Tag: Branding

Coca-Cola’s Social Accounts Go Dark, to Bring Light to the Internet

If you happened to take a peek at Coca-Cola’s North American social feeds over Veteran’s Day weekend, you might have noticed something curious: they were blank.

The company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts went dark for a time, with only a red and white “refresh” logo displayed. But they sprang back to life on World Kindness Day with a new message and new look.

Embracing their status as “the most optimistic brand on social media,” Coca-Cola returned on November 13th with a distinct new look and image. According to AdWeek, the goal of this particular refresh strategy was “for Coke’s more than 8 million followers in the US to engage with the content and share the simple, yet actionable, messages of positivity with their networks.” The art was the result of collaborations with four street artists who created custom art for the company: Atlanta’s Greg Mike, Zurich’s Stefan Kunz, Brooklyn’s Ricardo Gonzalez, and NYC’s Timothy Goodman.

Sarah Traverso, group director for Coca-Cola’s in-house Social Center, drew the connection between brand identity and brand imagery. “Our fans are looking for things that make them smile, which is a great insight for Coca-Cola because it aligns to our values of optimism, uplift, and bringing people together to share moments of happiness.” She also appreciated the project as an opportunity to create a more consistent brand image for Coke. “While we’re proud of [our old feeds], it didn’t feel like it was coming from one cohesive point of view.” The resulting refresh of the feed was therefore figurative and literal. “This is meant to be a visual punctuation…a real shift.”

To execute the shift, accounts went dark from Friday, November 9th to Tuesday, November 13th. Instagram is the only platform that would allow the brand to execute a “full refresh,” or remove all posts; Traverso says only about 50% of the old content, that which most aligns to the new look, is slated for possible return. For their Facebook and Twitter accounts, blank posts were inserted and profile photos were changed to the mysterious red and white refresh icon. “This is really a great moment in time for us to reset, holistically, our social strategy on the Coke brand handles.”

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Why Brands Are Posting Way More Content To Facebook

In the second quarter of 2018, the top 20,000 pages on Facebook posted an incredible 8.1 million times, up 24 percent from the first quarter.

That’s according to analysis from a joint Buffer-BuzzSumo report, which analyzed 43 million Facebook posts to see how brands are performing on the platform this year.

It seems that in response to Facebook’s decision to emphasize person-to-person over Page-to-person interactions on News Feeds, brands are throwing as much content as possible against the Facebook wall to see what sticks.

So far, results—at least from an engagement perspective—are underwhelming.

Brands are flooding Facebook with way more content

Although there’s always been debate about this, the general rule of thumb has been that more posts and more content lead to more engagement.

So when brands were told that each post would get less reach in this new era of Facebook, they began to create even more content to compensate: According to Buffer, the world’s top brands posted nearly 20,000 more pieces of content every day in Q2 2018 than they did in Q1 2017.

While most pages put up new content a handful of times a day, some are hitting the Post button as much as 80 times in a 24 hour period, according to Facebook.

And yet: engagement is down across the board

Buffer’s research shows that overall page engagement is down 50 percent over the last 18 months, and individual post engagement is down a whopping 65 percent.

It doesn’t matter what pages are posting—engagement for images, videos, and links are all way down.

There are a few theories being floated as to why engagement is down, beyond a general reshuffling of what’s considered important by Facebook:

  • Increased competition: The News Feed is the same size it’s always been, which means only so many posts can populate the feed at once.
  • Improved content: The bar is higher than ever for putting out quality content, and only the best stuff will get the same traction that lower-grade content once did.
  • Ad content is being prioritized: Facebook is making an effort to feature paid advertisements in the feed more often, and that’s crowding out unpaid content.

How to find your brand’s sweet spot

If you’re worried that your business’s content is getting lost in the deluge, you may be right.

Buffer recommends an average of five posts per day, with a greater emphasis on the quality of each post, rather than a larger quantity, to make sure you’re getting the most ROI for everything you produce.

Also, keep in mind that images primarily perform better than video at this point, and both do better than simple links to other sites. Your content should also be mobile-optimized and speak to your audience and their reasons for sharing.

If you’re still not getting traction, figuring out to how to create quality paid spots may be the way to go. There are more ways than ever to engage your audience with paid spots, particularly in long-form video.

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

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The First Rule of Brand Safety: Stake Your Claim

Brand safety is important because you want your company to be consistent across every platform and your website. If you are creating a new presence or reevaluating your old one, you need to make sure you own the following:

  • Facebook page
  • Twitter handle
  • Instagram account
  • Snapchat account
  • LinkedIn profile
  • YouTube account
  • Pinterest account
  • An account with any other social media relevant to your business.
  • Any domain names associated with your business.

You may know already that YouTube or Pinterest isn’t where you want to focus your branding efforts. That’s absolutely fine. You should create an account with your business name anyway.

Why You Must Stake Your Claim

It may seem like a waste of time, but it’s far from it. By taking these steps now, you ensure that a competitor can’t squat on your name, forcing you to come up with an alternative when you decide to take advantage of a new marketing channel. While you know that’s morally wrong, you never know when a competitor is going to decide to fight dirty. Don’t let them.

Even if your competitors aren’t malicious, it’s necessary to claim an account related to your business because there may be a similarly named business elsewhere. For example, let’s say I run a lipstick business and name it Allison’s Lips and some other woman named Allison decided to call her business Lips by Allison. We’re probably going to have customers confuse us.

Clearly Define Your Brand

In this situation, one of us would most likely change our name to differentiate us. However, some industries, such as auto dealerships, are often are named “Location Brand” or “Brand of Location.” There’s not much you can do in that situation, except make sure your brands are clearly defined. The last thing you want is for your customers to think they’re interacting with you only to find out that it’s a similarly named business or someone who doesn’t share your values.

Being the first one to claim any names related to your business will establish your web presence, so you don’t have to worry about another business potentially claiming assets that should be yours.

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

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How To Use Influencers To Create Your Own Social Media Funnel

Online influencers are often bombarded with requests to work with brands, with these collaborations nearly always taking the form of sponsored content on the influencers’ blogs and/or social media profiles.

Sure, these types of opportunities can bring in a decent and steady stream of revenue for those who are willing to work at it. But many influencers struggle with the possibility of becoming a constant advertisement. If you aren’t careful, you can compromise the relationship of trust that you have with your followers, effectively destroying your ability to monetize influence by over-monetizing your influence.

And besides, it just doesn’t feel right to many of us, working hard to churn out engaging assets that convert, just for a proportionately tiny taste of someone else’s business. Too many promoted third-party products, without enough value, is a recipe for losing an audience.

So, how can influencers still use their status to earn money, without having to peddle other people’s products to pad their pockets? It’s as simple as monetizing your own brand, which can be accomplished in any number of ways.

Not sure where to start as an influencer? Check out these suggestions.

Create and Sell Your Own Online Courses

Think about your niche and the kinds of things your audience would be most likely to want to learn. Then, combine that information with your knowledge and expertise to develop a list of topics you could build out into online courses.

Thanks to the rise of end-to-end DIY course selling platforms like Kajabi, people with limited technical backgrounds can easily leverage their influence with online courses and membership sites, without having to know a bit of code. The platform goes one step further and makes it easy to manage your entire online presence by giving you a built-in blog, an unlimited number of static pages, the ability to offer free webinars, a landing page builder, triggered emails and site themes to give you a professional design.

Sell Your Expertise as a Consultant

Once people learn you’re knowledgeable about something, they often come to you looking for advice and strategy guidance on how to accomplish what you have. And while you may be okay with helping friends and family members for free, you shouldn’t use that approach with everyone.

Your time is worth money, and consulting can become quite the revenue stream. But, starting a consulting firm from scratch can be discouraging, even with the influence you already have. That’s where using Clarity.fm simplifies the process. After you’ve established yourself as an expert on the platform and set your per-minute rate, people can browse to find you and request a call. Customers are pre-charged for the estimated length of the call based on your rate, and are connected with you via a conference line. At the end of the call, the charge is adjusted to reflect the actual length of the call. This is an excellent option for experts in SEO, online marketing, social media marketing, entrepreneurship, web design, business and product development, and many other industries.

Create and Sell Printed Products

If you like the idea of creating your own branded line of physical products, but don’t want the hassle of finding a printer, the risk of having too much inventory on hand, or the stress of shipping orders, then an on-demand service like Printful can be extremely advantageous.

Offer products with your designs on swag such as posters, canvas prints, caps, sweatshirts, socks, t-shirts, phone cases and coffee mugs. Even if you need a little help bringing your concepts to life, Printful has a team for that, too. Everything is printed and shipped to order, so you never have any financial risk of pre-purchasing too much or too little, having a product go out of stock, or even dealing with fulfillment at all.

Monetize YouTube Videos and Live Streams

In 2017, YouTube launched Super Chat to help creators monetize their videos and live streams, with the idea that highly passionate fans will want to pay for highlighted comments and interactions during videos and live streams. YouTube is providing this option, so creators can earn more from their videos, while simultaneously deepening their relationships with fans and followers.

YouTuber Jacksepticeye, whose videos focus on video game commentary, does a monthly charity livestream where he asks his fans and followers not to sponsor his channel, but instead to donate to a charity. In January 2018, his livestream raised money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and it’s been viewed 1.6 million times. The original goal was $50,000 and revised to $200,000. By the end of the broadcast, he had raised well over $225,000. Though the revenue wasn’t for him, so this is a perfect example of using influence for the greater good. Throughout the session, he read and responded to comments from viewers while also playing games as usual.

Create and Sell Your Own Digital Products

For influencers who want a little something different, digital products are a good way to go. You can sell anything from eBooks to cheat sheets and videos, audio files – basically any kind of content you want. You can always use these things as lead magnets to build an even larger audience, too.

There are tons of options out there to help you sell your digital products, but Podia keeps things especially simple for the consumer, which is a plus for you when it comes to providing a positive user experience. They don’t have to create an account or sign in – all they have to do is enter their payment information and email address.

Freedom to Build a Stronger Brand That Earns

When influencers go beyond using other people’s products to earn an income for themselves, they are strengthening their own brands. As fans and followers see they have their own products and services to offer, they will likely recommend to friends and family just like they did with any previous sponsored content, furthering the growth of your personal brand and its influence.

Plus, it shows the audience that you as an influencer have been paying attention, because now you’re offering things that are customized specifically to them.

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

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How to Build a Marketing Campaign that Appeals to Generation Z

Technology enables brands to connect with audiences on a personal level cost effectively, at incredible scale. Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all provide customizable platforms for businesses to reach their customers. However, just because you build a social media account doesn’t mean anyone is going to pay attention. This is particularly true for Generation Z-ers, or…


Are we so used to corporate deception that we just don’t care?

Is our trust in advertising now so low that we are happy to let misrepresentation and even downright fraud wash over us as we keep heading for the tills? According to analysts, even VW is an “investable company” again. Read “The Conversation” article here, by Timothy Froggett, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Marketing, Anglia Ruskin University