Shopping with Facebook

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Facebook is once again working on something new—the company is currently building “shops” within Facebook pages. These shops will allow users to browse and purchase directly from Facebook, without ever leaving the site.

According to Buzzfeed, the shops are still in the testing phase, but some already have a “buy” button to allow the purchase to take place inside of Facebook.  Ultimately, the goal is to allow businesses to create e-commerce sites inside Facebook, instead of just being an advertising platform.

Social media based commerce is still a relatively new concept, and the results are unproven. However, bringing a store straight to Facebook could have a transformative result. Businesses will be drawn to the site as not just a place to spread the word about their product, but also a place to sell it.

This new project comes on the heels of the money transfer functionality of the Messenger app by Facebook, and the buy button that was part of an independent initiative last year. The company is also reportedly working on a Messenger assistant that will help people virtually find and purchase products.

Currently, Facebook does not receive a cut of the profit from product sales on its site. However, anyone familiar with Facebook knows that is liable to change if the company sees a chance to go back and monetize.

This new initiative to bring commerce to Facebook shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider how many other platforms are trying it. Both Twitter and Pinterest have introduced their own versions of shops, and even Google has introduced a buy button.

At a time where mobile usage is growing every day, it’s only natural the shop feature would be displayed prominently on Facebook’s mobile app—which sees 13% of all time spent in apps. The shops on the app are located right underneath the tool bar, where they can’t be missed.

The shops are currently in a very early stage, but they’re sure to have a big impact on businesses when they launch. Ultimately, it will allow them to use Facebook in a way that is more in line with what they do.

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Meerkating: The New Marketing?

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The Meerkat App has been creating a lot of buzz lately and is poised to be a potential game changer in the social media content space.  Yes you have definitely heard that line before, but this time it might be true.

It is a very simple concept: live streaming video content that is linked to Twitter, but the meaning and impact of it are much more profound.  Now anyone with a phone and the app can share their experiences, live with all corners of the world.  There is sure to be some very dull content making its way around, but imagine the impact it can have on news as it unfolds.  Especially with the ability for tweeting back to the streamer (publisher) of the video in real time and engaging in conversation on the content.

Brands will find creative ways to get involved and control the conversation from their point of view and consumers will get unique access that they haven’t had before.  This article on Time.com highlights some of the concerns regarding how you can limit the streaming of content that is restricted and that is certain to become a very hot topic on the coming months.

For now, we suggest you download the app and take it for a spin.  Unleash your inner Meerkat.

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Short Videos: Marketing For Mobile

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At a time when most people spend the free minutes of their day on their mobile devices, it’s important to look at ways to market a product or brand that works for these mobile consumers.

People want short videos because it fits the “on-the-go” lifestyle, and quick tidbits of videos are easier and more convenient for consumers to watch on their mobile devices.

According to Social Media Examiner, there are six basic types of short videos that can help you be successful in marketing on social media.

“How To” Videos

Creating a quick tutorial will grab consumer’s interest. Including a link to a more in-depth video can generate more traffic to your website too.

Market Yourself

Show off your skills and bring attention to your business in a quick and entertaining way.

Build Excitement for an Event

Short and sweet videos are a good way to advertise and build excitement for an upcoming event or holiday.

Introduce New Products

Play on the “me-first” aspect of human nature and show off your latest product. Walk the consumers through how it works and show them all the new and exciting features.

Backstage Pass

Show fans a behind-the-scenes look at the business. This humanizes the brand and lets people see the fun side of it.

Don’t Stress About Budget

You don’t need to spend a ton of money on video editing programs or props. Using every day items and free apps you can create powerful videos.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to share your product, using videos on social media is a fun way to get the word out.  They also stand out from the clutter more, as not many brands have full embraced them as part of their weekly messaging mix. Videos are perfect for the “mobile” consumers of today.  How is your video – game?

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Get Creative, Get Retweets

 

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We all understand the basics of Twitter; don’t overkill with hashtags, keep your tweets short, aim for retweets, and use images. The end goal is to obviously get as many retweets as possible. The more eyes on your content means greater engagement, which will increase your overall reach.

Here are some ideas from Social Media Today to help gain more retweets.

1. Use colorful images for more retweets.

Tweets containing images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. Images with rich, saturated colors get five times the retweets.

2. Use mini info-graphics and charts.

People love mini-infographics on Twitter because they can instantly see a lot of information without having to go to another website or platform. If the writing is small, they can still get a basic understanding of it in the larger text and then decide if they want to read it or click through. People naturally want to engage and share these info-graphics.

If you’re posting a link to an article with a chart in it, try downloading the chart first. Then upload it to Twitter as an image including the short URL instead of just hitting the Tweet button. It’s visually engaging and allows people to share something educational and informative.

3. Make them laugh.

If you can make someone laugh, they will retweet it. It is as simple as that.

4. Make them want to retweet your useful content.

People love to share content that may help someone they know, or even something they know somebody else will like. Know your audience and be relevant.

5. Be real.

You want your twitters followers to feel like they know you or your brand. Build a relationship with them and they will be loyal.

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New Social Media Networks On The Rise

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Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest may be the most popular social media platforms now, but their days might be numbered. Mashable put together a list of 10  social media networks that are currently on the rise.

Secret: 
This app allows its users to anonymously post any feelings or thoughts and share them “Secretly” with their Facebook friends and phone contacts.

Shots: 
For the people that love selfies this platform was designed for them. Users can take selfies, reply to other peoples selfies and send direct messages.

Snapchat:
Snapchat has been around for a while but only used by a few larger brands for marketing like Taco Bell. People love Snapchat because it allows users to share photos and videos for a limited amount of time. It’s very “now you see it, now you don’t.”

WeChat: 
With WeChat, users can send texts and make free calls. In addition, you can share videos and photo moments, use group chats, and search people nearby.

We Heart It:
This app is considered a “younger” version of Pinterest, because the user can scroll through ‘canvases’ and ‘heart’ photos. If Instagram and Pinterest had a baby it would be We Heart It.

Tinder:
Tinder is slightly different from other social networking apps. This app is specifically for dating. The app connects with the users Facebook to create a profile. From there the user can swipe left or right and be matched up with other profiles.

Medium:
Medium is created by Evan Williams and Biz Stone (formally of Twitter).  The purpose of this app is to publish stories and ideas. Users can recommend stories within their network and organize their favorites.

Vine:
Vine gained popularity after being acquired by Twitter several month ago. This app allows you to record, edit and share six-second videos. There are even such things as Vine Celebrities.

Bubblews: 
This social network startup lets users create posts – called “bubbles” – follow other users, and like or comment on other bubbles. Bubblews is different from other sites, however, because they pay users who attract advertisers.

Whisper:
This platform also allows users to post anonymously, send anonymous direct messages, ask for advice, or just chat.

While some of these social media networks may not be appropriate for social media marketing, it does give some insight into what may be around the corner.

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A New Fashion and Social App: Cloth

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A new fashion app has just been launched call Cloth.

Cloth was in beta testing for two years and publicly launched on the app store on Wednesday.

Cloth allows its users to post their daily outfits, allowing them to get feedback from friends through likes and comments.

The app was created by journalist Seth Porges. “The goal has always been to make getting dressed easier and more fun,” said Porges. “We wanted to make an app that enhances how people are already using their phones and fashion together, without forcing them into unnatural actions that they aren’t already doing.”

One nice feature is that the app includes weather notifications to help its users get dressed each day.

To read more about this new app, click here.

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Hyperlapse: What’s The Hype?

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Due to the massive trend of photo-focused standalone apps, Instagram decided to release their version in order to start another social media buzz. Instagram’s latest app, which is called Hyperlapse, is simple, elegant and extremely useful.

The app, which was released last week, allows users to quickly and easily create on-the-go-time-lapse videos, something that has not been effectively accomplished on mobile devices, until now. Members of Instagram released a statement saying, “we designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible.”

But wait, how easy are we talking about?

Well, it has only been a week, and so far based on reviews it seems that they accomplished the goal of making it user friendly. So here is how you use the app; record a video, select a playback speed, save and share. No additional editing, tweaking or user account required. Yeah, it really is that easy!

So do you have a passion for making cool videos and sharing them with your friends, but you are not a professional photographer? Well you are in luck, because regardless of how long or expertly-crafted your videos are, having a super simple app like Hyperlapse is a game changer for amateurs.

If you would like to read more about Hyperlapse, and a detailed breakdown of the features click here.

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Instagram 6.0- Becoming a Pro Photographer the Easy Way

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Instagram 6.0 is the new way for users to rethink the way they post their photos. Instagram is no longer a photo app for over-edited photos, but now with the addition of nine new effects and adjustable filters, Instagram 6.0 will make you a better photographer with just the click of a button.  We, here at Sircle Media have tested it out and done some research on how it can be utilized to increase the “realness” of your grams.  Some quick notes:

  • The control button can be used to maximize or minimize the original strength of the filter
  • The 9 new effects include: adjust, brightness, contrast, warmth, highlights, shadows, saturation, vignette, and sharpen
  • Optional boarders for picture and video posts

Co-founder, Kevin Systrom confirms, “There’s an appetite for more advanced tools to let people be more creative on top of their photos.”  Instagram 6.0 will allow its network to reduce third-party editing app usage by focusing solely on the new adjustable effects to create professional-looking photos.  This revamp will change opportunities for posting and will generate a larger Instagram network.

Sircle’s POV for brands:

  • Gives brands more options to enhance their photos and videos
  • Allows brands to magnify their brand story-telling
  • Gives brands the power of simple, eye-catching imagery

To find out more about the new Instagram 6.0, click here.

 

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Instagram Explore- Now More Relevant

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The Instagram Explore tab has just gotten cooler. The explore tab is no longer a sampling of photos from highly influential, random people. Now, based on your social representation, it is a relevant collection of photos that you will most likely love and engage with. We, here at Sircle Media have tested it out and done some research on how it can be utilized to increase the reach of your grams. Some quick notes:

  • The photos in your “explore” were posted in the last 0-5 days so everything is very recent
  • Each photo has been engaged with by one of the last 21 people you engaged with
  • You will find 21 photos in the Explore tab

Instagram confirmed the change saying “We’re always looking to update the types of posts you see in Explore to better tailor it to you. We’ll show you a variety of photos and videos that people you follow have liked, as well as content that is trending in the Instagram community.” This revamp will change the dynamic of growing an audience on Instagram.

A notification will appear in your own News Tab if your post appears on Explore because it’s trending in the Instagram community.

To find out more about the new Explore tab, click here.

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Snapchat Additions: What Will Brands Do?

snapchat_large-540x200Snapchat announced two important new features last week; text messaging and video chat.  These updates make the rapidly growing photo sharing app much more versatile and intriguing. Good news for those individuals who are snap and chat ready at all times, but what does this mean for brands? Should they be on there? Why? What are the benefits?

According to a recent article on Adage, Taco Bell, which was one of the early adapters on Snapchat, has agreed to release it’s newest taco on the app. As more and more brands start adopting strategic integrations it should spark new ideas and inspiration for others to follow suit.

The playful platform is so popular among users and if you can figure out how to leverage that audience you are going to be in good shape. For the moment, there are no analytics beyond seeing the number of followers which could be a problem for tracking.  That being said, it is very hard to ignore this large of an active and engaged audience.

Keep up with all of Snapchat’s changes with Mashable here.

 

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