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Facebook’s Next Big Bet Is Making Your Phone’s Camera Smarter

Facebook has gotten us all to share text posts and photos, and is seeing a lot of use of video. Now, it wants to turn is all into live streamers, and use advanced technology to aid our use of our phone cameras: That’s the gist of an outlook that Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox gave at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. Tuesday.

Cox said that Facebook has already seen 400 percent growth in live streaming since opening it up to all of its users in May. Not all of that is coming from users watching broadcasts of major media brands, he explained, adding that the number of small broadcasters — teenagers that stream to just a dozen of their friends — was a surprise even to Facebook itself.

Key to Facebook Live’s future growth will be technology that adds to the live broadcast experience, said Cox. He showed off one example that Facebook is currently experimenting with in the lab: An app that automatically takes the camera input and in real-time renders it in the style of famous painters like van Gogh using neural networks.

The bigger idea behind experiments like this is to turn the camera into an advanced tool that unlocks live streaming and augmented reality experiences, said Cox. “This is going to help take the technology to the next level.”

Cox was joined on stage by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who argued that Live is an evolution of free expression on Facebook, complete with the challenges that come with it. The company has been in hot waters in the past for overzealous removal of content, and suggested last week that it was ready to relax some of its guidelines for acceptable content.

“Facebook is a platform for all ideas,” Sandberg said. “We also want to be a really safe community. Those two things can come into conflict.”

As Facebook is making decision what content to keep on its platform and what to ban, it often finds itself confronted with criticism that it is exercising editorial control — a charge that Sandberg and Cox denied. “A media company is about the story that it tells,” said Cox. “A technology company is about the tools that it builds.”

Source: Variety, article by Janko Roettgers (http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/facebook-chris-cox-sheryl-sandberg-live-1201900331/)

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Is Your Firm Failing at Content Marketing?

It happens. You look at your Google Analytics traffic and the traffic to your blog is sad. No one is downloading your white papers and ebooks. You can’t get anyone to publish your guest blog articles. Your social media posts just sit and want for engagement and likes. No one in your company has the time or bandwidth to write a meaningful blog post. You feel like this whole content marketing thing is a hoax.

Don’t give up on content marketing just yet. If you feel like your firm is failing at B2B content marketing, there are several things you can do to turn it around.
Evaluate Your Strategy

Take a good look at your marketing strategy and your content plan. Wait, you don’t have a strategy? Check out Why Bother with a Content Marketing Plan before you go any further. If you have a strategy in place, look it over again. Is it too ambitious? Does it need more structure?

You can easily revamp your strategy by asking for input internally, especially from sales and customer service. Both sales and customer service work with prospects and clients on a daily basis and will have great input regarding common questions, typical objections, and what content would help close deals or educate clients. Also, make sure that your strategy has the resources and support to be properly executed.

Look at Your Competition

Check out what your competitors are doing with content marketing. In many cases, you may get some ideas from what they are (and aren’t) doing. We do not suggest copying anything that your competition is doing, but if they have a particular blog or white paper that has a lot of comments, questions, or likes – take that as a cue that your audience is interested in that particular topic.

Looking at your competitor’s B2B content marketing tactics can also help you to articulate what makes you different and what you should include in your content. For example, if they spend a lot of time discussing pricing and budget, focus on your value proposition of real-time customer service and long-term partnerships.
Get Help & Internal Buy-In

You can’t do this alone and you shouldn’t. Effective B2B content marketing typically takes a group effort to be effective. As a marketing professional, you know your product or services, but your engineers or support team may be better able to discuss how it works and/or solves a problem. Tap into internal resources, even if it’s an interview, to get the educational information you need to write a great blog post, ebook, or case study.

Internal support is essential to prioritizing content marketing. If your internal team doesn’t really believe in the effectiveness of B2B marketing, it will be difficult to get external interest. Share these B2B marketing statistics with the key influencers in your organization to get everyone on board with your content marketing strategy.
Pay to Promote Your Content

One of the main failures of content marketing is a lack of promotion. Social media is getting to be a “pay to play” space, meaning you’ll need to allocate part of your budget to promoting your blog posts, ebooks, guides, and case studies. The good news is that on many platforms – like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – once you pay to promote your post, the organic exposure goes up as well!

Many marketers create great content and then fail at putting that awesome content in front of their target market. Paying to promote your content marketing pieces is a surefire way to make sure your ideal prospect or client is seeing the valuable information you are sharing.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

We are quickly reaching a point of saturation with B2B content marketing. More and more firms are creating content and pushing it out on the internet. You don’t need to create more content to compete, you need to create better content. Make sure every piece of content you create is well written, offers new information, and has valuable insights for your target audience. Take the time to create irresistible content. Lastly, make sure it isn’t overly promotional. No one wants to read a 500-word advertisement.

Remember: content marketing is a long-term strategy, not a quick win. Invest the time, resources, and thought into creating a B2B marketing strategy that positions your firm as a thought leader and entices prospects to engage with your content.

Source: Business 2 Community, article by Jeremy Durant (http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/firm-failing-content-marketing-01653439#yQcEFqBSSuY1jcGw.99)

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5 Content Marketing Tips on Social Media for Small Businesses

If you own or operate a business that is reliant on web traffic in order to drive sales, much of your marketing efforts should be focused on attracting visitors to your website and converting them from prospects to clients or customers. One way to gain targeted web traffic through social media is to implement a content marketing strategy. Content Marketing is the process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage your target audience. Let’s consider 5 Content Marketing tips to help your small businesses to build credibility, increase brand awareness, establish relationships and provide value to your target audience.

Keep social media posts “short and sweet”

Social networks use algorithms to read and analyze every social media post. The ever-changing algorithms determine what sort of content will be displayed in users feed. The algorithms analyze the post content (words, photos, link credibility), timing and users feed preferences among many other factors. Most social networks tend to favor short and meaningful content as well as engagement. Users are also more likely to view and interact with smaller ‘bite-sized’ content.

Share your own unique content to build your brand

Many small businesses are unaware of the significant advantages that unique content serves. Besides developing a brand and interacting with customers or clients, the objective of social media marketing is to drive traffic to your website to either attain email addresses, sales or prompt the visitor to contact you. If you are not sharing content on social media that is not inbound to your website, it simply isn’t going to result in web traffic. Use your content as a magnet. When you share content from other websites you will be providing value by sharing useful industry-related tips or entertaining your followers. When you share content from your own website you are trying to attract visitors to it where you will be able to encourage the desired transaction. It is often recommended to share a mix of outside and unique content. This will decrease the amount of content that you will be required to make and still allow for you to share useful content that will help you to enhance your digital brand.

Post content that will make followers look good when they share it

Engagement seems to be a metric that social networks are taking increasing cues from when it comes to showing up more users newsfeeds. Social media is an excellent branding tool and by sharing content that your followers would look good to share, they will be more likely to share it which will help you to expand the reach of your post and company page.

Include a web link, photo, video or any other form of media to increase reach and engagement

When social networks use algorithms to sift through content, they seem to favor content that includes some form of media. Video seems to display more often than photos or posts with links oftentimes. Reach (or impressions) are the key to attaining more engagement which will lead to more exposure for your brand.

Popular forms of content include: photos, slideshares, blog posts, podcasts, videos, graphics, news updates, quotes, webinars and livestreams

Your web content can take many different forms. Live or native video content seems to perform at a very high level (especially on Facebook and Twitter) and I would expect to see this trend continue. A varied content strategy would be wise attract a diverse audience. Once you are able to determine what forms of content are the most effective, continue to build upon them.
Source: Business 2 Community. Article by Andrew C. Belton (http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/5-content-marketing-tips-social-media-small-businesses-01614048#J7AY2ozIoI7RiebG.97)

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Saving Money, Social Media-Style

To an amazing extent, social media has disrupted the way we do business in response to changing customer expectations. Offering buying incentives is no exception.

We’re still recovering from the recession, dealing with an economic reality of stagnant wages stretching back decades. For most of us, that means finding a budget that works and saving money wherever we can. Retailers have always used sales and incentives to bring people in the doors and get them to try products, and social media takes the concept to a new level.

 

For most people, buying a big pile of newspapers and going through them page-by-page to find coupons for the products you want are a thing of the past. Coupons are online ad easily accessible via searchable databases and mobile applications. But the real value lies in social interactions, and businesses are using savings to build audience, engagement and loyalty. Here are some clever ways companies and customers are using social media to save money–and time.

Social sharing FTW

Groups that once met in kitchens to trade coupons and discuss strategy are online now. Consumers can find huge groups of like-minded friends dedicated to serious savings on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest posting deals, receipt and purchase photos and tales of victorious shopping trips.

Some businesses savvy enough to harness the social sharing trend reward users for sharing coupon offers with friends. Tell-a-friend is a classic technique to grow audience and traffic.

Engagement perks

Credit-card companies were among the first brands to tie incentives to social media engagement. Discover Card and Capital One partnered with social game developer Zynga to reach CityVille, FarmVille and Pioneer Trail players.

American Express partnered with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to allow cardholders to sync their cards with social profiles and earn discounts and other perks through engagement such as likes, check-ins and hashtags.

Taking savings one step further

While saving an impressive amount of money with social media discounts and rebates, users can also boost their budgets by selling influence. Referral companies like Social Rebate and Referral Candy partner with vendors to add value to purchases. When shoppers place an order, they are given the opportunity to share their purchased items on social media in exchange for a discount or rebate. It works much like an affiliate program.

Why social incentives work

Influencer marketing may be a hot new buzzword in the marketing world, but it’s essentially the same word-of-mouth advertising retailers have depended on for centuries. An influencer is anyone friends and followers trust. In the ad-saturated marketplace, consumers are far more likely to trust recommendations, even from people they don’t know.

Social sharing and engagement incentives that help consumers save money are wildly popular. Satisfied customers are always happy to share good news, especially when they get a return on their social capital.

Source: Social Times, Article by Sherry Gray (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/sherry-gray-guest-post-saving-money-social-media-style/639930)

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Video Might Be Your Best Bet With Facebook’s Algorithm Update

Facebook’s algorithm will change — yet again. The algorithm update is twofold this time: Facebook will analyze the time spent on a given piece of content and will spread out content from the same publisher.

This update comes as no surprise. Facebook is trying to curate the most relevant and engaging content for its audience. While the network is still trying to figure out how to track usage data on desktop users, it now, in fact, can track the time and use on its mobile app as well as recently introduced Instant Articles.

The new addition to the algorithm is a part of a bigger effort, called Feed Quality Program, an undertaking where thousands of people rate their experiences on the site. The official news release points out an important revelation that “the actions people take on Facebook — liking, clicking, commenting or sharing a post — don’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to them.”

To level out the game for publishers, Facebook says there will be a threshold in place, so that longer articles will not necessarily have an edge with the new update. The latest revision is primarily targeting click bait content, where the article itself might not live up to, or be consistent with, the title, resulting in people exiting out right away.

Another thing the new algorithm will watch for is the volume of content that is pushed into the newsfeeds from the same publisher. This might result in two completely opposite outcomes: pages that are currently enjoying high levels of reach will possibly see a decrease in their analytics. Yet, pages that are usually on backsides, might experience an increase in their posts’ reach, as Facebook is trying to feature content from all of the pages a user follows. The authors of the post hurry to reassure that “some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic, and some Pages might see minor decreases.”

 

From a business owner viewpoint, the new update adds yet another hoop to jump through. Not only your content needs to be engaging, it needs to be long too! Yet, in reality, it seems logical that people spend more time on engaging content anyway.

If anything, this algorithm requires two things of publishers: a stronger writing that pulls readers in deeper with every sentence and creating video content.

Facebook is making a huge push for its native video features, including Facebook Live and audience targeting. The social network will analyze not only time sent on written content, but multimedia as well. Video content is on a mind-blowing rise; it is also more engaging because of its ability to involve multiple senses.

It is also much more effective for a content creator to produce a one-minute video instead of 500-word article with the exact same content. It is also much more time-efficient on a part of a user who might spare a minute for your content instead of scanning through an article.

Plus, Facebook Live might just be the cure for all your Facebook-related ills. If you resolve to share exciting updates with live broadcasting, people will love to spend time on your content, signaling Facebook of a new amazing content creator in the making.

Source: Fox News, Article by Lesya Liu (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/04/26/video-might-be-your-best-bet-with-facebook-algorithm-update.html)

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