Personally yours; not Facebook’s

According to recent Pew Research Center data, folks are refraining from sharing as much about their personal lives on Facebook as they did before. Could this make Facebook irrelevant?

The research points to people sending private messages via the messenger app, claiming that because Facebook has become SO popular, people are filtering what they share because it may not be appropriate for all their friends that are now on the social media platform.

I’d be interested in finding out just how many people are also getting the heebie-jeebies about data collection and are refraining because they are catching on to the tracking and not liking it??

Facebook has been trying several efforts to re-engage the audience that they have worked so hard to gather..

Informal Poll

If you’ve stopped posting as freely as you once did, what are your reasons for not posting as much information on Facebook?

 

 

Private Eyes. They’re Watching You.

Growing up, most people were taught to protect their social security number, to guard the PIN on their debit cards and to only share their mother’s maiden name with the banks who needed it to verify identity.

Do any of those precautions matter any more?

Today, with Social Media, apps and mobile pay, most people share information freely over the Internet and assume because they’ve entered a complex password that they are protected.

Even when one stops to consider BIG DATA, how much do we really know about what information is being collected about us? Would you ever dream that there are cameras taking photos of your license plate, every time you pass a police car? Whether or not you’ve committed a crime, your license plate information could be stored in a database just in case, one day, it  might be needed.

Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram and most apps being downloaded on to your phone are capturing data about you and using it for the benefit of big companies. On some level, most people understand this, and probably even think it’s mostly because companies want to send us better targeted ads. Yes, good ad targeting is one result. But do we really know what else is being collected?

Take a DATA SELFIE and learn more….

What a genius idea. A new browser plugin has been released that gives people the insight needed. DATA SELFIE shows what information is being collected about you. The creators share that it will help people understand the level of details being collected.

77% of people stated, last year, the Internet is becoming more dangerous and,

75% of consumers thought companies aren’t doing enough to protect our privacy.

It’s in our hands to be responsible for the information we are releasing out into the world, as it always has been. Take precautions and consider what and where you are sharing it before you do.

 

 

 

Building Content in an Emerging Media World.

Google’s Knowledge Graph continues to evolve largely because of the increase of mobile usage and voice search. With that, we understand that consumers are able to ask Siri or Cortana or Alexa, or any other voice search conduit, a specific question that can lead them to a myriad of related questions.

Google research indicated a 61% increase ,between 2013-14, year-over-year in search queries that contain a direct question.

yoy growth in question phrases

Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan offers this example: You can say, “Barack Obama,” and Google will show you results for Barack Obama, and respond, saying, “Barack Obama is President of the United States.” You can then ask, “How old is he?” and you will hear, “Barack Obama is 53.” What’s cool about this, Sullivan explains, is that the search engine knows that “he” refers to Barack Obama, and that Barack Obama is a person. The search engine can then pull information it has about that person from its giant Knowledge Graph database and present it as if you were having a conversation with Google itself.

Currently, marketers write website content with the “content is king” philosophy and the “people love sharing content” theories in mind. While these still hold value, it will be increasingly important to also think of questions consumers might ask when needing information your company, or its website, can provide. For example, in B2B marketing, not only should the marketer for a restaurant supply store write downloadable content, for say “The 5 Best Ways to Clean Stainless Steel” but they should also consider related questions and make sure, for voice search purposes, those products and answers are featured on their site and within content, such as “Where can I find Stainless Steel Cleaners?” or, “Who has the best price on Stainless Steel Cleaners?” etc.

Two themes run through most content-writing websites and blogs:

  1. Create a content strategy that meets your organization’s goals
  2. Find the shared story across your content that you can bring to life

Meshing the content theory and the Knowledge Graph sorting features, here, this grid demonstrates how 3 topics/products/business lines can take this concept through a question based process to help illustrate this thinking.

 

content builder_EM

 

Although it looks linear, you might not be able to find the shared story until you’ve filled in the grid for your various product lines. With the three companies and their featured products in the examples above, the exercise included finding benefits that matched. Those were also not identified until after the other items were completed

  1. Identify what questions your customer might ask when thinking about their problem or your product
  2. What problem does your product solve/what does it do/what is it
  3. What content do you already have?
  4. Why does this product exist, what does it do?
  5. (come back to this once you’ve documented all the products and brainstormed –what is the shared story?
  6. (Also come back to this once you’ve documented and determined the shared story
    1. As in example #1 – Imaging, Packaging and Censor solutions in agriculture are solutions for different parts of the chain, (images take place in the field, before package specs are built, and censors are for the coolers when the produce is at the market) but what do they all do:

what why solution_content EM

At the end of the day, they all create a bigger impact (shared story) and that is they support the creation and delivery of more produce which leads to a higher number of people having access to healthy foods (benefits).

 

Now, you are ready to decide on your new content needs, or revise what you have, so that it:

  • answers the questions your customer will ask
  • highlights the shared story
  • enables you to utilize keyword phrases that are authentic and that genuinely fit into your story

Once you’ve determined what your content read/look/feel will like, now you can think about the channels that best fit your audience and how you would like to craft the message to fit the platform.

Happy Content Building!

Video killed the radio star. And, the messenger button!

Video trumps again. But the better news is Vervid- it will help you with your videos 🙂

It’s just part of Facebook’s effort to make their video live stream easily accessible as the trend of people using their smartphones to capture and share video of their lives continues to soar. Messenger doesn’t go away, it just takes a back seat so the video application can be highlighted.

What else do you need to know about this smartphone video trend, thing?

More and more folks are recording in portrait (err. vertical) because it’s just plain easier to hold the phone that way and there’s less moving the phone from left-to-right to make the video adjust to your screen.

94% of the time, we hold our phone vertically.
it’s ergonomically easier.

But then what? Are you someone who doesn’t edit the video or even share it?

You take this fun video with your phone (vertically) –which is great because you can easily share it==but wait, to where?  and what if you just need to share, like, 20 seconds of it for folks to get the gist? If you Snapchat it –it disappears. Periscope it and you have a few steps to save and post somewhere else–it’s no longer spontaneous. And still. It’s too long. It’s not funny unless you cut to the chase.

 

According to Vervid’s recent studies, the average user that shots video with one hand

  • a) shoots with their native camera app,
  • b) lets that content sit on their phones, never to be shared,
  • c) never edits those clips because there are no editors built for vertical video, and
  • d) if they do share outwardly, it’s to Facebook.

Here’s your VERVID solution@!! I love this 🙂 I promise, it will help with your video posting adventures! Download it from the Appstore. I would have posted an example, but dang it–nothing funny is happening today. Well, I mean that I can post:)

Here’s what Vervid has to say on their blog!

“Vervid solves all of that. For the first time ever, users can import HD video that’s been shot in portrait mode into an editor that’s built for easy, one-handed use that makes video editing as easy as texting. They can stitch together related moments, share them with friends on Vervid, and then share out to Facebook and Twitter. We’re enabling the average user to tell more meaningful stories with the personal video content they’ve captured, and we’re making it easier than ever to archive those moments.” 

 

Happy video editing and posting on Facebook!

 

 

 

Facebook and KLM – a new agreement

Today, it was announced that Facebook and KLM Royal Dutch Airline have entered into an agreement that will allow KLM passengers to check their flight, connect with customer service and make changes to their travel arrangements.

Just last month, Facebook launched “conversational commerce” and companies like Walmart and Hyatt have used the service to connect with their customers.

Could it be that Facebook numbers are so compelling that it will become a hub for business communications?

From an Integrated Marketing perspective, this evolution makes complete sense. How can a company make life convenient for their customer? Go where the customer is – think of it from their perspective—how can life be easier? One login – one platform that the customer uses daily – one place to look for information. A place that the customer is comfortable with, knows how to navigate and can refer to from anywhere.

Using the Facebook platform (the private messenger feature) allows the customer to interact with their brand without having to visit their website, without having to remember yet another password..in the case of travel—it eliminates visits to multiple sites when there are changes to be made. The whole change to Facebook just spills out oodles of convenience.

So are there any disadvantages for Hyatt? For KLM? For WalMart? You lose the customer visiting your website. So, it depends – what was the customer experience, there? Facebook does offer GREAT targeting for advertising, so a click through on the ad could still take them to the website…for now, it seems like nothing is lost and all is gained.

Can you think of other things the business is missing by moving their communication to the Facebook messenger?

What other benefits will businesses reap from partnering with Facebook?

 

Instagram: A Beginners Guide to Reaching Adults on this Playful Platform

Recent studies are indicating that mom’s are using Instagram to follow businesses. In fact, more than 1/2 of Instagram mothers are doing so, according to Social Times author, David Cohen and his cited sources.

Dad’s are in the mix, too!

69% of dads have taken action based on content they see on the network and,
78%  of moms do the same.

United States department stores saw a 2.8% conversion from advertisements within the platform – up from 2/1%

Businesses from cosmetics to auto parts, hair products and sports equipment should take a second look at the playful platform, if they haven’t yet considered it for serious advertising and conversions.

As someone who “trolls” to view photos of friends and “famous”, I am intrigued by this and think, how would I use this for our B2C efforts, when previously I thought -“this just doesn’t hit our demographic.”But now I get it.

At a recent Social media mastermind group, a member said this perfectly. Facebook stresses her out because it’s posts about things that upset her friends, or people who want you to support their cause, or updates on friends’ lives that make her wish for more…on Instagram, she feels relaxed-no pressure, just fun photos and videos that make her smile. Since realizing this, she spends more time on Instagram and even scrolls through right before bed.

So, since I am new to advertising on Instagram, let’s explore this together:

What to advertise? How and What Results are we Seeking?

What?

Based on the statistics, it seems obvious that the items one needs for personal use are the items hitting the mark. As we’ve heard before, think of your customer as a “normal human being–transacting their lives via mobile” just like anyone else; including you.

What are you looking for on mobile? I look for addresses for businesses. It would be cool, if I could come across a legitimate coupon for said business. I look for products, while I am waiting for an appointment. If the transaction can be easily completed, I’ll do it.

So, making the leap to Instagram, isn’t much of a stretch.

How?

Since Instagram is now part of the Facebook conglomerate, I found instructions on how to advertise, there.

What Results are you Seeking?

Like any platform, we have to determine our goals for using Instagram as part of our strategy. Here are some results one can expect, choosing a path will help  determine how to build the ad, which content to use, etc:

Instagram Advertising Solutions Support the Following Objectives

 Clicks to Website

  • Send people to important sections of your website

Website Conversions

  • Get people to take specific actions on your website

 Mobile App Installs

  • Get people to install your mobile app

 Mobile App Engagement

  • Get more activity on your mobile app

 Video Views

  • Tell a story using video

One of the businesses I follow on Instagram is MAC cosmetics. When I have time, I review the “looks” they post and it helps me to think more creatively about my makeup.

What story can you tell with a picture?

How can you have fun on this platform?

A picture tells a thousand words – what do you want to say in a photo or a video?

 

 

Some Enchanted Evening

Honey, that evening is, like, now.

 

Integration of platforms, communications, tools and strategies are all geared toward communicating with customers in a way that is convenient for them, right? meeting them where they are at.

So, it would make sense, then, that the idea of Enchanted Objects is the next evolution of this idea and that everyone is “game” and eager to see the evolution.

Nope.

Two things to consider about the Internet of Things and Enchanted Objects – are we robbing the sense of self and #2 Security – how does that get managed?

#1 Self Image or Imposed Beliefs

I read this extract  “From Neuromorphic Sensors to a Chip Under Skin”,where the author, Palese said:

“Today being able to choose means to be responsible for our own individuality with the opportunity to be included – and then – accepted in a global society. This particular form of society sees the market for consumers as the sole holder of sovereign power.”

With the advent of the Internet of Things…

“To the market is delegated – also by the state – the task of establishing wants and needs in addition to the parameters of exclusion and inclusion of the individual. The result is that each individual runs frantically towards the construction of the “self” according to a model, which in turn is generated by the policies of the impersonal market producing a misleading reality.”

I get this. It feels like that’s already happening with the myriad of platforms available for selfies, and the already-ever-present existence of marketing messages that tell us to be better, look better, feel better, etc. As if ones current state is not “enough”

I think enchanted objects are fascinating, but as Integrated Marketing Communications professionals, there are definitely things to consider about our approach and what we want our customers to do.

#2 Security and Who’s Worrying About it?

IoT at Work

Not only are consumers worried about security breeches and hacked debit cards, but corporations are worried, too! With reports in the CIO Journal that CIO’s are stressing about employees wearing their devices to work and with their interconnectivity,the corporate system gets hacked. Loeb writes:

“Related to this risk is that workplaces are becoming more difficult to secure as connected devices like fitness bands and smart watches spread in popularity and make their way to the office on the wrists and in the pockets of employees. If these seemingly harmless devices connect to your company’s networks or servers and share and store information, they create more entry points where such information can be compromised. Cybercriminals realize this. Many of your employees probably don’t.”

Yet, other CIOs are thinking with Integrated tactics in mind, too. Thinking that the convenience should lie in the hands of the consumer – not IT.

“Reports challenging the safety of self-driving cars prompted Deloitte Global’s chief information security officer to question approaches to cyber security that depend on employee vigilance. Instead of relying on fallible employees, he writes, cyber security professionals should build systems that anticipate and prevent human errors.” (CIO Journal)

I get that too.

CIOs and our IT teams need to advance with the times. They do, i know they do – but they, too, just like communications professionals need to keep up with emerging media, IoT and Enchanted Objects –to provide the infrastructure, fire walls and protection that are needed to avoid the hackers. Thinking an employee is going to remove their device is not fail-proof.

Related:

How many people turn off their cell phones when they are on an airplane?
Who had to change?
It wasn’t the passenger.

Big businesses everywhere will need to be responsible for the evolution of communication, marketing, security and the customer’s convenience.

 

 

 

Izzy Dead?

I keep reading that the role of creative director now lies in everyone’s hands. With the advent of apps and the advances in social media, it’s like everyone has become their own publicist and their own creative department.

Creativity, in its simplest form, is the art of contrasting existing ideas in an original combination to generate something new.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced it was buying Masquerade, a super-popular app whose technology lets users virtually swap faces and apply other special effects to their selfies and videos, much like the filters available on Snapchat.

So, what does this mean for marketers and creative directors?

Well, first-of-all, clearly-chances are slim that the Masquerade-pro will trump the creative director who thinks more strategically about your business needs.

Having said that, on the Masquerade blog, the CEO Eugene Nevgen said: At Masquerade, we’ve worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance.

Granted, right now, like me, you’re probably thinking “Our audience (business, followers, etc.) wouldn’t care about this—there really isn’t a tie back to what we do…”

Here are 3 ways that make this emerging media relevant to you:

  1. Real-time video communication is quickly growing in popularity. In 2015, the number of digital video viewers in the United States surpassed 200 million. And that’s not just amongst Millennials. Granted, the age range of 18-34 has consistently watched more video than any other age group, the number of minutes spent watching digital video amongst those aged 50 to 64 years has increased, from just 9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, to 19 percent by the second quarter in 2014. (Statista.com, 2016)

But that’s video – what about Real Time Video – how will that apply?

2. It applies already. Companies like KUIU are using real time video to answer customer questions in real time, and to create events to demonstrate the set-up of one of their products.

3. The technology Masquerade uses, while proprietary, is an accumulation of knowledge that has informed their algorithms which solves the problem of face detection and tracking.

What?!?

It’s genius, really.

Add what they will accumulate to the world of Big Data and just imagine how that might influence customer service applications in the future?

Warby Parker will already know the shape of your face and could recommend glasses that fit your style and your face. Heck, why mail you the glasses, when they’ll already have your face on file?

How much you wanna bet TSA will have your face in a hologram when you check in at the Airport?

Who’s to say what will happen with security anywhere?

 

References:

http://www.statista.com/statistics/271611/digital-video-viewers-in-the-united-states/

 

Is it just me, or does everything look like it’s Integrated and Emerging?

Perhaps this goes without saying, but Emerging Media seems like just one part of the Integrated “puzzle.” Everything related to the Internet is emerging and integrating. From the social media platforms, to the way we do business, to the way we expect our laptops and operating systems to serve us.

Take for example, the latest update to the MAC operating system – El Capitan, which was released on September 30, 2015. In the simplest of explanations, the update allows you to split your screen, so you can conveniently multitask from the same space, easily personalize your toolbar by super-simplifying the way you “pin” your favorite sites to it, and there’s even a platform that helps you take better notes, like Evernote style.

Consumers don’t even realize what we need until our technology tells us, and by-golly “they” seem to have it right!

Amazon is credited with first figuring out what “customers like you also bought”and helping us with our purchasing decisions. But underneath the innovation and code that serves up these options, is CEO Jeff Bezos philosophy that the customer is always first. So much so that he makes sure that customer convenience is at the center of everything they do and that personalization, trust and proactively offering solutions are all integrated in the way they think about servicing their customers.

According to the Forsee Experience Index Report (FXI), in 2013, “Amazon stands at the top of 100 globally-known brands across seven major industries for best customer experience.”  (Parature, 2013)

They clearly got it right.

From an Integrated Marketing and Communications perspective, if we take our queue from MAC and Amazon, strategically thinking about emerging media can help us to serve up content to our customers in a way that is convenient and personalized. Marketing Automation gets us half-way there, Periscope can be posted to Facebook and Snap Chat can be saved for other platforms. If we continue to strive for getting-ahead of even the newest of these tactics, we’ll be providing content on an emerging media platform before our customers even realized they wanted it there.

Then, I think, we, too, will really have it right.