The New Twitter Audio Experience: What It Means For Your Marketing 

The Twitter Audio Card

Twitter announced the launch of a "new audio experience" last week, which seeks to integrate audio into the Android and iOS app more naturally. Musicians will see the obvious advantages initially, but there are marketing opportunities for a wider range of businesses on the horizon. 

The Twitter Audio Card

The introduction of the Twitter Audio Card lets users listen to music directly through the Twitter app on both Android and iOS. Significantly, users can run the audio straight from their timeline, and then dock the Audio Card in order to continue listening whilst browsing the app. So you can now listen to your favourite artist’s new releases as and when they’re released through Twitter, courtesy of Spotify. 

The Future: Downloading Music?
Perhaps more exciting, is the future possibilities that Twitter can realise with this. After having recently introduced the facility to download apps straight from within the app, this audio integration may be the first step towards allowing users to download music in the same way. The technology is certainly there already. Imagine: 

  • David Guetta releases his new single and posts it on Twitter
  • You see it on your timeline and listen to it, docking it in the app and continuing your surfing through hash tags
  • The song is so epic that you can download it with the tap of an icon

Now imagine the possibilities outside of music for the likes of:

  • Podcasts, 
  • Audio books, 
  • Speeches, 
  • Presentations, 
  • Radio plays, 
  • Even recorded blog readings or poetry 

This could all help turn Twitter into an audio-centric marketing powerhouse. 

Potential for Marketers
The opportunity for brands within that environment is vast, especially if we can monitor exactly who is listening to what and for how long. Of course, Twitter could easily charge for analytical insights like this, or skim some commission off the top of sold items. Either way, everyone’s a winner, as a new marketplace is born.

Possible Video Integration?
It doesn’t stop there, either. Twitter could introduce the same docking method for video, similar to the YouTube iOS app. The video loads in the main window and, should the user wish to continue browsing or make a new search, they can minimise the video. The video still plays, only it’s docked in the bottom-right of the screen, out of the way, but still in view. 

This would provide opportunities for brands to provide content in a unique and engaging way, without being too intrusive. Plus, there could be some advertising potential here for Twitter. Imagine being able to pay Twitter to play a 10 second clip in the corner of your target market’s timeline. Although, that may prove a little too intrusive.

Worth Taking a Risk
Either way, Twitter is certainly feeding people’s urges for multitasking and is trying all it can to keep people using its services for longer. The results of which remain to be seen, but it’s worth taking a shot at something with potential for those brands out there that can craft compelling audio.

 

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Posted by Thursday, October 30, 2014 3:46:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C online marketing SMB social media social media marketing web trends

Three Social Networks That Could Disrupt The Establishment 


social networks that could disrupt the establishment

Every so often, rumors spread around the internet of the latest big thing. The next big app, the next big website, the next big social network. Most of the time, the hype is exactly that - hype. However, there are certain forces at play in today’s mobile-first world that have forged a gap in between the social media landscape. The result is the introduction of a number of new social networks that intend to exploit these frailties. 

So what are they? And how might the lift off of these new additions create opportunities for your business? 

Yik Yak 
The first of the bunch is Yik Yak, the social network that lets you see anonymous updates from people within 10 miles of your current GPS location. This is particularly relevant for sporting events and could break into the restaurant and retail space in a similar fashion to Yelp or FourSquare.

People only care about what’s relevant to them and the people in their immediate vicinity are just that. You can use the app to discuss the game or concert you’re at, let people know about road closures and local issues, get information on local events and it won’t be long before searching for reviews of local businesses and restaurants is featuring on there, too.

If you have a physical store, this could be a great opportunity to engage with those around you. Those that are in town right now. The mixture of immediacy and locality make this app one to watch for businesses in the future and could take location-based services to the next level.

Ello 
As an exclusive, invitation only network that doesn’t include any advertising, Ello is directly competing with Facebook and Twitter and it stands a good chance of luring users. With 45,000 people signing up per hour, Ello is attracting those who are put off or tired of the intrusive, ad-ridden networks of present.

Users are increasingly put-off by privacy breaches and ads. Facebook pushes its luck daily with advertising and new features that often annoy users, who are slowly leaving and looking for alternatives.

Ello presents an opportunity for brands to get back to basics and focus on what’s important. Making a connection and engaging with people. If your brand genuinely cares and has something to offer that’s more than selling your products, this might be the place for you, if you can get an invite.

Snapchat
From its beginnings as a messaging app that was primarily abused and taken out of context by users sending sexual messages to each other, Snapchat has now morphed into a video sharing network rooted in the here and now. Your videos only last 24 hours so it’s much more about immediacy than longevity and is rivalling YouTube in the mobile space.

The younger generation are all over Snapchat like flies around trash cans. They’re leaving Facebook in their droves and Snapchat is where they’re at.

For those brands that rely on telling stories and engaging or entertaining potential customers, you could find joy on Snapchat, especially if you’re targeting the under 25s.

Built to Last?
Out of all of the above networks, if we had to pick one that is likely to go the distance, it would be Snapchat. It’s fairly established, has a large user-base and has adapted to mobile video exceptionally. However, there’s gains to be made from being first to market on Yik Yak and Ello, especially given the relative complacency of the larger networks.

The bigger networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are beginning to show signs of hair line cracks with certain groups of users. If your brand targets those who are relative early adopters or younger, your social media strategy is likely going to need a revision and one of these three networks would be a good place to start with the change.

 

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Posted by Tuesday, October 21, 2014 6:25:00 PM Categories: B2B online marketing SMB social media web trends website

How to Increase Your eCommerce Sales With Social Logins 

Hands up all those who love filling out long registration forms, verifying email addresses, entering credit card information and creating yet another password, just so that you can order something online? 

Anyone? 

No? 

I didn’t think so. And guess what, neither do your customers! So why put them through it? 

There are many barriers that exist in the ecommerce sphere that cause people to abandon their shopping carts and head for the exit cross in their browsers. Among the big hitters: forcing customers to register to your site before checking out.

One way to tackle this is to introduce a Guest checkout facility, which we wrote about previously. Another way to sidestep this hurdle and reduce shopping cart abandonment rates is to offer the facility for your users to log in via their social network of choice. 

Introducing Social Logins
You’ve probably seen this before when you’re shopping online where, instead of having to actually register to a site, you can sign in using Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and the like.

ecommerce with social logins
So how can something as simple as allowing users to log into your site through the use of their social media credentials lead to an actual increase in sales?

Convenience 
54% of those who currently log in through social logins online do so to avoid registration forms and 58% (which must include some of the same people otherwise these stats don’t make any sense!) do so to prevent having to create yet another username and password. With 50% of consumers being unable to complete a transaction at some point due to forgetting their password, why should we put people through this torture when they would, quite clearly, rather not? 

Through using social logins, users can log in using a username and password that they know and are familiar with, making it easier, safer and far more convenient. 

Trust
Chances are, users trust their social networks more than they trust you. They use their social networking site/s of choice daily and are more familiar with those brands than some of their family members. They’ll be more comfortable signing into websites with their social logins so take advantage of this trust in order to increase the trust levels with your brand. 

Account verification

Having to verify a registration via email breaks the user journey. Even just waiting for the email to come through can be enough to put users off, get distracted and abandon. By using social logins, we can remove the email verification step because the email has already been verified by the social network. This means we can streamline the user journey, remove obstacles and reduce the opportunities to abandon. 

Personalization
Through using social logins, you can access potential customer’s social information such as interests, activities and friends, and use this to improve and personalize the shopping experience

If you can personalize your offering, you’ll increase your sales. It’s as simple as that. Personalized services mean relevant services and relevance is all your users care about. 

Integration
When you design and build your website with Fast Track, we can integrate social login into your website or ecommerce store and help you increase your sales and conversions. Get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.

 

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Posted by Monday, October 13, 2014 4:14:00 AM Categories: B2C ecommerce online marketing SMB social media web trends

What Facebook's News Feed Update Means For Your Social Media Strategy 

facebook social media strategy

For a while, Twitter has been the place where people flock to catch breaking news stories and hold conversations around TV shows and sporting events in real time. Now, with Facebook’s latest News Feed update, it looks like the social media giant is tackling Twitter in its own backyard. But how will it affect your social media strategy and social lead generation?

Facebook announced on Thursday that it has been testing, and is due to launch, an algorithm change that seeks to bring new and timely posts to the forefront of user’s News Feeds. Although Facebook may be a little late to the party in the real time engagement space, it still has some beneficial implications and opportunities for businesses small and large due to the sheer number of users on the network.

Traditionally, Facebook optimizes News Feeds in accordance to what’s grown in popularity since you were last there. So, if you check Facebook on Monday morning, and one of your friends posts something on Monday afternoon that gets a lot of likes, you might see that post at the top of your News Feed when you log back in on Tuesday night. That’s all well and good generally speaking, but these days, users crave freshness and news. Things move so quickly that yesterday’s headlines are today’s toilet paper, especially around areas like TV, sports or events where timing and in-the-moment comments and interactions are key. 

To address this, Facebook’s latest update seeks to prioritize timely content in two ways:

1.    Through "factoring in trending topics: Facebook introduced ‘Trending’ in January to highlight popular topics being discussed across the world on Facebook. It now plans to expand on this by showing your friend’s posts on these trending topics in your News Feed. 

Whether this will begin to base trending topics around your peer group or friends, or on timely posts related to your interests and page likes, or whether it keeps the focus more on general national or international trending topics remains to be seen.

2.    The speed at which people like and comment: If people like and comment on something as soon as it’s posted, and then the engagement tails off, Facebook will treat this as a timely post and prioritize similar ones in user’s News Feeds. Although, again, whether this will work on a local, national or international scale is as yet unknown.

Facebook claim that, through its early testing, these more timely posts generate a 6% higher engagement rate. (FYI: Facebook classes ‘engagement' as the number of users sharing, commenting, liking or clicking on a post.)

What This Means For Your Social Media Strategy

For businesses big and small, these changes present opportunities for those that can react quickly to change. Slightly bigger changes will be required for many companies, so that those who manage social media are given:

•    Flexible working hours, 
•    Autonomy,
•    Decision making authority, 
•    Absolute trust, 

All this is needed in order to keep your finger on the pulse of the global conversation and take advantage of real-time participation. 

There’s even an opportunity for Facebook to extend this timely prioritization into the advertising realm. For example, Facebook could potentially offer a real-time advertising service that allows brands to pay to be put in front of their target customers during, say, an episode of House or the Superbowl.

The Right Time

Marketing is an amalgamation of lots of things, and one of the most important elements of marketing is 'getting the right message to the right people at the right time’. However, when your customers are global and they don’t switch off, that time is now, and Facebook may have just given you a window of opportunity, so open your curtains.

 

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Posted by Friday, September 26, 2014 3:23:00 PM Categories: B2C SMB social media social media marketing

The Future of Facebook Marketing For Your Business 

future of facebook marketing for business

There may well be over a billion active monthly users on Facebook1, but the social networking giant is going through a phase of change that’ll affect how businesses conduct their social media marketing efforts on the platform in the future.

What’s Changed?

No longer is Facebook a parent-free haven for raving teens and 20-somethings. It’s no longer a place where the young go to hang out, have fun, get drunk and share embarrassing photos. Nope, Facebook has matured and is now brimming with these teen’s, moms and dads, and even grandparents.

We all know that kids enjoy hanging around with their parents as much as an insomniac enjoys the sight of the clock striking 3 a.m., and having your outraged mother commenting on your picture of a phallus-shaped turnip with a “stop being so rude and take this off!”, doesn’t do much for your street cred. So the teens and 20-somethings are heading to cooler, trendier, parent-free places2  like like Instagram (hence why Facebook bought Instagram), Snapchat, Tumblr and Twitter3, leaving Facebook to mature. So what does that mean for the future of marketing on the network?

The Facebook Marketing Future

Well, this will depend on your business, your products, services and your target market. Those looking to sell cool, innovative and fashionable novelties to the younger generation will see their Facebook efforts begin to falter, especially if Facebook keep shoehorning those brands into paying for ads, which those of the younger generation that are left on Facebook, are hard-wired to ignore.

However, those that market products and services to a more mature clientele could see Facebook marketing pay-off for them today and more so in the future. The older generation of baby boomers and the fleeing teen’s parents that are beginning to find their mortgage-free homes empty of once-needy children, have plenty of spare cash floating around the bank and plenty of free time to spend on the network. All that time, attention and money may well be up for grabs for the right business. 

Back to Basics

The Facebook marketing game is certainly changing and, as the network begins to reach maturity, it’ll be less about being cool, ‘going viral’ and being innovative and more about keeping it simple, doing the basics well and reaching the right people with the right product at the right time. Isn’t that what marketing has always been about?

Some things never change.

 

References

1 http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/01/29/facebook-passes-1-23-billion-monthly-active-users-945-million-mobile-users-757-million-daily-users/

2 http://business.time.com/2014/01/15/more-than-11-million-young-people-have-fled-facebook-since-2011/

3 http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-where-the-fleeing-facebook-teens-are-going-2014-1

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 1:38:00 PM Categories: content development SEO social media social media marketing
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