JanRezab / Blog

Founder & Executive Chairman of Socialbakers.com

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Keyword search optimization is problematic, organic SEO becoming unmeasurable

Published: September 25, 2013

After reading a post from Graham Charlton on Econsultancy titled: “Time to say a last goodbye to organic keyword data?”, I of course did what every data geek and measurement enthusiast would do – I quickly jumped into Google Analytics and looked into different time frames.

In his article, Graham correctly points out that organic keyword SEO measurement is probably finished, that a lot of the companies will be flying blind in SEO when Google is pretty much all running on secure https connection, which for someone that doesn’t understand that means that a website unfortunately can’t find out what keyword the person came from.

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Look at the following charts from Google Analytics from Socialbakers.com. The “not provided” part stands for the unknown, which has grown from zero (in 2011, the blue one is actually just the top keyword – see below). A lot of the SEO technology companies have invested a lot of money into tracking and optimizing this, and today, and this is becoming complicated. I also noticed that the famous SEO company SEOmoz is now just Moz, and they have Moz Analytics. Pretty interesting.

So now what? 

The only solution here is either measuring it across the little sample of the rest of the organic that is visible, or the second option and seeing where you rank on your keywords – and clearly where you could improve (Google also partly shows that in Analytics now). Thats the only way to do this now. I am yet to find an SEO analytics tool that would really help solve this. Let me knwo if you have any tips.

In 2011

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In 2013 – last 2 weeks

Very high amount of “not provided”.

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This week, Socialbakers is upping its game…

Published: September 23, 2013

We have spent the last 5 years building Socialbakers, and this week, we are seriously upping our game. Looking at some of our milestones and achievements, this is where we are with Socialbakers:

  • We are the largest social analytics company – 1 800+ clients, half of the Global Fortune 500 use us, none of our competitors have greater coverage
  • We have one of the strongest teams in this space – although officially we still haven’t updated the number of employees from 190, today we are well over 200 people, almost half in product & engineering
  • We are becoming a more global & local player every day – We are a global leader, but yet have: 13 offices in 11 countries for now, clients in 99 countries (yes, the team confirmed its really 99 countries), and more local marketing, data, and benchmarks, that you can ever imagine.
  • …for more points, read below in the article (*), as I want to get to the point:

This week, we are taking our platform to a whole new level – we are launching Ad Analytics. You have heard a hundred times social media is about content – yes! This is pretty much clear to everyone now, and thats why Analytics is also so successful – people look at who is publishing what from their competitors and what works. Also, we are seeing a huge trend and shift into paid media, particularly around newsfeed ads, and our data shows its primarily about advertising in the newsfeed. 

Don’t only think of our launch this week as an extension of Analytics Pro into optimization of paid social content, but also as being the technology to measure and manage your social spend in the best way possible. And of course it’s Socialbakers, which always means very analytical way of managing things! This means Socialbakers is now also in the business of being an advertising analytics technology, which is a big jump for us. All the current social management platforms out there are built around the “right hand side ads” (marketplace ads). We had a chance to start fresh, and we have worked hard to build a next generation social ads platform around content and targeting. And this week is the week when we officially launch it.

We are seeing that social media teams job today is the one not only to run the posting, but to run the budgets for the content and boosting posts. They can’t be calling someone else every few hours, its the same people that post the content that should promote it (or people very close to each other). A lot of the brands today already boost posts, they decide which content piece to promote, and just promote it with very basic targeting.

And this is exactly where Socialbakers comes in with Ad Analytics:

  • Our tool is there to help you do more advanced things much faster than you can do on Facebook – 5 clicks to boost, stop and start advertising any content.
  • Its your helping hand so you don’t have to create 10 ads to target to 10 groups, and then measure them separately.
  • It helps you visualize everything you are doing in real-time, from Facebook Insights, engagement, to ad data.
  • You can manage ad spend for an entire page, and see exactly how you spent and where.
  • It will help you find the right audience to target to and optimize that over time.

Just Facebook? More platforms are clearly coming (tba), as it’s important to manage ads on all key social networks. Paid is just not part of Facebook, or not just an addition to organic, its a key part of every company that is serious about social advertising. The fact that a majority of all Facebook advertising is now newsfeed is the biggest one of all. Its all about the content and how and to whom you target your message.

This is a big move for us, I want you to know how big this is for us, and we will be doing it our everything to make this right. Its a bold statement, but I really believe in 2014, Socialbakers will be the biggest global player also in the social advertising technology space.

—The end—

Update: Check out these stats on paid media on Facebook and newsfeed taking over:

Update 2: Socialbakers Ad Analytics is now launched!! Check it out!

P.S.: There are a few more updates:

On top of the huge Ad Analytics launch, we have some cool updates:

  • Socialbakers has relaunched Socialbakers Builder (see video, Our publishing tool, very analytically focused)
  • Socialbakers Listening (see screenshot, more like “buzz analytics”),
  • Socialbakers Analytics is getting Vkontakte Analytics (Russia’s #1 social network) in 2 weeks – I am actually running a working version!
  • + Huge upgrades coming first week in October

Socialbakers has a constant commitment to invest into our product, and we will keep investing.

(*) A few more Socialbakers milestones as promised: 

  • We are more than just analytics – We are more than analytics, as analytics is about optimization, and we are becoming more and more every day, testing new ways and methods of social measurement.
  • 800 000 marketers visit our site, and in September, it will likely be above 1 million… And these great users of ours help us also make our ranking a lot better by helping us suggest what is what in social media, allowing us to do the best benchmarking possible.
  • We are the global leader in metrics – We have been the first ones to define “Engagement Rate” for content engagement, or “Response Rate” for customer care metrics, and many more.
  • We are extremely agile – When platforms launch changes, we immediately reflect them – we are a partner thats here to stay for years to come, we already have a market position to get through it. And in the end, its about features, but also about the team and company that can keep shipping new updates, upgrades, and someone you can trust to execute both globally and locally.

The new Socialbakers listening (I bet this ugly unrepresentative screenshot using my phone will get our design team to send a nice promo one in like 10 minutes – but you guys get the point):

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List of international technology companies that develop in Czech Republic

Published: September 22, 2013

With one of the most popular articles I wrote so far yet, the “List of top Czech technology companies and start-ups“, we are coming to chapter #2 of this, which is to the point I was trying to make. Czech actually has a ton to offer, and I believe with the right amount of capital and focus, the resources on the market could be utilized and grown. We have got just so many great technical universities, and a huge amount of high quality developers for a reasonable price. Now don’t convince that with cheap, the economy is clearly different: Its a lot more expensive than in India, but a lot cheaper than in Silicon Valley. Thats the reality of things, and thats where the economy has it. When I say we (Czech Republic) have cost-effective resources, I don’t mean it with any disrespect to the Czech developers, I think its the reality of things, economy, price of labor, and also costs around you. I actually bet a Silicon Valley developer actually has so much more costs in other areas, that economically even the more cost effective Czech developer actually has a higher purchasing power, as the housing costs in Czech are quite good.

But to the point, I have decided to make a list of the top global technology companies that outsource or develop in Prague. This time I divided into 2 groups. As usual, contact me if you have any issue or want to add other companies. I am sure I have missed a few.

If you for example look at Red Hat, who develops entirely in Czech Republic, to DHL, which has a huge technological development center in Prague, and many other companies – you will realize the potential.

Over 500 people:

  • Red Hat (Runs all of their development from Prague)
  • DHL (Quite a few engineers – 1000+ in Prague)
  • Logica
  • Ness Technologies (Outsourcing), bought Logos
  • Accenture Services
  • Oracle
  • CA Technologies
  • Tieto (2000+ people)
  • Update: Amazon (is just putting a key logistics area, I assume it will have technology support with 10,000 people)

Less than 500 people (in engineering locally in CZ):

  • T-Systems
  • SAP
  • IBM
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Skype (Smaller development team – 100 – 200 people)
  • Barcalays Capital Services
  • Microsoft
  • Concur
  • Disney Mobile Games
  • Take 2 Interactive (2K Czech)
  • Autodesk
  • eBay (Smaller team)
  • Honeywell
  • Netsuite
  • FNZ

By the basic count, only in the global company, its a brewing economy of about 10 – 15 000 engineers. And that is only today, and only this set of companies.

FYI: The Czech Statistical Authority has done a count on the amount of people in the ICT sector, and estimates it at 140 000, almost 3% of the economy, which is above the EU average, and actually is in the TOP5 of the European countries. These stats are for 2011, wonder what they will have cooking for 2012 and 2013.

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Social media helps businesses become customer centric

Published: September 10, 2013

When social media came and brands started activating their first pages, customer care was probably the last thing they thought about. But today we already know that every (services) business has to respond to customers in social media. Its not something cool to do, and it is not something you do as an extra. It should be a natural part of your business. There are actually huge risks of not doing it. Social media gives a huge amount of power to the customers, and they will use this power if the brand is mistreating them. People choose to use the public way because companies are quite exposed to losing their faces and also their entire reputation. For example I consider British Airways a great business when it comes to the company, but I have had trouble reaching them over Facebook (closed wall) and if I got the response from Twitter, it is indeed extremely slow. This has recently created quite a big PR issue for them that you can read about here.

Since Socialbakers has announced the first results and companies only responded to 30% of all questions on social media back in 2012 (and they year before in 2011, it was 5%), today more than 60% of all questions get responded on Facebook, and if we took the more relevant categories its even more. And the numbers of questions in total now go into millions.

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There are some businesses that are naturally more customer centric than others. Airlines, Finance and Telecoms are definitely in that group. Generally in services, it is almost expected that a company does care for it.

This quarter, we also did some deeper studies. It seems that the tipping point for you to get a team of more than 4 full timers is around 400 questions (data are per quarter), so over 100 questions per month on Facebook (this study does not consider Twitter, its fair to say that its 2x as much with Twitter). But it does give you an insight into how social customer care operates. You could also say its more effective to hire an agency to start with, but when you get above a certain volume of questions, its good to hand it over to a full-time customer care team, as did most of the biggest companies in the survey.

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Why do companies respond in social media? 
The question a lot of people have been asking me – why on social media? Why not on email? Why not on the website?

1) First of all, I think the fact that it is public is making it more transparent for the customer and for the brand. Both are pushed to respond and solve better. We are seeing extremely upset customers. I saw many examples of angry clients turned ambassadors via social media, its just a matter of empathy, speed, and problem solving

2) Second, I think its the fact that its a native platform. In Twitters case, its mobile, people don’t want to browse companies sites and start finding their form, number with automatic responding systems, etc. – they just want to write their problem and get a response.

Negative examples are maybe controversial, but experience shows they do work 

I have always been a supporter of businesses being more customer centric. Sometimes positively (Socially Devoted), sometimes negatively (well, yes, my Fedex case). I do it not because you are a great audience of readers that want to read about how a company fails, but I think failure should be communicated, so companies can reflect and learn.

One best examples of this is, even though we don’t do this is anymore, we did publish a tiny bit controversial negative lists of companies that don’t respond their companies well in social media. Let me tell you – a majority of companies that were listed on the second group are now in the winners group.

And I didn’t realize what kind of reaction I would get personally from the brands. There were 2 types of reactions:

1) Sometime the media would cover this, and I would get an upset reaction from the brand manager, calling and yelling that this is not possible. I always suggested to use this and build a case internally to get this rolling. They did. Later, in all cases, they came back and thanked me that this really helped them push this through, and now they have a bigger team to work with.

2) This second one surprised me. Some people were able to realize the value right away, and the people from these companies came back and said: “Wow, thanks Jan, we finally have something to bring to our boss and build a case”. And they did, and they for example got more people, or a higher realization (together with clearly the positive lists of the social care winners that we publish) that this is important

Today, Socialbakers champions companies that do customer service well, because we believe its a natural part of social media. Facebook is about 2 way communication, and brands should adopt that as well.

To conclude

It is my belief that social media makes businesses more transparent and customer centric, and also I think that we have only scratched the surface, that there will be deeper use-cases, the possibility to detect and categorize real-business problems, reflect on them and fix them. The companies that will have the ability to do this will win their customers hearts.

All social media advertising are going to be content-driven promoted posts

Published: September 2, 2013

Facebook launched promoted posts, Twitter launching promoted tweets, Linkedin now launched them too – you too have seen these announcements in the last year. But what is more interesting is how promoted posts are important. Read between the lines for example of the Facebook quarterly fillings: 40% of all advertising on Facebook is now mobile. Wow, thats a great number, and most of the media out there only covered this fact. But what about the fact that all newsfeed advertising is either app installs (content) or promoted posts (again, content advertising).  So this means all of the 40%, and at least 40% of all Facebook advertising is now promoted posts / promoted content, and of course there is going to be some share of this online, so we can assume a majority of Facebook advertising is already in the newsfeed! Wow, thats something. And with the push of Twitter and LinkedIn in this area, we can expect more.

When you send content on Facebook pages or other, naturally you assume that you will get some reach organically to your fans without having to pay. And clearly thats the case, you do get some of that – of course, not a lot. For some of the brands we work with, paid is such an important element that it now is even over 50% of all of the reach that their posts will generate. This is a big shift, of course you can continue to expect some level of organic reach, but with a majority of players paying for reach, its important you do so to. Should we blame Facebook that its now becoming a paid media? No, they are allowing you to help amplify the messages that you want to focus on much better, and thats a great option.

The unpublished posts – unlimited post ads on Facebook

Newsfeed ads were not practical for example for the large segments like eCommerce, that needed to press a lot of the items from the shop and deliver them through posts. But today, you can launched “unpublished posts” (or also heard them called ghost posts), which are posts that are not physically on your page but do appear in your feed and have only paid reach and paid engagement. This way you can launch 100 posts per day, but to specific target audiences. Maybe you want to offer something different to men and women on your page, or to a different demographic – this is much easier with unpublished posts, and of course, you have an infinite combination and possibilities to target using the right target audience and using custom audiences (the ability to import specific opt-in audiences and target them with specific ads).

I get it, now what? 

If you read up to here and now believe that a majority of social advertising will be newsfeed – then you have to reflect on what that means for your business. Do you outsource all your posts to a media agency, and give them a call every time you need to publish a post (e.g. several times a day), or will you work with the people that publish the posts, regardless if its internal or external and add the promoting process in there? This is of course up to you to reflect on this, but a majority of ads on social even for you are going to be newsfeed, so you have to think about how to work that in your business.

Socialbakers in a few weeks will launch an exclusive interface how to measure, optimize, and manage promoted posts, boosting, and advertising. I hope you will like it, and I will send more about it soon.

UPDATE: On a bigger set of advertisers, we aggregated the share of newsfeeds ads vs. Market place ads, here is a really cool finding on the fact that they already are.
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