Social Media – Process Street

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How Subscriptions Will Stop Fake News Killing Digital Content

stop fake news quality content headerFake news is a hot button issue right now and one we’ve covered a couple of times at Process Street.

Normally, the discussion of fake news is a roundly negative affair.

How do we come back from consistently lowering journalistic standards? What does this mean for society?

In this article, I’m going to put a more positive face on and explain why there’s good reason to believe quality journalism is going to make a comeback – it may have already begun!

  • We’ll look at broadly what fake news is, and why it isn’t a wholly new phenomena.
  • We’ll look at the financial performance of different media outlets and try to understand what economic motivations there are in the industry, plus how that impacts on content.
  • We’ll look at the new wave of journalistic opportunities and what you can do to help!

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How to Analyze an Article: Don’t get Fooled by Terrible Advice


how to analyze and article don't get fooled by terrible advice headerThere’s a lot of advice on the internet. Some of it is good, some of it is terrible, and some sits in the gray area between.

Within the fields of tech and startups, a lot of what people do day to day is influenced by what they’ve learned online; I doubt many people reading this article learned in school how to effectively market a product over Instagram!

Sorting the good from the bad is a challenge we all face, and one we have to become better at as individuals and as a society.

Improving our ability to analyze information doesn’t just mean identifying fake news, though we will look briefly at it. It also means being able to take a second look at informative journalism and the reporting of research; the kind of information which you might use to inform big business decisions. We’ll look at:

  • The importance of recognizing the gray area in complex issues and reviewing the source text.
  • How media reporting of studies can often obscure the real points
  • Why certain models of investigation can have inherent flaws, and why you should be wary of that.

At the end I’ll follow up with the 10 step process you can use to improve your analysis. This process is pulled from the recommendations of Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Michael Shermer, and repurposed for your professional needs.

But first, let me tell you a little story…

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How to Create Viral Marketing: 6 Lessons From 10,879 Articles

viral marketing header

Everyone wants to be the next Dollar Shave Club ad. Aside from being a fantastic and effective ad, it’s a perfect example of viral marketing, with almost 24.5 million views and counting.

Unfortunately, most of us can barely agree on what classes as “viral” content, let alone create it at will with a set marketing process. Worse still, much of the existing research on viral marketing ignores one key factor; how big your audience is. That’s like gambling without even knowing how much you’re betting – the theory is solid, but you can’t expect to succeed without knowing more.

So, in an attempt to pin down how a less-established site can produce viral content, I analyzed 10,879 of the most shared articles from last year. Stick around to find out:

  • How much your existing audience affects your viral marketing chances
  • Which social media platform is best to focus on
  • How long your content should be (and how much it matters)
  • The link between viral sharing and traffic
  • Why spam tactics work, but are a terrible idea
  • How to give your content the best chance of going viral (without needing your own audience)

Let’s get started.

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How to Use Facebook Retargeting and Custom Audiences to Drive Sales

How_to_Use_Facebook_Retargeting_and_Custom_Audiences_to_Drive_Sales-02We’re always looking for innovative ways to drive sales.

One simple step which people often overlook is the potential purchasing power of your existing audience. It can be expensive to market to people who know nothing about your product, but less expensive to increase the lifetime value of your existing customers.

When Facebook first released their custom audiences advertising feature, results poured in rapidly. One e-commerce company, as reported at the time by TechCrunch, targeted their email list and recorded a 43 percent increase in sign-up conversion and a 30 percent decrease of their cost-per-lead.

The Washington Post’s advertising arm, SocialCode, also reported a 15 percent lower cost per new fan after using custom audiences.

Using custom audiences and Facebook retargeting to activate people who have previously shown interest in your product is a strategy which works.

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What Marketers Can Learn from Trump About The Science of Persuasion

What-Marketers-Can-Learn-from-Trump-About-The-Science-of-PersuasionRecent elections have hogged the headlines due to their rhetoric and their politics.

However, one consistent theme across both the Trump victory and the Brexit success was their use of advanced marketing techniques.

These campaigns utilized the power of emotion to drive their narratives and leveraged the complexities of Big Data to direct those messages at segmented groups with devastating effect.

The recent victories were not merely political successes, but demonstrations of the immense potential of advanced marketing and advertising methods.

We’ll look at three key areas in this article:

  • Why are emotions so powerful in decision making?
  • What is psychometric testing – the Trump and Brexit campaigns’ marketing method – and what can it tell us about our audience?
  • How do we turn theory into actionable techniques?

The world of marketing is changing. Don’t get left behind.

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How to Automatically Generate Tweets with Images and Hashtags for Your Buffer Queue

Want to add every post on your blog to your Buffer queue, complete with images and automatically generated hashtags?

Recently I realized I hadn’t added my old blog posts to Buffer, and needed to go back and queue them all up. While I was doing it, I decided I could grab the images and use a free API to generate the hashtags for me!

So, I thought I’d record how I did it so I can tell you, too.

In this post, you’ll learn to:

  1. Export a CSV of your posts from WordPress
  2. Tidy up the CSV to include only URLs and titles of your posts
  3. Automatically include hashtags in the tweet text using Aylien
  4. Use import.io to scrape images for your tweets
  5. Push the tweets and images to your Buffer queue using Zapier

Oh, and by the way: all the tools used here are used in their free versions. 🙂

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How Social Media and Big Data Shaped the Brexit Campaign Strategy

Brexit campaign strategyFrom September 1st 2015 to June 23rd 2016 the polls were clear that Britain would vote to remain in the EU.

According to the Financial Times, there were only two weeks over that period where the Leave campaign were ahead.

Financial Times Brexit Polls

Yet, when the results came through, British voters had opted to leave the EU with 51.9% voting out.

How did the leave campaign strategy overcome the clear gap held for the year leading up to the vote?

A clear narrative and a range of big promises?

Well, yes. But also by selling those narratives and promises through a slick targeted marketing campaign powered by social media and big data.

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I Analyzed 12,844 Tweets to Find How Top SaaS Companies Do Twitter Support

I’ve covered our internal support process and analyzed SaaS support and success before, but when it comes to Twitter support, there’s not much data out there.

From what I’ve learned in this study, I’d say that could be because it’s not something the company wants to do.

Is it a necessary evil, brought about by frustrated customers, or is it companies meeting customers on their level?

When you think about users interacting with companies on Twitter, you probably imagine companies trying their best to calm down users so angry they need to vent their frustrations publicly.

I got the idea for this study when I saw the sheer amount of damage control Outlook have to do on Twitter because of their product, and set out to analyze other software giants and how they do Twitter support.


Since Twitter is entirely open to the public and can’t be edited, I thought it was begging for a study on how SaaS companies support their users on Twitter. That’s for a couple of reasons. One, because no one has published data or written a post like this before. And two, because I enjoy writing studies on SaaS companies, like this and this on pricing pages, and this on landing pages.

Here’s my study into the effectiveness and uses of Twitter support at SaaS companies.

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How a Silicon Valley Campaign Strategy Won Trump the Election

Trump campaign strategy

According to the Laboratory for Social Machines from MIT Media Lab, Donald Trump was the most influential force on the 2016 election.

More than any television news stations, newspapers, or other public bodies. Donald J Trump, as an individual, was the most powerful influencer on the nation.

This influence was driven by his huge social media following. In March 2016 he had 6.8m Twitter followers, 6.3m Facebook likes, and 4.1m views on his YouTube channel. Now, he has over 22m Twitter followers.

But his eventual success lay deeper than just finely crafted tweet storms.

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Medium Republishing: How I Got 13085 Views In My First 10 Days

medium republishing

Just over a week ago (after about a year of lurking) I decided to give Medium a shot.

There are a lot of guides out there on how to use Medium, but personally, I need to try something myself to fully understand it.

Medium seemed like an obvious choice for a few reasons:

  • Medium is a Twitter product. Any Twitter followers you have that use Medium count as Medium followers and are emailed when you publish.
  • I have a lot of re-publishable content that already proved itself popular on TechCrunch and The Next Web.
  • There’s a huge, excited audience for what I write about on Medium.
  • Republishing and promoting takes very little time — 99% of the work is already done by the time you start.

A lot of bloggers warn against setting up your home base on Medium, and they’re right.

You want your main site to be something you can manipulate, and Medium is not one of those places. It is, however, an additional promotion channel. See here for the results I got:

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