CommonSense Blog

Socialize: November 2013

By Samantha Hershman | Dec 04, 2013

November brought a bunch of new updates to social media, with changes spanning over multiple channels. Be sure to share these updates with your clients to keep them aware of what is going on within the social media world and how it will affect their brand. Please let us know if you would like to be featured in the December blog and make sure to Socialize!

What you need to know in November:

  • Facebook Tests Star Ratings Vs. Simple “Like”
    • Facebook is testing out star ratings on Facebook brand/company pages, as opposed to just “Liking” the page. Ratings will be posted on the top of the page and users can see a preview of these ratings in their News Feed.
    • Why it matters: This new feature will help brands/companies understand how their customers truly feel about their service. Facebook pages will now put an emphasis on customer service, rather than just a page for fans to go and “Like.”
    • What you have to say about it: “From an analytics standpoint, adding company Facebook page star ratings gives an analyst another data point to analyze and draw insights upon. If one is able to eventually export these ratings (via third party platform) it would help paint a better picture, in terms of brand sentiment, and have a greater influence on key findings than a single, inconclusive number of ‘likes.’” Meghan Evans, Analytics Associate, New York, NY
  • Facebook Introduces Autoplay for Videos
    • Facebook began rolling out a new digital video feature that will automatically play videos when users scroll over the freeze frame. This feature will only apply to videos that have been uploaded directly to Facebook or Facebook owned sites, excluding YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
    • Why it matters: Facebook is on the road to becoming a one-stop-shop. If brands can upload a video directly to Facebook and watch it without have to go to a third party site, then brands will be more likely to promote their videos, Facebook will benefit in promoted revenue and users/fans will be more inclined to watch the video while it is right in front of them.
    • What you have to say about it: “I think the new Facebook Autoplay function is going to be great for brands, eliminating third parties should really increase engagement. This feature would have been great this fall when we launched 5 videos on YouTube for Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone Intradermal FLUgitives campaign. Essentially the autoplay is forcing users to be exposed to at least a little video content if not the whole posted video – this could really mean great things for our clients.” Meredith Crowder, Healthcare Associate, New York, NY
  • Twitter’s New DM Option Pulled
    •  Last month, Twitter announced that users could receive a direct message from any user, not just those who they follow. This month, Twitter pulled the option for some users.
    • Why it matters: This new feature made it easier for brands to connect with their fans. Now, brands will have to revert back to asking users to DM them in order to contact them privately, which many fans do not understand and then the communication opportunity is lost.
    • What you have to say about it: “I think it was a good idea for Twitter to run a short-term test of the new DM option, and then consider the feedback from users and media outlets before making any official decisions. I do think that the DM option would be beneficial for larger brands’ accounts, so it will be interesting to see their next move. On the other hand, a standalone DM app would not be as beneficial, and I assume would be directed more toward users’ personal accounts. “ Amanda Cillo, Consumer Associate, New York, NY
  • Twitter Launches Custom Timelines
    • Twitter launched a new timeline, allowing users to customize and organize their own timeline feed. The customized timelines will cut back on twitter noise and list tweets in an order that is meaningful to the user.
    • Why it matters: This is a great opportunity to for brands to create content that is “timeline” friendly. Brands will want to be included in user’s customized timelines. Brands too can add competitor brands to their timelines to see what competitors are up to, as well as adding top fans to ensure that posts mentioning the brand are acknowledged.
    • What you have to say about it: “As Twitter has begun to show its capabilities as a real time news source for both global and local events, custom timelines will strengthen this ability allowing brands and consumers to pinpoint their focus of interest in a more clear and targeted manner. By growing beyond simple hashtags, timelines have the potential to increase hyper segmentation as audiences create custom timelines to suit their particular needs and interests, which will likely emphasize the need for brands to create content of interest and value as timelines allow audiences to cut out digital noise. In addition, the timelines support the growing shift towards online and offline integration, allowing streamlined communications from events and conferences into easily accessible and sharable content capsules, providing new opportunities for brands to engage consumers in both planned and organic communication efforts.” Allison Barnes, Analytics Associate, Austin, TX
  • Twitter Advances Search Process with New Filters
    • Twitter announced that it will be adding new search filters to its mobile apps, available on Android and iOS. Users will be able to filter by topic, by followers or by trending events and television shows.
    • Why it matters: Brands want their pages to be easily searchable. This is great for real-time tweeting and campaigns.
    • What you have to say about it: “The new search filters on Twitter will impact how users find relevant content and will get them closer to what they are looking for, more quickly. Active users on Twitter use the platform as their source of news; that is, if a brand is talking about the news, they are more likely to land those search results. The brands that will benefit from this new search function are the ones that are engaging with their audiences in culturally relevant ways. For example, we create content for HP’s social channels that live in that sweet spot of “what’s trending” and brand relevance, and we have experienced higher-than-average engagement on those types of posts.” Kelsey Carroll, Technology and Social Commerce Manager, Austin, TX
  • YouTube Updates Comments With Google+ Integration
    • YouTube has updated their commenting system, integrating thread replies and Google+ integration. Top comments are a compilation of comments from users within your Google+ circle, video creators and popular personalities. Conversation with high engagement will be pushed to the top, keeping comments current.
    • Why it matters: Brands will have more engagement on both platforms Google+ and YouTube, due to indirect cross-promotion and sharing comments across both channels. Keep conversation active and current. Also, now is the time to hop on the Google+ train!
    • What you have to say about it: “While it is true that the move has angered some in the YouTube community who want the ability to leave anonymous comments, I think it will ultimately help in two ways 1) Reducing spam and 2) Reducing the amount of hateful/ offensive/ abusive comments that appeared in comment streams in the past. It will take time, but Google has already shown they are committed to implementing new security measures to address new types of spam that are happening since the change, and also adding additional capabilities like bulk moderation. While there are detractors, I think just about everyone agrees that YouTube comments needed to be cleaned up at some level. Ultimately, I think the Google+ comment integration will work. Besides cleanup, I also think it will lead to more engagement, which is especially a good thing for brands.” Lionel Menchaca, Director, Content Engagement, Austin, TX
  • Instagram Rolls Out Sponsored Ads
    • Instagram began rolling out sponsored ads on the site, starting with an ad by fashion designer, Michael Kors.  Many advertisers will try to make ads blend in with other images in the feed; however, the distinction will lie in the “sponsored” label, found in the top right corner of an ad. There is no timetable for when other brands will jump on the bandwagon.
    • Why it matters: This is a great opportunity to promote your brand, especially during campaigns.  Watch out for backlash from users who are upset that ads will appear in their feeds.
    • What you have to say about it: “These ads look and feel very similar to the ads in a Facebook Newsfeed, (which makes sense because they’re the same company now). As long as there are not too many ads at once, I don’t think people will mind them. I’m not sure how these ads actually drive traffic back to the advertiser sites. In Facebook, fans are used to clicking through to a web site or page. That behavior seems to be less common on Instagram, so it’s possible Instagram ads will see lower ROI.” Stephanie Nordstrom, Senior Manager, Consumer, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pinterest Launches First API
    • Pinterest is launching its first API, allowing third-party sites to embed pins, making it easier to post content to the site.  Existing pins will be more useful to sites and brands will be able to track engagement between pins and their site. Multiple additional APIs will continue to rollout in the early future.
    • Why it matters: Customers will be able to pin directly from the site, keeping them on the page longer instead of having to leave the site, interrupt their shopping/browsing, and thus not returning to actually pin the material. Brands will also be able to better track engagement/traffic between pinning and their site.
    • What you have to say about it: “As a consumer and a frequent Pinterest user, this will change so much! It will definitely increase my pinning and allow me to share more pictures and ideas with my followers. From an analytics standpoint, this elevated engagement will increase the data that becomes available. It will be easier to calculate which sites or brands are generating more traffic that ultimately reflects brand recognition and the effectiveness of campaigns.” Alexia Moustroufi, Analytics Associate, New York, NY

For more detailed information, please view our deck.