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Meme-jacking 101: Everything your brand needs to know

Ragan

Memes. What began as fun cartoons to get a laugh out of viewers has turned into marketing vehicles capable of going viral almost instantly.

These amusing cartoons and captioned images speak to everything from being a mom to poking fun at public figures; they engage users and are shared freely. Simple, fun, and well-received, memes are here to stay.

Enter meme-jacking. The practice of hijacking popular memes for the benefit of marketing your brand or product is an excellent, simple way to engage established followers while reaching out to a new market.

What exactly is a meme?

The term “meme” was first introduced in 1976 by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins; it comes from the Greek word mimema, which means “something imitated.” It was first meant to describe humans’ method of transmitting social memories and cultural ideas and truths to one another—ideas that travel from one mind to another.

Now, almost exclusively online and available in various forms, memes are concepts that spread from one person to another in viral fashion. They can be written words, spoken phrases, images, or videos.

Why meme-jacking works

When exploring marketing options, the idea of using a meme may not have occurred to you, perhaps because of the seemingly complicated nature of creating them. This is where meme-jacking—or, as it’s sometimes called, “meme-vertising”—comes into play. By using an already established meme, most of the work is already done.

Need more convincing? Here are five other reasons that meme-jacking is a successful marketing tactic:

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Facebook takes mobile ad analytics in-house

VentureBeat

Facebook likes the mobile advertising space. So it’s getting ready to bite off an even bigger piece.

The Menlo Park, Calif. based social media kingpin is growing its in-house mobile analytic capabilities while at the same time working with the company’s roughly 13 mobile ad partners. It’s a two-pronged approach aimed at increasing Facebook’s clout and its access to data.

While Facebook says it doesn’t yet have the capability to totally rely on its own in-house analytics platforms, some say it’s only a matter of time until it cuts out the third parties.

“Advertisers are trying to cut out the middlemen, and mobile advertising is the frontier for this to happen. Facebook and Google are starting to allow advertisers to go directly to them,” said analyst Ray “R” Wang of Constellation Research.

The mobile ad market, and the third-party mobile analytic outfits that help marketers target their ads, is wide open and ripe for the taking. The space grew 105 percent in 2013 to a total of $17.9 billion, and research firm eMarketer expects that tally to grow to over $30 billion by the end of 2014.

Google currently dominates the market, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the mobile ad revenue haul, but Facebook is catching up fast, with 17.5 percent in 2013, rising to 21.7 percent in 2014, eMarketer says.

For its part, Facebook knows the future is mobile: It has over a billion mobile users, according to its latest quarterly earnings report, and more than half of last quarter’s $2.5 billion in revenue comes from mobile ads.

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Facebook Is Building A Massive New Business That Exploits A Key Weakness At Apple And Google

Business Insider

A long time ago, Facebook launched an app store. If you didn’t know that fact, don’t be alarmed. People don’t talk much about the Facebook App Center any more.

That’s because almost everyone downloads the apps they need from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store on Android.

It’s a powerful duopoly, and everyone is used to it.

Apps and downloads are one of Apple’s fastest-growing, least-talked about businesses. They generate $4.4 billion per quarter, and are projected to be more profitable than iPads and Macs. Android and the Google Play store that supplies it run on up to 80% of smartphones in some markets.

Counterintuitively, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to regard Apple and Google’s dominance of app distribution as a weakness that he can now exploit.

The non-obvious chink in the armor is that while Apple and Google dominate the supply of apps — and take a cut of each paid download — they are lousy at promoting and marketing apps.

The marketplace for apps is surprisingly dysfunctional, given that all the players in it are self-described innovators and disruptors of dinosaur capitalism.

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Social Media Getting More Spontaneous and Less Personal

Eye on Media, Matt Kapko

Social media is a fickle activity. The more we do it, the more our practices, attitudes and aspirations for its use change. While users generally play to the audience they’re reaching on these channels, they’re also gravitating from one outlet to another to stay fresh and engaged with the growing world around them.

The era of developing our own deeply involved digital profiles mixed with a buffet of social updates canvassed with media is slipping. Detailed status updates are losing luster as quick, impromptu (and even short-lived) activity on social media gathers momentum. Deliberation is giving way to anonymity and more ephemeral activity.

For every Friendster and MySpace of the world, there’s a Facebook nipping at its heels ready to take it down. Although Facebook has become what is undeniably the largest and most powerful Internet-based communications medium ever, it’s success has given rise to the likes of Twitter, Snapchat, Secret and dozens if not hundreds of others. So much so in the case of WhatsApp, that Facebook was compelled to buy the rapidly growing company for as much as $19 billion.

Many of today’s hottest social apps serve a more spontaneous function. Snapchat gives its users the capability to share photos in real time and set a time limit for how long those “snaps” appear (no more than 10 seconds) before, the company claimes, they are removed from the recipient’s device and Snapchat’s servers.

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Infographic: The best times to post on social media

Regan

Do you post social media updates when your audience has the highest chance of seeing them, or just whenever you think of it or happen to have a free minute?

If you aren’t posting to a social media site when most of your audience members are on it, all that time you spent crafting the update goes to waste. And you’re a busy person. You don’t have any time to waste.

An infographic from Fannit.com lists the best and worst times to post to all the major social media sites: Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and your blog. While all audiences are different, you can use these times as a general guide. Here are the best times to post to each site:

Click here to see the best times and the infographic

 

STUDY: SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T REPLACING TRADITIONAL NEWS OUTLETS AT ALL

Fast Company

The way we consume news is a hot topic in the media industry. Startups like Circa are banking on the fact that people frequently prefer their news updates delivered in snack-sized bites. Others, like Ezra Klein’s yet-to-launch Vox, are betting big on readers who might want to wade deep into tricky, complicated subject matter, like the history of the crisis in Ukraine.

A new survey, however, unearthed some interesting data regarding our news consumption: Readers don’t seem to really care about what organization they’re getting their news from, or what device format they’re reading on; what matters, really, is the news itself.

The survey is part of the just-announced Media Insight Project, a joint effort between the American Press Institute (API), the Associated Press, and NORC at the University of Chicago. Its initial focus is on the “personal news cycle,” or how various content platforms and gadgets fit into the consumption habits of Americans.

“The findings suggest the conventional wisdom holding that media consumption divides largely along generational or ideological lines is overstated,” write the study’s administrators in the abstract, “and that some long-held beliefs about people relying on a few primary sources for news are now obsolete.” Worth noting: For this research, 1,492 adults were surveyed over the phone about their media diets.

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Pew: direct visitors to news sites are more engaged

USA Today

Chalk one up for loyal customers.

News organizations invest heavily to court web readers from Facebook and Google search results, but such referred traffic may be fleeting, according to a report released Wednesday by Pew Research Center. Direct visitors who bother to type web addresses or have bookmarked their favorite news sites are the most engaged readers, it says.

Direct visitors generally spend more time on news sites than those stumble onto a story through a search engine or Facebook, the report says. Direct visitors spend about 4 minutes and 36 seconds per visit vs. about 100 seconds for those coming from search engines or Facebook.

They’re also reading more pages — 24.8 per month vs. 4.2 for Facebook users and 4.9 for search engine readers.

Using three months of data from analytics firm Comscore, Pew researchers analyzed 26 of the most popular news websites and their three main sources of web traffic — social media referrals, search engine results and direct visits.

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Twitter Tests a ‘Click-to-Call’ Button for Ads

The Wall Street Journal

TwitterTWTR -0.41% is testing ways to make it easier to for users to get in touch with businesses the old-fashioned way—the telephone.

A Twitter spokesman said that the short-messaging service is currently testing a “click-to-call” button with certain brands. The spokesman declined to say which brands are involved.

The idea is to increase users’ engagement with Twitter’s advertisers, which in turn get another way to make a sale. Twitter has been investing in products that convince advertisers that buying ads on Twitter can directly lead to a bump in sales and not just online buzz.

Location-based apps such as GoogleGOOG -0.42% Maps and Yelp already offer the click-to-call feature. A recent study commissioned by Google showed that 42% of 1,500 mobile searchers used the function. About 48% of respondents said that talking to the business influenced their decision to buy the respective service or product. The study showed that callers often asked about inventory, such as restaurant reservation times, hotel vacancies or the availability of seasonal flowers – information that might not be gleaned easily from the business’s website.

Twitter’s new feature is expected to become available for wider use in the next few months.

Continue reading and see example of one of Twitter’s advertising cards 

Pinterest Debuts A “Gifts Feed” Featuring Only Things You Can Buy

TechCrunch

Pinterest publicly introduced a new Gifts feed on Wednesday that only displays “Product Pins” – pins that are enhanced with additional details, including pricing, availability and where the item can be purchased online. The announcement was made on Pinterest’s Business blog, aimed at advertisers, instead of on the company’s more widely read, consumer-facing main blog.

The company describes the Gifts feed as a “work-in-progress” section on the Pinterest website where only those items that are available for sale are listed. These products can also be filtered by price by clicking on buttons that range from one to four dollar signs ($ – $$$$), equating to products that range from less than $50, $25-$50, $50-$200, and over $200, respectively.

Product pins were first introduced in spring 2013 as one of many new pin types on the service, which also included other new things, like movie pins and recipe pins, for example. In order for retailers to take advantage of the new functionality, they have to first update their website with the appropriate metatags (described here on the Pinterest Developers website). Afterwards, Pinterest users encountering those products on the social service would be able to see the product’s price and inventory levels, and could even click through on the provided URL to make a purchase.

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Facebook Updates Design For Business Pages

MediaPost

Only days after debuting a new look for the News Feed, Facebook on Monday began rolling out an updated designed for brand pages on the desktop version of social network. The changes are meant to give pages a more streamlined look and feel and help page administrators find the tools they use most.

Among the main changes, all posts now appear on the right-side column of the Timeline, so all updates will appear the same on a brand’s page and in the News Feed. The left-hand column will feature information about a company’s business, including a map, hours of business, phone number and Web site address, as well as photos and videos.

Facebook is also making easier for brands and businesses to manage their presence on the site. To that end, a “This Week” section to the right of the cover photo will show key indicators, like the weekly number of ads running, page Likes, and post reach, as well as unread notification and messages.

“We’ve also added new navigation options to the top of the Page, making it easier to access your activity, insights and settings. The Build Audience menu at the top of the Page offers direct access to your Ads Manager account,” stated a post on the Facebook for Business blog today.

In addition, the recently introduced Pages to Watch feature, which allows admins to create a list of pages similar to their own to compare performance, will be opened up widely as Facebook launches the design changes.

Specifically, the “Overview” tab on the Insights screen will show key stats about similar pages a brand is watching, such as total page likes, posts this week and weekly engagement (total likes, comments and shares).