USES: Case studies and general user stories

Jack Daniel's 150th birthday party is a Facebook scavenger huntAdweek
Fans can win an iconic Jack Daniel’s barrel by following region-specific clues posted on local Facebook pages. When IRL and digital converge, good things can happen. 

West Elm uses user-generated content in Facebook adsAdweek
With everyone screaming “Influencers!” it’s hard to remember good ol’ UGC. West Elm A/B tested Facebook carousel ads with brand-created content versus users’ Instagram posts. Click rates were 2.6 times higher for UGC, and conversion was 3 times higher for UGC. Test and learn.
Publisher Grazia’s takeaways from its Facebook Live experimentDigiday

  1. Tease the live event.
  2. Stream longer videos because they generate more views through word of mouth.
  3. Respond to comments live.

These are table stakes. Now, brands must figure out what's the most compelling content to stream live. BTW, Grazia’s reach? 600,000 views.

The House sit-in was Periscoped and FLOTUS is on SnapchatThe Next Web, CNET
When House Democrats staged a sit-in to force a vote on gun control measures and CSPAN went dark, Rep. Scott Peters of California took over on Periscope. Live-streaming = live-streaming, no matter who’s “in charge.” Also, because social media is a relevant part of making political change (see previous two sentences), FLOTUS is giving fans a way to follow her upcoming travels to Liberia, Morocco and Spain to support girls who aren’t in school: Snapchat.

China and Japan school the U.S. on messaging app ad potentialWall Street Journal
Asia has been marketing in messaging apps for a while already, giving hundreds of millions of users far more than messages in Line and WeChat. Think hailing taxis and paying for goods and services. 


INFLUENCERS: Voices behind the hype

VidCon digital influencers get first dibs on Samsung VR cameraVariety
Scarcity marketing still works. Samsung is teaching only certain creators at VidCon how to make quality, captivating content with its Gear 360. The goal is to seed the best content so others will want the product when it becomes available. This proactive approach to new technology was popular in last week’s news.      

Vloggers help L’Oréal beat ad-blockersGlobal Cosmetics News
Because people use ad blockers, more companies are turning to influencers, whose content won’t be blocked and — because it often doesn’t “feel” like an ad — ultimately attracts more eyeballs and engagement. Sales for L’Oréal products doubled in the four weeks following a video post from vlogger EnjoyPhoenix.

Kohler Ideas uses only influencer contentAd Exchanger
Adding influencers to just about any marketing plan (instead of creating one-off social executions or branded product sites) helps drive more conversion. Kohler centralized its Pinterest and Houzz efforts with a new site, Kohler Ideas, that curates content from publishers and major influencers. So far, so good: Site visitors who come in via Kohler Ideas are twice as intent on purchasing. 

Influencer “Inception” on FacebookWall Street Journal
Facebook is spending more than $50 million on influencer contracts to make live-streaming, aka Facebook Live, the new cool thing on Facebook. It’s like dream level three, when Arthur dreams in Yusuf’s dream. (Right?)

How brands and influencers screw up Digiday

  1. Influencers post emails from brands (see Naomi Campbell).
  2. Posts often feel inauthentic because influencers aren’t really behind the brand.
  3. Campaigns aren't FTC-compliant.

Influencer marketing is all the rage, but brands need to get the basics right. Also, about No. 2, remember the benefits of micro-influencers, which we covered in April


CHANGES: Updates to existing platforms

Twitter videos (and soon, Vines) can be up to 140 seconds longMashable
Plus, a new viewing mode will suggest similar videos. Though Vines can now be shot vertically or horizontally, we think the new time extension alone will fuel the ongoing mass exodus of power Viners.

Tumblr launched live video via third partiesTechCrunch
In a live video last week, the blogging platform announced its support of live videos through integrations from YouTube, YouNow and others. With Tumblr enlisting partners, there are now more big guns in the live-stream game. But with 140 contracts and counting, Facebook Live still remains the one to beat. (See the Influencers update above.)

Facebook Live lets you schedule broadcasts, swap faces and invite a friendVenture Beat
So this is the outcome of Facebook’s MSQRD purchase. In the next few weeks, verified pages will be able to host more collaborative and fun live-streams. Hmm, sounds a bit like Blab with Snapchat filters.


NEWBIES: Emerging platforms

Twitter EngageThe Verge
The new tool reviews all of your Twitter activity so that you can track post-by-post performance and react effectively. This is a big effing deal for influencers like Demi Lovato, who quit social media and then rejoined it within 24 hours last week. With this major leg up over Instagram, Twitter is trying to give influencers more control (by providing real-time information to react to). 

This community app lets anyone who sees a shark file a report, complete with geolocation. It was pretty clever to launch this days before Shark Week, which has an emoji-generating hashtag this year. 

Mobcrush live-streamingAdweek
This is the first time mobile game players can live-stream their wins and losses. The app has a social function, too — chatting with other users during live-streams, following each other and making profiles.