The Rise of the Emoji

Emoji’s. We love them, or we hate them, but what we can’t deny is that the use of these little pictures has grown so dramatically that they even have their own movie! What has been dubbed the ‘modern day hieroglyphic’ – consumers and businesses alike are jumping on the bandwagon to tout a total of 700 million uses in everyday Facebook posts. So how do you use them, and what’s the real benefit for your business?

The triumphant ‘rise of the emoji’ actually started way back in 1990’s Japan and it’s all thanks to a man named Shigetaka Kurita who worked for Docomo – one of the first mobile companies. The word ‘emoji’ can be translated to ‘image character’ and their first creation was the ‘heart’. They quickly backed it up with 176 more creations, and sparked the emoji revolution. Today, there is a total of 2,823 emojis in the ‘Unicode Standard’ – and their own dictionary – the Emojipedia!

The real question though, is why should your business get involved?

To start with, according to this report, 92% of online consumers use emoji’s in their everyday lives. In fact, 900 million emojis are sent every day WITHOUT TEXT and studies are proving that consumers are developing a close emotional relationship to these little image characters – particularly falling in love the ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ and the ‘Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes’. Characters such as the heart emoji is even being used twice as much in 2018 in comparison to 2017.

So we get it, there’s a lot of love out there – and if the consumers are using them like wildfire then you should too. Utilizing emoji’s will make your business look more personable and relatable en-mass. People do business with people they know, like, and trust – and if used effectively – can actually increase engagement AND conversion rates for your social media posts! Hubspot told us that Facebook posts with emoji’s can increase the number of likes by 57%, and the number of comments and shares by 33%! Many companies have also struggled to crack the younger generation in their targeted marketing and it seems to be that this is one of the best ways to do it!

Interestingly enough, the most popular consumer emoji does’t directly relate to the best emoji to use in business. Like an ‘absurd game of Pictionary’, not one of the top emoji’s proven to encourage either engagement or click through rates actually include our favourite yellow faces – leaving it up to our imaginations how the tried and true emojis such as ‘cherries’, ‘horse’ or the ‘octopus’ could be used.

If you need further proof of emoji popularity, the Kardashians even released their own ‘line’ of emoji’s in 2015 and reported an increase in brand awareness and favourability. According to them, it’s all about making sure you know the audience that your business targets – and the finding the emoji that relates best to them – and if one doesn’t exist them code your own!

Now we feel we have to warn you that if you feel like getting experimental … take care to research the emoji’s you want to use in your posts before you post them! One fun fact given on emojipedia was that only 7% of people use the peach emoji as a fruit – instead being colloquially used as a butt. And you should probably never use the eggplant. Need we say more.

There are many creative ways to use emojis outside of a simple post too – with companies creating their own emoji videos, ‘crack the emoji code’ competitions and even delightful little works of art featured on varying social media channels. Check out this YouTube Videofeaturing 10 amazing emoji filled ad’s from companies like Toyota and McDonalds!

So to wrap it up: if a picture tells 1000 words, then businesses have the potential to craft emoji’s stories that say more than they ever could over text, become more personable and relatable businesses, effectively reach more of their target market, create much higher engagement and improve their click through rates!

Need some tailored advice on how to create a great emoji campaign? Give Acascia a call on 021610516 and let’s chat! You can also head to our website to read more of our work.

Have you heard about the new Facebook Local App?!

It’s the next big thing in events and locations. Here’s why we think the new Facebook release is going to make it big in Digital Media Marketing!

It’s the next big thing in event and location scouting. The new app release to New Zealand combines the features of EventFinda, TripAdvisor and Facebook itself – and our download of the new gem has us leaping up for an adventure!

Now on first glance, it’ll have you wondering – ‘have we seen this before?’. Actually, you have! Facebook has resurrected the stand-alone events app we saw back in 2016, and after a major face lift (and the removal of spammy advertising which tanked its prototype), Facebook has continued its mission to connect the world -through ‘Local’.

If you haven’t seen it, you’re going to be wondering – ‘why would I need a second Facebook app?’. ‘Local’ works much like Google Maps, but pulls data from Facebook business pages and events to show you the businesses or events near you! Need to find the best café in the area? Ask it for cafes that are open now, and sort by highest ratings to get the best by most popular vote! Out of town for the weekend? No problem! Just switch the location and it’ll show you businesses or events wherever you need it to. It also integrates with Google Maps for a fast journey!

We were even more impressed with the extensive range of categories Facebook Local has to offer – allowing us to search by not just events and businesses – but by art, home, theater, shopping, religion, parties, networking, health, gardening, food, fitness, comedy and more! What’s more, if you’re feeling indecisive about what you want to get up to – Local has you covered with top suggestions and events popular with friends!

The synchronicity of the app is nearly complete with calendar integrations, ability to create events in the app, and even has event guides to help you explore your interests and find the right events for you! In even better news, Zuckerberg has stated that no advertising will be allowed on this platform for the foreseeable future – and may be looked at ‘way down the track’. There isn’t much more we could ask for!

For New Zealand business, ‘Local’ is about to make finding (aptly called) ‘local’ events and businesses a lot more lucrative – and competitive! Catchy events in popular categories (that include optimized event details!) will see an uptake in both engagement and attendance. Business Pages on ‘Local’ are still populated with the same basic Facebook Business Page details from the regular app, including the business type, open hours, contact details, and location – BUT – only shows posts, photos or reviews from visitors or customers to the page and doesn’t yet show posts from the business itself. Talk about taking no advertising to the next level! ‘Local’ expands the competition for Facebook engagement in the form of ratings, check ins, and photo’s – creating a race toward optimized customer interactions and encouraging responses through Digital Media.

‘Local’ has a little while to go before it hits the same number of monthly users that its parent ‘Facebook’ boasts – but we’re behind Facebook’s strategy and think it’ll become a crowd favourite in the months to come!

If you think you could use some help navigating this new app and the opportunities it represents, (or need any other kind of dIgital marketing advice!) please email us at info@therecipeltd.com and we will be happy to set you on the right path! Alternatively, enter your contact details below!

To your success,

The Recipe Ltd

The Deep Dive Series – Facebook

It’s one of the most recognizable brands in the world – but it’s had some heat! Here’s why our Digital Marketing Agency Team think Facebook will be around for a long time yet.

It’s been around since 2004, and it is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Facebook is accountable for 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 photo uploads … every 60 seconds! (The Social Skinny). It is the most internationally used Social Media Platform available to date, and its statistics are showing year on year growth. It is the go-to personal communication and file sharing platform and has now been adopted by businesses to create an online marketplace that connects their products and services to their targeted audiences.

First, I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room – Facebook’s recent ‘scandal’ with Cambridge Analytica. Many people have jumped on the hate-wagon with the ‘#deletefacebook’ movement and have been spamming us with the ‘terror of Facebook using our private information’ for their own interests. We are sorry to say that no matter what platform you are using, if you put information on the internet, then your information runs the risk of getting into the hands of people that you did not expect it to. Facebook’s privacy and security teams are some of the most advanced in the technology industry, continuously improving their systems and tackling the internet ‘bad guys’. Unfortunately, as technology improves, these ‘bad guys’ also improve, meaning that we haven’t seen the last of the data breach scandals yet. We advise to only put information on the internet that you would not mind being shared with others – and to use common sense when you use third party apps (especially when they want access to your data!). If you are especially concerned, take a look at your privacy and security settings in Facebook’s help centre and follow their advice to make sure your profile is as air-tight as it can be!

While Facebook’s stocks have taken a dip since its Feb 1 peak – the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal (and more importantly Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Congress) has actually seen the stock rise again, and most analysts still predict it to be a stock worth purchasing (money.cnn.com). It remains to be seen if Facebook will join other outdated social media networks such as MySpace in the technological junk yard – but it (and Mark) have shown resilience and an ability to pivot – which tell us Facebook is going to be around for a long time yet.

So, if it is going to stick around – let’s talk about its users. As of Q4 of 2017 – there were over 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide (Zephoria). If you didn’t think that was amazing enough, they also boast 1.15 billion mobile daily active users – in which (mobile) now accounts for 88% of advertising revenue. And these statistics are still all on the upward trend. In New Zealand, our Facebook use is highly active. 61% of Kiwi’s own a Facebook page, with 2.3 million accessing the site daily. Unsurprisingly, the 18-34-year olds dominate the user statistics (Statista 2018) with more male users than female. Outside of this 18-34-year-old bracket, users skew towards the female gender with 82% of new mothers now checking Facebook daily (Adhesion 2018).

So what kind of content do these people love? As we mentioned in the intro – Facebook is accountable for 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 photo uploads … every 60 SECONDS! (The Social Skinny). But these updates, comments and pictures aren’t everything. According to Buzzsumo, the most viral Facebook posts for 2017 were videos – with popular topics including practical hacks and food posts. Cute animals, quizzes and music videos also feature as huge viral successes. Facebook has seen a shift towards the priority of visibility of uploaded and live video content, and has begun to extend towards VR. While advertising has crept into our newsfeeds, content from our family and friends is still at the top of Facebook’s priorities, with an overhaul announced at the start of 2018 to ensure the end to these posts being drowned out – specifically by ‘public content’ (or unpaid posts by page-owners – Forbes).

Let us tell you more about ‘public content’. A business creates a Facebook page and (similar to a personal page) posts updates, pictures and even promotions – but the number of posts by these businesses started to exceed the posts by real people! As a result, ‘public content’ is not prioritized on the newsfeed, and businesses have begun to spend more of their advertising dollars on the site for reach and engagement. 75% of NZ businesses now actively use their Facebook pages, with around 60% actively using Facebook Advertising in some form (OMG Solutions NZ Social Media Survey). In 2016, the NZ online advertising spend actually overtook TV advertising (Adhesion 2018) and has continued to follow the growth trend as well. Hosting a business page is as easy as setting up a personal profile – and gives you a huge range of options for customization and promotions. After you have set up a basic business profile – check out www.likealyzer.com to rank your page and manage any recommended improvements to boost your rank. Many businesses Facebook pages fall down by not including a business story, not customizing their username, or not adding your business milestones.

At the beginning we spoke about Facebooks privacy and security – and a platform of this magnitude definitely has as many ‘don’t’s’ as they have ‘do’s’. Paid advertisements are all subject to a stringent list of terms and conditions and are all reviewed before being allowed on the newsfeed. In addition to being upheld to the community standards, advertisers must not engage in discriminatory practices, contain third-party infringements, provide misleading, false or controversial content, or even use bad grammar or profanity. There’s even a list of advertising topics buried in the ‘restricted’ section that include payday or cash advance loans, online pharmacies or supplements, alcohol, dating, gambling or lotteries, subscription or financial services, and even branded content.

It’s the tech start-up we all dream of. Founded in a dorm room, to eventually create an internet powerhouse – Facebook has even added 66 acquisitions to its portfolio since its inception, including What’sApp, Instagram and VR software Oculus Rift, investing over 23 billion dollars to do so (Techwyse). In a blog post from Mark Zuckerberg last year, he wrote: “Today, I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want? Our greatest opportunities are now global — like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science. Our greatest challenges also need global responses — like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics.”

So yes, Facebook has taken a recent hit in the favouritism department, but we just don’t see the end to this social monolith – and with goals like building a Global Community, we are rooting for Facebook to expand and reach new heights – taking us all with it!

 

To your success,

The Recipe Ltd.

 

 

 

So, What is ‘Social Media’ Really?

I can’t tell you the number of times we have heard … “Wow – Technology these days!”. Here’s some more details on the Social Media world.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard the phrase – “Technology these days” – and in my own entry into the Social Media Marketing world, I completely understand the sentiment. While many individuals and businesses already leverage the opportunities it provides, it has begun to leave a large portion of businesses in the dark – struggling to compete or grow. When Tim Berners-Lee created the world wide web in 1989, he could not have realized how far reaching the implications of his introduction, but it heralded a change in the fabric of communication as we knew it. Fast forward 29 years and we are surrounded by social technology – with the average adult now spending over 7 hours a day interacting with varying forms of online media and entertainment – and it’s understandable that many adults just don’t get the obsession. They are calling it the ‘Social Media Phenomenon’, and it’s here to stay. So, what is Social Media, Really?

 

SOCIAL MEDIA (n): ‘websites and applications that enable users to create and share content, or to participate in social networking.’

 

First a little history. In village days, merchants had to be extremely active in their small community, providing incredible customer service to create a positive word of mouth – and have fair pricing to boot! Trade knowledge was protected and passed down from generation to generation – until the industrial revolution. Then came the start of the technological revolution – and the ‘Social Media Phenomenon’ as we know it. CompuServe, the first major commercial online service provider, was popular in the 1980’s. It allowed its users to participate in message forums, chat systems, and online games. While revolutionary, it charged its users by the hour and so begun a technological race to develop new platforms. In 1997, the first recognizable Social Media site – Six Degrees – was launched. Named after the age-old saying ‘there is six degrees of separation between any two people in the world’, it’s popularity was short lived. In the following years, technology progressed much further than many could imagine – infiltrating and improving everything it touched.

In 1998, we saw the introduction of Google.

In 2004, we saw the introduction of Facebook.

In 2007, we saw the introduction of Apple’s first Smart Phone.

And today, we see an entire generation of individuals that could not imagine what life would be without the internet.

 

On a personal level, Social Media is used for sharing nearly anything – including our birthdays, relationships, or likes, and any pictures, video’s, comments or articles we post to our pages. It connects us to our peers and pushes us to discover similar activities or interests. A large portion of the average 7 hours is spent scrolling through Social Media ‘feeds’ (which is the technological version of reading a newspaper). The type of social media site a person chooses is usually based on the site that their friends or interests are most connected to at the time.

 

On a commercial level, Social Media has progressed so far that it is now possible for a business to solely rely on these sites to run their entire operations, however, this isn’t yet commonplace. Many simply utilize its capabilities to create social sites that put their brands in front of their chosen audiences, and it can have some seriously far-reaching implications. For a product-based business – online marketing now allows international sales capabilities. Social media sites like Facebook can now host products to sell directly through their platforms – with credit card payment options and international shipping rounding out the product sales process so that personal users can buy and receive products without having to even leave their living rooms. For service-based businesses – online marketing allows for wide-scale customer targeting and lead generation, while simultaneously building the businesses brand.

 

So while social media might be that pesky thing that your grandkids spend too much time on – this phenomenon can be used as a huge advantage, giving a business the leverage to compete and grow in today’s technological generation. In future blogs, we will do a deep dive into individual social media platforms and how to use them for the great results! So, what is Social Media really? It is the future, and we look forward to helping you take the leap into it!

 

To your success!

 

The Recipe Ltd