Author Archives: Jim Licko

Facebook’s Algorithm Updates: How We’re Being Affected

Facebook metrics chart with organic and paid data

The ever-changing world of Facebook metrics.

In January, Facebook announced it would be prioritizing content from “friends, family and groups” in our news feeds. Of course, this caused a collective freakout from those of us who manage brand pages.

What does it all mean and how is it affecting reach and engagement for brands? After monitoring and analyzing three months of data, here is what we’ve found with our clients: Read more after the jump…

Facebook Algorithm Changes and a SXSW Preview

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It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year: South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) week! We’re very excited to be sending Jon Woods and Adrienne Schafer down to Austin to check out and report back on the latest and greatest in digital marketing from the festival. Be sure to check in with our blog Friday March 9 through Tuesday March 13 for a daily update from Austin, and follow along with @WoodrowWilson and the aptly handle’d @recap for real-time recaps of the various sessions and experiences they collect at SXSWi over the next five days. In the meantime, it seems everyone is wondering about Facebook’s algorithm changes, and many of us have questions about navigating the influencer relations space. Below are a couple of great articles to hopefully tide you over.


Facebook

DigiDay: Media Buyers Aren’t Seeing Ad Prices Change After Facebook News Feed Changes

Some pretty ground-shifting changes were expected from Facebook’s recent algorithm/news feed updates. With the shift from a focus on publisher and brand content to more person-to-person interactions, the initial thinking was that brands would likely have to pay more to reach their audiences. And while it may be early, it doesn’t sound like there have been systematic shifts just yet. Read more after the jump…

The Digital Sales Funnel and Saying “Thank You” – Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2018

Last week we had the opportunity to attend the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego – a two-and-a-half day session-packed conference focused on the most relevant trends and information in the world of social media.

Given that South by Southwest Interactive kicks off later this week (stay tuned for daily updates from our two-person team of Jon and Adrienne), we’re going to combine a longer form discussion from what we learned at Social Media Marketing World with our annual SXSW Denver Download in early April – let us know if you’re interested in attending!

In the meantime, here are my three main takeaways from #SMMW18 – with a quick video from the conference to explain some of the concepts as well.

1) The Algorithms Continue to Change Our Focus

Facebook’s shift away from brand and publisher posts in our news feeds toward one-on-one peer interaction has left a lot of brand managers scratching their heads about staying relevant on the platform. The key – according to Social Media Insider Founder Michael Stelzner – will be unique and tailored content with the goal of prompting individuals to share with their peers. In other words, “being human at scale.” Some additional insights on this topic include:

  • Longer form content will be critical – videos, in particular
  • Facebook’s focus on “Facebook Watch” will also mean a shift toward more episodic content. Think about producing various video series that take viewers on a storytelling journey, and make it as shareable as possible
  • The algorithm change combined with Snapchat competition will likely lead to more Facebook Stories from individuals – so much so that we’ll likely see fewer wall posts and more Stories in the near future (the future is 15 second Story videos)

2) Focus on Being More Strategic with Paid Efforts

Moving forward we’re also going to have to be more strategic with our promoted content and paid campaigns on every platform. Some specific examples from the conference include:

  • Be more selective with where you’re spending your money. Promoting content that is already successful will always be more beneficial than forcing a promotion on content that that isn’t resonating with your audience. Think of it as pushing a ball downhill vs. trying to fit a square peg into a round hole
  • Utilize Facebook Custom Audiences and retargeting features more frequently. We spend a lot of time and resources creating content, and we shouldn’t have a “one and done” mindset with our paid campaigns. If a group of people watched your first video in a series, consider retargeting those same people with a paid campaign for the second video in your series. “Custom Audiences are your bank account,” as one presenter commented
  • Make sure you have a hook, ignite emotion, describe your solution and finish with a specific call-to-action with every piece of promoted content you produce. At the same time keep your content as concise as possible – skip the bumpers/intros/bios in your video content to grab attention as quickly as possible

3) Don’t Stop When the Campaign Ends

We often miss the opportunity to follow up or even say “thank you” with our campaigns. Use those custom and engaged audiences to keep the conversation going after your campaign ends (maybe with your next campaign or content effort). And if you have an audience that made a purchase or took some form of action, don’t forget to say thank you in a creative way, and follow up with specific next steps. Spell it out simply so your customers have a seamless, positive experience and understand clearly what happens next.

Positive Instagram Updates On the Way for Brands

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In a long overdue announcement, Instagram is giving businesses the opportunity to schedule posts, and view posts that have tagged or mentioned their brand profile. We’ve also got the Super Bowl this weekend and Winter Olympics kicking off the following week – the perfect storm to see the latest and greatest digital brand activations!

Instagram

AdWeek: Brands with Business Profiles on Instagram Can Now Schedule Organic Posts
The big news for brands on Instagram this week is that we’ll soon be able to schedule organic posts, view posts where we’ve been tagged or mentioned and view other business profiles. The updates will be rolling out soon, but one downside: the features will, at least for the time being, only be available via third-party apps like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Read more after the jump…

Micro-Influencers and New Twitter Analytics

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Finding the right mix of prominent influencers and influencers you can afford is a marketing tightrope. Anyone who has an ongoing influencer relations effort in place is all-too-familiar with that balance, and this past week we’ve come across two great articles that discuss the advent of the “Micro-Influencer.” Twitter is also testing two new analytics features we’re excited to see come to fruition. And: Are you listening? Podcasts are coming back in a big way.

Micro-Influencers:

SmartBrief: How to Work with (or Become) a Micro-Influencer
It’s not necessarily a brand new idea, but the concept of “micro-influencers” – those who aren’t full-fledged influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers and require five-digit product mentions – is something that nearly every brand should consider. These individuals with followers ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 tend to be more authentic, more uniquely engaging, and drive interest in a real-world manner. Read more after the jump…

How Much Should I Spend on Social Advertising?

Navigating options for your social ad spend can be challenging.

Navigating options for your social ad spend can be challenging.

We often receive this question from our clients, particularly as everyone is locking down their 2018 budgets: How much should we budget for social media advertising?

The short answer is that there is no short answer. A simple Google search for “how much should I spend on social media advertising” will provide results that range from industry averages to advertising as a percentage of your overall social media marketing budget. The problem with those figures and averages is that they don’t consider your business’ unique needs and/or budget at this moment (or for the first quarter or first half of 2018).

Here are some questions to consider as you think about social media advertising and your 2018 marketing budget: Read more after the jump…

Creativity: Put in the Time

"Let's make a music video..."

“Let’s make a music video…”

Our CenterTable video team brought home a Silver Leaf Award from the Colorado Healthcare Communicators last week for our “Hand Hygiene: 1-2-3” music video with our clients at Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Sure, I want you to click on the case study and check it out – but as I was thinking about how this project came together it occurred to me that the success of this video campaign was largely dependent on the creative thinking and execution of our video team.

Read more after the jump…

Are You Revising Your Social Media Strategy?

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When was the last time you tested a new strategy or tactic with your social media efforts? Better yet, when was the last time you dug deep into your user’s behavior and social media metrics to inform what you do next? This week brings us several insightful articles about testing and revising our social media strategies – with several common themes.

Snapchat

Ad Week: What National Geographic Did to Earn 3 Million Snapchat Discover Subscribers in Just 3 Months
Not everyone has the budget to command a Snapchat Discover channel, but what we appreciate about National Geographic’s revised approach is the intentional, tailored content it has been offering on the platform. Know your audience, and then understand what works best on each platform. Read more after the jump…

The Art of Taking a Step Back

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

This week one of our account teams held an “Intense Period Debrief” – an opportunity to assess what went well, what could have gone better and what we can do moving forward to learn from experiences once a project is complete. The irony of this particular meeting was that, in taking the time to take a step back, much of what we learned from this particular account was the importance of taking calculated steps back more often.

The marketing world moves fast – new platforms, new products, content trends (this week it’s sarcastic polls on Twitter, FYI), changes in user behavior… the list of things that change actually changes itself quite frequently.

Add aggressive deadlines and high expectations to the list, and we’re frequently working in a world that pushes forward so fast that it’s easy to forget to step back and think strategically once a plan is in place. Ultimately, the best-laid plans don’t mean much if expectations aren’t set, processes aren’t communicated, and those plans don’t evolve based on trends and ongoing data.

Read more after the jump…

The Eclipse, Video and Snapchat News

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Is video eclipsing all other forms of content? All puns aside, social platforms’ focus continues to land squarely on video content, as showcased from a couple of our articles this week. Additionally, news outlets are continuing to pour resources and efforts into shorter, bite-sized newscasts on Snapchat with both NBC and CNN making big moves on that platform.

Video:

eMarketer: How Social Platforms Are Using Video to Capture Audience Attention
We’ve been hearing more and more about the prominence of digital video (and in case you missed it, CenterTable had some pretty big news in that world earlier this month!), and this article outlines how social platforms are continuing to look for ways to get a larger piece of the overall “digital video pie.”  Read more after the jump…