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Facebook, Social Media News & Practices

Marketers Are Mastering Digital Advertising, Adobe Suggests

Adobe's fourth quarter 2014 Digital Advertising Report shows digital advertising is becoming increasingly efficient — and that smart advertisers understand the nuances of customer behaviors, including the top days of the week for search.

The report analyzed search and social media data and trends around Google, Yahoo/Bing and Facebook. It's based on more than 500 billion Google and Yahoo Bing ad impressions and some 400 billion Facebook post impressions gathered throughout 2014.

The key take-aways:

  • Google Shopping Ads grew dramatically over the holiday season as expected, outperforming text ads eight times over.
  • Digital advertising continues to become more efficient with click-through-rates (CTRs) growth outpacing cost-per-click (CPC) growth.
  • Certain days of the week are better than others for certain ads — for example, Sunday is best for mobile ads, Monday for desktop ads and Friday for Facebook ads.
  • Despite a change in Facebook's algorithm that forced businesses to buy more ads, retailers still turned to Facebook during the holiday season to drive sales.

True or False: Social Media Marketing Works

As someone who earns a living helping B2B marketers make social media work, I was surprised by a recent claim from Forrester Research. Marketers use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to engage customers and prospects, Forrester noted. But then it added: it’s not working.

That's not the case, based on my experience.

Can Facebook Crack Search - Without Bing?

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Facebook has quietly stopped including Microsoft Bing search results on its social networking site, Reuters first confirmed. Instead, the social network has revamped its own search offering with a new tool it claims makes it easier for users to filter and search through comments and other information from friends.

On one hand users might find the change limiting. Now, when they use the search bar they are not taken outside of Facebook for results. On the other, the tool is more robust than previous Facebook offerings — and besides, there is always Google for straightforward search.

That, however, may change again as Facebook ramps up its search tool set. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said search is a growth initiative for Facebook. And as the company's push into mobile has shown over the last few years, once Facebook identifies a growth sector it goes after it.

Search, though, is a very different animal than mobile.

How to Measure Facebook Fans from Device-to-Device

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Metrics are certainly important in comparing the performance history of a digital marketing campaign. But that comparison is getting harder as customers gain new ways to access online platforms and services.

Facebook has worked to ease that comparison for marketers. The popular social media platform announced a cross device reporting protocol, a means to assess performance of advertising across devices. The cross device reporting will enable marketers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.

This new cross device solution enhances analytic strategies related to the social media platform.

Thanksgiving, Big Data and a Few Turkeys

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If anyone has the scoop on what people are thankful for, it’s Facebook. They don’t need to tap anyone on the shoulder, send out any surveys or buy any data sets. The world’s leading social networking site is rich in “likes," data, and some of the world’s best data scientists.

And not just that, but Facebook also has enthusiastic members who thrive on holiday challenges like “write down 3 things you are thankful for every day for the next 5 days.”

To a data scientist an onslaught of information like this spells opportunity to discover what most of us, collectively, believe is good in our lives and in the world.

6 Things We Learned About Facebook's First Intern

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First, the good stuff.

Mark Zuckerberg has no secrets beyond what the public already knows about him.

The movie, "The Social Network" was BS. 

Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker seem like a rockstar when he's really just a nerd.

And the jury's out whether Darian Shirazi, Facebook's first intern, was portrayed in the movie.

(Ah. The self-indulgent reporter Facebook stuff is out of the way.)  

We caught up with former Facebooker Shirazi, now 27, to talk about the marketing software industry.

His two-year run as intern and employee at Facebook behind him, Shirazi went on to invest in several technologies before launching three years ago what's now Radius, a San Francisco B2B real-time marketing intelligence platform company that's up to about 60 employees.

Here's what we learned about Shirazi and his company: 

Smarter Advertising Strategies for Facebook

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Facebook may be a source of daily amusement (or annoyance) for many, but it’s also a growing and evolving advertising platform for businesses.

Recent changes to the social media giant, including the decision to shut the like gate, are changing the way Facebook advertisers do business.

Experts say businesses who want to use Facebook effectively to attract customers are increasingly going to need some new strategies in their toolbox.

SAP, Facebook Up the Ante on Personalized Marketing #SAPtd

OK, we were a little off. When IBM and Twitter partnered last month in what they called a landmark connection for enterprise data analysis, we figured more would come.

"What's next?" we asked. "Oracle and Facebook? SAP and LinkedIn? Microsoft and Pinterest?"

So maybe we had the companies mixed up. But we knew something was coming. And it's SAP and Facebook.

The enterprise software giant connected with the social media king today in a partnership that allows SAP to combine insight with customer engagement by using Facebook’s scalable Custom Audiences targeting capability. This enables marketers, officials at the companies claim, to use SAP solutions to reach customers on Facebook.

The Smucker's Facebook Fail: How to Protect Your Brand

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Posts are disappearing from Smucker’s’ Facebook page, and consumer social reaction is anything but sweet. The company, best known for its jams and jellies, is making headlines for deleting posts that criticize its stance on GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling or that pose questions about GMO’s in their products.

According to the Cornucopia Institute, the J.M. Smucker Company is also one of the top financial contributors to oppose recent efforts in Oregon and Colorado mandating that food companies label packaged foods containing certain ingredients as “genetically engineered.” (NPR just reported that both of the November ballot issues were defeated. 

Take That, SF Giants! KC Wins Social Media World Series

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San Francisco must be a ghost town today -- not just for Halloween.

It's because it's a city of losers.

After all, the Kansas City Royals and their fans won the Social Media Mentions World Series over the hometown Giants.

Depression by the Bay? Yep.

Sure, the Giants won their third World Series title in five years last night by defeating the Royals, 3-2, in the decisive Game 7 in Kansas City.

Sure, they'll be talking in 100 years about Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and his three World Series wins like we talk today about Babe Ruth.

But in social media, the score was Kansas City 2 million, San Francisco 1.4 million. Take that, Bumgarner, San Francisco and your one-every-two-years World Series championship pace!

Facebook Flexes Its Mobile Muscle, Lifts Profit 90%

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If there were any doubts about Facebook's momentum after Twitter's disappointing financial outlook, they vanished yesterday when the social network exceeded earnings expectations with a third-quarter profit that jumped 90 percent from a year ago.

Marketers found a lot to like in Facebook's quarterly report. For example, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call that the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is now serving 1 billion videos per day and that its Instagram users are spending a generous 21 minutes per day on the service.

But the biggest news was about mobile ads. Daily active users on mobile jumped 39 percent from a year ago to 703 million. And revenue from mobile ads accounted for two-thirds of the company's advertising sales during the third quarter, up from 49 percent just a year ago.

Google Plus Gasps for Breath, Does Anyone Care?

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There's no mourning in cyberspace, no overt sentimental ramblings on social media — despite yet another move by Google to put its struggling social network out of its misery.

This time, Google is dropping the requirement for all new users to create a Plus account when signing up for a Google network.

Typically when Google chops a product, it triggers a storm of protests. With Plus, though, the blogosphere has been largely silent — a sure reflection of how few people care whether the network fades away.

Chris Brogan: Stay Focused, Stay Social and Be Nice

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Chris Brogan is a lot of things … an author, journalist, marketing consultant, public speaker and "veteran of the social media revolution."

He's CEO of Owner Media Group, publisher of a digital business magazine called, not surprisingly, Owner. He's consulted for a host of companies, including GM, Coke, PepsiCo, Sony, Microsoft, Google and Motorola, and he's a New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, and Just Start Here 

But forget about all that for a moment. The thing it seems Brogan really wants you to know is that he's a nice guy. As he explains on his blog:

Biographies are really weird things. About pages. All that. You basically have to primp yourself up and act all pompous and important and make sure people know why you’re worth it. I’m a really approachable and nice-seeming guy. Never hesitate to introduce yourself to me when you see me out and about, okay? I'm nice. Promise."

And this nice guy finished first, too, at least on one of Forbes magazine's list of social media power influencers and Business Insider's list of people to follow on Twitter.

LeadSift Promises Smarter Ad Targeting through Twitter

Twitter has yet to reach its full potential when it comes to ad targeting. The social networking site has long been playing catchup to Facebook, which launched its email-based targeting service in 2012. Twitter didn’t announce its “tailored audiences” service until this past January.

With Facebook, advertisers can also target people by the “interests” the site asks new users to fill in when creating an account. Twitter’s answer to this was to let advertisers push their marketing messages to users based on who the user follows.

For example, if a user follows several football players, coaches and commentators, they may receive a targeted ad from a company selling sports drinks. More recently, Twitter announced the ability for advertisers to target consumers based on keywords found within a user’s tweets.

Friday Fun Day: Insider's Guide to Facebook Image Sizes

2014-15-August-Oven-Roast.jpgFacebook may generate a lot of hate. But it generates even more interest — especially from marketers who struggle daily to keep up with its ever changing guidelines on how and what to do everything from encourage page "likes" to keep customers engaged.

So it was with great interest that I stumbled upon a blog by Emily Goodrich. She's a technical writer at Heyo, a Blacksburg, Va.-based startup that wants to help small-business owners gain followers on sites like Facebook and Twitter and convert those followers into email captures and sales. 

Goodrich shared a marketing essential: a Facebook image size cheatsheet.

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