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Aug14

Likes and Fails – 14th August – Target troll and photo-shopped body image

It’s that time of the day where Likes and Fails keeps you occupied for a couple of minutes, before you realise you only have half an hour left of work!

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We love it when a brand or company does something a bit different with their social media, and it looks like Target got a helping hand from an internet vigilante this week after their new gender neutral policy was announced. A bit of background, Target announced that it would be removing gender labels on a selection of clothing from their kids line. This has angered some people, for reasons unknown. Although this image may help to explain:

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Anyway, one so called vigilante decided to take matters in to their own hands after they noticed that some people were deciding to boycott Target because of the gender tag removals, and they went to town with their responses. This was only after they’d set up their own page, making them look like an official Target customer service rep, well to the less Facebook savvy anyway. This vigilante changed their avatar to the Target logo and also changed their name to Ask ForHelp. Mr ForHelp replied to no less than 50 commenters and you can see some of the witty responses below.

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A woman has done another of those things where she gets graphic designers around the world to make her look ‘beautiful’ to the people of their country. It’s as if she thinks we’ve all forgotten that this article happens once a blummin’ month. I suppose she needs press for some reason, but I can’t figure out what it is. Oh hold on, it looks like it’s PR for Superdrug. So anyway we can all delight in some terrible photoshopping skills which were very likely created by the same person and not by different designers all around the world as claimed. In case you’re interested here is a link to the photos involved in the article, clearly aimed at all the online news sites across the web.

More on Buzzfeed

 

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by Helen Stirling

Aug06

A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – Facebook live & #TubeStrike

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Facebook live 

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So yesterday Facebook released a blog detailing their newest feature. As part of their ‘Mentions’ feature, which allows Celebrities and influencers to interact and reach their fans, they have added a new ‘live’ feature which allows celebrities to live stream to their fans, one may think this sounds a little like Periscope, but don’t worry this is a totally original Facebook idea. (Ahem). The feature is available for all blue badge verified Facebook users, and it looks as if Facebook have got some big name celebrities on board to help promote the new feature. Such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Serena Williams among others. The live broadcasts, once ended, are still viewable on the celebrities page, so don’t worry you can still catch up if you miss them live!

See the announcement here.

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#TubeStrike

The tube strikes are happening AGAIN in London, and everyone on Social Media has something to say about it. Even Facebook has got in on the action by prompting some users to post about the Tube Strike. Most users = not thrilled about this. In fact there was probably more moaning about Facebook telling people to talk about tube strikes than there was about tube strikes themselves. The tube strikes have affected pretty much every londoner, which means that socal media has turned nto a big moany mess. You can keep up with the full on moany/sweary tweets with this awesome microsite we spotted earlier: http://tubestrike.impero.wtf/ . Also please feel free to enjoy some of the whiny messages below and enjoy the y day Twitter collectively lost it’s shit about underground trains.

 

 

 

 

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by Helen Stirling

Jul09

Daily dose of Social – Facebook to enter the music streaming market and Meerkat update set to rival Periscope

It’s just so hard to keep up with the digital world. It’s constantly changing its mind and changing it back, growing, evolving, progressing (regressing!), but most of all, it’s a key part of our day to day lives. So, to keep you up to scratch with the industry’s comings and goings, we are going to inject a daily dose of social into your lives so that you can a) impress your boss when you know what the crack is (probably before them) and b) help you do your job as best you can!

Meerkat update set to rival Periscope

Live streaming has become a necessity for brands wanting to engage their fans with exclusive, behind the scenes content. Periscope alerts have increasingly dominated my notifications centre, so it’s clear to see that a vast range of brands and organisations are tapping into the tool. But Meerkat has announced a couple of upcoming updates that will give Periscope a run for its money.

Meerkat and Twitter’s relationship has been pretty touch and go since Twitter launched its competing app, Periscope, just weeks after Meerkat’s launch. As rivals it’s been a challenge to work together harmoniously (particularly as users have to log into the app through Twitter). However, they are hopeful that its latest developments will set it apart from Periscope once and for all, not the least it will give the app a chance to break free from Twitter with the ability to connect through Facebook through its wonderful API, which could mean Facebook has its eye on Meerkat!

For me, the most exciting new few feature is “Cameo” which will let people hijack someone else’s Meerkat stream for up to a minute. Consensually of course! You wouldn’t want everyone and anyone roaming on your phone (flashback to awkward Chat Roulette situations!).

Facebook to enter the music streaming market

Business Insider has tapped into Eammon Forde’s (Music Ally) anonymous sources to reveal that Facebook is planning to create a music-streaming app to compete with the likes of  Spotify and Apple Music. Still in its early development stages, Facebook is apparently preparing to launch music videos on its network in the coming months to compete within the music market. Facebook’s strategy is said to be similar to YouTube’s, paying for royalties and enabling users to register their content to prevent privacy.

There is no comment yet from Facebook, so watch this space to see how this all unfolds.

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by Kalli Soteriou

Jun17

Twitter vs Facebook – battle of the UX

Twitter and Facebook have been battling it out for years to win and retain users. This is becoming even more of a struggle as other social sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, which host strong visual content, are growing much quicker and are much more popular. Constant updates and new features help to keep users interested and make the experience as seamless as possible, and both social channels have promised exactly that with their newest upgrades.

Welcome (finally) video autoplay on Twitter. I don’t know about you guys, but this really makes me happy. Like really, really happy.

Gone are the days of having to tap, tap, tap to view a video. Native videos, Vines and Gifs (ERMAHGERD!!!!) will now being to play automatically – helping to keep track of what is being shared instantly. So, once you tap the video, the sound will turn on and the video will play in expanded view. You can also turn the video to landscape mode, where the sound will autoplay and the video will expand to fill the screen. Amazeballs!

You can even change the settings on how you would prefer the video to play. If you liked the old way of doing things you can revert to click-to-play, otherwise you could choose to simply have the videos autoplay only when connected to wifi. Twitter has been super clever and even included an autoplay opt out when you have low bandwidth or somewhere sunning yourself where there’s high data rates so performance isn’t affected and you don’t get charged out your backside to view.

For advertisers this is the big ticket to more social love. It’s a mega improvement to how branded rich media content will be displayed and interacted with. Videos will appear in a larger, more media-friendly format in timelines. During a test run, Twitter found that people engaged with this new video format at a much higher rate, and brands have also seen improved performance in terms of cost-per-views, which is lower, and increased video recall by fans.

Twitter has started rolling out this update to everyone as of yesterday afternoon on Twitter for iOS and twitter.com. As usual, Android users have to wait a little longer. Soz!

Now, over to Facebook, who has launched another partner app to help improve image sharing with friends. Hold on, isn’t that what Instagram and WhatsApp is for? Well, Moments promises a quick way to exchange photos with friends through syncing photos with the app and with friends. It groups photos on your phone based on when they were taken. It even uses facial recognition technology to identify which friends are in them easily – no more tagging! Can I get a hell yeah?!

Unfortunately, the app is only currently available in the US, but it will be rolled out to other countries soon. If you can’t wait, here’s a short clip that Facebook has put together to show how it works:

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by Kalli Soteriou

Jun15

Facebook updates News Feed to bring more relevant content

Facebook ‘News Feeds’ have been supplying us with the content we love (and, lets be honest, hate) since 2004. Traditionally, the way the feed displays information is based on engagement, so the more likes/comments/shares a post has will determine how frequently it appears in someone’s newsfeed. But Facebook has made an interesting change to the way its content will be displayed as a result of its latest findings.

From research, Facebook has found that these typical engagement measures don’t always tell the whole story about whether a particular piece of content is meaningful. Just because someone didn’t complete an action after seeing a piece of content, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t resonate with them in some way. There are times when people want to see information but may not necessarily want to comment or like it. So as a result, Facebook is updating its News Feed ranking to factor in a new ‘signal’ – time spent viewing a story.

Think about a particularly sensitive story. You might spend 10 minutes reading the article, but because of its nature you don’t like or comment on it. Does this mean that it wasn’t interesting to you? Of course not! It’s just not something you feel comfortable commenting on. But surely it’s not as simple as just measuring the number of seconds you spend reading each story to determine whether that content meant something to you? Facebook has factored in that there will be those spending a while on content simply because their internet connection is slow, but in general, will assume that if people spend ‘significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that the content was relevant to them’. As a result, you may start to see like posts surface higher up in your feed.

Facebook has started rolling this out and will continue over the next few weeks. Worried about what this might mean for Pages? Not to worry, they don’t expect to see any real changes in distribution as a result.

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by Kalli Soteriou

May27

#Me – has social media turned us into a self-obsessed nation?

Social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. Photos, gifs, news snippets, videos and statuses dominate our social feeds, encouraging us to interact and share our experiences in a flooded digital arena. We are now more connected than we have ever been and have access to information 24-7, but are social media sites actually making us more withdrawn from people and the real world? We are less interested in others – except when it comes to finding out what people this about us. We love a ‘selfie’ – reinforced by the fact it’s now been added to the Oxford Dictionary; it’s as if being ‘closer’ to other people is making us less social and more ‘me, me, me’!

To be honest, the pure nature of social media seems egocentric to me. Yes we can share useful information, check out what our favourite brands are up to and essentially ‘socialise’ with others. But if you take a moment to scroll through your feed, what will you see? My bet is selfies, food porn and pretty much any single thing your friends or followers are doing or thinking (often sharing waaaaay too much information; we’ve all got one or two of those mates, right?). People go out of their way to document their lives on social. This is prolific in visual platforms like Instagram or Snapchat which have, in my opinion, been created off the back of our desire to habitually share self-orientated information.

Now, taking the occasional “selfie” does not automatically make you a narcissist. It’s completely normal to want to share a new hair cut or exciting trip with your friends. But recent studies have found that users who avidly share self-focussed content are more likely to display some sort of psychological disorder. A recent article from Psychology Today showed that ‘both narcissism and self-objectification were associated with spending more time on social networking sites’.

But I do wonder, have we always been this vain but just never had the means of displaying it publicly? Unsurprisingly, Psychology Today found that narcissism levels have been rising for decades. In general, social media channels encourage self-promotion, as users generate all of the content. But it also boosts self esteem. Can you recall that feeling when someone you admire engages with you on Twitter? I certainly can and it’s great! Sure, there’s nothing wrong with seeking others’ approval – a healthy personal identity depends on paying careful attention to what others think of us.

Let’s not forget that we are encouraged to interact with others content – Facebook lets you like and share; Twitter is more about the Favourite and Retweet – we just choose not to unless it resonates with us. Working with brands like Superdry, we know how important engagement is and so avoid overly sales focussed messaging. Selfies and the like are our own sales messages. We like to self-promote and compete with others. Hmm…doesn’t seem like a new phenomenon to me!

I do think that we have in general day-today life become more self-obsessed. We are trying to become a healthier nation. We know sugar is very, very bad for us. And we love going to the gym (and telling or showing everyone that we are pumping iron). But who do we really have to blame for that? Advertisers? The media? Or ourselves?

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by Kalli Soteriou

May19

Social media plays a key role in promoting road safety

We all know just how powerful social media can be. It has the ability of spreading a message, positive or not, in a matter of seconds. But what about when we consider sensitive or serious messages? Is it a good medium to use to address these issues, or is it just opening the flood gates to abuse even when a brand or organisation means well? This morning, I’ve read two news items about how organisations in the UK and USA have used advertising and social media to help promote the importance of road safety. One, I assume, will be received well by the public. However, the other has already suffered huge backlash as opposers take to the social-sphere to rant their concerns. Let’s delve a little deeper.

The Isle of Man’s Constabulary has today launched this year’s TT road safety campaign, which will see social media take the lead in helping to deliver key messages during the festival. Using its Twitter feed, @tweetbeatIOM, the organisation will provide a mixture of up-to-date information about road safety and traffic updates using #SafeSummerRidingIOM, #ShareTheRoadIOM and #IOMTT. The campaign builds on its poster campaign from previous years which aims to reduce the number of accidents that occur during the festival. We’ll definitely keep an eye on this one and see how it pans out.

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Now, when it comes to billboard advertising we have seen a few hiccups. Firstly there was the Hell Pizza angora coated billboard which was launched to promote the New Zealand company’s Easter special. We can all be sure that one didn’t go down to well with animal right activists.

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And then there was this billboard fail. Need I say anymore?
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But the Colorado Department of Transportation is already getting backlash for a seemingly innocent billboard campaign. To promote seatbelt safety, the CDOT put up billboards with partial information to tease out its messages, featuring phrases like, “Life or Death”, “Brain Damage” and “Windshield Ejection”. Yesterday afternoon, a seatbelt was added, covering up the second word of each phrase with the strapline, “Buckle Up. Seatbelt Enforcement Is On.”
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Over the weekend, before the seatbelt was added, the CDOT posted a picture of the advertising on its Facebook page, asking its audience to keep an eye out and what they thought about it. Hello open flood gates. Within minutes there was an uproar. People seemed to think that instead of investing in this poor advertising, the CDOT should have spent the money on repairing the roads and potholes – which cause accidents! Others questioned the use of billboards all together when it comes to road safety, stating that they’d rather keep their eyes on the road – fair point.

 

Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the CDOT got it wrong, as the billboard has sparked conversation and debate, pushing its message out further. And as a channel, where better to promote road safety? Talk about knowing where your audience is. But I guess what is key here is that when approaching a sensitive subject such as road safety, it’s important to consider 1) Can the message be misconstrued in any way? 2) If it can, how will you deal with ay negativity? and 3) Will this do more social ‘good’ than ‘bad’?
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by Kalli Soteriou

May12

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 12 May – Wales goes nuts on social about semi-naked ad campaign and moustaches become the new beard

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NAT Group, a bus company in south Wales, has been the butt of some serious social media backlash after it slapped semi-naked figures across ten of its fleet with the tongue in cheek strapline, “Ride me all day for £3”. According to a statement from the brand, who has now withdrawn the ads, the campaign was aimed at the younger generation, trying to make the provider more attractive to increase its customer base.

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Among (many) cries of racism and sexism from the general public, even Charlotte Church piped up:

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In fairness they did have men and women featured on the buses, so in my opinion it’s less sexism and more just perhaps a bit too edgy for Wales (or maybe a very clever PR stunt!).

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Are moustaches the new beards? Well, word of a rather fashionable policeman with impeccable face fuzz is sweeping across the Twittersphere that could put the bearded man to shame. Within minutes of the image being uploaded, the moustached mastermind’s handlebar was trending with the hashtag #hipstercop. What followed was a barrage of incredibly cheery memes. Bully!

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by Kalli Soteriou

Mar09

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 9th March – Emma Watson He for She and Farage’s Tweet

Good morning, here are today’s Likes and Fails! Emma Watson spends International Women’s Day discussing gender equality issues and Nigel Farage sent a stupid tweet and got stupid answers.

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Emma Watson has been at it again, speaking out for women’s rights, this time she participated in a live web chat on Sunday 8th March, appropriately International Women’s Day. She hosted the live chat on Facebook and took time to answer some questions that women from around the world had sent in following her call a week earlier. Facebook helped to host the event and helped to stream the event to thousands. Greg James volunteered to help present and act as interviewer for the discussion about women’s rights.

You can watch the first part of this interview on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1032777126741177

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Nigel Farage, a man possibly never to grace the likes section of our blog has been making a bit of an idiot of himself on Twitter. The politician posted a photograph of himself on Twitter and asked the public if they could name what was behind him in the picture. Of course the sarcastic comments came rolling in, though a lot of them were more straight up rude than sarcastic.

The best sarcastic answer I saw was ‘The Sea, dumbass’. Though many made a mockery of what he decided to wear comparing his outfit to that of Mr Toad from the Wind in the Willows. Another great response was ‘your best years’. All hilarious. Politicians should really learn to think before they post on Twitter. Though, I’m sure they all expect it nowadays.

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by Helen Stirling

Feb24

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 24th February – 6 year old boy gets Facebook party & Feminist banning on Instagram

Here are today’s Likes and Fails!

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A mother was so upset after she arranged a Birthday party for her 6 year old with autism and no children showed up she turned to Facebook. She had invited 16 children from her son’s class, but no kids, or realistically none of their parents took them to the party. Naturally you don’t want your child to spend their sixth Birthday alone so a mother posted in a local community group urging anyone who could come by that day to celebrate her boy’s birthday with him and boy did they turn up. Eventually 16 kids showed up to the party and not only that the local services, like the police and the firemen showed up and let the boy try out the fire truck. They even brought him lots of toys for presents.

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See Facebook isn’t always bad.

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An Instagram account called ‘feminists on Tinder has been removed and suspended and feminists are not happy about it. Th account shares messages that a female Tinder user has had with male users on the site about feminism. The account does not violate guidelines but has been removed from the site twice. bviously a lot of people wanted to know why the account had been banned and started the hashtag #wewillnotbesilenced to help discover Instagrams reasoning and also to hopefully get the account reinstated. For some reason Instagram has not yet commented. Clearly not all about equal rights. What a big fat fail.

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by Helen Stirling