Category: Marketing Services Cardiff

Meet 6 of SMWNYC’s Most Exciting Storytellers

The new year may have just begun, but we’re already gearing up for spring- and for this year’s Social Media Week New York! Coming to Sheraton New York Times Square April 30-May 2, it features dozens of speakers dedicated to helping you make the most of your “STORIES,” the worldwide theme of Social Media Week for 2019.

Among our many speakers are industry leaders, innovative thinkers, authors, executives, and all-around exceptional storytellers. Today, we highlight four members of our lineup you should already be looking forward to seeing in New York.

Radha Agarwal

Named MTV’s “one of 8 women who will change the world,” Radha Agrawal is the Co-Founder of THINX, a feminine hygiene company behind “period-proof underwear,” and the CEO and Co-Founder of Daybreaker, an early morning dance movement that currently holds events in 25 cities. She talks about how she created a meaningful community in her new book, BELONG…and will bring those same lessons and insight to her talk at Social Media Week New York.

Lola Banjo

As a Strategic Innovative Executive at Salesforce, Lola Banjo is part of a small team of leaders, strategists, design thinkers and innovators who help unlock value by ideating creative solutions to business and everyday challenges through a blend of strategy, vision, engineering, storytelling, and business case development. She welcomes each day as a new chance to make an impact and an opportunity to continuously grow as a global business leader.

Lola’s session “Why Vulnerability Transcends Fear and How to Find Your Authentic Voice” will lead the conversation about how we balance the human need to be accepted with being our true selves and telling our authentic stories—and, on the contrary, when keeping it too real could begin to backfire.

Jason Hsiao

Jason Hsiao is the Chief Video Officer & Co-Founder of Animoto, an award-winning online video maker that makes it easy for anyone to create a professional-quality video. Used by millions of consumers, businesses, photographers, and educators, Animoto is deeply rooted in the belief that video is the most effective way to communicate what’s important. Prior to Animoto, Jason served as a television producer for MTV and Comedy Central.

Join Jason for “Successful Video Marketing: Inspiration, Trends & Best Practices for Storytelling on Social” to learn actionable tips and best practices that draw viewers in on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube that brands and influencers swear by.

Rani Mani

Rani Mani is the Head of Global Social Influencer Enablement & Employee Advocacy at Adobe. She’s passionate about cultivating and nurturing communities and coaching others to do the same. Rani is currently working across Adobe teams to infuse influencer relations into their strategic plans in order to elevate the voice of the community. Nicknamed The Velvet Hammer, Rani’s mantra is to make the impossible seem possible through her humor, grace, and passion.

Rani will be bringing that humor, grace, and passion to the stage in “How to Drive Business by Cultivating Influencer Relationships,” aiming to fill your professional toolkit with practical solutions designed to supercharge your influencer relations strategies.

Spectacular Smith

Adwizar CEO Spectacular Blue Smith, known by his stage name Spectacular is an American entertainer, entrepreneur, and author. He is the founder of the record label Mula Music Group and the founder and CEO of Adwizar Inc.

In his onstage interview “From Rapper to Entrepreneur: How Spectacular Smith Helps Turn Followers Into Revenue,” you will learn how after 9 years of building social media accounts for over 100 celebrity clients, Spectacular has created proven methods and strategies to build a loyal massive audience on social media. Spectacular will go over the strategies he tested with his celebrity clients until he found a system for gaining and monetizing followers that anyone can use.

Shiv Singh

Shiv Singh advises Fortune 500 companies and startups on strategy, marketing and how to succeed in the digital era as the Founder of Savvy Matters. Prior to starting his consultancy, Shiv was a senior executive driving marketing, innovation and digital strategies at Visa Inc. and PepsiCo. In 2016, Shiv was inducted into the American Advertising Hall of Achievement has also been recognized by Adweek as a Top 50 marketer.

Drawing upon principles from psychology, real-world business experiences and headlines from 2018, Singh’s session “Taking Responsibility for Fake News: How We Accept and Perpetuate It” will explore the human glitches that explain how we accept fake news, perpetuate it and what we can do differently in the future.

There’s still time to register to see these speakers, and many, many more, at 20% off the walkup price. But this discount is only valid until Friday, January 18th- so act fast to join us at the best price!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post Meet 6 of SMWNYC’s Most Exciting Storytellers appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/meet-6-of-smwnycs-most-exciting-storytellers/

3 Ways to Bring Out the Best Stories on Your Brand’s Podcast

The 2019 global theme for Social Media Week is “STORIES,” and we’d be remiss if we neglected the role that podcasting is playing in telling our most interesting, necessary, and entertaining stories.

But a microphone, an Internet connection, and a host or set of hosts does not a good story make. It takes considerable thought, intention, and planning to ensure that your recording isn’t done in vain—or worse, that your listener’s time and energy isn’t spent in vain. After all, as we aim to elevate the role of stories, we believe that “with great influence, comes great responsibility.” How can you ensure that your time and energy produce the most engaging and entertaining stories possible?

Begin With the End in Mind

This tip admittedly belongs to Stephen Covey, but it’s an essential one for any content that you want to tell a story. As you consider a show topic or interview subject, think first: what do you want people to know about this thing (or person) by the time they finish listening? Our brains follow stories easily because they embrace narrative structure, present information in a digestible and easy-to-follow fashion, and answer the questions they pose.

As you conceive of a podcast episode, or of a podcast season (if you plan to connect episodes or tell a long-form story), these tenets have to stay front of mind. They will affect the questions you pose and ideas you share, they’ll affect how episodes and seasons are edited, and they’ll affect how you and your brand or organization are perceived as a result. Television showrunners will develop a “bible” to define the parameters of the world they’re creating; podcast creators and producers can do the same to help structure the stories they’re about to tell.

Think Like a Rookie

Anyone in a position of authority with information – an author, a keynote speaker, a podcast host – is in a position to teach someone, something. As such, it can be helpful to look at your task ahead through the mind of someone with less experience.

What would a “rookie” want or need to know from what you’re about to tackle? If you’re interviewing a luminary in a field or industry, what could they have to offer someone aspiring to their heights? What would you have wanted or needed to know when starting out, and how can the stories you tell address those gaps?

Don’t feel burdened to have all the answers, however. References to books, TED talks, or even other podcasts are fair game and can send curious listeners off on tangents that can fortify the information you do share. Feel free to refer to sources often, citing them in show notes for those not in the position to catch them at first listen.

Think of it as curating a syllabus for your listener; even as you aim to tell a complete story, consider sharing recommendations for new stories to embark on as they absorb yours.

Be Interested to Be Interesting

As a frequent interviewer myself, I always feel an inner twinge of glee when a query is met with the phrase, “that’s a good question.” Believe it or not, asking good questions doesn’t always come naturally—I’ve been to enough panels and book readings to confirm that notion, trust me.

The best questions come from a place of deep curiosity. Being truly curious about the topic at hand, whether you’re approaching it with an interview subject or not, makes for good listening. While you should honor what your audience wants to know on a topic, the excitement will shine through when you also honor what you want to know about it. Finding out what questions have already been answered, and framing your queries to supplement or further explore those details, is far more interesting than having a compulsory set of questions—or worse, posing questions with Googleable answers.

If you do employ a structure where the same questions or segments are employed, be mindful of getting too robotic as you engage in them. Provide yourself time and space to explore the topic or interview subject as fully as possible. Remember, you’re not a substitute teacher with an agenda to get through, you’re a facilitator of learning: able to provide some insight, but ultimately preparing listeners to learn and grow on their own. And we often don’t remember the subs who came to the classroom and held us to routine, but we do remember the educators who sparked the interests that sent us on new learning journeys.

Want to hear how we do it? Social Media Week’s Lead2Scale podcast aims to provide you with practical insights and emerging trends in social media, through interviews with authorities and trailblazers in the field. Give it a listen wherever you find your podcasts! Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post 3 Ways to Bring Out the Best Stories on Your Brand’s Podcast appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/3-ways-to-bring-out-the-best-stories-on-your-brands-podcast/

Facebook’s Latest Stories Experiment Could Bring More People Together IRL

They’ve developed Stories archives. They’ve created music stickers to make content more engaging. They’ve deployed Stories to Groups worldwide. And as Facebook aims to make Stories a more natural part of the platform’s experience, their latest experiment could make the feature truly useful: integration with Events.

The latest feature, currently in test mode for users in the US, Brazil, and Mexico, aims “to share the events you’re interested in and coordinate to meet up with friends IRL,” according to the company. Available for iOS and Android users, it allows you to share an event in your Stories – and for friends to indicate if they’re “Interested” or “Going” right from the story. These integrated stories “will come with tappable stickers for revealing event details,” will offer a link to the event page, and allow you to open a Messenger conversation with users who respond, according to The Verge.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called stories “the future of sharing,” and has demonstrated a confidence in the method by implementing it across the company’s brands- including, most recently, WhatsApp. Despite reported usage numbers of 300 million between the main Facebook app and Messenger, though, Facebook Stories simply haven’t gained the traction of their counterpart feature on Instagram. As an emerging location for ad revenue, this could be a problem if utilization doesn’t meaningfully increase. However, a connection to Events marks the most useful development for Facebook Stories, and could, therefore, make a difference in driving people to really use it (and not just duplicate their Instagram Stories there).

For all the airtime given to reports of mass exodus from the platform, Facebook as a whole is still a powerful place to organize people, share news of upcoming events, and gauge their participation. Focusing the development of new features around that fact creates a concrete means to “bring people together,” a purpose the company has continued to tout amidst scandals around privacy, bias, and covert data sharing. In emphasizing features that connect people outside/off the app, it affirms that stated goal while drawing people to a seemingly underutilized feature of the platform.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Facebook’s Latest Stories Experiment Could Bring More People Together IRL appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/facebooks-latest-stories-experiment-could-bring-more-people-together-irl/

YouTube Upends Its Mobile Experience with Swiping Navigation

YouTube is swiping right on…well, swiping.

This week, users who update the app will notice new functionality to navigate through watched and recommended videos: swiping. “Previously, YouTube viewers had to active tap to move between videos, both on the site and on the app,” Popular Science noted; but “now, app users can swipe left to see the video they were just watching, and swipe to move to the next recommendation in the queue.”

Ease of use was certainly a motivator in this fundamental shift in the app’s navigation, and the decision to swipe was likely an easy one to make. Given how the motion is familiar to users of dating sites like Tinder and Bumble, as well as with “stories” enabled platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, YouTube seems like a logical additional place to employ the motion.

Incorporating swiping navigation, as well as the relatively new “double tap” to skip forward or back on a video, represents a necessarily more sophisticated understanding of mobile interfaces. 70% of YouTube viewing takes place on mobile now, TechCrunch reports, and the company is responding in kind with a number of improvements to their mobile interface.

Swiping and double tapping join functions like screen time controls, dark mode, in-app video sharing and messaging, all designed to give users more agency over how they experience YouTube on their mobile devices.

But it’s possible the move was one designed to provide a little less agency as well: in addition to exposing viewers to videos, creators, and stories they may not have otherwise found, “YouTube is most likely hoping that it could lead to longer hours spent on the platform, since it feels more natural swiping on a touchscreen display than having to scroll down and tap on the next video to play,” Engadget speculates.

iOS users can expect to see the feature rolled out this week; Android testing has been taking place for the feature since August, but there’s no word on when the feature will deploy for those users.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post YouTube Upends Its Mobile Experience with Swiping Navigation appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/youtube-upends-its-mobile-experience-with-swiping-navigation/

Introducing the 2019 SMWNYC Preliminary Agenda: Start Planning Your Time in Times Square

Our preliminary agenda for Social Media Week New York 2019 (April 30-May 2) is live, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with you!

Featuring insight from professionals with Salesforce, Postmates, Refinery29, Adobe, and many more, consider this your first look at curated lineup of speakers and sessions dedicated to unlocking the power of “STORIES”, our 2019 global theme.

Secure Your Pass Today and Save Up to $500!

In addition to our previously announced featured speakers, here’s a preview of our spring event in New York City:

View the full agenda and latest speakers here.

AI and Social Media: How We are No Longer In Control

Artificial Intelligence is bridging the gap between science and execution and there are more ways than ever to integrate AI into marketing and social media campaigns. But what happens when we are no longer in control? Whether you like it or not, AI is coming for your job.

During this session, Steven Bartlett, CEO of Social Chain Group, will discuss how you can avoid this threat and maneuver its power to your advantage.

Bookmark this session now >>

Why We Don’t Care About Facebook, and Never Did

Dotdash was recently named Digiday’s Publisher of the Year and just surpassed $100M in revenue, but, and wait for it, doesn’t really care that much about the traffic it generates from social media.

Heresy!?! Not according to their CEO Neil Vogel. In his view, Facebook doesn’t care about publishers, so the smart strategy if you want to thrive as a digital publisher, is to not care about Facebook. In this fireside conversation, Neil will share how he and his team have been able to scale its digital publishing business in an era where being “social first” is considered the only path to success.

Bookmark this session now >>

How to Drive Business by Cultivating Influencer Relationships

Social media influencers can significantly affect your organization’s reach and reputation. In fact, Forrester Research reports that just 13% of U.S. adults account for 80% of influential content online. In this talk, Rani Mani, Head of Global Social Influencer Enablement, will illuminate how Adobe built and sustained ongoing influencer programs that help organizations succeed—and how you can, too.

Bookmark this session now >>

Successful Video Marketing: Inspiration, Trends & Best Practices for Storytelling on Social

When it comes to social media, successful storytelling is visual storytelling. And, video is the most compelling way to tell a striking, visual story. So, how do you create share-worthy social videos that tell a story, while connecting your audience in a genuine way? Hint: You already have everything you need. Figuring out where to start can be a challenge. Join Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer and Co-founder of Animoto, to learn actionable tips and best practices that draw viewers in on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube that brands and influencers swear by.

Bookmark this session now >>

Keeping up with the FTC: The Future of Influencer Marketing and the Related Developing Laws

Influencer marketing is slated to become a $5 to $10 billion business over the next five years. In recent years, the marketing industry watched as this practice not only grew in popularity but became the main focus of regulatory and self-regulatory concern, as both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Advertising Division (NAD) became particularly active in issuing guidance and bringing actions on the topic. As we garner more concrete legal guidance from the controlling legal authorities, everyday best practices can finally begin to take shape.

This panel focuses not only on the new specific rules governing influencers, but also hears perspectives from key stakeholders working inside the business, and influencers themselves, on what industry can practically do to run a compliant – but cutting edge – modern marketing campaign.

Bookmark this session now >>

The Evolution of Consumer-Driven Storytelling

In a world where having a direct relationship with your customer is table stakes, understanding how to evolve the way you build your brand and tell your story is a must. Brands that are successful have learned how to develop storylines that are consumer-led, data-driven and rooted in meaningful consumer truths.

Eric Edge, SVP, Brand & Communications of Postmates will discuss in a fireside conversation how successful brands are paving the way for this best-in-class storytelling technique, and will provide actionable takeaways on how the audience can adapt to have a challenger-brand mindset and drive results.

https://socialmediaweek.org/newyork/events/the-evolution-of-consumer-driven-storytelling/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Bookmark this session now >>

If you join us in New York, you should also keep an eye out for:

  • “Why Purpose is More than a Buzzword,” a how-to session from DoSomething.org on how to understand purpose as a way to attract GenZ consumers
  • “6 Seconds or Bust,” an interactive workshop with NBCUniversal demonstrating how to create “snackable” and engaging short-form content
  • “What Marketers Can Learn from the “Rest of the World,” GroupM’s Partner & Global Head on how to better inform global communications with social media.
  • “Taking Responsibility for Fake News,” a session that explores the very human reasons we fall for fake news and how to avoid perpetuating this phenomenon
  • And much, much more!

Explore the full agenda and featured speakers, and to register at 20% off before our next price increase on Friday, January 18th!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post Introducing the 2019 SMWNYC Preliminary Agenda: Start Planning Your Time in Times Square appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/introducing-the-2019-smwnyc-preliminary-agenda/

5 Best Marketing Experts to Follow on YouTube in 2019

Digital marketing is a constantly evolving field with a steep learning curve. The rewards of mastering it are well worth the initial investment, but it can seem unbearably difficult for people that are new to the profession. The good news is that there are a lot of YouTube channels that will help you learn to be a marketing expert much more quickly.

Unfortunately, there are also a lot of hacks out there that try to pass themselves off as “gurus.” You need to learn to separate the actual experts from the posers. New marketers should get started by following the experts listed below. They share a ton of great information on their YouTube channels.

Derek Halpern

Derek Halpern runs a marketing YouTube channel called Social Triggers TV – How to Get Ahead in Life and Business. He has over 82,000 subscribers and has published 180 videos on various marketing topics over the past six years. This makes Derek one of the most prolific producers of marketing videos on YouTube.

Some of Derek’s videos focus on specific elements of marketing, such as the types of colors that have the best conversions and the benefits of email marketing. However, the majority of his videos cover much broader topics. He has a number of videos on making convincing arguments and knowing how to tweak your sales pitches to your audience. These general topics surprisingly haven’t been covered as much by other marketing influencers as they should be, because lots of marketers try to develop fancy campaigns without a strong foundation with the basics. You should follow this channel to help you get off on the right foot.

Russ Ruffino

Russ Ruffino is the founder of Clients on Demand. He is without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable sales experts in the marketing profession. Russ has been featured in a number of esteemed marketing and business publications and has helped clients go from running a business without any revenue to generating seven figures in just 12 months.

Russ has published a lot of great videos on sales strategies over the past two years. These include advice on overcoming your own inner critic, excelling in sales as an introvert and creating a stable cash flow.

Most marketing videos on other channels focus on newer approaches, such as Facebook and SEO. It is refreshing to see a YouTube channel that shares so many new insights on sales.

Jesse Hanley

Jesse Hanley is a newer marketing influencer on YouTube, but he is already gaining a strong following. Although he has only created four videos over the past year, his videos are very detailed and cover topics that have been overlooked by other marketing experts with YouTube channels. He has proven to be an expert on SEO, so you can find videos on the benefits of using subdirectories versus subdomains or deciding whether to use the WWW prefix for your domain.

Jesse may not have created a lot of videos yet, but he is a promising YouTube contributor for the marketing community. He is another guy that you may want to follow.

Brian Dean

Brian Dean is the founder of Backlinko. His blog is ranking for some of the most competitive keywords on the Internet, such as “Google search console,” “keyword planner,” “YouTube subscribers,” “Google keyword planner” and “search console.” He is ranking on the front page of Google for all of those terms, except keyword planner, where he is still impressively is at the top of the second page. Brian’s success at getting his site ranked on Google for such incredibly competitive keywords demonstrates his unparalleled expertise as an SEO marketer.

He has a YouTube channel where he shares lots of great videos. Over 175,000 people have subscribed to his YouTube channel since its inception. With 36 videos on SEO and YouTube Marketing, he hasn’t produced as much video content as some of his peers. However, he has unquestionably created some of the best videos in his area of expertise. If you are looking to learn about SEO, then you should absolutely follow his YouTube channel.

Jay Baer

Jay Baer is another marketing expert that has been around for quite some time. Jay started his YouTube channel 10 years ago, so he might have one of the oldest YouTube channels that focuses on covering marketing tips. Some of his first videos were about general topics, such as marketing during a recession. He had a couple of unrelated videos when he first started, such as one of his son playing with a mock lightsaber and a video talking about his engagement. However, the vast majority of his videos of the past 10 years have provided excellent feedback on social media marketing.

Some of the videos he has published include:

  • Interviews with celebrities sharing lessons on social media marketing
  • Tips on using location-based services to generate great content
  • Helping his audience figure out how to market the people that are not like you

You will find a ton of great videos on his channel. He has been sharing a lot more over the past year, so you should subscribe to get the most recent content.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post 5 Best Marketing Experts to Follow on YouTube in 2019 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/5-best-marketing-experts-to-follow-on-youtube-in-2019/

Passes Now On Sale For Social Media Week LA 2019!

We’re excited to announce that #SMWLA passes are now on sale and if you secure yours before Jan 18 you can save up to $500.

Over the past six months, our team has been gathering feedback from community members like you to understand how we can improve the SMWLA experience for 2019. The result of your feedback is that we have designed a new 2019 program and experience which address three core themes:

  • Provide inspirational, but also practical and actionable insights and best practices
  • Tailor programming to help attendees deliver exceptional work for their company and advance in their careers
  • Enable attendees to meet and collaborate with the smartest and most successful people in the industry

We are excited to deliver above and beyond these themes at our 10th annual Social Media Week LA conference will be taking place June 12-13, 2019, at The Broad Stage in beautiful Santa Monica.

What’s New for #SMWLA 2019?

The venue of #SMWLA, The Broad Stage, located in beautiful Santa Monica, will be adding a third stage to our conference, which will have a capacity of 250+ people.

In addition, we’ll have more lounges spaces where you can meet with colleagues or clients, connect to WiFi to get your normal work done, and space to relax as you enjoy the incredible sessions throughout the week.

Lastly, we are improving our attendees’ experience by presenting a more robust exhibition space and added improvements to our premium lounge, so that all of our conference goers, speakers and partners will have an enhanced experience throughout the event.

New Year, New Theme

In 2019, we will explore our global theme “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility

In recent years, the true nature of the influence brought by social media storytelling has not only widened, but its scope has forced us to reckon with the responsibility that comes with it. Our stories can change how people think and act, and our obligation is to use this influence for the greater good, which is what we are encouraging professionals from different fields to discuss with us through #SMWLA.

We’ll be announcing the initial round of headline and featured speakers in the coming weeks, plus other announcements in regards to how we plan to take the 10th annual conference to the next level in 2019.

Will you be joining us? Secure your pass today and save up to $500.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Passes Now On Sale For Social Media Week LA 2019! appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/passes-now-on-sale-for-social-media-week-la-2019/

PODCAST: AI-Powered Social Listening w/ Aurelien Blaha, Chief Marketing Officer of Digimind

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Aurelien Blaha, Chief Marketing Officer of Digimind, a social media monitoring and competitive intelligence software company.

Coming from a software engineering background, Aurelien made a career shift early on, and has been in the B2B marketing industry for nine years. He recently joined Digimind after working at FINALCAD as Marketing Director for three years.

During the conversation, Aurelien discussed

  • Digimind’s products: Digimind Social and Digimind Intelligence
  • How the company’s AI-powered social listening technology is helping its clients take marketing to the next level
  • How Digimind has adopted Account Based Marketing as a way of bringing their sales and marketing teams closer together
  • How flipping the funnel has enabled them to get closer to their prospective customers.

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.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post PODCAST: AI-Powered Social Listening w/ Aurelien Blaha, Chief Marketing Officer of Digimind appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/podcast-ai-powered-social-listening-w-aurelien-blaha-chief-marketing-officer-of-digimind/

How Social Media Giants Leverage Big Data And ML To Serve Users Better

The growth in social network popularity continues posthaste. As of 2018, the number of social media users exceeded 3 billion, and it doesn’t seem the situation is going to change overnight.

To get people hooked and deliver wow user experiences, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other big players apply the cutting edge of technology, with big data solutions being the go-to option. Underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), these solutions let social media thoroughly analyze large amounts of user data, derive actionable insights, and, in turn, deliver hyper-personalized offerings.

And this is just one example of how machine learning solutions can be implemented in the social network environment. Read further to find out how giants like Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit are taking this advanced tech up another notch.

Instagram: In a fight against trolling

Coming in sixth on the list of most popular social networks worldwide, Instagram aims to make the platform as tolerable as possible. For this purpose, they capitalize on DeepText, Facebook’s “learning-based text understanding engine that can comprehend, with near-human accuracy, the textual content of several thousand posts per second.”

Before going live, the system was trained on at least two million comments and categorized them into segments like “bullying, racism, or sexual harassment.” Now, users just have to turn on automatic and manual filters in their account settings if they want to activate offensive comment functionality.

Image source: geek.com

To determine tone and intention, i.e. give the target word or phrase an appropriate interpretation and distinguish between abusive language and constructive criticism (across cultures and languages), Instagram’s AI also carefully studies the contextual meaning of surrounding words.

Besides, DeepText assists Instagram in detecting spam. Empowered by huge data assets and human input, the system identifies fake accounts and cleans up their spam comments on posts and live videos. This feature is currently available in nine languages, but the social media behemoth is working toward expanding this list.

To improve its AI system’s accuracy and avoid becoming an over-sanitized platform, Instagram continues gathering and analyzing new data sets.

Twitter: A step toward engaging users

Twitter, another social media giant, banks on ML to make the grade in image cropping. By using data from eye trackers, Twitter trains its neural networks to predict the areas users might want to look at — which are usually faces, text, animals, and other salient image regions.

As neural networks for saliency prediction tend to be too slow and cumbersome to make smart auto-cropping in real time, Twitter splits the process by using two techniques. The first one, knowledge distillation, is employed to train a smaller network to imitate the more powerful one and make a prediction based on a set of images and third-party salient data. The second technique, Fisher pruning, is used to delete features or parameters that are in some sense redundant, while lowering the computational cost.

Such a smart combination allows Twitter to obtain much more runtime-efficient architectures for saliency prediction and to crop images as soon as they’re uploaded — 10x faster than in a vanilla approach. This makes the uploaded photos more engaging and positively impacts the overall user experience.

Below is an example of how Twitter’s shift from a face detection to a saliency prediction algorithm redefined image cropping.

Image source: blog.twitter.com

Reddit: In a bid to improve website search

For Reddit — a vivid hub of internet news, pics, stories, memes, and videos — advanced search is of top priority. So it stands to reason the social media giant implements the best of tech to increase its searching capabilities and provide users with a custom-fit stream of high-quality content.

Aimed to make its search relevant, fast, and easy to scale with the platform’s growth, Reddit employs Lucidworks’ AI-based platform called Fusion. This helps the company successfully tackle the challenge of updating their indexing pipeline — by pulling together data from several sources into one cohesive canonical view. Also, Reddit not only indexes new post creations, but also updates their relevance signals in real time — based on votes, comments, etc.

The partnership with Lucidworks has given Reddit impressive results:
1. There was a 33% increase in posts indexed.
2. The reindex of all the website content slashed from 11 to 5 hours.
3. The error rate was down by two orders of magnitude, with 99% of search results served in under 500ms.
4. The number of machines needed to run search dropped from 200 to 30.

On top of that, Reddit excelled in boosting user experience and keeping operational costs down. Here’s how the tech stack of the revitalized search platform looks like now:

Image source: redditblog.com

A final word

From crafting personalized offers to fighting spam to enhancing search, machine learning delivers business value to an array of social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others have already found the ML-enabled solution to reap these benefits. Have you?

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How Social Media Giants Leverage Big Data And ML To Serve Users Better appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/how-social-media-giants-leverage-big-data-and-ml-to-serve-users-better/

What We Learned from Mark Zuckerberg’s End-of-Year Note

2018 has been a year of change for Facebook. In the last days of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg wrote up in a Facebook blog post the four major areas of change that the social network has achieved in the past year — some of them shedding light on what we, as marketers, can learn from and put into action in the new year.

Mark Zuckerberg’s post looks at four issues that the network has been tackling, and that caught most of its users concern: preventing election interference, stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation, making sure people have control of their information, and ensuring their services improve people’s well-being.

As we venture into the new year and get closer to our first flagship conference of the year — Social Media Week New York — some of these improvements tie directly to our 2019 global theme, “STORIES” — with great influence comes great responsibilities.

In his blog post, Mark emphasized that to make sure people have control of their information, Facebook has reduced the amount of information that third-party apps can access, rolled out new information controls, started building a “Clear History Tool,” and continued development of encrypted and ephemeral messaging and sharing services.

According to Joe Teo, Chief Executive Orca of HeyOrca! this means that “messaging and Stories format is the mode of communication that will get further traction and where marketers should be investing in.”

Stories, be it on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, bear the feature of being ephemeral, living only on a 24-hour basis. Recently, with the announcement from Instagram that Stories can be shared with a selected group of followers only, it has become an even more private and encrypted way of communication. That’s why it’s become vital that marketers note that the trend of private sharing will only become more dominating in 2019, and that, like Mark said, “we believe (encrypted and ephemeral messaging) will be the foundation for how people communicate going forward.”

Facebook is just one of the many platforms that have realized the importance of Stories. At Social Media Week New York, which is taking place in April, you will be hearing from more social media professionals on why and how they value “STORIES.”

Secure your passes today before our sale of 20% off your original price ends on Jan. 18!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post What We Learned from Mark Zuckerberg’s End-of-Year Note appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/what-we-learned-from-mark-zuckerbergs-end-of-year-note/

Why Brands Should Experiment with Partners in Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t dead. But it has lost its way. And theAmplify’s Amy Luca thinks she knows where the sharp turn might have happened. At Social Media Week London 2018, theAmplify’s CEO Amy Luca shared her way to “mature” your influencer marketing in session “Influencer Marketing in 2019: How to Overcome Bots, Fakes, and Declining Organic Reach.”

In this clip, Amy talks about why brands should experiment with partners in influencer marketing.

Read the full recap and watch their session on SMW Insider.

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 Brands Should Experiment with Partners in Influencer Marketing appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/01/why-brands-should-experiment-with-partners-in-influencer-marketing/

4 Social Media Lessons from Top Experts – and the Tools to Apply Them

If you perform a quick Google search using the keyword “social media marketing tips,” you’ll find that Google has about 66.4 million indexed pages associated with this phrase.

This huge figure is a dead giveaway of how noisy the topic is.

While there might be a slew of valuable guides on the internet on how you can use social media to market your business, you’ll find that going through every available online guide might not be that good of an idea.

Not only can the process be overwhelming, but your chances of coming across harmful marketing tips is also very real. Instead of relying on a Google search alone, why not learn from seasoned business owners and marketers who have experienced unparalleled success? I’m talking about the thought leaders who walk their talk.

After all, given how much of the interwebs is littered with crappy content, you need to be cautious when choosing from whom you’re taking advice.

Learn from the wrong people, and you might end up losing whatever chance you have of getting positive results out of your social media marketing campaigns. If you learn from the right people, however, then you’ll be primed to skyrocket your sales within months.

Allow me to share with you four social media marketing lessons from bona fide experts – tips that you can use to grow your business today.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Audience Engagement Is Your Primary Objective

Neil Patel is a well-known marketing expert who specializes in SEO, digital channels and growth hacking. He is the co-founder of CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics, QuickSprout and Hello Bar — all of which are used by countless brands for online marketing.

Patel talks a lot about the importance of audience engagement, especially on social media, which he views as a platform that marketers should use primarily for content distribution purposes, to drive traffic back to your own site.

Here’s how he defines the entire discipline of social media marketing, in a nutshell:

Social media marketing is the process of creating content that is tailored to the context of each individual social media platform, in order to drive user engagement and sharing.

Engagement is where it’s at, because that’s what’ll trigger the networks’ algorithms to give your posts more exposure. When people engage with your content, it means you’re accruing brand equity in their minds, either consciously or subconsciously, bringing them closer to that tipping point where they’re ready to do business with you. And if you can provide your audience with content they’ll love, then they’ll gladly help spread it for you, which is why many experts view social shares as the ultimate form of engagement.

What’s more, engaging your existing audience is more valuable than pursuing new audience members ROI-wise. After all, it costs five times more to win new customers than to maintain existing ones. And what’s the point of drawing more attention to your brand’s social presence, if you’re failing to convert on that initial attention?

A great way to discover content ideas that are primed pique your audience’s interest is to perform content research with BuzzSumo. Just type in a few keywords that describe your niche and click “Go” to begin your search.

Curating and sharing these posts with your audience should help you generate engagement – and can provide inspiration for creating new content of your own on topics that are proven to move the needle. In addition, you can also use this type of research to build strategic relationships with authors.

2. Always Be Improving

Mark Schaefer is a renowned social media marketing consultant and strategy specialist. He attributes his success in the field to his willingness to adapt and pivot as needed:

Unless you sell antiques for a living, you cannot dwell on the past. Reach forward and never count on riding your past accomplishments to drive your future. I am in a constant state of re-invention. Constant. Push, push, push.

Today, the state of the social media marketing landscape is ever-changing. Automation tools, audience device preferences, algorithm updates, emerging formats, the engagement strategies that work – there always seems to be something “new” popping up, left and right.

If you want to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors, then you need to be able to respond to industry trends.

One of the best ways you can adapt and stay updated is to set up Google Alerts on topics that are relevant to your brand.

When you’re done setting up your alerts, you’ll receive updates on the latest mentions and happenings in your industry. You can set up alerts for your brand name, competitor brand names, industry keywords, industry thought leader names and more. If you want to be able to turn on a dime, you need to know when, and in what way, it’s called for.

3. Let Your Value Proposition Guide You

If there’s one thing that can help your content slice through the noise, it’s your brand’s distinct personality, which comes along with the promise of a specific type of value that no other brand offers.

Social media expert and advisor Tai Lopez believes that any voice or style can garner an audience, as long as it has a high VRIN score.

This is what the acronym stands for:

  • Value — The “value” rating refers to the amount of value that your business model/concept provides to your customers or audience.
  • Rarity — This rating refers to how exclusive your business model and concept are.
  • Inimitable — From a bird’s-eye view, this rating covers how difficult it would be for someone to replicate your product, in the sense that your competitors can’t offer the same thing.
  • Non-substitutable — Even if no one can do what you do, can a competitor offer something else that would serve your customers just as well?

Here’s what Tai Lopez has to say about applying VRIN principles to your content and social media activity:

Have a compelling overarching brand story, average out the VRIN score of each of your social media posts and be authentic – don’t change your whole life for a social media post. You don’t need to completely change your story, just switch it up and assess whether or not each post has value. One thing I’ve learned is that people are focused on themselves – nobody cares about you eating a sandwich. Your posts have to consist of content that is interesting, otherwise the people that follow you will just skip it. Make sure your content is unique, has a high VRIN score and stays true to your authentic self.

Nobody wants to consume content that’s “me too” or flavorless. However, this doesn’t mean your brand should be static and isolated from the rest of your industry. You just need to figure out how to infuse your own views and ideas into the current trends.

A long-standing tactic that can help in this context is content repurposing. This involves looking for popular content and repackaging it into a fresh, new format, giving any brand the opportunity to instill their personality into the new post. Another form of repurposing involves repackaging your own content into new formats. You can even track which types of content are giving you the most value, and which ones are giving you the least. When you have this information, you’ll be able to optimize your social media marketing to help you get better results.

One of the best ways to repurpose your content is to turn it into an infographic. For this, you can use Canva. The platform is a drag-and-drop image editing application that helps you create stunning image-based content without you having to hire a professional graphic designer.

In addition to infographics, Canva can also help you develop graphics with text overlays for Instagram posts, featured images for blog articles, and newsletter banners with the help of templates. These can also be used to spice up any of your old content.

4. Avoid Overcommitting

A lot of brands aim to have a diverse social media presence by incorporating as many networks as possible.

While it isn’t necessarily a bad approach, Brian Peters, a digital marketing and social media director at Buffer, thinks it can negatively impact content quality:

If I had to pick one piece of advice for entrepreneurs just starting out on social media, it would be to choose 1 or 2 channels and get really good at them. Try not to stretch yourself thin on too many platforms at once. It’s unsustainable and may lower the quality of content you put out.

Peters believes that the platforms you choose should resonate with your target audience – not with what everyone else is doing. For example, if your product is aimed towards professionals and other businesses, then LinkedIn could be the ideal network for your content.

Buffer, the company that keeps Peters on its payroll, is a content scheduling platform for social media that offers a robust free plan. Buffer helps businesses with their content management on various social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Buffer makes a perfect complement to BuzzSumo, since you can easily queue your curated content and customize each post’s message.

By configuring a posting schedule that matches your target audience’s usage patterns, you can maximize the exposure and traffic you get out of your social media content.

The post 4 Social Media Lessons from Top Experts – and the Tools to Apply Them appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/4-social-media-lessons-from-top-experts-and-the-tools-to-apply-them/

Personalized Videos Boost Social Media Engagement

International corporations, small businesses, influencers and bloggers use social media to connect with their target audience. As a result, the content is developed to reach the many rather than the few, and people start tuning out the noise of these messages.

With new tools such as Dynamic Facebook Videos, LinkedIn Dynamic Ads and personalized videos, your content can rise above the fray and connect with people who want to hear what you have to say.

Personalized Content Brings Results

People love to feel special and personalized engagement meets that need. According to a study by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. The benefits of personalization include increased conversion rates, improved customer experience, and increased visitor engagement.

Initially, personalized content was email-based and is successful if the content is relevant to the recipient and goes beyond just putting the right name in the correct place. Today a personalized experience is shifted to a consumer expectation and there are more opportunities than ever to engage your target audience on this level.

Facebook’s Dynamic Ads

Facebook’s dynamic ads allow marketers and advertiser to automatically deliver video, images, product descriptions and more to people who have viewed their pages, and based on those viewer’s profiles. This process allows marketers to target limitless audience groups and showcase the information, products or services most relevant to them. Facebook’s dynamic ads also show ads to others users who are most likely to purchase a specific product or service which helps businesses find new leads and retarget past buyers for cross-selling, up-selling, and reminder purposes. The site has also spruced up its dynamic ads with updates specifically timed to support advertises during the holiday shopping season.

While the dynamic ads are a powerful business tool, the question is will they continue to be so? A Pew Research states that 26% of polled adults have deleted the Facebook app from their phones. The study doesn’t say why the app was deleted or if the adults still access the platform on other devices, so this statistic alone isn’t helpful. Facebook still retains a daily active user base of 185 million, which is enough to keep every marketer happy.

LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

LinkedIn has allowed users the ability to use dynamic ads, but it was only available by paying their experts to design them. However, the site recently made their key templates and formats available on a self-serve basis, with similar features and tools as Facebook’s program.  Using publicly available profile information and accessed through the site’s Campaign Manager platform, it allows advertisers to use it’s A/B testing and other analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaigns.

B2B advertising is highly effective on LinkedIn because the site has 61 million senior-level influences and 40 million decision makers using the site. Content marketing and other campaigns have more impact because engagement is made with the people who have the authority to make purchases and select vendors. With dynamic ads, personalized and relevant information is more likely to reach the right people.

Personalized Videos and Social Media

Videos are now accessed on nearly every social media platform, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, and personalized marketing videos segments assure that the content has the greatest impact possible. The key to success is knowing the target audience and which platforms they prefer. Use data to segment the target audience via products and interests, which allows videos to be produced that delivers relevant and engaging content specifically to them. A truly comprehensive personalized video campaign will include different videos for each primary social media platform to boost excitement, interest, and sales. The results can increase conversions by over 50%.

Between 20016 and 2017, views of branded video content have increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook. A video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet.  According to HubSpot, 78% of people watch online videos each week and 55% view online videos each day. For these reasons, videos now comprise an entire marketing and advertisement strategy for many businesses. To be meaningful and deliver the best results, the focus isn’t to reach everyone but to connect with and engage those people most likely to purchase your products and services.

Getting it Done

Both Facebook and LinkedIn allow companies to create their own dynamic ads, and there are many online video marketing courses and resources available to anyone who wants to do the work themselves. For the less tech-savvy or anyone simply too busy to manage the process themselves, there are several businesses that can help you get the job done, and have it done right, including VSM New Media, Idomoo, and VocalCom. Whichever avenue is chosen, make sure the content is consumer-centric and delivers dynamic engagement.

Bottom Line

Video advertising on social media has gone from the next best thing to the current great option, and it will only continue to grow. There is now an understanding that getting the most likes and views is not important. Connecting with those who find the content relevant is what matters because it results in conversions, which is what personalized video advertising is all about.

The post Personalized Videos Boost Social Media Engagement appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/personalized-videos-boost-social-media-engagement/

Why Social Listening is Essential to Your Marketing Plan

Creating the perfect marketing plan is far from simple. It is essential to determine your target audience and strategize on the best way to assemble your marketing plan. Are you going to focus on a specific group? Are you looking to attract new customers to your brand or business? If you do, then you need to have an “in” with your customer base, which means you need to be paying attention to social media and do a bit of social listening.

Social Listening 101

To use social listening as part of your marketing strategy you need to know what social listening entails. Simply put, social listening relates to listening to what people are saying about your company, your products and services, your overall brand, and of course your competitors. Social listening takes into consideration other categories that may prove relevant to your customers or potential customer base.

Social listening is not just about interaction with customers on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. It involves listening to what people are saying, both positive and negative. Social listening means more than just basic keyword searches, although keywords can play a considerable role locating new customers and reaching out to customers unhappy with your competitors.

Where Social Listening Assists Your Marketing Plan

As previously mentioned, social listening is all about using social media to find out what people are saying about your company, your brand, products, services, as well as your competitors and other points of interest to your customers. Utilizing social listening, or social monitoring, is a way to find out not only what people are saying, but find out what they are looking for from your company and others in the same niche.

  • Determine where you have erred or succeeded – Through social listening, you can determine when you have failed or hit the ball out of the park. For example, you make a post on your social media accounts that generate a lot of negative feedback. Go to that post and determine what the problems were and how you can fix them in the future. Conversely, if you have a post that generates a lot of positive feedback or business for your brand, consider what you did at that moment and focus on utilizing that technique in the future.

 

  • The Competition – Monitoring what people are saying about your company and brand is essential. Another essential aspect to social listening is finding out what current or potential customers are saying about the competition. If you determine that they are failing their customers through products, services, or even customer service, use that information to improve how your company handles different situations. Furthermore, you can use the unhappiness expressed by customers of your competitors to develop your products or offer them services the competition lacks.

 

  • What are your customers saying? – Do you think you have a handle on what your customers are saying? You might think you do, but in reality, in most cases, customers are continually making complaints regarding a company’s customer service. Social listening affords your business with the opportunity to see what your customers think about your products, services, overall brand, and customer service relations. Paying close attention to what your customer base is saying helps determine where changes in customer engagement need to be made, as well as deciding what customers want from your brand.

 

  • Product & Services Feedback – Through brand tracking, mentions, etc., you can determine what customers are saying about your products and services. Sometimes the feedback received can help improve a current product, service, or even a company policy. On other occasions, it is possible to pass on this information to your company’s development team. This is one way to create a product or service your customers have been searching for but never came across.

 

  • Hunt New Customers – Social listening also helps your company locating people who are upset or unhappy with your competitors. Utilize this information to make a play for a new potential customer. Avoid trying to sell the potential customer on your product and services while discussing their unhappiness with your competitor. Leave the door open for contact and see where that takes you.

Get a Step Ahead: Implement Social Listening into your Marketing Plan

When it comes to creating a marketing plan more has to be taken into consideration than just your products, services, brand name and how your competitors are faring. Social listening affords your marketing team with the ability to find out what people are saying, determine how to initiate conversation, and target potential new customers. Social listening is a powerful tool that should be utilized by all marketing teams, as the rewards for using this tool are innumerable.

The post Why Social Listening is Essential to Your Marketing Plan appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/why-social-listening-is-essential-to-your-marketing-plan/

10 Mistakes On Instagram Can Make You Lose Followers

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide – with millions of active users today, this app is the number one platform you and your brand should be using. As a brand, in order to become successful on Instagram gaining a following is top priority. Unfortunately, the reality of getting people to follow you is harder than you think, but losing them is easy!

Most brands spend days, weeks or even months working on their account but seeing no results and/or worse, seeing an overall big drop in followers. There are several reasons why you could be losing followers on your Instagram; and the last thing your business should be doing is driving away followers because of these common mistakes.

So want to know what you’re doing wrong? Here are the 10 mistakes you are doing on Instagram that could be the reason why you are losing followers:

Photograph Quality

Photography is everything – if you didn’t know by now! Low quality photos are not going to cut it, sorry! Don’t think it’s EVER okay to post hard to see – blurry, dark and fuzzy photos. If you’re using Instagram professionally, take the time to choose, edit and post all of your content.

Maybe ask for a second pair of eyes to check for you just in case!

Not Consistent or Posting More Than You Should

Which of them are you doing? First of all, not posting consistently, people will start to forget you, and you definitely don’t want that to happen. You’ve probably heard it before and I’m certain you’ll hear it again; Consistency is KEY. On the other hand, if you’re posting way too much, let’s say 5 or more times a day, your audience will easily get annoyed by you which will lead them to hit the unfollow button.

The best way to keep an audience to remember you and happy is keeping it to 1-3 posts a day, or at a bare minimum, 5 posts per week.

You Aren’t Making Your Feed “Easy On The Eyes”

If you have no visual theme going on your feed – what is the point? Your brand should have a consistent theme that flows together; after all you’ve brought in a specific audience who is engaged with your content, if you randomly post a picture completely opposite from what you represent, don’t be surprised when you see your following decrease.

Before starting an Instagram account, brainstorm ideas of how you’d like to present yourself as an individual and/or brand. Using apps like VSCO, Planoly or UNUM are great to use when planning and previewing your photos before actually posting it on Instagram.

No Engagement

Do you really think if you post, sit back and relax, magic will happen? Think again; you should treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you want engagement to happen, you need to work for it.

If someone leaves a comment on your recent photo, reply to them; it’s an opportunity for you to start a conversation, maybe even turn a follower into a customer. Block out some free time when you post so that you can respond to any questions or comments quickly.

Buying Fake Comments and/or Likes

It’s tempting right? I mean, you are paying something to do your work for you! Unfortunately, as it may be the easy way out, it could get you in trouble, and by trouble I mean, Instagram might end up deleting or banning your account – and that is probably the last thing you would want to happen.

It may take a big chunk of your time each day, but if you want your account to grow, focus on being genuine, providing value and engaging with your audience in an authentic manner!

Horrible Captions

It’s easy to post a caption – but if it’s not engaging enough or doesn’t keep your audience invested, it could cause you to lose some followers.

Brainstorm catchy, appealing and/or captions that provide value to the content you are posting. Think and consider including some of the following things like, the context behind the image, the story, asking a question and using a call to action.

Not Using Hashtags

Hashtags are a big factor of Instagram – if you don’t use them, nobody will find you. Hashtags allow your content to be seen by users worldwide, it’s a way to build a new audience every single day.

Make sure you are using proper hashtags that are related to the content published. If you are unsure of what hashtags to use, you can easily type in the search bar on Instagram to see the most popular hashtags or check out your competitor’s pages to see what they may be using.

You Provide No Value or Entertainment

Ask yourself this – does your profile provide any purpose? If not, then that’s probably why you aren’t seeing any success on your account. If you want to grow an audience, or keep the ones you have now, happy, you need to provide some kind of value or entertainment.

For instance, are they trying to eat healthy? Provide them with some tips or video tutorials of healthy quick recipes. Fill a void for them and they’ll want to keep coming back.

You Are Not Being Proactive

Like I mentioned above, you can’t expect your Instagram to grow by sitting back and doing absolutely nothing Like everything else, there is a level of effort and work that needs to be put in to see upward growth and to keep your current followers around. That effort comes in the form of engaging with your audience, or potential audience, on a daily basis.

You need to set some time aside every single day to like, comment and engage with others in the same niche as you; this is the secret to getting people to start noticing your feed.

You Are Being “Too Salesy”

If you’re constantly promoting your product without providing any value, your audience will get bored and unfollow you. Obviously, Instagram is a platform where you can easily promote your products to your audience in hopes you make a sale(s), but there is most certainly a difference between selling and being sales-y.

Recently Adidas posted a photo of new shoes with a caption saying, “Design with purpose. The new @adidas by @stellamccartney Parley #UltraBOOSTX. Swipe to discover how high performance meets eco-innovation through Parley Ocean Plastic.” The photos were close up details of the shoe as well as an overall shot. This caption, not even once, forces you to buy the shoes, instead it provides value in the form of education.

If every caption you write states, “Buy these sneakers for $30, just click the link in my bio,” you will no doubt lose a ton of followers.

Which of these are you already doing? Now that you know these common mistakes, it’s never too late to fix them! Sooner or later, you’ll notice a sudden change to your Instagram account!

The post 10 Mistakes On Instagram Can Make You Lose Followers appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/10-mistakes-on-instagram-can-make-you-lose-followers/

10 Mistakes On Instagram Can Make You Lose Followers

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide – with millions of active users today, this app is the number one platform you and your brand should be using. As a brand, in order to become successful on Instagram gaining a following is top priority. Unfortunately, the reality of getting people to follow you is harder than you think, but losing them is easy!

Most brands spend days, weeks or even months working on their account but seeing no results and/or worse, seeing an overall big drop in followers. There are several reasons why you could be losing followers on your Instagram; and the last thing your business should be doing is driving away followers because of these common mistakes.

So want to know what you’re doing wrong? Here are the 10 mistakes you are doing on Instagram that could be the reason why you are losing followers:

Photograph Quality

Photography is everything – if you didn’t know by now! Low quality photos are not going to cut it, sorry! Don’t think it’s EVER okay to post hard to see – blurry, dark and fuzzy photos. If you’re using Instagram professionally, take the time to choose, edit and post all of your content.

Maybe ask for a second pair of eyes to check for you just in case!

Not Consistent or Posting More Than You Should

Which of them are you doing? First of all, not posting consistently, people will start to forget you, and you definitely don’t want that to happen. You’ve probably heard it before and I’m certain you’ll hear it again; Consistency is KEY. On the other hand, if you’re posting way too much, let’s say 5 or more times a day, your audience will easily get annoyed by you which will lead them to hit the unfollow button.

The best way to keep an audience to remember you and happy is keeping it to 1-3 posts a day, or at a bare minimum, 5 posts per week.

You Aren’t Making Your Feed “Easy On The Eyes”

If you have no visual theme going on your feed – what is the point? Your brand should have a consistent theme that flows together; after all you’ve brought in a specific audience who is engaged with your content, if you randomly post a picture completely opposite from what you represent, don’t be surprised when you see your following decrease.

Before starting an Instagram account, brainstorm ideas of how you’d like to present yourself as an individual and/or brand. Using apps like VSCO, Planoly or UNUM are great to use when planning and previewing your photos before actually posting it on Instagram.

No Engagement

Do you really think if you post, sit back and relax, magic will happen? Think again; you should treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you want engagement to happen, you need to work for it.

If someone leaves a comment on your recent photo, reply to them; it’s an opportunity for you to start a conversation, maybe even turn a follower into a customer. Block out some free time when you post so that you can respond to any questions or comments quickly.

Buying Fake Comments and/or Likes

It’s tempting right? I mean, you are paying something to do your work for you! Unfortunately, as it may be the easy way out, it could get you in trouble, and by trouble I mean, Instagram might end up deleting or banning your account – and that is probably the last thing you would want to happen.

It may take a big chunk of your time each day, but if you want your account to grow, focus on being genuine, providing value and engaging with your audience in an authentic manner!

Horrible Captions

It’s easy to post a caption – but if it’s not engaging enough or doesn’t keep your audience invested, it could cause you to lose some followers.

Brainstorm catchy, appealing and/or captions that provide value to the content you are posting. Think and consider including some of the following things like, the context behind the image, the story, asking a question and using a call to action.

Not Using Hashtags

Hashtags are a big factor of Instagram – if you don’t use them, nobody will find you. Hashtags allow your content to be seen by users worldwide, it’s a way to build a new audience every single day.

Make sure you are using proper hashtags that are related to the content published. If you are unsure of what hashtags to use, you can easily type in the search bar on Instagram to see the most popular hashtags or check out your competitor’s pages to see what they may be using.

You Provide No Value or Entertainment

Ask yourself this – does your profile provide any purpose? If not, then that’s probably why you aren’t seeing any success on your account. If you want to grow an audience, or keep the ones you have now, happy, you need to provide some kind of value or entertainment.

For instance, are they trying to eat healthy? Provide them with some tips or video tutorials of healthy quick recipes. Fill a void for them and they’ll want to keep coming back.

You Are Not Being Proactive

Like I mentioned above, you can’t expect your Instagram to grow by sitting back and doing absolutely nothing Like everything else, there is a level of effort and work that needs to be put in to see upward growth and to keep your current followers around. That effort comes in the form of engaging with your audience, or potential audience, on a daily basis.

You need to set some time aside every single day to like, comment and engage with others in the same niche as you; this is the secret to getting people to start noticing your feed.

You Are Being “Too Salesy”

If you’re constantly promoting your product without providing any value, your audience will get bored and unfollow you. Obviously, Instagram is a platform where you can easily promote your products to your audience in hopes you make a sale(s), but there is most certainly a difference between selling and being sales-y.

Recently Adidas posted a photo of new shoes with a caption saying, “Design with purpose. The new @adidas by @stellamccartney Parley #UltraBOOSTX. Swipe to discover how high performance meets eco-innovation through Parley Ocean Plastic.” The photos were close up details of the shoe as well as an overall shot. This caption, not even once, forces you to buy the shoes, instead it provides value in the form of education.

If every caption you write states, “Buy these sneakers for $30, just click the link in my bio,” you will no doubt lose a ton of followers.

Which of these are you already doing? Now that you know these common mistakes, it’s never too late to fix them! Sooner or later, you’ll notice a sudden change to your Instagram account!

The post 10 Mistakes On Instagram Can Make You Lose Followers appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/10-mistakes-on-instagram-can-make-you-lose-followers/

11 Game-Changing Social Media Trends to Watch for In 2019

It was a wild year for social media. In 2018, an embattled Facebook weathered a series of major data breaches and received unprecedented government scrutiny; Snapchat released an unpopular update that—paired with a tweet from a Kardashian—drove away millions of users; Jake Paul offended pretty much the whole Internet when he recorded a suicide victim and published the video to his YouTube channel, sparking conversations about the ethics of being an influencer.

The social media industry continues to innovate and expand with breakneck speed, producing both hits and misses at an ever-increasing rate. So what can we expect from 2019?

Here are eleven trends that I’m watching for, along with tools and techniques brands can use to capitalize on them:

1) Emphasizing the Curation of Meaningful Content for Thought Leadership

In the same way that school children now aspire to be YouTubers, executives and companies alike increasingly desire to be seen as “thought leaders.” As demand increases, I expect to see a new emphasis on tools that allow companies to produce and publish content centered on cementing themselves as leaders in their space.

One early adopter doing just that is Tailor Social, a social media management platform that helps brands pinpoint content their audiences will appreciate. It’s impossible to create influence out of nothing, but by steadily sending valuable messages to the right people, it’s relatively easy for a brand to find a niche for itself in the minds of consumers.

Look for areas in which your brand can create leadership in for 2019.

2) Monitoring Goes Mainstream

Privacy concerns have become a hot topic in 2018, but fears over personal posts being shared online are likely not as widespread as the news would have you believe. Many social media users choose to make public posts that can be seen by the world, even with privacy settings available.

These public posts create an ideal opportunity for marketers to monitor online conversations related to this brand. Tools like SentiOne allow brands to track mentions from a wide variety of blogs and social media networks, helping in idea generation and reputation management.

Look for the most successful online brands to take advantage of these tools in the year ahead.

3) Social Media as a Direct Sales Tool

Brands often approach social media as an opportunity to build an online community and engage with customers in a more personal way. While this remains an effective approach, some brands are pushing the limits of social media marketing, using social channels as direct sales tools.

Instagram in particular lends itself to sales of this type, as the whole interface is already designed like an attractive digital catalogue. Smart retailers are swapping out their standard “link in bio” to use BigCommerce to sell on Instagram. It allows customers to go from seeing products in posts to browsing and buying them with a single click.

Look for a heavier emphasis on social media as an e-commerce platform in 2019 — a new shopping app is already on the way from Instagram.

4) Integrating Social Networks Into Your Customer Service Operations

It’s standard practice these days for a company to have a support Twitter handle for you to tweet at when something goes wrong, but in 2019, expect more sophisticated, intelligent integrations of social media with customer support.

The abundance of communication channels now available between consumers and brands mean that companies need to cover more bases than ever. For brands looking to get ahead of the curve and seamlessly integrate customer service with all social media channels, it’s relatively easy to create a multi-channel, consolidated inbox with Groove.

I anticipate social media becoming even more central to customer service in 2019.

5) Be Wary of ‘Influencer Wannabes’

Influencer marketing has been weighed, measured, and found largely effective—but it comes with asterisks. Now that social media influencers are such an entrenched and popular idea in society (75 percent of elementary school children report wanting to be a YouTuber when they grow up) it’s becoming increasingly difficult to determine which influencers wield real influence.

As with any other marketing channel, you get what you pay for. Fortunately, tools are available to help marketers sift the wheat from the chaff. HYPR Brands gives you real time social analytics for every influencer in the world and is a perfect way to vet collaborations.

In 2019, watch out for influencers without any real influence.

6) New, Emerging Social Channels

As previously mentioned, the social media industry shows no indication of slowing down in its pursuit of innovation. 2018 alone has seen new platforms such as Vero and Steemit make inroads with online users. Expect new disruptive platforms to emerge in 2019, promising great results for brands and marketers.

However, “new” is not always the same thing as “good.” Before jumping on the bandwagon of new social channels or ad tech, take the time to review metrics and see if the numbers back up the claims. Results can be measured with Oribi, a powerful analytics tool which can show you exactly how much traffic and how many conversions each channel in your mix is generating.

Expect new, disruptive social channels in 2019—but don’t expect them all to last.

7) Asian Trends Sweeping the US

No longer is the Western world the primary birthplace of online trends and culture. China, South Korea and Japan are all massive players on the scene and dictate as many, if not more trends than their Western counterparts. Look no farther than the Flaunt Your Wealth Challenge currently dominating social media platforms worldwide.

For American businesses, it can be difficult to keep up with Asian social media trends, but as the influence of that part of the world grows, following those trends will become increasingly important. Taking to Weibo is a great place to start.

Look for more social media movements and trends coming from China and the Far East.

8) Live Video Finally Enthroned as King

For a long time now, people have been talking about live video as the next dominant social media trend. In my opinion, 2019 is the year we will finally see live video reach the height it has been predicted to rise to. I would not be surprised to see the number of live video streams on YouTube double in the next year.

For businesses who are determined to start broadcasting live, a great place to start is OBS Studio. This free, open source software allows you to broadcast almost anything live to YouTube. It’s customizable enough to allow great control, but the interface remains simple enough to learn in minutes.

Expect live video to take over the social media world in 2019.

9) Influencers Outgrow Platforms

Next year, I think we’ll finally see the end of influencers attached to certain platforms. As social media companies ramp up the competition amongst themselves, there is no longer a clear leader for video monetization or potential audience.

Influencers will gain traction not because they have a certain number of followers on a certain platform, but because they are well-known and popular across all platforms. For keeping track of activity across all social media platforms in one easy place, look into using a social media aggregator like Taggbox.

Look for more platform-agnostic influencers in 2019.

10) The Rise of Mega Influencers

In 2018, former US president Barack Obama announced a content partnership with Netflix, indicating that he is throwing his hat into the digital content creation ring. In previous times, this kind of high-profile commercial activity from a former world leader would have been very unusual, but I expect to see more of it as time goes on.

It’s only a matter of time before anyone can become an influencer. If the floor has dropped out, creating the threat of pseudo-influencers, so too has the ceiling been lifted, allowing people previously too important to be thought of as influencers to enter the arena.

Look for figures of global importance to begin posturing themselves as social media influencers in 2019.

11) Music as Social Media

Finally, in 2019 I expect the worlds of music and social media to become inextricably connected. Spotify and Apple Music are already well integrated with social media platforms, but I expect the marriage of these two previously separate industries to run even deeper.

Social media platforms like Tik-Tok are making libraries of popular music available to their users for use in video posts. YouTube and Snapchat are following suit. I expect that in 2019 social media platforms will increasingly become music-licensing platforms as well, as they strive to bring in a younger demographic and stay relevant for more established users.

Expect music to become central to social media in 2019.

The post 11 Game-Changing Social Media Trends to Watch for In 2019 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/11-game-changing-social-media-trends-to-watch-for-in-2019/

Plan Your Social Media Campaigns To Win at Marketing in 2019

Social media platforms are constantly updated with new features to appeal to users. The good news for businesses and marketers is that they too can use these changes to improve the way they engage with their social media audience.

During 2018, there were plenty of new features introduced and new trends emerging across all popular platforms. So for the coming year, you will need to plan your social media campaigns based on these changes.

In this post, you’ll discover how to effectively plan your social media campaigns for 2019.

1. Prepare for Increased Ad Spend

One of the biggest social media challenges for marketers is that it’s getting more difficult to reach their audience using organic content.

This is particularly true with Facebook and Twitter, which prioritize relevance and engagement before recency. This means that the algorithms of these two platforms will choose to display posts by users and pages that you engage with the most first, instead of showing the most recent posts.

Instagram also switched to this algorithm for a brief period. Due to increasing user complaints, they switched back to the recency algorithm in March 2018, showing the most recent content first to keep news feeds fresh.

At the same time, you will have a hard time reaching a relevant audience with organic posts if they don’t follow you.

So there’s an increased need to invest in paid ads to reach a wider audience on social media. It’s no surprise that marketers in the Social Spending Report from Social Media Today spent the majority of their social media budgets on advertising. Also, 68% of marketers in the survey were planning to spend even more on advertising in 2019.

These numbers show just how important it is for you to plan ahead for increased ad spend on social media next year. This will ensure that you can improve the way you attract a new and relevant audience, since paid ads allow you to precisely target the most relevant users on social media.

2. Go Live

Although live video has been around for a while, its popularity has grown significantly this year on Facebook and Instagram. And the proof is in the numbers. According to a study by Livestream and New York Magazine, there was an 81% increase in live video viewership between 2015 and 2016.

80% of consumers prefer to watch a brand’s live videos rather than reading their blog; 82% prefer a brand’s live videos over their social media posts. This goes to show that brands and marketers need to gear up and prepare for more live video content on social media during 2019.

Live video presents an excellent opportunity for your audience to interact with you through Q&A and chat sessions. You can invite them to participate in ongoing discussions while they tune in to your live streaming sessions. This is one of the reasons why live streaming is so successful for engaging audiences on social media.

Live video also adds a sense of authenticity that helps brands build trust and boost loyalty with their audiences. 87% of consumers in the survey said that they would watch more video online if it could give them a behind-the-scenes look. So you could plan for more behind-the-scenes live videos or live event videos as a part of your social media strategy.

3. Tell Recurring Stories through IGTV

One of the most significant developments in social media this year was the introduction of IGTV on Instagram. This feature enables users to create long-form video content unlike the usual Instagram videos or Stories. Users can create videos of up to an hour using this feature.

According to TechCrunch, however, a lot of content creators aren’t getting as many views on their IGTV videos as compared to their usual feed videos. These content creators were getting 6.8X as many views on their feed videos as their IGTV posts two months into the launch of the feature. But that doesn’t mean that IGTV is a failure.

With plenty of experiments and strategizing, content creators have learned that episodic videos tend to perform really well on IGTV. Lilly Singh, for instance, has been running a show covering comedy news on IGTV and called it “Spice News.” For the first 10 episodes, she averaged 434,000+ views per episode.

Spice News

Image Source: Instagram

So for 2019, you could come up with a plan to create more episodic videos through IGTV. You could tell recurring stories or come up with a series that will be relevant to your brand or industry. You could interview industry experts, tell your employees’ stories, or even showcase how different customers are benefiting from your products in a series of videos.

4. Optimize Your Video Strategy

The use of social video has been increasing rapidly among brands. 81% of businesses in a Wyzowl study said that they are using video for marketing. These numbers are impressive considering how only 63% were using it in 2017. And 78% of marketers in the study said that they’re getting a good ROI out of video. In some cases, video ads even manage to outperform image ads in terms of engagements and clicks.

There’s a good chance you’re already using video in your social media and advertising strategies. However, you should plan to optimize your video strategy further to get even better returns in 2019. If you aren’t already using videos, make sure to start in the coming year and use the following optimization tips for success:

1) Optimize for Sound Off

Avoid making videos that only make sense with the sound on. 85% of video views on Facebook are reproduced without sound, so you need to make sure that the videos you create make sense even when there’s no sound. You could add subtitles and text in video. Or you could create video ads with a storyline that clearly conveys your message without the need for sound.

2) Choose the Right Format

A majority of social media users access social platforms through their smartphones. So you need to keep these users in mind when creating your social videos. Choose a format that looks great both on a desktop screen and a phone screen. This means either letterbox or square videos, which have managed to get more views and engagements than landscape videos in an Animoto and Buffer study.

3) Keep It Short

Your feed videos and video ads should not be too long, or you could stand a chance of losing your viewers’ attention. Try to engage them immediately in the first few seconds to ensure that they continue watching. But don’t make it too long if you want to get your message across effectively.

5. Prepare for In-the-Moment Consumption

Ever since the introduction of Stories by Instagram and Facebook, there has been an increasing need for brands to create in-the-moment content for immediate consumption.

One of the main factors that contributed to this trend is the rapid rise in usage among consumers. As of May 2018, there were 150 million daily active users of the Facebook Stories feature. And from 300 million daily active users in November 2017, Instagram Stories now have 400 million daily active users.

Stories give brands the opportunity to engage and interact with their audiences through polls, reactions, and votes. These features allow consumers to get more involved in the content creation process and social media activity of brands. It enables them to lend their voices and directly influence how brands deliver content to them.

There’s also the fact that the content you deliver on Stories tends to be more authentic than pre-packaged content. You’re likely to use this feature to deliver in-the-moment content and showcase what’s happening at that moment. So rather than polishing and editing your content for your audience, you’re delivering something that’s real and authentic to win the trust of your audience.

For 2019, you can use the Stories feature to take your followers behind-the-scenes of your brand. Show them how your team is working to deliver the kind of products and services that they expect. You could also conduct polls and votes to see exactly what your audience likes. Ask them to vote on what topics or content formats they like the most, which influencers they’d like to see an interview of, and more.

The Q&A feature is an excellent option for brands that want to better engage their audience. You could conduct a Q&A session during which you answer some of your followers’ top questions.

Or you could use it in your influencer marketing campaign, where you have an industry influencer answering your followers’ questions. This allows your audience to actively engage with your Stories content and your brand.

Some brands like Lorna Jane, an activewear brand, take it one step further and use their Stories to feature their customers. This way, they can prominently showcase their appreciation for the community and make them feel included. But since these last for only 24 hours, they don’t have to worry even if the images are of low quality or do not fit their aesthetics. And they can still fill up their actual feed with professionally-taken photos.

Lorna Jane

6. Optimize Your Social Influencer Strategy

As mentioned earlier, social media algorithms are changing in such a way that a brand’s organic content has a harder time getting visibility on users’ news feeds. The content from accounts they interact with regularly gets more priority and visibility. So this has made it even more vital for brands to partner with real people such as influencers to improve their brands’ visibility.

People look up to influencers and regularly engage with their content, which is what helped them earn their influencer status in the first place. The ability to drive authentic engagement and reach a relevant audience has urged many brands to work with influencers even in the past years. In fact, influencer marketing doubled on Instagram during 2017, according to Klear.

At the same time, people are starting to lose trust in some influencers because of the multitude of endorsements they’ve signed up for. If someone is promoting a lot of brands without a bad thing to say about any of them, there’s a good chance they’ll lose the trust of their audience. So it’s crucial that you look for authentic influencers with a niche and relevant influence for 2019.

For increased authenticity and relevant reach, brands are looking to micro-influencers rather than top-tier ones. According to a Launchmetrics study, 45.8% of brands wanted to work with micro-influencers in 2018. And only 9.3% wanted to work with mega-influencers, who had over 500,000 followers.

So you could shift your focus to these authentic micro-influencers for your social influencer strategy in 2019. Micro-influencers also charge less, which is perfect if you want to realign your social media budget and prioritize on other tactics such as ads and videos.

Conclusion

These are some of the best tactics and updates you should prepare for if you want to launch a successful social media campaign in 2019. It’s clear that the biggest change will be to the importance of different types of video content. You will need to realign your budget and focus on ads and video for a bigger impact.

The post Plan Your Social Media Campaigns To Win at Marketing in 2019 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/plan-your-social-media-campaigns-to-win-at-marketing-in-2019/

4 Reasons Psychology Can Boost Your Social Marketing Efforts

Research shows that when consumers make small commitments, they’re more likely to eventually make a purchase. Consequently, before asking a consumer to buy something, many marketing professionals ask them to take actions that might include signing up for an email newsletter, following a brand on social media or downloading an e-book. The marketers then leverage the consumers’ compliance to encourage them to buy. This increases the likelihood that they will eventually decide in favor of the marketer’s goods.

For this process to work, marketers must understand human behavior. The following sections highlight four more ways that the understanding of human behavior boosts social marketing.

Reason 1: Leveraged Emotions Boost Engagement

Marketing messages that emphasize the emotional outcome of buying a service or a good product can produce better results. Additionally, in today’s competitive marketplace, advertisers must reframe how consumers perceive their competitors to gain an advantage.

While psychologists support the idea that specific actions will result in predetermined outcomes, consumers often have interesting and unpredictable responses to brand advertisements. Some marketers find it interesting to learn new ways to trigger desired emotional responses from consumers. They must also test how industry marketing best practices apply to their specific brand’s needs.

Be warned that negative commentary about competing goods and services is a recipe for disaster. However, savvy marketers know how to reinforce the idea that their products provide more value compared to other offerings without disparaging their competition. Also, it’s better to address offering shortcomings, rather than to hide them.

Reason 2: Understanding What Your Audience Loves Will Boost Awareness

Athletes hold more influence with consumers than any other celebrity type. Highly promoted deals for athletes who get paid millions of dollars are a common theme in the media. These unions result in more desirable products and impact modern culture considerably.

Corporate athlete endorsements reshape the influence and boost the profit of many brands. For instance, Michael Jordan’s initial 1984 endorsement by Nike has generated substantial revenue over the years. Another successful collaborative endorsement was when the clothing manufacturer Adidas backed soccer great Lionel Messi, who scored more than 500 goals for FC Barcelona, a partnership that resulted in the generation of $21.3 billion in revenue for the sports clothing manufacturer. Also, in one year, Messi’s social media activity alone generated $53.5 million for the company.

Reason 3: Promoting Exclusivity Can Create Market Value

Some skilled marketers deploy a tactic that’s called exclusivity. At first glance, the practice may appear contradictory to the concept of making a profit. However, consumers like exclusive goods and services. It’s human nature for individuals to want what they can’t have and what others covet.

Consumers are attracted to the idea of exclusivity because it shows the world that they’ve accomplished something. Because of this, smart marketers use emotions to trigger this feeling. Many enterprises promote the idea of exclusivity with something as simple as words used in a promotion. Some businesses, such as Groupon, promote exclusivity by framing their entire business model around the concept of limited supply, and other companies use deadlines to create a sense of urgency.

Reason 4: Repositioning Your Competition Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Consumers are typically loyal to a limited number of brands. Because of this, competing marketers must re-position how consumers think about products to gain an advantage. As a result, smart marketers use psychology in a way that’s ethical and legal to encourage potential consumers to buy. A good example of this tactic is the J.M. Smucker company’s Jif peanut butter marketing campaign. Basically, the food manufacturer instilled in the minds of consumers the idea that other brands did not care about the quality of the food that’s consumed by their children.

Today’s advertisers use the scientific method to generate results. They continually look for new ways to engage consumers by developing hypotheses to test and validate their predictions. Some marketers do stick with familiar advertising best-practices. However, forward-thinking marketing professionals develop their own experiments to gauge how consumers react to brand messages. Sometimes, the insights they discover completely contradict psychological studies. This is because consumers don’t always think rationally and respond to different stimuli when they are in varying environments.

Research shows that psychological approaches that appeal to emotions resonate more with consumers. For example, advertisements that highlight benefits typically outsell ones that promote features. Since the 18th century, salespeople have understood the potential of emotional appeals. Ambitious marketers that want to make the most out of their campaigns need only to keep in mind an advertisement from this time that read, “We are not here to sell boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.”

The post 4 Reasons Psychology Can Boost Your Social Marketing Efforts appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/4-reasons-psychology-can-boost-your-social-marketing-efforts/

An Epic Year in Storytelling: 7 Brand Stories that Resonated with Us

With countless push alerts, newsletters and news feeds dominating our screen the second we wake up, only an extremely small number of content truly make our thumps stop. Lying at the core of a piece of quality content is the ability to narrative a great story to engage the audience.

It’s estimated that in 2019, there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the world, and the number is ever-increasing. With social media’s mass influence, all brands are tempted to capture the hearts of people with an impactful campaign.

As stories, not only as a platform but as a narrative, become more dominating, being able to deliver powerful stories ties in closely with a brand’s ability to achieve success.

NEED COPY

Here, we look back on the social media campaigns that have dominated our screens for the past year, dissecting what have been the most powerful examples of storytelling, and how these brands managed to deliver it.

Intuit, A Giant Story

Being able to navigate through complicated work documents, have a successful business and enjoy life after work with someone you love…how great does that sound? All these ideal life scenarios are captured in Intuit’s four-minute long animation, “A Giant Story.”

This Silicon Valley software company partnered with an animation team to create a story of a flower shop owner who struggled with work-life balance but eventually sorted everything out with the help of a giant robot. The robot symbolizes the way Intuit taps into the complicated network of data using advanced technologies.

The flower shop owner has an image that appeals to Intuit’s audience, in that a lot of the brand’s target audience want to better manage their businesses and money. By humanizing the brand using a straightforward and engaging video story, Intuit is able to present itself as a brand that is helpful and approachable.

National Geographic, Your Shot

National Geographic is known as being the #1 brand on social — for a reason. The brand makes an effort to engage with their community by encouraging UGC (User Generated Content) and regularly showcasing them through social.

One of Nat Geo’s subchannels, Your Shot, is the best example of the brand’s devotion to community engagement. Every day, this Instagram account curates and publishes photos from user submissions around the world, alongside with comments from Nat Geo’s editors. Some of the photos come with stories of where and how the shot was made, adding emotions and value to the still pictures.

As a community that has existed for 13 years, Your Shot prides itself in the ability to tell stories collaboratively with Nat Geo’s very own photographers, while harboring a community where members share and learn from each other. To date, Nat Geo’s Your Shot has become a space where quality, personal storytelling is encouraged and valued.

General Electric, Together We Work

As an established brand that started more than 130 years ago, it’s amazing how good the brand is becoming on social media — especially on video. Earlier in the year, General Electric launched Together We Work, a video series that showcases the work and stories of GE employees from all over the globe.

The series is powerful in two ways. First, it educates the public with the fact that GE is so much more than a company that manufactures home appliances, that it invests in technological innovations like 3D printing and drones. Second, it uses its own employees as advocates for the brand. The series is full of GE’s amazing employees stories of how they add value and give back to the community through work. With these relatable, real-life human-interest stories, GE finds a way to connect to all audience easily.

LinkedIn, #InItTogether

At the beginning of the year, LinkedIn launched a social media campaign titled #InItTogether, featuring professionals from various fields answering question on “what are you in it for?” In the form of videos, posts, tweets, etc., while the public reacts with what motivates them forward in their careers.

Its video ad campaign featuring dozens of professionals creates a compelling narrative where the focus is no longer about the site’ capabilities in connecting people, but how LinkedIn users can help each other out by being in the community and network together. This certainly fosters a sense of community where the audience is encouraged to feel more attached and loyal to the site, and take up the initiative to support each other.

Wealthsimple, Investing for Humans

What’s in your mind when you are asked about money? The answer can be drastically different depending on whom you ask. Wealthsimple, an online investment management service that focuses on making “investing easier for millennials, turned people’s reaction on this question into a video campaign.

In their Investing for Human video, people revealed their truest emotions talking about personal finances — some contemplative, some silent and some visibly upset. What’s smart about this video is that it does not look like an ad at all, because nothing about the company is mentioned. However, every element in this video draws the audience into an initial interest in the brand’s money products.

Stories are most powerful when they are about human and feels authentic. Since Wealthsimple has a target demographic of 20 something millennials, this approach proves to be simple yet effective to live on social media.

Burger King, Whopper Neutrality

Remember the Net Neutrality repeal that frightened every one this year? Burger King had something to say about it — through a Whopper.

The burger chain did a social experiment in which they compared the Net Neutrality repeal to the selling of a Whopper burger. In the video, customers were angry, upset and confused about the way they chose to sell burgers. “This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The Burger King brand believes the Internet should be like the Whopper sandwich: the same for everyone,” writes Burger King.

As a brand, choosing to take a stand on political issues can have unexpected consequences, but those that choose to do it will for sure attract like-minded audience. By sharing the story of selling a burger in an almost ridiculous way, Burger King not only stands up for equality, but probably more importantly, sells some Whoppers.

Nike, Reactland

What makes a storytelling experience even better? When it’s immersive.

To promote the launch of its cutting-edge running shoes, Epic React, Nike developed and installed an immersive, game-like experience where runner can transfer themselves into a game character on a big screen, who moves forward in the game backdrop as they run on a treadmill.

A powerful story has a pace or a plot that moves itself forward and keeps the audience engaged. And by gamifying an experience, the audience themselves are transferred into the central piece of the experience and tasked with moving themselves along. And since it’s easy to get addicted to game, why not do it in a healthy way like running?

All these powerful storytelling strategies we’ve seen from 2018 have something in common — they center on the human-interest aspect of the stories, stay authentic to the brand’s core value, and try to give back to the world in their own ways. After all, these are also the key elements that help a brand stay in the market. We hope their success can shed some light on how you can enhance your brand’s storytelling in the new year.

The importance of storytelling is why we are devoting Social Media Week’s new year to diving into “STORIES,” our 2019 global theme. Kicking off in April, Social Media Week New York brings together professionals from media, marketing and technology to share insights on how you can make the best out of a story. Your last chance to get 25% off #SMWNYC passes purchase ends this Friday, so secure your seat today before the deal expires!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post An Epic Year in Storytelling: 7 Brand Stories that Resonated with Us appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/an-epic-year-in-storytelling-7-brand-stories-that-resonated-with-us/