Social Media Report - Friday 18th March 2016

Hot Topic...

Instagram to shift feed away from chronological display

Instagram plans to begin testing an algorithm-based personalised feed for users, similar to one already used by parent Facebook. The algorithm will place the photos and videos it thinks you most want to see toward the top of your feed, regardless of the time those posts were originally shared. The company says the average user misses 70 percent of what’s in their feed, so it will start rearranging the order of posts “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post,” according to co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom. Remixing the feed will make Instagram less useful as a real-time content feed, with users now having to worry about making their posts good enough to be chosen by the algorithm. And brands might lose the reach of a previously reliable marketing channel, so Tuesday’s announcement may have unsettled brands on Instagram, despite all of the reassurances that followed.

Filtered feeds tend to score more attention from users, as there are few boring posts that push them to close the app and do something else. But with Instagram and Twitter both moving to algorithmically sorted feeds, getting seen on social media will become more of a competition than ever.

PR and Marketing in Social Media...

Cadbury Crème Egg fans celebrate Easter with Snapchat Sponsored Lens

Cadbury has become the first confectionary brand to use Snapchat’s Sponsored Lenses, after inviting Crème Egg fans to use the feature to give their selfies an Easter twist. Users were able to decorate their images with a specially designed animated overlay on Sunday 12 March. The sponsored lens gave the illusion of the chocolates spilling out of their mouth, and then finished with an explosion of the famous Crème Egg yolk. The campaign was developed by integrated agency Elvis as part of the ‘Have a Fling with a Crème Egg’ push. This year’s initiative also saw the opening of a pop-up Crème Egg Café which served up treats for Londoners to raise funds for the Prince’s Trust.

Laura Mimoun, brand manager for Cadbury Crème Egg, said: ‘Snapchat is a unique platform that reaches a very specific audience in a native environment’. She noted the brand was excited to be the first confectioner to use its lenses and added that the social network’s ‘tone of voice and brand personality is spot on’ for the product’s key target audience.’

Social Media Brands...

Pope Francis joins Instagram

Pope Francis is to join Instagram, a move calculated to widen his social footprint and help spread the Catholic message to a younger, tech-savvy generation. The pontiff will debut on the platform using the handle @Franciscus to coincide with Saturday’s third anniversary of his inauguration as head of the Catholic church. The move is part of wider social media strategy by the church to ensure the Pope's teachings reach a larger audience globally. The move to join Instagram has been anticipated for some time, as it is now bigger and faster-growing than Twitter, with some 400 million users worldwide. Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO and co-founder, met Francis at the Vatican last month, later revealing they had discussed “the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages”. The Pope has also hosted major figures in the new digital economy, including the Google boss Eric Schmidt and Apple chief Tim Cook.

Pope Francis already has a major social presence. He joined Twitter in 2013 and has more than 21 million followers across his English and Spanish Twitter accounts.

Facebook to create 200 new jobs in Dublin

Facebook has announced plans to expand the workforce at its international headquarters in Dublin. The social network currently employs 1,300 people at its home in the city’s Silicon Docks, and will now create a further 200 jobs. The positions will be in its engineering, sales and online operations and are scheduled to be filled by the end of the year. ‘The announcement is a key milestone in Facebook’s commitment to investing and growing its presence in Ireland’, a spokesman for the social network said.

Facebook has recently doubled the size of its premises in Dublin, which is based between the River Liffey and Grand Canal basin. As part of its expansion plans it has also opened a Facebook Partner Centre, the first of its kind outside of California. The facility aims to boost the company’s success in connectivity, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Ireland’s jobs minister Richard Bruton welcomed the investment. He noted: ‘Not only does 200 direct jobs within Facebook mean hundreds of extra jobs in the local economy through supply and services companies, but these investments have huge knock-on impacts for the start-up community and our ability to attract more multinational investment.’

Taco Bell pushes breakfast with Wishbone

Taco Bell is using new targeting tools to promote a new breakfast menu featuring $1 items, as it continues its quest to make breakfast at Taco Bell "a thing." As well as tracking consumers’ phone activity and data, the company is an early adopter of a mobile app Wishbone, which lets users set up mini polls that ask their followers to pick their favourite of two photos. Taco Bell has been using the app to ask people to pick between its new flatbread quesadilla or a piece of flat bread. In addition to the mobile push, Taco Bell bought Monday's YouTube masthead and is running video ads on Instagram and Facebook. Three videos on Instagram playfully mock food-creation films made popular by sites like BuzzFeed Tasty and Tastemade. One spot shows someone trying to make a homemade egg sandwich, but it all goes wrong when the egg shell lands in the bowl, the meat is charred and the toaster catches fire.

The ads were commissioned after seeing how popular food porn had become in the last few months, with publishers experimenting with short-form videos on Facebook.

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