tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social-2 Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2017-01-05T01:00:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68666 2017-01-05T01:00:00+00:00 2017-01-05T01:00:00+00:00 Five things social media marketers like (and five things they don't) Jeff Rajeck <p>Econsultancy recently held roundtable discussions with dozens of brand managers in Singapore to discuss the future of social media marketing including issues they face, trends, and best practices.</p> <p>Although many were interested in new technologies and platforms, especially chatbots, brand marketers were mostly concerned about what they needed to do to adapt to the changing media landscape and how to add value to the business.</p> <p>Their main interests are summarised below in a list of things which participants 'like' about social media - and things which they 'dislike'.</p> <h3>Likes</h3> <h4>1) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)</h4> <p>Nearly all attendees on the day had <strong>moved away from social media 'vanity metrics</strong>' and had <strong>adopted social media KPIs</strong>. Some of the KPIs were just to gauge individual performance, but others they reported upwards to the business.</p> <p>Social media KPIs which marketers use include:</p> <ul> <li>Increase in followers.</li> <li>Social media credited conversions.</li> <li>Social content quality score.</li> <li>Clicks from social media, along with time on site.</li> </ul> <p>KPIs are important, marketers said, because they give the team direction and helps them 'sell' social media to the business.</p> <p>While everyone agreed that there wasn't a single set of KPIs which would suit every organisation,<strong> participants felt that marketers should try to have a mix of qualitative and quantitative metrics.</strong></p> <p>For example, marketers may have a goal of a certain number of posts per week, but ensure that the number of clicks per post stays constant. Otherwise, one attendee noted, the increase in the quantity of social media posts will result in a decrease in their quality.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2661/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="547"></p> <h4>2) Messaging apps</h4> <p>Delegates reported that<strong> they are spending less effort on investigating new social platforms and more time researching messaging apps.</strong></p> <p>The research is necessary, according to participants, because each country in the region has its preferred messaging app, and each app has its own interface for brand and fan management.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2657/chart.png" alt="" width="800" height="460"></p> <p>Regardless of which app they were using, marketers said that messaging apps are a great way to:</p> <ul> <li>deliver information about exclusive events,</li> <li>answer pre-purchase questions, and</li> <li>provide ongoing customer service.  </li> </ul> <p>Because of how important messaging is to consumers now, some<strong> participants felt that they will be investing more time in messaging apps in 2017.</strong> Others said that they were holding off due to the lack of tools to help them manage the channels (see below in 'dislikes').</p> <h4>3) Consumer / customer data</h4> <p>Everyone agreed that relevancy is the key to success of social media marketing, but many participants felt that it was difficult to know what content will be engaging for their audience. In order to help them improve their posts, <strong>participants indicated that they are using data to understand their social media audiences better. </strong></p> <p>Some are using consumer data from social media platforms and create content based on their audiences' interests and demographics. Others were also using their internal customer data to get a clearer picture of their audience.  </p> <p>They felt that <strong>combining first-party and third-party data gave marketers the 'best bang for their buck'.</strong></p> <p>For those brands that pay to promote their content, audiences created from first and third-party data were very useful for targeting content as well, one attendee noted.</p> <h4>4) Being prepared for crises</h4> <p>Most participants on the day had been involved in a social media crisis of some sort and the consensus was that<strong> the best way to manage a crisis was to be prepared.  </strong></p> <p>Ways that marketers could prepare for a social media crisis include:</p> <ul> <li>Implementing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68373-what-is-agile-marketing-and-what-do-marketers-think-about-it/">agile marketing methods</a> </li> <li>Having a predetermined 'situation room' prepared</li> <li>Writing reactive content ahead of time</li> <li>Running drills so that everyone understood their role </li> </ul> <p>While there was no guarantee that any of these would prepare them for every crisis, participants felt that not preparing at all was a recipe for disaster.</p> <h4>5) Senior management buy-in</h4> <p>Participants felt that they spent most of their time on strategy and execution, but <strong>a social media marketer's biggest worry is getting senior-level buy-in.</strong></p> <p>As one attendee said, "social media marketers need to continuously engage and educate senior management on what social media can and cannot achieve for the company."</p> <p>Speaking regularly with senior management about the value of social is a key part of a social media marketer's job, participants concluded, and <strong>engagement for brand building must be emphasized as a benefit</strong>.  </p> <p>Otherwise, one pointed out, management will see social media simply as another sales channel, and it often does not live up to the hype.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2663/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Dislikes</h3> <h4>1) Hashtags</h4> <p>At one time, hashtags were regarded as a way for brands to link content across various posts, including user-generated content (UGC). This meant that nearly every tweet and tagline had to have at least one hashtag on it.</p> <p>Marketers are now less enthusiastic about them. Some participants said that they are still useful for events or to find out what is trending now. Others felt that <strong>because the impact of hashtags is difficult to measure, there is little reason to use them at all.</strong></p> <h4>2) Channels in decline</h4> <p>Brand presence on a social media channel requires significant effort even if it is not popular, according to attendees. So, following the nearly complete abandonment of Google+ by brands, many marketers are asking themselves 'which one is next'?</p> <p>While there was no one channel which all participants agree was in terminal decline, <strong>some delegates said that they are finding it difficult to monetize their audiences on Twitter and Pinterest.</strong> For that reason, they were investing less time and effort on them.</p> <p>Another pointed out that working on a channel in decline is demoralising for marketers and so tough decisions will be made in 2017 regarding which channels will be part of their social media efforts.</p> <h4>3) Facebook algorithm changes</h4> <p>One social network which is clearly not in decline is Facebook. Everyone agreed that Facebook was still one of the best places to engage with audiences across nearly every market (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67740-five-things-western-brands-should-know-about-china-s-digital-landscape/">notable exception being China</a>).</p> <p>What marketers did not like, though, is <strong>how difficult it is to keep up with the changes in the Facebook algorithm</strong>. Facebook has been slowly reducing the reach of organic posts from brands since 2012, but marketers noticed a rapid drop in the first half of 2016.</p> <p>As one marketer put it,<strong> 'no one knows what Facebook is about any more. Is it brand-friendly? Or are they trying to get rid of us?'</strong></p> <p>These changes have made it difficult to execute long-term strategies on the platform and everyone felt that they were always playing catch-up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2664/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>4) Lack of publisher support</h4> <p>As mentioned previously, brand marketers struggle to manage content, campaigns, and audiences across multiple social media platforms - and they felt that the networks were not making life any easier for them.</p> <p>While there are several software solutions available for managing social networks, <strong>few social media tools work well across all major platforms and, of these, none work for the China networks yet</strong>. Thus, marketers need multiple tools to stitch together their content calendar and measurement data. </p> <p>One participant pointed out that<strong> the lack of publisher support on existing channels will make it more difficult for new channels (e.g. Snapchat) to get investment from brands.</strong></p> <p>Many felt that tools to solve this problem are in development, but as platforms change so will the requirements. Few expected a 'magic bullet' solution for this issue any time soon.</p> <h4>5) Little for business-to-business (B2B) marketers on social media</h4> <p>While business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are seeing significant returns from their social media campaigns,<strong> B2B marketers indicated that they were still struggling to get return on investment (ROI) from their social media efforts.</strong></p> <p>One reason for this, as a B2B marketer explained, is that <strong>few social networks capture any meaningful data about their members’ workplace or occupation.  </strong>The only one which does, LinkedIn, has been very slow to make user data available and only offered programmatic display in mid-2016.</p> <p>Because of this, <strong>many B2B marketers are still avoiding social media</strong> and relying on email as well as traditional marketing tactics such as events for lead generation and sales.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and the moderator for the Social Media Measurement &amp; Optimisation table,<strong> Kanchi Dheer, Social Marketing Manager in Asia at Spotify.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2665/end.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68619 2016-12-12T14:46:11+00:00 2016-12-12T14:46:11+00:00 What were the biggest social media trends of 2016? Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s some insight from several social media experts, and for more, be sure to get involved with the following resources from Econsultancy:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-in-social-media/" target="_blank">Fast Track Social Media Training</a>.</li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Social Media Best Practice Guide</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Live video taking off</h3> <h4><strong>Will Francis, founder of Vandal London:</strong></h4> <p>It felt like Facebook Live really took off in 2016, and this will become more important as more viewers tune into important streams.</p> <p>Like many things, mainstream adoption has been and will continue to be driven by major world events such as the US Election and who knows what else in 2017.</p> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price, senior community manager at PSONA Social:</strong></h4> <p>From Buzzfeed’s Tasty to 360° tourism videos and celebrity livestreams - video has undeniably become the most scroll-stopping social media content format.</p> <p>Facebook reports that by 2020, 75% of all mobile data will be video. In 2016, we’re already seeing that brands that don’t create and publish video content are trailing behind competitors that have invested heavily in this captivating medium. </p> <h4><strong>Alice Reeves, associate director of social and outreach at Jellyfish:</strong></h4> <p>Live video really took off this year. Since Facebook Live launched in April, we’ve seen a wide variety of uses – from TheLADbible gaining almost 800,000 viewers by stacking biscuits live and seeing which tower would fall over first, to CNN live-broadcasting a man scaling the Trump Tower in NYC which attracted over 8m views.</p> <p>It is such an exciting development. What I found particularly interesting when watching the CNN Broadcast was how people were interacting with the news story, telling the person filming to move the shot back to the man when they panned over the crowd.</p> <p>It was intriguing watching the live reactions changing from amused to angry as soon as viewers weren’t seeing what they wanted. This opens up a whole new dimension to how we engage with news, brands, and organisations.</p> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone, deputy head of strategy at We Are Social:</strong></h4> <p>Live video has taken off in a big way both among consumers and brands, and with Facebook, Periscope, and Twitter all introducing new ways for brands to livestream more professional-looking content - streaming shows no sign of slowing down as we move into the new year.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcnn%2Fvideos%2F10155249752501509%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>The rise of chatbots</h3> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price, PSONA Social:</strong></h4> <p>Back in April, Facebook announced that bots could be developed for Facebook Messenger. So far, the applications have been incredibly innovative.</p> <p>Over 11,000 bots have been built for customer service delivery, concierge-style services, ordering products and more. While they’re definitely still a work in progress, we’ve seen some promising early efforts from brands such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">KLM</a>, Estee Lauder and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/">Domino’s</a>.</p> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone, We Are Social:</strong></h4> <p>2016 has definitely been the year of the chatbot. We’ve seen bots cropping up for the likes of Domino’s, Skyscanner, British Airways and even Miss Piggy. </p> <p>Chatbots are a fantastic way for brands to relieve the pressure on customer service teams and drive deeper engagement with brands; they are quick and simple to use, and as AI capabilities develop, they should become far more sophisticated and ever more indispensable.  </p> <h4><strong>Joanna Halton, Head of Client Strategy at MyClever:</strong></h4> <p>Brands have been launching more and more sophisticated bots and with Messenger’s new payment functionality, it’s been a non-brainer for the likes of Dominos.</p> <p>As a trend, it’s raised awareness of automation and I don’t see take-up slowing down any time soon.</p> <h3>Disappearing content</h3> <p><strong>Alice Reeves, Jellyfish:</strong></p> <p>The trend for disappearing content has boomed this year. I love how it allows a more personal connection with people, mimicking a conversation more closely than one on Facebook or Twitter. Knowing the content won’t stick around and pop back up in Timehop a year later encourages users to share more freely.</p> <p>Plus, there’s a sense with Facebook that the more you invest the more history you rack up with the platform – so you end up being committed to it. With Snapchat it’s gone almost immediately. There’s something liberating about that.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2284/Disappearing_content.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="524"></p> <h3>Politics and fake news</h3> <h4><strong>Will Francis, Vandal London:</strong></h4> <p>The politicisation of social media has been extraordinary during the Brexit referendum and US election. The two events generated huge engagement spikes for the big two platforms - Facebook and Twitter - but left them both cast in a negative light. </p> <p>News coverage of how the platforms fostered mono-cultural echo chambers and disseminated fake or heavily biased news has eroded trust. But growth seems to be holding for both so far.</p> <p>From a brand perspective, vociferous commentary and political rants further crowd out their messages and smarter brands are looking to other platforms for more authentic organic engagement.</p> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone, We Are Social:</strong></h4> <p>Politics has dominated social media throughout 2016, with pictures of cats and babies being replaced by political posts on Facebook feeds in the UK, US and around the world. </p> <p>Social media played a huge part in influencing voters in the EU Referendum and the US presidential election and, crucially, social media data correctly predicted their outcomes, while the vast majority of traditional polls were wildly inaccurate.</p> <p>But what this has brought sharply into focus is the fact we are all existing in social media ‘bubbles’ with algorithms on platforms like Facebook only showing us the news we want to see. </p> <p>This may have been going on for some time but it’s only now that these two seismic events in history have taken place that the pressure has really increased for social platforms to address the issue.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68604 2016-12-06T11:20:00+00:00 2016-12-06T11:20:00+00:00 Why UGC is the future of social media in travel and tourism marketing Ian McKee <p>Despite this, there are those that would have you believe that UGC is the future of social media for all brands.</p> <p>There are a number of tech vendors in the space that have made it their raison d’etre - Olapic, Duel and Chute are all examples I’ve come across.</p> <p>These vendors seem to be gaining most traction in fashion and commerce, where UGC makes total sense. As a potential customer, seeing other customers trying on clothes adds authenticity. </p> <p>But there’s another sector for which I think UGC is an even more ideal fit, and where we’ll see it really explode over the next year or so — travel. </p> <h3>Automatic advocates</h3> <p>As someone who cut his teeth specialising in travel, I’m very aware that the use of UGC in the industry is not new.</p> <p>In my very first PR job I was eager to get the agency’s high profile tourist board, airline, tour operator and hotel clients on Facebook and Twitter because it made total logical sense to me.</p> <p>Particularly in the case of a tourist board, you’ve automatically got a large bank of advocates — your ‘customers’ (visitors) are more likely to be enthusiastically sharing via social, but you’ve got residents too.</p> <p>No one sells New York better than New Yorkers, London than Londoners or Azerbaijan than Azerbaijanis. </p> <p>In the relatively early days of Facebook marketing back in 2008 one of the most successful initiatives I ever implemented was a simple open album on a tourist board client’s Facebook page.</p> <p>People living or visiting the region would more than happily upload their shots, and we would share the best on the main feed, with that content often being far better received than the more polished official tourist board stuff. </p> <h3>Landscapes to fit</h3> <p>Nearly nine years later and technology has evolved to make this easier to do at even greater scale. </p> <p>I recently attended a great event as part of <a href="http://www.bristolmedia.co.uk/socialmediaweek">Bristol’s recent inaugural Social Media Week</a> with VisitBritain at which I heard that the brand’s social media plans for the coming year centred around Instagram and the hashtag #OMGB (oh my Great Britain) — encouraging people to use it on their uploads, from which the brand handpicks the best to share on its official feed. </p> <h3>#Latergram?</h3> <p>Startlingly simple, but effective. It’s easy to see why this is increasingly becoming the approach for destinations worldwide.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/visittheusa/">Brand USA is doing it</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/visitbrasil/">so’s Visit Brasil</a>. Barely a day goes past at the moment where I’ve not shared a shot tagged #VisitBath or #VisitWiltshire for my local tourism organisations.</p> <p>Mainly because I love where I live and work (I’m an advocate!), but also because like any self-respecting social media professional, I am addicted to likes — massaging your followers’ egos is a key part of a UGC strategy after all.</p> <p>If anything one is left wondering why it hasn’t more commonly played a central role in the tourism industry given this is just an evolution of what some travel brands were doing nearly a decade ago. </p> <p>There’s also an element of the reactive here. An unofficial Instagram community exists for virtually every destination — #IGersUK, #IGersUSA, #IGersBath etc.</p> <p>It would be silly for any destination not to want to capitalise, and many do so by partnering with their respective unofficial community (<a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BM6twohDXhU/?taken-by=visitbath">Visit Bath has just hosted an IG meet up with #IGersBath</a>).</p> <p>It’s been said before that as an industry travel can be a bit behind the curve in terms of marketing maturity comparative to the more forward thinking worlds of tech or even retail.</p> <p>I’ve always thought with social media in particular, travel brands have an easier job than most — leaving aside airlines which perhaps don’t generally have the bank of social goodwill or content to cash in on. So they should be ahead of the game, and they aren’t.</p> <p>But for whatever reason, I think we’re starting to see them push ahead.</p> <h3>Bursting the locality bubble</h3> <p>There is one small impediment to the UGC approach in travel however. By encouraging a community in a set locality, you run the risk of creating a bubble — residents and existing fans that are great at sharing and interacting with each other, but not with a wider audience. </p> <p>There are a few things you can do to try and counteract this:</p> <h4> <strong>1. Be creative with your branding</strong>.</h4> <p>#OMGB is social by nature, a playful tag that I might want to share on my posts and that translates internationally to any followers I have outside of the UK.</p> <p>Sorry Yanks but the same cannot be said for #VisitTheUSA — however good the content I’m less likely to use or browse that hashtag as it’s clearly a commercial message. Be creative and come up with something that lends itself to being social.</p> <p>If you’re marketing a destination, try to remember people love the destination, not the tourism department’s brand. </p> <h4> <strong>2. Integrate</strong>.</h4> <p>Another thing VisitBritain is doing right is pulling #OMGB through into its other marketing — print, outdoor, etc. It’s not a standalone social thing.</p> <p>The UGC tech vendors I mentioned earlier are all about pulling UGC into advertising and ecommerce platforms and this is where the approach can really take off, when it’s not just a simple tactic for growing an Instagram community and nothing more. </p> <h4> <strong>3. Play to other trends</strong>.</h4> <p>A recent campaign AgencyUK implemented called <a href="http://www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/secrets">Secret Somerset</a> played heavily to the strengths of local knowledge and UGC, but packaged in a way to appeal to a wider audience.</p> <p>The trend of ‘secret’ things to do and see was another acknowledged by VisitBritain at SMW Bristol, and in this campaign we pulled together the top 50 ‘secrets’ as voted for by the public into a digital resource for visitors, with an interactive map and downloadable itineraries.</p> <p>This both played to a trend, and turned the UGC into more than just a tactic — it became material to share with media, and for visitors to use as a resource. </p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>We’ve come a long way since the days when seeing someone else’s holiday snaps meant sitting in a darkened room while your boring uncle clicked through slides on a projector.</p> <p>With 80m images shared to Instagram alone per day, clearly our appetites are insatiable and the content is abundant. With some creativity and a bit of clever strategy, travel brands have a huge opportunity to capitalise. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/"><em>How user generated content is changing content marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 excellent examples of user-generated content in marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3119 2016-12-05T07:35:22+00:00 2016-12-05T07:35:22+00:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective in 2015 and beyond, you will need to provide content that's useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content. </p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 3-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3118 2016-12-05T07:32:53+00:00 2016-12-05T07:32:53+00:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective in 2015 and beyond, you will need to provide content that's useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content. </p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 3-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68449 2016-11-25T11:17:26+00:00 2016-11-25T11:17:26+00:00 Grabbing attention online: Three questions to kickstart your strategy Bola Awoniyi <p>However, in 2016, attention is a commodity system that can be gamed if you know how to play.</p> <p>Those that know the rules have been wildly successful, without the relative cost one would have to have paid 15-20 years ago.</p> <p>You only need to look as far as your children’s favourite YouTubers, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67633-the-social-strategy-behind-kim-kardashian-s-internationalwomensday-nude-tweets/">Kim Kardashian</a> and even <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/donald-trump-attention-economy">Donald Trump</a> to understand that attention can be gained, if you know the rules of the game.</p> <p>The good news is, these rules are open for brands to play with too, if they're prepared to try to circumvent traditional marketing practices.</p> <p>Now, the quest for gaining digital attention is a beautiful art and science in which the roles change constantly.</p> <p>Therefore the questions I present below are not exhaustive: There is certainly more to consider, but this is a sufficient starting point to begin experimenting.</p> <h3>Where does your market digitally hang out?</h3> <p>This is the biggest question and not just because that is where the brand should direct all of the marketing spend.</p> <p>The type of platform that the consumers in question frequent give some kind of indication to the sensibilities of the customer base (Twitter super fans are different to Facebook news feed fanatics and the differences between a Snapchat and Instagram superuser are not immaterial).</p> <p>In addition, answering this question provides a clear direction on the competencies needed to be successful in reaching the particular audience.</p> <p>For example, if the best place to reach an audience is Pinterest, there is no need to invest resources in live digital video, despite that being the current craze among many a digital marketer.</p> <p>A great example of a brand doing this is British bank Nationwide, which is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68410-how-nationwide-is-using-tumblr-to-target-a-younger-generation/">using teen-centric platform Tumblr to engage with young users</a> around banking advice and tips.</p> <p><img style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" src="http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/pmiproductionmediaassets/ckeditor/pictures/data/102.png" alt=""></p> <p>While the team behind this project needs to be adept at handling Gifs, humour with heavy hints of satire and the occasional video case study, it is nowhere near as capital intensive as making the most of a Facebook page or staffing a Discover Channel on Snapchat.</p> <p>Not bad for an industry that is deemed as “boring and highly regulated”.</p> <h3>What other interests do they have outside of your product?</h3> <p>As intriguing as your business and its products may be (and they should be interesting - products that market themselves are the best), they often don’t represent the full breadth of any consumer’s interests.</p> <p>However, by understanding what other topics and activities are likely to gain your prospective customers' attention, there are clear opportunities for formal or informal partnerships or collaborations.</p> <p>Some would simply refer to this as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65184-what-is-agile-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it/">agile marketing</a> and this is certainly part of the solution.</p> <p>Many organisations have tried to jump on newsworthy trends as they try to win the war for attention. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64911-23-nimble-examples-of-agile-marketing-from-ecommerce-brands#i.98x0lj12pmcn61">The internet is awash with examples of this</a>.</p> <p>However, limiting it to only attempting to go viral on the back of a random entertainment, sports or news story does this method a disservice.</p> <p>If appropriately prepared, brands can make themselves the star of a story that had nothing to do with them, to the benefit of the topic and the brand.</p> <p>My favourite example of this was when <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67633-the-social-strategy-behind-kim-kardashian-s-internationalwomensday-nude-tweets/">Kim Kardashian took over International Women’s Day</a> early this year.</p> <p>However, if you want a more tasty example, Ben &amp; Jerry’s is still probably sold out as a result of <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/why-black-lives-matter">its stance on Black Lives Matter</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Black Lives Matter. Choosing to be silent in the face of such injustice is not an option. <a href="https://t.co/6Vy0KHJeKU">https://t.co/6Vy0KHJeKU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash">#BlackLivesMatter</a> <a href="https://t.co/pK96teLRhd">pic.twitter.com/pK96teLRhd</a></p> — Ben &amp; Jerry's (@benandjerrys) <a href="https://twitter.com/benandjerrys/status/784062366577225728">October 6, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Where does the audience have strong opinions?</h3> <p>This point is extremely pertinent given the past year’s politics in the UK and the US, but the principle is not a new one: People that find something they are passionate about will be more likely to talk about it.</p> <p>Given that the key to getting attention in 2016 is to do or say something worth talking about, it follows that brands need to either be bold and take a stance on something, or present an opportunity that makes it very easy for consumers to take a stance.</p> <p>While clearly taking a side on an issue can be risky, aligning the stance with the brand’s values, <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/values">like Ben &amp; Jerry’s has done</a>, can make the controversy much easier to stomach.</p> <p>However, the latter option is just as valid, and can keep the brand above the fray.</p> <p>For example, my startup, <a href="http://www.blackballad.co.uk">Black Ballad</a>, recently released an old video that was scrap footage from a previous project we worked on regarding identity.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FblackballadUK%2Fvideos%2F1806761312901317%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Despite only having 1,800 Facebook Likes prior to posting the video, the footage has as of writing:</p> <ul> <li>Reached over 200,000 Facebook users.</li> <li>Been viewed over 55,000 times.</li> <li>Been shared over 950 times.</li> <li>Gained 175 comments on the video and increased the page Likes by 25% to 2,250.</li> </ul> <p>Although we didn’t anticipate this sort of reaction, we knew that our audience fiercely debate matters pertaining to their perceived identity.</p> <p>Without Black Ballad even taking a side, our brand has spread significantly and gained a large amount of new advocates in the process.</p> <p>Clearly, this is far from the viral sensation of the week.</p> <p>However, it is important to consider that brands have historically paid thousands to be exposed to a relevant audience of that quantity, which we were able to get organically.</p> <hr> <p>As I said previously, there is more than just the above to gaining attention and breaking through the market noise to get through to consumers.</p> <p>But considering those three questions is a great start.</p> <p>If a brand can conceive meaningful answers to these questions, it will have effectively created the basis for a modern <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> campaign.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68536 2016-11-21T11:00:00+00:00 2016-11-21T11:00:00+00:00 How Glossier has used Instagram to create a cult following Nikki Gilliland <p>Now with over 320,000 followers on Instagram, it has attracted a loyal and dedicated customer-base in just two years since its launch.</p> <p>Here’s a bit more on how it has used the platform to build hype and engagement with beauty consumers.</p> <h3>From blog to ecommerce brand</h3> <p>Glossier was founded by Emily Weiss – a former styling assistant for Vogue and the founder of the online magazine Into the Gloss.</p> <p>Borne out of the realisation that most beauty brands were out of touch with how women interacted with make-up – Into the Gloss focuses on giving relatable advice and insight into the beauty routines of famous faces.</p> <p>On the back of its success, Emily launched Glossier – an ecommerce company selling a limited and ‘holy grail’ range of skincare for women.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1549/Glossier_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="338"></p> <p>The hype around Glossier was feverish from the start.</p> <p>Garnering 13,000 Instagram followers before the products were even launched on its main ecommerce site - it built on the blog’s existing authority to entice consumers in early.</p> <p>Instead of images of the products themselves, most of the teaser posts were designed to establish the brand’s now-recognisable aesthetic, as well as help determine it.</p> <p>An early Instagram post of four different types of of pink bubble wrap encouraged users to vote for their favourite shade.</p> <p>Overall, it rolled out over 125 Instagram posts prior to launch, including everything from logos to flowers and colour swatches of its now-famous ‘Glossier pink’.</p> <p>Not only did this help to build excitement, but it also meant that consumers could play a part in the brand’s evolution.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1550/Glossier_flyer.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="667"></p> <h3>Relatable tone of voice</h3> <p>Choosing to largely bypass traditional offline marketing, Glossier relies on Instagram to reach and engage with online consumers.</p> <p>Instead of simply posting images, it also uses its distinct <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">tone of voice</a> to further convey the brand’s identity and values.</p> <p>Glossier’s tone of voice is one of the brand’s most-loved characteristics. In a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68528-how-fashion-magazines-are-adapting-to-the-influence-of-digital/" target="_blank">recent panel discussion at Web Summit</a>, it was cited as a great example of how to effectively engage with an audience.</p> <p>So, how exactly does it speak? </p> <p>Quite simply, like anyone who might buy its products.</p> <p>Using a casual and cool tone across all its channels, this extends to Instagram, where emoji’s and short and snappy copy is included in most captions.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1553/Glossier_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="459"></p> <h3>Direct connection with consumers</h3> <p>Unlike brands that use Instagram as a one-way promotional tool, Glossier uses it to start two-way conversations with consumers.</p> <p>It uses the platform to continuously measure feedback, even taking comments into consideration to shape and inform product launches. </p> <p>The Milky Jelly Cleanser was launched a year after Into The Gloss published an article titled: “What’s Your Dream Cleanser?”</p> <p>But as well as requesting information from users, Glossier also makes sure that it answers back.</p> <p>It is not unusual for Instagram followers to receive direct replies on their comments.</p> <p>Not only does this extend the brand’s reputation for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67620-three-customer-service-techniques-that-would-even-please-restoration-hardware-s-ceo/" target="_blank">great customer service</a>, but it creates a personal and memorable moment for users and in turn helps to increase brand loyalty. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1551/Glossier_conversation.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="488"></p> <h3>Encouraging user-generated content</h3> <p>Lastly, Glossier’s dedication to Instagram can even be seen in the design of its products – purposely created so that consumers will want to take photographs of them.</p> <p>Understated and minimal, the products are lusted after for their appearance as much as they are for their practical purpose.</p> <p>While Glossier has been accused of capitalising on hype by some naysayers, using its ‘cool girl’ brand status to dupe consumers, there is no doubting the excitement it generates.</p> <p>Often likened to Apple product launches, its latest make-up release was met with unprecedented demand. Its eyebrow gel had a waiting list of 10,000 – unheard of for such a young and small-scale beauty brand.</p> <p>If you type in the hashtag #glossierpink on Instagram, you’ll be met with thousands of images from fans documenting the famous hue. </p> <p>In the increasingly digital world of beauty – this kind of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">user-generated content</a> can be far more valuable than traditional marketing.</p> <p>What's more, it demonstrates just how powerful a strategic brand Instagram presence can be.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1556/Glossier_customer.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="557"></p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65988-seven-creative-ways-you-can-use-branded-content-on-instagram/">Seven ways to use branded content on Instagram</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68429 2016-10-19T02:00:00+01:00 2016-10-19T02:00:00+01:00 Six things marketers should know about social media in Asia-Pacific Jeff Rajeck <p>Of course Asia-Pacific also offers great opportunities for brands to find new markets and even develop new products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0477/kitkat.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="347"></p> <p>The APAC region, however, is not homogeneous. There are dozens of countries, hundreds of languages, and countless ethnicities.  </p> <p>Because of its diverse nature, it can be difficult to know where to start.</p> <p>To help, Econsultancy recently published a new report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-asia-pacific-best-practice-guide">Social Media Strategy Asia Pacific Best Practice Guide</a>.</p> <p>In it, subscribers will find recommendations about: </p> <ul> <li>Social media strategy frameworks.</li> <li>Localising social media teams.</li> <li>Planning social media posts.</li> <li>Reporting frameworks.</li> </ul> <p>The report also covers many of the developments of social media in the region as well as useful comments from marketers based in APAC.</p> <p>Below are a few highlights from the report to give you a quick overview of the state of social media in the Asia-Pacific region.</p> <h3>1. Facebook is the king of social media in APAC</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_presentations/FB-Q216-Earnings-Slides.pdf">the latest company estimate</a>, Facebook has 1.71bn monthly active users (MAUs). Out of these, 592m are in Asia-Pacific, <strong>more than North America and Europe combined.</strong></p> <p>When these figures are broken down by country and compared with the internet population of APAC countries, it seems that the social network dominates in the region.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0478/facebook.png" alt="" width="626" height="482"></p> <p>Curiously, some countries show more Facebook users than netizens. This is most likely due to an estimation error from one or both sources.</p> <p>Regardless, it is clear from the data that <strong>Facebook has significant reach in most of the major Asia-Pacific markets.</strong>  </p> <p>Marketers can, therefore, reasonably start in APAC by expanding their Facebook marketing in the region.</p> <h3>2. Except in China</h3> <p>The one glaring exception in the chart above is China. With only around 2m monthly active Facebook users,<strong> China's Facebook population is less than 1% of estimated 721m internet users.</strong></p> <p>For those unaware, the reason for this is that Facebook is blocked in the country by a government programme popularly known as the 'Great Firewall of China' (GFC).</p> <p>The GFC, purportedly created to stop the flow of information harmful to the Chinese government, also <strong>blocks many other site popular with marketers in the west including Google, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.</strong></p> <p>Because of this, marketers who are targeting China should <a href="http://www.blockedinchina.net/">find out which sites are blocked</a> and become familiar with the platforms which are available in the country.</p> <h3>3. APAC has its own social networks</h3> <p>Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of social media in Asia-Pacific is that <strong>there are many local social networks in the region with almost no footprint in the West.</strong></p> <p> Also interesting is that all of these networks have launched since 2010 and so are almost all based on mobile.</p> <p><strong>In China, WeChat is now the dominant social network in the country</strong>, and also the biggest cultural phenomenon on the internet as well.</p> <p>With over 750m monthly active users, WeChat has become part of everyday life in China for search, sharing, chat, and ecommerce.</p> <p>For more on WeChat and China's other social networks, please refer to our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report/">China Digital Report</a>.</p> <p>Japan, too, has its own preferred social network, LINE.  </p> <p>LINE does not quite have the footprint in Japan as WeChat does in China, but it is estimated that more than half of Japanese internet users log in to it daily.</p> <p>For more on LINE and Japan's social networks, please refer to our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-japan-digital-report">Japan Digital Report</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0479/line.png" alt="" width="800" height="462"></p> <p>Other APAC countries also have 'homegrown' networks that have become quite popular.  </p> <p>Korea has KakaoTalk, Vietnam's local social network is Zalo, and in India Hike has recently reported more than 100m registered users.  </p> <p>For more on these and other networks, please refer to the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-asia-pacific-best-practice-guide">APAC Social Media Best Practices Report</a>.</p> <h3>4. Local social networks face challenges</h3> <p>While the local social networks have prospered in their country of origin, none of them have been able to grow significantly beyond their borders.</p> <p>Tencent, WeChat's parent company, famously spent large sums and enormous effort to get a foothold in other countries.  </p> <p>In 2013, the company signed up football star Lionel Messi to promote the social network globally.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0480/messi.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="452"></p> <p>While the company claimed to have gained 100m users from the endorsement, <a href="https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-global-expansion-fail">later reports</a> showed that, following the campaigns, <strong>WeChat quickly fell out of the top 100 apps in target countries.</strong></p> <p>LINE has had more success in crossing borders.  </p> <p>It has become one of the leading messaging apps in Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.  </p> <p>Yet even with success outside of Japan, its quarterly growth rate lags far behind the Western chat-based social networks.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0481/messaging.png" alt="" width="791" height="491"></p> <p>So, while it's difficult to keep up with the dominant social network in each country, <strong>marketers need to refer to current research before launching a big campaign in the region.</strong>  </p> <p>In APAC, what was big news last year may not be so popular this year.</p> <h3>5. Social commerce is huge</h3> <p>One area which Asia seems to be leading the way is with social commerce.</p> <p>While Facebook is still testing its 'buy' button and Instagram sits on the sidelines, <strong>social networks in APAC have already integrated purchasing into social media apps.</strong></p> <p>Both LINE and WeChat offer in-app payments and are used heavily in their respective countries for everyday purchases including in-store, taxis, and even utilities.  </p> <p>Over the one-week Chinese New Year holiday in 2016, <strong>WeChat had more that 8bn transactions, far more than PayPal had in all of 2015 (4.9bn).</strong></p> <p>Also in China, purpose-built social commerce apps are emerging. XiaoHongShu, or RED, allows its users to share fashion tips and luxury product launches.</p> <p>Instead of just sharing, however, RED also allows its members to buy merchandise directly through the app.</p> <p>In 2016, the company reported that they had 5m monthly active users and $200m in sales on the platform.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0485/red.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="303"></p> <p>In this way, some APAC countries are far ahead Western countries with the adoption of social commerce.  </p> <p>Marketers interested in social selling in the region should see how their brands can take advantage of this trend.</p> <h3>6. Attribution difficult in APAC due to 'dark social'</h3> <p>Finally, another trend which brands are facing in the region is that it is becoming more difficult to attribute clicks to the referring network.</p> <p>While the major social networks such as Facebook and Twitter deliver source information to web analytics systems, most of the new Asia networks do not.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0486/darksocial.png" alt="" width="485" height="416"></p> <p>What this means is that any sharing or traffic which originates on these networks is hidden from brands.</p> <p>Because of this, traffic from these new networks is said to have come from 'dark social'.</p> <p>While it is difficult to gauge the size of dark social in the region, RadiumOne released <a href="https://radiumone.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/radiumone-the-dark-side-of-mobile-sharing-June-7-2016.pdf">a report</a> which shows that the problem may be much bigger than most expect.  </p> <p>According to its research, dark social may account for nearly all of the content and data shared via mobile in the region.</p> <p>So, while Google Analytics and other similar systems are useful for attribution in the West, more sophisticated attribution modeling will be necessary for APAC-based campaigns.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>While the APAC region's digital landscape resembles the Western one in many ways, there are also many differences worth noting.</p> <p>Facebook may be dominant overall, as in the West, but each APAC country also has its own social networks which should be taken into consideration. </p> <p>Many of these, including WeChat in China and LINE throughout Asia, also offer in-built ecommerce features which are used far more than their Western equivalents.</p> <p>Still, these APAC-based networks are struggling to succeed outside of their home nation and so <strong>brand marketers are advised to keep up-to-date on the latest trends.</strong></p> <p>Reading our latest report on social media in the region, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-asia-pacific-best-practice-guide">Social Media Strategy Asia Pacific Best Practice Guide</a>, is a good start.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68412 2016-10-18T13:23:06+01:00 2016-10-18T13:23:06+01:00 Traffic to hotel websites is declining: How should they respond? Patricio Robles <p>According to the study, monthly visits to sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway has surged by 70% over the past three years while direct traffic to hotel sites has decreased by 3.6%.</p> <p>While the latter might seem like a modest decline, consider this: Hitwise estimates that within the next 12 months, visits to residential rental sites will surpass direct visits to hotel sites. </p> <p>What's more, the Airbnbs of the world would appear to have potentially more favorable traffic profiles than their hotel site competitor.</p> <p>They are slightly less dependent on search engine traffic than hotel sites and they generate more than double and triple the traffic from social channels and email, respectively.</p> <p>Hitwise speculates that this "may be due to the fact that travelers seeking rentals may be emailing property links to friends" at a much higher clip, a behavior that is beneficial for rental sites for obvious reasons.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0428/image002.png" alt="" width="478" height="306"></p> <p>Not surprisingly, the rise of residential rental sites has not been kind to hotel aggregators like Booking.com and Hotels.com either.</p> <p>According to Hitwise, their traffic has declined by nearly 8% over the past three years.</p> <p>They are most dependent on search engine traffic, which when paid for can be very costly, and while they do receive more traffic from social channels and email than hotel sites, they don't outperform them by much in these two categories.</p> <h3>What should hotels and aggregators do?</h3> <p>While the continued rise of rental sites seems all but inevitable, hotels and aggregators can't sit on their hands.</p> <p>In an effort to ensure that they don't unnecessarily cede gains to rental sites, they should look at consumer behavior, which might explain in part why rental sites have been so successful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0427/image006.png" alt="" width="476" height="284"></p> <p>According to Hitwise, "females tend to dominate the booking of vacations" and they have very different preferences than males.</p> <p>For example, female vacationeers are far more interested in booking vacation experiences that differentiate them from their friends, visit a different location every time they travel, and book through a company they have never heard of. </p> <p>Rental sites arguably have greater appeal in these areas, but that doesn't mean hotels and aggregators can't compete.</p> <p>Here are a few actions they can take...</p> <h3>1. Segment and personalise better</h3> <p>The differences between the preferences of female and male vacationeers highlight the importance of segmentation and personalistion for hotels and hotel aggregators.</p> <p>While these companies do use segmentation and personalisation, this author hasn't seen much evidence of gender-based segmentation in email marketing campaigns from hotels and hotel aggregators despite the fact that their preferences are so divergent in key areas.</p> <h3>2. Focus on customer experience</h3> <p>Given the fact that overall vacation experience is so important today, particularly for women, hotels and hotel aggregators need to think beyond offering a place to stay.</p> <p>While they may not be able to offer the variety and some of the novelty of the rental sites, which have a unique portfolio of properties to offer due to the nature of their businesses, hotels still have opportunities to create <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/">unique, personalised experiences</a> for their customers.</p> <h3>3. Revisit UX</h3> <p>The user experience of sites like Airbnb has been a big part of their success.</p> <p>While hotel and hotel aggregator sites will necessarily have some differences, there are a number of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65149-nine-user-experience-lessons-travel-sites-can-learn-from-airbnb/">UX lessons they can learn from sites like Airbnb</a>.</p> <h3>4. Take advantage of their strengths</h3> <p>Hotels and hotel aggregators still have the ability to appeal to vacationeers in ways that their rental site competitors don't currently.</p> <p>For example, many vacationeers are interested in vacation packages in which activites are included.</p> <p>Hotels and hotel aggregators are still far better positioned to offer these and they should take advantage of that while they can because it won't remain forever.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4274 2016-10-18T09:30:00+01:00 2016-10-18T09:30:00+01:00 Social Quarterly: Q3 2016 <p>Social media evolves rapidly, and the <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be translated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p>This time, the <strong>third edition of the Social Quarterly</strong> looks at Instagram Stories, Snapchat Memories, Facebook's move toward 'darker' social and the continuing rise of the chatbot, along with other rumours, new features and platform developments.</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul>