Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has included ten personal letters from the public in his daily briefs. This week, the White House announced a new direct line to the president: a Facebook messenger account, from which some of these personal letters will be selected. The automated account, answered by a bot, is the first government account to make use of the service, and presents a powerful new tool for communicators to listen to their audiences, collect information, and project a receptive and modern personality for their brands.
Instagram is still the go-to hub for users seeking quality photo and video posts. But how can brands generate the compelling visual stories their Instagram audiences really want to see and interact with? Some communicators have found a combination of community-generated content and strong audience listening skills to be a powerful solution. Karen Do, senior manager of brand social media at Adobe, and Erin Flior, senior director of digital communications at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, shared ways they are leveraging and listening to their Instagram audiences to generate successful content.
At the Big 4 Social Media Summit in San Francisco on Aug. 10, Paul Englert presented these six somewhat-rhetorical questions to those who are considering using Facebook Live. Although probably every brand wants to answer “yes” to each one, it’s worth doing some soul-searching to determine whether that would be true, and if not, how to get there in order to make live streaming truly worthwhile.
YouTube is the Vegas casino of social content platforms. Brand communicators are constantly told that video reigns supreme—no one reads anymore and still images are so 20th century. So they pour resources into videos, and post them to their YouTube channels and wait for the returns. And wait.
Snapchat is a great way to reach audiences in a consumable fashion. But if you’re just going to regurgitate the same content you use on television and other media platforms you’re going to struggle.
Early in its development, Snapchat was barely a thorn in Facebook’s side, dismissed by big brands as too frivolous ever to be used as a serious marketing tool. How the tables have turned: With even The Times admitting Snapchat’s viability as an advertising publisher, Snapchat’s status has moved it into direct competition with the preeminent social media giant. Here’s what the PR News community is saying about Instagram’s Snapchatesque update.
If you or your brand has been wary of jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon, Instagram is rolling out its own take on social evanescence in the next few weeks that’s likely to be a much more brand friendly way to use disappearing content. Facebook’s photo-heavy app announced that it’s launching a new Snapchat-esque feature called “Stories.” The company hopes the move will encourage users to post more of their everyday moments to the platform, whereas only the best, most visually stunning parts of life made it onto Instagram in the past.
Snapchat usage statistics are tempting for even the most risk-averse brand communicator. But can a brand communicator measure her success on Snapchat? The lack of a good answer to that question may be keeping many brands away from the app. Leslie Douglas, senior social media manager for PwC, has faced this tough question head-on as she has led her intrepid company onto Snapchat.
Chalk up the lack of media buzz around Instagram to the vagaries of our what-have-you-done-for-me-lately digital media world.
The tit-for-tat between social brands continues, with the battlefield moving to live streaming. For a time pundits enjoyed contrasting Facebook’s financials with those of Twitter. No more. Due to Facebook’s historic financial prowess, it’s no longer a fair fight. At least with live video, it’s still a contest. In July, CNBC International signed an agreement with Face- book to put its morning show Street Signs on Facebook Live for a trial following the Brexit vote. Meanwhile Twitter tapped Bloomberg Media, which will live stream several of its shows on the bird platform, including election monitor With All Due Respect. July 20 Twitter said it hooked the NBA to live stream a pair of new, weekly pre-game shows on the platform. This adds to Twitter’s sports stable: it signed the NFL ear- lier this year to live stream Thursday Night Football games. Twitter also live streamed Wimbledon in July. Facebook returned serve: it signed a bevy of people who made their reps on Vine and YouTube to create video for Facebook Live. That’s in addition to media companies like BuzzFeed and The NY Times, announced earlier (PRN, June 27). From July 25-July 28 Twitter carried live coverage from CBSN of the Democrats’ convention from Philadelphia.