ü Oughta Know — Facebook Brings Big Data Ads to Any Sized Business, The Worth of a Retweet and Plugg.io

ü Oughta Know is a combination of digital crib notes and marketers’ cheat sheet, bringing you important – and occasionally weird — stories and trends from digital marketing news.

Each week our hope is to help keep your knowledge sharp while providing a delightful craving of classic Alanis Morissette.  Here’s what you oughta know:

Facebook Ad Targeting Becomes More Robust

With brands relying more and more on Facebook’s hyper-targeted content promotion abilities to share their messaging, Facebook’s new core audiences offers a few new uses for the platform.

Facebook recently announced ‘Easier, More Effective Ways to Reach the Right People on Facebook.’ Among the changes, smarter location targeting and more robust demographic targeting compliment an ever growing list of target-able interests. These new core audiences include new relationships statuses, job title and workplace as well as important life events.

With this, Facebook becomes an even more relevant platform for not only consumer targets, but for B2B as well. Now, organizations can targeting decision makers by job title in your geographic area. This also shows potential for recruitment efforts with targeting by location, degree and/or current job title. Previously, this business-life targeting was the realm of LinkedIn alone.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of Facebook’s recent announcement of Partner Categories, a targeting option that allows for reaching audiences based on data such as household purchase information, loyalty card programs and vehicle registration data borrowing from big data power-houses such as Axciom, Datalogix and Epsilon.

Rethinking the Worth of a Retweet

How many retweets your content gets may mean nothing. Or it may mean something. That was the news recently when Chartbeat’s CEO said that people are tweeting stories without even reading them. So that follower who you thought retweeted that great content you wrote because it was so freaking brilliant, may not have even read it at all.

Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile tweeted earlier this month, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” (That data is here).

HubSpot’s Dan Zarella came to a similar conclusion in 2012. He found that 16 percent of tweets he looked at had generated more retweets than clicks.

But here’s something interesting: Upworthy’s analytics show that people who get all the way through a piece of content are more likely to share than people who don’t read it at all. And the amount of time people spend on a page correlates with whether they come back or not. Chartbeat tweeted Feb. 4: “Did you know visitors who read an article for three minutes returned twice as often as those who read for one minute?”

So here’s the bottom line: People retweet after they haven’t read anything – or after they’ve read everything. That means the number of retweets is perhaps not nearly as important as how long people are actually engaged.

What do you think? Are clicks more important than engagement? Do you share content without reading it?

Tips and Tricks | Twitter Pro-Tools – Plugg.io

There is a clear line between strategically following people to introduce yourself and mass-following by the thousands. Twitter will step in if brands resort to the later high-churn style, but using the follow as a way of introducing yourself and your organization is old hat on Twitter.

So you’ve been strategically following Twitter users for a year, and it’s worked out really well for your building a following. Now, how can you easily manage both the large list of those who don’t follow your brand back, and those who unfollow your brand over time?

Plugg.io is a free Twitter tool for building and maintaining a social media following. While I wouldn’t manage a brand entirely from it, it makes a solid compliment to HootSuite, Buffer, SocialBro or similar tools.

Two features earn Plugg.io a spot in our toolkit.

Plugg.io’s real-time Twitter monitor searches Twitter for accounts matching set criteria such as following, age and topics discussed. While SocialBro and other discovery tools offer this as well, Plugg.io’s real-time nature makes it useful during Twitter chats or for following busy hashtags around tradeshows and events.

Plugg.io also has one of the easiest ‘unfollow’ options of any tool we’ve reviewed. In addition to offering a list of all those you follow who do not follow you back, it offers a simple 2-click unfollow for 1 to 100 unfollows. It also keeps a running ‘white-list’ of accounts you’ve flagged, so it will only list the accounts you intend to unfollow.

ü Oughta Know — Facebook Remarketing, Opportunities with Paper, and Building From the Ground Up

ü Oughta Know is a combination of digital crib notes and marketers’ cheat sheet, bringing you important – and occasionally weird — stories and trends from digital marketing news.

Each week our hope is to help keep your knowledge sharp while providing a delightful craving of classic Alanis Morissette.  Here’s what you oughta know:

Facebook Introduces Ad Targeting Remarketing Fans will ‘Like’

In the coming weeks, Facebook announced it will be introducing new remarketing/retargeting capabilities to all advertisers. These added features will allow brands and organizations to Facebook adds remarketing/retargetingtarget those users who are already using their websites, campaign microsites and mobile apps.

This new rollout makes effective remarketing to current and potential customers on Facebook’s mobile and web experiences available to even the most conservative of online advertising budgets.

This capability has been used by online giants such as Amazon for some time through FBX (Facebook Exchange) and third-party partners.

Also be on the lookout for stronger calls-to-action to accompany promoted content on Facebook, with native buttons to include ‘download,’ ‘shop now’ and ‘sign up.’ These buttons will appear with promoted content linking to brand and organization websites on both mobile and desktop.

More Facebook: FB Rolls out its ‘Paper’ app

Facebook is celebrating its 10th birthday with the release of Paper, an iOS mobile reader app with a presentation that’s similar to Flipboard. And judging by the introductory video, it’s going to create a whole new Facebook experience.

Facebook announces PaperPaper will take stories from your news feed and add stories — curated by humans and algorithms — from publications. You’ll be able to customize Paper with themed sections that you pick, so you can follow what you’re interested in and perhaps uncover things you may not have come across on your own.  In its news page, Facebook says that the first section will be your News Feed; you then have a choice of themed sections with a mix of what Facebook describes as “content from emerging voices and well-known publications.”

The pictures and videos are big and bold and the flip animation is pretty amazing. And while all this is cool, the big question is, what does it mean to marketers?

The answer, as of Feb. 3 when the app is released, is … nothing: The app will premier ad-free. But according to TechCrunch, Facebook is considering how they can naturally integrate ads; Information Week suggests the app won’t stay ad-free for long; and mobile entertainment says the team at Facebook is “toying with autoplay videos and video advertising.”

All of which could provide some interesting opportunities for digital marketers. Stay tuned.

Google Gives Us Something to Build On

Have you run out of ways to waste time while you’re at work? Don’t tell the boss we told you, but Google just released Build With Chrome, a desktop Lego building kit for the kid in all of us. You can let Google use your location and it gives you that as a base, or you can choose a base from anywhere in the world. The app lets you see what others have built; you can also share your buildings and see what’s been built by people in your circles on Google+.

Screen shot of Build With ChromeAmanda Kooser at CNET points out several very cool things about Build With Chrome: No sorting through buckets of bricks; you can change the color of your bricks; and you’re unlikely to step on one. I’d like to add: and the dog probably won’t eat any of them.

I haven’t been able to fully immerse myself in Build With Chrome because, after all, I’m at work and it would be totally, totally wrong to spend my time like that, but I’m fairly certain Building With Chrome will cause me to lose large amounts of time when I’m supposed to be doing something else – at home of course.

Tips and Tricks – IFTT Stands for Automation for All

As a C-level exec or marketing professional, you’re judged more on your effect and efficiency than your effort.

While wedü usually talks about automation from the angle of marketing automation, this week’s tip lets you free up some of the day with a web app that can automate everything from text-message alerts when a new Google Alert drops to automatically saving your fan’s social media posts to a Google doc.

‘If This Than That, or IFTTT (www.ifttt.com) connects with over 75 web apps, online services and physical devices to allow for useful, creative and odd automation recipes.

With channels ranging from RSS feeds and Facebook brand pages to smart-home equipment and popular productivity tools, there’s an unlimited arrangement of recipes available.

What’s our favorite IFTT recipe?

Our personal favorite recipe is to receive a text or mobile alert when a message is posted to social media channels of our clients. This allows us to have an extra check on post scheduling platforms such as Hoot Suite, but also lets us be one of the first to know if account security is compromised.

The Rising Numbers of Facebook Advertising

There are a lot of commas in those advertising numbers. Typically, I wouldn’t say that advertiser adoption and spend is a clear indicator of success, especially in the technology arena. Fads come and go and whether it’s QR codes or augmented reality, they may enjoy quick adoption before they find their proper place as an advertising channel.

Sample Facebook Advertising Infographic 2013

Facebook The Evolution | Advertising Trends and Users


Facebook is still struggling to find the right mix of community service and advertising revenue. Their latest announcement of auto-play, inline video advertising has a few people wondering who is making the decisions in Silicon Valley, but again, they will find the right mix.

The numbers for advertising both desktop and mobile have clearly continued to climb in the digital arena. The reasons are simple – #1 Better targeting, #2 Better measurement and if you’re any good #3 Better results. This infographic shows the growth of Facebook’s advertising platform in gross revenue. It also shows the spend per MAU (Monthly Active User) is on the rise. Two items will drive the average spend per user higher – Continue reading

Engagement Drivers Haven’t Changed

Social media may continue to evolve, but frankly – humans don’t. Well, at least not nearly as fast. For years people have heard me say, “Consider the E-Reaction to your posts.” Open any social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. Look at all the posts. I bet each and every post will fall into one of the following 5 categories – Ego, Emotion, Entertainment, E-Currency, Education. Those are the 5 ways to get solid engagement.

Since I’ve said every single post will fall into one category you may think, well, then everything gets engagement. NO! Of course not. You must still match the type of engagement to your audience. You probably have various audience segments, and you need to appeal to all of them at some point and time. Non-profits may tend to use the emotional driver. Retailers may use the E-currency or coupon driver. They all work with the right mix of message and audience.

Focus your efforts on identifying how your E-Reactions compare over time with your various audience members and you’ll learn to execute even better.

e-reaction 1

The Future of Facebook

facebook page engagementFacebook has made yet another change to its look and feel. At this point, the largest social networking site in history has undergone more transformations than Madonna. But is the problem with Facebook related to look, feel and functionality, or is its problem more deep-seeded than that?

Don’t get me wrong – hundreds of millions of people still go to Facebook every day for a quick dose of information, and it’s still a place where agencies like wedu are helping brands build communities, increase engagement and drive sales. But I know that Facebook hasn’t solved the revenue puzzle, at least not in a way that will help them both increase sales and drive their mission of making the world more open and connected.

The average Facebook user has 262 friends. By virtue of my past, I’m well above that number, making it difficult for me to see what is going on with the people I am more connected to. In spite of Facebook asking me a while back to categorize my friends into buckets to help it serve information to me more efficiently, I still miss updates from old valued friends, groomsmen, mentors, you name it. (Not to mention that a lot of these people simply set up profiles and rarely post, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Facebook has become a means for me to get my news – no longer do I hear about things in passing, but most news is spread as a trending status update. It has become a way for me to see what is going on with more prolific posters. And it has become a way for me to engage with brands. At this point, my news feed is basically a reality show of bit players in my life and their interactions with me, broken up by product endorsements from people Facebook thinks I’m close to and overt ads from brands Facebook thinks I will like.

One way of sifting through the static (which has worked pretty well) is the Facebook “Close Friends” list. I can add specific people to this list and receive push notifications when they post to Facebook. (For those who haven’t used it, the “Close Friends” are noted by a yellow star icon.) The casual user just hasn’t gotten to a point where they’re maintaining their lists in this manner, meaning that their news feeds will continue to be cluttered, resulting in lower engagement, fewer site visits, and ultimately, defections from the site.

A number of recent articles have highlighted the defection of teens from Facebook to other social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter. In fact, when I post a pic to Instagram, I can bet with complete certainty I’ll have two likes immediately – from my 15- and 11-year-old nieces. They’re connected there. On Facebook, I don’t see the same level of engagement.

At this point, I’m not saying Facebook isn’t the place for a lot of brands to be – quite the contrary. There are ways to affordably build an audience, engage with that community and market to it. But looking at what has curtailed my Facebook use as well as what has driven teens from Facebook tells me that there are questions Facebook (or someone) needs to answer, namely how does it generate revenue unobtrusively while ensuring that users have the appropriate kind of engagement? When I joined Facebook (way back in 2007 – seems like the Dark Ages now), it was addicting. Finding old friends, seeing what they were up to, learning about other cool things that other people liked, becoming involved in the minutia of everyone’s lives – it was awesome. As time has gone on, my friend list has reached a sort of critical mass. I’m not getting new friend requests for two reasons: I just don’t meet as many people as I did when I was younger, and I’m already connected to the vast majority of people I want to be connected with. In many ways, the excitement of Facebook is gone, at least for me.

So what do you think? Is there something bigger and better on the horizon which will help digital marketers reach their audiences without turning the same audience off?

 

Image Credit: Facebook

What is that Brand Doing?

In this ever-changing, constantly moving world it has become increasingly difficult for brands to reach the people they most want to talk to –consumers.  But at the same time it has become ever so easy to reach these people, too – socially.

mobile marketing

We, as consumers, can pick up our phones or tablets or open up our laptops at any point we want during the day.  We can poke our heads in to the networks we’re all part of, and we can see what our friends our doing in real time.  We also can check out what’s going on with our favorite brands, events and celebrities – sometimes on our own terms and sometimes on theirs.

But what most brands are missing is who we really are, as consumers, and how to speak to us.  Why?  You think it would be easy to talk to the people who use and buy your products or services.  But here is the rub: we consumers are more than just one person.  There are millions of different reasons that we all use the product or service that ‘brand x’ offers.  To try and speak to us in a universal manner really doesn’t work anymore.  Furthermore, you can’t sell me on your product if you’re not sharing about it in a manner that matters to me; if it’s not relevant to me, than why should I care?  That’s what brands are up against and it’s up to them to identify what the remedy is for this.  Lucky for brands, consumers are laying the foundation for them.

Know Me

In today’s social world, one of the first steps a brand needs to take is to identify the consumers who are relevant to them.  The brand needs to ask: Who is consuming my content?  Social media users create detailed profiles and share a lot of information.  In looking at their profiles, interests and where they’re from, brands can create the first thing vital to social success: targeted communities.

in lineIdentifying consumers by their interests and where they hail from in the social world is crucial for a brand – particularly if a consumer is an active member of their fan base.  Brands must look at their audience and begin to segment us (picture the cattle call lines at Southwest Airlines gates) by what we like to do and the topics that interest us.  Without identifying who we really are, brands are firing blind, but luckily for them, social media makes it pretty simple for brands to segment us.  Once they take a strategic look at their consumers, brands can then reach out through targeted advertising and sponsored posts, but once they have us, they need to keep us by engaging with us.

Speak To Me

Once a brand knows who its audience is, it can engage with us in a meaningful way, right?  For most brands, the answer is: wrong.  Brands often get caught up in pushing-out messages about what they do and what they determine is important about their products or services.  They have the right idea – show me what you do and why you think it’s important to me.  But social media users mostly engage with brand communities for personal reasons; we don’t want to be flooded with clutter – mostly because social media is part of our everyday lives.  Brands need to reach us by giving us socially authentic content.

beats by dre facebookLook at your community insights, brand manager.  You are able to see where I’m from and what I like to do.  For instance, Beats by Dre aligns some of their content with the NFL and Super Bowl contenders by looking at the communities and consumers they serve.  Then they go further by creating posts geared toward certain teams in the biggest markets on the biggest stages, and they don’t overwhelm with product-specific content.

People in San Francisco, football fans and music fans are all seeing a unique post that speaks directly to what they like to consume: bass-kickin’ headphones worn by the baller, made for the baller.

The beauty of Beats is that they have so many different consumers: musicians, athletes, movie stars, students, travelers, yet they create content that resonates with each and every one of their communities, which in turn spikes engagement and keeps people interested in what they’re talking about.  This approach will turn your community members into brand ambassadors who are most likely to engage with your page, share your content, get more people looking at your page and ultimately grow your community.

What Now?

You might be thinking: What does this really mean for the long run?

The answer is that strategically targeting and engaging with your audience allows you to provide specific, product-related information in a way that is relevant to your audience, and will ultimately drive them to your sales channel.  As a brand manager, “the bottom line” is the biggest metric you’re trying to influence.  Once you shift the way you interact with your audience, you strategically market to those consumers and give them specific reasons to buy into your brand and your product or service.

The Takeaway

Chad Wittman of EdgeRank Checker really puts it in the best perspective when all is said and done. He says, “Facebook’s… algorithm rewards the brands that create the coolest content.”  I’ll take that one step further: Facebook communities reward the brands that create the coolest content.  Those brands are sandwiched between happy fans and happy networks, and the conversions they see are increasing every day.

 

Image Credits: iowa_spirit_walker, Facebook

How Will Facebook’s Graph Search Change Digital Marketing? (Infographic)

facebook graph search logoFacebook’s announcement last week of their new Graph Search feature has certainly made an impression on the digital marketing community.  The feature hasn’t even been rolled out to the masses yet and already marketers are scrambling to find a way to use it to their advantage.

If Graph Search enjoys even modest success, it will only be a matter of time before Facebook SEO becomes a viable business. Agencies will add it as a service line; Books will be written about it; Facebook SEO “gurus” will plaster all of our blogs with ads promoting their services. You know it is all coming.

Well, the reality is that we don’t know how or if Graph Search will be a success.  It is way too early to tell and there are too many external factors that will dictate the feature’s success. What we can do is predict some of the basic areas of digital marketing that it will impact and then marketers can start to prepare their campaigns by proactively addressing them.

I have been writing quite a bit about the Graph Search topic over the past week and decided to wrap it all up in a more creative way. Here is a little infographic that wedu’s Digital and Creative Teams put together to summarize the ways we see Graph Search changing digital marketing in the future.

Please feel free to share the graphic socially or on your blog as much as you’d like. All we ask is that you use the embed code below the graphic or link back to this post if you are reposting it.

wedu facebook graph search infographic

 

 

Graph Search logo image credit: Facebook

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