USES: Case studies and general user stories

Brands help disgruntled consumers on social mediaAdweek
Customer service via social is quickly becoming the norm, but brands are still learning how to do it well. Kit and Ace and Birchbox reported success using Snapchat’s in-app calling tools for this, which isn’t far from a 1-800 number and a call center, now, is it?

The Economist said less is more on TwitterDigiday
A year ago, the media property tweeted each story 15 times. Now they tweet 3–5 times instead. Did they put dollars behind those 3–5 and did it work? On Medium, they reported that unique visitors from “social channels” increased 40% YOY. We bet they paid to play. 

Virgin America app adds destination-specific SpotifyThe Next Web
In early July, we covered Spotify’s out-of-office automatic email message playlist feature. Did you read that, too, Virgin? Cuz this is a great idea. 

Yogurt and furniture brands use Pokémon GoAdweek, Campaign Live
Stonyfield is using Pokéstops as GPS triggers to serve players ads in other apps that they open while looking for Pikachu (bless you). Meanwhile, furniture shoppers in France who stop at a But store, catch a Pokémon there and take a photo to prove it get 10% off. Kabutos to both brands for creative, free uses of the latest obsession. 


INFLUENCERS: Voices behind the hype

22-year-old explained how to become an influencerForbes
The Reddit-taught entrepreneur lays out five things social media users can do to “turn your following into a profitable business.” Brands and agencies, note: Influencers with 15K followers typically earn $700 per post.

Pokémon Go master’s travel sponsored by MarriottPaste
The first guy to catch all the Pokémon in the U.S. is flying around the world on Marriott’s dime to catch the others. Because Marriott is using an influencer, we bet your bottom Drifloon (OK, that’s the last one) that their ROI will be higher.


CHANGES: Updates to existing platforms

Instagram launched business profiles — Instagram Blog
And with them comes access to metrics like impressions and follower activity. Optimization just got easier.

Twitter had its Q2 earnings callTwitter Blog
We could write a separate Socializ’d about everything covered in this call, but here’s what we thought you should know this morning:
1.    Twitter’s new brand campaign is “See what’s happening” (as it happens and mostly via video).
2.    The new focus is live-streaming, period, but especially sports, including college teams, soccer’s Premier League highlights, and the MLB and NHL.    
Is this the latest Hail Mary for the social network news app? With Twitter's new partnerships, brands may have more opportunities to target ads and engage with sports fans.

Tumblr announced ads on all blogsAdweek, TechCrunch
All users can work directly with brands to have ads on their blogs and get a cut from the sales. Hate this idea? Opt out. (You’re automatically in.) Brands, consider the floodgates wide open: Pick your favorite musician/writer/artist/photographer on Tumblr and go for it. Here’s what you need to know. 

Facebook changed its algorithm again — Forbes
Posts by friends and family members are still favored, but now this favoring includes posts that they share, too. Yes, even posts from brands. Remember what The Economist learned above? Quality over quantity. 

Reddit introduced sponsored UGC — The Verge
Starting August 5, brands can sponsor individual users’ posts and distribute them throughout the site. Wow. In very Reddit-like fashion, users who give brands permission to do this are granted "Reddit Gold" status, which means they will no longer see ads. 


NEWBIES: Emerging platforms

Double DogAdweek
Dare someone to do something and put either points or your own cash money on the line. If they double dare you, you either get twice the money or pay three times as much. Completed dares are made public. What good can come of this? 

The podcast player lets users upvote and comment on episodes, connect with other users and recommend podcasts. It’s kind of like Goodreads but, you know, not.