Snapchat founder: ‘It’s weird when brands act like buddies’
As more and more brands look to Snapchat as a way of connecting to their audience, founder Evan Spiegel believes it’s important for them not to act like they’re people.
Speaking from Cannes Lions festival of Creativity, Spiegel said:
The thing that’s different with brands is that brands maintain the same identity and message for a long period of time, but change how they express it. But people change every day, so if you’re building a product for a brand it fundamentally has to be different than for a person. From a more human level we just think it’s weird when brands try to act like your pal. I mean be friendly, but not a buddy.
International Social Media Day – Put it in your diary folks!
It’s nearly time to pay homage to something very close to all of our hearts… In 2010, Mashable launched Social Media Day to celebrate and acknowledge the important role these tools play in our day-to-day lives.
Whilst everyday is Social Media Day for the majority of us, June 30 marks the sixth-annual official global celebration. Get involved by following @MashableEvents on Twitter for #SMDay updates.
Facebook announces significant updates to Ad Manager, Power Editor
Facebook have announced significant updates to its Ads Manager and Power Editor tools to create and manage ads on the social network. The changes are aimed at enabling advertisers to more easily buy, optimise and manage ad campaigns on Facebook. The social network has outlined the changes in a Facebook for Business post, saying:
We want every Facebook advertiser to get incredible value from their ad campaigns, and one way we can help advertisers do that is by offering tools that make ad creation and management simpler. So we revamped both Ads Manager and Power Editor to make it easier to create, optimise and monitor ad campaigns. Starting today we’re rolling out updated versions of both tools with simplified layouts and new features, so advertisers can get more value with less effort on each campaign.
Facebook to order News Feed by time spent on stories
Here’s a sentence I type a lot: Facebook is making changes to its News Feed. This time, it’s based on how long you spend reading a post compared to others. The more time you spend, the higher up similar stories will appear. Here’s the thinking, according to Facebook software engineer, Ansha Yu:
We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them
Facebook Moments looks to unearth phone photos
Facebook has released a new app, called ‘Moments’, for iOS and Android, which helps you organise the hundreds of photos you’ve left on your phone. Using face recognition technology, Moments scans your phone for any images that feature your friends and allows you to sync these to the relevant people with a couple of taps. Nobody’s tagged me in anything yet, but that’s totally cool. I’ve got loads of friends. It’s only a matter of time.
Brands are getting more social engagement than ever
People are engaging with branded content more now than ever before. Analysis of over 100,000 brands by social analytics firm, Shareablee, found that engagement with branded content in the US rose 52% between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015. The study, which took into account Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, concluded that this increase owes more to the number of interactions per post than it does to the total volume of content.
Social customer service is still below par
Research from Socialbakers that came out last week has found that four in five questions to US companies on Twitter go unanswered. Tut tut. Facebook fared better in that study, with 60% getting a response, but that was contradicted by a study from Locowise. The company found that 87% of Facebook posts on brand pages went unanswered. Even louder tut.
Twitter now autoplays videos and GIFs
Autoplay video is an increasingly common phenomenon in social, so it’s no surprise that Twitter has got in on the act. Both GIFs and videos will now autoplay on the network – for the latter, you enable sound by clicking on the clip. It’s good news for brands, especially as the network has announced a 100% viewability rule for ads, meaning that you only pay for a video ad if it’s 100% in view of the user.
Twitter adds product pages and celebrity collections
Twitter is looking to get more shoppable and has added product pages to support its Buy button. Each one includes multiple tweets, product information and the button itself, as you can see in the below example. The network has enlisted the help of celebrities to promote the move, with ‘collections’ of product pages from the likes of Demi Lovato, LeBron James and the Captain of the USS Enterprise himself, William Shatner.
Twitter ready for revamp with Project Lightning
Twitter has revealed its plans for the future to Buzzfeed, which involve complete renovation of the platform. ‘Project Lightning’, as it’s been named, is Twitter’s attempt at event-based curation. A revamped Twitter will feature a set of pages about current events, each of which will include instant-load photos and videos, curated by a dedicated editorial team. The content can then be embedded on pages across the web.
Wired has published a piece about what this might mean for Twitter, focussing on the platform’s key function: helping people find out what’s happening. The move could make the network more user-friendly and accessible, allowing it to better fulfil that purpose to a whole host of new users.
Snapchat tests branded geofilters
Snapchat is turning its geofilters into an ad unit. McDonald’s is the first brand to test the feature, paying the network to include a branded geofilter, which Snapchatters can add to images taken in any US McDonald’s outlet.
Pinterest updates search and adds verified users
Pinterest has updated its search feature, making it easier to locate individual users and boards. Pinners and boards are now shown separately from topics, while the new ‘verified users’ feature adds a red tick next to such accounts.
LinkedIn tests Groups, LookUp and new messages
LinkedIn is testing three new features: Groups, LookUp and a messaging overhaul. The first two are apps; Groups will alert users when messages are posted to groups they belong to, LookUp will allow them to more easily find their coworkers. As for messaging, the network is looking to streamline messages for easier communication on all devices. It’s not yet clear when any of these features will become available, or indeed if all of them will.
Drumstick sponsors Periscope streams for Summer Solstice
Nestle’s Drumstick, an ice cream brand, ran the first ever sponsored Periscope streams, in line with the Summer Solstice. A number of influencers posted streams on their own channels, including the hashtag #ad, which were supported by promoted tweets from Drumstick.
B&T recently published this article by me Five reasons people share content and how you can harness this. They have been kind enough to let us republish it in full.
Rather than focusing too narrowly on creating ‘shareable’ content, perhaps as marketers we should be looking to connect more deeply with people’s emotions, argues Lisa Collins, public relations manager at social media agency We Are Social.
What makes people share content?
I’m not the only person to ponder this question. The New York Times conducted a study ‘The Psychology of Sharing: Why People Share Online’ with a group of self-proclaimed heavy online sharers, who revealed what motivates them to share with others.
- 85 per cent say reading other people’s responses helps them understand and process information and events
- 73 per cent say they process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully when they share it
So we could conclude that as humans the act of sharing helps us to comprehend more deeply. But the question still remains…why?
The study concluded that “sharing is all about relationships” and “trust is the cost of entry for getting shared”. According to the research marketers should “appeal to consumers’ motivation to connect with each other — not just with your brand”. They recommend that we “keep it simple…and it will get shared…and it won’t get muddled” and we should “appeal to their sense of humour” and “embrace a sense of urgency”.
But how does this really help us when it comes to creating content that motivates people to hit the ‘share’ button?
Perhaps a study by the University of Pennsylvania can help unlock the puzzle. For six months researchers studied The New York Times list of most emailed articles, checking it every 15 minutes. The study revealed that readers preferred to share positive rather than negative articles, and upon deeper analysis, researchers concluded that there was an element of ‘awe’ that seemed to permeate the shared articles.
The Penn researchers defined the quality of awe as an “emotion of self-transcendence, a feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than the self”.
They used two criteria for an awe-inspiring story: Its scale is large, and it requires “mental accommodation” by forcing the reader to view the world in a different way. “It involves the opening and broadening of the mind,” writes authors Dr. Berger a social psychologist and a professor of marketing at Penn’s Wharton School and Dr. Milkman, who is a behavioural economist at Wharton.
So is it possible to inspire awe in our audiences? Perhaps that is a lofty ambition, however, there may be something to be learned from these studies.
In his analysis of The New York Times study social media guru Jeff Bullas claims there are five reasons that we share content with others:
1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
2. To define ourselves to others
3. To grow and nourish our relationships
5. To get the word out about causes and brands
Rather than focusing too narrowly on creating ‘shareable’ content, perhaps as marketers we should be looking to connect more deeply with people’s emotions. If trust is indeed one of the core values we need to foster with our audience, then it makes sense to spend time developing sincere relationships with our communities.
As we know, developing trust takes time but the benefits can be huge. By helping communities develop their own sense of identity we can hope to share their emotional motivations and tap into the fundamental nature of ‘awe’ – that “feeling of admiration and elevation in the face of something greater than the self”. If we are less focused on ourselves and more focused on earning the respect of the group we may just become ‘awesome’ and in doing so, become eminently shareable.
Snapchat CEO takes main stage at Cannes
25 is the age of the constant battle between stable relationship vs. fast food & Netflix. This is definitely not the case for Snapchat’s Founder & CEO Evan Spiegal as he prepares for his first trip to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It’s no surprise that advertisers want to get in front of the 100 million obsessive consumers who use the app religiously. It’ll be interesting to what happens when Spiegal takes the stage to pitch the 10 second #foodporn/#gymselfie/#lookatmeimonholiday mobile messaging app to 6,000 of the agency world’s top creatives and deal makers.
Facebook releases new photo sharing app Moments
After a futile attempt to dethrone Snapchat in the ephemeral messaging game with “Slingshot“, it was time to get back to the drawing board. Utilising existing facial recognition technology, Facebook has released a new Moments app that will give users the ability to “create private group spaces where you share photos and memories with the people you care about”. Brace yourselves for the resurfacing of shameless drunken photos of you and your crew getting up to no good.
Twitter will remove 140 character limit on DMs
Sometime in July, Twitter will be removing the character limit on direct messages. No, the character limit removal will not be imposed on regular tweets, however you’ll finally be able to slide into someone’s DMs with more than 140 characters. Rejoice.
Twitter showing ads based on downloaded apps
Advertisers are now able to show you ads based on the apps you’ve previously downloaded. Those with Candy Crush or Clash of Clans installed, don’t be surprised to see an ad for Fitness Buddy, it’s probably for the best.
Twitter update allows users to share block lists
Twitter update now allowing users to share block lists with peers. Great feature for those who suffer a high volume of unwanted interactions on Twitter. Not so great for those who are “in the mood 4 dirty fun hehe xoxo”.
Instagram revamps website
Instagram has recently redesigned it’s website. The overdue update features a more dialled back approach, giving the website a very clean and modern feel but also allowing room for the significant increase in image size. As a result there will definitely be an increase in users using Instagram on their desktops (at least on my end anyway).
Marketing Magazine recently published this article by me Renting social is good, but owning is even better. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.
Facebook may have the volume of users, but it also has the controlling power to limit brands’ organic reach – which it is increasingly exercising. Amaury Treguer of We Are Social suggests that creating brand-owned social content hubs could be the answer.
As marketers continue to grapple with the ever-changing nature of social platforms, one thing has become clear: the days of vast organic reach on Facebook and other social channels are over. Social platforms continue to evolve their revenue models based on charging marketers rather than users, so brands have to adapt their strategies to survive.
Organic reach on Facebook is dropping month-on-month. In addition to the changes made by Facebook, the sheer number of brands competing for space on users’ newsfeeds continues to increase, further reducing brands’ exposure to their audiences. Social platforms also continue to change their agendas and strategic direction without warning. For example, Facebook’s shift towards becoming a video platform and the continued monetization of Twitter, Instagram and other networks, effectively leaves marketers to ‘rent’ space on the platforms rather than ‘owning’ it. Brands are also at the mercy of inexplicable social platform algorithms, that even the platforms can’t explain – who knows what’s next?
As a result of the changing social landscape the very definition of what constitutes an ‘owned’ channel has changed. Facebook and Twitter’s increased focus on advertising revenues have pushed them into the ‘paid’ media space, leaving marketers to redefine what ‘owned’ channels look like for their brands.
It’s important brands don’t leave themselves at the mercy of these ever-changing algorithms and shifting strategies. By developing new channels for their content, marketers can leverage their social assets and extend their digital eco-systems with new owned channels. Blogs are not the only option. Brands are increasingly developing content ‘micro-hubs’ housing aggregated content from their social channels. Snickers and Pepsi have both created successful content hubs, where their communities can go to add, discover, and share content.
Micro-hubs are not without their challenges. Driving traffic to the newly created channels is crucial for success. Using paid media such as Google Adwords and the advanced targeting tools of Facebook and Twitter ads are effective for creating awareness. Using social logins (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) can facilitate sharing and conversation, resulting in increased engagement with the community.
Ultimately, it’s not about the social platforms or a brand’s channel ecosystem, but about creating genuine dialogue. The aim of marketers still needs to be on facilitating conversations – between individuals and between brands and their audiences, wherever they happen. Creating ‘owned’ channels is an important part of this process and offers brands an insurance policy against the ever-changing social landscape.
Brands embrace the social Women’s World Cup
Twitter has brought back its Hashflags for the Women’s World Cup which kicked off in Canada over the weekend. Hashflags are being used by brands to cheer on teams, while the Australian national team are creating personalised images for fans via Twitter.
Twitter update links conversations together
A new update to Twitter for web has made it easier to follow conversations by showing links between chains of conversation. The update is currently rolling out to users and is web-only for now so don’t worry if you’re not seeing it just yet.
Facebook Lite comes to not-so-smartphones
Facebook has started the official rollout of Facebook Lite, the stripped-down version of its mobile app designed for those on slower connections. It’s missing some data-intensive features, like video or location services, but allows picture uploads and most of the Facebook ‘basics’. Asia gets Facebook Lite first, but it’ll soon be around in parts of Africa, Latin America and Europe.
Facebook tests Saved Replies
Facebook is trying out ‘Saved Replies’, a feature that will allow Page owners to write, save and re-use messages when talking to customers. It’s one for community managers, particularly those with lots of customer service enquiries.
Instagram bulks up ad offering
Instagram is looking to increase its ad revenue. That’s the message that comes from its latest updates, which include new buttons (‘Install Now’, ‘Shop Now’ and ‘Sign Up’), demographic and interest targeting and an API for managing large campaigns.
Ad Age discussed the move, stating that the updates would open up Instagram’s ad platform beyond brand advertisers to ‘direct-response advertisers’, who are willing to pay more per ad for the ability to accurately target their preferred group. It’s also good news for the likes of fashion brands, who can now use the visual platform as a shopping site. Instagram is looking increasingly like a strong destination for all sorts of advertisers.
Pinterest adds shoppable pins
Instagram wasn’t the only social network to launch a ‘Buy’ button this week. Pinterest, another social network that’s particularly visual in its nature, is adding the feature. Brands including Macy’s, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, Nordstrom and Ethan Allen are already on board.
Tumblr debuts GIF search
You can now search for GIFs on Tumblr. The platform has added a search engine that includes all GIFs posted to the platform natively, which will rank results based on a number of factors, including engagement. Tumblr users can post GIFs using the feature – clicking on a search result will add it to a post, along with a credit for the creator.
Coke adds names to promoted tweets
Coke is using promoted tweets to call out potential customers by name. As part of the brand’s ‘Share a Coke with…’ campaign, the tweets include the recipient’s name in both the post copy and the image. Here’s what it looks like, provided you imagine your name is Christopher.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) June 3, 2015
Ballantine’s creates Instagram magazine
Ballantine’s, the whisky brand, has published an entire magazine issue on Instagram. It can be found at @w_issueone, where you can tap individual pictures to lead to articles.
Twitter-powered ‘arcade claw’ hits Topshop
Topshop’s flagship store, at London’s Oxford Circus, has been reimagined as a ‘playland’, complete with a Twitter-powered arcade claw that fills the entire front window. Winners can expect prizes that range from make-up to a £500 shopping spree.