Toys ‘R’ Us: Back Like it Never Left

Months ago we said farewell to a childhood friend. Adulthood told us to put away childish things but maybe there’s still reason to hold on.

Toys ‘R’ Us is back with a full online experience through a partnership with Target. Users that visit will be redirected to after hitting the “buy” button under any product to complete a purchase.

Toys “R” Us would be able to quickly establish cash flow from the still top-ranked, well-established domain name, while Target could get an influx of new sales from shoppers who visited, unaware of the toy chain’s bankruptcy and relaunch.

Why it’s hotter than the Red Ranger:

  1. Because nostalgia.
  2. This isn’t Target’s only deal. Target also secured a deal with Disney to open mini-stores within a location where shoppers can purchase official Disney apparel and products. I would assume Target wants to become a marketplace similar to Amazon. It will be interesting to see how the war between Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Target pans out.

LinkedIn Stories: Fail or Employer Branding Dream?

In late 2018, there were rumblings that LinkedIn would launch its own version of a stories feed. Critics believed it was just another platform itching to conquer Snapchat.

Now it’s June 2019, Instagram is the true leader in stories and LinkedIn is still preparing for launch. LinkedIn stories could be a huge fail or it could be an employer branding dream.

Companies have struggled with doing away with the polished workplace culture videos as they try to find a balance between quality and authenticity. Adding a story feature to LinkedIn automatically allows these companies to officially be less polished or well-thought-out while prospective employees gain a behind the scenes look at a company. 

LinkedIn is slated to go live with their stories feature at any moment. Meanwhile, they’ve revised the logo, developed their own custom font and defined a new color palette. LinkedIn is the woman that cuts her hair when she’s overcome a personal crisis.

Why it’s hotter than an IG story from Rihanna: Will this do anything to change the issues with job descriptions or the application process? I foresee the trendy companies using stories as a way to promote new jobs and asking people to swipe up to learn more. I’m unsure if all of these new ways to communicate are making us better or just further complicating processes that could be simplified. Look out for intern takeovers, content from the company thought leaders and IBM dominating the feature with kick-ass content about all the things they create.

Monitoring Your Posts with Facebook Messenger

Comment guard is a bot that can be applied to organic Facebook posts. When someone comments on a post, they automatically receive a private Facebook message.

It’s a Facebook post-auto-responder that can be used to build relationships between brands and consumers based on the content in the comment. The consumer will only become a “lead” after they respond to the private message.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Business A creates a post about designer sneakers.
  2. User A responds to the post saying, “I really want these sneakers, I haven’t found them anywhere.”
  3. The bot scans the message for words like “want” or a phrase like “I want” and automatically sends the user information about the business and how they can acquire these hard to find sneakers.
  4. User A engages with the bot and a community manager can then take over the conversation and guide the user toward conversion.

Messenger Guard in action

Read more here.

Why it’s HOT

  1. It takes less stress off of the community manager to scan messages for potential leads
  2. Businesses can develop more 1:1 communication with users which leads to better brand recognition
  3. Adds more ROI to social media as a marketing channel
  4. Adds a new KPI for social media such as intent to purchase which can be measured by messages sent by the bot and clicks to the URL sent by the bot

Instagram Adds Yet Another Feature: Emoji Slider

Top 5 social channels?

  1. Instagram
  2. Instagram
  3. Instagram
  4. Instagram
  5. Instagram

The newest addition to the growing list of features, the emoji slider.

““The emoji slider lets you ask more nuanced questions when you want to find out how your friends feel about something. By choosing an emoji for your question, you also add a layer of emotional context that helps those answering understand your tone and answer accordingly.”

Instagram is adding more tools to increase the usage of Instagram stories and steal share from Snapchat. At this point, it’s clear who is in the lead since IG has added several highly engaging features to the platform with more on the horizon.

How can brands use emoji sliders? To gain more information from their audience about their content and/or products services. This is 1:1 social listening on a grand scale with seamless and non-intrusive audience participation.

Why it’s hotter than a flame emoji:
This is a cool addition to the tool belt but it’s definitely not the last!
Instagram has also been testing in-app purchase features which would completely elevate the options available to marketers and users. IG is slowly making strides to be on par with WeChat, which has already infiltrated almost all aspects of a users life in the China market.

Snapchat Enables Shopping Via AR

The last few years have been tough for Snapchat. They’ve officially lost the cosign from Rihanna and it’s been an uphill battle to gain investors. This combination of losses has lead them to a new ad offering for brands: augmented reality shopping ads. 

The commerce lenses are the same as other lenses, and users add them to their videos the same way, but they include a button that leads to a shopping page, an app-install page, a video or a website without leaving Snapchat.

According to Snap, over 70MM people use the lens feature daily and this is Snap’s strongest defense against Instagram. Every lens won’t directly sell a product but can lead to an app download and/or content.

Why it’s hotter than the flower crown filter:

Snapchat has been searching for a way to bring brands to the platform. This new offering from the company enables brands to seamlessly interact with users as they use the app for what it’s most known for. Pairing augmented reality with e-commerce is the next step in advertising.

Full article

BuzzFeed is Your Non-judgmental Older Sister

In November, BuzzFeed unveiled its BuzzFeed media brands division which is made up of Tasty(food), Nifty (DIY), Bring Me (travel) and Goodful (wellness). This week they have added another millennial focused sub-brand to their roster, As/Is.

As/Is is a positioned to be a non-judgy beauty and style publisher, featuring “content that empowers women rather than tells them who they should be.” 

The timing around the launch couldn’t be any better amid the spotlight of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

“We want to change what the industry looks like and looks at,” says Augusta Falletta, supervising producer for As/Is. “We want people to see themselves in this content and accept themselves in a way that hasn’t been done in the past. If you are a woman who grew up reading antiquated magazines you probably have some thing you need to unpack.”


Why it’s too hot to hold, too much to handle:

BuzzFeed’s ultimate goal is to compete with Facebook and Google for ad dollars. Currently, their biggest revenue driver is the Tasty sub-brand which has attracted over 1.4 million unique visitors in January alone. Tasty has evolved from short videos to products now available at Walmart. BuzzFeed is hoping that in the future, As/Is will lead to a line of beauty products.

BK Explains Net Neutrality With The Whopper

In December 2017, the FCC repealed net neutrality which will allow internet service providers to charge more for better internet speed or faster service. Although social media really cared about this at one point much of that chatter has slowed.

Ask your Dad about net neutrality and he might not have a clue what you’re talking about, but if you slowed down his fast food service experience he might understand.

Check your MBPS (making burgers per second speed)

Burger King is serving up more more than burgers and fries in this newest social experiment:

Why it’s hotter than a spicy nugget?

  1. The fight against the repeal of net neutrality was lost and we should be worried.
  2. Burger King has stepped outside of the assumed boundaries of a food brand and now adds to the socio-political commentary going on outside of the brand (remember the bullying ad?). It’s not only cool because it shows they are listening, it’s smart marketing.
  3. It is no longer cool for brands to sit back as real issues affect their customers.

Full article here.