Microsoft adds Reddit data to Bing search results, Power BI analytics tool

Microsoft is bringing the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” to the pages of its search results.

Microsoft has struck a deal with Reddit to pipe data from the social network into Bing’s search results, as well as Power BI’s analytics dashboard, the companies announced on Wednesday.

Now, when people search on Bing, posts published to Reddit may be included in the search results. For example, if a person’s query asks something like “what were the best video games released in 2017,” answers may be sourced from comments left in Reddit’s “gaming” subreddit, or topic-specific forum.

People will also be able to use Bing to specifically search for content from Reddit. Typing “reddit [subreddit name]” will return a link to that subreddit and a selection of top comments that have been posted to it. And typing “reddit AMAs” will return a collection of popular AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) sessions, which are live question-and-answer forums that people can host on Reddit. Additionally, if people search for the name of a person who has a hosted an AMA on Reddit, a selection of responses from the Q&A session will appear among the non-Reddit results.

In addition to bringing Reddit’s data to Bing users, Microsoft is also opening that data up to brands. Brands will be able to access Reddit data through Microsoft’s Power BI analytics tool, with options to specify the keywords to track and toggle the time frames to examine. As a result, marketers will be able to monitor what people are saying about their brand or competing brands on Reddit and have that information processed using Power BI’s sentiment analysis feature and plotted into data visualizations.

The deal with Microsoft’s Power BI is similar to one that Reddit announced with social marketing platform Sprinklr last week in terms of accessing Reddit data. Brands will be able to see which subreddits they are mentioned on and then go buy ads targeted to those audiences.

Agency secrets for a great Twitter strategy

Want to get more out of Twitter but aren’t sure where to start? We’ve compiled the best tips and tricks, straight from our agency insiders, on creating an impactful and engaging Twitter strategy.

Find your voice

Before you send out your first Tweet, you should establish a well-defined brand voice, which will set the tone for your entire Twitter strategy. Your brand voice should be fresh and original, convey your brand’s message, reflect your core values and most importantly, resonate with your audience in a personal way.  A talented writer whose style aligns with your brand is an invaluable asset when it comes to finding your voice.

? ? Small businesses are participating and thriving in the economy with funds through Square Capital. pic.twitter.com/Rd6TM4Pya1

— Square (@Square) August 18, 2017

Take @Square, for example. They take on a friendly, helpful tone and act as both cheerleader and mentor for the small businesses that rely on them for transaction processing.

Use editorial calendars

Ever wonder how some brands seem to have an endless supply of content? It’s likely thanks to a well thought out editorial calendar. Agencies know both planning and organization are key to a great Twitter strategy, so employing a live, shared document where content is constantly being added, edited and adjusted is key. A calendar can help you be prepared for upcoming holidays and events, keep track of what worked and what didn’t and help to ensure that you have daily content planned.

Don’t ‘schedule it and forget it’

Scheduling Tweets is a great way to ensure that you are reaching your audience during the prime times they are online, even if it happens to be a time when you are not. Twitter also has their own scheduling tool, which anyone can use through the ads campaign dashboard. Remember though, that scheduling Tweets and not checking back frequently is a huge missed opportunity. To extend the reach of your content and keep your audience engaged, you want to check your Twitter activity often to reply to any Tweets, retweet relevant content and tap into trending conversations.

Join Twitter Chats

One of the best ways to not only grow your following, but grow it with the right followers, is to participate in Twitter Chats. There are chats for just about every topic under the sun, and participants tend to be folks who use Twitter to make lasting connections with other like-minded individuals and brands. In other words, extremely valuable followers who will help amplify your message and foster conversation around your brand by retweeting, replying and sharing your content. The key to Twitter Chats is to be an active participant by replying, retweeting, following new people and keeping the relationship going long after the chat has ended. If you can’t find a chat that makes sense for your brand, consider starting your own; just make sure you market it for maximum exposure.

Today’s #bufferchat topic is “Social Media Monitoring”! The 1st chat of the week (of 2) starts at 4 pm AEDT (Sydney)! ? pic.twitter.com/ZtjoYLLx0b

— Buffer (@buffer) November 8, 2017

@buffer created #BufferChat to engage with their target audience.

Be adaptable

Planning ahead is great, but sometimes the best Tweets are created on the fly. Don’t be afraid to stray from the calendar if an opportunity presents itself.  Make sure to capitalize on trending topics, timely world events, or even just a great mention from someone else. One word of caution though: Do not use a tragedy as a branding opportunity. Tweet with caution during sensitive situations, and consider pausing any prescheduled Tweets.

Create conversations

Gone are the days of one-sided marketing, and that goes for your Tweets, too. Your Twitter strategy should be a healthy mix of @replies, organic Tweets and Twitter Ads and should also include questions and other conversation starters.

Mix it up

Experimenting with different types of content, and finding a balance that works for your audience, is key to a good Twitter strategy. Focus on having a balance of organic and Twitter Ads content. Strong paid campaigns can impact your organic Tweets and vice versa.

With proper planning, continued tweaking and a little creativity, you can craft a Twitter strategy that both elevates your brand and fosters your community. Ready to start implementing these tips? Launch a new advertising campaign today.

Facebook Local is the social network’s stab at Yelp, Foursquare

Facebook’s year-old Events app hasn’t turned into the Google Calendar competitor it was primed to become. So the social network is relaunching it and redirecting its aim at local search platforms like Yelp and Foursquare.

Last week, Facebook debuted Facebook Local, a refurbished version of its Events app that aims to help people find nearby things to do and places to go and make Facebook more of a player in local search.

[Read the full article on Marketing Land.]

Rothy's uses Twitter Ads to drive brand awareness

Creating an impactful social strategy can be a difficult task. How do you ensure your content is on brand? How can you leverage social to drive brand awareness?

One brand that stands out with their engaging Tweets and impactful Twitter Ads is sustainable fashion start-up @rothys. We chatted with their marketing team to learn about their Twitter strategy.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Lacey Young: I’m the brand manager here at Rothy’s. I’m passionate about content creation, social strategy, and leveraging digital media to build brands.

Jenny Robinson: And I’m Rothy’s interim VP of e-commerce and Digital Marketing. Previously I led e-commerce and digital marketing for luxury beauty brands.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

We are a lean team at a fast-growing brand, so we wear many hats. Our team focuses on brand strategy, acquisition, and honing our messaging. We tackle everything from marketing strategy, site optimization, and performance marketing to the planning and execution of photo shoots and content creation. Part of our time is spent interacting with our community on social media and figuring out how best to delight our customers.

All while wearing our Rothy’s, of course.

You all have done a great job at getting your brand out there. What’s your marketing strategy?

Word-of-mouth marketing from our passionate customers plays a critical role in our marketing strategy. Another key piece is focusing on reaching potential customers online where they are — like on Twitter. By leaning on the visual appeal and stylishness of the shoe, we let the product do most of the talking in our marketing.

How does Twitter fit into your marketing mix?

We use a data-driven approach with our marketing initiatives to ensure we have the ideal media mix across channels. Twitter acts as a catalyst for reaching people where other platforms can’t — when people are on the go, looking to consume content. This is in contrast to the way people behave on other platforms, where they may not be looking to engage with brands.

Describe the Rothy’s brand.

Rothy’s are a chic, front-of-the-closet shoe, designed for life on the go. They are made from recycled materials and are out the box comfortable. We make them with little waste, caring about the planet as much as good design.

What are a few Tweet examples that you think really capture the Rothy’s brand?

Take on the day, wash it away. A shoe you can live in… then machine wash. #LiveSeamlessly #Rothys pic.twitter.com/fqSbtahdhR

— ROTHY’S (@rothys) August 4, 2017

Part of telling our brand story is educating our customer on Rothy’s product benefits. The shoes are machine washable, for example, which someone might not realize right away.

Sun’s out for the weekend! pic.twitter.com/1XUsyRZtWm

— ROTHY’S (@rothys) May 20, 2017

Our team members and loyal customers are important to our brand. We highlight them by sharing their beautiful images of them wearing their Rothy’s.

Recycled water bottle construction. Low waste, low impact materials. For more on why #Rothys is a game changer: https://t.co/RCPFVn45fI pic.twitter.com/RRHqYYGKwl

— ROTHY’S (@rothys) December 13, 2016

We stand out from other fashion brands by using strong imagery that features our sustainable materials.

How do you use Twitter Ads to amplify your marketing efforts?

Twitter is instrumental in building and maintaining awareness for Rothy’s. Part of our marketing strategy is to maintain brand awareness wherever our customers’ eyeballs are. Since both prospective and current customers are consuming content and engaging on Twitter, serving ads on the platform lets us be in the right place at the right time — which is perfect for our growing brand.

How do you plan and create Twitter Ads that will resonate with your target audience?

When people scroll through their Twitter feed, they’re looking for concise, unique content, more than other platforms. People want to see information that is relevant and interesting to them — at lightning speed.

In order to catch someone’s attention in such a fast-paced environment, it’s important to have original creative that’s eye-catching. For us, this means bright images and short copy that pops. The fact that people scroll through their feed quickly scanning for interesting content drives all of our decisions when crafting creative and messaging.

Here are a few standout Twitter Ads which feature some of our secret sauce:

Stylish, Comfortable Flats With Durability In Mind #LiveSeamlessly #Rothys https://t.co/k5groSXvSV

— ROTHY’S (@rothys) July 27, 2017

Light, flexible, machine washable – and powered by recycled water bottles. #LiveSeamlessly https://t.co/FBm36dkmjE

— ROTHY’S (@rothys) June 16, 2017

Any final tips for brands trying to increase brand awareness with Twitter?

Here are our top three tips to keep in mind when creating Twitter Ads:

Pair eye-catching creatives with concise copy. This is paramount to grabbing people’s attention.Make your bids in line with performance goals, optimizing for each audience and ads creative combination.Ensure that your audience targeting is relevant to your brand and target demo. Don’t forget retargeting and email match!

Know a brand doing interesting things on Twitter? Tweet us @TwitterBusiness.

Pinterest opens search ads to self-serve advertisers, adds ‘autotargeting’ option

Eight months after Pinterest rolled out search ads, the company is making the ad placement available to advertisers buying ads through its self-serve ad-buying tool, Pinterest Ads Manager, the company announced this week. Pinterest is also introducing a new option for brands to target their search ads beyond the traditional set of keywords.

[Read the full article on Marketing Land.]

Facebook will stop displaying Instant Articles within Messenger

Fourteen months after Facebook’s Messenger added support for its parent company’s proprietary article format, Messenger will no longer display the Instant Article version of a link when opened within the messaging app. The news was first reported on Tuesday by TechCrunch and confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson.

To read more about Messenger’s decision to remove support for Instant Articles, check out the full version of this article on Marketing Land.

Pinterest now lets people zoom in on pins, has redesigned visual search icon

Pinterest continues to try to make it easier for people to use its visual search engine.

Now Pinterest users can zoom in on pins when using its mobile app. Pinterest has also made the option to search individual objects within a pin more obvious and opened up its Chrome browser extension to people who don’t have a Pinterest account, the company announced on Wednesday.

[Read the full article on Marketing Land.]

Twitter ramps up AMP

Disclosure: at the time of the writing of this article, the author was the head of product for an AMP conversion platform company. That company’s technology was acquired by Google on October 9th, 2017.

Twitter has started linking to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) from its native Android and iOS apps, shifting more traffic away from standard mobile web pages and giving publishers another reason to pay attention to how their AMPs display and perform.

Twitter hasn’t made any public announcements about the change since Google I/O in May, and it’s unclear whether the rollout is complete. But the switch is apparent in the Twitter apps if you know where to look — and in publishers’ referral analytics.

This graph shows the growth in Twitter traffic to AMP content among the national and local news publishers using Relay Media, Inc.’s AMP converter. (Disclosure: Relay Media is my employer.) Twitter referrals grew from less than 1 percent of AMP sessions in December 2016 to more than 12 percent at the end of June, when Twitter expanded AMP links from its mobile web app to its Android and iOS apps.

Sample of 35M monthly AMP views, Nov. 27-Jun. 30 2017. Identifiable traffic only; excludes “direct/none.”

Overall, Relay Media has seen non-Google sourced traffic grow from from about 4 percent of AMP sessions in December 2016 to 20% in June. That traffic is additive; total AMP sessions including Google sessions also grew significantly over the period.

Linking to a publisher’s AMPs instead of standard web pages isn’t something Twitter (or any other referrer) needs cooperation or even permission from the publisher to do. Any referrer can find the AMP URL in the source code of a standard web page and choose to display the AMP for a cleaner, faster experience, while the AMP itself remains fully intact (including the publisher’s ads and analytics).

Twitter’s use of AMP is mostly transparent to users. Twitter is linking to the publisher-hosted AMP instead of the Google-hosted version; the domain displayed in Twitter’s viewer should look very similar to the publisher’s standard URL (as opposed to the more complicated AMP URLs on Google’s CDN).

If a publisher is producing high-quality AMPs, the only thing users should notice is fast, smooth page load. For example, here’s a standard local news article (left) and the AMP version rendered in Twitter’s Android app (right). Apart from a couple of small cosmetic differences, the feel and functionality are the same.

Standard mobile web page (left) and AMP page in Twitter app (right).

This is a good time for all AMP-enabled publishers to try the side-by-side test, focusing on engagement and business performance. Here are some specific things to check:

  • Video: One of the trickiest content formats for AMP is video, since AMP’s native video component is still a work in progress with respect to ads and analytics — but without video, a publisher’s AMP content and monetization are incomplete. Many third-party players are AMP-enabled, and there’s almost always a path to get video (and ads) to work.
  • Onward engagement: AMP supports navigation menus and other clickable header elements, related stories lists, and pretty much anything else you can do on a standard web page. It’d be nice to see publishers test unique AMP engagement tactics as well.
  • Calls to action: Search and social platforms are the wide mouth of the consumer funnel.  While you’re giving users a beautiful, fast experience on AMP, you can also (politely) give them the opportunity to subscribe to notifications, download apps and so on.
  • Revenue operations: Yield optimization is as much about back-end services such as header bidding and DMPs as it is about the ads on a page. It takes vigilance to keep up with the growing list of AMP-enabled ad tech companies; remember to check with all of your ad tech partners and ask them to notify you when they become AMP-enabled if they aren’t already.

    There’s no rule that AMPs must be identical to their standard versions. In fact, AMP is a great opportunity for publishers to declutter their pages and experiment with new and simplified layouts. But, if a publisher’s AMPs are missing revenue-critical elements, or if the content is incomplete, those gaps will become noticeable as more platforms and referrers adopt the practice of AMP linking.  

    The good news is that AMP is a universal distribution format which automatically works across platforms and environments (unlike proprietary formats such as Facebook Instant Articles), and the dividends of optimization will grow as AMP audience expands.

    Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

  • How Pinterest has developed computer-vision technology to power visual search for users and brands

    Pinterest wants to do for visual search what Google has done for text search.

    Since assembling a small team to develop computer-vision technology in 2014, the search-slash-social platform — where each month 175 million people organize, share and, increasingly, find ideas ranging from food recipes to interior design to outfits to tattoos — has been working on ways to make images searchable like text. Its work has evolved from picking out images that look alike to identifying objects within images to converting images into search queries to, most recently, targeting ads based on images.

    For the complete story of how Pinterest has trained its computers to index objects within images and how it is opening up its visual search platform to brands, read the full article read the full article on MarTech Today.

    Pinterest’s updated browser extension turns off-Pinterest images into search queries

    A month after Pinterest teased how it will bring its visual search engine to the real world, the social network/search engine is extending its ability to turn images into search queries across the wider web.

    On Tuesday, Pinterest began updating its browser extensions so that people can click on an image on any web page and be shown related pins from Pinterest. The browser extension’s search results will not include ads, according to a Pinterest spokesperson.

    For now, the visual search feature is only available through Pinterest’s Chrome extension, but the company plans to eventually add it to its extensions for other browsers. To learn more about how the browser extension works, check out the original story on Marketing Land.

    In the meantime, here’s a GIF showing the extension in action.