The anatomy of a golf swing is a difficult thing to capture in an infographic. Static charts and graphs may work for certain subject matter, but when it comes to capturing the physics and different stages of a golf swing, moving image is really needed in an infographic.
This year has been marked by a series of social media failures. A particular theme has been brands who have posted insensitive or inappropriate content during tragedies like Hurricane Sandy, the Aurora Shootings - or, more recently, the Boston Marathon. From Gap, American Apparel and Epicurious to American Rifleman and @Celebboutique, a lot of brands have made major slip ups that were extremely insensitive to their audience, or, even worse, tried to leverage the tragedy as an opportunity to sell products.
Rejoice, hockey fans! The lockout is over and the NHL is back! After 113 days, the NHL and NHLPA resolved their differences and managed to save the season. Teams will play in a 48-game regular season with no inter-conference play, which means that every game will have direct playoff ramifications. But will just bringing back hockey be enough for fans this time?
This week's #SoMash is here with the top stories from last week, including how Hurricane Sandy impacted social media, stats on the MLB postseason, and the pervasive nature of second screen technology. (more...)
Despite the fact 2010 was arguably the year of the location-based check-in (although others like The Next Web contend 2011 is really the year), there are certain pundits who proclaim that the phenomenon was nothing more than a short lived fad yet many others envision the check-in will evolvebeyond simply telecasting one's whereabouts.
If you work in social media marketing in-house or with an agency, you are most likely familiar with the news that Facebook recently rolled out a new format for Facebook Pages. The majority of regular Facebook users will immediately notice that Pages appear extremely similar in format to user profiles. This is because Facebook espouses a "consistent" user experience across their platform as explained in this official company note.
In case you haven't already noticed, earlier this week Facebook rolled out a brand new "social' advertising format to the right of your News Feed, called Sponsored Stories, which seeks to even further leverage each user's likes and interests. Sponsored Stories is the newest brain child of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, Inc. It's a reasonably simple concept.
As Ad Age explains, Facebook will take on one of four actions in the daily activity of your Facebook friends and turn them into ads on your home page: 1) Likes, 2) status updates or "page posts", 3) Places check-ins, and 4) app activity or "application play".
For example, if you’re an Under Armour product manager for the brand's new basketball shoe line and looking to increase exposure to the Micro GBlack Ice, you can elect to pay Facebook to have a percentage of all mentions of this shoe featured in a Sponsored Stories slot.
If you or one of your friends mentions a company that has paid for Sponsored Stories, your content may be turned into an advertisement. Facebook has been beta testing this new ad format for months and has found the method to be extremely successful for brand lift and increased engagement. Facebook reps also reported that the likelihood a user will share information about a brand was raised among companies leveraging the new ad format as well as an overall increase in ad recall.
As shown in the screen shot above, the ad unit displays the users name and profile picture. All content is user defined—nothing is determined by the company actually paying for the ad. Jim Squires of Facebook Product Marketing says “all privacy settings are honored” so Sponsored Stories will only be visible to those who can see the original post they draw from.
According to the Huffington Post, this means that only users who can see the story originally in their news feed will be able to see the ad. Sponsors are allowed to overlay any of Facebook's demographic parameters to further restrict who sees the ad within the users social circle. There is bound to be plenty of push back from users given that there is not an option to turn off the ads at this time.
The power of social influence is of course the cornerstone of Facebook's brand ethos. Sponsored Stories are "word-of-mouth" recommendations, the strongest form of advertisement that any brand can generate in a grassroots manner. Amplifying social action is important in the new age of digital marketing as Inside Facebook explains.
The closest form of social media advertising to Facebook Stories is Twitter's Promoted Tweets. The main difference between Twitter's Promoted Tweets and Facebook's Sponsored Stories is that ad content is defined by the advertiser, not the user, in the case of Twitter according Ben Parr of Mashable. Facebook is not only getting paid advertisement but also partnering with some non-profits as seen below.
The last time Facebook tried to leverage its user public actions with brands was in 2007 with Facebook Beacon. User backlash was harsh and the effort received a storm of negative publicity. Beacon reported back to Facebook on members' activities on third-party sites even though users were logged-off from Facebook. The fundamental difference with Facebook Stories is that all information amplified by Facebook is within the Facebook.com ecosystem.
Some critics like David Berkowitz argue that Facebook should either allow users to opt out of Sponsored Stories (this is currently not an option to do so) or give users granular control that enables to select which brands user their actions for stories.
We agree with David's thought process. Facebook brought in nearly $2 billion in advertising revenue in 2010 and stands to double that figure in 2011. The introduction of Sponsored Stories is an intelligent business move for Facebook and it's investors if Zuckerberg gives the service's 500 million+ users the ability to opt-out. Overwhelming odds are that most users won't even bother to use the granular controls.
At launch more than a few major brands and organizations have paid to participate in the program including Anheuser-Busch, Coke, Levi's, RED, Amnesty International, and UNICEF. Within a few weeks, the Sponsored Stories product will also be available as a self-service option.