Category Archives: Social Media

Timehop CEO Replaced By Its Lead Designer

Social media application Timehop has recently undergone a major shake-up in its corporate structure. For the uninitiated, Timehop is a reminder service for content people have posted to various social media outlets. Jon Wegener, co-founder and CEO of the company, has descended from the corporate position in order for the application’s lead designer to take over. This shake-up also has Rick Webb, an early investor with the company, ascending to COO. Wegener commented that these changes reflect a long-term plan to step away from his corporate role, rather than any calculated measure to jump ship.

 

Timehop was established back in 2011 in an extension of its founders’ coding during a Foursquare hacking event. After working at Techstars for a while, the two decided to turn their hack into a business after discovering how well it was received. After integrating Facebook and Instagram, Timehop became a social media reality. The app has missions of users that have turned to it as an alternative to Snapchat’s fleeting offerings.

 

In March of 2015, right as Timehop had reached 12 million downloads and a daily userbase half as large, Facebook installed its own version of the app via the “On This Day.” Furthermore, Timehop’s mobile userbase has continued to dwindle at a steady pace, reflecting a nearly-40 percent drop between the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2016. This seems to indicate that Timehop had been more reliant on loyalty and engagement than other apps, with the decline endemic of new users having bad experiences and leading to a ripple effect of disuse and abandonment.

 

With its new executive team in place, Timehop is working to raise profitability at a slow but sure pace. One year after Facebook’s introduction of On This Day, it maintained 60 million daily users and more than 150 million subscribers.

 

Facebook Attempts to Deal With Algorithmic Censorship and Fake News

In 2016, one of the most iconic works of photojournalism in history was inexplicably censored by Facebook. The reaction by news media outlets to this act of censorship was swift; however, the blame placed on an algorithm gone wild was not fully accurate.

 

The photo in question was taken at the height of the Vietnam War in 1972. The harrowing image depicts a group of frightened children, including a naked 9-year old girl, fleeing a napalm attack while United States soldiers follow in the background.

 

Facebook would later apologize for the incident, but the discussion on algorithmic censorship had gone viral by that time. The Vietnam photo incident brought up interesting discussion about Facebook’s role as a massive media channel and its rule by algorithms. It is easy to blame software routines, but it is also easy to forget that human input and executive decisions are coded into the Facebook algorithm.

 

In addition to the above, there’s another issue that Facebook has been left to deal with: the fake news stories that some analysts believe are part of a shadowy network of propagandists. These bogus stories are also believed to have played a part in the surprise 2016 election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

 

On January 12, 2017, a Syrian migrant targeted by fake news decided to fight back by filing a lawsuit against Facebook. In 2016, when German Prime Minister Angela Merkel visited a migrant shelter in Berlin, Anas Modamani was inspired to take a selfie. That digital image would later be used by fake news authors to smear Modamani and to make him appear to be connected to terrorist attacks in Brussels.

 

Fake news stories have also linked Modamani to other attacks inspired by hate and terror. Since the stories were widely distributed across Facebook, Modamani has chosen to file a defamation lawsuit against the social media network. Facebook plans to vigorously fight this claim.

Social Media Succeeds in Providing a Better Advertising Option to the Small-Scale Entrepreneurs

There has been uproar on the use of social media among the young millennial and the businesspersons. Most of the youths use social media for entertainment while entrepreneurs use it to promote their businesses. The small-scale entrepreneurs who may not have enough capital for advertising and marketing turn to social media as an alternative. Most of them attest to great success in their business by using different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google +, and Pinterest, among others.

 

 

Use of social media in business

 

 

Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500 gave a report showing that the top 500 social media retailers earned $3.3 million in 2014. In addition to that, the social media driven retails and the traffic sales have registered higher sales compared to other online channels. Entrepreneurs using social media in their business may customize their ads to contain the “buy” button on the posts. The other way of generating money using the social media includes directing traffic to their websites and applications through advertising. Approximately 64% of the small business owners rely on social media for their business advice.

 

 

Social Media and Marketing

 

 

Small business owners with no experience and capital in business turn to social media for advertising. The variation in the use of the social media depends on one’s budget, the target audience, and the company’s goal. Instagram is ideal for posting the high-quality photos while Twitter works well with multiple posts daily. Artistic and women products perform best on Pinterest while Linked In targets very formal clients or businesses. An entrepreneur intending to spend some capital on paid ads would consider using Facebook.

 

 

YouTube Pays $1billion to the music industry

 

 

According to a December post on Business Insider, YouTube has paid the music industry more than $1 billion in the past one financial year. The income paid out covers the advertising alone without the inclusion of revenue generated from subscriptions. YouTube intends to increase the number of subscriptions as a way of helping the digital companies increase their average revenue per year. The digital media use the subscriptions to provide an ad-free premium experience to the users and increase their income every year.

 

 

 

Social Media Campaigns That Made Tons Of Money

The Coca Cola Remove Labels was a social media campaign that was spread around Youtube in 2015 in the UAE. The commercial featured a heavy metal rock star, a tattooed scientist and other interesting characters dining at a dinner table. The message of the commercial was to label food products, but not people.

 

The Scoot social matrix was a social media campaign by Singapore Airlines on Youtube and Facebook. They researched the demographics of different types of travelers in Australia and made videos advertising certain niche destinations. The campaign was a success and their flight sales were boosted by over 157 percent.

 

The Toy Testers campaign was promoted by Tesco in the United Kingdom. They promoted their toy selection in their videos during the holiday season. The series of videos successfully raised their toy sales during the holiday season.

 

The UK Bank made multiple videos that were spread via social media. The videos explained the various financial products that the bank had to offer and why they were a better choice over the competition. The bank boosted their overall sales for that year.

 

The UAE financial institution, Emirates NBD, made Facebook campaigns promoting saving for newly married couples. They spread image manipulation applications that showed what couples may look like in 30 years. The company had a significant increase in sales after their campaign.

 

Pepsi launched the Longthroat campaign in Nigeria through social media sites. The campaign took the term longthroat, which means the longing for success in the country, and related it to their new long bottle shape. The campaign boosted sales by more than 60 percent.

Social Media No-Nos For Business Owners

These days, most people are using social media to promote their business. While social media can help you boost your business, you may be doing things that are hurting your business. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is setting up a page and not putting anything on it.

 

Inconsistent posting is another mistake that business owners make. It will be easier for your audience to find and follow you if you have a regular posting schedule. Posting another user’s content without permission is something else that you should not do. Make sure that you respond to comments in a timely manner. You show your customers that their input matters when you respond to them.

 

You want to publish more than just your promotions and sales. It is estimated that 57.5 percent of people are turned off by promotions on social media. Your social media page should focus on building the trust of your customers.

 

You should not treat your business page the same way that you treat your personal page. Buying fake followers is another bad idea. You also want to avoid using too many hashtags. If the hashtags are irrelevant, then this can also work against you. Additionally, you should not auto direct-message your followers on Twitter. Most people do not like to be spammed. Send someone a personal note if you want to thank them.

 

Creating Personalized Experiences Gets Easier

For social media-reliant businesses, getting an edge with online customers is imperative. One of the leaders in the field of personalized marketing technologies is Dynamic Yield. TechCrunch reports that the organization received $22 million in series C funding. The company already works with high caliber clients like Rolling Stone magazine, Sephora and Under Armour. What makes the technology so compelling, and relevant, is its ability to place multiple tools at marketers’ fingertips. Dynamic Yield’s suite includes the ability to run A/B tests, and to pull personalized data information from mobile apps, web and online advertising. This information is then used to create personalized ad campaigns.

 

Researchers have found that certain images work better for female customers versus male customers and this kind of information can help marketers create banners and imagery that best appeals to their target demographic. Studies have shown that personalized marketing campaigns improve a company’s ROI.

 

Dynamic Yield is not the only company looking to data mining technologies to leverage ad campaign creationa, but so far it is the biggest and one of the best funded. Small business owners looking to create personalized experiences for their customers might not be in the position to make use of Dynamic Yield’s platform but can turn to free tools like Optimizely or Hubspot, which are highly flexible. Although these platforms and services don’t offer the same level of detail that Dynamic Yield promises, they are free. Free makes for a good return on investment, no matter your business’ size.

 

German Government Seeks to Fine Away Fake News on Social Media

Germany’s coalition is seeking to legislate the trend of proliferating lies and propaganda through social media. Should the measure, planned for a vote in early 2017, pass, the government would fine Facebook and other major social media platforms up to €500,000.

 

Social Democratic Party chair Thomas Opperman commented that each major platform would be required to build a legal protection office within its country. The office would also necessitate accessibility every hour of every day. He went on to state that should Facebook fail to remove the offensive message after 24 hours, then individual fines would be issued. Additionally, the subject of any fake news could seek a correction to be published at the same degree of importance.

 

In light of its commitment to outsource fact checking efforts, Facebook commented that it took the proliferation of false information seriously. Representatives for the media platform went on to say that they were working with politicians and experts to refine the process and that Facebook already offered several new applications to combat false information.

 

Other German politicians have commented that, being outside the umbrella of free speech, defamation and malicious gossip should be thoroughly prosecuted. Germany’s libel laws can incarcerate perpetrators for up to half a decade. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, has called for stronger legislation that would allow the entire EU to fine offenders. Germany’s worries over false news may be partly driven by fears that it could detrimentally affect its upcoming election similarly to the United States.

 

Social Media Business Etiquette for 2017

Predictions are being made about the significant role that social media will continue to play within the enterprise world in 2017, and many analysts are urging business owners to learn from mistakes made in 2016 to ensure they never happen again.

 

The most obvious example of the need for proper social media etiquette is the Twitter account of President-elect Donald Trump, who is infamous for being combative, quirky and less than refined when posting new updates. Such was the case on December 17, when he sent an early morning tweet that embarrassingly misspelled “unprecedented” as “unpresidented.”

 

According to a December article published by CIO.com, business owners will have to be extra careful about their use of social media in 2017. Proper spelling and grammar is just one of the important rules in this regard; other rules worth mentioning include:

 

– Establishing social media accounts that are never used. Business owners should not place their companies on social media unless they can commit to being active.

 

– Using content created by others without their permission. This does not include sharing updates originally posted by those who are in the same social circles; it refers to copyrighted content.

 

– Treating social media accounts like echo chambers. This means ignoring direct messages and not responding to comments. If a retailer only posts advertisements and promotions, followers will quickly ignore the company.

 

– Not adhering to a plan or editorial calendar. Social media should be approached with a strategy that has been formulated according to market conditions, industry and consumer profile.

 

 

SnapChat In Talks To Make Acquisitions In The Future

The popular social media platform Snapchat is reportedly looking to make a few acquisitions in the hardware department. Specifically, it seems Snapchat is interested in acquiring the latest and greatest in drone technology.

 

A few sources close to Snapchat’s M&A strategy department told reporters that Snapchat has been scanning various companies over the past year. These potential acquisitions have a wide range of specialties, including drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearable cameras.

 

One of the most popular companies Snapchat has been in talks with is Lily Robotics. Lily Robotics is a drone company with its headquarters in Berkeley, California. So far there is no official deal between Snapchat and Lily Robotics, but many people in the social media industry believe it’s only a matter of time before a deal happens.

 

Another company Snapchat is interested in is Narrative, a wearable camera company in Sweden. Unfortunately for Snapchat, it appears talks with Narrative were unsuccessful in the short term.

 

Of course, Snapchat is no stranger to the acquisition market. Snapchat did acquire the company Vergence Labs in 2014 to help them with their smart sunglasses technology. Snapchat released their special spectacles this November in California. These glasses will allow users to take pictures or videos and send them directly to the social media site directly from the glasses.

 

Experts believe Snapchat is so interested in drone technology right now because it wants to find different ways for users to take selfies of themselves. Social media analysts think SnapChat wants to use drone technology to track a person while doing action sports and immediately upload videos to SnapChat.

 

Of course, this is all speculation right now, but drone technology does seem to be in SnapChat’s future. SnapChat is also expected to become a publicly traded company on Wall Street next year. Investors will keep a close eye on SnapChat’s acquisitions as its estimated $25 billion IPO draws nearer.

 

 

Could Pinterest Be The Next Big IPO? Investors Sure Hope So

Wall Street investors believe social media giant Pinterest could be one of the hottest IPOs in the near future. Analysts say Pinterest’s greatest advantage right now is that it can expertly monetize non-intrusive advertisements.

 

Pinterest allows its users to easily see items on various “pins” and connect to websites where they can purchase a wide variety of items. There are no ad intrusions to the overall social media experience on Pinterest.

 

Just looking at Pinterest’s figures, investors are mightily impressed. Pinterest has over 100 million users, $11 billion valuation, and grew an astonishing 500 percent in 2015.

 

Pinterest is unabashedly a female dominated platform. 80 percent of Pinterest’s users are women, and 20 percent of all women who use the Internet use Pinterest. This makes Pinterest a perfect place for companies in the fields of jewelry, technology, foodstuffs, design, and fashion.

 

One interesting feature investors are also interested in is a Pinterest grocery assistant program. This program, which is currently in development stages, will allow users to purchase various items for a “pinned” recipe and add it to their e-shopping cart. Investors see a great future for this program, perhaps even allowing users to do e-grocery shopping from the comfort of their home.

 

Many high-quality financial studies have been singing Pinterest’s praises as well. A recent study put out by eMarket said that Pinterest was better than SnapChat, LinkedIn, and Instagram in terms of “social advertising effectiveness.” Another study from Wedbush Securities said that Pinterest was on target to garner $500 million in ads by the end of 2016.

 

Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann founded the social media company Pinterest in 2010. Pinterest is currently headquartered in San Francisco and is available in around 20 languages. Pinterest has yet to officially announce any plans for a future IPO.