- 05 Jan 2014
- Peter Kim
- No Comments
- Blog Post
I’ve ordered a pair of Google Glass and will hand it over to the marketing department on Monday morning. The plan is for every person in our company to use Glass for a week and get familiar with what it can do, as wearables are positioned to be one of the most important trends for brands. Maybe not in 2014, but certainly in the next few years.
After a couple days, my biggest takeaway is that it’s important to understand the potential of Glass and its functionality while monitoring the cultural, technological, and commercial environment of wearables:
Keep an eye on the Dachis Group Twitter feed as my colleagues take turns as explorers in the weeks ahead.
Marketers are discussing giving up on earned media in 2014. But should they?
This blog post is a response to Augie Ray’s post “Three Reasons the Marketing Department Will Give Up On Earned Media in 2014” from his excellent Experience: The Blog. In his post he makes a number of reasonable points for why many marketers will give up on earned media in 2014. It’s hard to predict the future, but putting whether they will do so or not aside – should they?
We don’t think so.
As our CEO Jeff points out in the comments on Augie’s post, we see earned media as a brand marketing medium which can be a challenge to measure, but is a critical part of brand marketing. Even if achieving earned media is difficult for marketers, that’s no reason to give up on it in 2014, it’s just too big of an opportunity. In this blog post we’ll expand a bit on Jeff’s point and review the key assertions from Augie’s post.
This concern revolves around the fact that Facebook has increasingly throttled brand reach in an effort to monetize the massive amounts of traffic on Facebook. Who can blame them? They are responsible to their shareholders after all. However, there are two problems with this line of reasoning:
Dachis Group is a Facebook Preferred developer and has undertaken countless Facebook campaigns, content posts, and interactions on behalf of global brands over the years. From the very earliest days of Facebook, fan acquisition for the most part required a substantial paid investment and campaigns even more so – in the old days we typically reserved 50% of a Facebook campaign’s budget for a wave of paid media to accompany the campaign.
Facebook is the largest of all the social networks with more than 1 billion users, and most brands have a larger following on Facebook than any other However, let’s not forget that in the last 24 months alone we’ve seen Twitter’s IPO, the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine. Substantial growth in Google+ and YouTube, plus significant growth from LinkedIn and Tumblr.
None of these platforms algorithmically throttle a brands’ access to its following. All of these platforms provide endless unique opportunities to design creative campaigns that yield substantial engagement from audiences. There is no shortage of places online that are far from Facebook’s grasp to earn consumer attention. Snapchat now has more photos shared daily than Facebook.
As brands have pursued more and more timely participation in the news and events of the day, many have crossed stirred up a whole lot of bad blood and publicity. Ray rightfully cites disasters like Kenneth Cole during the Egyptian revolution, Epicurious following the Boston Marathon, Taco Bell mishandling a product promotion and many more.
All of these are legitimate screw ups on the part of the brand, but it’s also important to put them in context. A typical brand publishes 1 post to Facebook every single day. Our platform at Dachis Group tracks more than 35,000 brands (and that’s just the big ones you’ve heard about), so assuming all of those brands are doing just that, that means brands in aggregate are posting at least 245,000 Facebook updates per week, and 980,000 per month, or 11,760,000 posts per year. And that is just Facebook, let alone Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, etc. Yet, the vast majority of brands have never had anything remotely resembling a serious social media snafu.
The only conclusion we can draw is that brands are actually really good at avoiding risk with social content. It doesn’t mean all of the content is world-changing or even particularly good, but the overwhelming body of evidence indicates that brands are using social media safely.
If true, this is probably the most damning of objections for earned media. If it just doesn’t work, then it doesn’t matter if you can get infinite reach with no risk – it’s a waste of time. We believe strongly that earned media is a brand building medium. This makes it difficult to measure, but doesn’t reduce it’s value.
Rather than simply make a counter-claim, we can look to peer reviewed research to answer this one:
“Consistent with the predictions, social media use positively contributes to brand performance, retailer performance, and consumer–retailer loyalty.”
“Empirical results show that social media exposure is a significant driver of consumer behavior through altering evaluation of product characteristics and purchase choices.”
“Our findings show that engagement in social media brand communities leads to a positive increase in purchase expenditures.”
“They find that (1) both traditional and social earned media affect sales; (2) the per-event sales impact of traditional earned media activity is larger than for social earned media; (3) because of the greater frequency of social earned media activity, after adjusting for event frequency, social earned media’s sales elasticity is significantly greater than traditional earned media’s; and (4) social earned media appears to play an important role in driving traditional earned media activity.”
Plus, there’s the research from Comscore and Facebook Power of the Like paper (though, one must consider the source):
“In the case of Starbucks, exposed Fans and Friends of Fans showed statistically significant lifts in in-store purchase incidence for each of the four weeks following earned media exposure.”
“The increasing cumulative lift in purchase behavior among exposed Starbucks Fans and Friends of Fans provides strong evidence of a latent branding impact of earned media exposure. This same latent effect was observed in the lift in purchase incidence among exposed Fans and Friends of Fans of retailer Target.”
The unifying theme across all of these documents is that earned media in social works, but that it is primarily a branding medium – not necessarily a transactional one.
So to conclude, will marketers give up on earned media in 2014? Perhaps they will. Effective social marketing can be challenging.
Is it better for large organizations to shift ‘ownership’ of social away from marketing? Maybe. Though we’d argue that ‘ownership’ of social has been resolved through the widespread adoption of social media centers of excellence and other tactics for weaving Social Business across the enterprise.
SHOULD marketers give up on earned media? Absolutely not.
The opportunity remains enormous. New trends like timely and real-time marketing are just being born, and rather than retreat into a shell, marketers should continue to improve the quality of social media execution if they want to achieve outsized results.
2013 was filled with retweet-worthy social media stories… some awe-inspiring, some not so fabulous. Brands are finally getting the hang of doing social, but there’s still room for improvement. Let 2014 be the year your company goes from just ‘doing’ social to being social, with the help of these 10 tips.
Miley Cyrus has a new video and guess what, it’s not particularly conservative. Or clothed.
If you’re one of the millions who got a new android device for the holidays, The Next Web has some app advice.
Want to play every single video game of your childhood? The online internet archive has them all for free.
One of the lessons from the Target identity theft: Don’t shop with your debit card.
A ship has gotten stuck in the Antarctic ice and a rescue mission is under way.
In the world of astronomy another alien planet has been discovered.
If you’ve been Nokia “Here” Maps in place of Apple Maps on your iOS device. Well, you can’t anymore.
China might be the world’s largest economy by 2028.
Popular BBC TV show Sherlock is back with a mini-episode.
Consumers leave their personal data in the hands of brands, expecting it to be safe. But, is their trust justified? We engaged with leaders from Intel Corporation, Symantec, Altimeter Group, CEB TowerGroup and more to discuss privacy and security in our newest eBook.
Today’s excerpt is from Ed Terpening of Altimeter Group.
Recently, Google announced in its Q3 earnings report that YouTube mobile traffic has increased to 40%, up from 25% last year and a mere 6% in 2011.
The increase in Internet use on mobile devices isn’t slowing down anytime soon. More than ever, Americans are reaching for their smartphones and tablets instead of their PCs to go online.
What does this mean for enterprise social marketers?
Many of the most important events in social media from 2013 highlight the rising importance and ubiquity of real-time communications, from Twitter’s IPO to the Snapchat explosion. Brands and public figures alike use real-time methods to connect with audiences, increase interest in a product, and promote consumer engagement. Despite all of these signs, there’s still some skepticism around real-time marketing. People are hungry for examples of these tactics being successfully deployed. To help bring some clarity, we’ve defined some key terms for the space below and also provided key real-time marketing examples from Nissan, AT&T, and Absolut to show that this really is possible for any brand.
Nissan, AT&T, and Absolut Vodka Embrace Real-Time Marketing
Nissan’s social media team regularly scans the social sphere to locate trending topics relevant to their brand and audience. This week they found Luke Aker, aka @IkonikFilms, an amateur filmmaker who created a humorous, high-definition video advertisement for his 1996 Nissan Ultima. He also developed copy for a web-based ad, posted on Craigslist, and shared with his followers.
When Nissan caught wind of the entertaining video, they immediately tweeted their interest in buying the car. The carmaker also offered to donate $1,000 to the charity of Aker’s choice, the Wounded Warrior Project.
— Nissan (@NissanUSA) December 16, 2013
Erich Marx, director of interactive and social media marketing at Nissan North America, told Digiday: “Rob Robinson, one of the guys on my social team here at Nissan North America found this yesterday, just browsing through the social space — we are always searching different keywords — and he came across this video. He came to me and asked me if we should do something with it, and I agreed that we should, so we just ran with it.” The real-time engagement generated interest from outside news outlets and enabled Nissan to actively participate in a relevant trend. Marx’s comments demonstrate the precise steps necessary to churn out meaningful real-time content: searching for trends, joining trends, engaging, and responding as quickly as possible. Real-time marketing requires an agile team, creativity, and a reaction-oriented marketing mindset.
The Oxford English Dictionary has made a habit of inducting tech-industry related terms into its famous book of words over the last few years. In 2012 it was GIF, unfriend in 2009, refudiate (made famous by a Sarah Palin tweet) in 2010, and podcast in 2005. The publication made a splash in the social sphere over its choice of the word “selfie” this year, beating out other tech terms such as “showrooming” and “bitcoin.” AT&T was quick to respond to the trend with a playful blog post that educated users on “selfie” best practices and tips. Although the content isn’t an in-depth analysis of the word choice, or an especially compelling article, AT&T’s newsroom and community management team were quick to tap into the trending news topic and produce a piece of relevant content. The news story was posted to the OED’s blog on November 19th, publications hopped on the story the same day, and AT&T’s post was up on November 25th with a tweet to go along with it a few days later.
— AT&T (@ATT) December 5, 2013
The post didn’t make a big splash, nor did it initiate a strong reaction, but it performed at a notably higher margin than typical posts on AT&T’s blog. When companies make the effort to produce relevant content that aligns with news and trends with which audiences are engaged, it is more likely to spark consumer engagement.
The AT&T newsroom put together a reactive piece of content based on a hot-off-the-press news announcement. Because the content was focused on a piece of trending content, it outperformed the company’s typical blog posts.
Absolut Vodka has an active Twitter presence, heavily focused on its involvement with visual arts and collaborations with the art community. The brand’s print advertising has long been praised for its creativity and artistic nature, and its social presence is a natural extension of that concept. (See #OpenCanvas, #TransformToday, #TransformBasel) In late November, New York City’s well-loved graffiti park, 5 Pointz closed down and was painted over to serve as the site for a new construction project. In solidarity with the artist community mourning the loss of 5 Pointz, Absolut tweeted a simple, hyper-relevant message-image that was well-suited to the event, the brand and it’s artistic affiliations.
— ABSOLUT VODKA (@ABSOLUTvodka_US) November 20, 2013
The tweet yielded 117 retweets and 64 favorites, a higher number of engagements by a wide margin than the brand’s typical tweets (usually 1-10 retweets and 0-5 favorites). The success of this real-time campaign demonstrates the inclination of consumers and brand audiences to more readily engage with relevant, timely social content than “evergreen” posts that are not directly tied to any trending topic.
Marketing with relevancy enables brands to connect with consumers in the same way customer audiences communicate with one another, increasing positive perceptions of a brand and ultimately leading to purchases and brand advocacy.
Real-time marketing is ubiquitous at this time of year. We’d love to hear your favorite examples of real-time marketing—from any time of year. Get in touch with us on Twitter @DachisGroup.
Want to learn more about planning for real-time marketing content? Download our latest whitepaper, Content Planning for Community Managers.
As 2013 comes to a close, Dachis Group is taking a look back at the year through the lens of social business. The social media world was chock-full of exciting stories this year, and even penetrated the mainstream media world in a major way. From Twitter’s IPO to the selection of “selfie” as the 2013 word of the year, everyone was talking about social business news at some point this year.
When we reminisce about the most prominent events in the social sphere this year, one theme remains steady across every story: a strong leaning towards real-time. Each event that took place this year highlights the rapid growth in popularity and preference for real-time updates, timely content, and rapid communication. Brands are shifting towards real-time marketing tactics in a major way, while consumers want to digest hyper-relevant content as rapidly as possible. The social business world has responded with new trend analytics platforms and enhanced real-time features to address the market’s need for real-time communications.
Here are some of the year’s biggest moments in social media, all playing into the rise in real-time communications.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
When a blackout hit the Superdome during the Superbowl in February, brand marketers had the perfect window of opportunity to capture the eyeballs and attention of viewers, who took to social media to discuss the unusual incident. The creative team at Oreo seized the opportunity with a clever, timely tweet and simple graphic that garnered over 15,000 retweets, earned the brand a Cannes Lions award, and recognition as one of the early participants in the real-time marketing revolution. The brand was recognized more for its timeliness and relevancy than anything else, bringing marketers’ attention to the appeal of timely content, and causing a flurry of attempts at recreating their own “Oreo moment.”
Although launched in September 2011, the instant photo-sharing platform truly took off this year. The number of photos shared grew from 60 million in February 2013 to 150 million April, 200 million in June and 350 million in September. The app, which currently generates zero revenue, has been valued at $3.6 billion and reportedly turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook.
Snapchat is the ultimate example of a real-time social platform, powered by the idea of instantaneous sharing—and immediate deletion—without any delay or remnants of the social interaction occurring. Its surge in popularity this year also proves the lean towards real-time interactions and fast-paced communication methods amongst social consumers. Brands have slowly begun to utilize the platform, with early adapters including Taco Bell, Acura and Rebecca Minkoff, which are using Snapchat to find new ways to market in real-time to customers.
Riding on the immense growth in popularity of photo-sharing platforms this year, the “selfie”—a photo of oneself, taken by oneself, usually on a smartphone, and shared on social media—earned itself a place in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. According to its editors, “It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the Internet. If it is good enough for the Obamas or The Pope, then it is good enough for Word of the Year.” The OED’s short list included other tech and social related terms, including “bitcoin,” “showrooming” and “twerk,” but “selfie” was the unanimous, runaway winner for the year. The popularity of the term and the practice highlights the growing fascination with instantaneous photo-sharing and real-time updates this year. (We’re personally very happy that The Pope has chosen selfies over twerking as his method of cultural engagement.)
As we outlined in our analysis of Twitter’s initial public offering this November, the micro-blogging tech giant is the foundation of real-time communications and marketing. The platform, now that it has $24 billion in the bank, isn’t going anywhere: its financial success validates without a doubt that the next evolution in marketing is here: real-time. Twitter is the most visible hub for much of the real-time conversation occurring in the world today, with 232 million users (now valued at $135 each) who keep the massive engine of real time updates, micro-blogging, and relevant news flowing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The site provides an unbelievable platform for marketers to understand their advocates, consumers, and audience and its growth into a public company represents the promising future for real-time communications and marketing. Facebook struggled during its IPO in May 2012, and is trading at a healthy $50.53 today. LinkedIn opened at $45 in May 2011, and today trades at $237.97 on the NYSE. Both social networking sites, which also happen to be among the largest technology IPO’s in history, demonstrate that there is success to be earned in the social business space and that Twitter is likely to continue the trend.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stirred the social media pot in December 2012 when he took to his Facebook page to share information from the company’s latest earnings statement. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged Netflix and its CEO violated rules governing selective disclosure, who shared with more than 200,000 Facebook fans that Netflix viewing “exceeded 1 billion hours of video in June.” Netflix shares rose 6.2 percent that day.
Hastings ignited a discussion surrounding the use of social media sites by companies to make corporate announcements in real-time. The incident inevitably led to the SEC’s April 2013 decision to allow public companies to share financial information via social media, so long as the public is warned in advance. The incident and following decision demonstrated the human—and now corporate—desire to communicate in real-time, using real-time platforms. Not only have consumer marketers shifted towards real-time marketing strategies, but the financial communications and investor relations world has made the shift as well.
In an attempt to attract a younger and more active user base, Yahoo! announced in May that it would acquire blogging site Tumblr. The platform is a fast-paced communicating tool for 300 million monthly unique visitors who write about 900 posts per second. The move was one of several ways Mayer is attempting to revamp the brand and company, including a homepage makeover, a refreshed Flickr, and a redesigned Yahoo! Mail. It represents a meaningful level of recognition, by one of the largest technology corporations, of the rise in popularity of real-time, fast-paced communications.
Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” announcement is always a highly anticipated news story, a media tradition dating back to 1927 when Charles Lindbergh took the honor. This year the public had the opportunity to participate in the decision-making, in real-time. Time partnered with Twitter this year to gather votes using the hashtag #TIMEPOY, underscoring the growing practice of brands to engage with consumers in real time. As of December 2nd, Miley Cyrus was in the lead amongst Twitter participants, but Pope Francis ended up receiving the honor this year.
— TIME.com (@TIME) November 25, 2013
All of these events from the past year tell us one thing: real-time is the direction that media, marketing and communications is headed. It’s evidenced by these stories of human communications and corporate behavior, and we look forward to being a part of the real-time marketing future.
Still curious about real-time marketing? Download our white paper on how to plan for relevant content and real-time consumer interactions.