Category Archives: Weekly Reads

New Features for Your Fourth of July Week

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It seems you can’t even take a couple of days off to celebrate America’s independence without missing new updates to nearly every social media platform. When Instagram zigs, Snapchat seems to zag – the latest in big updates to each platform are listed in this week’s reads below.

Snapchat:

CNBC: Snap Now Lets Users Add Links to Snaps
It’s been a long time coming, but Snapchat users can now add links to their snaps via the new feature they’re calling “Paperclip.” The feature moves Snapchat ahead of rival Instagram when it comes to flexibility in driving traffic to outside sources, which of course has a ton of traffic/conversion potential. Read more after the jump…

Does Your Marketing Mix Have Enough Ingredients?

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Too often in marketing organizations a small number of tactics receives a disproportionate amount of attention. Whether it’s one or two social media platforms, email, or sales engagement, a number of factors including internal pressures and associate skill levels can influence where time is spent. Stepping back to make sure all you’re evaluating all available marketing tactics and including the right ones will need to long-term success.

Email Marketing

MediaPost: Are They Kidding? Survey Shows Small Businesses Prefer Social Over Email
The author of this column oversells the value of email a bit but his point about it being an extremely important part of the marketing mix is 100% correct. As we mentioned above, each of these individual tactics can drive results for your business even with limited budget and bandwidth. Read more after the jump…

Video killed the radio star — and pretty much all other forms of content

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It’s not exactly breaking news, but it was a big week for video across all digital channels. So much so that we better jump right to it!

Snapchat

TechCrunch: Time Warner will spend $100M on Snapchat original shows and ads
Your video is too long. That’s a common refrain from marketers to brands these days, and Time Warner may be buying in. The cable juggernaut struck a deal with Snapchat this week to produce a gaggle of 3-5 minutes shows in vertical video format that will span genres, including scripted drama, daily news shows, documentaries and comedy. Read more after the jump…

What is COVFEFE? Potentially an Amendment to the Presidential Records Act

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The internet went into a flurry after Donald Trump’s Twitter typo, trying to decipher what exactly he was trying to say. As expected, memes erupted instantly. Now, however, the word might actually have a meaning. On June 12, Rep. Mike Quigley (D. Illinois) introduced a proposal that would amend the current Presidential Records Act to make it illegal for the president to delete social media posts. The proposal’s full name is the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act.

Digital Trends: COVFEFE Act Would Make it Illegal for the President to Delete Tweets
Rep. Mike Quigley previously introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) bill. The man loves politically charged acronyms! Read more after the jump…

Hot Platforms Offer Cool New Features, Just in Time for Summer

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It may not be official, but summer is in full swing and everything feels fresh and new again. While some of the hotter social platforms are offering their fans cool new features, some of the classics are making a comeback, too. So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot under a shady tree and read up on the latest news in the world of social media.

TechCrunch: Facebook Inserts Itself Into Politics With New Tools That Help Elected Officials Reach Constituents
To improve interactions between elected officials and constituents, Facebook has introduced three new features: constituent badges, constituent insights and district targeting. The features ladder up to Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition to increase civic engagement on the platform and we can’t wait to test them! Read more after the jump…

Better visuals are the key to social media success

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You’ve probably heard that pictures are the king, or queen, of social media. But that doesn’t mean mean stock images. We’re talking infographics, and beautiful, original images. Driving people to action and helping them recall your content requires compelling visuals, unless you happen to be a sophisticated Russian hacker. Fortunately, there are a plethora of online tools to help create those visuals and new ones are always popping up.

Tools

VentureBeat: Google launches Data GIF Maker to help storytellers convey information through animations
It can take a lot of time to create infographics. Google aims to simplify the process with their new tool that creates animated GIFs with your data. The tool is meant to help you tell your data story in a more visual way. For now the types of graphs you can create are limited, but knowing Google, if it turns out to be popular they’ll add plenty more options. Read more after the jump…

This Week in Social Media: Emotions, Emoji and Bitmoji

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It turns out that Instagram might not be the best social media option if you’re looking for a pick-me-up. According to a survey of 1,500 teens and young adults in the U.K., Instagram is associated with the highest levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO (“fear of missing out”). Though it has its benefits, like self-expression and community building, Instagram users also reported feelings of inadequacy and negative body image. More reason to only follow dog accounts!

Time: Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health
Though all five of the social networks (name them here) surveyed received negative marks for sleep quality, YouTube was the only one to have a positive net score for health and well-being. Read more after the jump…

Lenses are the New Cool Kid on the Block

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Both Snapchat and Pinterest announced new “lenses” in the past week, aimed at improving user experience and engagement. First reactions – both concepts are very impressive. We also highlight the flip side of the coin with brands – how much is too much with creative campaigns, to the point that it turns off audiences? To be sure, we’re walking a fine line in marketing and communications.

Digital Advertising:

Wall Street Journal: The Danger of Assertive Advertising
A new study tells us that consumers are turned off when being told what to do. In fact, one aspect of the study resulted in consumers spending only half as much as a result of more assertive ads. Much like our audience-first approach at CenterTable, it’s a case in point that knowing your audience (how they behave, what they expect and what they want) is always the first strategic step in any marketing communications campaign. Read more after the jump…

Stop stalling and create a Snapchat strategy

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Snapchat’s growth has finally slowed and Instagram continues to add features that mimic some of the platform’s most engaging features. But a huge opportunity still exists for marketers willing to create the right kind of content. Snapchat isn’t right for every brand, but if your audience includes anyone under the age of forty you’re missing out on reaching a significant percentage of them on this platform.

Snapchat

Mashable: Snapchat’s new ‘limitless’ snaps will change everything
Instagram and Facebook (among others) have made a living (well, an even better living) ripping off Snapchat, so it only makes sense that Snapchat should attempt to improve on Boomerang, a looping video feature on Instagram. An update to Snapchat released this week brings those looping videos along with “limitless” snaps, emoji doodling and a “magic eraser” tool to the app. The “play forever” option for videos creates a tool very similar to Instagram’s Boomerangs and shows Snapchat isn’t going to take the copycatting lying down. Read more after the jump…

Big or Small Some Digital Strategies Can Work For All

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Just because you’re not an Olympic weight lifter, doesn’t mean you can’t still pick up a five pound weight a few times and benefit from it. Similarly, brands who aren’t necessarily multinational behemoths can still learn lessons from those who are. That’s why it’s worth keeping an eye on what works and what doesn’t – RIP Yik Yak – in the digital space.

Case Studies

The Guardian: That Heineken ad: brewer tackles how to talk to your political opposite
A Heineken UK ad has been getting a lot of attention for the way it brought people of differing social and political opinions together over a beer. This is part of a broader trend that’s likely to stay for a while – brands connecting with customers over deeper topics. Your budget might not equal Heineken’s but you can still use the basic content strategy of making your audience feel something by telling compelling stories.

Read more after the jump…