Top Takeaways from the F8 Conference

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The annual F8 Conference was held last week and we loved tuning in to see what’s next for Facebook. In his Keynote, Mark Zuckerberg went through the 10 year plan with the connectivity of the planet and bringing people together as the main message.

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Since there were so many tools and updates that were introduced during the F8 Conference, we took the most important and summarized them for you.

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Video Profile Images. You now have the option to upload a 7 second profile video that runs on a loop using Facebook’s Profile Expression Kit. You can use Boomerang, MSQRD, BeautyPlus, Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, lollicam or Vine to create your profile video . Although this is still closed, it will be available to the public soon.

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Save web pages. This allows you to save websites and articles straight to your account so that you can view them later. Facebook announced that there will be save button support for external websites, which will link back directly to the publisher’s website.

Quote-Sharing_1Quote sharing. Instead of copying and pasting text to Facebook, you can simply highlight and share it to Facebook. Facebook will then paste the text into a new post and include a preview of the original URL.

1*B2kY5buhEw3qQSHB6a4RjAMessenger bots. These “virtual assistants” give businesses opportunities to connect with customers straight from the app. You can do a subscription automation, customized communication or even purchases with these bots. Facebook will be adding more bots soon, so stay up to date with this list.

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Account kit. Keep forgetting your password? Don’t worry, Facebook has a solution. The Account Kit simplifies account registration and the login process. You can either use your phone number or email, no passwords are necessary. You’ll be sent a code to type in and it’s as simple as that!

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Facebook Live. You can now do this in groups or events that you couldn’t attend in person. You will be able to use Facebook’s reactions, 5 different color filters and doodling. The Live Map shows current broadcasts around the world.

Social Media in the News – July

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Another month has come and gone! Summer is flying by, and just like the weather, the social media world is also heating up. Here are the top social media headlines you may have missed from July!

Twitter updates security: Twitter released a password protected data dashboard that allows iStock_000033924868_Smallusers to privately manage their account. The dashboard has information about account history, blocked accounts and devices that are authorized to use the account.

 

 

Facebook restricts videos: Marketers and content creators now have more control over who watches their videos. Facebook already limits who can view the content based on location and language, and has added filters based on gender and age.

 

 

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YouTube is bigger than cable: YouTube is officially bigger than any single cable network. Its growth rate shows no signs of slowing down, upping 60% year-over-year.

 

 

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Send money over Facebook: Facebook’s messenger app now allows its users to send money to one another. Since the messenger app can now also be used without a Facebook account, these new features should equal new opportunities for the social media brand. Are you ready to hand over your bank info to Facebook?

 

Google removes pop-up “download app” ads on mobile: Google recently found that the ads asking users to download their app instead of viewing a page on a mobile browser will, more times than not, caused the user to abandon the page all together. In response, they have decided to remove the ad format, and recommend that everyone follow their lead.

New Facebook Privacy Tool

Via: Facebook.com
Via: Facebook.com

Via: Facebook.com

Surprise, surprise – Facebook is updating their policies again. You might have heard, as of January 1, 2015 Facebook will be sending each of their users a long email outlining new privacy settings and an interactive user tool called Privacy Basics. The new tool will allow users to effectively pick and choose who sees their content, and which ads they are served. This initiative comes in the middle of several yearlong debates over Facebook’s privacy capabilities for its users.

Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with just around 1.5 billion active monthly users. Despite it’s ubiquity, Facebook is constantly battling user distrust. Unfortunately for us marketers, a lot of that distrust is in advertising and the way in which Facebook is sharing personal information.

For those of you who have done Facebook marketing before, you know as well as I do how amazing it can be. The highly targeted capabilities are unlike any other digital platform. But, with the launch of Privacy Basics we may find that less and less people are being served ads. Now, people will have more control over the ads they are seeing. As a user I think is greatand as a marketer it is a little scary to me.  I believe that these changes are going to present a unique challenge for us (challenge accepted!). To learn more about how users will be able to customize ads they see, you can visit here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think these updates are great. I commend Facebook for giving more power to their users because frankly if people feel they are not in control they will eventually leave the platform rendering it useless. I am however intrigued to see where this will leave us as marketers in the New Year. Stay tuned for updates!

Why I am Thankful to be in Social Media

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VIA: http://bit.ly/1vJYHaC

Tis the season to be thankful, and today I am reflecting on all of the things I am grateful for as a social media manager. It is easy to get caught up in day-to-day humdrums, but there are a lot of little things that make my job and social media really great!

  1. Variety – Everyday I get to go to work and I have no idea what is in store for me. I work with clients that range from CPG to franchises, to non-profits. Each day is a little different and I am thankful to not feel the complacency caused by a monotonous job.
  2. Gratification – One of the best things about in working social media is the instant gratification. You think you enjoy it when your friends like a photo you posted? Well, how about hundreds of people liking that photo? Granted, I don’t always get positive feedback for the content I push out but when I do, man it is a great feeling.
  3. Meeting New People – Like I said, I work with a variety of different clients here at Cyphers. Each week I am given the opportunity to work with a ton of different people from all walks of life and I think that is pretty great.
  4. Freedom – I am so lucky to be able to work in an industry that embraces creativity and out of the box thinking. Sometimes, I get to work and I am like “ ahhhhhh I just need to do something NEW!” and bam, we have a client willing to go out on a limb and try something they have never tried before. Having the freedom to work my personal creativity into my everyday job is pretty awesome.
  5. Flexibility – Ever just want to stop what you’re doing and read Buzzfeed? Ever freak out when your boss walks by and you’re looking at an article entitled The Top 25 Dogs Eating Ice? Well, when you’re in social media – all of those things are relevant. I am thankful to work in an industry where my personal interest in social media bleeds into my professional interest. In short, I get to read things I love to better my professional work, it’s a real thing we call it industry reading.
  6. Evolution – Social media is constantly changing. It seems like every month there is a new tool, a new platform or a new update to Facebook. I am lucky to have to be on the top of my game at all times. The industry is fluid, and constantly changing. This makes for an interesting ride.

There are many more things I am thankful for and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope that everyone can sit down and reflect on the things they are thankful for this week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

This Week in Social Media Nov 7-14

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Well, stuff happened on the Internet this week. It’s a lot to keep up with, but I am going to give you the low down on the 4 things you absolutely should know. I will list them in order by least to most important for your convenience.

4. Dr. OZ Gets Destroyed On Twitter: It comes as no surprise to anyone that Dr. OZ is a bit of a sham. But, the Twitter sphere took no mercy when they lit him up earlier this week when he tried to host a Twitter Chat.

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People took the opportunity to ask Dr. OZ outlandish questions about his practices and his show. Needless to say it didn’t go over that well. Here is our favorite snarky response:

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Tip: when you open up a can of worms, you better make sure you have enough community mangers to shut it down.

3. Instagram Gets With the Times: As of 3 days ago you can finally edit all of those embarrassing typos on your Instagram feed! Up until this point users were unable to edit their posts without having to take a photo down and repost. Now, you can edit the caption by simply clicking the menu. It’s just so simple. Bravo, Instagram.!

2. Kim K. Tries to #BreakTheInternet: Unless you live under a rock there is no need for further explanation here.

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1. And Finally, Chubby Hamsters in Slow Motion:

And there you have it, the most important social media updates for the week! If you don’t already, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates on important news.

What The Ello?

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elloIf you have been on the Internet in the last few weeks then you have probably heard of a new social media site called Ello. This new platform is being referred to by some as the “anti-facebook” because of their aversion to advertisements – naturally I had to check it out.

Ello is currently in Beta, which means you can only join if you are invited ( see below). I was able to obtain an invite from a fellow social media enthusiast (thanks!) I had the opportunity to play around a little- here is what I can tell you.

1.  Ello boasts simplicity, and simple it is. The current features include: friending and following other users, posting pictures, GIFs and text, and liking other people’s posts. That. Is. it. There is nothing up and coming about Ello, in fact most of the appeal is that they are so stripped down. They don’t have a mobile app (although they claim to be developing one). They don’t have cross platform sharing. They don’t have an awesome way to search and catalog topics. You essentially login, post cool stuff, and look at other people’s cool stuff.

2. The layout & design is underwhelming. Like I said, Ello is simple and that can be refreshing. However, the usability is severely lacking. I am used to sites being responsive and intuitive.  I found myself wondering, “how do I even use this site?” Ello is kinda like taking a trip back to 2004, and in 2004 I was wearing bootcut jeans, no one wants to relive that.

3. Ello is not engaging. While exploring this platform I was reminded of why I love social media, because of the community. Social Media is not a new concept -people have been using word of mouth story telling since the beginning of time, the internet just gives us a platform to do this more frequently. But, what happens when none of your peers are there to hear what you have to say? My biggest issue with Ello is that none of peers are on the site. Now granted, this might have to do with it being in Beta and invite only and I am willing to give it another try if it becomes a bigger thing. But, if I am going to take the time to share something I find cool, unique or beautiful, I want to start a conversation about it. You can’t have a conversation with one person.

All in all Ello is a pretty cool concept. If nothing else, they have done a helluva job making a splash on the interwebs these last few weeks. If you want to check out Ello – I have 4 invites left. Let me know if you want to check it out by posting on our Facebook page (ironic I know) or tweeting at us! @CyphersAdAgency – first come first serve.

 

In the Wake of Tragedy: Where Do Brands Draw the Line?

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 4.35.21 PMIt’s been a rough couple of weeks for social media marketing. If you were on the Internet at all then you are aware of the major backlash brands received for chiming in on 9/11. While social media is an integral part of many marketing campaigns, the events of the last couple of weeks leave me wondering where and when brands should draw the line.

Capitalizing on trending topics is nothing new; in fact it is common practice. As marketers it is our job to search for topics that make our clients relevant to their audience – holidays and events are super easy to plan ahead for. Many times, consumers like seeing their favorite food brand wishing them “Happy Thanksgiving,” and people want to share a cute picture telling them to “Relax on Labor Day.” But, when special events surround tragedy and the people are seeking solace, perhaps it is not a time for brands to chime in.

As a social media manager, I had a really hard time watching the events that unfolded on 9/11 specific to brands tweeting and posting about the attacks. I am in the unique position to see both sides of the story, and from my point of view, it is a lose – lose situation. On one hand, people don’t want to see posts from CVS or AT&T. They want a day to talk freely on social media about how they feel in the aftermath of the worst attack on US soil in recent history. I understand as a user of social media myself; sometimes you just want it to be about people and relationships and not about consumerism. On the other hand however, I understand that brands want to take a stance. They want to be leaders, informers, and a reliable entity for their constituents. Not saying something about 9/11 could potentially make their loyal customers feel as if they don’t care.  The line we walk everyday is incredibly thin, and sometimes, especially in the heat of an incredibly hot topic, that line shatters and we are left do deal with the aftermath of the choices we made.

Here at Cyphers we actively made the choice when we were writing editorial calendars to step back on 9/11. We felt it didn’t behoove any of our clients to chime in. I am happy with that choice, especially now that brands are being chastised for their tweets and posts.

The Evolving Landscape of Facebook Marketing

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Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.01.24 AMAhhh the magical, evolving animal that is Facebook. A couple of months ago, we laid out some changes Facebook made this year that have deeply effected the way we market on this platform. Now, four months later, we are still learning what these algorithm changes mean for us and our clients. Here are some takeaways from a little trial and error over the last few months:

Its Not About Size: Back in the day (less than 5 years ago) Facebook for business was ALL about developing your community base. Its not to say the more followers you had made you a better page (but thats kinda what we’re saying). Having a larger audience made your brand seem legitimate. Now, although audience size is still important, we are really focusing on engagement. Because of the new changes, no matter how large your audience is, your fans just aren’t seeing your posts. If you are paying for ads to attract new likes to your page – consider dropping your budget and putting some of that money towards boosting your posts. This will allow your followers to see the stuff you are posting, and it won’t increase your overall budget.

You Have to Pay to be Seen: This is just the sad, sad truth. But the good news is that although you have to pay, it DOES NOT have to break the bank. When Facebook first introduced post boosting, you had to pay a minimum, and you could only boost for one day at a time. Now, Facebook allows you to boost for as little as $1 and you can choose to boost for 1 to 7 days. There are also more advanced targeting features that allow you to boost to specific, pre-determined audiences. Although this might not seem like great news – we actually believe that this allows your content to be pushed to people who will find it relevant. Keep in mind that although you do have to pay to be seen, organic reach still exists – there is a snowball effect so make sure your audiences is engaging. In short: you can get much better engagement and for just a little money.

Don’t Get Lost: We’ve said it before, but we will say it again. Social media is a saturated market. If you are not careful, you will get totally lost amongst the weeds. It used to be that posting everyday and even more than once a day meant more people would see your content. Now, posting 3-4 times a week and boosting those posts gives you a better chance of being seen. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule (Business Insider posts upwards of 10 times a day on Facebook and they are ALL over my feed, taking over my life- but that is another story). By paring down your editorial calendar and really focusing on the content that matters to you and your brand, you are far more valuable to your followers.

All in all, these Facebook changes have been a learning experience. The landscape is forever changing and we learn something new everyday. The key to social media success is to be open minded. Be willing to try new things (even if it means paying to boost posts) and you will be rewarded.

 

Facebook Retargeting: A Love Story

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I’ll be honest I am a total marketing nerd. I absolutely love it when I am sitting at my desk perusing the Internet and I am served a perfectly timed ad. One that I can’t even help but click on. It brings me joy knowing that someone, somewhere targeted that ad especially to me. And by clicking on it I am making them squeal with nerdy joy.

Just the other day, I was researching doggie daycares for my furry friend. I wasn’t finding anything that I liked and I was prepared to give up. Well then, as fate would have it, I was surfing Facebook and BOOM, the.perfect.ad. was served to me. It was everything I wanted, in home dog watching, in my area, in my price range. I had died and gone to retargeting heaven. I clicked, called, and booked the same day.

Facebook Retargeting Ads

Retargeting through Facebook, as you can see is very effective. Although some people find it invasive, I personally love the technology that allows brands to reach their exact  audience. You can now create retargeted ads using 3rd party platforms that serve ads when a cookie shows your consumers have looked at it. This takes Facebook advertising to a whole new level and allows you to customize your campaigns.

My Favorite Digital Things

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Look, I don’t want to pick favorites or anything but some brands just do it better. There’s been a lot going on in the social-digi-blogi-sphere as of late. Here is a round up of my top favorite digital brands right now.

Best Website – Williams Sonoma: Because content marketing and blogging are so widely popular,  large ecommerce websites are finding it hard to keep up with the kind of content consumers want. Williams Sonoma is doing a great job of bringing customers in and giving them the large photos, intuitive information hierarchies and streaming content they want.

Favorite Digital Brands - Website

Best Instagram – Warby Parker: Hands down, my favorite Instagram account right now is Warby Parker. I love that they stay completely on brand without being overwhelmingly self serving.  Their posts consist of cool videos, pictures of their employees or just plain old glasses photos. Check out their account here.

Best Blog/E Newsletter – Refinery29: Without fail, Refinery29 will send me an email that is exactly what I need at that moment. I don’t know if they have drones that follow me around everywhere, or if they have just really honed in on their audience. Either way they are brilliant.

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Best Facebook Page – Oreo: Oreo has always been a leader in social media. Remember that tweet during the super bowl that completely changed the face of real time marketing? Yeah, that was cool. Well, they continue to have some really awesome stuff on their Facebook page. Cute, branded content, interesting videos, and tons of engagement.

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Most Clickable Content – Buzzfeed: This is cliché, I know. But I can’t help but continue to be addicted to Buzzfeed. Not only have they completely pioneered content marketing, they continue to be a leader in this space. I love how they can simultaneously feature “ Which Disney Princess Are You” quizzes next to hard-hitting news articles about Iraq. The juxtaposition of these types of content speak to our society as a whole. I think that Buzzfeed has made a lot of important issues (like sleepy puppies) more tangible to young readers.

Most Clickable Content BuzzFeed

 

My favorites are always changing, and I am constantly on the lookout for brands who are really going above and beyond.