7 Big Stats From Facebook’s Q3 Earnings Report

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Facebook's advertising sales jumped 64 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period year, as the company maintained momentum from earnings reports earlier this year.

Here are 6 other important stats revealed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team late this afternoon:

  1. Facebook generated $2.96 billion in ad sales during Q3, up from Q2's $2.68 billion. Overall revenue totaled $3.2 billion, a 59 percent lift from Q3 2013.
  2. Mobile continues to drive Facebook's growth, representing roughly 66 percent of ad revenue for Q3. Comparatively, mobile accounted for 49 percent of ad sales during 2013's third quarter.
  3. Daily active users (DAUs) averaged 864 million in September, a 19 percent jump from the same month last year.
  4. Mobile averaged 703 million DAUs during last month, a year-over-year increase of 39 percent.
  5. Cross-platform monthly active users (MAUs) in September totaled 1.35 billion, a 14 percent hike.
  6. Mobile MAUs came in at roughly 1.1 billion last month, which represented a 29 percent gain.






October 29th 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

Why Did Taco Bell Just Wipe Out Its Social Media Accounts?

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Taco Bell made a bold move today to grab the attention of hungry millennials. It darkened its social media pages (even appearing to wipe out its 1.4 million Twitter followers and erase all previous Facebook posts) to spotlight a single message: Customers can now order tacos, burritos and chalupas from the chain's new mobile app.

The Mexican fast-food chain, with the help of DigitasLBi, just launched an iPhone and Android app that lets consumers build customizable orders, find nearby locations, check out with a credit card and save favorite items. The app also includes a feature dubbed "rotate to reorder," which pulls up past orders when a phone is held horizontally. 

Once an order is made, consumers can pay with a saved credit card, debit card or gift card. The app then uses location services to detect and check-in consumers when they are near a store, where they can skip the typical lines.

While a number of big-name chains like McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King already offer mobile ordering, Taco Bell claims to be the first to roll it out for both drive-through and in-store orders.

Going Dark and Purging Followers
Earlier today, Taco Bell killed its Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook presence to promote the new app. The social sites now feature a single post with the hashtag "#onlyintheapp," essentially redirecting followers to the app. 

Taco Bell has 1.4 million Twitter followers, but appears to have locked its main account under another name for the duration of the stunt. In its place, Taco Bell set up another account that has gained about 2,000 followers so far.

The brand's 10 million Facebook "likes" remain, though all previous brand posts have vanished.

While going dark will surely build some buzz around the app, it also cuts Taco Bell's chances of chatting back and forth with fans on social media.

The brand kept its Instagram posts, but it queued up nine images in the app's grid view to read, "The new way to Taco Bell isn't on Instagram. It's #onlyintheapp." Similar content was also posted on Snapchat and Vine.

A 15-second national TV ad (created by Deutsch Los Angeles) also supports the launch of mobile ordering with a similar call to action prompting app downloads.






October 29th 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology, Twitter

Facebook Video Is Squeezing Out YouTube as Brands Embrace Autoplay

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Brand marketing habits are changing in Facebook's favor—at least when it comes to posting and playing videos—part of the social giant's grand video plans. Budweiser, McDonald's and even Beyoncé are now posting videos directly to the social network—not just sharing YouTube links—and it's leading to a digital power shift. In short, YouTube clips, once ubiquitous on Facebook, no longer dominate on Facebook's feed, which is siphoning some traffic from Google's popular video site.

Taking traffic from YouTube also means taking away potential ad dollars, especially now that Facebook is focusing more on video advertising. "It's such a smart play because it's the most natural next step in slowly taking over video," said Robert Sandie, CEO of online video tracker and consultant vidIQ.

Facebook has identified video as a core growth area for its platform—similarly to how Yahoo, Twitter, AOL and Google all vie for views. Now, when a marketer posts content to Facebook, it has the option to use the homegrown video function—which automatically plays and appears most naturally in the News Feed. The change happened quickly over the past year since Facebook introduced autoplay video widely on the network.

"The autoplay feature allows us to increase engagement and exposure with millennials in an undisruptive way, as our content is integrated into consumers' News Feeds naturally," said Lucas Herscovici, vp of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch.

Social media tracker Socialbakers offered some evidence of the shift. In January, McDonald's posted 27 videos to Facebook, 18 of which were YouTube links and the rest native Facebook videos. In September, it posted 32 videos, of which 19 were Facebook videos. In May, Budweiser posted about 60 YouTube videos to Facebook, of which fewer than 10 videos used Facebook's functionality; in September, those numbers flipped.

"Facebook wants to keep that traffic," said Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab.

Posting directly to Facebook also increases engagement, added vidIQ's Sandie. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines got the message. Its latest video was posted to YouTube and Facebook separately like many brands are now doing. Fans engaged with KLM's latest YouTube video 300,000 times, with likes and shares, but they engaged 350,000 times on Facebook, even though it received fewer views, Sandie said, adding, "This shows the power of native marketing on Facebook."

One doesn't necessarily replace the other, though. YouTube still generated engagement from other social networks, deriving traffic from Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit. YouTube declined to comment.

The impact of Facebook's power play and brands' marketing strategies will become much clearer in the lead-up to Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, Sandie said. YouTube has long been the place for posting early looks at Big Game spots. Facebook will most certainly use its pull to keep viewers focused on their News Feeds there. "Apparently that algorithm right now is heavily encouraging brands to upload videos natively through Facebook," Sandie said.






October 27th 2014 Facebook, Technology, Twitter, video, yahoo, YouTube

How HP Turned 6-Second Vines Into a 30-Second TV Ad

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Brands are constantly seeking creative methods to make their pricey campaigns pay off in more ways than one. But computer giant HP hit the jackpot by turning its Vine campaign for the HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop into a first-of-its-kind national TV commercial.

HP's vp of worldwide marketing Vikrant Batra said the company decided to aim its lower-priced computer, which can flip between being a tablet or a laptop, at high school and college students. Knowing that young millennials spend hours on Vine, HP, with help from agency 180LA, called for Vine creators on Niche­—a platform that helps brands find social media content creators—to submit ideas that demonstrate the product's versatility, using the hashtag #BendTheRules as inspiration. "You can't force the culture into your brand, you have to get your brand to fit in with the culture," Batra explained. "You have to be comfortable with giving up control."

Creativity was key, but Batra added that having a large Vine following was a strong consideration because it meant greater reach. In total, HP hired about a dozen artists and commissioned around 30 clips. The campaign "definitely exceeded [HP's] expectations," resulting in 950,000 active engagements and 50 million organic views. Robby Ayala, a Vine creator with 2.9 million followers who made two clips for HP, got more than 241,400 revines and 13,900 comments for his content—up to four times better than his nonbranded work. "I told them a traditional commercial won't work. It needs to be in my own style of video and not an ad," he said.

"The clever thing about the HP ad is that the product is also the hero," said Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis. "You don't even have to know its Vine stars to be able to appreciate what they did."

Solis added that more marketers are repurposing social media or memes. Fiat's recent TV ads were made out of GIFs, while Samsung sourced the creative for its "What Matters Most" campaign from Instagram photographers. But he cautioned that using unknown online personalities or memes might not translate. "It's not going to work for brands who repurpose content across platforms because of laziness. They have to understand the medium and the message," he said.

HP is hoping lightning will strike twice, so it has launched another campaign on Niche. Batra said there's no concrete plan to turn these into a spot, but it's a possibility. "When you're working with content that is so immediate and dynamic, you have to leave room in your planning and react to every minute," he said.






October 27th 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology, Twitter, video

Facebook Departs From Real-Name Policy to Allow Privacy in Rooms

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Facebook’s new app Rooms is a nod to the desire for anonymity online and represents a throwback to the old-school Internet. Facebook launched its anticipated privacy-centric app this week to capture some of the momentum that has powered a rise in secret-sharing apps and the popularity of forums like Reddit, where participants go by aliases.

On Facebook, users have to reveal their real names, but not on Rooms. The iOS app allows Rooms creators to open their own topic threads for discussion. So far, popular Rooms cover everything from love of shoes to love of food.

Josh Miller, the product manager of Rooms, compared the app to the early days of the Internet, when people would meet in forums, chat rooms and message boards to discuss common topics without divulging their real names.

"Now you can connect with people anywhere around the world who like something as much as you do," he told USA Today.

Rooms is the latest creation out of Facebook’s Creative Labs, which built Slingshot, Paper and other apps to help diversify the social network’s portfolio of mobile properties.






October 25th 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

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facebook-groups2 About once a week, if not more, I find myself typing these words or something similar on Facebook: “I just PM’d you, check your ‘Other’ inbox.” Or, “sorry, I’m on mobile, I can’t get to the ‘Other’ inbox right now.” Or sometimes, just “bump.” If any of these phrases sound familiar, you’re probably also a member… Read More

October 25th 2014 Facebook, Mobile

Fast Five in Search – Week 43, 2014

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fast-five

 

The year is fast coming to an end and it seems like the big online brands are all rushing to launch products or services before 2014 wraps up. So today we have a mixed bag of brand announcements, as well as some interesting trends in mobile advertising.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Google Penguin 3.0: Worldwide Rollout Still in Process, Impacting 1% of English Queries by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land. Google is in the process of rolling out their latest iteration of the Penguin algorithm update. In this post, Barry looks at what’s been tweaked, when it rolled out and who has been affected so far.

2) Mobile Ad Revenues Soar as Search and Directories Flatten Out by Emily Alford of Search Engine Watch. In 2014, mobile revenues increased by a whopping 76 percent from $3 billion to $5.3 billion from the $3 billion reported at half-year 2013. $2.7 billion came from mobile search, while $2.5 billion came from mobile display. Emily looks at reasons for the incredible performance and areas of overlap with other advertising revenue.

3) Facebook Launches “Pseudonymous” App Rooms That Lets You Create Forums About Any Topic by Josh Constine of TechCrunch. Facebook has launched a new mobile app that has everyone talking. Called *Rooms*, the app lets you set up a mobile-only discussion space about any topic.

4) Mobile Search Ranking Study: Rank Number One or Not Rank at All by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land. A new study from seoClarity finds that if you do not rank in the number one position in the mobile search results, the click-through rate drops off significantly, so much so, that ranking number barely matters.

and finally…

5) Universal Event Tracking: A New and Improved Way to Track Your Sites’ Activities in Bing Ads by Nishant Gupta of Bing Ads. Bing Ads has introduced Universal Event Tracking (UET) to advertisers worldwide. UET allows advertisers to define and track performance and conversion goals important for their business. This is the official launch announcement from Bing Ads.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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October 24th 2014 Facebook

Here’s Why Automakers Are Ahead of the Game in Digital

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For years, automakers were synonymous with branding-based advertising, but the shift to digital has steered more of them toward direct-response marketing. Of course, sizable ad budgets help, but there’s more to why automakers are first movers on practically every new type of digital promo.

Today, Honda’s Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana dealer group (which includes roughly 30 Midwest dealerships) announces that it is the first brand to use a new tool from Blinq Media—one of Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developers—that targets in-market car shoppers with local promos. By squarely focusing on in-market car shoppers, the campaign only uses direct-response messaging to drive conversions.

With the help of agency RPA, Honda will begin using the new tool to buy Facebook’s right-hand rail and newsfeed ads on desktops, plus sponsored posts on mobile, programmatically. The ads target two types of prospects: Consumers who are near dealership, or people who have interacted with Honda’s content before—such as filling out an online sales lead form.

Nichola Perrigo, associate director of digital marketing at Honda’s agency RPA, described the social promos as a way to "optimize and rapid-fire test different ad units" by pulling in dealership-specific offers in real time.

Ad creative will change on the fly, too. "We’re going to be able to create very dynamic, custom ads that hit each one of those audience groups," explained Perrigo. For example, if a person has shown a past interest in a Civic sedan, he or she won’t be served an ad for an Accord. Clicking through on any ad drives consumers to a website with more customized information based on the Facebook offer.

Since GM’s famous exit from the social platform in 2012 (and its subsequent return in 2013), Facebook has made significant efforts to win back auto brands.

To Facebook’s credit, GM-owned Chevrolet was among a small handful of brands to test auto-play video ads earlier this year while Ford and Lexus have also forked over cash to the social platform.

Marc Poirier, co-founder and evp of business development at Acquisio noted the newest local ads may also pay off for other direct-response marketers. "The new local ad offering for Facebook is in theory very well-suited to direct-response local advertising, especially when the measured goal is something such as generating requests for test drives."

Moving Down the Purchase Funnel
Honda’s decision to home in on digital to target low-funnel consumers follows a string of similar investments from automakers.

In September, Toyota Central Atlantic—a group of dealerships along the East Coast—claimed a 45 percent increase in foot traffic from a mobile campaign.

The ads targeted in-market buyers who had previously visited a competitor’s lot and linked to car registration data, indicating if a consumer actually bought a car as a result of seeing the re-targeted mobile ads.

It’s easy to chalk up the emphasis on hyperlocal marketing to the fact that automakers typically have sky-high marketing budgets. But it also indicates that digital is working for brands to do more than branding.

"U.S. automotive [brands] have usually a 60/40 split between direct-response and branding," said Guillaume Lelait, general manager at Fetch.

In With the New, Out With the Old?
Even as more automakers employ direct-response advertising, not all brands are ready to ditch branding efforts. Instead, marketers like Mercedes are pulling double duty with social ads.

Mercedes recently released a case study from the first campaign to run Instagram and Facebook promos simultaneously. The German automaker’s effort claims a 54 percent increase in Web traffic. But there’s also an interesting branding data point: The Instagram ads by themselves increased brand awareness by 14 percent. The idea was to test which types of creative work best on each platform.

"We're not just throwing money at the platform—we're really trying to see what's going to break through and get engagement from our audience," Eric Jillard, general manager of marketing services at Mercedes, told Adweek during Advertising Week.






October 22nd 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

Mobile Ads Could Make or Break the Yahoo-Tumblr Marriage

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Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer's $1 billion bet on Tumblr is undergoing a fresh wave of scrutiny thanks to a disgruntled investor as well as persistent questions from marketers. And later today when she discloses Yahoo's third-quarter earnings, Mayer is expected to unveil a fresh plan of attack for her company. It will be intriguing to see where Tumblr falls into the mix, as there are signs that the union may ultimately yield promising new mobile opportunities.

Last week in London, the tech duo pitched two cross-device, data-driven ad products that show potential. Earlier this month, 50 ad agencies convened at Yahoo's private annual summit on the Rhode Island coast, where Tumblr's smartphone-savvy millennial audience demo was pitched to marketers.

“We believe that every one of those agencies represented will bring one new brand onto the platform in the next three or four months,” said Lee Brown, Tumblr’s global head of sales.

According to comScore, Tumblr's mobile viewers were up 45 percent year over year in September. New York-based Tumblr's numbers state that 65 percent of its 400 million global monthly users employ its mobile app. And with mobile ad sales exploding for Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr's millennial prowess looms like an untapped beer keg for youth-minded brands. Give Tumblr credit: It’s not leaning on often dreadful display ads to create cash flow, instead focusing on a handful of native-styled products.

Starbucks reported positive early results for its trending blog promos on the social platform’s phone app, while Taco Bell and American Eagle are repeat customers. Ads appear alongside text blogs, video, GIFs and other multimedia. “It is very lightweight and has built-in virality,” said Ned Brody, Yahoo’s head of the Americas. “And that’s really what a modern platform should have.”

While agencies are intrigued by Tumblr’s engagement with millennials, serious concerns remain. Sean Kegelman, evp of audience and strategy at VivaKi, said, “With Tumblr’s distinct environment, you’re not going to see a tremendous amount of paid advertising on it because brands need a lot of [complementary] content to make it work.”

Amy Peterman, 360i’s director of paid social, remarked that Tumblr’s ads are compelling, but added it hasn’t “done a great job of educating the marketplace thus far about what’s possible and how to use the platform.”

Dan Lubetsky, performance analytics lead at SapientNitro, agreed, asking, “What does a trending ad in Tumblr actually generate?”

Indeed, offering meaningful data will be central to whether Tumblr makes good on Yahoo’s expensive leap of faith. And so will selling ads to brands that take aim at Gen Y consumers who are glued to their handhelds.

“We are at a great inflection point,” said Tumblr’s Brown. “Mobile is a big opportunity.”

As the last installment of a three-part series on Tumblr, tomorrow we'll look into how major brands such as Gatorade, BMW and MasterCard are employing the platform's advertising and marketing products.






October 21st 2014 Facebook, Mobile, Technology, yahoo

TLC’s Cake Boss To Host Interactive Live-Streamed Holiday Cooking Show

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The cable network turns online to boost brand awareness and loyalty as prime baking season arrives.

The post TLC’s Cake Boss To Host Interactive Live-Streamed Holiday Cooking Show appeared first on Marketing Land.



Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

October 21st 2014 Facebook, video