Why Instagram Isn’t a Vine Killer

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. 

More after the jump.


The Difference Between Fun and Useful Content in Social Sharing

To say I’m not much of a handyman would be an understatement.

I’m my father’s son—a Boston sports fan through and through, hardworking and always trying to please. But he and I know absolutely nothing about maintenance or repair work. So when I recently bought my first house with my wife, the renovations we opted to complete ourselves weren’t going to be easy, no matter how simple they were.

But in the connected world we live in, help was no further away than a YouTube search. Hanging towel racks, painting stripes and installing the Nest thermostat (a must-have, IMO), lighting fixtures and house numbers—if my father-in-law wasn’t around to help, the good ol’ Internet was. 

In situations from home improvement to fitness and more, brands have a golden opportunity to provide useful information to an audience that is seeking answers, but it seems they are instead trying to engage audiences with the type of content most often seen going viral—fun, quirky and amazing (amazingly good and amazingly bad) content like Gangnam Style, Kony 2012, Red Bull’s Stratos project, Grumpy Cat and Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Problems can arise quickly when brands try to re-create content like this, and most such efforts will fall flat.  

So what’s a brand that is ready and willing to create useful content to do? The recent #SixSecondFix campaign by Lowe’s may be the perfect answer.


5 Lessons of Effective Editing for Viral Success

An interesting insight into what makes social content effective has emerged, or at least made itself more visible, in the past year or so. Content is king, but editing may be the queen who’s actually running the castle.

Our traditionally analog means of consuming media—television, newspaper, radio, outdoor—are quickly being replaced by digital means. We supplement TV watching with our iPads, get our news in near real time from Twitter, and share life’s moments in an instant on Facebook. Other technologies have allowed fast and easy creation and curating of content, like Pinterest, Vine, Storify, and even something as simple as an Instagram hashtag.


7 Ways to Increase Fan Engagement on Facebook Through Media

There’s no secret—all community managers want their Facebook communities to thrive. Comments and shares are the currency of social media. The question plaguing community managers every day is “How do I generate more engagement on my Facebook posts?”


Live Cam Showdown: Red-tailed hawks vs. “Petite lap giraffes”

This morning, my coworkers were excitedly watching the NY Times Hawk cam, which features a pair of red-tailed hawks that have made a nest for themselves at NYU. Pretty cool, right? But after a few minutes of watching the hawk’s slight head turns and subtle feather ruffling, I remembered the “Petite Lap Giraffe cam” that I’d just stumbled upon over at Brand Channel. I decided to send the link around. Subject line: “This animal is WAY better than the hawk.” Soon I heard ooohing and ahhhing from nearby desks. “Oh my gosh; it’s so small!” “Is it real?!”

Welcome to the Future of Advertising

The post-advertising age is complex. Consumers controlling brands, optimizing search, utilizing paid, earned, and owned media…all aspects can seem pretty confusing. So what’s a poor brand to do? Never fear: Help is on the way!


Facebook Sponsored Stories Turn Your Life into a Commodity

This post originally appeared in our February  issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

Facebook’s Stories project has, for all intents and purposes, fulfilled its end goal. Now a fully-fledged, first-of-its-kind ad network named Sponsored Stories, not unrelated to Twitter’s Promoted Tweets/Trends/Accounts, it allows brands to affix their name (and corresponding Facebook page) to an organic, consumer-generated activity in the hopes of populating the well-intentioned promoter’s friend network with a more compelling push to purchase. This approach is infinitely more engaging, and invasive, than any brand-spun messaging could hope to be—and that could be what makes it pure (or evil, depending on your perspective) genius. It raises the inevitable question: Is your privacy even more at stake these days? Let’s look behind the stories.