Part (2/2) of Everything You Need to Know About the Evolution of Social Media
Table of Contents
Why is Snapchat more popular among teens and young adults? How to leverage it?
5.1 How Snapchat is different from FB and why was it adopted by teens 5.2 How disappearing snaps were the reason that made Snapchat popular 5.3 AR Content in Social Media, it’s future, and how brands are leveraging it
Why TikTok presence is a MUST and how to ace it if you are a B2C business
6.1 How did TikTok gain momentum, starting from Asia? 6.2 How to market your product via TikTok? 6.3 What kind of content works on Tiktok?
Responsibility of Social Media giants to curb fake news using technology
7.1 What is fake news and how WhatsApp, FB and Twitter curbing them using tech
A Step-Wise Guide to Leveraging Social Media and Content Marketing to Drive Engagement and Nurture Leads
8.1 Comparison: EMail marketing and messenger marketing 8.2 What is a chatbot and how can it be used to boost your business 8.3 Tools and platforms to design a chatbot
5. Snapchat more popular among teen and young adults and how to leverage it
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is an ephemeral messaging platform where the user can send photo, video and text messages that disappear after a few seconds of posting it. Facilitating one-on-one as well as group communications, Snapchat has created ground-breaking popularity of transient features in social media.
So much so that Facebook and Instagram have launched their versions of Snapchat’s trendiest features.
In addition to messaging, Snapchat also features “Stories” which may be replayed for 24 hours, after which they disappear. It is a transient take to the Feed and Posts on Facebook and Instagram where users can share moods, opinions or only photos.
“Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.” - Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder, Snapchat
History of Snapchat
The first version of Snapchat was found at Stanford University where the co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy met. They conceptualized an application that sends photos which eventually disappear, called Picaboo, launched for iOS users in 2011. This ushered them towards the issue that people could easily screenshot the disappearing photos and save them to their gallery, negating the entire purpose of ephemeral messages.
This was countered with a unique feature, where the users get a notification when the other person takes a screenshot of their snaps.
In September 2011, Spiegel and Murphy rebranded Picaboo as Snapchat, with an additional feature of adding captions, and re-launched the platform for the iOS users. Keeping distance from conventional marketing strategies, they focused more on the app’s technological innovations, which reflected in the app’s increasing features in the coming times.
In 2012, they expanded their user base to Android users as it launched on Google Play Store as well. By the end of the year, Snapchat users were sending up to 50 million snaps per day, following which, they rolled out a video recording feature where the user could record 10- second videos and send them across.
The constantly evolving platform walked into 2013 with bigger innovations in hand. They launched Stories- which was a transient narrative of photos and videos that can be viewed until 24 hours. This instantly took off as brands and users promptly engaged with this platform to share their whereabouts.
2014-2015 found Snapchat introducing engaging and interactive features, such as chats and Discover- which was a page where the users could access content from all sorts of publishers. It was also the year when they introduced lenses, using which people could take selfies with rainbows, puppy ears and a whole lot of creative visuals.
By 2016, Snapchat had rolled out Geofilters, which could be used to embellish users’ snaps according to what location they are in. Along with it came the Memories feature that let the users save content to post later.
Another innovation that they brought in collaboration with Bitstrips was Bitmoji- a customizable avatar that the users could use in chats or in snaps to express their feelings and moods. They also rebranded as Snap.inc (parent to Snapchat and Spectacles) and introduced Group Messaging features.
How popular is Snapchat?
To put things into perspective, this application has over 150 million people using the service each day, consuming about 800 hours of video content per second. As astounding as the statistics are, it is evident that the app has been warmly accepted and widely adopted.
A major chunk of Snapchat’s user base consists of teenagers and millennials, as a survey suggests that among the users between the age of 12 and 24, 68% used Snapchat the most.
Why is Snapchat that popular with teens?
Snapchat can be credited for a few fresh features that helped it to gain immediate popularity. How these features have helped it garner a massive acceptance with the teen-population is intriguing.
- Absence of the obligatory feed
Snapchat does not offer profiles or personal feeds, which does not emphasize a sense of self-presence. Feeds are very public, whereas teens incline towards a sense of privacy. An online presence can be pressured in many ways, so an interface with no feeds or reactions whatsoever may attract teenagers for obvious reasons.
- Truthful ad aesthetic
Spiegel, in 2012, in the very first blog post of Snapchat, explains the core of Snapchat’s popularity. He wrote, “we’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap”. This is one of those features that appeal to teenagers, who find themselves less pressured about their visual presence online.
- Creative and easy communication
With so much to creatively express through lenses, filters, snaps and disappearing texts, Snapchat presents a buffet of communication mediums. According to a survey, when asked about why users use Snapchat, half of the college students responded that Snapchat was a good medium to keep in touch and was easier than texting. A whopping 37% thought it facilitated more creativity than other platforms.
Did Disappearing Snaps do the trick?
To a great extent- Yes! In an age where Social Media has become the virtual documentation of a person’s life, the ephemeral messaging platform gave teenagers a breath of fresh air. At Snapchat, teens could share their photos freely, untroubled by the number of likes/reactions or the aesthetics of their profile-feed.
It gave them a human experience online, with a few memories that you could save just for yourself, and the rest that slips through your fingers once you have had them. This natural, self-destructing transience that emphasizes on ‘living in the moment’ seems to appeal to teenagers. It takes off the load of permanence and immortality that comes with internet and social networking. With additional tools to the camera, it allows the user to “create” content creatively, unfettered by the norms of aesthetics that come with profiles and feeds.
The disappearing nature of the content on Snapchat also fosters a sense of privacy. The sender can control for how long the receiver can view the snap (10 seconds max), after which it is gone. The user also gets notified when his/her content is viewed, and if it has been taken a screenshot of.
What is the role of AR in Social Media?
The inspiring and engaging filters and lenses in Snapchat us pushes towards a bigger discussion- Augmented Reality in Social Media. This application was one of the first platforms to bring AR closer to people, which became one of its biggest selling points to their target audience.
But when it comes to social media, augmented reality can be far beyond camera filters. The user-base of social media is beyond imagination, and features like AR give them a unique experience at the convenience of their smartphones. Brands and businesses need to match pace with the evolving social media trends to keep the attention of their users. As the competition for bigger brand awareness gets tighter, Augmented Reality is a great tool for businesses to give campaigns an extra edge. Needless to say, AR is the future of social media marketing.
How are brands leveraging AR for social marketing?
- Branded filters
As the young population indulges deeply into face filters, it is a great medium for promotion via AR filters. For instance, Taco Bell launched an AR filter that converted the user’s head into a taco. This weird but hilariously addictive filter caught up with the users like wildfire, with the internet flooded with taco-faced selfies with the Taco Bell logo at the bottom.
- Try and buy
Sephora and Lenskart seem to have used AR successfully to reach out to its users. It solved the common inconvenience of trying too many variants at a store to find the exact product of your liking. You can now try the products as AR filters at the ease of your Smartphone and choose for yourself. This is already doing great for the lipsticks at Sephora, which the users can virtually try before buying. This also can encourage impulsive buying, fuelled by the realistic experiences of AR.
- Boost engagement
With the help of AR filters, brands can provide users with unique experiences that promote their content or cause. Moving further from image promotions, AR can bring your content to life. This is exactly what Snapchat did to promote the Snap Original show. It brought the show to life via a filter where the protagonist interacts with the user as he/she would in real life. Such immersive and interactive experiences on social media could revolutionize how users engage with advertisements.
6. Why TikTok presence is a MUST and how to ace it if you are a B2C business
How did TikTok gain momentum, starting from Asia?
Since the time of its launch, TikTok has been a popular video-sharing app, especially amongst the Gen Z audience. The reason for their application’s popularity is mainly attributed to the type of content they host, which is short videos. Such short videos are ideal for teens whose attention spans are very short and get bored easily.
Also, TikTok is an ideal channel for teens who are at a sensitive phase of their lives where gaining attention from other people is an important goal of their life. What better way to do this than by creating and sharing videos displaying their acting and video capturing skills through an application?
Having started it in China a few years back, the founders of TikTok had never imagined the mammoth number of users they would garner outside the Chinese market over the years. As of today, India is the biggest market for TikTok.
A report states that in 2019, India accounted for nearly 277.6 million downloads that roughly translates to 45% of all downloads that year. The next countries on the list are China, with a paltry 7.4 million downloads and the US, with 6 million downloads. According to Statista, Asia Pacific leads the pack with nearly 36% global penetration.
Owing to its rising popularity in India, TikTok is currently supporting 15 Indian languages to cater to audience from different states of the country, which is again adding to the popularity of the application amongst Indian users.
If you are a B2C seller looking to market your product, you can think of starting your marketing activities from Tiktok. If you can reach even a fraction of TikTok users, you can successfully improve your brand awareness by a huge margin. But, how to market your product in a video-sharing app like TikTok? Let us find out in the next section.
How to market your product via TikTok?
An application with millions of users is any marketer’s dream platform to market products. To aid such marketers, TikTok offers multiple avenues to explore in our marketing journey. They are:
You can ask a popular TikTok user with thousands of followers to promote your product in one of their videos. Most of the time, such influencers will charge an amount to promote your market. We believe that spending on such influencers is money well spent, as you can improve the awareness of your brand amongst thousands of their followers.
Another option is to purchase ads that normally come up as soon as you open the app or appear as you scroll through the app. Though ads are a good option to target a wider variety of audiences as compared to using influencers, ads are available only in certain countries and that too with a very high price tag. Thus, it is not an ideal choice for you if you have a limited budget.
Build your profile
The simplest way to market your product is by building your profile and making multiple videos about your product. Though this will be a time-consuming process, it is the easiest and most cost-efficient one.
Now that you have seen the various options you have to market your product via TikTok, you must be wondering how different it is from marketing it over Instagram, which also lets you create videos and share them across your followers.
According to us, the answer lies in the level of editing that goes into a video in both the platforms. Unlike Instagram, the videos in TikTok are raw, simple and never follow a theme. Most often, such videos are filmed in your bedroom, garden or even your kitchen. The viewers of such videos do not expect classiness or even stupendous aesthetics as Instagram users would expect. All they look for in TikTok is to get entertained. Marketers have to identify ways to entertain, such an audience, and at the same time, promote their product.
But, if you are a marketer, the next question lingering on your mind must be, what kind of content sells on TikTok? The next section answers this question in detail.
What kind of content works in Tiktok?
Most of the target audience of TikTok is between the age group of 15-23. As a result, you need to carefully choose the content that is entertaining and will grab the attention of the users. There are several ways to achieve this. Here are some of them –
Hashtag challenges are one of the most popular forms of TikTok videos that have thousands of takers. For example, the #tumbleweed challenge by the US television personality Jimmy Fallon had millions of users engaging in it and thousands of submissions. In this, Jimmy Fallon challenged the users to upload a video involving them dropping to the ground and rolling like a tumbleweed.
Lip-syncing is another popular form of video content that sells well in TikTok. In this, the users lip-sync to popular dialogues from movies or songs to entertain their viewers. Such content is extremely popular as the viewers can easily identify themselves with the video, owing to the popularity of the dialogue or the music played.
In the same lines, short skits are also performed by many creators. Such skits again can depict a scene in a movie or completely an original creation. The creators try to display their acting and video capturing prowess in such videos.
Posting cringe videos is another option that works for TikTok. They are nothing but videos that show an embarrassing or disgusting moment recorded by the content creators. These videos are quite viral on the application as it is human tendency, especially in teenage years, to get entertained by seeing other people in awkward moments and feel a sense of pity for them.
Unlike the regular cooking videos that you see on other platforms, the cooking videos in this application are short, weird and entertaining. Many videos involve the content creators throwing ingredients around, using weird voices, having a peppy background song, etc. to make the videos more entertaining. These are some of the popular types of content that work well with TikTok audience. Marketers can utilize such content to create intelligent videos that are both entertaining and promotional.
7. Responsibility of Social Media giants to curb fake news using technology
Social media has given freedom of expression a new meaning. With this platform, every voice has the power to be heard- which unravels a few apprehensions. One of the biggest concerns lately has been fake news.
Fake news is news, rumours or hoaxes that are created and distributed intentionally to spread false information and deceive the recipients. Usually, fake news is created to influence the reader’s opinions, create misunderstandings, or to press a political agenda that profits the publisher.
Such stories generally look like credible sources by using similar layouts or names as trusted websites.
Such news can cause confusion and unrest among the people. Therefore, countries all around the world have dedicated laws to counter the spread of fake news and hoaxes. A few examples have been listed down below:
In Germany, the Network Enforcement Act, also known as the NetzDG, stands against the spread of fake news. With numerous social networking and media platforms under its jurisdiction, this law gives the publisher 24 hours post notification, after which he/she could be heavily fined.
In Malaysia, a publisher accused of hoax content could be fined up to 123,000$ and face up to 6 years of imprisonment.
Russia, which ranks 148 in terms of World Press Freedom index, implemented a right for the government to ban websites that do not comply with the notification to remove inaccurate information.
Various social media platforms have complied with this through preventive and regulatory measures:
It allows users to access data about the pages and history of its content (names used in the past, how often the name has been changed, etc.). One can also filter the ads and flag content on various grounds such as violent, sexually explicit, misleading, or any other criteria. Facebook has also deployed a third-party fact-checking program that flags content that has been posted in a misleading context- for example, a photo of a previous disaster claimed as a present-day event.
It is also working on a system of Alerts and Warnings wherein if you are accessing a story/content that has been previously flagged. You will be notified with an alert about the disputed content.
WhatsApp, which deploys end-to-end encryption, has proposed to use machine learning techniques to recognize malicious content. It was implemented as a testing method to identify fake ‘forwards’. The platform has curbed mass forwarding of videos and has limited forwarding of text to 5 people at a time. It also labels forwarded messages for the users to identify them.
It implements a verification badge to identify accounts with large followings, which helps users get in touch with the actual accounts of people and businesses. Instagram also has a ‘about this account’ feature which informs about the date of joining, the country where it if run from, common followers, etc.
It strategically separates social media content. Snapchat’s Discover section is limited to professionally edited content only. According to Snapchat, if, and when, a story gets hundreds of thousands of views, their team reviews the content. The temporary platform prevents the accumulation of misleading content.
Twitter ads are run transparently, telling the user if an ad was suspended and why. It is considering deploying AI programs to deal with fake news issues. If one searches for advertisers on Twitter running campaigns for federal elections, one will be able to see details like the identification of the organization that funds the campaign and ad-targeting demographics.
The role of social media in such a situation can be all the more pivotal. Social media giants all around the globe have been pressurized by the government to monitor the spread of misleading stories and hoaxes and curb unlikely incidents that arise due to them.
8. A Step-Wise Guide to Leveraging Social Media and Content Marketing to Drive Engagement and Nurture Leads
Comparison: Email marketing and messenger marketing
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending emailers to prospects. Through these emails, the digital marketer tries to close a deal and convert the prospects into a customer. Emails allow marketers to generate awareness about their product to multiple prospects in one go.
On the other hand, messenger marketing is the practice of using chat applications or chatbots to communicate with prospects and promote your product. Messenger marketing is an easy and quick way for marketers to reach millions of people across the globe. Customers prefer messengers over emails because they get their answers in minutes rather than waiting for hours to get a response over the emails.
The biggest difference between these two marketing methods is the open rates of the message. Messenger is a clear winner here as it enjoys a whopping 90% and above open rate while emails have an open rate of just 21.8%. Prospects are more prone to open chat messages owing to the assumption that chats are more personal and will be targeted only towards them rather than a large audience.
On the flip side, emails offer you the opportunity to convey a lot more information than a messenger. This makes it ideal for sending informative stuff such as newsletters or a beautiful graphic that you created for the latest promotion. Though it is achievable in a messenger, it will certainly not be the best user experience for the messenger users.
How to use the two to retarget prospects?
Both these marketing techniques can be used for retargeting your prospects. For example, messenger marketing or chatbots can be used to display abandoned cart notification to a user when they visit the website again after a few days.
However, retargeting the users through messenger marketing can work only if the prospect visits the website again. What if they don’t? That’s where emails come in handy. Retargeting using emails doesn’t have a prerequisite of a prospect visiting the website before.
The primary motive of retargeting is to collect maximum information about the prospect. This is much easier and quicker in a messenger than emails. To get their answers quicker, a potential customer gives more information than what they would give over an email.
How to urge quick completion of an order
A strategy that commonly works for both messenger marketing and email marketing is to have a call to action button within the body of the text. For example, have a checkout button in an email/ messenger to facilitate the quick completion of an order.
So, the next question is, how to implement messenger marketing? The answer is a chatbot. Let us get into details about it.
What is a chatbot and how can it be used to boost your business?
A chatbot is a classic example of conversational marketing. As the name suggests, conversational marketing involves striking up a conversation with a prospect and convincing them to purchase a product from you or solve any particular issue for them.
Conversational marketing is being preferred by most visitors to a website these days because it actually feels like a conversation. Also, conversational marketing builds a relationship and generates authentic experience for a visitor that can encourage them to purchase a product.
Businesses can use chatbots for various purposes including placing an order. For example, Domino’s pizza lets you customize your complete order with the help of a chatbot. This gives the visitor a feeling that he/she is talking to a real-life person, but at the same time, without the trouble of actually talking to him/her.
Chatbots can also be used to convey the latest announcement of your business. For example, announcing a promotion in the chat. Through this conversation, you can capture more details about the user and as a reward, you can give him/her a promo code to avail a discount.
Another popular application of chatbots is to suggest recommendations based on your previous browsing history. For example, chatbots can direct a customer to a product if he/she has been searching for a similar product in the past.
Some businesses use chatbots as a repository of information, or in other words, a conversational FAQs section. Visitors to the website often find it tiresome to navigate to the FAQs section and find their question and then the answer. Instead, if they can ask their question right at the screen they are in, they will have an excellent user experience.
How to use Kore.ai to develop a chatbot
When it comes to designing chatbots, kore.ai is a leading platform that helps you build chatbots. It is a powerful tool with ML and NLP capabilities for designing, creating, training and testing chatbots.
In this DIY guide, let’s see how to use Kore.ai to design a chatbot that can be deployed on Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, or your website. While the design of basic flow and conversation is the same, the methods to deploy them varies. In this tutorial, we will see how to design a chatbot and deploy that on Facebook messenger.
Step 1: Log in with your email id here: https://bots.kore.ai/botbuilder/login. This will take you to the basic information page where you have to submit your information and sign up.
You will get a verification mail on your email inbox that you have to verify by clicking it.
Step 2: After verification, you will be redirected here: https://bots.kore.ai/botbuilder
Based on your prior experience with chatbots, choose an answer. To understand the UI of the platform better, it is suggested that you choose the first option.
Step 3: After the onboarding screen, you will be directed to this window in the picture below, where you can choose the name of your bot. You can name the bot as per your choice and you can also choose the language for communication. In our case, we are using English as a medium of communication.
Also, you can choose the bot type. There are three available options, namely Standard Bots, Universal Bots and Smart Bots. For this project, we will see how to design a smart bot.
You can read more about the bot types here: https://developer.kore.ai/docs/bots/chatbot-overview/bot-types-2/
After you have selected the options, click on Create
This is the bot dashboard, where you can start with designing the workflow to automate your process.
Step 4: Select Bot Tasks and then select Dialog Tasks. Now choose a Name for the intent. Let’s say that we want to welcome our visitor, help them with basic information and collect their Name and Email Id. We will call the intent as ‘Welcome Task’
Step 5: Here, the use case is to acknowledge a message. So, it is pretty simple. Let us assume, based on quantitative data, that we know when a user sends a message, the first message is ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’ or ‘Hey’. Please note that if someone asks a question in the very first message, the bot will still display the answers programmed for Hi, Hey, Hello etc.
There are ways to control that, but as of now let’s just use this to keep it simple:
Anything the user says is an utterance.
For example, in this case, “Hi”, “Hey”, Hello”, is the utterance.
Step 6: After defining the Intent and connection, let us now define the output box.
There you go! Similar to this, you can create multiple flows, as per the business needs and use cases.
Here is the detailed documentation for deploying the bot on Facebook Messenger.