Blog

Is Facebook fatigue putting the platform to bed?

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Is Facebook fatigue putting the platform to bed?Most of us know someone who has either taken a hiatus from Facebook or cancelled their account altogether. With waning interest from so many – how is it that Facebook continues to post growth quarter after quarter?

It’s a bit of smoke and mirrors – according to Pew Research, Facebook is rapidly declining in markets such as the U.S. and the U.K. Sources like this article from Mashable suggest that Facebook’s growth is coming from emerging markets and is tied to Facebook’s attempts to make the platform synonymous with the web for those markets.

But perhaps the most significant decline that Facebook is facing is among the 18-24 age group – a group headed directly toward its prime purchasing years. Pew cites reasons such as failure to innovate, failure to provide a rich mobile experience, and an aversion to ads as some of the primary motivators for young people turning away from the platform. In fact Facebook even reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that young people appear to be turning more and more to image-based and live chat platforms.

So it is a scramble among advertisers and their agencies to find the next innovation that will reach the millennial market. Whether the answers lie with Vine, Instagram, Snapchat or one of the many other thousands of apps, marketers’ time is dwindling. We must be innovative in discovering how to mobilize these platforms in ways that are relevant to this young consumer. What are some of the innovations that you have come across?

The week in review - August 12, 2013.

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Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.


Instagram Allows Users to Upload Videos Now
Instagram introduced the option to upload videos rather than force users to create them from scratch.



Email Best-Practices for Developing & Maintaining Relationships
Once marketers have learned the various basics of an email marketing campaign, they might feel they are ready to develop long-term customer plans.

Top B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013
The popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as video.

How to Get Millennials to Love and Share Your Product
With so much written about millennials, it's difficult to see how reams of data about this generation could apply to an individual brand's goals. These basic guidelines can help.

Tips for User-Generated Content and Original Content
What do you think of reposting user-generated content vs. internally generated content? 

What the Latest Facebook News Feed Changes Mean for Your Business
Another day, another Facebook tweak! Last week, Facebook announced a number of changes to the way that the Newsfeed works.

Lessons in social media from music festival brands.

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The music festivals of 2013 can teach us a thing or two about social media. Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and smaller festivals know their young target audience and are taking social media and running with it. They’ve created an entire culture and use social media to disseminate it - from Instagram to Youtube, festivals are connecting to fans in new ways. I’ve noticed a few things that other brands can learn from festivals when it comes to social media:

Give people a reason to keep coming back. I like how Coachella’s Facebook and Twitter accounts keep the conversation going by asking fans about their favorite artists, festival fashion and more. Posts can gain over 5,000 likes, and hundreds of comments and shares. The pages engage users beyond event/product based content.

Festival social media is also employed for sharing tips and tricks. Bonnaroo’s Facebook page is full of festival veterans giving ideas and reviews to first timers. Bonnaroo is encouraging fan to fan interaction which is more valuable than just the brand speaking - 70% of people trust online reviews over paid media.

Finally, festivals use social media for more practical reasons. Lollapalooza in 2012 used social media to communicate a huge storm coming to the area and told people what to do/where to go. These “emergencies” can happen to any brand and social media can be the best way to reach everyone at once.

Build suspense. This is the smartest thing that festivals are doing these days. For the whole year before the event, Facebook pages are getting fans pumped up. MoPop Festival had a weekly countdown to the day of the event, gave clues to the lineup and posted teaser statuses before announcing their schedule. For Bonnaroo’s lineup announcement, they live streamed a celebrity filled video on YouTube where the headliners were announced one by one. Throughout the hour long broadcast, they encouraged a ton of engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with hashtags. This all-encompassing and innovative idea can be used for other brands – whether it’s for a store opening or product launch.

Do promotions. On top of everything else, these festival brands are utilizing social media to give away everything from tickets to t-shirts. They use status updates to encourage fans to like, share and comment in order to win. This builds awareness, increases fans on their pages and rewards those fans.

Have an after party. After each festival, the pages ask for feedback from festival goers. Bunbury Music Festival sends out a survey with a chance to win tickets next year attached. They also provide a forum for people to find lost items, respond to missed connections and share photos of the event on their Facebook page. This helps the event improve and continues building the community.

Be creative. As you can see from all the examples above, these brands are getting creative. They’ve got visual status updates, hashtags, live streamed videos and more. For example, Firefly Music Festival hid tickets in random states for fans to find and posted clues on Facebook. Maybe it’s the fun nature of these events, but they’re not afraid to try new things.

Social media has transformed the music festival industry – for the best. These brands are offering a rich experience that lasts for the whole year, every year.

Have you seen any other festivals or brands that are developing every facet of their social media for a well-connected experience?

The week in review - August 5, 2013.

brogan

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

Five Common Branding Mistakes
Even the most seasoned marketers sometimes struggle to develop effective messaging.

New LinkedIn Company Page Analytics
If you’re using your LinkedIn Company Page to share engaging content with the world’s professionals, get ready for an easier way to track your page’s performance.

Facebook Newsfeed Algorithms
Facebook announced small changes to its news-feed ranking algorithms, promising more visibility into tweaks that could affect the exposure of organic posts going forward.

Higher Tweet Volume Drives TV Tune In 29% of the Time
It seems like common sense that an increase in tweets can drive an increase in live TV viewership, but there's been scant proof of such correlation - until now, a Nielsen study has proved a relationship.

Content Curation & Social Media
Social media and brand journalism are no different. Without a blend of outside information to keep things lively and timely, it gets predictable, boring and ineffective fast.

Creating “Magical Moments” in Marketing
Imagine what business would feel like if companies focused on creating these magical moments in time, to craft our experiences with them so thoughtfully that it feels like a service.

MI Healthier Tomorrow inspires.

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Creating an inspiring workplace and culture: at Brogan & Partners, this is our passion. And while inspiration comes in many forms, for us it’s our clients who make Brogan & Partners an inspiring place to work.

Case in point: Michigan Department of Community Health’s MI Healthier Tomorrow Campaign. The challenge? Bring the obesity rate down in Michigan. Using an integrated approach that includes mobile messaging, emails, TV, radio, interactive, a Facebook community and the support of over a dozen partners, we asked Michiganders to take an online pledge to lose 10% of their body weight. Why? Because losing just 10% of one’s body weight can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Obesity is a major issue in Michigan, and beginning with the campaign’s launch on January 23, we were ready to tackle it head-on…

3,928 Facebook followers and 21,394 email subscribers later, we’re proud to report that over 26,500 Michigander’s have taken the pledge to lose 10%. That’s enough people to fill every seat in the Palace of Auburn Hills and still leave over 2,000 standing.

Our client, the Michigan Department of Community Health, has given us the opportunity to open a conversation about an issue that affects millions of people. That’s why it’s important to us to keep the conversation going, and what better place to start a conversation than Facebook?

The MI Healthier Tomorrow Facebook page has over 3,900 followers. As an agency, we work hard to provide helpful information, tips and inspiration to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. The people who have taken the pledge and follow the Facebook page represent communities throughout the entire state of Michigan. These people more than likely will never meet, but the encouragement and support they show one another on a daily basis is truly inspirational.

When we log onto Facebook and check the MI Healthier Tomorrow page we’re often greeted with posts like this:

The Michigan Department of Community Health gave us the opportunity to start a conversation with Michigan residents that could save lives. Residents have not only responded, but they’ve kept the conversation going.

How’s that for inspiration?

Will you join us and take the pledge to lose 10%?

Innovative healthcare marketing example #18.

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This short video for Cleveland Clinic will make your heart melt. It’s simple, quiet, real and right on in making an emotional connection with the healthcare consumer, worker, or anyone whose life intersects the hospital environment. As the camera wanders through the hospital, we see the inner thoughts of patients, family members, doctors, nurses, even a maintenance guy. Things like “Visiting Dad for the last time.” to “Recently divorced.” There is no voice over, only music.  

The theme is “If you could see inside other people’s hearts”…and the realization is that although you can’t tell from our masks, we are all dealing with something. Whether it’s worry, fear, confusion, shock, determination, fatigue, even joy. The video beckons us to go a little deeper when confronted with the variety of people encountered in a hospital. “Hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel.  Would you treat them differently?”   

When you think of Cleveland Clinic, you think of world-renowned, clinically superior treatment and care. When you see this video, you think of world-renowned empathy in healthcare. It’s a perfect high-touch strategy to complement their high-tech position.  With close to 900,000 views on YouTube, I think it’s getting through. Let us know how it makes you feel about Cleveland Clinic.

The week in review - July 29, 2013.

brogan

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

Why Social Media Doesn’t Always Work Out
A list revealing some of the hidden reasons why your social media efforts might not be working out exactly as you hoped.

Visual Content Marketing
Should you include your brand or logo in the visual content you publish to Facebook?

Pinterest Tracks Users
The company announced that it will start recommending pins and boards to users based on sites they visit that have the "Pin It" button.

Using Facebook Hashtags
The benefits of using hashtags on Facebook and how to create a strategy around them.


 

LinkedIn Marketing
LinkedIn is a social network, so be social; set your sights on being an informational resource and providing links to highly shareable content jam-packed with deep industry insight and valuable solutions.

Facebook Introduces Embeddable Posts
In an effort to inject Facebook into more public conversations, the company on Wednesday introduced embeddable posts that will let blogs and news organizations include status updates, videos and photos in stories.

Will Google Glass be the vision everyone wants in the future?

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Google Glass began testing in 2012. It’s a wearable computer with a head-mounted display that is able to display info very similarly to a smartphone but in a hands-free format. The image appears in the user’s line of vision slightly above eye level. Users can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands and by touching the side of the headpiece. Basically, Google Glass is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone all built into spectacle frames. 

Early Adopter Program

In February of this year, Google launched an early adopter program for developers and consumers to test Google Glass and provide feedback. They requested that “bold, creative individuals” apply to test Glass on Google+ or Twitter by using the hashtag #ifihadglass. Then, if selected, they had to attend a Google Glass event in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles to pick up the developer version for $1500.

Google Glass Visual

Photo Credit: Google

Pros and Cons of Glass

Without having tested Google Glass first-hand, I have researched some of the pros and cons from the early adopters and others who’ve come into contact with the product.

Pros:

  • It’s hands-free, making it easy to multi-task.
  • Navigation directions are more intuitive.
  • You can get real-time translations and transcriptions.
  • It’s simple to scroll through messages and reply to them, even when you’re on the go.
  • The camera is able to capture your first-person perspective.  
  • It only requires brief gestures or voice commands to control what Glass will show you.
  • There’s a guest setting so that your friends can test it out without sending messages on your behalf.

Cons:

  • Like any new technology, Google is still working out many glitches.
  • Users may feel silly wearing glasses with no lens and talking to themselves in public.
  • It’s expensive. With a contract, most smartphones only cost $100 - $200 where Glass costs $1500.
  • There’s potential to invade someone’s privacy without them realizing it – especially if they don’t know how to tell if Glass is in use.  

Even with all of cons, Glass could prove to be successful if consumers are willing to invest their money and adapt to the technology.

Future of Glass

Google expects Glass to be available to all consumers for purchase by the end of 2014. It is anticipated to have a cheaper price-point than the early-adopter price. There are also talks of Google looking into partnerships with different eyeglass designers to create Glass with prescription lenses. While the future of Glass is wide-open, it’s hard to tell what Glass will mean for marketers this early in the game.  

What are your predictions for Google Glass? Will you be an early adopter of Glass when it becomes available in 2014?

The week in review - July 22, 2013.

brogan

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

LinkedIn Reveals Sponsored Updates
Companies and other organizations with LinkedIn company pages can pay to promote their content to the platform's users who don't follow the brand's specific  page.

Marketing Trends of 2013
These six emerging trends that will have a significant impact on your marketing strategies.

What Is Influencer Marketing?
A brand pinpoints key individuals within their community or industry that are well connected in their respected fields.  These influencers can help generate genuine brand awareness and – more importantly - persuade others to take action.

Matt Cutts from Google on SEO and Content Marketing
Cutts discusses link building and SEO and traditional marketing.

Ads Above the Fold Are Not More Viewable
The Washington Post is going public with research showing that visitors scroll quickly on certain types of pages, and when they do, they’re more likely to see ads low down on the page than at the top.

The week in review - July 15, 2013.

brogan

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

85% of Gas and Convenience Store Searches are on Mobile
The Neilsen report also found that two-thirds of gas/convenience shoppers use their mobile device as their primary research tool for all digitally-based buying decisions.

Facebook is Going to Need Premium Content in the Future
As the novelty of status updates wears off and a generation of consumers is born immune to its charms, the utility of Facebook will need to increase. 

Use Social Media to Launch a Product
All of your social media channels provide a great opportunity to take your product launch process to an entirely new level.

How to Write Headlines That Get Clicks
The headline will greatly influence your website traffic, bounce rates, conversions and trust. Only 20% of the people who see your new content pieces will make it past the headline.

Google and Pinterest are Gaining on Facebook
According to the latest numbers from social login provider Gigya, Facebook’s social lead is falling—and Google and Pinterest may not be far behind.
 

So what is native advertising?

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Have you been hearing a lot about “native advertising”?

If you’re anything like me, when you first heard the terminology, you may have conjured up images such as this:

Which would be native AMERICAN advertising, not native advertising.  So what is native advertising? It really depends on who you talk to as there are many interpretations for this new buzzword. Wikipedia defines it as a “web advertising method where the advertiser provides valuable content in the context of the user’s experience.” SEO Book claims it is “content that seamlessly integrates with a site, as opposed to interruption media.” Key examples include Facebook Sponsored Stories, Twitter sponsored tweets, blog posts, publisher articles  – anything that looks like real content as it flows naturally within the environment it is placed. Washington Post’s Brand Connect is their native advertising solution. This Lincoln MKZ native ad chronicles the career of the car designer, complete with video, photos and an actual banner ad.

Much of the native ad hoopla is due to the increased effectiveness and new revenue stream its creating in the online publishing business. Sharethrough data indicates 53% higher viewership than display ads and 9% higher lift for brand affinity than banner ads.  And native ads are forecasted to almost triple in growth from $1.6 billion to $4.5 billion in the next 5 years (BIA/Kelsey data).

But naysayers claim that native advertising is just a shiny new spin on an old practice - namely,  advertorials and product placement. And there are other negatives. Users resent feeling misled by ads that appear to be actual content. Bloggers and publishers who receive compensation without disclosure risk alienating their audience and reputation. And perhaps the biggest obstacle is that Google is really cracking down, demanding that the distinction between editorial content and advertising must be very clear, warning that “violation of Google quality guidelines will get you penalized.”

A prominent example of native advertising gone amuck is the case of the Atlantic with advertiser, the Church of Scientology.  Comments on the controversial, multi-page story were moderated to suppress criticism, a move that resulted in removal of the sponsored content within just 12 hours of posting and a public apology from the Atlantic.

So in a nutshell, there are pros and cons to native advertising that advertisers and publishers should be wary of when navigating into this arena. The conundrum is that while one side is trying to disguise native advertising to make it look like editorial, the other is working to regulate it so as not to invade on editorial integrity. I think if you venture into it with eyes wide open, success will be as indigenous to your marketing results as the native advertising itself.  Share with us your favorite native advertising.

The week in review - July 8, 2013.

brogan

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.
 

Digital Metrics to Watch
There are metrics you should be watching that are outside the obvious.

How to Make Your Content Go Viral
Compelling content hinges on one key detail: its sharability. You have to understand why people share some things rather than others in order to use social media to your advantage.

Promoted Posts and Your Business
If your business is looking to attract a bigger chunk of the voracious Facebook audience, you may want to consider Promoted Posts to get in front of current and potential customers.


Half of America Owns a Smartphone
91 percent of adults own a cellphone of some kind, and 55 percent of those say their phone is a smartphone.

The Future of Facebook Hashtags
Facebook has said that increased functionality of hashtags will roll out over time.

How to Use Mobile to Increase Female Shoppers In-store
Mobile devices have become valuable decision-making tools for what and where to buy. Retailers have a unique opportunity to take advantage of these new habits by first understanding the purchasing preferences of women.