Facebook Introduces Video Ads, Promises They Won’t Be Spammy

Ads that look and feel like TV commercials but are targeted like display ads: For Facebook, that’s long been the holy grail — the chief hurdle being how to introduce them without annoying the bejesus out of its users.

After many months of tinkering, Facebook executives finally think they’ve got it right. Today the company officially introduced what it calls Premium Video Ads.

Nothing much has changed from the version it’s beentesting in users’ feeds since December. The 15-second ads still start playing automatically, without sound, as soon as they come onscreen. Tapping on an ad expands it and makes it start over from the beginning, with audio.

Read more via Forbes.com. 

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Six Signs You’re Using Social Media the Wrong Way

Anybody can sign up for a social media account and understand its general premise. Does that make you capable of using it for business? Like anything in business, social media (done right) requires extensive experience and understanding of people, some technology and — most importantly — marketing.

Primarily, social media users fail in one of two areas: understanding that social media fits into the larger part of a company’s overall marketing goals, and the ability to see correlations between activities on social media and quantifiable ROI. (Like in grade school math class, you don’t get credit if you don’t show your work.)

You — or your social media marketing ‘pro’ — might be using social media the wrong way if:

You don’t measure ROI

Utilize basic tools like Facebook FB -0.73% analytics (which is free, by the way) to understand what your customers really respond to. Notice whatever seems to help you generate more likes, clicks, and reach. Then, use tools like Google GOOG -0.58% Analytics to see how the traffic is converting on your website. If you want to get a bit more robust, try simple, yet powerful analytics tools like Simplymeasured.com. They will help you stay connected with your audience and keep them interested, as long as you can interpret them correctly. 

You call yourself a ‘guru’ or something similar

Keep your titles professional, people. Using a term like ‘guru’ usually screams that you’re a refugee from another industry and don’t really know what you’re doing. Anybody who has been in the marketing industry wants to create a professional appearance. Let others call you a guru if they’d like.

You’re not working with other departments in the business

Social media marketing is most efficient and effective when it’s coordinated with your company’s branding team, email marketing team, advertising team, and other various marketing departments. For instance, your web marketing team can help drive your social media communities’ growth by linking back to your company’s social networks. Alternatively, you can gain potential leads that can convert into sales by driving traffic back to the website through content marketing. If you create original content and you work intra-departmentally, you will then be a social media rock star.

Read more via Forbes, here.

Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses: How To Hang Onto Every Fan And Follower

social media marketing for small businessSuccessful social media marketing isn’t just measured by the size of a company’s fan base. Even more important than how many fans and followers your company can gain, is how many it can actually keep.

As of May 2013, 72 percent of online adults were using social networking sites, according to Pew Research Center. In addition, MBA Online reports that 8 in 10 social media users in the U.S. would rather connect with companies via social media than via corporate websites. And, social media campaigns have been shown to be more effective in generating quality leads.

By now, most small business owners understand that they can’t afford to ignore this important marketing channel. But once you’ve built up a fan base of social media followers, the often-ignored dilemma is, how do you keep them?

While some companies go as far as paying for subscribers, quality of engagement is more important than quantity of followers. “Social media users thrive on meaningful online relationships,” writes Mike Alton in Social Media Today. “Make this the focus of your social media efforts.”

Making Connections

A common social media mistake many small businesses make is remembering to share content, but forgetting to have the follow-up conversations that lead to real engagement, says Lori Gama, a social media marketing strategist.

Read more via Huffington Post, here.

When It Comes To Social Media, Consumers Tell Brands To Speak Only When Spoken To…

It’s every CMO’s worst nightmare: a social media crisis that has taken on a life of its own and is posing a real threat to a brand’s reputation. It could be a negative comment from a dissatisfied customer that’s gone viral on Twitter, an online reaction to a brand action offline, or an accidental Facebook post by the brand’s agency.

To develop rapid response capabilities, companies are shifting emphasis to technologies and platforms that make listening more important than messaging.

According to Altimeter Group, 42% of companies consider social media monitoring one of their top three priorities for 2013. However, a recent survey from J.D. Power points to the risks associated with monitoring: 51% of consumers simply do not want companies to eavesdrop on their conversations and 43% believe that monitoring is an intrusion on their privacy. The majority of consumers, 64%, insist that they want companies to respond to social comments only when spoken to.

Read more here.

Hiring A Social Media Manager? Watch Out For These Red Flags

It seems like every business and brand is suddenly on the prowl for a social media manager. Dozens of my friends are now being headhunted at salaries even I am envious of for positions that require them to manage the online – and sometimes offline – communities of the organization. Many companies unfortunately dive head-first into hiring these community managers without thinking about actual role or responsibility of this new hire – or even what the potential candidate is really bringing to the table. Econonsultancy recently wrote about this trend, and what red flags these companies should look out for when hiring a social media manager.

They essentially found that while it is notably easy to hire a social media manager who fails to create leads and sales, it’s hard to hire someone who can actually succeed. Econsultancy found that when asking questions about “social selling”, brands should watch out for candidates who say things like;

“Marketing and advertising are long-term, not instant”

Econsultancy says, “this is a clear hedge against creating leads and sales. This position presumes the only sales that happen are those happening instantly.” Obviously, marketing and advertising is not short-term and instant, and social marketing should not be a short-cut to instant sales. That said, a social media manager should be in the right mindset to generate quick leads that eventually assist conversions.

“Social media marketing is mostly (only) about building brand equity”

Again, Econsultancy explains, this a hedge. They say, “this belief presumes getting and maintaining brand equity is not about selling.” As Econsultancy chides, ‘If your business (and its brand) is not fundamentally all about selling then what it is about… charity?”

While social media should not be a soapbox for your brand, it is a place for brands to provide the resources, answers, and help current and potential customers may need about products. It’s also a place for these current and potential customers to communicate about products and information related to the brand, such as promotions or events. This community, when built and moderated appropriately with engaging content, can help the brand sell itself. This doesn’t necessarily mean the content needs to be advertorial in nature; but indirectly promotes the brand.

Read more here.

Steubenville Rape Guilty Verdict: The Case That Social Media Won

It was a sickening crime that fit an all-too-familiar storyline. Young men who turned a night of partying into an ugly sexual assault. A culture in which high school football players are treated like gods and act as if no rules apply. And an innocent young woman who was abused by people she thought were friends and then humiliated.

But what made the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case — which ended today with guilty verdicts against Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond — different and what made it feel cutting edge is the pervasive role the Internet played. It is a whole new kind of crime when teen sexual assault meets social media and goes blaringly, glaringly public.

How To Win The Most Grammys? Social Media Buzz!

grammys-and-social-mediaSocial media has become an indispensable part of the music business. It used to be that winning a Grammy was one of the best way for a new artist to enter into the public imagination. Now, they enter through social media, and the Grammys naturally follow.

Awards like the Grammys and the Oscars have always been a balance of critical recognition and popularity contest, but social media has shifted the equation a bit. Since building followers on Facebook and Twitter (etc.) correlates with commercial success (in terms of live show revenues if not actual record sales) it is hard to tease out how much of that popularity contest is judged on the basis of social campaigns.

Read more here.

Study: Romney and Obama Social Media Activity

Courtesy of The Hill

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is pumping out nearly four times as much online content to voters than GOP challenger Mitt Romney’s campaign and is active on nearly twice as many Web platforms, according to a study released Wednesday by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign changed the game for how candidates use the Web and social media to connect directly with voters, and so far his reelection campaign is leading the social media push this time around, the study reported. But Pew noted this also lessened the role of traditional media when it comes to communicating the candidates’ messages to voters.

The study reported that Obama’s campaign posts an average of 29 tweets per day, while Romney’s posts an average of just one tweet per day. Obama also published twice as many blog posts on his campaign website than Romney did. Both candidates, however, averaged about two posts a day on Facebook.

Read more here.

Social Media Consultants Are On The Rise

Courtesy of Business Insider

Anyone who has a business wants to be the customers first choice. This is why businesses need to be working only with the best marketing team possible. In turn, with the popularity of the internet social media consultants are vital to your marketing team and the position is on the rise all across The United States. Business owners are beginning to understand that these marketing strategies offered by social media consultants is exactly what their business needs to succeed. The world of marketing is changing so fast and businesses are looking to hire people who know exactly what they are doing when it comes to social media and these changes that are occurring so rapidly.

Each day can be a challenge for not just the business but the marketers as well. In all actuality, the pressure is on the social media consultant. This is because, the social media consultant needs to be constantly thinking about what strategies they are using and how the internet is changing in the digital marketing realm. In general, the Internet is always changing and this is another reason as to why social media consultant positions are on the rise.

In the world of internet marketing, experts on social media are the most sought after. This is because they are current with the latest marketing changes and know just what to do to help a business stand out in its niche. Due to the fact that social media can potentially unstoppable and reach out to hundreds of thousands of people, social media consultants is a rapidly growing industry.