Pinterest Ads: The Complete Guide for Business

Since Pinterest ads only recently became available to small and medium-sized businesses, you may not have a fully developed strategy for advertising on this important social platform that reaches 100 million monthly active users.

It’s time to change that. Pinterest is a social network that users often visit specifically to gather information about potential purchases: 93 percent of Pinners use the platform to plan purchases, and 87 percent of Pinners have already made a purchase after seeing a product on the platform.

Why your business should advertise on Pinterest

Still not sure Pinterest is a valuable ad platform for your business? Consider this: 75 percent of saved Pins come from businesses, and 2 million people pin product Pins every day.

And Pinners can well afford the products brands are showcasing on the platform: nearly 40 percent of Pinners make more than $100,000 per year, and the average order value of a sale coming from Pinterest is $50, the highest of all major social platforms.

Pinterest’s internal data shows that Pinners who see Pinterest ads have 40 percent greater awareness of new products and 50 percent higher purchase intent than Pinners who have not.

There’s just one catch. For now, Pinterest ads are only available to businesses in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. But with a strong appetite among businesses worldwide, watch for more areas of the globe to be added soon.

3 types of Pinterest ads aligned to your business goals

Pinterest ads, known as Promoted Pins, are essentially regular Pins that you promote to more people by paying for exposure. Pinterest offers three types of ad campaigns to align with your business goals:

1. Awareness

Awareness campaigns aim to get your business in front of new eyeballs—people who have not heard of your business before, do not really know what you do, or are not already interested in your brand. You pay per 1,000 impressions.

2. Engagement

Engagement campaigns are designed to encourage Pinners to interact with your content within the Pinterest platform by repinning or clicking your Promoted Pins. You pay per engagement action: a closeup, repin, or click.

3. Traffic

Traffic campaigns send people from your Pinterest ads directly to your website, and you pay per click.

The process is the same for creating all three types of Promoted Pins, so let’s dive in and get you started on your first Pinterest ad campaign.

How to create a Promoted Pin

Pinterest summarizes the process of creating a Promoted Pin as follows: Get a business account, pick a Pin, decide who sees it, pay for results, and track what’s working. Sounds simple, right? But you need a few more details to get your first campaign up and running. Here’s your step-by-step Pinterest ads guide.

1. Get a business account and choose your goal

You can convert an existing Pinterest account to a business account, or create a new account to use for your business. Since you can only promote Pins you have already posted to your profile, you need to add some Pins—including those you want to promote—before moving on to the next step.

Then, to create a campaign, click on the + button from your profile and select “Create ad,” or go straight to This is where you select what type of campaign you want to create: awareness, engagement, or traffic.

Pinterest Ads: The Complete Guide for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Pinterest.

Simply name your campaign, select the start and (optional) end dates, and set your daily budget.

2. Pick your Promoted Pin

If you’re not sure exactly which Pin to promote, try using the filters on the “Pick a Pin” screen to see your most clicked and most repinned Pins from the last 30 days. This can give you a sense of what content is already working for your business on Pinterest.

Pinterest Ads: The Complete Guide for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Pinterest.

3. Decide who will see your Promoted Pin (and what they see if they click)

The name of the next screen you’ll see is “Add more details.” This is where you’ll choose who sees your Pin (more on that in a moment). But first, you need to determine where on your website you’ll send Pinners who click on your promoted Pin.

Think carefully here about how best to maximize the traffic you generate. Link to a page specifically targeted to Pinterest visitors, preferably one that directly corresponds to the Pin they’ve just clicked. And be sure to use UTM tracking parameters to collect tracking information.

Now, decide who will see your Promoted Pin by choosing your Pinterest ads targeting strategy based on interests (from a list of 420 choices) and keywords. Pinterest will provide recommended keywords based on trending searches relevant to your Pin. You also have the option to manually add keywords or import an existing keyword list.

You can also choose a specific audience: people who have already visited your site or app, existing customers, people who have engaged with Pins that link to your site, or an “actalike” audience that is similar to Pinners who are already engaging with your content.

Pinterest Ads: The Complete Guide for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Pinterest.

Finally, you can fine-tune who sees your Promoted Pin by using the Pinterest ads targeting options to select specific locations, languages, devices, and genders.

4. Pay for results

Before you leave the “Add more details screen,” you’ll need to enter your maximum bid. This is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each desired action on Pinterest.

The interface provides bid guidance and will let you know if your bid is too low, or if it puts you in a good position to compete with other advertisers in your niche. Pinterest uses a “second-price auction model” for ad bids. While that sounds complicated, it just means that you only pay the amount needed to top the next-highest bidder, so you won’t be charged your full maximum bid unless it’s required.

Pinterest Ads: The Complete Guide for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Pinterest.

Review all the information on the right side of your screen to make sure it’s correct and click “Next” to send your Promoted Pin for review.

You’ll have to wait up to 24 hours for Pinterest to review your Promoted Pin for compliance with its rules for advertisers. In the meantime, you will need to set up your billing details so that there’s a payment method available to cover your daily budget once your Promoted Pin is approved.

5. Track what works

Pinterest’s conversion tracking allows you to track page visits, sign-ups, purchases, and custom conversions like repins and closeups. To set it up, click on “Conversion tracking” under the Ads menu on your profile, then select the types of conversion you want to track.

Pinterest creates a snippet of code that you can add to your website, just before the closing <body> tag on the page you want to track.

Pinterest Ads: The Complete Guide for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Pinterest.

Pinterest ads best practices to maximize your budget

When you’re paying to showcase your Pins, you want to make sure they highlight your best brand content. Pinterest, too, has a vested interest in making sure that Promoted Pins are effective and that they don’t disrupt the user experience. After all, Pinners who are annoyed with Pinterest ads won’t engage with them, which would reduce ad revenue for Pinterest and results for advertisers.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to have a thorough read through Pinterest’s advertising standards to make sure you’re following the rules and maximizing your ads’ chances of success. Here are some key Pinterest ads best practices for all Pinterest advertisers.

Be authentic

Your Pinterest ads should reflect your true brand promise. Pinterest specifically prohibits misleading or exaggerated claims and requires advertisers to be honest and straightforward about what they’re advertising and what Pinners can expect from your business both on and off of Pinterest. But you didn’t need Pinterest to tell you that’s how you should do business, right?

Promote high-quality content

Pinterest encourages advertisers to keep Promoted Pins “beautiful, actionable, and interesting.” Since you’re paying for your Promoted Pins, they should be some of your best. Pinterest has clear quality standards that prohibit Promoted Pins with, among other flaws, “improper grammar or lots of capitalization and symbols.”

Use vertical images

While this is not an advertising requirement, of course, it is a best practice that marketers should keep in mind. Vertical pins (that is, Pins that are portrait-oriented rather than landscape-oriented) take up a lot more screen real estate in the Pinterest results and are therefore more likely to draw Pinners’ attention. For mobile views in particular, vertical images appear much larger than horizontal images, which can be cut off or appear too small for users to fully appreciate.

This Pinterest ads guide focused on how to use Promoted Pins to showcase your business on Pinterest, but keep in mind that the platform offers many free ways to help promote your business, too.

You can use the Tailwind for Pinterest app in the Hootsuite App Directory to schedule Pins and manage your Pinterest presence. Install the free app today.

Learn More

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How to Connect With Your Customers Using Curated Content

It’s no secret that social media can help you connect with your customers. From addressing customer support issues to receiving feedback in real-time, social media gives brands the power to converse one-on-one with their fans. As a result, it is critical to develop a social media strategy that optimizes these opportunities.

Curated content—when executed properly—is a powerful tool to include in your social media efforts that will help to build a stronger rapport with prospects and current customers.

Here are five ways curated content can help you better connect with your customers:

1. Curated content demonstrates your understanding of your audience

The key to success on social media is knowing your audience inside and out. This knowledge not only helps you create original content that your customers will love, but it also informs what content you curate. If you consistently post a mix of relevant, interesting, and valuable content, your newsfeed becomes a trustworthy hub of information for your customers. Now your customers don’t have to go far to find the content they are looking for. Delivering a personalized experience that saves your customers time helps to build trust and loyalty.

Regina Anaejionu of ByRegina.Com is one of the most well-known and respected solopreneurs in the blogging industry thanks to her dedication to providing consistent value to her customers. One peek at her Twitter profile shows a jam-packed feed full of useful and applicable third-party content that she knows her audience will love. She is consistently praised for both creating and curating killer content.

2. Curated content supports your customers’ content

Whether you already follow many of your customers on social media or you take time to click through their engagements on your own posts, it’s easy to find out what your customers are working on.

Including your customers’ content in your curated content mix can go a long way towards making a big impression. Share a customer’s blog post with their take on the industry or regram their inspiring picture—and don’t forget to give them credit. Knowing that you took the time to celebrate their individual efforts humanizes your brand and lets your customers know that you care.

GoPro has taken this approach to heart on Instagram by fueling their feed almost entirely with curated posts from their loyal community. Though these photographers are using GoPro products, the focus is entirely on the incredible shots and the stories behind them.

#GoPro Featured Photographer: @rorykramer I'm @rorykramer, professional life liver, free spirit, and freelance #photographer + #videographer. I'm passionate about living life and I love to explore and push the limits. To me, if you're not living life on the edge you are taking up too much space. #Runit About the shot: Time Lapse mode at 0.5. I placed the camera vertically to give it more height.

A photo posted by gopro (@gopro) on Aug 26, 2016 at 4:14pm PDT

3. Curated content builds relationships with influencers who may become customers

Sharing outside content can help foster new relationships with prospects. When you share content and tag the original author, especially along with a positive sentiment, they will likely take notice and pay attention to who you are and what you do.

Because you are intentional about what you curate, chances are you and the author will share many common interests and goals and they will be interested in learning more about your brand.

4. Curated content is not overly self-promotional

Brands that only focus on selling themselves aren’t winning on social media. Avoid this negative impression by curating content that balances out more promotional content.

The percentage of curated posts versus original content should be dependent on you and your audience. But your followers will appreciate your commitment to sharing the best content, not just your own content, and supporting others who can provide additional value.

5. Curated content is a starting point for deeper, more meaningful conversations

Sometimes it’s easy to forget one of the main benefits of posting curated content on social media, especially when you automate the process: using content as a starting point for interesting discussions.

Don’t just post the link to curated content and move on; instead, share your own commentary along with the link and then reply to any comments with additional questions or insight to keep the conversation flowing.

Planning to integrate content curation into your social media strategy? Read our post, Improve Your Content Curation Strategy with These 5 Tips, for more info on how to get started.

With so many ways to connect with your customers on social media, content curation is a no-brainer. Be sure to include it in your social media strategy to make stronger first impressions, boost brand loyalty, and engage more frequently and effectively with your audience.

Learn more about content curation and connect with your customers like never before with UpContent’s presentation at Connect via Hootsuite, our virtual conference. Register for free to learn how to use social media at every stage of the buyer’s journey—from engagement and brand awareness, to driving leads and closing sales.

Connect via Hootsuite takes place October 5, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET/4:30 p.m. BST

Register for Free

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How to Use Snapchat Memories for Business

Whether you’re a newbie learning how to use Snapchat or a seasoned Snapchatter looking to up your game, you should know about Snapchat Memories.

Snapchat Memories is a huge update that will have a big impact on your brand. It has changed Snapchat’s core functionality from a self-destructing photo-sharing app to a sophisticated social network that will allow you to share, store, and repost content.

In this guide to Snapchat Memories, we’ve outlined how to use it and how it will change your business.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to easily create and use a custom Snapchat geofilter to promote your business for as little as $5.

What are Snapchat Memories?

Snapchat Memories are a way for you to save your Snaps or Stories on Snapchat in the cloud for later viewing and sharing. You can find old Snaps by searching for keywords such as “cat” or “holiday,” and Snapchat will pull it up for you.

You can also send Snaps and Stories from Memories to your friends. You can re-upload old Snaps and Stories you’ve taken, mix and match them, or share them as something new.

3 Things You Should Know about Memories

  1. When you share a Snap from your Memories, people will know. If you share a Snap that was taken more than a day ago, it will appear with a thick white border around it as well as a timestamp showing when it was taken. This will alert your friends that you’re sharing a Memory.
  2. Private Memories can be marked with “My Eyes Only.” Worried about scrolling through your Memories and accidentally showing people the wrong one? Snapchat has you covered. You can move Snaps into a “My Eyes Only” category for private viewing.
  3. Snapchat won’t back up photos or videos from camera roll. Snapchat Memories only saves Snaps and Stories from Snapchat. It won’t back up any of your other media, unless you’ve uploaded it to your Story.

How to set up Snapchat Memories

  1. Launch Snapchat.
  2. Tap on the small white circle underneath the Snapchat camera button. A “Welcome to Memories!” screen will pop up.
  3. Tap “Start Using Memories.”
  4. You’ll be prompted to import Snaps that you’ve saved from your phone’s camera roll (it’s optional).
  5. Import chosen Snaps from camera roll.

Get familiar with the Memories tab

In the Memories tab, Snaps are displayed as rectangles, and Stories as circles. There’s a “Search” icon (top left) and “Select” icon (top right).

How to use Snapchat Memories for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Snapchat.

How to save Snaps and Stories to Memories

For Snaps:

  1. Take your Snap.
  2. Click the download button.
  3. Select “Save to Camera Roll & Memories” or “Save to my Eyes Only.”

By default, Snapchat will save your Snaps to Memories and camera roll, but you can change that in your settings if you’d like to save Snaps separately.

How to use Snapchat Memories for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Snapchat.

For Stories:

  1. Swipe right to your Stories.
  2. Click on the three-dot menu and tap the download button.
  3. Save Stories to your Memories and camera roll.

Snapchat will also save your Stories to Memories and camera roll. You can change your settings if you want to save separately.

How to repost Snaps and Stories from Memories

  1. Go to your Memories.
  2. Hold down on the Snap or Story.
  3. Edit the Snap or Story with filters, text, or emoji.
  4. Send to individual people or post to your Story. Remember, if you post an old Snap to your Story, it will appear with a thick white border.


How to create new Stories from Memories

  1. Tap the checkmark in the top right of your Memories screen.
  2. Select the old Snaps you’d like to compile into your Story.
  3. To save this new Story to your Memories, press the circle icon at the bottom of your screen.
  4. To post your new Story, press the arrow icon.
  5. To add Snaps to an existing Story compilation in Memories, hold down on the Story, tap the menu button, and tap Add to Story.
  6. To post an individual Snap within a Story in Memories, hold down, edit the Snap, and tap the arrow icon.

How to make Memories private

  1. Tap the “Select” icon in top right corner.
  2. Tap the Snaps and Stories you’d like to make private.
  3. Tap the lock icon, then tap “Move.”
  4. Once you’ve locked your desired Snaps, they will be in the “My Eyes Only” tab in Snapchat, a password protected area for your viewing only.

What does Snapchat Memories mean for your business?

For the individual user, sharing disappearing content can be a lot of fun. For a brand, creating an endless amount of content that you can’t easily save or store is a frustrating experience. (Before Memories, when you wanted to find old Snaps, you had to dig through your camera roll.) If your brand isn’t on Snapchat, this may be the reason why.

How to use Snapchat Memories for Business | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Snapchat.

Snapchat Memories has completely changed the sharing experience for brands. You can easily save Snaps and Stories to Memories, repost old Snaps, and create new Stories from old Snaps. Here’s what that means for your business:

  • Increase brand awareness: By sharing old Snaps or adding them to new Stories, you can repurpose Snapchat content to reach more people and increase visibility.
  • Save time creating and sharing content: You might not have the resources to dedicate an entire social team to Snapchat. If that’s the case, Snapchat Memories can save you valuable time by allowing you to reuse and repurpose old content.
  • Create new brand stories with old content: We all love a good #ThrowbackThursday post on social. Brands that can tap into the power of nostalgia can significantly increase engagement on social and generate interest in their brand.

Try Snapchat Memories for your brand

Snapchat Memories offers a completely different way for your brand to interact with customers on social. If your brand isn’t on Snapchat yet, this update may give you the push you need to get started.

New to Snapchat? Check out our beginner’s guide to get started. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start figuring out how to use Snapchat for business. Then you can take your Snap game to the next level—build a strategy based on the platform’s demographics, learn how to craft the perfect Snap Story, discover great Snapchat hacks, and get more Snapchat followers.

Hootsuite’s on Snapchat! Click this link on mobile to go directly to Hootsuite’s profile or scan the Snapcode below to add Hootsuite as a Friend on Snapchat.

hootsuite-snapchat-snapcode (2)

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Hootsuite Introduces New, Simpler Plans for Customers

As the CEO of Hootsuite, I love seeing all the innovative ways that our customers have embraced social media. From huge enterprises doing business around the world to craft breweries around the corner from our Vancouver office, organizations are using social to transform their relationships with their customers.

Seeing that sort of passion fuels the Hootsuite team to continue improving our social media management platform. This year alone we’ve made several huge changes. We added Instagram and YouTube as fully supported networks. We also completely re-invented our social media analytics product, to help customers make fact-based decisions in real time.

But there was one area of our business we hadn’t touched in a long time that was also in need of some innovation: our pricing strategy.

For years we offered just three plans:

  1. A Free plan, for people who were just starting to manage social, or who wanted to try our product out.
  2. A Pro plan, for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to grow their social media presence more efficiently.
  3. An Enterprise plan, which was powerful and flexible to suit the needs of even the biggest companies.

The problem was we were ignoring a huge range of organizations who were doing really cool things with social media, but who didn’t need the full power of our Enterprise solution. Plus, our Pro plan had a host of add-ons and options that our customers told us they found confusing.

I’ve talked before about how we waited too long before we started addressing the gap by launching our new Business plan, which includes social media training, advanced functions for big teams, and other asked-for features at a more modest price tag.

Now we’ve gone even further, as we introduce a brand new plan, Team, and a simplified Pro (now called Professional) plan for new customers.

This is the single biggest change to how we sell our product that we’ve made in our history, and we didn’t do it lightly. We did our homework. We listened to customer feedback, we researched our user’s needs, and explored how they actually use our product. We’re now able to offer our customers their choice of five plans: Free, Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise.

We’ve worked hard to make sure these plans align with your needs. Now you can easily move between plans, getting the right set of features and functionality for every step of your social media journey. This also means we can support your social media management needs as they become more complex, and as you expand into using social media for marketing, sales, and customer service.

New Hootsuite customers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand will be able to choose from our new range of plans immediately, and we’re rolling them out globally through the rest of 2016.

What does this mean for our current customers? If you’re a Free, Pro, or Enterprise customer, there are no immediate changes to your pricing or the features you currently get with your plan. We’ll explore ways of helping our Pro customers find the best package of features and functionality in the new year, but for now nothing changes. We promise to keep our existing Pro customers in the loop.

We’ll keep listening to your feedback on these plans as we continue to build products that make it easier for you to innovate and build meaningful relationships with your customers through social media.

The post Hootsuite Introduces New, Simpler Plans for Customers appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

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8 Productivity Apps for Social Media Marketers

Imagine your life without coffee. Even if you aren’t a caffeine enthusiast, imagine never smelling that stimulating aroma, or seeing the words “coffee lover” in every social media manager’s Twitter bio. This delicious elixir was discovered in the 10th century, when beans that had fallen into a fire and roasted were dissolved in water.

We then saw the birth of percolators (1818), the espresso machine (1822), and what became the household standard—the electrical drip coffee brewer (1954). However, the coffee world was turned upside down when the first single-serve coffee pod system was introduced by Nestle in 1976. Efficiency became the name of the game.

There may already be acceptable systems in place, but sometimes you just need to get things done faster. When it comes to social media, the introduction of new tools and apps mean that you can take your productivity levels up a notch. Continue reading for a guide to some of our favorites.

8 productivity apps for social media marketers

1. Evernote

Evernote is the classic note-taking tool. It lets you create project to-do lists, save image notes, set reminders for yourself, and much more. Evernote’s cross-platform capabilities add another level of efficiency to your note-taking, allowing you to take your ideas wherever you go. Take notes from a content brainstorm and easily share them with your social media team, or save images that you want to incorporate into future social posts.

For Android

For iOS

2. Todoist

If you’re a social media manager who lives by your to-do lists, Todoist is an app you’ll want to add to your phone ASAP. One Hootsuite team member swears by Todoist thanks to the gamification aspect it includes when you finish a task (or not). You can also assign tasks to other individuals and group them by project, as well as add notes, files, and track tasks over time. Get ready to start crossing tasks off of some lists.

For Android

For iOS

3. Pomodoro Time

As a social media marketer, you know that every second of your workday counts. Enter: the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a time-management system that involves working in 25-minute intervals divided by short breaks. The idea is these small breaks can improve productivity. To work according to the Pomodoro Technique, use an app such as Pomodoro Time, which lets you manage your time, set goals, and maximize productivity.

For iOS

For Android (Comparable)

4. Canva

Visuals are a huge part of any social media marketer’s strategy, and anything that can make the image creation process more productive should be added to your mobile toolbox. Canva is used by over 10 million people around the world, and for good reason. Use the app to create social media images on the go with Canva’s countless templates and designs. You can add text, graphics, effects, and other engaging additions to your images (or one of Canva’s own).

For Android

For iOS

5. Dropbox

Once you’ve created or sourced images, you don’t want your productivity to be derailed while you try to find these images to add to your social media posts. Instead, use Dropbox to keep all of your files in one place that you can access from any device. You can also share large files quickly with your teammates so that you can get that video up on your Facebook page without waiting for a huge file transfer.

For Android

For iOS

6. Hootsuite

When it comes to productivity apps for social media marketers, we can’t help but toot our own horn. The Hootsuite dashboard and mobile app allows you to easily view, share, and schedule social media posts with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn so that you dedicate more time to actually creating content that gets you results.

For Android

For iOS

7. Noisli

Noise can have a huge impact on productivity—just ask those trying to meet a deadline in an open office. Noisli provides background noise that will “help you improve focus and boost your productivity” because as The Wall Street Journal explains: “A moderate level of noise the equivalent of the background buzz of conversation prompts more creative thought.”

For Android

For iOS

8. Hemingway App

Hemingway App is a tool that will help you improve your writing skills so that you can create clear and quality posts for your social media audience. The tool will highlight any unclear or long-winded sentences, grammatical errors, or the use of passive voice in your writing. Simply copy and paste your text into the Hemingway App and find the areas of your writing that need work.

The right tools can make all the difference for a busy social media marketer. Whether you need help creating an image, sharing files, or writing the best Facebook post, the apps above will equip you to craft the most engaging content for your business.

Up your productivity with the Hootsuite app.

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5 Brilliant Tweets Hootsuite’s Social Team Wishes They Wrote

What Plato called the perfect circle we call the perfect Tweet.

Every once in awhile, a Tweet appears on your timeline that inspires a feeling of admiration, envy, and delight—all at the same time. If you’re a social media manager, you know that feeling. Every day you’re pushing the boundaries on social trying out something new for your brand. You’re looking for inspiration to keep you going.

We asked our talented social team to tell us about Tweets they wished they wrote—here are their responses:


If you have Netflix, you probably remember 2015’s internet sensation, Making a Murderer. When Netflix posted this witty Tweet about the show, it was like pouring gasoline on a brightly burning fire. Amanda Wood, our social media marketing specialist, loves this Tweet. She says: “It’s relevant, funny, and not overly promotional. It naturally creates a debate and cleverly mimics what people do when they finish watching docu-series.”

Key takeaway: If people are talking about something related to your brand (in this case, a show that appeared on Netflix), then join in the conversation. As Netflix shows, it’s okay to have a little fun while you’re at it.

The Feds

As our social marketing lead Andy Au points out, social has a way of pushing your brand voice into unfamiliar places and forces you to adapt your voice to whatever medium you’re using. It can be a huge challenge aligning your brand voice to social—especially if you’re dealing with more rules and guidelines in a regulated industry.

“CIA and CSIS do a great job of poking fun at themselves and acknowledging the platform they’re on. This kind of humor wouldn’t work on their official website but it’s endearing and humanizing on Twitter,” he says.

Key takeaway: Even if you work in a regulated industry or have an “enterprise” audience, you can still have a personality on social. It’s your job to get creative and go outside of your comfort zone.


During the blackout that happened at the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo sent out its famous “Dunk in the Dark” Tweet. To many, this Tweet marked a breakthrough in real-time marketing—a strategy focused on current, relevant trends, and immediate feedback from the audience.. It may be one of the most analyzed Tweets of that year in the marketing world, with a flurry of articles and commentators on the subject.

Nick Martin, our social engagement coordinator, loves this Tweet because, “It was not only super relevant to what people were discussing online, but it was also clever and on-brand.” It’s like that pivotal Hollywood movie that every film professor footnotes.

Key takeaway: It’s hard to do real-time marketing well. If you’re going to, make sure it aligns with your strategy and it’s on-brand. Otherwise, you risk reducing your real-time marketing to another tax season pun.


If done tastefully (and on time), the parody Tweet can be a hit with your audience. Denny’s did just that. In response to Kim Kardashian’s posting of Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s conversation (if you need a recap of the Taylor-Kim-Kanye drama, BuzzFeed has you covered), Taylor Swift posted a response on Instagram:

That moment when Kanye West secretly records your phone call, then Kim posts it on the Internet.

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Jul 17, 2016 at 9:14pm PDT

Well, as you can imagine, the internet blew up. The phrase, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of…” caught on with parody Tweets abound. Our social marketing lead Matt Diederichs says: “I loved how Denny’s quickly jumped on this news. It’s tough to do real-time social marketing, but this combination of speed and execution made it work.”

Key takeaway: If you’re going to do a parody Tweet, make sure that your audience is in on the joke. Also, make sure it’s relevant. Denny’s still made it about breakfast, after all.


The popular Star Wars hashtag, #MayThe4ThBeWithYou, celebrates an official holiday for Star Wars fans. In honor of the day, Airbnb posted a short video that created a sense of adventure their brand is so known well for.

It’s hard to stay relevant to your audience and join in on a holiday hashtag without feeling strained. Our advocate marketing coordinator Brittany Ho says: “When brands try too hard it usually makes me cringe, but I thought Airbnb’s Tweet was really tasteful and it stayed true to their brand.”

Key takeaway: Don’t jump on every popular hashtag in an effort to get your brand in front of a larger audience. Twitter users are sharp and will see through that. Only get involved in trends when you have the content and message to add value to the conversation.

Write the perfect Tweet for your brand

There’s no magic equation for writing the perfect Tweet. It’s about knowing your audience and trusting what will stick. It takes a lot of brainstorming (and digging) to strike gold, but it’s well worth the effort.

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Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup

Facebook made several algorithm updates, Twitter introduced #Stickers, and Instagram launched Stories—August was far from lazy on social media!

We’ve rounded up all the social media news worth knowing from all the major social networks for the month of August.


Instant Unlock Card

On August 4, Twitter introduced a new ad product called Instant Unlock Card, which can be used in conjunction with conversational ads. Conversational ads, which were originally released back in January, contain images or videos that include call-to-action buttons with customizable hashtags. With new Instant Unlock Card, brands can incentivize users to Tweet by offering exclusive content, such as a film trailer or Q&A. Twitter has also added advanced analytics so that brands can keep track of conversational ad units. Instant Unlock Cards are available to all managed accounts in all markets.

Moments opened up to more creators

On August 9, Twitter opened up Moments to more creators. Initially introduced in October 2015, Moments were originally created by Twitter’s curation team and a select group of publishing partners. Now, Moments is open to a “broader group of creators,” including influencers, partners, and brands. Twitter also teased that “in the coming months,” it will add the ability for anyone to create Moments.

Promoted Stickers

On August 15, Twitter introduced Promoted #Stickers, an expansion of its stickers feature, initially added in June 2016. Twitter #Stickers allow users to add accessories, emoji, and props to the photos they Tweet. #Stickers are searchable in what Twitter calls a “visual spin on the hashtag.” Promoted #Stickers give brands the opportunity to create a set of four or eight stickers that will be available through the #Stickers library. Pepsi is the exclusive launch partner of Promoted #Stickers. The cola brand has shared nearly 50 custom stickers across 10 markets as part of their PepsiMoji campaign. Promoted #Stickers are available globally to select marketers with a managed account.

Notifications settings and quality filter

On August 18, Twitter added a quality filter and new notifications settings. Users now have the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow on Twitter rather than receive notifications from everyone. When turned on, the new quality filter is intended to improve the quality of Tweets users see. It does this by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior.

Twitter explained in an announcement blog post: “Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with.” Both new features are optional and are turned off by default. Additionally, Twitter moved the ability to manage notifications settings to the notifications tab.

Night mode for iOS

On August 22, Twitter rolled out night mode to iOS. Night mode swaps out Twitter’s traditional white background and dark text for a dark blue background with light text. The feature is intended to lessen the strain on users’ eyes when using the app in the dark.

To enable night mode on iOS, go to the Me tab and tap the gear icon. Then tap Turn on night mode. Night mode was added to Android in July.

Use emoji in name and bio

In August, Twitter’s support handled Tweeted that users can use the full range of emoji in their name and bio. It’s unclear when this feature became available, but many users have stated that emoji were not previously supported in Twitter names.


Algorithm update to reduce clickbait

On August 4, Facebook made an update to reduce clickbait. Facebook defines clickbait as headlines that withhold information required to understand what the article is about, or exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations.

The change uses a system that identifies phrases commonly used in clickbait headlines that aren’t used in other headlines, similar to how a spam filter functions. The system will identify posts that are clickbait and which web domains and Pages they come from. The News Feed FYI post explained: “Links posted from or shared from Pages or domains that consistently post clickbait headlines will appear lower in News Feed.”

Facebook also noted that over time, the system will recognize if a Page stops posting clickbait.

Updates to ad blocking

On August 9, Facebook announced they’d begin showing ads on Facebook for desktop to people who use ad blocking software. Instead, the company has endeavored to address “the underlying reasons people have turned to ad blocking software” by introducing additional controls in ad preferences. It’s now easier for users to indicate they’d like to stop seeing ads about a certain interest, such as travel or cats. Users also have the option to stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customers lists.

Algorithm update to prioritize informative stories

On August 11, Facebook added a new signal to the News Feed ranking algorithm designed to show users more stories that they’d find personally informative. Facebook explained: “Generally we’ve found people find stories informative if they are related to the their interests, if they engage people in broader discussions, and if they contain news about the world around them.”

What’s deemed informative is different for each individual user—while it could be recipes for one, it might be current events for another. This signal is combined with how relevant the story might be to the user personally, taking into account factors like their relationship with the person or publisher who posted it or what the user has chosen to click, comment on, or share.

Updated Messenger Platform Policies

On August 15, Facebook announced several updates to Messenger Platform policies. The new policies include time-based criteria for businesses to respond to messages as well as standards for subscriptions in Messenger. The policy updates will result in a faster review process for app submissions: five days or less. For more information, visit the Messenger Blog.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Messenger Blog.

Integration with gaming development platform Unity

On August 18, Facebook announced that game development platform Unity Technologies will integrate support for the Facebook platform. Facebook explained: “Unity and Facebook are joining forces to build new functionality into Unity that streamlines the process for exporting and publishing games onto Facebook. This will allow Unity developers to quickly deliver their games to the more than 650 million players who enjoy playing Facebook-connected games every month.”

A select group of developers will receive immediate access to a closed-alpha build of the new export functionality in Unity version 5.4.

Slideshow ads update

On August 23, Facebook announced new features for slideshow ads. Originally launched in October 2015, slideshow is a tool for “lightweight video” ads created from photos. They’ve since become quite popular as an easy-to-use and dynamic ad format. With the new features, advertisers can now:

  • Add text and music
  • Create slideshows from mobile
  • Use assets from Facebook’s stock image library
  • Easily turn videos into slideshows using a tool that auto-selects 10 still images from uploaded videos

The new tools for slideshow ads are available globally.

Trending topics now algorithmic

On August 26, Facebook made an update to its Trending feature in order to make the process more algorithmic. Previously the process required descriptions to be summarized by hand.

This change also affects how Trending topics appear. Now, rather than a description next to the topic, users will see numbers that reflect how many people are posting or sharing posts about the topic. Hovering over a topic will reveal a popular news article about it, including an excerpt. While the process is now more automated, humans will still be involved in order to ensure topics are high-quality (for example, tied to a current news event in the real world).

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Facebook.


Instagram Stories

On August 2, Instagram launched Instagram Stories, a new Snapchat-like feature that “lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile.” Stories are separate from users’ profile feeds and are intended for real-time posting. Users can share both photos and video which they can embellish using tools like text, drawing, and emoji. All content added to a user’s Story appears in slideshow format. Instagram explained in the announcement blog post: “Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.”

Comment filtering

On August 15, Digiday reported that Instagram has begun to give some accounts with high volume comment threads the ability to filter their comment streams or even turn off comments entirely. Instagram already allowed accounts with a high volume of comments use a basic profanity filter and block words or phrases commonly marked as offensive.

The new feature takes that a step further by giving accounts the opportunity to block terms that affect their specific account, whether they’re an issue in the wider Instagram community or not. It’s not currently clear whether this feature will be made more widely available.

Event Channels on Explore

On August 17, Instagram introduced event channels on Explore. Instagram explained in the announcement blog post: “This channel collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events, and more so you can feel like you’re in the front row. Like the rest of Explore, this new channel is personalized for you and highlights events you might like.”

Event channels are currently available in the U.S. Instagram intends to roll it out worldwide soon.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Instagram.

1 billion Android app installs

On August 22, Mashable reported that Instagram had passed 1 billion Android app installs. According to Mashable, “This makes the photo sharing app the fourth Facebook-owned app to reach the milestone, after Facebook itself, WhatsApp, and Messenger.”


Native video player coming soon

On August 3, Pinterest announced that a native video player is coming soon to the platform. Additionally, Pinterest is also working on personalized recommendations to help users find videos to suit their tastes. Pinterest explained in an announcement blog post: “In the last year alone, we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in videos on Pinterest… it’s more important than ever that the video experience be as seamless as possible.”

Pinterest’s video improvements will hit the platform “over the next few months.”

CPM buying in ad auction

On August 11, Pinterest introduced a new way to buy CPM. The platform now offers the ability to bid on a CPM basis and Pinterest will optimize how it delivers advertisers’ ads to reach more people. Advertisers can also specify the maximum number of times someone sees their campaign. CPM buying is available to all businesses in the U.S., U.K., and Canada through Ads Manager and most Marketing Developer Partners.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Pinterest.

New features

On August 18, Pinterest introduced several new features based on user feedback:

  • The ability to send Pins and board invites to anyone, whether you follow one another or not
  • Improved search to make it easier for users to find people they know
  • The ability to send Pins, boards, and profiles across apps, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and text message
  • The ability to turn off “Picked for you” suggested Pins so that they don’t appear in home feed


YouTube Kids works with YouTube Red

On August 2, YouTube announced that YouTube Kids now works with YouTube Red. Features include:

  • Ad-free videos
  • Offline videos
  • Uninterrupted music while using other apps

This functionality is available in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.


Videos from influencers

On August 2, Linkedin introduced 30-second videos from LinkedIn Influencers. Videos posted by influencers will appear directly in the feeds of their followers, where they can comment and discuss.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via LinkedIn.

Android app testing tool

On August 4, TechCrunch reported that LinkedIn is open-sourcing an Android app testing tool called Test Butler. LinkedIn created Test Butler in the process of developing its latest Android App, due to discovering numerous issues that crashed the test emulator that had nothing to do with the code. Drew Hannay, a LinkedIn engineer who helped create Test Butler, told TechCrunch: “This is something that everyone running Android tests can benefit from.”

ProFinder expands nationwide

On August 24, LinkedIn expanded ProFinder to streamline the process of hiring freelancers. LinkedIn described the service as “a marketplace that connects consumers and small businesses looking for professional services… with top quality freelance professionals best suited for the job.” Now in its pilot stage, the platform has more than 50,000 freelancers spanning 140 service areas. Interested users can submit project requests, which LinkedIn will share with a group of qualified professionals, beginning with those in the user’s network or extended network. Project requests will be met with up to five detailed proposals. ProFinder is currently available in the U.S.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via LinkedIn.

Content search

On August 25, LinkedIn introduced a content search feature on its mobile app. Users can search for topics and find relevant articles published on the platform, either by third-parties or by members in their feed. The new functionality includes the ability for users to search their own feed. Additionally, LinkedIn has added support for hashtags, which are now tappable and lead to search results. Content search is available on LinkedIn iOS and Android apps for English-speaking users but the company plans to roll it out to all members on all platforms in the coming months.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via LinkedIn.


Support for Low Power Mode

On August 25, Snapchat made a small update to address battery drain. When a user’s device is in Low Power Mode, Snapchat will automatically reduce its battery usage.

Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Snapchat.

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The post Social Media News You Need to Know: August 2016 Roundup appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

from Hootsuite Social Media Management