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March 22, 2019

 To Discriminate Only Generates Hate

Thank goodness that discrimination on the basis of gender (among other things) is quite illegal — and has been for a while. Of course, there are always some stragglers and, in this case, it’s Facebook. After several complaints and class-action lawsuits claiming some companies were using the platform’s targeting capabilities to only advertise jobs to men, FB is banning age, gender, and zip-code targeting on ads for housing, employment, and credit. It’s also creating a separate ad portal for these categories and implementing a transparency tool enabling users to search and view all current U.S. housing listings. Targeted ads are a great tool, but as workers' rights attorney Peter Romer-Friedman said, “The internet is not a civil-rights-free zone.” So even though you’re online, make sure to treat others equally — and legally.

 When I Was Your Age ...

Remember when people actually had to open their laptop to shop? Or worse … go to the store (uphill both ways, we’re told)? *Shudder.* Now not only can we shop on our phones, but we don’t even have to close Instagram. While still in beta, IG has launched its in-app checkout feature for 23 U.S. brands. The feature’s ease of use will certainly be appealing for IG users. But for brands? Maybe not as much as you’d think. In addition to a seller fee, Instagram shopping encourages impulse buys instead of filling a cart, so some direct-to-consumer brands likely won’t benefit much. Still, as social and commerce continue to converge, Instagram-feed browsing could become the equivalent of digital window shopping — and brands won’t want to miss out on those views. 

 Google Guides Us Through the Dark

Speaking of ad targeting, Google just released a guide to help brands do so more effectively (and lawfully) using the platform’s wide selection of tools. The overview is not only a good introduction for those new to advertising on Google, but also a refresher for marketers who might not be up to speed on the platform’s latest offerings. Google’s manual also serves as an important reminder for brands to be mindful of all customers, both new and old. Service doesn’t end with a sale — providing customers with ongoing support and tips will only help build lasting relationships and confidence in your brand. 

La La La La, Elmo’s World!

We’re not biased, but the @sesamestreet account is probably the best on Twitter. This week, one tweet in particular had us racking our brains. Which of these four lovable puppets would we want to chill with on a deserted island: Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Elmo, or Cookie Monster? (Our team overwhelmingly voted for Elmo.) While the tweet itself was simple, the high engagement — which included more than 10,000 likes and 7,000-plus responses — made it even more entertaining. Even Grover chimed in, tweeting: “Just to be clear, I am WAY too cute and adorable to get stuck on a deserted island.”

For a TV show catered toward toddlers, the folks behind Sesame Street’s Twitter know how to interact with its not-so-young audience on social. Thanks to a mix of witty humor and thoughtful messages, the account hits a sweet spot of nostalgia for the millions it’s touched over the years — especially millennials. Tweets like these position Sesame Street as a self-aware brand that understands audiences can vary depending on the medium, which isn’t something to shy away from. Rather than try to force a certain following, learn from Sesame Street’s latest lesson and embrace the followers you have, engage with them, and have fun. 
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Tier One Partners is a national, full-service PR, social media, and content agency that helps challenger brands redefine the meaning of value in their industries through innovation and inventiveness. Specializing in consumer, technology, digital health, financial services, and clean energy, Tier One delivers measurable programs that help companies demonstrate market leadership and meet key business objectives through a unique approach powered by senior talent. For more information, visit www.tieronepr.com.



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