Category Archives: Social Media

5 Reasons Why Snapchat Spectacles Will Become a Hit

Google Glass failed because it was used by uncool nerds in shower and maybe due to some other reasons as well. Snapchat recently announced Spectacles, their first hardware offering.

Compared to Google glasses, I see rosier future for the Snapchat spectacles:

1. Hardware supports existing Snapchat product.

You can immediately envision how the new Spectacles actually enhance your Snapchat user experience. Spectacles are slave for overall Snapchat use case and provide natural gateway to deepen your relationship with brand. Google Glass was more branded as a separate product.

2. They are more lifestyle than technology.

spectacles

The glasses look cool. They totally embody Snapchat brand. Spectacles are so LA. They are not looking like bunch of engineers designed it, which has been the Achilles’ heel of many wearables. Wearables should be approached fashion-first, technology-second. Usually it is great if you can create a tribe of followers, unless they are called glassholes.

3. They are meant for only one thing.

You can only record 10s video with it, that´s it. We don´t need swiss army knife wearables, we need wearables that are good at doing on particular thing. The videos are not just replicas of what you would be creating with smartphone. They are circular, which resemble more of human vision. The videos created with Spectacles are unique.

4. They are affordable.

“They’re positioning it as this fun toy for people to engage with, not something that you need to think about as your next big technology investment.”

– Josh Elman, Greylock Partners

They only cost 130 dollars, so teens are more likely to drunk buy them from eCommerce site instead of Apple watch.

5. Spectacles have nothing to lose, but much to gain

“It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.”

– Evan Spiegel (Snapchat CEO)

The CEO of Snapchat calls the spectacles a toy and there will be limited distribution in the beginning. Snapchat will not live or die with Spectacles. However, if Spectacles will become hit, it could have interesting implications for Snapchat. They could free themselves from the confinement of smartphones. Snapchat has already forced brands to create vertical video, maybe this will change on how we approach digital photography in general. Philosophically it is also interesting that Spectacles are meant for the selfie-generation but the focus is outwards. You are filming what happens around you, not yourself.

What starts now as novelty, could become a true game changer.

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Economic Graph: Why Microsoft bought LinkedIn?

“You might feel a sense of excitement, fear, sadness, or some combination of all of those emotions. Every member of exec team has experienced the same, but we´ve had months to process”
Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn Ceo

LinkedIn was bought for $26.2 billion in an all-cash deal this week. It is one of the biggest acquisitions this year and the biggest acquisition in the history of Microsoft. Failure rate of mergers and acquisitions in general is somewhere between 70% and 90% and Microsoft has not really been an exception. This deal might still actually make sense. Below I present some of the main points why Microsoft bought LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn will become the social fabric across all of Microsoft”
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Data is power
Firstly, Microsoft is mainly buying access to the lucrative professional audience. LinkedIn has 433 million users of which pretty much everyone is on their target audience. LinkedIn will be run as a separate entity (a bit like Instagram within Facebook), but naturally there is vast amount of insights to be gained from the platform that would benefit Microsoft in multiple ways (product development etc.). Microsoft will want to create an economic graph, alike to Facebook´s social graph but with people with money.
economicgraph
Better productivity: Goodbye work-life balance
Microsoft has been aggressively pushing their cloud solutions. The first possible use cases Satya Nadella mentioned in his memo were around connecting Office 365, Dynamics and LinkedIn database. You could for example get articles in LinkedIn newsfeed based on the actual project you are working on. Or Office could suggest you to connect with expert to connect via LinkedIn to help you complete a task you are working on. When you are going to a new business meeting you would get automatically the background information from LinkedIn. Great functions, but are they worth the $26 billion price tag?

LinkedIn as a CRM Platform
Currently Microsoft is at fourth place in CRM software, behind Salesforce, Sap and Oracle. Merging databases with LinkedIn could bring Microsoft much needed advantage in this field. Of course around 75% of CRM implementations fail, but that also means that there is target market not particularly happy with their current products.

This deal might be really good thing for the future of LinkedIn. The platform has not really evolved from recruiting site, which is a challenge if majority of your audience is not actively looking for a job. Although some argue that LinkedIn is a content company, only 25% of LinkedIn users return every month to the site. Connecting with Microsoft might give it a boost that it needs to stay relevant in the competitive social media space. Twitter could do with similar boost.

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Bots and The Rise of Conversational Commerce

Messaging is the new browser and bots are the websites.
Mike Roberts, Kik Head of Messaging and Bot Experience

Bots have been all the rage last weeks. Whether it has been the NSFW Microsoft bot (not only racist, but also encouraging pot smoking in front of cops) or the ability to build chatbots on top of FB messengers.

Why sudden interest in bots?

They are not really a new phenomenon. Eliza was already created in 60s (test it here) and Siri has also been around for a while (test it in your phone). The main reason for the chatbots to gain importance especially now is because of the changed digital landscape. For majority of users, messenger is their digital starting point. Users don´t want to use messaging over Internet, they want to access their Internet to from their messenger. Therefore ability to help, serve and sell to users within messenger is paramount. Short text message (or emoji) is the default way of communicating, should it be also the way to communicate with the brands?

“Conversational commerce is about delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare.” 
Chris Messina

We are still having long way for the bot economy and below are the core things to fix before chatbots will evolve from novelty to actual user behavior:

1. The bots need to understand normal talk
“They aren’t taking natural language; they are taking menu names,”
Bruce Wilcox,the author of Rose, the winner of the most recent Loebner annual chatbot competition.

Many of the recent Facebook bots are still quite clunky in terms of discussion. People are more casual when they are thinking that they are conversing with real person. The challenge is for the robot to be casual but at the same time providing the transactional value. Current examples have not been particularly promising as they are either pushing you products in unnatural way or trying to be funny but not providing any value:
poncho

2. The bots need to become more predictive and fast
Going back and forth with your bot to order a pizza is tedious process. Getting weather details in an hour is just ridiculous. They need to become way more intuitive to use to really rival Google for getting your fast answers. The novelty factor will wear off quickly. If bots are not able to give you solutions fast, they will not be used.

3. Bots are not a destination but a way to enhance the existing discussion
E.g. instead of going to separate weather bot, you should get the weather details when you are chatting with your friend and need that info. Mark Zuckerberg raved about bots as replacements for apps, but with the current experience, it is actually just easier to go to that weather app and get your answer. Ideal situation would be that your messenger would recognize opportunities for commercial interaction from your discussions, but how to build that experience so that it is not creepy?

We are living in the early days of conversational commerce. Using messenger for repeated purchases (like pizza delivery) seems like a no-brainer, but will people actually start browsing products within messenger and asking help from the chatbot?

That depends on the user experience. If AI behind the chatbot actually would know your taste and it would be effective and enjoyable to chat with, messenger economy could become true game changer. Opportunity and potential demand is there, but building a good recommendation engine alone is difficult not to mention that you have to add enjoyable interaction with a robot on top of that. And the core question is, will people want to interact with bots?

Time will tell.

One thing is for certain. Bots will not kill the web, but they will permanently alter it.

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Facebook Canvas 101

There has been lots of talk about the new ad format for Facebook, so to save your time, here is all you need to know about it:

What is Facebook Canvas?
Canvas is an immersive and expressive experience on Facebook for businesses to tell their stories and showcase their products (according to Facebook)

So what does that really mean?
Essentially it is expandable Facebook ad with interactive features. It uses the same technology as Instant Articles, so you could almost call them Instant ads. The main benefit is that they load faster than mobile web in general, up to 10x faster.
fb-canvas

What are the features?
Currently you can add following features to your Canvas:

  • Button
  • Carousel
  • Photo
  • Text Block
  • Video
  • Product Set

What brands will benefit from it?
Not surprisingly many of the first examples have been popular culture properties (movies, TV shows) with a lot of interactive elements.
minions

The real opportunity is in my opinion with product catalogues. Swiping set of different product is intuitive and also gets you closer to actually buying of the product. Good example is Verizon´s Holidone-campaign, which was one of the first uses of Facebook canvas (done by R/GA New York):
holidone

I have seen these already before?
This ad format was previously available to only selected premium advertisers, but it is now opened for every one.

How I can do one?
You can do one by utilizing the Facebook self-service tool. There are easy step-by-step tutorials on how to do them. Technically it is easy, but of course making something cut-through requires lot of craft and innovation.

Is it a game-changer?
On a surface it is just a new ad format. However with more room to play in Facebook (and keeping in mind its massive reach in majority of countries), you should seriously consider do you need to create separate mobile campaign pages. Or maybe it is just better to create interactive experiences where people already are? Clicking to go to a site is just an artifact of the previous generation of Internet. Also whereas social posts are more about branding, with Canvas you can actually create a more utility to your ad unit (like finding your nearest Wendy´s):
wendys

Will we see a sudden surge of crappy canvas ads?
There are definitely early mover advantages reaped out of Canvas. When format gets more common, it will require more finesse and craft to catch the attention. As with other Facebook advertising, the news feed should not favor ads which are not liked:
 “If an ad doesn’t perform well, News Feed doesn’t show it to many people. And the advertiser gets a lot of feedback very early on.”
-Chris Cox, Facebook Chief Product Officer

What have been the best executions in Facebook Canvas thus far?

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Case Nikon Singapore: How to Keep Beating Your Opponent

Many of you might have heard about Nikon Singapore´s photo competition screw-up. They awarded clearly photoshopped photo and apparently a stolen idea. While it is not the biggest failure of the world, it is slightly embarrassing. It would probably be forgotten quite soon, but their biggest competitor Canon does not want us to forget:

Canon Canada

Quite seldom social competition in Singapore catches the attention in Canada

As we can see, the post has gotten over 11k likes and 7k shares. That is quite great number for a Facebook post and a great indicator that people love when brands are bold and have balls.

Bold brands are cheeky, even frivolous. When their opponent (read: other brand) fails, they attack viciously. Business is about winning and losing and if you can help your rival brand lose even more go for more blows. There is three great lessons here to keep in mind when you thinking of competing with your archenemy:

  1. Admit your own mistakes fast and forget them even faster.
  2. However well on your opponent’s mistakes and rub it in their face. Do it as fast as possible.
  3. …but do it with tongue-in-cheek. It is ok to be evil if you smile at the same time.

Some people and brands need to have an enemy to get the best out of them.

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Finnair Stopover Cock-Up

Finnair has a stopover concept in collaboration with VisitFinland.com. In principle it is a great idea to encourage people to come to visit Finland while they are flying Finnar to other destinations. Main emphasis in the term “in principle”.

As I am traveling to Copenhagen this spring, I thought it would be awesome opportunity to utilize tise stopover concept. Expect the booking system does not work. I have tried to do a booking with different browsers, different computers but essentially it always comes back to the starting point. I doubt that tourists are willing to go through too many hoops to be able to come visit Finland. I at least have some vested interest to go the extra mile. Moment-of-truth for your brand is always.

bookingform

That’s not all. Below there is aggregator of #visitfinland-hashtag. Some of the updates are dubious to say at least (like the one in right) and give totally different “feel” to Finnair:visitfinlandfail2

Currently there is no hardcore porn aggregated to the site like last weekend, but I still suppose that having #visitfinland combined with #ihaveburningpussy in your brand´s webpage is not necessarily the right brand association you want have:

visitfinlandfail

Or maybe it is and this is just a smart viral stunt to lure more sex tourists to Finland?

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Social Media is Not A Conversation, It is A Shouting Match

“Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap.”
Zygmont Bauman

Digital tools and social media have changed our lives. Not all the change has been for good. In theory we have more opportunities to discuss with various people, but actually we are surrounding ourselves with homogenous group of people who have similar background and similar opinions as we have. Because we can select what we read, majority of people settle for narrow worldview and just plain lies. Unfortunately nowadays it is ok to be ignorant and thanks to social media, you can surround yourself with other ignorant people.

We would have the opportunity to listen to opposite views, but instead we block them. We overreact to tweets, blog posts and snapchats if they do not conform to our worldview. You cannot be sarcastic anymore, because someone will not understand your humor. If you have to explain it is humor, the game is already lost. Especially the problem is obvious with millennials.

“My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move.”
– Brett Easton Ellis (Generation Wuss about millennials)

Essentially social media has just made us bunch of weak crybabies without any sense of humor. Or maybe we have always been them, but now it is just socially acceptable.

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Yes, David Bowie is Dead But Your Brand Should Not Care

David Bowie was a great musician, whose music will live on for a long time. Because he was such an iconic figure, there has been unleash of public tributes I don´t remember encountering since Lemmy died. All of those public tributes I can understand. The death came as a surprise and people want to showcase their empathy in social media.

However what made me sick this:

crocsbowie

Real-time advertising can be valuable tool, but you should remember the following rules:

1) Just because everyone is talking about it, that does not mean they want you to join the conversation. If you don´t have anything valuable to add to the mix, stay away.
2) If your product is not relevant to what is happening do not jump on the bandwagon (Jack Daniels works with Lemmy, ugly rubber boots not necessarily that well with Bowie)
3) If you have to jump on bandwagon (when in doubt: don´t jump) at least be respectable

Milk and Lemmy don´t necessarily mix that well, but apparently you can do that with a good taste and respect.
4) Generally it is easier to create real-time content on happier topics than death.
5) If what you are doing feels that it makes you a jerk, that is a strong indication that you should not be doing it.

And don´t even start with “every publicity is good publicity”-bullshit, although Crocs Facebook page has not probably gotten this much traction in a long time.

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10 Things You Need To Know About Cinemagraphs

If short-form video was the previous content buzzword, in last months people have been raving about cinemagraphs.

Essentially they are individual instants of motion are isolated against a static image, “living photographs” so to speak. They have been around for a while though, invented originally by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck. Because they work perfectly in visual mobile platforms (Facebook, Instagram), they have been generating more buzz in recent months.

As everyone is raving about cinemagraphs, here is a short cheat sheet to showcase that you know what you are talking about in meetings:

  1. Good cinemagraph should be hypnotizing.

The goal of a cinemagraph is to keep audience longer watching your ad. Same way as fire is hypnotizing, great cinemagraph creates a loop you end up watching longer than you intended.

  1. Good cinemagraph starts with great photo.

You cannot create an effective cinemagraph out of crappy picture. The movement will not capture your attention, photo will. The movement makes you watch it longer.

  1. Ideal for Facebook and Instagram.

The recent looping video in Instagram and FB autoplay are perfect vehicles for cinemagraphs. Cinemagraph is elegant format, which works perfectly to feed-based environments that do not use sound that much.

  1. You buy it like a video.

When considering the ad cost, you have to factor in that cinemagraphs are considered as a video instead of a photo.

  1. It is not necessarily always faster to produce than ordinary video.

It can take weeks to produce high-quality cinemagraph.

  1. Cinemagraph is great vehicle for product advertising.

Because you end up watching the video longer, ensure that your product is there to be seen. Besides ability to increase your brand recall, you can actually show the actual product inside the bottle as well (see below)

dolcegabbana

  1. Currently they are more viral than ordinary photographs

They have 71% more organic reach than regular photos.

  1. Ensure that you make the loop seamless.

Nothing looks more clunky than cinemagraph that does not loop properly. You want to create the hypnotizing effect (point 1)

  1. They will become more commonplace

As your profile image in Facebook can nowadays be 7 second video instead of just a static photo, people are becoming more adapt at creating their own

  1. Be creative

With relatively new format, we have only scratched the surface of the creative possibilities it can provide (like vertical videos). Experiment and test different cinemagraph ideas, the rules have not yet been set in stone.

Our digital world is getting more mobile and visual and the rise of cinemagraphs is just a one manifestation of that.

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Farts, Apple Watch, Racial Tensions: This Is What People Read in 2015

Another year is nearing its end. This year the most popular posts ranged from flatulent humor to Apple watch (and everything in between).

I had time to post a little bit less than on previous year, but readership remained stable and some surprises in the most read post list as well. You never know yourself what post will tickle your reader´s fancy.

This year I read lots of interesting books, saw some interesting movies and had some interesting debates. However, despite the Apple Watch, the year seemed a little bit boring from advertising and technology point of view.

I think it will be calm before storm, and next year will be humongous (both in macro and micro –level).

Or it is just the same old shit, you never know.

Most read posts 2016

  1. Ideas are like farts
  2. Why Apple Watch is Crucial For The Future of Apple
  3. Anatomy of An Insight: #Joulurauhaa
  4. Rethink Your Marketing Research
  5. Forget The Apple Watch This Is The Only Wearable That Truly Matters
  6. 5 Ways To Make Your YouTube Pre-Rolls Kick Ass
  7. Agencies Are Slow
  8. Digital Pre-Testing: Harmful Waste Of Money
  9. Just Say The Obvious, But Do It With Flair
  10. Anatomy of Insight: Straight Outta Somewhere

This will be my last post for the year.

I will be returning, whether you want it or not, in 2016.

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