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09/17/2014 San Francisco CA

CSO Perspectives on Defending Against the Pervasive Attacker

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12/07/2014 - 12/10/2014 TBA

iMedia Agency Summit: The Agency Re-Defined: Balancing Scale, Scrappiness, & Innovation

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You Might Not “Like” This, But You Should

MediaPost

Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.

First came the news that a simple “like” was useless –  to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed

And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”

Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?

Or is it such a sad day?

I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,”  at least publicly, for three reasons:

1.     A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.

2.     Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.

3.     Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”

Continue reading…

9 Inexpensive Ways to Get Your Business Noticed Online

IDG News Service

Congratulations on launching your startup business. The only problem is, no one knows about it. So how do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or PR, or buying Facebook or Twitter followers?

Dozens of small business owners and social media, SEO and marketing experts share their nine top tips for how new businesses can get noticed online, without having to spend a lot of money.

1. Establish profiles on the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest). Before launching any social campaigns, take time to figure out which social media site or sites your target customers frequent. Then set up pages or profiles on those sites — and post content regularly, at least once a week. To centrally manage your social media posting, consider using a service such as Hootsuite.

2. Create fresh, shareable content. “Business blogs are the most cost effective way to boost your organic traffic,” says Lisa Chu, owner, Black N Bianco Children’s Formal Wear. “Google loves original and valuable content. By [creating] informative articles, not only will Google reward your site, but people will organically start sharing your blog posts. [Just] remember: Write for your target audience not for Google.”

“Create interesting videos [and graphics with your target audience in mind] and share them across all of your social media profiles,” suggests Hannah Diamond, marketing coordinator, UrbanGirl Office Supply. “Offer something fresh and unique [that speaks] to your company,” without it coming across as an ad.

Finally, “make it easy for your followers to share your content,” says Melissa Johnson, content editor for Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal. “Make sure that people can follow you on Facebook or Twitter [or Pinterest] directly from your site [by including hot-linked buttons to your social media pages], and add buttons so that they can share your content and products on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, [Reddit] and other networks.” The easier it is to share content, the more people will share it.

3. Ask friends, family members and employees to get the word out — and reward referrals. Even if you don’t have many (or any) followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, chances are some of your friends or family members or your employees do. Ask them to follow you/your new business on social media sites and spread the word. Better yet, reward people for sharing links to your site or products by offering them referral discounts, say 10 percent off their first or next purchase, or a freebie.

4. Offer influencers/bloggers free product(s) in exchange for mentions and/or reviews. “When you first start your business, it can be difficult to direct traffic to your site,” notes Chu. “A simple way to start a buzz around your product and website is to send out free samples to influential bloggers. Most bloggers will be happy to take your free sample and review it on their blog,” she says. “Once the review goes up, there will be a link directly to your site. That link will give you a nice SEO boost on search engines” and will drive traffic to your site.

“If a company has not yet been in business long enough to grow a substantial customer base, they can gain visibility online by conducting a product sampling campaign, [where you offer] consumers free products in return for accurate, unbiased, and insightful reviews (which can include text, photos, and videos),” says Matt Krebsbach, director, Global Public & Analyst Relations, Bazaarvoice, a platform for consumer ratings and reviews.

“A product sampling campaign helps generate accelerated word of mouth and increased sales for a product launch,” Krebsbach says. Moreover, “each sample can result in a review that influences tens, hundreds or thousands of prospective customers for each free product. And Bazaarvoice’s research shows that, depending on the product category, increases in both the number of reviews and the average rating for a product can increase orders 10 to 50 percent.”

5. Co-market with an established business/brand. “Pair with an on-brand company that already has a loyal following to offer something unique and sharable,” suggests Zoë Scharf, cofounder & creative director, greetabl. “When greetabl wanted to increase awareness, they paired with Strange Donuts, a popular donut shop, to celebrate National Donut Day,” she explains.

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A LinkedIn Executive Shares The #1 Tip For Using The Professional Social Network

Business Insider

Steve Johnson, LinkedIn’s VP of user experience, is the guy in charge of designing the site’s look, feel, and function.

Naturally, he’s a LinkedIn whiz, and in a recent interview he shared his favorite tip for members: Don’t be afraid to show your personality.

“LinkedIn profiles aren’t like the printed resumes of old,” he says, “You can bring your professional story to life. We are giving you the opportunity to share your career aspirations, showcase your unique character and what you bring to the culture of your company.”

You can give your profile some extra flair by adding professional photos from events or conferences, writing about your experience more in-depth with LinkedIn’s publishing platform, seeking out recommendations from past colleagues that highlight more than just your day-to-day duties, listing volunteer experiences, or uploading a presentation that you’re proud of.

Johnson also explained that he’s personally driven by the idea of helping people achieve their aspirations through empowerment.

“As a child, I grew up with practically nothing so I understand what it’s like to feel that your dreams are out of reach,” he says. “I want the LinkedIn experience to make our members feel that they are taking a step closer to their goals and aspirations. When they are building something like their LinkedIn profile, I want people to feel proud of what they’ve created and empowered to make their dreams a reality.”

Read the rest of the interview here

So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

eMarketer

The US social network audience is big—172.6 million people in 2014, or 54% of the population and 68.6% of internet users, eMarketer estimates. Based on June 2014 research by Harris Interactive for WP Engine, many of those users are likely worried about privacy on such platforms.

177602 So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

Among the US adult internet users polled, 66% said they were concerned about their privacy on social networks such as Facebook—the top response. That’s not even the entire social picture. The study broke out platforms that many consider social networks into their own categories. More than one-third of respondents were worried about privacy on social photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram. Around one-quarter were concerned about security on microblogging sites like Twitter, and a similar percentage said the same about disappearing photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat.

A May 2014 study by Rad CampaignLincoln Park Strategies, and craigconnects’ Craig Newmark found similar results. Among the US adult internet users polled, 57% had little or no trust at all in social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Meanwhile, 22% of respondents had some trust in social platforms, while 7% trusted social a lot.

177620 So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

One-third of internet users ages 55 to 64 said they didn’t trust social media sites, while just 1% did, with a similar trend among the 65-and-older group. Meanwhile, 24% of 35- to 54-year-olds didn’t trust social networks, compared with 6% who said the opposite. The under-35 bracket was the only one where those who trusted social media outnumbered those who didn’t—but by a small gap of 4 points (16% vs. 12%).

Organizational Tips for Leading the Marketing Transformation

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Organizational Tips for Leading the Marketing Transformation

By Kathleen Schaub 

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the marketing transformation? You aren’t alone.  An IDC analysis of tech marketing staff changes since 2009 reveals that CMOs have had to squeeze traditional staff functions to accommodate five new roles: analytics/business intelligence, marketing technology, social marketing, sales enablement, and campaign management. In 2013, these new five roles collectively made up 14% of the total marketing staff. 

IDC invited organizational change expert, Dr. Rick Mirable, to advise our clients on insights for leading more successful organizational change initiatives. Here are some of the tips that Dr. Mirable, who has more than 20 years of diverse business consulting and academic experience, offered:
  • What we believe about change determines how we will respond to change. People hold beliefs about the capability of both company culture and individual people’s ability to change. Good change initiatives raise awareness of these biases.
  • Successful change initiatives require that leaders be included. It’s not only individuals deep in the organization that need transformation, but leaders must also be role models for the change they want to see.
  • People resist change for many reasons. Change can threaten our sense of security (What will happen to me?) and our sense of competence (Can I learn new skills?). People may worry they will fail. They may not understand why change is needed. Companies may inadvertently reward people who resist change by penalizing people who try new things and fail.
  • Some resistance to change comes from unspoken resentment. Companies must allow for expression of the relevant “inner conversations” that people have with themselves about the change — views that are not explicit to others. Resentment is like dirty laundry — if you don’t get rid of it eventually it starts to smell!
  • Some change initiatives fail simply because the organization isn’t ready.Assess your readiness and then bring those areas found lacking up to speed before embarking.
  • The communication portions of most change efforts are weak and not consistent over the long haul. The communication must be open and bidirectional. Messages and goals need to be regularly repeated and reinforced.
  • Company culture is essential to sustaining success over time. One cultural attribute proven to accelerate change is the empowerment of individuals to make decisions that further the change goals. It is a best practice to ask people what they want to do (and ask for management permission to do it) rather than telling them what to do. This practice encourages innovation and accountability and drives change deeper in the organization.
  • Don’t confuse “movement” with progress. When you get off the freeway during a traffic jam, you may be able to move faster; however, that movement doesn’t guarantee that you are actually moving toward your destination or will get to it any more quickly. IDC notes that marketing teams that measure activity rather than outcomes are making this error.
  • Create circumstances for people to motivate themselves. Motivation can include extrinsic rewards such as money. Proven to be even more effective are intrinsic rewards — challenge, learning, responsibility, contribution, and career path advancement. Intrinsic rewards tap into the power of people’s passions. Companies are advised to structure people’s work so as to allow passion to surface.
  • Reduce resistance by creating a “burning platform.” Clarify the risks and benefits of the change and involve the collective wisdom of the group. Give people a role in the change. Involve a person’s “head” and “heart” as well as the “feet” of required actions.

For more blogs and research from IDC, click here

How Social Networks Are Changing Mobile Advertising

IDG News Service

For digital marketers, the road to riches on mobile screens has been long and riddled with holes of divergence. But the pursuit, which harkens back to the pre-smartphone era, has gotten more promising thanks to social media.

More than 60 percent of the $6.8 billion expected to be spent on social advertising in the U.S. this year is controlled by Facebook, Google and Twitter, according to eMarketer. Overall, mobile advertising revenue in the U.S. is projected to grow to $58 billion and comprise 71 percent of all digital ad spending by 2018.

eMarketer also expects mobile ad spending to overtake desktop PC advertising by 2016 and TV advertising by 2018. Facebook has reformed its business to capitalize on this opportunity in mobile to great effect. The company currently controls 71 percent of the market, which is the equivalent to 10 percent of all digital ad spending in the U.S.

Why is Facebook — and now Twitter to a lesser and more recent extent — doing so well in mobile advertising while most others continue to struggle? Mobile advertising is on course to comprise 68 percent of Facebook’s revenue and 84 percent of Twitter’s by year’s end, according to eMarketer.

Are they doing something different or are their platforms so unique and powerful that no advertising network or ad technology could possibly contend with?

Mobile Advertising Has Arrived on Social

“There is no question mobile has arrived — it’s here, it’s big, it’s growing,” says Lars Albright, co-founder and CEO of the mobile loyalty platform SessionM. “The bottom line is it’s working.”

Mobile advertising went through various formats and implementations before it reached the scale now enjoyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google. This last leg of innovation, which is now paying off for marketers and advertisers, has been all about the granularity of targeting that these platforms can bring to deliver a successful transaction or sales conversion, says Albright.

“They have so much scale in mobile now that they’re able to do targeting to clusters that are meaningful,” Albright adds. Now they can take that top-level targeting and go much deeper… All of a sudden you start to get much more focused, and even though you’re so much more focused you still have the scale that you can deliver meaningful results. So having that big audience, then having very detailed information and that relationship is where you’re seeing things separate.”

That direct relationship with users coupled with all the data and behavioral traits gleaned from their social activity makes all the difference.

“Traditional networks, as they are, are the ones that are really going to hurt here because they don’t have that first-party relationship with the consumer… That’s one of the key differentiators to bring to marketers,” says Albright, who previously founded Quattro Wireless, a mobile ad network that was acquired by Apple in 2010.

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Facebook raises the frequency cap on ads

Digiday

Facebook has quietly altered its ad policy to allow brands to show ads more frequently to those who don’t already follow the brand.

Brands are now able to hit users with the same news feed ad twice in a given day, whereas previously brands were only able to do so once per day. Similarly, the number of news feed ads brands can serve users they are not connected to — users who have not liked that brand’s Facebook page — has risen to two daily from one. The number of news feed ads brands can serve to their page followers will remain at four, and the total number of ads a Facebook user can see in a given day will also not increase.

Facebook announced the changes in an email it sent to agencies this month.

While the change affords brands greater frequency for their Facebook ads, it also creates a risk of Facebook users becoming annoyed with brands and, correspondingly, Facebook itself.

“These changes raise the stakes,” OMD’s chief digital officer Ben Winkler told Digiday. “Advertisers who send out high-quality, relevant messages will benefit. Those who don’t, will do so at their own peril. People like great content, regardless of the source. But they have zero tolerance for one bad ad, let alone two.”

Jeff Semones, president at M80, said the move is just the latest sign that social media advertising is no longer, in fact, social. The old-school view of social media, he said, was that it would be digitized word-of-mouth marketing: brands would inspire customers, and those customers would in turn speak favorably about the brand on social media. The modern view of social is that it’s an advertising medium like any other.

“We tell our clients to think of Facebook less like a social network, and more like an advertising network,” Semones added.

Facebook’s transformation from a platform for well-crafted creative to merely a platform with reach has been a constant refrain during weeks, especially among attendees at Digiday’s inaugural Platform Summit last week.

“Facebook is now a place to drive reach to your content-marketing programs and less a place to be the center of your architecture,” 360i chairman Bryan Wiener said on Thursday.

Nestle digital manager Emily Cloud said on Thursday that the company has even begun repurposing images posted to Facebook for Pinterest.

And in late July, Sean Ryan, JCPenney’s director of social and mobile marketing, likened Facebook ads to “display ads on steroids.”

Enthusiasm for Facebook has not waned in light of these changes, however. And Winkler thinks that consumers’ may have a greater tolerance for repeat ads than some perceive.

“As long as Facebook continues to improve their product and their ad-targeting, that level may be higher than you think,” he said.

IDG Nanosite

The revolutionary Nanosite goes mobile. A mobile Nanosite features multimedia content, polls, and full social media sharing capabilities via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 2.22.30 PM IDG Nanosite

How Did Promoted Tweets Do During H1 2014?

eMarketer

Promoted Tweets have been around for a while, and according to recent research, they’re the Twitter ad format of choice among marketers.

176240 How Did Promoted Tweets Do During H1 2014?

According to a June 2014 study by RBC and Advertising Age, nearly 80% of US marketers were using Promoted Tweets, up from 44% in 2013. Meanwhile, just 32% were using second-place Promoted Accounts.

How are Promoted Tweets performing? Looking at Twitter campaign activity run on its own platform, AdParlor found that for Promoted Tweets in North America, CPM, cost per click (CPC), and cost per engagement (CPE)—which includes clicks, follows, replies and retweets—had risen between January and June 2014.

During that timeframe, average CPM increased from $10.26 to $11.59. However, this metric fluctuated every month, moving up and down several times between January and June 2014, when it showed its second-highest level.

177403 How Did Promoted Tweets Do During H1 2014?

Meanwhile, CPC rates rose throughout the first half of the year (with the exception of May, when they dipped by 1 cent) and hit an average 29 cents in June 2014. Further, CPC averaged 25 cents in Q2 2014, compared with 11 cents in Q1 2014.

CPE also followed the trend, rising from 10 cents, on average, to 28 cents between January and June 2014. AdParlor noted that this made sense, since nearly all engagement with Promoted Tweets in North America was via clicks (95.8%).

How LinkedIn hopes to become a gold mine of customers

CITEworld

LinkedIn was started as a social network for job seekers. It’s grown into a site where professionals build their networks, making connections that can help in their current positions and that might help in reaching career goals.

Now LinkedIn wants to become something more. In July it announced plans toacquire Bizo, a business-to-business marketing platform. It turns out, LinkedIn thinks it can build a $1 billion business out of B2B marketing, according to a leaked document that Business Insider posted. The document lays out LinkedIn’s vision to get into the marketing business, and how Bizo fits into what LinkedIn has already started.

The biggest change will be that LinkedIn plans to do more beyond its own Web site. LinkedIn already has some programs for businesses, like selling sponsored posts in users’ LinkedIn feeds. But LinkedIn’s programs so far are all centered around the LinkedIn site.

Bizo’s platform lets marketers show ads to targeted people on a network of thousands of websites, including business publications. Customers also get tools that let them track their web visitors through a Bizo ad to find out if they buy something or if a certain kind of visitor clicks on certain pages.

The leaked document shows that LinkedIn plans to continue offering the advertising service and will integrate it with its sponsored posts offering, so that businesses will be able to display sponsored posts on LinkedIn to people who have visited their Web site. It will also add mobile advertising capabilities to Bizo, which doesn’t already offer that. Plus, LinkedIn business customers will get the better tracking capabilities from Bizo.

“We believe we have unique assets that enable us to build a winning and highly differentiated solution,” the document reads. “Specifically, our key differentiators are best-in-class data, quality audience, and context, the professional graph, which powers account-based marketing and sales intelligence, and our publishing platform and media products.”

LinkedIn said it had no comment about the document.

On paper, the idea isn’t bad. LinkedIn has built a large network — it claims about 300 million users — most of whom are business people. When they turn to the site, it’s probably with business in mind — they’re not going to LinkedIn to be amused or look at pictures of their friends’ kids, as they might with Facebook. With Bizo, LinkedIn can offer businesses a connection to LinkedIn people who have also visited their Web sites.

But LinkedIn will have some work to do to change its image from one that hosts a bunch of job seekers to one that serves up potential customers. Would businesses like Lenovo and Zendesk, who are current Bizo customers, think of LinkedIn as a go-to vendor for B2B marketing? If LinkedIn hadn’t made the Bizo acquisition, probably not.

According to the leaked document, LinkedIn thinks it can reach $1 billion by 2017 with this new line of business. The company is hoping to launch integrated products by the first quarter 2015. Between now and then, it will have to work hard to show potential customers why they should think of LinkedIn in a new light.