Category: Marketing Services Cardiff

Netflix and Instagram Join Forces to Promote Mental Health with New Weekly Live Series

How do we stay connected during social distancing? How do we manage anxiety and overwhelming thoughts introduced by these uncertain times? What does self care actually mean in the context of a global pandemic?

These are just a few of the questions that Netflix and Instagram are looking to tackle in a new partnership aimed to help their viewers address some of the concerns they may have amid the current health crisis. In a conversational, social-friendly setting, users can voice their struggles with sleeping, anxiety, and self-care, feel heard, and get answers during a time when feeling stuck is commonplace.

Wanna Talk About It?

COVID-19 has upended the lives of younger generations and adults in numerous ways from disrupting major life milestones including graduations, to presenting newfound concerns around financial stability and mental health, relationships, and job security. Navigating our new normal of social distancing and self-quarantining is an obstacle in itself, but added with a reorientation of how we routinely connect and relieve stress, many are in search of alternative sources for sharing what’s on their mind.

Starting today at 4pm PT/7 pm ET, the two are launching a weekly live series titled Wanna Talk About It? Featuring interviews with Netflix talent and mental health experts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, The Trevor Project, Crisis Text Line and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the episodes will aim to raise awareness and create a safe space for people seeking to address the challenges and questions streaming from these confusing and extraordinary times.

Participating in the effort are stars including Noah Centineo (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), Joey King (The Kissing Booth), Ross Butler and Aisha Boe (13 Reasons Why), Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things), Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), and Jerry Harris (Cheer). The first episode will include Centineo and Dr. Ken Duckworth, Chief Medical Officer, NAMI, and discuss ways we can practice self-care to stay mentally as well as physically healthy amid the pandemic.

Fueling Empathy & Community

Sixty-five percent of Instagram‘s audience is under 34 years of age, while Netflix is ranked the most popular video channel among teen users, even etching out YouTube in a recent study conducted by Piper Sandler.

With these stats in mind, the collaboration between the streaming and social giants makes a lot of sense, especially when considering Instagram’s latest focus on taking care of its users through experiments to hide total like counts, adding prompts on potentially offensive comments, and its ‘Restrict’ feature allowing usings to control who interacts with them and how.

From Facebook’s ‘Community Help’ update to Snapchat’s early release of ‘Here For You’ to Instagram’s release of a ‘Co-Watching’ feature and tease of allowing multiple participants to join an Instagram Live, platforms are showing a growing interest in helping contribute to positive mental health. In a pivotal moment for the industry, emphasis on creating shared understanding and experiences will continue to rise in importance and wield tremendous power in how younger generations on-ramp to social media.

Wanna Talk About It? will run every Thursday until May 14 on the @Netflix Instagram account.

The post Netflix and Instagram Join Forces to Promote Mental Health with New Weekly Live Series appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/netflix-and-instagram-join-forces-to-promote-mental-health-with-new-weekly-live-series/

3 Ways COVID-19 is Shaping Consumer Behavior

In just a matter of weeks, the novel coronavirus introduced radical changes to our way of life — fundamentally reshaping notions of humanity and of our industries. We’ve seen it disrupt the way we work, the way we think, and the way we buy. As the pandemic continues, these patterns will further unfold. While the ultimate impact is still largely unknown, it is important we make strides to begin our understanding as to how we can navigate today and prepare for the future.

Foursquare, set out to determine some of these transitions. In the most recent report, ‘How COVID-19 Is Influencing Real World Behaviors.’ unpacked some of the data behind what we’re seeing and the impetus driving these shifts. Emerging from the findings are three major themes where behavioral changes fall including shopping habits, travel, and entertainment. Let’s unpack these a bit further against some of the data:

SHOPPING HABITS

People turned away from brick and mortar stores well before they were instructed to close and a state of emergency was declared by the government. This was underscored by a sharp decline in mall visits going back to the middle of February. These were down 61 percent nationally per the report from the week ending February 13 to the week ending March 27.

Quick service restaurants (QSRs) are also reporting less foot traffic — unsurprisingly — for many of the same reasons. On a national scale, visits to casual, sit-down dining places recently dropped over 73 percent while fast-food restaurants reported an 18 percent decline.

When people are popping in to pick up food, they’re spending fewer than 15 minutes. This applies to 63 percent of visits as recorded in late March compared to mid-February where 57 percent of pick-ups took 15 minutes on average. When it comes to choosing a QSR, most aim to stay closer to home traveling 5 miles or less from their homes. They’re also opting to place their orders upon arrival versus ahead of time.

ENTERTAINMENT

The steep fall of visits to QSRs and casual dining spots coincides with more traffic for grocery stores. While urged to practice social distancing, more people are eager to use free time not spent shopping, dining out, visiting friends or family, to put efforts in honing their cooking skills.

As liquor stories are still deemed ‘essential’ sales shot up 55 percent nationally in the third week of March compared to the same time a year ago, according to Nielsen. This was the same timeframe states including New York were ordered to ‘shelter in place.’ The week ending on March 21 saw a decline, however, indicating most are turning to consume what they’ve already stockpiled.

Movie theatres and banks are also reporting declining foot traffic with more people streaming shows and films from their homes and conducting their banking online when possible. Nationally, theaters saw a drop of 75 percent from the week ending February 19 to March 27 and banks saw a 13 percent dip as of late March.

TRAVEL

With travel advisories in place across the country, gas stations including Exxon and BP are showing declines of 7 to 8 percent.

Instead, people are using Zoom to catch up with friends and family. The company has added over 2.22 million monthly active users so far in 2020. For comparison, in 2019 1.99 million users were welcomed, according to new estimates from Berstein. When they’re not video conferencing, they’re finding new fitness routines with visits to gyms down 64 percent as a result of COVID-19 and are eager to stay fit while practicing social distancing.

A good number are also using this downtime at home to roll up their sleeves and tackle their spring cleaning and household projects. Foursquare reports that trips to well-known hardware stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s are up 27 percent nationally.

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The post 3 Ways COVID-19 is Shaping Consumer Behavior appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/3-ways-covid-19-is-shaping-consumer-behavior/

#SMWONE Launches Initial Agenda and Speaker Lineup for its Virtual Conference in May

As Crowdcentric Media, the organizers of Social Media Week, we’re excited to announce the initial lineup for #SMWONE, a worldwide virtual conference taking place May 5-28.

“At its core, #SMWONE’s mission is to bring the world of media, marketing, and technology together during a time of unprecedented crisis. Our aim will be to chart a new course for the future of our industry, provide relevant and critically important insights as to what is happening right now, what our role needs to be, and how we can help those in our industry who have been most impacted by what is happening.” – Toby Daniels, CEO of Crowdcentric Media and Founder of Social Media Week

Buy a pass, gift a pass

As part of our event, we’re launching a Buy-One-Gift-One pass program. For every pass purchased, we’ll gift one to a small business, non-profit, student or professional facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s included?

📺 All sessions are available to registered attendees live via an interactive experience or OnDemand. The program will feature 300 speakers and over 100 hours of content across 11 tracks.

👋 Attendees can join session breakouts and video hangouts throughout each day, and network and connect in live chat conversations with over 10,000 registered participants.

💯 Reports, session recaps, and speaker presentations will be available to download post-event.

Join the #SMWONE Mission

Over the course of four weeks, a number of industry experts will come together to help us confront the emerging challenges of today and explore ways to put humanity at the center of our strategies as we look ahead. These include Gary Vaynerchuk, Kristin Patrick, CMO of PepsiCo, Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe, Pam Wasserstein, President of Vox Media, Rishi Magia, Creative Strategist at Instagram, Dara Treseder, CMO of Carbon 3D, and Joe Marchese, CEO of Attention Capital.

In addition to our mainstage speakers, we’ll be joined by a number of sponsors, affiliates, and partners who will play an integral role in helping us achieve our goal. Here’s what a few of them have shared ahead of May:

“The world is now a different place, due to COVID-19 and it is our job to help our clients navigate the monumental change we’re experiencing right now. To that extent, we need SMW’s thought leadership more than ever and we are incredibly excited to support the launch of #SMWONE, their virtual conference series.” – Daniel Bennet, Worldwide Chief Innovation Officer, Grey

“Now, more than ever community must be at the heart of everything we do. Social Media Week has always been an indispensable partner in making this happen off-line. We look forward to working with them on bringing the industry together online in new and exciting ways at a time when we need to build community most.” – Shauna Sweeney, Global Head of Industry Marketing, Facebook

Browse the current agenda and register for your pass at smwone.com by Friday, April 24th so you can take advantage of our early bird discount and help us give back to businesses and professionals in need.

The post #SMWONE Launches Initial Agenda and Speaker Lineup for its Virtual Conference in May appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/smwone-launches-initial-agenda-and-speaker-lineup-for-its-virtual-conference-in-may/

How Facebook is Using Community Help to Fuel COVID-19 Relief

In 2017 Facebook introduced its Community Help feature providing users with a central source for searching and receiving help during times of crisis including natural and man-made disasters. To further lend its support to COVID-19 relief efforts, the company is expanding the feature marking the first time Community Help will go global and its first use case for a health pandemic.

Prior to an official rollout, Facebook tested Community Help for a select group of U.S. cities. Those included in the test group shared requests for extra medical supplies for local hospitals while others offered free assistance including donating their time to provide meals or leading virtual workouts as people try to reshape their fitness routines while gyms remain closed.

NAVIGATING THE PLATFORM

The Community Help section can be accessed directly, existing as its own destination with the broader release. It is also accessible through the pre-existing COVID-19 Information Center sitting on top of the news feed. Since its release, more than 1 billion users have relied on the Information Center for updates shared by government and health authorities as well as curated content from politicians, journalists, and other public figures.

Posts can be filtered by either those requesting or offering help. A nice perk? You can get as granular as you need. Facebook incorporated specific categories including baby supplies, food, toiletries, business support, or transport. You can also post, comment, or reply to threads either as an individual or a Facebook Group and have the option of replying privately. More specifically, you can set a preferred contact method — either Messenger or WhatsApp — or share the update more broadly with a regular Facebook post to your timeline.

FUELING FUNDRAISERS

As part of the Community Help hub, Facebook is looking to amplify fundraising efforts by matching donations up to $10 million for fundraisers. The company is working with two particular groups — the UNF/WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Fund Facebook Fundraiser and the Combat Coronavirus with the CDC Foundation Facebook Fundraiser. Down the line, Facebook hopes to open this allowing people to seek out and donate to nonprofit fundraisers central to their communities.

HELP MAP VS. COMMUNITY HELP

On the heels of this news, an evolving question becomes how does Facebook’s update stack up with its competition including neighborhood social network Nextdoor?

Two weeks ago Nextdoor unveiled its ‘Help Map.’ Similarly to Facebook’s Community Help, the core functionality allows people to list themselves as being able to provide assistance to someone in need. However, Facebook’s hub takes this notion to the next level by giving people the chance to input requests as well as post when they’re looking to help. It also takes into account deeper technology integration as it builds on Facebook’s earlier efforts with Crisis Response, which connected multiple tools in one place.

‘HOW CAN I HELP?’

Following the lead of its parent company, Instagram is also acting on opportunities to make it easier for people to request or offer Help in their communities.

The platform introduced a new sticker question for Stories called ‘How can I help?’ stemming from a Twitter request shared by Musa Tariq, Global Head of Marketing, Airbnb Experiences. Originally, the question sticker on Instagram Stories defaulted to “Ask me a question”, but is now being replaced with the new text in the hopes that it will enable more people to stay connected and support one another in these difficult times.

If you’re looking to use the new sticker yourself you can access it in the app’s Stories section. A second way to access the sticker is by tapping ‘Create’ located at the bottom of the screen once you start a new Stories post. One caveat, however, you’ll have to manually change the text to ‘How can I help’ by tapping on the sticker itself. Once you push your post live, anyone can respond to the question by tapping on the text box and you can choose to post the responses to your Stories feed.

In these uncertain times, we have an opportunity to use social media to engage people in profound and meaningful ways when face-to-face interaction is no longer an option. Platforms have a fundamental role in helping us navigate these situations and find opportunities to help when we can in the moments that matter.

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The post How Facebook is Using Community Help to Fuel COVID-19 Relief appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/how-facebook-is-using-community-help-to-fuel-covid-19-relief/

6 LinkedIn Courses to Boost Mindfulness and Productivity

In these extraordinary times, building your self-care toolbox is equally if not more important than boosting your skills for working remotely and maintaining productivity.

The boundaries between work life and personal life are more blurred than ever and the loss of our most basic avenues for stress relief and recharging including fitness classes, churches or other places of worship, and coffee shops present their own unique challenges to the situation we face.

Managing Mental Health and Reducing Stress

As we look to navigate this new normal, LinkedIn turned to its task force specializing in mental health to create six courses professionals can use to build mindfulness and manage stress.

At a high-level, these will offer insights into increasing your focus, helping you remain grounded amidst the change and ambiguity, manage emotional triggers, and get ‘unstuck’ when you’re feeling overwhelmed. They’ll also help you better understand the impact of a mindful physical workspace and the actionable steps you can take to create one if you haven’t.

Finally, offerings will share tips for building your energy reserves so even when practicing social distancing, you can still have meaningful relationships with your colleagues, friends, and family.

Let’s break these down a bit more.

Shifting out of ‘flight or fight’ mode

Understanding the importance of mindfulness especially during times of uncertainty is imperative in keeping our nervous systems in check and training our brains to healthy manage those moments of ‘flight or flight’ activity.

The first of LinkedIn’s mindfulness courses, ‘Mindfulness Practices’ takes a close look at the benefits and power of this skill to fundamentally change the course of your work and personal lives. Across several expert-led guided exercises, you can expect to evolve your mind to better respond to stressors in a variety of ways. More specifically, by growing your emotional intelligence, boosting your confidence, finding resiliency in the face of failure, and improving your focus and creativity even when change and uncertainty are serving as distractions.

Staying focused and grounded

Staying connected and focused without being physically present can be challenging, but there are a number of ways to ensure your time is spent wisely and your meetings are as successful and collaborative than those taking place in the conference rooms. A few practices highlighted in the ‘The Mindful Workday’ session worth noting include using daily breaks positively so you come back to your desk recharged and knowing when to unplug so you have time each day to check in with yourself.

Lastly, ‘Mindful Meditations for Work and Life’ aims to help people incorporate practical and easy approaches to meditation including visualization, adapting body language, and breathing exercises. The audio course led by Scott Shute, Head of the Mindfulness and Compassion program at LinkedIn, will also unpack the meaning of brain-body connection and insights for making whatever practices feel best for your stick so they can be part of your regular routine.

Getting unstuck and managing overwhelming thoughts

Managing Stress for Positive Change’ challenges the agenda that stress is purely negative and can only detract from quality work. Led by Heidi Hanna, PhD, define stress in concrete terms and tips for assessing and adjusting it so it can be used constructively. She’ll also offer ways managers and members of the C-suite can create an environment and communication style that limits stressors in the workplace and keeps efforts focused on the bigger picture during challenging times.

In a separate course led by Heidi titled ‘How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed,’ learn the best practices for helping your brain disrupt your stress circuits and cultivate calm and positive energy that will put you on the path to resolution and that the obstacles that once felt unmanageable feel manageable again. By training your brain to get unstuck in these moments you can feel more in control and prepared the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Balance is a key term when it comes to stress management. One of the primary reasons people struggle in this area is because often the warning signs of imbalance aren’t as obvious. ‘Balancing Work and Life’ led by author and business coach Dave Crenshaw grapples with this question and more, including how we can keep balance once it is established. A big takeaway? It is possible to juggle it all — work, family, a social life — with proper time management and prioritization.

In addition to these courses, LinkedIn also unveiled over 16 additional lessons that target how to boost your productivity when working remotely, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and Zoom), and more.

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The post 6 LinkedIn Courses to Boost Mindfulness and Productivity appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/6-linkedin-courses-to-boost-mindfulness-and-productivity/

What Is Social Listening and Why Your Brand Should Be Using It

Social listening is a tactic that became commonplace among marketers during the past couple of years. As soon as social listening tools started monitoring social media networks and crawling billions of websites in minutes, brands jumped on the opportunity to gather the data on their customers. However, just as any trendy tactic, social listening is often not used to its full potential.

In this post, I’ll go through the ways you can use social listening and get the most out of the method.

But let’s start with the definition.

WHAT IS SOCIAL LISTENING

Social (media) listening and social (media) monitoring are the terms used interchangeably in most articles. They describe the process of gathering mentions of a given keyword(s) (brand name, person, product, industry) on social media, and, sometimes, also on news sites, blogs, forums, and the web.

Some authors distinguish between social media monitoring and social media listening, pointing out that the former means responding to mentions individually, while the latter means analyzing big data – the online presence of the keywords you’re interested in – and working proactively with social media rather than just responding to what’s already there.

Most media hasn’t caught up with the alleged difference between the two terms, so we will use them interchangeably and assume each meaning depending on the context. And the context starts with your goals.

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Social media listening can do a lot. It reveals your customers and your potential customers, conversations that involve your brand and your industry, every post that links (or should link) to your website.

Social listening is both about individual people on Twitter that praise your book to their friends and big faceless data that demonstrates what kind of sentiment is expressed about your book all over the world and in all of the languages. So first, you’ll need a set of priorities. Otherwise, you might get too overwhelmed and confused to make an informed decision about what to use your new shiny social listening tool for. Here are the possibilities:

1. Perfecting customer care

More and more people address brands on social networks and expect them to reply quickly. Social listening makes sure you receive all these mentions (including the ones without the handle) from chosen social media platforms on one dashboard (or via email) in real time. Customer service is one of the most common applications for social listening.

2. Assessing brand reputation

Knowing your brand’s online reputation and assessing how it changes in reaction to your efforts (such as marketing campaigns, publications, product launches, etc) is another goal that companies are usually after. Social listening tools take all mentions and create a visual representation of the overall brand sentiment and its fluctuations. This, in turn, helps marketers with another important subgoal – spotting and preventing social media crises.

3. Market research

Social listening can reveal who your target audience really is and where they hang out. Social listening tools break down your brand’s (or other keyword’s) mentions by location, online resource, and language.

Some also analyze demographics and psychographics of the authors.

4. Competitor research

Social media monitoring isn’t always about monitoring your brand, your product, and your CEO (if they are a public person). Sometimes, it’s about doing that for your competition and learning their strengths and weaknesses.

5. Product research

Unlike with the questionnaires, people give honest feedback about all kinds of products online. Social listening can help with product research and development by uncovering what people are saying about your product and your competitors’ products.

6. Social selling and raising brand awareness

Finding conversations online about your industry and finding people that are actively looking for a product or service like yours online are two other goals that social listening completes.

7. Influencer marketing

Social listening identifies influencers and brand advocates in your niche.

8. Link building

By finding unlinked mentions to your brand, product, or pieces of content and discovering niche blogs, social listening tools discover potential link-building opportunities.

So that’s it. Although there might be more uses for social listening, these are the main ones.

Now you’ve got to identify a couple of goals you’re most eager to pursue. For small brands, it’s often perfecting their customer service (something that makes it possible for them to be better at than their larger competitors), social selling (something that big brands often neglect), and market research – getting to know the most about the customers.

For large brands, it’s usually about brand reputation, assessing the effect of their marketing campaigns and PR events, product research, and competitor research.

To find out how to get started with your first campaign, jump to this article.

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The post What Is Social Listening and Why Your Brand Should Be Using It appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/what-is-social-listening-and-why-your-brand-should-be-using-it/

Why Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program Will Help You Reach New Audiences

For years Pinterest has served as a popular source of inspiration and creativity. As we continue to navigate through the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, and people around the globe continue to practice social distancing, even more are turning to the platform as a primary destination for shopping and discovery.

More specifically, over the past two weeks, Pinterest observed a significant uptick in the interest of areas spanning home, self-care, and kid-friendly food and activities. Keywords being used the most include “home organization” (+43%), “spa day at home” (+19%), makeup tutorial for beginners (+180%), and “kid-friendly recipes” (+64%)

In response to the increase in traffic and what the company is referring to as an “unprecedented change in modern retail,” Pinterest is offering retailers the opportunity to reach their audiences in the places where they’re most interested to shop.

THE VERIFIED MERCHANT PROGRAM

The Verified Merchant Program is officially open to all U.S. businesses but was introduced with a select group of retailers including Quay Australia, Ruggable, Filson, Coyuchi, and Lotuff Leather who were manually vetted against Pinterest’s criteria for high-quality customer service experiences.

Aside from earning a fancy blue checkmark on their profiles, verified merchants have the capability to connect their catalog directly to the platform triggering a ‘Shop’ tab, through which they can amplify all of their shoppable products in one convenient spot. In addition, these products will be displayed within dedicated shopping experiences like when users are browsing related products.

From a measurement standpoint, merchants will gain early access to Pinterest’s new Conversion Insights tool that encompasses both organic and paid conversion sights enabling you to measure the impact of your brand across site visits, checkouts, and sales over multiple attribution windows.

With background into the program laid out, the next question becomes, ‘how do I get my brand verified?’

  • To begin, upload your product feed to Catalogs. This is the quickest way to get your products on to the platform and generate Product Pins which will tell users key information such as price, availability, a brief description as to what the product is,
  • Next, install the Pinterest tag. An important benefit of tags is that they help streamline the tracking process regarding actions coming from potential customers. If you don’t wish to use Pinterest’s tag, you can opt to use a compatible tag manager.
  • Meet Pinterest’s Merchant Guidelines. At a high-level, these requirements emphasize accuracy, transparency, and high-level details usable for both Pinners and customer service providers.

PROGRAM PERKS & THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE

While each brand should do their due diligence of accessing the fit and viability of the program against their specific goals, there seems to be reasonable pay-off across the board. Pinterest receives more accurate, informative Pins, brands get a boost in exposure, and users can engage with personalized and targeted experiences compatible with their interests and needs as they quarantine.

“As consumers shift their spending to online channels, brands should inspire Pinners and create a shopping experience that feels more like ‘real life,’ bringing a sense of normalcy and delight to challenging times,” Pinterest reiterated in its blog. With the length of ‘stay at home’ orders still up in the air, this shift will continue to grow the longer we’re confined.

For more information on the program including how to apply, you can check out this page. Pinterest’s Head of Global Retail Strategy, Amy Vener, will also lead a global webinar next Tuesday, April 7 (2pm ET) with special guests to unpack insights surrounding the evolution of retail we’re currently experiencing.

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The post Why Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program Will Help You Reach New Audiences appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/why-pinterests-verified-merchant-program-will-help-you-reach-new-audiences/

How Platforms are Helping Brands and Users Navigate COVID-19

COVID-19 has undoubtedly become the dominant focus of our day-to-day lives. Keeping pace with the data, insights, and behavioral shifts can feel dizzying and cumbersome. Several major platforms have stepped up to play fundamental roles in helping marketers and people at various levels navigate through the uncertainty and changes we currently face and will continue to face after the pandemic is behind us.

Let’s break down what these efforts look like in action:

FACEBOOK

It’s no secret that as the COVID-19 pandemic expands, we face a circulation of various misinformation campaigns including rumored government decisions and ‘cures.’ Messaging apps are playing a key tool in spreading these amongst users.

In response to this trend, Facebook is spearheading new ways to stem the flow of messaging misinformation. One way it’s addressing this is through its instant messaging platform WhatsApp, which is testing a feature that would allow users to search for additional context on a message they encounter via a Google search prompt in-stream. WhatsApp also introduced a WHO chatbot, offering yet another stream to access critical information paired with a COVID-19 research hub.

Separately, Facebook, on its own platform, has taken numerous steps throughout the past few weeks that include:

  • Embedding informational prompts to relevant search queries to guide users to trustworthy information about COVID-19
  • Expanding access to local alerts so specific communities can stay in touch about what is going on around them
  • Providing free ad credits for organizations looking to deliver critical virus-related information and data tracking tools so users can keep tabs on evolving stories
  • Introducing a new set of learning resources for kids and parents to help them safely navigate the internet in addition to a set of tips for remote workers
  • Allocating over $100 million in funding to small businesses, fact-checkers, and local newsrooms

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is banking on the positive coming out of COVID-19 and an era of social distancing by offering ways to take an otherwise isolating and passive experience and transforming it into one that is more social and active.

Specifically, the platform launched “Co-Watching,” which allows users to on a video chat or group video browse through feed posts either Liked or Saved by an individual, or one that Instagram suggests. The goal is to give users the opportunity to have more meaningful conversations about what they’re encountering, incentivize them to use video calls more regularly, and spend more time in the app.

This release is one of several responses by the part of Instagram, including a dedicated Story spotlighting posts from your network that are using the “Stay Home” sticker and all of their quarantine activities. Additional stickers that have surfaced on the app include ones reminding of proper handwashing and keeping a six-foot distance from others if you have to be outside, and donation stickers so users across the world can give back.

SNAPCHAT

To support its audience in a time of need, Snapchat is stepping up through a diverse set of efforts. The platform rolled out several creative tools so people can creatively share information from the WHO with friends and family including Bitmoji stickers with common-sense health tips and a worldwide AR filter with tips for staying safe. Users can also visit the WHO and CDC’s official accounts for updates and browse custom content from the organizations.

Taking the information-sharing a step further, the platform announced an addition to its “Discover” tab: “Coronavirus: The Latest,” where access to high-quality news and information can be easily accessed. More generally, Snapchat is working with over three dozen content partners to provide reliable information.

COVID-19 also prompted Snapchat to speed up the debut of its “Here for You” feature, which went live in February and appears when a user conducts searches for topics related to anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts, and bullying. A new section was added to incorporate content from the Ad Council, CDC, Crisis Text Line and WHO on anxiety related to the coronavirus.

TIKTOK

TikTok is using COVID-19 to identify meaningful opportunities to emphasize its growth and demonstrate its ability to serve as a connective tool for its community. In this vein, it announced a content partnership with the WHO. As part of the collaboration, the platform unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 resource hub that can be accessed through the “Discover” tab in the app. It also appears amongst the top results when someone enters search criteria pertaining to the virus.

Additionally, on the dedicated page with videos related to the subject, the platform is adding links to serve as a reminder to only rely on credible sources for trustworthy information. The WHO is also using its own verified TikTok account to engage with younger audiences.

Beyond content, TikTok is supporting the WHO financially by donating $10 million to its Solidarity Response Fund used to help get supplies to those on the frontline. “In this time of global distress and concern about the impact of Covid-19, we’ve been inspired by people in towns and cities everywhere whose fundamental humanity is shining through when we need it most,” shared TikTok President Alex Zhu.

TWITTER

During the first month COVID-19 emerged, more than 15 million tweets were sent across Twitter mentioning the virus. The platform has since acted swiftly in ensuring fact-checked and authoritative content was discoverable above the noise and false claims by reawakening its profile verification.

Twitter is also increasing its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on “potentially abusive and manipulative content.” This includes detecting spread of false stats and other information, accounts being used to deny or advise against following official advice and promoting treatments or cures that have not been proven. At the same time, the company is being careful to strike an appropriate balance between applying AI as a tool and the role of the human review in these special cases.

BuzzFeed News recently reported that the news media could see an impact “worse than the 2008 financial crisis, which saw newspapers experience a 19 percent decline in revenue.” To support the sector in the absence of some of the smaller, local companies that fuel these publications, Twitter announced a $1 million funding program to be split between The Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation.

PINTEREST

Pinterest is doubling down on its effort to combat misinformation by removing inaccurate information and guiding its users to authentic insights through custom search results.

When searching for information about COVID-19, users are directed to a curated Pinterest page from the World Health Organization (WHO) detailing timely and useful details around how to protect yourself, friends, and family from getting sick. This includes hand-washing best practices, when to use a nose or face mask, and more.

In a statement to The Verge, Pinterest said the custom search results is a way to “connect Pinners with facts and myth-bust what’s not true with authoritative information from the [World Health Organization].” The platform also urges users and brands to follow the WHO’s account as a frictionless way to stay updated while they post and engage with others.

This approach has resulted in a significantly lower volume of pandemic-tied posts compared to other major platforms and spurred creative ideas from Pinners. Pins are showcasing products like COVID-19 notebooks for journaling about your experience, while a “coronavirus vibes” board is dedicated to ways to relax and use this time to practice self-care.

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The post How Platforms are Helping Brands and Users Navigate COVID-19 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/how-platforms-are-helping-brands-and-users-navigate-covid-19/

Why Facebook is Bringing Brand Loyalty Programs In-App

Amidst the changes COVID-19 has introduced, a primary one being the practice of social distancing, brands are more eager than ever to provide a better link between offline and online activity. Consumers with no choice but to shop online are now purely engaging with brands on platforms elevating the importance of digital interactions across marketing efforts.

According to Marketing Land, Facebook is testing a new program that connects a person’s existing brand loyalty membership with their Facebook profile. For context, in 2017 the company rolled out a “Rewards” option allowing users to apply a personalized QR code at participating stores to take advantage of discounts and rewards linked back to their profiles.

This new update, however, mark’s the company’s first true loyalty-driven advertising product advancing on the same concept, but bringing into the picture additional data sources and heightened targeting capacity.

HOW IT WORKS

At the core of the update is creating a frictionless experience for delivering personalized information including points and rewards to customers who have already shopped a particular brand. In this particular example, Sephora users can link their accounts for specialized discounts on makeup products plus bonus points for syncing.

Once connected, members will be able to track the status of their brand loyalty account via Facebook, while they’ll also be able to earn points for their on-platform activity, get member discounts on purchases, and have any points for online shopping linked back to their customer ID. From the brand perspective, this represents a window of opportunity to re-engage with past customers and incentive repeat purchases. It also enables improved ad targeting based on prior offline and in-person purchases through dynamic, personalized ads and organic promotions as well as member-exclusive events.

Making Ephemerality and Encryption a New Norm

Trust between brands and consumers has grown in power and continues to be a leading differentiator when looking to rise above the noise. As we all adjust to this new normal and more people are looking to shop online in order to comply with social distance rules, knowing who has access to our information is as imperative as ever before.

Facebook is acknowledging this by requiring users to consent to the platform’s data policy prior to linking their account. Facebook also encourages brands who are planning to be a part of this program once it opens up globally, revisit their own policies in an effort to ensure the data passing through the platform fully complies with their own privacy regulations.

More broadly, the move aligns directly with its recent shift to deliver end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging platforms. WhatsApp and Instagram are currently in the test phase of disappearing messages. Ideally, this unification will allow the platform to enable simplified cross-platform communication via messages. In-stream ads on IGTV videos are also in the works as part of this overarching push to a more personalized, intimate social media environment.

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The post Why Facebook is Bringing Brand Loyalty Programs In-App appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/why-facebook-is-bringing-brand-loyalty-programs-in-app/

How to Get Started with Your First Social Listening Campaign

Social listening isn’t a manual job. To get the most out of social listening (more on that in the previous article about social listening), you’ve got to choose the right tool.

Choosing a tool is all about balancing out your budget and the features you need (and what isn’t). The internet flourishes with the lists of “best social media monitoring tools”, so there won’t be a problem choosing the one most suitable for your brand.

Most tools (and all paid tools) will have a detailed step-by-step guide that teaches you how to do the monitoring. But as the whole process is quite simple, I’ll give you the gist right here.

ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS

Depending on your goals, you’ll have to choose the keywords you wish to monitor.

If your goals are customer care, brand reputation, or product research, you will have to monitor brand names and, optionally, product names.

Brand names include:

  • The name of your brand (e.g., Audi)
  • The social media profiles of the name (e.g., @AudiOfficial)
  • Any common abbreviations and misspellings of your brand

You might also want to search for your product category, but that depends on the category. For example, it makes sense to search for iPhone if you’re Apple, but makes no sense to search for “oranges” if you’re Whole Foods.

If your goal is competitor research, you should monitor your competitors’ brand names and possibly, their product names. The list of keywords is the same as it is for your brand.

If you’re interested in market research, you can monitor your industry (e.g., “product feedback tools, product feedback app, product assessment app”; “vegan cafes, vegan restaurants”, “vegan food”) as well as your brand name and your competitors’ brand names.

With regards to social selling, the task becomes more complicated. Your goal is to find not only conversations that include your industry, but also people looking for your product specifically. Or maybe even just the latter.

For that, you need a tool with the Boolean search option – a manual keyword search that allows for unlimited keyword flexibility – and a list of phrases that people use when searching for a product, such as “can anyone recommend”, “does anyone know”, “looking/searching for a”, etc. These word combinations together with the product description will get you the results you’re looking for. Another list of phrases that you can include will be about your competitors. Search for your competitors’ brands together with word combinations such as “alternative to”, “better than”, “disappointed with” and see what happens.

For influencer marketing, you’ll need a tool that finds influencers for you. Your keywords will be your brand name (to find brand advocates) and industry keywords (to find industry influencers). A few leading tools you should have on radar include Followerwonk, specifically dedicated to Twitter and influencers on the platform, Klear, a more broad option helping you find influencers across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs, and BuzzSumo, which can help you double down on your efforts around finding influencers and content creation.

Finally, for link building, you’ll need a tool that has a Boolean search option and allows you to find unlinked mentions as well as search for blogs. Here, you’ll need to limit your search to blogs and forums (meaning, you’ll have to exclude social networks) and monitor your brand name and your industry keywords with the setting that excludes linked mentions.

Work with the results

Getting the results is just half the job. Once you have your mentions feed, your graphs, and your influencer lists, what do you do?

If your goal is customer care, you’ll end up looking through mentions one by one and replying to the ones that require a response. In most tools, you can filter them by sentiment and deal with the negative mentions first. You can also sort them by the number of the author’s followers and deal with the most influential authors first.

To simplify your work with mentions, you can assign them to different groups and sometimes to different team members.

Analytics is here to show you the big picture.

If we’re talking about your brand, first, you’ll inevitably see the level of its popularity online. You’ll see how that level changes in response to your efforts (e.g., campaigns, product launches) and in response to external stimuli (e.g., season). You’ll see how the buzz around your brand is different in various locations and languages (if applicable), and which social networks your audience prefers. This might be, and should be, reflected in your future marketing plans.

Then, you’ll move to the sentiment analysis and you’ll get a more detailed picture: not just that the buzz exists, but what kind of buzz. What’s the brand’s reputation, how it changes across different social media platforms and different news outlets, blogs, forums; how it changes in reaction to all the same things mentioned above.

Demographic and user behavior data will show you where the mentions are coming from: both in terms of geographical location and the web location.

Monitoring specific keywords will also show you topics that are used alongside your keywords. This way, you’ll know what your brand (product, personal name) is associated with online.

If you’re doing competitor research, you’ll also see a whole range of analysis going on there: your brand’s share of voice and how your brand compares to your competitors’ on all kinds of factors.

As talked about before, different tools contain different analytics features. The ones described above are the features that can be found in mid-tier tools and enterprise-level tools. It’s worth noting that the best enterprise tools will have an even bigger range of what you can do with the data.

Like any part of your marketing workflow, social listening is bound to be adjusted and changed according to your changing goals over time. However, at every point of your company’s growth, social listening is much needed, whether it’s about just finding your audience or making sure they stay loyal to your brand.

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The post How to Get Started with Your First Social Listening Campaign appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/how-to-get-started-with-your-first-social-listening-campaign/

What Marketers Need to Know About LinkedIn’s New Conversation Ads

Today, mobile messaging apps are used more than three hours per day by over 2.5 billion users (35 percent) across the world. This number is expected to grow to nearly 40 percent by 2023.

Meeting people where they spend their time, at the right moment and on the right platforms is equally important as the creative itself. Messaging allows brands to connect with people at multiple touchpoints across the customer experience. This is especially critical for those in the B2B space where buying cycles steer longer and multiple stakeholders are involved in purchasing decisions. These one-on-one interactions are integral to establishing trustworthy relationships and loyalty.

LINKEDIN CONVERSATION ADS

In this spirit, LinkedIn is introducing Conversation Ads, an extension of its Messaging Ads, to deliver a more personal way to interact with marketers. Specifically, Conversation Ads feature a “choose your own path” experience allowing for full-funnel campaigns with customized calls to action spanning product education, webinar signs, and ebook downloads.

Brands can directly add CTA buttons into their Sponsored InMails — or “Message Ads,” as the company now refers to them. By including a variety of options, brands can serve more personalized content catered to the customers’ unique position in the purchase journey translating onto higher-quality engagement.

CAMPAIGN SET UP & ESTABLISHING RELEVANCE IN REAL-TIME

To begin, start with a clear sense of your campaign objective. Are you more interested in driving website visits or lead generation? If answering this presents a challenge, look broader at the larger goals of your business to identify which is a better fit. Once you’ve decided on the objective, you’ll gain access to detailed click and demographic reporting specific to the advertisement type.

Conversation ads can also be paired with features such as Lead Gen Forms and Conversion tracking making it more efficient to turn conversations into conversions. They’re designed for real-time engagement. Put another way, messages won’t be sent unless the prospect is active on LinkedIn and “in the right mindset.”

Objectives aside, when growing an audience for messaging and designing creative conversations don’t overlook who you’re attempting to connect with at the end of the day: humans. They want to be known, respected, and part of meaningful moments.

BRAND USE CASES

Job search marketplace Hired was one of the companies selected for beta testing of the new offering and reported positive results. Specifically, the company pointed to a 5x higher clickthrough rate driven by the simple pivot to allowing customres to choose their own path based on the most relevant CTA to them.

“The level of engagement is pretty wild when you’re able to provide multiple opportunities to click,” said Chase Gladden, Hired’s Growth Marketing Manager.

LinkedIn reports that messages sent on its platform have quadrupled over the last five years. Given this, the update not only makes sense for the platform in catering to this messaging growth, but in the broader context of a fundamental industry shift towards more personal, one-on-one conversations.

The relevancy of personalized messaging

Now more than ever conversations count with regards to top-of-mind awareness. Brands that are anticipating different friction points are better equipped to drive people to make genuine purchasing decisions more quickly. As advertisers battle to cover more digital ground amidst COVID-19, having an easy way to deliver a customized experience for each user is critical and can propel them into years of growth long after the pandemic is behind us.

For more insights, the platform has curated a list of tips and practices on how to create a successful Conversation Ad campaign here. LinkedIn is also running a webinar focusing on the new option and its benefits next month (April 9) titled, “Messaging Strategies for the Modern Marketer: Turning Conversations into Conversions.” Beyond the new ad offering, the session will cover top messaging market trends the industry is experiencing today and how customers are using messaging as part of their larger LinkedIn marketing strategies.

If you attend and are ready to get started, you can browse this collection of templates to help you formulate your overall campaign.

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The post What Marketers Need to Know About LinkedIn’s New Conversation Ads appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/what-marketers-need-to-know-about-linkedins-new-conversation-ads/

Here’s How Facebook is Supporting Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it uncertainty and unprecedented changes to the very fabric of our lives and our businesses. It has particularly hit small companies hard, some being forced to close for public safety, while others are suffering blows to their revenue figures. The longer the crisis goes on, the harder it is to support the livelihoods of their owners and employees.

Many platforms including Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok, are identifying opportunities to step up to provide financial support as well as curb misinformation, ensure the public has accurate information on how to stay healthy and safe, and offer tips for embracing and leveraging new remote workforce. Facebook, too, is pitching in recently announcing a $100 million grants program to assist 30,000 SMBs, in 30 nations, supporting the communities in which Facebook and its teams operate.

FACEBOOK’S $100 MILLION AID PROGRAM

“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us. We want to do our part too,” shared Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

As far as who is eligible, that is still being determined, however, the platform has curated a page where SMB owners can sign up for more details as to when applications will be live. Beyond advertising efforts, there are several examples of how companies can use these grants spanning operational costs, rent fees, and employee wages.

Aside from the financial burdens, many are facing, Facebook’s exploring a range of other options to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 outbreak including a dedicated Business Resource Hub. Here SMBs can find tips for managing their business from home, downloadable content packages with best practices and insights, and a self-assessment to track progress. The Hub also includes links to official information about COVID-19 to help their customers stay informed.

VIRTUAL training AND EMBRACING A REMOTE WORKFORCE

Sandberg teased additional efforts in the works to help give organizations in need a boost including a virtual training program that can engage businesses all over the world. The company has also started work on a set of Blueprint materials, an e-learning program focusing on remote work and management of remote teams.

“Teams across our company are working every day to help businesses. We’re looking at additional ways to host virtual training – and will have more to share in the coming weeks – and we’re finding more ways to help people connect and learn to use technology through Blueprint, our free e-learning training program,” said Sandberg.

In addition to this, Facebook also shared its new partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association. Together, they will provide $1 million in grants to local news organizations which are covering COVID-19 in the US and Canada in need of resources to cover the pandemic and deliver relevant updates.

In this unfamiliar and unsettling environment, the capacity for technology to unite has never been stronger. We face a different type of normal than what we’re used to and the platforms and brands that are putting humans at the center of their strategies today will be making an investment that pays dividends long after the challenges are behind us.

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The post Here’s How Facebook is Supporting Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/heres-how-facebook-is-supporting-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/

Introducing #SMWONE: A Virtual Conference Series

We are experiencing an extraordinary moment in history. COVID-19 has changed the fabric of our lives, potentially forever, and today I am here to provide you with an update of how we are navigating things at Social Media Week.

The past two weeks have been a dizzying experience, however I am very fortunate to be part of an incredible community of over 200 conference, tradeshow and event organizing CEOs around the world. I have personally watched as their businesses have been decimated by having to either cancel or postpone their events, some small, some very large. The impact has been and will continue to be devastating.

Being Transparent about our Process

As we have tried to navigate through the past few weeks ourselves and as the scale and impact of what was happening has become more of a reality, we have attempted to provide regular updates, offering as much transparency as possible while consulting with attendees, partners, sponsors and our venues to figure out what to do about our May conference in New York and June conference in LA.

As we considered every imaginable option and possible scenario, my team and I have worked night and day to ensure that whatever decision we ultimately made, we would do so with the best interests of our most important stakeholders in mind: our attendees, sponsors, speakers and content partners.

Last Friday and over the past weekend, New York Governor Cuomo and Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti put in place temporary bans to stop public gatherings of large volumes of people (in NY the rule was set to 500+). This week, we’ve seen an even more strict set of rules put in place that reduce these numbers even further. NY has partnered with New Jersey and Connecticut to ban gatherings of 50 or more and Los Angeles has mandated that gatherings of this same size be cancelled or postponed.

Pivoting to #SMWONE in 2020

It is because of this decision and with no end date in sight that we have made the very difficult, but also very exciting decision to pivot our New York and LA conferences to one single virtual experience that we are calling #SMWONE. #SMWONE will be a first of its kind conferences series that delivers live content, talks, panel sessions and workshops, together with on-demand content, product demos, attendee hangouts and networking experiences that span a 4-week period.

When we first announced our theme for this year, HUMAN.X, it was because we had a deep conviction in the ability of technology to unite people—not divide them—and help businesses put humanity at the center of their strategies.

In these uncertain times, our belief in the capacity of technology to bring us together has never been stronger. #SMWONE is a new concept that embodies this idea at its core.

Rather than postpone our events, which was proving to be an almost impossible option for us, we feel there is a meaningful opportunity in this moment to prove the theory that technology holds the keys when it comes to helping businesses better engage with people and bridging divides to foster a sense of global community.

#SMWONE: A Virtual Conference Series, will kick off on May 5 and include a significantly enhanced set of program elements, including:

  • 150 sessions including live talks, panels, interviews and workshops
  • Access to over 300 speakers through live chat and facilitated Q&A sessions
  • Ability to schedule meetings and engage with technology vendors in live chat rooms
  • Network and connect in live chat conversations with other attendees
  • Watch sessions live, on-demand with ability to download and share content
  • Downloadable reports, session recaps and speaker presentations

Looking Ahead and Welcoming Changes

Ever since we hosted our first conference in 2009 we have embraced the tools and technologies that enable us to create a hybrid experience that encompasses both in-person and digital experiences. We have led this charge as a digital and social first conference for more than a decade and will continue to do the same with our latest iteration, #SMWONE.

If you are already registered to attend either SMW New York or SMW LA, or if you are a speaker, content partner or sponsor you will likely have a ton of questions and we are full prepared to respond to each of them and engage with each of you over the coming weeks to reassure you that #SMWONE and future SMW conferences are going to be even bigger, better and more connected experiences than ever before.

If you are not registered for either conference or if you are interested in exploring sponsorship opportunities, please register your interest in learning more here.

We are so excited to come together with our community, and welcome new participants in the conversation, at our revamped event in May including our local city organizers. Stay tuned for updates here, along with more details in our FAQ. We welcome your feedback, questions, comments, and suggestions at smwone@socialmediaweek.org.

The post Introducing #SMWONE: A Virtual Conference Series appeared first on Social Media Week.

Introducing #SMWONE: A Virtual Conference Series

Here’s How Reddit’s Technology and New Partnership are Supporting Mental Health

Today’s teens spend nearly seven and a half hours on their phones each day per a recent report by Common Sense Media, a non-profit dedicated to promoting safe technology and media use for children. Those in the tween category (ages 8 to 12) don’t fall far behind in comparison spending roughly four hours and 45 minutes daily.

As these stats have evolved, there has been a lot of research and discussion around the correlation between this screen time and the mental health and wellbeing of younger demographics. While some argue the linkage is clear and direct, others push back and advocate the connection is more nuanced — that it is about the quality of use that determines whether the relationship to the platforms is healthy and productive or if it’s simply a distraction from larger issues and there isn’t enough adequate mental health services at their disposal.

Younger users are becoming increasingly aware of the negative implications of their social media use and are turning to the platforms to help them take the steps to mitigate these appropriately.

PROVIDING AN OFF-RAMP TO KEY RESOURCES

A growing number of platforms including Snapchat and Pinterest are innovating around opportunities to meet their users where they are and connect them with the communities and tools they can take offline. Reddit is yet another example recently unveiling a slew of suicide prevention tools created in partnership with the Crisis Text Line. Specifically, the update includes a feature that allows Redditors to report those who are encountered and felt to be at risk.

Users can flag someone through reporting a comment or piece of content or by using a button on the individual’s user profile. To report directly from a post, simply select the option that reads, “Someone is considering suicide or serious self-harm.” Alternatively, if you’re on the person’s profile, tap the prompt that says “get them help and support.” A note: if you’re accessing Reddit from your computer on a web browser this will fall under the “more options” section.

When a user is flagged, the platform will send a private message including details to access mental health resources and a suggestion to text the phrase ‘CHAT’ to the number for the Crisis Text Line, 741741. They will then be connected to a trained counselor with whom they can text for as long as they need to have someone to actively empathize with them and help them get to the root of their thoughts and feelings.

EMPLOYING GOOD AI: FUELING NEW APPROACHES TO PUBLIC HEALTH

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is leveraging artificial intelligence from Reddit and Twitter to improve the forecasting of suicide rates. Its current figures, according to a spokesperson, are currently delayed up to two years, negatively influencing policy updates the allocation of resources. This is a significant problem given suicide rates have surged 40 percent in less than two decades.

Without the most up-to-date numbers, the agency can’t properly respond and improve how it’s directing its efforts so it’s relying on platforms to help whittle down publicly available data and address the question: how can signals from various real-time sources be leveraged in order to offset this one to two-year lag?

A helpful source has been reports that break down keyword use across platforms related to suicide. When combined with other CDC data including crisis text and call lines and previous suicide rates from the National Vital Statistics program, newer algorithms can be trained to forecast the actual rate.

“We can now estimate these rates of suicide up to a year in advance of when death records become available,” said Munmun de Choudhury, a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing who is working with the CDC on this project, in a statement to Recode. What does this say for future projections? Data collected until December 2019 can be employed to predict the suicide rate for every week of 2021. She added that the initial phase of the research had an error rate of less than 1 percent.

Social media can be a force for deeper and more empathetic human connection. But, as brands and platforms, we need to put our creative energy behind the programs, partnerships, and technology at our disposal if we are to make a dent in the problem. We have a moral obligation to ensure we’re creating safe and meaningful spaces in which today’s youth can interact and grow and understand the importance of empathy as a foundational skill.

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WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

The post Here’s How Reddit’s Technology and New Partnership are Supporting Mental Health appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/heres-how-reddits-technology-and-new-partnership-are-supporting-mental-health/

How Measurement Is Driving Influencer Marketing’s Maturation

At one time, influencer marketing consisted of finding the most prominent celebrity a brand could afford, striking a deal with them to post about your product, garnering a bunch of views, and calling it a day (or campaign). But the industry is undoubtedly growing up, especially as it pertains to measurement.

The days of leveraging influencer marketing purely as a brand awareness tool are over. One big reason for this is the maturation of the measurement and optimization capabilities of social media ad platforms. Now with platforms providing more granular reporting metrics, attribution data, and specific ad placements, we are able to customize paid media campaigns for our clients based on their campaign objective, opening the door to the next-generation of more meaningful measurement within the industry.

Influencer marketing has not only transcended the days of brand awareness, but advertisers are now investing large chunks of their budgets into Influencer marketing alongside their traditional search, social, and display campaigns.

The Emerging Metrics Driving ROI

There comes a time when the luster wears off the bright shiny object in the room, and marketers are forced to go under the hood. In the case of influencer marketing, advertisers now expect (and demand) proof of real ROI for each campaign. The metrics emerging as initial indicators of ROI include cost per acquisition, revenue per customer, Life-Time Value (LTV), click-to-websites, total interactions, and cost-per-view.

One of the best ways to show this is through paid media distribution behind the influencer content, which guarantees that we are reaching the client’s target audience consisting of specific demographics, psychographics, and other first and third-party data sets. This targeting capability paired with creator channel authentication enables detailed campaign reporting, that measure specific outcomes tied to the campaign objective. And with brands, agencies, and marketers having a deeper understanding of what KPIs they want to transact on, it helps them create and curate their campaigns accordingly.

The Next Step: Proving Sales Lift

Social platforms have made some significant advancements when it comes to campaign reporting capabilities. We are now able to optimize the media buy in real-time for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) customers when they are able to pass conversion and LTV data back to our media team. But for CPG clients measuring the campaign’s ROI for offline sales, it requires the layering of additional data sets to truly understand sales lift. One way the influencer marketing industry is doing this is through match market tests, which have already emerged as a necessary demand for CPG brands when engaging with creators.

Match market testing is a process that helps identify the real impact of advertising on sales by controlling the other variables that impact sales for a brand, category, or market. Brands typically execute this by running a campaign nationally, while picking a controlled set of sister cities. In one city you run the campaign, and in one city you don’t. Then you compare the data after a certain amount of time and see if there is a sales lift, which essentially results in a geo-targeted based A/B test.

Influencer marketing is on an undeniable path to maturation, transcending the traditional norms, and asserting itself as a viable marketing channel. In addition to sales lift for industries like CPG, influencers are also being leveraged to drive app-downloads and subscriptions for DTC brands effectively. So, when it comes to influencer marketing, if you can prove your campaign sells the product, you’re winning.

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/how-measurement-is-driving-influencer-marketings-maturation/

How to Launch Your Brand into TikTok Stardom

To date, TikTok has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times and boasts a user base of over 500 million globally. In 2019, it was the second most-downloaded social app.

It is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world paving the future for an alternative version of online sharing: short-form mobile video. For brands specifically, TikTok represents a window of opportunity; the ability to showcase a different side of a brand while increasing visibility to an entirely new audience.

Here, we’re distilling down how to navigate the app’s Creator Marketplace and sharing important insights from a report on the tips and benchmarks you should pocket to improve your strategies.

Read on to learn:

  • Why brands are using TikTok as a source for their influencer marketing campaigns
  • How to use updates to the Creator Marketplace to track the success of your efforts and impact over time
  • What are the practices, tips and benchmarks that should be top of mind as you craft your campaigns

Expanding the Creator Marketplace

More creators and brands are flocking to the ByteDance-owned app as the hub of their influencer campaigns and turning towards the invite-only Creator Marketplace, as a valuable and important tool for locating relevant users for partnerships based on focus topics, location and reach. To boost its use, the platform is introducing additional analytics options for brands to avail.

Through the update, brands will be privy to real-time data including views, engagements, engagement rate, and audience breakdown (by top markets, gender, age-range, and device). What this means is a more granular and seamless way to track the success of their campaigns and impact over time. They’ll be able to address important questions such as is this type of content driving brand awareness and gauge whether it is relevant to the audience they’re sharing it with compared to their target market.

With consistent campaign reporting at their fingertips, brands can efficiently analyze their tactics, tweak their strategies, uncover trends and best practices, and manage performance benchmarks more successfully, all critical to long-term success especially in the unchartered waters of a new platform.

In the vein of strategies and benchmarks, TikTok partnered with Conviva, a leading intelligence platform geared towards optimized streaming media, to publish an ultimate TikTok strategies and benchmark guide.

Here’s a run-down of the most important insights:

Staying relevant: music, hashtags and trends

 

@nbaontntShaq wasn’t expecting this! Wait for it… 😱😂 ##funny ##fyp ##tiktokchallenge♬ original sound – nbaontnt

On TikTok, users can search for videos based on a soundtrack, so choose these sparingly and use them strategically. By the same token, when adding hashtags avoid resorting only to the most commonly used words and phrases such as #ForYouPage (also #ForYou and #fyp). This will only defeat the purpose of putting your brand above the noise. Instead, aim to use niche hashtags.

You also don’t want to be heavy-handed and drop an exhaustive list of hashtags to your post. The main reason for this is that it will up your post’s real estate unnecessarily. Think quality over quantity. Select only the hashtags that will resonate with your video the most and contribute to its reception.

Trends are a dominant force on TikTok, but as is the case with the rest of the information we see on social media and the Internet, these come and go at the drop of a hat. If you’re remaking a popular video, find a way to put your brand’s unique twist on it to make it yours.

Benny the Bull, mascot of the Chicago Bulls, uploaded a slow down tutorial of how to do a popular viral dance called #TheReplay instead of simply recreating the dance. NBAonTNT recreated a popular TikTok challenge with its hosts, which ultimately ended with an egg exploding on Shaq’s head. The Washington Capitals elected their mascot to decorate an office in an effort to join the conversation in a holiday-themed viral trend.

Posting regimen: frequency, etiquette and more

The “Effects” tab is a great way to get inspiration spruce up your posts. The most popular effect is the ‘Green Screen’ effect where you can place people in front of any background of your choosing or post screenshots or pictures in the middle of a TikTok without the need for a third-party editing app.

According to the report, the quantity of uploads has a direct impact on the speed of account growth. The NBA’s account is a good example. It is currently the most followed account in sports and has posted 2700+ videos. That said, you should still aim for quality when it comes to your commenting behavior and how you draft descriptions.

An effective video caption will describe what the viewer is about to see and encourage them to reply. When you are replying, be mindful that comments are ranked in the order of likes received. Posting on a highly-lied comment will be a good way to secure attention, but in some instances can discourage others from engaging or interacting.

Key benchmark highlights

The report examined more than 300 brand accounts from January to February of 2020 to determine the leading accounts across various sports and media industries. Results pointed to several key themes including:

  • When analyzing the 20 fastest-growing accounts, volume was a substantial differentiator. The fastest-growing accounts posted on average 3 videos per day during this month.
  • Publishers in the TV and sports media space are seeing the biggest gains for their commitment to posting consistent, quality videos. Nickelodeon and AFVoffiical, for example, each posted over 1,280 videos as of February 2020.
  • There is a direct correlation between total followers and average views per video. Gaining followers is an essential ingredient to success.

As traditional advertising methods continue to become obstinate in accessing harder-to-reach demographics, brands need to push the envelope and get creative when it comes to the content they create. TikTok offers a unique, light-hearted environment to achieve this where companies can tap into the culture and lifestyle of their fans.

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Why LinkedIn is Bringing Ephemeral Marketing into the Business World

Our industry faces an entire generation growing up with Stories as a preferred way of forging digital relationships. They’re more private, comfortable, foster a greater sense of trust and loyalty, and above all ephemeral stories live for a moment in time versus in the feed forever.

They first appeared on Snapchat with Facebook and Instagram following suit shortly after, and they caught fire for their ability to deliver in a lighter, more fun way to share without it having to be carefully filtered and attached to your profile for the long haul.

LinkedIn’s Journey into Ephemeral Marketing

What might this content look like in a professional context? Can this exist in the business world? LinkedIn is determined to find the answers as it continues to see the volume of conversations on the platform increase. From features to Newsletters, Live Video, Trending News, and Reactions, the platform is now turning to the Stories bandwagon.

The company currently sees a 25 percent year-over-year increase in engagement spanning sharing job updates, business reports, collaborating to share creative strategies, and bringing a community together to remember the loss of a basketball player whose life and career inspired generations of fans.

“Last year, we started asking ourselves what Stories might look like in a professional context…I’m excited to see how Stories will bring creativity and authenticity to the ways that members share more of their work life, so that they can build and nurture the relationships necessary to become more productive and successful,” said Pete Davies, LinkedIn’s Head of Content Products in the official announcement. Specifically, he pointed to the full-screen format as ideal for sharing “key moments from work events” and sharing the digestible “tips and tricks that help us work smarter.”

Preparing for a Stories-Driven Future

According to Business Insider, 66 percent of U.S. creative and digital decision-makers plan to invest in Stories this year, and only 62 percent expect to channel their dollars into News Feed advertising. What does this really mean? The Stories are no longer a novelty and their effectiveness will be an important consideration in 2020 and many years ahead.

Let’s take a look at some overarching creative best practices you can use whether you’re new to the scene or looking to take your existing strategy to new heights.

Stay true to your brand

One of the biggest draws to Stories is the authentic peek behind the curtain it gives to your audience. With this in mind, a general rule of thumb to pocket should be to design your creative around your ad’s objective. For example, if it’s tied to a brand objective, emphasize the human element. If it’s more focused on conversion, spell out the important benefits of your product or service.

If there’s uncertainty around the specific objective, look to your brand’s mission as a guidepost. Start with important brand elements and see where connections can be made to how the specific ad can be tied back to the overall purpose.

Aim for a blend of visuals, text and sound

Case studies have found 83 percent of videos using stickers helped express key messages about the brand or product whereby another study using static creatives showed there is an 87 percent chance ads without stickers deliver better conversion results than with stickers. The bottom line? The best strategy when considering visuals in your Story is to ask yourself if it feels like it belongs in the environment or if it simply makes the message feel more like an ad and takes away from it being relatable.

Similarly, sound and text overlays can feel inconsistent and take attention away from your core messages. Use these only when they feel aligned with the ad’s objective and not if it feels disingenuous or distracting from the call to action you’re looking to convey to your audience.

Keep attention with vertical designs and speed

Stories are consumed much faster compared to other existing mediums. To cater to this, a top tip is to craft your ad to grab attention from the first frame and use speed to keep their attention through the end of the ad. A couple of ways to achieve this include using multiple scenes that are short and digestible. If a scene consists of static imagery, consider adding motion to add some liveliness.

When experimenting with videos and asset design, studies have shown that organically shot videos on mobile are effective when it comes to ad recall and intent while professionally crafted content often drives more brand awareness. If you’re designing yourself, feel free to repurpose content as desired but above all, the full- screen vertical design will be the most natural fit for the Stories medium.

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/why-linkedin-is-bringing-ephemeral-marketing-into-the-business-world/

How to Incorporate Data Into Your Bottom Line Strategy

The web is the world’s largest data repository. It’s expected to house roughly 40 zettabytes by 2020, making it the number one source for generating valuable information. As a result, businesses are leveraging data that’s hidden in plain sight to increase their bottom line. 

One particular strategy that’s helping companies capitalize on information is web data integration (WDI), a process that aggregates and normalizes data to make it more digestible through intuitive reporting and visuals. It relies on a similar concept as traditional web scraping, but is much more sophisticated and places an emphasis on quality control. 

This data includes everything from social media posts and product reviews, to email receipts and satellite images. Businesses can use it to gain detailed insights, make better business decisions, and improve operations, saving both time and money. Here’s what you need to know.

Reduce client churn

“Customer churn is the percentage of customers that stopped using your company’s product or service during a certain time frame,” explains marketing expert Swetha Amaresan. “You can calculate churn rate by dividing the number of customers you lost during that time period – say a quarter – by the number of customers you had at the beginning of that time period.”

Failing to keep client churn in check can be detrimental to the success and longevity of your business, so make minimizing churn a top priority – it will help you get the most from your client base and keep it profitable. 

Start by taking advantage of tools that can help reduce churn. For example, customer success software Planhat serves as a “customer data hub” to help businesses learn more about their clients, predict churn, and identify upselling opportunities while they’re hot. And when customers are at risk of churn, they’re “flagged with sales reps” so they can take action and try to remedy the situation.

Increase consumer loyalty

Techniques like data mining and web scraping, which analyze large data sets and identify meaningful patterns, can be instrumental in boosting consumer loyalty. They can be used to fine-tune your pricing strategy, monitor customer sentiment, identify common pain points, and more. By correcting glaring problems and improving the customer experience, increased consumer loyalty naturally follows.

Custom skincare solution provider Proven is one company that successfully leveraged the data hidden in plain sight through web scraping. They analyzed 8 million reviews, 100,000 beauty products, and 4,000 scientific articles to gain detailed insights into customer needs and sentiment to fine-tune their products and customize them for individual customers. As a result, they were able to develop higher-quality products and create a more personalized experience, which led to increased customer loyalty.

This is something you can do, too. It’s just a matter of identifying the right channels to analyze that provide the deepest insights into customer sentiment. If you have a significant social media following and a lot of online reviews, for instance, you could analyze that data to pinpoint potential areas for improvement. 

Discover hidden profit

A recent study by TRUE Global Intelligence found that 55 percent of modern organizations’ data is “dark,” meaning it’s unquantified, untapped, and often unknown. But the companies that are able to effectively tap into it can unlock hidden profits. 

For example, Netflix collects data to provide users with highly-targeted content. Analyzing the shows and movies users have previously viewed – as well as their search history – allows Netflix to create a completely personalized product, where no two customer experiences are the same. In turn, customers stay more engaged, which inevitably results in a larger customer base and bigger profits for Netflix. 

In the case of Facebook

On the flip side, data also has the potential to lead to a loss if mishandled. A prime example is the $5 billion fine that Facebook recently received for violating privacy practices. The world’s largest social network had 2.41 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2019 – and access to an enormous amount of data. 

While the full details are currently unknown, reports indicate that Facebook used data mining that breached its users’ privacy, which highlights how important it is to adhere to rules and regulations regarding data governance. 

We’re living in an era where data is being generated at a record pace. There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every single day, and 90 percent of the world’s data was generated within the last two years. 

And businesses are discovering that the most valuable data is the everyday information that’s hidden in plain sight. While individually it may not have much of an impact, it can create a huge competitive advantage when analyzed on a large scale and grow your bottom line.

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The post How to Incorporate Data Into Your Bottom Line Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/how-to-incorporate-data-into-your-bottom-line-strategy/

Statement Regarding SMW New York and COVID-19

SMW Community,

For the past several months we’ve been hard at work planning the 12th edition of Social Media Week New York. While we are excited for this year’s conference and have never been more proud of the program we are working hard to produce, we are also seriously monitoring the current situation around the COVID-19 outbreak. We have no plans to cancel the conference at this time, but will continue to stay up to date on important developments as our first priority is to the health and wellbeing of our participants.

With just over two months until kickoff, we remain hopeful that the virus can be contained and/or managed prior to the first week of May. In terms of this specific event, we’ve looked closely at where our attendees, speakers, and sponsors will be traveling from where and can confirm there are no large groups attending from high-risk countries.

Our team appreciates your patience as the situation evolves and asks for your continued commitment to Social Media Week. We’re pleased to see that we’re currently tracking ahead of last year in terms of registrations, and we will continue with our relentless efforts to make this an incredibly valuable learning, sharing, and networking experience.

In line with the WHO’s guidelines around planning for mass gatherings in the context of this global health issue, our decision to move forward with the program is based on a thorough risk assessment. This includes taking all recommendations from the New York City government and the CDC seriously and following relevant conferences within our industry for best practice examples. We are also staying in regular communication with our venue, The Sheraton Times Square, and our existing partners.

Beyond our own precautions, we realize many of you are involved in your own company’s response plans and protocols and we offer our well wishes for success in coping with this challenging and unpredictable situation. If your business must adhere to travel bans, we fully respect this and are prepared to offer a number of alternative options to take advantage of such as:

Pass Transfers:

  • You can transfer your pass to a friend or colleague who would receive permission to attend SMW New York 2020.
  • We can apply the pass credit for the same city in 2021, or any one of our other flagship conferences in 2020 (SMW Los Angeles or SMW London)

SMW Insider & Mobile App Networking: If pass transferring is not of interest, your pass provides you access to SMW Insider, where you can watch the livestream of the majority of mainstage sessions, together with over 300 hours talks, panels and interviews from past SMW Flagship events.

Mobile app networking: You can also still download the mobile app to network with fellow SMW delegates where you can connect with like-minded industry peers to complement the content experience provided by SMW Insider. We are excited to announce that we are launching a new attendee app experience in early April that will have enhanced networking features.

As always, please feel free to contact our team directly with any questions you may have at newyork@socialmediaweek.org.

Thank you so much for your continued support and participation,

– Team SMW

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/statement-regarding-smw-new-york-and-covid-19/

Why Your Brand Can’t Overlook Messaging as a Business Tool

40 million companies are now active on Facebook Messenger. With user expectations for more personalized, one-on-one interaction that puts them in touch with their favorite brands on the go, the onus on businesses to catch up and pay attention shows no signs of slowing.

The platform recently published a report exploring this embrace of conversational commerce, when consumers and businesses interact through chat with the intent to drive purchase. The travel sector is one example seeing a spike in messaging use, but the insights, including important consequences and valuable opportunities, are important for all companies to note.

Here are a few highlights that help address key questions including why messaging is the new normal and how it can be used to innovate and develop fresh ways to garner attention.

Messaging offers familiarity

Sixty-four percent of people claim they would prefer to message rather than hop on the phone with a business and more than half (60%) say they’re open to receiving personal messages from companies.

Why? Any consumer, particularly travelers, demand flexibility and conversations that feel natural. Being able to send a chat to a business at your own convenience and while on the move checks both of these important boxes. More importantly, messaging apps don’t make you go through the hassle of navigating new interfaces or downloading yet another program that will only clutter us with more notifications but demand more of our mobile phone’s precious storage and battery.

The report pointed to Canadian airline WestJet as a leading example in the space. Its customized bot, Juliet, not only delivers on a combination of familiarity and convenience but helps put a human face to the brand. In turn, WestJet saw a 24 percent life in positive sentiment among travelers and expanded the number of messages that could be responded to by 5X.

Messaging is built for real-time conversations

One of the biggest draws for messaging is that it is fundamentally built to cater to a sense of urgency. Facebook has made clear the strong correlation between responsiveness and business outcome. With the medium being so instantaneous and intimate, it isn’t far fetched timeliness would go hand in hand. The takeaway, simply put, be as prompt as you can in responding and make good on expectations set around the turnaround for responses.

Airline KLM, the report discusses, was one of the early pioneers of Messenger to enhance the flying experience. This spans sharing boarding passes, flight updates, and more all in one simple place. More recently, KLM turned to Facebook-owned WhatsApp to provide real-time confirmation upon booking, gate assignments, and changes to the flight status. Beyond the individual flying, the company has tapped into Messaging to loop in family members or friends about flight arrivals to save the customer a step from having to relay the information themselves.

Messaging fuels personalized, scalable interactions

Ninety-one of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands that remember who they are and that provide relevant recommendations.

With the evolution of new technologies like AI, AR, and VR, brands can more easily and effectively craft personalized experiences at scale — closing the gap between discovery and action and pushing more success for in-store services and purchases. This is primarily due to messaging allowing brands to connect with people at multiple touchpoints across the customer experience.

While catering to individual preferences and tastes can seem daunting, there are three simple ingredients to incorporate into your approach to set yourself up for success: be direct and succinct, focus on the value-add, and leverage technology to enhance the relationship outside of the 24-hour window.

Users are reaching out more often than not with a targeted need or question. In this vein, keep follow-ups tight and focused and communicate customer value. Make calls to action easy to decipher and give them options for how’d they like to be notified.

For example, messaging tags are ideal for non-promotion but timely updates, one-time notifications, or sponsored messages to share announcements outside the standard messaging window. These will all help play into the human lens notion and allow exchanges to feel more natural and expected and less spammy when hand-picked by the consumer.

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/why-your-brand-cant-overlook-messaging-as-a-business-tool/

3 Ways to Bring Humanity Back to Marketing at #SMWLA

Marketers today must fundamentally rethink their efforts and resist the urge to remain static and in the confines of the status quo. We’ve spent a decade building the systems, platforms, etc. and measure engagement but now is the time to regroup and get back to the basics: humanity.

During #SMWLA, we’re diving into this topic with several key leaders in the space who will share case studies, insights and tips for connecting emotionally with people to build a maintain a community of loyal customers and not lose sight of their audiences as people.

The sessions below are just a small sample of what we have programmed to help us explore the power and importance of getting back to the reasons why marketing is a force for good and the tools and mechanisms by which we can enable this to happen.

Why Influencers Are Key to Bringing the Human Voice Back to Marketing

Influencers have ushered their way into marketers’ toolkits but the larger question they continue to present is how can they help us authentically integrate the human voice and experience into our storytelling and campaigns? In 2020 and beyond it will be key to challenge the norm and resist an extractive approach to how we engage consumers.

Learn how to shape your strategy so that it is genuine and provides content that is valuable and equitable for your audience in a panel led by Tulani Elisa, VP of Social Media at FOX Entertainment.

Making Mission Your Message

In today’s mobile-first world, where we spend our time and our attention impacts much more than what we buy and how much we spend. As a result, we must ensure our marketing is purpose-led, clear, and has unique characteristics to stand out above the noise. Executing on this boils down to a creating cohesive sense of your brand’s identity.

To get started, join Amazon’s Sabena Gupta as she shares best practices for bringing your mission to life in your creative that will speak for itself and translate into a strong presence in cross-channel campaigns.

Supercharging Social Engagement with Extended Creative Partnerships

The influencer marketing industry is predicted to be worth $10 billion by the end of this year. The role of influencers in helping brands connect with their audiences in highly relevant ways continues to evolve and be a dominant force for marketers in achieving scalable results. But, the differentiating factor is finding targeted partnerships as opposed to working with influencers based on the number of followers they have.

In this session, EP and Creative Director for Comedy Central Digital Studios, Mitch Lewis, will lead a panel covering the best practices for crafting original, organic content that drives authentic brand awareness.

There’s still time to join us at the Broad Stage this June (17-18). Browse the initial agenda and secure your pass online today for a discount off the walkup price.

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How Twitch is Defining the Future of IRL Streaming

Twitch, the Amazon-owned live streaming service is on track to hit 40 million monthly active viewers in the U.S. per new projections from eMarketer, up 14.3 percent from 2019 figures. Come 2023, it is anticipated the platform will boast 47 million viewers.

While the platform has become synonymous with video game streaming and esports fanatics, recent traction has been attributed to Twitch’s efforts to expand its content scope.

What is IRL Streaming?

In 2016 Twitch announced the new streaming category ‘In Real Life” or IRL for short. Taken from its name, the space is designed for users to share glimpses into their day-to-day life as a means of driving authentic engagement with viewers.

In a statement upon its release, CEO Emmett Shear shared,” What we’ve heard repeatedly from [Twitch’s creators] is that they are interested in sharing their everyday lives, thoughts, and opinions with their communities. IRL is designed to help our creators foster that kind of community interaction.”

Shortly after, it became clear that in order to help users benefit from the category, there would have to be a better system for describing content. By September 2018, Twitch had unveiled 10 new categories including Art, Food and Drink, Science and Technology, Sports and Fitness, Talk shows and podcasts, and just chatting.

“With so many streamers on Twitch, we needed to give you better ways to describe your stream when you go live,” a description on the site read ahead of the update.

“Just Chatting” Category Eclipses Video Games Views

In December 2019 StreamElements shared new data revealing Twitch’s “Just Chatting” category streams were watched more than any video game that month. Specifically, viewers tune into 81 million hours of content in this chatting, 7 million more than the game League of Legends and 23 million more than Fortnite.

This marked the first time a non-gaming category earned the title “most-watched,” marking the platform’s transition into a broader, more versatile live streaming hub with more options for the general public than just those with a passion for gaming.

Since its launch, the steady growth of Just Chatting has not only been attributed to a sustainable source of viewership for Twitch, but it’s evolved into a powerful vehicle that streamers can use to improve their brand.

What This Means

Person-to-person streaming is now exceeding actual people watching gamer streams on Twitch behavior and with it, a clear trend is emerging out of these platforms.

Lolimdivine, a Redditor who spent nearly eight months streaming to no one, is now reaping the benefits of an established community. “My regulars and I always talk about our lives, and we all know stuff about each other,” lolimdivine said. “It’s like we have our own little internet family honestly. I see these people as my friends and not viewers. We welcome people with open arms from all around the world, and we remember things about the people who can only stop by once a month. It’s really an incredible thing that Twitch can do for people’s loneliness or friend groups,” they shared in a statement to The Verge.

By allowing broadcasters to leverage existing communities through additional categories, they create a more intimate relationship with their viewers that gives them a more holistic picture of their passions and hobbies. Ultimately, this creates a valuable opportunity to connect with audiences they typically wouldn’t encounter. As a result, they’re able to successfully bridge online and in-person relationships that extend beyond niche subjects and are grounded by meaningful shared experiences.

The post How Twitch is Defining the Future of IRL Streaming appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/02/how-twitch-is-defining-the-future-of-irl-streaming/

What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Creator Studio App

This year there will be close to 1 million minutes of video crossing the internet per second. By 2022, online videos will account for over 82 percent of all internet traffic — a 15x increase compared to 2017.

Audiences find videos more engaging and more memorable than any other type of content

Video continues to stake its claim in the digital space, carving more territory for itself and cementing its role as one of the most effective elements in a digital marketing strategy. As we roll into 2020, there is a lot more for us to understand about video content, but one this is clear — it is no longer a nice to have but a necessity if your storytelling efforts are to be deemed engaging and memorable and drive conversions and exposure.

To help publishers and creators hone their approaches and cater to the demands of a mobile-first world, Facebook unveiled an iOS and Android application companion to its Creator Studio. At a glance, the tool is targeted to allow enhanced management of uploads, performance tracking, and convenient ways to stay in touch with audiences in real-time.

The journey to a creator-centric app

For those unfamiliar with the background, Creator Studio initially launched on desktop last September and served as a replacement for the ‘Creator’ app launch in 2017 (originally released until the title of ‘Mentions’ in 2014). With the history lesson out of the way, let’s take a peek at what the mobile companion has to offer.

Per the announcement — written by the platform’s Head of Creator and Publisher Experience Jeff Birkeland — you can expect the exact same insights and engagement metrics as the desktop hub with a number of added benefits helping manage and edit Page posts, view and make sense of performance analytics, and engage with your audience.

Let’s break these down some more:

Measured metrics and improved multi-account management

A huge priority with the app is to guide creators and publishers as they look to evolve their strategies with rich insights. In the mobile version of Creator Studio, you can seamlessly trace how your videos are performing including one-minute views and average minutes viewed. You can also keep tabs on your advertising earnings, the number of users who commented or shared a video, and how people watched your video for at least 3 seconds.

To take the headache out of hovering from one account to another, the app comes with the functionality to Manage several Facebook Pages and toggle between them without having to go through the added step of logging in and out each time.

“It’s a desktop-mobile ecosystem where you’re getting the benefits across the board,” Birkeland reiterated in a statement to Business Insider. In other words, the app isn’t intended to replace your management process but enhance its feasibility and flexibility.

Creating sustainable audiences and refining your content on-the-go

One of the primary reasons Facebook decided to create a mobile version of Creator Studio was upon receiving feedback that its users wanted to be able to edit video headlines and descriptions and respond to comments from their phones. In this vein, the app comes equipped with the capability of customizing video titles and descriptions, deleting and expiring posts, published drafted posts, and rescheduling scheduled posts.

Consumer intelligence is rising in the ranks as valuable as a form of data that translates into deeper audience relationships and improved decision making. In a nod to this, the Creator Studio app makes it easier to connect with audiences in real-time. Specifically, messages and comments can be responded to directly through the app’s inbox. To help you track your progress over time, the apps come with a setting to schedule notifications when you’ve hit a key milestone.

Being present with your brand continues to be one of the leading ways to secure meaningful engagement. Facebook’s update gives publishers and creators a more streamlined and cohesive way of achieving this in a format that the majority of viewers opt to use. With easier ways of producing and measuring the performance content as well as staying on top of useful feedback, this capability will be integral in bringing a human element to your marketing efforts.

In this vein, marketers should certainly take note that aside from having a human voice, diversifying sources of income continues to be a growing priority for creators as they look to repurpose their content, reach broader audiences at scale, and rise above the noise.

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The post What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Creator Studio App appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/02/what-you-need-to-know-about-facebooks-new-creator-studio-app/

Can Attention Metrics Improve Mobile Advertising?

In a new report from Forrester Consulting, 164 brand marketers across the retail, automotive and CPG industries were asked about their understanding and use of mobile advertising metrics. Here, we’re breaking down the most important insights from the results and how these can help marketers improve their efforts.

Read on to learn:

  • Why traditional performance metrics are no longer sufficient and the major challenges arising from them
  • Why an effective mobile measurement system will consider both brand and demand
  • Why 80 percent of marketers are hungry for improved attention data and how this will deliver important business benefits

Old-School Performance Metrics Aren’t Cutting It

Consumers are spending increasing amounts of hours on their smartphones — and old-school marketing practices are failing to keep pace. As values and interests continue to fluctuate brands must be on the constant hunt to innovate but they’re no longer able to rely on their outdated performance metrics. Why? They’re losing their viability to communicate the full value of mobile.

Marketers are recognizing they’re getting only half the picture and are eager to find solutions. Less than one-half of respondents claimed to be confident in their current mobile KPIs poor satisfaction and optimization. On top of this, it makes navigating mobile behavior patterns that much more challenging. As digital matures, this will only escalate and become more visible without a new approach.

Effective Mobile Measurement Will Account for Brand and Demand

Aside from not fully knowing how mobile ad campaigns impact customers and shape purchasing lifecycles, the report points to several additional key areas being impacted. When ranked, top issues included lower customer satisfaction retention (83% collectively), lost opportunity for upsell (34%) and wasted advertising spend (33%).

In addition, branding objectives for mobile ad spend are catching up. Thirty-eight percent report they are unable to demonstrate the value of mobile as a branding channel as a result of this measurement gap. In fact, respondents reported that brand-building spend on mobile is about 90 percent of their direct response (DR) spend.

As a result, marketers are lacking a comprehensive view of how they’re using mobile metrics and exactly how attention fits into the grand scheme of their strategies. Without granularity into which metrics they’re tracking and how they’re being applied, they’ll have a tough time understanding how and why their consumers are making key decisions to engage with certain advertisements and why others aren’t performing. This is a big disadvantage in not only growing the business but staying abreast of the industry and competitors.

Customer Attention Metrics are the Future

A growing trend highlighted in the report is that marketers believe attention metrics could help fill the void and boost the efficiency and efficacy of mobile media at large.

Nearly 80 percent of marketers are very or extremely interested in the insights customer attention can deliver, and 63 percent plan to invest in customer attention metrics for their brands. The large value-adds identified span improved retargeting efforts, enhanced click-through-rates, a better understanding of brand lift, more efficient ways to test creative, and, most important, a successful way to demonstrate brand media value.

Based on these business benefits, more than half of marketers would up their investments towards consumer attention metrics. Sixty-three percent of respondents indicate they would slightly (45%) or significantly (18%) increase investment in customer attention measurement.

Mobile is only going to dominate more of brands’ ad budgets and success will require modernization of tactics beyond typical run-of-the-mill vanity metrics such as clicks, likes, and shares. Aside from adding more meaning behind their KPIs, having a deep and profound respect for where consumers are spending their time can pave the way for a new advertising agenda — one where audience data allows brands to deliver quality attention mapped to healthier, more productive ways of engaging consumers.

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/02/can-attention-metrics-improve-mobile-advertising/

Announcing Our Initial #SMWLA 2020 Agenda!

We’re excited to share with you our initial agenda for our 11th annual edition of Social Media Week Los Angeles taking place this June 17-18!

Below you’ll find a teaser as to what we’ve organized around our 2020 theme HUMAN.X, including featured sessions hosted by PepsiCo, Comedy Central, Amazon, Fox Entertainment, HBO, Postmates, Nestlé, and many more.

We’ll be confirming additional sessions in the coming weeks, so stay tuned, but to help kick-start your planning now, here are a few highlights:

Using Influencers to Drive Brand Purpose

Leveraging Influencer Marketing to Build Brand Culture

Brands are set to spend a staggering $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. In this session, explore how Influencers can be used as a tool to create more engaging content and humanize your brand with PostmatesBen Trinh.

Start with Why: The Secret Unlock to Digital Innovation

Marketers are constantly inundated with choices around tapping into emerging technologies and using influencers for the sake of innovation. Understand the “why” behind using these trends and the importance of not falling victim to chasing the next shiny object with Nestle’s Head of Digital Innovation Orchid Bertelsen.

Under the Influencer with Comedy Central: Supercharging Social Engagement with Extended Creative Partnerships

In just a year, Comedy Central’s ‘Under the Influencer’ program has amassed 4.7 million total views and 29 million YouTube watch minutes. Hear from EP and Creative Director for Comedy Central Digital Studios, Mitch Lewis along with a panel of several comedians, actresses, and writers as they discuss the power of original content in rising above the noise.

Why Influencers Are Key to Bringing the Human Voice Back to Marketing?

It is easy to fall into the trap of chasing vanity metrics, but as an industry, it’s becoming more apparent that challenging the norm will be key to success. Tulani Elisa, VP of Social Media at FOX Entertainment, Jim Lin, Partner, SVP Digital Strategy and Creative Director at Ketchum and Lisa Perez, Head of Social Media and Influencer Marketing at Savage X Fenty will equip you with the insights you’ll need to develop human-first campaigns.

Embracing the Untapped Power of Social Listening

HBO Max: Bringing Viewers Closer to the Entertainment They Love

Subscribers are constantly changing how they choose their TV bundles leaving marketers wondering which techniques should be emulated for keeping them loyal? Peter Sherman, Vice President of HBO Max Programming at WarnerMedia and Linda Ong, Chief Culture Officer at Civic Entertainment Group will discuss this theme exploring how consumer behavior trends are changing and presenting major advertisement implications in the entertainment field.

The (Untapped) Power of Social Media

COMMUNITYx Founder & CEO, Chloë Cheyenne, MSNBC Host of AM Joy, Joy-Ann Reid, and COMMUNITYx Board of Activists Co-Chair, Brea Baker, will join Black Enterprise’s Selena Hill for a conversation on ways social media is a tool for fueling community engagement and their projections for how these efforts will continue in the years ahead.

From Streaming Wars to Content Ideation: How Social Listening Empowers the Entertainment Industry

How is social media impacting the use of platforms and the influence of analytics within today’s entertainment industry? Learn how to measure performance on a global scale, ways to make use of your powerful audience insights, and more alongside David Sager, Senior Manager Social Analytics at Fox Corporation and Talkwalker’s Nate Bonsignore.

Shifting the Focus From Attention to Connection

Today marketers have extensive access to data, but are they losing sight of the human behind the impression? Open Influence CEO, Eric Dahan, will address this pointing to success stories of brands leveraging social insights to improve their storytelling and forge deeper relationships.

Building a Sustainable Brand

Transcending the Human Digital Experience: A Brand and Agency Introspective

From content to paid media advertising to influencer outreach, where should marketers turn to find the right balance to ensure their efforts are sustainable? Kristin Patrick, CMO at PepsiCo and Norel Mancuso, CEO at Social House Inc. will address this question through the agency and brand lenses.

Making Mission Your Message

Having a strong mission is integral in ensuring sustainability across your marketing efforts. Sabena Gupta, Brand Marketing Lead for Alexa at Amazon, will use her cross-channel campaign expertise to share how you can shape your creative strategies that guarantee long-term growth.

Instagram Shopping: The Digital Window Display

How can community and creativity be integrated for a deeper understanding of your audience? Creative Strategist at Instagram and Global Creative Lead for Instagram Shopping, Rishi Magia, offers insights inspired from leading e-comm and retailers.

#IRL: Communities to Create Meaningful Connection

Notions of privacy and personal experiences in the digital space are facing fundamental shifts. What does this mean for marketers and how they shape their strategies around content and community-building especially when it comes to younger demographics? Havas Media’s Jess Richards will offer her perspective.

Browse the current agenda and secure your pass today to take advantage of the 30% discount before it expires.

WATCH THE SMWLA 2019 RECAP

The post Announcing Our Initial #SMWLA 2020 Agenda! appeared first on Social Media Week.

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