January 21, 2022
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The Big Story
Report: How to boost Instagram likes via visuals
(Pixabay)
Brands can boost their number of Instagram likes by using two approaches with images: mixing the balance of light and color, and using images that are either very simple or complex. These are the findings from North Carolina State University researchers who analyzed 147,963 platform images and six visual qualities, and also discovered that engagement can be improved 19% by optimizing feature and design complexity.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (1/19) 
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How to Align Marketing and Sales — And Why It Matters To You
Discover the keys to marketing and sales alignment, and learn how it can lead to closing more deals, driving greater revenue, and building long-term customer relationships — at the individual and account level. Register for the webinar.
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Social Business Reader Poll
How do you feel about Wendy's roasts?
While a Twitter study points to humor as feeling "outdated" for some, an easy majority of SmartBrief on Social Business poll respondents find Wendy's Twitter account hilarious. While more than 20% think its antics are old news, you have to give the brand channel praise for having a definite personality, even if you don't always like the snark.

If you have a hot take on the poll results, send us a note.
It's hilarious
 67.23%
Totally inappropriate
 0.85%
Meh, Wendy's Twitter is old news
 21.84%
No comment
 10.08%
Connecting & Collaborating
Why PepsiCo is putting marketing focus into NFTs
(PepsiCo)
Todd Kaplan, PepsiCo's vice president of marketing for colas, discusses the company's first nonfungible token effort, the Pepsi Mic Drop Collection of nearly 2,000 digital assets, and compares the marketing learning curve to that of figuring out how to master platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Kaplan urges other marketers to "dive in" to NFTs and learn the nuances "by clicking around, checking things out, setting things up, [and] engaging yourself instead of just reading a bunch of stories."
Full Story: Adweek (1/20) 
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Marketing tactics aren't evergreen and need to be updated regularly to propel businesses forward, writes Shrenik Gandhi, White Rivers Media's CEO. In 2022, marketers should refrain from hashtag overload, focus on educating and entertaining consumers instead of relying too heavily on memes, match the communication style to the brand personality instead of trying to "sound cool," and "listen to your customer's needs and shape your pitch to their cues" instead of "sounding pushy, generic and passive," Gandhi recommends.
Full Story: The Drum (free registration) (1/19) 
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    Marketer Moments
    M&C Saatchi creates the Busch Light Ice Shanty
    (Busch Beer/Twitter)
    M&C Saatchi Sports Entertainment is touting Busch Light's limited-edition Ice Fishing cans with a social sweepstakes that's offering one winner the chance to stay for a week in the brand's Ice Shanty at Minnesota's Mille Lacs Lake. A Twitter video showcases the Ice Shanty, complete with a Busch Light-stocked fridge, and the shanty also will be available for rent via The Red Door Resort during this winter.
    Full Story: MediaPost Communications (free registration) (1/20),  Adweek (1/20) 
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    DDB takes Miller Lite's Super Bowl ad to metaverse
    (Miller Lite/Twitter)
    DDB Chicago and DDB San Francisco created a virtual experience in the metaverse's Decentraland, which will exclusively air Miller Lite's "Big Game" ad to maneuver around Anheuser-Busch InBev's exclusive beer rights for the Super Bowl. The brand states the activation will take the form of an "authentic, communal bar experience."
    Full Story: Ad Age (tiered subscription model) (1/20),  Adweek (1/20) 
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    Platform News
    Will Meta take NFTs mainstream?
    (Pixabay)
    Meta is reportedly considering launching tools that would allow Facebook and Instagram users to create and sell nonfungible tokens on those platforms. The initiative is said to still be in initial planning stages.
    Full Story: The Verge (1/20) 
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    TikTok confirmed the test of paid subscriptions among a select group of creators, which follows news a day earlier of Instagram's launch of a subscription trial program with high-profile US creators. TikTok also is working to help creators monetize the platform with an in-app tipping test.
    Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (1/20) 
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    Measurement Matters
    Nearly all marketing executives surveyed by Braze increased their budgets this year to try to cope with the pending loss of third-party cookies and similar ad-tracking issues, while 38% are putting more priority on zero- and first-party data and 42% have increased their number of marketing channels. The study also found that 98% of brands that ranked customer engagements as "excellent/good" surpassed their revenue targets.
    Full Story: MediaPost Communications (free registration) (1/20) 
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    Opinion: Is it time for PR pros to reconsider metrics?
    (Unsplash)
    An International Communications Consultancy Organization report reveals the majority of communications executives rely on advertising value equivalency as a key performance metric, but some say it's not valid and want engagement, sentiment and other data. As more communicators use social media and influencer efforts, the ICCO suggests data such as estimated views for measuring owned content and paid social, writes Sevans Strategy founder Sarah Evans.
    Full Story: SmartBrief/Marketing (1/19) 
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    Social Shareable
    Dog rocks sleeping baby in viral video
    (WeRateDogs/Twitter)
    A Twitter video showing a dog gently rock a baby by nudging a bouncer with his head has attracted 1 million views and more than 84,000 likes. "This is Bowser. He's the designated baby bouncer for today. Doesn't mind the responsibility because he's quite good at it," the tweet says.
    Full Story: Hindustan Times (India) (1/21) 
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    About the Editor
    Mike Driehorst
    Mike Driehorst
    (That's me on the right, with Rocky ensuring I have a good head on my shoulders.)
    Is a social media newsletter really social if you don't know who's behind it?

    Every day, I along with contributor Jo Hamilton and others at SmartBrief work to keep you informed on the latest tips, news and how-tos in the social media and content marketing world.

    Since no one likes one-way social media, if you like what we're doing -- or don't like -- or even have suggestions for stories, drop me a line. And if you really like what you read, I'd appreciate it if you'd share this sign up link with your colleagues.
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    To be a relevant brand today, brands need to act as the creators, not just buyers.
    Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing, colas, at PepsiCo, as quoted by Adweek
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