The Social Byte - 18/08/17

WELCOME TO THE SOCIAL BYTE - OUR BI-WEEKLY SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS DIGEST. A PLACE TO EXPLORE THE BIG NEWS STORIES IN THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA. 

Amazon's attempt at Social Media, Instagram cyber-bullying and the consumer voice on social media are all covered in this week's Social Byte.

Consumer boycotts forcing companies to take action

It is not new that consumers are the driving force to a business' success. So when a business does something they typically complain whether that is through a writing a letter or an e-mail or tweeting about it. Social Media is becoming the biggest complaint board in the world. Often companies ignore this because they feel it is trivial however that is not the case.

Blue chip companies such as Tesco and Mothercare have been in the media of late because of their children's clothing. Boys clothes were adorned with connotations of strength and intelligence with dinosaurs and scientific implements. Whereas, girls clothes were covered with butterflies, flowers and sparkles and had branded shoes as 'Sensitive soles' yet the boys' shoes were branded 'Airtred soles.' Many could see the frustration of gender equality campaigners and parents, campaign group Let Clothes Be Clothes have helped to call these businesses out. 

Gender equality in digital and corporate marketing is a common problem that we kept seeing pop up in the media. Missguided (A clothing company with a younger female demographic) was called to take down a neon sign in their shops that says "Send me nudes x." [Above Image] This isn't what you expect to see in a shop for young girls and has been widely shared on social media as 'inappropriate,' 'promoting sexting and rape culture' and 'completely sexist.'

We strongly advise that all businesses take heed to the comments they receive on social media, it could help you improve your product, advertisement strategy and could even save you from receiving backlash like this. 

Instagram ranked the worse for Cyber-bullying

Like any social media platform, Instagram is a brilliant tool for business. You can post your visual content and gather leads from the comments and followers you get. But for a lot of young people, Instagram is not a safe place as it's where they feel most vulnerable. Anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label suggests the platform is making youngsters more anxious. Unfortunately, young people look at their selfies in the same way we look at our posts to see how well they have done. The more likes a picture has, the higher their self-esteem seems to be and the same happens in reverse. This psychological connection to social media that is most common in Millennials and Generation Z but parents of these young people can also have this connection and addiction. 

The debate whether cyber-bullying is still an issue is one that has spanned this month and last month:

The findings appear to contradict research from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) earlier this month that suggested cyber-bullying was relatively rare.
The OII research - which concentrated on 15-year-olds - found that, while 30% reported regular bullying, only 3% said it happened both off and online.
The huge variation of findings between surveys is often down to how questions are worded, said Lauren Seager-Smith, chief executive of charity Kidscape,
”This survey paints a bleak picture but there is a great variance in these studies. Part of this is about how you ask the question, who you ask and what age they are.”
— http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40643904

The other confusion with cyber-bullying is what actually constitutes bullying online. This is a topic where the lines seem blurred. Despite the confusion, bullying still happens online and in real life. Both can have devastating effects as can be seen by multiple cases of depression, self-harm and suicide. This can affect young children as well even as young as 8 years old!

If you are concerned that your child might be a victim of cyber-bullying, make sure you head to Childline for more information on how to navigate putting a stop to it. 

Amazon try their hand at social media

Spark, launched publicly mid-last month, is the new social feature from Amazon, it is currently only available to Amazon's premium paying Prime members. Spark seems to be trying to compete with Instagram and Pinterest as it is a photo/video sharing platform but is only available on iOS. 

Like most, we rolled our eyes when hearing about Spark as it seems to be simply Amazon trying to be something that it isn't. Amazon is the most successful, influential and profitable online shopping space and delivery service. There are many theories about how they treat their staff which has made people question how well their social media service will be run.

There has also been some positive feedback as well:

Brand strategist Jill Richardson‏ (@jillfran8) said: “Been messing with #AmazonSpark all morning and I am LIVING. It’s like Pinterest, Instagram, and my credit card had a baby and it’s beautiful.”
— https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-socialmedia-idUSKBN1A42HQ
Community manager Lucas Miller‏ (@lucasmiller3) also tweeted: “So #amazonspark is going to be a dangerous pastime. The app is already too easy to shop...”
— https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-socialmedia-idUSKBN1A42HQ

We look forward to hearing more about Spark in the near future.

Female entrepreneurs have the upper hand with Social Media

Female bosses who use social media for their business' seem to be doing extremely well, especially with Facebook. 98% of female entrepreneurs are using Facebook for marketing and 48% feel confident creating high-performing content on Facebook. This is not the only platform women using to market their businesses, Instagram (89%), Pinterest (79%), YouTube (67%), LinkedIn (66%) and Snapchat (49%) are platforms that are used most effectively by successful women. Most of these women have also tapped into video marketing which is vastly successful as we have discussed before in Digichats. As we have found, video marketing is the next big thing which will really help businesses to grow. 

We commend you, ladies!

Instagram Stories turns one year old!

On 2nd August 2016, Instagram stories was born. Initially and repeatedly slammed for being a carbon copy of Snapchat, the new addition to the Facebook owned platform has superseded Snapchat's efforts. To date, Snapchat has approximately 166 million users whereas Instagram Stories has 250 million users. Not to discredit Snapchat because we love it equally but many marketers have conducted studies that show that businesses who use Instagram Stories are more likely to have interaction and sales than businesses on Snapchat.

Despite the success of Instagram Stories, all credit has to be reserved for Co-founder and CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel. There are now countless features from Snapchat that have been shamelessly mirrored on Instagram Stories such as the classic Dog filter and self-deleting private messaging. Even though, Instagram Stories has seemed to surpass Snapchat, we know that Snapchat have something coming to counterattack. 

That is it for this Social Byte and we'll be reporting back in two weeks with more Social Media news.