While You Were Working – May Wrap-up

Here’s the lowdown on what has been happening in digital, PR and marketing over the past month. We know you are busy so we have done the groundwork for you, from Facebook algorithm changes and the dark web to 5G technology, why we should make more meaningful connections and what is the fastest growing social media app that you have never heard of. It’s all been covered

Insights, News

Facebook groups and private connections

Facebook has built its success on being a social network, with its very foundations built around sharing experiences publicly and sending out news and alerts to a wider audience. However, due to changes in audience behaviour as well as the recent privacy scandal, Facebook is now concentrating on how to make its connections more private and giving users more ways to have intimate, meaningful connections. Is this the end of the newsfeed? No, it is more of a shift in focus in line with what the user wants. No one wants to privately air their life but rather form connections around shared interests with people that matter.

Facebook Groups have now been placed front-and-centre on the platform and will be a major focus as the social media platform attempts to win back trust. A redesign will help users discover new groups and make it easier and more appealing to participate in them. These spaces for like-minded people, encourage connections on a deeper level, not a transactional one.  Opportunities for brands are exciting, particularly in terms of customer service as well as research and insights. Travel brands can set up a group to focus on female solo travellers or a beverage brand can set up a group focusing on a particular spirit or wine varietal.  Wouldn’t you rather talk to those who care? Rather than those who you think care? Those who sign up for the group will be ready and willing to talk.


5G

There have been whispers for a while but last month Telstra announced they will be selling the first 5G device: the Galaxy S10 5G. This is very exciting to see real movement and development in the space, a step in the right direction. It might sound expensive (and that’s because it is!) but we all know how quickly these prices can drop. For most of us we will still need to wait a little while to get our hands on lightning-fast connections but it is exciting to catch a glimpse of the new communication options that will be available.

5G will bring us closer than ever before and improve content, gaming, interaction and so much more. Imagine having your shampoo in your shower alert you when it is close to running out or move the smart home technologies to the wider community with sensors monitoring conditions and making appropriate alerts or changes while you are walking down the street or driving on the road.


Connections That Matter

The most recent Sprout Session LIVE discussed the theme of connections – a hot topic right now! Trust, transparency and timing are all attributes to keep in mind when building connections whether online or in real life. Whether these connections are with other businesses, with customers or with potential customers it is important that communication is open, real and has relevance.

Transparency matters and helps build real trust, with trust being the foundation of all good relationships. Hiding behind smoke and mirrors can be smelt out a mile away, so being honest and open is the only way to go. It is also important to be authentic and illustrate that you are more than a faceless brand. In order to make your audience believe there is a real person behind the words it is important to also be empathetic. This proves you understand your customers, that you care about what they care about and that you have shared values – it is something that robots are not very good at!

The only way you will know what you customers care about is to listen to what they have to say. Be the customer, jump in their shoes to understand what they want. Connections are also important across the different components of your campaign. PR and social need to work hand in hand – we know when someone reads an article about a brand and it drives their curiosity, the next step for them will be to look at the brand’s social channels, long before the website. So, if the two things aren’t telling different parts of the same story, then you’ve lost the reason for using either. It is not a PR campaign or a Social campaign – it is one campaign with these as outlets.

What is TikTok?

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is the fastest growing social media app in the world with over 500 million users globally and over a billion downloads to date! Haven’t heard much about it in Australia? Well, you are about to hear a whole lot more from this short-form video app.  The content focuses generally on 15 second short form videos (but you can upload up to 60 sec). The snackable content normally comes from everyday people not just famous TV stars and the videos are entertaining, authentic and relatable. It is leading the trend away from ‘celebrity influencers’ and focusing on honest and raw content creators.

What is the benefit? Passion and connection. The app was only developed just over 2 years ago and has big plans for the near future starting with integrating ecommerce into the app to drive traffic to different platforms. This is huge for consumer brands, who doesn’t love a way to get shopping to their door quicker. Stay tuned… TikTok’s time is now!


The Darkest Web

There has been no shortage of robust discussion in the last 3 weeks with Vivid Ideas engaging curious minds. More than just a light show, Vivid Sydney 2019 gave visitors and Sydneysiders ring side seats to some of the most untouched topics.

The ultimate slashy, Australian lawyer, investigative journalist, author and dark web enthusiast, Eileen Ormsby opened a jaw-dropping dialogue about the power, pitfalls and privacy of the dark web. Her talk delved into why it was created, and how private citizens are using it side by side with some of the most experienced global crime fighters. Some people are there to keep their privacy intact. Others are there for far darker reasons.

When someone in the audience asks if she could flick a switch and shut down the whole dark web, without pause she responds with a resounding “absolutely not”. Eileen treads a fine line between expert and advocate for it. She says that education is key. Others just want the whole thing to disappear.

From unspeakable horrors to immoral purchases through to protection of citizen privacy and the application of Bitcoin, the dark web has created a conversation that we never knew we needed. The dark web speaks volumes about the companies we follow, and who in turn follow us without our knowledge. If the web is a big-data builder, surely the dark web is the biggest protector of this data?

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