Facebook introduces hashtags

#Facebook – #now #with #added #hashtags.

Facebook HashtagFollowing in the footsteps of Twitter, Google+ and other social networks, Facebook has finally added support for hashtags.

Hashtags, which appear as the # symbol, enable users to follow specific topics of conversation within a social network’s ever-changing stream of user comments. Hashtags have proven useful to users who are searching for online conversations and events as they unfold in real-time, e.g. TV shows, or sports.

Facebook launches hashtags to amplify this trend, using it ‘as a way for people and businesses to discover and engage in these conversations’. Although Facebook has joined the hashtag party late, this move it  the ‘first step in surfacing relevant and important public conversations’.  Facebook are looking at this addition as it’s first step into a powerful marketing tool, explaining that ‘over time (their) goal is to build out additional functionality for marketers including trending hashtags and new insights so that you can better understand how hashtags fit into your overall Facebook advertising strategies and drive your business objectives’.

So here’s what marketers need to know (from facebook-studio.com):

  • If you are already using hashtags in an advertising campaign through other channels, you can amplify these campaigns by including your hashtags in Facebook advertising. The same creative best practices on Facebook still apply – compelling copy and photography that is in the brand voice works best.
  • Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.
  • Like other Facebook marketing tools, hashtags allow you to join and drive the conversations happening about your business. We recommend you search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags.
  • Hashtags do not impact your distribution or engagement in News Feed on either desktop or mobile. We recommend you continue to focus on your existing campaigns to drive your most important business objectives.

Facebook hasn’t pushed hashtags as part of their ads system, or even brought in real-time ad placements via hashtags, but we anticipate this will be part of their ‘next steps’ strategy.

Facebook is currently rolling out hashtags to roughly 20% of its users this week, with a full global launch expected in the coming weeks.

Social Media Explained

Social Media Explained in a New Tasty Format

Every social media channel is different – from the messaging to the way people use them. However, it can be difficult to explain the polarising differences…..until now, using bacon.

This fantastic explanation comes courtesy of t’internet and, in our view, says more about how users utilise each channel than any infographic. Mmmm…..bacon…….

Social Media Explained | Honey Digital Digital and Social Media Agency Surrey, Devon, Cornwall

Linked In Privacy Policy Changes

LinkedIn makes changes to privacy policy

linkedinYesterday (May 13th) LinkedIn made changes to its privacy policy allowing advertisers to place sponsored content on the LinkedIn feed. LinkedIn has also introduced the Privacy Portal, a one-stop shop for users to access all their LinkedIn data. The company says it will also look to “clarify and simplify” the policy’s language so that privacy details are easier to understand.

In its blog, LinkedIn says that giving users “more clarity, consistency, and control” over their personal data remains the company’s “highest priority.”

In the SocialTimes, Forrester Research analyst Kim Celestre also expressed some criticism of the move:

“I expect users will be a bit disgruntled over this, especially if the sponsored content populates the news feed with more “noise.” One of the attractive aspects of LinkedIn is that the sponsored content and ads were non-intrusive. This changes that.”

Some may see this as another attempt to further ‘socialise’ the platform with sponsored content mirroring that of Facebook’s Sponsored Stories. Others will see this as an attempt to develop the earning capability of the platform as it appeases its shareholders.

Whatever the reason, any change to a platforms privacy policy is sure to irk a large number of users. David Jacobs, the director of the privacy project at EPIC comments:

“Some of the changes could be beneficial, such as giving users better access to their data. I think that ‘clarifying and simplifying’ privacy policies is usually code for ‘giving ourselves the right to increase the commercial exploitation of your data,’ but we will have to wait and see,”.

You can learn more about the LinkedIn privacy changes at www.linkedin.com/legal/privacy-policy

Google launches YouTube subscriptions

You Tube Paid Channels Blog Post by Honey Digital Social Media and Digital Agency Surrey, Devon, CornwallIn a move that looks to take on the paid for TV industry, Google recently announced the roll out of paid subscriptions for certain YouTube channels. But will this move pay off for channel partners, or will it lead to users switching off?

To begin with the announcement showcases a handful of channel partners in what would appear as a soft, trial launch. Channels listed include Jim Henson Family TV and Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Prices start as low as $0.99 per month and are paid via Google Wallet. Users get a 14-day free trial to channels, which are also discounted if you subscribe by the year. Once signed up for a paid channel, you can watch as much video as you like.

The initial roll out looks minimal with only a handful of channels. There were no major broadcast channels announced in the initial line up which, at this stage, doesn’t show YouTube to be taking on Netflix or Amazon (or even Sky or Virgin Media in the UK). At least not right now.

But watch this space, as this move to a paid for model puts YouTube in a position to some day take on the Netflixes of the world. Sesame Street isn’t exactly Game of Thrones (imagine that!), but watch this space as this move into a paid for model puts YouTube in a position to some day take on the Netflixes of the world.

Make no mistake, this is a shrewd business move for Google and one that bolsters YouTube’s money making capability beyond advertising. YouTube is now a ‘serious’ platform capable of offering studios, producers, vloggers and more another income source. YouTube already has ad-supported content, live pay per view programming, rentals, and purchases, but subscriptions gives the full package.

With channel subscriptions starting under a dollar it seems an inexpensive way for consumers to dip into channels without too much risk. For content creators, it’s another income stream in another creative industry still trying to find its monetising way in an online world.

Organic Social Media

Organic Social Media blog post from Honey Digital Social Media and Digital Agency Surrey, Devon, CornwallIn a recent meeting we asked a company how they determined their ROI for digital marketing, specifically social media. Their response: “We look at the number of followers we have”. This answer, it seems, is still the benchmark by which companies measure social media success.

However, we like to challenge this thinking because large numbers don’t necessarily mean large sales numbers or even good ROI. But in an increasing effort to build an online profile, some are resorting to tools and bots that harvest followers and Likes, or as we think of it ‘The Social Media Darkside’.

It’s easy to get 1,000 followers for your Twitter account or 5,000 Likes for your Facebook page in a day, if you pay for it. Sites like Fiverr offer a vast number of people who can promise you this for the tiny sum of $5. And with automated tools like Tweetadder you can have an impressive following fairly swiftly.

But are large numbers a good thing? No – bigger is not always better. What you pay for financially, you pay for in quality.

With large numbers your potential reach is obviously greater. However, out of that number how many actually engage with your brands messaging? Probably very few, equating to low engagement levels. And engagement is how you should be determining your ROI as this is the route to not only putting your message in front of your existing advocates but alo making your message go viral, meaning your message gets in front of more people and ultimately leads to further engagement and sales.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been pitting the organic and darskside methods against each other. For one week we took Twitter and used the free version of Tweetadder to follow people; the following week we went back to using our preferred organic methods. The results should come as no surprise.

Those set up and followed using Tweetadder were of low quality, e.g. account rarely followed back, and those that did never engaged and those that did follow would unfollow three days later. Follower numbers as a whole were low – around 18-20 out of 200.

Those followed and engaged with organically often reciprocated and were of a higher valued interest. Also, being organic allows you to take part in Twitter events such as the fantastic #devonhour which promotes local businesses and events. These types of events also build on a sense of online community where quality engagement happens, leading to an increase in Followers. Over the week of organic methods we saw an increase of between 80-90 Followers.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t pay to engage online. As a brand, you can reach customers with paid advertising and/or organic content. Research shows that customers via organic content are much better customers in the long run. By adding paid alongsideorganic, the combined lift is overwhelmingly better than paid channels, e.g. Google ads, alone. So, within the context of organic marketing, social media is your primary engine for promoting new content. Effectively organising your social campaigns and incorporating them with new content on your site, optimised for search, can take you from online zero to hero in a short space of time.

The State of B2B Social Media 2013

B2B Marketing’s 2013 Social Media Benchmarking Report pitches social media as a maturing channel. But that doesn’t mean to say it’s all rosy in the social media garden…

This infographic shows conflicting messages that result in 61% of people describing their social media strategy as ‘ad-hoc’ and yet viewing it as ‘important'; however for something seen as ‘important’, 44% of those asked calculated ROI ‘rarely or not at all’.

Come and talk to us about defining your digital marketing strategy and making it work for your business.

 

From B2B Marketing’s 2013 Social Media Benchmarking Report

Where I lay my hat is not my Facebook Home

Facebook Home Review by Honey Digital Social Media and Digital Agency Surrey, Devon, CornwallAfter it’s earlier US launch, Facebook Home finally landed in the Google Play Store on Tuesday night here in the UK. We were quick to install the much hyped app and see whether it lived up to its own hype. Some see this as a big mobile leap for the social network. And is it? In a word, no.

This may not have been the much rumoured Facebook Phone people had been gossiping about for over a year now, but to some it was the big mobile leap needed for the social network. However what Facebook have actually delivered is a stock launcher for high end Android phones.

We’re not Facebook’s biggest fans but hold our hands up to getting excited about Facebook Home, hoping it would bring us back to the platform like a prodigal son. But having played with Facebook Home for a while we think we’ll have to wait for the new redesign instead (that we’re STILL waiting for after being announced months ago).

So why aren’t we in love with Facebook Home? Well, like the 3,389 (and rising) one star reviews we’re underwhelmed. The top review on the Play Store is a good place to start:

“No widgets, kinda clunky, and pretty much just Facebook with access to your apps drawer. Meh, an unimpressive launcher compared to most others.”

If like us you have a Samsung S3 you’ll be used to Touch Wiz that, although not perfect, is a good interface. We’ve also played around with Go Launcher which brought a slick environment onto the older Galaxy S2. Facebook’s launcher does bring social to the forefront of the mobile experience, but for us it tended to get in the way of everyday smartphone tasks. If you want Facebook, you go to the app or include the widget on your homescreen. For many, that’s enough.

Facebook Home looked slick and, dare we say it, sexy when unveiled. But when you start playing with it you realise that posted images really only work if they’re fantastic landscapes or shots from a DSLR. Not if they’re meme’s, postcards, or dodgy camera phone shots which, let’s face it, most personal updates are. Chat Head’s is similar in that some shots just do not work well.

As a first attempt it works but it has a way to go to being perfect. Facebook Home will appeal to a sizeable audience of Facebook addicts, but for most it’s possibly a redundant feature.

For marketers though, Facebook Home offers another way of getting your messages in front of audiences. Along with the upcoming feed change, we anticipate a move towards more visual content from brands as content marketing strategies adapt to these changes.

Have you downloaded Facebook Home? Are you a lover of hater? Let us know by posting a comment below.

 

Social Media Facts You Can Not Ignore

This brilliantly curated video is a four minute whirlwind of social media stats, facts and figures that will make your head spin. If you’re a doubter of social media, or know someone who is, then watch this video and have a re-think. Social media is growing and these 2013 stats already outshine those of last year (see our now out-of-date presentation from last year).

Our top five standout (and jaw dropping) moments from this video are:

  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world based on population.
  • 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook.
  • Generation Y and Z consider email passee.
  • 69% of parents are friends with their children on Facebook.
  • Every second two new members join Linked In.

And our stand out moment for businesses and marketers:

  • We will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media. 

What do you make of the information in this video? We’d love to hear your thoughts – leave us a comment below.

 

Twaggers, Twi-shirts, and Twandanners…..oh dear

Is this what you’ve experienced when speaking to a digital social media agency?

Then come speak to us for a change (and some sense).

Clip from Twenty Twelve (BBC)

Social Media Agency Honey Digital are growing!

Honey Digital Social Media and Digital Agency Surrey, Devon, CornwallHoney Digital has been operating for over a year now and in that time so much has happened. We’ve worked with some fantastic clients on some successful projects and we’ve also worked with some brilliant creatives. In short, we’ve come a long way in a short space of time and this coming year will see us grow in size and expand our services and location.

Today we’d like to let you know about step one of this change. We’re excited to say that Honey Digital has now expanded to operate not only from its London/Surrey hub, but also out of Devon and the South West. You can now reach us in Exeter on our new telephone number – 01392 581112. Please note that our London number has also changed to a new number – 020 8144 8982.

We’ve made this move to align our services and allow our teams to work and collaborate even closer, ultimately benefitting our clients.

We’re excited by this move and will be revealing more about new services and team members in the coming weeks!