Weekly Marketing News, 12th November 2021

November 12th, 2021 by

Who’s behind the ‘1 tree for every pet picture’ trend? YouTube hiding Dislikes, Instagram launches social reality series, Nike trademarks virtual goods and Aldi’s ‘A Christmas Carrot’.

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Who’s behind the ‘1 tree for every pet picture’ trend on Instagram?

Who’s behind the ‘1 tree for every pet picture’ trend on Instagram?

Over the past few days, everyone’s Instagram feeds were inundated with pictures of peoples’ pets. It was people adding to the viral Instagram sticker that said, ‘We’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture’. Within a few days, the sticker had been shared over four million times, with the company behind the trend Plant A Tree Co. taking to their Instagram feed to explain that they’d be unable to keep their promise.

2. WATCH: YouTube will now hide the dislike count on videos

YouTube has announced plans to hide the dislike count for videos, and is now slowly rolling out the change across its platform. A dislike button will still be shown to all, and a channel owner will still be able to privately view the number of dislikes on a particular video. The only change is that the count will no longer be public.

INDUSTRY NEWS

3. Instagram and Channel 4 tie up for ‘world’s first’ real-time social reality series

Instagram and Channel 4 tie up for ‘world’s first’ real-time social reality series

Channel 4 and Instagram have announced the world’s first real-time social reality series told through social media. You Do You will air exclusively on Instagram from Sunday 14th November 2021. The ground-breaking four-part social series is set in the bustling UK city of Manchester and follows SINDYSPLACE – a collective of young creatives.

4. Nike files to trademark ‘virtual goods’; hiring metaverse designers

Nike files to trademark ‘virtual goods’; hiring metaverse designers

The sports apparel and sneaker company filed seven requests for trademarks and patents on their goods ranging from footwear, clothing and sports bags to art, toys and accessories. These requests hint at the possibility that the company is planning to either sell its products as virtual goods or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or is trying to protect its products from becoming NFTs.

WORK WE LIKE

5. WATCH: Kevin the Carrot stars alongside Ebanana Scrooge in Aldi Christmas campaign

After conspicuously leaving Kevin the Carrot out of its Christmas teaser this weekend and causing much speculation over his fate, Aldi has released its full length festive ad in which the brand mascot returns for his sixth year. The ad plays on the classic Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol.

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Weekly Marketing News, 29th October 2021

October 29th, 2021 by

Instagram Story links for everyone! New creator monetization options for TikTok and IG, Burger King give away free meals at 3am, Whatsapp Shopping Collections and War photographers go inside Call of Duty.

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram now lets all users share links in Stories via Link Stickers

Instagram now lets all users share links in Stories via Link Stickers

 

The expansion comes as the company recently ditched the “swipe-up” link in Instagram Stories in favor of the new Link Stickers. Both the previous “swipe-up” link and new Link Sticker feature have been historically limited to businesses and high-profile creators.

2. TikTok’s testing a new ‘Tips’ option for selected creators

TikTok's testing a new 'Tips' option for selected creators

TikTok’s trying out another new creator monetization option, with some users seeing a new ‘Tips’ tab in their TikTok settings. Some creators now have a Tips section in their account options, through which they can apply to receive tips from their audience. To be eligible for Tips, users need to have at least 100k followers and their account needs to be in good standing, in line with TikTok’s platform rules and regulations.

3. WhatsApp rolls out ‘Collections’ to make it easier to shop

WhatsApp rolls out ‘Collections’ to make it easier to shop

WhatsApp is launching a new feature called “Collections” to make it easier for users to shop for items using categories. The Facebook-owned platform is rolling out catalog collections to small businesses around the world starting today. WhatsApp has added a number of shopping features in recent years to expand the e-commerce experience on its app.

4. Instagram adds more tools to help creators maximize branded content partnerships

Instagram adds more tools to help creators maximize branded content partnerships

Instagram’s testing some new creator monetization options, ahead of the Christmas shopping push, with a view to helping its most prominent users maximize their earnings potential through branded content arrangements. First off, Instagram’s testing a new ‘Partnerships’ messaging folder within Instagram DMs, which will be a dedicated space to keep track of sponsored content opportunities and communications.

WORK WE LIKE

5. WATCH: At 3AM, ghosts come out. So do free meals at Burger King

Burger King launched a new campaign inviting people to face the scariest hour of the day for a free meal—or what the brand is referring to as “3 AM Apparitions.” According to paranormal experts, 3 AM is the time when most paranormal activity happens.

6. War photographers go inside Call of Duty: Vanguard to capture images

Activision sent war photographers into Call of Duty: Vanguard, and their images illustrate the realism of the video game world’s graphics. The war journalists will auction off limited edition photo prints of their shots with the proceeds going to the Call of Duty Endowment – a non-profit organization that helps veterans find high-quality careers. For every photo sold, the endowment will fund one veteran job.

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The Age of the Super App

October 29th, 2021 by

Super apps provide a dizzying array of services, all in a one-stop-shop on your phone’s home screen. Popular in Asia and Latin America, super apps such as WeChar, Grab and Kakao have become ingrained into people’s everyday lives thanks to their convenience and versatility. 

But why haven’t they managed to conquer the West?

In Europe and North America, we are yet to see an app that integrates entertainment, communication, ecommerce and payment services on a mass scale. There are two main reasons for this

The first is that the maturity of western economies acts as a barrier for super apps. Western consumers have long-established and loyal relationships with banks and retailers, resulting in a distrust towards virtual providers—less than 10% of British consumers have gone fully digital with their banking and a quarter are uncomfortable with the idea. This has not been the case in Asia; the low penetration of bank accounts has aided the rise of super apps such as WeChat. 

The other is that technology in many Asian countries leapfrogged other technologies to develop smartphones. While the West was developing apps and technologies for PCs, Asia was focused on developing its smartphone capabilities. As super apps were developed for smartphones, the uptake for paying for goods and services using these apps was fast; the uptake was also supported by the strong government backing, giving Asian consumers the confidence that’s missed in the West. 

Super apps

However, these barriers haven’t deterred one platform from announcing it’s plan to become a super app in the West. PayPal has been talking about becoming a super app for some time, but it only recently revealed its new super app that offers a combination of financial services including direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities and more. 

Though PayPal doesn’t aim to be a “bank”, its shift from a payments utility app to a fully-fledged finance app offers competitive features that appeal to those considering shifting their finances to neobanks. 

PayPal explores acquisition of social media platform Pinterest

Over the past week, PayPal has been front-and-centre in the news due to rumours of an acquisition of social media platform Pinterest. Although PayPal has since confirmed it will not be looking to acquire Pinterest for $45 billion “at this time,” it does make us wonder what the acquisition would look like and what it would mean for both platforms. 

A Pinterest acquisition would have been PayPal’s biggest acquisition, beating its $4 billion purchase of money-saving, price-comparison app Hone Science Corp. Pinterest is a platform that offers visual search and scrapbooking where users can save and group images by whatever themes they want. 

Pinterest benefited hugely in the early stages of the pandemic, where advertisers scrambled to social media sites to capture an audience that embraces the ecommerce shift. Pinterest itself has been introducing new tools that help creators make their pins shoppable thanks to a dedicated “Shop” section, resulting in a seamless ecommerce experience between content and online purchases. Being acquired by PayPal could have resulted in a more seamless buying experience within the platform. 

A key element PayPal is missing in its efforts to become a super app is a high-engagement consumer business at scale. While PayPal users open its app 9 times a month, Pinterest’s users open its app upwards of 37 times a month. In order for PayPal to be a true super app, it needs users to open its app and use it everyday in order to rack up the engagement that drives PayPal’s average revenue per active account. 

As of July 2021, PayPal has 403M active users—a number PayPal is expecting to increase to 750M by the end of 2025. However, a Pinterest acquisition would have given PayPal its strong user base of 454M+ monthly active users. Had PayPal continued with acquiring Pinterest, it would have had the huge user base required to become a super app. 

An acquisition of Pinterest would have given PayPal a social media presence that rivals Instagram and access to highly engaged consumers and influencers. A PayPal-Pinterest platform would have assisted merchants in selling products with added protection, and give consumers peace of mind when purchasing through the platform. With social commerce on the rise, the acquisition could have put PayPal in fierce competition with ecommerce site Shopify. 

Given the huge benefits acquiring Pinterest would have offered PayPal, why didn’t the fintech go ahead with the acquisition? 

PayPal didn’t provide any details as to why it decided to not go ahead with the acquisition, so we can only speculate. While Pinterest saw impressive growth and engagement over the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, it has been struggling recently to maintain this. With restrictions easing, Pinterest has experienced a slowing user growth—particularly in the US. The visual platform has said it experts further growth through deeper engagements with existing users, rather than new sign-ups. Back in June, Pinterest’s monthly active users rose by just 9% to 454 million, which is a large drop from the 30% jump the previous quarter. 

This fall in user engagement would mean PayPal would have to immediately focus on driving user engagement, something the fintech isn’t used to doing in such force considering it’s current user base only uses the platform around 8 times a month.

In addition, at the beginning of October, co-founder Evan Sharp announced he would be stepping down as chief creative officer. While he will remain an adviser to the platform, having a company leader depart any company will result in some shake-ups and teething periods as replacements settle in.  

So, while PayPal acquiring Pinterest may look appealing and a sure-fire deal on the surface, if you dig a little deeper, the cracks begin to show. 

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2020’s Prediction Filters Craze

January 24th, 2020 by
Instagram Prediction Filter Craze

The start of the year had us all obsessing over Instagram’s new filter that can predict how the rest of the year will turn out.

You’ve probably seen it everywhere. Created by the Instagram user @filippo.soccini, it’s a fun way to show your 2020 predictions to your friends. It starts with a card that says “In 2020 I will be” and then randomly chooses an adjective to describe how the year will go for you. There are twelve possible predictions: married, watching Netflix, reading a book, dead, smiling, poor, rich, hungry, sad, happy, single, or a winner.

Similar filters have caused a stir in recent weeks with users all over the world finding out what sort of Friends or Disney character they are.

Actress Jennifer Aniston also proved she was no social media novice as she tried out the filter just to find out that her 2020 prediction was freedom.

There are plenty of ways to get your 2020 fortune told. You can either get the prediction filter by tapping on its name when you come across it in someone’s Story or have a friend send it to you if they have the filter saved to their phone.

2020 predictor on Instagram

Or you could simply access it by following these steps:

  1. Get Instagram’s latest update;

  2. Search for @filippo.soccini IG profile;

  3. Go to the Highlights on the page and tap 2020 Predictions;

  4. Tap ‘try it’ at the bottom of your phone screen;

  5. Press and hold down the record button in the Instagram Camera to land on your own prediction, which you can then save and share with your followers;

  6. If you’d like to use the filter again, just tap on “Save This Effect” where it says “2020 Predictions” when you have the filter open. Then, you can access it whenever you’d like from Instagram’s in-app camera.

Now that you’re all set, let’s see what 2020’s got for you!

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Why 70% Of Car Buyers Believe YouTube Videos Influence Their Purchase

September 27th, 2019 by

What attracts you to a new car? The colour? Its sustainability, perhaps? A lifelong attraction to the badge or manufacturer? Perhaps even a well-rehearsed review by whoever’s presenting Top Gear these days. However, what about YouTube videos? Do they influence your purchasing decisions and make you choose a particular brand or product over another?

Well, according to research, more than two-thirds of people – 70%, in fact – are influenced in their decision-making by YouTube video content when it comes to buying a car. Why, though?

Looking For Reliability

Please note – this doesn’t just mean in the vehicle! According to Google Consumer Surveys research, 6 out of 10 people looking for a new car are unsure of what to buy. Naturally, then, this might lead them to ask friends, family, and colleagues for advice – and, of course, visit dealerships.

However, a major concern when buying a car, particularly from a private dealer, is not knowing exactly what you’re paying for – but this is certainly an area where a spot of social networking can come in handy. Internet users not only have instant access to a broader range of almost immediate advice, via social media; many also have a number of trusted, reliable motoring influencers they subscribe to.

Subsequently, it not only makes perfect sense for brands, including car manufacturers, to maintain a positive online digital presence – they can also tap into notable influencers in their content marketing.

33653427786_006b82b85a_b.jpg

In The Driving Seat

Interestingly, the percentage of people who are receptive to online reviews (67.7%) is very similar to the proportion of car buyers influenced by YouTube videos (70%). These incredible statistics prove that digital marketing is essential to the success of any product or service.

Essentially, engaging videos and honest online reviews create trust between a brand or business, and a customer (either existing or potential). The more the trust is reinforced, the stronger it becomes, and the closer an individual is to make a purchasing decision.

Take the example of a traditional car dealership. Anybody visiting would expect to see sparkling, clean vehicles, and quickly be able to ascertain key details like price, finance, spec, and reliability. However, it would be up to a dealer to establish the trust that ensures the purchase is made.

Now, that trust can be built online. In the same way that you might trust a friend or family member who knows more about a particular product or business, others now trust influencers and notable internet celebrities similarly. The views of car reviews and promotional videos have been increasing, year on year, as more and more customers rely on video content in their purchasing decisions.

Finally, the most fundamental proof that online video has become so crucial to car manufacturers is in the types of videos people choose to watch. Test drives, videos focusing on different models and makes, and detailed walk-through of the interior and exterior of a car have proved the most popular. Where would people traditionally do all of these things? That’s right – at a dealership.

If you would like to experience and deliver personalised advertising campaigns to your audience, or tap into a completely new demographic, then get in touch with Socially Powerful we work with a wide range of automotive influencers,

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How Mercedes-Benz Used Co-Marketing To Advance Its Aims

September 27th, 2019 by

The name “Mercedes-Benz” has become strongly synonymous with luxury automobiles over many years. Today, this brand is more far more renowned than that of its parent company, Daimler AG (heard of them?!). Only last year, the German company sold 2.31 million passenger cars under the Mercedes-Benz brand, making it the world’s biggest-selling premium vehicle brand.

It’s no coincidence that the brand’s slogan is “the best or nothing”. Mercedes-Benz has carefully crafted marketing objectives that pursue what could be termed “commensal marketing”, a strand of co-marketing. Here’s how they did it to shape the future of Mercedes-Benz for the long term.

Mercedes-Benz

What Is A Co-Marketing Strategy?

The world of co-marketing, sometimes known as commensal marketing, is essentially a strategy whereby two companies come together to co-brand, and co-promote a product, or piece of content.

This can still combine all the standard modes of marketing, including the classic “4 Ps” (product, price, place, promotion) or the later “4 Cs” model (commodity, cost, channel and communication).

In the multimodal world of modern digital marketing, a co-marketing strategy is likely to involve a combination of targeted social marketing, high impact messaging, and inspiring video – and this is exactly what Mercedes-Benz did to dramatic effect.

The Partnership

Engaging both the popular outdoor clothing brand, North Face, and a group of already renowned photographers, Mercedes-Benz plotted a lengthy 3,000 km trip from Canada through to Alaska, with its co-marketing partners in-tow. The official hashtag of the partnership was the positive, and distinctly collaborative: #Mbfacingthenorth

Constantly creating content along the way, the campaign took in the long-distance drive, which enables the brand to show off its G-class model and off-road capabilities, while stopping off for plenty of strategically documented fun along the way.

The Content Creation

Alongside the picaresque recording of the journey, the campaign snapped glorious videos and images of the group hiking, kayaking, visiting glaciers and ice caves, and essentially adventuring at every stage of the journey.

This enables Mercedes-Benz to not just show the incredible on and off-road features of the G-class vehicle, but also show the more intangible benefits of owning such a vehicle. Freedom, fun, and exploration were recorded at every stage of the journey, ideally reaching to the very heart of the campaign’s accompanying slogan – “Never Stop Exploring”.

The Impact

As one of the first brands to use Instagram stories in this co-marketing capacity, Mercedes-Benz (and North Face) were able to successfully showcase the campaign to an astonishing 47 million people overall. Having the photographers along for the ride also gave each individual the opportunity to add to their portfolio, and spread the quality of their work to an international audience.

From the human point of view, Mercedes-Benz partnering with a lifestyle brand, and a number of professional photographers, portrayed the brand not only in an adventurous way – but also showed a degree of humility too.

The luxury brand was connected to freedom and opportunity, as opposed to wealth and exclusivity, and matched the desire of Mercedes-Benz to reach out to a younger audience, and secure long term trust in its brand.

With social media channels, and Instagram stories, in particular, used as the main platforms for marketing (or co-marketing) the campaign, Mercedes-Benz, North Face, and everyone else involved had the perfect channels close at hand to engage the right people, at the right time, from start to finish.

If you would like to experience and deliver personalised advertising campaigns to your audience, or tap into a completely new demographic, then get in touch with Socially Powerful we work with a wide range of automotive, fashion and Instagram influencers.

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SPENCER VINCENT – “I started my business when I was a pub landlord and started creating content as a hobby on the quiet nights in the bar.”

February 11th, 2019 by

Today we had some time to chat to content creator, Spencer Vincent, who’s Eastenders themed blog has gained a lot of fans over the years. Spencer is looking at taking his business further, and explains how his niche audience might just be perfect for influencer marketing. Enjoy!

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started to build a following?

I started as a Facebook page, growing organically over 4 years to around 150,000 followers. In 2014 I decided to start an online blog to run alongside the page, and my audience grew to over 400,000 and is steadily growing.

What would you define Influencer Marketing as?

Being paid to advertise a particular product that I think my readers would be interested in, this is why I have chosen to go down the influencer marketing route. My readers are extremely loyal and I wouldn’t want to bombard them with unnecessary ads.

What sort of content do you create and what content works best for your audience?

I create articles in relation to current storylines. These can range from health, to lifestyle, to family relationships, and usually very real to life topics.

What is the message you are trying to portray as an influencer?

I like to think that my readers also know me very well by now, and that whatever is seen on my blog can be trusted, including any advertising.

What is your dream brand to work with and why?

There are many brands whose clothing is used on the show, and I would love to work with them as our inbox can fill up when fans of the show want to know where they can buy a particular piece of clothing.

How do you see the influencer marketing industry changing in 2019?

I personally feel that influencer marketing is a more honest and organic type of advertising and think it will eventually challenge other ad network platforms.

Tell us something about you that people might not know?

I started my business when I was a pub landlord and started creating content as a hobby on the quiet nights in the bar.

Where do you want to take your career as an Influencer?

I am very new to influencer marketing and have very little experience to know which direction it could possibly take me.

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THE FINAL HURDLE

October 4th, 2018 by

Our trip and travelling around the world ENDS TODAY! The final hurdle, it all comes down to this and the big push for the product launch in Barcelona with all the influencers in attendance.

Xenia Tchoumitcheva, Mariano Di Vaio, Toni Mahfud, Unbox Therapy are all involved in this global launch for our client, with a lot of time pressure and last minute changes, we manage to pull it off.

After a huge trip around the world, there has been a lot to learn, understand and so much experience that we gained. We’re now on the way back to London, to get stuck in back in the office, ready for the big move and all of the other campaigns we are working on. Just two guys, travelling around the world, chasing the dream – WHAT A TRIP!

We’re excited to show more of what we get up to on a daily and weekly basis, let the journey continue as we take things to the next level and introduce YouTube to more of the Socially Powerful Team.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

@ Socially Powerful

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Engagement: tricky to quantify and why more content isn’t the answer.

October 4th, 2018 by

Social engagement to inform decision making; possible but tricky!

Granted business is about the numbers. Hard facts and data. Evidence that supports the notion that something is likely going to work the way that you intend, before you try it. Strong data is pivotal especially when dealing with the “experienced” folks who in many organisations hold the strings to the purse. What’s the ROI, I hear you ask? §$%& knows, I hear me think!

Obviously there are analytics tools that measure views, shares and retweets but that alone really isn’t enough to know how much of the final revenue can be attributed to the number of followers, shares, retweets etc. Facebook likes and retweets do not appear on the balance sheet or profit and loss statement. Money in needs to be higher than money out or a business will go bust, that’s the bottom line. Can an effective social media presence help? Most certainly! But how exactly? And how can it be quantified?

 Wanting to quantify the expected return on investment before committing is perfectly legitimate, but when it comes to social media and engagement, it simply isn’t that easy.

A brand’s number of Facebook fans, Instagram or Twitter followers alone does not reflect the impact it is having on its following. 

Likewise, a person who knows hundreds of people isn’t necessarily influential. (I have 500+ Linkedin connections and when I joined Socially Powerful 2 months ago and started reaching out to people almost nobody replied. Almost. Cheers to those that did!)   Measuring influence or impact is possible but it is important to consider the difference between causation and correlation. 

Consider this example:  If everytime it rains we open our umbrella one could conclude that the opening of our umbrella makes it rain. This of course is nonsense as it would be confusing correlation with causation. Similarly then, high engagement may be correlated with a large number of followers but it isn’t  its cause.

 

“Social influencers do not need to have millions of followers. They do need to be relevant, authentic and highly engaging to be impactful.”

So why is it so hard to quantify ROI on social engagement?   

Because it is near impossible to pin a specific purchase to any particular marketing tactic. Did the person buy the shoe and then like the Facebook page or was it the other way around? The problem with most analytics tools is that “Last Click Attribution” is utterly misleading giving 100% credit to the last click before purchase. But whether or not the organic search, social network or paid search was the biggest driver toward the sale remains a mystery. It’s just impossible to know exactly what influenced the customer to buy.

Brands have long realised that engaging content works albeit in hard to quantifiable ways, but new data shows that despite their relentless efforts of pumping out more authentic, relevant and engaging pieces, (not all brands get this right, but more on that next time)  engagement is on the downturn. So why are brands reaping less return on investment from more effort?

If we look at data we notice that user engagement on branded social content is on rapid decline. 

Data from SimilarWeb, analysing the 50 biggest publishers in Facebook painted a rather gloomy picture. Results showed BuzzFeed’s Facebook visits falling from 40.8 percent to 23.7 million. The Huffington Post’s Facebook traffic down a staggering 60.1%, to 16 million. Fox News’ also dropped 48.2% to 4.3 million. The data was collected over the period from January to September 2015.

Forrester research showed that last year most prominent brands posted on average  18.3x per week on Twitter, 6.5x per week on Facebook and 4.9x per week on Instagram. While the increase in the Twitter and Facebook posts compared with the previous year is small, the increase in Instagram posts is up 50-percent. So brands are posting more but research shows that user interactions as a percentage of a brand’s followers is on rapid decline. In some cases by almost 50% (Instagram).

So with exponential growth of social channels and practically every marketer in the game fretting over “authentic content pumpage” where exactly does that leave us?

First, some more stats:

A study of 50 million content marketing posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and blogs conducted by TrackMaven research  in 2015 proved that content creation was up 35 percent whilst engagement dropped 17 percent. Additionally the reported effectiveness of content dropped from 38 percent to 30.

In the world of content saturation is more necessarily better?

Social  networks are now asking brands to pay up to get noticed, but consumers (people) don’t want to be told what to notice. What’s worse, a pre roll on youtube or a sponsored post on facebook? Ignore!

The only constant thing is change. Especially in social media.

While that is exciting it makes it difficult to plan. The “big 3”  clearly ranked social networks is a thing of the past. It’s no longer about optimizing your strategy on a particular channel. Purchase paths are no longer linear and predictable. In 2016 there are dozens of channels. In a few years there will be hundreds and customers will be spread amongst them, never in one place.

So where does this leave us? Short attention spans, multiple apps, a vast selection of channels. It’s about each new moment; taking each new opportunity to build a meaningful connection. Companies cannot cover all channels and need the right partners to give an authentic voice to bring to life their story.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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@ Socially Powerful

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