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Twitter Implements Reach Restrictions on Anti-Social Tweets



Twitter has long been criticized for its lack of action against trolls and abuse, which many people would say significantly detracts from the Twitter experience. The problem, from Twitter’s perspective, is that many of the complaints about this type of behavior relate to issues which are not in violation of Twitter’s rules – just because you don’t like something, that doesn’t necessarily mean another user should be punished.

But it’s obviously a problem, and one Twitter is determined to work out – yet if they can’t use their regular suspensions and bans to help bring the wider community into line, how can the company create a more civil, engaging atmosphere, without restricting free speech?

The answer – or at least part of it – could lie in their new algorithm update, which will limit the exposure of tweets from accounts which see regular complaints.

As explained by Twitter:

“Today, we use policies, human review processes, and machine learning to help us determine how Tweets are organized and presented in communal places like conversations and search. Now, we’re tackling issues of behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation in those areas by integrating new behavioral signals into how Tweets are presented. By using new tools to address this conduct from a behavioral perspective, we’re able to improve the health of the conversation, and everyone’s experience on Twitter, without waiting for people who use Twitter to report potential issues to us.”

The new changes, as noted, will only affect the presentation of tweets in search results and ‘public conversation’ – so, tweets within a larger reply or hashtag-based stream, not on individual profiles or within the timelines of your direct followers.

The updated signals Twitter will take into account on this include:

  • Whether you tweet at large numbers of accounts you don’t follow
  • How often you’re blocked by people you interact with
  • Whether you’ve created many accounts from a single IP address
  • Whether your account is closely related to others which have violated its terms of service

The idea is to use these measures as a means to detect those accounts which detract from the broader conversation, including bots and scammers looking to cheat their way to increased Twitter exposure.

And if you do fall foul of these rules, the reach impacts could be significant – your tweets will not be visible at all in public conversations or search. They won’t be removed (as they don’t violate Twitter’s rules), but they’ll be hidden behind a ‘View more results’ note – which, by Twitter’s thinking, will make the conversation better and more engaging.

And they might be right – based on the example above, you can see how removing those questionable replies would make this a better stream.

But there are potential flaws here too – maybe not enough to detract from Twitter’s broader efforts to eliminate such negative behaviors. But still, concerns nonetheless.

First, the positives – anyone who’s followed a hashtag stream on Twitter in recent times will know that it’s almost pointless trying to stay up to date with a happening, major event via tags, as they quickly get flooded with bots and junk. This new system could help fix this, as it will detect these questionable accounts and hide their tweets from view – which will definitely help improve Twitter’s newsworthiness.

There’s also, as highlighted in Twitter’s example, the benefit of improved discussion threads – really, it’s become something of a competition for certain operators to try and get the top comment on Donald Trump’s tweets, for example, in order to boost their exposure. Given many of these accounts would also fall foul of Twitter’s new regulations, it could see them disappear, again improving the discourse in the app.

But as noted, there are definitely some concerns, and social media marketers need to take note.

For one, this new system will be automated, and the affected accounts won’t (at this stage) be informed when they’ve been restricted. That means that if you fall foul of the system, you won’t even know – and because it’s automated, and not human-reviewed, that could enable competitors to cause you Twitter reach penalties.

How? By reporting you. What if a competitor wanted to limit your reach, so instead of buying followers, they paid some shifty provider to mass report your account? Enough reports and you’d think that might see you penalized – the lack of additional violations could possibly exclude this, but still, it is a potential concern (note: Twitter says that the breadth of measures taken into account should stop this from happening).

It will also mean that marketers will need to be more wary about tapping into trending news streams. Oreo made trendjacking a mainstream social media marketing tactic with their ‘dunk in the dark’ tweet during the 2013 Superbowl (if it wasn’t already), and it’s since become a key way to boost your reach, with targeted, themed content.

But a lot of those tweets don’t hit the mark – this new system will make trendjacking more risky, because if you do fail to connect, that could see you reported, blocked by individuals, and your reach then reduced as a result.

The answer here, of course, is that you should only tap into relevant trends, but even then, it does mean a higher level of risk.

And the other concern is, in addition to accounts not being notified when they’re penalized, is that their tweets will remain restricted till Twitter deems them worthy again. Twitter has some work to do on this front, which they acknowledge, as penalized accounts will need to know how they can recover from such penalties – and when they’re being penalized.

Overall, though, the new regulations should only impact a small number of accounts. Twitter says that less than 1% of accounts make up the majority of reports, and that these few accounts disproportionately detract from the user experience. As such, the bans shouldn’t be widely felt, but should be broadly noticed, improving the experience.

Twitter also notes that, in testing, the new system has resulted in a 4% drop in abuse reports from search and 8% fewer abuse reports from conversations. The benefits outweigh the potential negatives, but still, it’s a significant shift for the platform, and it’s worth monitoring the actual impacts, and being aware of the changes as they roll out.


Source: Social Media Today



10 LinkedIn Hacks or Things You Didn’t Know



Would you like to be more efficient and effective with your time on LinkedIn?

If you’re like most people, you only have a small window of time to devote to devote to the platform – and you certainly don’t have time to follow every single change and nuance as each evolves.

Thankfully you don’t have to.

To help you make the most of your time on LinkedIn, I stay up-to-date on the most recent updates, and tricks that I come across, and compile them for you.

Here’s a list of ten helpful LinkedIn tips, including some recent changes, which can help you make better use of your time on LinkedIn.

1. LinkedIn’s Cover Photo Changes

LinkedIn is changing their user interface again, and it may require you to update your cover photo. The profile picture has moved from the center of the cover photo to the left-hand side on the desktop version.

Keep in mind that the profile photo is still currently located in the middle of the cover photo in the mobile app.

While it’s unknown as to whether or not this may change in the future, it’s best to design an image factoring in the idea that your profile photo could cut off parts of the lower left (desktop) and center (mobile) sections, depending on which platform visitors are viewing it from.

The size of your cover image should be 1584 x 398 pixels.

2. Stop Sending Prospects to Your Competitor’s LinkedIn Profiles

When checking out a prospect’s profile, you may have noticed a feature called People Also Viewed, on the right side of the page.

While this feature can be handy for you, when you’re looking for potential prospects to connect with, you don’t want those same potential prospects to see this feature if they visit your profile. If you leave this feature on, any prospect who visits your profile will see a handy list of your competitors that they can also check out.

Don’t let people leave your profile to view your competitors. Go into your Settings & Privacy options and click on “Privacy” in the top navigation area. In this list locate “Viewers of this profile also viewed” and make sure this is set to “No”.

3. LinkedIn Status Update Character Count Limit

If you’ve done any work on your LinkedIn profile, you’ve probably run into a character count limit in at least one of LinkedIn’s profile sections. The character limitation (that is the number of letters, spaces and punctuation marks) can cause some frustration as you try to find the best way to communicate your message in the least amount of words or characters.

But did you know that there are also character count limits for your status updates and LinkedIn Publisher posts? Here are the current character count limits:

  • Status Update: 1,300 characters maximum
  • LinkedIn Publisher Headline: 100 characters maximum
  • LinkedIn Publisher Article: 40,000 characters maximum

4. How the GDPR affects LinkedIn’s Data Processing Agreement (DPA)

So just what is the GDPR?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is an extremely comprehensive data protection law, which will provide European LinkedIn members with greater privacy and data rights.


Source: Social Media Today

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10 Examples of Brand Storytelling (with Data) that Hit the Mark



Brand storytelling is a powerful way to build lasting connections with your audience.

Compelling stories engage consumers, elicit emotion and foster loyalty, forging a meaningful relationship that goes far beyond product and service.

These ten brands show us why it pays to tell data-driven stories.

1. Airbnb

Storytelling lies at the very heart of Airbnb’s marketing.

Their intricate understanding of their audience and creative use of consumer data has made it one of the most iconic brands of today.

Their messaging centres around community and local hospitality, tapping into holidaymakers’ desires for more local travel experiences.

For New Year’s 2015, the company told its story through an animated video, announcing that approximately 550,000 travelers had spent New Year’s Eve in one of their many rentals across 20,000 cities – a jump from just 2,000 guests 5 years previous.

Highlighting the most popular choices for AirBnB guests to ring in the New Year, New York topped the list with 47,000 travellers.

Just one example of how the brand uses data to tell engaging stories, AirBnB’s stories consistently resonate with its audience by bringing to life the things they care about – travelling and new experiences.

2. Spotify

Spotify collects continuous data about what songs, playlists and artists its 30 million users select.

The music streaming service combines this information with listeners’ location data and demographics, using it to create original content for its Spotify Insights blog.

In May 2017, one post looked at ‘How Students Listen 2017’, using data to create an interactive microsite looking at how different colleges and universities in the U.S. listen to music.

The site revealed insights such as where the most listening took place, the diversity of the music listened to, and the most popular genres, with findings including the fact that Penn State had the highest percentage of ‘party playlists’ in the U.S.

Using internal data in this way helps brands like Spotify to create original stories based on insights that only they can access, helping them to differentiate themselves from competitors.

3. Google

Google’s ‘Year in Search’ videos are released annually, using its data to communicate the terms most searched for, offering a ‘state of the nation’ perspective.

In 2016, the two-minute film reviewed the top searches of 2016 by showing footage of the year’s pivotal moments – both joyful and tragic.

In testing, viewer response proved ‘overwhelmingly positive’, and the film ranked in the top 1% of all ads tested in 2016. It was also the third highest scoring out of nearly 700 technology ads tested.

Google manages to evoke a strong range of emotions from viewers, tapping into events that have touched everyone in some way, using data to identify exactly what topics and events will engage its audience.

4. Zillow

U.S.-based online real-estate marketplace, Zillow, has data on over 110 million homes, with information including value estimates, square footage, nearby amenities and aerial photographs.

The company leverages this data to create content.

As well as its more standard data-driven blog posts highlighting the best places for millennials to find affordable homes, or the best places to retire, the company also uses data to produce more quirky content.

In the run up to Halloween in 2016, it ran a blog post on the ‘20 Best Cities for Trick or Treating’, based on home values, how close homes are to one another, crime rate and the share of population under 10 years old.

This data was supported with an infographic illustrating the fact that Philadelphia, San Jose, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Los Angeles make the top five.

This creative use of insights to drive content shows how data can be made meaningful to your consumers, providing a dynamic and impactful storytelling platform.

5. Hinge

Hinge is the dating app for singletons who are “over the game” of swiping.

Pitting itself against more established rivals like Tinder, it leverages the consumer data at its disposal to tell stories that resonate.

81 percent of Hinge users have never found a long-term relationship on any swiping app.

This is the insight that sparked an idea among the creative team, shaping their central story: The Dating Apocalypse.

Encouraging people to “escape the games and find something real”, it depicts a world of possibilities beyond the boundaries of the familiar.

“Dating apps have become a game, and with every swipe, we’ve all moved further from the real connections that we crave. So we built something better.”

This key message has become the core brand purpose, fuelling its out-of-home campaign, created by Barton F. Graf, that tells stories inspired by users.

“Humans generate meaningful connections by sharing their vulnerabilities with one another”, Ellery Luse, Strategy Director tells us. “But in a world where dating apps turn relationships into a game of hookups, truly putting yourself out there can be a little scary.”

Proof that one insight can spark a wide net of consumer-centric stories, Hinge shows us you don’t need to be as big as Spotify to strike the right cord.

6. Huggies

The Canadian arm of the diaper brand, Huggies, knew that in order to compete with Pampers (the market-leader who, at the time, had 100% of Canadian hospital contracts), they needed to provide a tangible, emotional reason for mothers to choose them before arriving at the hospital to give birth.

The answer turned out to be in their own name: hugs.

Rooted in over 600 studies that proved hugs “help stabilize babies’ vital signs, build immune systems, ward off illness, and improve brain development”, the brand went on a mission to leave no baby unhugged.

The campaign hinged on two initiatives:

  1. Educate mothers on the importance of skin-to-skin contact with their babies.
  2. Ensure that Canadian hospitals had volunteer ‘huggers’ available for babies in need of hugs.

With sales soaring 30% in 2016 and an engagement rate 300% higher than industry benchmarks, this philanthropically-spirited campaign proves the power of using data to inform a story that resonates.

7. IBM

Every 6 hours, one person will die from melanoma in Australia.

This insight sparked global technology company IBM’s mission to use AI to “outthink melanoma” and champion early detection of the deadliest cancer down under.

Watson, the cutting-edge AI that was created, can detect melanoma with 31% more accuracy than the naked eye – something that can make all the difference for survival.

Launched in Bondi Beach during peak season, everyday Australians stood in front of a mirror and were analyzed by Watson, who determined and examined elements like age, gender and sunscreen coverage. If any risks or irregularities were spotted, the participant saw an on-site specialist for further treatment.

Over a single weekend, more than 800 people were helped, with 22% being referred for a follow-up appointment.

With Watson, IBM succeeded in proving itself as not only a first-rate tech brand, but one that actively cares about the health of its consumers.

8. Maltesers

In 2016, UK chocolate brand, Maltesers, set out to bring disability into the mainstream advertising arena.

Having uncovered the fact that 80% of disabled people feel underrepresented by TV and the media, Maltesers created a series of commercials inspired by real-life stories from disabled individuals, focusing on the universally awkward situations that unite us all.

The commercials continue to be a resounding success for the brand, which has seen an 8.1% uplift in sales and had the most viewed YouTube video in its history.

As a result of the campaign, 57% of consumerssaid Maltesers is changing the way people perceive disability.

It’s proof that tapping into diversity in an authentic way, backed by data, can have a real impact.

9. Whirlpool

Home appliance brand, Whirlpool, discovered one reason for the reported 4,000 U.S. students dropping out of school every day.

The reason was these families couldn’t afford to clean their clothes.

In a bid to help, and tell a meaningful brand story, Whirlpool launched the Care Counts programme, focusing on installing washing machines and dryers in schools to increase the attendance of poorer students.

The participating schools identified those with a need for clean clothes and anonymously tracked their loads of laundry as well as their attendance and grades over the course of one year.

Once they’d been given access to washers and dryers, the brand found 90% of the tracked at-risk students had improved attendance rates with 89% also improving their class participation.

The campaign has also won a number of awards, including the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Creative Data Collection and Research.

By using consumer research to identify a social cause to align with, Whirlpool was able to position itself as far more than just a home appliance brand.

10. Refinery29

Leading female lifestyle site, Refinery29, uncovered a shocking fact:

While 67% of American women are plus-sized, they make up less than 2% of the images we see.

To change this, the brand teamed up with Getty Images to produce a new collection of stock images that more accurately represented its audience.

Making them available for free, they urged their consumers to spread their message via a #SeeThe67 hashtag on social media.

These images are widely used across the Refinery29 site, which has formed a unique and distinctive brand message.

By using deep consumer insight to uncover exactly who its audience was, the brand could establish itself as one that stands up for its consumers, appeals to them in an authentic way, and involves them directly in its brand story.


Source: GlobalWebIndex

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7 Common Social Media Mistakes Brands are Still Making in 2018



There are general social media mistakes we all know to avoid (like buying followers), but there are many other, less obvious social media blunders you also need to steer clear of.

I’ve put together this list of the most common slip-ups I’ve seen in my experience as a social media marketer this year. Are you still making any of the following social media mistakes?

1. No Strategy or Plan

“Victory loves preparation”. Keep this phrase in mind when it comes to your social media marketing.

Many brands make the mistake of not having a plan in place – a good social media strategy will help you stay on track with consistent posts, while also supporting any goals you’ve set.

Having a plan enables you to build buzz and maximize results around campaigns or events, keeps your audience interested, and attracts new eyes to your content. Being able to strategize and know whats coming will also help you boost engagement by knowing when and how you need to be more active and present.

Going ‘willy nilly’ when posting may not feel like a big deal, but in the end, planning will leave room for more growth and creativity – two keys to building a successful, sustainable presence.

2. No Defined Branding (Voice/Look and Feel/Brand Story)

In the current state of social media, not having a defined brand voice is a big mistake.

In order to break through the noise and attract your tribe, you need to have a well-defined sense of who your brand is. This can break down into a few things including:

  • Defining a distinct voice for your captions
  • Nailing a distinct look for your content (also known as creating a theme for your feeds)
  • Learning to post content that’s relevant to your brand.

This also means figuring out what your brand’s story is, and how you can communicate it in a way that’s meaningful to your target market/s.

3. Incomplete Social Media Profiles

Failing to complete your social media bios and other profile information is a big missed opportunity.

Your profile enables you to convey what you do and who you are in the few precious moments you have to capture a visitor’s attention. Make sure as much of your biography or ‘About’ sections are filled in – and remember to hashtag keywords in your Twitter and Instagram bios where it makes sense. And don’t be afraid to have a little fun or show your brand’s personality here either.

Since social profiles and content can also rank in search, filling all these info sections in is important. Through my agency’s work, we’ve also noticed that new features (like Instagram’s new restaurant booking button) are sometimes automatically set up for us because we’ve filled in all our info correctly.

Remember to use high-quality profile and header images, and that your header can also be used to promote things or get creative.

4. Not Knowing Their Audience

One of the biggest social media mistakes a brand can make is not knowing their audience. This entails everything from knowing when they’re followers are active, to learning what content resonates best with them, to figuring out any other interests their followers may have.

With so much social content to view, one of the best ways to make your brand stand out from the noise comes through understanding who you’re talking to, and how to tailor your messages so that they’re understood by, and relevant to, those your target market.

Let’s say you go on a date and the other person only speaks about him or herself – quite the turn off no? The same applies to your social media audience – social media = building relationships, and successful relationships are never one-sided.

Your audience wants to know you have more to offer than pushy sales messaging or a product. Modern social media is about adding value to your follower’s lives.

The last part of this social media mistake I want to point out is participating in social media networks that aren’t converting, or that your audience isn’t on. It’s good to have all bases covered, but eliminating networks that aren’t working will enable you to funnel more energy into other tasks, or smaller networks that convert at a higher rate.

5. Posting Too Often/Not Enough

Believe it or not, it is possible to post way too often on your social media channels.

This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to all industries (as you expect to get frequent updates from profiles that have to do with news or publications). The key here is to find a post frequency that works for your audience.

I suggest posting at least three times a week to keep engagement and growth going, but the only true way to know what will work for your audience is to test and measure. Then repeat till you find your ideal cadence.

6. Not Taking Advantage of Network Tools

Not using the tools unique to each social media network is also an overlooked social media mistake.

Using platform-specific tools gives you an opportunity to present content on those channels in more creative ways – plus they speak to how each individual network is used.

Dive into how each platform operates, and explore features like Twitter polls, Twitter lists, multiple image posts, Facebook Live videos, Instagram Stories, Live Stories, Instagram Stories HighlightsInstagram Polls and Stickers (including the new ‘Emoji Slider‘ polls) and whatever other tools might be at your disposal for each specific social media network.

A quick example – take a look at this list post I created when Twitter expanded its character limit to 280 characters, which stands out in feeds:

7. Not Responding to Comments/Complaints

Getting into arguments with trolls is never a good thing, but you should never ignore legitimate complaints.

Take the opportunity to show customers you care – if there are concerns you can’t resolve, you can generally take the issue off social channels by asking them to email you direct.

So there you have it, a list of seven common social media mistakes that brands are still making in 2018.

And here’s a bonus social media mistake to avoid – being afraid to test, experiment and have a little fun. Social media is fluid, and in a constant state of change, and audience habits are also changing all the time. Given this, you shouldn’t be afraid to test different methods, show your brand’s personality and have fun – social media was, after all, made for entertainment.


Source: Social Media Today

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