Social Media Rundown: Unilad Going Under; Nobody Reads Trump’s Tweets; Another Facebook Breach; Twitter Removes Accounts

It’s been a fairly big week in the world of social media with yet another Facebook security breach, more Twitter account removals, and the bankruptcy of Unilad, the mega Facebook viral publisher. Plus, be sure to make your way down to the learn section for a newly discovered tool for turning audio interviews into short video clips and some tips on creating buzz on social media.

Social Media News:

  • Unilad: Facebook Viral Publisher Goes into Administration (The Guardian). The website’s parent company, Bentley Harrington, has debts of more than £6m. The company, which began life as a student “banter” page, is one of the world’s biggest publishers of viral content. Many viral publishers have struggled to translate their enormous reach into a profitable business model, owing to the high cost of making bespoke native ads.
  • Trump’s Tweets Are Less Read and Influential Than People May Think (Axios). Nearly 60% of Americans rarely or never read Trump’s tweets. Follow the link for a few more stats on public trust, news media, and politicians.
  • Twitter Removes 50 Accounts Posing as Republican Party Members in Pre-Election Crackdown (The Telegraph). The company said it was acting to “protect the integrity of elections” by banning users who had stolen profile information from others. It said it was deleting 9.4 million accounts a week overall as it battles a wave of fake users.
  • Facebook Reports Security Breach Affecting 50 Mn Accounts Globally (Inc42). The safety breach on Sept. 25 was due to attackers exploiting a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted the “View As” a feature on profiles. Facebook claims to have fixed the issue.

Learn:

  • How to Repurpose Audio Content for Social Media and Beyond (Social Media Examiner). This is where I discovered Headliner App, a free online tool that easily converts podcasts (or any audio) into a short video (limited to 10 minutes in length). Could be handy for chopping up audio interviews into bite-sized content to share on social media.
  • How to Generate Social Media Buzz for Your Product (Social Media Explorer). From creating a branded hashtag to hosting an event or contest, this article has some quick tips for creating buzz on social media.

Chart of the Week:

According to this chart from Sprout Social, measuring ROI is still the biggest challenge for social media marketers.

Measuring the ROI of social media marketing remains a top challenge for marketers.
Top Challenges for Social Media Marketers, according to Sprout Social.
Advertisements

Social Media Rundown: Election Meddling via Social Media; Infowars Gets the Boot; Facebook Considers Replacing ‘Share’ Button with ‘Message’ Button

Coordinated disinformation campaigns, GDPR non-compliance, and the removal of Infowars from social networking sites — all just another week in social media news. Plus, is Snapchat no longer cool? Asking for a friend.

Be sure to check out the learn section for some ideas on using social media to market your next event and a handy checklist for building out your social media marketing strategy.

Social Media News:

  • Hackers Already Attacking Midterm Elections, Raising U.S. Alarms (Bloomberg). Facebook shut down dozens of accounts and pages to stop a coordinated disinformation campaign. “Even as Twitter and Facebook launch new initiatives to stop such meddling, hackers are adjusting to avoid — or at least delay — detection. Some of the suspect pages Facebook shut down in July had been operating for more than a year.”
  • More Than 1,000 U.S. News Sites Are Still Unavailable in Europe, Two Months after GDPR Took Effect (NiemanLab). With two years to prepare for GDPR, about a third of the 100 largest U.S. newspapers have opted to block their sites in Europe. Among them: the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and the Boston Globe. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • YouTube, Apple and Facebook Remove Content from Infowars and Alex Jones (CNN). Each social media platform said it had removed content from Jones or InfoWars because it had violated their policies, thus shutting down his key distribution channels. Infowars accounts are still active on Twitter. And unfortunately, there will always be another Alex Jones.
  • Facebook Tests Replacing ‘Share’ with ‘Message’ Option on News Feed Posts (Social Media Today). Let’s all hope this doesn’t pan out. “The new format would likely see a reduction in public post sharing, further shrinking already low organic reach numbers.”
Facebook tests a 'message' button.
To share or message?

Learn:

  • How to Drive More Event Engagement Using Social Media (Social Media Today). This is a nice rundown of ways to maximize event marketing before, during, and after an event. Some of these are obvious (i.e. send email updates before the event) while others are a little more creative (i.e. set up social media stations at the event).
  • 10 Essentials for Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns (PR Daily). Here’s a quick, no-thrills checklist of what you need to build out a social media strategy.

Chart of the Week:

Daily active user growth: Snapchat.

Has Snapchat already stopped growing? Sure looks like it.

Social Media Rundown: Toxic Speech on Twitter; Facebook Combats Political Influence Campaigns; WhatsApp Makes Business Push

Lots of social media news worthy of your time this week. And don’t forget to check out the learn section for a detailed look at how Gary Vaynerchuk turns once piece of long-form content into 30+ pieces to share on social media.

Also, here’s an interesting infographic to consider when thinking of how people will likely view your content on each social networking site:

Time spent on social networks in the US: mobile vs. desktop
See anything that surprises you here? Are you among the 2% who use Instagram on desktop?

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Is Funding College Professors to Audit Its Platform for Toxicity (The Verge). The researchers will investigate how toxic speech is created on Twitter. The team will also create algorithms to track whether conversations are “uncivil” or if they veer into “intolerant” in what could be hate speech.
  • Facebook Identifies an Active Political Influence Campaign Using Fake Accounts (The New York Times). Not much has changed since the 2016 presidential election. Although it does seem the company is doing a better job of getting ahead of things; Facebook detected and removed “32 pages and fake accounts that had engaged in activity around divisive social issues.” It’s a continuous game of whack-a-mole.
  • Snapchat’s New Voice-Activated Lenses Point to a Wild Future for AR Advertising and Commerce (Forbes). Snapchat’s latest Lenses react to a specific keyword instead of visual cues such as opening your mouth. The new Lenses animate after hearing a specific keyword, which Snapchat displays on the screen.
  • WhatsApp’s Making a New Business Push, Pointing to Significant Revenue Opportunities (Social Media Today). WhatsApp Business now offers businesses new options for connecting with customers, including request helpful information, start a conversation, and get support.

Learn:

  • The Garyvee Content Strategy: How to Grow and Distribute Your Brand’s Social Media Content (garyvaynerchuk.com). If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk, then you know he pushes out a ton of content. This post included a slide deck that breaks down how he took a recent 2-hour keynote address to create 30+ pieces of content to share on social media, blogging platforms, and audio & video sites.

What social media news or social media marketing tips caught your eye this week?

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Stock Tanks; Trump Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning Republicans; Tips on Using Hashtags in LinkedIn

Twitter mobile app in use.

With a 20 percent drop in its price, now might be a good time to buy some Facebook stock. That is, if you have the cash and the confidence that the company will bring in more ad revenue and churn out higher user growth in the future. Also in Facebook news, Watch Party is launched within Groups and the company tried to set up shop in China, but was subsequently turned down.

Donald Trump makes his first appearance in the Social Media Rundown as he created a bit of news this morning for accusing Twitter of ‘shadow banning’ Republicans on its platform. Meanwhile, Mueller is busy examining Trump’s tweets in wide-ranging obstruction inquiry.

Lastly, you’d think brands would quit starting fights with Wendy’s on Twitter. This time, it was Steak n’ Shake that poked the bear. Wendy’s remains undefeated in Twitter battles. Read the full back and forth in this Fox News piece.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook ‘Puts Privacy First’ and Stock Plunges 20% (CNN). Wall Street’s sharp reaction followed an earnings report that showed slower than expected growth in user numbers and ad revenue. Facebook CFO David Wehner said sales growth may decline as the company prioritizes new formats like Stories and offers users “more choice around privacy.”
  • Facebook ‘Watch Party’ Is Now Available Worldwide (Mashable). Facebook has officially launched ‘Watch Party,’ a feature that lets people in Facebook Groups watch live or pre-recorded videos together (and chat) in real time. For now, a Watch Party can only be launched inside of a Facebook Group. I can’t imagine this ever being a success. But who knows.
  • The Story behind Trump’s Claim That Twitter Is Shadow-Banning Conservatives (Slate). “Shadow banning” refers to social media companies’ practice of making users’ posts visible only to themselves, without banning them outright from the platform. A story in Vice said that “Twitter’s new strategy to make trolls less visible was accidentally ensnaring some Republican politicians, making it harder to find them in the search bar by not autofilling their account names.” Twitter has corrected the problem, and it’s worth noting the issue was technically not a shadow ban in the first place.

Learn:

  • How to Maximize Your Exposure with LinkedIn Hashtags (Social Media Examiner). LinkedIn recently added a ‘Your Communities’ box to your home page that’s full of hashtags you’re following (both suggested hashtags and those you select). LinkedIn has also put more emphasis in hashtags in other ways so this is a good time to think about how best to leverage hashtags to get your content seen.
  • Organic Reach Is in Decline — Here’s What You Can Do about It (Hootsuite Blog). As this blog post suggests, organic reach is likely declining on other social networking sites as well, not just on Facebook. This means social media posts aren’t reaching as many people as before. This post has some ideas on how to deal with the decline in organic reach.

One more thing; because this tweet is the funniest thing you’ll see all week. ‘What pigeons do for fun’ is what keeps Twitter running.

Social Media Rundown: Reddit Chat Rooms; Instagram Reactions; Prime Day Fail

Not too much earth-shattering news in the greater world of social media this week, but there are some interesting new features rolling out on various platforms you should know about; including a chat room throwback from Reddit and some spiffy new features from LinkedIn. If that’s not enough, there were plenty of entertaining tweets during the Amazon Prime Day fail.

I was hoping to find an article about how terribly the Amazon Prime Day fail was handled by Amazon’s social media and customer service teams. Amazon’s main Twitter handle chose to ignore the situation until more than two hours after complaints were rolling in about the website being down. Even @AmazonHelp was mostly ignoring customer complaints. It’s as if they had no contingency plan whatsoever.

Social Media News:

  • Reddit Reinvents the Chat Room with Community Chat (Wired). Reddit is adding chat rooms to facilitate more real-time, on-platform discussion around specific topics and events. Talk about a throwback.
  • Instagram’s Adding ‘Reactions’ Style Quick-Response Emojis to Instagram Stories (Social Media Today). Instagram is testing a new, Facebook Reactions style emoji response option for Instagram Stories, which would give Stories viewers another way to engage with posts.
  • New Features to Get More from Posting: Video Captions, Share Articles Quotes, and See Translations (LinkedIn Blog). LinkedIn keeps rolling out new features; slowly making the platform a little more exciting.
  • Amazon’s Website Crashed as Soon as Prime Day Began (The Verge). It was quite the entertaining show over on Twitter. However, it took Amazon two hours before finally acknowledging the issue. Meanwhile, Walmart and ShopRunner were quick to capitalize on the on Prime Day downtime fail by offering free 1-year memberships. Despite the website issues, employee strikes, and people around the world boycotting the company, Amazon still had its most successful Prime Day yet, raking in some $3.4 billion in sales.

Learn:

  • Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers (Social Media Examiner). If you’re interested in managing Facebook ads or would just like to know how it all works, this is a nice round-up of articles and resources to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers use Facebook ads to promote a businesses, products, and services.
  • 3 Top Facebook Boost Myths Debunked (Hootsuite Blog). Contrary to what many assume, having a large Page following doesn’t really make a difference, more budget does not necessarily equal improved ad performance, and boosting every post is not the best strategy.

Any other social media news to add?

Social Media Rundown: Snapchat+Amazon; Facebook Watch Struggles; Twitter Purge

Some interesting social media news headlines this week including a purge of suspended Twitter accounts, a rumored Snapchat-Amazon partnership, and Facebook Watch struggles for viewers. Also, here are some Facebook headlines that didn’t make the cut, but maybe should have been included with the main batch below:

A coder at Facebook.
Lots of Facebook news this week including more on the Cambridge Analytica saga, acquisition of Bloomsbury AI, and struggles with Facebook Watch.

Social Media News:

  • Snapchat Code Reveals Team-Up with Amazon for ‘Camera Search’ (TechCrunch). If the Snapchat-Amazon integration rumor is true, social media audiences will soon be able to point a smartphone at something and make a purchase directly through Amazon.
  • Facebook Watch Is Struggling to Win Fans (The Information). The number of people who visit the new section every day has disappointed some show creators. Ads that run in the middle of videos have alienated many users, according to Facebook’s own metrics. Some media partners have chosen not to renew their deals with Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook Watch adds Bloomberg and BuzzFeed News to lineup.
  • Trump, Obama and Other High-Profile Twitter Users Could See a ‘Significant Drop’ in Followers. Here’s Why. (Washington Post). Twitter said the most popular accounts could experience a “significant drop” in followers over the next week. This news comes just a couple days after the Washington Post reported that the company has suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.

Learn:

  • The Basic Social Media Mistakes Companies Still Make (Harvard Business Review). “No matter what your social media strategy is, it’s always a good idea to go back and make sure you have the basics covered.”
  • The Simple Facebook Posting Strategy That Helped Us 3x Our Reach and Engagement (Buffer Blog). The basic lesson here is that with Facebook, less is more and quality content reigns supreme. Read on for some quick stats to see what I mean.

What social media news and social marketing tips did I leave out this week?

 

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Bug Unblocks Messenger Users; Whatsapp Combats Fake News; Ads Transparency

Another typical week in social media news: Facebook admits to another privacy breach, Whatsapp combats fake news, and Twitter and Facebook work on ad transparency.

fake-news-stephen-cobert

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Launches Its Ads Transparency Center, Where You Can See Ads Bought by Any Account (TechCrunch). The company says you’ll be able to search for any Twitter handle and bring up all the ad campaigns from that account that have run for the past seven days. Meanwhile, Facebook says its users will soon see a new button called “info and ads” at the top of a Page belonging to a business, nonprofit, or other organization.
  • Whatsapp Will Pay Researchers to Study Its Fake News Epidemic (Mashable). The company is offering researchers as much as $50,000 in exchange for studying the spread of fake news on WhatsApp. The announcement comes after the Indian government criticized the messaging service for its role in spreading false information tied to a series of deadly instances of mob violence in the country.
  • A Bug Unblocked More Than 800,000 Facebook and Messenger Users (Fast Company). The bug meant that users could message people who had blocked them and see posts which had previously been hidden from view. Read more on the Facebook blog.

Learn:

  • How Vogue Diversified Away from Facebook (Digiday). In May, search traffic to Vogue was up 73 percent year over year. Newsletter traffic grew 32 percent, and Instagram traffic increased 139 percent. Facebook unique visits were down 30 percent on the same basis. “That diversification is the result of a long-term push to grow search traffic overall as Facebook has steadily cut back the amount of referral traffic it sends publishers.”
  • How to Combine Social Media and Email Marketing as the Perfect Lead-Generation Machine (ShortStack). This article has a full break down to using social media and email marketing in sync to build a lead-generation campaign.

What else happened this week in social media news?

Three Fitness Apps to Keep You in Shape

That's me, hitting it hard at a local track.
I’m mostly a marathon runner these days, but cross training is definitely important no matter your discipline. Photo by Kathryn Salvatore.

As you may or may not know, I’m a bit of a health and fitness nut. For the past few years, I’ve mainly been into running, cycling, and bouldering. But regardless of what activity I might be into, I try to maintain a certain level of overall fitness with a focus on core strength and flexibility. For that, I generally turn to a host of exercises from planks and crunches to yoga and pilates. Most of these exercises are stored in my head and used almost daily while others (namely yoga and pilates) are part of routines I do from Wellbeats, an on-demand fitness provider that my apartment complex subscribes to.  

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is another workout I do at least weekly (usually on my rest or easy running days). I find HIIT to be incredibly difficult to get through without the help of a coach to push me along and shout out the exercises. 

I’ve used many of different exercise apps over the years and have settled on three free apps I think are great for coaching you through the workouts. I’m sure there are 1,000s of fitness apps available, but these are the best for getting in a quick workout. These are different than fitness-tracking apps such as MapMyRun, Strava, and Runkeeper (Strava is my personal fave among this crowd, by the way). 

A few years ago, a study came up that claimed it had found the perfect 7-minute body workout that was enough to get your blood pumping and make you break out into a light sweat. The study was published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal and was popularized largely from an article in the New York Times. Dozens (100s?) of 7-minute workout apps soon surfaced on the App Store and on Google Play. To be honest, they’re all sort of the same, but I found these first two listed below ideal for their intuitive design, workout tracking, and no-frills approach to fitness. 

  1. J&J Official 7-Minute Workout. I hate to promote a branded app, but this really is fantastic. What makes it so great, is it has the 7-minute workout, but you also have the option to add a two-minute warm up and cool down. The audio cues are sufficient to learn the exercises without having to watch the video example and it doesn’t interrupt your music. What’s more, this app has a “smart workout” feature that allows you to select your fitness level and follow along to a HIIT circuit. I have it set to the max fitness level (level 5) for a mix of moderate and hard exercises. The smart workout is usually about 26 minutes in length before adding the short warm up and cool down. Finally, this app includes a library of all the exercises that you can easily browse to either learn the movements or create your own workout. 
  1. Quick Fit. Again, this features the 7-minute workout with video and verbal instruction. The iPhone-only app also features an intense abdominal workout (Quick Abs), 15-minute yoga routine (Quick Yoga), and a fat-burning workout (Quick 4).  
  2. Mammoth Hunters. Mammoth Hunters is more of a lifestyle app based on circuit training and the paleo diet. I’m mostly vegetarian so I’m not quite sold on the idea, but I do admit the workouts are tough and the exercises are unique (have you ever done reptile pushups?). Like the J&J app, this also has an extensive library of exercises to peruse so you can create your own workouts. 

Bonus: Not in the same category as the above-mentioned apps, but if you work a desk job like me, then you may want to download the Stand Up! app, which sends you alerts throughout the day to tell you to, you guessed it, stand up. I have reminders set for every 20 minutes. Although I usually just stand up and sit back down, I’ve found that’s just enough to give my eyes a break and keep my joints, back, and feet from getting stiff. It’s only available on iTunes, but I’m sure Google Play has plenty of similar apps. 

Do you use any free fitness apps I should check out? Please let me know.

Social Media Rundown: Instagram Hits 1 Billion Users, Lunches IGTV; Facebook Subscription Groups; LinkedIn Kudos

The new IGTV from Instagram in use.
Brands and individual creators jumped right into IGTV.

Big news coming from Instagramland: Not only has the photo-sharing platform surpassed 1 billion monthly active users, but it also just announced IGTV. Despite the unspectacular name, IGTV puts Instagram in direct competition with YouTube and further establishes the mobile platform as the ultimate social media platform for creatives.

Looking beyond the major Instagram news, Facebook ponders ‘subscription groups’ and rolls out an initiative to combat the opioid crisis. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is rolling out a new ‘kudos’ feature.

Be sure to check out the Learn section for social media success tips from National Geographic and all you could possibly want to know about IGTV.

Social Media News:

  • With IGTV, Instagram Takes Aim at YouTube (Wired). On IGTV, long-form vertical videos can go as long as 10 minutes (in-feed videos are still limited to one minute). Some creators with large audiences can post up to 60 minutes of video — National Geographic, for example, used its first episode of “One Strange Rock” for its first video on IGTV, all 47 minutes of it. IGTV videos are all prerecorded, but live video could come later. By the way, the app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Read all about IGTV and its user growth in the official announcement on the Instagram info center.
  • Facebook Tests ‘Subscription Groups’ That Charge for Exclusive Content (TechCrunch). I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine ever paying to access a special Facebook sub-group — especially $30 bucks a month. But Facebook has apparently already started to letting Group admins charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to special sub-Groups full of exclusive posts.
  • Facebook to Redirect Users Searching for Opioids to Federal Crisis Help Line (STAT). Facebook users attempting to purchase opioids or seeking out addiction treatment will be instead redirected to info about a federal crisis help line.
  • LinkedIn Adds new ‘Kudos’ Feature to Acknowledge the Contributions of Connections (Social Media Today). Despite the negativity from the article’s author, this seems like a nice new feature for giving public praise to a colleague. LinkedIn Kudos is rolling out now globally in the LinkedIn iOS app, and coming soon to Android and desktop.

Learn:

  • The 4 Lessons Any Brand Can Learn from Nat Geo’s Social Media Success (Hootsuite). As it turns out, National Geographic is the largest non-celebrity brand on Instagram so they’re clearly doing something right. National Geographic’s social strategy is based on four core guiding principles: Stay true to your brand, go immediate (or live), harness the power of “wow,” and embrace new technology.
  • IGTV: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram’s New Video Platform (Later). This article from Later (the company that provides NEJM’s Instagram landing page) has the main points you need to know about IGTV. If you need to go deeper and enjoy a tidy list, Hootsuite has a nice roundup of the technical aspects and more.

What do you think of IGTV? Seen any good ‘shows’ yet?

Social Media Rundown: Social as a News Source Falls; Facebook Demands Consent for Email/Phone Ad Targeting; IHOP Pulls a Social Media Stunt

It’s been an exciting week in the world of social media, from IHOP flipping the ‘P’ in its name to a ‘B’ in the name of burgers to the harrowing trip of a brave little raccoon to the top of a 23-story building in St. Paul, Minn.

The MPRraccoon scales the 23-story UBS building.
The MPRraccoon was the hero no one expected.

Besides all that, there’s a new report out that says people are turning to social media — specifically Facebook — as a news source considerably less than in the past. Read on for more news in this week’s Rundown.

Social Media News:

  • After Years of Growth, the Use of Social Media for News Is Falling across the World (NiemanLab). People are turning away from Facebook for news. In the U.S., 39 percent of people said they used Facebook as a source of news in 2018, down 9 percentage points from 2017. But messaging apps are picking up the slack. This article is a nice breakdown of a new Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
  • Facebook Demands Advertisers Have Consent for Email/Phone-Based Targeting (TechCrunch). “Starting July 2nd, advertisers will have to declare whether contact info uploaded for ad targeting was collected with proper user consent by them, one of their partners or both. Users will be able to see this info if they opt to block future ads from that business. Facebook had always technically required consent, but it hadn’t previously done much to enforce those rules.”
  • Twitter Wants to Send You Personalized News Notifications (The Next Web). The mobile notifications will be personalized based on user interests. You know, just in case you’re not currently getting enough notifications on your phone.
  • LinkedIn Improves the Relevance of Its Feed with Hashtags (We Are Social Media). You can now personalize your LinkedIn feed with the hashtags you’re most interested in following. This small change should make hashtags more important to include in LinkedIn updates. Hopefully people — and brands — don’t go overboard.

Learn:

  • Internet Flips out after IHOP Turns the Letter ‘P’ to a ‘B’ for Burgers (ABC News). IHOP officially announced the limited-time name change Monday morning after teasing it on social media asking users to guess what they thought the name would “b”-come. IHOP’s peers were quick to poke fun at the stunt with perhaps the best zinger, of course, coming from Wendy’. As with any social media or PR stunt such as this, there are always lessons to be learned.
  • How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 8 Easy Steps (Hootsuite). This Hootsuite post takes you through an eight-step plan to create a social media strategy. From setting goals to running a social media audit, this is a pretty comprehensive blog post, but without being overwhelming.

What social media news caught your eye this week?