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Category : Social Media Marketing

By David Brooks

The Day Reddit Went Dark

Being a keen redditor, I was shocked this morning when I logged into Reddit to check my daily subs and the majority were set to private. It turns out overnight a large number of subreddits have gone into meltdown following the release of a Reddit member of staff named Victoria Taylor. Victoria was officially known as the company’s head of communications, but she was also in charge of the popular Reddit culture of AMA’s (ask me anything). Part of Victoria’s every day job was to organise and effectively manage these AMA’s, with the release however there was noone left to manage or support the subreddits who regularly host AMA’s. This has understandably upset a large number of subreddit admins and has resulted in a good number effectively going offline by going into private mode. A number of the largest subreddits who have gone offline include /r/askreddit, /r/gaming, /r/pics and /r/science.

The first subreddit to go offline was /r/IAMA, an admin of the subreddit named karmanaut explained their reason for going offline:

The admins didn’t realize how much we rely on Victoria. Part of it is proof, of course: we know it’s legitimate when she’s sitting right there next to the person and can make them provide proof. We’ve had situations where agents or others have tried to do an AMA as their client, and Victoria shut that shit down immediately. We can’t do that anymore.

Part of it is also that Victoria is an essential lifeline of communication. When something goes wrong in an AMA, we can call and get it fixed immediately. Otherwise, we have to resort to desperately try messaging the person via Reddit…Part of it is also organization. The vast majority of scheduling requests go through her and she ensures that we have all of the standard information that we need ahead of time (date, time, proof, description, etc.) and makes it easier for the teams that set up AMAs on both ends. She ensures that things will go well and that the person understands what /r/IAMA is and what is expected of them. Without her filling this role, we will be utterly overwhelmed.

Reddit or Victoria are yet to make an official comment but this is sure to have been a shock to the system!

By Brooklyn Doran

10 Things Every Blogger Needs To Start Getting Paid to Post

Here at Tug Agency, we outreach to a variety of bloggers/vloggers to increase brand awareness for our clients as well as to boost SEO and social media statistics. Blogs are an excellent tool, because they link potential customers directly with an experience or opinion about the product, attraction or brand. I know for myself that I’d be much more willing to buy a product based on a blogger’s review, than from just viewing an advertisement. Bloggers are often sponsored through free product or through paid postings to promote a product or host a contest from their sites. In exchange the company or brand often links to those blogs or reposts their content on social media- which in turn generates traffic back towards the blog. It’s a win-win situation for all- however, because of the volume of blogs out there, it is often harder for an emerging blogger to be seen by the agencies that provide free tickets, product etc. in exchange for a review.

Here are some tips that you can use to help optimize your blog so that you can start getting paid to post:

Social Media Followers

Most agencies that approach bloggers with product use a social listening tool to identify who to look into contacting. We usually begin by contacting bloggers & social influencers who have the highest follower counts across all platforms. Make sure you have a Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram to link back to your blog or YouTube channel. Connecting with other bloggers and using hashtags relevant to your content can help you gain more followers.

Regular Content

We want to see that you are posting regularly. This doesn’t mean that you need to be posting daily, or even weekly; but if we see that you haven’t posted in several months, we usually assume your account is inactive and take you off of our contact lists.

Contact Info

If you are interested in receiving tickets to exclusive events, products etc. it is important that your contact information is easily accessible. Instead of including a contact form on a separate page from your homepage, include your email address as text along the side bar of your homepage and within your posts. The less time an agency spends looking for your contact information, the greater the chance you will be contacted.

If you have a YouTube channel, make sure to include your contact information in the description bar of each video as well as in the “about” section of your channel.

Social Buttons

Make it easy for us to find all of your social media accounts in one place. That way all we have to do is click to see how active you are on each channel and how many followers you have. Including social buttons on your site can help do this, especially because the visuals are easier to find than a text link.

Buzzwords in Twitter Description

Social listening tools also help identify you via your Twitter description. If you are a beauty blogger include “beauty blogger” in your social media descriptions. Make sure to use keywords that reflect the content you are writing about. If you are a music blogger and want to be contacted by artists, management or PR teams, you must include the word “music” and “blogger” in your descriptions so that you are more easily searchable online.

High Quality Images

We live in a visual world, and clients now not only want to see text reviews, but they are interested in high quality images of their events, products etc. that they can use to further push their brand. If you end up taking an exceptional photograph, the brand may choose to use it in their marketing campaigns and link back to your site; driving additional traffic back to you.

Contests

Hosting contests or giveaways is an excellent way to drive more traffic to your site. If you are contacted to be sent items to be reviewed, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you could be send additional product to host a giveaway for your audience. At worst they’ll say “no” and at best they’ll applaud your for your initiative and keep you in mind when they have something else to send.

Shareable, Engaging Content

It is important for your content to be sharable. The ultimate goal for most clients is to increase brand awareness as much as possible, so asking questions and encouraging comments, likes and shares is ideal. Creating a conversation around your posting tells marketers that you are engaging and that working with you is positive. Campaign success is often measured through “impressions” meaning the amount of people who have seen your content. Engaging with the content is more valuable than just seeing it. Bloggers & social influencers who have the most engagement tend to be the ones who are paid to post.

Link-backs (Direct Links to The Products You’re Pushing)

When talking about a brand you’ve been contacted to review or post about, linking directly to the website of that brand or using their campaign hashtag makes your posts easier to track and measure for the companies you are working with. Because your post is easier to track, the teams will be more likely to retweet or share your content from the brand’s page.

Disclaimer

Honesty is important. Many blogs post disclaimers stating that if they do not like a product they will not review it, or that they only post honest reviews. These disclaimers also state that they will write within the blog that they have been sent the product for free or have been paid. In some countries this is a requirement so please check with the regulations in your country before posting. Generally speaking though, your audience is smart. They will know if you are speaking positively about products that you might not like, and you will have less authority as a blogger if you lie in a review. Brands love to hear positive reviews and tend to post them on their own sites and social channels, but critiques of their product are also important for brand development and are very useful for these brands to hear about.

In conclusion, this is by no means a complete list. These are just some ideas that might help you leverage yourself and your content so that you are more visible to the companies who contact bloggers, vloggers and social influencers with product and paid postings.

By Jennifer Wood

Advertising on Mobile & Smart Wearables

Having acquired Instagram in 2012, an app that was once totally free of ads, Facebook has now revealed that it will be expanding its existing advertising offering on the photo-sharing site. Partner this with the ever-growing application of digitally enhanced or ‘smart’ wearables such as the Apple watch, and it’s clear that marketers will need to change their strategies with regards to mobile advertising and the way in which push notifications on devices are delivered to and used to connect with its users.

 

Essentially, brands need to get personal with their target audience. People are becoming less and less enthused by the consistent lack of tailored ads and notifications that are sent or appear on their device, which do not reflect their personal interests. Otherwise, users will continue to become bored and indifferent to irrelevant ads, notifications and the sheer amount of information that they receive within a digital world that is online 24/7. And ultimately as consumers, do we not have a right to be choosy? It’s arguable that positioning wearables as another advertising platform is not worth pursuing due to the lack of space brands will have to advertise, yet this is where push notifications come into play because they can, if implemented correctly, provide valuable information to consumers and still be a great method to grab people’s attention.

Social platforms are already looking at ways to ensure that ads are targeted to the correct audience. For example, Instagram has said that they will be working with their advertisers ‘to reach people on Instagram based on demographics and interests, as well as information businesses have about their own customers.’ They will also be introducing ‘direct response ads’ which include action buttons to allow viewers to buy, install or sign up to offers advertised within the app. The addition of these action buttons also allows for the user to interact with advertisers as they please. As to whether the expansion of ads on Instagram will have a negative effect on the app is hard to say, as long as advertisers stick to the foundations of how and why the Instagram audience, predominantly teens and young adults, use and love the app (as detailed here), whilst blending in with great aesthetic content that will appeal to them. A recent study by Facebook IQ has also revealed that ‘68% of Instagrammers ages 13–24 say they interact with brands regularly, be it by looking at photos, liking content, following a brand, visiting its website or engaging in some other way,’ further indicating that Instagram is a great platform for brands to interact with their audience.

It’s an exciting yet challenging time for Marketers who will need to re-think the way that that data is delivered to mobiles devices, as well as the differences in screen real estate, particularly for wearables. In particular, I’m excited to see how the advances in technology, such as the smart watch, will impact the digital advertising space and what this means for brands in the future.

By Brooklyn Doran

3 Emerging Canadian Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers to Watch

 

Recently at Tug Agency Canada, we launched a social outreach campaign for a major international beauty brand targeted at Canadian consumers. While approaching top-tier influencers is part of our approach, we also seek out influencers who deliver engaging content in interesting ways, those who post multiple times and those who have a direct communication through social media to their followers.
Getting brands featured on blogs is a very smart investment. By providing samples or a small fee, brands are able to create awareness surrounding their campaigns for very little cost and very high return. Beauty blogs, for example, have high authority in Google. This means that for product searches, consumers are likely to find blog reviews on the first couple of pages of results.

 

There are over 8,000 English language blogs dedicated to beauty globally in 2012. Blogs globally account for over 45% of all online beauty conversations and about 79% of consumers are spending 50% of their shopping time doing online research on the products before heading to the store to buy.
That being said, there are a LOT of bloggers that have tapped into these trends and identifying the right bloggers, the ones who will provide maximum engagement and who are doing something a little different from the rest of the online beauty & lifestyle community of bloggers.
Let’s take a look at some emerging Canadian influencers in the online beauty & lifestyle community and see what they’re doing that sets them apart from the crowd.

The Pretty Vain (Beauty & Style)

Especially when marketing to younger consumers, visuals are becoming more and more important in terms of engaging audience (and asking for that retweet, share or regram). Mix effortlessly cool style with impeccable photography and direct followers to your site through Instagram with some thoughtfully placed hashtags, and you’ve got yourself a blog that’s very lovely to consume.

The Cardinal Press (Lifestyle & Culture)

 

Emerging blogger, Nellwyn Lampert is doing a smart thing with her Toronto-focussed lifestyle and culture blog by not only engaging her readers with diverse and unique content, but by directing her readers to other notable writers through her series “Cardinal Points” and creating a Toronto-centric series called “What’s Up Toronto?” that shouts out local events her followers might be interested in attending. What this does is create an online community that is reciprocal- You shared my content on your blog, I’ll talk about you on mine.

 

Feeling Peckish? (Food & Lifestyle)

Feeling Peckish is an ingenious mashup that combines amazing, easy to prepare recipes inspired by the world of film. Julie Nolke is a food blogger/vlogger from Toronto whose videos are light-hearted and fun, and her food looks delicious! The combination of food and movies makes her accessible to more than just the online “foodie” community- opening her videos up to fans of film, comedy, food and more. She is more likely to have followers stumble onto her videos by searching for one of the films she features- and because of her cheery content, they’re more than likely to subscribe.

By Zoe Harrison

Responding to the earthquake in Nepal: Facebook shows us how it’s done

Social media is widely viewed as a means of lightweight entertainment or a casual way to connect with friends but last weekend it caught my eye for a different reason. After the terrible earthquake in Nepal, I’m sure many of you were left concerned for loved ones travelling the surrounding area and you may have received a notification letting you know that they’re safe. I did, and I thought to myself, ‘what a constructive way of utilising Facebook’s vast database’. It just shows, social media doesn’t have to be all shameless selfies and cute cat memes, good one Facebook!

So how does it work?

If it looks like you may be near a natural disaster, Facebook will ask if you’re safe. If you’re OK, all you have to do is tap the “I’m Safe” button to let friends and loved ones know right away. As I discovered, Facebook will let you know when friends say they’re safe. You can also check a list of friends who may be affected by the disaster. Such a simple mechanic that makes it so easy for people to let everyone know they’re safe with a click of a button.

Like all great ideas, this function came about organically. During the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011 Facebook noticed how reliant the affected became on social media and decided to develop an easier way for people to use the social channel to let their loved ones know they’re ok. They stated: “During that crisis, we saw how people used technology and social media to stay connected with those they cared about.”

You may also have noticed a “Donate Now” button appear at the top of your newsfeed. This function gives users the option to donate £10, £25, £50, £100 or a custom amount. They’ve also pledged to support relief efforts by donating a further $2 million on top of any money raised. All proceeds will go to International Medical Corps, which is operating mobile medical units to treat the critically wounded and dispense medicine.

In a recent blog post, Facebook stated: “By offering tools to help people donate to support those in the affected areas and check on loved ones, we’re hopeful that together we can promote safety and help urgent resources reach those who need them.”

So here’s to you Facebook! It’s a great to see a powerful, multinational company lead by example, so let’s all follow and help those who have been effected by this terrible disaster.

By Simon Jenkins

We are live… please don’t swear!


On Wednesday March 25th, I went along to #TwitterStrories at Camden’s Roundhouse. Formally Twitter4Brands, this (near enough) annual event is a celebration of the platform’s creativity, innovation and application. As we’ve come to expect with Twitter, the event is remarkably slick with a varied lineup of speakers from Twitter itself as well as brands and users all interspersed with short videos highlighting some amazing uses of the channel from across the world.

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By Zoe Harrison

Eastside Educational Trust and Tug- Encouraging young Londoners digital futures.

This December, Tug has joined heads with a great organisation called Eastside Educational Trust. Our main aim is to provide our digital expertise and reach out to young men and women who are interested in our sector, hopefully encouraging them to choose digital as a professional path in the future.

In a nutshell, the Eastside Educational Trust support young students in London, ‘helping them develop their potential, share their talents and enrich their lives’. They focus particularly on helping kids that haven’t been given the opportunities that others may have and also reach out to those with educational needs and learning disabilities.

The variety of projects has been tremendous. From politically based activities to creative production master classes. They are network partners of the Adobe Youth Voices global programme which encourages young people’s creative confidence using advanced digital media tools and tested storytelling techniques. They support thousands of teachers and educators around London, training them in the latest Adobe software. Through this, Eastside Educational trust helped three young Londoners win Adobe Creativity scholarships which support the cost of their university tuition fees.

The trust also supports the BFI film academy, which gave young people the opportunity to experience CS6 Adobe Premier Pro, the latest in video editing software. These sorts of master classes open up new opportunities for their participants, giving them a chance to experience highly rewarding creative and digital industries and hopefully setting up goals for their future.

2014 marked Eastside’s 20th year. This was recognised with a reception at the House of Lords, co-hosted by patron Baroness Bonham-Carter. These sorts of honours truly reflect how successful and important this organisation is.

At Tug, we want to contribute to this worthy cause. Our first act is to donate iPads to the trust, giving access to technologies to those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity. It will also give them a chance to develop valuable digital skills.

For every new like we receive on our Facebook page, we’ll put £1 towards the iPad fund. You never know, you may be contributing towards developing a talented next generation for your company!

So please like our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TugAgency and if you’re interested in finding out more about Eastside Educational Trust check out their website: http://www.eastside.org.uk/

By Zoe Harrison

The Importance of creativity within Social Media, as proved by LEGO

 

Last night I attended a talk from Lego’s Social Media global director Lars Silberbauer. LEGO’s social media pages are both famously successful and highly creative thus proving why creativity is so important when talking to the consumer through social media.

The foundation of LEGO’s success is their aim to ‘build’ relationships with their audience rather than use social media as a simple platform to sell their product.

LEGO bases all campaigns on two fundamental pillars which, at a base level, are inspired by the customer’s themselves:

#1 Build together. This pillar emulates the theory of collaboration perfectly, a concept that has gone hand in hand with creativity for hundreds of years. To collaborate is to open up the potential for new ideas.

#2 Pride of creation. A product of Creativity is the desire to share one’s work and take ownership of it. Social Media, at its core, satisfies the creative human’s need to share in an accessible and rewarding way.

LEGO have strived to encourage and reward consumers’ creativity with imaginative campaigns such as their Facebook ideas app. Followers were asked to pitch their ideas with the opportunity for their designs to be produced and sold in stores. This hands the power over the followers, building their loyalty, making them feel valued and proud to be a part of the brand.

Compared to above the line campaigns, social media is still a pretty fresh concept. Brands are less inclined to put large portions of budget behind a social media campaign. It could be argued, in this case, to create a successful and engaging social media campaign one would have to rely more heavily on pure imagination. Lars stated: “Don’t invest money… invest yourself!” According to him, it’s apparent when thought has gone into a campaign compared to when shortcuts have been made; an audience recognises this and will respond more positively to a well thought out concept.

LEGO put this theory to the test wither their $100 campaign. They created a character called ‘George’, asking followers to build and snap him in front of famous landmarks all around the world. This not only provided LEGO with amazing, shareable content but encouraged people to engage with the brand and be creative.

LEGO is lucky in the sense that the product, by nature, encourages and thrives on creativity. However, it is LEGO’s job to harness and amplify this creativity through social media so as to reflect their product in a true and positive light.

If less creative brands were to take LEGO’s attitude as an example, the social media landscape would look a lot pretty exciting and be both inspiring and engaging for the consumer.

 

By Jenny Illmann

9 SEO tips for the social media profiles of your business

Aligning on-page elements of your social media profiles with your overall content strategy is important for SEO. Google uses signals from your social media profiles for the ranking algorithm so your social media profiles need to be optimised in much of the same way as the homepage of your business. Below are some SEO tips for your social media profiles:

#1 Be careful when choosing a social media handle or name for your social media page. Assuming you own a company called ‘Smith Plumbing’, using the Twitter handle @SmithPlumbing would be a lot more efficient than @PlumbingCo because diluting your brand name and not fully displaying it would have a negative impact on the visibility of your social media profile. Brand names should be kept the same on all of your social media profiles unless the handle is taken.

#2  The ‘About’-section of your social media profile acts as a meta description. On Twitter, this is the bio section on your profile, on Facebook, it is the tagline in the ‘About’-section. Make sure it is fully visible in search results and does not get cut off. You can add keywords and hashtags in this section  but less is more, do not overdo this. An example of a cut-off Twitter bio can be found below:

 

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The Day Reddit Went Dark
10 Things Every Blogger Needs To Start Getting Paid to Post
3 Emerging Canadian Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers to Watch
Responding to the earthquake in Nepal: Facebook shows us how it’s done
What a Twitter redesign tells us about their future
We are live… please don’t swear!