tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/twitter Latest Twitter content from Econsultancy 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68716 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 Four common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>As highlighted in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer" target="_blank">Voice of the Influencer</a> report, there appears to be somewhat of a power struggle between brands and influencers, with the main challenges involving strategy and motivation.</p> <p>So, here’s a bit of insight into the biggest mistakes brands can make, and why it’s important to avoid them.</p> <h3>Choosing influence over authenticity</h3> <p>The natural instinct for brands is to choose an influencer with the largest audience. While this makes sense in theory – as in the bigger the influence, the greater the reach – it can also backfire.</p> <p>This is because real influence comes from a sense of authenticity. In other words, a person who is staying true to their own beliefs or values, and in turn, promoting a product that somehow reflects this.</p> <p>It’s recently been proven that micro influencers (those with 500 to 10,000 followers) generate greater engagement that those with a larger audience. So, just like you might be more inclined to trust the opinion of a friend rather than a celebrity, consumers are more likely to trust someone with a smaller reach but who is a respected authority on a particular topic.</p> <p>For brands, it’s important to get this balance right, choosing the person whose identity best fits the campaign rather than chasing who is the most popular. </p> <p><em>Read why Iceland has chosen to work with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">micro influencers instead of celebrities</a>.</em></p> <h3>Over-branding</h3> <p>Despite 93% of influencers believing that they should be in charge the narrative of a campaign – brands often struggle to relinquish control.</p> <p>Historically, brands determine everything from the copy to the look and design of a campaign. However, with many influencers used to creating their own content, complex negotiation is required to determine exactly what will be said or how it will be done.</p> <p>The key appears to be compromise – especially when it comes to brand marketing messages. </p> <p>On a platform such as Instagram, for example, overly branded images can come across as unnatural and disruptive to the style of the feed. So, while it’s important for branded messages to be included, it’s also crucial that influencers incorporate them in a natural and subtle way.</p> <p>The below example strikes me as one that gets the balance right. </p> <p>Watch brand Daniel Wellington worked with a number of lifestyle influencers on Instagram. It chose selectively, however, only teaming up with bloggers whose feed already reflects the brand’s pared down aesthetic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3156/Daniel_Wellington.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <p>While a discount code was included to drive sales, the product itself was barely highlighted, being a small part of the overall image.</p> <h3>Campaign overkill</h3> <p>This leads us nicely onto the next common mistake, which is flooding users with multiple messages or posts relating to a campaign.</p> <p>Influencer marketing is built on the notion that the audience already exists – the brand is simply using the influencer as the vehicle to send the audience a message. </p> <p>Consequently, it is easy to alienate audiences (who are coming to a channel for a certain type of post) by bombarding them with brand slogans.</p> <p>This means that subtle campaigns, such as one-off posts, can be more effective. Alternatively, using multiple influencers in a campaign hosted on the brand's own marketing channels, such as Styld.by from Gap, uses storytelling elements rather than blatant advertising.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Step-by-step style with <a href="https://twitter.com/Judith_Hill">@Judith_Hill</a> in a look that easily transitions from day to night. <a href="https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw">https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw</a> <a href="https://t.co/XXjoVQsZQT">pic.twitter.com/XXjoVQsZQT</a></p> — Gap (@Gap) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gap/status/755507510568779778">July 19, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Focusing on the numbers</h3> <p>Lastly, with 75% of influencers citing frustration over reach and follower figures being of primary importance to brands, it again falls to marketers to change the perception of sponsorship deals.</p> <p>Like choosing influence over authenticity, brands can make the mistake of measuring success in terms of reach or sales following a campaign.</p> <p>Rather, factors like positive sentiment, increased awareness and online interaction can be equally important measures of success (for both brands and influencers alike).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPChNyCwMEo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em>Dodi Clark, a YouTuber and musician, speaking about her brand-related troubles.</em></p> <p><strong><em>Further reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67555-the-three-biggest-challenges-in-influencer-marketing/"><em>The three biggest challenges in influencer marketing</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/">Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68715 2017-01-19T10:39:00+00:00 2017-01-19T10:39:00+00:00 What does a community manager do and what skills do they need? Nikki Gilliland <p>To clear things up, I thought I’d delve into the world of community management and find out why it’s becoming increasingly important for brands of all kinds.</p> <p>Here’s a beginner’s guide.</p> <h3>What does a community manager do?</h3> <p>The role of a community manager is to act as the bridge between a brand and the community it is aiming to create (i.e. a loyal audience or group of core consumers connected by a similar interest). </p> <p>They should be the brand’s ambassador, engaging with potential customers and building relationships with existing ones. They are also focused on gauging sentiment around the brand, using social listening tools in order to monitor feedback and engagement.   </p> <h3>What’s the difference between a social media manager and a community manager?</h3> <p>Isn’t that just the same as what a social media manager does, you might ask? Apparently not.</p> <p>Though there tends to be overlap between the roles, both interacting with customers on the same platforms, there are marked differences.</p> <p>While a social media manager focuses on the logistics of content creation and distribution – i.e. managing a content calendar, posting on social, and monitoring analytics – a community manager is focused on establishing community guidelines, as well as facilitating and moderating conversation between members. </p> <p>Another way of looking at it is to think about what each might aim to achieve from a post, let’s say on Facebook.</p> <p>A social media manager might post to engage customers in conversation – they’ll measure this by the amount of direct replies or likes. On the other hand, a community manager will post with the aim of getting customers talking to <em>each other</em> – and this will also be measured through qualitative data, such as sentiment and the level or quality of engagement.</p> <h3>Skills and attributes</h3> <p>There are many ways to measure success within community management. You can read about four elements for building a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68694-four-crucial-elements-you-need-to-build-a-valuable-online-community/" target="_blank">valuable community here</a>. However, let’s start with the kind of skills community managers are required to have, as well as why they are vital.</p> <h4>Communication </h4> <p>It might sound like an obvious skill, but there’s a difference between being a good writer and someone who is a skilled communicator.</p> <p>Community management is not just about crafting creative or engaging tweets – it’s also about listening to what members are saying and using this to shape future messages. The role is basically digital networking, so it is vital for a community manager to have excellent people skills, too. </p> <h4>Empathy and judgement</h4> <p>Following on from this, a community manager must be able to empathise with the customer and know how to respond in a manner that reflects the brand's values and identity. Again, this is different to a social media manager or exec who might post as the brand, where as a community manager is always speaking on behalf of the brand - and as a human being.</p> <p>We’ve all seen examples of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65901-the-top-20-fail-iest-social-media-fails-of-2014/">social media fails</a>, with employees posting knee-jerk or inappropriate reactions to customer complaints.</p> <p>On the other hand, when a brand responds well, it can turn a negative experience into a positive one. Take Adidas, for example, which shut down homophobic comments on an Instagram pic using just two emojis. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3148/Adidas_CM.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="372"></p> <h4>Organisation and data analysis</h4> <p>While community management is based on a lot of human and emotional attributes, it also requires organisational skill and the ability to manage a fast-paced workload. </p> <p>With multiple platforms to monitor, it is important to keep on top of how communities are responding in real-time, using analytics tools to measure things like reach, traffic and engagement. </p> <h3>Benefits of community management</h3> <p>So, we know what is required for effective community management – but what are the benefits for brands? </p> <h4>Growth</h4> <p>Community management is not simply about championing the brand, but also about listening to valuable feedback from customers. By gaining a deeper understanding about an audience and what they want, brands have more chance of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.</p> <p>With social platforms also being the place customers are most likely to express real emotions, it gives brands true insight into how their customers are responding.</p> <h4>Trust </h4> <p>Relationship building is at the core of community management. Unlike the days before social media, where one-to-one contact between a customer and a brand was rare or required speaking on the telephone, it is now an instant and expected part of customer service.</p> <p>Everything from fast response times to a friendly manner means customers will feel valued, and in turn, place trust in a brand.</p> <h4>Value</h4> <p>By creating a community – whether it’s a Facebook group or online discussion forum – brands can impact consumers on a more emotional and everyday level.</p> <p>This allows companies to become more than just a faceless brand and serve a purpose based on something other than its original product. In turn, this can lead to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66439-three-ways-community-management-drives-loyalty-for-charities/" target="_blank">greater loyalty</a> and long-term success.</p> <p><em><strong>To improve your skills and knowledge in this area, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/" target="_blank">Online Community Management</a> training course.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>And if you're looking for a new role within community management or social media, head over to <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog&amp;utm_medium=blog">Econsultancy's jobs board</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68684 2017-01-06T11:34:00+00:00 2017-01-06T11:34:00+00:00 The best social media campaigns and stories from December 2016 Nikki Gilliland <h3>Paddy Power trolls Southern Rail</h3> <p>It’s been a miserable winter for Southern Rail commuters so far, but just before Christmas, those ol’ jokers at Paddy Power offered up a lifeline.</p> <p>It launched a ‘cancellation insurance’ bet – offering long-suffering passengers the chance to win money should Southern Rail mess up their journeys on Christmas Eve.</p> <p>Paddy Power took bets on Southern Rail’s 32 routes, with odds of five to one per line.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Stakes on a train! Read how we’re offering ‘cancellation insurance’ on Southern Rail trains tomorrow here <a href="https://t.co/rD9atVGXZO">https://t.co/rD9atVGXZO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YouBeauty?src=hash">#YouBeauty</a></p> — Paddy Power (@paddypower) <a href="https://twitter.com/paddypower/status/812244395089129472">December 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Budweiser gives revellers a free Uber</h3> <p>In a similarly travel-themed campaign, Budweiser teamed up with Uber to discourage drink driving on Christmas Eve.</p> <p>Throughout December, Uber had been giving free rides worth £15 to new customers. However, on the 24th, it opened up the offer to all users in order to prevent revellers from driving under the influence.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2841/Budweiser_Uber.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="379"></p> <h3>Spotify says good riddance to 2016</h3> <p>Spotify launched a data-driven campaign to say “Thanks 2016. It’s been weird”. I wrote about how the campaign cleverly makes use of listener data <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68626-three-reasons-to-appreciate-spotify-s-latest-data-driven-ad-campaign" target="_blank">in this article</a>. </p> <p>Meanwhile, it seems not everyone appreciated the brand’s attempt at humour. </p> <p>A photoshopped version of a billboard ad recently went viral, with the perpetrator evidently disgruntled at how the streaming service compensates musicians. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwearespectres%2Fposts%2F10154205420427844%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="630"></iframe></p> <h3>Instagram Stories introduces stickers</h3> <p>Instagram has introduced yet another new feature to Stories, this time in the form of stickers that display locations, time, weather conditions and emojis. </p> <p>Much like Snapchat geofilters, it is an attempt to make the feature much more fun and creative. As of yet, there’s been no word whether Instagram will introduce sponsored or branded stickers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2842/Instragram_Stickers.JPG" alt="" width="246" height="441"></p> <h3>Twitter launches 360-degree live video</h3> <p>In late December, Twitter launched a new live video feature, allowing users to stream live in full 360-degrees using Periscope technology. </p> <p>While only ‘select partners’ can currently broadcast live in 360-degrees, all users are able to watch, gaining greater insight into surroundings and exclusive views of behind-the-scenes.</p> <p>The first-ever 360-degree live video was from broadcaster Alex Pettitt, showcasing a Florida sunset.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">360 Sunset in Florida. First ever <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Periscope360?src=hash">#Periscope360</a> with <a href="https://twitter.com/brandee_anthony">@Brandee_Anthony</a> <a href="https://t.co/AZWbnnT15S">https://t.co/AZWbnnT15S</a></p> — Alex Pettitt (@Alexpettitt) <a href="https://twitter.com/Alexpettitt/status/814229532576124928">December 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>H&amp;M wins favour with Christmas ad</h3> <p>From John Lewis’s underwhelming attempt to Pret’s impressive effort – there were many festive ads to relish throughout December.</p> <p>Though rather late to the party, H&amp;M’s ‘Come Together’ ad was met with lots of approval online.</p> <p>Directed by Wes Anderson and starring Adrian Brody, the short film told the story of train passengers travelling home for the holiday period. </p> <p>Capturing storytelling elements – and a slice of Wes Anderson’s artistic magic – it was a December highlight. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VDinoNRC49c?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Burberry celebrates 160th anniversary with cinematic short</h3> <p>Burberry marked its 160th anniversary with an ad deliberately designed to feel like a movie trailer.</p> <p>Featuring clothes from the brand’s winter collection, the three-minute short is inspired by the brand’s founder, Thomas Burberry, and stars the likes of Sienna Miller and Domhnall Gleeson.</p> <p>Social media conversation was largely positive, with many calling for a sequel to the video or for the brand to release a full-length feature.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6D5IZtDCS5c?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Trump tweets his enemies</h3> <p>While Obama saw in the new year with a series of reflective tweets, Donald Trump took to the medium to offer up a less inspiring message.</p> <p>He wrote: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”</p> <p>With Trump continuously taking to Twitter to post his latest musings, it’s been suggested that the new President could be the platform’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/05/can-donald-trump-save-twitter" target="_blank">biggest marketing card</a> to date. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!</p> — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/815185071317676033">December 31, 2016</a> </blockquote> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68663 2017-01-06T10:45:00+00:00 2017-01-06T10:45:00+00:00 Why online publications are ditching comments sections for social Nikki Gilliland <p>Unsurprisingly, Vice isn’t the only platform to take this stance. Others like USA Today, the Verge and Recode have all chosen to remove their comments sections entirely.</p> <p>So, why have these sites had enough? And how will this affect online forums in future?</p> <p>Here’s a bit of insight into the story.</p> <h3>Removing the burden</h3> <p>For Vice and many other platforms, the burden of monitoring the comments section has overtaken any benefit. </p> <p>First introduced to drive interaction and collaboration from readers, many comments sections have veered away from organic conversation into sheer chaos. Back in 2012, the founder of Gawker Media, Nick Denton, stated that 80% of reader comments on his sites were either irrelevant or toxic.</p> <p>Since then the situation appears to have worsened, with many more publications switching off comments out of frustration over anti-social behaviour and harrassment of writers.</p> <p>On the other hand, there are those that persevere. The Times strictly monitors all comments, only allowing them to be published if they are on-topic and not abusive (although it says that moderation is still the ‘subjective’ responsibility of staff).</p> <p>Similarly, the<em> </em>Guardian – a publication that maintains that “in so many cases journalism is enriched by responses from its readers” - monitors comments based on a list of community guidelines.</p> <p>Interestingly, last year the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/12/the-dark-side-of-guardian-comments">Guardian undertook a study</a> to discover the extent of the abuse that occurs below the line. While it found that just 2% of overall comments are blocked (based on analysis on comments left since 2006), out of the most-abused writers, the majority were both women and/or black.</p> <p>It is clear that even on the strictest of sites, comments are not merely argumentative or irrelevant, but largely marred by bigotry. As a result, the Guardian concludes that, as anti-social behaviour is neither natural or inevitable, it is a cultural problem that we must collectively work to solve. </p> <p>So what can media organisations do to make online conversations constructive and more inclusive?</p> <h3>Making the switch to social</h3> <p>While publications like the Guardian are improving safeguards, as well as cutting down on the places where comments are open, others are using social media as an alternative. </p> <p>So what are the advantages of this shift?</p> <h4>A natural transition</h4> <p>Many publications are now finding that readers naturally choose to leave feedback on Facebook and Twitter rather than anywhere else, meaning that turning off the comments section has no real impact.</p> <p>With audiences already using these platforms to discuss topical events and current affairs, it also makes sense for brands to infiltrate these spaces where users are already active and engaged.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftheguardian%2Fposts%2F10154912671761323&amp;width=500" width="500" height="517"></iframe></p> <h4>Self-moderation</h4> <p>While Twitter has an ongoing problem with trolls, spaces like Facebook are more likely to be self-moderated by users, simply because they are commenting as their real selves.</p> <p>Unlike comments sections, where anonymous posts and pseudonyms are common practice, Facebook helps foster a sense of community - especially among loyal and regular readers.</p> <h4>Greater engagement</h4> <p>Publications that have turned off comments sections have reported seeing higher engagement on social media.</p> <p>This is mainly because users who might not go out of their way to leave a comment below the line feel more comfortable and inclined to do so on social - not to mention the fact that Facebook and Twitter are more aligned to mobile use. </p> <h4>Curated discussions</h4> <p>On social media, online publications are able to encourage the right kinds of discussion due to greater control over the medium.</p> <p>For example, if there is a particular article that has the potential to be inflammatory, it might not choose to promote it - or only post it on a platform that is suited to the conversation or audience.</p> <p>With dedicated teams already monitoring social media, it is also a matter of using resources in the right way. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FVICE%2Fposts%2F1515045995195320&amp;width=500" width="500" height="479"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68653 2016-12-21T14:00:00+00:00 2016-12-21T14:00:00+00:00 Social Quarterly Q4: How four platforms are combatting online abuse Nikki Gilliland <p>Meanwhile, here’s a short summary of how four of big platforms are taking steps to stamp out abuse.</p> <h3>Twitter mute function</h3> <p>If you’re always being bombarded by notifications, you can now use Twitter’s mute feature to opt out of seeing specific conversations and filter out words or phrases.</p> <p>Not only is this useful for users who often get caught up in irrelevant threads, but it’s also part of Twitter’s wider push to take harassment seriously.</p> <p>Alongside the muting options, Twitter has also improved the options for reporting hate on the platform, allowing bystanders to also report instances of abuse as well as the victim. Twitter has also introduced further internal training to help employees effectively deal with the problem.</p> <p>With two potential buyers, Disney and SalesForce, both <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/19/13328380/twitter-abuse-disney-salesforce-bids-pulled" target="_blank">allegedly backing out</a> due to Twitter’s ongoing abuse issue - the update has been a long time coming.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Want to stop getting notifications for Tweets that contain certain words, usernames, or hashtags? We're giving you that control. <a href="https://t.co/awoNHUYbTG">pic.twitter.com/awoNHUYbTG</a></p> — Safety (@safety) <a href="https://twitter.com/safety/status/798571375065632768">November 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Tinder gender options</h3> <p>Last year, Tinder came under fire for allegedly discriminating against Transgender people, after many had their accounts wrongly suspended.</p> <p>Since then, the platform has taken steps to combat this notion, launching its #AllTypesAllSwipes campaign and introducing new gender options.</p> <p>While users could only previously choose between male or female, there are now 37 different gender types in the app, including gender nonconforming, pangender and androgynous.</p> <p>Users can also choose to describe their gender in their own words, as well as decide whether or not to display it in their bio.</p> <p>With Tinder also recently launching on Apple TV (along with a <em>very</em> family-orientated video ad) – it’s clear that the dating app is keen to widen its user-base and become more inclusive to all.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H2nfGYu3hwA?wmode=transparent" width="710" height="399"></iframe></p> <h3>Instagram comment options</h3> <p>Justin Bieber famously shut down his Instagram account earlier this year following the abuse of his new girlfriend, Sofia Ritchie.</p> <p>It's just one example of trolling getting out of hand on Instagram, which the brand has recently attempted to bring under control with the introduction of three new features.</p> <p>Now, all users can turn off comments on individual posts, remove followers on private accounts, and show support for comments.</p> <p>The option to disable comments has obvious benefits, however the new ‘like’ feature is one of the most interesting developments. It is the same function that you can use on Facebook, allowing anyone like a comment (which then shows up in the form of a heart symbol).</p> <p>Essentially, it is designed to spread positivity, with the idea being that users will feel more inclined to leave kind and supportive comments – especially if there is a chance that the person who posted the photo - perhaps a celebrity or influencer - will also show their appreciation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2540/Insta_comments.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Reddit filtering tool</h3> <p>The CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman, recently admitted to altering comments that criticised his decision to ban the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/11/23/fearing-yet-another-witch-hunt-reddit-bans-pizzagate/" target="_blank">‘Pizzagate’</a> subreddit thread.</p> <p>Huffman edited the comments, replacing his own handle with the names of moderators of a pro-Donald Trump subreddit called "r/the_donald.</p> <p>Naturally, the controversy has led to even more criticism, especially as Reddit is known for being a space for “authentic” conversation.</p> <p>However, Huffman has since apologised, saying “I understand what I did has greater implications than my relationship with one community, and it is fair to raise the question of whether this erodes trust in Reddit”.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Reddit has also decided to take a more proactive approach to policing negative behaviour, introducing a new feature that allows users to filter out subreddits from their personal r/all page.</p> <p>So far, the action can only be done on the desktop version of Reddit, however it is due to be rolled out across all channels at a later date.</p> <p>With Huffman’s own actions being an attempt to ‘troll the trolls’, it is clear that the platform’s abuse issue has been getting out of hand of late, undoubtedly fuelled by political events this year. </p> <p>However, now taking a firmer stance on ‘toxic users’, it’s more evidence of online platforms cracking down on the problem as we head into 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2541/Reddit_filter.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="368"></p> <p><em><strong>For more, don't forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-quarterly-q4-2016/">Social Quarterly Q4</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68644 2016-12-16T10:37:23+00:00 2016-12-16T10:37:23+00:00 All the digital news stories you missed this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Please enjoy.</p> <h3>Yahoo admits to data hack</h3> <p>Yahoo has admitted that 1bn user accounts may have been affected in a hacking attack dating back to 2013.</p> <p>Separate to the 2014 attack that affected 500m Yahoo accounts, it is said to the biggest data breach of all time.</p> <p>Yahoo has linked the hacking to state-sponsored activity, and has urged account users to change passwords and security questions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2470/Yahoo_Mail.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="333"></p> <h3>Facebook introduces 360-degree live video</h3> <p>Facebook Live and Facebook 360-degree video used to be separate mediums.</p> <p>This week, Facebook has announced the two can now be integrated, with the introduction of 360 video to the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a> experience.</p> <p>The first ever example has been produced in partnership with National Geographic, giving users an immersive look at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnatgeo%2Fvideos%2F10154187427528951%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Simpsons show Starbucks appreciation with animated shorts</h3> <p>Who knew the Simpsons were such big fans of Starbucks?</p> <p>It’s been revealed that three of the show’s writers have created a mini-series especially for the coffee chain.</p> <p>Since spending over three years drinking lattes and draining the internet at a Los Angeles branch of Starbucks, Joel Cohen, Rob LaZebnik and John Frink decided to create an animation for the Wi-Fi landing page.</p> <p>The series, titled ‘1st and Main’, is made up of eight weekly animated shorts, each about 60 to 90 seconds long.</p> <p>You can catch it on the Starbucks website soon, or via stores' Wi-Fi portals from January.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i8O1XqVop2o?wmode=transparent" width="940" height="529"></iframe></p> <h3>Facebook to hire a head of news</h3> <p>On the back of intense scrutiny over fake news, Facebook is now looking to hire an “experienced news executive” to help combat the problem.</p> <p>The person, with over 20 years of experience required, will be the “public-facing voice of Facebook and its role in the news ecosystem”.</p> <p>Despite Facebook repeatedly denying its role as a news organisation in the past, this is perhaps the first real hint that it is finally accepting the idea.</p> <h3>Apple adds hundreds of new emojis</h3> <p>Whether you love them or hate them, there’s now more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66547-three-ways-brands-are-using-emojis/" target="_blank">emojis</a> than ever before.</p> <p>This week, Apple unveiled hundreds of new ones along with its iOS 10.2 software update.</p> <p>Along with exotic animals and popular food (including the long-awaited avocado), there are also more professions such as the teacher, scientist and pilot.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2472/new_emojis.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="362"></p> <p>Oh, and let’s not forget the perfect emoji to sum up 2016… the black heart.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2473/Black_heart_emoji.JPG" alt="" width="217" height="179"></p> <h3>Amazon makes first-ever UK drone delivery</h3> <p>Amazon has revealed that it made its first-ever delivery by drone last week, 13 minutes after it was ordered.</p> <p>Part of a trial for Prime Air, it successfully delivered a bag of popcorn and an Amazon Fire TV stick to a man named Richard in Cambridgeshire – who just so happens to live near the drone depot.</p> <p>With strict government regulations in the UK, Amazon is limited in terms of how it can test the service, however, the delivery marks the brand’s intent to hit its 2018 target for widespread launch.</p> <h3>Twitter launches live video </h3> <p>As part of its latest update, Twitter has unveiled a new feature that lets users broadcast live.</p> <p>The feature is ‘powered by Periscope’ - the live streaming app that Twitter acquired for an undisclosed sum last year.</p> <p>Now, as long as users have Periscope installed on their phone, anyone can broadcast live directly within the Twitter app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2475/Twitter_Go_Live.JPG" alt="" width="480" height="452"></p> <h3>Tinder on your telly box</h3> <p>If Corrie or the Queen’s Speech gets a bit too dull this Christmas, why not spice things up with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67563-how-tinder-has-changed-ecommerce/" target="_blank">a bit of Tinder</a>?</p> <p>The dating app is now available to use on Apple TV, meaning users can swipe right with their Siri remote (and the support of the entire family).</p> <p>Part of Tinder’s efforts to grow and diversify its user-base, it has described it as the “same dynamite swiping experience you know and love - just bigger, better and streaming live from your living room.”</p> <p>Merry Christmas, Nan.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sDIgGqS1VGU?wmode=transparent" width="746" height="420"></iframe></p> <h3>JustEat devours HungryHouse</h3> <p>JustEat is hoping to expand its presence in the food delivery market by buying its biggest UK rival, Hungry House.</p> <p>It is paying £200m for the company, with the promise of a further £40m if it hits performance targets. </p> <p>The deal is still to be cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), but if so, it will rapidly accelerate JustEat’s growth.</p> <p>In a separate deal, JustEat has also announced the acquisition of the Canadian company, SkipTheDishes, for a reported £66.1m.</p> <h3>Chicken Connoisseur goes viral</h3> <p>We love a bit of silly social media news, so what better way to finish off this week’s roundup than by celebrating the viral success of the chicken connoisseur?</p> <p>If you haven’t discovered him yet, he’s a young man who goes around sampling London’s ‘pengest munch’ in search of the city's best chicken shop.</p> <p>Since going viral, and even appearing on ITV London news, the aspiring food critic has seen his YouTube subscribers skyrocket to over 200,000.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C0_1g5FVYAc?wmode=transparent" width="520" height="293"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4358 2016-12-15T13:00:00+00:00 2016-12-15T13:00:00+00:00 Social Quarterly: Q4 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>fourth edition of the Social Quarterly </strong>looks at updates to Instagram Stories, Facebook's inflated metrics and a new milestone for Pinterest, 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> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68636 2016-12-14T14:02:00+00:00 2016-12-14T14:02:00+00:00 Pizza Express, Channel 4 and TFL: Three examples of brand chatbots Nikki Gilliland <p>For now, let’s take a look at some of the latest examples to pop up, from three very different UK brands.</p> <h3>Pizza Express</h3> <p>Following on from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/" target="_blank">Domino's</a> and Pizza Hut, Pizza Express is the latest pizza chain to join the chatbot brigade.</p> <p>It has recently launched a bot as part of its Christmas marketing campaign, allowing restaurant diners to play the 'Dough Baubles' game via Messenger.</p> <p>By asking the bot to #shakethetree, customers will receive a personalised video along with the chance to win free pizzas as well as the restaurant’s famous dough balls. </p> <p>The game has already proved to be popular, with 75,000 people reportedly using it in first two weeks.</p> <p>Despite the bot mainly being promoted to diners in restaurants by a special code to scan on phones, I was also able to get involved simply by messaging Pizza Express on Facebook.</p> <p>There's not much to say about it other than that it's a fun bit of marketing - customers are likely to enjoy the light-hearted tone (and chance of a free meal).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2390/Pizza_Express_chat_bot.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="561"></p> <p>For Pizza Express, it is a great way to interact with consumers on social media as well as gain more in-depth data. Apparently, this bot only marks the start of the restaurant using the technology, with the brand also keen to adopt payment via Messenger in future.</p> <p>Of course, it is one thing to play a game via a chatbot, but will customers be as keen to use it to pay for food? A big stumbling block might be the public's willingness to put their trust in Facebook as a payment service. </p> <p>So far, it is unclear how many users have passed on card details via the platform, but with recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/" target="_blank">controversy over inflated metrics</a>, fake news, as well as a history of privacy issues, it might not be as many as brands might hope. </p> <p>However, regardless of whether the social commerce aspect takes off, Pizza Express’s success with #ShakeTheTree still shows that users are keen to use chatbots in different ways – <em>and</em> in different environments.</p> <p>What’s more, it is also hoping that the technology will help enhance its reputation for customer service, allowing the chain to easily respond to enquiries about opening hours and bookings. </p> <h3>Channel 4</h3> <p>A few months ago, Channel 4 created a Messenger chatbot to promote the second series of its acclaimed drama <em>Humans</em>.</p> <p>If you didn’t see the first series, the broadcaster also created an advert suggesting that robotic humans called ‘Synths’ were actually arriving in shops. This time around, its campaign is based around the notion that the Synths are malfunctioning. </p> <p>As well as an interview between the real editor-in-chief of the New Scientist and a fictional spokesperson from Persona Synthetics, other activity included placing trucks in cities across the country in pretence of being the “synthetic human collection service” for malfunctioning Synths.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9TrkZln4eyY?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>All of this marketing pointed people towards the <a href="http://www.personasynthetics.com/productrecall/" target="_blank">Persona Synthetics website</a>, where they can chat with Synths over Facebook Messenger.  </p> <p>Despite the fact that I’ve never even seen <em>Humans</em> before, I decided to check it out, resulting in a rather interesting conversation with ‘Walter’, my chosen Synth. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2420/Walter_3.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="526"></p> <p>And yes, things got weird, with Walter quickly playing up to his creepy robot persona.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2421/Walter_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="539"></p> <p>Some have suggested that Channel 4’s bot is a little self-indulgent, questioning whether or not the premise will be too confusing to viewers who haven’t seen the show - or a case of overkill for existing fans.</p> <p>However, I think it’s incredibly well done, and regardless of my awareness of the TV program it's definitely one of the best bots I’ve experienced.</p> <p>Most chatbots tend to have a limited amount of responses or say fairly basic things, but Walter definitely impressed with his creativity (and ability to tell a joke). That said, the conversation did seem to continue on the designated theme regardless of my responses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2422/Walter_4.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="552"></p> <p>A great example of a chatbot being used for advertising purposes – it shows that the technology doesn’t have to be used purely for customer service.</p> <h3>TFL</h3> <p>Speaking of customer service, Twitter has recently announced the introduction of new chatbot features into its direct messaging service, designed to lure more brands into using it for this purpose.</p> <p>The features allows brands to set up automatic welcome messages whenever a user starts a conversation, as well as use quick replies to prompt the best ways to reply to a DM.</p> <p>One company to already get on board is Transport for London.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2388/TFL_bot.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <p>Now, travellers can instantly check the status of a tube line by clicking ‘check status now’ within a direct message. Even better, travellers can also subscribe to receive alerts, meaning that they’ll automatically be alerted whenever there is problem on the line.</p> <p>It’s a slick tool, and certainly makes sense for people who already use their phone (and Twitter) to check travel information on a daily basis. It also nicely prompts customers - when you search for a specific tube line, the 'provides support' description indicates the new feature is there.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2386/TFL_bot_4.png" alt="" width="350" height="622"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2387/TFL_bot_5.png" alt="" width="350" height="622"></p> <p>Another positive is that, even if you're talking to a specific line such as the Jubilee, you can also check the status of other lines in the same conversation.</p> <p>This will certainly be a time-saver for anyone who uses multiple tube lines within a single journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2389/TFL_bot_3.png" alt="" width="400" height="711"></p> <p>As well as creating a seamless customer experience, Twitter’s new bot feature is also an attempt to move conversations away from the public sphere into a private context, allowing for a greater exchange of information between brands and users.</p> <p>Likewise, with many brands now using Messenger for customer service, it is a strategic attempt from Twitter to catch up with Facebook's progress on bots.</p> <p>With many more predicted to launch in 2017, it'll certainly be interesting to see where chatbots reign supreme in 2017.</p> <p><em><strong>More chat about bots:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care" target="_blank">What are chatbots and why should marketers care?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/" target="_blank">Five pioneering examples of how brands are using chatbots</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68458-why-chatbots-are-an-important-opportunity-for-retailers" target="_blank">Why chatbots are an important opportunity for retailers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68532-the-case-for-chatbots-being-the-new-apps-notes-from-websummit2016/" target="_blank">The case for chatbots being the new apps</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68630 2016-12-14T11:22:00+00:00 2016-12-14T11:22:00+00:00 Social media in 2017: What do the experts predict? Nikki Gilliland <p>We’ve asked some industry experts for their predictions on social media trends in 2017. The people offering up their opinions are:</p> <ul> <li>Kirsty Price, senior community manager at PSONA Social.</li> <li>Alice Reeves, associate director of social and outreach at Jellyfish.</li> <li>Jordan Stone, deputy head of strategy at We Are Social.</li> <li>Joanna Halton, head of client strategy at MyClever.</li> <li>Will Francis, founder of Vandal London.</li> <li>Michelle Goodall, social media consultant and tutor of Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr/" target="_blank">Social Media &amp; Online PR Training</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Lots more live video</h3> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price:</strong></h4> <p>Gary Vaynerchuk called it over a year ago and it’s becoming clearer by the day that TV’s biggest competitor is live video on social media platforms.</p> <p>2016 has been the year of development and experimentation, with the launch of Facebook Live and platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram releasing video capture and live streaming products in Q4.</p> <p>However, 2017 is likely to be the year that live video shifts from early adopter to mass market use. There’s so much room for innovation in the live video space and I’m really excited to see how brands will use this medium creatively in 2017. </p> <h4><strong>Alice Reeves:</strong></h4> <p>Live video is going to continue to grow as a way of interacting with your audience in real time.</p> <p>I think people are bored of seeing traditional, highly polished, carefully constructed marketing all the time. Live video allows a more genuine connection with brands. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNBCNews%2Fvideos%2F1562519697101388%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Micro-Influencers</h3> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price:</strong></h4> <p>On social media, attention is the currency and in 2017 everyone has the opportunity to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68608-could-l-oreal-s-beauty-squad-mark-a-shift-for-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">become an influencer.</a> Savvy brands are starting to realise that they can generate an impressive return on investment working in partnership with people with around 1,000 followers, not just people with celebrity status.</p> <p>Off the back of this, we’ll see more and more influencer matchmaking tools popping up and (hopefully) more sophisticated social media disclosure tools.</p> <p><em>(For more on this topic see: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/">Is micro-influencer marketing viable?</a>)</em></p> <h3>AI and VR</h3> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone:</strong></h4> <p>There’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence, but we haven’t really seen much true AI as of yet - just clever parlour tricks. The real story is automation, which will have a greater impact on marketing, with all elements of the agency process becoming ripe for potential automation.</p> <p>IBM’s Watson used automation to create a movie trailer earlier this year - ultimately the work needed a human touch to bring all the elements together but the project had huge implications for the creative industries.</p> <p>I’d expect augmented reality to continue to develop - Pokemon Go and Snapchat were such huge successes in 2016 that developers would be mad not to find use for them in 2017.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gJEzuYynaiw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4><strong>Alice Reeves:</strong></h4> <p>The biggest trend for next year has got to be <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">virtual reality</a>. We saw the explosion of Pokémon Go this year and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be the next AR/VR craze.</p> <p>We’ve already got the first VR social network, vTime, and it’ll be interesting to see how this develops and what other contenders step into the market</p> <h4><strong>Joanna Halton:</strong></h4> <p>I also think that VR will start to reach a tipping point with consumers through the likes of Samsung headsets, Google Cardboard and Playstation VR.</p> <p>Live video and vertical video recording (not just horizontal video) are things that content creators and brand managers should begin to look at - if they aren’t already!</p> <h4><strong>Michelle Goodall:</strong></h4> <p>We'll see many more creative, transmedia campaigns incorporating AI and platforms like Facebook Messenger next year.</p> <p>One of my personal favourite integrated campaigns of 2016 was Channel 4's 'Human 2' fake product recall campaign. This example showcases the move towards AI and Bot integration in creative social media campaigns.</p> <p>Channel 4 ran print, TV and outdoor ads for Persona Synthetics, the fictional company recalling faulty synthetic humans or synths. All ads led to a website with a live chat function linked to Facebook Messenger, where the user has progressively creepy and realistic conversations with a malfunctioning synth.</p> <p>It's <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game">ARG</a> for the Facebook generation and a really brilliantly executed campaign to promote a second series to both existing and new viewers.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wvnrD3MHz4s?wmode=transparent" width="741" height="417"></iframe></p> <h3>Chatbots</h3> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone:</strong></h4> <p>Chatbots will show no sign of slowing down and with the launch of WhatsApp for business planned in 2017, I’d expect to see an explosion in the Instant Messaging Marketing world - perhaps even the opening of chatbot agencies.</p> <h4><strong>Will Francis:</strong></h4> <p>Automation of marketing triggers can be incredibly effective and efficient. With tools like Hubspot and Mailchimp making personalised lifecycle marketing (i.e. receiving communications based on your behaviour and your stage in the funnel) so cheap and easy, this will further extend into social in 2017.</p> <p>Expect more chatbots and intelligent communications through email and social from the brands you engage with.</p> <h3>Social being taken seriously</h3> <h4><strong>Joanna Halton:</strong></h4> <p>In 2017 I expect spend for social platforms to increase. This week has seen reports that digital will overtake linear TV spend and WPP reporting that Facebook is likely to be its second biggest supplier in 2017.</p> <p>It's all indicative of social being taken more seriously as a channel, with brand managers adopting large scale social inclusive campaigns and budgets that match.</p> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price: </strong></h4> <p>Social media marketing is such a fast-paced and ever-evolving industry and it’s so important to practice daily self-education and experimentation.</p> <p>That being said, I believe that we’re finally starting to see the ‘professionalisation’ of social media as a career with the release of certification programs from platforms and social media tools.</p> <p>As social media comes of age, it would be great to see more training and development opportunities arise that focus on both the theory and practice of social media, and how it fits into the overall marketing strategy. </p> <p><strong><em>On that note, make sure to check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/">social media training courses</a>.</em></strong></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>