Go ahead, let all your emojis out #WorldEmojiDay

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Ever notice the calendar emoji icon? If you’ve looked closely you’ll see that the date featured on the calendar is July 17. The date wasn’t chosen at random as some may believe, it’s actually the date Apple’s iCal launched at the MacWorld conference. However, a few days ago Twitter users celebrated the date for completely other reasons. On Friday, the emotion packed icons garnered a lot of attention on Twitter as fans and big name brands celebrated #WorldEmojiDay. Last July 17th the effort was pushed by Emojipedi.org, but didn’t really take off. However, this year the holiday was a hit as heavy hitters got in on the silly Twitter action.

As reported in one article #WorldEmojiDay was already trending by 9 a.m. ET and included more than 93,000 tweets by noon according to data shared by Twitter. This does not come as a surprise as emojis have hit an all-time popularity. Recently, we even saw a emoji campaign for Chevy in which they released a media release in strictly emojis – later revealing what the release said as the brand created a decoding game for readers. Also getting in on the emoji action is The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in their recent emoji only drug free PSA campaign – a first of its kind.

Here’s a look at how some brands celebrated #WorldEmojiDay

Budlight Rita        KFC Tweet         Chase Tweet

Last but not least one of my favorites, created by Mountain Dew.

To put the cherry on top of an emoji-tastic day, a list was released of 38 new emojis that are expected to come out next year. These icons get even corkier with emojis ranging from “selfie” to bacon and many things in between. Interested in seeing the full list? Check it out here.

What are some of your favorite tweets from #WorldEmojiDay? Did you participate in this popular trend?

Social Media Followers: Quality or Quantity – Which do you choose?

The age old question of quality or quantity comes up often with the popular media, social media. Afterall, what is best – Having a lot of followers? Or having a few followers but quality content and connections?

When it comes to social media, and many other things, I personally value quality over quantity. Moore, for Marketing Nutz, agrees in his article that having 100 followers or fans that connect and listen to your content is much better than having 10,000 followers who are fake and merely follow you because you begged. As he shares wasting time on building numbers can distract from time that could be used for creating quality content – which as you know can lead to more followers.

That leads us to the question – What is a quality follower? A quality follower is well targeted, influential and willing to engage with the brand. These individuals didn’t click “follow” for a coupon, instead they chose to follow, connect with the brand and act as a brand advocate. Therefore, choosing quality can be a win-win for all involved.

Check out this short clip by MarketingNutz on quality vs quantity:

When it comes to social media followers what is your opinion – Do you value quality or quantity?

Follow your favorites

Ever get tired of seeing rambling posts by oversharers? I think we all have that one friend who posts and shares too much too often. Well, Facebook’s newest update let you make your social media experience even more personal.

Mashable shares these updates allow users more control over what they see in their News Feed. With a few clicks in the new News Feed Preferences users can select who they see first, hide or unfollow users, discover new pages and reconnect with users that you had previously unfollowed.

The prioritizing option is the newest change and generating a lot of buzz around the net. How many accounts can you select to prioritize? Great question, currently the feature allows users to customize and prioritize their feed to up to 30 accounts – allowing you to see these selected users first before your “normal” feed. In case you’re concerned that you may forget who you selected to prioritize, well don’t worry Facebook took care of that too. Those that you select to prioritize will feature a star as a reminder that you selected to see their updates first.

Check out a peak of the new features below in this video created by Facebook :

Aforementioned, with the new updates comes changes with unfollowing friends. With the “hide or unfollow users” feature there also comes the ability to reconnect with users that you had previously selected to unfollow – a great tool for all those times we may have hit the unfollow button too fast!

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The “discover pages” that are mentioned above will allow for new connections and relationships to be made. Based on current pages you like and those pages that are liked by people like you, users will see posts that interest them. This change has potential to be a great marketing tool – especially for smaller businesses that may have been lost in the clutter.

According to the brand, the new controls are currently available to iOS users and will later roll out to Android and desktop users.

Overall, I think it will be interesting to follow (pardon the pun) how this new enhancement pans out for the marketing world. With an option to prioritize those that you follow, brands could go further down the list – or they could be higher on consumers’ lists, with an option to stand out of the clutter. I guess time will be the real judge.

So, what’s your thoughts on these new updates? Have you used these new features or did you select to keep your feed as is?

Dove: Breaking through the clutter

Through the digital age storytelling has grown from simply mere stories around the campfire to viral online videos. Storytelling is now a full experience for users, involving more than just listening. Digital storytelling captures images, sounds, videos and experiences to share your brand’s message.

Like any good story these should capture attention and engage your brand’s audience, a challenging task as more and more messages are flooding social media each day.

Check out the infographic below by LookBookHQ and Beutler Ink on how to cut through the growing clutter and effectively tell your story.

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When thinking of a brand that I feel does an excellent job of digital storytelling and breaking through the clutter, I cannot help but think of Dove. Dove has consistently taken storytelling to the next level. The brand uses this method to spread their mission of beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety.

Dove has created numerous videos to share and promote their mission in an effort to help women and girls build their self esteem and realize their real beauty. How do they share these videos? Well, you guessed it – social media! A channel that is working for the brand as in 2013 Dove first shared the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video on social media. The video sharing how often our perceptions of ourselves are much harsher than what the world sees. The video was an instant hit and now has over 66 million views. Later, in 2014 Dove Evolution was shared. This too became a hit and revealed how the images we see in magazines and billboards are not what they appear to be.

In more recent times the brand has integrated more than just YouTube and Facebook for sharing their storytelling clips, adding Twitter into the mix. The Dove:Selfie social media campaign uses the hashtag #BeautyIs. Dove’s most recent storytelling video, Dove Four Generations (can be viewed below), shares the story of a family with four generations of Dove girls – a tradition passed on over the years.

These videos are just a few of the storytelling videos that the brand has produced. However, all of their videos have done a nice job of telling the brand’s story.

What are some of your favorite brands that use digital storytelling?  

What’s #trending? Find out on Instagram!

Do you ever use Instagram as a search engine? Well, you’re not alone as more and more users are now using this picture social media channel as a search engine. A recent enhancement has given this media even more capabilities.

If you’ve been an Instagram user for a while you may recall that the application had a Popular tab before it merged with search features to become what we now know as the Explore tab.

With the brand’s focus on real time media the “Explore Tab” has been revamped and now has Trending Tags, Trending Places, curated content and Places Search. The real-time trending topics gets its information from hashtags and check-ins. This upgrade makes it easier than ever to keep up with the latest news, pop culture and other popular content.

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These new features are easy to use – users simply check into the event or hashtag it on Instagram. Instagram will then determine and populate trending content at the top of users’ screens. Check it out in the image below!

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For now this upgrade is exclusive to U.S. users, however Instagram shared that Explore will later roll out to everyone.

With Instagram’s 300 million users and 70 million uploaded photos a day, do you think this was a step in the right direction? What benefits do you think the brand will see  from this upgrade?

Want to learn more? Check out the Instagram Help Center.

Twitter + shopping = the perfect pair?

It was recently shared that the new happy couple is Twitter and shopping as Twitter enters the ecommerce world. According to Mashable, Twitter will feature specialized pages for products and places that will share relevant tweets and additional information, as well as the chance to purchase said item.

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While the brand first introduced the option to buy with a buy button back in September, the newest addition takes on a full custom experience. With the new rollout users can group their favorite products into collections – this reminded me of a Pinterest board. Check out the picture below and tell me what you think!

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As you can see Twitter launched this new feature with influencers like Demi Lovato and Nike. The brand is focused on creating a personalized experience for their users. I look forward to seeing the other changes that the brand has in store.

What do you think of these new ecommerce additions? With Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter launching buying features are “social” sites a thing of the past?

Dinner and a movie – a new take on a popular media

An emerging media that caught my attention this week was Pizza Hut’s dinner and a movie. But, before we get into that let’s look into the media that is hot on America’s radar. As you know video is a media that has been on the rise in recent years. Much of this popularity can be accredited to consumers’ growing use of mobile, allowing the ease of producing and watching videos, as well as the growing use of YouTube. Consumers spend 6 billion hours a month watching videos just on YouTube alone!

Now, let’s explore Pizza Hut’s emerging media idea to combine a classic with an innovative twist – dinner and a movie. Recently, Pizza Hut and Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong shared their take on movie night with the Blockbuster Box.

What’s the Blockbuster Box? Well, prepare to be mind blown and a little jealous that you can’t get one here in the U.S. Using a pizza box the innovators were able to create a film projector.  Watching a movie is simple, just follow a few easy steps. Punch the pizza box hole, insert the lens (available in the middle of the pizza), scan the code on the box with your phone and set your phone on the stand provided in the box. Voilà, there you have dinner and a movie!

Check it out for yourself below:

The video code that is scanned runs through a special application, allowing for more potential connections for the brand.

What do you think of this innovative emerging media? Do you think we will see more brands taking a similar approach? Do you see marketing potential to integrate advertisements before these videos play?