“Some marketers may have been frustrated by a lack of alignment across the business when it came to social media strategy—something that could hinder social media’s effectiveness. Just 30% said strategy was “completely” or “very aligned.” Whether despite or because of their disdain for data, two-thirds of marketers said assessing the effectiveness of social media activities was a challenge for them—the most common one faced by respondents overall. Designing a strategy and actually figuring out what to do with social data were the second- and third-biggest problems.”
PNConnect Insight - If there’s a problem with alignment behind goals then the fault lies with upper management, who should be working to bring disparate departments and programs together. While they may all continue to have their individual goals, they can at least be using the same terminology and such so their reporting can be understood by everyone involved.
“The challenge for a content creator wading into the torrent of social media noise is to produce content that helps people discover shared experiences, common values, and collective identities – to produce cultural artifacts that people will want to appropriate and incorporate into their individual identities. In other words, to create content that helps people talk to one another in the new “language” of social media sharing.”
PNConnect Insight – Go beyond the idea of “producing cultural artifacts” and remember one of the biggest reasons for people to share something on social networks is that they get something out of it, often cache amongst those in their networks. So it’s not just about creating sharable content, it’s about creating content that bestows some prestige on those doing the sharing.
“While almost one in five (17.9%) internet users are sharing video content with their social networks these ‘super sharers’ are responsible for the majority (82.4%) of all video shares.”
PNConnect Insight – Sometimes targeting the right audience doesn’t just mean finding the individuals best aligned with the program’s objectives. To expect significant organic social sharing it’s also important to think about behavioral patterns and which audiences may be crucial to reaching a wider distribution.
ALSO: Facebook is still the most widely-used social network, but sites like Tumblr and Instagram clock impressive “daily time spent with” numbers.
“What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.”
PNConnect Insight - What Facebook is essentially saying is that if you want to achieve *any* reach you’re going to pay for it. The idea of “organic reach” at this point may largely be an anachronism. This should show clearly that Facebook is not interested in being a “partner” with any brand that isn’t buying ads and that Facebook (and Twitter and other networks) is not an owned channel, but a rented one where the actual owner can change the rules at any time, with brands having little to no recourse.
“While Instagram may be the fastest growing social media site year-on-year, according to its communications manager Will Guyatt, that doesn’t necessarily mean that news publishers need to be a part of it. Speaking at the Festival of Marketing 2014, Guyatt explained that the social media platform is still figuring out its strategy when it comes to publishers, and that being on Instagram for the sake of being on Instagram won’t translate to pageviews on the publisher end.”
PNConnect Insight - When you look at “success” as only being defined by how many click/pageviews are generated then, at least in its current state, Instagram will likely never be a good fit for publishers. But when you look at how some media outlets are using it as a way to show off their high-quality photography or how some retailers have begun using it then that definition seems increasingly narrow.
ALSO: Airbnb is launching a print magazine that’s not so much about readership but about creating and reinforcing brand affinity. 94% of the Interbrand 100 brands posts to Twitter at least once a day.
“Byrne says creating that value is equally important for both news content and native ads BuzzFeed creates. Under the heading of the ‘Commandments of Being Interesting’, he discussed the fact that while marketers and brands used to exist in a one-to-many environment, the internet means that now everyone exists in the same sphere, a many-to-many space. As a result, brands really have to focus on the value they’re offering their audience.”
PNConnect Insight - To put this in retail terms, news is a loss-leader for Buzzfeed, like the sale-priced DVDs used to bring you in a brick-and-mortar store where you’re then prompted to buy a new TV to watch them on. The news on Buzzfeed is there to help build some level of brand affinity for the site that then translates into more views for their native advertising products.
ALSO: Public radio stations are measuring how engaging stories are to help guide their editorial planning. Long-lived news magazines are finding new ways to monetize their story archives, which in some cases stretch back a century.
“According to the report, Facebook at Work will look similar to the main service, complete with news feed and groups, but will allow users to maintain a separate work profile as well as a personal profile. Facebook has reportedly been working on the tool for at least a year and has begun testing with external companies as a launch draws near.”
PNConnect Insight – While everyone has been referring to this as a LinkedIn competitor, it actually reads more like a Yammer competitor. Regardless, with the way Facebook has been changing things seemingly on the fly recently, only use this if you’re cool with the site using everything about your usage to further target advertising to you.
ALSO: Twitter is building a complete and publicly-accessible index of every tweet ever published, so you may want to go delete anything you know you sent after a night out. Facebook is breaking off Groups into its own app, which it hopes will result in increased engagement there.
“Overall, nearly nine in 10 internet users in the country reported using some kind of instant messaging service. But the accounts followed on WeChat, one of the most popular messaging apps, don’t tend to be brands. More than two in five WeChat users said they followed news media through the service, while more than a quarter followed celebrities. Brands were on the radar of 17.7% of respondents, and retailers just 13.9%.”
PNConnect Insight – This gets back to something we say frequently: Not every social network *needs* brands to participate and some people are actively disinterested in them publishing there.
ALSO: Different people in different countries are influenced by social media in different ways. If you’re addressing an Asian audience, there are some cultural concerns that you may want to take into consideration.