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Tag Archives: social media marketing

Social Media Rundown: U.K. Pub Chain Deletes All its Accounts; 5 Tips for Running Facebook Ads

Besides even more shady news coming from Facebookland, it’s been a relatively slow week in the world of social media. While the #DeleteFacebook trend gains steam in the U.K., even a chain of pubs gets in on the action — deleting all its social media profiles (story below).

For this week’s learnings, be sure to check out the tips on running Facebook ads and the handy guide on how to make GIFs (because everyone loves a good GIF).

Animated GIF of The Breakfast Club's Anthony Michael Hall being cool.

Even The Breakfast Club’s Anthony Michael Hall is cool with GIFs.

Social Media News:

  • GOP accuses Facebook of censorship but conservative media flourishes online (NBC News). “There are more than three times as many conservative publishers than liberal publishers on Facebook, and they receive more than 2.5 times the engagement on the social media platform than those who push opposing viewpoints.” Also, the recent string of Facebook scandals doesn’t seem to be hurting the company’s bottom line.
  • Fed up with social media, major U.K. pub chain deletes all of its accounts (Digital Trends). Interesting move. As a social media pro, it would definitely be against my recommendation, but perhaps it’s best for this particular company. It cited concerns over the misuse of personal data and the “addictive nature of social media.”
  • Facebook Tests Out New Video Format to Boost Communal Viewing and Engagement (Social Media Today). Called ‘Premieres’, the new feature would give approved publishers the opportunity to broadcast pre-recorded content through what’s essentially Facebook Live. Thus, allowing viewers to interact with each other in real time.
  • Barack Obama And Jordan Peele Urge You Not To Believe Your Own Eyes (Fast Company). This is sort of on the fringe of social media news, but it’s important to keep up with this emerging trend. Though this article didn’t mention it, digital voice manipulation is also on the rise, which would make the development of 100% fake, yet realistic videos all the more possible. As The Atlantic reports, we’re not so far from the collapse of reality.

Learn:

  • 5 Advanced Tips for Running Ads on Facebook (Sprout Social). Whether you’re looking to start running ads on Facebook or you want to learn a few tips, this is a good look at the basics you need to know. From refining your target audience to running split tests, this is an awesome guide to running Facebook ads.
  • How to Make a GIF: The Complete Guide (Hootsuite Blog). If you’re like me and think animated GIFs are the greatest thing on the internet, then this is for you. Creating a GIF really isn’t that hard so long as you know which tools to use. This is the guide with said tools.

Did I leave out some important news? This week’s edition was heavy on Facebook. Surely I missed something important from LinkedIn or Twitter?

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The Social Media Rundown: Facebook Adds Info Button to Articles; Reddit Gets a Redesign

It’s been another busy week for Facebook as the Cambridge Analytica saga carries on and it continues to fight ‘fake news.’ Meanwhile, Twitter has purged more terrorist-related accounts, and Hell has frozen over, er, Reddit gets a redesign (coming soon).

All this and more in this week’s Social Media Rundown. Plus, I bring you not one, but two worthwhile learnings. Check it all out below:

Social Media News:

  • Facebook: ‘Malicious actors’ used its tools to discover identities and collect data on a massive global scale (source). Facebook admits that Cambridge Analytica obtained user data from 87 million users and that most of its 2 billion users likely have had their personal information scraped and shared by third-party developers without their explicit permission. Meanwhile, Facebook has shared an update on its plans to restrict data access to its platform.
  • Facebook will give all US users helpful context about articles shared in News Feed (The Verge). In a bid to make it easier to determine if something is legitimate news, Facebook has added a little ‘about this article’ icon to shared links. Once clicked, users are presented with information about the publisher (pulled in from Wikipedia), a map of where the article is being shared, and which of your friends shared the article.
Example of Facebook's new 'About This Article' function.

Facebook recently added an ‘About This Article’ button to shared news stories so users can better tell the legitimacy of a source.

  • Twitter says it removed 274,000 terrorist-related accounts in the second half of 2017 (Fast Company). The company suspended over 1.2 million accounts for terrorist-related content in the last five years – including 274,460 that were removed in the last six months 2017.
  • The Inside Story of Reddit’s Redesign (Wired). This one’s for all the web designers out there. It’s the first visual refresh of Reddit in over a decade. A welcome update if you ask me.

Learn:

  • How to Ignite Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy [Infographic] (Marketing Profs). This handy infographic has tips on writing attention-getting headlines, the ideal post length (keep it short), and a few ideas on running LinkedIn ads and sending InMails.
  • How to Optimize Facebook Ad Bidding: Clicks or Impressions? (Social Media Examiner). Here’s a nice article on how choosing bids for ads affects your Facebook ad campaigns. Choosing between link clicks or impressions is not always easy; this article has a list of the pros and cons of each.
  • 5 Reasons Why Nobody is Engaging With Your Social Posts (and How to Fix it) (Kissmetrics). If your social media strategy isn’t getting the kind of engagement you want, the author (Neil Patel) suggests you may be committing one of these five self-sabotaging social media sins:
    • Denying what people want
    • Forgetting to make room for new (older) users
    • Skipping movie day
    • Letting little errors cripple credibility
    • Talking without listening

The Social Media Rundown: Search Overtakes Social, Facebook Blocks Third-Party Data Ad Targeting

With a Facebook News Feed algorithm change and few other factors listed below, search is now driving more traffic than social. And in an apparent effort to make some positive changes at the company, Facebook announced it will no longer allow ad targeting based on relationship status. Plus, be sure to check out this week’s learning section for tips on beating Twitter’s algorithm and how you can better protect yourself online.

Social Media News:

  • The SEO versus Social Battle Has a New Winner (Convince & Convert). Takeaways from Jay Baer on why search is sending more traffic: Less use of social overall, social algorithms showing fewer posts from companies, fewer links in social posts, more social indexed in search engines. If you have an extra minute, definitely watch Jay’s LinkedIn video explaining this trend.
Search vs. Social: Share of Visits Chart

Shareaholic Data Report: Pinterest, Google, & Instagram big winners as Facebook share of visits falls 8% in 2017

  • Facebook Will No Longer Allow Third-Party Data for Targeting Ads (The Verge). The company is disabling a form of ad targeting called Partner Categories, which allowed prominent third-party data aggregators like Experian and Acxiom to provide clients with offline data like purchasing activity to inform ad targeting.
  • Facebook Quietly Removes Ad Filter to Target Users Based on Their Relationship Preferences (Marketing Land). The decision to remove the ‘interested in’ filter from its ad platform was based on feedback from outside experts. The decision could prevent malicious behavior targeting the LGBTQ community.

Learn:

  • Cracking The Twitter Algorithm: 11 Brilliant Ways to Outsmart the Timeline (Sprout Social). This thoughtful post from Sprout Social outlines several ways to increase your organic reach on Twitter, such as tweet consistently, run twitter ads, use twitter video, re-share your top tweets, engage when people mention you, make timely tweets, use emotional trigger words, and several more tips worth considering.
  • Facebook Isn’t the Only One Tracking You. Here Are 5 Ways to Protect Yourself (Digital Trends). With all the heat Facebook is taking for allegedly abusing data as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, now might be a good time to consider how you can keep your personal data private online. This article has five helpful tools.

By the way, I share most of the social media news articles and learnings that I come across throughout the week on my Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Feel free to follow me to keep up. And of course, if you see something interesting in the news, please share.


The Social Media Rundown: Southwest for the PR Win, Zuck Confesses

Southwest Airlines has made a big splash through stellar customer service once again. Recently, when a customer paid for Wi-Fi only to find out she couldn’t get her game to stream, Southwest made it up to her in a big way. Instead of the typical “Sorry to hear you’re frustrated. Please DM us with details,” tweet coming from most any other airline, a guy named Mike at Southwest live-tweeted the second half of the Xavier vs. Florida State tourney game. Now perhaps Mike was just trying to work in some March Madness viewing into his work day, but either way, this landed Southwest some fantastic PR.

Southwest Airlines recently live-tweeted an NCAA Men's Tournament game.

Social Media News:

  • Mark Zuckerberg says he’s ‘open’ to testifying to Congress, fixes will cost ‘many millions’ and he ‘feels really bad’ (Recode). Zuckerberg admits Facebook may have made mistakes in opening up its network so much a decade ago. Also, here’s a nice summary of the whole Cambridge Analytica debacle.
  • The Atlantic’s new family section is built for the post-news feed era (Digiday). Another publisher creates a Facebook group. This is an indication of The Atlantic’s recent push to connect directly with readers as it looks to grow revenue by boosting subscriptions.
  • Another Social Network is Here. What Exactly Is It? (Marketing & Growth Hacking). I don’t normally share news of a new social networking site or app on the market as they’re usually unable to compete with Facebook. But this one is interesting because it’s entirely audio-based. Can you imagine people walking around sending voice memos to their public profiles all day? I can’t, but this aligns with the recent boom in podcasts. People would rather listen then read.
  • Instagram will show more recent posts due to algorithm backlash (TechCrunch). This should be a welcome change to anyone using the platform.

Learn:

  • Twitter Timeline Algorithm Explained. This post not only has a thorough breakdown of the Twitter algorithm, it’s also full of solid tips for increasing your reach. From using hashtags strategically to how to promote tweets, this post has it all.
  • 5 Instagram Pro Tips You Probably Didn’t Know About. I use Instagram everyday, and almost all of these tips were new to me. You can hide Stories from people, delete sent direct messages, and add gradient text coloring in Stories. The one I knew about is probably the most important: You can turn on post notifications from people and business accounts.

What’s the big news to you this week? What have you learned?


Introducing: The Weekly Social Media Rundown

It’s been a long, unnecessary hiatus from writing in my blog. And well, I guess I got tired of seeing Puppymonkeybaby as my most recent blog post. So here I present you with a few social media news items worthy of your precious time.

I share the following as part of a weekly social media newsletter I send out internally at NEJM Group, as part of my role as Content Engagement Manager. My goal with the newsletter is to share a few of the most important news items of the past week (the ‘Social Media News’ section) and to also provide a few educational items (the ‘Learn’ section) so we can all be better social media marketers. If you have thoughts on the listed items or if you know of some big news I may have missed, please let me know in the comments.

Read the full blog post on Buffer.

A practical quote from the Buffer App blog post, “The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed.”

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Is Experimenting With A Way To Show You Even More Breaking News Tweets (Buzzfeed News). A new, algorithmically curated timeline of news tweets may soon be shown at the top of your feed.
  • Snapchat Launches ‘True Crime/Uncovered’ Series From Condé Nast Entertainment (Variety). As much as I love Snapchat, I have my doubts that a five-minute long TV show in a vertical, mobile-only presentation will be successful. But then again, Snapchat’s numbers continue to surprise me. For example, NBC News’ “Stay Tuned” is apparently getting 33 million viewers per month.
  • After Facebook news-feed changes, publishers look hopefully to Pinterest (Digiday). The online scrapbooking platform represented nearly 8 percent of publishers’ social traffic in the second half of 2017, up from 4.5 percent in the first half of 2016.

Learn:

  • The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed (Buffer App). This blog post breaks down the recent news feed changes as explained in a recent webinar hosted by Facebook. The news feed algorithm is broken down into four main components: inventory, signals, predictions, and overall score.
  • How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Better Visibility (Social Media Examiner). If you need to spruce up your personal LinkedIn profile, this is a great rundown of everything you need to know to make it happen.

Is Peach the next big social networking app? Or is it already seeing a slow, painful death?

 

peach-app

“Peach is a refreshingly fun and simple way to keep up with friends and be yourself.” -Apple Store description.

 

Peach, the private social networking app loaded with innovative features, but lacking in usability and a large user base, may already be a thing of the past, according to recent headlines.

Peach officially launched eight days ago.

You read that right. Peach launched a mere eight days ago and its potential is already in question. Is the online world really that consumed (and satisfied) with only a handful of social networking mainstays (namely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) that an innovative, exciting new app can’t penetrate the market? Sadly, it’s getting increasingly difficult for a new social networking service to compete with the big guys. Peach has my attention, and the potential contend with the heavy hitters, but can it rise to the challenge?

It’s been awhile since a new social networking site or app has really caught my eye. Draw Something was more of a mobile game than a social networking app, but it definitely roped me in due to its incredibly addictive attributes.

Path, the social networking app that set a limit of only 50 friends you could connect with, came and went before I even had a chance to write about it.

Pinterest definitely won me over, even triggering a blog post about the visual bookmarking tool being a ‘game changer.’

Ello was apparently all the rave for a few short months about a year ago. I was an early adopter of Ello, but never really saw its benefits. With nothing particularly innovative or unique about it, I stopped using Ello just about as soon as I signed up. It’s still in service, but is anyone talking about it? Have you Ello’d lately?

I never wrote about Snapchat, but we all know the success the disappearing messaging app has seen. Snapchat is so popular that it’s now entering its “mom moment” of social networking sites—when an app or service becomes so popular that even your mom starts using it.

Maybe I’m not too good at this whole trend-spotting thing. Of the services mentioned above, Pinterest is the only social networking site that has had real lasting power. Pinterest is growing, and I still find myself browsing through hundreds of pins nearly every day.

Starting a new online social networking service is a difficult task. Just barely into its second week of operation, Peach is already seeing a flood of naysayers. A recent blog post on Social Media Today suggests Peach won’t stick, but that existing social networking power houses should adopt some of its features. A Mashable article suggests the ‘week-old social network named Peach may already be over,’ and that Facebook should buy it up.

One thing most who have used Peach love is how innovative it is. Its ‘magic words’ feature allows you to type in certain words or phrases that prompts a special action to include in your post. It’s a fun addition and one that most people would love to see integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Magic words include typing things such as “gif” to search for an animated gif within the app to easily and seamlessly include in your post. Typing “draw” gives you the ability to make a quick sketch to include with your post. Typing “weather” brings up current conditions, “here” adds your location, “goodmorning” prompts the time of day along with a couple emojis, and so on.

Peach is getting a ton of coverage for such a young start up, but unless it finds a way to dramatically grow its user base and greatly improve its ease of use, it’ll end up as a mere footnote in social media history (or a social media ghost town of sorts). Lastly, Peach must continue to innovate. It’s what helped Peach make a splash in the first place and it will need to keep giving users more in order to stay alive and relevant.

What are your thoughts? Will Peach last? Are you on Peach? Add me! Peach username: @eric_wheeler

Further reading:

Eric Wheeler is a social media specialist based in Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and his Master of Science degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University. He is currently taking Northwestern University’s Social Marketing Specialization MOOC offered by Coursera. Follow Eric on Twitter and Instagram.


How to: Use an Event Hashtag Before, During and After an Event

Schmidt says

If used effectively, a hashtag can bring added excitement leading up to and during your event.

By now we should all be familiar with hashtags and how they can be either annoying or helpful depending on how they’re used. At their core, hashtags are meant to categorize online content, emphasize keywords or phrases and aid in connecting with others through common interests. Once exclusive to Twitter, hashtags are now widely used across most online social networks. When used sparingly and appropriately, hashtags can enhance communication. But when used out of context or without creative thought, they become distracting. Using hashtags in verbal communication can make you the butt of a joke. And nobody wants to be the butt of a joke.

One effective use of hashtags is for events. If you’ve attended a networking event or large conference in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed or even used an event-specific hashtag. When used at events, hashtags can be a great way for attendees to actively participate, allow for social networking and make it easy for people to find event highlights with just a quick Twitter search. Event hashtags can even allow for people to follow the event virtually if they’re unable to attend in person.

Unfortunately, many events do a poor job of execution when it comes to maximizing event hashtag usage. The list below should give you some good ideas to effectively promote the event hashtag in the days and months leading up to the event, increase hashtag usage during the event and in using the hashtag to recap the event.

When looking through this list, keep in mind that these are merely ways to get the most out of an event hashtag. Remember that the event hashtag also needs to be unique, short, descriptive and memorable. Check out this article in AdWeek for more on how to choose and effective hashtag.

Hashtag promotion leading up to event:

  • Include event hashtag on any main graphics produced for the event
  • Make sure to include the hashtag on all communications leading up to event
    • Save the date email/mailer
    • Newsletters
    • Registration email
    • Reminder emails
    • PDF flyer
    • Tweets leading up to and during event
  • Include on website(s)
    • Main event landing page
    • Registration page
    • Confirmation page/event ticket
    • Website homepage banner
    • News section
    • Blog post promoting event and what to expect
  • Include the hashtag on event printed materials
    • All signage (posters, large print banners or tabletop items)
    • Name tags and lanyards (also include company Twitter handle and attendee’s Twitter handle or leave space to fill in)
    • Table cards
    • Agenda print outs
    • Presentation decks
    • Event specific SWAG (lanyards, T-shirts, pens, note pads, etc.)
    • Place on food items (on coffee cups, printed on napkins, written on desserts, stickers on chip bags, etc.)

Encourage using the hashtag during event:

  • Have speakers mention the hashtag prior to their presentation or during their introduction by the emcee
  • Encourage audience participation by giving out prizes (signed book from one of the speakers, free registration to next year’s event, gift cards, etc.)
  • Project the branded hashtag at a main area where attendees will convene or just off stage from presenters
  • Have someone live-tweet the event from event Twitter handle
    • Monitor the hashtag and favorite/retweet the best ones
    • Have pre-planned tweets ready to go out during the event
    • Share photos/videos during the event
  • Project event hashtag conversation on a wall or monitor using a tool like HootSuite’s HootFeed (more services here)

Post-event hashtag use:

  • Thank attendees and everyone who participated
  • Share notes or speaker presentation decks
  • Post a recap video (embed on event page, post to YouTube, share on other sites)
  • Share photos from the event (make a Flickr slideshow)
  • Share a Storify event recap focusing on the best tweets and moments shared

Do you have ideas on how to get the most out of an event hashtag? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me: @eric_wheeler.

Schmidt gif via metro.co.uk.


#Infographic: Are you Suffering from Facebook Fatigue? Need a Break?

Image of an infographic about fatigue from Facebook.

Do you need a break from Facebook?

If you’re like most people, a Facebook vacation may be in your future…

Facebook now has more than 1 billion users. That’s a lot. And most of us are aware the social networking site is the largest in the world. Facebook has seemingly proliferated nearly every crevice of the ‘interwebs.’ Websites are using Facebook widgets in place of the ‘traditional’ comment section, the Facebook share button sits next to nearly every blog post and most people check their Facebook news feed several times a day.

For many of us, Facebook is such a huge part of our lives that it can be hard to get away from the daily dose of friend updates, brand pages marketing their products and news about the site itself. I get made fun of for my constant social media consumption–I’m always on the hunt for articles spanning a wide array of topics just so I can share it across my networks. All this Facebook usage and consumption of updates from our online social networks can be rather taxing. Even I take a break from time-to-time. According to the infographic from onlinecollegecourses.com below, I’m not alone–61 percent of current Facebook users have taken a break from Facebook for one week or longer.

The infographic states several reasons why people feel the need to take a brief hiatus from Facebook. For me, it’s just nice to ‘unplug’ for a day or two just to clear my mind a bit. Take a look at the infographic below and let me know if you’ve taken a break from Facebook or if you plan to soon.

Facebook Fatigue Infographic


My Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of 2013

It’s time for a breakdown of my top five spots from advertising’s biggest day. This was certainly a good year for Super Bowl advertising and an even bigger year for social media during the big game. Last year I ended up picking five funny spots and this year I have a more balanced list (as balanced as a top five list can get). Brands mostly went for heart-warming over hysterical this year and many of the comedic spots were really not that funny in my opinion or they were produced a little too over-the-top.

Social media played a role in this year’s brand bowl more so than ever before. If you’re a marketer reading this, I’m sure you’re well aware of the brilliant and timely posts delivered by the Oreo social media team. When the lights went out at the Superdome, Oreo pushed out the below image on Facebook and Twitter in a matter of minutes:

This was an image with real staying power. It picked up another thousand plus retweets the day after the big game, the Facebook post got over 20,000 ‘likes’ and close to 7,000 shares and the quick and witty post picked up tons of free press. Oreo is certainly on top of its game and made sure its ‘Cream Or Cookie’ Super Bowl spot was fully supported with social media build up and timely posts sent out before, during and even after the game. Social media activity like this can only be achieved with a command center and all hands on deck. The social media activity during the Super Bowl this year was certainly impressive, but it’s time to break down my favorite ads.

#5. Samsung Mobile USA – The Next Big Thing

I’m not usually one to fall for celebrity endorsements, but these two are hilarious. Not sure how much the ad will help in its epic battle for marketshare over Apple, but it can’t hurt.

#4. Viva Young – Taco Bell Game Day Commercial

This commercial is great. I can only wish I will be this cool when I’m sitting around in a retirement home a few decades from now. Only thing bad about it is now I have that Fun. song stuck in my head, which I spent most of 2012 trying to get rid of. At least it was in Spanish.

#3. OREO – Whisper Fight

A whisper fight in a library? Brilliant. Though I’m a little surprised it hadn’t been done before. Again, Oreo absolutely stole the show from a branding and marketing standpoint. They even took this moment to launch an Instagram account. Before the Super Bowl, Oreo had around 2,200 followers on Instagram and garnered around 35,000 followers by the end of Sunday night. Props to 360i and the Oreo social media command center.

#2. Budweiser Super Bowl Ad — The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood”

This ad literally brought tears to the eyes of some of my coworkers. With several terribly awful ads from Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch InBev totally redeemed itself with this tear-jerker of an ad.

#1. Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial “Farmer”

This one struck a chord with me from the first frame and had chills going through my spine by the end. Growing up in northwest Oklahoma and listening to farmers talk about the weather and wheat prices everyday definitely had an influence on this year’s pick. Paul Harvey had a big part in my life as well. Seemed like anytime I showed up at my grandparents house in Alva, Okla., Paul Harvey was delivering his famous “The Rest of the Story” segments on the kitchen radio. It also helped that the commercial was beautifully done with shots from a National Geographic photographer and a renowned documentary photographer. Nicely done, Dodge.

Bonus spots:

Because of my Oklahoma roots and because the Flaming Lips are just incredible in general: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe | Big Game Ad | “Epic Playdate

Because I love awkward moments: Unattended Laundry: You needed the machine. You got caught panty-handed (Speed Stick)

Because I love Amy Poehler: Best Buy – Asking Amy: Official 2013 Best Buy Game Day Commercial


#Infographic: Is the Drop in Apple Shares a Sign of a Possible Plateau?

Image of Apple's logo in silverApple is certainly a newsworthy company. In the past few weeks, Apple released the iPad mini, the patent war between Apple and Samsung has escalated and iPhone 5S and even iPhone 6 rumors have begun circulating the Internet (only three months since the launch of the iPhone 5). Not all Apple news is positive, however. The infographic below is particularly timely given the recent tumble in Apple shares. “Peak or Plateau: What’s Next for Apple?” is certainly a good title for this infographic as the data points look at the success from Apple in recent years and considers the falling stock as the tech giant looks ahead to the future. Whether the future for Apple is gloomy or sunny, you can be certain Apple will continue making big news.

Remarkably, Apple is able to remain in the limelight incessantly while still holding out on social media. Indeed, Mashable recently had a nice write-up on four huge brands still not on social media. There Apple was, the largest company in the world, at the bottom of the list. It seems silly. For the amount of traditional advertising the company does for each new product launch, it seems like a natural next step would be to layer social media on top of that and create online communities to further push its messaging throughout the Web. Maybe social media is finally in Apple’s future?

From the looks of this infographic, Apple might need to shake things up a bit to be sure it doesn’t ‘plateau.’ As you can see Apple has gained some huge ground in the past five years. For one, the iPhone alone now has higher sales than every product Microsoft has to offer. With a $500 billion value, the company is either going to continue thriving or simply flat line. This infographic even says its fan base is leveling out. But the underlying question? Is Apple’s financial skyrocket peaking or is it merely preparing for the next big launch? Check out the infographic from onlinebusinessdegree.org below and draw your own conclusion:

Peak or Plateau: What’s Next for Apple?


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