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Snapchat Adds 4 New Features, Including Much-Requested Group Chat

Snapchat today revealed four new features for its app, as it pushes forward to become as popular as possible in the face of increasing competition for the attention of consumers and marketers. It's the company's latest product-related move in what's becoming an arms race in terms of which app has the best features, including other prominent players such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and others.  Ready, snap, chat.

  • December 13, 2016

How Birchbox is Using Snapchat to Drive Sales

Snapchat might be a hard nut to crack for many brand marketers because of its lack of metrics. But Birchbox knows how to turn its Snapchat followers into buying consumers through a simple trick: Vanity URLs. Over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, Birchbox created a simple URL — birch.ly/Steals — exclusively for Snapchat to showcase its special holiday deals like Kiehl’s skincare set. The company saw more traffic to its site from this hack than organic Facebook posts. Short, simple, snap.

Snapchat Discover Publishers See Viewership Drop By a Third After Platform Tweaks

For Snapchat Discover media publishers, the platform giveth and the platform taketh away. Shortly after Snapchat tweaked its Stories page to move Snapchat Discover content closer to the bottom of the page — below stories posted by your friends — multiple Discover publishers saw daily viewership drop. Two Discover publishers said they noticed about a 33 percent drop in daily viewers after the change. Starting from the bottom.

A Few Predictions for the Social Media Landscape in 2016

2015 has been a big year for social media ' Facebook announced new video experiences, Instagram opened up its long-exclusive ad platform and Snapchat launched its 'Discover'? feature to name a few. So, what can we expect to see next? Here's a few trends we're expecting to see impact the social space in 2016. 1. Everything, LIVE! Live-streaming and live social are becoming an obsession and it only appears to be gaining momentum as we head into the next year. From Periscope to Meerkat, Facebook Live to Kanvas, brands will be challenged to find innovative and engaging ways to use these apps to deliver 'in-the-moment' content. Not ready for live-streaming yet? Invest in video in general. While not a new trend or recommendation, if you're not producing short-form, easily digestible video content for social yet you're missing out on a whole world of social engagement. Especially when you consider that: Videos average 62% more engagement than photos Video shares have increased 43% since the beginning of 2015 Facebook recently announced it sees an average of eight BILLION video views a day from 500 million people 2. Influencer Impact People have been talking for a while about the impact online reviews and comments (even from strangers) have on consumer purchase intent. But now, instead of automatically heading to Google to type in your latest query, you can go to YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and more for advice and opinions. In fact, a Pinterest study done earlier this year reported that 87% of respondents claimed Pinterest helped them decide what to purchase. Make the most of this by sharing special offers, social-exclusive discounts, and reviews and testimonials from customers (or social media influencers) that provide real feedback and authentic content, over glossy ads. 3. Social Commerce With a number of platforms rolling out 'Buy'? buttons, attention is being put towards making the mobile and social commerce process seamless. However, transitioning users scrolling through engagement announcements and memes to purchasers will likely prove more difficult. In fact, according to Custora, whose software is used by many big-name retailers, sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram drove a meager 1.7% of total online sales this Black Friday (compared to 25% of online orders from e-mail promotions). That said, there are definitely social commerce opportunities to be had and it's likely we'll see the major platforms experimenting with various executions over the course of 2016. 4. Key Players Here to Stay Remember the app Yo? It let you send a message to friends that literally just read 'Yo.'? Nothing else. Sounds ridiculous, right? But it blew up, gaining momentum and national attention on a huge scale before a just as quick crash and burn. In the last few years there have been a number of new platforms like Yo that emerge and either die off quickly or skyrocket to popularity before being bought up by one of the bigger players (think WhatsApp which was purchased by Facebook in late 2014). In 2016 though, as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google focus on innovations, new offerings and expanded capabilities, it's likely the focus will be on the established big players figuring out how to gain new users versus emerging opportunities.

Search & Social State of the State

At AMP, everyone has an insatiable intellectual curiosity that drives us to create innovative solutions for our clients, our agency and the advertising industry as a whole. That's why we're constantly reading and staying up to date on industry trends, news, etc.  Read below for recent updates within the search and social marketing realm and our thoughts on these changes. SNAPCHAT ADDS GEO-LOCATION FILTERS  In early July, Snapchat added geo-filters by location to its platform. For example, if you're taking a photo at Disneyland, you'll be able to swipe right to see art related to the amusement park. Read More on Mashable Why it's important: Snapchat has rolled out new features constantly in the last few months to encourage more sharing. Updates like this one give Snapchat users another reason to open the app to see what geofilters are around them, share with friends and show off their savvy selfies. Implications for marketers: This definitely opens a door for more branding on the platform. For example, Soul Cycle has a specific filter for when users are in the studios. Not to mention that Snapchat is adding an outlet for revenue and paid media space with these filters. SOCIAL E-COMMERCE AHEAD  Twitter and Facebook revealed that they are listening and are looking for a way to seamlessly integrate purchases into social with Twitter acquiring a new company and Facebook testing a 'buy' button for instant purchases. Read More on AdAge. Why it's important: Currently, social media isn't an e-commerce platform and advertisers are using direct response ads on Facebook to reach a targeted audience. The fact that Facebook and Twitter are testing native e-commerce technologies would mean a new way to use the platforms. Implications for marketers: Every day, we get questions from clients and prospective clients asking how we are tying social efforts to ROI. Rolling out various e-commerce functionality within social media would make these actions much easier to track and further prove value for social media investment. APPLEBEE'S HANDS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT OVER TO FANS FOR A YEAR The brand is handing it's account over to the neighborhood with a campaign called #Fantopgrapher. Fans will have to opt in to less Applebee's access their account, but anything tagged #Applebees will be up for grabs and posted to the account with a branded frame crediting the user. Read More from AdWeek. Why it's important: Because the brandsaw an opportunity based on a current social action and made something real out of it. The chain claimed that there are 779,000 photos tagged with #Applebees being shared organically already and they are harnessing that power with a campaign. Implications for marketers: This takes UGC to a new level and gives consumers 100% share of voice in the brand's conversations. It will be interesting to see if a campaign like this encourages more UGC and uses of the hashtag over time. GOOGLE WEBMASTER ROLLS OUT ROBOTS.TEXT TESTING TOOL  This new Google Webmaster Tools feature allows you to see if your robots.txt file has any errors. You can test to see if new or existing URLs are allowed to be crawled based on how your robots.txt file is set up. The tool has the ability to show you what directive in the file is causing the URL to be blocked from a crawl. Learn more about this tool on Google Webmaster Central.  Why it's important: Web marketers know that one of the first steps to driving organic search traffic to a website is to ensure indexation of the important pages in search engine databases. The great thing about this tool is it simplifies the process of making sure your robots.txt file is not blocking content from being crawled by search engine spiders. Implications for marketers: This tool can now be a part of a monthly maintenance check to make sure the site is open for a crawl. GOOGLE UPDATES LOCAL SEARCH ALGORITHM Codenamed 'Pigeon'? by Search Engine Land, Google released  an algorithm update to provide more useful and accurate local search results.Read more about the algorithm update: Why it's important:  Local results are now ranked using 100s of 'traditional'? signals that are used to rank typical web results. The update will allow users to gain more relevant results as the signals leverage more precise proximity information. Implications for marketers:  With any Google algorithm change, the understanding of how results are altered and what new tactics should be employed to gain increased visibility are pending.  Stay tuned for our formal search POV. GOOGLE ADWORDS INTRODUCES DYNAMIC SITELINKS Dynamic Sitelinks are the latest ad snippet from Google AdWords. They are automatically generated based on the searcher's activity and point to relevant content on the advertiser's site. Read the official announcement here. Why it's important:  Clicks on these sitelinks are free but advertisers have no control over the text of the links; however, advertisers do have the ability to disable dynamic sitelinks from appearing under their ads. Implications for marketers:  This rollout is an interesting blend of organic and paid search results.  Since the links will be based on search activity and free to the advertiser, it should be seen as just another relevant path for users to follow to land on your site.  AMP will be monitoring the performance of Dynamic Sitelinks over the next several months. What's your perspective on these updates? Share a comment below.

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