Southern PR's blog is a multi-author, multi-purpose playground: you'll find news and thoughts on the latest issues affecting the sectors we work in, feature stories, practical communication and savvy social media tips.


Social media takeaways from December

Summer is officially here (hurrah!). With only 2.5 weeks until Christmas we’ve compiled our final social media takeaway blog for 2017.

Here’s a recap of seven almighty social media updates and trends to keep in mind for planning and implementation of your social and PR strategy in 2018.

Video is KING

Did we need to remind you? According to a recent Social Media Today infographic, video is expected to account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.

Having the ability to create video content across your platforms remains KEY in your strategy. Grab your iPhone, a tripod and get practising with family and friends this silly season.

 

4K resolution for Facebook

Uploading and sending high res images via email is a thing of a past thanks to the latest Facebook Messenger update. Communities and businesses can now send and receive images in 4K resolution (up to 4,096 x 4,096 pixels per image).

Happy sharing.

 

Milestone moment for Instagram business community

The Instagram business community has grown to 25 million. If you’re a Queenstown business and you’re not already on this platform, it’s time to discover, connect and determine whether this is for you.

Still not quite sure how to reach your customers this Christmas? Relax. Our beloved Instagram is spreading some festive cheer to help you shine bright. Click here to succeed.

 

Ephemeral Content

Never underestimate ephemeral content marketing. Yes, it’s short-lived content (shows and disappears in seconds or 24-hours) however it’s a cost-effective and authentic way to connect with your fans, followers or audiences.

Humanise your brand by sharing your behind-the-scenes moments, show a real-time snippet of your CEO collecting your latest tourism award or showcase your media coverage and products in engaging ways. Whatever your content focus or strategy, it’s one to add to your team’s daily schedule.

 

A tweet ‘storm’ is brewing on Twitter

Along with the extended 280-character limit (do you like it?), Twitter’s Tweetstorm feature is in testing, enabling users to extend their tweets by adding additional context. Here’s how this might look.

To be honest, we have the same reservations as TechCrunch. Could this feature result in never-ending ranting and trolling from critics – potentially leading to additional ‘damage control’ from crisis management teams across the world?

 

Did someone say chatbot?

It’s top of mind and we’re looking forward to watching chatbots evolve for SMB’s next year.

Adding the ‘human’ to these artificial intelligence ‘bots’ remains key and businesses need to know there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your customer’s journey is key.

 

Organic social isn’t dead

Yes, paid social is important to reach new audiences and convert your customers, however organic social is key for nurturing engagement, relationships and interactions.

Sprout Social looks into the importance of ‘sprouting’ engagement on your channels to help your company grow.

 

Looking for some ‘social’ holiday reading?

We’ve got three recommendations for you…

 

Keen for Southern PR to help you through this process or point you in the best direction? Get in touch, we’re happy to talk it through.

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Social Media Takeaways from September

Spring has most certainly sprung and it’s been a busy month all round, not just social media. You’ve got enough to worry about with the general election just happened, not to mention which way dear Winston is going to swing. Because last month’s  social media news and updates are possibly the last thing on your mind, we’ve done the hard yards and compiled a list of ‘go-to’ updates, big and small.

The latest on Instagram

Instagram now lets you block negative comments

Instagrammers with a public profile can now manage who comments and sees comments on posts.

Instagram is aiming to make the platform a friendly and welcoming place where everyone can get along in its social community. All changes come with a new heart-shaped sticker and the #KindComments hashtag.

 

Instagram adds face filters to live video

Instagram filters have been readily available on video and images captured first and then posted, but now its face filters are available on live video.

This means you can customise your live videos even further and even target those audiences that have four legs and a tail [insert puppy dog filter here].

 

The latest on Twitter

Twitter doubles its tweet length

Twitter is testing extending its character count from 140 to 280 to persuade more users to use the platform. Twitter says the reason is to give you more characters to express yourself. Is my name Donald Trump, I hear you asking? What are your thoughts on the extension? Less is more, or more is …..too much?

 

The latest on Facebook

Facebook connectivity team touches down in Puerto Rico

Facebook is not only donating economically to the relief efforts of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, it’s also donating its employees!  Facebook employees are helping restore telecommunications so people can get in touch with their loved ones and rescue workers can further coordinate relief efforts. Thanks Facebook!

 

Facebook ranks the eighth most valuable brand in the world

For the first time in history, Facebook has broken into the top 10 of the world’s most valuable brands slotting into eighth position right next to Toyota and Mercedes Benz.

Interestingly, half the brands at the top of the Best Global Brands 2017 list are in the technology sector and have mastered creating experiences through technology that reinforce the value of the brand itself.

 

The latest on Snapchat

Snapchat introducing augmented reality beyond filters

Snapchat’s latest filter is yet another step further into augmented or virtual reality. Its new ‘Sky Filters’ give you the ability paint with all the colours of the wind…or, filters. Imagine being able to change the scenery to match your mood with virtual weather, sunsets, starry skies, rainbows and so on. Well, now you can! This was released on Snapchat’s sixth birthday – Happy Birthday!

 

Google and Snapchat join forces to hold the ultimate challenge for millennials

It’s no surprise that the future is technology and coding is a skill being recognised by major technology brands Google and Snapchat.

Called #MyFutureMe, the contest is to create and code an official Snap lens and accompany the entry with a 100-word statement about the ‘future you envision’. As with any great business idea, having a slick and well-rounded elevator pitch is key to success in this fast-paced and busy world. Five finalists will be sent to the TEDWomen conference in November to work with Google and Snap engineers. Interestingly, Snapchat will only verify contestants ages after finalists are selected.

Have we missed anything? Get in touch.

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Christchurch-based creative Amy Forsyth joins SPR

Delighted to announce that we’ve introduced yet another creative to the Southern PR team! Amy Forsyth hails from Christchurch as she joins us to expand SPR’s communication services to her beloved hometown.

After working in one of Auckland’s biggest PR agencies, she’s back and fizzing that she gets to get work within a busy agency dynamic in the Mainland (she’s not patriotic about the South Island at all…).

She’s enthusiastic about anything digital, loves to listen and be heard and naturally, loves to chat.

We’ve asked her all the hard questions here so you don’t have to…

Who are you and what’s your role at SPR?

Amy Forsyth, Account Executive and the first SPR ambassador for the Christchurch region.

What excites you about a career in PR and communications?

Keeping up to date with businesses and industries, listening to people’s stories of their objectives and issues and getting their identity to where they want to be. The level of problem solving and strategic thinking that goes into PR planning is not something that’s taught at University. It’s all about intuition, keeping up with affairs, knowing who’s who, and following the forever changing digital and communications landscape.

What’s your connection to the Garden City (aka Christchurch)?

Christchurch is my home! I’ve lived here all my life so I’m very aware of the changes and the opportunities that are in motion. After returning from work experience in Auckland, I’m also now working part-time at Crowne Plaza Christchurch as their Marketing Coordinator. Being so familiar with the city and media industry means I’m up-to-speed with the number of new businesses and inspiring individuals with fantastic new services, products or events on offer as the city springs back to life. I’m working on helping some of them get their key messages and branding across to the right audience.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?

I’m admittedly a bit of a book nerd, so I have to say it would be Roald Dahl. His imaginative stories always resonate with me, even as an adult. His own life stretched over some significant historical events and happenings, so listening to his life stories would be unreal.

How do you keep up with today’s 365/24/7 news cycle?

Every morning with breakfast I check all major news platforms, regularly watch the news, and my Sunday ritual is to have breakfast with the Sunday paper whether I’m out for brunch, or at home I enjoy taking it all in in print. I also follow local online business directories like Neat Places, POA and CHCHcentral, and of course love to keep up with all the latest society trends through publications like Cityscape, Metropol, Style Mag and naturally also via social media.

It’s all about checking into the right sources and creating routine for enabling time to keep as updated as possible.

One of your best and most valuable learning experiences to date? Any advice/learnings from internships?

My most important piece of advice thus far in my career would be understanding that when you are on your client’s time it’s as though you work for the company directly yourself. You want to listen and absorb the feeling of their identity, gather a full picture of their background operations and understand how they want others to hear them; the real essence of their business.

Want to know more? Get in touch with Amy.

 

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Social Media Takeaways from August

Feeling overwhelmed with the latest social media trends? Stay on top of news and updates with our NEW social media takeaway blog. We’ve compiled a list of updates, big and small, so you stay up to date with platform changes.

The latest on social media for Instagram

Happy Birthday Instagram Stories

The beloved Instagram Stories turned ONE on August 2. To celebrate Instagram released data showing over 50% of businesses on Instagram use stories as part of their social media marketing strategy – overtaking competitor Snapchat.

One in five organic Stories earns a direct message from a potential customer, so happy storytelling Instagrammers!

 

Instagram added conversation threads to comments

The conversation threads update, available with Instagram version 24 or above, makes it easy to connect and respond to a specific conversation. When users hit ‘reply’, the comment now appears in a ‘nested thread’ similar to Facebook.

 

Instagram gets savvy with a choice of image orientations

As of last week (August 30), Instagram has given users the ability to share multiple images and videos in portrait and landscape orientations. Content must be consistent as there’s still restrictions on different formats (square, portrait and landscape) when sharing multiple visuals.

 

The latest on social media for Twitter

Twitter celebrates 10 years of the hashtag

A decade ago, Twitter user Chris Messina pitched the idea of ‘the hashtag’ and changed our online conversations forever.

His idea? Simple! The ‘#’ symbol could make for a better user experience by grouping tweets together. Now, the hashtag has evolved from being an unused symbol on our computer keyboards to becoming the heart of every PR and social media campaign created today.

Happy birthday ‘#’!

 

The latest on social media for Facebook

Facebook adds functions for 360-degree images

Facebook now lets you shoot 360-degree images directly on the Facebook app. The coolest thing? You can now use those images as your cover image – look for the new ‘360 photo’ option in your status bar.

The function is soon to come for video.

 

Facebook adds new controls for influencer and brand collaboration

With influencer marketing spend on the rise, Facebook is technically ‘making it easy’ by enabling brands to boost content as it appears on the influencers Facebook page.

 

The latest on social media for LinkedIn

LinkedIn adds an in-app video creation tool

Although a bit late to the video content party, LinkedIn has added the capability for users to shoot and upload native video. The feature enables users to spark engagement and build relationships/connect with professional networks by increasing productivity through ‘work hack’ videos or sharing your front row seats at a national conference.

Have we missed anything? Get in touch.

 

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