The Social Voice: What’s Going on in the Social World?

The Social Voice: What’s Going on in the Social World?

As social media professionals, Social Spice likes to keep up with happenings in the social media and digital marketing world. We like to report on how people are using social from time to time so you can make your channels effective and stay aware of what’s happening online. This week we’re focusing on big stories in the digital world, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

Networks and studios relying on social media stars More television networks and film studios are bringing social media stars into their marketing strategies to help them reach younger audiences. The value these online stars hold is apparent from their vast following of devoted fans; advertisers know they can reach more people if they put someone who their target thinks is important in front of their faces. Universal Studios, among other companies, are using this method with stars to reach different audiences. The LA Times notes from a 2015 Nielsen survey that 66% of consumers “trust online recommendations from online stars.”

Engagements were noticeably increased when using social stars to promote films. Disney capitalized on this opportunity by animating Vine social star Zach King. They created an animated clip with him that received over 7.6 million views and more than 8,000 comments. So why is this so important? Obviously you want to expose your business and brand to as many eyes as you can reach, but there’s something more important to focus on here. The LA Times quotes King in saying, “Fans are definitely aware of when they’re being baited with promotional posts. It has to be something that is natural and fits with the persona of the creator.” You want to be able to create the natural feeling King describes instead of making your ad feel like its sole purpose is to lure you in.

You can attract and target various demographics by using the people they trust to create a natural relationship between the promotion and the person instead of creating a generic advertisement that people will immediately recognize and disregard.

Google’s new household gadget It’s no surprise that Google has sneaked its way into another one of our blog posts. The tech giant is constantly evolving and growing, and now they’re introducing something new – Google Assistant, which is “the company’s artificial intelligence bot that can do a wide variety of things, including answering queries and making restaurant reservations.”

Just as smartphone users ask Siri questions, Google has a similar thought in mind with Google Assistant. Instead of just answering questions though it will work to have a dialogue with the user – odd to think about having a conversation with your cell phone, huh? Google’s chief executive revealed that their goal is to “build a personal Google for each and every user,” and with this new release, we think they’re doing it. What’s more personal than a personal assistant?

Google also wants to compete with Amazon in creating Google Home – the Amazon Echo’s new contender. Google Home achieves a new level of personal by answering spoken questions, playing music from certain apps, such as Spotify or YouTube, and streaming from Netflix. We’re not surprised Google came up with an idea as elaborate and unique as this one; they have a way of surprising everyone with their genius.

The LA Times points out that even though Google often comes up with strong ideas like this one, their weakness tends to be in the hardware space. It seems that developing the hardware to accomplish their goals may be their biggest hurdle, especially since they’ve had trouble competing with Apple’s iPhone in the past. Google wants to continue to stay relevant in regard to users being able to access its information. They also need to continue gathering information and data to build the software and artificial intelligence to begin with. Ultimately, Lien argues that the more people use Google and its products, the more Google can gather data and become stronger as a business. We’re inclined to agree with her argument.

Yahoo spying on e-mails for the U.S. Yahoo was said to build a program to assist the U.S. government to scan millions of private e-mails. This raises a huge security and privacy question, but also makes us wonder why Yahoo kept it a secret in the first place. Hiding this information and building software to do the deed makes us wonder about the company’s motives.

The LA Times points out the distrust this creates between company and consumer, especially because consumers put their trust in companies to protect their information in exchange for customer loyalty. We think their actions reflect poorly on the company, especially in contrast to major industry competitors like Apple, which publicly declined the FBI access to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

What do you think about the rise of social media stars, Google products, and Yahoo’s security issues? Do you think social media is going to become even more personal now that advertisements are in disguise? Do you think we have more privacy issues to look forward to in the future?

Let us know your thoughts and get in touch with us if you want to create an online presence for your brand. Like we mentioned earlier – we’re the social media experts. We have the secret spice to unlock your success.