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Social Networks

Q&A: How Can Brands Best Utilize User Generated Content?

Green screen much

But who’s she wearing in front of that green screen?

User generated content is more than just a catchphrase: for some major brands, it’s a key to reaching consumers on their level rather than with traditional ads and “SALE NOW” marketing emails. As a prime example, a recent Marc Jacobs campaign starred “real people” plucked straight from Instagram who’d never seen a modeling contract.

Marc certainly isn’t the only brand looking to others to help expand and improve its own promotional efforts.

So what’s the key to making fans’ content work for you instead of using stock photos like the one above?

We spoke to Ranvir Gujral, CEO of visual marketing startup Chute, for more information.

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Bad News for McDonald’s: Instagram Users More Engaged, Opinionated

MacDo

You mean they’re not really my “friends?”

A very interesting study published two days ago by social analytics firm Shareablee found that Instagram users interact with brand posts at more than twice the rate of those on the standard vanilla Facebook network:

  • The average Instagram brand post received 6,932 likes, comments and shares
  • The average comparable Facebook post received 2,396 such actions

This could be great news for brands — especially those looking to use the network’s nascent paid ad service.

Or maybe not. Take, for example, McDonald’s.

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5 Social Media Mistakes PR People Should Avoid

Justine-Sacco-Tweet

It wasn’t too long ago that Justin Sacco, former chief communications officer of IAC (parent company of Tinder, Vimeo and OkCupid), ruined a rather cushy gig thanks to one questionable attempt at humor on Twitter.

She apologized without much fanfare and then finally got a new job (much less cushy) this past June.

While her legacy will go down in the chronicles of PR as a case of “What not to do on social media,” it begs the question for the rest of us: “What should PR people not do on social media?” I have five ideas. Feel free to add to the conversation. Extra points for personal references.

And if someone knows Justine Sacco, tell her that she’s my inspiration. (#Tear)

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Apple Finally Gets Social, Hires Musa Tariq of Nike/Burberry

musa linkedin

Is Apple anti-social? Given the brand’s infamous non-presence on Twitter on Facebook, the answer for many would have been “yes.”

Today that answer has to change: Apple has hired the former social media chief for both Nike and Burberry.

Appropriately, Musa Tariq confirmed on Twitter yesterday that he is now Apple’s digital marketing director.

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OKCupid Co-Founder on Emotional Experiments: In 20 Years, No One Will Care

OKCUPIDWe’ve all heard about Facebook‘s ill-conceived “emotional experiment” and OKCupid‘s even better follow-up. While Facebook’s research only concerned slight tweaks in the algorithm that determines which stories show up in users’ news feeds, OKCupid experimented on total strangers who would later meet each other and go on what we call “dates.”

We’re interested in the story primarily because Facebook’s response was simply a blog post that didn’t serve as a very effective piece of self-defense. OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, on the other hand, has gone all out to defend his company’s practices as the kind of thing we deal with every day as connected individuals — whether we know it or not.

Last week, to follow up on his “yes, we experimented on people, now get over it” blog post, he gave an interview to TLDR, a podcast associated with the excellent NPR show On the Media (which we encountered via the also-excellent Press Think blog).

The fourteen-minute segment is well worth a listen–especially for anyone with clients in social media.

Some key quotes and takeaways after the jump in case you can’t listen or don’t have time.

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Ogilvy Survey: Social and Earned Media Are Inseparable

journalism 3

This week, another new survey attempts to answer the question at the heart of the public relations discipline in our digital era: how has social media changed the behavior of journalists and the PR teams that interact with them every day?

The survey, released today by Ogilvy PR’s Media Influence unit after conducting interviews with 75 US-based reporters, editors and producers, brought both expected and surprising conclusions. In short: despite certain misconceptions, social has only enhanced the value of earned media. The two are inseparable.

We spoke to friend of the site Jennifer Risi, managing director of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of North American media relations, for conclusions and lessons learned after the jump.

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Will the YouTube/Michelle Phan Lawsuit Change the Influencer Game?

Michelle Phan

In case you missed it: Michelle Phan, the “make-up demonstrator and entrepreneur” who became a prime influencer by posting short YouTube videos with titles like “Beach Beauty Essentials” and “How to Take the Perfect Selfie”–and earning nearly seven million followers in the process–got sued last week.

The suit, which could be worth several million dollars, stemmed from the fact that Phan allegedly used music by Ultra Records artist Kaskade in her clips without permission.

Phan is at the forefront of the social media influencer movement, earning more than $5 million in 2012 thanks to brand deals and appearing in ads for YouTube itself. The suit filed against her marks something of a first and raises some big questions about the future of one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Will it change the way the influencer game works?

Eric Dahan, the CEO of Instabrand.com, who spoke to us about using influencers to market to Millennials last month, has some thoughts after the jump.

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Social Media Case Study: National Golf Day Edition

golf balls

Golf and social media might seem like artifacts from entirely different eras, but when the two reach the green together they turn out to mesh quite well. In fact, they may be the only things on which our two political parties can reach agreement.

This case study, via Buffalo Communications, demonstrates the ways in which social can be integrated into pretty much anything.

The task: promote National Golf Day events in Washington, D.C. to audiences worldwide for client WeAreGolf.

The strategy: increase the reach with the help of strategic hashtags, professional golfers, golf fans and, yes, politicians.

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AP #MH17 Tweet Traumatizes English Teachers, the World

AP Tweet Crash LandsThe humble comma — its inclusion can mean life or death for panda bears (and pilots alike), as well as the difference between respectable reporting and an horrific #PRFail.

Case in point: the single tweet posted by the Associated Press late this morning suggesting that the Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had crash landed in Eindhoven, when all it really did was land. Read more

EPA Apologizes for Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Mobile Game

If you have better things to do with your life than scroll twitter at 10:30 PM on a Monday evening, then you may have missed an amusing and bizarre promotional failure on behalf of your government.

Specifically, the EPA’s clean water division posted what certainly looked like a message hyping the (unfortunately) red-hot “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game, in which the user can–what else–turn him or herself into a celebrity.

Super-veteran House Rep John Dingell, who has served since 1955 and helped write the original act that created the division, summed up the Internet’s sentiments with a question:

For the record, we don’t believe for a second that he has no idea what a Kardashian is. Good tweet, though.

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