The power of story + why people unfollow + ad-free YouTube

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 35.

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 news@teamlmtd.com.

The power of story in social media marketing

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There are plenty of sources for inspiration when considering how to mount a successful social media marketing campaign, but have you ever considered your favourite novel?

The guys at Social Media Today did just that, looking at the ways in which compelling storytelling functions, and how that can be applied to your brand’s timeline. We won’t reproduce the while thing here, but the gist of it is a follows: people don’t buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it. (Okay, so we covered this in a previous Watercooler…but stick with us!)

Social media users are geared towards following a story (that is the updates from their friends, family and followers). Anything else seems out of place, like an unwanted interruption. So why don’t brands mimic this more organic approach? The answer is, the most successful ones do.

Don’t just try to sell them something, show them how passionate you are for your product. Just like in face-to-face interactions, social media users appreciate authenticity. Show them how you started, how you’ve developed, where you are now. Show them what you’re planning for the future. Start a journey with them, and they’ll want to see where you end up.

Why people unfollow brands on social

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While brands rightly spend a great deal of time, money and effort on growing their audience on social, it’s important to keep in mind those who are already fans — and how to keep them that way.

If you’ve ever spent sleepless nights watching your follower count decline, this infographic could help you understand why people are losing interest, and what you can do about it.

Our top takeaways include:

– One out of five users surveyed unfollow because the content is repetitive and boring: there is no substitute for compelling content. Keep it interesting, and your followers will want to see more.

– Nearly the same number of respondents said they unfollow a brand that posts too often: people use social media for a variety of purposes, but the main one usually isn’t to follow brands (see above…). You’re a guest in their newsfeed, so don’t overstay your welcome.

That being said…

–  Nearly 1 in 2 LinkedIn users have never unfollowed a brand: LinkedIn is geared toward the professional. If users expect to see you, they’re more likely to stay on your trail.

Watch YouTube ad-free….for a fee

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YouTube has been considering a paid-for, ad-free service for some time, but it looks as though they’re finally ready to take the plunge this year according to an email sent out to partners.

That adverts are unpopular is obvious (leading some companies to come up with more and more creative ways to encourage you to stick around to the end), but is the inconvenience enough to see users pay to avoid them?

If it were a case of just watching the same cat clips, teaser trailers or shaky concert footage, the answer would likely be ‘no’. But it’s important to put this announcement in context: YouTube has recently been ploughing money into creating original content, viewers can already rent or buy movies on the platform, there are already paid channels for premium content, and a music streaming service.

YouTube isn’t just looking for a new revenue stream; it’s competing with emerging media monsters like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. And while users might not shell out to see kids falling over or cats smashing your crockery, they are already geared to pay for quality.

‘Will the new YouTube subscription service take off’ may be the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking what the new YouTube user will look like once it does — and how will brands reach them?

IMG_8080App of the Week

If you loved our App of the Week last week, (it was Banjo for those who may have missed it!) we’re happy to report that we have a few more up our sleeve. This week’s is Monument Valley, a smartphone game made more famous by Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood in the third season of House of Cards.

While we’re big fans of the Inception and Escher-like architecture, signature aesthetic and mysterious storyline, what really caught our eye is the simple screen-capture prompt at the end of every level and social sharing feature in the game, presumably with the intention to drive viral and organic uplift. (This one on the left was taken from our Commercial Director Serene Touma‘s iPhone — she’s obsessed!)

We’re impressed on every level! Do you play Monument Valley? Let us know what you think…

#ICYMI

Facebook Messenger for the web

Twitter introduces “Retweet with comment” 

Run your android apps on desktop with Chrome

Take a guided tour of the Apple Watch

Twitter’s trend descriptions

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