Tag Archives: twitter

The Weekly Bias: Best Practices for Brands on Twitter

Written by Rachel Majors 

Take a break from thinking about Kanye for President in 2020 to catch up on your social media news. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Instagram Adds Photo Options

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Instagram updated their app to allow full-size landscape and portrait options for photos and video. A new format button allows you to change the size of your images and adjust the zoom to choose the perfect fit for your pictures. To learn more about the update, click here.

Facebook Passes Major Milestone

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced that one billion people used Facebook in one day. That’s 1 in 7 people on Earth. Zuckerberg stated in a Facebook post, “A more open and connected world is a better world,” referring to this milestone. The platform is establishing itself as a community to bring people together, and it seems to be working. To read the full Facebook post, click here.

You Could Have Your Own Assistant on Facebook

Facebook recently announced that the company is working on a personal assistant feature, named M, in Messenger. It’s still in the developing stages but the goal of the addition is to give users the ability to make reservations, buy gifts, arrange travel and more by just asking M. There are other apps with the same idea as M, so what makes it different? Money. Facebook has the resources to work on a feature like this and an audience that would use it. Read this article to learn more about M.  

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter has over 300 million users. It’s a powerful platform with several benefits for brands, but you have to know how to efficiently use it. Engaging with your audience through conversation, using relevant hashtags and building relationships are some of the most important things you can do for your brand on Twitter. To learn more best practices for Twitter, check out our infographic.

 

Want to learn more about the topics in The Weekly Bias? Listen to our podcast on iTunes http://cbi.as/ar17 or Stitcher http://cbi.as/bb5b

The Weekly Bias: Instagram Simplifies Advertising and Facebook Notes Make A Comeback

Written by Rachel Majors. 

There’s never a lack of social media news. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Facebook Notes Are Back In Action 

Facebook Notes are back. What are Facebook Notes you ask? The long form content option Facebook offered before a post could be 60,000 characters. You might remember it from people mass posting “25 Random Things You Didn’t Know About Me” in 2008. The social platform is bringing Notes back to keep up with the reestablished blogging trend. Facebook hopes that users, especially teenagers, will use Notes to post and read longer stories. This is a good sign that blogging is back with a vengeance (and profitable.)

Instagram Advertising For All

Instagram has kept a very exclusive advertising platform over the past few months. Brands wanting to participate in ads on Instagram had to negotiate with a special sales rep and pay a minimum of $200,000. The social platform recently opened up their ad buying options to the public. Almost anyone can purchase ads now with the new online buying tools offered by the platform. Instagram ads have been extremely successful since they started. Users have reacted positively to the visual format of ads while they scroll through their feed. Could that be because limited brands could buy ads on the social site? We’re interested to see how the new system works.

Now Showing: Tweets in Google Desktop Searches

If someone has posted a positive or negative Tweet about a brand, there’s a strong possibility that it will start showing up in a Google search. There have been rumors that Google is buying Twitter and this is the beginning of the arrangement. This addition to a Google search has the potential to influence consumer behavior. People trust other people’s reviews and a negative Tweet could turn a potential customer away. Learn more about the changes here.

 

Want to know more about topics featured in The Weekly Bias? Listen to our podcast on iTunes http://cbi.as/ar17 or Stitcher http://cbi.as/bb5b

 

Best Practices for Twitter

Download the PDF here

Twitter is the oft-neglected powerhouse of the top social-media networks. To be fair, it is difficult to stand out in the noise of Twitter. Even people and brands who post regularly can see their best content fly through newsfeeds too fast to achieve any meaningful engagement. Many brands, unfortunately, compare the engagement for their posts on Twitter to Facebook, and determine that Twitter is barely worth the time. However, viewing Twitter as simply another place to share a status update is missing some the network’s greatest benefits.

Be Conversational

While conversations unfold differently on Twitter than other places, people on here have a high expectation of brands being highly responsive. A number of free tools like Hootsuite make it easy to track mentions of your brand. When someone is talking about you, jump right in and talk with them. It’s tempting to simply address complaints with a note to call Customer Service, and reply with a “Thanks” to compliments, but there are many more ways to have deep conversations with customers. Be personal and ask questions back of your customers. Retweet them and show some love by letting people know how you appreciate them as customers. The loyalty you generate by actually engaging and caring about customers will be priceless.

Join #Conversations

Hashtag conversations are a fun way for people to carry on conversations around a specific topic. Whether you’re looking for hashtags or specific keywords, be sure to search Twitter for relevant conversational topics that you can be involved with. Tyson, for instance, may want to be ready to answer any questions about how long chicken is good in your refrigerator. Is it about their brand? No, but it’s a great way to talk to people about something relevant to the shopping experience for their products.  

Build Relationships

If someone follows you, follow them back. If you see someone talking about you or your products regularly, sharing links to your site, etc, talk to them, thank them, and get to know them. It may be odd to think of someone becoming “friends” with a brand Twitter handle, but it definitely can be done.
The content you share is secondary to these points, but be sure that it’s stuff that is interesting to your audience. As with Facebook, stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% of content should be useful or entertaining for your audience, and 20% should be promotional for your brand. Twitter is much more friendly toward over-sharing than other platforms, so don’t be afraid to tweet a lot.

Social Media Best Practices on Twitter

Infographic by Brandon Lyon

The Weekly Bias: Google gives up on Google+ and is looking at Twitter

Written by Rachel Majors

There’s never a dull moment in social news and we’re determined to keep you updated. Here’s what’s going on this week. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Facebook Is Adding Customer Service Options For Brands

Facebook continues to improve customer service options for brands. Users will now be able to send a message to businesses directly from ads that are in their News Feed. Page administrators will also have the ability to create a FAQ section to provide quick access to customer questions. To read more on the new changes click here.  

Jet.com’s “Smart Cart” Puts A Techy Twist On Online Shopping

Jet.com, a new online shopping site offering club prices to users, has potential to shake up the eCommerce world. The site allows users to place items in a “Smart Cart” that determines shipping costs based off of distribution site and whether or not multiple items can be shipped in one box. It will also make suggestions for other products that complement the products already in the cart. Users can choose to opt out of a return option to make the order cheaper. Jet.com has developed a pricing algorithm to provide deals to users. They’re currently taking losses on items and will only make a profit from the $50 membership fee. A seemingly difficult technology platform designed like financial trading systems is an interesting choice for an online retailer. Click here to read more.

Twoogle??

It took Google four years and millions of dollars to accept that Google+ isn’t going to be a competitor to Facebook. The company has decided to step away from efforts of trying to revive the platform. This action has made spectators think that Google will buy Twitter. Twitter’s stock has been in trouble after the company’s CEO left, and Google still wants a social networking site with the ability to collect data. Twitter’s financial problems may be enough to put this purchase in perspective for Google. We’ll be watching to see how this turns out. To learn more on the possible change, click here.

Storytelling Could Be The Future Of Advertising

“Netflix subscribers consumed more than 10 billion hours of programming last quarter, all ad-free. This means there were 10 billion hours when marketers could not reach many of their most valuable customers”. 10 billion hours! Are consumers moving towards sites like Netflix and HBO Now to avoid programming interruptions from advertisements? It’s beginning to seem that way to marketers. According to this article by Skyword, there is a new creative shift coming to marketing. The consumer is craving stories from brands and in order to stay connected, brands will have to start creating stories consumers will accept when interrupting their programming. Sustainable storytelling could change the marketing landscape completely. For more on this topic, click here.

 

The Weekly Bias: Prime Shopping & Millennials

Written by Rachel Majors

The weather is hot and so is this week’s social media news! Let us know what you think in the comments.

Today Is A Prime Day to Shop On Amazon

Amazon Prime Day, a global shopping event, is taking place online today, July 15. Amazon is offering Prime members “more deals than Black Friday” to celebrate the site’s 20th birthday. The one day event will bring Prime shoppers Lightning Deals, seven Deals of the Day and free shipping as always. Members can also experience Prime Photos, an unlimited photo storage option, while participating in the #PrimeLiving Photo Contest to win a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card. There’s a lot happening on Amazon today! Not a member? Sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime to get in on today’s deals.

Use Facebook Groups to Grow A Niche Community

Building a local niche community can sometimes be a daunting task to leaders. In-person networking takes time that a lot of people struggle to find. Facebook’s wide outreach abilities can help ease the trouble of finding group members. By searching for people who like other groups similar to your niche, you can find people who will benefit from your expertise and grow your community. Outreach templates, rewards and personal engagement are just a few tips offered in this article for building a successful niche community.

Can Shopper Marketers Reach Millennials?
Millennials make up “80 million shoppers with one trillion dollars in buying power…” according to this article. Brands are constantly looking for ways to reach the influential generation, but it’s difficult. Millennials seem to be all over the place when shopping. They’re not brand loyal yet, they crave money saving deals and can give or take when it comes to shopper marketing. One-third of Millennials are active on shopper media while almost the same amount are completely detached. Don’t give up hope, there are still opportunities to reach these shoppers through creative strategies, active targeting and using different media to reach the generation.

The Weekly Bias: Yet Another Stand-Alone Facebook App

Written by Rachel Majors

A news week where Donald Trump announces that he’s running for president with the line, “I’m really rich” can get pretty interesting. If you’re trying to ignore that news, we have the latest in social media for you. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Pinterest adds new search features and verified accounts

Pinterest’s buyable pins took the lead in social media news a few weeks back and the company isn’t stopping there. They recently announced a new search feature for users along with verified accounts for public figures and celebrities. The search feature will allow users to view popular pins, trending topics and even misspell words without hindering the search results. Pinterest hopes these user friendly updates will encourage more interaction and engagement. [Source: Social Times]

Twitter introduces autoplay videos

Twitter is adding autoplay videos and changing video viewability standards for promoted Tweets. The videos will look and work like Instagram’s new update, automatically playing without sound as you scroll down the feed. Advertisers showed concern for how promoted Tweets with videoes would be counted and charged with the new autoplay feature. A view will only be chargeable when the video is 100 percent in-view on a device for at least three seconds. Consumers are showing to prefer videos in social media. We’ll be watching for how brands and users can benefit from this new feature. [Source: Twitter Blog]

Facebook releases new photo sharing app

Facebook recently added another app to its social empire. Users expressed frustration with the limited ability to privately share photos with Facebook friends. They wanted the ability to socially share a collection of pictures without showing the whole world. Facebook responded by making the new photo sharing app, Moments, for users to create private groups to share their photos with. The app can create a certain feeling of exclusivity with those who attended an event or activity while targeting a different audience than would normally see publicly shared photos on Facebook. [Source: Social Media Today]

Periscope and Meerkat: Is Live Streaming Boring?

Written by Sam Freeze

After bursting onto the scene in a frenzy at the 2015 SXSW, expectations for the live video streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope have since become more realistic. Hailed as the next big thing in social media apps, live video streaming offers a unique angle on real-time event screening as well as social interaction with constant conversation. While live streaming has existed for years with companies like Livestream and Ustream, Meerkat and Periscope brings live streaming to smartphone users (well, just the iOS crowd as of now) via easy-to-use mobile applications. The introduction of streaming social channels poses new and significant challenges for marketers and influencers alike. Still in their infancy, best practices for these apps do not yet exist.

To put it bluntly, live streaming is often boring. Accustomed to digestible, quick pictures and videos, social consumers watching streams on Periscope and Meerkat can find much of the content long and uninteresting, particularly if in streams with little context. Right now, a number of top Periscope and Meerkat influencers use everyday rides in a cab, shopping trips, and even shots of what’s in their fridge as opportunities to stream.

As the novelty for these apps wears off and usage scales, these everyday situations will not easily hold an audience’s attention. Ultimately, social media is about providing value to your followers, and live streaming just to be live streaming offers little to stick around for.

Where does live streaming fit in the social tool chest?

Successful marketing on any social channel requires using its unique capabilities to craft your message and connect with your followers. When deciding whether to incorporate live streaming into your social strategy mix, ask yourself: is there anything my followers would benefit from specifically using live streaming rather than “classic” social channels? Live streaming has many issues that makes marketers uncomfortable. In general, it’s messy and isn’t conducive to creating neatly polished, digestible content. Since it is live, mistakes can be made and not easily corrected. Also, the user base of both Meerkat and Periscope are not currently as large as other social channels. But what live streaming does offer is an opportunity to communicate directly with your audience truly in a real-time, conversational manner which could be beneficial for many brands.

What type of brands should live stream?

Because of its relative difficulty to do well and (currently) smaller user base, live streaming makes sense for some brands more than others. Many brands have already jumped into the world of mobile live streaming. ESPN regularly has their anchors live stream between commercial breaks just to answer viewer questions, and they even recently interviewed football players Rob Gronkowski and Odell Beckham Jr. exclusively on Periscope in the waiting room before the announcement of the Madden cover vote results. General Electric went behind the scenes of StarTalk Radio with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. Behind-the-scenes glimpses at these well known brands work well to both humanize the brand and engage viewers in their products and identity.

Live streaming should not be limited solely to large brands. Any brand or influencer that believes their behind-the-scenes footage, events, or Q&A sessions would be interesting enough for followers to want to tune in can benefit from adding Periscope and Meerkat into their social mix. But many brands whose followers may not dedicate sufficient time would be better served focusing on channels where their content is easier for their audiences to consume.

What type of content should my brand live stream?

Simply stated, showcase your brand’s identity. If you’re a food blogger, try cooking one of your top recipes via live stream so your audience can follow along and ask questions. Take them on your shopping trips as well; show where you get your favorite ingredients. If you blog about beauty, take your audience through your morning routine. Cooking and instructional videos are nothing new, but live streaming allows you to engage with your audience and answer their questions as you go.

Which app should my brand be on?

It seems that Periscope is in a better position to win the long term battle of live streaming apps. Their purchase by Twitter gives them a significant advantage over Meerkat at least in the short run with both apps depending so heavily on Twitter integration. Periscope’s playback feature also gives brands the ability to keep content available for 24 hours for watching and sharing. As of now, Periscope seems to be the better bet, however it makes sense (and is far from heavy lifting) to have your brand on both apps.

How do I let my followers know when I’m live streaming?

Letting your followers know when you are streaming is important, particularly on Meerkat which has no playback feature. The integration of Twitter into both apps makes it easy to let your followers know when you’re planning to stream. Meerkat will automatically post to Twitter when you begin a stream and Periscope gives you this option, but be sure to let your followers know in advance through all your social channels.

The Weekly Bias: Google and Twitter Team Up

Written by Rachel Majors

Event features, video ads, Twitter mobile searches…oh my! Here’s what’s going on the world of social media this week. Let us know what other social topics you found interesting in the comments below.

Facebook is working to improve events feature

Facebook events should be getting more user-friendly in the next few months. The social platform has big plans to revamp the way events are created, viewed and featured. Facebook is also working on the idea of a separate events app. Updates will allow users to see who has looked at invites as well as invite non-Facebook users to events. One-on-one chats and event sharing will be available in the Messenger application to help users efficiently communicate with one another. Facebook events are a great way to connect with people all over the world and some brands are even using them to sell products. We’ll be on the lookout to see how effective the changes are in the future. [Source: Ad Week]

Video ads now available on Pinterest

Pinterest has updated their advertising options with new mobile video ads in user feeds. Video posts will play when a user scrolls over an ad and pause when they move past it. This addition should catch the attention of users and create a more interactive advertising experience. In addition to video ads, Pinterest is introducing two new pricing options, paying for engagement or by action. The platform is moving quickly with advancing promoted pins after taking eight months to offer the service. It will be interesting to see what Pinterest does next. [Source: Recode]

Google and Twitter advance mobile searches
Your tweets could start showing up in Google mobile search results. Google and Twitter recently teamed up to make tweets more accessible. Users can now Google a twitter handle, specific tweet, trending topics or hashtags instead of searching Twitter. The update provides an opportunity for Twitter to reach a wider audience. Twitter is working to reach more users and is hoping that Google, the largest search engine, can help with this. It’s refreshing to see two platforms working together instead of competing for user traffic; we’re interested to see the collaboration in action. [Source: Mashable]

Should Bloggers Use Meerkat & Periscope?

Written by Heather Buen 

As a blogger for the last 5 years, I’ve found we are typically at the forefront of many of the newest ways to create content for our readers. Video and Vlogging is quickly becoming an important part of the content mix for bloggers. If you haven’t started exploring video content or producing your own video content, you may want to truly consider it for your blog. There are video apps on your smartphone and HD camera equipment that makes recording video easier than ever.

Personally, I have found that posting video directly to my blog’s Facebook page has recently increased reach and engagement for my posts. The engagement rate for video is more than double that of photo updates and regular updates. Since Facebook is making the push for business pages to purchase advertising or “boost posts,” being able to upload a video for free and using Facebook’s algorithm for showing more video to your audience for FREE plays in your favor.  This is the basis for why I believe live-streaming mobile apps like Meerkat and Periscope (Twitter-owned service) are an important part of your content mix. To live-stream something means to show live video to audiences via the Internet. In earlier years, live-streaming was a hassle with constant buffering and a degradation of the video service for Internet viewers. Today these two apps are making a splash in the live-streaming world with Meerkat being popularized at this year’s SXSW and Periscope being released by Twitter soon after. So how can bloggers capitalize on live-streaming?

Meerkat versus Periscope

Meerkat is an independent live-streaming mobile app that allows you to share Livestream sessions via Twitter. It was originally built in just 8 weeks by one person and has a tight integration with Twitter and Twitter’s social graph. Previously, you could immediately follow anyone on Meerkat that you were following on Twitter. Now you have to follow manually since Twitter shut off that functionality. On Meerkat, viewers of your live stream can tweet at you and they appear as comments on the live stream window screen. Those same comments are then tweeted out of your account allowing for quick, on-the fly interaction and discussion.

Periscope is a platform launched by Twitter shortly after Meerkat was launched. It works the same way in live-streaming video but also allows someone with a large Twitter following to auto follow each other once they join. The unique features that make Periscope stand out from Meerkat are not a big differentiator. Both mobile video platforms allow you to record video in the phone’s portrait mode rather than landscape which takes some getting used to. Each live stream you do can be saved for later use. The only difference is that in Meerkat, it will allow you to save to your camera roll while Periscope saves it to their servers. Apparently since Meerkat came out first, more celebrities and social media superstars are using that platform over Periscope. Despite whichever app “wins,” the importance is that being an early adopter allows you more time to gather followers.

The pros and cons for blogs

Live-streaming offers many pros and cons for blogs. It helps you to redefine and differentiate how you use and post video. Live-streaming requires little effort and little video editing if you have the right tools. But if you are looking for high quality video, you won’t get it via live stream since that is not what it was meant for. You can, however, engage readers and those following you which is making live stream video much more social.

Livestream events and demos

Are you doing a tutorial? Are you at an event? Live-streaming at these types of events are very effective in engaging your audience. I used this when I covered the Dallas Auto Show for my blog. I was able to live stream press conferences and a tour of the show itself. Followers were able to post questions which I could then ask the auto executives at the press conference. This was very valuable since most audiences are not allowed during media days at certain events. As an example, I live streamed the Ram Test Track experience and was able to upload it to YouTube.

Interviews

If you are a blogger that conducts interviews, you can always live stream them. Some people have video blog series and doing some live sessions can create anticipation of what to expect for your audience. I have found livestreaming to be an easier way to interview someone if you happen to catch them on the fly or at the moment. It’s also a way to schedule personal time with your audience. By doing so, you can answer questions with your audience right then and there and engage the on topics they care about.

Showcase yourself and your talents

For your current readers this is a great way to showcase who you are and what your blog is about. It’s also a great way to pick up new followers.

Monetizing and increasing traffic

The purpose of most types of social platforms is really about driving traffic. Having another avenue just gives you more options to do that for your blog. While you can’t directly monetize the app, you can monetize your blog or the video that you create. Think about it. If you are a publisher you can save your live stream video, perform a few edits and upload to YouTube with some great monetizing capabilities such as ads. You can also take the same video and upload to Facebook to drive engagement and traffic to your blog. You can also embed the video or add it to your own blog with your own monetizing methods such as ads and affiliate links. Or if you are selling a product or service and doing a demo via Meerkat or Periscope I’m sure on your live stream you will direct people on where to buy the product.

About the Author: Heather Buen is a Dallas based “Creative Online Innovator” and a local Dallas celebrity blogger at her blog, Dallas Single Mom and a host of other lifestyle blog brands. Heather provides marketing consulting to small businesses and teaches web marketing and analytics at the University of Texas at Arlington. This mom of three is also a freelance journalist and web content developer.

 

 

The Weekly Bias: Google’s Mobile Search, Twitter’s DM’s and FB’s News Feed

Perhaps the biggest news for the week is that a Full House spinoff is definitely happening. If that doesn’t interest you, then here are a few topics that may. We’d love to know what you found important in the social news in the comments below.

Google boosts ranks of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search

With mobile traffic surpassing desktop search traffic, Google has started boosting mobile-friendly websites to the top of mobile search results. This allows mobile searchers to easily find results that won’t require them to zoom and tap just to see a webpage. This update affects only search rankings on mobile devices, in all languages globally and applies to individual pages, not entire websites. There’s a lot that goes into how Google ranks your page. Being mobile-friendly is now an important signal, but quality content is still a factor. Here are 4 Simple SEO Best Practices to Remember, and here’s a handy tool to test to see if your site passes the mobile-friendly test.

Twitter allows users to receive DMs from anyone

On Monday, Twitter announced that all 288 million users will be able to receive direct messages from any user, even if they don’t follow you. Users will have to check the box under their security and privacy settings to activate this feature. Before, you could only send a direct message to those you followed, and could only receive messages from those who followed you. This is just one of the several updates Twitter has rolled out since the start of the year, which have included group direct messages, the ability to share and edit video inside Twitter and the revamped retweet with comment feature.

Facebook updates News Feed to balance content from friends and pages

On Tuesday, Facebook announced three updates to help balance out the content we see in our News Feed, which is the most random thing ever to me. I rarely see content from my husband, but always see what my “friend” who I haven’t talked to since elementary school does. One of the updates fixes this problem by ensuring the content posted directly by the friends you care about shows up higher in your Feed. The other update makes stories your friends like or comment on appear lower down the Feed or not at all, and the last update relaxes the rule preventing users from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row.