It’s been a busy month for brands on social media, let’s take a look at some of the best stories and campaigns from April 2018. 

Featuring April Fool’s Day, Kanye West, Facebook (surprise, surprise), Coachella and more.

April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s day is a bit of a tired joke to some but can be a great marketing opportunity for others. As such, a few of the world’s best known brands took it upon themselves to come up with some funny fake campaigns to put a smile on their audiences’ faces.

There was a really good range of campaigns and faux products (including a mock dating app from Giff Gaff).

It’s only right that we share with you some of the best examples we saw…

Honda and its ‘Sixth Sense’ app

I know a few people that could definitely do with having this app on their phone…

Heinz Chocolate Mayonnaise

Mmmm delicious… right?

Isobel’s “Trump Loves Britain” campaign

Surely London creative agency Isobel’s take on Wayne Rooney’s 2006 World Cup poster has helped changed Trump’s public perception….

Snapchat going back to their old ways?

Snapchat seems to have listened to itss users and is planning on testing a roll-back to something that feels like their old UX. The social media app received a lot of negative feedback from its users back in January, even invoking responses from celebrities:

This single tweet alone was retweeted over 80,000 times and liked by over 360,000 accounts. Jenner wasn’t alone in her disappointment, with other celebrities and more users expressing their destain for the unwelcomed changes. It was even reported that the change and tweets from serial snappers, like Kylie Jenner, in addition to the subsequent negative word-of-mouth, had an influence on Snap Inc.’s share price – dropping by 8% (£1 billion/$1.3 billion) back in February. Yikes.

Although there is no date for a major roll-out and the test is only due to be carried on a small number of users, the news of the ‘redesign’ and reversion back to something akin to the old design is welcome news to app users, I’m sure!

Dare to be a Champion

American sports apparel brand Champion harnessed the power of social media to get their products and ethos in front of a diverse audience in their latest “Dare to be a Champion” campaign.

Enlisting the help of three individuals – a skateboarder, an artist and a dancer – in the video below, the brand conveys a sense of achievement and aspiration through everyday people chasing their dreams, in the hope of one day being great.

The short does a good job of tying the Champion brand to individualism, using three people with very different skills.

Facebook on the up in Q1 2018

The social media giant has been a mainstay in the headlines for pretty much the entire month since the news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke back in March. Mark Zuckerberg’s Capitol Hill testimony followed (here are five things we learned), as well as some brands pulling their ad spend on the platform. But what lasting effect did this have on the company’s bottom-line?

It appears not that great as yet, from an ad spend perspective anyway. The company reported growth in the first quarter of this year with its advertising beating it’s revenue estimate by over 500 million dollars. As well as revenue, the controvesy hasn’t had that adverse of an affect on daily active users either, with 48 million users engaging with the platform on a daily basis which was an improvement on the previous quarter. In addition, both daily and monthly are up by 13 percent from last year.

Facebook GDPR news

Two stories caught the attention of anyone interested in the GDPR legislation, which will be enforced from 25th May 2018.

Firstly, reports suggest that Facebook will soon require marketers to confirm they have user consent for Custom Audiences. Second, as reported by the Drum, “Facebook has moved to repatriate 1.5bn Facebook members who were previously under the jurisdiction of Facebook Ireland by transferring them to the auspices of its US HQ, thus circumventing tightened European privacy laws.

Facebook is certainly taking action, with this Techcrunch article on the platform’s privacy changes also required reading for GDPR fans.

gdpr

Yeezy Season – when Kanye came back to Twitter

Unless you’ve been in the outer reaches of the solar system, you will have noticed that a particular social media antagonist is back Tweeting again. Of course, I’m talking about Mr. Kanye West.

After a 11 month hiatus from Twitter, Kanye has rejoined the social networking platform to update fans with dates for some of his upcoming albums and most importantly to reengage with people longing to hear from the reclusive superstar. And it appears as if distance made the heart grow fonder because hundreds of thousands of people have been retweeting, liking, commenting and reposting some of his best 280 character soliloquies.

Below I’ve listed some of his best work over the past two weeks:

The one when he gave us all some communication advice…

The one where he shared the love with Trump…

POTUS returned the love, of course…

The tweets are coming thick and fast. Whatever you think of Kanye, he is a social media and marketing genius. Seldom do we see someone, or brands for that matter, utilise social in such an effective way and drive discussion quite the way that the music icon has (and is still doing). He may be a polarising fixture in popular culture, partly down to his personality and antics, but one thing that cannot be denied is his shrewd ability to engage with his audience in a way some brands can only dream of.

When he came back to Twitter on April 16th he had just under 10 million followers and he’s now up to 28 million, which is a pure reflection of his ability to get his message into the public consciousness.

Love him or hate him, we all know what he’s thinking, when his latest products will be released and his feelings on important issues.

JD Wetherspoon deleted all of its social media accounts

A company stepping back from social media is JD Wetherspoon. The UK pub chain, which owns around 900 establishments throughout the country, decided to pull the plug on its social media accounts across the business.

The brand cited trolling of MPs and ethnic minorities, as well as the general addictive nature of social media, as the reasons for them moving away from using social to interact with their customers.

At Econsultancy we asked some social media experts for their opinions on the issue.

One consistent refrain from our experts was that the level of effort and resources required to maintain these social media accounts was likely no longer justifiable in the eyes of the business. Will Francis, Founder & Creative Director at VANDAL said “A 900-outlet food and beverages brand will always struggle to make meaningful use of social, without heavy investment and best practice down to local level”. Hard to argue with that.

Only time will tell whether this will affect the brand in the long-term but it’s definitely interesting, given the current climate around social media and specifically social media’s relationship with established brands.

Beyoncé at Coachella – #Beychella

LA annual music festival Coachella is always a major talking point around this time of year. “Who headlined?”, “Whose performance was the best?” and so on.

One performer and performance was so captivating it had the entire internet chattering – international and pop culture icon Beyoncé in the headline slot. The performance itself was so impressive that the conversation, posts and even hashtag circulated Twitter for both weekends of the festival.

Although social media may be going through period of scrutiny, Beyoncé and the #Beychella movement has proven that Twitter is still alive and well in pop culture.

FA Cup supporting Machester United?

It’s nearing cup final season and fans of football may have noticed that the FA Cup’s Twitter account got into a little bit of trouble over a tweet it posted following the Manchester United vs Spurs FA Cup semi final earlier this month. Tweet has since been deleted, but here’s a screenshot of the post (in which Chris Smalling says “Harry Kane”).

To provide some context, United won the tie 2-1 to secure their place in the cup final. Spurs’ talisman and England international Harry Kane failed to score in the game and, in an interesting move, the FA Cup social media team took it upon themselves to poke some fun at the striker.

Even though the post is arguably funny and was shared thousands of times before it was deleted, it does resemble something from a Machester United fan Twitter account and as the FA are supposed to be an impartial footballing body, a tweet which appears to favour one team (and ridicules the England captain) always carries the risk of causing offence to fans of the opposing side.

Indeed, the Spurs manager addressed it in a press conference last week:

Oops! The FA have since apologised to both teams about the post but this definitely serves as a lesson to anyone thinking about using humour in their social media and marketing activity. Think carefully about brand perception, before you post something that has the potential to be used against you or unintentionally cause offense.