Instagram’s New “Shoppable Photos” Encourage Impulse Purchases
Lately, the definition of ecommerce has gotten an update, thanks to social networks looking to jump on board. The latest platform to do so? Instagram, which is following Pinterest’s footsteps in helping users “discover” items through posts. While users can’t make purchases through the app just yet, they’ll be able to “Tap to view products” in a photo, which shows tags with an item’s name and pricing information, leading to a product and separate purchase page.
Why do we care?
Instagram’s feature has a lot of untapped potential right now in linking discovery and purchase — and the platform knows it. Brands will want to take note of the new feature and the way Instagram approaches the process — by making it easy but not in your face (something to note when audiences are looking at a brand’s authenticity). The company plans to include the feature in ads, but as of right now, the platform’s only working with a select number of partners, including brands like Warby Parker, Kate Spade and Abercrombie.
Facebook Expands Branded Content Policy and Tools
With the Federal Trade Commission’s latest crackdowns on influencer marketing a huge topic this year, Facebook’s joining in on the conversation. The network this week expanded its Branded Content Policy to include verified profiles. While it still requires users to provide a clear disclosure when it comes to promotional content, these profiles will have the ability to track and optimize endorsements as well. Basically, Facebook wants to make more money from brands looking to advertise with influencers.
Why do we care?
Considering its recent emphasis on posts from friends and family, Facebook’s new branded content provisions may prove helpful for marketers on the topic of authenticity. When research suggests only 8 percent of consumers in North America resonate with celebrity promotions, it might be better for advertisers and influencers to be up front with audiences about their relationships. And perhaps that means moving towards micro-influencers, as studies have shown that those within the 10 to 100K follower range receive higher engagement than those with higher profiles.
Chatbots Head to Twitter Direct Messages for Brands
With chatbots all the rage on Facebook Messenger, Twitter’s jumping in on the craze by offering brands new customer support products through direct messages. Companies can now partner with a number of third-party services to build automated-message systems. For example, with Welcome Messages, businesses can “greet” users when they first receive a direct message, and with Quick Replies, brands can direct users to get their question answered without waiting for a human to become available.
Why do we care?
As immediate communication with customers becomes a necessity when it comes to social, Twitter’s feature is especially important for brands — and they know it. Evernote, Pizza Hut, Spotify, Tesco and Airbnb are just some of the companies already on board. While chatbots aren’t necessarily new on the platform, the surge in their popularity now only proves that convenience and speed trump all. And at least with brands having a say in the way these bots are built, consumers are still getting the personalized conversations they want, to an extent.
Your Weekly Platform Updates
YOUTUBE COMMENTS GET UPDATED FOR CREATORS
You never know what you’ll get in the comments section of a YouTube video. But now, creators on the platform are getting a bit more control with three features from the platform. With pinned comments and creator hearts, creators can reward certain comments by promoting or giving hearts to them. Creator user names on the other hand, highlight comments from creators themselves, with verification checkmarks and “a pop of color.” And because there’s always a chance of something inappropriate on the internet, YouTube is testing a beta feature where its algorithm will identify questionable comments for creators to review.
Why do we care?
With trolling and hate such a prevalent issue on all social platforms, YouTube’s taking another step towards fixing that by giving creators the ability to reward positive engagement. And that’s good for brands who may overlap in that creator status looking to control some of the conversation involving them. As for creator user names, the feature may not necessarily change the way comments are going to work, but it’s interesting in that it highlights engagement from creators themselves, which holds a high value with fans.
WHO’S DOING COOL STUFF?
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is trying to make cool with the younger generation on Snapchat. With huge banners promoting the institution’s account to the 20 million visitors that pass by each year, the NYSE is promoting its content organically and through paid geofilters (including recent content to celebrate certain companies going public). The brand hopes to resonate with its new audience by demystifying its purpose through videos and interviews with the celebrities and people that come through. For example, the account featured interviews with filmmaker Ron Howard and sportscaster Jim Nantz, where both gave advice on their respective industries. For a financial company, it’s definitely new territory, but it may actually be working.
What better way to celebrate the launch of Vice’s latest gaming vertical Waypoint than with a 72-hour Twitch livestream — and the industry’s first live ads from Carl’s Jr? About every hour, a sketch involving the Carl’s Jr. mascot was played live for viewers, leaving it open for instant feedback. For the brand, it was a little daunting to work with a popular new media publisher, but the burger chain was able to reach its “young, hungry guys” target audience with viewers sending fan art throughout the broadcast, too.
Ever wondered if you’d make it in the highly talked about HBO series Westworld? You may now get your answer from Sky Atlantic’s Instagram journey. Using the platform’s tagging feature to connect different accounts, Sky uses each profile, set up in a collage format, to ask the user a question. Users then choose the appropriate image and tap the tag to funnel themselves to their answer.