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The Week’s 6 Must-Reads for Social Marketers

TGIF! Friday is finally here and that means its time to catch up on your social marketing reading for the week. Check out our favorite blog posts and articles and enjoy your weekend.

Twitter leads Fortune 500 social media surge
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research published a new report revealing the prevalence of social media activity for Fortune 500 companies. Mark Schaefer sums up the most interesting figures and stats. Did you know that 387 (77% of) Fortune 500 companies have active Twitter accounts?

Introducing Instagram Web Embeds
If you haven’t heard the news yet, its time to get excited! Instagram users can now embed photos and videos on external websites. This is huge for social marketers, who create great Instagram content that their fans want to share on their blogs and websites. Now, anyone can retrieve an embed code for any public Instagram video or image run with it!

Expanding Graph Search Beta
Facebook rolled out Graph Search to all U.S. profiles this week – and it’s changing the way your U.S. customers use Facebook. If you haven’t tried it yet, Graph Search is a way for Facebook users to conduct advanced searches, which are personalized for each unique Facebook profile.

The Effect Of Social Media On Commerce [Infographic]
Social Mouths discusses an infographic about social, ecommerce and the connection between the two. It’s a perfect match. Social influences how consumers research products, where they go for customer support, what customers buy and how quickly they decide to make the purchase. Read on for more information about why social is an essential part of any ecommerce strategy.

How to Get More Retweets on Twitter
You’re on Twitter and you’re tweeting great content, but is anyone reading it? This week Jeff Bullas gives us some great tips about how to get retweets. Include links in your tweets, pick the right time of day, use hashtags and tweet the latest news. These are just some of the useful tips you’ll find.

Heads Up, Marketers: Twitter Data Shows The Back-To-School Conversation Starts In July
Here at Offerpop, we are gearing up for our Social Summer Camp (details coming soon)! It’s time to start thinking about your back-to-school campaigns today, so were going to give you all the resources you need to prepare for the epic shopping season! Yesterday, Allison Stadd of AllTwitter published a blog post discussing the implications of an early start to the back-to-school shopping season. Expect to see a surge in back-to-school Twitter activity very soon!



The Week’s 6 Must-Reads for Social Marketers

It’s been another exciting week in the world of social marketing! Here are the top stories you might have missed. Enjoy catching up!

9 Key Elements Missing From Your Social Strategy
Is your social marketing strategy as solid as it should be? If you think it might be time for some re-strategizing, check out this Mashable article by Scott Gerber. Scott asked 9 entrepreneurs about the information brands most often leave out of their social media plans. Expert suggestions for enhancing your strategy include linking to your website, retargeting, keeping original content flowing and making your employees your advocates. 

Social Media is Hard: The 2013 Landscape of Social Networks in One Infographic
This week, Brian Solis rolled out the fourth version of The Conversation Prism, an infographic showing the how marketers and consumers use social media. Social marketers often keep posters of the prism in their workspaces and remind their employees to look at it often in order to discover hidden marketing opportunities for their brands. It’s an interesting graphic that you should check out today!

Facebook Takes Steps To Identify Pages, Groups That Should Not Feature Ads Due To Their Content
If you’re concerned about your brand’s Facebook ads being placed next to controversial content, you aren’t the only one. This week, Facebook appeased advertisers in an effort to avoid these types of situations. In a blog post Monday, Facebook announced a new review process, expanding the scope of pages and groups that are ad-restricted.

Facebook Lets Page Administrators Upload Their Own Photos When Sharing Links
Facebook is giving marketers even more flexibility by allowing page administrators to upload their own thumbnails when sharing links instead of only giving users preset photo options. This change is likely to drive more site traffic to the posted links.

Brand Interactions on Social Equally Likely to Lead to In-Store as Online Purchases
MarketingCharts discusses new research showing that consumers who interact with their favorite brands on social networks are just as likely to make purchases in stores as they are to buy products online. Facebook is the social media network that is most likely to spur purchases, ahead of both Twitter and Pinterest. This is good news for social marketers!

How Your Pinterest Descriptions Can Attract Customers
If you’re looking to boost traffic from you Pinterest pins to your website, enhance your pin descriptions. Karen Leland, author of the Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business, brings marketers some easy and effective tips for optimizing Pinterest pins. In her blog post, she gives tips like provide context, spell out the specifics, link to your website, include a call-to-action and more.


3 Ways Social Campaigns Can Help You be a Youtility


Help is the new currency of marketing.

That was the word from Jay Baer, author of Youtility: Why Smart Marking is About Help, Not Hype, and the keynote speaker at our recent Winning the Customer Experience event.

What’s Youtility, exactly? It’s a maxim that winning customers for life requires becoming a resource to consumers rather than simply selling to them. Crafting content and campaigns that your target consumers value –even if it doesn’t directly promote your product – builds trust, a bigger audience, and ultimately gives you stronger influence among customers.

We agree with Jay. And in the spirit of being helpful, we wanted to carve out three specific ways social campaigns can help you become a Youtility marketer.

1. Discover your market’s needs.
Before you build, you need to know what customers want.

That’s a tricky issue for marketers. In most organizations, customer interaction has been handled by sales or support. Marketers have often been one step removed.

Social media broke down those old barriers. Marketers can learn firsthand what their customers love, hate or desire, then use that knowledge to create content that speaks to them.

Ask for fan feedback around a potential topic for a future resource. Quiz your fans about their home repair frustrations in preparation for your new DIY podcast. Or research your brand’s new fitness app by asking fans to vote their favorite forms of exercise in a series of Tug of Wars. Dig into your campaign reporting to discover trends and patterns, and use them to create a great Youtility. 


Jay Baer

2. Host your Youtility in a social app.
Youtility comes in many forms– from blog series to eBooks to live events. Hosting an initiative on your social brand pages makes it inherently social, driving more sharing and participation. Plus, they’re really easy to build.

Maple Leaf follows this approach. They create video Tug of Wars, prompting fans to watch and vote for their favorite recipe videos. It’s proven to be an effective way to build an audience for their content – one campaign drew 12,000 new fans in just four days.

You might also try hosting your white papers or e-books in like-gated Exclusive campaigns on Facebook or Twitter. Users like your page to view helpful content, and you grow a relevant audience. 

Another idea is to use a Look Book to create a guide for the perfect gifts for an upcoming holiday, even if they vary from your brand. Become a resource for your fans without making a hard sell.

3. Promote your Youtility with social sweepstakes.
Don’t forget to market your marketing, Jay cautions.  No matter where your Youtility lives, you should promote it across your brand’s social channels. And sweepstakes are a terrific way to do this.

When Evian launched an initiative to educate consumers about health and exercise, they used Sign Up to power the “Ultimate Fitness” campaign, prompting users to register for chances to win fitness prize packs.

The secret is to point participants towards your Youtility while choosing a prize relevant to your theme or goal.

In the long run, creating useful, relevant content for your audience can be a game-changer for your brand. Social campaigns are vital for enhancing their value.

If you want more insights from the Winning the Customer Experience event, check out our Storify.


The Week’s 6 Must-Reads for Social Marketers

Are you excited for the weekend? We are! Summertime is the best! Check out the latest articles and blog posts that we loved reading this week. Enjoy! 

Leaked Details Of Facebook’s New Chat Rooms Feature
It’s time to channel your AOL chat room memories! Rumor has it that Facebook is working on a new feature. Host Chat will allow users to interact with their friends in a public chat room setting. News Feed stories will let people know that their friends are participating in a chat, and anyone can become part of the conversation.

Twitter Keyword Targeting: Four Things You Need to Know

Katie Elizabeth of MarketingProfs explains keyword targeting for Twitter’s Promoted Tweets. If you’re looking to interact with a select audience the moment they’re talking about a specific subject, consider this method.

Facebook Announces Updates To Ads Manager Reports
Take a glance at this quick and easy-to-read article to learn more about Facebook’s simplified Ads Manager reports. Similar to Facebook’s other recent advertising updates, this rollout will make it easier for users to build effective marketing campaigns. The new reports will be available to advertisers in the next few weeks.

Social CEOs: How Business Executives Can Use Social Media to Connect to Consumers
Business2Community discusses the impact company leaders can have when they engage with their customers on social networks, and gives tips for executives looking to get into the game. For instance, leaders should listen to customers, implement branding guidelines, engage with care, manage direct participation and use mobile-friendly social media services.

The Big Comparison Of Google Reader RSS Feed Alternatives
If you’re like most marketers, you probably use Google Reader to follow your favorite marketing blogs and those of your competitors. Unfortunately, you’ll have to say goodbye to Google Reader on July 1st. In this blog post, Marketing Land’s Barry Schwartz reveals 12 alternatives to Google Reader. Take a look at his suggestions and let us know which you’ll use next week!

How to Drive More Facebook Traffic to Your Website
Jon Loomer gives marketers more insight into Domain Sponsored Stories and their impact on website traffic. Domain Sponsored Stories are promoted Facebook user interactions with websites in posts, while general Sponsored Stories are ads that promote actions of a Page or a user’s friends. Read on to see how you can use these ads to make your website even more popular.

Did we miss anything? Tweet us @offerpop and tell us what marketing news got your attention this week.


The Week’s 6 Must-Reads for Social Marketers

Happy Friday!

Here are the must-reads that had social marketers buzzing this week. Enjoy!

Facebook adding ability to post images in comments
Facebook recently added the ability to post photos in comments on both mobile and desktop, The Verge reports. It’s a big update that will change the way fans interact with brands’ pages. Facebook users can upload JPG and PNG images just by clicking a camera icon in a comment box. It’s sure to add some creativity to comments!

6 Myths About Social Media Marketing
In this Inc. article, Michael Mothner digs into some common misconceptions about social media and why they’re holding some marketers back. Are you guilty of ignoring these opportunities?

Facebook Updates Page Insights, Breaks Out ‘PTAT’
Facebook is rolling out updates to Page Insights, the analytics and monitoring tool for Facebook Pages. Facebook is consolidating some of its metrics and breaking apart others, like People Talking About This (PTAT). Marketers will now have a clearer picture of how their Pages are performing and which content is most effective. By rolling out this change, Facebook hopes to make Page Insights more actionable.

The Need-to-Know Facts About Instagram’s New Vine Competitor
You probably heard the rumors all week, but yesterday Facebook made the official announcement: Instagram video is here! Users now can now download an app update, enabling them to upload and record up to 15 seconds of video. Plus, there are 13 new video filters to make your Instagram experience complete. We can’t wait to try it out!

5 Ways to Use Twitter Beyond the Basics
Jane Porter gives seasoned marketers advice about using Twitter after you’ve mastered the fundamentals. Some of her tips include commenting on current events, connecting offline, and throwing away your marketing script. It’s an interesting read!

Facebook Revamps Page Post Link Ads
Early this week, the social media giant announced updates to Facebook’s page post link ad format. Now marketers can customize ad images and use Facebook’s ad creation tool to make page post link ads. The update also gives marketers a choice of posting right-hand-side domain ads and unpublished page post link ads directly in the Facebook News Feed. These are just a few of the big updates. Learn about more exciting changes in this AllFacebook article.

Did we miss anything? Tweet us at @offerpop and tell us what marketing news got your attention this week


The Need-to-Know Facts About Instagram’s New Vine Competitor


With Vine’s six-second video capabilities taking off, it’s no surprise that Instagram wanted to get in on the action.

And today, Instagram took a big leap into video, announcing that short video-capture ability is now combined in the photo-capture app we’ve all grown to love. It’s clear that video is where both Twitter, which owns Vine, and Facebook, which owns Instagram, are heading.

Here are the key details on Instagram’s new video feature.

1. It lives in the feed
Instagram is not introducing a new app, but a new feature to supplement its wildly popular photo features. Video actually appears in users’ feeds along with photos, so there’s no need to use two separate apps. Hashtags, location tagging, likes and comments all work the same way photos do.

To take video, the user simply presses the video icon in the capture (which sits next to the usual camera icon). You can hold the icon to capture video and release to stop, creating the same stop motion process you find in Vine.

2. You get 15 seconds
Instagram stretches the amount of live video you can capture from Vine’s six seconds to 15 seconds. You can do less, of course. But Instagram is betting that users want more, not less, when it comes to video. 

3. Yes, there are filters
Instagram is well known for its filters, which can make the amateur look like aficionado. They’re adding the same capabilities to video.

Once you capture your video, you can choose from a series of 13 filters, which will sharpen or soften its look. It’s likely more filters will come along as more users try out video.


4. There are advanced editing features
Just like Vine, you can chop up your video simply by pressing to record, lifting to pause the recording, and then pressing back down to record again. But with Instagram, you can delete the last section you recorded without deleting the entire video.

Additionally, you can choose a “Cover Frame” for each video, so the image that immediately greets followers in the feed is one you choose, rather than a randomly selected thumbnail.

Finally, Instagram added a feature it calls ”Cinema,” which automatically stabilizesstablizes the video you capture to remove jumpy cuts. It’s pretty slick addition – but it only works for the iPhone 4 and 5.

5. It’s here now
Often, Facebook likes to roll out major changes gradually. But with Instagram video is here now. Users can update to the new version by going to their app store account. It works for both iPhones and Android phones.

In the coming weeks, marketers will no doubt toy with the new functionalities, finding creative ways to show off their brands and engage consumers. Burberry and Lululemon are already creating videos with it.

Will you use Instagram’s new video capture? Is it a real Vine competitor?


The Week’s 6 Must-Reads for Social Marketers

It’s been a big week in the world of marketing. We’ll catch you up with some weekend reading. Relax and enjoy!

Introducing Twitter Web Analytics
Marketers rejoice! Yesterday, Twitter introduced Twitter Web Analytics, a method of measuring the amount of traffic Twitter sends to brands’ websites. The tool also measures the effectiveness of the Tweet Button on websites and can help marketers see how much of their website content is being shared over the social network. Twitter Web Analytics will be rolled to the public in the next few weeks.

Facebook Advises Brands On Hashtag Usage
AllFacebook discusses how the introduction of Facebook hashtag support will affect social marketers. In a post on the Facebook Studio blog, Facebook outlined details and best practices for brands incorporating these clickable hashtags into their social campaigns to drive conversation.

#FollowMe: Create an instant Twitter highlight reel
What if you could compile your favorite twitter moments in a video in minutes? Now you can! Twitter just announced #FollowMe, a way for you to make a slideshow of your favorite Tweets, Vine videos, topics, Tweet times, and engaged followers. We had some fun making our #FollowMe. If you want to create your own video, click here to sign in to Vizify.

20 Ideas for Social Media Content That Engages
In a world where posting content to social networks is as easy as typing a sentence and clicking a button, brands need to be more strategic than ever about the content they publish. Social media strategist Jeff Bullas gives social marketers a list of content formats brands should consider publishing, including video, presentations, images, text and audio.

5 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts
If you are looking to increase activity and engagement on your brands’ blog, you have come to the right place. Social Media Examiner gives social marketers ideas to generate buzz about blog posts by using different types of media and expanding audience reach. Don’t be afraid to change up your daily blog routine and try something new!

Why Advertisers Need YouTube
Every month, 1 billion people visit YouTube to actively search for interesting and engaging videos. If you don’t already have a YouTube marketing strategy, check out this infographic from MDG Advertising, which outlines the consumption behaviors of YouTube viewers. It also explains how your brand can increase revenue by strategically curating video content for your fans.



Another 665 Million Reasons Hashtags Belong in Campaigns

Marketers now recognize the power of the hashtag. As a means of aggregating user-generated content on specific topics, it’s efficient, interactive, even addictive.

That’s why you see so many hashtags appearing in TV shows, ads, print and all over web – all leading the consumer to real-time conversations occurring on networks like Twitter and Instagram.

Now you can add Facebook to that list.

Today, Facebook announced it’s officially adding hashtags to its user experience. That means 665 million daily active Facebook users can now employ, share and follow hashtag content across the world’s largest social network.

This is big news for marketers. It will make congregating and tracking an audience around specific topics or campaigns easier even as the content spreads throughout the network. Brands can initiate and join in these conversations as they happen, and even curate content consumers create.

Specifically, Facebook says opening up hashtags will 

  • make it easier to take part in hashtag content that originates on other social sites like Instagram;
  • grant easier access to specific content by giving users the ability to search for hashtags in Facebook’s search;
  • and compose posts from these search results and from the hashtag feed.

The big story is Facebook just gave marketers even more reason to add hashtags to their promotions, content and campaigns.

Are you using hashtags in your social marketing?


Figuring Out the Value of Social Ads

Here’s what we know: In just a few years, Facebook went from an ad-free zone, to an advertising giant. And with it, the entire social ad industry has been swinging up. Way up.

But marketers often struggle with pinning a value to social ads. They wonder the best ways to measure them, or even understand what they do.

So during our monthly Social Marketers NYC meetup, we discussed some of the more common questions about social ads with Jason Wellcome of Weber Shandwick and Jason Bornstein of Bonobos. You can view and download the highlights here!