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Social Media

Facebook: Your New Concierge

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By Ilya Cherepakhin

Facebook_295x175Recent changes are now elevating Facebook to become an active decision-making vehicle, paving the way for greater transformation of Social as a channel. For a while, Facebook primarily enabled information sharing. Now, what used to be passive information – a restaurant suggestion, travel recommendation, or doctor referral – is being amplified to become more actionable and intuitive.

This is especially important for location based information where considerations such as distance are important in decision-making. In particular, when combined with insights on popularity from other trusted sources, Facebook is well positioned to detect signals of user intent and combine them into helpful suggestions.

With its recent recommendations feature, Facebook is transitioning from a passive sharing vehicle to a recommendation engine. Like a concierge, Facebook is now helping us make complex decisions using multiple sources of information.

Last week, I had a relative visiting and was hoping to have dinner at a steakhouse. I posted a question on Facebook asking for ideas and got several suggestions. To my surprise, Facebook even analyzed them enabling me to save me time in deciding where to go!

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Facebook mapped the suggestions using the mentions in each comment. Profile pages for the recommended restaurents were incorporated into the comments and into map pins. Friends who recommended each place were listed throughout the recommendation pins. Minutes later, I skipped through the restaurant pages and made a reservation with Facebook’s convenient ‘Book Now’ link.

At Acronym, we like to think of users as moving along the See/ Think/ Do stages in their decision making. Traditionally, media channels would align closest with an individual stage of this journey. With the recent changes, Facebook is actively expanding beyond the ‘See’ stage to play in the ‘Think’ and even ‘Do’ stages.

Akin to a search engine, Facebook is transforming into a problem-solving vehicle. Until now, when needing to book a hotel or restaurant, would anyone have thought of doing that exclusively on Facebook? Maybe not. They likely would have asked friends for input, and the process would have stopped there.

Now – armed with all the information and new functionality – the whole process can be completed in a matter of clicks. Who knows, with voice search and AI taking things to new heights, maybe soon we will be asking Facebook to book our next vacation.

 

AcroBabble – Going (Creatively) Digital – August 25, 2016

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Going (Creatively) Digital

Acrobabble_295x175

Welcome to ‘Acrobabble’ where we check-in with our team members to see what industry news piece that have made it onto their reading list.

Winston Burton | VP, SEO

Google says bots are the main target of Keyword Planner changes; a lot of questions remain

This is interesting because all search engine marketers use the insights and volumes associated with Google Keyword Planner to optimize our SEO and PPC campaigns. With this data being limited, we are losing insights into which keywords have volume and it limits our focus areas from an optimization perspective. We need to fully understand why Google is doing this and what benefits they are getting from it because they could have put in a Captcha to stop bot traffic.

 

Samantha Kretmar | Social & Research Analyst

Facebook’s Released Another New App to Appeal to Teen Users

This article offers some good insight into yet another offering from Facebook which attempts to place the platform as the leader in the emerging video content trend.  As marketers look to the future of social media and online content, Facebook’s new “Lifestage” application gives additional weight to the argument that video will emerge as the dominant content form in the near future.

 

Peter Semetis | Director, PPC

[APK Download] Chrome for Android Beta 53 enables the new Payment Request API, allows muted video to auto-play

This Fall, it’s heavily rumored that Google and Apple will be rolling out mobile payment options for mWeb. The Android blogger analyzed the code behind Chrome-Android beta 53 and found a hint of what Google’s readying for Holiday ’16.

“The most interesting addition in version 53 is a new API for quickly checking out on mobile online purchases. It’s sort of like the streamlined payment options already offered by PayPal and Visa, but it works with any payment system and it’s built into the browser.

Of course this kind of functionality requires websites to explicitly support it, and that isn’t likely to happen in the short term. If it’s going to pick up, Google needs to aggressively promote the future to web retailers – perhaps some integration with the paid Google Shopping service is in order.”

 

 

Brian Ratzker | Director, SEO

Google’s Chrome Browser to Block Flash Starting in September

This is a good FYI to anyone that still uses Flash.

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Why Nobody Is Clicking On The Links You Share On Social Media

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By Danny Goodwin

Social_295x175

If sharing is caring, but pretty much nobody cares enough to read what you’re sharing, then has your social media marketing failed? Or are we just truly living in a headline culture now, where nobody reads beyond a story headline?

If you’ve ever shared an article or some other type of content without reading it, you aren’t alone. The click-through rate on Twitter is ridiculously low – the most recent figure I could find claims the average CTR is 1.64%. Basically, that means that 99 out of the 100 people who see your tweet won’t click on your link.

So is it time to write Twitter off? Hardly.

Twitter may not drive a ton of traffic to your website, but it still has a lot of value, whether it’s to build brand awareness, inspire your audience, share news, provide customer service, or engage in one-on-one conversations.

Here’s a look at a recent study that details the state of Twitter link clicks, what it means for your content strategy, and how to entice more people to actually click on your headlines.

Twitter: Sharing vs. Reading

Fifty-nine percent of the content shared on Twitter never got a single click, according to a recent study by researchers at Microsoft, Columbia University, and the French National Institute. Their study concluded that there is a poor correlation between social shares and views.

The researchers discovered that 2.8 million links shared on Twitter from five popular news publications (BBC News, Huffington Post, CNN, The New York Times, and Fox News) generated 9.6 million visits to 59,000 pages.

The researchers also found that just 9% of the links shared on Twitter generated 90% of all clicks. They referred to this as “blockbuster content”.

So what’s the solution?

Create Blockbuster Content!

With 193 movies out so far this year, “Captain America: Civil War” has been the biggest, making more than $1 billion as of this writing. This one Marvel movie has made more money than at least the bottom two-thirds of all movies released this year combined.

This is also probably true for most publishers. You’ll find that your top 10% of content will drive the most traffic (or generate the most leads/sales).

Consumers are distracted and have tons of options. Your blockbuster content needs to stand above the rest (here are seven tips to get you started). Your piece of content needs to be the best answer or resource, whether it inspires, informs, educates, entertains, or sells.

But it’s more than just content. You need a headline that’s optimized for clicks and shares.

5 Important Elements To Help You Write Viral Headlines

BuzzSumo, a tool that tracks the popularity of content across social platforms, did some research to see what makes a viral headline. Let’s walk through those five incredibly important elements, using the basic sub-headline I just used.

  1. Format (“5”): Whether your content comes in the form of a list, a quiz, a study/research, or an e-book, your headline should make this obvious. Not every piece of content will appeal to every person. You need to figure out which types of content perform best with your target audience and are helping you achieve your goals.
  1. Emotion (“Important”): Generic headlines get generic responses (or none). That’s why you need to include a strong emotional hook – words like shocking, inspiring, funny, and controversial get more shares and clicks.
  1. Content Type (“Elements”): This element ties into the structure of your piece, whether it’s strategies, tips, reasons, questions, images, charts, quotes, or videos. If your headline promises 10 quotes, you better deliver 10 quotes!
  1. Promise (“To Help You”): Think of this as the reader benefit. How will it help the reader? Make it clear here, whether it will teach them how to do or improve something, save them money, or make them smarter or healthier.
  1. Topic (“Write Viral Headlines”): This is your keyword—which queries you want to be found for by consumers. If you’re a marketing agency, your keyword would be marketing-focused; if you’re a news site, this is your hot news topic; or if you sell baby toys, you’d use your baby keywords.

Putting it all together:

piat

Ideally, your headlines should include all five of these elements. And your headline should accurately reflect your content.

Don’t write clickbait-style headlines just for the sake of clicks. Write headlines that reward consumers for their click! Most clickbait feels like punishment.

Is it possible to include these five viral elements with every piece of content you create? Honestly, no. No amount of viral headline magic will turn the most boring piece of content into a blockbuster that tons of people will want to share and read.

However, if you include these elements in your headline, and create content that your audience wants to share and read, you will maximize your efforts. Most importantly, this will help you use your audience to reach and be discovered by an audience you want to reach.

Danny GoodwinDanny Goodwin has been a professional editor, writer, and ghostwriter in the marketing industry for 10 years, creating content for SMBs to global brands, spanning all things search and digital. He currently writes for Search Engine Journal, and formerly was managing editor for Momentology and editor for Search Engine Watch.

Twitter: @DannyNMIGoodwin
LinkedIn: Danny Goodwin

How to Solve the Brand Tribute Problem

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Brand-Tribute_295x175In addition to the search business, Mike Grehan, Chief Marketing Officer at Acronym, knows more than a little bit about music and bands. His father Ray was co-founder and owner of the Club A’GoGo, the famous 1960’s U.K. watering hole where the legendary rock group The Animals started their career. Ray’s business partner, Mike Jeffrey, would go on to become the manager for Jimi Hendrix.

So when rock star Prince passed away and social media lit up with post-mortem praise, Lisa Lacy at Momentology decided to do a deep dive on the practice of marketers paying tribute to dead people who may have had nothing to do with what they sell. “Look at the flurry of Prince tribute roundups from some of the most respected names in marketing news – even they struggle to define clear brand tribute rules and, at times, contradict themselves,” Lacy wrote.

There seems to be general agreement that Minnesota brands were granted some slack when it comes to saluting stars within their geographic proximity. Although brands like 3M and Chevrolet (visual: a little red Corvette) nonetheless got both cheers and jeers.

Grehan, meanwhile, starts with the premise that brands are not people. He told Lacy that a better way for brands to pay their respects to Prince would have been to make a donation to a music charity or to invest in music education.

“Does Prince need a tribute from Cheerios? He never endorsed them when he was alive,” said Grehan. “What if he never even ate them? What if he hated them? What kind of tribute is that?”

In short, Grehan feels that a brand that has no connection to the person who passed and, in the case of Prince, no connection to the music industry is giving nothing and, moreover, probably doesn’t have a staff member who knows more than one Prince record. “Here’s the question…If you think Prince is so great, why did you wait until he was dead to pay him a tribute?”

As for the chances of Grehan ever becoming eligible for such beyond-the-grave commercial sentiments—good or bad—he was taught to play drums by Animals drummer John Steel and also learned to play guitar. Sounds promising.

“At various times in my youth, I was, arguably, the world’s worst drummer in the world’s worst band, only surpassed by becoming the word’s worst guitarist in the world’s other worst band,” Grehan said.

Read the Momentology story here.

 

 

 

Mastering Snapchat Marketing on a Budget

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By Sam Hollingsworth

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send and receive “self-destructing” photos and videos, or digital media that is only temporarily available for viewing. The photos and videos taken and shared on the app are called Snaps, and users are able to personalize them in unique ways. But how does this tool fit into a big brand’s marketing approach? Like most social platforms, it has evolved since its inception, and it’s certainly been tweaked to better suit marketers (and generate profit).

Brands are constantly challenged with discovering new ways to use social media channels, which are created with the individual user’s experience in mind as opposed to a brand’s ability to market or sell products (at least in the beginning).

First, marketers examine audiences: where the people are and who they are. Once they’ve identified the right channel for their marketing efforts, the real challenge is how a brand sends an effective marketing message to the right users in a way that is not invasive, but useful and in the best case, sought-after.

Dating back to the beginning of the social-marketing revolution of the 2000s, many old-school marketers dismissed Facebook and Twitter as unnecessary. Now those marketers are on both of those social networks, as well as LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, among a plethora of other available options depending on your audience and niche.

Let’s examine one relatively new channel that has been having monumental success, Snapchat. We’ll analyze how it works and what marketers are doing to make sure they are successfully utilizing it even if they don’t have a big budget to work with.

Brands Discover Snapchat

Snapchat added its “Discover” feature in January 2015, an ad-supported feature made up of videos and photos published by outside organizations as well as by Snapchat-hired journalists and videographers. Discover allows major publishers — “creatives” as Snapchat calls them in its release of the feature , <http://snapchat-blog.com/post/109302961090/introducing-discover> — like CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, MTV and Vice to share stories with all of Snapchat’s users. These stories can also be re-shared by users to their followers.

Brands that aren’t one of the 20 publishers on the Discover feature have had to get creative to find what works best in their marketing approach on the always-expiring social platform, though.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell (username tacobell on Snapchat) recently offered its users some menu hacks on Snapchat. A clever and simple way to not only grow its company base directly, but also create engagement with users.

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It properly ended its menu-hacking mini-series with a call-to-action (CTA) to increase engagement:

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Once a user messages the brand account, the brand can reply with a pre-constructed Snap containing a discount code or other CTA. This is the modern-day coupon of Snapchat.

WWE

Wrestling entertainment giant WWE, which has been committed to a wide variety of different social media platforms over the years, has also done its part to stay relevant on Snapchat. The company often posts Snaps from events, both televised and non-televised, similar to the images and videos it shares on its other social channels, but with unique Snapchat features like geofilters and emojis over its images.

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WWE, like many other brands, also uses the platform to reinforce hashtags. This increases the exposure of its content and increases engagement with users.

IHOP & Cheerios

Restaurants exercise similar tactics in their cross-channel marketing efforts. IHOP recently piggybacked on National Pancake Day with a hashtag and event coverage that included a cameo from the company president, a reminder to grab free pancakes from the nearest IHOP, and more.

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Brands also have the ability to get unique sponsored filters added to the app for a specific amount of time and for the right price, of course. Some of the most popular brands have utilized these, including Cheerios for National Cereal Day and IHOP for National Pancake Day.

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Effective Snapchat Marketing Tactics

Other effective Snapchat tactics include contests, behind-the-scenes content, celebrity takeovers, product previews and details surrounding customer service issues. Some tactics work better than others depending on the industry and products, but there is certainly no lack of creativity for the best marketing on Snapchat.

Like many social channels, Snapchat gives users the feel of a personable line of communication with a famous person, figurehead or brand itself. This is why celebrity takeovers are fairly common and rather successful, not just on Snapchat but on social networks like Twitter and Instagram, too.

Remember, the same element that makes Snapchat a tricky tool to masterfully market is the same element that makes the one-of-a-kind tool so uniquely useful: it the truest form of real-time marketing, and it has an expiring shelf life.

Originally published at Momentology http://www.momentology.com/10145-snapchat-marketing-ideas/

 

 

Bio:

SamHeadshotSam Hollingsworth is an SEO Manager at Acronym with an emphasis on Content Marketing and Social Media. Originally from Upstate New York, he now resides in Manhattan and enjoys watching his New York Rangers and New York Knicks just a few of blocks away from work at the Empire State Building. You may also find Sam watching horse racing at Belmont Park or Aqueduct Racetrack throughout the year, or at Saratoga Race course near his hometown in Saratoga Springs during summer. Sam can be reached via Twitter at @SearchMasterGen

The Battle for the Newsfeed: Twitter’s Latest Algorithm Update

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By Samantha Kretmar

Twitter295x175Earlier this week, Mashable broke the story about Twitter shaking up its part of the social universe with an announcement about the changing face of its newsfeed. The network has been desperately struggling to determine how to attract more users and generate additional revenue from its base of about 320 million monthly active users. At first glance, the latest newsfeed change doesn’t present a clear solution to either challenge.

Sometime ago, Twitter announced the release of the “Moments” feature, which sought to help solve the monetization question by offering users a way to curate the content of their Twitter newsfeeds, which can often seem confusing and disorganized to those who aren’t Twitter power-users. The confusion surrounding content and the organization of the newsfeed remains one of the highest barriers to entry for users joining Twitter. Moments sought to alleviate this issue by categorizing newsfeed content and aggregating posts from those people one follows and others influential to a particular event or “moment,” like the Super Bowl. The latest iteration of the newsfeed update seeks to do something similar by helping to aggregate content in a more organized fashion and, in this case, sorting it by showcasing the “best tweets” at the top of the feed—out of chronological order. However, users can opt-out of this upgrade and keep the newsfeed in the traditional chronological order.

While this recent newsfeed upgrade does offer the possibility of making Twitter easier to navigate for new users, the backlash from existing users has been strong. Regardless, the real question remains the same: will the newsfeed algorithm update be enough to reverse the tide of shrinking monthly active users on Twitter and attract more, new users? The answer: no. This newsfeed update doesn’t offer enough incentive to make Twitter easy enough to use that Granny will join, the same way she hopped on Facebook, and not just to play Candy Crush!

Twitter remains a platform recognized for delivering short tidbits about trending topics that are highly ephemeral and temporal in nature. As a result, the older, non-digital native demographic groups that have embraced Facebook for the social snooping it facilitates don’t get the same benefit from Twitter, and therefore don’t have the same impetus to join. If you aren’t interested in the latest rant from Kanye West or by-the-moment news and political updates, then Twitter doesn’t really jive with you.

In thinking about the percentage of the populous that cares enough about those “of-the-moment” news and pop-culture updates to overcome the barrier of entry to Twitter—taking the time to follow the right people to get the flow of content desired in one’s newsfeed—it makes sense why Twitter’s audience has reached a plateau. Additionally, the trend and time sensitive nature of Twitter also makes it a difficult space in which brands and advertisers can engage. For success on Twitter, brands need to create content on the fly to capitalize on trending conversations and opportunities, and the moments are rare when a brand’s core products or tenants actually align to a trend on Twitter to justify such an investment. Given both of these factors working against an increased pool of users on Twitter and the desirability of the platform for advertisers, Twitter needs to think outside the newsfeed to find a solution to these issues.

 

Ranking The Ways That Social Media Affects Search

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By Paul Krellwitz

290x175SEOMOBILEThe most official concrete proof we have that social media does not directly impact SEO is then-prominent Googler Matt Cutts’ quote in a January 2014 YouTube video on the topic.

So if social doesn’t impact the ranking algorithm, then why bother trying to amass such things as Likes, Shares and Tweets?

The key to Matt’s statement is the word “directly.” We can accept that the number of Likes, Shares, Tweets, etc. that any given social media post receives doesn’t impact the ranking algorithm. However, we need to recognize several other elements.

• Social signals are factors that correlate strongly to better rankings
• High-ranked URLs have more social cues than those sites farther down the SERPs
• A high number of positive social signals implies that the site is a brand or regularly adds new content
• Social Signals do play a role in direct traffic, brand awareness and overall online performance of a domain

[x_video_embed type=”16:9″ no_container=”true”][/x_video_embed] Basically, good content performs better on social networks, and search engines want to recognize and display good, relevant and up-to-date content.

Additionally, there are some other elements that bear consideration.

Social Media Profiles DO Rank In Search Engines

This means that your social media profile pages have the potential to bolster your branded keyword phrases by taking up Search Engine Results Page (SERP) spots, thereby preventing competitors or non-relevant sites from ranking there.

Now Doesn’t Mean Never
Just because social media signals don’t impact rankings directly at the moment, doesn’t mean that they won’t further down the road. It’s best to be well positioned in case that day comes.

Social Media Builds Links
So it’s true that 10,000 Shares, Tweets and Likes won’t automatically vault you to the top of the SERPs for your top non-branded KW phrases. But 10,000 Shares, Tweets and Likes greatly increase the probability that you’re URLs will garner external links from blogs, media and other credible online sources. Those links can have a direct impact on your rankings and ultimately, which is why social media is important to SEO.

  • Publish High Quality Content – Just as in SEO, in social media content is king. Produce compelling content that your audience will want to share with friends, associates and everyone in their network.
  • Make Social Sharing Easy – Include social share buttons on your website pages to make it simple for users to pass information along.
  • Don’t Underestimate Imagery and Profile Appearance – While content is king, recognize that a customized visually appealing social media profile is more likely to hold your audience.
  • Use The Keywords That Matter – Be sure that the content in your posts uses the critical non-branded language that supports your products or services. The language in those posts won’t provide anchor text links. But it will educate your users on the language that’s important to you and it will influence how they talk about you. This will increase the likelihood that they will use that language in their posts.

Sources:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-seo/
https://blog.kissmetrics.com/social-media-and-seo/
Searchmetrics 2015 Ranking Factors Whitepaper

 

Paul is the Direcor of SEO. In this role he leads a team of SEO Managers and Analysts across a broad spectrum of accounts. His primary role is to oversee the development and execution of SEO strategies ensuring those strategies align both with SEO best practices as well as the client’s business needs and goals.

Paul has worked in the SEO industry in a variety of ever expanding roles for over eleven years and counting! Prior to working at Acronym, Paul spent the last 4 years at Tiny Prints, Inc building and managing the Search Engine Optimization team. His role there was to lead the team responsible for researching, developing recommendations and implementing strategies designed to positively influence keyword rankings, thereby increasing organic traffic and conversion.