Since Instagram Stories was released in early August amid accusations of it being a Snapchat ripoff, users have quickly warmed to the new feature—and that includes brands. What are brands communicating via this new platform? Let’s take a look at some of the Stories posted in the past 24 hours to find out how this evanescent medium is being put to use, and see if we can glean some lessons about what makes them effective.
Stories by Ian James Wright
At the risk of sounding obvious, you need to have strong visuals to have a good Instagram presence. This is not something that comes naturally to some brands, especially nonprofits and B2Bs. With a little help from some communicators at the top of their game, however, anyone can put a strategy in place that will make their Instagram feed more engagement-friendly.
It’s getting to the point where we should start to doubt whether digital privacy is a reliable concept anymore. For PR professionals in particular, it’s time to put that doubt into practice in their internal communications. Email and Twitter DMs are not mediums where one can safely blow off steam or otherwise behave unprofessionally.
Facebook, among others, is rapidly becoming a video-centric platform, and its algorithms are rewarding communicators who take the time to post video. But not all video is created equal, and you’ll find that those communicators who know how to play the game regularly see more views and more engagement with their video content than those who are fumbling in the dark.
The European Commission’s ruling Aug. 30 that Apple must fork over $14.6 billion (plus interest) in unpaid taxes, due to Ireland having granted illegal preferential aid to Apple over 20 years, was certainly a heavy blow for the tech behemoth. But when it comes to a public response, the decision has given Apple a powerful ally: the United States government.
An infographic can be a great way to share your story—provided it’s the right story for the medium. As we know, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to info-delivery methods. You might feel that you have an intuitive sense of what’s appropriate for an infographic, and you may be right. But it’s helpful to think it through more thoroughly, and you owe it to your brand to do so.
According to FTC guidelines, paid social media posts must carry a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure that they are in effect paid advertisements; starting a post with #ad, for example, would suffice. But a letter sent Aug. 17 to the Kardashian/Jenner family and their sponsors alleges that the celebrities in question routinely “engaged in deceptive marketing campaigns” by failing to disclose their relationships with companies paying them for endorsements.
Though performance varies from group to group, the overall verdict is that “organizations need to help their employees better align with their organization’s strategy.” Conflicting priorities at work, caused by too many initiatives happening simultaneously, cause employees to feel more connected to their profession in general than to the organization that employs them.
Is advertising on Pinterest for you? According to Pew Research Center, Pinterest users are mostly white or Hispanic women under 50, often college-educated and earning $30k or more, but spread fairly equally across urban, suburban and rural populations. If this sounds like your demographic, take a good look at getting in on the ground floor of the newest addition to the Great Video Explosion of 2016.
In the pursuit of harmony and minimizing conflict, people will often go along with the consensus of the group even if they have an alternative idea, or in more extreme cases, think the group’s idea is a bad one. Thus, even without any explicit repression, the opinions of the minority—or even the less-vocal majority—are not heard or taken into account. This is the problem that the term “groupthink” was coined in 1952 to address—”a perennial failing of mankind,” as coiner William H. Whyte, Jr. put it.