Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Twitter's New Changes: The Key to Market Dominance?

Twitter has unveiled yet more new features that have got people talking - taking steps towards tackling online abuse yet at the same opening up its direct messaging function on a more public scale. Could this be the platform's next step on the road to social media dominance?

We've become used to Twitter unveiling new services and upgrades, and on Monday it announced one of its most controversial yet - introducing the ability for users to send direct messages to anyone, regardless of whether or not you follow each other. If you read the small-print, you'll soon learn that this service is something that you have to opt-in to, and that the current system in place - needing to mutually follow one another in order to send a private message - remains unless the user changes their settings.

That said, it does mark a fairly notable shift for the social network. It's without question a blatant effort from Twitter to try and take further steps into the world of instant messaging - an incredibly lucrative field and one that is currently dominated by the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Group messaging on the platform was introduced in January, and Twitter even said of its latest update that its goal is to make it "even easier for you to communicate one-to-one or with a chosen group of people, anywhere in the world."

Twitter Social Media News Marketing

The upgrade would appear to have been made with the intention of benefiting brands, marketers, politicians et al who will now be able to use direct messages to communicate with 'normal' users. It opens up a whole world of new marketing opportunities for companies - but also raises concerns about privacy, harrassment and spamming.

Twitter has long come under fire for taking too few steps towards tackling its 'cyber-bullying' and 'trolling' problems, and a leaked internal memo in February from CEO Dick Costolo showed that Twitter is well aware of its failings in this respect:

"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years," he wrote, frankly.

It remains to be seen just how many people will opt-in to the new messaging option, but responses have been mixed - it seems bizarre, at first glance, for a platform which has been so heavily scrutinised for its safety and trolling problems to open up a new window of opportunity for people to exploit it further.

The following day, though, Twitter announced a couple of new privacy features intended to tackle cyber-bullying and give users a bit more protection online. The new update included the ability to 'lock-out' users who are reported as being abusive, with some cases requiring phone number verification to regain access. A relatively small step, perhaps, but one that shows Twitter is beginning to look more seriously at its safety problems.

The changes Twitter are rolling out are at times difficult to keep up with - on top of the new messaging and reporting features, we've also seen a new 'Quote Tweet' system put in place, and interestingly, a new option to make purchases on Twitter itself - following in the footsteps of Facebook's 'Shop Now' button. NBA team Atlanta Hawks are the highest-profile name to take advantage of this new system, with Twitter claiming that selling tickets and items through tweets could increase its ad business, with brands required to pay to add a 'Buy' button to their posts.

On top of this, since acquiring Vine back in 2012, Twitter has made no secret of its desire to exploit the growing concept of online video - and the new arrival of Twitter's Periscope live-streaming software shows that this trend is going to continue for the forseeable future. Twitter is fast becoming a 'jack of all trades' when it comes to social media - and it's going to take some stopping.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

How Social Media Has Changed Politics Around the World

As the UK general election edges ever closer, politicans across the country are stepping up their game in terms of social media activity, using it to campaign, champion their policies and to interact with voters who are, on the whole, of a younger and more tech-savvy generation.

Cameron, Obama and Thorning-Schmidt Selfie Politics Social Media Election Campaign
The majority of politicians are active on social media these days!
Social media has changed the world in a number of ways, but the manner in which it has transformed politics is nothing short of remarkable. In recent weeks we have seen Periscope live-streamings of Ed Miliband's education press conference, the televised leader's debate dominate trending topics, and a primary school girl become a Twitter favourite after she upstaged David Cameron during his announcement of a new education proposal.

The past few days, though, have been dominated by the news from across the pond that Hillary Clinton is set to run to be the next President of the United States. By announcing her campaign on Twitter and releasing a video on YouTube to explain her decision, Clinton has highlighted just how important social media is for politicians in the present day - it's undoubtedly become the easiest way for them to announce campaigns, promote policies, interact with the public and drum up support ahead of election day.
It's not just would-be Prime Ministers or Presidential candidates who are reaping the benefits of a solid social media presence, though. Politicians across the world are all using the likes of Twitter and Facebook to get closer to their constituents - particularly those voters who are younger or who usually aren't overly interested in politics. Through social media platforms such as Instagram, politicians are able to reach the computers, tablets and smartphones of millennial voters, making politics more engaging and, in a sense, more 'fun' for those active on social media.

Social media has made politics more accessible, more inclusive and more egalitarian. Politicians are able to host online surgeries and be generally more connected with their constituents in a way which simply wasn't possible a few years ago. Be warned though - the nature of social media means that you are just as likely to receive criticism as you are support. Clinton found this out the hard way at the weekend, when the logo design for her election campaign drew its fair share of criticism...

Clinton Election Logo Mocked on Twitter Social Media Politics

Clinton Election Logo Mocked on Twitter Social Media Politics

Clinton Election Logo Mocked on Twitter Social Media Politics

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Mobile's Influence Continues to Grow! New IAB Report Highlights Its Power

The latest report published by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows yet more positive news for the mobile industry, with mobile now accounting for a massive 56% of social media advertising spend, and nearly a quarter of all digital spend in total.

Digital continues to take the advertising world by storm, and UK ad spend was propelled to a record £7.2 billion last year - a staggering £939 million increase on the previous year. A key player in this impressive growth is undoubtedly mobile - it has helped to raise social media advertising's contribution to digital ad spend up to 65%, as more and more brands begin to develop and improve their mobile media strategies. 

Digital Mobile Advertising Adspend IAB Report
Source: IAB / PwC 2014 Digital Adspend Study
As we all know, mobile is a growing force which simply shows no signs of slowing down - this latest joint Digital Adspend report from the IAB and PwC found that nearly four in ten British households bought a tablet device in the last year, pushing the average number of devices per UK household up to 7.4. We've also seen an influx of new mobile video and streaming apps in recent years, and these have helped to grow mobile video advertising to £164 million - a 142% year-on-year increase. 

This doesn't mean, though, that mobile advertising has reached its peak just yet. PwC's Senior Manager, Dan Bunyan, has claimed that there is still room for mobile to grow and improve as far as its advertising opportunities are concerned. 

"There remains significant growth opportunities to be exploited on mobile and tablet devices," he said. "These are the two areas where ownership and usage is extremely high but where advertising investment is disproportionately low. For instance, over half of web pages are viewed via mobile phones but they account for just 23% of digital spend."

However, with more tablet and mobile devices to choose from than ever before, and innovative apps with new advertising opportunities released on a regular basis, mobile advertising is no longer seen as just having potential - it's well and truly arrived as one of the most important forms of advertising, and is set go from strength to strength over the next few years. Brands such as Tesco, Lego and Disney have recently been praised by the IAB as they begin to master the tricks of the mobile marketing trade, and senior figures in the mobile and advertising industries have urged businesses to get on board with the phenomenon of mobile in order to stay relevant.

If you're looking to improve your mobile marketing methods, invest in mobile advertising for the very first time, or would simply like to know more about what it could do for your business, Click Tap Media's team of digital and mobile experts are on hand to talk you through your options and develop a campaign tailored to your brand's needs. Get in touch today!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

April Fools! Brands Think Outside the Box to Pull Pranks Online

It's April the 1st, which means it's that day of the year that companies go to great lengths to trick their customers with a series of creative and quirky pranks. Thanks to the ever-expanding world of social media and online, it's easier than ever for brands to brighten up their followers' day with a quick joke or well thought out stunt, and we've put together a collection of four of our favourite efforts to have surfaced online over the course of this morning.

The Guardian

This year The Guardian took advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the much-discussed future of Jeremy Clarkson, by announcing on their website that has become the latest celebrity to show support for the newspaper's campaign for fossil fuel divestment. At the time of writing the article, which can be viewed here, has been shared across social media over 20,000 times, with the majority of readers picking up on the fact that it's a prank. However, the story was picked up across the pond and posted by 'Morning News USA' - who obviously hadn't bothered to view the accompanying spoof video!

Jelly Belly and FIAT

The gourmet jelly bean and Italian car manufacturer teamed up to create this social media prank, announcing their partnership to create a new range of 'FIAT Flavoured500' scented vehicles. The well-planned stunt has gone down well on Twitter, and if we're being honest, it's a bit disappointing that it isn't true - imagine a grape or blueberry-smelling car!


The insurance company put a smile on its social media followers this morning when it announced 'Churchill: The Movie,' which will see their much-loved canine mascot make his big screen debut in a future box office smash hit. Sadly, not every nodding dog has its day, and despite also running a print campaign across several newspapers, Churchill announced later this morning that this news was indeed too good to be true! Oh yes no!

Churchill Insurance April Fools Prank Online


Gumtree announced its intentions to banish bad breath across Britain this morning by launching 'GumTea' - a new hot drink sensation which is made from the leaves of the Eucalyptus, the 'gum tree' which the online classifieds and community website is named after. Gumtree went all out with this prank, announcing the new product on social media and creating a video advertisement for it on Vine. Sadly, the 'toothbrush in a cup' is just an April Fools' Day trick - we think!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Twitter Tribute: Social Media Platform Turns 9!

Last Saturday marked the 9th birthday of Twitter, the social network which has rocketed from obscurity to global dominance in less than a decade.

Launching in 2006 by then-student Jack Dorsey, Twitter shot to the mainstream media's attention at the 2007 SXSW interactive festival. It has, of course, gone from strength to strength since, escalating from a few thousand users to 175 million by 2010, and is currently home to an incredible 232 million tweeters. From industry experts and politicians to sports stars and businesses, the whole world has fallen in love with that little blue bird and its micro-blogging updates.

Twitter 9th Birthday Social Media
But Twitter isn't just a way to stalk your favourite celebrities or catch up on the football scores - it has become one of the most important social media marketing tools out there for brands all over the world. Twitter tapped into the world of advertising for the first time back in April 2010 when it introduced 'promoted tweets,' which are purchased by brands in order to reach a wider group of users. It's proven to be a genius move by the San Francisco-based company, as Twitter's ad sales have grown 97% year on year.

Social media marketing is more important than ever for brands who want to move forward and progress, and Twitter in particular offers amazing opportunities for real time marketing which can set your company apart and get everyone talking about you. 

One of the greatest examples of this is without doubt Oreo's "you can still dunk in the dark" tweet which came within minutes of Superbowl 2013 - watched by millions around the world - being plunged into darkness due to a power cut. By jumping on one of Twitter's most-discussed trending topics, Oreo gained 15,000 retweets, 8,000 new followers and 16,000 more entries into a competition it was running at the time.

There are, of course, even more recent examples of Twitter's real-time marketing potential being utilised. Take today's effort from Lidl, for example: the supermarket chain issued this humorous tweet (below) to take advantage of the news of Zayn Malik's departure from boyband One Direction, which has dominated social media over the past 24 hours (although some heartbroken teenage girls may not have seen the funny side.)
Twitter has crammed a lot into its nine years of existence, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Since acquiring Vine in 2012, Twitter has shifted much of its focus towards video content, and with continuously developing relationships with streaming services Meerkat and Periscope, who knows what the unique platform will be able to offer marketers in the near future.

Happy Birthday, Twitter, and here's to many more.   

If you'd like to know what Twitter could do for your brand, get in touch with Click Tap Media's expert social media team today!

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Power of Celebrity

No brand has managed to beat the power of celebrity on Twitter, which considering the time, money and talent that works in the marketing industry can be pretty surprising! However this doesn’t mean that brands can’t benefit from the reach celebrities have on Twitter, as a celebrity endorsement over social media appears far more genuine than when they appear in an advert. 

The 2014 Oscars ceremony gained unprecedented publicity when host Ellen DeGeneres paused during the show to take a selfie of herself and other celebrities and uploaded the photo onto Twitter. Not only was the Tweet the most retweeted post in Twitter history, it even temporarily crashed the platform! The move ensured that people discussed the awards ceremony in greater volume and for longer than usual – the most recent Academy Awards failed to repeat the success of Ellen’s influence. 
ellen degeneres twitter record at oscars

When Katy Perry tweeted about her love of a certain flavour of Jelly Bean she didn’t tag their company account, but the Jelly Belly UK Twitter still experienced an increase in engagement as her fans launched into a debate of their favourite flavours. It certainly can’t have hurt that Katy Perry has the most followers of any person on Twitter! 

But why are celebrities so influential on Twitter? The appeal of Twitter is being able to get instant access to people’s thoughts, opinions and updates. The desire to know more about celebrities’ lives is by no means a recent phenomenon, but fans are no longer restricted to interviews or reality television to get their fix; when celebrities like Anna Kendrick comment on the Super Bowl and its half time show users feel involved both with the event and the celebrity because they too are tuning in. A consumer’s desire to emulate celebrities is widely known – there is a reason brands are willing to pay huge amounts to have a celebrity as the face of their brand – and mentions on Twitter are another way to achieve this. Whilst paid promotions must be highlighted, if a celebrity is a genuine fan of a product and mentions this in a post it is likely that their fans will link that brand with their star and view the brand in a positive light. Our infographic reveals the best social media practices for a successful Twitter account, and the celebrities who have the most online power.
Celebrities on Twitter infographic