Tag Archive | "metrics"

Facebook Under Fire for 2 Years of Inflated Video View Data

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Some Olympic sports, like gymnastics and diving, eliminate competitors’ lowest scores, and it appears that Facebook took a similar approach in its data on average viewing time for videos over the past two years.

Suzanne Vranica and Jack Marshall of The Wall Street Journal reported that the social network disclosed the glitch in a post on its advertising help center several weeks ago, admitting that it only included video views of more than three seconds, which artificially inflated its data for average time watching videos, and Facebook said in a statement to the two reporters:

We recently discovered an error in the way we calculate one of our video metrics. This error has been fixed, it did not impact billing, and we have notified our partners both through our product dashboards and via sales and publisher outreach. We also renamed the metric to make it clearer what we measure. This metric is one of many our partners use to assess their video campaigns.

Vranica and Marshall obtained a letter to clients from agency Publicis Media saying that the glitch likely resulted in the average time spent figures being overinflated by 60 percent to 80 percent and adding:

In an effort to distance themselves from the incorrect metrics, Facebook is deprecating (the old metrics) and introducing “new” metrics in September. Essentially, it is coming up with new names for what they were meant to measure in the first place.

This once again illuminates the absolute need to have third-party tagging and verification on Facebook’s platform. Two years of reporting inflated performance numbers is unacceptable.

Readers: Where do you see this story going?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

YouTube Creator Studio App Updated With Data Insights

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YouTube released an update for its Creator Studio application on iOS and Android. The update adds actionable data insights to the experience, so creators can learn more about their channels’ stats, as well as how to grow their channels.

With this update, the app will now send users personalized messages when major events happen on their channels. For instance, if a video experiences a sudden spike in views, the app will notify the creator, and it will provide them with tips on how to capitalize on the spike.

In a blog postYury Polnar, global lead of creator growth at YouTube, said the app will also provide users with “links to education resources” based on each channel’s needs, adding:

These latest analytics updates to the Creator Studio app are all part of our continuing efforts to build better tools aimed at helping you grow. And if you still need answers to your YouTube questions, we’ve made it super simple to contact a real person here at YouTube. Following the announcement of increased support for every creator that is part of the YouTube Partner program, we’ve added a new way to email the YouTube support team directly from the app.

The YouTube Creator Studio app is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Facebook Begins Prefetching to Improve Mobile Site Speed

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Facebook announced Wednesday that it will begin prefetching, or preloading advertiser sites, in order to boost its mobile performance and ease users’ frustration with slow load times.

The social network also revealed in a Facebook for Business post that website landing page speed will become a factor in deciding which ads to show in order to ensure that mobile users have the best experience, adding that this will occur “over the coming months.”

The thinking behind implementing prefetching was described as follows in the post:

Our goal is to improve user experience by helping businesses be the best mobile advertisers they can be, so we’re always developing new tools and insights to improve mobile experience. Today, we’re introducing prefetching—preloading mobile content in the Facebook in-app browser before a link is tapped. This can shorten mobile site load time by 29 percent, or 8.5 seconds, improving the experience and decreasing the risk of site abandonment. Learn more about prefetching, especially if you use third-party tag-based measurement.

Over the coming months, we’re working to improve ad experiences for people by considering website performance and a person’s network connection in our ad auction and delivery system. In this way, we can better match ads to the moments when people can best engage with content. Helping to ensure the best ad experiences on mobile is key to providing value for both people and businesses on Facebook.

Facebook pointed out that up to 40 percent of website visitors abandon those sites after delays of three seconds:

People are spending more and more time on mobile—consuming content, interacting with businesses and making purchases. However, since it’s a relatively new channel, many businesses haven’t optimized their websites for mobile yet and still have very slow loading times. This can lead to negative experiences for people and problems for businesses such as site abandonment, missed business objectives and inaccurate measurement. That’s why Facebook is sharing tips and investing in solutions to help businesses optimize their websites for mobile.

Nobody wants to wait ages for a website to load. A better mobile experience helps businesses form a stronger connection with the people interested in them. Plus, site abandonment hurts business objectives, like completing a purchase or filling out a form. It can also bring challenges to measurement—people often abandon sites before third-party site analytics have time to register a page visit. This can make it harder to track and optimize ad performance.

The social network also provided the following suggestions for businesses looking to optimize their sites for mobile:

  • Minimize landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners.
  • Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time.
  • Improve server response time by utilizing multi-region hosting.
  • Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach audiences quickly.
  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s efforts to improve its mobile experiences for advertisers and users?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

WhatsApp Revises Terms of Service, Privacy Policy; to Test Messages from Businesses

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WhatsApp is becoming more like parent company Facebook, both in terms of privacy and enabling communications between business and users.

The messaging application announced in a blog post that its terms of service and privacy policy have been updated for the first time in four years in order to reflect its acquisition by Facebook in October 2014, as well as recent updates including end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp Calling and its tools for the web and desktop. More details follow:

We’re also updating these documents to make clear that we’ve rolled out end-to-end encryption. When you and the people you message are using the latest version of WhatsApp, your messages are encrypted by default, which means you’re the only people who can read them. Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them–not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share or give your phone number to advertisers.

But by coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of. You can learn more, including how to control the use of your data, here.

WhatsApp also said it will begin testing features in the next several months that will allow businesses to communicate with users, adding in its blog post:

People use our app every day to keep in touch with the friends and loved ones who matter to them, and this isn’t changing. But as we announced earlier this year, we want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you, too, while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam. Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so.

Readers: What are your thoughts on the changes announced by WhatsApp?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Meet the New Market Research Executive: the Social Consumer Market Insights Professional

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It’s no secret that a critical component to improving marketing success in any organization includes incorporating social listening and monitoring.

Traditionally, the data-driven chief marketing officer gathered data from social platforms, converted them into actionable insights and brought them into the boardroom to prove to other C-levels how useful social data can be.

But as business needs evolve, the additional value of sharing social data across other departments is evident. Social consumer market insights can support every team outside of the boardroom, including customer service, product development, human resources and beyond.

As a result, the traditional practice of centralizing the role of social monitoring within one department–usually marketing–has shifted, and with good reason. While the insights garnered via the marketing department are useful and meet many business needs, organizations cannot ignore that the power of social insights can be leveraged in much bigger ways that are being explored by the evolution of traditional market research roles—the social consumer market insights professional.

The social CMI professional is pioneering advanced customer journey propositions that don’t simply meet the needs of prospective customers, but exceed and anticipate them, as well.

The insights that a social CMI professional analyze go far deeper than traditional monitoring for marketing. These insights are revelatory breakthroughs, not just minor findings affecting marketing.

This new data is working in conjunction with the conventional and, frankly, siloed methods of hunting for and gathering information about consumers, including passive social listening, traditional surveys and focus groups.

The social CMI professional is responsible for taking a 360-degree approach to collecting this data and more, then layering it–or blending it–to provide a more holistic view of the customer. It doesn’t stop with one or two sets of data. Nuanced and highly curated consumer market insights extraction can be found by intelligently analyzing blended data from a brand’s customer-relationship management software, in-store sales, search data, web traffic, weather data, social data and more. The possibilities are truly endless.

Needless to say, it’s an ambitious role–high-level and demanding, with the potential for strong business impact.

During a recent roundtable with CMI leaders from some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies, one concept held fast across the board: By using social data for consumer insights, the raw voice of the customer is collected, helping organizations to understand consumers on a more holistic level.

The wealth of unsolicited, unfiltered conversations reveals not only what brands and products consumers and communities are discussing, but also can uncover their other interests, demographics, social metrics and sentiment data that can be used to unlock an overview of almost any topic.

The roundtable social CMI conversation led to some interesting findings regarding “old” versus “new”:

  • Surveys are critical, but they aren’t enough; consumer insights and marketing teams are blending traditional market research data with social data to confirm and assess campaign effectiveness, brand reputation and more.
  • Social data empowers businesses to be nimble and smart; the continuous nature of social listening and analytics allows brands to identify trends and jump on opportunities before the competition.
  • Social CMI reaches far beyond the marketing and consumer insights teams from investor relations, employee influencer activation and even product development.

There are myriad ways social consumer market insights can add value to the enterprise. Within product research and development, social data around consumers’ conversations can inform opportunities for product innovation, alert stakeholders about service issues and offer a direct line into the feature updates consumers want and need.

The area of market research that the social CMI is applied to can be incredibly niche. Social data can help researchers unearth rich insights quickly without having to conduct a survey or contact consumers directly. It’s cost-effective and directly taps into the psyche of the consumer helping brands embrace the need to truly understand their customers and prospective users on an individual and complete level.

For almost every company, brand health is a critical measurement of success. It ultimately has a deep impact on consumer awareness and the bottom line, and social data provides metrics and insight into the health of a brand.

Historically, measurement proved difficult without devoting resources to surveys and other costly and time-consuming strategies. According to research consultancy Millward Brown, “You can no longer measure brand health without including search and social data to get the full picture. [Social data will] help you make good decisions quickly, and use your budget more effectively.”

To be successful, today’s social consumer market insights professional must be influential across all business units. Whether your title is market research director or vice president of consumer insights, organizations need to recognize these professionals as instrumental to flagship initiatives with proven positive impact on the business.

At the end of the day, the role of the social CMI professional empowers organizations to activate insights that allow functions across the business to drive better results by more intelligently meeting market needs.

The evolution of the market research role should be respected and, more important, assimilated throughout any organization striving to understand their consumers. The power of social CMI to drive business enablement is immeasurable and, ultimately, it can lead to unprecedented success.

Rebecca Carson is the head of research services at social media monitoring firm Brandwatch.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Why Marketers Fail at Influencer Marketing (Report)

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Influencer marketing has been one of the dominating trends in social media and marketing this year. However, marketers are still discovering how to best utilize influencer strategies, not to mention navigating the disconnect between brands and influencers. According to the 2016 “Measuring Influencer Marketing” report from software provider GroupHigh, there are a few core issues that result in this lack of understanding.

The most significant and persistent challenge in measuring influencer marketing efforts, according to the report, was “proving value.” 28 percent of survey respondents said that gathering data was a challenge, while 13 percent don’t know which metrics to track and 9 percent reported that finding time to generate reports was difficult.

These responses really encapsulate what marketers believe to be the problem, but all of these problems stem from the same issue: analyzing data correctly. There are plenty of tools for gathering all kinds of data from simple things like page views, shares and likes to leads and conversions. While influencer marketing can seem like the wild west, the market is becoming more sophisticated and data-focused.

According to the GroupHigh report, more than 60 percent of companies surveyed track five or more metrics. Among the most popular are traffic to a specific website (79 percent), social media shares (77 percent) and conversions (60 percent). Not closely studying these metrics may be the core problem, as 43 percent of companies only use one tool to track and measure their influencer marketing efforts.

When asked how their company calculates return on investment for influencer marketing, 44 percent were unsure and 4 percent said they don’t. 70 percent of respondents don’t think their methods for reporting are accurate or reliable, and 34 percent of the survey respondents indicated that they didn’t have to when asked how often they generate reports on their influencer marketing efforts.

The tools are in place, the metrics are obvious and influencer marketing is here to stay. Companies need to get serious about their influencer marketing data, as marketers in other sectors have. ROI is the goal, and hesitance associated with influencer marketing will only result in lagging behind the competition.

Check out the full report for more details.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Snapchat Is Tearing Up the Social Media ROI Rulebook (and That’s Good)

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For years, marketers were led to believe that measuring social media return on investment was not only possible, but also required. Directing customers to a website where they can make a purchase is something companies can easily track. If you spend $1,000 to promote a Facebook post and generate $1,500 in revenue from your ecommerce store from that post, you can easily calculate your ROI.

For quick-serve restaurants and fast-moving-consumer-goods brands, where transactions happen offline and digital advertising budgets are dwarfed by offline advertising and sponsorships, attributing spend on social media to sales is virtually impossible–no matter how much data you can access.

It’s perhaps this easy access to mountains of data that causes anxiety among marketers. There are so many data points available, surely there must be some way to attribute a like, share or click to a purchase–and if not directly attributable, at least a correlation. When tens of thousands of people like your content, marketers and data scientists push Excel sheets to their limits to find correlation amongst the numbers.

I believe that many in marketing have been tricked to believe that access to more metrics means that a social media ROI formula can be found. For decades, the world’s biggest brands spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising in the real world. They would be able to track uplift in revenue for each campaign, and although they knew that only 50 percent of their advertising was working, they were hard-pressed to identify which 50 percent.

But there was a correlation: More advertising = more reach = more sales. It was an accepted fact.

When customers could suddenly react to that advertising, like social media allows people to do, many marketers scrambled to find meaning in all of the numbers beyond just a simple correlation.

However, even former Facebook India managing director Kirthiga Reddy thinks marketers have got it all wrong. Instead of worrying about what the exact return is on every dollar spent on creating and promoting content, Reddy says, “The parameters of success are the same across media: reach, frequency, placement and impressions.”

Today, brands are falling over themselves to be on, and advertise on, Snapchat. About one month ago, advertising on Snapchat cost a brand $500,000. Today, brands need to drop $100,000, which is still a hefty chunk of change for all but the largest brands.

What will a brand get for this advertising cost? Application downloads? Pushing people to buy something from a website? Getting an email address? Nope: They get views. How many people have viewed your story is the only metric Snapchat provides.

Does that sound familiar? This is exactly the metrics brands look at in traditional mass media advertising.

Is it not ironic then that when reporting metrics are limited to views or reach, brands automatically view the marketing channel as a platform to gain visibility, but when many metrics are available, the marketer believes that the platform should be a revenue-generating one?

I’m perhaps a little bit too old to be on Snapchat, but the fact that many brands are embracing it as a way to reach (that’s the key word) millennials is encouraging. My hope is that marketers’ mindset towards content on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms shifts from being judged on its transactional value to a place where real branding takes place to reach the right audience.

Peter Claridge is the manager of global marketing for social marketing firm Unmetric.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

5 Tips for a Successful Social Curation Campaign

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According to data from Curata, social media is the biggest platform for distributing curated content: A whopping 76 percent of marketers share curated content on social media, and this number is expected to further increase.

Research also shows that more than 50 percent of marketers that curate content report experiencing increased brand visibility, thought leadership, web traffic and buyer engagement.

This makes sense when you consider the fact that the social web thrives on content and lots of it; when you don’t have enough resources to create original content at the pace social media thrives on, the solution is to turn to curated content.

Social curation without a strategy is usually recipe for failure. Here are some of the benefits of a good social curation strategy:

  • It establishes thought leadership: 85 percent of curators cite establishing thought leadership as their main objective. If done right, a social curation campaign will help establish you as a thought leader. If done wrong, however, it can damage your brand.
  • It improves your reach and visibility: Most businesses have a limited budget that they can invest in content creation; this puts a cap on how many people they can reach. Thanks to social curation, you can aggregate and share other people’s content and benefit from the increased reach their content generate.
  • It keeps you in the minds of your users: Keeping in touch regularly with your audience in a world of declining attention spans is tough, especially when you feel that you have nothing new to say. Social curation makes it easy to keep in touch with your audience regularly, sharing something of value with the, from others, without you having to be the source of the content.
  • You can take advantage of other people’s creativity: The social web thrives on speed, and virality is often bolstered by creativity. Even with the biggest marketing budget, there’s a limit to how much content your brand can creatively create and to how fast you can create it. Social curation enables you to take advantage of other people’s creativity by keying into already successful content to boost your social reach.

For a successful social curation campaign, it is important to consider the following tips:

  1. Define your goals and target audience: The very first step to an effective social curation campaign is to define your goals: Why are you curating content in the first place? Does your curation approach complement your current marketing strategy? It is also important to define your target audience: Who are you targeting your curated content to, and why? Having a clear understanding of your goals and target audience helps you ensure consistency in the nature of content you curate.
  2. Add your own commentary to curated content: It is easy to curate content without necessarily commenting on it, but that won’t yield the best results. If done right, one of the key benefits of social curation is to establish your thought leadership. It is important to let your readers know what you think about the content you’re curating. Tell them why you think the content is important, and encourage debate around it if possible. This type of personal branding is great if you like to nurture sales leads with follow-up emails, because it positions you as a thought leader who has your audience’s best interests in mind.
  3. Make multimedia a core part of your curated content: Your social curation strategy is incomplete without multimedia. Research shows that content with video attracts 300 percent more traffic and infographics attract up to 832 percent more shares. The social web is becoming increasingly media-driven, and tapping into the power of multimedia will boost your reach beyond expectations. People don’t trust branded content like they trust the authenticity of user-generated posts. Yotpo, a platform that enables companies to generate online reviews and content, makes it easier to identify and curate images from Instagram, allowing marketers to search for the perfect visual, obtain permissions and deploy to their websites’ front ends, all from within their Yotpo dashboards.
  4. Monitor social metrics and signals to find out what resonates: What works for one audience won’t work for another, and the best social curation strategies aren’t rigid. The thing about the social web is that you can’t easily predict what will work from the get-go. At one point in internet history, what was trending was the blue-and-black or white-and-gold dress. At another point it was Psy’s Gangnam Style. The point is, social media is ever-evolving, and your social curation strategy should evolve accordingly. Pay special attention to content that is getting a lot of engagement, both on your platform and those of others in your field, and let this influence your curation strategy. Tools like Start a Fire make this especially easy by tracking clicks on your social posts, as well as clicks from the third-party publications you share back to your own content. Start a Fire makes it possible to drive traffic referrals from any publisher’s pages to your own by adding a branded “badge” to the articles you curate.
  5. Make your content a core part of your campaign: While you don’t necessarily want to make your social curation all about you, it helps if you can ensure that your content is regularly featured in your curated list. More often than not, you have hundreds of different pieces of content in different places. It could be content on your site, content published elsewhere, contributions you were invited to/involved in or features about you/your brand on other publications. The more avenues your curated content gives people to discover you, the better.

That said, successful social curation means you shouldn’t be all about you; however, you should still feature enough of your content to make it impossible to miss you.

John Stevens is a business consultant and marketer who regularly contributes to Adweek, Entrepreneur and other major publications.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

5 Steps to Determine ROI From Social Media Campaigns (Infographic)

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How can brands determine the return on investment from their social media campaigns?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud prepared the infographic below, with details on how to accomplish the following five steps:

  1. Choose your goals.
  2. Determine which metrics will help you measure your success.
  3. Track your metrics.
  4. Tie your metrics to a monetary value.
  5. Update your reporting—make projections and improvements.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud said in a blog post accompanying its infographic:

Your social media campaign does have a quantifiable ROI from the total revenue directly generated by your campaign. Before using this formula, you have to determine the value of your social media goals. Whether you look at total spend per customer, the number of attendees in your webinar or how many entries you had in a contest, you have to have a goal for each campaign.

Once you decide which goals are most important, determine which metrics measure the success of that goal. Social media offers a wide variety of quantifiable data tracked by the platforms themselves, Google Analytics and third-party software that is tailored specifically to your company’s social media marketing efforts. From your data sources–including your marketing automation software–run reports, make projections and find ways to improve. Continue reading the infographic below for more details on calculating your social media ROI.

SalesforceMarketingCloudProfitabilityInfographic

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Make Learning Agendas the Center of Your Paid Social Campaigns

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Here’s a strategy to answer business questions by deploying learning agendas at the center of your social marketing campaigns. It builds on John Terrana‘s recent guest post for SocialTimes on the transformational power of social advertising data.

What is a learning agenda?

Marketers know exactly who their creative is reaching on social advertising platforms and what relationships those people have to their brand. As a result, they can configure campaigns to answer strategic business questions even as they reach and surpass conventional advertising goals.

How to ensure that learning agendas are successful

  1. Think about learning agendas over the long term: It can be compelling to try to answer a series of questions in one test through a single ad campaign. However, the best learning agendas are structured, patient and logical. This means that marketers should plan to launch a series of tests guided by learning agendas over a longer period (one year or quarter), with each test building on the last with a unique and specific insight.
  2. Configure campaigns for significance: Ensure that tests are configured with the proper variables, controls, spend and audiences to yield learnings that are statistically significant and trustworthy.
  3. Budget time to analyze learnings after campaigns conclude: Social moves quickly. However, marketers must ensure that they have time to understand the insights that surface after a campaign concludes, executing a thorough quality analysis and cementing next steps before taking more action.
  4. Ensure that questions in a learning agenda are answerable: Due to certain platform restrictions around reporting and measurement, some questions cannot be answered. Ensure that sufficient data can be returned to answer business questions before activating learning agendas.
  5. Port learnings into channels beyond social: Social can answer many questions that your business cares about. For example, how do prospects respond to creative differently than existing customers? What is the optimal message length? What are the best practices for sequential messaging? Socialize these insights beyond the social advertising department so they can drive greater overall impact.
  6. Ensure that your marketing partners are capable of leading learning agendas: Executing a strategic learning agenda properly requires deep expertise and experience in media planning, measurement and social data. Marketers that do not have these capabilities in-house should choose a marketing partner with these critical characteristics.

By implementing these steps, you will achieve a cycle of smarter marketing that ensures that you know your customers better, learn faster and create more value for them.

Sarah Snyder is the general manager of advanced solutions at social ad technology and insights provider SocialCode.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

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