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Live stream revolution: Twitter embeds periscope – what will it mean?

2016 can be seen as the year live video was pushed into the mainstream. Facebook’s monumental roll out of Facebook live is a testament to just how serious tech giants are taking the live stream movement. Cisco estimate that by 2020, 75% of mobile data usage will be video. Twitter and their subsidiary Periscope have been pioneers of the livestream, and they recently announced that the app would become embedded into Twitter itself—a prediction that many have held for a while. But what will this mean for the app and the industry?

Twitter live

Twitter boost

The embedding of periscope directly into Twitter is a boost for the site’s general functionality. It’s no secret that the firm has struggled with its valuation for a while, and a lot of this is due to the inability to attract new younger users. Live stream embedding which can be retweeted like a traditional tweet could help spread interest in the app, and give it a vital dose of innovation.

Opportunities

Opportunities for those who deal with social is huge. Businesses can use this new form of content to provide commercial communications like interesting Q&As with influencers and behind the scenes content for hardly any budget at all. Although it’s been around a while now it’s still a fresh and exciting way to communicate for brands and influencers alike, and while this is unanimously true for all live streaming platforms, twitter live has the vital retweet component, meaning the right content will spread, and spread fast. Twitter is about news and about the now – much more than any other platform – it’s one reason so many PR people use it.

Spontaneous revolution

The overriding reason for excitement in live streaming is due to its spontaneous nature. Any user can pull out their phone and stream all around the world instantly although for our more luxury clients this isn’t how we would do it. This raises great opportunities for small firms looking to use social, but also major issues. For example, a PR disaster could be spawned when something isn’t going quite right and there’s a user on hand to capture it all live. Livestreaming is revolutionising social PR, both for better and for worse, and firms must be ready for it but personally I love it. I mean who didn’t enjoy watching the puddle in Newcastle being live streamed last January.

Examples so far

An exciting snapshot of how Twitter live could function came in the form of the US debates earlier in the year. Live coverage was combined with relevant tweets and it was by all accounts a slick experience – one which could well become the industry standard. Furthermore, they are set to do the same for the Golden Globes. Watch this space in the New Year, where we will expect to see huge increases in usage in Twitter’s new offering, and live streaming as a whole. I will certainly be using it for some of our bigger brands next year.

The real winners of New York Fashion Week F/W 2016

As New York Fashion Week Fashion Week F/W ’16 draws to a close and the fashion pack hits the streets of London, here at Prohibition HQ we’ve been looking into not only the newest trends on the catwalk, but also the newest trends in the use of social media at one of fashion’s biggest calendar events.

It seems that as well as showcasing their new pieces on the runway to the style elite, brands are also trying to expose their wares to the wider world of social media. Many designers are now perceiving likes, shares, re-grams and re-Tweets as the digital equivalent of attendance at catwalk shows and footfall in their exclusive boutiques.

Creating buzz and aligning their products to significant influencers in the industry are just some of the benefits associated with properly utilising social channels during the most prolific event in the fashion calendar. We’ve investigated some of the brands that have really won at New York Fashion Week in terms of digital.

Tommy Hilfiger

The 31 year old brand has never been shy when it comes to trialling new and innovative ideas regarding social media. With past social initiatives at Fashion Weeks such as the InstaMeet or the Vine 360 Booth being well received, the brand is always looking for ground-breaking ways to allow people to engage with it online.gfklkl;

This season was no exception, with the brand opting to create an InstaPit – a photography pit made up of top bloggers and YouTube stars dedicated solely to taking snaps for their Instagram accounts, and for the guys at Tommy to upload live updates from their show to the official Instagram account @TommyHilfiger giving fans and followers real-time access to the collection.

Twitter

Believe it or not, one of the real winners of NYFW F/W 16 was the social network itself, Twitter. Along with the hashtag #NYFW, another has emerged to track conversation around the event – #fashionflock.

Twitter’s head of fashion and film partnerships, Rachel Dodes said they wanted to ‘invite many of the top influencers and form an exclusive group’, and that, they did. The group was made up of 50 celebrities, designers and bloggers from Marc Jacobs to Kanye West, all of whom are incredibly influential on the social network.

As well as providing the avid NYFW followers with a list of influencers to follow during the event, Twitter saw its opportunity to take on a sponsorship angle with specialist battery pack brand, Mophie, by giving away a customised juice pack case for the iPhone 6 to all members, which can now be purchased via Twitter’s ‘Buy it Now’ capability – social sponsorship at its best.

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is another designer who challenges the ordinary when it comes to showcasing her wares at high profile events such as New York Fashion Week. Last season, Rebecca herself stated that ‘the current fashion show system isn’t working’ and is trying to change the way it works with a new model for her shows.fgdsgfds

The brand aims to make the runway a ‘fully immersive fashion show experience’ aimed at both influencers and consumers, with the focus on instant gratification that is so popular in the fashion industry. The Minkoff brand partnered with technology giant, GoPro to livestream its show on Friday, granting access to not only the world’s best fashionistas, but to style enthusiasts worldwide.

The guys at Rebecca Minkoff also employed virtual-reality technology consisting of two cameras with three dozen separate lenses filming the show, to create a true virtual-reality experience that will be released in a few months. Come spring, the show will be available to watch through Jaunt’s app on Google Play (for Android phones), on Samsung’s Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and on the Google Cardboard platform for iOS.

Ralph Lauren

Fashion heavyweight Ralph Lauren isn’t one to be left behind when it comes to social media, leading the way with innovative ways to gain awareness of its new collections. The label decided to invite a whole host of celebrities and influential bloggers to its debut its Purple Label men’s and women’s Polo range on Thursday. The collection managed to garner 165 million impressions in the first 24 hours following the event – all thanks to high profile attendees such as Ciara, model du jour Bella Hadid and Tyson Beckford.

Although Lauren has scaled back the efforts from last season, where he decided to live-stream the new collection via recently developed channel, Periscope to the heart of London. The brand hasn’t underestimated the effects of social media, inviting all of the stars to a special breakfast and collection presentation dinner and encouraging them all to share on their own channels, generating buzz and chatter amongst the brand’s younger target demographic.

Snapchat

If you’ve read our recent blog post on how brands are using Snapchat, you’ll know that using the photo and video-based platform has become a recent trend amongst some of the world’s biggest brands. New York Fashion Week is no exception, with stories such as ‘This Is FASHION’ and ‘NY Fashion Week Finale’ sweeping the world, the social network newcomer is committed to delivering the latest images and videos direct from the catwalk, to its followers whose invite didn’t quite extend to the front row!

With brands like Michael Kors, Marchesa and DKNY all showcasing their latest pieces both on the runway and behind the scenes, along with candid shots of models in action, the ‘stories’ are delivered straight to our Snapchat accounts without even having to search for the latest updates.

Who do you think did NYFW best? Let us know your thoughts below!

#HelloNetto – Tasty Pastry Anyone?

As part of our work with Scandinavian supermarket chain, Netto, we were tasked with helping to launch Netto’s new Queen’s Road store in Sheffield – part of the firm’s plan to open 15 stores in 2015.

overviewWe wanted to get locals talking about Netto online, so what better way to do it then by getting potential customers to experience some of the great tasting (and surprisingly good value) produce Netto has to offer.
Our #HelloNetto tasty pastry Twitter take-over did just that. One of Netto’s hero products is the Copenhagener – a delicious almond and poppy seed pastry that is to the Danish what the croissant is to the French. Netto prides itself on its fresh pastries which are only 29-39p each.

selfie stationWe wanted to educate people on these tasty pastries – so for one day only – a week after the new store opened – Sheffield businesses were able to tweet for a treat! Our promo team delivered freshly made Netto pastries to organisations in and around the city in return for a tweet! The branded pastry boxes included a selection of Netto’s fantastically priced pastries along with details of the new store.

Recipients we encouraged to share their team’s thoughts about the pastries with the hashtag #HelloNetto. Throughout the morning, we delivered pastry boxes to more than 60 Sheffield businesses, receiving tweets from the city’s biggest brands and we even received requests for deliveries to Netto’s main competitors such as Asda and Upper Crust.

An in store selfie station complimented the online activity, with customers posing for a #HelloNetto selfie in return for a free pastry.

DixieThe campaign’s hashtag was trending in Sheffield all day with brand mentions and engagement sky rocketing across the board. Netto’s share of voice rose from an average of 1.2% (with Aldi and Lidl) to 21.4% on the day of the campaign. Radio drops offs led to campaign mentions by Capital FM and Heart FM presenters. The stores sales figures were the most successful of all new stores launches this year.

Top 10 Social Media Disasters

Social Media DisastersBusinesses nowadays are becoming increasingly more consumer savvy and one of the ways to engage with a target market is via social media. However, everyone knows that from time to time people make mistakes, but unfortunately on social media platforms there is no getting away from it. Listed below are some of the biggest social media howlers out there.

 

Hurricane Sandy
American Apparel, Sears, Urban Outfitters and Gap are just a few to mention in accordance with this blunder, which ranks as one of the biggest social media gaffes of all time. Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season, which resulted in 285 fatalities. The companies named above, questionably decided to utilise this natural disaster to their advantage. The brands offered free shipping to those effected and said they should take advantage if they were ‘bored’ while the hurricane was in full swing.

Kenneth Cole
Everything was going swimmingly as global fashion Kenneth Cole launched its new spring collection. That was, however until the brand headed to Twitter to promote its new clothing range. The company sparked enormous controversy when it tweeted “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online”.

NRA American Rifleman
Timing is everything when it comes to social media and I think it’s fair to say that the American Rifleman well and truly miscalculated the timing of this tweet. The American Rifleman is a journal affiliated with the national rifle association. They tweeted a pro gun statement in the midst of a mass shooting.

Celeb Boutique
The clothing company Celeb Boutique jumped on the social media trending bandwagon as they tried to promote a Kim Kardashian endorsed dress. They alluded to the fact that the trending topic of the mass shootings outside a cinema in America was actually due to an item of clothing. Celeb Boutique later apologised for the tweet and claimed they didn’t know about the disaster at the time.

KitchenAid
During the 2012 presidential elections KitchenAid got involved in the political sphere by tweeting Barack Obama directly. Unfortunately the tweet was about his deceased Grandmother. The tweet was by one of the social media team and they later apologised for the incident.

Pigalle Boston
As time progresses, different organisations are becoming increasingly respondent to negative criticism on social media. This is usually resolved by an apology or in some cases a good will gesture. However, that wasn’t the plan of action for Pigalle Boston. When the company received some poor customer feedback via Facebook, the restaurant decided to hurl abuse rather than apologise to the customer. If the use of profanities wasn’t unprofessional then the manner in which they handled the situation definitely was.

T.G.I Friday’s
Another great example of a social media mishap is when T.G.I Friday announced a fake Facebook page. They ensured that when the page had 500,000 followers, free hamburgers would be provided to all its customers. What started as a good promotional activity was soon derailed, as the company deleted the Facebook page and faltered on their promise.

Ketchum PR
Ketchum is among the largest and most geographically diverse agencies in the country, however this didn’t stop a senior member of staff at the agency dropping a real clanger and upsetting a major client thanks to social media.  Senior employee James Andrews tweeted a negative statement about the home town of one of its biggest clients, FedEx in Memphis. Again, like many of the other blunders listed above Mr Andrews was made to apologise and later left the agency.

American Red Cross
In 2011, an American Red Cross employee mistakenly sent a tweet stating how they were ‘getting on the beers’ – hardly something you’d expect to see from a charitable organisation. Whilst there was initial fallout with followers making complaints about the tweet, the situation was rectified by both the company and employee, who diffused the situation with a series of explanatory and light hearted tweets.

Tesco
Tesco is the UK’s leading private sector organisation so it was no surprise that when the horse meat scandal came to light, there was public uproar. People took to the keyboards to vent their frustration at the huge supermarket chain. The social media team then sparked even further outrage when they tweeted at the end of the night, stating they were going to ‘hit the hay’. Tesco later apologised and claimed they didn’t know about the situation before they tweeted.

 

Have we missed any of your favourites off? Let us know what your top social media howlers are in the comments section below.

 

The Prohibition Seven Days of Social

3256859352_cf35412c5f_zFast moving, always adapting and often controversial, social media is an area where many of us have divided opinions. We like to keep our ear to the ground in the social media world, and as the week comes to an end, we’ve put together a few of our favourite pieces of social media content from around the web that you might not have spotted.

 

  1. “Can we auto correct humanity?”
    by Prince Ea (@PrinceEa)
    By far the biggest hitting and most shared piece of social media content of this week (over three million YouTube views) saw musician and rapper Prince Ea take to the camera in a thought provoking video, assessing how social media and modern technologies are leaving us less connected with our ‘friends’ than ever before.
  1. “ I didn’t actually wake up like this (and other Instagram confessions)
    by Amelia Olson
    We’re dubbed the ‘selfie generation’, but are the self facing snaps just an expression of vanity? In this article, Amelia Olson argues that selfies are not a self-obsessed or narcissistic expression, but that Instagram and other social media platforms that allow us to adjust our appearance through brightening effects and filters only contribute to our appearance insecurities. As does the marketing of makeup brands to encourage the public to look ‘photo/TV ready’.
  1. Fortune’s 55 most influential women on Twitter”
    by Caroline Fairchild (@CFair1)
    Social media is a powerful tool, especially for influencers, and with Twitter being the network of choice for some of the most powerful leaders in government, business and industry throughout the world, maintaining a strong Twitter presence has never been more important. If you’re looking for key female influencers to follow on the network, this is Fortune’s definitive guide to the 55 most influential women on Twitter
  1. “23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media”
    by Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
    Social Media is all about engagement, especially when it comes to managing a community for a brand or business. Sharing interesting and engaging graphics is proven, especially on Facebook, to drive reach and increase your audience. However, the success of a post often depends on the make-up and design of an image. This week, our fourth piece of social media content provides one of the most the definitive guides available when it comes to social media image resources.
  1. Teens are officially over Facebook
    by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey)
    We all know the Facebook story, created in a university dorm room, coming from nowhere to take the social media mantel from MySpace and within ten years, it’s arguably the most renowned business in the world. We all love to forecast the future of the most prevalent social network, and in this article, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey looks into the trend for teenagers to stray from the site, in search of more engaging content, from the likes of (Facebook owned) Instagram.
  1. 5 Ways to Use Metrics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
    by Debra Eckerling (@WriteOnOnline)
    Gone are the days when a brand’s social media absence could be glossed over. In the modern, online age, it’s expected that a reputable brand will possess an engaging online presence. With social media marketing being as important as ever, and most if not all brands now taking on newer and more innovative social accounts, it’s important to keep track of those important metrics that showcase just how effective your presence online is.
  1. YouAreWhatYouLike: Find out what algorithms can tell about you based on your Facebook account.
    by Jennifer Golbeck (@jengolbeck)
    Social media users now number more than 1.4 billion—more than half of the Earth’s Internet-using population. We share a lot of information on social media, but it turns out we are sharing far more than we think. Seemingly innocuous information, when analyzed against tens of thousands of other profiles, can reveal secrets you never intended to share.

 

Photocredit: CC image from Rosaura Ochoa via flickr.

The ultimate social media cheat sheet

It is fair to say that it seems that everyone these days is glued to social media. Whether it’s a continuous stream of tweets or a Selfie in every location known to man we are now a generation obsessed with sharing.

With most social media users accessing platforms on the go from their phones and tablets it’s no wonder that the posts that grab the most engagement include some form of image or video, they are fun and easy to view and stand out from the sea of text based posts on users’ newsfeeds. This is why picture and video apps like Instagram and Vine have become increasingly popular, it’s true what they say, pictures really can say a thousand words.

When it comes to engagement, posts that include photos get around 39%* more interaction that posts without. Facebook and Twitter are constantly updating their apps and sites to provide the best platforms for media sharing and there are now thousands of ways to stand out from the crowd using visual media.

Here are our top five tips for sparking engagement using photos and videos on social media:

  1. Have a caption contest. Get your followers involved by letting them come up with an amusing caption for your image, it gets conversation going and a bit of healthy competition.
  2. Use quote pictures followers identify with quotes and then want to share them. It’s a win-win.
  3. Have a message to go with you image, whether it’s a team picture or a new product, have a message to go along with your image. Make sure you have all links included too.
  4. Use short video clips there’s a reason why apps like Vine and Snapchat are so popular, their videos are short sharp clips that can be filmed quickly and watched anywhere.
  5. Make sure your image fits, there is nothing worse than uploading amazing images to your social media channels only to find that they don’t sit properly or don’t look as good as they did on your phone.

Following the success of our Social Media Timeline we created in January, we put our heads together again at Prohibition HQ and decided to create a resource that would help anyone looking to amend their social media channels. We have created the Ultimate Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you quickly check the best formats for posting pictures and videos across the most popular social media platforms. Feel free to go through it and use it at your leisure. Did we miss something of the cheat sheet? If so what was it?

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Brief flings: How social media is becoming more short-term

Social networks were never really meant to be long-winded. Twitter has and probably always will limit its users to the SMS-style 140 characters; Facebook cuts statuses off mid-paragraph and encourages you to ‘see more’ instead of displaying the whole thing and TL;DR (too long, didn’t read), a phrase originating well over a decade ago on Usenet forums is now wildly popular on Tumblr, Instagram and just about any other social network.

Nowadays however, things are more ephemeral than ever. Not only are social networks curt, but so are news websites and apps. Look no further than popular mobile apps like Snapchat and Jelly; on the former, communications last for a few seconds and vanish forever and the very format of the latter is based on brief queries and short communications between virtual strangers.

It’s not just apps and social media either. Websites like Upworthy and ViralNova are popular for their short, snack-sized listicles populated with vibrant images and simple explanations. Even more sober outlets post their more extensive articles with the hashtag #longreads often attached to discriminate them from the quick-fire journalism that has become the norm.

This is an important development for PR and marketing, because it means that keeping things brief is more important than it ever has been. A snappy pitch is a simple task for most PR pros, but a snappy pitch that will stick in a consumers mind long after they’ve clicked on one hundred other links isn’t at all.

 

Social Media ROI event proves a huge success

Yesterday at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Prohibition team headed up another of our strategic social media seminars for industry professionals, this time focusing on generating an ROI on Social Media. With over 30 guests in attendance, our MD Chris delivered a half hour seminar advising organisations on the best ways to generate and calculate a return on investment.

Chris presenting

The seminar went down a treat, and once the presentation was concluded, Chris spent time fielding multiple questions from what was a clearly engaged audience. With some attendees travelling from as far afield as Nottingham to gain insight into the subject, the topic of Social Media ROI is clearly one of genuine interest within the industry.

Following Chris’ presentation (the slides can be seen in their entirety at the foot of this post) and after guests enjoyed a breakfast of bacon and sausage sandwiches along with multiple mugs of fresh coffee, Colin Docherty, the SEO Account Manager at Search Laboratory delivered a master class on Google Analytics, which was equally well received by the crowd.

Our event had a great turnout, with over 30 industry professionals in attendance.

Following the success of yesterday we can’t wait to get our next event planned, so keep your eyes peeled for information on our next strategic social media seminar, which should be taking place around June time.

Did Michael O’Leary go too far in unmoderated Twitter stunt?

On the 21st October Ryanair’s CEO took over the airline’s Twitter feed for a live chat session in an attempt to change the perception of their hardened image.

After posting a photo of himself dressed as a leprechaun Michael welcomed us all on Twitter to #GrillMOL.

I ask the question though, do customers really have a ‘hardened’ image of Ryanair or do they think they are just plane greedy? Many tweets were asking if they would be charged for asking questions – doesn’t this say it all? One person following the chat asked: ‘Have you managed to find a way to charge us €5 for every tweet using #GrillMOL’ to which O’Leary replied ‘great idea. Have a team workin’ on it as we breathe’.

As the conversations progressed, O’Leary became a little rude. One female reminded her followers about the live chat, which started at 4pm, to which O’Leary replied ‘Nice pic. Phwoaaarr! MOL’ the woman was ‘#NotImpressed’. She wasn’t the only person left unimpressed with the CEO’s lewd behaviour. There was a huge backlash over his comment and the clearly inexperienced Twitter user soon realized people were discussing his comment. Once he realized, he tweeted: ‘Learning on da job! Always compliment ladies pics.’

O’Leary even went as far as to joke about putting beds underneath the hold for people wanting to join the Mile High Club. This was obviously meant in good humour but following  his earlier tweets, it wasn’t well received by many of the chat followers.

Prior to the chat, plenty of frustrated people are regularly asking to speak with the CEO or someone of authority in the company rather than a member of the customer service team. I’m not entirely sure their responses were what they wanted though.

Was this PR stunt a success or did it portray Ryanair as rude and careless. I’m not sure this was the best use of social media, however it has created a great deal of noise around the company, even if it hasn’t particularly been for the right reasons.

What was he supposed to do? People did not expect these sorts of relies, which is why we are all discussing them. Most people tweeting O’Leary were complaining or insulting the company and he would have spent his hour apologising for the poor customer service and unexpected charges many Ryan Air customers expect from them.

Was the Ryanair head left unprepared for this live chat and should he have had a social media manager leading the conversation for him? Or was it all a planned publicity stunt? Let us know your views on the events and the fallout below.

 

Instagram Videos – Are they enough to rival Vine?

Facebook-owned mobile app, Instagram last week delivered an exciting new feature to its users with the option to record videos which can last up to fifteen seconds. And true to Instagram, 13 video-specific filters have been designed to choose from, along with the option of choosing a still from the recording to be used as the video’s cover.

Upon hearing about this latest feature, I instantly thought: copycats. The development seems to be a reaction to Vine – the video app from Twitter at the beginning of the year.  Vine allows its 13 million (not a huge amount) users to record a looping clip which lasts six seconds. Unusual and entertaining it can be used to showcase anything, from advertising a new product to making a marriage proposal.

So, will the ability to post video on Instagram be a threat to Vine? While Instagram has scale (100 million monthly users) I highly doubt it. After having a play with the new option to video, I do have to admit that it is useful and fun, but unlike Vine, it doesn’t amaze or delight me. The ability to add effects to your video recording does create a better finish – but this is nothing new, with vintage video apps being a around for a while.

Vine’s stop-motion feature means a video you record becomes looped and therefore a lot more interesting.  Your recording almost becomes a piece of art and a product of your individuality, while the six-second restriction demands a creative approach. Instagram on the other hand seems rushed and unfocused – is it about making videos appear prettier, or about telling a story, or both?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with Instagram’s video feature, but I expected a much more innovative development.  As a regular user of Instagram to edit photos, I would have liked to see features to make videos faster, slower or more distorted. Maybe that’s work in progress, but for now, I’m sticking with Vine.

Here’s a little Vine of the Prohibition PR‘s office by Chris.