Monday Mashup #2 - Facebook VR, LinkedIn B2B Reviews and Snapchat Stories

‘Gary’ is the new cheese (sorry, cheese alternative) on the block

You may have noticed that retailer Sainsbury’s recently introduced a vegan-friendly cheese alternative. You’d think this would be a relatively controversial-free announcement (or is that just me?) however one angry customer was less than impressed.

This upset customer referred to herself as a “real cheese fan” and vented that “CHEESE IS NOT MADE WITH COCONUTS” on Sainsbury’s official Facebook page and offered her idea that Sainsbury’s should “call it Gary or something don’t call it Cheese because IT’S NOT CHEESE!!!!!!”. As a 'real cheese fan' myself I feel this is a pretty intense reaction. Maybe she was just having Edam bad day?

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Through the power of social media, users jumped on-board with the idea of rebranding all vegan cheese as Gary and even created an online petition. AnalogFolk, the social media team for the retailer, worked with its client team to develop their own social comeback. The result of this angry social media rant, was a rebranded package of the non-dairy food, named “Gary” and was captioned “Thanks to customer feedback, we’re excited to introduce our new range of #Gary” across their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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The post went viral and AnalogFolk reported an organic reach of 1.2 million on Facebook with an engagement rate of eight per cent. On Twitter the post received 250,000 impressions with an engagement rate of 13.3 per cent.

The hashtag #Gary was trending over London on the day of the tweet and according to data from Brandwatch, the hashtag has been used over 4,000 times as of last week. Sainsbury’s also reported overwhelmingly positive mentions with 78.6% positive sentiment, while Gary’s sentiment is 96.7% positive. These figures show the power social media has, and the positive results that it can produce for your brand. It creates a dialog between the brand and it’s consumers, which increases engagement, bringing with it a pool of potential new customers.

Facebook Releases Campaign Planner Ad Tool

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Facebook have released their Campaign Planner, which they describe as “a standalone tool for media planners to draft, compare and share media plans using reach and frequency buying across Facebook and Instagram.”

This new Campaign Planner is available to anyone with access to a Business Manager account.

Facebook creates “Virtual Reality Emoji” gestures

With its amazingly captivating visuals and interactive aspect, virtual reality is the next big thing to enrich the social media experience. Facebook have been busy this week, announcing their latest development - “VR emojis”. Their aim is to create a virtual presence for their users that mimic facial expressions and body language.

“We’re coming up with a language that triggers your avatar to make certain emotions.” The avatars will change in response to your body movements, as the VR headsets available at the moment don’t have the capacity to detect facial expressions. “Our avatars can display emotions and expressions like “smiling,” “confused,” “sceptical,” or “listening.” This makes it easier for people to communicate how they’re feeling”.

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This launch comes as part of Facebook’s desire to be at the cutting edge of social media interactions. “This will allow a whole new layer of immersion, a whole new set of social experiences across all these VR platforms … experiences you can’t have with any existing platform today,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s F8 developer event.

With virtual reality on the rise, Facebook are ensuring that they remain innovative, current and ahead of the competition.

Facebook Introduces Marketplace

Within recent years, users on Facebook have been participating in buying and selling activities. This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown significantly. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month.

In a bid to enhance the user Facebook have introduced Marketplace, “a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.”

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Marketplace launched in only four countries and over the next few days, it will be rolled out to everyone over 18 years old in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android. They also plan to make it available on desktops in the coming months.

LinkedIn Introduces B2B Product and Service Reviews to the News Feed

LinkedIn have announced “strategic partnerships” with three online review sites, G2 Crowd, IT Central Station, and TrustRadius. The aim of these partnerships is to allow “reviewers to showcase their unique skill sets, knowledge and expertise with B2B products and services and, likewise, enable brands to promote their customers’ ratings and reviews by spurring meaningful conversations with their LinkedIn followers.”

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These “detailed reviews of B2B products and services are now a part of the newly searchable LinkedIn newsfeed” and can be found by using the hashtag #B2Breviews. With this update, users can easily “discover what users are saying about brands and foster improved, enriched and transparent discussions.”

The hope for this new partnership is that it will add value to LinkedIn’s technology decision-making community by creating deepened B2B knowledge sharing while empowering LinkedIn members to grow and tell their professional story. With more than 67% of today’s buyers utilising online reviews as part of their daily purchasing process, the ability to share and engage with these online reviews in a trustworthy setting is a prized opportunity.

Snapchat Stories Are Changing Again!

Snapchat stories will no longer auto-advance (ideal if you're looking to avoid that one annoying happy snapper who posts 500 seconds worth of night out footage) and you'll be able to build up customised lists comprising of your favourite friends and/or celebs.

Sponsored Discover stories will now appear below your friends' updates, meaning your less likely to accidentally click on an ad.

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The only catch to this new update is that you'll occasionally be shown ads between stories in your customised playlists.

The update will be rolling out in the near future to Android and iOS however Snapchat have indicated that you may not be able to see them just yet.

"Sometimes we just want to see what our close friends or family are up to - not all of our friends - and Auto Advance prevented that," said Snapchat in a blog post explaining the changes.

Follow us over on Twitter @sunshinecomms, for daily updates on all things social.