Make no mistake about it. The launch of Instagram Video (wholly owned by Facebook) is a shot across, if not directly into, the bow of Vine’s ship (wholly owned by Twitter). Instagram’s already established community of 130MM members has given Instagram a major jumping off point for its video feature, which is built into the popular photo-sharing app.
But Vine isn’t dead, and Instagram will not be a Vine killer. In fact, I think Vine offers brands something unique enough that it can thrive alongside Instagram video.
I’m a child of the 80s and a teenager of the 90s. Though my parents didn't spoil me with riches, they did hop on the Internet bandwagon early. It’s a pretty impressive and serendipitous thing, if you knew my parents. I love them dearly, but let’s just say they’re not very tech savvy. Every visit home is a new tech problem I have to fix, which is usually a result of my mom forgetting her password or my dad deleting an icon.
So their buying a viable home computer in the early 90s was a feat; and that they subscribed to Prodigy (before AOL even existed) is hard to believe, but it happened. And so my addiction to the computer and all things Internet was born, and to this day I’m still knee-deep in it, only now I’m getting paid for it instead of running up the phone bill using a dial-up modem.
All this paved the way for the way I use social media today, as a 30-something. But I’m part of just one demographic, and the Internet landscape has drastically changed. The way individuals use social media depends on a number of factors—age, gender, income and even race—and if you’re an advertiser, it’s important to dig deep into the sometimes-subtle differences in the ways they interact with it. What you think you know about the use of social-networking sites and mobile may be far from the truth, and that mistake can cost your brand.
My parents and many of my friends still don’t understand what it is I do every day. They envision me frolicking in the fields of Facebook and Twitter, swapping gossip and sharing funny memes. They must think I have the best job in the world because my profession is social media—exactly the tool used by everyone else to procrastinate and avoid doing their real job.
The combination of social media and storytelling, the term social media storytelling could be the holy grail of buzzwords. Half emerging technology that everyone said would either rule the world or totally fail, half proven method of transferring emotion and knowledge since the dawn of humanity, social media storytelling is a relatively new and an oft-misunderstood term. Nearly every digital agency claims that they’re “storytellers,” and if the client is interested in a social media activation, then they’ve magically become “social media storytellers” as well.
My mom and dad are clueless about what “social media storytelling” means, and that’s okay. But I fear there are other agencies and brands that are misunderstood, and that can be dangerous for audiences.
In the media frenzy leading up to Google+, a slew of articles preemptively warned that Facebook should be shaking in its boots, painting Google+ as a defacto “Facebook Competitor,” even implying a gladiatorial showdown where two social media juggernauts would enter the Thunderdome, but only one would come out alive. But after using it for a few weeks now, I see some pronounced differences between the two that make me far less sure that Google+ is ready, or even intended, to cut Facebook’s unbridled success.
One-upping Coke’s touch-screen dispensers, PepsiCo has unveiled a line of socially enabled vending machines that let caring consumers gift a pop to a friend…or colleague, family member, crush, stranger — anyone, really — regardless of location. What's a socially enabled vending machine? The video says it all after the jump.
Responding to a spike in teenage suicides unmatched in previous years, organizations are turning to the Internet to do what they can to help. Wait, but isn’t the Internet the source of the problem? Social networking has become an outlet for bullies to torment their peers in ways that would never have been imagined twenty years ago. Middle schoolers today would probably welcome back the days of “Four-Eyes” and “Metalmouth” all too eagerly if it meant being able to escape the unrelenting onslaught of online harassment.
Valentine’s Day is one of the 20th century's oh-so-special holidays. Husbands and boyfriends rush to their computers to put the least amount of time (and money) into purchasing flowers while the single crowd turns to their social networks to gripe about a holiday they claim was created by greeting card corporations (it’s wasn't) and, of course, the devil (plausible).
However, this year Valentine’s Day conveniences didn’t stop at floral and chocolate ecommerce sites. Oh no. FTD.com partnered with the über-sensitive folks at Groupon to offer a super-sweet deal: $40 worth of flowers for $20. Other than a promise ring, what could be better? Apparently, a lot.
Amassing your most loyal consumers and enthusiasts across a dedicated, communal webspace sounds like a no-brainer. Forget this small-fry Facebook and Twitter stuff. Why not roll out your own full-blown platform? Many brands have built 'em, but few have seen them seriously prosper. Is it a worthwhile investment, or a hopeless endeavor? Depends on who you ask. Raphael over at Adland has the jump on two such communities from built by similarly-focused brands: Wal-Mart and Sears. One company's platform fizzled, while the other blossomed.