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social media watch

Physical Brands Send Some Digital Love This Valentine's Day on Social

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 12, 2014 03:58 PM

Like it or not, Valentine's Day is just days away, and you can bet brands are out in full force to spread the love. 

Social and digital campaigns are especially prevalent this V-Day, and there's even a way for singles to show some love. 

Evian has launched a global social campaign hitched to the hashtag #ILoveYouLike. When fans tweet or post on Facebook with the hashtag, Evian generates a unique and playful answer, such as "I love you like the 80s love a power ballad." The campaign runs across Evian's global Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Fans are charged to "share the love" with their sweetheart and complete the sentence “I love you like...” on Facebook for a chance to win Evian's V-Day prizes. 

The campaign, from We Are Social, runs through Feb. 14 and includes about 30 alternative messages to "surprise and delight…messages that you don't find at your usual card shop," ClickZ notes.Continue reading...

social media watch

Super Bowl's Real-Time Battle: JCPenney Mittens vs Budweiser Puppy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 07:49 PM

Following last year's blackout, which Oreo won hands down in a real-time marketing play hard to replicate, brands this year did all the prep work they could ahead of the Super Bowl to best prepare for that fleeting moment of social opportunity. What they couldn't prepare for, though, was a boring game. 

And so while brands over-touted their hashtags and engaged in banter with fans over their ads, there were bound to be missteps. This year's Super Bowl real-time battle was a "is this account hacked?" face-off between JCPenney and Budweiser.

In an attempt that left many wondering if JCPenney's Twitter account had been hacked (although our editor-in-chief called it), the struggling retailer seeded the stunt with a promotional tweet pushing its Team USA mittens—and then things got weird.Continue reading...

social media watch

After One Year, Vine Stays On Short and Sweet Path to Success

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 24, 2014 06:43 PM

In one year, video social hybrid Vine has amassed over 40 million users on its time-constricted app. As it turns out, six seconds is just enough time to deliver a marketing 1-2 punch for the many brands that have since flocked to the app for campaigns

"We knew from the start that the videos needed to be brief," said founder Colin Kroll, "for creative reasons, technical reasons, and attention reasons. Over two months, we tested variations of the size, from 10 seconds down to five seconds, and we went for six because it just feels right."

Finding an equally abbreviated partner in Twitter, Vine took off as a new means of communication on social media. A community of early Viner’s quickly surfaced sharing a new language of insider memes, jokes, non-sequiturs and quick cuts.Continue reading...

social media watch

Pinterest Pins its Hopes on Profitability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 23, 2014 05:52 PM

In less than four years, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has grown his online scrapbooking site into a pervasive social media tool used by one-fifth of online adults in the US.

That's all well and good, but now Pinterest, like the many other social startups out there, is faced with turning a profit—a delicate dance on a content-rich site. Still, analysts project that the market will be worth $500 million in 2016, with the site valued at $3.8 billion. 

The value of Pinterest to retailers grew exponentially in 2013, largely due to the addition of Rich Pins, piloted last spring, that enable brands to deploy product pins, place pins, article pins, movie pins and recipe pins. But it's the product pin that holds the promise for marketers as they let retailers attach real-time pricing, inventory availability and a “Buy this” link to product images, capitalizing on the instant gratification psychology prevalent on the web.Continue reading...

social media watch

Brands 'Honor' MLK On Social Media with Misguided Self-Promotion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 21, 2014 01:42 PM

Another monumental day, another brand fail. 

Monday's marking of Martin Luther King Jr. Day presented an opportunity for global citizens to reflect on the life-changing actions of the civil rights hero, from reciting King's iconic "Dream" speech to paying respect to the thousands that fell—and continue to fall—to the heavy hand of inequality. 

Highlighting the need for corporate-social responsibility, four brands—Chicken of the Sea, Chobani, Kmart and Cisco—tweeted the same King quote: "Life's most persistent and urgent questions is, what are you doing for others?"

But that may have been one of the only bright spots in a day filled with brand missteps. Much like the many innappropriate brand posts on the anniversary of Sept. 11, a few brands took the creative liberty of twisting the day's significance into a poorly-timed brand boost. Check out some of the brand posts below:Continue reading...

social media watch

Biz Stone Thinks the World Is Ready for Jelly, a Social-Visual Search App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 8, 2014 03:54 PM

Back in 2001, the ladies of Destiny's Child gave us fair warning, but who knew we'd have to wait 13 years to see if we were "ready for this jelly?"

After leaving Twitter in 2011, co-founder Biz Stone formed Obvious to explore new ideas with some former co-Tweeters, and then launched Medium, a "digital speakers' corner."

This week, he unveiled at CES 2014 his next big thing: Jelly, an app that brings social and search together to answer queries. Not quite the caliber of 'Queen Bey,' but we're intrigued.

Users will pose visual questions via Twitter and Facebook and receive answers back from select friends and followers.

“What we’re really doing is taking full advantage of what makes mobile mobile: the brevity, the location, the shortness of the answers,” said Stone, CEO of the new company.

In a blog post, the company said Jelly uses humans rather than algorithms to gather and parse information. “No matter how sophisticated our algorithms become, they are still no match for the experience, inventiveness, and creativity of the human mind."Continue reading...

social media watch

Will LinkedIn Scale China's Great Firewall?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 20, 2013 05:27 PM

A test of the exportability of social networks across cultures is about to run as Linkedin reportedly prepares to expand into China.

“They're spending a lot to dominate the world,” said CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “Moving into China is a gigantic game-changer for them, it's like Coach going in there with handbags."

LinkedIn offers mobile and iPad apps in China, where four out of five of the country’s 591 million internet users access through smartphones. LinkedIn competitors abound in China, though, including Tianji, which claims 15 million users, while LinkedIn has quietly amassed 4 million subscribers, equivalent to its penetration in Australia. 

But it’s an uphill battle as the Chinese government continues to block Twitter, Facebook and YouTube—even Google Drive and LinkedIn’s SlideShare are accessible only through virtual private networks. But LinkedIn isn't considered a threat to China. 

"People on LinkedIn talk about their professional life, their work, news about their industries, it's not that sensitive," Xiaofeng Wang, a Forrester Research analyst told Ad Age.Continue reading...

social media watch

Facebook Launches Attack on TV with Auto-Play Video Ads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 12:41 PM

What were once distinguishable differences between social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now all becoming parts of a whole—a whole taht is focused on serving up better, more targeted and engaging ads. 

In the latest effort, following Twitter's more visual feed and Instagram's ads, Facebook has launched video ads today across its user network, debuting the new feature with a trailer for the upcoming film Divergent.  

Facebook is positioning the new ads to see if its network can best TV—a different route than that taken by Twitter, which has worked hard to make TV brands and advertisers their partner through its Twitter Amplify program. “Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time—with high-quality sight, sound and motion," Ad Age notes

The video ads will play automatically in users' news feed—a feature that the platform rolled out for general video content earlier this month. The autoplay can certainly be a turnoff, to which Facebook says "you can simply scroll or swipe past it." The video won't play sound until it is "clicked or tapped and played full screen." After the first ad, a "carousel of two additional videos” appears, making it easy for users to explore other content from the marketer.Continue reading...

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