Tag Archives: Facebook

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?Since the Facebook-owned application,Instagram, introduced the video feature to it’s users a few weeks ago—there has been one question on my mind: How long will it be until we begin to see television-like commercials and ads on our social feeds?

With the new addition of video recording, Instagram latched onto the coat tails of the video app Vine, and catapulted itself into first place. But the competitive drive is still in the air, and with this resurgent popularity of video sharing online, (which isn’t really a new development, but rather a new conversation about an existing technology) it is obvious that if companies use this opportunity to do a little video marketing, they can tap into a potentially huge new advertising revenue stream.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom is consistently repeating that the application is all about the users, but with the burgeoning new trends in social media marketing and the use of Instagram for branding and product highlighting, it is clear that this update provides a marketing advantage to business owners using the app.

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?

Systrom was interviewed after the event announcing the video feature’s addition, and he believes that the near-term opportunities for brands to use the video feature would be similar to how they’re using Instagram photos currently—which is to capture moments at events that build on the brand’s image. And of course, Instagram is also used to snap shots of products, services, employees, customer testimonials, and more.

The CEO believes that video will just be an extension of this process, but as an avid Instagram user, my biggest fear is that perhaps companies will take advantage of the new feature in order to bring us a series of disruptive, unoriginal, and irrelevant commercials like the ones we are annoyed by on cable television—which is a primary reason that many Americans have switched to streaming their shows using services like Netflix or Hulu+.

Of course, this may only become frustrating for users who actually “follow” brands on their social networks, but of the 130 million people using Instagram, it is safe to assume that many are following their favorite celebrities and companies—patiently awaiting the next opportunity for gossip or discounts.

Every mat has a story to tell. #justmymat

A post shared by lululemon (@lululemon) on

Minutes after video on Instagram was announced, Lululemon released the commercial above, and while creative and engaging− it is just he beginning of what is to come. It is no accident that Facebook designed Instagram’s new video feature to allow users to record for 15 seconds; that is exactly the same length as most television commercials.

But I have two view points in mind that are battling it out for dominance, and while one has spawned out of my demand for social network purity—free of tracking cookies and targeted advertising— the other stems from my experience working as a social media marketer.

Online video marketing is a phenomenal resource for small businesses because most of them cannot afford flashy commercials that play in 15-minute intervals on major television networks. Setting up accounts on YouTube, Instagram, and Vine takes approximately ten minutes and then you can begin to record personal product pitches, or shoot a video of your pet boutique’s grand opening, or even make a short movie that highlights the efficiency of your carpet cleaning service.

A glimpse behind the scenes of the #Burberry Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 show, #London

A post shared by Burberry (@burberry) on

Many major corporations like Burberry are already using the video feature to share behind the scenes footage of their fashion shows—and I believe this is actually a fantastic use of the app’s addition. Because the company’s fans are engaged on Instagram, the more intimate of the social networks, Burberry has a chance to connect on a more direct level, and the people have access to the human side of the company—which enhances a consumer’s perception of the brand’s authenticity.

The Instagram leaders recognize the natural business opportunity inherent to the simplicity and versatility of the video feature, however for the time being they are encouraging brands to interact with their customers organically, rather than allowing market-directed ads, like the ones we see on Facebook.

I take that as a good sign; spontaneity and honesty are fundamental to the nature of Instagram. Businesses have a chance to showcase the candid and genuine elements of their brand. And if you’re a small business owner, that is what social media should be about—reaching out to the public, sans pretense and ulterior motivation. Let’s just hope that the Instagram team and community continue to agree, because I am not quite ready to give up my favorite social networking platform to the advertisers just yet!

What is your opinion on the potential of seeing television style adveritisng on Facbeook and Instagram? 

By Sasha Novikov | Creatine Marketing

 

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

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Social Media Fast: Unplug without Feeling Disconnected

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We are nearing the end of the Lenten season, where millions of Americans sacrifice one or more of their indulgences for about forty days and forty nights. Most of my friends and coworkers have given up the usual, carbs, sweets, or sodas—but I have others that have attempted the impossible—a 40-day social media fast.

I hear you skeptics out there; you think this idea is brilliant, a way to reconnect with the tangible world around us rather than dedicating hours to the Internet time suck. I have to admit, a part of me agrees—it’s a good idea to unplug every now and then. But here at Creatine, we understand that maintaining a social presence for your business is very different than logging into Facebook to chat with your friends.

There is nothing wrong with you, or your social media management team, stepping away from being online, however, you can’t simply ignore your company’s social networks altogether. If the circumstances arise, and you decide you need to take a break from blogging, tweeting, and sharing—but you know that you cannot completely leave your followers in the dark, create a strategy that aids you in making the most of your time while you’re connected.

Construct a streamlined approach to shorten the amount of time you spend at your computer by concentrating on managing six major social networks. Your channel mix may vary from the ones I cover in this article, but you should still isolate a few specific activities for your networks and set yourself a time limit for each one.

twitter Twitter: 10 minutes

Take a few moments once or twice a day to respond to any tweets that may have been directed your way, nothing lengthy, just a quick acknowledgement of your gratitude.

Continue by scheduling out tweets for the next week to promote any recent content, current and upcoming events, or any news that you feel must be shared immediately. The act of automating tweets has caught some heat lately, but remember, you aren’t an individual who has the time to update Twitter with every single thought in your mind; you are running a business and automation is key to productivity, efficiency, and consistency. Schedule out some funny jokes, an interesting quote, or a statistic and your followers aren’t frustrated—they are aware of your presence and perhaps even comforted in the change of pace. Additionally, your automation tool allows you to see and revisit any scheduled tweets in one place—this is convenient and dynamic because if you realize you need to make a change, you have that opportunity.

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Use the remaining minutes to share the content of others in your industry to help build relationships. Retweet interesting articles, images, or ideas—don’t go nuts here, scrolling through your feed for an hour is over doing it. Stay focused so you can remain dedicated to your fast.

facebook Facebook: 6 minutes

A business has to utilize Facebook the same way a normal human might. Over-posting is obnoxious, and posting the same exact content every time becomes monotonous. Because Twitter is a live-feed it is important to update more frequently so your content isn’t obscured by other information—but on Facebook this just isn’t a concern. If you post every day, reducing your activity will not necessarily hurt your campaign. But disappearing completely isn’t an option either.

Schedule out some core updates, like with Twitter, about new content or upcoming events. Focus on producing timeless content. Anything that is highly visual will perform the best—share some behind-the-scenes images of your staff caught in the act of performing their work, share a trending and relevant YouTube video, or ask a question to which your audience can respond.

Take a minute or two to respond to any comments on your wall or on your content, and spend about one minute liking the content of your partners, clients, and thought leaders in your industry. Then it is time to move on to the next network.

linkedin Linked In: 6 minutes

Linked In offers you the opportunity to share your more professional content. Post an article or two in your industry specific groups and engage in any notable discussions. Perhaps take a few minutes to pose your own discussion questions in order to start a dialogue of your own. Let the conversation build and then subside; only jump back in if other questions are directed exclusively to your company. Otherwise, let people chat and respond to one another and check back in a few days to gather any information or to reengage.

pinterest Pinterest: 4 minutes

PInterest Meme

Alright, I know I’m pushing it with a suggested four minute time limit. I have never been able to sit on Pinterest for less than an hour, but it’s time we all restrain ourselves. Pinterest can be one of the most useful social media marketing tools, or it can suck you into its wonderfully fascinating black hole of random content. Create what I call a mind-anchor before delving into this network. Concentrate on the tasks at hand, and remember—all of the recipes, exercise tips, crafting ideas, and cat pictures will be there next week too.

Take two minutes to pin any recent internal or external content and obviously make sure there is some form of graphic to accompany it, considering the platform. If you want to highlight your blog article, pin the image. Also you should search for some infographics, staff, or client photos. Then take the final two minutes to engage with your recent pinners. Return the favor by repining an image they have contributed, following one of their boards, or just leaving a comment that thanks them. Saying thanks on a new social channel can be extra engaging.

google_plus Google +: 2 minutes

For now, Google+ demands less attention than all of our other social networks. This may be changing quickly, but in the mean time—be where your friends and followers are and dedicate more of your time there, but do not forget the underdogs and up-and-comers.

Share your recent content on your page and use your circles to segment our only the most relevant audience. Google+ is a fantastic forum for longer posts like blogs and news articles.

Your audience on Google+ is receptive to longer form content like engaging questions and discussions. Perhaps you could try to facilitate a dialogue between your customers about certain products or services you offer.

instagram Instagram: 2 minutes

Instgram offers your business a chance to be social, relevant, quirky, and fun all while marketing for your business and building your brand. You only have two minutes here, so make the time count by taking your fans behind the scenes with pictures of your staff, events, and office space.

Offer your followers a deeper and more personal look into the personality of your company. You can highlight each staff member and explain some of their responsibilities and roles; you can snap images of work and creative spaces, or banners and logos.

If you are out if ideas for pictures, inspire your followers with motivational or relevant quotes in a stylized format. Those images tend to receive a lot of attention on Instagram.

So there is a short breakdown about how to rock your social media in 30 minutes; enabling some down time without becoming a ghost. Remember that disconnecting is healthy, but your customers and followers may be depending on you for news, deals, and content. Rather than dedicating each and every day to your social media marketing campaign, learn to use your time wisely and efficiently in order to build a clean, but solid and strong presence for your business. Sometimes taking some time off is just what we need to clear our heads—that works for social media the same way it works for any other responsibility.

By Sasha Novikov

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Facebook’s 20% Policy

Earlier this month, Facebook changed its policy regarding text overlay on images that appear in a user’s ‘cover photo’ and in News Feed advertisements. The updated policy limits the text in these photos to 20 percent of the surface area. In the past, Facebook restricted the use of “calls-to-action” and “price and purchase information” in photos because the developers wanted to prevent advertisers from sharing (and over-sharing) images that looked like typical promotional material. The guidelines were vague, however, which led to a lack of participation and enforcement.

The new policy states that advertisement photos are now permitted to include calls to action and purchase information as long as the text makes up less than 20 percent of the image. The cover photo specifications are considerably more restrictive.

Page Terms Section III. B reads:

Covers may not include:

1. Images with more than 20% text;

2. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”

3. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;

4. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or

5. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Starting January 15, Facebook associates will begin reviewing images from page post ads that are eligible for News Feed. The company is developing a grid-based text overlay detection tool to identify non-compliant photos; a version of this resource will be available for advertisers and small businesses in order to help them determine, in advance, whether or not their images will be approved. It is important for advertisers and small business owners to remember that text within logos and taglines will also count towards the 20 percent limit. Also, there is nothing written in the rule that requires text to fit into a specific area, just that the cover image cannot be more that 20% text.

Facebook's 20% Policy

How will these changes affect business owners and entrepreneurs who depend on Facebook as an integral part of their social network advertising campaign? That depends on your perspective. Many business professionals argue that it is your content and not your cover photo that builds relationships. The cover photo may be an eye-catcher, but the page itself is what encourages customers to stay.

“Facebook people react negatively to content that they perceive as inauthentic or impersonal. Since text is rare in photos from friends, text in brand photos triggers negative emotions in people. Instead of introducing text in your images, choose photos that send a message or tell a story on their own without words.” 

Facebook’s Page Post Practices 

Rather than including deals and contact information within your cover, reserve that space for your company name, logo, and a catchy tagline. Or perhaps you could use your 20 percent to describe your unique services, features, or the benefits your organization offers. The main objective should be to keep it simple and focus on quality. Customers should be able to understand what your image represents without having to squint in order to read fine print.

In your ‘about’ section, be sure to emphasize your website address so that is prominently visible beneath your cover image. That way, if your customer is eager to learn more—he or she knows where to head next.

There are no limits to the number of photos a company or general Facebook user is allowed to post on their own News Feed, so remember to post plenty of photos of your products, staff hard at work, or services you’ve provided a client. Human beings are very visual creatures; we buy with our eyes—so the more photos, the better.

If you are still concerned about the new policy sabotaging your Facebook advertising strategy, keep in mind that you can purchase as many advertisements as you please. Each one can contain a separate, but related, message. Last year the ads were not allowed to highlight product cost or purchase information. Now that the advertisements can include a call-to-action, the price of a product, or information on an upcoming sale, your marketing campaign will be more effective.

By: Sasha Novikov

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Have Yourself a Charitable Little Christmas

Creatine MarketingThere are lights up on your neighbor’s home— the department stores are setting the mood with festive holiday songs, the weather outside really isfrightful, and it might be time to get your big box of decorations out of the garage. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we are elbow deep in the holiday season. It’s that time of year to invest in some peppermint scented candles, reconnect with family and friends, and to max out your credit cards on the perfect gifts. But this is also the time of year for selfless acts of kindness and charity. If you were wondering how to give back to your community, your nation, or your planet, let social media be the guide to– and maybe even the inspiration behind– your generosity.

The old saying “No good deed goes unpunished” is a reflection on a sad but often accurate fact: those who do good deeds are often not rewarded for them. Your social media networks, however, have given good deeds a new lease on life. On Facebook and Twitter, no good deed goes unnoticed– in fact, it goes viral. A decade ago, any given charity or cause reached a very limited amount of people unless that foundation sprouted in response to a national or global emergency. Today, there are one billion (and counting) Facebook users, and over 500 million users on Twitter. Altruism and compassion resonate with nearly everyone, and nowadays nearly everyone is keeping up with their friends on the Internet. For many, these networking hubs are the most reliable, up-to-date, and accessible news source, and while not every single human being can commit to sheltering hurricane victims, or volunteering time at a soup kitchen—he or she can simply pass a story along or donate financially.

Last year, the organization Invisible Children Inc. created a video to raise awareness of, andCreatine Marketing relief funds for children in Uganda that were abducted and sold as sex slaves or soldiers. The short film targeted Joseph Kony who played a critical role in the kidnappings, and urged people all over the world to get involved in bringing him to justice. In a matter of days the video was reposted and re-tweeted hundreds of thousands of times. It was a staple upon the news feed of nearly every American social media user. Many supported the charity, some criticized it, but never the less—it’s publicity gained the funding of celebrities and politicians alike. As of July 2012, the video has been viewed 91 million times, and while this occurrence is a unique one—since then many charities have turned to social media in order to raise consciousness.

If you visit http://www.facebook.com/causes, you can view hundreds of charities that have been created in order to serve a specific community, state, or nation. Searching #charities using Twitter will bring up over a thousand local, national, and international organizations for any and every cause imaginable. If every Facebook user has approximately 300 friends, one single post can potentially reach over a thousand people.

Many Americans prefer to donate money rather than time, it is more convenient and it is tax deductible. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact, websites have been created to cater exclusively to the way we contribute. One can simply create a donation-based website for his or her cause by visiting kickstarter.com, gofundme.com,

Creatine Marketing

fundable.org or networkforgood.com (to name a few). These online networks offer a platform for the every day citizen to gather funds and other resources in a secure way. Once you have created your site,gaining support and capital is easy—post links to your site on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site you frequent, and watch the cash roll in. Once you meet your goal and satisfy the requirements to complete your project, don’t forget to thank those who made it possible.

This holiday season, spending money isn’t the only way to make a difference in the lives of your closest family and friends. Invest in a project that betters your community, start a charity, donate your time to those less fortunate, and stay involved using your cyber and tangible networks in order to find out how you can give back this winter.

By: Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

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Social Media: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The United States harbors an impressive population of innovators with new ideas and unique products. But where there are trend setters, there are trend followers. We’ve all seen fads explode onto the market for short periods of time before fizzling out into obscurity just as quickly as they arrived. From Beanie Babies, to Tamagotchis- LiveStrong wrist bands to
MySpace, products wax and wane; some make a significant impact on the market, while others are easily forgotten. What are all of these companies doing differently, and what do they have in common?

what is innovation

Creating a business plan that is solid and sustainable is a challenging process. In fact, many new companies struggle to hit the ground running, and later fail to operate for more than five years. Often times, even the most driven and prepared business owners accept that investing more money and pushing forward is no longer a feasible option. These entrepreneurs are wondering what they did wrong; what could’ve been done to increase brand visibility, to build a stronger consumer base, or to offer products and services through a medium that is easier to access?

Developing marketing strategies with the aid of social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Linked In is the new frontier. These platforms offer powerful tools for advertising, communicating, enlightening, and ultimately, selling. Businesses with a distinctive and well-developed social media presence have the capability to reach a wide audience very quickly. Not only does this create a higher volume of consumer requests for products and services but also these demands can now be satisfied in a much faster, and simpler manner.

When utilizing social media networks, companies are able to target larger and more diverse audiences by pushingengaging, attractive, and current announcements and special offers. With the ability to spread messages about products, provide unbeatable deals, and to creatively highlight the brand, many companies experience immediate success. The next challenge to ensure longevity and popularity is to prepare for, and properly handle an expanded customer base and the inflated number of sales that may result from a flourishing cyber campaign.

Social media is beneficial when used to advertise new products, send updates, and offer promotions, but personalized Social Media Sites jpgcommunication is also necessary. Businesses can use social media to quickly and consistently follow-up with consumers. A customer can be appreciated for shopping with the business, and invited to voice his or her satisfaction with the product, service, or purchasing experience. This information can have an impact on the future success of the company, as it helps to pinpoint areas that might need improvement quickly, while bringing focus to tactics and that have been executed well.

A regularly maintained social media presence is also critical in ensuring that positive press is publicized, while negative press is addressed and corrected. If a satisfied customer writes a positive review, is should be shared, re-posted, and highlighted on the business’s social media profile. Was a complaint made? If the business is regularly tracking their social media presence, they can quickly respond with an apology and a solution.

In this modern age of virtual shopping, mobile application hunting, and digital network construction, social media advertising is the next big step in surviving in the business world. And while the endeavor might seem daunting for business owners who are less technologically savvy, or for those who just do not have the time, the good news is that there are innovative platforms in the works that give one person the ability to update every social media site using one easy-to-learn system. There are also courses that help entrepreneurs navigate the, sometimes overwhelming, world wide web. And finally, there are companies, like ours that will launch, maintain, and update all of the social media networks for your business. We keep your brand in mind, we summon the voice of your company, and we use social media as our tool to help your client base grow.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

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‘Tis the Friday to be Greedy

Black Friday Shoppers:

It’s late Thursday evening and you are just about as stuffed as your Thanksgiving turkey was. As the tryptophan begins to coarse through your veins and your eyelids strain to stay open, reach for that energy drink or second cup of coffee because Black Friday is approaching quickly and you need to be prepared.

Black Friday

Luckily, we are living in a time where more consumers have access to the web and most businesses have noticed. This year, it is easier to hunt for sales and promotions before you decide to camp out in front of your favorite store, or wait in line for 10 hours.  A vast majority of your preferred brands, companies, corporations, and even independent retailers are urging consumers to check their social media outlets in order to prepare for the deals they plan to offer on Black Friday, the first official day of the Christmas shopping season. After you search for your favorite stores on Twitter and Facebook, remember to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the company so you can revel in the once-a-year specials. And although ‘tis the Friday to be greedy, don’t hesitate to share them with all of your friends and family.

Business Owners:

As the holiday season approaches, social media is your strongest business-boosting tool. Most established, high-volume, retailers launch comprehensive and robust ‘Black Friday’ marketing campaigns every year; they spend months preparing digitized circulars, mobile apps, and online coupon offers to promote special deals.  But for many years, the average small business owner was unable to properly compete.

With the prominence and power of social media in your arsenal, however, developing innovative ways to promote your products and services is no longer a daunting challenge. There are several ways small businesses can create a buzz on Black Friday without overextending the budget on costly marketing campaigns.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, start by using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ to post, pin, or tweet about early deals and special offers for customers who subscribe to your networks. After enhancing your client base, gaining followers, and increasing your mailing list, it is time to follow up with your customers. Send a Black Friday-themed email to your existing and new customers in order to drive traffic. Make sure your message includes a click-to-call button, maps, and all of the re-post and share buttons that will encourage customers to share your email with their mailing lists and social networks. Also, keep in mind that nearly half of the people who open marketing emails do so on their smartphones or tablets, which is why it’s important that marketing emails are optimized for mobile devices.

Shopper

While continuing a dialogue with your customers by engaging with them on Twitter and Facebook, you can also send push notifications and alerts though mobile applications on Thanksgiving Eve. Encourage your customers to arrive early by providing extra incentives like higher percentages off selected items. Finally, have some fun with your customers; run some contests and offer giveaways exclusively on your social media platforms. Discounts are very attractive to the savvy social media deal hunter. And that customer is more likely to boast about your business with a friend, coworker, or family member if he or she has something to interesting to share!

Social media is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to boost brand visibility, strengthen your client base, and to maximize profit—especially during the holidays. Highlight your special offers using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, remind your customers why your store is the place to be on Black Friday, and use this pseudo-holiday as a way to build ongoing relationships with your clients or customers to ensure a brighter future for your business.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

 

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