Can Social Media Marketing Be Saved? It Doesn't Need To Be.

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The social media practice at Brunner is following the Facebook Cambridge Analytica news closely. In fact, we live-streamed Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony last week. Our agency leadership, clients and even friends and family our querying us about the matter. Most alarming are questions and comments such as:

  • Should we shutter our social presence?
  • Ought we table our paid social media program?
  • Is this the death of social media marketing?
  • Are you concerned about the future of your practice?

We understand why they are arising given articles such as New York Times journalist Kevin Roscoe’s Can Social Media Be Saved published on March 28th. Our advice is simple.

The news cycle will pass, and . . . 

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Brands – Do Not Freak Out About The Most Recent Facebook Algorithm Change

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Recently, Mark Zuckerberg released a statement on behalf of Facebook that included the following:

 . . . we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments [from friends and family] that lead us to connect more with each other.

Another algorithm change is upon us and this time it is causing more of a stir among brand marketers than ever before. Why? Achieving organic reach in the Newsfeed moving forward will be rare. Content will truly need to be consequential, prompting genuine and valuable discussion. 

Speculation about the Newsfeed algorithm change surfaced for a while prior to Zuckerberg's announcement, especially after the rise of fake news as a national issue. The update will prioritize meaningful content, predicting which posts will strengthen our relationships with family and friends. A friend asking for recommendations on local hot spots when planning an upcoming trip is one example. A post from a friend documenting her employer's response to the #MeToo movement that elicits discussion is another. It is important not to confuse meaningful conversation with engagement bait though - posts prompting users to “like” or “share” a piece of content.

What does this mean for your brand marketing and publishing on Facebook?

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Three Social Media Listening Insights From 2017 That May Help Home Improvement Marketers in 2018

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In partnership with the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), the social media team at Brunner, Social B, authors an in-depth monthly social media listening report on ten home renovation categories: Bath Remodel, Doors & Windows, Flooring, Gardening & Landscaping, Home Automation, Kitchen Remodel, Painting, Patio/Deck, Plumbing and Roofing & Siding.

Utilizing the social listening tool NetBase, we document and analyze a host of metrics for the monthly reports including, but not limited to: number of mentions, sources with top mentions, gender and age demographics, states with the highest volume of conversation, top brands in conversations, top authors, etc. We also note and review the net sentiment and passion intensity for each category.

Utilizing the net sentiment and passion intensity scores for each category each month, we create a Passion Index / Topic Comparison chart. See below.

 

The size of the circle communicates the volume of conversations. Net sentiment is measured from zero to 100 from left to right and passion intensity from zero to 100 from bottom to the top. Net sentiment indicates how negative or positive conversations are for a topic. Passion intensity indicates the level of emotion for the same conversations. If a category scores 0 for net sentiment and 100 for passion intensity, then there is a great deal of hatred toward that topic. Meanwhile, if a category scores 100 for net sentiment and 100 for passion intensity, then there is a great deal of love for that topic. Zero net sentiment and zero passion intensity simply communicates dislike while 100 net sentiment and zero passion intensity indicates just “like” for a category versus love.

In addition, we compare and contrast monthly results with an 18-month benchmark report. The benchmark report includes data from January 2016 through June 2017.

Below are three insights from our work for HIRI in 2017 that may help home improvement marketers in 2018:

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Three Ways Brands Rule On Messenger Bots

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Bots aren’t new. Launched in 2011, Facebook Messenger isn’t new either. But for a strange reason, when combined, the two make a perfect combination ripe with possibilities. From unique AI’s that carry on realistic conversations, to simple news scripts that serve as content repositories, Messenger’s Chatbots should be on the horizon for every social marketer. Here are three ways to do them right.

Image result for facebook messenger bot

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Make Your Facebook Messenger Experience More Convenient

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With over 1.2 billion monthly active users, Facebook Messenger is an important extension of a Facebook presence for brands to manage. From a customer service standpoint, Messenger is a great platform due to the fast response nature. In fact, there’s even a way to launch the Messenger experience outside of the Messenger app or Facebook desktop, bridging the gap between online and offline. They are called Facebook Messenger Codes.

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Snapchat Versus Instagram Stories

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The ongoing battle of social media platforms. Since social media platforms are in a constant competition of user’s attention, it’s no surprise how quickly these platforms are updating their features in order to stand out. Two social media platforms that have been in the spotlight recently are Snapchat and Instagram stories. Since 2016, with the introduction of Instagram stories which was a clear clone of Snapchat, these two platforms have geared up for an update battle to see who would come out on top. 

Meet the Contenders . . .

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ANA Members Comfortable With Discomfort? Observations on the ANA’s Annual Digital & Social Media Conference

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We are all competitive distance runners in my family. My daughter runs for Syracuse. My son will be a 4-year letter winner this year in high school cross-country and track. And while my wife and I are far beyond our scholastic athletic years, we still run competitively today. We all agree on a key aspect of the sport. Something understood by all motivated distance runners. You must embrace the pain. Yes, pain. Most often, running distance at an elite level (or even not at the top) requires being comfortable with discomfort. In my career as a digital marketer, I have applied this concept professionally and it serves me well. Unfortunately, certain brands and even some within agencies struggle with discomfort, particularly the pain associated with the intricacies of digital marketing and digital media planning and buying. Modern, successful marketers embrace complexity, especially in social media.

The topic is top-of-mind for me from my attendance this month at ANA’s annual digital and social media conference. Some sessions demonstrated a complexity embracement problem in a few areas, but others proved that brands under the right leadership are thriving in the complexity of digital marketing today.

On the one side, there were the opening remarks from ANA CEO, Bob Liodice, and the “Financial Fog” presentation on programmatic by Andrew Altersohn, CEO of AD/FIN Solutions. On behalf of brand marketers, both are seeking greater digital paid media transparency and increased ad dollars reaching consumers; however, they identify the enemy as . . . 

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Snapchat Surpasses Twitter, Should Your Brand Jump On Board

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At Social B, we’re sure you’ve heard it. Snapchat is one of the hottest and fastest growing social networks today. Recent reports have shown that users are now viewing 10 billion videos per day on Snapchat’s Story feature—photos and videos produced by users that last for a 24 hour window and can be viewed by one’s network of friends. More shockingly, early this month Snapchat surpassed Twitter in daily active users, 150 MM.

Now, should your brand be on Snapchat? Just because the number of daily views is tremendous and the platform has more daily active users than Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean your brand should jump on board. If you can’t seem to shake the Snapchat FOMO (anxious over the exciting or interesting jazz happening on Snapchat and worried your brand is missing out), make sure to consider the following basic factors in deciding on whether or not to join the platform.

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Messaging Apps: The Next Step in Brand and Consumer Relations

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Recently, Sephora became the first beauty brand to offer consumers the ability to receive tips, provide product reviews and make purchases within the messenger app, Kik. Yeah, that’s right. All on a messaging app. And the experience Sephora created for consumers via Kik is quite customized – providing tailored content based on quiz results and preferences. But, they’re not necessarily creating something completely original and stretching resources. Rather, Sephora is leveraging their existing content library, tailoring it for Kik which is creating a new and special consumer encounter with the brand. Yes, a new and special consumer encounter all through instant messaging.

Daily, we at Social B are hearing about updates and new features to a host of messaging apps and the new ways brands are using them. And this isn’t just about brand experimentation. There is solid business rationale behind brand movement onto these platforms.

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Three Easy Tips to Keep Social Media Marketing Simple

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Social media as a whole is a massive landscape with numerous audiences participating differently across each channel. There are teens, Millennials, Millennials with kids, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, etc. that we’re trying to engage with via social media marketing. Common sense tells us that a blanket approach and strategy will not be effective. Our desire though to embody trending jargon like “streamlined,” “efficient,” and “resourceful” holds us back from accepting this common sense notion. A simple approach can be effective however: just play on social channels that your target audience is most active and engage with them how they want to be engaged.

As social media grows, specific audiences tend to gravitate toward a short-list of a few primary social media platforms. And as channels evolve, audiences adjust accordingly. It’s our responsibility to be vigilant of all the rapid changes in social media and understand how they impact our efforts.

So how do you do that exactly? Here are three simple steps that can help you get at it and they should be generally familiar to marketers:

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Polyvore: A Wonderland of Possibilities

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Polyvore, a relatively new social network, is a virtual endless closet that allows users to mix and match items to create collages (sets) of clothes, makeup, accessories – everything in their wildest dreams.

It is unique in that it’s many things: It’s a community of fashion fanatics. It’s a playground where the Vogue-worshippers, the Sephora-obsessed and the daring designers of the world can create and play freely. It is a wish list of all of the stylish products the heart could possibly desire.

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Decode This: [crystal ball] [megaphone] [bullseye] [question mark]

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In a season 2 episode of HBO’s comedy drama Girls, two of the main characters, Shoshanna and Ray, get into an argument over the use of emojis. “A panda next to a gun next to a wrapped gift? It makes no sense,” he says of her text messages. That was in 2013.

It’s now 2016 and references to these tiny pictures have not slowed down one bit. Last fall, an episode of Matt Bellassai’s Whine About It referenced people who respond to text messages with only emojis. “What do I look like? Some kind of hieroglyphics reading scientist?” (a personally agreed upon frustration).

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The Relationship Between Brand and Consumer Should Be a Romance

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Notice how I said romance. Not summer fling. Not one night stand. Not friendship. Romance.

Consumers need to feel passionate about your brand. So passionate, for example, that they would jump up on a couch in the middle of a live television interview and declare their love for your brand to the entire world. (Sorry not sorry, Tom Cruise).

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