APRIL 10, 2019
As anyone who has been the victim of a real-life prank knows, pulling off a successful practical joke requires balance and a knowledge of what crosses the line between fun and flawed. April Fools’ Day has become a massive holiday on social media, with brands across the spectrum jockeying for engagement and attention with increasingly outlandish pranks. Some are relatively harmless, like McDonald’s announcing a fictional milkshake flavored dipping sauce, and some are a clear marketing stunt, like Burger King replacing its burgers with a vegan substitute before announcing an actual new menu offering of Impossible Burgers. But others have been criticized for being simply inauthentic or, at the worst, offensive. In fact, Microsoft has banned April Fools’ Day jokes online company-wide to avoid any faux pas.
As social media managers, it’s important to take into consideration how an April Fools’ joke fits into our overall story and strategy. Advertising expert Alex Holder brought up an interesting point: “It’s also the only time of a year some brands feel safe telling a joke. How sad is that? Waiting all year to be funny? It’s like only telling your husband you love him on Valentine’s Day.” We’d prefer to see brands choosing their own authentic voice – whether humorous, stoic or somewhere in between – and sticking with it year-round.
Everyday Facebook users continue to update their statuses despite yet another privacy breach, but advertisers should watch these developing stories closely. The latest study from Northeastern University, University of Southern California and advocacy group Upturn shows some alarming trends in Facebook advertising results, especially for housing-related ads and job postings, that signal potential discrimination stemming from collecting sensitive user data.
As a firm that often runs campaigns with both of these types of ads, it’s important that we take care in building our audiences and refreshing them with the latest approved psychographic criteria as well as certifying that we will not participate in discriminatory practices. Not only does this ensure better Facebook advertising results for our clients, it’s the right thing to do.
So far, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of live video. Instagram Live is taking off, and Vimeo recently reported that 80% of people would rather watch a livestream than read a blog post. Modern laziness aside, the folks at LinkedIn clearly noticed this trend and recently announced LinkedIn Live, a “professional” take on ever-popular live stories sans face filters and funny stickers.
Still in its beta test period, LinkedIn Live seems to be an early hit with executives looking to bolster their thought leadership and companies making an announcement or hosting a Q&A. Now is the time for B2B brands to be thinking about how to best leverage this new opportunity to tell their story in a more dynamic way as LinkedIn Live will be released to the public in the future.
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