Threat level midnight.

 

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TIKTOK

It’s threat level midnight for TikTok

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It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend for TikTok. We kicked off Saturday thinking TikTok might be banned in the United States, and ended the weekend in murkier territory.

There’s a lot to go through, and news from the beginning of the weekend is already outdated. Here’s a breakdown of what’s really going on with TikTok, and what it all means for marketers:

  • Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he would be banning TikTok, suggesting that he may do this with an executive order.
  • After Trump’s announcement, TikTok fired back, saying that they’re ‘not going anywhere.’ There was also a lot of backlash from political organizations, content creators, and marketers alike, who argued that the ban would be unprecedented and illegal.
  • The weekend ended on a high note for marketers and creators who use TikTok. In a bid to move TikTok into American hands, Microsoft has confirmed that they have talked with Donald Trump about an acquisition and are exploring the possibility of buying TikTok. ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, seems to be on board with the idea.

The Crew’s take: It was an uncertain weekend for everyone out there who uses TikTok – that’s a lot of people – but things are starting to become clearer. Though we don’t know for sure whether Microsoft will buy TikTok, it’s at least starting to look more likely that TikTok will live to see another day in the United States.

However, a takeover by Microsoft and stricter regulations from the U.S. government might change the way that TikTok operates, both for creators and marketers. We’ll see how that manifests as this situation progresses.


TWITTER

Are your favorite features on this list?

Twitter Premium (well, that’s our name for it at the moment) is around the corner, and we just got a better look at what we might be able to pay for.

As reported by Matt Navarra on Twitter, these are some of the features that Twitter is considering for their paid model – per a survey that’s being used for market research:

  • Badges with links to businesses.
  • Auto responses to use in replies.
  • Social listening tools to see how your account is being talked about on Twitter.
  • Brand surveys on the ads you run to determine how people are liking them.
  • An undo send feature for Tweets that have been recently published.
  • Custom theme colors and fonts.
  • The ability to publish videos up to 5X the length of the current default.

These all look pretty great, but no edit button? Twitter, give the people what they want – we’ll pay.

It’s possible that none of these features end up making the final cut for Twitter’s subscription, but it’s interesting to see the direction they’re heading with this.

Some of these features, including social listening, badges, and brand surveys, could take Twitter marketing to a whole new level.


SPONSORED BY CHARTR

The surprising stories data tells us

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What’s a deal with a Kardashian worth to a company’s share price?

If you’re a subscriber to Chartr’s free newsletter, you’d know.

Chartr is a newsletter like you’ve never seen before, going deeper than the headlines with data-driven insights.

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  • Should you really buy stocks after a big market crash?
  • What’s the next diet craze?
  • How Michael Jordan’s NBA record compares with other greats?
  • When are Twitter users happiest?
  • Who profits from your morning cup of coffee?

Chartr answers these questions with data and charts.

You can listen to people’s opinions on Facebook groups. Or you can truly understand what’s happening in our world with data. Like you do with your campaigns.

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SEO

Forget keywords. The first page of Google proves you don’t need them

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Keywords are the talk of the town – SEOs, marketing managers, and writers love to throw them around like Joe Kelly throws baseballs at an Astros game. Plenty of the time, though, the reason why keywords are important gets misconstrued.

Writers, if you’ve ever had a client tell you that you need to fit a certain number of words or phrases into an article, you’ll know what we mean.

Marketers, if you’ve had a client send you a ‘keyword report’ from an overpriced tool telling you that you need to jam keywords into their landing pages, we’re with you.

Business owners, if you’ve ever read an article that looks like it’s a rearrangement of four keyword phrases, we’ve been there.

Whether you want something you can show to your boss or you’re just looking to join us on a quick keyword journey, we’re glad you’re here. Let’s take a look at why keywords get used incorrectly so often:

  • It’s a common myth that putting keywords into your articles will help you rank better. There are entire, $500/month content tools out there that tell you to do this. Try searching, for example, ‘hip pain from yoga’. Click on the first article. There’s not a single mention on that page of ‘hip pain from yoga’. Why did it rank? Because it’s relevant, not because it had the right keyword on the page.
  • Keywords signal intent – that’s it. Case in point: this article from GetOrchard ranks on the front page for ‘buying a used iPhone 6’, ‘buying a used iPhone 7’, and almost every other phone model-specific search. The article doesn’t contain a single mention of any specific iPhone models, and yet it ranks because Google understands that the searcher intent is buying a used iPhone, and the article answers those queries.

The first page of Google isn’t about keywords, it’s about people. Keywords should inform topics and articles, not become them. And, as SEO continues to shift towards focusing on a better user experience, we should continue to focus on creating content that is beneficial to the user, above all else.

Don’t get us wrong – keywords help, but they are not necessary nor enough in order to rank well.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

TIKTOK: Josh Constine wrote a Substack article ranking the alternatives to TikTok, most of which are garnering plenty of downloads as a TikTok ban looms. The article provides some great points on the pros and cons of each app!

GOOGLE: The newest version of Chrome is causing some headaches for marketers and SEOs trying to figure out how referral analytics are reported. Dan Barker on Twitter breaks it down.

FACEBOOK: Did the Facebook ads boycott really work? In a word: no, but you can check it out in this full article to see what the full implications were.

GOOGLE: An Ads Transparency Spotlight tool is being tested by Google, which provides users with more data about the ads they’re being served.

SEO: John Mueller from Google clarifies why extra structured data can be useful for SEO.

PINTEREST: The platform crossed the 400M monthly active users threshold in Q2, adding 49M active users in this period. Not bad but also not surprising – FB, Snapchat and Twitter also posted good user growth.


BRAIN TEASER

A man in a car saw a golden door, a silver door, and a bronze door. He decided he had to pick between the three – which door did he open first?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Florida man masterminds Twitter hack, gets arrested by the FBI

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No, this isn’t a meme, but it may as well be. We thought the news from last month’s Twitter hack was over, too, but today may have been the final – and most interesting – part of it all.

Over the weekend, the FBI announced that they arrested the man (or in this case, teenager) who masterminded the entire security breach at Twitter. He’s a 17-year old from Tampa, and was working with two other men in their early 20s who helped him do the job.

We also learned how the attack was actually conducted. Apparently, the 17-year old Floridian got in contact with an employee at Twitter, convinced him that he was a co-worker, and got access to the credentials. We all know how the story goes from there…

It’s great to finally see what will likely be the last big news of the Twitter hack come to the surface. It does pose the question, though: is the Florida man now the Florida teen?

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