All publicity is good publicity: The case of the negative review

Is it crazy to think a negative review can help you hit the advertising jackpot? Nope! Many brands have actually started creating campaigns and advertisements by shining the spotlight on their negative reviews.

A chip on your shoulder

KFC used bad reviews to their advantage pretty well earlier this year after someone tweeted that the entire world doesn’t like KFC fries.

Other Twitter users jumped on board too, one asking ‘how can KFC be so good at chicken and so bad at fries?’.

KFC’s response to the Tweets was perfect.

They built the ‘Ain’t No Small Fry’ campaign around all the negative feedback they’d received about their fries.

Instead of ignoring the growing pile of negative comments about their disappointing side, KFC were able to understand and action the complaints. This ensured that customers remained satisfied in future.

Saying ‘ski’ you later to the haters

A US ski resort also created a campaign around negative reviews – but instead of conforming to the reviewer’s desire, they pointed out why their problem is actually their best selling point.

The Snowbird resort in Utah is known for its difficult trails. A review from a disappointed customer read: “I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!”

Snowbird replied in an advertisement with a picturesque view of the mountain, saying “Greg thought we were “Too Advanced”, for our core guest it’s why they come back year after year.”

This shows that while one person might feel a particular way about a product or service, that same reason could be why others continue coming back for more. Not to mention how suspicious it looks when something only has 5-star reviews.

A bar above the rest

One Denver bar even cashed in on their negative reviews. Hi-Dive owned the comment loud and proud by slapping it on a T-shirt for all their customers to see with intrigue.

Negative review t-shirt

The staff described the review as concise and humorous, with their natural response being to literally wear it. It even turned into advertising people paid for – with more than 450 tees sold!

While business owners might live in fear of a bad review, these few examples show that it’s not always so bad!

Negative reviews have the potential to promote change and growth in your business, and can test how you handle the issue. It also gives you a chance to humanise your brand and show that we’re all just everyday people – not just faceless companies and corporations. Whether it’s a misunderstanding, or difference in perspective –  by using the negative review as an advantage, companies have the opportunity to win over audiences.


Stay Social: The Latest and Greatest in Social Media this March

It’s March, and that means that someone in your office has already panicked and shouted that “this year is going by so fast!”

But let’s leave existential crises behind – here are the latest news stories on social media marketing from the last month!

Facebook’s all about the chat.

Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a few updates to its Messenger service for businesses, in particular when it comes to customer service.

These include easier to understand bot capability, automatic generation of a user contact information form when you request it, new metrics in the API (such as messaging conversations opened and first-time Messenger conversations), and message tags to make it easier to answer questions and provide updates.

After that veritable mouthful of new features, one thing is for sure: customer service and community management on Facebook have never been easier.

But that’s not all. If a recent Axios report is to be believed, then Facebook is preparing to enter the news industry. By later this year, ten digital-first partners will be working with the platform to produce regular news videos for its Watch tab.

For brands, this hopefully means a bit less fake news on the platform, and a bit more brand-safe content on which to promote their services or products.

Facebook’s latest Messenger update will make it easier for brands to speak with and help their customers. Source:

Instagram’s on call.

Facebook’s sister in all things social seems to be taking a leaf out of her older sibling’s book. A Tech Crunch dive into some code on the App’s backend revealed that the platform seems to be gearing up to launch an audio and video calling feature.

While this has no direct benefits to advertisers as of yet, the feature could very well keep more users on site for longer, meaning more time spent on monetisable content, as well as on calls.

Snapchat focusses on community.

After its controversial mega-update at the start of the year, it seems like Snapchat was trying to keep mostly on the DL for March. Especially after their stock price took a tumble following a Kylie Jenner Tweet.

But, a couple new features have been added in, both to the delight of users and brands.

The App will start to feature community-built AR lenses later this month, which is great news for content creators on the platform. Brands can start thinking about how to use these filters to enhance their user-generated-content strategy and build engagement-focused competitions around the filters.

A sample of some of the most creative lenses created by the Snapchat community! Source: Mashable vs Snap Inc.

YouTube’s just living its Live.

2018 is the year of live video, and YouTube has just made live broadcasts all the easier.

The platform has introduced a few new features to its Live offering, most notable of which are auto-captioning for broadcasts spoken in English, as well as a Chat Replay feature, so you can see what was said in chat, even if you’re watching well after the event. You can now also tag your location when live-streaming.

While none of these updates are game-changing, they do make it easier for brands and creators to create more accessible and re-watchable live content.

YouTube is also doing what it can to fight the fake news epidemic, announcing a new partnership with Wikipedia. Very soon, when a user is watching a conspiracy video, information cues from the online encyclopedia will appear to counter the ideas being presented.

Hopefully, this will mean a safer space for brands, and way fewer people who believe the Earth is flat.

And that’s all for March! Come back next month for your regular dose of Stay Social.

Unmissable Predictions for Social Media and Content Marketing in 2018

The world of social media marketing moves at a pace with more twists and turns than new Game of Thrones theories (and seriously, there are a lot of those).

With that in mind, 2018 is set to be a dynamic year in the world of social media. Here are our top predictions for social media in 2018.

We’ll do it Live.

Live streaming has been around for a while. Platforms for gamers, like Twitch, have been part of “live” culture for years now, but that was always something you needed a lot of equipment and a lot of bandwidth to achieve. It was popular, but it certainly wasn’t mainstream.

But with the dawn of 5G on the imminent horizon and smartphones with more processing power than a Boeing 747, Live is about to hit the big time.

All of the major platforms have backed live streams in some way, and Instagram is doubling down on the product by consistently expanding its features, allowing people to add guests to live stream. With 80% of audiences reporting they would rather watch a live stream than read a branded blog, and it’s safe to say that the Live environment is about to go mainstream.

Live Instagram content makes it easier for brands to be in the moment that their audiences are looking for information and entertainment. Source: Instagram

Facebook gets a new algorithm.

2017 was a rough year for Facebook who came under pressure for allowing fake news and hate groups to surface. In 2018 they have publically committed to improving the situation by changing the algorithm to prioritise posts from family and friends. 

It’s yet to be seen how this will impact publishers and brands on Facebook, but we can presume it will be harder for these parties to cut through and reach their intended audiences. It will also be interesting to see if the effect of channelling more paid spend into Facebook marketing stacks up against the new algorithm.

Marketers will need to be strategic with their Facebook content, developing new ways to create engaging content that encourages audiences to join the conversation.

Facebook has new rules for marketers and publishers in 2018.

It’s finally time to Augment your Reality.

We’ve been saying this since last year, but seriously guys, Augmented Reality is about to kick off.

Both Facebook and Snapchat have developed their own AR software with World Effects and 3D World Lenses, and they’re both likely to continue developing that product offering as the year goes by.

The big question is, how can smaller players use Augmented Reality in their marketing? Or is this strictly a space for bigger brands with bigger budgets?

How will you use Augmented Reality this year to increase engagement with your audience?

All hail the Gram.

800 million active users, 25 million business users and 40 billion photos shared to date – Instagram has changed the way we share and consume content.

With constant updates and the introduction of Live, Stories, Highlights and Insights, the photo-sharing app is showing no signs of slowing down in 2018 and will become the essential platform for businesses who want to reach an engaged audience, through both their business profile and influencer pages.

2018 is shaping up to be a big one so stay tuned for our monthly social media updates to keep up with the latest industry trends!

Stay Social: November Social Media Updates

It’s November! Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas shopping (eeeep!). It also means that it’s time for your monthly roundup of all the top stories in social media marketing.

Facebook Stories. Facebook Stories Everywhere.

After stories took over Snapchat and Instagram, they arrived at Facebook. However, Facebook’s feature is being expanded in a way that’s far bigger than Instagram or Snapchat.

Facebook is adding Stories to both group and event pages. This new feature will allow users to share their stories privately, either within groups that they belong to or on the pages of events they are attending.

This is a huge opportunity for marketers to utilise user-generated-content and build their communities. Imagine creating brand event pages and asking users to upload their stories for the chance to win a prize, or simply to be featured on the event page?

Today, we’re excited to introduce the new Facebook camera. We think it’ll give everyone more ways to express themselves and share what they’re up to. So from now on, you can just let your camera do the talking.

Posted by Facebook on Monday, 27 March 2017

#Following on #Instagram

It’s fair to say many Instagram communities have been formed around hashtags- think #fitspiration, #fanart or even branded tags like #shareacoke.

Now, Instagram is introducing a feature that will allow users to follow their favourite hashtags. This means marketers have the opportunity to create campaigns and communities around specific hashtags, and measure success based on the number of followers and engagement with a specific hashtag.

The same hashtag problem persists even with the new feature – popular hashtags will have the most followers, but also the most users, meaning content could be drowned out. On the other hand, less popular hashtags will have fewer followers – a great opportunity for smaller brands and businesses to make themselves known.

Instagram’s latest feature provides marketers with a new way to measure sentiment. Think outside the box when it comes to measuring success- who is using your hashtag? How are they using your hashtag? These kinds of insights are essential for understanding how people feel about your brand or campaign.

More Room to Play on Twitter

Tweeters rejoice! 280-character posts on Twitter have now been rolled out for all users across the social media platform.

We’ve loved seeing how brands and users celebrated the new character limit, one of our favourite examples being Melville Books, who used all 280 characters to remind their followers exactly what it is they sell.

We can’t wait to see how brands and marketers will be using those additional 160 characters.


Snapchat Gets a New Look

It’s been a tough year for Snapchat. Since going public, the company has started to see a downward trend in its stock price, and that has prompted big changes to the mobile app.

These changes include a re-design of the app in order to make it more appealing to broader audiences. Their goal is to simplify the app after some feedback suggested the app isn’t all that user-friendly.

Snapchat will also be introducing an algorithmic feed. The algorithm will prioritise stories on user’s feeds, meaning friends and influencers they engage with the most will be shown at the top, rather than just showing all stories in reverse-chronological order.

Not only does this change force marketers to rethink how their content engages the audience, it also shifts how we rank and choose Snapchat influencers. Audience engagement will trump audience size as a metric of influencer success.

Do you find Snapchat’s current interface hard to use? Source:

And that’s it for November! Big changes are coming, so start thinking about how they can form part of your social media strategy next year.

Read next: Best Practices to Increase Your Social Media Conversions 

A Brave New World: How Facial Recognition Could Shape the Future of Marketing

The world of social media marketing is marked by anticipation of the “next big thing.” If the moves by Apple and Facebook this year have been anything to go by, facial recognition technology is a certain game changer.

We deep dive into the world of facial recognition and explore how some brands are already integrating this technology into their marketing.

Big-time Backers Set the Stage

Facial recognition hit the mainstream when Apple unveiled their iPhone X. The inclusion of 3D mapping (rather than the more basic 2D imaging) means this form of facial recognition will be more secure than previous editions. Users can use facial recognition to log in to their phones as well as using it for Apple Pay.

Facebook also jumped into the world of facial recognition this year. They’ve begun testing facial recognition as a way of allowing users to verify their identity when reclaiming their account after a lost password.

Meanwhile in China, the tech has really taken off with services like Face++ and Baidu. The Face++ technology is being used to transfer money, with just the users’ face as login credentials.

Baidu’s service lets users pick up train tickets from facial recognition machines, and they’re working on adding access to attractions and events.

Baby Steps: The Brands Using the Technology

While facial recognition technology is still in its infancy, a handful of brands are already experimenting with different ways to use the technology. It’s consistently proved to be effective at creating a more engaging experience for users.

South African coffee brand Douwe Egberts placed a dispensing machine at O.R. Tambo International Airport. The machine used facial scanning technology to detect people who yawned as they passed by. As they yawned, it dispensed a free cup of coffee. Watch below as word spread around the airport and travellers began queueing to use the machine.

Streets used facial recognition to promote the launch of the Magnum Infinity. Billboards across Australia were set up with an inbuilt camera to detect when users were smiling, before placing a virtual ice-cream in front of them. Users could pretend to bite down on the ice-cream while a photo of them chomping down was uploaded to the Streets Magnum Facebook page.

In Seoul, the International Finance Centre shopping mall set up LCD-screen kiosks with cameras and motion detectors. These kiosks used facial recognition to detect the gender and age of users. Users were then served with different ads for shops and restaurants based on their demographics. As the technology improves, we can only presume this kind of precise targeting will only become more widespread and commonplace.

Growing Pains: The Ethics of Facial Recognition

While facial recognition will allow marketers to provide a more tailored, customised experience for their audiences, facial recognition also raises many technical and ethical questions.

Many testers have already managed to dupe and break into facial recognition systems using photos, cheap glasses, and even special makeup.  

Privacy also becomes a major concern. If facial recognition apps can be embedded in any camera or recording devices, brands may eventually reach a stage where they’re able to perpetually track the movements and actions of their audience.

This lack of privacy could feel very much like a Big Brother situation. As technology advances faster than legislation, it remains to be seen what the social impact of facial recognition technology could be.

The Future is Bright

While it’s important to keep these issues in mind, the future is certainly bright for facial recognition. Soon, brands could be using the technology as the “cookie” of the future.

It could become to the most accurate way to target phone users and mall shoppers. After all, it’s much harder to change your face than it is to delete your browser history.

Different ads could be served based on a person’s moods, their recent foot traffic and any number of data-driven metrics.

Beyond the face, iris-scanning could become more commonplace, meaning the only log-in you’ll ever need is a scan of your eye.

In short, wherever the technology goes, it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

Read next: A Robots the New Face of Customer Service

Stay Social: October Social Media Updates

It’s time for our monthly roundup of all the top stories in social media marketing! Read on to find out about the latest trends and updates that are changing the social media sphere.

Facebook on Fake News

Amid a string of controversies surrounding potential fake news shared on its platform, Facebook has started to take action. The social media giant has started testing a new ‘context’ button that will appear next to links to articles.

This information button will provide further details on both the publisher of the article and the topic at hand. In doing so, they hope to provide users with the tools by which they can determine the veracity of the information they’re seeing.

From a branding perspective, this can help brands avoid sharing fake information, as well as holding them accountable to a higher standard within their own branded content and articles.

Instagram Lets You Vote and Shop

Instagram Stories are about to get a lot more interactive.

Instagram now allows you to include a two-question poll in any Story, which is a game changer for increasing your audience engagement and sentiment reporting.

Not only will brands be able to interact with customers, their customer’s votes and preference can be used a key insights and may even become essential to monthly reports.

We can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Are you a fan of Instagram’s latest polling feature? Yes, or no? Source: Mashable

But after all that engaging, it’s time to shop – and with Instagram’s new Shopify integration, it’s all the easier to do just that.

With the new feature, partnered sellers can tag their posts with products, allowing users to discover more about them and potentially purchase them. All without leaving the comfort of the app.

Twitter Builds Some Character

In one of the biggest shakeups to hit the social media space in recent years, Twitter has doubled its character limit from 140 to 280.

While this may seem like a small detail, Twitter has stuck to its 140-character limit since its launch. However, this limit was originally just based on an SMS character limit, and with more links, media and discussion being shared on the platform, the expansion makes total sense.

While we’ll miss the days of trying to cram complex ideas into abbreviations and emojis, we’re excited to see how brands can stretch using all that extra space and whether they’ll use it to add more info or ask their audience questions and opinions.

What are you going to say with 140 extra characters?

YouTube Prefers its Partners

Moving forward, unless you’re a certified YouTube partner, your channel will no longer be able to link to external websites in video cards (links that pop up mid-stream).

While this is unlikely to affect bigger brands or creators, this could have a big impact on small businesses and smaller agencies. While the links can still be included in the video description, that’s far less impactful than a call to action in the middle of a video.

Moving forward, unless you’re a certified YouTube partner, your channel will no longer be able to link to external websites in video cards (links that pop up mid-stream).

Read next: 3 Fast Rules for Marketing on Instagram.

Stay Social: September Social Media Updates

Do you feel like you’re a little behind the eight ball with the latest social media updates? Tune into our monthly roundup of the biggest and best changes in social media.

Facebook Updates Business Manager

Facebook’s latest update for Ad’s Manager combines Power Editor with Ads Manager in a bid to make advertising on Facebook easier for businesses.

Facebook said in a statement:  “In the updated Ads Manager, people will automatically be opted in to the workflow they used in the past. And everyone will have the option to change their preferred workflow at anytime using a button in the top right of the ad creation window.”

Other features include single source reporting which combines “the comprehensive charts and activity history of Power Editor with the breakdowns, summary rows, date benchmarks, exported insights reports and the ability to customize columns from Ads Manager.” Finally, Power Power Editor’s automatic draft saver will be incorporated into the update- something we’re all glad for!

Instagram Expands the Grid

It was a month of testing for Instagram with lucky some users getting the chance to test some of the new features.

Users on Android devices will now be able to determine if someone is following them by looking at the person’s profile. This means you’ll no longer have to scroll through your follower list to see if your friends have followed you back, but rather just head to their profiles and look there.

Convenient? Yes.

Potential for awkward conversations? Also yes.

In a more controversial move, Instagram also seems to be testing a change in their three-grid system. Currently, photos displayed on a profile scroll down the page in rows of three, but some users are now seeing rows of four.

While this means you can fit more on your profile before having to scroll down, it also means that influencers and brands who curate their feeds according to three images in a row will have to edit their feeds or rethink their posting strategy.

What do you think of the new grid? Let us know in the comments below.

Snapchat Ads Get Fancy

Snapchat has announced new partnerships with creative and tech companies. These partners will focus on building ads to enhance the post-swipe-up experience and bring additional value to advertisers.

Whether it’s campaign-specific apps, mobile games, fillable lead-generation forms or 360 videos, each partner has a unique specialisation that can be leveraged by advertisers. This tactic might go a long way to helping users actually enjoy branded content on the platform.

Do you think Snapchat’s new approach to ads will help users enjoy and engage with branded content on the platform? Source: Curlate

YouTube takes big steps for its creators

This month YouTube announced changes to their Studio App, as well as the introduction of a user-sponsorship feature to make their platform more user-friendly.

Change no. 1: Studio App (previously called the Creator Studio) now allows creators to schedule the date and time they’d like their videos to go live on the site. They can also choose whether the video goes live as public, private or unlisted. This is huge from a strategic point of view- you can now target your audience in relevant micro-moments when they’re looking for information about a specific topic.

Change no. 2: YouTube has now opened a new feature to its users: the ability to pay a small subscription fee to a creator they like. This is currently only available to creators on the YouTube Gaming platform, but is in beta for the rest of the site.  

The change is designed to encourage community-building and regular content from creators.

Do you think it will work? Tell us in the comments below.

Read next: New Metrics of Success: Video Completion Rate & Watch Time

4 Reasons Why Ads for Instagram Stories are so Hot Right Now

Whether you’re trying to capture a Millennial audience or simply trying to build a more immediate connection with your audience, Instagram Stories are proving to be a key a key digital tool. 

Since May of this year, ads have been available on Instagram Stories with objectives beyond reach including video views, traffic, conversions and mobile app Installs. So on that note, we’ve complied some tips on how to use ads for Instagram Stories strategically in your next campaign.

Target practice

Social media managers rejoice, the same Facebook-powered targeting capabilities you enjoy on Instagram are available for ads for Instagram Stories, allowing you to leverage essential data for targeting.

The key difference is that you can apply existing targeting to reach an audience in the right mindset to engage with your brand. Your audience has to choose to view your Instagram story, so you’re essentially engaging with an audience who is looking for information about your brand. Pair this with relevant, engaging content and your onto a winner.

And the best part, this can be done at scale so you can tick off the brand awareness objective.

Awareness boost

Recently, Ben & Jerry’s ran a paid Instagram Stories campaign to promote their new ‘Pint Slices’ product. The campaign objective? Increased reach and brand awareness about the single-serve packaging of their new product.

Following the campaign, a Nielsen study found that Instagram Stories had increased the brand awareness by 6 points, lifted ad recall by 14 points and raised purchase intent by two points.

This campaign demonstrates that developing the right type of content to suit the Instagram Stories format is essential to success. The short, sharp and fun videos created for the campaign were perfectly suited to the ephemeral, ‘snackable’ nature of Instagram Stories.


Beyond reach, brands can set up Instagram Stories ad campaigns to deliver for conversions, views, app installs and site traffic.

This means Instagram Stories ads can be used for a variety of campaigns beyond brand awareness campaigns, and for a variety of clients in industries beyond lifestyle, travel and food. We use Instagram Stories ads to promote one of our clients in the construction space, optimising the ads for site traffic. We have found that there is less competition in the space, meaning that cost per click is coming in at fraction of the price of our in-feed Instagram ads.

Share your brand story

Your audience craves authenticity, real time communications and transparency, and what better way to deliver an insight into your brand than through the immediacy of Instagram Stories?

The nature of Instagram Stories lends itself to “behind-the-scenes” content, so it’s a great way to share your brand identity with your audience.

We suggest using Instagram Stories to:

  • Provide audiences with an intimate look at company culture
  • Create behind-the-scenes content
  • Using video to developing engaging narratives, or perhaps series content
  • Establishing brand identity
  • Create teaser videos to preface new product launches
  • Develop live content

By effectively utilising Instagram Stories, brands get a chance to show off what sets them apart. 

Read this next: Should Facebook’s Advertising Practices be Regulated?

Five Predictions for Social media and Content Marketing in 2017

2016 paved the way for some exciting new marketing trends.

With the new year in full swing, we’ve put together a few predictions for the future of content marketing and social media this year.

1. Virtual and augmented reality will continue to expand

It’s fair to say that 2016 saw the rise of Virtual Reality. Between Google, Sony, and Facebook’s Oculus, there weren’t any shortage of devices to experience new virtual realities on. The only thing that prohibited their growth was the bulky size of the viewing apparatus, as well as their often exorbitant cost.

But that didn’t stop brands like Qantas from creating content for VR devices (as well as 360 degree video and photos on Facebook), and as those devices become more affordable in the year to come, we can only expect that more and more brands will hop onto the bandwagon. If 2016 introduced us to new realities, 2017 might well be the year they become a part of our everyday lives.

2. Live video will continue to grow

People want to watch content live. It creates a greater degree of interconnectivity from one side of the world to the other. Whether it’s sports, concerts or current affairs, global audiences feel like they need to tune into something as it’s happening, and most social networks have started catering to that search for shared live experiences.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all introduced and expanded live video features in 2016, with Twitter making claim to Thursday night NFL matches and YouTube becoming a key hub for the US Presidential Election’s debates. These features have slowly been rolled out from major partners and broadcasters to everyday users, and it’s safe to say that we’re bound to see a boom in live content on social platforms in 2017.

3. No more texting

Five years ago, no one could have predicted how big a phenomenon Snapchat would become.

But with Snapchat’s continued success, Instagram’s addition of Snapchat-like Stories and Facebook’s Messenger app recently shifting the focus to the camera rather than text, it’s safe to say 2017 might mark the beginning of the end for text messaging (at least in the way we know it now). And this, of course, will present new opportunities for brands and influencers to directly interact with their audiences.

4. Pay to play on social

Market researcher company BIA/Kelsey has predicted that social advertising spend in the US will rise to over $11 billion dollars in 2017. That’s almost double the $6.1 billion figure in 2016, and it’s fair to say we can expect a similar upwards trend in Australia.

And with companies like Facebook clearing out “inauthentic” communication from newsfeeds, brands will be able to rely less and less on organic reach from their social pages. So as 2017 rolls onwards, brands will have to pay to even appear on their own audience’s newsfeeds.

For advertisers, social networks will effectively continue to become more and more like the traditional media networks they’re replacing.

5. Mobile browsers will disappear

In the past, you needed to have a web-browsing app to surf the web on your phone, but those days are almost over. Most social media apps now see themselves as the hub for mobile users’ web content, and have included in-app browsing within their own platforms.

More than just that, Instant Articles are now a staple of browsing on Facebook, and Twitter has recently begun making use of a breaking news push notification system. They’re making the connection between reading web content and sharing on social media as seamless as possible, and in doing so are cutting out the middle man of Safari or Chrome. What’s more, your content can be personalised- so that (in a perfect world), you’ll only see the news you want to see.

And, once again, that means many brands will have to reconsider how they go about advertising their products when it comes to mobile devices.

Those are just a few predictions for how social media and content marketing will change in 2017. But what do you think will happen? Let us know down in the comments!

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