JanRezab / Blog

Founder & Executive Chairman of Socialbakers.com


social media market articles

Twitter’s smart ad strategy is paying off

Published: July 29, 2014

Twitter really started pushing itself. 2 quarters ago we did not know it has many ad formats, but with the launch of very smart Twitter cards, link cards, app installs, lead generation cards, opt-in cards, and the preparation even of things such as the buy button, Twitter seems to be innovating its advertising efforts at a very decent speed.

I think we will really see this effect on Twitter in a couple of the following quarters, but as a site with so much people, its certainly under-monetizing its user-base, which is something they are obviously working hard on fixing.  Twitters strategy here is a good one, replicate the interesting things from Facebook and Google so you don’t have to repeat those learnings with a bit of a Twitter spin.

The quarterly results (Q2) clearly show this, they made almost $ 100 mil. per month in Q2 2014 on Ads, an amazing result, proving the fact that they can monetize on this.

Also Twitter’s World Cup experience is an example of how important the social network has become in expanding real-time conversations around events. Twitter has been known as a network that facilitates connections among consumers, but its World Cup experience proves that it’s a strong content provider as well. I expect Twitter to thrive by continuing to provide digital experiences that synchronize with real-world events.

Well done Twitter, well done.

Also, side note: Anyone feel Twitter is not growing Monthly Active Users?

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Social advertising just became more social

Published: June 16, 2014

Social advertising is a space with limitless potential. I have already said this, I will repeat it: All digital ads will be social. I also said all social ads will be native (happened). Here are some of my previous posts on social ads:

I am a huge believer in social ads and their future, but I have recently checked my social news feed a couple times and realized that social platforms – Facebook in particular – have become extremely effective remarketing engines.

You see this from the results. Facebook advertising – the way they designed it – just works. The model is slowly stopping to be a social advertising model, but really comes down to a re-marketing model (custom audience groups by email, phone numbers, etc.). Now of course, this is a hugely effective channel, but there could be a true holy grail in this. Where these social connections could and should be used in a more creative way, social networks have really stopped and haven’t embraced it. Many of re-marketing ads end up looking like this:

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Now don’t get me wrong, a mix of re-marketing – especially good and relevant re-marketing – is a great thing, but the social context that we advertisers have at our disposal is huge. I think social platforms do realize this potential, and are trying to get a handle over this. It appears that Facebook has (finally) optimized its algorithm, and I am seeing ads more like this:

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This is a good step forward for Facebook and its ad relevancy, a great step for advertisers, and a positive thing for users. I like things placed in context, as it’s a very different thing if one of my unknown friends engaged with a piece of content, or 10 of my great friends or 30 of my colleagues have.

Now of course, Facebook has to optimize this to make it more relevant, this is actually the holy grail of the social advertising that we have not seen yet happening. As most advertisers use Friends of Fans targeting, beyond a certain point, it stops working, as the targeting is too broad. Facebook’s algorithm, if given broad targeting, should be able to find the friends more likely to be interested, making social advertising much more relevant and contextual.

Social advertising is still at the beginning – but taking good steps to really be much more social in nature. I hope this continues to get better over time.


Simple way to minimize damage and exposure from social care: Speed!

Published: May 27, 2014

Here is a quick recommendation for brands to minimize damage from social customer care. I had a cool scene with @Uber_NYC. When I really need them to work, it didn’t. (Small background for those driving Uber: The driver just sat there for 15 minutes and did not move at all, then moved and probably stopped by for what seemed to be a bagel shop before even leaving to my place). Anyway, lets get to how Uber could have done a better job communicating:

First, I was extremelly nice, sent it to them directly (it just gets seen by his and my joined followers – which will be very few of them)

Then, they didnt respond, so I sent it to all of my followers, this was much later

Other people started getting included in the conversation, quite heavy tech. influencers:

It was a happy end, but 3 of my additional tweets (& the urgency) could have been completely avoided:

So brands, easy recommendation: Just try and respond quickly! Thanks to Dani from @Uber_NYC for the answer & refund, and big shame on @Uber the company not be more staffed in shifts (this is not Dani’s mistake, this is the company’s mistake and they should fix it).

My recommendation is this: Brands, if you provide 24/7 service (your stuff is available around the clock), make sure you have 24/7 customer care!

Here is Ubers Twitter customer care response rate according to our Socialbakers social media and customer care Analytics. They could be doing a lot better. And by coud I mean should

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Defining the Future of Social Media: Connection Networks vs. Content Networks

Published: April 22, 2014

(Updated on May 5th, see bottom) There may be countless platforms out there, but there are really only two types of social networks: Content networks and connection networks. This may seem like an arbitrary division, but it is fundamental to understanding the present and future state of social media.

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On one side of the matrix are content networks like YouTube and Tumblr. Content networks are (or were) basically broadcast mediums – built on an input-output architecture. Users created things, uploaded them, and hoped for an audience. Now, these platforms are evolving into things that resemble clubs or membership organizations.

On the other side of the matrix are connection networks like Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn – which is sort of the ultimate connection network. These platforms rest on users’ collective ability to entice and interact with more users. The methods of interaction are a cocktail of normal conversation, photos, and anything else one can link to. Separate networks can overlap at the margins – and when networks collide things go viral. It’s akin to watching a frog leap from lily pad to lily pad in a pond.

Of course, there is a middle ground here. Facebook relies on user networks to push outside content to Facebook timelines. Look no further than Facebook’s purchase of Instagram or the Paper app for evidence of the convergence of content and connection.

Twitter, a connection network, has steadily moved towards being a content network. Now, the artists, journalists, and enthusiasts who have been connected there are able to edit and post visual content in increasingly creative ways, get the latest breaking news from on the ground as it happens, and generally tell a more complete social story.

Brands are becoming increasingly aware of this. More companies than ever before are using Twitter to respond to customer questions, demands, and comments – and how this is being driven from the ground up. Unsatisfied customers are increasingly turning to Twitter to make public their latest complaints, and brands are just now starting to get up to speed.

This is the power of the connection network. One tweet from one person is as if by chance noticed by someone with millions of followers, some public stature, or both, and boom. The network trains its gaze. The only thing brands can do is respond thoughtfully and transparently – that’s the game.

On the other side, YouTube is a full-blown content network that is gravitating toward being a connection network. For YouTube this makes sense. It is building a connected-network (a.k.a subscribers) logic on top of its existing architecture, has YouTube-only featured channels with very high-quality material, and is becoming more of a “web destination” every day.

YouTube is interesting for marketers for any number of reasons, but, as with Instagram or LinkedIn’s Pulse, the content game and multimedia space is a place where creativity can trump all – or the opposite, of course. Is the two-minute, multi-million dollar video delivering a solid ROI? No doubt it was fun to make, but can it make any money?

The answer seems to lie somewhere in the middle. Facebook has consistently been able to generate substantial ad revenue, Twitter just exceeded investor expectations, and YouTube is an ever-bigger piece in the Google puzzle. To be sure, all three are massive, with users counted in the billions, and that helps. But they would not have grown so large without doing some things right.

Both Facebook and Twitter are generating the majority of their ad revenue on mobile – where connection networks are strongest and content networks find their greatest challenges. Now, as mobile screens get bigger, devices get stronger, and data transfer rates increase, the challenge becomes one of sustainability.

But, maybe the real indicator of the the future of social lies somewhere else – TripAdvisor. Whereas the major platforms need to hit a moving target in their markets, TripAdvisor has become a unique and highly valuable mix of content and connection by doing one thing and doing it well. A simple review site has turned into an indispensable resource for leisure and business travelers alike by fostering community around something many people find very important.

This is the future of social media – and media more generally, if you ask me. The create-broadcast-view-advertise-repeat formula is dead. We live in an on-demand world where small, interested, collaborative communities can drive and sustain creative ventures across any number of sectors.

The convergence of content and connection networks is just beginning – and it is exciting.

Update: At Engage in London (see presentation below on Slideshare), I presented the fact that content networks have grown more than connection networks in the last 12 months, and showed the gravities of different networks.

  • LinkedIn is expanding towards Content (creating blog, buying Pulse, etc.)
  • Facebook is expanding more towards content (Instagram, Facebook Paper, etc.)
  • YouTube is expanding left, trying to help companies build more connections, build more subscribers

Social network division - Content and Connection networks


Marketers, this is how unified social measurement and metrics should look like

Published: April 11, 2014

This week I was judging the Brand Republic Digital Awards. The results will be announced on June 3rd and obviously I can’t talk about it, but it was interesting how different companies approached communicating results. In Socialbakers, we have a dream: We wish that all companies will use the right metrics, and keep improving over time on how they are performing. We would like to see that all companies are really monitoring everything all the way from reach to whatever your bottom line metric is (this might be brand awareness). You will be able to see some of the first companies on ENGAGE 2014 on April 30th in 19 days.

If you read all the way to the bottom, there is a sneak peak of our Brand Love metrics.

Biggest mistakes in the results and measures:

  • Not being clear about the metrics
  • Over-using how many fans they grew even though they had multi-million dollar campaigns
  • Twitters potential reach (the calculation of my followers times their followers) as actual reach
  • Some used very vague metrics without sourcing how they got to the numbers
  • Very little of the entries all-together actually used sources to verify
  • About 5 different Engagement Rates being used – some very interesting

This is how I would expect a report in an awards entry or a social report to look like nowadays:

  • The key KPIs and measures for the campaigns were: Awareness, Reach, and Direct Sales. Campaign was run from 10. 4. 2013 to 10.7. 2013.
  • Campaign brought an increase in business / sales by X%
  • Campaign brought in a raise of awareness. Our positive brand awareness grew by +15%
  • We used a 1 mil. GBP budget, and paid media vs. organic ratio was 4:1, a very healthy ratio.
  • On social media, the campaign created a unique reach of 1,000,000 people with 8,000,000 impressions even hitting organic growth of our followers by 130,000 (don’t mention followers you paid for, you are making yourselves look bad)
  • Our YouTube channel had a lift of 6,000,000 views, and 3,000 subscribers were added during the period
  • 150,000 unique users engaged with our landing page and spent 4 minutes
  • In total, the campaign had 360,000 user interactions (user posts, likes, comments, shares, retweets, inbound mentions, replies, favorites, YouTube thumbs-up, etc.), of which 50,000 was user comments (not just likes & thumbs ups)
  • Total number of shares and retweets was 35,000
  • Campaign had a buzz of 15,000 tweets, in combination using the @company, #campaignhashtag, and shares of videos

+ On the bottom, add a list of sources.

I actually went and verified many of the campaigns and their results using our Analytics, as they didn’t have these measures.

Only 1 out of 50 entries compared themselves to competitors and industry benchmarks, what percentage did they take away from the industry and what was the rise in the percentage of industry. This is basic stuff!

Now, if you look at that, how do you measure the different things in the easiest way:

  • Campaign was run from 10. 4. 2013 to 10.7. 2013. (Jan) you have to define this, if you don’t, we can’t look and find anything
  • Campaign brought an increase in business / sales by X% (Jan) Source: Internal metrics
  • Campaign brought in a raise of awareness. Our positive brand awareness grew by +15% (Jan) Source: Research company
  • We used a 1 mil. GBP budget, and paid media vs. organic ratio was 4:1, a very healthy ratio. (Jan) Paid vs. Organic is a division of reach you had paid for and reach that was organic. Simple metric in Facebook Insights, you can import / export using Socialbakers Analytics in bulk.
  • On social media, the campaign created a unique reach of 1,000,000 people with 8,000,000 impressions even hitting organic growth of our followers by 130,000 (don’t mention followers you paid for, you are making yourselves look bad(Jan) Again, standard platform metrics, you can export all using our platform
  • Our YouTube channel had a lift of 6,000,000 views, and 3,000 subscribers were added during the period (Jan) Again, very easy metric – views.
  • 150,000 unique users engaged with our landing page and spent 4 minutes (Jan) Typically Google Analytics / Adobe Omniture sourced.
  • In total, the campaign had 360,000 user interactions (user posts, likes, comments, shares, retweets, inbound mentions, replies, favorites, YouTube thumbs-up, etc.), of which 50,000 was user comments (not just likes & thumbs ups) (Jan) This is 3 clicks in Socialbakers Analytics and you have this
  • Total number of shares and retweets was 35,000 (Jan) Same here
  • Campaign had a buzz of 15,000 tweets, in combination using the @company, #campaignhashtag, and shares of videos (Jan) Any basic listening tool should be able to get this

For brand health metrics, Socialbakers is very busy in its Socialbakers Labs preparing Brand Love (+ mobile Brand Love). Look at this sample of 12 000 votes in the beverages category around the world (I would call this the most global panel on the planet). When I saw this data, I cried how good it is. It shows you that in EMEA, beverages companies are not rated as highly, they have the highest amount of detractors, where in Americas region they are rated very similarly. And the age groups are beautiful. Younger kids are both great promoters and almost zero detractors, older people are quite big detractors. Pretty cool, right?

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Because its simple, right = Socialbakers Analytics, all benchmarks, all comparisons, custom benchmarks, all interactions, all social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, VK.com, LinkedIn, and also Google+ coming in 3 weeks.

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