Facebook Reveals 3, 5 and 10 Year Strategy

Facebook Business marketing Tips

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company’s thinking process around its three, five and ten year strategy in a conference call with analysts to explain the social network’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR.

“[Before] I close, I just want to make one more point. For almost the last year, I’ve framed our strategy as three high-level goals over the next 10 years, connecting everyone, one; two, understanding the world; and three, building the knowledge economy. With this acquisition, now each of those initiatives has an ambitious long-term bet associated with it in addition to our important near-term work as well,” Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.

  1. The Facebook CEO said the company’s top long-term priority is connecting everyone, and also to make free basic internet available to everyone in the world through its Internet.org initiative. In terms of connecting users, the company’s nearer-term efforts are focused on messaging and growth, Zuckerberg said.
  2. A second long-term goal, Zuckerberg said, involves “understanding the world” through analytic efforts such as the company’s AI Research Group, which the CEO said “is trying to build a unified model of how every person and thing in the world is connected to each other.” In the nearer term, he said Facebook’s efforts will be focused on Facebook’s search capabilities and the development of its so-called ‘News Feed.’
  3. Facebook’s third long-term goal centers upon building the knowledge economy by way of future technology platforms. The Oculus VR acquisition falls within that goal, joining Facebook with what Zuckerberg said could be “one of the next important computing platforms.” Of course, as Zuckerberg said, the company will also continue to strengthen its advertising platform, which contributes the bulk of the company’s current revenue and profitability.

“So, with this in place, you should now have a clearer view of what our full strategy looks like over the next 3, 5 and 10 years. I look forward to updating you on our progress in each of these areas during our regular quarterly updates,” Zuckerberg said of the company’s long-term thinking.

[Source: TheStreet]

Social Commerce: Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales?

Business owners often wonder about the “ROI of social media”. Is my Facebook page actually driving sales? Is all this tweeting really doing anything for my bottom line? Should I be on Pinterest and Instagram?

Well it turns out, when it comes to ecommerce, being social matters.

To better understand how social media is impacting the ecommerce industry, Shopify analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders.

Here’s some interesting data points they uncovered:

  • Facebook dominates as a source of social traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook.
  • Orders from Reddit increased 152% in 2013.
  • Perhaps most interesting and surprising was community style site Polyvore which is generating the highest average order value ahead of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Also noteworthly in this category is Instagram which is also generating higher average orders than those same sites. This is especially impressive considering the only clickable links in Instagram are those in profile bio’s.
  • Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all social media ecommerce traffic at 1.85%

In addition to these stats, they’ve also analyzed specific industries to determine which platforms are performing better. You can check out all the findings in the infographic below.

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[Source: Shopify]

The State of Social Marketing and Advertising 2014

Discover The State of Social Marketing 2014, as told by your fellow marketers. Where does your social media marketing strategy stand?

Socialbakers conducted a social media pulse check across 82 countries and 20 industries to discover what marketers are focusing on, and more importantly, what they’re not. Did you know that 86% consider competitive social analysis important, but only 1/3 use paid tools to conduct said analysis! Imagine a lawyer who says a strong defense is important and then turns to Wikipedia to build a case. No thanks, I’ll Google the Constitution myself. Here’s what over 500 of your peers had to say about the state of social media marketing.Data Point TwoThis means nearly 70% of marketers aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is! Marketers who fly blind without the support of benchmarking data are at a huge disadvantage. Knowing what your competitors are doing on social and how your brand compares is critical for setting and reaching relevant KPIs. Free analytics tools have a place in marketing, but not for those who want a true competitive advantage.Data Point One62% say customer acquisitions via social marketing is a “very important” goal for 2014, but only 29% say the same about social customer care. As brands mature on social media, so do their goals. Remember the days when “likes” seemed to be the only thing that mattered? While social ROI is a smart goal, brands must not neglect the importance of social customer support. As our Socially Devoted initiative highlights – if you don’t support customers on social, they’ll be less likely to support you with their voices or wallets.

Data Point ThreeIt’s no surprise that 80% of marketers, regardless of company size, say Facebook is a high priority. What’s surprising is that only 14% will give Google+ a high priority in 2014 and 23% will not consider the platform at all! This data supports the trend to continue treating Google+ as an SEO tool, not a popping social network.Data Point FourFor those of us with start-up experience we know how many hats a CEO can wear, including the social media one. Support for social marketing is diversified with company growth to include other supporters such as Head of Digital, roles most likely created from said growth. While the benefits of a data-driven social media strategy seem obvious to most marketers, even some big companies struggle to create a company culture that supports social.Data Point FiveWith so many advancements in publishing tools it’s surprising that 41% exclusively publish and manage content directly to native platforms. This means zero support for reporting team performance, organized collaboration, easy scheduling, and managed post approval. This tactic waves a huge red flag for large teams looking to streamline social efforts and avoid confusing communication. We of course recommend using publishing tools.

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Supporting organic reach with paid advertising is the new normal in social media marketing. No matter how targeted or engaging your content is, the fact remains, the social party is crowded and you have to pay for a soapbox. But 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social ad budget for 2014. Their content stands alone to fight the noise and competition increasingly present in users’ News Feeds, both from personal connections and competing brands.

However, most companies who know how valuable a well-optimized social strategy can be understand that social advertising is a must. Furthermore, it’s money well spent for brands who optimize and measure their social ad performance.

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It’s not shocking that marketers say News Feed (native) ads are more effective than other placement options. But when you look closely at specified News Feed placements (desktop News Feed vs mobile News Feed vs desktop/mobile News Feed) it becomes clear that marketers aren’t able to distinguish between the three placement types. This points to the fact that marketers are still evolving and learning to fully leverage improved ad targeting provided by leading social networks. The majority have yet to discover the benefit of creating mobile specific content and CTAs.

However, if we compare similar data from a survey conducted in January 2013, we can see that marketers are getting smarter. Then, 81% of Facebook ads used “Facebook All” placement. As of December 2013, that number has been reduced to 42% and News Feed ads lead the way for effective social advertising by a landslide. Right-hand side ads were so 2009.

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The fact that brands are not flocking to Twitter’s adver­tising platform may not speak directly to the platforms’ ability to offer something of value, but rather, to marketers’ inability to effectively adapt to this new form of social advertising.

Twitter launched promoted posts and promoted tweets in March 2012 to a select number of small business and has cautiously expanded this select group to include beverages, athletic apparel, and even a certain Commander-in-chief. Despite Twitter advertisings’ unique appeal, advanced targeting, and proven ROI for a number of brands and verticals, most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube, and the Mother of Platform Monetization, Facebook.

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13.5: that’s the average number of social media pages managed by marketers in our survey. That’s more than 13 different pages (potentially of various countries, languages, and products) that all need to publish and promote content at the right time, to the right audience. But even so, the majority of marketers replied that they manage their social advertising via native platforms!

While many social networks, such as Facebook, have made leaps and bounds to improve their advertising platforms, this approach does not provide any efficiencies for managing multiple pages across multiple social networks. Using a 3rd party application for social advertising simplifies the experience giving marketers more time to do what they do best – create amazing and engaging content for their audience.

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One might conclude that along with company growth and expanded resources, something like social media – a function so close to the heart and soul of brand’s identity – would be reigned-in and managed in-house. This data, however, paints a different picture of social media outsourcing: the bigger the company, the more social media work is outsourced. But if you take a closer look at the data, something changes when it comes to post boosting. When compared to ad management and performance reporting, many brands that prefer to outsource social marketing elements chose to keep post boosting in-house. Perhaps this speaks to the holistic approach of boosting “good” content. When marketers see something going well, they know it, and want to support it with ad spend immediately.

Who Did We Ask?

When we say global, we mean global. 82 countries are represented in this survey reflecting a variety of industries including Education (13%), E-commerce (9%), Software (9%), Travel (9%), Nonprofit (9%), and Retail (7%). Company size doesn’t matter when it comes to social media presence so we asked the Davids (less than 50 employees) and the Goliaths (over 5,000 employees). We owe a great debt to the 500+ marketing professionals who contributed to this report. As a thank you, they received the complete survey results in advance of this release. So, don’t miss out next time and take part in our upcoming surveys.

 

[Source: The State of Social Marketing 2014 and The State of Social Advertising 2014 - SocialBakers]

Users who arrive at News Sites via Facebook spend Less Time, view Fewer Pages, return Less Often

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Facebook’s efforts to cozy up to media organizations appear to be timely, as Internet users who arrive at the 26 news websites analyzed in a new study from Pew Research Center via directly typing in those sites’ URLs or via bookmarks spend far more time on those sites, view more pages, and return more times per month.

Pew analyzed three months’ worth of data from comScore for those 26 sites, and it found that Internet users who arrived directly or via bookmarks spent an average of four minutes and 36 seconds per visit, compared with just one minute and 42 seconds for those arriving via Facebook.

The gap was even wider when it came to pages viewed per month, as direct visitors averaged 24.8, versus just 4.2 for Facebook visitors.

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And direct visitors averaged 10.9 visits per month to the sites studied by Pew, while Facebook referrals accounted for just 2.9 visits per month.

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Pew detailed its findings in the report:

This higher level of engagement from direct visitors holds true across the full mix of sites studied, from those that rank among the most shared on Facebook, such as Breitbart, to those whose traffic is heavily driven by traffic from search engines, such as ABC News, and from those with a small total audience (Mr. Conservative) to aggregators (Yahoo News). Even sites such as digital native BuzzFeed and National Public Radio, which have an unusually high level of Facebook traffic, saw much greater engagement from those who came in directly.

The data also suggest that converting social media or search eyeballs to dedicated readers is difficult to do. Most people who arrived at one of these popular news sites used only one of the three modes, suggesting that, at least on desktop/laptops, individuals tend to come to these news sites using a single method. Users had not, in other words, logged into ABC News in the morning to get the latest news and then later that night followed a link to another ABC story when checking status updates on Facebook. Of the sites examined, the percentage of direct visitors who also came to the site via Facebook was extremely small, ranging from 0.9 percent to 2.3 percent, with the exception of BuzzFeed at 11.3 percent. Similarly, direct visitors who also came to a site through a search engine ranged from 1.3 percent to 4.1 percent — again with one exception, this time being Examiner.com at 8.6 percent.

At a time when news organizations are working to understand how consumers interact with news in the digital space and are implementing digital subscription plans while energetically pushing content in social spaces, these findings encapsulate some of the key challenges facing digital news. Facebook and search are critical for bringing added eyeballs to individual stories, and they do so in droves. But the connection a news organization has with any individual coming to their website via search or Facebook seems quite limited. For news outlets operating under the traditional model of building a loyal, perhaps paying audience, obtaining referrals so that users think of the outlet as the first place to turn is critical.

The data also shed light on new audience approaches. The strategy of BuzzFeed, for example, is very different from that of traditional news organizations. It is not built around building a loyal, returning audience. Instead, it is built around “being a part of the conversation,” says Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith. The site’s writers and editors develop content that people want to share so that a story reaches all those it “should” reach. It may well be a completely different audience from one story to the next. That strategy is reflected in the 50 percent of its desktop/laptop traffic that comes in through Facebook with lowengagement, but high volume — far more than the 32 percent of traffic that accesses the site directly and show higher levels of engagement. The revenue strategy — built around advertising, rather than subscriptions — reflects that strategy, as well. On the other hand, a site like The New York Times — which relies on user subscriptions for a substantial portion of its revenue, and, thus, likely places high priority on loyalty and engagement — gets 37 percent of its laptop/desktop traffic from direct visitors and only 7 percent from Facebook.

Pew Director of Journalism Research Amy Mitchell said in a release announcing the study’s findings:

These findings encapsulate some of the key challenges facing digital news. Facebook and search are critical for bringing added views to individual stories, but the data suggest that it is hard to build relationships with those users. For news outlets operating under the traditional model and hoping to build a loyal, paying audience, it is critical for users to think of that outlet as the first place they should turn.

And John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Vice President of Journalism and Media Innovation Michael Maness added:

News organizations can use this study to better understand how people find their content and what attracts and sustains audiences. The findings show that cultivating relationships is central to developing a loyal following. This highlights the need for organizations to constantly experiment with new engagement opportunities, get to know their audience, and create content that resonates.

Readers: Do you think Facebook can improve its performance when it comes to engagement with news sites?

[Source: Pew Research Center's Journalism Project]

[Complete Study: Social Search and Direct Path ways to Digital News]