Social Media Report - Friday 29th April 2016

Hot Topic...

Twitter seeks more streaming sports deals to battle performance concerns

Twitter has reported first quarter earnings of $595m, at the lower end of its guidance range. Growth in the three month period increased 2% to 310 million monthly active users, but investors were more concerned that sales were weaker than forecast. The social network said brand marketers had not increased their spend on the platform at the rate expected. Twitter’s chief financial officer Anthony Noto revealed: ‘We didn’t have enough demand’, claiming marketers had switched budgets from one ad format to another. Analyst Debra Aho-Williamson noted advertisers ‘have a lot of other options’ and are experimenting with Instagram and Snapchat, in their desire to reach millennials, at the expense of Twitter. The social network asserted it was pushing to capture more advertising revenue from increasing online video budgets rather than through budgets put aside for social media marketing. Noto revealed the response to the newly rolled out autoplay video ‘has been really positive’. The CFO also suggested some marketers could be looking to spend more in the second half, when events such as the Olympics and US elections, could play on Twitter’s strength of engaging viewers live.

Twitter is also aiming to build on its high-profile partnership deal with the NFL to livestream matches, giving it more opportunities for premium video advertising. Noto said the platform is interested in licensing deals with other major sports leagues and revealed it is in active talks with ‘the most important and popular’ global sports leagues, in the hope of agreeing more streaming deals. Although no names were given, Noto added: ‘We’re not just talking to the leagues, we’re also talking to the broadcast partners of the leagues and the cable network partners of the leagues.’

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Starbucks launches official emoji keyboard

Coffee lovers will be able to share 28 Starbucks-specific icons with their friends, as the brand unveiled an official emoji keyboard app, free to download for iOS and Android users. The emoticon suite includes a special golden Starbucks star, a thought bubble to indicate a user is thinking about coffee, as well as a number of its popular coffee products, as Starbucks looks to build on the popularity of its seasonal branding. The company revealed it will update the icons throughout the year to include popular designs, such as its festive ‘Red Cups’.

Starbucks said the official emojis can be shared on messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with the launch marking the its first move into the space. Brands such as Dove have already tapped into the buzz around the icons, with a recent study revealing people in the UK were 95% more likely to open branded emails if an emoji was included in the subject line.

Social Media Brands...

MTV revives Cribs as a Snapchat series

Iconic‘00s series Cribs has been reimagined by MTV and is coming back as a weekly show on Snapchat. Celebrities will begin providing self-guided tours of their homes in June, a departure from the original series’ use of a traditional camera crew. It is not yet clear how long each episode will last but the series will have its home on MTV’s recently launched Snapchat Discover channel. The move follows parent company Viacom’s multi-year agreement with the instant-messaging platform in February, that will allow it to sell US advertising for Snapchat.

The Cribs’ revival is part of a much larger push to revitalise the network’s output, which also includes a renewed emphasis on music programming and a revamped news offering. The classic show will not be its first Snapchat content. The eight-episode series focusing on sex and relationships, Pants Off, will premiere on the social network on 14 May, before moving to other MTV platforms.

Facebook develops camera app similar to Snapchat

Facebook is working on a stand-alone camera app, that will allow users to upload pictures straight to their timeline. When opened, the app will navigate directly to a screen to take pictures, and will also allow users to upload the snaps directly to Facebook-owned Instagram. The new feature is being developed by the social network’s ‘friend-sharing’ team in London and is part of Facebook’s drive to increase user engagement. The project is in its early stages, and may never get released. The tool is thought to be a way to encourage users to share more images on Facebook, as the social network has found fewer people are sharing anything about themselves, preferring instead to share links to other websites and popular images.

Facebook has also smashed Wall Street expectations and announced a 52% jump in revenue during the last three months, with mobile advertising making up 82% of its total advertising revenue in the quarter. The social network managed to grow its already huge monthly user base, which increased from 1.59 billion to 1.65 billion, while the number active on mobile devices each month grew to 1.5 billion. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the great start to the year would allow Facebook to focus on its 10 year roadmap ‘to give everybody in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone’.

Pinterest chooses UK for first ad campaign

Pinterest has revealed its first ever advertising campaign will take place in the UK this May, and has agreed a deal with Channel 4 to launch the contextual ads. The scrapbooking platform will run the promotions around the broadcaster’s food, style and parenting programmes, identifying Channel 4 as the ‘ideal fit’ for it to partner with. Pinterest hopes the push will help it connect with the British public by offering ideas or ‘pins’ at the very moment they may turn to the social network for inspiration, such as providing a recipe for ice cream on a hot day, or a pin on how to make pastry following a cookery show.

Pinterest’s head of global marketing Ellie Donahue noted: ‘By focusing on the flavour of British culture, we’re creating an ambitious, innovative campaign that will be constantly changing to connect with people where and when they want to be inspired.’

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