Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 27.
LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry. Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First impressions with LMTD‘s newest addition
I’ve been in the UAE — and with LMTD — for five weeks now. It’s been a lot to take in, but it’s been great! The Middle East is an exciting place to be for social, because it’s a region of early adopters.
Reasonably new platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have been taken up with real enthusiasm here. I mean, they’re enormous! I wouldn’t just say we’re following the global trend for visually-led social networks; given how integrated these networks have become in people’s lives, I’d say we’re practically leading it.
I come from a digital background, where social was constantly seen as an add-on, a nice-to-have, or an afterthought. But here, the market definitely understands — and pretty much demands — a social-first approach. The great thing about social-first is simple: it needn’t necessarily break your brand’s budget. Instead, it’s creativity that’s key. If the history of internet celebrities proves anything, it’s that someone with a great idea and a voice can compete with much bigger properties on an almost even keel.
For instance, I’m really impressed with the number of bloggers out here. People who don’t have a lot of money to throw behind their writing, and not even necessarily a great big following, but have a strong voice, initiative, and enthusiasm. They take it seriously, and create interesting content. Who knows they won’t be ‘discovered’ by the broader public some day?
Speaking of interesting content, I’ve got my eye on interactive video. I read recently that 75% of all content on the internet is video, and in this region it’s even higher, so it’s definitely where brands should be looking in order to get their message out there. And what’s the next step with video? Giving the audience more control, more ways to interact.
YouTube is experimenting with multiple angles for their content, and Honda’s The Other Side showed a pretty innovative way of trying to sell you a car. Take my word for it, this is going to go big, and I think the Middle East is going to be first in the queue for it!
Take a look at leadership expert Simon Sinek talk TED through how the most successful leaders — in tech, politics and innovation – inspire action.
For him, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. It’s not enough to know you have a great product; it’s not even enough to tell someone you have a great product. People are more likely to respond if they can get behind why you developed the product in the first place (to make money isn’t enough, apparently).
It’s flirting with the TL;DW threshold, and a little too romanticised in places, but definitely worth sticking around until the end. It raises an interesting question: what motivates your brand to develop a new product?
In social, things change. Fast. New platforms, new apps, new services, are introduced on an almost daily basis, and it can be hard to keep up. But spending all your energy trying to keep up with the latest innovations means you risk missing important things about the pre-existing platforms, or apps, or services. If that worry doesn’t keep you up at night, it probably should.
But fear not! The guys at Fast Company have put together a list of the things you should really know by now. If you score 10 / 10, give yourself a cookie!
Our top takeaways include:
- Your biggest advocates have the fewest followers: while attracting interaction from the platforms big hitters will undoubtedly do wonders for your brand’s social presence, don’t forget the little guys. They keep you going.
- Fridays are the best days for engagement on Facebook: it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, people look forward to the weekend. Make sure your content calendar includes a post for then, and you may just be able to take advantage of that Friday feeling.
- Photos drive engagement on Facebook pages: this shouldn’t be a surprise, but how about that 87% of interactions on Facebook pages happen on photo posts? If that stat tells you anything, it’s to find good photos that support your content strategy, and post them. And post them often.
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