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.

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)

Facebook Bans Like Gating

Facebook bans fan gatingIf you have been using the “like gating” technique it’s time to stop, as of November 4th Facebook bans like gating

If you don’t know what fan gating is, like gating is enticing your followers to like your page ot posts in exchange for freebies

Harshdeep Singh, a software engineer at Facebook, wrote in an August blog post that  people “like pages because they want to connect and hear from the businesses, not because of artificial incentives”.

The ultimate goal of Social media is to build relationships and banning the practice will force brands and organizations to create  quality content that engages their audiences and builds relationships instead of relying on technical tricks

No doubt some marketers will suffer but ultimately, building better relationship with quality content will lead to better quality likes and more engaged audiences.

In addition, social media should be a means to an end, no matter what you do you do not control the medium and one of your goals should be to get the data on followers out of the platform and into a platform you have more control over like traffic to your website or building your mailing list.  Building better relationships will help you build better quality mailing lists more engage traffic to your websites and ultimately generate more ROI

Stopping Spam in LinkedIn Discussion Groups

Stopping Spam in LinkedIn Discussion GroupsWe all know spam has become a plague in LinkedIn discussion groups and the big challenge for most owners is stopping spam in LinkedIn discussion groups.

I a previous post, I showed how to spot fake LinkedIn profiles, usually created for the sole purpose of spamming.  Spotting them and banning them is one of the steps you can take to help manage the problem.  LinkedIn gives us other tools to help us and if you know them and know how to use them, you can help make the group discussion a much better experience for your users and stem the flow of users leaving because of the spam. Continue reading

4 Reasons Industrial Marketers Should Adopt Social Media

industrial marketersEven if studies have shown that, so far, industrial professionals have been a relatively passive social media audience, their presence and social media usage is far from negligible.

In a recent study, “2014 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector,”  IHS GlobalSpec found that 44% of technical professionals spend more than an hour per week on social media for work-related activities.

The study indicates that technical professionals maintain social media profiles on LinkedIn (74%), Facebook (61%) and Twitter (17%).

In addition, 47% of them spend time on LinkedIn reading product or industry news while 26% research suppliers.

69% of technical professionals with a Facebook profile follow businesses or groups within their industry and 38% research or read work-related content.

These statistics are far from negligible and show that industrial marketers need to take a serious look and consider integrating social media in their marketing mix.

The return may not be immediate and as high as their other more traditional marketing initiative but the potential is there for those who get early on on the bandwagon.

  1. At a time when traditional marketing vectors are crowded and customers/prospects are bombarded with messages and ads, social media is still a relatively virgin territory in industrial markets
  2. Social media allows them to find, identify, reach influencers like industry analysts, consultants and other industry thought-leaders
  3. Through social media they can connect and build relationships with influencers
  4. Social media is the medium of choice of the new generations, reaching them is key to future growth

Six Ways To Detect Fake LinkedIn Profiles

How_to_detect_a_fake_LinkedIn_profileBefore we look at the six ways to detect fake LinkedIn profiles, it’s important to understand the driving force behind these profiles and the main reason is spamming.

Spamming has been around for a long time, first via email and as blogs started proliferating, spammers started polluting blogs, it was only a question of time before they  started polluting social media platforms

Coming back to LinkedIn, two of the best way to get maximum exposure on LinkedIn are growing your network or participating in large, active discussion groups.  Both imply creating a profile and since spammers learn early on that to effectively spam, they needed many identities, in case they were filtered out.

Over the past few years, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of fake profiles created by spammers either joining discussion groups or asking to join users networks, they usually target large active discussion groups and/or users with large networks, especially LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) who are not too selective in growing their network and allow spammers to develop their network based on first and second degree connections.

Of course, there are a number of ways to stop them, the first one is to be selective in who you accept in your network, the second is for group owners to be more proactive in monitoring who joins their groups and to not fall into the temptation to grow the size of their group at the expense of the quality of the discussion. Continue reading

How To Report Fake or Misleading LinkedIn Profiles

How to report fake or misleading LinkedIn profiles has become an increasingly difficult endeavor.

How To Report Fake or Misleading LinkedIn ProfilesIn a previous post, I wrote about how pervasive fake profiles are on LinkedIn and how difficult LinkedIn makes it to report them, for good reasons, they stopped caring a long time ago about the quality of user experience to focus on growing user numbers ( regardless of legitimacy) prior to their IPO

Another issue, when you created and think you “own” a business or brand page, is controlling who shows up as an employee on your page and that can have implications when it comes to your brand and/or reputation.  It turns out you do not control that information.

In any case, finding a way to contact what LinkedIn calls “customer service” has become a feat in itself, but the response is probably as frustrating as trying to contact them.

There is however an easier way to report a fake profile, if you look in the right place but you have to dig into the user’s profile in places you would not think about right off the bat, here are the steps Continue reading