Facebook Says It’s Winning The Battle Against Fake Likes

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Improvements in pattern recognition technology have enabled the social network to triple the number of fraudulent likes it blocks before they even reach Pages.

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April 18th 2015 Facebook

This Ad Campaign Starts With Cool Cinemagraphs on Instagram, Then Follows Up on Facebook

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Instagram and Facebook are more entwined than ever, especially for advertisers, who now have a potentially powerful new marketing strategy—using video ads on one to drive sales on the other. Stuart Weitzman, the fashion brand, is one of the first marketers to buy video ads on Instagram, and then send product posts on Facebook to a custom audience of people who viewed the ad.

It's an aggressive tactic that incorporates some of the most advanced new ad products from the two social media platforms. Stuart Weitzman also is using cinemagraphs—a mix of still imagery and video that Facebook is encouraging marketers to embrace—for the creative.

"The campaign is about how to find that perfect mix of brand and direct response marketing," said Susan Duffy, CMO of Stuart Weitzman. "One of the exciting things we're doing is using the full marketing funnel."

Stuart Weitzman is going after 22- to 40-year-old women, and it's using sequential messaging to influence their buying decisions. One week, the women see the cinemagraphs on Instagram, and the next, they get a product ad on Facebook, thanks to custom targeting tools integrating the two platforms.

Facebook has no official stats on how many of its users also are on Instagram, but with more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook and more than 300 million Instagram users, there is plenty of room for overlap.

Last year, Mercedes was one of the first brands to run a campaign combining Instagram and Facebook. The Stuart Weitzman marketing is using similar targeting but with video, which can be very effective on any platform, according to industry experts.

Consumers are more likely to show interest in a product after seeing a video ad and then receiving a follow-up message, according to Justin Kistner, vp of marketing at social media ad firm Mixpo.

"What Stuart Weitzman is doing is a smart extension of the remarketing capability into Instagram," Kistner said. "It drives better results, because they are targeting an audience warmed from seeing the video ads."

Mixpo helps brands plan marketing campaigns and encourages the use of video to drive awareness and build audience for retargeting with more actionable ads, similar to Stuart Weitzman's approach. Brands have employed this tactic on Facebook since it developed more video and targeting tools.

Stuart Weitzman will specifically target Facebook users, as well, but with more refined, interest-based targeting than Instagram currently offers.

"In conjunction with the Instagram ads, we're running a reach and frequency campaign on Facebook to share the cinemagraphs with people who demonstrated brand affinity," Duffy said. The brand also will target a custom audience based on consumers who have visited its website.

Ann Street Studio's Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, who pioneered the technique, created the cinemagraphs for Stuart Weitzman.

 






April 11th 2015 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

Facebook To Showcase New Video Ad Product “Anthology” At NYC Event Prior To NewFronts

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Facebook’s presentation will take place at the company’s Astor Place offices on April 22, just five days before the start of NewFronts.

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April 11th 2015 Facebook

Facebook Facing Class Action Privacy Lawsuit In Europe

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Court hears arguments about whether an Austrian law student has standing to represent 25,000 people in civil suit alleging Facebook violated EU privacy laws.

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April 10th 2015 Facebook

Pew Research: Facebook Is Still Tops Among U.S. Teens

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Facebook is used by 71% of Americans aged 13 to 17 according to Pew Research Center survey. Instagram is used by 52%, Snapchat by 41%, Twitter and Google+ by 33%.

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April 9th 2015 Facebook, Twitter

Facebook Launches Messenger For Web Browsers

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Facebook offers web users separate messaging option, but has no plans to remove chat from main desktop experience.

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April 9th 2015 Facebook

This X-Rated Snapchat Account Disappeared After Exposing the Wild Side of College Life

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Snapchat's gone wild. College kids have turned one of the app's most popular features—My Story—into a crowdsourced stream of public debauchery. Last week, the campus newspaper at San Jose State University exposed one such account that depicted the X-rated side of student life, a far cry from the closely monitored and clean stories Snapchat officially runs about colleges.

The account, username SJSUYAK, was posting a steady stream of drug-filled and sexual images of students at San Jose State. Several students ran the account, and they shared the username and password with others, allowing them to collect an array of photos and videos, one student who helped manage the account told Adweek. 

"Most users tend to see sexually explicit videos, alcohol and illegal drug use such as cocaine lines and bong hits," wrote Andrea Sandoval for the Spartan Daily, referring to the content on SJSUYAK.

After the article ran, Snapchat shut the account down, according to the student who asked to remain anonymous. (Snapchat declined a request for comment.) Even still, the group launched a similar account with a new username by the weekend. 

Social apps sometimes struggle to find that balance between G- and X-rated content, but it's becoming a crucial part of their mission as they try to win mainstream acceptance and attract advertisers. The example of SJSUYAK shows that policing for objectionable content takes constant monitoring, and even that often falls short.

"The Snapchat account is shut down; however, there are multiple backup accounts," Sandoval said by email. "I believe there is one mastermind behind it all."

There is no way to know if all the contributors to these accounts are college students. Still, it appeared that mostly students were discussing SJSUYAK on Twitter, where some expressed disappointment about the account shutting down before a new one replaced it.

The campus video compilations look much like an official Snapchat Story, which allows the public to submit videos and photos about a specific location or event. Snapchat then compiles such posts and calls them "Our Story." They run on a number of college campuses and also can be dedicated to shared experiences like New Year's Eve and March Madness.

Snapchat has said all Stories combined, public and private, attract more than 1 billion views on an active day. The company has been selling sponsorships, some for as much as $750,000 a day, on the official Stories. 

Snapchat censors decide which submissions are included in public Stories, reviewing all posts before choosing what goes up. And they wind up being pretty tame. An account like SJSUYAK offers a view of what Stories would look like unfiltered—lots of nudity, explicit sex, drugs and a general party atmosphere. 

The "Yak" in the username was based on another app popular on college campuses, Yik Yak, which lets students post anonymous messages to a virtual public bulletin board. Yik Yak has caused problems for some college administrators, who take issue with the unfettered free speech, which sometimes targets individuals and turns into bullying.

Snapchat has policies against pornography and depictions of illegal activity. It also retains the right to block any account it wants, according to its user policies.

Snapchat has been trying to polish its image as it grows into a $15 billion tech company with ambitions as a new media empire safe for advertisers. It has attracted big-name advertisers and media companies like ESPN, Vice and Comedy Central, which run their own channels on the app.

Snapchat is not alone in trying to curb the baser elements corrupting parts of social media.

Recently, Twitter developed tools to fight harassment and block hate messages. Its new filter has had early success, according to some users.

While Twitter cleans up its main platform, vitriol is springing up on its latest app, Periscope, where people can share live video from anywhere in the world. Last week, incidents of harassment surfaced, particularly women being hounded with unwanted sexual comments.

Facebook, known for strict decency rules, also constantly polices its network for hateful pages and pornography. The social network recently updated its community guidelines to encourage more civility. Facebook also is working on a video-sharing app called Riff, which is similar to Snapchat's Stories, where users send semipublic videos to one another in an ever-growing messaging chain. 

Meanwhile, SJSUYAK is gone, and students who opened the new account said they changed the name so it doesn't appear to be affiliated with the college.

Sandoval wrote in her newspaper article that such accounts raise privacy concerns for students, who may not want their private moments to be captured and shared.






April 7th 2015 Facebook, Mobile, Technology, Twitter

Infographic: What Digital Stats Can Tell Us About Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Daredevil

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Between 1 million and 2 million people will watch the return of Mad Men on Sunday night, but based on digital buzz, it seems only die-hard fans and not newcomers will be tuning in.

Digital research from publisher and social media agency Moviepilot predicts that showrunner Matthew Weiner's sublime 1960s drama, now in the conclusive second half of its final season, will not break from its core audience and into more living rooms.

"In the week leading up to the Season 7, Part I, premiere [in 2014], search volume for Mad Men was approximately 118,000," explained Moviepilot CEO Tobi Bauckhage. "And by Season 7's mid-season finale, [weekly] search dropped to 93,000. What we're seeing now is yet another drop, down to 88,000 searches. It would appear awareness and inquiry around Mad Men has steadily dropped over the past year plus, so another dip in ratings wouldn't come as a surprise."

The Season 7 mid-season finale drew an audience of 1.9 million viewers.

Bauckhage's company dug deep into social, search and video data to give marketers an idea of how much buzz—or lack of buzz—April TV premieres are getting. Check out what it learned about Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Daredevil's digital performance in the stats and infographic below.

Mad Men

On Twitter, the AMC drama has been picking up speed heading into Sunday's premiere, with an average of 2,000 tweets a day. That skyrocketed to 14,300 tweets on March 24, after news broke that leading man Jon Hamm had checked out of rehab, per Moviepilot.

According to the Los Angeles-based company, search is the most predictive digital metric of TV viewership for people 35 and older. A week before the season premiere, Mad Men's Google performance looked only decent, with roughly 88,000 searches.

Moviepilot's research also showed that Mad Men is weak on YouTube, where clips and trailers for the upcoming season barely eclipsed 1 million views as of April 1.

"And while other factors certainly contribute, the substantial decline in premiere and finale ratings for Mad Men over the past two years largely reflect those social metrics," said Bauckhage. "Interesting that a show about savvy marketing has—at least to some degree—missed the boat on the social media revolution."

Game of Thrones

This HBO juggernaut is, not surprisingly, a social media phenomenon, with 14.5 million likes and more than 62 million views on Facebook for its various clips, as of this week. Mad Men and Daredevil combined for less than 3 million likes and 7 million views.

And there were 380,000 tweets about GoT in the final week of March, per Moviepilot. That's pretty phenomenal when you consider that the much-hyped film, Furious 7, which premieres today, amassed 247,000 tweets during a week in mid-March, according to the company.

Daredevil

How will the first season of Marvel's Daredevil go when it debuts on April 10? Well, it appears that may largely depend on men—the Netflix show's Facebook audience is 98 percent male, with about 153,000 fans.

What's more impressive: the brand's clips have nearly 18 million YouTube views and an additional 6 million on Facebook. Though Daredevil falls short in other metrics, with 20,000 tweets during the last week of March and less than 40,000 searches—both pale in comparison to even Mad Men. 






April 4th 2015 Facebook, Technology, YouTube

Social Media Marketing World 2015: Memorable Moments & Top Takeaways #SMMW15

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Debbie Friez and Brooke Furry at Social Media Marketing World 2015

They say that the third time’s the charm. According to the word on the street (and our own opinions), Social Media Marketing World 2015 may have been the best party Michael Stelzner and his team have thrown since the conference’s inaugural event in 2013.

Three of TopRank Online Marketing’s team members – Debbie Friez, Brooke Furry, and of course Lee Odden – flew out to this year’s event in gorgeous San Diego. Hanging out in SoCal definitely makes you want to wear sandals and sit in the sun – which made us ecstatic, coming from still-snowy Minnesota.

But we didn’t completely enter vacation mode. Our goal was to make friends, increase our social know-how, and mingle with fellow marketers. Lee gave a presentation Friday afternoon entitled “Repurpose on Purpose: Personalized Content for your Target Audience,” while Debbie and Brooke live blogged and tweeted the event’s top takeaways.

Here are our best memories and top takeaways from the event.

Takeaways: Debbie Friez

Thursday night’s (indoor) beach party included options for everyone: play carnival games, sing karaoke, sit around an indoor bonfire, nibble on desserts, or dance to live music. Throughout the conference, this kind of variety continued – chances for learning, sharing, and networking were huge, and we were able to find new opportunities in every room.

Networking

Brooke and I power networked at the power station (literally, a station where you could charge your electronics). We made great connections and brainstormed on new marketing ideas. Each break and daytime meal provided roundtable conversation opportunities on different marketing topics or verticals. The conference was truly international, and we met marketers from Australia, Iceland, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Dubai, New Zealand and many other countries.

Keynote Highlights

Social Media Examiner’s Mike Stelzner kicked off the conference with compelling statistics on the state of social media and insights into getting the most out of the conference.

Social Media Marketing World Tweet "Don't underestimate the power of YouTube."

John DiJulius completed Thursday’s sessions with customer service insights that could apply to your social media strategy. His main message to marketers? Always be positive. This includes never saying, “No problem,” but instead, saying, “Certainly, my pleasure.”

Is content killing social? I thought the Friday morning panel, including Mari Smith, Guy Kawasaki, Christopher Penn and Mark Schaefer killed it! They found a way to keep us awake with funny and interesting stories and insights.

The conference ended with Jay Baer telling us to hug our haters. As social media marketers, we need to remember a good response can gain a fan, but not responding can go viral.

Key takeaways

  • Go visual. Don’t forget to add a photo or video your posts to gain maximum exposure.
  • It’s OK to repost. Your audience isn’t on Twitter 24/7. Repost the content that is bringing in the highest engagement and conversions.
  • Service is the new social. Don’t be the brand that everybody hates. As marketers, we are in the business of building trust. Your job is to be the brand your customers can’t live without.

Takeaways: Brooke Furry

This was my first conference representing TopRank. I found the experience to be professionally inspiring, personally rewarding… and incredibly tweet-able. Can a marketing professional tweet too much? My poor husband didn’t know what to do with my deluge of #SMMW15-themed tweets.

But hey – every session provided little jewels that were too good not to format into 140-character takeaways.

Brooke Furry tweet from Social Media Marketing World

Speaking of takeaways, here are some of the biggest for me:

  • Facebook may be pay to play, but it’s still big for marketers. According to Mike Stelzner’s survey of over 3700 marketers, 93% of marketers use Facebook and over half said Facebook is their most important channel. For marketers struggling to measure ROI from Facebook, check out how well your Facebook posts are converting in Google Analytics in order to back your efforts with numbers.
  • Content is more prolific than ever, but awesome content still has the power to captivate and capture viral attention. This theme came up again and again, but particularly from  Jason Miller and Lee Odden. Are you sharing content your audience wants? Are you answering their top questions? Are you slicing and dicing your best, most authoritative assets to be re-used? As Lee points out, “Content isn’t King – it’s the Kingdom!”
  • Figure out your social media process and strategy so you can tweak and replicate. In his session on social media strategy, Neal Schaffer pointed out that if you can’t describe what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing – and you can’t tweak what you don’t know. Laura Fitton similarly challenged marketers to define their Twitter missions and execute to get real results you can measure and improve.

On a side note, Debbie and I made the most of our three days in San Diego, partaking in the city’s delicious Mexican food, visiting the barbecue joint where Top Gun was filmed, and shaking hands with a lot of talented professionals from all over the world. We had a blast!

To see snapshots from the event, check out our SMMW15 album on Flickr.

For all of our #SMMW15 coverage, check out the blog posts below:

Social Media Marketing World 2015 – What We’re Looking Forward To Most #SMMW15 – Pre-conference anticipation and expectations. (Debbie & Brooke)

How To Get Results You Can Measure With Influencer Marketing – Coverage of Douglas Karr’s session on how to measure influence and attract the right influencers. (Brooke)

Twitter Marketing – How Brands Rise to the Top of the Stream: Microsoft, BMC Software, Renaissance Hotels – Panel discussion from big brands on top Twitter tips. (Debbie)

How To Encourage Employee Advocacy on Social Media: Citrix, Adobe, Cox – Panel discussion on guidelines and best practices for employee social media activity. (Brooke)

Facebook Marketing: Hidden Tactics and Tricks from Leading Brands at #SMMW15 – Insight on how Century 21, Western Union, Roadtrip Nation and the San Diego Chargers nurture their Facebook communities. (Debbie)

How Content Marketers Can Tell Better, More Strategic Stories – Tips from LinkedIn’s Jason Miller on how to tell awesome, relevant, visual narratives in your content. (Brooke)

How Big Brands Measure and Communicate Social Media Success – Social media experts at Discover Financial Services, Tyson Foods and Intel Corporation talk about measuring your efforts and using data to share success. (Debbie)

How To Create and Repurpose Content That Customers Really Want – Coverage of Lee Odden’s presentation on ways to curate, co-create, and repurpose your content. (Brooke)

12 Tools To Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results – These tools will help you save time and provide value, from Ian Cleary’s SMMW15 session. (Debbie)

What was your favorite part of Social Media Marketing World 2015?

 


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April 1st 2015 Facebook, Social Media, Twitter

Google Rolls Out New Tools to Drive Mobile App Installs

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App-install ads continue to be a lucrative business for Facebook and Twitter, and now Google wants a bigger piece of the market.

Today Google is rolling out two new tools aimed at making it easier for marketers to plug mobile apps.

The first change is that advertisers can extend AdMob (Google's mobile app network that serves the ads for 650,000 apps) to the Google Display Network. The Google Display Network powers mobile sites and apps for 2 million publishers such as The New York Times and weather.com. The move will give advertisers a boost at getting their ads seen.

According to Google, advertisers that have already tested mobile-app-install ads on the Google Display Network increased their installations by about 28 percent, compared to when they only used AdMob.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is also rolling out video ads that marketers can use to plug their apps. The full-screen ads pop up with a small piece of copy describing it and the app's rating in Google Play or Apple's App Store. Clicking through on an ad then automatically directs people to stores where they can download the app.

In a blog post released this morning, Gree International—a mobile game developer for titles like War of Nations and Knights & Dragons—claimed some initial success from the video promos. The game developer said Google's video promos increased app downloads by 10 percent while reducing the cost-per-install price by 40 percent. Those numbers are based on the company's own data from other types of ads it has run.

Google's new formats are in part a way to keep up with the social networks that have traditionally driven the mobile-app-install market. Last year, Facebook rolled out video ads that let viewers download apps. Twitter and Tumblr offer similar ads, and Pinterest recently started pushing mobile app installs.

EMarketer forecasts that mobile-app-install ads will bring in $3 billion in U.S. revenue this year, representing 10.4 percent of $28.72 billion in total mobile spending. According to the research firm, mobile-app-install ads will represent 20 percent of the U.S. mobile display market this year.






April 1st 2015 Facebook, Google, Mobile, Technology, Twitter