January 26, 2018

7 Insights from Adweek Chatter

Every week, the publication Adweek hosts a Twitter chat, aptly titled #AdweekChat. Given their focus, the subjects range from digital advertising trends to social media to how agencies do business. Wednesday’s chat was about social media and all the changes that are taking place. I had the pleasure to spend an hour with thousands of others, offering HMH’s take on some of the topics of the day. (By the way, as far as Twitter chats go, #AdweekChat is one of the best ones out there, along with #HootChat and #TwitterSmarter).

  1. Recently Facebook announced it would be turning down the volume on posts from brands and publishers. Will this affect your work? If so, how is your company reacting?

Naturally, most of the participants, including HMH, said that yes, these changes affect our work. For HMH, we sent out emails to our clients who are active on social media to let them know a) what the changes were, and b) how it will affect what we do for them. Most notably, our focus should be on shareable, engaging content that will resonate on a “community” level, but we should consider ramping up boosting truly ENGAGING content, not sales pitches. We are planning to take a “wait and see” approach before we can definitively prescribe solutions.

  1. Instagram now hosts 25 million businesses, and Stories are increasingly popular. Do you think it will replace Facebook as the go-to social media platform for brands?

Most people do not see Facebook going away. Creatively though, Instagram will win this round.  There are too many brands on Facebook to abandon it entirely.  Plus when you think about baby boomers vs. Gen Z’ers, different platforms work for different people. Plan accordingly. Also, Instagram is a little less intuitive when it comes to one-on-one exchanges, whereas Facebook shines. Did you happen to read our social media trends post?  Check out #2.

  1. HQ Trivia takes the world by storm twice a day. Have you tried it? What can other apps and social platforms learn from the pros and cons of HQ’s approach?

Well, first, yes, we’ve tried HQ.  Have you? It’s insanely fun. What can we learn? Being “in the moment” with a live trivia game is one of those real-time community experiences that makes the interaction fun and exciting. Limiting the game time drives demand, and preys upon FOMO (fear of missing out). The competition and incentive drives repeat visits.  But on the down side? You need to make sure you can handle that kind of user load for the most efficient user experience. No one likes to sign on to win $1000, only to have the app crash.

  1. Snapchat says it will now allow users to share their stories on other platforms. Will this inspire advertisers to pay more attention to Snap’s user base? Or has Instagram stolen too much of its thunder?

By far, everyone agreed that Instagram has stolen the thunder. They have taken everything that Snap introduced (filters, stories, effects) and done it better and made a much easier user experience.  And unless you’re a B2C brand like Coca-Cola that appeals to Gen Z, advertising dollars aren’t well spent on Snap. Again, audience is key. If you’re not speaking to Gen Z, there’s no reason to focus on what Snap offers, and will it really matter if you can share Snaps to other platforms Gen Z’ers avoid?

  1. Vine might make a comeback in the form of an app called V2. Did Vine die before its time? What impact did it have on short-form content?

Most felt that Vine did die before it should have, but in the meantime, Instagram has picked up a lot of the slack with video capability and Boomerangs.  Jury is out on whether V2 will succeed, but most felt its time had passed.

  1. What social platforms do you pay the most attention to and check most often? Has that changed in the past year?

All the usual suspects here, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram leading the charge, but many (including us) are irritated with the way Instagram has changed up their algorithm and made it hard to see posts in consecutive order.

  1. Twitter seems to be attempting to address some of the (many) criticisms of the platform. What 3 moves do YOU think the team should make to improve it?

By far, the ability to edit your tweet was number 1. Nothing is worse than composing an amazing tweet to find out later there was a spelling error. Second was holding Twitter users accountable to their terms of service and banning those users who flagrantly threaten and post hate speech. And lastly, get rid of the bots.

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Dana Thomas

Dana, like all HMH'ers, has a passion for following these trends in and out of the industry in order to better determine the best solutions for our clients. Nice.