Friday Jun 20, 2014

Your Paid Social Marketing is Feeling Lonely

There was a time not long ago when a lot of thought leadership articles talked about the need for the cooperation and integration amongst departments in the enterprise (not happening at breakneck speed by the way).  Now, apparently a call is also needed for paid marketing efforts, including paid social marketing, to also not be walled off from each other.

I suppose wherever there are limited dollars and multiple paid options, there will be little tugs-of-war to see where the money lands. But just as CMO’s and CIO’s have benefits to reap from working in tandem, so too do paid ad options.

Here at Oracle Social, we have several inaugural paid social platforms integrated into the Oracle SRM, one of them being Kenshoo. They wondered how adding Facebook ads to paid search campaigns would affect performance and cost. So they ran a campaign with Experian to foster online applications for their credit reports.

After a couple of weeks of exposing different US audiences to different Facebook ads spending totals, they saw a 19% average jump in total conversions for those that saw the Facebook ads vs. those that only saw the paid search ads. For those who did see Facebook ads, average cost-per-acquisition was down 10%. Why? Our friend conversions!

In fact, conversions kept going up as Facebook ad spend went up. Naturally, they eventually found a “sweet spot” at which the most benefit was being harvested for the least expense. But the point is that any belief one paid marketing tactic has no affect on the others, that multiple types can’t leverage each other toward the same goal, is wrong.

Adweek has commented that we are in the "paid" chapter of social’s evolution. All that means is the social networks need revenue, so paying-to-play to the audiences we brands spent years and dollars amassing is the order of the day. The good news is, it works.

Social brings reach, targeting, retargeting, user sharing, social big data, location…all kinds of things that drive critical relevancy to ad messaging. These abilities in social ad products will only continue to grow. Using paid social to give your content a fighting chance to win organic validation and thus, benefit search results, is becoming standard practice. Such worthy content is even being called “the new SEO.”

So if that’s the case, Kenshoo’s findings shouldn’t startle us very much. Kenshoo’s Chris Costello points out, “There are only so many people searching for things. Running Facebook ads can not only get more people to search, but they can make the search ads work better by instilling brand preference in searchers and driving them to convert at higher rates.”

A Visu survey shows marketers are increasingly “getting it,” orchestrating paid social with not just search, but with their entire menu of digital and traditional media choices. Putting paid social marketing in its own box presupposes customers are only exposed to one paid media choice during a purchasing journey. Kenshoo’s Aaron Goldman says nope, they don’t distinguish between channels, and this study proves brands that think like customers and don’t force paid social to go it alone will see cross-channel rewards.

@mikestiles @oraclesocial

Friday Apr 11, 2014

Twitter Advertising: 15 New Ways to Bet on Your Content

Reality check: like Facebook, Twitter has to make money.  And in the absence of charging users a subscription fee to use it, that money has to come from Twitter advertising.

The profitless Twitter makes most of its revenue from advertising, $219.6 million in Q4, which doubles the previous year’s numbers. So it occurred to them that if they offered you marketers more advertising products and options, that number would only go higher.

Enter 15, count ‘em, 15 new ad plays that will be coming your way from Twitter over the next 6 months. And from the reports so far, if your goals are downloads, subscriptions, or purchases, these products will speak more to your needs than existing offerings.

Expect most of these products to be fueled by the Twitter Card technology, which allows functionality to be programmed into tweets. This allows for a world of one-click calls-to-action not possible in regular tweets, which, given the speed and immediacy with which people use the platform, is almost a must to capture desired engagement. Users can download an app, get someone on the phone, make a purchase, sign up for a contest, etc.

But the big question: will Twitter users think these are cool opportunities? Or will they see them as highly intrusive, annoying ads? That depends a great deal on what you do.

Twitter hasn’t really upped the ad content since their first product in 2010, and that’s because they’ve been pretty diligent about the user experience. So far their ad products have not done damage, but these new 15 do represent risk. As it is, a Deutsche Bank Securities report showed 85% of users said the ads they get aren’t relevant.

So Twitter and you marketers are about to jump into the unknown together. These ads must be targeted and relevant. They must be served up at just the right rate. And they must be of quality; meaning what it always means for content - it entertains, it informs, or it offers something of real value. Put out flops and you inflict damage to both Twitter and your brand.

In short, when it comes to Twitter advertising you’re about to pay to get your content in front of more user eyeballs, and in so doing you’re placing a bet that said content is going to be appreciated and welcomed, not a user experience downer.

Photo: stock.xchng

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Facebook Business Manager: THE Answer for Brands?

social businessSo you’ve got a lot of Facebook Pages to manage but you still haven’t employed a social relationship management platform to handle them, as well as your other social media channels.  If that’s your situation, the recent revelation Facebook is developing something called the Facebook Business Manager might have struck your interest.

It will only hold your interest, however, if you are a relatively small brand, and are social marketing only on Facebook.

What Facebook is doing with Business Manager is the best it can do, try to help brands and agencies cope with multiple Pages and ad accounts. From Facebook’s own description: management can happen in one place, ad accounts are easier to set up and manage, account permissions are easier and clearer, and you don’t have to friend someone or have their Facebook login email to give them access to accounts (which should help cut down on the building of fake profiles for business Page management).

What does this mean for brand social marketers and agencies? Well it means Facebook sees what third party developers have been doing, and they like it. They think it makes total sense. And while Business Manager is meant to help big brands and agencies, the question arises, what big brand or agency only markets on Facebook?

If anything, this underscores how indispensable a social relationship management platform that offers deeper functionalities and aggregation across multiple social channels is.

  • Aggregated analytics across all your properties.
  • Tools like Oracle Social’s “Engage” that let you triage, assign, and process all incoming engagement across social networks.
  • Publishing and scheduling via a powerful workflow system across multiple social networks.
  • Additional security features
  • Industry-leading listening capability across the Internet at large

This is modern, enterprise level social marketing. And to their credit, Facebook is not insinuating this is the end of Preferred Marketing Developers, saying, "We're also working on API availability so PMDs can build it into their tools and interfaces, as well as build their own proprietary tools and interfaces on top of it - just like they do with our ads API." They know big players need advanced features and an integrated social marketing picture that doesn’t end with Facebook.

Obviously, we’ll learn more as Facebook Business Manager rolls out to more users and continues its development. But the reality of our social multi-channel world will hopefully inspire you to look more closely into the comprehensive platforms that truly set you up for not just modern marketing, but the socially enabled enterprise.

Photo: Zlyoga, stock.xchng

Friday Mar 14, 2014


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