From That Girl to Goblin Mode: How Social Media is Embracing Anti-Aesthetics

April 28th, 2022 by

Until the beginning of this year, your social media feeds were likely full of influencers showing their 20-step morning routine to becoming “That Girl”. That Girl always has time to go for a run, do yoga, journal, make a gourmet breakfast with a green smoothie, complete a 15-step skincare regimen, Dyson Airwrap her hair, create a “glass skin” makeup look and put together a chic outfit all before 7AM.

@lifeof_georgiaGRWM: “clean girl” aesthetic ✨✨✨ ##cleangirl ##cleangirlaesthetic ##dewymakeup ##grwm ##olaplex ##olaplexbun ##thatgirl ##thatgirlaesthetic♬ déjà vu sickmix – Sickickmusic

The aesthetics of That Girl (also known as It Girl or Clean Girl) are an extension of the girlboss hustle-culture, which has been controversial but pervasive over the past few years. The aesthetics boomed when COVID lockdown restrictions began to lift, with people excited to get back to real life while putting their best foot forward.

@tiffanynganit’s a mindset ladies 💅🏼💐❤️‍🔥🍵 ##pinkpilatesprincess ##itgirl ##thatgirlessentials ##howtobethatgirlin2022 ##aestheticlife ##aestheticroutine ##victoriassecret ##busyyetpretty ##manifestation ##lawofattraction ##becomingherchallenge♬ оригинальный звук – Scout Edit

The beauty and fashion communities devoured That Girl content, resulting in minimalist outfits and glazed-donut skin trending for months. Brands capitalised on this trend, with many skincare brands creating aesthetic content surrounding in-depth skincare routines and niche products.

So, why have social media users begun rejecting this aesthetic?

To put it simply, the idea of That Girl is unachievable within the confines of most people’s daily lives. The aesthetic requires constant upkeep to match social media-set standards of what someone’s life should look like. The constant pressure to keep up appearances has made people feel guilty for not setting enough time aside for copious amounts of self care.

This guilt has resulted in a social-media wide rebellion: goblin mode.

Goblin mode is a direct rejection of toxic productivity and influencer culture. Essentially, goblin mode is letting yourself be and enjoying life in whatever way you please. It embraces creature comforts such as spending the day in bed bingeing your latest Netflix obsession, pouring the end of a bag of crisps in your mouth, and leaving the house in your pyjamas to get some milk from the shops. Goblin mode has also introduced us to Feral Girl Summer—a continuation of Hot Girl Summer, but significantly more unhinged.
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@horrible.glitter##feralgirlsummer ##thatgirl ##aloyoga♬ Manifest – Meditationclass(remind daily)

Over the past two years our loungewear became workwear, sofas became desks and bedrooms became offices. In a difficult time, we began to prioritise physical comfort over keeping up appearances.

Where That Girl aesthetics require everyone to follow a similar routine and appearance, goblin mode is unique to each person. Your inner goblin has no restrictions, and is a state of mind people can tap in and out of when they want. Goblin mode accepts all types of hot messes and rejects all glorified notions of self-improvement.

@darthvscoI her and she is me. ##florida ##gulfcoast ##usmc ##beachin ##beachbaby4life ##hick ##feralgirlsummer ##feralgirls ##stevienicks ##dixiechicks ##thechicks ##vintage ##hotmomsummer♬ Santeria – Sublime

Part of the reason goblin mode has taken over social media so quickly is because it’s simply accepting real life. While goblin mode is trying to normalise the lack of aesthetics, this is something that is already the norm. Some people might find inner peace in following 45-minute yoga classes, followed by avocado on toast and 30 minutes of journaling, but for the overwhelming majority, we just want to sit in bed with Netflix and snacks.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the elements that combine to create the That Girl aesthetic. But That Girl has had its time in the social media spotlight, and users are on to the next trend, which just happens to be the polar opposite.

Goblin mode has been accelerated into the spotlight as a result of the demand for authenticity. Social media users are tired of the perfectly curated feeds of activities that are unrealistic for the everyday person.

Before goblin came onto the scene, we began seeing the rise of “photo dumps” on Instagram during the pandemic—the first indication that aesthetic feeds were losing their grip. Rather than perfectly edited photos and videos, a photo dump is a low-effort, random collection of photos that conveys a story or mood.

 

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While a beautifully edited photo paints an idyllic picture, a photo dump paints a fuller picture and reveals much more about a person’s life and personality. In a time where people could only rely on social media for some form of connection to other people, photo dumps thrived.

To some, the concept of goblin mode is far overdue. Gen Zs particularly are tired of living up to ridiculous career and life expectations set by older generations and are happy accepting their most toxic selves. They are tired of living up to an “ideal woman” archetype that balances their work life, social life and looking perfect, especially given the social climate of a pandemic ending and a potential world war beginning.

Do we think the goblin mode trend will last? Short answer: no. This is social media we’re talking about here…

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Social Media Updates, April 2022

April 28th, 2022 by

A new month means new platform updates. What are the key social media updates you need to be aware of?

Instagram Updates

Instagram algorithm will prioritise original content

Instagram is working on ways to prioritise original content over reposted content in order to attribute more credit to creators (content edited in a third party app before being uploaded to Instagram won’t be affected by the change).

The algorithm will rely on factors such as people shown in videos and whether the video has been replicated across the app to determine whether the content is original.

All US users can tag products

All US Instagram users with public accounts can tag products in their Instagram posts, something previously restricted to creator or business accounts. This feature expands product visibility through organic, non-sponsored posts. 

Instagram Updates

Viewers of the post can click through to the products tagged and make a purchase through Instagram Shop.

Instagram tests Reels templates

Instagram is testing a new ‘Templates’ feature with certain Reels creators, enabling users to replicate the format of a Reels clip that they’ve seen in their own content.

Reels templates enable creators to use any Reel as a template, creating a framework of clips that aligns with the timestamps of that Reel. Creators can then insert new clips into these fram markers, allowing them to copy the format of the Reel.

Instagram trials full-screen Reels promos

Instagram is testing another way to boost interest in Reels content, with full-screen Reels promo tabs in the main feed.

Instagram Reel promos

The new approach highlights multiple Reels within a single frame; users can then tap on any Reels thumbnail to switch to the Reels feed, or tap on the ‘Watch Reels’ CTA at the bottom.

Instagram is testing new Reels monetisation

Instagram is working on a new program that would enable creators to have overlay ads appear on their Reels clips. After completing a sign-up process, Reels creators can include ads in their clips without them having to do any extra work—brands would be able to view eligible clips, then insert ads if they choose.

Instagram launches fundraisers in Reels

Users can now add fundraisers to their Reels, providing another avenue to raise awareness for chosen initiatives. The new Reels fundraisers will add a ‘Donate’ button to the bottom of your Reels clip. Users will be able to add fundraising details in the Reels creation process, with fundraiser links remaining active for 30 days.

Instagram fundraisers in Reels

Twitter Updates

Twitter has had quite the month… If you’re interested in the “Will They, Won’t They” with Elon Musk, check out our blog here.

Twitter’s edit button is coming

Twitter’s most-demanded feature is finally coming… and we have an insight into what the Edit button will look like. Twitter’s Edit button will reportedly let users edit their tweets up to an hour after being posted. The feature will be accessible by tapping the three dots at the top right of a tweet.

To minimise the risk of altering public conversations, there will be an edit history linked to any edited tweets—although this is yet to be confirmed by Twitter itself.

Twitter bans climate change denial in ads

Rather ceremoniously on Earth Day, Twitter announced that it will ban all ads that make claims that contradict scientific consensus on climate change and its impacts. Anti-climate change ads will be banned under its inappropriate content policy, while its approach in determining what is and is not correct will be informed by authoritative sources.

Twitter climate change ads

Twitter is testing a closed caption button

Twitter is making it easier to utilise closed captions with the addition of a new ‘CC’ button on videos where captions are available. The new feature will make Twitter videos more accessible to users who are hard of hearing, and those who are in a position where they cannot listen to a video outloud.

Twitter creators can now be paid in cryptocurrency

With payment platform Stripe, Twitter is trialling a new payment method that sees its creators receive payouts in cryptocurrency. Creators who earn money through monetization features on Twitter (Ticketed Spaces, Super Follow and Newsletters) can now get their earnings in USD Coin (USDC)—a “stablecoin” cryptocurrency tied to the US dollar.

Crypto payouts will occur over the Polygon network, a blockchain tied to Ethereum that allows for faster and more efficient transactions. After receiving their funds, users can choose to store their earnings in Polygon or exchange it for another currency. Stripe also says it hopes to support crypto payouts in over 120 countries by the end of this year.

TikTok updates

TikTok launches Interactive Add-Ons for ads

TikTok is adding a range of new ways to encourage engagement with your in-stream ads, with new Interactive Add-Ons.

The additions are categorised into ‘Premium’ and ‘Standard’ add-ons, which doesn’t relate to ad spend tiers, but your specific aims. Standard add-ons offer a way to reach lower-funnel marketing goals, like driving clicks and conversions. Premium add-ons offer a way to reach upper-funnel goals, like brand awareness and community building.

 TikTok has launches Creative Agency Partnership (CAP) University

To help agencies become TikTok experts, TikTok has launched a programme designed specifically for creative agencies. Across five weeks, marketers and freelance creatives can become TikTok strategy experts by attending five live webinars.

TikTok launches CAP

Subjects covered include TikTok baseline knowledge, creative best practice, trend awareness and creator collaboration.

TikTok has added an audio-first listening option for livestreams

TikTok’s background player function allows users to tune in to livestreams as though they were listening to a podcast or music. Whilst tuning in to a TikTok LIVE, users can navigate to the menu and select Background Player. Users can keep the livestream playing in a floating window or as audio-only when they exit the app.

TikTok's audio first listning option

LinkedIn Updates

LinkedIn adds new profile links

LinkedIn has added a new option to showcase a link on your profile; users can now add in a website link that will be displayed below their user name and description.

The feature is a great way to spark more click-throughs from LinkedIn, while also offering new potential for promotion—for free—via the app’s organic display options.

Pinterest Updates

Pinterest’s ecommerce extension converts your products into shoppable Pins

Pinterest announced a partnership with ecommerce platform WooCommerce, allowing merchants to make their entire product catalogue shoppable on the platform. Once you’ve installed the WooCommerce extension, your product catalogue uploads to Pinterest. Shoppable Pins will show up in user’s feeds as they browse in-app.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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Posted in Social Media Marketing News, Social Media Platforms, Social Trends

Weekly Marketing News, 18th February 2022

February 18th, 2022 by

Instagram adds likes to Stories, TikTok reveals new Brand Safety Center, HSBC enters gaming, get “slugging” with Vaseline, Playstation plants trees, and Primark collabs with Greggs?!

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram adds likes to Stories

Instagram adds likes to Stories

Instagram has added likes to Instagram Stories. The new feature allows users to engage with creators and friends without having to start a conversation. Users can like Stories by tapping a new heart icon at the bottom of the Stories view within the app. Story likes are not public; creators will be able to view their Story likes in their Story insights, with a small heart icon added next to the viewers’ name in the view listing. (Via Social Media Today)

2. TikTok launches new Brand Safety Center 

TikTok launches new Brand Safety Center

TikTok has announced the launch of a new Brand Safety Center, which will act as a reference point for its various brand safety resources and guides. The new Center provides links to various resources and reports, including TikTok’s transparency updates, its platform rules, and an overview of its key pillars for brand safety. (Via Social Media Today)

PARTNERSHIP NEWS

3. ONE Esports partners with HSBC

ONE Esports partners with HSBC

Esports media platform ONE Esports has partnered with international banking and financial services company HSBC. The partnership will introduce a project across Malaysia and Indonesia and will see HSBC partner with ONE Esports on a number of community tournaments and at least one major event in 2022. (Via Esports Insider)

SOCIAL TRENDS

4. The rise of slugging

The rise of slugging

A recent beauty trend taking over social media (predominantly TikTok) is slugging. Slugging is when someone applies a petroleum-heavy emollient, like Vaseline, to the face after completing a skin-care routine and rinses it off with a gentle cleanser the following day. The trend has put Vaseline back on the beauty map, despite the brand having a lowkey social presence. (Via The Cut

WORK WE LIKE

5. PlayStation to plant hundreds of thousands of trees 

PlayStation is going to plant hundreds of thousands of trees in the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada and New Zealand as part of the Horizon: Forbidden West launch. The ‘Forests’ initiative reflects the themes of the game and launch plans are designed to encourage players to complete trophies and tasks, and in return PlayStation will plant trees, and help create and restore natural habitats. (Via Games Industry)

6. Greggs and Primark to launch fashion range

Greggs and Primark to launch fashion range

Primark has announced it will be launching an exclusive clothing range with Greggs, sparking a mixed response on social media. A limited-edition, 11-piece clothing collection will be available in 60 Primark stores later this month. Greggs will also open a 130-seater café in Primark’s flagship Birmingham store. (Via BBC)

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Posted in Industry Trends, Influencer News, News, Social Trends

Live Shopping Trends for 2022

February 4th, 2022 by

The growth of live commerce over the past two years has been exponential. We have seen huge brands including Levi’s, Samsung, Sephora, Charlotte Tilbury and Very UK implement live commerce in one way or another, hosting shoppable events at key stages throughout the years. 

As customers were unable to visit stores or socialise in person as a result of various stay at home orders, many began turning to live commerce as a solution. Live commerce provided an accessible location for consumers to discover new products while being entertained. 

Live commerce has been booming in China since 2016, and the West is finally catching up with the hype. As Western brands continue to adapt live commerce to suit their brand image and values, and customer needs, online shopping is set to change for good. With McKinsey reporting that live commerce will make up 20% of global ecommerce sales by 2026, live shopping is set to grow exponentially in 2022. 

We have pulled together our trend predictions for live shopping in 2022. 

Western markets will adapt the live shopping format to suit consumer shopping habits

The nature of live commerce is energetic and entertaining, albeit a little chaotic. This chaos may not suit the image of many brands, making them wary of adopting the new shopping channel. 

However, in 2021 we saw brands of all sizes and industries rewrite the live shopping rules to suit their brand image. With different set-ups and hosts (including A-List celebrities and influencers), brands are able to create a complete shopping experience. Using demonstrations, walk-throughs and try-ons, hosts are able to show exactly how products work and how they will improve the viewer’s life. 

In 2022, we expect to see brands continue experimenting with the parameters of live commerce, and push creative concepts to ensure an exciting and engaging experience that perfectly reflects the brand. 

Live commerce will be adopted by more industries and brands of different sizes

Typically, live commerce has been quickly adopted by fashion and beauty brands as the format lends itself to styling sessions, tutorials, runways and product highlights. In 2022, we expect to see more industries—including FMCG, wellness and tech—consider how the channel will positively impact their business. 

As more social platforms offer live commerce features, the channel has become significantly more accessible to brands of all sizes. Smaller brands are able to host low-cost live commerce streams to grow their presence. The ease of access will eventually turn live commerce into a mainstream feature consumers enjoy and expect. 

Live commerce will become an always on approach

Previously, brands have used live commerce to support their efforts at key moments in the year (think Black Friday and Christmas). In 2022, we expect to see brands integrating live shopping as a regular occurrence in their overall marketing strategies. Brands will begin using the format for regular content, as well as one-off events. 

Live shopping will connect the online and offline commerce worlds 

It’s relatively rare brands are able to balance incredible experiences online and offline. Brands usually focus on having either an offline presence with experiential in-store experiences, or have a highly digitalized and interactive online experience. With live commerce, brands are now able to do both. 

Utilising live commerce means brands can fuse together online and offline commerce by using their stores for online events. Using flagship stores as venues creates a completely immersive shopping experience. Expanding from this combination, we anticipate that stores will eventually host their own live commerce experiences where customers can virtually try on styles, or even have a personal styling session from home. 

Brands will have dedicated studios for live commerce content

Video content has taken over as the preferred content choice for consumers. In order to provide consistent, high quality content, we expect brands to create their own studios for filming live video content. With a dedicated space, brands can invite influencers, designers or professionals to their studios to host live content. Having a studio means series and episodes can be produced and broadcast from the same location, helping maintain a consistent theme. 

Brands will be experimental with live commerce hosts

Hosts can make or break live commerce experiences. Currently, most brands have enlisted influencers or celebrities to host live content. In coming months, we expect to see brands getting creative with their hosts. 

Authenticity is key to consumers, and what better way to be authentic than to have someone within your business host or co-host a livestream? Employees are likely the most educated on your brand’s products and services, so they will be able to accurately and enthusiastically promote them. 

Being experimental with hosts also poses a great opportunity for brands to connect with their communities. Considering the rise in UGC and community-led initiatives, it’s not out of the question that we’ll see loyal customers host live streams. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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Posted in Industry Trends, Social Trends

The New “New Year, New Me” Campaigns

February 2nd, 2022 by

“New year, new me.”

We’ve probably all uttered those four words at one point. January isn’t only a new year, but a time where people all over the world attempt new resolutions to become completely new people, with new routines and new health habits—it’s out with the old and in with the new. 

However, given the state the world has been in for the past two years, we’ve seen a shift away from people looking to become new and perfect. While people still want to focus on bettering themselves, there’s significantly less pressure to do so. We’ve all had a tough couple of years, so the thought of setting strict rules to live by is less than appealing. 

Brands have taken note of this mindset shift, and their new year campaigns this year were more lighthearted than previous years. We’ve rounded up our favourites. 

Apple: Close Your Rings

In a bid to get people active, Apple created the #CloseYourRings TikTok Hashtag Challenge. Using TopView and In-Feed ads, alongside influencer marketing, Apple encouraged users to take part in fun activities to close their Apple Watch rings. 

@apple #duet this and try to keep up with the Apple Fitness+ trainers. #CloseYourRings ♬ We’re Just Getting Started – Spencer Ludwig

@apple #duet with @apple and try to keep up with the Apple Fitness+ trainers in the #CloseYourRings ♬ We’re Just Getting Started – Spencer Ludwig

Making use of the Duet TikTok feature, Apple created an original dance workout video to copy, and then enlisted trainers to Duet the workout. The campaign resulted in user-generated content of others duetting the video, and the hashtag has amassed over 15.1 billion views.

Hello Fresh: Kickstart 2022

Box delivery service Hello Fresh used TopView and In-Feed ads to get people kick starting their 2022 with health meals. With videos showing how easy it is to make healthy, delicious meals with their meal kits, Hello Fresh supported the videos with a discount code. 

@hellofreshukKickstart 2022 with HelloFresh using the code: HFTIK50♬ Promoted Music

@hellofreshukKickstart 2022 with HelloFresh using the code: HFTIK50♬ Promoted Music

Although the comments were turned off the ads, the videos received thousands of likes. The videos were not shared to Hello Fresh UK’s TikTok account. 

The Gym Group: #WeAreTheGymGroup

To encourage people to get active and join a gym, the Gym Group created an influencer campaign on TikTok. Using creators, the Gym Group created fun, skit-style videos about getting back in the gym. 

@thegymgroupUp To 50% Off Your First Month! ##WeAreTheGymGroup♬ Promoted Music

@monicageldart AD The girl at The Gym Group that is constantly going at 100mph #WeAreTheGymGroup @thegymgroup ♬ Downtown v1-JP – D Sirrom / David Morris

The Gym Group used gym beginners as well as regular goers to appeal to a wider audience. The accompanying hashtag #WeAreTheGymGroup has amassed over 24.7 million views.

Corona: Sunshine, Anytime

To kick off the new year, Corona announced a brand new, alcohol free beer. What’s different, you ask? It’s infused with Vitamin D. With the tagline “sunshine, anytime” the campaign video played into memorable summer moments. 

The campaign offers a sense of escapism in the post-holiday period, and maintains Corona’s brand heritage of relaxing in warm weather. The video uses the popular stop-animation or photo slideshow aesthetic—something that has grown in popularity thanks to TikTok trends. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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How Luxury Brands are Approaching Authentic Content

December 21st, 2021 by

By 2025, Generation Z will make up 20% of global luxury spenders. When paired together with Millennials, these generations will account for 180% of growth in luxury markets between 2019 and 2025. In addition, over 85% of luxury purchases in 2020 were influenced by digital content or marketing efforts.

Considering the heavy spending influence younger generations are gaining, and the obvious power of digital, luxury brands need to target these audiences where they live natively. Where is that? TikTok.

It’s long been established that every brand has its own place on TikTok, and the same can be said for luxury brands. While overly pushy ads don’t perform well on TikTok, mastering the authentic, at-home style of content can ensure your content thrives on the platform.

So, how are luxury brands taking on the authentic content challenge?

Gucci

TikTok is a platform for fun and creativity. Gucci has trialled various content styles in its growth journey, from repurposed adverts, reposted influencer content, forward-thinking digital content, and memes.

@gucciGucci’s new video project for @tiktok will feature talents that took part in the ##GucciModelChallange including @thvmxxs. Voice by @morganpresleyxo♬ original sound – Gucci

Gucci became a trending brand on TikTok thanks to a Hashtag Challenge in collaboration with Morgan Presley, who made a TikTok poking fun at some of the bizarre outfits Gucci models are often posed in. The original sound has over 1,300 videos created using it—the majority of which is organic, user-generated content. The accompanying hashtag #GucciModelChallenge has over 10.6 million views, but was not as well used as the official sound.

Following the success of this sound and trend, Gucci decided to remake the meme-style campaign. With a custom sound called “Absolute Beginners” and an accompanying hashtag #GucciAbsoluteBeginners, Gucci sponsored Morgan to record a new sound and video to kick off the Hashtag Challenge.

@gucciYour guide to living a Gucci life by @morganpresleyxo for ##GucciAbsoluteBeginners. @dazed♬ Absolute Beginners – Gucci

The custom sound followed the same format as the original joke but following day-in-the-life instructions, rather than an outfit. Gucci sponsored popular fashion influencers on TikTok to follow the sound and post their own videos to their channels. Gucci collected and reposted its favourite videos.

The sound has 72 videos created using it, and the hashtag has over 4 million views. The results were not as impressive as the initial campaign, which suggests that this type of content should not be overused by luxury brands; they need to find alternative methods to show they are fun, authentic and relatable.

Coach

Coach uses influencers to show its fun and authentic side on TikTok. It has recently been running a TikTok In-Feed and TopView ad campaign to support its Christmas marketing efforts.

@coachOlivia Neill + our most-wanted Pillow Tabby Bag = we love to C it.♬ Promoted Music

Coach used influencers to showcase its Pillow Tabby Bag used in a Winter-outfit. The videos were short, used transitions and cuts, and were authentic to the content-style and personality of the influencers used.

@coachElectric Girl. Get Ready With Olivia Dean + the iconic Pillow Tabby♬ Promoted Music

The videos were filmed in bedroom sets, which were all different, but had the same aesthetic and feel about them. This gave the ads continuity and relatability. Though the influencers each acted out different scenarios in their TikToks, they also had the same cohesive and energetic vibe.

@coachName a more iconic duo… Mia Regan + our favourite metallic Pillow Tabby♬ Promoted Music

The TikTok ads were posted to Coach’s own channel and to the influencers’ own channels too. All videos on Coach’s page received over 20K likes, and the videos posted to the influencers’ pages all received over 100K views.

Jo Malone

Although Jo Malone doesn’t have its own TikTok account, it has still managed to make an impact on the platform by carefully monitoring trends and jumping in where it can.

Recently, Chanel came under fire from TikTok user, Elise Harmon, who bought its advent calendar and was utterly underwhelmed with the contents. The videos of Elise opening the calendar went viral—so viral Chanel even blocked them on TikTok.

@eliseharmonHow ##jomalone saved Christmas 😭♬ wasted potential – chillytunees

Seizing the opportunity, Jo Malone sent its advent calendar to Elise as a gift. In return, Elsie made 2 organic TikToks of the advent calendar, with one receiving over 1.3 million views, and the other over 393K. The engagement on the videos was also very high as viewers were still reeling and joking over the Chanel incident.

@eliseharmonUnboxing Joe Malone London’s Advent Calendar♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

Flannels

Flannels is a multi-brand British luxury retailer. It recently launched a Hashtag Challenge for the Christmas period, jumping on the popular “Main Character” narrative bandwagon. With the hashtag #ImTheMainCharachter and using the sound Opinion by Willow Kayne, Flannels encouraged TikTok users to share their best transitions of them turning into their own “main character”. Entrants have the opportunity to win a £1,000 Flannels voucher.

@flannelsThey understood the assignment ✔️ check out FLANNELS #ImTheMainCharacter to enter♬ original sound – FLANNELS

@laraadkinsAd Getting glammed up with @FLANNELS 🐆##ImTheMainCreator ##ImTheMainCharacter♬ Opinion – Willow Kayne

Flannels kicked off the challenge with a large number of influencers within the fashion and beauty niches, as well as reposting transitions to its own page. Flannels also used TopView and In-Feed ads to support its challenge and to boost its page.

@olivianeillday to night with @FLANNELS ##imthemaincharacter ad

♬ Opinion – Willow Kayne

The sound has over 300 videos created using it—the majority of which are for the Challenge—and the #ImTheMainCharachter hashtag has over 1.7 billion views. However, the hashtag was a popular choice when the “main character” narrative was trending a few months ago, so it’s not possible to see the real view impact of the Challenge.

However, the Challenge still played into the fun and creative side of TikTok, whilst adding in a sprinkle of competition. The Challenge was well received, and users have created their own content as a result.

Luxury on TikTok

Given the few examples above, there is definitely room for luxury brands on TikTok. TikTok gives luxury brands a chance to evolve from their traditional marketing and be fun and creative. Using trends, memes, and influencers, luxury brands can still maintain their messaging, aesthetic and values, but also connect with new audiences, who will likely be ready to spend with them.

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Posted in Social Media Platforms, Social Trends

Weekly Marketing News, 17th December 2021

December 17th, 2021 by

Instagram adds Reels replies, TikTok tests desktop streaming, Nike continues its digital transformation, ASA cracks down on crypto, and Peloton resurrects a character!

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram adds Reels replies

Instagram adds Reels replies

Instagram has announced that users can now reply to post comments with Reels, providing another way to integrate Reels into the Instagram process. When you reply to a comment on a post, you’ll also have the option to tap on the blue Reels button to create a video reply, which will then appear as a sticker that you can send to the commenter. (Via Social Media Today)

2. TikTok tests desktop streaming software 

TikTok tests desktop streaming software

TikTok has been testing a new program called TikTok Live Studio. The desktop program allows users to log into their TikTok account and stream directly to TikTok Live. Within the program, users can communicate with viewers with the chat feature, and stream content from their computer, phone or gaming console. The program is currently only available in a handful of Western markets for a few thousand users. (Via TechCrunch)

TECH NEWS

3. Nike acquires startup RTFKT

Nike acquires startup RTFKT

Nike has acquired virtual sneakers and crypto collectibles startup RTFKT. Pronounced “artifact”, the startup will help Nike accelerate its “digital transformation.” In October, Nike filed trademark applications as part of its preparations to sell virtual sneakers and apparel. Nike plans to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities. (Via Engadget)

4. Papa John’s feels the wrath of ASA’s crypto crackdown

Papa John’s feels the wrath of ASA’s crypto crackdown

The Advertising Standards Association (ASA) has found seven cryptocurrency ads in breach of its rules, with ads from Papa John’s and the financial services app eToro among them. The rulings are part of the ASA’s proactive crackdown on misleading cryptocurrency ads and will shape the regulator’s guidance on crypto advertising. The bans come as the ASA declared crypto marketing a “red alert area” after launching an investigation in November into a TFL ad campaign for the cryptocurrency Floki Inu. (Via The Drum

WORK WE LIKE

5. Peloton resurrects show character 

Fitness equipment maker Peloton has released a humorous response after the brand featured in the HBO Max Sex and the City reboot. At the end of last week, the firm’s shares slumped after Mr Big died while using one of the company’s exercise bikes. The company approved the show’s use of its bikes but said it was not told that Mr Big would die after the workout. But Peloton has now released an advert that brings the character back to life. (Via BBC)

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Posted in Industry Trends, Social Trends

Looking Forward to 2022: What Can We Expect?

December 14th, 2021 by

Both 2020 and 2021 have been unusual years. Having spent the last two years in and out of stay-at-home orders, we have begun navigating our way out of working and socializing from home, and are walking into an exciting new normal… a new normal that is looking increasingly digital.  

In 2021, marketers embraced the digital transformation as they adapted to the constantly changing virtual and hybrid business landscapes. Now as the world slowly opens up again, we are beginning to see a slump in virtual engagement and online traffic. Our relationship with digital is constantly evolving, and we are currently undergoing a reevaluation of where we draw the line between our digital and physical lives—and where the two will overlap. 

With the prospect of the Metaverse looming, Web3, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and blockchains, we’ve been hit with a plethora of new digital terminology and challenges that are set to change the appearance of the marketing world in the post-COVID reality. 

While the final Metaverse is still a good few years away, what can we expect from 2022? 

Good Vibes Only 

In 2022, we are expecting to see a shift from an emphasis on narrative to an emphasis on emotionally-driven content. Social media users have begun creating content that describes their current mood or feelings, which has resulted in different content groups of “vibes”—also known as “cores”.  

The rise of the vibe has been heavily influenced by TikTok’s sound-on environment and is expected to be amplified with the coming of the Metaverse and the multi-sensory experiences that come with it—the Metaverse will present a digital location where users who enjoy particular vibes or cores can gather. 

The movement towards a vibe-oriented social media was driven by the nostalgia experienced by social media users in 2020 and 2021. In a difficult period (with lockdowns, social unrest and aggressive social platform algorithms), we began yearning for simpler times. Times where we could be with friends and family, and when social media was built on the curation of moods and feelings (think tumblr or MySpace), and used as an outlet for teen feelings. 

Come 2022, it’s likely we will see brands begin to work with creators who have built their followings around a particular vibe, core or aesthetic that matches their branding. Not only will this play into the emotional factor, but will likely be created in the favoured at-home, authentic content style. 

Did you hear that?

The demand for audio has gradually been on the rise for the past couple of years, but thanks to the boom of audio-focused platforms, we expect to see a huge rise in branded audio. 

The Clubhouse craze (remember that?), the sound-on experience within TikTok, and every platform under the sun developing some kind of live audio or audio-on-demand features has left consumers wanting more. Audio content has become common in the digital world, and brands and marketers have begun considering how this media format can be beneficial for them. 

Research has shown that 53% of companies that leverage content marketing find podcasts and other audio content effective in improving engagement and brand awareness. In addition, 80% of companies plan to invest the same amount or more budget into podcasts and audio content come 2022. 

The same investments can be expected in audio chat rooms such as Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces. This was the newest audio format for 2021, so only 16% of companies have invested in this trend, yet 84% plan to continue investing or invest more into audio rooms in 2022. 

In addition to this, TikTok has invested in new partnerships that will help brands create their own sounds on the platform. The new sound partners will offer two audio categories: custom sound and subscription sound. Custom sound partners create sounds that aim to increase community participation around challenges and campaigns. Subscription sound partners offer music offerings through monthly, yearly or project-based licensing plans. 

Into the New Reality

Throughout 2021, the Metaverse has been a consistent and exciting buzzword. Although the final concept is still out of reach, developments into NFTs, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences bring it a step closer. We don’t anticipate the Metaverse will be cracked in 2022, but we do expect to see brands and consumers investing more in NFTs and VR or AR experiences. 

The AR/VR market is expected to reach nealy £160 billion in 2022, and AR/VR application downloads will reach over 5.5 billion. Consumers have already become used to AR experiences through Snapchat and mobile gaming, and in 2022 consumers will have accepted that digital realities are here to stay. Studies have already shown that consumers are more likely to invest in a brand that uses technology to market itself. AR and VR technology can offer consumers virtual commerce experiences including showrooms, where consumers can virtually see, touch, and experience products. VR and AR experiences can help immerse consumers into a branded ecommerce experience, accelerating sales and driving growth. 

In addition to these new experiences, we expect to see brands continue entering a Metaverse-esque internet, with more investment into NFTs, gaming skins and collaborations. We can also expect to see more brands accepting cryptocurrencies as valid payments. 

Brand unison 

Throughout 2021, we have seen a huge consumer preference for authentic, relatable, and at-home style content. Whether this is through a transition-filled TikTok, vlog-style content or a brand showing a fun and quirky personality on Twitter, everyone is enjoying the more relaxed content. Think of the incredibly popular TikTok brand accounts for Duolingo, Innocent Drinks and RyanAir. This is something we expect to see continue into 2022.

However, a recent study from Twitter found that brands are losing their distinct branding and personalities in attempting to come across as relatable to consumers. Many have begun to take on the same confident, but self-deprecating humour that is commonly seen in younger generations of internet users. 

Given this, in 2022, we can expect to see brands gradually move back towards creating their own distinctive voice, messaging and aesthetics, while still maintaining a likeable and relatable tone. 

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Posted in Industry Trends, News, Social Trends

Weekly Marketing News, 10th December 2021

December 10th, 2021 by

TikTok launches a new monetization programme, Instagram announces chronological feed and time to take a break, Discord lets creators monetize servers, Twitter tests TikTok copycat feature, and Epic Games creates a Matrix experience. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

 PLATFORM NEWS

1. TikTok launches new ‘Creator Next’ monetization programme

TikTok launches new ‘Creator Next’ monetization programme

TikTok has introduced Creator Next, a new monetization opportunity giving eligible creators access to tools, rewards, and passes to the TikTok Creator Marketplace, in addition to the existing LIVE Gifts and Creators Fund. As part of Creator Next, TikTok is also introducing two new features that allow its community to show their appreciation for their favorite creators with new features, namely Tips and Video Gifts. (Via WeRSM)

2. Instagram’s new chronological feed

Instagram's new chronological feed

Instagram has announced it will be rolling out a new chronological feed come the new year, but it’ll look a little different to how we remember. Instagram’s coming chronological feed option is very likely going to operate the exact same way that Facebook’s feed sorting option does right now, in that you can choose to view the posts from Pages and people that you follow in time order, but you can’t set it as a default, and have the app open to that reverse chrono feed every time you come back. (Via Social Media Today

3. Discord’s new Premium Memberships let creators monetize servers 

Discord is testing a new Premium Memberships feature that allows creators to monetize their servers. Piloting today with around 10 creators, the premium membership offers creators a way to offer more content or access to community members. Discord communities will be able to create tiered perks, view analytics on member engagement, and lock channels or even entire servers to paying subscribers. (Via The Verge

4. Twitter tests TikTok copycat feature

Twitter posted today that it’s testing a feature that would turn its in-app “Explore” page into a TikTok-like video feed, complete with even a “For You” tab. This feature is being tested on both Android and iOS for users in certain countries who use Twitter in English. The company said it is a visual-forward way of surfacing content that already exists on Twitter and is part of Twitter’s ongoing effort to improve personalised recommendations and discovery across the platform. (Via TechCrunch)

5. Instagram tells users to take a break

Instagram tells users to take a break

Instagram has launched its Take a Break tool, which encourages users to spend time away from the platform. Users can turn on the feature in “Settings” and select if they want to be alerted after using the platform for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes. They’ll then get a full-screen alert telling them to close out of the app, suggesting they take a deep breath, write something down, check a to-do list or listen to a song. (Via CNN)

WORK WE LIKE

6. Epic Games has created a Matrix experience in Unreal 5 

Epic Games has created a Matrix experience in Unreal 5

Epic Games has created The Matrix Awakens, an interactive tech demo built in Unreal Engine 5. A teaser for the interactive Matrix experience appeared today, and the tech demo will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X / S consoles. Members of the original movie team, including Lana Wachowski, have worked with Epic Games to create The Matrix Awakens. The teaser video appears to show a digital version of Keanu Reeves and not the Cyberpunk 2077 kind. (Via The Verge

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Posted in Industry Trends, Social Trends

Weekly Marketing News, 3rd December 2021

December 6th, 2021 by

Facebook launches Shops in Groups, a dating app cracks viral audio, Spotify hosts a Netflix Hub, the Fashion Awards gives a Metaverse award and ASDA shoppers go Gaga for Gucci.

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Facebook launches Shops in Groups and livestream shopping 

Facebook launches Shops in Groups and livestream shopping

Facebook has announced that it’s rolling out two new shopping features: Shops in Groups and a test of Live Shopping for Creators. Shops in Groups enables admins of Facebook groups to set up an online store on their associated Facebook Page. Facebook has had Live Shopping for years, but the app has begun testing a feature that would make brand/influencer collaborations appear more seamless. Now, instead of an influencer directing fans to another page to watch them sell a product or vice versa, creators and brands can cross-stream on both of their pages. (Via TechCrunch)

2. Hinge: the dating app that cracked audio

Hinge the dating app that cracked audio

Last month, the dating app Hinge debuted voice prompts to daters’ profiles. Instead of telling potential matches about yourself with text, you could do so with your voice. The prompts have gone viral on TikTok and Twitter, with people reposting them either because they’re funny, cringe-worthy, or something in between. (Via The Verge

3. Spotify debuts a Netflix Hub

Spotify debuts a Netflix Hub

The streaming music service Spotify has introduced a new “Netflix Hub” on its app, which will offer a centralised location for finding official soundtracks, playlists and podcasts for top shows and movies on Netflix. Other music and fan experiences will be available within the Hub, including enhanced albums that offer behind-the-scenes looks, and a character matching experience, where fans play a game to find out which character they are. (Via TechCrunch

INDUSTRY NEWS

4. Gaga For Gucci: ASDA shoppers hunt for £12 designer items

Gaga For Gucci ASDA shoppers hunt for £12 designer items

In partnership with vintage wholesaler Preloved, ASDA has created a treasure hunt. ASDA shoppers were encouraged to hunt for previously owned Gucci items in-store for as little as £12. The tie-up was created in time to celebrate the release of the film House of Gucci, featuring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci. (Via Forbes)

5. The British Fashion Council launches new award category for Roblox designs

The British Fashion Council launches new award category for Roblox designs

As part of its annual fashion awards, the British Fashion Council added a new category for 2021: an award for “metaverse design.” The award was actually created in partnership with Roblox, and as such, the shortlist was limited to five Roblox creators. The winner, cSapphire, operates an in-app clothing boutique. (Via The Verge)

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Posted in Industry Trends, Marketing News, Social Trends