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What to Do When Your Brand Can't Exactly 'Pay-to-Play' on Facebook

As social media marketers, we've heard that Facebook is undoubtedly moving towards a 'pay-to-play' model for businesses. But what exactly does that mean? And what exactly does that mean for your brand? It means that Facebook has changed its algorithm to limit the reach of organic content posted by brand pages in an effort to encourage businesses to invest media dollars in paid Facebook advertising and post promotion. Facebook is going head to head in competition with Google to lead in online advertising revenue, which means we can only expect organic reach on the platform to continue to decline as this initiative evolves. That said, the reality is that not every brand has the room in their budget to invest in media dollars on Facebook. So, how do you break through the barriers of this potentially threatening algorithm change with your organic content? Be Real Approximately 63% of consumers say that they are highly annoyed with repeated, generic advertising messages. For Millennials, that percentage is higher. As a result, consumers crave authentic communication and transparent relationships with the brands they love or are interested it. Establish a human voice with your Facebook content. Use the language that your audience uses and responds to. This approach will help you break through the clutter of other annoying posts pushed out by brands who haven't gotten the memo yet and will help you more easily engage in a two-way conversation with your audience. Jump on Real Time Moments Similarly to being real, be relevant. One of the best ways to gain traction with your organic content is to join conversations about viral internet topics that your audience is already discussing and searching on Facebook. When it makes sense, act fast and find ways to naturally insert your brand into these conversations in a fun and interesting manner. When you do this, be sure to use the most popular hashtags and key phrases that your audience is using. Creating real time content shows that you're actively engaged in the Facebook community and culturally relevant conversations, as opposed to simply pumping out evergreen content on a predetermined schedule. Not only will your reach exponentially increase, your audience will appreciate it'leaving them wanting more. It's proven to ring true with our own social media work at AMP Agency. Here are some great examples of other marketers and brands that get it. Like the time that Twix lit a fire under #TheDress debate: And when Arby's asked Pharrell for their hat back during the GRAMMYs: Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs ' Arby's (@Arbys) January 27, 2014 Let's not forget about the time Oreo saved the day during the Super Bowl XLVII power outage: Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC ' Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013 Shares, shares, shares When you're relying on organic reach, shares are your best friend. A share extends beyond a like, not only in the expanded reach potential it holds, but also in what it says about the way your audience is engaging with your content. When someone shares your content, they are really saying 'I enjoy or related to this post so much that I wish I had made it myself. I want everyone else to see it and enjoy it as much as I did.'Your ability to relate to your audience is key here. For example When Bud Light read their audience's mind: Or when Forever 21 shared #WordsofWisdom with their millennial audience, 75% of which would like to travel abroad as much as possible: Designing 'sharable'? content is where you'll need to think very critically about the psychographic profile of your target audience. Think to yourself, 'Is this message something that a member of my target audience would actually feel, say, or think themselves and want to share with their friends?'? Also don't forget to ask, 'Does it tie into my brand's core messaging in some way?' It's important not to lose your brand essence or voice in trying to be relatable or funny to gain shares. Use Video Content As Facebook continues to compete with Google owned YouTube to be the number one video uploading and viewing platform, native video content on Facebook has proven to reach nearly double the amount of people that images do, with 65% of that video content being viewed on mobile. Use this to your advantage! Create short, simple yet interesting video content that will engage your audience and let Facebook's video-favoring algorithm do the rest. source: http://www.beet.tv/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Slide09.jpg Next Steps Now, when planning future budgets, should paid social media get a piece of the pie? Yes, absolutely. But in the meantime, you can experiment with these approaches to optimizing your organic content on Facebook to stay afloat in a 'pay-to-play' world. Your turn: What other strategies have you found to be successful?

Understanding Your Shopper on Social Media Outlets

How Understanding Your Shopper on Creative Social Media Outlets can Humanize Your Brand Millennial travelers are the target opportunity in the travel industry. Making up 27% of the US population and 25% of the labor force, millennials will account for half of the US labor force by 2020 (Skift). By 2030 they are predicted to outspend baby boomers. But where is all that spending power going? As work experience is gained and a steady income acquired, millennials will put that spending power behind their restless passions of wanderlust. Why Is This Important? Social media outlets serve as some of the most utilized mediums through which travel brands are able to connect with the millennial demographic. According to AdWeek, millennials spend on average 18 hours a day with media, with 71% checking social media at least once a day. Excelling in social media communication can be a difficult feat because of the disconnect between buyer and seller, therefore making the understanding of an audience a high priority. By using social media outlets to humanize a brand, understanding habits and connecting successfully with millennials will become simple and familiar through these personalized interactions. As users become more familiar with the brand's voice and creative presence, a sense of trust will be gained between brand and consumer as marketing goals are achieved. Mediums Brands Should Focus On There are a myriad of social media sites utilized by millennial travelers around the digital world. Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram are three mediums utilized by millennial consumers of all sorts, traveler or otherwise. While specifically targeting travelers will directly affect current consumers, attracting a wider range of users across these social mediums boosts awareness and credibility. Expanding a brand's consumer demographic is important for awareness, but attempting to successfully target every millennial is impossible. By catering to a specific demographic, new followers can be gained, consisting of the specific millennial demographic as well as other interested millennials. Having the ability to reach all millennial audiences, while targeting a single millennial demographic, can be effective and conducive to a brand's social strategy. Demographics are tough to target. Millennials are even tougher. By focusing on an identified persona within a specified social medium instead of an entire widespread demographic, branding can become creatively diverse in a personalized and original way. Here are a few examples of social mediums through which brands should become familiar with their specified audiences: Pinterest, with followers who enjoy DIY projects, allows brands to engage with consumers on creative and conscious projects and ideas. Twitter allows brands and millennials to directly interact, enabling amplified activation and brand voice while gaining insight into consumer opinions and trends. Instagram gives brands the opportunity to visualize consumer mentalities and inspirations, opening an interesting window to reminisce and engage in a creative way. So What?? Utilizing these social media sites in order to individualize a brand's style and voice will help brands understand consumer habits and engage with their target demographics. This understanding of both the target and general millennial audience will then guide the brand strategy. Check-in next week on how understanding the rationale of the price-oriented millennial shopper on Pinterest can help humanize your branding. Learn more about our social media marketing service.

New Facebook Insights

In late June, Facebook announced a series of updates to the Facebook insights tool including an overhauled visual aesthetic, access to additional data points and a series of new features that allow marketers to more strategically analyze and execute within Facebook. Two critical updates are the elimination of 'people talking about this'? and 'virality'? as key metrics. People Talking About This has been replaced by a more detailed breakdown of individual metrics including Page Likes, People Engaged, Page Tags and Mentions, Page Checkins and Other Interactions. And page Virality now accounts for clicks on a post in addition to likes, comments and shares. This new measure has been renamed 'Engagement Rate'? and better reflects the overall interactions that occur with your content. This is a better measure of page engagement because at times it may matter more if someone clicks on a link or clicks to expand an image than if you're audience 'likes'? of 'comments'? on a post (still great actions because they expand the reach of your post). New Facebook Insights Dashboard The new overview presents a cleaner snapshot of your Facebook performance with an aggregated view of the last seven days of page activity and your last five posts. While this snapshot provides a great view of recent performance, the true benefits of the Insights update occur when you dive into the correlating tabs and begin to explore. Consolidated Post Details View Analyzing individual posts in Facebook's old Insights dashboard required aggregation of data across various views, and depending on the information desired, through a CSV data export. The new 'Post Details'? view provides a consolidated snapshot of all relevant post metrics ' people reached, likes, comments, shares, post clicks, link clicks, other clicks and negative feedback details all within one cleanly organized view. Another update in the Posts tab is the ability to sort by your post engagement metrics by four unique options, so depending on what type of engagement you're seeking you can examine posts on an even playing field. The sorting views include: Post Clicks / Likes, Comments and Shares Likes / Comments / Shares Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, Unlikes Engagement Rate ([clicks + likes + shares + comments] / people who saw your posts) When Your Fans Are Online One of the updates generating the most buzz is the new 'When Your Fans Are Online'? view within the Posts tab. Knowing when your audience is online ' both key days of the weeks and times ' can help you better schedule posts to align with the largest potential reach. This feature is not only helpful in identifying the key times to publish content, but can also help inform flighting for paid advertising campaigns assuming you're trying to connect with your core audience of followers. Best Post Types Whether it be photos, links, videos or a simple text update, your audience likely responds and interacts differently to post content based on the format used. The new 'Best Post Type'? view provides a simple side-by-side comparison of post types allowing for the analysis of how different mediums perform with your audience and which get the highest levels of engagement. This information can help inform future content development as well as shed light on the optimal types of content to leverage for paid advertising such as promoted posts.

Why Twitter Is Like a 7 Year Old Human

This week Twitter turns 7 years old. So let's use PBS's child development tracker to see how the social giant compares to an actual 7 year old human. 'Seven-year-olds enjoy having the opportunity to share their knowledge with others.'? I'm not sure if there's a more dead-on accurate description of what Twitter is than that. 'They display a longer attention span'?¦'? Obviously one of Twitter's most compelling features is its bite-sized content focus. However, over the past few years Twitter's increased integration of photos (sorry Instagram) and expandable links directly into the news feed has certainly increased its ability to showcase more content while still remaining true to its 140 character beginnings. 'Seven-year-olds enjoy having and making friends." While this may not exactly speak directly to the growth and development of Twitter, it sure does speak to the over 200 million active users. One of the things that has always driven the popularity of Twitter is the ease of connecting with others and building your following. '[They] typically develop several close friendships that are mutual.'? Over the past 6 months, Twitter has made a few strategic "friendships" (read: acquisitions) that have helped improve how users share content (Vine), how the overall platform performs (Crashlytics) and how Twitter can monetize the millions of conversations generated around TV events (BlueFin Labs). 'They may imitate the actions of friends in an effort to feel sense of security and belonging.'? Let's go back to the monetization discussion again. We can all agree that Facebook is far from perfect when it comes to making money, but Twitter might even be more behind. Here's a great article that discusses the 'Facebookification of Twitter'? and how Twitter is becoming a bit more like Facebook with certain features. And on the user front, I can't quite think of a better way to imitate the actions of friends and peers than a well-timed RT. So what do you think? Is Twitter making good strides in its development? Should we look at this 7 year old as a future, well-adjusted adult? Or, are there signs that this little darling will be every parent's nightmare and someday turn into an out-of-control rebellious tween? Only time will tell.

Enhancing Experiential via Digital Tools, Insights Lab Episode 4

Hear the AMP Insights Lab perspective on why digital tools enhance experiential marketing efforts. Matt Rainone, Manager in our Integrated Marketing Group, discusses 4 helpful tools to integrate digital into your next experiential marketing campaign: 1) MoZeus (http://www.mozeus.com/) 2) Grandstand (http://getgrandstand.com/) 3) Aurasma (http://www.aurasma.com/) 4) Magisto (http://www.magisto.com/) AMP Agency presents Videos by the Insights Lab- a think tank dedicated to uncovering, understanding and leveraging the best way to connect brands with consumers via the latest technology.

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