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Thursday Tea – Introducing Fleets, Instagram Anger and Youtube Audio Ads

Thursday Tea – Introducing Fleets, Instagram Anger and Youtube Audio Ads

Twitter Introduces new ‘Fleet’s feature

This week Twitter surprised everyone be announcing the global launch of ‘Fleets’. At its most basic level, Fleets is a Stories clone, borrowing all of the best ideas implemented by Instagram and Snapchat. You can share text, respond to others’ tweets, or post videos with the same background color and overlaid text options you get on other messaging apps with ephemeral features, with every message disappearing after 24 hours. You can also respond to others’ fleets by tapping on one and sending a direct message or emoji to the creator, which will start a DM conversation similar to how the story reply process works on Instagram. Twitter says it will also be introducing stickers and live broadcasting at some point in the future.

Any mobile Twitter user, regardless of where they live or what platform they’re on, will have access to the disappearing messaging feature, which will sit right at the top of the timeline in a row of Stories-like bubbles.

Twitter have said that they hope the new feature will help reduce the pressure around tweeting by letting users express more casual thoughts and feelings while also concerning themselves less with saying something profound or racking up likes and retweets. Fleets starts rolling out today on Android and iOS and should be available for everyone in the coming days, the company says.

Instagram Redesign Sparks Anger

Instagram users are around the world after the app rolled out a major redesign across the globe last week. The update changed the home screen for the first time in years, adding new tabs for shopping and Instagram’s TikTok-style video feature, Reels.

But despite the alteration representing a relatively minor adjustment to the photo-sharing app’s layout, fans are not happy. Users complained to social media over the weekend to blast the update, which they described as “ugly” and” annoying”.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri announced the major redesign in a blog post on the firm‘s website last week. In it, he explained the new Shop and Reels tabs give users faster access to two of Instagram‘s more recent features. “We don’t take these changes lightly – we haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while,” Mr Mosseri wrote. “But how people create and enjoy culture has changed, and the biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant.”

He added: “We’re excited about the new design and believe it gives the app a much-needed refresh, while staying true to our core value of simplicity.”

Time will tell if the backlash surrounding these changes dies down and people start to welcome the redesign!

YouTube Trials Audio Ads

It seems YouTube wants a slice of Spotify‘s metaphorical pie: the company has announced its introducing audio-only ads on its platform.

In a blog post, product manager Melissa Hsieh Nikolic said the feature, which is still in beta, was “designed to connect your brand with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube.”

Audio ads are creatively led by the voiceover or other sounds that feature in a YouTube ad, and the visual component is typically a still image or simple animation.

Similar to video ads, audio ads are bought via auction with Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a cost-per-thousand basis. YouTube said they will feature the same audience-targeting options, bidding strategies, and brand lift measurement capabilities.

YouTube expects the moves to boost ad revenue it generates from music on the platform, which includes over 70 million official tracks plus remixes, live performances, covers and other music content. And it stands to put YouTube in more head-to-head competition with Spotify, which has been selling audio-only ads and offering targeting by music genres for years.

Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had “fundamentally changed the music industry forever” due to music concerts being cancelled, which encouraged people to consume more music on online platforms.

Successful Storytelling for Effective PR

Successful Storytelling for Effective PR

We all consider ourselves storytellers from time to time, especially when it comes to talking about things, we are passionate about! But how can we tell a good story to drive positive PR?

Now more than ever, digital storytelling is at the top of the list of communication trends, that will be at the fore for some time.  So, whether you want to tell the story of your brand, client success, employee spotlight or public recognition, you can create long lasting stories that prove to your audience your company or services matters.

It is our job to ensure that our client’s messaging is well communicated. The thrill of a good story can provoke excitement and engagement. Getting the attention of your audience cuts through the noise and gets your message heard. Therefore, it is up to us as the experts to create stories that are powerful, to gain impact and capture audiences.

Here are a few of our tops tips to getting your story right:

  1. Get Personal

In storytelling, the most powerful vehicle that you can use is personalisation. Using personal stories amplifies the message you are trying to convey. When ideas are attached to people as opposed to concepts, there is a greater chance of creating an emotional connection. Also, you can draw your audience into your brand narrative as this will make your content relatable.

  1. Visualise

Videos, pictures and animations are all visual tools that can give you the edge when engaging with customers. Catch your audiences’ eye and use this to communicate with them.

  1. Like, Share, Like and Share

Use platforms that allow for easy sharing. In our digital age, using social media allows for easier sharing than placing your story on traditional methods such as in a newspaper or billboard. These methods do have a time and place but if you do choose more traditional forms of advertising, create call to actions to inspire people to share the message.

  1. Be Authentic

Consumers have become savvier and are able to spot brands that are not being genuine and authentic. When a story is honest, it is believable and easier to connect with. You can’t copy a great story!

If you have a great story to tell about your business, services or products, get in touch and we can help bring your story to life!

THE CHEESE CLUB – 1KG OF CHEESE EVERY MONTH, DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR

THE CHEESE CLUB – 1KG OF CHEESE EVERY MONTH, DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR

Nothing says cosy night-in like a perfectly indulgent platter of cheeses shared with loved ones. The Cheese Club is the newest home delivery package to be released on the HOME-X e-commerce website, featuring five hand-picked cheeses, crackers, chutney & a half-bottle of Port.

Whether a cheese lover who knows their Gruyere from their Brie, or someone developing a newfound taste for cheese, The Cheese Club provides the perfect experience to immerse consumers into the world of cheese and its embellishments, and to leave them wanting more.

The Cheese Club experience combines a range of five finely selected artisan cheeses – a total of 1kg in cheese – accompanied with a half bottle of port, biscuits, crackers and handmade chutney, all selected to perfectly compliment the cheeses.

The experience makes the ideal gift for special occasions, and with Christmas around the corner can be ordered in advance to be shipped on a particular day, anywhere in the United Kingdom.

The HOME-X team, alongside some the best cheesemongers in the UK, have carefully curated an at-home cheese box that delivers some the most luxurious cheeses from across the world. From earthy, aromatic soft cheeses, to sweet and nutty flavours, diners are able to experience the finest quality produce, with a new selection of cheeses each month.

The experience will launch this week on the innovative e-commerce platform, HOME-X, which brings restaurant quality food and drink experiences to homes across the UK. Each cheese club experience contains 1kg of cheese, a half bottle of port plus biscuit pairings, and homemade chutneys, suitable for two people and priced at £50 including delivery across the UK.

The first Cheese Club contains: Tunworth Camembert, Hampshire; ValenÇay Fermier, France, Goats Cheese;  Prima Donna Maturo, Netherlands, Gouda; Cashel Blue, Ireland; St Andrew’s Farmhouse Cheddar, Scotland; Krohn Lagrima White Port, Portugal; Spiced Pear Chutney; Oatcakes by Wooleys of Aaron; Water Biscuits by Stag Bakeries.

Building direct relationships with cheese producers HOME-X, Operations Manager John Burns is pioneering The Cheese Club experience. He has grown to know more about cheese and how it can be perfectly combined with special flavours and pairings, having been a chef at Six by Nico restaurants.

John Burns said, “I’ve always had a passion for cheese and for me it’s the perfect accompaniment for a night in with family and friends. We want people to experience luxury cheese and port from new places, allowing them to try something new that we know works together. Our immersive guide allows you to expand your knowledge, getting to know and identifying new flavours and textures.”

Each experience will be carefully pre-prepared and packaged at a new warehouse in Glasgow, in beautifully branded boxes, and kitted out in the very latest food shipping storage technology. Each HOME-X box will be 99% recyclable, with each Cheese Club kit portioned in individual cardboard containers filled with all the elements needed to indulge in your experience.

The Cheese Club experience is priced at £50 and includes delivery across the UK. Delivery will be available from December 2nd – December 24th. The inaugural Cheese Club experience is available to buy now from HOME-X – the newly launched online food and drink experience platform.

More information can be found here www.home-x.com

NEW BOOK SHARES 25 YEARS OF LEARNINGS  TO SUPPORT BUSINESS OWNERS, NAVIGATE THROUGH COVID-19

NEW BOOK SHARES 25 YEARS OF LEARNINGS TO SUPPORT BUSINESS OWNERS, NAVIGATE THROUGH COVID-19

Now more than ever, businesses need to stop doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. As a business owner, do you know what you want out of your enterprise and how you are going to achieve it? Michelle Lestas’s new book ‘In Business With Yourself’ has been developed to help business leaders navigate through these challenging times and develop an approach for business that works.

It has been created with Michelle’s wealth of experience, knowledge and observations gathered over 25 years, having worked with international business leaders as well as running her own businesses. A serial entrepreneur, the fundamentals of the book are based on Michelle’s identity-led business growth, which is a truly innovative theme that runs throughout the book.

Speaking ahead of the book launch, Michelle said: “I provide an unfiltered insight into some of the highs and lows of leading in business and why when business owners understand business identity, they are equipped to deal with the successes and challenges ahead. The pandemic is forcing all of us to react quickly in an ever-changing landscape. I use case studies and many tips to encourage businesses to make positive changes to support business growth. I’m all about maximising efforts for the biggest gains.”

Moving through the tides of running businesses, Michelle has developed a direct and practical approach to leadership. The book is a compelling read for any business owner, self-starter or entrepreneur and it is available for pre-order at https://orpenpress.com/books/in-business-with-yourself.

LOYALBE AND VISA FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

LOYALBE AND VISA FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

LoyalBe, an innovative digital loyalty provider, has formed a strategic partnership with Visa, the global frontrunner in digital payments. The aim of this strategic partnership is to bring LoyalBe’s frictionless loyalty solution to the Irish market, enabling SMEs to compete on a level playing field with larger corporate retailers and allowing Visa to support small businesses in new ways.

LoyalBe’s clever digital loyalty solution utilises Open Banking technology to make the process of rewarding loyalty seamless. The LoyalBe app displaces traditional paper loyalty cards, instead offering a single smartphone application that relocates the power of ‘loyalty’ in the hands of shoppers and independent hospitality and retailers alike.

Cormac Quinn, CEO and Founder of LoyalBe, believes that this original application of Open Banking technology will be of even greater value to small, independent retailers as we emerge from this period of uncertainty:

“Our loyalBe app works by connecting directly to the customer’s bank card to reward purchases, thereby giving retailers the ability to understand their customers better and offer them a more personalised shopping experience. By using Open Banking technology, we make the process of rewarding loyalty seamless. Given its frictionless nature, we don’t require any equipment or software at till points and customers don’t need to change their behaviour. They simply just pay by card as usual.

“This new partnership with Visa will empower SMEs to compete on a level playing field with big retailers, through our digital loyalty solution. Loyalty is proven to drive increased sales but, for a long time, it was only the larger, corporate retailers who had access to data and analytics that gave them an advantage. From the beginning, our mission at LoyalBe has been to democratise loyalty and give smaller retailers access to invaluable data which can be used to stimulate customer engagement.

“People have seen how the smaller, independent retailers have been affected by the pandemic and now, more than ever, people are keen to champion local businesses. In this climate, tools such as LoyalBe are even more valuable in getting people back through the door and, most importantly, ensuring that they continue to come back.”

As businesses become more comfortable accepting contactless and mobile payments, now is a good time to explore growth opportunities through building customer loyalty digitally.

More details about LoyalBe and how businesses can build a loyalty programme with ease can be found here.

Thursday Tea….What is new in the world of social?

Thursday Tea….What is new in the world of social?

REEL ALL ABOUT IT

Instagram only launched its TikTok competitor ‘Reels’ in August and is already looking to monetise the format. It also announced it is testing shopping within Reels later this year and will start making shoppable IGTV videos globally. Eventually, these IGTV videos will also be available through Instagram Shop, a dedicated page for shopping within the app.

FACEBOOK DATING COMES TO THE UK

Facebook’s dating service has launched in the UK and across Europe as a dedicated space to find relationships on the social network.

The social media giant hopes to emulate the success of apps such as Tinder, Hinge and Bumble, which have millions of users across their platforms.

LINKEDIN LEVELS UP!

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has gone for a brand new look and feel in nearly five years, powering its 700 million-strong community with Snapchat-like Stories, video integration with Zoom, BlueJeans and Teams, rebuilding Search feature and more.

LinkedIn users will be able to start a face-to-face interaction to share career advice, chat about potential job opportunities or catch up in virtual group get-together via online meeting tools.

LinkedIn is also rolling out its own version of Stories.

MESSENGER GETS A REBRAND

Facebook has decided to tweak its colour scheme for Messenger, ditching the traditional blue-and-white look for an Instagram-esque gradient of blue, purple, pink and orange.

Messenger has created an all-new way of helping people express themselves better on chat! There are multiple custom reactions and message effects that are available to make chatting more fun. Not just that, new features like selfie stickers and vanish mode are coming soon too.

SNAP CHAT SOUNDS

Over the summer, Snapchat announced it would soon debut a feature to rival TikTok. Now, sounds on Snapchat has launched on iOS, bringing music to the platform. Snapchat’s release offers a curated catalogue of emerging and established artists for users to feature. Music can be added to Snaps either in pre or post-capture. There are no limitations on where the music can be shared, either. The clip can be shared to your Snapchat Story or directly to friends – the choice is yours.