A little while back, Foursquare announced that it was going to be splitting into another app, Swarm. I downloaded swarm a couple days ago, and honestly don’t see a whole lot of differences. I’ve also been having major bug issues – app won’t load, load bar freezes at about 90% and can’t pick up my location. Not so say that Foursquare has any idea where I am…the app will say I’m 2 miles away from something, when in reality, I’m in the building.
Swarm is supposedly, trying to aggregate your friends to show you who is nearby, what they’re up to, etc. It also shows you what’s happening in your area – regardless of what your friends are up to. Swarm has no “mayor” or labels, and it seems as if Foursquare is doing slowly getting rid of the feature. I know one of the big draws for people using Foursquare is ‘checking in’ places, so it will be interesting to see what happens to the two apps when that is done away with.
Instagram engagement is light years beyond that of Facebook – with brands seeing around 60% higher engagement on the photo-sharing app versus it’s big brother Facebook. From a brand perspective, Instagram is interesting in the sense that the engagement ends within the app; there is no linking out to external sites, no hyperlinking, etc. Once you like or comment on the post, that’s the “end” of the engagement. Meaning that IG is predominantly an awareness and affinity-building tool. One brand that is 110% winning on Instagram is Mercedes-Benz. Engagement is through the roof and it’s thanks in large part to unique imagery, working with influencers and using proper hashtags.
Piquora did a study in which they said that brands should be using 7 (SEVEN!?!?!?) hashtags in IG post copy to optimize engagement. Disagree somewhat, but Mercedes is staying true to that belief and using 5-8 hashtags per post. They also tap into influencer bloggers and advocates (with proper tagging). And the most winning aspect of all…..cool imagery. Unique photography wins. The ultimate brand on IG for me is NatGeo, for their unique imagery, but MB is fairly close. They do a great job. Check out the article here.
Brands love Instagram, users do too, because of super high engagement and the ability to tell stories in a visual manner. Simply Measured just released some stats that said on average, the top 10 brands on IG saw 160% follower growth in the past year. That’s pretty significant growth, while saying nothing about engagement metrics. Just goes to show that IG and visual content is the place to be.
There are tons of apps out there that let you filter, edit and touch-up photos. It’s tough to find one that is user friendly, has the features you’re looking for, and is free. One of my favorite photo-editing apps is VSCO, oddly enough Hypebeast just did an interview session with the founders. A really refreshing take on the app industry, with one of the founders saying that the app is, and will continue to be, based around passion. Every day there is a new app that tries to break its way into the user base – especially with Instagram becoming more and more popular for both individuals and brands alike.
One way in which Twitter tries to help its users (specifically brands) is through cards. Recently there was a release of a new set of cards, which will hopefully allow brands to see higher engagement and a little variety in the Twitter timeline. There is a summary card, summary with large image card, photo card, gallery card, app card, player card, website card and a product card – each one can be seen here. Just another way for you to try to stand out in the feed and for you give some variety to your followers.
Massive news for the music and accessories world this morning/last night as Apple gobbled up notified headphone creator Beats. Beats founder Dr. Dre then went on a solid party outing with Tyrese, who posted a video to YouTube, declaring the super producer from Compton a billionaire. Apple chucked up the $3.2 billion price tag, which ironically might also save HTC. HTC owns part of beats and will surely profit in a big way (to the tune of over $1 billion). HTC is strapped for cash so this might help them stay afloat. It’s also interesting to wonder what Apple will do with Beats…is it buying off a potential competitor? Clearing the market for a bigger play? How was this affect iTunes and Beats music platform? Tons of questions, but time will tell. Dr. Dre got paid, though.
The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft took place a couple days ago, and South Carolina defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney was the top overall pick; he went to the Houston Texans in a not-so-shocking moment. More of note (for me) is that Clowney signed on with PUMA – the third NFL’er to do so, behind Jamaal Charles (RB – Kansas City Chiefs) and Julian Edelman (WR – New England Patriots). PUMA doesn’t have a deal with the NFL, so Clowney and his fellow PUMA guys won’t be wearing cleats on field, but he will certainly rep them in the training/practice space. An interesting move for PUMA as it continues to invest in NFL players (no way Clowney was cheap – and he wore Under Armour in College), while having no direct affiliation with the sport. Will be interesting to see how PUMA utilizes Clowney (it’s biggest NFL name).
No one likes Facebook – brands, users, dogs, inanimate objects, you name it. As a digital marketer, you’re frustrated by Facebook’s continuing algorithm changes which make organic reach minuscule. The constant need to put paid support behind posts is something that is becoming more and more important. Organic reach is down below 2% after hovering around 5% for a while. If you built a page with high engagement and far-out-reach, congrats! Now you can’t reach any of your fans, your reach, organic growth and reach are probably in the toilet.
Facebook did produce something of value in the past couple days, a new component titled “Audience insights” which allows you to take a deeper dive into insights of your audience. The insights will try to shed light on:
Demographics (more in depth than current breakdowns)
It’ll be interesting to see how community managers and digital marketers alike will use this tool, but perhaps its Facebook throwing those same people a bone.
Facebook isn’t on a whole lot of people’s good side lately, especially if you’re a Community Manager working for a brand. The changes to the algorithm have made it harder and harder to reach your audience, no matter how big or small. Facebook’s solution is to create better, and more engaging content – no kidding. Komfo just released a study in which they took a deep dive into how to try and improve your engagement, reach and growth based upon the new algorithm. It comes down to building small, localized communities and providing content that is relevant to those people.
When people ask me why I wanted to get into marketing – specifically digital – I say nike ads. For as long as I can remember they made amazing, engaging and fun ads. It also helps to have boatloads of the world’s best footballers (soccer) to use in your ads. From Joga Bonito, to the Magista, and now to ‘Winner Stays,’ Nike always sets the bar high when it comes to ads. This one features stars Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Imbrahimovic, David Luiz, Tim Howard, Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Pique, Higuain, Gotze, Pirlo, Iniesta and Courtois – almost all recognizable faces.
Nike embraces its viewers with creating scenarios in which people can relate to; playing out in the park with your lads and pretending to be the best players in the world. That is something that we have all done at some point in our lives – if you’re a football fan. And it’s a funny ad too. Irina Shayk makes an appearance, as do fellow Nike athletes Kobe Bryant, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and Anderson Silva. All around solid ad, and one that will live on til the World Cup in June.