May 5, 2017 By FTI Consulting
Twitter has had a tough few years. With Facebook dominating share of market, Instagram growing and successfully monetising its audience, and Snapchat’s parent company Snap going public with serious pomp and circumstance earlier this year, Twitter has struggled to find its space, and more importantly find consistent revenue.
Twitter’s latest effort to stop the rot takes the form of a partnership with Bloomberg Media announced Monday, which will see the platform streaming 24-7 news including live reports, user-curated video content, and breaking coverage of developing stories. This is not about reposting existing Bloomberg video (content already streamed through YouTube and Bloomberg’s own site for starters); the partnership is about Bloomberg creating original content specifically for Twitter.
While this move underlines the primacy of video content – and specifically live-streaming – in social media, there are other implications for Twitter as a platform. Part of the agreement mentions “a curated and verified mix of video posted on Twitter by the social-media platform’s users.” Our corporate and financial news cycle news could soon be driven by live-streaming citizen-journalists, with Twitter turning the wheels.
Either way, someone seems to think this is an interesting idea with potential – Twitter’s share price jumped 6% in a day following the announcement.
For those glancing out of office windows, longing for a sunny summer getaway, last week’s Fyre Festival might have been the perfect getaway. As the extensive and uncompromising coverage of the festival’s disastrous handling revealed, however, the supposedly luxury Bahamas-based bash was not the idyll that an extensive social influencer campaign had promised.
The symbiotic relationship between the festival and its social media identity that makes it such an interesting example of the pivotal role social media can play in the success (or failure) of events, as well as during developing crises. The Fyre Festival was built on social media, and that is where it imploded so spectacularly.
It started with influencer marketing – recruiting 400+ “Fyre Starters” including Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Kendall Jenner (paid $250,000 for a single promotional post) to put the Festival front and centre of public consciousness. As we covered two weeks ago, the British Advertising Standards Authority and the American Federal Trade Commission have cracked down on how influencers identify paid-for activity – something a majority of the influencers failed to do.
As the festival came crumbling down around the organisers’ ears, hasty apologies typed in Notes on iPhones were published on social media, while every development on the ground was captured and shared throughout the chaotic weekend. “Gourmet catering” turned out to be cheese sandwiches, security left much to be desired, flights were delayed and then cancelled, and the lack of any official presence was well-noted. The #fyrefestival hashtag quickly became a catalogue of disastrous experiences, captured by attendees who had shelled out anything from $450 to $250,000 to be there.
The handling of the whole event left much to be desired, but there are lessons to be learned for communications campaigns from social media and wider perspectives. Influencer campaigns can be extremely effective in selling an idea to audiences, providing they stick to the guidelines. Equally important is to remember that when it comes to defending against crises, transparency, honesty, and accountability are central to any response. Social media plays a crucial role in communicating quickly and broadly to affected groups, but without a robust, tested response plan – events can run away from you like – wait for it – wild-fyre.
Facebook denies targeting insecure users [BBC]
Fine social media over hate speech, say MPs [Financial Times]
WhatsApp goes down and social media erupts as millions of users left ‘in turmoil’ [Telegraph]
The entire town of Manchester-by-the-Sea is getting Amazon Prime for free [Tech Radar]