Snapchat IPO Coming – Should You Be Excited Too?

With all the talk and excitement about the upcoming Snapchat IPO, we thought it would be a good idea if we took a look at it from a marketing point of view to see if you should be equally excited about it! 

The first question to ask is, “Why should I market my business on Snapchat”? Well, here are some facts you should know:

  • An estimated 200 million monthly active users send 700 million photos or videos each day, with approximately 500 million views per day (this study is different than Snapchat’s which said there are 8+ billion video views a day). 
  • Snapchat has approximately 100 million daily active users.
  • Snapchat reaches 11% of the US’s entire digital population. This might not seem like much, but when you consider how massive that population is, that’s still a decent reach.
  • Snapchat was always among the top 13 apps downloaded overall (and sometimes in the top 3 for photo and video apps) throughout the full year of 2015.
  • Snapchat was worth $16 billion as of May 2015.
  • Snapchat has more users than Twitter, and grew as much in one year as Twitter did in four years total.
    76% of Snapchat users also online shoppers.
  • Snapchat’s daily users are spending an average of 30 minutes a day in the app.

Aside from the statistics, which can speak for the growth and engagement on the platform, there are some strong benefits to marketing on Snapchat. These include:  

  • Less competition. Every brand that’s ever existed seems to have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (and, increasingly, Pinterest). As difficult as it can be to even connect with users on these platforms, it can be even harder to get your content to stand out from the competition. Though Snapchat is increasing in popularity amongst brands quickly, there’s still less competition here for businesses than on other platforms
  • It’s different. We’ve touched a bit on this in the intro, and we’ll discuss it more later, but it’s such a major benefit I wanted to mention it here, too. Snapchat is different than other platforms.You’ll be reaching a new audience in a new way with a new type of content. This can definitely be a challenge, but it’s also a big advantage.

It feels authentic. Ssnapchat imageocial media sites, in general are great for rapport building, and in some cases, giving the “behind the scenes” look to users.
Snapchat amplifies this facet of social media marketing; it’s more about what’s happening right now. Photos are edited with filters to make them more interesting, not necessarily a higher quality, and the effects are purely there for enhancement (and fun).

snapchat imageYou can show the personality of your brand in a new way on Snapchat, highlighting the parts that will be most relevant to your audience there. 

You can reach a new audience. If your product has use cases that could appeal to a younger demographic but you aren’t really connecting to them yet on other social media … Read the rest

Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2017

Today, every brand is a publisher, every consumer a creator. From instantly publishing videos with Facebook
Live and Periscope to more than one third of Snapchatters sharing daily videos and photos, there’s no shortage of
ways to connect with customers.

But when everyone is a creator, getting content to the top of social feeds and streams becomes harder than
ever. Marketers are creating more content while organic reach continues to decline.  As the analyst firm GlobalWebIndex found, 81 percent of internet users now publish a video, photo, or review online at least once per month. Likewise, Edelman’s Trust Barometer—a global study of consumer trust— reveals the rising influence of peer-driven media.

According to Edelman’s research, two of the top three most-used sources of news and information (search,
TV, and social) are peer-influenced media. This means that search and social carry equal weight to TV and
have more influence on mass market opinion than magazines, newspapers, and popular blogs.

In this report, you’ll learn how to align your marketing strategies with changing audience behaviors. From
social video advertising to connected workforces, 2017 offers new ways to reach customers and increase

While futuristic trends such as AI and virtual reality will no doubt impact marketing, we’ve decided to narrow
our focus on trends that marketers can act on in 2017.   These trends are based on what we’re seeing in our
global customer community which includes 15 million social media professionals and 800 of the Fortune 1000,
as well as analyst reports and interviews with industry experts.

Download the full 2017 Social Media Trends report here 


Read the rest

10 New Facebook Features for 2016

A recent Cornell study describes how Facebook users are increasingly dependent on its utility. In fact, the study asserts that users don’t leave Facebook for lack of utility: they leave for fear of addiction. While the propensity for Facebook to cause addiction is questionable, its utility most certainly is not. The Facebook ecosystem (which includes Instagram and WhatsApp) offer unprecedented social utility, and Facebook is expanding its native services substantially in 2016.

The changes to Facebook in 2016 are new to Facebook, but aren’t new to the social landscape. Facebook appears to be borrowing the best aspects of other popular services and integrating them into Facebook as a central hub.
For communication professionals, this means that the ways that you can communicate on Facebook are expanding and are increasing in complexity. Imagine a platform with all of the functions of Facebook AND Periscope, Yelp, Google, Yammer, Uber, Amazon Marketplace, Evite and Razoo…that is the scope of increased utility that Facebook appears poised for in 2016.

1. Facebook Live Video (for all)

Comparable services: Periscope, Meerkat
One of the most talked about classes of mobile apps are live-streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat.
Usage of these apps remains low, which may give Facebook Live Video an opportunity to become the go-to live-streaming app rather quickly. No additional app is needed to use this feature: the Live Video content prompt is located in the normal “Update Status” prompt in the mobile app.

Introduced in August for public figures only (this service is called “Mentions“), Facebook has started asmall roll-out to US users, and just introduced the service to verified business Pages (to learn how to verify a Page on Facebook, click here). Expect the service to expand to more users in 2016 and for brands to begin experimenting with more live video content.

Multiple studies have concluded that video engagement is higher on Facebook than on any other platform(including YouTube and Instagram), so this is something to pay attention to in the coming months.

2. Facebook Professional Services

Comparable services: Yelp, Google reviews (aka Google My Business)
If you haven’t noticed, Facebook actively prompts you to review the places you’ve been. If you check in at or tag a location, odds are Facebook will ask you to elaborate about your experience…and (of course) this is purposeful.
Facebook wants to be a recommendation engine. Mark Zuckerberg alluded to this right before he rolled out the first iteration of Google Search suggesting that a Facebook user could search for a sushi restaurant and get inferred recommendations from their contacts.

Now it seems that the personalized recommendation may be generalized for a more Yelp-like experience.Facebook Professional Services recently did a soft-launch and the resulting product is currently more akin to Google reviews than to the robust reviewing community of Yelp.

That said, the utility is evident and for my search (Indian Restaurants in the Cincinnati area), there were more Facebook reviews than Yelp reviews (Yelp’s stock price decreased upon announcement of this feature).

3. Read the rest

Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Top 10 Benefits
of Social Media Marketing

To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next
big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while
it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages
and a steep, complicated learning curve.

Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a
reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an
unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a different picture.
According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media
marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts
increased traffic to their websites. And according to
Social Media Examiner, 97% of
marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants
aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

This demonstrates a huge potential for social media
marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve
those results. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing
can improve your business:

Increased Brand Recognition. Every opportunity you have to syndicate
your content
and increase your visibility is
valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s
voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier
and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and
recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could
hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a
newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted
with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.

Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher
loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take
advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with
their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential
in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another
study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social
are more loyal to those brands.

More Opportunities to Convert. Every post you make on a social
media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a
following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent
customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them.
Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to
react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a
conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but
every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.
Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you
have on social media is significant. And as I pointed out in my article, “
The Four Elements of Any Action, And How
To Use
Read the rest

Not Using the Periscope App? See What You Are Missing!

Doesn’t it seem like there’s a new smartphone app every second? And honestly, most of them are just a waste of time, right? So when Twitter came out with their app, Periscope, I thought I would give it shot. I’m on Twitter all of the time so I hoped that this app was going to make my Twitter experience even better. I was not disappointed! Periscope is an amazing app that allows you to stream live video and have your followers interact with you via scrolling chat, on screen in real time.

The more I used it, the more I was drawn in to a world filled with wonderful people and events. I love the news, so I started following news stations and journalists like Rochester’s Nikki Rudd & Pat Taney, or Tampa’s Lindsey Mastis to begin with. I watched them behind the scenes, preparing for their shows and getting insights from them that you wouldn’t get from a regular broadcast. I saw storm chasers in real time, like Mike Bettes & The Weather Channel,

and felt their panic and excitement while watching all the comments from people like myself who were just as amazed. I followed some of my favorite morning drive time crews like the Elvis Duran Show, Kane or the Bobby Bones Show. If you have a wanderlust, I suggest you follow people abroad, or those who travel a lot. While having my coffee in the morning, I watched a tropical rain storm on a beach in Bali, and even got an up close & personal tour of London by UK footballer Stan Collymore! One night shared tapas with some new friends in Barcelona and tossed back a few with some mates later in a Brisbane bar.

Periscope also has great practical and business uses. I watched several of my peers at the Social Media Marketing World this year in San Diego, an event I was unable to attend and I constantly watch reviews by Lance Ulanoff of Mashable on a whole host of tech topics. And, if you know me, my day would not be complete if I didn’t watch a few live cooking shows by Food 52 or Epicurious. These are just a few of the ways that Periscope opens the world up to me.

Here’s how Periscope actually works from a great article by Jason Parker on cNet.

Twitter’s Periscope (free) lets you watch or shoot live streaming video and has a constantly updated list of live streams to browse. It’s iPhone-only (for now), but with an easy-to-understand interface and the excitement of seeing what’s happening right now in other parts of the world, Periscope could be the next big thing on any platform.

Periscope came out hot on the heels of Meerkat, a live video-streaming app that released in mid-February and immediately skyrocketed up the most-popular-app lists. I compared the two apps side by side, but it quickly became clear Periscope had more features, more ways to discover content, and might be the

Read the rest