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Why is the app TikTok so controversial?

In the world of social media and technology, controversies are constantly arising. Typically, debate will develop around the most popular apps and creatively designed platforms. In some cases, the argument will surround the core features of the app, but other times it may reflect on how society is destructively making use of or reacting to the app.

As one of your key social media marketers and analysers, it is our responsibility to stay abreast of relevant app trends and digital news. To develop the most effective and current-day digital marketing strategies, we ensure that we have a comprehensive oversight of all technological activity.

The most recent app to start a societal debacle has been TikTok. Millions of people have downloaded it, thousands of people love it, and thousands of people loathe it. In order to give a comprehensive review of the TikTok app, we are investigating what the application actually does, why it has risen so rapidly to fame, and why people are arguing against it.

What is the app TikTok?
According to its description on the App Store, TikTok is a destination for creating and sharing “short-form videos that are exciting, spontaneous and genuine.”

The chief function of the application is the ability to easily create short music and lip-sync videos of around 3 to 15 seconds in length. Within the app, a variety of popular trends have emerged, including meme creation, comedic lip-syncing and duets.

Originally, the developers (ByteDance) released the application in China and named it Douyin. It was developed within 200 days and reached 100 million users within one year of being available for download.

Once it had dominated the Chinese market, the developers re-released the app as TikTok for the Western audience. It became available for download in September 2017.

Interestingly, a similar application named Musical.ly was already existent, allowing users to create short lip-sync and comedy videos. Having been released in 2014, Musical.ly had already attracting a sizeable user base of predominantly young Americans. As a means of combatting competition, TikTok decided to purchase Musical.ly and merge the two applications together. Users of each application were amalgamated to the one app: TikTok.

Why is TikTok so popular?
There is no denying that TikTok has generated much attraction in the digital space. In late 2018, the application became one of the most downloaded apps in the United States. According to some statistics, it was the most frequently downloaded app in America in October of 2018.

Marketing professionals agree that a variety of concepts allowed the platform to obtain such popularity:

  • The comedic nature of the app allowed it to become a viral trend.
    Memes being created on the app were then shared to other social media platforms, which ultimately acted as advertisements for TikTok.
  • Incorporation of common social features.
    Following other social applications, TikTok included a number of typical features into its design: hashtags, content feeds, filters, profiles, sharing ability.
  • Endorsement by a number of celebrities.

High-profile personnel, such as Ariana Grande, began using the application and sharing the videos. It influenced their following to also use TikTok.

  • Merging of relevant competition.
    By purchasing similar applications, such as Musical.ly, TikTok effectively removed any possible competition for users.
  • Short, simple and fast-paced design.
    Videos made on TikTok cannot be longer than a minute in length. Alike to the popular app, Vine, this fast-paced nature ensures no attention spans are lost.

What is the controversy over TikTok?
As should be anticipated will all far-reaching social platforms, TikTok has been subject to a range of controversy.

Notably, the app has been heavily accused of:

  • Privacy issues.
    Concerns have been raised that children using the app could have communication access to strangers and potentially predators.
  • Cyberbullying concerns.
    Some users have reported being cyberbullied on the platform.
  • Copyrighting music.
    The platform has been criticised for not paying royalties to artists whose music is being used on the app.

In the United States, there were apprehensions that the application could be stealing and sharing data from America to China because the parent company was of Chinese background. In Indonesia, the application was banned because it was said to expose inappropriate content, such as pornography. Supposedly, the Indian government have also attempted to ban the app.

Ultimately, most social media critics agree that the controversy over TikTok is minimal when compared to that of other social media giants. Considering the popularity of the app, the criticism is actually rather insignificant. TikTok have even made admirable attempts to reduce negative feedback, including the ability to make profiles private.

Do we think you should be worried about using the app? No more than any other digital application.

Our recommendation, as one of Australia’s leading digital marketing brands, is to stop criticising the app, and start taking note. TikTok’s developers have been commendably strategic and innovative with their approach.

Is Facebook or Instagram better for marketing?

Ten years ago, the best marketing agencies were raving about the benefits of content marketing on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg exposed himself as a clear leader in the social media realm. In fact, Facebook was the key platform kick starting social media altogether. It managed to ignite an entire industry and breathe life into stale marketing strategies.

However, technology is constantly evolving and, as a result, marketing trends can change. Facebook has recently celebrated its fifteenth birthday and, in the technological world, that is pretty darn old. According to the opinion of some, Facebook should be starting to write its wills and book itself into a nursing home.

In 2019, the most popular marketing service providers are seen to be encouraging clients to turn to Instagram for advertising purposes, instead than Facebook.

Though, cluey clients of marketing agencies in Australia have questions and concerns about rapidly re-allocating their marketing efforts. Is Instagram really a better marketing tool and Is Instagram really more popular than Facebook?

The argument against Facebook.

According to recent statistics and reports, worldwide usage of Facebook is on the downhill. Supposedly, the platform has lost 15 million active users since 2017 in the United States. Yikes!

It is commonly believed that the decline in numbers may be a result of Facebook’s updates that place an unwanted emphasis on groups, or recent data breaches made by the company.

Whilst recent months have shown Facebook either plateau or sink, Instagram is on a steady rise. Currently, there are more than one billion people using Instagram worldwide. Majority of those users are outside of the United States, which indicates the success of the platform in locations such as Australia.

Instagram became live in 2010, making it a younger and fresher app compared to our elderly companion, Facebook.

The popularity of Instagram is impressive. Although we would be silly to ignore the potential that the application presents from a marketing perspective, we would be even more silly to permanently burn our Facebook tactics.

 

Our advice is not to ditch your Facebook budget.

So, where should you really be directing your marketing expenditure?

Despite the obvious attraction that the globe is taking toward Instagram, it is vital that businesses do not make a hasty decision to ditch Facebook.

As an experienced Australian social media marketing company, we can easily comprehend why Facebook is still a valuable tool.

  • There are still more than 1.5 billion people logging into Facebook daily, compared to 1 billion Instagram users.
  • The demographic of Facebook users is varied, so it is likely that at least a portion of your target audience are utilising the platform.
  • Facebook allows for great diversity in posts, compared to Instagram where marketers must upload either an image or video.
  • Facebook has proven to be an effective tool time and time again for selling services/ products, and achieving search engine optimisation.

Instead of hurriedly turning to Instagram as a solution for attracting more business, you should consider splitting or portioning your budget to include some strategic Instagram use.

 

Consider what type of business and customers you have.

When contemplating the most effective methods of marketing, it is crucial that you consider what platforms your target audience will actually be using.

You would not advertise bikinis in a nursing home or burgers in a gym, so why advertise your business on a platform where your clients do not exist?

Regardless of whether you are attempting B2B marketing or B2C marketing, you will gain more traction if your social media marketing strategy is being implemented on platforms where your target demographic choose to spend their time.

Generally, Instagram is being more predominantly used by a younger demographic, whereas Facebook is reaching a slightly older crowd. Particular industries, such as photography, design or ecommerce discover that Instagram’s heavy focus on imagery suits their advertising ideals better, however service-based businesses prefer Facebook’s ability to easily link to their website or blog.

There is no harm in establishing your business on both Instagram and Facebook to obtain optimal reach. After all, both applications can achieve an organic reach, as well as a more extensive paid reach.

 

Seeking tailored advice.

To profitably spread your marketing budget, you should get in touch with a digital marketing specialist. Getting results from social media can be a challenging minefield, so working with a professional in digital marketing services will ensure that your work is not going to waste.

Aside from Instagram marketing and Facebook marketing, there are likely to be other platforms that may be beneficial for your business.

As an example, many professional brands choose to engage with LinkedIn marketing in order to target their similarly corporate target audience. Other brands targeting a very youthful audience may find that marketing on Snapchat is the most successful.

Generate Your Audience are trusted marketing consultants in Sydney who can provide personalised advice that will make a genuine impact in your company. Get in touch today and discover how we can assist your business.

6 Instagram Growth Hacks That Everyone Needs To Know

According to Hootsuite, at least one billion people across the globe are logging into Instagram each month in 2019. As the popularity of this photo-centric (or as some may argue, ego-centric) platform continues to blossom, so do the tricks that will allow your profile to gain popularity.

With more people searching and posting on Instagram than ever before, it is crucial that we source new and inventive ways to race ahead of competitors and make noise in a very busy channel.

Generate Your Audience (or GYA, our more slick name) have been providing tailored Instagram marketing advice to hundreds of Australian business, so our knowledge in the digital space is second to none. As social media marketing services providers, we are constantly up-to-date with the latest trends and technological news.

Regardless of whether you want to know how to get more followers on Instagram for a personal or business profile, there are certain tricks which may benefit you.

Below, our team have conglomerated six helpful tactics to assist with the development of your Instagram profile. If you have ever wondered how to be Instagram famous or how to get more likes on your Instagram posts, these are the answers.

1. Engage, engage, engage.
Okay – we admit, this has been the golden rule ever since the Instagram app was first downloaded. The importance of genuine and continual engagement with other profiles on Instagram cannot be denied.

Following or liking the profiles and content from other users will encourage them to pay attention to your own profile. A friendly follow will often result in a friendly follow-back. If they do not follow back, no worries, give them some time and then unfollow. Many call this the effective Instagram follow-unfollow method.

2. Get risky.
The latest Instagram update that has shaken the Australian Instagram community is the removal of like numbers on posts. It is unknown whether this update will be permanent, but while it exists, you should take advantage of the ability to post out-of-the-ordinary, whacky shots without the fear of low like numbers.

All content marketing specialists and social media marketing Australia teams know that drawing attention is a priority on IG.

3. Learn from your analytics.
If you are yet to turn your Instagram profile into a business profile, then you have some catching up to do. Never fear, the switch only takes around two minutes to complete.

With Instagram analytics engaged, you can assess which types of posts are performing better than others. You can also compare best times of the day to post on Instagram in Australia, how many people are direct messaging your photos, and the total overall reach of your content.

4. Consider joining an engagement pod.
What are Instagram pods, you may ask? Social media engagement pods are highly taboo. To explain them simply: pods are groups of people who commit to following, liking and engaging with the profiles and content of the other people in their pod.

In many cases, you may have a not-openly-acknowledged pod where you regularly engage with someone’s content and they do the same back. However, you do not have a solid agreement with that person to continually support one another.

More established pods are present too, and they usually take place within direct messaging systems (such as that on Instagram itself) or forums. The rules for each pod will vary, but generally a user will post a link to their freshly published post in the group forum, and then each member will be expected to engage or share that post. Each member will have the opportunity to ask for engagement on their content, but there may be restrictions on how often you can ask.

5. Focus wholeheartedly on a theme.
All hail the square profile grid! It is never too late to learn how to make your Instagram grid look good.

By ensuring all of your uploaded images are of the same palette or tone, your profile grid will be cohesively dynamic. In order to uphold a theme, you should only upload images that suit the already established colours and styles of your grid. There are a variety of Instagram grid planning applications that can assist with pre-organising an appealing grid.

Sometimes, it is necessary to sacrifice or edit images to match your theme. Your grid is the defining factor that will make a first impression and encourage someone to follow you, so the grid must be prioritised over individual shots.

6. Keep adjusting and learning. In most cases, seek help to do so.
If you want to learn how to grow your Instagram quickly, but you struggle to find the time or resources, chat to our knowledgeable team at GYA.

As Instagram develops, our Sydney digital marketing business continues to evolve with it. We are proudly one of the best marketing companies in Parramatta and we persistently drive sales for every client we work with.

Browse our client testimonials to discover more about our effective marketing services in Australia.

SNAPCHAT: Free marketing advice for 2020 Part two

Let’s talk tactics.

We’ve identified two tactics to trial for your business that is a guaranteed way to grow your following and sales conversion.

The challenge; The challenge that you first must understand is that in the app, no one can actually find you unless they search your exact username with zero spelling errors.

Here’s tip one:
Share your Snapchat QR code or handle outside the main network and on other social channels and webpages. You can use your Snapchat code as your profile photo, too, to draw more attention to the fact you have a Snap account. Be cautious not to go too hard with the Snapchat promotion on other networks though in case you annoy the portion of your audience who doesn’t have a Snapchat account. (Remember Snapchat has incredible depth in ages 34 and below.)

Tip two:
Whenever a customer receives a confirmation of purchase email, try adding your Snapchat Code or handle to the body copy. Receipt emails have a huge 71% open-rate compared to regular emails (seen as spam) which only get around a 22% open-rate. It’s an effective way to increase your following. Another idea is to incentivise it for the consumer, by simply stating that they will receive an exclusive promotional code if they choose to follow your Snapchat account. (Promotional offers, exclusive to your Snapchat users, is a fantastic way to measure your return more purposefully.)

Snapchat Tactical advice for 2020 – Build your social media platform around this marketing strategy.

Download and share your snaps on other channels.
This can also be very powerful and is a way to keep your content circulating for life, because as mentioned in part one, Snaps disappear within 24hrs of going public.

Try compiling a video compilation of your Snaps and segment them into categories, then publish on other channels like YouTube. This allows followers who don’t have Snapchat,theopportunity to see what you’re doing.And, it’s a permanent place to hold your content that can embody your SEO and VEO tactics in the description areas provided.

Be content cautious and don’t overdue the self-promo. 45% of users will unfollow you if the self righteousness becomes too much to handle. Keep it raw and honest, nonchalantly adding your product and services into the mix.

Using links from bitly is the more favoured way to add text links to your Snap Stories. Bitly demonstrates its measuring services by tracking the clicks, so, this will add depth to your key metrics to look out for.

Here are some Snapchat tips to grow your brand and business by 2020.

Tip one:
Post ‘’a day in the life content’’as often as possible. This should be the majority of your content, and, a great explanation of what this looks like, is to observe the examples of DJ Khaled, previously mentioned in part one.

Khaled would Snapchat running on the treadmill, talking to his chef or colleagues in music, jet-skiing across Miami, and even showering. We’re not suggesting you take these extremes, but one commonality each of these wacky posts shared, were his catchphrases and in some form his product placement, or information to an upcoming release.

Tiptwo:
Product teases. Teases a new release via Snapchat builds hype and allows organic marketing to enter the realm with word of mouth. Again, Snapchat is supposed to be exclusively personal content that your followers will want to be excited about.

Tip three:
Product placement. For example, if you’re coming out with new season shoes at your clothing label, ensure that these are present in all videos leading up to the release. You won’t even have to mention anything about them if they are well-placed.

Tip four:
Product codes.Create product codes exclusive to your Snapchatfamily. This is a sure fire way to expand your reach.

Tip five:
Reach out to influencers. Find and network with relevant social media influencers withinyour niche market, and allow them the opportunity to promote an exclusive discount code to share with their audience. This is a simple tactic to benefit both parties.

Tip six:
Invite an influencer to takeover your account for the day.

The cross pollination of accounts is extremely worth your while. Be sure to cross promote across all your channels in the lead up to the big day so that you will maximise the engagement.

Speaking of engagement.

Snapchat only has 3 metrics that can identify where your missing impressions are. They are; views, screenshots, and replays. This is a really straight forward way to see if your content is resonating with your audience.

Another metric to remember is that bitly link you may or may not post in the copy from time to time. These links are measured accurately and can be a great addition to those promo codes mentioned when compiling a thorough analysis of your campaigns.

Snapchat has certainly come a long way, and with the loyal following is still boasts, it’s no wonder why global companies are investing heavily into it. Don’t forget, the most you’re spending on Snapchat is time, after all, it’s free!

If you’d like a Snapchat strategy package, tailored to meet your needs, reach out to the team at GYA for a complimentary Snapchat guideline for 2020 to maximise your reach. We can also price your content production as a quarterly, half-yearly or annual package, as well as plan timeline campaigns that meet your goals and coincide with our content partnership program.

SNAPCHAT: Free Marketing Advice for 2020 Part one

Snapchat was created in September 2011 and has steadily grown an impressive following since then.

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app used globally, created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, former students at Stanford University, and developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc.

At one stage, it is believed that Snapchat had the opportunity to be bigger than instagram, had it not been for instagram adding a not too dissimilar feature called ‘’Story’’ in August of 2016. This move was to compete with Snap inc. and subsequently converted over 400 million users to instagram.
Snapchat were the originators of the ‘’My Story’’ concept, a feature that allows users to upload ‘a day in the life’ real-time content that can be shared with anyone who uses the app.

Snapchat took a knock from the Facebook-owned company, but still remains a pivotal force in brand awareness, particularly targeting meaningful messages to its users.

Snapchat has over 147million active users everyday, 71% of them are under the ages of 34, so, if a portion of your audience fits this description, Snapchat can be extremely worth your while.

On average,Snapchat is opened 25 times a day by its users that spend around 30 minutes of their time flicking through new &subscribed content on a daily basis. This is great retention for such a deep market.

How does Snapchat work?

Firstly, Snapchat marketing is different from other social network advertising platforms such as, Facebook and Instagram.

Snapchat is not a full-blown messaging network,and content is lost forever, or within 24hrs, once it’s viewed.
Also, you don’t have a public facing profile like Instagram and Facebook, but the the fact that content disappears once it’s consumed, can actually be beneficial for your brand, creating excitement, impulse and urgency. This, is what makes Snapchat a force to be reckoned with.

Probably one of the most overlooked factors in Snapchat marketing is that it’s free. If you’re an experienced marketer, you’d be aware that most marketing tools are costly, albeit your time is the only real expenditure on the table here.

Snapchat isn’t like facebook. It’s not money in, money out, it’s all about branding. If you’re wanting to maximise this opportunity, you have to look at it as an all-out strategy that accompanies your business’s main goals.
Snapchat is a strategy, not a tactic.

It’s a long-term goal that can help you build deep and meaningful relationships with the people inside your target market. This is a long-term investment, that may appear irrelevant early on, but most social media strategies are, and will be, a labour of love that can dividends.

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) explains, it’s not how many followers you have, it’s how many you have that care.

Snapchat is deep not wide, and you are creating fulfilling relationships with consumers that will loyally drive your brand to new heights.

Let’s Be Real

Snapchat isn’t necessarily the platform for polished content, although don’t be surprised to see your favourite entertainment and news channels deliver a full production, but how does the audience feel about this?

People want transparent, exclusive information that they know cannot be found unless following your Snapchat account.
94% of Snapchatters are said to be far more loyal to a brand that is transparent with them. Rather than observing a full production and editing masterpiece.
You can still upload your polished content to support a campaign, but don’t forget to keep it real and add those unedited Snaps into the mix. So, undo the top button on your shirt, loosen-up your top collar, and, relax. You look great.

The Power of Snapchat.

DJ Khaled, the larger than life music mogul, began his career back in the late 90’s, and has become synonymous with releasing ‘urban anthems’ that feature some of the world’s biggest names in music. Importantly, it wasn’t until Khaled started publicly sharing candid, unedited moments into his life via Snapchat, that his career received the accolades he had been striving towards for almost two decades.

In 2015, Khaled began posting short videos of himself on Snapchat, talking to his fans, informing the world, about what his was doing at that very moment. His naturally energetic character, strange habits, and quirky catchphrases made him great real-time viewing for his audience. By early 2016, Khaled had over 2 million people tuning in to watch his content weekly. This notoriety, penultimately led to his healthy major deal signing to Roc Nation, a label famously headed by non other than Jay Z, one of Khaled’s idols, and the most successful hip-hop artist of all time.

That same year, DJ Khaled released his ninth studio album entitled ‘’Major Key’’, one of his catchphrases, and it became his first ever number one album, debuting atop the billboard 200 charts.

Khaled’s marketing strategy had worked.

Khaled used Snapchat to product place his clothing line and would amass over $24million dollars in the coming months.

He received endorsement deals from liquor and food companies, became Snapchat’s first celebrity ambassador, he brokered a shoe deal with Air Jordan, and, more recently, he was named as the new face of Weight Watchers.
Khaled would frequently Snap himself on the treadmill in the gym trying to lose a few pounds, so this move was a brilliant one at that by both parties involved.

Snapchat is tangible, and it can be extremely lucrative. What we’ve mentioned above is some quick insight into the power of Snapchat and why it shouldn’t be overlooked when incorporating into your strategy.

Speaking of strategy, let us offer some tips to get you started.

Read our, SNAPCHAT: Free Marketing Advice for 2020 Part two, now.