Facebook

3 Key Reminders From Facebook's Latest Algorithm Change

Image of Facebook app on a phone A couple weeks ago, there was a bit of an Internet freak-out when Facebook announced it was, yet again, reducing the number of fans Facebook Pages are able to reach organically. Facebook's reasoning was simple: It's a public company that needs to make money, and charging Pages to reach their own fans is an easy way to do it. Some Page managers, who had spent years organically building up their Facebook followings, were understandably frustrated.

But here's the thing: There's no ownership of Facebook fans, and the access to them is owned by Facebook. If you admin a Facebook Page, it's kind of like you've been running a free campsite for years on Facebook's property, and now they're telling you that if people want to get in, they have to pay. It's not an unreasonable move.

If anything, Facebook's latest algorithm tweak should be a wake-up call to Page managers who should've known better in the first place. Whatever, though—there are a few social media axioms worth reiterating now, because another tweak will surely happen again, and again, and again....

1. Social media is earned, not owned. Even if you own and operate your own social network, you don't "own" your followers. You have to earn their attention every time you post, so make sure you're invested in a good content strategy.

2. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you're feeling burned by Facebook, it might be because that's where your entire fan base is. Well, why'd you do that? Treat your social footprint like your financial investments, and diversify. Establish a strong following on multiple networks, and that way, if an algorithm gets switched or the network goes the way of MySpace, you won't be left with nothing.

3. Make quality content your No. 1 focus. This should actually be the first point. Look, you can have a Facebook following of zero, and as long as you make good content that people want to share, it will find its way to Facebook. Social media isn't some magic thing that makes your content interesting. What it can be is jet fuel that takes already good content and amplifies it on an exponential scale.

One last thing: If you need some help reacting to this specific change, Marketing Land put together a great five-point list of tactics. Happy posting.

Photo credit: Maria Elena / Flickr

How Your Brand Can Be Ready For The Next Big Social Network

Credit: grendelkhan / Flickr I occasionally get asked about this social network or that social network, and whether I think it will still be around in X amount of years. The implied question is whether it’s a network worth investing time in.

Obviously, I don’t know. I follow news and trends as much as the next social media strategist, but I can’t tell whether Facebook is going to be in 10 years what myspace is now.

But here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter. What people – and particularly brands – should be focused on are users’ expectations.

Social networks will rise and fall, and some may stick it out over the long haul. What isn’t going to change is the base level of responsiveness and interactivity that users expect. In fact, it’s only going to go up: ten years ago, a brand didn’t have to answer questions on Facebook; five years ago it was a requirement; now, the expectation is that questions are answered within hours or less.

To be ready, brands need to shift their focus from building presences on networks to building infrastructure within their own organizations. Successful social media is about effectively communicating person to person. A million Facebook fans or Snapchat followers mean nothing if the brand with those followings doesn’t have the institutional knowledge to respond quickly and effectively to their communities.

Brands that have that infrastructure in place are the ones that will flourish – regardless of what social network pops up next.

You Like Me. Right Now, You Like Me!

via mullerover.com Sally Field is often misquoted when people refer to her 1984 Academy Awards Best Actress acceptance speech. Rather than the oft-heard “You like me. You really like me,” Field actually said “You like me. Right now, you like me!” (proof)

When it comes to Facebook and liking, “right now” is the operative word (rather words).

You see, over the past several months, we’ve been noticing shifts – some lightning fast and others glacial – in what advertising or promotional tactic works best on the world’s largest social network when it comes to growing fans. Right now, the answer seems to be Like Ads.

For much of 2012 and the early part of 2013, Promoted Posts were King. Companies that manage their profiles well were taking their best content and paying to promote it to a wider audience than their existing fan base. The theory was that this content – if written well and using a good image – would be well received enough to turn these potential fans into real ones. And it worked.

Then it stopped working. First slowly, then more dramatically. We saw accounts that were gaining 100 new fans per week drop to 10 with the same budget and same fun, pithy content. Clearly, something changed and, as a result, we needed to, as well.

What to do? Facebook’s advertising platform and myriad ways of reaching its members continues to evolve, and mid-year, Like Ads – true to their name – stood out as the new champion of driving new folks to Like a page. That 90% drop in Promoted Post performance was completely reversed and then some. In fact, we’ve seen some clients spend less on Like Ads today than they were on Promoted Posts in their heyday, and they’re seeing 15-20% better page growth.

The other important thing to remember about Like Ads is that now, with all these new folks coming to your page, it’s even more critical to provide regular, fresh content, a good cover image, and strong relationship-building commentary with fans. The more people who come (as a result of those Like Ads), the more brands have to do to make sure their legions of fans stay connected.

Again, though, “right now” is the operative word, and it’s a word of caution.

When it comes to social media, there’s no such thing as autopilot. What works today may not tomorrow, and it’s imperative for brands to not only monitor the performance of their pages and profiles, but also to analyze the data they get back and react and optimize accordingly. Success in social media is not a given or a one-tactic show. It comes from smart planning, hard work, a quick-response mindset, and knowing which tools to implement and when.

So, when someone within your organization asks you, “Do you think we should be running Like Ads?,” after doing some more research, the conversation you should have should start with “Right now…”

(Author’s Note: Facebook has many tools for many different needs. While this particular article focuses on the goal of driving page Likes, your goals may differ and other tools may be needed. In all cases, it’s best to understand your objective and then look for tools that can help best achieve those objectives.)

Curator News Feed: August 16, 2013

It's the best day of the whole week! Our links are mostly light-hearted this go-round, showcasing an 'Uber' for flowers, a preview into the new 'Jobs' movie, a 'Shazam' for Wine... need we say more?

Introducing @SlimSurveys: Mobile-Friendly Surveys That People LoveSocial Media Club. While “love” may be a stretch (only account planners LOVE surveys), these things are pretty cool. Currently thinking how we can integrate these into some of our client offerings… -- Dan

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Drync, the Shazam for WineMashable. This might be one of the best ideas of the year. Drync, a new ios app that just launched on Wednesday, allows you to scan a wine label and purchase a bottle right from your phone. How often have you tried a wine at a restaurant or friends house and wanted to buy it, but never followed through because you can’t find it at a local grocery store or wine shop? Now you can simply scan it, buy it, and it will arrive at your door. -- Matthew

Photo via Mashable.com

12 Things You'll Be Surprised to Learn About Steve JobsBuzzfeed. In honor of the movie "Jobs" opening in theaters today, I came across these quick facts about Steve Jobs. Though they may not be "surprising" to everyone, there were a few things on here that I did not know. For example, you may have known that "Apple" was almost called "Executek"(conjures up a whole different image and vibe, don't you think?), but did you know that Jobs was offered an internship with HP when he was only in 8th grade? Whether you're an Apple fan or not, it's amazing the vision and foresight this man had. Hoping the movie is a good watch! -- Noelle

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The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever, Twisted Sifter. You have to see these to believe it. Which one is your favorite? -- Megan

Credit: Reuters

5 Million Porsche Fans Design Facebook Car, Mashable. A unique social media campaign from Porsche this week that allowed its Facebook fans to design a fan version of the new 911 Carrera 4S. Despite the high price of the model at nearly $106,000, the Facebook promotion enabled all users to get involved in celebration of the page reaching 5 million likes. The lesson here: the more interactive your campaigns become, the more success and engagement you’ll see as a result. -- Annie

Credit: ClickZ

Magic Does Exist with YC's "Uber-For-Flowers" Startup Bloomthat, TechCrunch. Is this new start-up going to save boyfriends/husbands/men everywhere? Either way, I think it's a tribute to Uber, what I consider one of the greatest services out there. Fun Fact: Their drivers have to maintain a 4.6 rating, 4.6 people! Anyways, I definitely love being the consumer in these situations. I also love the shift in thinking from what people accept as status-quo to what is truly desired and helpful. Whether businesses and/or industries are new or old, it's clear that most should consider re-inventing. -- Maria 

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Curator News Feed: August 9, 2013

We've got a little bit of everything this week--from shark attack suits to the latest Mumford and Sons music video, plus some new social media news that we're kind of geeking out about (what else is new?). Happy Friday, all!

Credit: Fast Company

Facebook Rolls Out New Story ‘Bumping’ FeaturePR Daily. We’ve seen Facebook struggle to remain relevant in the midst of new social platforms coming into play now more than ever before. According to PR Daily, one way to appeal to their audience is to update what users see in their newsfeed. This week’s latest Facebook announcement shares that now Facebook will be “bumping” old content to the top of news feeds. The change could have a fairly dramatic impact on sponsored posts if it means that non-sponsored posts will actually gain more visibility. The remedy for this from PR Daily? Keep producing quality content and it will always beat out the rest of the Facebook noise. -- Annie

Mumford and Sons stand in performers, Mashable. What do you get when you combine great music with great comedy? This music video. I won’t spoil the surprise by going into detail here, but suffice it to say, if you like Mumford and Sons and SNL (and what’s wrong with you if you don’t?), this music video will make your day. -- Matthew

Twitter Partners with Datalogix to Track When Tweets Lead to Offline Sales, TechCrunch. Quantifying fast and hard ROI from a single Tweet or Facebook post is a constant stumbling block for a lot of brands on social media. Finally, we may have the answers we've been looking for. My favorite fact from this article: "Brands’ organic tweets drive sales. There was an 8 percent sales lift among users who saw a brand’s organic (i.e. unpaid) tweets versus those who didn’t, and the lift was three times greater if they saw five or more organic tweets." -- Megan

Announcing Instagram 4.1, Instagram Blog. Instagram announced big news this week with an app changing feature for allowing media uploads for video. This change opens up endless possibilities for existing users and brands to utilize video more. Some concerns might be is to whether this will turn Instagram into just a media outlet rather than a place of creativity? Or better yet, what feature do you think Vine will come out with next to compete? -- Brooke

Can this Surf Gear Prevent Shark Attacks?, Co.Design. Besides deterring Jaws, I think these wetsuit and surf boards designs are pretty cool. I wonder if wearing one while watching Shark Week from my couch will make me less scared. -- Maria

Why Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Bought the Washington Post, The Week.  I have long revered the Washington Post. Growing up, Katharine Graham, Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein were heroes in my eyes. This week, I was completely surprised to read the news that Jeff Bezos purchased the D.C. institution. I’ve read almost everything I can get my hands on to understand what the heck is going on. This was a great article sharing five credible theories behind the buy. Based on the letter Bezos wrote to Washington Post employees, I think big things are on the horizon. He writes, “Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there.” -- Ann Marie

5 Startup Founders Reveal Their Best Company Culture Tips, Mashable. Here at Curator we understand the importance of having a strong and thriving culture. Ours is much like a family, with established traditions and shared values that we all contribute to. As we continue to grow and evolve in our work, that brings opportunity to reflect on where we've been and reevaluate where we'd like to keep heading. I really enjoyed reading this article because I think we can always learn from others' experiences and I love that some of our cultural foundation is shared with other brads and companies that we admire. What's your favorite takeaway from these culture tips? -- Chelsey

The Channel Is Where You Make It

Curator PR

We’ve talked for years about the “changing media landscape.”  The question in my mind is whether that shift has become so pronounced as to declare traditional news channels irrelevant? 

In the last few days, President Obama has appeared on "The Tonight Show," and conducted online chats with Amazon.com and Zillow.com audiences.  Compare that with a stat I heard this morning on NPR that the president has only given one interview to the New York Times in the last three years and hasn’t sat down to give a one-on-one to the Washington Post in four years.  Clearly the president’s communication team believes they can reach more of an audience—and have a more unfiltered conversation—through these new “news” channels. 

When was the last time you caught the 5 p.m. TV news?  When was the last time you checked your Facebook feed?

Is it more relevant to you that a house burned down 25 miles from yours and a reporter is showing it from four angles or that your friend on Twitter shared news about a new bakery in your neighborhood?

What do you care about? At Curator one of the questions we ask ourselves as we ideate is whether or not a consumer will really care about the idea – how will it make them look to their social media audience if they “like” a post and what that says about their personal brand.  Do you care about what traditional news channels report in large measure?  From a marketing standpoint our concern has to be where the audience is and if traditional news channels are not providing the type of content that maintains the attention of a group of consumers we have to look elsewhere.  So when the president wanted to talk about housing in America his communication team choose Zillow to reach an audience focused on buying or selling a home. Makes sense.

Last week we purchased an old Seattle P.I. newspaper box from a store in SoDo called Second Use.  They had pallets of them. It’s a striking image of the decline of traditional news media.

We’re going to put an iPad in the box window and show our reel – we like the "old media meets new" metaphor. 

Credit: BGR.com

The New York Times isn’t going away and neither is local news or the Washington Post (We’re very interested to see what Bezos does with the Post.) There is definitely a place for traditional news – even in this new environment, and we’d be foolish as communication professionals to dismiss them.

So the question I ask myself is how we prioritize these channels as it relates to marketing.  As we talk about the new media landscape the options to reach and interact with a consumer expand even beyond social media channels and bloggers.  The “channels” are endless.  Amazon.com and Zillow became channels.  A channel today can live anywhere your consumer is – anywhere.  This is liberating news for creative communication companies. All that matters is that we make a connection.  What are some of the channels you’re using to do this for your clients?

Curator News Feed: July 26, 2013

This week’s links are meant for your mesmerizing enjoyment–from a stunning kaleidoscope video to the inside of a meteorite, plus the obvious debate raised over which Ron rules: Team Swanson or Burgundy? Treat yourself with a moment to unwind this weekend with our favorite links.

Credit: NBC

27 Reasons San Diego Just Might Be Heaven on EarthBuzzfeed. Representing my hometown pride this week! For those who have never been to San Diego, possibly including some of my fellow Curators, here's a taste of what makes SD so awesome. After having lived in LA for a decent amount of time and returning home to San Diego, I definitely realize how the culture, vibe and lifestyle of where you grew up can help shape your views and mindset to some extent. You stay classy San Diego! -- Noelle

MirrorcityMashable. If you haven’t yet seen this video making its way around the web, take 4 minutes and enjoy. Part time-lapse, part kaleidoscope, part audio visualizer, Mirrorcity is captivating, and a great example of how old tools (like time lapse and video mirroring) can be made new through new applications. -- Matthew

The 9 Types of Facebook UsersMashable. This infographic by Optify outlines nine different types of Facebook users, including: The Stalker, The Baby Boomer, The Newbie, The Fearful User, The Curator, The Brand Promoter, The Oversharer, The Gamer and The Non-User. I think it's safe to say we can all probably think of people who fall into each of these categories,  and I'd like to think we're all Curators here (we do love a good cat meme), but who knows! What kind of user are you? -- Chelsey

The Art of Managing Creative PeopleNext Big Design. My favorite part of this article is "Creating Healthy Confusion", giving creatives multiple projects at once actually produces better work. -- Kendra

10 Ways to Make Your Office More FunFast Company. At Curator, we're always looking for ways to make our culture unique and fun, so I was curious to read this article as a gauge for our success. Let's see…we're religious about Friday happy hours, we decorate the office for birthdays, some of us have made it to Brooke's spin class, we always keep peanut butter filled pretzels around for snacking, we play games together (Cards Against Humanity), and we've definitely pulled some pranks, mainly screwing up Dan's office. One suggestion I think they could've added is sharing company social media accounts that everyone can contribute to. Overall, I'd say we've done a pretty good job, buuuut there's always room for improvement, like an office dog. :) --Maria

Otherwordly Pics of the Iridescent Universe Inside MeteoritesFast Company. This article caught my eye this week because, shiny things! I went stargazing last weekend and it always reminds me how incredible and mysterious space is. The pictures of the inside of different meteorites may surprise you. -- Megan

Want to build an agency career? Make something., Digiday. In this business, projects can become all-consuming. It’s easy to forget the importance of fueling personal interests outside of work. This is a great reminder on the importance of passion projects, or things people create outside of business, are capturing agency’s attention and, sometimes, leading to a position. As one of the folks interviewed states, “Side projects are a more accurate representation of a candidate’s pure thinking." -- Ann Marie

Curator News Feed: July 12, 2013

Curator has been quite busy this week: Ann Marie and Chelsey were back and forth from California for client events and meetings. Noelle is currently exploring the grounds of another client, Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto with journalists in Mexico. And back at the homestead, the office has been setting its sights on not only back to school, but holiday initiatives for our wonderful clients. Phew! Amongst all the productivity, we still found time to produce some pretty interesting links. So without further ado: the Curator News Feed for July 12th.

"#Fireworks don't fly. (On planes)" via TSA's Instagram account

Marketing Agencies Will Disappear in 10 Years Study Says, PR Daily. Shocking headline. Interesting content. Glad we’re already doing the content marketing and “PR thinking” thing… – Dan

How To Become More Unstoppable Every Day, Fast Company. This is a feel good story about a girl who pushed outside what she thought her limits were and went for it, not to break some crazy world record or become the best at it, but for her own happiness. Her most recent project was to learn to dance in a year, all while holding a full-time job. My favorite line from her is on her site, here: "This isn't a story about dancing, though. It's about having a dream and not knowing how to get there—but starting anyway. Maybe you're a musician dreaming of writing an original song. You;re an entrepreneur dying to start your first venture. You're an athlete but you just haven't left the chair yet." – Maria

TSA's Gun Policy: Confiscate It, Instagram ItCNN Money. It's the reason we arrive at the airport hours before our flight even boards. We all dread it: TSA security. Well, now you can follow your favorite airport gatekeepers on Instagram. The account already has 40,000+ followers with only 11 pictures posted since it joined June 27. No doubt these pictures are alarming--a stun gun disguised as a cigarette holder, grenades, throwing knives, loaded pistols. Reading some of the comments, the account is already pretty controversial. What do you think; does TSA's Instragram account make you feel more safe in the air, or otherwise?  – Megan

32 Tricks You Can Do With Wolfram Alpha…, BusinessInsider. Wolfram Alpha, if you're not familiar, is kind of a nerdy Google that came out a few years ago. Whereas Google is almost entirely focused on searching for links, Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that's focused on answers. Take the first tip on this list: You can input the names of Subway sandwiches and the toppings you want to include on those sandwiches, and instantly find out an approximation of how many calories will end up in the sandwich you build. Crazy. – Paul

The Number Facebook Doesn't Want You To See, BuzzFeed. Here's an uncomfortable truth: None of your Facebook friends care about your updates. Oh, they see them; they just don't care. That's the gist of this article by BuzzFeed, which points out that while most Facebook posts "reach" hundreds or thousands of people, that reach doesn't often translate into interaction. I've found a lot more success posting in Groups and Lists with fewer people, but a narrower focus. That way, my friends who like social media, for instance, see my social-media-news updates, and those posts get a lot more feedback. – Paul

The Pixar TheoryJon Negroni. Ever thought Pixar movies were connected? You were right. This article will blow your mind. Special thanks to former Curator, Lisa Kennelly, for sharing this on her Facebook page and possibly changing my life. – Chelsey

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The 7 Types of Hashtag Abusers, NY Mag. Hashtags are everywhere and they're a great tool, but it's also important to keep your hashtag usage in check. Don't be afraid to admit, are you one of these hashtag users? – Brooke

3D Printing, Shapeways.com. As 3d printing has become more accessible, it's still remained a bit out of reach for people who just want to tinker and not drop a few grand in equipment. I ran across a great writeup on the new eBay app that lets you print stuff called Exact, which looked rather interesting, yet seems to be more about customizing existing models. Then in the comments ran across the really interesting site which lets you actually upload your designs, both 2d or 3d if you have the know-how, and get models printed and shipped to your door. Check it out if you've been kicking around a product idea or two, it looks really well polished with a solid community around it. – Shawn

The World's Most Active Twitter City? You Won't Guess It, Forbes. A fun article in Forbes this week that revealed the results of which city in the world is the most active on Twitter. Think the no. one spot would go to New York, Tokyo, or maybe London? Well, guess again. Read the article to find out which city ranked at the top. Funny enough, San Francisco (where Twitter is headquartered) was not even ranked amongst the top 20 most active Twitter cities. – Annie

Wax Dummy for Coupons, Design Taxi. We’ve all seen business beat the street with a stack of coupons to bring in customers, but I’ve never seen a company mix the coupon offer with their service in quite so clever (yet slightly disgusting) of a way. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’ll just tell you the business is a waxing studio and the person handing out the coupons was wearing them. It’s proof that nothing gets people’s attention like a good mix of curiosity and schadenfreude. – Matthew

Curator News Feed: June 28, 2013

Summer is in full swing here in Seattle, and this week we're buzzing about clever Guinness ad placements, pantsuits on Twitter, the return of the Twinkie, and even the unthinkable: unplugging from social media. The jury's still out on the likeliness of that last one, but we'll leave it up to you. Enjoy our last links of the week for the month of June, and let us know what you've been reading, too!

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Twinkies Are Back! Now What?AdWeek. How do you resurrect a brand from the dead? We’ll find out as Twinkies hit the shelves once again. But, they face one of the biggest challenges of any brand as companies have had the opportunity to introduce alternative products. But, Twinkies may be ready to combat this, starting with a new tagline that plays off of the product’s comeback – “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.” Consumers and marketers alike will have to decide in the coming months if the statement is true. – Annie

Are you Really a Ninja? How to Rock Your Twitter Bio as Hard as Hillary Clinton, Fast Company. Writing your own bio can be hard, writing your own bio under 200 characters is quite the task. I'm taking cues from these celebrities on Twitter and starting to re-think my own Twitter bio. – Brooke

'The Great Gatsby' Visual Effects Reel Unveiled, Huffington Post. If you have five minutes, this is a pretty cool video that shows the before and after of where a green screen was used in filming. If you have a couple hours, go see the movie! (Bonus, the Lana Del Rey song from the soundtrack accompanies the reel.) – Chelsey

Guinness Transforms Office Windows Into Pint Glasses, PSFK. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. Case in point: Grey Group Canada’s use of window stickers and existing blinds to simulate a pint of Guinness. The result: brilliantly integrated advertising at a fraction of the cost. Check out the photos in the link and tell me you’re not thirsty. – Matthew

10 Social Media Mistakes You May Be Making (Because I Did), Marketing Land. I love this post from Courtney Seiter, one of my favorite new social media connections of 2013. In this post, she lays it all on the table — all the mistakes she's made over the years as a social media marketer, and how to avoid them. This post is packed with good information and insights. I promise you'll find something useful in it. – Paul

credit: Humans of New York Facebook page

Humans of New YorkFacebook. At Curator, we believe that brands should be storytellers. Facebook and other forms of social media are the perfect place to start. What began as a photography project has turned into a chronicle of thousands of stories. I love how this captures tiny yet gripping snapshots. Find their website here. – Megan

Brands Celebrate DOMA Ruling on Facebook, TwitterMashable. On the heels of Supreme Court's decision to deem DOMA unconstitutional this week, I thought I'd share the brands that decided to celebrate alongside millions of Americans in this step towards equality. – Maria

How Instagram Almost Ruined My Life, Fast Company. This is an interesting take on how the Instagram phenomenon has, to some extent, prevented people from actually seeing and experiencing life, instead opting to showcase their glossy version of it for all to see. Kind of makes you think— in today's social media-savvy society, how important is it to unplug every once in awhile? Tell us what you think! – Noelle

Dallas Weather, Weather.com. It’s hot here in Dallas! Matthew and I have been tag-teaming the Seattle’s Best Coffee rollout here for two weeks and we’re now 10 of 14 days with 100-degree weather – Dan

Curator News Feed: June 21, 2013

This week, among other things, we celebrated our neck of the woods' mouth-watering new lunch haunts (take that, Capitol Hill), envied one lucky Curator's weekend getaway, and dreamt about exotic vacations of our own: all things that may be best captured with an artsy Instagram-filtered video (or not -- see infographic). Take a moment to relax on this Summer Solstice with our links of the week.

Photo Credit: Hayley Young

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Cancels Half Its Races, TIME. I said it a year ago and I’ll say it again…impacts from a poor PR decision can be felt for years to come… (and it’s too bad when it happens to a group that does so much good). – Dan  

Instagram Launches 15-Second Video Sharing Feature, with 13 Filters and Editing, TechCrunch. Move over Vine, Instagram now lets you share videos more than twice as long. And, just as Instagram allowed those of us who don’t even own a camera to start taking pictures like a pro, the video capability also comes with 13 filters and video editing. All sounds good, right? Well, according to NPR, maybe not. Like with the evolution of any technology there is fear that with this change also comes some skepticism. I’m looking forward to diving into a bit further and learning more ways on how this can be leveraged from a PR-standpoint. – Annie

A Great Way to Keep Track of and Show Off the Exotic Places One Has Been To, PSFK. At Curator, we’re fortunate to work with some great travel brands. Part of our day-to-day job is to come up with ways to inspire people to think about where in the world they’d like to travel. This week, I came across this map, and loved the concept of a visual way to showcase every country you’ve visited. Once you’ve traveled to a country, you scratch off a layer of gold foil to reveal the colorful map below. If you’re heading out on a great adventure this summer, you may want to get yourself a Scratch Map. – Ann Marie

Monkey Light Pro-Bicycle Wheel Display System, Kickstarter. I love browsing Kickstarter to see all the cool (and weird) stuff people come up with. Stumbled upon this earlier this week and thought it was an interesting concept that could be really awesome for brands. Would be pretty awesome to see  a triathlon or a bike race with people riding bikes with unique sponsor messaging. – Chelsey

The Eater California Wine Country Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now, Eater. This weekend is my wife's birthday and we're heading down to Napa to eat incredible food and drink great wine. Over the course of the next three days you'll find me on this map somewhere. Enjoy the weekend! – Scott

eHarmony Takes Care of their Followers, Facebook. Today, a planned eHarmony server upgrade didn't go as smoothly as expected and their site crashed, so they took to Facebook (primarily) to keep users informed as to what was going on. Here's their page — scroll through this week's posts to get a sense of what they did. Two big takeaways: 1) This is one of the reasons it's so important to cultivate your social media communities. They can act as emergency meet-up spots if something ever goes wrong on your website — but not if you don't take care of them the other 99.9 percent of the time. 2) eHarmony was proactive, and made sure to let everyone know ahead of time that they'd be doing work on the site. That kind of nuts-and-bolts status updating is extremely helpful when people are expecting service from you, and you know that service might be interrupted. – Paul

It's Hip to be Pioneer Square, Seattle Magazine. I was feeling the love for our neighborhood this Friday, and then happened across this article about Pioneer Square, so freaking square it's hip. They call out some of our office favorites like Matt Dillion's Bar Sajor and Russ Flint's Rainshadow Meats, and couldn't help but share. – Maria

Build a Movement, Not a Campaign, and You'll Ignite Passion in Your Brand's True Believers, Fast Company. This is a great read that pinpoints the difference between influencers and advocates and also details the how, when and why to employ each group for different purposes in a brand campaign, based on your campaign goals. I like the description of brand advocates as a "volunteer marketing army." Activating your already passionate brand advocates makes plenty of sense, as these are the fans who are more apt to spread the word on behalf of your brand based on pure passion and loyalty, rather than direct incentive. Cultivating a relationship with these advocates takes time and effort, but the rewards tend to pay more dividends in the long run. – Noelle

A strongman from Hungary has managed to pull a 50-ton commercial plane using just his teeth, Metro. Whenever I am looking for some weird news, I know I can always turn to my other favorite part of the world: Europe. They did not disappoint. You’ve got this bionic “strongman,” a pink plane, and a gang of Wizz Air cheerleaders adding some extra pep. Is this Superman in real life?  – Megan