October 31, 2017:  Who’s #Hallowinning: FB tests secondary NewsFeed & new group features, Insta Live welcomes friends, Amazon’s Kindle gets a makeover, and UGC dominates.
Keep calm and boo on. Here’s what’s worth knowing this week: 

American Horror Story (Marketing Ed.)

Mo’ feeds, mo’ problems. Last week, Facebook began rolling out tests for a secondary News Feed that has brands and publishers spooked AF. The move essentially divides the original News Feed in two – restricting the primary News Feed to posts from friends and family while Explore, the secondary feed, would be for pages the user has liked (i.e. publisher & brand pages). But, not only does the primary News Feed still display ads and promoted posts, but brands are effectively shut out from this feed unless they are willing to pay-to-play. And, although brand posts are published in this Explore tab, it’s speculated that this feed won’t generate as much attention.

What it means, IRL: FB is taking the news out of News Feed. With FB dedicating the primary News Feed to friends & family only, where influencer content falls will depend on who they are and how they’re posting. Similar to brands and publishers, for mega- and macro-influencers publishing from their own verified pages, it’s likely their content will be limited to the Explore Feed (unless it’s paid, of course). However, micro-influencers and advocates, who post from their own personal and private pages, will get that VIP access to the original News Feed.

Make it work: Two feeds diverged in a wood and brands are taking the one less traveled, literally. For brands to have their content appear in all feeds (Friends, Explore, Video), marketers need to diversify their influencer marketing mix. Relying on a single influencer persona to create and curate brand content isn’t gonna cut it. To maximize your marketing efforts, brands should work across the spectrum of influence, leveraging influencers, advocates, referrers to create, co-create or amplify content.

What To Tell Your Coworker With A Resting Witch Face

If you’ve got it, haunt it – Insta now lets you go Live with friends. This new feature allows users to invite anyone who who’s watching to join their Instagram Live stream. Hoping to succeed where other live-streaming apps have failed, Insta Live grants hosts and guests equal face time via split screen. The feature opens up endless possibilities for brand content, influencer partnerships, and consumer engagement.

When it comes to creating compelling content in real-time, things can get real complicated real fast. The ability to go live with anyone is high risk, high reward. In order for brands have success with this new feature, proper planning is necessary. Looking for inspo? Influencers can co-host programming together, run Q&As with followers, share dual perspectives from high-interest events, etc. #SquadGhouls

And if you’re trying to get spooky

Tis’ The Season For Bootiful Makeovers

Last week, Amazon’s Kindle got a new look. The update, designed to make it easier to read and connect with friends, features a revamped streamlined design and a new ‘Community’ tab. The tab is integrated with Goodreads, a social reading network that Amazon cuffed back in ‘13. With Goodreads, users are able to see what their friends are reading & get recommendations, connect with people who like similar books and discuss books with others. This move follows a series of new features designed to integrate influencers’ and consumers’ social capital with Amazon’s purchase cycle, this time in the form of a next-gen book club.

Call it witchful thinking but, with the success of Amazon’s Kindle, it’s likely we’ll see Apple try and do something similar for iBooks. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Creepin’ It Real

User-generated content is making a splash overseas. Recently, English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur shifted their focus to user-generated content to drive eCommerce sales. In addition to launching an influencer marketing campaign aimed at driving overall engagement, the organization has also begun revamping their site to include product ratings & reviews. Tottenham’s eCommerce manager reported that 6.5% of traffic interacts with reviews and conversion rates are 3x higher for those who look at reviews compared to those who don’t, indicating that efforts to remove doubt increase consumer likelihood to buy.

Just A Bunch Of Hocus Pocus

Facebook is introducing new features for groups to make them feel more like communities. Group admins now have access to ‘welcome posts’ to introduce new members to the group and auto-tag new joiners. Also, new and improved member profiles allow group members to get to know each other better and provide insights into recent group activity.

What’s worth knowing is that it makes group admins or moderators identifiable. While these people may not outwardly have the most followers or engaging posts, they are definitely influential in their own ways among these niche groups – where ad targeting isn’t yet available. Make it work for your brand by surveying your own influencers and advocates to understand what groups they’re apart of and which groups they own, work with them to ID admins and moderators of that group, and co-develop brand content specific to that group or community.


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