Tag: The Voice of Social media

Shots fired! Reddit CEO has some harsh words for TikTok

Shots fired! Reddit CEO has some harsh words for TikTok

Steve Huffman, co-founder of Reddit and not a TikTok fan –

The CEO of Reddit has delivered a stinging indictment of new-kid-on-the-block TikTok, calling the platform a ‘parasite’.

Steve Huffman, the co-founder of Reddit was speaking at an event in California this week, when he warned people against putting the video-sharing app on their phone.

When asked whether or not Silicon Valley startups could learn something from TikTok (which was built in China by a company called ByteDance) Huffman didn’t hold back.

‘Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them,’ Huffman said, according to TechCrunch.

‘Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.’

‘I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone.’

TikTok has exploded in popularity, but has drawn criticism for its handling of user data. Despite this, TikTok recently introduced revised parental controls to make it easier for adults to supervise how their children use the app.

A new family safety mode will link a parent’s account to their child’s. The feature will enable parents to control the amount of screen time allowed on TikTok, who can directly message the account and restrict types of content which appear in the feed of their child’s account.

TiKTok has exploded in popularity over the last 18 months –

The social media platform’s head of trust and safety in Europe, Cormac Keenan said the app had worked with some of the platform’s most popular figures to introduce the prompts.

He said they would ‘remind our community to be aware of the time they spend on TikTok and to encourage them to consider taking some time out’.

Writing in a blog post announcing the new safety features, Mr Keenan said: ‘When people use TikTok, we know they expect an experience that is fun, authentic, and safe.

‘As part of our ongoing commitment to providing users with features and resources to have the best experience on TikTok, we are announcing family safety mode, a new feature to help parents and guardians keep their teens safe on TikTok.

‘We will keep introducing ways to keep our community safe so they can stay focused on what matters to them – creating, sharing, and enjoying the creativity of TikTok’s community.’

— Read on metro.co.uk/2020/02/27/shots-fired-reddit-ceo-harsh-words-tiktok-12311726/

3 Ways to Bring Humanity Back to Marketing at #SMWLA

Marketers today must fundamentally rethink their efforts and resist the urge to remain static and in the confines of the status quo. We’ve spent a decade building the systems, platforms, etc. and measure engagement but now is the time to regroup and get back to the basics: humanity.

During #SMWLA, we’re diving into this topic with several key leaders in the space who will share case studies, insights and tips for connecting emotionally with people to build a maintain a community of loyal customers and not lose sight of their audiences as people.

The sessions below are just a small sample of what we have programmed to help us explore the power and importance of getting back to the reasons why marketing is a force for good and the tools and mechanisms by which we can enable this to happen.

Why Influencers Are Key to Bringing the Human Voice Back to Marketing

Influencers have ushered their way into marketers’ toolkits but the larger question they continue to present is how can they help us authentically integrate the human voice and experience into our storytelling and campaigns? In 2020 and beyond it will be key to challenge the norm and resist an extractive approach to how we engage consumers.

Learn how to shape your strategy so that it is genuine and provides content that is valuable and equitable for your audience in a panel led by Tulani Elisa, VP of Social Media at FOX Entertainment.

Making Mission Your Message

In today’s mobile-first world, where we spend our time and our attention impacts much more than what we buy and how much we spend. As a result, we must ensure our marketing is purpose-led, clear, and has unique characteristics to stand out above the noise. Executing on this boils down to a creating cohesive sense of your brand’s identity.

To get started, join Amazon’s Sabena Gupta as she shares best practices for bringing your mission to life in your creative that will speak for itself and translate into a strong presence in cross-channel campaigns.

Supercharging Social Engagement with Extended Creative Partnerships

The influencer marketing industry is predicted to be worth $10 billion by the end of this year. The role of influencers in helping brands connect with their audiences in highly relevant ways continues to evolve and be a dominant force for marketers in achieving scalable results. But, the differentiating factor is finding targeted partnerships as opposed to working with influencers based on the number of followers they have.

In this session, EP and Creative Director for Comedy Central Digital Studios, Mitch Lewis, will lead a panel covering the best practices for crafting original, organic content that drives authentic brand awareness.

There’s still time to join us at the Broad Stage this June (17-18). Browse the initial agenda and secure your pass online today for a discount off the walkup price.

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100’s of popular twitter hashtags…

100’s of popular twitter hashtags…

100’s of populer twitter hashtags…

— Read on mikearmstrong.me/100s-of-populer-twitter-hashtags/

How Twitch is Defining the Future of IRL Streaming

Twitch, the Amazon-owned live streaming service is on track to hit 40 million monthly active viewers in the U.S. per new projections from eMarketer, up 14.3 percent from 2019 figures. Come 2023, it is anticipated the platform will boast 47 million viewers.

While the platform has become synonymous with video game streaming and esports fanatics, recent traction has been attributed to Twitch’s efforts to expand its content scope.

What is IRL Streaming?

In 2016 Twitch announced the new streaming category ‘In Real Life” or IRL for short. Taken from its name, the space is designed for users to share glimpses into their day-to-day life as a means of driving authentic engagement with viewers.

In a statement upon its release, CEO Emmett Shear shared,” What we’ve heard repeatedly from [Twitch’s creators] is that they are interested in sharing their everyday lives, thoughts, and opinions with their communities. IRL is designed to help our creators foster that kind of community interaction.”

Shortly after, it became clear that in order to help users benefit from the category, there would have to be a better system for describing content. By September 2018, Twitch had unveiled 10 new categories including Art, Food and Drink, Science and Technology, Sports and Fitness, Talk shows and podcasts, and just chatting.

“With so many streamers on Twitch, we needed to give you better ways to describe your stream when you go live,” a description on the site read ahead of the update.

“Just Chatting” Category Eclipses Video Games Views

In December 2019 StreamElements shared new data revealing Twitch’s “Just Chatting” category streams were watched more than any video game that month. Specifically, viewers tune into 81 million hours of content in this chatting, 7 million more than the game League of Legends and 23 million more than Fortnite.

This marked the first time a non-gaming category earned the title “most-watched,” marking the platform’s transition into a broader, more versatile live streaming hub with more options for the general public than just those with a passion for gaming.

Since its launch, the steady growth of Just Chatting has not only been attributed to a sustainable source of viewership for Twitch, but it’s evolved into a powerful vehicle that streamers can use to improve their brand.

What This Means

Person-to-person streaming is now exceeding actual people watching gamer streams on Twitch behavior and with it, a clear trend is emerging out of these platforms.

Lolimdivine, a Redditor who spent nearly eight months streaming to no one, is now reaping the benefits of an established community. “My regulars and I always talk about our lives, and we all know stuff about each other,” lolimdivine said. “It’s like we have our own little internet family honestly. I see these people as my friends and not viewers. We welcome people with open arms from all around the world, and we remember things about the people who can only stop by once a month. It’s really an incredible thing that Twitch can do for people’s loneliness or friend groups,” they shared in a statement to The Verge.

By allowing broadcasters to leverage existing communities through additional categories, they create a more intimate relationship with their viewers that gives them a more holistic picture of their passions and hobbies. Ultimately, this creates a valuable opportunity to connect with audiences they typically wouldn’t encounter. As a result, they’re able to successfully bridge online and in-person relationships that extend beyond niche subjects and are grounded by meaningful shared experiences.

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What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Creator Studio App

This year there will be close to 1 million minutes of video crossing the internet per second. By 2022, online videos will account for over 82 percent of all internet traffic — a 15x increase compared to 2017.

Audiences find videos more engaging and more memorable than any other type of content

Video continues to stake its claim in the digital space, carving more territory for itself and cementing its role as one of the most effective elements in a digital marketing strategy. As we roll into 2020, there is a lot more for us to understand about video content, but one this is clear — it is no longer a nice to have but a necessity if your storytelling efforts are to be deemed engaging and memorable and drive conversions and exposure.

To help publishers and creators hone their approaches and cater to the demands of a mobile-first world, Facebook unveiled an iOS and Android application companion to its Creator Studio. At a glance, the tool is targeted to allow enhanced management of uploads, performance tracking, and convenient ways to stay in touch with audiences in real-time.

The journey to a creator-centric app

For those unfamiliar with the background, Creator Studio initially launched on desktop last September and served as a replacement for the ‘Creator’ app launch in 2017 (originally released until the title of ‘Mentions’ in 2014). With the history lesson out of the way, let’s take a peek at what the mobile companion has to offer.

Per the announcement — written by the platform’s Head of Creator and Publisher Experience Jeff Birkeland — you can expect the exact same insights and engagement metrics as the desktop hub with a number of added benefits helping manage and edit Page posts, view and make sense of performance analytics, and engage with your audience.

Let’s break these down some more:

Measured metrics and improved multi-account management

A huge priority with the app is to guide creators and publishers as they look to evolve their strategies with rich insights. In the mobile version of Creator Studio, you can seamlessly trace how your videos are performing including one-minute views and average minutes viewed. You can also keep tabs on your advertising earnings, the number of users who commented or shared a video, and how people watched your video for at least 3 seconds.

To take the headache out of hovering from one account to another, the app comes with the functionality to Manage several Facebook Pages and toggle between them without having to go through the added step of logging in and out each time.

“It’s a desktop-mobile ecosystem where you’re getting the benefits across the board,” Birkeland reiterated in a statement to Business Insider. In other words, the app isn’t intended to replace your management process but enhance its feasibility and flexibility.

Creating sustainable audiences and refining your content on-the-go

One of the primary reasons Facebook decided to create a mobile version of Creator Studio was upon receiving feedback that its users wanted to be able to edit video headlines and descriptions and respond to comments from their phones. In this vein, the app comes equipped with the capability of customizing video titles and descriptions, deleting and expiring posts, published drafted posts, and rescheduling scheduled posts.

Consumer intelligence is rising in the ranks as valuable as a form of data that translates into deeper audience relationships and improved decision making. In a nod to this, the Creator Studio app makes it easier to connect with audiences in real-time. Specifically, messages and comments can be responded to directly through the app’s inbox. To help you track your progress over time, the apps come with a setting to schedule notifications when you’ve hit a key milestone.

Being present with your brand continues to be one of the leading ways to secure meaningful engagement. Facebook’s update gives publishers and creators a more streamlined and cohesive way of achieving this in a format that the majority of viewers opt to use. With easier ways of producing and measuring the performance content as well as staying on top of useful feedback, this capability will be integral in bringing a human element to your marketing efforts.

In this vein, marketers should certainly take note that aside from having a human voice, diversifying sources of income continues to be a growing priority for creators as they look to repurpose their content, reach broader audiences at scale, and rise above the noise.

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Can Attention Metrics Improve Mobile Advertising?

In a new report from Forrester Consulting, 164 brand marketers across the retail, automotive and CPG industries were asked about their understanding and use of mobile advertising metrics. Here, we’re breaking down the most important insights from the results and how these can help marketers improve their efforts.

Read on to learn:

  • Why traditional performance metrics are no longer sufficient and the major challenges arising from them
  • Why an effective mobile measurement system will consider both brand and demand
  • Why 80 percent of marketers are hungry for improved attention data and how this will deliver important business benefits

Old-School Performance Metrics Aren’t Cutting It

Consumers are spending increasing amounts of hours on their smartphones — and old-school marketing practices are failing to keep pace. As values and interests continue to fluctuate brands must be on the constant hunt to innovate but they’re no longer able to rely on their outdated performance metrics. Why? They’re losing their viability to communicate the full value of mobile.

Marketers are recognizing they’re getting only half the picture and are eager to find solutions. Less than one-half of respondents claimed to be confident in their current mobile KPIs poor satisfaction and optimization. On top of this, it makes navigating mobile behavior patterns that much more challenging. As digital matures, this will only escalate and become more visible without a new approach.

Effective Mobile Measurement Will Account for Brand and Demand

Aside from not fully knowing how mobile ad campaigns impact customers and shape purchasing lifecycles, the report points to several additional key areas being impacted. When ranked, top issues included lower customer satisfaction retention (83% collectively), lost opportunity for upsell (34%) and wasted advertising spend (33%).

In addition, branding objectives for mobile ad spend are catching up. Thirty-eight percent report they are unable to demonstrate the value of mobile as a branding channel as a result of this measurement gap. In fact, respondents reported that brand-building spend on mobile is about 90 percent of their direct response (DR) spend.

As a result, marketers are lacking a comprehensive view of how they’re using mobile metrics and exactly how attention fits into the grand scheme of their strategies. Without granularity into which metrics they’re tracking and how they’re being applied, they’ll have a tough time understanding how and why their consumers are making key decisions to engage with certain advertisements and why others aren’t performing. This is a big disadvantage in not only growing the business but staying abreast of the industry and competitors.

Customer Attention Metrics are the Future

A growing trend highlighted in the report is that marketers believe attention metrics could help fill the void and boost the efficiency and efficacy of mobile media at large.

Nearly 80 percent of marketers are very or extremely interested in the insights customer attention can deliver, and 63 percent plan to invest in customer attention metrics for their brands. The large value-adds identified span improved retargeting efforts, enhanced click-through-rates, a better understanding of brand lift, more efficient ways to test creative, and, most important, a successful way to demonstrate brand media value.

Based on these business benefits, more than half of marketers would up their investments towards consumer attention metrics. Sixty-three percent of respondents indicate they would slightly (45%) or significantly (18%) increase investment in customer attention measurement.

Mobile is only going to dominate more of brands’ ad budgets and success will require modernization of tactics beyond typical run-of-the-mill vanity metrics such as clicks, likes, and shares. Aside from adding more meaning behind their KPIs, having a deep and profound respect for where consumers are spending their time can pave the way for a new advertising agenda — one where audience data allows brands to deliver quality attention mapped to healthier, more productive ways of engaging consumers.

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Announcing Our Initial #SMWLA 2020 Agenda!

We’re excited to share with you our initial agenda for our 11th annual edition of Social Media Week Los Angeles taking place this June 17-18!

Below you’ll find a teaser as to what we’ve organized around our 2020 theme HUMAN.X, including featured sessions hosted by PepsiCo, Comedy Central, Amazon, Fox Entertainment, HBO, Postmates, Nestlé, and many more.

We’ll be confirming additional sessions in the coming weeks, so stay tuned, but to help kick-start your planning now, here are a few highlights:

Using Influencers to Drive Brand Purpose

Leveraging Influencer Marketing to Build Brand Culture

Brands are set to spend a staggering $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. In this session, explore how Influencers can be used as a tool to create more engaging content and humanize your brand with PostmatesBen Trinh.

Start with Why: The Secret Unlock to Digital Innovation

Marketers are constantly inundated with choices around tapping into emerging technologies and using influencers for the sake of innovation. Understand the “why” behind using these trends and the importance of not falling victim to chasing the next shiny object with Nestle’s Head of Digital Innovation Orchid Bertelsen.

Under the Influencer with Comedy Central: Supercharging Social Engagement with Extended Creative Partnerships

In just a year, Comedy Central’s ‘Under the Influencer’ program has amassed 4.7 million total views and 29 million YouTube watch minutes. Hear from EP and Creative Director for Comedy Central Digital Studios, Mitch Lewis along with a panel of several comedians, actresses, and writers as they discuss the power of original content in rising above the noise.

Why Influencers Are Key to Bringing the Human Voice Back to Marketing?

It is easy to fall into the trap of chasing vanity metrics, but as an industry, it’s becoming more apparent that challenging the norm will be key to success. Tulani Elisa, VP of Social Media at FOX Entertainment, Jim Lin, Partner, SVP Digital Strategy and Creative Director at Ketchum and Lisa Perez, Head of Social Media and Influencer Marketing at Savage X Fenty will equip you with the insights you’ll need to develop human-first campaigns.

Embracing the Untapped Power of Social Listening

HBO Max: Bringing Viewers Closer to the Entertainment They Love

Subscribers are constantly changing how they choose their TV bundles leaving marketers wondering which techniques should be emulated for keeping them loyal? Peter Sherman, Vice President of HBO Max Programming at WarnerMedia and Linda Ong, Chief Culture Officer at Civic Entertainment Group will discuss this theme exploring how consumer behavior trends are changing and presenting major advertisement implications in the entertainment field.

The (Untapped) Power of Social Media

COMMUNITYx Founder & CEO, Chloë Cheyenne, MSNBC Host of AM Joy, Joy-Ann Reid, and COMMUNITYx Board of Activists Co-Chair, Brea Baker, will join Black Enterprise’s Selena Hill for a conversation on ways social media is a tool for fueling community engagement and their projections for how these efforts will continue in the years ahead.

From Streaming Wars to Content Ideation: How Social Listening Empowers the Entertainment Industry

How is social media impacting the use of platforms and the influence of analytics within today’s entertainment industry? Learn how to measure performance on a global scale, ways to make use of your powerful audience insights, and more alongside David Sager, Senior Manager Social Analytics at Fox Corporation and Talkwalker’s Nate Bonsignore.

Shifting the Focus From Attention to Connection

Today marketers have extensive access to data, but are they losing sight of the human behind the impression? Open Influence CEO, Eric Dahan, will address this pointing to success stories of brands leveraging social insights to improve their storytelling and forge deeper relationships.

Building a Sustainable Brand

Transcending the Human Digital Experience: A Brand and Agency Introspective

From content to paid media advertising to influencer outreach, where should marketers turn to find the right balance to ensure their efforts are sustainable? Kristin Patrick, CMO at PepsiCo and Norel Mancuso, CEO at Social House Inc. will address this question through the agency and brand lenses.

Making Mission Your Message

Having a strong mission is integral in ensuring sustainability across your marketing efforts. Sabena Gupta, Brand Marketing Lead for Alexa at Amazon, will use her cross-channel campaign expertise to share how you can shape your creative strategies that guarantee long-term growth.

Instagram Shopping: The Digital Window Display

How can community and creativity be integrated for a deeper understanding of your audience? Creative Strategist at Instagram and Global Creative Lead for Instagram Shopping, Rishi Magia, offers insights inspired from leading e-comm and retailers.

#IRL: Communities to Create Meaningful Connection

Notions of privacy and personal experiences in the digital space are facing fundamental shifts. What does this mean for marketers and how they shape their strategies around content and community-building especially when it comes to younger demographics? Havas Media’s Jess Richards will offer her perspective.

Browse the current agenda and secure your pass today to take advantage of the 30% discount before it expires.


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How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy for the Voice-Driven Future

Technology is quickly disrupting marketing and shaping consumers’ behavior.

Empowered with the emerging voice-activated technology, consumers use traditional marketing channels less and less. They research, buy, and interact with brands using voice, while on the go, or in the middle of a task.

According to a 2019 survey from Perficient Digital, voice is now the number two choice for mobile search, behind mobile browsers.

A quick look at statistics proves the popularity of smart speaker use on mobile devices. In the United States, one out of six people own a smart speaker. Voice-driven interactions have been viewed as the future of digital marketing for several years. But with the huge boom in the smart speaker technology, that future has now arrived.

What can we do to prepare for this shift in digital marketing? The change might seem intimidating, but there are a few crucial things you can do to prepare for voice-driven marketing.

Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search is becoming more and more popular. According to Adobe, 48% of consumers are using voice for “general web searches.” Also, 91% of brands are investing in voice.

To activate voice search, consumers use a smartphone or smart speaker to do a Google search and ask a question. Google will retrieve a search result that directly answers the question (usually a featured snippet). Voice search will offer to send a link to this result to a mobile device for more information.

Voice search is used for just about anything, including research, how-to guides, and driving directions. Location-based voice searches are the most popular. According to Bright Local, local search queries are three times more likely to be voice searches than text searches.

Optimize Content for Questions

When optimizing your content for voice search, try to frame it in the way people might speak when performing their voice search.

The biggest tip to keep in mind is that when using voice commands, people typically speak in a complete sentence, unlike when they’re typing, when they might shorten up their query to a phrase or fragment.

How do you optimize for voice search questions? Do the following:

  • Optimize for long-tail keywords. They are really important when optimizing for voice search.
  • Optimize for full-sentence questions.

Text Optimizer makes question research easy by generating the list of popular niche questions and allowing you to easily expand any of them into content ideas:

Text Optimizer voice search

It is also important to enable a voice search option on your own site.

Optimize for “Micro-Moments”

Voice-activated interactions are favored by people who are on the go or trying to get a quick answer while they’re in the middle of something else. Google says that searchers don’t want to search a page for answers; users will go back and look at a different result until they have the answer they are looking for.

Google has already started to favor pages that provide concise answers to meet this demand for immediate knowledge.

The key to keeping up with the voice-powered interactions is to optimize your content for micro-moments.

It is important to structure your content to make the answers readers want easier to spot. Use <h2> and <h3> headings in your content, then follow this with concise and direct answers to the questions presented.

Content that is structured in this way is a lot more likely to be featured as a response to a voice search query by fulfilling the need for immediate information.

Build Consistent Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy

Voice technology users tend to have very scattered buying paths. They may start using the web via voice, switch to a mobile device, and then get distracted by social media tasks.

Being able to provide consistent cross-platform and cross-channel experience is crucial in order to keep these consumers engaging with your brand.

Cross-channel marketing can be embraced through multiple third-party solutions without the need to invest in in-house technology. Using responsive designs tools is only one piece of the puzzle. You need to be able to capture consumers’ attention on their journey across devices and channels.

Here are a few ideas on how to ensure consistent cross-channel experience for your site users:

1. Keep an Eye on Your Users’ Devices

Finteza provides a detailed report on which devices, screen resolutions and operating systems from which your site is being accessed. Having this information helps you test and adjust your site usability across popular platforms.

You can filter your whole site analytics by particular device users to see if they are likely to be experiencing any problems with your site:

Finteza screen device

2. Use Smart Engagement Tools

Alter utilizes Artificial Intelligence to approach every single visitor of the site with personalized content recommendations. Its exit-intent popup can save you many of your site visitors who would have otherwise left:

Alter engagement

3. Utilize Re-Marketing

Facebook’s re-marketing option is one of the most effective ways to re-engage your site users who got distracted and left. Remind them of your brand by creating retargeting ads on Facebook. Depending on your target demographic, you can also add more social media channels, like Snapchat and TikTok ads to reach younger generations.

4. Use Tools for Collaborative Cross-Channel Marketing

Finally, voice-activated interactions make cross-channel marketing much more important, bridging the gap between SEO and social media, on- and offline marketing.

To catch your always-moving audience around the web, employ the collaborative approach and allow your whole team to contribute updates to multiple brand-owned social media channels. ContentCal is perfect for that allowing your employees to effectively manage your cross-channel social media marketing:


Embrace Video Marketing

Smart voice-activated devices can deal with any types of content, including text. But smart device users seem to prefer video format which explains the wild growth of video consumption through mobile devices having surpassed desktop viewership several years ago (it grows by 100% every year, according to YouTube).

When it comes to voice-activated queries, you have much better chances to keep the user’s attention if you provide a video version of your textual instructions. Video tutorials have been found to be the most effective when it comes to keeping a user watching:

How-to video

Make sure to provide a video instruction whenever you can. Tools like inVideo can make this task much easier as it can process your text content and turn into a video in a matter of a minute.

Invideo text into video tool

inVideo will create your video subtitles for you and use your screenshots. All you will need is to add a voice-over.


Voice-powered marketing will likely only grow in popularity, and it will present some unique challenges. But if there is a challenge, there is a business opportunity too!

It’s clear that marketers need to make optimizing for voice search a priority and start adapting to the revolution now.

Image by HeikoAL from Pixabay


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How Platforms are Promoting Safety and Mental Health

A growing number of platforms are publicizing their dedication to make good on a fundamental responsibility to prioritize and invest in the health and wellness of its users.

Pinterest recently introduced a series of emotional wellness activities including deep breathing exercises for users searching for solutions to better manage their stress and anxiety. Instagram has also made strides in this regard, releasing a tool, Restrict and expanding its suicide and self-harm content ban.

Additional apps are taking cues from these efforts including Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook. Here’s a look at the latest and why they matter in the grand scheme of our industry.

Snapchat: ‘Here For You’

Ninety-percent of all 13- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat to engage with their friends. This particular demographic is especially vulnerable and internal company research has proven this by showing feelings of stress, depression and anxiety to be the top mental health issues reported by users and their close friends.

Similarly to Pinterest’s mission, ‘Here For You’ is geared more toward offering resources and starting important conversations that resolve these feelings and issues and less about uprooting the product. Specifically, the process works by linking users to a “special section within Snapchat’s search results” when they search criteria indicating they’re in need of support around issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts, and bullying.

Illustrated below, if a user were to type in the word “anxiety” they’d be given a selection of short shows to pick from including the series “Chill Pill.” A mixture of original programming made with support from local experts will also be available targeted to topics of suicide, depression, and eating disorders.

According to the announcement, proactive in-app support is just one step towards “what will be a bigger health and wellness push from Snapchat” to be rolled out over the next few months.

“We feel a real responsibility to try to make a positive impact with some of our youngest, sometimes most vulnerable users on our platform,” said Vice President of Global Policy, Jen Stout in a statement to Fast Company. “We know this is the first step of a lot of work we want to do to provide the right resources to our users.”

‘TikTok Tips’: An Influencer-Led Safety and Well-Being Advice Account

Last month, TikTok updated its Community Guidelines to address potential issues with misinformation and expanded its rule around acceptable in-app behavior. Today, the company is taken yet another stand towards helping users make better decisions that are safer and better for their mental health and wellbeing through a new influencer led account dubbed TikTok Tips.

The premise is to use familiar TikTokers to run the feed and dish out fun and friendly reminders to fellow users around how to manage their privacy settings and to take a break from the app. Messages encompass simply getting some added rest while others reinforce the benefit of participating in IRL activities with family and friends to as crucial for building memories.

“We’re on a mission to promote privacy, safety, and positive vibes!” states the account’s description — one that aligns with the platform’s broader mission to serve as an environment of a positive, safe space free of judgment.

While it’s too early to make any declarations on how effective it will be in getting people to re-check their usage and take mental breaks from their constant scrolling, initial video uploads show promising engagement. Two, in particular, have garnered 16.9 million views and 17.2 million views respectively.

‘Facebook’s ‘Hobbi’: An App Dedicated to Tracking Your Personal Progress

In a nod to Pinterest, Facebook is looking to help users focus on their personal growth and development in a new app, Hobbi, via its New Product Experimentation (NPE) team.

As you may guess from its name, Hobbi is dedicated towards giving users an outlet to collect images of their hobbies and interests and sort them into boards so they can easily map their progress. Themed collections can include gardening, cooking, DIY arts and crafts, and more. Outside of the ability to create video highlight reels of your work to share externally on other platforms, Hobbi is not a social networking app, rather an editor and organizer. The editing options and controls are limited, a stark contrast compared to the likes of Instagram. It’s unique in that rather than serving as an outlet to broadcast, its intended use is as a personal log for your achievements, a resource for personal reflection and a compass for growth.

“You might just surprise yourself with how much you have done,” the app description states, encouraging people to push the boundaries and meaningfully engage in the activities that bring them joy, relief, and happiness.

If you’re a company that caters to younger demographics, especially Gen Z, you’ll want to keep tabs on these initiatives and fundamental shifts. Why? Because they are at the heart of what these audiences care about, are interested in, and expect when establishing their loyalty to the brands they purchase from, and the apps they spend their time on.

Learn more about Empathy Economics as part of our 2020 global theme: HUMAN.X and help us establish a human-first, experience-driven approach to digital marketing. Read the official announcement here and secure your early-bird discount today to save 10% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).



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Create a Future of Human-First, Experience-Driven Marketing at SMW Hamburg

As one of the world’s leading conference series, Social Media Week has an undying commitment to equipping community members with the tools, insights, and practices for shaping their business in profound ways that positively define the industry and enable them to advance their careers.

This year, with the global theme, “HUMAN.X: The Future of Marketing Will be Human-First and Experience-Driven,” SMW Hamburg will bring its unique perspective into how we can influence, impact, and change people’s lives by bringing humanity back to marketing. This will primarily involve our obligation to respect consumers’ time and attention, foster meaningful connection through empathy and shared experiences, and create safe and trustworthy environments for interaction.

We sat down to speak with the organizers of SMW Hamburg about the forthcoming event, what sessions have the most intricate ties to this year’s theme, which partners and brands they’re most looking forward to working with, key questions that will be addressed in their specific SMW edition, and much more.

How does your overall agenda tie into this year’s global theme?

The overarching goal #SMWHH 2020 is to provide ideas, campaigns and brands with a stage that deliberately focuses on people, their interests and needs when creating content, in order to create digital experiences that are fundamentally relevant and have a positive impact on their lives.

What are some of the key questions that will be addressed during your edition of SMW?

  • How can brands better interact with customers and fulfill their demand for sustainability?
  • What does “purpose” mean in the digital marketing space and why is it important?
  • Which social media platform is right for me / my company and how can I most effectively measure my results to improve my performance over time?

What session is your team the most excited about?

We’re excited about our entire program and everything there is to unpack but three sessions, in particular, we are especially proud of include:

  • HUMAN.XXX VR Porn and the intimacy of the future: https://smwhamburg.com/event/human-xxx-vr-porn-und-die-intimitaet-der-zukunft/
  • Social Media and Gaming: https://smwhamburg.com/event/social-media-und-gaming/
  • Hamburg Airport Goes Podcast: https://smwhamburg.com/event/von-der-idee-bis-zur-umsetzung-hamburg-airport-goes-podcast/

Together, these will shed a light on very important subjects spanning the tension between technology, sexuality and humanity, how gaming is shaping social media platforms and consumer behavior patterns, and actionable ways to bring podcasting into your business approach.

Which partners or brands are you most excited to be working with this year?

This year we’re partnering with a number of platforms and companies, some new and some familiar faces, including LinkedIn, Hamburg Airport, Linkfluence, and Hamburger Sparkasse (Haspa).

What are some local trends you are seeing in your market?

Emerging technologies ranging from VR to AR to XR are all making a splash in our market and we’re eager to continue the role they’ll play in marketing efforts as the year continues. Separately, we’ve seen the explosive eSports industry first-hand in Hamburg and is having a great impact on the local market namely as a means of bringing a social element to gaming that users appreciate.

Lastly, it should come as no surprise but influencer marketing is on the rise as is the case with many markets around the globe. One of their biggest benefits is allowing brands to connect with audiences more authentically. They will continue to be a valuable business asset as companies look to rise above the noise.

Where can potential attendees find news and updates about your conference?

  • SMW Hamburg Blog: https://smwhamburg.com/insights/
  • Facebook / Instagram / Twitter: @smwhamburg
  • LinkedIn: Social Media Week Hamburg

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3 Ways to Build Your LinkedIn Audience

A staggering 3.5 billion people are on social media every day. This number is on the rise and expected to hit nearly 5 billion by the end of this year.

For B2B marketers, having a solid approach to reaching the right people with the right message at the right time is instrumental in advancing business goals. LinkedIn is making the process a bit simpler with some important new updates for reaching and engaging with audiences.

Here are the highlights along with how to use them and their key benefits:

New combinations of criteria: ‘and’ or ‘or’

Based on what LinkedIn learned through recent surveys and conversations with professionals using the platform, there is an increasing need to have more diverse criteria to utilize per campaign. This includes job function, interests, seniority, and titles.

As a solution, the platform is giving marketers greater flexibility and ease in finding the specific people they’re looking for based on these different criteria. For instance, if you’re targeting software engineers with a senior title or above, you can set up a single campaign that reaches these specific individuals by job title or skills, while also getting granular about their years of experience and seniority level. If you want to refine your target audience even further, you can exclude certain companies by title or size.

The platform put together a comprehensive how-to-video that lays out how this can work for your next campaign.

Reaching important contacts: improved fields for matched audiences

A common issue many have when prospecting or targeting on LinkedIn is knowing the person you want to reach out to, but not having enough specific information to do so like their email address.

To address this, LinkedIn took several months to test a variety of new fields for matched audiences including first and last name, job titles, their company name, and their mobile device ID. The results? Marketers who tested these fields saw an average of a +30% improvement in their number of Matches.

The important benefits to note here: any of these fields can help you boost the number of professionals in your audience or, when used in combination, to enhance the precision of your matches. In other words, you can use the update to simultaneously micro-target and create niche segments as well as broaden your reach.

Customizable forecasting panels

Today’s advertisers share a common concern, that is, how can they be certain their ad dollars are being well spent to connect with the right audience and shape their campaigns accordingly.

To bring more light to the issue, LinkedIn revamped its forecasting panel within the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Now, you can better recognize the details about your audience that are most important to know before a campaign launch that includes reach, type, and spend. Recognizing the panel as it may not work for every company as a cookie-cutter solution, the platform has added the capability to customize it for certain characteristics varying from top industries to years of experience to company sizes.

With so much at our disposal over the course of the past decade, effective marketing can feel like a never-ending puzzle. From juggling creative demands to budget limits and emerging platforms, what works and what doesn’t is in constant flux. In 2020, B2B marketers should focus on what is unarguably the biggest determinant in guaranteeing your long-term success: your audience.

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Blend Data and Creativity to Create Experience-Driven, Human-First Engagement at #SMWNYC

It’s been said that data is the new oil. As it turns out, it can be a powerful fuel for creativity, too. As we look ahead to a new decade of trends, innovations, and platform updates, embracing the ‘shiny new objects’ without losing the emotional core of your brand story will be integral in driving business but also how we as a society will advance through positive and meaningful experiences.

During #SMWNYC, we’re diving into this topic with several key leaders in the space who will share their success stories, lessons learned, and best practices we can implement immediately.

The sessions below are just a small sample of what we have programmed to help us explore the power and importance of blending humanity and data as a fundamental strategy for bringing humanity back to marketing.

👁 Restoring the Soul of Business: A Conversation with Rishad Tobaccowala

Over the past several years our industry has prioritized the measurable, the numeric, and the algorithmic at the expense of gaining virality and securing engagement metrics. But where has the human side of the equation gone?

Join top five marketing innovator and author of “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data,” Rishad Tobaccowala as he aims to address this question. He’ll be joined by long-time mentee and Global Chief Innovation Officer at R/GA, Saneel Radia, to outline actionable ways marketers can take reshape their strategies to balance digital tools and creative experiences grounded by humanity.

🚀 How Hulu Helps DTC Brands Stream to Success

DTC companies continue to make big plashes across digital, TV and print cementing their role as a key competitor in the retail industry. In 2019 average ad spend by DTC brands was up 50 percent year-over-year. As they look ahead to 2020, they are tasked with taking their playbooks to an even higher level in order to stay relevant and avoid a revenue wall.

In this session, Michaela Giovengo, Head of Performance Marketing at Hulu, will lead a panel offering best practices for leveraging social to reach audiences in emerging, dynamic environments with tactics that take creativity and data equally into account.

🎞 Little Resources, Big Results: How to Make an Impact with Video

By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic — 15x higher than it was in 2017. For digital marketers, this means establishing strategies for a shorter shelf life of assets, an increased need for better, more frequent creative, and finding unique ways of capturing attention in a noisy landscape. How can the balance between finite resources and maximum effectiveness be achieved?

For tips and practices you’ll need to know, hear from Vimeo’s Harris Beber and in-house social media expert Suze Kaufman about using technology and data to empower video content catered to today’s short attention spans.

💥 After The Fall: Marketing In the Post Attention Era

In an age of “infinite media” time is now defined as a crucial investment. As such, attention is the world’s, and every individual’s most valuable resource and requires us as marketers taking a big step back into the true meaning behind our content and whether their purpose aligns with our audiences.

Learn from Mathew Sweezey, Director of Marketing Insights at Salesforce, as he uses data to reveal why context is the foundation of marketing today and how it plays an important role in establishing a deeper connection to your brand beyond your product or service.

There’s still time to join us at the Sheraton Times Square this May (5-7). Browse the full agenda and secure your pass online today for a discount off the walkup price.

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Create a Future of Human-First, Experience-Driven Marketing with SMW Austin

As one of the world’s leading conference series, Social Media Week has an undying commitment to equipping community members with the tools, insights, and practices for shaping their business in profound ways that positively define the industry and enable them to advance their careers.

This year, with the global theme, “HUMAN.X: The Future of Marketing Will be Human-First and Experience-Driven,” SMW Austin will bring its unique perspective into how we can influence, impact, and change people’s lives by bringing humanity back to marketing. This will primarily involve our obligation to respect consumers’ time and attention, foster meaningful connection through empathy and shared experiences, and create safe and trustworthy environments for interaction.

We sat down to speak with the organizers of SMW Austin about the forthcoming event, what sessions have the most intricate ties to this year’s theme, which partners and brands they’re most looking forward to working with, key questions that will be addressed in their specific SMW edition, and much more.

How does your overall agenda tie into this year’s global theme?

This year’s agenda will explore how to integrate human connection in an overly saturated, highly skeptical, and extremely divided world through impact storytelling, human-to-human marketing, and authentic branding.

What are some of the key questions that will be addressed during your edition of SMW?

There will be a lot to unpack with this theme but four particularly important questions we’ll aim to tackle include:

  • How does your brand stay top-of-mind to a consumer base that increasingly demands authentic, purposeful, and transparent relationships?
  • How are you leveraging digital communities to build, grow and nurture your audience?
  • How do you create valuable content using storytelling based on the customer journey?
  • Do you ever wonder how top brands create irrational loyalty among their users?

What session is your team the most excited about?

Our team is most excited about our opening keynote by Nic Kusmich in which he’ll share four shifts and proven steps for maximizing profits in all areas of digital marketing – the perfect way to kick off the event!

What do you think will be the most important attendee takeaways from this year’s conference?

This year’s program will be packed with actionable takeaways, but at a high-level SMW Austin attendees will:

  • Gain a better understanding of platform nuance and the future of digital marketing across generations and audiences
  • Discover new ways to create moving content that nurtures a human-to-human connection
  • Learn new strategies and tactics for moving away from vanity metrics and optimizing for attention and conversion

Which partners or brands are you most excited to be working with this year?

We are excited to partner with Walmart Technology to host our first-ever Influencer Happy Hour, an intimate event designed to establish a real, lasting relationship with key community members across the country.

What are some local trends you are seeing in your market?

The Austin market is extremely invested in cultivating authentic connections within our communities. Social Media Week Austin looks forward to exploring these themes as marketers, influencers, brands, and peers.

Where can potential attendees find news and updates about your conference?

More information can be found at smwatx.com or on social at @bestpracticemedia on Facebook and Instagram or @bestpracticesmm on Twitter.

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Introducing Buffer + Shopify: Simplified Shopify reporting in your Buffer dashboard

One thing we’ve heard over and over is that logging into social media analytics tools can leave marketers feeling a little lost. Sure you can see the reach and engagement of your posts but how is this really impacting your business?

Social media tools have been great at giving us social media metrics. But they terribly lack at providing us with a comprehensive view of the business. Unless you are running social ads, chances are you find it hard to know how your marketing efforts have influenced sales.

For direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that invest in social media, the need to understand how social media and sales relate to each other is crucial. Marketers at these brands need to know how their social media strategy is helping the business. To them, social media is not just about getting likes and comments…

but how their social media posts are driving the business forward.

That’s why we are thrilled to introduce the first version of our Shopify integration today. You can now have your social and Shopify data in one single tool and create modern, visual reports with more data about your business. 

(Can’t wait to get started? Start an Analyze Premium trial to try the integration right away!)

Realize the full potential of your brand

Our customers use our platform of products to build their brand and connect with their customers online. Analyze, our new analytics product, aims to help you realize the full potential of your brand.

To achieve the best version of your brand, we want to give you:

  • More data to provide a more complete picture of your brand
  • Data that are easy to understand and share
  • Strategies and tactics to achieve your goals

Currently, social media marketing can feel isolated from the business. You spend time creating content, find the best time to post, and respond to questions on your posts. At the end of the day, you can only report on follower growth, reach, and engagement.

Only if you had more data about your marketing efforts and the business!

When we look at 1,300 top DTC brands, we learned that 87.4 percent of them use Shopify to sell their products.

Shopify provides data that marketers and small business owners often lack in social media tools — sales data. We realized it’s a source of data that could give you a more complete picture of your brand:

Social + sales

Simplified Shopify reporting in your Buffer dashboard

“We usually cross reference metrics from Shopify and our social media analytics.”

When we asked our customers how they figure out whether what they are doing on social is worth it, we heard several versions of the quote above. That’s when we realized our customers have a problem we could solve.

With the new Shopify integration, you’ll have your social media and Shopify data in a single place — Analyze. For this first version, we focus on a few key metrics you need and put them in the same dashboard as your social media data.

At the top of your Shopify tab, you can get a quick health check-in on your business. This is built for you to get a sense of your business health at a glance.

One of the metrics you’ll get is your average customer lifetime value. This is an important metric to know because to have a profitable business, you generally want to spend less money on acquiring new customers and retaining them than they spend on your products.

You’ll also get data to help you understand where your sales are coming from and what products are selling well.

Which channel drives the most number of customers or the highest sales?

Which channel brings in the most valuable customers?

Which are my top products, and where are the sales coming from?

This additional data from Shopify in Analyze will give you a better picture of your business than having only social media data.

To make it easier for your reporting, you can add the tables to your reports in Analyze, download them as PDF, and share them with your team. Just like any other tables and charts in Analyze.

Connecting social media and sales

For a long time, marketers have struggled to show the impact of social media on the bottom line. Much of this data is not available in social media tools that marketers use to plan, optimize, and report their campaigns. It just felt off that marketers can plan and measure their social media campaigns in one tool but have to find another, often much more complicated, tool to know that the campaigns are selling products.

Now you can report how much sales your social media marketing strategy has generated for the business — using a single tool.

(These numbers do not include orders from customers who saw your social media posts and went to Google to search for your website and buy products. That is much harder to track right now. But you now know, at the minimum, how much sales came directly from your social media profiles and the actual impact is much higher.)

You no longer need to jump between tools to draw the connection between your social media efforts and your sales.

Hannah Pilpel, social project manager at MADE.COM, discovered that customers from organic social have a higher average order value than the site average. You can now see this for your business, too.

Gain a better understanding of your brand

Having more data and analytics is essential for realizing the full potential of your brand. It gives you insights to act on and improve your marketing campaigns so that you can grow your brand and your business.

This is just the first version of our Shopify integration, and we are keen to explore more ways to make it more valuable to you. For example, here are some of the areas we have been thinking about:

  • Per-post sales: Find out how much sales each social media post has generated
  • Campaign sales: Know how much sales your campaign has generated
  • Customer insights: Learn more about the social media users who are buying your products
  • Customer lifetime value: Calculate customer lifetime value for different segments
  • Product buzz: Get insights into who’s talking about your products on social

For now, with your social media and Shopify data together in Analyze, you can already have a better understanding of your marketing and brand.

Give yourself an advantage today.

Try Analyze for free.


Why Earning Consumer Trust is Essential for Brands

For years, we’ve hoisted large tech companies to hero status, pledging our loyalty and brand affinity all the while these companies amassed more and more influence in politics, culture, and even our mental health. But this dynamic has shifted. Fast. As a result, we face the ever-present and complicated question: how are today’s societal forces shaping a new era of trust?

Based on interviews with over 2,200 U.S. adults, a recent report published by Morning Consult provides actionable intelligence into this exact issue and opportunities brands can leverage to earn and deepen trust with today’s consumers.

The majority distrust “Corporate America” but give individual brands the BOTD

One of the report’s biggest findings: consumer trust in the U.S. is declining. More than two-thirds of respondents reported that in general, Americans have become less trusting and it’s influencing decisions big and small. This spans which news outlets and anchors they prefer to how they choose their food at the grocery store based on packaging labels.

Increasingly it has become difficult to determine what is fact from fiction; only eight percent claim they trust the media and a mere 15 percent agree it is easy to differentiate when the news headlines they tune into are factual.

While individual brands are reaping the gift of the benefit of the doubt, larger corporations and institutions with a concentration of power are facing the repercussions of a lack of trust from the public. These trends are supported by several key stats including:

  • Less than 1 in 10 Americans claim to have a lot of trust in the government while only four percent place trust in either Wall Street or Hollywood. Elsewhere, the public education system, religious leaders, and major industries such as finance and insurance are also facing skepticism.
  • 74 percent trust that the average major company will deliver consistently on its mission
  • Looking at 100 major brands, the average is trusted by 59 percent and distrusted by just 13 percent.

Factors relating to reliability are for more important in earning trust than ethics

When gathering responses as to why people trust brands like USPS and PayPal overwhelmingly issues related to reliability came out on top over those concerning ethics or politics. This was supported in a ranking of “what is most important” when considering trusting a company. Among the top three answers were that the company protects my personal data (73%), the products work as advertised (71%), and that the products are safe to use (70%). For comparison, only 34 percent said it was important that a company has strong ethical or political views and 37 percent said it mattered whether a company gives back to society.

It’s worth noting however, most U.S. consumers expect brands to deliver on the basics but few anticipate them going above and beyond.

Beyond reliability — what are the other primary areas of distrust that brands should look to when approaching their strategies this year? Data privacy, fine print, and employee treatment.

Navigating Gen-Z and Millennials: reliability is king but ethics is queen

Compared to their Gen X and Boomer counterparts, Gen Z and Millennials are notably less likely to trust the average brand and are more likely to say that companies should make active efforts to gain their trust. Specifically, 42 percent of Gen Z-ers and 30 percent of Millenials agreed with the statement, “I tend to not trust the average American company. They have to earn my trust.”

While reliability is still important, issues such as how a company treats its employees and how products are produced matter much more to these younger demographics and are influential in whether they wind up following through on a purchase. For example, 18-29 year-olds are 5 points more likely than all adults to say it is “very important” a company has strong ethical or political values.

The broader takeaway here to pocket: as you consider your messaging bear in mind that younger generations will hold you to a much higher standard and bring greater skepticism to the table.

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4 Ways to Explore the Future of E-Commerce and Consumer Marketing at #SMWNYC

We recently published more our #SMWNYC 2020 lineup including our closing keynote speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk. With less than three months until the event, we want you to be fully armed with the knowledge you need to start your conference planning.

Below are a few highlights of sessions we’re particularly excited about that will help you explore the future of e-commerce and consumer marketing and how they’ll drive the discussion around our theme, HUMAN.X.

🛒 Instagram Shopping: The Digital Window Display

Each month 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post to learn more about products. For businesses, this shift has introduced new approaches to the marketing mix for showing off products and boosting sales including photos, images, captions, and videos.

Hear from Rishi Magia, Instagram’s Global Creative Lead for Instagram Shopping, as she explores how consumers are shaping their interactions and behavior around the newfound Instagram shopping ecosystem and actionable ways to bring together community and creativity to better understand your audience.

📺 From Commerce to TV: Building a Modern Media Business Around Premium Brands

The industry faces a fundamental shift toward revenue diversification. For media players, this means carefully considering their audiences and balancing their needs across commerce, streaming, and advertising. What it doesn’t mean? Jumping on every hot trend bandwagon.

In this session, gather the steps to creating a cohesive strategy for building a revenue stream that is informed by your business’ core values and identity and is supported by your audience’s habits and needs from Vox Media President Pam Wasserstein.

💝 Having a Heart and Driving Growth: Combining Art and Science to Make a Difference

Marketers commonly hold creativity and data as binaries — the former associated with ideas and storytelling and the latter related to data and performance analytics. Instead of viewing these as opposing forces, brands who have been successful in the long-term are adopting a new perspective. Improved content isn’t possible without “science” but for it to be effective it must be supported by human connection.

Join Grubhub’s SVP of Growth, Alex Weinstein, as he takes a closer look at ways we can prioritize content that resonates with people on deeper levels while still driving customer growth and retention.

🛍 Performance Marketing for Commerce Marketing

Mobile has inverted the shopper’s journey and DTC brands have dominated the retail space virtually changing the way we consume products. Some refer to them as disruptors for their ability to sell directly through mobile devices — bypassing traditional sales models and eliminating the “middleman.”

Learn from Rachel Tipograph, CEO of MikMak as she offers the insights you’ll need to craft creative content and approach performance marketing even if you’re not a traditional DTC company. Specifically, she’ll walk through the ins and outs of driving e-commerce conversion through impactful creative and actionable approaches for optimizing your media.

There’s still time to join us at the Sheraton Times Square this May (5-7). Browse the full agenda and secure your pass online today for a discount off the walkup price.

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


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How UGC is Redefining Marketing in 2020

What is it about UGC that brands like Apple, GoPro, Coca-Cola, and H&M are heavily using it as a social media marketing tactic?

We have the answer, and once you know about it, you will be enticed to leverage it for your brand too.

Let’s explore the depths of UGC along with some great UGC brand campaigns to give you a broad understanding of what is it and finally key insights on how to create a UGC marketing campaign for your business.

UGC: The Definition and Use Cases

UGC, or formally known by its full name user-generated content, is any form of content such as images or videos that have been created and shared by the users on a social media platform.

The primary reason marketers value user-generated content is that it is the most authentic, trustworthy, and reliable form of content available across digital mediums.



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A post shared by Schwarzkopf Professional USA (@schwarzkopfusa) on

UGC is deemed genuine because it is driven by users’ real experiences, ideas, opinions, feedback, etc. Product reviews are a form of UGC that affects the buying decisions of other potential customers and a brand’s revenue and identity.

Similarly, not just reviews, there are many more variations of user-generated content available on social platforms.

Why Does UGC Matter Now?

For marketers, there are many tactics to promote and advertise their brand. Still, most of these tactics have become intrusive and spammy for the users, especially on digital media over the years. It has led to distrust and unreliability, ultimately affecting the brand building and revenue generation opportunities.

In this age of disruptive, inauthentic marketing, UGC is something that emerges as the perfect alternative, which provides the personal, trustworthy information to consumers to help their purchase decisions as distrust over branded content rises.

Marketers have found a long-term marketing success mantra in the form of users’ content. Recent figures have shown that 90 percent of users trust UGC to influence their purchase decisions and considering it a key brand quality indicator shows why UGC matters now.

Leveraging users’ content in marketing goes beyond trust & authenticity as new technologies, innovations, and strategies are emerging for marketers to unlock the maximum potential.

Be it from changing social media platform algorithms positively towards user-generated content to the rise of UGC platforms that stretch the possibilities of UGC beyond social media to all the marketing channels like websites, events, outdoor advertising, email, print media, etc.

How Does UGC help Marketers and brands?

Here’s a quick look at some of the key benefits of users’ content for a brand when leveraged in marketing.

1. Create Trust and Reliability

First and foremost, when incorporated in marketing campaigns, UGC helps in creating & building a sense of trust & reliability among the consumers about the brand & its products.

It is necessary to build trust among consumers as it is a key metric that influences the purchase decisions of the consumers. Having reliability over brand also ignites loyalty & repeat purchases leading to customer retention.

2. Showcase Authenticity and Brand Advocacy

Moving ahead with trust, showcasing the real experiences of real customers in your marketing campaigns works as validation to the authenticity of the promotional message that is being conveyed in the campaign.

Besides, it also displays brand advocacy as existing customers become the brand representatives. It enhances the brand images along with evergreen and organic positive word-of-mouth marketing.

3. Increase User Engagement and Interaction

The traditional marketing only had one-way diffusion of information from brands to marketers. Social media marketing allowed users to engage with the marketing campaigns, and now UGC marketing takes engagement and interaction to the next level.

With UGC marketing, the engagement is at maximum with users creating content, engaging with campaigns like contributing to hashtag campaigns, interactions through responses & gamification, etc. User engagement is a key metric that marketers target as the level of a user’s engagement defines its path towards conversions.

Besides, it also enables productive two-way communications, meaningful relationship building, user gratification, reward opportunities, and much more.

4. Drive Conversions and Revenue

The benefits discussed above are all key influencers to conversions & revenue. So, starting from user-generated content marketing to the inclusion of UGC in the purchase path can help in increasing conversions immensely.

These facts, such as ads with UGC getting 5x more click-through rates, UGC being almost 10x more influential than influencers content for consumers in their purchase decisions, etc. are indicative of how UGC can drive revenue for the biggest of brands.

Brands leveraging UGC in action

Here are two prime examples of brands using UGC for marketing that provide credibility to the aforementioned definitions, benefits, & statements.




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GoPro, the American technology brand that focuses on creating powerful & versatile action cameras globally, is a perfect example of how UGC marketing can bring success to your brand.

Most of their channels, especially social media & websites, are filled with photos and videos that their customers have captured using GoPro cameras. GoPro takes the most creative & captivating user visuals & use them to promote their brand.

GoPro’s popularity has been increasing ever since with incredible brand image, customer loyalty, user engagement, and ever-increasing sales for their products. They leverage gamification strategy to encourage engagement & curate diverse UGC for their campaigns.




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A post shared by Kristian Keenen (@kristiankeenen) on

Apple’s UGC marketing campaign with #ShotOnIphone is a remarkable example of trust-building, showcasing authenticity, and boosting engagement & sales.

Apple faced a challenge with the iPhone, where it was stated that low-light photography quality was not good, leading to dissatisfaction. Thus, to restore the lost trust, affected the brand image, and diminishing sales, Apple asked its customers to share their photos & videos using the brand hashtag.

They curated the UGC and ran campaigns on social media featuring stunning low-light UGC visuals. This campaign not only helped in gaining social proof and increased sales but also showcased the immense brand advocacy and loyalty for Apple.

Paving the Way Forward With User-Generated Content

Now that we have discussed the depths of user-generated content marketing, get your work mode on as we explore how you can create such campaigns for your brand.

The best way to create amazing and effective UGC marketing campaigns is to use a tool like the UGC platform that can help you with end-to-end solutions for your campaigns.

With the UGC platform, you can discover and curate all the relevant and valuable user-generated content around your brand into a single feed. Then, customize the feed, moderate content to maintain premium quality, and add branding elements for effective promotions.

Once you’ve done that, you can display your unique social UGC feed across different channels including websites, events, emails, print media, in-store, and social media as your UGC marketing campaign.

The UGC platforms are an all-in-one solution to incredible UGC marketing for brands. You can explore everything about a UGC platform in this guide.

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And That’s How the Google Cookie Crumbles

The days of third-party data tracking within the world’s most popular browser are over.

After months of speculation, Google has finally confirmed that it will join Safari and Firefox in withdrawing support for third-party cookies by 2022.

The growth of the ad tech ecosystem as we know it was due in large part to advertisers’ ability to use third-party products to “follow” customers around the web, understanding their behaviors and preferences, and then serve targeted advertising to them efficiently via digital media. As the major browsers (and consumers themselves, via ad-blockers) eliminate the ability to “tag” consumers, the industry can expect a sharp departure from the way things were.

That said, personalization is here to stay. What the news does reinforce is the strength of so-called “walled gardens” like Google, Amazon, and Facebook that carry so much individual scale that they don’t need to rely on cookies to make hyper-personalized targeting possible.

What are cookies, anyway?

Most consumers are “cookied” every day without even being aware. A cookie refers to text or small packets of data sent by websites to be stored in your computer’s browser.

Third-party cookies, specifically, are those that are set by an alternative site than the one you are on including a third-party video provider, social channel, or ad platform. When a publisher or site strikes a partnership with one of these businesses, they add a line of code to their site.

Cookies help create user profiles, which provide detailed information on the sites you visit and the journey of what you do during your browsing time. This gives advertisers key insight into your interests and preferences allowing them to deliver a more targeted advertising experience.

Industry implications

Google’s Chrome browser makes up 69 percent and 40 percent, respectively, of desktop and mobile browser share — accounting for more than half of all web traffic overall. The bottom line?

Anyone with a website, including brands, agencies, and publishers, will be affected by the move. While some may argue this was an inevitable move, this doesn’t change its significance and the impact it will have today and in years ahead.

  • In the short term, marketers lose an instrumental method they currently use to target many of their customers.
  • In the long-term, they must find a more sustainable solution that is more direct and personal to the consumer.

One way to achieve this is by seeking out and relying on first-party data from owned audiences. The other, and what would be much more complicated to navigate, building better relationships with customers and the media they consume.

Moreover, many experts predict that the real winners will be walled gardens like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, who now stand alone in their ability to provide a high degree of targeting at scale.

The trend toward a cookieless web impacts publishers and third-party ad-tech platforms the most, since this will require them to sell and serve ads in new ways. Digital publishing was already under pressure as ad budgets have shifted from their owned and operated properties to the big platforms. Some publishers, like The New York Times, have had success by refocusing their efforts on driving digital subscriptions.

In short, we can expect a greater emphasis on one-to-one relationships that are personalized and relevant — but this won’t come without some obstacles and the likely continued flow of ad budgets to the big platforms.

Learn more about Privacy Matters as part of our 2020 global theme: HUMAN.X and help us establish a human-first, experience-driven approach to digital marketing. Secure your early-bird discount today to save 20% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).


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Gary Vaynerchuk to Close Out #SMWNYC + Major Agenda Updates!

We’re beyond excited to share some huge announcements with you today!

First, we’re thrilled to announce that the inimitable Gary Vaynerchuk will be joining our founder Toby Daniels on stage for the closing keynote on May 7th.

It’s unlikely you’ve not heard of him, but for the uninitiated Gary is one of the most influential people in social media and digital marketing over the past 10 years. He’s the Chairman of VaynerX, CEO and Co-Founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients across the company’s four locations and author of five New York Times best-selling books including “Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too.”

Gary rose to prominence in the late ‘90s after establishing one of the first e-commerce wine sites, WineLibrary, a family business that he helped his father grow from 4 to 60MM in sales. Today, he has amassed a huge social media audience across several platforms including TikTok where he has over 3M followers.

In addition to confirming our closer for #SMWNYC 2020, we’re also over the moon regarding the newest additions to the agenda, which we are also releasing today, including:

  • How Hulu Helps DTC Brands Stream to Success, hosted by Hulu
  • Having a Heart and Driving Growth: Combining Art and Science to Make a Difference, with Grubhub
  • Little Resources, Big Results: How to Make an Impact with Video, with Vimeo
  • Are Employees the New Influencers? with General Electric
  • Why Authenticity is Key to Human-First Influencer Marketing, with Takumi
  • The Lost Art of Anticipation, with Netflix
  • How To Create Brand Experiences That Are Built to Scale, with Heineken
  • The Devil in Discourse, hosted by Code and Theory
  • Bringing Transparency and Accountability to Influencer Marketing: Navigating the Wild West, with Whalar
  • Augmented Reality isn’t an Accessory, it’s a Staple, hosted by Havas New York
  • Why Your Marketing Campaign Will Never Go Viral, with Twitter
  • After The Fall: Marketing In the Post Attention Era, with Salesforce

This is just a small taste of the latest additions to the program and we have more major announcements to come in the next few weeks, including the agenda for The Brand Leaders Summit, the full lineup for the SMW Academy program and more partner announcements.

Browse the full agenda and secure your pass by next Friday, February 14 to take advantage of the 20% discount before it expires.


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Here’s How Your Brand Should Innovate for Gen Z

By now most marketers can recognize that Gen Z wields tremendous power. As of this year, these individuals account for 40 percent of global consumers and hold more than 44 billion in spending power. Looking ahead to 2030, it’s estimated they’ll comprise 30 percent of the labor force.

They’re young, digitally savvy, and entrepreneurial reflected in an early but profound understanding of how technology can transform the way we work and live. All of this translates into unique online behavior that brands must continue to try to wrap their strategies around.

Navigating Gen-Z: New Research from Snap Inc. and CASSANDRA

A growing number of businesses are weaving in influencer partnerships, adapting to the rise of ‘dark social’ or a more private, permission-based online environment, tapping into new markets for streaming and social media entertainment, and incorporating videos into their tactics as a means of securing attention in a crowded space.

In the midst of all of these changes, consumer experience has emerged as a leading differentiator indicated by recent findings that show that more than half (64%) of Gen Z shoppers feel brands should provide a personalized experience when interacting with them. As ad budgets become increasingly devoted to social channels (total ad spend across social platforms is projected to reach $517 billion globally by 2023), how can brands prepare today and ensure they innovate in a way that drives brand awareness today and keeps them relevant in the years ahead?

According to a new study commissioned by Snap Inc and CASSANDRA , the answer isn’t as complicated as one may think. Here are a few highlights distilling the key insights and themes from the results.

Don’t negate the influence of emotional and practical utility

Though trends point to Gen Zers being responsive to edgy and visual marketing campaigns, this doesn’t mean you need to spend months or years and a hefty budget on your products. Amongst the four criteria for brand innovation identified by the survey group included an emphasis on customer happiness, expanding access to goods and services, and brands that deliver on opportunities that make us happier.

As a best practice, when making choices on adopting the latest emerging technologies, simplicity should be a priority in terms of how plan to improve your offering. Accessibility and affordability are critical to this demographic both in the brands they use and when they are those they haven’t yet.

Take social listening seriously

Gen Zers have a go-getter mentality and feel genuine joy when they’re able to contribute to positive social change. They want to support brands who are active in delivering on its goals and mission and feel as though they play an instrumental role in ensuring the journey is successful.

In this vein, proactively seeking and reacting to consumer feedback is another important mark of innovation not only to the benefit of consumers but in enabling the business to identify unique ways to stay ahead of the curve of its competitors. Eighty-percent of respondents shared that they are more likely to support a company if they feel their feedback makes a difference. A slightly larger percentage, (82%) report they are more inclined to advocate for a brand if the company actually enacts changes based on shared feedback.

Risk-taking doesn’t mean changing your brand’s identity

It’s hard to not put the words innovation and risky into the same sentence. More often than not, it involves getting creative and stepping out of your comfort zone which can present both challenges and rewards.

Gen Z shares the common belief that today’s brands have an obligation to innovate (64%) and that this is table-stakes for staying relevant in an ever-evolving landscape (62%). At the same time, they’re pretty specific about what this looks like in action. For example, they don’t want companies overhauling their identities for the sake of innovating. Instead, they’d much rather prefer them expand their offerings, redesign their products, and act on opportunities to grow beyond their standard, run-of-the-mill products and services (78%).

Indeed, we live in a fast-paced world that only continues to increase in speed and present us with greater opportunities to connect with our audiences through new platforms and technologies. The best mentality we can have as a response? Don’t try to be something you’re not and don’t overthink.

As this survey has shown, the path to success is truly much simpler than we think and boils down to making genuine efforts to connect with our audiences on a deeper, emotional level by listening to them and helping make their lives easier.

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How HBO Max Will Use Originals to Drive Brand Awareness

We face a fundamental shift in the entertainment marketplace and as we turn the page to a new calendar year, the competition continues to steadily play out. Established industry leaders like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime are seeing the rise of new players that include AT&T’s WarnerMedia, NBC Universal and smaller, more niche-audience oriented services like Crunchyroll and Shudder.

During #SMWLA, join Peter Sherman, Vice President of HBO Max Programming at WarnerMedia and Linda Ong, Chief Culture Officer at Civic Entertainment Group as they take a close look at how this is shaping consumer behavior trends and presenting major advertisement implications.

With the Streaming Wars businesses are faced with uncertain strategic blueprints yet must still navigate critical decisions, namely, whether they should prioritize subscriptions over advertisements as a primary source of revenue. In response, more services are escalating their ad spend as a means of staying ahead in an increasingly crowded category. The primary driver for these decisions? The consumer.

Subscribers are choosing their bundles more wisely weighing factors such as how much they want to pay each month for the value of the content they receive and the number of services to which they’re willing to pay monthly subscription costs. In this vein, Sherman and Ong will explore the role of original content in brand-building, broader content marketing techniques that are being applied to attract, engage and retain, and the power and importance of content marketing in forging lasting connections.

There’s still time to join Peter, Linda and many more exciting speakers this June at Social Media Week Los Angeles (June 17-18) at The Broad Stage – so act quickly, and look toward a future of original content marketing with us!

View our first wave of announcements, lock in your pass at 30% the walk-up rate, and stay tuned for additional announcements and updates in the coming weeks!


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What the New ‘Off-Facebook’ Activity Tool Really Means for Advertisers and Users

Two years ago Facebook hinted at giving users an option to remove the browsing history utilized it us to deliver targeted ads at its annual F8 developer conference following the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. Fast forward to today, and after several unexpected delays, the platform is pulling the trigger officially. In doing so, it is making a pretty firm stance on the evolution of a permission-based, personalized future.

The Off-Facebook Activity: What is it and how to use it?

The platform is introducing the “Off-Facebook Activity” menu available to users on a global scale where they have the option to:

  • View a summary of the information other apps and websites have sent Facebook
  • Disconnect this information from their account
  • Disconnect future off-Facebook activity from their account (this holds for all off-Facebook activity or only specific apps or websites

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites, and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to. Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control.”

Now that you’re briefed on what the new feature enables, here’s a quick run-down of how to use the feature.

To begin, click on the drop-down menu in the top right of the desktop version of Facebook. Then, select “Settings” followed by “Your Facebook Information.” You’ll then be presented with an option for “Off-Facebook Activity” as depicted below:

From there you can browse all of the websites sharing your information with Facebook and decide whether to clear your history and remove this information from your account, strip the tracking for specific sites, or disable this tracking in entirety. Full disclosure — by turning off the tracking Facebook says you’ll still see the same number of ads and it can receive information about your activity, it just won’t be associated with your account. In other words, the ads you are fed will be less personalized.

What does this mean for the advertising industry?

There are several implications with regards to the advertising industry to note here. Primarily, giving users the onus to remove their details will inevitably make it harder for advertisers to retarget customers that visit their apps, websites, or make purchases in-store. In terms of measuring success, without these added specifics, it will likely be harder for brands to trace who was served an ad when and whether it was effective or not.

The good news? The majority of users will likely appreciate the gesture but not take the time to go through and remove the traces to the large number of websites who have collected it over the years. Several advertisers who have already spoken out anticipate adoption of the feature among the public will be limited.

“Consumers have a track record of apathy when it comes to actively managing their privacy,” said Aaron Goldman, CMO at marketing technology company 4C in a statement to Mashable. “Whether it’s deleting cookies or clearing history, these tools typically get very little usage and have very little impact on marketers.

On top of this, and more importantly, while the majority of social media users have voiced growing concerns about not knowing when their data is being collected, by who, and how it is being used, the overwhelming preference remains: personalized advertisements that align with their needs, interests and values will always garner higher engagement than those that are irrelevant.

“You should be able to easily understand and manage your information, which is why strengthening your privacy controls is so important. We’ll have more to share as we continue to make progress on this important work in the decade ahead.”

Learn more about Privacy Matters as part of our 2020 global theme: HUMAN.X and help us establish a human-first, experience-driven approach to digital marketing. Secure your early-bird discount today to save 20% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).


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How to Get the Most Out of Your Twitter Ads With ‘Flight School’

Originally launched in 2014, Twitter Flight School is an online resource released geared towards inspiring creativity and guiding brands and agencies of all sizes as they look to get the most out of their marketing efforts on the platform.

As companies moved from asking “why Twitter” as an advertising outlet, the dominant questions became “How do I take my content on Twitter to the next level?” and “How do I use promoted products and other tools to get the right message to my target audience in the right moment?”

Content is tailored to meet the needs of various roles and functions spanning senior leadership, account planning and campaign management so you can work towards broader milestones or focus on something specific. Amongst the first participants in the program were Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), WPP and Omnicom.

What is the revamped program comprised of?

Fast forward to 2020, Twitter is looking to continue the success of its Flight School by adding to the courses and subjects that marketers can explore.

“Flight School [is] your one-stop destination for everything you need to know about advertising on Twitter. We’re bringing you new coursework, a better platform experience, and achievement badging, allowing you to showcase your newly acquired skills,” the platform explains.

More specifically, the expanded program includes new courses targeted towards helping marketers find relevant audiences, measure campaign performance, and establish their strategies and voices when it comes to video. Overall, it’s a one-stop-shop for help in planning best-in-class campaigns, igniting a creative idea, and supercharging your own career.

Below are a few highlights of the expectations Twitter has mapped out to the public as it looks to take the education hub to new heights:

  • Bite-sized lessons
  • Choose your own learning path
  • Evolving coursework
  • Actionable recommendations
  • Achievement badging

How do I navigate the courses?

Flight School is organized into modules, all of which give you a time estimate for completion before you dive in. Examples reflecting new elements added to line-up include ‘Twitter Ad Fundamentals,’ ‘Getting Started with Ads Manager,’ and ‘Creating and Executing Video Campaigns.’

Courses dedicated solely to video make sense given it remains the fastest-growing advertising tool on the platform. There are over 2 billion video views on Twitter each day, a 67 percent increase year-over-year. In addition, tweets containing video content attract 10x more engagements compared to those without. Promoted tweets with videos report saving more than 50 percent on cost-per-engagement. The moral: using video addresses two birds with one stone including affordability and increased engagement.

A few of the specific lessons you can choose from include:

  • Defining your demographics
  • Balancing targeting and reach
  • Comparing campaign objectives and establishing your ideal structure
  • Interpreting and customizing campaign reports
  • How to use Twitter’s Live Brand Studio
  • How to collaborate with Twitter’s Content Creation team

How can I access the lessons and track my progress?

You can begin your Flight School education, for free, at www.twitterflightschool.com/ and using your account credentials to gain access to the courses. By doing so, the platform will keep tabs on your progress so if you need to pause a lesson and return to it, you don’t need to start from the beginning.

Badges’ are offered for the completion of coursework and assessments which you can add to your other social platforms including LinkedIn or be printed. Generally, badges take up to 4 hours to earn or as little as 2 hours depending on the lesson and your expertise. If you don’t pass an assessment with an 80 percent or higher, don’t sweat it, just review the material and try again.

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From Vine to Byte: Has Short-Form Video Gone Full Circle?

Short-form video content is taking the digital space by storm with platforms and brands catering to shorter attention spans and a heightened expectation of relevancy and memorability. This is no longer optional in our mobile-driven world. In fact, recent projections estimate that total revenue from short-form videos are expected to hit $13 billion this year.

In the spirit of understanding where this trend began and where we are today, let’s take a look at the platforms that have played an important role in its development.


Vine, the six-second looping video app was founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in 2012. It was acquired by Twitter in 2012 for $30 million before it officially launched on January 24th, 2013 as an iOS application. The Android version closely followed that summer. Within a two-month span, Vine rapidly gained popularity becoming the most popular and most utilized video-sharing app in the market.

In April of 2013, Vine earned the title of most-downloadable free app from the App Store triggering the release of the desktop version in May of the following year. At its peak, Vine boasted 200 million monthly active users.

Vine’s claim to fame was the introduction of new memes and slang still referenced widely today such as “on fleek” and “What are thoooose?” Music labels including Island Records and Republic records quickly took notice, reaching out to Vine personalities like Shawn Mendes expressing interest in recording contracts.

To users’ disappointment, Vine shut down in 2016 facing increasing competition from other platforms who were looking for a piece of the short-form video action. Hofmann proceeded to tease a possible Vine 2.0 in December of 2017 — a project that was postponed partially due to prohibited legal fees.


Launched in 2011, Snapchat or Snap for short, was a hub dedicated only for ephemeral photo and text sharing. The concept was born by three founders Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy under the name Picaboo and only amassed 127 users. Following a disagreement over equity share, Spiegel and Murphy rebranded the app to Snapchat after removing Brown from the endeavor.

The app was swift in its rise to fame, particularly among younger users. According to 2019 research, 90 percent of all 13-24-year-olds and 75 percent of all 13-34-year-olds use Snapchat in the U.S. Overall, the app has amassed more than 210 million daily active users to date.

Snapchat’s competitive edge remains in its ability to tap into augmented reality and deliver one-of-a-kind immersive experiences through filters and interactive lenses. Many would claim today Snapchat was the OG “Stories” before Instagram and Facebook hopped on the bandwagon. Building off of this, in 2015 Snapchat unveiled “Discover,” a fun and interactive source of content from media partners.

The app continues to strive for as close to in-person interactions as possible. Users are able to share photos and videos that only last several seconds before they disappear, leaving no history of their quirky and embarrassing moments. The key terms here are private and permission-based, including notifications for when someone has saved or screenshotted one of your Snapchats.


While Instagram is known for its polished posts (static photos and video), and later, its Stories format—first pioneered by Snap—the platform has made moves to avail the short-form content trend. In 2015, Instagram launched the Boomerang app, which has since been folded within its Stories feature. By capturing a video via the Boomerang filter, users can create GIF-like, looping content.

On the whole, Instagram has made Stories its home for short-form video. Similar to Snap and unlike Vine and TikTok, these bits of content are ephemeral by nature—that is, unless the user or brand chooses to pin the Story to their profile page. This is a tactic used by many influencers and brands in order to make short-form videos a more permanent part of their profiles.

In addition to their short-form features via Stories, Instagram has pushed forward with IGTV, a deliberately longer-form format. Instagram even created a dedicated app to IGTV, but recently sunsetted it. TechCrunch reported that only 1 percent of users downloaded the additional app, testing the hypothesis that users had an appetite for a longer-form experience outside of Instagram proper.


Since its launch in 2017, TikTok, originally known as Musical.ly, has gained notable traction among tweens and teens around the globe.

The platform continues to grow in size and scale, surpassing 1.5 billion downloads as of November 2019 on the App Store and Google Play. The same year, TikTok also reached the 1 billion download threshold and was named the seventh most downloaded mobile app of the decade.

Beyond lip-syncing Gen Z-ers, major brands and A-list celebs including Coca-Cola, Nike, Google and Khloé Kardashian are using TikTok to push sponsored posts or run ad campaigns that appeal to younger, influential audiences. From a general user standpoint, the app also serves as a popular hub for extracting meme-able content to share with friends and family.

Dance clips are highly popular as well as tumbling and stunt-centered sports including gymnastics and cheerleading. Comedy too is a prominent theme across uploads given this is a space where users are encouraged to step away from the filtered and flawless and focus on the authentic ways to depict their true personalities.


Eight years after teasing a Vine predecessor, Don Hoffman is looking to make good on his promise to give users what they asked for with Byte. “We’re bringing back six-second looping videos and the community that loved them,” the app’s description states in the iOS App Store. “Nostalgia is our starting point, but where we go next is up to you.”

Similarly to Vine, Byte gives people the choice to upload videos recorded outside of the app or use the built-in camera to shoot their six-second clips. Content is also easily downloadable from the app for easy cross-platform use in cases where you may want to share with your Twitter or Instagram followers. In a nod to TikTok’s “For You” page, Byte is set up such that once you open the app, your timeline of content is fed on an endless scroll.

As far as the audience the app seems to be attracting in its early stages, a variety of users have downloaded the app. This includes people new to the short-form game and current TikTokers and former Viners.

Brands may soon be able to test the waters with Byte as well, the app recently teasing in a tweet that, “Very soon, we’ll introduce a pilot version of our partner program, which we will use to pay creators. Byte celebrates creativity and community, and compensating creators is one important way we can support both. Stay tuned for more info.”

From Vine as the pioneer and one step in the evolution paving the way for Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok, it appears Byte is the bookend to the story. While long-form still has its place in storytelling, there’s no denying we’re in a mobile-first age where quick, digestible, and dynamic are the criteria dominating the strategies to communicate value and drive traffic to businesses.


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4 Best Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Five years ago, it seemed that “influencer marketing” was just a business buzzword. And it was difficult to imagine that in 2019, the influencer marketing industry would be worth $8 billion.

But it has happened. Today, big and small companies consider influencer marketing as a primary advertising channel. And the experts suggest that the influencer marketing industry will keep growing and will be worth $15 billion by 2022.

If you are reading this article, it means one of two things. Either you have already invested in influencer marketing and want to know whether it was the right decision. Or, you haven’t collaborated with influencers yet, because you have no idea how to measure the results of the advertising campaign.

In any case, we got you covered. Here are four practical ways to measure influencer marketing campaigns.

Measure reach

Let’s start with the basics. If you want to know whether your influencer marketing campaign works well, you should calculate your campaign reach.

Reach is a metric that shows how far your brand message has traveled and how many prospective buyers it has reached. To calculate influencer reach, you should take into account the following key performance indicators (KPIs):

Influencer Follower Count

Since some of the followers are brands and bots, influencer follower count can’t be considered as a reliable reach indicator. But still, it can give you an idea of the proximate number of users your sponsored post can reach.

This indicator shows a number of times your sponsored post gets in front of your target audience. For instance, if your post got 1,000 impressions, it means that your post was seen 1,000 times.

Traffic data

It’s the most reliable indicator. It shows the precise amount of traffic that comes to your website from the link in the influencer’s profile or account.

Measure engagement and calculate CPE

The next step you should take is to measure the engagement of your influencer marketing campaign. To do that, you should analyze the statistics of every sponsored post and every sponsored Story. You should pay attention to the following indicators.

  • Clicks
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Reactions
  • Shares
  • Brand mentions
  • The number of saved posts (applicable to Instagram)

There are two simple ways to get this data. If you partner with an Instagram influencer, you can ask him to provide you with the post insights.

That’s simple. It will take an influencer just a few seconds to make a screenshot of the post insights and send it to you.

If you collaborate with bloggers and Facebook influencers, you can use a specialized marketing tool such as BuzzSumo. The tool will give you a comprehensive overview of how well your sponsored posts are performing.

All you need to do is to enter the URL of a specific blog post or Facebook post in a search bar and click the search button. In a second, you will see how many reactions, likes, comments, and shares your post has generated.

Once you know the number of engagements, you can calculate the cost per engagement (CPE). The formula is simple. You just need to divide your total ad spend by the number of engagements.

Let’s imagine that $4,000 is the total amount of money you have spent on your influencer marketing campaign. The influencer has posted four posts that generated 15,000 likes, 4,000 comments, and 1,000 shares in total. If we divide $4,000 by 20,000 engagements, we find out that CPE of your influencer marketing campaign is $0.2.

Use coupon codes and affiliate links

If you want to track which influencer gets which transactions, you should use coupons, affiliate links, and UTM parameters. It’s the simplest, yet the most effective way to measure the results of your marketing campaign and to find out which of influencers brings you more money.

All you need to do is to add UTM parameters to URLs using the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder. If you do everything right, the system will allow you to track your influencer campaign in Google Analytics.

By using designate promo codes, you will be able to track not only initial sales but also repeated purchases. By generating affiliate, you will get access to such insights as click-through rate (CTR) to your site, the number of sales, and the average value of each purchase.

Let’s imagine you’ve collaborated with three influencers and used coupon codes. To find out how much money each influencer brought you, you should divide total sales generated by coupon by the amount of money you paid to the influencer. For instance, if you paid $1,000 and made $5,000 in sales, it means that one dollar invested in the influencer marketing campaign brought you five dollars in sales.

Calculate target audience growth

When it comes to influencer marketing, demographics always matters. “If you want to achieve high results, you should check whether your sponsored posts are reaching the right target audience. You should use Google Analytics Demographics report to analyze whether influencer delivers your brand message in the right way,” says Nicole Prescott, a digital marketer and reviewer of the world’s leading translation service at TheWordPoint.

Let’s say your brand sells lipsticks and mascaras for teenagers. To boost sales, you need to reach parents who are interested in buying specialized cosmetics for their teenage children. There is no sense to target teenagers because they don’t have money to pay for your products. If you check Google Analytics Demographics report and see that most of your website visitors are 13-15 years old girls, then you will understand that it’s necessary to incorporate some changes to your influencer marketing campaign.

Be patient

Keep in mind that you need to give it a 30- to 60-day window after the campaign start to measure the results.

As a rule, sponsored posts generate the most sales within the first few days after the start of the campaign. But sometimes it happens that customers start checking affiliate links and using promo codes weeks after the initial publication. So if you want to get the precise results, you should wait.

Wrapping up

Now you know how to measure the results of the influencer marketing campaign. So go ahead and check how effectively your current campaign is performing. Apply the tips given, and you will see that everything is not half as tricky as it seems.

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