News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Tag: social media

Twitter Attacked for Hate Speech

Twitter attacked for hate speech

One of the most common knocks against powerhouse, Twitter, is the tone of the “conversations” on the app. People can get way out of line. Twitter has cost people jobs, careers, relationships … and, some have said, even more. The company has vowed to go after those who use the platform for hate speech, terrorism, and a host of other angry content.

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Can Snapchat Really Match up Against the Bigger Hitters in Social War?

ronn torossian snapchat

In , Facebook and YouTube reign supreme. But there are a host of up and comers and strong contenders, especially second generation apps like Instagram and Snapchat, which marketed to Millennials and younger audiences, leaving Facebook largely to their parents. Twitter, though it does cross generations, is not in the top three.

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McDonalds’ Twitter Account Hacked

McDonalds’ Twitter Account Hacked

These days, it seems like, sooner or later, everyone gets hacked. Big box stores, department stores, discount retailers and credit card companies. It seems no one is safe. But McDonald’s? Did anyone really expect black hat programmers to sneak into the cyber home of the Golden Arches? Well, they have … at least on Twitter.

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Facebook taking heat over Vietnam photo

facebook-taking-heat-over-vietnam-photo

Photojournalism tells a story. Often, that story is neither pretty nor heartwarming. Good photojournalism can get people thinking and reflecting as much as the best-written features can. And certain images are seared into our national consciousness. Armstrong on the moon. John-John saluting his father’s casket. Kent State students weeping over the bodies of their friends. Segregated lunch counters. A little naked girl racing down a dusty road trying to escape the carnage where her village used to be.

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Why Justin Timberlake Offered a Public Apology

Why Justin Timberlake Offered a Public Apology

These days it seems like every celebrity with a Twitter account learns the hard way just what “mob mentality” means. One errant or even presumed errant 140 character missive and it feels like the collective world has lost its mind in their hurry to grab their digital pitchforks and torches. The latest victim singed by this groupthink gone haywire—Justin Timberlake.

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LinkedIn still trying to find itself

linkedin ronn torossian 5wpr ceo

Social media is now an incessant part of life for billions of humans across the globe. They use Facebook to connect with friends, Twitter to express opinions, Snapchat and Instagram and others to share life. Millions also have LinkedIn accounts. Now, all together, what’s the purpose of LinkedIn? Yep, it’s “good for business”.

Years after it debuted, LinkedIn has developed a strong brand, but it has failed to develop on that core idea that LinkedIn is good for business. People use it, sort of, but not with nearly the ubiquitous constancy of Facebook or Twitter. Simply put, while LinkedIn knows what it’s for, it has failed to communicate what to do with it. People connect … and then what?

That’s a key reason why media reports indicate LinkedIn stock is dropping – 44% in February after subpar quarterly earnings. When you suffer a fall that steep and that deep, something is very wrong at the core of what you’re doing. You can’t blame “nearly half” on outside factors or competition.

One-fifth of LinkedIn profits come from marketing, including about 10 percent from sponsored updates, one area that actually grew over the last quarter. That, at least, is good news for LinkedIn. If what they’re dealing with is a major cashflow shift, there’s a strong potential upside. But, if people are just not using the app like they could, there’s more to the story that can’t be ignored.

For most people using , the updates and push notifications have created a “need” to check and tweet and post and interact. On LinkedIn the audience only goes when they feel the need to, so there’s much less interaction … thus much less potential for audience participation with sponsored ads.

In a conversation with Business Insider, Henry Clifford-Jones, director of LinkedIn Marketing in Spain, Germany, and the UK, said: “We see a huge opportunity for more brands to harness Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn to target their audiences with useful content at the right time to the right audience.”

Opportunity may be exactly the right word. Because they aren’t seeing actuality. People just aren’t using LinkedIn as they are other platforms. The brand hasn’t found a way to be sticky enough to grab people and keep people. It doesn’t matter how impactful and targeted your marketing wants to be or could be if no one is listening.

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The Facebook dislike button could spell doom?

FB Dislike

Communication on Facebook has always had its pitfalls. Do you “like” a post if you agree with the sentiment but hate the situation described? What about a tragedy if you want to offer support and the person posting asks for support? Should you take the time to write out a message in the hopes of avoiding an uncomfortable situation … but you don’t really know what to say … or you feel the original post said it best?

Ah, life in the mobile communication era. We talk as little as possible but try to say as much as we can with each keystroke. Now, Facebook revealed it is working on something people have been asking about for years … a DISLIKE button. Some reacted to the news with a shout: “FINALLY!” Others just sighed, and not a few people suggested this might be the end of any lingering civility online.

Then Mark Zuckerberg weighed in. According to Facebook’s CEO, the new tool will be a way to “express empathy” on status updates. Possibly a dislike button, but probably something a bit more complex. Zuckerberg admitted finding the right approach has been complicated. He said, surprisingly so. “We didn’t want to just build a ‘Dislike’ button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts.”

So… what then?

Well, so far the CEO is not saying much, but it’s a cinch it’s probably a step in some direction. Though if it’s the right one only time will tell. Some users want no more “like” style buttons. They want people to be forced to communicate in something other than the digital equivalent of grunting or smiling. Others look forward to the opportunity to say even more while tapping even less.

There are those who believe additional “empathy” buttons simply gives trolls more ammunition. But when did a troll ever content themselves with clicking a button or an emoticon when a rambling, long-winded diatribe about ten unrelated topics would do?

From a public relations perspective, more opportunities should create more engagement, the key factor in the success of social media platforms. How that engagement evolves will, as always, be up to the users.

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Old Navy Breakdown Creates Social Media PR sensation

old navy - ronn torossian update

Sometimes you get a win falling right into your lap. That’s what happened with recent events for Old Navy. But they took that win and amplified it – you might even say they supersized it. Louisiana photographer Rachel Taylor recently took a picture of herself wearing an American Flag plus size tank shirt in Old Navy’s dressing room.

Taylor had been shopping at Old Navy that day when she found herself between a mother and daughter discussing the tank top and how huge it was. Her feelings were hurt, and she exited the store. She went directly to her car and cried. Afterward, she decided she didn’t want to leave feeling bad about herself, so she went back into the store, grabbed the tank top and took the picture.

She posted the picture with a thank you to Old Navy for having fun clothes in all sizes so everyone can enjoy the opportunity to look “fierce.”

Old Navy PR Windfall

Old Navy rapidly responded  to this PR windfall. They posted the picture to their account offering their gratitude to Rachel Taylor in turn and sending her a gift certificate for her next shopping adventure to Old Navy. The picture and message went viral getting over 100,000 Facebook likes almost immediately.

Obviously this picture touched on a nerve. One that had people both commending Taylor’s ultimate choice and others calling her something of a cry baby and to just stop being so sensitive. Whatever your personal opinion, Old Navy also came out looking “fierce,” as a considerate and accommodating fashion retailer.

Easy PR – Interact With Fans

The average American woman is a size 12 by most reports. That means for all the size 0’s there are multiple plus-sized women. Old Navy is savvy to that, and they put themselves into a situation to get some strong, unsolicited PR. While you cannot plan it, you can certainly lay the groundwork by giving your customers reasons to sing your praises . And, when they do, double down by showing a little public gratitude. .

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Will Facebook’s Focus Shift to Mobile Ads?

facebook mobile advertisement

Has the whole world gone mobile? Apparently. Fresh off its app split – remember all the controversy over the FB messenger app? – Facebook has announced a move toward more mobile advertising.

The move comes on the heels of less than stellar first quarter revenues. When Wall Street hemmed and hawed, the folks at Facebook decided to look at a fairly bright silver lining. User engagement and mobile ad revenue were both up, indicators that user habits are shifting…and so is the profit center. How skewed is that shift?

Well, according to reports, mobile accounted for about 87% of Facebook’s active user base. That’s up 24% over the same time last year. More people going mobile? A lot more apparently. Try roughly 1.25 BILLION users. That’s a lot of clicks.

Given this massive shift toward mobile use, it’s not surprising that Facebook’s mobile revenue is also on the rise. Nearly three-quarters of Facebook’s total advertising revenue came from mobile ads in the first quarter of 2015.

More importantly, daily user numbers are up. 936 million users access the site daily, a massive number that is both driven by and driving the shift to mobile, as well as mobile profitability. These markers fit well into Facebook’s ongoing to reach more users across the world, specifically in places where the Internet is only or primarily accessible on a mobile device.

But to truly tip the scales, Facebook needs more major marketers to invest in mobile. While that trend is promising, it isn’t quite there yet, creating some tentativeness in the company’s approach to the not yet fully tapped mobile market. When that happens, expect the Internet’s Big Dog to telegraph a sea change in the way everyone uses and profits from online content.

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Why Snapchat is Exploding

RONN TOROSSIAN SNAPCHAT

According to reports in TechCrunch, social media upstart Snapchat is looking to bring in more than $500 million in new investment. To that end, the company has been wooing groups that include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. The amount they are seeking nearly matches the $648 million the company has already received to date. While the companies in question are not talking to reporters, Bloomberg reported that Alibaba has agreed to invest $200 million in Snapchat.

A couple of interesting notes here. First, Alibaba, as an e-commerce company, has an opportunity to hedge its ‘net interests while also expanding them in what some have called the “uncertain” marketplace of . Further, Prince Alwaleed has also invested in Twitter, long described as a competitor – or even a proto version of – Snapchat. Spreading investments across competing brands is nothing new to Alwaleed. His firm also holds interests in AOL, Apple, Motorola and Fox.

All this cross-investing and funding of competing brands might be seen as either bet-hedging or yet more evidence that the ‘net really is the Wild West. The former could certainly be a fair assessment, but the latter is less so.

Yes, the Internet still qualifies as both a technology and financial powder keg, both a realm of almost limitless possibility and an environment with all the loving nurture of outer space. There is certainly plenty of cash to be made, but many fortunes will be shattered along the way. So, what’s the best way for a company to set itself up to look enough like a winner in order to get the funding it needs to become what it aspires to be?

Again, Snapchat provides a solid answer. The platform began with a proven commodity then tweaked it just enough to be seen as completely distinct in the consumer marketplace. That distinction appealed to a wide and enthusiastic demographic, which flocked to the product in droves. When their experience exceeded expectations, they kept coming back for more. Quick success and a rapidly expanding fan base equals investor gold. Add to that a consumer base that either is not aware it IS the product or does not care, and you have a winning combination.

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