Tag Archives: photos

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook Admits Teen Use May Be Declining
Facebook said this week that daily use among some teens may be declining – in particular, younger teens (13-17). Though marketers need not fear because Facebook still has more teens than any other social network – even if their interest is waning.

Blackberry and Facebook Met to Discuss Buyout
Facebook may be interested in buying Blackberry. The WSJ reported that BlackBerry sent representatives to California for a meeting with Facebook to discuss a potential bid for the struggling phone maker. Facebook has recently stressed the importance on getting Facebook on “as many phones as possible,” but suffered a set back this year with the HTC First, which failed to resonate with consumers. BlackBerry hopes to have a sale in place by November, with suitors rumored to include Samsung and Google.

Twitter Now Fills Your Feed With Photos

You no longer have to click on a picture in Twitter to see it. As of Tuesday, Twitter has made photos and videos show up in your stream by default – making the service look a lot more like Facebook. The positives: less clicking around and a more visual timeline. The negatives: Way too many photos in your newsfeed. The change is currently live via desktop and mobile apps.

Global Social Media

Chinese Companies Scale the Great Firewall to Build Brands on Facebook
Air China’s Facebook Page is fairly standard – but considering that social media is blocked by the Chinese government, it may come as a surprise that the state-owned airline has a Facebook Page at all. As Chinese companies reach out to consumers abroad, more are trying their hand at Facebook and Twitter. The current ban on these social networks is intended to keep the masses off foreign social networks it can’t control, but it’s clear skies for businesses using Facebook. Chinese companies want to use Facebook to build their brands abroad and Facebook wants their ad revenue. The biggest obstacle of course is that these companies don’t have access to the platforms, so they have limited knowledge on how to use them or communicate with followers – not to mention the culture difference. Many are seeking agency help in other countries to run the pages on their behalf.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Starbucks, Twitter Launch Gifting Platform Via Tweets
A new partnership launched this week between Twitter and Starbucks, which enables gift certificates to be exchanged via tweets. Called the tweet-a-coffee program, the service allows spur-of-the-moment acts of generosity among friends, with little to no friction. Just tweet at another Twitter user in order to give a $5 eGift hassle-free. To use the service you have to synch your Twitter account with your Starbucks account. From there you simply tweet ‘@tweetacoffee to’ and then write the handle of whoever the recipient is. Automatically they will get an @reply back on Twitter that says the eGift was received.

Instagram Ads Are Here

Written by: Tom Edwards
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Instagram just announced upcoming support for video and image based ad support. This move was inevitable based on Facebook’s ownership of the platform. This announcement is also very timely considering Twitter’s upcoming IPO.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 4.35.56 PM

Here are a few of the details from their announcement:

In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you’re in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.

Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.

We’ll also make sure you have control. If you see an ad you don’t like, you’ll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn’t feel right. We’re relying on your input to help us continually improve the Instagram experience. As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this.

With so much of Facebook’s focus on in-stream engagement and discussions tied to interactive units in stream on Facebook, it will be very interesting to see how users will respond to the new ad types. The Instagram experience is primarily delivered via Mobile, with a single image feed. By injecting units in this environment, it increases the disruption to the end user so it will be very important to see how the ads are delivered and what considerations or potential changes to the feed will be made to support the new ad types while maintaining a clean user experience.

From a brand perspective this is a welcome addition as the ability to extend a cross-platform campaign that incorporates Instagram ad support can be a key reach driver for certain types of campaigns. It is also a natural assumption that best practices from Facebook’s advertising platform will make its way into Instagram ad support as the ability to drive relevant targeting will be a key point of consideration for adoption.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Instagram’s New Feature Lets Brands ‘Tag’ Consumers in Photo Stream
There’s still no advertising on Instagram, but a new photo-tagging feature offers marketers new tricks to vie for users’ attention. Dubbed “Photos of You,” the feature lets you tag other Instagram users, whether they’re people or brands, directly in photos. In functions similarly to photo tagging on Facebook, Instagram users who wanted to link another user to their photo would take the Twitter-like approach of @ – mentioning them in the attached text. They key difference is that tagging will now create an archive of photos that can be viewed by any user’s profile – provided they’ve granted permission for them to appear there. For brands who are on Instagram, the new feature could help drive follower counts and foster more personal connections with fans. For example, Nike could tag photos with sponsored athletes like LeBron James, which could increase  their user engagement.  Instagram has 100 million active users per month.

LinkedIn Lets You Illustrate Your Talents With Pics & Video
LinkedIn added the ability to showcase users’ talents in a whole new way this week: pictures and video. Now, LinkedIn users can add visual content to their profile Pages, giving more depth to the written content already displayed. For instance, a photographer might choose to include several of her best photos, a copywriter might upload a video of the ad he wrote for last year’s Super Bowl. Architects can upload the blueprints for a building they designed, and musicians can upload videos of past performances.

Nielsen Launches Digital Ratings to Measure TV Viewers
Expanding its metrics services on the Internet, Nielsen now has announced a pilot effort for TV/video “program” content — called Nielsen Digital Program Ratings. A number of TV networks and media companies have signed — A&E, ABC, AOL, CBS, the CW, Discovery, Fox, NBC and Univision — to participate in the online trial which will begin in May and go through July. Nielsen says the effort will use the same methodology of its anticipated Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings. Nielsen says Digital Program Ratings will provide similar overnight audience data, including unique audience, stream counts and reach by age and gender for TV programming viewed online.  The two metrics – Nielsen Digital Program Ratings and Nielsen  Online Campaign Ratins will povied a more holistic view of the online and TV audience for both programming and advertising. Both services will combine ‘traditional Nielsen TV and online panel data with aggregated anonymous demographic information from participating online data providers, including Facebook.”

Twitter Advertising Now Open to All U.S. Users
This week, Twitter opened up its advertising options to all U.S users. The company had previously made advertising to the platform invite-only.

Global Social Media

Facebook Rolls Out Promoted Pages Globally
Facebook has rolled out its Promoted Page Likes platform to a global audience, following a successful trial run in the U.S. Promoted Page Likes provide marketers with an easier way to run ads that will promote their Pages. Whilst similar features have been available on the social network, this new addition is set to boost newer brands looking to build the number of likes they have at the start of a campaign.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Budweiser Lets You Make Facebook Friends with the Clink of Your Pint
Budweiser Brazil is changing up the way we connect with each other through the “Buddy Cup.” The cups are embedded with a chip that when clinked together, the two drinkers become friends on Facebook. The cups will be used during Budweiser events. Check out the cup in action here.

Victoria’s Secret Strengthen’s Loyalty Program Via Timely Instagram Contest

Victoria’s Secret is building its loyalty program with a new mobile photo sharing contest that rewards consumers with shopping sprees for creative pictures. The retailer has launched a four-week campaign that encourages consumers to snap pictures that represent the brand on Instagram and through their own mobile application. The initiative targets Victoria’s Secret Pink Nation loyalty program members.  Each week of the campaign, consumers are encouraged to take a photo of a letter from the word “pink.” Consumers can take their photos with Instagram and tag it with the appropriate hashtag (I..e #GimmeP). VS will judge entries based on creativity, photo quality, originality and consistency with the brand image. Four winners will be chosen each week for a total of 16. Each winner will receive $500 to shop Victoria’s Secret Pink.

Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook Debuts Reusable Gift Card
This week, Facebook introduced a reusable gift card that people can give to friends through the Gifts program for use at four partner companies: Target, Jamba Juice, Olive Garden and Sephora. After receiving a Facebook Card in the mail, subsequent card gifts will be automatically added to the balance for one or more of the participating stores. People can see gift balances in their account settings on Facebook in mobile or on the desktop.

Twitter Rolls Out Updates for Viewing Photos and Videos
Twitter announced several enhancements to the platform to make it easier to view photos and videos. Users can now click a photo from a profile page or in search results to see a larger photo without leaving the page. Media galleries now include videos from Vine, YouTube, Vimeo and other Twitter partners. Also, Tweet pages now let you see more of the conversation related to a Tweet.

Pinterest Introduces ‘News’ Feature to Improve Content Discovery

In place of Pinterest’s activity feed, the company has installed a new tool called “News.” The feed displays boards where you recent pins have been repined, creating a feed of potentially relevant content that users can peruse from their own profiles or those of others. Pinterest is also testing out a new look, aiming to make navigation more intuitive. More on this here.

Foursquare Launches Dedicated iPhone App for Businesses

Foursquare has just launched Foursquare for Business, an app specifically designed for business managers. The new app allows managers to post local updates, view recent visitors and their tips, deactivate/activate specials and track analytics.

YouTube Set To Introduce Paid Subscriptions This Spring
YouTube is prepping to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform in its latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs and advertiser dollars away from TV. YouTube has reached out to a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. The first paid channels will cost between $1 and $5 per month. YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.

Global Social Media

French Twitter Users are Saying “Au Revoir” to the Word ‘Hashtag’
In an effort to protect the French language from Anglicism’s, the word ‘hashtag’ will be replaced with ‘mot-diese,’ meaning “sharp word,” in English. The change comes from a French government agency  responsible for promoting the French language.

Twitter is Now the Fastest-Growing Social Platform on the Planet
New research suggests that Twitter is now the fastest growing platform on the planet, beating Facebook and Google+ for the top spot. The number of active users on the microblog grew 40% from the second quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012 – equal to 288 million monthly active users. Overall, 21% of the worldwide Internet population now actively uses Twitter on a monthly basis.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Super Bowl Ads That Enlist Viewer Help
Advertisers are finding new ways to get viewers into the game during Super Bowl XLVII, which airs on CBS on Sunday. Some campaigns that enlist viewer help include: Coca-Cola’s ‘The Chase’ (highlighted in last week’s Headlines)  asks viewers to vote on the commercial outcome;  Pepsi’s Halftime Show (also highlighted in a previous Headlines) asks viewers to upload photos to be featured in a video announcing Beyonce; Toyota  asked users to submit photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #wishgranted to win a spot on their upcoming Super Bowl ad;  Lincoln  enlisted the help of Jimmy Fallon to crowdsource road trip stores from Twitter for the commercial storyline; and Audi let users choose one of three possible endings for its Game Day spot through an online vote.

Brands Are Learning to Say Cheese

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Our own Tom Edwards was quoted in a Fortune Magazine blog recently discussing visual storytelling and how photos and images are helping brands tell better stories via tools and sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.  You can read the whole article HERE and we’ve pasted it in below.  Enjoy!


Brands are learning to “Say Cheese”

The meteoric rise of Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram has changed the way marketers from Whole Foods to American Airlines think about and use images to sell their products.

By Anthonia Akitunde, contributor

FORTUNE — Photos are having a moment. Companies such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, the big three image-based platforms on the Internet, seem to be reaching new milestones every week. Facebook bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion, and the newly public company may be purchasing Face.com, which provides software that recognizes, well, faces. Meanwhile, virtual inspiration board Pinterest’s valuation skyrocketed to $1.5 billion and microblogging site Tumblr recently broke into comScore’s top 50 web properties with 23.5 million unique visitors.

Brands have taken notice.
Unlike the slow uptake by marketers of other new technologies — from early television advertising to social media — companies have jumped on this bandwagon quickly. Companies are creating Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts, hoping high-quality images will grab customers’ attention and, hopefully, encourage them to buy offline. “Visual storytelling is essential to building a strong online identity,” says Michael Bepko, global online community manager of Whole Foods (WFM), which started using Pinterest in July 2011. ” I think it allows us to tell a story – through posters, through banners, through text – we can get particular messages across through image sharing…in a very instantaneous way.”

It’s also following one of the first rules in business: go to where your audience is. “Ubiquitous camera phones and connected mobile devices has exponentially boosted social sharing of digital images,” says Nate Warner, Red Bull’s digital marketing director. “We saw a constant stream of people sharing their own images from our events as well as images pulled from [our] properties, or re-sharing images from Red Bull’s social media accounts,” he continues. “The ongoing growth validates this type of positive connection our fans feel with the brand.” Red Bull – one of the first and more popular brands on Instagram — has more than 230,000 followers and more than 87,000 user-submitted images tagged #redbull on the app.

One could argue that Tumblr started this relatively recent need for image-driven social connection between brands and their customers. Companies have flocked to the microblogging site to share behind-the-scenes photos that followers are only too eager to reblog thousands of times. With each repost, a user firmly aligns themselves not only with the brand, but the aesthetic being pushed through their curated images. The 2,275 people who interacted with a vintage photo of 50s era beach combers on Kate Spade’s Tumblr are collectively saying they get how the bygone look inspires the brand’s quirky prep creations today.

For some brands, having a presence on these platforms is just as necessary as having a Facebook page. “As a lifestyle brand you can’t not be on Pinterest right now,” says Vanessa Holden, creative director of West Elm. “It’s a bustling, incredibly vibrant place of inspiration and sharing around design, cooking, entertaining, crafting, making, you name it. Pinterest really enables us to have a visual conversation with our community.” Relative ease of use has been a big boost, says Alex Wheeler, vice president of global digital marketing at Starbucks (SBUX). “The beauty of that platform is its elegance and simplicity.” It allows Starbucks and its fans to show “shared values and product experiences that are very personal around life moments,” Wheeler says.

Some brand’s Pinterest and Instagram (FB) sites are a combination of brand-created and user-curated images — and that is creating a kind of brand ing that exists outside of the typical indenties. In the case of an American Airlines social photo campaign, travelers could submit pictures from their trips based on a single theme each week. “The visual images associated with the themes provided a more compelling call to action and structure for consumers to create on behalf of the brand versus a standard promotional call to action,” says Tom Edwards, vice president of digital strategy at The Marketing Arm, which worked on the campaign. “Via compelling images, brands enable consumers to drive the creation of branded content, which drives additional attention in a user’s social activity stream, thus driving additional consideration for the brand.”

But does 617,994 photos tagged #starbucks on Instagram equal more people coming in for Frappucinnos (which, by the way, is tagged 16,782 times)? The answer is still unclear. Wheeler of Starbucks says the company is focused on using the medium to get into customers’ conversations. And Whole Foods’ Michael Bepko told Fortune that “between December of 2011 and March of 2012 we saw a 337% increase in traffic referral from Pinterest to Wholefoodsmarket.com.” With metrics like those, brands are betting sales can’t be far off.