Tech Thursday: September 29, 2016

Snapchat Rebrands as Snap Inc. and Introduces New Product - Snapchat is now Snap Inc., rebranding itself as a camera company rather than a social media app. Currently, the Snap Inc. line includes two products: Snapchat and the new Spectacles. According to TheNextWeb, Spectacles are a $130 pair of sunglasses that have an integrated video camera with a 115-degree lens.


Facebook Allows For Product Tags in Posts - Facebook recently opened up the option to tag products from your online store in your photos on Facebook. This will allow users to quickly access both the name & price of the product they're looking at, and will ultimately point them to view that product on the store's website (see examples below).

   

 

 

Snapchat Deletes Official Facebook Page - According to VentureBeat, Snapchat has deleted its official Facebook page. The primary reason is the lack of activity on the social networking site. Prior to being deleted, the official Snapchat page had 6.5 million “likes” with posts spread out over months. The last public post was somewhere between Aug. to Nov. of 2013." 

Get Notified When Facebook Users & Brands Go LIVE Every Time -  To be notified when your friends and favorite brands go LIVE on Facebook, just go to the page you want to be notified is going LIVE.

Click the arrow down on the "Liked" button. Select the little pencil next to notifications.

Fill in the "All Live Posts" button. Done!

 

Twitter Releases New "Website Conversions" Objective For Ads - According to AdWeek, Twitter's new "Website Conversions" objective receives 2.5 times the volume of conversions of similar campaigns using objectives such as Website Clicks (which is now being renamed to Website Visits).


Facebook Live Glitch - We've experienced problems with sound not matching the video when we shoot live videos for pages via the native Facebook App. We suggest using the Facebook Business Manager App to do all live videos until the glitch is fixed by Facebook. 
 

Facebook Announces 4 Million+ Active Advertisers - According to SocialTimes.com, some stats that Facebook released earlier this week include...
• Facebook now has more than 4 million active advertisers (more than 70% are based outside of the U.S.) and more than 60 million businesses using pages. 
• More than 85% of active pages use mobile, about 40% have created ads via mobile. 
• More than 20% of active advertisers created video ads during the past month. 
• More than 30% of active small and mid-sized business pages on FB are women owned. 
 

Twitter Has 3 Major Potential Candidates for an Acquisition - Twitter is on-track to be bought out. The three front runners are Google, SalesForce, and Disney.
 

IAB Revises Ad Guidelines to Include Digital Marketing Assets - The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a nonprofit in NYC that establishes industry standards, announced that they have revised their ad guidelines to include virtual reality, 360 video ads, and digital ads using emojis, stickers, etc. to set a new standard for marketers and creatives.

Twitter Moments Now Available to All Users - Twitter officially announced that Twitter Moments, a curated feed of multiple tweets, is now available to all users. Moments can include anyone's tweets, including GIFs, photos, videos, and vines. Twitter recommends 10 tweets max for a consumable moment. Some ideas brands could try might include: this week's top tweets, best GIFs of the day, etc.



 

Tech Thursday: September 22, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets on Snapchat - According to Mashable, Snapchat may soon be your go-to destination for movie tickets. Rumor has it that they may be working to build in-app ticket purchasing. One member mentioned that Snapchat is moving towards its own shopping experience. We'll have to wait and see what they roll out in the months to come!

Enhancing the Way Instagrammers Interact with Ads - According to the Instagram Business Blog, Instagram is rolling out a series of updates to Instagram Ads in an effort to improve how users interact with them based on a series of A/B tests...
1. The call-to-action button will be highlighted when people show interest on or around an ad - like resting on the ad for four seconds, or tapping on the profile name. 
2. When you tap into an advertiser's profile from an ad, a call-to-action button currently appears at the bottom of the profilethis will now extend to the comments section. 
3. When Instagram detects additional information from an ad, like price, destination URL, or App Store rating, Instagram will automatically add it to the call-to-action button. 
4. For video link ads, when you unmute a video, you'll be taken to the destination URL while the video continues to play at the top of the screen. You can browse and take action on a landing page while continuing to watching the video. 

Presidential Debates will be Streamed on Facebook Live - CNN plans to utilize the Facebook Live platform to make the presidential debates available to Facebook users as a free live stream in real time.

Snaplytics Launches Analytics Platform for Snapchat - Since it was difficult to measure effectiveness of Snapchat initiatives, a company that unaffiliated with Snapchat called Snaplytics has launched a Snapchat analytics platform for brands and influencers. According to VentureBeat, the product is only free for influencers at this time.

Facebook Acquires Hardware Startup - Nascent Objects, aiming to bring modular electronics to Facebook's growing Research & Development world, will allow users to prototype and design their own products.

Facebook Invests in Science - In a live video on Wednesday, Facebook announced its $3 billion effort to bring engineering and social change together to "tackle all disease in our children's lifetime." The Chan Zuckerburg Initiative will invest in a $600 mil bio-hub to develop new tools to help understand and treat disease.

Tech Thursday: September 15, 2016

 

Snapchat Introduces 3 New Ad Targeting Options - Snapchat is rolling out new options for ad targeting. "Snap Audience Match" will allow marketers to upload existing emails and mobile device IDs; "Snapchat Lifestyle Categories" lets brands direct ads to users who consume certain types of video content; "Lookalikes" will enable advertisers to target ads to consumers who are similar to existing audiences. The company says it has no plans to include a retargeting option.

Instagram Now Lets Everyone Filter Comments - Instagram had previously introduced other comment moderation tools, like swiping to delete comments, the ability to report inappropriate comments, and the ability to block user accounts.  This new feature will allow people to either enable a filter that will automatically block a default list of words to hide from their Instagram comments, or, with the custom keyword list, they can go further and choose certain words that they don’t want to see in the comments on their posts.

Facebook Shifts Messenger Toward E-Commerce - "Facebook released a new version of its chat platform (available on desktop and mobile.) Now, when a Facebook user clicks on an advertisement that appears in their Facebook feed, the click can open a Messenger window that contains either a copy of the ad or a pre-constructed message from the seller. Users can then interact with the retailers' chat bots to proceed with a purchase, complete with making a payment while still inside the chat platform." (Source: Forbes.com

Apple Unveils New iOS 10 Software Update - Popular updates include the ability to delete apps that were previously permanent on all iPhones (ex: compass, stocks, weather), access to the camera by swiping left on the lock screen, and Tapback which is a quick and simple way to respond to messages with just a tap including a quick thumbs up, heart, or haha icon. (sources: Mashable.com and Mirror.co.uk

Twitter's Allowing Longer Tweets: Twitter is no longer going to count media attachments (photos, videos, GIFs, polls, etc.) and twitter handles in tweets and replies as a part of the 140 character limit.

Adblock Plus vs. Facebook Ad-Blocker Blocker- "Adblock Plus and Facebook have engaged in a hacking war. On August 11, Facebook altered the code of its ads to resemble News Feed posts, thus preventing Adblock Plus from filtering out ads on desktop. Adblock Plus parried within a few hours, and Facebook subsequently responded. Now, Adblock Plus is ready to counter again." Adblock's chairman Tim Schumacher made a quick note on disclosures, "We don’t want to kill banner advertising just to have influencers do product placements which aren’t clearly marked. At the end of the day, the fact that Facebook will always have to disclose their advertising means that they’re always vulnerable. Because the human eye should detect it. And what the human eye can detect, you can detect with ad rules.” Source: Contently

Facebook inserts 'People You May Know' in their Messenger App - The next time you open up Facebook Messenger you might see them suggesting people you know and asking you to add them as Facebook Friends!  This feature is being tested with users and opens up the possibility of Facebook Ads in the Messenger app, sooner than later!

Tech Thursday: September 8, 2016

Instagram Phases Out Photo Maps - According to Instagram, photo maps were not widely used, so they've decided to kill off this forgotten feature that allowed users to have a map full of pins with every location their photos have been tagged in. With the next update, you won't be able to click through to see anyone else's photo map, but you will still be able to see your own photo map. Locations will still be viewable on individual Instagram photos, just not clickable.

Instagram Crosses 1 Billion Download Mark -  With over 500 million subscribers and over 300 million daily active users, Instagram is making its mark. The Android app just reached the 1 billion download mark on the Google Play store this week, right behind many of the apps that come pre-installed on Android devices, including Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube.

Pinterest Launches Promoted Video Ads: According to AdAgePinterest is making a move to make video a part of the core experience. 

Facebook Tests Play Button -  Some users have started to notice a new PLAY icon on the bottom row of their Facebook icons. This will launch a "live video" newsfeed area of Facebook. This could have huge potential if Facebook indeed launches an easy to navigate and find, live video area on mobile. Right now you can only find it on desktop by going to Facebook.com/live.

Use of Certain Hashtags On Twitter Results in Emojis - The NFL teamed up with Twitter to make branded hashtags that would insert team-themed emojis. 

New iPhone 7 to Debut Special Features for Instagram - The new iPhone7 will have special features on Instagram, including the ability to record gif-like movies without using a secondary app like Boomerang.

Snapchat is Worth Over $20B - Facebook offered to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013. Snapchat turned the offer down. In 2015, revenue for Snapchat was $59 million. Projection revenue for 2016 is between $250 - $350M. Next year, in 2017 revenue totals are projected to reach $1B. Now, after a few years of existence, Snapchat is valued at around $20B.

Facebook Testing New Feature on Android Newsfeeds - Facebook is in the very early stages of testing a "What Your Friends Are Talking About" area to the newsfeed. It's only appeared in some Android versions of the app so far, but it appears as a box, the same size as a normal image would be, and inside of the box it lists out a few friends and what they're saying about that topic. 

 

Tech Thursday: August 25, 2016

Pinterest acquires Instapaper  - Instapaper is a platform that allows you to save articles to read later. With its new algorithm, Pinterest saw a decline in the amount of articles being pinned/read. This will hopefully be able to suggest articles that are of interest to the user. 
Instagram Changes Flip Through Photos - Instagram is quietly changing their platform yet again. While the feature to scroll through an account or photos that come up with a hashtag search may not have been rolled out to everyone, it is not longer available for anyone. 

Google Photos - This is a great way to share and store customer photos you take!! 

PGA Live Video - The PGA is streaming their golf tournament on both Facebook and Twitter. They are asking users which golfer they would like to watch in the live stream, and trying to stay engaged with the audience. 

Pinterest debuts video ads - New video ads will allow users to expand Pinterest’s existing animated cinematic pins to access a full auto-play video with sound. There can be up to 6 buyable pins beneath each video as it plays.
Instagram quietly adds 2 new video features - In a sneaky update that didn’t even make the Instagram blog, Instagram now offers the ability to (1) zoom in/out while recording video, and (2) switch between front-facing camera and main camera during a video recording. You only need to use one finger to zoom, which highlights how easy & user-friendly it is and just how much they're working to include everything that's available in Snapchat.
Instapage updates mobile -  Their self-proclaimed biggest announcement of the year includes a brand new mobile platform that will automatically copy over the arrangement of elements on the desktop version to the mobile version. The web-based builder is also introducing a snap-to-grid feature, which will allow users to easily group/quickly align elements on both desktop and mobile.
Google introduces 2 new video apps - To compete with Apple and Facebook, Google introduces two new video apps, Duo and Allo.

Duo is essentially a replica of Facetime, with a unique feature “Knock Knock” that will allow the caller to appear as a live video (rather than a contact photo) before the recipient even answers the call. This feature is intended to make the live video call appear more as an invitation rather than an interruption to the recipient.

Allo will go up against Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, offering cross-platform video calling for iOS & Android that automatically adjusts call quality.

Facebook live video can now be horizontal - Previously live video could only be taken vertically, but Facebook has now made it possible to take horizontal live video

Tech Thursday: July 28, 2016

Retarget on Facebook Based on Website 'Time Spent' - Facebook appears to be rolling out a new feature according to SocialTimes that will allow advertisers to specifically target ads to users based on how long they've surfed a website.  We're excited about this for our e-commerce clients -- imagine being able to target people who have spent quite a bit of time on the site but have yet to make a purchase... 

Live Videos on Facebook Continue to Get Upgrades - We recently did a live video in a Facebook Group and had the option to trim the video and delete it before it was re-posted live.  Currently, we have not seen this option with live video done on actual Facebook Pages but once you can, it will eliminate some of the live video awkwardness that can occur when you start and end the video.

Later/Latergramme Introduces Groups Option for Uploading Photos - Uploaded photos can now be organized into a group per client when uploading through the admin account in Later/Latergramme. Each client can also have its own avatar photo and team members assigned to each.

Twitter to Live Stream MLB and NHL Games

Twitter will offer live streaming of all 4 major sports networks starting in the fall, including one MLB and NHL game per week, according to Recode.

New Layout and Ecommerce Features on Pinterest

Pinterest has moved away from the "pin" look in favor of boxes in its latest layout update. Buyable pins on the web and the option to add items to a shopping bag were rolled out at the end of June, presenting huge opportunities for e-commerce. 

Boosted Posts on Facebook Can Be Edited

We noticed during our boosting this week that Facebook now lets you edit a boosted post one time (but not more than once!) 

Twitter Introduces Night Mode for Android Users

Night mode is now available to all Android Twitter users, according to Android Central. Its main feature is a softer color scheme that is easier on the eyes for tweeting at nighttime.

Facebook Introduces 360 Photos

Rolled out this spring, Facebook's 360 Photos are a great opportunity for going behind the scenes in many cases. There are even little circular cameras you can buy at Best Buy to make these panoramas even easier.

How to Use Animated GIFs on Social Media & Email

Have you ever wondered about how to make use of animated GIFs in your digital and social media marketing efforts? 

These image files, developed by Compuserve in 1987, have been wildly popular since the early days of the Internet.

GIFs are the only image (not video) format that allow for animation. It's also one of the only two image formats for web that support transparency, which means that you can see the background behind your image if you remove the background in an editing program such as Photoshop.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and one of the longest standing debates is whether it's pronounced with a hard G or a soft G.

Alex Chung, cofounder and CEO of Giphy (a site where you can search all the animated GIFs and make your own), is pro-hard G. In agreement, Aaron Bazinet went as far as to create a website and t-shirt design repping his favored pronunciation, How to Really Pronounce GIF. However,  the creator of the file format himself, Steve Wilhite, once told the NY Times, "the Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations. They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

HOW DO I USE THEM IN EMAIL?

In Mailchimp, you can upload an animated GIF just like you would upload any other image, or insert one directly into your email campaign from Giphy. It's important to note that some email clients (such as Outlook 2007 to present) don't support animated GIFs. This is because many of these clients use Microsoft Word to render HTML email, so the animation will not be displayed.  

Another recommendation is to produce your file so that the first frame contains the most important information in case it doesn't load, as compatibility issues will cause only the first frame to play. When designing emails with animated content, always plan for how to minimize the impact on the overall campaign if the animated content fails. You should also edit your animated content before uploading it to your email service (if you crop it in Mailchimp, it will break!)

BEST PRACTICES IN EMAIL
1. Keep them a novelty (every email shouldn't be blinking)
2. Use them with purpose (to draw people to your call to action, or to demonstrate how something works, or to show different options)
3. Keep an eye on file weight and how compression impacts the design (pixelation and color alteration often comes as a result of saving GIF files)
4. Treat any type of animation as a billboard (you have no longer than 10 seconds to keep someone's attention)
5. Never ending animations should be done thoughtfully (not like a broken record)

 

Facebook Ads 101: Why Should Businesses Care About Them?

How would you like to launch a promotion with a specific goal in mind, only to surpass that goal by about 400%, and do it all for less than what it takes to fill your car up with gas?? Sounds pretty good, right? Almost too good to be true? Wrong! It is true, and it is possible, and it’s just a few clicks away…

Why should businesses market themselves through social media? Because that’s where all the people are, and that’s where you have the ability to reach your target audience, at any time that you want. You can do this through email, through Facebook & Facebook ads, through Instagram & Instagram ads, through Twitter, through Snapchat, the list keeps growing and growing...

Out of all of the options available, why should a business specifically choose to market on Facebook?

No one knows your business better than you. You know where it’s at today, where you want it to be in a few months, you know who your regular customers are and who would never do business with you... you know your business inside and out!

Facebook, on the other hand, knows people. Over one billion people to be exact. People spending huge chunks of their days scrolling through the newsfeed to keep up with friends, the latest news articles, funny videos & memes, the list goes on and on. By choosing to market your business through Facebook, you’re allowing Facebook to do what it does best for businesses, and that’s connecting you with the people!

Why do Facebook ads work?  Quite honestly, a vast number of reasons, but the main ones that stick out are the ability to optimize for a variety of different objectives, catering to customers in all levels of the marketing funnel.

Everything from Raising Awareness of your Brand to Collecting Leads for your Company can be the objective that your Facebook ad campaign will be optimized for, and all you have to do is decide what your campaign goal is, and click the button accordingly.  

With Facebook ads you can also get very specific and targeted with who your audiences are, enabling businesses to truly make the most of their advertising budgets, no matter how large or small they might be.  

Going off of this, a third reason why Facebook ads work is the incorporation of pixels, allowing you to specifically see which ads are generating the actions you want & which ads are not working & should be shut off to save yourself some money!

Facebook ads can work for all types of businesses, but more specifically, Facebook ads can work very well for local businesses. Facebook ads allow business owners to make the most out of whatever marketing budget they might have, they can be turned on and off in an instant, the different ads platforms are all very user-friendly, and again you can get very specific & targeted with who your ads are reaching, which allows you to make sure your budget is being spent in the most strategic way possible.  


REAL LIFE EXAMPLE

A local restaurant is re-launching Brunch on the Patio for the Summer season. They’re hoping for a decent turnout, 50-60 people would make them happy. Through the strategic use of Facebook ads along with smart audience selection & creative ad copy, we brought them 80 people for their first Sunday Brunch, and (take a deep breath before reading this next part) we sold them out of their brunch buffet the following week! That’s over 200 people in a restaurant that would’ve been happy with about 50 or 60 people. The best part? We did this all for less than $30 total because we were strategic and took advantage of just what Facebook had to offer.
 

So… You ready to launch your first campaign yet??