iStrategyBlabs

The 9 Awesome April Fools Pranks That Need To Happen But Didn’t

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April Fools is pretty much our favorite holiday of the year, which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help some of our favorite brands pull off some killer pranks. Check out our 9 “must happen” ideas below:

1. Snapchat: SnapchatRoulette — Stranger Danger (But Just for a Second)

SnapchatRoulette is the latest release from Snapchat, Inc. — allowing you to send and receive snaps without knowing where they are going or who they are coming from. What could possibly go wrong?

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2. Uber Pool — Ride The Wave, On Demand

You never know when you’re going to need to throw an emergency pool party, impress your friends by doing a cannon ball, or just sit and ponder life while floating in chlorinated water. Good thing Uber just released UberPool – order one and a pool hitched to a truck will be headed your way in minutes.

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3. Netflix: OITNB’s Wearable Ankle Bracelet — Making Incarceration Arrestingly Luxurious

Just because you’re in jail or can’t go more than 50 feet from your home doesn’t mean you should live like a prisoner. This trendy ankle bracelet has a pedometer to track your distance from your house, ApplePay for all your commissary needs, and even alerts you when parole officers or guards (#Pornstache) are approaching.

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4. Nike: Nike Lounge Wear — Don’t Do It

Casual wear for couch-sitting and lazy-sundaying that will make you look like you could be an active human being… even though you’re definitely not. (Included: Sweat wicking technology perfect for intense binge watching of True Detective.)

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5. PBR presents ZipCan: You Literally Can’t Drink It Fast Enough

Conveniently unravels with a single zip to get the beer out of the can as quickly as possible… so you can… see it before it falls all over the ground.

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6. Tinder Platinum: Because Famous People Have Game, and You Don’t

If Tinder Pro isn’t cutting it for you and you can’t figure out why – upgrade to Tinder Platinum and select from a variety of celebrities to speak entirely on your behalf. Your profile image will automatically be replaced with Ryan Gosling, as he greets your swipe rights with his famous “Hey girl.” Drake will be all “I can’t get over you. You left your mark on me…” and stuff.

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7. Chanel: Rich Nuns of Instagram — Rolling in Bills and Blessings

@Richkidsofinstagram is so 2014. Let’s cut to the chas(t)e — this new handle shines a light on those women who are as pure as the diamond rosary around their necks.

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8. HBO (or TechCrunch!): Pied Piper launch — From T.V. Series to Series A Financing

Pied Piper, a fictional multi-platform technology based on a proprietary universal compression algorithm, has capitalized on it’s brand awareness and is pleased to announce it has raised $40,000,000 in venture capital.  They will be opening an office in the Pavlina Plaza Shopping Center and beginning work on a universal compression algorithm. Coming Summer 2015.

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9: Abercrombie & Fitch Patchwear: Next Level Distressed Denim

If ripped jeans aren’t exposing quite enough skin, try A&F’s new Patchwear line. Simply stick on patches of raw denim to your bare legs. It’s like a flash tat, but different. Available in high rise and boot cut.

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What’s Trending On Facebook? A Touchscreen Visualization Of The Trends API, Live At F8!

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We’ve recently been named a Facebook Media Solutions Partner, and have been working on multiple projects for Facebook from hardware prototypes to data visualization. We’re excited to unveil our latest work: a real-time touchscreen data visualization of the Facebook Trends API, live right now at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference.

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Our visualization is a depersonalized view of the most popular conversations happening around the world on Facebook, using the Trends API to show the top conversations across nine different categories: Sports, Entertainment, Business, Politics, Science, Technology, Health, Disaster, Strange, Celebrity, Crime, and Lifestyle.

It’s a JavaScript based web app that pulls data from three Facebook API’s (Trends, Topic Insights, Graph) and displays them in a beautiful WebGL environment with touchscreen interface. Here’s how it works:

Visitors see a universe of Trending topics:

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Visitors click into a Trend:

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Visitors tap on posts to see contributing content:

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Visitors can also browse and filter by category:

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Check out some more photos of the visualization in action at F8:

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Social Memo: Facebook Organic Reach Isn’t Dead – 5 Tips To Increase Your Reach!

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Before we begin, if you missed last month’s social memo, give it a read as it lays the foundation for this next installment. Here we go!

Facebook Organic Reach is not dead. Here are 5 tips you can use to increase your reach. 

1) Stop producing promotional content.

If you’re currently filling your Facebook Page’s content calendar with coupons, direct sales, or highly promotional content then it’s time to stop.

2) Learn what your fans actually like.
If you are creating content just because you think you should, with no real strategy and no conception of what your fans will actually respond to, you’re doing it wrong. Page Managers need to periodically perform social audits to see what type of content is generating the most engagement.

Additionally, Page Managers have access to Facebook Audience Insights — a tool that gives great information on fans’ demographics, occupations, locations, and other relevant Facebook pages. Use these resources to your benefit and leverage the data to generate content that will better resonate with your fans.

3) Utilize Influencers
You need to start valuing the impact an Influencer can make on your social reach. Influencers are social media mavens that have created a strong following in both quantity and quality. Influencers can really add to your efforts towards expanding your social presence as that Influencer has already done so much work to create their following and develop trust with their fans. So, when they share your content those fans will at least give it a chance as it was pushed to them from a reliable source.

4) Make sure your fans are following you
Have all of your email subscribers liked your page? What about your Twitter followers? What about repeat customers? You are most likely missing out on some organic reach because not all of your fans are Facebook fans. Send out an email to your most loyal customers asking them to like you on Facebook. See if you get a increase in likes. If you do, you are increasing your potential organic reach!

5) Buy Ads to Increase Fan Affinity! 
Whoa whoa whoa! We are talking about organic reach, right? Right. So why am I telling you to go and spend money? Well, you need to understand how Facebook works. One of the key elements of Facebook’s Edge-rank algorithm is the principal of Affinity. This is essentially how connected a fan is to your page and content. If a fan is constantly liking or sharing your content they will have a higher affinity for your page and thus continue to see your content.

Lets say you haven’t done the best job pushing quality content to your page and/or you’ve been spending too much of your time publishing overly-promotional advertisements. This has created a lower affinity for your page. Now you’ve learned the errors of your ways and are ready to create some killer quality content (possibly based off the data you gained from learning about your audience, read: Tip 2). That “bad” content has done some serious damage to your page’s affinity score, so even though you are putting better content on your page, your fans may not see it. This is because of the amount of inactivity they have had towards your page’s previously poor content.

This is where a smart ad-buy can get you back in the game. By putting money behind your best content and targeting your audience, you can rebuild the affinity with your fans thus increasing your organic reach.

Introducing The Social Memo: January 2015

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Introducing the Social Memo a series of posts meant to cover any new tools, platform changes, or interesting data in Social Media. 

Facebook has made some major announcements in the past few months that are changing the way marketers manage their Facebook pages. Perhaps the most notable change is to their newsfeed algorithm, penalizing the organic reach of promotional posts. This decision is based off of the social network’s survey data, which reveled users wanting to see more content from friends and brand pages they “like” and less promotional content. According to Facebook there are three main traits that make an organic post appear promotional:

1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app

2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context

3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from Facebook Ads

The two ads below are examples, provided by Facebook, that host these qualities:

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While this change is positioned as a benefit to users, which I believe it is, it is also clear that Facebook is sending a powerful message to marketers: if you want to advertise on Facebook then you are going to have to pay. That said, Facebook is  deliberate in stating that this move does not change how paid promotions work.

Note that the key word here is “advertise.” If you are simply trying to push your product, then you will need to pay for those advertisements, because that is exactly what they are…advertisements. It’s no different than having to pay for placement in a magazine, on a billboard, or on television. Facebook is not implementing anything detrimental to those brands that are producing quality social content for their fans. That means brands can still generate engagement on Facebook without having to pay for it — they just need to stop producing “advertisements” and start creating awesome content.

The Good, Bad, and In-Between of Social Media In Crisis Situations

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For better or for worse, social media has dramatically impacted the way we communicate and keep in touch with each other and the world at large. Also for better or for worse, it has given us the means to communicate more — and often more effectively — in crisis situations.

The Good.

Individuals in crisis situations can use social media in a number of different ways. Perhaps the most obvious is to say “I’m okay.” While status updates are often jokingly associated with mundane life updates or more seriously associated with significant life announcements, in the wake of a terror attack or natural disaster taking a second to write “I’m okay” on social is an incredibly quick and easy way to relieve your friends and family from worry. Facebook has taken this use case to the next level by releasing Facebook Safety Check – an update that allows Facebook to ask if you’re okay when a natural disaster occurs in your city. If you are ok, it sends out a status update that says, “I’m safe.”

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When the Boston Marathon bomber attacked, the Boston Police utilized social media to communicate with the public. Moreover, the police and FBI utilized social media to recruit the public to help find the suspect. Following the bombings, the Boston Police released a photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Twitter. They then tweeted the possible license plate of the suspect. A subreddit started to populate clues and, while often misguided, the social media audience transformed into a, perhaps too-responsive, tip line. They used the general public to crowdsource information and assistance in finding the bomber.

Social media has also been used to effectively spread important safety information during crisis. When the power went out during Hurricane Sandy, people turned to social media for updates. News stations utilized social to communicate important safety information before the storm and in its aftermath. And during the initial period of the Ebola outbreak, the hashtag #EbolaFacts was used to inform citizens without knowledge of Ebola in danger areas on how it is spread and how to avoid contracting the disease.

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The Bad.

Social media has also had some negative impact during crisis.

For starters, people on social are often wrong. There is no truth filter, so if you rely on a stream of people’s opinions and misinformation as your news source, it’s not 100% reliable. The subreddit determining the Boston Marathon bomber falsely accused the wrong person of being the suspect, resulting in a family with a missing child being wrongfully targeted. A random man told everyone on Twitter that the NYSE had flooded during Sandy. False. In fact, a false GoFundMe page was set up for the fallen soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, in Canada after the Ottawa shooting. Despite this, studies have shown that while social media does spread both true and false statements during crisis, it then quashes the false ones and promotes the true ones – in other words, it often rectifies itself.

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Social posts intending to be helpful or to announce the user’s safety, can also unintentionally reveal information that can endanger others. On October 22nd, as the hunt for the gunman in Ottawa took place, individuals in Parliament Hill were on lockdown live tweeting the events as they unfolded. While they were intending to simply reveal their own safety and keep the public informed, they also publicized police and personal locations while an active terrorist was on the loose.

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Social media can also sensationalize crisis. Ebola has become one of the most talked about and feared topics of recent history. Yet, it is not the biggest threat to our lives. This has spurred a number of articles with veering degrees of sarcasm showing threats to our lives that are greater than Ebola, compared to social media and news coverage. Apparently there are a lot.

Sensationalization also resulted in Malaysia Airlines receiving a massive blow to their public perception heavily influenced by users posting pictures of empty flights and short lines following the loss of two commercial airplanes (Flight 370 and MH17).

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The In-Between.

Some things are just different now. Maybe they are good, maybe they’re really bad, it’s hard to tell — but they are definitely different. The ease at which images and video can be spread has allowed for violent and crude visuals to be effortlessly acquired straight from the frontlines of crisis and war. In Ukraine, the revolution in Odessa was live streamed. People could watch warfare, death, and despair from the safety of their homes.

A 16-year-old girl named Farah Baker in Gaza live tweeted from the war zone resulting in thousands of retweets. She openly discussed having lived through three wars with her 6-year-old sister and parents. Whenever she fell silent for periods between tweets, concern grew that something had happened to Farah. Twitter users waited for her updates to ensure her safety.

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The Question.

What is still abundantly clear is that social media is now a living breathing part of every major crisis from natural disasters to acts of terrorism. In fact, according to MIS Quarterly and PsychCentral, “Twitter has become the leading social reporting tool to report eyewitness accounts and share information about disasters, terrorist attacks, and social crises.” Technology is constantly changing the way we live and interact. The question is, what’s next?