Category Archives: The Socials

Social media is always good for something unexpected. Check out these awesome social media projects and campaigns.

The Year’s Best Facebook Campaigns

Check out this link from AdWeek about the most successful Facebook marketing campaigns over the past year.


The Ice Bucket Challenge was the past year’s best use of Facebook marketing, according to the social network, which just announced its ad award winners. It’s no surprise the viral campaign got so much praise—Mark Zuckerberg even participated.

Zuckerberg was one of the millions of people to douse themselves in ice water to raise awareness for ALS in what became a powerful moment for online marketing. The best part was that it cost the ALS Association no money to generate all that attention—440 million people saw the videos.

The lesson was not lost on Facebook, which is holding it up as an example of how to use the platform for maximum impact.

This year marked the fourth Facebook Awards, which are timed to coincide with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—starting next week—where the ad world assembles to honor its top creative work.

Facebook executives also attend Cannes to meet with brands and agencies to discuss the kind of work that can be done using the platform. The social network has been expanding its global presence, too, now seeing more than half its ad revenue come from overseas.

“Facebook continues to see significant business growth internationally, especially in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Kelly Maclean, leader of Facebook’s emerging markets ad products. “More businesses are connecting with the right people in ways that are unprecedented.”

This year, award entries came from twice as many countries—more than 160—as last year, according to the company.

It also was the first year Facebook included winners with Instagram ad campaigns, and video was a core piece of the ad mix, as well.

“The two big things were mobile—people building for where people are—and the other was video,” said Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer of the Facebook Creative Shop. “Seventy percent of submissions this year involved video as an essential component of how they were building a brand story.”

Facebook pulled in $12.5 billion in ad revenue in 2014, and mobile ad sales now makes up more than 70 percent of the business. Instagram is just starting to scale.

Facebook chose six award categories looking at the creative content, social strategies, use of targeting technology and results.

“The question I get more than any other is, ‘What is the single best ad on Facebook?'” D’Arcy said. “And the answer is as diverse as the people on Facebook.”

Brands, agencies and marketers are using Facebook in ways that can switch up creative depending on the audience, tailoring the promotion based on a consumer’s interests, background and geography. D’Arcy calls it the science of building relevance.

Here’s a look at the top 12 campaigns from the last year—the winners that took home blue, gold and silver honors: (The other winners and notable campaigns can be found here.)

Click here to see this year’s winners

By Garett Sloane

Getting Hooked

Check out this great article by Ted Greenwood from WIRED magazine, featuring insights from the Behavioural guru Nir Eyal. Nir defines the 4 steps in influencing behavioural patterns to create an “addiction” to a product: Trigger, Action, Reward & Investment.  


Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. World of Warcraft. Angry Birds. The most successful tech products have one thing in common: They’re addictive. And users don’t get hooked by accident. Just ask Nir Eyal. A Bay Area entrepreneur turned desire guru, Eyal has worked with some of the top tech firms in Silicon Valley, teaching them how to apply the system he developed for engineering habit-forming apps, services, and games. His blog, Nir and Far, has attracted tens of thousands of subscribers hungry for insights, and his writing has appeared in both the mass-market pages of Psychology Today and the insider club of TechCrunch. His inaugural Habit Summit, held last March on the Stanford campus, drew 400 participants. Eyal’s book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, self-published in January 2014, shot immediately to the top of Amazon’s product-design list. Penguin acquired it and released it in November.

At the heart of Eyal’s system is a four-step cycle he calls the Hook. These steps were derived from his observation of online products and services, as well as a wide range of psychological and neurological research, from B. F. Skinner to B. J. Fogg. The Hook, Eyal says, is the magic behind just about every icon of the consumer Internet, from Google to WhatsApp.



The process starts with a cue or stimulus. That’s an external trigger. It’s most effective if it arrives when the target is feeling some kind of discomfort (which Eyal calls an internal trigger), from which it can promise relief—like a Facebook message that happens to arrive in your inbox just when you’re feeling alone. “The more times users go through the Hook, the more the product forms an association with internal triggers like loneliness, boredom, or fear,” Eyal explains. “When we’re lonely, we turn to Facebook. When we’re feeling out of the loop, we turn to Twitter.”

You’re sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon, feeling lonely and wondering if everyone else had a better weekend. Your phone buzzes with a Facebook alert: You’ve been tagged in a photo taken at the party you went to on Friday. You log on to Facebook to check it out.



A behavior happens when a trigger coincides with both the motivation to take action and the ability to do so, says theorist B. J. Fogg. Say you’re expecting a phone call while in the middle of a business meeting; your motivation to answer is high, but your ability to answer is low, so when the phone rings you don’t pick up. Or you may be free to answer when your phone rings, but you notice that the incoming number is blocked—presumably by a telemarketer. Now your ability to answer is high but your motivation is low, and again you don’t answer. If a trigger consistently fails to initiate the desired behavior, habit designers should aim to boost the user’s ability, which is easier to influence than motivation.

You spend your lunch hour reading a newsletter that has arrived in your inbox. One story in particular catches your fancy, and at the bottom you see the message “Share with friends.” Clicking it automatically connects you to your Twitter account. The technology has made it so easy for you to tweet—increased your ability—that you take the action almost without thinking about it.



Rewards can come in an almost endless variety of forms, from receiving attention, acceptance, and appreciation (an obvious force in social networks) to gaining a sense of mastery and autonomy (thank you videogames and Words With Friends) to prizes like money and gift cards. One of the most powerful methods to amp up the anticipation and ultimate effect of a reward, B. F. Skinner found, is to make it unpredictable. A classic example is slot-machine gambling. The player never knows whether the next pull might bring a $5 win or a $50,000 jackpot. The unpredictability of the reward—and the randomness of its arrival—is a powerful motivator to pull the lever again and again.

You’re a software programmer and you’re active on Stack Overflow, the community site where volunteers post some 10,000 coding answers a day. Last week you saw a question about an interesting problem: Hitting the Clear button in a shopping app doesn’t empty the cart. You had recently solved this problem yourself, so you posted the code. Logging in now, you’re delighted to see that your reply has gotten 10 up-votes, way more than you expected. You beam with pride.

You’re sitting at your desk at the end of a workday when your phone chimes with a Snapchat notification. It’s from a colleague who’s on vacation: He’s sent you a photo of a brimming martini sitting next to a juicy steak. You have to reply, which is easy to do—just double-tap on the message and your phone’s camera is activated. You send your colleague a photo of a knish. You can’t wait to see what he sends back.



This last stage of the process closes the loop by “loading the next trigger,” Eyal says. The key is for the user to contribute some element of their own—a tweet, a comment, a video—and for that, in turn, to set in motion a chain of events resulting in the delivery of the next trigger. Consider Instagram: You make an investment by posting a photo. Then, when a follower likes or comments on your contribution, the service sends a push notification triggering you to take yet another spin through the Hook. Investment can also engage what behavioral economist Dan Ariely calls the Ikea effect: Contribute to the creation of something and you value it more, whether it’s a YouTube video of your kid’s recital or a post on Pinterest.

Click here to read the original article.

Native Advertising Explained

Thank God Todd Wasserman from Mashable Australia and Owen Brown have got together and come up with this article and info-graphic explaining what native Advertising is, and how it works. Interesting to note that the rate of click-throughs from Banner ads has dropped from 9% to just 0.2% between 2000-2012. People want content, not commercial messaging.

Read on:

Native advertising is hot right now, even if nobody seems to know exactly what it is. Solve Media, a digital advertising firm, has attempted to solve that problem with this infographic, which takes a stab at a standard definition: “Native advertising refers to a specific mode of monetization that aims to augment user experience by providing value through relevant content delivered in-stream.”Actually, that’s pretty good. As the rest of the graphic shows, native advertising is clearly where the money is going in the industry. At the very least, when ad execs are throwing the term around at Christmas parties, they can be on the same page.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, Owenwbrown

Click her to see the original article on Mashable.

Are you getting the most out of your Social Media?

There is such a buzz out there these days about pushing content out over social media, but how do you know if it is actually getting the results that you intend? Check out this useful article from BUFFER SOCIAL by Kevin Lee about 19 FREE and useful analytics tools to see how your social media is tracking.

Where do you turn for meaningful stats on your social media marketing?

I’m grateful for the insight from some truly incredible tools that help make sense of the actions I take on social media. How have my followers grown this month? Which posts seem to perform best? Which times make the most sense to post?

The answers are out there, and there are tools to help you find them. I’ve collected a bunch of my favorites here in this post. Feel free to give them a try and see what insights you can find!

Social Media Analytics

19 Free Social Media Analytics Tools

1. Buffer

buffer analytics

With Buffer‘s free plan, you get all the major engagement stats for every update you post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. My favorite feature—and one I’m always stoked to see!—is the Top Tweet/Top Post badge that pops up when an update goes above and beyond the average performance.

2. Followerwonk


One of our favorite Twitter tools, Followerwonk shows you detailed breakdowns of your followers and activity. Click on the Analytics tab, enter a Twitter username (either yours or someone else’s), and view information on followers and following. See stats like when your followers are online, when you typically post, and how your followers fall into categories like social authority, activity, total tweets, and follower count.

3. ViralWoot

This Pinterest tool helps with much beyond analytics. You can schedule pins, promote pins, and gain new followers all through Viralwoot. The analytics on the free plan shows you new followers, new repins, and new likes, and paid users have the option to receive pin alerts when content from your website gets pinned.

4. Iconosquare

A complete Instagram management tool, Iconosquare includes a user-friendly Instagram analytics section that shows big-picture views of posts, likes, comments, and followers, as well as breakdowns for the last seven days or last month, plus scores for love (the likes on your photos), talk (the comments on your photos), and reach (how many likes come from outside your followers).

From the main analytics dashboard, you can click to receive a summary snapshot of your main stats sent to you via email.

5. Collecto

Another spot for Instagram stats, Collecto offers an overview of the main engagement stats for your account plus a quick view of your most liked, most commented, and most popular photos of all time.

6. Google Analytics

google analytics

The No. 1 use for Google Analytics is for analyzing website traffic. And as part of the analysis, you can dig into the referral stats on your social media marketing as well. Click through to Acquisition > Social, and you can check out how many visits your site receives from each of the major social networks. If you choose to add goals to your GA tracking, you can see the direct impact of social on the goals and paths as well.

7. SumAll


The analytics at SumAll come from a huge number of assorted, connected apps. You can wire up your major social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and more – and SumAll will send out a daily or weekly email with insights on how things have changed day-to-day and week-to-week. All the info is saved to a web dashboard, too, for easy viewing any time.

8. Quintly


Free plans on Quintly let you access analytics for up to three Facebook pages, offering stats on the main engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares) plus stats on follower growth. When you add multiple pages, you can quickly see at-a-glance how the pages compare on the graphs.

9. Cyfe


The robust features at Cyfe let you create a custom dashboard filled with stats from dozens of marketing tools. Their social media section lets you sync up all the major networks and pull overview reports or individual reports for the accounts you manage and the accounts you want to follow.

11. Tailwind

Another Pinterest-only too, Tailwind helps with optimization and scheduling of pins, and it gives you some keen insights into both your Pinterest profile and the Pinterest popularity of your website. Check out how many times content from your blog has been shared on Pinterest, and see which of your boards is most popular with followers.

12. Beevolve

The free plan at Beevolve lets you create and send social media messages with direct tracking on the dollars-and-cents ROI. Tell Beevolve how much it cost to create your content and how much you expect to receive per visitor, and Beevolve will handle the rest—sending the message, analyzing the response, and emailing you the report.

13. Keyhole


For hashtag campaign tracking, Keyhole offers a wealth of statistics that can help you sort the popularity and success of a branded hashtag (or any other hashtag you choose). You can save a hashtag search so you can quickly and easily refer to it later on.

13. Klout


Working with your profiles and pages across the major social channels, Kloutputs together a score from 0 to 100 on your influence on social media. One interesting aspect to note about the score is how the contributions break down across your various connected networks. With this, you can see which networks are making the biggest impact for you.

14. Riffle

The Riffle browser extension adds an overlay to the Twitter profiles you visit, showing stats like retweets per tweet and favorites per tweet as well as info on the top hashtags, mentions, and urls that appear in one’s Twitter timeline.

15. MyTopTweet


A quick-and-easy Twitter analytics tool, MyTopTweet (from the creators of Riffle) shows you the top 10 tweets for any Twitter user you wish. The Top 10 is ranked according to number of retweets. It’s quite useful to see your own top tweets as well as the content that has done well for others in your industry.

16. HowSociable

Enter your brand name in the HowSocialble search box, and you’ll receive a social score for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn (more networks can be unlocked with a free or paid account). The score factors in activity around your brand name over the past seven days.

17. SocialBro

A fully-featured Twitter management tool, SocialBro offers a free plan for Twitter users with fewer than 5,000 contacts. With SocialBro insights, you can receive a report on the best time to tweet and community insights into the demographics of your followers. Paid plans offer further features like expanded analytics.

18. TweetReach

Type in any keyword, hashtag, or username, and TweetReach returns a snapshot of analytics on your search, including charts and graphs for reach, exposure, activity, and contributors. It’s quite useful for checking in on mentions of your Twitter username and tracking branded hashtags and industry keywords.

19. WolframAlpha Facebook Report

A fun tool built by the team behind the Wolfram Alpha search engine, the Wolfram Alpha Facebook Analyzer shows you all sorts of fun and useful demographic information for your Facebook profile.

6 social media analytics dashboards from the social networks themselves

Several of the major social media networks have their own built-in analytics that offer some great insights into your activity on the network. Here’s how to dig into each of the analytics offered by the social networks themselves.

1. Facebook Insights

Available for all Page admins, Facebook Insights show you the full stats behind your posts, your fans, and your reach. Additionally, from the Insights tab, you can set up a list of Pages to Watch, which gives you information on the performance of other Facebook pages.

To access Insights, click the Insights tab in the menu bar across the top of your Facebook page (the menu bar is visible only to admins of the page).

Quick tip: You can click on the “people reached” text at the bottom of any individual post in your Page’s timeline to see a pop-up of the full stats for that post.

facebook insights

2. Twitter analytics

Twitter provides a 28-day overview of how your tweets have performed in all the major engagement areas—retweets, mentions, favorites, and clicks. One of the most useful bits of analysis here is seeing the impressions of each tweet. You can export all the data and run some pretty neat reports for yourself.

Clicking on any individual tweet in your list will show a complete breakdown of every element of engagement on the tweet, including clicks on URLs, clicks on your username, clicks on images, expanded details, and a bar chart for engagement over the first 24 hours and the past 24 hours.

twitter analytics

To access Twitter analytics, log in to Twitter and go to

3. Pinterest analytics

One of the best sources for Pinterest analytics resides at Pinterest itself. From the Pinterest analytics dashboard, you can see insights into every relevant aspect of your Pinterest marketing. The dashboard shows growth in impressions and followers, audience stats, and website engagement. You can click into more in-depth reports for each of these and see which posts and boards have performed the best.

pinterest analytics

To access Pinterest analytics, log in to Pinterest and go Pinterest analytics is available to business accounts; you can convert a personal account to a business account for free.

4. LinkedIn analytics for individuals

As a LinkedIn member, you can click to see who’s viewed your profile, which shows way more than just the profiles of the people who viewed you. LinkedIn collects tons of information on these profile views and shares it in charts and graphs that show how your views have changed over time, which similarities exist among those who view your profile, and suggestions on who to follow and how to fill out your profile to maximize your new opportunities.

linkedin who viewed

For the curious, there’s even a section that shows how you rank in your current organization in terms of profile views.

To access LinkedIn’s profile views data, log in to LinkedIn and go to Profile > Who’s Viewed Your Profile from the menu bar at the top of the page.

5. LinkedIn analytics for businesses

Much like Facebook’s Insights tab, LinkedIn’s analytics include an overview of all the posts on your business page as well as a breakdown of your followers and follower growth.

To access LinkedIn analytics, log in at LinkedIn and go to your business page. Click on Analytics next to the Home link at the top of the page.

6. Google+ Insights

A smooth and simple view of information for your Google+ page, the insights at Google+ show you visibility, engagement, and audience overviews. There’s not a whole lot of room to drill down deeper into these stats, which makes them great for quick-and-easy snapshots.


To access Google+ Insights, log in at Google+ and visit your company page. Click the Manage Page button that appears at the top. Scroll down to the Insights section.

Bonus: 5 Paid Social Media Analytics Tools

1. Crowdbooster

An analytics tool for Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, Crowdboostercompiles your stats into a customizable dashboard and includes insights such as who are your most valuable followers, when might be your ideal time to post, and which notable stats and mentions might warrant extra attention.


Free 30-day trial and plans starting at $9/month.

2. Rival IQ

Rival IQ lets you track a number of different companies (up to 75 for their agency plans) and compare performance across not only social media metrics but also SEO. The social media monitoring includes Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

Free 14-day trial and plans starting at $99/month.

3. Social Bakers

Some of our favorite social media studies have come from the team at Social Bakers. Their analytics tools include all the fundamental resources you might need—tracking of multiple profiles, key performance indicators, and competitive intelligence—plus the paid plans come with an executive report that includes actionable advice and statistical overviews and benchmarks.

Free 14-day trial and plans starting at $120/month.

4. Social Report

Social Report provides an overview of your activity on any of the 19 supported social networks, plus you can track new topics, measure ROI, and export the data into a handy report layout.

Free 30-day trial and plans starting at $9/month.

5. Moz Pro

The popular SEO tool at Moz comes with built-in social media analytics as well. Their social dashboard tracks your network size, engagement, and traffic breakdowns per network. Moz supports Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Free 30-day trial and plans starting at $99/month.

Click here to read the original article

The Best Social Media Campaigns of 2014

This recent article by Lauren Friedman in imedia is a great read. Social has truly found it’s valid place in the communications mix.

The world of social media is ever-changing and brands are experimenting more and more with how to get the most impact from their social campaigns.


What I find most interesting is the decline in Facebook marketing. Is this a result of all the new changes Facebook has made to make it harder for marketers to reach their audience? Maybe. Regardless, Facebook isn’t the only network in the deck. And there were plenty of innovative and creative campaigns this year. If you didn’t catch my mid-year review, make sure you check it out!


AT&T’s “@SummerBreak” campaign

Oh, Millenials. So elusive, yet so powerful. AT&T made it clear this year it was going after Millenials, and it has done just that. With the goal of reaching a specific target audience and getting them to follow AT&T on social channels, it launched a @SummerBreak campaign. The campaign, a digital video series that existed solely on social media channels, tapped into five YouTube influencers (which are really the strongest influencers right now) to film a series. The storyline entails a group of smartphone-addicted teenagers as they spend their last summer together and get ready for college life.

The series racked up more than 15 million views on YouTube and 10 million social engagements. It was such a success, there were two seasons.


Urban Hilton Weiner’s selfie coupon codes

Urban Hilton Weiner, a South African clothing brand, launched a very unique and creative campaign that all retailers should consider. Its “pay with a selfie” campaign took the fashion brand to a whole new level. Urban Hilton Weiner wasn’t a particularly big name before its “pay with a selfie” campaign, but now it’s one of the most talked about brands in fashion.

Customers shopping for clothes in-store could post a selfie wearing its clothes and post it on social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) using the hashtag #urbanselfie to receive a $10 coupon.

This campaign was truly ingenious and accomplished everything that any retailer would want from a social media initiative — it encouraged social sharing, showcased pieces of its clothing, and most importantly, gets people buying its clothes. In fact, French Connection, Marc Jacobs, and others have launched similar campaigns since.


P&G’s Always #LikeAGirl campaign
Add this one to the stack of CPG women’s self-help effort campaigns that have been launching recently. But this one is a bit different. In the video, adults and a kid brother are asked to show what it looks like to run, fight, and throw like a girl. They make silly and highly stereotyped efforts. Then, young girls (I would get around 10ish) are asked to do the sale thing. These girls make confident and energetic efforts. The message: Girls’ confidence plummets during puberty, and Always wants to change the perception of the phrase “like a girl.”

Needless to say, this campaign spread like wildfire generating 31 million views in the first week. To date, the video is over 53 million.


Tesco’s Secret Scan-ta app
England-based grocery and general merchandise retailer has come up with a pretty fantastic way to choose gifts this year — by scanning your friend’s or family’s Twitter stream. It works by scanning that person’s Twitter stream and providing a gift recommendation based on the content shared.

Now, I’m not sure how great the gift suggestions are, but in any event, it’s a very clever way to get people engaged and sharing.


April Fools: climate controlled Virgin flights
Each year, brands take April Fools’ Day in their stride and join in the fun with some believable, and many unbelievable tricks. This past April, Virgin America did one that I absolutely loved.

Richard Branson proudly announced on YouTube that Virgin America would like to give more control to the passengers by introducing Total Temperature Control (TTC). This new feature would allow passengers to create their own personal climate controlled environment on the plane. With a partnership with Nest thermostats, this joke seemed pretty real. Virgin is always on the cutting edge of trendy technology and the fact that both CEOs appeared in the very professionally developed video made this joke pretty believable.

Brands are getting more and more strategic with their social campaigns. The generic “pin-it-to-win-it” contest isn’t going to make it onto this list anymore.

So, get creative!

Read the original article:

Instagram overtakes Twitter, hitting 300 million users

This piece (written by Sarah Homewood) was published recently in AdNews. 

In just over four years Instagram has reached the 300 million user mark globally, making the social network bigger than Twitter.

instagram ads_DCB750D2-F02E-11E3-9415005056A302E6

Twitter has 284 million active users accessing the service, putting it just behind the Facebook owned photo and video sharing network. Facebook still trumps them both however, with a staggering 1.35 billion monthly active users as of September 2014.

In an announcement on its blog, Kevin Systrom CEO of Instagram recognised the milestone saying: “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day.

“Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.
“We’re thrilled to watch this community thrive and witness the amazing connections people make over shared passions and journeys.”

Systrom also announced that like its social stable mate Facebook, the site would be rolling out verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for users to know that they are connecting with the authentic accounts.

He also said that as the social network continues to grow that keeping the site authentic is “critical”.

“Instagram is a place where real people share real moments. We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web, and that’s why we’re finishing up some important work that began earlier this year.

“We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.”

Earlier this year the network opened itself up the advertisers with Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s and Vegemite, being the first Australian advertisers to launch paid ads on Instagram.

Paid ads look almost identical to organic posts, with the addition of the “sponsored” tag on the top right corner. Meaning advertisers could for the first time target users based on age and gender with paid ad content appearing to users who do not follow them.

Click here to read the original article

Social Media Trends

Hey guys, check out the latest trends in social media use from BUSINESS INSIDER.

Here are a few of the key takeaways from the BI Intelligence report:

Click here for more information