content

ROI, Facebook and Snapchat

According to a new survey taken in March, almost all (95.8%) of social media marketers worldwide believe that Facebook produces the best ROI out of the major social platforms. With Facebook continually adding new revenue streams, it is not a suprise marketers are using Facebook for their marketing efforts.

ROI

Snapchat, however, is at the bottom – which sort of fits into the results from L2 Think Tank. They found that brands are more hesitant when it comes to using Snapchat.
Instagram on the other hand seems to have almost every industry fully using the platform.  Maybe they have not discovered yet that Snapchat allows you to create unique content in-app that may increase brand following?  Interestingly enough though, posting frequency is higher on Snapchat than Instagram on a weekly basis.
By the way: I am a sucker for both.

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Employers: Social media is your friend

 

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It’s the new year and I’ve been having some discussions lately about if companies should allow employees to build a brand on social media.
Should they be allowed to talk about products and services? Will this not take away from our spotlight?

My opinion remains clear. Not only should everyone have an online presence, everyone should also work on it and use it for networking. Companies who limit their employees’ use of social media are losing out on establishing brand ambassadors and creating an employee advocacy network. The greatest thing that can happen to your company (and your brand) is that your employees are enthusiastic to talk about it. According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer
an employee advocate is two times more trusted than a CEO. Employers have an enormous opportunity to engage and capitalize on these powerful advocates, or risk missing out on an important group of supporters. Allow employees to spread your content – the effect can often be much greater than through your own distribution channels.

But what about drawing the line between private and professional (is the next question I am getting)?

If all you do is post about your company, everyone will think you do not have a life (or a personality). So do a bit of both. The nice thing about using social media as a person is that you have a human face. So write about your interests, post about your travels, your favorite food, your cat (well maybe limit the cat posts 🙂 Genuine posts are more important than marketing language.

Companies should not worry that lines will be blurred. Tell your employees that they should clearly brand their online posts as personal and their own (for instance, on their Twitter profile). And let them know (even though they probably already do) not to post confidential information, legal issues, strategies. For all this (and more) there are social media policies and guidelines (take a look at Dell or Adidas for inspiration).

And remember:

People build relationships with people, not companies.

 

Gen Y and Gen Z – what’s the difference

As a marketer, understanding your audience has a big impact on customer loyalty. And so it is also important to understand the next generation of consumers: the Gen Y millenials as well as Gen Z.

A recent report from Refuel Agency shows that much like millenials, Gen Z also do nearly everything from their mobile devices. Both approximately spend an amazing 17 hours a day on some kind of mobile device. And interestingly enough they look more for content than social networking. When it comes to advertising, Gen Z more attention to online video ads and mobile banner ads is paid than Gen Y.  We may see these generation as “kids” but we always have to remember that they are the next consumers.

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Infographic by Refuel Agency

Yes, you need a content strategy!

contentMarketing products and services through smart and relevant online content is an absolute must nowadays. And yes, before you start creating content, it is absolutely vital that you you have a strategy in place.

It is about a systematic approach with which you can manage content across all channels, on- and offline, ensuring that you reach all customers. Developing a strategy will also allow you to create the type of content that your target audience is looking for and give you the opportunity to build thought leadership in your community.

When developing a strategy make sure to define why you are creating content and who you are creating it for. Do you know the information needs of your target audience and how they consume content?  Take the opportunity to see if your current content is creating the results that you expect or if readjustment need to be made.

If it is done correctly, a content strategy will help you analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. And you will provide your customers with something of value. And that in turn will translate into more engagement, more leads and stronger customer relationships.

Facebook’s bait and switch

Are you getting increasingly frustrated with Facebook? Because I sure am!FB

Already in 2012, Facebook made changes to their EdgeRank algorithm that dictates what brand content appears in follower feeds in a move to get people to pay for the promotion of their content. I remember the backlash at the time was huge. So I would have hoped that by now Facebook would have addressed the criticisms and gone back to let followers decide what they want to see and not make that decision for them. But apparently not. Nick Bilton from the New York Times blogged  on Sunday that he had started to see little interaction on his Facebook page despite having over 400,000 followers. All that changed when he paid $7 to promote his columns with his followers on Facebook. Believe it or not he saw a 1000% increase. EdgeRank also has another feature that  influences how often your follower sees a new post depending on how that follower has interacted with you recently, if he has found your posts interesting and how much he has engaged with you. I started to notice this worrying development in the past few weeks on the brand pages that I am managing for my customers. They also have noted a significant drop in interaction. And (even worse) so has my own timeline.

Should an algorithm really make a decision for you what posts you should see? Should a person not make that decision by blocking or unsubscribing? After all it is people who have made a decision to like or follow other people and things that are of interest to us whether we engage, like or just read. Facebook surely is overstepping a boundary here.

To me the true value of a Facebook Fanpage is that I can reach all my followers with every post. As a brand, I value the presence I have on social media channels as they also help me as a brand to engage with my community and get an understanding of my audience. But probably this is of little interest to Facebook (even if they do want the data that is created on a daily basis). What is the true value of a Facebook Fanpage if you do not get all the reach with your post or that you as a follower are not reached? Maybe as a consequence one has to really consider to build up brand audiences on other networks such as Twitter (where the timeline shows everything) or Tumblr.

Hopefully Facebook will remember their mission statement to “make the world more open”. And find  a balance between revenue and entertainment  in order not to become the old MySpace that in the end looked like a littered, paid content cemetery.