Social Media Rundown: Russia Disinformation Campaign Deeper Than Thought; Facebook Data Breach; Women and Abusive Tweets

In this week’s Rundown, Russia’s disinformation campaign and (even more) Facebook troubles dominate the news. Meanwhile, the businesses of influencer marketing and interior design are alive and well on Instagram. And be sure to check out the learn section for tips on making your social media marketing more personal and to learn how to set up and run an effective LinkedIn ad campaign.

Social Media News:

  • New Report on Russian Disinformation, Prepared for the Senate, Shows the Operation’s Scale and Sweep (The Washington Post). Russia used every major social media platform to support Trump. The same report finds Instagram played a much bigger role in Russia’s manipulation of U.S. voters than previously discussed and will be a key Russian tool in the 2020 elections. There were 187 million interactions with Instagram content, compared with 77 million on Facebook and 73 million on Twitter, according to a data set of posts between 2015 and 2018.
  • Facebook Exposed up to 6.8 Million Users’ Private Photos to Developers in Latest Leak (The Verge). Facebook continues losing consumer trust. The social networking company recently exposed private photos from up to 6.8 million users to apps that weren’t supposed to see them.
  • Study Finds Twitter Is a Toxic Place for Female Politicians and Journalists (Axios). The findings show abusive tweets were sent to all female members in U.S. Congress and U.K. parliament, as well as a number of other prominent female political journalists. Black women were 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive tweets.
  • Instagram Influencers Are Faking Sponsored Content Because They Think It Attracts Real Brand Deals (Insider). Fake it till you make, am I right? This is only further proof that influencer marketing is big business these days. Speaking of big business and Instagram, the photo-sharing app is also reshaping the $10B business of interior design.

Learn:

  • Why Personalization Is the Next Big Opportunity in Social Media Marketing (Buffer). Personalized social media is sort of the next frontier of social media marketing. It’s a step beyond standard customer service and is all about one-on-one communication between brands and customers. This article has a brief case study from Kimpton Hotels.
  • The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads: How to Run a Successful Campaign (Hootsuite). With this in-depth blog post from Hootsuite, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn ads — from setting up your ads to tweaking and improving them over time.

Chart of the Week:

Social Media Outpaces Print Newspapers in the U.S. as a News Source (Pew Research). One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%).

More Americans get news from social media than print newspapers.
Where do you get your news?
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Social Media Rundown: Facebook Relaunches Search Ads; Government User Data Requests; Instagram ‘Creator Accounts’; Google+ to Officially Die

A relatively quite week in the world of social media. But two news items stick out. The first is the potential launch of Instagram ‘creator accounts’ for supporting social media influencers on the platform. The news isn’t Earth-shattering, but it goes to show just how important influencer marketing has become — it’s now fully part of Instagram’s business model.

The second big story is the end of Google+ after the search giant disclosed its second major bug in just three months. Again, not huge news as most anyone who’s used Google+ can attest that the social networking site was not only a social media ghost town, but also was riddled with spam, NSFW content, and was just generally difficult to use and understand. The bigger story is the data leak; if you still have a Google+ account, it’d be wise to shut it down immediately.

Be sure to check out the lean section for some simple live video tips and an interesting experiment with Twitter threads.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Relaunches Search Ads to Offset Slowing Revenue (TechCrunch). Facebook is testing ads in its search results and Marketplace, directly competing with Google’s AdWords. The ads will be “repurposed News Feed ads featuring a headline, image, copy text and a link in the static image or carousel format that can point users to external websites.”
  • Twitter Says Governments Are Ramping up Their Demands for User Data (TechCrunch). According to Twitter, the company received 6,904 government requests for information on 16,882 accounts. Twitter turned over at least some data in 56 percent of cases. Most demands came from Russia and Turkey.
  • Instagram Will Offer Special Features to Influencers with New ‘Creator Accounts’ (Mashable). The app is testing “creator accounts,” which would add new analytics and messaging features geared toward influencers and other power users of the photo-sharing app.
  • Google to Close Google+ Social Network After Disclosing Second Bug in 3 Months (The Washington Times). After years of failure, Google is finally pulling the plug on its social networking site. A recent bug leaked the private information of 52.5 million Google+ users to developers, including their names, birth dates and email addresses, among other data. Time to make sure your Google+ account is closed; if you ever had one in the first place.

Learn:

  • 13 Live Video Marketing Strategies, Hacks and Tips (The Social Shake-Up). If you’ve ever considered doing a Facebook Live or other live stream event, this post is for you. From strategy and how to keep your broadcasts engaging to logistics and what gear you need, this post has it all.
  • Can Twitter Threads Increase Reach, Engagement, and Referral Traffic? An Experiment (Buffer). This is an interesting experiment that showed Twitter threads (a series of connected Tweets sent from one account) do in fact increase reach and engagement, but do not improve referral traffic. My takeaway is that it is worth trying if you just want to create awareness or drum up enthusiasm for a particular cause, event, or hashtag. For example, a Twitter thread could be used to remind your followers about the start of an online event by sharing the name and time of the event followed by what participants can expect and maybe a quote or two from the first couple speakers.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram’s Rise to 1 Billion Monthly Active Users (QuickSprout). I think this chart speaks for itself. Click the image for “10 Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2019.”

Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users in June of 2018.
Instagram has grown steadily since 2010 and shows no sign of slowing down.

Did I miss some major social media news this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments. 

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Data Privacy Saga; Giuliani Gets Pranked on Twitter; YouTube’s Story Feature Expands

As Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, you’d think he’d have some grasp of how the internet works.

The latest chapter in the Facebook data privacy saga reveals even more questionable business practices and leadership at the social media giant. I doubt anyone is surprised at this point, but I do find it fascinating how Facebook and its leaders keep digging themselves into an ever-deepening hole. Facebook continues to dominate the social media news cycle while companies like Snap and YouTube keep rolling out new features to try and stay relevant. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani seems to have no idea how the internet works, which is curious seeing as how he is Trump’s cybersecurity adviser.

In this week’s learn section, you can learn about the differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads and also learn how to boost your Facebook ad relevancy score.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Used People’s Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals, Documents Show (The New York Times). The Facebook data privacy saga continues on. In this chapter, unredacted documents show Facebook used data it collected on users to favor certain partners and punish rivals. The documents further illustrate how Facebook executives treated data as the company’s most valuable resource. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg “were intimately involved in decisions aimed at benefiting the social network above all else and keeping users as engaged as possible on the site, according to emails that were part of the document trove.” You can go deeper with this story with the Axios AM newsletter.
  • Rudy Giuliani Is Trump’s Cybersecurity Adviser. He Might Want a Refresher (The Washington Post). Always remember to double check your tweets for possible typos, or in the case of Giuliani, to make sure you’ve added spaces between all your sentences. When text is butted up against a period without a space, Twitter assumes it’s a link and well, hyperlinks it. Click through to see his tweets. Direct quote from Giuliani: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message.” He clearly doesn’t understand how the internet works.
  • YouTube Is Rolling out Its Instagram-Like Stories Feature to More Creators (The Verge). YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, appearing for both subscribers and non-subscribers, and they’ll show up in YouTube’s “Up Next” sidebar beside a video. “The focus for YouTube Stories, which was first announced in November 2017, seems to be on community engagement and channel promotion more than day-to-day life updates.”

Learn:

  • Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads (Angelic Digital via Medium). It’s basically a difference between paid social and paid search, but this short blog post gives a nice breakdown of the key differences.
  • 6 Ways to Achieve High Relevance Scores in Facebook Ads (Socialnomics). Higher ad relevance scores will lead to lower costs and better ad visibility leading. This article breaks down what the Facebook ad relevance score is, how it’s calculated, and ways to achieve a higher score.

Chart of the Week:

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts (From Hootsuite’s Social MediaTrends Report 2019).

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts
Facebook continues to dominate in the global monthly active user category.