#SocialSkim: Grumpy Cat’s Film Debut, Elections on Social, Brands on Movember, More!

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How’d the US midterm elections play out on social? Which brands are pushing out ‘staches for Movember? Why won’t Beyoncé use Twitter? And can memes make it on the big screen? Skim for the answers to these burning social questions!

The most epic safety video ever made. Continuing its efforts to build on New Zealand’s “Middle Earth” fame post-Lord of the Rings, as well as a (welcome) trend by airlines to fun up the dreary safety video, Air New Zealand gives us The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made. Info on oxygen masks and exit row locations are cut with LotR-inspired scenes and cameos from Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson. A hashtag, #airnzhobbit, also ensures fans can easily spread buzz about the vid, which generated over 12 million views since its mid-October release. The only setback: You’ll be hard-pressed to find real hobbits in New Zealand. Still, there’s a cool lesson here in riding pop culture for big lift, and tapping into what makes your niche special.

Facebook rocks the vote. Over 85 million related interactions happened on Facebook on Election Day—counting likes, comments, shares and users of the I’m a Voter feature. In 2010, the visibility of that button sent 340,000 additional voters to the polls. Given how Facebook’s demographics skew, and additional news that the button appeared at different times for different people, some believe its presence can skew polling results (favoring Democrats, though it wasn’t the case in this election… or the one in 2010).

Political leaders schmoozin’ social. A Pew Research poll finds that more voters, especially those age 30-49 and 50-64, are following political leaders on Twitter. Registered Republicans following political figures jumped from 8% to 18% between 2010 and 2014; Democrats went from 5% to 15%, and Independents from 6% to 16%. The biggest reason? To learn more about political news before others.

Brands and stars jumped in, too. Here’s a breakdown of how brands got involved in bringing voters out (for better and worse). Celebs also piled on the influence… with voting-related selfies (some well-informed, like the one below, and some less so—like Kim Kardashian possibly thinking that Obama’s running again.). If the people’s choice inspires you, check out content marketing tips inspired by Election Day.

Grow a ‘stache for men’s health. It’s Movember! A few years ago, the Movember Foundation—which supports research for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues—started an ingenious campaign: Through the month of November, men are encouraged to grow facial hair to raise awareness. Brands aboard this year include Bauer Hockey (shown below), Toblerone, BlueCross BlueShield, Campbell’s, and Just for Men, which uses a video to try galvanizing ‘stache-growers for the cause… and for men’s hair dye.

Cosmo can be funny… on purpose! Cosmopolitan—the gal-rag purveyor of (oft questionable) tips on improving your sex life—launched a Facebook-exclusive video series that builds on the lifehacking trend with comedy. In the below video, find tips for the perfect smoky eye (spoiler: You really shouldn’t take that advice). The campaign targets 20-something women with a self-deprecating sense of humor who are also, most likely, sick of makeup how-tos. The “Hacksmopolitan” campaign is enjoying 53% more shares than its other posts—a testament to its success as well as to the engagement power of Facebook video.

Post by Cosmopolitan.

Snapchat’s talking business. Now that its first ad is off the ground, Snapchat’s in talks with Comedy Central, Vice, BuzzFeed, Spotify, and others to launch Discover, a new section featuring articles, music, and videos—making it a full-blown media app, in addition to your one-stop shop for disappearing messages. Partners are encouraged to find brands to sponsor this content; Snapchat will take a portion of the gains. To get people to “discover” often, the content will disappear after a defined amount of time (for now, though, there’s no limit to the size of the content itself). Below is a mockup that Digiday cleverly managed to procure.

Step into that global footprint. To help creators expand their presence, Vimeo’s launched translation and subtitling, as well as currency options, for its Vimeo Pro and Vimeo On Demand creator toolsets. The caption and subtitling tools include a self-service editor that lets you easily create captions or subtitle files. You can also purchase professional captions and subtitles via Amara, which is powering the tool. A Japanese version of Vimeo is also available now.

Video ads: now on Instagram. Social video’s exploding, and Instagram’s inked its first video advertisers, including Disney, Activision, and the CW. Each will create a 15-second video ad set to autoplay on the photo sharing site. CW’s seizing the opportunity to promote The Flash, a show about the superfast superhero—seen here:

Take your Instagram users shopping. Marc Jacobs may not have Insta-sponsored videos yet, but this low-fi campaign may prove just as strong: It’s created a way for users to buy products featured on its account. Register here with your email and Instagram account name, after which you’ll receive a weekly email on how to buy whatever’s featured on @marcbeauty, provided the posts include a #shopmjb hashtag.

That one time Grumpy Cat cashed in. It isn’t uncommon for Internet stars to make the jump to TV, and Grumpy Cat—a cat known for its grumpy-looking face—is no exception. Lifetime’s releasing “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever,” hoping to build on the popularity of a meme so famous it’s sold books. Can you build a film around a cat’s one unvarying facial expression? Of the 2.4 million people who’ve seen the trailer, over 7,000 downvoters (over half of voters) say no. Much has to do with the tone; as one commenter said, “It’s like adults trying to ‘get in with the kids.'” It isn’t enough to know your meme; know the people who love it, too.

Maximize 30 minutes on social media. Can you research, plan, compose, and schedule stories in 30 minutes? Buffer App lists the daily tasks of social media managers, breaks them down to barebones, and explains how. It also provides a handy set of tools and then details how to use them. We’ll be trying this out, but if you have feedback, feel free to share it.

Why won’t Beyoncé use Twitter? Music Ally asked her digital strategist, Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood. The answer: “Instagram is something that Beyoncé most of the time uses directly herself” for “talking” to fans, while Facebook is for more promotional purposes (though Wirtzer-Seawood insists the posts be organic and not salesy). As for Twitter? “Beyoncé really prefers to communicate in images. It’s very hard to say what you want to say in 140 characters.” (YouTube, on the other hand, is considered a “secondary support channel” to Facebook.) Tear a page out of Beyoncé’s playbook: Think about why you use each platform. It’s OK to say no to one or a few.

We’ll wrap with some satire à la St. John. Known for its tongue-in-cheek takes on marketing strategy (notably the Pink Ponies case study), agency St. John tackles real-time advertising (think Oreo Super Bowl). You may recognize its symptoms: The race to be first to jump on a live moment, the monitoring and staffing demands of real-time, and pressure on both agencies and brands to demonstrate social-savvy in everything we do—even in the titles of your corporate leaders (all conveniently hashtagged in this video). The moral? Listen to learn, not just react.

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