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Although the summer is winding down, social updates are ramping up! LinkedIn launched an insights hub that provides marketers with relevant data and expanded its live stream option. YouTube is removing the ability to send direct messages, and Twitter is adding larger carousel ad images. Read on to learn more about these social updates.

LinkedIn Launches Insights

  • LinkedIn is host to over 645 million members and 30 million global businesses. The abundance of activity on the platform has created a wealth of data that marketers can use to their advantage. To assist them, LinkedIn launched a new “Insights and Research” hub within its pre-established “Success Hub for Marketers.” On this new hub, users can access people, industry and advertising insights. The “People Insights” section provides information on audience demographics, highlights resonating topics, and showcases the most engaged content. Within “Industry Insights,” users can discover trends, research and data across a wide range of industries from financial services to healthcare. The “Advertising Insights” section helps users understand the LinkedIn advertising landscape so they can best optimize their content.
  • What it means for brands: This new hub will provide brands with up-to-date insights relating to their audiences, industries and LinkedIn’s advertising strategy. LinkedIn is quickly becoming a hot platform for healthcare brands to be on. For those newer to the platform, the “Insights and Research” hub will be a great starting point in creating an approach to LinkedIn advertising. For brands that have included LinkedIn in their content strategies for some time, the hub will provide a deeper look into who they are connecting with and how. Healthcare brands of all sizes and experience levels will benefit from the insights gleaned on this hub.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Search Engine Journal

(via Search Engine Journal)

LinkedIn is Looking to Expand its Live Feature

  • Earlier this year, LinkedIn launched a “LinkedIn Live” option to select users. It is now expanding this offering by publishing a tips and tricks guide on how to make the most of the live streaming option. Unlike live streaming on other social platforms, LinkedIn Live is hosted through a third party, which is intended to create a more professional video experience. It is important to note that, while it is expanding, LinkedIn Live is not available to most users. Company pages must connect with their LinkedIn representatives or apply to the LinkedIn Live beta program for access.
  • What it means for brands: LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share a video than any other form of content on the platform. In addition to garnering engagement, live videos allow brands to interact with audiences, promote unique features of a product, showcase what makes them unique and much more. For healthcare companies, live video allows the audience to feel more connected to the brand whether that be by live streaming from a medical conference, sharing news of drug approvals, or showcasing a spokesperson for unbranded campaigns. Real- time video invites audiences to engage with the event as opposed to simply watching it.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, WeRSM

(via Social Media Today)

YouTube to Remove Direct Messaging

  • YouTube will remove its direct messaging feature effective September 18. The platform believes that this feature no longer fits within its priority parameters. Within the last two years, YouTube has placed a heavy emphasis on public conversations with updates to comments, posts and stories. Therefore, the shift from private to public conversations is a clear next step for the platform’s focus. While users will no longer be able to share videos and comments privately, they will continue to be able to share video on YouTube outside of the platform by clicking the “Share” button and choosing where to post it.
  • What it means for brands: While this update will likely not have a significant impact on brands, it does provide a variety of new opportunities. Without the option for viewers to communicate privately within direct messages, they may be more apt to post a public comment on a video, allowing brands to gain a better understanding of viewers’ perceptions of their company or product. This update is also indicative of YouTube’s switch to newer features such as YouTube Stories. While healthcare brands are likely to have YouTube comments turned off, there is the opportunity to create short-form video content and post it on their YouTube story as on Facebook or Instagram. Video content and stories have both enjoyed recent popularity, so a combination of the two could be the key to a successful content strategy.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, WeRSM

(via Social Media Today)

Twitter Tests New Carousel Ad Format

  • Twitter is looking to expand its carousel ad capabilities for additional campaign types beyond its current app installs offering and, with it, a new look. The new format includes a larger image panel and a swipeable carousel stream. The new layout places a greater emphasis on an ad’s creative assets, with the intention of creating the best experience for scrollers and a higher value for marketers. Twitter will monitor the results of the new layout and assess its next steps before providing additional roll-out information.
  • What it means for brands: The old saying “bigger is better” is true in the case of this update! Visuals are the best bet for grabbing the attention of social media scrollers. A larger image is more likely to catch users’ eyes and, therefore, provide an opportunity for them to engage with the content. For healthcare brands, using pictures of real patients in carousel ads can add a personal and relatable touch for audiences. The swipeable feature also allows brands to share more and audiences to learn more by experiencing more content in one place.

(via Social Media Today)

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In social platforms we trust? That’s the hope as Facebook and LinkedIn take new steps to increase trustworthiness. Facebook is rolling out a “Clear History” tool and plans to hire journalists for a developing News tab, while LinkedIn is increasing fraud prevention measures.

Facebook has started rolling out a “Clear History” tool

  • Facebook announced that users everywhere will soon have the ability to clear off-Facebook activity. Users will be able to select “off-Facebook Activity” from “Settings” to view their website and app activity that other businesses and organizations have shared with Facebook. Users can choose to clear all off-Facebook activity and disconnect this information from their account or disconnect future off-Facebook activity from their account or specific apps and websites. By clearing off-Facebook activity, users will be able to remove their identifying information from the data that apps and websites share with Facebook, including which websites a user visits, how long a user spends on a site, and any user activity on those sites. Facebook – and its advertisers – will not be permitted to use any of the data a user chooses to disconnect to target ads on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. Facebook has confirmed that, while clearing and disconnecting off-Facebook activity will decrease the specificity and relevance of the ads users are shown, the number of ads users see will not change. Off-Facebook activity is currently available to users in Ireland, South Korea and Spain and will be rolled out everywhere over the coming months.
  • What this means for brands: While this update represents an important step in Facebook’s continued privacy updates, this newest feature will likely have negative implications for brands. The potentially limited availability of off-Facebook data will decrease the specificity of targeting, with which brands can reach interest-targeted audiences. Brands using the Facebook pixel to re-target website visitors could experience a drop in the size of retargeted audiences, as disconnecting off-Facebook web traffic data from the user’s profile will prevent brands from reaching them. Healthcare brands utilizing re-targeting from an unbranded website to a branded Facebook page should expect retargeting audience sizes to shrink. Brands will need to consider using a retargeting audience from on-Facebook page activity as it will not be impacted by this update. Advertisers should also note that, since the number of ads a user is served will not be affected by this tool, as confirmed by Facebook, some users may choose not to clear their off-Facebook activity in favor of being served ads that are more relevant to them. While it is unclear at this time how many users will choose to opt into this tool and begin clearing/preventing the sharing of off-Facebook data, brands should monitor closely for any reported impact to key performance indicators in the countries and markets where this update already has been rolled out.

Additional Resources: The Verge, Social Media Today

(via Facebook Newsroom) 

Facebook to hire Journalists for Developing News tab

  • According to the New York Times, Facebook announced it will be hiring journalists to curate its forthcoming dedicated News section. In a video interview from earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new News section, which is reminiscent of the Trending News section Facebook did away with in 2018, will help users find “high quality and trustworthy information,” though the level of curation is still undetermined. Facebook has been in talks with some of the largest American publishers to license news content to be shared on the News tab, allowing the platform to display article titles and previews. Whereas previous News sections have been purely algorithm driven, this latest iteration will combine algorithms with the expertise of journalists that Facebook plans to add to its full-time staff. These journalists will curate credible content but will not develop original content. By including human judgement in the curation process, Facebook hopes to avoid excessive bias and the spread of misinformation, which have occurred in the past using algorithm-only news curation.
  • What this means for brands: This update could present the next step in a continually blurring line between traditional and social media. With 43% of Americans getting news on Facebook, the potential reach of the News section should not be underestimated. While Facebook will not be developing content of its own, the power of these live Facebook curators to determine what content is seen and prioritized could present a shift in the way brands pitch stories to news outlets. When it becomes clear which sources and topics Facebook will be prioritizing, brands should expect to factor the social media network into sponsored and earned media opportunities. For healthcare brands looking to pitch consumer-friendly stories such as disease awareness and patient experiences, the added reach provided by an article’s placement in the News tab could increase visibility of important brand narratives.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Axios

(via The New York Times) 

LinkedIn Takes Steps to Eliminate Fake Accounts and Spammers

  • LinkedIn is continuing work to detect and remove fake profiles. The platform introduced new features aimed at keeping LinkedIn safe earlier this year, including technology to detect fake profiles and updated online safety tips. As a result of these changes, the platform acted on 21.6 million fake accounts between January and June, including preventing 19.5 million fake accounts from being created at registration. LinkedIn claims these measures will help prevent theft or fraudulent use of user data and limit the impact of potentially harmful or dangerous content.
  • What this means for brands: The high volume of personal and business information on LinkedIn makes this professional platform a prime target for spammers as they seek to obtain user and business data. In its continued attempts to increase user security, LinkedIn is creating an environment where users and business can be more confident that their data is safe. For businesses for which fake employee profiles and users have been an issue, this push for security can help protect important information while tapping into LinkedIn’s 645 million members for both paid and organic content.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today

(via LinkedIn)


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New month, new updates! Facebook is expanding its advertising capabilities within search and updating the specifications for newsfeed ads on mobile. Snapchat launched a new tool centered around creating ads from existing brand websites or apps. And Google is testing a new social network called Shoelace. Read on to find out more!

Facebook is Expanding Search Ads Availability

  • With the announcement in late 2018 that it would re-launch its search ads, Facebook has now significantly expanded the search ad option. For background, Facebook originally launched search ads back in 2012 but discontinued them shortly thereafter. This re-launched version is different than the initial offering but focuses on the same functionality, as TechCrunch noted last year:

“Advertisers will be able to extend their existing News Feed ads to the new “Search” placement through the Facebook Ads Manager, similar to how they’d pick Facebook Audience Network or Instagram. No video ads will be allowed, and search ads won’t appear on desktop. Marketplace search ads will appear on iOS and Android, while Facebook search ads are only testing on Android. For now, advertisers won’t pick specific keywords to advertise against, and instead may appear in search terms related to auto or retail topics.”

In 2016, Facebook noted the platform was facilitating over 2 billion searches per day. Because social media usage behaviors have changed over the last three years, utilizing this new ad placement could help broaden the reach of campaigns on Facebook. Unlike with Google, Bing or other SEM engines, brands are not bidding on specific keywords (at least for now). Instead, Facebook will serve ads to “search terms that have commercial intent, such as those related to e-commerce, retail and auto.”

  • What it means for brands: While this feature is focused on e-commerce and retail for now, depending on how the rollout occurs, creating ads within healthcare and pharmaceutical industry could be next. Whether it’s creating a search ad for an OTC product using the carousel format or using this feature in the city at a major medical meeting, the ability to create search ads can engage users searching on Facebook, leading to larger reach across Facebook campaigns and an additional, specific way to target an engaged audience.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal

(via Social Media Today) 

Facebook is Updating Text and Aspect Ratios for Ads on Mobile

  • Facebook announced in a blog post that page posts and ads on mobile will be changing. The specifics, being rolled out on August 19, are as follows:
    • Fewer lines of primary text will show on mobile News Feed: Only three lines of primary text will show on mobile News Feed. After that, users will be prompted to click to view additional text.
    • Maximum media height for photos and videos will reduce to 4:5 on mobile News Feed: The tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos will be vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on mobile News Feed.

Before this new change, Facebook allowed up to seven lines of copy before it was truncated with the “See More” prompt, and the aspect ratio was larger (2:3).

  • What this means for brands: Facebook claims this update will help “improve consistency” of the mobile experience, but it points to a larger need in social media marketing: less is more. Organic posts and ads alike must be skimmable. When creating ads that will run on Facebook mobile, the message needs to be focused, concise and adaptable. For Click-To-Web disease awareness content, be sure to keep the copy short and include a strong call-to-action to drive users to the website where they can read more in-depth information.

Additional Resources: Digiday, Social Media Today

(via Facebook)

Snapchat Introduces Instant Create

  • Snapchat announced Instant Create, a new, simplified way for advertisers to create ads in three steps:
    • Step One: Select an objective of web visits, app installs or app visits
    • Step Two: Enter the business website
    • Step Three: Finalize targeting

For advertisers with limited resources, Instant Create provides a way for them to quickly get started, as the tool will pull photos or images from the websites or apps they have inputted to begin the creative process. Instant Create is now available for all users with a Snapchat Ads account.

  • What this means for brands: Snapchat continues to be an ideal social media platform for brands who want to target a younger demographic, as Gen Z and Millennials represent the majority of users. This new feature will allow brands that have few resources to create simple, effective Snapchat ads and make it easier to advertise on Snapchat. Whether a brand is doing disease awareness campaigns to drive people to their website or driving app installs for their mobile app, this new tool will facilitate both.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, Marketing Land

(via TechCrunch)

Google is Developing a New Social Network, Shoelace

  • Google is testing the social networking waters again with a new app called Shoelace. A hyper-local social networking app, Shoelace aims to connect people based on shared interests in specific events and in-person activities. In short, Shoelace is encouraging people to spend less time on their phones and more time doing something in real life. With Shoelace, users are able to create “Loops,” which are listings for events that can be shared with others on the app. Currently, Shoelace is only available in New York and is invite-only. Depending on how successful this test is, a larger rollout could be next.
  • What it means for brands: While Google+ might not have worked out the way Google had hoped, this new app could lead to additional advertising opportunities if it is rolled out nationwide. Additionally, brands potentially could host events surrounding medical meetings or awareness days and find people who are interested in attending through the app. The fact that Google is focusing on encouraging people to meet off the app is part of a persisting trend: actual human interaction instead of simply communicating on an app. We will continue to monitor and report on updates on this new app as its offerings evolve.

Additional Resources: Gizmodo, Engadget

(via Engadget)


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Innovation and authenticity are reoccurring themes across social media platforms this month. Instagram takes initiative by creating a new anti-bullying tool, and Facebook updates its algorithm to demote misleading health claims. Pinterest expands its capabilities, increasing its marketing value for businesses, while LinkedIn keeps updating its campaign manager platform with the addition of three new features.

Instagram Implements Anti-Bullying Tool

  • Instagram is adding a new feature that could potentially limit the impact of bullying on the platform. A warning powered by AI was added to the comment section that will alert users before posting if it determines that their comment would be considered offensive. Though this feature provides a warning, it does not automatically stop the user from leaving the comment. This warning, however, aims to encourage users to rethink their potentially negative comments and allows them to reflect before posting by asking, “Are you sure you want to post this?” The platform also added a new restriction feature as “the middle ground between blocking and doing nothing.” When a person is “restricted,” only the owner of the account and the restricted user can see their comments. The user will not know that they have been restricted unless they search to see if their comments are visible by looking on another user’s account. Also, the restricted user will now know if the account owner is online or has read their direct messages. This feature has been tested in only a few select countries but will be available to all in the coming months.
  • What this means for brands: This new feature can help transform the tone of the comments section for brand pages by calling attention to potentially offensive behavior and work to limit the number of negative comments. For healthcare brands, this can help reduce negative discussions among users in the comment section. The reduction in unfavorable threads could lead to a shift toward addressing customers’ needs and complaints via email, direct message or phone instead of in the comments section. Hopefully, this feature will encourage users to become less critical and to communicate with brands in other, more productive ways besides commenting on social media posts.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Mashable

Facebook Updates Algorithm to Indicate Misleading Health Claims

  • Facebook added two algorithm updates to its News Feed to reduce posts with (1) misleading health information and (2) the promotion of products with sensational health claims (e.g., promoting a medication or treatment that claims to cure a medical problem). With this update, when Facebook detects a misleading ad for a health-related product (e.g., promoting a miracle cure, such as pills promising instant weight loss), the ad will be placed lower in a user’s News Feed. Facebook previously faced challenges with clickbait posts that drove audiences to spam offerings. The company has since worked to address these issues by identifying keyword phrases commonly used in these posts.
  • What this means for brands: Healthcare pages will need to be both strategic and creative when choosing to post copy to ensure it is not misleading and that it includes fair balance, but also gets to the point of the post or advertisement so the ad does not get flagged or caught in this new filter. For audiences, seeing fewer misleading posts and less promotion of products with sensational health claims as a result of this new filtering feature could potentially increase the perceived trustworthiness of the posts that are allowed to remain in the News Feed.

Additional Resources: Facebook Newsroom, Search Engine Journal

(via Facebook Newsroom)

Pinterest Updates Video Tools Feature

  • Pinterest rolled out both new and improved video tools, including a new uploader, a video tab, video analytics and pin scheduler. The updated video uploader allows brands to upload videos directly to their page in a more seamless process. The video tab allows brands to display all of their videos in a single, organized space. The video analytics tool gives users insight into lifetime views and the performance of their video over time, and the pin scheduler allows brands to schedule their video content in advance.
  • What this means for brands: These new tools offer new opportunities for brands to reach relevant audiences within the platform with content that is more likely to resonate with users, while also measuring its success (or lack thereof and where to optimize). Since last year, searches for “inspirational videos” have jumped 31%. Brands that can leverage this theme or content have an opportunity to share videos to generate more exposure and engagement.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Pinterest Newsroom

(via Pinterest Newsroom)

LinkedIn Adds New Features to Campaign Manager

  • LinkedIn announced three new additions to its campaign manager: brand awareness, website conversions, and job applicant. This rollout has already had tremendous success, with a 67% higher rate of customer satisfaction compared with the previous version of the campaign manager. The new brand awareness feature offers advertisers “top of the funnel” ads to give them increased exposure opportunities. For the updated website conversions feature, advertisers can now create campaigns that are “optimized for specific actions on a website.” These include event registration, downloads and purchases. The job applicant feature will allow LinkedIn Talent Solutions customers to advertise via LinkedIn or on their own website.
  • What this means for brands: The brand awareness feature offers a new opportunity for healthcare brands to reach existing employees, while reaching key stakeholder audiences (e.g., patients, stockholders, potential applicants and prospective partners) outside their immediate company network. Website leads will now help healthcare brands capture and drive meaningful leads. Brands can now choose job applicant as their ad objective, therefore having the potential for more views, clicks on the job ad and applicants. With more than 4 million healthcare professionals on LinkedIn, these updates make it easier for healthcare brands to maximize their recruitment efforts.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land , LinkedIn Help

(via Marketing Land) 

Bonus Feature: Apple Plans to Unveil Disability-Themed Emojis

On World Emoji Day (July 17), Apple announced it will add disability-themed emojis to users’ iPhones. Apple said the goal of this update is to “bring diversity to the keyboard.” The new emojis include a prosthetic arm, prosthetic leg, wheelchairs and guide dogs, which Apple plans to release by the end of this year. Though the use of emojis is not appropriate for all brands or product messaging, for some healthcare brands, this is an opportunity to represent patients more accurately and help them feel more included within online conversations.

Additional Resources: CNN Business


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In the hyper-paced world of digital marketing and analytics, marketers are often hard-pressed to keep up with the constantly changing news of the day. Between planning, executing and optimizing campaigns, who has time to dig through all the news to find relevant industry updates?

Recognizing that this is an issue for many of our clients, we cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. We’ve decided to open these insights up to everyone by publishing a weekly roundup of the most important news.

Here’s what our team of digital marketing and analytics experts is keeping track of this week.

  1. JICWEBS Tests Blockchain Solution for Ad Spend Transparency

 The complicated and intricate nature of internet advertising has provided many alcoves for those committing ad fraud and other malfeasance to hide. That’s why ad spend transparency has long been a top request of advertisers. While many attempts have been made to address this and overall transparency has increased, there is still no ultimate solution. JICWEBS, the UK’s digital ad standards organization, announced in May that it was creating a blockchain-based solution to ad transparency. Although there was some initial skepticism, major companies such as Nestlé and McDonalds are now trying out the technology, indicating that this could be a major advance.

Takeaway: There will likely never be one solution to keep tabs on everything that could go wrong with digital ad spend. Instead, it’s best to take an approach that uses tested methods of monitoring along with new approaches, such as JICWEBS’ blockchain solution.

  1. Amperity Receives $50 Million in New Funding

 At W2O, we’ve long been proponents of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). We often advise clients on how to get the most out of marketing and analytics tech, and CDPs are top among these platforms. Over the past few months, it has been clear that the rest of the industry is taking note and making bets on which CDP will be the next big blue-chip player. That’s why major investors including Goldman Sachs just invested $50 million in Amperity, a leading CDP, in order to get a foothold in this expanding market.

Takeaway: CDPs are a valuable platform to any marketing stack. However, there is a lot of hype in different areas of the market that doesn’t necessarily translate to better marketing or measurement quite yet. It’s important to make sure your CDP fits with your existing tech and data before investing.

  1. Adobe and Microsoft Integrate with the Help of Avanade

Competition among big tech is fierce whether in consumer applications or enterprise software. That’s why it’s always encouraging to see an announcement like this one in which two of tech’s biggest players, Microsoft and Adobe, have decided to make every IT expert’s life a little easier. Now, Adobe’s Experience Manager will have an easier time integrating with Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, as well as Dynamics 365.

Takeaway: Many times, we find that companies are looking for a big tech player to offer an all-in-one solution to their tech needs. This solution would be ideal, but a best-of-breed approach almost always works better. This creates the need for cross-platform integrations like these.

Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital marketing and analytics trends.


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In the hyper-paced world of digital marketing and analytics, marketers are often hard pressed to keep up with the constantly changing news of the day. Between planning, executing and optimizing campaigns who has time to dig through all the news to find relevant industry updates?

Recognizing that this is an issue for many of our clients, we cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. Now we’ve decided to open these insights up to everyone by publishing a weekly roundup of the most important news.

Here’s what our team of digital marketing and analytics experts is keeping track of this week.

1. LiveRamp Acquires Data Plus Math to Strengthen TV AdTech: At W2O we’re very focused on the quickly changing TV advertising space. I write a lot of about how buying TV advertising is starting to look more like buying digital media with more precise targeting and access to wider ranges of inventory. However, just as important as the buying side of things, the measurement any analysis side of TV is changing quickly. LiveRamp has also recognized as evidenced by their $150mm purchase of Data Plus Math, a TV analytics start up.

Takeaway: The quickly evolving TV landscape is still pretty messy but acquisitions like these signify that it is also maturing. We don’t believe all of the kinks will be worked out of TV buying and measurement for a long time to come. However, we also think the channel is mature enough for marketers to invest in today.

2. Invoca Research Finds Consumers Still Leary of AI Customer Service: The promise of AI customer service bots is drastically lower costs to companies and real-time answer for customers. However, the reality is often frustrated customers using ALL CAPS to get a hold of a human. This Invoca research study finds exactly that sentiment among consumers today.

Takeaway: Customer service is more important today than ever where expectations are high and poor experiences can go viral. Companies need to balance cost saving bots with customer experience.

3. Klear Announces Automated Influencer Campaign Measurement: Influencer marketing has taken off as a new channel to reach potential customers in recent years. However, measurement of influencers has always been difficult; whereas other digital campaigns can look at metrics like clicks and impression across many channels, influencer impact needs to be aggregated by individual and specific KPIs per campaign. Now Klear claims to be able to automate this measurement and calculates the earned media value (EMV) of the reach as another KPI to measure success.

Takeaway: Measuring influencer campaigns can be time consuming and manual. Tools leveraging automated measurement, such as Klear, can help lighten the load on the team, however a critical human eye must be applied to all metrics to ensure they are accurate and not inflated by influencers gaming the system, such as paying for bots to engage or leave comments.

Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital marketing and analytics trends.


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Engagement continues to be a hot topic for social media platforms, and algorithm updates are directly changing how posts receive engagement. LinkedIn shared an algorithm update, and Instagram is adding a new feature to create moving Stories. YouTube is testing hiding comments on all videos, and Twitter is removing its precise location tagging feature.

LinkedIn Announced an Algorithm Update

  • LinkedIn announced that algorithm changes made within the past 8 to 12 months will favor niche personal interests moving forward. An internal review of who was posting content and receiving the highest engagement showed that only the top 1% of users were being seen on the feed. As a result, LinkedIn modified its algorithm to reward content that is most likely to be engaged with, no matter how niche the topic is, rather than content that is going viral. This includes the people a user follows, content they have previously engaged with, and interests they state in their profile.
  • What this means for brands: Brands can benefit from this update as it provides insight into what their competitors are doing on LinkedIn and how they’re utilizing LinkedIn ads. Having a view into what other healthcare brands are promoting could be helpful for a brand in forming social strategies. This information could inspire a new creative direction for a disease education campaign or help form corporate messaging surrounding a press release at a medical meeting. LinkedIn’s algorithm update allows topics as niche as a rare blood disease to gain engagement with the right audiences. Based on the topics users follow, the people they follow and the companies they track, LinkedIn is able to connect users to content they want to see. Additionally, healthcare brands can see how their competitors or others within the space are speaking to their audiences/viewers.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today,  Digital Information World

(via Falcon)

Instagram Plans to Add a Stop-Motion Feature to Stories

  • Instagram plans to add a stop-motion feature to Stories, providing users with another option to create engaging video updates without having to record any actual videos. The new feature will ‘ghost’ the frame – meaning a series of animated objects at frames behind or ahead of the current frame will be captured with the previous photo to create the stop-motion effect. This is intended for use with a mobile phone camera on a tripod or stable surface, as the image must be stable for the next movement to translate. The final product is a ‘video’ that shows a product, person or object in motion. Instagram has not yet released a launch date for this feature, which is currently in development.
  • What this means for brands: Brands will have the ability to supplement traditional video content with stop-motion videos. Creating stop-motion stories adds engaging movement to posts without adding more time and budget, and is an efficient and accessible way for brands to add flare to their Stories. Healthcare brands could use this feature for an FDA drug approval announcement; the image can display the product but will be more engaging with the stop-motion feature in use. Healthcare brands also could utilize this feature during a medical meeting for visually interesting onsite content.

Additional Resources: Digital Information World, ASICentral

(via Instagram) 

YouTube is Testing Hidden Comments by Default on all Videos

  • In June, YouTube announced that it is testing hiding comments by default on all videos. This is likely in response to reports of inappropriate behavior occurring in YouTube videos. Users would have to physically tap the ‘comments’ button to view the comments under each video in the app. This feature is currently being tested for Android users in India, but will be added to IOS soon. Data from this test has not been released, and YouTube has not confirmed if it will test it in other parts of the world.
  • What this means for brands: Comments boost engagement and are rewarded on YouTube. Although users may still leave comments, YouTube hopes that hiding comments by default on all videos will detract from users leaving negative comments. Many healthcare brands manually turn off the comments for branded YouTube videos to prevent the sharing of misinformation and to avoid negative backlash. This could be a step in the right direction to avoid having to turn off comments altogether.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch , The Verge

(via TechCrunch) 

Twitter is Removing Precise Location Tagging

  • Twitter is removing its precise location tagging feature due to a lack of use. According to the social media platform, users can still tag their location, but removing this feature will make the tweeting experience easier. While Twitter initially thought that precise location tagging would be used to organize topics, similar to the use of hashtags, users have instead chosen to follow trending topics and hashtags. The precise location tagging feature will still be available for photos but will have to be manually implemented. Location can be shared through third-party apps such as Foursquare.
  • What this means for brands: This change will not affect brands negatively as they can still tag a location but will need to do so through a third-party app such as Foursquare. The precise location feature is useful for on-the-ground content, such as tweeting from a medical meeting, and when a KOL or KOI is representing a brand at an event and live tweeting from that event. Healthcare brands will need to consider how to implement location tagging at larger events such as ASCO or ESMO annual meetings. While this change will not affect page views or follower count, it could impact the physical visibility of a post when creating live content. Brands should continue to leverage hashtags and keywords relative to the topic they are covering so they remain visible on Twitter and users can find their content.

Additional Resources: Twitter , The Verge

(via TechCrunch) 

Facebook and TikTok Are the Top Two Most Downloaded Social Media Apps

  • Facebook and TikTok secured the top two spots for social media app downloads in May, according to the latest App Download Rankings for 2019. While Facebook is not a surprise, newcomer TikTok is. This app is only a little over a year old but has already amassed 1 billion downloads since its inception. In late June, TikTok announced that it would open its advertising to users. While TikTok does not have broad paid advertising options yet, brands are already creating individual accounts and activating ads through the app, and broader paid advertising is expected to be coming soon.
  • What this means for brands: TikTok presents a new opportunity to extend advertising reach. Two-thirds of all app downloads are by people under age 30. For healthcare brands, TikTok is a great way to reach a younger demographic of individuals age 18 to 30 for future campaigns and an important opportunity to share more short-form video content. Creatives will have the ability to get a message across in a video up to 60 seconds long. Additionally, the fact that Facebook was in the top two spots means it isn’t going away, so brands must continue prioritizing this social media platform for both organic and dark ads.

Additional Sources: AdWeek, TikTok


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Capturing a whole new world of opportunities and expectations requires eliminating the mindset of the past

Design thinking is about creating a system to better serve the business through a holistic approach and solving for the right things. From a customer perspective, design thinking is engaging stakeholders in more intuitive experiences via well thought-out systems that produce clearer standards. In today’s digital environment where everything is connected, allowing for a holistic view and understanding of behavior – recognizing patterns, identifying trends and discerning economic benefit for smarter decision-making – the rules are completely upended. No longer can brands rely on large advertising and marketing campaigns favoring big images with captivating headlines as a means to entice interest.

As such, design thinking is taking on greater importance in a digital reality that breeds more complexity and requires a better result. Effective design thinking creates mutual benefit between the company and its stakeholders through a precise formula that ties elements together to ensure an overall experience. From a digital perspective, that formula begins with what the audience is looking to achieve vs. the old model based on how a company wanted to operate. This is making traditional advertising, communications and engagement efforts obsolete – and yet many organizations continue to hold onto them.

Applying a new mindset amid a completely volatile environment requires a disruption of the value proposition:

Analytics are the Bedrock – At the core, digital should be fueled by data. The capacity to capture behavior, movements through the journey, interactions and decision-making while recognizing people say one thing and do another is essential. Analytics help us understand data and the real needs of stakeholders, allowing for the translation of data to actionable insights.

The Entire Experience – From beginning to completion, every touch point must be intuitive, clean and cohesive to complement the entire journey. Streamlining truly integrated omni-channel communications that are customized based on the unique insights we have about each micro-moment in the journey ensures deeper insights and measurability.

The System is the Difference but must be Invisible – The roadmap through the brand and the company for key audiences – customers, prospects, investors, influencers, media, salespeople – must be solid and smooth but, more importantly, so powerful that it is not even identified. Technology enables frictionless experiences when implemented effectively. As marketers, we must understand that the end-to-end experience is only as good as the weakest link

Device-First Mentality – No longer is adjusting content to be responsive to varying screen widths sufficient. Design thinking in a digital world comes down to what and where stakeholders connect and interact with information and each other. Designing for a device is about adapting the experience for the platform, based on what, when, where and how targets engage.

Continuous Learning and Optimization – Design thinking in a digital world takes into account the ability to reassess via behavior how the system is working in real-time. Optimizing the entire customer experience takes on a whole new level of sophistication as data and touch points converge to paint a new picture of brand efficacy and organizational vitality.

Design thinking in a digital age is fundamentally more open and intuitive than previously thought. It can make organizations smarter and establish deeper connections with customers – connections that are more agile, more aggressive and more confident. Design thinking does this through technology and connectivity making sense of disparate actions and integrating them to open up solutions that were not envisioned previously.

As W2O engages with more brands and organizations to implement digital-first models and mindsets, including new interfaces and machine-driven efforts to better serve and retain customers, we are employing design thinking because it is a critical component to validating transformational initiatives.

We are focused on adopting the new digital tools available and incorporating them in a design system that focuses on customer realities and needs. This allows us to discover new things about  clients’  business, and opens up opportunities and ideas to drive forward.


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Continued competition drives the latest platform updates to Instagram and Snapchat as both platforms look to keep up by expanding upon existing capabilities, while Facebook makes the latest in a series of profile changes. Facebook removes About section categories, Instagram offers Branded Content Ads and landscape formatted IGTV and Snapchat tests an Events feature.

(Via Social Media Today)

Facebook to Remove Certain Business Page Info Sub-Sections

  • As of August 1, Facebook will be removing several information sub-sections from the About section of Business pages, including:
    • Mission
    • Company Overview
    • Biography
    • Affiliation
    • Personal Interests

What this means for brands: While this update should not have a significant impact on page performance, brands with Business Pages should be sure to check their Information sub-sections over the coming months and move information as needed to ensure that all relevant information remains visible. Any content currently housed in the Information sub-sections that are marked for removal can likely be altered slightly and incorporated into the more encompassing description section.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land

(via Instagram Business Blog)

Instagram to Allow Sponsored Ads from Influencers

  • In a post to its Business Blog, Instagram announced that posts from influencers will soon be hitting newsfeeds everywhere. Dubbed Branded Content Ads, this sponsored content posted organically by an influencer can now be promoted as a newsfeed ad, with Story ads to follow in the coming months. Influencers can enable a brand to promote an organic post as an ad via “Advanced Settings,” at which point the brand can view the post through Ads Manager under “Existing Posts.” Brands can also use Ads Manager to optimize influencer campaigns and view influencer post analytics.

What it means for brands: Influencers have become a nearly indispensable tool for sharing branded content but identifying the right influencer with the right audience can be a daunting task. In addition, many brands have hesitated to engage with influencers without a guarantee of actionable analytics. This update, however, has the potential to transform influencer campaigns on Instagram and increase reach for both brands and influencers. With influencer content in the brand’s Ads Manager, brands can control the targeting and optimization of influencer content to expand reach and promote the desired form of engagement while readily available analytics will allow brands to assess and adjust throughout the duration of a campaign and ensure that all metrics are met. For healthcare brands that may struggle with creating content that feels authentic to Instagram, or brands that do not have an Instagram account of their own, the ability to control the targeting of influencer ads while increasing the reach of genuine-feeling content represents an opportunity to expand their presence on the platform without sacrificing brand identity.

Additional Resources: CNN

(via Instagram Press)

 IGTV Adds Support for Landscape Videos

  • In response to feedback from creators, Instagram has rolled out horizontal video on IGTV. Instagram’s longform video feature previously allowed for the sharing of vertical videos only. While some users utilized horizontal videos with blank space on either side as a work-around for this requirement, content viewed this way is smaller and less clear than when viewed at full screen. This latest update will allow creators to upload both vertical and landscape versions of longform video. In a statement released on its press site, Instagram noted:

“In many ways, opening IGTV to more than just vertical videos is similar to when we opened Instagram to more than just square photos in 2015. It enabled creativity to flourish and engagement to rise – and we believe the same will happen again with IGTV.”

What this means for brands: For content creators and brands looking to share longform video, the chief complaint surrounding IGTV has been the vertical video requirement. With this obstacle removed, IGTV has the potential to be a first-choice video sharing platform for users and brands alike. As some brands look to begin sharing longform video or expand upon existing content, drawing on an existing audience of Instagram followers could make IGTV a valuable platform for sharing videos of any length or orientation. While IGTV does not feature a search function, healthcare brands can now look to IGTV as a platform to reach their existing Instagram audience with longer content.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, The Verge, Tech Crunch

 

(via The Verge)

Snapchat is Looking into a New Events Feature

  • Snapchat is testing a new Events feature. Currently, Snapchat features an Event Stories feature, which allows attendees to submit photos and videos in real time for event owners to view and add to the story as essentially an event highlight reel. Similar to Facebook Events, this new Snapchat functionality would allow users to create an Event with a name, location and time, as well as an associated group chat for invitees. It is not yet known whether this feature would also include reminders of upcoming events, or whether it would offer the option to create public as well as private events.

What this means for brands: For brands looking to host a live event, the Snapchat Events feature could present a platform to share specific ways for attendees to engage in advance of an event and help generate better real-time content. Communicating via the Events group chat, brands could share the preferred language, make attendees aware of event-specific geo-filters, and request specific types of content (e.g., photos of the event or videos speakers and presentations). With this new feature, healthcare brands specifically could consider creating an event, such as for a medical meeting, and inviting KOLs and other notable attendees to make them aware of the brand’s presence and encourage them to submit engaging content.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today

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