Friday Wrap #22: Facebook hides brand engagement, social media command centers are on the rise2012-10-26
(c) Can Stock PhotoYou don’t hear it very often, but Tumblr was down much of today. Since I maintain my link blog at Tumblr, I couldn’t get to my list of potential stories for today’s Wrap until later than usual. Tumblr did get back up and running, though, which meant I was finally able to assemble today’s summary of some great posts you may have missed in the last week.
Hidden engagement in news feeds creates disadvantage for Facebook brand pages
If my Facebook status update shows up in your news feed, you’ll see the comments and likes that post has attracted. If, however, you post an update on your brand page that makes it to my news feed, I’ll see how many likes, comments and shares it got, but the comments themselves won’t appear unless I click it. Seeing the comments that have already been left to a post is often what inspires me to leave one of my own; I’m joining a conversation. I’m not alone in being inspired to engage by seeing the engagement that has already taken place around a post. Facebook, it seems, has put brands at a distinct disadvantage by treating their posts differently from those of an individual. Writing about the issue on AllFacebook, Justin Lafferty asked readers what steps they took to increase the odds of engagement for their posts, but not many suggestions emerged. Clearly, as communicators, we have to create content that is compelling enough to motivate somebody to click the post if we want to attract the levels of engagement that keep our posts apparing in our fans’ news feeds.
The rise of the social media control center
As I wrote Fortune piece by HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes looking at the growing number of social media “mission control centers.” The article lists Gatorade, Dell, the American Red Cross and Clemson University among the increase in organizations adopting a more robust monitoring solution. “Behind the sudden command center craze is a serious case of data overload,” according to Holmes. “Social technologies have given companies access to an unprecedented flood of new analytics, metrics and user data. But making sense of it all has been a challenge. Underneath the hood, command centers are wired to analyze millions of social conversations from not just Facebook and Twitter, but YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs and more.” He also points to the “ground control” set up by organizers of the 2012 Super Bowl, where experts responded to questions within three minutes, addressing “everything from parking availability to half-time shows while also amplifying fan feedback.” The result: $3.2 million worth of positive press and a 12.5 percent boost in consumer sentiment.
Brands on Facebook boost engagement nearly 900 percent
there seems to be no end to the number of communicators who have bought into the notion that Facebook is fading. Whether that belief is fueled by the IPO stumble or rumors of young users migrating to other services, it’s still just a myth. Having recently claimed that the number of active accounts has surpassed the 1 billion mark (cue Dr. Evil image here), Facebook can also argue that people are engaging more with the neetwork. Adobe’s Digital Index for the third quarter shows a massive increase in engagement on brand pages, a lot of which can be attributed to that feature that inspired so much whining and complaining: the Timeline. Brand engagement is up 896 percent, according to James Dohnert, writing in Search Engine Wach, and “Adobe’s research points to (Timeline’s) introduction as a major factor for engagement growth. Other studies tend to agree.” The increase also occurred during the significant shift toward mobile access, with one-quarter of engagement coming from mobile users. “Mobile growth on Facebook engagement also came with incrased mobile marketing gains overall,” writes Dohnert. Facebook remains a vital platform for brands.
Anti-BYOD decision demonstrates why HP’s on the decline
The Bring Your Own Device movement is alive and well. Employees routinely find the technology the buy for themselves is better than what their employer issues them, so they use it at work. A growing number of companies are developing BYOD policies and programs to take advantage of the trend. Despite the challenges BYOD presents, it’s ultimately all about improved efficiencies. But not at HP. The venerable technology company is pushing back against the idea because it would be embarrassing. You read that right. The cmopany is rejecting BYOD and the productivity and worker satisfaction it creates because “It would be embarrassing—more importantly it would be embarrassing for our employees,” Eric Cador said in an interview. Cador, EMEA SVP of the printer and personal systems business, added, “Employees have to be proud of our products.” Reporting on this stroke of management genius, ZDNet‘s Charlie Osborne writes, ” Presumably, an employee turning up with a Nexus 7 tablet or the latest iPad would be the cause of ire for management, and would only result in indirect promotion of rival products.” It’s easy to see why HP just can’t seem to get its act together when its priorities are so screwed up.
Didn’t you just love that online toothpaste video?
Nobody is surprised any more at the importance of online video, but you have to wonder if it applied to, say, a tube of toothpaste, a box of cereal or a pack of gum. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is the category of products that consumers use every day, and according to 33Across, the number of CPG videos rose dramatically in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. eMarketer reports, “Based on the internet usage and social interaction habits of over a billion unique visitors worldwide to sites in the company’s interest graph, 33Across discovered that CPG category consumers watched 44% more online video in Q3, making them 1.5 times more likely to watch online video than the average web user.” This isn’t just a case of a rising tide lifting all boats, since viewership of retail videos dropped 22 percent.
Adoption of QR codes will get a holiday boost
Mobile Marketer has proclaimed QR codes “the standout technology that will elevate (holiday) campaigns and take them to the next level.” The article by Rimma Kats lists Target and Torneau among the companies adding QR codes to their holidays efforts “as a way to not only interact with consumers in a different way, but also help increase revenue.” Target had earlier announced customers would be able to scan the codes on any of the top 20 toys and buy it online for shipment to their homes. Other techniques we can expect include mobile rebates, sending money back to customers for products they’ve bought by scanning it. Mobile layaways are also coming, allowing customers to scan a code to buy and reserve items they want to pick up at a physical store. Showrooming is one key reason retailers are embracing QR codes, enticing customers to buy from them rather than look at the actual product in the store, then buy it for less from an etailer.
Volunteers participate in a Wikipedia edit-a-thon
Quick. Name a well-known female scientist. There’s Marie Curie, then there’s…umm…err…
It’s not just the average consumer who can’t come up with another name. Even scientists stumble over that question. In order to address the issue, the U.K.‘s national academy of science partnered with Wikimedia U.K. for an “edit-a-thon” designed to bolster the representation of women in science in the pages of Wikipedia. According to Smarter Planet, 19 volunteers were joined by editors from around the world to work on “a wish list of nearly 200 women.” As a result, you can now find Hertha Marks Ayton, who registered 26 patents, and Mary Edwards, who “calculated the position of the soon, moon and planets and different times of day for annual nautical almanacs.” Sniff at crowdsourcing all you like; it can be put to some very powerful and postive uses.