Twitter Lets Advertisers Target Users with Emojis

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It’s safe to say that in this day and age, emojis speak louder than words. In fact, the 2015 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year wasn’t even a word, it was an emoji. Behold, the 2015 “word” of the year:Unknown

I don’t know about you, but I think this transition from words to emojis says a lot about current generations. Emojis are a quick, convenient way for individuals and brands to express their feelings. Sometimes tone of voice or emotions can’t be detected in a word or sentence, so emojis are perfect. And with so many options, you’ll be sure to find an emoji to match any mood or feeling.

In order to adjust to this new trend in technological expression, Twitter came up with the perfect way to use this change to their advantage. Twitter will now be able to target certain advertisements to you based on what emojis you’ve used in recent tweets. Twitter describes this movement as a “way to improve out precise targeting capabilities to help drive deep engagement and better performance for our brands.”

So let’s say you recently tweeted the burger and beer emoji; now your timeline will feature mouthwatering food, restaurant and bar ads. Twitter will use your recently used emojis and as signal of your mood or mindset, which will, in turn, allow brands to connect with you based on expressed feeling or passion.

Pretty cool right?

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Social Media in the News – July

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Another month has come and gone! Summer is flying by, and just like the weather, the social media world is also heating up. Here are the top social media headlines you may have missed from July!

Twitter updates security: Twitter released a password protected data dashboard that allows iStock_000033924868_Smallusers to privately manage their account. The dashboard has information about account history, blocked accounts and devices that are authorized to use the account.

 

 

Facebook restricts videos: Marketers and content creators now have more control over who watches their videos. Facebook already limits who can view the content based on location and language, and has added filters based on gender and age.

 

 

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YouTube is bigger than cable: YouTube is officially bigger than any single cable network. Its growth rate shows no signs of slowing down, upping 60% year-over-year.

 

 

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Send money over Facebook: Facebook’s messenger app now allows its users to send money to one another. Since the messenger app can now also be used without a Facebook account, these new features should equal new opportunities for the social media brand. Are you ready to hand over your bank info to Facebook?

 

Google removes pop-up “download app” ads on mobile: Google recently found that the ads asking users to download their app instead of viewing a page on a mobile browser will, more times than not, caused the user to abandon the page all together. In response, they have decided to remove the ad format, and recommend that everyone follow their lead.

Hell, now everyone can take a bathroom break.

via https://blog.twitter.com/2015/while-you-were-away-0

This week, Twitter introduced its new Recap feature “While You Were Away…” In a nutshell, the new function provides users with a snapshot of some of the Tweets they may have missed. We’ve only had 2 days to experience the new feature, so the jury is still out, but here are some of our initial reactions to the Tweet Recap.

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via https://blog.twitter.com/2015/while-you-were-away-0

We can take bathroom breaks again! The recap function is pretty comforting. While we might love the idea of sitting on Twitter watching the flood of Tweets go by, it’s just impossible to catch everything. Hell, you can miss a lot just taking a bathroom break. The recap reassures us that we’ll still be on top of things in the Twittersphere.

Where’s the off switch?! You can’t turn it off. Not that many people would choose to, since it’s generally helpful, but if you wanted to, it’s kind of annoying that you can’t. The New York Times does say that if you dismiss the highlighted Tweets pretty often, they’ll show you less and less of them.

It’s still a timeline. That’s always been a bit of a calling card for Twitter, so we’re glad to see they didn’t sacrifice the real-time nature of the Tweets with this new function.

Where are the customized filters?! We can’t control how the recap filters Tweets for us. So far Twitter’s being pretty vague about exactly how Tweets appear under the “While you were away” heading. Wouldn’t it be even better if we could filter it ourselves?!

Tell us what you think.  Has your life been revolutionized by Twitter’s ‘While You Were Away’ feature?

In the Wake of Tragedy: Where Do Brands Draw the Line?

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 4.35.21 PMIt’s been a rough couple of weeks for social media marketing. If you were on the Internet at all then you are aware of the major backlash brands received for chiming in on 9/11. While social media is an integral part of many marketing campaigns, the events of the last couple of weeks leave me wondering where and when brands should draw the line.

Capitalizing on trending topics is nothing new; in fact it is common practice. As marketers it is our job to search for topics that make our clients relevant to their audience – holidays and events are super easy to plan ahead for. Many times, consumers like seeing their favorite food brand wishing them “Happy Thanksgiving,” and people want to share a cute picture telling them to “Relax on Labor Day.” But, when special events surround tragedy and the people are seeking solace, perhaps it is not a time for brands to chime in.

As a social media manager, I had a really hard time watching the events that unfolded on 9/11 specific to brands tweeting and posting about the attacks. I am in the unique position to see both sides of the story, and from my point of view, it is a lose – lose situation. On one hand, people don’t want to see posts from CVS or AT&T. They want a day to talk freely on social media about how they feel in the aftermath of the worst attack on US soil in recent history. I understand as a user of social media myself; sometimes you just want it to be about people and relationships and not about consumerism. On the other hand however, I understand that brands want to take a stance. They want to be leaders, informers, and a reliable entity for their constituents. Not saying something about 9/11 could potentially make their loyal customers feel as if they don’t care.  The line we walk everyday is incredibly thin, and sometimes, especially in the heat of an incredibly hot topic, that line shatters and we are left do deal with the aftermath of the choices we made.

Here at Cyphers we actively made the choice when we were writing editorial calendars to step back on 9/11. We felt it didn’t behoove any of our clients to chime in. I am happy with that choice, especially now that brands are being chastised for their tweets and posts.

Tackling The Myth of Social Media & ROI

Social Media ROI
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Photo Via: http://bit.ly/1jmVzv9

We hear this time, and time again. “ I don’t want to put money into social media because there is no proven Return On Investment.” If you learn anything from reading this blog, learn this one thing: Social Media can generate ROI, and you can track it – especially if you are willing to be patient and do some testing.

For years, social media has been the ugly (if not the more fun and free spirited) stepchild of marketing.  Now, I am not here to tell you that social media is the new Pay Per Click, but I can assure you whole-heartedly that you can see results from social media marketing. Not only are there ways to see your ROI, there are ways to track it so you can actually enhance your social media strategy, making it more fun and engaging for your fans. Here are some tips we use to create and track ROI for our clients:

  1. Online Coupons: Ahhhhhh coupons – they are to consumers what candy is to a kid – too sweet to ignore. Coupons are a super easy way to track your social media ROI, especially if you are offering a social only coupon. You can go about this two ways. You can either create a custom Facebook tab that is linked to a 3rd party coupon source like coupons.com, or you can create an offer right in Facebook. The beauty of both of these options is that you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, if people are redeeming that coupon, they are coming from Facebook.
  2. Google Analytics: Chances are, if you have a website, you are already using Google Analytics to track your online traffic (if you’re not – you need get on that!). From here, you can see your social referrals, or traffic coming directly from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, etc. You can see how much traffic is coming from social, how much time they’re spending on your site, what they’re looking at and you can correlate your efforts with upticks in sales. You can even set up your analytics to track social referrals all the way through to e-commerce sales.
  3. Facebook Advertising: Running ads on Facebook is a great way to drive traffic to your site, but also test to see if your social media marketing is working. Try placing an ad for a specific product or an event. Test it for a set amount of time- if you see an uptick in sales or visits during this period (See item #2 above), you can feel confident that your ads are effective.

 

While there are lots of ways to show social media marketing ROI, these tried and true methods will help get you started. Having an open mind about social media can prove to be incredibly successful.

Recent Linkedin Updates Explained

Recent LinkedIn Updates

Our favorite social media sites have been changing a lot lately. First there were the Facebook updates, then twitter got a facelift, and now Linkedin is making a key change.

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Last week, Linkedin announced that as of April 14, 2014 the “Products and Services” tab will no longer exist and will be replaced with “Showcase Pages.” Showcase pages are extensions of company pages and will allow businesses to go more in-depth with products and services they offer. In addition to allowing companies to expand their product sections, Showcase Pages allow follows to pick and choose what products and services they want to follow. This makes for a much cleaner user experience. Here are some highlights on what you can expect from Showcase Pages:

Showcase Page Details:

  • Extension of a company page, allow you to elaborate on a facet of your business.
  • Allow consumers to directly follow that product or service, giving you a more engaged community.
  • Clears up your follower’s feeds so they aren’t inundated with things they aren’t interested in.
Things to think about when making a page:
  • Make sure to optimize the body content in the page to allow for greater SEO.
  • Just like your regular company Linkedin page, you want to post regular, engaging content.
  • Continue to get more followers and grow your base.

All in all this is a good change that will help both businesses and consumers to have a better Linkedin experience. We are excited to see the changes first hand!

And the Social Media Gold Goes To…

Olympics Social Media Winners

Well, the Olympics are over. Although the games had their ups and downs, there were certainly several wins for social media. We would like to give out our Gold, Silver and Bronze metals for Olympic Social Media.

 

Bronze: “Thank You Mom”- P&G:

If you caught yourself silently crying at your desk in the last few weeks it’s probably because you were watching one of the many “Thank You Mom” spots on YouTube. This is an all around incredible campaign that was fully integrated across print, tv, and digital media. The social aspect of their campaign really blew up this year with their spots going viral on YouTube, and their Facebook page reaching 835k likes. If you haven’t seen any of the “Thank You Mom” spots you can check them out on the P&G YouTube page here.

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Silver: #SochiStrays:

There was a ton of bad publicity leading up to the Olympics, including reports that the Russian government was euthanizing stray dogs. Well, despite this awful report some pretty awesome things came out of it. US skier Gus Kenworthy started tweeting about the puppies he was planning to save and suddenly #sochistrays was trending on twitter. We love how the power of social media inspired not only Gus, but several other Olympic athletes to adopt and bring home puppies. Puppies + Olympics = Social Media Success.

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Gold: Ashley Wagner Meme:

Besides the fact that we find the Ashley Wagner meme hilarious, we love how this piece of Internet hilarity exemplifies the power of social media. Much like “Mcayla is not impressed” this meme spread like wildfire overnight. If this doesn’t prove that social media has the power to move mountains, we don’t know what does.

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Social Spotlight: Denny’s Grand Slam

Social Media and Denny's Grand Slam

This week’s social spotlight is for all you college fans out there. Last Monday night, Florida State beat out Auburn in the Rose Bowl. Auburn fans were left defeated, frowny faces and declarations of disappointment were trending all over social media. Denny’s offered this piece of consolation to all the devastated fans:Social Media and Denny's Grand Slam

The image depicts Denny’s locations between California and Alabama, because what better to heal a broken heart then some Eggs Over My Hammy? We always love a well-executed real time marketing strategy. Well played, Denny’s. We consider this a social media Grand Slam!

To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media Etiquette

Facebook Friend Etiquette

Although social media is a growing part of our everyday lives, it has become apparent to me that social media etiquette is not inherent. Believe it or not, each platform has unwritten rules for how you should or shouldn’t interact with people. The way you present yourself online has a major impact on how people view you in real life. For a business owner, it is especially important to know proper social media etiquette and follow it closely. We could talk for days about the do’s and don’ts of each of these sites, but I am just going to cover the act of connecting or friending on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

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Facebook: The rules for Facebook are pretty lenient and they really rely on your own personal level of comfortability. Most people start by friending their friends and family, and people they are comfortable connecting with in real life. From there, they typically branch out to people they’ve met once, or friends of a friend. Most people don’t friend people they have never met, or have no connection to. However, this depends on comfortability. if you are comfortable with friending someone you don’t know, by all means do so. However, despite all this gray area about friending people you don’t know, we do know one thing; Facebook is meant to be a personal social platform. You really want to make sure you keep your professional connections to a minimum. If you are trying to reach out to someone you met through business, it is best to use Linkedin. More on that later.

Twitter: Twitter has a much more relaxed atmosphere when it comes to connecting with people. Again, you start by following friends, family, companies you like, celebrities you follow. But from there, it is very common to branch out to people you don’t know. Maybe you want to follow a peer in your industry who tweets inspiring content, or a blogger who you like. Twitter is all about starting conversations. It is actually encouraged to follow people that you don’t know and increase your social reach. In addition, Twitter is one of the social platforms where your personal and professional life are able to converge. It is totally acceptable to have both in this instance as long as you make sure your personal content doesn’t interfere with your professional life.

Linkedin: This is the trickiest platform to navigate. Linkedin is a social media site designed solely for the purpose of professional networking. Therefore you have to treat it like professional networking. Connections either need to mirror real life relationships, or have a clear reason to connect with someone. There is an unwritten rule that you should not simply connect with people on a whim, and this goes for accepting connections as well. Having a lot of connections on Linkedin is great, but having a lot of meaningless connections can be detrimental. You begin to seem like a social media troll and people will stray away from you.

social media connectionsHere is the bottom line:

Facebook: Start with friends and family but you can friend people who you don’t know if you feel comfortable. Keep it personal.

Twitter: It is encouraged to follow people you don’t know- so branch out, start new conversations. Professional and personal can mix!

Linkedin: Stick to people you know or have met through professional networking or introductions. Don’t let it be personal.

Keep in mind that social media and the internet are permanent. Make choices that reflect well on you, as well as your business or brand. Keep these tips in mind and you should be good to go!

DiGiorno Pizza won the Twitter Game

DiGiorno Pizza Live Tweets the Sound of Music

Did anyone catch last night’s NBC production of The Sound of Music? If you did, you would be 1 of the 18 million people who tuned in to watch Carrie Underwood reenact Maria. But the real entertainment wasn’t on screen, it was behind the scenes on Twitter.

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We’ve talked about how bad Real Time Marketing can be if you don’t do it right. But DiGiorno made us all proud with a set of strategically timed tweets that joined the extremely popular trending topic #TheSoundofMusicLive. Kudos to the brilliant mind behind these hilarious tweets. Not only were they applicable, funny, and on-brand, they were flawlessly delivered.

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