Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong

In the rush to spend all of your marketing budget on Instagram Stories, or hole up in your office and figure out how to crack Facebook’s algorithm, you may be overlooking a major social media network that is still adding millions of active monthly users: Pinterest.

In September 2015, Pinterest had 100 million monthly active users. In September 2017, it had 200 million. Last week, it announced that it reached 250 million.

That’s an incredibly steady pace for a platform that many have forgotten about after an initial surge of excitement.

While growth still lags behind Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest is well ahead of other platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, and appears to be pivoting towards the lucrative world of e-commerce while FB/IG do the same.

In fact, Pinterest is exploring a lot of the same niches as Facebook, including forays into augmented reality for its Lens tool.

Pinterest’s growth is no accident

Pinterest has seen lots of action over the last few years, with billions of new pins added by its growing user base.

But the company’s growth is not luck: The company has been hiring away top engineers and planners from Google, and has some innovative new tools for users to try out in the worlds of fashion, decor, and DIY projects.

It’s possible that Pinterest will fall victim to its larger competitors and see its “Lens Your Look” tool copied (in fact, Google also has a tool called “Lens”), much in the way Snapchat did, and see growth slow. But for now the company appears to have a plan in place to use AI and other new technologies to boost the platform’s value.

What can Pinterest do for me?

It’s easy to focus on social media platforms like Instagram for your marketing spend. Instagram is the hottest thing in social, and their Stories are earning rave reviews.

But we’ve recently seen the value in using smaller social media platforms tactically.

Take Apple. The tech giant doesn’t even use Twitter (their @Apple feed is completely empty) but they smartly targeted Twitter in the days and moments leading up (and during) their recent #AppleEvent, pouring money into sponsored tweets and custom builds and even a “hashflag” because they knew that’s where the conversation would start.

If you’re able to target a smaller demographic which is ready to buy, you need to jump on that opportunity. That’s the value in keeping your eye on platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, or, in this case, Pinterest.

So for now, do your due diligence when shopping around for the best platforms to place ads, and keep in mind that it’s not all about the behemoths. The smaller, more niche sites still have plenty of value to offer.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/dont-forget-about-pinterest-which-is-still-growing-strong/

Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong

In the rush to spend all of your marketing budget on Instagram Stories, or hole up in your office and figure out how to crack Facebook’s algorithm, you may be overlooking a major social media network that is still adding millions of active monthly users: Pinterest.

In September 2015, Pinterest had 100 million monthly active users. In September 2017, it had 200 million. Last week, it announced that it reached 250 million.

That’s an incredibly steady pace for a platform that many have forgotten about after an initial surge of excitement.

While growth still lags behind Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest is well ahead of other platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, and appears to be pivoting towards the lucrative world of e-commerce while FB/IG do the same.

In fact, Pinterest is exploring a lot of the same niches as Facebook, including forays into augmented reality for its Lens tool.

Pinterest’s growth is no accident

Pinterest has seen lots of action over the last few years, with billions of new pins added by its growing user base.

But the company’s growth is not luck: The company has been hiring away top engineers and planners from Google, and has some innovative new tools for users to try out in the worlds of fashion, decor, and DIY projects.

It’s possible that Pinterest will fall victim to its larger competitors and see its “Lens Your Look” tool copied (in fact, Google also has a tool called “Lens”), much in the way Snapchat did, and see growth slow. But for now the company appears to have a plan in place to use AI and other new technologies to boost the platform’s value.

What can Pinterest do for me?

It’s easy to focus on social media platforms like Instagram for your marketing spend. Instagram is the hottest thing in social, and their Stories are earning rave reviews.

But we’ve recently seen the value in using smaller social media platforms tactically.

Take Apple. The tech giant doesn’t even use Twitter (their @Apple feed is completely empty) but they smartly targeted Twitter in the days and moments leading up (and during) their recent #AppleEvent, pouring money into sponsored tweets and custom builds and even a “hashflag” because they knew that’s where the conversation would start.

If you’re able to target a smaller demographic which is ready to buy, you need to jump on that opportunity. That’s the value in keeping your eye on platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, or, in this case, Pinterest.

So for now, do your due diligence when shopping around for the best platforms to place ads, and keep in mind that it’s not all about the behemoths. The smaller, more niche sites still have plenty of value to offer.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/dont-forget-about-pinterest-which-is-still-growing-strong/

Why Instagram Is Focused On Shopping In Stories

Instagram’s “Stories” feature has come a long way from being a Snapchat copycat. It’s now the focus of the platform’s push into the world of shopping and e-commerce

Stories—the temporary photos or videos that users post separately from their permanent feed—have been popular with advertisers since it launched in 2016, and brands are finding traction in the format as wel.

To capitalize on that interest, IG is expanding its shopping capabilities specifically within Stories. A trial feature that allows advertisers to tag posts with links that direct people directly to their e-commerce arms is being expanded to businesses in 46 countries, according to The Drum.

Stories on IG was originally seen as an add-on feature, incorporated to nullify the advantage that upstart Snapchat had over the platform. People ate up Snapchat’s Story function, and now you can find a near exact replica on Facebook and Instagram.

How did this afterthought become the focal point for IG’s Shopping experience, ahead of the company starting a standalone Shopping app? There are a few reasons:

Stories is the rising star of social media

Instagram, in general, is the most-loved social media app out there. The open secret about the platform is that Stories has become the star of the show: Stories “has attracted more than 400 million daily users” according to Recode.

Brands love it for its “BTS” feel

Just like people love Stories for the low-pressure, low-stakes vibe—you can post shaky, blurry, weird, funny (or not funny), and/or experimental photos, and if they don’t land, they’ll be gone in a day—brands love it as a medium for posting genuine, authentic, often “behind-the-scenes” style content that resonates with users.

Brands like Asos have already raved about how Stories has helped supercharge their marketing campaign. Expect companies to continue to explore how they can turn viewers into shoppers with these new capabilities.

They’re a great place to convene with influencers

Influencer marketing is exploding right now, and brands are finding that creating partnerships with influencers that are exclusive to Stories is a win-win for all parties.

For the brands, users aren’t as likely to skip past the influencer’s sponsored content when it’s posted in Stories as opposed to the feed. For the influencers, they can relegate their #ads to Stories, cycling quickly through campaigns that don’t work for them and re-upping on those that do.

It’s clear that Facebook and Instagram are ready to take on the world of e-commerce in a big way. And with hundreds of millions of daily users ready to find tags that link out to brands’ e-commerce sites, they have a huge advantage over other platforms in the space.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Why Instagram Is Focused On Shopping In Stories appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/why-instagram-is-focused-on-shopping-in-stories/

How Apple Dominated Twitter Without Tweeting

This past week, Apple has conducted a master class in how to take over Twitter—and they did it without a single organic tweet.

If you visit @Apple on Twitter, you’ll notice that despite over 2.2 million followers, the company has not tweeted even once.

And yet during the #AppleEvent, when the company unveiled their new line of products, including the iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4, not only were people’s timelines packed with updates from journalists and thought leaders dishing and delving into the devices, but the company spent what some call “a significant amount” on ads.

Why would a company that doesn’t deign to tweet from its own account spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid posts?

Well, they’re trillion-dollar Apple—they can do whatever they want. But there’s more to it than that.

Here’s how Apple dominated Twitter for the #AppleEvent

Digiday had a rundown of the prices Apple likely paid for all their advertising on Sept. 12, including:

  • A promoted trend: $200,000/day
  • A custom “like for reminder” build: $250,000 for several days
  • Promoted tweets in 12+ languages (ranging from $0.50 to $8)
  • A “hashflag” (custom Twitter emoji) and a livestream of the event (likely free)

And indeed, no matter where you went on Twitter on Sept. 12, you couldn’t avoid the #AppleEvent hashtag and hashflag. The feed was flooded with tweets about what Apple was unveiling, which was the product of both Apple’s paid efforts and tweets from writers and journalists (more on that in a second).

Apple wasn’t running any ads on Facebook. Why is that? Isn’t Facebook the biggest social media platform, with the most reach? How could Apple avoid it on Apple Event day?

Twitter is where conversations start

Perhaps the biggest draw of Twitter is that it’s built to get conversations started. Journalists, early adopters, and other people who make a living covering and have a passion for Apple products know that Twitter is better for breaking news than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other major platform.

Apple recognizes this. By meeting users on Twitter—supplying them with a livestream (that’s where this writer watched the event), creating a rare “like for reminder” tweet that helped users remember when the event would take place, and tweeting in languages used all around the world—Apple was actively encouraging and helping those users to have more informed and productive conversations about their products.

For whatever reason, tweeting doesn’t fit Apple’s brand. Tweets from other people do, however. So by pouring money into the platform at the right moment, Apple found a way to boost those tweets, to make them more visible and engaging. Again, that’s without sending a single tweet from their own account.

While Apple has plenty of money, they’re not in the business of wasting it. This was a showcase in how to pick your spots on social media and use each platform—even platforms you don’t engage in yourself—to maximize value.

Images via Apple

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post How Apple Dominated Twitter Without Tweeting appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/how-apple-dominated-twitter-without-tweeting/

How To Cultivate Your Brand-Influencer Relationships

Back in June, Lia Haberman, Senior Director of Social Media and Audience Growth at LIVESTRONG.COM, took the stage at SMWLA to explain how her company develops on-going relationships and creates lasting partnerships with influencers.

In this clip, Lia urges brands to consider their influencer’s goals in order to invest in a healthy partnership with them.

Read the full recap and sign up for SMW Insider to watch the full session.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post How To Cultivate Your Brand-Influencer Relationships appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/how-to-cultivate-your-brand-influencer-relationships/

Interview: NatGeo’s VP of Digital, Adam Quinn on Which Platforms to Invest In

During Social Media Week Los Angeles, National Geographic’s Vice President of Digital, Adam Quinn, discussed how the company leverages the tools of digital media to continue to take its 130-year-old brand into the future as the most followed brand on social during their session, “Thumb-Stopping Social Storytelling.”

We sat down with Adam for more insights into what makes NatGeo the #1 brand on social and which platforms brands should be taking advantage of.

Check out the full interview above and a list of what was discussed below.

  • The biggest challenge facing our industry.
  • Which platforms to invest in.
  • What advice does he have for how to create content on a budget.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Interview: NatGeo’s VP of Digital, Adam Quinn on Which Platforms to Invest In appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/interview-natgeos-vp-of-digital-adam-quinn-on-which-platforms-to-invest-in/

Facebook and LinkedIn Join the SMWLDN Lineup

Social Media Week London 2018 is fast approaching, and we’re continuing to bolster the lineup with incredible speakers and panelists to discuss new ideas, trends, and innovations in social media, publishing, and marketing.

SAVE UP TO £100 BEFORE PRICES INCREASE!

This week alone we’re announcing two new events, hosted by two of the biggest platforms in the industry: Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • On Thursday, November 15 at 12 p.m., Dan Robinson, Group Director at Facebook will host a talk called “Easy Come, Easy Go: The Disruption of Loyalty.” Robinson, who has been with Facebook for the last 6+ years, is uniquely suited to discuss how the future of loyalty between consumers, brands, and platforms is contingent upon meaningful interactions between all parties.
  • On Friday, November 16 at 12 p.m., Jason Miller, the Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn will delve into marketing across the entire funnel with “How LinkedIn Uses LinkedIn For Marketing.” Miller has years of firsthand knowledge on how to reach and engage customers with native advertising, paid and organic content, and creative, practical use of video—and he promises to share best practices with attendees.

These are just two of the featured speakers we’ll have at #SMWLDN this year, representing BBC Radio, Dataminr, Reddit, and many more. Check out the full list of speakers.

In its ninth year, Social Media Week London will run from November 14-16, 2018 at the QEII Centre. Have you gotten your passes yet?

Get your tickets now and save over £100 on the Premium or Standard Passes over the walkup price!

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Facebook and LinkedIn Join the SMWLDN Lineup appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/facebook-and-linkedin-join-the-smwldn-lineup/

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Fake Followers

Big follower numbers on social media look impressive. To achieve that goal, many people turn to fake followers, which are imprecisely referred to as bots.

If you’re growing frustrated with a client who only cares about followers and likes, you may be tempted to pay for fake followers. After all, even if you actively fight against bots and report them, there’s no way to remove every fake account that follows you. Why not take advantage of this inherent flaw for your advantage?

Actively courting fake followers may give you a hollow short-term gain, but it’s one that means nothing to those who know not to rely on an easily manipulated metric.

Theoretically, having tons of followers means that people are interested in your brand and having a massive following will make your following grow event bigger by giving your page more exposure.

In reality, that may have been the case at one point, but it hasn’t been the case for a long time. It’s been said a million times, but it’s worth repeating: organic reach is almost non-existent, especially for those who don’t already follow your brand. Additionally, the fact that followers can be bought isn’t a secret.

Consumers are getting savvier. While it may make sense for Wendy’s to have over 2.7 million Twitter followers and over 8.5 million likes on Facebook, it would be suspicious for a small mom-and-pop restaurant to get anywhere near those numbers under almost all circumstances.

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t invest in fake followers.

1. Your followers are a reflection on your content quality.

Many social media users will go through your followers to see who you attract and make sure your account is legitimate. If you aren’t one to follow many accounts, this may be the starting point for your followers find other businesses and people who provide similar or complementary content to what you provide.

Those who are interested in your brand and go through your followers will become suspicious if you have too many accounts that look sketchy or are obviously bots set up for the sole purpose of sharing other people’s content.

While you may gamble on the fact that not many people care about your followers, word gets around on the internet and you will be watched.

2. Buying fake followers will get you banned.

Is temporary success worth the risk of permanent expulsion from your chosen social media platforms?

Purchasing fake followers is the digital media equivalent of an athlete taking steroids. You may get caught in hindsight, but when your shady practices catch up with you there will be significant blowback.

As of May 2018, Facebook had closed 583 million fake profiles. In July 2018, The Washington Post reported Twitter had suspended 70 million suspected fakes. It’s only a matter of time before the social media platforms more aggressively pursue those who have an unusually large number of fake followers.

Citing the fact that this practice is widespread or that “everyone else is doing it” will only make things worse. It didn’t work with your mother, it doesn’t work when someone breaks the law, and it won’t win you any fans.

3. Followers/Likes matter less than they used to.

We all love the validation that seeing a new follower gives, but the harsh reality is that a simple follow means nothing. Engagement is what we need to focus on. It’s more important to have 100 engaged followers than 500,000 that you purchased from a click farm.

4. It dilutes the accuracy of your analytics.

If you bought a million followers, but only 1,000 are legitimate and respond to your posts, you have an engagement rate of 0.1 percent. That’s significantly less impressive and shows the pointlessness in bragging about following size.

In contrast, a company that has 1,000 followers and has 200 engaged users has an engagement rate of 20 percent. While these numbers would be extremely low for an international or national brand, they are actually pretty good numbers for a local business.

5. It’s a waste of money.

You’re better of spending potential bot money elsewhere. Sure, there are websites that lure you with promises of thousands of followers for a small fee. However, are you willing to use a perfectly good 20 dollars for an imaginary temporary victory?

There’s no good reason to buy fake followers. You may get a dopamine rush from your increasing follower count, but fake followers are nothing more than buying an award to show off because you didn’t want to take the time or effort to earn it yourself. It may take a while for people to catch on, but once they find out you will lose all credibility and end up digging yourself out of a hole of your own making.

 

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Fake Followers appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/5-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-buy-fake-followers/

NEW PODCAST: Account-Based Marketing at Scale with Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer of 4C

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer of 4C.

4C is a data science and media technology company that improves marketing effectiveness and efficiency for brands, agencies, media companies like eBay, NBC and Sony Pictures.

Aaron is another one of our seasoned Social Media Week speakers and will be taking the stage again at our London conference this coming November.

Back in April, at our New York conference, Aaron gave a talk and shared with our attendees how data can sometimes reveal surprising and counterintuitive insights and walked the audience through a number of ways to leverage these insights to better engage with their target audiences.

If you’re interested in learning more, Aaron’s talk is available to stream via smwinsider.com.

Featured in this episode, Aaron discussed:

  • How 4C is connecting TV data to the digital ad buying experience
  • The potential symbiotic relationship between brands, social, and analytics companies
  • How they approach B2B marketing, including their approach to account-based marketing.

Listen and subscribe via the following platforms: Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, and Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post NEW PODCAST: Account-Based Marketing at Scale with Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer of 4C appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/new-podcast-account-based-marketing-at-scale-with-aaron-goldman-chief-marketing-officer-of-4c/

Apple Announces iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, Apple Watch 4 at 2018 Event

Today was Apple’s annual keynote event, where they unveil new devices and discuss updates to their existing hardware, like the iPhone XS/iPhone XS Max, the cheaper but still stunning iPhone XR, and the Apple Watch 4.

In Cupertino, California on the Apple Park campus, CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives took the stage around 10 a.m. PST.

Let’s run through all the news that Apple shared with viewers at the Steve Jobs Theater and around the world, which is already blowing up social media.

Apple Watch 4

Apple started by showcasing the new Apple Watch 4, introducing the Apple Watch as the number one watch (not just smartwatch) in the world.

AW4 is a big redesign for the watch, with a screen that now goes nearly edge to edge, creating a display that is 30 percent bigger than previous iterations while slimmer overall.

  • A new dual-core 64-bit processor that performs “two times better” than previous models.
  • A new build-in EKG scanner
  • An updated accelerometer and gyroscope, which can help detect falls and trigger an emergency call if you’re down for more than a minute.
  • You can take an electrocardiogram with your AW4, the first over-the-counter EKG product offered directly to consumers, complete with FDA approval.

There are lots of new faces and bands and finishes that you can select to go with your watch as well, so it’s a highly aesthetic update to go along with its internal improvements.

You can preorder the watch this Friday, and it will ship on Sept. 21, 2018. The GPS version will run $399, the LTE version $499.

Apple immediately dropped a new spot for the AW4, titled “Hokey Pokey.” Check it out.

The new iPhones: iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

The XS and XS Max are similar in many ways to the iPhone X, which makes sense, since the -S series of iPhones are usually mainly spec and aesthetic upgrades.

The XS has a display with a dynamic range, improved Face ID capabilities, better water resistance (whew!) and a reportedly monstrous A12 Bionic processor.

That processor has a six-core CPU, four-core GPU, and an updated Neural Engine for handling AI tasks, handling a crazy 5 trillion operations per second.

The XS Max is going to steal headlines, however, because it’s a huge phone, one of the biggest on the market. With a 6.5-inch screen, it’s bigger than the 8 Plus as well as the Galaxy Note 9 by .1 inches.

Both phones will have improved battery life, with the XS going 30 minutes longer than the X, and the XS Max going a whopping 90 minutes longer.

iPhone XR

This the phone that will essentially replace the iPhone X, which will be discontinued now that three new iPhones are hitting the market. The XR, at $749 (compared to $999 for the XS), boasts a 6.1-inch LCD display and many of the same specs of the XS, minus the 3D Touch.

The XR comes in a variety of colors—six to be exact—and will drop in October.

Other updates

Apple also notified the crowd that their HomePod, retailing at $349, will have some new updates, including the ability to search song lyrics and set multiple timers at once.

Also, software updates: tvOS 12 with Dolby Atmos, watchOS 5, and iOS 12 will arrive on September 17th, and macOS Mojave arrives on September 24th.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Apple Announces iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, Apple Watch 4 at 2018 Event appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/apple-announces-iphone-xs-xs-max-xr-apple-watch-4-at-2018-event/