Hootsuite: Social Media Marketing In 2019 Will Be About Trust

Consumers turn to social media for personal interactions and that includes brands. Marketers will need to earn and maintain trust, while remaining agile to new sharing formats on social, according to Hootsuite’s annual trends report.

Hootsuite shared its annual global social media trends report on Friday, outlining five takeaways for the coming year. The report is the culmination of 3,255 Hootsuite business customers, interviews and industry analysis, along with additional research.

Brands will need to rebuild consumer trust as they become acutely aware of how data is used—or misused—among social media giants worldwide. Consumers are trusting brands less and less, turning instead to friends and family for authentic interactions.

The report notes efforts being made by Adidas and The New York Times, who are creating communities around their brands and using internal experts and employee advocates.

“Consumers want to be treated like individuals, not demographics,” says Hootsuite. “They’re demanding more value in exchange for their time and information. The pendulum has swung back to social’s roots: real, personal, and authentic.”

Adopting new ways of communication on social media will also be key to engagement this year. Stories are being used everywhere from YouTube to LinkedIn, allowing brands to get creative and have fun with it. Capturing in-the-moment experiences allows users—and brands—to connect with followers with a level of intimacy not found in text alone.

Sixty-four percent of respondents have either implemented Instagram Stories into their social media strategy or plan to do so in the next 12 months. Just over half cite lack of video creation skills and/or budget as a top challenge for doing so, however.

The pendulum has swung back to social’s roots: real, personal, and authentic.

The rising popularity of social media advertising has resulted in a surge in prices. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 report, Facebook click-through-rate (CTR) costs have jumped 61 percent. Cutting through the noise of social media advertising is a challenge, but can be achieved through personalization, entertainment and creativity.

Meanwhile, social ecommerce will continue to grow in 2019, Hootsuite predicts. Just over a quarter of respondents said they have either implemented social commerce or plan to do so in the next 12 months and 17 percent said the same about shoppable galleries.

The final social media trend for the coming year is how brands will interact directly with consumers online. Messaging apps, providing better customer service through social accounts and in-app assistants are some of the ways marketers are connecting intimate connections with consumers.

When asked what their biggest challenges are for the future of social media, respondents named “the decline of organic reach” above all others. Half said that personalization is one of the biggest challenges for the coming year, and 47 percent were concerned about integrating social media across the enterprise to improve CX.

How Attitudes Around Influencer Marketing Shifted In 2018

Was 2018 the year that influencer marketing finally got taken seriously? It certainly seems like it.

Influencers in gaming and fashion/beauty influencer to fame this year and were paid handsomely for it. But the system isn’t perfect—fraud, fakes and scammers take advantage of a booming industry. The vetting process is getting better and the analytics are tighter. On the other end of the spectrum, with fraud and FTC pressure comes growing transparency between marketers and influencers: To call an ad an #ad.

Longer-term relationships between marketers and influencers are trending up, with some brands creating influencers from in-house. Diversification of influencer campaigns will also continue next year—brands partnering with many micro-influencers rather than the riskier proposition of partnering with a few big ones.

We’re taking a look back at 2018 and what changed in influencer marketing, with anticipation that 2019 will be the format’s biggest year yet.

Strength In Numbers

Many marketers are drawn to influencer marketing because, if done correctly, the ROI and brand awareness consistently positive. In a report by WHOSAY, 89 percent of marketers surveyed agreed that influencer marketing can positively impact how people feel about a brand. Another study found similar results. In “The State of Influencer Marketing” study by Linqia, 86 percent of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2017 and 92 percent found it efficient.

Companies are seeing considerable ROI. According to a study conducted by Tomoson, they’re making $6.50 for $1 spent on influencer marketing. The top 13 percent of businesses earning $20 or more. The study also found influencer marketing is one of the most cost-effective online customer-acquisition channels, along with email.

“I think 2018 is where the industry has grown up in a quite a few different ways. This is now a standard marketing practice for almost every B2C companies…” said Tim Sovay, COO of CreatorIQ.

In some ways, 2018 was a banner year for larger-scale influencers. It was the year Tyler “Ninja” Blevins became a household name. In June, the gamer, who primarily streams Fortnite on Twitch, partnered with Red Bull. He announced the collaboration to his fans after his regular Sunday stream and simultaneously revealed he would compete in Red Bull Rise till Dawn, a Fortnite Battle Royale duo competition.

A few months later, Blevins appeared in a Samsung commercial with rapper Travis Scott to promote the Galaxy Note 9. The commercial centers around a young woman who fantasizes of being an eSports star. Right at the start, her mother walks into her room and says, “Honey, the local game store wants to sponsor you.” Her daydream concludes with Blevins calling her up to the national team.

Uber Eats also partnered with Blevins, challenging him to eat one doughnut per elimination on Fortnite during his first stream of the day.

Beauty Influencer Jackie Aina—who was named Beauty Innovator of the Year by Refinery29 and Influencer of the Year by WWD—joined forces with beauty brand Two Faced to increase darker shades in its Born This Way foundation line. The highly anticipated shades were released this summer and it proved to be a massive success. The deepest shade, Ganache, sold out on Too Faced’s website on June 28, two days after the launch.

Jerrod Blandino, Too Faced’s co-founder and chief creative officer, approached Aina when he realized their shade range needed help.

The vlogger—known for being outspoken about diversity and inclusion in the beauty business—called out Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer for not having enough dark shades and even made a vlog showcasing the worst makeup for POC.

Fake Followers And Ways They Can Actually Help

Transparency and authenticity will continue to be major topics of discussion in 2019. During Cannes, Unilever’s CMO Keith Weed announced the brand will not work with influencers who buy followers and stated Unilever wouldn’t buy followers either. He urged the industry as a whole to take action on rebuilding integrity and trust.

There are several ways to spot a fake account like spikes in follower or a large number of followers from foreign countries.

Authentic influencers get followers from posting lots of content over months or years and those with hardly any posts are usually fake. Bogus accounts usually don’t follow too many people and their comments can be a dead giveaway.

“This is where I think measurement becomes really important, where it’s not just about reach and views, but understanding that authentic connection,” said Stephanie Chevalier, senior director of brand, content and community for Tubular Labs, a social video analytics company.

“From our perspective, I think a general trend that’s happened is a sort of shift from building for platforms to building for an audience,” said Chevalier. “It’s about really returning back to the basics of building authentic connections with your audience through the content you’re creating.”

In 2018, many brands brought influencers in-house, including L’Occitane and Birchbox. Brands are using one of two different models. They’re either creating an influencer team to manage all aspects of campaigns independently or hiring a manager to strategize influencer marketing and continuing to leave the bulk of the work with external agencies.

For example, Reebok hired Purvi Patel as their senior manager of influencer marketing and operations to develop a team to handle the brand’s digital influencer marketing campaigns. In order to review the hundreds of influencers, Reebok uses agencies and other tools to do the pre-vetting work.

“Many brands still look for that one celebrity they can lock up in a contract in sponsorship, but now there is an opportunity to increase; to build an influencer network that helps you get your story out across thousands,” said Neil Patil, CCO of Tubular Labs.

Large brands may still be aiming for large- or macro-influencers, but their smaller equivalent—micro-influencers—play an important role going forward. Micro-influencers are cheaper and more approachable with follower counts in the range of 1K to 100K.

A study by Markerly found that micro-influencers have better engagement. Still, some believe it’s not how big or small an influencer is, it’s all about what is best for your brand.

“It really doesn’t matter the level of the talent, it depends on the idea and once you have the idea if you would like it to involve mommy bloggers or local smaller reach talent—if it matches your idea great—those same lower-level talent are going to reach 7 to 25 percent of their fan camps, so it’s a mathematical process,” said Steve Ellis, CEO and founder of WHOSAY.

“You can have one person with a million followers to reach 7 to 25 percent of their followers or you can have 1,000 people with 1,000 followers reach the same 7 to 25 percent. Frankly, it’s hard to manage 1,000 people, but ultimately the math is uniform.”

Transparent, Authentic Content

One thing has been really clear this year: transparency is vital. The Federal Trade Commission ruled paid advertisements must be disclosed by influencers to clearly reveal their relationships to brands. They sent more than 90 letters to marketers and influencers to remind them that they need to “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationship to brands.”

Instagram created the “paid partnership” tag for posts and stories to make it clearer to users when the content is sponsored. However, it seems some brands and influencers aren’t sticking to the rules.

Most recently, beverage company Diageo was accused of running a noncompliant Cîroc influencer campaign. Truth in Advertising (TINA) along with the FTC felt Sean “Diddy” Combs and other influencers failed to properly disclose connections to Cîroc. If the accusations are found to be legitimate it could hurt consumer trust.

This situation is not shocking. Last year, Diddy got a letter from the FTC reminding him of the ad disclosure rules and Diageo got one from TINA for undisclosed Cîroc ads with DJ Khaled.

However, it’s getting more complicated. The Atlantic recently published a story about Instagrammers posting fake sponsored content and staging fabricated ads to get the attention of brands in hopes that they get their first sponsorship deal.

There is an aspirational quality to many influencers and the “influencer” experience is so ingrained in popular culture that everyday people want the feeling of being one—and the perks that come with it.

In October, Sephora hosted the beauty retailer hosted its first Sephoria House of Beauty in Los Angeles which drew crowds with its bevy of samples, Instagrammable activations, master classes, product customizations and celebrity appearances. It was also a chance for Sephora to learn more about their customers and beyond just making a transaction—every attendee had an RFID tag to track engagement.

Going Forward

“Authenticity” will be the most important word for influencer marketing in 2019. For a campaign to be successful it must feel or be genuine.

Payless’ fake luxury boutique Palessi is an example of influencer marketing gone wrong. Attendees didn’t know they were looking at actual Payless shoes marked up at a much higher price. One good thing is that the shop didn’t keep any of the money from the purchases, but it didn’t leave a good impression on millennials according to YouGov.

Influencer marketing will continue leaning towards video and live streaming—it’s hard to fake “authenticity” in real-time. With this in mind, look for “genuine” influencers to continue to thrive.

“We like to think of it as quality views, where people are actually making the choice to watch your content and stay engaged for quite a long time. There are real people at the other end of it,” said Nate Harris, marketing manager for CreatorIQ.

Instagram is currently the main platform for influencer marketing, but emerging channels such as TikTok could become a strong competitor.

Advancement in measurement and other technology will also lead the way in the evolution of influencer marketing.

“When we got into the business back in 2014, the primary metric that we could report to our clients was impressions. Less than five years later, a consumer can see an influencer’s ad on social media and we can track—in an anonymized and consented fashion—if they went into a store, how long they dwelled there, and in some cases, if they even made a purchase,” said Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential, a social intelligence company.

“2019 will be the year of attribution. The Holy Grail for marketers is being able to measure if their marketing spends led to getting shoppers into a store and ultimately making a purchase.”

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Sara Lee Names Chief Marketing Officer; Burberry Names CMO

This week’s executive shifts include a new chief marketing officer for Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, PepsiCo’s new CEO line-up, Burberry’s new CMO, Clorox’s new GM for Nutranext, Native Instruments’ new CMO, a new marketing chief for Eve Sleep, a newly created global head of digital marketing role for BNP Paribas Asset Management, a CMO for Wynn Resorts, IFB appoints a chief marketing and strategy officer and Valiant Entertainment says goodbye to its senior marketer.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery Names CMO

Ryan Malone has joined Sara Lee Frozen Bakery as chief marketing officer. Malone brings over 25 years of food company experience and joins Sara Lee from McCain Foods USA, where he served a number of roles including senior director of marketing.

Malone held several marketing roles at Kellogg Company and Kraft Foods where he worked on iconic brands like Pop-Tarts, Special K and Maxwell House. He also worked for Kronos Foods in both sales and marketing leadership role.

Burberry Names Chief Marketing Officer

Rod Manley has been appointed chief marketing officer at Burberry effective January 1, 2019. Manley joins the brand from Calvin Klein where he served as executive vice president of influence marketing and communications.

Manley also previously held a position at Giorgio Armani.

Blumhouse Pegs Netflix PR For New Marketing Head

Karen Barrigan is joining horror producer Blumhouse as its new head of marketing and communications. Barrigan was the vice president of publicity for Netflix original series, including House of Cards.

Fisher And Paykel Appoints Head of Marketing

Appliance brand Fisher and Paykel has appointed Richard Babekuhl to the role of head of marketing. Babekuhl joins the brand from KitchenAid, where he served as marketing director. He brings over 17 years of experience to the role, including various positions with Breville and Electrolux

IHeartMedia Appoints SVP Of Marketing

Eric Hadley has joined iHeartMedia as the new senior vice president of marketing. Hadley brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience to the role—he most recently served as chief marketing officer for GroundTruth and his career includes Microsoft, The Weather Channel and Outbrain.

Geico Promotes For VP Of Marketing

Geico’s assistant vice president of marketing Joe Pusateri has been promoted to vice president of marketing, the company announced Thursday.

BMW Names Head Of Brand Management

BMW has appointed Jens Thiemer as its new head of brand management. Thiemer joins the automobile manufacturer from Mercedes-Benz, where he served as vice president of marketing and then later CMO.

Speaking on the appointment, Pieter Nota, BMW brand sales boss, said: “I am delighted that Jens Thiemer, a highly experienced marketing specialist, is joining us at this time. Our joint goal is to achieve a seamless brand experience for our customers, across all touchpoints.”

Boxed CMO Joins Clorox As Nutranext GM

Jackson Jeyanayagam has been hired by Clorox to be the vice president and general manager for Nutranext direct-to-consumer operations. He joins the consumer goods giant from Boxed, where he served as chief marketing officer.

His career includes a number of CMO advisory positions and he spent a year as head of digital marketing for Chipotle.

Native Instruments Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Paul Jeszenszky has joined music production and DJ technology brand Native Instruments as its new chief marketing officer. Jeszensky brings over a decade of marketing leadership experience to the role and most recently served as growth officer for pet-sitting network Rover.com. His career includes marketing roles for eBay, Google and Airbnb.

As chief marketing officer, Jeszensky will oversee Native Instruments’ global marketing and communications strategy to drive its growth under the brand message of “anyone can make music.”

Atlantic Records UK Promotes For Marketing Director

Callum Caulfield has been promoted to marketing director of Atlantic Records UK. Caulfield joined the music label in 2012 as senior marketing manager and worked his way up the ranks to head of marketing in 2016. Prior to joining Atlantic, he held marketing roles at Mercury Labels and Columbia Records.

“He will no doubt drive us into a new era of greater personalized marketing and authentic story-telling,” Atlantic Records UK general manager Katie White said in a statement.

PBS Distribution Creates Marketing VP Position, Taps Former AMC Exec

PBS Distribution has appointed Jen Robertson to the newly created role of VP of marketing. Robertson joins the brand from Global Series Network International’s Walter Presents, where she served as GM. Her career also includes 15 years at AMC Networks, most recently as SVP, digital media and business development, for WE tv.

Eve Sleep Names Chief Marketing Officer

Eve Sleep has appointed Cheryl Calverley as its new chief marketing officer. Calverley joins the DTC mattress company from the Automobile Association, where she served as marketing director. Her experience includes senior marketing roles at Unilever and Birds Eye Iglo.

Houston Symphony Welcomes New CMO

The Houston Symphony named Gwen Watkins as its new chief marketing officer effective January 2, 2019. She most recently served as associate head of marketing and communications for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

BNP Paribas Names Global Head Of Digital Marketing

BNP Paribas Asset Managment as appointed Hilda Tingle as the global head of digital marketing in a newly created role beginning January 7. Tingle joins the financial giant from JP Morgan, where she served as head of digital engagement. She brings over 20 years of experience to the position.

“. . . Hilda’s expertise in areas including marketing automation and digital strategy and transformation will be invaluable as BNP Paribas Asset Management continues to enhance its digital capability,” commented BNP Paribas CMO Roger Miners.

Dunkin’ Brands Promotes For Marketing SVP

Tom Manchester has been promoted to senior vice president of integrated marketing for Dunkin’ US. Manchester has worked with Dunkin’ Brands for 17 years and most recently served as vice president of field marketing, leading the brand’s sports marketing initiatives.

In this new role, Manchester will be responsible for culinary innovation, consumer insights, brand marketing and field marketing.

CraftWorks Names Chief Experience Officer

Josh Kern has joined CraftWorks Holdings as chief experience officer (CXO). Prior to joining the restaurant brand, Kern served as chief marketing officer for Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts, the nation’s largest franchisees of Outback Steakhouse.

In this new position, Kern will oversee strategy, marketing and digital for CraftWorks’ portfolio of brands, including Logan’s Roadhouse, Rock Bottom Restaurants Inc. and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group Inc.

IndyCar Appoints New Company President

IndyCar has promoted Jay Frye to company president. Frye joined Hulman & Company, the parent of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in 2013 as chief revenue officer and most recently held the position of president, competition and operations.

WeAre8 Names Chief Marketing Officer

Danny Tawiah has joined the executive team at WeAre8 as chief marketing officer. Tawiah previously served as vice president of global digital brand innovation at Nike.

Speaking on the new hire, Sue Fennessy, founder and CEO of WeAre8, said: “Danny has a natural gift for creating deep emotional connections between people and brands, and his incredible vision and storytelling ability will be a major asset to our partners and clients as they invite millions of people to help tell their brand story.”

Wynn Resorts Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. has named Scott Moore as its new chief marketing officer effective January 2, 2019. Moore joins the company from Augeo, where he served as chief operating officer for just over a year. His experience also includes owning his own consultancy firm and serving as senior vice president of marketing for Best Buy.

IFB Appliances Names Chief of Marketing, Strategy

Niladri Datta has joined IFB Appliances as chief marketing and strategy officer. Datta previously served 15 years at LG India, most recently as head of corporate marketing.

Valiant Entertainment’s Senior Marketer Exits

Senior marketing and communications manager Victoria McNally has exited Valiant Entertainment, she confirmed on Twitter. McNally held marketing communication roles at the comic book publisher for just over a year. Prior to joining Valiant, McNally worked as an entertainment writer for outlets like Nerdist, Bustle and MTV.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 21. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

Executive Director, Chief Marketing Officer Lenovo Chicago, IL
Global Head (CMO) of Print Marketing HP Palo Alto, CA
Vice President, Marketing Strategy and Project Management Paramount Pictures Hollywood, CA
Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Origins North America Estée Lauder Virtual, USA
Head of Integrated Marketing, Fire TV Amazon Seattle, WA
VP, Retail Marketing Yamaha Buena Park, CA

Make sure to check back for updates on our Careers page.

TAG: Brand Safety Initiatives Yield Higher ROI; Companies Invest Up To $7M Yearly

If you think brand safety was a hot topic in 2018, get ready for a scorcher in 2019. The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) published a white paper that outlines the four elements of brand safety as well as predictions, challenges and strategies for the year ahead.

“Defining Brand Safety: Execution Challenges” is the second in a series of joint white papers with the Brand Safety Institute, and explores the growing concern among marketers and explains what steps are being taken. TAG interviewed a “number” of marketers and agency buyers to gauge the current environment and how leaders are planning brand safety initiatives for the new year.

Investing in brand safety initiatives results in higher ROI for some marketers, TAG found and can lead to more transparent collaboration with agencies. TAG claims that its paper was the first to quantify brand safety investment, finding that large agency holding companies spend between $3-$7 million annually on fixed-cost brand safety expenses.

Two dozen companies helped TAG define what brand safety is. They concluded that brand safety “describes the controls that companies in the digital advertising supply chain employ to protect brands against negative impacts to the brand’s consumer reputation associated with specific types of content, criminal activity, and/or related loss of return on investment.”

Four areas received the highest responses in terms of what brand safety includes: association with criminal activity, content association and adjacency, brand partners, and data privacy and security. Content adjacency or content analysis was identified as the most difficult of the four major issues to execute, in part due to the lack of market guidance and tools available.

In addition to an agreed-upon definition, marketers and agency buyers shared how they are investing in a long-term strategy. Marketer education and organization were lacking, TAG found, and there is a gap between internal structures devoted to the task of brand safety.

“If marketers get this wrong, everyone loses,” Lou Paskalis, Bank of America’s SVP of enterprise customer engagement and investment executive said in the white paper. “Brand safety is a task which is never over because it’s dynamic and multifaceted. As such, you need to build an infrastructure that ensures that you’re able to respond immediately when something new happens.”

Alongside its white paper, TAG announced the foundation of its Brand Safety Institute (BSI) Editorial Board. The Board, which includes two dozen senior executives, which will help design the brand safety curriculum for BSI’s accreditation program for corporate executives.

Brand representatives joining the BSI Editorial Board include the 4A’s, IAB UK, IAB Tech Lab, ISBA, JICWEBS, and TAG as well as Adobe, Bank of America, Facebook, IPG Mediabrands, GroupM, Oracle Data Cloud and Pandora.

Report Shows Growth In DMP Usage

Data management platform (DMP) tools are becoming more valuable for marketers to gain valuable information about their audience and help target prospective customers. Many publishing and marketing organizations use a DMP, but many are also using their own tools and some still seek support.

Lotame—a DMP provider—announced additional information to its recent report Data Activation & Success Report released in November. It surveyed over 300 senior decision-makers in marketing and digital media to analyze how these companies leverage audience data and determine success.

The report found almost 80 percent of respondents said their organization gathers audience data using a DMP and about 29 percent use a demand-side platform (DSP) and DMP hybrid tool. Just 42 percent leverage their own tools and a mere 14 percent use a customer data platform (CDP).

When it came to the feeling of support, 38 percent of businesses reported that their DMP offers “a great amount” of service and 39 percent believe they got only a “fair amount” of support and it could be improved. Only seven percent of those surveyed felt their vendor did everything for them.

“Research finds that audience data is still underleveraged by publishers and marketers,” said Jason Downie, Chief Strategy Officer at Lotame. “For all these organizations, data strategy development, management and execution require sizable investments in talent and technology—and many simply don’t have the in-house capabilities or infrastructure.”

The initial study found 69 percent of respondents collect audience data, but 31 percent still don’t have the resources and education to do so, mainly having problems with an internal resource in place. Additionally, those who collect data about 78 percent want it as a managed service instead of in-house.

The top reason respondents use audience data was to “make my content or messaging more relevant”—60 percent—and the second most important reason was to improve campaigns. For marketers, brand loyalty, increase in ad performance and increase in purchases were the main metrics for data success.

Marketers worry about advertising waste, especially in the digital space. Four years ago, Google found more than 56 percent of ad impressions are never seen by consumers and in 2015, Proxima estimated 60 percent of worldwide marketing budgets were being wasted because of ad fraud, ad blocking and poor targeting. That’s why brand loyalty is key in order to remain successful, especially with the recent data breaches.

“At the end of the day, people, strategy and execution should come before software,” said Downie. “As more publishers and marketers invest in audience data collection and activation and the market becomes increasingly competitive, it’s imperative for DMPs to provide high-quality support for these organizations to help them be successful.”


Every Publication Wrote “How To Delete Facebook” Articles; Snapchat Brings Back Big Ben

This week in social media news, every publication tells you how to delete your Facebook, Snapchat brings back Big Ben, Facebook knows your location even when you think they don’t, Snap gets another new Spectacles boss, influencers are posting fake branded posts and TikTok hits 500 million users.

Every Publication Writes “How To Delete Your Facebook” Article

Nearly every publication and their mother wrote a “How To Delete Your Facebook” article in the last 24 hours. Is this a sea change we haven’t seen before?

Why it matters: With the continuous stream of bad news for Facebook, the brand has seen massive damage to it’s reputation in 2018. There have always articles about what to do when you delete Facebook, but this feels different. If users leave, marketers are sure to follow.

Details: In the wake of yesterday’s Facebook news meltdown, publications like Fortune, USA Today, Slate, Newsweek, NBC News all ran “How To Delete Your Facebook”-type articles. Sure, they are re-upping old articles for clicks, but with each consecutive drop of bad news for Facebook, we get closer to people actually leaving the platform. Remember, it seemed not too long ago, that MySpace would be around forever. 

Snapchat Brings Back Big Ben With AR Filter

Snapchat debuted a Big Ben AR filter and it even chimes every 15 minutes.

Why it matters: For Londoners who miss seeing the old clock, the AR filter offers a bit of reprieve. This is fairly unique for Snapchat, in terms of highlighting a monument in its actual space. However, they collaborated with Jeff Koons a few years ago on something similar.

Details: As reported by The Daily Mail, Snapchat brought back Big Ben with an AR filter, showing the large clocktower enveloped in a snow globe. The clock is under restoration for at least four years and currently covered in scaffolding.

Facebook Knows Your Location, Even When You’ve Turned It Off

Users can’t really control Facebook’s location settings and this is not good news for marketers serving ads.

Why it matters:  Facebook’s advertising principles and even announcements from the VP of ads say that its ad preferences tool allows you to control your ad experience, but a post on Medium reveals its deceptive to users and advertisers. The company doesn’t supply any real controls and this can be very damaging to advertisers. No one wants to get ads related to a private location, such an abortion clinic, and get ads for baby clothes while using the platform.

Details: The reporter found that even when Location Services was set to “never,” she still got ads targeted to the city she lives in, works and even traveled to.  What’s even more alarming is that her profile didn’t contain her current city or any recent pictures.

Snap Has A New Boss for Its Spectacles Unit

Snap’s hardware unit–SnapLab–is getting a new boss once more, the third one in the last six months.

Why it matters:  The Spectacles haven’t been very popular. There were initially long lines to buy them, but the product turned out to be more of a fun gadget, only selling about 220,000 pairs. However, Snap’s CEO believes the Spectacles are important to Snap’s future plans.

Details: In February, Steen Strand will head the unit in charge of its Spectacles photo and video sunglasses. The current leader, Sahil Sharma, assumed the post in July. There has been a lot of turnover in SnapLab since the spectacles came out in 2016 and the change comes right after Snap announced it’s releasing the third version of its Spectacles.

Influencers Faking Sponsored Content To Look More Credible

Promoting products is a sign of a successful influencer and many are “faking it till they make it” to attract brands because it’s so hard to get that first sponsorship deal.

Why it matters: FTC disclosure has been a hot-button issue this year. But, when influencers create “free” posts, it can put a brand at risk. Some brands like free promotion, but see it as a brand safety issue.

Details: The Atlantic published an article titled, “Rising Instagram Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content,” detailing how influencers go about attracting brands by posting fake branded posts. Some brands believe that reaching out to these fake brand ambassadors is worse than ignoring them.

TikTok is Growing And It’s Time to Make Money

TikTok is planning its monetization strategy, as user numbers continue to increase—500 million so far. In September, the app was the most downloaded app in the US in both Google Play and App Store.

Why it matters: TikTok could be a portal for brands to communicate with China.  They’ve started experimenting with The Honey Partnership, a social media agency, and favorably running ads in its Asian market. It also launched its first major UK holiday marketing campaign this year, targeting Millennial and Gen-Z generations.

Details: In 2018, TikTok entered into a global partnership with MTV EMA awards as a streaming partner. It’s curating its own influencers such as body painter Vicky Banham, who has gathered about 1.3 million followers. Stefan Heinrich, TikTok’s head of global marketing told The Drum that they’re still investing “heavily in the user experience.”

Facebook Learned the Hard Way, Now They’re Vetting Political Ads in India

Facebook is looking ahead to India’s general election in 2019 and planning an offline process of vetting locations and identities of political advertisers.

Why it matters: Recently, Facebook announced they would enforce stricter controls on political ads. This year they opened a public archive that lets users see the buyers of political ads in order to be more transparent. It’s part of the effort to gain back trust after the 2016 Us Presidential elections.

Details: The social media giant reportedly wrote an email to Indian advertisers and agencies to send proofs of who they are if they want to advertise on Facebook. They will also be visited by an India-based team for authentication. Any advertiser who wants to run an ad must confirm their identity and location.

A New Report Shows Sweeping Analysis of Russia’s Disinformation Campaign

A draft obtained by The Washington Post offers new information explaining how Russians, working at the Internet Research Agency, used social media platforms to target messaging to help elect Trump.

Why it matters: The research—prepared for the Senate—is the first to analyze the millions of posts by Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election. It’s the latest evidence that the Russians directed their efforts at getting conservatives amped-up on gun rights and immigration issues.

Details: The research, by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, was gathered from data provided by Facebook, Twitter and Google. However, the authors emphasized the social platforms’ “belated and uncoordinated” response to the disinformation campaign. They also targeted African American voters by spreading deceptive information on how to vote in order to help Trump win.

Facebook’s ‘Clear History’ Feature Taking Longer Than Expected

Facebook announced its product “Clear History’ in May, but Facebook users won’t see it for a few more months.

Why it matters: The feature will let Facebook users the ability to clear the browsing history connected to their profile. Browsing data is crucial to target people with advertising, but the issue of privacy is really important to Facebook—especially after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal—and this delay isn’t the best news for the company.

Details: According to a story published by Recode, it might take a whole year between the feature announcement and product testing. Facebook pointed out there are two technical challenges. One is that the company’s data is not always stored the same way it’s collected and the second is that they store browsing data by date and time, not by which user it belongs to.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 21. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Google Leverages ‘Home Alone’ Nostalgia For Voice Assistant Marketing

Google is capitalizing on a holiday classic to demonstrate its virtual assistant. “Home Alone Again” stars Macaulay Culkin as an adult Kevin McAllister who still has a few tricks up his sleeve—and one of them is Google Assistant.

A new holiday campaign for Google’s connected products launched on Wednesday with a parody of the 1990 film Home Alone. Now 38 years old, McAllister wakes to find himself once again alone in the house but this time, he has Google Assistant to help out. He recreates key scenes from the original film—jumping on the bed, using aftershave, ordering pizza and staging a fake party to discourage burglars. Each of the scenarios now includes a Google device that helps make the process easier, from setting reminders to wash the sheets and order aftershave to reading one’s schedule and turning on home automation.

The campaign runs through January 3 and will be distributed across broadcast, digital, social, and movie theatres. In the meantime, Google Assistant users can access Home Alone Easter eggs by asking the following questions:

  • Hey Google, how much do I owe you?
  • Hey Google, did I forget something?
  • Hey Google, the Wet Bandits are here.
  • Hey Google, it’s me Snakes. I got the stuff.
  • Hey Google, I’m the man of the house.

Google Assistant’s creative team paid special attention to the original film down to framing the shots, decorating the sets and shoot sequences. Google displays side-by-side shot comparisons and a look behind the scenes here.

Nearly 30 years after its release, the movie continues to capture audience attention and creates nostalgia for multiple generations. In fact, Google reports that consumers search for Home Alone every year. Interest in the title spiked 1900 percent in a month last December, with the highest traffic occurring Christmas Day.

Nostalgia gives consumers a sense of security in that it’s a brand or product they already know and love. As we continue to enter an “Emotional Economy,” tugging at the consumers’ heartstrings will become more of a priority for marketing leaders in the future.

Twitter Releases Best Brand Moments Of 2018

Twitter’s released their ‘Best of’ 2018, recognizing brands that stood out on the platform this year with humor or engagement—or found other interesting ways to use the platform. Ryan Oliver, Twitter’s head of US/Canada brand strategy, selected the winners, which include KFC, Wendy’s and Budweiser. Sections include ‘Best 6-Second Video,” “Best Launch Moment,” and “Best Brand Purpose.” Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Best Brand Voice: @KFC

KFC made a lot of headlines this year, from its chicken scented log to streetwear, it’s no surprise they made the platform’s ‘best of’ list. The moment that stood out to Twitter was when KFC live-tweeted General Hospital. Many followers asked for more, one fan replied, “I hope you keep this up.” Twitter also applauded the Colonel’s comeback on the platform.

Best Digital To Physical Activation: @SiliconHBO

Silicon Valley made fun of the boom in food delivery apps by creating their own called “SliceLine.” Much like Priceline, the popular travel site, it finds users the cheapest choices with an added bonus: drone deliveries. On the premiere of Silicon Valley’s fifth season, HBO used Twitter to deliver pizza to fans who used the #SliceLine hashtag, some actually received their food via drone.

Best Banter: @Wendys and @LittleDebbie

Wendy’s is known for its snarky Twitter voice and beefing with other fast-food spots. Oliver says Wendy’s is top dog when it comes to it, “NOBODY is better at Twitter banter.” The hamburger joint’s “Twitter talk show” with Little Debbie won this category. Using the same talk show format, we saw Pop Tarts and Moonpie jump into the fun conversation.

Best 6-Second Video: @Tide

Earlier this year Tide won a Grand Prix Cannes Lions and Twitter’s first #BrandBowl with their “It’s a TideAd,” which spoofs most stereotypical TV ads. The commercial came back during early in the NFL season using famous players and Fox’s entire on-air personality team. Sports Analyst Mike Pereira used the telestrator not to mark-up a football replay, but to show how clean a football player’s white pants were.

Best Use of Creators: @NBAonTNT

Grassroots meets Twitter. The NBA on TNT partnered with Niche, the platform’s creator community, to work with local artists in key NBA cities. The artists, from places like Boston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia shared their art via social media and it was featured in NBA Tip-Off OOH ads. The beautiful artwork was also shown on Twitter in a “Heart to Remind” campaign.

Best Brand Purpose: @nike

Nike’s Kaepernick ad was among the most groundbreaking of 2018. The black and white photo of Kaepernick’s face with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” stirred a heated conversation throught the platform and the country.

Best Event Activation: @budweiser

Budweiser was the most-mentioned brand on Twitter during this summer’s World Cup. It’s Man of the Match polls let fans vote for their favorite player during each match. Budweiser generated 115 billion impressions as a result of the polling activation, a combined effort by FIFA, Twitter and Bud.

Best Launch Moment: @heinzketchup_us

Mayochup, a combo of ketchup and mayo, got a lot of buzz in 2018. The concoction generated one billion impressions in the first 48 hours of launch. Someone tweeted a photo of the product from a Kuwait grocery store and it turned into a Twitter debate on whether it should be sold in other countries. This gave Heinz the idea to create a Twitter poll asking if Mayochup should be released in the US with over 500,000 voting yes.

CMO Council: European Marketers Fail To See Path Between Social Media, CX

Social media channels offer a real-time look into consumer experience, but many European brands don’t bother to listen, according to the CMO Council. Failure to view social engagement as anything but a free marketing push is costing European brands the contextual and personalized engagement they need.

The CMO Council published a new report this week called “Turn Up The Volume: Rethinking Where and How Customer Voice Enhances Experience.” Statistics include insights from 150 marketers across Europe, with 42 percent of respondents in charge of organizations with revenue in excess of $500 million.

Nearly a quarter of European marketers surveyed admitted that they do not have a strategy in place to listen on social media. Just 27 percent said they actively listen for the voice of the customer, while another 36 percent listen with a limited scope.

When asked how their respective organizations view social media channels, 64 percent consider them to be PR amplification tools and just over half—55 percent—see them as a free push for marketing. Just 35 percent see social media as a “critical listening post to gather customer voice.”

“It is sobering to see that even in this age of omnichannel real-time engagement, so many organizations choose to view social as a free push tool and not a megaphone leveraged by customers who fully believe brands are already listening,” noted Liz Miller, CMO Council’s SVP of marketing.

To be fair, not all customers expect social engagement from a brand at all. According to the CMO Council’s own 2017 consumer study, social media was considered a critical touchpoint by just 27 percent of consumers.

Just because a consumer isn’t expecting a brand to listen, however, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Marketers should not assume that consumers aren’t sharing relevant information. Even if social posts aren’t about the brand itself, customers are having conversations about what matters to them, the CMO Council notes.

Collecting information directly from the consumer was named the top challenge among European marketers at 40 percent, followed by “translating words into insights on intention” at 39 percent. Other concerns included the ability to understand noise vs. signal, managing the flood of data from all touchpoints and adding voice into the customer view across the enterprise.

The solution to this problem may become apparent once brands correct misconceptions around social and data, the CMO Council asserts. Marketers were asked to identify what gaps are holding the organization back from better listening to and engaging with the customer in real time.

Respondents struggled to single out one issue that if resolved, would allow the organization to achieve success. At 18 percent, however, marketing leaders blamed budget more than talent, data, tech and measurement.

We’ve Reached Peak Branded Holiday Sweaters

It is safe to say that 2018 has seen the largest amount of branded swag from brands like Taco Bell and Pillsbury, just to name a few. The ironic holiday fashion piece has grown in popularity and has generated strong demand with consumers interested in buying limited edition merchandise or getting a chance to get free swag through giveaways on social media.

Branded Holiday Sweaters Prove To Be Popular

Tipsy Elves, known for making ugly sweaters, partnered up with Captain Morgan to create a line of ugly Christmas sweaters, onesies and leggings. Additionally, Tipsy Elves is the official sponsor of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on December 2, adding more reasons to purchase a sweater. Currently, three of the four sweaters are sold out.

Pillsbury’s holiday sweaters also saw high demand when they were released. The doughboy ugly Christmas sweaters went on sale on December 5 and quickly sold out, but the company gave fans a second chance to get the sweaters through a giveaway. The company encourages fans to wear the doughboy ugly sweater and share their photos on social media using the hashtag #Pillsbury.

Famed burger chain Whataburger also had highly popular holiday sweaters. The first batch of the bright orange sweaters—going for $42.99­–was gone immediately when they launched in November.

Miller Lite made its own ugly sweater and Dodge didn’t miss out on making its version of the holiday trend. 

IHOP also debuted its online shop PancakeWear dedicated to the breakfast item. Their collection includes leisurewear clothes and of course two Christmas sweaters. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of one piece and lounge pant will benefit children’s health and wellness charities.

Most recently, Windows announced its “softwear.” Their throwback sweater has the old Windows 95 logo which the company is giving away to a few lucky winners via Twitter.

Iconic music venue First Avenue released two holiday sweaters. The Minneapolis-based nightclub partnered with Ragstock. The neighboring clothing brand had an increase of “ugly sweater” related searches by 200 percent between 2012 and 2015.

“We’ve definitely noticed an uptick in bands releasing their own knits,” said Zach Nagle, eCommerce director at Ragstock. “With First Avenue being such a legendary venue, we thought they should have their own sweaters, too.”

Influencers Tap Into The Trend

Food and fashion marketers aren’t the only ones banking on the ugly sweater. YouTuber Felix ‘PewDiePie” Kjelberg teamed up with UglyChristmasSweater.com to create a line of holiday products. The black and red sweater features the Swedish star dressed as Santa. The PewDiePie line includes socks, jumpsuits and beanies.

The e-commerce site also collaborated with Fortnite star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins. There are three ugly Christmas sweaters with his logo. There is even a sales incentive; customers can use the code ‘Ninja’ to buy one and get one half off.