Monthly Archives: September 2014

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share


Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Ello – the Anti Facebook
You may have already heard about Ello, the ad-free, invite-only, independent social network that has gone viral over the past week. The site has gained a reputation as being the ‘anti Facebook.’  Several reports have linked the rise of Ello to a recent firestorm caused by Facebook’s real name policy (Ello lets users use any name they choose).  The site is a cross between Twitter and Tumblr – users can post status updates, photos and GIFs, and comment on their friends’ posts.  Ello is receiving anywhere between 4,000 and 30,000 requests an hour for access to the site.  As noted by our own Tom Edwards here, one of the more attractive features of Ello is that the site promises not to sell your data to third parties. Could this be the next big thing? Or just a passing fad?

Twitter is Working on Its Own Native Polling Tool
Twitter is working on a new set of interactive Cards that would allow people to run polls natively across its social network. One key advantage of this offer is the ability for users to interact without being redirected away from Twitter, which would likely improve engagement rates with any polls.

Amazon Adds Twitter Product Tweets to Wish List
Amazon introduced #AmazonWishList this week, allowing customers to add items to their Amazon Wish List without leaving Twitter. Users can reply to any tweet that contains an Amazon product link with #AmazonWishList to add the product to their wish list.

Pinterest Lets Brands Target Ads to Existing Customers
Pinterest is working on a way for advertisers to target people in a brand’s customer database – like the consumers on an email subscription list – with ads on the site. The company is also building a measurement tool so that marketers can credit their ads on Pinterest with the purchase people make on a brand’s e-commerce site.

Twitter Tempts Studios with Targeted Ads
Twitter wants to help Hollywood studios reach moviegoers at precisely the right moments. With a soon-to-debut service, studios will be able to serve ads to Twitter users who have followed the accounts of specific movies, as well as users who have tweeted about particular movies in the past.

Global Social Media

Russia Orders Facebook, Twitter, and Google to Register as Social Networks — or be Blocked
Russia’s communications regulator has ordered Facebook, Twitter, and Google to join a register of social networks or face being blocked in Russia. By registering as “organizers of information distribution,” companies agree to store data about their users’ communications on servers in Russia, or pay a fine of 50,000 Russian rubles ($13,000). Companies that fail to register within 15 days of a second order from the regulator can be blocked in Russia.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Will Ferrell’s Video Game Battle to be Live-Broadcasted on Twitch for Charity
Will Ferrell’s SuperMegaBlastMax Gamer Challenge, hosted on Indiegogo, will allow one lucky winner and guest the chance to travel to San Francisco to play Will Ferrell for two hours on October 26. It will be hosted online on video game streaming platform Twitch. The winner will also get other contest-related gear, as well as a tour of Twitch’s headquarters.  In order to quality for the drawing to play Will Ferrell, you have to donate $10. All proceeds go to the nonprofit charities Cancer for College and Donate Games. With a goal of $375,000, the campaign is currently just over of $100,000 and has 12 days left.  If donors give more than $10 they can receive additional prizes, like exclusive sunscreen, t-shirts, hoodies, and a custom skateboard. Higher donation amounts also get more entries toward the grand prize.

The Anti-Facebook? Meet Ello

Written by: Tom Edwards
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

With the recent shift towards a reach and frequency model and organic reach hovering at 3% (with plans to go lower by the end of the year), Facebook has now created a void in the social networking eco-system.


This is what maturing enterprises do. They refine and evolve and sometimes this change has significant ramifications on existing best practices. Facebook is still an incredibly powerful digital platform. I would no longer classify it as a “social network” at least from a brand marketing perspective. Facebook has moved away from KPI’s such as engagement to focus on becoming a highly effective direct response tool.


We are currently at a significant cross-roads from a social marketing perspective. The mantra of reach through engagement is really only applicable on Tumblr & Instagram (for now). Twitter is shifting towards an algorithm driven approach to showcasing tweets in your feed and organic reach has continued to decline and it will be interesting to see how much of the feed is “real-time” moving forward.


With all of this movement away from what made social… social, you should expect to see new platforms emerge that essentially provide what Facebook used to be, an actual social network.

Screenshot 2014-09-25 18.33.14

One such platform that is starting to pick up momentum is Ello.


“Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers” according to the founders. It is designed to be an ad-free digital zone.

Screenshot 2014-09-25 19.08.45

One of the selling propositions to join yet another network is the fact that they state they won’t sell data to 3rd parties.

Screenshot 2014-09-25 18.33.39

The core of the experience is similar to what you would expect, it supports GIFs, comments on posts and reply directly to friends. You also have insight into how many people have viewed a post but there is nothing revolutionary with the platform, it simply is what Facebook used to be.


This is still in it’s early stages and is very similar to the early stages of the social networks that came before it so there are still some elements that need to be refined but there is a need for platforms such as Ello that provide an alternative to the increasingly ad driven models and allow for more organic connection and discovery of content.

Screenshot 2014-09-25 18.53.10

Be sure to sign up for an invite.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

YouTube has added new real-time reporting to its analytics dashboard that provides view counts down to the minute for your videos.  The new report is available for channels, groups with less than five videos, and content owners.


More changes are coming to Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm. When deciding which posts to show to which users, the social network will now give greater consideration to timeliness and activity-based relevancy. Facebook explains: “There are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game.” Users will now be more likely to see “trending” stories in their News Feed – but only after a “friend” expresses interest in such a story. Early testing showed that this change led to a 6% increase in post engagement.


YouTube this week announced that it will begin footing the bill for new videos from some of its top creators. The move is intended to help its homegrown stars produce high-quality content for their millions of fans.  More than 1 billion viewers visit YouTube every month, and daily watch time is growing at 50% annually.


Twitter released an internal study this week that found networks and studios that live-tweet during their popular programming can dramatically boost followers and Twitter mentions. Posting from a show’s Twitter handle, like @GameofThrones, increases total Twitter conversations by 7% during television premieres. Having a show’s cast members live-tweet is even better – increasing total tweets by 64%.

Global Social Media

Mobile commerce continues to grow exponentially in Asia. For retail marketers, that means they must develop an effective and transactional mobile presence. China is leading the way when it comes to mobile retail. A whopping 94% of those surveyed own a smartphone and regularly use it to make purchases, redeem coupons, and send gifts.

Noteworthy Campaigns

In the ’90s, Coca-Cola had a “fully-loaded citrus soda with carbos” called Surge. Internally it was developed under the moniker “MDK” or “Mountain Dew Killer.” Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, and the product didn’t last more than a couple of years. But, the soda is making a comeback (a reSURGEnce? Get it? Get it?) thanks to a Facebook campaign called “The Surge Movement,” which has 150,000 followers. Based on the demand, Coca-Cola decided to reinstate the product, selling it exclusively through Amazon at $14 for a twelve-pack (yet another sign that CPG brands are seeking more online sales). Within hours the first batch of Surge sold out.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

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.

84% of Smartphone and Tablet Users in the U.S Watch TV with a Second Screen

Social media and its connection with TV networks and brands keeps growing: Now 84% of smartphone and tablet users in the U.S. watch TV with a second screen.
Nielsen Social says when it comes to brands and people and using social media in conjunction with TV networks, some general trends have become clear when it comes to key advertising categories.

For “wireless network” advertising/brands the top “affinity” scores go to many sports networks: NFL Network (2.7), Adult Swim (2.7), CNN (2.5), WGN America (2.5), and NBA TV (2.4) get high marks. The average for all TV networks in this category is a 2.0 score.

Looking at other brand types: For “personal care” advertisers, young viewing networks did well: Adult Swim (2.8), Nickelodeon (2.7), E! (2.6), Teen Nick (2.6), and Oxygen (2.5) had the best results. The average here among all TV networks was a 2.0.

Household product brands earned the best marks with those networks heavy into reality TV shows. Here A&E (2.7), VH1 (2.5), FX (2.5), E! (2.4), and BET (2.4) did well. The average among all networks in this category was a 1.9 number.

Source: MediaPost

Culture of Community: Takeaways from Burning Man

Written by: Lindsey Todd
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

playaI returned from the Nevada desert a week ago, fresh from my second year of attending the annual Burning Man festival, dust still covering my boots and camping equipment.  Burning Man’s community spirit and the natural beauty of the Black Rock desert, also known as the Playa, never cease to amaze me on what is infinitely possible. As one participant noted, “Burning Man is a reminder of what we are capable of doing when we aren’t so busy with our day-to-day lives, careers, and responsibilities.” It’s a week of community participation, exploration, communication and celebration, with 60,000 of your closest friends.

Here are some of the lessons that will stay with me (hopefully) longer than the playa dust on my tent:

burning-man-2014.petalsCommunity: At Burning Man’s core is the sense of creating community – something from nothing, for one week a year. It’s nearly impossible for one person to bring everything they will need to survive the harsh desert climate – the dust is alkaline, the temperature can range from 40 to 100 degrees. On our first morning, we experienced the temperamental nature of the environment firsthand: a hailstorm.

Commerce is almost entirely non-existent, and participants, or “burners” rely on each other to fill the holes when they need supplies. Standard automobiles are not allowed, instead, participants create “mutant vehicles,” otherwise known as art cars, that act as destinations rather than transportation. One day, an art car broke down in front of our camp. A nearby camp dubbed, “Black Rock Hardware,” had a part they needed, and repaired the car as a gift. Helping those around you and civic responsibility are tenets of this temporary community. Without it, this event could not work.

Get to know the people around you – in the office, in your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to share resources. Know that when in need, you can ask for help, and in turn you are more than willing to lend goods, knowledge, skill, or just plain encouragement. In the process, you’ll likely find out things about people that can help in unexpected ways.

charliecarAwe/Infinite Possibility: The amount of hours, commitment and work that goes into everything created here is impossible to quantify. The awe at seeing it is beyond words. My first night, I hopped on my bike and explored the various art installations – some permanent, some to be burned later in the week, and many several stories high. When I took my first panoramic look at The Playa at night, I was overwhelmed with a sense of amazement and respect at what is possible with dedication, patience and tenacity. From “The Man” himself (the wood sculpture that would culminate in fire days later), to the meticulously crafted Temple, to the Observatory at the far end of the Playa, none of it would be there without dedicated volunteers and participants.

If it is really worth doing, it is worth the effort. With the right minds, hands and hearts, anything is possible. At the same time, it is all temporary. Don’t get too caught up in the end result – continue improving, make it better – every year!

Freedom and Responsibility/Leave no Trace: In the remote desert, many social norms are modified, if not at times disregarded. This can create the perception that Burning Man is a “free for all” – but with freedom comes with responsibility.  The community operates on a principle of “radical self-reliance.” You are ultimately responsible for yourself: your food, water, shelter, and all of your necessities; use what you need, gift what you don’t, and take what’s left back with you. What comes in must ultimately leave, even the greywater you use to wash dishes. You put careful thought into the words “disposable” and “waste” and learn words like “MOOP” (Matter out of place). What is truly remarkable is that everyone participates, it is part of being a socially responsible citizen. It works. No trash and no trash cans. Just pristine desert that is left as it was found.

Take inventory of the items you use and throw away. Reuse what you can. If you see it on the ground, pick it up. Set an example and model a better community.

Gifting: Our camp, the Bubble Lounge, was (blessedly!) very close to the ice statiobubble loungen. Early in the week, in the heat of the day, there were often hundreds of people lined up for something we all normally take for granted.  Helping our fellow burners was always a first thought. We served ice-cold lemonade during the day and “bubbly” at happy hour. Add our bubble machine to the mix and we reveled in turning countless grown up professionals into  children!

I remember feeling disoriented the year before on “Burn night,” the Saturday night of the festival, when they burn the Man. This is when the city is at its peak in terms of population and energy. The rapid change in temperature from the fire, and influx of people, generally triggers a dust storm, which can dramatically reduce visibility. I purchased small compasses on carabiners (made for scouts) and decorated them to give to my camp-mates. They were delighted, and it felt great to give something so meaningful and practical!

This year, the night the Man burned, my boyfriend and I watched from atop the “E” in the LOVE sculpture. It was a challenge to get up there, and there was no getting down without a team effort. We wlove-playaere a mile from our camp. From in front of us, I heard, “People on the E!” I looked up – it was the couple on the “V” – “Would you like a breath mint?” We took two, and thanked them. They let us know to thank the people on the “O,” so we did.  Simple gestures, but welcome and appreciated!

Don’t underestimate how a small token or gift can help in unexpected ways. Embrace the motto, “surprise and delight.”

Immediacy/Participation: As crafters of digital communities, we know that the rate of engagement increases with investment in community. The same holds true in the desert. I found my experience improve greatly the more I participated. I appreciated each gift that helped me survive the often harsh client. And for a week, I abandoned my digital BFF, my trusty smartphone.  I was in my element, with no digital distractions. If I needed something, I had to walk around and ask people for it. All of my connections were face-to-face. It made me realize how much I rely on email and text when face-to-face, or even a phone call, would build a better connection.

Create situations that invite and reward your communities for participation. Invest in human communication. Pick up the phone, or even better, find a time to meet face to face. Spend time connecting, and build more satisfying relationships.

EmbraceI saw friends, new and old, celebrate their love in front of the three story high “Embrace” sculpture. I pondered the universe from Black Rock Observatory and felt my tiny place in it. I enjoyed pancakes and mimosas at “Barbie Death Camp”, danced to mind-blowing performances by artists and toured the Playa with my camp-mates on the “Crisco Disco” art car. I memorialized the year with a photo in “Black Rock Yearbook” and ran into a high school friend, last seen 1500 miles away, giving rides on a modified bike called the “Classy Taxi.”

I returned from my second Burn exhausted and revived at the same time, inspired, and already planning on how I can do “it” better next year, if I’m lucky enough to go again.  In the meantime, I’m maintaining friendship with camp-mates, reliving memories, and focusing on how I can make my own “default world” better with the lessons I’ve learned.


Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Christy Wise
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook wants to better understand consumer thinking in an effort to serve more relevant ads in the news feed. To that end, the social network will start asking users why they choose to hide an ad as soon as that user does so. Users can select from a variety of reasons including: irrelevant, offensive, spam, too frequent, or “something else.” Taking into account the reasons why an ad was hidden, Facebook said it will show the ad to fewer people.


Spotify’s video ads are coming. The music-streaming service will soon roll out its video ad products for marketers, including a mobile product that lets listeners watch a video ad in exchange for a half hour without any further commercial interruption. Spotify will start testing video ads in the fourth quarter with a limited number of brands, and plans to extend them to advertisers in the first quarter of 2015. Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s, and Universal Pictures have signed on as the first global buyers. Kraft Foods, Target, and Wells Fargo will be the U.S. only launches.


In a question and answer section on Facebook, the company now describes how to set a post you’ve published to expire, a process that allows the message to disappear. The capability is only available on certain posts, currently.  This is Facebook’s attempt yet again to take on Snapchat.


This week, Twitter introduced its Buy Now button, a feature that allows users to make purchases directly on and throughout its mobile app.  The company is moving cautiously with the product, which it says will only operate in the U.S. and be seen by a “small percentage” of users. Only 26 nonprofits and musical artists were handpicked to deploy the feature, including country singer Brad Paisley, rap artists Eminem and Wiz Khalifa, and metal band Megadeth (yes, Megadeth).


Facebook has reached out to some of Google’s biggest content producers and encouraged them to test distributing their videos on the social network. Facebook’s push reflects a desire to become a bigger competitor in web video and get more content on its site. Right now, content creators use Facebook to promote their programming but prefer people to watch the videos on YouTube and other platforms, where they can make money through ad sales more easily.  Facebook and content creators are discovering how advertising might be incorporated into these videos. It’s likely that some sort of ad product will be rolled out by the end of the year.


Global Social Media

China has ordered video-streaming sites to get state approval to run foreign TV shows and films as authorities in the world’s largest Internet market tighten online control. Video sites need to register foreign TV shows and films by the end of March. Starting April 1, unregistered content can’t be shown online. This year, China barred video websites from airing four U.S. TV shows, including “The Good Wife” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The country plans to cap the amount of foreign TV programs allowed on the sites at 30%.

Noteworthy Campaigns

During New York Fashion Week, Adidas showcased their new Fall/Winter 2014 collection dubbed #NeoRunway. The event, which was the world’s first tweet-powered fashion show, was created entirely by teens.  Teens had the power to decide everything from music, lighting, and the set design to styling the fresh new looks of the models walking down the catwalk. Teens participated in the show using the in-card voting mechanic from Twitter to choose between options. NEOLovers voted for two weeks prior to the show to decide what clothing, hairstyles, and makeup the models should wear. Participants could vote right up to the last seconds of the show. In addition, a team of young bloggers were on-site, bringing the show to life across social media channels.

Stats of the Week

Written by: Jackie Mendez
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

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.

Facebook Hits 1 Billion Video Views per Day

Facebook on Monday said it has hit 1 billion video views per day as the social network ramps up efforts to rival YouTube as an online video powerhouse. To highlight popular content and promote sharing, Facebook will start showing the number of views a publicly posted video has gotten at the bottom of a post.

From May to July, Facebook said video views have surged 50%, with more than 65% of the total taking place on mobile. That underscores the broader shift the social network has seen from desktop to mobile use in the last couple of years, with mobile now also accounting for the bulk (62%) of ad revenue.

After introducing auto-play video earlier this year, Facebook noted in a blog post today that the feature has led people to discover “significantly more content” as a result. And when advertisers designate video views as the objective of their campaigns, that step translates into up to a 60% decrease in cost-per-view for video ads, the company said.

“So in the coming weeks, we’ll extend the availability of videos that play automatically to more content from more brands in the U.S.,” stated a blog post today by Fidji Simo, a product management director at Facebook. She also confirmed that the company is testing a new feature in mobile suggesting additional related videos when someone finishes watching one.

A separate post also highlighted the addition of deeper video analytics tools in May, as well as the ability for video publishers to add a call-to-action, such as visiting a Web site or making a purchase, at the end of a video, to drive interaction and/or transactions.

During Facebook’s second-quarter conference call, COO Sheryl Sandberg said the social network was running about a dozen premium video ad campaigns, with the early data showing promising results. To enhance its video ad offering, Facebook in July acquired startup LiveRail, a platform that helps publishers such as and A&E Networks to better target their video ads.

In terms of Web video audience, Facebook ranks second only to YouTube, but is still well behind. Its 103 million unique video viewers in the U.S. in July compared to 157 million for YouTube. Still, Facebook’s video audience has grown about 27% between May and July versus only about 5% for YouTube. When it comes to views, the Google-owned video hub was delivering 4 billion a day at the start of 2012, and that figure has likely grown significantly since then.

Source: MediaPost

The Marketing Arm Digital – September 2014 Newsletter

Written by: Larry Weintraub
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

We published our monthly newsletter! Check it out below, and to see it in all its glory with working links, click HERE.


How To Make Trends and Influence People

Written by: Eric Fransen
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

One of the proverbial Holy Grails of social marketing has been to get your brand to trend on Twitter. It signifies scale and social value of your brand, it’s easy to explain, and not everyone can do it. Or can they?

First, let’s begin with some definitions.

What does it mean to trend on Twitter?
It means appearing in the top trends box on Twitter’s home page and mobile app. The trends are tracked and viewable at a global, national and city level.

What are trending topics?
Trending topics represent what people are talking about the most at a given time. But it’s not just a traditional word cloud, tracking individual words — rather, Twitter uses an algorithm to identify the larger conversations related to topics and distill them down to hashtags and keywords. By clicking a trending topic, you can see all related tweets, profiles, and headlines.

How does something become a trending topic?
The most certain way to trend on Twitter is to pay for it using Twitter’s Promoted Trends product. These opportunities are offered once per day at a fixed rate — typically $100,000 – $200,000 for 24 hours. While this is a surefire way to get your brand in front of the massive Twitter audience, what we’re discussing today is how to do it the old fashioned way: organically.

There are a few things to note about organically trending topics. 
First, there’s no telling how long or short their time to trend is going to be. I’ve seen trends last less than 20 minutes and up to a majority of the day. It really comes down to the size and nature of the audience that’s engaging — that is, fans of One Direction and Justin Bieber are incredibly passionate and show up in the millions to create organically trending topics quite frequently.

Second, a big part of the algorithm that causes content to trend is based on two things: frequency and volume over time. That is, the more people are tweeting about a given topic in a shorter amount of time, the more likely that content is to trend. This is why you see topics related to live television like sports and The Voice trending — the viewership is so massive and active on social media that, at any given time, thousands upon thousands of conversations are occurring about these cultural events.

So, what does this mean for me and my brand?
When it comes to trending topics, there’s a lot to do with chance — right content, right time — but there’s an equally important part that can be affected with the right strategy to put your best foot forward. Here are a couple thought starters that should get you on your way to your first trending topic.

1) Live Events
What better way to replicate the momentum achieved by a live television or sports event than to create one of your own? I’m not saying you need to produce a television show or host the next Dodger game. Quite the opposite, in fact. You can create an online event targeting a smaller but passionate audience. The most common example of such an event is a Twitter Party — an event hosted by a popular Twitter personality, centered around a hashtag, and designed to get their audience talking about a topic. Another type of live event that I have personally seen success with is a live trivia event. Working with a gaming client, we devised a program that offered up high value prizes to the first Twitter follower to answer each of a series of increasingly difficult trivia questions using a designated hashtag. We hosted a similar event for four weeks and organically trended three of the four times.

2) Mass Appeal
Don’t have the means to make an event of your own? You can try appealing to the masses with something that holds a universal truth or can be entertaining to everyone. A program I created for the same gaming client was designed to tap into the passion around nostalgia for a particular franchise and the result was the topic trended within the first 10 minutes of publishing the original tweet. It comes down to understanding your audience and their motivations. What are they passionate about at scale?