Who’s buying Facebook’s button?

facebook-commerce-360

Announced at the end of last week, Facebook is launching a ‘buy’ button, designed to let users snap up products straight from the site. It follows hot on the heels of Twitter, which quietly launched a ‘buy now’ button earlier in the month, after much speculation. A week later, and this news is still proving cause for debate, with key commentators, including the FT, posing the big question: is this just window dressing or will actually help drive sales?

Here’s a snapshot of industry insiders’ views and predictions:

According to Mashable, this social/ecommerce merge is more than just about increasing ad sales. What they really want is to “use commerce as a way to boost engagement among users by giving them more reason to stay on site, as well as provide an additional selling point to advertisers.” A particularly interesting point when you think about it in context of today’s millennials. This generation is social media-savvy and often the best way to reach them is through social channels. For brands to stay relevant to their younger fans – they need to diversify. Could social shopping be the way to do this?

In the slightly more cynical corner sits Marketing Week. Lara O’Reilly warns that neither brands, nor Twitter and Facebook for that matter, should expect this move to “generate meaningful revenue…any time soon.” And it doesn’t stop there. She adds that ultimately users just aren’t really ready for this new tool, they will rarely “log in (to the sites) for a shop.” However, it’s not all doom and gloom – it may just take a bit of time for this innovation to catch on.

When it comes to ads on Twitter and Facebook, diginomica argues that “brands can do a hell of a lot on Facebook and Twitter themselves without having to advertise.” This also brings into question ad targeting. Derek du Preez states that “Facebook needs to get a hell of a lot better at serving up ads that are really tailored to its users.” He adds, “I can’t think of a single thing I would have bought from an ad on Facebook to date, if I had been given the opportunity.”

The views on this are very much a mixed bag but it seems most industry pros are approaching the move with caution. Will the new tools really be all they’re cracked up to be? We’ll have to wait and see but, in the meantime, it’s interesting to note that other social platforms are also getting in on the action. The FT reports that Pinterest is likely to get on board with the trend, having just partnered with Shopify, an online platform that encompasses more than 100,000 shops and makes sure that all pins of products include details of prices.

What do you think? Can you see a strong business case for buying into the button for your brand’s social channels?

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onechocolate loves…

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 Could this be the best ever promo video?

blinkbox’s promotion of its latest offering is PURE GENIUS! What could be better than photos of cuddly characters dressed up as doggy versions of Game of Thrones characters? Behold, we give you the video (you can thank us later). Cheers to the Poke for bringing this to our attention and giving us a legitimate reason to indulge in Game of Thrones and cuteness.

#2 GIFs on Twitter!

Twitter has taken the lead on Facebook by finally allowing users to post GIFs to their Twitter feed. Although you can’t post via tablets yet, it is a really quick and easy process – not much different from posting a regular photo. We love Mashable’s tips on creating your own GIFs too!

#3 Get ready to develop some new website addictions …

website addiction

This Buzzfeed list of 35 Surprisingly Useful Websites You Never Knew You Needed caught our eye this week, mainly due to the ridiculous simplicity of many of the sites which made the list. Who knew clicking manically at your screen to find an invisible cow, or ensuring Kanye West stays firmly out of his zone, could entertain for so long?! Or how addictive it is to try to do absolutely nothing for two whole minutes? This got us thinking about how easy it is to overcomplicate a piece of interactive content, such as an app or an online game. The magic recipe appears to be to create a VERY simple challenge and accompany it with some amusing sound effects. Users will not only try obsessively to complete it, but more importantly will get their friends to try it out too. Fellow digital gurus, take note.

#4 Time for TomTom

tomtom

A great new bit of tech spotted this week: a cardio GPS watch created by TomTom to challenge the uncomfortable heart rate monitor chest straps which many of us currently use. This technology will help amateurs as well as professionals achieve their personal bests or simply monitor their fitness levels rising. We love this sleeker, smarter, more attractive way of reaching your fitness goals. Read more about the watch here.

#5 Emma Hack

emma hack

We love how artists’ minds work! Made famous by Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ music video, Emma Hack is now using her intricate designs on nude artists and taking it to the next level with a live exhibition in London. Visually impactful and mesmerizing, we can see brands lining up in hope of using her work to bring campaigns alive. Whether it’s live art or captured on camera, her style is beautiful and that will always translate. Read more about her artwork here.

#6 Tennis & sunshine

sunshine

Wimbledon 2014 kicked off this week and as the weather is set to continue to stay warm, who wouldn’t fancy relaxing in one of London’s parks watching it on the big screen with a picnic? Even better, the open screenings in honour of the world’s greatest tennis championships are mostly FREE! Some of the onechocolate team have now made this a tradition for Wimbledon weekends, and the next two weeks will be no different. Here is a handy list of places where you can kick back with a cold beer and enjoy the show.

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How to stop getting distracted by social media

Distracted by social media bunny

It’s one thing to lose time noodling around and getting lost in Google when you’re slumped on the sofa at home but, as every PR and digital marketing professional knows, it’s all too easy to fall into the same trap when you’re in the office…

All us of us working in PR and digital marketing for brands spend countless hours tracking social media conversations, keeping tabs on what’s trending, and researching what makes for interesting content to share with our customers. Trouble is, we are never more than a click or two away from “research” turning into “…and I’m looking at a gif. Of a cat. Again”.

With that in mind, here are a few handy hints and tools to streamline your social media experience, and keep those whimsical, career-jeopardising distractions to a minimum:

#1 Airplane Mode

From personal experience, this one is a lifesaver – easy to implement, nothing to download.  From midnight to 7am, my phone is on Airplane Mode. No game notifications, drunken texts or phone calls or social media can ruin sleep for the next working day. This is also a good one to have on when focusing at work: It’s much easier to get a proposal written when you aren’t distracted by any flashing phone lights. The temptation to ‘just do a quick reply’ is removed, and if you share a desk with your director, that’s a temptation best avoided.

#Check out some free distraction busting apps

There are countless lists in existence of pro-concentration apps for PC, Mac, iPhone and Android, all offering respite from distractions and offering techniques for focus. Recommended ones out there include FocusWriter, which gives the user just the screen to write with and all the outer peripherals of Word removed. SelfControl goes one step further, allowing the user to block access to a customised selection or all mail servers and websites for a predetermined length of time – and removing the app or restarting your computer won’t get you out of it either!

#3 Get on the Pomodoro bandwagon

It’s so much easier to get distracted and reach for the apps when fatigued with a task. Using something like the Pomodoro technique, where periods of work are broken down into specific intervals and breaks, are proven to boost efficiency and creativity in abundance.  More details on how this can be broken down and individualised are available through the Focus Booster app website.

#4 Get audio working for you

Much like those motivational tracks you cart out for exercise, a good work playlist can really get you in a great space for concentration without realising it. The temptation here is to pick a favourite album or artist to feel motivated, and this is a downfall.  If you’re not already a fan, consider giving classical music a whirl. Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff can all set the right tone, allowing you to get on with your pitch. Often overlooked, mid-tempo/relaxing video game music is also fantastic for this – particularly when you consider its original function is being played in the background while you play anyway. These playlists can be easily set up and created on YouTube, and can be a lot easier to find than on certain music websites or streaming apps.

Also, if you’re feeling flush, consider investing in some noise cancelling headphones.

#Keep your Twitter list professional

Another easy to fall into trap is checking Twitter with the entirely innocent purpose of keeping up to date with what your peers and prospective clients are talking about, and then ending up joining a conversation with friends, or checking a news site or joining a hashtag game. At onechocolate we have a selection of the top 50 most relevant people in our field to follow, and by making that into a personalised list, I can make sure that when I’m working, only updates from those specific accounts pop up on my feed. Although if you do follow any journalists at Buzzfeed like we do, you may just have to show a bit of restraint when it comes to following any posted links, and losing hours of your life in the process. 

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A Round Up of the PR Stories You May Have Missed

Although short but sweet (due to the Easter break) there have been some interesting stories this week – I’m sure you’ve been reading about the continued panic over the Heartbleed security breach and Amazon’s 3D phone announcement. However, I’ve highlighted a few PR related stories you may have missed, including the announcement of the finalists of the EMEA SABRE Awards, Google’s struggle with mobile, another high profile social media fail and, controversial to some, Facebook triumphing over Twitter in marketing friendliness.

We had very exciting news in the onechocolate camp this week as the finalists for the prestigious EMEA SABRE Awards were announced and we were delighted to find out that we’ve been shortlisted in the telecommunications category! Our entry, entitled: Amdocs – Unsung Hero Behind Making Telecoms Fit for the Millennial Digital Generation” outlined our work with the company to demonstrate how ‘behind the scenes’ customer experience management systems enable telecom operators to meet the demands of the Millennial generation and address the big data deluge. Congratulations to all the other nominees, and we look forward to the awards ceremony on May 20th!

SABRE

In other, non-onechocolate, news it was announced today that Google’s shares dropped by 5% despite a 19% quarterly profit increase year-on-year to $15.4bn. The reason attributed to this drop is Google’s struggle to keep up with those such as Facebook in adapting to mobile marketing. We’ve previously written about the shift to mobile and the importance of adapting PR strategy to incorporate mobile and it’s clearly important, even for giants like Google, to be adapting to the new generation of ‘always connected’ consumers.

google

Another week, another social media fail. This time it was US Airways who were forced to apologise for an obscene photo which was tweeted from their account, in response to a woman making a complaint. They claimed they had tried to flag the image as indecent but instead managed to attach it to another tweet. US Airways have issued an apology and are investigating the incident.

US AIRWAYS

However the damage was already done for US Airways as the picture, which was left up for over an hour, went viral, being re-tweeted thousands of times. It’s now essential that US Airways handle the controversy in the right manner to turn it around; like O2 did when their network went down last year. They responded to complaints in a manner in-line with their target market and cleverly managed to turn negative feelings towards the brand positive.

Another social media story which caught my eye this week was that, according to research by DMA, Facebook has beaten Twitter as the most ‘marketing friendly’ social media site. The research was compiled by asking 171 UK-based marketers to rate social media platforms in the areas of campaign planning, execution and post-campaign analysis. Facebook came top in all three categories while LinkedIn came second, Twitter third, and YouTube and Google+ were fourth and fifth. However, within the categories, Twitter emerged as the marketer’s preferred platform for its effectiveness in building brand awareness and LinkedIn as the best platform for its user targeting tools. Interestingly, image and video based platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Vimeo and Snapchat were only being used by a handful of the marketers and therefore, were not included in the results. However, this is something which is projected to change as marketers increasingly incorporate visual’s into their social media strategy.

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#happybirthdayTwitter

This time eight years ago, five words started off a social media frenzy. Who knew that eight years later, the site, which started with the words ‘Just setting up my twttr’ would have over 15m active registered users and 300bn posts in the UK alone. And its eighth one has been quite the hectic year, with celebrity selfies, a royal baby , an IPO and a lot of trolls.  Not only that, but ‘tweet’ actually made it into the Oxford English Dictionary!

To celebrate its birthday, Twitter is letting its users journey back to their very #firsttweet, which in onechocolate’s case was back in August 2008: “I am right in the middle of something”. Over 3,500 tweets later, it’s safe to say that we, over here at onechocolate communications, are big fans of Twitter. As a digital PR agency, we incorporate social media into everything we do, helping our clients to build their brands on the social media platforms that work for them. And Twitter is definitely among the top players for both B2B and consumer brands.

As Twitter has grown over the last eight years (although its limit of 140 characters has stayed the same), so has B2B companies’ confidence in using it. In fact, according to Forrester’s B2B Social Technographics numbers, 100% of business decision makers are now using social media for work purposes. Twitter is no longer just a platform for celebrities to share what they had for breakfast, it’s a great communications tool for both professionals and brands. It’s also a place for B2B companies to develop their online presence, speak to a wider audience than ever seemed possible, and interact with influential members of their target community.

So as Twitter hits eight – you grew up so fast! – businesses need to be thinking hard about the best strategy for them to effectively position themselves as industry experts, whilst at the same time using the social media site to reach specific business-related goals. It’s no longer a question of should my company be on Twitter but rather if we’re not on it, why not?

Twitter's 8th Birthday

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