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Facebook has announced some exciting new features and we can’t wait to try them out…

Back in April, the annual Facebook F8 conference revealed a heap of new and exciting features heading our way. Although mainly aimed at developers, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcements are set to have huge implications for users. From apps to virtual reality, let’s take a deeper look into what’s going to happen in the world of social media this year…

Camera filters

We all love a good filter and let’s face it, animated effects for your selfies have become a huge part of modern messaging ever since Snapchat released the puppy-dog filter. However, Facebook is now attempting to join the party by creating two new tools dubbed ‘Frame Studio’ and ‘AR Studio’. These nifty apps enable developers to create augmented reality (AR) content more easily, with Frame Studio focusing on 2D overlays such as borders and frames, whilst AR Studio mimics Snapchat’s face filters, allowing developers to create 3D masks that respond to facial movements. The aim of the applications is to make AR content easier to create for developers by eliminating writing code.

Virtual Reality

Hot on the heels of the virtual reality trend is ‘Facebook Spaces’ – a new virtual reality app that enables you to create an avatar that looks just like you. The app lets you hang out in a VR world with friends by using a virtual reality headset. With features including being able to draw in the air with a virtual marker, we are confident that this new feature will transform the way we stay connected across the globe.

Music and Games in Messenger

Messenger is getting a makeover in the hope of making it one of the most advanced platforms available to the public. Improvements include new stories and other content becoming available in group chats via ‘Chat Extensions’, as well as the introduction of games and music onto the platform to create a more interactive experience while chatting with friends. For the music lovers, there are also plans for messenger to sync with Apple Music – perfect for those all-important music taste debates!

M Suggest

You have probably never heard of Facebook’s virtual assistant M, but you will do soon! Although most people usually turn to Siri to lend a helping hand, Facebook is aiming to improve M’s capabilities which they say will get smarter over time. M currently has the capacity to join chats to help users pay for things, find information, and suggest responses to messages. One of the latest features is ‘M Suggest’ which will listen to conversations surrounding food and restaurants and will speak up to offer food recommendations nearby, forever solving the age old argument of where to go out for dinner!

360 video

Hoping to boost the use of its 360-degree videos Facebook has unveiled plans for two new cameras designed intentionally to capture spherical video. The circular cameras have as many as 24 individual lenses capable of capturing photos and video. The Surround360 units are both large and expensive, so they are unlikely to be used for personal use just yet, but it’s defiantly likely that people will begin to rent them for production purposes to create some cool imagery.

Which Facebook features are you most looking forward to? Tweet us at @ProhibitionPR

 

Image Credit: Flickr

The top social media stories – October 2014

The month of October is always a busy one, with the colder weather creeping in and social media suddenly overrun with snaps of pumpkins. Now we’ve reached the start of November we thought we would take a look back at the best social media articles of the month and why we love them. From Marketing tips and tricks to “how to make women more dateable” our list has it all.

  1.  How social media turned against women…
    by Catherine Buni & Soraya Chemaly (@ckbuni and @schemaly)

This article on The Atlantic looks at how social media content is reminding woman that “what these people are doing is, reminding woman that, no matter what they are still women. They are forever vulnerable.” Touching on the celebrity photo hacking scandal and harassment over social media, the article has an interesting take on social media content and its effects.

  1. How Facebook is changing the way users consume journalism…
    by Ravi Somaiya (@ravisomaiya)

Facebook has one fifth of the world logging on monthly and drives upwards of 20% of traffic to news sites. Facebook is becoming the go-to news outlet for all news needs, they are leading the change on how people consume journalism. The people at Facebook believe that you are in control of the news you want to read thanks to the friends you connect to, and the pages you like.

  1. 10 ways to creatwomene contagious content for social media…
    by Vinay Koshay on Jeff Bullas

Vinay outlines 10 ways to stand and make an impact on social media and provides reasons as to why people like to share things on their platforms. This post provides step by step tips and in depth advice on how to create contagious, sharable content that your followers will love.

  1. Steve Harvey launches website to help women “become more dateable”

By Jeff Bercovici (@jeffbercovici)

American actor, comedian, TV host and author Steve Harvey says that “women are wired differently” and that even the biggest dating sites in the world aren’t right for them. In this article, he maintains that women don’t just want to date, they want to know there is the possibility of a future. He’s joined forces with those behind social matchmaking sites Match.com, OkCupid and Tinder. It’s an interesting take on how people see love and why, and how social media is playing a larger role than ever.

  1. Getting organic engagement on Facebook…
    by Nicole Miller (@nmillerbooks)

In this article, Nicole Miller looks not only at how to generate engagement, but looks at what role Facebook should play in a social media strategy. She also looks at her own experiences and the biggest lessons to be learnt when using Facebook as part of a social media strategy. As well as incorporating her own advice and tips she includes the experiences of others on Twitter, to ensure the article provides a broad insight into the matter.

  1. 12 Essential Elements of a social media strategy…
    by Pam Dyer (@pamdyer)

In this piece, Pam Dyer takes a look at how to start from scratch and incorporate social media into your marketing strategy in order to make it successful. Focusing on how to run social media and how to build it into a successful strategy, the piece gives advice on setting out KPI’s and understanding your audience, along with planning a social media calendar and posting the right content.

  1. How are under 30’s using social media…
    by Jillian Richardson (@jrichardson256)

At number seven, Jillian Richardson looks at how millennials are using social media, whilst breaking down four key insights we need to know. The article crunches stats and info, before moving on to provide insights and analysis. The article is a great read for anyone striving to ensure their social media strategy is as effective as can be.

  1. Social media mistakes most likely to cost you a job…
    by Jacob Davidson (@JakeD)

With job prospects still relatively low and social media use continuing to grow it’s important to look at preventing the mistakes that could cost you your dream job. With 55% of employers saying they have reconsidered a candidate based on what they find on social media (61% of that being a negative double take) it’s essential to put your best foot forward on your social media.

  1. The LinkedIn Effect.
    by Rick Smith (@RickSmithAuthor)

Social media has changed the way we interact in almost every area of our lives. This article provides an interesting take on why social media networks are now essential for success in the job market. Looking at how to make the most of social media and how essential our “weak ties” with people can be for our professional success, it’s a must read for any job seekers.

Have we missed something you think we should have included? Then let us know in the comments.

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.

How to be legally compliant on social media

Yesterday morning. the Prohibition team jointly organised a successful breakfast seminar exploring the important issue of legal compliance in social media.

Held in conjunction with leading Intellectual Property law firm, HGF, the central-Leeds seminar was attended by 50 marketing and legal professionals from across the region.

HGF 1Social media undoubtedly provides brands with fantastic opportunities to promote themselves and powerfully engage directly with their customers and stakeholders, as many well-publicised cases show. However, social media can also be a huge trap for those unaware of the potential legal consequences.

The increasingly blurred boundaries between professional and private social media use can pose challenges for organisations, as employees unwittingly go “off message” in their personal social media networks.

These issues were explored in two short, but lively sessions, from Anthony Gold, Partner at HGF, and Chris Norton, Managing Director of Prohibition, as both talked through the challenges, opportunities and risks for brands seeking to expand their use of social media, whilst also discussing some of the key tools for success in this area.

The event was the latest in a series of seminars from Prohibition, exploring all aspects of social media best-practice. Our next events cover online crisis management, and take place at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Ramside Hall in Durham.

Are Snapchat priming their service for advertising with live stories?

Snapchat is becoming big news. Despite being only three years old, the popular ephemeral photo-sharing app has taken off in a big way, and has already rebuffed a lucrative take-over bid from Facebook, seen its user numbers rocket and has now been valued at over $10 billion.

SnapchatLogoWhilst many see the Snapchat service as something for the younger generations (46% of teens in the UK use the app), the service does hold an impressive market standing within the general population of the UK, with almost eight million users.

Despite the clear and growing success of the ‘dancing ghost’ app, at face value, Snapchat doesn’t seem like a particularly viable commercial model.

In the ever competitive app market, companies who boast a unique offering can’t afford to stand still and stagnate. Since launching in 2011, the app has seen regular updates, implementing a number of new features. From the 2013 introduction of ‘stories’, which are available to view for 24 hours, to the more recent implementation of a chat and ‘live video feed’ feature. It’s this constant progression from Snapchat that results in competitors, of which there have been a few (Bolt, Slingshot), being unable to catch up.

Snapchat-Our-StoryHowever, it’s their most recent creation, ‘Live Stories’, which will arguably carry the most importance to the app going forward. To those unaware of this latest progression, ‘Live Stories’ commenced at the 2014 World Cup Final. The new function allows people within the proximity of an event to upload photos and videos to their story (as usual), however these stories are then broadcasted around the world, to all users, under the guise of the live event feed. For the World Cup Final, the feed of videos documented the build up, match and post game activities at the Maracana in Rio de Janiero,  with highlights including Lionel Messi being filmed walk within yards of fans at the stadium.

Since the initial launch of the feature, Snapchat has rolled out the service at a much higher frequency, with live chronicling of New York’s Electric Zoo music festival, the launch of the 2014 college football season for the Oregon Ducks, New York Fashion week and, most importantly, the Apple launch conference from Cupertino, California.

It’s this most recent use of the ‘live’ function which may see Snapchat finally take steps towards commercialising the service for revenue. Whilst the Cupertino Live feed didn’t seem overly advertising led or Apple driven, the service could easily be utilised in the future for advertising, especially around events.

Whilst for the time being, it appears that Snapchat’s live function is simply being used as yet another quirky addition to the ephemeral photo sharing app; with big money backers now behind the project, it will be interesting to see how long it will be before the ‘fun’ social network makes serious moves in order to start bringing in sizeable revenue.

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.

 

How mobile is paving the way for social media developments

Worldwide mobile phone sales are on fire. Currently, over one billion mobile web users are scrolling through the 1-4G universes, and their massive influence over social networks is becoming increasingly more apparent. If you’re after a good example, look no further than the new Facebook new Messenger app and how hard they’re pushing it on consumers, or how popular the Vine app is among brands for creating simple, snappy video content.

4183229960_edcbb4dd6bSo what does this mean for the PR industry? It means get mobile, quick. Communities online are only going to get more connected via mobile apps such as Snapchat and Jelly, so focusing purely on digital PR that fits computer monitors is no longer the’ be all and end all’, as it’s just no longer enough.

Assessing mobile habits is a good start. Knowing which apps are popular and what makes them so in demand can be done through a quick browse of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store; once you’re aware you can begin applying this to your own strategies on social media, such as what type of content to use for your brand in terms of video, visual, interactive and when to upload it.

It’s also wise to be aware of which apps are useful to use to your advantage for your respective communities, whether they will have a maximum outreach and generate leads and whether it’s worth having a presence on them at all.

Thanks to its global appeal, it’s likely that smartphone use will keep growing in the near future, so keeping an eye out for the latest developments is a must for any PR professional.

Now, go back to checking Facebook on your smartphone.

Photo Credit: 27147 via Compfight cc

IS IT GOODBYE FOR FACEBOOK?

goodbyeSince Facebook was first introduced in 2004 its popularity has sky rocketed, particularly amongst teenagers and the younger generation. The site was one of the few places where individuals could keep in touch with old friends, share photos and exchange new information or gossip. However, as the world around us becomes more technically advanced, more websites and mobile apps have been created. These new communication channels have also become increasingly popular and have started to overshadow Facebook which recently stated that it is are seeing ‘a decrease in daily users, especially amongst teens’.

With the introduction of messenger apps, Instagram and Twitter providing different alternatives to Facebook, teenagers are quickly becoming engaged in these apps. According to Mobile Marketing Magazine, Whatsapp is the biggest messaging app in the world, with more than 350 million monthly active users globally. Twitter has received 218 million users and Instagram has reached more than 80 million users, since it was established in 2010.

Aside from the broader range of social media sites now available, Facebook has slowly crept its way up to the older generation. A factor which could play a key role in why teenagers are losing interest. Mums, Dads and various other family members are jumping on the bandwagon and signing up to Facebook. Becoming ‘friends’ with older relatives suddenly hinders a teenagers privacy and the moment your parent comments on an activity of yours, the child can be somewhat traumatised. Due to this reasons, young individuals may no longer view Facebook as young or current and seek for another alternative.

Another possible theory is that it is quite common for people on Facebook to have a large selection of ‘friends’ they barely know due to adding brief acquaintances throughout the years (perhaps for a quick stalk). Whereas Whatsapp, in particular, only allows you to chat with your mobile contacts who tend to be a close friends you see in real life. Not only is this a safer option but it is also a more personal and accessible form of contact.

As Facebook users decrease, vanity amongst adolescences appears to be on the increase with the famous ‘selfie’ becoming progressively popular. MobileYouth claimed that almost half the photos on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) feeds among people aged 14 to 21 in the UK are selfies. This shocking statistic combined with the need for teenagers to document their lives with photos, explains the transition from Facebook to Instagram but it owns both channels so does it care? Instagram simply allows individuals to edit and display photos onto their page and to browse others photography; an ideal concept for teenagers these days.

It is fair to conclude that a mixture of factors has led to the downfall of Facebook’s younger market. If it wishes to turn this around they will have to find a way to be more current and attend to the needs of this younger generation. With youths losing interest so quickly, it is no doubt a difficult task however something must be done to save Facebook from someday vanishing completely.

This post was written by Nicole Atmore.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.

How Stipple on Facebook will help your brand

Companies’ use of Facebook will benefit greatly from the recent news that Stipple, the interactive picture app that allows us to add greater detail to images, has finally teamed up with Facebook.

Facebook's example of how to use StippleWith online marketing having been around now for a number of years, companies are always needing fresh and exciting ways to attract new customers. This could be one such method to attract greater levels of traffic to their social media and website pages.

Whilst a lot of the general public will be unaware as to what Stipple is, online marketers are fully aware of its benefits. Let me give you a quick introduction into how it works:

Those who upload a picture can insert interactive content on top of it, which others can then access by hovering over a particular part of the image. Examples of the contents include videos, brief snippets of text, or a contrasting imFacebook has a page demonstrating how to use Stippleage to highlight differences.

When hovering over a picture of food, such as the picture above, a text box could pop up describing the ingredients or recipe. This means that, rather than having to read through a block of text, the important details are easy to access and understand.

Quick, concise and informative pieces of information will mean that users can find out what the businesses’ message is much faster than with a block of text.

Let’s be honest, people who go onto social media sites and then the pages of companies, are not going to want to sit there and read massive blocks of text which will bore them and even put them off the product. By using Stipple, companies can now send out their messages on Facebook through engaging pictures, a much more attractive channel.

Stipple on Facebook is without question a bonus for brands as it makes it much easier to market yourself through pictures and interactive content and we all love a cool picture.

What do you think to the idea of Stipple? Do you think brands are going to be all over it in the next few months or is it just another flash in the pan?

Photo credit: Free to use from pixabay.com