Just When You Thought You Knew Everything About Hashtags…

Written by: Rita Mogilanski
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You may be surprised to learn that there are very specific and different rules for using hashtags on each social platform. This red, yellow, and green guide will explain how lenient and indulgent one should be when including hashtags in a post.

  • Red = Steer clear of using hashtags
  • Yellow = Use hashtags sparingly
  • Green = Go hashtag crazy.

FB logo Facebook
Red. Stop. Move away from “shift” and “3” keys. Hashtags should not be a priority on Facebook. When applicable, tag a partner page instead of using a hashtag. Hashtags should only be implemented when it complements a call to action as part of a larger, cross-platform campaign.

Twitter logo Twitter
Yellow. Twitter is the birthplace of hashtags and still their most natural home. Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without, and 55% more retweets. However, using MORE than two hashtags in a tweet actually decreases engagement by 17%, so use them wisely.

YouTube logo YouTube
Green. Feel free to go hashtag crazy. Hashtags (in the tagging section) on videos are important for search and discoverability. Use at least 3 tags on videos to increase the likelihood that users will find your content.

GPlus logo Google+
Yellow. Like YouTube, Google+ is a platform that is important for search. Google will automatically tag certain posts with relevant and popular hashtags. Hashtags can also be added to comments on a post. It is often good practice to tag or add search terms used for paid SEO and webpage strategies on Google+ posts as well. Use one or two hashtags that will help users discover content.

Instagram logo Instagram
Green. Instagram is home to #ThrowbackThursday, #TransformationTuesday, and other alliterations that allow users to post baby pictures. #There #seems #to #be #a #hashtag #epidemic #on #Instagram, but believe it or not, these people have the right idea. Hashtags are the primary way to find and browse new content on Instagram, and data has shown that interactions are highest on posts with 11+ hashtags. While over-hashtagging is distracting and considered poor etiquette, do not hesitate to include as many hashtags as are relevant to the post to increase discoverability.

Tumblrlogo Tumblr
Green. Like YouTube, hashtags are hidden on the back-end on Tumblr. This allows users to post more hashtags that cover all the aspects of the content. Use 9-12 terms that are both specific and general to completely represent the post content and the interests of the audience. Just remember that only the hashtags that are entered into the tag section will be clickable and searchable.

Pinterest logo Pinterest
Red. Believe it or not, hashtags may harm the reach of content on Pinterest. Clicking a hashtag will actually take you away from the content on the page, and to a list of all posts using that hashtag. This means that you will end up driving users to a list of other similar brands and competing content. Keywords, without a hashtag attached, are a better way to label content and help users discover it.

Vine logo Vine
Yellow. Like Instagram, hashtags are really the main way to find content, and like Twitter, Vine features trending hashtags and topics. It is best to include any and all relevant hashtags, but over-hashtagging isn’t proper etiquette. #DoItForTheVine

LinkedIn logo LinkedIn
Red. LinkedIn is unique in that the platform does not support hashtags at all. They are not clickable or searchable. A hashtagged word will just show up as normal text, and what good is a pound sign if doesn’t automatically hyperlink? Steer clear.

Just When You Thought You Knew Everything About Hashtags…

You may be surprised to learn that there are very specific and different rules for using hashtags on each social […]

Prediction: Perceived Personalization

Written by: Eric Fransen
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It was sometime between my first battle with an Uruk captain and overthrowing my first war chief that I realized something was special about Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. While the gameplay itself was fantastic, it was something in particular about the game’s enemies that struck me. Each Uruk had a unique name, appearance, and set of weaknesses, strengths and fears. Each Uruk had its own personality that was only present in my game. If I fell in battle to one, he made sure to let me know the next time I saw him — in alarmingly specific detail.

This is all thanks to Monolith’s Nemesis System. What the Nemesis System has managed to accomplish is something extraordinary — and noticeably lacking in many other of its AAA game brethren: perceived personalization. It wasn’t a matter of going after these Uruks because the game said I had to — I went after them because I wanted to. For sweet, sweet vengeance. It was no longer purely a game mechanic. It was personal. It was as if I KNEW the Uruk and he existed purely to antagonize me and make my life more difficult. All of this made it that much more satisfying by the time I was able to exact my revenge by parting his head with his shoulders.

So what does this all have to do with digital marketing? Everything.

You see, Monolith has stumbled onto something utterly brilliant. Mechanics that go a long way in making you, the consumer, feel like you’re having a completely unique experience. At its core, the Nemesis system is essentially a bank of possible names, attributes, personalities and sound bytes that combine to form randomly created characters. But it’s how it all comes together to form a cohesive experience that’s where it really shines.

You could apply this same logic to attributes in product design, custom web experiences, or experiential events. If you feel like you’re the first and/or only person to experience something, how much better of an experience is that compared to a one-size-fits-all approach? By creating something truly unique, you’re creating social currency and empowering your consumers to speak on your behalf.

But why perceived personalization? Isn’t it just personalization? Yes and no. Yes, the experience is unique and personalized to me, the end user. But where I see the differentiation is the fact that it’s unique without any additional input from either the development side OR the user side. It’s a highly sophisticated automated system that makes me FEEL like it’s built specifically for me. That’s the magic. And something I believe we are going to start seeing even more in 2015.

Prediction: Perceived Personalization

It was sometime between my first battle with an Uruk captain and overthrowing my first war chief that I realized […]

Happy Holidays

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook to Make Sure the Right People See Publishers’ Posts
Facebook unveiled new tools this week to give publishers a better shot at making sure people on Facebook see their stories. One tool lets publishers target their Facebook posts at a subset of their fans interested in certain topics. Another lets publishers put an expiration date on their posts so that timely stories don’t pop up in people’s feeds after the timely event has passed. A third tool called Smart Publishing identifies a story that a lot of people are linking to on Facebook and, for publishers who opt-in, posts it in the news feeds of people who like that publisher’s Facebook page.

Facebook Adds Call to Action Buttons to Its Pages
This week, Facebook announced seven “call to action” buttons for Pages. Page admins can now select one of seven buttons that use verbs to attempt to get user conversion and appear on the top of the cover photo. The options are Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video.  Dollar Shave Club has been trying the buttons and said that adding “Sign Up” converted 2.5x more users than previously.

YouTube Offering Its Stars Bonuses
Google’s YouTube is racing to lock up its top stars as rival online video services court them aggressively. Facebook and video startup Vessel, among others, have tried to lure YouTube creators to their services in recent months.  In response, Google is offering some of its top video makers bonuses to sign multiyear deals in which they agree to post content exclusively on YouTube for a time before putting it on a rival service. Bonuses are tied to how well videos perform.

Instagram has 300 Million Monthly Users
Instagram announced this week that 300 million people check out the photo-sharing service each month. That’s up from 200 million nine months ago and 100 million in February 2013. There are however, a lot of fake and spam accounts and Instagram has begun deleting them. This means that some Instagram users may see the number of people following them shrink. Instagram will also start authenticating real accounts, starting with brands and public figures.

Global Social Media

Google News to Shut Down in Spain Over  ‘Google Tax’
Google said this week that it will shut down its Google News service in Spain to prevent publishers’ content from appearing on it – ahead of a new law requiring the company to pay Spanish news organizations for linked content or snippets of news. The law goes into effect January 1 and is nicknamed “Google Tax.” The move marks the first time globally that Google will shutter Google News.

Noteworthy Campaigns

General Mills Revives French Toast Crunch in Latest Nostalgia Play
General Mills is now reviving a cereal brand that had its heyday in the late 1990s. The company has announced that French Toast Crunch, launched in 1995 and discontinued in the U.S. in 2006, is now back in some U.S. stores and will be available nationwide again as of January. It seems U.S. fans of the cereal have continued to ask General Mills to bring it back – creating a petition and a Facebook Page dedicated to the cause. Some consumers have even paid big bucks to have boxes of the cereal shipped to them from Canada, where it continues to be sold. The company has responded to requests and launched a marketing campaign in support of the revival. The new campaign includes a 30-second spot, digital video, a new website, and Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter accounts featuring Miss Cleo, known for her telephone psychic services on TV during the ’90s. News about the brand’s comeback is also generating buzz through the hashtag #frenchtoastcrunchisback.

Headlines & Stuff

  Here are some cool things we read about this past week: Facebook to Make Sure the Right People See […]

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts. With the holiday season in full swing, this week’s post is focused on the expected habits of consumers during the busiest shopping season of the year.

The Average Shopper will do 44% of Holiday Shopping Online

An infographic from Shortstack reports that consumers who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will spend an average of $804.42 this year. The infographic also says mobile devices, social media and email will play large roles in customer’s holiday shopping habits this season.

Here’s a look at how consumers will use online and mobile:

  • The average shopper will do 44% of holiday shopping online
  • More than 80 percent (84 percent) of shoppers use their mobile devices before or during a shopping trip.
  • One in three shoppers uses his smartphone for information while shopping instead of asking an employee.
  • Mobile commerce will make up 33 percent of online holiday sales in the U.S. this year.
  • Twenty-five percent of shoppers say whether a retailer has an easy-to-use mobile website is an important factor in their decision to shop there.

Source: Ragan.com

Stats of the Week

Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what […]

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook Launches New Places Directory to Rival Yelp
Facebook has quietly launched a new Places Directory, which lets you search for the best destinations in cities across the world. The results are ranked by user ratings and show comments from friends and others in your Facebook network.

Social Spend Will Double by 2018
Social media advertising spending will more than double in just five years, according to a new forecast from BI Intelligence. The group predicts social ad revenues will jump 40 percent from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $8.5 billion this year and 195 percent to almost $14 billion in 2018. Factors driving this growth: increased reach, improved targeting, improved measurement capabilities, and the rapid expansion of programmatic buying options.

Twitter Announces Several New Features
During Twitter’s Analyst Day event, the company promised to launch new services including new messaging, video creation, and content curation features in the coming months. The goal is to make the social network more engaging to new and existing users. Some of the new features announced include: Timeline Highlights, Instant Timeline, breaking news alerts, real-time video editing and sharing (native Twitter video), improvements to private messaging, and more stand-alone apps.

Facebook Debuts ‘Say Thanks’ Video Feature
Facebook launched a new feature called “Say Thanks” that helps users create “video cards” for friends and family. To create the cards, Facebook automatically combines content featuring users and the person they’ve chosen to commemorate. Users can then edit that content and choose from different card themes before sharing them.

YouTube Unveils Music Streaming Service
YouTube launched its new music streaming service this week. Music Key will be ad-free and begin on an invite-only basis with a promotional subscription price of $7.99 per month — discounted from $9.99. YouTube is also adding a music-focused tab that includes favorites and recommended playlists. YouTube’s Music Key also includes a subscription to Google Play Music.

Global Social Media

The Countries Where Facebook Censors the Most Content
As Facebook expands, countries are increasingly interested in making content on the social network disappear. Censorship on Facebook increased 19 percent between the first six months of 2014 and the last six months of 2013. But censorship isn’t distributed evenly. Some countries are more trigger-happy than others. India leads the list with 4,900 pieces of content restricted. Turkey and Pakistan follow closely with 1,800 and 1,700 “pieces of content” removed. Facebook only restricts content when it is “illegal under local law.”

Noteworthy Campaigns

JetBlue Launches Fly It Forward
JetBlue Airways recently introduced a new program called “Fly It Forward” that enables customers to spread goodness from one to the next. The program is inspired by the airline’s crew members and is carried on by customers passing along one ticket on a continuous journey throughout the JetBlue network. To celebrate the launch, JetBlue released a video featuring the first four fliers to participate in the program. The video also calls for the public to submit their own nominations for deserving travelers. Consumers can follow stories as they unfold at jetblueflyitforward.com and help write the next chapter by submitting their own entry through Twitter using #FlyItForward.

Headlines & Stuff

  Here are some cool things we read about this past week: Facebook Launches New Places Directory to Rival Yelp […]

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts.

Online Grocery Sales will Grow from $23 Billion in 2014 to Nearly $100 Billion by 2019

Online shopping has exploded over the past decade with consumers avoiding busy stores for the convenience of shopping 24/7 anywhere that has Wi-Fi. We typically associate online shopping with the holiday season, but in reality, consumers are using the net to buy everything from flowers and clothing to electronics, music and even caskets (you gotta love Costco).

Over the past few years food and beverage marketers have used the internet and social media to promote their brands to billions of consumers worldwide, which creates an enormous potential for online sales.

While online grocery shopping is currently one of the smallest segments for food and beverage sales, this rapidly changing business is poised for tremendous growth over the next several years. According to a new report from Packaged Facts, online grocery sales will grow from $23 billion in 2014 to nearly $100 billion by 2019, capturing 12 percent of total grocery spending, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

“Meeting at the crossroads of technology and service, online grocery shopping offers the grocery industry’s most exciting potential because it is the fastest-growing channel in the grocery arena,” said Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. “It’s clear that U.S. consumers have become increasingly comfortable with shopping for groceries via Internet and reliant upon home delivery and easy pickup of pre-picked orders.”

The online grocery business has become crowded with participants—some well-established, and many of which entered this business only in the past two years. To date, fewer than a dozen online grocery services with the potential to be viable on a national level or across a wide swath of the country have emerged from the fray. Although they are still at early stages of test-marketing, companies such as Amazon.com and Walmart have a leg up in operating nationwide online grocery services because of their large infrastructures of warehouses dotting the country, advanced logistics and delivery systems, clout with suppliers, and wide assortment of products—resulting in the potential to cross-sell and deliver high-ticket and more profitable items in the same order, shipment or truck.

In contrast, supermarkets (even the nation’s largest chains) operate primarily under regional or local banners. And while few major players have emerged as yet, all across the United States, both in cities and suburbs, a multiplicity of local grocers and shopping/delivery services are springing up under the radar.

But the online grocery business has unique challenges as it strives to reach its potential. According to the “Online Food Shopping and Grocery Delivery in the U.S.: Future of Food Retailing” report, over the next five years, online grocery service providers will develop models that solve the logistics problems while being profitable for the operators. As this happens, online services will become more widely available throughout the country and consumers will become more confident in shopping for food and beverages online. It’s expected for these developments to take place in leaps and bounds as, for example, Amazon Prime Pantry rolls out across the country, AmazonFresh spreads to more cities, and more retailers get on board the United States Postal Service’s planned delivery system.

Interestingly, a 2013 report by Packaged Facts found a trend of major changes in grocery retailing. According to the report, the greatest competition to supermarkets and grocery stores is from supersized stores like supercenters and warehouse clubs, however other retail channels like drugstores, dollar stores, limited assortment chains and online grocery shopping also pose a great threat. Data also showed 83 percent of shoppers cited being satisfied with the store(s) where they usually shop for groceries, 56 percent enjoy grocery shopping and 18 percent actively dislike grocery shopping. This suggests that retailers have room to improve in making grocery shopping easier, less burdensome and enjoyable for a significant amount of their customers.

Source: FoodProductDesign.com

Stats of the Week

Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what […]

The Marketing Arm Digital – November 2014 Newsletter

We published our monthly newsletter! Check it out below, and to see it in all its glory with working links, […]

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Instagram Rolls Out Video Ads
Instagram is now selling video ad inventory launching the product with autoplay spots for Disney, Activision, Lancome, Banana Republic, and The CW. The ads started appearing this week and will continue to roll out over the coming weeks.

Tumblr Rolls Out Video Ads
Instagram isn’t the only platform rolling out video ads this week. Tumblr began featuring autoplay video ads from advertisers including The CW, Lexus, Axe, Universal Pictures, JCPenney, and Hulu.  Ads will be featured in Tumblr’s new video player (unveiled last week), which supports Vine and Instagram video.

LinkedIn Ad Sales Soar
LinkedIn continued its tear in the third quarter, with revenue climbing to $568 million. That’s 45 percent higher compared to last year. The increase was led by sponsored updates – a product that allows advertisers to reach members who don’t follow their company. Sponsored updates generated 31 percent of ad revenue in the third quarter.

YouTube Considers a New Subscription Service
YouTube is in the early stages of exploring new subscription services. Though specifics aren’t available, one option would be an ad-free service that users could pay for.

Global Social Media

Thousands Protest in Hungary over Proposed Internet Tax
Trouble is brewing in Hungary, as thousands of concerned citizens took to the streets in Budapest to protest a new proposed tax on Internet use. Over 10,000 protesters marched through the capital to demand the proposal be scrapped, as they believe it would increase their tax burden and curtail their freedom of expression and access to information.  The proposal was part of a bill drawn up by the current Prime Minister.  Protest organizers, backed by a Facebook group with over 210,000 supporters, issued an ultimatum demanding the tax be scrapped or they would return to the streets for more protests.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Taco Bell Blacks Out Its Social Sites to Launch Mobile App
As part of the launch of its mobile-ordering and payment app this week, Taco Bell blacked out its social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even its website. The idea was to play up the announcement and attract attention with a Twitter feed, Facebook page, and website all showing nothing but a black screen. Each of those pages only offered a link to the app download. The chain was hoping to prompt conversation using the #onlyintheapp hashtag. The stunt appears to have had some initial success – 75 percent of all Taco Bell stores had processed a mobile order one day after the app launch. Taco Bell plans to continue with their social media activity, but it will be limited until they feel they’ve properly promoted the app.  They have since started promoted tweets and other social ads.

Headlines & Stuff

  Here are some cool things we read about this past week: Instagram Rolls Out Video Ads Instagram is now […]

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
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Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what we learn with you in these posts.

4 out of 5 Millennials Shop Directly from Mobile Devices

One of the challenges facing small business owners during the holiday shopping season is marketing to millennials.

This demographic has a unique set of shopping habits. For example, four out of five millennials shop directly from mobile devices, and nearly 70 percent won’t wait more than five seconds for a page to load, according to survey data from cloud-based software company Instart Logic.

Their infographic below explains how to take advantage of millennial shoppers this holiday season by optimizing mobile shopping experiences.

Source: Inc. Magazine

Stats of the Week

Every week we compile lots of interesting stats here at Fanscape and we try to share a lot of what […]