Category: Social Media Advice

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

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

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

Wanna Talk About It?

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

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

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

Fueling Empathy & Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Ways COVID-19 is Shaping Consumer Behavior

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

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

SHOPPING HABITS

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

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

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

ENTERTAINMENT

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

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

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

TRAVEL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy a pass, gift a pass

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

What’s included?

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

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

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

Join the #SMWONE Mission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NAVIGATING THE PLATFORM

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

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

FUELING FUNDRAISERS

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

HELP MAP VS. COMMUNITY HELP

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

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

‘HOW CAN I HELP?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 LinkedIn Courses to Boost Mindfulness and Productivity

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

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

Managing Mental Health and Reducing Stress

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

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

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

Let’s break these down a bit more.

Shifting out of ‘flight or fight’ mode

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

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

Staying focused and grounded

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

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

Getting unstuck and managing overwhelming thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Fab Outstanding Network Event and Masterclass with Pat Slattery Followed by a fab LinkedIn seminar with Martin Murtagh…

Today was another fab Outstanding Network Event which also included a business master class for the Legend that is Pat Slattery.

Success Habits

Me listening to Pat…

This Masterclass was followed by a LinkedIn Seminar from one of the Outstanding Members, Martin Murtagh.

Martin Murtagh

I know LinkedIn pretty well and still walked away learning some new things and be reminded of a few more. I also got to see some of the latest LinkedIn Stats which was fab!

LinkedIn Seminar…

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

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

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

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

But let’s start with the definition.

WHAT IS SOCIAL LISTENING

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

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

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

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

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

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

1. Perfecting customer care

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

2. Assessing brand reputation

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

3. Market research

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

Some also analyze demographics and psychographics of the authors.

4. Competitor research

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

5. Product research

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

6. Social selling and raising brand awareness

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

7. Influencer marketing

Social listening identifies influencers and brand advocates in your niche.

8. Link building

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE VERIFIED MERCHANT PROGRAM

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

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

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

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

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

PROGRAM PERKS & THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE

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

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

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

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

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

How Platforms are Helping Brands and Users Navigate COVID-19

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

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

FACEBOOK

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

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

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

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

INSTAGRAM

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

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

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

SNAPCHAT

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

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

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

TIKTOK

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

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

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

TWITTER

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

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

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

PINTEREST

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Report

A little trust, a little love, and a lot of convenience…

From digital detoxing and data security to the demand for fast and personalized experiences, new forces are changing the rules of customer engagement. 

But amid all these changes, there are timeless customer needs that won’t be changing anytime soon. 

In this ebook, you’ll discover three keys to customer engagement that you can use to build a lasting marketing strategy.

What You’ll Learn

  • What today’s customers expect from your brand on social
  • The 3 C’s of customer engagement
  • How real brands are putting these principles into practice

See Report Below…

Rest of the 2020 Social Media Report Slides.

For more Facebook News, or Social Media please click the links.

Please also see our The Voice of Social Media Blog & Entrepreneur Zone Blog

Business News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – For other Business Advice & News see http://mikearmstrong.me & http://mikearmstrong.me/news/

Why Facebook is Bringing Brand Loyalty Programs In-App

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

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

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

HOW IT WORKS

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

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

Making Ephemerality and Encryption a New Norm

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Get Started with Your First Social Listening Campaign

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

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

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

ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS

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

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

Brand names include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work with the results

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

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

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

Analytics is here to show you the big picture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LINKEDIN CONVERSATION ADS

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

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

CAMPAIGN SET UP & ESTABLISHING RELEVANCE IN REAL-TIME

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

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

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

BRAND USE CASES

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

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

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

The relevancy of personalized messaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are times of fast-changing news around COVID-19. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In times like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these thoughts with you. Sometimes, it’s best to just start a conversation.

Last Thursday (March 12, 2020), as a team, we took a moment to stop and reflect. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts a few days ago, now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-19 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our customers — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media management look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below thoughts can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t an opportunity

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Just don’t use COVID-19 as a platform to self-promote. 

Pause and reconsider your social media plans (and goals)

If you haven’t already, now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and pieces of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday (March 16th), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a new episode lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we hit pause on that temporarily to focus on the more immediate needs of our customers and our audience. (We still plan to launch the new style podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might look a little different.)

It’s also a good time to reflect on any goals you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new customer acquisition goals might shift towards a focus on customer retention and support.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content paused and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, promotion or analytics, now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t directly customer facing like a social media audit. 

Is your company able to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-19 conversation.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some way by COVID-19, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the start, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work:

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources. 

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and insights into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding:

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad budgets, Privy hosted a webinar focused on making the most from your existing traffic: 

Loom made changes to its platform to help students and teachers: 

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q&A about remote work: 

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What role does your brand play in this situation?

(And it’s completely fine if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it.)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an entertainment brand, maybe your audience could do with a fun distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early

If you’re a travel company, dealing with support might be more of a priority, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening. 

And as a local business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and restaurant in Cleveland has been keeping its followers regularly updated with open hours and updates:

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your customers, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your team shifting to remote work will impact customer service response times, or delivery times, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted consumers are getting much more communication than usual from the brands and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key messages.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give you customers as much time as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its customers on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep customers informed

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems work on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia made the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020:

In its announcement, Patagonia made sure to over-communicate and provide customers with plenty of information about how it is dealing with COVID-19. In the Twitter thread sharing the announcement about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its customers:

  • We will temporarily close our stores, offices and other operations at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020.
  • Employees who can work from home will do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.
  • We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail stores at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s customers that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

(This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis.)

Support and keep your team informed 

Work will look a little different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embrace the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some expectations around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new working practices productivity might not be at its usual levels, and it’s important to let your team know how your company plans to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the new work environment.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-19, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote team, we’ve also been making extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chats and get togethers, too. 

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels incredibly important for company leaders, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their teams and each other. 

Further resources on crisis communication and social media management

Here are a few resources we’ve found helpful for thinking about social media and communication strategy at this time:

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-management-in-times-of-crisis

Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are times of fast-changing news around COVID-19. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In times like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these thoughts with you. Sometimes, it’s best to just start a conversation.

Last Thursday (March 12, 2020), as a team, we took a moment to stop and reflect. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts a few days ago, now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-19 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our customers — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media management look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below thoughts can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t an opportunity

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Just don’t use COVID-19 as a platform to self-promote. 

Pause and reconsider your social media plans (and goals)

If you haven’t already, now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and pieces of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday (March 16th), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a new episode lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we hit pause on that temporarily to focus on the more immediate needs of our customers and our audience. (We still plan to launch the new style podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might look a little different.)

It’s also a good time to reflect on any goals you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new customer acquisition goals might shift towards a focus on customer retention and support.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content paused and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, promotion or analytics, now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t directly customer facing like a social media audit. 

Is your company able to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-19 conversation.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some way by COVID-19, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the start, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work:

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources. 

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and insights into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding:

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad budgets, Privy hosted a webinar focused on making the most from your existing traffic: 

Loom made changes to its platform to help students and teachers: 

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q&A about remote work: 

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What role does your brand play in this situation?

(And it’s completely fine if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it.)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an entertainment brand, maybe your audience could do with a fun distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early

If you’re a travel company, dealing with support might be more of a priority, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening. 

And as a local business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and restaurant in Cleveland has been keeping its followers regularly updated with open hours and updates:

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your customers, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your team shifting to remote work will impact customer service response times, or delivery times, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted consumers are getting much more communication than usual from the brands and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key messages.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give you customers as much time as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its customers on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep customers informed

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems work on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia made the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020:

In its announcement, Patagonia made sure to over-communicate and provide customers with plenty of information about how it is dealing with COVID-19. In the Twitter thread sharing the announcement about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its customers:

  • We will temporarily close our stores, offices and other operations at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020.
  • Employees who can work from home will do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.
  • We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail stores at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s customers that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

(This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis.)

Support and keep your team informed 

Work will look a little different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embrace the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some expectations around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new working practices productivity might not be at its usual levels, and it’s important to let your team know how your company plans to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the new work environment.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-19, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote team, we’ve also been making extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chats and get togethers, too. 

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels incredibly important for company leaders, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their teams and each other. 

Further resources on crisis communication and social media management

Here are a few resources we’ve found helpful for thinking about social media and communication strategy at this time:

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-management-in-times-of-crisis

Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are times of fast-changing news around COVID-19. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In times like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these thoughts with you. Sometimes, it’s best to just start a conversation.

Last Thursday (March 12, 2020), as a team, we took a moment to stop and reflect. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts a few days ago, now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-19 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our customers — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media management look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below thoughts can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t an opportunity

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Just don’t use COVID-19 as a platform to self-promote. 

Pause and reconsider your social media plans (and goals)

If you haven’t already, now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and pieces of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday (March 16th), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a new episode lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we hit pause on that temporarily to focus on the more immediate needs of our customers and our audience. (We still plan to launch the new style podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might look a little different.)

It’s also a good time to reflect on any goals you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new customer acquisition goals might shift towards a focus on customer retention and support.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content paused and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, promotion or analytics, now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t directly customer facing like a social media audit. 

Is your company able to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-19 conversation.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some way by COVID-19, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the start, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work:

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources. 

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and insights into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding:

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad budgets, Privy hosted a webinar focused on making the most from your existing traffic: 

Loom made changes to its platform to help students and teachers: 

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q&A about remote work: 

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What role does your brand play in this situation?

(And it’s completely fine if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it.)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an entertainment brand, maybe your audience could do with a fun distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early

If you’re a travel company, dealing with support might be more of a priority, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening. 

And as a local business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and restaurant in Cleveland has been keeping its followers regularly updated with open hours and updates:

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your customers, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your team shifting to remote work will impact customer service response times, or delivery times, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted consumers are getting much more communication than usual from the brands and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key messages.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give you customers as much time as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its customers on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep customers informed

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems work on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia made the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020:

In its announcement, Patagonia made sure to over-communicate and provide customers with plenty of information about how it is dealing with COVID-19. In the Twitter thread sharing the announcement about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its customers:

  • We will temporarily close our stores, offices and other operations at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020.
  • Employees who can work from home will do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.
  • We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail stores at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s customers that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

(This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis.)

Support and keep your team informed 

Work will look a little different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embrace the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some expectations around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new working practices productivity might not be at its usual levels, and it’s important to let your team know how your company plans to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the new work environment.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-19, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote team, we’ve also been making extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chats and get togethers, too. 

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels incredibly important for company leaders, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their teams and each other. 

Further resources on crisis communication and social media management

Here are a few resources we’ve found helpful for thinking about social media and communication strategy at this time:

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-management-in-times-of-crisis

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

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

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

FACEBOOK’S $100 MILLION AID PROGRAM

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

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

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

VIRTUAL training AND EMBRACING A REMOTE WORKFORCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing #SMWONE: A Virtual Conference Series

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

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

Being Transparent about our Process

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

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

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

Pivoting to #SMWONE in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking Ahead and Welcoming Changes

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing #SMWONE: A Virtual Conference Series

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The latest Social Media News From Social Media Today…

Social Media Today

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From Our Library


View all resources

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What We’re Reading



Discover More

Mike Armstrong Media

Mike Armstrong Media

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The latest Social Media News From Social Media Today…

Social Media Today

Editor’s Choice

Best of Social Media Today




From Our Library


View all resources

Upcoming Events


What We’re Reading



Discover More

Mike Armstrong Media

Mike Armstrong Media

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Twitter Post Writting Tips

4 Top Twitter Marketing Tips

  1. Eliminate all caps - They can come across as shouting and may reduce the effectiveness of your message
  2. Percentages work better than dollar amounts - This has been noted in various Twitter studies - more people click on tweets which use percentages than those with $ discounts.
  3. Do not go overboard on hashtags - And interestingly, Waddington removes the tags in this tweet completely. Previous research has indicated that one or two hashtags per tweet generates the most engagement, but with usage behavior evolving, it may well benefit your campaign goals to leave them out entirely.
  4. Website Cards - If you don't have Twitter website cards enabled on your website, it's worth going through the process and switching them on. You need to add a line of code to your site, but once added, Twitter will be able to pull in summary and image info from your website to populate the card element, creating a more professional looking tweet, and maximizing your space for users to click-through. Note too that, in order for website cards to work, you need to add the URL to the end of your tweet - don't put your hashtags, or anything else, after the URL.

Introducing Best Time to Post: Personalized Recommendations to Increase Your Reach on Instagram

Search “best time to post on Instagram” and you’ll find countless articles telling you when to post according to studies of a few million Instagram posts.

We have written such articles ourselves. For a long time, we thought that’s the way to grow our reach and engagement on social media.

But that is no longer the best approach.

There are many reasons for the change. Most importantly, you now have much more data about your own posts and followers. The best time to post is when your followers are online and engaging with your posts.

How do you know when to post?

Well, you can now get recommendations for when to post on Instagram to maximize your reach, with Analyze. Curious to find out more? Read on.

Introducing Best Time to Post: Personalized Recommendations to Increase Your Reach on Instagram

Analytics as your assistant

Analytics is often simply numbers and graphs. It’s easy to understand why some people are intimidated by analytics. But that doesn’t have to be the way. Analytics can be joyful and fun. It should help you take away the tedious work of dissecting graphs and calculating numbers. Analytics should feel like your assistant.

With Analyze, you don’t just get charts. You’ll also see three recommended times to post on Instagram. They are times when your predicted reach is among the highest during the week.

Most people would find the three recommendations sufficient but if you want more, you can then dive into the charts.

Best time to post on Instagram in Analyze

How does it work?

Your brand’s best time to post is unique to your own brand. That’s because your Instagram followers behave differently from the followers of other brands. So your best time to post should be dependent on your followers’ behavior.

Here’s how Analyze predicts your reach:

First, it looks at how your previous Instagram posts have performed and when they were posted. Do posts at certain times of the day or the week get more reach? Second, to make the predictions more accurate, it also looks at when your Instagram followers are online.

Using these two pieces of information, Analyze predicts your reach on Instagram for each hour of the week. For each hour, Analyze also informs you how the predicted reach compares with the average hourly reach for the whole week.

The predicted reach for this hour is 31% higher than the average post reach of the week.

Then, it recommends three times to try.

You’ll notice that the three times aren’t necessarily the three times with the highest predicted reach. That is intentional. The top times are often next to each other (e.g. Wednesday at 1pm and Wednesday at 2pm). Unless you are posting about a live event, it doesn’t help your reach by publishing multiple posts around the same time. By spreading out your posts throughout the week, you can maximize your reach for the week.

Grow your reach more efficiently

Once you know your best times to post, you can go to Publish to update your posting schedule.

First, go to your Instagram account in Publish and click “Settings” then “Posting Schedule”.

Here, you can add new posting times or adjust your existing posting times to your best times to post.

The times are saved automatically, and you are ready to publish at your best times! Simply add new posts to your queue to schedule them at those times.

It’s worth noting your best times to post can change over time. While your followers’ behavior shouldn’t change drastically, every new post gives Analyze additional data to work with. With that, it might find new best times to post. I would recommend checking your best times to post every few months, especially if you have recently tried new posting times.

Insights delivered to you

We should all be spending less time figuring out our data and more time optimizing our campaigns. With the recommendations in Analyze, you can save some time analyzing your data or reading “best time to post” articles so that you can focus on what’s more important — creating great content.

This new feature is available on all Analyze plans. Give it a go, and take some time back from analyzing your data.

Try Analyze today.

P.S. In the future, you can expect Analyze to surface more insights to you, rather than you searching for them yourself.

https://buffer.com/resources/best-time-to-post-on-instagram

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

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

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

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

PROVIDING AN OFF-RAMP TO KEY RESOURCES

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

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

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

EMPLOYING GOOD AI: FUELING NEW APPROACHES TO PUBLIC HEALTH

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

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

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

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

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

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WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

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

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

How Measurement Is Driving Influencer Marketing’s Maturation

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

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

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

The Emerging Metrics Driving ROI

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

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

The Next Step: Proving Sales Lift

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

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

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

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WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

The post How Measurement Is Driving Influencer Marketing’s Maturation appeared first on Social Media Week.

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