7 Examples of Brands Leveraging Twitter for Social Customer Care

Twitter Customer Care

These days, there’s little doubt that social media is plays a pivotal role in a brand’s marketing strategy. After all, with roughly 2 billion internet users on social networks and counting, there’s massive reach and resonance potential.

But couple widespread adoption with shifting consumer preferences and expectations—and the smell of major change is in the air. Social media is no longer just a marketing tool and a space to encourage positive engagement with your audience, it’s a customer service opportunity that deserves every marketer’s attention and action.

As Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s Corporation’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, told me in his Behind the Curtain interview a few months back: marketers need to stop thinking that customer service is someone else’s problem:

“When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage.”

Twitter presents one of the most unique and challenging social care opportunities. It’s real-time, fast-paced environment seems to be a go-to place for consumers to air grievances, call out for help or sing a brand’s praises—something Twitter itself has recognized.

“Fifty years ago, the 1-800 number revolutionized customer service. Customers suddenly had a free, live connection to companies from the comfort of their homes,” Twitter says in its Customer Service on Twitter Playbook. “We are at a similar inflection point for how brands deliver customer service: today, people are contacting brands via Twitter with the expectation of a helpful and human response; all on stage for the world to see.”

With that said, over the past few months, several B2B and B2C brands with social customer care programs have caught my eye on Twitter. Below I share some those brands and respective examples.

#1 – Amazon

From children’s books to groceries for tonight’s dinner menu, there’s no question that Amazon is revolutionizing the way we shop for nearly everything. So, it may not surprise you that they’ve stepped up to meet consumer demand for fast and personalized customer service on social media. In fact, like many brands are now doing, Amazon has a dedicated support account on Twitter: @AmazonHelp.

But what’s really impressive is that the Twitter helpline is equipped to offer support in multiple languages including English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. In addition, customer service agents include their initials on all communications, which adds a human element. Finally, it appears that Amazon helpers are also on the lookout for opportunities to engage with happy customers who haven’t even engaged them directly.

This example is sort of a roll up of these traits. With a customer expressing his happiness for being able to watch a series on Amazon Prime, Amazon responds with a question to continue the engagement and a GIF to make a splash—and all in Spanish, with the conversation carrying on for a few tweets.

Amazon Social Care Example

To me, all this signals their deep commitment to meeting their customer’s needs and building relationships. And from a marketing perspective, this certainly strengthens the value add of their brand and reinforces loyalty.

#2 – UPS

Like every courier service, UPS has an important job to do: get every package delivered to the right location, at the right time, and without any damage to the package contents. However, on a daily basis, UPS is tasked with delivering roughly 19.1 million packages and documents around the globe—so mistakes most certainly happen for one reason or another.

But for anyone who’s ever been waiting on a special package, mistakes really rile us up and we don’t really care what the circumstances are. After all, couriers are in the business of delivering—so if things go wrong, we expect a quick fix. To provide that fast service and meet their customers where they’re comfortable, UPS has established a customer service Twitter account: @UPSHelp.

What stood out to me, is that UPS utilizes Twitter’s private messaging feature. To resolve any issue, UPS needs the tracking numbers for the packages involved, which is private customer information. So, more often than not, you’ll notice a “Send a private message” option at the end of a tweet. This makes it easy for customers to take the next step to get their gripe resolved and protect their information.

UPS Social Care Example

#3 – Intel

While any organization engaging in social care is bound to field customer complaints, sometimes providing a great social care is answering simple questions and real-time troubleshooting.

Intel is a great example of a brand delivering precise recommendations and resources to help their customers troubleshoot a range of issues. In addition, like UPS, Intel also leverages the “Send a private message” feature when appropriate to take a public conversation private. In the example below, Intel gives this customer everything he needs to solve his issue.

Intel Social Care Example

#4 – Constant Contact

Constant Contact has built its business on helping their customers communicate effectively with their respective audiences. So, it’s only right that they’d make easy and fast communication a priority by engaging in social care.

Like others on our list, Constant Contact has a dedicated customer service account on Twitter: @CTCTHelp. What I found interesting here is the proactive communication that’s happening. Customer service reps aren’t just responding to inquiries and complaints, but also sharing important information and reminders—from holiday best wishes and grammar tips to links to the latest product updates and bug fixes.

Constant Contact Social Care Example

#5 – Starbucks

After nearly 50 years in business and with thousands of stores worldwide, there’s no question that Starbucks has cultivated a massive and loyal following of coffee fanatics around the globe. But while the deep brand affinity Starbucks has built is a testament to their product and service, like any business, fans can be just as easily dismayed as overjoyed.

So—from a customer lamenting the end of a seasonal drink’s annual run and bad service experiences to a happy customer indulging in her first Peppermint Mocha of 2018—Starbucks embraces all feedback and makes it a point to respond to (apparently) every engagement with the brand on Twitter. To really drive it home, Starbucks appears to be continually monitoring related hashtags and even non-tagged mentions of the brand, to level up its “we’re here for you” persona in real life and on Twitter.

Starbucks Social Care Example

#6 – Buffer

The award for calming, empathetic and personalized social care goes to Buffer. Whether someone is throwing out an idea for improving the platform or experiencing a performance issue, Buffer helpers make a serious effort to let folks know they understand their frustration, are there to help and can work to find a solution. Also, whoever is responding to a request or complaint always signs their full name within the Tweet, adding an extra human touch and level of transparency.

Below is a great example. The user is asking for some scheduling information guidance, and Buffer’s Octavio delivers with a detailed, personalized and upbeat response.

Buffer Social Care Example

#7 – LinkedIn (client)

There may be no better endorsement of the importance and benefit of embracing customer service on Twitter than other social networks taking part in it all. Such is the case with LinkedIn. Through its dedicated @LinkedInHelp account, the LinkedIn Customer Service team is standing at the ready to offer guidance and help troubleshoot issues.

As with others mentioned in this post, LinkedIn helpers provide personalized responses to users, signing each message with initials or a full name. While the example below is a simple and easily remedied issue, the service rep attached a screenshot to make it easy for the user to find the menu item they’re looking for, but also added additional troubleshooting instructions just in case.

LinkedIn Social Care Example

Great Social Care = Better Brand Experiences

While most social customer care programs are likely administered by a brand’s customer service team, the marketing department can and should be a dedicated partner. At the end of the day, more and more people are using Twitter and other social media sites to share their brand experiences—and those experiences not only have the potential to impact a brand’s identity, but they’re also gold mines for marketing insights.

The bottom line? If your brand isn’t on the path to providing social customer care, now is the time to consider making moves. As social media becomes increasingly embedded in our daily lives and culture, brands have the opportunity to use social care as a marketing advantage and relationship building tool.

What brands have caught your eye on Twitter for their social care efforts? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Digital Marketing News: Google Best Answer, Twitter Threads, Most Viral on Facebook

Predictive Analytics
How Predictive Analytics Can Help Your Business See the Future. Now more than ever, predictive analytics are becoming available to small businesses looking to get ahead of the competition by mining their data and generating meaningful intelligence. From mapping customer purchase trends to optimizing product campaigns, predictive analytics can be the digital marketing solution your company needs. An investment in predictive analytics may give your business the competitive advantage it needs, helping you leave yesterday’s problems behind and focus on growth to come. Entrepreneur

These Emotions Are Said to Have the Greatest Influence on Brand Loyalty. Research from Capgemini’s, which correlated emotions and stated loyalty towards brands, has revealed that the three most important emotions are: Honesty; Trust; and Integrity. People also associate the emotions of “belonging,” “security,” and “familiarity” with loyalty. MarketingCharts

New Google Best Answer Carousel In Search Results Snippets. I have to say, I think this is a great idea! #BetheBestAnswer Google is testing the display of  a carousel of answers, with the “best answer” labeled first as such, allowing the searcher to swipe or click through the answers directly in the search results. Search Engine Roundtable

Accenture Puts A Number On Consumer Distrust: $ 756B. 49% of customers are concerned about privacy, yet subscribe to intelligent services designed to anticipate their needs, according to research from Accenture. Poor personalization and lack of trust cost U.S. organizations $ 756 billion last year, as 41% of consumers switched companies. MediaPost

‘Purchases on Google’ Shopping ads test is running on iOS devices. Purchases on Google ads enable consumers to buy products shown in Google Shopping ads right from Google-hosted landing pages when users have payments set up through their Google accounts. Search Engine Land

Google study warns of widespread video ad fraud, encourages wider ads.txt takeup. Publishers are losing up to $ 1.27bn a year due to fraudsters impersonating their inventory on ad exchanges, with such bad actors conducting up to 700m false ad requests per day, according to a study published by Google. The Drum

Five Trends That Will Shape Mobile Adtech in 2018. Trends to watch include: Industry Consolidation, The Innovating Dragon of China, Transparency and Accountability, Laggards and Late Majority, AI and Machine-Learning – MarketingProfs

Google is sending more traffic than Facebook to publishers — again. Google used to be the main source of referral traffic for web publishers. Then Facebook eclipsed it. And now, Google is back on top again. Facebook sent 25 percent less traffic to publishers this year, while Google increased its traffic by 17 percent, according to Parse.ly. recode

60% Of Marketers To Increase Focus On Organic Search in 2018. Organic search proved to be the top-performing channel in 2017, and will be a top priority for marketers in 2018, according to survey findings released by Search Marketing Platform, Conductor’s. Respondents listed “paid search” or “pay per click” media as their second priority for 2018, and “social” as their No. 3 priority for next year. MediaPost

Google Search Console beta adds 12+ months of data to performance reports. The new beta version of Google Search Console has now added over 12 months of historical data to the performance reports. Search Engine Land

40% of Millennial Women Say Instagram Is the Best Way for Brands to Reach Them. Still not sure how to reach that coveted millennial demographic through your brand’s messaging? Millennial-focused publisher Bustle conducted some research with 1,000 women to help brands understand those consumers a bit more. According to the findings, 81 percent of readers say social media is the most effective way to reach them. AdWeek

Most Effective Digital Marketing Tactics for 2018: Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing Technology, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Search and Social Ads, Data Management. Ascend2 via MarketingCharts

B2C Marketing Statistic

The Most Shared Facebook Content 2017. The Top Viral Posts, Videos and Articles. To discover what content Facebook audiences love to share, like and comment on, BuzzSumo reviewed two billion articles and Facebook posts that were published in 2017. The findings include: content most shared, viral Facebook posts, expert insights.  BuzzSumo

Facebook announces Sound Collection and 360 Community Page for Creators. Creators of Facebook videos can now enjoy more robust audio, a hub for education and resources and even the ability to borrow 360 cameras. AdWeek

Instagram now lets brands feature Stories Highlights on their profile pages. To help brands get more value out of stories, Instagram will also now automatically save Story posts, which can later be added to a Story Highlights collection. MarketingLand

We actually like 280-character tweets, it turns out. Many Twitter users gave the platform grief for expanding the length of Tweets. It turns out that overall, users like it. New data from app maker and analysis firm SocialFlow shows people are responding well to longer Twitter posts the social network started allowing last month. As for me, I’m still not decided. CNET

Pinterest launches Facebook Messenger bot. Pinterest today launched its first Facebook Messenger bot to power Pin searches, as well as a chat extension to power collaborative visual search inside one of the most popular chat apps on the planet. VentureBeat

Twitter officially launches ‘threads,’ a new feature for easily posting tweetstorms. With the 280 character count, is this even relevant anymore? Apparently so. The threads feature is easy to use: There’s now a new plus (“+”) button in the composer screen where you can type out your series of tweets. TechCrunch

Now You Can Follow Hashtags on Instagram. Instagram has introduced the ability to follow hashtags, giving you new ways to discover photos, videos and people on Instagram. Still deciding on this one. Instagram

On the Lighter Side:

Invisible box craze becomes new viral internet sensation. There is no way on earth I will be able to figure this one out. Have you? Telegraph

TopRank Marketing in the News:

  • TopRank Marketing Team – What makes a great digital marketing and analytics shop? – ClickZ
  • Rachel Miller Interview with Rachel Miller on Social Strategy, Digital and Influencer Marketing – Onalytica
  • Amy Higgins & Lee Odden – PR and Marketing Cannot Stand Stagnation. Focus on Developing New Skills! – Prowly
  • Lee Odden – Does Traditional PR Really Matter Anymore? – RainmakerFM The Digital Entrepreneur Podcast 
  • Lee Odden – B2B Influencer Marketing (Seriously!) Lee Odden of TopRank – MarketingProfs, Marketing Smarts Podcast

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Google Best Answer, Twitter Threads, Most Viral on Facebook | http://www.toprankblog.com

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SearchCap: Twitter AMP analytics, Bing Ads & targeting branded searches

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Twitter broadens its AMP support to include analytics Dec 6, 2017 by Amy Gesenhues Twitter says the new AMP analytics feature will help distinguish page views…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

What All Marketers Can Learn from Fast Food Giants Crushing Twitter

There’s little doubt among marketers that social media is an important part of their strategic digital marketing mix. After all, social media is part of the fabric of our daily lives—and arguably our identities. In fact, it’s estimated that there are 1.96 billion social media users worldwide—with that number expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018.

But increasing adoption and content saturation, as well as changing algorithms and the rising tide of paid social advertising, means all brands are facing stiff competition for audience attention and engagement. So, what’s a marketer or brand to do?

The answers don’t lie in posting more frequently, adding more visuals or adding more channels to your mix. From my perspective, it’s all about developing your brand’s identity in a way that not only provides a real-time glimpse into what your company is all about, but also gives your audience a unique and tasty experience. And that’s where some of our favorite fast food brands such as Wendy’s, KFC and McDonald’s can provide us a little food for thought.

How? Read on to get a taste of what we can all learn from three recognizable fast food brands.

#1 – Acknowledging and engaging your competitors can actually help you stand out.

For some time now, Wendy’s—known for their motto of “fresh never frozen beef”—has been heralded as a leader in, well, roasting anybody and everyone on Twitter—including the trolling of its competition.

Most recently, Wendy’s was challenged to a duel with Wingstop, a chicken wing restaurant chain that grown to more than 1,000 locations around the world.

Wingstop put out a poetic, rap-style tweet in early October. Another user, @Fatlaz901, brought Wendy’s into the mix by challenging them to “step up” their game.

Wendy's Trolling on Twitter

And then the rap battle ensued over who had the better product ensued. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts—and the engagement metrics speak for themselves:

Wendy's & Wingstop Twitter Battle

The takeaway here is not to simply start trolling your competition. The point is that a little friendly competition can go a long way—and I think that can extend beyond your social channels, too.

#2 – Social customer care is an opportunity ripe for the taking.

Currently, McDonald’s is the world’s second largest restaurant chain, coming in behind Subway and boasting more than 36,000 outlets in 119 countries. For years, McDonald’s trademark “I’m lovin’ it” slogan has helped convey its desire to make quality food and deliver quality service that their customers will love—and that commitment is an intrinsic part of their social media strategy.

In addition to its official Twitter page for the USA, McDonald’s actually has another handle, @Reachout_mcd, dedicated to fielding customer gripes and answer questions. Most recently, McDonald’s announced that it would be bringing back its Szechuan Sauce in a “super-limited” fashion—aka releasing the sauce for just one day at select stores. Well, Szechuan Sauce lovers everywhere were not only miffed about the limited release, but also how quickly it “sold out” of participating locations.

Not only did McDonald’s openly address many of its customers public dismay on Twitter, it got to work to fix the problem.

McDonald's & Szechuan Sauce

What can marketers learn from this example? Marketers, particularly those managing social media, have to stop thinking customer service is not “someone else’s problem.” As social customer care expert and McDonald’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, Dan Gingiss, told me in his Behind the Marketing Curtain interview earlier this year:

“When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage.”

#3 – Social media can be a vivid extension of your brand.

Finally, last month, the internet went bonkers after Twitter user Mike Edgette discovered that KFC’s official Twitter account followed just 11 people: All five members of 90s pop group the Spice Girls, as well as six random guys named Herb. Of course, this cleverness pays homage to the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices used in the making of KFC’s chicken. On the off chance you didn’t see this, here’s how Edgette broke the news to the world.

KFC 11 Twitter Followers

But, as you may already know, the story doesn’t stop there. KFC reportedly went above and beyond to recognize Edgette’s discovery, tracking him down and sending him an unbelievably awesome and hilarious gift:  A personalized letter from Colonel Sanders “himself,” a boat load of gift cards, and perhaps the most amazing of all, a painting featuring Edgette triumphantly receiving a piggy back ride from the Colonel.

Colonel Sanders & Mike Edgette Painting Tweet

For me—and I’m sure you may agree—this serves as an ultimate example of thinking outside the box, and intertwining your brand’s core messaging and mission across channels to bring it to life.

Find Your Unique Flavor

Every brand has a story to tell—and social media platforms can help you bring that story to life and season it with the voices of your community. If you’re looking to craft your recipe for success, check out our post 8 Important Questions Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Must Answer.

What other fast food restaurants have you grown to admire on social media? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | What All Marketers Can Learn from Fast Food Giants Crushing Twitter | http://www.toprankblog.com

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How B2B Brands are Getting Creative on Twitter with 280 Characters

Could you imagine pulling an Oreo cookie out of its sleeve to find four chocolate wafers and two layers of cream filling? Or taking home a six-pack of beer and somehow discovering 12 bottles crammed inside?

It’d be discombobulating to say the least, and that’s how many of us marketers are feeling about Twitter’s recent decision to double its character limit to 280. The 140-character tweet felt as natural and familiar as 10 organic listings on a search engine results page. Now, the game has changed completely.

Bigger isn’t always better, of course. If brands simply take this opportunity to double down on their promotional messaging or stack hashtags, it’s not going to create a better experience for users. The real opportunity, as our Caitlin Burgess explained last month when previewing the Twitter character expansion, “is to discover whether or not you can use that extra space to deliver more value and resonance to your audience.”

Now that the 280-character format has been rolled out in earnest, we thought we’d find a few examples of B2B brands that are taking advantage in creative and exemplary ways. If you’re trying to determine how this alteration can fit within your social media marketing approach, take a cue from the clever uses below.

Quirky Brand Plays

What does your company represent? What’s a gag that only people within your niche will truly understand? The character extension opens up new avenues for playful punnery with your followers.

For instance, this was tech conglomerate Cisco’s first foray into the #280characters hashtag:

Illumina, a genetic research solutions firm, took a similar tact with this gloriously geeky genome sequence:

Demonstrate Practical Uses

As a social media management platform, HootSuite is uniquely invested in Twitter’s latest pivot, so when announcing they’d integrated the update for their users, they also showed off a smart way to utilize the extra space:

One of the imperatives for online writing is to keep blocks of text in short, digestible chunks so that scanning readers won’t gloss over them. As this tweet shows, you can now incorporate that mindset on Twitter.

Add Substance to Your Link Teases

Properly setting up an article link with an informative and compelling tease could be challenging when you only had 120 characters (the link itself, of course, would take up 20). Now, we have much more room to summarize our content and explain why people should click. John Flannery, CEO of General Electric, exemplifies the ability to elaborate with this tweet linking to his investors presentation:

Make Tweets More Diverse and Robust

Admittedly, all-text tweets like the one above are going to cause some users scrolling their feeds to keep on moving; this is a danger of the expanded character count. The beauty of 140 was that it kept everything very bite-sized.

In order to keep people engaged with longer messages, you can incorporate several different elements to make them pop. For example, in the tweet below via Dell’s CSR branch, you’ll find multiple hashtags, a user handle, a link, and an image — all within a complete mini-narrative:

Quotes PLUS Descriptions

Under the previous tweeting parameters, we often had to make a decision: pull a quote to generate interest in an article, or include a description of what’s inside? Now, you can do both, as Salesforce shows in this example, where they’re able to both feature a full quote and set up the link while also sprinkling in a couple of emojis and a hashtag:

Finally, A Few Things to Keep In Mind

  • Don’t feel like you have to use up all 280 characters just because they’re available to you. At the end of the day, Twitter users prefer brevity and that’s why they love the platform.
  • In fact, one can argue that it’s now more important than ever to try and condense your message into the shortest possible package. On feeds full of longer tweets, the extremely short ones will stand out even more.
  • One of the less talked about aspects of this revamp is that Twitter also expanded the name length for users to 50, up from 20. This opens the door to plenty of new branding possibilities.

How will you make use of all the new real estate on Twitter? This is one key question you should ask before setting your social media strategy. Hopefully these examples and pointers will help you uncover some answers.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | How B2B Brands are Getting Creative on Twitter with 280 Characters | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Digital Marketing News: Email vs. SMS, Twitter Trolls Itself and Google’s AI Wizard

Email vs. SMS: Battle of the Heavyweights [Infographic] In a battle of email vs. SMS, who is the winner? This infographic shows the differences between the two tactics in terms of volume, engagement, preferences and effectiveness by medium. MarketingProfs Twitter trolls itself on new 280 character limit As you may have heard via everyone’s favorite venting platform, Twitter has increased their allotted character count to 280. While many are happy with this change, some are disappointed or even concerned that it will ruin the value of the platform. CNN Tech Google’s AI Wizard Unveils A New Twist on Neural Networks This is a story 40 years in the making. Geoff Hinton (the man behind AI) published two new papers that offers a new twist on neural networks that enable machines to better understand the world via images and video. Wired Study: Longer Videos Mean Higher Engagement Even in the age of decreased attention spans, it seems that audiences prefer long-form video over short-form video. In fact, videos over 90 seconds receive 78% more shares and 74% more views. MediaPost Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status hit 300M users, nearly 2X Snapchat When it comes to features, it’s hard to tell the difference between Instagram Stories and Snapchat these days. Now that Instagram Stories has a solid user base, it’s time for Facebook to innovate and move away from copycatting Snapchat. TechCrunch Facebook Registers Soaring Ad Revenues, Mobile Dominates. Facebook experienced amazing third-quarter results with almost a 50% increase in advertising revenue. Additionally, 88% of that revenue is represented by mobile advertising. MediaPost New Salesforce And Google Partnership Shakes Up The Cloud Race The chocolate and peanut butter of marketing and sales analytics are finally coming together, as Google and Salesforce announce a new joint venture. Salesforce is committing to using Google’s G Suite, while Google Analytics will be fully integrated with Salesforce’s core platform. Salesforce has committed to using Google’s cloud storage as well, but will maintain multiple cloud vendors for the time being. Forbes Older Photos and Videos Can Now Be Added to Instagram Stories Instagram is now allowing users to add older photos from their camera rolls into their Instagram Stories. According to AdWeek, “Instagram said it will automatically suggest a new sticker to add context on when older photos or videos were taken, and users can choose to rotate, resize or remove the new sticker altogether before sharing their Stories.” AdWeek What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! In the meantime, if you have something to share Tweet us @toprank or @Tiffani_Allen.

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Digital Marketing News: Twitter Video Ads, Livestreaming Rise, RIP Eric Ward

Livestreaming

The Rise of Livestreaming: Why People Watch, and How Brands Can Benefit [Infographic]. Facebook users comment 10 times more on live videos than on regular videos. Find out what people are watching, what their preferences and behaviors are in this infographic from Koeppel Direct. MarketingProfs

The four habits of successful data-driven marketers. Econsultancy invited marketing experts to discuss what they do, the problems they face, and how they overcome obstacles which revealed 4 keys to data-driven marketing success from data management, to testing hypothesis and proper attribution models. Econsultancy

Twitter introduces a new video-centric ad format. The Video Website Card starts out as an auto-playing video with a customizable headline, which then opens up to a larger video and website preview, and ultimately directs viewers to the advertiser’s chosen website when they tap on it. Will this format take off? TechCrunch

Facebook Live cuts out the middle man, adds its own screen-sharing feature. Now this seems like a great feature for educational content. Facebook has added an option to share your screen directly on Facebook Live, eliminating the need for other software for many users. TheNextWeb

Top Brands by Customer Loyalty 2017

Fall 2017 Taking Stock With Teens report reveals favorite social networks. 47% of respondents say Snapchat is their favorite social network, and 24% say Instagram is their favorite. Guess which network only received 9% of the vote? Face who? MarketingProfs

Somehow, this is news. Snapchat is selling an $ 80 dancing hot dog costume on Amazon. The costume is based on Snapchat’s new celebrity character: the app’s dancing hot dog filter that quickly became an internet meme sensation over the summer. Business Insider

Eric Ward
The Search Community lost the Father Of Link Building, Eric Ward, aka Link Moses.
I met Eric Ward at my first Pubcon conference about 2004 or 2005, approaching him at a table to see if this SEO celebrity would be friendly to a nobody like me. Eric was the most generous, welcoming person I could have met and that openness is something that has stuck with me over the many years since. Eric was a really good guy and a true original when it came to search marketing and link building.

Like many in our industry, I learned a lot from Eric about low risk, high impact and high value link building and online PR. He used a photo I took of him in 2006 as his profile photo online and it always made me happy that he liked that image enough to use it. Eric will be missed and I wish the most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. See the outpouring of commentary on Search Engine Roundtable.

IBM Watson Webinar Lee Odden Michael Trapani
Save the date! Oct 26 I will be co-presenting a webinar: Connecting the Dots From Data to Better Customer Experiences with IBM Watson’s Michael Trapani. This is a free webinar and will highlight the new realities of the customer journey, obstacles caused by fragmented data and tools. We’ll also cover how a best answer strategy + cognitive marketing can deliver insights and context for creating conversations with customers that are relevant, personalized, meaningful and consistent across channels. Don’t miss it! More info here.

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Twitter Video Ads, Livestreaming Rise, RIP Eric Ward | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Digital Marketing News: Twitter Happening Now, Snapchat Context Cards, LinkedIn Video Ads

LinkedIn Video Ads

Video Ads Are Finally Coming to LinkedIn (client) – When LinkedIn began allowing users to upload videos in August, video ads seemed like an inevitability, and they are now one step closer. LinkedIn announced today that it is running a closed beta test of video for sponsored content “with a limited number of advertisers.”  AdWeek

Twitter Plans To Release A Bookmarking Tool #SaveforLater. You know how you can save posts to read later in Facebook? Well, Twitter is looking to do the same thing. For all of you liking posts as a way to bookmark, you can stop that practice with this new feature. Will this mean likes will go down? Probably. BuzzFeed

New Research: The state of marketing attribution – A growing number of marketers are using attribution in all or most of their marketing efforts, according to a recent study from Econsultancy and AdRoll. However, the number of marketers acting on the insights they pull from attribution data is dwindling. Econsultancy

Snapchat Introduces “context cards” – Snapchat released ‘Context Cards’ this week, which have the potential to bolster marketing efforts for restaurants, venues and other destinations. These cards will pull in information based on the Snap’s geo-filters and map information that will lead viewers to online reviews, Uber and Lyft information and more. TechCrunch

AdWords Charges & Your Daily Budget – If you’ve been struggling to reach your advertising goals, AdWords has made some recent changes to help get you over the hump. As of October 4th, campaigns are now able to spend up to twice the average daily budget. Don’t fret about racking up the costs at the end of the month as you will not be charged more than your monthly charging limit. Google

Twitter Happening Now – Twitter is adding a “Happening Now” feature that will group tweets by event, the company announced today. The feature, which will start with sports games, is yet another way the company is seeking to highlight information on its platform outside of the traditional follow model. Buzzfeed

Social media monitor Brandwatch acquires content marketing platform BuzzSumo –  Two things that are great on their own are not often better together, but that’s exactly what the marketing industry expects from the combination of BuzzSumo and Brandwatch. TechCrunch

Connect the Dots from Data to Better Customer Experiences – Join me and Michael Trapani of IBM on October 26th for a free webinar to better understand the opportunities around creating best answer experiences with cognitive technologies. IBM Watson

Smart Speaker Commerce

NEWS NUGGETS

Infographic: YouTube has grown to 1.5 billion monthly active users – MarketingProfs

LinkedIn connects sales, marketing tools for B2B advertisers to target leads, accounts – MarTech Today

70% of Brands Work with Instagram Influencers – Research Brief

Majestic and SEMRush Combine Forces – Majestic Blog

Bing Ads Launches Automated Bid Strategy to ‘Maximize Clicks’ – Search Engine Land

As Voice Has Its Moment, Amazon, Google and Apple Are Giving Brands a Way Into the Conversation – AdWeek

New Study from D&B Shows What Frustrates B2B Buyers Most – MarketingProfs

70% of Marketers Do Not Use Anonymized Consumer Identity Data But 75% Say it Helps Campaign Optimization – MediaPost

63% of Amazon Advertisers Plan to Spend Even More Over the Next Year – AdWeek

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Twitter Happening Now, Snapchat Context Cards, LinkedIn Video Ads | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Twitter Happening Now, Snapchat Context Cards, LinkedIn Video Ads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Will More Tweet Space Equal More Value for Your Twitter Audience?

Last month, Twitter made big headlines after announcing it was in the midst of testing 280-character tweets as a way to give users more room to “express” themselves. The announcement came a little more than a year after Twitter stopped including links and photos in character counts.

“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean),” the company said in a press release on its blog. “Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

For marketers, many may feel like Christmas has come early. Let’s face it, writing a compelling and comprehensive tweet in just 140 characters is an art — an art that seems almost impossible to master. With double the amount of space, the pressure is off and marketers can unleash their full wordsmithing talent. Um, right?

Not so fast.

Twitter’s 140-character limit has been a defining platform characteristic since its inception — and something many users are extremely partial to.

“Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change,” Twitter said in its release. “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters — we felt it, too.”

While Twitter is confident that giving users more real estate will make it easier and more fun to tweet, marketers should not look at it as an opportunity to rewrite their tweeting best practices. The real opportunity here is to discover whether or not you can use that extra space to deliver more value and resonance to your audience.


Twitter's character limit change is an opportunity to learn if you can deliver more value. #marketing
Click To Tweet


So, once “super-sized” tweets — as The Verge so eloquently called them — come to your account, don’t throw caution to the wind right away. Start with these actions:

#1 – Audit your existing Twitter initiatives.

Take a deep dive into your analytics dashboard to get a deeper understanding of how your audience is already engaging with your tweets and taking action on them.

Of course, the basic metrics are important because they can serve as your benchmarks. But also go beyond the metrics to start categorizing what content garners the most engagement so you can draw some more meaningful insights. For example, what topics seem to fire your audience up? How long are your most effective tweets? Are images or video a part of your most successful tweets? Which tweets featuring my website content got the most clicks? What really seems to be working? What’s clearly not working?

In addition, it’s worth taking a peek at your website analytics to understand how Twitter is impacting your business. Depending on what you uncover through the Twitter dashboard, you might be able to draw some more conclusions on what tweet content has value beyond awareness and engagement.


Before adding characters, audit your current Twitter efforts. #socialmediamarketing
Click To Tweet


#2 – Craft and launch test tweets.

Use the information you uncovered during your audit to build out and launch a test campaign featuring longer tweets. Of course, build these tweets in accordance with what you know is working best with your audience, but also give yourself some space to experiment a bit. We’d suggest running the test for at least a month to get enough data to lead into the next action.


Test longer tweets before throwing out Twitter best practices. #socialmediamarketing
Click To Tweet


#3 – Analyze results and tweak your test.

Now it’s time to dive back into your analytics to understand how your test tweets stack up to your legacy efforts. Did you see a measurable rise or decline in engagement? What kind of engagement did you receive (i.e. increase in average comments or decrease in average retweets)? Was there a certain type of content that really benefited from that extra character room?


After you test longer tweets, analyze your results & make tweaks. #socialmediamarketing
Click To Tweet


The Bottom Line: Value Trumps Character Count

At the end of the day, character count simply doesn’t matter if what you’re sharing has no value or resonance with your audience. Since Twitter launched, the tight character count has been a creative restraint, challenging us all to say more with less. So, while you should certainly take advantage of the extra room when it makes sense, your primary objective should always be bringing insight and value to your audience. Because when they see the value you bring to the table, they’ll reward you for it.


Your primary objective should always be to bring value to your audience. @CaitlinMBurgess
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What do you think about Twitter’s decision to double its character limit? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Will More Tweet Space Equal More Value for Your Twitter Audience? | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Will More Tweet Space Equal More Value for Your Twitter Audience? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®