Tag: Twitter

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/

100’s of populer twitter hashtags…

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Please find a list of 100 top twitter hashtags (100 top general twitter hashtags) followed by some of the most used and most popular hashtags on twitter chosen for a few popular industry sectors on twitter.

These Twitter hashtags and so many more, are used millions of times daily on twitter.

Though these hashtags are good for you to use on some tweets, if you want to generate more likes for your photos, images and tweets, they are not the best when it comes to helping you reach engaged potential customers on your social platforms. You should loom through the list to find the hashtags that are most relevant to your business, and sprinkle them in with other, more industry-specific hashtags.

  • #love
  • #instagood
  • #photooftheday
  • #beautiful
  • #fashion
  • #tbt
  • #happy
  • #cute
  • #followme
  • #like4like
  • #follow
  • #me
  • #picoftheday
  • #selfie
  • #instadaily
  • #friends
  • #summer
  • #girl
  • #art
  • #fun
  • #repost
  • #smile
  • #nature
  • #instalike
  • #food
  • #style
  • #tagsforlikes
  • #family
  • #likeforlike
  • #igers
  • #fitness
  • #nofilter
  • #follow4follow
  • #instamood
  • #amazing
  • #life
  • #travel
  • #beauty
  • #vscocam
  • #sun
  • #bestoftheday
  • #music
  • #followforfollow
  • #beach
  • #instagram
  • #photo
  • #sky
  • #vsco
  • #dog
  • #l4l
  • #sunset#f4f
  • #ootd
  • #pretty
  • #swag
  • #makeup
  • #foodporn
  • #hair
  • #cat
  • #party
  • #girls
  • #photography
  • #cool
  • #baby
  • #lol
  • #tflers
  • #model
  • #motivation
  • #night
  • #instapic
  • #funny
  • #gym
  • #healthy
  • #yummy
  • #hot
  • #design
  • #black
  • #pink
  • #flowers
  • #christmas
  • #blue
  • #work
  • #instafood
  • #fit
  • #instacool
  • #iphoneonly
  • #wedding
  • #blackandwhite
  • #workout
  • #lifestyle
  • #handmade
  • #followback
  • #instafollow
  • #home
  • #drawing
  • #my
  • #nyc
  • #webstagram
  • #sweet
  • #instalove

Now, let’s take a look at the top hashtags for a couple of the most popular industries. These are way more likely to help you achieve success on social media, because they work well to connect you with people within your target market, boosting your reach and engagement.

Popular Hashtags on Twitter for the Fitness Industry


People love to share pictures of themselves at the gym. So much of social media is sharing the best side of you – and showcasing your healthy, fit lifestyle is a big part of that.

Here are the top 20 most popular hashtags for fitness:

  1. #gethealthy
  2. #healthylife
  3. #healthtalk
  4. #eatclean
  5. #fitfood
  6. #nutrition
  7. #fitquote
  8. #fitnessmotivation
  9. #fitspo
  10. #getfit
  11. #fitfam
  12. #trainhard
  13. #noexcuses
  14. #fitnessaddict
  15. #gymlife
  16. #girlswholift
  17. #workout
  18. #fitlife
  19. #gymlife
  20. #sweat

Popular Hashtags on Twitter for the Food Industry


How many times have you (or the people around you at a restaurant) taken a picture of their food before they eat it? Or what about when you cook something amazing and are just so proud of it you want to share it with the world?

Here are the top 20 most popular hashtags for food:

  1. #foodie
  2. #foodporn
  3. #foodgasm
  4. #nom
  5. #food
  6. #pizza
  7. #foodporn
  8. #foodstagram
  9. #menwhocook
  10. #sushi
  11. #yummy
  12. #foodcoma
  13. #eathealthy
  14. #instafood
  15. #delicious
  16. #foodpic
  17. #cooking
  18. #snack
  19. #tasty
  20. #cleaneating

Popular Hashtags on Twitter for the Travel Industry


Again, like with fitness, travel posts are all about showing people the best side of your life – and being on away on holidsy is always the best time of your life.

Here are the top 20 most popular hashtags for travel:

  1. #travel
  2. #instatravel
  3. #travelgram
  4. #tourist
  5. #tourism
  6. #vacation
  7. #traveling
  8. #travelblogger
  9. #wanderlust
  10. #ilovetravel
  11. #instavacation
  12. #traveldeeper
  13. #getaway
  14. #wanderer
  15. #adventure
  16. #travelphotography
  17. #roadtrip
  18. #mytravelgram
  19. #igtravel
  20. #traveler

Popular Hashtags on Twitter for the Technology Sector


When you have the newest gadget or want to show off your most innovative tech idea, there’s few better ways to do it than with a hashtag.

Here are the top 20 most popular hashtags for technology:

  1. #technology
  2. #science
  3. #bigdata
  4. #iphone
  5. #ios
  6. #android
  7. #mobile
  8. #video
  9. #design
  10. #innovation
  11. #startups
  12. #tech
  13. #cloud
  14. #gadget
  15. #instatech
  16. #electronic
  17. #device
  18. #techtrends
  19. #technews
  20. #engineering

Popular Hashtags on Twitter for the Fashion & Beauty Sector


People love to show off what they’re wearing or the fashions they love.

They love to show the social media world their best face, and what better way to do that than with their on-point makeup?

Here are the top 20 most popular hashtags for fashion and beauty:

  1. #fashion
  2. #fashionista
  3. #fashionblogger
  4. #ootd
  5. #style
  6. #stylish
  7. #streetstyle
  8. #streetwear
  9. #fashioninspo
  10. #trend
  11. #styleoftheday
  12. #stylegram
  13. #mensfashion
  14. #lookbook
  15. #todayiwore
  16. #beauty
  17. #makeupaddict
  18. #hair
  19. #instafashion
  20. #vintage

Conclusion


Hopefully this article will serve as a resource for you to come back to and take advantage of.

The hashtags in this article have millions and millions of impressions every day. Not using them is a massive social media missed opportunity.

If you have any questions about how you can use these hashtags in your own social media posts, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Please find a list of 100 top twitter hashtags (100 top general twitter hashtags) followed by some of the most used and most popular hashtags on twitter chosen for a few popular industry sectors on twitter. These Twitter hashtags and so many more, are used millions of times daily on



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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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The post How to Get the Most Out of Your Twitter Ads With ‘Flight School’ appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/01/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-twitter-ads-with-flight-school/

3 Ways Platforms are Tackling Cyberbulling

The decline of empathetic behavior on social media is a growing issue. Our industry has the opportunity to push for an agenda that offers teens and young adults the ability to understand the choices they’re making behind their devices. Platforms are exploring ways they can play a role in this process and create productive interactions through shared experiences and understanding.

Here are a few recent examples unpacked:

Collaborating with Suicide Prevention Programs

On the heels of its test to remove “likes” from posts and a feature called ‘Restrict’ that allows users to seamlessly shadow-ban others posting harmful or offensive comments, Instagram is continuing its effort to support the fight against cyberbullying.

The photo-sharing platform recently unveiled a new AI-powered feature that notifies users when their captions on photos and videos could be considered offensive and gives them the opportunity to edit their post before it’s live.

Beyond aiming to limit the reach of bullying, a key goal of the tool is to provide education around proper Instagram etiquette and what violates the platform’s community guidelines. In order to create the new system, Instagram partnered with suicide prevention programs.

“Earlier this year, we launched a feature that notifies people when their comments may be considered offensive before they’re posted. Results have been promising, and we’ve found that these types of nudges can encourage people to reconsider their words when given a chance,” the company shared in the announcement.

The stance is an important one that prioritizes limiting the reach of bullying but, more importantly, is one primed to foster more education. The app hopes to inspire people to care about their words and choices online, and understand how they can affect other people negatively and deter from the growth of a positive, diverse community.

Expanding Definitions of Harmful Misinformation

Yet another app putting education at the center of its decisions to combat bullying and harmful misinformation is TikTok.

The video-sharing app recently overhauled its Community Guidelines to incorporate a specific section dedicated to the sharing of misinformation within the app intended to add transparency to how harmful or unsafe content is defined and regulated on the platform. “It’s important that users have insight into the philosophy behind our moderation decisions and the framework for making such judgements,” the announcement stressed.

At its core, the updates outline how violations are grouped into 10 distinct categories, each of which contains an explanation of the rationale and several detailed bullet points to clarify what type of misbehavior would fall into that category. While TikTok’s rules against misleading content have been in place for a while, until this expansion the focus had primarily been around scams and barring the creation of fake profiles.

Here’s a quick outline as to the additional types of content the app is targeting:

  • Content that incites fear, hate, or prejudice
  • Content that could cause harm to an individual’s health – such as misleading information about medical treatment
  • Content that proliferates hoaxes, phishing attempts, or “manipulated content meant to cause harm”
  • Content that misleads community members about elections or other civic processesOne critique that has surfaced since the announcement is that the expanded guidelines don’t explain how TikTok will decipher harmful, “misleading” content and appear to be open for interpretation regarding enforcement decisions.

“Our global guidelines are the basis of the moderation policies TikTok’s regional and country teams localize and implement in accordance with local laws and norms.​”

It will be interesting to see if there are further iterations based on this feedback and how the language and structure of these guidelines will evolve as the community continues to grow.

Letting users define the audience of their content

As part of a broader discussion about the rise of ephemeral messaging and its potential for Twitter, the platform is looking to specific dimensions, such as control around who can see or participate in tweet conversations.

During CES 2020, Suzanne Xie, Director of Product Management, outlined several key changes that are in the works aimed to address these issues and promote a more healthy, positive user experience.

Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour articulated the rationale in an interview with WIRED’s Editor in Chief Nick Thompson. “We’re exploring ways for people to control proactively, not reactively hiding a reply…The philosophical approach we took here is, when you start a conversation, as the author of a tweet you should have a little more control over the replies to that tweet.”

During the presentation, Xie showed the below images illustrating the new process in development. Fundamentally, it allows users to define the audience for each of their tweets, directly from the composer window.

The four core audience settings are as follows:

  • Global: Anyone can reply to the tweet
  • Group: Only people you follow or mention would be able to reply
  • Panel: Only people you directly mention within the tweet text itself would be able to reply
  • Statement: No tweet replies would be allowed

Let’s break down a couple of pros and cons with this move.

Primarily, it seems to go against the idea of Twitter serving as a larger, public square where everyone is given a say. Contrarily, it could pave the way for easier facilitated interview-style conversations or live chats featuring celebrities or influencers that often are overwhelmed by spam. In this way, the conversations can feel more familiar and authentic without all of the secondary noise.

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The post 3 Ways Platforms are Tackling Cyberbulling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/01/3-ways-platforms-are-tackling-cyberbulling/

4 Major Brands and Platforms Addressing Digital Literacy and Fake News in 2020

The majority of marketers realize the issues presented by fake news and “deepfake” techniques in skewing the information we’re exposed to and the implications for determining what is fact from fiction.

We face a critical point in our industry where many brands and platforms are facing increased pressure for setting a benchmark for detecting these types of conversations.

Here are a few that are taking action in 2020.

Tumblr’s Digital Literacy Initiative “World Wide What”

With the 2020 election on the horizon, social media platforms are making moves to update their strategies to curb the spread of information. The latest to join the bandwagon is Tumblr, which recently launched an internet literacy campaign targeted to help younger demographics entering the voting scene spot fake news and unsavory posts.

The initiative, World Wide What, was developed in partnership with UK-based internet literacy organization, Ditch the Label. The campaign’s structure emphasizes six core community topics in video form that include fake news skewed views, authenticity, cyberbullying, the importance of minimizing screen time, how much we share online, and creating a safer internet through moderation.

Unlike traditional literacy materials, the platform is tapping into visual, more culturally messaging such as GIFs, memes, and short text in line with imagery native to the Tumblr brand. Videos will also leverage outside experts and industry leaders to tackle certain subjects through a series of Q&As in the coming weeks and months.

“We are constantly striving to learn and utilize new ways to create a safe place for our communities,” Tumblr shared in a statement on the World Wide What site.

Google x Jigsaw Visual Database of Deepfakes

In September 2019, Google tapped Jigsaw in an effort to develop a dataset of visual deepfakes aimed to boost early detection efforts. The tech giant worked with both paid and consenting actors to record and gather hundreds of videos which ultimately were crafted into deepfakes. The final products including both real and fake videos, were then incorporated into the Technical University of Munich and the FaceForensics benchmark and made widely available for synthetic video detection methods.

Fast forward to November, Jigsaw has continued on this momentum by releasing what it refers to as “the largest public data set of comments and annotations with toxicity labels and identity labels. “ This includes the addition of comments and annotations with toxicity and identity labels. The goal with incorporating these details is to more accurately measure bias within AI comment classification systems. Traditionally conversations are measured with synthetic data from template sentences that often fail to address the complexity and variety of comments.

“By labeling identity mentions in real data, we are able to measure bias in our models in a more realistic setting, and we hope to enable further research into unintended bias across the field,” shared in a recent Medium post. The key in the ever-evolving deepfake tech space will be a healthy and growing research community.

Twitter Policies Targeting Synthetic and Manipulated Media

Twitter is looking to its community for support in fleshing out its strategy for addressing synthetic and manipulated media, what the company defines as “…any photo, audio, or video that has been significantly altered or fabricated in a way that intends to mislead people or changes its original meaning.

As a draft to its policy, the platform has outlined that it will:

  • Place a notice next to Tweets that share synthetic or manipulated media
  • Warn people before they share or like Tweets with synthetic or manipulated media
  • Add a link – for example, to a news article or Twitter Moment – so that people can read more about why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated

The platform also vowed to remove any deepfake believed capable of threatening someone or leading to serious harm. This raises the question as to how it would address these types of manipulated conversations spurring a falsity but not technically causing harm or that use newer creation methods that lag behind the detection techniques.

To garner feedback from users, the platform created a multiple-choice survey that addresses the broader preference of removing versus flagging (e.g. should altered photos and videos be removed, have warning labels, or not be removed at all). To date, the survey is closed and the platform is reported to be working on an official policy that will be announced 30 days prior to roll out.

Facebook’s “Deepfake Challenge” and Ban

This past fall Facebook teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and academics from Cornell Tech, University of Oxford, UC Berkley, University of Maryland, and SUNY Albany to launch the Deepfake Detection Challenge. The DFDC as its referred to includes a data set of 100k+ videos using paid actors — as well as grants and awards —aimed to inspire new ways of detecting and preventing AI-manipulated media.

The DFDC will run to the end of March of this year with the goal of “…producing technology that everyone can use to better detect when AI has been used to alter a video in order to mislead the viewer.” According to the official website, a winner will be determined based on “a test mechanism that enables teams to score the effectiveness of their models, against one or more black-box tests from our founding partners,” the company shared.

‘Deepfake’ techniques, which present realistic AI-generated videos of real people doing and saying fictional things, have significant implications for determining the legitimacy of information presented online,” shared Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer in a recent blog post.

In addition to these efforts, the platform followed up with a new policy that would remove synthesized or edited content in ways that “aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead,” or deepfake posts that use AI technologies to “merge, replace, or superimpose content onto a video, making it appear authentic.”

Again, the issue becomes how we as an industry will move forward walking the fine line between malicious deepfakes and those with less-harmful intents of creative parodies or satire.

Learn more about this topic as part of our 2020 theme HUMAN.X through the lens of the subtheme Privacy Matters. Read the official announcement here and secure your early-bird discount today to save 20% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).

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The post 4 Major Brands and Platforms Addressing Digital Literacy and Fake News in 2020 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/01/4-major-brands-and-platforms-addressing-digital-literacy-and-fake-news-in-2020/

How to Leverage Twitter’s Event Calendar to Map Your 2020 Content Strategy

Marketers alike recognize that Twitter is a central hub for the latest conversations on breaking trends and news, and as more conversations unfold it can be easy to get distracted in the hustle and lose sight of the core events and dialogues your brands can lead.

To help guide your future strategies, Twitter has launched its calendar of 2020 events that will unfold including the Olympics and #WorldEmojiDay.

Here’s a high-level breakdown for navigating the calendar’s features:

Categories are a marketer’s friend

As depicted above, the calendar illustrates each event categorized by topics spanning “Sports,” “Entertainment” and “Holidays,” and assigns each a color for easy tracking and deciphering. Disclaimer — the platform does not provide relative tweet volume stats as previously offered in editions but further insights into specific events and holidays can be found via your Twitter Ads tools.

For December and January, a couple of examples of tips and tricks when mapping out your content include:

“December is a month of holidays — and a month of travel. If there is content you want people to read or listen to, consider framing — or even creating — it as a way to pass time en route.”

“Get in on the fun of award season (we see you, #GoldenGlobes and #Grammys) with some ‘awards’ of your own. Use Twitter Polls to have followers vote for their favorites — this could be research-driven, like their favorite type of content or something purely fun, like their favorite emojis.”

Brevity, targeting, and other best practices

Additional examples reinforce best practices like brevity and how to take advantage of the platform’s core features. Specifically, always seek to condense your copy to its core message and hook and have fun with visuals like GIFs and video. Internal research has shown Tweets with video attract 10x more engagement and posts with GIFs gained 55 percent more engagement than Tweets without them.

For e-comm brands Twitter offers ways to diversify your ideas with gift guides, how-to videos, product spotlights, and pre-order campaigns. For more educational content, consider crafting a video tutorial, host a webinar or Periscope, and utilize Tweet thread to answer FAQs.

Finally, audience targeting and conversation targeting are also important to keep in mind while you plan and can help you refine your message and who it is being delivered to. You can choose from over 25 categories and more than 10,000+ topics.

Support your efforts in the next year and enhance your strategy whether for a single day or a several-month campaign by downloading the calendar here.

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The post How to Leverage Twitter’s Event Calendar to Map Your 2020 Content Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/12/how-to-leverage-twitters-event-calendar-to-map-your-2020-content-strategy/

How The World’s Leading Brands Are Crafting Highly Engaging Campaigns on Twitter

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the year 2014. Twitter is eight years old and primarily represents an alternative to micro-blogging, compelling users to fit within the confines of a 140 character limit per Tweet.

Fast forward to today, the conversations have evolved and increased in importance, binding people by shared values, causes, and interests. Images, GIFs, and videos give users a richer, more emotive way to communicate.

More marketers are beginning to understand the critical value of interaction and what makes people genuinely want to participate with a certain idea or message. It isn’t a case of luck. Rather, the success stories begin with listening. Putting this knowledge to work is what ultimately gives brands the best shot at success today and those that don’t simply fall victim to deaf ears and eyes.

It may sound simple enough, but to make it even simpler let’s break down six key insights, inspired by Twitter’s Influencing Culture: The Participation Playbook, that you’ll need in order to craft campaigns that people will want to engage with.

Don’t underestimate the power of social listening

Image via Twitter Marketing

There’s no rhyme or reason when it comes to the ideal marketing plan, but what most have agreed on is that it begins with acutely understanding what it is you want to achieve. Are you focused on a targeted group of people? Are you looking to bring new customers to your brand or business?

For answers, you need to tune into what is being said about your company and its competitors. When done right, you can leverage this information and apply it across business development across R&D, customer service and real-time campaigns.

An exemplar brand that recently used this insight to its full advantage is Burger King. In 2017 the restaurant chain introduced spicy chicken nuggets to its menu conveniently after seeing people on Twitter complain about Wendy’s ditching its own. These comments became the exact inspiration for its ad campaign on twitter which helped sell three months’ worth of nuggets in only four weeks. The campaign was shortlisted for a Social & Influencer Lion at Cannes 2018.

Prioritize communication over consumption

Image via Twitter Marketing

In 2015, REI and Venables Bell & Partners initiated a campaign #OptOutside, which centered around its decision to shut all stores on Black Friday to encourage people to explore the wilderness.

The result? More than 1.4 million people used the brand’s hashtag in conversation REI signed up a record number of new members to its co-operative that year.

In this example, a brand’s story was used to create a movement, not just a conversation, and it can best be explained by looking at the principle of self-identity. Put simply, it was easy for people to express their distaste for consumerism and get behind the campaign and communicate their innate sense of innate adventure and fitness in line with REI’s mission “to awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors, for all.”

Think beyond the metrics

Image via Twitter Marketing

Much like the conversations on Twitter have evolved, so too have the metrics that marketers are using as measures of determining success. The primary cause of this is the rise in bots and click farms causing distrust amongst users.

Indeed, the best margins for advertising are on the lowest cost content, typically favoring content that is fake, negative or sensational but marketers today must think bigger and more holistically. Instead, winning brand stories now hinge on real-world outcomes and deeper connections with consumers.

What this boils down is digital marketing that prioritizes the human experience, communicating deep and profound respect for a person’s time and attention, and being proactive in how you address pain points and frustrations when they occur.

For instance, In 2018, Verizon cheekily, and helpfully, responded to people’s frustrated Tweets about rival broadband suppliers.

When the company noticed people taking to Twitter to complain about dropped signals while they were trying to stream college basketball games, Verizon seized an opportunity to demonstrate it was better than its competitors by sending users written reports of what they weren’t able to follow. The campaign, which was ultimately supported by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was shortlisted at Cannes Lion the same year.

Cultivate lots of little ideas

VMLY&R‘s Jen McDonald hit the nail on the head when she said, “If you’re trying to hit a home run every single time, you’re going to strike out.”

In a digital landscape where competition is paramount and attention spans have never been shorter, it’s easy to default to the expectation that everything you do has to break the internet. Quite the contrary, some of the biggest successes seen on Twitter began by steadily engaging a base of fans with fun interactions.

For instance, Wendy’s ‎#NuggsForCarter challenging a fan to get 18 million Retweets in return for a year of free chicken nuggets became the most Retweeted Tweet of all time until earlier this year when a Japanese billionaire offered cash prizes to people who shared his Tweet. It also won a silver PR Lion at Cannes in 2017.

The takeaway here is that generally, crafting stories to appeal to lots of people tend to only gain traction amongst a few. Alternatively, creating something more micro-level, that appeals to more specialized tastes and interests, increases the likelihood that your content will spread faster and farther. Bear in mind the term “ripple effect.” Start with a pebble, not a huge rock.

Be fearless in your Twitter tone

Let’s face it, composing that perfect Tweet is a mind game. No one wants a jargon-heavy piece of writing and at the same time, no amount of clever phrasing is going to trick people into talking about your brand if your idea or campaign does prioritize their needs and interests.

In 2017, McDonald’s took to the platform to share, “All Quarter Pounder burgers at the majority of our restaurants will be cooked with fresh beef.” Wendy’s saw this and wittingly replied, “So you’ll still use frozen beef in MOST of your burgers in ALL of your restaurants? Asking for a friend.”

The Tweet received more than 175,000 Retweets and started a follow-up chain of discussion that garnered more than 7,000 replies. The main insight to take from this example is that seizing the moment of impact can be powerful. Strive for speed and take inspiration for how you want to craft your tone based on how people are actually talking.

In yet another example, Crock-Pot abandoned its usual tone of voice in 2017 when the company was blamed for [SPOILER ALERT] the death of Jack Pearson on the TV show This is Us. The Twitter damage control that ensued relied on a lot of emojis and vernacular to resonate with the show’s fans and communicate authenticity and genuity.

The campaign, created in partnership with Edelman, generated 3.7 billion impressions was awarded a Silver Lion in the PR category at Cannes. Crock-Pot also enjoyed a $300,000 bump in its February sales.

Put the customer first

Indeed the largest obstacle with social media is that we obligated to succumb to vanity metrics. The likes, retweets, and follows, and in the process comes a desire to please as many people as possible. It’s easy to know when you’re doing this well and when you’re not.

“Getting good isn’t hard. It’s a symptom you did something else right,” per the philosophy of author, entrepreneur and marketer, Seth Godin. When we chase these metrics it can be a trap of false progress and in actuality dilute our power. The focus should always be on creating and sharing the stories that matter for people who care.

“You can seek out the people who care, or you can yell at the people in the middle who are ignoring you,” says Godin.

For more insights from Seth, check out his episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast where he discussed the keys to getting at the heart of great storytelling, why empathy is overlooked as a core marketing strength, and much more.

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How to Bring Groups and Personalized Experiences Into Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing is grounded in authentic storytelling that aims to solve real-world problems for audiences. In an age of over information abundance, a very critical obligation for our industry is respecting people’s time and attention and delivering them tailored experiences that will shape their lives in meaningful ways.

Let’s take a look at how a few major platforms are incorporating updates to help users engage authentically and accurately.

Pinterest is looking to help its community in the content discovery space by making it easier to communicate with group members directly via a board.

New tools recently launched aim to achieve this goal include more reactions to elicit feedback, the ability to sort pins, and a central hub for communicating with group members.

“We spend a lot of time talking to Pinners, and whenever we hear from creative professionals — whether hair and makeup stylists, interior designers, wedding planners, or architects — one common theme comes up: they use Group Boards constantly to collaborate with their teams and clients,” the company stated in an official blog post.

New reactions

Pinners already have the ability to “heart” a pin they love. Now, with the addition of a pair of clapping hands, as well as thumbs down, question mark and lightbulb options, users have a much more specific and emotive way of engaging with content. These will display in a new pop up panel alongside a Pin once it’s tapped or clicked on.

Here’s a visual of what you can expect to see:

Sorting Pins

Also part of its slew of Group Board updates, Pinterest is giving users the ability to sort their Pins by “Most Reactions” and “Most Comments” so popular and unpopular ideas can be more easily traceable and differentiated. Ultimately, the goal with this move is to help projects move forward more swiftly. The company is also expected to launch a tool that would reveal the person behind the idea of Pin and the date it was saved as well.

Redesigned collaboration spaces

Finally, Pinterest is promising the rollout of a new space in which users can connect directly with contributors without ever having to deviate from the board. Users can already engage with one another via the activity tab, but with a new dedicated chat option with group collections, it’s clear the social network is eager to take their dedication to commenting even further.

Ultimately, the motive is to make the tool more engaging and maximize the time spent within the platform. To be clear, however, this isn’t for broader social connection, the emphasis still remains devoted to product engagement and discussion within smaller groups. “In fact, 98 percent of Group Boards have five or less people, and 77 percent of Group Boards are between two people,” the social network reported.

Yet another major platform making a push towards helping its users effectively sift between content that matters to them and posts that don’t map to their interests and needs is Twitter.

Multiple timelines

Twitter users are now able to add up to five lists as alternative timelines within the main app, enabling them to swipe between groups of accounts that they’re following directly from their home screen. In short, think of these as filters to your overall following base and chronological timeline where you can keep tabs on certain groups, perhaps old college roommates or coworkers, that you may not necessarily want to follow regularly.

On iOS, access Lists by tapping your profile to open the Home menu and select the ‘Lists’ tab. Next, pin or unpin certain profiles and create a List from the Lists tab.

Paired with this update, Twitter is adding a fresh landing page for newly curated lists, which, depicted below, incorporates a header image and more context about your customizable timelines, including the number of members and subscribers.

Per The Verge, as you build your multiple timelines, general platform rules and standards apply. Specifically, you can opt to make them private or public and follow any public lists created by other users. Lastly, a person can remove themselves from lists they no longer want to be a part of by blocking the list’s owner.

Facebook Watch Party

Finally, earlier this year Facebook launched Watch Party, a feature that allows members of Groups to watch live or pre-recorded videos together and comment in real-time.

“We’ve been focused on building new ways to bring people together around video, create connections, and ignite conversations; Watch Party is the next step in bringing this vision to life…If people can start a Watch Party directly from their profile or from a video they’re watching, the experience of watching video on Facebook can become even more fun and social,” the company shared in the announcement.

In this way, the Group becomes the TV station and the videos serve as the programs or lineup that can be viewed collectively with your friends.

Small groups continue to be the fastest-growing areas of online communication and it is important for marketers to understand that as they look to identify new ways for engaging their audiences, connecting privately in safe and trusted spaces is a dominant preference. As these examples demonstrate, group culture provides creative ways to encounter new ideas, interact with content with greater accuracy, and identify people with similar interests.

Looking ahead, marketers have a unique opportunity to innovate for a more personalized, curated future in a way that acknowledges a deeper respect for a consumer’s time and attention.

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Twitter’s Agency Playbook: Your Complete Guide to Crafting Effective Campaigns

Last Tuesday Twitter published its Agency Playbook targeted to serve as a one-stop-shop guide for improving campaigns developed by marketers and agencies.

“Digital advertising is hard. With new targeting tools, lightning-fast trends, and constantly-changing best practices, it can be overwhelming and challenging to stay on top of the game. Especially when you’re managing campaigns for multiple clients,” explained content coordinator Michelle Lee in an official blog post.

To simplify this process, the Playbook is divided into sections breaking down various campaign types, interest-based targeting and analytics tools, and creative ad specs. Rounding out these tips and best practices are actionable insights from the platform’s Business team and success stories from brands and agencies.

The guide kicks off addressing a fundamental and overarching question: what exactly is Twitter’s specific role in a holistic marketing campaign? In response, the Playbook points to the marketing calendar and events dashboard to help you optimize the planning of content.

To improve your conversations and delivery, the Guide stresses the use of the most clever, conversational and bold version of your brand voice when composing Tweets and breaking any and all brand news to reinforce your timeline around launch updates, promotions, or sneak peeks. Finally, incorporate both a healthy and balanced mix of organic and paid content.

Managing client expectations & setting up a brand account

As far as managing client expectations is concerned, the Playbook points to benchmarking data in addition to other targeting capabilities and stresses that success on Twitter is about reaching the right people—not reaching the most people. It also reminds readers that as with any platform, patience is a virtue and it takes time to build a loyal presence and following.

When setting up a brand Twitter account, key pieces of advice shared in the guide include filling keeping the bio as clear and simple as possible underscoring why a user would want to follow your company, maintaining visual consistency and choosing the best-pinned tweet. Think of your Pinned Tweet as the answer to someone asking your account “what’s new?”

Crafting an effective tweet

Aside from your pinned Tweet, additional dos and don’ts to keep in mind include avoiding more than two hashtags in a single post, keeping copy clear, concise, and bold, and embedding images and media such as emojis, pictures, and short videos when possible. Another habit you’ll want to steer clear from? Setting your campaigns and then forgetting about them. Check on a newly launched campaign every few days to gauge progress.

Choosing a campaign type & identifying your target audience

There are several campaign types offered by Twitter and selecting one boils down to a firm understanding of what you or your client is trying to achieve. The Playbook breaks down, for example, campaigns ideal optimizing for followers, website clicks or conversions, application installs, example app re-engagement, tweet engagement, and video views.

Hitting the right mix often takes multiple campaigns running at the same time in a trial and error system. To help you navigate these decisions, subsequent chapters of the Playbook break down specifications for tweets, media, and various ad formats and cards, as well as important statistics and data points aimed at helping people pitch Twitter to their clients.

As you hone your approach, you can begin to define your target audience through a combination of demographic and behavioral characteristics. Keywords, interests, events, conversation, and engagement are just a few options. You can also create tailored audience lists and use conversion tracking to monitor performance.

Measuring your results

The tweet activity dashboard, audience insight dashboard, account homepage, and campaign dashboards will be your go-to sources for viewing month-to-month performance reports and helpful metrics including impressions, engagement, profile visits, new followers, and mentions.

As Lee underscores towards the closing of the post, the goal of publishing this piece of content is to address the common pain points surrounding Twitter ads and “consolidate the necessary, must-have information in one place.”

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4 Major Platforms Pushing to Overhaul Vanity Metrics and What This Means for Marketers

The internet was founded on the promise of a digital utopia that would enable a natural flow of information sharing and connectivity. Today, however, we face an inflection point in which there are growing concerns that we’ve squandered this opportunity in lieu of chasing reach and scale and prioritizing content that distracts and interrupts, in turn promoting divisiveness and narcissism.

When a post doesn’t perform with big numbers, people instantly feel bad. Conversely, when they see a high volume of interaction they are triggered with an instant feeling of satisfaction equivalent to a hit of dopamine.

Several platforms are hoping to make radical changes addressing this issue. Let’s take a look at some of the latest updates making headlines and what they mean for marketers:

Instagram

Image via Instagram

Following the recent F8 developer conference this past April, Instagram announced that it would be conducting tests for a new feature that would hide users’ public like counts on videos and photos. Kicking off the process with Canada, likes would be hidden in the Feed, permalinked pages, and on profiles.

In a quote shared by The Verge, Instagram stated the motive behind the decision was that it wants followers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”

Initially, the test was met with uncertainty regarding how it would impact how it would influence the way the platform was used, particularly by influencers who heavily rely on such metrics as a measure of how their content is performing. After a few months of testing, however, sentiments have seemed to shift with people acknowledging the benefits of the feature.

One user, Matt Dusenbury, shared, “Without seeing the likes count on feed posts now, I find myself more clearly focused on the actual quality of the content being posted.”

Instagram has yet to officially publish data around how effective hiding likes has been on people’s posting habits, but last week, as of May the test has expanded to six more countries: Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

Individuals who are part of this test group can still the number on their own content as long as they tap through it, but must opt-out in order to show the likes publicly.

Facebook

— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 2, 2019

Fast-forward to this month, Instagram’s parent company is taking a few notes and confirmed to TechCrunch the platform is contemplating hiding the Like Counter on News Feeds posts in an effort to dissuade censorship and inhibit sentiments of envy. In other words, there is a desire to take away the popularity contest that comes with engaging on the social platform.

The test was first reported by Jane Manchun Wong who took to Twitter to reveal that she had spotted Facebook prototyping the hidden Like counts within its Android app.

No further details have been shared by the platform regarding exact motives, or any schedule for starting testing but one can assume it would be gradual to allow for implications with respect to response and ad revenue from brands to be identified.

USA Today recently shared some feedback that has already surfaced on the Internet regarding the potential move.

“Bad thing,” said Facebook user Phil Leigh, “Likes give the poster a way to measure whether her content is useful to others, especially as it is tracked over time.”

On Twitter, reviews were mixed, some claiming they have since stopped using Facebook, others pointing to a reduction in scalability. Monica Reddy, however, is an advocate for pushing back against the notion that dominant the social landscape of ‘keeping score.’

YouTube

Per a recent Marketing Land report, as of this month, YouTube will begin showing abbreviated subscriber counts for channels with 1,000 or more subscribers.

“Beyond creating more consistency, ​this addresses creator concerns about ​stress and ​wellbeing, specifically around tracking public subscriber counts in real-time.​ ​We hope this helps all creators focus on telling their story, and​ experience less pressure​ about the numbers,” explained a YouTube team member on the site’s Community Forum Blog.

Creators and Developers instantly had questions and expressed a desire for more details about how the YouTube Data API Service would change. The platform clarified describing that Creators will still be able to see their exact subscriber numbers in YouTube Studio and YouTube analytics. Examples outlined how public-facing subscribers counts would now appear. For instance, channels with 12,345 subscribers would show a subscriber count of 12.3K, channels with 1,234,567 would show 1.23M, and channels with 123,456,789 subscribers would display a subscriber count of 123M.

As far as reactions, one individual, Martyn Littlewood pointed to the impact this would have on brand partnerships and their accuracy stating on the forum thread, “Business partners could go elsewhere if they believe their quota can’t be met — alternatively it could low ball initial offers from them and undermine brand deal opportunities. Sure, you could argue that they [brands] will get in touch, then you can send accurate information, but what if they never call at all?”

Another, Terry Ghast, raised similar concerns about authenticity claiming, “If this is to discourage ‘cancel culture,’ make this an optional setting that is defaulted to abbreviation but still allow viewers the ability to turn it off so they can track sub count to celebrate milestones together…Showing full sub count would be a badge of authenticity, and more believable than abbreviated. Please listen to the community and not be caught in your echo chamber.”

LinkedIn

This past Spring LinkedIn rolled out a new assortment of reactions targeted to provide ‘more expression ways to respond to the variety of posts you see in your feed.” Added options including Love, Celebrate, Insightful and Curious also serve the purpose of helping users better understand the impact your posts are having and additional insight into why someone is engaging with the piece of content.

“We took a thoughtful approach to designing these reactions, centered around understanding which ones would be most valuable to the types of conversations members have on LinkedIn,” said LinkedIn’s Cissy Chen in the official announcement. She pointed to examples as to how each could be used for instance using Celebrate to praise an accomplishment or work milestone, Love to express deep support around topics of work/life balance and mentorship, and Insightful or Curious when you encounter a thought-provoking idea.

What does it all mean?

Now that we’ve broken down the latest proposed and existing changes across these major platforms, let’s dissect what this means in the grand scheme of marketing.

Influencer content specifically will pivot to more higher quality content as metrics they’re accustomed to leaning on won’t carry as much weight as they previously did. What the hope is with this transition is that we will ultimately see cases of deeper, more meaningful engagement through incentivizing users to focus more on the content and not on the competition. For instance, it may pave the way to a spike in commenting behavior which arguably is more productive than a simple ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down.’

On the flip side, without such easily trackable metrics, influencers inevitably become harder to scout.

For brands, hiding the number of likes makes it more challenging to legitimize their partnerships and in fact, may discourage them from working with influencers and instead lean on targeted ads as guaranteed drivers of the results they’re after. If they do decide to collaborate with an influencer, they’re more likely to put paid media support behind their influencer posts, and also opt for ephemeral content that has a finite lifespan before it disappears.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to this movement but one thing remains clear: it has the potential to radically change the social media system we’ve come to know over the past decade.

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Twitter Testing Reply Subscriptions to Streamline Busy Conversations

As Twitter threads and “tweetstorms” have surged in popularity, users have long lamented the intricate lengths one must take to follow a poster’s tweets. If Twitter’s latest test feature is adopted by the platform, that challenge stands to disappear.

If you see a tweet ending in a notation like “/1,” users will have the option to “subscribe to replies,” ensuring that later additions to the thread won’t go missing. You’ll also be able to see how other users are responding to the poster’s tweets. “While users can already get notifications for all tweets shared by an individual account,” The Verge reported, “users in the test can now choose to get notifications for replies to individual tweets, too.”

For social media managers wanting to monitor tweets calling for user-generated content, this could be an easy way to keep track of submissions. Similarly, if one wanted to track the replies to the similar tweet of a competitor, the feature could be similarly useful here. And for those curious about the reception that a prospective influencer might receive on certain tweets, this could be one of a few methods used to track their reported impact.

Lest you worry that such a move would inundate the subscriber with all replies indiscriminately, TechCrunch reports that responses would be algorithmically sorted, and “top replies will include those from the author, anyone they mentioned, and people you follow.” The move is one of several Twitter is making to allow conversations to be more focused, followable, and fun to be a part of.

This last trait is one that Twitter continues to work to provide, as accusations of hate, harassment, and toxicity continue to barrage Twitter’s support and developer teams. Tests like this and their also-in-testing option to hide replies, are all “focused on making conversations on its platform easier to follow, participate in and, in some cases, block.”

And while measures like this are designed to show that the company is listening to its most aggrieved users, fixes like this do more to isolate conversations of interest than they do crackdown on harmful behavior’s origins. Put another way, The Verge’s Jay Peters notes, “Twitter seems to be focusing on getting users to spend more time on the platform, but still isn’t doing enough to ensure a better experience while they’re there.”

The feature is currently being tested on both iOS and Android, with no official word on when the decision will be made to adopt the feature across all operating versions.

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Is Your Brand’s Social Media Strategy Anti-Social?

How do you define your brand’s social media strategy? Do the words “community” or “conversation” come to mind? If they aren’t immediately a part of your answer, it might be time to reevaluate.

This year, LUSH Cosmetics UK announced their move from multiple social handles to a single brand hashtag, #LUSHCommunity. This news quickly became a topic of office conversation. How would LUSH contact their audiences? How would they share updates? Make announcements?

But then, we stopped. We took a second look.

Traditionally, brands have treated social media as a megaphone. But, by using social media as just another tool to expand reach, brands overlook the reason that social media exists in the first place: to cultivate a community for conversation.

For brands, social media should be a starting point. Brands need to remember that social media is a shared space, and for consumers, its value isn’t monetary. It’s the social currency users gain when they engage with each other that matters more.

If the people using social media care more about content, conversation and clout than they do about click-through rates, then brands should care more about those elements as well.

So, what if we started treating brands on social media as communities?

What if we decentralized the brand’s social media presence to let its community curate its story?

Would we cultivate more human connections?

Building customer content into the brand’s social media strategy

Sabine Schwirtz, Community Manager at LUSH Cosmetics North America, discusses a shift in brand identity. She states, “I think many marketers who have been in the industry for a long time are worried about maintaining the voice of the brand. But, the voice of the brand is not always the same as the voice of the customers. We’re moving closer to times where a brand’s identity is the same as their customers’ identity.”

And, Stephanie Buscemi, CMO at Salesforce, recently reiterated that sentiment. She states, “In the future, the content won’t come from the brands. It will come from the communities.”

LUSH has simply given customers a place to discuss, ask questions and interact with each other. The community becomes a place for customers to lean into their passion for the brand and its products.

It’s a disruptive decision. There’s no denying that releasing control of your brand’s narrative in this way is a risk. But, it’s undoubtedly a trend. If you’re too nervous to let your customers take some control of the conversation, it’s possible that you actually don’t know them as well as you think.

Shifting from social listening to social understanding

When a brand shifts from driving the conversation to letting customers take the wheel, the brand’s social media strategy moves from communication to collaboration. In doing so, the brand moves from social listening to social understanding.

Social media isn’t the only place where a marked shift to understanding is happening. Up and coming technologies, like voice search, artificial intelligence and voice robots also require a deeper level of understanding to be effective. It’s a trait that has always differentiated the computer from the human. A computer can listen to provide output, but a human can understand to provide input.

By cultivating community, brands can listen and contribute, but more importantly, they can understand. They can act accordingly.

Creating a community-driven roadmap

When brands better understand customer needs, they can shape their R&D and product roadmaps to solve for those pain points. That level of personalization nurtures loyal customers that in turn organically advocate for your brand.

When a brand’s social media strategy focuses on community, brands acknowledge customers as content creators. This shift replaces a brand’s inauthentic social presence with a content strategy driven by real, lasting relationships.

By recognizing social media as a gateway, brands tap into the world of possibilities that the user-generated content created there provides — and the immense amount of value it adds to brand identity.

The post Is Your Brand’s Social Media Strategy Anti-Social? appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/08/is-your-brands-social-media-strategy-anti-social/

Facebook Follows Twitter’s Footsteps, Ranks Comments to Lift “Meaningful” Contributions

Twitter isn’t the only company learning from the experiments taking place on its twttr app; it would appear that Facebook is borrowing a page from this partially hidden playbook.

Late last week, Facebook announced that it would be ranking comments on Pages and profiles with a lot of followers, with the goal of making conversation more “meaningful.” By that, they likely mean less contentious and polarizing, if the details of the feature are to be believed.

Said Facebook Product Manager Justine Shen in the feature announcement, “ranking […] promotes meaningful conversations by showing people the posts and comments most relevant to them.” Some of the ranking factors are intuitive ones, like boosting comments that have a number of reactions, comments that the original poster has interacted with, or comments that come from friends of the original poster.

Additionally, Facebook will be pulling details from their recently deployed surveys to determine what sorts of comments people want to see.

But some factors seem a bit more vague. The most nebulous is “integrity signals,” an impressive yet vague sounding phrase on the same level as Twitter’s oft-pronounced “platform health,” that will allegedly filter out posts that violate Facebook’s terms and conditions as well as what Shen calls “engagement bait.” Though what engagement bait precisely entails goes unaddressed in the post, I would imagine the team will use a combination and machine learning to identify combative or abusive language. Further, Shen closes the post by saying, “We will continue to take other signals into account so we do not prominently show low-quality comments, even if they are from the person who made the original post or their friends.” I have to wonder what sorts of comments would fall into that category? For example, the relative who uses your posting as a cue to tell you something – however random – in a comment below. Would their remark be lost to the algorithm?

The feature is being deployed automatically for “Pages for public figures, organizations, and businesses,” as well as for select individual profiles that have a lot of followers. However, other users can opt in to use the feature in Settings. Curiously, the ability to rank comments on posts in Groups is unmentioned in this post – an interesting omission in light of the platform’s pivot toward these virtual gathering places. A likely reason? The sorts of contentious comments that are happening “in open air” like Pages or personal profiles, can be less common in Groups. So for now, product managers are focusing on the spaces most likely to breed contempt and aiming to quiet it.

After all, as Shen says early in the announcement, “We’re always working to ensure that people’s time on Facebook is well spent.” In their eyes, reducing the time and energy one spends wading through toxic or combative comments is an effective way to do that. Here’s hoping the feature’s beneficiaries come to agree.

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Testing Reveals Twitter and Instagram’s Efforts to “Reduce Herd Mentality” on Their Platforms

“All of social media is at a crossroads, having built platforms that cater to engagement over health and safety; they’re now trying to backpedal furiously ahead of increased regulation.”

With this quote, TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez nailed the crux of the many announced changes we’re seeing on social media platforms. For a long time, engagement was the buzzword of choice; site founders and developers pushed for new features (and ignored problems) in dogged pursuit of this metric at the highest levels. But now that its consequences are coming into sharp focus, a new direction is being pursued. In the past few weeks, we’ve gotten more clarity on how Twitter and Instagram plan to address parts of this large and complex challenge.

Instagram: “Exploring Ways to Reduce Pressure”

Developer and app detective Jane Manchun Wong uncovered a feature hidden in the code of Instagram: an option to hide “likes” on a photo. Engadget reports that Wong shared news of “a version [of Instagram] that doesn’t let the audience see how many likes a post gets.” They go on:

The person who posted it still does, but as the app describes it, “we want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who share [sic] a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”

For the average user, this could be a beneficial way to reduce some of the competitiveness that seems to arise around using Instagram. As Josh Constine points out for TechCrunch, it will likely reduce the temptation to “like” something because everyone else is liking it (and phenomena like World Record Egg will likely be a thing of the past), and the temptation to delete posts with low like numbers will abate. However, it could present a challenge for influencers; while likes are becoming a less valuable metric when assessing their value and impact, the invisibility of this measure could make identifying bankable partners more difficult.

An Instagram spokesperson has confirmed that these tests are happening, but there’s no target for a release of the feature, or even if it’ll be released officially at all. But previous features uncovered by Wong in this fashion have gone on to be released. So now we wait.

Twitter: New Control Over Conversations

Meanwhile, over on Twitter, a well-received test feature in their prototype twttr app appears to be coming to life in the full version this summer.

“Hide Replies” will allow the original poster on a thread to alter the visibility of replies on the timeline. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, which allow the original poster to delete replies outright, Twitter will instead permit them to “hide” them, requiring an additional click to be viewed as part of the conversation.

This is a pro for those who find themselves attracting any sort of distracting response: at best, extraneous or off-topic responses; at worst, abuse or trolling responses. However, a need for an original poster to sift through replies that fall into the “worst” category is among the potential cons for the feature. Another possible downside? This feature allows for the silencing (or, at the very least, temporary obstruction) of dissenting opinions—or even factual additions to a conversation.

The “hide replies” measure is among several Twitter shared as part of an update on their pursuit of the ever-elusive and ill-defined metric of “platform health.” Other changes include clearer explanations for tweets designated to stay on the feed despite their violation of the rules, and more ease in sharing specifics when flagging tweets that threaten user safety. In all of this, the goal seems to be twofold: to reduce the burden of those most vulnerable on Twitter for keeping themselves safe, and to distance themselves as a company from their reputation for being negligent toward these users.

Will These Measures Work?

It’s hard to know whether the measures each platform is taking will make a dent in a culture that has already shifted so dramatically as a result of these apps. And it’ll take far more than this to cure the ills that each site suffers from. Instagram, thanks to its parent company Facebook, was part of a major news dump for its vulnerable password storage system. And even as these changes were being reported and progress was being shared, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey found himself under fire at TED 2019 for the site’s glacial pace of change.

But for the time being, the focus is on how to make these sites better for those who have made them part of their daily lives. And what these measures seem to have in common, is returning some control over the experience to the user. It’ll be interesting to see how, when given some power in these spaces that often make many feel powerless, the experience starts to change for all involved.

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How To Caption Your Content Across All Social Media Platforms

Video is now an essential part of the social media experience. It provides a highly compelling vehicle for storytelling, and captures the attention in a way that eclipses static content like text or photography. So it’s not surprising that, according to a study released by We Are Social, 70% of companies are planning to focus on video this year. However, video needs to be more than just visually stunning and competently produced—it needs to be enjoyable for all, including the 466 million people globally who are deaf or hard of hearing. Increasingly, this means including closed captioning and subtitling for the videos you produce and post on your brand’s behalf.

Thankfully, a number of leading social media platforms are shouldering part of the responsibility for this task. In creating these options, their hope is that more friends, followers, and partners will be able to enjoy and learn from your content. If you’re looking to get started captioning video, here’s how to do it.

Twitter

Twitter’s support for native subtitling is the newest of the platforms we’ll discuss; it was added to their suite of accessibility options within the last month. Available in the Twitter Media Studio, the process requires the uploading of an SRT (SubRip Subtitle) file, composed with relative ease via Notepad or Text Edit on your computer.

Once you designate the language of origin, you’re now ready to release a video that can be easily understood. Given that 93% of Twitter videos are watched without sound, it is a highly advantageous feature for your video content.

Facebook

Reportedly, 80% of social media users react negatively when an ad or other video auto-plays with sound; captioning content that shows up in these feeds can help you grab attention without arousing shock or ire. Facebook has a few options for subtitling video; the company released an “auto-caption” option in 2017, but it has come under occasional fire for its accuracy. They’re not alone in this challenge (YouTube faces it as well) – any site’s automatic option is subject to the interpretation of the technology used to decipher it. Should you wish to avoid these flubs and upload your own, you can do so after uploading the video.

Once the upload is complete, click “Subtitles and Captions” in the right hand column. You’ll be asked about the native language of the video; select the one that is appropriate for the content you’re sharing. Then, you can upload the SRT file containing your video’s script and captioning timestamps. And if you do want to chance the discretion of an auto-subtitling, you can select that option here as well.

YouTube

As you might expect, the streaming video giant places a high premium on accessible video. A less expected development: as of press time, the Beta version of their Creator Studio doesn’t support the subtitling or captioning of uploaded video. Users wishing to assure a video’s accessibility for the hearing-impaired have to revert back to the “Classic” version of the studio and complete the task there. Looking to help advocate for the change? When you toggle from the Beta version to the Classic edition, report your need for captioning and subtitling support as the “reason” for switching.

Once in the Classic version of the Studio, go to the Video Manager and select the video you’d like to caption. Next to that video, click the drop down menu near the “Edit” option. Select the Subtitles/CC option; from there, you’ll be prompted to either allow auto-subtitling or to upload an SRT file containing your video’s text and timestamps. A benefit of YouTube’s subtitling options is the “in-between” option of sharing a video’s text, and having the platform help you “auto-sync” your words to the video’s timing needs. It serves as an elegant solution for those with a transcript but no sense of how the words are timed in the video.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the newest platforms to support video, but the delayed gamble is paying off- now that the format is prioritized in the News Feed, video posts are reportedly being viewed at a rate nearing 50%. Given the newness of their support for the medium, it makes some sense that their support for subtitling is currently only available for desktop users. But given the rapid pace of innovation for the platform, this is likely to change soon.

Upload your video as you normally would. When the video preview appears, click the Edit icon in the upper right corner to reveal the Video Settings. From here, you can “Select File” and upload your SRT file. Save the file addition, and click “Post.” From that point forward, your video will appear with subtitles.

Who’s Missing?

It may seem as though the major players have addressed this challenge admirably, but there is one notable omission to the lineup: Instagram. Despite the popularity of video on the platform, and its exponentially increasing use, there still is no support for native subtitling on the platform- much to the frustration of accessibility advocates and activists. More motivated users can seek out third-party tools to fill this gap, but a lack of native capability might provoke the question: why won’t Instagram make it easy for its users to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing?

Speaking of third-party tools, it should be noted that many common dashboard tools, designed to streamline social media posting and scheduling (i.e. Buffer, Hubspot, TweetDeck) are ill-equipped to help its users easily caption video. For this reason, native capability on respective platforms is crucial. If you are a user of these tools, advocate to their support teams for the addition of these features. Their tools – and the platforms they want to simplify access to – have the power to streamline and simplify storytelling for us all. But those stories should be ones that all can enjoy. And until these options are made compulsory and easy to use, that simply won’t be the case.

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Twitter Finally Adds Native Subtitling Options for Video

Around the world, 466 million people in the world are deaf or hard of hearing. And while social media platforms are making strides to create experiences that can level the playing field for these users—image descriptions, facial recognition, and alt-text tools that work seamlessly with screen readers—deployment of these features has been slow. Twitter’s support for subtitles is among the latest advances that will equalize the user experience for these users.

It should be noted that Twitter currently supports the closed captioning available for users who opt into accessibility tools in their settings. But closed captioning differs from subtitling, which the company defines as “transcripts of the dialog or audio in a video in .SRT files that are attached to videos.” These files can be attached via Twitter Media Studio, Twitter Ads, or Twitter’s application-programming interface for developers.

Given how much Twitter use takes place on mobile devices (93% of Twitter video views take place on mobile), the ability to effectively and easily subtitle videos is beneficial to deaf and hard-of-hearing users, but also for individuals viewing this content without sound. Further, in the highly competitive landscape of mobile-optimized social, platforms that can accommodate the needs of users with disabilities will ultimately win out. By comparison, for example, there is no native mechanism by which to caption Instagram videos or Instagram Stories. It will be interesting to see if availability of these utilities on other sites will pressure them into creating their own native tool for doing so.

But in the meantime, Twitter continues to shine in the area of making content on their platform accessible. To utilize this option for your own video, select a video in your Media Studio, select the “Subtitles” tab in the displayed pop-up window, select the language you’d like to subtitle the video in and upload the .SRT file that holds your video’s transcript.

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A Peek Inside Twitter’s Prospective Platform Health “Cures”

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has stated publicly over the last several months that the next great frontier for the platform is establishing what he vaguely referred to as “platform health.” Such promises are common among tech founders, and can often feel like lip service to those still challenged by the toxic environment that these platforms maintain even as progress is being made. But some of Twitter’s latest moves seem to hold the key to, if not a cure, at least some substantive treatment for what ails them.

Crackdowns on API Abuse

Starting June 19th, Twitter will be conducting an audit of any third-party apps that meet a certain threshold of access, ensuring that their use of the site’s APIs is safe and legitimate. The goal, according to Twitter’s head of site integrity Yoel Roth, is “ensuring that out platform is safe and promoting the privacy and safety of our users, and providing a level playing field commercially.” Developers using it for legitimate consumer use or for research will be largely unaffected by the review’s results. Those using these touches in a B2B capacity will be asked to enter into a commercial licensing agreement. And those using it in a manner that breaks policy will be booted from the program; 162,000 users were removed in late 2018, so there’s no reason to doubt how seriously the company is taking this new initiative.

The magic number of touches: 100,000 requests per day. When asked why 100,000, Roth (along with senior product developer Rob Johnson) responded, “Because this limit allows us to make concrete progress to combat inappropriate use of our developer platform, while isolating the impact to the developers using these endpoints the most” – and, I would imagine, in a legitimate fashion.

While the company didn’t frame it this way, TechCrunch was frank in attributing the move to a desire to avoid its own “Cambridge Analytica moment.” And indeed, the crackdown could make the site more attractive to developers than Facebook, whose recent string of challenges have made it a less trustworthy option. The safety this move provides is about more than trust; the lead time is designed to help developers get their proverbial houses in order before their audits; prior API policy changes were deployed too fast, resulting in service outages for developers…and accompanying frustration. Stronger relationships with these developers will hopefully serve as one major component of making Twitter a safer and “healthier” place to be online.

Conversations

“It’s no secret that, as great as Twitter is at connecting you with people across the world, it’s also great at connecting you with bots, trolls, and spam,” Engadget’s Edgar Alvarez shared in a recent piece about Twitter’s aspirations toward platform health. “Unsurprisingly, Twitter wants that to end.” Alvarez correctly points out that these conversations are the biggest indicator of a platform’s health (or, in this case, sickness). He, along with TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez, have spent some time with Twitter’s latest attempt at a cure – the prototype twttr – and feel hopeful about its impact on what ails the site.

twttr’s prototypical methodology allows users to sign up to experiment with new features for the site, ahead of their large-scale deployment on the main app. Its features are more sparse than the typical app (Alvarez lamented this version’s lack of the recently upgraded camera capability), but differs in ways that could change the face of the full site as we know it. Currently, it exists to explore new ways of displaying and denoting conversations. Among the changes, according to TechCrunch’s Perez:

Hidden engagement stats: to see a tweet’s likes or retweets, you have to click on the post directly

  • Reply threads: more reminiscent of a message board, replies are indented and replies coming from people you follow appear with a blue line (making them easier to find if a tweet goes viral or is otherwise cluttered with replies)
  • A “show more” option: not all replies will be displayed. Instead, high quality or otherwise preferable responses will migrate toward the top, and others can be displayed when clicking “show more.”
  • Feedback on the proposed changes can be easily shared from the menu bar, giving users the opportunity to share their likes and dislikes efficiently with Twitter engineers.

“It’s too early to tell whether these experimental features will manage to successfully filter bots, trolls, or spammers completely out of your mentions, Alvarez conceded. I personally wonder about the opinions and results of those who find themselves targeted with higher frequency, namely those from marginalized communities or those with large profiles and therefore larger targets on their proverbial backs. But as it happens, Twitter is trying to be more transparent in how it brings these individuals into their ranks- another possible factor on their path to health.

Diversity

There are features, experiences, and processes on Twitter that can have disproportionate impact on certain populations- as an example, I can see the recently discovered “subscribe to conversations” feature’s potential for abuse fairly clearly. The company, recognizing its blind spots in a number of areas, is committing to bringing on individuals who can ask these questions.

Their recently released diversity report included a rise in female, Black, and Latinx employees, in areas including overall leadership and technical roles. But attrition numbers were also high among those populations, and the company voiced a dedication to exploring and eventually reducing that. They also voiced an aspiration to be at 5% Black and 5% Latinx employees overall, as well as better numbers on gender identification, sexual orientation, disability, and military status- goals that will contribute to their larger wish for platform health.

With better representation in all of these areas, consulting on major advances in third party access and how conversations are structured and prioritized, they’ll have better feedback and more voices in the room about how proposed features contribute to platform “illness” for underrepresented communities- and, in turn, for Twitter’s community of users as a whole.

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Shop Now: Your Guide to Native Ecommerce on Social Media

As brands like Instagram and Pinterest have learned, it doesn’t take much to drive a customer from inspiration to purchase. And their growth has depended, in part, on making that purchase part effortless. Instagram took the latest step toward its transformation into your personal digital mall with Instagram Checkout. The feature will allow aspiring shoppers to make purchases without leaving the app. Over time, more brands will be added and new companies will be able to take advantage of this seamless shopping experience.

In honor of this announcement, we figured we’d provide a roundup of the many existing ecommerce options available on some of your favorite social media platforms.

Instagram

In addition to the forthcoming Checkout feature, brands have had the ability to “tag” products on Business accounts since 2017, with these tags serving as links to the product on an external site for purchase. Brands not selected for the Checkout feature will continue to have the “tag” option to fuel their own ecommerce, though it will direct users away from the app to make purchases.

Pro: For selected brands, Checkout will afford an opportunity to connect users to your brand without pulling them away from the Instagram app- keeping your feed in their sights through it all.

Con: At least for the time being, this immersive shopping opportunity isn’t available for all brands in equal measure.

Facebook

Businesses wishing to sell physical items on Facebook can set up shops on their business Pages. There is no minimum transaction amount to host this online store, and all transactions are conducted inside Facebook- so no worries about directing buyers away from your Page. And as with other features of the platform, there is ample support and guidance on how to run a successful shop- so be sure to take advantage of these resources, should you choose to host an online store here.

Pro: For small businesses, Shop for Pages provides a low-cost method to expose your products to a dedicated audience.

Con: For businesses with a more expansive inventory, it could become unwieldy or time-consuming to offer it all in this type of environment.

LinkedIn

Given the considerable bias toward physical products for ecommerce, it shouldn’t surprise you that LinkedIn doesn’t have a presence in this market at the moment. Their only sellable product, educational materials through the Learning collaboration with Lynda, can’t be sold a la carte, instead requiring a monthly fee which provides access to their full library of courses.

Pro: For organizations aiming to offer their teams training in an affordable and accessible fashion, LinkedIn for Learning is an affordable option.

Con: Obviously, it’s not an effective commerce option for anything else.

Pinterest

Prior to Instagram’s meteoric rise as a brand-booster, Pinterest wore this crown with bombast. And ahead of its IPO, it’s still hoping to maintain its hold on shoppers who so often use the platform for inspiration. Its latest shopping tools, announced earlier this month, utilize “product pins” to allow shoppers to buy many of the items inspiring their aesthetic. These product pins join their buyable pins (originally introduced in 2015), as well as the capability for all businesses to post Shopping Ads. For visually inspired shoppers, Pinterest is a natural destination that brands should take advantage of.

Pro: The platform is well suited to help “pinspired” shoppers complete their vision.

Con: While product pins allow seamless in-app purchases, buyable pins and Shopping Ads would pull shoppers away from the platform.

Tumblr and Twitter

While other platforms seem to be leaning toward making in-app purchases simpler, Twitter is leaning away.

Previously developed and deployed products like “Buy Now” buttons for individual tweets, Product Pages that would collate product-oriented tweets into an easily shoppable page, and Twitter Cards, have all been discontinued. The result? The rise of third-party tools like Shopify, which have stepped in to make shopping options on the platform more straightforward.

Tumblr is another platform that, while promising as a space to generate leads for niche products, has also declined to develop native ecommerce tools. Third party tools like Shopify and BlkDot have stepped in to fill in the void.

Pro: It’s not strictly impossible to sell on either of these platforms, and they are fertile for finding passionate and dedicated consumers.

Con: The methods to set up viable commerce experiences can be less intuitive with the help of a third party than they might be with a native tool.

A strong ecommerce presence on social media helps to grow your audience and build strong relationships with customers. Which ones are you using? Which ones have you not yet considered for your brand?

Mastering your presence is essential in a crowded marketplace, and we hope to help you do it at Social Media Week New York. Passes are still available, so register to join us today!

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10 New Social Media Products and Platform Updates Marketers Need to Know About

1. LinkedIn Video For Business

Get 5x more engagement on your videos

By one study, videos are being interacted with on LinkedIn twenty times more than other types of content on user feeds. To meet that demand, and to adapt to the form in a way that other platforms haven’t, LinkedIn has gone all-in on video as a key part of their strategy for business and company pages.

The strategy seems to be working: according to their beta testers, Company Page video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members.

2. WhatsApp for Business

New features specifically designed for business users

Just over a year after its official launch, WhatsApp for Business has topped 5 million monthly users. The differentiated platform, at times described as a Facebook Page-like business hub on WhatsApp, “helps companies better connect with their customers and establish an official presence on WhatsApp’s service.

Its Quick Reply, auto-reply, and away messages make it easier for business owners to manage communications with curious customers or leads.

3. TikTok Ads

Ads are now on TikTok. Are you?

TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez wants you to pay attention to TikTok. Given their meteoric rise and unique interface, we’re inclined to agree. And if you’re a brand who is aiming to grab the attention of Generation Z, you’d be wise to listen. Ad “units” are being introduced to a subset of users, with an ad placed by Grubhub appearing for the first time in late January.

The type of engagement it cultivates by allowing users to work together to create content, is highly attractive for advertisers aiming to target younger social groups. And given its dominance in an app ranking that’s otherwise flooded by Facebook-owned products, the ability to effectively bring in advertisers will allow it to stay competitive in the popularity contest it’s currently in…and improbably holding its own.

4. Instagram Stories Editor

Design, beyond the platform basics.

Instagram Stories have skyrocketed in popularity, quickly surpassing its inspiration Snapchat and now reportedly twice as popular. With that spike, apps are proliferating to allow creators to develop standout stories and polish content for the fast-moving space.

Our favorites include InShot (designed to help you format content for the vertical medium) and Hype Type (which can handle some of your more rudimentary video captioning needs). Check out these roundups from Later and Refinery29 for even more ways to help your content stand out in this highly trafficked space.

5. Instagram Stories Direct Links

Spread your stories far and wide.

Instagram is rolling out a “Share Link to Entire Story” feature, allowing accounts to share direct links to full stories. In this way, self-contained features like user takeovers or Q&As can live a life beyond Instagram Stories alone. This feature can also be boosted with their “Promote” feature, which allows users to follow a CTA to the account’s website, profile, or Direct Messages. If stories-style sharing truly is the future of social media, this ability to spread its influence will become more common…and more essential to success.

6. LinkedIn Ads

Coming soon to a feed near you…ads for movies, products, and more.

Speaking of spreading influence, look for LinkedIn to take advantage of this trend in ways you might not expect. The platform, often thought of as the “professional” social network, is expanding its view on the type of ads that can appear on its platform. Users can be targeted in their professional areas of interest, like “arts and entertainment,” “marketing and advertising,” “and “business and management.” The result? Ask users who saw ads for the Paramount Pictures’ film What Men Want on their feed, an example that previously would have felt out of place on the platform.

7. Reddit Cost-Per-Click Ads

Don’t sleep on Reddit as a home for your ads.

LinkedIn isn’t the only platform looking to rethink their ad strategy. Reddit is gradually introducing cost-per-click ads to its advertisers, and is already seeing their utility through companies like Wayfair and Hired. Though the cost-per-click model is far from new, it is new to Reddit, where ad revenue previously came from a combination of reach, video view, traffic and conversion-based ads. Ad revenue has grown five times over the past three years and sales have more than doubled year-over-year. With this affordable option now in Reddit’s arsenal, that growth seems likely to continue.

8. Facebook Petitions

Bringing people together for a common cause.

Facebook remains in favor as a means of gathering people, a fact that likely informed the company’s recent move to connect Stories to Facebook Events. Another way Facebook plans to capitalize on its people-gathering power? Its recently deployed Petitions feature. Designed to help people reach out to elected officials, Petitions will allow users to rally around a cause, engage in discussion around the issues at hand, and will be connected to Events and Fundraisers for even more involvement potential.

9. Twitter Morning News Catchup

Recaps and reviews to catch you up.

After a brief but unpopular foray into algorithmic feeds, Twitter now understands the appeal of its real-time setup. With that misstep in mind, it wants to make absolutely sure you won’t miss anything newsworthy…and is doing so by testing a Morning News Catchup.

This differs from their “while you were away” feature, in that it focuses on current events rather than popular site content. For brands aiming to capitalize on the news of the day, this feature is a welcome one to ensure that your prospective consumers are as informed as you are.

10. Twitter Auto-Response

Make it easy for them to come back for more.

As you look for new and different ways to engage with your followers and fans on Twitter, we hope you haven’t overlooked the Auto-Response feature. Launched last year by the platform, it allows users to opt into additional contact from an account for a very specific purpose. For example, Netflix’s Stranger Things allowed its Twitter followers to opt in for a “trick” or “treat” from the account- they need only indicate their preference with an emoji. The tool is a fun one for engaging with followers in an unexpected way, and provides the kind of surprise and delight that can feel rare in our often predictable world of social media.

There you have it: 10 new features (and, for some, platforms) to experiment with, in pursuit of growing your brand’s presence online. We can’t wait to hear the amazing things you’ll do with these tools…they’re waiting for you to test them out!

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Twitter Says Its Health Is Improving While a Second Opinion Paints a More Grim Picture

If Twitter’s latest financial reports are to be believed, the company’s prognosis is good.

The latest reports released show $909 million in revenue and a $225 million net profit, a surge in profitability that is being attributed in part to a 16% decrease in abuse reports. This measure is an essential one to gauging Twitter’s “platform health” metric. The company has pledged to focus on this measure in the new year, cracking down on abusive accounts and pledging to “reduce the burden on victims of abuse” to report their experiences, as well as “taking action before abuse is reported.”

To that last goal, however, a University of Iowa study has identified major deficits in Twitter’s ability to effectively take action in a timely manner. Computer science professor Zubair Shafiq, along with graduate student Shehroze Farooqi, built a tool to automate and identify the causes of problematic tweets, Engadget reported. Although many of Twitter’s public efforts to improve platform etiquette and public discourse has centered around removing accounts created by bad-faith actors, Shafiq and Farooqi found vulnerabilities in a different method of account abuse: scamming and spamming done through third parties using the platform’s API.

How big of a problem did they uncover? By one count the pair took, 167,000 apps accessing the API have been used to “spread disinformation, spam, and malware.”

In one of the study’s most startling findings, Shafiq and Farooqi were able to identify an account’s potential to be abusive on a large scale, from its first seven tweets. By comparison, Twitter’s standard protocol looks into an account’s patterns of abuse after it has tweeted 100 times. “[A]ll sorts of nefarious activity remain undetected by Twitter’s fraud-detection algorithms, sometimes for months, and they do a lot of damage before Twitter eventually finds and removes them,” Shafiq said specifically of the abuse that was being amplified by spam accounts.

As you might expect, Twitter takes issue with the findings. “Research based solely on publicly available information about accounts and tweets on Twitter often cannot paint an accurate or complete picture of the steps we take to enforce our developer policies,” a spokesperson shared with WIRED when confronted with the findings. And while the company has looked deeper into the apps with access to its API and is purging those using it with malicious intent, the University of Iowa pair insists it isn’t enough. The process takes too long, is too shortsighted, and victims of abuse are left with little protection.

For many of these victims, abandoning their accounts could be a more attractive option than waiting for Twitter to help defuse the situation. This departure may be why Twitter often shares massaged stats like monetizable daily active users (mDAU), which reportedly rose from 124 million to 127 million from Q3 to Q4 of 2018. Comparatively, monthly active users, a more representative number of who’s using Twitter on a regular basis, dropped from 336 million to 321 million in the same time frame.

The platform gives itself a clean bill of health; an independent observer says it’s sicker than we might expect. Who’s correct? While the platform has come a long way from its “bottom” in 2016, when advertisers were steering far away from Twitter’s reported toxicity, it still has some healing to do. With any luck, this latest wake-up call will galvanize the platform to action in continued pursuit of a “healthier” online space.

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Will Tagging Original Tweeters Help Twitter’s Quest for Platform Health?

For some time now, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has spoken about aims to improve the vague and hard-to-measure metric of “platform health.” While it was unclear on how the company would seek to make progress, one method currently in testing may make a dent.

A small number of Twitter users on iOS and Android devices have recently noticed an “Original Tweeter” tag on their posts. This tag is assigned to the individual who starts a conversation on the platform, and appears again when they reply, according to AdWeek. Similar features have popped up quietly on LinkedIn conversation threads and in Facebook Groups, but they could serve a different and more vital purpose on Twitter.

“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation,” Twitter’s Director of Project Management Sara Heider shared in a statement that accompanied this announcement. “As part of this work, we’re exploring adding more context to discussions by highlighting relevant replies – like those from the original Tweeter.” This tag appears underneath the tweeter’s username and stands in stark enough contrast to the surrounding text as to make it unmistakeable who started the conversation. In early tests, users have expressed concerns about it being “too big” and “too intrusive,” but it stands to serve a purpose if deployed correctly.

Social Media Today notes the similarity of the tag to the microphone tag that appears on Reddit threads, and cites their usefulness for AMAs and other conversations that yield a lot of replies. “if a celebrity or well-known person is engaging in a discussion, it can be especially interesting to see what exactly they’ve chosen to reply to, which, if rolled out, you’d be able to do much faster, saving you the effort of scanning through the subsequent reply thread in detail,” they note.

To that end, it could also do the opposite: inform you when a fraudulent account, and not a verified individual, is seeking to sow discord in response to a message. The recent misrepresentation of Washington’s converging protests is being pointed to as an example of one tweet serving to play an outsized role in the online dialogue. The user whose misleading tweet sparked the firestorm has since been suspended, but the conversation continues on how to track the dissemination of willfully inaccurate information. Clearly identifying the initiator is one viable way to do this.

At this year’s CES, Twitter upheld its affirmation to conversations on the platform this year, echoing Dorsey’s promise to make the space a healthier one to inhabit. Making it clear “who started it” in a space often noted for its toxicity, is a small but significant step toward the shedding of that reputation.

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The post Will Tagging Original Tweeters Help Twitter’s Quest for Platform Health? appeared first on Social Media Week.

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Twitter shares fall after Dorsey discusses harassment, Nazis and white nationalists on the site

Twitter shares fall after Dorsey discusses harassment, Nazis and white nationalists on the site

https://malvaniainternational.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/twitter-shares-fall-after-dorsey-discusses-harassment-nazis-and-white-nationalists-on-the-site/
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Top 3 Twitter Tips…

Top 3 Twitter Tips…

https://matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/top-3-twitter-tips/
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What We Learned from 2018’s Worst Brand Marketing Decisions

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

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

Addressing controversies like race and gender

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

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

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

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

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

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

Backfire of influencer marketing

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

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

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

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

Behaviors and words from top figures

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managing data breaches

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

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

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

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

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The post What We Learned from 2018’s Worst Brand Marketing Decisions appeared first on Social Media Week.

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Can Twitter Threads Increase Reach, Engagement, and Referral Traffic? An Experiment

How can you increase Twitter reach and engagement?

That’s something that many marketers are thinking about, including Rand Fishkin, the founder of SparkToro, who has been wondering if Twitter gives tweets with a link less visibility than tweets without a link. And recently I’d been wondering the same.

Then I heard about Aytekin Tank’s 17-million-impression tweet.

Just a few months ago, Aytekin, the founder of Jotform, repurposed one of his popular Medium posts into a Twitter thread. He also promoted it with Twitter ads to see if he could increase the reach of his Twitter thread — and the engagement rate was as high as 20 percent!

So he continued to promote the Twitter thread. Eventually, it received 17 million impressions and the original Medium post (linked in the thread) got more than 35,000 visits.

When I learned about this story, I started wondering how Twitter threads could help marketers.  Could this be the new way to reach more people, drive more engagement, and get more referral traffic? Could Twitter threads be effective without ad promotion?

We ran a small experiment to find out.

A Twitter Thread Experiment

A Twitter thread experiment

What is a Twitter thread?

According to Twitter, “A thread on Twitter is a series of connected Tweets from one person. With a thread you can provide additional context, an update, or an extended point by connecting multiple Tweets together.”

Below is an example of a Twitter thread. If you click on the tweet, you’ll see the additional tweets connected to it.

The plan

The objective of the experiment was to test if repurposing our blog posts into Twitter threads can 1. increase our Twitter reach and engagement, and 2. drive more traffic to our blog than tweets with a link.

Our plan of execution was very straightforward:

  1. For each blog post, publish a Twitter thread and a simple link tweet (ideally at the same time, a few days apart).
  2. Record the stats after one to three days

The next step was to draft out the threads and publish them. For this, I worked with our amazing social media manager, Bonnie Porter. I repurposed 10 blog posts into threads while she published them at our best times to tweet.

Here’s what our collaboration document looked like:

Twitter threads experiment document

So how did the experiment go?

The result

I think there’s an evidence that Twitter threads perform better than tweets with a link!

Twitter thread experiment data

A quick explanation of the data

For the Twitter threads, I looked at only the number of impressions and engagements of the first tweet and the number of link clicks of the tweets with the link (usually the last tweet of the thread). The actual total number of impressions and engagements of the threads (i.e. a summation of the impressions and engagement of each tweet in the thread) is much higher.

But as the impressions and engagements are likely from the same followers, and to simplify our analysis, I considered only the impressions and engagements of the first tweet and the link clicks of the tweets with the link.

Here are the patterns I see from our results:

1. Twitter threads tend to get more impressions

The number of impressions was higher for all the first tweet of the Twitter threads than for the tweet with a link. On average, the threads received 63 percent more impressions.

Perhaps Rand Fishkin is right in that Twitter gives more prominence to tweets without a link. He found that “Tweets without URLs definitely correlate to more engagement+amplification (but this could be a result of user behavior, not intentional network design)”.

The respective link was not included in the first tweet of the Twitter threads but mostly in the last tweet of the threads. Threads could be a good way to increase your reach on Twitter while still sharing a link.

2. Twitter threads tend to get more engagements

The number of engagements was mostly higher for the first tweet of the Twitter threads than for the tweet with a link. On average, the threads received 54 percent more engagements.

An interesting pattern I spotted is that engagement tends to be the highest for the first tweet of the threads and would decrease until the last tweet, where there would be a spike in engagement. My hunch is that most people only engage with the tweets when they first saw the thread (i.e. the first tweet) and when they finish reading the thread (i.e. the last tweet), and not when they are reading the thread.

The higher number of engagement could have also caused the Twitter algorithm to surface the threads to more people, and hence, more impressions.

3. Twitter threads tend to get fewer link clicks

This is where the experiment didn’t go as expected.

While the Twitter threads, on average, received eight percent more link clicks than the tweets with a link, most of the threads received fewer clicks. (If you were to look at our data, you can see that the average was skewed by two threads that received much more link clicks than the respective link tweet.)

Here’s my guess: For the Twitter threads, the link was attached to the last tweet or in the middle. Our followers don’t see the link immediately and have to scroll through the whole thread before seeing the link. This might have caused the lower link click number.

But as Twitter threads seem to get more impressions than a link tweet, it might be possible that Twitter threads would get more link clicks. More data is needed to verify this.

4. Overall, Twitter threads seem to perform better than link tweets

On average, the Twitter threads received more impressions, engagements, and clicks than the respective tweet with a link.

While this is true based on our data, our sample size is tiny and the number of clicks fluctuated quite a bit. I wouldn’t say it’s conclusive that Twitter threads always perform better than tweets with a link in all aspect. But it seems fairly plausible that Twitter threads get more impressions and engagements.

Limitations of the experiment

  • While the blog post for each set of Twitter thread and link tweet was the same, the content of the thread and link tweet was different. This might have a bigger influence on the result than the content format. (More on this below.)
  • As it was challenging to run a large-scale version of this experiment (think thousands of blog posts) with just one brand account, we decided to test only 10 blog posts. As this is a tiny sample size, the results might not be replicable all the time (i.e. Twitter threads might not always perform better than link tweets).
  • The sequence of the two tweets could influence the results. People might be less responsive to the link tweet if they have seen the Twitter thread. But the effect of this should be minimal as we have already shared those blog posts before.
  • The day and time of the tweets could also influence the results. We tried to publish the Twitter thread and the respective link tweet at about the same time of the day to minimize the influence of this factor.

Lessons from our Twitter threads experiment

1. Experiment with different content formats

Does this mean you should post only Twitter threads from now? Not quite.

One of the key takeaways for me is the importance of experimenting with different or new content formats. While it’s the easiest to share a link, it might not always be the best way to get results. Twitter threads are one of the many things you could test. Others include images, videos, live videos, GIFs, and retweets.

For example, we recently found that retweeting our top tweets is an easy way to extend the lifespan of the tweet and increase its performance.

Buffer retweeting experiment data

2. Content is key

We found that it takes much more effort to publish Twitter threads than simple link tweets. You have to craft multiple tweets rather than just one. You have to manually tweet the threads while you can schedule link tweets.

But I think that might be why Twitter threads seem to perform better.

I believe that the content itself plays a big part in determining whether a tweet/thread does well. Crafting Twitter threads forces me to narrate a story over several tweets, and that might have encouraged me to write better tweets. On the other hand, I’m so used to sharing a link tweet that it’s easier for me to unintentionally craft a less-than-perfect tweet.

From her experience, Bonnie found it helpful to have the Twitter threads plan out in advance in a document. It makes publishing threads less of a hassle when you have everything ready to go.

3. People prefer native content

Brian Peters, our Strategic Partnerships Marketer, once said how social media platforms should be viewed as the destination for your content rather than the means to get to your content.

How does your audience want to consume your content? Do they prefer getting all the information they want through your social media posts, or do they want to click on a link and be directed to another page before they can find the information?

It depends on the content but my hunch is most prefer the former.

That might be why native content (e.g. Twitter threads, videos) tends to perform better than social media posts with links. People want the easiest way to consume content, and social media posts like Twitter threads and videos make it much easier than for them. They can get more information through the native content before deciding if the link will be relevant and valuable enough for them.

Over to you

Will you experiment with Twitter threads?

If you will or if you have, share your best-performing Twitter thread in the comments section below. It’ll be great to learn from one another’s experience. Thanks!

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