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Four hot (and unexpected) social media marketing plays for 2016

Social media marketing is a vital part of running a successful business. For 2016, here are 4 social media platforms you’ll want to consider tapping into for your marketing efforts.

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Social media marketing in 2016: What you need to know

If you’re running a business, chances are you’ve learned a thing or two about social media marketing somewhere along your journey. For 2016, there are several social media platforms you’ll want to check out. While these platforms aren’t exactly “new,” they are becoming increasingly popular.

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Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, are certainly popular with millennials, but there are four more untapped social media marketing gems you should consider for 2016: Kik, Imgur, YikYak, and Venmo. Let’s take a look at Venmo first, since it’s the odd one in group as it deals with finance, rather than connecting directly.

1. Why you need to know about a finance app

Venmo is a personal finance site that lets users send money over the Internet. It’s a bit like PayPal, but it’s way more popular with the student crowd as it allows you to split bills, chip in on a trip, or divide the payments for concert tickets. You may have seen ads for Venmo on television. Ads for the Mayweather-Pacquiao pay-per-view match let people know they could easily split the cost of the fight with a friend using Venmo. This is a great way to market to an untapped user base, especially if you have a product or service that could be split up and made more cost-effective with Venmo.

2. Our personal favorite site ever

Imgur is the next platform to keep an eye on for social media marketing. Imgur is a meme generator and image hosting site that is particularly popular with the younger crowd. It has more than 150 million users, most of these being millennial men. Imgur has become more popular for hosting than TinyPic, Photobucket, and ImageShack. Brands like eBay and Old Spice have already begun experimenting with advertising here; so it’s only a matter of time before other brands jump on board. If you haven’t established a presence on Imgur, you may want to consider it. Imgur states that most of their users spend three or more hours on the platform/app per week; with 150 million+ users, there’s definitely a large audience established for branding your product or business.

3. & 4. Mobile messaging apps are booming

YikYak and Kik serve the same function: they connect people anonymously. Kik boasts over 240 million users and is a mobile messaging platform. Think of it as a modern day AIM, or instant text message without giving out your phone number kind of deal. The Kik user base is very young, with most users being under 25. Kik is a great way to reach the younger demographic, without the need to target your advertising on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Kik enthusiasts sent content like video and GIFs along with their messages, so there is potential for marketers to make a large impact with minimal effort: Kik is about simplicity.

YikYak is an anonymous posting board, where you can discuss anything without fear of censorship or repercussions. It’s a bit like Reddit, but without the limitations. This is also the caveat of YikYak: it’s a bit unsafe, as people can say anything they like about your brand. Again, however, the user base is younger, especially popular with college students looking to vent their frustrations, so YikYak is a good way to tap into that market, just exercise a bit of caution.

Social media niche sites are a great target

While there are likely other apps on the market that offer similar opportunities, these four have the greatest potential to reach new demographics and widen your fan base than any others in 2016. What do you think? Will you be advertising outside of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest?

#SocialMedia2016

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Social Media

Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.

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In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”

No seriously. They want your nudes.

But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.

That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.

Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.

What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.

Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm

For your protection.

According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!

If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”

Oh, she wasn’t joking.

I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.

Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!

Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.

Just sayin’.

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Social Media

Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.

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Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.

In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.

Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.

Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.

For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.

This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.

Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.

Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.

Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.

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Social Media

Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.

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When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.

Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.

As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.

It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.

Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.

Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.

The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.

In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.

With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.

Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.

The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.

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