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Leslie Fines

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Search & Social State of the State

At AMP, everyone has an insatiable intellectual curiosity that drives us to create innovative solutions for our clients, our agency and the advertising industry as a whole. That's why we're constantly reading and staying up to date on industry trends, news, etc.  Read below for recent updates within the search and social marketing realm and our thoughts on these changes. SNAPCHAT ADDS GEO-LOCATION FILTERS  In early July, Snapchat added geo-filters by location to its platform. For example, if you're taking a photo at Disneyland, you'll be able to swipe right to see art related to the amusement park. Read More on Mashable Why it's important: Snapchat has rolled out new features constantly in the last few months to encourage more sharing. Updates like this one give Snapchat users another reason to open the app to see what geofilters are around them, share with friends and show off their savvy selfies. Implications for marketers: This definitely opens a door for more branding on the platform. For example, Soul Cycle has a specific filter for when users are in the studios. Not to mention that Snapchat is adding an outlet for revenue and paid media space with these filters. SOCIAL E-COMMERCE AHEAD  Twitter and Facebook revealed that they are listening and are looking for a way to seamlessly integrate purchases into social with Twitter acquiring a new company and Facebook testing a 'buy' button for instant purchases. Read More on AdAge. Why it's important: Currently, social media isn't an e-commerce platform and advertisers are using direct response ads on Facebook to reach a targeted audience. The fact that Facebook and Twitter are testing native e-commerce technologies would mean a new way to use the platforms. Implications for marketers: Every day, we get questions from clients and prospective clients asking how we are tying social efforts to ROI. Rolling out various e-commerce functionality within social media would make these actions much easier to track and further prove value for social media investment. APPLEBEE'S HANDS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT OVER TO FANS FOR A YEAR The brand is handing it's account over to the neighborhood with a campaign called #Fantopgrapher. Fans will have to opt in to less Applebee's access their account, but anything tagged #Applebees will be up for grabs and posted to the account with a branded frame crediting the user. Read More from AdWeek. Why it's important: Because the brandsaw an opportunity based on a current social action and made something real out of it. The chain claimed that there are 779,000 photos tagged with #Applebees being shared organically already and they are harnessing that power with a campaign. Implications for marketers: This takes UGC to a new level and gives consumers 100% share of voice in the brand's conversations. It will be interesting to see if a campaign like this encourages more UGC and uses of the hashtag over time. GOOGLE WEBMASTER ROLLS OUT ROBOTS.TEXT TESTING TOOL  This new Google Webmaster Tools feature allows you to see if your robots.txt file has any errors. You can test to see if new or existing URLs are allowed to be crawled based on how your robots.txt file is set up. The tool has the ability to show you what directive in the file is causing the URL to be blocked from a crawl. Learn more about this tool on Google Webmaster Central.  Why it's important: Web marketers know that one of the first steps to driving organic search traffic to a website is to ensure indexation of the important pages in search engine databases. The great thing about this tool is it simplifies the process of making sure your robots.txt file is not blocking content from being crawled by search engine spiders. Implications for marketers: This tool can now be a part of a monthly maintenance check to make sure the site is open for a crawl. GOOGLE UPDATES LOCAL SEARCH ALGORITHM Codenamed 'Pigeon'? by Search Engine Land, Google released  an algorithm update to provide more useful and accurate local search results.Read more about the algorithm update: Why it's important:  Local results are now ranked using 100s of 'traditional'? signals that are used to rank typical web results. The update will allow users to gain more relevant results as the signals leverage more precise proximity information. Implications for marketers:  With any Google algorithm change, the understanding of how results are altered and what new tactics should be employed to gain increased visibility are pending.  Stay tuned for our formal search POV. GOOGLE ADWORDS INTRODUCES DYNAMIC SITELINKS Dynamic Sitelinks are the latest ad snippet from Google AdWords. They are automatically generated based on the searcher's activity and point to relevant content on the advertiser's site. Read the official announcement here. Why it's important:  Clicks on these sitelinks are free but advertisers have no control over the text of the links; however, advertisers do have the ability to disable dynamic sitelinks from appearing under their ads. Implications for marketers:  This rollout is an interesting blend of organic and paid search results.  Since the links will be based on search activity and free to the advertiser, it should be seen as just another relevant path for users to follow to land on your site.  AMP will be monitoring the performance of Dynamic Sitelinks over the next several months. What's your perspective on these updates? Share a comment below.

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