Category Archives: Social Networking

What can Snapchat offer brands?

Snapchat by Maurizio PesceIt was reported by The Sunday Times earlier this week that Snapchat’s latest valuation has hit $12bn. This follows its highly anticipated first ad running across the messaging platform last month – a 20-second trailer for horror film Ouija, appeared in its users’ ‘recent updates’ section.

With a reported 100 million monthly users worldwide sending 700 million snaps a day, Snapchat has been one of the fastest growing social platforms of the past few years.

It now trails only Facebook and Instagram in smartphone penetration with the 18 to 34-year-old age group. But does this justify its recent valuation and make it an ideal platform for brands? Read More »

Stop. Check. Post?

Why an unfocused social-media strategy is a waste of moneyWe are in an age of Too Much Information. The proliferation of social media, coupled with our desire to share every moment of our lives with friends and followers means we’re constantly exposed to (depending on how old you are) babies, weddings, foodporn, running routes, holiday photos and party pics.

Sharing is a huge part of being social, and keeping up to date with these events is why so many of us are addicted to checking social media, even if we don’t always want to admit it. However, we do have a breaking point. Everyone has ‘that’ friend on social – the one who takes sharing a step too far, spewing out updates on the most mundane aspects of their lives to clog up our news feeds. And it’s not just our friends who are guilty of this cardinal social media sin – brands are at it too.

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What’s Ello all about and should we be worried about its anti-ad stance?

ElloEllo is the new ‘social network’ (no-one actually describes themselves as a social network) from independent developers, including Paul Budnitz, founder of the toy company Kidrobot. It publically declares that: “Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data.”

It therefore aims to be different, with a stance of no ads, and no data sold for targeting. Read More »

What Lego can teach us about user generated content

Lego by Dan Goodwin_FlickrThe benefits for a brand to encourage inspirational and original user generated content can be huge.

Firstly, the volume: the nature of social can mean campaigns are viewed and shared with a higher volume of people than traditional media. Secondly, the immediacy: the instantaneous nature of social sharing means thought-provoking, entertaining or aspirational ideas get picked up and shared in a much shorter period of time. And thirdly, control: brands have now found a place in the market where they own the media space. With the wider use of online social channels user generated content can deliver more views, reach and engage with more people and raise brand awareness quickly, generating peer-to-peer brand advocacy that can be directly linked with uplifts in sales and revenue.

One company that does this well is Lego, through its ‘Lego Ideas’ initiative. Read More »

What do Instagram sponsored ads mean for brands?

InstagramAs of 23 September Instagram has started serving brand sponsored ads on its platform to users in the UK. Its approach to the roll out is refreshingly sedate, only allowing a small number of hand-picked brands to participate, following strict guidelines for both content and frequency of posts.

But what does this ultimately mean for the platform? I think we all understood in April 2012 when Facebook paid $1 billion to bring Instagram into its fold that this wasn’t going to be a free ride and at some point the platform was going to have to sing for its supper. Are the introduction of ads, and the new revenue stream they bring with them, justification for the hefty price tag spent on its acquisition?

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Lost for words in the age of the image

writing by Pedro Ribeiro SimeosThe use of email by America’s 12-17 year olds more than halved last year. It’s one symptom of a cataclysmic change – one that’s gone largely unnoticed by the marketing profession.

There was a time when people wrote letters to each other. Have you written a letter to a private individual (i.e. not a utility company, solicitor, etc) in the last five years? Do you know anyone who has? I thought not.

The golden age of letter writing is long gone, along with Dr Johnson and Charles Dickens. But Virginia Woolf died in 1941, leaving behind volumes of personal correspondence. It’s only quite recently that letter writing has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Read More »

Do Facebook likes still matter?

Organic reach on Facebook is declining.FacebooklikePoster

It’s been the discussion point for marketers using social media since the beginning of the year and by now you’re probably familiar with the issue.

If you’re not, here’s a quick catch-up for you: organic reach on Facebook (the number of people who see your content with no advertising) has dropped to just 6%. That means of those 10,000 Facebook fans on your page that you’ve spent all this time collecting, only 600 of them on average will see what you post. To reach the rest of them, you’ll need to advertise and promote your content. Facebook organic reach is expected to fall further and many analysts are predicting it will be almost zero by the end of the year. This means no one will see your content unless you pay to promote it.

To me, this raises a big question… Read More »

How brands are generating revenue on social

mobile payment payments cashless contactlessConsumers are becoming ever more mobile and increasingly social. As brand advertisers strive to influence their purchase decisions on social media, how can they be sure they’re optimising their efforts?

We recently conducted a study* that sought to size UK consumers’ social media spend resulting from (paid) advertising and (earned) personal recommendations from their contacts. Overall, the study established that in the last 30 days, 14% of social media users had purchased something they initially came across on a social media platform – items that they would otherwise not have bought. Read More »

3 reasons social sales are about to take off

bigstockTeenagersPhonesSocial sales are about to take off.

How do I know this? Well, social has been a huge direct sales opportunity for some years now, but because most time in social is on mobile devices, it has been hard to make this happen.

Three things that will change this:

 

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Attention analytics: the new metric

WomanHomeWorking“Why do people like something on Facebook without looking at it?” a chief marketing officer asked the other day. “We’re getting great social likes and shares for our content, but we’re not seeing the same numbers of people clicking through to our site to see it.”

The answer lies in the psychology of social sharing and the developing field of attention analytics. Read More »