Facebook is currently facing a ‘needle in a haystack’ situation. Finding a brand that entices you to come back for more is becoming increasingly difficult and becoming a brand ‘people are talking about’ is even harder. To amplify your page impressions, we recommend utilizing simple plugins that ensure finest connectivity and easy sharing. Here are a few new (and old) must-haves: Continue reading
In 2014, marketers have observed the descending graph of organic reach on Social Media and the increasing need for paid advertising budgets to reach the right people. Various ‘thought leaders’ have also been telling businesses to stop ‘wasting’ their time and efforts on Social Media. These rumblings have become louder towards the tail end of the year, making experts, brands and stakeholders question – Is the Social Media party ending? Continue reading
Mark Zuckerberg has a 10-year plan. His grand vision begins with you receiving the message; in fact it’s his very first priority. The Facebook CEO revealed this during the third quarter conference call with investors held in October. This plan is laid out on two important pillars – short-term goals and long-term achievements, trying to incorporate the best of all worlds on Facebook. The goals are concrete; beginning with growth amongst the multiple properties owned by Facebook, moving towards increased collaboration between its messaging services for creating a whole new user experience and lastly, the rise of Oculus Rift. How practical these goals prove to be is a thing of the future, but the important question to be raised here is – How do these goals affect brands and business that are on a crunch for triumph on the platform. Continue reading
Since Twitter began offering its services in Turkish on April 26th 2011, it has become a major social media instrument reaching the masses in Turkey. However it is nowhere near the immense movement that is ‘Facebook’ , as Turkey has one of the largest communities of Facebook users globally. Twitter, on the other hand plays a leading role, in that many tweeps are influential figures like artists, journalists and even some politicians who tweet their views, initiate discussions and interact with followers. Last year 16.6% off all Turkish Internet users were on Twitter. Turkey’s conventional media has also begun to refer to Twitter’s Trending Topics to reshape their daily news coverage, so that Twitter hashtags of these ‘Trending Topics’ can create a greater opportunity to reach a wider Turkish audience via the conventional media. This obviously lends political value to this platform for anyone trying to amplify a voice for their causes.
However, since Twitter’s announcement that it may censor tweets on local networks according to demands from goverments, suspicions have emerged as to whether the government of Turkey is merely making use of Twitter’s new “feature” or if Twitter actively intervenes the Turkish trending topic list.
On February 8th, during a session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), opposition MPs occupied the parliamentary speech podium to protest a government proposal on shortening the permitted speech durations for opposition deputies during discussions on legislation. Turkish social media users, led by opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP and active tweep Melda Onur, started the #occupyTBMM hashtag to build support for the protest in the Assembly. Government friendly tweeps answered with their own hashtag, #isgaleson (End the Occupation). The opposition’s hashtag first appeared in the Trending Topics list but vanished after half an hour and only the pro-government hashtag remained in the list.
The Anarschi blog published a post about this situation. It wrote: “Some sort of censorship drew my attention. On Twitter, thousands of people tweeted using the #occupytbmm hashtag. It became the second most discussed topic within 10 minutes, then it instantly vanished. Apparently, there was a direct intervention on Twitter and it was blocked from being a trending topic. I don’t know what really happened but there was a filtering in Turkey. The funny thing is, it’s the MPs who started this hashtag.”
Also, a graph comparing the two rival hashtags circulated on Twitter by pro-occupation tweeps. The graph showed the #occupytbmm hashtag had more volume than its rival.
Similarly, on night of February 15th, Kurdish users initiated the #freedomforocalan hashtag, demanding the release of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the illegal Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkish nationalists responded by creating the #babykillerocalan hashtag. The first hashtag easily made the Trending Topics list as the third most-shared hashtag, while the latter did not appear. However, within a minute, the #freedomforocalan hashtag was dropped from the list and replaced by another hashtag that was not previously mentioned on the list and thereafter moved into third place. Kurdish users considered this to be an obvious act of censorship.
Pro-PKK news agency ANF mentioned the possibility of a filtering, saying: “The campaigners asked social media users to make the #freedomforocalan hashtag a worldwide trending topic, in case of censorship for the Turkish TT list.”
Kurdish socia media users also circulated a graph comparing the hashtag with a non-political TV-related hashtag which made the TT list.
Furthermore, Turkish nationalists claimed their #babykillerocalan hashtag did not remain in the Trending list, despite having more volume than the #freedomforocalan hashtag.
In Turkey, Facebook has an office and its Turkish team has been the source of controversy for acts like censoring the accounts of gay activists groups and individuals, such as the gay Kurdish journalist Bawer Çakır’s, even though there was no violation of Turkish laws. After these attempts at censorship were taken to the mainstream media, Facebook Turkey reopened the accounts.
In a similar case, Facebook Turkey first refused to close the fan pages praising Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s murderer, Ogun Samast, but after a campaign (led by Bawer Çakır), they agreed to close all accounts lauding the Dink murder and propagating hate speech.
These examples, combined with Twitter’s recent “selective content blocking policy” announcement and its topsy-turvy Trending Topics, created speculation and concerns about censorship among Turkish social media users – a predicatable reaction for a country, in which governmental pressure on conventional media has grown in recent years.
However, the problems social media users report do not really overlap with Twitter’s new policy. The social media company made no announcements about tweaking the Trending Topics list; moreover it promised not to clear out content invisibly, and to leave a “tweet witheld” sign whenever a tweet is blocked in a region. Therefore, the sudden fluctuations in the trending topic list do not seem related to this new policy, unless some other unannounced filtering practice is in place.
Whereas the concerns of Turkish social media users may not be well-founded, these incidents point to another problem about Twitter. It is not completely known how Twitter’s algorithms work and whether they work as planned. Especially since the transition to the “New Twitter”, users complain about seeing the users they blocked in their “following” list, their number of followers bounce back and forth. So, what Turkish users perceive as censorship, may well be another eccentricity of the new kid on the block.
Twitter’s mysterious ways of working lead to a critical question. Is the ultimate social tool – through which the people of the Middle East have raised democratic demands, among them transparent government and free and independent media – transparent enough itself? In the Turkish example, Twitter does not even have an office in Turkey to which social media can address their concerns. An environment with an apparently unstable way of working and not so much explanation about it, evidently has potential to provoke concern and speculation. If these issues are not resolved, the next call for transparency on Twitter may put the micro-blogging site itself under the microscope for scrutiny.
The Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that recently buzzed on various Social Media platforms. This explicit search was conducted only on Twitter about the latest developments of Turkey censoring Twitter.
If you are further interested in monitoring any special event, political development or a certain brand/product we welcome you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also appreciate any suggestions and improvements for this Blog. Also follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook-Page to get regular updates regarding future Buzz Reports.
Interested in other social media stories? Read our latest Buzz-Reports:
Finding the right social media approach for your brand is a crucial point in the marketing strategy of a company. For successful companies the question is not whether they should be using social media or not, but how to do social media the right way. Clear trends show that brands simply can’t afford not to participate in this booming media universe. Last year 82% of all B2C companies were using social media and the numbers continue to increase. For B2B businesses this share was even higher, reaching 86%. Among the most successful brands are companies like Coca-Cola, Starbucks or Red Bull.
(source: Social Bakers)
As part of the overall social media strategy many companies show a large variety of approaches to get connected and engaged with users online. Especially B2C businesses tend to show creativity in how to get the attention of their online audience. Businesses invest in research and learn from best practices to implement a social media strategy of their own, resulting in either a weak campaign or a winning campaign.
In many cases a successful social media campaign is simply based on a good idea and not a large budget. In this weeks Buzz-Report SocialEyez takes a closer look at few of the most successful social media campaigns with a special focus on the Middle East region:
The Just Falafel Facebook campaign
Concept: On their Facebook page ‘Just Falafel’ launched a campaign encouraging university students to submit a 120 second video on why the fast-food chain should support a specific academic goal. The page titled ‘Help Us Help You’ offers a free scholarship to the winner who will get full academic tuition with all expenses paid for until a degree is secured. ‘Just Falafel’ puts aside approximately Dh 1.4 million. The campaign started on January 16th and will conclude on February 16th. Mohammed Bitar, founding partner of Just Falafel, explains the concept as: “We couldn’t spend a lot of money on our marketing plans initially and most of our business was generated through social media. Now we feel, it’s time to give back to the people who have helped us become successful”.
Buzz: During the last few days the Just Falafel Facebook campaign gained huge social media attention. On Facebook ‘Just Falafel’ reached over 300,000 total “Likes” and over 45,000 “People talking about this” (last Update February 19th). In just six days (January 23rd to the 29th) the site gained over 25,000 new “Likes”. Regarding user comments, the feed-back is overwhelmingly positive. For example Facebook Fan Ghislaine Justine stated: “I have shared because I believe that every single one of us has at least one talent, sometimes that we are not aware of or have not been able to develop because of financial issues, background, or just circumstances. I applaud initiative such as this. I hope one day I’ll have the cash to offer the same chance to someone out there.” Dubai based Fan Jessica Miranda added: “I think this project r really amazing, God bless to all the people behind this project.” Interestingly some users did not only show their appreciation for the projects but also actively tried to help and convince others to participate. Zeeshan Ramzan from Dubai advices others: “On Just Falafel page on the left corner it says Win a scholarship! go sign up there.”
The Just Falafal campaign is also a good example that a well realized campaign does not have to be limited to social media only. Multiple regional online-newspapers like the Khaleej-Times and gulfnews were reporting as well about the promotion.
The Hyundai UAE Facebook campaign
Concept: With the slogan “The Best Comment Contest” Hyundai UAE launched its big social media campaign on Facebook. The basic idea consists of users “liking” the page first and then answering the question “Why Hyundai is considered one of the Modern Premium brands?” Every week the best answer with the most votes wins an iPAD2. The campaign is scheduled to run for four months. Khaled Issa, CEO of Hyundai UAE, describes the goal as following: “Strategically, Hyundai UAE wants to increase the awareness about its Premium Brand by engaging its customers and fans through an interactive and a rewarding contest”.
Buzz: Compared to the ‘Just Falafel’ competition, the coverage of the Hyundai campaign proceeds relatively slow. Nevertheless the campaign has only just started and will run for three more months. So far over 10600 users “liked” the page with 2100 users “Talking about this” (last Update February19th). The launch of the campaign was also posted in some online-newspapers such as albawaba and gulftoday.
The user conversations on the Facebook page itself were mainly about regulations and terms of conditions of participating in the promotion. User Abu Hassan asks: “Can you show me the steps how to do the invitation?” while Facebook fan Dennis Riverda complains about the rules how winners are selected: “Hyundai Admin – good morning..I am a supporter of the leading contestant in your I like contest, since yesterday we were campaigning for them but their score is not moving? why is that so? please answer.. thanks..”
As a conclusion for these two examples, the power and influence of social media campaigns becomes evidently visible. Many a times a good concept with the right rewards has the power to trigger a lot of attention. And this attention does not have to be limited to social media only. The examples highlight that well penetrated campaigns might even skip over to local newspaper sites and other media platforms. The key to success is not only a good idea but also a well organized implementation strategy. In the two cases described above the social media team of the brands were responding quickly, providing ample information and creating a space to communicate.
The Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that recently buzzed on various social media platforms. This explicit search focused on the two social media campaigns from Just Falafel and Hyundai UAE. The mentioned posts and comments were captured during January 2012.
If you are further interested in monitoring any special event, political development or a certain brand/product we welcome you to contact us at email@example.com. We also appreciate any suggestions and improvements regarding this Blog. Also follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook-Page to get regular updates regarding future Buzz Reports.
Recent published Buzz-Reports: