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The Social Stories Issue 168: Polls, Pages & Payments

Social Money

Social money makes the world go round…

With Apple Pay set to launch later this month, reports suggest that Twitter and Facebook are trialling new payment features on their social platforms in a bid to cash-in on the new trend for 2015.

Twitter users in France can trial a new service that launched this week, regardless of who they bank with. Leaked screenshots show a potential new feature on the Facebook Messenger app, allowing users to send cash to each other. If rolled out, the app will compete with other peer-to-peer money transfer apps, particularly as ex Paypal president David Marcus is heading these new developments.

Would you use social media to transfer cash between your friends?



McDonalds goes large

How many Facebook pages do you think you could manage day-to-day? McDonalds wants to connect every restaurant in their global chain on social media by launching 14,500 pages by 2015, making it the biggest brand in terms of footprint on Facebook, with plans to mirror this on Twitter.

The move is a part of the company’s focus to change it’s unhealthy image and to listen to customer gripes in real time, moving interaction beyond the restaurant. The pages will not only be initially supported by paid ads but also activity on other platforms, including Yelp and Google+.

It’s a mammoth task, so here’s hoping the brand also have a joined-up training and support programme for the community managers running all of those pages, to avoid another #McDStories social fail, with the next test asking if they are McDonalds or mouse



The results are in

The poll is back! After acquiring Polar earlier in the year, Google+ has rolled out this new feature, initially inviting certain brands to take part in creating polls for the platform. L’Oreal Paris India asked users what was their favourite lipstick shade while The Hunger Games quizzed their fans on their favourite moment from the new MockingJay trailer.

Initially rolled out to Android with iOS to follow, up to 5 choices can be created for each poll. You can select images or animated gifs for each answer, giving brands the opportunity to create some fun visual content for the platform, with The Next Web and Life at Google creating more since for the platform.

The Social Stories Issue: 167

10683996_859170557426587_1034874784_aHow You Remind Me

Music and memories go hand in hand, which is why Spotify’s new social campaign, #thatsongwhen, encourages users to share the songs that take them back to special moments. Fans submit their song and memory of choice, with a short descriptor along with #thatsongwhen on Twitter and Vine. This nostalgic little campaign is helping them collect lots of lovely heart-felt user generated content. Three fan story videos have already been developed into short films to demonstrate the campaign message. Spotify have also created a website where users can submit their memories on the live feed. We think that the campaign is proving a great way for Spotify to connect with their audience in a genuine and impactful way.

What song takes you back?


tfl-2But First, Let Me Take A Selfie

Transport For London (TFL) has launched a new selfie campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using illegal minicabs to get home after a night out. TFL are encouraging young people to upload a photo of themselves getting into a licensed taxi on Twitter and Instagram, along with the hashtag #homesafeselfie, to spread the message. TFL hope that the campaign will drive behavioral changes in young Londoner’s at night. With the selfie being one of the most popular current trends within this demographic, we predict that they won’t be needing too much encouragement to take that one last picture at the end of the night.




lynxsnapcha_460Ad Snap

Snapchat’s co founder and chief executive Evan Spiegel announced that the app will shortly be releasing ads on users newsfeeds, where their friend’s ‘stories’ also appear. With Instagram also recently introducing sponsored ads to the channel, the use of storytelling through images is proving to be a successful way of brands being able to create higher levels of engagement with audiences, whilst subliminally selling a product. With over half of 16-24 year olds being enthusiastic Snapchatters, this is a clever, simple method of them being able to reach a younger demographic on a large scale.

The Social Stories Issue: 166

pinterest pinHow long is a piece of pin?

While Pinterest has been open to advertisers for some time through promoted pins, the promoted content’s performance has been difficult to ascertain, leaving their measurement a matter of guesswork through third party tools and secondary effects.  With the launch of ‘promoted pins’ all that changes, giving advertisers better information on their spend on the service and enabling the tracking of ad conversions and ‘effectiveness’. Will more accurate information on brand ‘pin’ activity encourage more use of the network by advertisers, and will better targeted ads be better appreciated by Pinterest users? Let’s hope so.


2014 Consumer findingsFace-to-face no longer personal

Perhaps the most surprising revelation from The 2014 Consumer and Marketer Personalisation Study from BloomReach was that 60% felt that online stores felt more personal than in-store shopping – whilst only 13% of retailers agreed.

The UK based study consisted of 1,000 consumers and 122 online retailers and also revealed that 31% of consumers would be more likely to make a purchase if they were offered personalised experiences online, such as product recommendations or tailored content.

The future is here, and it involves sitting at the computer, being personal: perfect for social media marketing.


ello‘ello ‘ello 
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have seen mentions of an elusive new social network named ‘Ello’ all over your Twitter and Facebook feeds in the past few weeks. But what is it? And why should I be interested? I hear you ask. Well, according to their ‘manifesto’ it’s quite simply an innovative ad-free and de-cluttered social network.

Some are hailing it ‘the anti-Facebook’, and they may be right but with limited features (and users) at this point, we’re yet to see what real value Ello has in store for users (and brands) in general.

What is worth noticing, though, is that with 50,000 invite requests every hour, this newcomer is gaining interest, fast, and attracting those ever growing disenfranchised Facebook users.



The Social Stories Issue: 165


Instagram ads have finally reached the UK! Starbucks, Channel 4, Rimmel, Waitrose, Cadbury and Estee Lauder are the first brands to introduce the promoted posts on their accounts as a result of their strong social presence on the channel. Instagram want the release of the ads, which can be recognized with a ‘sponsored’ label, to be a ‘natural experience’ for users, similar to when you’re flicking through the pages of a magazine. The first ads are not directly selling the products, but are more focused on showcasing the brand with beautiful images. We’re interested to see how users will take to these adverts, and how many will opt to hide them from their feeds.



Clothing brand Nordstrom, have chosen twelve fashion-conscious, influential Instagram users to take snaps of their new range.  The Instalog, (catalogue + Instagram) has been designed to give customers a new vision of how to wear next seasons clothing, after research showed that their audience is inspired by the aesthetics they see on Instagram. The brand is also able to share this content through their own account and twelve others simultaneously, giving it visibility on a much larger scale.



ByU4KfCCYAErBulI Wish…

Amazon are now allowing their customers to add products to their wish list through Twitter, with the introduction of #AmazonWishList. Sending a tweet or replying to one containing an Amazon link with the hashtag will automatically add the item to the users Wish List on the site. The MyAmazon Twitter account will then reply back with a confirmation tweet and other information such as if the item is out of stock. This new feature follows on from the #AmazonCart hashtag, which let users add products to their basket in the same way. The service has arrived just in time for the Christmas period and is another way for Twitter to move into the world of ecommerce and social shopping.


The Social Stories: Issue 164

wersm-gopitcher-tinder-marketers-app-657x360Pitch Me

Pitcher, said to be the ‘Tinder’ of the marketer’s world, has been designed to help clients instantly seek out agencies to work with in Amsterdam. The relationship between client and agency can be compared to a love story; they meet, ‘fall in love’ and after some time, one gets bored and dumps the other for a much cooler, interesting agency. After setting up a profile, clients are able to swipe through agencies. Similar to Tinder, to ‘like’ you swipe right and to reject, you swipe left. Pitcher will be able to give marketers a fast, easy, free service that can add value to their company, whilst enabling them to invest money in small, short term business relationships. Find out more info here.


topshop13_zpsd1cfb646Straight Off The Runway

London Fashion Week 2014 saw Topshop reveal their SS15 collection with a live stream launch on their Facebook page from the runway. #TopshopUnique became the most socially accessible fashion show yet. Fans all over the world were able to view the new collection via Facebook and Instagram; where five super users were chosen to share photos of the exciting backstage action. The live stream was also shoppable, with customers able to instantly purchase items show on the runway through their website and at the Oxford Circus store.  This brave, innovative campaign enabled Topshop to reach out and interact to their millions of followers around the globe in real time, and has definitely set the barrier for next years LFW.


UnknownI’ve got a golden ticket…

Over forty charities have received donations from Easy Fundraising after their recent #hiddenfundraising campaign which took place in Manchester. More than one hundred cash filled tickets were hidden in Manchester’s Media City, Piccadilly and Spinningfields area. Photographs and clues were released daily to the public with the use of the hashtag on the charity’s social media platforms. Those who found the letters were encouraged to tweet a selfie with the voucher and state which charity should receive the donation. This campaign is a fun, inspiring way to highlight how easy it is to donate money to a charity of your choice, without having to take a penny from your pocket.

The Social Stories Issue: 163

buy now‘Buy Now’

Twitter has thrown itself into the world of ecommerce by launching a ‘Buy Now’ button, with which users will be able to instantly purchase products from brands and music artists through one simple click on a tweet. Pinterest and Facebook have also provided their users with this service, but Twitter emphasize that they differentiate themselves by the use of influencers driving spend and the fact that it’s a real-time service. The ‘Buy Now’ feature brings in new audiences for the channel and allows them to become something more than just a messaging service by turning users conversations with brands into transactions. Check out the promo video here.



snapchatSite Seeing Snaps

Snapchat has launched geofilters in London, where over thirty landmarks in the capital will be available to tag when taking snaps. Some of the iconic locations include Tower Bridge and the London Eye, but the other twenty-eight will remain a mystery as Snapchat wants its users to figure it out themselves by swiping right after taking a photo. With around 50% of teenagers using Snapchat, its popularity is now greater than WhatsApp so there is a need for new and exciting features to keep users interested. We’re looking forward to what else they’ve got to offer in the future. Happy Snapchatting!


downloadBrowse and Buy

ASDA customers will soon be able to purchase products through ‘shoppable’ videos and online ads on YouTube. Running on their Mums Eye View channel, the new feature will allow users to add any item listed beside the video to their basket, and check out without leaving YouTube. The idea behind this is to increase the number of shopping options to impulse buyers, and give customers the convenience of being able to fill their baskets whilst browsing. This is a good example of how brands are using social media to create new audiences and expand business from store to the online world.

The Social Stories Issue: 162

gary-20140829104336163Tweet to Eat

As part of the ‘Do Us A Flavour’ campaign, Walkers has transformed three bus stops in London into tweet-activated vending machines. Passers-by are asked to tweet @Walkers_busstop, which triggers the machine to release free packets of crisps. This is a fun, innovative way of engaging with the public, and encouraging them to vote for their favorite after trying one.

Reactions on Twitter have been very positive so far, with lots of photos and even Vines being shared.



Adidas Polska Instagram has launched the first interactive game on the channel to promote their new Predator Instinct shoes. The game consists of picture matching. These images contain tags that link to other profiles, which reveal one piece of a four-part password combination. After being taken through four different tag links, the first user to like all parts in the correct order wins a pair of the shoes. Targeted towards their younger audiences on social media and mobile, this is a new and slightly challenging way of encouraging them to interact with multiple pieces of content.


478502459_640Six Degrees of Separation

Marriott has teamed up with MIT’s Mobile Experience Lab to transform the social aspect of business travel. Six Degrees is a social service that helps business travellers interact with others when staying in the same hotel by gathering data from their LinkedIn profile, such as their location, interests and job title. It consists of an app, digital wall projection and an interactive wooden table, which is the real spectacle of this project. The table is wired with RFID nodes, which connect with guest’s mobile phones or ID cards. When a match has been made between the guests, the LED lights flash in the same colour. Business travellers will have to wait until they can use this service, as it’s only currently being tested at the Marriott in Massachusetts. Check out the making of the Six Degrees table here.

The Social Stories Issue: 161

Processed with MoldivSteady Hands

Instagram has introduced a new app, Hyperlapse, which allows users to create high quality time-lapse videos on their phones. The idea behind the app aims to scrap the notion that you can’t take decent footage your phone without having to keep it still. Instagram explains that its inbuilt stabilization technology enables you to take moving handheld time-lapse videos with a ‘cinematic look, quality and feel’ that was previously only possible when using expensive filming equipment. Mercedes-Benz USA has already started using the app to showcase their motors, check it out on their Instagram account here.



Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-14.48.51-500x277Ready, Steady, Cook

Uncle Ben’s has created a YouTube cooking channel for their new ‘Ben’s Beginner’s’ campaign, which encourages parents to cook with their children. It will include a series of cooking videos presented by Christian Stevenson that will use the brand products to make various, delicious recipes.  These will also be supported with content by celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner, who will teach kids extra skills and recipes. As an incentive, kids are asked to film and upload their own cooking videos, demonstrating what skills they’ve learnt so far for a chance to win £10,000 worth of cooking equipment for their school. This creates interaction and engagement from their audience, as well as collecting user generated content for the channel. If you fancy learning some new culinary skills, take a look at the YouTube hub here.


kissyourplace.cropKiss Your Rent Goodbye

Kiss FM has joined forces with mobile network giffgaff to give one lucky listener the chance to have their rent paid for a year. The ‘Your Place, Your Space’ campaign is targeted at their 15-34 year old audience, who are aspiring to move out of home but are struggling to do so due to financial restrictions. Listeners are asked to create a short video or post an image on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #KISSgiffgaff, along with a short description of why they deserve to win. With rental prices on the rise, this campaign has been designed to help one lucky young adult gain independence and start their career path, as well as raising awareness to others that young people are struggling to be able to make these things happen due to rent costs. Watch the giffgaff promo video here.



The Social Stories Issue: 160

BvGH-6gIUAAshUiOriginal Prankster

Fanta has taken to Vine for their new #FantaForTheFunny campaign, where influential Viner’s Alli Cattt, Jason Mendez and Mighty Duck have been brought on board to create and share multiple humorous Vines involving stunts and pranks, as well as encouraging others to make and send in their own, with the hashtag for a chance to be included in future videos. This enables Fanta to engage with their audience in a fun, creative way, as well being able to collect a large amount of user-generated content. The concept behind the campaign is to unite young teens to embrace the desire for fame and passion for humor whilst allowing them to be themselves- no matter how goofy or silly they look.  Check out the first episode here.


marc-jacobs-daisy-embedSweet Tweets

Marc Jacobs recently opened a pop up ‘Tweet Shop’ in Covent Garden, where customers could exchange tweets for free treats to promote his latest ‘Daisy’ fragrance. Users were asked to tweet @MarcJacobsIntl, along with the hashtag #MJdaisychain in order to receive a perfume sample, while those who included a video or image were given a key ring or in store manicure. The notion behind the campaign stems from Marc Jacobs wanting to give something back to his dedicated, spontaneous, creative fans, as well as boosting their social presence by the demand of using branded hashtags as the source of currency. See the promo video here.


mDrk-xfC_400x400Jog On

Fitness app, RunKeeper has teamed up with Kiip to encourage and motivate their users to go beyond their usual exercise routine with the incentive of a rewards program. The rewards include discounts on products that have been chosen to appeal to the app’s athletic audience, such as Proper Water, Secret Deodorant and Pebble smart watches. Specifically targeting incentives and offers to app users only, is a great method of building brand and customer relationships, as well as encouraging them to stick with that product.

The Social Stories Issue: 159

IMG_0010x-698x532Vito Sport Europe Chapter One: Hossegor

Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport has launched their Europe video series featuring the best of British adventure sports athletes crossing the continent in iconic locations. The first episode features big wave surfer Andrew Cotton and British champion Alan Stokes, surfing in Hossegor, France. To celebrate the release, Vito Sport are running a major competition on their Facebook page with three prize packs up for grabs, with up to £550 worth of surf and lifestyle gear on offer. See more from the film on the Vito Sport blogenter the competition by August 24th and watch the video now.



Pin and Chat

Pinterest has released a new messenger feature on the channel, enabling users to discuss their favourite images with other pinners. It’s designed to allow users to collaborate and share ideas with each other on the site, rather than using other popular messaging services.  After a pin has been sent to another user, a conversation appears in the bottom left hand corner. As well as one-to-one conversations, groups of up to ten users are able to chat in one space. This allows Pinterest to have a service that is more credible to their users, rather than it being a means of communication, which will hopefully lead to higher engagement levels.


Twitter-Video-AdsPromoted Videos

Twitter has announced that they’ll be testing their new ad feature, ‘Promoted Video’, in order to help brands post richer, more engaging video content on the channel for their users. With a large proportion of brands advertising on social media, using this service allows them to distribute video content to a large audience in one tweet. Access to analytics will be available in order to see how effective the content is. ‘Promoted Videos’ also allows smaller brands to create high levels of exposure, by being able to share their video content without needing the large following of bigger brands.