I noticed a new feature on Facebook posts recently which should boost social selling, there is now the option to add a product button to your posts where you can highlight specific products featured in your content. Great for retailers, and hopefully making customer journeys more seamless too.
Chatbots were something we were keen to trial at John Lewis when I was managing the social media team there until last year, so I was pleased to see they are running a trial with The John Lewis Valentines Day Gift Finder. I had a go of course and it worked like a dream, giving me a quick and easy journey to suggested gifts then linking through to the site to shop. even when I was not sure I had the right suggestion I was given the option of contacting customer service. A nice example of where a chatbot can give an added value customer experience.
UPDATE – the day after I wrote this I got a notification through Messenger from the JL Valentines Gift Guide asking me if I was still looking for a gift – an even nicer touch – I just hope I now don’t get stalked!
I spotted a campaign from Bronx Zoo yesterday which caught my attention. Back by what seems to be popular demand, you can name one of the resident Bronx Zoo Madagascar hissing roaches in honour of your ex. For a $10 donation you get a digital naming certificate, for $35 or $50 you can add a toy or chocolates. Judging by the fact that several of the donation options are ‘sold out’ a video about the campaign on the Cosmopolitan Facebook page has had almost 242k views there is an appeal for naming a roach after your ex. This works I think because, its seasonal, fun, shareable and based on some sort of truth/insight
Working with vloggers, bloggers and other influencers is no longer a new social media tactic but for those new to the idea here are some tips for how to make things work for you.
Match your influencers to your customers
This might sound obvious but making sure your influencers are right for your (and their) brand, objectives and audience is important. Ideally the partnership should fit and not feel forced.
The whole point of working with influencers is that they have authentic tone and content which their followers love – so don’t try and change this.
Work on relationships
Building relationships with customers and influencers is important – this is Public Relations in the digital age. Building a community through relationships is time consuming and resource heavy but tends to pay off in the long term, especially for brands who have high customer service expectations.
Be aware of the regulations
There are guidelines in place for influencers and brands alike thanks to the ASA and CAP code, for example, you don’t necessarily have to be paying an influencer to be seen as running advertising, the degree of editorial control is also important.
Set up guidelines
A set of guidelines outlining how you work with influencers might be a good idea as it will align teams, especially in larger organisations where there could be multiple interested parties.
Image by rawpixel.com via unsplash.com
The world of digital gets ever more complex as we aim to simplify customer journeys and each day brings a wealth of news which stretches across device, channel and technology. Now Mailchimp has joined up with Facebook to enable Facebook ad management through its platform. Joining the world of eCRM and social closer together is becoming increasingly possible thanks to advances like this and something I expect will become more ‘Business as Usual’ in the future. The advantages of using data across channels will bring advantages of targeting and finding look a like audiences.
Here are some thoughts on how to make this work for you…
- Be clear on your objectives – how will bringing the channels closer together help your customers and achieve your targets?
- Think about flight control so that customers are not being bombarded across or within channels.
- Check your marketing permissions to make sure you can contact customers across channels
- Align your stakeholders, making sure legal, data, brand and online teams are aware of your plans
- Test, test, test, some customers might prefer social, some might prefer email – understanding this & segmenting your customers based on preferences will improve KPI’s and reduce potential complaints
- Ensure you have social monitoring/customer service in place so that any questions & comments can be managed quickly
This campaign caught my eye in January, and that is exactly what it is aiming to do; drive awareness of the need to recognise the symptoms of breast cancer. The visual of lemons in an egg box to educate people on the symptoms of breast cancer is the creation of designer Corrine Beaumont who lost both grandmothers to breast cancer. #knowyourlemons is run by her charity, Breast Cancer Worldwide and has three aims; 1. Literacy, education of the symptoms of breast cancer is often text based whereas #knowyourlemons uses visuals to help people know what to look for. 2. Taboo, finding a way to get over the taboo of body image. 3. Fear, helping people overcome their fear of the subject.
Why I like this campaign…
Creative – the use of a fun visual image to communicate a message means little language is required – powerful in a global campaign.
Emotive – the subject is a global issue, and an opportunity for people to share their stories (shared over 30k times on Facebook since January).
Positive – yellow is one of the most powerful colours, its eye catching when scrolling through a newsfeed.
Find out more about the campaign here www.worldwidebreastcancer.org/
What does the world of social media hold for us in 2017? There are a few things that are likely to continue from 2016; the pace of change, the growth of Snap, the increasing amount of media spend moving into online etc, etc. Below are a few thoughts on what other developments we might see from social media in 2017.
Specialism in social skills
As social becomes increasingly sophisticated there is likely to be a growth in specific social skillsets. This is a trend which started a few years ago as advertising became vital to success and resulted in social ‘media’ specialists. I suspect we may soon see an increasing level of social skills, for example, social content, social analytics and social advertising roles. However, only the bigger brands will need/justify this level of sophistication and therefore perhaps agencies will have to provide some of the heavy lifting in resource.
Influencer marketing has proven to be a huge trend over the last few years, in 2017 I would expect to see more ‘micro’ or smaller influencers becoming part of the strategies of some brands who are seeking value for money.
The gap widens
Linked to point one, as social continues to develop it may become a reality that bigger brands, those with the infrastructure, budgets and resource are the ones that capitalise on channel sophistication and smaller companies find it harder to prove the value of social. However, social continues to play a major channel for protecting & promoting brand reputation as well as driving awareness (budget depending) and therefore it can’t easily be ignored.
Technology & data
The joining of data is likely to be a theme across online marketing in 2017, with more companies investigating joining customer journeys through technology such as Data Management Platforms. The linking and use of social data to understand and influence customer decisions is in many cases relatively new and therefore an area for opportunity this year.
To discuss your social media needs please email Rackel.Kerr@rksocialcomms.co.uk
Image credit Kazuend from Unsplash.com
There is no denying 2016 has been a busy year for social media channels, every day brought an update of some kind or another to one or more of the major social networks as they continue to jostle for the attention of the masses. Here is a summary of some of the key trends we saw in social in 2016.
Faking It. Fake news goes public
Whether or not you believe that social media had a significant role to play in the outcome of some of the political turmoil of the year the fact is that the world woke up to the fact that fake news on social media channels is an issue. The subject was brought to a head during the US election with Facebook firmly in the media spotlight. In November Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook are looking at proposals to tackle misleading content including labelling of suspect content. The focus is likely to remain on social channels until they can show the issue is being stamped out.
Living in the moment
2016 was the year of live streaming, with the major channels now offering a live streaming option and people becoming more confident in the use of live video. Social channels suit this technical enhancement perfectly as they are the ‘go to’ method for sharing what we doing/thinking/feeling, who we are with, where they are etc etc. Now we can do all of this and can live in the moment with them. Brands have been quick to capitalise, showing us everything from live make up tutorials to sporting events.
Snapchat, or Snap gets serious
2016 seemed to be the year where Snap, formerly known as Snapchat grew up. You could tell it was moving into the big league the moment Facebook & Instagram started copying what Snapchat was loved for. The growth figures for Snap in 2016 were projected to be +27.2% to 56.8 million US users in 2016 according to eMarketer*. If this prediction rings true Snap will continue to grow throughout 2017 to 66.6 million users in the US, making it a serious social media contender.
The rise, and rise of Instagram
At 600m users, 100m of whom joined in the last six months of Instagram shows no sign of weakening popularity. From a tech point of view Instagram has had a year of developments, from the end of the chronological feed to a new logo, the launch of stories, zoom, stickers, comment moderation, live streaming and analytics 2016 was a never ending stream of updates.
So what will 2017 bring the world of social media? Watch this space, predictions coming soon!
A few days ago Twitter & Google joined forces via the power of the emoji. The principle is simple, tweet @Google with an emoji of choice, preferably food related, and Google will send you back relevant local results. So for example, you fancy a burger, you tweet a burger emoji to @Google and you get back local restaurant results. I decided to try it out – but went for a hobby rather than food in the first instance. The results were not quite as successful as I had hoped and I had to try again, this time with a strawberry rather than an equine. This time I got supermarkets suggested, though not in the right location so again, not quite as accurate as I had hoped but the principle is interesting. Using a popular method of communication and joining tech & channels together you get a new development on ‘traditional’ search. Go emoji search!
Rarely does a day start without the radio on in the background. Midweek until 9am the default setting tends to be the Today Programme. I listened with interest recently as the presenters plugged a Facebook live streamed interview occurring later that day. Nothing new about this approach, BBC News amongst many others have been live streaming for months, but this does seem to be a new development for the Today Programme and is an example of how social media channels influence traditional media by showing how to engage audiences and tell stories. Below are a few thoughts on why social media influences traditional press & why live streaming is proving to be such a hit …
Mobile – people spend more time in social channels than ever before. Nothing new here either and on average we spend around two hours a day in social networking sites now*. Therefore anyone in the business of getting the story out first simply has to have a social presence. For a long time now I’ve gone to Twitter first to find out more as a story unfolds and live streaming is simply adding another engaging dimension to this with an amazing ability to capture an audience as events unfold. Traditional media can only compete by publishing the content first via social channels or risk losing their audiences.
Technology – the battle for audience reach & engagement across the major social networks continues and is likely to only get more competitive. Many, many articles have been published looking at Snap/Instagram/Facebook live/Periscope and it seems almost certain that the level of duplication across the channels will continue. Put simply, thanks to social the general population now have the technology in their pocket to absorb and broadcast their own news as well as others to a huge audience 24/7. We’ve never had such personal access to live news before, nor have the broadcasters been able to get so close to their audiences.
Infrastructure – traditional news outlets have one major advantage over many other sectors in harnessing social audiences – they know how to produce content people want to see, and they are good at it. News networks have the infrastructure so many other businesses lack in this world of ever growing content appetite. They have the facilities, the teams on the ground with the experience & equipment they need to deliver 24 hour rolling news – they now also have the portals to broadcast this news straight into the pockets of the audience they are looking for. Few other organisations have this set up and this puts the media networks at an advantage in terms of using social channels to deliver compelling news content first. Long, long gone are the days that if a story breaks you have to wait for the news that evening to find out all the details.
Audience – we all want, and now can have real time stories as quickly as we want it. Whether you are looking for politics, sports, business or celebrity gossip doesn’t matter the fact is someone, somewhere is capable of broadcasting live what you might be looking for.
Live streaming has given us a new world of real time news coverage but leads to an interesting twist in the delivery. The fact that the technology exists and people are in social channels for so much of their lives brings about an interesting ethical dilemma as traditional editorial control no longer applies. How we should operate around subjects such as privacy when we can live stream anywhere we like is an interesting subject, but one for another day.
Picture credit Sam Wheeler via unsplash.com