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16 February 2015 11:16
Not so long ago, in a land not so far away, all events would start with a familiar phrase…“And before we begin, please switch off all mobile phones”. Speakers could judge their success and the resonance of their message through body language, eye contact and the number of hands raised at the end of the session. Times have changed. Now, we actively encourage attendees to use their phones at events and often (although not always!) the best speakers can be identified as those whose audiences are hunched over, tapping away on their mobile devices.
Being physically present at an event no longer provides the maximum opportunity to learn and to network. The most successful attendees are those who can multi-task – be present in the room while simultaneously making an impact online. However, there is a fine line between making positive impact and a negative one. It is vital to do your research, know the audience attending the event and adapt your social media style accordingly. Also it’s worth keeping in mind whether you’re representing yourself or your company, keep your tone and content within any guidelines which may have been set. If in doubt, check with your communications team and add a “personal opinions” disclaimer to any non-corporate accounts.
Originality is key to making an impact on social media, and this goes for events too. At some point or another we’ve had an event attendee clog up our feed by endlessly repeating quotes from speakers. If a speaker has something interesting to say, quote them, but add your own comments too – this way you’re enriching the content, demonstrating your expertise and standing out from the crowd. If you see another user making an interesting point, don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them, reach out and connect!
Of course, it’s not just the attendees who have had to expand their skill set. Event organisers now need to think about creating an online space to match the physical event. Hashtags are essential for any successful event, making it easier for attendees to connect and share thoughts, while branded hashtags have the added advantage of increasing brand exposure to an online audience who may not be able to attend in person.
More and more organisers are preparing online content in advance so that attendees have access to important information on the day and also making speakers’ content more shareable. While on the day, they’re dedicating a resource to monitoring the conversation online and resolving any issues or answering any queries.
While maintaining a successful social media presence at an event can be hard work, the rewards are there too. Not only does it increase your opportunities to form valuable connections and gauge the event’s success – it also lives on long after the event is over. Post-event analysis of social media coverage can be beneficial to both the attendees and the organisers as there is time to review, recognise successful strategies, identify opportunities and follow up.
However, one thing above all, is worth remembering when it comes to social media at events. While positive social media impact can be beneficial – don’t ignore other attendees at breaks or networking sessions in favour of sending extra tweets. Remember to be as charming in real life as you are online!
04 February 2015 14:59
There’s no denying that 2014 was the year of ephemeral messaging. Snapchat, probably the best known platform of its kind, reached 100 million monthly active users with 700 million snaps being sent every day. These statistics are even more impressive when you consider that, a little over three years ago, Snapchat didn’t even exist! While Snapchat is the most famous ephemeral platform, we’ve seen an abundance of other similar messaging services appear on the scene, including Wickr, Blink and Facebook’s Slingshot – albeit with varying degrees of success.
Given the popularity of the likes of Snapchat, it isn’t surprising that the marketing community began to experiment, distributing their content ephemerally with a view to reaching an ever-growing audience. One of the world’s most recognisable brands, McDonalds, took to the platform in February for the US launch of a new burger, while other brands and publishers, from Audi to Mashable, have also toyed with creating self-destructing content in a bid to extend their communities.
The buzz around these platforms is undeniable, one only needs to search on Google to see hundreds of thousands of results – but as a tool for the communications expert, will ephemeral messaging services go the distance or will they, like the messages they enable, disappear after the first view? Despite the buzz, in reality only 1% of communications professionals currently use ephemeral messaging as a tool to communicate about their brands. Furthermore 85% have no plans to use them in 2015, according to website socialmediaexaminer.com. So why is something that is being discussed at such lengths, not being used to the same extent?
The difficulty with using ephemeral messages for marketing is the exact thing that makes them popular in the first place – messages cannot be tracked. While marketers can see their message has been viewed, they have no real way of knowing within the app if the content resonated with the viewer. If the message is a video, it’s difficult to ascertain if the full duration has been watched and thus, if the entire message has been communicated. As marketers are pushed more and more to demonstrate the return on investment for social media activity, they can’t afford to essentially shout into the abyss with no tested way of demonstrating return. Many will argue that if a campaign appeals to the audience, they’ll save it and share it by posting to other networks. However, this in itself means that an ephemeral campaign may not be deemed as a success until its content becomes permanent – defeating the whole spirit of ephemerality in the first place.
Then there is the reputation of the platforms to deal with. Many associate Snapchat and its cohorts with “sexting” or other risqué behaviours. This instantly raises a barrier for more “family friendly” brands – which cannot risk, or do not want, such close associations with a “sexting app”. Not to mention the privacy concerns. The numerous hacking scandals within Snapchat’s short history are also a deterrent for brands.
That’s not to say that ephemeral communication is going away. The phenomenon has undeniably changed the way we think about communicating and with platforms like Wickr – an encrypted, ephemeral messaging service, gaining popularity among the business community, the evolution of ephemeral media looks set to continue. However, whether there is a future for ephemeral platforms as marketing aids remains to be seen and by 2016, for the marketers at least, it could be a case of ephemeral by name, ephemeral by nature.
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…