tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social-2 Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2016-07-14T01:00:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68053 2016-07-14T01:00:00+01:00 2016-07-14T01:00:00+01:00 Three reasons why you should localize social media posts Jeff Rajeck <p>Sure, the text is translated and links point to a local website, but a lot of what is posted on social media in Asia, for example, is surprisingly similar to what is posted in the brands' home countries.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6904/dunkin-donuts.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="478"></p> <p>There are many good reasons for this.</p> <p>First off, <strong>it's easier to manage.</strong> Marketing resources may be stretched and having one base creative makes it much easier to roll out a campaign globally.</p> <p>Also, many <strong>brands prefer to project a single image globally.</strong> Doing so avoids having to have difficult discussions between the regional and HQ marketing teams.</p> <p>And finally, sticking to <strong>a single creative globally makes compliance much easier.</strong> Only one set of approvals from legal required.</p> <p>But brands who do make an effort to localise their content, benefit from overcoming the obstacles. Here are three ways in which they do, with examples.</p> <h3>1. Localisation makes a brand look more customer-focused</h3> <p>Centrally-managed content is good for the brand for the reasons cited above, but nowadays many marketing teams have another goal.</p> <p>They are also looking for ways to improve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/intensive-mastering-customer-experiences/">customer experience</a>, and offering localised content is one effective way of doing so.</p> <p>When you provide content that has clearly been designed for the market you are posting for, customers can see that you are focusing on their needs as opposed to just running the brand messaging.</p> <h4>Uniqlo example:</h4> <p>For example, Uniqlo has Facebook pages which are localised by country.</p> <p>This allows the marketing team to promote summer clothes in Hong Kong on the same day it is showing winter gear in Australia.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6898/uniqlo.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="513"></p> <p>Targeting like this makes the social media seem in touch with the local market and reflects well on the customer experience aspect of the brand.</p> <h3>2. Localising content encourages comments and shares</h3> <p>Social media works best for brands when they can elicit feedback from their fans. To do this, though, brands have to offer fans an opportunity to identify with what is being posted.</p> <p>If local fans see things which they recognise, then the brand will have a better chance to reach them at an emotional level.  </p> <p>And, as a result, the fans will be more likely to share.</p> <h4>Magnum example:</h4> <p>Earlier this year, Magnum featured a series of tweets of celebrities creating their own bespoke Magnum ice cream in Cannes during the film festival.</p> <p>In order to appeal to its local audiences, however, Magnum showed different celebrities at the event to different Twitter feeds.</p> <p>The Magnum UK feed featured fashion model Kendall Jenner...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6901/kendall.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="314"></p> <p>..and the Magnum Thailand feed featured Thai celebrity Davika Hoorne (Mai).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6900/davika.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="335"></p> <p>It must have been expensive for the Magnum team to fly in models to localise the content, and risky too. What if nobody cared?</p> <p>But, the response from Thai fans was overwhelming.</p> <p>The photos received thousands of likes and retweets and built significant goodwill between Magnum and its fans in Thailand.</p> <h3>3. Brands can demonstrate local cultural sensitivity</h3> <p>Religion is a tricky subject to touch on in marketing. Brands typically, and wisely, avoid it.</p> <p>However, if a particular religious custom is pervasive in a country, then it may be worthwhile for brands to acknowledge that it exists via social media.  </p> <p>Doing so shows that the brand understands its consumers and their culture at a deeper level. This can, in turn, increase local affinity.</p> <h4>Coca-Cola example:</h4> <p>Ramadan, the Islamic period of fasting, is a big part of life in the predominantly-Muslim country Indonesia.</p> <p>Coca-Cola recently ran a video campaign which managed to address the period and how it affects life, sensitively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6902/cocacola.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="319"></p> <p>In the video series, a teenager is repeatedly tempted to break his fast during the day, but waits until the proper time to do so - and then does so with a big glass of Coke, naturally.</p> <p>The amount of supportive likes, comments, and shares for this series of videos were off the charts.</p> <p>Coca-Cola's social media team also took the opportunity to respond to each comment.</p> <p>The success of this series of posts is a testament to the reach and impact that can be achieved with localising content, even when it might be seen by some as a topic which crosses the line.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>It's awfully tempting to create social media posts centrally and then just ask the regional teams to translate and repost.</p> <p>Social media, however, works best for brands when they reach their audience emotionally.  </p> <p>This can be achieved by posting content specifically produced for the local market.</p> <p>It demonstrates that a brand is more serious about the local market and that it is not just superficially interested in its customers there.</p> <p>As seen by the examples above, it takes some work to do this well.</p> <p>Brands who make the effort, though, will stand out from competitors and build strong affinity with the local market.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68035 2016-07-12T01:00:00+01:00 2016-07-12T01:00:00+01:00 How to maximise the impact of sponsored social posts: APAC case study Jeff Rajeck <p>Most sensible brand marketers, however, aren't that hasty. Instead, they usually hold back and wait to see what happens with the post before putting money on it.</p> <p>And they do this because judging content ahead of time is tricky.  </p> <p>Sometimes the strangest posts take off on their own, organically, whereas other times great ones go nowhere, even when sponsored.</p> <p>But how can we do better than that? How can we have some idea in advance what content is going to be worth promoting?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6790/boost.png" alt="" width="400" height="212"></p> <h3>Learning to boost</h3> <p>Well, one of the best ways to learn when to pull the 'boost' trigger is by looking at past performance. Find out what did well previously, and do it again.</p> <p>Of course. But what if there doesn't seem to be a pattern, or there just isn't enough data?</p> <p>Then the obvious solution is to look at what other brands are posting. See what is taking off on social media for them and then rework your content using their successful posts as a template.</p> <h3>Social media analytics</h3> <p>At its simplest, social media analytics can be carried out by looking at a few Facebook pages or Twitter accounts.</p> <p>Once you have gone through a few pages though, it becomes apparent that it is quite difficult to get all the data you need to draw conclusions.</p> <p>Luckily there are tools which are designed to help you. One which I use regularly for this sort of social media analysis is <a href="http://www.socialbakers.com/">SocialBakers</a>.</p> <p>Using social media analytics you can: </p> <ul> <li>Find brands in your industry that post a lot and have significant engagement.</li> <li>Surf through the brands' posts to get ideas.</li> <li>See if the brands' sponsored posts are performing better than organic.</li> </ul> <p>The last part is hard to do without some help as sponsored posts are not obviously tagged as such on the company's page.</p> <p>To give some idea of what I mean by social analytics, let's go through a couple of social media posts from a bank in South-East Asia.</p> <h3>Krungsri Simple: Organic</h3> <h4>Background</h4> <p>Krungsri Simple is a consumer bank based in Thailand. Its marketers are very active on Facebook and update the brand page around 100 times every month. </p> <p>The team has been very successful in attracting fans as well and now have over 1m page likes. In short, a great candidate for social media analytics.</p> <h4>The data</h4> <p>From the data, we can see that the bank puts most of its effort into organic posts. Over 90% of its posts from the last 365 days were identified as organic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6791/1.png" alt="" width="400" height="319"></p> <h4>So, what's working for the brand, organically?</h4> <p>Looking at a number of posts, it seems that the bank's most successful social media tactic is to ask its fans to like, share, and comment on a post in return for a small prize. </p> <p>The point of these posts is to encourage its audience to share the brand's messaging with friends while at the same time engaging with the post.</p> <p>This serves the dual purpose of raising awareness as well as deepening the relationship between the brand and its fans.</p> <h4>Example</h4> <p>One example of this tactic is a recent post which offers fans a chance to win one of 20 Starbucks cards worth 100 Thai baht (around $3 each, $60 in total).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6792/2.png" alt="" width="800" height="440"></p> <p>In order to enter the competition, fans are required to: </p> <ol> <li>Like and share the post.</li> <li>Guess the right entrance point to a simple maze.</li> <li>Tag one additional friend.</li> </ol> <p>Sounds like a lot to do for a $3 card, but the response has been tremendous. The bank received over 1,000 shares and had over 1,000 comments just from this post.</p> <p>(By the way, asking for 'likes' and shares in this way used to be discouraged by Facebook, but <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/513248435437336">Facebook seems to have reversed that policy</a>.)</p> <p>So, keeping in mind that the team only spent $60 on the prize, the post has performed very well. Even the most interesting content would struggle to get that level of response for that price. </p> <h4>Lessons</h4> <p>It's clear from the results that Krungsri Simple is on to something here. The marketers have found that the brand's Thai audience is willing to go to great lengths to enter a contest.</p> <p>Because of this, they can 'buy' more engagement with a few Starbucks cards than they can do through using sponsored posts.</p> <p>So the lesson from these analytics is that <strong>it is still possible to get great reach and engagement organically.</strong> And if you can find this, then you don't need to sponsor the posts.</p> <p>Do note, however, that each and every entry had a response from the bank's social media team. This campaign clearly required a lot of human effort, too.</p> <h3>Krungsri Simple: Sponsored</h3> <h4>Background</h4> <p>Another thing to look at is whether organic or sponsored (promoted) posts had more engagement.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6795/3.png" alt="" width="400" height="279"></p> <p>Looking at the share of interactions over the past year for Krungsri Simple, we see that organic accounted for less than half of likes, shares, and comments.  </p> <p>This is interesting as, remember, more than 90% of the brand's posts were not sponsored (organic).</p> <p>So most of the engagement was with sponsored posts, even though these posts only represented around 6% of the brand's posts in total.</p> <h4>So how do they do so well with sponsored posts?</h4> <p>Looking at a few examples, it seems that there is a pattern. Krungsri Simple regularly sponsors posts which feature new products such as credit cards.</p> <p>Then, once sponsored, the posts act as a way for customers to ask questions via the comments.  </p> <p>The bank's social media managers answer these questions to help customers get a better understanding of the product on offer.</p> <h4>Example</h4> <p>One <a href="https://www.facebook.com/KrungsriSimple/posts/908532519195409:0">recent post</a> was for a credit card with 16% cash back. Though the translation isn't perfect, it's clear that the cashback has some terms and conditions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6796/4.png" alt="" width="800" height="438"></p> <p>In the post's comments it seems that customers have a few questions about the card - and how to make sure that they get the cashback.  </p> <p>Each question is then answered in detail by the bank's social media team in the public comments, with some responses turning into a long conversation thread.</p> <h4>Lessons</h4> <p>Krungsri Simple has found that social media works very well for launching a new product.  The team posts up the product details and then sponsors the post to reach a very large audience.</p> <p>However, the marketers also seem to have found, probably through trial-and-error, that product posts attract a lot of questions.  </p> <p>Each question, though, is an opportunity for the marketers to explain the product in more detail to the customer, and indeed other interested people.  </p> <p>Answering questions in detail shows off the company's customer service skills, as well.</p> <p>So, the takeaway from this campaign is that<strong> Facebook sponsored posts not only give a brand extra reach, but also provide an opportunity for its marketers to engage with new and existing customers on a deeper level.</strong></p> <p>Doing so requires a social media/customer service team dedicated to responding, though, as unanswered questions would almost certainly make the brand look worse.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So how can a social media manager sponsor posts like a boss?</p> <p>A great place to start is by looking at what other brands are doing and learning from their example.</p> <p>And while it is possible to do this on your own, using a tool like SocialBakers makes the job easier. It can help you identify the brands worth watching, research posts with high engagement, and distinguish organic superstars from sponsored posts.</p> <p>Of course you will have to adapt any tactics you discover to fit your brand. What works for another company will almost certainly not work for yours.</p> <p>But identifying tactics which engage fans and knowing how to execute them properly is certainly the first step to social media boss-ness.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6797/boss.png" alt="" width="300" height="150"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68010 2016-07-01T11:36:13+01:00 2016-07-01T11:36:13+01:00 10 intriguing social media stories from June 2016 Andrew Chrysostom <h3>LinkedIn</h3> <p>It's not often I'll start a social roundup with LinkedIn.</p> <p>The social/business network has recently turned into an opaque funnel for recruiters to post memes and send unwanted in-mails.</p> <p>(Do check out our own <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3736706">Econsultancy LinkedIn group</a> and rise to the challenge of adding to our debates.)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6587/linkedin.jpg" alt="" width="653" height="251"></p> <p>But that could all be set for a change, as Microsoft has launched a takeover of the social network in the region of £18.4bn.</p> <p>This marks its first serious foray into social networking since the ill-fated <a href="http://www.so.cl/">so.cl</a>, which was kind of like a Pinterest for creatives (that quickly turned into a Pinterest for nothing/everything). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6588/screen_shot_2016-06-28_at_14.11.40-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="259"></p> <p>Given that LinkedIn has 433m users (I'd wager a majority of them are not active), there's definitely potential to turn the site into something more engaging for a mature audience.</p> <p>Especially given how little opportunity there is for brands to have a meaningful conversation with their followers. One to watch!</p> <h3>Twitter</h3> <p>Earlier this month the US House of Representatives met to discuss gun control laws. The camera feed is broadcast via C-SPAN, but if the House majority decides to cut the feed they can.</p> <p>Which is exactly what they did when the two main parties clashed.</p> <p>The Democrats staged a sit in which was then live-streamed via Periscope from a member of the house.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Politicians have a powerful new tool in Periscope, and democracy is better off for it <a href="https://t.co/XJGAFHdjge">https://t.co/XJGAFHdjge</a> <a href="https://t.co/t5JzC3N8RL">pic.twitter.com/t5JzC3N8RL</a></p> — The Verge (@verge) <a href="https://twitter.com/verge/status/745990744075284480">June 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>The hashtag #NoBillNoBreak (a reference to not leaving until the bill was debated) trended worldwide for several hours. </p> <p>To my mind this is one of the first examples of politicians using social to bypass an official media blackout, and was a real profile booster for Periscope against its rivals that are famous for light-hearted content.</p> <p>Perhaps this was in the mind of Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour when he tweeted this.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We may not have Chewbaca, but we have democracy <a href="https://t.co/dKDPTIa7Oa">https://t.co/dKDPTIa7Oa</a></p> — Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) <a href="https://twitter.com/kayvz/status/745697096125161472">June 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>This marries well with Twitter's recent focus on live events following <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67710-twitter-s-nfl-deal-five-questions-we-re-asking/">its deal to live stream NFL games</a>, and it's believed there will be more deals of a similar nature in the near future.</p> <p>Just two more Twitter updates, these both from a user perspective.</p> <p>Firstly, video limits are set to rise to 140 seconds in an effort to attract influential content producers. </p> <p>Secondly, Twitter is introducing a new 'Stickers' feature. This works similarly to Snapchat's filters, and certain 'stickers' will also be searchable.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Connect your photos to the world with a visual spin on hashtags: tap <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Stickers?src=hash">#Stickers</a> to peel back a fun new way to search. <a href="https://t.co/YVy7r53Nja">pic.twitter.com/YVy7r53Nja</a></p> — Twitter (@twitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/twitter/status/747429936726573056">June 27, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>Following Facebook's extremely <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67879-facebook-s-busy-may-2016-provides-new-opportunities-for-marketers">busy May</a>, June was fairly quiet. </p> <p>After its algorithm came under fire earlier this year, it seems Facebook is being open about its new product moving towards human curation.</p> <p>Facebook Events is a new product, allowing selected staff members to editorially recommend events to its users.</p> <p>This means if an event is getting traction in your area, a member of staff can give it an organic boost. It is only in beta at the moment, but certainly an interesting idea.</p> <p>Given the huge dedication to and growth in the area of live streaming, Facebook has somewhat put the brakes on and taken the decision to walk before it can run.</p> <p>Dan Reed, Facebook's head of sports partnerships, has ruled out the company actively bidding to secure exclusive rights to sporting events. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6594/sb-matchups-and-friends-tabs.png" alt="" width="626" height="648"></p> <p>It seems Facebook is keen to remain a broadcasting platform and not directly become a channel in its own right.</p> <p>In the mean time, the social media giant has just struck deals with around 140 content providers ranging from celebrities to media owners.</p> <p>Estimates put the total value of the contracts at around £37.5m with the likes of CNN, Buzzfeed, Gordon Ramsay and comedian Kevin Hart signed up. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6598/Screen_Shot_2016-06-28_at_14.40.43.png" alt="" width="488" height="533"></p> <h3>Snapchat</h3> <p>The moments-based sharing app has partnered with UFC in expanding its Live Stories function, allowing users at the event to contribute to the crowdsourced channel.</p> <p>Another smart move from Snapchat, which is continually bringing new users to the app by reaching out to different audiences through partnerships with brands such as Burberry and the Wall Street Journal.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6599/snapchatimage-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="470"></p> <p>It has also developed its advertising offerings by following suit with Facebook and developing deals with creative partners who will help advertisers create content. </p> <p>These ads will then slot in between stories, ensuring that they are of a decent quality.</p> <h3>Instagram reaches half a billion users</h3> <p>This month, Facebook-owned Instagram passed half a billion users which, while inevitable, is still quite an achievement.</p> <p>You may remember that last month Instagram changed its logo, which seemed to be the pre-cursor to something big.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Instagram's new logo is literally just a PowerPoint background. <a href="https://t.co/Wv5NTlo2PO">pic.twitter.com/Wv5NTlo2PO</a></p> — Matt Turner (@MattTurner4L) <a href="https://twitter.com/MattTurner4L/status/730489367383429121">May 11, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>After doubling its user base in the last two years, it is still around a third of the size of parent company Facebook.</p> <p>But of those users, 300m are said to use the app every day with 80% of those being outside the UK.</p> <p>This growth is even more impressive given <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67655-three-reasons-instagram-s-algorithmic-timeline-is-yet-another-terrible-idea/">the backlash</a> surrounding its algorithm change. </p> <h3>Any other business?</h3> <p>Just the news that social media has become the primary source of news for young people.</p> <p>According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 28% of 18-24 year olds said that they would go to social media to find out the latest news, with 51% using it as a second port of call. </p> <p>This compares to just 24% who named television as their first choice.</p> <h3>And finally...</h3> <p>Nothing to do with digital marketing, but always worth reporting when nice moments happens on social.</p> <p>Although there have been ads like 'This Girl Can' and many other campaigns for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67642-how-brands-celebrated-international-women-s-day-2016/">International Women's Day</a>, sanitary brand Always has refreshed its campaign to focus on the struggles that girls face in sports during puberty.</p> <p>It has amassed more than 2.5m views in just a few days on YouTube, with over 250k views on Facebook. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Falways%2Fvideos%2F1077558152297801%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>It's a good example of how to refresh a long-running campaign with a new perspective, while keeping the same key message.</p> <p>I couldn't have a roundup this month without mentioning the Euro 2016 tournament, and there was a cracking piece of real-time content marketing from Paddy Power.</p> <p>Although I'm not a fan of all of the work from the 'kings of banter', it really came through with this piece documenting comments from furious England fans on social media.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">ICYMI: England fans react to that Iceland defeat in this week's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FanDenial?src=hash">#FanDenial</a> <a href="https://t.co/caNSZNl10n">https://t.co/caNSZNl10n</a></p> — Paddy Power (@paddypower) <a href="https://twitter.com/paddypower/status/747902395493949441">June 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>However this month's highlight had to be a wonderful Twitter exchange between the two US presidential candidates, garnering almost 500,000 retweets.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Delete your account. <a href="https://t.co/Oa92sncRQY">https://t.co/Oa92sncRQY</a></p> — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/740973710593654784">June 9, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>That's all for this month, on to a (hopefully) sunny July!</p> <p><em><strong>For more on this, download our new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68000 2016-06-28T01:00:00+01:00 2016-06-28T01:00:00+01:00 Three social media lessons from Asia-Pacific travel sites Jeff Rajeck <p>To help out, here are three examples of Facebook posts which have outperformed, contrasted with three which have not worked out so well and a takeaway lesson from each.</p> <h3>Background</h3> <p>It's easy to find examples of social media posts which have really taken off. There are many lists of these, and they all seem to include 'Don't dunk in the dark'.</p> <p>But these examples are typically one-offs. <strong>What worked for that brand in that instance is highly unlikely to work for your brand today.</strong></p> <p>Additionally, such examples don't help with the day-to-day social media postings. Most brands have guidelines about what type of content should be posted and, hopefully, few say 'post something viral'.</p> <p>So, instead, it's more interesting to look at brands that:</p> <ul> <li>Have a large audience.</li> <li>Post regularly.</li> <li>Rotate content. </li> </ul> <p>Then, have a look at the brand's posts. Compare ones which have a lot of likes, shares, and comments with those which do not, and try to draw some lessons from them.</p> <p>And it's not hard to do. Anyone can do this analysis just by surfing brands on Facebook.</p> <p>To make it a bit easier, though, I used the paid version of <a href="http://www.socialbakers.com/">Socialbakers</a> which makes it easy to find brands which are active on social media and then neatly organises social media engagement data.</p> <h3>Why Asia-Pacific travel sites?</h3> <p>In theory we could use this method across any brand, in any country, but it's sensible to focus on a particular industry and region. </p> <p>The reason is that brands in the same sector are trying to attract the same audience, so it should be possible to see some similarities and elicit trends.</p> <h3>The lessons</h3> <h3>1. Share the fantasy, not the reality</h3> <p>Headquartered in Singapore, COMO Hotels and Resorts offers 'handcrafted hotels and luxury travel experiences designed just for you'.  </p> <p><a href="http://www.comohotels.com/">The company website</a> is stunning and you almost couldn't invent a brand more suitable for social media.</p> <p><strong>So what can we learn from the brand's posts?</strong></p> <p>The posts with a lot of likes and shares show off the fantasy of the COMO Hotels and resorts.  </p> <p>They capture scenes of the brand's properties which people do not see every day and receive comments such as 'I don't know where this is but let's go there'.</p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6514/test2.png" alt="" width="800" height="270"></p> <p>Those with fewer shares and no comments are still beautiful pictures, but <strong>less popular posts are about things which people encounter frequently in their everyday life</strong>.  </p> <p>They show thingss like food, restaurants, and pretty, yet unremarkable, views.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6508/2.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="301"></p> <p>The lesson?  <strong>If you got it, flaunt it.</strong> Don't waste your posts on pictures of everyday things.</p> <h3>2. Highlight what makes you unique</h3> <p>Resorts World Genting is a resort in Malaysia which targets a budget-conscious traveller.</p> <p>Though the brand doesn't have the drop-dead gorgeous scenery of COMO to draw on, its marketers post regularly and the posts have a wide variety of engagement.</p> <p>Through looking at the brand's posts, it is clear that <strong>those which highlight unique aspects of Resorts World Genting do well</strong>.  </p> <p>Its audience seems to enjoy reminiscing via social media about things which they cannot experience elsewhere.</p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6509/3.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="390"></p> <p>Posts which perform poorly feature things which are easily available elsewhere and do not draw on the unique personality of the brand.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6510/4.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="378"></p> <p>The lesson? <strong>You don't have to be fancy to be shareable on social media, just unique.</strong>  </p> <p>You have to emphasize what distinguishes your brand from all the others on social media.</p> <h3>3. Be different, but pleasant. Avoid disturbing, shocking, or disgusting topics.</h3> <p>TravelBook.ph is a Philippines travel site run as a joint venture by a number of large conglomerates in Asia. </p> <p>The brand marketers post regularly on social media about a variety of travel-related subjects.</p> <p>Many of the general travel posts do okay, but <strong>the posts which get the most likes and shares link to original content about places to visit in the Philippines.</strong></p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6513/test.PNG" alt="" width="800" height="316"></p> <p>Occasionally the marketers will shake things up a bit and post something a bit more challenging.  </p> <p>Posts which are about unpleasant topics tend to perform much worse.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6512/6.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="299"></p> <p>One example of a recent post which performed poorly was about balut. Balut is a Philippine delicacy which consists of a developing bird embryo still in the eggshell.</p> <p>It's hard to think of anyone who would appreciate such a photo on their timeline.</p> <p>Other more challenging posts may have their place, of course. But <strong>when engagement is the main criteria, keeping the subject of your posts pleasant is the way to go.</strong></p> <p>The lesson? Be unique, for sure, but also try to fit in with what people want to see in a social media newsfeed.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So the main social media lessons from Asia-Pacific travel sites are that posts on Facebook which are attractive, pleasant and emphasize what makes your brand unique will deliver the highest level of engagement.</p> <p>All of this makes sense, yet it is surprising to see how many brands don't adhere to these rules and have reduced engagement as a result.</p> <p>Low social media engagement is discouraging for the team and also means that more posts will be required to get your audience's attention.</p> <p>Without doing this sort of analysis (i.e. finding what types of post are successful and doing those types of posts more often) marketers will be making an already hard job, harder.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67970 2016-06-21T10:04:09+01:00 2016-06-21T10:04:09+01:00 How to integrate search & social: It's all about curating audiences Ben Davis <h3>Taking a search marketer's approach to paid social</h3> <p>The first point to make is that much of the new found power of social media in targeting new customers comes from the impressive range of qualifiers available to advertisers.</p> <p>This doesn't stop at the tangible - information such as purchasing behaviour, net worth and job titles - which Facebook gathers from its data broker partners, but includes psychographic targeting, too.</p> <p>Knowing that everyone who sees your ad has a professed interest in 'carp fishing' is undoubtedly a game-changer for retailers of heavy-feeder fishing rods... for example.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6250/carp.jpg" alt="carp" width="400"></p> <p>Building up layers of targeting with social ads, including psychographics, is a skill that requires an understanding of language that should come naturally to the search specialist.</p> <p>One such tactic is the use of exclusions - marketers can take their negative keywords from AdWords campaigns and "see how they parse" in the Facebook ads targeting tool.</p> <p>Marty illustrated this with a powerful example. Say an advertiser is selling island real estate, they can target by income, geography, interest in 'real estate' etc. - but equally as important is to exclude interests that paint a different picture.</p> <p>So, excluding interests such as 'free online games', 'getting free food' etc. might be a good way of qualifying out those who may not be as appropriate.</p> <p>Persona interests are still described with words in Facebook - keyword analysis is still a necessary skill for creating segments in social advertising.</p> <h3>Lookalike modelling from the bottom of the funnel</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65505-lookalike-audiences-the-next-big-thing-in-marketing">Lookalike modelling</a> is a powerful feature of Custom Audiences in Facebook, finding potential customers that match your audience profile.</p> <p>This can be done from a list of known customers or by placing a pixel on your website to create a Website Customer Audience.</p> <p>Rather than placing this pixel on a landing page which your audience is hitting from search, Marty pointed out that this pixel can be place right at the bottom of the funnel, on a 'thank you' page.</p> <p>If you have enough traffic to do this, you can target people who match your converted customers. </p> <p><a href="http://www.private-eye.co.uk/lookalikes"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6251/Screen_Shot_2016-06-20_at_12.36.35.png" alt="lookalike" width="400"></a></p> <h3>Influencer marketing via Facebook</h3> <p>The traditional view of search and social is of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/link-building-checklist-digital-marketing-template-files/">building backlinks</a> through online PR (using social media).</p> <p>But with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-paid-advertising/">paid social</a>, targeting can make this approach much more efficient, allowing marketers to aim their content at specific sets of unknown <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencers</a>.</p> <p>For example, Marty suggested three types of segments:</p> <ul> <li>Targeting influencer job titles e.g. content producer, columnist, journalist, editor etc.</li> <li>Finding prolific sharers by targeting people who are interested in relevant shareable media e.g. BuzzFeed, Oatmeal etc.</li> <li>Targeting bloggers by specifying an interest in Yoast, Wordpress etc. and narrowing down by targeting workplaces (e.g. the New York Times).</li> </ul> <p>Of course, there's a word of caution here - targeting is inherently more expensive than going broad with PR, and you can get too specific with your targeting, which may ultimately yield nothing.</p> <h3>Search retargeting of social audiences</h3> <p>Build a cookie pool using Facebook's impressive targeting, then use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65055-linking-digital-audience-data-to-drive-conversions/">Retargeting Lists for Search Ads</a> (RLSAs) from Google to find this audience in search.</p> <p>This allows marketers to bid on competitive search terms efficiently, because the socially curated list should convert well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/7436/audience_location-blog-full.png" alt="rlsa" width="615" height="156"></p> <h3>Retargeting with 'vertical content' </h3> <p>Marty Weintraub put it very succintly at SAScon, he said the 'last mile' of targeting is "vertical creative with psychographic targeting".</p> <p>Why serve generic content when you know exactly who you are targeting?</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64099-what-is-retargeting-and-why-do-you-need-it">Retargeting website visitors</a> on social is the perfect example - marketers should use their knowledge of the customer's behaviour on site to serve truly relevant ads.</p> <p>So, rather than a generic 'Buy flights' piece of creative, British Airways could offer 'Hello [Name] - looking for a flight to Heathrow?'</p> <p>Marty showed Airbnb doing this well, using his destination search term in display retargeting ('Hayward - you belong here').</p> <p>It's also the case that post-click tactics shouldn't be generalised either - much as in search advertising, the landing page has to match the search term.</p> <h3>Report on blended results</h3> <p>Use blended results of your search and social campaigns where the same audiences are being targeted. It's total actions that count.</p> <p>In Marty's words, "What’s the cost of social? Nothing - I’m buying clicks and everything else is free."</p> <h3>Solve the interdepartmental cluster eff</h3> <p>There's a last word for how the organisation must evolve to allow these data and tactical collaborations. SEO, social, CRM - they must all talk to each other.</p> <p>Otherwise, the result is expensive content amplification that leads to bounces.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67923 2016-06-09T14:43:00+01:00 2016-06-09T14:43:00+01:00 Influencer marketing is becoming a joke: What can brands do about it? Patricio Robles <p>That dark side was on display for all to see recently when Scott Disick, a television personality best known for his relationship with reality TV star and socialite Kourtney Kardashian, was caught posting an ostensibly paid promotion for Bootea protein shakes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/5705/oops-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="415" height="738"></p> <p>As the screenshot above demonstrates, Disick's Bootea Instagram post was about as far from authentic as is possible and not surprisingly, Disick was subsequently teased and lambasted for his embarrassing faux pas.</p> <p>Brands should take note and heed the following advice to ensure their influencer marketing campaigns don't become a joke.</p> <h3>1. Align your brand with the right influencers</h3> <p>With 16.4m Instagram followers, Scott Disick's ability to reach a large number of people is hard to dispute.</p> <p>But why would Bootea, a health and wellness brand, align itself with a celebrity who is known for his hard-partying ways and who has made headlines for his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse?</p> <p>While Disick shouldn't be shamed for those struggles, it's hard not to think that Bootea would have been better off aligning itself with influencers whose lifestyles are more consistent with its values.</p> <p>Long-term, that is a much safer bet.</p> <h3>2. Think bigger than paid posts</h3> <p>For obvious reasons, paid posts are not going away.</p> <p>But any good influencer campaign should be more thoughtful and comprehensive than paid posts that are the social web equivalent of product placement.</p> <p>The reason for this is that paid posts alone are probably not going to move the needle, especially if those paid posts are not compelling and not clearly aligned with the influencer's persona. </p> <h3>3. Trust your influencers</h3> <p>If a brand can't trust an influencer to write his or her own 140-character tweet or caption for an Instgram post, the influencer relationship needs to be reassessed.</p> <p>Influencer content, even when paid for, should at least <em>appear</em> to be somewhat authentic.</p> <p>Here, an influencer was directed to publish a post referencing a morning protein shake in the afternoon. #fail</p> <h3>4. Co-create, and demand more</h3> <p>Naturally, brands are going to want to have some say in what influencers post.</p> <p>But a brand shouldn't have to direct an influencer to write something as simple as "Keeping up with the summer workout routine..."</p> <p>Instead, they should <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/influencing-the-influencers-the-magic-of-co-created-content">co-create content</a> with their influencers to ensure that they stay on message without compromising the influencer's authenticity and creativity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5752/disick.jpg" alt="" width="578" height="370"></p> <p>And they should demand the latter to ensure that they don't get lazy, uninspired content like the above, which is another paid post Disick published for Bootea several weeks ago.</p> <p>Note the similarity to the botched paid post, and the fact that neither post even suggests that Disick is actually using the product. There isn't a glass in sight in either photo.</p> <h3>5. Don't ignore the rules</h3> <p>Although Disick fixed his Instagram faux pas and included the hashtag #ad to identify his post as a paid advertisement, brands looking to ensure their influencer marketing campaigns don't fail should remember not to ignore <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67368-what-advertisers-need-to-know-about-the-ftc-s-new-guidance-on-native-ads/">the guidances provided by the Federal Trade Commission</a> vis-à-vis advertising disclosures.</p> <p>While the FTC obviously can't take action against every violator, <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/03/lord-taylor-settles-ftc-charges-it-deceived-consumers-through">the agency recently settled</a> with Lord &amp; Taylor after alleging that the retailer, among other things, paid Instagram fashion influencers to post pictures of themselves wearing a dress it sold.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4125 2016-05-04T11:25:00+01:00 2016-05-04T11:25:00+01:00 Social Quarterly: Q2 2016 <p>Social media is evolving rapidly, and the Social Quarterly provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be translated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p>This time, the second edition of the Social Quarterly looks at developments on Instagram and Snapchat, includes statistics on private messaging apps, takes a closer look at the roles of both millennials and parents and includes the regular updates on user numbers and mobile social media usage.</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GBkz9ExDEkw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67740 2016-04-29T16:16:16+01:00 2016-04-29T16:16:16+01:00 Five things Western brands should know about China's digital landscape Jeff Rajeck <p>The reason for this is that China's commerce and cultural norms are vastly different from those in the West.  </p> <p>Brands that have successfully launched in multiple Western countries may think they know what they are doing when launching in China. It's just another country, right?</p> <p>Unfortunately not. For many reasons, China is unique. Because of these quirks, entering its market requires special attention from Western brands to stand a chance of being successful.</p> <p>To help brand marketers start to think about how to enter China, Econsultancy is publishing quarterly China reports to cover the digital players, trends, and insights about the country.</p> <p>Below are a few key points from our first report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report-q1-2016">The China Digital Report, Q1 2016</a>.</p> <h3>China has the largest single-country presence on the internet</h3> <p>It is well-known that China has the largest population of any country on earth, but what may not be so obvious is that <strong>China now has the largest population on the internet.</strong></p> <p>According to Internet Live Stats, China now has over 720m internet users which is more than 20% of the global total.</p> <p>The nearest competing country is India which, with 462m users, has less than two-thirds of the Chinese internet population.  </p> <p>In third place is the US which now makes up less than 10% of internet users, globally.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3897/China_US_global_internet.PNG" alt="" width="764" height="470"></p> <p>China's lead in internet population size is significant as we can now expect digital innovations, especially regarding scale, to originate in China and flow westwards.  </p> <p>This is happening already, to some extent, with WeChat (see below).</p> <h3>China's online population is still growing</h3> <p>Another thing to keep in mind when considering China's presence on the internet is that <strong>only around 50% of the Chinese population is online</strong>.  </p> <p>That is, there are a lot of people in the country who are not yet 'digital' at all.</p> <p>Compare this with the US and other Western nations who achieved that level in the early 2000s and seem to be peaking at around 85-90% penetration.</p> <p>In other words, <strong>China's influence on the internet is on the rise and the Western domination of the internet may be coming to an end.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3908/chinese_internet_population.PNG" alt="" width="915" height="504"></strong></p> <p>This is important for brand marketers to note because as more Chinese come online, <strong>the Chinese market will only rise in importance and sophistication</strong>.</p> <p>Western firms, therefore, need to acknowledge that China's digital economy is now on par with the West and, in some cases, may even be ahead.</p> <p>It's prudent, then, for brands to become familiar with how Chinese firms operate in their own market now to prepare for the future.</p> <h3>WeChat is the runaway success story</h3> <p>Many Western sites are blocked by the Great Firewall of China (see our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67702-digital-in-china-10-things-you-might-not-know">previous China post</a> for details) which means that China has its own version of many digital services.</p> <p>One service in particular, the social network WeChat, has been more successful than all of the others.  </p> <p>WeChat has enjoyed growth rates of around 50% year-over-year in 2014 and 2015 after blistering triple-digit year-over-year growth in 2012 and 2013.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3898/wechat_mau_2015.PNG" alt="" width="792" height="467"></p> <p>One reason for this growth is that WeChat continuously innovates its core product, offering new ways for users to integrate the app into their daily lives.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3904/things_to_do_on_wechat.PNG" alt="" width="574" height="389"></p> <p>Though it isn't the largest social network in China (QQ has more monthly active users)<strong> WeChat is the fastest-growing social network and the most dominant, culturally.</strong></p> <p>In brief, if your brand is interested in breaking into China, start by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65279-how-and-why-western-brands-are-experimenting-with-wechat/">researching what you can do on WeChat</a>.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3903/wechat.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="540"></strong></p> <h3>Baidu is the 800-pound gorilla of search and more</h3> <p>When reviewing the relative size of search engines in China by visitors, it seems that China has multiple, competing search engines each with significant market share.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3900/china_search_engine_market_share_1.PNG" alt="" width="573" height="436"></p> <p>But when search engines are measured by revenue, a very different picture emerges.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3901/china_search_engine_market_share_by_revenue.PNG" alt="" width="584" height="448"></p> <p>Clealy <strong>Baidu is the search leader in China with more than six times the market share of its largest competitor</strong>, Google China.</p> <p>Another thing to note is that Baidu has an even greater cultural presence in China than Google does in the West.</p> <p>Besides search and other services like maps also offered by Google, <strong>Baidu also operates China's most popular encyclopedia, an ecommerce platform, a gaming platform, and even a food delivery service.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3902/Picture1.jpg" alt="" width="450" height="368"></p> <p>According to Andrew Ng, Baidu's chief scientist in Silicon Valley, these additional services exist because, unlike in the West, other companies had not built them.  </p> <p>He states in a <a href="http://fusion.net/story/54528/why-we-should-stop-calling-baidu-the-google-of-china/">recent interview</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>In the US, we search for a movie ticket and Google or Bing could send you to Fandango and off you go. In China, that website we could send you to, it doesn’t exist. We [Baidu] have to build it ourselves. </p> </blockquote> <p>So for brands who are looking to launch services in China, be sure to check that the market isn't already served by Baidu or another Chinese heavyweight company.</p> <h3>Google and China... it's complicated</h3> <p>Google has a complicated and interesting history with China. Until 2010, Google China was one of the most popular sites in China and had a 29% market share, according to research firm Analysys International. </p> <p>Following a disagreement with the Chinese government about censoring search results in 2010, though, Google effectively pulled out of China.</p> <p>What happened next is slightly confusing. Google relocated to Hong Kong (which, yes, is still China) and has 79% search market share there, <a href="http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop+mobile+tablet-search_engine-HK-monthly-201408-201508">according to StatCounter</a>.</p> <p>This is possible because Hong Kong effectively has a different government than the one in mainland China.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3905/google.cn.PNG" alt="" width="620" height="333"></p> <p>Google.cn, as per the image above, redirects all users to Google.com.hk.  </p> <p>Reports indicate that Google search results are not being censored in Hong Kong and that Google China still has significant revenue from Hong Kong, though still far short of what it was six years ago.</p> <p>To add to this confusing story, it seems that <strong>Google will re-enter mainland China in 2016.</strong></p> <p>The company will only offer the Google app store, Google Play, and will not link to its international Google Play site.</p> <p>Instead, the company aims to consolidate the hundreds of independent Android app stores that have proliferated since it left nearly six years ago.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>China offers many benefits for brands who are able to crack the market, but doing so is proving to be quite difficult for many Western companies.</p> <p>To get started, it helps to know that the internet has now reached critical mass in China, that different companies dominate search and social there, and that there are other quirks which are not obvious from a Western perspective.</p> <p>Econsultancy subscribers can read more about China in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report-q1-2016">The China Digital Report, Q1 2016</a> and look forward to quarterly updates later this year.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67769 2016-04-21T15:19:06+01:00 2016-04-21T15:19:06+01:00 The rise of Amazon's private labels shows the perils of not owning your data & customers Patricio Robles <p>As <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-20/got-a-hot-seller-on-amazon-prepare-for-e-tailer-to-make-one-too">detailed by</a> Bloomberg's Spencer Soper, Amazon's private label brand, AmazonBasics, has grown to more 900 products.</p> <p>And its expansion appears to be driven by insights the mega-retailer has gleaned from its troves of sales data:</p> <blockquote> <p>At first, AmazonBasics - launched in 2009 - focused on batteries, recordable DVDs and such. Then for several years, the house brand 'slept quietly as it retained data about other sellers’ successes', according to the report.</p> <p>But in the past couple of years, AmazonBasics has stepped up the pace, rolling out a range of products that seem perfectly tailored to customer demand.</p> </blockquote> <p>Soper points to Rain Design, maker of a best-selling laptop stand, as an example of Amazon's strategy.</p> <p>Last year, AmazonBasics began selling a similar laptop stand, but at half the price, cutting into Rain Design's sales.</p> <p>Unfortunately for Rain Design, because Amazon's stand doesn't infringe on the company's patent, there isn't much it can do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4156/laptopstand.png" alt="" width="861" height="493"></p> <p>According to Chad Rubin, who runs ecommerce firm Skubana, Amazon "know[s] what people want and they're going to mop it up."</p> <p>By Skubana's count, Amazon is increasingly doing just that, and added nearly 300 products to its AmazonBasics portfolio last year alone.</p> <p>Beyond AmazonBasics, the 800-pound gorilla of online retail has launched a number of private label apparel brands, including Lark &amp; Ro, Scout + Ro, Franklin &amp; Freeman and Franklin Tailored.</p> <p>These are now estimated to sell more tham 1,800 different products, putting Amazon directly in competition with former partners like Gap and Eddie Bauer.</p> <h3>Amazon's advantages</h3> <p>While sellers like Rain Design hope that customer loyalty will help them weather the competition from AmazonBasics, Amazon has a number of major advantages.</p> <p>The biggest: it owns the data.</p> <p>That gives Amazon the ability to identify the ripest opportunities, including those that others don't even know about, and attack them with a level of insight that competitors don't have access to.</p> <p>Amazon also owns the customers and customer experience, making it more difficult for sellers like Rain Design to build the kind of loyalty that might encourage customers to pay significantly more for a product.</p> <p>Finally, Amazon has the wherewithal to experiment and fail quickly. As Soper notes:</p> <blockquote> <p>Amazon's size gives it an advantage over so-called direct-to-consumer startups such as mattress seller Casper and eyewear merchant Warby Parker because Amazon can experiment with one product rather than having to build out an entire line. If an item flops, it's no big deal.</p> </blockquote> <h3>It's not just ecommerce</h3> <p>Of course, Amazon isn't the only company that's seeking to take advantage of ownership and control of data and customers.</p> <p>Publishers are increasingly being pushed to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67691-content-creators-it-s-time-to-abandon-yourself-to-facebook">abandon themselves to Facebook</a>, which is working to get more and more publishers to publish their content directly on Facebook using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67544-facebook-to-open-up-instant-articles-what-publishers-need-to-know">Instant Articles</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push">Facebook Live</a>. </p> <p>Other popular social platforms, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67686-is-pinterest-using-how-to-pins-to-exploit-third-party-content-for-seo-benefit">like Pinterest</a>, are also taking advantage of the willingness of third parties to publish content outside of the channels they own and control.</p> <p>Obviously there's no guarantee that platforms will eventually look to cut out these publishers – Snapchat's <a href="http://digiday.com/publishers/lessons-snapchats-retreat-editorial-content/">retreat from original content</a> reveals numerous challenges in doing this.</p> <p>But the rise of Amazon's private labels and the impact it is having on Amazon sellers like Rain Design serves as a powerful reminder to <em>all</em> companies: if you don't control your data and customers, you can't really control your future.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67733 2016-04-14T15:01:51+01:00 2016-04-14T15:01:51+01:00 The Facebook 'context collapse': how decline in personal sharing might affect brands Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-07/facebook-said-to-face-decline-in-people-posting-personal-content">According to The Information</a>, by the middle of 2015, users' sharing of original, personal information had dropped 21% year-over-year, and has declined by 16% so far this year.</p> <p>Facebook says "the overall level of sharing has remained not only strong, but similar to levels in prior years," which means that if The Information's figures are accurate, Facebook users are sharing more non-personal content, like news articles and blogs posts published by third parties.</p> <p>At the same time, industry observers suggest that personal sharing activity has shifted to other platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.</p> <p>For brands active on Facebook, this trend is worth noting as it could eventually affect their efforts on the social network.</p> <h3>The good</h3> <p>The good news for brands is that Facebook users are using the service to share non-personal content on a large scale.</p> <p>This bolsters brand content marketing campaigns on Facebook, a good number of which rely on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67553-what-will-facebook-messenger-ads-mean-for-marketers/">the company's paid ad offerings</a>.</p> <p>If sharing of non-personal content was not being embraced, it's likely that some brands would question the efficacy of their campaigns on the social network and scale back their efforts as a result.</p> <p><em>Branded content goes well on Facebook</em></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/Econsultancy/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3935/Screen_Shot_2016-04-14_at_11.31.28.png" alt="econ facebook post" width="500"></a></p> <h3>The bad</h3> <p>While brands almost certainly benefit from users' willingness to share non-personal content, the bad news is that over the long-term, less personal sharing could change user behavior in ways that don't benefit brands.</p> <p>Ultimately, if Facebook's "context collapse" drives more and more personal sharing to other networks, Facebook users might engage less frequently and deeply with the service, over time reducing the value of Facebook sharing activity.</p> <p>Put simply, if a healthy balance between personal and non-personal sharing is lost permanently, Facebook could become less productive a platform for brands.</p> <p><em>Are baby pics becoming more common on Instagram?</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3934/iStock_000081941295_Small.jpg" alt="baby" width="615"></p> <h3>The ugly</h3> <p>Facebook is likely concerned about that balance, and while its efforts to restore it appear to be focused on encouraging more personal sharing, the risk for brands is that Facebook might eventually need to employ stronger tactics to do that.</p> <p>Hypothetically, these tactics could involve changes that favor personal over non-personal content. For example, there's nothing stopping Facebook from tweaking <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/7885-the-ultimate-guide-to-the-facebook-edgerank-algorithm">its algorithm</a> to more frequently highlight personal content.</p> <p>Given that many brands already struggle with organic reach and invest considerable sums into paid campaigns to more broadly reach their target audiences on Facebook, any changes that make it even more difficult or costly to stand out on the world's largest social network would not be welcome news for marketers.</p>