The Facebook and Shutterstock partnership will bring image options into the Facebook Ad Creator for marketers.
Facebook and Shutterstock partner to brings efficiencies to middle and lower markets – businesses that do not have the time/money to create custom assets. This brings the DIY marketer creative options and A/B testing which will increase the effectiveness of Facebook adds from the middle markets.
The Good: Creative powered by insights and analytics that continue the brand”s story by carrying on a cohesive look/feel and persona will beat out general shutter stock images more frequently.
The Bad: This massive bank of images will make middle market adverts more effective through A/B testing and better/more creative options through images. The reason middle market ads do poorly is lack of creative and A/B testing; leaving their ads ineffective – in-turn causing Facebook”s algorithms to serve them up less frequently. This partnership will make middle market ads more effective thus increasing syndication by Facebook algorithms and using up more inventory that will drive up prices. Brands will need to spend more time on the back end optimizing creative to efficiently compete for engagement with parallel ads and sponsored stories from middle markets.
Conclusion: This partnership is great for the DIY self marketer, but bad for larger organizations and agencies that invest heavily in paid media on Facebook. Expect to see more middle and lower market advertisements in the space. The increase in demand will cause inventory costs to rise significantly. If the bidding model is effected on any scale, lean-forward-brands will shift digital paid media budgets into emerging channels where inventory is less expensive.
Hashtags were first introduced via Twitter six years ago, and since then they have migrated onto Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Pinterest, and many other social platforms. Now, at long last, Facebook has incorporated clickable and searchable hashtags onto its platform. Is your business making the most of marketing with Facebook hashtags? If the answer is yes, then congratulations… your company is a pioneer and a trendsetter. If you’re not using hashtags, then here are some of the benefits you can gain by using them in your Facebook marketing campaigns:
- Increased Reach. Help get your brand in front of people who are looking into a certain topic and might not ordinarily see your brand. Here’s an excellent example of that with the California Pizza Kitchen newsjacking #SharkWeek to get their product seen:
- Improved Organization. Help people organize and find more info on a certain topic or about a certain product or need. Crayola has done that with its #BackToSchool Facebook hashtags. Anyone looking for Back to School deals or supplies will find Crayola’s deal.
- Greater Consistency. By using the same hashtag on all your platforms, it makes it easy to share that content across all platforms, including Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest posts. Lowe’s is always making 6-second videos on Vine to show quick fixes. By sharing this photo and the hashtag #Vine, Lowe’s shows viewers where they need to see the video, and by using the hashtag #LowesFixInSix, they maintain consistency with the same hashtag that they use on Vine for the videos. Clicking on those Facebook hashtags will take viewers to all related posts over all Lowe’s platforms.
- Prime Promotions. Facebook Hashtags are a great way to promote special events, new products, and limited time offers. Red Bull, a sponsor of the X Games, reminds you of its special event with the hashtag #XGames, also giving X Games fans an easy way to find photos and info of all events.
- For Fun. In honor of Great Britain’s royal baby, many brands had fun with the news and came up with cute hashtags to celebrate. Oreo’s It’s a Boy was just one of many.
Things to keep in mind:
- Privacy settings – Privacy settings remain in effect. So, if a private user uses a Facebook hashtag, only his or her friends (depending on their Facebook settings) are allowed to see it.
- Creative license – You can have fun with hashtags and make up word plays or cute sayings that are entertaining.
- Capitalization & Spaces – Capitalization doesn’t matter and spaces won’t work. #Splash Media isn’t the same as #SplashMedia.
- Research – Do your research before you settle on a hashtag for your marketing campaign. See if the hashtag you want to use is popular or stands for something else. Depending on your strategy, you may want a hashtag that is already in use … or you may want to create your own.
Hashtags are here to stay, so it’s a good idea to try them and test if they work for your brand. Try various strategies and measure the results. For more information about Splash Media, Facebook hashtags and social media services and strategies, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
In the days following Comic-Con 2013, it’s important to reflect on what we can take from one of the best weeks on the Internet every year. Even if your brand does not have a presence at the science-fiction convention, Splash Media identifies 3 key Social Media Marketing strategies a Social Media Manager can take from Comic-Con:
- Great Content is always shareable – There’s no better example of this than Star Wars. A devoted following will repurpose content again and again. There’s no expiration date on greatness when it comes to content. I know I speak for the nerd in all of us when I say the memes were the best Internet find of the week.
- Don’t be afraid to “dress up” every now and then – Even the most serious brands can benefit from a little silliness. About a year ago, HubSpot highlighted some Funny Brands in Social Media, and Taco Bell has kept up the humor in the time since.
As you can see, when Taco Bell uses a content mix of hot cultural topics (twerking) and humor, their social engagement increases more than 300 percent versus a branded tweet with less humor.
- Build your marketing strategy around hot topics – It seems elementary to say relevant topics are great for generating buzz, but executing a plan that gains considerable traction can be tricky. HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has developed a large social following in its first 3 seasons (6.7 million fans on Facebook, 938,000 Twitter Followers), and users have not been shy about reacting to episodes in social forums. Leading up to the Comic-Con 2013 Game of Thrones panel, the show released a video “In Memoriam” to the fallen characters of the HBO series. In 5 days it amassed over 2.1 million views.
These social media marketing tips can help bolster your strategy for capitalizing on quality content, humor and buzz. Whether you’re preparing for a product launch or announcing an event, these tips from Comic-Con will do wonders for your strategy.
Rob Howe is a Social Media Specialist and Account Manager at Splash Media Group in Addison, Texas. Connect with him on LinkedIn
Did you know that Saturday, July 27, 2013, is National Dance Day? So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe began this annual celebration in 2010, designating the last Saturday of July as National Dance Day to encourage all Americans to approach dance as a fun and positive way to combat obesity and maintain good health.
What is the Dizzy Feet Foundation?
The Dizzy Feet Foundation, founded in 2009 by Nigel Lythgoe, Adam Shankman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Katie Holmes, among others, is designed to support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States.
How does National Dance Day work?
Every year the Dizzy Feet Foundation creates instructional dance videos for regular people like us. This year, Lythgoe and Shankman choreographed an “Everybody Dance” routine, which features the song “Treasure” by Bruno Mars, for people of all levels of ability. SYTYCD choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo also created a “Hip-Hop Master Class” routine, featuring the song “Live It Up” by Jennifer Lopez, for those who need a more challenging routine. Both routines can be found onDFF’s YouTube channel.
The Dizzy Feet Foundation also encourages the public to submit videos of people performing the routines. Select videos may be included on So You Think You Can Dance, and can be submitted via the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s Facebook page.
Splash’s Experience with National Dance Day
We, here at Splash Media, took on this dancing challenge in the name of team bonding, exercise, and fun. We started practicing about a month ago, meeting a few times a week as schedules permitted. We then filmed the final product in our parking garage (rain moved us indoors). You can view Splash’s National Dance Day video on YouTube. It was a lot of fun! Not only that, we bonded over our (mostly) lack of dancing ability, appreciated a chance to get away from our desks and computers, lifted our moods and MOVED our bodies to music. Anytime you mix social, media and dancing, it’s a great combination and usually very entertaining!
What do you think of our video? Do you plan to participate in National Dance Day this year?
The phrase “social media marketing is still marketing” is overused. But the same principles that apply to traditional marketing are extremely relevant in social. By integrating traditional digital marketing into your social strategy, you can leverage your web audience into a strong, active social community.
It would seem like a basic tactic to promote your social channels through your email-marketing newsletter, but these 4 tactics can help you convert your email database into Facebook fans:
- Sweeten the deal – It’s easy for me to sit here and say the best way to convert email addresses into fans is to give them something. But what are those extra social eyeballs worth to you? It could be a $10 gift card or front row seats to a sporting event, but offer an incentive and your results will follow if managed correctly.
- Control the Medium – Create a custom Facebook tab and set up a pre-like gate to ensure that you get the likes on your page before users can enter your contest. Offering only a link to your Facebook page in your email is a great way to guarantee that most users will not like your page. Utilize a site such as ShortStack or FormStack to create your custom tab.
- Collect Information – Once you’ve created the contest, make sure your form contains useful information to aid your future marketing efforts. Age, location, email, and physical address are simple ways to learn more about your audience.
- Deliver strong content – You’ve run a successful contest and increased your community; now the onus is on you to provide them with engaging content that will keep them liking, commenting and sharing posts on your page. A large community is great, but if users are not interacting with content you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of the EdgeRank charts.
Don’t miss the opportunity to interact socially with your existing customers. Social media is still “word of mouth” marketing, so leverage those customers and watch your brand grow.
Rob Howe is a Social Media Specialist and Account Manager at Splash Media Group in Addison, Texas. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Here at Splash Media, we believe that great content is the catalyst for conversation, sharing and engagement. We also believe that great content that is optimized will build search equity for your brand over time. The best way to feature that content is through a blog, in conjunction with sharing over other social media platforms. With that in mind, we’d like to share our most popular blog posts from 2012:
Social Media Helpdesk: How Do I Use Pinterest For Business?” – In 2011, some social media forecasters predicted that Google + would lead the charge towards user engagement. But associal media enthusiasts will tell you, mass acceptance of Google+ didn’t happen last year. It was a different social network that came out of nowhere to capture people’s attention. (read more)
“Paranormal Activity 3” Uses Social Media Strategy to Scare up Tweets – Another Halloween, another “Paranormal Activity” movie. And another chance to see how one movie studio uses social media strategy to empower horror movie fans, so they can be among the first in the world to have the you-know-what scared out of them. (read more)
Results of our Best Hashtag of the Year Poll – Two weeks ago we asked you to vote on some of the most popular hashtags of the year to come up with your favorite one. Thank you so much to everyone out there who voted! Here are your top 3 hashtags! (read more)
Social Media Marketing and Brand Journalism Power Cisco’s News “Network? – Another big company has decided that when it comes to offering content, there’s no business like its own business. Cisco Systems has launchedThe Network, a technology news website. Like Intel’s Free Press – covered in theSplash Media blog here – the company is covering any and all developments in its particular arena of the tech industry, whether or not it has anything to do with Cisco. The focus is on an editorial style that wouldn’t be out of place in a newspaper or on a journalistic tech news site. (read more)
Smile! Social Media Photos Add Color to Company Content – Is there anything a smartphone can’t do? First the video cameras on iPhones and Androids are credited with kicking the Flip video camcorder to the technology graveyard. Now comes news from Flickr – one of the first social photo sharing websites – that iPhone 4′s are currently blowing past traditional cameras such as Canon’s EOS models as the most popular cameras among its members. Achart on Flickr’s websiteshows that the latest iPhone should soon dethrone the Nikon D90 for the top spot on the list. (read more)
Splash Media prides itself on creating engaging content strategies for all your online marketing needs. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of social media marketing, and make sure to join us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
It’s no secret that we have a fascination with the mundane. People everywhere share pictures of their food and sunsets on Instagram, talk about their kids and lives on Facebook, and it’s (well, somewhat arguably) mostly interesting. Why is it so interesting? One theory is that it is a different way to look at life. It gives us a new perspective. Another theory is that perhaps it validates the relationships and actions in our lives. And, we seem to be spending more and more time on the Internet and on these social platforms.
According to Abigail Posner, the Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development, at Google, “We like to see things we’re familiar with, in a new way.” And it’s more enjoyable when you know others are enjoying it as well. In other words, we bond over this stuff. Google is investing in The Engagement Project to study how brands can connect with consumers more deeply in this crazy Internet participation age.
This brings me to memes. They are hugely popular on the Internet and a significant source of participation. In fact, we recently celebrated our very first Meme Day here at Splash Media, which led to a lot of questions about what are memes and why are they so popular? (And for those of you who don’t know, memes are images or videos that are shared over the Internet. Cool fact: the word meme comes from the Ancient Greek word Mimeme, which means, “Imitated thing.”)
As a company, how can you tap into this shared online energy? How can your brand connect with consumers to encourage participation and bonding?
- Find your fans. They are out there. They might be on Instagram, or Facebook, Pinterest, Vine or Twitter. Look for them and see what they’re talking about in correlation with your brand. It might be crazy and strange, but it’s a great place to start.
- Look at something in a different way. Explore a new way to use your product. Do something totally different in regard to the way people see your services. Bring meaning to something unexpected. Have fun with it.
- Share it. Create content that is insightful and makes people want to share. Remind us of the happiness and wonder life has to offer. Tap into the energy sharing.
Here are a few examples from around the web of how companies have tapped into engagement in a very creative and successful way:
- Dove Real Beauty Sketches – Dove proved that women are their own worst critics, and conducted a compelling social experiment that explored how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.
- Cheerios – Debuted an interracial family in their latest commercial, sparking loads of positive and negative feedback on their YouTube channel.
- The Montblanc Worldsecond – Montblanc came up with the idea to create a mobile photo app, equipped with an integrated and remotely controlled self-timer, which enabled all participants around the world to shoot a photo at exactly the same instant. Their goal was to freeze the whole world for a second and experience what people around the globe are up to all at the same moment.
With memes and blogs and other objects of sharing on the Internet, we’re not just sharing that object … we’re sharing emotion and feeling. We’re coming together to share the experience and engage. If your company can tap into this, you’re such to be more successful in creating an online community and increasing your brand awareness.
What do you think? Why do we share the stuff we share? What companies are out there doing it right and creating a buzz?
As social media marketing grows by leaps and bounds, so does the need for exceptional social media content. As more and more companies join the various social media platforms, the harder it will be for each brand to stand out. Not only do consumers want to see original, quality social media content, but the content also needs to be relevant and sharable.
If this is your job, working in the social media industry and constantly creating content on demand, it’s easy to start feeling burnt out or encounter writer’s block. It’s a challenge to tap into creativity on a daily basis. So, we’ve scoured the Internet and found a handful of creative exercises to help you create good content and get those creative juices flowing.
- Word association. Write a word on a white board and bounce around the first words you think of. This is great to do with a group of people and can spark your imagination.
- Open the dictionary at random. Find a word that you do not know how to define. Write an imaginary definition for it. Repeat.
- Look up jokes and funny sayings and see if any apply toward your target audience.
- Describe each member of your family or your coworkers in five words.
- Hum the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Then compose new words on a certain theme (make it office-oriented or something to do with your hobby) that match the melody of the song.
- Go for a walk to clear your mind. Chances are, you’ve been sitting at your workstation too long.
- Eat a snack or drink a drink. Take a picture of it and create clever and goal centered hashtags you can use with it when posting.
- “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Do you follow a business who’s social media content you enjoy? Try to imitate what they are doing.
- Create a how-to manual for something you can do well (sew a quilt, grill a steak, optimize blogs, do laundry, shop for a new car). Describe the process so that someone else could complete the task based on your directions. Use present tense verbs.
- Choose a photograph, from one of the online photography stock sources, of humans in uncertain conditions. Come up with a story around the photograph. For extra creativity, try to tell a story in one to two sentence captions.
- Write an ad persuading your target audience of stay-at-home moms to buy a special new product that soothes crying babies. Then write it again, this time directed at an entirely new target audience, finding a way to use that same product that relates to their uses.
These creative exercises should unlock your creativity — just like stretching before you run a mile (or a marathon). Warm up your brain with these short stretches, and then get ready to pound the pavement. You’ll want passion to emanate from every part of your social media campaign or social media content you share, because when your creative content evokes passion, your audience will respond.
Are you sharing your brand with customers and fans through pictures on Instagram? Why not? As you probably know, Facebook owns Instagram, and according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram is growing faster than Facebook did at that age and now has more than 100 million users. Instagram is clearly a hotspot of activity, and if your marketing strategy is to go where the eyeballs are … then your brand needs to be needs to be on Instagram.
Lots of big brands are already on Instagram, using it as part of their social media strategy and doing it right. What does that mean? It means they are:
- Sharing interesting images
- Racking up the followers
- Sharing their brand personality
- Engaging users
- Posting regularly
Surprisingly, Instagram is still holding off on advertising … for now, but that hasn’t stopped big brands from holding court on the platform.
Starbucks was an early adopter and now has over 1.2 million followers on Instagram. Their photos consist of their products featured anywhere and everywhere, the magic behind the scenes, in-store experiences from around the world, and how new coffee flavors are chosen and tested. This is a brand that knows how to celebrate the artistic and how to tap into emotional connections. They welcome other users to “Tag your coffee photos with #Starbucks!” I don’t drink coffee, but I follow them for the pure joy of seeing a company do social media well.
Victoria’s Secret has almost 2 million followers on Instagram and has lots and lots of photos of scantily dressed, beautiful women. Victoria’s Secret is building a loyalty program with a new mobile photo-sharing contest that rewards consumers with shopping sprees for taking creative pictures based on certain themes each week. Very engaging marketing! Beautiful models and free shopping sprees … I wonder if they have more male followers or female followers?!
Nike has more than 1.5 millions followers on Instagram. They feature shoes. Lots and lots of Nike shoes. People wearing Nikes, Nikes arranged artistically and well, and more Nikes. As part of their NikeiD campaign, users can design their own Nike gear … and Instagram users can select their favorite Instagram shots as the background for the Nike Air Max model of their choice, and then share the shot over Instagram and other social media platforms. I’m not a runner, but their photos make me want to go out and buy a pair of Nikes and start running. (Don’t hold me to it!)
MTV has around 1.3 millions followers on Instagram. They feature musicians, bands, festivals and trendy, hip entertainment topics. This year, for the first time, movie fans were able to vote using Instagram photos and hashtags in the MTV Movie Awards’ Best Hero category. Their photos receive thousands of likes, hundreds of comments and are updated several times a day, at least. If you like sweaty rock stars, this is a brand you’ll want to follow.
Other brands getting close to the million mark:
- E! Online
- Red Bull
- Marc Jacobs
- Tiffany & Co
Instagram is an opportunity for brands create visually appealing content to engage with their fans. I follow several brands in my Instagram feed: NPR, Starbucks, Dallas Morning News and a few more.
Is your brand utilizing Instagram in their social media marketing strategy?
Which brands are doing it right on Instagram in your opinion?
Social media is a fast-growing, ever-changing industry, and it can be a challenge for those in the know to keep up with the ever-evolving lingo and social media terms. Every industry has its own language, and here are some of the basic terms and definitions of social media:
Social Media Terms
Bitly – A free service to shorten URLs, making them easier to share on social media platforms. Here’s Whole Foods using a Bitly in their recent tweet.
Blog – This is a “Web Log” that individuals or companies use to share commentary, such as updates, graphics, or videos. Zappos has an active company blog.
Bookmarking – The process of saving a URL in order to access it at a later date. There are different bookmarking platforms, but Google also offers a spot to bookmark sites.
Hashtag – A tag used to categorize and organize comments on Twitter. Always preceded by the pound symbol “#.” Starbucks asks users to tag Instagram photos with the hashtag #starbucks, and they use a lot of different hashtags in their Twitter feed. Here’s one they use often #ExtraShotOfGood.
Infographic – A graphic with information and data shared easily through social media sites. Here’s an example of How to Create an Infographic from Mashable
Klout – A social media analytics service that gives you a score based on how involved and influential you are in the social media world. Check out these Top social media influencers klout scores.
Like – A way to show approval on Facebook. You actually click a “Like” button. You can “like” a brand, which allows you to receive their status updates in your news feed, or you can just like a specific status update. Here you can choose to “like” Disney World’s page or “like” this status.
Links – A hyperlink, a way to connect directly to another web page, accessible by one easy click. This blog post is full of links to other sites, but here’s a link to the Splash Media YouTube channel, just for emphasis.
Link building – A search engine optimization (SEO) tactic where you strategically link to other sites (usually blogs) to increase your own site’s search engine ranking.
Meme – A thought, idea, joke, or concept that is shared online through social media sites. It’s typically an image with text, but can also be a video. The Grumpy Cat meme won Meme of the Year at the 17th Annual Webby Awards.
Microblogging – Content sharing platforms that restrict the amount of data that you can share. Twitter is considered a microblogging platform, as is Tumblr.
Permalink – The specific URL to a web page or blog post. The links within this blog post are all permalinks to specific pages.
Podcast – An episodic series of audio radio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. I get most of the podcasts I listen to from iTunes.
RSS Feed – “Really Simple Syndication” is a format used to easily share frequently updated content, such as news sites, blog posts and videos. Here’s a link to the Splash Media blog feed, where you can subscribe and receive our blog updates through email.
Sentiment – The attitude of user comments related to a brand online. Amy’s Baking Company has recently received extremely negative sentiment from Facebook users for their alleged bad customer service. (read through the comments to see what I’m talking about)
SEO – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via unpaid or organic search traffic. Google defines SEO.
Skype – A service that allows for text, audio, and video chats between users. If you haven’t “skyped” someone, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Tag – Is a term assigned to a piece of information so that you can describe the information and find it again. (Commonly used in blogging) At the bottom of this blog post by The Pioneer Woman, you can see she has used the tags “dogs” and “random critters.”
Traffic – Is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web page. Most websites monitor how many visitors they receive and how many pages are viewed. Google Analytics is a good tool to measure your web traffic.
Tweeps – A nickname referring to Twitter Followers.
Tweet – A message sent through Twitter that is no longer than 140-characters. Surprisingly, you can say a lot with very few words. Here’s an award-winning tweet from the Mars Curiosity Team.
This glossary of terms just touches a small portion of social media terms, but they are some of the most critical. Did we miss any? Are there any social media terms out there that you don’t understand?