Facebook News Feed Dilemma: Is the Feed for Users or Advertisers

For whom is the Facebook news feed? Is it for users or advertisers? the questions isn’t spurious even though you might get very different answers depending on who you ask the question to. Now, open up the Facebook app. What are the first five posts you see? A picture of your friend’s new dog, a Buzzfeed article liked by your friend, a viral video, a suggested post promoting a brand, a suggested app. The use of the Facebook news feed as an advertising platform for marketers is growing at a rapid pace, and users see more and more ads on their news feeds. Facebook users tend to express a dislike toward the number of ads invading their news feed. Facebook faces the challenge of creating a pleasant user experience while still generating revenue from their advertisements. Facebook, like most free services, need advertisements in order to succeed. It is a matter of finding the right balance between personal and promotional information.

[Editor’s note: this piece by Diana Mylonas was written towards the end of December 2017 and, for some obscure reason, never published. We are releasing it now with a 7-month delay but its question is more relevant than ever before in the light of recent events. We will be closing this blog temporarily in order to charge our batteries over the Summer and we’ll be back towards the end of August with brand new stories. Enjoy the sun!]

Facebook News Feed Continue reading “Facebook News Feed Dilemma: Is the Feed for Users or Advertisers”

Digital Marketing: What is at stake for B2B companies?

A friend of mine is working in the marketing department of a medium sized B2B industrial company. The latter has just over 300 employees and operates on a large network of distributors throughout the world. The business is quite flourishing. But things can change. In fact, things are changing very fast today. My friend believes he should board on the digital marketing wave, to increase his company’s visibility on the web: in other words, he wants to develop a strategic presence on social networks. The problem is that he is not really familiar with all the digital concepts. So, he turned to me and asked me for advice.

This lead to a long reflection with him about what digital marketing really is and especially what the benefits can be for him and his business. It is important to understand digital before rushing into it prematurely. Finally, I quickly described to him the different steps that are essential to the success of his “digital marketing” project.

Digital Marketing and B2B: the two make a pair!

Digital marketing is first a matter of trend. To be competitive and innovative it is necessary to stay in the race, and therefore follow the flow.

B2B marketing budgets are shifting to digital and social. Overall, B2B marketing budgets are expected to increase, on average, by about 5% in the coming year. But spending on digital marketing programs is projected to rise three times as fast, and over the next five years, the share of budget dollars dedicated to social media marketing will more than double.”

But digital marketing goes well beyond a simple trend. It has real advantages in B2B.

Digital Marketing advantages

What are the advantages of digital marketing in B2B

Multi-channel: By using multiple channels, digital marketing offers many opportunities (complementary to traditional marketing) and allows users / companies to act at all levels of the purchasing process

Cost-efficiency: Digital marketing is less costly than “traditional” marketing; indeed …Even stalwart traditional marketers know that they cannot compete the Internet’s potential to reach thousands with just a single post”. Printing and shipment costs are not taken into account in digital, this is the advantage of CPC (you pay only when click). Continue reading “Digital Marketing: What is at stake for B2B companies?”

Snapchat: a new golden opportunity

How many social media accounts do you have? Most people have a Facebook page in addition to their Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts. Snapchat stole the spotlight a few years ago. Every since, they have been enjoying their huge growth. The new social network attracted people under 25 to its fun platform. I discussed with the Apéro Digital team, Florentin Soonckindt and Baptiste Ricart, two marketing and communication students who are passionate about digital. Apéro Digital’s concept is simple: informing you in less than a minute daily. They explained how they found the opportunity in using Snapchat’s growth to develop their idea.

Snapchat’s glory days

At the beginning of its glory days, Snapchat was the main social media for teenagers. Many studies show that the teenagers’ favorite social media tool was Snapchat. What does this app have more than Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Snapchat’s strength is that is found a way to answer the Z generation’s needs. And this is exactly what constitutes its success. Today’s generation is also called the ‘selfie generation’. There is one loophole that makes a huge difference. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are today used by a larger audience, including parents. Teenagers feel insecure on these platforms. This is exactly why they all shifted to Snapchat, that is more private.. for now!

Snapchat is the young generations's private digital platform
Snapchat is the young generations’s private digital platform

Teenagers are not the only ones to understand the opportunities behind Snapchat. A lot of big information groups such as CNN, the Daily Mail, National Geographic use this medium to share daily news. Brands from different sectors are starting to use this tool too. They share stories, moments, with their communities. They can even take their audience behind-the-scenes. Burberry did that with an exclusive photo shoot. Brands get very creative on Snapchat to launch an event, a product, or simply to encourage users to share content. Continue reading “Snapchat: a new golden opportunity”

How far can your Twitter bird chirp?

They say “word travels fast”, but today, it can travel the world in a few clicks. Have you ever wondered where your 140 characters on Twitter fly to? I recently re-activated my twitter account. I’ve been sharing and retweeting quite a lot of content with people from all around the world. Indeed, people from different origins follow my account now. Thus, making me curious to know where my followers come from. When I asked myself this question the other day, I decided to try different tools available online. These tools are as practical as scary. I decided to try and compare some of them. Let’s discover what different features they offer.

Mapmysocial:

Mapmysocial is a tool that allows a social media user to map their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare followers. It gathers followers’ profile pictures and positions them on the world map. This map can be then shared on social media in 2D or 3D. The use of this application is totally free. There is no obligation to follow mapmysocial on any platform, or publish a promotional post. All you have to do is sign in on the platform, through the mapmysocial website. This authorizes the website to access some of your account’s information.

Twitter map my social
www.mapmysocial.com

Tweepsmap:

Personally, I found this second tool to be great. It allows Twitter users to map their followers – even to a city level-, to observe their followers’ trending topics, and explore keywords (hashtags). This is useful to analyze further the engagement and effectiveness of a digital activity on Twitter. It also helps Twitter users to Continue reading “How far can your Twitter bird chirp?”

Adblocking: a cat-and-mouse game built on trust

Adblocking is a hot topic these days. A never ending cat and mouse game between advertisers and consumers in which ingenious developers are constantly finding new ways of avoiding or trying to avoid advertising pressure. What Adblocking is showing us too is a lack of trust on the part of consumers. Who else but Doc Searls, one of the co-writers of the celebrated Cluetrain Manifesto was in better position to raise the subject? This is exactly what he did at our late September meeting in Prague*. Once more, consumer trust ranked high on the agenda.

“Adblocking is becoming a big deal and it’s even one of the biggest downloads and even more so in certain countries like Germany and Austria” Doc said in his introduction to the subject. “This has grown and grown and journalists are describing it as a War now”. Even better, Apple has made this decision to add adblocking in the IOS 9 SDK. You will then be able to block whatever you want. “Immediately after this change” Doc said, “Adblockers became the most popular apps on the store”. 

Adblockers-Trust-consumers
Doc Searls talking about Adblocking in front of the panel of ODR experts at the Prague September meeting organised by Youstice

Adblocking: Apple knows before consumers they really need it

“It’s very easy for the Press to describe this as an Apple vs Google feud” Doc added “but the point is somewhere else”. Doc’s argument is that Apple is making it easy for consumers, because “they know what the customers want even before they know themselves what they want”. Apple has indeed taught us to expect the unexpected, offer products we don’t need apparently, and then once the object has been created we suddenly realise we are craving for it.

One of the interesting things about the Adblock controversies is that it emphasises that our world works through advertising. “But online, the junk-mail world has taken over and this isn’t what we were expecting” Doc added. Things have gone out of control. The publishing world acts as if they didn’t understand what is happening. To them, this is how the world works and that’s that but “we, as consumers, we have never signed up for this”.

Why do we need trust in business?

Lea Whing has an interesting point to make on this. when Doc Searls mentions trust, what are we hearing? “Are we only interested in trust because this is what will trigger consumer purchase?” She asked wittily, “or is it because people need it? If so, what do customers really need?”

Continue reading “Adblocking: a cat-and-mouse game built on trust”