March 27, 2012

It is Time to Switch to Timeline on Facebook

Filed under: Digital Strategy,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 9:16 am

Those of you with brand or business pages on Facebook, attention: at the end of this week, your page automatically gets switched over to the new Facebook Timeline format, whether you want it to or not. Do not sit idly by and let the change happen without taking actions to optimize your page for Timeline viewing. There are too many great things about Timeline not already being using it:

  • Large cover photo
  • Pinned stories
  • Ability to star or hide posts
  • Larger photo formats
  • Ability to build the company history in a timeline format, highlighting key milestones

And if you need more convincing: A researcher reports that brands are getting an average 46% more engagement with Timeline. These are great opportunities for building a more engaging and interactive presence on the social network to new fans and to those fans that visit your page. Though a cautious reminder from last week:

  • If you don’t get your fans to like and comment on your posts, they’ll stop seeing them in their news feeds due to Facebook’s EdgeRank system.
  • Most fans never return to a page after they like it.
  • Most posts by pages are seen by less than 10% of their fans.
  • Many fans will never see your welcome tab.
  • When fans create new posts on your Facebook page, other fans don’t see them.
  • Posts from pages with 10,000 fans reach 30-40% of their fans.
  • Posts from pages with 100,000 fans reach 20-30% of their fans.
  • Posts from pages with 1,000,000 or more fans reach 10% of their fans.
  • The 1% Rule: only 1% of people will do what you ask them to do online.

You can check out the guide that Facebook offers here. And Mashable’s guide is here.

March 26, 2012

Today’s Highlights, 2.26.12

Filed under: Daily Highlights,Personal — Emily Reeves @ 4:55 pm

A few things that I enjoyed and made today a good day.

{Quote}
“Curiosity equals intellectual hunger and creative restlessness.”

{Article}
Don’t Build Products. Build Platforms.

{Website}
StumbleUpon
(why, oh why, have I never used this site before?)

{Tweet}

{Shoes}

{Occurrence}
A friend had her baby and named him after my brother.

We Are Storytellers

Filed under: Marketing — Emily Reeves @ 3:38 pm

As marketers and communicators, at the heart of what we do is storytelling. We forget this sometimes, but regardless of channel–broadcast, print, digital, or across all of them–we have to engage our audiences in a brand message, or story, to build their interest in what we are selling.

In this recent TED video about storytelling, filmaker Andrew Stanton shares the elements of all good stories. Great food for thought.

What is an Interest Graph?

Filed under: Digital Strategy,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 3:08 pm

Created via Storify.


March 22, 2012

Technology Is About Discovery

Filed under: Digital Strategy,Marketing,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 11:23 am

I’ve been hearing that word a lot lately, “discovery,” as it relates to new technologies and how digital technology adds to our daily lives. We’ve been sharing online now for sometime, and we’ve talked a lot about engagement and creating opportunities for conversation. But “discovery” really is at the heart of all of this, we just haven’t talked about it that way. Until now. And companies are taking that idea of “discovery” to new levels by creating features and tools that explicitly embrace discovery.

Location

Location sharing is not going away, but it is evolving from the actual “check-in.” Rather than just announcing where we are, we want apps to help us discover new places, new things about places we already know and people we might want to know about us. One of the great quotes I heard at SXSW about location was:

“‘Place’ is a layer cake of qualities about that place.”

It is so true and that is just from a user standpoint. And the apps are starting to deliver that to us; as a recent article mentioned, Foursquare is evolving with its “Explore” and “Radar” features, and at SXSW we heard a lot about several new “ambient location” apps that run in the background of our phones to notify us when something or someone interesting is near.

From a marketer standpoint this is awesome because we can program the delivery of specific information about our businesses, track how locations are being used and learn more about those that are visiting so we can ultimately improve services and communications.

Shopping, Designing, Collecting

Pinterest is quickly becoming a top traffic driver to retail sites worldwide as people are discovering products they never knew existing and seeking out a way to find and buy them online. This quote from a recent article sums up the “discovery” aspect of Pinterest nicely :

“Essentially, Pinterest excels at something that’s very hard to do on the web — help people discover new things. If you can name what you want, after all, Amazon and Google are pretty good tools for helping you find it. But what if you don’t know what you want? Social-networking sites have helped businesses influence people, but they are imperfect. People use Facebook and Twitter to talk to each other, not necessarily to discuss things they might want to buy. In contrast, Pinterest users are more often in a shopping mindset when they are using the service. If you’re keeping a pinboard called ‘Spring handbags I’m considering,’ there’s a good chance you’ll click through and make a purchase.”

Again, from a marketing standpoint, this is awesome: “As more people spend more time pinning [they are] revealing to marketers the kinds of hobbies and objects they covet…”

How do we embrace and apply this trend in digital strategy and communications?

We must think beyond how and what to share and add a layer to our filter that asks: what can we help people discover through our communications?

March 21, 2012

Book Review: The Like Economy

Filed under: Book Review,Marketing,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 7:08 am

The Like Economy, by Brian Carter is subtitled “How Businesses Make Money with Facebook.” The crux of the book is that if you build a relevant fan base of those who are open to your message, then craft your message appropriately for conversions, you can drive sales of your product or service.

While this book had a huge focus on Facebook advertising (I felt a bit like I was in a 250-page sales pitch to use Facebook advertising), the book did have some fascinating statistics on Facebook, great advice on analytics and measurement, interesting comparisons of Facebook to email and Twitter, several general marketing 101 pointers, and a lot of ideas and direction on content generation. And all of this stuff made the Facebook advertising selling parts of the book tolerable.

The bottom line: you can get as many fans as you want through advertising on Facebook, but they won’t see your posts if you don’t deliver engaging content from the first day they fan your page. And here is why:

  • If you don’t get your fans to like and comment on your posts, they’ll stop seeing them in their news feeds due to Facebook’s EdgeRank system.
  • Most fans never return to a page after they like it.
  • Most posts by pages are seen by less than 10% of their fans.
  • Many fans will never see your welcome tab.
  • When fans create new posts on your Facebook page, other fans don’t see them.
  • Posts from pages with 10,000 fans reach 30-40% of their fans.
  • Posts from pages with 100,000 fans reach 20-30% of their fans.
  • Posts from pages with 1,000,000 or more fans reach 10% of their fans.
  • The 1% Rule: only 1% of people will do what you ask them to do online.

I recommend picking up the book to learn more about how to use Facebook as a marketing tool, though I don’t necessarily agree that Facebook advertising is the only way to drive fan “likes” to your business pages.

March 20, 2012

Beautifully Designed Data Encourages Connectivity

Filed under: Culture,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 7:27 pm

You’ve heard of Nicolas Felton by now: the designer who got curious about various data points of his life over the course of a year, compiled them and designed them into infographics for an annual report of his life. The New York Times wrote about him. Facebook hired him to design the new Timeline profile pages. And as a result, he has been sitting 15 feet away from Mark Zuckerberg for the last year working to improve interactions on Facebook:

“The biggest thing that’s different is that Facebook is not about human-computer interaction,” says Cox. Most designers in the computer industry have focused on helping humans interact with machines. But Facebook is about human-to-human interaction. “We don’t want people to remember their interactions with Facebook,” says director of design Kate Aronowitz. “We want them to remember their interactions with their friends and family.” Cox calls this “social design.” “It’s more like designing a plaza or a restaurant,” he explains. “The best building is one where the people inside get it and work together and are connected. That connectivity is created by how everything is arranged.” ~ Fast Company

Data in social design. Brilliant and beautiful.

Paper Notes/Digital Notes

Filed under: Technology,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 4:56 pm

Every once in a while I come across a product that I love so much I have to share it. Today, I want to tell you about my Livescribe pen and notepads. Or, as I like to call it, my magic pen. Nothing starts a conversation in a meeting like my magic pen. I get asked about it in almost all meetings with new people, and with good reason: it is really cool.

Livescribe is a smart pen that records your handwritten notes (when used with their special notepads) and then syncs these notes to a desktop app on your computer. When you want to have an audio recording of a meeting, the pen can also do that – you simply point to the command on the special notepad and it starts recording. The really cool thing about this is that it syncs the audio with the handwritten notes so when you are reviewing the playback you can actually see what was written at the same time as hearing what was said. Or you can just tap a specific word in your notepad and the audio starts playing what was being said right when that word was being written.

The desktop app is smart too: I can search for words in my notes and the app mostly recognizes my handwriting and pulls all the pages with that word or words highlighted in the search results. This is tremendously handy.

And it seems like Livescribe is constantly adding to its capabilities. Through the desktop app or through the pen itself, you can send selected pages to Evernote, save as a PDF on your computer, or send to your mobile device to be accessed via its app, Pencast Player (available in Apple’s App Store). All of these are helpful for sharing your notes with the audio embedded.

There are also apps you buy to add on to your Livescribe pen and desktop app, things like handwriting to text conversion tools, games, and education. I haven’t had the need to try these things out, but if you find one that you love, please let me know.