Attention social media marketers: In case you didn’t notice, Facebook wasn’t the only one to change the rules on you lately. Earlier this year, Twitter announced changes that could really affect how you utilize Twitter to market to your audience.
Once upon a time, Twitter was the go-to platform for 140-character efficacy; reaching your core audience by delivering short, concise messages, becoming an influencer and getting key influencers to recommend your products or services were all pluses in a platform that appeared to be as good as it was going to get. The changes rolled out earlier this year, however, paint the picture of a platform on the verge of a metamorphosis—one that can either make or break your Twitter approach.
What’s Your Tweet Worth?
By far the most important change has been Twitter’s ability to now assign a value to your tweet. In other words, Twitter will be able to tell the streaming API whether or not your tweet has no, low, medium or high value as compared to other streaming tweets. This means that, in Twitter applications where you are able to filter results, you will be able to filter by low, medium, or high value, with the “no” standing for no filtering.
The real key to value appropriation with regard to tweets is that Twitter is moving in the direction of Facebook, where sponsored tweets could theoretically get more hits because they would be considered to have greater (high) value. Even though Twitter may be one of your key social media platforms in your company’s marketing strategy, now it may become even more competitive—not to mention more costly—to get people to see your tweets on stream.
Other Changes: Language filters, DM, Scheduled Tweets
There are other key changes on the horizon for Twitter users.
- Language filters will enable Twitter to detect tweets written in different languages and give users the ability to search by language. This is highly valuable, as it will give your audience more opportunities to find you, no matter what language you’re tweeting in.
- It used to be that Twitter only allowed people who were following each other to Direct Message (DM) each other. Now, Twitter gives users the option to send and receive DMs to and from anyone, regardless of follow status. This is also a pretty significant change for marketers; it means you can reach out privately to prospective clients, influencers and the like, provided that they have chosen to receive messages from anyone. (Source: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/15/twitter-direct-messages-all-followers/ )
- Do you use Twitter’s ad products? Have you been scheduling promoted tweets with another application? Now you can ditch that third-party app and schedule your organic and promoted tweets up to a year in advance by using Twitter’s scheduled tweet capabilities. This will greatly enhance usability for social media marketers engaged in Twitter ad campaigns, as it will cut out the middle man and allow you to use Twitter for scheduling. (Source: https://blog.twitter.com/2013/now-available-scheduled-tweets)
What do you think of Twitter’s changes and how it may affect your business? To learn more about leveraging Twitter for your business, call 877.768.8317 or visit Splashmedia.com
If you thought the posting of Instagram selfies and food photos slowed down during the holidays, you could not be more mistaken! In fact, it’s almost as if the holidays were meant for regularly scheduled Instagram posts and festive hashtags. This is the time of year when folks show off their Instagramming skills with pics of their Thanksgiving meals, Christmas shopping sprees and holiday special events. If you’re a business owner who’s not in on the Instagram craze, however, this is the perfect time of year for you to take a cue from regular folks, break out your phone and start telling your brand’s Instagram story!
The Instagram Connection: Ways Instagram Helps Your Brand
Social media has helped brands grow in popularity by leaps and bounds because it creates a personal connection between the consumer and the brand. It knocks down the imaginary fourth wall that often separates businesses and their clientele, and it gives people a glimpse of the human connection behind the corporate image. Holiday Instagram campaigns greatly contribute to that connection in many ways.
1. Instagram helps you tell your brand’s holiday story. Whether you have a new marketing approach to try for your business this holiday season, or you just didn’t have a way of expanding your brand’s current marketing strategy, Instagram is the perfect way to tell your brand’s holiday story. Share photos with your followers, encourage followers to post photos of their experiences with your brand, and use unique hashtags that redirect followers to you. You can even do a year in review and tell your brand’s 2013 story with a collage of the top moments of the year.
2. Instagram paves the way for successful holiday promotions. Holiday Instagram campaigns can help you share your latest promotions and contests with your fan base. You can play up the season of giving, and give away products or prizes. You can also promote special sale items each day during the month of December. Incorporating short videos to share will differentiate your brand and help you to stand out from your competitors.
3. Instagram contributes to brand awareness. The holiday season is the perfect time for folks to Instagram their shopping sprees, holiday décor, presents, and great buys. Whether yours is a product, a service or a cause, your brand can be—and probably will be—the topic of many Instagram tags and photos. Encourage your social media community to contribute to brand awareness by sharing their experiences with your business through their phone’s photo filters, and to create a visual connection to your brand.
4. Instagram highlights your brand’s achievements and inspires support. The holidays are a great time to share feel-good stories about your brand. Share your achievements of the past year, including special events of note and other activities and memories that make your brand relatable to your audience. Don’t be shy! Take pride in that 10K your company sponsored this summer, or let people know about that special cause that you support. Tell your followers about the toy drive you’re holding for needy children this Christmas. When it comes to highlighting things that are important to your business, the adage about a picture being worth a thousand words is much more evident in social media.
Start Holiday Instagram Campaigns Today!
This holiday season, incorporate Instagram’s photos and videos into your corporate marketing strategy, and tell your brand’s holiday story successfully. To learn more about leveraging Instagram for your business, call 877.768.8317 or visit Splashmedia.com
In case you haven’t heard, this month has been designated No-Shave November. Designed to raise cancer awareness and funding, No-Shave November is a web-based initiative in which people are encouraged to forgo personal hair removal for a month, while donating the money that would’ve gone toward personal grooming to cancer research. Forming teams and finding fundraising opportunities is also encouraged, with the goal of putting as much money toward the cause as possible during this one-month push. It’s a fun way to draw attention to cancer-related causes, through facial hair growing contests and sponsored unkempt appearances. Companies are embracing this event as a way to draw attention to their brands while supporting a cause, and they’re finding creative ways to do it.
It makes perfect sense, of course, for charities that regularly support cancer research to make the most of No-Shave November. St Jude Children’s Research Hospital encourages people to form teams and raise money, which resulted in almost $130,000 of funding in 2012. So far this year, the American Cancer Society has used No-Shave November to raise almost $160,000.
Some companies take it beyond No-Shave November. PointRoll, for instance, also participated in Octobeard, eschewing the razor for an extra month in order to support men’s health and cancer research. The staff formed two teams, and the Creative Team and Client Service Team challenged each other to raise at least $1000 over the course of the two months. The winner, of course, will be the team that raises the most money, and at the end of the month there will also be a vote for best beard.
Oreo is a brand that makes excellent use of social media. Given its success embracing events as diverse as the power outage at the Super Bowl, the Mars Rover landing, Elvis Week, and Pride, it’s no surprise that their marketing team would come up with an ingenious way to celebrate No-Shave November. They didn’t disappoint, using mustachioed cookies with clever nicknames in an appealing graphic.
If you want to dress to advertise your support of the cause, companies like Little Mountain Print Shoppe make it easy, with t-shirts that feature hand-drawn artwork promoting facial hair. Others have jumped on this idea as well, with companies like Inktastic, CafePress, and Spreadshirt offering a wide assortment of themed products—from mouse pads to phone cases to clothing, emblazoned with beards, mustaches, and clever slogans. Given the recent popularity of mustaches, this a great way for these businesses to make some money while helping people show off their no-shave pride.
Of course, when you’re the latest big thing, you’ve got a great opportunity to make a difference for a cause. That’s why it’s praiseworthy that the folks from Duck Dynasty have partnered with Corello, a highly favored fashion line, to raise money this month. Known for extravagant facial hair all year long, the men of Duck Dynasty are a logical choice to represent No-Shave November; they’re also a good representation of the Corello brand, which is an edgy, Nashville-based company. Duck Dynasty’s Jep and Jessica Robertson are appearing in Corello marketing efforts, and the designer is giving 10% of the month’s proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
So what’s the point? Capitalizing on a cause as a way to promote your business may seem a little cynical, but in truth, it’s a great idea. It allows you to lend your support, promote your brand, and establish your company as a benevolent entity, all at the same time. If you’re looking for good ideas for growing your business and keeping up with social marketing trends, Splash Media can help. For more information on social media solutions or best practices visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
It has been big news across social media that Snapchat turned down a buyout offer from Facebook. Speculations are rife regarding the wisdom of this decision, the reasons why it was made, and the reasons for the offer in the first place. Is Facebook desperate to hold onto its younger members? And is Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel crazy to turn down such a large sum of money? More to the point, is Snapchat worth more than that?
As far as what Snapchat is or is not worth, it may be too soon to tell. At only 2 years old, the company, whose mobile app allows users to send texts and photos that disappear in a matter of seconds, is still the new kid in town. Of course, that’s part of the appeal; Snapchat is new enough to be intriguing to a young audience, largely comprised of kids who’ve determined that Facebook is passé. That’s also why turning down such a large offer from Facebook seems insane. If Snapchat is banking on the fact that social media platforms have their day in the sun and then lose their audience to newer, hipper platforms, why wouldn’t the company capitalize on its own 15 minutes of fame by going ahead with the sale?
It may be because Snapchat thinks it can do better. Some other companies, including China’s Tencent Holdings, have made offers pushing the value to as high as $4 billion. While other, more established platforms are valued much higher—Twitter at $25 billion and Facebook at $100 billion—$4 billion still seems like a lot for a company that up until a month ago operated out of a house in Southern California. It’s especially interesting to think that this kind of money is being offered for a company that has yet to turn a profit.
Part of this valuation is based on Snapchat’s rapidly growing user base, evidenced by recent reports by the company that it’s processing more than 350 million messages a day, up from 60 million in February. Messaging services like Snapchat and Tencent’s WeChat are experiencing exponential growth, and many of the users are teenagers. With recent research indicating that Facebook’s popularity is waning among younger users, it’s not surprising that the social media giant would be interested in snapping up the next big thing. Last year’s purchase of Instagram for $1 billion seemed, to many, a bad investment, but it’s a gamble that paid off; certainly Facebook was looking to repeat that success with Snapchat.
Of course, making business decisions based on the whims of 13–19-year-olds is a risky proposition. Teenagers are notoriously fickle, and what’s cool one week may be old news by the next. In addition, kids don’t always make the best decisions regarding “the next best thing” in tech. However, part of Snapchat’s charm is that messages don’t save for longer than a few seconds; that’s extremely attractive to people who value their privacy, regardless of age. Whether or not it will hold its appeal and continue to grow is something we won’t know until later.
In the end, Snapchat may have gained some ground by turning down Facebook’s offer. There’s something to be said for the cocky attitude displayed by this young upstart in turning down such a large sum of money, and for some suitors this makes the business more appealing. The refusal seems to have already bought Snapchat some extra leverage, while arousing interest in other companies who might consider making an offer.
For the rest of us, this development with Snapchat and Facebook just points out how rapidly the face of social media changes—even the major players sometimes have to scramble to keep up. If you’re not sure how to best use social media to grow your business and keep up with market trends, Splash Media can help. For more information on social media solutions or best practices visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.