#PutYourBatsOut – How Social Media Remembered Phil Hughes

Yesterday saw the tragic news of the death of Phil Hughes, an Australian cricketer who passed away after being hit in the head with a cricket ball. Like everyone I was totally shocked by his passing having watched him play for Australia numerous times against England in The Ashes. But also being cricketer myself and playing as well as captaining my local team every Saturday in the summer, when something like this happens you feel it more. You empathise. You know how something like this can happen having experienced the game of cricket. It affects you a lot.

Social media reacted to the passing of Phil Hughes with numerous fitting hashtag tributes such as #RIPPhilHughes #63NotOut and #408. But the greatest tribute was the hashtag #PutYourBatsOut which asks people to place their bats outside, started by Paul Taylor, an IT worker from Sydney. It was such an amazing idea and one that pays huge respect to Phil Hughes.

The power of social media especially on Twitter and Instagram ensured that this tribute went viral and that people put their bats out as a mark of respect. It’s incredible how these trends can snowball, and because its for such an amazing cause it makes it even better to see. People that don’t follow cricket or might not have heard of Phil Hughes have put their bats out and paid their own tributes. Thanks to these hashtags the social media world can find out more about the Phil Hughes and what an incredible player he was.

He was such a talented player who’s life was taken away far to early. But the memories of Phil Hughes will remain and the #PutYourBatsOut tribute is such a fantastic way to remember him.

Here’s my tribute to Phil Hughes. RIP.

batts

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Is Snapcash a Wise Move for Snapchat?

Earlier this week Snapchat announced ‘Snapcash’, a new feature that’ll enable users to make payments via Square. This will allow users to send money to each other through the messaging app after Snapchat and payment-processing firm Square unveiled their latest partnership. Square already has a similar platform on its app where friends can make payments to each other, and is called ‘Square Cash’. Ah so that’s where the name Snapcash comes from!

The service will initially be available to US users that are over 18, although for me there are two questions that this new feature poses. Firstly, is it secure? And secondly, why has Snapchat introduced this feature before other potential new features.

Snapchat has had security concerns before, such as users data being leaked, so it surprises me that they’ve introduced probably one of the most security sensitive aspects there is in the exchanging of payments. If simple data like your password is getting hacked, who knows what could happen to crucial bank details. I’m personally slightly sceptical, and wouldn’t really feel conformable about firstly exchanging money on Snapchat, and secondly via a mobile app in general. Additionally, with the problem of sexting and inappropriate images being sent between users, the chances of vulnerable under 18’s getting their bank details stolen rises.

Although having Square built into the system will add authenticity and quality to the security element and give the feature much better safely and control. Also it’s quite a bold move by Snapchat which they should be commended for, as not many mobile apps have this feature so early on in their existence.

For me it’s strange that Snapchat has decided to introduce this payments system before any other major improvements. Obviously they’ve developed new features such as Snapchat Stories and Messaging, but there’s no sign of other aspects that might improve the app. These could include having longer snaps that you can save, creating a profile page or having a commercial platform on it. But the nature of Snapchat is to send snaps to your friends, so why not send payments, it’s still the same C2C theory.

So it’ll be interesting to see whether Snapcash takes off in the US, and then internationally. Will people trust it? Will it bring a whole new market and way of paying people? Or will it be a flop or just a basic feature we forget about.

Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts on Snapcash.

For more digital marketing and social media news, please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart 

Ding Dong to Taco Bell’s Social Media Strategy

When you’re about to launch a ground breaking and unique app for your business, you want to create awareness of it don’t you? A great way to do this is obviously through the power of social media, one of the most influential sources of media there is in the modern era. I mean you’d be a fool not to take advantage of the opportunity to promote something like your new app. How would anyone know about it? How would they download it? So, promotion of it is pretty crucial you’d agree. However, not if you’re Taco Bell. When Taco Bell ‘launched’, and I use that term loosely,their new mobile payment and ordering app they decided to take the unique social media strategy of not promoting the app at all, but instead shut down and black out there entire social media network.

So when users went to Taco Bell’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, they weren’t presented with the usually creative content, but instead blacked out screens, such as the one below on their Twitter.

taco bell

For me this is one of the oddest and most innovative social media strategy launches I’ve ever seen. The last thing you’d think about when launching a new app is to not promote it at all. On the contrary, you’d invest more time and money in promoting it. Maybe through promoted posts on all the main social media channels. It’s such a bold move!

However, Taco Bell is one of the most established brands in America, right up there with McDonalds and Starbucks, and with over 12 million followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, this strategy isn’t as risky as you might think. When you have market clout like Taco Bell you can afford to do this, as all it takes is a small hint, like the hashtag they used ‘#OnlyInTheApp’ to your massive social media audience and the awareness is there!

You couldn’t imagine a small, lesser known fast food brand doing a similar strategy otherwise that would be social media suicide.

The strategy by Taco Bell was incredibly successful as 90% of the chains 6,000 US stores began accepting mobile orders and payments with 75% of all stores already having processed a mobile order 24 hours after the apps launch.

So overall, I feel that as far as social media strategies go, Taco Bell’s is certainly up there as one of the best and most unique I’ve ever seen. It’ll be interesting to see whether other brands do something similar in the future, I guess they might given the success Taco Bell had.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment. For more social media and digital news, follow me @DigitalStuart.