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With the new year comes new social features and updates, and the spotlight is shining on social advertising. Social media continues to mash top-performing, engaging video content with paid advertising. Good news for Snappers, savers, likers and double tappers: social channels are also working to vastly improve the ebb and flow of user experience.

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The Facebook Audience Network Now Serves Ads to 1 Billion People Each Month

  • Odds are, you are one of the billion people viewing Facebook’s advertising network. Don’t be shocked. It was only a matter of time before Facebook’s more than 1 billion users transformed into those who make up Facebook’s ad audience network (FAN). The FAN lets brands deliver Facebook ad campaigns off of Facebook, using the same targeting. Facebook delivers these ads on the platform, and then continues to serve users these same ads around the web. Recently, Facebook’s VP of Publisher Solutions, Brian Boland, stated a not-so-surprising fact: video consumption at the end of 2016 was more than 10 times what it was at the beginning of last year.
  • What it means for brands: Video, video and more video. Take advantage of users who fall victim to your targeting, but don’t act. For example: Retargeting to a custom audience of people who watched your video but didn’t click through to the Shop Now webpage (yep, that’s an option) is the perfect way to reep the benefits of the endless FAN. Yes, more than 1 billion potential consumers is great for brand advertising views. However, if brands want consumers to act and engage, they better use video ad assets.

Additional resources: Marketing Dive

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(via Adweek)

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Instagram Is Dropping Ads Into Its Stories

  • Similar to another social channel (cough, Snapchat, cough), Instagram introduced its Stories feature last August, and is now keeping it brand-friendly with 5-second image and 15-second video ads. Don’t fret. These ads will not -completely- interrupt the Stories. The ads will be skippable and will only appear between Stories content. Instagram representatives will be happy to assist brands in taking their advertising to this next level.
  • What it means for brands: The big “woop” for this ad capability is the expanded engagement and performance insights brands will be able to see through the Instagram app and ad manager platform on Facebook. Because daily Stories use increased by 50 million users in just three months, that’s a big deal for brands. Follow those that are already on the bandwagon (Nike, Airbnb and Netflix, to name a few) and get those ads in Stories.

Additional resources: engadget, Bloomberg

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(via Adweek)

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Pinterest Boosts Related Pins Using Deep Learning

  • Fascinated by how relative those Related Pins really are? Well, that’s the point. Related Pins are picked and served by Pinterest to users based on other saved or liked Pins. Collecting Super Bowl LI recipes? Pinterest may show you a Related Pin for fool-proof queso dip. Pinterest is deep diving into Related Pins to make them even more engaging and scalable. This filtration system generates user recommendations based on engagement (and behind-the-scenes algorithms).
  • What it means for brands: Users mostly make boards for broad topics so brands need to ensure their content isn’t too specific. Have a product that can fit under both “wedding inspo” AND “our new house?” Integrate both categories to expand their searchability and reach. Anything related to something else on some other board with a similar topic can fit into Pinterest’s “collaborative filtering,” but we’ll let the software engineers figure that one out.

Additional resources: PC Mag

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(via Pinterest) 

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Snapchat Is Now Pitching Brands on Sequential Video Ads

  • Brands can now bundle video ads on Snapchat’s The new sequential video ads place these videos back-to-back on autoplay. Fun fact: users can skip through. These videos can be related, completely different or even tell a story. As always, consumers won’t have to scroll to see this content (like on other social channels), so breaking content into timed segments can help brands reach different groups of potential consumers and keep users engaged (with your brand/content). These sequential ads are all planted in one channel on Discover.
  • What it means for brands: With more flexibility regarding ad video content, sequence and message, the possibilities seem endless with Snapchat’s sequential video ads…because they are. Whether a consumer watches five seconds of one video and eight seconds of the next, brands should ensure the purpose for the ad reaches the viewer in some way.

Additional resources: Marketing Dive

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(via Marketing Dive)

Snapchat Is About to Become Much Easier to Use

  • Can’t find a friend, celeb or brand on Snapchat? The new universal search bar can fix that. Get ready to stalk, Snap and screenshot with ease. Snapchat users will soon be able to search for the content and people they want: friends, publishers (Food Network, Daily Mail, etc.) and celebrities (most recently, Kylie Jenner) without hassle.
  • What it means for brands: Brands should aim to publish content on Snapchat that causes consumers to talk, generating more searches for said content. A still image of a bowl of spaghetti may make users hungry, but a video of a hand stirring a bowl of spaghetti? That’s the content that makes consumers hungry for more. On another note, consider keeping your username basic so that users can easily find who and what they’re looking for.

Additional resources: AdAge; Computerworld

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(via TIME)

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W2O Social Scoop Logo_1024x512SOCIAL LIVE STREAMING IS TAKING OVER THE WORLD. Not really but, this month, it sure seems like it. The battle of the social platforms continues with live streaming at the forefront. Not sure what the hype is about? Read on, get the social scoop.

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Facebook Upgrades Video Offerings

  • This week, Facebook added 360 degree video to its Live function. In true Facebook style and with National Geographic as sponsor, the 360 launch featured content from the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. The 360-degree view encourages users to click and drag the screen to immerse themselves in a unique and more realistic experience.
  • What it means for brands: Just like with most hot new trends, don’t just hop on the band wagon without a clear strategy. Take advantage of any opportunities to utilize this function in a way that makes sense for your brand and adds value to the viewer. This is a chance for brands to get creative and make a statement. We can’t wait to see who hits the nail on the head.

Additional resources: RT

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(via Facebook & National Geographic)

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Twitter Announces Direct Integration of Live-Streaming Within App

  • This month, Twitter took a step toward integrating Periscope further into the platform. Prior to this change, users were directed to Periscope’s app to set up an account or log in when they wanted to live-stream on Twitter. Now, users with a Periscope account can stream directly through the Twitter app (via a LIVE button) for a more seamless experience, encouraging more participation in the live video trend. Although live content is still saved into Periscope, it seems Twitter is moving toward phasing Periscope out entirely like they did recently with Vine.
  • What it means for brands: This new function makes it easier to stream live on the go, especially for brands who may be streaming at fast-paced events. Facebook Live is still the top performer in this space but Twitter has also found its niche in live sports streaming, while Facebook has focused on celebrities. For brands looking to live stream sponsored influencer content, Facebook remains more appealing.

Additional resources: Mashable

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(via Social Media Today)

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Instagram Launches Live Video Function

  • “I’m so surprised Instagram is launching live video features!” – said nobody. Instagram is the latest major social platform to hop on the live bandwagon and the rollout has arrived. Users will access live streaming via the Stories tab, where a toggle will flip to live. Here’s the catch…the videos are not stored anywhere. It’s easy to understand why the platform would want something to distinguish their live streaming from the rest, but more difficult to understand why they went this route, although it does go with their capabilities of not being able to save images.
  • What it means for brands: Although Instagram Live sounds like a trendy thing for brands to do, its inability to save live content is problematic. While it may be an appealing, edgy touch for your typical user, brands will have a hard time with truly live-only audience and metrics. Unless your audience is much more active on Instagram, platforms like Facebook Live may present a better alternative that can reach users even after the live stream ends. As far as advertising goes, stay tuned! We’re interested to see where opportunities may arise.

Additional resources: Romper

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(via TechCrunch)

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Snapchat Adds 4 New Features, Including Much-Requested Group Chat

  • If you’re feeling like Snapchat group chat seems like the best idea anyone has had all year, you’re not alone. Snapchat Groups can hold up to 16 people and users can seamlessly send private chats to others in the group while remaining part of the conversation. As if that wasn’t enough, the social media giant is also revamping the paintbrush feature, and adding “scissor” and “Shazam” features. The scissor feature will turn cut-out components of snaps into stickers that users can store for later use and Shazam integration will enable users to identify any song that is playing and find out more information about it.
  • What it means for brands: On a smaller scale, this doesn’t mean much for brands just yet. However, when you look at the broader picture, these updates show Snapchat is serious about keeping their skin in the game. Competition between top platforms is sky high and these kinds of updates are what keep Snapchat relevant and retain their user base – which is good news for any brand looking to advertise on the platform. More to come as these features roll out.

Additional resources: TechCrunch; Thrillist

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(via Adweek)

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Want to stay up-to-date with the latest in social media? Well, we’ve got the latest social scoop for you and lets just say, we’re psyched about Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and some (Pop)sugar news.

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What Marketers Should Know About Instagram’s Shoppable Photo Tags

  • Instagram is making mobile shopping even more of a breeze. With the ‘gram’s new ability to tag products, users can know the brand and price of any product. Through the nifty purchase link, consumers are lead to a product page. Some may say this is similar to another platform’s shopping path (Pinterest, cough, cough) but Instagram just gave its app another use, bam. This feature is not only native to users, but it also doesn’t require another app install.
  • What it means for brands: While this new tool is applicable to all users, and most significantly brands, it presents the greatest opportunity for retail brands. Taggable products need to be used properly. Less clutter on the display is better for purchase conversions. Brands should focus on products in high-demand and tell a story with these products and the images posted. Using the taggable products feature correctly means increasing consumer engagement and may lead to more (impulsive) possible product purchase.

Additional Resources: Tech Crunch, The Verge

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(via Adweek)

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Twitter Adds Conversation Ranking, Direct Reply Count to Mobile Apps

  • Twitter popularity status is now enhanced on mobile. The Direct Reply Count feature, first available on desktop, is now live on mobile and it’s quite neat. Users can see the total number of replies on their original Tweet. These replies may not display in chronological order because a sub-conversation grouping takes place. Replies are ranked by Tweet author replies and other similar factors to showcase the best content. Kudos to Twitter for making it easier to track replies, especially the relevant ones.
  • What it means for brands: It’s now even easier for brands to keep track of what replies are most important on their content thanks to mobile. Because most users consume Tweets via mobile, their replies and interactions are almost instant. Brands are now better able to keep up with the relevant rapid retweets and replies, and they’re also better able to filter out not-so-great interactions. Keep up with the speed of your followers, brands.

Additional resources: NextPowerUp, Tech Times

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(via SocialTimes)

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Facebook is Testing Real-Time Ads for Live Videos

  • Live video is spreading fast so it’s no wonder Facebook is ad-ding on to it. Users will now be notified via a sponsored post once a broadcast is beginning or if it just ended. Catching users’ attention in the newsfeed is the central purpose of these posts. Viewers can then interact with the brand in real time.
  • What it means for brands: Brands have yet another way to capture the attention of consumers via live video. Users who follow specific brands may receive notifications when a brand “goes live.” Brands need to take advantage of the potential audience reach and scale made possible by these sponsored posts. Overall, visibility will reach an all-time high, and it’s up to brands to deliver content that drives broadcast views and interactions.

Additional resources: MediaPost, Marketing Dive

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(via Mobile Marketing Magazine)

Facebook Developing Artificial Intelligence to Flag Offensive Live Videos

  • Nudity, violence and other offensive content will no longer be seen on Facebook Live…just give Facebook a second. The “book” is getting sneaky, using artificial intelligence to monitor content. Facebook will no longer rely on users to report offensive posts, or in this case, live videos. While this new algorithm is still in the works, Facebook’s automation that sorts through offensive content reports is still going strong. Not to worry.
  • What it means for brands: Brands are constantly monitoring and responding to negative feedback and they may even have to flag and delete unnecessary, user-generated content. Well, brands will be able to sit back and relax a little bit more now that Facebook Live will be covered, too. While it’s crucial to keep eyes peeled for naysayers, this artificial intelligence will make it easier for brands to connect what content matters to them to potential consumers.

Additional resources: Venture Beat, Info Wars

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(via Reuters) 

In other (cool, social-savvy) news…

  • Want to know what’s trending? On every platform? In one place? Introducing the nifty, new TrendRank tool from Popsugar. TrendRank can basically tell the social trend future to brands as well as who is talking about them or sharing their content. Determination of trends is derived from “over 12 million data points every day,” sorted trend topics and engagements.
  • What it means for brands: What better tool to use to plan future content than going along with the trending topics on TrendRank? Brands have the utmost advantage with this tool. Depending on the topic itself, topic audience and any articles shared, brands can tailor their targeting and content to those audiences. Sidenote: this tool also saves brands’ backs if something has too much attention. Don’t follow behind a trend.

Additional resources: Social Songbird

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(via Adweek)

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Facebook Users To See Multiple Products Within a Single Ad

  • As we get closer to the holidays, Facebook is testing out a new ad format that features multiple products in a single ad. With a two-click approach, the ads are positioned to draw consumers in while also encouraging a direct response. The idea is to engage consumers with native content and then present more traditional product ads underneath to encourage users to click to shop for the featured products. Brands currently using the format, including Michael Kors, are toying with longer form content as the main draw-in.
  • What it means for brands: Brands will be anxiously anticipating this roll-out. Michael Kors stated that their cost per conversion fell by 79 percent over the course of their fall campaign, which features the new ad format. With native content trending, brands are constantly faced with the challenge of creating content that drives both engagement and direct purchase conversions. This new ad format is a promising answer to those needs.

Additional resources: Internet Retailer

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(via Adweek)

Facebook’s Latest Measurement Errors Rankles Ad Buyers

  • #SMH…Facebook just announced calculation errors with regards to its organic reach, video view completion and other metrics. When it comes to video view completion metrics, the platform says it undercounted video views to 100%. Once fixed, this could mean a 35% increase in video watches to 100%. In terms of organic reach miscalculations, Facebook says it discovered that week or month-long reach was overestimated due to a lack of consideration for duplicate user reach. Facebook also stated that the platform miscalculated time spent on Instant Articles, referrals in Facebook Analytics for Apps, and follower counts on interest lists. In response, Facebook plans to develop a measurement council and allow more third-party verification of its metrics. It also altered some metric names to more clearly represent what is measured.
  • What it means for brands: Facebook advertising is still a great way to reach a targeted audience. What brands should take away from this is that platform data is not bulletproof. Data should always be examined within the context of its campaign but, overall, Facebook data remains a reliable resource. If anything, this could be good news as it has forced the social media giant to welcome more third-party measurement providers to ensure the quality of its data.

Additional resources: Variety; Advertising Age; Digiday

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(via Advertising Age)

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Pinterest Debuts Auto-Play Video Ads, Explores Content-Discovery Feature

  • Less than three months after launching video ads, Pinterest is testing auto-play features to enhance the user experience. The new pins will automatically play as a user scrolls through their feed. Once clicked, the videos will roll into a playlist of auto-play video content. This benefits brands who develop these videos, allowing them to produce episodic content. In addition, Pinterest announced they are launching a new “Explore” feature that will compile hot and trending content for users to browse from publishers such as Tastemade, Refinery29, and Brit+Co.
  • What it means for brands: Rich pins continue to become more and more attractive for brands. With auto-play, brands can develop episodic content that allows more than one ad to reach consumers at once. The fate of advertising within the Explore section of Pinterest is not yet decided, but we think it has huge potential so keep your ears open for updates.

Additional resources: Tech Crunch

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(Via SocialTimes)

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FDA to Study How Promotional Tweets for Drugs Should Convey Side Effects

  • Pharma giants and marketing agencies alike know the Food and Drug Administration is years behind when it comes to marketing in the digital age, especially when it comes to Twitter. The last decade has left us confused and has hindered many pharmaceutical companies from pursuing all that social media has to offer in the way of marketing and advertising. Recently, the FDA announced a proposed study on whether one-click side effect information is acceptable.
  • What it means for brands: After years of confusion, could we finally get some solid answers from the FDA about how to properly use social media for pharma marketing? Maybe, and maybe not. The hope is that the FDA will approve one-click guidance so that pharma companies can feel more confident advertising on social media. This will also free up more character space for valuable information about products and uses. However, while the one-click rule clarification will be very useful, the FDA is still a bit behind with this type of guidance. If the FDA provides guidance on the one-click rule, pharma companies may see social media marketing doors open to provide new opportunities but the industry still has a long way to go. This is a win and a step in the right direction!

Additional resources: Fierce Pharma

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(via Stat)

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Instagram Is Letting Brands Test Taggable, Buyable Products in Photos

  • Brands are testing a new feature on Instagram that enables product tagging in posts. Products are tagged with a price and link out to the brand’s website for purchase. The overarching goal is to smooth out the buying process without interfering with the app’s notorious native feel. To achieve this, these new posts will feature a small indicator that must be clicked in order to see the price tagging. From its beta, Instagram says it wishes to learn how much value the feature adds for businesses as well as how native it feels for users. Instagram noted that a longer term goal is to enable users to save content that captures their interest for later purchase.
  • What it means for brands: Similar to Pinterest’s new features mentioned above, this update provides brands the opportunity to make a stronger push for purchases without sacrificing the native feel of their content. In addition, this feature provides a great way for brands side step Instagram’s inability to link in posts. Brands will be able to post beautiful, native content while encouraging purchases.

Additional resources: TechCrunch

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(via TechCrunch) 

 

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Want to stay up-to-date with the latest in social media? Well, we’ve got the latest social scoop for you and it’s focused on the king of social media creative, the almighty video. Utilizing video has never been easier for brands with updates from Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest.

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Instagram Appears to Be Testing Live Video

  • Instagram has plans to go live with its “stories” feature introduced this past summer. Facebook is investing a lot of time and money in both live immersion and virtual reality as of late so it’s no surprise this update is fast-approaching.
  • What it means for brands: Here’s what we know – Facebook is a powerhouse and (live) video content is everything these days. Brands should pay close attention to their Instagram (and Facebook) strategies, especially on how to incorporate live video into their campaigns. Live video is set to compete with TV ads and there’s a new connection to be made with livestreaming-savvy audience.

Additional resources: Marketing Dive

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(via The Verge)

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Facebook Announces Scheduled Live Broadcasts Update

  • Facebook is expanding Facebook Live with a new superpower. Verified pages can now schedule live broadcasts within Facebook’s publishing tool which means both marketers and consumers can plan for a broadcast. Brands can schedule a broadcast one week in advance, and followers can join the broadcast three minutes prior. Once a live video is scheduled, followers will receive a notification. They can then opt in for a reminder right before air time if they enable that notification.
  • What it means for brands: Brands can now build anticipation before curtain call. They can promote a broadcast throughout an entire week and gauge success based on established audience size prior to the broadcast. This is also great for specific industries with stricter permissions, such as healthcare, that can schedule live broadcasts in advance and provide insight into the audience prior to the broadcast.

Additional resources: The Verge

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(via Social Media Today

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Snapchat’s Removal of Autoplay

  • Since Snapchat removed autoplay, snap views decreased by an average of 15 percent, which is a huge deal for influencers and brands alike. However, while less users are viewing snaps, viewer engagement is still the same. That’s now the challenge for the selfie-driving platform – encouraging brands to optimize content.
  • What it means for brands: Brands now have the challenge of driving Snapchat users to their pages or profiles. Autoplay was never great for marketers anyway, because with pop-up ads and the ability to skip through a snap, who knew if users were paying attention to their content? At the point, marketers should focus on building engaging campaigns that provide interest to their audiences so that they’ll voluntarily opt into a snap, as well at utilizing other tools on the app like geo-filters and video filters.

Additional resources: Digiday

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(via Digiday)

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Pinterest Adds New Promoted Pins

  • Now users can one-tap, video tap and app tap thanks to the newly-introduced promoted Pinterest One-tap pins direct users straight to a corresponding website, instead of loading the pin page itself. Video pins can be viewed right on Pinterest without clicking off to another site. Users can head straight to an app store via promoted app pins, and download right away.
  • What it means for brands: These promoted pins can be used for awareness, engagement and traffic The new promoted pins are fast, direct and user-preferred, and Pinterest anticipates positive results on performance. Brands should always be thinking about how new tools and capabilities fit into their social strategies, and while it appears that Pinterest has been making multiple recent updates to their Promoted pins tool, each one enhances the other and brands need to keep up.

Additional resources: Pinterest

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(via Adweek)

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It is not news that social media has changed every arena and industry since its genesis, from social justice movements to healthcare to television; the sport’s world is no exception. Social media, specifically Twitter, has transformed how fans and foes communicate with one another and with their teams. The social media giant essentially serves as a virtual sports’ bar for fans and rivals alike to brag, argue, boo, or cheer despite location.

You are not a fan of the call the ref made? Complain with your fellow fans.

Did your favorite player have an excellent game? Brag with your fellow fans.

Did your team dominate in the season opener? Let the world know about it.

Are you ready for your team’s season to get started? Sing your rally cry in 140 characters.

Did your team break a curse that lasted 108 years? Fly the W with the fellow Chicago faithful.

This phenomena of a virtual sports’ bar was showcased through the pinnacle of America’s favorite pastime, the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Specifically, how Cubs’ fans discussed being cursed on Twitter throughout the post season.

The Curse of the Billy Goat and the Chicago Cubs

Even if you are not a die-hard baseball fan, odds are you are aware that the Cubs playing the World Series is historic at minimum and a dream come true to many of the Chicago faithful. Since 1945 many fans have believed that their beloved Cubbies were cursed by tavern owner, William “Billy Goat” Sianis. Sianis attempted to bring along his pet goat, Murphy, to game four of the 1945 World Series. The pair was not admitted because of Murphy’s smell which angered Sianis greatly. It is reported he professed, “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more.” The Cubs lost that World Series and instantly The Curse of the Billy Goat was born.

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The Curse was nearly broken in 2003, which fans refer to as the “Bartman game”. The Cubs were up 3-0 and just five outs away from their first World Series appearance in nearly 60 years. A foul ball was hit that fell over the wall in the left field, Cubs’ left fielder Moises Alou went to make the grab to close out the inning, but a fan (Steve Bartman) reached for the ball as well, knocking it out of play. Following this play the Cubs gave up five runs that inning, losing the game and ultimately losing the National League Championship Series. The curse lived on.

Curse Conversation on Twitter

Twitter was not around during the lion share of the Curse of the Billy Goat, it certainly was not around in 1945 and still had not gotten off the ground for the Bartman game in 2003. Can you imagine if an entity existed where any fan, rival, spectator, coach or reporter could gather in one space to discuss the magnitude and heartbreak of the curse?

Thanks to the creation Twitter and our analytics team we do not have to.

Our analyst listened to how frequently the words/phrases: curse, cursed, curse of the Billy goat, Billy Goat, Steve Bartman or Bartman were mentioned along with the Cubs throughout the postseason (October 7, 2016 – November 3, 2016).  Check out our findings below:

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The Importance of Knowing Your Audience

Twitter has not only eliminated the guessing game in the sports’ world but in a plethora of industries. The platform has created virtual physician offices, virtual presidential debate watch parties, and virtual discussion groups on topics ranging from latest software update to the latest museum openings. Brands, companies and people are no longer guessing what the people they care about are talking about and how they are behaving online. At W2O Group we define this as audience architecture. The combination of technological advancements, analytics expertise and a need to improve outdated models is leading to a new way to identify, architect and then learn from the specific audiences you care about.

In short, it is key to know what audience segments are saying about themselves, but also what their online behavior is saying about the types of stories that will have the most impact on them, whether it is discovering a product or celebrating the end of 108 year old curse, people are talking on social media and it is key for brands and companies to listen.


Jon Carillo HeadshotCreative for this project was provided by Jon Carrillo, a graphic designer at W2O Group. Connect with him on LinkedIn and if you don’t mind the occasional rant about the San Antonio Spurs, follow him on Twitter at @JonnyCTweets

 

aaeaaqaaaaaaaasraaaajdhlngrlmtrjltnhnzgtndc2zs1izwfjltm1mjc0ztlkyjcxnwAnalytics for this project were provided by Madison Reineke. Madison is a junior analyst at W2O Group where she focuses on deriving data-driven insights for a wide breadth of clients. She is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and majored in Advertising Management. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Wondering about the latest in the Snapchat vs Instagram war, what new updates are coming from Facebook, or what platform will maximize your advertising dollars during the holidays? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

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Workplace by Facebook Opens to Sell Enterprise Social Networking

  • Is being on Facebook at work now acceptable? After using a similar interface internally for years, Facebook released a beta version of its new workplace communications service at a recent event in London. Previously named “Facebook at Work,” Workplace starts at $3 per user each month and has been implemented by over 1,000 invited companies. Not-for-profits and educational organizations will have access for free. The service has its own separate and branded desktop and mobile apps that target both traditional and non-traditional office settings.
  • What it means for brands: We know social media giants are edging their way into new realms, but time will tell how many companies choose to adopt Facebook as their go-to internal communications method. As for the future of social media, this is just the start of the top players wanting to becoming one-stop-shops for all things social and beyond. Will Facebook run the world? Time will tell.

Additional resources: TechCrunch

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(via TechCrunch) 

Facebook Opens Doors to Marketplace

  • Per the post above…. if it seems like Facebook is taking over the world… you’re probably onto something. Facebook recently introduced one of its newest projects, Marketplace. In a bid to compete with craigslist and eBay, Marketplace uses location settings to present users with items for sale in their area. From a seller’s perspective, it’s as easy as taking or uploading a photo of your product, naming and pricing your item, and confirming the pick-up location and product category. You can even post to buy-and-sell groups simultaneously. As a buyer, you can search for items and message sellers prior to making an offer.
  • What it means for brands: For the time being, this doesn’t mean too much to [large] brands. Both unpaid and paid social brand advertising are blocked on Marketplace, so pay-to-play is not yet a factor, and brands don’t have access from their page to buy and sell. Marketplace’s product manager did hint that business features may be added to the app in the future so brands should be on the lookout for updates about this and more (especially those in retail).

Additional resources: Marketing Land; Facebook

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(via TechCrunch)

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Snapchat Launches Post-Roll Ads & Story Playlist

  • We’ve been anxiously awaiting Snapchat’s next move as the company plans to IPO as early as March. In an effort to push back against their largest competition, Facebook owned Instagram, Snapchat released Story Playlist, which makes it easy to consume content the way many users already do on the platform. Story Playlist enables users to click on stories they’d like to view and add them to a “playlist” which then plays all the selected stories consecutively, skipping over stories the user did not choose to view. In a move to boost revenue streams with this change in mind, Snapchat Snap Ads will now play in between stories within the playlist. Snapchat also released post-roll ads for single-play snapchat views. Of note, this update will also enable changes to the to the Discover pages. Discover stories will now appear beneath updates from friends, with their own page remaining to the right of the Stories feed.
  • What it means for brands: Brands, pay attention: Snapchat’s Discover channel just got demoted to the bottom of the feed. Time will tell how Discover stories function in their new location, but we can expect to see less ad spend toward Discover and more toward other options on the platform. With the app pushing user-generated content first, these new post-roll ads and advertising between playlist stories are definitely more appealing.

Additional resources: The Verge

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(via The Verge)

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Pinterest: A Top Pick for the Holidays

  • Often overlooked by social marketers, Pinterest proves to be one social platform that has achieved substantially more success when it comes to in-app purchase completion. Millward Brown Digital reported 93% of Pinterest consumers use the platform to plan for a purchase, and as many as 87% make a purchase after viewing items on Pinterest. The platform has a variety of targeting features, including retargeting, and is testing their “buyable” pins that allow users to purchase directly via the pin, with one click. Pinterest enlisted Millward Brown Digital to enhance its targeting and metrics reporting capabilities, which now include brand awareness, favorability, and purchase intent. Brands can now create audiences that target based on clicks, comments, saves, “closeups,” and likes.
  • What it means for brands: With the holidays upon us, those numbers are immense. With 1.1 billion holiday pins saved last year and seamlessly integrated promoted “buyable” pins, Pinterest should be on your brand’s list for paid and organic social media advertising this year. With improved targeting and reporting capabilities, the platform makes a great addition to brands’ social advertising mix for the year.

Additional resources: Advertising Age; Media Post

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Twitter Introduces New Conversion Tracking Capabilities

  • Twitter released a beta for an enhanced conversion tracking tool that separates the previously combined website clicks and website conversions tracking. The company also gave its “website clicks or conversions” campaigns a new name: “website visits.” Using data from Twitter’s website tags and interest and intent signals, the platform will optimize to boost conversions and lower costs.
  • What it means for brands: These changes will allow brands to either continue using Twitter the way they were previously, by tracking website visits, or leverage the new website conversion capabilities. By using these new features, brands will have a more seamless experience in website conversion tracking. To use this new feature, brands must enable Twitter’s website tag and set key conversion events with set cost per conversion goals.

Additional resources: Venture Beat; Adweek

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(via Twitter)

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  • Instagram has more than doubled its number of advertisers in the last six months as it tops 500,000 advertisers. The company announced its seen around 1 billion actions taken on Instagram ads since it released its API last September. The top five countries of adoption are the US, Brazil, the UK, Australia, and Canada, with the top five verticals being consumer packaged goods, ecommerce, retail, entertainment, and technology. Per Instagram, 50% of Instagram users follow business accounts and 75% of users reportedly take actions inspired by an Instagram post.
  • What it means for brands: More and more brands are opting for Instagram ads. The ability to advertise on the platform with just a Facebook page and not an Instagram profile, and the seamless integration of Facebook and Instagram ad creation in Facebook’s Power Editor are huge perks for social media advertisers. With 1 billion actions on Instagram ads, brands should seriously consider adding Instagram to their mix.

Additional resources: Adweek

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(via SocialTimes)

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Want to stay up-to-date with the latest in social media? Well, we’ve got the latest social scoop for you and let’s just say, we’re keeping an eye on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as we head into fall.

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Instagram Is Finally Letting Users Hide Inappropriate Comments

  • Instagram is taking great steps to ensure the safety of brands on the platform. In order to keep comments under control, they have introduced a keyword moderation tool that anyone can use by clicking the new “Comments” column within the “Options” tab. Within “Comments,” users can enable “Hide Inappropriate Comments,” in which Instagram will hide comments that include keywords from the “Custom Keywords” list that a user and/or brand includes as a filtered word. There is no limit to the amount of words that can be added to the list, and Instagram will hide comments that contain the words, phrases and even emoji that you choose to mark as inappropriate or spam. Of note, users can also use default words that Instagram provides.
  • What it means for brands: While this new tool is applicable to all users, and most significantly brands, it presents a great opportunity for pharmaceutical brands to have a “safe” presence on Instagram. Currently there is no true way to monitor comments that filter onto the platform, other than manually, which can result in weary from some brands. Being able to upload filtered lists into the site will help regulate and monitor this process.

Additional Resources: Business Insider

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(via Adweek)

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Twitter Now Lets You Post Longer Tweets After 140-Character Limit Relaxed

  • Twitter is breaking the barrier on its 140-character limit. Attach an image, GIF, video, poll or other media attachment, and the character count will NOT change. Want to mention a friend, company or celeb? As long as their @username is in the beginning of the reply, it will not add toward character count. Bonus: quote Tweets won’t count, either. So what’s the catch? Embedding media attachments takes away from the character count, so choose wisely, and most significantly, these new updates are not applicable to Twitter ads.
  • What it means for brands: This character adjustment gives brands the opportunity to increase conversation by having the flexibility to post most throughout content, reply to consumer questions, and more without having to worry about the character count (as much). However, that one big caveat is that these updates don’t apply to ads – which most brands use these days to promote their content, raise brand awareness, and more. We’re thinking this is Twitter’s way of trying to play nice, while still keeping the reigns on their original platform since they know most brands/advertisers have made the shift to ads as their main content distribution. We’ll see if they bring this update to ads at a later date, but all in all, keeping content shorter is still going to be the smarter move to keep the audience engaged and contribute to the authenticity of the quick updates that are common to the platform.

Additional resources: The Inquirer; Venture Beat

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(via The Telegraph)

Opening Up Moments To More Creators

  • Stay up-to-date on your favorite events, influencers and brands with expanded Twitter Celebrity influencers and brands alike can tell their stories through a collection of Tweets, pictures and videos. Now, there’s no searching for related content. It’s all (now, even more so) right there in Moments.
  • What it means for brands: Brands can further tell their story to consumers, and in an easier way. Moments are easy to absorb because of the curated Tweets. The way consumers now view and retain content coincides with the way Moments flow.

Additional resources: Adweek

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(via Adweek)

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Snapchat Makes On-Demand Geofilters More Accessible

  • Say goodbye to the days when a birthday party was just an average birthday party because you won’t be able to escape any event without developing a custom Snapchat geofilter. Snapchat released customizable templates that make the on-demand geofilter option easier and more accessible for brands and consumers alike. On-demand geofilters are customizable and quickly made via the desktop version of the site from a series of options including theme and color. Users and brands can also create their own filters without Photoshop or Illustrator as long as they allow Snapchat a day to approve the design. Snapchat also introduced other new features, including the ability to make text bold, italicized, and underlined.
  • What it means for brands: Brands can now spread their wings (and sponsored ads) on Snapchat Discover or Snapchat Stories even more by paying for a geofilter, lens or video ad. If it’s easier to deliver more sponsored content to more consumers, brands can expect an increase of brand awareness and even conversions.

Additional resources: Mashable

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(via Adweek’s Social Times)

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Brands Will Know How Many People Bought Products After Seeing Ads

  • Advertisers can now stalk industry professionals with better ad buys thanks to LinkedIn’s conversion tracking Relying on third-party companies for campaign measurement is a thing of the past. The new conversion metrics are now a part of LI’s ad management. All it requires is a code tag on the company website.
  • What it means for brands: Because of LinkedIn’s access to professionals’ information, advertisers can see who is and isn’t contributing to sales. This new conversion tracking extracts the amount of sales leads, sign-ups, downloads and sales from a campaign. Advertisers can then alter campaign targeting and creative if needed to reflect the right audiences and those who are actually purchasing your product.

Additional resources: Marketing Dive

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(via Adweek)


CaitlinThis blog was co-authored by Caitlin Orwin. Caitlin is a Social Media Marketing Associate at W2O where she works on all things paid social and social management. She loves writing copy and working with healthcare clients, as well as working in a dog-friendly office. Connect with her on LinkedIn or say hello to her on Twitter at @caitorwin.

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We’ve got the latest social scoop for you: Instagram designs new features for the iPhone 7, Facebook tells advertisers to speed up, Twitter launches ad capabilities for Periscope, and more.

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Instagram is Building New Features to Maximize the iPhone 7 Camera

  • Instagram’s head of design announced that the platform is building new features to enhance the user experience, in conjunction with the new iPhone 7 camera. What’s new? Instagram’s color filters and zoom options are redesigned to take advantage of the new iPhone’s camera, and now iPhone 7 users can seamlessly post iPhone Live Photos as Boomerang GIFs.
  • What it means for brands: With the release of these new features, brands are jumping at the chance to try them out. Several have already gotten creative with the ability to zoom. While the novelty of the feature may fade over time, this new ability will change the way brands can utilize the platform in creative ways in the future.

Additional resources: Adweek

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(via Adweek)

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Facebook Tells Advertisers to Speed Up Sites or Don’t Bother Asking for Clicks

  • Facebook is optimizing for mobile ads, but needs brands to meet them halfway. Facebook will be “pre-fetching” ad content and storing the content in servers, allowing for a quicker load time. However, brands need to put in work, too if they want consumers clicking. Ads need to be both optimized for mobile and direct to a website that doesn’t take a while to load. In this case, a “while” means longer than three seconds (40% of consumers click away after three seconds). Brands can make this seemingly impossible task possible by using less code and smaller files on their websites.
  • What it means for brands: If brands want their content delivered to consumers, they have to get up to speed…aka, brands need to be on the same page as consumers. This means brands need to recognize and react to the trend of users ditching their content if the experience isn’t fast. Besides ad abandonment, failing to optimize websites can also prove challenging for tracking and performance.  

Additional Resources: Warc

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(Via Ad Age)

Facebook Vertical Video Ads Just Went Live

  • Facebook is going vertical. With pressure from its thriving video competitor, Snapchat, Facebook decided vertical video is the way to go, and the results thus far are nothing short of justification. The user experience with vertical video is going very smoothly, resulting in higher view through and share/engagement rates than horizontal viewing (not to mention three times more efficient CPM rates).
  • What it means for brands: With less room for distraction, video ads and live broadcasts means brands get the attention they want. While Snapchat was the first to introduce vertical videos, the Facebook audience size of 13 billion/day trumps that of Snapchat’s 150 million/day. Vertical video just makes sense with the flow of a Facebook News Feed, and looks in sync with the way Instant articles and other ads are published, but brands need to make sure that if they’re going vertical, that they’re also shooting vertical so that the video is optimized for vertical viewing.

Additional Resources: Mashable

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(via Adweek)

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Twitter Adds New Ways to Monetize Live Video

  • In an effort to compete with Facebook Live, Twitter announced an addition to Twitter Amplify that will enable brand participation and monetization. Brands will be able to sponsor Periscope content and earn a share of the revenue via Twitter Amplify, which pairs content creators with brands. Initial video content will be live, with video highlights being tweeted out by the creator and shared by the brands. Brands will also be included in the video title. Chase and Grey Goose are the first to jump on this opportunity. Both brands will be sponsoring U.S. Open coverage featuring Andy Roddick.
  • What it means for brands: While live sports seem an obvious match for this capability, new and creative applications are up for grabs. Time will tell how Facebook Live and Twitter Periscope shake out, but brands have unique opportunities to participate in the live video trend, and make a profit doing so.

Additional resources: Business Insider

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Pinterest Announces New Re-targeting Options, Boosting Advertiser Potential

  • Pinterest is complementing its remarketing and lookalike audience tools introduced in June by introducing re-targeting of interested audiences. There are three options within this feature.
    • Engagement targeting allows brands to re-target based on engagement with a Pin (i.e. save, re-pin, etc.)
    • Website tagging enables brands to track what products their potential consumers are interacting with on their website. Businesses can then use this data to target consumers based on those products.
    • “Actalike” audiences, formerly called “Lookalike” audiences, will now be the targeting of people who have similar “save” and purchase behaviors.
  • What it means for brands: Each of the new capabilities allows brands to target more successfully based on specific behaviors and engagements. Engagement targeting means only increasing the already-impressive purchase rate 30 days after a Pin is saved. The updated website tag means tracking numerous engagements/events: page visits, category views, website search, add to cart, checkout, watch video, signup, lead and even custom events. “Actalike” audiences allow for similar, potential consumers to be grouped together and targeted more successfully. It’s a whole new beginning for targeting power, and the brands can only reap the benefits of purchases to come.

Additional resources: Marketing Heroes

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(Via Social Media Today) 

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Snapchat Ad Sales to Reach $935 Million Next Year

  • Snapchat’s projected 2016 ad revenue is up 519% from 2015 and expected to grow to over $1B in 2018, according to a new eMarketer report. With more and more advertisers utilizing its unique ad offerings, including sponsored animated lenses and SnapAds on its Discover channel between top content like BuzzFeed and the NFL, eMarketer predicts that vertical video ads between user stories will become the top source of the company’s revenue by next year. Snapchat has also been focused on improving its measurement and targeting capabilities in order to compete alongside Facebook and Twitter.
  • What it means for brands: Brands are hopping on board with Snapchat’s growing advertising offering. With ad revenue growth through the roof and critical improvements in the works, Snapchat is a unique option for targeting Millennials and Generation Z with creative content from lenses to geofilters. Brands should keep considering Snapchat as an advertising platform (and don’t need an account to do so); but all other social networks, watch out for this powerhouse!

Additional resources: TechCrunch; Adweek

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(via Bizjournals)

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LinkedIn Revamps Desktop Publishing Experience, Adds Other New Features

  • LinkedIn is on the fast train to efficiency with a few new features: save articles for later, content search and improved desktop publishing. Love to read…but not right now? The new save articles for later allows interesting reads to be put on hold with just a tap of a “save” icon. Users can find more of what they want to see on LinkedIn with the new capability to search keywords and click on hashtags. Create content with ease via the new desktop publishing enhancements: full-width display, various multimedia options and (of course) hashtags.
  • What it means for brands: Brands can now add hashtags and optimized videos, images, slides and podcasts to their content. This means discoverability potential is at an all-time high, and brands need to get on it ASAP to reach more consumers. Better yet, brands can produce even stronger content thanks to the new desktop publishing enhancements. Brands need to take advantage of every single one of these new features, because, why not?

Additional resources: LinkedIn

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carlyAs a Social Media Marketing Associate at W2O, Carly helps with all social requests such as social ads and management. Her favorite aspects of her position include having to stay on top of updated social news and trends and being able to work on projects for many different clients. Connect with on LinkedIn or say hi on Twitter @carlyilvento!

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