Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Facebook Follows "No Free Lunch" Trend Set by Google and Yahoo




Before You Break Up with Facebook, Remember a Lesson from Search

Yahoo and Google Also Started Out Free for Advertisers

The internet is ablaze with chatter of how Facebook is "backstabbing" advertisers and "corroding" the relationships between brands and the followers they have worked so hard to attain. Between Eat24's heartfelt breakup letter to Facebook and Nate Elliot's "told you so" article on Forrester's blog, many companies and commentators have very publicly voiced their opinion on Facebook's decision to limit organic reach and drive marketers to paid advertising.

But before you sever your social marketing ties with Facebook, take a second and review the situation. Facebook isn't necessarily backstabbing marketers (although it is trying to make money). Instead, the social network is simply growing up and going down the natural path of marketing evolution -- one that we've already seen with search.

It happened before
As former VP-search at Yahoo, I saw a similar pattern a decade ago. As part of their initial go-to-market plans, Yahoo and Google both offered free traffic for a limited time to business sites. As a result, Yahoo and Google were able to improve and refine the relevance of search while simultaneously building a large and loyal user base. Once they achieved this, both companies monetized their large audiences by offering advertising through Yahoo Overture and Google Adwords.

Businesses that initially enjoyed completely free site traffic had to start competing in paid search ads as well as search engine optimization in order to maintain position. Today, businesses understand that investing in paid search and SEO are necessary to drive relevant traffic to their sites. More recently, Google increased its focus on the quality of content in paid and organic search. When companies try to game the system with generic, bland content or excessive links, their rankings and traffic drop. If you want to keep rankings or traffic high, you have to pay attention to its criteria, pay to stay on top in sponsored links and keep up with SEO.

Facebook is protecting quality
We're witnessing the same process underway at Facebook, so don't take it personally. Facebook is not targeting or attacking the businesses it spent so many years cultivating -- it's just the natural evolution in marketing. There are now 1.3 billion people actively logging into Facebook every month, and similar to Google's and Yahoo's go-to-market strategies, Facebook has spent the last few years getting businesses hooked on the free traffic.

However, Facebook realizes that the value of traffic depends on the quality, not quantity, of content. There are many reasons people "like" or become a fan of a business page. Perhaps you are a loyal consumer. In many cases though, you probably liked a page for the chance to win a convertible, a free vacation or another one-off giveaway. This means that you don't want to always see offers or promotions from that brand. Without some boundaries, the current technique of spamming fans would eventually annoy users, driving down engagement and conversion for the business and Facebook.

Facebook targeting is evolving
Now that Facebook is prioritizing relevance, the ability to use predictive social analytics to identify quality content is more critical than ever before. The old method of inundating fans with multiple offers is no longer effective. Businesses must focus on messaging that their audience cares about.

But how do you know what your audience cares about? The answer is simple -- they tell you! Social media is a cornucopia of public information -- particularly facts about people's personal lives. Moreover, Facebook's recent implementation of hashtags and Instagram acquisition make it easier for companies to use predictive social analytics to identify hot leads, increasing the chance for conversion. From "#itsaboy" announcements to "#ihateapple" rants, consumers constantly tell businesses what they want (or don't want). Brands can then predict buying behavior based on these announcements of definitive events or personal preferences that require specific products or services.

The lesson of the story is: Don't let a few jaded commentators convince you that all hope is lost and don't let a few evolutionary marketing changes cause you to break up with Facebook. Instead, work to keep the relationship strong and effective by understanding the changes and adapting your strategy.

Or you could try taking a page out of Eat24's PR playbook. Its breakup letter may have gotten the company more attention than any of its previous campaigns. But there may be diminishing returns that way.

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPad Air]

Video Marketing Generate Increased Visitor to Lead Conversion Rates by Over 60 Percent

Video Bootcamp: Amplify Conversion & ROI from your Video Content Marketing Strategy, Ad Age Custom Webcast, April 24 at 2pm ET, Free to Attend, Click to Register; Brightcove (logo); Advertising Age (logo)

According to a recent Aberdeen ROI report, 95% of best in class marketers are using video as part of their content marketing mix. These marketers are seeing an average 4.8% website conversion rate with video versus 2.9% conversion rates for marketers that are not using video as part of their mix.

Best-in-class firms are not only more likely to incorporate video into their content mix, but companies using video are also more effective in their content marketing and report better performance on a number of key metrics.

Sign up and we'll send you a copy of the latest report from Aberdeen "ROI of Video Marketing" on how global marketers are thinking about their content marketing and video strategy this year.

This webinar will cover:
•  Content marketing trends from the past year
•  Steps to amp up your 2014 Content Marketing strategy
•  Real-world brand examples of how leading marketers are using video to convert more site
    visitors into revenue


Steve RotterTrip Kucera 
Steve Rotter
VP Marketing

Trip Kucera
VP Content Solutions

Register Today!

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPad Air]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Official Facebook Explanation of News Feed Algorithm Changes

Cleaning up News Feed Spam: What it Means for Businesses

Via Facebook: Earlier today Facebook announced a series of improvements to News Feed to reduce stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don't want to see. The goal of these changes is to make sure that News Feed delivers the right content to the right people at the right time, so everyone on Facebook sees the stories that are important to them. We'd like to now explain how these improvements will impact businesses on Facebook.
First, a bit of context. Many of these spammy stories are published by Pages that deliberately try to game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would. The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam, so should not be negatively impacted by these changes. If anything, businesses may see a very small increase in News Feed distribution.
Publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months. In particular, we're targeting three broad categories of feed spam:
"Like-baiting" is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to garner additional distribution.
People often respond to posts asking them to take an action, and this means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, when we survey people and ask them to rate the quality of these stories, they report that like-baiting stories are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares. Over time, these stories lead to a less enjoyable experience of Facebook since they drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.
The improvement we are making today better detects these stories and helps ensure that they are not shown more prominently in News Feed than more relevant stories from friends and other Pages. This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for likes, comments and shares.
What this means to businesses: Focus on posting content that is relevant and interesting to your target audiences. It's OK to encourage discussion about your posts' content, but you should avoid asking for likes or shares to get more distribution.
Frequently circulated content
People and Pages on Facebook frequently reshare great content, but people tell us there are occasionally instances where photos or videos are uploaded to Facebook over and over again. We've found that people tend to find these instances of repeated content less relevant, and are more likely to complain about the Pages that frequently post them. We are improving News Feed to de-emphasize these Pages, and our early testing shows that this change causes people to hide 10% fewer stories from Pages overall.
What this means to businesses: Develop a publishing strategy that uses original content and is not copied from other sources.
Spammy links
Some stories in News Feed use inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads. Often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads.
We've been able to better detect spammy links by measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends. The update we are making today reduces cases of these spammy links. In our early testing we've seen a 5% increase in people on Facebook clicking on links that take them off of Facebook. This is a big increase in the context of News Feed and a good sign that people are finding the remaining content in their News Feed more relevant and trustworthy.
What this means to businesses: Marketers who are linking to their own legitimate websites will not be affected by this update.

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia | President 
Automotive Media Partners, LLC 
2701 N. Rainbow Blvd. 2202

Las Vegas, NV 89108


Twitter and Instagram: @RalphPaglia 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Facebook Pulls Plug on Organic Content Marketing - All Advertisers Must Pay to be Seen!

ORFacebook's shift from social marketing to performance marketing has caused organic reach for marketers using the platform to plummet to a record low of 1%.

The low point means that for every 1,000 likes on Facebook, only about 10-20 consumers will actually see a brand's page. But a panel at the SunTrust Internet & Digital Media Conference on Tuesday indicated while constricting organic reach irritates SMB marketers, big brands might reap the benefits of Facebook's long game.

Nanigan's SVP of marketing, Dan Slagen, said no one should be surprised by Facebook's pivot. "Facebook was very clear, 12, 18 months ago [that they were] changing from being a social marketing platform to a performance marketing platform," he said.

He added that while bigger brands stand to benefit as Facebook has the ability to offer better advertising products priced around performance: Using Instagram as a platform (it's unclear what exactly Facebook is doing here, but it reportedly has an ad deal with Omnicom worth around $100 million), prominent placement in the news feed and preroll video ads. Facebook is also trying to get back into the mobile game.

"Advertisers may not like seeing a decreased organic reach, but if they're seeing strong ROIs from the marketing side of things, they're going to keep deploying budget to the marginal dollar," Slagen said. This is a risk for Facebook – Slagen said SMBs account for 50% of the company's advertising revenue.

But he also noted how Facebook's Q1 revenue, following the shift in strategy, started slow, but grew significantly by Q1's second half. By Q4, Slagen predicts pricing will increase by 10% and that mobile will drive ad pricing up. And the move to performance seems to be paying off for advertisers: Return on Facebook ads averages four times ad spend.

Slagen predicted that emphasizing premium newsfeed ad placement will also invite shifts in advertising budgets. News feed ads are premium territory, and adding video to feeds deepens that market. He said Facebook video CPMs had the potential to reach those of linear TV. "If we think about video and where those CPMs can go, we need to think a lot more on the TV side [where] CPM is $10 to $18," he said.

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Dealership Website Lead Forms That Automatically Load Using Customer Facebook Information

Create Auto-Populating Lead Forms That Use Customer Facebook Data

TThis is a step-by-step tutorial for allowing you to pre-fill a form on your website with user's Facebook data such as his email, name, address, etc.

In order to get the user's Facebook data, the user has to be logged in your website with his Facebook account.

You need your Facebook app credentials (App ID and App Secret). If you don't have a Facebook app registered or you don't know what that means, go (I assume you already have a Facebook account) and click on "Set Up New App" and follow the wizard.

Important: make sure you filled "Site URL" and "Site Domain" with your infos. You are given an App ID and an App Secret that we will be using in step 2.

Facebook API Call to Get Customer Profile Data

We are using the Facebook PHP SDK (see on github) to deal with authentication and make API calls.

require "facebook.php";    $facebook = new Facebook(array(      'appId'  => '...',      'secret' => '...',  ));    $user = $facebook->getUser();    if ($user) {    try {      $user_profile = $facebook->api('/me');    } catch (FacebookApiException $e) {      $user = null;    }  }  

Dealer Website Lead Form

<?php if ($user): ?>      <form action="#" method="get">          <input type="text" name="name"              value="<?php echo $user_profile['name'] ?>">          <input type="submit" value="Continue &rarr;">      </form>      <a href="<?php echo $facebook->getLogoutUrl() ?>">          Logout of Facebook      </a>  <?php else: ?>      <a href="<?php echo $facebook->getLoginUrl() ?>">          Login with Facebook      </a>  <?php endif ?>  

Quentin PleplĂ© wrote these instructions for Stackoverflow.

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPad]