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What Worked on Social Media in a Month of Coronavirus

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MILAN — With social distancing and home isolation suddenly becoming a reality in many parts of the world, social media has strengthened its grip on people’s daily way of communicating and being informed.

According to DMR Group, which focuses on monitoring, tracking and analyzing data communication activities and public relations strategies for leading brands worldwide, in the period from March 2 to 29, more than 1.4 million posts were released by accounts relevant for the fashion, luxury, beauty and lifestyle industries across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The study, which monitored a panel of more than 25,000 social accounts, showed that the amount of content particularly spiked in the second week of March — up 7.9 percent — when Italy announced a lockdown, France shut down nonessential commerce and the U.S. declared a state of emergency

In general, Twitter registered the highest number of posts, totaling 608,400 compared with the 436,300 posts on Facebook and 380,300 on Instagram, which remained the most engaging platform.

The “Media and Journalists” accounts were the most active — with around a million posts — with an average increase of 5.8 percent, while celebrities and influencers’ social activity grew only 0.5 percent. As lockdowns corresponded to production and retailing activities closing in many countries, posts by brands and stores consequentially decreased 10.8 percent on average.

Engagement — which in this study comprises the activity of liking and sharing posts, but not commenting on them — mirrored this performance, as media and journalists’ accounts were the only ones registering an increase of 5.9 percent, while celebrities and influencers’ and brands and stores’ engagements were down 1.5 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively. Nevertheless, social personalities engaged 7 billion users versus 814.7 million people interacting with media accounts and 215.3 million ones engaging with brands and retailers.

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Out of the whole social activity, the surveyed accounts released almost 243,000 posts with hashtags or keywords strictly related to the COVID-19 emergency, representing about 17 percent of the total content.

In particular, brands and stores dedicated 6 percent of their content to the emergency, corresponding to 2,800 posts that reached 980 million people and engaged with 15.7 million users, mainly on Instagram.

Most of the brand content hinged on fund-raising campaigns and invitations to stay safe at home but in some cases labels pivoted their communication strategies from commercial purposes to a more entertaining approach without even using specific key words linked to the health emergency.

According to DMR, one of the most successful campaigns on social media was Nike’s inspirational message to “Play inside, play for the world,” launched on March 21. The communication further resonated worldwide when many of the celebrity athletes associated with the brand used the dedicated hashtags on their personal accounts. These included LeBron James, Serena Williams and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, whose Nike-related posts reached 4.3 million users, 2.7 million users and 112.8 million users, respectively. Therefore, the ambassadors contributed to the success of the campaign, that overall reached more than 248 million users and engaged more than 12 million people.

With brands reducing their influencer marketing campaigns and canceling events, celebrities and influencers used their social voices to support charity programs and entertain followers during the quarantine with live chats, workout sessions and beauty and cooking tutorials.

According to DMR, they dedicated 11 percent of their posts to the COVID-19 emergency, engaging 784.2 million users. Instagram was the preferential platform, as it accounted for 76 percent of the total content, followed by Twitter.

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In this category, Italian digital entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni and her husband, musician Fedez, led by example as they were among the first social personalities to talk about the crisis and be proactive in fighting the COVID-19 spread. The couple, also known by the moniker “The Ferragnez” and counting a combined following of over 29.5 million users on Instagram, not only posted content to alert and educate their fans about the emergency but were the first to launch a fund-raising campaign to help Milan’s San Raffaele hospital that collected over four million euros in just few days.

With additional at-home DJ sets and private-life videos provided to entertain followers, in March the couple reached 373 million users and engaged 32.8 million people on social media.

Obviously, among all categories, media and journalists’ accounts were the ones dedicating the highest percentage of their posts to the COVID-19 crisis, which represented 19 percent of the total and reached a potential audience of 6.5 billion users. Contrary to the others, Twitter was their prime platform, accounting for 65 percent of the almost 200,000 posts dedicated to the topic.

As well as to inform, these accounts were also involved in special projects to entertain followers and to help local hospitals and organizations in the fight against the virus.

For instance, Vanity Fair Italia was among the first to address the theme, dedicating a cover to 64 Milanese personalities distinguishing themselves during the health crisis with their work and dedication. The issue, which was distributed for free in the Lombardy region, also launched the hashtag #IosonoMilano — or “I am Milan,” in English — that resonated internationally as worldwide personalities posted their portraits with the same lettering on social media. Along with the following issue paying tribute to Italian health-care workers, the magazine’s campaign reached 43 million users and engaged almost two million people.

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Op-Ed: Education tipline launched by Virginia governor is a slap in the face to teachers

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Op-Ed: Education tipline launched by Virginia governor is a slap in the face to teachers


The first order of business for newly sworn-in Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia was to rescind the mask mandate for public schools.
Source – Virginia Governor Glenn Younglin

A bland-looking email address launched by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin designed to allow parents to report incidents at Virginia schools where they feel their parental rights are being undermined has created quite a storm on social media.

Much like Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s making neighbors snitches if they think someone is having an abortion, Governor Youngkin is allowing people to go to a website he has created so they can snitch on a teacher, librarian, school board member, and I guess, even the custodian or your child’s bus driver.

The Governor’s Office launched [email protected] with the intent for parents to report violations of his first two Executive Orders, which allow parents to opt their students out of school masking requirements and bans the teaching of “inherently divisive topics” including critical race theory in schools.

It appears that Youngkin went on the John Fredericks Radio Show Monday,  and said during his interview that “… [It’s] for parents to send us any instances where they feel that their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools.”

The backlash over the order and the tip-line began to build on social media, with celebrities like John Legend and comedian Patton Oswald sharing the address with their followers.

“Black parents need to flood these tip lines with complaints about our history being silenced,” Legend wrote on Twitter, referring to the critical race theory ban.

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7News spoke to Oveta Scott, a Prince William County middle school teacher who has spent more than a decade in the classroom.

We are human beings too. We are going through it too,” she said when asked about her reaction to the governor’s new email tip line. ‘Why are you vilifying us and attacking us? What are we doing? We’re trying to stay afloat. We have a shortage of substitutes. We have a shortage of bus drivers. Every day, I have to look for an email to see if I’m covering someone’s class. Every day.”

Nothing but a big distraction by an irresponsible public servant

State Senator Louise Lucas, a Democrat representing the 18th District in the southeast part of the state, said she does not expect the tip-line to lead to much of anything.

“Like a lot of other gimmicks that a lot of other governors have put forward, this one is going to fall flat like a led balloon,” she said, adding that most people she has spoken to see it as an “intimidation” tactic, reports WTVR.com.

“I have never seen a Governor act in such an irresponsible way as to reach down to the parents and by step the teachers, by step the principal, the superintends of school, just to try to intimidate,” Lucas said. “There’s more than just one segment of parents in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Is he listening to Black parents, Hispanic parents, Asian-American parents? Which parents is he listening to? He needs to listen to all parents. Last I checked, parents in the Commonwealth of Virginia want their children to be safe in school.”

Senator Lucas is letting Governor Youngkin off easy. I personally think Youngkin is taking a page from Texas Governor Abbott’s playbook, because just last week, at the public charter school, Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville, Abbott told hundreds of parents “The essential role of parents is being threatened by government itself.”

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Abbott isn’t relying on a web address for snitches. He wants to change the Texas state constitution to make sure that “parents will be restored to their rightful place as the pre-eminent decision-makers for their children.”

The Governor also told the crowd he wants to toughen penalties against educators, including teachers and librarians who give students inappropriate books. “Texas will ensure that any education personnel who is convicted of providing minors with obscene content will lose their educational credentials and state licensing, forfeits their retirement benefits, and be placed on a do not hire list.”

It is time for all this craziness to come to an end. Good grief – I am getting too old to deal with all this “Bull S—” going on today.



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Instagram Adds Scheduled Live Display on User Profiles to Improve Discovery of Upcoming Streams

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Instagram Adds Scheduled Live Display on User Profiles to Improve Discovery of Upcoming Streams


After previewing it as a coming feature within its announcement of the expansion of remixable videos on the platform last week, Instagram has now outlined its new display of scheduled live streams on creator profiles, providing another way to raise awareness of upcoming live broadcasts in the app.

As you can see in these screenshots, shared by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, the new display option will enable you to list your upcoming IG live streams on your profile, which, when tapped, will provide additional info in a pop-up prompt, where people can also sign-up for a reminder of when the stream is set to begin.

As explained by Mosseri:

“Creators have been able to schedule lives for a while now, but now, you can separate scheduling a live from creating a feed post, or even now a Story post, about that Live. You also get a little badge on your profile that’s lets followers know, or anybody know that goes to your profile, that there’s a Live coming up and they can subscribe to be reminded.”

Mosseri further notes that users can create as many scheduled lives as they like, with a side-scrolling list then added to your profile display.

It could be a handy addition for those who broadcast via IG Live, which could prompt more people to tune in, by raising more awareness about your broadcasts. Up till now, the only way to notify people about your upcoming streams in the app has been, as Mosseri notes, through posts and Stories, which limits the reach of those notifications to, generally, your existing followers. Now, anyone who comes by your profile will be able to see that you have a live broadcast coming up, which could bring in more viewers.

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IG Live has become a key connection surface in the app, particularly throughout the pandemic, and as Instagram looks to expand the option into eCommerce, facilitating more direct engagement between brands and fans, the capacity to map out a more effective IG Live strategy could be a big help in maximizing your on-platform efforts.

It may seem like a relatively small addition in the broader scheme, but it could be a big help in raising awareness, and getting more viewers to your upcoming broadcasts.





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LinkedIn Publishes New Report into Workplace Culture Shifts, and What They Mean for Employer Branding

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LinkedIn Publishes New Report into Workplace Culture Shifts, and What They Mean for Employer Branding


LinkedIn has published a new report into the latest shifts in company and work culture, largely as a result of the pandemic, with many people’s approach to their career and professional development changing amid the ongoing re-shaping of the workforce and place.

As outlined by LinkedIn:

Because of the pandemic, employees are rethinking their priorities and their relationships with employers. They’re seeking flexible work arrangements and more work-life balance. They want to work for employers who value their physical and emotional well-being. And they’re ready to walk away from those who don’t.

LinkedIn’s 67-page ‘Reinvention of Company Culture’ report provides a detailed analysis of these changing attitudes and approaches, and how businesses can look to cater to employee needs, in order to build a better work environment.

The report looks at how people’s approach to their work is changing, particularly in regards to who they work for, and what they both represent and provide.

As you can see in this graphic, company culture is becoming a much bigger consideration, which is arguably because we now have more insight than ever into what each company represents, via social media posts and profiles. That underlines the importance of brands managing their external perception, and building a strong employer brand, which could also include empowering their employees to share relevant updates, reinforcing culture and ethos.

The report also looks at the changing approach to workplace flexibility, which is fast becoming a must-have for many organizations.

LinkedIn workplace trends report

The pandemic has shown that many companies can, in fact, operate remotely, and many employees have found that the freedom that can bring affords them many lifestyle benefits, which they’re not so willing to give up by returning to the office full-time.

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Of course, that varies. Some people like the structure and organization of the office environment, along with the social benefits, and there are strong arguments to be made for both approaches. But the stats here, and included in the report, point to the potential value of incorporating more flexible working arrangements.

Employee well-being is another point of focus, with interest in the topic on the rise:

LinkedIn workplace trends report

Which is another valuable element to this report – in addition to the overall notes on workplace shifts, LinkedIn has also incorporated data on key platform posting trends, which could help to inform your own strategy.

LinkedIn workplace trends report

Clearly, there is significant, and rising interest in these elements, and it’s worth considering how you can integrate such, both in terms of how you evolve your own workplace models to cater to such demand, and how you represent the same in your external posts and updates.

There are some valuable notes here, and some interesting points to consider in the coming post-pandemic shift. Because we’re not there just yet, with newer COVID variants still parking new waves of concern, and subsequent mitigation efforts. But as we progress towards the next stage, it is worth noting the broader impacts that the COVID shift has had on work, and how prospective employees are now looking at job postings and companies in their job search efforts.

Your social media presence can play a big role in this, and your LinkedIn presence in particular, and it’s worth taking in the various trends and considering what they could mean for your brand.

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You can read LinkedIn’s full ‘Reinvention of Company Culture’ report here.



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