Social Media News Roundup: August ’17 Week 2

social media news august 17 week 2
In the news this week – Facebook muscles into the online video scene, apple launches Instagram account and social media usage tops 3 billion…
Facebook muscles into the online video scene with Facebook Watch

Facebook have taken an officially stand to leap into the world of short-form professional online video with Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch is somewhat of a late arrival to the online-video scene, however Facebook is currently second only to YouTube for internet video – so the likelihood is that if it takes of (and that is a big if) it will take off in a big way.

Over 30 different production partners have been announced, including MLB, A&E and Hearst. According to the announcement on their newsroom, they intend to see a wide range of shows on Watch, including reality shows, comedy and live sports. They said this:

“We think Watch will be a home to a wide range of shows… To help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem, we’ve also funded some shows that are examples of community-oriented and episodic video series… We’re excited to see how creators and publishers use shows to connect their fans and community.”

Apple launches Instagram account to showcase iPhone photography

The term “Shot on iPhone” has become synonymous with Apple Inc.’s marketing. Now the tech giant has created an Instagram account devoted to celebrating and promoting iPhone photography. The reasons are pretty clear – if there is any logical place to promote photography, it is the world’s largest photo-sharing app.

Instagram now commands a staggering 700 million active users a month. You can check out the new account @apple. For the time being at least, it looks like Apple plan on using the account to build community-centred marketing – at the time of writing their bio currently reads “Welcome to @apple. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part.” Already the account commands over 500k followers

Combined social media usage passes the 3 billion users mark

The latest combined research from Hootsuite and We Are Social has reveal that the number of people using social media across the world now rests at 3.028 billion – and shows no sign of stopping. This is up four percent since last quarter, an increase of 121 million users, 113 million more than the amount of new adopters of the internet in general. Active social media users are now growing at a rate of one million per day.

Facebook, Whatsapp and Snapchat feature among list of worst apps for battery draining

A report by Avast into the most battery-draining Android apps included (perhaps a little unsurprisingly) Facebook, Whatsapp and Snapchat. These were listed among other feature-rich apps such as Netflix and Google Maps. To see the full list and read Avast’s recommendations for making your battery last the longest it possibly can, check out this article on The Independent.

The post Social Media News Roundup: August ’17 Week 2 appeared first on Giraffe Social Media.

The 2017 Harold Burson Summer Internship Program LAGRANT affiliated Interns Reflect On Their Experiences

For the third year in a row, Burson-Marsteller and The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) partnered to welcome three talented ethnic minority interns into the Harold Burson Summer Internship (HBSI) Program. The U.S. HBSI Program provides college seniors, recent graduates and graduate students with valuable, real-world agency experience as they work closely with public relations professionals in practice groups and client teams.

Below, interns Kavita Raval, Stephany Rodas and Sydney Tukes reflect on what they found to be the most rewarding components of the HBSI program and what they took away from the experience.

Kavita Raval – Public Affairs & Crisis Practice, Washington, D.C.

My experience this summer as an HBSI intern in the Public Affairs & Crisis Practice has been invaluable to my professional career goals. Through this internship, I was given the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how successful PR campaigns are managed on local, national, and international scales. By working in the public affairs sector with big-name clients in industries ranging from fnancial services to automotive, I learned how to identify important political influencers and craft integrated communication plans. Furthermore, I now have experience pitching stories to well-known reporters on behalf of my clients as well as managing important stakeholder engagements.

If I had to pick one aspect of the HBSI program that I found most rewarding, it would definitely be connecting one-on-one with the movers and shakers of the PR industry—the professionals who dedicate their careers to upholding the prestigious Burson-Marsteller legacy. It was a great privilege to chat with former White House officials, award-winning news journalists, foreign service experts, and crisis communications professional as they shared their amazing career experiences with us. All of the agency professionals who we met emphasized the importance of becoming great storytellers, as they believed this skill would be crucial to our future success in the public relations industry. I am incredibly thankful for the unique partnership between the LAGRANT Foundation and Burson-Marsteller, as the HBSI program has thoroughly prepared me for a challenging, yet rewarding, career moving forward!

Stephany Rodas – Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice, New York

As I prepare for my final year in graduate school, I am walking away from the HBSI program with a greater passion for the public relations industry. There was no assignment that I was tasked with throughout my time here that did not challenge me. From sitting in on brainstorming sessions to bringing in new business to formulating effective social media strategies for an event activation, there was no task that did not require creativity and strategic thinking. Beyond it all was the unique opportunity to see client-based work come to life – I was a part of a media tour with top-tier outlets, pitched publications to garner additional hits and even conducted a Facebook Live segment with TeenVogue! There was a never a dull moment in the Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice and I am convinced that this internship will propel me forward into my career. I am truly grateful to The LAGRANT Foundation and its partnership with the HBSI program for without them I would not have become a part of such an exciting company!

Sydney Tukes – Corporate and Financial Communications Practice, New York

As a rising senior at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the HBSI program was an invaluable experience. I spent an entire summer surrounded by well-respected and sought-after leaders within the industry. Not only was I able to glean from them, but I also had a chance to cultivate relationships with some of them, and as an intern that is an incredible opportunity.

This summer, I stepped outside my comfort zone. Whether it was pitching to broadcast reporters or juggling multiple deadlines – I was challenged. I was able to learn new skills and incorporate them into client work. It was rewarding to see my ideas and work applied to Fortune 500 companies.

The LAGRANT Foundation and Burson-Marsteller have both played pivotal roles in my professional development. I feel more prepared and ready to pursue a successful career in public relations.

As the summer ends, my time here will be greatly missed.

Social Media Marketing Strategy for SMEs

Social Media Marketing

There are very few organisations that would not benefit from being active in social media marketing – and that includes start-ups and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), to whom this article is predominantly aimed. There is no one-size fits all solution when it comes to any form of marketing activity. Different companies have unique needs, and what is right for one, might be wrong for another. Getting the strategy right is, therefore, key. We must always remember that a digital marketing strategy forms part of an overall sales and marketing plan that works in conjunction with the strategic and creative brand proposition to deliver the financial objectives outlined in the business plan. This relationship cannot be stressed enough. All elements ought to be clearly aligned to ensure that an authentic strategy is created.

Core objectives

The first thing to consider, therefore, is what goals you are aiming to achieve. You need to ask yourself as a business what core objectives you wish to deliver through social media marketing. Is it to increase sales? To improve brand awareness and amplify PR opportunities? To generate leads? To stand out from the competition? To provide customer service? To promote products and services? To engage with customers? To encourage repeat purchase and referrals? To showcase intellectual property and thought leadership credentials? To recruit employees, associates, partners and suppliers? And so on. What your goals are does not matter per se– what matters is that you have them, that they are relevant to your business plan, and that they are achievable. Once you have sorted out this stage in the process, you are then able to create a successful social media strategy to deliver them.
The goals you set for your business are likely to be determined by a number of different factors, and B2C businesses are likely to have different aims to B2B companies or multi-channel sales distribution models. The value of an average sale, the likelihood of repeat purchase, the opportunity to cross-promote products and services, the time it takes to complete a sales conversion, the size of your business, the volume of your target market, the value of your marketing budget, the demographics and psychographics of prospects/customers, and so on.

Customer demographics

Understanding your customers and identifying core messages to promote your company and the products and services you sell is also critical to the success of your plan. Demographics are an important consideration, as these will enable you to qualify and quantify your suspect pool (this is everyone who could potentially become a customer of your organisation), but just as helpful is to look at psychographics – these paint a broader picture into customer hobbies and interests, values and attitudes, and so on. We also like to consider emotional needs combined with rational drivers when developing insights into core propositions. It should already be known, but your positioning within the marketplace in terms of quality v price will also enable you to understand value statements relevant to organisations wishing to optimise their sales pipeline process.

Competitor research

Researching competitor social media streams is a very efficient way to build your strategy. You can emulate or improve upon what they are doing – and you can also learn from their mistakes too. This approach quickly identifies insights that will provide a foundation for your strategic direction. Competitor research generally takes two forms – manual and automatic. The manual part is personally reviewing various social media platforms, and the automatic part is using online tools to analyse them in a data-driven way. Both have benefits, and should be delivered in conjunction, making sure that the research is undertaken by a suitably qualified person.

Social platforms

Assuming you are starting from scratch, it is of course necessary to decide which social media platforms are best for your business in terms of enabling you to engage with key stakeholders (such as customers, prospects, influencers, bloggers, journalists, potential employees, suppliers, partners, shareholders, and other interested parties). Some of the most popular options include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google +, SlideShare, though you might also wish to add Tumblr and Flickr to the list if you have a specific type of audience or strategic need for sharing content. Some of these platforms are mostly involved with audience engagement (such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) whilst others are mostly for sharing content (Google +, YouTube, and SlideShare). Instagram and Pinterest are hybrid platforms with benefits which fall across both audience engagement and content sharing, particularly for B2C brands, but also for B2B too.

Resourcing

The next question to consider is resourcing. Regardless of whether you are delivering social media internally through your own people, or externally through a suitably-skilled marketing agency, you need to be realistic about what resources (employee time and marketing budget) you have available, to make sure you are not stretching yourself too thinly across more platforms than you can realistically handle. Best to do one or two well rather than three or four badly. Also, it is worth remembering that social media is one of those things which just about anyone can do, but that does not necessarily mean that they can do it well. The truth is that it is like any other technical discipline – skills are learned and experience is earned through repeated exposure over a sustained period of time. Our advice is to combine internal and external resources to achieve the best possible results. You know your business better than one, so it makes sense that your people are involved in shaping follower strategy, agreeing content plans and delivering tactical campaigns (such as polls and promotions).

Followers

It will come as no surprise that you need to have a follower base for your social media platforms to perform well (unless you are solely using social media platforms as a means for direct advertising to your target market, in which case you don’t theoretically need any followers at all!). Follower numbers are best grown organically, although you can also promote your social media platforms in a number of different ways to fast-track sign-up. Another very important factor to consider is quality. Despite appearances to the contrary, social media should not be thought of as a numbers game. It is all about quality; this is what ensures relevance and credibility. It is very good practice to review your followers every week and remove any that do not seem to fit the bill. But don’t be too harsh when doing this. Only a small percentage of your followers are likely to actually be bona fide customers – unless you are a blue-chip mainstream consumer brand. Many will fall under the guise of being ‘interested parties’ for whom your content is relevant, especially when it comes to SMEs operating in the B2B space.

Engagement

Engagement therefore is a vital consideration. The idea is of course to create content that is likely to be liked, shared or commented on favourably by your followers. Any of these three actions may lead to your post showing up in their feeds, so that your posts are seen by their audiences – this will therefore magnify your exposure to a much wider audience that would otherwise be possible. This is why influencer marketing works well, where people with significant follower numbers of a certain demographic and/or psychographic profile promote your brand for a fee in a way that is engaging to their followers. But engagement is two-way too, which means you have to make sure that you make time to look at other people’s feeds and comment/share their content – and do so in a positive and supportive way (as well as to follow people who follow you, and message people who message you, where appropriate to do so). Positivity and mutuality are the names of the game when it comes to successful commercial social media marketing.

Building relationships

Building relationships demands that one acts in the best possible way. It is easy to get drawn in to negative conversations on social media, as you can no doubt imagine. The best thing to do is to respond politely and positively to negative comments and, if that does not work, to move on and forget about it. Most of us are wise to the fact that there are a few people out there on Twitter and Facebook in particular who are hell-bent on causing conflict and misery. The trick is to remember that their behaviour reflects on them, not on you. We would advocate the setting up of an internal social media marketing policy to make sure that there are guidelines and rules in place for how staff and associates are advised to interact with third parties on social media channels. We recommend that commercial representatives set up “personal-business” social media accounts. This creates a corporate mindset and provides a safety net between work and personal life, with mutual benefits for both parties. Training and ongoing assessment will also keep social media guidelines front of mind, as will including it within performance appraisals, where appropriate to do so.

Integrated approach

It is worth noting that social media marketing often works better when combined with a content marketing strategy and a search engine optimisation (SEO) plan. Social pages should be set up in such a way as to profile your brand to provide a good user experience and to optimise keyword benefits, and any content you create should be rich in high value keywords too – sharing on social media will drive traffic to your website or to where the content is shared (e.g. on SlideShare, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube). In the latter case, this in turn will provide valuable third-party links back to your website. Therefore, content is also a crucial parameter to the success of your social media plan. Subject matter will in large part be determined by the goals you have set to begin with, and of course the type of business you are, the products you sell, and the make-up of your target audience – the best solution is generally to provide a variety of posts about your own products and services, special promotions, tactical campaigns, third party content, added value/thought leadership/intellectual property, and so on. This content can take the form of blogs, videos, white papers, newsletters, and so on.

Social media advertising

Social media advertising tends to be significantly cheaper than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on search engines, such as Google AdWords, which makes it an attractive proposition to many businesses. It can be a very successful means of acquiring new customers, generating leads, promoting a new product or service, driving traffic to your website, advertising content where it is hosted on third-party social platforms, encouraging responses to polls and surveys, incentivising referrals, and so on. Social media advertising can be optimised for conversions, measuring cost per acquisition. It can also be highly targeted to match with target audiences by matching against email databases, lookalike audiences and demographic/psychographic/behavioural profiling. Web traffic can be engaged with on an ongoing basis via remarketing, whereby adverts promoting your company, brand, product, service etc. are served up on third party websites to people who have previously visited your website. You can also analyse and potentially identity web visitors in the B2B landscape through lead forensic software in combination with other tools such as Sales Navigator on LinkedIn to optimise business development activities in order to feed your sales pipeline.

Measurement

Measurement is obviously important. Who likes to spend money on anything without knowing where the value is coming from or what the benefit is likely to be? There are lots of things you can analyse on social media. Follower growth. Website traffic. Sales conversion. Just make sure you are measuring KPIs that correlate with your goals. The benefit of measuring performance on a regular and ongoing occasion is to make sure that you are continually improving your strategy. There is always something you can test or try. This is the great benefit of most forms of digital marketing in general – it is very easy to change what you are doing, because you can see evidence straight away as to whether what you are doing is working effectively and efficiently or not.

Tools

There are a number of tools you can use too, to automate the process – such as Sprout Social. But automation is only good to a point. We are not robots to the personal touch should not be ignored. If we sense that a feed is automated too much, then we are likely to fall out of love with it. Another tool we use is Sniply, which allows you to show a visual advert linking back to your website when people open links to third party websites, providing incremental quality traffic back to your own website – not just from your followers, but from anyone who clicks on the link (so other people’s followers too).

Next steps

We hope that this article provides you with some useful tips when it comes to developing a social media marketing strategy for your business and that you now have a better idea of the next steps you need to take. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Stephen Brown, our head of strategy and planning, at stephen.brown@abacusmarketing.co.uk. We would of course be happy to discuss your marketing requirements in more detail, or meet up for a free two-hour consultation at a venue of your choice.

The post Social Media Marketing Strategy for SMEs appeared first on Abacus Marketing.

Adweek: Mistress Taps Bilinguals for El Chapo

Univision wanted to make a big splash with its ripped-from-the-headlines series, El Chapo, about the rise and ultimate fall of one of the world’s most notorious drug lords.

As part of the promo push, network execs envisioned an extensive millennial-targeted digital campaign to hype the scripted drama about Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a rags-to-riches cartel king so infamous he was profiled in Rolling Stone by actor Sean Penn.

The caveat for agency Mistress was that the work had to be solely in Spanish.

Los Angeles-based Mistress, which doesn’t market itself as a multicultural agency, drew from its bilingual creative team to come up with more than 200 pieces of content for a social media effort that eventually logged 28 million impressions and nearly 4 million video views. It mixed folklore, memes and modern imagery, using lucha libre fighting, marionettes, news footage and narco tombs to brand the Mexico-set series and engage young mobile-centric audiences.

Read the rest of the article in Adweek, here.

Starting with a New PPC Client: Getting Access and Checking Settings

Taking on a new client account can be a daunting task, and is one that should be undertaken with meticulous attention to detail and process, as it is the foundation you will build your relationship with the client upon. It is important to get correct levels of access to the different platforms and establish communication channels right away. This post will briefly go over how to get access and some important settings to check during the proposal stage of working with a new client.

The POC on the client side may or may not be versed in PPC and Analytics, so it is a good approach to treat the situation as a blank slate and ensure you walk them through each step of the setup. Their main concern will most likely be to grant the bare minimum access level in order to provide a thorough proposal of work. Setting up an NDA is a good idea to put these concerns to rest and provide little to no pushback when requesting the levels of access you need.

Google Analytics

This is a great place to begin when starting to work with a new client. The client can grant you access by visiting the ‘Admin’ section within the account settings in Analytics. Remember when requesting access that it should be done at the Account level with ‘read & analyze’ access being granted.

Once you have access it is good to do a thorough sweep of the account and make sure you have permissions on anything you’d need to do related to reporting. Now is the time to catch any last minute access privileges needed.

AdWords Linking

Check that the proper AdWords account is being linked. Sometimes a client will have multiple AdWords accounts and you might not have access to the same account that is being linked to in Google Analytics. Usually, it is best to request the CID from the client then add the account manually to your MCC. The client will get a request for approval, and upon approving you should have full editing access to the account.

Enable Remarketing

Under the tracking Info setting check the data collection section and see whether or not remarketing is enabled. Just because there are remarketing campaigns and audience lists, it does not mean that this setting has been turned on so make sure to check!  

Audiences

Look at what audiences have been defined within the remarketing section, it is important to understand what they are capturing and how they relate back to the client’s goals. See if there might be room to create some additional audiences, even if only for use as negative lists, or implement something newer like RLSA audience lists.  It will be important to manage and understand these lists and how they work into your remarketing efforts for the client. I would recommend first working with the client to ensure the remarketing tags are still set up on all pages you’d send traffic to, then from there you can assess their audience lists, how they will achieve the client’s goals and whether you need to build new ones.

Conversion Goals

Under the view setting, you can see what goals have been created. Understand what has already been implemented and that they align well with actual business goals the client has. Going over how you might be able to improve conversion tracking with a potential client is a great discussion to have. The conversions and eventual leads are going to be the most important outcome of your PPC campaign, and you can never be too confident in your tracking and set up for conversion goals. Talk with the client so you understand their goals and then see how you can relate those back to AdWords. Phone calls, form fill outs, click-to-message, and many more methods for capturing leads are all easily set up and run through AdWords.

AdWords

Connecting to client accounts on AdWords is done through an MCC (My Client Center) account and access can easily be requested once you know the customer ID of the client’s AdWords account. You can also connect MCC accounts to your agency MCC if the client happens to be using multiple AdWords accounts.

Upgraded MCC Access

In the proposal stage of working with a client, you will most likely be granted read-only access. Even if you are only consulting and not managing this client, it is still important to get edit access so you can fully deep-dive into the components of the account.  To start working on the account permissions will need to be upgraded to MCC access.

With access to the AdWords account, you can check the linked accounts setting. Verify that Google Analytics and AdWords are connected on both platforms. Being connected to only one or the other results in missing features on the unlinked platform. Now that you are connected in, you should be able to verify that the two entities are correctly set up and sharing data with each other.

Google Merchant Center

If you are pitching an e-commerce business then you will want to be aware of whether or not they have a Merchant Center and if they will be expecting you to help with the management of their product feed or just shopping campaigns within AdWords. The Google Merchant Center has a separate login and user lists that you should request if necessary. This can also be set up as a multi-client account to connect multiple Merchant Center accounts

Without going into much detail for reviewing an AdWords account, something to take note of are the existing conversions and whether they have been imported from Google Analytics or created using AdWords tracking pixels.

BingAds

Connecting a BingAds account is also done through an MCC account in the accounts & billing section. In order to link to a client’s account you will need their account number which is found in their accounts & billing section. Quickly check to see if auto-tagging is enabled under the account settings, this will ensure that data is interpreted correctly in Google Analytics. Just like with AdWords, it is important to ensure you have the proper levels of access and can communicate with the client about their needs with BingAds and how you’re going to help them achieve their goals.

Conversion Goals

Now that you have access you can check for existing goals and conversions in the Shared Library section. Creating conversion goals in BingAds is very similar to creating a goal in Google Analytics. Just like with AdWords, the conversions you establish here with the client are going to be the true measure of success, so take the time to ensure you get things set up for them in a clear way that you and the client can understand.

Bing Merchant Center

If you are planning to create a shopping campaign for an e-commerce client you will need to create a store within the Bing Merchant Center and confirm URL ownership through Bing Webmaster Tools.

Social Networks

If your client is interested in advertising on any of the major social networks make sure to communicate how you will be connecting to and managing their campaigns. Similar to what we’ve already discussed, you should place heavy priority on understanding their conversion goals, and work to ensure the proper tracking is set up.

Facebook

Setting up Facebook campaigns for a new client can sometimes be tricky. If they have not previously created any ad campaigns I would suggest referring them to the Business Manager page which will guide them through the relatively simple process of creating a Business Manager account. This should also be set up on your end as an agency, as it will allow you to easily request access to a new page or ad account.

Alternatively, if they have not created a Business Manager account and are currently running ads out of a single user account, it is possible to simply add users with various access levels so that they can create and manage campaigns with access to the client’s Facebook page. They can invite you to ‘Like’ the page, then give administrative access to edit and manage ads. The downside to working with clients through this method is that you will need to change your ad account view to manage campaigns for multiple clients rather than having them all in one place on your business manager account.

Once you have access to a client’s account and can manage their campaigns you should take a look at any conversion pixels that have been implemented. Facebook has developed their own Pixel Helper chrome extension that can make things easier.

Twitter

In order to manage a Twitter campaign for a client, you will need to have them add your Twitter handle through the Ads interface page. Directions for doing this can be found here.

Unfortunately, this is not quite as accommodating as Facebook in that there is no way to both manage a campaign and pay for the ad spend on behalf of a client. The only way to effectively pay for ad spend that you are managing would be to add a credit card to the client’s ad account, which can be difficult when there are multiple campaigns running and some of which are not being managed by your agency. One suggestion for this problem is just billing the Twitter ad spend to your company’s main card, and then adding that amount to what you’re billing the client in the first place.  You should also be sure to check out any conversion tracking tags in the tools section and ensure that they are up to date with current campaign goals.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a fairly simple advertising platform and gaining access is easily done within the recently updated campaign manager. The client will need to grant access to a LinkedIn account so you might want to consider creating an agency LinkedIn user for managing client campaigns.

Running through this quick checklist is certainly not the makings of a thorough new client proposal. However, when you first start talking to a potential new client it can be quite helpful to have a simple checklist like this to get you started. If you have anything on your initial checklist for new client proposals that I’ve left out please mention them in the comments below.

Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines 2017

The new Quality Rater Guidelines have been updated and make for an interesting read. If you do SEO for businesses, you’ll need to be up-to-date with them. I made an unmodified HTML version of the Google Quality Rater Guidelines (4mb) so I could easily link to specific sections for readers that are interested.

Read the full article here Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines 2017


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