Appiness.io blog

04 Oct 2017
by Admin

5 Brilliant Social Media Campaigns (and What You Can Learn from Them)

Are you using social media for your business marketing?

If the answer is ‘no,’ then you’re likely losing money, because you’re missing opportunities to engage your target audience.

But if the answer is ‘yes,’ think about your most successful campaign.

What made that campaign so hot?

Do you even know?

Because the truth is, many brands luck upon a successful campaign, and then they’re shocked when they can’t duplicate that same success on the next campaign.

Does that sound like you?

Even if it doesn’t, chances are that you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve your social media marketing (SMM).

So instead of just throwing out facts and stats that are hard to quantify, let’s take a look at five social media campaigns that worked well, and analyze why they were so effective.

1. World Wildlife Fund – “LastSelfie Campaign (Snapchat)

For many years, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has tried to protect the rights of endangered species.

But it’s much harder to grab people’s attention in a world with so many distractions, so the WWF decided to launch a social media campaign that tapped into one of the more popular social media trends: disappearing content.

The WWF posted powerful images of a gorilla, a tiger and a polar bear on Snapchat, each staring directly into the camera with the hashtag: #LastSelfie.

5 Brilliant Social Media Campaigns (and What You Can Learn from Them) | Social Media TodayAnd because the images vanish within 10 seconds, they’re even more poignant, because they mirror exactly what’s happening to these animals.

Key Takeaway: Social media is all about grabbing attention as quickly and powerfully as possible, and images are the most effective way to do that.

But the WWF also did something smart by creating a memorable hashtag that used a word (‘selfie’) which has currency on social media platforms. Powerful images plus catchy hashtag equals a strong campaign.

2. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Promo Campaign (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook)

Movies are a product just like any other, and they need to be marketed to a targeted audience. The makers of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues had the advantage of promoting a sequel, which meant there was prior brand awareness.

But in a saturated movie market, they still had to grab eyeballs, and they implemented a full-front assault on social media channels, using the movie character of Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) in hilarious YouTube videos in which he delivered special Christmas and Halloween messages as well as hilarious video chats.

[embedded content]

The filmmakers also created several hashtags, including #MakeRushmoreClassy, an attempt to add Ron Burgundy and his action news team to Mount Rushmore.

5 Brilliant Social Media Campaigns (and What You Can Learn from Them) | Social Media Today

Most effective, however, was an international casting call for people to post audition tapes for fictitious news anchor, meteorologist and sportscaster positions.

Users were invited to post their auditions on YouTube, and needless to say, the crazier the better.

Key Takeaway: Market your ‘star.’

The filmmakers knew that moviegoers loved the Ron Burgundy character, so they focused all their campaigns on showcasing him in all his dumb glory.

The same thing applies to your business. Don’t be afraid to showcase your product or service ‘star,’ because that’s what your target audience wants to see. The key is to find ways to market that ‘star’ on different social media platforms, taking advantage of what each one offers.

For the Ron Burgundy movie, YouTube offered video marketing that allowed the filmmakers to create short, hilarious clips featuring their star.

The filmmakers used Twitter to create hilarious hashtags that were simply derivations of Ron Burgundy’s funny catchphrases.

Tailoring the content to fit the platform gave Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues high brand awareness, which resulted in an opening weekend gross of $26 million, and a final domestic gross of $127 million.

3. Clorox – ‘Clean Matters’ Campaign (YouTube)

Clorox’s most recent social media campaign is titled ‘Clean Matters,’ and instead of just promoting the company’s ability to get rid of stains, the campaign opts for something more powerful: the idea of renewal and rebirth.

For Clorox, getting clean has a deeper connotation in this campaign, because it’s about new beginnings and new possibilities.

In one of the YouTube spots, ordinary people are shown creating messes in different circumstances, then cleaning those messes with Clorox.

After the cleaning, we see aftermath shots, including fresh tablecloths for a family reunion, clean leather car seats for a teenage boy who’s driving his date to prom, and clean hands for an OB/GYN who is about to deliver a baby.

In another short YouTube clip, an elderly Navy veteran takes out his crisp, white uniform and dresses in front of a mirror, before giving a salute.

[embedded content]

Key Takeaway: Show how your product or service impacts the lives of ordinary people.

In these YouTube spots, we see how the act of cleaning represents something new and wonderful. This creates a personal connection between viewers and the product that’s based on emotion.

Find ways to tell the ‘story’ behind your product or service, and look to explain the ‘why’ of your business instead of the ‘what.’

4. Marshalls – Pin Pals Campaign (Pinterest)

Marshalls had a problem. The company was doing ok, but it wasn’t generating the kind of attention it wanted, because frankly, shopping at one of the company’s stores had become a routine experience for their targeted audience: women between the ages of 25 to 54.

So they implemented a ‘Pin Pals’ social media campaign with Pinterest, with the purpose of making the shopping experience at Marshalls exciting and relevant again.

Partnering with YouTube fashion and beauty influencers, Marshalls targeted the Pinterest pages of their shoppers and created a box of products based on what shoppers had pinned.

The company then sent gave this box of goodies to an influencer, who then personally visited the home of shoppers that had been chosen randomly for the campaign and delivered the gift.

The influencers created videos that showed how they surprised the Pin Pals, capturing their shocked and joyous reactions as they opened their gift boxes.

5 Brilliant Social Media Campaigns (and What You Can Learn from Them) | Social Media TodayThe campaign generated 475 million impressions and 420,000 social media engagements, doubling the average Marshalls Pinterest engagement rate.

Key Takeaway: Shake things up.

If your marketing has been playing to your audience in a predictable way that doesn’t change how they experience your products and services, do something bold and attention-grabbing.

It may mean that you have to give away some products and services, but that could be a small price to pay in exchange for increased engagement and audience excitement.

5. Mr. Clean – ‘Cleaner of Your Dreams’ Superbowl Campaign (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter)

Mr. Clean wanted to change its image and show the value of a man who was willing to clean around the house.

To build anticipation for its ‘Cleaner of Your Dreams’ Superbowl commercial, Mr. Clean dropped teaser clips on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter that showed a muscled, sexier version of Mr. Clean who was almost – dare we say – naughty in how he went about cleaning the house in his tight white shirt and tight white pants.

The clips built huge buzz about this new type of Mr. Clean, and generated 11,700 mentions in the 60 seconds after the campaign began.

[embedded content]

And after the commercial aired on Superbowl Sunday, the YouTube version was widely watched and has been viewed more than 17 million times.

Key Takeaway: Show your product’s value in a real-life setting so your audience sees how it can solve a problem in their life, or fulfill a want or need.

The Mr. Clean campaign worked because the company cleverly repositioned the chore of cleaning as being something that a strong, sexy man could do, which would increase his appeal to his female partner.

The campaign showed that men could clean (solving the problem of a messy house), and fulfilled a desire (women wish men would pitch in to help clean), while also being smart, clever and sexy.

Sell the Experience Not the Product Or Service

What all these social media campaign examples have in common is that they focused on the audience experience more than on the product or service. People were already familiar with the products of these companies, but what changed was how the companies personally engaged with viewers to enhance their experience.

For all its bells and whistles, social media marketing isn’t necessarily about proving your product or service is the best, it’s about showing people how your products and services will comfort them, make them feel safe, make them feel good, and provide real value in their everyday lives.

03 Oct 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Yahoo Says All 3 Billion User Accounts Affected By 2013 Hack

(Reuters) – Yahoo, now part of Verizon Communications Inc, said on Tuesday that an investigation showed all 3 billion of its user accounts were affected in a 2013 data theft, tripling its earlier estimate of the largest breach in history.

However, the company said the investigation indicated that the stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.

Yahoo said last December that data from more than 1 billion user accounts was compromised in August 2013.

Verizon in February lowered its original offer by $350 million for Yahoo assets in the wake of two massive cyber attacks at the internet company.

The closing of the deal, which was first announced in July, had been delayed as the companies assessed the fallout from two data breaches that Yahoo disclosed last year. The company paid $4.48 billion for Yahoo’s core business.

A Yahoo official emphasized Tuesday that the 3 billion figure includes many accounts that were opened but never or only briefly used.

The company said it was sending email notifications to additional affected user accounts.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and David Shepardson; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

03 Oct 2017
by Admin

Facebook Announces New Measures to Tackle Political Interference via Facebook Ads

Following Facebook’s recent investigation into Russian-backed ads which ran on their network in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, The Social Network has announced a new set of measures to help them tighten control over ad content and ensure such misuses of their platform are minimized where possible.

Facebook recently conducted an internal investigation after questions were raised over the role the platform might have played in swaying voter behavior. After initially dismissing the idea that their system played any significant part, Facebook has now handed over more than 3,000 ads to congressional investigators which had been purchased by a Russian company, seemingly to influence U.S. politics.

The aims of those ads vary significantly – while many don’t necessarily support one candidate or another, the ads clearly sought to amplify divisive political issues, thereby destabilizing the election process.  

Facebook Announces New Measures to Tackle Political Interference via Facebook Ads | Social Media Today

An example of a pro-Trump ad allegedly run by a Russian-backed Facebook Page

The true motives of the Russian-backed ads are at this stage unclear, but the expanded set of examples Facebook has now provided to Congress may reveal more clues and help provide some understanding of the outcomes they sought to achieve.

In response to their findings, Facebook has announced five new ad measures – which will have impacts beyond political interference alone:

1. Making advertising more transparent

The first initiative will essentially lift the curtain on Facebook dark posts – or ads that are targeted to specific audiences but are not visible on the originating Page or to those outside that focus group.

You’ll still be able to target your Facebook ads to whatever audience you wish, but the new measures will ensure that anyone will be able to see all the ads your Page is running at any given time.

To provide even greater transparency for people and accountability for advertisers, we’re now building new tools that will allow you to see the other ads a Page is running as well – including ads that aren’t targeted to you directly.”

The idea behind this is that it will enable Facebook to highlight discriminatory ad content, and will give users more insight into the motivations of a brand or Page.

Many of the Russian-backed ads were aimed at very specific audience segments, with the intent to incite emotional response and sway voter response. If a user were able to see the different ad variants, they might be less inclined to trust the motivations of such Pages.

And while this system will have clear benefits for those in the political sphere, it’ll also have impacts for regular businesses using Facebook ads. Now, competitors will be able to see your ad variants, while you’ll also need to consider your messaging to each audience segment, knowing that anyone will be able to see all your ad content.

In a general sense, the impact should be minimal, but it will add another consideration to the Facebook ads process.

2. Strengthening enforcement against improper ads

Facebook’s also beefing up their ads review team to help detect and eliminate bad actors before they even make it through to their audience.

“Reviewing ads means assessing not just the content of an ad, but the context in which it was bought and the intended audience – so we’re changing our ads review system to pay more attention to these signals. We’re also adding more than 1,000 people to our global ads review teams over the next year, and investing more in machine learning to better understand when to flag and take down ads. Enforcement is never perfect, but we will get better at finding and removing improper ads.”

The addition of more than 1,000 new staff underlines just how seriously Facebook is taking the issue, underlining the potential influence the platform may have had.

More reviewers will mean better quality ads, which can only be a good thing overall, while improved detection systems will help filter out questionable content and ensure there are more clear links between the advertiser and the intent of each ad.

3. Tightening restrictions on advertiser content

Facebook’s also broadening their interpretation of ad content which utilizes ‘expressions of violence’:

We hold people on Facebook to our Community Standards, and we hold advertisers to even stricter guidelines. Our ads policies already prohibit shocking content, direct threats and the promotion of the sale or use of weapons. Going forward, we are expanding these policies to prevent ads that use even more subtle expressions of violence.”

What, exactly, those more subtle expressions might be will be a relevant note, but the general idea of eliminating ads which condone or suggest any type of violence is obviously a positive. It may, however, drag Facebook back into debates around free speech, particularly for those who want to use Facebook ads to promote a cause, depending on how they define the new regulations.

4. Increasing requirements for authenticity

This measure directly relates to election-based advertising:

“We’re updating our policies to require more thorough documentation from advertisers who want to run US federal election-related ads. Potential advertisers will have to confirm the business or organization they represent before they can buy ads.”

This is more in line with general advertising guidelines, adding an additional requirement of authenticity and disclosure to the political campaigning process.

5. Establishing industry standards and best practices

And the last new measure is more a rallying call, a note to indicate that Facebook’s looking to work with related authorities and improve their performance.

“In order to fight threats like these, we’re all going to need to work together. We are reaching out to leaders in our industry and governments around the world to share information on bad actors and make sure they stay off all platforms.”

Really, Facebook needs to underline its intent in this regard. The platform has long touted the advanced capacity of its ad platform, its ability to reach almost anyone and utilize advanced targeting to connect with them just at the right moment, ensuring optimum response. It seemed almost counter-intuitive for Facebook to then claim their platform couldn’t possibly have been used to influence the election – especially when various studies have already proven the power of Facebook’s almighty audience data set, even in specific election context.

There’s no doubt Facebook has the capacity to influence, and with more than 2 billion users, that capacity is only increasing – and that’s before you consider their other platforms in WhatsApp (1.3b users), Messenger (1.3b) and Instagram (800m), which can all also be used for advertising purposes to varying degree.

The Social Network may want to play this down to avoid regulation, but as has been noted by various commentators, you can’t tout the effectiveness of your ad products, then disparage them when they’re used to influence other movements. Facebook can be used to influence behavior, and clearly was used for such purpose in the 2016 Election.

Hopefully these new measures are step towards more effective policing of those with questionable motives.

02 Oct 2017
by Admin

Halloween Social Media Campaigns: 4 Trends to Inspire Giveaway Ideas

It’s time to get creative with Halloween social media campaigns.

Halloween is crazy big business in the U.S. In 2016, total Halloween spending was $8.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. And since 171 million people will celebrate Halloween this year, there’s plenty of opportunity for businesses to get in on the action – even if you don’t sell candy or costumes.

That’s the good news, but the reality is that while it’s easy for retailers to tailor their sales around events like Halloween, it’s not so simple for everyone else.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some projected 2017 Halloween trends, and suggest Halloween contest and other giveaway ideas which you can use to help you reach your existing customers, and get in front of new ones.

Trend #1: Instagram loves #Halloween

Millennials are the adult age group most likely to participate in Halloween, and they’re big spenders when it comes to costumes. All those sexy nurses and Walking Dead wannabees fork over an average of $42.39 for a costume.

Since people love to share photos and video, consider running anInstagram hashtag giveaway amongst your Halloween social media campaigns.

The goal: inspire Instagrammers to post, share and create a buzz around your event, business, and prize or other incentive.

You could run a simple costume contest, asking people to share a photo of themselves or their kids in costume, using your hashtag(s) in the caption. Or, if you’re planning on hosting a Halloween-themed event, you could ask people to post a photo with your hashtag in exchange for free entry to the event.

Another option: when they share a photo, they get a two-for-one deal on food or drinks at your restaurant or bar.

Halloween Social Media Campaigns: 4 Trends to Inspire Giveaway Ideas | Social Media Today

Trend #2: Trick-or-treating has evolved

In 2016, only 29.7% of families who celebrated Halloween went out knocking on neighborhood doors. Parents are looking for “alternative” ways to celebrate that don’t involve candy, nuts and other allergens, and are also safer. Bottom line: Trick-or-treating in the neighborhood just isn’t what it used to be.

So what’s replaced it? Some communities are hosting “trunk or treating” events in parking lots, sponsoring trick-or-treat events in shopping malls or downtown centers, or even throwing elaborate Halloween/fall festivals. In fact, the number of people planning to carve a pumpkin or visit a haunted house are both up, suggesting that people might be more into celebrating with events and experiences instead of just collecting candy, says the NRF.

Obviously your customers aren’t going to come trick-or-treat at your business, but you can still get in on the seasonal fun with creative Halloween marketing campaigns such as hosting a recipe contest, ideal for the entertaining-at-home concept.

You could feature a couple of prizes, then give everyone who enters a treat in the form of a coupon or discount to your company’s products or services, even if you’re a B2B.

Halloween Social Media Campaigns: 4 Trends to Inspire Giveaway Ideas | Social Media Today

Trend #3: Halloween brings out a lot of personality

Get interactive with your Halloween marketing.

You can use a “Buzzfeed” style personality quiz to learn more about your customers and what kinds of products and services they like. A quiz not only makes it fun for readers to participate, it also makes it easy for you to gather customer data to fine-tune your marketing throughout the holidays.

Halloween Social Media Campaigns: 4 Trends to Inspire Giveaway Ideas | Social Media Today

Trend #4: Halloween marks the start of buying season

eCommerce now accounts for about a third of Halloween-related purchases, priming the online pump for sales related to the two other major holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kiplinger’s predicts eCommerce sales will grow by 14% this year.

Even if you decide Halloween Social media campaigns and promotions are not for you, now’s the perfect time to get your customers thinking about what’s right around the corner.

You could treat them to special Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday deals. Encourage people to share their email address with you in exchange for exclusive deals you’ll be sending in the coming weeks.

Halloween Social Media Campaigns: 4 Trends to Inspire Giveaway Ideas | Social Media Today

Essential promotion tactics for Halloween social media campaigns

Even the most well-designed contest can be overlooked if it’s not properly promoted. 

Three essential strategies for Halloween marketing include:

  1. Embed your giveaways – Embedded contests, giveaways and other campaigns get twice as many views as Facebook-only campaigns. Embedding campaigns on your website, blog or eCommerce platform also lets you bypass web-development hurdles, saving time and money.
  2. Leverage different social networks – Sometimes you need the perfect opportunity to run a promotion on Instagram or Facebook, and Halloween could be that opportunity, given the platforms are image-based.
  3. Have a paid promotion strategy – We always recommend running ads alongside your giveaways and other campaigns, but this is especially important during Halloween and the holiday season. Social networks are flooded with promotions, deals, coupons and offers and it’s even more difficult (than usual) to be heard through all that noise. Having a Halloween advertising campaign will help get your content in front of your audience.
01 Oct 2017
by Admin

What Pinterest's Hashtag Announcement Really Tells Us

Pinterest recently announced that hashtags are now a working feature on the platform. The announcement will enable Pinners to easily discover new content, as well as ensure their content is seen by more, yet relevant users. 

The focus of the announcement is clearly rested on users, however, the clear winner here is Pinterest. 

Worst case scenario, Pinners don’t utilize the feature similar to what occurred with the rollout of the feature by Facebook

The difference here is that for Pinners, utilizing hashtags on the platform is not too foreign of a concept, as tagging is the common practice on the network.

With many winning scenarios possible, the announcement updates actually provide some indication of what Pinterest would ideally like to see happen with Pinterest hashtags:

1. Pinners are recommended to utilize “no more than 20 hashtags” and to be descriptive as possible.

What this really tells us:

Pinterest would like a robust dataset offering per pin, but has likely figured out internally that anything beyond 20 hashtags is territory of the non-relevant. Building out robust search capabilities by utilizing the behaviors of social media users is tricky, and instructing Pinners to be succinct, yet descriptive, is a strong boundary to establish.

2. Recommended hashtag use has been split into 2 categories: ‘timely’ and ‘evergreen’.

What this really tells us:

Pinterest wants what Twitter and Instagram have struggled with: getting usage of both. Twitter is ‘of the moment’, with examples of “evergreen” hashtags being the ones that occur weekly (i.e. #MondayMotivation). Instagram has more success with both categories than Twitter, but the #blessed users do have their staples that they primarily stuck to. 

Pinterest has the chance to generate more even distribution with this direction.

3. Promoted Pins won’t show up in Hashtag feeds yet (mostly)

What this really tells us:

Pinterest wants to see if Pinners will actually use the feature, plain and simple.  Pinterest is more inclined to test and learn, as opposed to dropping a new feature and going straight to ads. Thus, Pinterest wants the data to support the additional targeting that advertisers will require. 

Getting their toes wet, however, is where the “mostly” comes into play.  Brands can put hashtags on an organic post which they then promoted and there’s a chance that pin will be distributed in the hashtag feeds.   

Hashtags are nothing new, but for what Pinterest is trying to build, it’s worth paying attention to. As the platform continues their announcements it’ll be interesting to see what they’re really telling us. 

It’s clear that although the announcement is user-focused, Pinterest is hoping for a big #win on the platform.

30 Sep 2017
by Admin
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We Should Make AI And Blockchain Boost Global Trade

By Daniel Feffer and Marcos Troyjo

Globalization has been at a crossroads for a while. The dynamics of freer circulation of goods, capital and people has lost steam. Trade protectionism is on the rise. Multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) seem to provide slow and often insufficient responses to contemporary challenges. There are indeed various forces of “deglobalization” ranging around the world today.

At the same time, sophisticated technologies inaugurate a new era of threats and opportunities that holds the world in awe. The dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution heralds the transformation of professions and the likely end of many jobs as we knew them. Studies show robotics and automation, not cheap labor sources in Mexico or China, are mostly to blame for many deindustrialized sectors and towns in the U.S., Europe or South America.

It is quite paradoxical, but if on the one hand technology in communications, social networks, co-working and transportation brings us ever closer, it is also one of the indirect causes of nationalistic industrial policies and protectionist trade measures.

As a consequence, WTO statistics show that since the aftermath of the Great Recession, defensive trade measures ― in one word, protectionism ― is definitely on the rise. Since the end of World War II, trade expanded formidably and at a much larger proportion than global GDP. And especially after the end of the Cold War and the inclusion of China into global markets, trade became the top driver of prosperity. But that changed from 2008 until now. We have moved from a long period of deep globalization to the current stage where deglobalization trends may unfortunately prevail.

It wouldn’t be unfair to assume the risk of deglobalization and the emergence of industry 4.0 as perhaps the two most important dynamics unfolding in the world today. And there are certainly many actions beyond the realm of trade that must be taken in order to make both globalization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution work. Retraining ― and therefore the “reskilling” of the labor force ― is definitely one of them. But by scanning the technological horizon out there, we feel there are innovations that may actually propel trade and globalization forward, in a way that is both inclusive and smart.

That is why we decided to propose an ITTI ― Intelligent Tech & Trade Initiative (www.itti-global.org), which was launched at the World Trade Organization during its 2017 Public Forum in Geneva.

ITTI will bring together technology and business leaders, negotiators and scholars in debating and devising ways on how blockchain (the trust ledger) and AI (augmented intelligence) can positively impact global trade.

The ITTI WTO launch is one of the first steps in a venture that gathers representatives from institutions and companies as different as ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), IBM, Gearbulk and UNCTAD in assessing how global trade can be enhanced by the expanded use of blockchain and cognitive technology platforms. We see the creation of ITTI as an essential move to drive trade beyond existing roadblocks.

As incipently applied as they are today, both blockchain and AI carry the potential to boost commercial exchanges. Instrumentally, they enable more proactive supply chains by predicting customer behavior, calculating fast and cheap shipping routes and foreseeing customer cancelations. Ultimately, an artificially intelligent supply chain is a proactive supply chain, one that is both agile and able to alleviate the impact of inevitable disruptions. They also enhance compliance software that saves time, help draft smarter contracts or expand the access to trade financing.

But these technologies can also be very inclusive. They can help both SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) and Less Developed Countries (LDCs) seize a bigger piece of the global trade pie. They allow for de-intermediation, increased trust and agile market access. This will help bridge the gap between large MNCs (multi-national corporations) and SMEs, as well as between post-industrial economies and LDCs.

Both SMEs and LDCs lack access to trade networks or formal credit structures. Through blockchain, SMEs can better access credit and link into a broader investor ecosystem, enabling them to set up new trading networks and obtain funding by sharing financial data in a security-rich and transparent public arena. This will result in better transactions and trade agreements for both SMEs and LDCs.

AI can also play a major role in leveling the playing field in trade negotiations. Traditionally, countries have a tough time preparing for trade talks. Delegations, especially representing emerging economies, are not fully equipped to face tough and detailed minutiae. New technologies however can help delegations gather and structure information as well as predict different negotiation scenarios. They can achieve that by using AI tools that give them access and interaction to cloud-based resources.

Additionally, we might be able to use AI more and more in predicting and modeling trade negotiation outcomes. Protectionism often results from subjective, ill-informed analytical dynamics. Not only do they originate from incorrect premises, but they generally do not take into account the negative effects it generates for workers and consumers both domestically and across the world. Up until now, measuring the impact of protectionism ― or, on the contrary, the potential of free trade ― has relied on projection models that have not explored the full potential of new technologies.

By building and applying AI tools to project, predict and weigh the pros and cons of more or less trade agreements, countries will be able to better balance costs and benefits arising from industrial and trade policy decisions. 

Many blockchain and AI applications to trade will have to be adapted from other uses in finance, logistics, or the legal world. And most will definitely have to be built from scratch. That is why we conceived ITTI as a multimedia project that will examine how cutting-edge technologies can bring about new functional and conceptual approaches allowing for international trade transactions and negotiations to advance.

Its ultimate objective is to stir the debate involving the technology community, trade negotiators, business leaders and scholars on how to better pursue a constructive trade agenda. Mindful of both national and multilateral specificities, ITTI therefore aims at countering deglobalization forces now operating in international trade.

It is only by fostering the interaction among these key stakeholders that tech-intensive solutions will be crafted and developed. ITTI will do so by promoting research papers, organizing conferences and producing TV documentaries and interviews series on the future of technology and trade.

We’ve got to make sure this new era that dawns upon us is inclusive of companies big and small, countries rich or emerging, so all can benefit from its endless potential. By bringing technology and trade closer together, we wil not only be lifting flows of exports and imports, but improving the very essence of international cooperation.

Daniel Feffer is president of ICCBrazil, president and founder of ITTI

Marcos Troyjo is director of ITTI and codirector of BRICLab at Columbia University

30 Sep 2017
by Admin

Twitter Adds Ability to Upload and Send Videos via TweetDeck

TweetDeck has announced that users are now able to upload and send videos via tweet through the Twitter management app.

Still something of an under-rated tool yet one widely used by social managers, Twitter has been rolling out gradual upgrades to TweetDeck over time. Last September, they added new time and date search filters to make it easier to find relevant tweets, then in May this year, they added the capacity to search for tweets quoted by other users.

Earlier this year too, there was also talk of a new, paid version of TweetDeck which would include a range of advanced features.

Twitter Adds Ability to Upload and Send Videos via TweetDeck | Social Media TodayThere’s been nothing more on that as yet, but it underlines Twitter’s support for, and belief in, TweetDeck as a social management tool. And given it is owned by Twitter, and thus, had been connection and support directly to the platform data than third party options, it could be a more powerful tool, if Twitter sought to boost it.

But even without such updates, there’s already a wide range of ways you can use TweetDeck, with these smaller additions further adding to the app’s value. Ideally, there’d also be a mobile version for managing your Twitter presence on the go, but even without that, TweetDeck is definitely worth a look, and something all social media managers should be aware of. 

29 Sep 2017
by Admin

Snapchat Announces 3D AR Lenses as a New Ad Option

It was only a matter of time, but Snapchat has this week confirmed that their 3D World Lenses – which they introduced last November – will now be available as an ad option, with Warner Bros and Bud Light partnering with Snapchat on the first iterations of the tool.

Snapchat Announces 3D AR Lenses as a New Ad Option | Social Media TodayThe option will clearly hold appeal for some advertisers – while these initial examples seem fairly basic, in terms of how they could be used, Snapchat’s talking up their potential, using the popularity of their ‘Dancing Hot Dog’ Lens to demonstrate:

Perhaps you’ve seen our Dancing Hot Dog spinning across the world. He’s a new friend of ours, and one of our most popular Lenses to date. The Dancing Hot Dog was viewed more than 2 billion times on Snapchat — a testament to how much our community loves amazing augmented reality experiences inside the camera. Now, you can create yours.”

Snapchat Announces 3D AR Lenses as a New Ad Option | Social Media Today

Snapchat’s ‘Dancing Hotdog’

Indeed, CEO Evan Spiegel recently described the Dancing Hot Dog as “the world’s first augmented reality superstar” – it still feels somewhat strange to be discussing rainbow vomit and dancing food items in a business context. But here we are.

In addition to adding animated characters, Snap also notes that the option can be used to showcase your products in real-world scenes. This is similar to Ikea’s new ‘Place’ app – through a sponsored 3D Lens, you could enable your customers to position a piece of furniture in their home, which, through Snapchat’s tools, would ‘stick’ in place, letting the user see how it looks from different angles.

The new 3D World Lenses will be a higher end ad option on Snapchat. To purchase a campaign, you’ll need to go through Snap’s direct sales team – they won’t be available via the recently launched self-serve ad platform (as with all Lens campaigns).

The campaigns will be available in two formats – as explained by Marketing Land:

  1. They can run as traditional Sponsored Lens campaigns, where they’ll only show up when people swipe through the gallery of Lenses to apply one to their post. As with a normal Sponsored World Lens campaign, a Sponsored 3D World Lens must be bundled with a traditional Sponsored Lens that’s available through the phone’s front-facing camera in order to appear in the Lens gallery, according to a Snapchat spokesperson.
  2. Or they can be attached to a Snap Ad and be promoted outside of the Lens gallery. Users can swipe up on the vertical video ad to use the Lenses, marking the first time that a Lens can be used as a Snap Ad attachment.

Snap says that, on average, campaigns with Lenses drive a 19.7 point lift in ad awareness, a 6.4 point lift in brand awareness, and a 3.4 point lift in action intent. And with 1 in 3 of the app’s 173 million daily active users interacting with Lenses every day, there’s clear potential, though price will be a restrictive factor for most.

Snap needs a few wins to boost their performance after their first two market reports failed to impress. The main narrative Snap Inc. would like to push is that its users are more engaged – they can’t compete with Facebook and Instagram on total user counts, but if Snap can show that their audience is more likely to buy because they’re more active within the app, that could give them a unique selling point.

This far, Snap has failed to prove that case, but additions like this could help improve engagement and revenue per user, boosting the app’s performance.

Snapchat Announces 3D AR Lenses as a New Ad Option | Social Media Today

28 Sep 2017
by Admin

Facebook and Twitter Continue to Expand their TV-Like Video Efforts, Add New Opportunities

Both Twitter and Facebook have continued their push into TV-like content this week, with new announcements on programming which will further expand their efforts.

Earlier this week, Facebook and the NFL announced a new partnership that will see Facebook granted distribution rights for official NFL video, including game recaps and official highlights. Facebook won’t be airing full games on their platform, but they will be able to broadcast videos and recaps, as well as NFL-created programs, which will be ‘uniquely packaged’ for Facebook.

Facebook and Twitter Continue to Expand their TV-Like Video Efforts, Add New Opportunities | Social Media TodayThe deal is a significant one – while it’s not the full games package that Twitter had last year (which has now been granted to Amazon), the NFL still attracts a huge audience, and the NFL Page on Facebook has close to 16 million followers, presenting significant opportunity.

The popularity of NFL content will also give Facebook more opportunity to showcase their new ‘Watch’ video platform, and thus, make more users aware of their exclusive video content.

Facebook and Twitter Continue to Expand their TV-Like Video Efforts, Add New Opportunities | Social Media TodayThat could give their Facebook-exclusive programming a big boost – Watch is yet to roll out to users beyond the U.S., and they likely still need to develop a better way to integrate Facebook video with home TV sets for optimal viewing, but it aligns with rising, on-the-go video consumption behaviors, and will give Facebook new opportunities to attract both viewers and advertisers.

Twitter, meanwhile, has confirmed that the 16 live shows they announced back in May at their NewFronts event have now received advertiser commitment and will all be produced.

Facebook and Twitter Continue to Expand their TV-Like Video Efforts, Add New Opportunities | Social Media TodayVia NewFronts, Twitter’s process is to pitch various programs which will be created dependent on advertiser interest. As reported by Recode, Twitter has now secured the required ad commitments to fund the programs, which means they’ll all be broadcast as part of Twitter’s expanding live content offering.

Interestingly, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also appears to have softened his emphasis on live content. During a recent interview as part of Dmexco in Germany, Dorsey emphasized Twitter’s wider ranging content options when pressed on video, rather than taking the opportunity to talk up the platform’s video focus, as he had been at previous events.

“The more that we can do to help people follow their interests in real time- whether it’s served with text or images or video or livestreams- the more relevant they’re going to be – there is no other platform with the amount of selection and comprehensiveness that we have.”

That doesn’t mean Twitter doesn’t see a future in video content – evidently, from the production of their NewFronts shows, they do – but it may reflect the rising competition in the space, and the challenges Twitter might have in keeping up with Facebook, YouTube and Amazon as they look to create their own, exclusive video content.

From a marketing perspective, these announcements are significant. As viewer consumption behaviors shift to online providers, that’ll give more businesses access to TV-type advertising. Sure, mid-roll ads on Facebook are painful, as they are on any platform, but the real opportunity of digital TV lies in niche focus, in making TV advertising more affordable through specific audience segmentation.

For example, Twitter’s covering an ever-expanding range of live programming, from the Halo World Championships to the National Lacrosse League. Those are very niche, Twitter’s not likely to generate billions of dollars in ad revenue from that content, but each has its own dedicated audience.    

Now imagine if your business sold lacrosse gear. It’d be of significant value to you to reach audiences watching the NLL, right? Add enough of these niche broadcasts in and it cumulatively becomes a significant revenue opportunity – brands that have no chance of being able to afford traditional TV coverage are then able to present relevant video ads a more focused audience, which is not only much cheaper, but also likely more responsive.

This type of targeting also enables video advertisers to utilize social data. Facebook, for example, can ensure your ads are shown to the exact right audience, using their array of advanced segmentation options, and as more people consume more video content, the opportunities of this type of outreach continue to grow. It may not be as attractive as traditional TV advertising, but it could be significantly more effective.

This is why it’s of benefit for marketers to see digital TV platforms take off. Video is already the most effective form of online content, generating the best response and engagement. If Facebook and Twitter can expand their original content offerings, that holds big potential for the expansion of video messaging.

These latest announcements are another step in that direction – there’s still a way to go, but all marketers should be watching on with interest. 

27 Sep 2017
by Admin
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Save Money On Halloween Costumes By Using These 7 Apps

There’s nothing scarier than paying a ridiculous amount of money for a one-time Halloween costume, right? Yet, every Halloween we end up dishing out more for a last-minute wig or cape than we intended to spend on our entire costume. Thus the cycle continues. 

Fortunately for you (and your wallet), the “digital hand-me-down” market of upcycled fashion is all the rage thanks to free apps like Poshmark and Mercari. They have thousands of everyday vendors who are selling useful Halloween items, from wigs to lightsabers and more, at heavily discounted prices.

The best part? Since you’re not costume shopping from a big-box store, it’s practically guaranteed your look will be unlike anyone else’s. Mercari has over 30,000 items in their costume inventory right now, ranging from full costumes to any and all accessories. 

Before you start overspending on your kid’s costume, consider these 7 apps to save big on your Halloween attire, and be sure to sign up for our Full Carts, Can’t Lose email to stay on top of the best sales each week.

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