Social Media Goes Smaller, C-Suite Targeting and Political Characters in the Americas Download
May 9, 2018
By Zak Mehan
Messaging apps have been drawing a substantial amount of attention in the sphere of social media news. Companies are being asked how “private” private messaging services are and how they plan to monetize these offerings.
One part of the message is clear: companies see the importance of understanding how users communicate in the smallest of circles. This is why platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are beefing up both Group and Chat offerings, which help distill those “meaningful interactions”.
One step is integration. Whatsapp now lets users play Facebook and Instagram videos within the app. Instagram is merging tools for businesses into its Direct Messaging feature, adding action buttons for customers – e.g. to buy tickets or place a reservation – as well as improved features for speaking to customers such as Quick Replies and improved inbox filtering.
Meanwhile, Twitter is working on “secret conversations” – offering users end-to-end encryption on Direct Messages like WhatsApp and Telegram already do – and Yahoo is launching a new messaging app called Squirrel.
These channels have proven tricky for companies, who have worked to build more efficient and intelligent chatbots to engage stakeholders through messaging apps and inspired better self-serve ad platforms. But there is a lot of work to be done.
We encourage clients to occasionally think small. As chat apps grow and social networks as we know them fragment, it pays to really drill down to the individual we are trying to reach and think like they do before delivering content.
C-Suite in the Crosshairs
C-Suite executives have long been a hard target for PR and advertising folks. Some media companies are responding.
The partnership will use the combined advertising potential of Quartz, Recode, Vox, CNBC, The Verge, NBC.com and other outlets frequented by industry leaders as an entry into placing content in front of top-tier readers.
With the initial thinking of appealing to advertisers selling enterprise solutions or luxury consumer goods, these could also be valuable to communicators trying to guide the thinking of leaders in tangential industries.
The Waldo Moment
Any fans of the show Black Mirror may remember the episode “The Waldo Moment”. In the episode, a vulgar cartoon bear is entered into a local political election as a promotional stunt, but the public ends up enjoying his crass brand of discourse. The avatar ends up becoming a powerful political tool to personally attack candidates and prevent actual policy debate.
Back in the real world, there are two Instagram “models” with the user tags @lilmiquela and @bermudaisbae. The former is a progressive ally of the LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter movements. The latter a conservative, pro-Trump account.
The kicker: neither is real. Both are CGI models that have amassed substantial followings and advertising deals. They have built followers through talking about social issues and promoting products such as hair and beauty care supplies – a regulatory headache for the FTC.
But social issues can quickly morph into areas of political division – with @lilmiquela’s position as an advocate for LGBTQ rights and @bermudaisbae’s open skepticism about climate change. The characters – or similar derivations – could become strong conduits for shaping cultural issues and steering perceptions on political issues.
If these (or similar) characters gain influence – and somehow dodge the prevailing sentiment in Washington about political messaging on social media – it could be the very start of our own Waldo Moment.
The Reading List
5 questions advertisers have about Hulu’s offline ads Digiday
Eight things to expect at Google I/O 2018 The Verge
Exclusive: Instagram Gives Email-Like Messaging Tools To Businesses Fast Company
Pitch deck: Google Waze wants advertisers to see the app as ‘measurable and actionable’ Digiday
Hump Day Helper
As someone who is unfamiliar with the Met Gala, I didn’t know what to make of my Instagram feed for the last couple of days. Apparently, I wasn’t alone.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.