Social Media News Roundup: September 2018

In social media news this month, Instagram improves on its desktop version and hashtag features, Facebook opens its arms to dating and Twitter tests the upvote and downvote options.
From Mobile to Desktop

September has been a busy month for Instagram as they have introduced new features to their Shopping, Direct Messaging and Desktop version of the app.

However, one of the most important steps the app has taken this month is the improvements to its desktop version. Instagram has taken another step away from being just another ‘mobile’ only app as it has developed its desktop version with in-browser notifications. That’s right, you could be checking your friends’ Facebook posts, replying to emails or messaging your group chat on WhatsApp, but if someone followers you or likes your image on Instagram, you’ll get a notification on your laptop or computer. It’s a super nifty feature for those that want to still be connected to the app while working or typing away.

Hidden Hashtags

Instagram has also turned its attention to its hashtags this month by looking at ways people can use them without them showing up in the caption or comments. This feature would tidy up user’s posts and make brands and business profiles look more professional, while still generating the engagement and reach adding all those hashtags onto your image or video normally would. The new way to hashtag is currently in testing and a couple users have had a glimpse of the new feature, which comes up just before you press ‘Share’.

Single; Taken; Facebook Dating

For those who haven’t found what they’re looking for, Facebook Dating has finally entered the world. It makes sense as Facebook knows pretty much everything about you – your interests, what you do at weekends, what countries you’ve visited and who your friends are. The Facebook Dating feature has been designed to manufacture long-lasting relationships, rather than connecting people for the short-term. At the end of September, the new dating feature was released in Columbia. Facebook Dating will stand alone from Facebook so you’re safe from your friends’ prying eyes and there are limitations on how many people you can interact with a day.

Twitter’s Up and Down

Twitter has been testing the upvote and downvote feature on their site this month as this new way to like or dislike items becomes increasingly more popular among social media platforms. The idea is you’ll still be able to retweet, but the ‘like’ button will be replaced by the two new ways to interact. This is another bid for Twitter’s rebellion against fake news and misleading information – if a tweet is downvoted, we imagine less people will start to see it and your feed will start to align with what you deem positive and negative.

The post Social Media News Roundup: September 2018 appeared first on Giraffe Social Media.

SAG-AFTRA pickets ad agency BBH Los Angeles for ditching union contract

The actors’ union has been on strike against the ad agency since September 20.

Hundreds of actors and supporters picketed outside ad agency BBH Los Angeles’s West Hollywood offices yesterday, bringing the strike the union has held since September 20 to the agency’s Melrose Avenue front door. At issue is the agency’s withdrawal from the union agreement after two decades, citing cost and an evolving media landscape.

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Brand Matters: On language and brand experience

In this episode of Brand Matters, Chad Cipoletti, Group Director, Brand Communication, discusses why we should look at language across the entire brand experience.

Chad Cipoletti is Group Director, Brand Communication, at Siegel+Gale.

Brand Matters is a video series in which our experts elaborate on topics ranging from branding to design to experience, all through the lens of simplicity.

The post Brand Matters: On language and brand experience appeared first on Siegel+Gale: Brand Consulting, Experience, Strategy, and Design.

The challenge of finding fulfilment in an age of digital distraction

phone

By Yelena Gaufman, Strategy Partner

I wrote half this post with my phone on the desk, and half with my phone in my drawer. Can you guess which was written more quickly?

The fact is, we can’t ignore the promise of a new notification, or on the other hand the uncertainty of a blank screen (surely there’s something waiting for me in there?). We tap. We check in. One more time. Just in case.

Whether it’s feeling a phantom buzz in our pocket or the reflex to Google things we know to be true, most of us can relate to feeling not just connected to but increasingly dependent on smart devices and the services they provide.

For a long time we’ve accepted these things as par for the course in today’s world, but increasingly we’re learning that these might be symptoms of a damaging trend.

Now, a movement to shield us from the negative effects of this ever-connected world is building steam. Scroll-free September is well underway, with participants motivated to spend less time on-screen by a raft of findings measuring the impact of tech – socially (restriction of informed debate by online filter bubbles), mentally (social media use linked with increased anxiety and depression), physically (increased rates of near-sightedness blamed on a proliferation of small screens) and emotionally (last week, addiction to Fortnite was cited as a significant reason for divorce).

This month Ofcom added its latest findings to a growing pile of evidence to show we’re becoming less enamored with our digital lives.

In particular, its survey found 79% of UK adult internet users have concerns about going online which include privacy, security, harassment and content. Overall, 66% of respondents were concerned specifically about the quality and intent of online content, with disinformation, pornography, violent material and terrorist propaganda all cited as major concerns.

It seems not only do devices and platforms cause us problems, but some of the content we find through them isn’t doing us much good either.

It sounds like switching off, disconnecting and logging out for good is the only way out. But is that true?

The mounting body of evidence against digital technology could, perhaps, trigger a pendulum-swing of social attitudes towards a digital detox. But I believe this would be short lived; we know that there is great value in connectivity, smart devices and the services they provide us.

There’s no question we need to readjust and find balance in our lives, not just away from tech but in the course of our tech usage.

For me, the big question is: what services could survive a readjustment of our digital priorities?

Those apps which must decline are those that propagate addictive effects, described by Tristan Harris (ex-Googler, now digital campaigner) as: constant visual stimulation, a never-ending wave of on-screen notifications and random reinforcement mechanics which apps and devices use to keep us hooked. The same elements which lead me to believe my phone has a new notification every two minutes.

On the other hand, tech which rewards us meaningfully for our time spent with them should be flourishing.

So, where are they?

The Center for Humane Technology, Harris’ non-profit organisation driving the burgeoning ‘Time Well Spent’ movement, conducted research to understand which apps a survey of 200,000 iPhone users found to make them most and least happy, and how much time was spent on them each day.

No surprise that utility-driven apps like calendars, weather forecasts and maps top the happiness list: we open them for a job to be done and our needs are fulfilled simply and quickly by the experience they offer. By the same stroke, of course the apps which leave us most unhappy are those which suck up loads of time to achieve very little – endless puzzle games and infinite social feeds in particular.

More interesting – and heartening – is to look at the green column and find platforms for enrichment among the utilities. Those include apps like Headspace which allow us to mentally declutter, but also services for immersing ourselves in thoughtful material through music, literature and discourse on podcasts, reading apps and streaming services.

Yet even these apps occupy a relatively small proportion of our time compared to the most unfulfilling experiences out there. Audible was the ‘happiest’ content provider on the list, yet time spent with it was a fraction of that spent on the unhappiest apps in CHT’s study.

The fact is bad apps dominate the tech conversation – whether they’re advertising proactively or taking a beating for their effects on users. The apps we should be using more of aren’t nearly so vocal.

Our latest campaign for Audible, ‘Mindful Moments’, seeks to redress this imbalance, by tackling mindless tech head-on. Because why should users feel compelled to scroll, swipe and tap their precious time away when they could find themselves not only entertained but also enriched by taking in a great book?

We hatched a campaign to turn all this anti-tech momentum into a positive message – to remind audiences that there is an alternative to that list of unhappy apps. That our time can be well spent with tech without the side-effects.

Because as we become more aware of the side-effects of online life, and find more ways to shield ourselves from it, we risk stripping all the great stuff out too. The vibrant social networks, the quality content and the immediacy of everything can all add a great deal to our lives if the right platforms provide it.

A life without tech isn’t the answer, but if the worst platforms out there dominate the conversation we risk heading that way. Instead, worthwhile and humane tech platforms must speak up to state their case and stand against their mindless cousins to promote the balance we need.

This article first featured in The Drum

In-store experiences: Establishing a new sense of belonging

There’s been a lot said over the years about the impending death of retail.

And if any business is going to stem this tide, it’s a retailer who understands a core consumer truth: Humans have an innate desire to belong, to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

Because though it appears we want to buy things, what we really want is to buy in.

So retailers need to focus less on selling us something, and more on making us feel something.

Storefronts need to transform from a place to buy…to a place to be.

Setting the standard
Apple is already viewing their retail stores as “town squares” – a place where you cannot just buy, but gather, meet, learn and—yes—belong. So it’s not surprising to see they ranked within the top 5 (in the UK) and 10 (in the US) of Jack Morton’s Experience Brand Index – a global research study of 6,000 consumers, 100 brands and 10 industries – proving they are a true Experience Brand that understands the importance of delivering positive, meaningful customer interactions.

As brands, Jeep, Mini and Harley Davidson have set the standard for selling a sense of belonging. They don’t sell vehicles. They sell a tribe.

USAA doesn’t sell insurance; they sell gratitude and reciprocal commitment—greeting every member who calls not just with their name, but also their military rank.

Fostering a community
In many storefronts that once housed traditional retail concepts, Orange Theory, SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp all get many of us out of bed not because we can’t get that workout somewhere else (and less expensively), but because we can’t replicate that rush of energy, that collective buzz, that sense of inclusion and community.

On main streets everywhere, coffee shops and bars have been able to charge huge premiums for years because they create the feeling of being remembered, welcomed back. The perceived benefits of being a “regular” – one of the crowd, but still known uniquely as you.

Subscription services cracked the belonging code years ago. You don’t just get sent a box of organic diapers, pre-measured groceries, curated beauty products or hand-selected clothes. You’re a member whose needs, whose preferences are remembered, understood.

But here’s the thing: calling it a membership alone doesn’t create a true sense of belonging, even if it’s a successful business. After all, Amazon’s Prime customers are called “members”, but do they actually feel like they are a part of something—or just that they’re upgraded to the equivalent of a seat with more legroom? How many of us have countless loyalty cards that don’t make us feel very loyal at all? For how many of us has one-to-one e-CRM marketing long ago lost the feeling of a real Relationship?

Because technology has us more connected than ever. But to what, exactly? Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow, Harvard Law School says technology actually has us “feeling more isolated, lonely and disconnected than ever.”

Moving from transactions to relationships
So, as brands, we have real opportunity to fill this belonging gap. To infuse our touchpoints – aka proofpoints – with both individual and collective experiences that will make our customers know that we truly value them. And while we’ll strive to do this for all interactions with customers, we’ll ensure our in-store experiences are proactive, empathetic, generous.

Because our retail stores won’t survive on selling stuff alone. They’ll survive—and thrive—by selling an extraordinary in-store experience that feels personal, but is delivered to everyone. If we want our customers to show passion for our business, we have to show the same passion for theirs.

in-store marketingPut simply, at retail and in life, we don’t want transactions. We want relationships. Because we’re not just handing over our money, we’re giving our time. We’re giving over a piece of ourselves.

And the only way to keep our products and services from becoming a commodity is to avoid treating our customers like one.

The post In-store experiences: Establishing a new sense of belonging appeared first on Jack Morton.

New client: Good Life

Good Life turns virtuous veg into seriously tasty veggie food. Rather than mimicking meat, their healthy and flavourful food lets veg do their thing while helping their consumers feel their best – because balance is what a Good Life’s all about.

Our work

Goodlife has appointed us as their brand development agency where we have refined their proposition to be all about Feel Good Food, developing their proposition, positioning and communication plan as well as creating their tone of voice. Among other branding projects, we’re also working with them on their packaging and other literature.

Ali Reilly, Marketing Manager of Good Life, says:

“Good Life are thrilled to be working with Together to encourage more consumers to start eating delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. The rise of flexitarianism or VNATS (Vegetarians Now & Then) has been so prominent recently and the market growth has been astronomical. Over 14% or ‘1 in 7 adults* now say they are interested in limiting or reducing their consumption of meat or poultry in the future’ and we’re here to help them do that.”

What’s next?

Stay tuned. We’ll soon be launching the new packaging into Good Life’s retailers. In the meantime, you can learn more about Good Life here.

*[Mintel]

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QDOBA Ships Chipotle a Truckload of Trolling

Did you hear about Chipotle’s attempt at free guacamole this National Avocado Day? So did we—and we decided to lend free-guac-expert QDOBA’s helping hand.

Not only has QDOBA been giving free guacamole with entrées for years, they don’t need to rely on made-up holidays, promotional events, apps, and coupon codes to get the job done. Given Chipotle’s newb status, we couldn’t resist giving a playful nudge.

That nudge came by way of a delivery truck loaded with 1,616 lbs. of avocados and a social media activation to get the message out. Making the rounds to multiple Denver Chipotles, we were able to troll the guac-is-extra giant on its home turf—we even paid a visit to their original flagship restaurant.

While the stunt was live for only one day, its impact lasted much longer. Not only did it generate significant buzz for the brand with over 100 million earned media impressions from BuzzFeed to CNBC and even Reddit, more importantly, the avocados were donated to the Food Bank of the Rockies and helped feed the hungry.

Watch the video and see people’s reactions on social media below.

 

 

 

 

 

This latest stunt comes on the heels of another round of savage trolling, just a few months earlier. Check out our reaction to Chipotle’s queso release, here.

The post QDOBA Ships Chipotle a Truckload of Trolling appeared first on Mistress.

The Search Engine Evolution: How Changing Habits are Turning Search into a Sales Center

Post by Maximilian Schichan, Biddable Strategy Associate Director

As e-commerce accelerates and consumer habits change, search engines are fast becoming shopping marketplaces in their own right. Retailers dominate results and are now favored in search results.

It’s time to re-evaluate your search strategy.

E-commerce continues to grow at an accelerated rate.

The rise of mobile-based shopping and the cementing of large scale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday has meant that online retail on e-commerce platforms has increased year over year in the past decade. In the last two years, the margin of increase has amplified even further.

Online as a % of all UK Retail Sales 2008-2017

Online still accounts for less than a sixth of all retail sales in the UK, meaning there is still plenty of room for growth.

By 2023, online sales are predicted to grow even further, to an estimated share of around 26% of all UK retail sales (Source: Mintel, Online Retailing UK, July 2018). There may be an ultimate ceiling for e-commerce, but we are far from it.

Huge sectors such as the Electronics industry have already seen the majority of spending migrate to online channels, while others like Grocery remain in a relative sense of infancy in terms of online development.

The Search Engine Page Results have changed drastically in the past four years:

There has been a seismic shift in the way we use search engines. No longer is the search engine a place primarily for information – it has become a marketplace in its own right.

It has become more and more important for e-retailers to achieve an integrated approach to advertising across both paid and organic search, as well as shopping listings (PLA).

In a study compiled by collecting data on Google SERP using Publicis’ search engine monitoring technology, we looked at a landscape view of websites appearing against TV related keywords in the UK on Google desktop and mobile listings.

The analysis was conducted across PPC, SEO and PLA formats and the data was taken over a month period (May-July) in 2018. Data from the same period in 2014 was pulled to serve as a comparison.

What was evident was that the shopping listings (PLAs) have become increasingly prominent. In 2014, they accounted for less than 5% of ad coverage on the SERP. Today that figure is nearly 25%.

Average coverage across listings on SERP 2014 v 2018

The conventional purchase intent funnel is being challenged by retailers’ activity and increasing presence on the Google SERP

Traditionally, the assumption is that retailers will focus their search investment and optimisations on the latter stages of the conventional purchase funnel – as there is said to be a higher level of purchase intent here.

Retailers are beginning support the notion that searches in the primary stages of the purchase intent funnel ultimately can, and do, lead to purchases.

Taking a similar approach to the analysis we conducted on the differences between the SERP in 2014 against 2018, we used ‘running shoes’ related search terms and monitored paid and organic listings; we split these keywords by purchase intent funnel, and monitored websites appearing against them.

The results in the ‘purchase’ end were as we expected, with retailers accounting for 95% of PPC and SEO coverage against these keywords. What we noticed, however, was that for ‘awareness’ search terms across PPC and SEO, retailers account for 60% of overall coverage on the SERP.

% of overall SERP coverage per type of website for awareness keywords

Retailers are expanding their presence on the SERP across all three listing types: Paid and organic search, and shopping listings 

The search landscape in 2018 includes more retailers than ever before and merchants are present across all three listing types on the results page.

The fact that they are ranking organically against these search terms indicates that Google’s search results relevancy algorithm is in favour of retailers occupying these positions.

As expected, for shopping ads, retailers account for 86% of listing coverage. The remaining 14% represents brands.

For paid search listings, retailers make up 57% of all advertiser coverage for TV awareness keywords, while brands account for 42%.

For organic search, retailers account for 45% of all coverage at the awareness stage of the purchase intent funnel. Brands make up 7%, while reviews/comparison sites provide the remaining 48%.

This analysis underlines the emerging dominance of retailers on the SERP. Google is beginning to prioritise retailers on SEO listings, and retailers are bidding aggressively on PPC listings.

Conclusion

While there are several conclusions that may be made from these data, it is important to put these findings into context. Results may vary across different verticals and studies.

The Strategy and Consultancy team at Performics is able to produce similar analyses, providing an in-depth study of the search space, and explore a brand’s position on the SERP as well as within retailer’s pages. This, in turn, will help inform the strategy and media buying.

The post The Search Engine Evolution: How Changing Habits are Turning Search into a Sales Center appeared first on Performics.

Snapchat Partners with Amazon to Launch Visual Search: Implications for Competitors, Social Commerce and Brands

Post by Mara Greenwald, Media Director

On Monday, Sept. 24, Snapchat announced a new visual search product in partnership with Amazon. The product allows a user to hold up their Snapchat camera, point at a physical product or barcode, then press and hold on the camera screen. Once the item or barcode is recognized, an Amazon card appears onscreen, giving the user the ability to shop that or similar products.

Implications for the Competitive Landscape

The new product, combined with the scale of Amazon, offers Snapchat the ability to compete with both Instagram and Pinterest in the evolving social commerce landscape.

The announcement comes just a few days after the unveiling of Shopping in Instagram Stories, another commerce tool set to change how consumers find products.

Instagram Stories is the fastest growing product in Facebook history, and now boasts twice the number of daily users as Snapchat. Launching Shopping in Stories is no doubt another huge competitive advantage Instagram has in the social commerce space. However, it’s possible that the power of Amazon, combined with visual search, a product Instagram does not (yet) have, could allow Snapchat to not only compete, but pose a threat in the space. Pinterest, on the other hand, has had their Lens tool since February 2017. While Pinterest captures search and intent natively in the platform, Snapchat has the advantage of being a user- based platform. The Pinterest Lens feature can only be accessed after the user goes to the main screen in the app, Snapchat opens immediately to the camera. This could be a huge competitive advantage for Snapchat.

Implications for Amazon

There’s a big benefit to Amazon here, as well. Amazon has tried to launch social networks or standalone apps in the past, but none have been able to compete with the social giants of the world. Launching a standalone visual search tool would be both challenging to build and to market. Creating a new user-experience in an existing or standalone app tends to fail. Snapchat already has a strong, active daily user-base taking photos of everyone and everything. The app naturally opens to the camera, meaning there is a seamless process between seeing a product and Snapping it.

It’s a win for Amazon.

Implications for Social Commerce

We are already starting to see consumers convert in new and evolving places. Instagram Stories, previously considered an awareness or consideration channel, has been driving significant revenue for Performics’ clients. Retail traffic from social networks grew 146% in Q2 2017, compared with 45% in search and 7% in display. According to a 2017 ViSenze Commerce Report, 31.8% of respondents report Facebook has influenced them to make a purchase decision, compared to 16.4% Pinterest, 12.5% Instagram and only 1.7% Snapchat. While Snapchat has been growing their store capabilities and proving successful selling out exclusive, limited edition products, it hasn’t become a large player in the commerce space yet. Partnering with Amazon could open up significant growth for Snapchat.

Challenges

Snapchat is facing significant challenges. eMarketer just lowered their annual ad revenue projection to $662.1 million (from $1.03 billion initially projected). When Snapchat rolled out its programmatic ad platform last year, it got more agencies to run media in the platform, but also resulted in lower ad prices overall. After the redesign earlier this year, Snapchat lost 3 million users. In order for this feature to be successful, Snapchat will also have to solve for user growth and continue to expand with older demographics. This is where Amazon can prove a powerful ally – a solution to drive usage externally.

Implications for Brands

We often see technology advance at a more rapid pace than the consumer behavior. When launching new tools like chatbots and voice skills, the primary challenge brands face is getting consumers to actually use the technology. Messaging apps and voice assistants aren’t going to inherently push out a feature, and neither have paid search capabilities to help guide consumers to find them. We can learn a lot from this space and apply it to this visual search tool. Brands with a strong Amazon presence and visually recognizable products will have to promote this feature to get their audience aware and using it. Snap Ads and Commercials in Discover can help drive this awareness and initial usage.

For retailers with younger audiences and strong online shopping behaviors, this could pose a significant competitive advantage for Amazon. Snapchat’s visual search tool can also make showrooming even easier – turning physical retail environments into seamless opportunities Snap favorite products, browse and ultimately purchase on Amazon.

To learn more, contact Performics today.

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CEO Activism in 2018: The Tech Effect

Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, released CEO Activism: The Tech Effect, a follow-up to The Purposeful CEO from earlier this year. The 2018 research is the third installment of our CEO activism series, following The Dawn of CEO Activism (2016) and High Noon in the C-Suite (2017). The Tech Effect surveyed technology professionals such as software/application developers and software engineers in seven global markets: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, the UK and the U.S. The research finds high levels of positivity among technology professionals in all markets toward CEOs who speak out on hotly debated current issues.

In the UK, 84 per cent of tech professionals have a favourable opinion of CEO activists and 77 per cent think CEOs have a responsibility to speak up about issues that are important to society. The top three issues UK tech professionals would like to hear CEOs speak out about are privacy and data protection, jobs/skills training and sexual harassment (65 per cent, 64 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively). But UK tech professionals do not want lip-service with 77 per cent believing CEOs should follow-up talk with action.

Across the globe, female technology professionals hold more positive views of CEO activism compared to their male peers. These women are more likely to agree that CEOs need to defend company values, have a more favourable opinion overall of CEO activism and are more likely to feel CEOs have a responsibility to speak out.

The Tech Effect provides guiding principles for attracting and retaining tech professionals with CEO activism. View the report findings here or click here to read a press release on the study.

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