Social networks: inside the mind of a teenager

At 17 years old, I am part of a generation that is completely integrated in the world of social media. I have just completed work experience at onechocolate, and being surrounded by pros made me realise that I am in no way an expert on this. However, I can give my thoughts on what my age group love, what we hate, and what we want from social media in the future.

With this in mind, here are my top three social media platforms that me and my friends can’t live without right now!

#1 Facebook

Ask anyone between the ages of 14-18 and most of them will say that the first social media profile they created was Facebook. Be warned though: people my age, myself included, are currently losing interest in this platform. We don’t want to share our lives with everyone anymore; we realised very early on that not everyone needs to know what you are doing 24/7. We also definitely don’t care about that girl who we met 5 years ago is having a great time abroad. Another massive reason why we are put off is our parents using Facebook. It’s sadly true that when something becomes popular with our parents’ generation, it’s not ‘cool’ anymore. We would rather find something new and exciting that they can’t stalk us on.

But it’s not all negative! We still love sitting with friends and watching funny videos. We want to show our friends things we find, especially things which we can laugh about together. What do we want from Facebook now? Interesting, innovative images and videos that grab our attention. We love cool graphics and photography to flick through. We are more likely to click on a video that looks interesting and informative than a post with a huge paragraph of text that we won’t want to read. It’s simply too time consuming when we only have a short time to kill!

#2 Instagram

My favourite app right now, without a doubt, is Instagram. Although I am quite ashamed to admit, I am constantly scrolling through my feed, double tapping people’s selfies and tagging my friends in photos uploaded from the likes of Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner.

But why do we love Instagram so much? The answer you may get from 17 year olds is because our parents haven’t caught onto it quite yet! In comparison with Facebook, we aren’t too bothered about how many followers we have – that’s old news. Furthermore, we aren’t fooled by someone who posts a photo and easily racks up 500+ likes as we know they probably bought them or used copious amounts of hashtags.

Drawing my attention on Instagram is quite easy. I love seeing original high-definition photos that are imaginative and aren’t edited loads. I love seeing deals from my favourite brands – it’s a much better way to hook me than loads of adverts on social media sites that we are unlikely to click on, because it feels like stepping into a trap! As Instagram has matured, something that I’ve noticed is that many users have actually stopped using hashtags. Gone are the days when a paragraph of hashtags would gain more likes and followers. Tagging a few words is still acceptable though so choose them wisely!

#3 Snapchat

Snapchat is the newest of the three and in my opinion the most innovative. It was the most exciting thing in the world at school; it was all anyone could talk about weeks after its launch. Sending photos of our faces and writing a message or drawings that disappeared after a chosen amount of time was fun and new! From experience, more girls are using Snapchat than boys. But if you ask my friends, they will say they love it because we can send weird or ugly photos of ourselves, which is more acceptable because it will disappear and can’t be found again (thank goodness!).In my circle of friends, our favourite thing to do is send each other photos using geofilters that are updated every day  and I honestly don’t think we will ever get bored of this. Geofilters are popular too – for example, Soho has some pretty cool Snapchat geofilters that let people know where I am. Creating ‘stories’ (a photo or video that all of their contacts can see) has become an easy way to show what we are up to in a less invasive than Facebook.

The best way to use Snapchat in my opinion would be by creating a geofilter that is fun and creative. It can be used by so many people and be sent round to spread a message that can be inspiring or silly. However, it isn’t OK to upload a 20 minute ‘story’ of everything you’ve got up to that day – we definitely won’t watch it if it’s longer than two minutes or if it’s just videos of your dog. However, if done right, having brands on Snapchat can be really effective. Some are already using it as a social media platform and if the videos are engaging and imaginative – for example, Sour Patch Kids stories – we will really enjoy watching them. We also will be a bit more forgiving if you upload throughout the day; it’s less annoying than when our friends do it!

So what can the PR pros learn from this? My generation want new and exciting ways to share what we are doing without it being too personal or too serious. If it’s fun, light-hearted and also a way to express ourselves, we are more likely going to enjoy it.

I’m not sure what kind of things I’ll be sharing or posting in five years time. When I started using social media five years ago I would write a status more than 10 times a day about really cringe-worthy things! We definitely have moved away from writing posts and everything we do now is much more visual. This is why I think apps like Instagram and Snapchat will continue to be the most popular and a great opportunity for brands.

 

 Snapchat Geofilter Soho

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

Social media updates

#1 LinkedIn to start hosting video content
By TechCrunch:

  • LinkedIn hopes to get users more engaged on the platform by hosting user-created content
  • “Influencers” – those with a “significant” number of followers will launch the feature, and create short videos that answer questions posed to them or their community
  • Users can capture their video on a specially created app called “Record” and will run in-stream on newsfeeds or pop out on mobile devices

#2 Instagram launches Stories feature taking aim at Snapchat audiences
By WIRED:

  • In a fifth attempt at breaking into the Snapchat market, Mark Zuckerberg’s latest acquisition, Instagram, is moving into the self-destructing story
  • Very similar to Snapchat, users can upload pictures or videos to the app and annotate them with text or drawings, which are available to view for 24hrs
  • The new feature allows users full control over who views their story, and is marketed as not needing as much thought put into the moments posted as they are “only temporary”

#3 Snapchat’s location-specific stickers
By Mashable:

  • Snapchat has launched location-specific stickers across 10 cities around the world
  • These can be applied to a users snapchat story to identify where they are
  • Currently only available to selected number of users in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Honolulu, London, Sydney, Paris, Sao Paulo and Riyadh

#4 Facebook borrows Snapchat’s filters
By Campaign:

  • New feature will allow users to add fancy filters to their pictures, including turning their faces into animations
  • Currently only available in Canada and Brazil however Facebook’s aim is to put “the camera front and centre in its mobile app”

#5 Pinterest wants to try out video
By Fortune:

  • According to their own research, users saved “60% more video” in the last year, making it important to the company moving forward
  • In response to this, the company wants to test out it own native video hosting tool shortly
  • Can be aimed at businesses wishing to showcase “How To” videos
  • A new focus on video can be good for the company as it looks to monetise its millions of users

#6 Twitter and the Rio Olympics #Rio2016
By USA Today:

  • Twitter launched hundreds of hashtag emojis to accompany the Olympics
  • Moments, Periscope and Vine will also support all of the sporting activities and allow users behind the scenes access to the teams

 

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – just in case you missed them…

social media scoop

#1 Twitter makes its platform easier to new users
By Digital Spy:

  • Twitter is launching a new campaign to explain to new users exactly what the platform does and how it works
  • The campaign will be called “See What’s Happening” and aims to include a series of marketing videos and digital ads to help everyone understand the service

#2 Facebook does better than expected
By BBC News:

  • Facebook profits were up 186% from this time last year
  • The social network reported earned $2bn in April to June 2016
  • Mobile advertising is generating the most of Facebook’s ad revenue (84%)
  • Monthly active users (MUA) increased by 15% to 1.71 billion – Twitter only grew by 3% in the same period

#3 Instagram to allow comment moderation
By The Next Web:

  • Currently only available for businesses, the feature will allow them to auto-hide comments with offensive words and phrases
  • Originally trialled by Taylor Swift, comment moderation will only be available to high-profile accounts to begin with, but it is planned to roll out to all users eventually
  • The feature will also allow users to turn off comments all together

#4 Instagram’s analytics API to be released
By VentureBeat:

  • Instagram will finally be releasing its analytics API to help social media marketers shape their campaigns
  • Existing metrics only take into account top-level measurements including: follower growth, daily engagement and best time to post
  • New capabilities will include calls to action, contact capabilities, insights and content promotion
  • Instagram had previous banned third-party apps that recreated Instagram inside their product to make sure they only worked with developed “accretive to its ecosystem”

#5 Twitter to show Sky Sports Premier League highlights
By The Guardian:

  • The broadcaster’s Twitter account will show “key moments and goals” in real time
  • The service will only be available to users in UK and Ireland

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Snapchat wants to archive your favourite content
By WIRED:

  • While snapchats usually only stick around for 24hours, the company has launched a new feature which will allow users to save their favourite content into a built-in “photo album”
  • The Memories section will allow users to search content based on captions, stickers and emojis to find old snaps easily and repost

#2 Facebook’s disappearing messages gets fourth re-launch
By The Guardian:

  • Facebook is once again giving users the opportunity to send “snapchat style” messages to one another
  • This launch goes alongside Facebook’s announcement of end-to-end encryption of its messages, a task that was previously rather difficult due to the nature in which users read and send messages, usually over multiple devices
  • You will now be able to set a timer on a message so it disappears from the conversation to control how long it remains visible in the conversation

#3 Japanese messaging app is all set for IPO
By The Drum:

  • Line is set to raise as much as $1.3bn and could become one of the “biggest tech listing this year”
  • The platform has a selfie app similar to snapchat built in
  • The IPO will help Line expand globally, as it is currently relatively focused on the Asian market

#4 Multiple Facebook accounts supported on Messenger for iOS
By Social Times:

  • Facebook Messenger will now let users switch between different accounts within the app without having to sign in and out
  • This feature has been available to Android users since February, and comes  off the back of a report from GlobalWebIndex which states that 31% of Facebook Messengers users “share their mobile devices with at least one other person”

#5 Social Media ban to stop exam material being leaked
By BBC News:

  • Ethiopia is banning social media across the country after a university entrance exam was leaked
  • This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber

 

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5 tips and tricks to up your Snapchat game

Snapchat currently reaches 41% of 18-24 year olds, with approximately 200 million monthly active users and 100 million daily users. With over half of new snapchatters being over 25, there is a huge demographic for brands to reach.

There are currently 5% of marketers currently using the app, with 16% of businesses that are looking into using Snapchat as a marketing platform and 28% want to learn more. For savvy marketers, this widely untapped opportunity is a gold mine. So here are our top Snapchat digital tips for marketers.

#1 Create a sponsored lens – 2016 saw the rise of selfies with humorous filters, morphed faces and face-swaps. Not only have these lenses and filters hugely impacted the success of Snapchat, but brands are also reaping the benefits. Cadbury splashed half of Crunchie’s digital budget on Snapchat, its top platform after TV and online, to reach Gen Z. In return they received 9 million views with just one geo-filter (target was 10 million for three geo-filters)!

#2 Partner with influencers – this year eMarketer named influencers as the best brand advocates for consumers (providing they are a right fit for your brand). Influencers offer a level of authenticity and working with them on such a visual platform demonstrates a genuine relationship between the brand and the influencer. Breaking these barriers down opens your brand up to a mass following in a very natural way.

#3 Behind the scenes – giving your viewers VIP access is sure to get people talking, and the better your content, the more followers you will get. Many brands are successfully using Snapchat in this way; London Fashion Week debuted a Spring/Summer collection through the app, and Victoria’s Secret used Snapchat as part of their teaser-like campaign for their Secret Swim Special TV programme.

#4 Demo a product – not only can you give exclusive access, but you can also use the app to showcase a new product. This will create a level of suspense and social buzz around its launch. What’s more, 90% of consumers say that product videos help their purchasing decision.

#5 Start selling! – Twentieth Century Fox became the first advertiser on the app to purchase a ticketing ad unit. This means users were able to buy tickets for the X-Men: Apocalypse without leaving the app. Selling on multi-channels central to a consumer’s buying journey, and selling on Snapchat is the latest social media channel to embrace this.

Although these top tips are a guide, they have been proven to earn more followers, increase brand awareness and improve brands’ presence on this massively popular app. Give each of the tips a go to up your Snapchat game.

Snapchat tips for marketers

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