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Facebook introduces hashtags

•June 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Facebook has typically relied on its users having strong one-to-one relationships, with connections developed between people based on existing relationships and shared experiences. The news feed has focused on showing updates that are deemed the most relevant to the user based on recent interactions with friends and pages or the popularity of updates with other friends. This social context has given Facebook a strong proposition for its users and advertisers however it has struggled to capitalize on the opportunity to engage users in topical events and discussions.

Facebook will roll out hashtags for events, people and topics, allowing users to view a feed of updates from all users who have included the hashtag in their post, regardless of their connection. Hashtags will be clickable within the platform to see what other users and Pages are saying about a particular event or topic. The visibility of the hashtagged content will depend on the privacy settings determined by the user for updates.

Continue reading ‘Facebook introduces hashtags’

Twitter advertising for reputation management

•April 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Salesforce have officially announced the release of, a biddable media tool for Facebook and Twitter advertising. This should help navigate the existing minimum spends dictated by the likes of Twitter and give brands an opportunity to cost effectively experiment with Twitter’s promoted product suite.

An example of a key opportunity surfaced today with Hyundai requiring unexpected reputation management in light of the release of a UK ad which depicts a failed suicide attempt to promote the IX35. The US Twitter account was quick to post condemnation of the ad with a tweet linking to a succinct press release regarding the ad.

Given the volume of discussion on Twitter, securing sponsored tweets targeting those searching for Hyundai or, thanks to Twitter’s new targeting options, those tweeting about Hyundai, you could ensure that any official statement is targeted directly at the people currently discussing your brand.

Here’s hoping we can all avoid circumstances that would require reputation management. If you need to react quickly to a growing volume of negative sentiment on Twitter, tactical ads will surely be best practice for future crisis comms.

Music as social content

•January 22, 2013 • 2 Comments

In recent years we’ve seen the dominance of the image-powered web, where photos evolved from memories captured in albums to moments communicated in real-time. We adapted to this engaging format assisted by social networks like Facebook, where the simple “hack” of tagging people made them the largest photo sharing platform on the web, and Instagram, who offered context through geo-social data while offering community through hashtags. As personal content creators we prioritised imagery – whether it be photos of what we ate, text or a quote layered over a pic, a browser screengrab or crudely drawn comics. With the humble image safely ingrained as our content format of choice, the question is which format can be reinvented next. While most seem to assume that video is the next format to take centre stage in content marketing, I can see a different contender starting to make some noise – music.

Music is as emotive as a photo, with the ability to capture a moment, a friendship or even a decade. It can inspire communities around artists or genres and we look to it to both match and affect our mood. We are collectors; our personal libraries tell a story of the albums that shaped our lives, of the flings with one hit wonders, and the shameful little secrets that sneak their way into our musical history. iTunes may have introduced us to the digital age of music but we’re only just starting to see what social can do for it. Why could music be the next big thing in social content? Continue reading ‘Music as social content’

Is engagement a false priority?

•November 22, 2012 • 2 Comments

Over the years we’ve been trained to recognise the importance of engagement as we craft marketing messages designed to trigger a like, comment or share. Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm forced engagement as a priority; not only will an engaging update perform better but you will also be penalised with lower reach opportunities should you fail to deliver interactions.

The passive voyeur has been shunned, demoted to an insignificant proportion of audience segmentation as we pander to the like-friendly, comment-happy “advocate”. There’s already a concern that in an attempt to maintain reach numbers for updates to existing fans, there will be an overwhelming sense of desperation in your Facebook news feed as brands beg for an interaction and we’ll begin to see engagement fatigue.

I was somewhat relieved to see this article – Facebook’s View Tags Show That Views Can Be More Valuable Than Clicks. Sales speak louder than actions. And surely if this is the case for the path to purchase, this should be reflected in our always-on communications.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denouncing the power of engagement – encouraging a fan to talk favourably about your brand and product so that it shows up in the news feeds of their network can be an extremely useful tactic. But the false priority of engagement for the sake of engagement (or “winning” Edgerank) is going to weaken social marketing. The significance is supposed to be in the social context, not the ability to get a reaction from a witty update.

Facebook: beyond the social network

•October 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There’s been a long standing myth that social media marketing is free. While the likes of Facebook and Twitter have never charged for the privilege of setting up an owned channel within their platform, brands were often surprised at the time and money required to set up and maintain an effective presence. Facebook was able to monetize the opportunity by offering a strong advertising model – the use of profile data for targeted ad campaigns for fan acquisition. A well-managed ad campaign would deliver fans to the page for a reasonable spend. The value of that acquisition was derived from the following:

  • profiling should ensure the fan is in the target market
  • the fan has demonstrated interest in the brand by opting in to future messages
  • the brand has the opportunity to continuing communicating with the fan at no additional cost

These are benefits a smart marketer can use to their advantage. They were strong enough propositions to convince businesses to invest money in Facebook despite concerns over ROI (particularly for those without an e-commerce solution). Facebook delivered the opportunity for brands to speak to their target audience on a daily basis for the cost of acquiring their registration of interest.

The times they are a-changing. Facebook is evolving (into a chair apparently) and marketers are now asked to reconsider the idea of Facebook as a social network and see the investors’ vision:  a mass reach impactful media platform.  So what does this mean? Continue reading ‘Facebook: beyond the social network’

Twitter Marketing Essentials

•September 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s always a pleasure to speak at the Online Marketer Conference and this week was no exception. I presented Twitter Marketing Essentials at the SMX and OMX bootcamps in Melbourne and despite the fact that the majority of the room did say they were on Twitter, it was nice to see the smartphones and tablets tucked away in favour of pens, paper and furious note taking.

It’s always difficult to write an “essentials” guide for a room full of marketers with varied levels of experience. I did my best to cover a little bit of everything, starting with the absolute basics of how to set up a Twitter account before moving on to some tips to make an impact rather than just contribute to the noise and, for those itching for the launch of Twitter advertising in Australia, I went through our experience with the sponsored product suite.

Check it out for yourself here: