2019 Social Media Trend Predictions
Social media has had a turbulent year to say the least. Many social giants, Facebook in particular, has been criticized for issues ranging from data privacy to manipulative content. This year, Facebook users learned that the social network had compromised their privacy by allowing access to the personal information of millions of people to a political analytics firm. The data privacy issue put into sharp focus the magnitude of power these companies have over user data. Many people for the first time acknowledged the extent at which bad actors can exploit and disrupt government elections, broadcast viral propaganda and spread messages of hate across the globe. As the scandals mounted, both the public and the government were left questioning just how much power social networks (should) have and how much responsibility we all have to each other.
Despite this backlash, social media continues to be a pervasive part of most Americans’ lives. According to a recent report, social media and messaging apps accounts for roughly 1 in every 3 minutes people spend on the internet and Facebook remains the primary platform for most Americans. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) report that they are Facebook users, and nearly three-quarters (75%) of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. Among younger generations, video and photo sharing sites are even more popular as an astounding 94 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds regularly use YouTube.
The negative aspects of social media are hard to ignore, but on the flipside, what about the positive impact of social? Social media networks give users an opportunity to connect with others personally and professionally across the globe, catalogue and share life’s important moments, mobilize and fundraise for important causes and simply be entertained. Businesses have an opportunity to engage and service their customers more efficiently in an increasingly connected and digital world.
So, what does 2019 hold for social media? How will user behavior change in light of these issues and opportunities? Here are my social media predictions for 2019:
Dark social, despite sounding ominous, means sharing content that occurs outside of what can be measured by traditional web analytics. It can also mean an online community where identity takes a backseat to free, anonymous content sharing. In this political and social climate, I predict an emergence of dark social in terms of how people share content and how brands look to monetize what content is shared in private spaces.
People still want to be social online, but they don’t necessarily want these interactions to occur under the gaze of the entire world. Social networks have become a place for people to share carefully crafted snippets of their life with friends, family and strangers who view their public profiles. The historical record that many social networks leave behind has led to widespread self-censorship. People are reluctant to post content for fear that it will be dredged up months or even years later.
In my view, the context gap is one of the driving forces behind the emergence of dark social. The context gap is where identity and permanence take a backseat to content. In their daily lives, people often interact with different groups. The things you might talk about with your family around the dinner table are often a far cry from the conversations you have with friends during a pub crawl. Context collapse is what happens when these different groups collide in one place — usually weddings or social media. If you share something online, everyone you know is able to see it. This often leads to a chilling effect where people find there isn’t much they want to share with everyone. Dark social just may be the answer.
Dark social accomplishes two goals for users: addresses a desire to project a particular image and gives people an opportunity to avoid damaging material in a social sharing economy that is anything but open and transparent.
One of the ways people avoid leaving behind a trail of (potentially) embarrassing uploads is by favoring networks with disappearing content like Snapchat and Instagram stories. The disappearing nature of Snapchat’s content is especially appealing to younger generations, with 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds using the platform. On the app, people can share content they find funny, interesting or important without having it associated with them forever.
For brands, marketing on traditional platforms like Facebook, while highly effective at scale, requires brands to flatten people into pre-established buckets. Dark-social spaces, on the other hand, function more as focus groups. They provide an honest, inside view into what tastemakers and potential customers are thinking and sharing.
Dark social is about understanding overall traffic and consumer sentiment. From there, brands can get a bit more granular by applying basic demographic information to these platforms. Knowing this information can help marketers make better sense of the trends and conversations they observe in these spaces. Combine that insight with a smart understanding of what different groups that have gathered tend to discuss, and there’s a new entry point for understanding how to market products and services.
Visual Communications Continues and Evolves
From text posts to infographics, from pictures to the explosion of online video, and back to short, digestible content like gifs and memes, I predict that the visual culture on social media will continue to shape shift. Our ability to communicate through visual language and the creativity we experiment with in this medium will continue to evolve. The next iteration to go mainstream could be AI-driven gifs or once 5G comes into play, the ability to post high definition selfies or stream 4K live video on social. Whatever form this communication takes, it will be designed to interact with audiences at increasingly quick speeds.
Social Media and the Generational Divide
In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social network users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017. That 2.77 billion users is now made up of four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. All four cohorts have different user behavior, social channel preferences and varying tech experience. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snap are all important social experiences offering unique ways for connecting people. Facebook will continue to dominate by sheer number of users, but I predict that people will fragment even further and organize by age group. Younger people in the Gen Z group in particular will engage, not only where their peers are, but on the channels that offer authentic, new ways to express themselves and connect with others online.
Rise of Stress Free Social
With so much of traditional social media tied to identity and personal branding, a “comparison” culture has emerged where people feel the need to measure their lives against what other people are posting. Compounded by the social media drama of 2018, people are welcoming “stress free social” where authenticity and content is entertaining, interesting and real. Posting authentic content anonymously where its free from judgment or trolling will rise in popularity. As users attention spans continue to shrink, I predict disappearing content like Instagram Stories and Snapchat to sharply increase in popularity.
The events of were dizzying 2018 when it came to social media, but 2019 marks an interesting turning point. We’ll continue to create new social media sharing experiences and probably pay closer attention about how our data is used and take greater responsibility for the content we share. As we continue into 2019, “getting back to basics” is the best way to characterize this year: we’ll be sharing more engaging content in new forms and making authenticity our mantra.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
January 18, 2019 at 03:50PM
Digital Marketing Activities That Are 100% Deductible
Digital marketing professionals have a lot of opportunities to lower their tax obligations through qualified expense deductions. That is because, as they are performing marketing duties and growing their business, they are incurring necessary business operating expenses. A variety of digital marketing activities are 100% deductible, including: contractor expenses, social media, and software development. This is good news for digital marketing professionals, as well as for their clients., who can deduct their fees. More deductions means less tax, so these points are important.
What You Need to Know
First, let’s take a look at what the IRS says about deductions. According to the IRS, in order to qualify as a deduction the expense must be “ordinary and necessary”. Ordinary, in that is it a common and accepted practice, and necessary because it is helpful and relevant to the business.
For example, buying heavy machinery, (e.g., a tractor) is not ordinary for a digital marketing business. This would likely raise a red (or yellow flag) if reviewed by the IRS. As for the necessary test, it probably isn’t necessary for the business to turn a profit. On the flip side, it would be ordinary to see Facebook spend, client dinners, and purchases from the Apple store, as many digital marketers can be expected to spend heavily in these areas. Whether it is necessary is ultimately a business decision, so be sure to have some kind of a thought process behind what you’re doing.
When it comes to qualifying as a deductible expense it is important to keep in mind that there must be an expense. If the business owner is managing their social media or website themselves, the “cost” of their own time is not deductible. This is because while time is money for most business owners, the IRS does not that as an expense. However, if a business owner pays an employee, contractor, or agency for these services, those are 100% deductible. There needs to be money spent, in order for there to be a deduction.
Also it is important to keep personal and business expenses separate. Digital marketing activities only qualify as a deductible expense if they are expressly business related.
When Can Digital Marketing Expenses Be Non-Deductible
Expenses are non-deductible when they are personal in nature, or as labeled by the IRS, related to a “hobby.” In order for an expense to be deductible it must occur within an income producing business. As defined, that means that the business activity must generate income in 3 of 5 running years, or it risks being labeled as a hobby and the IRS can reverse all the deductions related to that business in prior year tax returns. What does this mean for marketers? For YouTubers who have no revenue, it highlights that deducting expenses related to YouTube are a risk. For an Influencer, it means that after a second consecutive year of showing losses, year three better be profitable. However, there are exceptions to this rule and there are workarounds that an accountant can help you with in the event of a bonafide loss in year 3.
What Are Common Digital Marketing Deductions?
Since many businesses rely on digital marketing to grow their businesses there are a lot of opportunities to reduce their tax liability. Digital marketing activities that qualify as deductible expenses include:
Website Costs and Fees
There are several costs a business in incur while procuring a website. This includes domain registration and hosting fees. As well as the cost associated with development, design, and maintenance. All of which are necessary business expenses.
When it comes to digital marketing, there are a lot of tools that can make things a lot easier and effective. From social media dashboards like Hootsuite, CRM programs like Constant Contact, or upgraded profiles like LinkedIn Pro. These all incur some sort of subscription cost, that can be considered a necessary business expense.
Much like traditional ad placement, online ad placement using Google Adwords or PPC ads are tax deductible. As are sponsored ads on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are all examples of a great way to expand a businesses reach, and also improve ROI. However, the cost associated with running sponsored ads on these sites can add up over time. Fortunately, these costs are associated with growing business, therefore can qualify as a deductible expense.
Content is a driving force in any digital marketing strategy. It is important to procure good quality content that is relevant and consistent. Since good content can take some time to create, many business outsource their content creation. For example, many businesses choose to hire a professional blog writer. This helps create a good stream of quality blog content, which establishes the business as an authority in their industry. It also saves the business time and provides another deductible expense. This can also include the costs associated with professional photography and video creation.
Many digital marketing professionals rely of the skills of other industry professionals. These outsourced professional expenses to for example: web designers or social media managers are 100% tax deductible.
Education and Training
Continued education and training in digital marketing is necessary in order to remain relevant and competitive. Trends change and technology improves, so it is important to stay on top of the latest. The costs associated with attending a training course or digital marketing conference qualify as deductible expenses. This includes course fees, entry fees, and even travel expenses.
Entertaining and Meals
Part of growing business might entail physically meeting with clients. This often involves dining out. There have been some recent changes to entertaining and meal deductions. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, entertaining expenses are no longer deductible. This means the costs associated with taking a client to an event like a baseball game are no longer deductible. However, if the business owner provides a meal over the course of the game, this could still qualify. The IRS has not expressly set guidelines regarding meals or snacks at events so it is a good idea veer on the side of caution.
Dining clients still qualifies as a deductible expense. It is important to make sure the meals are not too extravagant, an owner of the business was present, and business was discussed. Keeping personal and business meal expenses separate, is really important.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Keeping track of digital marketing expenses makes the process of preparing and filing taxes go a lot smoother. There are a lot of programs out there that help keep track of digital marketing expenses. Some good programs that are efficient and effective are QuickBooks Online and Xerox. For newer businesses who are just getting started Wave Accounting is a good choice, and it is free. Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to digital marketing, is 1099 issuance. If a business retains the service of a non-employee for digital marketing services, and they earn more than $600, a 1099 must be issued.
Think critically about your deductions. If Wish can argue that sponsoring the Lakers is a necessary activity to drive their business, you can apply similar logic to find expenses that are deductible.
Don’t be extraordinary with your expenses. That is, when it comes to your deductions. You want to have a similar financial profile as your industry. The IRS has a computerized system that is checking your expense category to sales ratios, don’t be an outlier either as being too high in a category or too low such that it is to your detriment.
Write down an exhaustive list of your potential write-offs. This will create clarity about what you’re doing right, and what deductions you’re missing out on. And remember, there must be an expense to claim a deduction.
Automate with accounting software. You automate so much in your business, you should in your accounting as well. A good accountant or bookkeeper should be able to create rules in your accounting software to limit unnecessary thinking and duplicate tasks.
Working with a tax professional is a great way to identify all digital marketing costs that qualify as a deductible expense. In addition, a professional can help insure that taxes are prepared accurately and on time, and also help with a comprehensive tax planning strategy. For more information on how digital marketing activities qualify as deductible expenses or other tax tips contact My Tax Hack here.
The post Digital Marketing Activities That Are 100% Deductible appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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January 18, 2019 at 11:23AM
Unsealed docs will detail how Facebook made money off children
Facebook will surely be bracing itself for some fresh backlash from the public next week following a number of revealing legal documents being unsealed. Those documents are expected to detail how Facebook made money off children without ongoing and clear consent from a parent or guardian.
The documents are being unsealed thanks to the work of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. They form part of a 2012 class action lawsuit which was filed by two children through their parents. It represented a class of children who were all under 18, Facebook users, and who had purchased Facebook Credits on their accounts.
Facebook settled the case in 2016, but the documents remained sealed. Reveal requested the documents be unsealed last year because, "there is increased public interest in Facebook's business practices in the wake of high-profile scandals, including fake news published on the site and the leaking of user data." The court agreed on Monday, Jan. 14, and Facebook has 10 days to make the documents available publicly. There's thought to be over 100 pages.
Four documents that have already been unsealed give us a good idea of what to expect in the coming days. The system used by Facebook to charge for in-app purchases and Facebook Credits proved very confusing for children and their parents.
When an initial payment is made by the parent, or child using their parent's credit card, Facebook stores the payment information. The card is then repeatedly charged as the game is played without it being made clear new transactions are occurring. As far as the child was concerned, they were just using up the virtual credit purchased with the initial transaction. This led to surprise credit card bills where hundreds or even thousands of dollars had been racked up playing games on Facebook.
As you'd expect, parents receiving these huge bills contacted Facebook for a refund because the charges weren't authorized, but Facebook refused. In the case of Angry Birds, which is one of Facebook's most popular games, the average age of the player was just five-years-old, and yet they were allowed to keep buying without consent beyond that first transaction. The key point here being, no evidence was required by the social network that the parent was continuing to authorize each transaction.
It's likely these examples are just the tip of the iceberg and much more detail will be revealed once Facebook makes the 100+ new pages available to view. However, it's also worth pointing out that Facebook convinced the judge to keep some records sealed because they, "contained information that would cause the social media giant harm, outweighing the public benefit."
We may never know how deep this rabbit hole goes, but we're sure to know a lot more in the coming days.
This article originally published at PCMag here
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
January 18, 2019 at 10:22AM
An elaborate Instagram hoax is scamming influencers after luring them to Indonesia
A scam is making the rounds in the Instagram influencer and photography community, and it's so elaborate that you can understand why people fell for it.
Someone purporting to be Wendi Deng Murdoch, the former wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is fleecing thousands of dollars from hundreds of unsuspecting Instagram influencers and photographers.
The scam begins when "Wendi" contacts the photographer from an email with the domain dengmurdoch.com, professing to be impressed with their work, and that they got their details from someone reputable in the industry.
In the case of two photographers who've told their story, Wendi got their details from Pilar Guzmán, the editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Traveler.
Wendi asks the photographer if they'd like to shoot her in Jakarta, Indonesia, and she even sets a phone meeting to talk about the project which is for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
"There was even one conversation that she put me on hold and I could hear her pretend to talk to her nanny in the background about a tutoring project for one of her daughters. The act felt so real," Carley Rudd, who was embroiled in the scam in early-January, explained in a blog post.
Wendi, and her supposed New York-based assistant named Aaron Gersh, tell the photographer to book their own flights to Jakarta, but promise to reimburse the costs after the project is finished.
A fake, but detailed non-disclosure agreement is even sent. The photographer makes their way to Jakarta, and that's where the trouble begins.
For Rudd, she was told by Gersh that she needed to pay $1,400 in cash for an expedited photography permit, again promising to reimburse the money, complete with fake wire transfer receipts. She was skeptical, but obliged.
"I was alarmed by their disorganization and the price seemed high but knew it came together last minute and had run into needing international photography permits in the past," Rudd wrote.
The same request, albeit $1,100, was made to Henry Wu and Zornitsa Shahanska, who have a blog together called This Life of Travel. They also saw red flags when they went on the trip last November, but persisted.
"Aaron gave us a final call to tell us apologetically that we'd have to pay some photography permit fees or 'bribe' fees to some of the local government there due to corruption," Wu wrote on the site.
The photographers were picked up by a driver, who helped them get the money exchanged into Indonesian Rupiah. They were instructed to hand the money to the driver.
In the case of Rudd's driver, he took a long detour away from the hotel, eventually stopping at a gas station, proclaiming the tires needed checking.
"At the gas station he handed off the cash in a plastic bag to someone with a backpack behind the car. He never checked his air pressure and got back into the car," Rudd wrote.
"We tried to make conversation and ask about the route and ETA to our hotel but he spoke very very little English."
The photographers make it to the hotel, only to be given the constant runaround by Wendi and her assistant when it comes to the actual shoot in the coming days, or told to pay up more in new "permit fees."
In the case of Wu and Shahanska, they ran into a German photographer at a Chinese temple, who said he was also asked by Wendi to complete the same project. They eventually figured out it was a scam.
Rudd and her husband, were told up to split up on a shoot in Jakarta's Chinatown by Wendi and her assistant, which she thought was odd.
She said no, and never heard from the scammers again. A call to Wendi's phone number went to a British-accented voicemail.
The Hollywood Reporter claims the so-called Wendi is the same scammer that targeted Hollywood producers and make-up artists by impersonating industry insiders, which it wrote about in a cover story last year.
That case has been long-investigated by K2 Intelligence, a corporate investigation firm, and has also reportedly attracted the attention of the FBI.
"There is an important element of social engineering going on with these victims," Snežana Gebauer, head of K2 Intelligence's Investigations and Disputes, said in a statement back in November.
"They know everything about their victims' personal lives and use the necessary pressure points, and they use publicly available information about the executives they are impersonating."
Mashable has contacted the FBI and K2 Intelligence for further comment.
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
January 18, 2019 at 05:42AM
Phrases That Sell: 8 Copywriting Tips
To explore how to create phrases that sell, I interview Ray Edwards, one of the world’s leading copywriters. He’s the author of How to Write Copy That Sells and hosts a podcast called The Ray Edwards Show.
Ray explains why marketers need to talk about the problem their product or service solves. You’ll also find eight examples for talking about these problems and tips for using them in your marketing.
Why Copywriting Matters to Marketers
Ray defines copy as persuasive communication, whether it’s written, spoken, or some other form. If you’re communicating to persuade—and we almost always are—then that’s copy. Copywriting is important to marketers because it helps you get the results you want.
I add that social media algorithms respond to the engagement your organic and paid posts receive. If your words move people to engage, more people will see your posts. If your words can move people to take your desired action, you’ll become the hero of your company because people will see you as someone who understands how to get prospects to act when no one else does.
Listen to the show to hear about the mastermind group to which Ray and I both belong.
Why Marketing Copy Should Talk About Problems
The biggest mistake marketers make is ignoring the negative part of their message. Specifically, they need to talk about the pain their product or service solves. Even entertainment solves the pain of boredom. Addressing pain is important because people tend to respond quicker to relieving pain than to feeling pleasure.
Ray believes marketers make this mistake so often because they don’t want to feel like they’re manipulating other people. They’re afraid of writing copy that feels icky because it plays on people’s fears or scarcity. Ray believes copy that tries to manipulate people in this way is wrong, but copy can avoid this problem when you think of your task as helping people and telling them the whole story.
The problem your product or service solves is part of your story. If your audience doesn’t understand they have a problem, they won’t be interested in buying.
I note that sometimes people don’t know they have a problem until you explain it to them. To illustrate, the Fitbit solved a problem I didn’t realize I had. I knew I wasn’t being active enough, but I didn’t know a little device tracking my steps would help me overcome that problem until a friend suggested I get a Fitbit.
Ray says smartphones are similar. At first, people didn’t realize they needed them, but now most people don’t leave the house without theirs. Smartphones solve our desire for instant gratification. Before smartphones, if you wanted to answer a question right away, you’d have to call the library or a research desk. Smartphones are like having Encyclopedia Galactica in your pocket.
I mention that recent episodes of The Journey have focused on the Facebook video and email deliverability problems Social Media Examiner is facing. These episodes have more video views than any other episode in the series. People have said to me, “Oh my gosh! It’s so amazing to see that I’m not alone. I love your stuff even more.”
Ray says he thought those were the best episodes, too, and thinks my story demonstrates the value of talking about the problems we all face.
Listen to the show to hear how I covered talking about problems in my first book, Writing White Papers.
8 Ways to Talk About Pains
Ray then shares eight small but mighty phrases that lead right into powerful copywriting. When you use these phrases, your copy is more likely to engage people, increase purchases, get people to agree with you, or whatever your goal is. For the sake of simplicity, he uses Social Media Marketing World as an example.
As you might expect, this statement says, “If you have the following pain or problem, then here’s the solution and why.” Using Social Media Marketing World as the case study, Ray strings together a few “if” statements:
Ray starts this example with one of the most common emotions people have about social media marketing: they’re confused about which strategies work because so many voices shout at them from different directions, all contradicting one another. When you write your own “if” statements, include your audience’s emotional triggers and major challenges.
Ray included the statement about whether it’s too late to capitalize on video because it reflects questions people in the target audience have right now. The statement about understanding the market and a comprehensive approach does a few things: it’s an all-inclusive statement about what’s bugging the audience and goes back to the first statement.
The answer to all of these statements is Social Media Marketing World, which is “crafted for someone just like you.” Ray might follow his if-then example with four reasons you must attend. These reasons would be bullet points about what the audience will gain by going to the conference.
2. If You Don’t Do Anything, It Just Gets Worse…
This type of statement acknowledges people’s tendency to hope their problem will go away if they ignore it. Ray shares an example: “If you ignore the social media marketing problem, it won’t go away. And that’s a problem because a conversation about you is happening on social media. If you’re not part of it, you can’t influence it.”
Alternatively, you can say something like, “Choosing to do nothing about your social media marketing has consequences.” You might explain what those consequences are or let your audience figure that part out on their own depending on your market and whether your topic is a hot-button issue.
For a touchy subject, drive the point home with examples. Choose examples that highlight the cost of not doing what your audience needs to do. I share an example for persuading someone to use Facebook ads:
For a more succinct approach, Ray shares a phrase that stands on its own: “Ignoring the problem doesn’t solve the problem.”
I then ask about metaphors, such as a child doing their homework, as a way to emphasize the problem. For instance, “If a child doesn’t do their homework, you know they’re going to fail the course. Why would you not do your homework? You don’t want to fail in life.” Ray agrees that metaphors like these can work well.
3. What Most People Do…
In this type of sentence (which is one of Ray’s favorites), most people do the wrong thing. To visualize this, “What most people do about their social media marketing is copy what their competitors are doing, plus or minus 10%, and call it good. That is a huge mistake.”
Then you reward your audience for being smart, savvy people who understand. To do that, you say something like, “I know you’re not like those people. Instead you’re someone who does X and someone who does Y. That’s why this solution is perfect for you.”
4. Imagine This…
Imagine is like a magic word because when you ask people to imagine something, they can’t resist. When you use the word imagine, you can put an idea in the minds of your audience and get them to picture something. Marketers’ biggest challenge is getting people to picture themselves experiencing the successful outcome that your product or service will bring them.
Fortunately, you can simply tell them to imagine their successful outcome. Using Social Media Marketing World as an example, Ray might say:
You then explain why your product or service can bring your audience all of the things you asked them to imagine.
I mention another example based on the experience that Social Media Marketing World offers:
As Ray and I go back and forth sharing examples, Ray notes that writing with a team or at least one other person is helpful. Everyone on the team will think of different angles and ideas, which can help you write much better copy. To illustrate, Ray started with the hero angle but said my image of shaking hands with marketing celebrities took him back to his first time at the conference.
5. If the Only Thing You Get Is…
This is another technique where Ray recommends stacking ideas. In this case, you emphasize the major benefits of your product or service, and if the only thing they get is one of those benefits, then taking your desired action (buying, engaging, or something else) will be worthwhile.
With Social Media Marketing World in mind, Ray shares the following example:
Building on Ray’s ideas, I share a few of mine: “If you only get clarity that you’re doing something wrong and need to stop before it spells disaster… If the only thing you get is a plan that points you down the path to success…” Ray likes the idea of a plan because most people don’t think through a comprehensive plan. They have ideas that come into their inbox one after another.
Because I know most people come to Social Media Marketing World for specific tactics, I also like this idea that Ray and I brainstorm together: “If the only thing you get is an idea that allows you to skip all of the trial and error, and actually do social media marketing that moves the needle…”
Ray adds that he loves these phrases because most people can start brainstorming ideas like he and I did. To get started, you need to hear the phrase and a couple of examples. From there, you can riff and develop a ton of ideas.
6. Don’t Let This Happen to You…
Because this phrase is easy to understand, Ray moves directly into sharing ideas. He starts with the following ideas, continuing to use Social Media Marketing World as an example:
Then I share an example: “Don’t let yourself think that Social Media Marketing World is above you, because in reality, we restart almost every month in an industry that constantly changes.” From there, Ray suggests a segue into episodes of The Journey where I’m not embarrassed to discuss how we change our marketing. When you share that kind of detail, your audience bonds with you.
Another example is based on problems social media marketers have had with platform-driven tactics: “Don’t let Facebook tell you that you need to produce longer videos when the data tells you otherwise. Instead, talk to people who track this stuff, have insider knowledge, and can tell you whether it really works.”
You can also flip this phrase so it’s positive instead of negative. You might say, “You’re probably wondering how to avoid all of these terrible things. Well, you need to put yourself in an environment where people know the real answers, and that’s what we do when we come together at Social Media Marketing World.”
For industries that change quickly, another angle is “Don’t be the last one at the party.” You could say, “Social media marketing changes so fast. If you’re late to the party, the strategy has likely changed. Instead, imagine you’re the first person in your company to use tools that increase opt-ins, grow your email list, and reduce the time needed to achieve those results.”
7. What If…
This phrase evokes possibilities: “What if you could be ahead of everyone else for the next Snapchat or Instagram Stories?” Ray usually reserves this phrase for positive possibilities. The phrase is simple but powerful (although “Imagine…” is probably a more powerful tool).
8. You’re Standing at the Crossroads…
This phrase uses a metaphor to discuss a binary choice, such as going to Social Media Marketing World or not going. Although this phrase feels a little cheesy, Ray has found using this exact kind of language to be effective:
Ray acknowledges that this approach sounds a little over the top, but it works. The copy intentionally reiterates the same point in different ways: that to stay on the road you’re on and not change is a choice. Good copywriting (or any persuasive writing) tends to be subtly repetitive so your audience doesn’t notice.
Another version of this tactic focuses on different types of people instead of the road metaphor. Ray shares the following example:
Listen to the show to hear Ray and me share additional examples of these phrases.
Where to Talk About Pains
Often, marketers use copy that talks about pains in only one place, like the sales page. However, you can use these phrases to write all kinds of copy addressing customers’ pains. Each of these phrases could be part of an email campaign or social media posts such as an Instagram story. You can also turn copy based on these phrases into a blog post, podcast, or talking point.
These phrases are a small but powerful toolbox that can open big doors for your company. However, nothing about them is magical. You simply have to use them to talk about your customers’ problems. With a systematic approach, you can take stock of all of your company’s marketing messages and note where you only talk about the solution, not the pains. That’s where you can use these phrases.
To try out these phrases, simply start with one post, Instagram story, email, or some other medium. When you see how people engage and respond to your copy, using these phrases can be kind of addictive. For longer copy, such as an email, you can weave customers’ pains into a larger persuasive message. Here you see a YouTube video Ray created using the “Which type of person are you?” approach.
As you test these phrases, you’ll figure out which message moves people to take the right action. After you learn what that message is, you can develop variations that work for different types of marketing copy.
Listen to the show to hear my thoughts about the ways Social Media Examiner has focused on solutions instead of problems.
Discovery of the Week
With Stories Creator, a desktop browser-based tool from Buffer, you can create content for Facebook or Instagram Stories in batches.
Creating a bunch of Stories content on your smartphone often isn’t efficient. With Stories Creator, you can upload and design your images on a larger desktop computer. Then you can download all of the images and send them to whomever will be posting the stories.
To use Stories Creator, you start with a template. You can then customize the background with your own image or a plain color. Upload a logo if you like. Each template has three types of text you can customize: title, body, and caption. Simply click the one you want to edit to see the text editing options. You can also choose not to display any of these text elements by toggling it off in the left pane.
When you’re done editing an image, click to download it, and you can move to the next one.
Stories Creator doesn’t work with video and the interface is very streamlined for a specific purpose. The tool does one thing and does it well.
Stories Creator is free and available via any desktop computer with a web browser.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Stories Creator works for you.
Key Takeaways In This Episode
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via Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner http://bit.ly/1LtH18p
January 18, 2019 at 05:02AM
Phrases That Sell: 8 Copywriting Tips - 337
Want to write marketing copy that moves people to take action? Looking for tips from an expert copywriter?
To explore how to create phrases that sell, I interview Ray Edwards, one of the world’s leading copywriters.
Sponsored by Social Media Marketing World: https://www.socialmediaworld19.com
Show notes: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/337
via Social Media Marketing Podcast http://bit.ly/1LtH18p
January 18, 2019 at 04:57AM
Slack’s product chief is out ahead of direct listing
Slack is losing its chief product officer April Underwood ahead of a direct listing expected in 2019. Tamar Yehoshua, a long-time Google vice president, has been tapped to fill Underwood’s shoes as Slack’s new product chief.
Underwood joined Slack, the provider of workplace communication tools, in 2015 as its head of platform after a five-year stint as Twitter’s director of product. She was promoted to the chief product role about 10 months ago. Underwood is also a founding partner of #Angels, an investment collective that pushes to get more women on startup cap tables.
In a Medium post announcing her departure from Slack, Underwood said she planned to focus on investing full time.
“One common story you hear when you talk to founders is that their idea ran as a background process for many years until it moved into the foreground and became a calling too loud to ignore,” Underwood wrote. “And now, I can truly empathize with founders — because that’s happened for me. Investing, which started as a side hustle for me and my #Angels partners, has emerged as the pursuit too inspiring and energizing to be relegated to my spare time.”
During her tenure, Underwood had a hand in crafting Slack’s investment fund — a pool of capital supported by Accel, Index Ventures, KPCB, Social Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Spark Capital that has invested in 49 projects building on top of Slack to date.
Slack, led by founder and chief executive officer Stewart Butterfield, is said to be preparing for a direct listing, meaning it will go public without listing any new shares, with no lockup period and no intermediary bankers. Valued at roughly $7 billion, Slack has raised more than $1 billion to date from GV, IVP, T. Rowe Price, SoftBank, Kleiner Perkins, Accel and others.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
January 17, 2019 at 01:15PM
Twitter bug revealed some Android users’ private tweets
Twitter accidentally revealed some users’ “protected” (aka, private) tweets, the company disclosed this afternoon. The “Protect your Tweets” setting typically allows people to use Twitter in a non-public fashion. These users get to approve who can follow them and who can view their content. For some Android users over a period of several years, that may not have been the case – their tweets were actually made public as a result of this bug.
The company says that the issue impacted Twitter for Android users who made certain account changes while the “Protect your Tweets” option was turned on.
For example, if the user had changed their account email address, the “Protect your Tweets” setting was disabled.
Twitter tells TechCrunch that’s just one example of an account change that could have prompted the issue. We asked for other examples, but the company declined share any specifics.
What’s fairly shocking is how long this issue has been happening.
Twitter says that users may have been impacted by the problem if they made these accounts changes between November 3, 2014, and January 14, 2019 – the day the bug was fixed.
The company has now informed those who were affected by the issue, and has re-enabled the “Protect your Tweets” setting if it had been disabled on those accounts. But Twitter says it’s making a public announcement because it “can’t confirm every account that may have been impacted.” (!!!)
The company explains to us it was only able to notify those people where it was able to confirm the account was impacted, but says it doesn’t have a complete list of impacted accounts. For that reason, it’s unable to offer an estimate of how many Twitter for Android users were affected in total.
This is a sizable mistake on Twitter’s part, as it essentially made content that users had explicitly indicated they wanted private available to the public. It’s unclear at this time if the issue will result in a GDPR violation and fine, as a result.
The one bright spot is that some of the impacted users may have noticed their account had become public because they would have received alerts – like notifications that people were following them without their direct consent. That could have prompted the user to re-enable the “protect tweets” setting on their own. But they may have chalked up the issue to user error or a small glitch, not realizing it was a system-wide bug.
“We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day,” wrote Twitter in a statement. “We’re very sorry this happened and we’re conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again.”
The company says it believes the issue is now fully resolved.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
January 17, 2019 at 01:15PM
15 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Presence in 2019
15 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Presence in 2019
Do you have social media accounts set up for your brand?
If not, you’re making a huge mistake. It’s just about impossible to run a successful company in 2019 without setting up social media accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for it.
You’re also making a huge mistake if you’re not taking the time to establish a strong social media presence. It’s not enough to just create social media accounts. You also need to monitor them closely and keep them as active as they can possibly be.
There are some pretty simple ways to give your social media presence a big boost in 2019. By acting strategically, you can connect with your social media followers more and build up your brand in the process.
Let’s take a look at 15 easy ways you can increase your social media presence over the course of the next 12 months.
1. Create Goals for Your Social Media Presence
What exactly is the point of you creating social media accounts for your brand?
Far too many brands sign up for social media simply because they think it’s something they have to do. But the truth is that you’re better off staying off social media if you don’t have a clear purpose.
Before you begin posting on social media regularly, you should sit down and create a list of goals for your social media presence. Is your goal to:
Whatever the case may be, you need to have clear goals for your social media accounts. Otherwise, you’re not going to get any real satisfaction out of running them.
2. Figure Out Who Is Following You on Social Media
Take a look at some of the people who are following you on social media thus far. Who are they, and what do they want from your company?
It’s very important for you to identify your target audience and, more importantly, to cater to them. If people are following your brand because they want to keep up with your latest product drops, the last thing you want to do is flood your social media feeds with pictures of the cat that keeps everyone company in your office.
You should figure out who is following you on social media now and continue to monitor your followers in the future so that you can deliver the kind of content they want.
3. Commit to Checking Social Media Early and Often
About five years ago, you could get away with only checking your brand’s social media accounts a few times a week. But now? If you’re not checking them at least a few times every hour, you could be missing out on a big opportunity to increase your social media presence.
Social media addiction has turned into a very real thing, so you want to be careful about how you interact with the various social media sites. But you also want to stay on top of what’s happening on social media and check in on your followers as often as you can.
4. Establish a Clear Voice for Your Brand
If your brand was a real person, what would it look and sound like?
One of your goals when you’re trying to increase your social media presence should be to establish a clear voice for your brand that speaks to your followers. Your brand’s voice should be unique to your company and should set you apart.
It can take some trial and error to find the right voice for your brand. Don’t be afraid to take some risks when you’re first starting out.
5. Form Real Relationships With Your Followers
Once you get into the swing of things on social media, you’re going to start receiving messages from your followers. You should make it a point to respond to those messages. You should also provide people with the information they’re looking for.
You do want to be careful about interacting with so-called internet “trolls” that will try to ruin your day. They’ll often say and do things just to try and get a reaction out of you.
But you should make every effort to communicate with your followers and form actual relationships with them. It’ll lead to your followers becoming more loyal to your brand over time.
6. Find the Best Times of Day to Put Up Social Media Posts
Are you putting up most of your social media posts either very early in the morning or very late at night?
Those times might be convenient for you. But chances are, people aren’t ever going to see posts when they go up at those times.
Instead, try posting in the middle of the day when you’re more likely to attract more attention from followers. A lot of people tend to check in on social media during breaks at work or school and during lunchtime.
You might see a big uptick in social media activity when you post at the right times.
7. Come Up with a Calendar for Social Media Posting
A lot of your social media posts will probably be spontaneous. You’ll think of something interesting to say and post about it on social media without giving it any extra thought.
It’s fine to do this, provided you’re not haphazardly throwing up posts that could potentially put your brand into the wrong light. But at the same time, you should also schedule at least some of your posts ahead of time.
Consider putting together a calendar every month with the different posts that you want to schedule to go up throughout it.
8. Avoid Trying to Sell Something at Every Turn
Are you having a 25 percent off sale at your main store this weekend?
Cool. Post about it once on social media…and then move on!
The last thing you want to do is turn your social media feeds into a steady stream of advertisements. If you’re constantly trying to sell something to people, they’re going to lose interest in your brand.
9. Use a Combination of Words, Photos, and Videos
When putting together social media posts, you should mix things up and use everything from words to photos to videos.
Generally speaking, photos and videos usually work best on social media since people don’t have to put too much thought into them. But the real secret to social media success is hitting people over the head with all different types of posts and keeping them on their toes.
10. Add Social Media Links to Your Brand’s Website
Outside of manning your social media accounts, you should also have a website set up for your brand. You can get a stunning website for your company by relying on Arvig Media website design.
Just make sure you don’t forget to add some social media links on it. It’s an easy way to let people know you’re on social media in the first place.
11. Use Social Media to Hold Special Contests
In an effort to connect with your followers, you should consider holding special contests on social media every now and then.
Tell everyone to retweet or share a social media post for a chance to be entered into a contest to win free products and/or services. You might be surprised by how crazy some of your followers will go when you offer them free stuff.
12. Capitalize on Opportunities to Go Viral
Remember that time Beyonce name-dropped Red Lobster on her 2016 album, Lemonade, and it took Red Lobster FOREVER to acknowledge it?
Don’t do that!
There’s a pretty good chance Beyonce isn’t going to get around to name-dropping your brand anytime soon. But if there’s even a small chance that you could potentially go viral with a social media post, take a shot.
Those kinds of opportunities don’t come around very often.
13. Keep an Eye on the Latest “Trending Topics”
There are always one or two topics holding social media hostage at any given moment. One minute, it might be something the President said, and the next, it might be the latest Game of Thrones teaser.
Keep an eye on what people are talking about and, if it makes sense, inject your brand into the conversation. If you say something really smart or funny about a trending topic, your post could end up going viral and giving you the attention you deserve.
14. Experiment with Social Media Advertising
A few years ago, some social media experts predicted social media advertising was going to take over the social media game. And they were right in a lot of ways.
Many brands have started to invest in Facebook ads, promoted tweets, and other forms of social media advertising. It could be a good option for your brand.
15. Never Lose Sight of What You’re Trying to Accomplish
It’s easy for some brands to get carried away once they start posting on social media regularly.
While it’s good to establish a social media presence, you also don’t want to overdo it and miss out on hitting your original goals. Your social media accounts should, in some form or fashion, help your bottom line.
If they don’t, it might be time to rethink the way in which you’re using them.
Start Increasing Your Brand’s Social Media Presence Today
There is absolutely no reason for any brand not to have a social media presence in 2019.
If your brand doesn’t have one at the moment, make establishing your brand on social media one of our New Year’s resolutions. You’ll be glad you did once you start to see how much more successful you can be with active social media accounts.
Read our blog to see some great tips for writing the perfect social media post for your brand.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
January 17, 2019 at 12:23PM
YouTube bans dangerous pranks
YouTube has banned its users from uploading dangerous challenges, citing similar instances such as the Tide Pod challenge and the Fire challenge. Read more...More about Youtube, Netflix, Mashable Video, Challenge, and Tide Pod Challenge
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
January 17, 2019 at 12:22PM