Tag Archive | "metrics"

LinkedIn and Twitter Struggle to Balance Their Dual Business Model

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Every successful startup has to prove its business model to become a viable business. For social sites, it’s often a delicate balancing act between engaged communities and advertising revenue. It’s a challenge both Twitter and LinkedIn are facing as they increase their offerings for marketers, while trying not to alienate their users-base.

LinkedIn recently launched a service called Marketing Solutions Program, with the goal to deliver better outcomes for marketers as customers move through the buying cycle. The core product in this program is the Linkedin Lead Accelerator: an “analytics tool that helps marketers design campaigns and then track, measure and improve impact across the metrics they care about.”

The tool is designed to track Linkedin users, and their data will be used to generate better leads, both on and off the site. According to VentureBeat, some users were upset by the prospect that LinkedIn might monetize their data, when they’re paying for premium service.

Peter Isaacson, chief marketing officer of B2B marketer Demandbase, told VentureBeat.

I registered [on LinkedIn] because it offered good networking,”and I put all my data in. Now the site is using that data to monetize (the site) I didn’t sign up for that. My personal view is that they are changing the rules of the game.

Twitter is also focusing on revenue and marketing lately, but their stated goal is to improve the user experience, according to VP of Product Kevin Weil.

Weil told TechCrunch:

If we’re building products that leverage those unique aspects of Twitter, then we’re building a product that’s going to make a ton of sense for our users. It’s going to be a great experience. It’s going to feel natural as part of Twitter. That’s really our philosophy.

TechCrunch co-editor Matthew Panzarino sees the focus on users as essential for Twitter moving forward. He also realizes that there’s a tension between users and revenue when it comes to the site.

He wrote:

Recent product decisions appear to be displaying more thoughtfulness about how to balance Twitter’s Dilemma. It remains to be seen whether the market will bear that, or if there is a way to truly find an equilibrium there.

It’s obvious that LinkedIn and Twitter need to leverage their user-data to generate revenue. However, alienating the user-base by exploiting their data could be a risky move.

Image courtesy of Quka / Shutterstock.com.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

How Can Facebook Advertisers Find the Right Photo-Video Mix?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How can advertisers on Facebook determine the ideal sequencing of video ads and photo ads?

Facebook IQ detailed an eight-day study conducted last November by Facebook and one of its advertisers, in which three sequencing strategies were tested over two four-day phases, in both desktop and mobile News Feed. It detailed the test as follows:

Over an eight-day period in November 2014, Facebook helped an advertiser run a test that compared three sequencing strategies held over two four-day phases across both desktop and mobile News Feed in the U.S. Each group was targeted with a single ad, either video or photo (link ad), during each phase:

  • Video ad followed by photo ad (photo is the same as the thumbnail of the video).
  • Photo ad followed by video ad (same ads as previous group but different order).
  • Sequenced series of two photo ads (first photo ad is the same as other groups).

We also had a separate control group that didn’t see any ads from this advertiser. To determine the impact, Facebook measured differences in consumer conversions by each sequencing strategy.

Facebook IQ described its findings:

The effectiveness of each strategy was measured by comparing to the control group the additional people who visited their website and the additional people who spent with the advertiser online. All three techniques performed by driving more visitors to the advertiser’s website than the control, but the sequenced series of two photo ads was the most effective. The photo-only sequence outperformed the other strategies on driving unique traffic with a 75 percent higher likelihood than the control.

Beyond attracting visitors to its website, the advertiser’s main metric of success was driving online transactions. In this study, the combination of a video ad followed by a photo ad drove the most impact on unique conversions. In fact, this group was 31 percent more likely to make an online transaction than the control group.


Finally, Facebook IQ offered the following takeaways for marketers:

  • Prioritize overall campaign objectives for creative impact: Before creating a campaign, marketers should identify the metrics that matter most to their business objectives; in this case, the advertiser’s objectives were increasing sales and growing brand equity. To create the strongest campaigns, all of a campaign’s components — including creative, target audience and bid type — must align to the same objective.
  • Measure, learn and evolve your marketing: As media evolves, identifying what the best strategy is to fulfill a brand’s objectives is not always a clear process. For example, video was becoming more prominent in this advertiser’s online campaigns. How could its marketing team use an expanding creative palette online while adopting and adapting the traditional marketing concepts of priming and reminding? These questions led this advertiser to conduct this study and test the effectiveness of each strategy. Through testing, the advertiser learned how to most effectively drive transactions, gained an evolved understanding of marketing and is now informed about planning future campaigns.
  • Combine creative for impact: Video has a role in telling your brand story, but the strongest campaigns use a combination of relevant ad formats, such as static and moving imagery, to drive key business objectives. Creatively telling a story with photo and video ads in a variation of sequences resonated differently with consumers, and each sequence resulted in attracting more visitors to its site or driving purchase consideration.

Readers: What did you think of Facebook IQ’s findings?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Medium Founder Ev Williams Wants Better Metrics For Online Companies

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ev williams

Shorty Awards Nominations Open Until Feb. 19

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

shortyawardsIt’s that time of year again: the Shorty Awards are now taking nominations. So if you have any personal favorites, you should get to it now, because the deadline is Feb. 19, or Feb. 26 as an absolute last call. The Shorty Awards committee recommends including data about your return on investment and “bragging about your metrics” when you enter.

You can also nominate individuals now, too. Pick your favorite news organization, celebrity or TV show on social media. My favorite category this year? Best Snapchatter:

The Snapchatter of the Year uses Snapchat unlike anyone else. They tell stories and brings you along for the ride every day. Whether they make you crack up on sight, take you to interesting places, or can draw in the Sistine Chapel with their fingertips, every snap is screenshot worthy.

It’s easy to nominate someone via Twitter, and in the true spirit of social media, you can even mess around with the categories by changing the hashtag.

  • From ShortyAwards.com or on Twitter, send a tweet like this: I nominate @username for a Shorty Award in #category because … [ADD REASON HERE].
  • You can nominate anyone who has a Twitter account for a Shorty Award, which recognizes everything they do on other social networks, too.
  • Be creative with the reason. A tweet without a reason will not count.
  • Vote in one of the official categories or make up your own community category by editing the category hashtag.
  • You can nominate specific content rather than an account in several categories like Newsworthy Photo of the Year. For those, send a tweet like this: I nominate [INSERT URL] for a Shorty Award in #category because … [ADD REASON].

You can brush up on the long version of the rules here.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Branch Metrics Raises $3 Million From NEA For More Intelligent Deep Links That Make Apps Work Like The Web

Tags: , , , , , , ,


What can marketers learn from Facebook’s Audience Insights?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


The value of social has always been reaching consumers in a unique environment where they are deeply engaged and generating a meaningful conversation between those engagers and a brand. To do this well, we have to deeply understand the passions, preferences and interests of the brand’s audience and how these affinities relate to the brand itself.

Major opportunity lies in making sense of the social data created by the billions of consumers who willingly broadcast their affinities and brand connections daily across social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.  These social channels account for the planet’s largest and least biased focus group ever created. Affinity data holds the secret to how consumers want to be engaged, leading not only to better social media marketing, but a more engaged consumer across all channels.

A Giant Affirms Affinity

It is in this vein of thinking that Facebook recently launched its Audience Insights tool for advertisers, which was “designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences.” To see the largest player in social bring forward a product aimed at better harnessing social media audience data is exciting and reaffirms what my company has already found to be true: social data, when harnessed correctly, is the most valuable source for consumer insight across any channel.

So, what can Audience Insights help marketers learn? Some highlights include:

  • Understanding what demographic traits index highest for your page audience vs. the entire Facebook population
  • Identifying the other pages liked most often by the audience that has liked your page
  • Viewing the Personicx lifestyle categories that index highest for your brand page audience

General feedback on Audience Insights seems positive, and shows the hunger for a better understanding of what social data tells brands about their customers.

Next Steps

Facebook Audience Insights is a great first step for brands who want to understand their customers better through social data.  Social intelligence tools exist today that allow brands to take an even greater step forward in their social data strategy by adding value in five key areas:

  1. Data Scope: Facebook is a large slice of the social media pie, but it isn’t the whole thing.  In order to have the most accurate picture of your customers, you need to look at the data they are generating across multiple social networks while being able to differentiate the affinity connections to your brand within each social network separately.  This latter part becomes increasingly important when using the data to better target marketing within each social network.
  2. Data Depth:  It’s becoming more important that you look for and work with platforms that are founded in data science. “Page likes” are a weak signal for predicting future engagement and action.  People who have actively engaged with a brand socially via sharing, commenting, retweeting etc. are the best predictor for future social action and lead to the highest ROI. If a platform provider is offering you page likes in their affinity lift scores, ask for more specifics around what other metrics they employ to prove that lift.
  3. Action: Data without action is like a light bulb with no switch –completely useless.  Search out a platform that identifies a brand’s top affinities and easily applies those targets to social ads across Facebook and Twitter in minutes, leading to more effective social media targeting and campaign results.
  4. Competition: It’s great to understand how your brand’s affinities compare to the general population, but it is even more powerful to know how they compare to your competitors.  By better understanding the motivations of your competitors’ most engaged customers, you can more effectively grow your own audience and increase category market share.
  5. Offline application: Social media has become an always-on companion that mirrors offline media consumption, especially in TV.  A huge opportunity exists in utilizing social affinity data to better understand the strongest connections between your brand’s audience and specific TV elements (shows, networks, genres, actors). Using this data allows advertisers to make smarter offline media buying choices while strengthening their social buys via alignment based on brand affinity.

The market is just scratching the surface of using social data for more effective brand advertising within social media and across offline channels.  Facebook’s new Audience Insights tool offers a great first step toward this opportunity, but more work needs to be done and platform providers are available today that can help. Look for partners that canshowcase the additional scope, depth, action, competition, and offline application and you’ll be prepared to take advantage of the power social data can bring to your marketing activities.

Grant Parker is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at 4C. 4C is powered by over 27 years of university research in big data science and predictive algorithms to help companies understand and use social data and connections. Grant’s previous experience includes positions with Ziff Davis, inPowered, NetShelter Technology Media and Resolution Media. Learn more at http://4cinsights.com/

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Life after like gating: How to keep growing and engaging your fan base

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FB-LikeButton-online-1024 copy

Recently, Facebook announced that they will eliminate like gating for Facebook pages on Nov. 5.

Fan gating (or like gating) allows brands to require consumers to become Facebook fans in order to view exclusive content, redeem coupons or enter sweepstakes. In the short term, the move might be a blow to brands that rely on fan gating to grow their audience. But ultimately, the change will encourage brands to focus on strategically growing an engaged, relevant audience. It is a sign that social marketing is evolving past goals like “getting more likes,” and maturing into a practice that is focused on delivering real business value for an unusually low cost.

This is a good thing, we promise.

To ease the transition, we recommend these five tactics for building and leveraging your audience after Facebook sunsets the like-gate.

1. Run social campaigns that encourage —but don’t require — page likes

Facebook campaigns and promotions give brands a significant fan growth boost, even when they don’t require likes. Marketers can still create strong calls to action for why the consumer should become a fan. Plus, lifting the fan gate removes a barrier to entry, enabling more people to see and participate in experiences. You may lose a few likes, but you’ll capture more valuable info, like email addresses.

2. Focus on producing engaging, shareable content

Your true fans don’t need an incentive to like your page, because they’re genuinely interested in what you have to say. Deliver informative, quality content that grabs the attention of consumers and makes them want to become fans. Since Facebook’s reach decline, blasting Facebook posts hyper-frequently is no longer an effective strategy for growing reach and engagement. So you’ll need to emphasize quality and relevancy to get results.

3. Test, test, and test some more

Analyze the days and times when your content gets the most traction, and change your posting habits accordingly. Experiment with a variety of Facebook post types (photos, videos, links), and monitor performance. Put ad spend behind the posts that get plenty of likes and shares. Or try testing content with dark posts before blasting content to your entire fan base.

4. Don’t just rent your audience. Build your own.

Facebook likes are seen as a way to maintain connection with consumers, but with Facebook’s declining reach, marketers need to start owning —not renting—their audience.

Leverage social channels like Facebook to collect emails and marketing opt-ins, and ensure that you can stay connected with consumers in the long-term.

5. Focus on meaningful results.

The success of your Facebook strategy cannot be measured in likes. You need to track and optimize the channel’s contribution to the metrics that matter most to your business: whether it’s website visitors, coupon redemptions, direct sales, email acquisition, or customer loyalty. Invest in the tools and tactics that make a genuine impact.

Mairead is the Senior Manager of Marketing at Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Offerpop, where she leads the content & community team. You can follow her on Twitter at @MaroidRage

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Infographic: Which pages are gaining in Facebook’s organic reach?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Despite the hand-wringing that comes with discussing Facebook’s organic reach, a study by AgoraPulse finds that it’s not all doom-and-gloom. There are a few industries and page types — such as personal websites, TV channels and radio stations — that have seen their organic reach remain steady or even grow.

Inside Facebook talked with AgoraPulse Founder and CEO Emeric Ernoult about how organic reach on Facebook isn’t falling off a cliff for everyone, and how smart marketers are moving beyond the reach metric.

Inside Facebook: Do you feel that small businesses and other brands without a major budget should look beyond reach into other metrics? 

Emeric Ernoult: I think every business and brand should look at other metrics (like clicks, conversions, revenues) when it comes to measuring the impact of their Facebook marketing. But as it all starts with the audience (how many people will see my content), they get stuck at that reach number and don’t look beyond, especially now that everyone and their brother is convinced that Facebook reach is going to be “0.”

This is a very dangerous approach. First, I still regularly see small business and bigger brands getting a very significant amount of reach for free. Second, when combined with targeting via paid Facebook channels, it can lead to revenue that would make Google look like a rip-off.

As a very basic and simple example, each piece of content we promote on our Facebook page generates at least twice the budget we have invested. The numbers are not huge, but it’s evidence that it can be a good business decision to look beyond free reach to assess the effectiveness of Facebook as a marketing channel.

IF: Of the categories that are growing or steady, what do you think is working best for them?

EE: Well, there’s no magic trick here — most (if not all) of them are about stuff that people care about and are willing to pay attention to (passion brands or products, entertainment, sport, etc.). Facebook is the mirror of our interests in life: we are not going to rave about the latest landing page feature from Hubspot or the latest Facebook contest app from AgoraPulse, but rather about the last episode of Game of Thrones, the latest Harley Davidson we’ve bought (or dream to buy) or the sports team we are cheer-leading for.

For these types of brands, Facebook is a no brainer and success will come easy. For the others, we’ll have to work harder. But this is true on every channel (SEO, AdWords, affiliate marketing, Twitter, etc.)

IF: If you’re a page owner with a $0 ad budget, how much weight should you put into the fluctuations of organic reach?

EE: There’s no such thing as a brand with a $0 ad budget. If you have $0 to invest in promoting your brand or products, whatever business you’re in, you shouldn’t be in business. It may sound a little harsh, but this is the reality. We all have budgets to grow our businesses, whether $100 a month or $100,000,000. It’s just a matter of choosing where to invest these budgets. Facebook may not be the best choice for everyone, but it is a channel to seriously consider. All of our ad money goes into Facebook because they produce much more return than any other channels we’ve used so far. Just do your own testing and figure out what channel works for you.

Here’s a look at the infographic published by AgoraPulse, showing major fluctuations in organic reach by page type for May 2014. Not all page types are illustrated — it’s just a sampling from AgoraPulse.

Infographic-EN-final-650-pixTop image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Twitter And Tumblr-Focused Analytics Provider Union Metrics Now Does Instagram, Too

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Instagram Brands

Alexa & comScore Competitor SimilarWeb Raises Series C From Naspers, Is Now Headed To Mobile

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.51.40 AM

SimilarGroup, the makers of a would-be Alexa killer called SimilarWeb, which analyzes web rankings via a panel containing millions of web surfers, has raised a Series C round of funding. The new funding comes entirely from Naspers, the South African multinational media group that owns minority stakes in major Internet companies worldwide, including a 30 percent stake in Tencent (Asian Internet giant and makers of WeChat), as well as roughly the same in Russia’s Mail.ru Group.

SimilarGroup’s valuation and the size of the round aren’t being officially disclosed, but TechCrunch is hearing that the Series C is “significant” – that is, in the tens of millions.

To date, SimilarGroup had raised $7.1 million in seed through Series B rounds.

As a part of the new funding, SimilarGroup will gain a new board member from Naspers. However, the company is not able to disclose who this is.

“They are huge investors that build very big companies, and they’re the best investors a startup can have…Every company in their portfolio is a one billion dollar company,” touts SimilarGroup CEO Or Offer of his company’s new investor Naspers, noting that the firm has invested in major international businesses like Brazil’s e-commerce giant Buscapé, the “Amazon of India” Flipkart, and online classifieds platform OLX, to name a few.

He also notes that this is Naspers’ first investment in Israel and in the analytics and data space.

SimilarGroup was founded in 2009, but until fairly recently, was known for its suite of branded browser plug-ins (e.g. SimilarWeb, SimilarSites), which offered users suggestions of other websites similar to the one they’re visiting, and other useful information like web rankings, traffic sources, or reach, for example.

However, SimilarGroup’s larger goal was in developing a sizable network involving hundreds of un-branded browser plug-ins across a variety of verticals. This allowed it to develop a panel containing “tens of millions” of end users around the world. From these users, SimilarWeb is able to determine a website’s rankings at a scale that’s larger than competitors like Compete or comScore, which clock in at around 2 million users each.

In addition, the company has focused heavily on data science, employing those with machine-learning, big data and statistics backgrounds to ensure data accuracy.


Last fall, the company expanded upon its free web analytics offering with the launch of SimilarWeb Pro, a paid version of its measurement service. Today, that service has scaled to thousands of paying customers, including big names like eBay and Outbrain.

SimilarWeb To Pick Up Where Onavo Left Off

The company is currently at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, talking about its move into the world of mobile app analytics. Currently, SimilarWeb is working to match up websites with their mobile app counterparts to provide a more holistic picture of a web company’s traffic. But over time, it plans to do more, including offering a look into not just the app traffic itself, but also whether that traffic is bought or organic, how well consumers are engaged with the app, and other metrics.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.58.37 AM

SimilarWeb’s plan to gain insight into the world of mobile apps isn’t all that different from how it operates online, via web plug-ins that don’t contain its company branding. On iOS and Android, the company has “tens” of apps in the respective app stores, also without the SimilarGroup branding.

Like Facebook acquisition Onavo, which offered detailed and exact mobile insights by nature of having a consumer-facing data compression utility on the App Store, SimilarGroup provides a data compression utility, too.

But that’s not all. It also has an app to increase browser speeds, another for safe browsing, another for proxy services, and more, plus some app partnerships. Because these are not being branded “SimilarGroup,” others are not able to manipulate their rankings because they don’t know which apps belong to the company.

Now a team of 60 and rapidly growing, SimilarGroup expanded to London in October, is opening up an office in Germany next month, and will have an office in New York by year-end. The U.S. office will be focused mainly on sales and marketing. Says Offer, the plan is to double the sales team in the months ahead.

Update: SimilarWeb has now announced the funding on its company blog.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

March 2015
« Feb