Tag Archive | "metrics"

Shorty Awards Nominations Open Until Feb. 19

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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

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What can marketers learn from Facebook’s Audience Insights?

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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

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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?

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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

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Instagram Brands

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Kidizen Lets Parents Buy & Sell Kids’ “Pre-Loved” Clothing And Other Items Via Their iPhone

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A new iOS application called Kidizen is launching a mobile, peer-to-peer marketplace allowing parents to buy and sell their children’s clothing, toys, shoes and other easily shippable accessories. By offering parents the option to ship items directly to the buyers themselves, sellers can retain roughly 90%+ of the selling price, the company promises. This undercuts competitor ThredUP, who currently offers up to 80% of the selling price for clothing it resells on behalf of its customers.

The idea for Kidizen emerged from co-founders Mary Fallon’s and Dori Graff’s earlier platform, Itizen, launched in 2010, which had been focused on tracking the story attached to objects as they moved from one person to the next. The company found some initial traction among those with a specific passion around art or collectibles or other items, but the team soon realized that what users really wanted was a marketplace for buying and selling, not just tracking, items.

yourfeedAs parents themselves, Fallon and Graff decided to shift Itizen’s focus to “kid’s stuff,” so to speak.

Parents churn through kid’s clothing fast, explains Graff. “Kids go through 7 sizes in the first two years, so we’re constantly needing to find and get rid of things as kids grow,” she says. While much of our kids’ used clothing today becomes hand-me-downs or is deposited at Goodwill, a subset of that clothing includes the higher-end items that parents want some sort of return on investment from.

On Kidizen, most of the items sold on the site tend to be these higher-end articles of clothing. For instance, its top brand is Matilda Jane, which has an average selling price of $36. And its second most popular brand is Janie and Jack, which sells for around $16. Lower-end clothing, meanwhile, tends to be sold in lots.

Using the app is not all that different from similar marketplaces targeting women’s clothing buyers and sellers, including also ThredUP, as well as Poshmark, Threadflip, or Twice, for example. You can find and follow users whose items you like, and these selections will then appear in your feed. If you choose to sell items on site, you’re responsible for packaging and shipping them yourself, while payment processing is currently handled by PayPal.

yourdetailsBut the founders tell us that “solving the shipping barrier” is something they hope to better address as they scale.

What’s interesting about Kidizen is that they’re launching a service that’s much like the one ThredUP pivoted from back in 2012, in hopes of finding a model that could better scale (which, so far, it has.)

Whether or not Kidizen will become similarly stuck remains to be seen. However, the timing is better for a service like this to exist – a number of women’s clothing startups and marketplaces have arrived and thrived on mobile, kid’s clothing flash sale site Zulily has IPO’d, and many of these companies cite growing if not dominant mobile user bases.

Going forward, Kidizen will tackle both web and Android, but for now it’s launching on iOS, where it had been beta testing with a few thousand users. During those tests, the metrics have proved solid, says CEO Dug Nichols, with 120% daily active user growth (observed month-over-month), 122% session growth month-over-month, and 130% revenue growth month-over-month.

The five-person, Minneapolis-based company has a small amount of angel funding from a variety of investors, including Emil Michael of Uber and others, but is looking to raise a larger seed round.

The mobile app is available here on iTunes.

Facebook adds Pages to Watch to insights

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Facebook is allowing page admins to keep deeper tabs on their competition by integrating Pages to Watch data into its page insights.

Previously, page admins could choose up to 5 pages to see updates about page popularity and activity, so marketers can easily check how competing or similar pages are doing. Or Fialkov of Fialkov Digital noticed that deeper data about pages tracked in this manner is now available in insights.

Through this, Facebook page admins can see how their own page compares to others they’ve tracked, in terms of new likes, posts and engagement.

Readers: Do you use the Pages to Watch feature?

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Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Between, A Couples App, Pairs Up With Japanese Mobile Giant DeNA

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Korean startup VCNC has received a strategic investment from Japanese Internet giant DeNA to turn its couples app Between into an open platform for third-party developers. The amount of the deal was not disclosed. DeNA (pronounced D-N-A) is one of Japan’s top mobile Internet companies. Its core business is Mobage, a social games platform, but it also offers e-commerce and other online services.

VCNC, which launched in November 2011, has raised a total of $4 million in funding so far from investors including Softbank Ventures.

Between, which has been downloaded 5 million times so far, is among a host of apps for besotted lovebirds who aren’t content with just exchanging texts or emails. Other couples apps include the aptly named Couple, Avocado, and TheIceBreak.

VCNC co-founder Edward Lee said in an email that Between’s competitive strategy has focused on enhancing its core features, chatting and photo-sharing, as well as localizing for each market it enters.

“We have been basically focusing on providing couples with a stable service that will help their relationship. To do this, we have gone through many updates that our users may or may not notice,” said Lee. “However, our metrics show that our users now stay on our service for 510 minutes per month compared to 300 minutes per month last year.”

VCNC and DeNA’s strategic partnership will open Between to third-party developers. For users, this means that they will see more features on the app “that can help couples plan activities together, communicate and keep their memories better,” explained Lee.

Third-party services will be localized for specific markets as Between expands to Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Taiwan. In South Korea and Japan, VCNC has already started working with different businesses, including restaurants, wedding service vendors, movie theaters, and sports teams to add content to Between’s “Event Box” feature. In Japan, the app also increased engagement by selling stickers specifically made for that market.

Between currently monetizes through advertising and in-app purchases like animated stickers, but plans to add e-commerce as an additional revenue stream. For example, couples will be able to purchase gifts for each other, like flower deliveries, through the app, said Lee.

In a statement, DeNA president and CEO Isao Moriyasu said “purpose-specific social networks like Between are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide, following the massive adoption of general social networks and communication tools. DeNA sees a great global potential in this highly sophisticated mobile Internet service.”

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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