The best social stories & campaigns from November 2018

As the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait, so let’s get into the (later-than-usual) best social media stories and campaigns from November – including Spotify, GambleAware, #Dynasties, Vine 2.0 and more.

Spotify’s Wrapped campaign

83 million Spotify users wait patiently for the time of the year when they get their annual listening stats and figures, in the first week of December (although the marketing activity for Spotify Wrapped begins in November).

The tweet above highlights Spotify’s understanding of the power of social media, especially as it pertains to once-a-year activations like this which are easy to miss. Keeping the short, easy-to-share messages at the forefront of its social output in the lead up to December 6th is a clever tactic.

The streaming company even messages you back if you Like its reminder post, closing that communication loop.

The genius of Spotify Wrapped, the only marketing campaign I add to my calendar

GambleAware’s #CanWeHaveOurBallBack

It was reported this month that the number of underage ‘problem gamblers’ in the UK rose to 55,000 over the past two years, and that 450,000 children (1 in every 7) bet regularly. TV advertising was cited as one of the main reasons for children becoming aware of gambling. 

To play its part in addressing the problem, GambleAware has created a social ad and initiative called #CanWeHaveOurBallBack.

Using clever storytelling throughout the ad, the premise of the video is to question how much of an impact gambling is having on our love for sports.

By using children as the focal point of the ad, it’s that clear GambleAware is attempting to shed light on the important social issue of underage betting, and also use social as the platform to open up the discussion.

John Lewis’ Christmas ad wins the social media battle

Christmas ad heavyweight John Lewis has won the battle of the supermarket Christmas adverts this year.

According to statistics taken from the department store’s social media pages, the advert starring Elton John was viewed 10.4 million times on social within its first 24 hours and 20.9 million times over three days – on YouTube it currently has a mere 11 million views. 

Since it was posted just over two weeks ago the ad has been shared 29k times, with 6.5k comments and Liked 84k times, reaffirming the companies Xmas advert dominance. Elton John probably had a part to play in it too.

More at Campaign Live.

John Lewis is a brand that is renowned for producing popular Christmas adverts that the UK public patiently wait for every year. Historically, once the advert arrives people are generous with their shares, comments and parodies on social.

This year, Twitter UK joined in on the fun with this satirical ad featuring John Lewis – the man who owns the Twitter handle @johnlewis and is continually mistaken for a retail brand.

Read our take on Twitter’s parody here: Twitter’s ‘John Lewis’ Christmas ad reaches new levels of meta

Movember keep its initiative at the forefront of our minds through social

Men’s health organisation and charity Movember Foundation rolled out its annual Movember campaign across social. 

Partnering with other companies such as and working with influencers like Manchester United’s Juan Mata for the social campaign has enabled Movember to amplify its message and raise awareness of its cause.

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User-generated content has always been one of the main pillars of the Movember Foundations marketing – with men encouraged to grow a moustache and share their progress on social throughout November – and that hasn’t changed, with everyone getting involved in the fundraising fun.

Sharing to pivot towards private messaging channels

100 billion messages are sent from Facebook apps every day, and the social media giant is now moving sharing away from the News Feed and into its private messaging platforms.

But why, and what does this mean?

With so many people using Messenger or WhatsApp, it’s easy for Facebook to view the apps’ users as having commercial potential. This coincides with the trend of fewer people are sharing on the Facebook News Feed, instead partaking in “dark social” – the sharing of social content through private messaging platforms.

Inbox ads have already started to appear in Messenger and many question whether moves like it on WhatsApp will impact how we use Facebook’s messaging apps. In other words, will the ads become so intrusive or disruptive to the user’s experience that users are turned off? Only time will tell. 

Dynasties is more than just a TV hit

If you’re anything like me and love David Attenborough, then you’ve definitely been watching BBC’s Dynasties docu-series. If you haven’t (shame on you), the series is based around five wild animals and their respective plights to raise their offspring and continue their legacies.

BBC Earth’s Twitter content and use of the #Dynasties hashtag to promote the show are as great as the show itself.

Seemingly in time with when specific moments happen in the episodes, the BBC Earth account tweets out images, GIFs and videos for fans to like and share in real-time.

This is clever because the BBC has recognised that people generally use their phones whilst they watch TV and are more likely to share their favourite moments of the programme while it’s actually on, thus amplifying the show’s reach.

BBC’s understanding of the power of a hashtag is noteworthy, with fans of the show actively sharing their favourite bits and reliving memorable moments, all using #Dynasties to join the conversation or just share some silliness (like the above. In fact, there’s an entire Twitter moment for tweets of cats watching Dynasties – you’re welcome).

Pinterest has redesigned its ‘following’ feed

Earlier this month, Pinterest updated the ‘following’ tab’s feed to give users’ uploads more real estate.

Aside from making the images more of a focal point of the following tab, the new update could give creators on the platform much more referral traffic. Pinners will now be able to link to their external web pages, and fellow users will be taken directly to publisher or brand web pages with a single click.

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The company first introduced the following tab back on March with the intention of giving users more content from brands that they follow, so this seems like a natural evolution for the feature.

Vine co-creator announces the launch of Vine’s successor, Byte

This is my personal favourite bit of social news from November. Vine’s co-creator announced that the much-loved looping video sharing app’s successor, Byte, is set to launch next spring.

Even though Vine only had a short life, it had a marked impact on the social landscape, with Instagram introducing similar video sharing tools to its platform and Viners like Logan Paul and King Bach going on to achieve mainstream success as a result of their popularity on the platform.

A question worth asking, however, is how Byte will position itself in the market. With the rising popularity of apps like TikTok and Facebook’s clear prioritisation of video content (and reputation for reinventing innovations from other apps), will Byte be able to survive in a more mature video app market?

More on this as it develops. (P.S. can’t wait).

Instagram finally rolls out Your Activity feature

After it was announced in August Instagrammers have been patiently waiting for the ‘Your Activity’ feature to appear in-app, to help quell any excessive time spent on the platform. As of November, the Facebook-owned brand has finally rolled it out.

The feature allows users to track the average amount of time they spend on the app, both daily and weekly. It also enables time-conscious Instagrammers to create daily reminders, giving them the option to cap the amount they spend on the app.

This is welcome news to any Instagram users that believe the excessive time they spend on the platform has a significant impact on their wellbeing.

But how can you access yours? Here’s a brief step-by-step guide from AdWeek.

YouTube to double down on pre-roll ads

YouTube is introducing double pre-roll ads for videos on its platform.

Source: Google Ads Blog

Following testing, YouTube has concluded that two ad breaks stacked back-to-back gives users less of a reason to prematurely end their video sessions, with mid-roll ads sometimes interrupting viewing.

There’s also good news for advertisers, as early testing of the ads showed an eight to 11 percent increase in unique reach, as well as a five to 10 per cent increase in ad frequency.

With the test results proving appealing to advertisers and an improved UX for users, the change could be a welcomed one for all parties.

For more detail, check out the official blog post from Google Ads.

Some more YouTube news

The Google-owned platform has introduced a Stories feature for creators (with over 10k subscribers) on the platform.

Stories are a hot commodity right now in social and YouTube doesn’t want to lose any ground to the likes of Facebook and Instagram – who have been adding more video to their respective platforms – so Stories could be a welcomed addition to the platform and response to user expectations, in equal measures.

YouTube Stories will last for seven days (with an option to delete), and viewers can comment, up-vote and down-vote, and ask questions to creators.

For more detail, read Nikki Gilliland’s analysis of the new feature and its potential: What is YouTube stories and will it catch on?

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