Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

Posts by category

SAW A GOOD IDEA

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Instagram: the King of Engagement

  
  
  
  
  

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly opening Instagram the second you unlock your iPhone? I do it all the time. I admit it – I’m an Instagram addict. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing that little orange heart emerge on your iPhone screen to notify you that someone has liked your photo.

 Since its debut in 2010, the platform has garnered huge success, generating 300 million subscribers. The “double-tapping” feature to like photos is now an integral part of our social scrolling ritual. By providing instant updates, Instagram has become an essential resource for people to access information in a way that is both aesthetically appealing and user-friendly.

Screen Shot 2015 06 30 at 9.45.00 AM

Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

 With its Explore feature, content is curated to the user based on the people that he or she follows and the most popular pages. The targeted Discover page takes you to new realms by presenting fresh photos and accounts to follow daily. See where your fingertips take you.

This week, Instagram revitalized its explore page, taking after Twitter and Facebook by presenting news and trends first and foremost on the landing. Now at the top of the explore section, users will find trending hashtags and places. 

 

Screen Shot 2015 06 30 at 9.45.14 AM

Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

Thanks to Instagram’s intuitive features and smart classification of information, you can see the world through other people’s eyes. The abundance of perspectives available on the app can enhance our lives in a number of ways. For example, if I were wondering what to order at a restaurant, I would search its Instagram page to see photos of the food. Chances are that the most Instagrammed dish is also the most delicious one. Or say that I wanted to plan my next vacation to Mexico; my first move would be to check the Instagram photos of my desired destinations to help me build an itinerary.

So what makes Instagram a winner in the world of mobile apps?

There is no better forum for engagement. With its flaw-hiding filters, users can’t help but double tap. According to a recent study by Yahoo labs, filtered photos are 21% more likely to get clicks and 45% more likely to get comments than unfiltered ones. 

Screen Shot 2015 06 30 at 9.45.30 AM

Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

The app’s success skyrocketed this year with a 15% increase in engagement. For companies, the platform will remain a crucial channel for establishing brand identity and attracting a social audience – especially younger users. 68% percent of millennials say they engage with brands regularly by clicking liking, following and commenting. With that being said — Instagram on, my fellow Instagram addicts!

 

GIFs: Back and Better than Ever

  
  
  
  
  

The GIF, pronounced “JIF” in case you weren’t sure, was invented in 1987 in order for weather maps to save bandwidth on a dial-up Internet connection. So, why are we talking about GIFs now, in 2015?

This format, a combination of pictures that create an endlessly looping, moving image, has been around for a while. However, the recent introduction of autoplay and emphasis on short-form video on many social media platforms has made GIFs relevant again—this time as a new and unique advertising tool.

GIFs, and other short-form animated content, are perfectly aligned to be advertisements on most social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now all have an autoplay feature where video plays automatically, without user action. Additionally, this short-form moving image is just the right length to be uploaded to Instagram and short enough that users will actively pay attention. GIFs can also be directly embedded into a tweet or a Facebook post, making the viewing process user-friendly.

 tumblr nisrgpCcvW1tbq024o1 500

GIF courtesy of Giphy

Instead of advertising through words and still frames, some brands have started to work with Giphy and Tumblr to create branded GIF content. Brands like DiGiorno Pizza, seen above, have used these animated loops on Twitter and found that they increased engagement among followers.

 

How Brands Use Cinemagraphs to Capture Audience Attention Heinekin Brandfolder

Cinemagraph courtesy of Brandfolder

A specific type of GIF, the cinemagraph, has gained popularity on Instagram recently. This type of GIF is a still image with one animated component, and was popularized by digital artist Kevin Burg and photographer Jamie Beck.

The cinemagraph is seemingly hypnotic and draws consumer attention when scrolling down one’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram news feed.  Toyota, Heineken, and Gilt have all used cinemagraph advertisements on Instagram and many other brands are following in their footsteps on Facebook as well.

With the advent of autoplay and the infiltration of advertising content on social media platforms, the use of GIFs and cinemagraphs can be a strategic way for brands to differentiate themselves and capture consumers’ attention. However, it is important for brands not to abuse and overuse GIFS and instead use them only when it is the best way to tell their story.  


Foodies for the win! How to optimize engagement on Instagram

  
  
  
  
  

Food infiltrates our thoughts countless times a day. Where are we going for dinner tonight? Wow, that burrito looks good; I wonder where he got it from.

With its hashtag and geotag features, Instagram delivers a multitude of opportunities for restaurants, cafés and sweet shops to become more than just destinations – it allows them to establish and promote their brand from the palm of their hand. 

Following its advent in 2010, the platform has since reached 300 million active users and 70 million photos posted per day  – and many of these photos are food-related. With hashtags such as #food and #instafood populating the captions of 178.6 million and 56 million photos, respectively, Instagram is an essential domain for fostering engagement with all things edible.

instaphoto

Photo courtesy of AdWeek

Food-related accounts are not only fun to follow, but they also provide a necessary service in guiding others on what and where to eat. From this exposure, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, cafés and little coffee shops are attracting visitors from all over the world. One such account is Baked by Melissa, which has gathered 135K followers by promoting its miniature cupcakes in various places throughout New York City and by keeping up with holidays, movie premieres, sporting events and more. The burgeoning cupcake bakery drives engagement by encouraging customers to post photos of their favorite “Baked by Melissa” moments to be featured on their website.

Screen Shot 2015 06 15 at 6.01.30 PM

 Screenshot of Baked by Melissa’s Instagram account. 

One thing is for sure: these food accounts are doing something right. If Sprinkles Cupcakes can rack up 280k followers, then so can your brand. Of course, these cupcake shops are famous for a reason – they exhibit smart, simple marketing strategies and share-worthy content.

 

For example, Sprinkles invites customers to like their page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to learn the secret word of the day, which can be whispered at each Sprinkles location to earn a "buy one, get one free" deal. I think “free cupcake,” Sprinkles thinks “free followers.” Therefore, it's a win-win.

Screen Shot 2015 06 15 at 6.02.19 PM

Screenshot of Sprinkles Cupcakes’ Instagram account.

While free cupcakes are fabulous, here are three takeaways from these sweet shops’ social strategies that may be helpful for any brand:

1.) Track the trends. With hashtags such as #NationalDonutDay generating 18k posts online within an hour, it’s crucial to put out content that aligns with social media’s most buzzed-about events, holidays and news, all the while connecting back to your own brand. 

2.) Encourage engagement with questions, calls to action and contests. Users are more likely to engage with content with which they feel a personal connection, for example, if a photo caption prompts me to comment with the team I want to win the NBA Championship, chances are, I will (Warriors, obviously). 

3.) Show some love. Engagement is a two-way street. To keep your followers hungry for more, it wouldn’t hurt to throw them a favorite, retweet or a quick comment to let them know that their opinion matters.

 

Social News Roundup | June, 12, 2015

  
  
  
  
  

1. 3 Surprising Benefits of Scheduling Your Tweets 

1 resized 600

Photo courtesy of AdWeek

Scheduling your Tweets ahead of time helps to create a stronger and more consistent brand voice, allows you to be creative and can relieve stress. Read more here.

2. American Pharoah May Be The Most Brand Friendly Horse Ever

describe the image

Photo courtesy of AdWeek

The last time a horse won a Triple Crown, 1978, was years before many advances in the digital world and ad industry. Even before American Pharoah’s win, he had marketing deals, and was making history in advertising. See some of his deals here

3. 5 Ways to Maintain Brand Cohesion on Social Media

Screen Shot 2015 06 12 at 11.23.08 AM

Photo courtesy of Social Times

Social Times shares the 5 ways to make sure that your brand has a consistent voice on social media. Check out the full infographic.

 

4. May Media Publishers Report: Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed Video on the Rise

describe the image

Photo courtesy of AdWeek

BuzzFeed Video has seen the highest increase in engagement- 45% up from April- across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

See the full report.

 

5. Instagram Cleans Up Its Website To Mimic Mobile and Make Photos Pop

Desktop Profile resized 600

Photo courtesy of Mashable 

 

 

 

 

Take a look for yourself.

 

6. Facebook Now Wants You to Explore What’s Trending in 5 Topics

FB Trending Entertainment resized 600

Photo courtesy of Mashable

Facebook is testing the organization of its Trending section on the homepage. The updates to this area will help make Facebook an effective distribution platform for publishers to share their content.

Here’s more information.

Social News Roundup | May 1, 2015

  
  
  
  
  

1) The lowdown on how to market to millennial parents

millenial parents

Image courtesy of Adweek

As the first truly digital-native generation, millennials operate by a different set of rules than previous generations. For the new rules, click here... 

 

2) Use this hack to automatically post your Instagram photos to Twitter

instagramhack

Photo courtesy of Adweek

Using the popular app If This Then That (IFTTT), you can set up a recipe to automatically post your Instagram as tweets, accomplishing twice the work just as fast. Click here for a detailed how-to. 

3) Instagramers take note, you can now tag picture using emoji hashtags # 👏👍😄

describe the image

Image courtesy of Mashable

It's time to add a little emotion to your posts. To see what else Instagram added, click here... 

 

4) Did you know: Low value marketing pushes consumers away from brands.

low value marketing

Image courtesy of Adweek

Poor advertising practices breed negativity towards brands who prepetuate them. For more details, click here... 

 

5) 7 things to consider before setting up a Facebook page. 

facebook page resized 600

Image courtesy of Adweek

If you can't give clear answers to these questions, you might be jumping the gun. Click here for the seven questions.

Social News Roundup | December 12, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1) A look back on Social Media in 2014

LookBackOn2104 1212

Photo Courtesy of Media Bistro

You may be surprised which 2014 marketing predictions came true, and which ones didn’t. Find out here.

Facebook and YouTube released their ‘2014 Year in Review’ videos this week where they highlighted some of the most-discussed topics and viral videos of the year. 

 

2) Facebook introduces Call-to-Action Buttons

FBCallToAction 1212

Photo Courtesy of All Facebook

The seven calls to action that will be available include: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video. Read more...

 

3) Twitter releases tailored audiences for their mobile apps

TwitterTailoredAudiences

Photo Courtesy of Media Bistro

The purpose of the product is to help users “drive the highest possible ROI in app install and app engagement campaigns” as stated by Kelton Lynn, Group Product Maneger at Twitter. Read more...

 

4) LinkedIn slowly rolling out a new design for users

LinkedIn 1212

Photo Courtesy of Social Times

The redesigned homepage features an updated dashboard, a “Keep in Touch” box as well as an area designated for the site’s publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse. Read more...

 

5) Facebook gets Trendier

FbTrending 1212

Photo Courtesy of Media Post

Facebook adds a live feed and other features to the Trending section on their page. Read more...

 

6) Instagram surpasses Twitter in number of users

IG300followers 1212

Photo Credit Social Times

This week Instagram hit a milestone and reached 300 million followers vs. Twitter’s 284 million. Read more...

Social News Roundup | November 12, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Not all content is shared equally.

describe the image  

A new study suggests that 32% of Facebook users in Canada use the site to endorse content compared to Twitter’s 79%. Read more…

 

 

 

2. Twitter goes iconic.

twitter emoji icons

Twitter teamed up with The Iconfactory and launched more than 800 Emojis. The new picture characters can now be seen over the web. Read more…

 

3. Facebook is giving its users more media news feed control.

Facebook New Thumb

Facebook is making a bigger effort to allow their users to control what they see in their news feeds in an effort to reduce the amount of clickbait. Read more…

 

4. Instagram makes much-needed upgrades

Instagram 7
Photo courtesy of Mashable

Instagram will now allow users to edit their captions and locations after a much-needed upgrade was released on Monday, November 10. Read more…

 

5. Twitter takes a stand against online harassment.

twitter welcome

In partnership with one of the nation’s leading women’s advocacy groups, Twitter is making efforts to put a stop to online harassment. Read more…

 

6. Videos as social advertising strategy.

VideoLogo

According to the IAB, digital ad spending increased by 24% in the first half of 2014. Mobile now accounts for 22% of digital video intake. Read more…

 

7. Social Media Generation.

alltwitter generation y

A recent study finds that 71% of millennials check their social media sites at least once a day. Read more…

 

8. Ocho raises $1.65M.

la fi tn ocho video app 20141111 001
Photo courtesy of the LA Times

With Mark Cuban and other major investors backing Ocho, the newest video-based social media network has raised $1.65 million. Read more… 

9. What Facebook marketers should keep in mind when approaching millennials.

describe the image

Facebook releases second part of their study of users from 13 countries between the ages of 13 and 24, dividing them into 3 categories – optimists, explorers and realists. Read more…


 

Social News Roundup | November 6, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. What could have been...

twitter 1980s 

What if Twitter, Instagram, Google and other social media networks were created in the 1980s? What would that have looked like? Read more… 

2. Cruisin' with faster WiFi

Carnival Freedom Cruise Ship

With more Americans taking cruise vacations, up .4% from 10.67 million in 2013 to 10.71 million, cruise liners are making bigger efforts to get more millennials on board with craft beer to high speed WiFi. Read more…

 

3. Fly it forward

flyitforward xFlsJoB

JetBlue is introducing a new program that will allow its customers to nominate someone deserving of a flight. Read more…

4. Twitter is not the Holiday shopping referral we thought it was.

twitter buy hashtag

Twitter comes in 4th place, behind Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest in holiday shopping referrals. Read more…

5. The San Francisco Giants: Champions of Social Media

SanFranciscoGiantsWorldSeriesChampions650

After defeating the Kansas City Royals in 7 games to capture their 8th Fall Classic title, The Giants won another title as they topped 4 million mentions on Facebook alone — Social Media Champions. Read more…

6. M&M's crushed other candy brands in Facebook mentions

MMs650

With more than 170,000 mentions, M&M’s reigns supreme as the most popular candy on social media for Halloween. Read more…

7. Smart Ads

photo blend b

According to a new research, marketers could achieve much better search targeting by including data from content photos people post on social networks. Read more…

8. Twitter upgrades page for easier use, looks more like Facebook.

9091514815 c8d0b6a6e8 k

Twitter upgrades their page, hoping to make an easier and friendlier user experience. Users criticize its efforts. Read more…

9. Cosmo takes on life hacks on Facebook

Hacksmopolitan650

Cosmopolitan Magazine launches a series of Facebook videos called ‘Hacksmopolitan’ and it’s already seeing a 53% bump in shares than Cosmo page posts. Read more…

10. Marc Jacobs tries to monetize Instagram

MarcJacobsBeautyShopMJB650

Marc Jacobs is offering shopping via Instagram with easy sign in and weekly emails with details on how consumers can purchase the items they clicked ‘like’ on. Oh, and the hashtag #shopmjb. Read more…

Social News Roundup | October 15,2014

  
  
  
  
  

1.  Social network campaigning

ElectionsGraphic650

A new study by the Facebook Data Science Team reveals what politicians are talking about and what issues are dominating the landscape during midterm elections. Read more...

 

2.  Word games

social media apps 2014

Using the correct word when creating content can generate more likes, shares and retweets. Which words made the cut? Read more…

 

3.  The Huffington Post reigns supreme!

NewsWhipSeptember2014650

With more than 9.4 million shares, The Huffington Post is the most shared publication on Facebook. Read more…

 

4.  Facebook and sports fans, a match made in social media heaven.

9 social networks for sports fans 2615ba2dc3

When it comes to sports talk, Facebook wins with 75% of respondents saying they use the platform to connect with other fans. Twitter took 37%. Read more…

 

5.  Trends impacting marketing to millennial mothers.

millennial mom shutterstock 188

Marketers are focusing on millennial moms, with an estimate of $170 billion in purchase power. Read more…

 

6.  Marketers retargeting, spending more.

twitter retargeting

A new study shows that 48% of marketers are using social media for retargeting purposes, 67.1% of respondents intend to spend more. Read more…

 

7.  Millennial travel plans

twitter paper plane

Recent studies reveal that 44% of Millennials use Facebook and Twitter for travel planning. Read more…

 

8.  Tweeting ‘Dead’

twd amc

AMC’s original series, The Walking Dead, sets Twitter records during its season five premiere, generating more than 1.3 million tweets. Read more…

 

9.  How I met my social media friend.

twitter facebook

According to a new study, one in three British teens, ages 15-18, have met their social media friend, 25% say they are happier on social than real life. Read more…

Social News Roundup | October 10,2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Keeping up with the mobile generation.

CrowdDNABanner650

A new survey finds that 74% of Millennials say social media helps them stay up to date with family and friends. Read more... 

 

2. Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Twitter style!

twitter bird blue white

After being prohibited from reporting on the scope of surveillance of its users by the government,Twitter takes the fight to Washington, filing a Transparency Lawsuit. Read more... 

 

3. The Millennial struggle 

millennials

A recent study discovers that 40% of Millennials say brands don’t take them seriously. Brands are finding new ways to reach out to Millennials and spread brand awareness.  Read more... 

 

4. Sharing the birthday love 

instagramIcon 400x400

Instagram shows Starbucks, Red Bull, Marc Jacobs, Billboard and NatGeo some birthday love as it celebrated its 4th birthday. Read more... 

 

5. Logged in and ready

Janrain3Q2014SocialLoginPreferences650

New reports suggest that Facebook’s social logins rose 2 percent in the 3rd Quarter to 46%, mostly driven by entertainment. Twitter posted a 1.3 gain in social media login, driven by consumer brand sites. Read more... 

 

6. All I want for Christmas is social referrals!

HappyOnlineHolidayShopper650 1

The Holiday season is just around the corner and you need to have strategies in place for the busiest shopping season. A new survey says that 49% of consumers will make purchases based just off social referrals alone. Read more... 

 

7. Twitter rising…

twitter analytics alltwitter

With more than 271 million active users, Twitter offers many opportunities for brands and consumers to connect, with photos creating some of the highest engagement rates. Read more... 

 

8. Social media, the new customer experience?

customer support

Social media gives consumers a bigger voice and research shows that 72% of them expect a quick response from brands within the hour, 50% communicate with brands via social media rather than call customer service. Read more... 

 

9. Facebook playing around with anonymous sharing.

wallpaper for facebook profile photo

Facebook is getting ready to launch an app that allows users to interact with other users anonymously by allowing them to use pseudonyms. Read more... 

 

10. Instagram gets the big picture

filephoto getty instagram social media mobile app

Embedded photos on Instagram will now be bigger and clearer thanks to the improvements they launched on Thursday. Read more... 

All Posts