Millenials do love to do them some shopping. It’s the app that they just “can’t go without”. With 38% of product searches happening on Amazon first (not Google), Amazon is quickly becoming the de facto search app. Combined with free music and video on Prime, the app is now a destination to browse content, rather than just a shopping mall.
Instead of ad breaks, Comedy Central aired two and half minute episodes of a mockumentary series that followed working Hollywood hand model Erik Thomas. It’s was a brave move for the channel, and we found ourselves laughing at it again recently. Catch it here.
The War of Voice continues with a partnership between Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana, both voice-powered assistants. With the battleground now being set with Google & Walmart announcing a recent partnership to counter Amazon’s Whole Food’s buyout. The battle for voice is heating up.
It’s happening, Facebook is rolling out “Watch” in America this weekend. Publishers are already trying to sell sponsored shows to brands. Maybe we’ll see a documentary about a sky diver sponsored by Red Bull on our Facebook feeds soon? Is that a good or bad thing?
Rather than offering solutions to societal needs, brand ‘purpose’ risks becoming a euphemism for ill-conceived CSR campaigns. The Holmes Report’s Alex Brownsell talks to CMOs, including the marketer behind ‘Fearless Girl’, to find out where brands are going wrong. Rema Vasan, EVP and a global client director at MSL and a Cannes Lions 2017 jury […]
Many businesses want to know what the ‘secret sauce’ is to gaining new followers on Twitter and running a popular, engaging account. The truth is that there is no secret sauce. Every business has its own story to tell to a unique audience. That being said, there are eight key tactics every business, both small and large, should employ on Twitter to get the most out of the platform.
1. Establish a brand personality
Consumers like brands they can relate to. Just because you are running a business doesn’t mean you have to maintain a corporate, buttoned-up approach on social media. Twitter is a chance to let your personality shine through. Have some fun with your Twitter account and don’t shy away from exhibiting a sense of humor. Make yourself stand out from your competitors. Casper, DiGiorno Pizza and Wendy’s are strong examples of brands that have gained notoriety over the years for their Twitter personas.
2. Use relevant hashtags
Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive twice as many engagements as tweets without hashtags. Tweeting about trending topics or utilizing popular hashtags within your industry will not only expose your tweets to a lot more users, it will result in more retweets, replies and link/profile clicks. In short, tweeting relevant hashtags improves your discoverability to people who otherwise might not have heard of your company or didn’t know you were on Twitter. Restrict your number of hashtags to 1-2 per tweet, however, as anything more than that can actually decrease engagement.
3. Always reply to customers
The worst thing you can do as a small business is give your customers the impression that you don’t care about them. Almost every tweet to your business, both positive and negative, deserves at least one response. If a customer tweets at you with a compliment or sends a photo of him/her using your product, be sure to thank the person. If a customer has a complaint, whether it is justified or not, make sure to address the person publicly in some manner while trying to take the rest of the discussion offline. Digital marketing guru Jay Baer urges marketers to “hug your haters” in this video for Community Managers. He also published a book on the topic as well.
4. Incorporate User Generated Content
Your current customers have tremendous value for your business. It’s one thing for consumers to view paid advertisements by a brand, it’s another for them to see other people endorsing companies on their own. If a customer tweets at you with a photo of him/her using your product, private message the person asking for permission to repost the picture from the company account with a new caption. Many Twitter users feel a sense of validation and self-gratification when a company uses their photos in official posts and will often share them with friends as a result. If you don’t have a lot of followers who tweet at your handle, you can run Twitter contests seeking out the best User Generated Content (photos, tweet replies, short stories, etc.). Consumers appreciate brands that take the time to single them out on Twitter or refer to them by name in a tweet.
5. Engage with influencers
For small businesses looking to gain exposure, it is important to identify any influencers (or micro-influencers) who currently use your product or who you think might enjoy using your product. Figuring out a way to get them to tweet about your brand is the best way to increase your organic following. One idea is to send free samples of your product to these people (or offer them your service free of charge) with a note that includes your company name, Twitter handle and official hashtag and encourage them to post a tweet if they enjoyed using it. Klear and Hashtagify are free online tools that can be used to identify top influencers for your brand.
6. Monitor your analytics
Take full advantage of Twitter Analytics to track which types of posts are performing best. Some of the metrics to look at include: engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies. You may also want to look at performance trends in terms of time of day, day of the week, and type of post (text-based, photo, video, etc.) to see what works best for your audience. Other free analytics tools for Twitter include Social Bearing, Followerwonk and Tweriod.
7. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find new customers
Twitter Advanced Search is one of the more underutilized tools that Twitter has to offer. Twitter Advanced Search allows you to search for specific keywords, phrases, and hashtags and listen to the conversations that are happening on Twitter. By taking the initiative to strategically listen to what Twitter users are saying about your category or industry, you can make an effort to reach out to these people directly and let them know about your company’s offerings.
8. Offer value to your customers
All customers understand that at the end of the day, you are a business. However, that doesn’t mean they always want to be pitched. Make sure your Twitter account offers some form of value to your customers and is not just a hard-driving sales tool. Offering value can take place in the form of curating articles from notable experts in the industry, posting funny photos or memes, or offering inspirational quotes (#MotivationalMonday is a popular hashtag). Interacting with your followers on Twitter is about establishing a relationship and building trust. Make your followers feel like friends of the company, not bottom line transactions.
The last piece of advice? Be patient. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t gaining dozens of likes or hundreds of new followers every week. Be consistent with your approach on Twitter. To paraphrase the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it (a strong Twitter presence), people will come.”
Have questions about your company’s Twitter strategy? Contact the Likeable Media team here.
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The unstoppable goliath that is Amazon could be soon making a messaging app. As our use of social media has matured, we’ve moved to using them as our primary communication platform and it looks like Amazon may want a piece of this pie. If Amazon were to add Anytime to their suite of services. alongside a strong e-com platform, on-demand video and voice-search could they pull users away from Messenger and WhatsApp?
See below of the ranking of apps based on monthly usage, Amazon has 65m users they could easily market to and tempt with a free chat app chat. Potentially Amazon could grab some of the conversations currently happening on dark social. Sharing a link to an Amazon product page on email and asking your friend for advice, could now happen on Anytime.
About time! This is something I’ve actually wanted to do for a while – brands can now promote an influencer’s posts on their behalf. This gives brands the ability to ensure that brand collaborations which often receive lower exposure than their organic content are now seen by a larger proportion of their audience. Thank you, Facebook for listening in on my secret wishes.
Hats off to We Are Social for this excellent research piece looking at the data self-described by users on Facebook. The key quote that grabbed our attention – “There are more 18-year-old men using Facebook today than there are 18-year-old men living on Earth”. Essentially users who sign up to the platform over-represent their age to hit minimum requirements, there are spikes at age 18, 21, and 26, 36, and 46 year’s old. There are also a number of women who have set their gender to male. When some user profile cannot be trusted, how best to deliver advertising campaigns? Base these on interests and passion-points and not demographic data.
Know how to make a pinhole viewer? No? Corona and creative shop Cramer-Krasselt made a cute stop motion video (see it on its Facebook page here) to show you how to make one out of a Corona box. The brand also delivered what it calls “a Corona toast kit” to photographers across the country. The box (see below) includes Corona Extra, eclipse glasses and a countdown clock.
It’s never nice to lose a client, but this week we parted ways with Spotify after 18 months of genuine partnership with lovely clients, creating work we’re very proud of. As the business consolidated their account into a single agency worldwide, we’re not (yet) in a position to manage that. What made the whole process much easier to swallow was the thoroughly classy way Spotify handled it, flying out to the UK to explain why in person. Andrew was so impressed he penned a piece on LinkedIn which seems to have resonated with a few people.
Instagram has come a long way since it first appeared in
2010, as co-founder Mike Krieger discusses in this
interview with WIRED. It’s interesting to see how a simple acorn of an idea
(allowing people to ‘unleash’ their camera rolls) has grown into a social media
giant, and genuinely changed the way in which people capture and share personal
photos. Krieger talks about some of the ways in which they overcame the
initially poor quality of phone cameras (introducing filters, to bridge the gap
between perception and reality) and outlines the system which has allowed the
team to enjoy so much success over the years – a balance between ‘putting out
fires’ and always looking ahead for the next opportunity to push the app
On a related note, what does it take to be a multi-Billion start up in Silicon Valley these days? Seven lines of code? Two brothers from Ireland’s ingenious Stripe platform have revolutionised the payments industry. Taking a simple approach, they are now
running the back ends for Uber, Facebook, and now Amazon – making them overnight
billionaires. The two founders, Patrick and John Collison talk to Bloomberg
about their alternative approach to machismo and self-centered world in Silicon
Valley and the prospects of bringing commerce to every part of the world
through simple technology.
It was only last week that password Guru, Bill Burr,
awkwardly admitted that his complexandrather annoying
rules for ‘safer’ passwords may have actually decreased system security, when this
morning, HBO’s Twitter account was at the end of yet another cyber security
scandal. Hacking group, OurMine hacked HBO’s Twitter account and released some
scandalous information about HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones, causing a frenzy
among GoT lovers. HBO gained access to their account shortly after, but not
before the hackers sent HBO a rather cheeky tweet using the Game of Thrones
handle stating: “OurMine are here. we are just testing your security. HBO team
please contact us to upgrade the security – ourmine.org -> Contact.”
One step closed on the path towards making humanity redundant, it’s now possible to create self-healing robots. It’s not quite the T-1000′s terrifying liquid metal yet though – researchers in Brussels have created a robotic hand made from rubbery polymers
with the ability to heal itself when cut or ripped, by simply applying a little heat. Experiments
showed that damage could be healed completely without leaving any weakness.
Useful in the food industry and important when thinking about prosthesis it
could be the start of something interesting and extremely beneficial.
We’re all familiar with the push to short form video, and it’s a brilliantly effective way to advertise. Asking less of their attention tends to mean people are more likely to stick around. But IKEA are having a go in the opposite direction entirely – creating a 25 minute, leisurely paced film designed to relax a tightly wound student audience with a gentle tour around a bedroom. Beyond the relaxed tone, the film makes use of some interesting neuroscience; autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) uses specific tones and visuals to create a relaxing, tingling sensation in the viewer. Luckily for those of us still struggling with that attention span, they’ve also made some 1 minute clips which deliver the same effect. Give it a try, it’s rather nice.
Every man and their dog are now making original content. You’ve been doing it for years with your hilarious Snaps and Instagram Stories. Someone should invest in you, but until that day comes round, companies continue to plough more money into inventing the next blockbuster. However, Apple’s financial investment is about a sixth of what Netflix is spending. If Apple can make more (read = better) shows they will be able to gain a higher revenue share per show for the Apple Store. They have a long way to go Apple’s Planet of the Apps has an IMDB score of 6.1/10 while Netflix’s House of Cards scores 9/10.
More original programming?! The service is presently being tested with a handful of users in the US and will gradually roll out nationwide. Facebook is funding some shows and inviting independent creators to sign up to the platform on their own as well; once they’re in, they’ll get a Show Page (similar to Pages for brands) that fans can follow and find clips on.
Agency Cramer-Krasselt’s Milwaukee office worked with teen focus groups to create the “Naughty Bag” range [of condoms] for local group Diverse & Resilient, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the well-being of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community. Their names include Torpedo Tube, Pork Parka Pecker Poncho,Scuba Gear, Ham Holster and Papa Stopper, and the fun packaging helps illustrate these ideas graphically too.
The branding aims to appeal to teens in the language they use, without being clinical, judgmental or preachy, as existing messages just don’t seem to be getting through to Milwaukee teens. The city has high rates of teen pregnancy and STIs, ranking the #1 city in the country for chlamydia infections and #2 for gonorrhea.
As well as distributing Naughty Bags through their existing free condom program all around Milwaukee, Diverse & Resilient will be making them available for free in community barbershops that will house condom dispensers and also through discreet pickup locations (disguised as newspaper stands) throughout the city.
Something off the wall but highly shareable. These new fangled machines apparently have been tested so that kids won’t be able to get hold of alcohol, pharmaceuticals, casino chips, emergency pregnancy tests, cannabis, and (seriously) firearms… until they learn how to hack them!
The e-commerce giant is launching Amazon Overhaul with vloggers as the hosts. This smart move will blend editorial (how-to and design advice) with an immediate click-to-purchase. Our advice? Partner with Pinterest to acquire their search data on their users creating boards about home improvement and use this to feed the editorial content of the show. Then launch promoted pins that push Amazon’s Overhaul featured products to the top of Pinterest.
The content juggernaut that is Disney will be leaving Netflix to launch its own streaming service. Netflix did well to secure content rights to the studio and their marked increase in original content programming was a well-timed and smart move. Disney is powerful enough that it can pull in consumers on its own. Let’s not forget it also owns Pixar. If you want to watch Toy Story, it’s going to cost you an extra subscription in the future. Buzz and Woody have a while to settle into their new home, Toy Story 4 is out in 2019.
Chanel is daring to go beyond Kiera Knightley on a motorbike to do something really conceptual with their digital content campaign. Does it work? Not sure. Does it feel premium enough despite being super quirky? We think so. And there’s nothing else out there right now like it.
For the third year in a row, Burson-Marsteller and The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) partnered to welcome three talented ethnic minority interns into the Harold Burson Summer Internship (HBSI) Program. The U.S. HBSI Program provides college seniors, recent graduates and graduate students with valuable, real-world agency experience as they work closely with public relations professionals in practice groups and client teams.
Below, interns Kavita Raval, Stephany Rodas and Sydney Tukes reflect on what they found to be the most rewarding components of the HBSI program and what they took away from the experience.
Kavita Raval – Public Affairs & Crisis Practice, Washington, D.C.
My experience this summer as an HBSI intern in the Public Affairs & Crisis Practice has been invaluable to my professional career goals. Through this internship, I was given the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how successful PR campaigns are managed on local, national, and international scales. By working in the public affairs sector with big-name clients in industries ranging from fnancial services to automotive, I learned how to identify important political influencers and craft integrated communication plans. Furthermore, I now have experience pitching stories to well-known reporters on behalf of my clients as well as managing important stakeholder engagements.
If I had to pick one aspect of the HBSI program that I found most rewarding, it would definitely be connecting one-on-one with the movers and shakers of the PR industry—the professionals who dedicate their careers to upholding the prestigious Burson-Marsteller legacy. It was a great privilege to chat with former White House officials, award-winning news journalists, foreign service experts, and crisis communications professional as they shared their amazing career experiences with us. All of the agency professionals who we met emphasized the importance of becoming great storytellers, as they believed this skill would be crucial to our future success in the public relations industry. I am incredibly thankful for the unique partnership between the LAGRANT Foundation and Burson-Marsteller, as the HBSI program has thoroughly prepared me for a challenging, yet rewarding, career moving forward!
Stephany Rodas – Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice, New York
As I prepare for my final year in graduate school, I am walking away from the HBSI program with a greater passion for the public relations industry. There was no assignment that I was tasked with throughout my time here that did not challenge me. From sitting in on brainstorming sessions to bringing in new business to formulating effective social media strategies for an event activation, there was no task that did not require creativity and strategic thinking. Beyond it all was the unique opportunity to see client-based work come to life – I was a part of a media tour with top-tier outlets, pitched publications to garner additional hits and even conducted a Facebook Live segment with TeenVogue! There was a never a dull moment in the Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice and I am convinced that this internship will propel me forward into my career. I am truly grateful to The LAGRANT Foundation and its partnership with the HBSI program for without them I would not have become a part of such an exciting company!
Sydney Tukes – Corporate and Financial Communications Practice, New York
As a rising senior at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the HBSI program was an invaluable experience. I spent an entire summer surrounded by well-respected and sought-after leaders within the industry. Not only was I able to glean from them, but I also had a chance to cultivate relationships with some of them, and as an intern that is an incredible opportunity.
This summer, I stepped outside my comfort zone. Whether it was pitching to broadcast reporters or juggling multiple deadlines – I was challenged. I was able to learn new skills and incorporate them into client work. It was rewarding to see my ideas and work applied to Fortune 500 companies.
The LAGRANT Foundation and Burson-Marsteller have both played pivotal roles in my professional development. I feel more prepared and ready to pursue a successful career in public relations.
As the summer ends, my time here will be greatly missed.