All posts by Jeremy Ng

OM x BFM | January 2018

facebook

OM x BFM is a recap of our monthly podcast with our friends at BFM (Listen to the full episode here). In January 2018, we’ll be looking at a few major updates from Facebook that will affect businesses on the social media platform.

1. Facebook Organic Reach Goes Down

Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg made an official statement about the direction moving forward for Facebook this year. To quote what he said,

“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.”

What Facebook found was that content from brands and media outlets were flooding users’ news feeds, and they were missing out on important moments by people that actually mattered to them. That’s why Facebook has decided to go back to its core of helping people stay connected to each other.

The flip side of this is that brands will see organic reach plummet. According to digital agency Jellyfish, organic reach in Europe has gone down to around 2 percent. This means if you have 10 thousand followers, only 200 will get a chance to see your posts. Out of the 200, how many will actually interact or click for further information?

The fact is this: organic reach is becoming more and more regulated. If you haven’t been spending on Facebook, chances are you will need to start soon. For those of you who have been spending, there will need to be a greater emphasis on how your ad budget is being spent, and whether your ads are hitting your goals.

2. Facebook Page Posting Frequency appears

Facebook has been testing this new feature that lists out a Page’s posting frequency in the search results. This shows how Facebook is emphasising the importance of regular updates. Although organic reach may be dropping, all the more your brand needs to be consistent in posting meaningful content.

A person scrolling through the search results will be more likely to follow an active Page that posts at least once a day than a Page that hasn’t posted for months. A good rule of thumb is to keep to a minimum of 3 postings a week, and a maximum of 3 a day during peak periods.

3. Facebook AR Studio now in Open Beta.

Do you know all those cool filters you get when playing around on Facebook Stories? Facebook’s AR Studio, which was previously in Closed Beta is now available to all in Open Beta. This means brands can now create unique Facebook Frames/Filters with Augmented Reality capabilities.

In essence, Facebook is making it possible for anyone to create AR content on Facebook. This gives opportunities to brands to create interesting, meaningful content to share with their fans.

4. Facebook introduces a Messenger plugin for business websites.

In 2018, users will continue to expect faster reply times on social media. For brands who already have people handling the direct messages coming in on social media, this next Messenger feature will be very useful. This feature that’s being tested allows you to incorporate a Messenger plugin into your business websites.

How it works is that instead of the usual chat pop up that appears on your website, you can add a familiar blue Messenger icon to your website, and users can click on it to interact directly with your brand via Messenger.

For visitors coming to your website, this is something they are already familiar with and more likely to engage with. Dealing with queries there and then will also be helpful to visitors, who can get a real-time answer instead of filling up an email query form.

That’s all the updates we have for January 2018. Stay tuned for our next upcoming blog post!

The Top 4 Social Media Trends in 2017

Facebook Live

2017 has been an exciting year for social media! We’ve seen major updates, introduction of new content formats and redesigns across many social media platforms.

If you just breeze through some of the top social media sites, you’ll realise that each of them have been evolving to meet the demands of social media users.

  • Facebook introduced multiple features and updates, as expected.
  • YouTube redesigned their logo and introduced the dark theme.
  • Twitter lifted the cap for 140 characters and extended it to 280 characters.
  • Snapchat redesigned their entire interface.
  • But Instagram takes the cake this year for the way they have dominated the market with the widespread adoption of Instagram Stories and the addition of the Instagram business tool. Read on to find out what were our top 4 picks for social media trends in 2017!

    1. Instagram becomes more like Facebook.

    With the introduction of Instagram business tools, the platform is evolving to cater more towards brands and marketers (similar to Facebook). Before this, businesses had difficulty gaining insights into how their Instagram page was doing. Now, they are able to receive insights about followers, page performance, demographics, and trends for future references. Instagram has also made it easy for marketers by allowing them to buy ads directly fromt the platform.

    Early in July, Instagram had 15 million business profiles; now, the platform boasts of more than 25 million active business profiles. The fact is that businesses are getting noticed on Instagram, with 80 percent of users following at least one business account.

    So if you’re a business, but you are not yet on Instagram Insights, get on with the program because you are missing out! All it takes is a click within your app.

    2. Ephemeral content remains relevant.

    When we used to talk about ephemeral content, we would think about Snapchat. However, this year Instagram Stories has dominated most of the conversation surrounding this topic. Not only has Instagram Stories taken over Snapchat in terms of users, Instagram Stories has earned its position as the ultimate platform for this type of content.

    While Instagram has over 500 million daily active users, 300 million of those are on Instagram Stories each day. That’s a whopping 60 percent of users that have adopted Instagram Stories as part of their daily lives. It’s no wonder that advertisers, brands and influencers have been jumping on Instagram Stories as their platform of choice—sometimes even more so than their actual Instagram feed.

    We’ve seen an array of new features on Instagram Stories this year—Boomerang, Superzoom, polls and recently the ability archive and highlights Stories. We can only expect for more of the unexpected in 2018.

    3. Live video gains traction.

    Many people said 2017 would be the year of video, but it turned out to also be the year of live video. While the concept may have started out with Meerkat, and later Periscope, this year has seen Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube go live.

    Live video is appealing because of the authentic nature of it. You don’t have full control over what happens once you go live, and that sort of spontaneity or even uncertainty makes live videos so much more worth watching.

    According to Forbes, users receive 200% more notifications for live video compared to all other activities. This shows how much the social media giants have been pushing for live video in 2017, however only time will tell if the novelty of this content format will wear off.

    4. Talking to robots becomes the norm.

    The fourth major trend we saw in 2017 was the evolution of interaction on social media, especially with the implementation of chatbots. For starters, we’ve seen many brands using simple chatbots on social media to respond to frequently asked questions. This has helped brands to improve their overall response time and customer service experience.

    Chatbots have evolved to a point where some of them are even able to generate qualified leads. Some companies have been able to contain the whole customer journey from awareness to purchase within Facebook Messenger, giving users a seamless experience.

    In fact, the growth of AI this year has also been seen across industries, whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. And we can probably expect more of AI integration within the realm of social media in 2018 and beyond.

    That sums up our major social media highlights for 2017. Let us know in the comments below what you consider the social media highlight of the year.

    OM x BFM | December 2017

    OpenMinds at BFM

    OM x BFM is a recap of our monthly podcast with our friends at BFM (Listen to the full episode here). In December 2017, we’ll be looking at a few new features on Instagram as well as an ad buying update from Facebook that we know marketers will like!

    1. Instagram introduces Stories Archive & Stories Highlight.

    Instagram Stories was born as a type of ephemeral content—here today and gone tomorrow. But with this latest update, Instagram is allowing you to not only archive your Stories, but to also highlight them to all your followers on your Instagram feed.

    Until now, any budget invested in an Instagram Story had a 24-hour window to generate ROI or fulfil any KPI decided by the brand. With this new feature, brands will have more control and even greater opportunities to showcase their best moments and key highlights on Instagram.

    2. Instagram is testing out regramming function.

    Another interesting update is that Instagram is possibly adding a “Regram” button within the app. This would be huge for users and brands alike because it saves the trouble of having to manually screenshot or use third-party apps to repost content.

    If you think about it, having such a button would be logical because sites like Facebook and Twitter already have the “share” and “retweet” button. Nevertheless, this is something worth looking out for in the coming year!

    3. Instagram allows you to follow a hashtag.

    Probably one of the biggest updates this month is Instagram’s new feature that allows you to follow a hashtag just like you follow a user. Instead of having to manually search a hashtag each time you’re on Instagram, you’ll now get automatic updates on your feed from the hashtags you love!

    For brands and marketers, it’s time to up your hashtag game. It no longer suffices to just have 30 random hashtags. Instead, get creative and put effort in creating hashtags that will build a following.

    4. Facebook introduces more tools for advertisers.

    Once again, Facebook has come up a range of new tools aimed at helping brands reach their audiences more effectively.

    Dynamic Language Optimization allows advertisers to create a single ad set, while Facebook helps to match users to their preferred language based on location.

    Multi-city Targeting gives advertisers the ability to target their ads to different cities, while providing additional insights on the market size of those cities.

    Multi-Country Lookalikes helps advertisers to form new sets of audiences not only based on their interests and demographcis, but also in multiple countries.

    FB IQ Cross-Border Business Insights Finder shows advertisers comparative data from other countries. That means advertisers will gain insights on what has worked and hasn’t worked for brands in certain countries, allowing advertisers to make better and informed decisions when buying ads internationally.

    In general, these new tools are making it easier for businesses to expand and reach an optimized range of international audience. This goes to show how Facebook is continuing on its mission to make the world borderless.

    That’s all the updates we have for December 2017. Stay tuned for our special blog post on “The Top 4 Social Media Trends in 2017″ this week!

    How to Become a Copywriter in 3 Simple Steps

    Typing on Computer

    Anyone can write copy.

    In fact, anyone can write good copy.

    If you pay close attention to your surroundings, you will find that good copy is all around. Whether it’s the things you see or the conversations you hear, copy is everywhere—as long as you can identify it.

    But, what is copy?

    Simply, copy means words.

    Copy refers to the words you find in advertising, whether it is on billboards, in magazines or even social media postings.Yes, that means even your daily Instagram Stories involve copywriting!

    All this while, you may have been writing copy without even realizing it. But now, it’s time to delve deeper and find out how to become a legit copywriter.

    green-chameleon-21532

    1. Start Writing.

    The key to become a copywriter is to start writing intentionally.

    During my college years, aside from my assignments and group projects, I began blog writing for topics I was interested in. I even picked up freelance copywriting and wrote for a Korean green tea company based in New Zealand. I made it a point to write at least one blog a week, and that’s how I grew in copywriting.

    For you, it may be as simple as committing to write Instagram captions once a day. Whatever it is, start somewhere and keep on writing.

    Bullet Journal

    2. Develop a Copywriting Process.

    Every copywriter has a process.

    This allows them write copy quickly, consistently and thoughtfully. Here’s my copywriting process.

    [Step 1: Do Your Research.]

    Before even writing, you need to understand what you are writing about. This is a key phase that lays the groundwork for the following steps.

    [Step 2: Know Your Target Audience]

    It is important to understand who you are writing to. The person’s age, gender, preferences and even personality should influence the tone and manner of your writing.

    [Step 3: Find Your Central Message]

    Many times, copywriters try to include all the information they can find into one piece of copywriting, and the result is one big mess. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a 7-word headline or a 2,000-word blog article. Find the one thing you want to say and form everything else based on it.

    [Step 4: Come Up With A Tagline]

    Popular taglines and headlines stick with you, like Nike’s “Just Do It” and McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it!” And these phrases form the base for how people perceive your brand. To learn how to write a killer headline, check out Copyblogger’s in-depth tutorial here.

    Writing Tools

    3. Build Your Copywriting Toolbox

    When you’re facing writer’s block, or when you’re looking for just the right word to use, that’s when your copywriting toolbox comes in handy. Here are a few of my copywriting tools.

    [Swipe File]

    This is a copywriter’s moodboard. It can contain various kinds of words, phrases or copywriting examples that a copywriter finds inspiring or helpful.

    Swipe File GIF

    My swipe file contains a list of power verbs and proven keywords that help create urgency, build trust and inspire action. Start building yours today, or refer to sites like Swiped.co to get more info.

    [Thesaurus or Words-to-use.com]

    Using the same words over and over and over again can get repetitive. That’s why tools like these help copywriters keep their copy fresh and interesting.

    My personal favourite is Words-to-use.com because it provides you with words, phrases and sentences related to a specific category. For instance, the meat and seafood category alone contains over 200 adjectives!

    [Listen]

    The most important skill of a copywriter is not the ability to write, but the ability to listen.

    A lot of amazing copy comes from what you hear throughout the day. As a content strategist, I find that the best time to gather copy is during meetings and conversations with people. Usually, hidden gems can be found when someone who’s passionate about a project shares his or her heart.

    Storm Trooper Pointing at Camera

    You Can Be A Copywriter Today.

    There you go, all it takes to become a copywriter are these 3 simple steps.

    Stop thinking and start writing today!