Posts Tagged ‘reach’


Is Social Really Earned Media? A Look at Impending Twitter Algorithm Changes

Monday, September 8th, 2014
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flickr user marek.sotak under CC BY

When public relations pros class their media by POE – aka Paid, Owned, and Earned media – social media sites like your Facebook and Twitter pages are generally classified as owned media. But with last year’s unpopular Facebook algorithm changes and the apparently inevitable introduction of a Twitter algorithm next year, brands could be losing even more social media reach.

According to Digiday, one of the potential changes to Twitter could be a change to the chronological feed, so it may become more like Facebook in that the algorithm chooses what it thinks are the most important tweets to share. Anthony Noto, financial chief at Twitter, told The Wall Street Journal that Twitter’s feed as it is now “isn’t the most relevant experience for a user” and may cause important tweets to get lost at the bottom of a feed.

Such an algorithm change could also be a blow to real-time marketing – you may still be able to do it, but it might not be free anymore.

Of course, there might be some changes that work in your favor; The Wall Street Journal reports that there could be a better search engine and group chats, features which enterprising social media users will be quick to leverage to their advantage.

It’s too early to know exactly what changes will be made, but it’s a good reminder that while you may “own” the space that is your Twitter or Facebook page in that you can control the content you share, you don’t control how it’s published or how many of your followers will get to see it.

Early speculation also means it gives you time to diversify your strategies. As brands that relied heavily on Facebook for marketing and branding before the algorithm changes can attest, putting all your social media eggs in one basket can make it difficult to recover when, inevitably, the social media platform decides it wants to make more money and changes everything you’ve known.

So while you can’t devise specific strategies just yet, having an early awareness means you can continue to do what you do while adding focus to other channels in the event that Twitter makes changes that would affect your reach and/or budget.

Do you have a strategy for dealing with algorithm changes? How will you adapt your social media strategy?

 

The New Reality of Facebook

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
flickr user mkhmarketing under CC BY license

flickr user mkhmarketing under CC BY license

By now you’ve probably heard about the changes Facebook made to their News Feed algorithms in December. These changes brought a negative impact to a substantial portion of Facebook users marketing their content and promoting their business. The change was implemented to allow what Facebook deemed “high quality content” (mostly news articles) to feature more prominently over “meme photos.”

For Facebook to want our News Feeds to be of higher quality seems like a noble cause, but what’s happened is that businesses that rely on Facebook to promote themselves find that their posts are reaching only a fraction of the people their posts used to, resulting in fewer fans seeing and engaging with their posts. Food blogger and cookbook author Stephanie Stiavetti publicized this issue back in December, when she noticed her engagement had nearly halted and that barely more than 1 percent of her followers were seeing her posts. An analysis by Ignite showed that organic reach declined an average of 44 percent, and sometimes as high as 88 percent decline.

What does Facebook have to say? Officially, not much. But in a post on Business Insider, Nicholas Carlson spoke with an anonymous Facebook source to shed light on the situation. Apparently, “Facebook has changed its mind about brands. It has decided that users do not really want to see a News Feed full of updates from brands.”

Another lesson: The number of fans you have is not and never has been the number of people who will see your message. Perhaps most importantly is that we all have to deal with the new reality of Facebook. This means our messages are in direct competition with major publishers who spend a lot of money on professional, journalist-vetted content.

So now that the reach of Facebook posts has diminished considerably, what’s a marketing or PR pro to do? Facebook would certainly like you to pay to boost your post or post an ad. This can be circumvented or reduced if your posts already garner a lot of engagement in the form of comments, likes, and shares, but that’s a pretty special case.

This means Facebook marketing is going to have to get a lot more targeted and relevant in order to garner the engagement necessary for people to see messaging, and content will have to be that much more compelling. And since it’s in direct competition with content created by organizations with big production budgets, messaging must be even more timely and viral-ready. It may also be worth targeting specific audiences through selective posts boosting and measuring results from that. Ultimately, we need to know our outputs/posts are driving a business initiative, or we need to retrench no matter what the algorithm.

Businesses for which Facebook is the main source of messaging are going to have to reevaluate. Putting all your eggs in one messaging basket isn’t a great strategy anyway, so it’s the ideal time to diversify and spread messaging on other channels. The appeal of Facebook was the higher engagement rate, but with that gone, will another channel rise up? Or will Facebook adopt the Google model of constant algorithm calibration, which can improve results depending on the alteration?

How will you change what you share on Facebook? Have you noticed a drop in reach, and how are you strategizing to compensate for it?

Latest Social Media Phenomenon: Charlie Sheen’s Record Breaking Success on Twitter

Monday, March 7th, 2011
Image Source: www.sbs.com.au

Image Source: www.sbs.com.au

Charlie Sheen’s record-breaking success on Twitter is the latest news story that is being fueled by social media. Social media once again proves to be an omnipresent indomitable force when it comes to communicating and marketing. When he isn’t calling his bosses knuckleheads or referring to his “Adonis DNA” or having “Tiger Blood” (as he once proclaimed in an interview), Sheen is setting world records for Twitter followers, according to the LA Times.

When CBS decided to cancel the remaining segments of “Two and a Half Men” due to Sheen’s hiatus and reportedly based the decision on the totality of Sheen’s statements, conduct, and condition. Sheen went on the offensive by lashing out at his bosses on radio shows and more recently joining Twitter. As reported on in the Mashable article, within 24 hours Sheen had 910,000 Twitter followers, and was the quickest to reach 1 million followers, a new Guinness World Record.

“With such a huge following, Sheen could make money from Twitter, said Arnie Gullov-Singh, the chief executive of Ad.ly — a Beverly Hills firm that writes messages on Twitter or Facebook for celebrities who, for a fee, endorse products or brands,” notes this Boston Herald article. “Brands lined up to advertise on ‘Two and a Half Men’ because of the show’s reach, and they’ll do the same with celebrities like Charlie because of who he reaches,” Gullov-Singh said.

Through social media (and with Twitter expected to reach over 200 million followers in 2011) Sheen will now be able to communicate with his fans in an immediate and unfiltered way from the luxury of his own home. A bit scary, yes … But entertaining, for certain. Sheen’s first message on Twitter said, “Winning..! Choose your Vice…” and linked to a photo of him, holding a bottle of chocolate milk, and Bree Olson — one of his two girlfriends — holding a Naked Juice fruit smoothie… Only in America.

As Lou, the older wiser sales associate, warned a young Bud Fox in Wall Street 1, “Kid, you’re on a roll. Enjoy it while it lasts, ’cause it never does.” Right know Charlie Sheen is a nice alternative news story to the economy or the Middle East but in a few days are we really going to care what Charlie’s tweeting about? Maybe.

What’s the Deal, Facebook?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

Gowalla Location-Based Social MediaTo businesses looking to attract consumers: I’ll give you my email address, if you promise to send me coupons. I’ll fill out your online survey, if you give me a free appetizer at my next visit. I will fan your Facebook page, if you send me exclusive offers. I would even check in to your business, if I used a service like FourSquare or Gowalla. But, I will only do what you ask, if you give me something in return…

Facebook introduced “Places” in August, an application that allows users to check in to local businesses and places ala FourSquare. However, according to PC World, a study by Pew Internet and American Life Project released statistics showing that “only four percent of online adult Americans use location-based services.” Merely one percent of participants in the Pew survey actually use check-in applications, such as FourSquare.

So why would Facebook broach the location-based application market when only a very small percentage of Americans actually use it? Leave it to Mark Zuckerberg to have another trick up his sleeve. Zuckerberg, with the launch of Facebook Deals, realized that the popularity of Facebook , the release of The Social Network and, let’s be honest, an already Facebookcentric world – can and probably will turn the one percent of location-based app users into way more!

According to the PC World article mentioned earlier, Facebook Deals “will allow people to find deals nearby when checking into a location on Facebook.” Even better, you can find deals ahead of time and then choose to venture to that business and check-in to receive a coupon on your mobile phone. What better incentive to check-in to a location than the promise of a discount? Furthermore, aren’t users more likely to visit a business that is offering a discount than a business that is not?

Taking a nod to the marketing gurus of the world, consumers love discounts. Especially in this economy, coupon offers can be the deciding factor when debating where to get lunch or where to get that new pair of jeans.

Facebook has not only paved the way for social networking and changed the way users interact online, but now has allowed businesses to have a greater reach with their current consumers and easily find new ones!

Are you in the one percent of location based application users using applications such as FourSquare and Gowalla? If not, will you be more or less likely to use this type of product if you were guaranteed a discount? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Relationships and Referrals: Making the Most of Your Two Most Important Business Assets

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Early on in my career I received a phone call from a client who began the conversation with, “Hey Valerie, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine…”

I very much enjoyed and respected this client and was thrilled that he wanted to introduce me to his friend. In my mind I fantasized about his intentions. Perhaps we would all go out for dinner, or maybe he was setting me up on a date… my thoughts were interrupted by the words “director of corporate communications” and “in charge of media monitoring.” My heart began to pound as I realized what was happening. I was getting my first referral!

Today I regularly receive such phone calls, but the thrill has yet to go away. While Relationships and Referralsreferrals add up to quantitative results of your efforts to build relationships, they also offer bona fide proof that your relationship is one of trust and confidence (Cue Sally Fields, “They like me, they really like me!!!)

In order to earn new business, you’ll need to invest both time and resources and maximize your opportunities in the most efficient manner. Below are 5 steps to help you become more strategic in your relationship building and increase the number of referrals you receive:

1. Perform a SWOT analysis. Identify your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then clearly identify the organizations you are targeting. As you consider different prospects and prospect categories, evaluate the customer needs against your analysis. Brad Douglas, vice president of sales and marketing with Shipley Associates, offers some excellent considerations to help you better assess your opportunities for targeting the right customers.

2. Determine the influencers you need to reach. As mentioned in this post from the Harvard Business Review, you may think you know the decision maker, “the one that is described in the RFP or articulated by those who actively participate in the formal decision-making process.” However, there are often key influencers within the organization who carry informal power as it relates to your opportunity. Take the time to uncover and develop those relationships.

3. Utilize ALL of your current relationships. While most organizations have a sales team or business development group, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a member of the sales team. If you are proud of your organization and even if you are not (though you may want to ask yourself why are you working there?), it is your responsibility to help your company grow. Communication and collaboration between the sales team and other departments is essential. Beyond your organization, consider your vendors, partners and affiliates, clients, industry contacts, and even personal networks. If you aren’t actively using LinkedIn it is a great place to start organizing and expanding your network.

4. Ask for the referral! It is interesting that many people shy away from asking for a referral when they need/want it. Consider what’s stopping you. Are you afraid of creating an uncomfortable or potentially annoying situation? If yes, then that is good because it means you are thinking about and potentially being considerate of the person you wish to ask. And that is what distinguishes a “pushy salesman” from a friend you want to help. So be professional to and respectful of the person you are asking, their relationship, and their reputation. But don’t let that stop you from asking. After all, if you have real relationships, qualified targets, and a product/service you believe in, the person you’re asking should have no issue referring you and the person you’re introduced to will soon be thanking your friend for making the introduction.

5. Beyond ABC’s… ABH. While I certainly understand and appreciate the need to “Always Be Closing,” my personal philosophy is to “Always Be Helping.” In sales, and perhaps maybe in life, your reputation is everything. So be the person you want to be perceived to be – whether or not it meets an immediate business goal. In this case, that person is one who is helpful and informative and acutely aware of the needs and goals of his/her clients, prospects, colleagues, friends and family. In other words, take every opportunity to add real value and help them achieve their goals.

How are you making the most of one of your most precious resources – your relationship with others? Do you find it easy to ask for referrals and network when needed? What tips would you add to the list? If you are having trouble, what do you think is holding you back? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.