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Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Facebook confirms it is choking brand content to force advertising spend

December 23rd, 2013



A week or so ago Facebook finally confirmed that there is now an active reduction in a brand Facebook page’s organic reach. According to an article in Advertising Age the social platform has starting actively marketing the fact that you need to promote your brand’s Facebook posts if you want them to shown to the majority of your page fans.

Only two years ago Facebook used to share your brand content based on its complicated algorithm, Edgerank, but just over a year ago several people (myself included) started complaining of their content being throttled and visibility being reduced. We manage around 30 Facebook pages at any one time and we also noticed that content wasn’t achieving the dizzy heights it used to. Content that was often seen by at least three quarters of fans was now only been reaching around 15-20%. Why was this?

Well earlier this year, Facebook responded to lots of heavy criticism that its page content was being throttled in order to sell more paid advertising and as a response it created a video which included a slightly robotic American lady explaining that the drop in visibility was actually due to several bugs in its latest update. This is what its official statement said:

“As part of our ongoing investment in Page Insights, we recently completed a comprehensive engineering audit of the product. During this audit we uncovered bugs that impacted impression and reach reporting. We have confirmed that these issues impacted reporting only and not delivery. Ad Insights were not impacted by these bugs.

“As soon as we found the bugs our engineering team began work to resolve them as quickly as possible. We’re rolling out fixes beginning this morning and over the weekend.

So according to that official statement it was code bugs that were affecting our brand page content. However, twelve months on it has now been confirmed in a leaked internal sales presentation from Facebook that the platform is reducing visibility:

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”

Online marketers are now being told to serious consider paid distribution within Facebook and I find this depressing but the game is still theirs and you need to do so: “to maximise delivery of your message in news feed.”

I was speaking at a big social media event in London recently and I had a discussion with a senior marketer about content reach and visibility on Facebook. We both agreed that visibility had been reduced but then he told me about another theory he had that Facebook was actively choking content that included an external link.

The theory is that Facebook reduces the exposure of any link that is going to send people out of Facebook’s ecosystem or beyond its garden walls. So if you share a picture or video that is actually hosted on Facebook then it will get 20-30% increased exposure than those which are hosted outside of the network. I have looked at the insights on a number of our clients and we have noticed the exact same thing. The lack of post visibility is not being blamed on the hunger for your advertising budgets but because there is “increased competition for limited update space”. Now I think this is a rather convenient excuse and although I agree there is a limited amount of space, the committed advertising spend does still seem to get your post into that highly competitive newsfeed zone – so there is still space for your content. You just need to pay more and more for it.

As someone who has been blogging since 2007, I realise its Facebook’s game and it has to make money since its widely publicised IPO but I believe this commitment to choke content and reduce visibility should not be on all brand pages. If it continues to make the marketing side of Facebook strategy more and more expensive they will reduce the options for the small businesses that many people love on Facebook. Think of your local pizza shop or independent jewellers that don’t have the huge budgets. People still want to connect with local businesses for that personal touch. However, if we keep increasing the costs some will be forced to new more mobile platforms.

The truth is the big global brands will always have the big marketing budgets for these increasing costs but the smaller local companies will sadly lose out. I firmly believe that if it pushes too hard it may find it’s not just teenagers confirmed to be leaving The Facebook, but businesses leaving and going to its mighty nemeses Google+.

About the Author: Chris Norton, is the founder of Prohibition and an award-winning PR practitioner with more than sixteen years’ experience having worked both in-house and in a number of international consultancies. He recently co-authored the fastest selling social media book on Amazon “Share This Too” and is a regular speaker and lecturer on online communications and his blog on the evolution of communication is listed by Brand Republic as one of the most influential marketing sites on the planet. Chris sits on the CIPR Committee as its social media coordinator and has delivered online PR campaigns for clients such as: Ronseal, Sony Ericsson, Phillips, Audio Technica, Ultralase, George Foreman, Russell Hobbs and Hallmark Cards.

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A look at international social network growth

November 19th, 2013

This post was originally published as a guest post on Mob76 Outlook


We often hear about the never ending growth of the big western social networks. User number announcements for Facebook and Twitter are now international news, but this is really only the tip of the iceberg.

In the West we usually assume that social networks revolve around U.S culture, but that is far from the case.

Global social network data tells us a much more interesting story, and this post delves into the key figures from BI Intelligence’s global social media census 2013.

According to the census, Facebook is truly international, with Eighty-six percent of its 1.16 billion users living outside of the United States.

To read the full piece, please follow this link


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Is Facebook’s power beginning to wane, or are we seeing the next evolution of the network?

May 23rd, 2013



Last week there was a bit of a stir caused in no small part by the following tweet from Rupert Murdoch:

“Look out Facebook! Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago.”

So is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? Or is this just a bit of negativity from the man that acquired MySpace in 2005 for $580m, but sold it for $35m six years later, having done very little to evolve the network, or react to the growing popularity of Facebook?

My vote goes to option two, and a bit of sour grapes from Mr Murdoch. However there has been the odd suggestion that Facebook is starting to fall in popularity, based mainly on engagement figures, but this seems far from being a major concern for the all powerful social network.

The story goes that younger internet users are being lured away by mobile sharing apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Instagram, which has 100 million monthly users and was of course acquired by Facebook last year.

This angle is supported by the wider feeling that niche social networks are gaining in popularity and some users are beginning to move away from the big networks. However, this needs to be put into perspective.

In the US Facebook has 142 million unique visitors a month, down more than 10 million in a year, according to Nielsen. But the company’s figures also show the Facebook app had 99 million unique users from Android and Apple smartphones in March, a rise of 37 million on a year ago.

Measuring users and movement between platforms on Facebook is difficult, as smartphone users are switching their Facebook time to apps.

In October 2012, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the site had reached 1 billion monthly active users, and according to eMarketer, Facebook will make $6.6bn this year, up from $5.1bn in 2012.

Facebook’s move from desktop to mobile has been ongoing for sometime and; after Google, Facebook is now the second-biggest mobile advertising publisher.

Put simply; they get mobile.

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A deeper look at the demographics of Social Media Users

February 19th, 2013

The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.

You can download the full report here:

In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.

Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.

Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.

Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.

13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.

40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.

The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:

As of August 2012:
• 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
• 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.

Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.

Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).

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2012 a year in social network numbers

December 21st, 2012

As we quickly approach 2013, many people are in reflective mood as they look to round-off their year with a 2012 summary post.

I’m going to keep it simple and avoid the fluff by hitting you with some of the statistics that evidence the ever-widening reach of social networks.

So sit back and spend a few minutes taking the numbers in while we rejoice in the fact that the world didn’t end today, at least not yet:

  • 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. (source: AllTwitter)
  • Monthly active Facebook users now total nearly 850 million. (source: Jeff Bullas)
  • 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile. (source: All Facebook)
  • More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (source: Uberly)
  • 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
  • 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (sources: AllTwitter)
  • 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter. (source: Marketing Land)
  • Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (source:Web Analytics World)
  • In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday. (source: Infographics Labs)
  • 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. (source: Digital Buzz Blog)
  • Instagram was one of the largest acquisitions of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009. (source: Factbrowser)
  • According to Followgram’s research, 37 percent of Instagram users have never uploaded a single photo and only 5 percent of users have more than 50 pictures. (source: Siliconrepublic)
  • It took just 10 months for Instagram to reach the milestone of 150m pictures uploaded. (source: Siliconrepublic)
  • 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, while 50 percent of all Pinterest users have children. (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. (source: Arik Hanson)
  • The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times per day. (source: AllTwitter)
  • Google+ pages appear in search results for 30 percent of brand term searches for brands with G+ pages, up from 5 percent in February 2012. (source: Bright Edge)
  • 48 percent of fortune global 100 companies are now on Google+. (source: Burson-Marsteller)
  • Google+ is expected to attract 400 million users by the end of 2012. (source: Remcolandia)

Source – Huffington Post

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Notes from Social Media Marketing 2012 #SMM12

October 26th, 2012

Yesterday we attended Social Media Marketing 2012, which promised to take a more critical look at social media marketing by focusing on the realities, challenges and what we need to do better, not just the positive stories and back-slapping habits that have become the staple of social conferences.

I have summarised six of the presentations from the day’s discussion,but you can see the full programme here.

1. First up was Mat Morrison, head of social media, Starcom MediaVest Group, who told us: nearly Everything you thought you knew about Facebook is wrong.

Mat kicked off by making some very pertinent points about Facebook marketing, including: “It’s all about the newsfeed not the page.” And confirming that asking people to click the ‘button’ on the left or above, which is a common instruction when encouraging participation, is fine on the page, but doesn’t work in the newsfeed.

In other words, when you are talking to customers, don’t assume they are on your Facebook page, they are probably seeing it in their feeds.

He also reminded the crowd that Facebook apps can be difficult to use on mobile, and with such significant traffic coming mobile users, the potential wastage is significant. Therefore, always think

When he asked if everyone knew what Edgerank is, only one soul was brave enough to say no, to which Mat nailed the explanation with: “Facebook Edgerank is a gnome that decides what stories you see.

Mat proceeded to take us through a few examples of brand engagement with Cineworld and ASOS, who make mistakes early and fix fast, and are a great example of a consumer Facebook page. You can see these in his presentation (see title of his presentation in this post)

Mat asked us to remember:

1. A page isn’t a destination
2. It’s all about the newsfeed
3. A Page isn’t a community
4. Almost no one sees Fan posts
5. Think mobile first

2. We then moved onto our second presentation from Ruth Coates, marketing programme manager – Europe – Staples and Katy Howell, MD, Immediate Future, who gave us an insight into Social strategy in practise: How to meet the challenges of adopting a Social approach

Katy Howell made a good point in relation to strategy to kick-off, focused on where to start in social. She confirmed it’s not just about ‘listening’, it’s about understanding the organisational opportunity for social media.

This means an internal as well as external audit is important, looking at how the organisation uses and wants to work with social, and how social impacts many different elements.

She also suggested that an audit should look at 2-3 years of data, not just 2-3 months, which will not account for seasonal or event-based variations.

Ruth Coates from Staples identified the main internal challenges that she had experienced in relation to developing a social media strategy:

1 Change management & selling the concept

2. Business value: making social ROI-able, i.e. what does social mean to the organisation, not just metrics, but how does social impact organisational value?

3. Harnessing resource in a decentralised organisation, which was amplified by Staples’ huge challenges with multiple territories, multiple offices, multiple languages.

Katy then identified the four steps in establishing that there are enough conversations around the issues related to the brand to justify a social campaign:

1. Shouting out and asking questions – what are these conversations about? Are they just mentions or is there depth, are there questions? Understand this first, then roadmap.

2. Who is talking? Not just who has influence? But who are these people connected to, what are the communities?

3. Diving into the detail – how are they talking?

4. Social media is leaky – social now impacts what goes instore, online, direct mail, photos on Pinterest etc.

Katy summarised this by confirming that social media is data and spreadsheets, and that you need statistically-relevant samples, which confirm the tones of discussions, impressions and ideas, passion, points what are they saying, associations, what specifics are they looking for, behavioural trends.

You then need to create taxonomies to identify correlation and trends.

Strategy is a lot of heavy lifting on the data if you want to get to the goal of adding value to the business.

Once the strategy was ready to roll out, Staples then identified recommendations to move forward:

1. Pilots to validate – Set timeframes, set outcomes, lower investment to see how it works.

2. Phase your approach – in this case a multi-year phased approach, looking at this over time to develop at the pace of your business so that it can integrate with business communications and existing focuses.

3. Tiered implementation – don’t force people to get involved. Pick out pockets where there is eagerness and resource, and demonstrate learnings to the wider business to enable overall internal sell in.

Internal structure
1. Structure the programme and measurement – set up forums to discuss social on a monthly basis internally with teams, best practises, ideas, development.

2. Intensive training framework – ongoing training across the business to continually move forward.

3. Set out the polices and escalation - from guidelines to appearance of profiles and how to react to crisis.


- Cross functional groups – don’t miss out on ideas and opportunities for the business.

- Great communications – communicate the results of social and let people know how the social focuses are going.

- Ideas forum – cross-team and territories to develop ideas.

Since beginning the new social strategy in February 2012, Staples’ EU presence has grown by:
• 9 x FB profiles
• 5 x Twitter profiles
• 7 x G+ profiles
• 6 x YouTube channels

Staples closing comment: “It’s not about building 8 million fans, we would rather have 100,000 fans that deliver value”

3. The next session that I covered was on The Olympics: Big data meets Big event, presents Big challenges by Naomi Trickey, Sales Director for EMEA, Brandwatch

Naomi gave us an overview of data from recent events and news issues, e.g. U.S presidential election, superbowl, etc and confirmed that big data presents big challenges.

She also asked the question; What is Big Data? Suggesting size is not the only thing that matters, it’s also variety, volume and velocity.

She backed this up with a quote from Scott Thomson, head of research, Hypernaked: “Reality is easily accessible data, but you have to frame the right questions”

Naomi confirmed that Big = Relevant and data needs to be relevant. She also confirmed that greater social buzz does not result from a higher advertising spend, a recent example of which has been advertising around the Superbowl.

4. Jeremy Waite, Head of social strategy Adobe EMEA
What’s the Real Value of 1 million Fans?

Jeremy, who is always entertaining and informative in equal measure kicked off with a great quote on social media from Scott Stratten “Social media doesn’t fix anything. It just amplifies things. If your restaurant sucks, it just sucks harder in social media. IT doesn’t make your chicken fingers taste better or your beer taste bolder. social media is not a good place to go if you’re terrible at what you do.”

He also gave us an excellent example of useful content in the form of the recent 007 Skyfall ticket give away video by Coke Zero.

Jeremy suggested that Coke understand it’s all about content and achieved 4 million views in 4 days, probably with a hefty seeding budget.

Jeremy then moved onto the focus of his presentation, which was ROI, quoting both:

Forrester “90% of content marketers only track engagement metrics”


Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Skittles’ ad agency “Anyone who says they can track Facebook activity to sales is in a bubble and living on a spaceship.”

To make his point about the mismatch between traditional ROI and social metrics.

Traditionally the metrics that marketers have used to put a value on a relationship, (that don’t work):
- Fans, followers, subscribers
- Impressions and reach
- Change in sentiment
- Click through rates
- Share of voice
- Engagement
- Dwell time

Jeremy also used a trailer for the movie Money ball to illustrate the importance of ROI.

In brief, Moneyball is a film about the Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that followed a revolutionary way of buying a winning baseball team, with a tight budget, based on player analytics and a supporting algorythm

Jeremy confirmed this is basically a film about ROI

“This is getting everything down to one number. Using stats the way we read them, we will find value in things that nobody else can do.”

He made the point that we can compete in social with those on bigger budgets.

So what is ROI? Jeremy confirmed ROI in social media is the same as ROI in any other area of business.

“How much do I spend, how much do I make, what’s the difference?”

Jeremy confirmed we shouldn’t confuse social media measurement with ROI, the two are separate.

He recommended Olivier Blanchard‘s book: Social media ROI and ran us through an example of ROI on an Angry birds campaign.

5. Michael Litman, senior social strategist, AnalogFolk gave a great presentation on
Pinterest, what is it and why should you care?

He offered some great statistics, including 51% of interbrand top 100 have presence on it and Pinterest is growing, while Twitter, and other network growth is slowing.

He also highlighted that the usage of Pinterest differs from the UK to U.S, e.g
- U.S 83% female
- UK 56% male
- UK interest sectors – Venture capital, PR, content management
- U.S sectors – retail, creative
- 30% of UK users in the highest income bracket vs 5% in US
- Age group of users is mostly 25-44

- Pinterest first social network to reach 10m unique users
- Pinterest is in fact a power channel to build a strong social brand.
- Pinterest is taking traffic away from ‘traditional’ engines and delivering to retailers

6. Squeezing the social SEO value out of your social media campaign
Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director, SiteVisibility

You can see Kelvin’s full presentation here

In summary:

Google is trying to do something that we can all do instinctively – i.e. identify that this website is better than that website.

Google believes the way it is going to improve its algorithm is to understand the social web.

This is the future of what Kelvin referred to as off-site SEO, focusing on three key areas of Author rank, links and social shares.

He believes that G+ is essentially a tool to answer these focuses as it helps Google to find your content quicker and gave us a number of practical implementation points to make the most of Google+, which you can see on the presentation and include:

- Use chrome plugin – share to schedule updates

- Add Google+ sharing buttons to your website

- Use opengraph protocol

- Use Rel author mark up

Overall he suggested we Ignore the haters, because although Google+ isn’t as popular as other networks,  it is hugely relevant to your Google ranking and that is essential.

He believes Google+ is here to stay, will only become more important and is having a bigger influence than most of us realise.

Kelvin also believes that search marketers make good marketers because people that understand search, understand people, which makes them great marketers.

Social Media marketing 2012 was a great success, and everyone that we spoke to thought it had delivered on the objective of taking a harder look at social, so congratulations to the Our Social Times team.

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Does size matter in social?

August 2nd, 2012

This post was originally published on Monty’s Outlook.

As a social species, we should expect our habits and actions on social networks to reflect our natural priorities as humans… as a species we crave companionship and like to feel part of a community.

Our instinct is to learn from each other and share our experiences with like-minded individuals. That habit has served us well, but at some point in our conversations and relationships the number of contacts we have has been given a higher value than the quality of the connection we have with those individuals, groups and brands.

Likes, followers and friends remain the measurement of choice for many of us, even those that know better secretly keep an eye on the amount of people they are interacting with. So although the quality vs. quantity conversation has been going on for many years, something isn’t clicking.

The majority understand the basic concept, it’s better to have 10 meaningful relationships where information is exchanged than 100 empty links. Fine, but try telling a brand that when its closest competitor has two million more likes on Facebook. The digital guys probably get it, the marketing guys may get it, but tell that to the board and they will answer that ‘we need three million more, make it happen‘.

There are many factors that contribute to this misconception. The habit of using traditional media measurements on social media, the ROI debate, our natural propensity to believe more = better, the fact that social networks want you to have more friends and more likes because it means you are using the product more and they can sell more advertising.

This is not a new issue, and although slight movement has taken place, real change will not happen until the facts are revealed to everybody. The simple truth is if a brand has seven million likes on Facebook, it does not have seven million opportunities to sell. It’s highly unlikely that the percentage of people actually engaged with that brand even makes it into double figures, or single figures for that matter.

The practise of buying likes/followers/friends is widespread and the impact of this is only now beginning to be understood, after the rush for numbers is over and the engagement begins.

There are different levels of buying likes. For example if you advertise on Facebook using certain terms, you will get more likes even if they are not that useful. Rory Cellan-Jones did an experiment on Facebook in July that had some interesting results.

Fundamentally if your strategy is to build your number of likes, you will attract the wrong people as this is not the behaviour you want in return. If you want people to engage with, and ultimately sell to, more likes will not help.

Here are a few stats that I picked up from Jeremy Waite TBG Digital at the recent Facebook Marketing event….

- 66% of people follow less than five brands. If you’re an accountant, that’s the battle you need to fight
- 45% of people who follow a brand on Facebook never go back
- 98% of people who Like a brand only visit the page once

Jeremy also mentioned that only around 16% of people will see any of your posts on a Facebook page. We’re acquiring a lot of fans that we aren’t reaching. This means mass engagement probably isn’t even a reality, and that is one of the major issues, understanding the difference between an empty like and a real connection.

So perhaps we need to recognise this fact and move the assumption from ‘we have x million fans – well done us’ to ‘we have x million fans of which only x are engaged’. It seems obvious and many brands do this, but many more do not.

The assertion that social and digital is completely measureable, although true, has pushed us towards a false idol. Of course numbers are important, but if we forget that we are dealing with social beings, with conversations, with listening and understanding, then we are not being very social at all.

Just because we can measure something, does not mean we should. Just because we have the data does not mean it is useful. We need to take a step back from the data – move away from the numbers, people!

As a brand, you may only have a relatively small number of fans/likes, but if the percentage of engaged users is higher because you have built this number based on real engagement, you are ultimately more successful than a brand with a huge number of likes and no engagement.

The bottom line is, if you are under the assumption that people use social media to engage with brands, you had better wake up, and realise this is not the case for the vast majority. If a brand is interesting or relevant to a specific conversation or community so be it, but this will not happen through competitions and requests to ‘Like us’ alone.

Perhaps we should ask Facebook to add an engaged count next to the like count – that would be a useful number for everyone to understand.

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Facebook Marketing 2012 review #fbkm12

July 19th, 2012

On Wednesday we attended the Facebook Marketing 2012 event (#fbkm12) at the ICO Conference Centre in London organised by Our Social Times and Chinwag.

As you can see by the agenda the line up was impressive, kicking off with Andy Pang from Facebook, and including brands such as Manchester City FC, Nokia, BBC, Guardian, Yorkshire Tea, Kraft (Cadburys), agencies such as TBG Digital, Edelman, We are Social, Isobar Social and SiteVisibility, and technologies such as Agorapulse and Tempero, as well as many more in the crowd.

You can see the presentations here.

The event, which will also be running in New York and Singapore, was jam-packed with 18 sessions developed to uncover the latest strategies, tools and insights for running Facebook campaigns, including case studies on brands such as Dove, Heinz, and Kellogg’s.

The event also coincided with the launch of two pieces of research, which were quoted during the event:

1. comScore and Facebook: European Insights About Earned and Paid Media Reach and Effectiveness

2. Facebook Global Ad Report 2012. Sponsored Story ads are now 53% more engaging than standard FB ads by TBG Digital

This was backed up by a range of learning/stats and advice from the sessions, examples of which include:

- Facebook only holds 6 months worth of data
- 66% of people follow less than 5 brands
- People don’t share facts, they share emotions. Brands that don’t measure will fail
- Most antisocial thing brands could do on Facebook is turn off comments
- videos, photos & links are “weightier” than other updates, therefore more likely to appear in newsfeeds; likes & comments add weight
- Likes are meaningless
- Japan has the quickest growing Facebook penetration percentage in the world
- A high CTR (click through rate) doesn’t equal a good ROI (Return on investment)

Each of the sessions was live blogged by Adam Tinworth (@adders) via the Liberate Media blog. If you would like to read more about any of the presentations, feel free to choose from the list below:

Andy Pang, Facebook: Facebook State of the nation

Richard Ayers, Manchester City FC & British Film institute: Facebook Strategy: How Facebook fits into a social & Digital strategy

Tom Smith and Brett Petersen, GlobalWebIndex: Facebook – Beyond the Hype

DiscussionFacebook and traffic, localisation and devices

Kelvin Newman, SiteVisibility: an introduction to Edgerank

Dom Dwight, Yorkshire Tea: Little Urn, human voice and Facebook Tea

Jeremy Waite, TBG Digital: why brands are doing Facebook advertising wrong

Discussion: the worth of Likes and Ads – Facebook Marketing 2012

Sarah Lindley, Cadbury: drives Dairy Milk engagement with a giant, chocolate thumb

Nils Mork-Ulnes & Judith Lewis, Beyond Interactive: The Science of sharing

Russell Goldsmith, Markettiers4DC: driving engagement with interactive video

Voices, real people and Black Swans: 3 case studies: Dove, Kellogg’s, XBox

Martin Belam, Emblem: leveraging the Facebook platform – Guardian Reader

Tom Ollerton, We are Social: Selling FMCG on Facebook with Heinz

Paul Marsden, Social Commerce Today: Ringing the Tills: An introduction to Fcommerce

Thomas Messett, Nokia: Nokia and Fcommerce

According to Appozite Tweet reach the crowd stretched well beyond those at the event and expanded onto the social web, as you would expect. By the end of the event 142,756 people had been reached.

Many of the sessions were also reported on by titles such as Marketing Week and eConsultancy, examples of the stories can be seen below:


Man City’s social strategy is about engagement, not traffic

Cadbury’s shift to social means no more drumming gorillas

F-commerce doesn’t work, according to Nokia and Heinz

Marketing Week:

Cadbury adopts ‘social first’ strategy

BFI to use digital to tap into film fans

The conversation didn’t finish at the end of the event either, as debate continued both online and in the pub.

Facebook Marketing 2012 was a huge success and Chinwag and Our Social Times should be congratulated for bringing together such an impressive line up and pulling it off.

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Fcommerce: lessons and basic concepts – Facebook Marketing 2012

July 18th, 2012

Paul marsden

Paul Marsden, Social Commerce Today

Fcommerce is just selling with Facebook.

There’s ecommerce on Facebook – buying things on Facebook, selling fans things via Facebook

Facebook on ecommerce – Facebook Open Graph buttons on your commerce site. Want, Puchase and Donate buttons are all coming. And then you can combine the two, by embedding a shop into Facebook – but with a twist. You buy with a Like or a share…

Facebook in-store – fitting rooms with Facebook terminals, so you can get shopping advice from your friends. We’ll see that flipped, with in-store events shared into Facebook.

Brands think deals are low on the list of what people want – but actually they’re right at the top. What people don’t want is “engagement”.  ROI is just the revenue from Facebook, divided by the amount spent. The simplest way to prove it is to shift stock. But to do it, you have to be remarkable – something that’s a first, unique, that creates word of mouth.

As you dig deeper, three things drive success in selling on Facebook:

The brands that succeed are offering a social value proposition: social utility – helping people solve problems together.

It helps you solve the “does my butt look big in this” problem – it harnesses social intelligence. A wise man learns from the experience of others. Collaborative group buying hasn’t really happened on Facebook yet.

Burberry helps its fans stand out with pop-up stores, giving them early access to new products – that’s social status. Fitting in? Heinz’s get well soup gift store helps people bond socially via gift-giving.

So, the social utility emerges when you help people solve these problems:

  • social intelligence
  • social status
  • social bonding

Thomas messett

Thomas Messett, Nokia

That graphic of what people want on Facebook? Rubbish. Think of that Henry Ford quote about asking customer what they want, and getting the answer “a faster horse”. Yes, you can do social commerce. Yes, you can use Facebook as a tool to drive valuable sales – but you don’t have to give things away cheaply.

Blindly driving up engagement is pointless – we need a bottom line. How can we find a middle line? Most people will never visit your page after they Like it. The interaction happens on the news feed. People share stuff – all the time. Everywhere.

This is about social proof and sharing.

We don’t sell product to consumers. We sell via partners. What we need to do is drive consumers to our partners. We can’t drop a pop-up shop into our Facebook page. The time people are most excited about our products is when they’ve just bought it. How can we make it easier for them to share that excitement? And if they do share it, and a friend clicks on that link and buys a phone, shouldn’t the original sharer be rewarded?

Social has always been social. Spotify have ruined Facebook for frictionless sharing. He’s scared of the app because it will ruin his Facebook feed. How do you encourage people to share without being pushy? You have to be really, really clear in allowing people to opt out. Yes, there are ways to incentivise people. Can you digitise the refer a friend mechanic? They’re trailing that in a couple of markets.

Remember: it’s platforms + apps, not stores and pages.

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Tom Ollerton: Selling FMCG on Facebook with Heinz – Facebook Marketing 2012

July 18th, 2012

Tom ollerton

Tom Ollerton, We Are Social

Tomato Ketchup is a thing that splits people – dippers or smotherers.

Heinz wanted to sell 1,000,057 of the Balsamic Vinegar limited edition flavour – and We Are Social came up with the idea of selling them through Facebook. Bur they didn’t have enough fans, and the relationships with true supermarkets are a problem. So, they dropped their sights – and persuaded the brand to take the hit on postage. They teased the campaign. They launched entirely within Facebook.

But they had technical issues – they confirmed the sale in Facebook, but not vie e-mail. But people were ridiculously excited to get their bottle, and shared photos with it on Facebook… It spread to Twitter and eBay…

Learnings… housing it within Facebook put people off. People don’t trust Facebook with commerce. It was unfortunate that the page was going live on the Saturday – and The Grocer were due to publish an exclusive on that day. But they put it in their Friday e-mail, and they had to change their community management approach, as people already knew what it was. And they didn’t consider Twitter enough.

They followed it up with Get Well Soup. There’s nothing inherently interesting about FMCG goods like soup and ketchup. They have to pedal hard to stay interesting. Research showed that people associate soup with being ill – so they got the idea of allowing people to buy personalised soup tins to end to sick friends. They used PayPal – a trusted brand – for the transaction, which took longer, but which people were happier with.

They had some interesting requests: “Get well soon, Big Fat Gay.” The buyer pointed out that her girlfriend was big, fat and gay and she could prove it…

You have to give people something they can’t get elsewhere, and you need to create a social object that they’ll want to share.

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