5 Things Marketers Need to Know About Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go

You don’t have to be a gamer to notice that the Niantic, Nintendo, and Google partnered Pokémon Go has been an instant success since its launch last week. It’s the talk of online, the standard across the app download charts, and the current king of meme generated content. But what exactly does it mean for marketers? Before I jump on the bandwagon of new products I typically like to take my time and examine which industries or brands are using, what are they doing, and how are they measuring success. While a week is such a small sample size for evaluation, here are five things marketing professionals should know about Pokémon Go.

Pokémon GO is Now the Biggest Mobile Game in U.S. History

According to research conducted by Survey Monkey, Go exceeded peak daily active users of mobile gaming classics such as Candy Crush, Draw Something, and Clash Royale.

Peak daily active users of Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go Topped Twitter’s Daily Users

SimilarWeb found that Go surpassed Twitter in daily active users three days ago.

More time is Spent on Pokémon Go Than Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram

In a new report based on average time spent by iPhone users in the US, Go had greater time spent than any of the popular social channels.

Daily

Pokémon Go Has Its Own Standalone Messaging App

GoChat allows users within a radius of Pokéstops to chat with each other in a group setting.

Massive Local Marketing Potential

As an alum of Pepperdine University I couldn’t help but chuckle when seeing Pokéstops on our campus map.  The augmented reality part of Go is underrated in my eyes because a huge concept of the game centers on users finding Pokéstops, rare Pokémon, traps, and gyms, where gamers battle each other. With users playing so much, while other apps run in the background, how can they sustain battery life? This is where I would recommend businesses, especially small coffee shops to leverage this opportunity by offering rare Pokémon and charging stations to users on both social media and on site collaterals.

While the jury is still out on how sustainable Pokémon Go can be, marketers should pay attention to add-ons and how trends develop compared to other apps and digital channels.  What do you think about Go? Are you curious about integrating it in your strategy for your client or company? Comment below or let me know on Twitter.

 

Money Talks: Facebook Recruits Celebs, Media Companies for Live Video Content

Facebook Live

Facebook is reinforcing the meaning that money talks. According to the Wall Street Journal, the social media juggernaut has agreements with 140 companies, publishers, and celebrities to create video content for Facebook Live. The reported cost for the services are in a ballpark north of $50 million. Some of the players with agreements with Facebook include the Huffington Post, New York Times, and Buzzfeed, with the latter two each having agreements for $ 3million for a year.

Facebook was very diligent with their approach of drafting up contracts with their new partners in various ways. For example, compensation for publishers largely depends on their popularity on the channel and the frequency of broadcasts they are willing to stream. Some contracts are said to have requirements related to the length of individual broadcasts with baked in incentives should expectations of minimum requirements be exceeded.

What this means is the future of digital is going to become increasingly video centric. Facebook has been aware of this for quite some time and are being aggressive about it. They have data that shows that the average person views live video as much as three times longer than other types of video. In addition, they’ve announced multiple video updates within the last few months including the launch of Facebook 360 videos and add-ons to Facebook Live such as two-person remote broadcasts, pre-scheduled streams, the creation of a virtual waiting room for viewers and broadcasting with MSQRD’s face masks.

Facebook Live Contracts

Like with anything there is competition and Facebook will have to endure that with some of their rivals. We’ve already seen Twitter add a live streaming button to their platform for Periscope broadcasts and Tumblr add live video via support from YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas, and Upclose.

It will be interesting to see which other high profile companies and celebs reach deals with Facebook to post video content on Facebook Live. Will Twitter and Snapchat secure deals with big names or continue to compete with Facebook in other innovative ways? Chime in below in the comments or let me know what you think on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Snapchat.

The Most Valuable Players on Social Media

most valuable athletes on social media

We all know that social media has changed the landscape of media and evolved the way we all communicate with each other. The paradigm has benefited many people from marketers to small businesses to upstart musical talent. But perhaps, no one has leveraged the power of social media more than athletes. To celebrate the fun these talents have brought us when they aren’t putting in hours in the gym and recovering with trainers, I present to you Forbes’ top most valuable players (athletes) on social media.

3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Snapchat Experience

Snapchat logo

Snapchat is taking over! The popular social platform has grown by nearly 50% within the last year and is on pace to surpass Twitter and Pinterest by the end of the year with 58.6 million users. While many industry experts might have thought Snapchat would fizzle out by now and become a Google+ or Ello, Facebook sure didn’t. Back in 2013, Mark Zuckerberg’s company made a $3 billion acquisition offer for Snapchat and was turned down. Fast forward to present times and it seems like more of our peers are downloading the social app as each day passes through. But one thing I’ve noticed from snappers is that many are limiting themselves to only rudimentary snap and send features. For that reason I have decided to provide three tips that will enrich your Snapchat experience.

On-Demand Geofilters

One of my most beloved features on Snapchat is the On-demand Geofilters. Whether selecting for a graduation, party, or favorite hangout spot, Geofilters allow users who are there to send your message to their friends. If you are fascinated about how this works, check out some of the cool ways Taco Bell and Blaze Pizza have successfully implemented Geofilters on their channel. One thing to note is that there is a cost associated with the feature. The price for a Geofilter can be as low as a fancy Starbucks drink. For more information Snapchat has a robust FAQ , which provides all the details.

Music Video Snaps

If you want to channel your inner Puff Daddy and be all up in videos while enjoying your favorite tunes or want to practice lipsyncing in case you find yourself engaged in an epic battle with Jimmy Kimmel someday, then Snapchat can help you. All you have to do is be on Snapchat, then open a music app like Spotify, then switch back to Snapchat, and then voilà you have a soundtrack added to your video.

Combine Filters, Captions, and Stickers

Snapchat has a robust suite of filters you can choose from after snapping a photo or video including speed and temperature types. What’s nice about the social app is that if you like two filters, they can be integrated into your snap. You can do this by holding down on your screen with a finger to keep one filter, while swiping through to add another.

One other enjoyable aspect is mixing and matching filters, captions, and stickers. By tapping, dragging, and dropping these elements over one another you can find yourself spending time creating some cool content for friends, family, or customers.

Pro Tip: Cross Promote Your Snaps on Other Channels

Whether for personal or business use it is always a great idea to cross promote content to other channels. In terms of Snapchat I would recommend teasing content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get more people to follow you. Simply, hit the download arrow toward the bottom of your screen and share on the social channel of your choice.

If you have any questions about Snapchat or want to learn more, connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or of course Snapchat. Happy snapping!

The First Thing You Need to Do for Social Media Success

Social Media Success

Whenever I attend digital marketing conferences or have opportunities to speak with both undergraduate and graduate interns, I often come across questions about what it takes to do well in social media. It’s a very good inquiry since LinkedIn profiles mentioning “social media” from 2013 to 2015 have increased by 137%. But the true response is, it depends! Factors such as company size, resources, team capacity, and organizational philosophy impact that answer. Despite those forces being a hindrance there is something you can do immediately to be successful in social media today. Define your goals and measure the results.

As Ken Blanchard once said, “Knowing where you’re going is the first step to getting there.” Typically, social media goals can be broken down into five categories. These include distribution, engagement, influencers/brand ambassadors, actions/ROI, and internal resources.

Distribution

Distribution is all about the social channels you use to promote content to your audiences and observing how noticeable they are on each platform. Key distribution metrics you will want to keep a close eye on include the following:

  • Followers/Fans
  • Reach
  • Impressions

 

Engagement

While distribution metrics are certainly important, they have received some criticism from those who care about actionable data. This is where engagement data can lend a hand. These type of metrics focus on how fans and followers on specific social channels interact with your content. Some examples include:

  • Retweets/Shares
  • Comments
  • Tagging friends
  • Likes
  • Reviews

social media goals

Influencers/Brand Ambassadors

In the days of traditional media dominance huge brands would spend tons of cash on spokespersons to sell the brand with aspirational messages. While many large brands are becoming conservative with that approach some still have that luxury. A juggernaut like Nike can throw out a who’s who list of brand ambassadors including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. Their biggest competitor Under Armor can do just as good with Steph Curry, Muhammad Ali, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Bryce Harper. Fortunate for smaller businesses social media has created stars in online communities who can be as equally effective as those icons without the high associated costs. Platforms such as Crimson Hexagon and Moz’s Followerwonk have done a phenomenal job in helping organizations identify industry specific influencers that can move the needle. You can also use Klout as a means when measuring who the biggest influencers on your channels are. Start examining the following:

  • Share of conversation vs competitors
  • Net Promoter
  • Satisfaction
  • Sentiment positive, neutral or negative
  • Number of brand evangelists

Action and ROI

This is the big category that all executives care about. How much is social media making for the company? Now that we have data to show monetary value thanks to integrations with paid ads, landing pages, and email newsletter sign-up pages, we can respond more effectively. Some great data to analyze include:

  • Conversions (email subscriptions, downloads)
  • Sales revenue from ads
  • Registered users
  • Number of leads (per day, week, month)
  • Cost per lead
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Cost of sale
  • Revenue (per follower, lead, customer)
  • Lifetime value of customers
  • Support cost (per customer in social channels)
  • Share of repeat customers (from social media vs other channels)
  • Transaction value per customer
  • Net profit

Internal

As important as it is to examine social media outputs, don’t forget about the inputs. Perhaps, certain resources take too much time for what results they deliver or perhaps the costs associated with assets being used are not worth the spend. Nevertheless, keep a pulse on these items:

  • Social media marketing budget
  • Social media staff payroll
  • Social media development costs
  • Time it takes to produce assets

By mapping out your goals based on these categories and selecting the best metrics to measure within them you will be taking an immediate step in the direction of social media success. Are you ready to take that step? Comment below or connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

 

Why the MySpace Hack Effects You

MySpace logo

Before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, there once lived a social network site named MySpace. The online property that once was a place for friends is now a place for hackers and could soon give you a few nightmares. According to Businesswire, as many as 360 million MySpace accounts were hacked and are now for sale online.

The large batch of data includes user names, passwords, email addresses, and a list of friends. Apparently the theft took place during the summer of 2013 when MySpace had major security holes in their platform. So what’s the big deal since the site effectively shares a tombstone next to AltaVista in the cemetery of digital? Well, if you’re like everyone else, you probably use the same password for multiple accounts. Perhaps even the same credentials from your days as an active user on MySpace. A recent study suggests that 75% of us use duplicate passwords.

Hackers prey on this type of behavior and find it relatively easy to retrieve key information that opens the door to other accounts you own in the digital world. Within the last few weeks 117 million LinkedIn accounts and 65 million Tumblr email addresses and passwords have posted for sale on the black market. In the latest case, the culprit is seeking $2,800 for Myspace data and $150 for the Tumblr batch. Tumblr’s sale price comes at a bit of a discount because of the advanced password encryption that platform has, but still might not be enough to slow down sophisticated web criminals.

Paid hacked data search engine LeakedSource released the most commonly used password from the MySpace heist. The top of the list includes homelesspa (855,478), password1 (585,503), and abc123 (569,825). Even if you don’t share in these frequent password philosophies, you should still be proactive in protecting yourself.

A few ways to take initiative is to start changing passwords to all of your active accounts. Best practices call for you to perform this act every 60 – 90 days. The next item on the cyber defense list is to shut down all of your inactive accounts. If MySpace was not unappealing to hackers, no online account is off limits. Lastly be on high alert for any suspicious emails or phones call you receive. If something seems off or too good to be true, it probably is. Let’s share this advice with our friends and colleagues and make sure these cyber criminals become a digital footnote like MySpace.

Why Bing is Still Important for a Successful SEO Strategy

seo-bing

Is Bing still relevant for a successful SEO strategy in 2016? It’s a fair question to ask and one that I come across often when speaking to digital marketers of all skill levels and industries. We all know that Alphabet’s search engine Google is the most dominant search entity in the world and the one that receives the most attention and fear from webmasters. But I’m hear to tell you today that if you have not included Bing in your strategic plan, then you are missing out on an enormous opportunity.

According to comScore, Bing now occupies 21.6% of the U.S. search market share on desktop, an all-time high for company. Marketers should also be aware of Bing’s default search engine integration with Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Apple’s Siri, and AOL search. These four factors alone could contribute to additional gains in future market share.

comscoreSearchApril2016

Another reason Bing needs to be included in website optimization plans is to prevent scenarios where some of your ranked keywords on Google are placed much lower in search engine results pages from Bing. Lower rankings on Bing could become a serious threat if competitors have already been pouring resources into the search engine you chose to neglect.

A few differences between Google and Bing that digital marketers should be cautious of are:

•Bing matches a keyword to content exactly, while Google allows for synonyms and other relative meanings.

•Google is less strict with the age of a domain, whereas Bing places further weight on this. A fresh domain is more probable to position lower in Bing than Google.

•Bing places a greater emphasis on local results first. A website not locally based, could score higher in Google.

•Google is forum friendly; however Bing frowns upon this feature on websites. An online source with a high level of forum content is likely to score a lower ranking in Bing.

While Bing is unlikely to dethrone Google for the search engine crown, it is critical for marketing and communications teams to understand the value of the no. 2 search engine. It provides an opportunity for a firm to gain a competitive advantage and eliminate unnecessary threats. As the admired management consultant Peter F. Drucker once said, “Marketing is not a function, it is the whole business seen from the customer’s point of view.” It is this point of view that is driving the rise of Bing’s market share and why now is the ideal time for digital marketers to Bing It On.