Tag Archives: Instagram

Facebook, the future and us

Facebook has 2.2 billion users. It owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Four out of 2017’s most-downloaded iOS apps are owned by Facebook. It’s controversial Open Graph (an API that gave advertisers unfettered access to to user data) was shuttered in 2015 but replaced by the even more powerful Facebook Audience Network.

There’s Facebook Connect, which allows users easy log-in to third party websites. Facebook even has profiles on people who don’t use Facebook. To many people (as has been said many times), Facebook is the Internet.

If this last week has taught us anything, it’s that our data – the data we put into Facebook (and other social networks) has real, tangible value. Corporations and politicians are buying and selling it. And sometimes it gets into the hands of people we don’t particularly like.

How do we make this stop? I don’t know, but I do know it’s not as simple as #deleteFacebook. That seems all too much like putting your fingers in your ears and singing loudly.

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Is Snapchat growing up?

Snap Inc has posted better than expected quarterly results. With its share price up 20 percent on the previous quarter, and daily users of its social platform Snapchat now at 187 million, the company seems to be defying critics who said it couldn’t coexist with Instagram.

Revenue is also up: the company took $286 million in advertising income in the year to December 2017. Snapchat recently simplified its advertising platform, making it easier for brands to access the network. These changes appear to be paying off.

Snapchat seems to be bucking the trend which has seen daily use fall at arch rival Facebook (owner of Instagram). At a time when social networks in general are coming under attack for failing to deal effectively with fake news and trolling, Snapchat’s focus on entertainment and ephemerality has clearly helped to shield it.

Snap Inc has been criticised in the past for aspects of its corporate culture. Its apparent lack of diversity and refusal to publish breakdowns of gender and ethnicity among its employees have led to the company being accused of arrogance, sexism and racism.

In 2014 Snap CEO Evan Spiegel came under attack when a series of offensive emails sent while he was at college were leaked online. He made a public apology. Last year, he married supermodel Miranda Kerr in a quiet ceremony. The couple are now expecting their first child. Maybe Snapchat, like its CEO, is finally growing up.

NB: If you were up bright and early on 7 February you might have caught me discussing these points in a live interview on BBC World Service Newsday.

Photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

How to be famous on social media

On Tuesday I went to a school careers fair to talk about working in social media. Nearly all the pupils I met (aged 13 – 16) were already active on social networks like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram; a couple had their own YouTube channels.

Some of them asked me how to become an influencer. They were keen to monetize their presence like Zoella or KSI. One of them wanted to know how to ‘be famous”. Most had questions about how to make the jump from using social media for personal social networking to using it for work.

Here’s the advice I gave:

1. Yes, there are YouTubers and celebrities who’ve become famous and made millions from their social media profiles. They probably make up less than 1 percent of people who earn a living through social media. Many of these (like Paris Hilton or Kylie Jenner) already had money and networks of privilege to help them. Others (like PewDiePie or Jenna Marbles) have become leading influencers through their own unique style and delivery – and sheer hard work. It’s not impossible but the odds will be stacked against you.

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Pepsi image wall in Brandwatch

Image search: the next generation of social listening

As video and images come to dominate social media, social listening tools need to adapt. It’s a sign of the visual times that Brandwatch is introducing logo recognition to its monitoring dashboard.

The new “Image Insights” tool (see this guide for info) allows users to find images shared on Twitter that contain their brand’s logo – or those of their competitors.

For big brands, this is exciting stuff.

If you’re Pepsi, for example, you’d be able to see that your logo has featured in more than 8 thousand images posted on Twitter in the last 28 days. The screenshot above shows a selection – this is exactly what Pepsi’s marketing team would see on their new Brandwatch dashboard.
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Are brands ready for Instagram Stories

Are brands ready for Instagram Stories?

Social media consultants used to talk about the difference between “broadcasting” and “listening”. You don’t hear that so much any more. One of the reasons Twitter isn’t the fun it used to be is the reversion to broadcast across so many profiles. (Combined with the rise of trolling – which makes Twitter like a party full of bores and bullies. And who wants that?)

One reason brands broadcast is because they can’t actually “listen”. Not in the true sense of the word. You can have all the monitoring systems you want, all the data gathering, all the analytics, but you can still completely miss the point.

Like puzzled parents trying to chime in with their kids’ conversations, or the proverbial dad on the dancefloor, many brands may need to face up to the harsh reality that they can never really be cool. At least, not that cool.  Not achingly hip, blink and it’s over, cool.

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Artisan Coffee Instagram

Artisan wins social media at the London Coffee Festival

The London Coffee Festival is the perfect opportunity for gourmet coffee shops to boost their social media presence. I looked at how ten of London’s leading independents performed on social during this year’s event.

Out of the ten brands, west London coffee shop, Artisan, won the largest share of voice: 31 per cent of the conversation (see fig.i). Artisan has a respectable and engaged Twitter audience (4K) – but nowhere near as many followers as the more established Prufrock and Kaffeine (16K and 15K respectively). So, what was the Stamford Brook & Putney-based coffee shop doing right?
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Marques Almeida

Burberry, McQueen and Marques Almeida are stand-out social media stars at London Fashion Week

The big news from February’s London Fashion Week came from Burberry: this was the last show in which clothes would be previewed for a later season. From September, the public will be able to buy all Burberry clothes as soon as they have appeared on the catwalk. This announcement, and the discussion around it, helped Burberry to a huge share of the online conversation during #LFW16.

There were more than 80 designers showing their Autumn/ Winter lines this week so, to get a snapshot of social media activity, I compared five of the top UK designers with five up and coming labels. I used Brandwatch’s analytics platform to measure variables such as share of voice, output, sentiment and topics. Here’s what I found…

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How to create a workplace built on trust

Dareconf_28Sep_105

Dare Conference has been going for three years but this is the first year I’ve been able to attend. It seems unique among conferences in that it focuses on collaborative business culture from a digital/ geek standpoint. Founder Jonathan Kahn used to be a web designer, but he grew frustrated at the disconnect between espoused workplace values and the reality – and set up DareConf to bridge that gap.

The first thing about DareConf is that it’s great for networking (in the best sense of the word): getting the chance to connect with like-minded people on a deeper level than you might do at a purely speaker-focused event.

The conference is a mix of presenter-led talks and interactive workshops (like the one above). The excellent talks – where four people (Rifa Thorpe-Tracey, Laura Morgan, Penny Walker and Holly Burns) spoke about overcoming their own problems at work – set the tone for the interactive sessions.
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A picture paints a thousand words…the phenomenal rise of Pinterest

The great thing about Pinterest is that it’s not only useful on a personal level, it has great applications for business – as Chris Brogan discusses in the clip above.

More than anything else, Pinterest is a search engine that will drive traffic to your site when used in the right way.

Kate Spade and Wholefoods are good examples of brands using the platform effectively. And you don’t have to be a manufacturer or retailer: Pinterest works equally well for spreading ideas, as organisations like The Guardian and Enough Project are showing. 

If you’re a blogger, Yang of ChilliSauce has written this particularly useful step-by-step guide.

Despite being a social media consultant, I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to trying new stuff: not enough time or patience. But Pinterest grabbed me right away – mainly because we’d recently moved and I needed home furnishing ideas. Boom! An online moodboard that can be instantly added to and shared – how damn convenient.

Clearly a lot of other people think so too, because Pinterest is growing at a phenomenal rate – currently more than four million users worldwide. Eighty per cent of those are women (although uptake skews towards men in the UK).

First came blogging, then micro-blogging, now photo-blogging. We’re increasingly busy in terms of the daily information we need to process: if a picture paints a thousand words, ideas can be communicated in an instant. It’s no wonder applications like Instagram and Pinterest are of the moment.