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.
The social media industry is constantly evolving based on new or fading platforms, personalities, and industry trends. An emerging trend is the rise of the “nano-influencer.
It’s a concept that has been implemented in television commercials and print ads since the early 2000s. This term refers to influencers with a lower number of followers but a highly-engaged audience.
Now, more than ever, brands are turning to nano influencers to create content and drive sales.
For example, say a beauty brand is working with a top model to promote a product that reduces wrinkles. In the past, they’ve been more likely to work with a household name, without thinking of their audience demographic.
This practice creates a disconnect as the target audience doesn’t relate, leading to a lack of conversion and poor sales.
Put simply, “to know your customer is to be your customer.”
In recent years, marketers have changed their way of thinking.
Brands aren’t willing to pay six digits to partner with the hottest celebrities. Brands want to partner with people who relate to the everyday consumer, which, conveniently costs less and makes a larger impact.
The Rise of Nano-Influencers
The influx of macro influencers has laid the groundwork the wave of nano-influencers. They relate to the average consumer and think like-mindedly. They’re your fashionable friend or wellness junkie you with an Instagram following of 1,000 to 5,000 users. Their engagement is high and their followers loyal because they feel they know them on a more personal level.
The more established a brand is, the more effective partnering with multiple nano-influencers will be. Nano-influencer’s drive engagement, which, often times results in sales.
That being said, partnering with the right influencer depends on the goals of your brand. For a new brand looking to gain awareness and recognition, an influencer with a larger following will help to spread the word about your company.
For larger, more established brands looking to gain brand loyalty and community, micro and nano-influencers can create authentic content about their experience with your product.
Before agreeing on a collaboration be sure your goals are clearly defined, you understand your audience and have done your research.
It’s 15 degrees outside. You’ve made it off of the icy streets and into the cozy confines of the A train. Exhausted from work, you flip through your phone and dive into Netflix.
Is this commute home the time for a drama? A documentary about killer women? Noah Centineo’s abs? You settle on Friends. Suddenly aware of your own seclusion, you find yourself missing your friends. Chandler’s jokes are just funnier with someone by your side. Bereft, you eat the stale granola bar in your bag. But what’s this? A new feature? Share to Instagram Stories? You cradle your phone with a sense of renewed hope and press the button. This is the news you needed.
Netflix recently announced a new feature that enables users to share the TV show or movie they’re watching in the app direct to their Instagram Story. While this may seem insignificant, the streaming app is just the latest to hop aboard the Instagram Story train; Spotify, Musical.ly, and GoPro already participate. Instagram Stories now has over 400 million daily active users, a rapid increase from the 300 million this past November. Facebook executives share that Stories are on track to replace News Feed as the primary social sharing platform.
So yes: people do care what shows you’re watching. The new Netflix feature ” will add the title’s custom art to a users’ Instagram Story, where it’ll remain visible for 24 hours. The Story can also be customized with other options, like a user poll, for example,” explains TechCrunch. And polls are important. How do you decide what to watch without the recommendations of peers, coworkers, and family? Yes, you can read reviews, but a personal endorsement from someone you know is more affecting. A “you have to watch this new show” from your best friend somehow outweighs the opinion of a New York Times critic.
The rise of Instagram Stories invites the question: what other apps will adopt a Share to Stories button? What information will we deem as important enough to share? If Netflix is any indication of what’s to come, nothing is off limits. Stay tuned.
As a brand or influencer, how do you grow and sustain your social media following?
The answer to this question can be a combination of different tactics, making this an overwhelming subject. In order to come to a conclusion for this topic, it’s important to understand what makes people follow accounts in the first place. More specifically, what will make them want to follow your account? You should also figure out the core component needed within your content to keep the likes, comments, shares, and follows rolling in.
A simple mindset shift.
Start by adjusting your focus from growing follower numbers to building an engaged community of people around your brand that understands and loves your product or service. The key to growing this established fanbase is to understand how to leverage your content to draw in potential audience members and keep existing ones. Bottom line, your content should be creating value for your audience. Value, in terms of marketing, is the “extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet his or her needs or wants.” Value for the audience can be presented in a number of ways including entertainment, education or even inspiration.
Clarifying the messaging behind your brand.
One of the first steps in determining how to create value for your audience is to know who your audience is. Ask yourself, “what does my ideal audience member or target market look like?” By surveying your current audience, reviewing analytics, or even analyzing your direct competitors’ fans, you can find the answer. Take time to understand your target’s demographics, needs, wants, purchase habits, and personalities. Doing this research will allow you to craft your social media plan, including the type of content to post and value you choose to add.
The bottom line is to focus on posts that align with your audience and offer them something. After all, why would people stick around if they’re not getting anything out of it? It’s all about telling, engaging and helping instead of trying to sell within every post. Keeping this idea at the forefront of your strategy will contribute to the growth of your engagement and following, which leads to a loyal fanbase and a wealth of returning customers.
Big news: Instagram rolled out a new feature that lets users publish a post to multiple accounts with the click of a button.
How does it work?
When you open your IG app and go to publish a post, there’s a new section called “Post to Other Accounts.” Here it is! This feature is designed to simplify posting for users with multiple accounts.
What does this mean for brands?
According to Tech Crunch, “this ‘self regram’ could make it easier for businesses, influencers, and regular folks with Instas and Finstas to publish the same meme, promotional image, or other content across their profiles simultaneously instead of having to post on one at the time.”
It saves community managers, who may be running several business accounts at once, a lot of time. Instead of switching between accounts and posting content individually, social media managers can now seamlessly publish content from one account.
This tool is beneficial to influencers who are constantly partnering with brands and participating in takeovers. Now influencers can post to their channel and their brand partner’s channel simultaneously.
For brands like Nike who own several different IG accounts like @NikeRunning, @NikeSportswear, @NikeBasketball, this feature allows more opportunity for cross-promotional content, whether it be a CSR initiative or an overarching corporate project.
Social Media Today has shared their concerns, citing “while it may make things easier, and it may add more content to Instagram’s ecosystem, it will be repeated content, duplicated across multiple accounts.”
So what’s more important, quality or quantity?
As a sea of repeated content, Instagram will stray from its purpose of originality.
Although this feature does save time, what does it solve? I control 5 social media accounts: personal, professional, travel photography blog, my Finsta, & the Socialfly account. I have 5 separate accounts because they each have a different purpose. I would never post the same content across my 5 platforms.
Problems may arise for brands as well. Consider a brand like NBC that controls different TV show accounts. The brand voice, content, narrative, and aesthetic are different across all of them.
The new Instagram feature brings new opportunities but also leaves room for hesitation. Will this feature make our lives easier, or will it clutter our Instagram feeds with redundant content? Right now, it’s too soon to tell. Let’s keep our eyes open!
Youtube just added a new feature that allows the user to swipe left directly into the next video on the suggested playlist and I’ve got one thing to say: I’ll see you in a week. Because Youtube binging just got that much simpler. But really, not only can you swipe into the next video, but you can also swipe right into the previous. The significance in this update? It follows suit in the continuously ever-growing effort of the “swipeable” story trend that reflects the behavior of social media users today.
So what does that mean, exactly? Think about your favorite apps. How easy are they to use? We scroll through an entire Facebook or Instagram feed with one finger. We tap through Snapchat stories and swipe through to the next friends. I don’t think I have to get into the perplexity of Tinder, you get it. We swipe & scroll through our most-used apps and there’s a reason it’s so popular. We’re attuned to swiping because it allows us to consume the maximum amount of content in the most minimal amount of time.
Now, given this is a new update, and only currently available with IOS6, it’s still something you’ll want to note in your social media strategic planning. This is actually quite beneficial for brands advertising with Youtube. What’s the first thing you see when you open a new video? An ad. What’s usually the first thing a popular Youtuber, let’s say, Shane Dawson, mentions in the beginning of their video? “This video’s sponsor,”. This swipe feature allows advertisers to still grab the maximum time of the user’s attention, even if the actual content of the video isn’t worth it. The availability of that ad also increases, as the user isn’t picking and choosing their videos at random, but on a controlled playlist. If the user does choose to swipe, the chances of them viewing your ad are much greater, possibly even spotted twice in a row.
Netflix made it so simple to binge watch your favorite shows. The idea that the user doesn’t have to face the cliffhanger suspense of a weekly televised program is sort of never talked about. Youtubers have embraced and replaced that. They release their series on a schedule, so their most loyal and active subscribers will have to wait to see what comes next, but in the same boat, that content lives on Youtube forever after it’s uploaded. A casual Youtube user, like me, can go on and binge that same series all at once. This new ability to swipe along to the next video in the series makes my binging experience that much more effortless, not to mention, guilt-free.
All-in-all, it’s not shocking that Youtube has found a way to hop onto the scroll/swipe train. And with its benefits, it’s a good move. I’m excited to see what difference this will make in ad consumption, the metrics will have the answers on whether this trend is just a lifestyle or one of the most incredible ad-hoc tools that businesses should really pay attention to.
Currently, a large group of women are competing to win Colton Underwood’s heart on ABC’s 23rd season of The Bachelor. There’s more at stake though then a happily ever after. If contestants play their cards right, they may find themselves with a new (and quite lucrative) career path.
During the first 12 years of The Bachelor, very few people profited financially- they either found love or went on to be either the next bachelor or bachelorette. This all started to change though as Instagram’s gained popularity. Suddenly fans could get an inside look at their favorite reality stars lives. Then in 2015, The Bachelor franchise made a genius move and created Bachelor in Paradise.
The premise of the show is simple: bring past contestant together on a beautiful beach and see what happens. There’s always plenty of drama and a few genuine romantic connections. Suddenly, people who were cast aside during their season have another shot to win over fans and followers. By keeping past contestants relevant, the Bachelor Franchise keeps fans committed to their shows and personally invested in the lives of a larger group of reality stars.
So why do people love following stars from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? We believe that followers feel they can identify with these people more than traditional digital influencers. Unlike the polished lifestyle accounts that dominate Instagram, viewers have seen these contestants at their most vulnerable times, and root for them to find happiness.
In recent years, these newly famous Instagram stars have been able to drive significant sales for a variety of products through sponsored posts. Due to their relatability, former Bachelor contestants will sell 10 times the amount of goods compared to more traditional influencers. This is evidenced by companies like Hello Fresh and Fab Fit Fun who invest heavily in these types of partnerships to market their businesses.
As you follow along with Colton’s “journey” to find love, make note of all the contestants. Many of them may be able to help you rapidly drive sales by the end of the season!
Want to team up with past stars from The Bachelor franchise to promote your product or business? We would love to help! Just drop us a note at info @socialflyny.com.
Are you consumed with seven-tier wedding cakes? Do you dream of beautiful beach cabanas and treehouse escapes? Are the letters “DIY” the most magical letters in the alphabet? Does reading this paragraph give you goosebumps?
77% of users have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest
98% of users report trying new things they find on Pinterest
82% of users have made a purchase based on the content they saw on Pinterest
This means that despite lacking Instagram’s street cred or Snapchat’s facial recognition skills, Pinterest continues to be a mega-resource of inspiration.
Pinterest has divided the guide into two sections: Seasonal Moments and Life Moments.
When do we look for inspiration? According to Pinterest, the holidays dictate popular searches.
In January, popular searches included “New Years Eve outfits,” “New Year’s resolution,” and “New Year’s quotes.” Notice the word “new?” Pinterest suggests that brands provide pinners with goals they can achieve in the new year.
In February, the big draw is Valentines Day. If you want to stand out, Pinterest suggests staying away from traditional, mushy couple-centric vibes and focusing on the self-love aspect of the holiday instead.
April showers bring…Easter! Over 256 million pins were saved last year in this category. Pinterest found that while Easter baskets are usually for kids, grown-up Easter baskets are a rising trend. Pretty pastels provide a perfect space for home goods and consumer packaged brands to promote themselves.
In May and June, we celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day. Pinterest suggests that Pinners combine their gift with an experience they can share with their parent. So not just a pasta arm, but a cooking class where you learn to make pasta together.
July 4th means a major opportunity for travel brands: what better way to celebrate the USA than taking a cross country tour? Food and beverage brands also win big. Pinners are looking for BBQ recipes and fun summer drink ideas.
Back to school is the big push come September. Brands should take advantage of time-saving hacks and organization tools. Apps that help save money are also a big hit.
October, albeit spooky, is certainly popular. Over 2 billion pins were saved last year. To gain traction, brands can show Pinners how to elevate their Halloween costumes. Users are also looking for tips to take their home from summer oasis to cozy fall pad.
As expected, November and December are the biggest months for home decor brands, food brands, and travel brands. Pinners are looking to streamline their holiday experience however they can. Brands should help pinners make mealtime as easy as possible, suggesting simple touches to make family days special.
There are certain events that stand out. Turns out, they guide Pinterest searches as well.
What’s the date? No not today’s date, but the only date that matters. Over 4 billion pins wedding pins were saved last year. Pinterest recommends that brands guide Pinners with gift recommendations and group gift ideas.
New home and new baby:
Individual touches make a house a home, as well as the people you share it with. Let your brand lead the way with new home starter kits, entertaining guides, and curated products for newborns. Car brands also can assert themselves in this category—a new mother will only settle for the safest vehicle.
Pinterest is a massive resource for car buyers, so car brands should make their catalog as interactive as possible. Pinterest also recommends taking advantage of the feature finder; Pinners can then search “best car for road trips,” and be inundated with ideas.
This category is a forte for financial services brands, as they can engage users with tips and tricks to plan for the future. Also important: “retirement” usually indicates “retirement party.” Food and beverage brands can provide entertainment guides and ideas for family-style dishes.
Avoid at all costs: that feeling of not knowing what to get as a gift, waiting until the last moment, and buying something lame. Brands can quell Pinners’ gift-giving anxiety with curated gift guides for parents, inlaws, BFFs, etc. Further, personalization is the name of the game—popular pins include product customization.
At the start of 2019, Pinterest continues to be an influential social platform. Hopefully, this guide helps you understand Pinterest trends and the seasonal and life moments that guide them!
Living in the tech age, we create change with the click of a button. Trends go viral with one upload. We form opinions in response to one tweet. Brands need to identify how to adapt to the ever-changing social climate and how to keep the customer first.
Let’s think about some of the leading businesses today: Netflix, Uber, Spotify, and Amazon. These companies are not just tech disruptors. They’ve found ways to fill gaps that directly benefit the consumers.
Netflix realized that late fees were not sustainable, and that streaming was the future.
Uber capitalized on the limited access and high fares of taxis.
Spotify understood that people weren’t going to pay for separate albums and piracy would continue, so they created subscription-based streaming.
Amazon knew that strong customer service, seamless customer experience, and immediate delivery would lead to a loyal customer base—one that’s ripe for expansion.
These are all examples of businesses who decided to put the customer first. Today, they are some of the most successful in their respective verticals.
Being customer-centric is the future of modern business.
Facebook recently launched a study with AdWeek where they found 7 in 10 businesses think they are communicating effectively with consumers. However, when they asked consumers, only 2 in 10 agreed. There is a gap in the way brands are currently communicating with their consumers. And where there’s a gap, there’s an opportunity.
It’s time for brands to get creative and look at other outlets for communication, like messaging. Messaging is a great way to foster a direct, personal relationship with the individual consumer. Facebook says that 68% of people believe messaging is the most convenient way to connect with business and 69% of people feel more confident about brands they can direct message. Have you ever been to a brand site where the only way to contact them is through an info form? Two thumbs down. When it takes 3-4 business days to find out if a shirt size is in stock, something is terribly wrong. Messaging is quick, to the point, and personal. Brands should take advantage of it!
This year on Messenger alone,10,000,000,000 messages have been exchanged between businesses and consumers on a monthly basis. Messenger and chatbots are the future of customer communication. Investing in customer communication will also improve your sales. Facebook included a few case studies of how Messenger Chatbots have been helpful for brands.
Consumers who frequent Live Nation are usually concert lovers. One of the main issues with ticket purchases for concerts is that concerts sell out in under 10 minutes. Live Nation saw this customer pain point and decided to launch messenger alerts to remind their fans when tickets go on sale. They found that these messaged concerts had a 33% click-through rate and that 7% of people ended up making a purchase!
Acura found a way to interact and engage consumers through messenger. The company allows you to customize your dream 2018 TLX sedan from the color, interior, and technology— all through a BOT. Consumers can engage with the bot to find out more about the model and where you can take it for a test drive. Over 50% of people engaged with the bot to build the car and 93% took a lower funnel action, such as locating a dealer.
Lego named their messenger bot, Ralph. He’s a bot who enhances the digital shopping experience. If you’re not a Lego fanatic, choosing from the hundreds of Lego products can be overwhelming. Ralph acts as a personal shopper and helps find the perfect gift for your kids. Lego Group found that Ralph provided them with a 1.9x higher purchase conversion and a 71% lower cost per purchase.
These are all examples of how brands were able to get creative and implement Messenger Bots to improve customer service and increase sales. Enticing right? But don’t just jump in. Take time to strategically think about how best to integrate messaging to positively impact your consumers.
Tips to keep in mind when testing out Messenger.
Build Your Strategy – figure out what you are trying to accomplish, whether its brand education, selling products, or generating leads.
Find The Right Tech Partner – be cautious about using platforms that talk ‘to’ customers rather than ‘with’ them.
Think Conversation – make sure your conversation is impactful. Share content that is valuable, not spammy.
Remove Friction/Add Delight – where in your sales funnel can you make a difference for the consumer?
Integrate – figure out how you can tie in messaging with other marketing initiatives.
Measure, Test, Learn – constantly fine-tune your process to make sure you are optimizing for the best results. Track success against your KPIs.
Automated dialing systems and help support emails no longer suffice as only channels of communication with consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z. We need instant gratification. Direct Messaging, if done thoughtfully, offers a solution to bridge the generational gap in communication, while simultaneously alleviating customer pain points. Stay customer-centric. Get innovative, get creative, and get moving!
Need help developing a strategic approach to reaching new customers? Contact us today!
Social media is always a moving target, and with continuous platform updates, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest features. Instagram is rolling out new capabilities aimed at helping Influencers gain better insights about their own accounts. The platform has acknowledged that creators are a valuable part of the community, and these new functionalities are designed to make sure that Instagram continues to be a great place for talent to build their own personal brands.
What exactly does this mean for influencers?
These new updates will apply to high-profile influencers and celebrities to test out first. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a small group of influencers are already trying out features such as new functionalities surrounding direct messages. These users will be able to filter their messages as well as rank any pending requests. Filter options will include designations for “read” “unread” and “flagged” messages. This will surely help popular influencers sort through spam and get to important messages from potential brand partners.
Creators will also gain access to new insights surrounding their follower growth. Going forward, influencers will be able to view how many followers they have lost or gained each day and on a weekly basis. This will be helpful for creators that want to frequently evaluate how the content they produce affects their following.
The main takeaway here is that Instagram is taking steps to further improve the platform for influencers. In 2016, the platform provided new business account features tailored specifically to help brands. While these capabilities have certainly proved valuable for influencers as well, they did not draw any correlation between creators’ content and the growth of their community. We predict this is just the beginning and Instagram will continue to produce new features for the influencer space.