Archive for ‘Facebook’

April 21st, 2014

Facebook May Be Great FOR Marketing, but It Sucks AT Marketing

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Facebook does what it’s supposed to do very well. It has very robust capabilities as a platform. It has a decently intuitive user interface. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s the most popular social network on Earth.

But what Facebook doesn’t do well is Twitter. The company chose to have a presence on other social media networks (primarily Twitter and Google+), but it fails to actually use those platforms to effectively market to the users.

The reality that Facebook is likely aware of is that people wanting to engage with their brand will probably go to Facebook.com. It’s household enough for that. But there is such a large number of users on these other sites that they just may be missing out on an important marketing (or at least community engagement) opportunity. To better understand what Facebook is doing wrong on Twitter, let’s compare the account to Twitter’s own on the Facebook platform.

Facebook on Twitter vs. Twitter on Facebook

Let’s start by looking at Twitter’s presence on Facebook. First of all, there’s a nice blend of update, instruction, and entertainment available on the page. Second, there’s a relevant cover photo, as well as engaging visuals throughout the content. The page has 12 million likes.

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Facebook’s Twitter account actually has over 13 million followers, so at least by the numbers it’s ahead. But when you take a look at the content, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. Facebook hasn’t moved out of the broadcasting phase, meaning its feed is just a continuous stream of updates from the blog and announcements about Zuckerberg-related events. There are rarely any accompanying visuals, and the background (a pair of what seem to be some kind of military jets) makes little sense contextually.

Facebook’s Twitter Campaign Basically Just Gave Up

Let’s get one thing straight: the people at Facebook are smart. They know that most people are not going to look at one social network’s account on a competing social network to gain insights or receive updates when those same pieces of information are available on their own, more popular site. They assumed no one would be looking, and they may be right. We may be the first people to ever notice a fault here (probably not). But that doesn’t mean that Facebook’s Twitter Campaign can be viewed as a marketing success, or even a marketing draw.

No, Facebook’s Twitter campaign is a marketing failure, and here’s why.

The average audience member for Twitter is vastly different from that of Facebook. In fact, there are many people on Twitter who don’t have Facebook accounts. And with Facebook trying so hard these days to continue to grow their audiences to be more attractive to advertisers, those users should be pursued wholeheartedly. The number of people who follow the account indicate a vast number of users who want more engaging content from the brand. After all, a follow on Twitter is a lot harder to obtain than a like on Facebook. You would think Facebook would take a cue from their 13 million followers and step up their game.

But instead of creating a highly targeted, highly engaging Twitter campaign — instead of learning the competition — Facebook seems to just give up. They simply smile at their follower count, publish headlines and tidbits from preexisting content (both on their blog and their own Facebook page), Retweet a few relevant announcements, and call it a day. Unacceptable.

Facebook is missing out on an opportunity, but they’re too pessimistic and intimidated by the competition to see it through. It would be better for Facebook not to have a Twitter account at all than to half-ass it like they currently are.

Don’t Be Like Facebook: Have a Robust Presence on All Your Networks

Clearly, Twitter is the company to emulate in this scenario. Here are three things you can take away from the Twitter/Facebook comparison:

  1. Broadcasting is not marketing; it’s advertising. Marketing in the digital age involves intentionally building a community of followers who will advocate for your brand.
  2. Create a vibrant mix of content appropriate to your desired audience. Be intentional by targeting the fans that will really be interested in your product or service, and then deliver what those fans are expecting. Be sure to publish entertaining and instructional content in addition to updates and insights.
  3. Visually represent your brand in an engaging and appropriate way. Facebook’s visuals are irrelevant and un-engaging, while Twitter’s are relevant and fun.

Remember, social media marketing should mean that all of your audiences across multiple platforms are being given the same level of attention and engagement. Facebook fails to do this on Twitter, despite the number of loyal followers it has. Twitter, on the other hand, shows a firm grasp of social media marketing form by being equally as engaging on Facebook as it is on its own platform. By taking notes from these brands and creating visually interesting, varied content, you can grow your own brand and stand above the competition.

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Facebook’

March 17th, 2014

Facebook Paper: Is It the Next Big Thing in Social/Mobile?

Facebook Paper App

iPhone users in the U.S. have already begun using Facebook Paper as an alternative to the typical way to access their Facebook accounts on a mobile device. The no-nonsense repackaging of a user’s news feed into full-screen content that is quickly navigated (and without any sidebar ads or recommendations) feels to many like the way Facebook ought to be.

Of course, like every Facebook update, it is often the businesses who are first to adapt to new layouts or features that reap the biggest benefits from them. So should your business be developing plans to utilize Facebook Paper as soon as possible? Is it going to negatively impact businesses? Or is this a non-issue altogether?

Does Less Adspace Mean Less Attention for Businesses?

Ask yourself when the last time you felt even remotely tempted to click a Facebook ad was. For most people, it might as well be a pop-under or banner ad – it’s just space needed to put more money into Facebook. And even though the capture rate for these ads tends to be extremely low, Facebook won’t be getting rid of them any time soon for this very reason – people keep trying.

The way most people interact with and are marketed to on Facebook is through brand connection; that is, by liking brands or by having their friends do so, content creeps its way into the news feed from time to time that may be of interest to each user. And when it is, they “like”, share, and in the best case scenario, they follow the page. Now they’re a member of a captive audience.

This kind of marketing is not going to be impacted by the changes in Paper, and perhaps could benefit greatly from it. Now as users are swiping from story to story, they’ll get a full-screen ad for your business, and they’ll be interested to read through with nothing else vying for their attention.

Image of Facebook Paper

Early Adoption is Not Always the Solution

Many believe that like Facebook in its early stages, Facebook Paper is more of an experiment than something indicative of a finished product. There is speculation that in later updates, traditional ads will be supported as well, though how or even if that will be implemented remains to be seen. Sometimes the smarter course of action is to sit back and see how these things play out. People might never be using Facebook Paper by this time next quarter.

For those who have a lot of text rather than visual presentation, or those who tend not to be trendsetters even if they adopt best practices, Facebook Paper probably shouldn’t even be on the radar. If it becomes a big enough phenomenon, reaches other devices, or ultimately shapes the way Facebook is used on all platforms, then it may be time to revisit the issue.

Facebook Paper Image

It’s a Matter of Image

Facebook Paper is the hot new thing right now, with lots of buzz behind it. If your business is the kind that benefits from being among the first to try out new tech, then there probably isn’t any conceivable harm behind trying out a Paper-focused marketing strategy.

If your brand is more conservative, restrained, or just not a hit with the “brand new app” crowd, then give it time, see how things pan out, and check in every so often to see if it’s a good idea yet.

But if you aren’t even excited or interested in trying out Facebook Paper for yourself, there probably isn’t much of a reason your business ought to be.

About the Author: Russel Cooke is an online writer who spends most of his time researching and sharing new marketing strategies, unified communications, and branding methodologies with other businesses. He also often contributes to the blog of VirtualPhone-Number.com. He is honored to have had the opportunity to share his insights of what Facebook Paper may mean for business with 60SecondMarketer.com’s audience.

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Archive for ‘Facebook’

February 16th, 2014

Do Facebook Ads Work?

MarketingSchematic

Not long ago, I wrote a post on the 60 Second Marketer blog called The Truth About Facebook Ads: They Don’t Actually Work. It created a bit of a stir in the online community because there were a lot of Facebook loyalist who defended the platform and who have actually had some success with Facebook ads.

The post generated over 33 comments, many from members of the 60 Second Nation and some from people who were just stopping by. I love those kinds of dialogues because they highlight what the 60 Second Marketer is all about — stirring up debates among marketers about the science of marketing.

But on Friday, one of our 60 Second Communications clients asked a question about Facebook ads that prompted me to clarify what I mean when I say that Facebook ads don’t actually work.

As stated in the original blog post, Facebook struggles to have relevancy among mainstream marketers like Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, many of whom have robust Facebook pages, but almost never use the platform for advertising.

So, Should You Abandon Facebook Advertising?

Well, no. And yes.

Here’s what I mean.

If  you’re using Facebook as your primary advertising tool, you’ll probably struggle to generate the ROI you’re hoping for. It’s particularly useless if you’re driving people to a link outside of the Facebook platform. It’s less useless if you’re using a Facebook ad to drive people to a page within Facebook. (Facebook likes to keep people inside the Facebook world.)

But if you’re not using Facebook as your primary advertising tool — in other words, if it’s one of many marketing tools you’re using to build awareness and drive leads to your business — then it’s an acceptable platform.

In other words, if it’s used as an add-on to an existing (and robust) marketing campaign, then it can be perfectly suitable to round-out your overall program.

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That concept — not to lead with Facebook, but to use it as an add-on instead, is a quick and easy way to remember the key point I’m making about Facebook ads.

Are there plenty of people who have been able to make Facebook ads work? Sure. And many of them will have been incredibly lucky and will have generated a client or two (or more) from their ads. It’s also worth noting that Facebook is constantly working to improve and enhance their platform.

But if I were a company with a reasonably nice-sized advertising budget, would I spend my money on Facebook ads? No, I’d spend them on about 5 or 6 other vehicles before I ended up spending a dime on Facebook.

So, I hope that clarifies things for you. Facebook ads can be useful — once you’ve exhausted several other vehicles first. Otherwise, they can be a hit-or-miss proposition.

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Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Facebook’

January 15th, 2014

Help Us Collect Data for Our Facebook Teen Usage Study

Image of Survey

Is Facebook usage among teens starting to slow down? If so, why? And what social media platforms will replace it?

Those are just some of the questions we’re trying to answer in the latest 60 Second Marketer survey. Can you help us collect the data?

If you’re a parent of a child age 13 to 18, we’d like to hear from you. The short survey below is designed to be filled out by your child (or by the child’s parent). The answers will be collected and distributed in an upcoming report released by the 60 Second Marketer.

Please fill out the information below and then press submit. We’ll collect the data and release the report in a few weeks. (If you’d like to be notified when the report is released, be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter here.)

Be sure to scroll down in order to answer all 9 questions. Thanks for your help!

 

 

Did you answer all 9 questions? If so, thanks! And stay tuned for the final report.

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Archive for ‘Facebook’

January 8th, 2014

Facebook: Is its Value to Businesses Disappearing?

Image- Facebook

When it comes to social media, there’s Facebook and there’s everybody else. With an estimated one billion users, one-seventh of the planet’s population is on Facebook.

Businesses have long known that social media is the front line of a smart marketing campaign. Unprecedented access to astounding numbers of potential customers, the ability to connect in real time, and options to target specific audiences while integrating with a larger ad campaign makes social media the most valuable invention in recent marketing history.

If social media is good business, and Facebook is the king of the social media hill, Facebook must be factored into your business’s strategy, right? Well, maybe. There is an unsettled debate raging about the place that Facebook should have in a modern business marketing strategy. Which side are you on?

Image- GSM Facebook is the largest social media network in the world with more than 1 billion users.

The Pros

Ubiquity

Facebook is everywhere, and everyone is on it. Business marketing is about getting your message out to people. When you combine these two truths, it’s tough to make an argument against incorporating Facebook into your plan.

Not only are one out of seven human beings on Facebook – they’re on it a lot. A recent study shows that smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 44 check Facebook an average of 14 times a day. A wide majority – at least 62 percent – check Facebook in bed as soon as they wake up.

It’s Easy to Integrate

Making a page for your business, marketing it, promoting it, and creating ads is one of the easiest ways to reach tons of people even for tech novices. Facebook has a page that holds your hand through the processes of building a page and creating ads. Facebook is also super easy to integrate with your business’s website, as well as cross-promoting with other social media.

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It’s easy to create a business page on Facebook and integrate it with your website.

Personalization

Unlike Twitter – which is a powerful, but less personal, tool that only allows short blurbs of information – Facebook allows your business to use compelling content such as photos, videos, links, and text to paint an overall portrait of your business on one single page. Your message can be tailored to allow the personality behind your business shine through – to introduce yourself and your staff, your product or service and tell the unique story of your business.

Cons

The Blurring of Personal and Professional

Twenty years ago, the only way the people at your work knew what your kids looked like was if they sat close enough to see your picture of them that you kept in your cubicle. Today, the lines between the private and professional has all but disappeared. Your friends know your work gripes and your co-workers know when your sister has the flu.

Social media has demolished the line between work and play and, generally, that is not good for business. Protecting your online reputation is directly related to compartmentalizing your online life, and building a wall between personal and business social media is imperative.

Is LinkedIn Redundant?

A comedian in Los Angeles recently referred to LinkedIn as “Facebook – only boring and with resumes.” Not quite an accurate description, but he makes the point that the working world does have a social network of their own, just for, well, work.

The author of this article makes the point that the consequences of accidentally having your personal Facebook profile overlap with your business page or your LinkedIn profile may not be worth the marketing gains you achieve from having a business presence on Facebook.

However, keep in mind that many professionals see the benefits of LinkedIn and similar sites—you see profiles for Warren Buffett on LinkedIn and for Timothy Broas on viadeo.

The Dangers of Tomorrow

At its peak in 2007, Myspace was worth an estimated $12 billion. Flooded with young people — as well as bands, comedians, dancers, and entrepreneurs — who, for the first time, had their entire identities established online, Myspace screamed permanence. The prevailing theory was that, with Myspace as a centralized hub, personal and business webpages would disappear and the clutter of the Internet would be contained.

Following a brutal, years-long decline, Myspace reinvented itself, but not before deleting the content, including every photo, uploaded by their millions of old, loyal followers.

Right now, it feels like Facebook is forever. We thought that with Myspace — and AOL and Netscape Navigator and a million others. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good idea, but expecting permanence in the fleeting nature of the Age of Information is suicide. Don’t assume a tornado can’t destroy the marketing structure you’ve built on Facebook — or anywhere else.

Changing Demographics

Like virtually all social media sites of its era, Facebook was made by and for young people. That has all changed — dramatically. Like anything else, once mom and dad are involved, it’s no longer cool. Facebook freely admits to losing huge blocks of its once-core demographic: the young.

A recent article points out a bizarre irony about Facebook. In the not-too-distant past, parents were nervous that their teens would join Facebook. Now, they’re nervous that they’ll delete their account. The article points out that Facebook is not declining, but “dead and buried” among teens. Infatuated with apps like Instagram and Snapchat, the only reason many teens retain a profile at all is to stay in touch with older relatives.

If your business targets teens and young adults, you could likely spend your time and resources better elsewhere.

The Post-Graph Search World

The release of the highly anticipated Graph Search function unveiled by Facebook in 2013 proved once again what we all knew but would have liked to forget about warehousing your data on social media. Unlike a website whose format is under your command, a social media platform can make you change your strategy any time it wants. Graph Search forced a flurry of activity as businesses scrambled to adjust their strategies and deal with issues far beyond their control, such as the wave of privacy concerns that came in the wake of Graph Search’s rollout. Any change Facebook makes can send your business strategy reeling.

Facebook is still the unrivaled king of social media, but as Twitter and – for the more visually inclined – Pinterest have made major headway in recent years, the role Facebook plays in business marketing is changing. It is, however, still relevant. Although there are experts who think entrepreneurs should shift their focus from Facebook to other mediums, there are few credible sources who say it’s irrelevant.

About the Author: Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about social media, online business, and profiles pages such as Timothy Broas viadeo.

 

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