December 6, 2017 By Zak Mehan
With Instagram now boasting 25 million business profiles, we’d say most people have gotten the joke that social media is a big deal for companies. Everybody working in the space is always asking what’s next. And in keeping with one of the most famous Silicon Valley edicts of “move fast and break things” (work attire conventions, the retail industry, democracy – oh, wait, that was the millennials), we’re already seeing strides into the next frontier – chat apps.
Don’t get me wrong, this is far from the first time anyone has talked about the possibility of marketing/stakeholder outreach in chat apps (we have, lots of times). But the noise is growing and platforms are taking notice. On Facebook Messenger, where chatbots are already commonplace, prototypes for a self-service broadcast platform are in the works. Steps to build easy-to-use ad interfaces similar to Facebook or Twitter Ads into messaging apps is a surefire way to accelerate adoption by businesses. Keep this channel in mind.
BONUS: Our colleagues in the UK had some insightful thoughts on Snapchat’s redesign, what it means for user engagement and the absence of fake news.
The subheading is almost certainly stolen from somewhere but it is timelessly illustrative of social media behavior. Social media can be incredibly helpful in driving web traffic and viewership of thought leadership reports, but often users have too many stimuli in front of them and too little time to view it all.
There is evidence to back that claim. Researchers from Notre Dame University found that around 73% of posts on Reddit are voted on by users that haven’t read the content beyond the headline. Similarly, Columbia University and French National Institute found that 59% of links shared on Twitter have never been clicked.
Leaving aside the obvious implications for the spread of fake news here, this should be kept in mind for social media managers when structuring content. Objectives should be assessed – e.g. do you care more about visibility or driving traffic to a site or report? – and content needs to be brought in line with that objective. One way of thinking about this is: optimal social content isn’t the headline of your press release, but the juicy nuggets in the first and second paragraphs. Content should always tell a story and that story needs to be engaging and useful. That’s the best way to get your audience to want to read more.
The struggle for revenue growth continues in the media world, particularly in digital. Companies are still trying to find ways to diversify revenue outside of advertising (gobbled up by Google and Facebook) and make sure that ad sales are running at full capacity.
Of those looking for alternative streams, subscriptions seem to be returning as a popular option. Prominent tech-focused publication Wired announced it plans to put up a paywall while focusing content on a few key areas. Business Insider is doing likewise. Meanwhile, the NY Times is scaling down its free monthly articles from 10 to five. We’ll be watching to see the winners and losers here.
And as for ad revenue, News Corp announced News IQ this week, a data advertising platform that pulls together viewer/reader data from The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and others. It follows Disney, NBC (Vox Media) and Verizon (Oath) in doing so, all standing up to data ad giants Google and Facebook. One big advantage: as companies continue to worry about ad content popping up next to graphic internet content, the brand safety that comes with platforms like News IQ will be a big selling point.
Amazon Plans to Send Alexa to the Office WSJ
BuzzFeed Plans Job Cuts, Business Reorganization After Revenue Miss WSJ
Here’s why Snapchat’s latest update further insulates it from fake news Poynter
Pivot to nowhere: The once-vibrant market for digital video series has deteriorated Digiday
YouTube is jacking up ad prices after a string of brand-safety issues Business Insider
And now, I must be off. My chariot awaits!