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Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday, but will brands be celebrating in the future?

Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday, but will brands be celebrating in the future?

Last Thursday marked Facebook’s 12th birthday, and they were kind enough to let us users be a part of it with their ‘Friends Day’ video experience! The special occasion enabled users all around the world to view a personalised video experience at the top of their news feed, which included photos that were marked as ‘special moments’.

The ‘Friends Day’ videos were pre-populated, but users were able to customise and switch the photos being used to create the video, with their customised version being posted on their Timelines shortly after.

Despite a marked decrease in number of under 18s using the platform regularly, there are still many more birthdays to come for Facebook, thanks to the 1 billion users actively using the platform each month, but how many of these are actually brands? Below are just a few examples of how the big boys are using Facebook in its 12th year:

Nike

Nike is arguably one of the biggest brands out there and their Facebook page plays a key role in their overall marketing approach. The page is a balance of new products, science and charitable initiatives, but one way they differentiate themselves is using different pages for each of their product lines. From snowboarding to golf, Nike has a page for all interests. Do you?

Microsoft

When marketing a technology product, it can be challenging not to get too ‘techy’ and alienating your audience. Microsoft’s Facebook marketing is a great example of avoiding falling into this trap.

Their latest campaign was based around the hashtag #5to9, which was designed to focus specifically on a user’s time outside of the office. They also subverted typical workplace acronyms like PTO and ETA, converting them into non-workplace phrases, indicating that their products can be used at home, as well as in the office. Microsoft’s use of social media platforms like Facebook, is in marked contrast to Apple whose use of social media marketing is very limited.

Cadbury’s

As Cadbury’s Dairy Milk approached their 1 millionth like on Facebook, they decided to celebrate with an innovative campaign – the thumbs up! Cadbury’s built a giant thumbs up out of 1 million pieces of chocolate and allowed fans to participate and engage with the campaign through their Facebook page.

Cadbury’s are still devising quirky campaigns on Facebook now, with their festive #cadvent Christmas campaign last year a great success at generating consumer engagement.

With all of these brand giants embracing Facebook marketing, what does this mean for us marketers of smaller businesses?

Facebook is still developing new ideas for brands to showcase their products; their new Carousel ads, first introduced back in 2014, are a key example. Since then, advertisers have seen carousel ad links drive 30-50% greater consumer spend as a result of the social network. This, along with the rapid rise of video on Facebook, all points to the social media giant continuing to play a central role in many marketers’ social media strategies in 2016 and beyond.

What are your thoughts about Facebook marketing for SMEs?

#MarketingTitbits – Influential Brands, Marketing Predictions, Success Advice

microsoft-predictions-success1. Microsoft ‘surprises’ as it tops The Guardian’s poll of the most influential UK brands
Surprisingly, it beat the likes of Amazon and Google in a new poll by The Guardian, subsequently being named the UK’s most influential brand – who would have thought? Microsoft’s move to imbue more social values in its marketing is being offered up as the the ‘primary driver’ for its success in the poll.

Surveying 2,000 UK consumers, covering 200 of the biggest brands, the results were unexpected. The results were defined by the respondent’s perception of a brand’s position for each of the following criteria – commercial influence, how a brand impacts purchasing habits and its impact on society and their audience. Not only did Microsoft surprise us marketers with their winning score of 58.3, but the runner up, with 54.7 points, was TripAdvisor, perhaps equally unlikely, closely followed by Amazon with 53.9 – more expected!

To read more about Microsoft’s success, click here.

2. Marketers’ 2016 predictions: from the video explosion to the next ‘new normal’

The marketing industry is changing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down, forcing marketers to adapt to thrive. 10 of the industry’ best and brightest have been asked to share their predictions for 2016 – enjoy!

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive at BT, predicts that the year ahead is full of ‘busy-ness’, where marketing will be an important way of communicating with consumers and businesses. On the other hand, Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-president of Facebook, believes that video will become even bigger, where people can discover the world through sharing content.

Click here for the full 10 predictions for 2016.

3. 20 entrepreneurs share the advice that made them successful

Regardless of how success is defined, it can be a gruelling task for businesses to achieve it. Entrepreneurs can generally agree that it takes confidence, passion and drive to accomplish goals, and to recognise success once achieved. With this in mind, 20 of the most successful entrepreneurs share their best advice on how to succeed in business.

The renowned Bill Gates believes “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”, meaning success is worked for, not given. Other business fanatics like Steve Jobs says “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”.

Want more advice on how to achieve success? Click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Amazon, GIFs and Instagram video

amazon-GIFs-instagram-smaller1. Amazon to take on Google and Microsoft by offering corporate emailThe Wall Street Journal has recently reported on Amazon’s plans to shake up corporate email with the introduction of WorkMail, a cloud-based email service with a $4 per month price tag, rivalling the likes of Gmail and Microsoft Outlook 365.

The move suggests that Amazon is looking to expand its services further into the business sector, running as part of Amazon Web Services, which controls technology behind consumer brands like Netflix and Pinterest. The email software will offer encryption features and the ability to only store content in designated countries, also.

To read more into Amazon’s bold move, click here.

2. Making GIFs just got easier with Imgur’s new GIF creation tool

For those who aren’t sure, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is a loosely compressed graphic that can commonly be found on websites, made up of simple shapes and a limited number of colours. And now making your own GIFs is easier than ever.

Imgur is a free image and GIF hosting website and has released a video creation tool which allows users to create looping GIFs from videos found on the likes of YouTube and Vimeo. All you have to do is copy and paste a video link, select your start time and duration between 1 and 15 seconds, and have your GIF come to life.

To see a demonstration and more information on the new tool, you can head to Mashable by clicking here.

3. 12 best branded Instagram videos from January 2015

Instagram has risen up the social media ranks with their video sharing feature over the past year, competing against other top channels such as Vine. Lots of brands are jumping into the scene and Econsultancy have compiled a list of their favourites from last month, so we’re outlining just some!

In the top 12 you will find Samsung showing off their advancements in technology, Mr Porter showcasing possibly all of their product line in 15 seconds and Starbucks, who are expressing their love of coffee. But we doubt the list could be complete without the inclusion of GoPro and Red Bull, as both brands take us to extremes to share their passion for video.

Check out all of the videos by clicking here.

 

#MarketingTitbits – Viral ads, Scroogled and Coca-Cola

Viral-Google-coke-smaller1. 2013’s top viral advertsEvery month, more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube. Those users watch over 6 billion hours of footage each month, which works out at almost half an hour per person on the earth today. Every minute 100 hours of footage are uploaded onto YouTube. If you’re not currently using YouTube to engage with your customers then you should be thinking about it because your competitors are likely to be.

This year’s top 20 viral video ads have been chosen by you and anyone else who watched them. Coming in top with over 4.2 million shares online is Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’. In second place is Geico’s ‘Hump Day’ which has had 4 million views and in third place Evian’s ‘Baby and Me’. To have a look at the top 20 viral adverts of 2013 click here.

2. Scroogled clothing line from Microsoft

Last year, Microsoft launched their ‘Scroogled’ campaign. The campaign intended to shine a bright light on Google’s perceived unethical practices and the way that they use their users’ private data. This month they took their campaign to a whole new level. Microsoft launched a clothing and merchandise line including mugs and hoodies, each with a ‘Don’t get Scroogled’ slogan on it. To read the full article from Marketing Week, click here.

3. Lessons on content marketing and creativity from Coca-Cola

In 2004, Coca-Cola’s chief executive said that they were ‘creatively bankrupt’, he couldn’t have been more wrong. Over the years we have seen some beautifully creative marketing from Coca-Cola. Their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, which launched in 2011 elicited an amazing response – and all from such a simple idea, proveing that people like things to be personal. Other prominent Coca-Cola campaigns in recent years include: ‘The Happiness Machine’, ‘Tweet Your Christmas Wish’ and ‘The Friendship Experiment’. This year Coke Zero launched the ugly Christmas sweater competition, inviting people to design the ugliest sweater they can just in time for Christmas, not only are they on trend but they are also taking advantage of the Christmas spirit.

To read more about Coca-Cola’s brilliant marketing and to get some ideas for yourself, click here.

 

#MarketingTitbits – Top 100 Global Brands, Microsoft vs. Google and Mobile Payment Apps

1. The top 100 most valuable global brands of 2013
The annual BrandZ most valuable global brands list has been released and Apple keeps hold of the top spot for another year.

According to Millward Brown Optimor, the BrandZ list compilers, the Apple brand is worth an eye-watering $185bn.

Peter Walshe, Brandz global director explains the value of a ‘brand’:

“What we see with the most popular or powerful brands is that brand lasts a lot longer, is more robust and doesn’t tend to slip as much, whereas the finances go up and down,”

The Apple brand is ahead of its nearest competitor, Google, by $70bn dollars, demonstrating that despite its recent share price decline, Apple’s brand loyalty still stands it in good stead.

The top 10 looks like this:

Ranking Brand Brand value 2013 ($M)
1 Apple 185,071
2 Google 113,669
3 IBM 112,536
4 McDonald’s 90,256
5 Coca-Cola 78,415
6 AT&T 75,507
7 Microsoft 69,814
8 Marlboro 69,383
9 Visa 56,060
10 China Mobile 55,368

To see the full list click here.

 

2. Don’t get ‘Scroogled’!

When two corporate giants like Microsoft and Google decide to battle it out, the odds are it is going to get nasty. This time it is Microsoft’s turn, in the form of a cutting parody of Chrome’s ‘Now. Everywhere.’ Ad.

The video is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ campaign, designed to highlight the commercialisation of our data by Google, for its own profits.

It is speculated that the video was only ever designed to be seen internally at Microsoft. You can decide for yourself.

Microsoft’s Chrome Ad Video Parody

Whichever way you decide to view it, it all feels a little bit like sour grapes from Microsoft. For so long the industry bully, Microsoft has not been having it all its own way of late, whilst Google continues to go from strength to strength. Perhaps instead of spending time coming up with videos attacking other companies, Microsoft should focus its resources on creating an operating system people actually want to use!

 

3.  Mobile payments apps to improve customer service

If you are a small business and would like to take credit / debit card payments but don’t want the hassle of setting up card machines and dedicated lines etc. then these handy little apps are for you.

Not over from the US yet, Square is one of the market leaders. It is an app designed for iOS and Android mobile devices, which allows users with the simple addition of a free card reader, to take card payments via their phone or tablet.

Its rival, Intuit, has crossed the pond and offers a very similar experience, except provides a streamlined card reader, with a chip and pin keypad, for users to take card payments.

Whichever app you go for, adding the facility to take card payments to your organisation is a great way of improving your customer experience, making it easier for customers to pay for your services and products.