Facebook Rolls Out Analytics For App Links

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applinks Today, Facebook is rolling out analytics for App Links, its initiative to make it easier for developers to link to specific content in partnership with Parse (which it purchased last year) and Mixpanel. The data available is still rather simple, but it’s a first step to convincing developers that they should use it to send traffic between apps. Read More

August 22nd 2014 Facebook, Mobile

Instagram Starts Offering Essential Ad Tools At Last

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instagram-iphone Facebook-owned Instagram is making itself more advertising-friendly today with the rollout of a suite of business tools aimed at brands which offer insights and analytics related to their use of the image-sharing network. Included in the suite are tools that show a business’s reach and impressions, as well as engagement, plus the performance of paid ad campaigns. Specifically,… Read More

August 22nd 2014 Facebook, Mobile

Funny or Die Reveals 10 Percent of Its Kik Fans Click on Video Messages

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Funny or Die found a new way to boost video views. All it takes is a little Kik—help from the messaging apps' new Promoted Chats product. The digital comedy crew at Funny or Die, co-founded by Will Ferrell, said it is getting a 10 percent click rate on videos it sends through the messaging app to its fan base, grown with the new paid marketing product. 

It is among a handful of brands testing Kik Messenger's ad product, which lets marketers promote their accounts, accumulate contacts and connect with them.

Now, Funny or Die has more than a million Kik followers, about the same as it has on Tumblr. One in 10 are clicking on messages that encourage followers to "check out this video."

"I've been around this space a long time, and I've never seen that kind of number," said Patrick Starzan, vp of marketing and business development at Funny or Die.

When the humor site posts videos to Facebook or Twitter, by comparison, about 0.5 percent of people who see the link actually click, Starzan said.

The Kik ad tests show that messaging can be a powerful marketing medium as users spend more time on these apps, including Snapchat, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and Tango.

Kik, founded in 2009, is a quiet, high-ranking force in the app charts with more than 150 million registered users. It has some big-name investors, including Union Square Ventures, and it last raised money in April 2013—$20 million. The messaging space has been flush with cash since then, which could mean Kik is in line for more financing.

This year, Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, and Tango raised $280 million, mostly from China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

The messaging rivals are coming up with their own modes of generating revenue to support all this investor confidence—Line sells stickers, WeChat experiments with e-commerce. Many platforms are handling overt advertising with care, however, because brands can be intrusive to users who just want to talk with friends.

The Wall Street Journal said Kik's Promoted Chats represent a new form of bot advertising, letting marketers set automated messages to mass communicate in a way that seems one-on-one. It's been called "chatvertising."

Treading lightly, Funny or Die sends out a message twice a week on Kik, as opposed to six to eights posts a day on Facebook and Twitter, Starzan said.

Once a brand accumulates Kik followers through paid Promoted Chats, it gets to message its fan base eight times a month for free, he said.

"Anything else, you pay for," he said, revealing a model that is similar to Facebook, where marketers buy a following and support community outreach with a paid strategy. A maximum of eight free messages was agreed upon during the testing phase, but the number could change when the ad product ultimately launches.

Heather Galt, a vp at Kik, said six brands have tested Promoted Chats, which launched last month. Nearly 3 million Kik users viewed Promoted Chats and opted to communicate with one of the brands, she said, including the million that tapped Funny or Die.

"In the first week, 18 million messages were sent and received," she said.

The other early Kik marketers include Moviefone, DoSomething.org, Cambio and Wattpad.

Brands also are building mini-websites optimized for running inside Kik. For instance, last year the boy band One Direction launched a Kik-optimized page, and since then more than 500 pages have been created, making Kik a mobile hub.

Galt said the combination of Kik-optimized pages and Promoted Chats are creating new ways for brands to push media and promotions. The app also has a place for sponsored positions in the search bar, where users look for Kik pages. And there is a "featured" position within the top sites tab, another potential place for brands to promote their presence.

"We see multiple opportunities on the platform with Kik-optimized Web pages, top sites and limited advertising," Galt said. "And we're building more."






August 19th 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology, Twitter

Facebook Tests ‘Satire’ Tag to Help Users Identify Fake News

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Facebook wants to make sure its users are not only well-informed but feel smart, too.

The social networking giant is experimenting with a “satire” tag for the related articles in a user’s news feed that come from fake news sites. The move was prompted by user feedback, according to Mashable.

Google News follows this practice already for stories that come from parody or satire news sources such as The Daily Currant and The Onion, as well as those that come from blogs or press release distributors.

Facebook's News Feed debuted in 2006. Since that time, the number of potential stories showing up in any given user’s feed when they log in has grown exponentially; today it’s 1,500 on average.

The site’s engineers and algorithm wizards have made a number of tweaks to news feed over the last year, from cleaning up spam to surfacing more relevant ads and better videos.

Some marketers believe these changes have been not only in the aim of optimizing news feed for users but also in an effort to make them buy ads.






August 19th 2014 Facebook, Google, News, Technology

National Geographic Ranked No. 1 in Social Media Among Publishers

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National Geographic is the king of the social media jungle, according to a top 10 list released by Shareablee. The New York-based digital data company has ranked NatGeo as the most effective publisher in the social space for the month of July, with 46.4 million engagements on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Washington D.C. nonprofit has recently proven more than capable in terms of thrilling social media followers with visual storytelling. NatGeo's Instagram videos, in particular, have performed admirably with sweeping footage of off-the-beaten-path locations such as Lake Powell, Arizona. The magazine's Instagram feed has amassed more than 6.5 million followers.

NatGeo's messaging on Twitter is an example of how brands use social media to build community—with tweets about how geckos turn their sticky toes on and off (answer: they change the angles of their toe hairs) to a photo gallery of the dramatic front lines of wildfires.

Meanwhile, Shareablee's data boded well for other publishers as well.

Sports site Bleacher Report came out on top in terms of Facebook engagements, with 6.5 million, followed closely by Huffington Post (6.1 million) and BuzzFeed (6 million). 

Below are other highlights from the stats.

  • Automotive is the fastest growing category, highlighted by Road and Track as well as Car and Driver accelerating to nearly 60 percent growth in the category.
  • Entertainment publishers had 59 million engagements, dominated by BuzzFeed, People.com and TMZ.
  • General news accounted for 29 million Facebook engagements; The Huffington Post was the runaway leader, followed by Time and The Guardian.






August 19th 2014 Facebook, Technology, Twitter

Fast Five in Search – Week 34, 2014

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fast-five

 

I travel around New Zealand regularly, giving in-person training workshops for the Institute of IT Professionals in various online marketing subjects. My most popular workshop by far has been Social Media for Business, likely because many businesses and organizations struggle to understand how best to integrate social into their existing marketing strategies.

During the workshop, I like to show attendees a range of case studies where businesses of all sizes have successfully used social media marketing to promote their products and services and grow their customer base. Some of the biggest success stories I share come from Facebook.

Today’s Fast Five features five of my favourite Facebook business success stories:

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Pigtails and Ponys – Remember the The Work Song Nanocluster episode of Big Bang Theory when the gang pitch in to help Penny with her hair clip crafting business *Penny Blossoms* and end up briefly turning it into a successful online business? Well, that’s what Pigtails and Ponys have done, but their success is ongoing. Founded in 2011, Pigtails and Ponys sold handmade headbands in local flea markets. The Indian hair accessories start-up then used Facebook Ads to grow what was once just a flea market booth into a thriving online business, with 70% of its customer base acquired on the platform.

2) Griffins Biscuits – This one is close to home for me. New Zealand based biscuit (cookie) manufacturer Griffins were surprised to find a Facebook page set up by a customer requesting that they re-instate a childhood favorite biscuit that hadn’t been produced for many years. Griffins implemented a Facebook survey to gauge reaction and re-introduced Choco-ade biscuits in response to demand. People bought over NZ $1.5 million worth in the first month, making it the number 1 selling product in the country.

3) Scoot Airlines – Singapore Airlines owned low-cost, long haul flight brand Scoot flies to 10 destinations around Asia Pacific. Scoot achieved impressive brand awareness and a 14x return-on-investment using Facebook to drive ticket sales for its Japan flight launch.

4) Michael Kors - Fashion retailer Michael Kors (of Project Runway fame) recently celebrated 5 million *likes* by launching a limited edition shoe – a zebra print sneaker, no less – for Facebook fans only. To buy the shoe in-store, fans had to quote the secret password. The launch drove a 16-point increase in awareness of Michael Kors sneakers and led to sellouts of some styles online and in stores.

and finally…

5) Visit Florida – Florida’s official tourism marketing corporation Visit Florida wanted to promote family travel to Florida during the Summer months. Through its *Sunshine Moments* sweepstakes campaign on Facebook, Visit Florida saw a 10-point increase in people’s likelihood to consider Florida as their next vacation destination, with 18,481 people submitting photos in the sweepstakes and 279 million Facebook Ad impressions during the campaign.

Are you achieving this type of success on Facebook? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

Happy Facebooking!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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August 18th 2014 Facebook, Social Media

Gillmor Gang: What’s That Sound

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Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Keith Teare, Kevin Marks, Dan Farber, and Steve Gillmor — struggle with the news and raw emotions of the death of Robin Williams and the Ferguson upheaval. The intersection of social and mainstream media is no longer the big story it once seemed to be.
Instead, the speed with which technology, particularly mobile, has transformed not only the… Read More

August 17th 2014 Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, video

Yahoo’s Self-Service Ads Reportedly to Include Premium

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In a bid to shore up display ad revenue, Yahoo will reportedly begin offering media buyers a self-service version of its premium ad management tool, Yahoo Ad Manager (YAM) Plus.

Access to the platform comes with a hefty minimum price tag of $10,000 per campaign, according to Advertising Age, which says the tool will be available in September. Yahoo wouldn't comment on the report.

Yahoo's move is seen as an attempt to re-coup some of its recent display advertising losses. The enticement? Buyers can use a platform that gives them access to Yahoo audience data, allowing them to better target their campaigns and still participate in Yahoo's automatic ad-buying programs.

According to Ad Age, Yahoo media buyers who pay the freight get first crack on their bids for Yahoo's display ad inventory before it is offered to the general marketplace in the company's ad exchange.

Yahoo has seen declining ad revenue as media buyers shop around for cheaper alternatives to Yahoo's premium ad management service. The company's premium display ad revenue has also reportedly been hurt by automated ad buying programs.

Yahoo launched YAM Plus in January, but the portal reportedly has experienced its share of difficulties. The company is testing the self-service tool before rolling it out.

Self-service platforms, known as demand-side platforms (DSP), are employed by a number of large tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

DSPs allow marketers to manage ad campaigns with a single interface.






August 16th 2014 Facebook, Google, Technology, yahoo

Promote, Partner Or Pay: Maximizing Your Content Distribution

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If a tree falls in the forest… For decades, marketers have relied on their ability to tell a good story – and relied on mass media to do the rest. Twenty years ago, putting an ad on heavy national TV rotation would ensure it would be seen by 80% - 90% of your target audience. Today, media…



Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

August 15th 2014 Facebook, Social Media, Twitter

Facebook Wants to Show That Mobile Ads Affect Desktop Purchases

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Facebook has introduced cross-device reporting to potentially help marketers understand how their mobile ads on the social platform influence consumers' desktop decisions. 

According to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based digital giant, marketers will be able to see where different types of conversions—i.e., actual sales, from sign-ups, app downloads, etc.—occurred. Ad performance can be broken down in terms of types of mobile devices, such as tablet, smartphone, iPhone, Samsung, etc.

A Facebook blog post said that "a marketer can view the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet."

The reporting tools have been tested by an undisclosed number of brands—one being One Kings Lane.

"This report has provided unprecedented insights into the cross-device shopping behavior of our customers," said Nisho Cherison, director of online marketing for One Kings Lane.

While Facebook has been on a mobile ads roll in recent months, this data-based move suggests that the player isn't resting on its laurels when it comes to getting brands' spend. And it probably cannot afford to, as Twitter, Yahoo-backed Tumblr and Pinterest increasingly compete for marketing budgets.

But, each of those platforms has yet to prove to retailers that social commerce works. Facebook's move today is designed to deal with that reality.






August 14th 2014 Facebook, Technology, Twitter, yahoo