Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Is your website mobile friendlyIs your website mobile friendly or not, if it is not, you will want to know about April 21st

We’ve all heard and laughed at Geico’s commercial “Do you know what day it is”, April 21st is not hump day but if your website is not responsive (aka friendly to mobile devices like smart phones, I pads and other tablets) it’s the day Google will start penalize your rankings Continue reading

FDA Cracking Down on Facebook Marketing

FDA craking down on FacebookThe FDA cracking down on Facebook marketing is a clear signal that companies have to treat Facebook the same way they would treat any other media they use in their communication with the public

In the past 6 months the FDA has issued 6 warning letters mostly for unapproved claims but when it comes to unapproved claims social media creates a unique challenge for companies in the healthcare industry at large (that includes manufacturers and distributors of supplements and other products not usually considered drugs or medical devices but could be construed as related to health) in that comments posted by third parties can also be construed as claims and the simple fact of liking a comment constitutes an endorsement of the claim by the owner of the page Continue reading

Facebook Hides User Comments On Business Pages

Facebook Hides User CommentsFacebook hides user comments on business page to cozy up with advertisers.

A lot has been written about Facebook moving away from being a social media platform to being an advertising medium.

Over the past few years, Facebook has steadily modified its algorithm to gradually shrink organic reach of posts on business pages down to a trickle, the last 2014 figures show the average post with around 2.6% reach.  The goal of course is to coerce business into buying Facebook ads, something Facebook had not been very successful at in the past.  Obviously the new approach is working since Facebook showed $12.47 Billions in revenue for 2014.

In an effort to sweeten the deal and make friend with advertisers Facebook quietly deployed a new feature collapsing and further hiding users’ comments at the bottom left of the business page where few users will find them and if they do find them, they will only see a few posts unless they click on a non descriptive icon that is if they know where to look for Continue reading

Facebook, Social Media Or Advertising Platform

Facebook advertisingFacebook just announced that starting in January it will begin limiting the number of “promotional Page posts” in the news feed… unless they pay for it.  Facebook is now officially an advertising platform.

So, what is considered a “promotional” post?  In short, anything that looks or feels like an ad, that includes the reuse of advertising material brands may have paid for.  You probably think “a little vague”, well most terms with Facebook are rather vague and give them a lot of latitude to interpret.

Over the past few months, brand reach on Facebook as dwindled to about 2.73% according to Forrester Research, the new policy is likely to reduce that substantially and force brands to pay for play for more content, until they have to pay for every post to have any reach.

Facebook is now officially an advertising platform in the traditional sense of the term leveraging their massive user base to generate display advertising both in and off the feed and that after charging brands for ads to develop a follower base they cannot reach anymore.

What should brands do?  There is not much of a choice, they should consider Facebook as any other advertising platform and develop their communication in a way that they can pull their now paid audience away from Facebook and other social media platforms and towards platforms they own and use social media to attract traffic to their websites and use their website to build their database.

Yes, we have come full circle, the website is becoming what it should have always been, the center of the digital strategy and social media, a way to build traffic to the web properties owned by the brand.

Brands will still be able to build relationships and interact  on social media but email will take on a new dimension and allow brands to further build their database and/or drive consumers to owned communities versus communities owned by third parties

Disclosure Is The Key

us-federal-trade-commission-logoRecently an advertising agency learned a hard lesson about social media promotion: Disclosure is the key.

The FTC recently settled with Interpublic’s Deutsch LA advertising agency and  Sony over claims the companies engaged in deceptive marketing during the launch of Sony’s hand held PlayStation Vita gaming console.

The lesson should not be lost on any marketer.

According to the complaint, one of the agency’s assistant account executives sent an email asking the agency’s staff to help promote the PlayStation Vita ad campaign by posting positive comments about the console on Twitter using the hashtag #gamechanger.

Deutsch LA employees posted tweets promoting PlayStation Vita without disclosing their connection to the agency or Sony.

According to the FTC these tweets were misleading because they didn’t reflect the views of actual consumers-users.

Agencies have to exercise a lot of caution when talking about a client’s work on social media, though best practices in that area aren’t always well codified, said David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer at digital agency MRY.

“This will be a wake-up call for agencies in terms of how they communicate work they have in market and what they encourage employees to do,” Mr. Berkowitz said.

It’s not the first time the FTC intervenes against agencies for deceptive marketing and it’s not likely to be the last and they will not stop at tweets.

The FTC is clear o that matter (and further clarified recently), marketers when they post on social media must disclose and consideration whether financial or in products and must disclose their connection to the agency, client or marketer.
What that means is that the poster must disclose if they work for the agency or the brand, they must disclosed if they have been paid or received free products or have received the service for free as a consideration to write and post about the product or service

In social media more than any other form of PR or advertising transparency is the key to keeping regulators at bay, to ensure brand integrity and to keep consumers trust.

What Worries Compliance Officers?

what worries complaince officersWhen it comes to regulated markets, compliance is a major issue, especially when it comes to social media, it worries compliance officers and has held back the use of social media in regulated markets.

So, what keeps compliance officers up at night and what do they do about it.

In short, anything posted on social media is amplified and can have an impact on the brand and the reputation and once the cat is out of the box, getting it back in the box is rather difficult.

As Warren Buffet said:“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Of course, there are ways to mitigate risk. For one thing, a social media policy explaining who can post on social media sites, how they post and what they can or cannot say, what requires compliance approval before posting.  Yous social media policy should also define the steps to follow in case of crisis

The other challenge is what employees post about the company on their personal social media accounts.  Their post can be perceived as representing the views of the companies and can have an impact on the company reputation and/or have repercussions from the regulatory authorities

What makes it even more challenging is that be it in healthcare or financial services there are no set social media rules.  The regulatory authorities (FDA, FINRA, SEC, OCC and others) have not created a framework to regulate social media, they have only issued guidance on how to apply traditional communication with the public regulations to the electronic era and social media. The guidance seems to be a lot clearer though in the financial markets; in the medical market, the FDA is still going back and forth and the guidance can be confusing at best.

In addition, social media platforms are diverse and so are the posting modes and the number of character allowed creating challenges especially when it comes to disclosures.

Read more about what keeps compliance officers awake in financial services.

Facebook Algorithm Likes and Dislikes

Facebook algorithm likes and dislikesFacebook may not have a dislike button but its algorithm, so to speak, does and knowing what Facebook algorithm likes and dislikes greatly influences whether your post will show on your followers wall or not.

Knowing how it works, what it likes or dislikes will go a long way to get your post seen by your audience and improve your ROI.

So, here we go, Facebook algorithm likes and dislikes:

What Facebook algorithm loves:

  • Posts with lots of comments
  • Posts with lots of likes
  • Post types with photos videos (posted to Facebook instead of linked) or status update
  • Posts that reference a trending topic but don’t abuse it
  • Posts that receive a high volume of likes, comments, or shares in a short time
  • Posts with links, there is a way Facebook prefers it done
  • Videos uploaded to Facebook (instead of just linked) with a large number of views or long viewing time
  • Posts that tag other pages
  • Posts that your friends like or comment on
  • Posts from pages that have a lot of interactions
  • Post types with a lot of interactions
  • Posts from pages that have completed profile information (about tab)
  • Posts from pages whose fan base overlaps with the fan base  of recognized quality pages
  • Original images and videos not previously referenced in the Open Graph
  • Original Links

What Facebook algorithm dislike:

  • Clickbait
  • Frequently circulated content and repeated posts (duplicate content)
  • Like-baiting now banned by Facebook
  • Posts that include spam links
  • Text-only status updates from pages (no photos or graphics)
  • Posts that are frequently hidden or reported (a sign of low quality)
  • Posts that contain the words “like, comment, or share”
  • Posts with unusual engagement patterns or schemes (a like-baiting signal)
  • Posts that are classified as memes by Facebook (memes are images withf overlayed text)