tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/facebook Latest Facebook content from Econsultancy 2017-07-07T10:36:16+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69235 2017-07-07T10:36:16+01:00 2017-07-07T10:36:16+01:00 Snapchat opens up to the web in a big way with new Paperclip linking feature Patricio Robles <p>While Instagram has been embracing the web, Snapchat has refused to budge. But that appears to be changing.</p> <p>This week the company announced a new feature, Paperclip, that will allow users to add external website links to the snaps they post.</p> <h3>One small step for Snapchat, one giant leap for marketers on Snapchat</h3> <p>While Paperclip is a simple feature that is nowhere near as technically impressive as some of Snapchat's other features, such as geofilters and lenses, for marketers active on the popular app, it could be one of the most important, if not the most important, Snapchat has ever added.</p> <p>As AdWeek's Marty Swant <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/you-can-now-link-to-websites-on-snapchat/">noted</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Until now, the only way users could add links was if a brand bought an ad and included a way to swipe. However, this could make it easier for marketers to gain more organic traffic. It's also a big win for media companies, which now finally have a way to direct users to their actual websites.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, marketers on Snapchat will now have an opportunity to run direct response campaigns that drive traffic to owned properties without buying Snapchat ads and it almost certainly won't be long before marketers start taking advantage of Paperclip.</p> <p>For instance, fashion marketers could use Paperclip to drive users to their online stores to purchase clothing items featured in their snaps. Publishers can use Paperclip to promote articles on their own websites. And CPG marketers could use Paperclip link to ad campaign microsites that feature coupons, promotions and sweepstakes.</p> <h3>Just the start?</h3> <p>While it's not clear what prompted Snapchat to develop Paperclip, it's easy to speculate that Snapchat's change of direction is a response to Instagram, which has been accused of copying Snapchat features in an effort to dent its biggest competitor.</p> <p>Unfortunately for Snapchat, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68763-can-snapchat-survive-instagram-s-aggressive-copycat-tactics/">Instagram's copycat strategy</a>, as controversial as it has been, appears to be working.</p> <p>For instance, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">Instagram Stories</a>, which is functionally equivalent to Snapchat Stories for all intents and purposes, surpassed Snapchat Stories in popularity just eight months after it was launched. With greater reach, some publishers and marketers have reportedly upped their use of Instagram and decreased their use of Snapchat.</p> <p>Interestingly, despite the fact that it has embraced the web more than Snapchat, Instagram still does not allow users to add links on their posts. There is an exception for users with more than 10,000 followers when they post Stories, but given that Paperclip will be available to all users and on all snaps, this is one area where Snapchat is leading Instagram, at least for the time being.</p> <p>As AdWeek's Swant observed, "The tool gives Snapchat a leg up on rival Instagram, which doesn't allow anyone to post links other than by putting it in their bio – forcing everyone to ruin a post with overly promotional phrases like 'link's in my bio'."</p> <p>The big question now is whether Snapchat will stop here or relent and open up its closed ecosystem even further. For instance, will it make at least some of its content available through the web like Instagram?</p> <p>Time will tell, but the good news for marketers is that as the battle between Snapchat and Instagram heats up, it would appear both are moving more in the direction of open than closed, creating new opportunities for marketers to interact with their users and drive engagement outside of their closed ecosystems.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69225 2017-07-04T15:00:00+01:00 2017-07-04T15:00:00+01:00 Facebook to demote content from oversharers in News Feed: What you need to know Patricio Robles <p>But last week, the social networking giant <a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/06/news-feed-fyi-showing-more-informative-links-in-news-feed/">announced</a> one of its most aggressive changes yet: to "reduce the influence of...spammers" who spread low-quality content, Facebook is updating its News Feed algorithm to "deprioritize" the content from users who share 50-plus links publicly a day.</p> <p>According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook's News Feed VP, "One of our core News Feed values is that News Feed should be informative. By taking steps like this to improve News Feed, we’re able to surface more stories that people find informative and reduce the spread of problematic links such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation."</p> <p>Mosseri says that the 50-plus limit will remain just one of many signals Facebook uses to determine how content is displayed in the News Feed and noted that the change will "only apply to links, such as an individual article, not to domains, Pages, videos, photos, check-ins or status updates."</p> <h3>Why the 50-plus link limit?</h3> <p><a href="https://www.recode.net/2017/6/30/15896544/facebook-fake-news-feed-algorithm-update-spam">According to</a> Mosseri, sharing of 50-plus links per day is "one of the strongest signals we’ve ever found for identifying a broad range of problematic content." As such, Facebook feels comfortable instituting an algorithm change based on this limit without adding additional filters that look at the actual content being shared. In other words, the users sharing rather than the content shared.</p> <p>Facebook does not believe that its latest algorithm change will have much impact on publishers' News Feed reach but Mosseri did note that "publishers that get meaningful distribution from people who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day may see a reduction in the distribution of those specific links."</p> <h3>While all of this sounds fine in principle, there are bigger issues</h3> <p>First, Facebook's change is a reminder of the power wielded by the world's largest social network. Literally overnight, Facebook has the power to make sweeping and rough-edged changes to how content is distributed on its platform. This specific change might have a limited impact on most publishers, but the potential for future changes that are more impactful remains.</p> <p>Second, it remains to be seen just how effective Facebook's latest change will be. After all, now that individuals using Facebook to intentionally spread low-quality content know about the algorithm change, they can alter their behavior. What will Facebook do if their behavior becomes harder to distinguish from the behavior Facebook considers legitimate?</p> <p>Finally, it's interesting that instead of banning accounts spreading high volumes of low-quality content, Facebook is simply deprioritizing their content in the News Feed. According to <a href="https://twitter.com/joshconstine/status/880848888466259968">a tweet</a> from TechCrunch's Josh Constine, Facebook feels that "it can't suspend spammers just for oversharing" but it's somewhat hard to square that with the idea that many of these "spammers" are ostensibly violating Facebook's terms.</p> <p>Given this, skeptics might suggest that Facebook is trying to have its cake and eat it too: it doesn't want to lose users – even if they're inteionally flooding the company's social network with low-quality content – but it wants to be able to say that it's doing something to mimimize the spread of their content.</p> <h3>Ultimately, it would appear that Facebook is in a lose-lose position</h3> <p>From both practical and principles standpoints, it seems Facebook is going to be quite challenged to reign in the class of so-called spammers who are spreading low-quality content on its network while at the same time maintaining the moral highground and claiming that it either isn't engaging in censorship or not going far enough to protect its financial interests.</p> <p>Given this, publishers and marketers should expect that this latest News Feed algorithm change won't be Facebook's last and they shouldn't continue to pay close attention to the changes Facebook is making in the fight against "fake news" because there's no guarantee that future changes won't affect them.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69213 2017-06-29T12:00:00+01:00 2017-06-29T12:00:00+01:00 How Europe's $2.7bn Google antitrust fine could impact the internet economy Patricio Robles <blockquote> <p>...Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.</p> </blockquote> <p>Google, not surprisingly, was quick to issue <a href="https://www.blog.google/topics/google-europe/european-commission-decision-shopping-google-story/">a response</a> refuting the EC's claim that it has illegally acted to stifle competition. In it, Google's general counsel Kent Walker stated that the company "respectfully disagrees" with the EC's conclusions and suggested that the rise of competitors like Amazon could be responsible for the challenges other shopping comparison sites have faced.</p> <p>"When you use Google to search for products, we try to give you what you're looking for," Walker wrote. "Our ability to do that well isn’t favoring ourselves, or any particular site or seller – it's the result of hard work and constant innovation, based on user feedback."</p> <p>An appeal, while not yet announced, would appear likely.</p> <p>In the meantime, Google parent company Alphabet has 90 days to cease the conduct the EC found to be illegal or it will face daily fines of 5% of its average daily worldwide turnover. The EC also noted that in addition to the fine being levied by the EC, Google could face civil penalties for its behavior and that a new EU Antitrust Damages Directive will "[make] it easier for victims of anti-competitive practices to obtain damages."</p> <h3>A sign of things to come?</h3> <p>While Google, which generated some $90bn in revenue last year, can easily swallow the EU's $2.7bn fine without batting an eye, the billion-dollar fine signals that regulators, after years of talk, might now be willing to take action to reign in large tech companies that are increasingly dominant.</p> <p>Google and Facebook, for instance, <a href="https://digiday.com/media/will-duopoly-face-government-intervention/">have been labeled by some as a duopoly</a> that needs to be regulated more heavily, and as a candidate, now-U.S. President Donald Trump went so far as to <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/13/trump-says-amazon-has-a-huge-antitrust-problem.html">publicly state</a> that Amazon has "a huge antitrust problem."</p> <p>There's no evidence that tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are going to become less dominant any time soon. In fact, the evidence <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69186-is-the-whole-foods-acquisition-the-beginning-of-amazon-s-endgame/">indicates</a> that the dominance of a handful of large tech firms will only grow. This has led to concern that these companies are becoming too powerful and must be reigned in to protect the public.</p> <p>While it's too early to know whether the EC's Google fine is the beginning of a period of aggressive antitrust enforcement, the EC did use its press release to point out that it "has already come to the preliminary conclusion that Google has abused a dominant position in two other cases" involving Google's mobile OS Android and AdSense. </p> <p>It also noted that it "continues to examine Google's treatment in its search results of other specialised Google search services" -- a not-so-subtle warning that Google is still under a powerful antitrust microscope.</p> <h3>Is a Europe-US split developing?</h3> <p>Some observers have suggested that the EC unfairly targeted Google, an American company, and that this week's fine is actually intended to serve protectionist goals without starting an overt trade rift. The EC <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/27/technology/eu-google-biased-protectionism/">has dismissed</a> these arguments.</p> <p>While U.S. presidential candidate Trump bandied about the "antitrust" word in reference to Amazon, which is owned by one of his most prominent tech industry critics, Jeff Bezos, it's somewhat doubtful that President Trump will eschew his business-friendly political platform and go after big tech firms who employ tens of thousands of highly-paid workers in the U.S.</p> <p>This raises the prospect of a Europe-US split in which large tech companies, most of which are headquartered in the U.S., are forced to change the way they operate in Europe while keeping their modus operandi the same across the pond.</p> <p>For companies that rely in some form on these tech giants, particularly large brands, this possibility is worth paying close attention to. After all, if Google is forced to make significant changes to the way it operates in Europe, it could affect how Google's many frenemies work with and compete against it in Europe versus the rest of the world.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69178 2017-06-16T11:58:58+01:00 2017-06-16T11:58:58+01:00 Facebook adds value optimization to ad bidding & Lookalike Audiences Patricio Robles <p>This week, Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/news/new-tools-to-get-more-value-from-your-campaigns">announced</a> two new tools that marketers advertising on the world's largest social network will want to take a look at: value optimization and value-based Lookalike Audiences.</p> <p>Both rely on the Facebook Pixel and are designed to help marketers reach Facebook users who are likely to spend more money with them.</p> <p>As Facebook explained in its announcement:</p> <blockquote> <p>Value optimization works by using the purchase values sent from the Facebook pixel to estimate how much a person may spend with your business over a seven-day period. The ad's bid is then automatically adjusted based on this estimation, allowing campaigns to deliver ads to people likely to spend more with your business at a low cost.</p> </blockquote> <p>Value optimization is somewhat similar to Google's <a href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6268632?hl=en">Target CPA bidding</a>, which allows advertisers using AdWords automated bidding to let Google's technology work on their behalf to minimize their cost per acquisition (CPA). To use Target CPA bidding, marketers must use Google's conversion tracking. </p> <h3>Value-based Lookalike Audiences</h3> <p>Facebook is also extending its value optimization algorithms to Lookalike Audiences, one of the most powerful tools Facebook offers marketers.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65505-lookalike-audiences-the-next-big-thing-in-marketing/">Lookalike Audiences</a> allow marketers using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences">Custom Audiences</a> to target Facebook users that Facebook determines are similar to their Custom Audiences. The performance delivered by Lookalike Audience targeting can be impressive. For example, according to Facebook, one ecommerce marketer realized a 56% lower CPA and 94% lower cost per checkout using Lookalike Audiences.</p> <p>Unfortunately, working with Custom and Lookalike Audiences is not always efficient. More sophisticated marketers, realizing that not all of their users or customers are as valuable as others, frequently segment their customers into multiple Custom Audiences. For obvious reasons, this can be a tedious task.</p> <p>Now, that step can be eliminated in some cases as Facebook is giving marketers the ability to create value-based Lookalike Audiences so they don't have to perform this segmentation on their own. Facebook explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>With this enhancement, advertisers are no longer limited to creating small groups of audiences based on their spend or LTV prior to creating a Custom Audience. Now, they can include a value column to their entire customer list, which Facebook can use to create an additional weighted signal for people most likely to make a purchase after seeing your ad. </p> </blockquote> <h3>Worth experimenting with?</h3> <p>For marketers that have already implemented the Facebook Pixel on their properties, value optimization and value-based Lookalike Audiences are potentially significant offerings that many marketers will probably find worthwhile to experiment with.</p> <p>However, Facebook's methodology for estimating how much customers might spend with a business over a short period of time is a black box, something that some marketers might be a little wary of given <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/">Facebook's recent string of metrics faux pas</a>. Despite this, offering marketers tools for identifying and targeting their most valuable users is a no-brainer for Facebook and it's all but certain the company will continue to add similar offerings well into the future.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69146 2017-06-08T11:45:00+01:00 2017-06-08T11:45:00+01:00 Five things we learned from launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot David Moth <p>I detailed the aims of our chatbot and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68932-how-we-built-our-facebook-chatbot-what-does-it-do-and-what-s-the-point/">the design process in a previous article</a>, but in a nutshell the plan was to:</p> <ul> <li>Provide a proof of concept that ties to the event’s themes.</li> <li>Try to do something new and interesting alongside our usual event marketing.</li> <li>Learn about this new technology and write about it for our audience.</li> </ul> <p>The bot was built by our friends over at <a href="http://www.bytelondon.com/">Byte London</a>, who will also be speaking at Supercharged on July 4 (you can see <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/supercharged/agenda">the full agenda here</a>).</p> <p>We’re currently in the process of updating the bot with new content such as updated speaker and sponsor information, and a few days before Supercharged we’ll make further changes so the bot is ready to help answer questions on the day of the event. </p> <p>But what have we learned about chatbots so far?</p> <h3>1. People have high expectations of chatbots</h3> <p>As with any new tech people have different expectations of what our chatbot should be able to do.</p> <p>We were very upfront about the fact that our bot offers simple functionality and doesn’t use AI. It is built to offer information on our Supercharged event and nothing more. As such it works off a decision tree, offering information based on the user’s answer to pre-programmed multiple choice questions.</p> <p>A majority of people went with the flow and were happy to navigate the bot using the menu options.</p> <p>However, some people understandably want to test the boundaries of what the tech can do (which is one of the reasons we built it). This led to a decent proportion of users asking free text questions to see if the bot could process natural language. More than one person asked the bot if it was AI.</p> <p>We’d programmed a few responses to common free text questions and updated this based on the bot’s interactions with users.</p> <p>Even so, a few people got very frustrated with the bot’s limitations and its inability to understand natural language. I’m really not quite sure what they were expecting – if we’d created one of the world’s first AIs capable of having a conversation on any topic you desire, then we’d probably have made a bit more fanfare about it. </p> <p>That said, I can see why people would question why we’ve built a chatbot that can’t actually chat.</p> <h3>2. They probably shouldn’t be called chatbots</h3> <p>In relation to my previous point, I think the name ‘chatbot’ is quite misleading. In fact, Facebook has said that they should be referred to simply as ‘bots’.</p> <p><a href="https://www.recode.net/2017/5/22/15672922/facebook-messenger-david-marcus-bots-business-sales-recode-podcast">Speaking to Recode</a>, Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus, said that brands shouldn't necessarily be rushing to create conversations with users in Messenger. Instead they should be trying to build simple experiences that help the user achieve their goal.</p> <p>“The reality is, if you can tap on a button that has a word in it, rather than typing it, you’d much rather do that,” he said.</p> <p>So menus and multiple choice questions are actually the way forward, rather than trying to create some ground-breaking AI within Messenger. Thomas Claburn <a href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/19/chatbots_facebook/">over at The Register</a> might well have uncovered Facebook’s real plan:</p> <p>"Let's call a spade a spade. Facebook is trying to cram apps into its mobile chat software."</p> <h3>3. Broadly it worked very well</h3> <p>Overall we’ve been quite pleased with the response to our chatbot. Almost 400 people have tried it out, with only a minority of people getting frustrated by the experience.</p> <p>In general people seemed willing to interact using the menu buttons and were happy just to use the bot for its stated purpose – to tell users about Supercharged. 15 people even signed up for future alerts via the bot.</p> <p>As long as you're able to manage people's expectations and keep your bot's functionality focused on specific tasks, then Messenger bots definitely have their uses.</p> <h3>4. You get some really interesting data from chatbots</h3> <p>Byte London were able to provide a lot of data from our bot’s interactions (I’ll shy away from calling them conversations), all pulled from Facebook Analytics. For example, we can see that users were mainly men aged 25-34. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6551/image001.png" alt="" width="650" height="273"></p> <p>Nobody aged under 25 spoke to the bot and the most common operating system was Windows, which tallies with the fact that people will mainly be interacting with the bot via their work computer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6552/image002.png" alt="" width="650" height="319"></p> <p>This chart shows the peaks that occurred when we sent out marketing comms or blogged about the bot.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6550/image004.png" alt="" width="650" height="370"></p> <p>One of the conversation routes within the chatbot also resulted in users answering a number of questions. As only 77 people answered the questions and we haven’t done any weighting the results aren’t in any way robust, but they are also quite interesting.</p> <p>For example, when asked what they thought was the best use case for chatbots, 51 people said customer service compared to just 5 entertainment and 2 for commerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6553/chatbot_questions.png" alt="" width="880" height="733"></p> <h3>5. Some people are mean...</h3> <p>Just finally, though most people were polite to our poor little bot, others were less so.</p> <p>I’ll leave you with this screenshot from what turned out to be a very long and at times quite edgy interaction between our bot and Parry Malm, who is one of Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/authors/parry-malm/">favourite guest bloggers</a> and also CEO of AI marketing firm <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a> (one of Supercharged's sponsors). </p> <p>Parry quickly twigged that the bot's responses to free text worked by picking up certain keywords...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6547/Screen_Shot_2017-06-02_at_16.42.32.png" alt="" width="421" height="311"></p> <p><strong><em>Don’t forget to <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/supercharged/#pricing">buy your tickets for Supercharged</a> on July 4 to find out how AI will impact marketing. Speakers include ASOS, JustEat, Shop Direct, BT and First Utility.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69143 2017-06-02T12:33:26+01:00 2017-06-02T12:33:26+01:00 10 intriguing digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>71% of Brits think voice will be used in daily tasks in 10 years</h3> <p>According a consumer survey by Wiraya and YouGov, 71% of consumers think voice will be used for one or more daily tasks by 2027, while 26% of Brits already interact with day-to-day technology using voice activation.</p> <p>Helen Mirren was voted the voice people would most want to hear on automated calls, closely followed by Ewan McGregor, and then Tom Hardy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6516/Voice.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="421"></p> <h3>C-Suite executives rank customer experience as top priority</h3> <p>Calabrio has <a href="http://learn.calabrio.com/dl-customer-experience-era-intl/" target="_blank">released a report</a> that reveals customer experience is now a top priority for US and UK business executives – ranked above sales and revenue as a primary concern for 2017.</p> <p>52% of senior leaders now view customer experience as the most important way of differentiating their brand. Further findings suggest it’s not that easy, however, with the biggest obstacles being achieving a single customer view and integrating customer data.</p> <p>29% of C-Suite execs are still unsure of the number of devices customers are using to complete a purchase, and only one in three believe that customers are connecting with brands using more than two devices.</p> <h3>Only half of consumers know how to block ads on mobile</h3> <p>Despite more than 80% of the people surveyed owning a mobile device, just 15% of them block ads on their mobile devices, compared to 68% blocking ads on their laptops.</p> <p>This is according to a <a href="http://insight.globalwebindex.net/mobile-ad-blocking-2017" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex study</a>, which delved into the reasons why the US and EU are way behind Asia when it comes to the uptake of mobile ad blocking. </p> <p>Results show that users are unaware they can block ads on mobile devices, with just 48% of device owners currently aware of the possibility. It’s clear that many are still frustrated with online advertising, as one in three mobile users feel they see too many ads when browsing, and almost 50% have a desire to block all ads on their mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6510/mobile_ad_blocking.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="420"></p> <h3>70% of audiences want social media companies to tackle fake news</h3> <p>Research by the7stars has revealed that just 20% of UK news audiences feel confident that the news they are reading is real, and 70% want social media companies to take more responsibility for tackling fake news.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,000 Brits, 45% said that it’s difficult to understand what is fake news and what isn’t. Just 7% said they felt Facebook and Twitter are doing enough to protect them from fake news.</p> <p>Only 10% of respondents said they trust news shared by friends on social media, with 45% saying they would not trust a shared news article.</p> <h3>Champions League engages more fans on social than FA Cup</h3> <p>Ahead of this year’s Champions League Final, Adobe has revealed how fans have been engaging with football's biggest competitions on social media.</p> <p>Taking into account over 27.8m mentions of the Champions League and FA Cup, stats show that the Champions League has been dominating, garnering over 22m social mentions – an average of 2.4m mentions a month. </p> <p>In contrast, the FA Cup generated just over 5.8m social mentions during its tournament phase, with an average of almost 900,000 mentions a month.</p> <p>This appears to be due to the Champions League’s international presence, with 84% of mentions coming from outside of the UK, compared to 63% coming from abroad for the FA Cup.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLfinal?src=hash">#UCLfinal</a> Festival in Cardiff Bay:</p> <p>Sunshine ✅<br>Floating pitch ✅<br>Ultimate Champions Match ✅</p> <p>Details: <a href="https://t.co/WPHOv0QOZb">https://t.co/WPHOv0QOZb</a> <a href="https://t.co/OnycoUM95S">pic.twitter.com/OnycoUM95S</a></p> — Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChampionsLeague/status/870292999967842304">June 1, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Biggest UK mortgage companies are delivering poor online experience</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://dock9.com/latest/press-release-uk-mortgage-giants-failing-customers-online-says-research" target="_blank">new research</a> by Dock9, three of the UK’s biggest mortgage providers are ranked worst in terms of online customer experience.</p> <p>In a study of the best and worst online experiences for 19 major mortgage intermediaries, high street and specialist lenders – Santander, Nationwide, and Natwest finished bottom of the pile. Barclays, Lloyds, and TSB were ranked top.</p> <p>Overall, it found 53% of companies are failing to design websites fully suited to mobile and tablet devices. 65% are only partially or not responsive at all, meaning customers have a much longer journey than necessary. </p> <h3>72% of marketers fail GDPR consent test </h3> <p>A test conducted by <a href="https://uk.mailjet.com/blog/guide/gdpr-research-report/" target="_blank">Mailjet</a> found that 72% of UK marketers either cannot answer, or incorrectly list the necessary conditions to meet GDPR requirements for ‘opt-in’ consent.</p> <p>With less than a year to go, just 17% of respondents have taken all of the recommended steps towards GDPR compliance. The reason could be that many marketers wrongly believe that the fine for non-compliance is €5.2m, when it is in fact €20m, or 4% of their global revenue.</p> <p>This is not the only area of confusion - 64% also assume GDPR means they must ensure individuals are able to opt-out easily, while 32% of UK marketing professionals believe they will be able to automate processing of location data without ‘opt-in consent’.</p> <p>For a handy breakdown of the GDPR, head on over to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69119-gdpr-needn-t-be-a-bombshell-for-customer-focused-marketers/" target="_blank">Ben's article</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6511/GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="394"></p> <h3>90% of UK consumers have unsubscribed from retail communications in the past year</h3> <p>New research by Engage Hub has revealed that 90% of UK consumers have unsubscribed from communications from retailers in the past 12 months, with 46% saying it is due to an onslaught of messages from brands.</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,500 consumers, one third of respondents said they were unhappy with the frequency of offers or updates they receive. 24% say they receive something at least once a day, while 15% say they receive even more.</p> <p>Alongside the frequency of communication - irrelevancy is also a problem. 24% of respondents said they have unsubscribed from a retailer due the messages being highly irrelevant to them.</p> <h3>Stock in UK supermarkets declines 5.7%</h3> <p>A study by <a href="https://www.iriworldwide.com/en-GB/insights/Publications/Launching-a-new-product" target="_blank">IRIR</a> has found a 5.7% decline in the amount of products UK supermarkets are stocking in stores. From February 2016 to February 2017, there was an average of 930 fewer products available to shoppers in their local supermarket.</p> <p>During the same period, there was a decline of 8.4% in new branded items, with sales of new products also down by 6.5%. </p> <p>As well as fewer branded products being launched, supermarkets are also struggling to gain sufficient distribution, with only one in every seven new products achieving more than 75% distribution across the major UK supermarkets.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6509/distribution.JPG" alt="" width="738" height="388"></p> <h3>Budgets for experiential marketing predicted to rise</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.freeman.com/news/press-releases/new-research-from-freeman-and-ssi-confirms-brand-experiences-matter-to-marketers-and-theyre-willing-to-pay-for-them" target="_blank">Freeman</a>, one in three global marketers expect to allocate up to half of their budget to experiential marketing in the next three years. </p> <p>In a survey of over 1,000 CMOs in the US, Europe, and Asia, 59% of respondents agree that brand experiences have the ability to create stronger relationships with audiences. As a result, 51% say they plan to spend between a fifth and a half of their budget on experiential in the next three years.</p> <p>Currently, 42% of marketers in Asia are using sensory interaction as a means of creating personalised experiences, compared to 28% in the US and just 13% in Europe. 31% of Asian companies are using virtual reality, compared to just 7%-9% elsewhere.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69111 2017-05-24T08:19:00+01:00 2017-05-24T08:19:00+01:00 If you want to improve your marketing ROI, stop spending on social media James Hammersley <p>My agency did this because our experience with our clients suggested that social media traffic, specifically that from Facebook and Twitter, performed significantly worse in comparison to any other source. Indeed many of our clients found that stopping investment in such traffic improved conversion significantly and improved ROI for acquisition investment as a whole.</p> <p>[<strong>Editor's note:</strong> This post is written by a guest blogger and doesn't necessarily reflect Econsultancy's views, nor does it refer to Econsultancy's research team.]</p> <p>We publish a six-monthly update that covers <a href="http://goodgrowth.co.uk/publications-and-articles/?cat=6">the research published</a> over the period and despite our continuing search there is still no empirical link between money spent and commercial outcome gained that suggests performance levels to compete with other digital channels. </p> <p>In fact, the reports that have been published in the last nine months have if anything started to suggest that, rather like Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor, we may well be spending on a carefully woven story stitched together by social media platforms looking to justify their valuations and agencies looking to retain their fees. Is it time we challenged ourselves to stop drinking the Kool-Aid?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6329/emperors_new_clothes.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="525"></p> <p><em>Emperor's new clothes</em></p> <p>Why do we think it’s time to stop and reflect? Just look at these outcomes from recent third party reports: </p> <ul> <li>76% of retailers are <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/09/29/why-76-retailers-are-boosting-their-social-media-budgets">spending more on social media marketing this year</a>, yet the same survey suggests that whilst they do this, the most cost effective channel is email marketing.</li> <li>89% of marketers <a href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2016.pdf">believe social media marketing increases exposure</a> and drives traffic but only 51% believe investing in social media improves sales.</li> <li>48% of marketers <a href="https://komarketing.com/industry-news/seo-social-media-effective-difficult-execute-3238/">say social media is the most difficult channel to get right</a>.</li> <li>90% of marketers believe <a href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2016.pdf">social media is important</a> but 92% do not know <a href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-dos-donts-effective-social-media-management/169626/">which social media management tactics are effective</a>.</li> <li>60% of consumers have <a href="http://internetretailing.net/2017/02/omni-channel-sales-throttled-shoppers-wont-buy-sms-social-chat-despite-loving-mobile-apps-email/">concerns over social media channels</a> being at risk of phishing attempts or fraudulent profiles.</li> <li>43% of marketers <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/03/16/social-media-spend-failing-live-expectations/">questioned on their experience of investment in social media marketing</a> said they “haven’t been able to show impact yet”. 38% claim to have a “good qualitative sense of the impact, but not a quantitative impact” while just 18.4% have proved the impact quantitatively.</li> </ul> <p>That’s not to say that there haven’t been reports of a commercial impact:</p> <ul> <li>68% of respondents to one survey said <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/09/29/why-76-retailers-are-boosting-their-social-media-budgets">Facebook ads increased sales</a>. </li> <li>Sony <a href="http://www.josic.com/using-social-media-to-increase-sales-and-brand-awareness">announced in February</a> that through Twitter it had earned an extra £1m in sales and Dell announced in June last year that its presence on Twitter accounted for $3m dollars increase in sales.</li> <li>And <a href="http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/04/07/more-half-b2b-marketers-struggle-measure-value-social-media-0">one survey suggested</a> that investment in social by B2B marketers can drive sales upwards of £50,000 per month.</li> </ul> <p>The reports on B2C success are far fewer in number and both those quoted above fail to meet a core test about reliability in that they don’t benchmark this performance in terms of ROI. They also do not give a sense of scale. For example, the uplifts quoted for Sony and Dell would be lost in the rounding compared to their monthly sales, let alone their annual totals. </p> <p>Of all the B2C channels, Pinterest looks the most promising but <a href="https://www.clickz.com/how-pinterest-boosts-its-ecommerce-potential/102950/">the latest report</a> isn’t independently verified and there is no value data as opposed to activity data. So the jury is out, but the more direct link available between product and purchase suggests Pinterest could have a better ROI.</p> <p>B2B is much more interesting. There is an emerging argument for <a href="https://hbr.org/2016/11/84-of-b2b-sales-start-with-a-referral-not-a-salesperson">a commercial link in B2B activity</a> on LinkedIn and an opinion poll reported here <a href="http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/166003/file-25222284-pdf/docs/social_media_sales_quota.pdf">reinforces that story</a>, although doesn’t add to the evidence base. In my agency's own experience however, social advertising has a poor ROI and even sponsored posts, whilst garnering Likes, fail to deliver an acceptable ROI compared to other sales channels.  </p> <p>However using LinkedIn as a relationship sales channel (sometimes called linked selling) has proven a successful way to build an ‘opted in’ marketing database and generate leads. We have met a number of professional service firms who use this channel to drive their outbound new business activity but to date we can find no published research to quantify effectiveness. </p> <h3>Lies and stats</h3> <p>It was Disraeli who said there are lies, damned lies and statistics. In reality, both sets of numbers we have quoted here are unverifiable. They are either opinion or an incomplete ‘fact’ put into the public domain.  </p> <p>Many are placed into the market by an interested party (the channel or an agency) and for those of us who are driven by data this suggests that they all need to be covered by a health warning.  </p> <p>One of the consequences of this lack of transparency is that some in our industry are developing a narrative that undermines the claim of digital to be the ‘measurable’ marketing channel and introducing the concept of ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">dark social</a>’. We’ve come across some choice pieces of digital jargon over the years but this one should make us all worry – it's best defined as the digital equivalent of the ‘missing link’, providing a justification for continuing investment in social media on the basis of belief rather than transparently valid data.</p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>I admit it, we are obsessed by commercial value and there may well be ‘above the line’ marketing benefits of brand and product awareness that this type of investment generates. There is very little evidence however that can justify investment on the basis of an ROI that can compete with AdWords, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email</a>, digital display or re-marketing.</p> <p>If your concern is ROI and optimising performance of your marketing funds then my advice is to put value over inputs. After all, more poor quality traffic reduces overall effectiveness and wastes scarce resources, no matter how many other marketers are walking around with no clothes on!</p> <p>[<strong>Editor's note:</strong> Just to reiterate, this post is written by a guest blogger and doesn't necessarily reflect Econsultancy's views, nor does it refer to Econsultancy's research team.]</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/"><em>Social Media Training Courses</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/"><em>Social Media Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4489 2017-05-22T11:14:00+01:00 2017-05-22T11:14:00+01:00 Social Quarterly: Q2 2017 <p>The <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> is a series of presentations by Econsultancy, which curate the latest trends, developments and statistics in social media. The reports focus on distilling the most recent data and trends, aiming to provide a guide to what's happening now in social media and what you should be keeping an eye on.</p> <p>Social media evolves rapidly, and the <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be translated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p><strong>This edition of Social Quarterly includes</strong> Facebook’s introduction of ‘Stories’, the introduction of ‘Cabana’ from Tumblr, additional AR filters on Instagram and new ‘Trending Stories’ from LinkedIn, amongst other innovations.</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68929 2017-05-16T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-16T10:00:00+01:00 Digital crisis comms: How TfL's social media team copes with Tube strikes Nikki Gilliland <p>So spare a thought for Transport for London’s social media team, who see their daily tally of 2,500 Twitter mentions increase by a whopping 2,000% on a strike day.</p> <p>I recently spoke with TfL’s social media and content lead, Steven Gutierrez, to find out about the network’s approach to crisis communications, specifically when it comes to dealing with strikes. Here’s a summary of what he said, as well as a bit of further insight into the topic in general.</p> <h3>Multiple lines of communication</h3> <p>The <a href="http://managementhelp.org/blogs/crisis-management/2015/02/07/crisis-stats-you-should-remember/" target="_blank">OMD Group suggests</a> that just 54% of companies have a crisis plan in place. Unsurprisingly, it’s a necessity rather than an option for transport networks, with TfL taking steps to ensure there are multiple lines of communication open in the event of any planned or unplanned events.</p> <p>In total, TfL has 21 Twitter accounts, including individual accounts for Tube lines, rail lines, as well as dedicated channels for customer service such as <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts" target="_blank">@TfLTravelAlerts</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLBusAlerts" target="_blank">@TfLBusAlerts</a>. </p> <p>Despite offering multiple ways for users to check the status of the network, however, Steven suggests that manpower is still pretty limited. </p> <p>TfL’s First Contact team is made up of just a few members of staff – an amount that stays roughly the same during strike days. Similarly, each bus or rail line is manned by one or two people, meaning that there are usually around half a dozen people dealing with a huge volume of queries. </p> <h3>Broadcasting info and prioritising mentions</h3> <p>So, just how does TfL cope with the 2,000% increase in mentions when there’s a strike?</p> <p>With such a massive influx, it’s impossible for the team to reply to questions individually. In order to cover all bases, TfL broadcasts an overview of information to followers via its social channels and links to the website with is kepy up to date with live information, with the aim of reaching customers before they feel the need to reach out to the network.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4966/TFL_mentions.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="244"></p> <p><em>TfL's brand mentions on Twitter</em></p> <p>While TfL might not answer every question, impressively every single mention is still checked by an agent. To streamline the process TfL’s social team uses a tool called CX Social, which is also used by O2 and McDonald’s.</p> <p>According to Steven: “It makes it possible to handle many accounts, collaborate and triage messages to the most relevant team. I don’t think we’re limited by any tech our teams are well equipped.”</p> <p>Of course, not only does this give the team insight into what kind of information customers are actively seeking out, but it also means TfL is privy to people’s anger and frustration, too.</p> <p>That being said, Steven suggests that the majority of feedback is based on customers needing information, meaning a relatively small amount is actually abusive. “Increasingly customers thank the social media team because I think some realise how hard it is to work through a strike!”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4967/Sentiment.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="304"></p> <p><em>Sentiment analysis of TfL brand mentions on Twitter</em></p> <p>Perhaps TfL’s commitment to communication is part of the reason why. In contrast, you’ve only got to look at an example like Southern Rail, which has come under fire for an inconsistent and incompetent approach to crisis communications.</p> <p>Even after it received complaints for a lack of visible compassion, Southern Rail angered commuters even further with its misjudged call to ‘strike back’ at RMT.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/SouthernRailUK">@SouthernRailUK</a> When people waited three hours at Brighton last night, was that because of strikes?</p> — Cr O'Grizimov (@Mr_Ogrizovic) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mr_Ogrizovic/status/782841247706873856">October 3, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Reversing the message</h3> <p>As well as using broadcasts to pre-empt and stem the flow of incoming customer queries, TfL’s strategy for strike days is to reverse its working message. In other words, instead of telling customers what Tube lines are not working, it tries to tell them what ones are still running instead.</p> <p>Alongside this, it typically stops or reschedules any promotional campaigns in order to allow more pressing news to cut through.</p> <p>Together, this approach is effective for instilling trust and encouraging a positive mood, with TfL promoting the fact that it is working hard to help the customer – not pushing its own agenda.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A possible Tube strike will significantly affect services from Sun eve to Wed morning. Stay up to date here: <a href="https://t.co/9bQz35k9Xa">https://t.co/9bQz35k9Xa</a> <a href="https://t.co/DOKNlcdR0B">pic.twitter.com/DOKNlcdR0B</a></p> — TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts/status/827486881415839744">3 February 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Steven, a strike isn’t necessarily the most stressful event that a transport network like TfL can encounter. With storms, flooding or snow having a massive impact on the running of Tube lines, winter is typically the most demanding season.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with unforeseen accidents often harder to deal with than planned strikes (such as the helicopter that crashed in Vauxhall a few years ago), the team is essentially on constant standby throughout the entire year.</p> <p>In order to deal with an unplanned event, TfL has a defined process in place:</p> <ul> <li>One of the first steps is usually an acknowledgement of the issue.</li> <li>The next step is to coordinate a response based on verified information.</li> <li>At the same time all unnecessary activity (promotions, advertising, etc) is stopped</li> <li>TfL’s main accounts including @TfL and the TfL Facebook will lead on news and customer service accounts like individual Tube lines will broadcast service updates.</li> <li>TfL’s website will usually carry a dedicated webpage with more detailed travel advice and the Press Office will provide updates to the media.</li> <li>TfL continues providing updates from all relevant accounts and update the website regularly until things go back to normal.</li> </ul> <h3>Maintaining a genuine tone of voice</h3> <p>During busy or stressful times, rushed responses could potentially mean <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">brand tone of voice</a> goes out of the window.</p> <p>However, Steven emphasises that the network strives to maintain a genuine and friendly tone no matter what, with staff encouraged to be genuine and express themselves.</p> <p>He says that it helps that the majority of social media agents are part of the company's wider contact centre, meaning they also deal with calls, emails and letters as well as social media platforms. In turn, this encourages them to maintain a natural-sounding and friendly tone regardless of the channel.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good afternoon all, Mark and Tariq are here to help. <a href="https://t.co/JfJ3ETqwIX">pic.twitter.com/JfJ3ETqwIX</a></p> — TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts/status/833702140300378117">20 February 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While TfL clearly prioritises one-to-one human interaction, that doesn't mean it dismisses automation in all senses. Alongside automated ‘welcome’ messages on both Twitter and Facebook, TfL recently partnered with Twitter to offer a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">chatbot ‘status checker</a>' that users can interact with via direct messages.</p> <p>Interestingly, Steven hints that it's not the only bot in the works. “We are developing chatbot experiences on other platforms... and our editors are working on the script to ensure it has a friendly tone of voice throughout.”</p> <p>However, TfL is likely to rely on its distinctly human approach a fair few more times in the future at least.</p> <p><strong><em>Now read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68876-how-tfl-s-community-managers-engage-with-london-s-cyclists/" target="_blank">How TfL’s community managers engage with London’s cyclists</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69074 2017-05-10T12:30:00+01:00 2017-05-10T12:30:00+01:00 Will Instagram's mobile web app help Facebook slay Snapchat? Patricio Robles <p>And the rapid growth that makes Instagram look like Facebook circa 2009 to 2013 could accelerate even more now that Instagram has updated its mobile website, giving it a number of features that were previously only available in its iOS and Android mobile apps. The most important new feature added, photo sharing, will let users of the mobile web app post photos to Instagram.</p> <p>As TechCrunch's Josh Constine <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/08/instagram-mobile-web/">explained</a>, "Until now, users could could only browse, Like, follow, search, and see notifications on the stripped-down mobile web site and desktop site." But now they'll be able to post photos and browse a lightweight version of the Instagram Explore tab.</p> <p>The new functionality could be especially important in international markets where high-speed mobile internet is not widely available, making it more difficult for users to download and use the full Instagram app. Roughly 80% of Instagram's users are based outside of the U.S. and the company is clearly making an effort to better serve its international user base.</p> <h3>The latest shot at Snapchat?</h3> <p>Facebook's embrace of Instagram's international users, including those in developing markets, stands in stark contrast to the stance of Instagram's chief competitor, Snapchat.</p> <p>Snapchat recently came under fire after <a href="http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/snapchat-evan-spiegel-only-for-rich-people-anthony-pompliano-1202028526/">it was reported</a> that the company's twenty-something CEO, Evan Spiegel, had stated in 2015 that "This app is only for rich people...I don't want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain." The claim was made in a lawsuit involving a former Snapchat executive, who had apparently offered suggestions to improve the company's performance outside countries like the U.S.</p> <p>Snapchat has denied the report, but it's worth noting that while Instagram has a web app that is now growing its functional footprint, Snapchat still doesn't have a mobile website, so even if Snapchat CEO Spiegel isn't anti-"poor countries" as claimed, it doesn't appear that Snapchat is willing to go to the same lengths as Instagram is to court new users in places where a mobile web app would help its adoption.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7738/Screen_Shot_2016-08-04_at_14.42.36.png" alt="insta stories" width="591" height="347"></p> <p>Meanwhile, even though Facebook has been criticised by some observers for copying features from Snapchat, the tactic doesn't seem to be bothering users. For example, since launching its Snapchat Stories clone, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">Instagram Stories</a> has now surpassed 200m daily users, well above the 160m daily users Snapchat Stories reported in Q4 2016.</p> <p>For brands active on Instagram and Snapchat, the divergent strategies are worth noting for a couple of reasons.</p> <p>First, Instagram's willingness to offer a mobile web app and bring it closer to parity with the features of its native mobile apps could increasingly have an impact on the companies' respective growth rates. In the past year, Snapchat <a href="https://www.recode.net/2017/2/2/14492182/snapchat-user-growth-slowing-ipo">appears to have hit a growth plateau</a> and if it doesn't find a way to get its growth engine fired up again in a big way, it could find that it has permanently lost ground to Instagram, which has gained 100m users in the past four months alone.</p> <p>Second, for brands looking for a platform through which they can reach a global audience, it increasingly appears that Instagram is eating Snapchat's lunch. While Snapchat could argue that its smaller, first-world-dominated userbase is more valuable, as Facebook brings Facebook-like self-serve advertising to Instagram, Instagram's massive reach coupled with granular targeting could make it a much more versatile and attractive ad platform.</p>