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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mastering Facebook Advertising

Advertising on Facebook can be a cost-effective means of bringing new people to your fan page. To truly harness the value of Facebook advertising, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources to test, analyze, monitor and tweak your ads.
Do this and you may just find a sea of opportunity waiting for your brand, company or event.
The biggest challenge with Facebook advertising is maximizing the efficiency of your ads. In short, this means getting as many Likes for as little money as possible. To help you win this challenge sooner rather than later, here are seven important facts you should know about Facebook advertising that will help you get moving in the right direction.

#1: There are two primary destinations that can be advertised through Facebook

A destination within Facebook is a page, group, event or application. A destination outside of Facebook is a URL.
When creating a new ad campaign from scratch, the Facebook Design Your Ad screen defaults to advertising a destination outside of Facebook. To change this setting, just click the option, “I want to advertise something I have on Facebook.”
A primary distinction between these two types of ads is that with an outside URL, users are only able to Like the ad. For destinations on Facebook, users have the opportunity to Like the page (or RSVP to the event) from within the ad.
The two major benefits of the latter are that (1) users can become connected to your page (or event) without ever clicking on the ad itself (which is a huge benefit for CPC advertisers) and (2) you’re keeping people on Facebook.
Select the “I want to advertise something I have on Facebook” option if your goal is to drive fan page Likes.
As a final thought on this subject, one of the inherent benefits of Facebook is that you can bring individuals into your network and engage with them on an ongoing basis. By driving people away from Facebook, you’re missing out on this opportunity, and consequently defeating one of the primary purposes of advertising on Facebook in the first place.
On the surface, there is only a subtle difference between advertising something on Facebook and advertising an outside URL. But there are actually major differences between the two. Make sure you’re selecting the right type of ad for your goal.

#2: Ad costs and impressions are heavily influenced by click-through rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is an incredibly important measurement for Facebook advertising. Even if your singular goal is to grow fans, regardless of how many people click through, you’ll still need to keep a close eye on CTR. Essentially, Facebook judges the success of your ad on the ad’s ability to get a relatively high percentage of people to click. Facebook rewards successful ads with a lower cost per click or cost per impression and more visibility.
Unfortunately, if your ad drops below a certain CTR threshold it will be nearly impossible to bring it back up. In that case, it’s better to start a new ad than to tweak the one you have. From my experience, having below a 0.1 CTR will almost always result in an underperforming ad. But the criteria for establishing a threshold will depend on the goals you establish.

#3: Targeting friends of connections increases the relevance of your ad

Have you ever seen an ad pop up on Facebook that shows that one of your friends is already connected to that page? Did you feel more drawn to the ad than you would have been if no connections were shown? Fact is, Facebook is really great at peer pressure, and when users see that one of their friends is connected to a page, it increases the chance that they too might want to check it out.
Targeting users whose friends are already connected to your fan page can be a powerful tool for increasing the relevance of an ad.
The downside of the Friends of Connections targeting selection is that it narrows the field of potential ad impressions down by a significant percentage. But, because the cost of the ad is a result of the CTR, having a narrow field of relevant individuals may in fact be more important than having a large field of irrelevant individuals.
Try testing ads with and without the Friends of Connections option selected. You may find that some ads work so well that having that narrowed field may actually hurt the full potential of a given ad.

#4: Facebook advertising takes time

If you intend to get great results from your Facebook advertising, be prepared to dedicate the right resources to supporting the effort.
Facebook advertising requires a lot of trial and error. Every brand, product and company will have a different message and a different audience, and knowing how a given audience will respond is impossible before getting in there and actually trying it.
Create ads, create lots of ads and create new ads every day. Even when you find an ad that works, it will have a limited run. I’ve seen ads that perform well for a few days and some that perform well for a few months. The smaller your potential audience, the quicker your ad will fizzle out.
There are a lot of different variables that can be tested. Test them all – copy, image, demographics, friend connections, interest groups. They’re all important variables that can dramatically change the results of a given ad.
Finally, look at daily analytics. CTRs and CPCs/CPMs change from day to day. An ad can start out with a great CTR, but gradually decrease over time. This means that what was once a $0.05 CPC ad may eventually be $0.50.

#5: An “Action” is an in-ad Like

If you’re advertising a fan page, “Actions” refer to in-ad Likes. In other words, an Action is when someone clicks Like on your ad, but doesn’t click through to your page.
Facebook doesn’t show Actions from the Campaign Overview screen, so you’ll have to click into an ad to see Actions. This may be an extra step, but if at the end of the day your goal is more fans, you need to be keeping track of Actions.
Clicking on a specific ad will give you a more in-depth look into the performance of your ad over time, including number of Actions.
Unfortunately, measuring the actual cost per fan (CPF) of a given ad is not as easy as it should be. And, perhaps at some point in the near future, Facebook will make this a standard measurement tool. But until that point comes, you’ll either need a custom software tool or you can use Actions as a base level estimate for fan acquisition. Just keep in mind that Actions only tell half of the story. The other half is the percentage of people who did click through to your page and Liked your page at that point.
“Facebook does provide a few additional reports that can help you gain a better understanding of the costs and conversion analytics related to acquiring fans. These reports, including the “Advertising Performance” report, can be found in the reports section of the Facebook Ad Manager.”

#6: Daily budget and daily spend limit are not the same

Daily budget is the maximum you would spend in a given day for a single campaign. Daily spend limit is the cap set on your account by Facebook. Your daily ad spend limit is automatically set to $50 per day. So, if you have a daily budget of $500 for campaign ‘A,’ and you continuously max out your spend at $50, this is the reason. To change your daily spend limit, you must contact Facebook directly.

#7: You’re not the only person who can access and edit your Facebook ad dashboard

As discussed, Facebook advertising takes a lot of time and resources. Depending on your organizational structure, it may be beneficial to have multiple people working on Facebook advertising. Under Settings, there is a Permissions section that will let you add other users to your ad account. If multiple people are working on ads at your company, it’s beneficial to have them all tied to one account for a number of reasons.
First, it helps overall measurement and analysis because data between accounts cannot be automatically combined. Second, the more money you spend on Facebook ads, the better access you will have to Facebook Ad staff, which comes in rather handy when you’re looking to get answers and run official promotions on your page.
Allowing multiple people to use and access the same Facebook ads account can help organize resources and data.

There’s a reason why Facebook ad revenue is projected to be over $1.2 billion in 2010. It’s because when businesses manage them correctly, Facebook ads can be an incredibly successful and cost-effective means of tapping into Facebook’s 500 million users. Out of all the reasons why you may consider advertising on Facebook, driving fan page Likes should be at the top of your list. Just make sure that when you do decide to start the process, you understand the factors and resources involved.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quotes Of Note

This may seem obvious, but many may overlook this important statement:

Social Media is a powerful tool, but it is just one of many gears that you need to make up your marketing machine.

Mike Volpe/VP Marketing/Hubspot

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quick & Free Market Research Tips Using Google

There are a lot of cool ways to use Google to do market research. These are some Google queries that will provide you with priceless information. Replace the variables between brackets with whatever applies in your case.

Find Out What People Love About Your Competitors
  • “hate [ACME]“
  • “[ACME] sucks”
  • ACME AND rip off
You should do this with every one of your main competitors.

Find Out What People Hate About Your Competitors
  • “love [ACME]“
  • “[ACME] rocks”

Find Out What People Are Saying About Your Company
Although you can do a one-time Google search for your company name and your CEO’s name, this is something you’ll want to track on a daily basis.

Find Out What Are the Hot Topics in Your Industry
Use Google Trends to search for your main keyword.

Learn More About Your Demographics
Use Google Insights to learn more about your target audience. Quantcast is another awesome tool that you can run on your own site or the top competitor in your industry.


Find Out What Are the Most Common Objections for Your Products
  1. Do a search for forums related to your industry.
  2. Sort the threads to see the ones with more replies at the top. These will be the major concerns of your target audience.
  3. Read the top 20-50 results to have a clear understanding of the most common objections you’re going to encounter.
  4. Use social proof (testimonials, case studies, list of happy clients, references, etc.) that addresses the most common objections to overcome them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Developing a Social Media Strategy

When developing a social media strategy it's important to consider  the importance of transparency: Clear and open communication with clients by members of staff at all levels. 

Unfortunately there are times when this isn’t appropriate. There are hierarchies of information and responsibility in any company, which means social media expansion often requires a clear policy so that anyone with access to social media (which means everyone) stays on message and doesn’t accidentally destroy a lovingly crafted campaign with an ill-advised tweet.
In order to roll out a social program across an entire company, you need to train and educate across your organization, and a properly honed policy is a good way to begin. 
Here area few quick points to consider when putting together a general use policy that will help you ensure maximum engagement and minimum risk.

Get everyone involved

Make sure you communicate exactly how and where your company is utilizing social media.
Your employees should know what is considered acceptable in terms of tone and information, and ensure you inform the entire chain of command as well. Line managers need to know that you approve of staff using social media according to guidelines you’ve set.
If you haven’t used social media before or have restricted access to sites then this becomes doubly important.
Make sure there’s no room for any misunderstandings by clearly communicating and stating what you are trying to achieve through social.

Don’t scare people away

At some point you will need to consider the legal ramifications of social engagement; Copyright, privacy issues, sensitive information and disclosure rules will all need to be covered, but if you focus on these too much then your policy will be weighed down with rules and regulations and will discourage staff from interacting.
Instead, consider the policy a chance to run some cross-company training and to educate your staff in best practice. 
Any form of open communication has a certain amount of risk associated with it, but you can minimize this by taking time to provide proper training.

Don’t be too specific

While it’s important to be clear, there are several basic rules for social media that it’s important to follow.
Make sure staff know the importance of tone and of transparency. You really don’t want staff posting under different names or fake identities on forums for example – they WILL get found out, so make sure you tell them you disapprove of black hat tactics from the get go.
Simple instructions about listening,  considering and responding in an open manner count on every network, so institute a policy that values good ‘social citizenship’.
Think attitude first, tools and tech second. 

Choose (and learn about) your weapons

Now you can think about tools. Outline which platforms you are using and publish step-by-step guides for each, covering points like engagement, tone, and basic etiquette. 
The rules of engagement on Twitter are very different to those on LinkedIn, and individual forums often have their own rules of behavior and different acronyms in play, so make sure employees are aware of this.
You should also focus on the importance of personalization. 
This will help you provide relevant content to your audience and will shorten the time you take to engage, while reducing the risk that your staff will (knowingly or unknowingly) be seen as spammers.

Talk slowly and use big words

Seriously, don't patronize staff, but do make sure everyone can understand your policy.
If you have employees who aren’t used to technical or marketing terminology then don’t use them. 
There may be some legal terms that you can’t edit out, but make sure the whole thing is easy to read and follow. Wherever possible add examples so there’s no room for error and make sure you reiterate why each rule is required.
You don't have to over-simplify, but make sure your policy is written in plain English and shows that you trust staff to use their own judgment. 

Integration occasionally requires segregation

Finally, it's worth remembering that a social media strategy isn't a standalone undertaking. It will need to fit snugly with your overall business strategy, so take time to consider why you are using social media and it's overall value proposition.
It's also worth looking at your overall company structure. While ideally social media should be utilized by every department, those departments may have different procedures that don't fit the same pattern, meaning you'll need to tweak policy to fit with HR, Customer Service, Marketing - anywhere you interact externally.
Make sure you consider parent strategies carefully before leaping in with a one size fits all strategy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Facebook advertising will perform in 2011

The UK’s online advertising spend increased 10% to nearly £2bn in the first half of 2010 according to the IAB. For the first time the survey estimated spend on social networks, at 3% of total online spend. 
Though that’s a rough-and-ready figure, it probably represents around £40-50m in the first 6 months of 2010. There’s no doubt in my mind that a lot of that social spend is going on Facebook and we’ll see that increase considerably through 2011.
The reason?  Facebook is building a powerful performance marketing channel that takes advantage of the enormous amount of user data they have.  Precisely targeted ads, priced by advertisers through an auction system can be shown to any of Facebook’s 500m active users. 
If that ad platform sounds familiar, don’t be surprised – a company called Google has being operating a similar system for the last few years and is doing pretty well from it.
Performance marketing, in its proper sense, is on the up. And it’s changed. Gone are the old ‘throw enough (cheap) mud’ techniques of the very first ad networks. In their place are online ad campaigns that cross the paid media platforms of search, display and social; proper customer attribution analysis, online and offline; measurement based on financial metrics not eyeballs; and predictive and analysis technologies that help marketers plan their budgets based on the best, or combination of the best, performance platforms.
Of course, this kind of marketing has been borne out of the technologies originally associated with search, and so search specialists are leading the way, integrating display and social advertising into their search campaigns. 
Automated bidding platforms, predictive modelling techniques and sophisticated analytics have all made it possible to understand the customer path across online platforms from first search to purchase and target based on specific customer data, rather than buying generic space on a single site.
For the right price, Facebook ads can offer great value at the moment. Of course, getting the targeting right, and bidding the right amount based on that targeting, is critical, as it is with search or other display ads. But the biggest change coming is in the way advertisers can work across these platforms.  It’s possible now to manage a display, Facebook and search campaign in one place, which means you can adjust the campaign, shift budget from one to the other, and improve performance across all three.
In the new world of performance marketing, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Make Your Facebook Content “Top News”

One of the main aims of companies using Facebook for business is generating awareness, as  pointed out in the Facebook Success Summit session on Tuesday afternoon. The top way to do this is to win the News Feed. It seems simple: If you get someone to “like” your company’s Facebook page, then they receive the content you send out, right?
Not exactly.
Your news feed is divided into two sections, “Top News” and “Most Recent News,” and people are automatically directed to their “Top News” feed when they log in. Facebook has even acknowledged that 95% of users only read their “Top News” version of the feed. Thus, to stay on your customer’s radar, your content must fall into the “Top News” category.
“Top News” is determined by the Edge Rank, an algorithm that reflects three components:
  • Affinity Score: The amount you have historically engaged with content by a person/page increases your affinity to the content creator.
  • Timing: The more recent the post, the higher it ranks.
  • Weight: As posts are commented on, liked and shared by other Facebook users and their networks, their overall weight increases.
So, what should you do to continue to appear in the “Top News” section of the News Feed?
  • Post content frequently. This increases your chances via the timing angle.
  • Consider your post timing. Only 35% of Facebook users log in during the workday, research shows. That means “off hours” might work best for posting your content.
  • Use calls to action in your posts. Encourage your fans to like, comment, or share your content to increase the weight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

YuMe Rolls Out "ACE for Advertisers" For Improved Video Ad Management

Video ad network YuMe is rolling out a new product this morning called "ACE for Advertisers" that is being positioned as an end-to-end buy side video ad management system. According to YuMe, ACE for Advertisers offers enhanced control of media planning and buying, ad trafficking and creative management, ad serving and optimization and post-campaign analytics. It can be used across online, mobile and IPTV.

ACE for Advertisers is further evidence of how the online video advertising industry is maturing, with new tools to help major brands and agencies operate at higher scale and move bigger budgets into the medium. For example, YuMe said that ACE for Advertisers allows users to buy directly from publishers by configuring their own private networks, and/or they can tap into YuMe's network of 600 publishers and/or they can use other ad networks or exchanges. In effect, if there's inventory out there to capture, YuMe wants brands and agencies to be able to reach and manage it through ACE. Targeting data from 3rd parties can also be incorporated across these networks.

YuMe's announcement comes on the heels of new research from PwC and IAB yesterday that noted that video advertising was the best-performing category of Internet advertising in the first half of 2010, up 31% to $627 million. While impressive, it's still only 5% of the market, and a minuscule percentage relative to the $60 billion/year in TV advertising.
There is a massive amount of momentum behind online video advertising, and the key to realizing its potential is for brands and agencies to have the proper tools to efficiently plan, buy, manage and evaluate online video campaigns. All of the major online video ad companies recognize this, and as with ACE for Advertisers, they are moving rapidly to bring these new buy side products to market.

Online Video Advertising is Best Performer in FH '10, Up 31% to $627 Million


  Online video advertising is the fastest-growing ad category on the Internet, up 31% to $627 million in first half 2010 from $477 million in first half 2009 according to new research released by PwC US and the IAB.

However, video advertising still only amounts to 5% of total Internet ad spending, with search, at 47% (over $5.7 billion in FH '10) still dominating the landscape. However, video advertising is benefiting significant tailwind and is poised for lots of growth ahead. In its favor are shifting consumer behaviors toward online viewing, an exploding array of premium-quality/brand-friendly content, broad adoption of connected device which enable long-form online-delivered video viewing on TVs, and improved ad infrastructure (e.g. targeting, management, engagement, etc.).

When I talk to executives at video ad networks, brands, agencies and content providers they all confirm lots of activity in moving over TV and online budgets to video. I expect plenty more of this as online video viewership gains further momentum. The full ad spending breakdown for FH '10 is below.

Friday, October 8, 2010

10 Top Reasons To Put Video On Your Site

Ten Compelling Reasons Video Is So Important


We believe video makes a website more human, more accessible and more appealing. But then, as we make videos for a living, you'd probably expect us to say that. So we put together my top ten statistics from research findings, I think you’ll agree that the case for well crafted web video is overwhelming!
  1. "Brands using online video have seen lifts of 20% to 40% in terms of incremental buying, with conversions that are twice the rate of other media." (1)
  2. 21% of web video viewers make a purchase online. (1)
  3. 26% of  web video viewers visit a web store. (2)  
  4. 21% of web video viewers request more information. (1)
  5. Video landing pages generate four to seven times higher engagement and response rates than static image and text landing pages. (3) 
  6. Well optimised video is fifty-three times more likely than text to appear on the front page of Google. (4) 
  7. 68% of the top 50 Internet sites use web video. (5) 
  8. 71% of Internet users watch video. (1) 
  9. 65% of all videos are viewed between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. (1) 
  10. 33% of middle managers view relative videos every day. (1) 

SOURCES:

(1) Chris Crafton, CMO, eCorpTV.com, reported by Target Marketing at a Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association networking and breakfast meeting.
(2) BIA/Kelsey User View study data, February 2010, reported by Turnhere.com.
(3) SearchEngineWatch, February 2010.
(4) Forrester Research, January 2010 .
(5 ) Internet Retailer, July 2010.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Live Streaming Video Jumps 600% in Past Year

Andres Palmiter/Comscore 

Nearly a decade before anyone had heard of YouTube, the first viral video spread among snickering teens and procrastinating college students. Discovered via direct download links and embedded QuickTime players, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “The Spirit of Christmas” not only launched what would soon become the popular animated series “South Park”, but also reinvigorated an entire cable network. What I remember most about “The Spirit of Christmas” was not the story (or the salty language), but the size and quality of the video. The file was huge! And it took close to a day to download! Even after the download bar clicked through to 100%, the video quality was still a fraction of what you’d experience on TV.
A lot has changed in last 10+ years. YouTube, once maligned for its streaming quality, can now pump out videos in 4K (for the uninitiated, that’s 4x the pixels of broadcast/cable HD), most online TV programming can be found in HD, and even the cheapest camcorders have the capability to upload a HD video. All those extra pixels require bandwidth and computing muscle; and fortunately, over the past two years publishers and portals have made the necessary technology investments to create a significantly better viewing experience. Live streaming video, however, with its own pernicious set of tech requirements, has lagged behind the larger Video-On-Demand portals and publishers in terms of consumer experience.
Now more than ever, live online video sites are willing to build out their technology infrastructure to provide a better user experience. For instance, Justin.tv recently announced mobile applications for Android and iOS, the former allowing users to live stream from their mobile device. The growth of broadband (both through regular and cellular networks) has made features unthinkable two years ago a reality today. What’s the payoff? Over the past year, the amount of time American audiences spent watching video for the major live video publishers (Justin.tv, USTREAM, Livestream, LiveVideo, and Stickam) has grown 648% to more than 1.4 billion minutes. By comparison, the amount of time American audiences spent watching YouTube and Hulu increased 68% and 75%, respectively, over the same time period. Though the amount of time spent watching live video is still only a small fraction of the total time spent watching online video, its sharp growth indicates viewers’ growing comfort with the content.
Live online video sites have not only been successful in building audience, but also in keeping that audience tuned-in. For instance, the average live streamed video view is 7% longer than the average online video view. If you narrow the audience to a specific demographic, though, live video really begins to prove its advertising value to media planners. Live video sites are 72% more likely to deliver the elusive demographic, males age 18-34, than the average online video site. In fact, males age 18-34 comprise almost 30% of the total live video viewing audience in our sample sites. Even without the same brand recognition as other portals and publishers, live video sites are able to retain viewers’ attention and deliver desirable audiences for advertisers.

In particular, Justin.tv, USTREAM, and Livestream have exhibited tremendous growth over the past year and are vying for supremacy as the leading live video publisher. In July, USTREAM reached more than 3.2 million unique viewers, with Justin.tv reaching 2.6 million and Livestream 2.4 million. Livestream, though, served more than 160 million videos, compared to roughly 130 million from Justin.tv and 20 million from USTREAM. Those 20 million videos on USTREAM, however, were viewed eight minutes longer on average than videos on Justin.tv and 17 minutes more than those on Livestream. In terms of total minutes, viewers logged nearly 900 million minutes watching Justin.tv in July, outpacing the other two sites.
Although live video sites may not have the cachet or visitor base of more established broadcast brands or larger video portals, they do provide a savvy planner with the tools to reach valuable targeted audiences. As live-streaming technology moves more mainstream content creators will increasingly realize the importance of mirroring their live TV strategy with live online video.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Studies Show Facebook’s Marketing Potential

Facebook is hot. There’s no question that Facbeook has a large audience. But what does this mean for marketers and business owners?

Here are three recent Facebook-related studies that answer these very questions by examining how much time Facebook users invest in the platform, if Facebook ads are effective and other Facebook trends among online merchants.
#1: One-Third of Online Time Spent on Facebook Among U.S. Users

According to recent findings by market researcher Morpace, U.S. Facebook users are on the site for 1 of every 3 minutes of time spent online. Users 18 to 34 years old spend the most time on the site per week (8.5 hours out of 22.4 spent online). Users 55 and older spend an average of 4.6 hours per week on Facebook.

The study also explored Facebook activity by ethnicity. According to the results, Asians were the heaviest users of Facebook. As a group, they devoted the most of their Internet time per week to Facebook (39.6%). African Americans were the second heaviest users at 35.1%. Hispanics spent the least amount of time on Facebook (31.7%).

One of the most interesting stats from this study showed that Facebook users making at least $100,000 annually spent the most time on Facebook and on the web as a whole. This is valuable information for companies selling products and services online.
#2: Facebook Ads Most Effective On User Profile Pages

Facebook users spend more time looking at ads on their own Facebook profiles than they do on news feed pages (their homepages), found a new report by Mulley Communications. Specifically, the study found that 71% of users looked at advertisements on their profile pages, while only 31% of users looked at advertisements on the news feed page.

In addition, 53% of users pay attention to page updates in their news feed wall, which may explain why they mostly ignore ads on their pages.

#3: Online Merchants Loving Facebook ‘Likes’

There’s been a lot of discussion about retailers extending the power of Facebook to their sites. Website conversion company SeeWhy found that 35% of ecommerce online marketers have implemented Facebook’s “Like” plugin, while 33% plan to do so in the near future.

The second most popular Facebook social plugin was the login application, as 18% reported they had implemented it and 15% said they plan to do so in the future. The login plugin allows consumers to skip the registration step and login directly from the merchant’s site. This allows conversion to be simple and quick, which is a huge advantage for the merchant.

Facebook social plugins have been getting a lot of attention from online merchants because they can drive traffic back to their own sites without having to build an entire ecommerce site into their Facebook page. Although 26% of respondents said they plan to build ecommerce applications on Facebook itself, 67% said they plan to use Facebook to actually drive traffic to their sites.

In addition, 44% said they plan to use Facebook applications in place of microsites for launches and specific promotions.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quotes Of Note

It’s not what happens in life that’s important, it’s how you deal with what happens that counts. 

This just occurred to me when we had a hard drive fail on an important  client shoot. Fortunately, we always backup to three different sources...so,  after the heart attack, we were able to salvage the expensive shoot.
I'm sure I'm not the one who first spoke  these words, but the message is clear: 
Backup, Backup, then Backup again!

Facebook Video as Your Secret Weapon to Gain Fans

Video is a preferred medium not only by Facebook fans, but by the news feed algorithm as well. Whenever a non-fan watches your videos, a button pops up in the top left corner suggesting he/she ‘Like’ your Facebook page. To take advantage of this feature though, you’ll have to upload the video file onto the Video Tab inside Facebook (not link to a YouTube video). This is a tactic used by Intel's social media strategists.
When non-fans view your videos on Facebook, they will see the Like button for your Facebook page in the upper left corner of the video screen. This feature is a great tool to gain exposure and recruit new fans. Just be sure your video is of professional quality and contains great content!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 New Studies Show Facebook a Marketing Powerhouse

From Amy Porterfield/Social Media Examiner

When you hear that Facebook is yanking Yahoo from its ranks and inching up on Google’s traffic throne, you can’t help but pay attention.
And if you work for a business or own one, it’s likely that social media marketing is on your radarMore and more marketing dollars are beginning to shift toward social media marketing and this trend only continues to climb.
Here are 5 studies that show how Facebook is undoubtedly a leading online social contender and a key tool that is continually changing the landscape of online engagement and fan loyalty.

#1: Average American Spent 7 hours on Facebook in January

According to recent findings by Nielson Company, Facebook has officially become a favorite pastime for many (but we’ve known that for a while now!).  However, the findings are pretty astounding when you really break it down:
The average time users spend on Facebook is 7 hours per month (a 10% increase).  To put that into perspective, Yahoo! is in second place, but with only 2 hours 28 minutes per month. The fact that people are spending more than 4 hours extra on Facebook compared to leading sites like Yahoo! and Google is information marketers should note when creating their social media campaigns.
This chart shows the breakdown of user time spent on the major sites:

#2: 44% of Social Sharing on the Web Is Driven by Facebook

With the surge of social networking over the past year, we have seen social traffic begin to rival search traffic—and the major players, including Google, are paying close attention to this trend.
TechCrunch recently looked into the services on the web that drive the most sharing and reached out to Gigya for some stats.   What’s Gigya?  Gigya is a company that powers sharing widgets on more than 5,000 content sites, including major players like ABC.com and Reuters. As TechCrunch explains, “Consumers can click a share button on these sites and send an article link, photo, or video via a menu of different services including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and AOL. Over the past 30 days, people have shared almost a million items over the Gigya network.”
Based on Gigya’s data, here’s the distribution of shared items on the web:
  • Facebook: 44%
  • Twitter: 29%
  • Yahoo: 18%
  • MySpace: 9%
This pie chart, courtesy of TechCrunch, shows the breakdown of social sharing on 4 major sites:
In addition, some other interesting stats from Gigya include:
For share of authentication via news sites, Facebook took 31% while Google was close behind with 30% and Yahoo at 25%.
With entertainment sites, Facebook was the major leader with 52% (Google was second with 17%, Yahoo with 15% and Twitter at 11%).
As we have seen with the popularity of social sites, people like to share links with multiple people at one time, versus just one-on-one via email. Because real results are strongly tied to the amount of online traffic you’re able to generate, it’s important to break down the sources of this traffic when considering where to spend your time and marketing dollars.  These stats shed light on where the action is really happening.

#3: Facebook Yanks Number 2 Spot From Yahoo

According to a Compete.com report, there has been a changing of the guard in the online world. Facebook has surpassed Yahoo, now taking its place as the number-two most popular site in the U.S.  Facebook drew nearly 134 million unique visitors in January 2010.Google overtook Yahoo as number one and never looked back. Is Facebook’s next conquest the Google traffic throne?” According to the site, “It’s been two full years since we’ve seen a shakeup at the top—In February 2008,
Here’s a great chart that shows Facebook’s climb to the coveted #2 spot:
But as we all know, the real dollars are in the engagement—and Compete.com says it best: “Facebook is second to none.” In January, 11.6% of all time spent online was spent on Facebook (compared to 4.25% for Yahoo and 4.1% for Google).  Facebook is in it to win, to say the least!

#4: “Faking It” on Facebook Is Rarer Than Previously Imagined

The findings from a recent research study conducted by the journal Psychological Science, show that instead of “faking it” online, people are much more likely to reveal their true selves online and not the idealized image of who they want to be.
A largely held assumption (supported by analysis) suggests online profiles are less than truthful when looking at true personalities of the users, and the researchers in this study set out to test that hypothesis. “There has been no research on the most fundamental question about OSN (online social networking sites) profiles,” notes the report. “Do they convey accurate impressions of profile owners?”
The conclusion of the report was very surprising to most. The report states, “These results suggest that people are not using their OSN profiles to promote an idealized virtual identity. Instead, OSNs might be an efficient medium for expressing and communicating real personality, which may help explain their popularity.”
The study focused on both MySpace and Facebook; however, the popular site Read Write Webbecause it only allows the use of your legal name and due to its long-standing privacy controls, Facebook “provided its users with a sense of safety, security and comfort—they could be themselves—their real selves, flaws and all, without the world watching.” stated that the “real personality” results were more likely to been seen on Facebook than other social sites. They pointed out that

#5: Facebook Boosts Sales and Customer Loyalty

The Harvard Business Review recently featured a new study from Utpal Dholakia and Emily Durham of Rice University.  For their study, they asked the question, “How much do businesses really influence consumers when they launch pages on the site to attract ‘fans’ and pepper them with messages and offers?”
To gauge the effectiveness of Facebook fan pages, the study used one company’s page to measure the effect on customer behavior. For the experiment, the researchers partnered with Dessert Gallery (DG), a popular Houston-based bakery and cafĂ© chain. They first emailed over 13,000 customers from their mailing list to gather store evaluations and information on shopping behavior. Then they launched the fan page and invited the mailing list to the page.  Over the course of three months, the company “updated its page several times a week with pictures of goodies, news about contests and promotions, links to favorable reviews, and introductions to DG employees.”
Three months after that, they resurveyed the fans and here’s the overall result: Facebook changed customer behavior for the better.
Those who had replied to both surveys and had become fans stood out as their best customers. Here’s the breakdown of the findings of their new fans:
  • Store visits per month increased after people became fans.
  • The new fans generated more positive word of mouth than nonfans.
  • They went to DG 20% more often than nonfans.
  • Fans gave the store the highest share of their overall dining-out dollars.
  • They were the most likely to recommend DG to friends and had the highest average Net Promoter Score—75, compared with 53 for Facebook users who were not fans and 66 for customers not on Facebook.
  • DG fans also reported significantly greater emotional attachment to DG—3.4 on a 4-point scale, compared with 3.0 for other customers.
  • Fans were the most likely to say they chose DG over other establishments whenever possible.
“We must be cautious in interpreting the study’s results,” Dholakia said. “The fact that only about 5% of the firm’s 13,000 customers became Facebook fans within three months indicates that Facebook fan pages may work best as niche marketing programs targeted to customers who regularly use Facebook. Social media marketing must be employed judiciously with other types of marketing programs.”
But overall, Dholakia stated that the results indicate that Facebook fan pages offer an effective and low-cost way of social media marketing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Madison Avenue Eager To Get On Board With Social Media

Recently in The Wall Street Journal
As more and more advertising dollars flow into social media, some Madison Avenue firms are seeking to grab a piece of the action. But it will be a tough fight as the space is overrun with companies seeking to own the segment, from start-ups to public-relations firms.
Universal McCann, the media-buying firm owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., is bolstering its social-media offering by launching a practice this week called Rally. The division will help marketers develop campaigns, track online chatter about their brands and measure how those campaigns perform. Headed by Heidi Browning, a former MySpace executive, Rally will house several new social-media hires. MySpace, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp.
Publicis Groupe's digital umbrella organization, Vivaki, says it also will open a social-media consulting practice by the end of the year. The new group will pool Publicis' social-media tools and experts and use them to beef up the social-media practices that many of Publicis' agencies have already established. Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy officer at Vivaki, says he is willing to use his mergers-and-acquisitions budget to bolster the practice if needed.
[SOCIALADS]
The push to form a more formidable presence in social-media advertising is being fueled by the increasing number of marketers who are eager to figure out how they can use sites such as Facebook Inc., which has almost 500 million users, and Twitter, with more than 120 million registered users, as a marketing weapon.
"Social media is now part of all our clients' plans; we can't not be in this space," says Matt Seiler, chief executive of Universal McCann.
Ad spending on social networks world-wide is expected to rise 14% this year to $2.5 billion, according to research firm eMarketer. Although social media represents only a fraction of the $55 billion online-ad market, it is one of the fastest-growing segments.
Some corporations have taken a hands-on role in crafting their efforts: PepsiCo Inc.'s Gatorade, for example, recently created its "Mission Control Center," which is set up like a broadcast-television control room and is charged with monitoring the sports drink around the clock across social-media networks.
But as marketers look to make bigger commitments, they are increasingly seeking experts to navigate the burgeoning space.
Earlier this year, Chrysler Group LLC tapped New Media Strategies, a unit of publisher Meredith Corp., to handle its social-media tasks. In March Kraft Foods Inc. hired 360i, a digital ad agency owned by Japan's largest ad company, Dentsu Inc. The agency has been tasked with monitoring the social-media sites for some of its brands such as Oreo and Jell-O. It also develops campaigns. The agency recently created the "World's Fan of the Week" promotion that appears on Oreo's Facebook page.
Microsoft Corp. is currently searching for a social-media firm to handle duties for its Xbox videogame system, work that is now handled by several of Xbox's agencies, according to people familiar with the matter. Asset-management firm State Street Corp. also has begun looking at firms. A spokeswoman for Microsoft declined to comment.
"We have talked to some PR firms that appear to have established valid expertise over the years, and we are also interested in the new social-media firms that are bubbling up," says Hannah Grove, State Street's head of global marketing.
Creative ad agencies, digital ad firms, social-media boutiques, public-relations outfits and publishing companies are all clambering to get on board.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What You’re Missing By Measuring Social Media ROI Online

BrandSavant/Tom Webster

The short answer is: a lot. If your social media efforts are strictly tied to tweeting out coupon codes, then you have a pretty direct and reliable measure of the efficacy of your efforts: simple conversion. For the rest of us (and, that’s pretty much 99% of us), online measures are not going to capture the full impact and value of social media for your organization. There are lots of smart folks in social media monitoring and sentiment analysis trying to crack the ROI nut, trust me – but mining unstructured data alone will never truly quantify the value of online engagement to offline sales.
For instance, Southwest Airlines (SWA) has a notable presence in social media, particularly with their Twitter account at @southwestair. A lot of people talk about them online, and a lot of the chatter about SWA (particularly in comparison to some of their U.S. competitors) is positive. Buying air travel, however, is not a spur-of-the-moment decision for most people (myself excluded :) ) There is likely to be considerable distance between the point of influence – being favorably predisposed to SWA through their social media interaction – and the point of purchase. In the intervening time, SWA is also likely to run some kind of sale or promotion, and while it may have been that promotion that actually prompted the purchase, it may also have been Southwest’s online behavior that put them into the purchaser’s consideration set.
See where I am going with this? If the offline sale gets the “credit” for conversion, the efforts expended in social media – however important – get little or none. Parsing out the impact of cross-channel media on purchase behavior is a bit of rocket surgery, but well within the purview of a competent CMO – provided, of course, the right inputs are available. If you are only measuring your social media efforts by mining unstructured online data (monitoring, sentiment analysis, etc), then you may be capturing enough to track reputation, or the health of your brand on the social web, but you aren’t tracking enough to make the connection to purchase behavior, particularly in longer sales cycles.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be monitoring or mining this data online; it’s an essential input to the process. You do, however, need to augment it with offline inquiries. This may mean commissioning additional online or offline research projects (depending on where your transactions actually happen), or perhaps adding a few social media indicators into the data you already collect, but the bottom line is that this isn’t really a mystery. It’s done every day by marketing departments all over the world, for other channels and media.
Here’s what prompted me to go down this particular rathole today: I am currently working on a project to measure the impact of a campaign that will target visitors to minor league ballparks across America. The campaign, which has a variety of components, hasn’t run yet, but we are measuring today, in the actual ballparks, before a single tweet, billboard or radio ad has begun. By conducting offline pre-engagement measures at those ballparks, we can sample the fans and develop a reliable baseline for our client. Later, after the campaign has run, we’ll conduct the exact same measures, in the exact same way. Our client will know precisely what worked and what didn’t work (online and offline), because we will have the apples-to-apples, before-and-after analysis to determine what components were successful, and what aspects didn’t perform.
Pretty easy stuff, really: measure before, measure during, and measure after. Measure online, but also measure offline. Works for out-of-home media, works for TV and it will work just fine to quantify the value of your Twitter account. Mining online data can give you a snapshot of what people think about your brand or product on the social web, and tracking this data might even give you a sense of how these perceptions change over time. For most brands, however, the actual behavior change occurs elsewhere. It might happen in an Amazon shopping cart, at a car dealer, or even at a local ballpark. When you can sync your online monitoring efforts with offline measures, one calibrates the other – and the true ROI of social media can be measured, understood and appreciated. For our friends in the social media space, that is what we want for you.

Social Networking Use Will Reach All-Time High in 2014

From Social Media Examiner 
 
In eMarketer’s recent report, “Social Network Demographics and Usage“, it was estimated that 127 million people (57.5% of Internet users) will visit a social networking site at least once a month in 2010.
They attributed the steady rise since 2009 as due in part to the ever-increasing popularity of Facebook. Not only is the number of users growing quickly, but also the audience demographics continue to widen from just teens and young adults. In 2010, they estimated that 59.2% of adult Internet users will visit social networks monthly, up from 52.4% in 2009.
“The connections and interactions that social networking makes possible didn’t even exist a few short years ago,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report. “Status updating, commenting and sharing openly are all activities that will not go away.”
The estimates outlined in the report show a steady rise by 2014.  Two-thirds of all Internet users (164.9 million people) will be using social networks on a regular basis.  Two age groups stand out the most:  In 2014, 56.8% of 55- to 64-year-old Internet users will visit social networks regularly (34.3% in 2009).  In addition, 37.9% of seniors 65 and up will be social network users (14.1% in 2009).
These two graphs show the steady rise in social networking use by 2014.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quotes Of Note

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
 Albert Einstein

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Small Business & A Smart Marketing Model

This is a great example of how a small business can engage customers. Take a look and see if you can find a way to relate this to your own business!...Bet you can!

Chicago-based custom camera package sales and rental company Zacuto has put forth an interesting marketing model for its business: a slate of original web series programming focused on content creation which highlight the store’s products and resources. According to the “Content” page on the Zacuto website, “Not only do we provide excellent customer service for our customers, but we strive to be a information resource in general. Whether it be current topics of the day we discuss in our FilmFellas webisodes, or testing the newest cameras and providing real world results and experiences through many of our videos.”


Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?

A recent study by  R2integrated took a close look at the differences between the marketers who had a solid social media strategy in place versus those without one.
One major finding was that those who responded that their company had profited or increased revenues using social media were almost twice as likely to have a formal social media strategy.
R2integrated CEO Matt Goddard says, “The data compiled suggests that marketers clearly recognize the need for, and see the potential of, social media, but are still trying to develop models that increase real engagement which then leads to profitability.
The overall study took a close look at the differences between the marketers who had a solid social media strategy in place versus those without one.

Another interesting fact from the study was that the perception of social media differed depending on whether the marketer had a social media strategy in place.  Check out the chart below to see how the two different categories perceived social media overall.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Useful Research Tools Your Competitors Don’t Know About

Optimizing web content for the keywords and phrases that your prospects actually use to search is standard operating procedure for anyone wanting to draw search traffic.

Every SEO expert will start with this kind of research as the foundation. The problem is that competition of these phrases can be fierce and keeping up with changes and trends is tough.

Smart marketers are digging deeper and deeper into the emerging heap of real time search data and finding golden opportunities to grab trending topics, news, and unique ways to create and optimize blog posts, videos and web pages based on the conversations that are hot and happening right now.

Below are five relatively unknown tools that can give you insight and a competitive advantage when it comes to determining the best topics for your new content and how to adjust existing content to rise in the search engines.

1. Topsy – Think of Topsy as a people trend engine for Twitter. Topsy looks at the way people are connected and the conversations they are having with each other all over the web.

2. YouTube Keyword Tool – Most people are familiar with Google’s keyword research and related search tools, but did you know that YouTube (the second largest search engine) has the same tools? By visiting and using these tools you can find some great insights about video topics that are hot and ways to optimize your video content to take advantage of what people are searching for on YouTube.

3. Facebook Posts by Everyone – There aren’t many ways to track what’s going on inside of Facebook (unless you are a large advertiser) but you can use the search function to do searches and get some insight into who is talking about key phrases and how you might join those conversations. Make sure you click on the posts by everyone and not just your friends. You might also consider taking a look at the search tool Kurrently.

4. WordTracker Question Search – WordTracker is the paid keyword research tool of choice for most serious SEO folks, but they also have a number of great free tools. One of my favorites is the question search tool. A growing number of searches are questions posed by folks looking for something. This tool allows you to find search volume for questions related to your key phrases. When trying to determine blog post content, this is a killer place to look. If you can answer the questions people are asking most, you’ll score some big long tail search results.

5. Bing xRank – xRank is focused on capturing what’s hot right now. There are a number of trending monitoring tools, including Google Trends, but Bing’s is a sleeper and returns richer results in my opinion.

Finding ways to mine and monitor the real time conversations and using this data to inform your content is a powerful way to stay on top of what your market is looking for and one step ahead of your competition.

How Important Is Marketing On YouTube?

 Will Richmond/VideoNuze

Want a sense of just how far YouTube has evolved from its scruffy user-generated roots to a premier site for big brand launches? Then head over to YouTube.com now and you'll see huge rotating rich media campaigns running for VISA, with a tie-in for the new Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3 (opening tomorrow) and for Xbox's new Kinect motion-sensing feature (the "Wii-killer" unveiled earlier this week at E3).

From a brand launch perspective, these are about as big as they get, with huge money and franchises at stake for all of the companies involved, not to mention the positive or negative career impact for the marketers driving the media strategies at these companies. The fact that both are advertising prominently on YouTube says volumes about the site's importance in the online advertising world and its evolution from its UGC start.

It wasn't that long ago when YouTube was derided an un-monetizable jumble of amateurish clips. It's also worth noting that, as best I can tell, neither the Kinect nor VISA/Toy Story 3 campaigns are running on Yahoo, AOL or MSN right now, the traditional online homes for big brand launches. Now imagine when YouTube is available on TVs via Google TV and you get a sense of just how important YouTube is going to be, and how strategic it has become for Google which is trying to expand beyond search ads.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quotes Of Note

On how Social Media has changed the world of marketing:

"It's Not Who You Know Anymore....It's Who Knows YOU!"

Rocky James/West Gate Media

2010 Promises Massive Digital Video Adoption — and Advertising Potential

Meghan Keane/Econsultancy

If there was any doubt among media buyers about putting money into online video advertising, 2010 should be the year to change that. Consumers are increasingly turning to the digital space to watch video. Moreover, the influx of professionally produced content is making the digital space more friendly to large advertisers.
As with most any medium, if the eyeballs are there, advertisers will follow. Now it's just up to the medium to deliver on the predictions coming in for the next year.
According to a new survey from eMarketer, video content is being consumed online at a rapidly growing clip. eMarketer found a quarter of Internet users were watching TV online in 2008. Almost 30% did so in 2009. And 77% of all internet users in the U.S. will watch videos online by 2014.
Hulu has played a huge part in expanding the audience for online video viewing. According to comScore, Hulu ranked second only to YouTube in overall streams viewed in April, with an audience of 38.7 million monthly unique visitors.
In the past year, the quantity of professionally produced "made-for-online" video has greatly expanded.  And because the content is improving, digital is no longer a place that advertisers are wary of. User-generated-content has long been a topic that scares brands. But even YouTube has greatly expanded its inventory of professionally produced content online. In addition, Netflx' streaming video option is getting users more comfortable watching feature content online.
Among people who already watch video regularly online, half are streaming TV shows according to eMarketer's numbers. In 2011, that number will jump to 56%.
And those numbers get much higher for younger viewers. A recent report from Retrevo found that 29% of all people under 25 get all or most of their TV online, compared with only 8% of the entire video-watching population. Meanwhile, Andersen Analytics' recent survey of 1000 college students found that 86% of 18- to-24-year-olds surveyed identified as online video watchers. But in the previous week, 69% of respondents had watched an entire TV episode or movie online. That's a significant number for advertisers to take note.
And the growth in full-length video watching is not limited to younger viewers. According to Ipsos, the number of people watching full-length movies online more than doubled between September 2008 and October 2009.
Advertisers are taking notice. Chris Allen, director of video innovation for Starcom USA, tells MediaPost:
"It seems to be an advantage to bring digital along with TV as we start to get into pricing discussions.
Of the 361 industry executives surveyed for MediaPost's "Video Marketplace Study, a majority of respondents who currently are not involved in online video campaigns plan to work on them in the next year.
With adoption of devices like the iPad on the rise, the case is increasingly being made for digital video advertising. Interaction rates (which measure the number of people who expand and engage with ads) ranged from .9% to 1.5% in the first month after the iPad release, up to 6 times the number for comparable expandable ads on desktop computers. The iPad is just one way that the digital video viewing experience is being streamlined and improved. And though currently high interaction rates may be due to the novelty of the platform, the improved experience for watching video and surfing online is prime for advertising. An idea that has not gone unnoticed among advertisers.