Telling Stories in 360° — Beaumonde's Guide to Social Media Strategy
Looking to refine your social media strategy? Get more followers? Dish out the hottest content your followers have seen since the invention of the Like button?
In this blog we’ll explore how to do all of those things (and more) while examining best practices related to today’s most pertinent (and under the radar) social media platforms.
In a world seemingly defined by time-management, the use of immersive media to engage audiences is becoming increasingly important.
Immersive media and 360° content are both huge fields seeing relevancy in disciplines ranging from art museums to festival tours to breweries – and on social media their applications rule, perhaps, supreme.
The New Normal
Social media platforms are becoming more adaptable to new forms of media (Facebook just announced the ability to share 3D photos) – and if you are like nearly every other business out there, you’re probably looking for a way to sharpen your creative marketing strategies in an increasingly competitive and saturated era of media.
Each social media platform will be better at certain things, and therefore each requires its own unique strategy for reaching people.
This blog will show how immersive content (like 360° pictures or videos) can be applied successfully across these variant platforms, all while fitting into a larger discussion of social media strategy and good practice as a whole.
360s on Social
While 360° media (from photos to live videos) work great on many primary social media platforms, their incorporation is just one element among many moving parts on your treasure map. In our experience, 360s turn heads and deliver lasting results more than any other type of content shared.
Whether you’re starting a marketing campaign from scratch, or looking to introduce a new key player into your storytelling architecture, 360° media can be that spark you’re looking for.
A Note on Engagement
Interactive content is fruitful long-term, and in a blog I wrote a few weeks ago about Facebook marketing, I showed how 360° media in marketing campaigns boosts ROI, drives engagement, can gain 9x more clicks (than 2D content), and more, all for the same amount of ad spend. When considering your social media strategy, don’t just settle for short-term gains or rely on random spikes of viral views.
(P.S., Beaumonde’s 360° creative suite is backed by our time-refined marketing strategies. Contact us today for a free 15-minute phone consultation to learn more.)
Context is Key
As with anything, 360° content fist best in different contexts and on different platforms depending on your type of business. As social media is so ubiquitous in today’s world, we feel strongly that 360° content accelerates in nearly any field, whether that’s through marketing, advertising, or some other type of content distribution.
A Few Basics
I read in a blog last week that “A good, basic ad strategy includes the following elements:”
Goals (what you’re trying to do)
Audience (who you want to do it) and
Tactics (how they’re going to do it).
Of course, 360° content can help you reach new audiences, and redefine your tactics, and in turn help you reach your goals (from increased reach to just trying something new). But it’s not just about having a cool picture or graphic that sees an 800% increase in sharing on Facebook. As Jonathan Perleman notes, Distribution is queen and she wears the pants.
“Modern marketing is about matching up with the worldview of your ideal customer. Outside of a monopoly, there is no such thing as marketing that appeals to everyone, and yet, companies still try and routinely fail.”
— Bryan Clark, founder of Copyblogger
Simply put, brands need to become broadcasters. This type of narrative-weaving can come about through social media posting and creative storytelling, partnerships with industry experts, and content creation as a whole.
360° Content Across Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms across the board, it seems, are continually restructuring their styles and possible media integrations.
For immersive media forms like 360, this is great news and means that users’ depths of experiences on social media will only continue to be enhanced as 360° content (among other types of interactive media) are streamlined and made available for viewing on social sites.
Facebook 360° Content
Reach the world with 360° content on the biggest platform for social sharing & advertising. 360° photos and 360° videos can be shared easily on Facebook by simply pasting a link to the 360 directly into the Status box.
A few options for using 360 on Facebook include:
360° ads and ad campaigns
360° banner photos
Live videos in 360° (Note: live videos rank higher in the newsfeed when live than non-live videos)
A Few Trends to Watch:
Videos of about 6-15 seconds in length are performing especially well on Facebook (as of 12/11/17). And to add insult to injury, Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook users watch an average of 100 million hours of video every single day. (Plus, Facebook videos get over 130% more organic reach than photos.)
Facebook is huge. In fact, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users, and approximately 1 billion daily active users. Tailoring your social media marketing campaigns to fit with Facebook is, almost ubiquitously, a necessity for engaging with your target market and building lasting relationships.
TWITTER & 360° CONTENT
Start a dialogue with your customers using 360° content on Twitter. Sharing is simple, interacting is fun, and results are magical.
Uploading 360° photos or videos on Twitter is as easy as pasting a link to your material in the Tweet box. And viewing videos and pictures is done in the same way, the difference being that a video is moving as you scroll and the picture is, well, still. We often share our 360s from either Kuula or Youtube.
There are over 500 million tweets posted daily.
80% of users of Twitter access the platform from mobile.
37% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29. (And 25% are between 30 and 49.)
93% of Twitter video views are on mobile.
With all of this considered, it follows only naturally that brands optimize their social media strategies to A) Be mobile friendly and B) Cater to a younger generation (~college aged) via videos and interactive media.
Instagram in 360°
Activate 360° content on the leading social network for sharing photos and videos. While you can’t directly share 360s onto Instagram yet (as with Twitter or Facebook), you still have a few options for flexing your 360° magic.
Option 1: Rotating video of a 360° picture.
Option 2: Share your 360° media by utilizing the tiny planet feature to showcase the 360’s versatility in 2D form.
Hip-hop superhero Kung-fu Kenny Kendrick Lamar, by the way, used the tiny planet form of a 360° video in his music video for his hit song “HUMBLE.”
360s on Instagram are great for expanding your creativity in terms of the styles of posts you share, what your followers experience, and how you approach your social media strategy. (Plus, tiny planet 360s look really cool and can stop the fast-flicking fingers of people scrolling to view your post… while at the same time diversifying your visual portfolio.)
With video predicted to comprise 80% of global internet traffic by 2019, it’s time you made video a main character in your social media strategy. Instagram, unlike Youtube (depending on your market), is centered more around the building of a profile as relates to a live feed or stream.
Video posts, in addition to video stories, can be used to tell stories, highlight humor and behind-the-scenes elements, and can even drive traffic to your website.
Are great for broadcasting within your niche. What you post depends on what you do, although in general it’s good to post from events, during business hours, behind the scenes, etc. (We like to post on our way to get coffee.)
Stories aren’t available in 360° yet but stay tuned for updates: at the rate of media innovation currently transpiring it seems inevitable and, eventually, will be common practice.
Pro-Tip: Try saving your Instagram stories to your Highlight Reel. These can be created to drive traffic to your blog, website, product pages, services pages, to new menus, and more.
Plus, if you frequently host events, each Highlight Reel could be from a different event, allowing followers to re-visit their memories (or experience something they should have attended after all)!
Snapchat & Snapchat Stories
Snapchat is unique in that it is one of the only primary social media platforms existing strictly on mobile. If you’re looking for a spark in your social media strategy, Snapchat could be the way to go (depending on your market).
360° Content on Snapchat
You can’t use the Snapchat camera directly in 360°, however, 360° ads are well within the realm of possibility. Simply create your Snapchat ad, then add a link to your 360° content that can be viewed by swiping up.
We’ve found the creation of geofilters for event promotion and for public spaces (from museums to coffee shops) to be the most successful approach for broadening meaningful reach. Every time someone walks within the geographical radius of where your geofilter is placed, it pops up as an optional filter. Geofilters can be placed for the duration of an event (like concerts) or more permanently, as at NC State’s Talley Student Center.
Another possibility with Snapchat is that of having a featured story (this works especially if you are a social influencer and have built your brand around your personality).
However, having your story featured will cost you a lot of money unless you’re somebody like Rick Ross (@FerrariFatBoi) or are a cultural news & entertainment channel (@BrotherHQ, @ESPN, etc.) working in some type of partnership with Snapchat.
Snapchat stories can still be used to broadcast daily happenings and snapshot pictures or videos to people you are friends with (and it’s not thaat uncommon for businesses to have a Snapchat account).
YouTube and 360° Content
Activate your 360° content on the world's most popular video platform. Youtube is a great example of a grade-A content management system plus social media platform based around curating videos with profile-building peppered in.
360° videos and pictures can both be shared on Youtube, and per the nature of the platform there is the added bonus of being able to set music behind 360° pictures as they ‘play’ and you interact. Check out a 360° video of Shep & Caro at the Carolina Music Awards below.
Music Videos on Youtube
Musicians can utilize Youtube as a channel for content-sharing and communication with fans. As music videos continue to be a popular medium for storytelling and musical enhancement, artists can use the world’s largest video-hosting platform for brand-building and funneling engagement.
360° music videos are a high-opportunity and barely-tapped resource for musicians. Kendrick Lamar used tiny planet versions of 360° footage in his video for “HUMBLE,” although, to be honest and with all things considered it was only the first step of what could be a giant leap for music-video creativity.
(P.S., with the tiny planet feature for 360° footage available, 360s can be incorporated into ‘traditional’ 2D media, as seen in Kendrick’s music video.)
Consider creating your next advertisement on Youtube… in 360 degrees. 360° video ads have higher interaction rates and CTRs than 2D video ads, plus they have seen significantly higher share rates, according to a very interesting study of 360° video ads conducted by Columbia Sportswear. In the study, they also found that “[The] 360 ad drove 41% more earned actions than the standard ad. It also drove more engagement with Columbia's YouTube channel than the standard ad.”
Youtube is a great place to upload videos no matter what discipline you are in. Your channel doesn’t have to be a primary hub of user interaction and interest but you can still post videos there and then share them to other platforms (because where else are you going to post a video?) (Well… Vimeo, but we’ll get to that.)
Youtube also works if you’re looking to build a fan base (on Youtube) and have your channel be a hub of consumer interaction (like vloggers or social-influencer lifestyle Youtubers).
Vimeo in 360°
Yep. They offer 360° videos, too. In up to 8k resolution. And if you’re new to the world of 360, they even have a “360° Video School” to help people kickstart their creativity and sharpen their skills.
Uploading is easy, and can be done directly from places like Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas. You can also watch in 360° from Vimeo’s app via Zeiss, GearVR, and Daydream headsets.
Vimeo as a Whole
I’ve always considered Vimeo to be in the realm of short films, art pieces, and music videos. This is a place for creators. For film makers, musicians, visual artists, techo-heads, and more. Short films (or feature films) in 360° are just one example of many styles related to the dynamic nature of a 360° space and increasingly depth-having interactive content.
This is where we host the majority of our 360° content – pictures, graphics, and interactive worlds like the immersive 360° album cover we made for Houston rapper Trill Sammy.
If you are a fan of beautiful vistas from across the globe, immersive photography, cartoons, detailed illustrations, and more, the Kuula Explore page will be a thrilling delight to your senses.
Marketing on Kuula
Kuula is at an interesting crossroads between being a content management system (like Youtube) and a platform for discovery and interaction amongst users and creators. The comments sections are not as active as on Youtube, although Kuula is relatively newer and a bit more niche (for now).
I’ve yet to see much about adverting on Kuula or running marketing campaigns directly on their platform (as they don’t allow for ads); however, Kuula’s feed is fantastic and allows for 360° exploration, discovery, and along the way the perhaps forming of a few connections with creators on the forefront of technology and art.
Across Platforms: Brands and broadcasting
Brands need to become broadcasters. No matter what you offer your customers (a product, a service, events, etc.) broadcasting your story is imperative to increasing organic reach and driving your bottom line. Take Adobe, for example. They offer some of the most high-powered media-editing softwares in the world that are, largely, their industry standard (just look at photoshop).
Rather than letting their products stand alone, and rely on peddling software programs door-to-door, they stepped into a broader role: that of educators. They have connected the dots between seemingly disparate fields via their ability to both educate (extremely well) and to weave in the relevancy of their offerings.
With immersive media like 360° photos and videos, becoming a type of educator and telling stories is all the more fascinating and, thankfully, possible.
Looking to get started using 360° content on social media? Let’s get in touch. Leave a comment below or contact us to start your journey in 360° today.