Tag: Community

How Facebook is Empowering Black Creators and Businesses

Over the span of the last few months, COVID-19 has flipped the world on its head, but most heavily hit were small businesses — particularly those owned by minority entrepreneurs. Even prior to the COVID19 outbreak, this group, which comprises 37 percent of all US businesses, faced greater challenges in starting, running, and growing their companies according to new data. Despite progress being made in terms of vaccine development and parts of the country continuing to re-open, these hurdles still remain.

Here’s a few ways Facebook is lending its support in offering the resources and tools needed for these businesses to thrive.

Black Business August 

Facebook is looking to celebrate and promote the work of Black business owners and their adversity with “Black Business August,” a month-long series of education and business growth content featuring training, programming, and business spotlights.

“We invite you to join us throughout August as we host virtual events, dive into topics like finance, health and fashion, and share inspiring stories of Black-owned businesses from all over the country,” the company said in an official blog announcement.

Experts to be featured in upcoming sessions include Simileoluwa Adebajo, Head Chef and Owner of San Francisco’s Eko Kitchen, and Omar Kinnebrew, Founder and CEO of Atlanta’s Bespokuture. Key topics include ‘building a thriving community,’ ‘adapting in uncertain times,’ and ‘bridging the opportunity gap.’ Access to capital, networks, and the loyal support of a community are simple but critical elements for business success today as we continue to navigate uncertainty.

Facebook Elevate  

Outside of these webinars, additional programming will be hosted on Facebook Elevate, ‘a community and learning platform for Black businesses and creators,’ centered on themes of ‘health and wellness,’ ‘finance and wealth,’ ‘food and beverage,’ and ‘beauty and fashion.’ Each week various Black business owners and creators will come together to share their journeys and lead activities that put the practices to action. A workout by Ariel Harris Belgrave of Gym Hooky and a cooking session from The Spice Suite are just two examples.

The first two themes are especially top of mind for many. Now more than ever it’s easy to lose sight of work-life balance and the important truth that financial well-being directly impacts our mental and physical health. Mindfulness can deliver the necessary productivity and clarity in responding to financial obstacles and avoid paralyses when it comes to business decisions amidst the unknown.

Empowering the next generation of Black storytellers 

Beyond businesses themselves, Facebook is also looking inward at its own community and the voices being represented. Specifically, the platform is introducing a new $25 million funding program to support black creators. The main objective of the initiative is to improve diversity and conclusion from within by elevating a significant community of storytellers who want to celebrate their communities, amplify their unique narratives, and have a positive impact.

With the heightened consumption of content during quarantine, speed is critical for earning and maintaining attention. Brands are quickly learning that in order to stay ahead and pivot their strategies, they must be open to learning from creators versus simply mimicking the advertising space. In this vein, Facebook is looking to help these storytellers build a diverse and innovative business across its entire family of apps.

“We’re asking up-and-coming Black creators to put their creative talents to the test with our program for Black creators. Our program is intended to amplify Black voices, and is geared towards Black creators aged 18+ with a minimum of 10,000 followers on Facebook or 10,000 followers on Instagram. Creators must reside in the U.S.,” the platform shared.

Through these collective efforts Facebook hopes to make strides in addressing concerns raised by the recent results of a civil rights audit conducted over the last few years with the goal of helping the company improve its overall policies and “strength and advance civil rights” within its community. We can’t only rely on the platforms, however. As marketers it is our responsibility to help ensure these stories cut through the noise and to invest time in order to develop a deeper understanding of the issues and opportunities at play.

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The post How Facebook is Empowering Black Creators and Businesses appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/08/how-facebook-is-empowering-black-creators-and-businesses/

Why Social Utilities are Accelerating in a COVID-19 Era

The Coronavirus pandemic has acted as an accelerant on the businesses and industries that seemed already on track for future growth. Remote work, e-commerce, at-home fitness, connected TV, gaming—each made dramatically more relevant in the era of social distancing.

Among these is an emerging category comprised of “social utilities,” or companies that provide tangible value by virtue of bringing people together.

Zoom makes it possible for anyone to mimic an IRL social experience. Citizen puts a social layer on breaking news and events at the hyper-local level. Peloton offers fitness motivation in the form of a digitally-connected community. Public.com makes investing in the stock market a social experience so you can share ideas with friends and experts while you build your portfolio. The list goes on.

Here’s why social utilities are surging in the era of social distancing.

Uncertainty drives community

In uncertain times, most people find solace in the feeling that they’re not alone. This could mean more frequent video calls (Zoom has grown by more than 50 percent since January) and messaging (Facebook recently reported a 50 percent jump in messaging and has launched a Zoom-like rival, called Messenger Rooms).

And the desire to participate in the company others can be observed in more niche areas, as well, like exercise, career development, eSports—and even financial services. During the peak of market volatility in March and April this year, Public.com tracked a 70 percent uptick in social activity in the app, according to TechCrunch.

Sub-communities create a feeling of belonging

Beyond merely connecting in times of uncertainty, people also want to feel like they belong. Within a larger network, sub-communities make it possible to be part of a global conversation while at the same time curating a more specific experience based on interests and values.

Peloton, which has seen a surge in app downloads and equipment sales since March, introduced a new feature called Tags to nurture the organic subcommunities that were already sprouting throughout the larger community. Tags allow people to select sub-groups with which they want to affiliate in the community, like one’s hometown (#NYCRiders), alma mater (#GoBlue), favorite instructor (#BensArmy), or professional background (#WomeninTech).

Here at Social Media Week, we recently wrapped a month-long virtual conference that brought our community even closer to our content. Social interactions, and building micro-communities within individual talks and sessions, were core to the experience.

Synchronous social captures attention

According to eMarketer, time spent with social media is predicted to increase by 8.8 percent in 2020, no doubt due to social distancing measures that have caused people to spend more time in the home with their devices.

Alongside this broader trend is the proliferation of digital “events” which capture attention during specific moments in time. Synchronous social isn’t entirely new—people have been live-tweeting breaking news and award shows for years—but it has certainly been given a boost as of late.

Take for example D-Nice, the DJ who has been attracting massive crowds on Instagram during planned “Club Quarantine” sets and the video chat app House Party, which recently hosted a three-day virtual festival. Twitch, the Amazon-owned eSports platform that allows people to watch and offer commentary on live games, reportedly saw a 57 percent increase in usage in the month after social distancing guidelines were put into place.

While social media certainly receives its fair share of valid criticism when it comes to furthering divides, it has also served its stated purpose of creating connections where otherwise absent. For many products and platforms, including Social Media Week, this social layer—accelerated by uncertain times—serves a clear purpose for consumers.

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The post Why Social Utilities are Accelerating in a COVID-19 Era appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/07/why-social-utilities-are-accelerating-in-a-covid-19-era/

Unpacking the Three Key Drivers of Live Content: FOMO, Technology and Community

Live video has surpassed the novelty phase and is now more than ever shaping how brands interact with their audiences. By tapping into Live, they can engage views in instantaneous, immersive, and authentic ways that other formats simply cannot, especially during an age of social distancing. And marketers are taking note of the trend and scaling in a variety of different ways to get a piece of the action via tools like Instagram Live, LinkedIn Live, Facebook Live, and newcomers including TikTok and Twitch.

During #SMWONE, Social Chain’s Oliver Yonchev explored the evolution of live-streaming and why it should be core to every brand’s approach. “Art may seem dramatic but I believe there are many nuances and many important principles to going live and a lot of things brands should consider,” he shared in his opening remarks.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • FOMO is powerful and can be used in any Live activation
  • Going ‘Live’ and being ‘Live’ are not the same thing
  • Anticipation is the bedfellow of fear

The key drivers of live viewing

“We are a generation of “now” where everything is ‘on-demand’, stated Yonchev. In this world, choice is underpinned by the desire to have the ability to pre-program our lives exactly how we want them and we want algorithms to serve us these things in alignment with how we want them. Enter the meteoric rise of juggernauts such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple, and Amazon Prime.

This is supported by stats showing that amongst the top five categories of content typically live-streamed are TV series or episodic content (45%), sports (31%), tutorials or how-to videos (30%), gaming (29%), and videos from friends and family (28%). With this, three core principles naturally evolve when taking a deeper look at these trends regarding what drives live viewing:

  • Fear of missing out (“FOMO”)
  • Technology
  • Community

“Fear, like all emotions, generally drives action. It goes back to the basics of neuroscience,” Yonchev reiterated breaking down the fundamental parts of the brain: the limbic system, the primitive brain, and the neocortex. To reiterate how fear can drive strange or atypical behaviors, he pointed to the story of how Social Chain devised a fake soccer play, Rex Secco, in an effort to make a point around how the agency could make anything the most talked about topic online in a short amount of time. The result? Over 120 million impressions including people falsely claiming they had heard of Secco before.

Regarding the use of technology and all of its variants and fostering community, Yonchev underscored that people simply don’t watch live on social media in the same way they do on traditional Live formats. Further, people have and will continue to be driven by scarcity. “In a time where we are connected like no other time in history, feeling ‘connected’ is at an all time low.”

The big takeaways: Fear of missing out is as powerful as ever and a sentiment you can apply in any Live activation. When approaching Live as a brand, change your story when the room changes and, most importantly, put humanity at the center of your engagement plans.

Formatting rules

With the principles of going Live spelled out, Yonchev then dove into the formats marketers should emphasize as they build their approaches. Going back to an earlier point he stressed, we live in an on-demand culture, so a Live format needs to acknowledge this by allowing people to leave and rejoin a Live and still know what is going on. In a word, this can be achieved with simplicity. Not underestimating the power of anticipation is also critical to success. Ultimately, the fear in FOMO can translate into anticipation which, ultimately, can boost retention. In short, fear is not always negative despite the connotation often attached to the phrase. Finally, leverage the power of virality by creating content that begs for participation whether this is through sharing, commenting, liking or otherwise.

Effective mechanics

Combined with the drivers of Live audiences and formatting best practices, there are several effective mechanics to bear in mind as you craft your Live strategy. These are grounded by three themes of interactivity, anticipation, which Yonchev described as “the bedfellow of fear,” and experience.

Quizzes and games are particularly helpful when trying to showcase products in a way that does not just bombard audiences with details but invites them to participate and learn more about the brand and make more informed decisions. Social Chain partnered with Boohoo for a live quiz show where a new question would be produced every minute for the total of an hour with winners being selected at random. From the viral loop caused by the incoming comments to the anticipation of the next winner announcement, this was a perfect storm for a successful live and the results supported this: Social Chain reached 4.6 billion people and drew 791k total engagements.

“One of the most effective forms of marketing is experience,” said Yonchev. However, experience can be costly and hard to scale but live streaming allows us to overcome these barriers. In another example, Social Chain partnered with Superdry in a digital treasure hunt where when people commented “Treat” and once a certain volume was reached, more clues would be revealed. “What this really did for the brand was take an experiential activity and bring it a whole host of people who couldn’t be there to experience and introduce to them into that part and relationship.” Social Chain has taken this to other levels from controlling live events through the music and pyrotechnics to using World Puppy day to create a “Puppy Catwalk” and launching live-stream shopping for Facebook videos.

“Download Twitch. Go live on LinkedIn. Play on Houseparty,” Yonchev urged as the session concluded.

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The post Unpacking the Three Key Drivers of Live Content: FOMO, Technology and Community appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/06/unpacking-the-three-key-drivers-of-live-content-fomo-technology-and-community/

Why Vulnerability is Key to Authentic Influencer Content

“The simple, aspirational aesthetic is over,” Takumi’s Group CEO Mary Keane-Dawson declared early in her #SMWONE session alongside her colleague Derek Wiggins, USA Country Head. about the current state of influencer marketing. She punctuated her sentiment with a pair of photos: the first, a prettily staged image of a sun-kissed woman holding a daisy in her mouth; the second, a less staged image of her sputtering to spit the flower out. And while this pristine and staged aesthetic was on its way out before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the latter has us all feeling as discombobulated and uncomfortable as the woman in the second photo.

As it turns out, that’s making what influencers do now, and will do next, so appealing.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Platforms that can elevate imperfect content will shine
  • Influencer marketing content will favor more raw and unpolished stories
  • Be open to experimenting and playing around when communities need it most

Veneers Down, Vulnerability Up

“Reality has come in and slapped us all in the face,” said Derek Wiggins shared, going on to say, “what it’s done is it’s humbled and changed our opinions, making us more open and vulnerable.” He shared a quote that reveals the resulting work is not only more raw and unpolished, but more fun for the influencers themselves:

We’re just being ourselves and making sure we’re having fun behind each piece of content – we really think having fun and genuinely loving what you do is SO important to stand out.

And who wouldn’t want to engage with content, or with creators, who are enjoying themselves? As it turns out, a vast majority of social media users. A 2019 Takumi survey revealed that 8 in 10 followers of influencers said they’d stop doing so if an influencer misrepresented themselves or their lifestyles to followers; 78% said they’d do so if they realized an influencer’s lifestyle promoted unrealistic or unsustainable life habits. Now that we’re all at home, there’s figuratively and literally nowhere to hide…and the content these professionals create could change significantly as a result.

It’s TikTok’s Time to Shine

As the aesthetic fades away, platforms that can elevate imperfect content will shine…and for Takumi and Wiggins, this means TikTok. Coaxed onto the platform at the urgings of his wife, he now finds himself one of the 522 million users (and fast-growing, as new data is showing) who returns to the site multiple times each day to be entertained. It’s a fantastic space to “be relevant, [to] make it yours,” he said, adding, “as a minority, looking for things to relate to [when I was younger] was difficult. Now, it’s a market for everyone.”

The platform is about more than dance challenges and whipped coffee; Wiggins highlighted two examples of influencers using the space to contribute to a larger social good. Calls for cause marketing were put out to their influencer community; creative spots came back for campaigns like Oreo’s #CookieforaCause (to benefit Save the Children) and #HaagIndoor and Secret Cinema’s campaign to keep people indoors. And independent of brands, pro bono campaigns emerged for #SafeHands (promoting frequent and thorough handwashing“Influencers have to adapt and rethink things like never before,” Keane-Dawson noted, audibly marveling at their community of creators as she continued, “this is where their creativity comes out.”

Play Around When the Community Needs It Most

For those worried that their work wouldn’t be as polished as normal, Wiggins and Keane-Dawson are in agreement that now is the time for that sort of work. Because consumers increasingly care less about the curated aesthetic and more about genuity and realness of content, now is precisely the time to play with the form, especially on platforms that reward that sort of playfulness like TikTok.

“Lead the charge and don’t be quiet,” Wiggins insisted, noting that people will remember down the road who didn’t want to speak up for fear of getting it wrong. Partnering with people who know what they’re doing means everything here; Keane-Dawson heaped more praise on the influencers they work with, saying they’re meeting the moment just how so many of us would hope: “they find the humor, and they find the connection…it’s amazing what these creators can do.”

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

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The post Why Vulnerability is Key to Authentic Influencer Content appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/why-vulnerability-is-key-to-authentic-influencer-content/

4 Ways COVID-19 is Fueling Subcommunities

Small groups are the fastest-growing areas of online communication and COVID-19 continues to shine light on the notion that users, while still enjoying big global experiences like DNice DJ sets on Instagram, want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.

Here, let’s take a deeper dive into some of the latest efforts in this regard and how platforms and brands are using social media to develop subcommunities for consumers eager for community during this time of crisis.

Peloton Profile Tags

In a nod to the ever-popular hashtag, Peloton rolled out ‘Profile Tags’ to bring its community closer together in niche groups.

With the update, users have the option to create their own tags or browse trending tangs and connect with others who share the mutual interests and have them listed on their user profiles. More specifically, in the Peloton app, tap the “+” button. You can follow up to 10 tags at a time and select one as your primary “leaderboard tag” to appear alongside your name on the leaderboard during each ride.

A key benefit of this effort is that riders can filter these in-class leader boards by tag. For some, entering a class of thousands of other people can be overwhelming. WIth tags, engaging with others makes the experience less daunting, more intimate, and most importantly, more authentic. With these shared interests, the brand hopes those with similar fitness goals can help motivate one another to reach their fitness goals and live out their passions during these difficult times.

Without their usual gym access, many people are eager to not only maintain their physical health but the social aspects that come with group fitness. Tag-based communities are a nice substitute when we’re unable to replace face-to-face interactions.

Reddit’s Rollout of ‘Start Chatting’

After seeing an increase in chat activity in its app during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Reddit unveiled its ‘Start Chatting’ option within subreddits allowing users to initiate small group video chats of up to five at a time.

“Whether it’s about topics related to COVID-19, local news, or just their favorite games and hobbies, people all around the world are looking for others to talk to.” The platform reiterated that even in testing conversation-oriented communities have a wide variety of use cases in these extraordinary times ranging from simply connecting with new people, discussing the latest cliffhangers of our favorite TV shows and finding another person to stream with while we play Animal Crossing on Twitch.

As depicted above the above image, when you browse a subreddit, you’ll have the option to tap on the ‘Start Chatting’ button to initiate a group chat. You’ll then be connected by Reddit’s system to a group of “like-minded users looking for deeper engagements on subjects relevant to a community.”

Facebook Video Tools & Messenger Rooms

In an announcement made via Facebook Live stream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out several a range of new video tools across Facebook’s family of apps in response to the heightened demand and evolving use cases of video and group conversations during the global pandemic.

Perhaps the biggest announcement shared during the livestream, however, is Messenger rooms. Made available across all of Facebook apps, these Rooms will allow a new option for people to set up virtual catch ups with one another. A big priority is not needing to schedule these sessions upfront. Rather, start a Room at any time, and an active listing of all Rooms that you can join will be displayed at the top of your Facebook News Feed.

Catering to a notion of, ‘neat, serendipitous, spontaneous interaction’ is the goal. There are no time limits and up to 50 people can join a Room at a time. Currently in beta mode, a broader rollout can be expected in the coming weeks. While you can’t create a Room for your Facebook Pages at this time, Room invites can be shared via URL across all of Facebook’s apps and accessible even to those without a Facebook account.

Clubhouse

Created by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, Clubhouse is a new social app dominating the quarantine buzz.

At a glance, engagement occurs by spontaneously jumping into voice chat rooms. The Clubhouse platform hosts multiple audio-only chat rooms at a time, and allows users to freely jump in and out of the conversations as a speaker or a listener. High-energy rooms draw bigger groups while slower ones tend to have the highest cases of “hoppers,” but lend to more intimate conversation. Put simply, the premise is to connect with those you follow in low pressure, casual conversations and gain exposure to a wide variety of smaller chat circles.

Although the app is still invite-only and in the development stages, early users tout it as the next Twitter or Snapchat.audio-based network.

Groups are a means of encountering new ideas and people within platforms that form around the causes they are passionate about. They are a source for community-building now more than ever and will continue to allow for a deeper connection with our audiences through understanding and shared experience.

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

The post 4 Ways COVID-19 is Fueling Subcommunities appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/4-ways-covid-19-is-fueling-subcommunities/

4 Ways COVID-19 is Fueling Subcommunities

Small groups are the fastest-growing areas of online communication and COVID-19 continues to shine light on the notion that users, while still enjoying big global experiences like DNice DJ sets on Instagram, want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.

Here, let’s take a deeper dive into some of the latest efforts in this regard and how platforms and brands are using social media to develop subcommunities for consumers eager for community during this time of crisis.

Peloton Profile Tags

In a nod to the ever-popular hashtag, Peloton rolled out ‘Profile Tags’ to bring its community closer together in niche groups.

With the update, users have the option to create their own tags or browse trending tangs and connect with others who share the mutual interests and have them listed on their user profiles. More specifically, in the Peloton app, tap the “+” button. You can follow up to 10 tags at a time and select one as your primary “leaderboard tag” to appear alongside your name on the leaderboard during each ride.

A key benefit of this effort is that riders can filter these in-class leader boards by tag. For some, entering a class of thousands of other people can be overwhelming. WIth tags, engaging with others makes the experience less daunting, more intimate, and most importantly, more authentic. With these shared interests, the brand hopes those with similar fitness goals can help motivate one another to reach their fitness goals and live out their passions during these difficult times.

Without their usual gym access, many people are eager to not only maintain their physical health but the social aspects that come with group fitness. Tag-based communities are a nice substitute when we’re unable to replace face-to-face interactions.

Reddit’s Rollout of ‘Start Chatting’

After seeing an increase in chat activity in its app during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Reddit unveiled its ‘Start Chatting’ option within subreddits allowing users to initiate small group video chats of up to five at a time.

“Whether it’s about topics related to COVID-19, local news, or just their favorite games and hobbies, people all around the world are looking for others to talk to.” The platform reiterated that even in testing conversation-oriented communities have a wide variety of use cases in these extraordinary times ranging from simply connecting with new people, discussing the latest cliffhangers of our favorite TV shows and finding another person to stream with while we play Animal Crossing on Twitch.

As depicted above the above image, when you browse a subreddit, you’ll have the option to tap on the ‘Start Chatting’ button to initiate a group chat. You’ll then be connected by Reddit’s system to a group of “like-minded users looking for deeper engagements on subjects relevant to a community.”

Facebook Video Tools & Messenger Rooms

In an announcement made via Facebook Live stream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out several a range of new video tools across Facebook’s family of apps in response to the heightened demand and evolving use cases of video and group conversations during the global pandemic.

Perhaps the biggest announcement shared during the livestream, however, is Messenger rooms. Made available across all of Facebook apps, these Rooms will allow a new option for people to set up virtual catch ups with one another. A big priority is not needing to schedule these sessions upfront. Rather, start a Room at any time, and an active listing of all Rooms that you can join will be displayed at the top of your Facebook News Feed.

Catering to a notion of, ‘neat, serendipitous, spontaneous interaction’ is the goal. There are no time limits and up to 50 people can join a Room at a time. Currently in beta mode, a broader rollout can be expected in the coming weeks. While you can’t create a Room for your Facebook Pages at this time, Room invites can be shared via URL across all of Facebook’s apps and accessible even to those without a Facebook account.

Clubhouse

Created by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, Clubhouse is a new social app dominating the quarantine buzz.

At a glance, engagement occurs by spontaneously jumping into voice chat rooms. The Clubhouse platform hosts multiple audio-only chat rooms at a time, and allows users to freely jump in and out of the conversations as a speaker or a listener. High-energy rooms draw bigger groups while slower ones tend to have the highest cases of “hoppers,” but lend to more intimate conversation. Put simply, the premise is to connect with those you follow in low pressure, casual conversations and gain exposure to a wide variety of smaller chat circles.

Although the app is still invite-only and in the development stages, early users tout it as the next Twitter or Snapchat.audio-based network.

Groups are a means of encountering new ideas and people within platforms that form around the causes they are passionate about. They are a source for community-building now more than ever and will continue to allow for a deeper connection with our audiences through understanding and shared experience.

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

The post 4 Ways COVID-19 is Fueling Subcommunities appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/4-ways-covid-19-is-fueling-subcommunities/

How Facebook is Enhancing Online Community Engagement During COVID-19

More than ever being part of a community is integral to navigating uncertainty. We continue to face unprecedented challenges and look to communities to uplift us and bring us closer together as we weather the storm. That’s why late last month Facebook announced its Community Connect: Navigating COVID-19 to help equip its community leaders with the tools and practices for success.

Roughly 200 million people are now members of “very meaningful groups” on Facebook. For many, these communities are the most important part of their social network experience with the number of users participating in Groups now exceeding 1.4 billion. Admit the current global pandemic, the relevance and importance of groups continues to grow with millions flocking to support groups to lend a hand, keep informed of the latest updates, and stay connected with family and friends.

On the heels of this shift and following its April event, Facebook is further supporting marketers as they seek to effectively manage their communities and establish relationships between community leaders. More specifically, the platform is unveiling a slew of educational courses aimed to provide guidance and pointers for those looking to make the most of their Facebook groups. Each will also include special guests (CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself made an appearance at the first Community Connect event) and product announcements relevant to facilitating group engagement including how to avoid the spread of misinformation and use the latest resources and tools to communicate more effectively.

Enhancing Online Community Management During COVID-19 Era

Each month will feature a different theme with workshops and guest speakers to lead the discussion. Here are a few highlights of the next five months:

May: “Community Foundations” will help managers return to the basics for setting up and maintaining a thriving community.

June: “Growth in Your Community” will outline ways to promote your community, manage growth and get the right people involved in your group.

July: “Engaging Your Community” will offer tips for getting your members to interact regularly and best practices for sharing productively including what to post and when.

August: “Managing Conflict” will take a deeper look at how to productively manage points of tension in your group and productively problem-solve solutions.

September: “Hosting Events” wetting your community together online and off.

“It’s times like this when strong communities are needed most….Even if not organizing directly around coronavirus yourself, your groups have provided an escape for people or a sounding board for people who need support and comfort during this time,” said Zuckerberg in a statement to TechCrunch as he reflected on the inaugural virtual event. In other words, in these trying times sometimes providing the space for people to be heard is an impactful solution in itself.

Regardless of our physical separation, we have never been more connected to each other than we are right now. We’re abandoning division, embracing empathetic instincts, and using social media to instill new value exchanges between brands and consumers. Leadership is taking a collaborative twist where learning from one another and being agile is integral to long-lasting relationships.

Check out the sessions from Facebook’s first Community Connect event here and stay up to date on coming education sessions here.

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

The post How Facebook is Enhancing Online Community Engagement During COVID-19 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/how-facebook-is-enhancing-online-community-engagement-during-covid-19/

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

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

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

NAVIGATING THE PLATFORM

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

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

FUELING FUNDRAISERS

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

HELP MAP VS. COMMUNITY HELP

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

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

‘HOW CAN I HELP?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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/

Building a Lasting Emotional Connection with Customers: A Conversation with Lindsey Turner

Today’s consumers have rapidly evolved into target audience members presenting the fundamental challenge for brands to earn attention and break through in a world overloaded with information. But where are they to begin? Primarily, through understanding audience members’ key emotional motivators and crafting content that aligns brand positioning in accordance with these feelings.

View the initial #SMWLDN agenda & grab your pass at 20% off!

Per recent research, 70 percent of emotionally connected consumers spend twice as much on brands they have an emotional attachment to than those who don’t. Additionally, 81 percent of those respondents promote their favorite brands to family and friends.

On 31 October, the opening day of #SMWLDN, we’ll explore this theme in detail in a session led by Lindsey Turner, Head of Creators at Twitter EMEA. As she interviews a Creator who designs for the feed and builds content for the community, you can expect to learn how to better drive brand conversations, build authenticity though best-in-class Creators, and create an emotional connection with your audience.

It’s no longer good enough for a brand to be the first or even among the first to hop on the social media bandwagon to communicate what their products and services can offer. Brands must shift their focus to longer-term strategies that emphasize what consumers feel versus what they know.

Brands that succeed in doing this effectively translate their messages into deep-seeded loyalty that sticks throughout the entire customer journey, ultimately generating higher ROI. Conversely, those who don’t run the risk of becoming lost in the growing sea of competition.

Per Viacom, the vast majority of brands in 2019 (93 percent to be precise!) are looking to transgress beyond the standard social media post and identify ways to merge experiential and influencer marketing. Above all, the fundamental responsibility we share as marketers in what is a critical inflection point for social media is to revolutionize traditional storytelling by fueling conversations that not only reflect culture but shape it.

There’s still time to join Lindsey and many more speakers in London at Westminster’s QEII Centre this fall (31 Oct – 1 Nov), – so act fast, and look toward a future of connecting with culture with us!

Browse the current agenda and list of featured speakers and secure your pass by 9 August to take advantage of the 20% discount before it expires.

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The post Building a Lasting Emotional Connection with Customers: A Conversation with Lindsey Turner appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/07/building-a-lasting-emotional-connection-with-customers-a-conversation-with-lindsey-turner/

Unleash the Power of Fan Communities with Reddit

Reddit is the fifth largest website in the United States, with 150 million users domestically, and 330 million worldwide. They have a dedicated user base, with an average time on site of 16 minutes. So how can a brand navigate this space to successfully learn about their fans, engage with the community, and promote their products? What options are available?

During #SMWLA, Noam Cadori, Head of Revenue & Data Partnerships for Reddit, was joined by Kaylin Link of Socialgist, for a conversation around how brands can take advantage of Reddit’s fan communities, which addressed these questions amongst others.

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It’s All About Community

The first thing to understand about Reddit is that its focus is the community. “We’re about bringing community and belonging to the world. That’s the mission of the company. That’s the thought behind every product release” said Cadori.

With 135,000 individual communities, there is something for everyone. You’re likely to find fans already online talking about your brand and your competitors. These conversations provide valuable information that can inform marketing decisions.

“A lot of brands today tout the word ‘community’ — it’s almost like a buzzword, you hear it everywhere. And I think what is really special about our site is we’re a collection of communities. That’s what Reddit is.” explained Cadori.

What Does this Mean for Brands?

Reddit is place where brands can better understand their fan community, engage with people who are passionate about their products, and learn insights about their vertical. To break it down, brands can engage with Reddit in three basic ways:

  • First, brands can “Perceive” – they can analyze the conversation around their products in order to gain insights into their consumer. Listening to organic fan conversation and analyzing the sentiment can help brands build a consumer profile, understand their product’s strengths and weaknesses, and guide marketing decisions.
  • Second, brands can “Engage” – they can find communities that are applicable to them, engage in conversation, or set up an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with a brand representative or influencer.
  • Third, brands can “Promote” – this usually takes the form of paid advertising or promotional partnerships facilitated by the Reddit team.

Remember to Respect the Community

Reddit has a community culture that brands should be aware of when creating a presence on the platform. As a brand, you are entering a conversation already in progress and want to make sure to make a positive impression.

Cadori’s advice to brands on Reddit is this: “Similar to how you’re thinking about engaging with strangers, these people are on our platform and already talking – so just be mindful of what they are saying. If you just walk into a room full of strangers and you blast out a message… ignoring what people are saying, that kind of rubs people the wrong way.”

What about the Data?

If you are a brand marketer, you may be wondering – what kind of data and analytics can Reddit provide? Reddit has a strict privacy policy and will not provide any data that the user did not share publicly. However, Socialgist works closely with Reddit to provide an analysis of the available public data, and the Reddit ad sales team can provide audience segments for advertising purposes – based on the target you’re interested in.

In a landscape where brands talk about community but rarely achieve it, Reddit is a great place to find your fans and engage with them authentically.

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The post Unleash the Power of Fan Communities with Reddit appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/unleash-the-power-of-fan-communities-with-reddit/

Community Building Necessitates Finding the Intersection Between Mystery & Safety, Says Radha Agrawal

The Internet has ways of both connecting people and making them feel more isolated than ever.

Radha Agrawal, CEO and author of Belong: Find Your People, Create Community and Live A More Connected Life led #SMWNYC attendees in a morning dance break while serving up fresh inspiration for building a sustainable community.

“When I turned 30, I realized I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I’d chosen work over relationships, was in the hamster wheel of entrepreneurship and building my business,” Agrawal said. “I looked at myself and asked, who are my people? Where do I belong?”

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She talked about her decade-long journey of traveling the world to study what brings people together — and this led to the creation of Daybreaker, a global morning dance community.

And the result of this “social experiment,” she shared, was so much joy. This journey is outlined in her new book, a blueprint of how to Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life, the title of her session.

“For the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged, even in different cities around the world,” she said. “Studies have shown humans are most optimistic and joyful in the morning. Daybreaker was born out of this experiment of community and business building… how can we actually bring community back, and the feeling of belonging?”

Building a sustainable community IRL — in real life

How did Daybreaker do this? Through morning dance events now held in over 25 cities worldwide. Agrawal shared some of the core principals she believes builds the Daybreaker community is built on.

The intersection of mystery and safety

By emphasizing general safety around any dance event, as well as keeping an aura of mystery and wonder. But it’s the mystery that helps sustain community, while safety helps you grow it. Both of these are what keep people coming back to the event: the safe opportunity for people to come, self-express, and let go of themselves.

“We have to create mystery in life, just like in any relationship, so that it doesn’t get stagnant over time. How can we bring more mystery into our events and experiences?”

In a competitive, fast-paced social world, where scintillating digital experiences scream for people’s attention, the offline, IRL experiences need to be just as connected and beautiful.

Create a Contact High: Release the D.O.S.E.

That is, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Seratonin, and Endorphins; the core tent of happy brain chemicals. Looking at the science of it, these chemicals can create a feeling of total contentment and happiness.

When Daybreaker plans its global dance events, it thinks about how to allow attendees to release the D.O.S.E., rather than focusing on metrics-based engagements, KPIs, and the like. Rather, focus on creating the feeling of being a part of something.

How can brands create intentional experiences that make each attendee or community member actually feel beyond the numbers?

These tips — from rituals and event aesthetics to how brands talk to their consumers online and IRL — are the core building blocks for how to build a sustainable, genuine community from the ground up.

“If an event and experience is not an inspiring transformation of the self, why are you doing it anyway?” Agrawal asked. “You want community members to walk away feeling special, not isolated… to not only buy your product but to feel a part of the larger conversation. They’ll want to stay connected.”

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The post Community Building Necessitates Finding the Intersection Between Mystery & Safety, Says Radha Agrawal appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/community-building-necessitates-finding-the-intersection-between-mystery-safety-says-radha-agrawal/

LinkedIn Introduces LinkedIn Pages to Generate Engagement

In mid November, LinkedIn announced its latest effort in fostering communities. What was once called LinkedIn Company Pages is now rebuilt into LinkedIn Pages.

“Pages have been rebuilt from the ground up to make it easier for brands, institutions and organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises, to foster constructive conversations with LinkedIn’s community of more than 590 million members and 30 million Pages,” according to LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.


Image via LinkedIn

LinkedIn thinks that communities are core to the success of every business. Through meaningful conversations with employees, partners, customers and job candidates, LinkedIn Pages hopes to help drive a company’s growth.

Here are the core features of the new LinkedIn Pages:

Giving Pages admins efficient management tools

Pages admins can now post updates and respond to comments on the go via LinkedIn’s mobile app for both iOS and Android. This has made keeping on top of a brand’s LinkedIn performance and engagement much easier, because up till now, page management via mobile has been problematic, with limitations in functionality.


Image via LinkedIn

In additional, admins are now able to associate Pages with hashtags, enabling them to listen in and respond to social conversations relevant to the brands. They can also now share documents like PowerPoint presentations, Word Documents and PDFs to tell richer brand stories, whereas only images, text and videos were post-able before.

Know and engage with your audience better

Another important feature is Content Suggestions, which surfaces topics and content that are trending within a brand’s target audience on LinkedIn. With this information, admins can now curate and share content that they know their audience will fall for.

LinkedIn is also announcing a suite of tools that help brands discover and re-share their employees’ public LinkedIn posts. “A company’s employees are their greatest asset and can be their biggest advocates. Amplifying their voices can help organizations build stronger connections with their audience,” according to LinkedIn.


Image via LinkedIn

Adding third party tools

LinkedIn Pages has also announced its cooperation with Hootsuite and Crunchbase to help admins manage their presence across a range of social platforms.

“With Hootsuite, admins can now receive notifications within Hootsuite when there is activity on their LinkedIn Page; We have also partnered with Crunchbase to feature funding insights and key investors on LinkedIn Pages, giving LinkedIn members a more comprehensive understanding of a company’s business profile,” according to LinkedIn.

The post LinkedIn Introduces LinkedIn Pages to Generate Engagement appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/linkedin-introduces-linkedin-pages-to-generate-engagement/

How Facebook Improves Communities and Drives Business Growth

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

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

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

The power and belief in building a community

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

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

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

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

A year of making technological progress

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

Brand safety

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

Minimizing bad content

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

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

Increasing accountability and transparency in advertising

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

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

Election integrity

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

“The majority of ad works at a glance”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post How Facebook Improves Communities and Drives Business Growth appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/11/how-facebook-improves-communities-and-drives-business-growth/

Local Business and Community News for Cardiff & Newport in South Wales…

Connecting the community with local, affordable advertising. Local Cardiff & Newport News for August 2016 We are pleased to present to the latest issue of Local Link Magazine, which you can access by clicking on the link below. This Month’s Issues If you would be interested in Advertising with Local Link or have a story […]

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/local-business-and-community-news-for-cardiff-newport-in-south-wales/