Still, once you get past that this is pretty cool.
Ben & Jerry’s managed to avoid the backlash that greeted with other early adopters of Instagram’s promoted account ad product
The ice cream men are scooping up new followers and amassing “likes” more than any company that has participated in the rollout of the first Instagram ads.
I don’t feel like the stories that were generated by this gave enough credence to the notion that it matters who the company is that’s doing the advertising. I mean this is Ben & Jerry’s, not a high-end jewelry company that only a small percentage of Instagram’s user base is going to have any immediate interest in. So, because it’s about ice cream, the content is going to be less of a startling difference from what is usually found in people’s feed.
Even the ads that received tons of negative pushback, though, saw huge network increases, meaning that for all the hand-wringing advertising still works pretty well as a fan acquisition tactic. That’s something Tumblr is also counting on as it introduces yet another mobile ad product for brands to take advantage of.
Now Twitter is enjoying a youth movement. Here’s data to support the notion, from comScore, served up via J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth, whose bank was one of the underwriters in the Twitter IPO:*
Twitter’s U.S.-based Web audience skews young — more so than the rest of the Web. (Twitter is represented by the blue bars; Facebook is in gray and LinkedIn is black. Sort of surprising to see that LinkedIn’s under-18 numbers exist at all, right?)
As Kafka points out, this is a big change from several years ago, when Facebook was for kids and Twitter was for The Olds. But now Twitter (and Instagram, and Vine) is where kids can go where their parents aren’t such a downer. So from their perspective, the fact that Twitter is harder to figure out than Facebook is a really good thing.
This also has implications, of course, for brand publishers. Twitter is in many regards a lot more attractive than Facebook. Yes, things fall faster down the stream, but at least there’s no algorithm to get caught up in. And while it may not be the traffic driver Facebook has traditionally been recent changes like in-stream photo display make it a lot more interesting as a branding platform. And now it has kids, a group marketing professionals are always after.
This week’s PNConnect Weekly Reading is a great one. Lots of great stories touching on a variety of topics. Not as chock full of news as some recent editions but the stuff in this one is quite good. I highly recommend it.
“ If there’s one lesson to take from every major change in how people browse the internet over the last five years — the rise of infinite feeds, the gradual retirement of slideshows and pagination, the explosion of very tall, vertically interactive page layouts — it’s that users hate to click and don’t mind scrolling. Taps are expensive, swiping is cheap. Clicking is a choice, like jumping; scrolling is inevitable, like falling.”
There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about how the changes to Twitter, which bring fully-viewable images – and Vines – in-stream as opposed to only being available if you clicked “in” to the tweet, make it more like Instagram or Facebook. But those criticisms don’t quite hit home for me since the experience on Twitter is still massively different than on either of those networks.
For one thing, Twitter allows for easy sharing whereas Instagram has no native “reshare” functionality. For another, in order to do comment or reply to something on Facebook you have to click twice. So there’s still a lot of difference between the networks.
Sure, it’s a big change but along with the fact that you can now Retweet, Favorite and Reply all in-stream as well I’m guessing this will make Tweets even more engaging. And, considering this change was seen as a “gimme” to advertisers, that was likely the whole damn point.
Twitter has posted about the usefulness and benefits of their Promoted Trends advertising products. In short they make the case that promoted Trends help lift brand messaging and create more positive brand advocates.
The primary reason behind that lift is, I think, this: The broader audience Promoted Trends reach means publishers are hitting more people who don’t already have strong opinions about the brand one way or the other. So whereas the normal audience may already be immune to the brand’s social media charms, reaching more people means reaching more people who have a genuine “Oh, cool!” reaction. That would account for almost everything else in Twitter’s findings.
It’s also worth nothing that this study looks almost entirely at engagement factors, not anything relating to actually moving the needle on sales. Some people might point to that as a sign of the weakness in making the connection between social media publishing and making the sale, but I don’t think that’s the case. Or at least it’s not the case any more than it usually is. Social media is partly about selling, yeah, but it’s even more about building up some positive sentiment and engaging with fans, customers and others and not necessarily about selling all the time.
In the wake of Google’s announcement that Google+ posts would now be embeddable elsewhere on the web I published this, my first piece on Medium, about how an embeddable web may not be as great as one built on open links but it’s not a bad second option.
Along with the embeddable option, Google+ can now be published to directly from WordPress.com, TypePad, Blogger and other platforms. That’s a huge win for people who want to share what they’re writing on Google+ but who don’t have the time to manually do so. Yes, I realize that goes against the “personal” tenet of some people’s social media thinking but it’s also a reality and it’s nice to have this option available.
According to a new study coming out of the UK, 42% of web users have their opinion of a brand negatively impacted by spelling and grammatical errors. That tops the list of things that turn people off of brands’ online postings, a list that also includes posts being too “salesy” and the perennial complaint that some brands publish too much.
All three of these are, of course, legitimate complaints but there’s only so much the publishers themselves can do about them. Unfortunately the realities of the world mean that many of the complaints cited will continue to haunt publishing programs for the foreseeable future.
Addressing the spelling/grammar issue specifically, even if a program has, effectively, multiple checks in place – meaning someone writers, someone edits/approves and someone else actually publishes – occasionally a typo is going to slip through. It’s true. If a program is publishing 200+ posts a week then one or two things may make it through the process with errors.
And here’s the real truth: That’s alright.
This may betray my Weblogs Inc roots but I firmly believe that a slip up every now and again shows in a way that all the experiments with voice and so on can’t. Yeah, I realize that it’s not good and equally believe that such errors should be avoided at all costs. But an error rate of <1% is well within what I believe to be an acceptable margin of error, regardless of what the Facebook commenters (many of whom can’t write their way out of a paper bag) might say. Fix it and move is is my motto.
That being said, there are things that brand publishers can do to make sure it doesn’t happen to them. I mentioned having multiple layers of approval in place and I’d also recommend doing drafting in something like TextEdit that will flag at least blatant misspellings where many online publishing software solutions may not.
I’m a couple weeks late in pointing to some stuff that I wrote for both PN and Voce.
For Voce Nation there’s this post about how various companies are working to corner the “save for later” market with apps and tools designed to let you save things to read at a later time when you presumably have more time.
For PN I provided a POV on how the SEC has clarified how companies can use social media for material disclosure or other forward-looking financial statements. The long and short of it is there are still a lot of concerns to keep in mind but that it is possible if you adhere to some basic rules of the road.
Go read both. Now.
Josh Sternberg has an interesting story at Digiday asking whether it makes sense for brands to make some sort of statement about social issues.
There are two questions in play here: First, should a company have a position on these issues in the first place; Second, should that position be used as part of the company’s marketing, even in such a simple way as changing their social network avatar to show solidarity with a particular cause or point of view.
The core problem here is that no matter what side a company might choose they’re going to offend a subset of their customers. And the side that’s chosen might change over time as new CEOs, new owners and other management shifts happen. Personally I would advise a client to remain neutral on this sort of thing since the potential for it to blow up in their faces is just too high. Go too liberal and more conservative fans are offended. Go too conservative and the opposite is true.
While I’m certainly not an advocate of “everyone has their own truth so let’s just hug it out” I do think that the basic rules of meeting your girlfriend’s parents apply here: Don’t talk about sex, politics or religion.