With the departure of writer Jack Simpson, there’ll be a new source of monthly social roundups.

That source is the new social media executive, Andrew Chrysostom (yes, I did refer to myself in the third person). 

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s been hot during social in a month which has been both creatively exciting and innovative.

1. Facebook Messenger Codes

Of course, we kick off with Facebook’s F8 conference.

Our own Patricio Robles touched on the biggest developments from this year, and Econsultancy co-founder Ashley Friedlein wrote on the impact that the evolution of Facebook Messenger would have on conversational marketing

Naturally we jumped on board with our shiny new Facebook Messenger Code, which allows users to interact directly with brands by scanning a code via Facebook messenger.

Needless to say the first interaction came within minutes from a community manager, which led to this inevitable exchange. 

2. The addition of group calling from Facebook Messenger

As well as this, the global roll out of a new feature which will enable group calling in messenger was announced – which could easily be dismissed as playing catch-up with Skype’s mobile app. 

Another new focus was that of live streaming, an area which Facebook has been growing for some time.

With the rise of apps such as Periscope this wasn’t a great surprise, but with a more diverse audience the content opportunities are exponentially larger.  

An example of this would be Cheddar, a Facebook-only broadcast channel that comes live from the NY Stock Exchange.

3. #GayTurtle

Amnesty International has launched a campaign with the intent of highlighting the absurdity of homophobia. 

The three-minute video shows a series of customers enquiring about buying a turtle, with several seeming to form a bond with the little reptile.

After a short time, the shop owner reveals the turtle is in fact gay which leads to negative reactions from the customers. 

A clever way of breaking a new hashtag into the LGBT conversations on twitter, which also highlights the problem of a rise in homophobia globally.

4. Unfollow Trump

From increasing awareness to decreasing awareness. Four agency creatives have got together with the aim of dismantling Donald Trump’s social reach, one follower at a time. 

The website opens with the statement “When you passively follow @realDonaldTrump, you're actively following Donald Trump”, and urges Twitter users to end any association with the Republican frontrunner’s social activities.

It then offers the user the opportunity to directly unfollow from their site. 

While there may not be a huge dent in ‘The Donald's’ followers, it opens up an opportunity to discourage the politics of outrage on social media, inevitably leading to the message’s organic reach exploding.

Surely #HopOffHopkins can’t be far behind...

5. Stop hammer time

Don’t worry, the year is still 2016 but M.C. Hammer has parachuted back onto our screens*.

Combining traditional television advertising with custom social responses (not unlike this brilliant 2010 campaign from Old Spice). 

The ‘Can’t touch this’ star implores people to literally stop ‘hammer time’ by using 3M’s command strip products, which hang pictures without the use of nail.

A laboured pun, perhaps – but for a brand with relatively low awareness that isn’t shy of its own gaffes on social, it’s sure to gain attention. 

3M is also combining this with a live event at New York’s Grand Central Station where the public will have the opportunity to record lip sync videos with the ‘90s star.

A sure-fire way to send user generated content across social networks.

(*Pun fully intended)

6. #LoveAtFirstTaste

The link between food and love is something that marketing has exploited since the days of Häagen-Dazs.

Jumping on the popularity of the foodie millennial trend, Knorr has started a campaign focusing on the role that food plays on a first date. 

Using a combination of video, a simple Twitter card, a promoted trend and an online quiz the campaign ultimately raises brand awareness.

Needless to say, it got me spot on.

The curious part is the relatively large budget which would have gone into a campaign like this given @knorr’s following of just under 3,000 (at time of writing). 

7. Twitter makes DMing easier

Eagle-eyed Twitter users will have noticed a new button pop up on Tweets appearing on their phone.

This DM button enables you to directly share that Tweet to another user via direct message.

While the ability to share tweets to another user has been around for a while, the addition of the button shows Twitter’s ambitions to take on messaging apps which focus on rich media, such as Snapchat.

With direct messaging on Twitter rising around 60% last year it’s clear that the company is eager to focus on the ‘dark social’ aspect of the service.

8. Buying video ads on Facebook just became easier

With an estimated 100m hours of video watched on Facebook each day, it’s easy to see why the network is taking steps to make it easier for brands to move away from its traditional advertising offerings.

Purchasing adverts on Facebook and targeting them has become even more efficient with the implementation of TRP (target rating points) buying. 

It essentially uses DMAs (US Nielsen-designated market areas) that show which type of users are likely to be watching different genres of television programming, and at which times. 

This means if you’re a gaming brand looking to target an audience likely to watch Game of Thrones, you can ensure that your video advertising will appear during the four-hour block surrounding the air time of the show.

At the moment this is only available in the US, but is sure to roll out across other markets soon.

9. Twitter might hit the panic button

Twitter’s Q1 earnings report was released, showing a year-on-year growth of 36% in earnings.

While that sounds good it should be noticed that it regards this figure at the ‘low end’ of its expectations. 

With growth in advertising on the wane, we can expect the next three months to be focused on new ways of generating ad revenue (as already seen with the new NFL rights deal).

Anticipate a wider offering of analytics tools which will make it easier for brands to measure the effectiveness of their advertising.

10. Kellogg’s is warming up for the Olympics

Kellogg’s is beginning its #GreatStarts campaign 100 days before the Olympics is due to start.

As part of the promotion of Team GB, Kellogg's will be using brand ambassadors Louis Smith, Rebecca Adlington and Sir Steve Redgrave.

The idea behind the campaign is to encourage people to share their tips for a ‘great start’ to the morning.

At the moment it seems like the creative focuses around recreating famous scenes of bad mornings from movies (Home Alone, Bridget Jones’ Diary etc.) 

Given that this campaign will be running for the next eight months we can expect a lot more in the near future. 

Andrew Chrysostom

Published 3 May, 2016 by Andrew Chrysostom

Andrew is a Social Media Executive at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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