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New Features on Twitter and Snapchat

There were feature changes announced in two major platforms today – Snapchat and Twitter both added new elements to the user experience.

First up, photo-messaging app Snapchat debuted Discover – a way to “explore Stories from different editorial teams.” On the Discover home screen, users can tap a channel and swipe through stories from media outlets such as People Magazine, CNN and ESPN. Like regular Snapchat messages, Discover stories don’t last forever; editions are refreshed every 24 hours. While Discover currently only features content from a select group of national brands, it signals a continued shift toward sponsored content on the platform and across social media channels that will benefit brands of all sizes.

Twitter introduced 2 new features – Group Messaging and a new mobile video camera. The first expands Direct Messaging so users can now speak privately with a group of up to 20 people. The second, a new in-app video camera and editing tool, lets users capture, edit and share videos without ever leaving the Twitter app. Brands can use Group Messaging to more efficiently reach specific groups with targeted messages or offers.

Singley + Mackie can help you navigate changes like these and use them to reach your customers. Contact us today at http://singleymackie.com/contact-us/ or give us a call at 818-276-1920.

DTS and Deepak Chopra Live Broadcast Event

DTS, a premier audio solutions provider for high-definition entertainment experiences, approached Singley + Mackie with an opportunity to work with world-renowned spiritual leader Deepak Chopra. Chopra and DTS recently collaborated on The Non Local app, mixed in Headphone:X Surround Sound Technology (available in iTunes here).

The challenge was to increase awareness of the app, generate additional downloads and convert some of Chopra’s extensive social media audience to fans of DTS and their audio technology.  Additionally, Dr. Chopra recently released his latest book, The Future of God, and wanted to incorporate that into the campaign.

The Singley + Mackie team designed a live broadcast solution that included a sweepstakes and live studio audience of social media influencers and personalities.  During the promotional sweepstakes phase, we built a microsite and Facebook app that directed people to enter for a chance to meet Deepak Chopra personally, or win a copy of his book and a free download of The Non Local app. The sweepstakes was successful, and allowed us to contact fans of Deepak Chopra directly to remind them of the broadcast.

For the live event, Singley + Mackie coordinated everything from the set design to the studio audience travel arrangements to management of questions being live-tweeted using #DeepakLive. Travel authority and TV personality Stefanie Michaels hosted the event and spent 45 minutes with Dr. Chopra discussing the app, his book and even his thoughts on cotton candy.  Watch the full interview, embedded below, to hear his answers and learn more about DTS Headphone:X technology.

Visibility Matters – Telling the Realtor.com Brand Story with A Creative, Content-driven Digital Promotion

Realtor.com is best in class for offering the most accurate real estate listings online – a leader amongst the competition. In an effort to further this message, the brand created the #AccuracyMatters hashtag to tell that story. The team at realtor.com approached Singley + Mackie to spread the word through a user-generated photo and video contest. Our plan in action: During the course of the five-week contest, users uploaded visual depictions of how accuracy matters to them. We received everything from cute kids in mismatched shoes to awkward makeup mistakes! Ten entries were chosen each week and the winners received $100 Visa gift cards. At the end of the campaign, the best entry was selected to win the $10,000 grand prize.

The contest was designed to achieve 3 goals – create massive visibility of the #AccuracyMatters slogan, develop user-generated photos and videos that realtor.com could use in future marketing efforts, and drive unique users (UUs) to the realtor.com website. Read more

DogVacay :30 National Television Commercial

Sometimes work can be fun. Such was the case when our client, DogVacay, asked us to put together a national television commercial for them.

We spent several days with a lot of awesome dogs, and they were nice enough to let us film them playing, eating, swimming and (not so surprisingly) napping. Watch the result below, and if you are ever in need of an awesome dog sitter when you are traveling, don’t forget to head over to DogVacay and find one near you!

Hungry? Make a meal with Vine, Instagram and YouTube

With the explosion of mobile media consumption and the shortening of attention spans, it’s essential that brands have a strong content marketing and media strategy in place for the multi-screen experience. It is estimated by eMarketer that in 2014 the American adult will spend an average 5 hours 46 minutes a day with digital media, with the majority of that time spent on a mobile device. At Singley + Mackie, we believe the most effective way to engage an increasingly mobile (and distracted) audience is through video with Instagram, Vine & YouTube representing ideal channels for maximum customer and community engagement. Here are some thoughts on how brands can effectively leverage these channels and serve up a well-balanced video marketing meal.

Vine, the amuse-bouche

Fact: 99% of Vine videos are consumed on mobile (source: comScore)

Six seconds is not a lot of time, but it’s the perfect bite to wet your appetite. Vine is a great network to tease out sweepstakes, webisodes or a product release. Research by video technology company Unruly found that in 2013 the average number of tweets containing a Vine link had increased from five every second in April to nine every second during the first three weeks of June. This study also showed that branded Vines are four times more likely to be shared than video advertising on other platforms.

Example: Game of Thrones season 4 teaser

Instagram, the appetizer

Fact: Over 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35 (source: Business Insider)

Instagram is the nacho plate before the main course, everyone shares! It’s time to incorporate video into your Instagram strategy and 15 seconds is the perfect amount of time for a preview. Whether your brand is promoting a product, service or one-day sale, Instagram is the ideal channel. Instagram is the social network where the highest percentage of its users are millennials and millennials love showoff and brag about the brands and products they’re engaging. With the use of hashtags, a brand can measure the conversation throughout the social ecosystem.

Example: Lululemon more than doubled engagement with videos over photos

YouTube, the main course

Fact: 40% of YouTube’s traffic comes from mobile (source: Business Insider)

It’s no secret that YouTube is the world’s largest video content network and the second largest search engine, making it a great venue to serve up your Wagyu rib eye. When producing a YouTube video, make sure it’s concise and engaging as a :30 spot can be just as powerful and engaging as a 4 minute video. Additionally, a YouTube TrueView video ad can increase viewership by up to 10x, making it an ideal tool for any brand to spread their marketing message.

Example: cardstore.com World’s Toughest Job – a must watch!

What’s for dessert you ask? To find out we’ll have to make a reservation to chat, feel free to shoot me an email at robby.choate@singleymackie.com. In the meantime, feel free to check out our Vine and Instagram.

Facebook’s Race To 0% Organic Reach (And Why We Should Embrace It)

facebook-organic-reach-picFacebook’s organic reach for pages is plummeting, and I for one cannot wait for it to be 0%.

For the last couple of years, I’ve read a lot of long stories and short tweets about Facebook’s organic reach for Pages dropping. There was early speculation that posts by a Page “didn’t reach everybody”, which of course was true. Not too long after that, brand managers were upset because their content was suddenly being seen by less than 50% of their total fans. Late in 2013, several reports showed that organic reach had dipped to under 20%, and as of last week we are seeing studies and hearing rumors that it will drop to 1-3%.

I will say it again: I am quite anxious for the total organic reach to bottom out at 0%.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’ve enjoyed the free ride as much as anybody. For years, Singley + Mackie has been able to create rich content for our clients that we syndicated on Facebook and other channels. When we would post something on behalf of the brands we work for, quite a few fans of the page would be able to see it, and hopefully would engage or share in some meaningful way. But times have changed, you need to accept that the free ride is over, and rightfully so.

Let me ask you a string of rhetorical questions. How many television ads are free to the company that wants to air them? How about radio spots? Magazine and newspaper ads? Billboards? The fact is, marketing your brand costs money. If you want to be seen or heard, you need to pay for it. Why then are people complaining about this regarding Facebook? Is it because it used to be free?

Facebook is now a publicly traded company. With that comes the reality that they have to make money, and even when they have made a lot of it, they have to make more. That’s how public companies work.  It should come as no surprise then that organic reach has dropped, and I now view the 1-3% organic reach as a bonus. If I bought a block of television advertising and the channel gave me 3% bonus airtime for free, I would be thrilled. This is my new attitude regarding Facebook pages; I am happy with any organic reach at all, because it really is just a bonus.

notificationsIf we can all accept this new reality of Facebook marketing, then we can quit holding out for free, magical, viral things to happen; because they are not going to happen.  The new rule of Facebook marketing is that brands will have to put some budget behind their efforts if they want them to be seen. Consumers still have the option to get notifications (they can scroll down on the Like button and check this feature so they don’t miss a single post), but as a brand manager you cannot rely on that happening.

My advice to brand managers and agencies is this: start having the budget talks now, so when it is time to allocate for paid and earned media, all of the time and effort you have put into Facebook marketing to date is not lost.  A good rule of thumb is to make sure that your Facebook paid media budget is at least 1x your budget for content creation or application development budgets. Facebook would recommend that the paid media budget is at least 4x and often times big brands will allocate budgets of 10x or more.

Let’s quit complaining about how Facebook used to be, and start accepting how it actually is. Facebook is now a paid channel, just like everything else in marketing.

A parting thought: Twitter went public late last year. I wonder what conversation we’ll be having about its organic reach at this time next year…

Singley + Mackie’s #YoureDoinItRightWhen Promoted Trend for YP.com Named a Shorty Awards Finalist

Singley + Mackie is thrilled to be named as a finalist in the Best Use of a Hashtag on Twitter category of the Shorty Industry Awards. The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and the rest of the social Web.

#YoureDoinItRightWhen YP Promoted Trend from Singley + Mackie on Vimeo.

In November of 2013, YP.com tasked us with starting a conversation about “doing” that would create massive brand awareness and increase share of voice. After tracking and analyzing months of hashtag behavior, we came up with the sentence-starter #YoureDoinItRightWhen. The result? Over the course of the 24 hour takeover, the hashtag was used over 53,000 times – 5-40x more volume than any of the Promoted Trends in the week prior or the week after.  The hashtag achieved 14 hours of organic lift in addition to the paid efforts, making it one of Twitter’s most successful Promoted Trends ever.
The idea was simple: choose a hashtag that could have been created organically to encourage organic use. Focus on fun and action, while tying it back to the YP product. Users that might otherwise ignore a paid campaign got in on the action because it fit in so seamlessly with their Twitter experience. Everyone’s got an opinion, and the #YoureDoinItRightWhen promoted trend let users share theirs while achieving exposure to the new YP branding.
Almost three months later, #YoureDoinItRightWhen is still mentioned daily by Twitter users, a unique achievement that other hashtag campaigns cannot claim.
It’s a huge honor to be one of only 10 finalists in the “Best Use of a Hashtag on Twitter” category!

NEW! Timelines for Brand Pages on Facebook

Adapt to the ever changing world or die trying. At Singley + Mackie we know that it’s necessary to research and adapt to the many changes that social media platforms throw out to their users. Facebook recently announced that Timeline will be pushed to brand pages, which means many new features that brands can benefit from. We detail some of the major changes below, and if you want to see what it looks like live we have already updated the Singley + Mackie Facebook Page.

The Cover Photo

Replacing the soon-to-be defunct Welcome tab will be an 851 x 315 pixel cover photo, which is supposed to be a proper representation of the brand and not look like a banner ad. Facebook will crack down on images that include price or purchase information, contact info, calls to action, or references to Facebook such as Like or Share. But, it doesn’t mean that the cover photo can’t be a great place to give an upcoming marketing initiative some much-needed exposure on a Facebook page.

The Timeline

Timeline will be great for brands, especially if they have a history that extends past the lifespan of Facebook. Brands and businesses can take advantage of pinnacle points in time such as when they were founded, when they opened new locations, when they partnered with new clients and more. If a brand page wants to feature a particular post, it can be pinned to the top of the page for up to seven days by clicking the pencil icon in order to increase visibility and can point users to application tabs that are currently active on the page. Attention-grabbing posts can also be made wider by clicking on the star icon located on each post. Friends that mention a brand will also be featured near the top of the brand timeline. In essence, all of these features should make the brand so interesting that the brand won’t need to tell people to “Like” the page.

The Applications

Application tabs still have a home on a brand page; however, they’re now featured from left to right below the cover photo instead of descending down the left hand side of the page. Although fewer application tabs will be visible on the page, they will benefit from increased visibility since images will now be 111 x 74 pixels instead of the 16 x 16 pixels previously used. Application pages will benefit from an increased size of 810 pixels, although brands can choose to stay with 520 pixels wide in the Developer app and can fan gate if a brand chooses.

The Administrator Panel

The new admin panel contains current activity on the brand page, lets brands respond when people write on the timeline and also view insights, which may be why rumors of real-time stats for Facebook brand pages surfaced. Additionally, fans can now message a brand page and the notifications will appear in the admin panel, which will be a great way of dealing with sensitive customer service issues instead of doing it in public on the page’s Timeline. However, pages cannot initiate direct messages to fans.

The Activity Panel

This helpful feature will be a great way to go back and pick out old posts that were extremely popular and highlight on older dates of the brand timeline.


Timeline for brands will be a great way to help brands engage with Facebook users, but engagement will still be key to increasing visibility on a user’s Wall. As action verbs are used more frequently in the future, it should be fundamental for a brand to use them where appropriate, such as the “pinning” verb for Pinterest. Our client SOHO Beauty Brand is on Pinterest, so it would be a great way for other Facebook users to re-pin items and have it show up on their Facebook page.

What do you think about Timeline for brands?

SOHO Beauty Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes

SOHO Beauty Valentine's Day Your Way

One of our new clients, SOHO Beauty, thinks every girl deserves to feel special this Valentine’s Day, and we love that idea. To help spread the news, we created a campaign around the concept of Valentine’s Day, Your Way. Like many of our sweepstakes, we’ll encourage entry through Twitter and Facebook. And for the first time, we’re making Pinterest part of the contest. This is a somewhat new idea in the “social” realm, but we expect to see some great images from SOHO’s creative fans in the fashion and beauty community.

SOHO Beauty Facebook

The sweepstakes has two parts. Under the SOHO Facebook page’s Valentine’s Day tab, entrants have the chance to win a grand prize spa trip for two, and two sets of the SOHO Professional line in a special brush roll. Second prize is the SOHO Professional brushes and the choice of any bag or case on the SOHO Beauty site, and third prize is the choice of one SOHO product.

SOHO Beauty Your Way Pinterest

For part two, SOHO Beauty asks “What Does Valentine’s Day, Your Way look like?” To answer that question, and to win any three SOHO Beauty products, participants can tweet a picture or post to Facebook using the #YourWay hashtag. We’ll collect all the pictures and post them on the SOHO #YourWay Pinterest board. We hope the board becomes a beautiful visual representation of the different ways to appreciate loved ones and celebrate yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day!