It was February last month, which meant Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl campaigns were high on the agenda for brands.
I’ll be covering both those topics in this month’s social round-up, along with plenty of exciting news from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and House of Fraser’s odd decision to go completely off-brand and talk only in emojis.
Let’s take a look at the best social campaigns and stories from last month. And to learn more on this topic, check out our range of Social Media Training Courses.
House of Fraser comes over all emojinal
This emoji-based campaign may have appeared to backfire initially, but it certainly got people talking about House of Fraser.
The usually upmarket brand went full-on teenager and started tweeting only in emojis, much to the dismay and bafflement of all its followers.
There were a number of follow-up elements to the campaign, too, such as a ridiculously difficult emoji-deciphering quiz.
Shield 5 puts social cinema on the map
Social cinema is here and I’m hoping it’s going to catch on, because it’s great.
If you haven’t yet seen Shield 5, you should check it out. It’s a whodunit film split into 28 separate 15-second Instagram videos, with images delivering additional clues between episodes.
Could we see brands jumping on board with their own social cinema efforts?
Facebook rolls out new Reactions
‘Liking’ something on Facebook just wasn’t cutting it apparently, so the social network added a load of new reactions to choose from: ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’ and ‘angry’.
Noticeably absent from that lineup is the widely predicted ‘dislike’ button, which had many brands feeling nervous about having their posts publicly slated via clicks.
Currently each reaction will have a similar impact to the classic ‘like’ when it comes to Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm. But in future it may tweak things to weigh each reaction differently.
Could ‘love’ become the new most-coveted click?
Facebook to introduce ads in Messenger
According to a leaked document acquired by Tech Crunch last month, Facebook messenger could soon include ads.
If true, businesses will be able to send ads as messages to users who have previously initiated a chat thread with that brand.
The document urged businesses to start inviting customers to initiate message threads with them now in preparation for the feature going live.
Facebook will open up Instant Articles to all
Since its unveiling last year, Facebook’s Instant Articles feature has only been available to select publishers.
Last month, however, the social network announced it will be opening the feature up to all publishers as of April this year.
Facebook will offer new users the same deal as current publishers using the platform, which means they’ll be able to keep 100% of revenue from ads they sell and 70% from ads Facebook sells.
Instagram adds new video view count
Instagram announced last month that it will start displaying view counts below videos, in response to user feedback about the issue.
The view counter will replace the ‘likes’ that previously appeared there, because according to Instagram “views are the most widely expected form of feedback on video.”
I do kind of agree with it on that front, although I think a combination of Likes and views is a better mark of a video’s quality than one or the other, so it would have been nice if it had kept both.
Twitter unveils new timeline feature
Twitter! What are you up to?
It hasn’t been a good year so far for the platform, what with poor share performance and badly received product decisions.
There was much hoo-ha about Twitter forcing an algorithmic timeline om its users, resulting in CEO Jack Dorsey stepping in to steadfastly deny the changes.
Hello Twitter! Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we’re always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week.
— Jack (@jack) 6 February 2016
Despite Dorsey’s denial the changes did happen about a week later, although the feature isn’t forced upon users (for now).
I think it’s a terrible idea, but what do I know?
Doritos smashes social at Super Bowl 50
Doritos was by far the most successful brand on social during Super Bowl 50, with its Ultrasound video ad achieving more than 893,000 shares.
The video depicts a baby, still in the womb, desperately chasing the Dorito in its father’s hand.
The next most-shared brand campaign, from T-Mobile, achieved just under 347,000 shares, comparatively little compared to Doritos.
Tinder gives away free ‘Super Likes’ for Valentine’s Day
Everyone’s favourite face-swiping app got involved in the Valentine’s Day hype by offering users one free ‘Super Like’ per day in the days leading up to 14 February.
The feature is usually only available to paying Monthly Plus subscribers, and as you can probably tell from the name it effectively lets users tell people they like them in a slightly more significant way.
It was a clever move on Tinder’s part because if people enjoy the feature there is a chance they might be tempted to pay to have it permanently.
Sour Patch Kids runs fan fiction competition
The iconic sweet brand ran a Valentine’s campaign on writing platform Wattpad, inviting users to write a love story that ended with a twist.
Wattpad picked three influencers from its site to write a few posts and kick off the campaign. One, titled ‘When Miss Sweet Meets Mr Sour’, tells the story of a high school romance.
Mondelez – the company behind the Sour Patch Kids brand – will pick 10 finalists for Wattpad’s community to vote on and the winning story will be turned into an animated digital film and shared across Wattpad’s social platforms.