Facebook Watch Adds Cult Classics ‘Firefly’ and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ to Attract Millennials Viewers

Last Friday, Facebook Watch made an effort to boost its video streaming service, by dropping every season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly” on the platform.

These three Whedonverse shows were added to the streaming service as a result of a deal between Facebook and 20th Century Fox Television.

Facebook launched Facebook Watch, its on-demand video service, back in August 2017 and become available internationally to all users a year later, but has yet to gain popularity among the majority of its users, especially among already existed competitors like YouTube and Netflix.

With these three new shows, Facebook Watch is also encouraging viewers to watch them with its Watch Party feature, which allows users to watch videos while discussing in real-time with friends.

“What we’ve been focused on Watch is building a people-centric video platform, creating a social viewing experience where you can connect with other people who love the shows, and even the creatives who worked on them,” Matthew Henick, Head of Content Planning and Strategy for Media Partnerships for Facebook, said in a conversation with Variety.

Watch Party is a feature launched to Groups in July 2018 and has now been made available to all Pages and users, meaning anyone can start a Watch Party with friends directly from the videos they are watching, or by sharing on their Timeline. Since Watch Party’s launch, more than 12 million Watch Parties have been streamed, according to Variety.

What makes it even more fascinating is in Facebook Watch’s choice of streaming these particular three shows, which dp have a cult following two decades ago but don’t seem to be the favorites of Millennials and Gen Z. It thus seems to be Watch’s effort to focus on attracting older Millennials.

“We are excited to bring iconic pop culture favorites like these series for their avid fan communities to experience them in new ways, and for new fans to discover these awesome 90s classics,” said Facebook’s VP of Video, Fidji Simo, in her Facebook post.

Although, as CNBC reported, it can also be the hint of Facebook’s new strategy in reaction to teens leaving the main Facebook platform, with a new focus on viewers in their 30s and older.

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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What We Learned from 2018’s Worst Brand Marketing Decisions

It’s the time of the year to look back and reflect on what we’ve achieved, or what we have done wrong.

In 2018, we’ve seen some of the biggest marketing fallouts from brands across all industries. Below is a list of what some of those, and what marketers can learn from them.

Addressing controversies like race and gender

In January this year, H&M underwent a serious reputation crisis for tolerating racism, because of a modeling photo featuring an African-American boy wearing a green hoodie with “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE” on it. It was made trending on Twitter by blogger Stephanie Yeboah, who tweeted “Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle? I mean. What.’”

In response, H&M issued an apology saying “We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.” The media relations team told PR News that the item would no longer be for sale, and that the incident happened because internal procedures weren’t followed accordingly.

Another aspect that can get just as complicated as race is gender. This year on International Women’s Day, McDonald’s flipped its signature yellow “M” upside down on social media profiles and even in 100 restaurants across the country. With “W” standing for women, McDonald’s was expecting some applause from the public recognizing their effort in celebrating women. However, the campaign was faced with criticism as a misstep.

People expressed outrage on social media, condemning the brand for focusing onleft-wingan initiating real change to support women, especially in equal pay. The Guardian reported that Momentum, a British left wing group, posted a video about how McDonald’s low wages endangered women workers who face poverty and homelessness.

“This empty McFeminism has nothing to do with women’s liberation and everything to do with McDonald’s attempt to sanitise its image,” Laura Parker, Momentum’s national coordinator, told The Guardian.

Consumers nowadays don’t buy into empty pledges or stunts anymore, and they expect consistency from a brand. For H&M, similar crises will almost for sure pop up again in the future if they don’t make an effort to ensure that important policies and values are followed in every step of carrying out a campaign or producing a product. And for McDonald’s, the Women’s Day gesture came from a good place, but they needed to make sure controversial issues that bear any relevance to a campaign like this were addressed beforehand.

Backfire of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is such a hot topic that all brands want to give it a shot, however, when not executed properly, influencers can be the ones that initiate a loss of value and controversy, but not popularity.

After Snap integrated its redesign this February, Kylie Jenner, one of the internet’s most popular influencers who has a 25 million following, tweeted out something that Snap found quite hard to take, financially.

Following this tweet, Snap’s market value drop $1.3 billion overnight. Though her tweet might not be the only reason causing the drop, it most definitely had something to do with it.

In cases like this, it’s hard to predict which influencers won’t be happy about your brand’s new design or campaigns. It then becomes important to follow up with influencers, discuss in-depth what they want, and work out a plan to offset negative impacts.

Behaviors and words from top figures

A company’s CEOs nowadays are important public figures, sometimes even a bit like celebrities, to the public. And for big companies like Papa John’s, it’s hard to keep the secret in when something inappropriate happens. Back in July, Forbes reported that Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter made racial slurs and used the N-word during a conference call. Following the report, Schnatter had resigned as chairman of the board, though this incident has caused some serious reputational damage to the pizza chain.

It’s sad news for Papa John, especially since Schnatter has been very attached to the branding and stories of the chain. And for brands like Dolce & Gabbana, lead figures like designers can also cause huge marketing chaos.

Just last month, screenshots of an Instagram messages exchange between Dolce & Gabbana’s co-founder, Stefano Gabbana and an Instagram user, model Michele Tranovo, caused huge outrage in China. In these messages, Michele accused the brand of running a racially inappropriate ad featuring a Chinese model having difficulty eating Italian food with chopsticks. The designer seemed to not be happy about it and started fighting back by accusing the model of dog-eating habits, a stereotype against Chinese.

The exchange soon went viral and has led directly to the cancellation of the brand’s fashion show in Shanghai as celebrities originally signed onto the show canceled their attendance last minute and expressed extreme anger online. It’s for sure not to smart move for one of the brand’s top two designers to have irritated its biggest market.

The marketing nightmare didn’t end there. The designer later posted “NOT ME” on his Instagram trying to shed off the responsibility by saying his account has been hacked.

Top figures of a brand can sometimes be as influential to the company’s reputation as an influencer. A simple word said wrong can cause huge catastrophe, which is why everything they say should be carefully looked through and managed.

Managing data breaches

Facebook came under fire this March when it was revealed that the data company, Cambridge Analytica, had collected personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users through an app that scrapes data.

This damaging breach adds even more heat to the platform, especially at a time when it has already been constantly accused of not doing enough to protect users privacy.

Social platforms are easy targets for hackers as being great data sources. And the aftermath of this crisis spreads further than just the data spectrum. Leadership like Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg are under constant scrutiny; the public is experiencing a trust crisis with the platform and some of them even choose to leave forever; not to mention that the platform continues to struggle with user engagement and market performance.

It’s time for brands to think more carefully about the era of great data we are living in, and what are the steps to take when data breaches and privacy issues like this occur.

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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Life After the News Feed: Why Facebook is Shifting to Stories (And Why Your Business Should Too)

The News Feed is one of Facebook’s marque innovations.

Rolled out to users in 2006, it became the go-to place for people to connect with their friends,  share updates about their day-to-day life and enjoy content from brands they followed. Not to mention, it also played a pivotal role in Facebook’s march to advertising dominance.

In life and business, though, change is inevitable. And just as popular culture, music, and fashion move on,  Facebook should too.

For nearly a decade, the News Feed was the jewel in Facebook’s crown. However, over the past couple of years, Facebook has been locked into a battle with misinformation, troubled by privacy issues, and found itself trying to counter a decline in original content (photos, videos, status updates) shared by users. It even admitted the News Feed can have a negative impact on mental health.

This wasn’t the way it was meant to be.

Facebook was meant to help people stay connected with those closest to them. But Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the platform has underdelivered there. In a post on his Facebook Page back in January the Facebook founder noted:

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

And that should be a big worry for Facebook. When the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology looked into what factors can kill a social network, they found that when the bonds between users weren’t particularly strong, neither was the users’ relationship with that network.

The study also found that as networks grow, they become more cluttered, so we begin to miss out on some of the most relevant content from those closest to us. This is most definitely the case with Facebook — and was a key factor in the company’s decision to shift the News Feed to focus more on updates from people, not brands.

In a blog post about this change Facebook shared:

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

The rise of Stories

While the News Feed has been experiencing growing pains, a new format has arisen: Stories.

Since Snapchat debuted the Stories format in 2013, it’s gone from strength to strength and is quickly becoming the default format for content consumption and creation. In total, consulting firm Block Party estimates that nearly one billion accounts are using the Stories format daily and Zuckerberg recently shared that people now post more than one billion Stories every day.

At its annual, flagship conference, F8, Chris Cox, Facebook’s Facebook’s chief product officer, also noted that “the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.” And Zuckerberg recently added that “it looks like Stories will be a bigger medium than [news] feed has been.”

The shift to stories is coming

From making the status composer default to the camera to encourage Story creation on mobile, to adding Story preview tiles to the top of the feed, Facebook is constantly running tests and experiments to familiarise more of its user base with Stories.

Over on Instagram, 47 percent of users find that Instagram Stories helps them be more authentic in their communication with friends and family, something Facebook would love to encourage on its flagship product too.

In short, it feels safe to say that Facebook is pivoting to Stories. But when your platform is the size of Facebook’s, no change is ever simple.

The roadblocks ahead for Stories

The biggest hurdle for Facebook’s move to Stories is revenue.

Right now, the majority of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from the News Feed. As Zuckerberg recently share in a post on his Facebook Page:

“Another challenge is that we’re earlier in developing our ads products for stories, so we don’t make as much money from them yet as we do from feed ads. We’re following our normal playbook here of building out the best consumer products first and focusing on succeeding there before ramping up ads. I’m optimistic that we’ll get ads in stories to perform as well as feed over time, and that the opportunity will be even bigger because it looks like stories will be a bigger medium than feed has been.”

Though Facebook has rolled out Stories Ads, it will need to reinvent mobile video ads for this to be a success. Pre and post-roll video ads within Stories is fine for now, but if Stories are to become as profitable as the News Feed, Facebook needs to think outside the box and develop a brand new ad product from the ground up, like it did with News Feed ads five-or-so years ago.

The second hurdle is ensuring users buy into Stories.

300 million daily active users across Facebook and Messenger is great — it’s probably even more daily active users than Snapchat has on its own Stories (according to data obtained by The Daily Beast). But Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly users and the vast majority don’t use Stories yet.

Like it or not, Stories will replace the News Feed

When it comes time to shift away from the News Feed, it’s more likely that users will just have to deal with the hand they’re dealt.

When the News Feed launched, Facebook users had no choice about adopting it, and it wasn’t instantly popular — a group called “Students Against Facebook News Feed” was even formed, reaching more than 280,000 members at its peak.

Despite the pushback, Facebook persisted knowing that no matter how loud or vocal people were in reaction to the change, they would still likely continue to use Facebook anyway.

The same Swiss Federal Institute of Technology study I mentioned earlier found that when left with only two available coping strategies: to accept change or to leave, the vast majority will accept change and continue to use Facebook.

And in a 2006 post about the News Feed, then TechCrunch editor, Michael Arrington noted that: “If this feature had been part Facebook since the beginning, their users would be screaming if Facebook tried to remove it.” Eventually, I believe we’ll look back at Facebook Stories in the same way.

Stories might not be welcomed by all. But one thing is for certain: however you feel about it, it’s time to start preparing for life after the News Feed.

4 ways your business can embrace Stories

Stories are an essential part of a modern social media strategy.

Block Party’s research found that nearly four in five (79 percent) of businesses use Stories on InstagramInstagram also found that more than one in three said that they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories.

As the user numbers continue to grow on Facebook Stories, it won’t be long until a large number of businesses start moving to post there too. But we’re not quite there yet.

Block Party found that only nine of 100 accounts it tracked on Instagram Stories, also posted to Facebook Stories. “All but one of those exclusively syndicated their Instagram Stories to Facebook,” it said. However, some early adopters have already started seeing better results from Facebook Stories than the News Feed.

Here are four ways you can begin to use Stories for your business and ensure you’re riding atop the next big social media wave.

1. Take your audience behind-the-scenes

Stories offer a perfect way to share unfiltered, authentic content with your audience.

Design agency AJ&Smart uses Stories to provide an authentic look at what’s happening at the business day-to-day and tries to show as much of that in real-time as possible.

For example, in its Stories, you might see behind-the-scenes at a client workshop or the team traveling to a client meeting.

The Guardian also found that, on Stories, “less polished” content performs better than heavily produced videos, so you don’t have to worry about the production quality of your content. Instead, just point and shoot with your phone and focus on creating a compelling narrative.

2. Cross-post between Instagram and Facebook

If you’ve linked your Instagram account to your Facebook page, you can cross-post your Stories content at the tap of a button, or even set your account to automatically publish all of your Stories from Instagram to Facebook.

To do this, tap your profile icon in the top-right corner of Instagram, then open your “Account settings” and choose “Story controls”. From here, tap the switch to turn on auto-posting to Facebook:

Cross-posting the same content to Instagram and Facebook might not be the best long-term strategy as your audience on the two platforms might prefer different content. But this is a great way to get started, and learn a little about what your audience enjoys on both platforms.

3. Experiment with Stories ads

Stories ads are a new addition to Facebook’s ad inventory and enable brands to share image-based or short video ads. At Buffer, we started testing Stories ads a few months back and now we’re seeing clicks to our website from Stories for just $0.06!

It’s super simple to get started with Stories ads and we’ve just launched Stories Creator, a simple tool to help you design thumb-stopping images for your Stories ads.

To help you create Facebook and Instagram Stories ads that’ll get you results, here are three tips for creating great Stories ad creatives and the exact steps to creating Facebook and Instagram Stories ads.

4. Share user-generated content to Stories

User-generated content is incredibly powerful on Instagram. In fact, it helped us to grow our Buffer account to over 40,000 followers.

And Stories offers businesses the chance to repost content from their audience at a more frequent pace than in the feed. For example, Kettlebell Kings regularly shares one or two user-generated posts to its feed each day, but by using Stories it can share 10-12 posts from followers.

This content is incredibly engaging for its audience as people who follow Kettlebell Kings love to see workout examples and techniques. It’s also incredibly rewarding for those featured and it encourages more and more customers to share their content on Instagram.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on the future of Stories on Facebook? Has your business started posting Stories? Let us know in the comments below — excited to join the conversation.


Why The Future of Customer Loyalty Depends on Meaningful Interactions

What aspect of a business can now be described as “easy come, easy go?” Customer loyalty.

New technologies are constantly evolving, and customers are provided with more choices than they have been prepared for. As a result, brands and agencies today need to establish new value and come up with new tools to drive customer loyalty.

However, what is deemed “value” in this environment, and how is new technology helping?

At Social Media Week London 2018, Facebook’s very own Group Director, Dan Robinson, talked about why the future of loyalty centers around relevant, one-on-one interaction with customers.

Customer loyalty has been disrupted

According to Robinson, 70 percent of customers say they are more likely to switch brands than they did three years ago, and there are three reasons for this.

  • People are changing. “If there’s one thing that changes faster than technology, it’s people’s expectation,” said Robinson. It’s an era where immediacy has come first.
  • The rise of disruptors. More businesses are popping up on a daily basis. According to Robinson, there are 90 million business pages on Facebook, and on every single day, there are 35,000 new ones that are being created.
  • Government and regulators. We live in a time when these two factors are actively encouraging innovation along with competition.

Poor customer service drives customers away

Robinson described poor customer service as “the biggest kicker” of businesses. He cited stats that show 52 percent of customers switched brand in the past year alone, due to poor customer service.

“And that is costing 201 billion dollars for UK businesses,” said Robinson.

Building fast, convenient, and personal customer service

Robinson thinks that the solution to this problem is through new and better customer service tool, like the gift bot that LEGO has developed, which lives on Messenger.

According to Robinson, messaging is the fastest growing form of communication. Every day, across all different communication platforms, there are 100 billion messages being sent out.

“64 percent of people choose messaging a business over picking up the phone or sending an email,” said Robinson. “It means that expectations for business have changed.”

LEGO’s gift bot, Ralph, helps customers pick LEGOs by asking a series of questions that the bot uses to base its picks upon. Once finished, the chosen gift will be in the basket, which means customers are only two clicks away from purchase.

Since LEGO started experimenting with the bot last year, the result has been telling — ads that people click through to be directed to Ralph has a 3.4x higher return, compared with those that direct them to the LEGO website.

“In summary, we think the answer is to build a fast, convenient and personal customer service,” Robinson said. “It not only keeps customers, but drives sales and profitability.”

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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Iris and Groovy Gecko Declare the Legitimacy of “Live”

Can Facebook Live help you hold on to your New Years’ resolutions?

Iris and Groovy Gecko tested the hypothesis in conjunction with Barclaycard’s “Start Today” campaign, and in the process came away with a number of learnings about the use of live video- specifically Facebook Live.

Once known for bursting watermelons with rubber bands, the platform has evolved into a sophisticated tool to solicit not just audience views, but meaningful audience interaction. Iris’s Executive Director Digby Lewis and Groovy Gecko’s Jake Ward didn’t just tell attendees of “The Next Generation Game” how the process worked, however.

As the name of the session would imply, they showed it—by dedicating the second half of the session to demonstrating a live game that could be played in the room and on their respective Facebook pages.

“A Universal Idea We Could Tap Into”

The universality of New Years’ resolutions presented an opportunity for Barclaycard. Hoping to drive home the idea of trying something you’ve never tried before, the campaign enlisted mom, presenter, and blogger Giovanna Fletcher to be the face of Start Today. The campaign spanned multiple platforms, but Fletcher was the face of Facebook Live. She tried something new each day of January: flower arranging, cycling, cake decorating, dancing, and much more.

“Talent can be coached, things can be scripted, things can be written. But when you’re doing things on a day by day by day basis, there isn’t time for that. Further, the pair found that not scripting the encounters had an added benefit: allowing viewers to play a part in “scripting” the videos.

Engagement with the Experience

It’s not enough to just create a show and ask people to watch. A key point that contributed to the campaign’s success on Facebook Live was its interactivity. Viewers tuning in could vote at multiple points to change the course of the challenge onscreen. They transformed from being just viewers, to determiners of Fletcher’s fate. This active influence on the “show’ and its outcome were engaging, and let to increased participation. “This was about giving the audience power,” Lewis confirmed.

Viewers also have the power to increase views and engagement numbers. With Live broadcasts once a week, Lewis and Ward took advantage of the rest of the week to spread out promotional efforts across platforms. They noted that this process is even more successful when done in collaboration; Ward shared an example of leveraging the many platforms of the Professional Footballers’ Association allowed views on the Facebook Live broadcast of their annual awards to spike. Similarly, Public Health England boosted views by 200,000 when their broadcast was boosted by Hello! Magazine.

Make It Measurable and Meaningful

Even as they acknowledged the power that Facebook Live can have, Lewis and Ward cautioned against using it just to use it: “Crucially, this can have a measurable positive impact on your business. But if your entry into the space is anything that doesn’t have the ability to have a measurable impact on your business, you shouldn’t be doing it.” With that caution in place, they want you to explore all it can do for you and your business. “The tool is there, waiting for you to use it. It’s there, it’s working, and it’s about how we use it in a more creative way.”

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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2018 Social Media Week London Day 1 Recap Digest

Social Media Week London kicked off its 9th annual conference on Wednesday, November 15 and marketers from all of the country converged at the QEII Conference Center in Westminster for a day filled with amazing talks, panel discussions, and demos. Speakers from some of the biggest brands in the world including Facebook, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, BBH, and Poke London took the stage to discuss everything from the future of publishing and brands to AI’s roll in marketing.

Check out all the main stage session recaps below and sign up for SMW Insider to watch future sessions live or on-demand.

A Year’s Worth of Video Evolution – Hosted by Hearst

Hands up who loves a tutorial?

Be it casseroles or cocktails, gadgets or gore, there’s no denying that visual content is a quick, effective and impactful way to educate and inspire. The UK’s infatuation and demand for video it is reflected in the production growth of it at Hearst UK. Within the past year, a concerted amount of effort has shifted onto video and the company averaged 7 million monthly videos on site. Their team grew and continues to do so.

Betsy Fast graced the stage at Social Media Week London 2018 and mapped out the essential components and considerations for a production pie.

Read the full recap of Hearst’s “A Year’s Worth of Video Evolution” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Community, Opportunity, and Responsibility – Hosted by Facebook

For a platform that has gathered 2.6 real people online, what impact is it making, and what responsibilities come with that power?

It all comes down to having an attitude and an ambition that asks how do we maximize the good while minimizing the bad, according to Ian Edwards, Facebook’s Planning Director.

At Social Media Week London 2018, Edwards reflected on the challenges and opportunities technological innovations brings to our industry and discussed Facebook’s and Instagram’s role in enabling communities and driving business growth.

Read the full recap of Facebook’s “Community, Opportunity, and Responsibility” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Measuring Paid Social: How to Work Within a Walled Garden – Hosted by Croud

What is the value of an impression? It’s a ginormous question and one that differs on a brand by brand basis. Thanks to factors such us GDPR and Cambridge Analytica among others, the landscape on which we measure data that depicts impact. Facebook and Google took up 63.1% of US digital ad revenue in 2017 and there is expected to grow further in the next two years but now, with more data than ever, it is becoming less and less accessible to third parties.

Anthony Macro offered an insight into how to work within a walled garden comfortably. He broke it down to tools and techniques, a mass data epidemic and contemplated change.

Read the full recap of Croud’s “Measuring Paid Social: How to Work Within a Walled Garden” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Real Friends, Useful Bots, and Time Well Spent: Designing Social Media Interactions to Benefit Users – Hosted by Poke

No one likes a fake friend, or worse: fake news. In an online world of uncertainty and second-guessing sources, it can be almost too easy to retreat to the warm embrace of your comfort zone. Comfort zones prevent change. Social media amplifies social change, but it isn’t the root cause. There remains a lot of work to be done, but how?

When we’re creating networks that reflect the state of our own lives, how can we branch out to places that are unfamiliar, be more civically engaged, generate solidarity ALL whilst staying true to our own identity and staying safe?

When Bogdana Butnar, Head of Strategy at Poke, Jimmy Tidey and Alex Hogan took the stage at Social Media Week London 2018, they explained how they’d achieve this.

Read the full recap of Poke’s “Real Friends, Useful Bots, and Time Well Spent: Designing Social Media Interactions to Benefit Users” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Who Defines Meaningful Engagement – Hosted by Social Chain

Mike Blake-Crawford shared early on in his session “Who Defines Meaningful Engagement?” two requests that he gets often from clients. First, “can you make it go viral?” (No.) But second, and more important to the task at hand: “We want an engagement strategy.” The answer to that, in his mind, should also be no.

“Engagement isn’t a strategy,” Blake-Crawford shared for his crowd of about 400. “It’s a tool to help facilitate real business objectives.” In his opinion, it doesn’t equate success as many assume or hope it does. What’s more, algorithmic feeds on Facebook and other platforms are prioritizing “meaningful engagement”—challenging brands to stand out in a crowded landscape. Blake-Crawford presents the question, then: who decides what meaningful engagement is?

Read the full recap of Social Chain’s “Who Defines Meaningful Engagement” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Here’s How BuzzFeed Agile In The Ever-Changing Platform Space – BuzzFeed

You may not realize that popular video channels Tasty and Bring Me! are both under Buzzfeed. Tasty, a food video channel, is now the biggest food network in the world and the #1 content publisher on Facebook; BRING ME!, a travel channel, in just one year, has become the top travel publisher on the internet.

So what’s BuzzFeed’s secret in reaching these numbers? At Social Media Week London 2018, Antonia Bonello, Associate Creative Director at BuzzFeed UK, shared why brands must remain agile and nimble in the ever-changing platform space.

Read the full recap of BuzzFeed’s “Here’s How BuzzFeed Agile In The Ever-Changing Platform Space” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Gen Z: What Do Tomorrow’s Creators Think About the Future of Social Content? – Hosted by MOFILM

Facebook is dying.

In fact, it’s already dead for Gen Z. The forward-thinking generation that grew up entirely online has already shut the lid on Likes.

Millennials are becoming less and less relevant when it comes social media and marketing. Brands are looking to target and engage the digitally native under 24-year-olds and are battling for their heads as well as their hearts.

At Social Media Week London 2018, MOFILM went beyond data and curated their own case study that shone a light on Gen Z’s attitude towards all things tech and split their answers up into three sections:

Read the full recap of MOFILM’s “Gen Z: What Do Tomorrow’s Creators Think About the Future of Social Content?” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


How Social Data Helps Brands to Create Business Opportunities – Hosted by Linkfluence

Why would a dairy company be interested in insights on veganism?

Linkfluence found themselves pondering that question when called upon by client Danone to examine social data surrounding the plant-based food market.

Managing Director Gareth Owens outlined their process in his session, “How Social Data Helps Brands to Create Business Opportunities.” In it, Owens showed how Linkfluence’s strategy helps to make sense of massive landscapes of social data—our posts, forum engagement, likes, shares, “and even poo emojis you use online.”

Read the full recap of Linkfluence’s “How Social Data Helps Brands to Create Business Opportunities” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Social Media Without Prejudice with June Sarpong MBE – Hosted by Social Media Week

We are all a product of conditioning, and it’s not the standard Tresemme. Society has presents when it comes to social order, standards and outlooks and it’s hard to see past them when we’re saturated with them in the form of archetypes, stereotypes and new stories expressing blatant intolerance.

Everyone has an unconscious bias. For June Sarpong MBE, it was whilst she was filming in Las Vegas that she discovered hers. Having grown up in Walthamstow where diversity was second nature, she found herself nerved on set in an unfamiliar country by an unfamiliar man with tattoos. This prompted her to wonder: “how much are we losing as a society to the way that we’ve all been conditioned?”

At Social Media Week London 2018, June sat down with Founder and Executive Director of SMW, Toby Daniels for a conversation about navigating social media without prejudice.

Read the full recap of SMW’s “Social Media Without Prejudice” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Brands Not Hot – Hosted by Bartle Bogle Hegarty

It is in every brand’s dream that they can create something viral on the internet. But instead of creating something that people actually care about, many ended up creating content that their followers are forced to watch.

Why so? Because they don’t know enough about what drives content to go viral, said Saskia Jones, Data Strategy Director of Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

During her session at Social Media Week London 2018, Jones provided advice on how to start behaving like creators rather than “laggards,” and dissected how local culture becomes a global phenomenon.

Read the full recap of BBH’s “Brands Not Hot” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Making Mr. Bean Social – Hosted by Endemol Shine Group

Everyone knows Mr. Bean. Ever since it was first broadcasted in 1990, this British sitcom has been a global sensation, winning over the hearts of audiences in 195 territories with nearly 30 years in continual distribution.

But more importantly, this TV legend continues to live on today. You might be surprised but Mr. Bean is the biggest TV brand on Facebook globally with more than 80 million fans. In fact, he has a bigger following than Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Harry Potter, Manchester United, Katy Perry… you name it. In 2017, Mr. Bean amassed more than 4.5 billion video views on YouTube, which adds up to a total watch time of 38 thousand years.

The masterminds behind these flying colors are Endemol Shine Group and Tiger Aspect Productions. As the world’s largest independent production company in the world, Endemol Shine Group has been in charge of the distribution of the Mr. Bean series since 2009. It has operations in 23 different countries and has produced 800 different shows around the world. Its partner, Tiger Aspect Productions, is the producer of the TV series, which also created Mr. Bean’s animated series in 2002.

Now, what’s the key to keeping a heritage brand like Mr. Bean social? Andrew Crofoot, Head of Digital Distribution & Partnerships at Endemol Shine Group, along with Tom Beattie, Head of Animation and Childrens at Tiger Aspect Productions, gave the audience their answers at Social Media Week London 2018.

Read the full recap of Endemol Shine Group’s “Making Mr. Bean Social” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Thumb-Stopping Social Storytelling – Hosted by National Geographic

In the opening sizzle reel for National Geographic Partners, director Ron Howard says, “Television has become very ambitious, and National Geographic as a network is embracing that.” The same can clearly be said across the company’s properties, based on Vice President of Global Strategy Nadine Heggie’s opening assertion: “I can honestly say that the past 18 months at National Geographic has been the most exhilarating and exciting of my career.”

In an expectedly visually stunning presentation, Heggie detailed the brand’s ambitious strategy for engaging with its sizeable audience on social media. And indeed, its reputation for “world-class visuals” that “solicit wow and wonder,” has led it to an enviable ranking: the #1 non-celebrity brand on social media, for the fourth year in a row. With a laser-sharp focus, aided by a community of talented creators, the brand continues to grow and dazzle in the online space.

Read the full recap of NatGeo’s “Thumb-Stopping Social Storytelling” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Social Media: Bringing People Together? – Hosted by YouGov

“Can social media really offer an opportunity for brands to get closer to their consumers?”

This is the governing question that Amelia Brophy, Head of Data Products at YouGov, aimed to address in her session “Social Media: Bringing People Together?

Delving into the considerable insights from their recently released whitepaper of the same name on consumer habits, the answer seems to be “yes.” But in order to create that closeness, social media marketers will need to bridge a few gaps.

Read the full recap of YouGov’s “Social Media: Bringing People Together?” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Why You Need to Rewire Your Social Strategy: 6 New Learnings from Neuroscience – Hosted by HeyHuman

“Live neuroscience testing on stage. What could possibly go wrong?”

Neil Davidson apprehensively started HeyHuman’s session with this question, as he and Aoife McGuinness aimed to show the audience how their behavioral communication agency’s apparatus informed their research. This research aims to examine what happens to our brains over time when we connect with social media. And they shared their insights in “Why You Need to Rewire Your Social Strategy: 6 New Learnings from Neuroscience.”

In the live demonstration (which went off without a hitch!), attendees got to watch as they measured in real time the brain’s motivation, high engagement, and cognitive load through cortical engagement. After viewing a pair of Instagram Story ads, we were able to see how the brain reacts differently to different types of content- namely, between emotional and high-energy content. Davidson and McGuinness believe there are lessons to be learned for brands who want to succeed in this highly competitive landscape, and these lessons are scientifically backed.

Read the full recap of HeyHuman’s “Why You Need to Rewire Your Social Strategy: 6 New Learnings from Neuroscience” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


What Digital Trends are Right for Your Brand? – Hosted by GroupM

We all want to be in the know. It’s human nature – through fear of missing out and the desire to have and to be the next best thing, we gave birth to the business-boosting and abolishing baby called trend.

At Social Media Week London 2018, Kieley Taylor stepped forward with a bold statement. “Today’s consumers are on demanding,” she quipped, “I am on demanding.”

Today’s tech and social media tools make demands easier and more accessible and reduce the “small talk” and transactions. Taylor wanted the likes of clerks when flying, for example, to know everything about her so she was not compelled to partake in providing a back catalog of information prior to her flight.

She took her fundamental desire and constructed universal demands in order to decipher key components and trends for brands to take into account.

Read the full recap of GroupM’s “What Digital Trends are Right for Your Brand?” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.


Building a Community on YouTube: RAF Case Study – Hosted by Digital Voices

At Social Media Week London 2018, Founder and Managing Director of Digital Voices, Jennifer Quigley-Jones, hosted a panel that featured Creator Brian McManus, RAF 100 Senior Campaign Manager Emma Mouchet, Head of Communications at the Red Arrows Andrew Morton and Flight Lieutenant and Engineer Officer at the RAF Marcus Ramden and picked their brains in order to understand what has made RAF 100’s YouTube channel so successful.

Building a YouTube community is not too dissimilar to entering a relationship, except with hundreds of people and the watching warranted.

The Influencer marketing agency, Digital Voices, did just this with the RAF. As a result, the RAF 100 YouTube channel was born where exciting, diverse and engaging content was created and influencers were partnered in order to capture and curate refreshing content that showcased the energy and ethos behind the RAF.

As a brand, it’s difficult to ‘do’ YouTube. Your content has to give audiences something they can take away. The format is different, too.

Together, with help from Quigley-Jones, the panel agreed on the main themes they thought helped them achieve a vibrant and wealthy community.

Read the full recap of Digital Voices’s “Building a Community on YouTube: RAF Case Study” session and watch the full session playback on SMW Insider.

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How Facebook Improves Communities and Drives Business Growth

For a platform that has gathered 2.6 real people online, what impact is it making, and what responsibilities come with that power?

It all comes down to having an attitude and an ambition that asks how do we maximize the good while minimizing the bad, according to Ian Edwards, Facebook’s Planning Director.

At Social Media Week London 2018, Edwards reflected on the challenges and opportunities technological innovations brings to our industry and discussed Facebook’s and Instagram’s role in enabling communities and driving business growth.

The power and belief in building a community

Birthday Fundraiser, a recently launched new Facebook feature, together with Facebook Group, continue to be tools that Facebook takes pride in. According to Edwards, these are the tools that can help community drive huge value at a broad level.

Take Birthday Fundraiser as an example. This year, Facebook launched this tool so that users can, on their birthdays, ask friends and family to donate to a charity or a course that matter to them. So far, the tool has raised more than 250 million pounds for various charities, according to Edwards.

He also cited research showing that interacting with your community, either online or offline, in a meaningful way, has many benefits, and Facebook Groups has made that a core mission since its founding days.

“You can find a group in pretty much every single interest you can imagine,” said Edwards.

A year of making technological progress

Edwards also highlighted in this session the progress that Facebook has made in four areas.

Brand safety

Facebook is now working closely with brand safety management partners, like DoubleVerify, to provide transparency in the area.

Minimizing bad content

“Removing content that does not meet our community standard has been a huge focus for 2018,” said Edwards. In May, Facebook published their enforcement number for the very first time.

In Q1 alone they took down 837 million pieces of spam, and nearly 100 percent of that was identified by themselves before they were flagged by users, according to Edwards.

Increasing accountability and transparency in advertising

In August, Facebook announced that they were giving users more information about every business that runs an ad on the platform. Now, when users click on “Why am I seeing this ad,” they will see the reason why they were being targeted for a specific ad and how Facebook was using their data.

“I think this is right at the forefront of ad transparency,” said Edwards.

Election integrity

This is a time when tech giants like Facebook are taking up the responsibility they share in political integrity. According to Edwards, Facebook is sharing with users information of each and every campaign ad and who is paying for that. They’ve also created an online archive for all the ads that’s been run.

“The majority of ad works at a glance”

Mr. Edwards brought forward the idea of “two-second advertising” during the session.

“As an industry, I believe we are often found guilty of making a fundamental mistake — we kind of intuitively believe that advertising works at a much deeper level than it really is,” said Edwards. “But this is not how advertising works. The majority of ad works at a glance.”

However, he thinks that this short attention length shouldn’t be preventing businesses from having ambitious ideas. One of the examples that he brought up was NIKE’s Just Do It campaign ad with Colin Kaepernick, with a short line, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” This ad has attracted anger alongside cheers on social media, but following that was a huge marketing success — NIKE’s sales went up to the highest level it has ever been, according to Edwards.

“When you have a big idea, it can be delivered quickly. It will travel and it will have impact,” said Edwards.

At the end of the session, Edwards encouraged social media professionals to stay motivated and believe in what they do.

“I want people to be proud of working in social media,” said Edwards. “It is and it continues to be a force of our time, and will continue to be a place to build meaningful connection with customers.”

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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Download YouGov & SMW’s Latest Report ‘Social Media: Bringing People Together?’

There are 40.7 million social media users in the UK aged 18 and over — equalling 80% of the total adult population — so it’s vital to understand changing patterns of use over time and across platforms.

But is it uniting or isolating consumers and to what extent do marketers see it as a valuable marketing tool?

We have partnered with YouGov for their latest white paper, ‘Social media: Bringing people together?’ that shows which platforms are most popular, with whom, and what they’re being used for.

The data also strips away the controversy around whether social networks bring people together or isolate them, how marketers use social media for their business, and how important they perceive it to be.


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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5 Facebook Ad Tools That Will Make Your Content Stand Out

The rumors of Facebook’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Nearly every year someone predicts that Facebook is dying, soon to be replaced by the next shiny new social media platform, yet it continues to grow and thrive with over 2.2 billion monthly active users as of January 2018. However, with Facebook’s recent emphasis shift from page-to-person to person-to-person interactions, many businesses are struggling to adjust.

Under this new system, posts have less reach than before and many businesses have responded by posting more content, hoping something will get through to their target audience. Unfortunately, recent studies have found that the additional posts have actually resulted in lower engagement but this doesn’t mean that Facebook is not a great marketing and sales platform. Instead, stand out from the crowd and find sales success using these great Facebook tools.

Facebook Ads Manager

If you’re new to the platform, Facebook ads manager is a great place to start because it’s free and easy to set up and you can establish your marketing budget for any amount you choose. To get started go to the Ads page and follow the instructions which will walk you through setting up and activating your campaign

You can skim the surface of this tool or drill deeper to improve your reach by tailoring who views these ads by location, gender, age, and more. For some businesses, this tool is all they need to increase sales and for others, it’s a piece of a larger campaign, but every company advertising on Facebook should take advantage of this resource.

Hootsuite Ads

Hootsuite began as a free scheduling platform that allowed you could create posts and schedule them to be uploaded on to your social media platforms on a specified date and time. They still offer this service, which makes managing your content calendar a breeze, but now offer Hootsuite Ads service that brings more traffic to your website so you can generate additional leads and sales.

This tool comes with traffic and analytics reports, ad filters to narrow the reach and increase the effectiveness of your ads, and Facebook ad support. If you’re nervous about wading into Facebook ads alone, this is a great solution. There are two program levels for this service, $9.99 per month and $14.99 per month.

AdEspresso by Hootsuite

In February of 2017, Hootsuite acquired AdEspresso, a full-service ad creation, and management program.  AdEspresso is a Facebook Marketing Partner that removes the learning curve many businesses experience with Facebook ads so they can achieve a faster ROI. It is also Instagram and Google Partners, which allows you to create and manage all of these campaigns from one location. This system integrates with Canva, a popular graphics program, and allows you to upload images and videos, create carousel ads, and add headlines.

With AdEspresso you can broadly or narrowly define your target engagements and track the success of your campaigns with ease. This allows for great A/B testing so you to try new approaches on different groups and tweak the best ones to achieve better outcomes. Costs for this service range from $49/month for the base plan and up to $499/month for their Diamond plan, with others in between.


If you have experience advertising on Facebook, you may want to up your game by using services such as Buzzmo. Beyond simply running ads, influencer marketing is important to engage certain market segments, especially millennials, and this program helps you identify and utilize the right influencers for your products and services.

This service helps you identify industry trends, tracks competitor content and identify appropriate influencers based on data that determines the range of their reach. Buzzmo also identifies which topics are of interest to your target audience so you can create content that engages this key demographic and delivers the analytics you need to track your success. This service takes the guesswork out of knowing what everyone is talking about and who is influencing them, so you can use this information to promote your products and service. Plans start at $79/month.


A great way to engage your audience is through direct Facebook interactions such as contests, giveaways, quizzes and coupons, and Heyo makes it easy. If you can click, drag and drop, you can create mobile-optimized Facebook campaigns, complete with a countdown, and track your results.

With this service, your campaigns can run on a minimum of three and up to 50 Facebook brand pages so you don’t need to worry about coordinating the process over multiple pages. There are three plan levels, from $25/month to $199/month, and all are Facebook-focused with other social media and third-party integrations included.

Bottom Line

Facebook is alive and well and offers multiple opportunities for businesses to engage their consumer base. Whether you are a newbie or experienced Facebook advertiser, these tools can help take your campaigns to new levels.

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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Let Master Storyteller James Patterson’s “Bookie” Inspire Your Brand’s Storytelling

As brands and agencies increasingly rely on the power of storytelling in their efforts, they’d do well to follow the lead of prolific bestselling author James Patterson- whose latest book is utilizing social media in a whole new way.

Patterson’s latest book has been out since October 30th- via Facebook Messenger. Patterson partnered with the app to release the short novel on the messaging platform, taking advantage of it to weave photos, video, and simulated messages together to construct a narrative for the reader—all for free. As brands look to influencers or AR-enabled tools to immerse customers and followers, this tech-enabled “choose your own adventure” strategy represents an additional means to engage people with content.

The shift in engagement was intentional for the author, who shopped it to Facebook and appreciates their involvement in the book’s release (although, they note, they have no additional plans for content of this type). Patterson told Cheddar it’s “so important that books keep up, that they enter the modern age.” Having sold 350 million books the more traditional way, he’s now seeking to play with how technology can augment the reader’s experience.

“When you read this, you’re going to see film, you’re going to hear audio clips, you’ll see photography, etc. It’s a real 360° experience.” What’s more, it creates an unprecedented opportunity for the author to connect with readers. “Exploring new ways to connect with fans is important to me, and Messenger’s experience for The Chef not only makes the story more accessible to readers across new generations but offers an enticing and thrilling read like never before.”

Users wanting to read The Chef, the story of a police detective and food truck owner investigating a terror plot, need only send a knife emoji via Messenger to the book’s Facebook page. From there, they’ll be guided through the story, with urges to search for clues. Those looking for details beyond what’s presented in the messenger can explore character Instagram accounts for even more intel. And given the book’s subject matter- yes, you should expect stylized food photos when you read.

The print edition of the book will hit bookshelves in February 2019, but Patterson is excited by the prospect of this “bookie” experience—this mashup between a book and a movie. “Nobody’s sort of done that before.” He freely admits further, “Ten years ago, if you told me I’d see one of my novels come to life through scrolling chat bubbles, I would have laughed.” These days? He’s setting a precedent for a new kind of storytelling that could impact how writers and marketers bring their stories to life.

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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