Friday5: Pinterest Announces Conversations

Last week, Pinterest unveiled a new way for users to “communicate, collaborate and share with one another,” by launching a new messaging feature called Conversations. With the launch of Conversations, users will be able to keep ongoing discussions on Pinterest around their favorite Pins without having to leave the platform. In this week’s Friday5, we look at what this new feature has to offer.

1. What It Is

Pinterest’s new messaging feature allows Pinners to share discoveries with the people who’d appreciate it the most, plan projects with friends and reach out to people who share their interests. It’s meant for friends or partners to share ideas and make plans around different Pins that interest them. It’s a way for Pinners to share Pinterest content privately with each other.

2. What it isn’t

Unlike Facebook or Twitter’s messaging platforms, Pinterest Conversations is not about messaging or being a communications service. Conversations is about empowering the way people are currently using Pinterest. It’s not necessarily designed to plan events but rather discuss Pinterest content on Pinterest rather than through another medium such as email or another social network.

3. How It Works

When users choose to ”Send a Pin,” they can select to send the Pin to one person or a group of people from a list of contacts that is provided. Once the Pin is sent, the conversation will appear in the lower left-hand corner of the website or tablet app. Mobile users will be treated to a separate screen to view their messages. Exchanged conversations will look similar to those of Facebook’s and will be easily accessible by simply clicking on them and can quickly be shut down by selecting the “X” in the corner. On the desktop version, the conversations will only partially cover the frames behind them, making it easier for Pinners to scroll through and still be able to see the content shared on their feed.

4. Why Did Pinterest Launch Conversations

Last year, Pinterest launched a feature that allowed Pinners to send Pins directly to their friends. This feature exploded with users sending more than two million Pins a day. However, once the Pins were sent, there wasn’t much users could do with the Pins. With Conversations, the hope is to have Pinners continue the conversation within the platform, which can lead to more Pins being shared, and more users engaged.

5. Implications for Clients

Pinterest has directly included Guided Searches into the messaging feature, which will help Pinners to search, discover, and share content that is relevant to their conversations. This may lead to new ways of sharing and collaborating via Pins. Brands that are on Pinterest can now, more than ever, assist their audience with projects such as meal planning, travel ideas, home remodeling and more.

How can your brand utilize Pinterest Conversations?

Image credit: Pinterest

Friday5: Understanding What Planning Is (And What It Isn’t)

Strategic planning has a critical (and growing) role in how we practice digital communications. As a multidimensional discipline, it helps align relevant insights and find specific opportunities for brands. Whilst doing that, it serves as a conduit between creative, the client and the consumer.

Nevertheless, the function and role of planning is not always clear. The question remains: “So what exactly do planners do?” Being a recent arrival to the Planning model, I too initially struggled to understand it, but over time and experience I’ve figured out the basics.

1. Always Planning

Planners divide their time into thinking and doing. They are often thinking and learning more about a recent survey result, current trend or upcoming challenge. Then they put their thoughts and learning into action when they are actively working on a client challenge informed by their accumulated knowledge. Both types of moments are equally important. To be a planner is also to be able to come up with ways to apply original thinking to our work, and being informed and able to use that information is essential. So don’t be surprised if a planner doesn’t have an immediate answer to your question; they will be able (and eager) to figure it out and get back to you.

2. Getting To Know People

Planners are tasked with understanding human behavior. Understanding people’s expectations and if they have been met brings great perspective for planners to define how brands can engage them. Sometimes it could be understanding how a generation behaves online; other times it means engaging in a one-to-one conversation with a more specific audience. In the end, the idea is to be able to fully comprehend how people react – and if that’s a reaction we are looking to stimulate or mitigate. Sometimes, that involves developing personas. Ultimately, planners become the voice of the consumer in the room.

3. Finding an Opportunity

Using several research tools, processes and their own accumulated knowledge, planners compile every bit of information about a subject they were asked to work on, and extract an insight from it. Armed with an insight, planning becomes a process of aligning business objectives and the current cultural scenario information to define a brand’s strategic opportunity in the market. In that sense, planners are responsible for the “Big Idea” that comes from research, and solving a very specific challenge, at a very specific timeframe, with the brand’s long-term narrative in mind.

4. Tracking Progress

The work of planning does not end with the “aha moment.” Once the opportunity is articulated, it is also the planner’s job to brief the creative and account teams on how to use this information to create campaigns that speak to the audience. Later, it becomes their role to verify and reevaluate the effectiveness of that idea, and tweak the strategy as needed, based on people’s reactions. Planning has many forms, but at the heart of it is the need to ensure our communication is meaningful and directed at the right people.

5. What Planning is Not

Planners are tasked with asking the difficult questions, facilitating brainstorms and inspiring breakthrough ideas. Here are what planners are not: researchers, even though they do a lot of research; data analysts, even though they analyze a lot of data; the consumer, even though they represent them in the room. It may be hard to see beyond these misconceptions, but after a while it becomes clear that they don’t do one thing, but many. And considering that all of this takes time, make sure to get the planning team onboard from the start.

How can you partner with a digital planner on your next big project?

Friday5: Takeaways from #AdweekChat

If only we could know the future direction of social media with certainty. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know for sure, which was why Adweek brought together a panel of guest experts, as well as hundreds of social media professionals, for its first #AdweekChat this past Wednesday. Our own David Armano joined as a guest expert to discuss the topic: “How are social networks evolving?” We asked David about his takeaways in this week’s Friday5:

1. Did any major themes surface throughout the chat?

One overarching theme that bubbled up was the idea that some social networks are growing up, or evolving, into media, while others are becoming social engines.

Social networks that are becoming media are stream-focused, more integrated networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Whereas a social engine is a service that feels less like a place where consumers are spending time. More often, these networks are appearing, or integrating, themselves into other networks. Foursquare (including Swarm) is an example as well as Google+, which, despite significantly less traffic, has continued to rank highly in Google’s search ecosystem.

2. You described mobile plus social as the “peanut butter and jelly” of the digital era. What did you mean by that?

Like peanut butter and jelly, they’re more powerful together. Using social networks on the go is far more natural a behavior than using Facebook or Twitter while tethered to a desk. You’re able to share and see what’s going on in your life while you’re out there living it. Life doesn’t happen on a desktop. In addition, nearly all platforms have some type of newsfeed, which users can skim and check multiple times per day in between shareable moments. Mobile is simply a behavior that’s allowing social to fulfill its original promise.

3. You said SlideShare was the “Facebook of B2B marketing.” What other networks should we be paying attention to?

LinkedIn works really hard in the B2B context, especially on the publishing side of the house. Their long-form content is getting shared rapidly throughout the professional community on the network. Similarly, Medium has an elegant mobile experience and the ability to reach specialized audiences. On that note, Tumblr is one of the best networks for reaching creative niche audiences like photographers.

4. You also said that Snapchat risks becoming a commodity. Is Snapchat here to stay?

It’s got impressive numbers and certainly brands are beginning to experiment with it. But I think the demographic is a fickle one: if you’re on Snapchat and your friends start to use something else, you’re not going to stay on Snapchat. Obviously, you could say that about any network, but Snapchat operates on a different social scale than most. It’s operating largely in a one-on-one context with a much smaller social circle. You probably wouldn’t Snap all of your Facebook friends, for example. In that sense, I think it’s in competition with rising, text-like networks, such as Whatsapp.

5. This was the first Adweek Twitter Chat. Why did you do it and what did you think?

I know David Greiner who works for Adweek and I trust his judgment. When he invited me, it seemed like an interesting topic, plus they invited other great minds like B. Bonin Bough and Shannon Paul, who I also know personally. It’s encouraging that after seven years of Twitter, the medium can still attract a high volume of participation and thinking.

What did you take away from #AdweekChat?

This post was co-authored by Chris Rooney and David Armano.

Friday5: New Social Media Features

Keeping track of all the major updates across social media can be daunting even for the most tuned-in digital people. Here to help is this week’s Friday5 looking at some of the most recent updates to the major social media platforms. These tools are great ways to help Community Managers reach and engage more of their community.

1. Twitter Amplify

Twitter’s Amplify service is moving out of the garage and into the fully-functioning real world. Historically, the Twitter Amplify service has been used by major U.S. and European TV broadcasters to share live TV clips and video content on Twitter in real-time. The paid media distribution service from Twitter has seen the most success during live televised events such as award shows and sporting events—including the World Cup. The service extends the reach beyond a broadcaster’s standard TV viewers by serving live TV content to Twitter users without leaving the Twitter app. Twitter recently announced that it’s expanding the service to more broadcasters and media companies, potentially allowing more live video content from events such as concerts or speeches.

2. Snapchat Geo Filters

Snapchat recently released a new feature on its app which allows users to add customized filters to their Snaps based on location. Currently the geo-filters only exist for popular destinations and neighborhoods in Los Angeles and New York City—a few were created for Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup. It’s unconfirmed, but speculated, that Snapchat will use this new feature as a revenue source tapping popular tourist destinations such as theme parks, sports arenas and museums to name a few.

3. iPad App Makes 3D Selfies

A partnership between Occipital and Itseez3D created an iPad app which can turn any picture from an iOS camera—with an attached Structure Sensor device—into a 3D object. Although this app isn’t specific to a particular social media platform it could create a whole new way for users to share their selfies—especially after Facebook closed the $2 billion purchase of virtual reality startup Oculus Rift. Of course there’s hundreds of applications for an app which creates 3D images beyond the self-indulgent selfies—such as mapping dimensions of a room, gaming avatars or 3D printing—but let’s be honest. Consumers want one thing: to share selfies.

4. Vine Loop Counts

Twitter’s popular micro-video sharing platform, Vine, has added a way to measure engagement and popularity of a Vine, which was previously unavailable to users and admins. The updated feature allows users on the mobile app and vine.co to view in real-time, the popularity of a Vine based on how many times it’s been looped. This is a great KPI for clients to understand the reach and popularity of their Vine beyond the standard comments and Twitter engagement.

5. Updated Tweet Activity Dashboard

Twitter already has a robust analytics platform for promoted Tweets but has recently expanded its analytics offerings to organic Tweets. Through the updated Tweet Activity Dashboard, Community Managers can now view how Tweets are performing in real-time, impressions (time a Tweet is viewed by a user), and total engagement including clicks to links and embedded media in addition to the standard Retweets, replies and favorites. The updated Dashboard can help optimize content strategy in real-time and provide up-to-the-minute metrics.

What new feature are you most excited to use?

Friday5: The #WorldCup Happened on Twitter

We all got a kick out of the #WorldCup, and Twitter showed it. As the FIFA World Cup excitement unfolded in Brazil, it also played out on the social media platform in a big way: fans across the globe discussed every exhilarating and emotional moment as it happened.

After all of the 64 thrilling matches, including Sunday’s dramatic final, Twitter compiled the numbers and released some pretty impressive-sounding statistics to illustrate just how massive the conversation has been since the start of the World Cup on June 12.

1. There were 672 million Tweets sent related to the 2014 #WorldCup

Whether fans were discussing the latest injury or reacting to a big goal, the crowd came to Twitter to discuss the games 672 million times, making it the highest number Twitter’s announced related to an event; it’s hard to compare the 32-day, 64-match World Cup to, for example, the single-game Super Bowl, the one-night Oscars, or the 16-day Olympics.

2. Fans shared the most during the Brazil vs Germany semi-final match

While fans were discussing the drama of the games every minute of every day, conversation really took off during each live match, as expected. Specifically, during the semi-final between Brazil and Germany fans sent more than 35.6 million Tweets, making this a new Twitter record for a single event.

Top three most-tweeted matches:

  • Brazil vs. Germany on July 8: 35.6 million Tweets
  • Argentina vs. Germany (World Cup Final) on July 13: 32.1 million Tweets
  • Brazil vs. Chile on June 28: 16.4 million Tweets
3. Fans sent 618,725 Tweets per minute when Germany won the #WorldCupFinal

To no one’s surprise, three of the top five most-tweeted moments occurred during Brazil’s depressing 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany on July 8, while the other top moments came in the final match. Below are the top five moments that generated the highest peaks of conversation, measured in Tweets per minute (TPM), during the entire tournament:

  • Germany defeats Argentina to win the World Cup Final on July 13: 618,725 TPM
  • Germany’s Sami Khedira scores goal assisted by Mesut Özil in July 8 semi-final vs. Brazil: 580,166 TPM
  • Germany’s Mario Götze scores game-winning goal in World Cup Final on July 13: 556,499 TPM
  • Germany’s Toni Kroos scores his second goal of July 8 semi-final match vs. Brazil: 508,601 TPM
  • Germany’s Toni Kroos scores, bringing the score to 3-0 in the July 8 semi-final match vs. Brazil: 497,425 TPM
4. Brazil’s Neymar Jr. was the most mentioned player

Brazil’s Neymar Jr. and Argentina’s Lionel Messi were the most mentioned players on Twitter during the World Cup. Coming in third place was Uruguay’s Luis Suárez due to the infamous biting incident rather than his fútbol skills.

5. The conversation around the World Cup has truly been global

The World Cup lived up to its name with the Twitter conversation reaching nearly every country across the globe. Click here to see a map of how the games have played out on Twitter, with the entire tournament in 60 seconds, from beginning to end. You can also explore individual games too with Twitter’s maps for each match.

While the month-long celebration of the World Cup is over, there’s plenty more to discuss – and Twitter is making sure to remind users that it’s a great place to engage in conversation around real-time events as they’re unfolding. The World Cup proved just that.

To learn how to implement best practices for your own sports-related clients, visit Twitter’s Sports Media page.

Image credit: alobos Life

Friday5: Facebook Organic Reach Q&A

On June 5, Facebook addressed widespread frustration from brands who have seen a significant decline in organic reach via a Q&A on the topic authored by Facebook Head of Ads Product Marketing Brian Boland. In this edition of Friday5, we analyze Facebook’s core answers and provide some additional perspective.

1. Why is organic reach declining?

Facebook’s answer is two-fold. First, mobile technology created an explosion of content from everyone (users and brands), which leads to the second reason: increased competition for space in users’ News Feeds. Per Facebook, there are an average of 1,500+ pieces of content vying for only 300 available slots in the News Feed. To rise above the noise, brands need to approach Facebook with a strategic approach that starts with content (and includes paid support).

2. Why not just show everything — every piece of content from every friend and Page — and let people decide what they want to see?

Some social platforms (e.g., Twitter), offer real-time content through a constant ticker. Facebook has always been different. The Facebook News Feed is dynamic and evolves based on user habits.

Facebook is built around trying to serve people content they want to see. Many debate the effectiveness of Facebook’s algorithm, but in general this is more likely to be content from friends than brands.

3. Is organic reach dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money?

Facebook’s answer is no. They argue that they make such changes to protecting its users.

That may be, but creating the best possible user experience is how Facebook makes money in the long run. Facebook attracted over a billion users by giving its users what they want (more often than not). As marketers, it’s important to understand that:

  • Facebook is a business. They know that giving brands priority in the News Feed is the most effective way for them to monetize the platform.
  • Social media is growing up – paid is no longer a nice-to-have, but is rather a critical component for elevating your top content (and not just on Facebook).
  • Facebook users care more about their friends than brands. No one is petitioning Facebook to see more ads.
4. Is Facebook the only marketing platform that’s seen declines in organic reach?

Facebook cites search engines as examples of platforms where organic reach declined as they matured. It’s important to understand that Facebook’s success isn’t just about organic reach anymore:

  • Organic reach does not always equal engagement. Facebook prides itself on crafting a delivery algorithm that delivers to those likely to engage rather than simply everyone.
  • Other platforms may offer greater ability to reach new people organically. YouTube and Twitter are examples. Instagram is probably the hottest for organic engagement on brand content right now.
  • Facebook is improving tools for brands to go deeper and be smarter when delivering content.
5. OK, there’s more content now. But what’s the value of having more people like my Page? I paid good money for my fans on Facebook, and now I can’t reach as many of them.

Facebook’s answer: Fans have value because they make ads more effective and cheaper, they give you insights about your customers, and they give you credibility via social context on ads.

Facebook’s answer is part of the story, but there’s more:

  • Fan acquisition should not be an umbrella objective in most cases.
  • A Facebook “like” is not equivalent to an email subscription.
  • Facebook is getting better at tracking deeper metrics. Brands need to move beyond fan counts, and even engagements (likes + comments + shares), to focus on deeper metrics like conversion, purchase, etc.

Facebook and all social media will continue to change and evolve rapidly. Change will create challenges for brands, but also new opportunities to communicate in more targeted, more innovative and more effective ways.

How does your team respond to changes in social platforms?

Photo credit: Bethan

Five Things PR Students Must Do to Succeed in the “Real World”

We spend a quarter century of our lives – maybe even more – training, conditioning, and educating ourselves to be self-sufficient, hopefully even productive, members of the “real world.” That’s a great deal of time and energy that, if used effectively, can lay the groundwork for success.

Over the past three days, some of the most successful people in the PR and media industry, along with some of the most esteemed educators, came together at the 2014 Academic Summit in Chicago to discuss how to teach and prepare the next generation of PR pros to be the future leaders of our industry.

So for those who are still in training, hoping to make it in the world of PR: listen up. Here are five key takeaways from the #2014AcademicSummit:

1. Don’t be Afraid to Take Risks

Platforms for communication are changing at an exceptional rate; PR professionals can’t just keep doing what’s been done before. We need to adapt and innovate, be willing to experiment and take chances. As Richard Edelman instructed in his speech yesterday, come up with “ideas that challenge conventional wisdom.”

2. Think Outside the “PR” Box

Diversifying your skills and understanding related disciplines is essential. Over the past year, Edelman hired over 1,700 people worldwide. Richard Edelman explained that many of these new hires had never worked in PR before. We heard from a few of them at the Academic Summit, such as Chris Paul, covering paid media, and Tyler Gray, discussing the Creative Newsroom.

3. Pay Attention and Participate

How often do you hear about a new popular app or the latest update to Twitter? These changes are happening constantly and the only way to keep up is to not just pay attention, but participate. Test out new features, experiment on new platforms. When asked what quality is most valuable in an entry level candidate, one panelist from a leading tech brand answered simply, “curiosity.”

4. Learn How to Tell Impactful, Relevant Stories

The official theme of the Academic Summit is “Storytelling @ The Speed of Now,” so it’s no surprise that effective storytelling was a recurring topic of conversation. From telling stories of a brand or corporate character to empowering employees to share their own stories, finding the emotion to bring a story to life is key.

5. Build Your Personal Brand

Yesterday, Yumi Wilson of LinkedIn* (disclosure: Edelman client), spoke about the importance of building your social presence. Even just having a picture makes people 14 percent more likely to click on your profile; but keep it professional, Yumi advised—no selfies. How you represent yourself online reflects your personal brand, so use your social channels to portray your brand appropriately.

What do you believe incoming PR professionals need to understand to succeed?

*Edelman Client

**Please note, there will be no Friday5 next week July 4 due to the Independence Day Holiday.

Friday5 | What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet argues—more or less—that a name is nothing more than a convention to identify a person, or more broadly a noun. A rose by any other name still retains the sweet smell of a rose, right? But in today’s world a name has a little more weight and could mean the potential to lose millions of dollars in trademarked merchandise—just ask the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The well-established sports team had its trademark protection canceled this past week when the U.S. Patent and Trademark office revoked it, calling the team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.” Although the team and NFL plans to appeal the decision, it raises the question: “What’s in a name?”

This week’s Friday5 looks at what it means to have an established name and the consequences that may follow.

1. A Name is an Identifier

First and foremost, a name identifies a brand, product or service on the market. The identification aspect is the most important reason to secure a brand name. Unfortunately for the NFL team, the team name is considered a racial slur. When selecting a brand name, or even campaign name, it’s important to remember how it will be identified by most or even some.

2. A Name Carries Meaning

A brand is a set of associations that one has related to a person, place, product, service, or pretty much anything else. Despite the team’s performance and championships, its name’s reputation as a racial slur is finally catching up to the team after 82 years. When creating a brand name or even campaign name it’s crucial to understand the name’s connotations and denotations locally, regionally and even nationally.

3. People are Familiar with a Name

Unfortunately for Washington’s NFL team they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place: the proponents of the name change versus the die-hard fans. The die-hard fans are familiar with, and loyal to, the current name, while critics primarily understand its derogatory nature. No matter which way team owner Dan Snyder and the NFL go, they’ll anger one side or the other. It comes down to the decision of how the owners want to be remembered and what they stand for.

4. A Name has Heritage

Most names evoke a sense of history and legacy. Generations will very often pass along an affinity for purchasing a certain brand or cheering for one team. The children of these children see nothing wrong with rooting for this team because they have history with the name. However, in parallel, families have grown up knowing that a specific term holds its own derogatory heritage. Again, Washington’s NFL team has run itself into a corner.

5. A Name has Investment

Washington’s NFL team made significant investments in its name for decades with relatively little resistance. However, as Bob Dylan once said, “the times they are a-changin’.” Activists’ voices are being heard and public opinion is shifting toward their support. The NFL team may have to consider its options and evaluate the long-term investments in its name. Although Snyder plans to appeal the cancelation of its trademarks it’s clear that they’ve lost the public opinion. They risk seeing millions of dollars in knockoff merchandise being sold at half price, as they perhaps consider cutting losses and investing anew by changing its brand.

At the end of the day, everyone must ask themselves, “What’s in a name?” Of course, it’s never ideal to change a well-established name but, when push comes to shove, it might be best option to give ground and acknowledge the shift in public opinion.

What does a brand name mean to you?


Photo courtesy of Jack Doresy

Friday5 | Your Next Campaign Hashtag

By now, almost everyone knows the potential of hashtags to destroy or create an amazing campaign. It has become a critical part of any social media activation to select a good hashtag that not only follows best practices but also captures the theme, messaging or call to action of the campaign. You’ll need to choose a concise, conversational and memorable hashtag while avoiding hashtag hijacking. This can be a painstaking and nerve-racking exercise.

Of course it’s best to brainstorm during the planning stage with a variety of people but there’s also a few online resources to help jog your creative juices and explore the wide open world of hashtags. Here are five online tools to help you come up with your next campaign hashtag. Although most of these tools have paid “pro” version, the free “basic” versions available meet most needs while brainstorming a campaign hashtag. Any of these resources may provide the jolt needed to come up with your own campaign hashtag.

1. Hashtagify

Hashtagify is a “visual hashtag explorer” which allows you to search hashtags, related hashtags and basic analytics for free. Based on a one percent sample size of recent tweets, this online tool is able to provide other hashtags used in conjunction with the one you searched. For example, if you search #Play it’ll show other hashtags that have been used in the same post as #Play and include basic usage analytics of that hashtag. Hashtagify also provides the top six influencers on Twitter using the hashtag, recent top tweets, usage patterns and spelling variations. The usage patterns option also allows you to compare the popularity of multiple hashtags in the past two months, perfect for deciding whether to use #July4th or #IndependenceDay.

2. Hashtag Generator

Hashtag Generator is a simple tool to help spark ideas. Type in a simple sentence such as your campaign’s name, call to action or key message and out comes three hashtag options. The first option will take out all the spaces in your sentence. The second option takes out all the vowels. The third option makes an acronym out of your sentence. Below each of the three options, Hashtag Generator aggregates all the posts which recently used that hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+. It may not provide the perfect hashtag but rather help you step outside the box and think of new combinations.

3.  Tagdef

Acronyms are a popular type of hashtag. They say a lot in a few characters and are frequently used by people in the know. However, a seemingly simple acronym could mean something completely different on social media. That’s why before committing to a hashtag acronym check it out on Tagdef, the online dictionary of hashtags. Type in your acronym and Tagdef will let you know what it means. If there’s no definition, you’re most likely in the clear but better do a manual search just in case. It’s also a great tool for social media #noobs so they can #ROFL at the latest #TBT photos.

4. Trendsmap

Need a hashtag for a specific location? Trendsmap provides users a visual experience to see what is trending based on location. The world map in Trendsmap allows you to zoom into a specific country, region, and even city to see what people are talking about on social media. The trending hashtags are clickable and allow registered users to see more specific information on the hashtags. Although this tool won’t generate a hashtag for you it’s a useful tool to see what is currently being talked about on social media around the world. Maybe there’s another event happening in a city and your brand can play off its popularity.

5. Hashtags.org

In addition to providing search and analytics data, much like the other resources mentioned, Hashtags.org is also a great hub for trending and tracking hashtags. One feature allows the users to see popular hashtag in specific topic groups such as TV/entertainment, tech, sports or business. The online resource also provides social media industry insights for marketers such as upcoming social media conferences, news article about the latest hashtags and other trends. A great resource as you begin to research and select a hashtag for any reason.

What resources have you used to come up with a campaign hashtag?


Image credit: misspixels

Friday5: Win the Social Media Battle During the World Cup

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was one of the first international sporting events since the global explosion of social media. In the four years since, online citizens around the world have matured in terms of setting the stage to make this year’s matches one of the biggest social media events of the year. Fans, celebrities and brands will be posting constantly about the World Cup until one team comes out victorious. Here are five tips to help your content succeed during the next few weeks.

1. Break Through the Clutter

Like any large cultural event nowadays social media will be the heart of every campaign trying to attach itself to the World Cup. The social media space will be cluttered with brands fighting for consumer attention throughout the matches. The big brands and companies most likely have contracts and licenses with the FIFA World Cup—they’re the only ones who can and should legally do so. But for the smaller budget brands it’s even more pertinent to break through the clutter with outstanding content. To win the battle on social media requires creative, real-time content and sufficient reach that stands apart from the other noise and drives real connection with consumers.

2. Define Your Core Audience Group

There are millions of people getting excited for the World Cup. But if you break it down, there’s basically two types of World Cup people: the super fan and the casual fan. The super fans are really passionate, diehard soccer fans who’ll be watching as many games as possible, reading news articles and posting frequently online about all the matches. The casual fans are there for the spectacle and to root for their favorite countries. They’re more interested in the popular cultural event rather than the matches themselves. Understand who you are trying to connect with and design content for that core audience group.

3. Act Like A Publisher

For brands to win the World Cup social media battle, they should act like publishers. Transform the brand’s social channels as a content destination for the World Cup. Post content that your core audience group wants to come back for day after day. This will also help your content succeed and break through the clutter.

4. Deliver Emotion Through Content

The World Cup is a game of emotions. Being well-prepared to deliver all the emotions through content is a must. The pre-planned content and anticipated content should be put in place covering moments that will happen—wins and losses—and moments that will most likely happen—bad calls or power outages. Most importantly, content managers must be agile on the reactive content reflecting unpredictable moments in real-time: the goals, the achievements, the failures, the celebrations, the skills, etc. Every moment counts and should not be missed out. It helps brands deliver emotions and ultimately build affinity with an audience on social media.

5. Commit to Real-time Marketing

The biggest difference that sets the social media winners apart would be acting in real-time rather than following a pre-planned execution. Coming up with real-time content that reflects exactly the native conversations is crucial. Then, deciding the right time for paid media helps the content achieve the reach and stand out from the crowd. Fundamentally, to make brands super-relevant and break through the cluttered environment, we must strongly commit to real-time marketing.

People all around the world are getting ready for the four week football frenzy in Brazil. Enjoy the World Cup and see what will be the most talked-about brands this summer.

How is your brand preparing for the World Cup?

Image credit: Joe Shlabotnik

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