Twitter Announces Exemptions to 140 Character Limit, Simplifies Response

As flagged recently by Bloomberg, Twitter is about to unload a whole range of changes that could have significant bearing on how people use the platform. Will they be enough to re-awaken the micro-blog giant and get more people to tweet? That’s impossible to say, but the changes are definitely interesting, and they continue the platform’s ongoing efforts to push new innovations without compromising their core functionality.

Here’s what Twitter’s announced, all of which to be rolled out “in the coming months”:

1. “@NAMES” WILL NO LONGER BE COUNTED IN REPLIES

The first change relates to how you converse via tweet. When you’re replying to several people at once, it can sometimes be difficult to contextualize exactly what you’re intending to say to within the few characters you have left once you’ve included their @handles.

Twitter Announces Exemptions to 140 Character Limit, Simplifies Response | Social Media Today

To improve the conversation flow, Twitter’s removing @names from the 140 character count on replies.

Now, my first thought was “oh here we go, Spam City”, thinking that people will now be able to include a billion @handles in their spam tweets and not have them count towards the character limit. But that’s not how it works, as Twitter explains here:

Get the rest of the tips HERE

How Offline and Online Marketing Can Work Together [Infographic]

The ways in which consumers research and buy products are changing, and that means the methods a business uses to promote itself and its products also needs to shift in-line.

This has made the choice between offline or online marketing more complex – which is more worthy of your marketing spend?

Offline marketing – newspaper adverts, TV ad campaigns, direct mail, etc. – are getting less focus, but research suggests that many consumers still rate these channels as significant factors in their discovery and purchase process. Local newspapers, in particular, remain a trusted source of information when it comes to local businesses.

Online marketing, on the other hand – tweets, posts, updates, and PPC advertising – is also a strong contender, and is becoming a more relevant consideration as people spend more time online, particularly via mobile device.

So what does this mean for your marketing spend?

There’s not necessarily one channel which is better than the other.

Both online and offline marketing have a place in your marketing strategy, but the need to be constantly assessing what is and isn’t working for you is paramount.

The measure of whether a promotional channel is effective is whether it’s generating interest, leads and customers for your business. The below infographic breaks down some of the key data around online and offline marketing effectiveness.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Both offline and online channels have their value when it comes to promotion and advertising
  • All promotional methods and tools need to be constantly reviewed for ROI
  • It’s not an online OR offline marketing decision, but how they support with each other that mattershow offline and online marketing can work together.jpg

 

How to Connect with Consumers via User-Generated Content [Infographic]

The benefits of user-generated content can be huge, particularly within social media marketing.

The logic of the practice is pretty simple – the average person has a Facebook network, for example, of around 130 friends which looks something like this.

How to Connect with Consumers via User-Generated Content [Infographic] | Social Media Today

As you can see, there’s a spread of interconnections between the different groups within your personal network – one would be workmates, another school friends, family, etc. Reaching all of those different people and groups with your marketing messages is hard, but having them share your content – and using those already established connections to filter your message throughout those network chains – can be significantly more effective.

When you consider, too, that Facebook’s algorithm seeks to show users content from those that they have a stronger interaction history with – likely friends and family – it makes sense that a message from a person they know is going to filter through each network better than one from a brand, particularly in the early stages of your social strategy. The scale is more complex, because you’re working on a person-by-person basis, but the benefits can be big, when done right.

What’s more, people put more trust in messages from real people, a factor underlined in a new infographic from UGC marketing platform Offerpop. As per Offerpop’s graphic (shared below), 85% of consumers find visual UGC more influential than brand photos and videos. Yet at the same time, brands, according to research, haven’t caught up to user trends.

According to Offerpop, consumers are 2X more likely to share because they want a friend to know about a brand, while only 14% of brands indicated this being a key reason which they believed motivated such sharing.

And another critical detail to note – Offerpop says that more than 50% of consumers want brands to tell them what to include when they’re creating and sharing UGC, while only 16% of brands actually do so. This underlines the importance of being explicit in your UGC marketing – if you’re looking for your audience to share images of your new product, ask them to do so, including the relevant hashtag, if applicable. It’s a small detail, but the data shows it can lead to significantly higher success rates.

Offerpop’s full user-generated content infographic is below.

ugcinfographic

Why Facebook’s Lovely New VR Film, Shot in Grand Central, Is So Unlike Most 360° Videos

facebook-here-and-now-hed-2016

In the infancy of virtual reality, two opposing extremes of 360° films have tended to dominate the brand space. On the one hand, you have your epic visual extravaganzas, including explosive work in gaming. On the other hand, you have quieter, more empathetic filmmaking about putting oneself in another’s reality—although, to create an element of surprise, this other reality is often remote, difficult to access and far removed from one’s own life.

For its first big experimental VR film, Facebook saw an opportunity to make a third kind of piece—one that’s both heightened yet familiar, ambitious yet ordinary, something quietly grand about everyday life. This fits the Facebook brand perfectly, of course—this is, after all, a giant company that enables the smallest, most ordinary moments of human interaction.

The resulting three-and-a-half-minute film, which just rolled out Tuesday, is called “Here and Now.” It was made by The Factory, Facebook’s in-house creative studio, and was shot on—and in some ways serves as advertising for—the Facebook Surround 360 camera, which was introduced last month at F8.

As a story and a piece of craft, it fulfills its high-low mission by showing ordinary moments in a grand space—eight vignettes of people engaging with friends and family in the main concourse at New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Watch the film below. (It will be on Oculus VR later today.) If your browser has trouble playing it, you can watch it on Facebook instead.

Read full article here. 

Twitter Releases New Data on the Value of Influencers [Infographic]

Influencer marketing is on the rise, with a growing number of brands cottoning onto the fact that one of the most effective and efficient ways to gain traction on social platforms is via the people who already have an audience and are already using the apps and tools to best effect. And while actors, singers and sports stars remain great amplifiers of brand messaging, social media influencers are building their own celebrity status, particularly among younger users who don’t affiliate stardom with a medium, necessarily,  which is a more traditional reflection of relative fame.

This is most evident among Vine stars and rising creators who are building their personal brands on social platforms. These days, MTV regularly showcases the latest flock of social stars you need to know, influencers are making huge money, despite having no traditional media presence, tours are even being hosted to showcase the latest platform talent.

These social celebrities are even being mobbed at events – the below footage (in GIF form) was taken from a recent VidCon event, where Vine star Matthew Espinosa, who has more than 6 million followers on the platform, was flocked by a horde of screaming girls after they found him in disguise.

Even if you’ve never heard of them, the next generation of celebrity is evolving online, and as such, it makes sense for brands to be partnering with them, particularly when trying to reach younger markets.

To get a better handle on this, Twitter partnered with data analytics provider Annalect to survey more than 800 Twitter users on their receptiveness to influencers. And what they found was a pretty strong indication of the power of influencer marketing:

  • 49% of respondents said they relied on influencers for product recommendation, second only to Tweets from friends at 56%.
  • People exposed to brand Tweets had a 2.7x lift in purchase intent over participants who didn’t see an advertiser Tweet – but those exposed to a campaign that featured both brand and influencer Tweets had a 5.2x increase in purchase intent.
  • One third of Millennial users (aged 13 to 24) report following Vine creators on Twitter

The data’s hard to ignore – while influencer marketing may not be for every brand, it’s definitely proving valuable for those looking to reach specific audience subsets and more effectively communicate their brand message.

Twitter’s compiled their study results into the below infographic for easy consumption.twitter influence

Digital Video Ad Spending Soars, Budgets Coming Mainly From TV

vidbudget_jn1fJ8dAd spending on original digital — both desktop and mobile — programming has more than doubled since 2014, and those budgets have come primarily out of television, according to findings of a survey of advertiser and agency executives released this morning by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Results of the survey, which suggest a significant shift is taking place in the TV/video advertising marketplace, not surprisingly were released this morning by the IAB on the first day of its week-long Digital Content NewFronts in New York City.

The survey, which was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions, polled 360 ad executives between March 14 and 25, and found that their average video ad spending has nearly doubled over the past three years, but their investments in the kind of “original” digital video programming being showcased at the NewFronts rose 114% in two years.

Read full article here.