.</p> <p>Here's what McDonald's failed to do...</p> <h3>Focus on one message</h3> <p>The point of these adverts is to tell people that Monopoly is back at McDonald's and you can win cash online or food prizes in restaurants (as well as bigger prizes like a MINI).</p> <p>However, this message is crammed into the first part of the advert, followed by a second message - choose what mild peril the presenter will encounter in the next advert.</p> <p>The problem is that due to time constraints, both messages get crammed in.</p> <p>Those new to Monopoly at McDonald's get a brief and unsatisfactory introduction to the competition. And then for anyone that wants to vote for the next advert, the instructions flash by too quickly.</p> <p>Watch the ad below and see if you agree with the following points:</p> <ul> <li>6 seconds: The presenter reels off what you can win, without pausing between prizes to allow the customer to digest the messaging (no pun intended).</li> <li>15 seconds: The choices of peril for the next advert get around 3.5 seconds each. Without repeat viewing, the camera pan makes it difficult to notice the voting tags in boxes above the cars.</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MpvDYzJPJi4?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Understand the dynamics of interaction</h3> <p>The presenter of this ad (Gemita Samarra - a stuntman and model who has worked on Bond and Game of Thrones amongst others) has received some criticism online.</p> <p>However, it's not really her fault. She has to rattle off a confused script.</p> <p>A bigger problem with her casting is that waching people in mild peril is only interesting if we know who that person is.</p> <p>For example, if we could vote what dangerous activity Noel Edmonds would do next, I'm sure plenty would be voting. We simply don't have the emotional bond with Gemita Samarra.</p> <h3>Understand commercialism &amp; social media</h3> <p>In principle, the concept of the Twitter voting is sound. Even if users don't vote en masse, there are always super fans who will take part and help to spread <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63959-twitter-and-tv-ignore-the-stats-and-focus-on-best-practice/">the impact of a TV ad on social media</a>.</p> <p>However, a brand has to play by the rules of social if it wants organic engagement.</p> <p>The voting system here (e.g. tweet MINI 3-Door to @McdonaldsUK to see Gemita standing on a car on two wheels) is overly commercial and doesn't play to the fun nature of the competition.</p> <p>A MINI model name is pretty much irrelevant to the stunt voted for.</p> <p>One of the choices is to watch the stuntman on top of a car performing donuts. So, why implore users to vote 'MINI Clubman' instead of 'donuts'?</p> <p>If ideas are going to get traction on Twitter, they cannot be forced.</p> <h3>Keep it simple stupid (KISS)</h3> <p>'KISS' is the overriding feeling when watching these adverts (for those unfamiliar, this is merely the first in a series of commercials).</p> <p>The set is distracting, the voting system too wordy, the script waffly, the presenter distracting; even the McDonald's whistle at the end jars, feeling tacked on and confused.</p> <p>McDonald's has been lucky with this campaign. I firmly believe in no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to TV adverts.</p> <p>The fast food restaurant's confused creative has led to lots and lots of Monopoly chatter, leaving me in no doubt about what competition is currently running at my local Golden Arches.</p> <p><em>For more on TV and social, see the following articles:</em></p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65578-six-ways-social-media-is-changing-the-nature-of-tv-forever">Six ways social media is changing the nature of TV forever</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65297-tv-goes-social-how-brand-marketers-can-learn-from-the-best">TV goes social: how brand marketers can learn from the best</a> </li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67604 2016-03-07T10:21:00+00:00 2016-03-07T10:21:00+00:00 What’s the point of social media for luxury brands? Chris Bishop <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/loubies.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>Tiffany, Kate Spade New York, Valentino and Christian Louboutin were showing high <a href="https://www.evaluesuite.com/our-scores">eValue scores</a> in the research, while Ralph Lauren and Gucci were top of the index for offline conversations.</p> <h3>Online and offline sharing is crucial for luxury brand success</h3> <p>The researchers concluded that both online and offline social sharing were crucial for growth in the luxury market – and the boundaries between them were becoming increasingly porous.  </p> <p>Brands that take advantage of this fluidity between social and WOM, they said, can create brand experiences that merge real and digital conversations, cutting through in incredibly powerful ways.  </p> <p>These are conversations that elicit desire, promote affinity and ultimately drive more sales than those taking place, exclusively, either on or offline.</p> <h3>Instagram’s “Label Lust” message comes alive</h3> <p>Last year <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65816-grazia-launches-responsive-ecommerce-site-is-it-any-good/">Graziashop</a> was among the first Instagram advertisers, now it leads the way with Instagram activity (part of its Label Lust campaign) designed to raise brand awareness and engagement through shared storytelling.</p> <p>Graziashop used Instagram to post quirky, fun sponsored images and videos targeting 22–45 year old females in the UK with an interest in designer shoes, bags, fashion tips and blogging.</p> <p>Over a six-week period the images followed the storyline of a Graziashop character. Showcasing selected products from the Graziashop range, the heroine truly inhabited the brand’s shopper lifestyle. </p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/graziainstagram.png" alt=""></p> <p>The campaign echoed the stories fashionistas tell themselves and each other about the products they dream about and acquire.  </p> <p>Tales of love at first sight, long distance love, the one that got away (when an item you really want is sold out) and falling head over heels with a pair of... heels.</p> <h3>Instagram delivers strong results for Graziashop</h3> <p>Instagram was exactly the right place for this kind of campaign with its hip vibe, massive reach and impactful 30-second video format, with social traffic peaking at 18% of overall website traffic during the campaign period.</p> <p>But more than this, Graziashop’s Instagram campaign shows how using the right platform can lift a brand’s marketing message beyond the realm of social media.</p> <p>As the Engagement Lab has pointed out, there is currently a huge opportunity in social to exploit the fluid boundaries between on- and offline to start passionate conversations that continue in the real world and lead to the sales counter.  </p> <p>Graziashop was one of the first brands to use Instagram when its paid advertising launched in the UK and has shown how Instagram, particularly, can make a brand message part of your audiences’ consciousness.  </p> <p>Delivering stories imaginatively with the creative use of native social tools can inspire your customers to tell their own stories in their own ways, but always with yours in mind.</p> <h3>Should luxury brands remain out of touch and exclusive?</h3> <p>I often hear comments that luxury brands should be exclusive, scarce, not “sell out” and that <em>“true luxury brands do not care about shareholder value”</em>. <strong>I couldn’t disagree more.</strong></p> <p>Luxury is about desirability, product excellence, exemplary service and fundamentally a brand promise. </p> <p>If exclusivity and scarcity is the strongest value in a luxury brand that does not care about shareholder value, it won't be a brand for long.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/burberry-fashionweek.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>The continued proliferation of social media, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67220-four-things-we-learned-about-live-streaming-at-the-festival-of-marketing/">live streaming</a>, interactive apps and buyable shows at the various Fashion Weeks proves that everyone wants runway, today.  </p> <p>The inclusivity that social media gives to luxury fashion brands will continue to fundamentality change the way, and the very reason, for Fashion Week itself.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Even if they’re not buying, your customers want to talk to you and about you.</p> <p>Working out when to sell to them and when to talk to them is part of the challenge of dealing with social media. But in reality every social interaction is an opportunity for engagement that may lead to a sale.</p> <p>In luxury it is even more important to have a focus on social, with two-thirds of the target audience generating content on a regular basis and 15% doing that on a daily basis.  </p> <p>Whether using social media to maintain a beautiful customer service experience or storytelling the luxurious lifestyle of the Founder, brand or ambassadors; the conversation is happening, with or without you.  </p> <p><strong>You can’t choose to opt out. But you can choose not to participate.</strong></p> <p><em>Econsultancy has launched a new Social Media &amp; PR Training Course tailored specifically for the Fashion &amp; Beauty industry. Go <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fashion-beauty-monitor-social-media-and-online-pr/">here</a> to find out more.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67530 2016-02-17T11:44:00+00:00 2016-02-17T11:44:00+00:00 Five social media campaigns celebrating women across the globe Chloe McKenna <p>But how does the theme of women’s rights translate to campaigns globally?</p> <p>In this post I'll run through some of the most fascinating international campaigns focusing on female empowerment, and see how different cultures interpret the concept. </p> <h3>#touchthepickle</h3> <p>Whisper’s #touchthepickle campaign by P&amp;G India was created to debunk the taboos of things women supposedly shouldn’t do when they’re on their period.</p> <p>The undeniably hilarious hashtag #touchthepickle is in reference to the superstitious belief that if women touch a pickle jar when they’re on their period, the pickles inside will rot.</p> <p>The accompanying YouTube video achieved over 2m views and users were invited to share their #touchthepickle period-taboo busting moments on social media which added another dimension of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/">user-generated content</a> to the campaign. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5s8SD83ILJY?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <h3>#autocompletetruth</h3> <p>Memac Ogilvy and Mather’s powerful campaign for UN women in Dubai exposed some of the horrifying auto-complete phrases seen in Google when searching for terms related to women.</p> <p>From ‘women shouldn’t have rights’ to ‘women shouldn’t work’, the widespread sexism of popular searches was truly shocking.</p> <p>The campaign ignited global conversations with over 24m Twitter mentions alone for the #autocompletetruth hashtag, and the campaign was discussed on social media by women from more than 100 different countries.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2008/autocomplete.png" alt="" width="641" height="871"></p> <h3>BBC #100women</h3> <p>The annual BBC #100women campaign focuses on sharing the stories of women from around the world, which can be overlooked by mainstream media, with the aim of making news content more engaging for female audiences.</p> <p>It is truly international, with content being shared in eight languages across two international BBC social media channels (Twitter &amp; Facebook) <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BBC100women/?fref=ts">featuring women from across the globe.</a></p> <p>The 100 women representing the campaign are diverse, ranging from world leaders to local heroines coming from all walks of life. The multi-channel campaign has a hugely social focus.</p> <p>Nandita Patkar, head of paid media at Oban Digital, explains:</p> <blockquote> <p>For this year’s campaign, the BBC World Service wanted to improve online campaign traffic across Arabic, Hindi, Spanish and Afrique, Urdu and Swahili. Our expert teams researched which markets and channels would offer the most impact in terms of relevancy, reach and cost and planned accordingly.</p> <p>Our amplification of content throughout the live debates showed that there was a strong interest in the topic from Eastern Africa and India. Overall though, Spanish had the majority of reach and engagement.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2009/100_women.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="513"></p> <h3>#Ladyball</h3> <p>This recent spoof campaign from Lidl Ireland caused much controversy on social media.</p> <p>It seemingly promoted a dainty pink ‘Ladyball’, suitable for sports women, boasting ‘soft-touch for a woman’s grip’ and ‘eazi-play – for a woman’s ability’.</p> <p>While many correctly suspected that the ‘sexist’ campaign was nothing more than a marketing ploy, it still managed to spark debate and gain considerable news coverage.</p> <p>The campaign was indeed a tongue-in-cheek promotion tactic; in fact designed to raise awareness of Ladies Gaelic Football which is now sponsored by Lidl Ireland.</p> <p>Reaction to the humorous approach was positive in general, although some Twitter users took objection to the contrived nature of the advertisements, and questioned whether all PR is indeed good PR when it purports to support such dated views.</p> <p>However, the campaign was successful in igniting social media mentions and gaining media placements, reaching a large audience in the process.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">There's now ads in the paper for the lady ball.. This can't be real please say it ain't so <a href="https://t.co/1htC8BmGi2">pic.twitter.com/1htC8BmGi2</a></p> — Rachel (@ityagalrach) <a href="https://twitter.com/ityagalrach/status/687965104206393344">January 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>#VivaLaReconstruccion</h3> <p>Latin America’s mainstream culture places a high value on traditional female beauty ideals.</p> <p>So, when popular Mexican actress and director Patricia Reyes Spíndola posed topless revealing her reconstructed breasts in a series of striking photographs shared via social media, it caused quite a stir.</p> <p>The campaign, #VivaLaReconstruction, aimed to spread awareness of breast cancer while showcasing an alternative view of female beauty focused on the strength and resilience of a woman’s body.</p> <p>The images were widely shared and were generally well-received by the Latin American audience.</p> <p>Many people tweeted that they found the campaign concept and the accompanying visuals refreshing and inspiring. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2010/vivalareconstruction.png" alt="" width="944" height="794"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>All of these campaigns were successful because they carefully considered the audiences they were targeting, and addressed issues which effect real women from those regions.</p> <p>From body image and gender norms through to female sport and women’s rights, the umbrella of female empowerment can encompass many topics.</p> <p>Undeniably, woman power has proved itself to be a forceful theme for igniting social media debate and conversation across the globe.</p> <p>But, for marketers hoping to cash-in on the theme, caution is advised as increasingly audiences are savvy to so-called ‘femvertising’.</p> <p>Campaigns channelling female power will only have legs if they manage to identify with real women and avoid alienating them by coming across as too contrived or patronising. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67470 2016-02-02T15:03:36+00:00 2016-02-02T15:03:36+00:00 Facebook & Twitter make UX changes in fight to stay social Ben Davis <h3>Facebook redefines relevance</h3> <p><a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/02/news-feed-fyi-using-qualitative-feedback-to-show-relevant-stories/">Facebook has announced changes</a> to how it uses qualitative feedback to rank stories in the News Feed.</p> <p>Qualitative, of course, means non-algorithmic; based on feedback that Facebook has been aggregating for some time (see the quote below).</p> <blockquote> <p>As part of our ongoing effort to improve News Feed, we ask over a thousand people to rate their experience every day and tell us how we can improve the content they see when they check Facebook — we call this our Feed Quality Panel.</p> <p>We also survey tens of thousands of people around the world each day to learn more about how well we’re ranking each person’s feed.</p> <p>We ask people to rate each story from one to five stars in response to the question “how much did you want to see this story in your News Feed?”</p> </blockquote> <p>The conclusion that Facebook came to is that users enjoyed their News Feed the most when populated with posts that were both qualitatively successful (approved of in surveys) and quantitatively successful (got lots of shares, Likes and clicks).</p> <p>'So what?', you might think. Well, although Facebook states that this shouldn't affect Page reach or traffic, there are a few revealing lines that hint at the impact of this update.</p> <p>The first point is that Facebook is being vigilant for content that is unnaturally engaged with, as follows...</p> <blockquote> <p>Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on does not match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed.</p> </blockquote> <p>The second point is that Facebook gives a word of advice to publishers who want to avoid such unnatural engagement.</p> <blockquote> <p>In general, Pages should avoid encouraging people to take an action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is likely intended to improve the relevance of a whole range of content, but the thought occurs to me that more sensational or advertorial style clickbait should certainly be discouraged by this update (content which Facebook <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/08/news-feed-fyi-click-baiting/">already actively seeks to censor</a>).</p> <p>Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65575-ironically-five-things-that-could-stop-clickbait">clickbait-y pictures and headlines</a> will always attract intrigued users to click, they may not voice their approval in qualitative feedback.</p> <p>Surely, this is good for the network, increasing the quality and relevance of posts and fostering a more social dynamic as a result. This, in turn, should keep users engaged and continue to drive advertising revenue.</p> <p>Facebook ends its announcement blog post by vowing to provide publishers with insight into increasing referral traffic, but emplores them to post things 'meaningful to [their] audiences'.</p> <p>Can't say fairer than that.</p> <h3>Twitter remembers its users</h3> <p>Twitter recently rolled out a user-facing feature that's only small but grants some relief to observers who fear Twitter has been slowly losing focus.</p> <p>Being able to see which of your connections are engaging with a current trend is a logical update (shown below by Jack Dorsey) that should help to increase engagement with trends.</p> <p>Authenticity is something Twitter has struggled with lately, particularly with its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67027-five-reasons-twitter-moments-is-a-good-move">new feature Moments</a>, which users feel isn't influenced by the same democratic forces their feed is.</p> <p>Concentrating on the social aspect of Twitter whilst also allowing for incremental revenue is something Twitter has struggled with. The network has seemed reluctant to create a 'walled garden' for fear of alienating its users.</p> <p>All this could change if the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67378-five-reasons-twitter-s-character-limit-increase-is-a-terrible-idea">mooted rise in character limit</a> of tweets goes ahead, and this could be a make or break moment for the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1305/Screen_Shot_2016-02-02_at_12.46.21.png" alt="twitter trends" width="660" height="600"> </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67378 2016-01-06T11:32:00+00:00 2016-01-06T11:32:00+00:00 Five reasons Twitter’s character limit increase is a terrible idea Jack Simpson <p>I’m not going to use this post to talk about what this change would mean for marketers, but rather to put forward five reasons I think it’s an unbelievably stupid idea. </p> <p>For reference, here is the original tweeted announcement in full:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/bc5RwqPcAX">pic.twitter.com/bc5RwqPcAX</a></p> — Jack (@jack) <a href="https://twitter.com/jack/status/684496529621557248">January 5, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>And here are the reasons it would be a terrible move.  </p> <h3>1. Brevity is best</h3> <p>I’ve put this point at the top because, to me, it is the biggest issue here. </p> <p>One of the best things about Twitter is that it forces people to be brief. Every word counts, so they lose the filler.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0458/ErnestHemingway.jpg" alt="Ernest hemingway" width="473" height="591"></p> <p>Isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t it be protected in this ocean of increasingly awful content we call the internet? </p> <p>Sure, people will still be able to post 140-charcater tweets if they want. But they won’t, will they? Not always. Not given the choice. </p> <p>I get it. I’ve worked in social before and I understand how frustrating it can be when if you just had one or two more characters you could write ‘the perfect tweet’. </p> <p>But the fact that it’s challenging makes it more interesting, whether you’re a social marketer or an individual trying to make jokes about The Apprentice.</p> <p>Take that away and you’ve just got another place for people to ramble.</p> <p>Which leads me to my next point...</p> <h3>2. Twitter will lose its USP</h3> <p>There are plenty of social networks where you can waffle on for 10,000 characters. Of all the mainstream sites of its kind, Twitter is the only one that forces brevity. </p> <p>Effectively it is getting rid of the only unique selling point it has. From a business point of view, I cannot understand the decision. </p> <p>Perhaps it is catering for marketers and advertisers who want to write ‘richer’ content to get their ‘valuable’ messages across.  </p> <p>Utterly pointless. Nobody is going to expand a tweet from a brand in order to read a load of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66654-25-terrible-metaphor-heavy-digital-marketing-articles-we-haven-t-published-yet/">marketing tripe</a>. Fit your message into 140 characters, however, and you might have a deal. </p> <h3>3. We will lose the ‘live’ feeling</h3> <p>In <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/05/why-twitter-is-right-to-expand-to-10000-characters">a recent Guardian article</a>, Leigh Alexander and Jeff Jarvis argued that it would ‘be wonderful if you had enough space, enough characters, for (your tweets) to have a context forever.’</p> <p>Then they went on to ask, ‘Do people even live tweet anymore?’ </p> <p>Clearly these are two people with a hopeless lack of understanding as to one of the key reasons Twitter is so popular with users. </p> <p>When something happens – a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or any huge news event – Twitter is the go-to place to get live updates. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Still a terrorist in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bataclan?src=hash">#Bataclan</a> theatre, but most <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bataclan?src=hash">#bataclan</a> hostages are out</p> — Andrew Smith (@andrewhistorian) <a href="https://twitter.com/andrewhistorian/status/665295040420401152">November 13, 2015</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Released hostages are hugging each other. One guy fainted on reaching the relative safety of our street.</p> — Andrew Smith (@andrewhistorian) <a href="https://twitter.com/andrewhistorian/status/665295634048507904">November 13, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>It has fundamentally changed the way we consume news. For the better, in my opinion.</p> <p>Bystanders become amateur journalists, and wherever they are they can instantly share information or images with the rest of the world. </p> <p>I, like many, am a complete news junkie, and I enjoy the short, snappy updates you get on Twitter during big events. I don’t want that to be diluted by needless words.</p> <p>Twitter’s 140-character limit lends itself perfectly to live news. Let’s not ruin that.</p> <h3>4. The site will become a sea of marketing slurry</h3> <p>This is the one that will piss users off the most. And without the users you really don’t have a potentially money-making business anymore. </p> <p>As a consumer, Twitter is my second favourite social network, after <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67020-why-instagram-should-be-the-channel-of-choice-for-marketers">Instagram</a>, when it comes to branded content. </p> <p>The short character limit means brands have to rely more on imagery, while forcing them to be interesting/exciting/funny/whatever in very few words. </p> <p>What we’ll see with an increased character limit is marketers filling the site with the kind of long-winded, self-important guff that makes me avoid branded posts on other sites. Or posts from celebrities or ‘influencers’ for that matter. </p> <p>I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m pretty sure most people – marketers included – don’t want their Twitter feed to be polluted by content that is both crap <em>and</em> longwinded.</p> <p>Plus, as I mentioned earlier, if people are given the choice whether to expand a branded tweet to see beyond 140 characters or not, they almost certainly won’t. So, really, what’s the point? </p> <h3>5. It’s just a really weird thing to do</h3> <p>In the simplest terms, it just seems like an utterly odd decision.</p> <p>It’s almost as if the people running Twitter have never actually used Twitter. Like they don’t understand what makes it appealing in the first place. </p> <p>I get that Twitter needs to make some changes because – despite its popularity among celebrities and the general public – it is clearly giving its accountants (and investors) a headache. </p> <p>But I just can’t see how this will help its cause. </p> <p>Maybe I’ll be proved wrong in the long run, in which case I’ll delete this post and deny that it ever existed, obviously. </p> <h3>What do you think?</h3> <p>I’ve put my opinions across. If you agree with them, great. If you don’t, even better. </p> <p>Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67306 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 Is Pinterest or Instagram better for driving ecommerce? Georges Berzgal <p>However, what hasn’t always been obvious is how to convert these followers into sales.</p> <p>Both platforms recently developed new tools to more easily facilitate commerce across the board.</p> <p>So what are the inherent benefits of services like Pinterest and Instagram, and which provides the best platform for commerce?</p> <h3>Target audiences</h3> <p>It’s no secret that brands looking to target female consumers see the benefits of embracing social media.</p> <p><a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231970">Women are 10% more</a> likely than men to show brand support and 17% more likely to access offers on social media, although <a href="http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/social-media-marketing/is-the-social-buy-button-poised-to-take-off/2766">research found</a> that men are slightly more interested in purchasing directly on social networks by using a social buy button than women (33 % vs. 30%).</p> <p>All social media networks, bar LinkedIn, have more female users than male, although women’s domination of social media is not equally spread across all networks.</p> <p>Figures suggest that <a href="http://www.conversedigital.com/digital-strategy/should-my-company-be-on-instagram-or-pinterest">Pinterest’s users are 70% and Instagram’s users are 55% female.</a></p> <h3>Buyable Pins</h3> <p>Pinterest launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66529-pinterest-enables-ecommerce-with-buyable-pins/">Buyable Pins</a> earlier this year, allowing consumers to purchase items without leaving the platform, and to pay using Apple Pay or credit cards.</p> <p>With a <a href="http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pinterest-stats/">user base of 70m</a> made-up largely of consumers who are the most active and engaged, it’s no surprise that Pinterest is often seen as the social network with the highest potential for ecommerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9879/buyable_pins.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>Instagram's buy button</h3> <p>However, the truth, as unveiled by research from member-based business intelligence firm L2, is that Instagram actually <a href="http://business.financialpost.com/investing/trading-desk/how-instagram-is-becoming-a-must-have-for-retailers?__lsa=6904-3bfd">has the highest browser-to-shopper conversion rate</a> of the social media outlets it tracks.</p> <p>This is all the more impressive considering that Instagram only allows brands to link to their website from their profile page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9878/instagram_ads.jpg" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>The introduction of the Instagram ‘buy button’ sounded like a shift for the network.</p> <p>It is not available on regular Instagram posts yet, but limited to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66689-how-brands-are-using-instagram-ads/">the recently-introduced ad platform</a>.</p> <p>So if consumers see an item on the brand’s Instagram page they would like to purchase, they still have to search for the item on the retailer’s website to be able to buy it.</p> <h3>So, why is Instagram better at converting browsers to shoppers?</h3> <p>The answer is two-fold. What Pinterest promises is a channel through which brands can speak to women in a way that they like being spoken to.</p> <p>From our experience with clients, marketing messages with gender specific content are five times more successful than unisex messages.</p> <p>Brands understand the need to target consumers by gender, what seems odd is that brands are excited to segregate their female-targeted messages onto an entirely separate platform. </p> <p>Instagram, on the other hand, has a much more level gender split, allowing brands to target both men and women through the same platform by separating their content through gender specific accounts.</p> <p>Apparel retailers like Nike and ASOS are amongst the pioneers of this approach to Instagram, and it makes total sense. Why would you split your product by gender in-store, but then present it all together online?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9880/Screen_Shot_2015-12-10_at_11.08.21.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>It is more difficult for retailers to push their products openly on Instagram, which is the second, counter-intuitive reason why the platform is better for driving commerce.</p> <p>Brands publish content on Instagram that describes the lifestyle and culture of the company; it is the social network where retailers can forge an emotional connection with consumers.</p> <p>With our own customers we often see marketing messages with an absence of product promotion bringing in the most revenue.</p> <p>Messages promoting the culture behind the brand – be it a tie in with another brand or a connection to the local community – have proven to be extremely effective at driving engagement and revenue.</p> <p>Pinterest has been under pressure to bring commerce to the front of its platform for some time.</p> <p>Buyable pins move Pinterest towards becoming an aggregator of ecommerce, something akin to a digital shopping centre.</p> <p>This is by no means a bad thing, either for brands or consumers, but this evolution also moves Pinterest away from its social origins.</p> <p>Brands looking to tap into Instagram for ecommerce must keep in mind that the logical benefits of a product are often outweighed by a decision based on emotion.</p> <p>Social media allows brands to share their brand story in a way that retail space and owned websites often cannot offer, and for this reason a targeted Instagram account looks to be the better choice for driving revenue now, and potentially in the future.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67149 2015-11-09T10:18:57+00:00 2015-11-09T10:18:57+00:00 How to create simple brand tone-of-voice guidelines for Twitter Ben Davis <p>However, when inducting new staff, it's good to expand on a document like this, giving plentiful examples of exchanges where tone of voice was appropriate.</p> <p>Before you accuse me of peddling the barest of advice, I've made an effort to fill out this form on behalf of Econsultancy (though I hasten to add, I do not manage Twitter for our brand).</p> <p>It was challenging (and fun) to narrow down brand values and personality, and I found it a useful activity.</p> <p>With <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67059-changing-company-culture-six-things-to-try/">company cultures changing</a> in the face of digital products and services, an exercise like this could even be a handy tool during recruitment, to see which applicants understand the true nature of a brand.</p> <p>Let me know if you have any comments or embellishments (it is rather slim), and try to resist making fun of my own answers.</p> <p><em>A simple tone-of-voice template (scroll down to see my attempt at completing the form for Econsultancy)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8690/Screen_Shot_2015-11-04_at_14.41.05.png" alt="tone of voice template" width="615"></p> <h3>Mission statement</h3> <p>'Econsultancy’s mission is to help our customers achieve excellence in digital business, marketing and ecommerce.'</p> <p>(However, instead of trying to over-simplify what we do and boil it down to a strapline, let's embrace it, we're many things.)</p> <h3>Twitter bio</h3> <p>'Econsultancy publishes independent research, analysis and advice on digital marketing, social media, ecommerce, SEO, mobile and tech for businesses.'</p> <h3>Brand values </h3> <ul> <li>Practical.</li> <li>Independent.</li> <li>Passionate.</li> </ul> <h3>Brand personality</h3> <ul> <li>Unpretentious.</li> <li>Helpful.</li> <li>Open.</li> </ul> <h3>Audience</h3> <ul> <li>UK &gt; US &gt; APAC.</li> <li>Client-side &gt; agency-side.</li> <li>C-suite</li> <li>Many different market sectors.</li> </ul> <h3>What do we tweet about?</h3> <ul> <li>Our research and blog content.</li> <li>Our events and training courses.</li> <li>Our employees.</li> <li>Our community.</li> <li>Web and pop culture (on Fridays).</li> <li>GIFs</li> </ul> <h3>Banned words?</h3> <ul> <li>Leverage.</li> <li>Learnings.</li> <li>Leading.</li> <li>Actually there <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66631-20-banned-words-from-the-econsultancy-blog-and-their-alternatives/">are quite a few of them</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Write like this...</h3> <p>Here are a number of examples of some recent tweets where our tone of voice was in line with what I expect from our brand.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/firstconversion">@firstconversion</a> it depends what you want - networking, professional validation or training. I fear a conflict of interest for us anyway ;)</p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/648616450471669764">September 28, 2015</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/firstconversion">@firstconversion</a> none of them, but we offer some competing services (training, events) so best for us to sit on the fence probably</p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/648754383476379648">September 29, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>---</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our last tweet was missing an apostrophe. Apologies. The editorial team have been given their final warning... <a href="http://t.co/BwYOxYMJcS">pic.twitter.com/BwYOxYMJcS</a></p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/649887086888255488">October 2, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>---</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/GiomUK">@GiomUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Topman">@Topman</a> thanks for submitting it, always great to read case studies from top brands :)</p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/656470525384916992">October 20, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>---</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/DanJDear">@DanJDear</a> they mentioned plans to do it a few weeks ago. It would be easier for marketers if they stopped fiddling with the dimensions ;)</p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/648814231333302272">September 29, 2015</a> </blockquote> <h3>Not like this...</h3> <p>I thought I would include some tweets by some of Econsultancy's notional competitors here.</p> <p>Far from being snarky, I've done this to emphasise the difference between our tone of voice and others in slightly different parts of market.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hyperconnected hyperadopters change the way businesses invest. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FORRForum?src=hash">#FORRForum</a></p> — Forrester Research (@forrester) <a href="https://twitter.com/forrester/status/659829415338188800">October 29, 2015</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Did you know? We help with vendor negotiation projects for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Microsoft?src=hash">#Microsoft</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Salesforce?src=hash">#Salesforce</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Workday?src=hash">#Workday</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oracle?src=hash">#Oracle</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IBM?src=hash">#IBM</a> and more.</p> — Forrester Research (@forrester) <a href="https://twitter.com/forrester/status/647106261587238914">September 24, 2015</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Use <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SAP?src=hash">#SAP</a>'s significant motivation to move your company to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cloud?src=hash">#cloud</a> as leverage for negotiating better deals.</p> — Forrester Research (@forrester) <a href="https://twitter.com/forrester/status/647106644766248960">September 24, 2015</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We invite you 2 be part of the solution. Join our exclusive online community <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GartnerResearchCircle?src=hash">#GartnerResearchCircle</a> <a href="https://t.co/kWS9FYRxjA">https://t.co/kWS9FYRxjA</a></p> — Gartner (@Gartner_inc) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gartner_inc/status/661377265637421056">November 3, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>--- </p> <p>So, there you go, that's it. Completely obvious or a valuable exercise? I suppose it depends on how well you already know your brand.</p> <p><em>If you're interested in training, see our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">course in Online Copywriting</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67106 2015-10-26T14:29:48+00:00 2015-10-26T14:29:48+00:00 New Twitter polls & the opportunities for marketers Jack Simpson <p>Twitter certainly seems to think it’s the former, although its opinion may be somewhat biased.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2015/introducing-twitter-polls">blog post</a> announcing the new polling feature, Product Manager Todd Sherman said:</p> <blockquote> <p>For poll creators, it’s a new way to engage with Twitter’s massive audience and understand exactly what people think. For those participating, it’s a very easy way to make your voice heard.</p> </blockquote> <h3>How does it work?</h3> <p>In the past, Twitter users have conducted makeshift polls along the lines of: ‘RT for X or favourite for Y.’ </p> <p>Now, however, people will have the ability to create a two-button poll within the compose box that will remain live for 24 hours. Voting is anonymous, and there is no restriction on what polls users can participate in.  </p> <p>The video below illustrates how to use the new feature. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Coming soon! We're rolling out the ability for everyone to create polls on Twitter: <a href="https://t.co/pH5a8q9Ujz">https://t.co/pH5a8q9Ujz</a> <a href="https://t.co/ijAKEMUdf1">pic.twitter.com/ijAKEMUdf1</a></p> — Twitter (@twitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/twitter/status/656832713781936128">October 21, 2015</a> </blockquote> <h3>Some examples…</h3> <p>Journalists are already taking advantage of the new feature, as you can see in the example below from Times writer Tim Montgomerie. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today's opinion poll: Which of these two options on tax credits policy is most dangerous for Osborne?</p> — Tim Montgomerie ن (@montie) <a href="https://twitter.com/montie/status/658233117816324100">October 25, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>While restrictive, you can see from the example below that the polls enable publishers to have greater control over potential answers to questions.</p> <p>Rather than a simple ‘no’, they are prompted to say whether they want to know more.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Have you seen the new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Twitter?src=hash">#Twitter</a> Poll option? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/socialmedia?src=hash">#socialmedia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Marketing?src=hash">#Marketing</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/polls?src=hash">#polls</a></p> — Shirley Pittenger (@smpsocialmedia) <a href="https://twitter.com/smpsocialmedia/status/657969778376597504">October 24, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>The polls have received mixed reviews so far from users, as you can see from the two examples below.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You can make polls on Twitter now - but will you use them? <a href="https://t.co/JVhnR215ma">https://t.co/JVhnR215ma</a></p> — The Independent (@Independent) <a href="https://twitter.com/Independent/status/656834831574241280">October 21, 2015</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Are these Twitter polls annoying?</p> — Michael Regan (@MichaelRegan) <a href="https://twitter.com/MichaelRegan/status/656755039571169280">October 21, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Now let’s look at the opportunities for marketers when it comes to Twitter polls in their current format. </p> <h3>Customer-led content decisions</h3> <p>I’m not suggesting you base your entire <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65455-why-you-need-an-evergreen-content-strategy">content strategy</a> upon a two-question poll on social media, but on a smaller scale they could be used to make decisions about what to show your customers on Twitter. </p> <p>‘Would you like to see more of X?’ or ‘Did you find Y useful?’</p> <p>Using polls in this way enables you to ask your Twitter audience a direct question about what they actually want from you, and then you’ll be in a better place to give it to them. </p> <p>You could have asked them this before polls came along, of course, but there’s something so easy and anonymous about this feature that I think people will be more likely to bother answering the question. </p> <h3>Market research for new products or services</h3> <p>If you’re in the process of developing a new product or service and you want to gauge potential interest, Twitter polls could be a great place to do some market research. </p> <p>‘Would you buy X if it was available?’ or ‘Would Y benefit your business?’</p> <p>Obviously these are very simple questions that only really measure general interest in an idea. But if people seem particularly interested in the idea you could conduct further polls with more specific questions. </p> <h3>Increasing engagement</h3> <p>Increasingly the chosen metric upon which to base social media success is quality rather than quantity, i.e. the way followers interact with your brand rather than the number of them you have. </p> <p>Asking questions has always been an effective way to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65492-how-to-blast-your-twitter-engagement-rates-through-the-roof">boost engagement on Twitter</a>, and these polls provide an easy way for brands to do that. </p> <p>I also think consumers will be more likely to engage with the polls than a straightforward question, partly because it only requires a simple click or touch, but also because of their anonymous nature.  </p> <h3>Collecting data</h3> <p>Of course we can’t have a whole post about digital marketing without mentioning <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66726-moving-from-data-to-action-report">data</a>. That would be preposterous. </p> <p>There are many ways to collect information about your target customers, but Twitter polls could provide a quick and easy way to gain first party data through surveys. </p> <p>The only issue with this is the simplicity of the polls in their current form, which brings me onto my final point...</p> <h3>Are two voting buttons enough? </h3> <p>One of the main concerns people have highlighted is that the polling feature only allows for two answers. </p> <p>This works fine for a simple yes or no question, or ‘do you prefer x or y,’ but it does mean brands will be restricted in the questions they can ask. </p> <p>It’s interesting that Twitter chose this approach. It could be for technical reasons, but I suspect the social network wanted to keep things simple while testing out the public’s reaction to the new feature. </p> <p>Perhaps we’ll see more buttons added to the polls in future if it takes off, but for the moment you’ll have to ask those multi-answer questions in the old school manner. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67066 2015-10-19T15:03:00+01:00 2015-10-19T15:03:00+01:00 NFL video content: Should brands police Twitter? Ben Davis <p>So what does this mean for publishers and users? And has the NFL just blocked its own punt?</p> <h3>Are Vines/GIFs not free marketing for NFL?</h3> <p>This was many people's first reaction to the takedown notices.</p> <p>What has NFL got to lose? Surely, interest on Twitter begets interest in live game footage?</p> <p>Indeed, this is the outlook of some other sports leagues and associations, the NBA among them.</p> <h3>And does the law not allow fair use?</h3> <p>This is a bit of a grey area. Fair use is allowed in the US when reporting, analysing or summarising events.</p> <p>A case in point is the nightly news, which shows short highlights.</p> <p>The United States Code (copyright law) states that fair use is defined by the following factors:</p> <ol> <li>The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;</li> <li>The nature of the copyrighted work;</li> <li>The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and</li> <li>The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.</li> </ol> <p>It's point four that comes into play with NFL GIFs.</p> <h3>But NFL is moving into online rights</h3> <p>In June 2015 the NFL continued it's adaptation to digital media by selling Yahoo the rights to the first game broadcast globally over the internet, free to view. </p> <p>This first game is played in London at the end of October 2015 and it's feasible that the NFL sees takedown notices for real-time highlights as a way of increasing the value of this new product.</p> <p>Similarly, the English Premier League has sold online rights (highlights) to The Times and The Sun newspapers and is pursuing GIF-crawl technology to protect this deal.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/v9OQpVx.gif" alt="" width="306" height="249"></p> <h3>Not to mention the Twitter and NFL partnership</h3> <p>The NFL is an important partner for Twitter. The social platform sees sport as integral in its efforts to increase active users and engagement. Each live NFL game in the US is watched by approximately 20m TV viewers.</p> <p>As such, the NFL has the only multiyear deal with Twitter Amplify (designed to complement TV action), including highlight video and promoted tweets.</p> <p>One reason both parties may be more vested in enforcing copyright is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67007-10-big-trends-happening-in-social-video/">Twitter's new pre-roll video ad system</a>, which incentivises partner publishers to share more video, to give more impressions for advertisers to buy.</p> <p>Making this product work is important for the future of Twitter's ad revenue. </p> <h3>And a new SnapChat partnership</h3> <p>Snapchat and NFL have also partnered in 2015 with Live Stories. The concept is essentially the same - the NFL will curate behind-the-scenes content and advertisers will embed their own content, with Snapchat and the league sharing the spoils.</p> <p>It's clear that the NFL will have zero tolerance of any publisher posting its highlights without permission (and let's not forget <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64756-what-does-brands-as-publishers-really-mean/">many companies are now publishers</a> with the explosion of social media and online content marketing).</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/g40Rgxx.gif" alt="" width="286" height="218"></p> <h3>So publisher's must self-censor</h3> <p>Here's the rub for publishers. They must now understand that as social networks refine and ramp up their advertising platforms, self-censorship will become important to stay on the right side of a traffic souce that's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67043-is-social-media-a-double-edged-sword-for-publishers/">vital to any publisher's livelihood</a>.</p> <p>As Deadspin columnist Drew Magary said on the transgressor's blog:</p> <blockquote> <p>...why are we stupid enough to put the fate of our traffic in the hands of a third-party social network platform...?</p> </blockquote>