Tag Archives: strategy

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…

The Answer to Your Next Brainstorm is a Better Question

One of the most important points of message training is to avoid speculation if you don’t know the answer to a question. It’s better to say, “I don’t know” than to send reporters or audiences spiraling with potential misinformation. That said, this point can be much easier to teach than to practice.Question Mark on a Chalk Board

I, like many other senior-level professionals, take pride in having answers. After all, what is my 20 years of experience worth if I don’t know the solution to my client’s or team’s problems? But sometimes I find it particularly hard to say, “I don’t know,” or to ask additional questions rather than just jump in with an answer – no matter how preliminary or unknown that answer or solution might be. As it turns out, I’m not alone…

Why Questions Are Scary

My colleague Brooke Willard recently wrote a poignant blog post about overcoming imposter syndrome. In it, she describes that sinking feeling of being an imposter in your own field when asked a question to which you don’t know the answer.

Hal Gregersen underscored this issue in a Harvard Business Journal article about better brainstorming when he noted that people with the most senior positions and greatest technical expertise can be the most challenged when it comes to asking questions rather than offering answers when faced with a problem. Why? Because they’re often afraid of looking incompetent if they don’t have the answers. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me – so I was thrilled this article also offered some suggestions about how to handle this better. 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.

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…

CenterTable Acquires Fourth Wall Productions, Expands Video Capabilities

Video Production & Motion Graphics | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

Some of the CenterTable video production team onsite at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

The changes within the marketing and communications industry over the past decade have been equally swift, exciting and unforgiving. Ten years ago, Facebook and Twitter were certainly not household names, Denver had two newspapers, the iPhone was just launched (with a 2.0 MP camera and no video capabilities), Instagram and Snapchat were still years from existence and Periscope was just a thing on a submarine.

A lot can change in 10 years.

We are currently experiencing a dramatic shift in user behavior toward video content. Recent statistics indicate that shift is even more aggressive than most of us might believe: Read more after the jump…

Social Media Content: Are You Branding, or Selling?

Are you selling on social media? | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

Are you selling on social media?

Should social media be a space for branding/thought leadership or a function of your sales team?

We work with clients on this issue often and the short answer is that social media, when done correctly, should do both. On one side, organizations shouldn’t (or can’t afford to) blindly pass on an opportunity to generate sales or action through a channel where opportunity exists.

 

Are you using social media to build trust and credibility? | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

Or using it to build trust and credibility? On the other hand, social media isn’t simply “another sales channel.”

On the other hand, social media isn’t simply “another sales channel.”

We (and many others) have made the comparison often: social media should be treated like a cocktail party or networking event. If you walked up to everyone you met at an event, told them what you do, why they should work with you, hand them a business card and walk away, you wouldn’t be making a great impression on anyone. The better approach is to engage with those you’re talking with and actually build rapport and credibility.

Read more after the jump…

When is Live Video a Good Idea?

The CenterTable team in a live broadcast from the Greeley Stampede | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

The CenterTable team in a live broadcast from the Greeley Stampede.

In my time as a news reporter there were two types of producers (generally): Those who only used the live truck for breaking/extremely visual stories and those who used live trucks in virtually every newscast.

Fast forward more years than I’m willing to admit, and we’ve got a similar situation now that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have “live” video options. Many brands and individuals are using live video options extremely sparingly (if at all) while others seem to be using it all of the time.

What’s the smart approach? Read more after the jump…

Content is All Around You (Even if You Think It’s Boring)

Some behind-the-scenes content, combined with "staff pics" from our clients at Elite Brands.

Some behind-the-scenes content, combined with “staff picks” from our clients at Elite Brands.

We’ve had a couple of strategy sessions with our clients recently and a recurring theme has come up: Sometimes what you consider “boring” might actually be extremely engaging content.

Anyone who works in a warehouse, production facility or “in-the-field” probably doesn’t see a whole lot of intrigue from said workspace. But time and time again, we’ve seen audiences be completely captivated and engaged with behind-the-scenes content of how things are made, how machinery works, or what people do in their daily work routine.

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Monday Sessions

IMG_9991

Art and inspiration are everywhere at SXSW.

The fourth day of South by: When sleep deprivation and too many creative thoughts in your head from the previous three days starts to cloud everything. But the sun came out today and we had an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are our top takeaways from Monday at SXSW 2017:

Jim’s Take:

  • I attended a wide variety of sessions today, the first being “Blending Leadership: Online and Offline,” where presenter Reshan Richards reviewed six pillars of leadership traits from his book. From a professional development standpoint, the main takeaway for me was, “Once you’ve become more efficient and find yourself with an extra 30 minutes or hour in your day, be intentional about how you fill that time. Don’t cram it with busy work. Rather, spend it on something you’d hoped to do from an aspirational standpoint.”

Read more after the jump…