Friday Wrap #26: Google-YouTube link, RSS lives, Red Bull on Flipboard, Facebook engagement is up2012-11-23
(c) Can Stock PhotoI hope all of my American friends and colleagues had a warm and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I spent mine in Las Vegas, where my wife’s brother and his longtime girlfriend are getting married on Sunday. The news doesn’t stop for holidays or family gatherings, though, so here’s a somewhat abbreviated edition of the Firday Wrap. As always, you are welcome to tap into LinksFromShel, where I collect the various articles and posts from which I select stories for the Wrap and for my podcast, For Immediate Release.
You can now link your Google+ account and YouTube channel
Google has announced that Google+ profiles can be linked to the account owner’s YouTube channel, furthering the integration between Google’s social network and the world’s most ubiquitous video sharing site. Google is pushing out the connection in phases, but you can establish the link yourself from within your YouTube settings. According to The Next Web, “If you want, you can still keep your channel name. It all depends on how you built your brand: if your YouTube channel’s name is more popular than the one you were given at birth, then go with that one. If you prefer to market your own personal brand, then Google is urging you to switch to the Google+ one.”
Can we please kill the “RSS is dead” meme?
You keep hearing it. I heard it a couple weeks ago. A speaker, citing a reference in a dubious book, reiterated that RSS is dead. Then there’s Mediafed, whose CEO, Ashley Harrison, told TechCrunch‘s Frederic Lardinois that his company “powered 3 billion article views for 2,000 publishers in October,” all through RSS. Mediafed is not alone. Though RSS is no longer a common consumer technology, “it still forms the underpinning of popular apps like Flipboard, Pulse and many other services. As these become more popular, the role of RSS as the plumbing to bring content to their users will only increase, even as consumers’ awareness of it continues to slip.”
C’mon, marketing and IT, let’s everybody get together
IT departments at companies that promote innovation don’t get a lot of respect. The Economist surveyed 226 global senior executives at these kinds of organizations in hopes of better understanding their characteristics. It turns out IT isn’t one of them. “Only 17% of the respondents mentioned IT when asked which business units help bring innovative ideas to market, while 47% cited marketing,” according to an article in BtoB Online. Fifty-one percent of respondents said IT’s role is to deploy technologies, not innovate, and 13% said innovation isn’t part of IT’s job. The report concludes, “The IT department is underutilized and could be more engaged in educating business leaders about new technology trends, enabling business units to adapt processes rapidly and identify pockets of innovation in the enterprise.”
Reach is down on Facebook posts, but engagement is up
It may seem like a dichotomy, but even though fewer people are seeing organic posts to Facebook brand pages, those who do see them are engaing with them more. That’s the conclusion of Group M Next, which studied 25 brand pages and found that the number of Facebook users who saw organic (vs. paid) posts had dropped 38% in five weeks, from 15.56% to 9.62%. It comes as no surprise to anybody responsible for a brand page that this decline followed Facebook’s change to the algorithm that determines what appears in a user’s news feed. On the flip side, though, those who do see organic posts are liking, commenting and sharing a lot more—from .76% to 1.49%. What this means, according to Cotton Delo, writing for AdAge, is that “brands that change up the mix of their posts to rely less on the ones that saw the biggest drops in exposure can maintain their newsfeed reach at above 12% and thus use ‘paid advertising as a supplement, rather than a full replacement,’ according to the paper.”
So how does Facebook decide which posts you’ll see?
The skeleton of the EdgeRank formula has been known for some time. Details, though, have been closely guarded by Facebook—until now, that is. Facebook Product Manager Will Cathcart met with reporters to provide insight, something for which companies have been clamoring since they found their reach plunging in the wake of those now-legendary algorithm changes. C|Net‘s Donna Tam reports that “which News Feed posts pop up depend on several factors—the user’s reaction to the post’s publisher, other people’s reactions to the specific posts, and what type of story the post is. When it comes to mobile, Facebook also considers what kind of content is best for a device. If a user has a feature phone, Facebook figures that the user won’t want to see photos and puts less importance on showing those posts.”
Do you need to add an Amazon brand page to the mix?
You’ve got a Facebook page, a Googe+ page, a LinkedIn page. Now, Amazon.com wants you to set up an Amazon Page. TechCrunc‘s Ingrid Lunden reports that the new feature allows companies to establish “customer destinations” on the Amazon site. “complete with http://www.amazon.com/brandname URLs and dynamic designs with large photos and social media links. Along with this, it is also offering Amazon Posts for companies to market themselves across Amazon and Facebook, and Amazon Analytics to measure how well all of the above is working.” Setting up a page is free.
Red Bull pushes content through Flipboard
The Red Bulletin, Red Bull’s consumer magazine that reinforces the outdoor lifestyle the energy drink promotes, is now available as a standalone channel on Flipboard. The news app that has drawn 20 million users who flip through some 3 billion pages each month will introduce an initial issue featuring content—including videos—of Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull-sponsored record-setting skydive. The addition of Red Bulletin content to more traditional news sources most likely will serve as a new revenue stream for Flipboard. Content marketers should be more intrested in the enhanced reach Flipboard will give Red Bull’s content. The Appside cites Nicholas Pavach, Red Bull’s director of publishing, asserting that “Flipboard provides reach and an amazing user experience to showcase our stories and engage readers, which is why they are such a great partner for Red Bull Media House. We’re excited to see how Flipboard will innovate next and we will work with them to fully exploit mobile platforms.”