Tag Archive | "real-estate"

Facebook’s Algorithm: How Businesses Can Cope With Changes

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It’s no surprise that Facebook keeps evolving, but those changes often impact businesses the most.

One of Facebook’s latest algorithm changes will limit overly promotional organic posts from Pages that are show in News Feed.

Social Times wanted to find out more and Branndon Stewart, founder and CEO of OutboundEngine, was nice enough to do a quick Q&A.

ST: What do the changes mean for small to midsize businesses/startups?

Stewart: It will become harder for SMBs to earn space in their customers’ News Feeds, and they may have to pay to reach the same number of people that they used to be able to reach for free. But, it also means that when businesses do successfully land in the news feed, they’ll have less competition and a greater share of the audience’s attention. This change is important for the overall health of the Facebook ecosystem–a relevant and uncluttered news feed keeps users coming back. SMBs may not like the change, but the alternative is that users abandon Facebook and flock to the next social network, meaning yet another web property for business owners to manage.

ST: What are the top tips that SMBs/startups can do to ensure that they are using Facebook effectively?

Stewart: The most important thing a business owner can do to be successful on Facebook is share great content that followers find valuable. That means a mix of original content, links to interesting third-party content, and meaningful offers from the business. Businesses shouldn’t be posting the same thing over and over, and they certainly shouldn’t be constantly selling at their audience. Don’t forget that Facebook is a highly visual medium, so content should have a high level of professional polish — users expect to see beautiful photography and thoughtful design. Finally, SMBs shouldn’t overlook Facebook’s paid advertising platform. The costs are still reasonable (unlike Adwords), and the ability to target your message is unparalleled. The number of options available in the platform can be overwhelming, but business owners who take the time to understand it will find a big opportunity to get ahead of their competitors.

ST: How will brands and businesses need to think differently to be seen?

Stewart: Businesses will really need to think about how to play the long game with customers, and in many cases that may mean not being seen at all. Originally, you could simply broadcast messages at customers. With the advent of social, it became about joining the conversation, but that was more about following them onto social networks rather than thinking about how those interactions should happen. Now, consumers expect a flawless social media experience, and if they’re going to allow brands into it, they won’t tolerate interruption. So, businesses have to learn to be both present and invisible, subtly interacting with consumers and resisting the temptation to shoehorn in their own messaging until they really have something compelling to offer. When that moment comes, they’ve established trust and credibility and consumers are more likely to react positively.

ST: Any examples of how they can be creative? Or is quality of content more important?

Stewart: Quality of content, including photography/graphics, is paramount. Facebook’s goal is to make advertising appear as seamless as possible for consumers, so there are pretty strict guidelines about what you can get into the news feed. But businesses have a lot of room to get creative in their messaging. What will you give consumers if they engage with you? Can you create a compelling online interaction? For example, we work with a lot of real estate agents, so at one point we created an online quiz about real estate marketing that agents could take to see how their marketing programs stacked up. That’s something they don’t see every day, it’s a 60-second commitment at best, and it’s both valuable for their business and fun for them–we had great results. Anything to reduce the number of “Top X” lists! And, I hate that I even have to say this, but resist the temptation to insert your business into conversations about current events. Almost every brand that tries to get clever with the news looks out of touch at best and downright offensive at worst.

Image courtesy of Gil C / Shutterstock.com.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

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People-based marketing: How Facebook is trying to compete for TV ad dollars

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People-based marketing.

Prepare to hear that term a lot more as Facebook develops ad targeting and measurement platforms like Atlas, LiveRail and the Audience Network. Facebook has shifted its focus from providing advertising at scale to providing an an ad solution where companies can target the right consumers.

In a whiteboard session Wednesday, Facebook explained to reporters the history and future of their advertising platform. With Atlas, large-scale advertisers can measure deeper and weigh effectiveness of Facebook ads against other types of messaging. With the Audience Network, advertisers can target their customers on external sites, using the same information they have on Facebook. With LiveRail, publishers have been able to more effectively leverage video as an ad option.

It all leads to Facebook aiming for a bite of the television ad apple.

Brian Boland (pictured), Facebook’s Vice President of Ads Product Marketing, discussed how Facebook moved from trying to deliver advertising that hit everyone into delivering ads to the people who are most relevant. He compared advertising on mobile to advertising on TV, where there’s a limited amount of real estate:

You’ve got this audience, but what really matters is how and where you reach them. It has to be in a placement that is visually engaging from an interactive standpoint. … It’s more about getting the right piece of creative in front of somebody. The interesting thing about mobile as it pertains to Facebook is that mobile consumption is much more like TV consumption. You don’t have all the real estate to put lots of stuff.

That illustrates the primary shift that Facebook has made, and why many people may still be confused about Facebook marketing. Instead of reaching everyone with ad messaging, Facebook wants to help companies reach the right people. Boland continually emphasized the people part of that people-based marketing phrase.

How is Facebook doing this? Through a hash system.

Everyday users and consumers are freely giving up data, both on Facebook (age, gender, current town) and through point of sale interactions (email, rewards card, phone number). Through Facebook’s ad technology, the data given out by consumers is anonymized and hashed (with each hash being different, to prevent large-scale hacking) and then matched with company data to create a better picture of who a consumer is without giving away their real identity. Facebook utilizes a similar approach for keeping users’ passwords safe.

Boland admitted that there was a severe disconnect in the early days of Facebook marketing, where advertisers weren’t sure if they were getting the proper results from Facebook ads. Facebook took that as a challenge, Boland said, and developed ways to properly measure return on investment.

But Facebook had to go further to attract serious clients.

It had to change its ad terminology and flow to position itself as a platform with as much muscle as television. By introducing reach and frequency-focused ad technologies, Facebook was able to show how their video product (powered by LiveRail) can be just as powerful as TV.

That’s where Atlas comes in. Advertisers used to buying television ads (or display ads) feel comfortable with what they know and were hesitant to make the jump to a younger platform like Facebook. Though Atlas, larger advertisers can fully harness the power of Facebook data and track how well advertising is doing, in terms of digital, mobile and offline sales. Atlas also helps companies figure out cross-device behavior, something that has been hard to grasp before. For instance, the same person could see an ad on their tablet, learn more about the product offered on mobile, then convert on desktop. As far as current reporting techniques are concerned, those are three different people. Atlas makes it easier to figure out the cross-device journey down the funnel.

Erik Johnson, the head of Atlas at Facebook, noted that while Atlas does utilize Facebook data, it’s a one-way street. Atlas data isn’t shared back to Facebook, to ensure proper privacy.

What’s next for Facebook? Trying to continue to pitch advertisers that Facebook can be a supplement or even alternative to television or display advertising, delivering richer content.

Boland talked about how the ultimate goal for Facebook’s ad team is to help companies deliver the best content to the right consumer:

I feel responsible for the time that people spend (on Facebook). … People spend more and more time in these environments. That time, they’re going to have a portion of that time taken up by marketing messages. I feel we should make that time really worth their while.

Readers: Have you noticed Facebook’s advertising growing more relevant?

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Nestio Hunts Down $1.6M In Funding From Freestyle Capital To Ramp Up Growth

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Real Estate Joins Brazil’s Big Startup Industries

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RealScout Raises $6 Million Series A For Better Real Estate Search Technology

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