As social media continues to grow, marketing and communications professionals struggle to keep up with how these various platforms can benefit them. Pinterest has recently made some changes to their website that aim to make it a more useful business tool. The most significant change is that Pinterest now includes web analytics for those who have a verified business account. This addition should “help website owners understand what’s working for them and what’s not so that they can create even better pins in the future,” says Tao Tao, a software engineer for Pinterest. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Social media’
Yesterday, Facebook announced a soon-to-come re-design of their social network interface, specifically intended to please both users and advertisers, a delicate balance that the company has become all too familiar with ever since going public less than a year ago.
Many have been quick to point out that the updates reflect a social network layout that is strikingly similar to the Google+ layout, with large images appearing in users’ news feed (from both people and pages they follow) designed to more effectively showcase content and draw in users and specialized sections that let users choose exactly what kind of content they want to see. Google+ actually made a dig at Facebook calling them out for being a copy cat. But let’s be real: nothing is original. The entire premise of Facebook is stolen from those hardcopy college Facebooks that had pictures and bios of people that you’d be attending college with. (I’ve never actually seen one of these in real life but I have heard legends of its existence.)
By this point, we’re all used to Facebook changing things on us. But recently, a lot of those changes have gone beyond moving tabs around and adding or removing features in an effort to improve the user’s experience. Now just a 6-month old baby tech company trading on the NASDAQ, most of the changes Facebook has been making lately have been directly related to improving their bottom line. With a $50 billion market capitalization, Facebook has an audience of investors saying, “show me the money.”
Right now, the undisputed champion of the online advertising world is Google. In 2011, Google took in $37.9 billion in advertising revenue from a variety of industries, while Facebook took in a mere $4 billion. But what Facebook has that Google only dreams of having is actually incredibly valuable, and that’s social currency. Facebook has a ton of rich information about its 800 million users, and that information can help to make an ad campaign much more appealing. Google, on the other hand, simply uses a complex algorithm driven by your traffic surfing history to determine which ads you are most likely to click. The more a company knows about their audience, the more targeted they can make their ads and the more likely users will be to click on those ads, the more money they will spend on the ads.
With all the redesign going on this year, it’s as if the social media community has had an identity crisis. Like a domino effect, following updates on other social media sites like Facebook’s Timeline and LinkedIn’s company page updates, YouTube is gradually rolling out a new look and some substantial changes to the site’s functionality.
Shifting focus toward spreading new content
YouTube’s appearance has changed, and not only because of the new white color scheme, seemingly adopted from Google +. With these changes, YouTube’s pages will be more focused on recommending new content:
- Suggested Channels are displayed on the homepage sidebar.
- Channel, Video, and Playlist Recommendations are found throughout the site, along with prominent “Subscribe” buttons.
- The homepage navigation bar will now be on video pages, too.
So, what’s the consensus?
Overall, we like the new YouTube. With suggested channels and subscriptions becoming more prominent, YouTube is helping video authors reach a wider audience that is still targeted and likely interested in that sort of content. Our only concern is that the Subscribe button – relocated to join the Like and Dislike features and Comments section – could end up getting lost in the clutter of other buttons.
To read more about differences between the old and new YouTube, check this out.
What do you think of YouTube's changes?
The evolution of Health 2.0 in our data-driven world calls for a shift in the way health organizations connect with their target audiences. On a global scale, there is enormous potential to make an impact through digital communications tool and technologies. Before making a change, however, it is necessary to understand who is saying what, and where the conversations – or lack thereof – are happening.
For our most recent initiative of tracking and scrutinizing online conversations in the spirit of improved public health, we focused on the issue of childhood obesity. In the U.S., experts say 42 percent of people will be obese by 2030. But many people don’t realize this isn’t just an American problem—it’s a problem across the world. Our team collaborated with our partners around the world on an exciting one-month survey of seven countries, looking at how the digital conversation on child obesity stacked up in Argentina, Australia, India, Portugal, the U.K., Mexico and the U.S. (more…)
When I started out in public relations, I wasn’t the digital guy. In fact, I took a much more traditional route. In a way, I grew up digital. I started working with some tech clients who wanted the next big thing in digital outreach — email blasts, websites and getting clients on Digg (remember when that was important?). Then, I made the move to a social media company.
My digital skills grew alongside the developing technology. It was great to see a new medium unfold and to see talented people work to make connections online like never before. I was working in a space where we connected with journalists and companies via Twitter and Skype — not press releases and phone calls.
Lately I’ve noticed a shift. Entry level associates are expected to know digital, while many older executives tend to be well-versed in more traditional PR. There’s a gap in middle management. At universities, it’s normal for students to pick a track — traditional or digital — and become an expert in one or the other. The two aspects of media relations are no longer merged.
At Spectrum, we take a different approach. It’s true we have our traditional people and we have our digital team, but everyone is expected to know a little of both. My digital skills would fall flat without a base understanding of marketing and public relations. Those on the traditional side need to be familiar with digital strategies as well.
The communications landscape in pharma and health care has become increasingly more crowded over the past three to five years. With social media, blogs and other online content as well as traditional advertising, how do consumers make health care decisions? How can they distinguish promotional claims from information driven by science and clinical studies?
According to a recent study by Wolters Kluwer, three out of 10 Americans say they “always” or “frequently” turn to the internet to find answers to their medical questions, while nearly 65 percent of Americans who turn to the internet with medical questions say they trust the information they find.
This issue has garnered the attention of the FDA, which is currently developing a study to examine the public’s ability to identify marketing messages from objective medical information. The conundrum is that patients are coming to expect more information from both their doctors and from the drug-makers themselves. In response, many pharmaceutical companies are beginning to use social and online channels to deliver more targeted information to the people who need it. But they are walking a fine line due to the lack of strict guidance. They must work even harder to ensure the content they distribute meets the highest level of regulatory scrutiny. (more…)
One day shy of Google+’s first anniversary, Google has launched a new business-targeted element of its social networking platform called Google+ Events. Google+ Events works a lot like Evite or Eventbrite, only Google claims the crucial difference is that “the party doesn’t stop when the invitations go out.” Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice-President of Social Business for Google, talked at the company’s I/O keynote this morning, saying that the social planner’s feature called “Party Mode” sets it apart from the competition.
This is where it gets fun. When you enable and turn on Party Mode on your phone, all new photos taken by you and attendees (who are on Google+) will get added to the event’s landing page in real time, in a streaming slideshow. So as you snap photos, they’ll stream into the event itself so they can be easily viewed by attendees, live or later. There are also a few other snazzy features like the ability to add a personal greeting video to the homepage of the event and customize with different themes. Party Mode seems to be the real defining feature, however. (more…)
Facebook just launched an initiative that will allow each fan page to pay to “promote” posts – an effort from the social network to increase revenue following negative press about the effectiveness of their advertisements. Unlike a regular post, a promoted post will appear more frequently and prominently in fans’ news feeds, for a fee. While this feature is still in beta and is slowly being rolled out to all Facebook fan pages, expect to see the ability to promote posts from your page sometime within the next few months.
How promoted posts work
Once a Facebook page administrator creates a promoted post, it will be seen only by users who already “like” the page, appearing with the indication of “Sponsored Post.” When administrators select a budget for a promoted post, Facebook provides an estimated number of people that the post will reach. These posts run for a maximum of three days and can be deleted or paused at any time to stop payment. If users like, comment on, or share the post, it may appear on their friends’ newsfeeds.
Fan pages defined
While Facebook profiles are meant for individuals, fan pages are designed for companies or organizations. The content of fan pages includes basic items, such as contact information, location, website links, etc., but the manager can also post blog articles, events and photos. Fan pages are accessible to unregistered visitors but can also be configured to show more in-depth interactivity when people “like” the fan page. By liking a fan page, you are more or less subscribing to that page. Subscribed fans will see the news displayed on his or her home feed about the organization or company that the manager of the page posts in “status updates.” Fan pages are also used to engage with customers as they can leave comments on the “wall” of the page. To set up a fan page for free, go to the bottom of any Facebook page and click on Advertising. Fan pages are free.
One major drawback of promoted posts is their limited reach. They do not aid in promoting content to new audiences because they cannot reach people who are not already fans of your page. The most successful promoted posts will be those that invite users to participate and engage with the content, such as attention-grabbing photos and videos, exclusive offers and questions likely to elicit responses. Over time, statistics regarding the average click-through rates of promoted posts will also begin to tell a better story about their effectiveness.
This morning Facebook announced a plan that will encourage users to start publically posting their organ donor status on their pages. Inspired by the recent natural disasters such as Japan’s tsunami and the fatal floods and tornadoes in the Midwest, the new feature hopes to create peer pressure to nudge more people to add their names to the rolls of registered organ donors.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services there are currently 114,183 people waiting for an organ and 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ, but one organ donor can save up to eight lives.
At Spectrum we have seen the value of social networking and digital communications with our clients, from connecting families struggling with infertility to finding children living worldwide with rare diseases. We believe this is a significant milestone for Facebook that will transform the way we solve health issues worldwide. (more…)