Google+ Has Left the Building

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 Written by Published in Projects


On October 8th, the world woke up to the news that Google had once again closed the doors on an underperforming product, and there are some of the lessons to take away from this announcement. This is not the first of Google’s closed tools, but it is an important one because the decision wasn’t simply due to a lack of interest, it also came in the wake of a security flaw and can have far-reaching ramifications.

Google+ was created to compete with Facebook and Twitter as a social media powerhouse, but it never attracted a viable market share for users to leap to the platform. Reportedly, users spent an average less than 5 SECONDS on the platform. Unlike many conclusions, Google+ is not immediately shut down. The company is phasing out the product over the next 10 months. This is a gift for some because many times users are left with little recourse to access any information they may have loaded to an abandoned platform.

Lesson 1:

Your Online Tools are Ever Changing. Something that we try to warn our clients about is that your marketing should be diversified. Even though social media may be a cost-effective tool, the platform you are on can disappear or completely change overnight. What would your marketing scheme look like if Facebook, LinkedIn, Etsy, or Pinterest suddenly shut down? Would you have access to your customers via a locally stored database, e.g., a newsletter mailing list or traditional mailing list, or would you wake up to zero access and have to rebuild your entire customer base?

If you do store your contact list online, how often do you export it? All of us are guilty of making changes directly in provider portals, but rarely downloading the current contact list and this should be a regularly scheduled event.

Lesson 2:

Your Data Storage Should Not Be Consolidated with One Provider. What would happen if you had awoken to all of Google being gone? Highly unlikely as Google is mammoth, that’s very true, but it is absolutely a real possibility, so what is your back-up plan?   If all of your marketing graphics and reviews were only stored in your Google drive, how long would it take you to recreate your resources? This could be true for any provider, not just Google.  

Lesson 3:

Third-Party App Providers are Changing the Landscape. One of the ongoing problems Google is combating is criticism that Gmail is being affected by third-party application providers. Many companies host their email service with Google and are exploring the possibility that they will have to host their email service themselves or elsewhere. Every year, it’s good practice to discuss your email service and web-hosting service provider with an IT professional to evaluate options and build a contingency plan. If a change is planned, it’s important that your marketing team know each location that would need to be updated.

If you provide an app to your customers, you’ll also want to track changes that could impact the delivery and function of your app. At the very least, bi-annual reviews with your developer can help address any changes and allow your marketing team to freshen and update your app.

Lesson 4:

Time, Creativity, Marketing Dollars and Manpower have an ROI. One of the reasons our clients renew their contracts is they don’t have time to dedicate to manage their online presence. If you had been dedicating a great deal of time to Google+ and are just now learning that many users spent less than 5 seconds on the platform, are you disappointed? Would you be shocked to learn that 70% of the content on Instagram is never seen? Yes, there are tips and tricks to beating the various platforms’ algorithms, but at the end of the day are you using your analytics to determine your marketing ROI? Google Analytics, Pixels, and many other tools can help you manage your analytics.

Lesson 5:

Diversify Your Impressions. Your online presence should legitimize your business, but not be all encompassing. Yes, many, many businesses operate solely online, but that’s why you’re seeing many companies branch their sales simultaneously across platforms like Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and Amazon, in addition to their own online store. Large companies, like Pottery Barn, Publix, and Pier One, still diversify their marketing tactics with email campaigns, sales ads, mailed catalogs, billboards, bus stops, and, of course, television, radio, and their digital counterparts.

These are crazy times and the takeaway is to not put your marketing eggs in one proverbial digital basket. Plan, diversify, and rely on solid marketing practices to keep your business in front of your customers.

Using Premiere Videos versus Going Live – A Case Study

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 Written by Published in Projects


In trying to be competitive with Twitch and YouTube, Facebook created Premiere as an alternative to users going Live when video streaming.  This new video option, which has been slowly rolling out to business profiles over the summer, officially rolled to all pages on October 2nd.  For all the introverts and perfectionists in the world, this is an amazing tool.

Premiere helps to eliminate marketing anxieties by allowing users to create videos that range from 30 seconds to 3 hours, edit them to their heart’s content, and launch them in a way that performed similarly to a Facebook Live video.  Pages access Premiere by creating a post, uploading a video, and choosing “Premiere” instead of Publish or Schedule.

Once you choose Premiere, you’re given the option to schedule when your video will launch, which is a godsend for busy business owners and social media managers.  Once you schedule your Premiere launch, your page followers receive a notification that you have a scheduled video event and are asked if they would like to set a reminder. If users do not select the reminder button, they do not receive another notification that the Premiere event has launched, unlike a follower’s experience with a Live event.

We experimented with a client’s page who had never used Premiere before.  We first had a Live event and then a week later launched a Premiere video.

Pros of Going Live:

Campaigns can be created to promote Live event, which grow viewership and brand awareness.

Followers received notification when the event started and after.

Engagement was in real-time and the added icons that appeared in the feed spurned other’s to engage.

Viewers could ask questions and pages have the opportunity to answer during the event.

The Live video feed can be saved for future content creation.

Cons of going Live:

Going Live should happen during peak viewing times and it’s important to market the Live event to have the most viewers at a specified time.

Real-time feed meant accidents happen and technical features needed to be tested on a private account to ensure the best experience.  Internet connectivity, microphones, lighting, turning off auto-updates and applying the Do Not Disturb feature all had to be checked off to ensure the Facebook app performed adequately.

A team can go a long way with testing and engagement while one person operates the camera.  Without a team’s engagement, the algorithm may not allow your reach to gain much traction.

On the fly post edits can interrupt the feed so information will need to be carefully planned before the event.

You need to be on a device that can record, run the FB app, and connect to the internet, which means your phone or tablet, so bring a portable power supply.

You cannot boost while Live, but you can run ads after the event.

Pros of Premiere:

Is easier to run marketing campaigns through many channels to reach their audience and increase viewership because you can set the exact launch time.

Ability to record multiple takes and edit on your schedule.

No need to test connectivity if you have time to edit and load in the comfort of your office or home.  You will still need to test microphones and lighting options.

You do not need to rely on your mobile device to record footage.

Post edits can be made easily.

You can pay to promote the post after it’s launched.

Cons of Premiere:

There is notification of when the video will be launched, but this means that you will need to load it at a peak time to ensure many people receive the notification.

Followers do not necessarily receive notifications of the video and if information is time-sensitive it can be lost in the users’ feeds, only to appear days later or never.

Premiere videos do not receive the same engagement emojis (the hearts, thumbs up, etc.) or displayed comments and this seems to reduce the engagement and consequently the rate of impressions.

Overall Facebook Live Vs. Premiere

The Live event had more than 2,500 organic impressions within 24 hours while the Premiere video, which was launched at a similar time of day, received less than 1,000 organic impressions within 24 hours.  The Live event was more than 8 minutes long while the Premiere was slightly over a minute long.  Both were in the same setting and featured the same brand ambassador.  The Live video also had more than 300 clicks and over 160 reactions while the Premiere only had 22 clicks and 23 reactions.

Additional metrics reinforced for us that while Facebook may say Premiere performs similarly to Live videos, it is not a 1:1 result.  Both Live and Premiere videos have better reach than static image posts, but in our test, the Premieres performed only slightly better than a well- scheduled video post.  Engagement is still the key factor with how many views and the reach of the post, and Live is the winner in that regards.  We recommend that you continue to check-in, tag, and use hashtags to get the greatest reach possible.  Follow your insights and promote your video events, whether it’s Live or Premiere, to get the most buzz for viewership.

Are You Prepared for Facebook Mobile Advertising?

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 Written by Published in Projects


Did you know Facebook shared in their Second Quarter report that they saw an average of 1.47 billion users per day in June 2018? Or that mobile advertising represented approximately 91% of their advertising revenue? So what does this mean for you… well, if you’re advertising on Facebook, you’re probably advertising to mobile users, and if that’s true, are you constructing advertising that performs well for the mobile user?

We’ve shared with you before key tactics like consistently using video and story-telling versus product placement when you post.  Are you translating those tips into your mobile advertising?  Does your product video hit-the-mark on being captivating and engaging?

Are you:

  • sharing users’ experiences or, better yet, user-generated content?
  • taking the time to record testimonials and share them in dynamic ways?
  • marketing yourself/your brand as a subject matter expert and providing solid solutions?
  • defining your brand as something unique and worth the effort?
  • talking to YOUR audience?  Casting too wide may yield less and cost more than you want.

Here are some tips to explore with Facebook mobile advertising:

  • Investigate Facebook’s Canvas (now Instant Experience) – it’s Facebook’s platform to create ads/promotions that function best for mobile.  It’s used in conjunction with Facebook Ads Manager.
  • Focus on the Value and Call-to-Action.  Be discerning in what you have to offer and be careful in how you drive your audience to engage with you.  If you choose “Get more messages”, do you have the manpower/hours to answer a barrage of emails or would it be more prudent to drive them to your website. Having a dialogue with your customers is always the best option, but if you’re overwhelmed it’s OK to rely on your website – it never sleeps and it doesn’t have to sit in rush hour traffic in the morning.
  • Facebook shared that it is not unusual that nearly every day a user will scroll through their feed a distance equal to OR GREATER than the height of the Statue of Liberty. That pretty lady is 305 feet tall.  That’s how far our thumbs slide over our phone screens. Every. Day. That’s a lot of content to digest.  Think about the ads that you actually recall, and analyze them for how they struck a cord – did the ads feature a sale? Mention your home town? Was it liked by a friend or colleague?  Picture? Video? Did you like the colors? This is a free exercise, and it may help inspire you to construct what you like and avoid what you don’t.
  • Another free exercise - when you see an ad that you like, try to view it on both desktop and mobile (sometimes it’s a boosted post while other times it’s a paid ad and you may not see it in both feeds).  If you get the chance, compare if the advertisement is successful in both places, and log why you think so. Screenshot it on your phone and desktop, and keep it in a file to share with your team to gain their opinions.
  • Install Facebook Pixels and review your account often.  Your demographics matter.  You may not have them down to a reasonable science yet but that will come over time and engagement.
  • Facebook mobile ads are similar to any other kind of marketing campaign.  Testing your message is the key to your campaign success. Have different verbiage, different calls-to-action, use photo vs video, humans with products vs product by itself, have sound vs no sound, and eventually you’ll find a formula that works well.
  • Pay attention to Facebook Insights and analyze your Insights.  The data is readily available, it’s free, and it’s intentionally there to help you be successful with your audience.  The same is true for Ads Reporting through your Ads Manager.

Have questions or need training creating or managing your mobile advertising?  Schedule a consultation or social media training with Leslie Laney.

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