Published: January 22, 2014
(Updated – Facebook launched it – for mobile) Yes, these companies will really go after each others neck. Today, Facebook is worth about 35% (wow, didn’t know it was that high) of the market cap. of Google, and you will read on if you want to know how they could be half the size of it. See when Google targets advertisements devoted to you, they “guess” what you like because of your browsing preferences. The difference is, Facebook knows, they don’t have to guess a lot. Second is, Google can’t really (yet) place it in any level of social context. Facebook can tell you if a friend is liking it, has talked about it, and much more.
Its a very natural evolution that Facebook would launch a platform for advertising outside of Facebook. The first pilots have already been here with companies like Zynga, but a proper scalable platform isn’t available yet. Of course, Facebook will have to be very careful in managing demand (scaling on websites), and supply of ads (advertisers interest), so I assume the initial trials with Zynga and other companies are great ways how to ensure good scale.
The next step for Facebook though is opening the platform much more broadly and allowing websites to place Facebook ads on them with a social context being included.
If I were Facebook, I would rush quickly to launch this. Google has announced +Post ads, ads based on Google+ posts that you will be able to run on all of Google’s advertising network. Wow, thats a biggy! And if scaled, this could really take a hit on Facebooks potential plan to launch an outside ad platform.
This is, why I strongly feel Facebook will launch and ad platform any day (week, month) now.
Lets wait and see!
UPDATED May 2014: Facebook indeed did launch an adwords – specifically, a mobile adwords competitor. Read more on Verge. It allows brands to advertise in 3rd party apps, competing with Google (Admob) and other companies for the huge growing mobile network ads. Its probably a question of time when they will launch one for the web, but the strategy to tackle the dominance in mobile first is a very good strategy.
Published: January 21, 2014
Recently we had a conversation with Justyn the CEO of Sprout Social on Twitter. Sprout has published an infographic with customer care metrics that show very different numbers in social customer care than we do – they are being more pessimistic. I have challenged him in his tweets, Sprout Social doesn’t currently provide a lot of context on how their metrics are currently calculated, which is a shame. He is making the point that they have a different data set as they categorize differently, but some categories like Retail we must be categorizing in the same way. I have made the point that transparency and industry standardization is important, even though yes, every industry is different, but in the end its one set of users and people that want answers.
Socialbakers has a big and important value of being a transparent company to its clients and users. When we first announced the Socially Devoted social customer care standard back in 2012, we know social care is a big area, and we said quite openly that we are opening this as a standard to industry discussions and feedback. We also developed it quite a lot. We added Twitter, we added many things. Our categorization of brands is entirely public, we have it accessible through the Brands section on Socialbakers in each platform, e.g. Brands on Facebook. Those are the categorization sets we use.
Obviously all such conversations make me think – is the Socialbakers methodology bulletproof? Nothing is bulletproof. Allow me to come out and define all I can help you with on social care.
Today we have just released our new Socially Devoted rankings for Q4, please take a look at the results! This particular study is done on Questions (several ways to detect, incl. just the simple “?” and a few more specific language elements), but in our products you can also see a “General Response Rate” to all posts posted.
On Facebook, this is from wall posts posted on the official pages branded wall e.g. KLM. As until relatively recently it wasnt possible to answer a reply in a reply (thus intelligently pair replies in comments), we were relying on these user wall posts. Users actually typically post those questions there, also it includes mentions (as they are also wall posts).
On Twitter, we calculate it off of mentions of the profile directly with the @sign. E.g. a tweet saying “@KLM I would need help with this flight?” would certainly count.
We also have a Response Time metric on both platforms.
There are a couple limitations of our rankings that we of course have to work on.
- #1: On Twitter for example, we are counting with the person actually tweeting the username, not just mentioning the name. This is a limitation. How big? Most people when they actually want an answer address the brand directly.
- #2: On Facebook, we dont yet count the number of Responses in replies to wall posts. We have all the necessary data (for custom dashboards, contact us), but we haven’t visualized and aggregated it into a new, “Comments Response Rate” metric, that we will release over the next few months. The volume of questions in comments rose in Q4 2013 a lot, and logically especially on pages with a closed wall (as you can’t close off comments).
- #3: On Facebook, we don’t count it off of “hidden” posts. Posts that were hidden (typically for spam) by the page itself are not public, and not measurable.
- #4: On Twitter, we don’t yet monitor ALL pages in all categories – this is a smaller limitation as it doesn’t clearly affect individual measures, we have some currently “unmeasured” areas on Twitter, such as the hospitality industry, which I believe we probably monitor only around 60 – 70%, but in categories like Telcos, Airlines, and many others + all key countries – we will always be extremely close to 100% of all profiles monitored.
These are the only 3 current bigger limitations of the Socially Devoted, and we are working on fixing all of the above.
We will be developing and making sure these limitations don’t exist. We have set-up more custom dashboards for some companies that already work around all the 3 issues above (#3 solve by backfill, #2 custom metric visualization, #1 monitoring via keyword listening as well). I hope for public questions in social media, we can always agree on the General & Question Response Rates and Response times, and figure out how it integrates with other social customer care metrics from email, phone, and other channels where companies get questions.
I would like to invite industry colleagues and challenge them to please, almost 2 years later, challenge our rankings and how we can work on an even better #sociallydevoted social care standard. Most smaller measurement companies around the world adopted our measure (I could say copied, but we did say its a standard, and its just a good feeling to be leading here). This is why we were always public about it, so it becomes widely adopted.
See full infographic and methodology on social customer care on http://www.socially-devoted.com
Bonus: Me crying about companies that don’t respond on Facebook or Twitter.
Published: January 17, 2014
Last week, I set up my kids great grandmother (my wifes grandma) a new Android Nexus tablet. I first looked at full solutions like BIG Launcher, but it wasn’t what I really wanted. It didnt have the functionality and the ease of use for the key use-cases: 1) Receive Skype video call, 2) Make Skype video call, 3) Receive Telegram message/video/photo, 4) Be able to see battery, 5) Big icons. Once you get to the apps, Big launcher is ultimately just a launcher, it does have a few of these functionalities, but for example its not customizable when your app is not intended to be a phone (just a tablet), I would need more customization at set-up level with it.
So I went ahead, deactivated a bunch of system apps to simplify it, and downloaded a app to make my icons bigger (Giganticon), downloaded Skype, Telegram, and set it all up on the homepage. Then, I had to find a battery indicator, because of course the one on the top right is 100% invisible and not understandable. I then trained and explained our grandma how exactly to open the apps, set-up a few quick call buttons, increased text sizes in the entire system, and gave it over.
Our grandma can now receive messages, Skype video calls, and for the last weeks, she was able to see her grandkids more (she lives further away from the city). My wife also overheard her on the phone telling a friend how she can now “video call” with a “tablet” :)! So good!
You can see below that I have made the interface amazingly simple:
I also limited the programs to almost nothing:
Published: January 6, 2014
Native advertising. Few months ago, we probably didn’t even know what it means, some of us don’t know it even today. Native ads are mostly newsfeed ads, ads that are a more natural part of the content (those sponsored stories, promoted tweets, or actually, any other promoted content, we could even say that sponsored YouTube ads are and have always been native ads). Today I am making a bolder claim that we did before: Most digital ads in 2014 will be native ads.
During last year, I was one of the first ones to say All social media advertising are going to be content-driven promoted posts, when no one still said it. I also put in our Socialbakers 2014 Social Marketing predictions, that all of social ads in 2014 will be native ads. I am expanding this prediction into digital ads, and there are many reasons for it.
First, we already discussed this: Why will social advertising all be native? a), Its a much more natural form of advertising for the person, its part of where his eyes and visual is on. On the traditional web, you would have to create some crazy format or skippable format. People don’t want that today. Native ads is the possibility of blending content with ads in a much better way (while still marking ads content). b), it just works. Advertisers are not going to invest their budgets where the ads are not working or being clicked on. By end of last year, a brutal majority (Over 75%) of all Facebook advertising was newsfeed based (through a representative sample of ads). c), it really is a targeting revolution. On Google, you have to go through quite a lot of “collection and effort” to create your re-marketing tags, learn how to use their interface. On Facebook, you upload 4 custom audiences, get up and go.
Second, how come all digital ads can be native ads? With the launch of +Post ads using Google+, this creates an entirely new category of distribution. The entire Google Advertising Network (yeah, the big one) can become a distribution channel for +Post ads. Next, with that, it is only perfectly logical that Facebook will also launch an outside network, and they will fight with Google for placement on sites (I am honestly wondering why didn’t Facebook launch this yet). This is truly amazing, and this is why most digital ads will be social.
I also believe that in 2014 (pay attention, this is a new quote) – all social marketing managers will have to understand (and optimize) paid media. It won’t be enough to just send an info to your budget to your media agency and make them a “paid” admin on your Facebook page and say: “Here is my money”. It will be a job of a social marketer to a) make sure the ads are being spent on the right things, b) you are using the money effectively, c) you are targeting the right people. Only very few ad agencies can do this well alone, you will have to help them, and build a workflow that starts with content creation around a certain segment. Targeting the best people by doing a great segmentation (segment your audience into the best groups) homework will be essential for advertising. I will come back to this later.
Realistically, I think native (social) ads can surpass normal forms of advertising probably by end of 2014, but so much movement will be ready for this. Every marketer has to change its behavior and think what this means for them. So what does this shift mean for your day to day work?
- Segmentation of your users, fans and audiences will become a part of your every day life.
- You will have on average at least 5 ads for every piece of content (if not more) to different target audiences. This is the only way you will be able to A/B test efficiency and understand where to spend your money
- Marketers will understand that getting some audiences is more expensive than others. Yes, if you are a car manufacturer, a 40 year old with $ 200 000 per year income is better than a teenager with no income. Duh. Targeting for your demographics is the basics, most companies still don’t do it today.
- You will have to create a new workflow with your agency, if you are a media agency, you have to create a new workflow with your client that gets him more involved, and makes the process more transparent (feel free to use our Ad Analytics for that, its certainly the best tool on the market today)
Naturally, the best companies that will do native ads well are companies that are looking for brand awareness. Its awesome for that, heavily increases reach and the touch points you have to your customers, and allows the customers to engage. Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Beverages, Cars, and many other categories will love this. Newsfeed is tougher for conversion, unless you are very targeted. I have seen tons of great case studies and companies using it for conversions, but I have to say as a user, I am personally offended that companies don’t target my “likes and needs” much better, but I just think its a reflection of the marketers today and how they (don’t) use targeting very well.
Here is to 2014, better make sure all your ads are newsfeed ready.
P.S.: I heard FTC is looking into paid ads and way to regulate it. I will have some words to say on that later and send them an open letter on that.