Monthly Archives: March 2015

Centennials and Young Millennials Flock to Anonymous Social Media: A Briefing on Yik Yak

Over the past few years, we’ve seen anonymous social media slowly gain a foothold among young millennials and older centennials in the United States. As was predicted in our key social media trends for 2015, this will be the year for anonymous social media. And why wouldn’t it?

Last week, Yik Yak made headlines for its use by Liberty University students during Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign announcement. Besides the big news of the campaign announcement, it left many people asking, “Wait, but what is Yik Yak?”. Yik Yak is arguably the hottest social network to take over high school and college campuses, boasting 1.7 million monthly users. Essentially an anonymous virtual bulletin board, those logged into Yik Yak can read the yaks of anyone within a 1.5 radius of them.

Why is it so popular? It taps directly into the growing trend of ephemeral anonymity. We’ve already seen the usage of apps like Snapchat explode due to the allure of its content’s seemingly short shelf-life. Once you add the anonymity factor and mobile, and you have a recipe for success among millennials and centennials.

Learn more about Yik Yak below:

Centennials and Young Millennials Flock to Anonymous Social Media: A Briefing on Yik Yak

Over the past few years, we’ve seen anonymous social media slowly gain a foothold among young millennials and older centennials in the United States. As was predicted in our key social media trends for 2015, this will be the year for anonymous social media. And why wouldn’t it?

Last week, Yik Yak made headlines for its use by Liberty University students during Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign announcement. Besides the big news of the campaign announcement, it left many people asking, “Wait, but what is Yik Yak?”. Yik Yak is arguably the hottest social network to take over high school and college campuses, boasting 1.7 million monthly users. Essentially an anonymous virtual bulletin board, those logged into Yik Yak can read the yaks of anyone within a 1.5 radius of them.

Why is it so popular? It taps directly into the growing trend of ephemeral anonymity. We’ve already seen the usage of apps like Snapchat explode due to the allure of its content’s seemingly short shelf-life. Once you add the anonymity factor and mobile, and you have a recipe for success among millennials and centennials.

Learn more about Yik Yak below:

Facebook Businesses on Messenger: All You Need to Know

Facebook messenger-business-F8

Facebook used their F8 developer conference to announce Facebook Businesses on Messenger: a more personal way for brands and consumers to message.

Brands will be able to use Facebook Messenger to connect directly with (opt-in) consumers post-purchase to distribute practical information, provide customer service, and sell more products. The brand messages will appear next to messages from friends; users can receive a notification in the smartphone lockscreen in the same way they receive notifications about messages from friends.

This presents an excellent opportunity to make brands top-of-mind and easily accessible for consumers. Think of it as a way more sexy and effective form of email marketing.

 

How can Facebook Businesses on Messenger be used?

  1. Distribute practical information: receipt delivery, multimedia-rich shipping information, and order updates.
  2. Customer service: this will be a blessing or a nightmare, depending on how top-notch your customer service team is. Facebook has partnered with Zendesk and will use their Zopim chat product to ensure scalable and responsive service via the messaging app. Of course, your company will need the significant human resource, training and financial investment to bring this technology to life. FastCompany predicts the unreliable human element will eventually be replaced with artificial intelligence as the technology becomes better at natural language processing.
  3. Sell, sell, sell: this new functionality puts a big onus on brands to consider the user experience when developing their communication strategies for the channel. There is simultaneously an opportunity for brands to share product news / discounts / special offers AND a risk for brands to bombard the user with too much irrelevant information, thereby driving customers away from engaging on the platform. Brands will need to start softly and test and learn for most effective volume, cadence, and style of communication.

 

David Marcus, Head of Facebook Messenger, when explaining the new functionality said “we wanted businesses to be first-class citizens, like people.”

Let’s remember that citizenship comes with guiding principles and a responsibility to respect and be considerate of other citizens. Marketers: if you are going to accept this citizenship then make sure you understand, and abide by, the (unwritten) rules.

 

How do you start?

Facebook Businesses on Messenger is currently only available to retailers Everlane and Zulily. Sign up here to be the first to know when the functionality is available more broadly.

 

Will you use Facebook Businesses on Messenger?

As a marketer? As a user? What do you think of the announcement? Let me know in the comments below.

fb-messenger-receipt

Gif courtesy of TechCrunch

Photo credit: messenger.com/business

Facebook Businesses on Messenger: All You Need to Know

Facebook messenger-business-F8

Facebook used their F8 developer conference to announce Facebook Businesses on Messenger: a more personal way for brands and consumers to message.

Brands will be able to use Facebook Messenger to connect directly with (opt-in) consumers post-purchase to distribute practical information, provide customer service, and sell more products. The brand messages will appear next to messages from friends; users can receive a notification in the smartphone lockscreen in the same way they receive notifications about messages from friends.

This presents an excellent opportunity to make brands top-of-mind and easily accessible for consumers. Think of it as a way more sexy and effective form of email marketing.

 

How can Facebook Businesses on Messenger be used?

  1. Distribute practical information: receipt delivery, multimedia-rich shipping information, and order updates.
  2. Customer service: this will be a blessing or a nightmare, depending on how top-notch your customer service team is. Facebook has partnered with Zendesk and will use their Zopim chat product to ensure scalable and responsive service via the messaging app. Of course, your company will need the significant human resource, training and financial investment to bring this technology to life. FastCompany predicts the unreliable human element will eventually be replaced with artificial intelligence as the technology becomes better at natural language processing.
  3. Sell, sell, sell: this new functionality puts a big onus on brands to consider the user experience when developing their communication strategies for the channel. There is simultaneously an opportunity for brands to share product news / discounts / special offers AND a risk for brands to bombard the user with too much irrelevant information, thereby driving customers away from engaging on the platform. Brands will need to start softly and test and learn for most effective volume, cadence, and style of communication.

 

David Marcus, Head of Facebook Messenger, when explaining the new functionality said “we wanted businesses to be first-class citizens, like people.”

Let’s remember that citizenship comes with guiding principles and a responsibility to respect and be considerate of other citizens. Marketers: if you are going to accept this citizenship then make sure you understand, and abide by, the (unwritten) rules.

 

How do you start?

Facebook Businesses on Messenger is currently only available to retailers Everlane and Zulily. Sign up here to be the first to know when the functionality is available more broadly.

 

Will you use Facebook Businesses on Messenger?

As a marketer? As a user? What do you think of the announcement? Let me know in the comments below.

fb-messenger-receipt

Gif courtesy of TechCrunch

Photo credit: messenger.com/business

3 Reasons Meerkat is All the Hype Right Now

What is it?

Meerkat is a live video streaming app that debuted about two weeks ago but really picked up traction thanks to SXSW. It uses your Twitter log-in and once you click “stream”, the app Tweets out a Meerkat URL to your followers of your live filming. Followers can then Tweet at you and it’ll show up in the app.

meerkat

Why is it so popular?

1. The creators played it smart and released it right before SXSW. They knew their target audience of tech-savvy users would be in attendance. However, many start-ups also release their products during these tech festivals every year but don’t fare so well.

2. Meerkat was able to rise above the noise because it is different from anything on the market - the best apps gain traction when it enhances an experience or adds value. We already know apps that allow instant, real-time sharing (Instagram, Snapchat) is where the younger audience is spending their time. An app like Meerkat allows users to share to their network exactly what they’re doing at that exact time. Once the livestream ends, the URL will become inactive.

3. It’s also helped that Twitter has kicked up a bit of a fuss about allowing Meerkat to access it’s social graph since Twitter is working on releasing video apps of their own. It’s attempted crack-down on Meerkat has only furthered interest in the app.

What marketers should do…

Try it out! Incorporate Meerkat into plans for producing a new form of video content at events, teaser looks behind the scenes, exclusive live access for social audiences, and more.

For inspiration, keep an eye on how early adopters Starbucks, Red Bull, and Jimmy Fallon are using the app.

3 Reasons Meerkat is All the Hype Right Now

What is it?

Meerkat is a live video streaming app that debuted about two weeks ago but really picked up traction thanks to SXSW. It uses your Twitter log-in and once you click “stream”, the app Tweets out a Meerkat URL to your followers of your live filming. Followers can then Tweet at you and it’ll show up in the app.

meerkat

Why is it so popular?

1. The creators played it smart and released it right before SXSW. They knew their target audience of tech-savvy users would be in attendance. However, many start-ups also release their products during these tech festivals every year but don’t fare so well.

2. Meerkat was able to rise above the noise because it is different from anything on the market - the best apps gain traction when it enhances an experience or adds value. We already know apps that allow instant, real-time sharing (Instagram, Snapchat) is where the younger audience is spending their time. An app like Meerkat allows users to share to their network exactly what they’re doing at that exact time. Once the livestream ends, the URL will become inactive.

3. It’s also helped that Twitter has kicked up a bit of a fuss about allowing Meerkat to access it’s social graph since Twitter is working on releasing video apps of their own. It’s attempted crack-down on Meerkat has only furthered interest in the app.

What marketers should do…

Try it out! Incorporate Meerkat into plans for producing a new form of video content at events, teaser looks behind the scenes, exclusive live access for social audiences, and more.

For inspiration, keep an eye on how early adopters Starbucks, Red Bull, and Jimmy Fallon are using the app.

Screen Time and Babies: What Responsible Marketers Need to Know

At this year’s SXSW Interactive, I was both an attendee and a presenter. Dr. Sarah Huisman, a Professor of Early Childhood Education, and I partnered to lead a session titled “The Health Impact of Screen Time for Babies and Toddlers.”  Our session was bucketed in a new format—what SXSW calls a “Core Conversation.” This is different than a standard panel because of it’s engaging nature. The point of this conversation is to do just that—have an interactive dialogue on a particular topic with the audience.

photo 1

As an agency geek with an MBA/MSIMC and diverse marketing experience, I rarely hear this topic discussed in my field, which is precisely why I wanted to raise awareness of the impact of screen time to the marketing community.

About a year ago, in a casual conversation with Dr. Sarah Huisman, she mentioned that she had been researching and lecturing on the topic of screen time and young children for the past 10 years. I was taken aback. I had spent the majority of my career working to reach parents and families by participating in creative brainstorms, and trying to come up with cool apps and digital gamification. All the while, the impact of screen time had never been discussed. I was surprised to hear of the guidance issued in 2011 by the American Pediatrics Association, that warns against screen time under age 2.

There is a major disconnect. The impact of screen time is a controversial and hot topic among educators and health care professionals, however, marketers (the professionals essentially creating the screen time experiences) know little about this important topic. As a marketer and a mother-to-be, my goals for bringing this conversation to SXSW were to raise awareness of this topic, create a dialogue, and to encourage responsible marketing.

photo 2 copy

Below are 5 key takeaways from our conversation on how screen time effects child development.

  1. Access and Availability: For those of you that think “well, I grew up watching TV and movies and playing Nintendo, and I turned out fine,” young children have many more opportunities to engage in screen time today including screens in minivans, iPads at dinner tables and iPhones in the stroller. Screens are everywhere. Among other aspects, this limits their exposure to important real-world situations that create needed real-world skills.
  2. Learning Through the 5 Senses: It is necessary for young children to first gain physical knowledge of their world, and experience objects in 3-D before they can appropriately process the 2-D symbol found on screens. How can a screen help a baby experience the physical attributes of soft/hard, sphere/cube, cold/hot, salty/sweet or the smells of nature?
  3. Brain Development:  From birth to the age of 2, a baby’s brain grows from 25% to 80% of the size of an adult brain. The foundation for learning is formed during this time. The common phrase for this stage of brain development is “use it or lose it”.
  4. Social/Emotional Development: Secure attachments are formed with the baby’s significant adults through consistent eye contact, skin-to-skin-contact and talking/human connection. A secure attachment is necessary for the baby to develop trust in self and trust for others–trust that they are worthy enough for others to respond to their needs and trust for those in their environment to meet their needs. Secure attachments and trust lay the foundation for future social and emotional health. Time spent in front a screen is precious time away from building human relationships.
  5. Information Processing:  Babies process information 16 times slower than adults. While content may look normally paced to adults, it’s simply too fast-paced for babies to process appropriately.  Their brains aren’t developed enough to follow the content. This has been linked to attention-span issues later in life.

 

The objective of this presentation was to inform and to initiate the conversation about the impact of screen time on child development, from the perspective of marketers (many of whom happened to be parents as well). My personal goal at SXSW was to bring this topic to an audience who might be unfamiliar with it, and to encourage all of us to integrate this knowledge as we practice responsible marketing. The session was productive and we received many follow-up questions and comments from a variety of different perspectives. I am hopeful that we will continue to facilitate this conversation and explore all angles of this important discussion.

Bloomberg Interview: Fergus Hay on Alibaba’s Snapchat Investment and the Value of Social

Social@Ogilvy’s own Fergus Hay, Managing Director of Social@Ogilvy APAC, sat down with Bloomberg last week for a quick chat about Alibaba’s recent plan to fund Snapchat.

Snapchat, as Fergus explains in this interview, is a consumer-based app that sees over 700 million images and videos exchanged per day. It is predominantly prevalent in North America among the younger demographic who want to move beyond slower-paced Facebook to a platform with more ephemeral, quick content.

For a CEO like Jack Ma who wants to grow Alibaba.com as the world’s biggest e-commerce platform, Snapchat can be a gateway to the US market – particularly to an up-and-coming consumer base. Collaborating with Snapchat is a “very smart move” commented Fergus, as competitors like Amazon are starting to see an outdated consumer base.

Fergus also emphasized, social is no longer just a media platform or an analytics tool; it’s becoming the very core of product development itself.

“The companies that build their products around social behavior, those are the ones that are going to get great shareholder value,” he said, citing examples like Uber, evaluated at $40 billion USD.

Looking into the future, Fergus advises brands to stop chasing fan count and rather focus on building deeper customer relationships.

“Just because you like something on Facebook, doesn’t mean you’re going to buy that product or fall in love with their values,” he explained. “So go for less people, but build a relationship with them over time. We call that social CRM.”

See the full interview here.

Top Five Trends from Mobile World Congress 2015

This year’s Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona, Spain and was bigger than ever with 93,000 attendees. MWC is one of the world’s largest mobile events and typically serves as a platform for unveiling new innovation and disruption in the space, and setting trends for the year. #MWC15 was no exception.

Check out the SlideShare on the top five trends from MWC for 2015, and the implications of these trends for brands:

Trend 1: Mobile payments advance and competition heats up

Samsung’s mobile payment service using LoopPay technology was announced with the initial preview of the Galaxy S6 smartphone, and is a game changer for the mobile payments market.

Trend 2: Mobile security is top-of-mind for consumers and tech companies

The mobile space is responding to the flurry of high-profile data thefts and security breaches this year by integrating state-of-the-art biometric security measures into devices.

Trend 3: Internet connectivity expands further into the developing world

Although many of us cannot imagine our lives without the Internet, two-thirds of the world’s population, 4 billion people, lives without Internet access. Google and Facebook are working on initiatives to bring Internet access to the world.

Trend 4: Tech challenges Telecom as companies like Google move into the wireless space

Google announced that it is going to test offering a wireless service within developed markets. Google’s move into the space will utilize Wi-Fi and should prove disruptive for telecom companies.

Trend 5: Wearables and the Internet of Things (#IoT) go mainstream

The premise of the Internet of Things are smarter, connected devices, working together as a network to create efficiencies, make life easier, and save money. Of the entire IoT ecosystem, wearables made a big splash at MWC this year.

 

3 Reasons Facebook’s Spring-Cleaning of Page Likes is Good News

In the next couple of weeks, Page Likes on your Facebook Page might drop. Facebook is dusting out the corners of its platform and has come up with a new and more efficient way to count Page Likes.

From now on, only accounts that are actually active will be counted and all deactivated Facebook accounts will be removed. Deactivated accounts are either inactive because their owners have requested it or because they have passed away, so in terms of engagement there is not much use in keeping these on your list of Likes anyway.

Even though your Page is likely to lose Likes, there’s three reasons why this initiative is good news for your social community:

  1. By cleaning out inactive accounts your audience data will be up to date.
  2. With improved audience measures you will be able to draw more precise insights on your community.
  3. Finding new people interested in your Page will also get easier as targeting people who look like your audience will be more precise.

 

So don’t worry too much if your Like count is dropping but happily wave goodbye to empty Likes and engage with the active members of your community instead.