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TikTok Shares Case Study on How to Implement a Branded Hashtag Campaign

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Are you looking to add TikTok into your digital marketing mix? Wondering how you can tap into the key trends of the platform to maximize your messaging?

This week, TikTok has published a new case study which provides a basic overview of how to run one of the most successful promotional options on the platform – a branded hashtag challenge.

Branded hashtag challenges are just as they sound – brands create a specific hashtag linked to a video challenge, which they can then use to expand their messaging by facilitating an interactive, engaging video response campaign. That’s not necessarily easy – you can’t just come up with any idea and expect TikTok users to follow along. But if you can come up with an interesting, engaging idea, which enables users to provide their own creative takes, it can definitely have significant reach and brand awareness benefits.

The case study looks at ZALORA, a fashion eCommerce platform in Asia. ZALORA sought to use TikTok to promote its upcoming fashion festival in Singapore, so it worked with TikTok on a branded hashtag challenge to engage the TikTok community.

Set to the tune of the campaign’s custom Branded Music, ZALORA’s #ZStyleNow Challenge invited participants to flash a “Z” hand signal, which would trigger the guise of an instant outfit change. Plus, it was an opportunity for users to show off their wardrobe and inner fashionista to their world, which gelled perfectly with TikTok’s group of young audiences who use TikTok as their de facto platform for self-expression.”

Again, that’s not necessarily simple – you need an engaging idea, and ideally music, to get more people involved. And as you can see in this example, ZALORA also used a financial incentive to prompt further engagement, with a giveaway of up to $200 in ZALORA products per winner.

Zalora TikTok campaign

So while the concept is relatively straightforward, it does still require solid creative, and an added incentive will also help to further boost your promotion.

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In addition to this, ZALORA also ran a Brand Takeover ad, along with in-app banner ads.

“Ad creatives were thoroughly A/B tested and optimized using multiple variations, and consequently boosted the exposure of ZALORA’s Branded Hashtag Challenge, driving both new visitors to ZALORA’s website and ultimately new app installs.”

So it was a comprehensive campaign, beyond the basics – but the end result was that ZALORA’s Challenge videos were viewed nearly a million times, with 62,000 TikTok users engaging with the hashtag and posting videos for the challenge. 

The numbers show that TikTok can indeed be a good platform for maximizing reach, particularly with younger users. And with recent reports suggesting that TikTok viewing is now on par with YouTube among some audience subsets, it could be worth consideration.

But paid tactics aside, the real trick lies in identifying what will resonate with TikTok users, and what they’re likely to respond to with their own videos, expanding your messaging. The best way to get a handle on this is to use the app, and take into account what’s trending on the ‘Discover’ page, and how that might relate to your own messaging.

It’s the engagement and creativity that you can inspire in others that will ultimately dictate reach, with paid promotion adding an extra boost to your efforts.

You can read the full ZALORA TikTok case study here

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta’s Developing and ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

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Meta's Developing and 'Ethical Framework' for the Use of Virtual Influencers


With the rise of digital avatars, and indeed, fully digital characters that have evolved into genuine social media influencers in their own right, online platforms now have an obligation to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps.

The coming metaverse shift will further complicate this, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraise for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million in the app.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that this is not an actual person, which makes such characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be utilized 24/7, and can be placed into any environment. But that also leads to concerns about body image perception, deepfakes, and other forms of misuse through false or unclear representation.

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Deepfakes, in particular, may be problematic, with Meta citing this campaign, with English football star David Beckham, as an example of how new technologies are evolving to expand the use of language, as one element, for varying purpose.

The well-known ‘DeepTomCruise’ account on TikTok is another example of just how far these technologies have come, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where they could be used to, say, show a politician saying or doing something that he or she actually didn’t, which could have significant real world impacts.

Which is why Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because while there is potential for harm, there are also beneficial uses for such depictions.

Imagine personalized video messages that address individual followers by name. Or celebrity brand ambassadors appearing as salespeople at local car dealerships. A famous athlete would make a great tutor for a kid who loves sports but hates algebra.

Such use cases will increasingly become the norm as VR and AR technologies are developed, with these platforms placing digital characters front and center, and establishing new norms for digital connection.

It would be better to know what’s real and what’s not, and as such, Meta needs clear regulations to remove dishonest depictions, and enforce transparency over VI use.

But then again, much of what you see on Instagram these days is not real, with filters and editing tools altering people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal, or realistic. That can also have damaging consequences, and while Meta’s looking to implement rules on VI use, there’s arguably a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images as well.

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That’s a more complex element, particularly as such tools also enable people to feel more comfortable in posting, which no doubt increases their in-app activity. Would Meta be willing to put more focus on this element if it could risk impacting user engagement? The data on the impact of Instagram on people’s mental health are pretty clear, with comparison being a key concern.

Should that also come under the same umbrella of increased digital transparency?

It’s seemingly not included in the initial framework as yet, but at some stage, this is another element that should be examined, especially given the harmful effects that social media usage can have on young women.

But however you look at it, this is no doubt a rising element of concern, and it’s important for Meta to build guardrails and rules around the use of virtual influencers in their apps.

You can read more about Meta’s approach to virtual influencers here.





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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps


Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

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Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.



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