What’s New in Social Media Monthly

Here’s a couple of things that are new to social media this month, that we would like to share with y’all:

1.  Facebook updates ‘Nearby‘ app:

The idea behind nearby is to be able to find places near to your location, that your friends can like, check-in to, or recommend. You can also share these places with your friends if you so desire. This puts Facebook in direct competition with services such as Yelp and Foursquare, and early predictions from Forbes and Techcrunch.com say that their competition should be worried.

2. Google+ launches Communities:

With Google+’s new launch, people can build communities around the interests they love, so they can start a hangout, share pictures and articles, or create events with like-minded people. It also just became available on mobile for iOS and Android.

3. YouTube rolls out a new look (I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now):

The focus for the new look on YouTube is to get their users to sign up for more subscriptions and get them watching more channels. They want users to do this to make it easier to go from platform to platform and still be able to view favourites just as easily, on the new guide. From YouTube, the idea is: “Once you subscribe, those channels and all of your favorite videos will be delivered to you wherever you like to watch, whether it’s on your phone, tablet, TV, or desktop.”

The 36 Rules of Social Media

Here’s a cool infographic on social media courtesy of Fast Company:

36-rules-social-media-infographic

Create a Better Marketing Mix by Pairing With Social Media

I came across an article on adage.com a couple weeks back that talked about why TV and social media need each other.  The article pretty much says that although TV commercials are effective while they are running, they are costly, short term, and are usually forgotten about after the campaign has ended. By backing up your TV ads with social media, your campaign can get even more exposure, and can extend brand awareness long after the TV ads have ended.

This got me thinking how social affects other types of media. One thing that is noticeable on TV shows nowadays is the presence of a hashtag for the show somewhere on the screen during the program. For example, this image from the Fox show Bones (hashtag #Bones on bottom right).

The idea behind this is so fans will use the official hashtag of the show, and Fox is better able to measure the social audience and follow what conversations are currently happening. Simply put, using social media can lead to a bigger picture: Facebook posts and tweets can help drive customers to a website, a bus stop ad can encourage future consumers to like a facebook page, and an entertaining commercial can lead to users sharing the youtube video.

Another popular use for social media by TV shows and movies is to provide their fans and followers with sneak peeks and other exclusive offers. This is useful because it helps create anticipation for the upcoming release or season, as well as it builds fan loyalty. This also helps to keep your fans engaged with your product and take notice of your posts, instead of ignoring them.

As with any relationship, there can be a negative side. If your marketing mix isn’t carefully planned out, disaster can strike. One good example of this: A&E’s Storage Wars thought it would be a good idea to have live tweets from their hashtag scroll across the top of the screen while the program was airing. What ensued was a PR nightmare, as followers tweeted anything they felt like, which included inappropriate-for-live-TV comments.

Facebook’s Page Reach Rumours Debunked

Facebook Like PhotoOn Monday I posted a summary of some of the discussion around Facebook throttling back page reach in what appeared to be an effort to encourage promoted posts. Today, Techcrunch posted a great article debunking some of these rumours and explaining why the assumption many of us made was wrong.

The short version:

Facebook Pages have always only reached a small percentage of their fans with each post. The launch of Promoted Posts had no impact on the news feed reach of the average Page. What actually happened was that Facebook made it easier to report Pages for being spammy. It also changed how it picks what shows up in the news feed so that Pages that get frequently reported for spam show up less often. Most Pages weren’t affected by these changes, but spammy Pages got penalized and they’re the ones complaining. The moral of the story is don’t spam your fans, and everything will be fine.

And a more detailed explanation:

So why did Dangerous Minds’ Page and some other Pages start getting less news feed views and clicks to their posts? There are two reasons.

One is that these Pages appeal to newer Facebook users who don’t Like that many Pages or have many friends. So originally they might have been seeing more of these Pages that later saw their reach drop. But over time these fans added more friends and Liked more Pages. That meant there was more competitions for space in their news feeds, and all their friends and Liked Pages started showing up less frequently. Just to be clear, all the Pages that saw a drop weren’t necessarily doing anything wrong.

The alternative, but more common reason is that people thought those Pages’ posts were spammy. That’s because they were posting too frequently, people found their content irrelevant or misleading, or their messages seemed like intrusive marketing. Facebook doesn’t want to show its users spam so it limits the reach of spammy pages.

There are a few great takeaways from this article, including how page reach works, algorithm changes Facebook made in September, and some sage advice for Facebook page administrators:

So what should Pages do now? Focus on publishing high quality content. Don’t post too often and don’t cram your marketing down people’s throats. Be entertaining and informative. Then follow your analytics closely, consider hiring experts that can help, and refine your strategy.

And also that sensational headlines can make you look silly.

How To Get More Clicks

Great work by Toronto agency John St. as they have some fun showcasing their viral video “product” Buyral. They even launched a standalone website with clever ‘add to cart’ shopping area and view counter. Hilarious.

 

 

Pinning for a Plan: Why Pinterest Can Be a Useful Part of Your Marketing Plan

This past week I finally joined many of my friends on Pinterest. When a new social media network comes out, I usually like to wait to see how well people adopt it before I take the plunge. Although none of my male friends have really taken to it, it has become quite popular with my female friends and many of them urged me to join. So I did. Within days I have easily navigated my way through the basics and admittedly have become addicted.  After setting up a few boards, and looking at how businesses run their Pinterest account, it’s easy to see some great opportunities for marketing.

One of the first advantages is plain and simple: huge brand exposure. Over 80% of pins are repinned, which means if your company posts content that is appealing or interesting, chances are it will work its way through the Pinterest community. These people that see your pin might then work their way back to your boards to see what else you might be posting, which creates great awareness of your product.

Another advantage is the cost. If you are working with a small marketing budget, you can create awareness and gain followers without much time or effort (as well as cash) spent. Pinterest is a great way to promote your current products, events, and promotions without having to constantly update a website to do so.  Updating a website is costly and time consuming, and doesn’t already have a community built around it to reach quickly. Click here to read the rest of the article

Facebook’s Prohibition: Lessons Learned from Boardwalk Empire

In HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, a cast of prohibition era gangsters manipulate the sale of alcohol to maximize their profits. Distribution channels get squeezed, partners are cut off, prices rise, and businessmen scramble to maintain their livelihood.

Boardwalk Empire - Nucky ThompsonSince spring, Facebook page administrators that closely monitor their analytics have noticed a significant shift in how their posts are displayed in their follower’s newsfeeds. Dangerous Minds wrote a great article discussing how they are being impacted under the subhead ‘The Biggest ‘Bait N’ Switch’ in History?’

When we first noticed the problem, our blog had about 29,000 Facebook “likes.” Our traffic was growing 20% month over month, but our Facebook fans grew at a far faster pace. We were getting hundreds of new ‘likes” every day. Still do. As I write this, our Facebook fans now number over 53,000, not quite double what it was then, but give it another month or so and it will be.

53,000 is a more than respectable number of Facebook fans for a blog that’s only been around for a little over three years. So why is it that our pageviews—our actual inventory, what we sell to advertisers—coming from Facebook shares are off by half to two thirds when the number of new “likes” has risen so dramatically during this same time period?!?!

Simply put, it appears that Facebook is throttling back the reach on page posts in an effort to encourage advertisers to pay to reach their full audience. And on the other side, people who intentionally ‘liked’ a page to subscribe to its posts are now seeing them less often in their feeds. The New York Observer suggested pages now reach, on average, only 15% of their likes. Click here to read the rest of the article

CTR: One Piece of a Larger Puzzle

MediaMind and the IAB recently released a great report outlining regional and vertical benchmarks for online performance metrics. It’s a quick way to answer questions around what kind of performance to expect from a campaign, but it’s still important to qualify those expectations by noting that performance will depend on creative, media placements and other factors.

Puzzle Piece PhotoWhen analyzing a display campaign’s success, one statistic many advertisers focus on is click-through rate. Many of of them were ‘raised’ to depend on CTR as digital marketers guided them into the online space. They propped up CTR as the one-stop target for campaign success.

But in the last few years, there’s been a lot of attention on why CTR is overrated. We know only a small percentage of users will intentionally click banner ads, and there are several reasons why. In Canada, we are even more unlikely to click. We don’t even click polite banners. We know online works, and we know that there is a stronger correlation with conversions coming from seeing ads than clicking ads. And now the challenge is to change the discussion to more meaningful statistics. Click here to read the rest of the article