Twitter and Facebook delete propaganda creating accounts

When used correctly, social media platforms can bring people together and be a useful tool.  Though there are times when tools can be misused. In a recent update on the misuse of Twitter and Facebook, Twitter has banned advertising capabilities within state-controlled media outlets and suspended over a thousand accounts. 

The Pages often post about local political news and issues including the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The people behind these Pages, Groups, and Accounts have concealed their identities, however, Facebook investigations have linked the fake Pages to the Chinese government. 

The accounts were used to incite riots, and create propaganda surrounding political unrest. Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this trend has continued to grow to become a serious issue.  Similarly to the unrest in China similar tactics have been used in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Israel.   

The Drum reports, “Hong Kong has been rocked over the last couple of months by citizens protesting over a controversial extradition bill … The bill, if enacted, would allow local authorities to detain and extradite people who are wanted in territories that Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements with, including mainland China and Taiwan.”

Currently, 700 arrests have been made in an attempt to discourage the rioting.  Though last weekend reportedly 1.5 million protestors shut down an entire airport.  

In addition to the accounts Twitter suspended, Facebook has removed multiple pages with thousands of followers each.  

Twitter’s blog post about the topic stated the accounts were created with the use of a VPN to access Twitter because Twitter is blocked in China. This enabled the creators to make accounts without the detection of the local government.  

The content within these pages and accounts was intentionally edited to create a negative narrative. Additionally, apps like WhatsApp and Weibo were used for private group chats.  Twitter explains why they made the choice to moderate content stating, “We want to protect healthy discourse and open conversation… we have higher standards for our advertisers.” 

According to their newsroom post, they are making progress in making their network free of abuse but they have admitted that it’s an ongoing challenge. They are, however, committed to continually improving their algorithms to weed out such as Pages, Groups, and Accounts. They are also building better technology, working closely with law enforcement, and hiring more people who are experts in digital security. 

The changes that are being made to social platforms to prevent users from creating propaganda will continue to adapt based on changes from platform to platform. To stay up to date subscribe to the Holler Hustle

Location data Is helpful to have effective and responsible marketing. 

This digital world is filled with several omnichannel marketing approaches to help brands connect online and offline consumer behaviors. However, there are many challenges that come with using multiple approaches and often, they’re not as effective as we hope. 

Recently, location data have been a good source of information for marketers, giving them a digital footprint of the customers’ spending habits and purchasing decisions both online and offline. Location data marketing is a powerful tool that marketers can use but it’s a huge area to discover. 

What is location-based marketing? 

Location-based marketing is a targeting strategy that targets audiences depending on where they are at a given time or where they’ve been recently. 

According to Frost Prioleau, co-founder of the location marketing agency, the range includes targeting users living in a particular zip code to targeting devices that often visit specific locations such as shopping areas, coffee shops, and more. Location data shows information about costumers’ routines and commutes, shopping habits, online/offline purchasing decisions, and restaurant preferences. 

The data can be used in making personalized targeting campaigns for services and products. This also allows for a more efficient ad targeting and budget allocation. 

How to use location data in ad targeting? 

Here are several suggestions for how you can use location data in your ad target marketing. 


Geotargeting is for delivering ads to customers in a location combining past location data and particular audience attributes. Advertisers can use specific categories or criteria like demographics, interests, and behaviors to target customers. 

With geotargeting, marketers can reach more refined audience segments with campaigns that are related to shopping trends in a certain location. 


Geofencing is collecting location data in real-time. It’s a combination of longitude and latitude coordinates, radio frequency identification, location beacons, and Bluetooth technology. This is good for geotargeting and proximity marketing. 

This isn’t a new strategy but advancements in technology have made it more precise. It also opened new doors for real-time location-based marketing. 

When customers are in a geofence area and shares contents to an app or browser, they are immediately given push notifications, in-app ads, text message, and others. 

Proximity Marketing

Proximity marketing uses geofencing to give customers timely ads in real-time. Marketers can use this for campaigns like local events or recurring store visits. Waze, for example, uses proximity marketing in a way that when a user is near to a promoted location, a pop up would appear promoting a service or shops in a nearby area. 

Marketers can use location data for their marketing campaigns but the data must be consumed in the right way without exploiting the privacy of the customers. As a marketer, you should be aware of the privacy standards not only because it’s the right thing to do but also because you want to foster a trust relationship between your brand and your customers. 

Snapchat changed their application logo and users aren’t a fan of the change

Companies like Apple give put much focus on the aesthetic and design of their devices. When this is contrasted with a bright yellow app that has a stroke which somehow reminds users of Comic Sans, that application is bound to receive some guff.

Recently, Snapchat made the decision to make their app stand out more by adding a thicker stroke to their ghost logo.  

Many applications utilize negative space by placing a white logo over an icon colored by the brand’s colors. Preceding the update Snapchat’s icon followed this trend on most regards despite a small stroke around the ghost to create a contrast between the apps yellow branding and the ghost logo.  

After the update users took to Twitter to express their disdain for the change. Users expressed how the app doesn’t match it’s peers, and have threatened to delete the app.  

FastCompany explains that Snap had this to say about the change, “The bold line makes the app’s logo more visible and eye-catching.” Due to the uniformity of other applications the app gets user’s attention like a bad commercial that seems to play during every show break.  

With new updates on their advertisement platform, and other social media sites like Twitter and Tik Tok turning to an increased focus on advertisements, Snap wants to make an impression on its users, and they’re not afraid to lose some users in the process. 

The takeaway for marketers is – going against standards or trends can create buzz around your brand can make new precedents in the constantly changing industry we work inside.  

Facebook is planning to put a mark on its family apps and marketers have mixed reactions about it. 

Businesses and advertisers of WhatsApp and Instagram are aware that the platform is owned by Facebook however, the same could not be said for users. This won’t stay long however because Facebook is planning to rebrand both brands by adding its name to both platforms. 

Rebranding from Facebook 

Soon enough, Instagram will be called Instagram from Facebook and WhatsApp will be called WhatsApp from Facebook in both the Apple Store and Google Play. This isn’t very surprising since Facebook has been planning to integrate its family of apps to build a unified front and streamlined messaging across platforms. 

It isn’t known yet how the rebranding will affect the marketers. Instagram’s advertising business is rapidly growing. Whether the credibility issues of Facebook will hurt the business is something to figure out in the future. 

A seamless platform for advertisers 

Michael Ashley, VP and managing creative director for SCOUT Ad Agency agree with Facebook’s plans. He said that the rebrand makes perfect sense due to the fact that WhatsApp and Instagram, are Facebook’s heavy hitters. Bringing all the three platforms together under one umbrella is more efficient for advertisers and marketers. 

Changing the name will strengthen the connection between platforms. It will also further the consumers’ trust in the brand. 

Impact on consumers 

Facebook has been facing a number of privacy issues here and there. The massive amount of credibility baggage of Facebook may affect the perception of Instagram and WhatsApp. Many users will be turned off by the unification and this will result in less engagement for brands and platforms leading to reduced campaign performance and return on ad spend. 

However, many experts don’t share the same belief, agreeing that change of name won’t affect the consumer experience much. Many people already know that Instagram is Facebook-owned but this did not affect the advertisement growth of Instagram, in fact, it’s been growing rapidly in the previous years. For users, it doesn’t matter who’s pulling the strings, what matters for them is that the platform stays true to the platform’s original intent.

If it doesn’t affect the consumers, then there’s no reason for advertisers and marketers to worry. 

Influencer marketing is getting bigger by the day. 

Research shows that the influencer marketing industry’s global ad spend will increase to $5 – $10 billion by 2020. Marketers are now investing more time and resources in improving the performance of their influencer marketing programs. 

What is influencer marketing? 

There is so much more in influencer marketing than meets the eyes. It’s more than collaboration with influencers who have millions of followers on social media. It needs and organized approach from selecting the right influencer to delivering high-quality content that will resonate with their followers. 

Brands are now using Artificial Intelligence to make their influencer marketing campaigns more effective. 

Challenges in influencer marketing 

Picking the right influencer

One of the biggest challenges in the influencer marketing industry is picking the right influencer to partner with. The number of following isn’t the only aspect that a brand should look into. Other factors must also be considered, including the engagement level of their posts and whether their persona resonates with your brand. 

Furthermore, brands must analyze the contents of the influencer and see if it matches your brand. Picking the wrong brand ambassador will compromise your brand engagement with your audience. 

Extra caution must be taken when choosing an influencer especially with the rise of fake engagement metrics. Recently, even big brands have been victims of fake followers. 

Calculating the ROI of the influencer

Various social media platform provides analytics such as likes, comments, and shares. But whether these metrics affect the overall revenue of your brand is difficult to determine. A survey with 200 U.K. marketers has shown that 38% of the marketers couldn’t tell if their influencer marketing campaigns helped in driving their sales. 

Apparently, despite the hype, influencer marketing isn’t the solution to an increase in revenue. 

 Detecting fake engagement 

An online feud between the Instagram influencers in 2018 shocked the world, however, it was later revealed that both seeming influencers were actually computer-generated. This shows that brands must be careful when picking their brand influencers and make sure that they’re actual people. 

AI influencer marketing filters bots, eliminate fake engagement and determines computer-generated and real-life influencers. 

What does this mean for advertisers and marketers?

With artificial intelligence, brands will have better chances in choosing an influencer that fits their message. It also helps marketers to identify relevant influencers and a deeper understanding of their posts that are related to their brand. 

LinkedIn is parenting up with Elevate into the Sales Navigator. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator released product updates last Wednesday and added more features to manage and discover leads.

More content into Sales Navigator 

LinkedIn launched Elevate back in 2015. It’s an app that’s designed to help the users to share their content on LinkedIn. Today, users of both Sales Navigator and Elevate will now receive alerts on their Sale Navigator homepage whenever new content is made available. This is a great way to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. 

Users will no longer have to log into their Elevate to access the content, they can just automatically access it and share it across platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. 

“Marketers will still be able to control what content they’d like to see to employees post,” said Doug Camplejohn on their LinkedIn Sales Blog. He also added that it will now be more efficient for Sales Navigator users to boost their brand and the brand of their company. 

According to LinkedIn, brands who regularly share contents across platforms have 45% more likely surpass their sales quota.

Changes in managing lead lists

Sales Navigators also allows users to categorize their Custom Lead Lists by geography and name account. This list sharing was introduced in February to help sales teams collaborate around common lead and account lists. Sales Navigator can do the following: 

  • Save from a shared list – Users can save in bulk their leads and accounts from a shared list
  • Remove a shared list – keep the list hub organized by taking out shared lists that’s no longer relevant
  • Copy a share list – copy a shared list and become the creator/owner. This gives you access to the capabilities of an owner and can integrate the list in your workflow. 

Updated Help Centre with a new chat feature

LinkedIn has updated its Sales Navigator Help Center with more emphasis on shortcuts, recommended topics, and Contact Us link. A Chat with us feature is also coming soon, which will let users reach out to contact support reps using the chat function in real-time. 

What does this feature mean for advertisers and marketers?

 More than 1.3 million account and lead lists are made in Sales Navigator. Marketers using b2b campaigns will find these updates beneficial for their marketing strategies as it pushes their team to further their efforts in making contents. 

The new features also add efficiency and functionality to their lead discovery. 

Would you also do the same? 

The Brand Safety Institute (BSI) and Tag surveyed 1017 people and tested out how they answer hypothetical situations regarding ad misplacement and how it would affect their purchasing decision. This study follows two years of efforts of the ad industry to wipe the internet of malicious and dangerous content.

This plan is imperative due to the series of brand safety scandals that plague the major social networking sites as of late. Big names including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have been the victim of the brand safety issues affecting household brands such as Hasbro, Disney, and AT&T when their ads are placed next to questionable content. 

Ads next to extreme contents

According to the research, the real risk to the company’s brand is when their ads are placed next to malware issues. Consumers, had the strongest stop buying reaction to the question, “If you discovered an ad for a consumer product you regularly buy had infected your computer on a mobile device with a virus, how much would you reduce your purchases of that product?”  About 73% of the consumers said that they would stop buying that particular product. 

58% of consumers also agreed that they’d stop buying products that appear next to neo-Nazi propaganda and additionally 67% said if ads are placed adjacent to terrorist recruiting videos they would stop buying that product as well.

The survey has shown that consumers pay attention to brands’ ad placements and brands should address this issue seriously. Brands must check where they put their brands and ensure to not partner up with sites that host dangerous content. 

Impact on advertisers

Among the advertising platforms, YouTube seems to be taking the most hit as it’s been plagued with several brand safety issues and advertisers defection. Social networks have been upgrading and updating their algorithms to foster better advertising culture however, there’s only so much that algorithms and AIs can do when it comes to ad placement. 

This survey drives home the real and measurable risk to a company’s bottom line from a preventable brand safety crisis,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of Tag and co-founder of BSI. 

The responsibility still lies to the brands, advertiser, and the platform to ensure that the ads don’t appear next to questionable content. In the brand-savvy age, we’re in, one ad placement without due diligence could have a negative impact on the brand as a whole.

Facebook is attempting a new tool that would allow advertisers to create alternative audiences away from specific targeting. 

The social media giant is convincing advertisers of a new way to identify their potential customers and target ads without using personal data and traits. This is a sensitive issue for Facebook because they’ve been facing allegations of using personal data for targeting ads in the past. 

Facebook claims that they can make accurate profiles of consumers without relying on their personal information including age, gender, ZIP, and other identifying characteristics. This is an alternative route for ad targeting that’s not based on personal data but rather on peoples’ online behavior. 

Special Ad Audience tool 

In preparation for the new feature, Facebook began rolling out updates to its platform. The changes forbid targeting based on race, age, gender, family status, and household income.  

Facebook’s new tool is called a special ad audience. The effectiveness of this feature hasn’t been tested yet. However, advertisers have expressed their concerns regarding the restriction of data use thinking that it might affect the success of their campaigns. 

The special ad audience is a replacement of the ‘lookalike’ audiences. Lookalikes are users with traits from customer profiles given by advertisers. For example, an automaker could share client email with Facebook and provide details about the brand’s loyal customers. Facebook will then be able to serve ads to similar people. That was then. 

Facebook addressing issues after Cambridge Analytica

Facebook removed the third-party data providers from their platform in 2018. On the other hand, Oracle Data Cloud, Epsilon, and Acxiom had been offering their advertisers access to hundreds of hyper-specific audiences but for Facebook, such is no longer the case. The hyper-specific data gave brands instant audiences that are broken down into specific categories such as income, interest, family status, gender, and others.

The days of doing specific targeting on Facebook are over,” says Brad O’Brien, VP of social and content marketing at 3Q Digital. He also added that Facebook ad buyers’ jobs are now changing due to the new feature. Without the specific ad targeting, Facebook is simply telling advertisers to throw their ads out there. This means that their ads must be flexible enough to cater to various kinds of people on the net. 

Facebook is coming up with a new feature that you will love. 

The idea of the News tabs on Facebook came about in April this year. The Wall Street Journal reported that publishers have been approached by Facebook and offered up to $3 million per year to license content. The publishers include Dow Jones, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and ABC News. They have been offered a large sum to allow Facebook to use their headlines and article excerpts in their news tab.

A significant move for Facebook  

Additionally, there will soon be news tab in the Facebook app that’s solely for delivering high-quality news straight to the users. This is a good move after the frequent fake news claims, and misinformation, that’s flooded Facebook in the past. The social network has been facing issues regarding misleading information on the platform and this move is a way to address that issue. 

Just recently, Facebook made changes in its algorithm which resulted in more ad revenue for publishers. As for the news tab, this will give publishers more freedom and allow them to choose how they display their content on the news tab. 

Mark Zuckerberg said that this isn’t a revenue play for them. “We’re coming to this from a very different perspective than I think some of the other players in the space who view news as a way that they want to maximize their revenue. That’s not necessarily the way that we’re thinking about this,” says Zuckerberg. 

Facebook’s plans 

The social media mogul has been brewing this plan for a long time. They have been trying to work with news publishers then but in the past publishers weren’t paid for their content. However, they shared their content on Facebook and reward them with the share of advertising dollars. This trend is going to change with the coming of the news tab feature. 

Facebook is going to be quarantining all the news into one tab and subsequently create a section for it so that dedicated newsreaders on Facebook will be able to stay up to date on the social platform. In the same way that the video tabs on Facebook currently work, the News tab will work in a similar fashion.

Zuckerberg said that he isn’t sure yet as to whether Facebook is going to curate a mix of news for users to read or to pick the news that the readers are going to see. Facebook executives are still discussing these plans. 

We will be seeing some changes in the Facebook news tab in the coming months. 

Up to date stats for Marketers to start your week off right!

 UK hits £6bn in ad spend for Q1 2019

UK ad spends jumped by 4.2% and reached £6bn in the first quarter and marked the 23rd consecutive quarter of market growth. Despite the jump, it still fell short of the forecasted growth and even lesser than the 5.9% seen in the same quarter last year. 

Online advertising is reported to have the fastest growth – online radio had a 26.5% increase year on year for the first quarter while the TV video-on-demand had a 17.5% increase, and the digital out-of-home saw a 10.9% increase. 

The total ad spend is expected to increase by 5.3% in 2020. 

Source: Advertising Association

Commercial radio gets record audience 

Commercial radio had a record audience of 36.1 million for the second quarter of 2019. It means that 1.7 million more people tuned in to commercial radio stations than BBC stations. This number is by far the widest gap both stations have. 

Share of hours also rose for commercial radio by 2.3% year on year with the average weekly hours increase to 13.5 from 13.1 last year. Many listeners are connecting their devices via online and apps and that number increased to 12.5% from 9.3% last year. 

These numbers show that 89% of the UK adult population aged 15 and above listen to the radio each week for the second quarter of 2019. Two-thirds of the adult population listen to radio using different platforms including DAB, DTV, online or via apps. 

Source: RAJAR

Consumer confidence in the summer 

Summer seemingly give the consumer confidence in their purchasing decision making. The overall index was up by two points compared to the previous month with shopper sentiment having the biggest jump to 6 points compared to June of 2019 and July of 2019. 

The consumers’ feelings about their personal financial situation also saw a jump over the past 12 months. Many expect that their financial situation will get better over the next few months. 

Source: GfK 

Adblocking growth is in snail pace

People blocking ads across the US, UK, Germany, and France have been slowing down. 1 of 4 internet users in the US blocks ad at least one of their internet devices this year. Of the four countries, Germany seems to have the highest number of users who block ads with 32% using software or other forms of ad blocking for this year. 

People usually block ads because the internet is infested with too many ads and sometimes, they are irrelevant and plainly annoying. 

Source: eMarkter