Social Media Report - Monday 7th March 2016

Hot Topic...

The Sun announces plans to join Snapchat Discover

The Sun has revealed it will join Snapchat Discover later this year, to make sure its content reaches the widest possible audience. The red top’s articles will take the form of Snapchat Stories and in keeping with the nature of the ephemeral messaging service, they will then disappear after 24 hours to be replaced with fresh content. ‘The future of newsbands is going to be a variety of revenue streams and it’s not going to be the cover price anymore’, editor Tony Gallagher told the Newsworks Shift conference this week. News UK’s daily tabloid will compete with publications such as Mashable, Daily Mail and Vice on the platform, which has grown from 11 to around 20 publishers since it was launched just over a year ago. Many titles find it hard to stand out in the ever-crowding space, but Gallagher claimed ‘the irreverence that we bring to the party will be a perfect fit for Snapchat Discover’.

However, Gallagher identified Facebook as the most important social network for The Sun, via its Instant Article initiative. He revealed: ‘There’s evidence that people come via the social network and spend a great length of time reading our stories.’ He also noted that Twitter ‘has probably changed from being a driver of traffic to essentially a competitor for the likes of Press Association, we now use it as a news source’.  Earlier this week Snapchat announced it has caught up with Facebook, notching-up eight billion video views each day. Reaching the milestone means the app’s viewing figures have increased five-fold in a year. Chief executive Evan Spiegel also revealed the image-sharing platform’s100-million strong user base spends an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the service each day.

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Rolls-Royce targets younger drivers on social media

As the drivers of luxury cars get younger, Rolls-Royce is moving to communicate on YouTube and Instagram as it prepares to replace its aging Phantom flagship model. Recently, the luxury car brand announced on Twitter that the current Phantom was ending production. ‘In 2009 the average age of our drivers was 55, now it is 45,’ noted Chief Executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes at the Geneva Motor Show. Newer vehicles are tailored to buyers who wish to drive themselves, rather than those relying on a chauffeur, and the latest, the Dawn convertible, is set to start deliveries in the second quarter of this year.

Rolls-Royce is marketing the new vehicles via social media, such as Instagram, where it now has over a million followers. For the first time, the brand is highlighting outright performance rather than style and discretion. Rolls-Royce is now thought to be working on an off-road style vehicle, to appeal to buyers in Russia, China, Brazil, Malaysia, India and other emerging markets with poor roads.

Social Media Brands...

Liverpool offer fans new social portal

Liverpool FC has joined forces with social network agency Vixlet to provide a new social media platform for its fans across the world. Supporters will be able to access exclusive content on LFC Xtra, which is based on a redesign of the clubs Xtra magazine. Users will be able to visit the social portal to discover the latest club and player news as well as watch videos and read-up on statistics. Fans can create and share their own stories as well as customise the layout and engage with other fans. Liverpool’s chief commercial officer Billy Hogan said the partnership with Los Angeles-based Vixlet is intended to drive supporter engagement. The club’s social offering builds on its partnership with Skype earlier this year, which again aimed to build and strengthen engagement between its global fan base.

The move comes as Bayern Munich announced plans for an ambitious project to overhaul its digital channels, cutting ties with all intermediary agencies and instead running them from within the Allianz Arena. The Bundesliga club’s director of IT and new media Stefan Mennerich emphasised a focus on video. He said: ‘People expect video content, be it on social media or on websites or on mobile site, it has to be video’.

Instagram CEO meets Pope Francis

Pope Francis has met the CEO of Instagram at the Vatican to discuss the unifying power of images. Kevin Systrom presented the pontiff with a book of 10 curated pictures from the photo sharing site, including images from the Nepalese earthquake as well as the exodus of migrants from the Middle East into Europe. Instagram hired a team of curators to help people see ‘the world happening in real time’. The Facebook-owned business is on a mission to ‘unite people across borders, cultures and generations’ according to a statement it released ahead of the audience with Pope Francis. ‘We spoke about the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages. It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!’ the CEO revealed in an Instagram post commemorating the occasion.

Whether or not the meeting will lead the Vatican to create an Instagram account for Pope Francis is not yet known, although he does have his own Twitter account with more than seven million followers. However, the ‘People’s Pope’ has also cautioned about the use of social media, warning against ‘chasing likes’.

LinkedIn introduces new ad targeting service

LinkedIn has unveiled a new service that will allow marketers to run large scale targeted campaigns, capable of reaching up to 30,000 companies at once. Advertisers can use LinkedIn Account Targeting to reveal a list of businesses they wish to reach and the social network will then cross-reference them against the eight million firms in its network.

The campaigns can be further refined based on job function and seniority. Previously advertisers could only share information with 100 companies on the site, and had to do this through a manual process. Russell Glass, head of products at LinkedIn, said most marketers want to pursue between 2,000 and 5,0000 accounts. ‘It will allow us to iterate and innovate much more quickly as we add more different types of data to our Audience Match Capabilities’, he revealed. 

The social platform said the service is a key part of its long-term strategy. Last month LinkedIn noted it was to stop selling ads that appear outside its ‘walled garden’, in a move that will cost it around $50m in lost revenue but will save it higher than anticipated expenses. Glass revealed its new service taps into the rise of account-based marketing, and by supporting this, LinkedIn allows marketers to become ‘more aligned with what the sales team is already doing’. He also noted his team has become ‘really focused on sponsored content and building the core platform’,

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