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.

 

The rise of voice search and what it means for your business

When mobiles were introduced, we were amazed to have the world at our fingertips. We could pick up our phones and communicate with people instantly, search online for the answer to any questions, or add last-minute things to our grocery list.

Now, thanks to voice search, we don’t even have to lift a finger.

Hey Siri, can you tell us about voice search?

Voice search is technology that allows users to conduct a search or request an action by voice command.

Skipping a song while you’re driving is as simple as saying ‘Hey Siri, next song please.’ You don’t even have to hold down the Home button anymore, literally just say ‘Hey Siri’ and she’s ready to respond.

Siri’s just one example familiar to iPhone users, but other voice command technology includes Cortana on Windows, Samsung’s Bixby, Google Home, and Amazon’s Alexa.

There’s a lot more voice search can help with – ordering takeaway, online shopping, or even finding out how hot it is outside (because dressing for Australia’s weather is so hard to get right these days.)

A voice on the rise

A recent survey of more than 1800 smartphone users across the world revealed that 62% of participants engaged with voice-activated technology in the past six months, with 57% of Australians using voice search.

Of those who have used the technology, 95% intend to keep using it in the next year.

With lots of celebrities endorsing the technology, it’s no surprise it’s becoming more popular. The six-minute Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ad for Siri was one thing, and then Amazon came out with an ad for Alexa, featuring the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson among other popular celebrities.

Alexa loses her voice

Dwayne Johnson x Siri

How can voice search be utilised for marketing?

When it comes to the queries and questions we ask our voice search companions, results are powered by search engines.

Search language

Voice search will give you a single answer or option in response to your query. There’s no more scrolling through the webpage results to find the most relevant one; you get what the technology churns out.

To beat this, create more conversational content, because the way we ask questions while speaking is conversational, while we usually focus on keywords for a typed query. For example, we might ask Siri ‘What’s the weather like in Sydney today?’ but if we were to type, we’d probably just search ‘Sydney weather’.

So with voice search, rather than focusing on keywords, it’s best to focus on long-tail keyword phrases.

Create specific content for the common keywords or phrases your audience would search for – a keyword search tool like CognitiveSEO can help you find keyword phrases that are high-volume and likely to land your content in the top results.

Adding an FAQ section to your website could also increase chances of landing in the top results, as it’s likely the user could search the exact question (or one very similar).

Local SEO

Did you know voice-searches are also likely to be 3 times more likely to be based on something local? Maybe it’s about a restaurant, or a service station. To give your business the upper hand in local search, make sure your business has a Google My Business page. Secondly, reviews can help get your business noticed. Third-party apps and local directories with reviews can also help – the more reviews your business gets and the better the reviews are will likely boost it to the top of the search engine results.

While voice search is still something to get used to, it represents new opportunity and growing importance for marketers to adapt to future technologies. 

Email isn’t social media, but it’s still pretty popular!

Social media is a very popular tool for online marketing, but we shouldn’t forget the power of email. Think about it – if someone has a social media account, chances are they signed up using their email address. Essentially, everyone who accesses content on social media most likely also has access to emails.

According to DMA Insight, 99% of consumers check their emails every day, with an estimated 281 billion emails to be sent daily in 2018. In fact, 69% of people admit to checking their phone while watching a movie and 34% while in the bathroom!

The best things in life are free (or cheaper at least)

Not only is email marketing more affordable than advertising on social platforms, but it’s also great for keeping track of performance and results. Important for businesses of all sizes, email campaigns can give marketers a better perspective of what’s working well and what needs improvement. This will also reveal the numbers behind your subscribers and click-through rates.

Facebook, in particular, is making it especially hard for people to come into contact with content from business. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this year that friends and family are going to be brought back to the core of the ‘Facebook experience.’

This means users will see less content from businesses and media, and more from family and friends. Whilst great for the user, this makes marketing on Facebook much more difficult. As a result, the organic reach (the number of users who see your content, not as a result of paid distribution) is on a steady decline, so to reach more people, brands have to use paid promotions.

On the contrary, email content goes directly to the consumer, rather than the consumer searching for the content in a sea of posts from family, friends and competing brands.

When someone gets an email, they generally get an immediate notification on their smartphone – something less common for social media marketing unless the user actively opts to receive notifications when a particular brand posts something.

So what are the best processes for an email marketing campaign?

  • Personalising emails is a great way to keep people on board with receiving emails from your brand – rather than sending an obviously generic email, make them feel like they’re more than just a number on a list.
  • Buyer personas are a way of differentiating types of customers based on how they interact with the brand, whether it’s by what products they buy or the pages they look at. Try targeting particular groups with specific content relevant to their interests.
  • Providing incentives is also super effective – who doesn’t like free stuff!? This could be a free item, a discounted service, or maybe an invitation to an event.
  • Competitions are a really great way to get more people to sign up to receive your emails. There’s a great chance that people will use their email address to enter competitions, whether it be for a chance to win a new wardrobe, a discount off future purchases, or even a holiday – if there’s a chance for a reward, you’ll see the numbers grow.

Email marketing remains a relevant tool for businesses of all sizes. Emails allow you to stay in touch with the people who have a vested interest in your business – your customers!

Another Facebook data breach: What does this mean for users?

Most social media users are concerned about privacy, and these concerns surfaced once again over the last few weeks when Facebook announced it had experienced its biggest data breach in history.

What happened?

On September 28, Facebook announced cyber attackers gained full access to around 50 million Facebook accounts. A further 40 million accounts were deemed “at risk”. Around 300,000 Australians are thought to have been part of those numbers. In response, Facebook logged these 90 million users out of their accounts and asked them to log back in, with a notification of the breach appearing on their newsfeeds.

On October 12, Facebook announced that it was in fact only 29 million users who were directly affected. Of these 29 million, the attackers took profile information from 14 million users, including birth dates, employers, education history, religious preference, types of devices used, pages followed and recent searches and location check-ins. The remaining 15 million users could be considered lucky, with their data breach restricted to name and contact details.

The social media giant claims it doesn’t know who the attackers were nor what their motivation was. The breach was a result of three vulnerabilities in the app being exploited simultaneously to allow the hackers access to accounts. 

For the biggest data breach in history, there doesn’t seem to be as much discussion about it as would be expected. Could it be that we’re becoming used to it? Perhaps it’s the ‘that won’t happen to me’ mentality that subsides a big reaction.

Or as CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan put it: “I think we all have data breach fatigue.”

Even Googling ‘Facebook data scandal’ churns out article after article about the data breach from March this year, rather than what’s described as the biggest data breach in history.

Previous data-breach cases

One of the most notable cases of data breaching happened in March 2018. The Guardian reported that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that “uses data to change audience behaviour”, had harvested the personal data of more than 87 million Facebook users.

Most of the controversy surrounds Cambridge Analytica’s use of the data to influence voter behaviour in the 2016 election, likely helping Trump become president and also impacting the Brexit.

The data was breached via the personality quiz app ‘thisisyourdigitallife’. Users consented for the app to collect their data when they took the quiz, but they did not consent for information to be collected from each of their Facebook friends, which is what ultimately occurred. So, of the 87 million people involved, only 270,000 people used the app. Furthermore, data of 300,000 Australians was also collected from the 52 users who allegedly used the app.

Do users even care?

#DeleteFacebook began trending on Twitter during the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, urging users to take a stand.

But the number of Facebook users remains steady, despite a survey following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and before the latest data scandal revealing that 81 percent of users have little to no confidence in Facebook protecting their data and privacy.

Even with all the security breaches, Facebook is a communication tool providing too much convenience for many to delete.

Impact on marketers

The data breaches – whether by hackers or third-party apps – have diminished the trust between consumers and marketers in most cases, resulting in users sharing less private information. This will make it harder for marketers to establish targeted ads, resulting in an increased cost to improve reach to relevant audiences. To establish (or re-establish) trust with consumers, it’s essential for marketers and advertisers to show transparency and accountability.

Are you safe?

To find out if your account has been breached, go to the Facebook Help Centre and access an article about Facebook’s recent security incident. If you scroll to the bottom, there is a message stating “Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?”. Here, you will find the answer regarding the status of your account.

So, what now? Do we log out of our accounts and call it a day?

It may not be that simple. Facebook has become so engrained in our culture that it’s almost impossible to delete. It has become a necessary platform to keep in touch with friends and family, used for work, education, and general engagement with the wider community. From organising events, sending group messages, to sharing thoughts, arguments and memories –  these simple conveniences are few of the reasons that make users turn a blind eye.

Stay Social May: The Latest and Greatest in Social Media

It’s May, which means the memes about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding are coming in thick! Let’s deep dive into the world of social media marketing and explore what’s happening outside The Royal Wedding memes.

Facebook strengthens its Live offering

Live Video is the social media trend that just keeps getting stronger! Facebook is on the bandwagon and has just unveiled a slew of new features for brands and users who are producing live video content.

Feature no. 1: Persistent Stream Keys

You’ll no longer need to get approval from the Facebook team every time your page wants to go live. The stream key will now be linked to your brand’s Facebook page permanently, so once you’re approved, you can go live whenever you’d like!

Feature no. 2: Cross-posting

If your brand runs multiple Facebook pages or wants to partner with an influencer or another brand, you can go live across several pages all at the same time with the one livestream. It’s a great way to both expand the reach of your Live videos, as well as the engagement they’ll generate.

Feature no. 3: Live Rewind

Users can now go backwards in a Live video to catch up on anything they may have missed. This move isn’t just great for user experience – by having users who can quickly catch up on any highlights, brands can now expect to see better engagement on their Live content.

And with rumours that the platform is finally going to bring Facebook Watch to the international market, as well as a Facebook dating app, brands are going to want to keep keeping an eye on this space.

Facebook dabbles with the idea of expanding into the online dating scene. Image source: The Verge  

Instagram becomes very business friendly

Meanwhile, over on Facebook’s sister platform, Instagram is gearing up to continue giving businesses big and small some new options.

First off, as of this month, users will now be able to link their credit or debit card to the app, and directly pay for a product or service being advertised, without the need to exit to a separate browser or landing page.

Apart from exciting impulse shoppers (us!), it’s certainly going to help brands and marketers prove ROI via social, especially with campaigns built around sales or direct conversions.

On top of that, Instagram is also expanding messaging options for brands on the platform. You’ll soon be able to set up “quick replies”, which will let you create and store responses you find yourself using quite often. That means you can send details like contact or product information with just the tap of a button.

Messages to your business will now also go straight to your Inbox, and you’ll be able to “star” the ones you want to save or respond to later.

This will certainly provide better customer experience and is sure to excite community managers!

How can you use the new Instagram updates to prove ROI from social? Image via Marketing Land

Snapchat turns back time

After a controversial redesign at the start of the year, it seems that iOS users can soon expect to see the app revert to the older design, once again separating Stories from Snaps.

How this will affect the ways brands can reach users on the platform remains to be seen, but it’s a change that’s certain to make users very happy.

Which Snapchat design do you prefer?

And that’s it for May! Stay tuned for next month’s social media wrap!

Read next: 3 Fast Rules for Marketing on Instagram

How to Improve Your Facebook Ad Relevance Score in 3 Simple Steps

For the past few years, when brands put up an ad on Facebook, that ad is continuously evaluated and given a Faecbook Ad Relevancy Score.

But what is Ad Relevance? And how can you make sure that your promoted social posts get the highest score possible?

What is Ad Relevance?

When your brand starts a campaign with a promoted post, Facebook will continuously give the post a score out of ten starting from when your ad reaches 500 impressions.

This rating is based on a plethora of criteria, with the main three being:

  1. How well the ad is performing when it comes to your set campaign goal (clicks, conversions, etc)
  2. Engagements like reactions and comments on the post, and,
  3. Negative feedback, such as users selecting the “Hide Ad” option.

All in all, a score of 7 or higher means you’ve done a pretty good job when it comes to Ad Relevance.

What is your Facebook Ad Relevancy Score?  Image source: Sprout Social

Why does it matter?

Your campaign’s Ad Relevance score can end up having a large impact on total performance. The more relevant your ad is, the less Facebook will charge you for reaching your selected audience.

So if your ad has a high relevance score, you can expect a lower total cost of the campaign, which is great no matter how you slice it.

On top of that, because the Ad Relevance Score is constantly updating, you’ll be able to accurately track the life-cycle of your promoted post, as the score will steadily lower as your target audience grows tired of the ad. When the score dips below seven, then you know it’s time to change.

How can you improve your Ad Relevance Score?

So, now that you know why your social promotion should have a high Relevance score, the bigger question is how?

Audience is everything

First and foremost, to be relevant to your audience, you had better make sure that you know who they are. That’s why when it comes to Ad Relevance, the more granular the audience, the better.

It’s much harder to make a social post about Pet Insurance relevant to everyone aged 18-34 than it is to confirmed pet owners.

 

An example from Facebook of an ad with a decent design and copy targeted to the perfect audience. Image source: Adespresso

 

Facebook already has a plethora of tools to help you find your audience, so be sure to use Custom Audiences, target people who have interacted with previous ads, capture e-mails for retargeting, and use A/B testing to optimise to better-performing audience segments.

A/B Testing

Ad Relevance is a great way to test what kind of messaging your audience best responds to. Test different CTAs, copy or creative imagery using A/B testing, and you can use those posts’ Relevance Scores to work out which strategy works best for you.

Offer Value

Lastly, it’s important that no matter who you’re targeting, they feel like your promoted post offers something of value. Whether this comes in the form of entertainment, education or special offers and giveaways, providing value to your targeted audience is the best way to ensure they react positively to your post. In turn, that will make sure your Ad Relevance Score is as high as possible.

So, as always, the content itself is king. Make sure yours is as engaging as possible.

Read Next: Facebook’s Algorithm Update

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

It’s April! So, without further ado, here are the latest news stories on social media marketing from the last month!

Facebook privacy troubles bring big changes

The last month has been tough-going for Facebook. Between the Cambridge Analytica scandal (you can read our summary of it here) and the subsequent Congressional Hearing, the pressure has been on the social platform to improve and clarify its privacy policies.

The Congressional Hearing did result in an abundance of memes and an apology from Mark Zuckerberg as well as a commitment to working with policy-makers on regulation. A slew of changes to the platform have since been announced.


What’s your favourite meme to result from the Congressional Hearing?

The biggest of these changes include sweeping reforms to the platform’s API. Previously, other apps had access to a whole heap of information from Events, Groups, and Pages on Facebook. Now, they will no longer be able to gather data on what people post in Events or on Pages, and they can no longer gain access to any data and information from Groups without Facebook’s direct approval. They can also no longer access the member lists from Events and Groups, which means they’ll only see data from the people who have explicitly agreed to share it.

Beyond the API changes, Facebook is also implementing controls within its own App that will allow users to see how their information is shared and with who. If they aren’t happy with what they see, the users can now also change their privacy settings (or delete their data altogether) from a much easier to find and use interface.

A comparison of the old settings menu (left) and the new settings menu (right). Image source: TechCrunch

Meanwhile, on the platform’s sister site, the Instagram API for follower lists, relationships and public comments for apps has been disabled, which means outside Apps will be unable to track that data through the image-sharing platform.

With all of these changes, it’s clear that Facebook isn’t just taking PR-friendly half-measures in response to the scandal. The company seems earnest in its goal to make the platform a more secure place for its users’ information.

Snapchat takes on Group Chat

Snapchat recently introduced Group Video Chat to its platform. Users can now chat with up to 16 friends at the same time, all while still using Lenses to give themselves dog ears.

While not monetisable by advertisers, this feature aims to keep users returning to the platform after Facebook’s Instagram and Messenger Apps proved to be stiff competition.  The addition will hopefully prove to be a strong addition to the App’s features, making sure that users and brands can continue using the platform well into the future.


What do you think about Snapchat’s new Group Video Feature? Image source: Fortune

YouTube wants you to reach your audience

In a smaller, but still important update, YouTube is updating how advertisers can share their content on the video platform.

With its new TrueView for Reach, brands can promote 6-30 second skippable videos on the platform, all while these are targeted to reach as many unique users on the platform as possible. All this to help brands reach as many people in their target audience as possible.


Youtube’s newest TrueView feature explained. 

And that’s it for April. Here’s hoping May brings with it much more social media goodness to report on.

4 Instagram Features You Need to Know About for Your Business

Do you freak out when you hear the words “Instagram update” and “algorithm” in the same sentence? You’re not alone. Changes to how people use Instagram often leave brands and marketers a little left in the dark and scrambling to adapt their strategy. So rather than work harder to be seen by the same amount of people, what can you, as a brand or business do to utilise the changes and make them work in your favour?

Replay Privacy Controls

Instagram is hoping to increase the focus on direct with changes to replay privacy controls. Now when you send a photo or video from the Instagram Direct camera, you can decide how long recipients can view it for. Controls include:

  • Allowing recipients to only view it once
  • Replay it temporarily
  • View a permanent thumbnail of it in the chat log

This greater control over viewing can give you new ways to engage with your audience. For example, you could send out one-off coupon codes, or flash sale information for limited viewing to create a sense of urgency. The goal here is to target impulse actions from your audience and turn your viewers into customers!

API Scheduling

The ability to now schedule posts is a huge step forward for the recognition of brands and business on Instagram. While most brands and businesses have either used other third-party apps or planners to schedule their content in the past, Instagram has now opened it’s API to partner applications like Hootsuite or SproutSocial. For brands and marketers, this means they can schedule and manage their Instagram presence and reporting from one platform, saving time with a more integrated approach.

TIP: If you haven’t already, start planning your posts to be published at optimum times for engagement! Collate data from Iconosquare and Facebook Insights to determine when you audience is online.

New Features for Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are now more versatile than ever. Before, users had to post vertical photos, but now there is an option to use landscape photos – no more weird crops and zoom-ins! In addition, text-only Stories mean you don’t have to include a photo at all! This is perfect if you want to create content like polls or send out messages to your audience. Do some A/B testing and monitor the performance of Stories with images vs text-only Stories to figure out which types of content resonates the best with your audience.

Now there are new ways to get creative with Instagram Stories!

The Algorithm

While it has been confirmed that Instagram will not be bringing back the chronological feed, the app announced that they will be testing a “New Posts” button. By tapping the button, a user will be taken to the top of their Instagram feed where they will see the most recent posts from their network.

For the most part, Instagram sorts user’s feeds based on the interactions the user has with various accounts. This means the posts that appear on a user’s feed are ordered by levels of interaction (through likes, comments, shares, saves etc). In most cases, posts from business pages are often way down the list, only reaching an estimated 10% of their audience.

So how can you use this knowledge to your advantage?

One thing you can and should be doing is interacting with your audience as much as possible – this includes direct messages, too! Reward users for commenting, liking and tagging their friends in your pictures. Respond immediately to comments with additional questions and create discussion wherever possible!

A/B test different types of content to figure out which content is most popular with your audience. Mix it up with a range of video, static images, galleries and more. Use the copy to ask questions or provide tips—anything that your audience will find helpful and can engage with.

With the Algorithm Causing an Ongoing Stir, is Vero Becoming a Real Contender?

If you’re in the social bubble it’s hard to ignore the ongoing complaints about Instagram’s algorithm and so it’s no surprise that another social media app has emerged. Yes, Vero is still on our horizons.

It has a chronological feed, for starters. You don’t have to pay for ads. Oh, and there’s no algorithm. Win, win, and win. If Instagram doesn’t start taking care of its users Vero and other competitors could see some real growth in their user bases.

Read next: 3 Fast Rules for Marketing on Instagram

Easy-Peasy Ways Video Can Educate Your Audience

A recent article from eMarketer Retail revealed that of all media, video is the likeliest to sway a consumer towards buying a product. In fact, 86% of consumers are influenced by video when it comes to purchasing.

On top of that, four in ten YouTube users will regularly head to the platform and consume content about a product before buying it. When asked why, they almost all responded that they wanted to see the product in action. Reading a blog, article, or review isn’t the same as seeing the product in use: both as a how-to and to see its results.

Here we chat through easy ways you can use video to educate consumers about your product.

Have a sense of humour

The key to creating a video that performs is to engage your audience, and one of the best ways to engage is via humour. Humour allows you to create a narrative around your product or service and is key for telling a story about a product that might not be overly glamourous or aspirational.

One of our all-time favourite examples is from Squatty Potty. There’s something about a prince eating Unicorn “poop” that makes us want to buy this toilet stool.


Don’t be afraid to use humour, but use it wisely. Successful humour finds that sweet spot- being funny for a reason- rather than being funny for the sake of being funny. Remember to play to your audience and never lose sight of the fact that you’re telling a story, not just a joke.

Video testimonials

70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions so integrating influencers into your video marketing strategy is key building your brand authority by association.

Influencers can lend a voice of authority to your product offering via video reviews about your product. Tips for enhancing authenticity include:

  • Keep it natural. Rather than going for a high-level production, shorter Instagram videos are more genuine and realistic. These videos are more akin to behind-the-scenes content which is more relatable and enticing for viewers.
  • Create a sense of immediacy. Experiment with Live videos reviews. You can create hype around the Live video by giving your audience hints about the date of the video review with “coming soon” and “watch this space” posts.
  • Use tools to add flavour to your video. Video editing tools like iMovie, Quik and Splice are easy iPhone tools that allow you to edit videos and add graphics, enabling you to cut and chop your video in multiple ways to make the most of your content.


The key takeaway is that educational video doesn’t have to be complex – they can be short, snappy and snackable but still add value to your audience when done well.

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

Here’s 8 Tips For Taking Beautiful Instagram Pics

Are you addicted to your Instagram feed? Do you diarise your day through Instagram stories, or create polls to help you decide what to get for lunch? With over 800 million users overall, Instagram is a key platform for not only creating and showcasing beautiful content, but for also connecting with an engaged audience. Whether you are looking to increase visibility in your market space, drive sales or connect with a community of like-minded individuals, watch this video for 8 tips that will spark fresh ideas and help improve the quality of your content!

 

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