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Sep29

A Social Media Agency’s Round-Up – 29th September – Twitter Film Advertising, First Streaming Only Chart Position, Instagram blocked in China & Google Rolls Out TV Cards

Here is this week’s round-up for your perusal, news about Twitter, Google, Instagram and music streaming.

1. Twitter is to target film advertising 

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Twitter has decided to start a new type of advertising targeting film-goers, and film enthusiasts. It aims to send out tweets about films targeting people who may be interested in it based on their previous other tweets. Twitter had conducted research prior to implementing these adverts, and discovered that Twitter greatly influences people’s choices on films. They discovered that not only are people discovering new films on Twitter but they’re also sharing their experiences of the films they watch with friends and followers.

The adverts will be based upon targeting keywords, so if you tweet about a certain genre of film you will find adverts for films with similar themes, characters, other films from the same production company or just similar keyword based films. Twitter have previously had a similar TV targeting strategy in place too.

2.  Meghan Trainor first artist to make the chart on streaming alone

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So since the official charts made streaming an official means to get into the top 40 UK chart in June, no one had made the official chart on streams alone until now. Meghan Trainor an american female artist, with an exceptionally catchy song has hit number 33 in the chart on streams alone. This is because the song was not even released yet, but had been promoted with radio play, and was available to stream online, which meant she made the charts. It has now been released and will likely shoot even higher up the chart next week when sales are also taken into account.

3. Instagram blocked in Hong Kong and China

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Instagram has been blocked in China and Hong Kong after political protests in the latter location. The protests reached a high with clashes between police and protestors over the weekend and the rise of the #OccupyCentral hashtag led to Instagram being blocked as well as Facebook and Twitter. The protests have been fueled by Hong Kong residents who want the right to a democratic election in 2017 because of increasing controls by the Beijing government.

However doing a quick website test on the locations  right now, it appears as if Instagram and Facebook are back up in Hong Kong but still down in China.

4. Google rolls out TV cards in the UK

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The cards show personalised TV suggestions for the evenings schedule, and suggest other programmes based on your search history.  These cards and recommendations were previously only available for users in the US. The card show live tv suggestions as well as video on demand choices, and weirdly also has the option to use American streaming services like HBO GO for your suggestions. The feature is not officially listed as available in the UK, but the fact that it’s popped up in some cases here suggests that a bigger roll out is due to happen soon. Read more on The Next Web

 

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by Helen Stirling

Sep01

A Social Media Agency’s Monday News Round Up – Monday 1st September 2014: Naked Pics, Teacher Tweets and Facebook Makes Us Depressed

Afternoon social media fans, today’s weekend round-up comes slightly later than usual, but hey, we’re just getting over the fact that it’s September and summer is officially over *sad face*.

Naked Picture Leak 

If you’ve been online today, you can’t have failed to notice the main story everyone seems to be talking about it. Hackers managed to unearth naked pictures of several celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, for the entire internet to see. The hackers is reported to have 60 explicit images in his possession after he apparently managed to access the pictures through Apple’s iCloud service.

Other celebrities allegedly involved include Rihanna and Kim Kardashian. The good news is that Twitter are now suspending all accounts which publish the naked pictures.

Teacher Apologised for Tweet 

A teacher in the US has apologised for posting offensive tweets, after she updated her account claiming that she wanted to “stab some kids” and pour coffee on “the little a-holes”. Eesh. The teacher in California received a written reprimand from district officials after a colleague alerted the school to her musings.

If you’re ever considering tweeting about stabbing and pouring coffee over kids who are supposed to be in your care, we would recommend signing out of Twitter and going outside for a long walk.

Read more about the story on The Drum.

Facebook Makes Users Distrusting and Miserable

Facebook makes Dawson sad

New research has found that a number of social networks, including Facebook, “may threaten subjective well-being” by eroding the user’s trust in the rest of society with exposure to homophobic, racist or misogynistic content. Unsurprising really, when you think about how many times you want to put your first through the screen every time you see an idiot give their ridiculous views on current events.

The survey found that the affect of being exposed to such behaviour could have a harmful effect on people’s mental wellbeing.

If you were considering getting rid of Facebook from your life, this seems like a good a reason as any to go for it. You can read more on The Telegraph.

 

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by Iona St Joseph

Aug07

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails- Thursday 7th August 2014: Pinterest Messages and Immigration

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Pinterest has launched a messaging service across their apps and online. A strange move, you might think, seeing as the site is built around images, but their new move is proving to be very popular, and might even give Twitter’s DM service a run for its money.

Their messaging services allows you to send and discuss images on the site. You’d be right in thinking it’s pretty simple, because it is, but it’s the first time a site has really given such weight to images in messages. On sites like Facebook and Twitter for example, you have to upload the image from your device or send a URL, which, considering how lazy technology makes us, is becoming a massive effort.

Check out this nice video Pinterest have made to launch their service. It made me want to build a boat.

 

Fail

According to a Reuters report, social media sites like Facebook are helping to fuel an influx in immigration of Central Americans into the United States. People are increasingly logging in online before, during and after their journeys, in order to plan and keep in touch with family once they have arrived.

Forums online even have people asking questions like “Does someone know a coyote [smuggler] who can help me across the border to the United States?” and in many cases, the negotiations for these trips are organised over Facebook. One ‘coyote’ even told Reuters that most of his business is online.

You can read more about this story on Mashable.

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by Iona St Joseph

Aug06

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails- Wednesday August 6th 2014: Referendum and Bake Off

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As I’m sure you’ll all be aware, the Great British Bake Off returns to our screens this evening for the fifth series. However, it has moved from BBC Two to big sister channel BBC One. A travesty in my eyes, but that’s probably just my inner hipster coming out.

Anyhoo, last night, BBC Two tweeted a totes emotional message about the fact they were losing Bake Off to BBC One, and  a wonderful Twitter conversation was born.

You can read the whole exchange on Buzzfeed, and I’ll see you all at 8pm tonight for #GBBO *flexes tweeting thumbs*

Fail

If you were on Twitter last night, you can’t have failed to notice the conversation going on around the Scottish Referendum Independence debate. The leader of the SNP Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, who heads up the Better Together campaign in favour of the union, were having their first live televised TV debate.

Now, this would be all well and good, except that it was only broadcast in Scotland, so everyone who wanted to watch it that wasn’t in Scotland hopped on over to the STV Player to try and catch the action. Unfortunately, this turned out to be quite a lot of people, so the app broke and Twitter went nuts.

STV assured viewers that they were working to fix the issue, and that the debate would be available online several hours after it had finished, so there’s that.

 

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by Iona St Joseph

Jul18

Insight: Taking advantage of video for Social Campaigns and Businesses

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There’s no denying that online media is becoming more and more visual, text pieces are losing their oomph as images and video take over. It’s been revealed that YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine after Google, and that definitely says something about the visual shift. Not only is YouTube the second biggest search engine, but it’s also bigger than Bing, AOL, Ask and Yahoo combined, and has over 1 billion unique monthly visitors.

This is definitely a sign that your company should be working on getting video to be an important part of your online campaign. If the amount of time and investment in video is off-putting to you then there are other options with short form video on sites such as Vine and Instagram. These sites are especially useful for igniting your creativity in ways to advertise your business in quick engaging bursts. People these days have shorter attention spans so it’s more likely they’ll watch a 6 second looping Vine rather than a 5 minute video explaining your business. Unless of course you get Ryan Gosling to do it.

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Obviously there are limitations of using sites like Vine and Instagram, first off there’s that time limit, whilst useful for being creative, can be very limiting when trying to convey a longer point. Also, though these videos can be embedded they always seem like a much more ‘casual’ poption which may not be the impression you want to give off as a business, in which case another hosting site like YouTube, Vimeo or Vzaar might be more suited.

Plus going back to what we were saying initially, YouTube as a search engine could be extremely beneficial to your business and your videos. Having all your videos hosted on YouTube give them a greater chance of exposure, with the site having a higher exposure than any cable TV station in the US as well as a whopping 6 billion hours of video being watched on the site every month. The way videos are ranked on YouTube is a secret algorithm, but there are obvious factors taken in to account. These are the number of views (this seems to be a big factor), the title of the video, the video’s description and the video’s ratings. So the more relevant you can make the title and description the higher it will rank, also make sure not to ignore the tagging section on YouTube as this also helps the site know where to put the video.

Seeding your video will also be an important step in getting your video seen as well as pushing it up YouTube’s search rankings, which in turn will help it be seen by more people. You can start this off by sharing your video among different Social Network sites, making sure to post with relevant hashtags to potentially reach a wider audience than just your own followers.

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The rise of visual media online has also affected the way that other Social Networks rank their stories too, again showing how important videos and images are if you want to be seen. Facebook has changed their algorithm more recently, making pictures more important in a news feed and ranking them higher, this is also true of video content on the site, there is definitely a bigger focus on the visual as opposed to before when there was an even mix of text and visual content. The focus on video for Facebook has been proven even more recently, where they’ve been seen testing video enhancements on the site, such as suggesting similar videos after you finish watching one on the site. This is obviously a copycat of YouTube’s suggested videos feature, but again cementing the demand for more video content.

Video can be a very tricky medium to get right, it’s important to make sure that you won’t be wasting money and commitment on a video which does nothing for the brand you’re trying to promote. It can be more important to spend time on relevant content than to create a bad video just because you feel you need a video. Planning a video and thinking over a few different ideas is the best way to make sure you get what you definitely want, as well as something successful. Whilst many people think that jumping on to an online trend is a great way to be seen and rank, if it’s not well timed or relevant it can end up drowning among all the similar content which are trying to do the same thing.

If you have a quick thinking team with quick turnarounds then it’s possible, but not highly advisable. It’s probably better to focus on being original and creating your own trend.

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by Helen Stirling

Jul07

A Social media Agency’s Round-up blog – 7th July – Djokovic brand tweets, American Apparel apologise, Facebook engagement, Harry Styles’s favourite tweet

It’s Monday, and here’s the Round-Up of Social Media news you may have missed.

1. Djokovic won Wimbledon yesterday

The Wimbledon Mens singles came to an end yesterday and Djokovic beat Federer to win the title, and as usual a few brands hopped on to the bandwagon and created some original images to celebrate his win. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had Federer images pre made too, ready to go out for whatever the eventuality. It was mostly brand ambassadors of the tennis star who congratulated him but a few other sports brands chipped in. You can see a few of the tweets below.

 

2. American Apparel apologises

American Apparel has apologised after they accidentally posted an insensitive photograph on the 4th of July. The photo in question was an image of the space shuttle Challenger disaster where all 7 people on board were killed. They say that the photograph was reblogged on Tumblr in error after the staff member in question thought that the image was of fireworks. It has also been made clear now that the member of staff was born after the events in the photo and so was unaware of the significance of the photograph.

3. Facebook Engagement


Two people have got engaged after meeting through mutual friends on Facebook, and it all started with a Poke. The couple got engaged at Facebook’s headquarters after the guy proposing pretended that the couple had won a competition for a free tour of the Facebook grounds and building. When the couple got to the square he got down on one knee and the message ‘Nafis, will you Marry me?’ appeared on the outdoor screen. They say that they first got in contact when Steven poked Nafis on Facebook and they struck up a conversation from that meeting.

4. Harry Styles sends Twitter into meltdown

As per usual a member of One Direction has sent Twitter into meltdown, this was after a fan noticed that Harry Styles had favourited a questionable porn themed tweet back at the end of May. Obviously this discovery quickly made fans a little over excited, and of course a hashtag began trending almost instantly; #Harrydontlickanything was picked up by fans worldwide (in case you’re confused, the original tweet referenced licking something…). He’s since un-favourited the tweet and has replaced the favourite with many pictures of cute puppies.

 

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by Helen Stirling

May28

How to make your brand stand out amongst the competition.

Social Media is a big deal for a brand, we all know it, but unfortunately we ALL know it, so competition is stiff. Therefore it’s important as a brand to have all aspects of your business up to scratch to make sure that you’re the company grabbing the attention. A branding mistake can be detrimental to your company, so it’s important to have Social Media Guidelines that the whole company can comply to, to make sure that the company is always seen in a positive light. It’s also a good idea to ensure that everyone within the team knows the vision that the company has and that they stick to it.

1. The Name

The name is the first thing that people will learn about your business so it has to be good. Not only does it have to be easy to remember but it should also evoke a feeling that links well to your company, your customers need to know what your company is about. The most important thing is to be memorable so if you’ve said the name in a presentation, you want a person who’s heard it to be able pop it into a search engine without any issue forgetting it. These so called creative names that keep popping up, with two ‘iis’ on the end, that often sound like a word from a CeBeebies programme are just not memorable enough. The best thing to do is to find a name which is easy to pronounce and spell as well as checking that it has a domain that’s available and fairly cheap.

2. The Vision

Personality, business values and ethics are all things which should be covered in a company policy, as well as made clear in a Social Media policy. It will ensure that all employees are upholding the company values in their own social media accounts as well as in real life. Making sure that all employees are clear on the vision for the company means that there are less likely to be any Social Media blunders, or any incidents involving a company dispute. Obviously it’s completely up to you what your company’s vision should be, though I can’t say I suggest/encourage NSFW language or content, but make sure you have a personal feel to your brand image.

3. The Logo

A logo can be a hard task; once you’ve got a name you need to create the perfect logo that will truly represent you as a company and a brand. You’ve thought about the company’s vision and now you should be ready to create something that will speak to your customers as well as be recognisable. The main thing to think about is whether the logo fits your company, for example if you’re a small solicitor firm and your logo is a cartoon rabbit; why? Keep it relevant and if you’re not sure how your design’s come across perhaps test them out with people who don’t know your company and see what they first think of when they see the logos, that should give you more than an inkling if the logo fits. If you’re really struggling then going for something simple, neutral and clean is defintely a better idea than making it overcomplicated.

4. Social Media

 On your Social Media accounts make sure you pay close attention to your company’s vision and ethics and make sure that every update posted complies with them. Responding to clients and questions to people via social media should also be kept within company guidelines, adopt an online tone of voice and stick to it, this doesn’t have to be stern, you can be joke-y or sarcastic, as long as you know you have the right audience for it, you don’t want to offend anyone. Think through any hashtags you might want to promote; think of ALL of the possibilities, we don’t want another #Susanalbumparty. It’s simple really, keep to one tone of voice, engage with users in a polite way and keep savvy with your account passwords, changing them regularly and making sure each account has a different login.

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by Helen Stirling

Apr30

How to use Social Media to win new Business

Social Media has changed the way businesses interact with existing customers and has become one of the most important tools when it comes to attracting new clients – if you use it effectively, there’s no limit to the benefit it could have on your business, so to help you on your way, we’ve outlined some key points for you to keep in mind when you’re attempting to win over potential new business.

Engage with your current customers

This may sound like a bit of a no-brainer, but it can be tempting to go after new customers exclusively and as a result, your existing ones get left behind. Social Media has made it easier than ever for potential customers to look up a business online and find out everything they need to know about the business’s reputation. If a potential customer sees queries from existing customers going unresolved it doesn’t look good – so make sure that you keep your existing customer base happy by being pro-active and engaging with them.

Don’t forget; engaging with your current customers is different to marketing directly to them. Successful use of social media doesn’t tend to revolve around blind promotion. Actively attempt to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way – bottom line; try to be a little more creative with your content…

 

Make Great Content

Again, this may seem pretty self-explanatory but social media is a pretty crowded place for businesses trying to make a noise. Bear in mind that potential customers are probably being bombarded with content left, right and centre on their various pages – so make the effort when it comes to making your content stand out. Good design goes a long way, and image based posts tend to attract more attention than plain blocks of text – put the time into really thinking about your content, because ultimately, it’s the businesses that stand out from the crowd with interesting content that tend to prosper.

 

Make them an offer they can’t refuse

Offering special offers and discounts is a tried and tested method when it comes to attracting new clients outside of the internet – so why should it be any different online? Social media gives you the tools you need to talk directly to your customers – and let’s face it, people who follow the social media pages of a business tend to do it because they expect some kind of benefit. The sooner you become used to the reality that this involves giving deals and special offers to your customers the better, and if your deal is a pretty decent one, word will soon spread and it won’t be long before new customers find themselves on your page.

 

Keep it focused

A lot of companies, after some initial success on social media, think that they have found the answer and as a result, they end up losing focus – and nothing annoys potential customers more than irrelevant posts cropping up on their feed.  You can’t be everywhere at once, so don’t try – keep it focused and make sure you highlight the key benefits of your business without outstaying your welcome.

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by Helen Stirling

Apr11

Facebook Actually Makes An Effort to Clean Up Newsfeed Spam

We thought Twitter’s new design had ruined our social media vibe for this week, until we found out this morning that Facebook is (apparently) going to be making a conscious effort to clean up spam in our newsfeeds. Hurrah!

like-baiting-screenshot

In a post on their newsroom blog, Facebook have announced a series of improvements to the News Feed to reduce stories that people frequently tell them are spammy and that they don’t want to see. There are three main areas that they are tackling, which are:

- Like Baiting

According to a bunch of Facebook surveys that they’ve done, like baiting posts are, on average, 15% less interesting that anything else that is posted on people’s news feeds. As these give for a less enjoyable Facebook experience for everyone involved, as they dilute semi-decent content that  would normally be on your newsfeed.

- Frequently Circulated Content

Sometimes it’s ok to re-share content on Facebook, but most of the time it’s just annoying. Don’t flatter yourself, no-one wants to see it more than twice. Facebook will be improving newsfeeds to that they de-emphasise these pages, so they are no longer appearing.

- Spammy Links

Facebook have been measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, which, somehow, has meant that they have been able to better detect spammy links. Today’s update will hopefully remove a lot of these links, so we no longer have to deal with them.

 

It’s all well and good that Facebook are making an effort to reduce spammy content, but what about the paid spam that goes out on a daily basis? I don’t give a crap if one of my friends likes FarmCrushCandySaga, I’m sure as hell not going to like it and I don’t want it appearing in my newsfeed, because it’s spammy and annoying.

I sound like one of those people that just finds something to whinge about, but as soon as Facebook started caring more about businesses and advertisers than consumers, it has become spammy. That combined with parents and grandparents joining the site means that the hip, cool kids are off. So lets see how this latest update affects people, and if anyone even notices.

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by Iona St Joseph

Apr09

How to manage all your social accounts from your phone.

So you’re regularly on the move and you’re having trouble keeping all your social media in check? Well no fear because we have some great tips to help you manage all your social accounts on mobile. With even more ‘everyday’ social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google Plus it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening where and to keep your schedule of putting out messages and statuses.

We’re obviously assuming you have a smartphone here, if you don’t you should probably stop reading as I don’t think I’ll be able to help you. However if you have a phone with apps then you are in the right place.

social apps

The first thing to take note of are social media management apps, one of the most famous and possibly the most used desktop versions is Hootsuite, which is also available as an app. As a personal note, I am not a massive fan of the Hootsuite app layout, I feel like it needs a cleaner interface, that said it does work well, and you can switch between different notifications by swiping and you can easily see all your accounts on the home page.

The other options available in the management tools market are Seesmic, an app which helps you to manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts in much the same way as Hootsuite, it is available as a free app but more features are available in the paid version which costs £1.89, a good investment if you’re a Facebook and Twitter addict. Buffer is another great management tool, it allows you to schedule posts for all the major social networks, not just Facebook and Twitter, the app is free for a short period of time, but after that there is a monthly subscription fee which allows you to have two logins ad up to 12 accounts on it. This app is especially useful for people who work in Social Media.

Another great app is SocialOomph which has the ability to scheduled your tweets for the whole day, as well as auto-follow any new followers you gain during the day. The app can also help you schedule blog posts, track keywords, promote profiles shorten urls and loads more.

Now then, looking at apps that aren’t management tools, you can choose from all the official apps of the networks, most of which are the best versions of themselves. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram etc all work perfectly and most of them have the options to turn push notifications on and off which will allow you to not be hassled by constant beeping all day long. Another great app made by Facebook themselves is the pages manager which has an easy to use interface and allows you to keep track of all of your Facebook pages, see the insights, schedule posts and events. This is especially useful on a mobile device as pages for bands or artists may need to create last minute events to post to fans.

If you decide to use all the official apps, which is what I do as I prefer their interfaces, it can be a good idea to group them all in a ‘Social’ app folder so you have them all in one place, and it makes it more likely that you’ll notice an app you haven’t checked in a while.

So there we have it, some of the best ways to keep all your social media accounts in check on your phone. Go forth and tweet!

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by Helen Stirling