Tag Archives: organic reach

One Day Work Week, Full Benefits, Full Pay and other Fairy Tales

dream-job-next-exit-pic

While conducting social media training sessions I hear the strangest of stories from participants. Some are amusing, some down right scary. But I don’t think I have heard any so unbelievable as the agency that tried to sell its client on the one day work week.

This tale is true, but the names have been withheld to protect the ignorant (there is nothing derogatory about that word, look it up). While discussing the mechanisms of Social Media Optimization (SMO) in a recent workshop one of the attendees made the statement:

“Our agency advised that we should only post twice per week, but we were not happy with the level of Engagement on the posts. They then told us the only solution was to reduce posting to once per week, so that is what we did. Do you think this was a good strategy?”

hello my name is consultant

During workshops I try and maintain a sense of composure and not react noticeably to any questions lobbed at me until I had time to roll it around in my brain. I do this so that everyone feels comfortable to ask any question or share any experience. Goodness knows I have been told some doozies and making a face or blurting out an expletive is the surest way of blowing that trust, but this one tested me to my limits. However, it does not matter what actions they have taken in the past, their presence in my workshop shows they have chosen to follow the light and that is worth respecting.

After a few moments of trying to hide my disbelief and contain my belly laughs, I decided I would use a metaphor to explain why my opinion might differ from their agency’s.  I said:

“Imagine if you are an employee paid to produce a certain level of work and you convince your boss that to achieve optimal performance you should only come into the office twice a week. I would say you have a sweet job. Now your boss starts to wise up and comes to you and tells you that by coming in only 2 times per week your output is not as high as anticipated and considerably lower than your 5 day a week colleagues. But since you are a very smart employee you convince your boss that to increase output you needed to reduce your time to 1 day per week and he agrees. Congratulations you have just won the best job in the world lottery!”

Social Media is a resource like any other. With the proper skills and management it can deliver good rewards. There is usually only 2 situations when advised to cut back to achieve more. 1. Too much: if whatever is working for you is stressed beyond capacity and about to drop dead, 2. Too little: if the skills of the resource are lacking, the resource is not being used correctly, or the management is not qualified. Social Media Optimization (SMO) is about finding that sweet spot in between.

Much success,

Doug

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Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade class designs Facebook’s Video algorithm, or so it seems

It is no secret that Facebook is competing with other social apps in a determined effort to be all things to everyone and the last app standing. A short time back they took on YouTube in an attempt for most video views. To accomplish this they rewarded Fans who uploaded video directly rather than using a YouTube link with better looks, autoplay, metrics and, most importantly, increased Views and Reach. If you upload a video directly to Facebook you get an algorithm bonus and Facebook pushes you higher and wider so more people will see your post. This was like magic to many small businesses that saw the views on their posts 10’s, 100’s and even 1000’s times higher than ever before.

This client had a modest 2,000 Fans on their page. These results are Organic

facebook organic video results

Facebook video statistics for Organic video results

This all seems like an incredible gift, and it is, but there are complications created by Facebook that are outside the control of Page Owners. First it is about reasonable expectation setting. Videos receiving many times their normal expected Reach and Engagement can put a shop owner’s head in the clouds. And all too quickly the realization that this was an anomaly not likely repeated can be a real let down. But lack of control is probably the most disconcerting. The two charts below paint a queer picture of how Facebook chose to twist this client’s marketing efforts.

Facebook Demographic of Fans on page and those reached by video post

Facebook Demographic of Fans on page and those reached by video post

The chart on the left shows the Fans of the Page. The breakdown is as the client requested with a greater focus on U.S. and a smaller number for their Hong Kong headquarters. Additionally, India is a focus for select inventory. The demographic targeting is accurate. However, the Fans Reached in the month of the “great” video shows a markedly different Reach with Malaysia, a non-target country, receiving 50% of all views. Small businesses benefit from precise marketing to make sure money and effort is not wasted. So it is curious why Facebook’s video algorithm decided that a country excluded from the client’s target market now be included? As this action was created from the Facebook algorithm there was no way for the Page owner to influence, redirect or even object.

As we see Facebook and other social sites try and increase Engagement rates to demonstrate relevance we will likely continue to see marketing actions that are outside the Page owner’s control or wishes. Taking this to a logical conclusion of how does Facebook make money off of this I can only conclude that as Facebook takes more control away from non-sponsored ads they will be encouraging Facebook page owners to regain control through paid targeted promotions. And of course there is social media optimization which continues to be a powerful marketing tool.

Much success,

Doug

http://www.PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Social Media Strategy Optimisation Intensive Workshop Session 1

After receiving the highest rating for content and delivery of any presenter for this subject by Pacific Conferences I decided that it might be good to share some of presentation and and what I learned from the participants. I will start with a Case Study and then share two discussion points. The blog is based on this slide presentation:

http://www.slideshare.net/PRDA/social-media-in-2015-and-beyond-prda-douglas-white-july-2015

Organic reach is decreasing as changes to algorithms that determine what is seen in your newsfeed is adjusted to “advertise” the social media business model. Therefore, it is critical for success to fully leverage the most out of our social media strategy and the tools available. Approximately 9 out of every 10 companies that ask me to measure their social performance score below 20% effectiveness. With salaries of skilled employees rising along with advertising rates, more companies are starting to ask the right question: Where has the other 80% effectiveness gone?

Case Study: Star Trek

The original series was delivered by Desilu Studios to NBC from 1966 – 1969. At that time TV was using demographic tracking and market share to measure success. Despite high quality demographics, it lacked market share and so was cut. In syndication it continued to be driven by loyal demographically targeted fans and is still a major hit 40 years later.
star trek combined small.

Morale to the story is to focus on your correct demographic and deliver quality content and they will deliver ROI!

Discussion Point 1:

Communications is changing less than it appears. Even though it seems that there has been a dramatic shift in the way we communicate it has really changed little. It is more that the bits have shifted about than the fundamentals have changed. We used to read on paper and talk over the phone and share stories at cocktail parties. Now we read our news online, talk using messaging apps and share our stories on social media. What decided what originally made it to print, phone or cocktail party are still the same factors that drive online, messaging apps and social media. The only way to get talked about is to either pay for it or earn it. To earn it you need to popular, trustworthy, scandalous or another factor that basically involves getting sufficient enough interest from others to get tongues wagging. And depending on how you managed this you ended up on the Washington Post/ Huffington Post, Phone/ Whatsapp or cocktail parties and social media.

Morale of the story is that the fundamentals of communication remain constant. Technology shifts how we use and execute communications, but when approaching a new app, don’t look at it is was completely foreign. Remember the basics and learn the enhancements. It is easier to move forward with confidence if you don’t forget where you have been.

Discussion Point 2:

Effective communications is not a matter of either quantity or quality (usually interpreted as creative). PRDA has conducted research for the better part of a decade and found what determines how well received a brand’s content is depends more about science and process than either quantity or quality (creative). As algorithms become more refined to better process the trillions of posts made daily on social media it is necessary for social media applications and those that look to source and share content to use more refined search techniques. Example: a few years back if you posted a picture of a cat the algorithm that chose what would appear in your news feed let most everyone see it. But now that we all have 1000+ Friends and Page Likes on several apps with businesses posting 1000’s of posts a day that in February of 2014 it was estimated that there were 3.8 million cat pictures posted each day. Clearly the algorithms can’t put 3.8 million pictures of cats in your news feed each day. The algorithms became more sophisticated taking in to account other Social Media Optimisation factors such as keywords, length of message, quality of image, performance of person posting, engagement levels, time of day and more.

Morale to the story is that to be successfully seen in Organic results (real people) quality needs to be interpreted beyond creative to include Social Media Optimization (SMO). By using this strategy you can publish more messages across more platforms and achieve greater engagement and with further refinement by monitoring results data you can start to achieve customer segmentation and much more.

Much success,

Doug

Incubator 2.0: Social Cooperation for SME and Start up Marketing

A new way of doing business is here. Most don’t even recognise it yet, but they take part in it daily. It is collaborative or cooperative marketing. Whereas there is still flexibility in the definition, it is based on the  simple common sense ideas as strength in numbers and the sum of the parts are greater than the whole. But it is also based in sound results data which makes it undeniable.cooperate definition

Jeremiah Owyang (@JOwyang) has recently released some powerful financial data on the “collaborative” economy reaching back to 2002.  His definition is about technology that allows for efficient sharing of services such as UBER and AirBNB. This definition has popularity as it is the basis for most current start up models.

Small Business Saturday takes social cooperation to the streets. Started by American Express to coordinate marketing efforts of SME’s to promote sales for the Saturday following Thanksgiving in the U.S., it has proven hugely successful. As reported in an article by CNN in 2012 SME’s reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday had little effect on their sales, but the coordinated marketing effort for Small Business Saturday delivered US$5.5 billion in sales for the day. Note Black Friday, which favours large retail outlets, saw only US$1 billion in sales in 2012.

Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) is developing the extended incubator. Having seen the success of other incubators such as Y-Combinator has envisioned extending beyond development to product launch. In the incubator model, resources and knowledge are brought together to provide a heightened environment for success. However, there does not exist an “incubator” for after the product is developed. How do you go from not known to a necessity?

In these three examples I touched on three key points of Incubator 2.0 or as I like to call it the Social Media Cooperative. And the there is the fourth which differentiates  from the common aggregator model which collects and lists businesses under a single brand (e.g. Uber, Expedia, Yelp). The key points are:

  • Having a platform and interface that allows SME’s to join, contribute and participate
  • SME’s power the world, they generate more revenue and employ more people than the multinationals could even dream about. SME’s ROCK!
  • There needs to be an effective model where SME”s can tap into an existing collective of resources and knowledge
  • Rather than aggregate the model needs to propagate

Unlocking the secrets of social media:

Fundamental to all social media and including search is Like, Comment and Share. The more you do, the better the results. This model suggests that instead of creating an app that aggregates businesses such as Groupon mobile app which may have 100,000 businesses represented, we advocate establishing digital footprints for each brand. This would mean 100,000 Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram streams, Blogs etc. and the good search that results from this optimised content. But more importantly you have 100,000 healthy communities built of Fans/ customers that have joined these brands because they chose to. Consider this, which do you think is more valuable to a business for ROI?

  • Having 10,000 Fans on your page that chose to be there and are actively engaged
  • Paying Facebook to push your ad to 10,000 random people

Next Step:

Now that we have these 100,000 businesses how do we get it to work? Technology and expertise play a large role. Social media is all about understanding algorithms and online consumer behaviour. By leveraging knowledge of these along with a proven process and a technology backend driven by a crowdsourcing model, science becomes magic. By effectively posting on these 100,000 businesses profiles using optimised content and then systematically cross promoting through Share, Like and Comment we have proven to increase Organic reach by 20 times! And in addition to an increase in organic reach, each brand that cross promotes using Likes, Comments and Shares gets exposed to a new and wider range of Fans/ customers. This works the same way as when we share a post from a friend and in doing so all our friends get to see this post and they also get to see who it originally came from.

Cooperation:

This can only work with cooperation. SME’s must recognise the value in sharing promotion. What we have found odd is that a brand will not hesitate having their advertisement on the same website, newspaper page or bus stop as other businesses, but they hesitate when asked to cross promote. This is where successful activities like Small Business Saturday are proving that by sharing and cooperating a business does not jeopardise their brand and market share, but in fact, increases it.

Better understanding:

The technology and process is too detailed to go into here. PRDA has been proving this concept for 6 years and it has remained successful despite changes to algorithms or popular apps. Fundamentals change more slowly and the concept of cooperation being good for outcome likely to not change anytime soon.

Immediate benefits:

  • Access to a large pool of engaged Fans/ customers through shared communities
  • Highly effective organic results and search through optimised content
  • Efficiency of process, technology and scale:
    • Reduced cost
    • Increased performance
    • Reduced risk
    • Increased services
  • Big Data

 

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Facebook slows and puts the squeeze on organic

Facebook has been following some disappointing trends lately. These are stagnating growth on new subscribers and increased emphasis on “pay to play” performance. Facebook started out embracing the youthful idealism which staunchly protected the individual. But as Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg mature into more sensible adults, that zeal is replaced by good financial prudence. We see dramatic negative shifts in post performance being exacted on Fan’s news feeds and organic reach while seeing increases in paid promotions are strongly favored. 

Locowise Feb 17, 2014

The weekly stats put out by Locowise clearly shows huge decreases in organic reach and the effectiveness of a non-promoted (paid) post. When Facebook removed itself from the Edge Rank standard, like when Nixon removed the U.S. from the Gold Standard, rules for the common man no longer apply. Only those with money and influence can decipher and influence policy. Facebook is trading it’s most valuable asset, User Generated Content (UGC) for the most tedious of revenue models, advertising. Facebook will be around for a long time with 1.2 billion members, but I for one am quickly losing interest. 

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

PRDA Asia’s leading social media management agency