Archive for category: Social Media

Why Social Media Stories Matter

15 Feb
February 15, 2017

Storytelling is very the core of good social and content strategy. It allows us to build a narrative and connect on a deeper level with friends, customers and connections. Nearly all social platforms recognise this and now have their own iteration of tools for telling social media stories.

Facebook Stories (currently testing in Ireland) is the latest in a list that includes Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories, Messenger Day and Twitter Moments to name a few.

While people tend to focus on platforms copying the feature from each other, what is important is for all platforms to have this functionality. When I spoke with Adam Fraser on the EchoJunction podcast late last year, we talked about this. While all may have it to varying degrees, whoever gives users the best tools to tell stories will win, which the data seems to be supporting.

Social Media Stories over Social Media Posts

Social media has always been about snapshots, those moments in time we have captured and shared with our friends.

Personal timelines go some way toward organising these, but the news feed remains the place where people keep up to date.

This means algorithms come into play, which have a tendency to kill a narrative. Elements of the story appear out of order, which is fine if you’re Tarantino, but not if you’re an individual or a brand.

While you would expect that if we reacted to one thing we found interesting, we might see more of it. But there’s no guarantee that this will happen in order, if at all. Stories fix these challenges by stringing together the narrative and keeping it moving.

Ease of Use and Access are Key

Recent research shows that Instagram stories slowed the growth of Snapchat’s play after it launched, largely in part to both it’s scale of users already familiar with the platform, and it’s ease of use by comparison to Snapchat.

Similarly, Twitter’s much-hyped Moments feature has just been removed from the main navigation in their app. I believe to be symptomatic of them keeping it out of the hands of users for too long. By the time they had the ability to create moments, most were finding better ways to do it elsewhere. That said, it remains an important tool in curating relevance from the noise.

Facebook has scale already, which is where Instagram also had an advantage. All platforms have their own demographic and user behaviors that will influence the type of stories that will be told and how the tools will work. The important part is making it easy to put it all together, because stories and narrative matter.

 

Facebook Style Content – Could It Choke LinkedIn?

24 Feb
February 24, 2016

Something unprofessional is happening with LinkedIn’s news feed.

While it’s always been terrible to navigate because it of the way it decides on Top Posts on a whim (try refreshing the page and watch it completely change), there is a trend that is on the rise which threatens the quality of the content and engagement.

I am talking about the increasing number of content pieces that are typically the domain of other networks, particularly Facebook style content.

Memes and pictures of lunch your friends share on their Instagram and Facebook? They’re now sitting right beside your 10 Habits of Highly Productive People.


Political posts that talk about how awesome Obama is doing, and that the republicans are wrong? Fitspo (apparently actually a word)? Questionably attributed celebrity quotes? All present and accounted for.
I spent ten minutes browsing my news feed each day over the last week and found at least 3 examples each day. All of these have the potential to choke LinkedIn’s already confusing and busy news feed and suck the life out of it.

I spent ten minutes browsing my news feed each day over the last week and found at least 3 examples each day. All of these have the potential to choke LinkedIn’s already confusing and busy news feed and suck the life out of it.

Where Is It Stemming From?

The main offenders are not always amongst your own LinkedIn connections. Given the way LinkedIn treats engagement with posts and presents them in your feed, whenever you begin liking or commenting on the content, it brings the full post to the attention of your network.

In a self-perpetuating cycle, even as we comment to tell people “this doesn’t belong here”, it increasingly appears “here”. It may be a third or even fourth-degree connection, but eventually, it makes it there.

So what’s wrong with it exactly?

It’s About The Nature of the Connection

LinkedIn connections are generally single faceted. Unlike Facebook, where occasional acquaintances to nearest and dearest fall under the very broad definition of “friend”, LinkedIn is by its definition a network of professionals.

Your connection is around what you do for a living – I have either done business with you, I’m interested in your expertise in your field, or I want to sell you an SEO solution (you know who you are…).

When you begin to introduce Facebook style content into the equation, your begin to make the relationship personal, which some business connections may not appreciate it. You can see it in the comments.

Define Your Social Tone Of Voice

If you are adding this type of content to LinkedIn, it’s important to consider before posting. Personal brand is of the utmost importance now, and the way in which you express these opinions online may lead to current and future business partners to take pause and reconsider your relationship.

Decide what you want to be known for online. Create your social tone of voice. I have a simple framework for deciding what and where to share:

How to decide what content to share on what social platform

LinkedIn makes it hard enough to find great content without having to wade through low-quality stuff. Use it to position yourself as a leader in your field, even if you’re not yet. Keep the memes on Facebook, wit on Twitter and lunch on Instagram.

How to Switch from Recent to Top Posts on LinkedInIncidentally, if you’re looking how to re-order from Top Posts to Recent posts, it these 3 little dots wedged in between your Publish a Post button and the first update in your feed. Obvious, right?

 

Why Facebook's Reactions Will Be A Game Changer

09 Oct
October 9, 2015

Facebook has today begun testing Reactions, their emoji based variants on the Like button.

The Like button itself was a game changer when it was introduced, and along with the news feed, formed the foundation of how we now discover and interact with content from friends and publishers.

Why Reactions Matter

The dislike button has been a long requested feature, with most believing it to be the opposite side of the coin to Like.

The reality of it is that human reactions are complex and varied. We “like” stories involving tragedy, conflict because that’s our only option from a platform perspective. We have even deeper reactions to updates and news involving our connections — those closest to us.

The like button has always been too simplistic of a reaction to really be valid. We express the deeper reactions through comments.

Facebook Reactions

The 6 new Facebook Reactions – and the little old Like button

What Facebook is doing though will bring nuance to interaction on the platform, by not only giving options to to express sadness and anger, but also happiness and love. The six reactions being tested are by no means exhaustive but then they don’t need to be because as the kind of common things we feel when we read a story, they will fundamentally change the way we interact and share content.

We will move from “Ben likes….” to “Ben is angered by…” or “Ben loves…”. The conversation moves from “why did Ben like this” to “what angers Ben about this…”. It creates more conversation, and an opportunity to explore.

What It Means For Facebook, Publishers and Business

From a Facebook perspective, the outcome is greater interaction and more data to be mined for targeting. This can be a good thing, with actual sentiment and emotion attached, the level of personalisation increases.

For publishers, this will be huge. While it has the potential to reduce commenting, with the nuance of opinion and reaction becoming a one step process, it will also allow for a greater view of the public pulse on issues affecting them.

I see the biggest upside however to businesses, for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most important being in customer service and crisis communications. Through being able to see a range of reactions at a glance, customer sentiment and pain points can be more readily recognised and addressed.

From a brand engagement perspective, it might finally get us away from cheap engagement pieces of “like this picture because you like stuff”. New products can be easily fed back on from users. Smart businesses will be able to take advantage of these new kind of data points to shape interactions.

It’s obviously early days, and what is going to tie all of this together is of course analytics and the ability to measure these reactions in a way that makes sense, but I am excited about the potential of this.

Top Social Media and Content Posts – The Weekly Round Up

17 May
May 17, 2015

I didn’t get around to a wrap up last week of the top content I had shared, so I’ve curated 10 posts this week to make up for it.

Someone asked me the other day how I measure engagement on these. I use Buffer‘s analytics to understand engagement from a sharing or favouriting perspective, but my main measure is based on click – how many people actually clicked on the link in the content to read it.

8 Types of Social Media and How They Can Benefit Your Business

Hootsuite published a great piece on some often forgotten forms of social media – it’s not just about the big platforms, it’s also about the tools and function they bring.

Cross Platform Use of Social Media

We all know that people don’t just use one channel, but this post was a good analysis of where exactly they are, with a focus on Twitter and YouTube.

10 Types of Visual Social Media That Get Shared & How To Create Social Media Images that Connect with Your Audience

Visual social, as we know, is hot. But what works in the world of visual? These things. Try them out. Two great posts from NewsCred and Social Media Examiner.

10 Marketing Ideas to Test on Every Social Media Channel

It’s easy to play it safe on your social channels, but these ideas around using data and variable testing will help take your content and marketing on social up a level.

Save Time with a Content Gap Analysis

Content marketing is such a hot topic and businesses feel the need to create, create, create. But many might be surprised they already have a decent bank of it, and just need to find the gaps.

4 Steps Framework for Content Curation

One of my own posts got a lot of clicks last week, and that was when I published my framework for how I curate content.

5 Different Types of Content to Make Your Blog Stand Out

CoSchedule is one of the best blogs out there, and this post is an example of why, assembling some easy to use content formats to add a different angle to your blog.

Brands are Powering Opt-In Influencer Networks

Ambassadors and influencers are an important piece in the marketing mix. This is a good look at how some brands are capturing and activating these users.

How To Rock and Awesome Content Plan

An in-depth look behind the scenes of on of my favourite blogs, Convince and Convert

Last Week's Top Social and Content Posts

20 Apr
April 20, 2015

Last week I started publishing a summary of what was most popular amongst the content I shared. This week, data and visual social media were the most popular themes from the content I curated.

So what were people looking at last week?

5 Social Media Image Size Hacks for Quick Visual Content

Top of the pile was a great post from Donna Moritz (@sociallysorted), on some hacks to build quick visual assets for your social media. Donna’s content is always great, and recommend following her.

Twitter Cuts off Data For Third Party Sellers

One of the bigger stories of the last week was Twitter, as they move into their own big data business through their Gnip acquisition.

10 Reasons Why Data Must Drive Your Content Strategy

I shared a similar post last week, and it’s obvious from the interactions I see with it that data and content strategy and hot topics. This post has 10 points that need consideration.

The Evolution of Advertising on Twitter, and What’s Next

I found this more retrospective, very light on the “what’s next” but it is an interesting read nonetheless.

Turn UGC Into Glorious Content

UGC was one of those things that marketers thought would be awesome in the early days of social media, then got a bad name because of the unreliable quality. But there is a way to do it right and turn it into something awesome.