Facebook just released a feature that many have been waiting on for years: Facebook Reactions!
These emojis fulfill user requests for the ability to click more than just a “like” button and to be able to “react” to posts in other ways. Of course, there will be a plethora of people wanting other buttons to be added now that they see these reactions, but one thing you will never see is a “dislike” button. Tech Insider spoke with Sammi Krug, Facebook Reactions product manager, who reported that “A dislike felt very binary to Mark [Zuckerberg] and the team.” Yes, the reactions now encompass more than simply liking and disliking, but the real victory here is the dedication for using Facebook for positively associating with other users.
Zuckerberg has been aware of the desire for a dislike button for a while, but didn’t want to encourage down-voting posts and degrading users. The solution to this took the form of the “angry” emoji as a result of Zuckerberg agreeing, “Not every moment is a good moment.”
With this decision, Zuckerberg did a great job in keeping Facebook as a site that people will want to continue to use and visit without the fear of meanness or cruelty.
Are you satisfied with the new reactions? Did Facebook miss any reactions that you think should’ve made the cut?
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Let’s go political for a moment. Politics in one of the largest marketing industries that tries its best to look like it is not using marketing, and social media has provided the perfect platform to do just that. While social media may not predict the next president, it certainly plays a major role in candidate exposure and influence. Allow me to share a few charts from research done on the 2012 election:
According to the charts above, Obama was leagues ahead of Romney in followers and fans, had nearly double the response rate of Romney on major sites, and spent astronomically more money on his digital campaign. I am not saying that social media is the sole reason for Obama’s victory, but it certainly had an impact. It made Obama “real” and not just a public figure. Social media turned him into a friend, ally, and regular person rather than a symbol of the issues for which he stood, and this resonated with Millennials.
What does this mean for 2016 candidates? It means that if they want the Millennial vote, they must engage (or at least appear to engage) on social media. The chart below from Potus 2016 shows how the candidates were shaping up as of Summer 2015:
Trump or Hillary? Is this what it comes down to? Interestingly, there is not a huge range of Facebook likes among all of the candidates. Hillary falls behind significantly if Facebook alone matters, and Bernie Sanders climbs to the top if YouTube is most important. Ultimately, the most important platform is the one whose followers turn their interest into action. So… who are the action-takers?
Yes, everyone wants to be the top result for a Google search, but that takes some work… and quite a bit of time.
SEO analysts must constantly struggle to explain that there is no magic password to use to rank at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages). For years, keywords have been at the core of SEO. Entire books have been dedicated to keyword research, and websites have been peppered with keywords on the visible pages and behind the scenes.
Just as SEO experts were getting comfortable with keyword optimization, however, Google changed the game. Instead of such a heavy focus on keywords/phrases, Google is now looking at the content and implications of the search itself. In a sense, Google is getting smarter, and it’s a win for consumers. Companies will no longer consume themselves with keyword stuffing — the overuse of keywords in content just to climb the rankings of Google and other search engines. Companies will now start focusing on content and meaning within their websites. Imagine that!
As you can see in the “joke” above, the joke itself is completely lost to the focus on keywords!
Who/what is responsible for this consumer-friendly shift? The key player in this change is the smartphone. Voice search has altered the way people search. Because the smartphone is a tool for conversation, people naturally search on it in a more conversational tone. According to a study done by Search Engine Watch, the rise in question words in the last couple years is astounding:
People are lengthening their searches into full questions and expecting their computers and phones to understand them, not just pick up on important words. Content is about to overtake the keyword throne and become King of SEO. Don’t get too comfortable, though. This is an ever-changing world, and tomorrow holds new innovations that may turn search on its head yet again.
The Greek philosopher said it best over 2500 years ago — The only thing constant is change. We are living in a world in which this statement has never been more true and in which change has never been more rapid. While many people are concentrating on the craziness and obstacles of this advancing world, the successful ones will be those who embrace it.
Technology is moving forward with or without us. We cannot expect to learn the platforms and marketing vehicles of today and stick to those findings for the next ten years.
As Alvin Toffler says, it is not just about continuously learning, but rather, it is about unlearning and relearning too! “Unlearning” is perhaps the biggest challenge our society faces. We have a tendency to hang onto what we know because it’s always worked previously. The modern world, however, presents us with the challenge of letting go. (Don’t make me sing the song from Frozen… *Let it go, let it goooo!*)
Imagine if we held onto every VHS we owned because they worked, and we didn’t trust DVDs. We currently would be experiencing much less efficient video-watching. This example is a minor, frivolous one, but apply that same principle to the field of medicine and suddenly it seems a little more important. The fear today, though, is embedded in the aforementioned rapidity of technological advances. Give someone a year or two to get used to a concept, and nine times out of ten, he or she can handle it. Give someone a week to adapt and “keep up,” and the results might be a smaller ratio with an increase in panic attacks. The best piece of advice for the years to come is…
What makes you most nervous about the technological advances that are quickly approaching?
“Meet George Jetson.”
These are the words that introduced the world to the classic cartoon about a family living in a futuristic, impossible world in which people drove hover-cars, talked to each other on screens, and in which inanimate objects communicated.
Welcome to 2016. We are not quite driving to work in the air yet, but we are close to surpassing the futuristic world of the Jetsons. The Internet of Things (IoT) has arrived. The IoT refers to the connection and communication between inanimate objects. It is estimated that there will be over 50 billion connected devices by 2020:
This is no small trend. This is now, and this is the future.
Take a look at a projected IoT-saturated future home:
Consumer wants have already been identified, and the IoT is no longer seen as that impossible, fun world the Jetsons lived in. As consumer wants grow, companies and marketers should keep their eyes and ears open.
What does the IoT mean for marketing? The IoT holds endless possibilities for creativity and innovation. Marketers must adapt to a changing world or they will get left behind. For example, the refrigerator listed above as a “most wanted” object is a perfect opportunity for some marketing activity. The refrigerator could automatically link to a smartphone grocery list when eggs or butter are running low. Rather than generic “butter” being added to the list, “Land O Lakes butter” could be added, thus advertising the brand by what was previously bought. Think of the customer retention possibilities! This is just one small way marketing can work within the growing world of IoT. I’ll leave you with the comic below:
Devices are already communicating. Are you ready?
Mobile marketing has been on the rise for the past few years, and it will continue to grow in the next few years. This is not a surprise to any of us. The following graphic speaks for itself on the importance of this marketing vehicle:
Video marketing has also been on the rise, and these facts may be even more staggering:
With so much power in a marketing vehicle and a marketing tool, the two together are an unstoppable pair. The greatest advantage a marketer can gain from putting video on mobile is a stronger and less-distracted consumer attention-span. Research reveals that when users watched a video on TV, the video was the only activity going on for 28% of the time. When watching on a mobile phone, consumers gave the video their sole attention for 53% of the time. In addition:
Does this mean marketers should put all of their efforts into mobile video marketing? Absolutely not! It does mean, however, that this can be an impactful aspect of an integrated marketing campaign.
How would you best integrate mobile video as a supplement in a greater campaign?
Tumblr’s micro-blogging site is becoming more and more popular with teens and young adults. With the emergence of new platforms, the social media landscape is changing, and the usage of Facebook among the younger crowd is on a steady decline. According to Statista, the number of estimated U.S. teen Facebook users fell 25% between 2011 and 2014.
Among other social media sites, Tumblr is at the forefront of capturing the attention of teens and young adults.
Why is Tumblr so captivating to young people? Digital marketing consultant, Tim Peter, seems to think it’s a matter of the type of conversations that take place on the platforms. He states, “Facebook is where teens and young adults connect with family and some friends. Tumblr is where they connect with like-minded people about the topics they care about.” Companies can leverage great power in knowing that this is a site on which young people feel they can relate to brands. Tumblr is an image-driven platform on which companies can build a sense of community, loyalty, and brand allegiance.
Should every brand now ditch Facebook and run to Tumblr? Absolutely not! Every platform has its niche, and not every company fits into Tumblr’s target audience. The first step in determining a company’s fit for a social platform is to understand its audience and how it interacts with the platform’s purpose.
Can you think of any brands that should focus their efforts on Tumblr and/or cut back on the amount of effort they spend on Facebook?
Emerging media is interactive media.
In stark contrast to traditional media, it involves the audience. It seeks response and yearns for a give and take relationship. It is new, fresh, and, with the constant growth of technology, never static. Merriam-Webster defines the following:
Emerge : to become known or apparent
This definition implies that the very core of emerging media is discovery. It is the present and the future. It is an exciting aspect of marketing that doesn’t sit still. Marketers must embrace emerging media in order to stay relevant and capture audiences who are embracing technology.
How do audiences interact with emerging media? This field includes many components of digital life, including website visits, social media engagement, blogging, texting, and so much more. It is important to remember that interaction is at the heart of it all. The way marketers communicate is changing. The lecture format has become tired (not completely useless, but tired). Consumers want a relationship that is a two-way street. This means that marketers must utilize channels that had not even been created thirty years ago. Laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and GPS devices are just a few examples of these new platforms.
In future posts, I will investigate the tools and methods used in the ever-growing field of emerging media and the reasons why people use them. Come with me down this crazy road of exploration. It will not disappoint!