A Marketer’s Introduction to LINE

If LINE was a person then he/she would be cute and expressive (with stickers), smart (with the app design), simple (with features), good communication skills (with chats, voice calls and video calls), popular (with Professional accounts) and a great buddy to have (native mobile app). No wonder, it got 100 million friends in 19 months. It took Facebook 54 months and twitter in 49 months to respectively to reach that milestone!

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(Check out their counter for 100 million fans.)

LINE has moved the market with its tremendous growth in countries outside Japan, especially Spain, and is now looking to capture UK and USA as their market. “80% of our traffic is from outside Japan,” said Sunny Kim, Senior VP and Head of Business Development for Line Euro- Americas in an interview with The Guardian. Before we get into analyzing how marketers can use LINE here’s a brief overview of the application.

What is LINE?

As an introduction to LINE, it is more than an instant messaging app, it has been called the “closed social media platform” which attempts to make communication simple, uncomplicated and expressive. It’s features are very basic which a user would definitely use. LINE attempts to make communication simpler, and it also gives importance to the privacy of the user. It keeps playing with its features, if a particular feature does not receive good response during its testing, it is pulled out and shelved. LINE intends to keep only those features available to users which they will actually use. It also doesn’t add people as contacts automatically.

You can shake your phones to add each other as contacts, or use a QR code. Basic features available are a Timeline, Chats (including Voice and Video), Stickers, Notes, Official accounts, Games, Apps and Notices.

The most popular feature however, of LINE has been the stickers. It’s got its own characters, emojis, complete with a cute bunny and an adorable brown bear.

Who uses LINE?

LINE was born in Japan in 2011. It was developed by the employees of NHN Japan (Naver Corporation) as a response to the disastrous Tohuku earthquake in March 2011. It was released to the public in June 2011. LINE is used by especially by the age group below 30+ in over 230 countries. It has recently got 300 million users, which is a truly remarkable number. LINE is growing extensively in Spain and South Americas, however, it is still attempting to break into the UK and U.S. market.

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Jeanie Han, U.S. CEO said in an interview with techcrunch said, “In Spain it just kind of grew organically… I think it had something to do with the fact that the Spanish people are very passionate, and they’re very expressive and they really loved using our stickers to communicate with each other so it just took off.”

Brands on LINE?

LINE has a feature called Official Accounts, celebrities like Paul McCartney, Katrina Kaif, Snoop Dog, and many more across the globe have joined LINE and created their Official Accounts. Brands like Mc. Donalds, SONY, have joined, even sports personalities like Rafael Nadal and football club – FC Barcelona have an official account on LINE.


This is the first message you get when you follow FC Barcelona. Every Official Account has this feature of automated responses. A lot of brands ensure to convey that they are not sending the message personally, and these are automatic response. They also mention (sometimes) the method to switch of notifications for such messages. Brands are using Official Accounts to giveaway Coupons. They are also using (Like FC Barcelona) to create and share their custom stickers.

LINE for Marketers

I’m sure by now, you have realized that LINE has a great potential for advertising. We’ve shared some great ways to use LINE for marketing.

Stickers on LINE

LINE makes about “$10 million a month in revenue” on stickers alone. They give away a pack of 40 stickers for about $1.70. Stickers are hot in the app market. Viber, Facebook messenger have introduced stickers in their apps. LINE made Facebook reconsider their strategy on simple smileys. In an interview with New York Times, Neha Dharia (analyst at Ovum) said, “If any app can make a giant like Facebook rethink their strategy, then that is the surest sign of the potential power of these services.”

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Tip: FC Barcelona recently launched their pack of stickers for their fans. Stickers are a great way to generate revenue for the brand and at the same time engage the fan personally in something fun with a potential to go viral.[/box]

FC FC Barcelona Stickers on LINE

Games on LINE

Games are a popular app on most of the networking or messenger platforms. Similarly, according to an interview in New York Times, LINE games account for about $25 million a month in sales. Their games LINE pop and LINE bubble were amongst the top 10 games on Google Play and iStore. Sunny Kim, senior VP and head of business development for LINE Euro-Americas said in an interview with The Guardian, “there are now more than 36 games on Line, which have collectively generated more than 190m downloads.”

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Tip: Brands can come up with interesting LINE games which are free to install and play but require the user to do in-game (environment) shopping to continue to play or grow in the game. Studies have shown that users tend to spend on in-game shopping and is a great way to monetize the games in apps.[/box]

LINE

LINE Bubble Game

Music on LINE

Music is expected to play a major role in LINE’s future. They will be soon launching a service called LINE Music. The idea is to capitalize on more interactive content. As Kim says, “Our proposal to celebrities, especially musicians, is that we are operating in a smartphone and 3G or 4G environment, so you should try to push more interactive and video content, not just a text.” Also, from the official account it can be seen that how many LINE users have watched the video on real-time basis and for how long the video was played. Kim goes ahead to say that “For famous singers, they can easily have a million subscribers on Line. That’s the minimum, actually!”

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Tip: Any celebrity or musician or even a brand with a new music jingle can share it with the fans who have opted to receive the message on LINE from their official account. It’s a great way to bring your content to a select audience for their reviews, feedback or even a contest.[/box]

Music Music on LINE

Coupons on LINE

LINE has developed itself as a great B2C co-marketing platform. By introducing its official accounts, brands are able to use the account to reach the customers directly, and have one-to-one communication right on their phone, like a chat with a friend (almost). LINE is “giving brands and celebrities their own marketing channel to talk to and sell directly to Line users who have opted in to receive their messages,” said Han in an interview with techcrunch. Ogilvy’s analysis of the platform also suggests that it can be a big player in the field of e-commerce space with continued partnerships with brands.

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]McDonald’s used LINE to giveaway coupons and other promotional offers. Also Ogilvy’s report suggested that Rakuten Online Shopping is looking to encourage mobile shopping. So, as brands it would be a great idea to giveaway special coupons to your LINE fans and ask them to bring it along to your offline store or enter the coupon code on your online store.

Either way – a specific audience can be targeted using coupons. Multiple promotional offers can be run as well using the simple app. Messages can be sent to the Fans to redirect them to the mobile store of the brand where they can use the coupon codes and shop.[/box]

As a parting note, while Ogilvy’s report suggests that it might be too soon to predict the impact of LINE on US market, but if it gets picked up in the continent of US then it has the potential to be “one of the top social networks for under 30s,” and this is the perfect target audience for most brands.

LINE claims to have some advanced marketing tools which can be really useful for us marketers while planning and analyzing our strategy for the app. So, are you going to go on LINE?

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How A Small Company Like Buffer Mastered the Twitter Game

There is an increasing trend towards using social media management tools that allow marketers to search, track, and analyze conversation on the web about their brand or other topics of interest. This can be useful in PR management and campaign tracking, allowing the user to measure return on investment, competitor-auditing, and general public engagement. Tools range from free, basic applications to subscription-based, more in-depth tools.

There are thousands of articles already there talking about Buffer features, but this article serves a different purpose. This article is not about all the features and all about how Buffer works but rather how this small company, has mastered the Twitter game and has become one the most successful social media management tools out there.

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Fun Fact: Using Buffer’s social sharing scheduler which works with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and recently added Google+ you can time your updates to post throughout the day. Buffer was launched on November 30th 2010 and it started with 0 users and has grown to over 1 million as of September 2013!

1. You are provided with seamless automation

We all know that when it comes to social media marketing, “Content is king”. So Buffer keeps your content in mind to provide consistent quality content at the perfect time your audience is online.

Buffer also offers a variety of ways to access the app, you can add updates via a browser extension and you can share any page in seconds! Through a phone or tablet, Buffer is there for you to share your content super quick and easy.  Via these channels, Buffer gives you the opportunity to invite team members so they can manage the app via a different portal you choose from. Buffer will share your content with just a click of a button.

The Buffer web extensions are the reason alone for this tool being seamless and effective; it’s available for Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Once installed, scheduling posts is as easy as clicking the button “Add to buffer”, it automatically will shorten your link. Buffer provides you with apps for iPhone and Android by making it convenient and giving an opportunity to users to use the services from wherever they are. This tool being user-friendly is an understatement. They have 16,204 paying customers and 87, 798,149 posts shared!

2. External integration

Buffer has already and gone ahead to integrate with the best social media networks including Facebook, which has 1.15+billion users, Twitter, has 600+million users and Google+ has 500+million users.

Buffer provides a simple button that can be easily integrated into your RSS readers, Twitter, Chrome, SocialBro, WordPress, and 50+ other tools that are used to discover awesome content. If your favorite app isn’t integrated with Buffer yet, you can definitely get around this. Buffer authorizes IFTTT access to your Buffer account so that you can link lots of apps together in different ways, making for nonstop content workflow

3. Transparency

What would happen if everybody in your company knew everything about your business-your revenue, everyone’s salaries, how the company pitches itself to investors, even how much you slept last night? That’s right, Buffer believes in complete transparency with their employees as well as their users.

Below I have included Buffer\’s view on being a transparent company and what it means:

List provided from Buffer Blog:  http://buff.ly/LdHAsW

  • Every internal email sent between any 2 people on the team has a certain list cc’ed that is accessible for everyone: For example if 2 engineers email with each other, they cc the engineers list, if it’s people on our customer support team they have a support email list cc’ed. Stripe was a great inspiration for this. (More about this)

By Buffer making the decision to become a transparent organization it sent out a message to the stakeholders, employees and users a sign of commitment and trust. Not money companies would follow the rule of transparency. With Buffer providing transparent they have built a brand of trust and have fostered a long term relationship with its users.

The users of Buffer are 98% free users. Buffer believes in providing great customer service out of their 10 employee team, 3 ½ people are working full time for customer service alone.  Buffer considers their customer response as the marketing team. It seems to be working because for a free service when a customer receives a response for their queries it creates a “WOW’ effect and thus they spread the word.

4. Blogging

A blog about productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business.” – Buffer Blog

The most original of company blogs are no different than brochures as they on about their products. Buffer, on the other hand, talks about experiences and interesting content which makes it a good read. They give out great tips through how they behave by being strong personal brands, great storytelling, and embracing blogging, talking about experiences in a way of connecting with peers and lastly they have stellar customer service where they go out of their way to answer questions, be helpful or troubleshoot any issue you are having. Like one of the articles on their blog “8 common thinking mistakes our brain makes every day and how to prevent them” has a lot of shares, likes and comments even though not relating to their product/service, it makes a great read and personal by sharing with their users.

Tweets with images received 150% more retweets + 9 platform changes you need to know http://t.co/gg6KMOQDcD pic.twitter.com/p8VtDjU1Wd

— Buffer (@buffer) January 16, 2014

Buffer has increased their credibility by continually writing guest post for other trusted brand sites.  Leo Widrich, co-founder and CMO of buffer, provides great content on social media platforms and specifically Twitter featuring how Buffer can make all social media activities easy and simple. Here are some links from various sources around the world:

5. Last but not least, Buffer provides you with easy analytics

When any company is running their social media platforms one of the most important measurements is their analytics, to check and see if they even receiving the measurements they had in mind for traffic or to see who is clicking on their posts. Well, Buffer already has that all figured out for you, giving you the whole pie, not just the slice.

“Understanding social media analytics lets businesses can take control of myriad of online user data and information to make smarter decisions regarding customer needs, attitude, opinions, latest trends and various factors that influence the same”

-Adam, Social Media Data

Buffer gives you an Analytic Dashboard where you can see how effective a particular post/update was, broken down by network. How does this make them the masters of Twitter? Simple, with providing you with these analytics they are giving you all the tools to perfect your tweet times, mentions or posts. They will even highlight your “Top Post” or “Top Tweet” so you can quickly see where all your engagement is at.

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How has Buffer perfected your Twitter game? Leave your experiences in the comments below.

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Social Media Resolutions for Twitter in 2014

 For most of us “Keeping up with the New Year Resolution” is similar to watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” (at least for some, if not all). There is an initial excitement around it nevertheless it fades away with time. With the advent of New Year, we wonder what your resolution with the little birdie is. Twitter, in case that wasn\’t clear enough.

As an online community manager you would have witnessed the changes and trends across Social Media platforms especially, Twitter. Twitter has come of age and in all practicality become the new best friend for individual users, brands, businesses, celebrities and media alike. It’s quite interesting to notice how brands have been creating buzz around their products through Twitter. Twitter campaigns and Twitter contests have become the sought after marketing technique in today’s time.

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Most brands today recognize the reach and impact of Twitter conversation and hence marketing techniques involving Twitter need to be innovative and be able to evoke interest for the user.  Brands earlier worked around specific hashtags to promote, talk about or create trends on Twitter. This strategy helped them target and impact more and more users. Innovation is the key and brands today are experimenting with new ideas on Twitter. One such example is what Starbucks did with its “Tweet-a-Coffee” Campaign. The idea of spontaneous gifting was a hit with the masses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxPZj9x_Dsk

Media channels use Twitter to quantify the news circulation; celebrities use it to reach out to its fans. Different channels thus have different interests they fulfill through Twitter.

Nokia created a stir with its Thanks #Apple tweet and garnered almost 40,443 retweets!

Thanks, #Apple 😉 pic.twitter.com/x4w3r8Ghcy

— Nokia UK (@nokia_uk) September 10, 2013

 

The Social Media space is evolving, and Twitter is not behind. It\’s pretty much leading it, in sorts. In 2014, Twitter is bringing about some subtle changes on its platform especially on its mobile interface. A recent tweet unfolded the series of events.

At refreshed http://t.co/eNvqKTup1d, personalize your profile w/ accent color: http://t.co/vxt1P3BDxq>web design. pic.twitter.com/y7r1a6jqxl

— Twitter (@twitter) January 13, 2014

So what should you resolutions for 2014 on Twitter be?

Tweet and Re-tweet: Twitter is all about real time happenings, and therefore a prompt response is always appreciated. Make a resolution to react and interact with your followers. Brands should aim at reaching out to the users in less than 12hrs more so in case of any grievance. Also Twitter is not just about posting tweets and links about your brand’s products. Emphasis should also be given to interact with users’ which aids in brand building. Make a resolution to tweet effectively, and not for the sake of tweeting. Attempts should also be made to understand your users. Recent reports confirm ‘young adults’ favoring Twitter over Facebook If your brand is one of them use this data to maximize revenue.

Make Videos your Friend: Twitter’s tie-up with Vine has made the platform quite interesting. Apart from the normal tweets, utilise this aspect and introduce videos to say things that cannot be restricted with just 140 characters! Make a resolution to have at least one weekly video shared with your users.

What happens when you combine milk, food coloring and dish soap? #howto #6secondscience http://t.co/wcH3wt7eOj

— General Electric (@generalelectric) February 28, 2013

Plan Content, Schedule Tweets: Users today follow brands on multiple Social Media platform, hence repeating the same content is not a great idea. This is possible only when the content is thought through. Working around pre-planned content is the key. The tweet content should be informative and usable and should be in sync with the brand image. Work with TweetDeck, Buffer and Hootsuite and figure out which tweet scheduler works the best for you.

Hashtag Appropriately: Use of hashtags is the key to twitter, however they should be appropriately used. Hashtag the ‘keywords’ that define your brand and are relevant to your brand. #No #One #Likes #A #Tweet #Like #This, so avoid going overboard with it. At the most – 3 hashtags. Stick to 2, just to be safe. Like this:

Life of Pie: PewDiePie\’s Reign Over YouTube: http://t.co/m77B60r2m1 #Marketing #SocialMedia

— Beta21 (@BetaTwentyOne) January 15, 2014

 

Use Apps and Play Smart: Twitter provides an open environment not only to the users but also to the application development fraternity. Make use of applications such as HootSuite, Topsy, TweetDuck and Twitter Counter to simplify your tasks. It is also a great idea to have multiple Twitter profiles if your brand demands the same. This would help the brand to have a specialised Twitter handle for a specific purpose. Many major companies like Vodafone have done the same. Vodafone not only has country specific handles, but also specific handles for   Customer service, marketing and so forth.

Engage with Influencers: Leverage on the fact that an influencer\’s tweet will be seen 500,000 times and that if you piggyback on it with a reply that\’s smart enough – it might show up right below the tweet when expanded. Better yet – a good enough reply to a tweet might get you mentioned by the influencer.

The year 2014 embarks a new chapter in Social Media, having said that smaller and larger businesses should use this opportunity not only for revenue generation but also reaching out to the audience effectively and Twitter in all its capacity is the ideal solution for this need.

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The Facebook Q&A For All! Get Your Q&A Strategy Ready

Facebook has been coming up with a lot of changes in their Facebook algorithms and their general look. The latest to get introduced is the Facebook Q&A feature. This feature has been available to some pages and will be available to all by July 10. Individual accounts with over 10,000 followers are going to have the privilege of using this feature as well! Yes, it is for the popular.

From the beginning of time (as far as I can possibly recall), the social network has been conducting Q&A sessions on the pages of celebrities, but the page administrators have never had the privilege to do so themselves.

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The new feature will add a Q&A feature to the status update box for the famous! So now, you can have a Q&A session as and when you want (on what you want). As a page manager, I can probably just ask my audience “Hey! I’ll be replying to all comments today. What is it that you want to ask me?”– Just how cool does that sound? Very! Except that of course, I\’d have to ask them to ask questions about a specific topic – lest they ask me, a digital media professional, questions about how to prepare pancakes.

Even though most of us haven’t really come across this feature, there are a few celebrities that have mastered it already. Take a look at the Facebook pages of Arianna Huffington and Diane Sawyer.

https://www.facebook.com/DianeSawyer/posts/309302529199405

This feature is certainly good news for the social media marketers who have been ramming their heads against walls (read ‘laptops’), to not just create content that will keep their audience engaged but have a one to one interaction with.

So how do you plan to put this feature to work, considering that you can’t summon all those big time celebrities and brands to answer all those questions (all the time)? Let’s face it, they don’t really have the time to sit and doodle. Does their audience not know of this fact? They do and still you end up ‘ghost answering.’

Circus Social – a company that offers Facebook apps and creates social software for marketers asked their fans to get clarity around any social media or digital marketing questions that they might have.

https://www.facebook.com/CircusSocial/posts/797166623633635

It\’s important to be ahead of the curve. As soon as Facebook gives you the Q&A feature on your page – you should be ready for a session the very same day to take advantage of it! First mover\’s advantage – yo!

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  • The News Makers. Do you report the news, or provide commentary on a topic? Ask your fans to ask you any and all questions around a recent news story or a controversial segment and have an expert at hand to answer.
  • The Mean Machines Gang. In the automotive industry? Work with machines or sell hardware? Not everyone is a master of the chainsaw, or perhaps – even the steering wheel. Answer questions around the usage of hardware equipment or automotive engineering for your fans!
  • The Creators Of Reel Life. If you’re a movie production house or a PR agency, there is a lot of gossip that revolves around you. Why not put that gossip to work? Try and reach out to those ‘high-end’ clients like actors and influencers, and let them do the answering for you. Even if they give 20 minutes to answer questions about their upcoming movies and publications on your page Q&A, the interaction and popularity of your page, shoots up in less than a week’s time. This might just be a bit of a stretch, but if Universal Studios is listening – get Robert Downey Jr. to answer questions on your page! We guarantee you oh so much engagement!
  • The Bewitchers. Brands like L\’Oreal, Chanel, Maybelline and others have a lot of apprehensions coming their way. The apprehensions aren\’t just regarding their products but how they are better than the others. Spending some time answering questions around their products is definitely a good idea. Tell your fans you\’ll take questions around the best ways to use moisturizers or any other products!
  • The ‘Tummy Caterers.’ Restaurant? Hotel? Cafe? Chef? You know what\’s coming. Set up a Q&A session to answer their doubts around preparation of food, food storage or maybe even a particular cuisine if you\’re an expert.
  • Other. Ah yes, the infamous \’Other\’ category into which most people fall. A business offering other services. Say for example you offer printing services. Don\’t ask your fans to quiz you on prices of your products or why they should choose you – instead, ask them to quiz you on questions around the process of printing, print quality and everything about the print world itself. The more knowledgeable you come across – the more of an expert you\’ll seem like! 

The idea is basically to keep your audience hooked onto your brand and this feature lets you do just that! Don’t forget to be prompt and polite while replying. After all, no one likes getting a ‘K’ to a long message.

Can\’t figure out what to do your first Q&A session on? Tell us in the comments what your brand does – and we\’ll give you ideas!

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Real Talk: Consequences of Faking It on Social Media

One of the most noticeable trademarks of the digital age we are currently in is the use of social media as an extension of ourselves. Just about everyone these days represents themselves on at least one social media site.

But social media isn’t just for the everyday ‘average-joe’ to express themselves; famous celebrities and large companies have also assimilated into the social media society.

Because social media is essentially an extension and representation of one’s self, it is important to maintain a positive self image and brand presentation on these platforms…but are some companies and celebrities going too far to bolster their online image?

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Faking the Way to Fame

The constant pressure of maintaining an optimized presence on social media has started an interesting trend–people are implementing zounds of “fake” accounts to “follow”, “friend”, and “like” their own account, resulting in an overall following which appears much greater than it actually is.

But just who is faking it on social media?

Honestly. the vast majority of celebrities, politicians, and musicians.

According to an infographic from WhoIsHostingThis, major celebrities like Lady Gaga and Oprah are ‘faking’ over 70% of their following on Twitter to make themselves seem more famous or successful. Even President Barack Obama is guilty of having over 20 million fakes out of his total 34 million followers.

And just where are all of these “fake” followers coming from?

It turns out that there are many companies working round the clock to generate fake fans and followers, for a price, of course. And surprisingly, that price is relatively low, with the companies charging about 1 cent per follower on most major platforms. So for $10, an individual can instantly boost their following by 1000!

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Does it Pay?

Sure, the concept of spend a few bucks to immediately boost your number of fans by the thousands seems like a great deal to any enterprising business or celebrity, but the fact of the matter is that you may be doing yourself considerably more harm than good.

Fake followers are essentially useless in all ways besides making your total fan base look bigger than it actually is. Fake fans will contribute nothing to your brand, will have zero engagement with you or your network, and are likely to be a gateway to spam on your page.

What’s more is that social media platforms are starting to crack down on these “fakers”, making moves to not only delete fake accounts, but also penalize accounts which use fake followers.

Additionally, having a band of fake accounts following your page is likely to negatively effect the metrics which measure your brand’s online influence.

Paying for followers is bound to hurt the level of trust between you and your genuine fans, and is essentially a waste of time and money which could be much better spent on legitimate advertising–just check out Best Bang For Your Buck: Facebook Ad Optimization Part One for some great tips!

There Are No Shortcuts to Fame

The reality of the matter is that if you want to build a large, successful, and trust-worthy brand, it is going to take a lot of hard work, time, and some (well spent) money and resources.

The rewards of building a genuine fan base through networking and quality content are much greater than instantly buying your reputation. Fans will trust your brand more, will be actively engaged with you, and are far more likely to respond to call-to-action. Additionally you will improve your online presence and avoid the penalties placed on fakers.

If you found this article helpful or interesting, make sure to check out all of our other great content on Beta21, and be sure to follow @BetaTwentyOne on Twitter, because we like to keep things real!

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Get The Vine Shine! The Steps to Success on Vine

Six seconds. That’s all you need to promote your brand on Vine. A video sharing app from Twitter is getting bigger and bigger by the day, and some brands are really shining on this platform. All you need to do is make a short looping video, share it on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and bask in its success.

The video social network may not seem business friendly for social marketing, but there are opportunities for engagement and retention waiting to be explored. We are accustomed to the long storytelling videos on YouTube and Instagram, but Vine is going to force marketers to get more creative because clearly, six seconds storytelling is a milestone to reach. Believe it or not, it is the shortest largest ‘thing’ in social media marketing.

You can point, shoot and share almost anything and everything that you come across – make sure it’s relevant to your brand. You don’t want to ‘seem’ desperate.

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Here are a few brands that are vining away to success (and you are welcome to learn from them!):

  • Dove. They have been in the news for their powerful storytelling and guess what? They have mastered the art of vining as well! Dove not just promotes their events through vine videos, but also showcases their products and product mission. (Note: Make cute videos. Consumers are more likely to go purchase those products.)

https://vine.co/v/b52z6ljw1F1

  • Gap. Time lapse, if used correctly can work wonders in showcasing a product and GAP shows the way. (Note: Get creative with time.)

https://vine.co/v/bwZKmEdqewb

  • McDonald’s. You won’t see them vining too often, but the few that they have made are pretty impressive. Their videos feature the food they serve, but they take to moving it about throughout the course of the video than the usual commercials that ask you to come in and buy something directly! (Note: Don’t make your Vines too ‘in your face’ kinds.)

https://vine.co/v/bnBLqVBg6Kv

  • Urban Outfitters.  UO makes videos featuring their products with a twist. They make fun videos using different techniques like quick snapshots and short stories; but they move around a central theme – emergency make up supplies, DIY sparkle shoes, etc.  (Note: Make it fun!)

https://vine.co/v/b3g5a7VFLZz

  • Nokia. From phone tutorials to stop motions, Nokia has mastered stop-motion filming with some incredible campaigns promoting Windows. (Note: KISS – Keep It Simple Silly.)

https://vine.co/v/hxpbDVnBgMF

  • Pepsi. From giving a sneak peek of their products to short silly clips, Pepsi NEXT is doing it right. Well, they don’t really have to sell people their products since they are already a huge corporation. (Note: It’s OK to be silly.)

https://vine.co/v/bvLDmbdZ7qi

Here is a comprehensive take on how to make your Vine ‘shine’:

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  • Time Is Money. Well in this case, it is crucial. Keep your clips within the six seconds offered.  Shorter the better.
  • Master Storytelling. It’s the latest fad in social media marketing and you have to catch up with it no matter what! So, get creative with those six seconds. If you can’t complete your story in one clip, make sequels to promote all your products. But remember to revolve around the same theme.
  • Peek-a-boo. Give your followers a sneak peek of your upcoming products, events etc. It is sure to build anticipation and excitement, and keep them hooked on to your Vines.
  • Give Your Voice. Add audio to the short clips to ensure the message is correctly comprehended by your audience. You don’t want your efforts going waste.
  • The Human Touch. Make Vines that embody the nature of the brand but give it a human touch to make them more relatable.
  • Freshly Baked Content. Give your followers something new and refreshingly tasty often, but remember not to overdo it.  Chillax!
  • Start A Conversation. Create fun and interesting content to induce conversation and watch the word of mouth work wonders for your brand.
  • Magic Of Contests. Engage your audience with periodic contests related to your existing or upcoming products. Give away exciting prizes if you can. (Bribes always work!)
  • Hashtag Wonder. Using the appropriate hashtags in your Vine description is a great way to spread your idea among a larger audience.
  • Know Your Audience. Vine currently interests the younger lot (starting at 13!). So, it is advisable to take a look at what catches their eye instead of spending time on Vines that are going to get ignored.
  • Get The Right People Talking. Making influencers talk about your brand can make a whole lot of difference in the way people perceive it.

The only risk with Vine content is that no one might see it. So target more and more ReVines. More Re-Vines means more following.

Time to get your Vine ready!

How 2013\’s Campaigns Will Inform Those of 2014

The Interactive Advertising Bureau studied the most successful digital campaigns of 2013 and rewarded the brands that did best at the IAB Mixx awards. To do so, the IAB asked a group of industry experts to help figure out just what it was that made such an impression on the people. So, how did social media help with the success of these campaigns? If we study this year’s campaigns from Axe, Toshiba and Coca-Cola, we come to understand that social media users are interested in campaigns that offer something beyond the product.

AXE – MEN\’S FRAGRANCE

The axe campaign of 2013 engaged with the audience because it turned audience preconceptions of the ad on its head. By creating the Susan Glenn Character, a fictional yet relatable being whom men want to approach but don’t quite know how, the brand actually conveys female empowerment, dodging original misogynists perceptions of this men\’s fragrance.

The conclusion of the ad is that the Axe fragrance will help men overcome their fear and “Fear no Susan Glenn”. Therefore, the advert engages and empowers both demographics, making it enjoyable and relatable. The advert offers more than the brand or product because the audience can connect with it on a personal level.

If we think all social media is to an extent, personal, what you share relates to what you feel and think. Therefore, by reaching the audience with a significant storyline, it can only maximise shares.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRB0i9-AUQs

The Axe team were instrumental in feeding the hype on social media. On Tumblrs, slang dictionaries, and message boards, Axe representatives described \”Susan Glenn\” as the one super attractive, cool woman every man has lusted after but never had the courage to ask out on a date. The Unilever brand ultimately revealed it was behind the meme with a commercial starring Kiefer Sutherland as a forlorn adult wishing he\’d had the guts to approach his Susan Glenn. Therefore, the engagement after Sutherland also appealed to both demographics as it depicts the famous actor as quite pathetic and amusing, all of which can be overcome with Axe.

The axe ad suggests that in 2014 we will begin to see organisations attempting to engage with multiple demographics through one ad. We have seen the success of targeted facebook ads. Facebook is a beneficial platform for advertisers, in that we often know a person’s age, gender and interests. However, if we create a common ground that can be discussed by a much wider audience then this may be even more successful on social media in 2014.

[box type=\”info\” align=\”aligncenter\” ]Strengths and Takeaways

  • Engaging with multiple demographics simultaneously.
  • Creating a fun, relatable and cult character.
  • Celebrity endorsement to add humour (Kiefer Sutherland).[/box]

 

TOSHIBA

\”The Beauty Inside\” was a six-part, 30-minute online film made by Intel, Toshiba, and their agency, Pereira O\’Dell, to stress the importance of inner beauty, not just with regard to human beings, but the Intel chips inside every Toshiba laptop.

The story centred on a character named Alex, who wakes up every morning in a different body, and falls in love with a woman named Leah. Because Alex was a different person every day, Intel and Toshiba invited the public to try out for roles in the series and to film themselves saying certain lines of dialogue, which were then included in the series.

The videos, which included beautiful cinematography and a touching, happy ending, generated more than 70 million views worldwide and an approval rate of 97% on YouTube.

\”The Beauty Inside\” was a hit because it tied in perfectly to the reason people use social media in the first place: to share their stories with the world. Furthermore, the use of the public in the video gives makes the video relatable to social media users, a sense of community.

Intel and Toshiba allowed the public to help them tell a story about an item (the computer chip) that is often difficult to form a narrative around. Therefore, similar to the Axe advert, the campaign was a success on social media because it makes a usually boring object, fun and applicable to everyday life. We could learn a lot from this for 2014 social media campaigns and we should see more obscure objects communicated in an abstract yet clear way.

[box type=\”info\” align=\”aligncenter\” ]Strengths and Takeaways

  • Creating an engaging story about an inanimate, complicated object.
  • Short yet effective. 30 minutes long so great for social sharing.
  • Inviting the public to be involved to create a sense of community – good for social community.[/box]

 

COCA-COLA

Coca-Cola and its agency Leo Burnett earned more than 58 million social media impressions with their \”Small World Machines,\” which were video chat terminals that allowed Pakistanis and Indians to connect with each other in real time. The machines were placed in public spaces in Pakistan and India, and beckoned citizens of the rival nations to virtually touch hands and create visual art by tracing the designs on the touch screen terminals.

The campaign was popular on social media because the consumers were able to see benefits beyond the products. Coca-Cola was one of several brands to make an ad this year about bridging the divide between India and Pakistan, joining a Google ad that highlighted the power of its geo-location and search technologies.

The campaign was popular on social media because it is current and relevant. Everyone at some point has experienced a language or cultural divide. Social media aims to bridge that gap and Coca Cola successfully did so in a visual and ‘shareable’ way. We will begin to see more brands doing this in 2014. The appeal is offering the idea that your brand can offer something unique to the world.

[box type=\”info\” align=\”aligncenter\” ]Strengths and Takeaways

  • Bridging cultural gaps, in the way social media does.
  • Emphasising their company philosophy which is to ‘share a Coke’, share an experience.
  • Conveying benefits beyond the product so social media users without loyalty to Coca-Cola are still likely to share.[/box]

 

What Should Inspire the Campaigns of 2014?

  • Create great story-telling and strong visuals because this is what people like to share. It\’s all about storytelling!
  • Aim to reach wider demographics. Of course, remember to keep your media targeted but not exclusive.
  • Bridge social and cultural gaps through social media. Don\’t force your brand into this, but come across as sensitive and try and bridge gaps wherever you can. Strike an emotional chord.
  • Communicate complicated concepts/objects in an abstract way. Infographics are a great way for you to express yourself and your brand, graphic videos are another that you can use.

The key thing we can take from each of these award winning ads, is that, this year\’s social campaigns will aim to convey life enrichment. Is your brand ready?

Let\’s see what 2014 has to offer.

The Golden Globes – Center Stage on Twitter

\"\"The 71st Golden Globe Awards showcased how twitter\’s taken over Hollywood.

A night to remember, it was made even more special by outstanding coverage on Twitter with celebrities chirping away to glory and #GoldenGlobes trending.

#GoldenGlobes saw an average of 3600 tweets per hour. It ranked in the top 10% of popular hashtags of all time with more than 28 million impressions. In total, Twitter saw 1.6 million tweets out of which 60.7% were retweets, with 436 pictures and links!

 

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The timeline of tweeting showed that the maximum number of tweets happened after 12 p.m. and up to 3 a.m. immediately after the conclusion of the Globes. The maximum word mentions included “globes”, “best”, “dress”, “Jennifer” and “winners”.

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Perez Hilton did an outstanding coverage of the Awards covering every aspect from who were the winners to who was the worst dressed. In fact, Jacqueline Bisset\’s meandering walk had Perez Hilton tweeting, “If you give anyone over the age of 68 an award, you can\’t expect them to give a brief acceptance speech!\”

#GoldenGlobes 2014: Complete Winners List! http://t.co/RshhjTQ29e

— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) January 13, 2014

The common man on Twitter, watching the show in real time tweeted about their favourite celebs and who won what. Other people tweeted extensively about the movies they were rooting for and the celebs that looked best. #AmericanHustle garnered the most tweets followed by the seminal 12 Years A Slave.  CNN was the most influential tweeter about the Golden Globes with over eleven million followers.

#JacquelineBisset is one classy dame; She sure made up for lost time at the #GoldenGlobes on @PiersMorganLive tonight!#JobWellDone!

— richgarciamiami ♎ (@richgarciamiami) January 16, 2014

 

The power of the twitter trend could be witnessed when a deliberate slip of tongue by the hosts got Tam Honks trending on Twitter. Within minutes, a a German Twitter account with the same was already in place with, of course, a picture of Hanks on a bus stop bench from 1994’s “Forrest Gump.”

Daisy manicure for the #goldenglobes by @TomBachik pic.twitter.com/RnhavY0TUc

— zooey deschanel (@ZooeyDeschanel) January 12, 2014

The best art of the trending hashtag was celebrities taking to twitter. They showed off everything from their wardrobe choices to their manicures; there was hardly an aspect of the show that wasn\’t spoken of. Other celebrities like Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Monica Potter posted pictures. Celeb tweets showed us a side of the Globes that we hadn\’t seen before such as this gem:

One of my favorite things about #goldenglobes is getting to watch the snipers on the roof! http://t.co/6ndnJ9mEa7

— Kelly Osbourne (@KellyOsbourne) January 13, 2014

 

There were also some brands like Dominos who used the trending hashtag to get attention.

Not to be upstaged by the #RedCarpet #360cam, we\’ve created our own 360 pizza cam. #GoldenGlobes http://t.co/TM7mHF72TZ

— Domino\’s Pizza (@dominos) January 13, 2014

So, how did the Golden Globes go viral?

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1) The Big gets Bigger

It cashed in on the immense popularity of a major event that\’s the third most watched award show in the world after the Oscars and the Grammy. Events that go viral are either extremely popular or so obscure that they become quirky be default. Golden was a natural trend. It’s had to escape the glitz and glamour when your feed is inundated with your favourite celebs tweeting and instagramming.

2) Did you see what Jennifer Lawrence wore?

Celebrity engagement fueled the fire that got people hooked. After all, more people follow Lady Gaga than the Golden Globe Awards. When someone important says something, it\’s bound to hook people up and spread the word around. Quirky humour and cute celebrity moments helped to get the #GoldenGlobes trending. In this case, Jennifer Lawrence’s dress was parodied across twitter even by celebrities who latched onto the absurd simplicity of the dress. It spurned the new hashtag #Lawrencing. This joined other trends such as actress Julia Louis- Dreyfus, who jokingly refused a selfie with Reese Witherspoon to the misspelled hastag of Bryan Cranston.

3) No incident too small

From Diane Keaton\’s singing tribute to Amy Poehler\’s make-out session with Bono, no moment was too small to grab attention. Twitter\’s innate simplicity led people to tweet about the big and the small. Everything mattered. If it’s worth thinking about, it’s worth putting on Twitter. So, what can brands learn from the glitz fest? The most interesting take-away from the pre and post award tweeting is that the public and critics change their opinion quickly when faced with views and attention on social media.

The analysis of the top movies predicted to win changed swiftly. The key lesson for marketers is to adapt quickly and grasp the public mood while making a pitch. Also, most brands treated the Golden Globes in a very lukewarm fashion when it was a great opportunity to capitalise on public attention and reflected glory from celebrities. People share positive reviews and excitement during award shows which translates into more eager and receptive customers during that phase. Brands should be aware of key happenings across spheres and try to capitalise on them as and when they happen.

Identifying, tracking and using hashtags will get your message across faster. In conclusion, our very own Beta21 shared the excitement with this tweet:

1.6 million tweets have been sent out about the #GoldenGlobes so far, 77,588 in the last hour! #GoldenGlobesStat

— Beta21 (@BetaTwentyOne) January 13, 2014

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See you at the after party!

The Perry Recipe for Success: Katy Perry\’s Rise to the Top of the Social Media Charts

Okay, stab me if you must, but you’ve got to admit Katy Perry isn’t one of the most popular people in the world, because of her spell-binding vocal ability. Sure, she can hold a tune better than Britney Spears, but then, that is hardly saying anything (go on, stab me again). So, why/how does everyone know her, let alone, love her? Three words. Or networks.

Facebook (6,18,56,655 likes). Twitter (49,210,515 followers). Instagram (31,80,328 followers).

Put together, they’ve made this Internet-incubated artiste a Roaring (the song, till date, has been viewed 308,011,579 times on YouTube) hit. One who has surpassed the likes of social czars Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, in popularity. It has even been reported that Lady Gaga, Bieber and Perry have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Canada, Argentina, United Kingdom and Egypt!

It was less than two months ago that Perry pulled ahead of Bieber in both Twitter followers and Facebook likes. How did she manage it? Well, she began by allowing fans to vote for a song from album Prism to be released early on iTunes. She also gave fans a great deal of power by asking them to create a video as a means of promotion for her song Firework (413,308,151 YouTube views), and rewarding the winners handsomely. Interestingly, she hit jackpot by asking them- not to make a video for the song itself- but to talk about the people who were most important in their lives. Human connection right there!

The easiest way to reach a larger audience base. In November, 2013, the singer came up with PrismLights- a live compilation of Instagram photos tagged with #KatyUnconditionally, to promote Unconditionally (37,626,218 views).

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The lady, for her part, recently owned up to her social media success, saying that she has learnt to, ‘tame the social media dragon (sic)’. Yeah, being the serious business firm you are, the very thought of taking lessons for someone who is known for waxing eloquent on candy and California might seem ludicrous.  But, when it comes to social media and these celebrities, one can only learn and hope to keep up! Here\’s a look at Katy Perry\’s rise to the top of the social media charts.

Don’t use it just to promote yourself…

… she said, in an interview, “And don’t be self-indulgent.” Makes sense, dunnit? Nothing is more off-putting than righteous pompousness. You don’t want to self-promote and come off as someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else!

Play on emotions, don\’t exploit them!

When Katy Perry launched Firework, she put the spotlight on her fans, by asking them to create videos inspired by the people they love. She understands that it’s not about posting a tweet or a Facebook update, it’s about really connecting. So, find ways to engage your audience on a more humane level; play on emotions. But, don’t exploit them!

What\’s your personality?

Work on your ‘personality’. Perry- stab me thrice and be done with it- is no more special than scores of bathrooms singers from around the world. But, why are people so concerned about the goings on in her life? Because, her social media presence has a distinct character. So, give your company’s social pages a personality. By being fresh and thought-provoking, you’ll encourage retweets.

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Speaking of retweets…

You might have noticed fans are always asking celebrities for a retweet or mention. Being noticed can make anyone’s day! So, even if you’re not as famous as Perry or not famous at all, your followers will still appreciate a reply or retweet.

While at it…

… You\’ll be interested in knowing your tweets have a 12 times higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23 times higher if you actually spell out the word ‘retweet’!

Picture makes perfect

Celebrities are obsessed with themselves (occupational hazard), so they use every opportunity to post their photos. Well, guess what- Tweets with image links get twice the engagement rate.

So, there… wear your leopard print war paint and get your Roar on!

Social Media Resolutions for Facebook

New Year’s eve is incomplete without making resolutions and we are sure that most of you would have begun this year with at least one, if not many. With all the merrymaking, there were timeline’s flooded with “check-ins” and “comments” and the photos “tagged” like never before. There has never been a moment in recent times, when Facebook has not impacted our lives or a business.

As Facebook community managers or Facebook page managers, we all are accustomed by now with the periodic changes that Facebook brings about on its platforms. These changes can get in the way of everyday management and the businesses have to completely revamp its strategies around it. Also, these changes take a mammoth size when the strategies are unplanned  or unorganized.

In 2012 Facebook introduced direct messages amongst its users and the community page. It introduced ‘Featured Stories’, ‘Cover photos’ and ‘Highlight posts’. It also introduced ‘Real time page insights’, much as Google in the same year. The most important change that Facebook brought about in 2012 was the increased reach of its Ads from 16% to 50%.

resolutions

Realistic Resolutions.

Facebook brought about more changes in 2013. It began with improved ‘Schedule Post’ option, ‘Star rating for the businesses was one more addition that Facebook enabled. It also introduced ‘Facebook hashtags, a concept that is still debatable by many, including us. Another concept that Facebook borrowed from Twitter was ‘Verified Pages’. It also put a full stop to sponsored stories that was introduced in 2012 and made modifications with the Page Insights.

With so many modifications the question here is: What are your Social Media Resolutions to better your Facebook Page in 2014?

Having listed the numerous changes that have taken place in a short span of two years, it is quite understandable to gear up for 2014. The New Year is here to stay and a Facebook strategy to compliment 2014 is the best gift that you can give your business.

Here’s a quick list of 5 Social Media Resolutions for Facebook 2014 that would help your business to be on track:

1)  Create Facebook Content Calendar:

Take a resolution to plan relevant content for your Facebook Posts, in advance. As a Facebook page manager it should be ensured that the content is evergreen and can be tweaked without much trouble. While formalising the Posts Calendar ensure that significant posts around important events and festivals are taken care. It’s not a great idea to miss a Christmas day post when the world is celebrating the festival, isn’t it?

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2) Schedule Facebook Posts in advance:

Take a resolution to schedule Facebook posts in advance. Once the content and visuals are in place, this should not be a task. It would also let enough time for the page manager to be available in case of any last minute challenges.

3) Track and Monitor Facebook Pages:

Take a resolution to track and monitor Facebook page regularly. The ultimate target for any brand to be on Facebook is not only visibility but also contribute to its business revenue. However this exercise is futile without tracking and monitoring this data effectively. Planning your content strategy in sync with the response on the posts is a great start. This will help understand the engagement level of audience through each post. Also a yearly or monthly comparative analysis would help improve the strategies better.

4) Build a tribe on Facebook Pages: 

Does the feeling of not being heard excite you? The answer would most definitely be a big NO. The same is true for brands too. Respond to queries and comments instantly, whether positive or negative .Take a resolution to be interactive with your followers, engage them by means of contests, freebies (as a part of marketing allowance, of course) and most importantly listen and not just hear. Tribe building is the key to a great year on Facebook, in today’s age and time word of mouth travels much faster.

5) Keep Buffer Budgets for Facebook Pages:

Remember that piggy bank, as a kid? Now, it’s quite certain that the brand would have pre-assigned budget for its marketing through Facebook, however take a resolution to have minor budget as a buffer. Facebook page managers would realise that Social Media is an emotional concept and is quite personal and may open opportunities that may sound impulsive but in all practicality would help the business to get momentum. This may be either a certain trend or data that can adversely affect the brand positioning. Such scenarios don’t wait for approvals, hence a buffer budget in such scenarios would help brand to cash on unplanned events.

It is rightly said “Change, is the only constant” and Facebook has obviously more plans for the New Year. It is in midst of testing auto play video ads and has made changes on its news feed tab. If your brand revolves around “Young Adults” you might want to re-look at your strategy since more teenagers are moving away from Facebook according to latest company reports.

https://www.facebook.com/fbforbusiness/posts/652325968151462

Needless to say that Facebook’s impact has been a mix of challenges as well as acceptance and hence we propose you to take a final resolution to actually stick to them and make the most of Facebook in 2014.