When is the last time you didn’t skip a pre-roll ad on YouTube? Or watched an entire native Instagram ad?
With an overwhelming amount of content being produced every day, it’s harder to break through the noise as a brand. Views skew further towards independent content creators, and marketers are left struggling to connect with their target market.
So what’s the good news? Marketers can leverage these influencers and thought leaders to help compensate.
Let me show you two examples of ads created by companies offering a similar service. Both Skillshare and Masterclass are online learning platforms that offer courses in video production, music creation, and photography. Watch both of these ads below to immediately see the difference that integrating an influencer into a campaign can make.
While skillshare’s ad does a great job explaining the platform, it generates very little interest to viewers. It’s safe and exactly what you would expect on online learning platforms ads to look like.
Masterclass takes an entirely different approach to their content. Viewers are instantly drawn in by Timbaland’s infectious energy and want to see more. The hook of his most popular song plays in the background while his accolades appear on the screen. Viewers can’t help but feel excited and inspired.
Having an influencer in a campaign not only leverages their audience, but it also leverages the trust of their audience. In today’s competitive world of content creation, it’s more important than ever to integrate them into campaigns.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to guess that you’re familiar with the age of Instagram celebrities. The likes of @hudabeauty, @chiaraferragni, and @kayla_itsines have likely popped up in your explore page, or perhaps you follow them yourself.
But have you heard of Tik Tok celebrities? Have you even heard of Tik Tok, itself? A few months ago, I hadn’t. It wasn’t until I started reading about this era of teens who record 15-second videos of themselves for their followers and have amassed a following not unlike some of the biggest influencers that I’ve seen, that I started to dive into the platform and think about the future of social media.
When you think of social media platforms, you think of the big players. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and even Reddit. But did you know Tik Tok has more monthly active users that Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit?
And this platform isn’t the only new player in the social media market. Let’s take a look at a few in depth.
Image Source: TikTok
The app launched in 2016 as ‘Douyin’ in the Chinese market and was branded as Tik Tok internationally. In 2017 the parent company behind the app, ByteDance, purchased Musical.ly, later merging the platform into Tik Tok. Tik Tok allows users to create short videos set to music. When Vine shut down, its loyal fanbase was left trying to fill the void. Tik Tok does exactly this.
In 2018, Tik Tok hit its stride, surpassing literally every other social media platform as the most downloaded free application from the App Store and Google Play.
Fast forward to 2019, and it’s just getting bigger. Now, publishers and networks such as Hearst and NBCUniversal are partnering with the platform to create short-form video content.
If you’re looking to target a younger market, this is the platform for you to consider.
Remember the good old days before the Facebook and Instagram algorithms began to limit who would see your posts? Vero is the social media platform trying to appeal to those of us who are a little nostalgic for engagement.
Vero is essentially an “authentic” Instagram, where users can share photos and videos with their followers and actually have this content be seen. No ads, no algorithm. Just pure content.
The platform launched in 2015, but saw a spike in growth last year when Instagram’s algorithm changed. Content creators were looking for a new way to reach their audience without having to pay for boosted posts, and Vero provided them with this.
The difference between Instagram and Vero, aside from the obvious, is the user functionality of the app. Creators can divide their content into four sections in terms of who sees it: close friend, friend, acquaintance, and follower. Vero also boasts a feature called ‘Collections’, where, as Mark Whitehurst from Marketo explains, “You can divide your posts into photos/videos, links, music, movies/tv, books, and places.”
For brands, it’s not going to be a money maker. But it can be a discovery tool for influencers and content creators that could work for your products.
There’s the old adage about video games being terrible influences for our children. Well, one platform has taken this and essentially flipped it on its head over the last few years. Twitch, now owned by Amazon, is a streaming service for digital content. It launched in 2011 and was focused on video games, where users could log in and literally watch video games being played. Now, it has expanded into talk shows, music, and more. With over two million monthly active streamers, it’s definitely a smaller platform, but it shouldn’t be underestimated.
Twitch Streamers can earn just as much money as your Instagram influencer or YouTuber, and in a variety of ways. Through paid subscriptions, micro-donations called Bits, sponsorships, and affiliate sales, there’s definitely an opportunity to make money if you build up a following.
For marketers, Twitch offers an interesting point of difference. Twitch Partners (essentially verified users) can not only stream ads during their videos, they can also run commercials every eight minutes during a broadcast. Aside from this, influencer sponsorships can feel more authentic as users watch a livestream of a Twitch Streamer’s every reaction around the brand they are promoting. Users can comment in real time, and brand community managers can comment back, furthering the conversation.
Check out this example from CMSWire below:
“Duracell supercharged their campaign with eight influencers taking part in a five-hour, multi-camera live broadcast which streamed on all of the influencer’s Twitch accounts. The broadcast included 25 different challenges powered by one single charge of Duracell’s new batteries.
By leveraging all eight influencers, Duracell accrued 187k views from 150k unique viewers with 355k minutes watched and 4.8k chat interactions.”
If you ask me, Twitch is definitely one to watch. No pun intended.
It’s the oldest pickup line in the book: “What’s your sign?”
Some of us may roll our eyes when asked this question, while others might be ready to elaborate on our full birth chart. No matter what your answer may be, one thing remains clear: astrology is slowly yet surely taking the social media landscape by storm.
It started small: Refinery29 would post the signs as Starbucks drinks or types of pizza, in turn starting an engagement frenzy as viewers tagged their friends and shared which frappuccino flavor they were onto their own feeds.
Over time, these innocent engagement baits grew into the ultimate digital entity: meme accounts. Now, astrology fans can easily click onto an account to joke about mercury in retrograde and compare their sign’s traits to trending moments in pop culture. Astrologers and astrology meme accounts are now amassing hundreds of followers, with standouts like @NotAllGeminis joining the ranks of top influencers by collaborating with media outlets (such as Garage) and attending events to mass appeal (like SXSW).
While this may not be the first time astrology has become popular, this is certainly the first time it has reached so many people this quickly. The Atlantic believes that this rise in interest is a result of who else: millennials.
“Over the past two years, we’ve really seen a reframing of New Age practices, very much geared toward a millennial and young gen X quotient,” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of J. Walter Thompson’s innovation group, which tracks and predicts cultural trends.
According to president and editor-in-chief of The Cut, a typical horoscope post on the site garnered 150% more traffic in 2017 compared to the year before. Psychologists attribute these massive increases to the fact that astrology provides explanations for an individual’s personality, identifying both their strengths and weaknesses while also providing possible solutions for overcoming those shortcomings.
These explanations in turn serve as a stress-reliever for millennials as they interact in social situations. Getting into a lot of arguments with your friends? No, there’s nothing wrong with you – you’re just a hot-headed Aries. Constantly feeling hurt by a coworker’s comments? That’s because you’re a sensitive Cancer.
The bottom line: It’s not you, it’s your sign. Meme accounts exploit this tagline to churn out relatable content onto their pages, igniting every fiery Aries and emotional Cancer alike to like, comment and share these posts onto their own pages. Whether it’s providing stress relief or simply a good laugh, this content is contagious and spreading fast through the social stratosphere.
In a recent conversation with CEO of Axel Springer, Mathias Döpfner, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed his future plans in upgrading the news consumption experience on the platform. As we now live in a world where users admittedly prefer consuming their news through digital media as opposed to mainstream, traditional outlets, Facebook has suffered some criticism due to its unique algorithm. It’s not hard to notice that you’re served content that matches your active interests. You click-through to one video/article about Pit Bull breeds, and suddenly they’re flooding your main feed. (No complaints, though.)
However, this curated delivery of content creates what some people see as a biased approach in information distribution. “Fake news” no longer just refers to false coverage, but distinguishably opinionated news. Zuckerberg understands that Facebook is a platform where people come to connect—to receive updates from their friends, family, and colleagues. But he’s finding that more and more people are looking for Facebook to become a credible outlet for news consumption. In order to combat the algorithms nature, Zuckerberg proposed the idea of a dedicated news tab.
News Feed would work to serve accurate, quality information as a priority— in opposition to opinion-based journalism received through each user’s filtered interests. Zuckerberg has made it clear that News Feed coverage would feature only high-quality, trusted sources. This offers the average user an excellent dose of news diversity, if the tab truly does keep an objective approach. It differs in content published by similar outlets such as Buzzfeed News, who offer a mix of subjective and objective points-of-view. Maybe most importantly, it allows the Facebook community to consume the facts of daily news and determine their understandings on their own, solving Facebook’s issue with the scrutiny they’ve received.
Zuckerberg plans to work with Döpfner, as Axel Springer remains the largest digital publishing house of Europe in management of multiple multimedia news brands. Learning from the perspective of a news publisher, Zuckerberg is really showing some dedication to this project. Some of Döpfner first concerns? Maintaining publisher control over content and audience connection, and establishing fair shares of revenue.
Personally, I’m happy to see this effort take flight. I think it’s about time Facebook users turn from the influence they receive through their main feed filters, and start forming their own opinions without the fear of upsetting their friends and having a bad experience with the platform. This update not only solves an internal issue for Facebook as a common recipient of backlash, but an external issue that social media news consumers face daily.
Instagram is getting even more crafty with their latest feature update to the organization of your followers. A new filter is currently in test for “Following” and “Followers” lists! The filter sorts your followers by presenting them in the order of most recent additions to longest-standing followers, or vice versa. The filter appears above your follower’s list in the text: “Date Followed: Latest.”
This update might seem sort of useless for the average user, but for businesses, it’s a lifesaver. The feature will undoubtedly make it way easier to locate the people who’ve supported your brand for the longest time, providing a new way to connect with them. On the opposite side of the spectrum, being able to locate your most recent followers gives your brand the opportunity to observe key details about the most recent efforts in your social media strategy and how they correlate to your new followers.
The update also shows great potential for optimizing campaigns in target audiences and testing efforts in engagement. Hooking your new followers with great content is easy, but finding your new followers isn’t as simple. Listening in to your social responses is easy, but sorting out the new perspectives from the old is nearly impossible, until now. Now you’ve got information about your new followers right in front of you. You can address questions and concerns from them first, optimizing time for community management efforts. You can style campaigns almost perfectly curated for social, as you can easily pinpoint long-standing followers for surprise & delight giveaway efforts.
Though it’s only in testing currently, I have high hopes for this new feature, particularly for small businesses that might want to take on their own social media channels without an agency. In the same boat, it’s still incredibly useful for agencies and marketing teams as well. I gotta’ say, I’m pretty impressed with Instagram’s innovations lately. I’m excited to incorporate this new filter into our social media strategies, and I’m looking forward to what they have to offer next.
Do you have questions on how to build a social media strategy? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
Instagram Stories counts more than 400 million daily users compared to Snapchat’s 191 million. In the last few years, Instagram has been building Stories with in-product features designed to help increase engagement.
We recommend IG Stories to all of our clients, as it is a great way to interact with their customer base, create engagement and foster a community at a raw level.
Here are a few tips from the Socialfly Team:
Angela Trotti, Associate Account Manager is all about using GIF Stickers. GIF Stickers allow you to add character to your stories. Branded GIF stickers are also a fun way to engage your brand loyalists. Some of the other stickers your brand can use to increase engagement are:
Question Stickers allow for you to ask your audience questions and answer them in your own story! This is a great way to speak directly to your consumer.
Poll Stickers will help understand your audiences’ preference! Let them help you decide: Pizza or Pasta for dinner? Red or Blue tie to work? Grande or Venti order at Starbucks
Countdown Sticker can help notify your audience on when something BIG is going to happen. Do you have a product launch? Influencer Activation? Album drop? Use Countdown Stickers to build up the hype!
There are so many creative ways to use Instagram Story Features. So, take advantage of all the sticker rollouts Instagram Stories has to offer!
Caitlin Stower, Account Supervisor says that “Most Instagram users do not watch stories with the sound on. It’s very important keeping that in mind. I had a friend who created her own caption feature on her stories so that people could read along. I thought it was very smart!”
It is important to think about how Instagram users are engaging with the platform. If most users aren’t listening to your videos, make sure that you have text to complement your photos and videos to get your point across. You can also use stickers like ‘Sound On’ to notify your users.
Promote your Posts:
Our Paid Analyst, Kevin Johnson says, “One of my favorite things on IG story is to let your followers know you have a new post. You share your most recent post to your story and then utilize a ‘GIF Sticker’ that says ‘Tap Here or ‘New Post’ with some arrows to get people to click through to your profile.” This tactic is a great way to drive users to your profile!
Lindsey Tullman, Director of Brand Partnerships advises to “Create content that prompts feedback and conversation with your audiences.” Using a call to action can help direct your followers on what to do next. Sometimes users might need a nudge. Prompts like ‘Tap Here’ or ‘Swipe Up’ are great ways to push traffic to a particular place! You can build the story across multiple frames! Caitlin also suggests, ‘DM for more detail.’ Direct Messaging can open up a line of communication directly to your consumers. It is definitely worth noting!
Use Instagram Live:
Lindsey recommends using IG Live features can bring your viewers along with you to exclusive experiences and host intimate Q&A sessions with your community! She suggests to, “monitor your analytics to determine what type of content performs best and what is the best time to post and schedule your future Stories accordingly!”
Last but not least: Be Original and Have Fun! Lindsey says to “treat your followers like your friends. Show people you are real through behind-the-scenes, unedited content!”
If you are looking for more tips, check out Social Media Today for additional information. Also, feel free to check out the Socialfly Instagram Story to see how we implement these features day to day!
It’s no question: social media has affected the art world. “Discovering” an artist from the palm of your hand isn’t quite a discovery. It’s more a lucky byproduct of lounging on the couch with your phone. That said, social media has made art increasingly accessible. I can travel from Sydney to Iceland to New York in seconds, viewing and critiquing artists’ work.
But there’s a new development: virtual art galleries—art galleries designed and curated for the social media browser. Snapchat launched one this past week to celebrate Black History Month.
So how does it work? You open the new rainbow-colored lens in the app and see a selfie frame with a Black History Month banner. You then flip the camera to enter an AR gallery. Suddenly you’re transported into a minimalist white space that resembles a real gallery. The exhibit’s title, “For Us, By Us: Art Through the Eyes of Black Millennials,” appears and is accompanied by the millennials’ art itself.
You don’t scroll by this art, as you would on your feed. You stroll. Mashable writes: “The color and layers of each piece draw you in, and you are actually able to get close and explore the works in the digital space, by moving closer towards them in the physical world — your camera zooms into each piece as you approach.” This gallery show is an experience, not a presentation.
Snapchat’s success invites a few questions. Will real life art galleries stick around? Or will they fade away and be replaced by their virtual counterparts? Only time will tell. Let’s talk in 100 years.
Have you ever sent a tea-filled screenshot to the wrong person? Or had your iPhone autocorrect come close to ruining your relationship?
Well, if you realize it within 10 minutes, there’s a good chance you don’t have to worry about these problems anymore! Thanks to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was caught deleting private messages in April 2018, Facebook decided to roll out this new feature to the public!
You can now unsend your messages on Messenger too!
How does it work?
It’s pretty intuitive. All you do is hold the message bubble. The reaction emojis will pop up above as usual. What’s new is that on the bottom of your screen, you’ll now see three options: forward, save, and remove. When you press remove, you’ll get two options to either remove your message from the entire group or just on your end.
The Catch: you only have 10 minutes from when you send the original text to remove it. Why 10 minutes? Creators of the feature noticed that most people delete messages because it was sent by mistake. Usually, those people realized their mistake in under a minute. Facebook decided anything greater than 10 minutes would be excessive.
What’s so great about this?
If you’re a person who likes to be perfect and in control, this feature gives you the option to correct typos and mistakes. It also gives you the ability to prevent many awkward scenarios like the ones mentioned above.
What problems can arise?
As the unsend feature is not new to most of you, we are already aware of the problems it can have.
Head of Facebook Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky mentioned his concern regarding abuse and harassment. In an interview with TechCrunch, he said, “We need to make sure we don’t open up any new venues for bullying.” Bullies could potentially use this feature to remove evidence of harassment.
More generally, the issues with this feature are that life does not have a UNSEND button. In real life, you can’t say whatever you want and just take it back with no repercussions. Words should be used wisely as you never know how they’ll affect people. With this feature, people might be less concerned with what they say.
Luckily, along with the unsend button, Facebook also developed a feature to prevent bullies from covering their tracks. Facebook will retain unsent messages for a short period of time just in case they are reported. If reported, Facebook can then review the messages for policy violations.
From the rise in popularity of ephemeral Snapchats and Instagram stories that delete within 24 hours to now the 3 biggest communication platforms offering an ‘unsend option,’ this feature just shows how our society is prone to being non-committal. We’re all about living in the moment.
All I can hope is that Apple gets the hint. iMessage…you’re next!
If you want to read about the official launch from Facebook, see HERE.
Ah, the story of the “story.” It’s almost hard to remember where it begins. We, as users of social media today, probably forget to credit Snapchat for the origin of what we call our “story.” Snapchat invented the story, Instagram made it cool, but Facebook just made it business oriented. Classic Facebook, am I right? Popularized and noticed early in 2019, Facebook has rolled out CTA stickers for stories. Business pages can now offer users the options of Shop Now, Book Now, Call Now, & Get Directions directly from the stories feed.
The significance of this update is kind of obvious. This is certainly the most effective use of direct response tools that Facebook has offered yet. But, that’s just the thing. It was Facebook’s idea. Undeniably, the first thought I had when I learned about this update was: “If only it had been Instagram.” Which, of course, should be available in no time. But for the time being, who knows? Maybe Facebook stories are about to be the hot new thing.
So, what does this update do for those working in digital marketing? Well, our jobs just got a touch easier, if you’re using Facebook stories. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are all getting “smarter, ”more useful, and convenient. In general, their UX is in a state of constant reconstruction. If extra steps can be eliminated, that means time and money saved. I wonder what else we’ll see in 2019 as a result of what user behavior can suggest?
These CTA stickers can also pay off for small businesses on social media. At least in the Facebook story space, start-ups and small businesses don’t have to suffer a noticeably poor presence. If a trend like this really sticks, small businesses can easily blend in with the big dogs, and stories for business could become somewhat “uniform” in nature.
Facebook’s introduction of CTA stickers may be one small step in the grand scheme of Digital Advertising, but it’s a step in the right direction. Platforms are rapidly learning how to optimize their user’s experiences and it could be extremely useful in the future. As for right now, Facebook stories need a boost in morale, and the rest of the platforms have some catching up to do.