July 20, 2017 By FTI Consulting
Snap, the parent company of ephemeral messaging app Snapchat, has had a pretty rough go of things since its IPO, the stock price dropped below the opening price last week. While sober heads point to advertisers cooling on the platform and relatively tepid user growth, some take a more qualitative perspective on why analysts are souring on the stock.
Stifel, a brokerage and investment banking firm, has issued a note to clients purporting that some level of personal bias is impacting analysts’ ratings on the stock – i.e. that since they aren’t avid snappers, they will have a hard time buying into the business. While we’d like to see some hard science to back this up, it does create at least an interesting thought exercise in whether companies should be taking a more immersive and comprehensive approach to investor relations. Maybe it’s time for Snapchat to say move over to its user experience professionals and work on some investor experience as well, before it’s too late.
On the topic of getting into investors’ heads, some new research in the Chicago Booth Review suggests that simplicity is the key to getting investors to pay attention to your headlines. Users uploading posts to Seeking Alpha – a crowd-sourced-investment-research platform – were able to try two different headlines in promotional emails to see how often users would click and finish a story. Headlines that were about a third longer than the average saw 12 percent fewer page views. Especially for reaching retail investors – who typically have jobs and responsibilities outside of reading financial reports – keeping it brief seems to pay dividends.
Meanwhile, BuzzSumo, a content marketing platform, analyzed 10 million articles shared on LinkedIn to see what headlines prompted the most shares on the B2B platform. The findings were not wholly dissimilar, with optimal headlines on LinkedIn (seven to 12 words) shorter than those for Facebook (15 words). BuzzSumo dug a little deeper into the linguistics, finding that the promise of value was critical. For example, the top-performing opening phrases were “How To…”, “X Ways To”, “The Future Of…” and “X Things You…” which all promise some knowledge that could help with work. And in keeping with the theme of simplicity, five and 10 are the best numbers to start the title of a list.
Not as excited as we are about headlines? Fine! In short, if you want clicks and shares through to your content, keep your headlines brief and promise some information that your viewers can take away and act upon.
This story isn’t the newest making the rounds but it’s really indicative of a challenge companies and business leaders face in an age where corporate citizenship has become an expectation. ProPublica took an in-depth look at Facebook’s censorship rules – a hot topic as governments and users call for social media companies to do more to combat hate speech and violence – and, well, get ready to do some head-scratching. This isn’t necessarily because they are bad (although there are some questionable examples of blocked content in the article) but because trying to categorize what is or isn’t acceptable speech in concrete maxims is really, really challenging. This, in many ways, is a conundrum businesses face as they are thrust closer to issues that dominate social and political issues. Facebook’s case is more extreme both in a moral sense – brands don’t often have to worry about customers using their products to recruit members to terror cells – and in a business sense, where it is being asked to limit human expression, the core of its business. While not perfect, understanding some of Facebook’s censorship rules and the groups they protect can help companies better understand societal expectations from big brands.
Venezuela has a fake news problem too The Conversation
This creepy tool reveals how Facebook’s AI tracks and studies your activity TheNextWeb
How Bloomberg sped up its sites to boost pageviews per visit by 15 percent Digiday
Snapchat’s latest update lets you recolor any object TheNextWeb
Did Trump’s Data Team Help Russians? Facebook Might Have The Answer WIRED
Sometimes a dose of heartwarming works just as well as hilarity to get over a Hump Day. So here’s a a heroic dog saving a baby deer.