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20 January 2015 10:42
Keeping on top or even ahead of the trends in the social media industry can be a huge challenge. As we move into 2015, we asked our social media specialists to predict the trends to watch for the year. Check out their top ten social media predictions in our video and blog post below to see what developments may have an impact on your business during the year!
All Eyes on China
Home to the world’s most active social media community, this year we’ll look more and more to China for new social media trends. The Chinese are ahead of the game in terms of monetizing social messaging, and this is where we’ll borrow most from them. While the West sees in-app purchasing as a trend for 2015, mobile app WeChat is already making it happen in China. WeChat offers highly customisable APIs for retailers to create, not ads, but storefronts within the messaging app. This also means the buyer rarely has to leave the app to make a purchase – saving time and hassle. WeChat has even added a mobile wallet function, allowing users to not only complete online purchases but offline transactions too, such as paying for taxis or even using vending machines. While there are some cultural barriers to adapting all of WeChat’s functions, Facebook, with its increased focus on unbundling and the provision of function-first apps, will be sure to take some inspiration from its success.
Dark Social Sharing : Marketers Strike Back
With the social messaging apps taking over, users are now more difficult to reach and track. Understanding “Dark Social” activity will be a priority for marketers in 2015. To help with this, we’ll see more advanced sharing options like the presence of the “share on whatsapp” button. We’ll also see marketers wrapping content in trackable links to get more insight into shares on closed networks or shares by email. Given that an estimated 72% of content is shared by copying and pasting, brands can’t afford to miss this data when demonstrating ROI.
Just Do It…
Speaking of ROI, performance will be everything in 2015. Now, more than ever, social media is being taken seriously by the C-Suite and marketers will have to prove real successes and real returns. Inflated or vague performance metrics will no longer be acceptable, social media measurement will need to be tied to business impact in a clear and understandable way. Of course, to achieve this success, marketers will need to be a step ahead of their audience and harness the power of social listening in order to align their key messages. To make an impact, messages will need to be more emotive and content will need to be optimised for cross-platform distribution – and special consideration given to wearable technology.
Media on the Move
Whether on a wearable device, smartphone or tablet, it’s predicted that this year 1 billion people will use mobile as their only form of internet access. Mobile optimisation is no longer an option for brands, it is the only option. We’ll see an increase in function-first apps from the major social networks, as they split out their different facilities. We’ve already seen this with Facebook in 2014, introducing Messenger and Groups apps and this one-tap access trend will certainly continue. We’ll also see more demand for responsive design for websites and email marketing, making content more visually appealing for mobile users.
2015 and beyond
They say, if you’re not moving forward you’re falling behind. Now users are looking for a platform that will move with them, that will save them time and that will provide easier access to the things they need while reducing the noise. Major networks will need to unbundle – following Facebook’s lead – in order to provide function-first apps, allowing users to opt-in to the elements of the platform that they want. Messaging apps will need to expand, offering more retail-friendly APIs and purchase options, like WeChat. Marketers will need to explore dark social in order to measure all social activity and its impact on a business, as the spotlight on social media performance continues to grow. So as 2015 begins our advice to you is; get creative, get moving, and don’t be afraid of the dark!
Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know what trends you’ll be focusing on in 2015 in the comment section. And for those of you who missed them, you can find last year’s predictions here.
07 January 2015 15:31
It happens regularly nowadays – you research a company online and discover a multitude of social media accounts across different platforms. Impressed by their online presence you click into their pages only to discover that most of them haven’t been updated in months, or even years. As a brand follower it can be disappointing and frustrating but for many communications professionals it’s an understandable situation to be in.
Frequently we hear of the “next big thing” in social media, a new platform where, as a business, you “have to” be present. Filled with a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) we explore these new sites. Like the early days of a relationship, we go through the honeymoon period, filled with new experiences and regular updates. In some cases, the relationship grows, we form deeper connections, share more and more common experiences and develop a stable relationship.
Sometimes though, it can feel like things aren’t working out. As busy communications professionals, how do you know when it’s worth making more of an effort to grow your relationship or if it’s time for a social media breakup?
What qualities are you looking for?
Did you have a goal in mind when you set up your account? Whether you wanted to increase brand awareness, generate leads, promote content or solve customer issues, ask yourself if the social network you’re using is helping you achieve these objectives. It’s important to ensure that the time you invest helps you to achieve real business goals.
Does your target audience use the platform? If you’re aiming for an older demographic, Snapchat may not be your best choice, with 71% of users aged under 25 (1). If you’re targeting a primarily male audience, it could be time to consider retiring your Pinterest account, where there are 4 times more female users (2) than male.
It’s also important to consider the mindset of the user when you’re choosing a platform to convey your message. With over 1 billion users, most of your audience is likely to be on Facebook, but if you’re a B2B company is this the best channel to contact them through? LinkedIn’s users are in a business mindset when visiting the platform so despite having a smaller audience than Facebook, the conversion rate for B2B companies on LinkedIn is 80%, compared to Facebook’s 6.7% (3).
Assess your relationship with your followers, fans and connections. Do you know who they are and are they relevant to your business? Most importantly, do they engage with your posts on the platform you’re using? A low engagement rate could suggest that the content you’re producing isn’t of interest to your audience or, that your audience isn’t active on the platform you’re sharing your content on.
Content with your content?
Some platforms are better suited than others to different types of content. For example, if your product or service isn’t very visual it’s likely that an Instagram account for your business will eventually fizzle out. Invest time in a social media network that allows you to share the content that best showcases your business.
Spreading your brand too thinly across multiple social networks risks opportunities to make valuable connections. Evaluate your social media interactions and analyse return on the investment. Don’t be afraid to leave a network that isn’t working for you in favour of turning your focus to one that is.
11 December 2014 16:12
As the European Commission announced plans to rewrite the 2011 directive on copyright, market participants (publishers, internet giants, intermediaries, authors …) met in Brussels on 20th November 2014 to discuss this controversial subject. Kantar Media participated in the event, organised by the European Voice newspaper, under the title: “Copyright 2015: changing the rules for new times?”
During the afternoon, discussions were held on how to adapt copyright in response to technological change: “Faced with the exponential growth of digital content, creative industries are at a turning point where they must adapt and find new ways to generate revenues in this new environment. New technologies have made the global diffusion of and access to virtual content faster and easier but have also paved the way to high volumes of illegal sharing of copyrighted material […].”
Defining common solutions is essential. While today, works are protected by 28 national laws, when it comes to the internet, there are no boundaries. This naturally has consequences for competitiveness but also for the development potential of the digital economy.
On behalf of FIBEP and AMEC, Kantar Media’s Christophe Dickès highlighted the complexity of international content management and the impact on media monitoring and analysis companies and their clients.
Various content management approaches taken by different editors make modes of accessing content change from one country to the next. Sometimes within the same territory, two or even three copyright management models compete at the expense of not just the media intelligence companies and their customers but the publishers themselves.
With this in mind, Kantar Media, with FIBEP and AMEC, called for the simplification of copyright management at a European level. While recognising the need for fair remuneration of publishers, FIBEP and AMEC requested greater flexibility in the use of the content and the creation of a fair market for all stakeholders.
For more information, please contact:
Kantar Media – Paris (France)
FIBEP Florian Laszlo – Vienna (Osterreich)
AMEC: Barry Leggetter – London (UK)
27 November 2014 16:34
In today’s ‘always on’ media environment, media monitoring data, once exclusively associated with PR teams, is becoming increasingly utilised across different departments as a way of improving performance.
Companies can immediately identify the potential scope of an issue; understand the value of their efforts in PR, digital marketing, or content marketing more easily; identify cultural nuances across markets or understand their performance in comparison to competitors.
From Sales and Marketing, to HR and Customer Services, our infographic explores the variety of ways in which different teams across organisations can benefit from media monitoring and analysis.
07 October 2014 15:19
An acquisition, can speak volumes about the direction a company will take. In an industry that is developing as rapidly as social media, it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of acquisitions occurring and the two industry giants, Facebook and Twitter, appear to be leading the pack.
With each acquisition comes new skills and opportunities for the company to evolve. Our history teachers will tell us, the best way to predict the future is to examine the past, so what can the past acquisitions of Facebook and Twitter tell us about what’s in store for the future of the companies?
01 October 2014 16:51
Media monitoring is the start and continual evolution of a communications strategy. The articles your brand is mentioned in and the journalists who pick them up define the awareness of your brand and the success of your campaigns.
This sounds a tad daunting – if only there was a guide to demonstrate how to make the most of your monitoring.. Oh but wait, there is! Check out our top tipsheet below – identify the relationship between social and mainstream monitoring; understand your different audiences and make the most of your existing service to feed the future of your campaigns.
17 September 2014 11:47
With only a day to go til the vote, we’ve compared the conversations on Twitter now with those of a week ago, and we’ve compared our Twitter figures with the September referendum poll (by TNS). Have our referendum politicians succeeded in changing Twitter users’ opinions? Let’s see if anything has changed…
12 September 2014 15:03
Less than a week away, the Scottish Independence Referendum is very much on the horizon. The official government research polls are being published, but is there a difference between the official poll and people’s opinions on social media? We monitor current Twitter activity to find out…
08 September 2014 12:57
Any content chef worth their salt knows that no one has time for three course meals any more – they want to snack and go!
A study by the International News Media Association has shown that the average adult attention span is 2.8 seconds – about enough time to read a tweet or a headline. You can choose to cater for this by serving up your content in bite-sized pieces, like the New York Times with its NYT Now mobile.
Or you could give your audience something more substantial, and allow them to share the tastiest little bits. By making it easy to tweet a certain part of your content, you’re letting people share a sample of the full buffet with their friends, who will stop by when they’re ready for a sit-down meal.
Don’t forget the meat!
…or tofu, if you’re veggie. The point is to provide something of substance, something for people to get their teeth into.
As a content creator, you should be answering the question, “where’s the beef?” The best way to do this is to create something worth sharing. Not something designed to be shared, but something that is so informative, inspirational or otherwise valuable that the person looking at it just has to pass it on.
We can make sandwiches!
Make your meal easy to consume by serving it sandwiched between two slices of bread.
American PR guru Peter Shankman has called his home nation “a country of headline readers”, a description that applies to the whole wide post-Upworthy web. So your first slice of carb should be a headline good enough to whets readers’ appetites, and ideally to encourage them to share the content straight away. Keep them satisfied with a generous helping of sharing buttons!
After the “meat” of your content, you should slide another slice, designed to soak up every ounce of goodness that oozes from your video, article or whatever it is. Fill that hole by giving your audience a nutrient-packed conclusion. Or leave them wanting more, by asking thought-provoking questions.
The secret sauce!
05 September 2014 12:19
Why would anyone want to dump a bucket of ice water over their head? And having decided to make this bizarre decision why would you then decide to video it and show all your mates?! Questions I didn’t think I’d be asking myself in July, but make perfect sense today.
Perhaps by using the insights we have gained through our research into what creates “Contagious Content” and looking at the spread of the ice bucket challenge using Kantar Media Intelligence’s Fisheye technology, we can shed some light on what is driving this “mass Icesteria” (sorry!)
Firstly, a reminder of our contagious content work that looks at the drivers for sharing online. These were identified in what we call our R.E.A.C.H model, developed within Kantar Media and subsequently tested and validated with the team at Yahoo. R.E.A.C.H stands for Relevance (is it of interest to you), Emotion (does it make you feel), Ambience (is it current, endorsed), Currency (will it make you look good to your peers) & Handiness (is it useful). We would argue that a great part of the success of the ice bucket challenge has been its ability to deliver across all of these attributes.
I’ve been working alongside my colleague Euan Mackay on the Contagious Content research who has himself taken the ice bucket challenge and can therefore give us an added insight into what drove him into this madness.
For many of us it is our friends and family we see in the videos, making it highly relevant to us as individuals. For some there will also be the deeper meaning of the disease the challenge seeks to drive awareness of and funding to research, certainly in my own experience some of the most frequent posters of this content among my friends are those who have experience of ALS or other serious conditions within their families.
Euan Mackay (EM): “The whole ice bucket challenge became increasingly relevant to me when it moved away from just celebrities doing it, to real people who I actually knew. In the end my nomination came from a school friend whom I had seen getting soaked herself.”
Linking us neatly into emotion, and here I would suggest it is twofold, first we have the emotion driven by the underlying message around ALS which many will be deeply touched by. We have the more visceral emotions around seeing someone having a bucket of ice cold water dumped on them. There is a great mix of highly arousing emotions here including joy (seeing your mates get it) and fear (imagining yourself getting that cold water running down your back and if it will be you nominated next). Both of these are likely to increase adrenalin in the viewer making them want to take action and when combined with such a worthy and heartfelt cause why wouldn’t the emotional side of you be screaming out to press share and join in.
EM: “Well, the main emotion that I felt was dread and horror really, as soon as I got the Facebook message through telling me I had been nominated. After that initial wobble though I felt that this was as good an opportunity to both make a contribution to charity that was close to my heart. And then of course there was the slightly darker emotion of vengeance and how I can get retribution on my pal who had nominated me.”
Ambience is also key to the success of the ice bucket challenge with its sudden rise to prominence and the clear celebrity endorsement we have seen. Mainstream media has also had a huge influence in setting a context in which the ice bucket challenge could thrive, in August alone we saw a total of 14,264,254 shares on social networks from online news articles and stories. By providing this content the media is giving us both added material to share alongside the challenge videos as well as creating a zeitgeist in which the challenge has flourished. The ice bucket challenge is also clearly getting endorsement to help its kudos here which in turn helps feeds the currency factor we discuss next. The chart above shows how this endorsement is working with the top 20 accounts with the highest potential impressions connected for the challenge. In the lists we see a clear mix of sports starts and celebrities including the new breed of “YouTube Celebs” as well as curated media sites all of which endorse this behaviour in the viewer’s mind.
EM: “The fact that the ice bucket challenge had been so “in your face” across the media over the previous couple of weeks meant that I knew everything about it. I was up to speed with what was going on. It had entered my consciousness even before it became especially relevant to me.”
In all the work we have done looking at what drives people to share, the overriding attribute is currency. This is whether sharing this content will make you look good in front of your peers and it is incredibly important in driving sharing. In the case of the ice bucket challenge there is a clear currency factor at play, first there is the guilt of not completing the challenge if nominated and the social stigma this could entail. Then there is the clear halo of taking the challenge and looking like a fun loving, caring person to your friends. Further evidence for the currency factor appears when we look at some of the one up man ship in some of the videos as those taking the challenge look for more elaborate ways to get their dunking. It is not enough to do the challenge for some they need to have their own unique version of it. These unique, fail and celeb versions of the challenge helping to add greater fuel to the spread of the videos as we look to find new and exciting videos to be the first to share with our friends even if they are individuals not directly linked to us.
EM: “For me and my challenge, it wasn’t so much about looking good in front of my peers – when all is said and done I was dumping a bucked of iced water on my head in the rain at 6.30 in the morning. It was more not rising to the challenge. It was the emotional blackmail that I felt that made me do it. I didn’t want my friend of 20-odd years thinking that I was not up for a bit of nonsense. And then there was the power that I was given from being able to nominate others. That was one of the real driving factors here. Being able to pass it onwards and put other pals through the same trauma as I had gone through.”
Finally we have the handiness factor which is the utility content can provide and in this instance we have a clear underlying message about a debilitating disease that we should quite rightly highlight. We have seen just how effective this campaign has been in raising awareness with Tweets connected to the http://alsa.org website that referenced the ice bucket challenge generating a total of 124,146,585 potential Twitter impressions.
EM: “Well, it’s not the most productive thing that I’ve ever done in the garden, but it did mean that I was helping raise money for charity so I figured there must be some good coming of this.”
By hitting all these attributes and doing this through an engaging medium like video the ice bucket challenge provides a strong motivator to share. However, as Currency and Ambience are clearly important factors within this it seems unlikely it will last too much longer as these attributes are often time dependant so if like me you have so far avoided a soaking we may not have too much longer to hold out!
Source : Kantar Media
– See more at: http://uk.kantar.com/tech/social/2014/kantar-media-analysis-of-the-ice-bucket-challenge/#sthash.GHKU8yEi.dpuf