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Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Facebook eliminating clickbait headlines is a purely business move

You may have heard about Facebook’s attempts to eliminate / remove ‘click bait,’ or, essentially, articles that kind of tease you into clicking on them — bait you, in other words — with a controversial or attention-seeking headline or photo, then fail to deliver on the promise. In essence, it’s a situation where the entry point to an article — the photo associated with it, the headline, the description — way oversells what you’ll actually get when you get there. Google has been making moves to eliminate click-bait — and to reduce other SEO gaming techniques — for years, and now Facebook — Google’s pre-eminent rival, in some ways — is on the same train.

The thing you need to remember here, though, is that Facebook is now (has been for a while) a publicly-traded company and, as such, most of its decisions need to be business-facing.

This is another example. Read more

This Cor Pan Facebook post from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is terrifying

You likely know the tragedy of Flight MH17 by now, but you may not know this story about Cor Pan, a Dutch man. Because he was flying on Malaysian Airlines — and remember, Flight 370 was only a few months ago (the one that seemingly disappeared without a trace somewhere in the Indian Ocean) — he posted a picture of the plane to Facebook, saying “If the plane disappears, this is what it looks like.” Haunting:

As he made his way down the sky bridge from gate G03 at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, he paused to take a picture of the Boeing 777-200 that he and Ms Tol were about to board.

In a reference to the disappearance of flight MH370 in March, Mr Pan posted the picture on his Facebook page with the message: “If the plane disappears, this is what it looks like.”

His friends responded by wishing him a good holiday and reminding him to send back lots of photos, but within hours their messages would turn to fear, and then despair.

Ironically, social media was also the way that credit was taken for shooting down of the aircraft:

On the ground, Igor Strelkov – also known as Igor Girkin – the leader of the pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian government forces for control of eastern Ukraine, used his page on the social networking site Vkontakte to boast that his men had just shot down an aircraft. In a message posted at 2.50 p.m. BST, he wrote: “In the district of Torez an An-26 was just shot down. It crashed somewhere near the Progress mine.

“We warned them not to fly in ‘our skies.’ Here is video confirmation of the latest ‘fallen bird.’ The bird landed outside the residential zone, no peaceful civilians were injured.”

Here are some additional resources on Cor Pan, including what happened to that Facebook comments thread once news broke about the plane.  You can read more context here, here and here.

Satya Nadella and Microsoft just hit one of the all-time corporate pivot moments

Remember back in about 1996, when there were all sorts of pre-Internet memes about how, if Bill Gates stumbled across a $20 on the street, it actually wasn’t worth his time to bend over and pick it up? Everyone thought they were a monopoly over at Microsoft, Apple was down, Google was still in a garage, and … Redmond, WA owned the tech world for as far as the eye could see.

Flash forward to today: Microsoft just laid off 14 percent of its employees, predominantly in the mobile (Nokia) space. The pivot of all pivots — MBA jargon alert! — is coming. A company that gave the world Microsoft Office and owned the PC market only shipped 14 percent of the world’s computers last year. The Nadella hire was awesome from a “poach vs. develop” standpoint, and they may need that internal knowledge more than ever now. They just owned the World Cup — data science space! — but that doesn’t pay for 10K+ employees, per se.

To go back to something from the previous paragraph, “corporate pivot” refers to, essentially, switching your focal point. Oftentimes, MBA-type case studies revolve around this idea centrally. Either a company adapted (Netflix, for example) or it didn’t (Kodak, for example) — and that’s the line where everything can be defined. It’s honestly amazing to think that a company once as big and dominant as Microsoft — and still big and dominant in many ways, honestly — is facing such a pivot.

It seems like the focus is going to be “productivity and platforms” for the “mobile-first, cloud-first” world. That’s good that Microsoft has realized this. It’s also possible that Office for iPad might become the future of the productivity market. Nadella’s base summary of the “new” Microsoft is that “we help people get stuff done.” In a world that is insanely focused on how busy everyone is, that’s not a bad marketing strategy (cue “The Essentialist Movement”). Nadella seems to be aiming for simple synchronicity across multiple devices. As PC World explains:

That, of course, will be aided by Microsoft’s machine learning and ubiquitous computing endeavors—two initiatives that Nadella has been keen to push during his short reign thus far. Those are basically fancy buzzwords for using big data and cloud computing to help you in your everyday life and delivering a seamless experience across devices, the results of which we’re already starting to see in the cross-device syncing capabilities of Windows 8 and SkyDrive, as well as Microsoft’s recently unveiled Universal Apps that span Windows 8 and Windows Phone alike.

It seems like Nadella and his core leadership team made a good bet here — if they can bring true leadership to the cloud space and dominate the productivity space, they could stay in that race with Google, Facebook, et al around the various aspects of tech. But it is interesting to see such a pivot, and only 20 years or so after they were the company in tech.

 

It might take 371 days for your mom to friend you on Facebook

This is kind of old, but I just learned about it. Sue me. Facebook did a study on family dynamics within the site –utilizing millions of users — and found a bunch of interesting stuff, but perhaps most notably this: on average, parent-child pairs wait 371 days after joining Facebook to become official friends. DA FUQ? That’s an entire year! This study wasn’t just based on older, adult children — so you’re talking about a situation where high school kids are living in the house, realize their mom/dad is actually on Facebook, but aren’t doing anything about it. Talk about an awkward dance.

Some have argued that parents/grandparents joining Facebook is leading to the site’s “teenager problem,” but that’s not entirely true. First of all, I’m not sure Facebook has a significant user base problem, seeing as how it has over 1 billion of ‘em. Second of all, technology works like that: things get big, and other things come along that are cooler and “disrupt” them. That’s what you see now with stuff like Snapchat (which Facebook tried to buy) and Instagram (which it did). Those have higher levels of engagement, purportedly, because they offer a simple, easy-to-understand-and-click environment (and let’s be honest, your mom probably isn’t on Snapchat).

I actually am friends with most of my friend’s parents on Facebook. I find it entertaining. This one girl I was friends with back in NYC, her mom used to constantly post statuses that said “What’s on your mind?” She was basically reading the Facebook prompt box and typing it back. LOL. I adore stuff like that about how some generations “don’t get it.” (By the way, there were things that generation got that their parents didn’t too; it’s been like that forever.) My mother-in-law is on Facebook and puts up some interesting stuff; my own mother probably has never turned on a computer, and my father sees no utility for something like that.

This is probably the most famous single moment in the history of “Facebook and parenting,” FYI.

I’d view that 371 figure above in 1 of 2 ways:

1. The parent generation signed up, but barely uses it (you have friends like that your own age, probably). It takes them about a year to realize, “Whoa, I could use this to see what my daughter does with her friends.”

2. With the exception of “digital natives” now having kids (35 and under, I’d reckon), very few people for this study (which happened in Sept. 2012) probably thought they’d come of age, and raise children, in a world where there was even a chance they could digitally see what was up. This is like the diary of the 1960s becoming a friggin’ Timeline with a cover photo. That’s intense. So maybe the 371 days figure is about the mom/dad side being like, “Whoa, how do we play this?”

I’d like to have kids some day, and I’d love ‘em to be on whatever social media sites are out there when they grow up, and I’d love to connect with ‘em on there — but I also realize, in this hypothetical years hence situation, there would need to be some rules and guidelines. I’d probably get after it in less than 371 days, though.

76 percent of business interactions on social media are “neutral?” That’s boring.

Big organizations may have ruined social in some ways. They rushed in at one point trying to be cool, and now your NewsFeed and Timeline and whatever else can be cluttered with stuff about Fritos. This is a potential tipping point, no doubt. I read an article on a plane a few weeks ago — can’t remember the publication, alas — about how some cracker company was doing selfies with their cracker in Times Square, and the best selfie got a personalized selfie from Kelly Osborne. This is a good example of a marketing meeting that hit the f’n wall at about 100 mph, but in which someone said “We need to be cool. Something with selfies, and something with Kelly Osborne!” That person probably makes 2x what I ever will. Meetings rule, as we know.

Was just perusing the Buffer blog and I found this, via a Mention study: when you analyze over 1 billion interactions with businesses on social media, 18 percent are positive, 6 percent are negative, and 76 percent are neutral/transactional (so basic questions about the brand, etc.) That means that 3/4 of all interactions on social with a company tend to be neutral. That’s fairly boring, especially if you add in the fact that 80 percent of individual social users are “me-formers” instead of “informers.”

There’s probably 2-3 main lessons here, as I would see it.

1. If 76 percent of brand interaction on social falls in that neutral category, then your social strategy needs to rest less on engagement / lead generation and more on moving customer service over to social. If Twitter is a customer service channel and you’re dealing with people’s tweets pretty quickly, you’re converting those people into “brand ambassadors,” which is a form of lead generation. Now… the issue here is that only a small percentage of people are actually on Twitter, and probably none from certain generations that still may have questions or be the leading purchasing force in a household. So you can’t abandon traditional forms of customer service, no … but if 3/4 of branded social is neutral, you need to be doing customer service in that space.

2. Ultimately social media needs to be tied to revenue, yes — I had a job interview with NASCAR this spring where a high-up guy told me, “I don’t care what we do on social, so long as we make money” – but this 76 percent figure points to looking at social ROI differently. The goal shouldn’t necessarily be “lead gen” — the funnel is totally shot from how most people are taught it, anyway — but rather, conversion to ambassador status (basically make a potential customer/client feel like you dealt with their question/issue and make them think, “Wow, that’s a good company”). That conversion could lead to e-mail capture, and then you start to get towards lead gen. But sometimes it feels like companies enter the space and assume, “Well, leads will fall into our lap. There’s millions on social!” There are actually several intermediate steps in the process. It’s not conventional 1970s sales and marketing anymore.

By the way, they call this whole 76 percent concept “The Pac-Man Effect” because of what the graph looks like:

Pac Man Effect 620

Even as organic reach declines, Facebook’s best day for engagement is Fridays

There’s a cool post over at Buffer about surprising social media statistics, and while a few different things stand out — for example, about 91 percent of your mentions on Twitter will likely come from a user with less than 500 followers (thus don’t chase the big game, per se) — there’s something on Facebook engagement by days of the week that’s pretty cool:

Facebook Engagement by Day

As you can see, Friday is the best day. Honestly, this probably says more about people checking out mentally at work on Fridays than it says about Facebook — it’s probably a reason to consider adopting a 4 x 10 work schedule — but it’s interesting to note as organic reach continues to decline. For example, it’s been long held that it’s bad to send e-mail marketing efforts on Fridays, but apparently it’s good to Facebook share therein. This rolls up with the idea that people feel they’re slammed on Fridays — things to close up before the weekend — but as the day wears on, they’re feeling checked out too.

The Facebook engagement stats came from Adobe’s “Social Intelligence Report” for Q1 of 2014, which analyzed 225 billion FB postings and also found that nearly 25 percent of all video plays on Facebook occur on Fridays. Again, as a Friday wears onward, people feel checked out and need distractions; that seems to be more what this is saying — but from a marketing standpoint, rather than worrying that “saving your best stuff” for Friday will get it buried, you should actually consider embracing Friday as a concept for posting (but not e-mailing!).

At a broad level, I’ve been thinking recently about social and whether its powers in terms of real-time and connectivity can someday be disrupted because the space is becoming too noisy (and as brands clutter it, which was bound to happen, “real users” might leave — which will then make the brands leave, right?). Decent read on some of that stuff here. The ties between social media and employee engagement — two major buzzwords of the last 3-5 years — are no doubt pretty interesting, though: a consistent decline in engagement at work can lead to more engagement on social. So in a way, brands are rooting for other brands to internally not be engaging their people — so that those other employees are instead looking at their brand on social. Hmm. Kind of meta, in a way.

Overall lesson: don’t be afraid to post to Facebook on Fridays. And try to keep your people engaged at work.

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