Tag Archives: advertising

Headlines & Stuff

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

Pinterest’s Web Search is About to Get Much More Powerful
Pinterest’s new Guided Search Feature, which the company first unveiled on mobile in April, is coming to the web. Pinterest users will soon see a new search bar when they visit Pinterest.com. The search feature will recommend keywords intended to help generate more specific queries or better search results. For example, searching for “BBQ” on Pinterest might surface other keywords like “wings,” “recipes,” or “chicken.”

Twitter’s Video Hashtags Automatically Add Video to Text
Twitter has joined forces with Visa and Adidas (two World Cup advertisers) to experiment with video hashtagging. When a user types #visa and then a space, they will see a paper clip prompt, which will allow you to attach a video when clicked. Adidas is also testing the feature using the hashtag #allin, which will lead to this video.

Amazon Starts Prime Music
Amazon has introduced an ad-free music streaming service with more than one million songs.  Prime Music, designed to compete with Apple, Beats Music, Spotify, and Pandora, is available to subscribers of Amazon’s $99/year Prime Program.

Facebook Extends Ad Targeting to Web, App Use
Facebook is significantly expanding how it targets ads by including information about the sites that users visit and mobile apps they use outside of Facebook. The social network is taking the controversial step of extending that data collection to include the third-party sites and apps they use to improve the relevance of their own ads. Example: If you are thinking about buying a new TV and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps, Facebook may show you ads for deals on a TV.

Global Social Media

Less Than Half of the Earth’s Population Has Internet Access
The Internet continues to grow at a rapid pace, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of extending access, especially in poor and developing countries. The number of people with access to the Internet is expected to reach three billion by 2015. That’s up from one billion in 2005 — but still just 41% of the earth’s total projected population of 7.3 billion people in 2015. Internet access is of course higher in more advanced economies like North America, Europe, and Asia, and is lower in Africa, The Middle East, India, and parts of Latin America.

Instagram Introduces Advertising in UK, Canada, and Australia
Instagram users in the UK, Canada, and Australia will start seeing advertisements in their feeds. The platform has amassed 200 million users since its launch. Growth outside of the U.S. is particularly strong, with an estimated 165 million hailing beyond U.S. shores.

Noteworthy Campaigns

“Share a Coke” Bottles & Campaign Hit U.S.
Over the summer, Coca-Cola will replace its brand logo on some of its 20-ounce bottles with one of the 250 most popular names of U.S. teens and millennials. In addition, the logos on 1.25 and 2-liter bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero will be replaced by group names like “Family” and “Friends.” 12-ounce cans will feature nicknames like “BFF,” “Star,” “Bestie,” “Legend,” “Grillmaster,” “Buddy,” and “Wingman.” 8-ounce cans will bear the “Share a Coke” message.  In addition, Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers will offer to consumers who have the Freestyle mobile app the ability to scan a QR code to send a friend a coupon for a free Coke. Also, as part of the campaign, consumers who share Coca-Cola related stories using the hashtag #ShareaCoke will earn chances to be featured on brand billboards across the country and on the ShareaCoke.com gallery.  Starting this week, users can visit the campaign website to create virtual personalized bottles and share them on social media channels.  For those whose names aren’t featured on the real bottles, Coke is launching a national 500-stop tour where people can get customized mini-cans with their names for themselves and a friend.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Facebook Seeks Patent for Tech to Let Kids on Its Network 
Facebook currently restricts users to those over the age of 13. But it now appears that the social network wants to create a new way for young people to join — and still comply with the law.  In a patent application recently made public, Facebook describes a system to let parents authorize and supervise accounts for younger children in compliance with COPPA.

LinkedIn Rolls Out New Design
LinkedIn is rolling out a new profile design for its premium members. The new look includes a larger profile photo and customizable header image that spans the width of the screen. The new look is similar in style to Facebook and Twitter profiles. The new look is only available for premium members currently. The rest of the LinkedIn community will get the new look “in a few months.”

Facebook Rolls Out One-Column Design to All Pages
Facebook has started rolling out its streamlined desktop look for Pages to everyone worldwide. All Pages should have access to the new design by today. Admins accessing their Pages will see a tour of the refreshed design, and can switch to the updated design two weeks after the tour has been viewed.

Pinterest to Launch Self-Serve Ad Auction
Pinterest unveiled its first paid ads last month with a select group of marketers. Now the social network plans to roll out a self-serve, auction-based ad system aimed at small and medium businesses. Unlike the CPM-based ad business it has launched with big brands like Kraft and Nestle, the self-serve auction will take bids on a CPC basis. And while Pinterest has set a high spending threshold for brands to experiment with its “promoted pins” — asking for $1 to $2 million commitments – pricing in the auction will be set by the marketplace.

Google Search Intent Comes to Facebook
Google search intent can now be harnessed for Facebook ad targeting. Advertisers can target people who have clicked on their search ads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, effectively bringing together search-intent data.  Here’s how it works: Hypothetically, Cadbury could target ads to Facebook users who’ve already clicked on Google ads yielded by searches for “chocolate,” “Easter egg,” and “Easter Bunny” – terms that signify a high degree of interest in their product. Facebook’s demographic and interest-level targeting parameters can also be applied to refine the audience.

Instagram Added 10 New Features This Week
Instagram announced 10 new editing tools this week for both iOS and Android. In addition to new adjustments like contrast, brightness, and saturation, Instagram’s filters have also been tweaked; users can now adjust the filter’s intensity with a slide bar.  Other tools include adjust (crop and straighten photos), warmth, highlights, shadows, vignette, and sharpen.

Global Social Media

Google Introduces an Online Form  to Let EU Users Request the Removal of Outdated Links
The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled last month that individuals should have the right to remove outdated information about themselves from search engine results. The so-called “right to be forgotten” means that an individual should be allowed to request that irrelevant or outdated information is removed from a company’s servers and therefore removed from being publicly available on the web. In response to this ruling, Google has launched an online form which will allow users to submit an official request. 12,000 requests were submitted the first day of the form’s launch.  Google handles nearly 80% of all searches in Europe.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Sephora’s Augmented Reality Mirror
For their latest project, beauty retailer Sephora has teamed up with augmented reality and virtual reality technology company ModFace to launch a mirror that may change the way people shop for makeup.  Sephora’s new mirror will simulate makeup on a person’s face in both real time and 3D. This unique technology tracks a person’s facial features and “applies” eye shadow to your face via a camera’s video stream. Customers can try out multiple colors and textures by tapping the color on the screen and see how it looks from all angles by merely turning their faces.  The product will help the store eliminate the need for tester products and utensils used to apply and remove them. The mirror is currently only available at the Milan store, but should it become a success, it will be placed in locations around the world.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Twitter Strikes Billboard Deal For Real-Time Music Stats
Twitter has struck a deal with Billboard Magazine to serve up real-time stats on the top trending music. The charts provide real-time ranking on the most-shared tracks in the U.S. during the past hour. Filters present a real-time feature to search and view the most-shared tracks in the U.S. over the past 24 hours, with a weekly summary for both Trending 140 and Emerging Artist charts. More than 1 billion tweets were sent about music in 2013. Seven of the top 10 most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians.

Facebook Cuts Down Automatic Updates in Your Friends’ News Feeds
Facebook announced this week that from now on fewer “Implicit stories” will make it into the News Feed. That’s Facebook’s way of describing automatic updates from third-party apps. From the Facebook Blog: “We’ve found that stories people choose to explicitly share from third party apps are typically more interesting and get more engagement in the News Feed than stories shared from third party apps without explicit action.”

Psy’s Gangnam Style Nears 2 Billion Views
K-Pop legend Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is nearing the two billion mark, almost double Bieber’s “Baby,” which is in second place. It is the undisputed champion of YouTube’s most watched videos list. Though music videos became a thing of the past on television, they continue to see huge success on YouTube. Twenty-nine out of the 30 most watched YouTube videos are music videos.

Global Social Media

Twitter will hit nearly 400mm users by 2018, with over 40% in Asia-Pacific. 
eMarketer has released a forecast of Twitter users worldwide and projects that the social network will have nearly 400 million users by 2018, with over 40% in the Asia-Pacific region. By the end of this year alone,  AsiaPac will account for 32.8% of all Twitter users, exceeding its 23.7% share in North America. This is despite the ban on Twitter in China, which represents the region’s largest portion of internet users. India and Indonesia are strong markets for Twitter. Both countries have seen user numbers increase by more than 50% this year, becoming the third and fourth largest Twitter populations, at 18.1mm and 15.3mm users respectively,  passing the UK for the first time.

Iranian Judge Summons Facebook CEO For Breach of Privacy
A conservative Iranian court opened a case against instant messaging services WhatsApp and Instagram while summoning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over complaints of privacy violation.  The Zuckster is unlikely to heed the summons, which is asking him to appear in court to “defend himself and pay for possible losses,” after some citizens in the region issued a complaint. On a separate note, Iran recently sentenced eight Facebook users to a combined 123 years in jail for various charges  including insulting the country’s supreme leader on the social network.

Noteworthy Campaigns

IBM Crowdsources Latest Smarter City Effort
In the latest phase of its “People for Smarter Cities” marketing push, IBM crowdsourced digital videos from around the world showcasing how residents would improve their cities. The first phase, known as “Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities,” ran last year and featured IBM-branded structures like benches, rain shelters and ramps that improved or enhanced some aspect of urban life.  This new push was done via partnership with Zooppa, a community made up of 200,000 members, including filmmakers, bloggers and environmental communities. Out of nearly 80 accepted entries, eight winners from around the world were selected. Videos covered a range of topics from repurposing empty spaces and aiding the physically challenged to spurring employment. Awards ranged from $500 to $10,000. The videos are available on the branded People for Smarter Cities site as well as through IBM social channels.

Product Integration on Late Night TV

Written by: Digitally Approved
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The men of late night TV are killing it with viral videos. It’s no secret that Fallon, Kimmel, and Samberg (SNL, Lonely Island) are capable of producing videos for the masses – can you remember the last time you woke up and a Fallon video wasn’t trending or waiting in your newsfeed? We certainly can’t. These men churn out great, shareable content so consistently that brands can’t help but want to get involved. Check out this recent Purina integration from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. We could watch this all day. (And probably will!)  

Headlines & Stuff

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

Pinterest Launches First Paid Ads with Kraft, Gap and Others
Pinterest (which just raised another round of funding, valuing the platform at $5bn) has more than a dozen marketers lined up to run campaigns with three to six month commitments including Kraft, General Mills, Ziploc, Nestle, Lululemon, Gap, ABC Family and Expedia. The site is taking a “consultative approach” to ad selling, which means they will work closely with the brands to help them understand what type of creative resonates with Pinterest users. According to their head of partnerships, Pinterest will eventually “get to the place where we’re answering RFP’s.”  In other Pinterest news, the platform teamed up with FYI Network to launch a new home design show called “We’re Moving In,” which follows new housemates using Pinterest as a source of inspiration.

Foursquare’s New Swarm App is Here
Foursquare’s new app called Swarm has arrived this week. The company announced in early May that it would split its experience into two apps. Swarm is intended to be a convenient way to keep up with what your friends are doing, letting you check into venues, just like the Foursquare app, but also lets you automatically share which neighborhood you are in. The app includes stickers (similar to emoji), a new revamped version of Mayorships, and the ability to make quick plans with friends around you.

Twitter Adds “Mute” Button for More Feed Control
Twitter feeds are often noisy. Addressing the issue, Twitter debuted a “mute” button this week. In the same way you can turn on device notifications so you never miss a Tweet from your favorite users, you can now mute users you want to hear from less.

Twitter Introduces Language Targeting for Promoted Tweets
Twitter recently launched targeting for promoted tweets and promoted accounts. As a result, advertisers can now target both in 20 different languages while users will be able to see “highly relevant ads” in their language.

Global Social Media

Twitter Takes Aim at Real Politics in Latin America
After seeing explosive growth across Latin America, Twitter is now tapping into the region’s other big passion besides soccer – politics. The company dispatched its top political strategist to Brazil this week to give senators in one of its biggest global markets a pep talk on tweets and how to use the social network ahead of the October general election.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Birds Eye Offers Fan Food in Exchange for Instagram Pics
Birds Eye is opening up a pop-up restaurant that allows diners to settle the bill by paying with a picture of their meals as part of its wider experimentations with social commerce. Diners who tag Instagram snaps of their food with #BirdsEyeInspirations will get a free meal. The pay-by-picture restaurant is the latest social commerce test from Birds Eye as it looks to better measure the results social provides. Links to purchase foods in social media posts have been trailed by the brand in recent months, as has forging stronger ecommerce ties with supermarkets.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Everything Facebook Announced at F8
Anonymous Logins: When a user logs into an app for the first time they can now login anonymously before deciding if they want to keep using the app. FbStart Developer Tools: Developers can apply to the FbStart program for access to free tools and services “to get your app up and running fast.” Audience Network: Facebook introduced its mobile ad network with three formats: banner, interstitial and native. Mobile Like for Apps: Facebook introduced a “like” button on mobile giving developers access to users’ Timelines.  Local Datastore for Offline App Use: Facebook announced offline data storage, allowing developers to keep apps running while a mobile device is no longer connected to the internet. Two-Year Stability and 48-Hour Bug Fixes: Facebook’s core APIs  will come with a two-year stability guarantee and the company promises to handle all major bug fixes within 48 hours. AppLinks: Developers can now link between apps. New Media APIs:  Facebook announced four new APIs for media organizations: Trending, Topic Insights, Topic Feed, and Hashtag Counter. Test Apps: Developers can create Facebook App Ids quickly for development and staging.

Meet Swarm: Foursquare’s Ambitious Plan to Split its App in Two
This week, Foursquare announced a new app called Swarm that will exist alongside the current Foursquare app. Swarm will be a social heat map, helping users find friends nearby and check in to share their location. A completely rewritten Foursquare app will launch in a month. The new Foursquare will ditch the check-in and focus solely on exploration and discovery – taking on Yelp.

Twitter Considers “Whisper Mode”
Twitter is looking to encourage more private discussions on its service. CEO Dick Costolo would like to have a “whisper mode” that allows users to take public conversations and discuss them solely with friends.

SnapChat Rolls Out Text, Video Messaging
SnapChat is rolling out a text and video-messaging feature named Chat, while making it easier for users to save their exchanges with friends. The text and video messages will still disappear after users are through with them, but SnapChat is encouraging everyone to save whatever information they like.

LinkedIn Launches Sponsored Updates API and Partner Programs
LinkedIn this week announced two new types of Certified Marketing Partners – Sponsored Updates Partners and Content Partners  – to make it easier for brands and agencies to scale their content marketing efforts on the platform. Sponsored Updates partners will have access to advanced tools to manage campaigns. Content Partners will provide access to high-quality content to enhance advertiser activities on LinkedIn.

Instagram Video Ads Are Coming Soon
Video ads on the platform are quietly being tested. Instagram says it’s still far off from offering self-serve advertising tools and still needs to vet and approve every sponsored photo (and soon video).

Global Social Media

Russia Orders Bloggers to Register; Outlaws Anonymous Blogging, Continues to Clamp Down on Social Media 
Russia has been steadily trying to bring the Internet under control with ever-more stringent measures. After tackling general Web sites through powers that allow them to be blocked more easily, it is now turning its attention to bloggers. A new law requires that bloggers declare their family name and email address on their blogs. Any authors whose personal site has more than 3,000 visitors per day must register on a special list and abide by mass media restrictions and laws pertaining “resistance to extremism.” Abuse will be punishable by fines  and website suspensions.  Russian  authorities have also tightened their grip on Vkontakte. The founder of the Russian Facebook fled the country after being threatened by Kremlin officials. The former CEO now claims that the site is now under “the complete control” of Vladimir Putin.

Noteworthy Campaigns

CB2 Invites Pinterest Users to Design an Apartment in Real Time
Home décor chain CB2 wanted to turn aspirational online home design daydreams into reality with APT CB2, a five day event in which five popular designers decorate one real-world apartment using furniture from the CB2 catalogue with the real-time input from the Pinterest community. Starting on May 7, each designer will have one day to transform one room in a vacant NYC apartment into a fully realized space, the progress of which will be shared over Pinterest and through a campaign microsite. Throughout the day, people can vote on a design choice an hour – for instance which chair or lamp to put in the space — all with the promise of winning $5,000 to spend at CB2 for their own dream apartment.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Pinterest Acquires Image Recognition Startup VisualGraph
This week, Pinterest acquired VisualGraph, an image recognition startup. Pinterest already offers a search tool on the platform, but it relies on image captions to decipher what’s in the picture. The new technology could help Pinterest build out its search feature to return results that aren’t clearly marked.

Facebook Set to Eliminate Sponsored Stories in April
Facebook will retire Sponsored Story ads starting April 9. After that date, Sponsored Stories will transition to other ad formats. For example – a Sponsored Story highlighting a page Like will simply turn to a ‘Page Like ad.’

Gmail Now Lets You Email Your Google+ Connections
Google announced a new integration between Gmail and Google+ that sees your social connections show up in auto-complete when you’re composing an email. Google says the feature is rolling out “over the next couple of days” to everyone that uses Gmail and Google+.  Note: your email address isn’t visible to a Google+ connection unless you send a reply.

Biz Stone Launches Jelly – a New Search Engine That Asks Friends For The Answers
Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, unveiled his new project – Jelly, a social search engine app that uses your social networks – as well as friends of friends – to help users seek out answers to queries. In addition, it makes inventive use of photos; you and your friends can zoom, crop, annotate and draw on images to make everything more specific.

Google Begins Inserting User Profile Information In Targeted Ads
One month ago, Google announced that it would update its terms of service to allow the company to insert your profile information into targeted advertisements. Starting this week, Google can automatically attach info from your profile – like photos, your name and endorsements – to advertisements aggregated by their system. You can choose to opt out by clicking here.

Global Social Media

E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Integrates Its Payment Service With China’s Twitter – Sina Weibo
Imagine Twitter with shopping and payment options. That’s exactly what China’s version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, is looking like as it steps into 2014. The platform has introduced ‘Weibo Payment,’ which allows users to connect their Aliplay accounts with their Weibo accounts and buy items without having to log in. Aliplay and Weibo are also working to integrate their QR code systems to boost the online to offline shopping experience. In the future, Weibo users will be able to scan QR codes  to buy products at vending machines or store registers.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Nissan Lets People Order New Cars Through Amazon
As part of a promotion for the Nissan Versa Note, Nissan promised to deliver three cars in an oversized Amazon box, just so long as shoppers went through a promotional link on Amazon first. The first of those deliveries, which was meant to be kept a secret until this image appeared on Reddit, happened last weekend.  The delivery was filmed by Nissan and was supposed to debut as a social media video next week, but the cat is already out of the bag (or car already out of the box).

Headlines & Stuff

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

Google+ Users Get An Automatic Year-In-Review Video
Users who actively uploaded photos and videos throughout 2013 are being rewarded with a short (1 minute) slideshow that pulls from their photo and video gallery on Google+. The videos are being created through the company’s new Auto Awesome feature.

4.6 Million Snapchat Usernames and Phone Numbers Leaked
More than 4.5mm Snapchat usernames and phone numbers were leaked online Tuesday after anonymous hackers posted the information on a website called SnapchatDB.info.  The hackers claim to that their motivation was to raise public awareness around privacy issues and put public pressure on Snapchat to fix what’s broken.  In other happier Snapchat news, the platform updated filters and added message replays which allow users to replay one snap every 24 hours.

YouTube is Going 4k
YouTube announced this week that it will roll out a new way to watch 4K high-definition streaming at CES in Las Vegas next week that allows users to watch better quality videos faster than ever before. The new level of streaming is enabled by a Google-created codec called VP9. YouTube will be showing off its new 4K streaming at the LG, Panasonic, and Sony booths in hopes of helping tech users see a new alternative to video streaming capabilities.

Twitter Advertising Share Climbs 52% in 2013
Twitter is gaining shares in advertising as the number of marketers using sponsored tweets increased to 52% last year. Pinterest’s new sponsored pins gained a 29% share while sponsored blogs declined to 51%. According to a report released by IZEA, quality of content, shares and click through rates are the most important measures of success for social influence by marketers. Interest in display advertising is on a steady decline.

Facebook Sued for Scanning Private Messages
Two Facebook users have sued the social network for allegedly scanning “private” messages to share information with advertises and marketers – for a profit.  If such searching is in fact taking place, it would violate the Electronics Communications Privacy Act.  Facebook denies any wrong doing. Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn have all been accused of similar privacy violations over the past year.

Global Social Media

Instagram Gets Blocked, The Unblocked in Iran
For approximately 12-hours, Instagram became the latest apparent victim of Iran’s internet censorship system commonly known as the “Filternet.” The blocking of Instagram was reported last Sunday.  The government, which has promised more Internet freedom under the leadership of President Hassan Rouhani, quietly unblocked the service a few hours later and denied any wrongdoing.  Many suspect the government was “testing the waters” to see what sites they can easily cut off from public use if and when the time comes.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Twitter Connected Sharks Alert Swimmers to Potential Attacks
Western Australia is known for the number of shark attacks it receives each year, which is why the Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system that gives people more of a warning if and when sharks are near. Instead of relying on helicopter spotters and public sightings, the sharks will actually announce their own presence with a Tweet. Known as the Shark Monitoring Network, the system uses buoyed monitoring devices to pick up the signal from acoustic tags that scientists have attached to individual sharks. When a tagged shark swims within range of one of the monitors, its species, size and location is automatically recorded. That information is then transmitted via satellite to a computer which posts the information on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia (@SLSWA) Twitter account.

Headlines & Stuff

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

Instagram Launches Direct Messages
This week, Instagram launched Instagram Direct.  The feature allows users to capture moments using the app and send directly to friends as opposed to broadcasting them on their feed to their entire network. Though many are claiming this is Facebook’s version of SnapChat (which it recently tried to purchase for $3 billion), there are differences. You cannot mark up photos with avatars or text and the images do not disappear.

Twitter “See It” Button Adds More TV Networks and Cable Companies
Comcast is expanding its See It Platform, which essentially turns Twitter into a remote control, by adding several broadcast and cable networks as well as rival pay-TV providers. ABC, A&E, AMC, Crown Media Family Networks, Discovery and Fox Networks will soon promote certain programming via See It, while Cablevision and Time Warner Cable will make the functionality available to their subscribers.

Facebook Videos Now Auto-Play on Mobile
Facebook is bringing auto play for native videos to all users after testing the feature in September. Previously, any video uploaded and posted to the News Feed would appear the same as YouTube videos — locked behind a play button. The auto-play feature is available to most iOS and Android users and will reach all of them soon. Facebook is also currently testing the feature for desktop users.

YouTube Expands Live Streaming to All Channels
YouTube announced its expanding its live streaming service to all YouTube channels provided your account is verified and in good standing. The update also adds the option to launch a Google+ Hangout On Air directly from the YouTube Live Events Manager.

Google+ Extends Reach Across the Web With New Social Ads
Google has been testing new social ads composed of posts published by brands to Google+, which they can now promote and target across the Google Display Network.  Dubbed +Post ads, these new units have already launched with Toyota, Ritz Crackers and Cadbury UK.

Twitter Releases Tailored Audiences Ad-Targeting Tool
Twitter recently released an ad targeting tool that allows advertisers to reach users who have shown interest in specific brands or categories, even off the site, by bringing their own audience data from a long list of third-party providers. Tailored Audiences requires brands to share with Twitter browser-related information through an advertising network partner. Twitter then matches that information with the user’s account to serve a Promoted Tweet.

Global Social Media

Saudi Arabia’s War on Twitter
Saudi Arabia loves Twitter. 41% of online users  in the country are active on the platform. This has renewed interest in the potential for social media to facilitate mobilization in the kingdom. Indeed, The Saudi Twittersphere reveals significant public discontent with the government.  This has caused the religious establishment and the Saudi government to take a closer look at the platform in an effort to ban its use in the country and punish those that use it to express their dissent. The Saudi Ministry has ramped up their  monitoring efforts on Twitter, paying close attention to users with influence. The government has also been recruiting experts to work on intercepting encrypted data from mobile apps including Twitter and WhatsApp. The government also has plans to link Twitter accounts to national ID numbers to keep track of citizens using the platform.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Sprint Hijacks Fans Twitter Feed in Latest Ad Stunt
For Sprint’s latest ad featuring actors James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell reading everyday texts out loud, the network is exclusively debuting it on one fan’s Twitter feed. The video launched via a tweet from Sprint to Danielle Gray’s Twitter account.  After tweeting her support for TV ads, Gray was contacted by Sprint and was asked if she wanted to get involved in the “Thinking About You” spot.  Watch the ad here.

Custom Audiences for Facebook and Twitter

Written by: Tom Edwards
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I was recently briefed by the Twitter team about today’s formally announced tailored audience product release. The need to create custom audience segments based off of existing datasets is becoming increasingly important for organizations to further differentiate and target relevant messaging.

Twitters offering on the surface is very similar to how Facebook approaches custom audience targeting but with a few subtle nuances. Facebook’s approach allows organizations to use existing e-mail addresses, phone numbers or Facebook User IDs to create a match with users on Facebook to create custom segments.

This is represented simply by Identify, Find & Reach visual below.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.42.33

The way that Facebook’s matching works is your organization would map the selected customer base into groups of people you want to target with specific messages and then upload the list via the Facebook power editor. That data is then hashed via a one way hash. This information is not “kept” by Facebook and a rep recently stated an example. You cannot run sausage back through a grinder to make a pig. This hashed data is then mapped against existing Facebook UID’s and a custom list is created with a match rate of over 80%.

Here is an example of how it works.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.44.19

One of the questions I receive a lot on this topic is if the brand has to do this or can it be administered by a third party? The answer is both. Those comfortable with the process can create custom audiences or pass to a 3rd party to facilitate the mapping.

This type of targeting is ideal to pair with paid to deliver a highly impactful message. An example would be taking an offline loyalty database, taking the top 5% of purchasers and create a custom mapped list based on past purchases to deliver a high impact message.

Twitter’s announcement today regarding what they call “Tailored Audiences” is a similar concept. Twitter already has a number of ways to target individuals on their platform.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 13.15.11

What is interesting about their approach to targeting is that they can target off of both CRM and Web. From a CRM standpoint the process is similar to Facebooks’ where offline data such as e-mail is matched against Twitter users to reach them with Twitter Promoted Products.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.50.49

Where it gets very interesting is Twitter’s ability to tailor web audiences as well. This is done by a data partner sending anonymized cookie ID lists composed of chosen audiences that is then mapped against Twitter lists.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.51.08

With further dependency on paid due to lower organic reach, the ability to target and activate existing assets socially is going to be of paramount importance to the success of going beyond engagement to create intent with targeted consumers. The ability to further align offline & online behavior to those who have shown interest through purchase or other means is a key point of consideration moving forward.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360