Algorithm and Blues

It used to be all about Likes.  It didn’t matter who they were. The focus was on quantity.

But then Facebook changed its algorithm. Result: The average post from a page was only reaching about 10% of fans organically. For clients who had been using their page as a marketing platform, the gravy train had been derailed.

Facebook’s algorithm change was a way to push companies to spend advertising dollars to promote their posts and reach more of those loyal likers. But businesses were also left wondering: How can we increase the visibility of our page organically? In a word: Engagement

Engagement = Good

Engagement does more than prove that fans are interested in your content. It also helps make your page more visible to potential new customers. High engagement levels show Facebook that your page is worth recommending.

Engagement tools and tips

You set the tone. Unless your page has lots of premium UGC, you may need to create a content calendar that keeps a steady flow of premium content channeled into your page: Video, images, provocative posts that ask questions.

Mobilize your base. Facebook has solid tools that make it easy for your fans to spread the word. Visit facebook.com/pages, or click on Like Pages in the left nav box. There’s a list of recommended pages based on current interests. Or page suggestions can be made within your profile. Remember too that when liking a new page, a user will be shown Similar Pages that may be of interest to them. From the rectangle widget, they can seamlessly like six additional pages that are similar, based on the content, and current fans. These are not paid positions and a page cannot buy their way into the recommended slots. The best (and only) way to maintain visibility as a Similar Page is to focus on your own page’s engagement levels.

similarpage

Ask for help. Each post you make should encourage fans to like, comment, share & upload their own content (images and video are still the gold standard). Once your page gets recognized as having engaging content, Facebook’s practice of promoting organic content will start working for you.

You control the flow. Some companies don’t want to allow Facebook to give Similar Page Recommendations to new fans. Why? Maybe they don’t want to help a competitor gain likes. Or maybe they don’t want to be associated with certain other pages. Just turn the feature off through Your Settings. But remember, this will no longer allow your page to be shown on other pages.

The higher engagement rates your page has, the more valuable Facebook sees it & chooses to recommend it to other potential fans.  The more engaged fans you have, the higher engagement levels you have… and so on.

If you would like more information about Facebook strategy, or any of the services we provide, please contact us.

Different Screens, Different Strategies

Chances are pretty good you’re reading this on a smartphone or tablet. If the research is right, there may be a desktop computer or TV monitor within spitting distance and competing hard for your attention.

It’s OK. We’re not hurt that you’re seeing another screen. Monogamy in digital content consumption is a thing of the past.

Today, people use phones for texting and traffic light engagement. Tablets and laptops are for shopping and content grazing. Desktops? Leave them at the office. And TV? Guess what: It’s still the screen most people watch the most.

As new devices enter the marketplace and existing ones evolve, it’s important to remember some current bylaws.

Thou shalt go mobile. G has spoken. Websites will be penalized by Google in organic search if a site’s content is not available for mobile. But Google is simply forcing everyone to do what they should be doing anyway: thinking about content platforming from end to end. Check out this infographic done by Google about multi screen viewing.

googinfographic

Call me maybe. We all hate unwelcome calls. But there’s nothing wrong with enabling people to initiate voice contact if they want to. Example: A “Call now” button within content distributed via a mobile device sounds like a good idea.

TV is still your friend. TV-show companion apps are creating a new ad platform for marketers. And we’ve all seen the hash-tags in TV content to guide social media engagement. The point: As TV content moves into mobile devices, there are ways for brands to star in their own show, or tag along for the ride.

Extend your paid search program. Friendly reminder: Paid Search allows you to create campaigns for all devices, but you need to specify extensions– image, endorsement, chat, social – so that the most compelling content is featured and the best course of action is offered.

When you’re ready to sit down, enjoy a beverage, and talk about it, we’re here.

Weekly Blend – 9/26/13

DC Weekly Blend

The Weekly Blend is a blog post by drinkcaffeine that provides a wrap-up of what you need to know from the marketing & digital spaces.  Here is what’s going on this week:

iOS 7, 5s, and 5c

The big news last week was the iOS 7 update and the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Popular topics included a smarter Siri, automatic app updates, and the  revamped control center. However, a big opportunity for marketers was released as well, iTunes Radio. Like market leader (Pandora) and younger player (Spotify), iTunes Radio will allow brands to reach consumers through ad space. Apple explains that iAd “allows advertisers to pinpoint audience segments by leveraging iAd’s proprietary targeting tools.” With nearly 600 million iTunes accounts already in use, iRadio already has a massive potential customer base.

Why it matters:

Bargaining Power of Customers!! The real winners here should be companies that purchase voice and display ads on these streaming platforms. iRadio is only going to bring more competition to an industry were substitutes are readily available. This should force the streamers to offer better pricing and value to their consumers.

Google Stole the Cookies!

Well not really “stole.” Google is looking at a way to replace the web’s third-party cookies — First-party cookies come directly from the sites you visit, but third-party cookies are placed by other companies that collect information on you — with a system of its own that could solve some big challenges facing advertisers and drastically expand its grasp on the industry.

Why it matters:

Google would likely try to develop a better system, one that would, for example, work across desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. That cross-screen capability would enable advertisers to more accurately target smartphone users with ads based on laptop web browsing. Google would also probably give consumers more control over their information, attempting to defuse the privacy concerns driving do-not-track.


Paying for Reviews Isn’t Just a Bad Idea, It’s Illegal.

Earlier this week, the New York Attorney General handed down $350,000 in fines to companies participating in the buying & selling of product reviews on sites like Amazon & Yelp.  The reason for the hefty penalty?  Besides being ethically wrong, posting an illegitimate review is considered false advertising- especially because 90% of consumers use them when making a purchasing decision.

You can find more information about this topic from Venable LLP.

Get a consistent handle on a branded username

In the past, resorts used to charge into every internet fad like it was an open bar. This was often done against our advice, but our point is not to get snarky about it. It’s just that for every Facebook, there are dozens of Myspaces.

However, digital dynamics dictate that we ride the waves we can – even if some rides are longer than others. And when new services (apps and sites) get Big Mo, it’s important that resort brand managers grab a username or “handle” they can stick with.

The benefit of early adoption: Users will get accustomed to one brand handle across multiple platforms. The risk of being late: Having to maintain multiple handles and creating confusion. Example: When your facebook address is facebook.com/resortabc but your twitter handle is @resort_abc it creates complexity. And users dig simplicity.

So here is our recommendation:

1)      Establish your preferred digital handle. Most resorts already have one defined from their Facebook or twitter presence. Nail down your top pick and have at least 2 backups.  If you want to find out if something is available very quickly, and on which sites, use namechk.com.

2)      Keep it simple and short. But survey the field enough to know if any competitors are too close to the handle you are creating. Some differentiation – especially in cluttered categories like resorts – matters.

3)      Be a trendspotter. Keep your eye out for new digital services. Your web analytics can be a good source for this information. Or simply keep following us and we’ll take care of you.

4)      As soon as you identify a new service, grab the preferred digital handle. If you can’t get your preferred handle, try for your second choice.

5)      Establish a placeholder page. Use it to direct people to your active information fulfillment sources (website, Facebook page, etc.).

If someone beat you to the handle, don’t be disconsolate. Look into whether that party has a legitimate claim to the handle or are simply cybersquatting .

Over time you can determine whether the concentration of your target audiences in that digital service will be worth ongoing investment. In the meantime, enjoy the protection (and branded benefit) of having that consistent handle across digital platforms.

If you would like more information about this topic, or any of our services, please contact drinkcaffeine-

website: drinkcaffeine.com
phone: 203 468 6396
email: info@drinkcaffeine.com
address: 897 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

How to honor 9.11 in social media – or not

There are clients whose patriotic sensibilities tell them they should acknowledge 9.11 in their social media channels.

What could possibly go wrong, right?

Plenty.  Just ask Tumbledown Trails Golf Course.

Here are the Top 3 Reasons you should think twice before automatically putting “9.11” on your content calendar.

  1. Dialogue, not monologue. Consumers are all too aware that businesses use social networks and branded content as part of a marketing platform.  And that’s fine; consumers want to be sold to. But marketing through social media is supposed to be a dialogue between brand and consumer. A post that reads: “We at ABC Corporation remember and honor those lost on 9.11.01” is bound to be confused with a transmit-only, tone-deaf marketing ploy, however sincere it may be.
  2. It’s been done. Even though Twitter, Facebook and Instagram didn’t exist on 9.11.01, they have been used extensively by everyone from firefighters and other 1st responders to politicians and pundits to all the friends and families of everyone lost on that day. Chiming in with 9.11 sentiments may simply disappear or, worse, sound like “Me Too.”
  3. Respect. Many organizations lost employees and colleagues and friends on 9.11 and many of them want to pay respect through remembrance in social media. And this may be social media at its best: A platform for meaningful, relevant, dignified communication among those with a common bond. But for many more of us, it may be better to refrain from publishing our thoughts and sentiments, and show our respect in the more traditional forms of money or material support of a 9.11 non profit – or a quiet moment of silence.

Just a few thoughts from drinkcaffeine.

For more strategic discussions or information about any of our services, please contact drinkcaffeine:

website: drinkcaffeine.com
phone: 203 468 6396
email: info@drinkcaffeine.com
address: 897 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

twitter-profile

Responding to Social Media Sarcasm

Let’s talk trolls

The whole idea of anonymity on the Internet was that you could voice your opinion without suffering a personal attack, right? But deep in the bowels of the interweb, the ability to remain nameless has created a dangerous veil of confidence for commenters and reviewers.

Gen Y’s term for a person who posts inflammatory remarks to create conflict or gain an emotional response is a “troll.” We at drinkcaffeine call this behavior posting a “Mock Review.”

A recent event that sparked a widespread of mock reviews was Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ (D) 13-hour filibuster that helped to prevent the Texas Senate from passing a bill that would close down nearly 90% of the in-state women’s abortion clinics. During this marathon event, Sen. Davis was wearing a pair of pink Mizuno Running shoes that set the Internet and specifically Amazon Reviewers ablaze. Pro-Life and Pro-Choice reviewers flooded the product review page with mock reviews.

This reviewer stands quite firmly for women’s rights

Example FiveInterestingly enough, the Mizuno sneaker she wore was the best-selling shoe on Amazon days after the filibuster.

Because we work on a variety of client social media programs, we come across these reviews on a daily basis. Here’s how we recommend dealing with those who mock your brand.

1. Ignore it

Someone probably wrote this post with a lot of time on his or her hands. As hard as it may be, just ignore the review and let that person’s sarcasm go to waste. In the case of Sen. Davis, Mizuno had no comment. The sales spoke for themselves.

But be advised: A dangerous backlash from this approach is that if the mock review gains popularity, it’s too late to ignore it. 

2. Make a calculated response

After the sting fades, some mock reviews have helpful elements.

Example: “Hey thanks for the confusing product! The directions were so long I grew gray hairs reading it.”

Of course they could have been nicer. But maybe they have a point.

Your reply: “Thank you for the response. You can find video set up examples on our website to speed up the process!”

This can help you avoid sustaining conflict and look more mature for having a coherent and helpful response.

3. Respond With Humor

A great example of this is how Bodyform responded to a Facebook user’s mock review after a man posted a rant on Bodyform’s Facebook Page. The post got 100,000+ likes. But Bodyform one-upped Mr. Neill with a great video, which now has more than 5.2 million views.

Bodyform

It is difficult to determine the right way to respond to mocking in social media. So when you’re not sure how to handle it, contact us.

Have any recommendations for dealing with a mock review? Please feel free to contact drinkcaffeine-

website: drinkcaffeine.com
phone: 203 468 6396
email: info@drinkcaffeine.com
address: 897 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443