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Brands

You Can Now Block Brands For A Hot Sec With Facebook Snooze

Social Media Week

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Want to take a timeout from brands (and people, too) on Facebook? Well, we have some good news for you. TechCrunch reports that the company is testing a “snooze” feature that allows users to temporarily block content from specific sources.

For example, say you’re stuck in a cubicle and don’t want to see an endless cascade of epic vacation photos from your roommate. Or, perhaps a brand you follow is promoting a new product and you’ve simply had enough of it. In each of these instances, Facebook wants you to be able to hit pause on the updates without unfollowing them altogether.

Despite being temporary, you do have options for how long you can disconnect from certain people, pages, and groups. Specifically, your choices are 24 hours, a week or 30 days. Whatever you decide, the action remains anonymous and they will not be notified that you’ve snoozed them (insert sigh of relief).

Photo courtesy of TechCrunch

As the above photos depict, the feature works by first clicking on the three dots on the right-hand side of a post. Once the drop-down appears, select the “Unfollow or Snooze [insert person, group or brand here],” after which you’ll be directed to make your selection as to how long you wish to snooze them or if you want to unfollow them permanently.

Though it has yet to be officially announced, and despite the chance that it might not even become a widespread rollout depending on the results of the trial run, people are expressing their excitement about the possibility of having this option at their fingertips.

What implications does this have for marketing? Well, brands should be wary of over-saturating updates around a key promotion or message that might not be welcomed by or relevant to users. On the whole, however, this is good news since it could eliminate the instances in which people unfollow them completely. To ensure this does not happen will require effective strategy and storytelling.

Further, as TC sources remind us, FB already keeps tabs on the frequency with which we like, click, comment and share certain types of posts. It wouldn’t be unrealistic or far-fetched if they carried this concept and applied it to Snoozing. That is, just because you are only “snoozed” for a certain amount of time doesn’t mean you’re in the clear indefinitely.

Only time will tell what Facebook’s ultimate move upon wrapping up its tests will be, but until then, who would you snooze?

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Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.

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Lack Of Trust Costs Brands $2.5 Trillion Per Year: Study

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Business

Accenture Strategy recently released its latest Global Consumer Pulse report, which surveyed 24,877 consumers worldwide about their evolving expectations towards companies. The results shed light on the ever-challenging balance brands small and large aim to strike: delivering personalized experiences while safeguarding consumer information and using it appropriately.

The big takeaway: “Hyper-relevant” content is directly correlated with higher customer satisfaction. At the same time, failure to protect consumer data or be fully transparent as to how information is used results in distrust and, ultimately, loss of business.

“Those that succeed will hit a sweet spot whereby customers will be willing to share more personal insights into their world in return for greater value and the confidence that their data is protected,” said Robert Wollan, senior managing director and advanced customer strategy global lead at Accenture, in Adweek.

Here a few relevant findings, as aggregated by Adweek:

  • Lack of trust costs global brands $2.5 trillion per year. This compares to $756 billion lost by U.S. companies and 41 percent loss of clients.
  • Forty-three percent of U.S. consumers and 44 percent of global consumers reported that they were more likely to buy from companies that personalize experiences.
  • Thirty-one percent of U.S. respondents and 34 percent of global respondents stated they find value in services that learn their needs from personalization.
  • Sixty-seven percent of millennials, 56 percent of Gen Xers, and 42 percent of Boomers claimed they would be willing to share their shopping preferences in order to improve the service they received.
  • Eighty-seven percent of global consumers and 92 percent of U.S. consumers claimed they believe it is extremely important for companies to safeguard their information.
  • Fifty-eight percent of global consumers and 66 percent of U.S. consumers want companies to be more transparent about how the information they gather is used.

Accenture’s research asserts that on the whole, “many aspects of customer sentiment and frustration have changed very little over the years.” Nevertheless, despite the additional investments made to improve CX, few have been successful in generating growth or competitive advantage.

In order to address what the company is referring to as a “CX stagnation,” they proposed three fundamental opportunities. Primarily, companies should focus on minimizing “switching,” referring to the loss of one customer or client to another brand or company, by addressing the most common customer service frustrations such as having to contact the company multiple times for the same reason, dealing with unfriendly or impolite employees, and not being provided what was promised at the time of purchase.

The generation with the highest propensity to “switch” and therefore in need of the most retention efforts? Millennials. This is due in large part to their elevated “digital prowess” rendering them more adept at identifying their alternatives and accelerating purchasing power that has them on pace to control $24 trillion in wealth by 2020.

A second important opportunity outlined in the report includes upping the speed and scale at which uniquely-catered and innovative experiences are delivered. In order for this to be successful, two critical puzzle pieces are required: personalized and contextual data and digital trust. The underlying theme here is to work towards being a “living business,” with services and content that “always matter.”

Finally, Accenture points to AI as a significant space to be tapped into with respect to addressing the current customer experience dilemma. Per the report, 50 percent of customers no longer care if they are interacting with humans or AI-enabled technologies if it means getting a favorable experience. Further, of the 44 percent of consumers claiming they use some type of virtual assistant, 22 percent responded they do so on a daily basis.

Regarding how satisfactory they find their experiences with virtual assistants, 89 percent of U.S. consumers and 87 percent of global consumers reported they were satisfied.

Companies should keep in mind when developing and implementing their AI solutions, however, that more than 40 percent of consumers voiced at least one reason for not trusting digital assistants. As a general best practice, such concerns should never be a second thought and always taken seriously and addressed in a timely fashion.

Join us at SMWNYC (April 24-27) to explore these themes further across a variety of panels featuring speakers from leading brands, platforms, and startups. Register today to claim your pass.

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branding

5 Things You Can Expect To Learn At SMWNYC

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Conference

Vetting which educational and networking opportunities you participate in as a marketer can be a time-consuming task.

As you begin to make decisions on which events to prioritize in 2018, consider this your guide to what we’ll be offering at the tenth anniversary SMWNYC conference this April. Register for your pass by Jan. 19 to take advantage of a 30% early bird discount.

1. A cohesive theme

Our 2018 theme, “Closer,” explores technology’s dual ability to bring people together and drive them apart and seeks to find answers to how marketers, platforms, and citizens can ensure that innovation is a driving force for good. Within this theme, we’ll be discussing the respective impacts of personalization, automation, and the inherent divisiveness of social media.

2. Inspirational keynotes

Taking the stage in April are prominent artists and business minds like musician and entrepreneur Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and Meredith Kopit Levien, EVP & COO of The New York Times, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

3. Brand perspectives

SMWNYC’s programming lineup will include candid perspectives on challenges and opportunities from leading executives and senior brand marketers such as Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo, James Thompson, CMO of Diageo, Debbie Grishman, VP of Global Digital Brand at American Express, and John Nitti, CMO of Verizon.

4. Rising startups

We’ve also expanded our programming to include more sessions from the leading brands and individuals who are disrupting decades-old industries. Learn about winning growth strategies and business-building tips from founders representing companies such as Away, The Players’ Tribune, Bulletin, Acorns, Knotch, Chillhouse, Crisis Text Line, and more.

5. Actionable lessons

Across three stages, we’ll showcase dozens of brand case studies and tactical how-to sessions to arm you with the information you need to take action. Whether its an exclusive look at new opportunities within Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms, or presentations that show how emerging tech like AR, VR and voice can be used to drive ROI, we’ll give you actionable insights that can be put to work immediately.

Register now to claim your 30% discount and stay tuned for more updates and speaker announcements to come in the coming weeks.

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Brands

Say Goodbye To The Facebook ‘Engagement Bait’ Era

Social Media Week

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Marketing

It’s time to say sayonara to “engagement bait” as we know it.

Facebook took to its blog this week to announce a new update to its News Feed algorithm that will translate into “stricter demotions” for individual publishers or Pages who employ so-called engagement bait tactics designed to boost the reach of their posts.

So, what exactly is engagement bait? This is a tactic that increased in popularity as engagement became a core metric by which Facebook’s algorithm ranked organic content in the News Feed. The more likes, comments, and shares on a brand or publisher’s organic post, the bigger the boost in the feed. Once Page admins achieved results with this tactic, implementing CTAs like “SHARE THIS” and similar phrases became commonplace—with some prompts offering incentives for engagement in the form of contests and prizes.

Here are a few screenshots of such tactics in action. (By now you’ve probably seen most of these on your own timeline.)

Facebook’s aim with this announcement is to widen the gap between organic content that is high-performing by virtue of timeliness, quality, and relevance versus content that is bubbling up based on more “artificial” factors. Put another way, the platform wants to continue rewarding meaningful content while de-emphasizing the prominence of clickbait.

When it comes to which words and phrases will trigger the demotion of content, Facebook explains that they have reviewed “hundreds of thousands of posts” and used a machine learning model to predict the types of triggers that are most often correlated to engagement-baiting posts.

Facebook also clarified that it will not penalize, “posts that ask people for help, advice or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips.” As articulated by sources at The Next Web, “The issue isn’t people targeting their immediate personal network, but rather pages that can be viewed by the entire Facebook community.”

The demotions will begin immediately and roll out over the next few weeks, so brands should audit their Facebook strategies as soon as possible to avoid publishing the types of content that will suffer within the new News Feed environment. In the meantime, Facebook has issued a fair warning that any posts found to be begging for or baiting user engagement will see adverse effects in the form of a significant reduction in total reach.

However, such losses can be regained by through emphasis on “relevant and meaningful stories.” For some initial guidelines, the company encourages a visit to its “News Feed Publisher Guidelines” page.

Cover photo via Mashable.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

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How To Give Your “Boring” Brand A Fun Social Voice

Social Media Week

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Marketing

For some brands, social media marketing comes easy. The companies boast fun products or services, such as yogurt or pet grooming, or share recipes or pictures and become instant social media rock stars. The likes and comments skyrocket; consumers interact with the brand; and, most important of all, people buy yogurt or schedule an appointment for their furry friends.

Your company, though, might not offer such glamorous or entertaining products. Maybe you own a lawn service or sell something as utilitarian as toilet paper or tin foil. You might begin to wonder if social media is off limits because your brand seems so “boring.”

Just because you sell a product that’s perceived as unexciting doesn’t mean your brand voice has to speak in a mind-numbing monotone. With the following five tips, you can develop a vibrant social media voice that attracts new audiences and convinces them to buy from you.

1. Figure out the why

If you want to generate clicks through social media, you should first contemplate why people buy your product or service. Answering the question requires settling into your consumers’ mindset.

Your product convinces some people to make a purchase. Why? What makes it a better choice than your competitors’ products? The answers to those questions will inform you how to converse with people on social media. They’ll also affect your other marketing, advertising, and sales initiatives. As an example, if you manufacture an eco-friendly tin foil, its greenness could be the reason people choose you over another brand.

2. Reflect on your history

Think about why you got into business in the first place. Maybe you wanted to help people care for their lawns. Perhaps you hoped to make a product or service accessible to a different demographic.

Whatever the reason, let it influence how you speak on social media. Use your history, too. Some “boring” brands use #TBT posts, showcasing where they came from and where they are now. Borrow the idea to add a little spark to your social media marketing.

3. Embrace your quirky side

Almost everybody claims a “weird” hobby or obsession. For some, it’s Star Wars or Marvel. Other people fawn over coffee or golf. Think about your brand and its founders. Some of you likely have a unique interest or two.

Now, find where that quirkiness and your business meet. You might not be able to get away with a social media post devoted to Star Wars exclusively, but a Star Wars quote used to promote a product is another story, perhaps one found in a galaxy far, far away.

4. Champion your inner Bill Nye

People like Bill Nye because he makes science understandable. He also conducts live science experiments and applies science to real-world scenarios. But neither of those things completely explains people’s love for him. The explanation rests in who Nye is. He’s a complete nerd, and he showcases the quality every time he takes the screen.

You can do something similar with your brand voice. Find an employee who gets unreasonably excited about your product. Next, put them on camera, asking them to either talk about the product itself or demonstrate how to use the product in real-life situations. Publish the videos on YouTube and other social channels, and watch as consumer interest and engagement tick upward.

5. Talk like a human

The secret to social media success? Talk like a human. Humans enjoy being treated as humans. If you sound like a human rather than a robot, people will listen.

They will also start to see your brand as transparent and authentic, qualities that build rapport and trust. Those characteristics, in turn, persuade people to buy from you rather than a competitor. Developing that reputation doesn’t require complex mathematics or algorithms. All you need is to respond to consumers’ questions, join in online conversations, and talk about others more than yourself.

Social media is never out of reach, not even if you sell a “boring” product. With the advice shared here, you can develop a unique brand voice that raises awareness, builds loyalty, and increases sales.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

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