Mueller reveals Russian ad agency spent $1.25M per month on social political ads | Should marketers use fictional influencers? | Chatbots superior to apps in ability to deliver for brands
February 19, 2018
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The Big Story
Mueller reveals Russian ad agency spent $1.25M per month on social political ads
An indictment by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller reveals that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organization, started a campaign in 2014 to influence the 2016 presidential election and invested up to $1.25 million each month on social advertising -- measuring the results in a similar way to a professional ad agency. The organization created fake Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles that seemed like they were American and were designed to create tension around issues such as religion, Black Lives Matter and immigration.
Ad Age/Bloomberg (2/16),  CNN (2/16),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/17) 
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Connecting & Collaborating
Should marketers use fictional influencers?
Should marketers use fictional influencers?
Reflecting on the growth of virtual influencer Lil Miquela, who already has 600,000 followers on Instagram, Nikki Gilliland discusses this new development in influencer marketing. The fact the influencers aren't real isn't an issue, says Gilliland, as long as the accounts are transparent and the created identity aligns with a brand's values.
Econsultancy (2/15) 
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Chatbots superior to apps in ability to deliver for brands
Consumer fatigue with apps and all that they demand is growing, and chatbots stand poised to take their place, writes PHD chief Mike Cooper. This is key for brands, with chatbots' ability to instantly access social profiles and personalize information for a variety of functions without the hassle of navigating different user interfaces, he writes.
The Drum (Scotland) (2/19) 
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Most Read by Marketing Decision Makers
Featured Content
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5 Key Trends to Inform Your 2018 Digital Marketing Strategy
As the digital world is constantly changing, many marketers are wondering if their best move is to stay on their 2017 trajectory, or chart a different path forward. To help you out, here are five key trends you should consider when developing your 2018 strategy. Micro-moments…[read more]
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7 Great User-Generated Content Campaigns
85% of users surveyed find UGC more influential than content directly from brands. As people look to their peers for recognition and recommendations, brands can leverage this trusted content to connect in more personalized and authentic ways. See how brands like Under Armour, Australia Tourism, & Adobe are creating engaging campaigns with UGC.
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Marketer Moments
Most-loved brands: Perdue Chicken wins social, Disney World wins offline
Most-loved brands: Perdue Chicken wins social, Disney World wins offline
Walt Disney World (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Perdue Chicken, CVS and Hampton Inn are the top three most-loved brands on social, and Walt Disney World, Wegmans and Febreze are the most loved among people having conversations in the real world, per Engagement Labs. The study tracked four brand performance drivers -- brand sharing, the volume of conversations, positive sentiment and influence.
MediaPost Communications (2/18) 
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Platform News
Facebook to send postcards to political advertisers to verify US residency
Facebook has announced that it will mail postcards to political ad buyers to verify that they live in the US. A code from the postcard will be needed to buy a political ad on the platform, and November's midterm elections will be the first time the process is used, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone confirmed.
The Associated Press (2/18),  TechCrunch (2/19),  The Hill (2/17),  The Drum (Scotland) (2/18) 
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Measurement Matters
Report: Majority of digital marketers using people-based marketing
Time's Viant has published a white paper that reports that 93% of digital marketers are investing in people-based marketing on Twitter and Facebook and that 90% of respondents say they experience better results from people-based campaigns. Sixty-four percent of respondents predict that the "industry will stop relying on probabilistic data within the next 12 months to two years."
MarTech Today (2/16) 
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Social Shareable
NBC team combs footage to create viral Olympic clips
More than 1,000 Connecticut-based staffers in NBC's Highlight Factory are responsible for looking through hundreds of hours of Winter Olympics footage to find hidden gems. Finding short clips to go viral is the goal, and in one recent 12-hour shift about 130 videos were produced.
USA Today/The Associated Press (2/19) 
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[V]irtual influencers could also mean greater control for brands, with partnerships resulting in less danger of scandals or controversy.
Nikki Gilliland, writing for Econsultancy
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 Andy Sernovitz, Editor at Large
Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company, GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world’s biggest companies, including and Health. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing that teaches you how to earn the respect and recommendation of your customers.
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