Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 36.
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.
Last week we also debuted the new look of the home of The Watercooler. Like it, love it or think it’s just meh? We’d love to hear what you think!
Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both are tied to Twitter, a platform already lauded for allowing real-time interaction between brands or celebrities and their fans (well, lauded when they get it right…), so if someone you follow is set to make a broadcast, you’ll see the link in your feed. Broadcasters can also announce when they go live in a tweet through the video app, and viewers can even share what they’re watching with their followers on Twitter to provide a bit of a signal boost.
Both apps display a feed of comments where people can chime in, ask questions and engage with the presenter.
Why does this matter? Because video matters.
Video adds dimension and personality to brands of all shapes and sizes; the capacity for immediate responses ties in to the increasingly organic nature of social media interaction, it’s mobile-friendly, and Twitter’s reach means you can reach more people than ever before.
However, not everyone agrees that Twitter streaming apps are the way to go. Our resident Snapchat champion Michelle Smith isn’t necessarily on board.
“It seems to me that Twitter is trying to play catchup with Snapchat, the platform that’s already cracked the event video model. If the recent Coachella story (over 40 million views according to founder Evan Spiegel!), and not to mention, Dubai story are anything to go by, then I can’t see an environment where Periscope or Meerkat can really thrive, and especially not in this market,” she says.
A polarising view for sure, but we’re open to debates on what works best here at LMTD. (Follow her on Snapchat! @mich_ellesmith)
But remember: there are downsides to real-time interaction too. Nonetheless, walking out of an interview is never a good idea.
The Watercooler has discussed how businesses use social media to target consumers (and other businesses) in a previous edition, so we decided to kick it up a notch, thanks to this infographic from SocialCast.com. Apart from businesses, how do business leaders use social media? And how can your brand reach them?
Our top takeaways include:
– Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the most popular site amongst executives (92%), but while Facebook may seem a distant second at 52%, the number isn’t easy to ignore: We all know the go-to network for reaching business leaders. But with many still favouring Facebook, it may just be your way into their thoughts.
– 25% of those surveyed state social media ‘heavily’ influences their business decisions: proof, if it were needed, that your social budget isn’t being badly utilised. If you can get your social content in front of the right people, opportunities could well come your way.
– Accessing thought leadership unavailable elsewhere is one of the top reasons executives use social media: demonstrating expertise in your field is just as important as selling your product.
Our CEO and social media samurai, Will Hutson, shares his thoughts on how he uses social:
“Funnily enough my ‘Watercooler’ is often Twitter. I’ve got a really eclectic mix of entrepreneurs, investors and journalists I follow on Twitter and most days it makes for a good mix of news, insights and general ‘venting’ of the daily stress of working with startups–it’s the one platform where I don’t feel out of place using jargon or anecdotes that I think would otherwise come across as wonkish (Facebook) or buzzword-laden (LinkedIn).”
See the full infographic here.
There are plenty of places to find engaging long-form content on the Internet, but until now Twitter wasn’t one of them.
Introducing the screenshort: an emerging trend where users share their favourite quotes, hypothesise, pontificate (or increasingly in the case of celebrities, release statements), by snapping a picture from their messaging or notes apps and posting it to Twitter, circumventing the platform’s character limit. Want an example? Our Executive Producer and early adopter Andrew Richards shared his screenshort — see above!
It’s certainly true that where celebrities go, others will follow — but does this herald the death of the ‘traditional’ blog? We’re long-form lovers here at LMTD, so we don’t think so. By its very nature Twitter provides quickly-consumable media; users are unlikely to read longer pieces through a series of separate tweets when they can access the whole thing in one place at another — custom-built, aesthetically-pleasing location.
If anything, its use as a new promotional ‘tool’ may even increase the popularity of the blog.
In ‘short’: expect to see a lot more of them. But don’t give up the blog just yet.
“Brooklyn-based StoryCorps has built a nifty little app that sets up a platform for users to craft an interview, record interviews with their subjects, and contribute to the passing of wisdom and knowledge from one generation to another.My fascination with this app from my hometown is two-fold; first, I love the seemingly simple app that guides you through the thinking of how to really establish the questions you want to ask. At LMTD, we spend a lot of time thinking about the story we want to tell for every brand and every campaign — and as any marketeer will know, before you tell the story, you have to ask the questions. StoryCorps sets the stage for you to do this. Second, I love the idea of a library of human experience, and the face-to-face interaction the apps pushes you into as you genuinely build your little piece of that legacy. In my humble opinion, the process of speaking to another human being and giving them your full and valued attention, is priceless in our modern approach of working and communicating with each other.”