“SpaghettiOs decided to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor by tweeting an image of its mascot, Mr. O, holding an American flag, grinning maniacally and assuming a rather defiant left-arm akimbo stance. There is, of course, a hashtag involved.”
PNConnect Insight – Let’s be clear and point out that brands marking occasions like this is not inherently bad. But 1) It needs to be better than not saying anything at all and 2) A moment like this needs to not be turned into a self-promotional opportunity. It was by taking a branded, light-hearted approach to this – and leaving the tweet up for 12+ hours, which betrays a lack of response infrastructure – that created the problem for the brand.
“But the brand gained tons of national attention by exhibiting just enough snark while avoiding embarrassing mistakes that could have come from live-tweeting a show whose plotlines included nuns and Nazi references.”
PNConnect Insight – An interesting counterpoint to the SpaghettiOs story, this shows a brand – working closely with an agency partner – that wasn’t so much doing “Real Time Marketing” as just showing that they were being in the moment during a cultural event. While that sounds notable it shouldn’t be, particularly if the brand you’re dealing with is in the entertainment (or sports or whatever) space as well.
“At the time, Facebook contended that algorithmic changes had been made to weed out spammy, non-engaging content, but that the median reach of pages hadn’t budged. It particularly objected to the inference that the changes had been made to spur marketers to spend more on ads to make up for lost reach. But now Facebook is making the case for marketers to do just that.”
PNConnect Insight - While any significant decrease in client reach via a platform such as Facebook is never good, it does validate our PNConnect hub and spoke approach to the brand as publisher model. In other words, Facebook Brand Pages should not be your primary content delivery method.
“For the first time, you can share and view photos via direct message (DM) on your mobile phone. We’ve also introduced a new tab in the navigation bar that makes it easy to access DMs –– they’re just one tap away from wherever you are on Twitter. You can also view photos in DMs on twitter.com.”
PNConnect Insight – Twitter is obviously feeling the pressure as young users migrate to Snapchat and other image messaging services. It’s hard, though, not to see how this makes DM spam even more of a problem for most users. In fact this coming up may have been why Twitter quickly rolled back the feature that let anyone DM anyone else, regardless of mutual following status.
“On mobile, auto-play gives natively uploaded Facebook videos and ones shared from Instagram an advantage: you don’t have to think about playing them, they play themselves. At first they’ll play in-line even as you scroll, but with no sound. If you tap them, they expand full-screen and the audio kicks in. Videos uploaded to third-party sites retain the old click-to-play-format.”
PNConnect Insight – It’s interesting that this is going mobile first as that’s obviously where Facebook feels it will get the biggest exposure (and subsequent CPM rates) among users. But from a publishing point of view it’s problematic since auto-play may be an attractive option for those producing original video content but it comes at the cost of, for instance, fracturing metrics away from a single YouTube video.
“Just 2% of unique purchases made from Nov. 1 and onward this year began as social posts that people clicked on, according to aggregated customer data from more than 100 U.S.-based retailers. Meanwhile, the lion’s share of sales originated from organic search (26%), direct visits to retailer sites and apps (25%), email marketing (17%) and paid search (16%).”
PNConnect Insight – This may be accurate when looking at the action taken on any individual tweet or post, but it discounts the cumulative effect a brand publishing program can have on sentiment and opinion. So while in some cases (but certainly not all) there may be a fuzzy line directly connecting social media and purchases there’s still quite an impact being felt.
“The most significant change, however, came with Badoo’s ascension to third-most-visited social network site in Brazil, pushing both of Google’s social networks, Google+ and the declining-but-popular orkut, even further from the top.
PNConnect Insight – As always it’s good to see what’s happening in the world of region-specific social networks. Unfortunately this report doesn’t go into why Badoo is gaining ground – does it have unique functionality that is making it more popular? – but it’s still interesting to see.
“Google has introduced its first monetization effort for its social networking platform, Google+. Rather than running ads directly within the platform, Google has announced a new ad unit called +Post ads, which allow brands to turn their Google+ content into expandable display ads. Those ads can then run across the Google Display Network.”
PNConnect Insight – There are all sorts of things that could be read into why Google opted for off-domain monetization. But the gist is that by going this route it’s trying to encourage brands to publish more on Google+ and then use that content as fan-acquisition material.