Snapchats going crazy with the updates!

And you get an update and you get an update and you get an update!

Links!

Voices!

Backgrounds!

And were you looped in on the new Snap Map?

Why its hot?

Snapchat is looking to find new out of the box ways to use social and to monetize.

I still believe that Snapchat has the most unique way of looking at the internet and 1:1 interactions. They are integrating brands without insisting brands have user profiles and using the full screen in ways that Facebook might be too stuck in its ways to fully realize.

Twitter leaves its nest

Twitter has changed (again). It seems as though with every recent interface update, Twitter glided away from its original path. First, the favorite star was replaced by a heart, then the egg avatar was cracked and abandoned, only to be replaced by a generic profile icon and now literally everything else has changed! There’s no more perch on the birdhouse for the bird to sit on, the quill has completely vanished, and the reply is a generic speech bubble.

 

Why it’s hot:
Twitter’s interface was intriguing because it was different. But change is inevitable and supposedly the new interface is meant to drive more user interaction by making it easier to use. But is it really easier? Or are things just now unnecessarily bolded, rounded, and strangely thin? Has Twitter completely destroyed it’s nesting ground or is this just a migration towards something better?

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the new layout – I feel as though they’re telling me to get my eyes checked because of all the unnecessary bolding going on. But I guess that’s the least of my worries when there’s an orange man with very tiny hands who thinks his 140 character Tweets about “alternative facts” are life changing.

Article: https://www.wired.com/story/twitter-redesigned-itself-to-make-the-tweet-supreme-again/

Can Facebook Turn Blue Into Green?

Can advertisers target teens when they’re feeling sad? Facebook might want to help them find out. Facebook came under fire this week when leaked documents showed Facebook Australia promoted advertising campaigns that exploit Facebook users’ emotional states—and how these are aimed at users as young as 14 years old.

According to the report in The Australian, the selling point of this 2017 document is that Facebook’s algorithms can determine, and allow advertisers to pinpoint, “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” If that phrase isn’t clear enough, Facebook’s document offers a litany of teen emotional states that the company claims it can estimate based on how teens use the service, including “worthless,” “insecure,” “defeated,” “anxious,” “silly,” “useless,” “stupid,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” and “a failure.”

The data is specific to teens in Australia and New Zealand only.

Facebook responded to the report: “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state. The analysis done by an Australian researcher was intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook. It was never used to target ads and was based on data that was anonymous and aggregated.”

https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/05/facebook-helped-advertisers-target-teens-who-feel-worthless/

Why its hot

Facebook knows everything about us and this ability to gather incredibly intimate data raises obvious ethical questions. Should a pharma brand be able to target medication to mother’s with sick children? Should a sports supplement brand be able to target kids who feel weak?

The Fyre Festival: A Fiasco Fueled by Instragram

By now you have heard about the fiasco that was Fyre Festival. The social media-fueled project, co-founded by rapper Ja Rule and his tech entrepreneur partner Billy McFarland, promised people “two transformative weekends” on a private island in the Bahamas, with “the best in food, art, music, and adventure,” and, if the model-filled promo videos were any indication, this would be a tropical Coachella. This festival emerged seemingly out of nowhere but soon went viral after the festival organizers hired some 400 Instagram influencers to post about the event. The campaign promised luxury, beauty, and exclusivity.

This festival never happened, and the lead up to it was a fiasco. People remained stranded in Miami and the Bahamas on their way to the festival, which organizers announced at eight A.M. last Friday morning had been “postponed.”

The first warning sign came from Blink-182’s cancellation – the band backed out on Thursday afternoon, just 24 hours before the festival was set to begin, saying “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.“ Then came reports of flight issues, with many attendees stuck on tarmacs in Miami. Those who actually got to the island found half-built tents (which end were actually storm relief tents), mattresses stacked around the tents, luggage dropped from shipping containers, a Sandals resort around the corner, less-than-ideal weather, and these sad sandwiches.

Festival goers now demand refunds, there is even a $100 million dollar lawsuit facing Ja Rule and Billy McFarland.

Why it’s NOT Hot:

What does this say about authenticity of influence marketing? Sure, many people blame “rich millennials” for falling for this mess of a festival, but is that fair? An editor at Wired writes “Fyre Festival was, in essence, the physical manifestation of the false narrative that social media creates. It’s the wide-shot on the smoothie bowl.” In my opinion, Fyre Festival and its rise and fall lessens the credibility of celebrity influencers – who have taken no accountability for promoting this, and collected their paycheck mindlessly.

Source: WIRED, Bloomberg

Tumblr Announces Cabana

This hot scoop comes to Hot Sauce from the combined minds of the East Social Team email chain (shout out to Gina!)

Tumblr is launching a new platform, Cabana. A new video chatting app:

The app lets up to six people video chat at the same time, but with a twist: Cabana isn’t about just getting together to talk, it’s about getting together to watch YouTube videos.

Why It’s hot:

To me this speaks to my #1 new social media tools rule… bank off of existing behaviorsite. I bet all of you thought to yourself… “yeah, I’d use that” which is why this app is pretty brilliant. You want to create a tool that has utility and is easy to integrate, or what’s the point!

Can 4/20 Be the Healthiest Day of the Year?

When people think about 4/20, they’re probably not thinking of healthy activities, but cannabis health and wellness company, Hmbldt wants to change that—with the help of their products, of course.

The company’s product line consists of vape pens that are designed to distribute controlled hits of cannabis designed to help to alleviate common ailments such as pain and insomnia — without getting its consumers high.

Yesterday, the company rolled out “GO420,” a social effort that will highlight 420 healthy ways to enjoy April 20 via the hashtag #GO420. Gifs and videos offer tips like “Go make a dream come true,” “Go take a pottery class,” “Go tell your partner you love them,” “Go do push-ups in the park,” “Go tell your partner a sexy secret.”

Why It’s Hot

  • Putting the consumer first by leveraging what is likely their biggest moment and making it about personal health rather than buying a product.
  • Campaigns like this create excellent affinity and lifelong ambassadors for a brand.

Infield Chatter Social Network Lets MLB Players Interact With Fans

The Major League Baseball Players Association launched this week, Infield Chatter, a social media app that lets players interact with fans. Infield Chatter already has more than 1,000 players on board, which means all the players on Major League Baseball’s 40-man rosters for each of its 30 teams are signed on. (MLBPA says about 500 major leaguers are on the site, but minor leaguers and retired players can also contribute.) “We asked for a better way to communicate directly with fans and learn more about them, and make it easy for them to learn more about us,” Minnesota Twins pitcher Hector Santiago said via email. “We believe this is the way to go, a true baseball community so that we can just be ourselves.”

Members of the Infield Chatter community will enjoy special features designed to connect players and fans in a number of ways, including:
•Sharing photos, videos, and original artwork, with the ability for both sides to comment
•Regular video chats, where fans and players can conduct two-way Q&A sessions
•Hosting contests and competitions, where fans can win “player-hosted experiences,” autographed items and more.

With so many people loyal to massive platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, it’s hard to persuade even die-hard fans to download yet another app. However, the association is pitching Infield Chatter as a way to hone in on its specific audience, as fans increasingly want details about players’ lives outside of the game.

Why It’s Hot

The MLBPA said the Infield Chatter app was created at the request of MLB players, who wanted a better way to interact with their fans. The app meshes well with MLB’s own initiatives to create youth appeal for a sport that is losing younger fans. Infield Chatter reaches a distinct, pinpointed community in ways that social media can’t. In a press release, Kris Bryant, a player for the Chicago Cubs, commented on the app: Every player understands how important it is to connect with the fans. They’re the main reason this game is so special. The fact that Infield Chatter was built with this interaction in mind as the top priority really helps us share and connect in ways that we haven’t been able to anywhere else. Major leaguers who come from around the world – with numerous differing interests and insights – will now be able to engage with fans on a host of subjects, all in the palm of their hand.

Opportunistic Content 101: Toys R Us Giraffe Cam

“April the Giraffe” – a wildlife park’s pregnant giraffe, April, is set to give birth any day now, and the internet is watching. Toys R Us has capitalized on all the eyeballs by sponsoring the zoo’s live feed of April. The buzz has come in the form of genuine excitement and anticipation as well as conspiracy theories.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClnQCgFa9lCBL-KXZMOoO9Q/live

Why it’s hot: Toys R Us saw the simplest of opportunities – a basic sponsorship getting their brand name and logo in front of hundreds of thousands of people who likely fit within their target demo – and seized on it quickly, having to do little more than pony up the cash to support the zoo. It remains to be seen if the whole thing is truly organic, or if it’s a PR stunt orchestrated by Toys R Us, the zoo, and/or Doubletree Hotels whose local franchise has also placed advertising on the giraffe’s dedicated landing page.

The Man Who Fell on Earth Falls on Earth

UK’s Royal Mail has launched a set of special stamps into the sky featuring images of David Bowie’s best-loved albums in homage to the late singer.

52 sets of stamps were attached to helium balloons with cameras and set free. When the balloons burst, after reaching 34,100m at a speed of about 12mph, the stamps began descending at nearly 200mph.

To hype the launch of the new stamps, Royal Post is offering the public an opportunity to win some of the space-traveled stamps. They’ve set up a landing page where users can guess where the stamps ended up after their intergalactic travels and enter a drawing.

They are also activating users to interact with Facebook and Twitter by offering clues on the social media networks.

Why it’s Hot: 

  1. Makes stamps exciting again
  2. Bowie fans are obsessive and everything about the campaign has significance. A nod to Bowie’s role in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell on Earth, the stamps sent to space were postmarked with a special edition thunderbolt for the cover of Aladdin Dane, each stamp features a different album cover
  3. The well-executed marketing stunt launched (no pun intended) on Tuesday and was covered and featured all over the web (mashable, the guardian, gizmodo) the same day.

Be Opportunistaholic

Snowballs, sledding and hot chocolate soon becomes Netflix, comfort food and wine.

While frantic storm preppers were bum rushing stores up and down the East Coast in anticipation of winter storm Stella this week, Pernod Ricard (marketer of spirit brands Absolut, Chivas Regal, Jameson, Glenlivet et al) was opportunistically pushing them not-so-subtle reminders to consider stocking up on booze.

The brand sprung to action ahead of the storm, pulling API data around nasty weather reports in 10 local markets to dynamically target consumers with online purchase deals and cocktail recipes.

In a highly regulated category, the use of data targeting to focus content is still new. Seeing the opportunity in consumer trends and impacting moments that influence decisions, the brand’s aim was to better engage their consumers and provide more direct means to purchase in moments when demand is spiking.

The program was launched for four of its brands, identifying and targeting consumers with social content on Facebook and Instagram and search content on Google. The content also drove to alcohol delivery service Minibar, encouraging customers to schedule their deliveries before the storm.

However the plan was not powered by low pressure systems alone. The strategy combined demo (A21+), behavioral  and micro-contextual targeting based on hundreds of qualifiers (keywords) related to the brands AND the weather, such as “heavy snow,” “freezing rain,” “sleet,” “extreme wind” and “violent storm.” So, for example, if someone searched “whiskey delivery” or “winter cocktails” on Google, the ad could serve.

The focus of the creative in each instance was weather-centric. 

Why Its Hot:

Fusing occasion-driven engagement with real-time conditions to influence action instead of using traditional brand-driven engagement is not a new concept (Oreo’s tweet during SBXLVII’s blackout is a prime example) – but it also takes precise targeting, being relevant with your audience and providing something of perceived value. Sometimes that value can be advice (stay home, don’t drive), a promotion (free next day delivery, save 15%), useful information (recipes, how-to’s) or a simple reminder…like given this forecast, you might need more liquid happy at the ready.

More on the campaign here: https://digiday.com/marketing/pernod-ricard-used-weather-data-target-drinkers-east-coast-blizzard/

Facebook’s Next Power Grab for Your Attention

Two weeks ago, Facebook talked with dozens of media companies including news outlets such as The New York Times, NowThis and The Washington Post in New York  about their content and monetization product roadmap for 2017. Conversations covered Facebook’s plans to fund original shows, the platform’s focus on getting publishers to distribute more long-form videos for Facebook’s video tab and soon-to-launch TV app, and mid-roll advertising products for live and on-demand videos.

Many publishers agreed it was a step in the right direction for Facebook, which has struggled to build an ad product that helps media partners generate consistent revenue on the platform. What’s troubling some hard-news publishers, however, is that Facebook’s new plans don’t really seem to have their specific interests top of mind, according to multiple news media executives that were in attendance.

Facebook is looking for scripted and unscripted shows covering light genres like entertainment, lifestyle and sports — not hard news. It’s unclear how much Facebook is willing to spend on original content, but the company has been making the rounds in Hollywood to speak with L.A.-based studios and producers, far from New York, where most of the news media is headquartered.

Why? Facebook is after TV money, and the big money on TV is for entertainment content, not the latest atrocity in a war zone.

Why Its Hot:

As Facebook begins to pursue TV studio content , their goal is to provide a better reason to get people to go to the video tab on their phones and their video app. To do that, they’re going to need programming that’s differentiated, and not what people already get in the news feed. It’s a growing trend of original content that we’ve seen over the past several years from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and cable entities that continues to fragment our options and vie for our ever-increasing time spent staring at screens. However, with more options come more niche targeting possibilities. Something to keep an eye on for brands as original content creation the platforms struggles to be….well, original.

Watson’s First Sculpture

IBM’s Watson cultivated findings that allowed Softlab to create a piece of art based on computer analysis of thousands of architect Anthoni Gaudi’s buildings, along with the input of text documents about the architect, Barcelona’s history and culture, and song lyrics.The output was a modernist sculpture that responded to real-time social analytics that kept the pulse of what people at the conference were talking about on Twitter. As topics and emotions cropped up, changed, and peaked, the sculpture responded.

IBM Watson Created a Modern Sculpture Inspired by the Work of One of Spain’s Most Famous Architects

From the article: “I think from our perspective, definitely in the design process itself, one of the things that Softlab talked about was that a designer or expert can look at an image, and they can make inferences,” Arn said. “But there were things that came out of the analysis that we did that they really had not considered.”

Why it’s hot: In the article, Jeff Arn of IBm said of the sculpture “in this case, it’s a very abstract example. But you can imagine […] a social media manager for a retail brand can ask, ‘What does our audience think of us, or how are they reacting to a particular comment?’ … It kind of gets you a lot more understanding of who your audience could be based on traits given to you by the way they write on a medium.” While we are maybe reluctant to concede that machines may be smarter than us, we should at least acknowledge their utility in noticing the things we can’t see due to our own cognitive limitations or biases. As marketers we’re trying to understand the nuances of who we’re talking to by creating personas and doing consumer research – this is a glimpse into what the future of that will look like!

A Report Back From Social Media Week

A compilation of the best presentation images, the best tweets, and some fun facts.

On views (and how social media platforms “get ya”):

The Snapchat v. Instagram stories boils down to scale vs. authenticity

https://twitter.com/AndreJulian_/status/836580245813739520

Some top trends seen across panels: 

WHATTT!?!?!

Oh and this fun fact I found out at a panel on social linguistics: 

Why its hot?

Hearing from the best minds in social this week helped to solidify the work that we are doing and that Hot Sauce is spotting trends in real time.

Our themes that we have found were all reprsented:

  • New data sets (body language, voice)
  • social linguistics
  • emotional resonance needed in the tech world

We should be proud!

The “Creator Era”

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how brands are leveraging influencers through social media to be a part of the new “creator era.”

The Super Bowl and other live events are the last vestige of a dying era of mass media. Sports–along with The Bachelor, The Voice and other major primetime events–are the few programs that remain impervious to DVR ad-skipping, as the immediacy of the live coverage is key to the viewing experience.

But does advertising on these mass outlets still make sense with increasing prices and changing consumer preferences?

Since fewer alternatives now exist to capture consumer attention en masse, the cost of the options that remain has risen quickly over the past 10 years, as referenced in Harvard Business working paper The Rising Cost of Consumer Attention. A Super Bowl ad for 2017 sells for $5 million–an effective CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of $38, quite an expensive price for the least–targeted advertising buy available.

The cost per eyeball becomes even higher when you take into account the increasingly divided nature of attention today versus 20 or even just 10 years ago. It’s been well-documented that attention spans are shorter than they once were. It’s no longer just running to the kitchen to grab a beer during the commercials, but instead diving headlong into a second-screen device.

One out of three viewers now watches part of the Super Bowl on a mobile device, and 50 percent of this group are millennials. On Super Bowl Sunday 2016, there were 200 million Facebook posts and 27 million tweets about the game. Social media conversation is an ingrained part of major live events.

Studies have shown that millennials are often blind to traditional TV ads or even have a negative perception of brands advertised. Growing up with TiVo and YouTube has conditioned many millennials to be in complete control of what they want to see and when. The result is that social media and smartphones have made millennials both followers and creators.

We deem this new age of participatory social media the “creator era.” Collaborative social engagement is a much deeper experience than the passive consumption of a TV commercial. It’s here, in social creation, where brands will have much higher attention for their marketing dollar.

Why its hot?

As digital marketers we have a challenge, engage audiences within the shortest amount of time and overcome the “second-screen syndrome.” Millennials have grown up with the a negative perception of advertisements and brands interjecting themselves into spaces where they just want to be themselves and talk to friends. They are conditioned to be in control of what they want to see and when they want to see it. Social media in particular has made them creators. To engage this audience we have to provide them with content that is experiential and not passive like TV.

It will be interesting to see how brands approach the super bowl this year.. Snickers is testing a LIVE TV sport and more attention may be put on the second screen this year than past years. In the new “creator era,” successful brands communicate awareness in a personalized manner through co-creation with influencers and advocates speaking in their voice to their audiences.

Pinterest Announces Search Ads to Help Businesses Tap Into User Interests

In the past couple of years, Pinterest has been working to become “the world’s catalog of ideas” where site visitors can search and share inspiration on everything from home designs to gourmet recipes. It has become the search platform of choice for many looking for a muse, attracting site visitors from mature platforms like Facebook. Over 150 million people worldwide are active users on Pinterest monthly. In their latest effort to transform their platform into a fully-fledged e-commerce machine, Pinterest has announced a new search ads offering, giving marketers the chance to tap into the more than two billion searches conducted on the platform every month.
“We’re rolling out a full suite of features, including Keyword and Shopping Campaigns that are shown in search results, along with powerful new targeting and reporting options.” Pinterest’s search ads function much as you’d expect – when a user conducts a search for a key term (or key terms) that a business has targeted, their Promoted Pins show up, similar to how Google search ads are used. It’s a new way to connect with people searching for products and services.

Why It’s Hot

People love saving and searching for inspiration on Pinterest. Discovering ideas is easy here because everything’s visual, including search results. The majority of their two billion monthly searches are for products and services that people want to buy. The opportunities for businesses are expanding: 97% of Pinterest’s top searches last year were non-branded, opening the door to businesses to reach browsing buyers. People on Pinterest start searching as much as three months before they purchase, so a business can reach them while they’re still deciding what to buy. Pinterst has surged ahead of other social platforms in terms of purchase intent and shopping potential. So while Pinners may not be searching as much, when they do search, they’re doing so with an intent to buy – in fact, Pinterest’s own research has shown that 93% of active Pinners use the platform to plan for purchases, while 87% have purchased something because of Pinterest. The reach may be smaller, but the potential is still significant.

Note: Pinterest is growing the number of visitors on its site who are clicking and sharing content. eMarketer estimates that Pinterest will grow 9.2% this year to reach 69.0 million U.S. users versus the 58.1 million that eMarketer projected in August 2016. Last year Pinterest’s estimated U.S. user base sat at 63.2 million.

Crowdsourcing donations in wake of election is gaining traction on your newsfeed and in Silicon Valley

Raising money for causes online is nothing new, but as political unrest has risen in recent weeks, causes like the ACLU are benefitting from private citizens starting grassroots fundraisers across social networks, and gaining traction from heavy hitters in Silicon Valley.

Just as the Pussyhat Project gained millions of followers to gear up for the January 21st Women’s Marches around the world, in the wake of the election powerful grassroots movements are forming by private citizens, using the tools most readily accessible to them to speak out, organize, and recruit followers.

Why It’s Hot: 

As marketers, it’s crucial to pay attention not only to the macro-trends and cultural movements of our communities, but also to how regular people are using the tools available to them (namely, in this case, social media) to take political and philanthropic action in this time of rapid change.

Combating the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic with Patient Data

Non-identified patient-level data has been critical in developing an understanding of the ways drug abusers interact with the medical system, particularly in understanding patient shopping behavior. For opioids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulants – both subject to abuse – patients are known to obtain prescriptions from multiple prescribers (“doctor shopping”).

Non identified patient-level data can reveal patterns of health behaviors among patients and physicians. Behaviors such as physician prescribing patterns, the doctor or hospital visits made by patients, or use of preventative care and medicines are all visible in such data for analysis. This ability to see patient behavior has been put to good use to combat the drug abuse epidemic by identifying and modeling patterns of prescription filling known as “shopping behavior,” employed by abusers to gain access to prescription drugs inappropriately.

While drug abuse is often associated with illicit substances, the non-medical use of prescription drugs such as painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants is widespread. Over 52 million people in the United States are estimated to have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime resulting in as many as 1.4 million emergency department visits per year.46,47 The number of prescription medicine abusers over age 12 in 2013 was 6.5 million, with as many as 4.5 million people abusing painkillers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, alone.

Manufacturers have worked to combat this issue through the recent launch of several abuse-deterrent formulations of painkillers, but despite these efforts, this and other classes of drugs remain highly addictive and prone to abuse.49 It remains critical to understand patterns of misuse of prescription drugs, gauge which agents pose a greater risk of abuse, and assess the impact of efforts by various stakeholders – including the Drug Enforcement Administration, pharmacy chains, wholesalers and manufacturers – to combat this major public health issue.

Non-identified patient-level data has been critical in developing an understanding of the ways drug abusers interact with the medical system, particularly in understanding patient shopping behavior. For opioids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulants – both subject to abuse – patients are known to obtain prescriptions from multiple prescribers (“doctor shopping”).

Good behavioral models of this phenomenon – intended to define shopping behavior while avoiding the inappropriate flagging of individuals with legitimate use – have been created using non-identified patient data by comparing patient use of drugs prone to abuse with patterns of drugs not typically abused. For instance, one study compared patient use of ADHD drugs to that of asthma drugs, and an earlier study for opioids similarly compared the use of opioids to diuretics (non-abused) using longitudinal patient data.

In both studies, researchers found that being a patient with overlapping prescriptions written by two or more prescribers and filled at three or more pharmacies was the best predictor of abuse. In the ADHD study this pattern was 400% more frequent among those shopping for ADHD drugs than those prescribed asthma medications. Applying this definition, this study was also able to show that shopping was most common in younger subjects aged 10–39 years, and that a small number of abusers accounted for most shopping behavior. Among patients who shopped, 9.2 % of them shopped six or more times and accounted for 42.0 % of all shopping.

Connected healthcare also fundamentally needs a connected understanding of the patient. To ensure that the entire healthcare system delivers integrated care for the benefit of an individual and larger populations, action based on shared information that tells a complete and accurate story, is needed. Only with a shared understanding of patient experience and what benefits patients across the medical system can healthcare stakeholders deliver connected healthcare.

“To accomplish the goal of optimizing the system and care, nationally merged datasets are strongly needed, since if you are only seeing only one part of a patient’s experience (some part of time) then you cannot optimize.” David M. Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Harvard University

Why It’s HOT: Patients are turning to social media as an integral forum to find and share information relevant to their health. The use case above for non-identified patient data shows additional value in active social listening at a brand and category level; said best by Murray Aiken “This trend only heightens the need for relevant, accurate content that can be accessed and used throughout the patient journey. Healthcare professionals, regulators and pharmaceutical manufacturers all need to overcome their reticence and acknowledge the vital role that they can and should play as participants in the healthcare conversation.”

 

Source: Closing the Healthcare Gap – The Critical Role of Non-Identified Information

Madewell’s next designer collab to come early for social followers

Madewell launches capsule collections with designers every few months. For its newest partnership with Daryl K., launching February 10, the shop is trying something new– giving its social media followers two days to shop the collection before everyone else.

Here’s how it works: Madewell is promoting the collection on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using hashtag #MadewellxDarylK. The hashtag and posts will direct to a landing page to collect followers’ email addresses. On the morning of the 8th, they’ll receive special access to the pre-sale site.

Why it’s hot: designer collaborations are notorious for selling out the day they launch– H&M x Balmain, Alexander Wang for Target, etc. Oftentimes, the only way to get one’s hands on a coveted item is to buy one that’s been marked up on Ebay. Allocating extra days for the most loyal fans to have a chance to purchase will keep them coming back to the brand.

Source: https://digiday.com/brands/madewell-releasing-next-designer-collection-early-social-followers/ Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 9.32.28 AM

Twitter Launches New Logged OFF Experience for Users Across the Globe

Every month, over 500 million people visit Twitter to see what’s happening around the world. From conversations around live events to breaking news to pandas playing in the snow, and they want to make great content accessible for everyone — even if a user is not signed in. Twitter announced improvements to twitter.com that will bring those great Tweets to even more people across the globe.

Twitter rolled out a home timeline to people across 23 countries* who visit the twitter.com homepage on their mobile devices. Before, a user could see individual Tweets but it was hard to discover stories and conversations happening on Twitter without signing in. Now, you can check out a news story as it unfolds, dive into the play-by-play discussions around a game, and then come back again to see that exchange between two rappers everyone’s been talking about. It’s real-time and straight from the source, just like the Twitter experience for those who log in.

https://twitter.com/twitter/status/694597128895614976

Twitter has also expanding their refreshed twitter.com homepage on web, which is already available in the US and Japan, to every country noted below. Now, anyone can explore and discover different topics and stories as they occur, including some that are tailored just for you based on your location and activity on Twitter.

 

 

Why It’s HOT: Twitter has grown beyond driving users to sign up for an account and has expanded their relevance to all mobile and desktop web users as a credible news source. For marketers, it will mean understanding the parameters for content to be chosen by Twitter to feature on the homepage blog. Currently, Twitter has only also gone the extra mile of personalization, including the ability for users to discover content organically as well as content tailored to their location or activity on Twitter. This will dramatically impact the way in which content “lives” on the platform. Content Discoverability will exponentially extend the life cycle of a tweet. Marketers will need to adjust their content strategy to consider it’s long term relevance when appropriate.

 

 

Source: Twitter

Social Media Platforms Exploring their Roles in Presidential Debates

On Sunday, NBC partnered with YouTube to host the third Democratic Debate in South Carolina. This isn’t the first debate of this election to include a partnership with a social media platform, as the previous Democratic Debates were hosted by CBS News and Twitter, as well as CNN and Facebook.

In 2012, YouTube brought us the first live streaming of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates on YouTube through ABC News’ YouTube Channel. While streaming, they also included commentary from other partners such as BuzzFeed, the Wall Street Journal, and Univision.

For this debate, it appeared they tried to integrate further with questions from their pre-filmed questions from their YouTube stars and Google Trends search data was shared before commercial breaks to inform viewers as to what people were searching for, as it related to the debate. As of Monday at noon, the debate had received 1.5 million views on YouTube, but YouTube’s role was largely criticized.

The Google Trends data fell flat in how it was shared, as a slide before and after commercial breaks, and it seemed to only draw attention to the fact that Twitter was not a part of their Google empire, as it would have been a much more natural fit.

The questions by YouTube stars were forced as well, and fit only as a plug for YouTube itself. At one point, they aired a cartoon to explain climate change in a lead up to a question, which many critiqued on Twitter (again, a more natural fit).

dem-nbc-debate-screenshot-640x480

 

Why It’s Hot: 

Every social media platform is trying to push to own real time and live streaming is getting bigger by the second. This effort by YouTube is an attempt to further it’s position in that space, but their integrations seemed a bit forced.

As all the major platforms push to be an outlet where people can be connected to real events in real time, it’s vital they consider the strengths of their platform and how people naturally use them, rather than half hearted integrations that only show they don’t fully grasp how their service is valuable to consumers.

Netflix signs social media star for scripted series

As a recent “cord-cutter,” my family and I have found more programming on Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV, Kodi, AmazonPrime, ChannelPear than we could watch in a lifetime. Good programming, too. Many of the Golden Globe winners earlier this week were not from network TV programming but from Prime, Netflix, and others.

YouTube is also part of the cord-cutting phenomena. My 6-year-old son can attest to that as he watches Minecart Dan talk about Minecraft playing strategies for hours at a time. We have to rip the tablet out of his hands. Dan and others rack up millions upon millions of views and make big bank with advertisers and content companies.

Well, it appears that social stars and over-the-top programming such as Netflix are joining forces. Netflix just signed a deal with YouTube star Miranda Sings for a scripted series. It will be Netflix’s first scripted series using a social media star, and one of very few examples of social stars crossing over.

Miranda has more than 5 million followers on YouTube and averages around 1.5 MM views per video. Some of her videos have received as many as 17 million views.

The series will be called Haters Back off.

Why It’s Hot

It further shows how the lanes between social and mass market TV are continuing to blur. As more and more people cut the cord and use their ubiquitous access to broadband to stream whatever they want, the paradigm of who the content creators are and what platforms are in demand and being used continues to be in flux. Advertisers will need to keep pace with these changes if they want to continue to reach their target markets.

 

Instagram Spotlights Shine Like Snapchat Stories

Instagram Spotlights is shining bright this week officially making their curated user-generated video that comes together to form one long piece of content a permanent feature on the platform. Much like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Spotlights’ content is being created on just about every topic including everything from cats to fitness.

Instagram’s goal and hope is that Spotlights will not only keep people engaged and coming back for more but that is will also be used as a new tool for users to discover new content. Much like Crimson Hexagon’s newer offering “Segments”, users will be able to discover content, brands and/or influencers in turn uniting platform users with content that previous may have gone unseen. According to Gabe Madway, Instagram’s communication manager:

“Spotlight is where you go to discover things you don’t follow but might end up following. Things you never expected to see.”

Most important for digital marketers to know is how Instagram selects the content the platform is going to curate within Spotlights. Hashtags are the foundation of curating Spotlight features so when creating content hashtags may play a more important role if your brand is looking to be “discovered” in Spotlights.

Why it’s Hot: The social playground is free for all to play. Even if Instagram Spotlights may be stepping on Snapchat Stories’ toes or taking a page from Twitter Moments’ playbook, all is fair in fan love and social engagement. It doesn’t matter who was in the sandbox first; all that matters is the one that builds the best castle.

 

Source: With Spotlights, Instagram Walks On Snapchat’s Playground

 

 

 

 

Canon Helps You Perfect Your Next Instagram Pic!

Last Monday Canon set up pop-up digital billboards around the most photographed places in New York City, to help people get the perfect shot.

The outdoor campaign features trucks that pop open to display digital screens in three of the city’s most-photographed areas: the Flatiron District, Central Park South and the Brooklyn Bridge . Canon is also running the ads on billboards at Penn Plaza near Madison Square Garden. The digital billboards pull in 200 tips from data gathered from social networks, traffic updates and weather information. This data determines the billboard’s creative which can swapped to relate to current conditions. This real time functionality will evolve through out the campaign based on the different conversations taking place on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

CanonSome examples of this real time functionality is that people going to to see a Knicks/Rangers’ game will see sport related messaging, but this Thursday during the Billy Joel concert, people will be receive messaging on how to take the perfect concert pic.

Other advice includes how to shoot into bright sunlight in the middle of the day, take a picture in the rain and fog, and shoot the perfect sunset.

A team of five people will also be on-site to give people tips on how to take pictures, and people can also test out Canon cameras.

Using the hashtag #RealTimeTips, people who post on social media will be directed to CanonPhotoTips.com, a scrolling website filled with 100 tips for photographers like “how to create a double exposure.” Each one is illustrated with cinemagraphs and GIFs.

Why its hot!

  • Digital campaign that integrates social and billboard tactics
  • Real time messaging that can change creative based on trends
  • Example of brands not focusing on the product but inserting themselves into a larger conversation

Uses Public Feedback to Zen Out Through Social

Koko is a social network that attempts to calm users’ minds using a source of crowdsourced cognitive therapy. The network was founded on the idea that when people are stressed out they tend to become isolated and can often be too embarrassed to talk about their problems, however we are really stronger together. So, Koko gives users an outlet to anonymously post about their problem and receive advice and ideas for ways of coping.

More specifically, users can write about their topic of concern and other users can browse what has been written and help them through feedback. These can then be upvoted by the community to increase visibility, with all posts also moderated in real-time.

In a randomized controlled trial, a web-based version of Koko outperformed an existing intervention method on a host of psychological outcome measures. The results were analyzed by researchers at MIT, Northwestern and Columbia, with the findings being published in a leading medical journal.

Koko is currently available as a free app on iTunes.

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Why It’s Hot 

Koko is certaintly not the first company that is powered by collective intelligence, Wikipedia just to name one, but it interesting how they are using it to help promote well-being. And the idea of posting about your feelings on social is certainly not new but perhaps with the focus on anonymity and a community that wants to help one and other could differentiate itself. I do however still have several questions that may affect the effectiveness of the app – like is platform monitored? Would negative or insensitive feedback be deleted? Is there a risk management plan in place for severely depressed users that are contemplating suicide, are they promoting outside sources for users to seek help? etc. etc.

Read more here.

Meet the First Instagram-Certified Ad-, Marketing-Tech Vendors

Earlier this year Instagram made it possible for ad- and marketing tech providers to build tools that marketers can use to manage their brands’ Instagram accounts, find content to post to those accounts and buy ads on Instagram. More than 100 companies have built such tools, and Instagram has picked 40 companies to certify and join its new Instagram Partner Program.

“Now that that ecosystem is blossoming, we want to make it really easy for partners and the companies that are building these tools to get visibility,” said Jim Squires, director of market operations at Instagram. “And we want to make it easy for businesses and marketers that want to connect with partners to understand what each of the partners does.”

Instagram is certifying companies in three categories. The ad-tech category includes companies that make tools for brands to buy, plan and customize their ads for Instagram. The community management category includes companies that offer tools for brands to manage their Instagram accounts. And the content marketing category encompasses companies whose tools can be used by brands to find content to post to their Instagram accounts.

In addition to the attention boost, Instagram plans to provide certified vendors with training through Facebook’s Blueprint education program as well as resources around how to best use Instagram for business purposes.

There are no economic requirements for a company to gain entry into the partner program, Mr. Squires said. The only requirements are that a company proves its technology is proprietary, demonstrates market leadership, offers resources to marketers, has a successful track record and participates in training, according to an Instagram spokeswoman. While Instagram has picked an initial 40 companies to certify, other tech providers can apply for approval into the program.

Marketers will be able to visit a dedicated site to find out more about each of the companies in the Instagram Partner Program. The full list is also available below with companies sorted by category. Curalate, Percolate, Salesforce and Sprinklr are listed multiple times because they were approved in more than one category.

Ad Tech

Community Management

Content Marketing

  • Curalate
  • Flashstock
  • Olapic
  • Percolate
  • ReFuel4
  • Salesforce
  • Tongal

Why It’s Hot

This will allow social teams all over to organize and launch Instagram campaigns in a much more efficient, thought out way.  Also, for our company specifically, we already work with some of the approved vendors, so it will only broaden the opportunities for us to use our existing tools.

The Power of Crowdfunding

In a heart-wrenching story over this past Halloween, 4 children lost both their mother and father in a fatal car accident after the 2 left the house briefly to shop for more Halloween face paint. The children will now live with their grandmother in Florida.

The Georgia State Trooper, Nathan Bradley, went to the house of the 2 deceased adults, and when the door was opened, he found 4 kids, none older than 13. He decided not to tell them the awful news until after at least their grandmother arrived from Florida, and instead he spent the night with the kids, taking them out to eat and trying to have some Halloween fun with them.

Trooper Bradley also set up a Crowdfund on GoFundMe with a goal of $7,000 to help the family handle funeral expenses. In just 2 days, more than 8,000 people have contributed more than $300,000 to the fund. All proceeds beyond what is needed for funeral expenses and the like will go into a trust for the children. UPDATE: Has now raised nearly $400K in 3 days from nearly 10K people.

This story speaks to the compassion of others and the power that technology and social media can have in bringing together the efforts of disparate people around a common cause.

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Why It’s Hot

The story is tragic. However, the outpouring of support both in words and in monies is uplifting. It would not have been possible to this extent without social and crowdsourcing/funding platforms. It makes you think about what is possible if we use technology to fund and focus resources from around the World around all sorts of problems and challenges facing the planet and mankind.

Facebook is Your New Phone Number

Want to contact someone, but don’t have their number? No problem, if you know what their name is. Provided they are a Facebook user, you will be able to get in contact with them through Messenger! In other words, Facebook is your new phone number.

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Up until now, anyone who’s not your friend, a friend of a friend (depending on your privacy settings), or someone who does’t actually have your phone number, could not just message you on Facebook. Their message would simply go to Messenger’s spam inbox – Other. A message from someone like this will still not make it into your inbox, but will show up as a ‘Message Request’ that you can either reply to or choose to ignore. The “other” mailbox will be phased out.
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David Marcus, Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, explained

“We truly want to make Messenger the place where you can find and privately connect with anyone you need to reach, but only be reached by the people you want to communicate with. Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name.”

So now, you can easily talk to someone you’ve just met – but aren’t Facebook friends with just yet – without having to go through the first step. Not that it’s a complicated step, but it does make communication a bit easier with people that you either don’t want to “be friends” with on Facebook or in real life. Many people do want to keep Facebook separate from their daily communications, and although we are given the opportunity to filter who sees what, Message Requests will really help users do this effectively.

Why It’s Hot: Facebook is increasing the convenience factor associated with the platform, that is keeping in mind the Facebook Messenger is its own platform. In addition to daily life convenience like phone calls, Facebook is making a push to be the leading dual-screen engagement platform. Facebook is existing within a “Can’t stop, Won’t stop” mentality; always pushing for more.

Source: WeRSM

Snapchat-Like Mobile Ads on Facebook

Brands are just starting to play with Facebook’s full-screen mobile ads, but Wendy’s social marketers already seem to be having lots of fun with the new format.

The fast-food chain is running a campaign that uses a combination of photos, videos and GIFs to show how each layer of its hamburgers are made—like wavering pieces of cheese and a grilled beef patty.

“The Wendy’s quality story carries a lot of equity with our fans and we wanted to invite them into that story, literally layer by layer,” said Mike Bueno, director, digital marketing at Wendy’s. “We’re always looking for new ways to have fun with digital, and Facebook is a great partner in helping us do that.”

The ad prompts folks to swipe up when clicked on from the news feed—a gesture that’s core to Snapchat and its pitch to advertisers and publishers. It’s another example of how brands are creating more vertical video and content for specific platforms.

Other brands testing Facebook’s new immersive ad format include Gatorade, Michael Kors and Bacardi.

Take a look at the video and creative below.

Video here

Why it’s hot:
We should always be thinking of ways to improve the user experience and excite customers. These new ads prove how we can optimize content to fit the user experience and we should be creating content for platforms/devices it will be viewed on. It can be as simple as taking a square video and making it vertical so the user doesn’t have to flip their phone.
SOURCE

Airbnb Backs Down in Its Passive-Aggressive San Francisco Ad Campaign

It didn’t take long for Airbnb to take down its tax-hating ads around San Francisco after many people criticized the short-term housing rental startup for publicly complaining about fulfilling its civic duty. The digital-based company told SF Weekly late on Wednesday that it was taking the promos down because of the backlash.

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Ads started popping up on bus stops and billboards around the city, offering not-so-subtle hints that the company was unhappy having to pay $12 million in hotel taxes. Earlier this year, the company paid millions of dollars in back taxes to the city after failing to pay the 14 percent hotel tax.

The ads, created by Airbnb’s agency of record, TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A., came in the form of several letters with very little love. Here are samples of the copy:

“Dear SF Tax Collector,
You know the $12 million in hotel taxes?
Don’t spend it all in one place.
Love, Airbnb”

“Dear Public Works,
Please use the $12 million in hotel taxes to build more bike lanes, like this one.
Love, Airbnb”

“Dear Board of Education,
Please use some of the $12 million in hotel taxes to keep art in schools.
Love, Airbnb”

“Dear Public Library System,
We hope you use some of the $12 million in hotel taxes to keep the library open later.
Love, Airbnb”

Source: Adweek

Why It’s Hot

Yow. First, this is hot because it shows how social media can impact campaigns and how advertising is basically a crowd-sourced business. Second, Airbnb is a brand that has been under the spotlight for a while, it’s surprising they would go to such a risky place.