In their first Russia hearing tech giants try to placate Congress (with mixed results)
In their first Russia hearing, tech giants try to placate Congress (with mixed results)
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the first of three hearings this week examining the relationship between social media and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The hearings mark the first time that lawmakers will hear testimony from Google, Facebook and Twitter around how their platforms were and are manipulated as part of Russian political disinformation campaigns targeting U.S. voters.
“This is really a critical hearing,” Committee Chair Lindsey Graham declared in his opening remarks. “It marks the first time we will have heard from the three agencies about exactly what is going on and what exactly they are prepared to do to stop it.”
Graham struck a friendly note early on, informing the panel that “the purpose of this hearing is to figure out how we can help you.”
Predictably, the tech representatives weren’t fooled by a group of lawmakers that appears increasingly eager to regulate their ad operations.
As Tuesday’s hearing was the first of three, the big question is just how cooperative the three companies would be. All three elected to send their general counsel rather than top executives to the hearing, a move that signaled they’d prefer to remain tight lipped and well within the comfort zones they’re used to in friendlier territory. They mostly succeeded, even when things got a bit awkward for a trio of companies far too accustomed to exercising near total control of the narrative around their products.
None of these tech giants are used to having their feet held to the fire, and some members of the committee, particularly Louisiana Senator John Kennedy and Minnesota Senator Al Franken, proved eager to do so. When Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch, who bore the brunt of the committee’s ire, responded tepidly to his line of questioning about the company’s responsibility, Franken rebuked the panel explosively.
“You put billions of data points together all the time… you can’t put together rubles and a political ad? How did you not connect those two dots?”
Kennedy picked up a line of questioning threaded early on by Graham, turning to exactly the kind of rapid fire questions that the tech companies dispatched their legal reps to dodge.
On the issue of banning foreign currency in political ads — and many other issues — the trio was non-committal. They refused to endorse Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bipartisan Honest Ads Act when pressed, gesturing that they would be willing to cooperate on legislation but they’d really prefer to self-govern (since that’s gone so well). Klobuchar took that opportunity to skewer the regulation-phobic companies. “There wouldn’t be an outside enforcer of any of your policies, is that right?,” she demanded. They reluctantly admitted she was right and surely took notes for how to handle tomorrow’s likely continuation of questioning around that legislation.
That sheepish admission and others were about the only candid moments that the hearing produced, as it swung from Russian intelligence operations to Islamic extremists and even to a predictably useless interlude from Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who squandered his time with a distracting line of questioning that accused the companies of partisanship.
The exchanges set a tone for tomorrow’s intelligence committee hearings, which are likely to be meatier and more aggressive, particularly in the Senate. In round one, Google, Facebook and Twitter cooperated, but they weren’t particularly helpful, opting to mostly cover their asses with pre-planned statements and platform reports designed to appease lawmakers and stave off regulation. All three were eager to tout their own home remedies for political disinformation campaigns — hire actual humans, build AI, et cetera — but remained unwilling to conduct the kind of deep self examination necessary to inoculate themselves outright.Featured Image: Richard Sharrocks/Getty Images
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October 31, 2017 at 07:09PM
Congress grills Facebook, Twitter, Google on shells hiding election meddlers
How can Internet giants know that innocent-seeming US shell companies aren’t actually vehicles for malicious foreign actors to buy ads to interfere with elections? The short answer is they can’t, and that drew questioning from a congressional probe today into Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
One member of the committee questioning the companies’ spokespeople asked:
“How do you deal with the problem of a legitimate and lawful but phony American shell corporation, one that calls itself say “America For Puppies And Prosperity”, that has a drop box as its address, and a $50 million check in its check book that it’s using to spend to manipulate election outcomes”.
Twitter’s general counsel Sean Edgett admitted “I think that’s a problem. We’re continuing to look into ‘how do you get to know your client . . .and believe that we’ll have to figure out a good process to understand who those customers actually are that are signing the contracts with Twitter to run ads.”
The committee pressed further about Twitter’s shortcoming here. “You admit that if you trace it all the way back to an American corporation, let’s call it America for Puppies And Prosperity” and it’s actually a shell corporation, you don’t actually now who’s behind it?” the committee asked. “It could be Vladimir Putin, it could be big powerful American special interest, it could be the North Koreans or the Iranians. You ned to be able to penetrate the obscurity of the shell corporation, correct?”
Edgett responded “Yeah, we’re working on the best approach to getting to know the clients and getting to know who’s behind the entities that are signing up for advertising.”
Later, Facebook’s general counsel Colin Stretch was reamed by Senator John Kennedy for having 5 million advertisers, which a member of the commitee thought would be impossible to police. “”You don’t have the ability to know who every one of those advertisers is, do you?” Kennedy asked. Stretch admitted Facebook didn’t, and it would likely be cost-prohibitive to drill down further into their identities.
Herein lies one of the toughest on-going challenges for Twitter, Facebook, and Google. They must either erect barriers to advertising that could deter innocent businesses and cost too much to administer and maintain, or they have to largely take advertisers at face value.
Facebook has written that it plans to “require more thorough documentation from advertisers who want to run US federal election-related ads. Potential advertisers will have to confirm the business or organization they represent before they can buy ads.” But if those identified businesses are merely shell companies, that rule doesn’t do much good.
This issue of advertiser identity and how deep tech platforms are required to investigate it could emerge as key to whether these companies are allowed to self-regulate or whether the government will step in.Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch
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October 31, 2017 at 03:21PM
Cenk Uygur gives his thoughts on 'fake news'
Cenk Uygur, the co-founder of online news network discusses how to handle fake news. Read more...More about News, Politics, Donald Trump, Social Media, and Politician
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October 31, 2017 at 10:00AM
How to Use Autoplay Video in Your Pinterest Ads
Do you advertise on Pinterest? Wondering how to add video to your promoted pins? Autoplay video pins aren’t yet commonly used so adding them to your Pinterest marketing now will help you stand out in a sea of still images. In this article, you’ll discover how to create promoted video pins that autoplay on Pinterest. [...]
This post How to Use Autoplay Video in Your Pinterest Ads first appeared on .
October 31, 2017 at 05:10AM
How to Make Your Content Marketing Better [Infographic]
Content marketing is a great way to get your target audience’s eyeballs on your subject matter. The challenge is to make your content compelling enough to cut through.
Our friend, Brian Carter, CEO of The Carter Group, has the content alchemy all worked out for you in this informative and entertaining infographic. Let us know what you think!
This inforgraphikc originally appeared on BrianCarterGroup.com. Republished with permission and attribution.
The post How to Make Your Content Marketing Better [Infographic] appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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October 30, 2017 at 04:39PM
Equity podcast: Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter earnings madness
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and myself — Alex Wilhelm — took it back to our roots with a show with just us hosts. Which worked out great as we had a lot to unpack. Tech! It never stops.
This time ’round we had an earnings influx, with Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Twitter reporting their recent performance.
In order: Amazon beat expectations partially on the strength of AWS, Microsoft beat expectations and reached a cloud milestone early, Alphabet beat expectations and managed to change one of is key metrics in an interesting way, and Twitter not only beat financial expectations but grew its userbase than many had anticipated.
All that and Katie broke some IPO news regarding the Zscaler flotation with Forescout’s IPO on the horizon.
We had a great time and are glad that you are with us. More next week!
Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.
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October 30, 2017 at 01:59PM
Take this $29 course on social media and give your business a boost
Take this $29 course on social media and give your business a boostSocial media marketing is an art form.
By TEAM COMMERCEMashable Deals2017-10-30 17:41:56 UTC
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By the time you've completed all 12 lessons, you'll have earned a certification from the Silicon Valley Digital Marketing Institute. This training would normally run you $3,995, but if you head to the Mashable Shop right now, you can jumpstart your social media marketing career for only $29 — a savings of 99%.
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October 30, 2017 at 12:52PM
Everything You Need to Know About Generating Leads on Twitter
People don’t always associate Twitter with marketing.
If you’re not using Twitter to improve your business, you’re making a big mistake.
Every year, about 200 billion tweets are sent out.
This number is astonishing.
With so much competition in the social media space, people may assume that Twitter’s best days are in the past.
Twitter has never been more popular than it is today.
Check out these numbers:
Twitter has about 328 million users across the world.
That may not seem like a lot compared to the 2 billion monthly active Facebook users.
Still, 328 million isn’t a number you can ignore.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to generate leads and improve conversions on Twitter.
If you’re not actively using Twitter for business, it’s not too late to change.
Fortunately for you, I’m an expert in this space.
I’ve helped companies increase their Twitter engagement by over 300%.
In this post, I’ll show you how to generate leads on this powerful social media platform.
Recognize why consumers are on Twitter
Before you can start marketing, you have to determine whom you need to target.
Are you trying to engage with every single user with a Twitter account?
That’s not an effective strategy.
Instead, focus on your current customers and target audience.
Find out who is:
Market to these people if you want higher conversions.
Roughly 80% of Twitter users have tweeted about a brand.
After seeing the name of a company mentioned on Twitter, 54% of people searched for the business, retweeted the content, or visited the company website.
Why do you think so many people talk about companies in their tweets?
Twitter is a great way for customers to communicate with their favorite brands.
That’s why a third of Twitter users voice their opinions about products and businesses.
As a marketer, you need to embrace this engagement.
Recognize that it’s an incredible opportunity for brand exposure and growth.
When someone tweets at your brand, you’ve got to respond--fast.
According to Sprout Social, it takes an average of 10 hours for brands to reply to users on social media.
You’ve got to do better than that because customers will wait only 4 hours for a response.
If you don’t have time to respond to tweets, delegate this task to someone on your marketing team.
This person can easily respond to people on Twitter within minutes, directly from their smartphone.
Knowing this information is especially important if your target market consists of millennials and baby boomers.
Nearly half of them follow brands on social media.
Based on all the information I’ve discussed so far, it’s obvious that Twitter users want to engage with businesses on this platform.
Now that we’ve established this, it’s time to use this information to generate leads for your company.
Learn how to use Twitter advanced search query
Earlier I mentioned there are over 328 million users on Twitter and 200 billion annual tweets.
Not all these users and tweets are relevant to your business.
The key is filtering out the useless ones to generate leads.
This is my favorite way to get the most useful and significant source of leads: Twitter’s advanced search queries.
Here’s how you do it.
Step #1: Navigate to the “Advanced search” menu
I’m sure you’re familiar with the regular search bar on Twitter.
From your search menu, look at the left side of the screen under “Search filters.”
Click on the “Advanced search” button to proceed.
Step #2: Add keywords relevant to your company
This search field will give you much more accurate results than the generic search bar you’ve been using.
Add words and phrases based on your marketing insights, industry, and target audience.
For example, let’s say you run a website specializing in outdoor sports equipment.
You could add words like hiking, biking, backpack, tent, mountain trails, or surfing to the search bar.
It all depends on the goal of your marketing campaign to generate leads.
If it’s winter, you may want to include terms such as snowboard boots, skis, snowboard goggles, etc.
Don’t go crazy. Stick to a few specific words and phrases to start.
Step #3: Look for relevant usernames (accounts)
Adding accounts to your query can give you even more specific results.
Not sure what to put in these fields?
Here are some suggestions:
Adding your profile to the search may be the only obvious suggestion on this list. But maybe not many people are mentioning your company by name on Twitter.
That’s why the other ones are just as important.
Are people tweeting about your competitors?
Those users are your prospective customers.
What about an industry expert?
Let’s continue with the example about an outdoor sports store.
You could add Sean White’s twitter account to this search query.
He’s a professional snowboarder, so it’s not unreasonable to think that users tweeting about him are interested in snowboarding equipment.
The possibilities are endless.
You’ve just got to get creative to find the most accurate and relevant results to generate leads.
Step #4: Turn on your location
By default, your location services will be turned off for the advanced search query.
Turn it on to enable more relevant results.
For simplicity, I’ll continue using the sports store example.
Let’s say the shop is located in my city of Seattle, WA.
You have an ecommerce store, but you don’t deliver outside the northwest region.
Tweets about hiking equipment in Florida won’t be relevant to your lead-generation strategy.
It’s easier to narrow your search by adding a location now than having to filter through bad leads later.
However, if you have an ecommerce shop with global distribution, you may decide to disable the location feature in the search.
It’s up to you.
However, I’d still recommend focusing on a particular country or region.
That way you can segment these leads and market to them accordingly.
Step #5: Filter the dates
If someone tweeted about your company 3 years ago, it’s probably a little too late to consider that user as a lead.
You want to make sure your search results are recent as well as relevant.
Start with the last few months. If you want more results, you can always expand that to the last six months or to the previous year.
These 5 steps are super easy to follow.
Next time you’re trying to generate leads on Twitter, start with the advanced search query.
Use hashtags to promote your brand
Hashtags are a great way to get your company name out there.
If you can get enough users to use your hashtag, it could potentially go viral and start trending.
Here’s what’s trending in Seattle today:
Come up with a clever and creative hashtag for your company.
Look at the sponsored hashtag at the top of this image from Papa John’s.
#NationalPizzaMonth is much easier to read than #nationalpizzamonth.
Granted, if a user types this hashtag without any capital letters, it will still work.
But you should utilize this capitalization strategy in all of your tweets.
It’s easier to read, plus it can help you avoid potential embarrassment.
Back in 2012, a British singer named Susan Boyle used a hashtag to promote her new album.
She tweeted #susanalbumparty to promote it.
It’s harmless, but the combination of certain letters without any spaces or capitalization could appear inappropriate.
#SusanAlbumParty looks much better and prevents confusion.
But who knows, maybe you want to be sneaky with your hashtags, hoping one of them goes viral.
I just wouldn’t encourage or recommend that.
Tweets with hashtags also have a greater chance of being retweeted.
Retweets will obviously expose your brand to a wider audience.
The more people use the tag, the more likely it’ll go viral or trend on Twitter.
See who used your hashtag. Engage with these people.
It’s an effective lead-generation strategy.
Use Twitter as a customer service resource
If your customers have questions, complaints, or other inquiries, encourage them to contact you on Twitter.
Because other people will see how responsive your brand is.
It creates exposure and increases your chances of getting more leads.
Customer service interactions are trending upward on social media.
This means customers know they can contact their favorite brands via Twitter and expect brands to respond.
If other businesses are responding to their tweets, your customers will assume you’re going to do the same.
Ignoring your customers’ tweets could end up giving you a bad reputation for customer service.
However, responding to them in a timely fashion can have the opposite effect.
Customers are going to complain. These things happen.
Don’t let a negative tweet throw you off your game. Respond politely, and try to rectify the situation. Do not get defensive or make excuses.
Remember that everyone will see this interaction, so keep it professional at all times.
Look at what happens when a person experiences a positive customer service response:
The customer is likely to do two things:
If this interaction happens on Twitter, it’s even easier for the customer to do both of these things.
Providing amazing customer service can do much more than just generate leads.
It could potentially double your revenue.
Using Twitter for customer service can reduce the chances of the customer getting frustrated.
A recent study suggests that Twitter is the least frustrating customer service channel.
So you already have an advantage there.
Engage with your customers
Now that you know how to find leads on Twitter, it’s time to make sure you’re turning those leads into conversions.
If someone’s tweeting about your brand, products, or industry, reach out to them directly.
Let them know you can help.
Think back to our advanced search query.
You may find some users who don’t even know your brand exists.
How do you change that?
Here are a few tips:
If they didn’t know about you before, they will definitely know about you now.
Make sure your profile is active.
Give your prospective leads a reason to follow your brand.
Getting a discount is the top reason why consumers follow a company on Twitter.
They also want to receive:
If your Twitter account isn’t doing these things, your lead-generation strategy won’t be nearly as effective.
Content consumption has grown by 25% on Twitter over the last 2 years.
Users want to interact and engage with their favorite brands on Twitter.
People all over the world are tweeting about things relevant to your business.
The trick is learning how to filter those results to generate leads.
Use the Twitter advanced search queries to do this.
It’s a great way to customize a search based on:
This information will give you the most updated and accurate results.
Once you find a prospective lead, reach out to them directly. Follow their profile, and try to get them to follow you back.
Run promotions, and offer exclusive content on your feed. This will entice users to interact with your page.
Twitter is also an excellent platform to provide customer service. If a customer has a positive customer service experience with your company on Twitter, they are more likely to share their story and recommend your brand.
Use hashtags as a creative way to get exposure for your business.
All of these tips will help you improve your lead-generation strategy on Twitter.
What hashtag will you create to generate leads via Twitter?
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October 30, 2017 at 10:01AM
How to Create and Analyze Instagram Stories for Business Accounts
Looking for ways to market your business with your Instagram business account?
Are you aware of the unique advantages businesses have with Instagram Stories?
In this article, you’ll discover how to create, use, and analyze Instagram stories using a business account.
Why Use Instagram Stories?
If you’re already publishing photos and videos on Instagram, you may wonder why you would also want to create Instagram stories. The reasons are simple – Instagram stories help you get more visibility in the Instagram app and give people more of your content to consume.
When people open the Instagram app, the first things they see above their news feed are the Instagram stories by accounts they follow. If you’ve recently created an Instagram story, you have a chance of your profile image appearing at the top of your followers’ news feeds.
Your Instagram story will also play directly after the one preceding it for your followers. So in the example above, if someone finishes watching @derekhalpern’s story, @iam_dytto’s story will play next.
If your followers have their notifications turned on for new Instagram stories from people they follow, they’ll be alerted to your new stories, particularly if you’re broadcasting live.
If you recently created an Instagram story, your profile photo will have a circle around it throughout Instagram to let people know they can view your latest Instagram story. So in addition to seeing your regular Instagram post, people may also click on your profile photo to see your Instagram story because they know it will only last for 24 hours.
The Instagram Story indicator can also let people know your account has recently been active when people see your Instagram account in search results or visit your Instagram profile.
If your Instagram story is popular, you also have the chance to be featured in the Instagram App’s Search & Explore tab, which Instagram users visit to find new Instagram content matching their interests.
Your Instagram Story indicator also shows on your Instagram ads when you create ads linked to your Instagram account. This means that someone who may not be interested in your Instagram ad may still be interested in your Instagram story.
#1: Get to Know the Viewer Controls
You should view a few Instagram stories before creating them yourself. It’s important to remember where Instagram places story controls for viewers so they don’t overlay the best parts of your photos and videos or your edits.
At the top of your Instagram story, viewers will see story progress bars, your profile photo, and your profile username.
At the bottom, viewers will see the message box and the option to send your Instagram story as a direct message to a friend, based on your story settings.
Putting tappable elements like @usernames, location tags, and #hashtags in an area covered by one of the controls will prevent viewers from clicking on your action items. We’ll discuss how you can add @usernames, location tags, and #hashtags later in this post.
#2: Configure Your Instagram Story Settings
For business marketing purposes, you want your Instagram stories to reach as many people as possible. If you tap on the three dots at the top right of your Instagram profile (Android) or the settings wheel on your Instagram profile (iOS), you’ll find your story settings. The first setting allows you to block specific followers of your Instagram account from viewing your stories.
The following story settings allow users to reply to your Instagram story via direct messages, and share portions of your story via direct message to their friends. They also allow you to automatically save photos and videos you add to your story to your smartphone.
You can also edit these settings before you publish a new Instagram story by tapping on the settings wheel icon at the top left of your screen when creating a new story.
#3: Choose Your Instagram Story Format
When you’re ready to create your Instagram story, tap on the camera icon at the top left of your home tab or on your profile photo with the + sign at the left of the most recent Instagram stories.
On the following screen, you’ll be able to choose from six different Instagram story formats. Note that for the Live, Normal, Boomerang, Hands-Free, and Rewind, you can use the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters when recording people.
Images and Video From the Past 24 Hours
If you tap on the icon from your camera roll, you can choose from any photos or videos in your camera roll from the last 24 hours to share in your Instagram story. This includes photos you’ve downloaded or screenshots on your device.
Once you choose a photo or video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.
Slide over to Live to broadcast live on Instagram. This allows you to broadcast live for up to 60 minutes.
During live broadcasts, you and your viewers can comment. If you prefer, you can tap on the three dots in the comment box to turn off commenting. You can also make a comment, tap on the comment, and pin it so it always appears above the comment box. Pinned comments are highlighted gray.
Viewers of your Instagram Live video have a heart icon at the bottom right to like your live broadcast.
When you’ve finished your live broadcast, tap on End at the top-right corner. You’ll then be given the option to share it for 24 hours as part of your Instagram story or discard it so only viewers who caught it while you were broadcasting will see it. You may also have a Save icon at the top right of the screen to save the live broadcast to your camera roll.
Comments and likes appear in the replay just as they did during the live broadcast when shared in your Instagram story. Note that unlike other Instagram story formats, you can’t edit (add links, stickers, handwriting, or text) your live broadcast.
Slide over to Normal to add a photo or video to your Instagram story. Tap on the shutter for photos or tap and hold for up to 20 seconds of video. Use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your photos or videos when capturing people.
Once you’ve captured your photo or video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.
Slide over to Boomerang to add a unique video to your Instagram story. When you tap and hold the shutter, Boomerang will quickly snap photos for five seconds and stitch them together to create a unique looping video. You can use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your videos when recording people.
Once you’ve captured your video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.
Slide over to Rewind to create a video that Instagram will add to your story in reverse. Tap and hold the shutter to record up to 20 seconds of video. You can use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your videos when recording people.
Once you’ve captured your video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.
Slide over to Hands-Free to create a video for your Instagram story. Unlike the other video recording options, Hands-Free allows you to tap the shutter once and record for up to 20 seconds. You can use the flash icon to turn on your camera’s flash or lighting for video, the flip icon to switch to the front or rear camera, or the face icon to add face filters to your videos when recording people.
Once you’ve captured your video, you can edit it before adding it to your Instagram story.
#4: Edit Your Instagram Story
With the exception of live broadcasts, once you’ve chosen or captured a photo or video for your Instagram story, you’ll get the option to edit it before adding it to your story using the icons at the top right of the screen.
In addition to the editing features shown above, verified Instagram accounts and Instagram accounts with over 10,000 followers will see a link icon that allows you to add links to your Instagram story. When you tap on the link icon, you’ll be able to add your link on the following screen.
Viewers of your Instagram story can swipe up where it says See More to go to the URL you specified, as shown in the example below.
It’s important to note where See More will appear on your Instagram story so you can make sure your photo or video doesn’t have any elements that distract from it. Also be sure to turn off Message Replies for your story, as the message box would overlap the See More option.
Stickers allow you to add more information and embellishments to your Instagram story.
In particular, you may want to use the Location and #Hashtag stickers to your Instagram story. Both are tappable by viewers, which can be great for brands that are promoting a specific location such as a local store.
It can also be good for directing viewers to a branded hashtag or one that you’re actively creating content for.
You can use the drawing tools if you want to add some annotations, handwriting, or other drawings to your story. Instagram gives you different pen tips to choose from, as well as an eraser.
In addition to marking a photo or video, you can also use the colors that appear with each drawing tool to add a colored overlay to your photo or video. Simply tap on a color you like, and then tap and hold on your Instagram story.
You can then use the eraser to reveal portions of the photo or video beneath your new overlay. Tap on the scale icon at the bottom left to choose a size for your eraser, and then swipe across the screen.
Another way to add a message to your Instagram story is with the text feature. In addition to entering text, you can use @username to include a tappable link to a particular Instagram account in your story.
#5: Save and Share
Once you’ve finished editing your Instagram story, you have the following options for saving and sharing it.
The Save icon will allow you to save the photo or video you just created to your camera roll. The +Your Story will automatically add it to your story, which is viewable by everyone or everyone except those you hide it from in your story settings.
The Send to option will allow you to add it to your story or send it directly to specific Instagram followers. You can also create groups of followers to send your story to, such as groups for customers, employees, vendors, and so on.
#6: Engage With Your Instagram Story Viewers
If you want to build engagement with your Instagram followers and you can’t add links to your Instagram story, configuring your story settings to allow users to send message replies (as mentioned earlier) will enable them to privately message you with comments. You can even create stories that are geared toward engagement by pointing out the message box, as shown below.
Replies to your Instagram stories will appear in your direct message inbox. Be sure to monitor your inbox for new messages each time you publish a story with the option for replies.
Each reply will be sent with a thumbnail of the photo or video within your story the viewer was on when they sent you the message.
#7: View Your Instagram Story Analytics
Instagram offers detailed analytics for business accounts. These analytics cover the most recent 24 hours, 7 days, and 14 days of activity on your stories. To view them, you can tap on the analytics icon (bars) on your Instagram profile, or go to your story and tap the number of viewers or the names of viewers at the bottom left.
Basic story analytics offered to both personal and business accounts will show you the number of viewers your story receives, along with their usernames.
If you have a business account, you can tap on the analytics icon to see additional details. Instagram lets business owners track the impressions; reach/viewers; and the number of taps forward or backward, exits, and replies a particular photo or video in your story receives. Impressions tallies the number of times a particular photo or video was seen, whereas reach tallies the number of unique viewers who saw a particular photo or video in your story.
In addition, you’ll have analytics data for the number of times tappable elements like Location or #Hashtag stickers are tapped.
You can also use the icons at the top right of the analytics to save the photo or video in your story to your camera roll, share it as a regular post to your Instagram account, or delete it altogether.
As you can see, Instagram Stories is a powerful way to gain more visibility among your followers and beyond. For business accounts, Instagram also provides new insights into the content your followers will view and how they’ll engage with it.
Do you use Instagram Stories for your business? What other tips do you have? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
October 30, 2017 at 05:08AM
More than half this country apparently uses Facebook's Messenger
More than half this country apparently uses Facebook's MessengerMessenger is big Down Under.
Image: Mashable/lili sams
By Johnny Lieu2017-10-30 01:08:11 UTC
Messenger sure is popular Down Under.
Facebook revealed its first country-specific stats for the instant messaging platform, claiming 13 million Australians use Messenger each month.
That's more than half the country's population, and 80 percent of smartphone users, according to data from Statista.
The popularity of Messenger in Australia is why Facebook has identified it as a key market. It's why it'll be one of the first countries outside of the U.S. to launch the Discover tab on Messenger, which puts bots from businesses and publishers within reach on the app.
Some of the Aussie-centric bots set to feature on the platform include ABC News, which provides daily news digests and breaking news alerts; Domain, for house prices and property news; and the Australian Football League (AFL), for ticket information, match previews, scores and fixtures.
France, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Philippines will also join Australia in being next to launch Discover outside of the U.S.
"With over 200,000 bots on the Messenger platform, the Discover tab enables people to find businesses they love as well as browse new Messenger experiences they might not have known about otherwise," Sophie Blachford, Brand Development Lead at Messenger, said in a statement.
"And for businesses, this is a powerful new surface to connect with an engaged audience."
Facebook claims 1.3 billion people use Messenger each month, competing very closely with its other messaging platform, WhatsApp, which hit 1.3 billion monthly active users back in July.
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October 29, 2017 at 08:31PM