Facebook Launches New Advertising Platform

Facebook, Atlas

A few weeks ago, Facebook rolled out a new (and very interesting) advertising platform from Microsoft, called Atlas. The social platform has been the #2 digital advertiser in the world, thanks to the large amount of information that it has on its 1.3 billion users, which it sells to individually targeted ads. Today, Atlas will be taking similarly targeted ads across the internet, which will more seamlessly connect online and offline.

Atlas will effectively give marketers more information on its users to point them to varying websites, apps and more. For instance, if RedBull wanted to target men between the ages of 18-24, it could use Atlas to identify such users and specifically show them ads for the energy drink across a multitude of sites, apps, etc.

If this multi-platform digital marketing works, it will create an additional method of marketing to users. One that will directly compete with the likes of Google, Apple, Yahoo, etc.

Having said that, this highly detailed targeting from Facebook brings up many worries relating to online privacy. Facebook specifically states that it never discloses info on its users, but the shear amount of details that the platform has on its users (both stated and voluntarily disclosed info) is highly coveted by all marketers.

Even scarier? When a user logs into Facebook on their phone, the company is able to see what other apps he or she is using and would then be able to show possible ads within those apps. “Nobody else besides Facebook has the depth of data about individuals,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at the research firm eMarketer. “That’s where the power of this ad platform is going to come from.”

Atlas will be interesting to watch develop, especially in the upcoming months as marketers determine how it could best benefit their clients. For now, it’s invite only and has been rolled out to a few of their key partners like Omnicom Media Group, SalesForce and SHIFT. Because of Facebook ‘playing favorites’, some marketers fear that they’ll be left out of the process and ultimate success of the new ad platform.

— Samantha

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3 Things to Do Before Launching a Social Initiative

Social KPIs

You’ve successfully created one or more social platforms for your company and even built a loyal community online. You’ve made tracking your social growth a priority and now you’re ready for more! It’s time to launch your next social campaign (contest, giveaway), but what do you determine the objectives and keys for success?

Figure out your objective of the campaign. This part is important because without an objective, you won’t be able to drive the overall strategy. An objective is the reason WHY you’re launching this social initiative to begin with! For example, is it to drive brand awareness? Increase engagement? Get more fans and followers? Although each company’s campaign initiative will be different depending on the idea, make sure you choose one (or more) that you want to achieve!

State how you’ll measure success. Also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), these metrics are what you and your team will use to measure success with the campaign at hand and what will ultimately help determine your goals. Make sure that your KPI’s align with your overall objective. We suggest looking at Comments, Shares, Likes/+1s to start, but other indicators to think about include:

  • Overall views & unique views
  • Time spent on your site/page
  • Engagement rate on social platforms
  • Contest entries
  • New fans, followers
  • Newsletter/email opt-ins

Set goals for your campaign. At this point in the process, you need to develop a set of goals which will help determine a return on investment (ROI) after. To get you thinking, talk with your team to understand how long the campaign will run for, what will drive traffic to the campaign (including a specific number of posts/tweets and possible paid support), what are possible conversion numbers (entries, shares) and how much fan growth is expected.

Once you’ve completed all three steps, you’ll be able to better track your campaign online. Repeat this several times and you’ll add an economic value to each indicator to truly help you measure the value of the initiative in relation to how much you’ve already invested.

Got questions? Let us know below!

— Samantha

Is This the End of the Facebook Era?

End of the Facebook Era

Although Facebook is one of the largest social networks in the world, it’s slowly losing its popularity. Any decline of such a big company is bound to occur over time, yet it’s interesting to note what the company is doing in response. Little, if nothing.

As many bloggers and tech-analysts will agree, once a large social movement like Facebook becomes so engrained in our everyday life that it is no longer unique or special, it will soon become extinct. It’s simply the nature of the game.

As stated by Facebook CFO David Ebersam a few months ago, Facebook is starting to lose it’s teen demographic around the world. They’re no longer on Facebook, but rather on other instant gratification sites likes Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and WeChat. But it’s not just teenagers who are leaving the FB giant, it’s the millennial generation as well, who can’t handle crazy, over-stimulated Newsfeeds with everyone on it, from their students to their and grandmothers.

It’s clear that Facebook wants its users to continue sharing more and more. But if what we post on our Facebook walls never gets seen by our friends (thanks to many, many algorithm changes), what is the point? Specifically as it relates to companies, Facebook recently admitted that brands will need to start paying for such visibility in order to break through the clutter of the typical FB fan’s Newsfeed. This extra demand of companies is causing quite the stir as it’s not clearly stated how boosting will actually get stories into Newfeeds — and by how much.

After all is said and done, Facebook has not come out with any life-changing additions to the platform (if you don’t count auto-playing video ads). Yes, they’ve acquired popular platforms like Instagram, but they’ll have to do a lot more to stay relevant in people’s lives. Although Facebook will most likely survive, the “Facebook Era” may be coming to an end.

— Samantha

5 Social Media Tips NOT to Follow

Danger, Turn Back!

As social media strategists, we always talk about the best practices to implement — but rarely do we discuss which not to follow when executing a digital program. Here are a few tips to stay away from to be as successful as possible on social media:

1. Place all of your attention on one platform. Although it’s suggested to focus on the larger social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to reach the largest audience, neither one is the end-all, be-all. Instead, take the time to find out where your audience is and try various platforms to determine where your business will be the most successful.

2. Have a presence on every social platform. We encourage you to try new platforms, but they may not all be the right fit for your company. Instead, choose a few that you see the most engagement on and be mindful not to spread yourself too thin. Remember: it’s quality versus quantity!

3. You should automate all of your posts. We’re all for scheduling tweets or posts to help make your life easier, but the majority of your content should be done in real time. Why? Because your company will come across as being more authentic, which will translate positively across platforms to your audiences, creating more brand loyalists.

4. Delete negative comments to protect the company. It may seem natural to delete not-so-flattering commentary about your business to save face, but it actually makes your brand look less transparent. Embrace all comments from users and react in a polite manner to increase the chance of changing a fan’s opinion, instead of pushing them away.

5. You don’t need to pay a cent with social media. Yes, many social platforms are free to use, but don’t be fooled! A successful digital strategy typically includes having a budget (whether small or large) that support an individual or team to monitor and engage with fans on multiple platforms, obtain analytics to measure ROI better and fund advertising or sponsored posts to get your message to the largest number of fans possible.

Tell us: What other tips would you recommend brands NOT to follow on social? 

— Samantha & Mike

LinkedIn Lowers Age Minimum

LinkedIn Logo

When Facebook first started in 2004, it felt like it was exclusive to college kids. Since then a lot has changed, including new rules allowing people as young as 13 to young the top social media platform. It comes as no surprise that more and more social networking sites are increasing their user bases, including LinkedIn who is officially allowing users as young as 14 years old, starting on September 12.

It seems that many young people automatically gravitate to social media, both for social and now for career-based reasoning. Specifically speaking of LinkedIn, the increasingly popular platform has always had strong ties to businesses, which allow companies to scout new talent or for new recruits to network and research future employers. It’s been noted that many in higher education establishments are even using LinkedIn to demonstrate the effectiveness of education by highlighting where many alumni work after they’re done with schooling.

Personally, Mike & I believe that opening younger users to a more “academic” side of social media could be extremely beneficial — both to the user/student and to the business. Although networking with 14 year olds will certainly be something to get used to, we think this means bigger, smarter and more connected communities for upcoming generations.

Here’s to linking up with your babysitter or little cousin, and hopefully more career-minded individuals!

— Samantha & Mike