Archive for the ‘Social Networking, Media, Marketing (SMM/SMO)’ Category

Marketing Tools 101: Facebook Graph Search Update

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

By now you’ve probably noticed the search bar at the top of your Facebook feed, and you may also be wondering how it works and how it can benefit your role in online marketing.


Originally, the search feature was released in March, however it had limited search abilities. It was only able to search for people, pages, and apps. Now, Facebook has expanded its Graph Search abilities so that people can search for status updates, photo captions, comments and even check-ins.

This means that the Facebook graph search now has data that is useful to you as a marketer. For example, let’s say you are putting together a promotional event for your company. You can now monitor Facebook posts about your event with Graph Search. Other opportunities include:

  • Searching by hashtag
  • Tracking brand mentions
  • Researching Facebook Fan interests to develop new content
  • Analyzing product use, reviews, etc.
  • Searching for a product

You can also now search based on location and time, opening up a wide range of possibilities for local search and real-time marketers.

Many people are concerned about their privacy with this new Facebook Graph Search feature, since lots of folks do not want their old stories to be able to be pulled up easily. Especially young adults who may want to keep their college party pictures deeply buried in their timeline. In fact, there are many articles coming out recently telling people how to update their privacy settings so that most of their information does not show up in Facebook Graph Search.

Even with a percentage of Facebook users updating their privacy settings to avoid the Graph Search, there is still a goldmine of information available in this handy little tool that marketers can use to create effective campaigns.

How are you planning on using Facebook Graph Search in your marketing? Share your thoughts with us.

Ads In Your Instagram Feed? Yes.

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Closely following in the footsteps of Pinterest, Instagram announced this week they’ll start adding ads into users feeds over the next few months. The theme here? A need to build a sustainable business. The issue? The only solution seems to be ads.

Facebook bought Instagram last year for $1 billion with the intent to “add ads when the time is right”, says Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook has received much lash back from users on its placement and treatment of ads and while Instagram has indicated its 150 million users will be able to hide ads they don’t like they will still be showing ads from brands users don’t follow with a “focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community,” Instagram said in their post.

Similar to Pinterest, they wants the ads to “feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands.” My hope is that brands truly think of their audiences and create really thoughtful and provoking advertisements, but who is to monitor that when revenue is being generated? My fingers are crossed.

What are your thoughts on ads being added to these darlings of social media? Tell in the comments below or on Facebook.

Pinterest Starts the Shift to Promoted Pins

Friday, September 20th, 2013

In a letter from CEO and Co-founder of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, Pinterest announced their planning for the future by announcing today that they will begin experimenting with promoted pins. Silbermann warns that they’d like to keep Pinterest around for a while and that pretty much means it is time they start making money instead of spending it. They haven’t started charging anyone or any business for promoted pins yet nor were any details provided.

We can assume they’ll first do some user testing to see where the most optimal placement is for these promoted pins through the user feed. Silbermann mentions their first test will be to “promote a few pins in search results and category feeds. For example, a pin for a Darth Vader outfit from a costume shop might be promoted in a search for “halloween.”

Their promise for promoted pins?
Keep them tasteful without flashy banners or pop-up ads.
Transparency – Notify users if someone is paying for what you see, or where you see it.
Pins should remain relevant so that you’re actually seeing items you are interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that’s your style.

They also promise to make improvements based on user feedback.

What do you think of the idea of promoted pins coming to your Pin Feed? Will your business start using this type of social advertising?

More Opportunities for Businesses on Facebook With Ads and Pages

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Three big items were announced this week from Facebook, bringing further opportunities for businesses.

1) Timelines for brand pages

With Timelines added to new brand pages a whole new world is open to exposing audiences and fans to your brand and allows brands to be more effective at conveying their identity on Facebook’s platform.

When you visit a brand Page in Timeline layout, the experience becomes more personal. A prominently displayed section on the landing page shows how many of your friends like the brand, as well as your friends’ public mentions of related topics.

“The goal is to make Pages more engaging and more social,” said Gokul Rajaram, Facebook’s product director for ads.

Page administrators have new options at their fingers too. An admin panel hides or expands on command, meaning you don’t have to navigate to a separate page to make changes, updates or improvements. The panel includes notifications of activity on your Page and chart-based performance data. Best of all, you can now respond directly to private messages without added hassles or obstacles, a feature also directly accessible from the admin panel. – Sam Laird, Mashable

2) Real-time Insights and other new metrics

Pages Insights now shows your last 500 posts (going back to last July) and tallies the total number of engaged users, People Talking About it and virality. The latter measures the percentage of users who commented on the post, though sentiment isn’t taken into account. - Todd Wasserman, Mashable

For marketers, this is a new way to understand how competitors are performing on Facebook. Businesses can use that information to establish benchmarks for their own efforts. Most marketers have little to compare their Facebook growth and engagement to. For a long time, the only way to know how companies were doing on the social network was to look at total Likes. This became a skewed metric as more pages began to buy fans and launch programs that inflated their numbers but didn’t result in lasting engagement. With more public insights, it will be harder for companies to appear more successful than they truly are. – Brendan Irvine-Broque, Inside Facebook

3) New ad formats and applications

An article on The Australian said Facebook has invited marketers and journalists to New York to discuss new, potentially lucrative advertising opportunities designed to lure its 845 million-strong user base.

It is expected Facebook will try to integrate ads into people’s experience, so that friends’ posts about brands are showing up alongside their news links and puppy photos.

“Facebook is making serious money from ads right now, but they are not making serious money from major brand advertisers, and that’s where the ad money is,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group.

On Mashable, Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, told Bloomberg that Facebook still has to win over much of Corporate America. “It really comes down to brand advertisers,” she said. “They just need to do a better job of convincing the big advertisers that ads are effective and that they perform.”

Additionally, an article in Internet Retailer mentioned that the social network announced it is adding its Sponsored Stories ad format to Facebook’s mobile application and also adding those types of ads to the Facebook log-out screen. Sponsored Stories enable advertisers to highlight posts or actions, such as when a consumer’s Facebook friend Likes a product, checks into a store, plays a game or uses a Facebook application. The move marks the first time mobile users will see ads on the social network.

Facebook is also adding back the free Offers program, which enables merchants to offer discounts via their Facebook pages.

Consumers will initially see about one Sponsored Story a day, Facebook says. “We want to make sure that over time the marketing messages are as good as the content that you see from your friends and family,” said Caroline Everson, vice president, global marketing solutions.

Social Search Results and Beyonce Is Pregnant

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

This morning I received an email about Google’s update to their social search results, a feature Google has been experimenting visibly with for the last year.

While I was impressed with the technology back then it was really nothing to write home about. To Google’s defense, they have been determined to understand the value of integrating social within the framework of search. I made a short video clip back in January, when the Toyota domino recalls were happening – this is what it looked like nearly a year ago.

Since then, Google has made vast improvements and beneficial enhancements to how they have integrated social into search. It is less intrusive. They show the real-time updates subtly instead of the constant scrolling updates.

If you do choose to click on the recent social updates below the news results, you’ll be taken to a real-time search results update page, a trending timeline and the – pièce de résistance – top links! See video clip below.

Initially, I looked at this page and said, “Okay, this is pretty cool but who cares?” So I took a closer look and came up with a few good ways all of us marketers may be able to take advantage of this new offering from Google:


  • Share Something New: The majority of people who are RTing on Twitter, commenting/sharing on Facebook and other social platforms are most likely saying the same thing over and over and over again. This is your chance to share something new. Join in the banter, but offer a fresh perspective, valuable piece of information or other. Something that out of all 585 comments yours will standout because you are offering a new sound into the noise. Incidentally, at the time when I looked on this morning to get the top trending search, the most popular item was “Beyonce Pregnant” – just in case you are curious about the title of this post – we thought we would play along in the trend and offer up some new information to be shared (highly irrelevant to the folks that care about Beyonce’s pregnancy, by the way, Beyonce congratulations).
  • Profile Audiences: Without going into too much detail on this, clearly the folks commenting on Beyonce being pregnant are not the same folks commenting on Virginia Thomas, but it is a good way to understand what your target audience is most interested in (if you don’t know this already).

Top Links

  • Early Bird Gets the Worm: If you can’t be the first to create the news, you can be the first to comment on it, and quite possibly get a link from it. If you can watch (obsessively) for trending topics in your industry, Google will show you who is the most authoritative for that trend – get a comment on there – maybe with your link and you’ve got exposure.
  • Identify Authority Sites: If you aren’t the early bird, you may still be able to get the worm. By observing which sites are visible for your target topics, you will discover new opportunities for SEO, such as who to interview or be interviewed by, guest write for and comment on.

These are just a few ways Google’s new social search can benefit you, there are several more.

What is your take on social search results?

4 Pieces of Advice To Get Links Approved On Quality Blogs and Web sites

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Link building can get a bad rap sometimes. Often people think it’s just spam, but really link building is a very beneficial component of a successful SEO campaign. Some companies buy links or hire companies to post automated links (which is heavily frowned upon by search engines and degrades the Internet experience, in my opinion). Why would you want a computer to do your work, when you can get better results by posting legitimate quality links?

Here are four pieces of advice to getting your comments and links approved:

1. Be real. I find the most successful way to get your back links approved is to be your authentic self. Go ahead, state your opinion on the topic, as long as you can tie it to the topic of your link or keyword. This way you’re posting a real comment as if there was no link there. Saying “Great Post, I will bookmark your site and read more.” is not a real comment, it’s spam.

2. Be relevant and respectful. Always make sure that the blog or article you’re posting a comment to is related to the link you’re posting. Once you find a relevant site, read the article and leave comments that reference something that was mentioned in the article.

3. Be a social non-spammer. If you think of link building as providing the author and readers with helpful information or added value in your commenting versus trying to get a link, you will likely see an increase in the number of approved comments. In my experience, being myself has worked to my advantage when link building. Occasionally my efforts are misinterpreted as spam since I’m including a link. On the other hand, there are occasions when people comment back and a conversation begins, which to me is very valuable because you are building a trust with the individual whose blog or news source you are leaving a comment on. They know you are leaving a legitimate comment and the fact that there is a link there is fine by them because they either like that your comment was real and related to their post or know that you may be working an angle by link building, but they are okay with that since you are adding value.

4. Don’t take it personally. It will get frustrating at times when your comments and links are not approved. Experiences like these can teach you about your link building approach and technique. For instance, you may find that you need to shorten your comment or try another approach, or maybe the topics don’t relate like you thought they did. There are so many factors that can determine if your link gets approved or not, but the bottom line is to not get discouraged and to keep it real.

photo love to: