Tag: stories

How Instagram is Expanding its Branded Content Offerings

Instagram recently unveiled a new redesign of its main home screen on the app in an effort to combat the rise of TikTok. Specifically, the Reels icon is now front and center in the app and directs users to a dedicated page of curated content organized by people they follow and your previous engagement patterns and interests.

Now, the platform is taking additional steps to ensure creators have access to more lucrative brand partnership and revenue options through additional branded content capabilities across Reels, Live, Stories and in posts including product tags.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest:

Integrating the branded content tag in Reels and Live

In an effort to make creation and amplification easier for influencers and brands alike, Instagram is introducing branded content tags to its TikTok-like product, Reels and unveiled plans to test these disclaimers within its Live video product as well in coming weeks. Ultimately, this will allow creators to generate revenue more quickly from their short-form and live video content.

“Branded content is a powerful tool for creators and businesses, and these updates will help them get more out of the content they’re creating together,” Instagram COO Justin Osofsky shared in a statement. “This will continue to be an area of focus for us as we build out a suite of monetization tools that support creators’ various needs and ambitions.”

As social platforms continue to offer creators new tools and platforms in which they can drive direct, measurable sales — the line between affiliate and creator is more blurred than ever. Needs and ambitions continue to shift as a result of the pandemic demanding platform-specific content versus retrofitting one set of assets across all channels.

New workflow and age restrictions

Previously, Branded Content ads were created by promoting already existing posts produced by creators. In a revised workflow, however, Instagram is placing emphasis on co-collaboration by allowing advertisers to post Branded Content ads without the need for creators to post organically on Instagram first. On the surface, this allows for greater efficiency and flexibility while still giving creators the control to approve or pause any ads published from their handle.

The process follows a simple three-step approach:

  • The advertiser sends a request for ad creation access.
  • The creator accepts ad creation access, with a notification sent to the advertiser upon acceptance
  • The creator receives a notification of the created ad for their approval

Finally, businesses and creators can set a minimum age for branded content feed posts. Specifically, they can choose to set a default minimum age or a minimum age for specific countries, or a combination of both options, per the official announcement.

Promoting branded content in Stories and with product tags

Brands will now also be able to promote branded content posts with product tags. Prior to today, branded posts from creators that included product tags were not able to be promoted via Branded Content Ads making it harder for them to reach target audiences.

“More and more, people are shopping directly from the creators they love on Instagram – this new ad format is another way brands can provide a seamless shopping experience on Instagram. This new format will begin testing in the coming months,” the platform shared.

What does this ultimately mean? Brands have a more streamlined ecosystem in which they can get more value out of the content that makes it easy for people to shop directly from creators that inspire them. Within Stories for instance, Branded Content ads can include tappable elements, such as @mentions, location and hashtags in an attempt to give brands wider access to organic Stories’ creative that is “native and authentic to the Stories experience.”

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The post How Instagram is Expanding its Branded Content Offerings appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/12/how-instagram-is-expanding-its-branded-content-offerings/

How Pinterest is Fueling Inspirational Ideas with Story Pins

On the heels of breaking its daily download record and earning a top spot on the App Store rankings due to the release of iOS 14 and flurry of home screen design ideas, Pinterest is taking major steps to connect creators and Pinners around inspirational content.

Following over a year of work, the platform is launching Story Pins in beta and a new creator profile with analytics tools for improved performance tracking. Pinterest is the latest platform to hop on the Stories bandwagon following Snapchat’s lead in 2013 and Facebook and Instagram putting their own twists on the format in 2016. More recently, Twitter introduced “Fleets,” and LinkedIn began testing its own version of Stories earlier this year.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest Pinterest updates and how you can start to build them into your marketing mix.

Turning ideas into Stories

A key difference between Story features on other platforms and Pinterest’s approach to the format is that Pin Stories are very much tilted towards utility, discovery, and inspiration. “Story Pins are designed to show you how people are trying new ideas and new products. That means the features and intent are dramatically different, David Temple, Head of Content, Creator and Homefeed Product said in a statement to reporters.

This new content format blends videos, voiceover and image and text overlay will make it possible to create step-by-step stories, such as tutorials for recipes or DIY projects. Early users of the feature include Coco Bassey, Camille Styles, Shiquita from Unconventional Southern Belle, and Jazmine Ford of Finding Uphoria. An added bonus? Detail pages can be added so materials and ingredients can be revisited later and fuel action on the ideas and tips.

Pin Stories are also not ephemeral, meaning that won’t disappear after a set period of time as is the case on Instagram or Facebook Stories. Much like a standard Pin, Stories can be saved to boards for later use and distributed across the home feed, search results, and relevant tabs including “Today.” Creators will also have the ability to tag their Story Pins or videos with topics or interests which the visual discovery engine can use to match ideas to Pinners who have similar taste.

“We want to be deliberate and thoughtful with the growth that we have here, to ensure that the tone for the content and the community remains positive,” Temple added. In other words, creating a space in which you can be inspired but inspire others in meaningful and actionable ways through content.

Creator profiles

As part of the push, Pinterest is also introducing creator profiles — making the platform a more seamless option for sharing creator content directly as opposed to distributing it once its shared elsewhere.

A big emphasis with the profiles is interaction between Pinners and creators. Specifically, a new display format and updated contact options make it easy to stay connected. Pinterest also unveiled a range of positive reactions like “Great idea,” “Love,” “Wow,” and “Thanks” to provide feedback to creators via a Message or Contact card. This is a subtle but significant update that nods to the current environment — one in which digital empathy is more important than ever and it is harder to express how we feel in the absence of face-to-face interactions.

Maximizing engagement and measuring reach

Finally, in order to ensure creators and brands can easily track how their audiences are responding to this format, Pinterest is revealing an engagement tab, where users can solicit and respond to feedback, and an updated Analytics hub outlining the performance of their Pin Story content. Impressions and engagement are two core metrics, but the re-designed dashboard will also provide a sense into how categories and interests are shifting over time and which audiences are engaging with the most.

With its community growing, searches up 50 percent year-over-year and board creates up 40 percent year over year as of this past July, it makes a lot of sense for Pinterest to want to lean into the Stories format to help people better connect amidst the current global pandemic. It also represents an opportunity for Pinterest to learn more about its community, align with trends and behaviors, and identify the white spaces that exist to drive creativity.

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The post How Pinterest is Fueling Inspirational Ideas with Story Pins appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/09/how-pinterest-is-fueling-inspirational-ideas-with-story-pins/

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/

Why Messaging and AR Are The Next-Level Ad Options Your Brand Shouldn’t Overlook

In a digital era where time and attention are critical investments, it’s more important than ever to take a hard look at how consumers are spending their time, why and who they’re choosing to spend it with, and the best ways to harness our influence to tailor opportunities in meaningful ways.

Two major ways platforms such as Facebook are addressing this issue is by delivering immersive and personal experiences through emerging technologies such as augmented reality and mobile messaging.

Click to message with brands in Messenger

Facebook is bringing together two of its fastest-growing mediums to help businesses more efficiently and effectively reach their audience and drive engagement: Messenger and Stories.

“We know that people want personal and engaging communications. Technology has fulfilled that expectation with the ever-growing popularity of messaging and stories,” said Mohit Rajani, Lead Product Manager, in the official announcement.

More specifically, the platform currently sees over 1.3 billion people connect with friends and family across its family of apps each month including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp and 500 million posts to Stories each day. With 40 million active businesses on Messenger to date and three million brands running ads on the apps every month it really isn’t difficult to conclude why this move would make sense.

“We know that when businesses place ads across a range of surfaces, including news feed and stories, it leads to an increase in conversions. This particular trend holds when businesses add multiple stories placements to their campaigns as well,” Rajani added.

In support of this notion, the company ran a test which found that seven out of nine brands that added the Messenger Stories placement to its campaigns on Stories saw increased conversions spanning app installs, add to carts (ATCs), purchases, or registrations compared to campaigns that opted into single stories placements.

Now that we know the why and what surrounding this update, let’s distill how it works and the implications that it brings to the discussion table:

At its core, the feature puts users in the driver seat, giving them the ability to swipe up on Stories ads that have the new “Send Message” call to action to start a conversation with businesses of their choosing within Messenger without ever having to deviate from the app.

For advertisers, especially those with longer conversion cycles, this added engagement mechanism stands to be a huge boon for business. Small groups continue to be a fast-growing area of communication. Today’s users desire privacy, convenience, and personalization in safe and trusted spaces and messaging and ephemeral marketing are increasingly being looked at as sources of solutions.

Shop with augmented reality in Instagram

On the heels of its in-app checkout feature launched in March, Instagram is adding to its shopping features arsenal, with an augmented reality try-on feature to its product pages targeted to help shoppers in the platform preview how certain types of products would actually look like on them.

Per Mashable, the initial test phase is limited to cosmetics brands Mac and Nars, and eyewear brands Warby Parker and Ray-Ban, but Instagram plans to make it available for more products after gauging success.

Users can anticipate encountering the feature in two possible scenarios. Primarily, they’ll be able to try on products when browsing through brand accounts before tapping ‘add to cart.’ A much more impactful goal of the update, however, is generating an incentive to share these AR experiences in Stories, which will also link back to the original product and fuel virality for brands.

“You can share it through Stories with friends, brands can create Stories — that’s definitely one of the primary ways in which we think that people will shop,” says Srilatha Raghavan, product manager for AR commerce at Facebook.

Indeed, these added layers of communication allow us to improve how we drive top-of-mind awareness and present the unique ability to participate in conversations we were never able to before. The future of relationship marketing is a transitional environment where users favor experiences over products and these sorts of advertising opportunities stand to open doors for brands looking to leverage the trends and next-level technology needed to stay relevant.

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/10/why-messaging-and-ar-are-the-next-level-ad-options-your-brand-shouldnt-overlook/

Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW Jakarta

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

This year, with the global theme, “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility,” SMW Jakarta (November 11-15) will bring its unique perspective into the power of storytelling in changing how people think and act, and our responsibility to use this influence for the greater good to the discussion table.

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

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

This year we will take a hard look at how social media has evolved into a double-edged sword.

SMW Jakarta will encourage its attendees to take actionable steps in creating a better environment and shaping a better future for the industry through more responsible use. Our audience will learn how to connect better, utilize their influence and technology as a force for good, create more engaging content, and to achieve their business goals through the craft of meaningful storytelling.

What session is your team the most excited about?

All of the sessions and topics we’ve programmed are powerful and inspiring. We are particularly excited about 9GAG‘s session titled, “How To Be a Forefront of a Pop Culture: Staying Relevant to Your Audience” that will offer attendees actionable ways to craft stories at the pace of pop culture.

We are also looking forward to hearing what the future holds for social media marketing, and We Are Social will host a session that touches on this exact topic titled, “2020: What to Expect in Social Marketing.”

Finally, reps from the most downloaded social networking app, TikTok, according to We Are Social global digital report 2019, will share how brands can experiment creatively within the platform and drive meaningful user engagement.

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

We are addressing this year’s theme through three primary lenses that dive into more details on each agenda topic. These include:

Social Media & Society

This stream will discuss topics on how to start using social media for the greater good for you and the community around you. Listen directly from the platform on how you can do more than just “connect” and how it will impact you as a person and as a business.

The Future of Brands

Future technology, data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, VR, and other trendy terms are more than just buzzwords. Find out how utilizing these platforms will be your future ways of reaching your consumers.

The Influencer Equation

Define influence. What is reach? What kind of influence that matters? Is there even such a thing as a real influence? Does influence turn into a sale? How to measure influence? Get answers and more from real practitioners in the era of the influencer.

Each of these topics will be explored through various formats include our main stages, community (break-out) stages, workshops, and satellite events.

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

We are excited to work with 9GAG, Gushcloud, SocialBakers, We Are Social, TikTok, Digimind, YouGov, Salesforce, and Mirum. We’ve also received tremendous support from local well-known brands. These include Bank Central Asia (BCA) and Tiket.com in addition to number of organizations and influencers that have been fighting the negative impact of social media and building true influence with learning lessons we can all use to our benefit.

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

The expanding use of influencers, social media storytelling, video, personalized content and emails, and data analytics, as well as the growing podcasts, are some of the trends we can see in our market today.

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

Our conversations will explore a number of questions but the most important ones that we hope to address include:

  • How can businesses improve how they navigate across social media platforms in the midst of all of the noise?
  • How can marketers better utilize upcoming technologies to have real connections and remain relevant to their audiences?
  • What are the future predictions of influencer marketing and how can we maximize the benefit of having a partnership with online influencers?
  • What’s next for social media marketing?

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

You can visit our website (https://smwjakarta.com/) and our social media (Instagram: @smwjakarta, Twitter: @SMWJakarta, and Facebook: Social Media Week Jakarta) for all of the latest news and updates!

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/10/exploring-the-power-of-stories-with-smw-jakarta/

Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW Santo Domingo

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

This year, with the global theme, “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility,” SMW Santo Domingo will bring its unique perspective into the power of storytelling in changing how people think and act, and our responsibility to use this influence for the greater good to the discussion table.

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

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

This year we want our attendees to focus on the power of the stories we tell through digital media. Specifically, we want them to identify new opportunities for using social to move people towards good causes but above all, we want them to connect with their audiences in the midst of so much noise in advertising.

What session is your team the most excited about?

The team’s most excited about the keynote powered by Miami Ad School called “We Help Brands Capitalize on Change.” During the talk, 360i‘s Sam Shepherd will be talking about how we can help brands adapt to shifts in culture, behavior, lifestyle, technology, and commerce.

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

This year we’re opening the doors of the event not only to speakers that work in advertising agencies but also to digital activists, journalists, artists, YouTubers, bloggers and ordinary people who use social networks to truly communicate with their audience and are able to see the global issue from different perspectives while making a positive impact in their communities.

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

  1. Sam Shepard from 360i has a keynote called “We Help Brands Capitalize on Change.”
  2. Verónica Ruiz Del Vizo from Mashup Agency will be telling us “How Good Narratives Inspire Actions.”
  3. Jose Abreu from Sony Music is going to explore “The Secret Sauce for Success.”

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

The use of influencers, video marketing, social media storytelling, personalized content and emails, augmented reality (AR), and data analytics software that help you visualize and analyze data quickly are some of the local trends we can see in today’s growing market.

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

  1. Where is the music industry heading in the digital era?
  2. Are you truly engaging with your audience on social platforms or are you simply filling a blank space instead?
  3. What are the challenges nowadays for the visual creators in an online ecosystem that is currently rewarding popularity over quality content and everything else?

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

All information, news, and updates are published on our main website and Instagram account: @smwsantodomingo.

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WATCH THE SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW Santo Domingo appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/09/exploring-the-power-of-stories-with-smw-santo-domingo/

Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW São Paulo

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

This year, with the global theme, “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility,” SMW São Paulo will bring its unique perspective into the power of storytelling in changing how people think and act, and our responsibility to use this influence for the greater good to the discussion table.

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

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

Communication can be and should be creative, clear, and responsible no matter what.

This year’s program is organized into 25 unique content tracks, including Community, Co-creation, Marketing B2B, and Business & Entrepreneurship. We carefully curated all of the tracks to stretch the content in more creative and more business-centric ways and deliver added diversity to the conference. It will be an opportunity not just to enhance your knowledge, but also connect with topics you otherwise wouldn’t in your day-to-day.

What is session is your team the most excited about?

The Social Media Management track has some of the more highly-requested sessions. Organic content, metrics, ads, strategy, creativity, and B2B marketing are some of the topics that will be featured within these talks.

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

We’re talking about stories in so many ways this year: from a strategy standpoint (in Storytelling track), as a format (mostly on Instagram tracks), as an art (on Creativity track) and, most importantly, as a driver to move the needle for your business. No matter what format are you publishing, marketing is ultimately about stories and is an important key to great content.

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

We would like to give a special thanks to mLabs & Nuvemshop for supporting us again, not just helping us to make the event possible, but also bringing high-quality content to their tracks. And a big thanks to Logitech for streaming all 270 sessions for people looking to tune in remotely!

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

We are definitely seeing prioritization around the development of communities, micro-influencers, and a greater focus on data-driven strategies.

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

  • How to use storytelling strategically to provide organic results
  • How are the key metrics to work in all stages of your campaign
  • How to create bold but almost risk-free strategies

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

All information, news, and updates are published on our Registration page.

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

WATCH THE SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW São Paulo appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/09/exploring-the-power-of-stories-with-smw-sao-paulo/

Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW Bristol

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

This year, with the global theme, “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility,” SMW Bristol will bring its unique perspective into the power of storytelling in changing how people think and act, and our responsibility to use this influence for the greater good to the discussion table.

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

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

With over 1500 tickets sold to over 40 events, aside from all the skill up and learning opportunities imparted at Social Media Week Bristol the most important takeaway from the week will be the chances for networking. Over the years, we’ve heard wonderful stories of how Social Media Week Bristol has fuelled new relationships, created new collaborations, supported careers, elevated profile and generally helped build Bristol’s reputation – nationally and globally – as a center for creative, digital and tech excellence.

What session is your team the most excited about?

Infamous Russian feminist activist punk band, Pussy Riot will be joining the line-up for Social Media Week Bristol.

The exploration of activism in the social and digital age is a half-day conference which provides a platform to explore how activism is evolving and transforming as a result of social and digital channels and opportunities. Co-sponsored by the University of Bristol School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies and the Gender Research Centre, this event is aimed at campaigners, cause-related marketers, purpose-driven marketers, non-profits, charities and anyone with an interested in mobilizing social change.

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

Each event host has been given the global theme and asked to carefully weave this throughout the curation of their event.

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

We are thrilled to be working with our agency partners that have been so instrumental in the coproduction of Social Media Week Bristol. These include Fat Media, Noisy Little Monkey, Nomensa, Fourth Floor, Home, True, and Great State.

We are excited to hear talks by local heroes such as Aardman Animations and national speakers from B&Q, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Battenhall.

The addition of an activism-focused event to our schedule which opens the week up to a new audience. We can’t wait to welcome Bess Hepworth.

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

Events that have sold out quickly this year give us some indication of what trends are being embraced locally, these include:

  • How social strategies can be used to fuel internal communication and employee engagement
  • Huge interest in best practice when using social media for B2b audiences
  • The role of social media in crisis management
  • How to maximise social media for SEO
  • All events that focus on imparting skills around video, podcasting, social sketching and Instagram Stories have also proved popular

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

One key question will be the impending social trends in 2020. Drew Benvie from Battenhall will explore this by discussing future social network advances, ways to spot innovation for brand communications on social media, and sharing advice on how to stay ahead of trends.

Another important question we’ll address is how to best work with influencers. Fourth Floor Creative will reveal what they’ve learned working with clients such as Channel 4 and Google. Separately, YouTube and Twitch network ‘The Yogscast’ will discuss the best ways to work with creators.

We’re also interested in exploring the power of “play.” Fat Media and Lead: Family will explore how “play” techniques can help brands deliver experiences that effectively capture consumer attention.

Yet another overarching question we’ll address is how to market to perennials. A special panel will look at how the 50+ demographic use social media and how we can use it most effectively to reach them as consumers.

Just want some decent know how? We’ve programmed a dedicated ‘skill up’ sessions on telling stories through video content with personality, sketchnoting for social, introduction to AI and how to make the perfect podcast.

Want to know how to work with journalists and media in the digital age? The CIPR’s changing landscape of newsrooms session will get you up to speed.

Interested in internal communications? Home and B&Q will delve into how social media conversation empowers employees and organisations to foster culture, collaboration and everything in-between and how we can create internal campaigns to inspire on and offline.

Weighing up whether a career in social media is a good idea? Youth charity, Off The Record, host a session on the mental health pros and cons of a career in social media. In addition, Adlib will be hosting a workshop on securing a role in social media whether you’re fresh out of school, university or focused on changing career.

Social Media Week Bristol takes place this year from June 10-14, 2019. Visit www.smwbristol.co.uk to learn more about the #SMWBristol speaker lineup, schedule, and more!

The post Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW Bristol appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/exploring-the-power-of-stories-with-smw-bristol/

Stories, Shopping, and Streamlining: Your Guide to Instagram’s Latest Moves

As Instagram continues its dominance in the market for brands and creators alike, they continue to tinker with their interface and elevate new features key to their growth. Here, we share some of their latest updates- and what they’ll mean for your experience on the app.

“Explore” Expands to Include Shopping and IGTV

According to one Instagram spokesperson, the Explore tab is used by more than half of the platform’s users each month. To that end, the company is committed to “investing heavily in Explore with the goal of making it the best online destination for your interests and making it evolve over time as your interests do to.” The company’s Product Lead for Discovery Will Ruben agreed, saying “Explore shows you the full [breadth] of content on Instagram that are relevant to your interests.”

To that end, expect to see a wider variety of videos, photos, and shopping posts, powered by intelligence from other accounts you like and follow on a regular basis. And for brands using the platform, effective hashtagging will aid in your discovery in the tab. In addition to wider content sharing on the site, look forward to a few more styles of content there. Tabs for Shopping posts and IGTV have joined the Explore tab, likely to boost their profile alongside standing categories for travel, food, and clothing. Tapping on Shop will summon shopping posts sorted into categories like Beauty, Clothing, and Home Decor. And IGTV, which has otherwise struggled in its first year, will now appear prominently in this frequently trafficked space. But another, more heavily used feature, will also be making its debut on the Explore tab.

Stories Get Discoverable Through Explore

For their massive popularity, the less structured and ephemeral Instagram Stories have stayed largely private. But as Explore grows, this is about to change. “Stories are now eligible to show up in the Explore tab for the first time,” reports TechCrunch. The form has inspired many new types of content; by making these posts more public, Instagram hopes to “[give] creators a way to get discovered through their intimate, silly, behind-the-scenes content instead of just their manicured feed posts.”

Originally an idea borrowed from Snapchat and deployed as a feature in 2016, Stories have since roared past Feed posts in terms of popularity and usage. Now, these frequently informal posts are making a more public debut. They’ll appear in Stories based on their similarity to accounts users already follow and interact with. Whereas permanent posts have fallen victim to expectations for aesthetics and frequency, Stories are looser, more freeform, and—due in part to their ephemeral nature—create less pressure on users to rack up likes and comments, allowing for looser and more free-form content.

But, as this Snapchat-inspired feature thrives, another one is being sunsetted by the company.

Standalone Apps Say Goodbye

Instagram Direct, a standalone app launched in December 2017 to compete with Snapchat’s core direct messaging capability, will fade away in the coming weeks. Users were notified via an in-app message, letting them know “[their] conversations will automatically move over to Instagram, so [they] don’t need to do anything.” In many ways, the move to consolidate features differs from that of Instagram’s parent company Facebook, whose standalone Messenger app serves a similar function.

Instagram Direct never actually launched globally, only officially debuting in a small number of countries, and yet its collapse into Instagram – easily done, since many of its features have since been incorporated into the main app’s functionality – is a sign of a streamlining for the company. The standalone app Boomerang was similarly absorbed by the main app, to wild popularity and high utilization. For Instagram users, the fewer ways to interact with the app appears preferable—and so the company has responded in kind.

Even as Instagram continues to rise in usage and popularity, it clearly isn’t comfortable resting on its laurels. It’s future seems to be in widening our view of the world, and we look forward to seeing the sorts of stories that will come from its continued evolution.

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Facebook Aims to Boost Stories Usage with Birthdays

As Facebook seeks to redesign its strategy around its most-utilized features like Groups and Events, they’re seizing an opportunity to use the power of another highly used component of the platform: Birthdays. Last week, the site rolled out Birthday Stories, a new feature designed to get people sharing their birthday wishes not on an individual’s wall, but in their stories.

“500 million people use Stories every day,” product manager Jehan Damji shared in an announcement for Facebook Newsroom, and “this community has shown us just how creative and thoughtful birthday wishes can be.” The new Birthday Stories feature aims to make that creativity accessible to more users while directing their thoughtfulness to an often-underutilized part of the platform—and, as a result, creating the potential to make the Stories space a more worthwhile one for brands and marketers who have previously overlooked it.

When a close friend has a birthday, The Verge reported, you’ll see a tile in your Stories tray inviting you to share best wishes for the day with a card. You’ll have the option of adding photos or video and stickers, or you can share a pre-designed card to convey your greetings. In either case, you (mercifully) won’t be prompted to do so for every friend on your list; the site will aim to identify the friends closest to you. As a recipient, you can customize which greetings you’d like to be visible in your story for the day. In doing this, the platform likely seeks to transform your birthday experience on the site from a long feed of messages—which you can sometimes feel obligated to respond to individually—to an experience that’s more, in the words of Damji, “visual, memorable, interactive, and fun.”

Admittedly, this new face of Facebook birthday greetings does seem fun: going through the images, cards, and videos from friends does have the effect of, in Engadget’s words, “level[ing] up birthday reminders.” However, given the seeming incongruity between Facebook’s reported Story usage numbers and the number of Stories many users are seeing on their pages, I wonder how wide the feature will spread. And if its targeting measures work, people will likely overlook fewer calls to celebrate a friend on the platform. Says Damji, “people have always come to Facebook to connect with friends and celebrate important moments, like birthdays.” As the company’s strategy shifts in a new direction, this tool could help them maintain a small but crucial foothold through celebration.

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Easy Fundraising Comes to Instagram Stories with New “Donate” Sticker

Since 2015, Facebook has raised over $1 billion in charitable donations from 200 million users—and now the company is spreading that capability to popular photo app Instagram. The “Donate” sticker, first deployed for testing in February, is now live for all US users and will allow Storymakers to align themselves with nonprofits like Boys and Girls Club of America, Black Girls Code, No Kid Hungry, and other charitable causes.

Announced just ahead of Facebook’s F8 conference last week, Instagram head of product Adam Mosseri demonstrated the tool during the event, using Black Girls Code for the public demonstration. BGC founder Kimberly Bryant hailed the ease of the tool, calling it “a great addition to the platform and allows us the ability to move our supporters to action in a seamless and dynamic manner, as they are inspired by the stories of our tech divas.” To use the sticker, posters need only select their sticker from the menu, identify their cause of choice, and upload the story to post the campaign. The status of your fundraiser can be checked by swiping up; stats will appear alongside viewer stats.

Facebook appears to have learned from its prior challenges in the arena of fundraising, and deployed Donate with a key advantage over other competitors: a 100% donation rate. Unlike other platforms that have come under fire for the percentage of money they take from these funds (including Facebook, which has historically taken up to 5% of donated funds), Instagram will forgo all processing, transaction, and other associated fees to ensure that the nonprofits get the full amount of donated funds.

It’s worth noting that the Donate function is, at present, restricted to charitable causes and nonprofits that are registered as such. As you may recall, Facebook’s fundraising capabilities, as well as those of other fundraising sites like GoFundMe and Crowdrise, started with a similar restricting, before venturing into the world of personal fundraisers. So it’s possible that in time, the options for fund recipients will grow in size and scope. But for the time being, take advantage of this opportunity to pair a plea for your favorite charitable cause, with a compelling image, story, or music clip.

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End of Story! Thank You Social Media Week New York!

On behalf of the entire Social Media Week team, we want to thank all of our attendees, speakers, partners, volunteers, and everyone in the SMW community for making the 11th edition of #SMWNYC our biggest and best conference ever produced!

We’re so grateful for the ability to leverage each and every one of our programs as a platform to spark ongoing dialogues about the way social media continues to shape our lives and the industry. This year’s global theme, “Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility,” will continue to fuel insights into how we can ensure our stories are a vehicle for the change we want to see in the world.

Over the past three days, we hosted four stages, two inaugural Summits, 40 sponsors, 2.5k attendees, over 150 sessions and more than 200 speakers. With these figures, we broke several important records including the number of brands speaking, hosting, and presenting. These included Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Grey, Accenture, 360i, GroupM, American Express, OREO, JP Morgan Chase, RedBull, New York Times, BuzzFeedVox Media, and hundreds of others.

This year’s event would not have been possible without our sponsors: Sprinklr, Grey, Accenture, Facebook, American Express, YouGov, Meltwater, Collective Bias, Social Native, Viacom, OpenMessage, BET, ClickBank, Code and TheoryDefinition 6, Julius, Talkwalker, Socialgist, Emogi, Salesforce, Digimind, Linkfluence, Studio71, Pond5, NetBase, Takumi, SRW, LinkedIn, Socialbakers, The Outloud Group, Clio Awards, Sideqik, Linqia, Social Chain, Brandzooka, Bonin Ventures, CreatorIQ, and Jukin Media.

We’d also like to thank our Content Partners, Media Partners, and Technology Partners for supporting #SMWWNYC 2019.

If you weren’t able to attend in person, you can see everything you missed on SMW Insider, our on-demand platform, plus more than 350 of hours of past talks, presentations, and interviews from prior Social Media Week events. You can also read recaps of select sessions on SMW.news.

In addition, your membership will guarantee your access for our upcoming SMW Los Angeles (June 12-13) and London (Oct 31-Nov 1) conferences. The #SMWLDN event submissions are now open! Apply to speak or host an event here. Applications are welcome until June 28th, 2019.

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How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling

It’s safe to say artificial intelligence is no longer a buzzword and well on its way to permeating virtually every industry. In 2018, verticals like healthcare, legal, automobile, and agriculture leveraged machine learning and AI-driven platforms, tools, and applications to bring efficiency to their operations, fuel new innovations, and enhance customer experience.

In 2019 and beyond, this rapid growth is expected to continue as companies aim to extract further value and competitive gains from the data they gather.

By 2022, research firm Gartner forecasts that AI-derived business value will approach $3.9 trillion and decision support and augmentation AI technology will represent 44 percent of the total global AI market value.

How can we use data to better tell the stories that highlight our brands as the go-to options for our audiences? What are the best practices for testing and optimizing our stories? How can we utilize AI to understand competitors’ movements, personalize campaigns, and integrate the pioneering changes of the digital landscape into our storytelling tactics?

At #SMWNYC the world’s leading storytellers and brands will come together to grapple with these burning questions amongst others as part of our 2019 theme. Names to bookmark include Postmates, Entrepreneur, Linqia, Sprinklr, and Huge, whose panels will encompass a variety of tracks such as Data Decision Making, AI vs. Humanity, and the Future of Brands.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of data-driven storytelling with us!

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-data-ai-are-shaping-the-future-of-storytelling/

How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling

It’s safe to say artificial intelligence is no longer a buzzword and well on its way to permeating virtually every industry. In 2018, verticals like healthcare, legal, automobile, and agriculture leveraged machine learning and AI-driven platforms, tools, and applications to bring efficiency to their operations, fuel new innovations, and enhance customer experience.

In 2019 and beyond, this rapid growth is expected to continue as companies aim to extract further value and competitive gains from the data they gather.

By 2022, research firm Gartner forecasts that AI-derived business value will approach $3.9 trillion and decision support and augmentation AI technology will represent 44 percent of the total global AI market value.

How can we use data to better tell the stories that highlight our brands as the go-to options for our audiences? What are the best practices for testing and optimizing our stories? How can we utilize AI to understand competitors’ movements, personalize campaigns, and integrate the pioneering changes of the digital landscape into our storytelling tactics?

At #SMWNYC the world’s leading storytellers and brands will come together to grapple with these burning questions amongst others as part of our 2019 theme. Names to bookmark include Postmates, Entrepreneur, Linqia, Sprinklr, and Huge, whose panels will encompass a variety of tracks such as Data Decision Making, AI vs. Humanity, and the Future of Brands.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of data-driven storytelling with us!

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

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The post How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-data-ai-are-shaping-the-future-of-storytelling/

How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging

The term “funnel” has been an integral part of marketing lexicon for decades, serving as a strong gauge of consumer interest. While traditionally strategies have favored the top portion of the buyer journey — emphasizing tangible offers and rewards as simple ways to attract attention and drive conversions — social media and mobile have added noticeable pressure to such practices. As a result, today’s content marketers are forced to reevaluate their approach and think beyond commoditized offers in order to compete.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250!

During #SMWNYC, Chris Marino, Director, Digital Media Acquisition at American Express, will share insights into how the company is a living, breathing example of a group facing this precise challenge and how they’ve shifted the perception of their brand as more than credit cards by looking to the middle portion of the buyer experience. Pointing to a recent campaign, he’ll describe ways to unlock mid-funnel messaging to deliver empathetic stories that resonate across a multitude of complimentary channels.

Other brands to look out for at the conference weighing in on the evolution of storytelling discussion include Campbell Snacks, T-Mobile, Adobe, Salesforce, Diageo, Under Armour and IBM.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of empathetic stories with us!

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

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The post How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-tell-empathetic-stories-with-mid-funnel-messaging/

How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging

The term “funnel” has been an integral part of marketing lexicon for decades, serving as a strong gauge of consumer interest. While traditionally strategies have favored the top portion of the buyer journey — emphasizing tangible offers and rewards as simple ways to attract attention and drive conversions — social media and mobile have added noticeable pressure to such practices. As a result, today’s content marketers are forced to reevaluate their approach and think beyond commoditized offers in order to compete.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250!

During #SMWNYC, Chris Marino, Director, Digital Media Acquisition at American Express, will share insights into how the company is a living, breathing example of a group facing this precise challenge and how they’ve shifted the perception of their brand as more than credit cards by looking to the middle portion of the buyer experience. Pointing to a recent campaign, he’ll describe ways to unlock mid-funnel messaging to deliver empathetic stories that resonate across a multitude of complimentary channels.

Other brands to look out for at the conference weighing in on the evolution of storytelling discussion include Campbell Snacks, T-Mobile, Adobe, Salesforce, Diageo, Under Armour and IBM.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of empathetic stories with us!

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

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-tell-empathetic-stories-with-mid-funnel-messaging/

The Power of Storytelling: How to Use Our Influence for Good

In the digital age, the power of storytelling is more prevalent than ever before. When you have the power to reach billions of people instantaneously, the stories you tell carry influence, and with this influence comes responsibility. Our role primarily begins with recognizing that the way we tell stories today will continue to change.

During #SMWNYC, sessions led by some of the world’s most creative and successful storytellers and leading brands will discuss this precise topic as part of our global theme Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250

Creating storylines that are consumer-led is no easy feat. In a fireside chat, Postmate’s Eric Edge, SVP, Brand and Communications, will speak to this subject assessing how successful brands are achieving a best-in-class storytelling technique and providing actionable takeaways around adapting your brand around consumer-driven stories. In a similar vein, Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Offer and Co-Founder of Animoto, will share his best tips and tricks for capturing eyes across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube through key video marketing tactics brands and influencers swear by.

The first step in navigating the evolution of storytelling is embracing our responsibility. Award-winning storyteller, Ari Kuschnir, will explore this notion by outlining ways to fully realize storytelling’s true potential through the lens of his favorite bio/neuro hacking tools.
In a closing keynote address, best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin will discuss ways to find the balance between causing a “ruckus” without “becoming a hard-working cog in a system that doesn’t care.”

Additional sessions to bookmark include:

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of effective positive storytelling with us!

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

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The post The Power of Storytelling: How to Use Our Influence for Good appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/the-power-of-storytelling-how-to-use-our-influence-for-good/

Shopify’s Future of Ecommerce Report Confirms: Sales Needs Stories

The death of traditional retail has been greatly exaggerated, according to Shopify’s latest report.

The online retail platform released its ten insights on the evolution of ecommerce this month, and revealed what many other industries have confirmed: stories matter. But rather than focusing on telling stories to attract customers, Shopify found that the most impactful shopping experiences bring brands and products into the consumer’s personal story. Here, we elaborate on three major findings in the report.

Take a Side in The Stories of the Day

A major through-line of Shopify’s report is the idea of empowering customer choice. Increasingly this choice isn’t solely about what options are available in the market; it can also apply to where their favorite brands are placing their attention and allegiance. In addition to serving smaller niches in that way, “brands can […] expand from a mission-centric foundation.”

Lingerie company ThirdLove had focused on product exposure and availability for several years, but spoke up in the wake of Victoria Secret CEO Ed Razek’s remarks about the “fantasy” of their annual runway show. In their open letter response, ThirdLove’s Heidi Zak was unequivocal about her brand’s openness to everyone:

We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age ethnicity, gender identity, or secual orientation. This shouldn’t be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm.

Zak stands by her decision to take a stand, and consumers flocked to her brand in response. It could seem risky to speak up in times of controversy, but there’s a measurable reward at stake too: 62% of consumers want their favorite brands to take stands “on current and broadly relevant issues.” This means aligning your brands authentically with issues that matter to you and them, and conveying those values accordingly.

Make it Easy for Consumers to Compare Stories

While platform features like Instagram’s “Buy Now” options would have you believe that social media is driving online purchases, Shopify’s report reveals that isn’t exactly the case. While social is imperative for brand awareness and interest, “in terms of sources that influence purchase decisions, social media lands last and was rated half as effective” as the most impactful factor: customer reviews.

With that said, social can serve as a key stop on a customer’s journey to purchase. User-generated content that demonstrates unique or exceptional experiences with your brand or company can positively influence purchases. The same is true of campaigns that powerfully spark emotions, and evoking a sense of similarity through influencer and micro-influencer storytelling. Helping customers see themselves in the stories of others, can drive them to make these products or services a part of their own lives.

Make the Story a Lasting One

We’re seeing a rise in “pop-up” experiences that highlight a brand while feeling tailor-made for social media shares. And while we see the joy in our mentions, Google Canada’s Fab Dolan wants us to remember that such joy is fleeting. LeanLuxe’s Paul Munford expressed concern about the rise of these Instagram-friendly spaces, at the expense of a customer experience that prioritizes utility over optics. “I’m worried that some brands — those same brands who preach an obsession over knowing their customer, understanding how today’s shopper wants to shop, and of course owning that relationship — are losing their way a bit as they focus considerable time, energy, and money to launch ‘Instagram-worthy’ spaces.”

What’s the alternative? Munford praises spaces that serve multiple needs of their target consumer—think Capital One’s cafe concept or Rapha’s clubhouses that offer a space to work, bike repairs, and purchase points for gear. As he compares these photo ops to the multipurpose spaces, he notes, “There are life and meaning to the former; shallowness and transience to the latter.”

Phil Grano of NewStore agrees with Dolan: relationships built to last can offer more than one great post. “Never forget: the most important moment in ecommerce doesn’t happen online. It happens when brands deliver.”

When a customer has a great story about a brand they’re loyal to, they share it. They become storytellers who can carry the banner for your brand with excitement and pride. And they offer a promise of longevity that you can’t always guarantee on your own. By aligning your values with the world in which your customers live, help them find commonality in the stories of their fellow consumers, and set them up to tell longer stories over time, retail stands a chance of feeling both prosperous and personal.

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The post Shopify’s Future of Ecommerce Report Confirms: Sales Needs Stories appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/shopifys-future-of-ecommerce-report-confirms-sales-needs-stories/

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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The post 10 New Social Media Products and Platform Updates Marketers Need to Know About appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/10-new-social-media-products-and-platform-updates-marketers-need-to-know-about/

Meet 6 of SMWNYC’s Most Exciting Storytellers

The new year may have just begun, but we’re already gearing up for spring- and for this year’s Social Media Week New York! Coming to Sheraton New York Times Square April 30-May 2, it features dozens of speakers dedicated to helping you make the most of your “STORIES,” the worldwide theme of Social Media Week for 2019.

Among our many speakers are industry leaders, innovative thinkers, authors, executives, and all-around exceptional storytellers. Today, we highlight four members of our lineup you should already be looking forward to seeing in New York.

Radha Agarwal

Named MTV’s “one of 8 women who will change the world,” Radha Agrawal is the Co-Founder of THINX, a feminine hygiene company behind “period-proof underwear,” and the CEO and Co-Founder of Daybreaker, an early morning dance movement that currently holds events in 25 cities. She talks about how she created a meaningful community in her new book, BELONG…and will bring those same lessons and insight to her talk at Social Media Week New York.

Lola Banjo

As a Strategic Innovative Executive at Salesforce, Lola Banjo is part of a small team of leaders, strategists, design thinkers and innovators who help unlock value by ideating creative solutions to business and everyday challenges through a blend of strategy, vision, engineering, storytelling, and business case development. She welcomes each day as a new chance to make an impact and an opportunity to continuously grow as a global business leader.

Lola’s session “Why Vulnerability Transcends Fear and How to Find Your Authentic Voice” will lead the conversation about how we balance the human need to be accepted with being our true selves and telling our authentic stories—and, on the contrary, when keeping it too real could begin to backfire.

Jason Hsiao

Jason Hsiao is the Chief Video Officer & Co-Founder of Animoto, an award-winning online video maker that makes it easy for anyone to create a professional-quality video. Used by millions of consumers, businesses, photographers, and educators, Animoto is deeply rooted in the belief that video is the most effective way to communicate what’s important. Prior to Animoto, Jason served as a television producer for MTV and Comedy Central.

Join Jason for “Successful Video Marketing: Inspiration, Trends & Best Practices for Storytelling on Social” to learn actionable tips and best practices that draw viewers in on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube that brands and influencers swear by.

Rani Mani

Rani Mani is the Head of Global Social Influencer Enablement & Employee Advocacy at Adobe. She’s passionate about cultivating and nurturing communities and coaching others to do the same. Rani is currently working across Adobe teams to infuse influencer relations into their strategic plans in order to elevate the voice of the community. Nicknamed The Velvet Hammer, Rani’s mantra is to make the impossible seem possible through her humor, grace, and passion.

Rani will be bringing that humor, grace, and passion to the stage in “How to Drive Business by Cultivating Influencer Relationships,” aiming to fill your professional toolkit with practical solutions designed to supercharge your influencer relations strategies.

Spectacular Smith

Adwizar CEO Spectacular Blue Smith, known by his stage name Spectacular is an American entertainer, entrepreneur, and author. He is the founder of the record label Mula Music Group and the founder and CEO of Adwizar Inc.

In his onstage interview “From Rapper to Entrepreneur: How Spectacular Smith Helps Turn Followers Into Revenue,” you will learn how after 9 years of building social media accounts for over 100 celebrity clients, Spectacular has created proven methods and strategies to build a loyal massive audience on social media. Spectacular will go over the strategies he tested with his celebrity clients until he found a system for gaining and monetizing followers that anyone can use.

Shiv Singh

Shiv Singh advises Fortune 500 companies and startups on strategy, marketing and how to succeed in the digital era as the Founder of Savvy Matters. Prior to starting his consultancy, Shiv was a senior executive driving marketing, innovation and digital strategies at Visa Inc. and PepsiCo. In 2016, Shiv was inducted into the American Advertising Hall of Achievement has also been recognized by Adweek as a Top 50 marketer.

Drawing upon principles from psychology, real-world business experiences and headlines from 2018, Singh’s session “Taking Responsibility for Fake News: How We Accept and Perpetuate It” will explore the human glitches that explain how we accept fake news, perpetuate it and what we can do differently in the future.

There’s still time to register to see these speakers, and many, many more, at 20% off the walkup price. But this discount is only valid until Friday, January 18th- so act fast to join us at the best price!

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3 Ways to Bring Out the Best Stories on Your Brand’s Podcast

The 2019 global theme for Social Media Week is “STORIES,” and we’d be remiss if we neglected the role that podcasting is playing in telling our most interesting, necessary, and entertaining stories.

But a microphone, an Internet connection, and a host or set of hosts does not a good story make. It takes considerable thought, intention, and planning to ensure that your recording isn’t done in vain—or worse, that your listener’s time and energy isn’t spent in vain. After all, as we aim to elevate the role of stories, we believe that “with great influence, comes great responsibility.” How can you ensure that your time and energy produce the most engaging and entertaining stories possible?

Begin With the End in Mind

This tip admittedly belongs to Stephen Covey, but it’s an essential one for any content that you want to tell a story. As you consider a show topic or interview subject, think first: what do you want people to know about this thing (or person) by the time they finish listening? Our brains follow stories easily because they embrace narrative structure, present information in a digestible and easy-to-follow fashion, and answer the questions they pose.

As you conceive of a podcast episode, or of a podcast season (if you plan to connect episodes or tell a long-form story), these tenets have to stay front of mind. They will affect the questions you pose and ideas you share, they’ll affect how episodes and seasons are edited, and they’ll affect how you and your brand or organization are perceived as a result. Television showrunners will develop a “bible” to define the parameters of the world they’re creating; podcast creators and producers can do the same to help structure the stories they’re about to tell.

Think Like a Rookie

Anyone in a position of authority with information – an author, a keynote speaker, a podcast host – is in a position to teach someone, something. As such, it can be helpful to look at your task ahead through the mind of someone with less experience.

What would a “rookie” want or need to know from what you’re about to tackle? If you’re interviewing a luminary in a field or industry, what could they have to offer someone aspiring to their heights? What would you have wanted or needed to know when starting out, and how can the stories you tell address those gaps?

Don’t feel burdened to have all the answers, however. References to books, TED talks, or even other podcasts are fair game and can send curious listeners off on tangents that can fortify the information you do share. Feel free to refer to sources often, citing them in show notes for those not in the position to catch them at first listen.

Think of it as curating a syllabus for your listener; even as you aim to tell a complete story, consider sharing recommendations for new stories to embark on as they absorb yours.

Be Interested to Be Interesting

As a frequent interviewer myself, I always feel an inner twinge of glee when a query is met with the phrase, “that’s a good question.” Believe it or not, asking good questions doesn’t always come naturally—I’ve been to enough panels and book readings to confirm that notion, trust me.

The best questions come from a place of deep curiosity. Being truly curious about the topic at hand, whether you’re approaching it with an interview subject or not, makes for good listening. While you should honor what your audience wants to know on a topic, the excitement will shine through when you also honor what you want to know about it. Finding out what questions have already been answered, and framing your queries to supplement or further explore those details, is far more interesting than having a compulsory set of questions—or worse, posing questions with Googleable answers.

If you do employ a structure where the same questions or segments are employed, be mindful of getting too robotic as you engage in them. Provide yourself time and space to explore the topic or interview subject as fully as possible. Remember, you’re not a substitute teacher with an agenda to get through, you’re a facilitator of learning: able to provide some insight, but ultimately preparing listeners to learn and grow on their own. And we often don’t remember the subs who came to the classroom and held us to routine, but we do remember the educators who sparked the interests that sent us on new learning journeys.

Want to hear how we do it? Social Media Week’s Lead2Scale podcast aims to provide you with practical insights and emerging trends in social media, through interviews with authorities and trailblazers in the field. Give it a listen wherever you find your podcasts! Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

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Facebook’s Latest Stories Experiment Could Bring More People Together IRL

They’ve developed Stories archives. They’ve created music stickers to make content more engaging. They’ve deployed Stories to Groups worldwide. And as Facebook aims to make Stories a more natural part of the platform’s experience, their latest experiment could make the feature truly useful: integration with Events.

The latest feature, currently in test mode for users in the US, Brazil, and Mexico, aims “to share the events you’re interested in and coordinate to meet up with friends IRL,” according to the company. Available for iOS and Android users, it allows you to share an event in your Stories – and for friends to indicate if they’re “Interested” or “Going” right from the story. These integrated stories “will come with tappable stickers for revealing event details,” will offer a link to the event page, and allow you to open a Messenger conversation with users who respond, according to The Verge.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called stories “the future of sharing,” and has demonstrated a confidence in the method by implementing it across the company’s brands- including, most recently, WhatsApp. Despite reported usage numbers of 300 million between the main Facebook app and Messenger, though, Facebook Stories simply haven’t gained the traction of their counterpart feature on Instagram. As an emerging location for ad revenue, this could be a problem if utilization doesn’t meaningfully increase. However, a connection to Events marks the most useful development for Facebook Stories, and could, therefore, make a difference in driving people to really use it (and not just duplicate their Instagram Stories there).

For all the airtime given to reports of mass exodus from the platform, Facebook as a whole is still a powerful place to organize people, share news of upcoming events, and gauge their participation. Focusing the development of new features around that fact creates a concrete means to “bring people together,” a purpose the company has continued to tout amidst scandals around privacy, bias, and covert data sharing. In emphasizing features that connect people outside/off the app, it affirms that stated goal while drawing people to a seemingly underutilized feature of the platform.

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What We Learned from Mark Zuckerberg’s End-of-Year Note

2018 has been a year of change for Facebook. In the last days of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg wrote up in a Facebook blog post the four major areas of change that the social network has achieved in the past year — some of them shedding light on what we, as marketers, can learn from and put into action in the new year.

Mark Zuckerberg’s post looks at four issues that the network has been tackling, and that caught most of its users concern: preventing election interference, stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation, making sure people have control of their information, and ensuring their services improve people’s well-being.

As we venture into the new year and get closer to our first flagship conference of the year — Social Media Week New York — some of these improvements tie directly to our 2019 global theme, “STORIES” — with great influence comes great responsibilities.

In his blog post, Mark emphasized that to make sure people have control of their information, Facebook has reduced the amount of information that third-party apps can access, rolled out new information controls, started building a “Clear History Tool,” and continued development of encrypted and ephemeral messaging and sharing services.

According to Joe Teo, Chief Executive Orca of HeyOrca! this means that “messaging and Stories format is the mode of communication that will get further traction and where marketers should be investing in.”

Stories, be it on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, bear the feature of being ephemeral, living only on a 24-hour basis. Recently, with the announcement from Instagram that Stories can be shared with a selected group of followers only, it has become an even more private and encrypted way of communication. That’s why it’s become vital that marketers note that the trend of private sharing will only become more dominating in 2019, and that, like Mark said, “we believe (encrypted and ephemeral messaging) will be the foundation for how people communicate going forward.”

Facebook is just one of the many platforms that have realized the importance of Stories. At Social Media Week New York, which is taking place in April, you will be hearing from more social media professionals on why and how they value “STORIES.”

Secure your passes today before our sale of 20% off your original price ends on Jan. 18!

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An Epic Year in Storytelling: 7 Brand Stories that Resonated with Us

With countless push alerts, newsletters and news feeds dominating our screen the second we wake up, only an extremely small number of content truly make our thumps stop. Lying at the core of a piece of quality content is the ability to narrative a great story to engage the audience.

It’s estimated that in 2019, there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the world, and the number is ever-increasing. With social media’s mass influence, all brands are tempted to capture the hearts of people with an impactful campaign.

As stories, not only as a platform but as a narrative, become more dominating, being able to deliver powerful stories ties in closely with a brand’s ability to achieve success.

NEED COPY

Here, we look back on the social media campaigns that have dominated our screens for the past year, dissecting what have been the most powerful examples of storytelling, and how these brands managed to deliver it.

Intuit, A Giant Story

Being able to navigate through complicated work documents, have a successful business and enjoy life after work with someone you love…how great does that sound? All these ideal life scenarios are captured in Intuit’s four-minute long animation, “A Giant Story.”

This Silicon Valley software company partnered with an animation team to create a story of a flower shop owner who struggled with work-life balance but eventually sorted everything out with the help of a giant robot. The robot symbolizes the way Intuit taps into the complicated network of data using advanced technologies.

The flower shop owner has an image that appeals to Intuit’s audience, in that a lot of the brand’s target audience want to better manage their businesses and money. By humanizing the brand using a straightforward and engaging video story, Intuit is able to present itself as a brand that is helpful and approachable.

National Geographic, Your Shot

National Geographic is known as being the #1 brand on social — for a reason. The brand makes an effort to engage with their community by encouraging UGC (User Generated Content) and regularly showcasing them through social.

One of Nat Geo’s subchannels, Your Shot, is the best example of the brand’s devotion to community engagement. Every day, this Instagram account curates and publishes photos from user submissions around the world, alongside with comments from Nat Geo’s editors. Some of the photos come with stories of where and how the shot was made, adding emotions and value to the still pictures.

As a community that has existed for 13 years, Your Shot prides itself in the ability to tell stories collaboratively with Nat Geo’s very own photographers, while harboring a community where members share and learn from each other. To date, Nat Geo’s Your Shot has become a space where quality, personal storytelling is encouraged and valued.

General Electric, Together We Work

As an established brand that started more than 130 years ago, it’s amazing how good the brand is becoming on social media — especially on video. Earlier in the year, General Electric launched Together We Work, a video series that showcases the work and stories of GE employees from all over the globe.

The series is powerful in two ways. First, it educates the public with the fact that GE is so much more than a company that manufactures home appliances, that it invests in technological innovations like 3D printing and drones. Second, it uses its own employees as advocates for the brand. The series is full of GE’s amazing employees stories of how they add value and give back to the community through work. With these relatable, real-life human-interest stories, GE finds a way to connect to all audience easily.

LinkedIn, #InItTogether

At the beginning of the year, LinkedIn launched a social media campaign titled #InItTogether, featuring professionals from various fields answering question on “what are you in it for?” In the form of videos, posts, tweets, etc., while the public reacts with what motivates them forward in their careers.

Its video ad campaign featuring dozens of professionals creates a compelling narrative where the focus is no longer about the site’ capabilities in connecting people, but how LinkedIn users can help each other out by being in the community and network together. This certainly fosters a sense of community where the audience is encouraged to feel more attached and loyal to the site, and take up the initiative to support each other.

Wealthsimple, Investing for Humans

What’s in your mind when you are asked about money? The answer can be drastically different depending on whom you ask. Wealthsimple, an online investment management service that focuses on making “investing easier for millennials, turned people’s reaction on this question into a video campaign.

In their Investing for Human video, people revealed their truest emotions talking about personal finances — some contemplative, some silent and some visibly upset. What’s smart about this video is that it does not look like an ad at all, because nothing about the company is mentioned. However, every element in this video draws the audience into an initial interest in the brand’s money products.

Stories are most powerful when they are about human and feels authentic. Since Wealthsimple has a target demographic of 20 something millennials, this approach proves to be simple yet effective to live on social media.

Burger King, Whopper Neutrality

Remember the Net Neutrality repeal that frightened every one this year? Burger King had something to say about it — through a Whopper.

The burger chain did a social experiment in which they compared the Net Neutrality repeal to the selling of a Whopper burger. In the video, customers were angry, upset and confused about the way they chose to sell burgers. “This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The Burger King brand believes the Internet should be like the Whopper sandwich: the same for everyone,” writes Burger King.

As a brand, choosing to take a stand on political issues can have unexpected consequences, but those that choose to do it will for sure attract like-minded audience. By sharing the story of selling a burger in an almost ridiculous way, Burger King not only stands up for equality, but probably more importantly, sells some Whoppers.

Nike, Reactland

What makes a storytelling experience even better? When it’s immersive.

To promote the launch of its cutting-edge running shoes, Epic React, Nike developed and installed an immersive, game-like experience where runner can transfer themselves into a game character on a big screen, who moves forward in the game backdrop as they run on a treadmill.

A powerful story has a pace or a plot that moves itself forward and keeps the audience engaged. And by gamifying an experience, the audience themselves are transferred into the central piece of the experience and tasked with moving themselves along. And since it’s easy to get addicted to game, why not do it in a healthy way like running?

All these powerful storytelling strategies we’ve seen from 2018 have something in common — they center on the human-interest aspect of the stories, stay authentic to the brand’s core value, and try to give back to the world in their own ways. After all, these are also the key elements that help a brand stay in the market. We hope their success can shed some light on how you can enhance your brand’s storytelling in the new year.

The importance of storytelling is why we are devoting Social Media Week’s new year to diving into “STORIES,” our 2019 global theme. Kicking off in April, Social Media Week New York brings together professionals from media, marketing and technology to share insights on how you can make the best out of a story. Your last chance to get 25% off #SMWNYC passes purchase ends this Friday, so secure your seat today before the deal expires!

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Boost Your Instagram Stories Game for 2019 With These 10 Practices

There are about 40 million users viewing Instagram Stories daily. As brands continue to brainstorm for better social media strategies, Stories has become a marketing battleground that they have to take to win.

Here, we’ve listed 10 best practices for brands to make perfect Instagram Stories, all demonstrated with successful examples from brands. Hope this will give you some inspiration to develop your Instagram strategy for 2019.

1. Don’t underestimate the use of stickers

Instagram Stories is a highly “clickable” space – when viewers see something that they can click on, they are more likely to feel the pulse to give it a try. This creates great opportunities for hashtags stickers. Hashtags are great items for grouping relevant content together, and encouraging individuals to become part of a hashtag campaign built by brands.

A great example of this would be UN Women’s #hearmetoo. When UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman gave a speech at a recent United Nations event, UN Women posted an Instagram Story of a photo of Nicole speaking at the podium with a hashtag sticker #hearmetoo. The sticker created an opportunity and an entrance for anyone who’ve viewed this Story to click in and see more relevant content, and even potentially contribute their own content to the hashtag – see how many actions a simple hashtag can incur?

2. Go behind the scene

One thing that is particularly popular among Instagram Stories content is anything behind the scene. Viewers want to see things that they wouldn’t normally see – this especially applies to brands that are big and always tend to provide well-crafted, delicate content.

Since your audience expects to see something raw, behind-the-scene Stories don’t even have to look all that professional. Just show how a product is made, go into the heart of a newsroom, or talk to a celebrity backstage. There are tons of opportunities for behind-the-scenes content once you start looking for it.

In Maybelline’s Behind The Scene Stories, the brand shows viewers how makeup artists and models get ready backstage for shoots. Selfie-style short videos not only get viewers closer to the models but the brand itself.

In VICE News’ Election Day Stories, viewers follow news producers as they followed candidates running for office across the country, and recorded they were getting people to vote. These Stories make the audience feel attached because they were shared real-time during election day, and were taking viewers to places they wouldn’t have been in – this feeling of exclusiveness is something unique to behind-the-scene Stories.

At Social Media Week London 2018, That Lot’s Creative Director David Levin echoed this behind-the-scene method. He went on to add that content with a sense of authenticity is what will ultimately capture audience’s heart.

3. Be simple in style

Lots of brands spend time crafting, polishing and perfecting every photo they post on Instagram’s main feed, and there’s no wrong in doing that. However, Stories is a different channel where a completely different style of content speaks to viewers more effectively. Countless examples have shown that straightforward, concise photos with simple text overlay are what viewers usually buy into.

Fitbit’s RNR 2018 Stories is a promotion for its products as being one of the sponsors at a Las Vegas marathon event. It features simple photos of a past event and informative text telling the audience what the event is about, along with how pretty the city looks. Stories like these give audiences a short but strong dose of information that helps a brand promote a product. And since the text is simple, make sure your visuals shine through.

4. Use UGC content

UGC, namely User Generated Content, is a great tool for brands to diversify their content. You can only afford to have so many staff members on your editorial team, but users’ ideas are unlimited, so why not try to make full use of them?

There are many ways to gather responses from readers, like creating a Questions sticker. Meme and viral content manufacturer 9GAG oftentimes post “caption this” kind of Stories, of photos with meme potential for the audience to caption. Another perfect example would be Follain’s Cleanwashing 101 Stories, in which the brand asked their audience what the term “clean beauty” means for them and did a thread of Stories featuring their answers.

It’s something satisfying for followers to know that their answers were picked, which is a great way to generate customer loyalty, keeping them interested in the next moves of a brand.

5. Create categorized story highlights

Who says that Instagram Stories can only stay for 24 hours? You can make them last longer by adding them to Highlights, collections of past Stories that you can name, and for people to access through your profile page.

This feature creates a perfect chance for new followers of a brand to quickly look through different products or campaigns. Ipsy’s Highlights are the perfect example. This beauty brand has created different Highlights showcasing the brand’s products, past events, beauty looks, etc. Once done well, Highlights is a quick and efficient way to get the hearts of undecided newcomers to the page. It’s time to impress visitors with some fancy Highlights!

6. Think carefully about incorporating a “swipe up”

Instagram is always adding new and exciting features to Stories for brands to keep up with, and one of those that shouldn’t be missed is the “See More” feature that is seen at the bottom of a story. By swiping up, viewers will be redirected to a link set by brands themselves.

This feature is great to create a call-to-action. Whether it’s about donating to a charity or buying a product on an app, or a YouTube video, this is the chance to get desirable actions from your audience.

In Southwest’s Shark Week Stories, each of them has a link that directs the audience to a ticket purchase site. Ultimately, features like these are supposed to make an action from consumers effortless.

But note that you can only use this feature if you have a verified account, or you have a business profile that has more than 10,000 followers.

Here, David Levin used NIKE’s Story to show how by adding a simple sticker, you can make it even more tempting for viewers to swipe up.

7. Use multiple slides to narrate a story

Everyone loves a good story. In a time dominated by audiences with short attention span, it takes great talent and effort to produce Stories that are thumb-stopping.

National Geographic is on its fourth year as the number one brand on social, constantly producing Stories that are great material for brands to learn something from. A great example would be their “Story of a Face” Stories, which narrates the unbelievable visually engaging journey of a girl who went through a face transplant in just 25 slides on Stories. This collection complies of videos, photos, texts, explainers, etc., all in a fashion so narratively enriching that no viewer would ever want to quit watching.

It’s also very smart of them to include a link at the last slide of this collection to direct viewers to Nat Geo’s website for a even more complete and longer version of the same story, for viewers who want to know more information.

8. Deliver information that’s clear even without the sound on

A striking 40 percent of Instagram Stories are watched without sound on, according to Likeable. Although some content can only be delivered with sound, like selfie-style, behind-the-scene Stories, when it comes to other formats, brands need to think about content with information that can be delivered even on silent mode, but not compromising the visual elements.

Hopper’s ICYMI Stories showcase its new hotels addition featuring well-shot images with simple text and tags. These Stories have enough information to tell the audience where the hotels are and how they look like without the necessity to have sound.

9. Give shout-outs to your audience

A shout-out to your loyal subscribers is a necessary next step following UGC content – a great way to thank them for what they’ve contributed to the growth of the brand, and also to show that you’ve been paying attention to what they have to say.

Bremont’s #MyBremont Stories highlight owners of Bremont watches with either photos or videos of themselves wearing the products, all submitted by consumers themselves. It’s a smart act not only to choose a wide range of products to showcase, but a way to show followers that the brand does listen.

10. Host limited-time promotions

Giveaways or discounts aren’t so unique when they are all-year around, but when offered with a sense of urgency, it usually works better, because consumers now feel tempted to act before it’s gone. That’s why limited-time promotions can generate great engagement.

Pnwonderland’s Hallmark Resort Stories offer a free night’s stay at a hotel. It directs the audience to a specific post for more information and encourages them to take action.

By understanding what your brand believes in, who is your audience, and what you hope Instagram as a platform can contribute to your brand, you can start choosing wisely and incorporating some of these strategies to make your Stories shine in 2019.

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