2015 Social Media Predictions

There is always interesting discussion at the end of one year looking into the next – What are the social media predictions, trends and hot topics to look forward to. This year I thought to analyze several of the expert predictions for what is to come from a recent Business 2 Community post.

Many marketers are looking forward to a “buy” button availability. During summer 2014 the “buy” button has been tested on Facebook and a roll-out to the rest of us seems to be in the eminent future. And who wouldn’t love the one-click opportunity to buy when the products or services seem impending from those potential Facebook clients.  As the article says, this is a strong prediction for 2015!

With the introduction of the ‘buy’ button both on Twitter & Facebook, social commerce will truly get its wings. To ensure the most targeted offer on social for customers based on demographic & behavioral attributes, vendors will build cross channel consumer profiles. Customers will benefit with more relevant offers and companies will benefit with a more comprehensive customer profile across social and traditional channels.

Impending Facebook algorithm changes will make it harder to be promotional. post too many “look at me” posts and your content will not be shown to your target audience. In this social media overloaded society, it will be increasingly important to create content that engages your audience.  Starting in January, content on Facebook pages will have increased scrutiny, that why I think that this next statement is likely true for a 2015 outlook. It’s a no-brainer really, work smarter and not necessarily harder. Invest more on sharing your influence and expertise and less on the shameless self-promotions that many are getting tired of seeing. It is not about quantity, but instead good quality!

Businesses will no longer strive to push content out daily. Instead, they will focus on longer form content (stats show effectiveness here) that provides context, hard data and analysis.


Another thought shared by one of the 25 industry experts I agree with, as well as disagree with. As far as social media predictions go, it is certain that social media will continue to be further integrated within business practices, how can it not? What I disagree on is that business owners should never choose their social media channels before considering their overall marketing plan – Just because a social platform is out there, does not mean that you should be there. Be sure to choose the right platforms for your business to be on. Also always be aware of the implications of being there. Do you have the manpower to properly manage the platform? Is your voice being heard? Are your customers there? Careful consideration needs to take place FIRST!

Social media will continue to be more closely integrated with day-to-day business practices. DISAGREE: Social media will continue to be more closely integrated with day-to-day business practices. Many businesses will think social first when crafting a marketing plan or developing sales outreach strategies. In addition, businesses will continue to invest more of their marketing and strategy budgets toward existing and new social platforms, as well as social analytics. Specifically, as the organic reach of promotional content faces more challenges, paid placements will become essential in reaching potential customers via social media.

Feel free to read more of what the social media predictions for 2015. There are several more thoughts that merit careful consideration. No matter what happens though, during 2015 we will continue to find more businesses participating in social media to reach their customers.  Next week I will have share several of the PWB staff predictions for the coming year too, so check back. Until then, have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!

New Facebook Admin Changes

Most Facebook Page administrators know the frustration of posting updates and commenting on a post on it. First you needed to be either using the page as the “business” then you needed to toggle back and forth to “use the page as.” Within the last few days though I have noticed Facebook Admin changes that have made posting, commenting and liking a page a little cleaner.

Facebook Page Administrator

Users can still use the top drop down arrow (#1) to choose the Page they wish to administer. This allows the Facebook Admin to view only the content for that Facebook Page including the Wall for that page. In doing this Page Admins will know they are on that page by how the name appears at the top. It clearly indicates what Facebook Page being viewed and worked on. This will allow the Facebook Admin to also view who posted comments (#2) on the wall should there be several Page Admins.

In 2011, Facebook introduced the option to post on a Page as an individual or on behalf of the business or group the Facebook Page represented. This was done by clicking a link at the top of the page to either post as “PWB Marketing Communications” or, as in my case, as “Tammy Mayrend”. Pages now automatically post as the page you are administering for.The toggle link at the top of the page is no longer visible. In posting this way, I still see some personal content, the user can still see their name and profile icon, however when typing in the content field, the update posts as “The Page” (#1).

I know, terribly exciting, so what are the Facebook Admin changes? This is where I get a little excited. I work with multiple Facebook Pages with several of the Pages having multiple Page Admins. Sometimes posting to a Page is challenging to those who don’t post  often. I know many Page Admins who struggle with Liking and Commenting on posts without clicking over. In essence they “Like” and “Comment” as the Page and forget to toggle over to “Like” or “Comment” as themselves. This latest Facebook Page change, helps those sometimes users.

The change I noticed is this:

See the little drop down arrow above the comment field? It allows Page Admins to choose to “Like” or “Comment” as themselves OR for the Page! Such a silly little thing to get geeked about but it sure does make life a little simpler.

And before you ask, no, this is still not the case for those administering sites through mobile. I signed into the Facebook Pages App and that option is not there. I know many Page Admins that struggle with this since mobile is how they access Facebook 90% of the time. This Facebook change appears only to be for desktop users.

So Facebook powers-that-be, can we make this change for mobile platforms as well. If not for the Pages App, then at least for Facebook mobile.

Having difficulty with social media management? We can help. Call us at 734-995-5000.

Social Media Tweetable Facts

social media facts 2014Social media statistics these days are all about big data, how companies are collecting (and using) the data, where this data comes from and how social media sites are used.  Do you know the recent B2B social media facts from fiction? Here are several of the latest Tweetable social media facts to consider – No matter how you look at it though, social media is changing faster than a blink of an eye.

Social Media Facts:

[FACT] Each day, Facebook devours 500x more data than the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter devours 12x more. TWEET THIS

[FACT] Although data mining poses a challenge to today’s marketers, 61% say big data will overhaul marketing practices for the better. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 71% of chief marketing officers feel their organization is not prepared to deal with the impending big data explosion.  TWEET THIS

[FACT] 70% of the Fortune 500 companies, have have a Facebook page. @CNET TWEET THIS

[FACT] 34% of Fortune 500 companies have a public facing blog. @CNET  TWEET THIS

[FACT] 47% of users indicate Facebook influences their purchase behavior. #B2C. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 33% of Facebook users use a mobile phone to primarily access Facebook. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 74% of online adults use social networking sites. @pewresearch TWEET THIS

Internet Trolls and Blog Censorship

negative blog commentsClients often ask me “How do I deal with negative comments across social media?” I have even blogged about blog censorship.  I have begun to realize though that negative comments are becoming all too common. Like children fighting one another, it is spiraling out of control and is often something that doesn’t get remedied easily. This post will share some ideas for managing such comments for your social media strategy and peace of mind.

Certainly my personal experiences lately may be coloring what I see happening, but as I have commented on posts that I have read, or social media sharing of posts, I have seen more trolling of some to make negative comments. By negative comments, I am specifically discussing those that name call the author or picking fights amongst others commenting. I’m all for sharing opinions and viewpoints, after all it’s only by considering them that we can fully come to realize what we believe in, however the trolling is getting out of hand.

negative blog comments, negative social media comments

It starts with having a social media plan of attack – Create a social media policy for your company. Your social media policy is more about the role that transparency has within the space. Decide ahead of time what language is acceptable and what language is not. The space, whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or within the blog and comments, should be a platform where your customers feel comfortable sharing, connecting, and receiving help. Your policy will help you have some control should those commenting get out of hand.

Need help creating your social media policy? Here are some excellent guidelines and examples of various social media guides.

negative blog comments

Some comments, even if they are negative, should be left in the space and dealt with by directly addressing the individual that has shared. Before I started with PWB, one of the things I did was to create content for AnnArbor.com. As a blogger we would sometimes get attacked by “anonymous” persons online. It was policy to not allow these personal attacks. Instead the content was removed and the author contacted by email with a comment like, “We welcome your comments however please keep them to respectful constructive criticism.” Certainly this can not always be done with anonymous posts, however there still may be the opportunity to respond to the post with similar content that encourages the poster to contact your company direct to discuss a resolution. Negative comments may provide the opportunity for your company to highlight how they deal with unhappy customers.

Jen Eyer, of MLive Media Group, (my former editor at A2.com) has some excellent thoughts for cultivating constructive communities in a world of anonymity in this LA2M video.

Managing your social media presence should not be painful, however there are often undesirable consequences for participating in the larger community of the world wide web. How you manage negative comments, highlights to your customers how your company deals with uncomfortable situations. Managing with grace and respect should always be top of mind. Begin by covering your company with a policy to back up your what is said and done. The time it takes to create your policy will be time well spent in the long run.


LinkedIn Changes for Your Company Page

I received a notification from LinkedIn today about changes coming to our LinkedIn Company Page after April 14. Specifically, LinkedIn is removing the Products & Services tab from all Company Pages.

The reason behind the changes:

We constantly evaluate how features are used and are making this change to focus on areas of the product that have proven more valuable for administrators and more engaging for your followers.

Ultimately though, I think it is more likely to be about the almighty dollar. There isn’t a cost to the latest changes, however in reading various LinkedIn Since support forum posts it seems that LinkedIn is exploring options. Certainly these options would be helpful to marketers but likely have an associated cost as well. After April 14, the best ways to extend reach on LinkedIn  will be through Company Updates or Showcase Pages.

Company Updates certainly are the best way to build relationships with followers. Requiring only the man-power to post, updates spread Company messages to user networks. Updates can be seen on a Company Page and in user newsfeeds, including on mobile devices. While more time consuming, this may be the best way to quickly extend reach.

Showcase Pages are intended to build long-term relationships. The biggest challenge is that a Company is limited to having 10 Showcase pages. The audience for Showcase Pages are members who want to follow specific aspects of your business on a dedicated page for prominent products and services.

To avoid losing your content, and maintain any optimization of your messaging on your LinkedIn Company page, it is best to address changes before April 14.

Do you need help managing your social media profile? Running out of time to post updates? PWB Marketing Communications can assist in building and managing your online presence.


Facebook Targeting – Improved User Engagement

Have you noticed the little target icon below your Facebook post box? It’s next to the icon where posts can be scheduled. It’s called Enhanced Page Post Targeting, and it’s available to Facebook business pages.

Facebook Targeting

By targeting your Facebook posts, there actually may be engagement improvement.

The option allows for a wider range of options, targeting a post by gender, relationship or educational status, age, location and language instead of simply language or a location. Certainly in choosing to target the search parameters are narrowed, however if used wisely, it may have a big impact on user engagement and post interaction.

The best way to know if enhanced targeting will work for you though, is to test it – Good luck! Need help navigating the waters of running your social media platforms or Facebook ads? We can help, give us a call at 734-995-5000.

Help Monitor Social Media Mentions with Google Alerts

A few months ago PWB was nominated for best “Ad Agency/Design Firm” in the 2013 Readers Choice Awards by local publication Current. We missed hearing that we were nominated for the honor and that voting was going on, but caught that we placed as runner up once the awards were published. Want to know what tool may have helped us catch that bit of news? Having a Google Alert for PWB Marketing – It’s a smart social media tool that can help track important keywords and phrases. Want to know more about using it to track social media mentions for your company? Tuesday’s Quick Tip can help you out!

I have Google Alerts for all of my clients, but somehow missed adding one for PWB Marketing – That’s been remedied. Google Alerts are great for catching important news in your industry, perhaps competitor mentions and certainly on your company name or names of individuals within your company. Alerts can help you quickly monitor what’s important to your company and they are easy to set up. To set up a new Google Alert, simply visit the landing page, add the keyword or keyword phrases you wish to track and choose the frequency of the alert. That’s it.

Google Alert PWB

Will you try out Google Alerts for your company? The results may surprise you.

Image Sizes for Social Media Branding [Infographic]

A week ago when I logged in to a clients YouTube channel to upload some video, I noticed a prompt that made me grown. I was notified that the channel layout was about to change. Again.

youtube changes

“Upgrades” or changes often mean the creative needs to be edited when branding a social media site like YouTube.

What does this mean to me? It means that I will be busy for the next little while adding new creative to each client channel PWB manages. In this case it was alright though, since the client’s (Uniloy) YouTube channel needed new artwork anyway. What I discovered though is that as part of the process, you are “encouraged” to edit your Google+ page.For my personal reference, that is why I had one of our art directors create a new Social Media branding Infographic.

The changes to cover art sizing are frequent enough, and none of the channels – Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Google+, YouTube – have the same size images. Heck, they don’t even have image sizes that can be easily scaled when branding your social media pages!

So please feel free to use this infographic for your reference when adding branding to any of the popular social media sites! The infographic will help you create the correct size images for your LinkedIn or Facebook cover photos, Google+ channel art or Twitter and YouTube header!

social media branding infographic

When editing social media sites, it is important to remember what size images are for creative branding! Use this infographic as a reference to understand what size images you will need for your LinkedIn or Facebook cover photo, Google+ channel art or YouTube and Twitter header image.

One word of caution. Although my art director created the exact size image for Google+, we needed to trick the system by adding a couple of pixels to the height and width. Otherwise the image would not load to the site!

More B2B Social Media Fact vs. Fiction

Updated 2013 stats – Know B2B social media facts from fiction. Fiction: Social media offers limited value to B2B marketers. Here are 8 Tweetable Facts bout how B2B companies are  using social media to generate leads, connect with customers, and reach business goals.

[FACT] B2B companies that blog generate 70% more leads/month than those who do not.  TWEET THIS

[FACT] Increasing blogging to 6-8x/month nearly doubles leads according to @Hubspot. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 83% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn to distribute content. TWEET THIS

[FACT] B2B companies that blog 15x/month get 5X more traffic than companies that don’t blog according to @HubSpot. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 46% of marketers plan to increase their spend on content. @CMIContent  TWEET THIS

[FACT] B2C marketers use mobile and print more often than B2B. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer from Facebook. TWEET THIS

[FACT] B2C marketers use LinkedIn much less frequently (51%) than their B2B peers (83%).  TWEET THIS

Great Example of Photos in Social Media [Infographic]

Sharing photos in social media often improves the chances that posts get views. It can also help improve user engagement. Hubspot recently reported that Facebook posts using photos received 53% more Likes.  In fact imagery is one of the major reasons for the Facebook News Feed redesign. Simply slapping images into posts onto Social Media sites, like Facebook or Twitter isn’t going to cut it. Want to see a great example of sharing photos in social media?

The Soup Facebook

Last week on Facebook, I noticed an image shared on The Soup Facebook Page.  It wasn’t simply loaded to the wall in the hopes that someone would see it, instead the photo featured a large yellow rectangle blocking the image. Viewers were then instructed to click-through to see the image, then come back to Facebook to comment  on the “Caption This” photo contest.

You may ask yourself, “Why is that important, or in the very least, why would that be noteworthy?” I would then argue that in posting an image with a good part of it blocked, the viewers are drawn in. They are drawn in by the yellow block but they also get the “what’s behind the curtain” feeling and want to peek. That my friends is user engagement. The Soup’s social media interns have just caused fans to take an action!

What makes this example even more special is that the contest wasn’t being run on entirely on The Soup Facebook Page. The post directed viewers to click-through to The Soup to see the image, then asked the viewers to come BACK to Facebook to post their comment. Pretty brilliant eh? Simplicity often is.

A week later The Soup posted the entire image to their Facebook Page which included the best caption. They also wrote a second blog post about the image and Caption This contest that included a second award for the comment with the “Most Likes.” Want to see if YOUR comment won the most likes? You created more user engagement by having fans click-through to the blog yet again.

Want to know something even more amazing? Between their website analytics and the basic analytics Facebook provides, The Soup should be able to guage the effectiveness of the contest, two Facebook posts and two blog posts! It must be working for them. There are more “Caption This” contests happening that include the yellow rectangle.

Now lets’ stop for a moment to consider the many social media sites. How can your business grab attention on each of them by posting photos? Are there things your company can do to improve user engagement acorss channels?  With millions of potential viewers and rapidly growing social media platforms this better be something your company is thinking about.

social media, photographs in socail media

Using photos on the many social media platforms often increases visibility. Are you using images to reach more readers? Does using photos improve user engagement?

Infographic Sources: Facebook, Hubspot, CNN