background img

The New Stuff


“I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?” I can guarantee this will be the first and last time I ever open a blog post with lyrics from Britney Spears, but the pop star’s 2003 tribute to perilous romance seems to perfectly encapsulate my relationship with Twitter — and I know I’m not alone. via GIPHY I love Twitter. It’s easily my favorite social network. I’ve been active on it for almost a decade, and during that time I’ve had countless enlightening conversations (mostly about baseball and marketing), become friends with people I never would’ve encountered otherwise, and wasted more time than I’d like to admit scrolling mindlessly through my feed. Twitter has some great perks — bite-sized content, real-time updates, tailored experiences — and these serve to strengthen its appeal as a marketing channel. But even as an avid fan, I can’t deny that it has also been fraught with negatives. At times, the platform can feel like a cesspool for abusive behavior, fake accounts, and bots deployed with the sole mission of harassing real users. Recently, the company announced new measures in its continuing effort to improve the civility of discourse on Twitter while cutting down on fraud and abuse. Let’s take a closer look at these ongoing changes, and what they mean for social media marketers. [bctt tweet="I love @Twitter. It's easily my favorite #socialnetwork. But even as an avid fan, I can't deny that it has also been frought with negatives. - @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

Teeming with Trolls

In May, Twitter released a statement acknowledging the existence of “troll-like behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search.” “Fewer than 1% of accounts make up the majority of accounts reported for abuse,” wrote Del Harvey and David Gasca. “While still a small overall number, these accounts have a disproportionately large – and negative – impact on people’s experience.” The veil of anonymity that Twitter allows can be a good thing: it enables folks with sensitive public images to maintain a discrete social presence, and also facilitates hilarious fictional accounts like @KimKierkegaard, a mashup of reality star Kim Kardashian and 19th-century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and @dog_feelings, which lives up to its name. But of course, there are obvious downsides to this low barrier of entry. It’s all too easy to create a faceless and essentially untraceable account for whatever purpose one desires. Too often those purposes are nefarious. This rose to a head during the 2016 election and has become an increasingly prevalent sore spot for the platform. As bots and empty handles became more pervasive, certain individuals began developing methods to game the system and inflate follower counts, creating a “fake influencer” epidemic and shaking marketers’ faith in the authenticity of their audiences. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lamented earlier this year, “or our inability to address it fast enough.” While the company’s response has not been as rapid or forceful as some would like, Twitter is taking action.

Purging and Learning

Most conspicuous among these initiatives has been “The Great Twitter Purge,” a systematic effort to sweep out fake and suspicious accounts. Data obtained by the Washington Post showed that more than 70 million accounts were suspended in May and June alone, at the expense of the company’s stock. (Incidentally, the aforementioned Britney Spears was among the hardest-hit by the purge in terms of lost followers, and plenty of high-profile marketers saw their numbers drop as well, though the industry has generally approved of these actions.) More recently, Twitter announced partnerships on academic projects addressing two primary areas of concern:
  • Echo chambers, and the ramifications of algorithms that filter content representing like-minded perspectives. A group led by Leiden University’s Dr. Rebekah Tromble “will analyze the echo chamber effect, and provide options on how to limit such impacts,” per Social Media Today.
  • The effects of exposure to a diverse array of viewpoints and backgrounds. This can be the natural sacrifice in the “echo chamber” dynamic referenced above — how costly is it?  “Evidence from social psychology has shown how communication between people from different backgrounds is one of the best ways to decrease prejudice and discrimination,” says Oxford’s Miles Hewstone, who will be among those spearheading the study.
It’s interesting to see Twitter taking forthright accountability for its broader implications in society. But what about the marketing implications?

What Twitter’s Moves Mean for Marketers

Twitter has always been a somewhat tough nut to crack for marketers, and the network’s diminishing reputation in the face of these controversial issues appears to be causing some businesses to further back off. The 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner showed Twitter losing ground, with 62% of marketers using it in their strategies compared to 68% in 2017. Meanwhile, the latest Sprout Social Index finds Twitter fourth on the list of most-used channels for ads at just 13%. While it’s pretty simple to incorporate as a social media marketing tactic — schedule those short-and-sweet messages and fire ‘em out — the visible impact isn’t always there. It’s not uncommon to see brands with tens of thousands of followers getting only a handful of likes and responses to most of their updates, and clicks can be hard to come by. When you’re pumping out tons of content and garnering minimal engagement, while also converting a relatively tiny fraction of users into buyers, it’s easy to see why many marketers haven’t found the juice to be worth the squeeze. But these latest maneuvers from Twitter seemingly will only help. If you saw your company’s following on the platform take a hit over the past few months during the purge, you’re not alone. But ultimately, it’s nice to have a little more confidence that you’re actually broadcasting to real people. As we’ve long been saying around here: quality trumps quantity. Initial data backs up this hypothesis: Twitter reported an 81% increase in ad engagement during Q2 2018 compared to Q1 as it implemented its cleansing procedure. TopRank Marketing Social Media Strategist Meg McDougall suggests that we’ll likely see a resulting rise in Twitter’s notoriously low CPMs, but advertisers will essentially be paying for the same number of eyeballs because fake accounts and their false impressions are being eliminated. While it’s not clear what fallout we’ll see as a result of these new exploratory research initiatives, the shift is bound to be positive for marketers. Any reduction in the “echo chamber” algorithm could potentially grow your exposure to wider and more diverse audiences. [bctt tweet="While it’s not clear what fallout we’ll see as a result of @Twitter's new exploratory research initiatives, the shift is bound to be positive for #marketers. - @NickNelson #SocialMediaMarketing" username="toprank"] If the net outcome of these efforts is that Twitter users (even if there are less of them) become more engaged and active on the platform, that’s obviously going to help with content traction, both organic and paid. “Any change that is made on social media in the interest of end users is ultimately valuable for marketers,” says McDougall. [bctt tweet="Any change that is made on #socialmedia in the interest of end users is ultimately valuable for marketers. - @megnificent_" username="toprank"] For a Twitter fanatic and marketer like myself, these developments are roundly encouraging. What’s your take? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Want to learn more about the present state of Twitter and social media marketing at large? Check out these posts from the TopRank Marketing blog:

The post Will Twitter Succeed in Defeating Trolls? The Stakes for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Nick Nelson

Will Twitter Succeed in Defeating Trolls? The Stakes for Marketers



2018 August 17 Digital Marketing News
How B2B Audiences Engage With Business Content Online
A new Clutch survey explores how B2B audiences encounter business content online, and their preferences for consuming it, with business content about technology the leading topic. Clutch

Facebook pages with large U.S. following to require more authorization
Facebook is requiring two-factor administrator authentication for large U.S. pages, a move that will also come to Instagram in the coming weeks. Reuters

Reddit’s redesign is driving higher engagement rates, but will it deliver more advertisers?
Along with its first redesign in over a decade, Reddit places its hopes on boosting engagement, and perhaps attracting more advertisers. Marketing Land

How GDPR Is Moving Ad Budgets Toward Private Marketplaces.
A new survey looks at U.S. marketers’ changing attitudes about programmatic ad spending since the European Union’s GDPR regulations took effect. eMarketer

Yelp’s second-quarter profit tops expectations as ad revenue jumps
Surprisingly strong second-quarter profit results for Yelp have fueled a forecast revenue increase, but will advertisers using the crowd-sourced review forum feel the draw? CNBC

The Content Power Play: How Content Can Turn Sales and Marketing into an Unbeatable Team [Infographic]
Bringing marketing and sales units together is the focus of a new global study from Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn (client). LinkedIn

2018 August 17 Statistics Image

Facebook builds its own AR games for Messenger video chat
Facebook has built in-house augmented-reality games into its Messenger video chat system. Ad-free presently, will sponsored branding arrive in time, bringing new marketing opportunities? TechCrunch

Report Finds U.S. Marketers Shifting From ‘Data’ To ‘Identity’-Based Marketing, Proficiency Mixed
A new Association of National Advertisers study shows a mix of results in identity-based marketing, and a move away from data-based solutions. MediaPost

Snap’s strategy shifts win over advertisers more than users
Snapchat’s first recorded daily-user drop results were tempered by record revenue outside North America. Reuters

Startup Finds Paying Consumers To Look At Ads Is About Value, Not Money
Despite trepidation, rewarded — or opt-in — content is seeing growth, and a beta startup is looking to boost the efficient economics of a pure ROI model. MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Watching the Numbers Cartoon
A lighthearted look at watching the numbers by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

We Are All Scutoids: A Brand-New Shape, Explained — The New Yorker

Oreo looks out for dexterity diversity in packaging run to support left handers — The Drum

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — The Best Marketing Advice You’ve Ever Received — In One Minute or Less — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — You’ve Created Great Content, Now What? — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — 7 Strategies to Ensure Your Next Collaboration With Influencers Is a Success — The Social Media Hat
  • Lee Odden and Ashley Zeckman — Help! Finding the right business partners to reach your goals — Cathy McPhillips of Content Marketing Institute (client)
  • Lee Odden — Total Annarchy #15: A Daily Journal Is a Game-Changer, Curing Invisible Content, WTH Is Frequency Illusion? — Ann Handley
  • Lee Odden — The Rules of Long Form — Marcia Jedd & Associates

What are some of your top influencer marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us next week for the most relevant new digital marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2018. | Digital Marketing News: Reddit’s Redesign, Yelp’s Growth, Facebook Pages Admin Changes, & B2B Engagement Stats | https://ift.tt/faSbAI

The post Digital Marketing News: Reddit’s Redesign, Yelp’s Growth, Facebook Pages Admin Changes, & B2B Engagement Stats appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Lane Ellis


Latest Facebook Updates 2018

Latest Facebook Updates 2018 From the Russian ad debacle to the Cambridge Analytica scandal to suffering a major stock price blow just a few short weeks ago, Facebook has been making less-than-stellar headlines the past few months. Users are concerned about their privacy and how their data is being used—and brands and marketers are wondering whether the platform will continue to be a viable advertising and engagement platform. In an attempt to rebuild trust, ensure better data protection and transparency, the social network is doubling down, again, on their commitment to improving the user experience and creating a fun, respectful community. As all marketers will remember, the quest to improve user experience started way back in 2015, with the announcement it would be making refinements to its News Feed to strike a better balance between friends, public figures, publishers, businesses, and community organizations. That continued in the summer 2016 with more updates favoring friends and family content—and was still on the move when the first scandal broke later that year. Of course, these changes didn’t do marketers and brands any favors in the organic reach department. Organic reach had already been declining, and these moves have nearly eliminated its potential. And now, more changes have arrived, presenting new challenges as well as some opportunities. Below we share the low-down on five of such recent or rolling out changes, what they mean for social media marketers, and some potential next steps to take.

1. A New News Feed

Once again, the News Feed is getting a facelift—a big one. While Mark Zuckerberg announced back in January 2018 that changes would be rolling out throughout the year, a “major update” was announced in April, which Director of Product Management, Mark Hull, details in the video below: Essentially, meaningful person-to-person interaction is what will carry the News Feed ranking weight, and person-to-page interactions will continue to be second tier. Oh, and Facebook expects people to spend less time on the platform. This sounds pretty scary for marketers. Most have adapted their strategies to zero-in on fostering engaging discussion, as well as throwing spend behind Facebook’s ad platform (which is also changing and we’ll get to that later). But before you eliminate Facebook from your marketing mix, there are a few opportunities to consider: Working with influencers: With Facebook continuing to elevate content from individuals, there may be no better time to start building relationships with industry influencers and thought leaders that you can collaborate with on content. Read: Death of Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing Facebook Groups: As my colleague, Nick Nelson, reported not too long ago, while groups have long been available as a feature on Facebook, the brand-driven “Facebook Groups for Pages” were just rolled out last year. And some brands are seeing traction with them, but this isn’t something you leap into without being thoughtful. Read: The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group? Facebook Stories: Very recently, Facebook insiders asserted that Facebook Stories may very well be the future of connection on Facebook. Once again, as Nick Nelson pointed out: “Facebook Stories are intriguing because they offer a real chance to capture part of a user’s attention — maybe even more than the minimum amount.” And early adopters may secure an advantage. Read: The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game

2. Stricter Ad Targeting

As of late, most of Facebook’s critiques are a result of their advertising products and practices. By increasing the targeting capabilities of their advertising products, Facebook arguably put users’ privacy at risk. To help correct that perception and protect user privacy, Facebook is making several changes to their advertising platform. One such update was released in early July, requiring advertisers to state where they acquired people’s information for their custom audiences. Instead of simply uploading a list of emails you want to target as a custom audience, Facebook wants advertisers to take extra steps to ensure those emails came from a reputable source and that the audience has consented to those ads. With this change, Facebook hopes to improve transparency with users about why they see ads from certain brands and how they received their information. New Facebook Ad Disclaimer (Credit: Facebook) In addition, Facebook has also disabled their Partner Categories product, which provided targeting capabilities from third-party data providers to advertisers. This limits advertiser insight into user behavior outside of Facebook (e.g. purchasing activity), making ads appear more natural to users and less “big brother.” From our perspective, this is good news. Consumers are increasingly wary of marketing and advertising messages and this move can help strengthen the credibility and relevance of your ads and brand. Of course, this is all assuming you can and do confirm your custom audience lists and sources fall within the new guides. So, if you haven’t already, take the steps to review your custom audience lists and their sources. You need to be able to state if you received the information directly from your audience, a partner, or a combination. If you used a data provider like an advertising or marketing agency, double check that they’ve acquired the data honestly and they agree to Facebook’s Terms of Use.

3. New Data History Tools

Now more than ever, people want control over their data. They want to know what information is stored, who has access to it, and they want to be able to delete it. Recognizing this need, Facebook announced a new feature called Clear History that will be released “soon.”With this new feature, Facebook is giving users the ability to see the websites and apps that store information with Facebook, and delete that information from their account. However, Facebook will still retain aggregated analytics, but no personally identifying information will be contained. “We’ll still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, we can build reports when we’re sent this information so we can tell developers if their apps are more popular with men or women in a certain age group,” Facebook says. “We can do this without storing the information in a way that’s associated with your account, and as always, we don’t tell advertisers who you are. What exactly does this mean for marketers? If you use Facebook plugins on your website (think Facebook Pixel or “Like” buttons on websites), your audience can now see and delete the information that the plugin collects; meaning it won’t be connected to their profile any longer. Obviously, if users take advantage of this when it rolls out, clearing their history could be problematic for marketers, and maybe even users. For marketers, it will be incredibly difficult to target these folks with ads. For users, that could mean an uptick in irrelevant ads for a time. However, the eventual upside for advertisers could be the “re-learning” that needs to happen after a history cleanse, which can lead to a more relevant and accurate look of who your audience is.

4. Poor Customer Feedback = Ban

A poor customer experience really sours your impression of a brand. An to ensure that ads on Facebook lead to positive shopping experiences, and not negative ones, Facebook will now ban brands that have low customer satisfaction ratings from advertising on their platform. For example, if users give you too many frowning faces shown in the rating system below, Facebook will reject your ads. Facebook Negative Review Example (Credit: Facebook) Before you become too concerned, however, Facebook says it will: “Share feedback directly with businesses that receive high volumes of negative feedback and will give them a chance to improve before taking further action. If feedback does not improve over time, we will reduce the amount of ads that particular business can run.” So, even if you receive negative ratings, you will have an opportunity to make improvements to prevent being banned. The opportunity here is obvious. The better customer experience you provide, the more successful your marketing efforts will be. For Facebook ads, this is rooted in focusing on clarity and honesty within your ads. At a minimum, Facebook suggests taking steps to ensure your ads aren’t misleading. In addition, use images or videos to make it very clear what you are selling and what you are selling it for. It’s also a good idea to set clear expectations for how users will receive your product or service. By setting clear guidelines, you’re more likely to meet customer expectations, leading to more positive user ratings. For more insight, read Facebook’s tips on how to improve customer feedback.

5. All of Your Ads, Exposed

Knowing the organization behind an ad is important. Otherwise, users might not trust the content of the ad. So, to increase ad and page transparency, Facebook now allows users to see all of the ads any page is running within their partner network. This includes ads on Instagram, Messenger, and the rest of the Facebook partner network. In addition, even if pages aren’t advertising, Facebook will provide more information about a page including name history and the date the page was created. Together, these changes aim to give users more information about an organization so they can decide if an ad is credible or not. Facebook Ad Transparency (Credit: Facebook) For marketers, this change isn’t a bad thing — it may even mean more eyeballs on your advertising content. However, marketers should still be thoughtful about how their ads will be perceived by individuals outside of their target audience. For example, even if an ad isn’t specifically designed for or served to them, users can still review (and report) your ads. As a result, you need to take extra steps to make sure your ads are consistent, clear, and friendly for all.

The Life Force of Facebook

Long before the scandals and latest privacy concerns, Facebook has been rooted in evolution. Just think what the platform started as and has become. So, while the recent and coming changes seem pretty fierce, I think it’s safe to say we were already on that trajectory. And there’s probably more to come. Since the major changes that impacted advertisers and brands began rolling out in 2015, Facebook has maintained their actions are all in the interest of creating a better user experience. And at the end of the day, that’s what the goal of any marketer is in their quest to nurture their audience and aid them on their customer journey. So, it’s OK if you’re a panicked, disheartened, or simply irritated. But, at this point, the platform still holds marketing opportunity, marketers just need to adapt their social media marketing strategies, try new features and avenues, and work hard to ensure they’re part of providing that great user experience. Looking for more social media marketing news, tips, and insights? Check out all of our recent social media-related blog posts.

The post The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Anne Leuman

The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes


Popular Posts