Tag Archives: facebook

Report: How Australian consumers and businesses use social media

Social media is joining more and more Australian business’s marketing plans, a new report reveals. To date large companies have seen the benefits of engaging in social media, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, to develop a more direct and open relationship with their audience. Meanwhile, 14% of small business and 25% of medium businesses currently use social media, and according to figures an uptake in these markets is expected over the next year. This anticipated rise in social media for business use is indicative of business owners and marketers recognsing the benefits of social media and the significant amount of time consumers now spend online (about 5 hours a week on Facebook).

Facebook trumps other social networking sites:

The Sensis report, which explores how Australian consumers and businesses use social media, also revealed that Facebook is the number 1 choice for consumers and businesses. Facebook captures 97% of social networking users and 60% of all internet users.

What consumers want:

This report is a helpful tool for marketers to gain an insight into the consumer’s behaviour within the social sphere. Not surprisingly, when asked what consumers wanted from businesses and brands they followed, discounts was the most commonly sought after item. Giveaways, invitations to events and general product information were also sought by a sizeabe proportion of followers.

Below are some key takeaways from the report:

To access the report in full, click here.

Yours in social media for business,

Julia

Slash your advertising spend with Facebook ads and DSPs

When it comes to media planning and buying we all want to reach our target market with little or no wastage. Media is expensive – it often outweighs creative by 5 to 1 – and must be measured in terms of ROI (Return On Investment). While we’re seeing more accountability with MOVE (Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure) introduced early last year there’s still one media channel that wins hands down when it comes to measuring ROI – digital.

The two most exciting aspects of digital media buying for me has got to be Facebook Advertising and DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) allowing highly targeted advertising and minimising wastage. I’ll start with Facebook:

Facebook is seriously clever. Most people will know that when you fill out your profile – gender, age, location, relationship status and interests – you are providing Facebook with rich data that can be used to serve you targeted ads that suit your interests. Every time you ‘like’ a page you are also signalling to Facebook ‘hey I like this stuff’ and Facebook will allow advertisers to use this information and align you with brands that are suited to your taste.

Now despite what you’ve heard in the media Facebook is not actually handing over your personal data to advertisers and your security is NOT at risk – it’s just storing that data and allowing advertisers to set parameters for their ads. Seriously if you want to remain anonymous you can adjust your Facebook privacy settings or opt out of behavioral advertising here – but I’m yet to find someone who’d prefer to see ads that that they have no interest in, over ones that do.

Here’s some screen grabs showing you a few ways you can structure your Facebook Ad and target only those who might be interested in your brand (I particularly like what I call the ‘peer pressure’ ‘like tool which shows which of your friends like that page:

Now for DSPs:

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) are changing the way online ads are bought and sold and has only just launched in Australia via Brandscreen. DSPs enable media buyers (and agencies) to bid and optimise across several exchanges in real time as well as manage the buy and creative placement of ads. As opposed to looking for an audience to deliver an ad to, DSP allows for people to be valued and targeted individually and anonymously and then be served a highly targeted ad. A bit like an online stock market for ads. Very exciting stuff!

Their website states: Brandscreen brings all the major exchanges within a single, self-serve buying platform, connecting you with Google DoubleClick AdX, Rubicon, AdMeld, Pubmatic, OpenX and ContextWeb. In Australia alone, Brandscreen is already seeing over 250 milion impressions available every day, covering over 2.3 million websites.

How are you measuring your advertising spend? It’s pretty complicated stuff so drop me a line at Brio Group if you’d like to talk more about getting more bang for your advertising buck.

Yours in behavioral advertising,
Janet

Why social networking for business cannot be overlooked

Social media is becoming a mainstream business tool for companies. Did you know that more than a quarter of Australian businesses have a Facebook Page? Consumers and businesses are more connected than ever before.

By giving your company a social personality, you’re opening up to your consumers in new, engaging ways. Great for brand awareness, brand affiliation and also real business results. Did you know that 40% of Australian businesses gain new customers through social media?

Your audience is already there, ready and waiting. Where are you?

Brio Group specialises in helping companies achieve results through social media for business. We love it so much, we created a presentation that’s full of interesting facts and stats – it’s your must-have social media for business 101.

Yours in social networking,
Julia

Can you really trust your Google search or Facebook feed?

When you “google” something you get the same results as everyone else don’t you? When you post something on Facebook, it has an equal chance of appearing in all of your friends’ news feed right? Wrong!

You may not be aware of it, but developers, particularly those who develop social media sites and search engines, are writing sophisticated algorithms to filter content to make it more relevant to you. Have you noticed that Facebook profiles and pages you view or comment on, or photos of friends you “like”, seem to appear more often than others in your news feed? That’s right, content is being filtered in terms of popularity and relevance to you. But what if you wanted to broaden your mind and find out what’s going on in those less “popular” profiles and pages? Well you have to seek them out, which takes time and effort that many of us are not willing to spare. While these algorithms are designed to filter out the irrelevant information they are sometimes blocking out important information that we might want to hear about.

This interesting TED talk we watched on Monday by Eli Pariser brought up some interesting points about the unintended consequences of these algorithms: we get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

While Facebook is a great source of entertainment and information its quickly becoming a bit of a popularity contest: the pressure for brands to gain exposure by gaining the most comments or “likes” is building and seriously increasing the need for exciting and engaging content. We might not like it, and might prefer a more democratic way, but it’s a jungle out there and only the most engaging brands will survive. At Brio Group we can help you create engaging content for your branded Facebook page and help you claw your way to the top of the news feed.

Filtered content is not the only thing you need to be aware of – the online ads you see are also highly targeted to your interests and online behavior which I’ll be talking about in my next blog post about Facebook Ads and DSPs. So stay tuned!

Yours in information,
Janet

Can’t remember last night? The Lynx Stream mobile app lets you record it!

Let’s admit it. Some nights are best left forgotten after the third tequila shot. But, being the curious beings that we are, what if every night on the town could be remembered? The good bits, the bad bits … even the ugly bits! Lynx has just launched The Lynx Stream, a mobile phone app that records every status update, tweet, check in, photo or video that you and your mates post.

Initially launched in the UK market, and expected to enter USA, this mobile app creates a socialised experience for consumer and brand. It’s hot on the demographic, it’s as cheeky as the consumer wants to make it, and it’s sharable. The next day you can view your stream and edit out any questionable bits (because, some parts really are best forgotten!) and share it with your mates on social networks.

To see how The Lynx Stream works, check out the preview below:

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/0i7Nt_L_obs[/briotube]

What do you think of this app? Would you use it?

Yours in mobile phone apps,

Julia

Social media at the forefront of news coverage

Proof we don’t do things in halves, the universe threw two of the century’s largest moments into three days – a royal wedding and the takedown of the world’s most wanted terrorist. And proof of the changing ways we communicate in the 21st century, social media was at the forefront of alerting the world.

The pomp and decadence of the Royal Wedding on Friday shone a pretty, romantic light over the world – which let’s admit, has been pretty bleak in 2011 courtesy of Mother Nature’s tragedies. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr were championing conversation, coverage and updates in the minutes pre, during and post wedding which two billion people stopped to watch.

However, this romance was quite literally killed, overshadowed by the death of Osama bin Laden yesterday. Like the Royal Wedding, social media played a pivotal role in this story, notably in how the news broke.  As reported on Wired, the Osama takedown set the Twitter record, with the micro-blogging site being the avenue where the news was first shared – by a Blackberry.

Personally, I first heard the news of bin Laden’s death at the gym, via Facebook, which led me to research news sites on my iPhone. In fact, the more I think about it, Facebook has been the source of my news and updates through the ups and downs of 2011: the Queensland floods and cyclone, Christchurch’s earthquake, Japan’s tsunami and earthquake, the Royal Wedding coverage … and now bin Laden.

How did you hear about the bin Laden news? And what is your best source of news?

Yours in social media changing the way we communicate,

Julia

The Royal Wedding – a social media affair?

It was reported yesterday that tweets will be banned during Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding ceremony today. That’s right it was alleged signal-blocking technology would be installed at Westminster Abbey, preventing social media leaks by those privy to be up close and personal with the pair. The fears were reportedly about the possibilities of photos, tweets or any sort of exposure reaching the world and news media before the Royal’s official release.

However, Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police have denied these twitter-banning claims. Which is a good thing given the entire wedding is being streamed live on YouTube, so us common folk outside the Abbey or in living rooms around the globe will not miss a beat (or tweet, as we’d be out of the signal-blocking technology!).

It’s not news that social media trumps official news casts in speed. Think back to the Queensland floods coverage or the Logies leaks (in 2011, the Logies banned Twitter). With everyone armed with a Smartphone being capable of being a social-journalist, reporting via social media is very real and very now. It’s simply part of the changing ways we communicate.

Within hours, social media channels will be running wild with Royal Wedding banter. Will you be watching the wedding on TV, or will you be online keep tabs on YouTube, while checking Twitter and Facebook? If you’re all for the latter, we recommend reading Mashable’s How to Follow the Royal Wedding Online article.

Yours in royal wedding excitement,

Julia

PR Disaster of the Year Winner: Vodafone!

Last year BP’s oil spill took the cake, but this year it’s looking like Vodafone is a clear front runner in the PR Disaster of the Year Award. Vodafone is quickly becoming one of the most hated brands with its embarrassing lack of coverage, voicemail & SMS delays, billing issues and poor customer service. Vodafone customers are suing in a class action lawsuit spurred on by Adam Brimo, the founder of Vodafail.com and Sydney law firm PiperAlderman. Thousands of Vodafone customer horror stories can be found on the Vodafail.com website which reeks of a similar PR disaster Dell Hell that unravelled a few years back where disgruntled customers used internet forums and social media to band together and make a stand against crappy service.

It appears (and this is such a big social media no no) that it seems Vodafone dealers and staffers have been trying to defend the telco on Vodafail.com without identifying themselves – says Brimo who’s analysed the IP addresses of the contributors. Even worse, their tone has been “quite aggressive” says Brimo and basically argue that “it’s the customer’s fault and that all of our complaints are about tiny problems”. Their attitude is “if we don’t like it, we should just leave” and judging by the complaints on Facebook I witnessed this Easter long weekend it seems that people are leaving Vodafone in droves (over 22,000 thousand customers have approached PiperAlderman). Brimo, has even had legal threats from the telco and had the site’s logo removed from Facebook due to “copyright infringement” – a move he believes was sparked by a complaint from Vodafone.

Vodafone’s inability to provide SMS text messaging to its customers on the 24th of April (a full 24 hour day), led them to offer customers a half-day (that’s only 12 hours) of free SMS messaging to compensate but with many of its customers on caps that include free SMS anyway, this offer on the first of May seems a slap in the face to customers who are feeling utterly “Vodaboned” as ITWire puts it.

In terms of customer service and social media Vodafone are making some huge mistakes and seem like they’re on a one way path to self-destruction. They could really learn some lessons from Dell in the way they handle complaints and adopt some transparency in the forums they engage in. Every company has problems and will inevitably receive customer complaints but it’s the way they deal with them that matters.

Are you a Vodafone customer? What are your experiences? Will Vodafone survive this PR mess? Unless we see some big changes soon I’m not so sure they will!

Yours in PR disasters,
Janet

When fashion & technology collide: Burberry’s Beijing Show

I’m not someone who you would say is “top of the fashion pack” but it goes without saying that I’m mildly interested in the “catwalk show experience”. I like them and when I’m invited to attend, I go, but I don’t often go out of my way to track them down or view them online.

When I do attend, I often gaze with so much admiration you could be forgiven for thinking I’d just met the love of my life and couldn’t take my eyes off them. I watch patiently, carefully putting together next season’s wardrobe in my mind, vowing to track down the items as soon as they’re released for public consumption. I’m pretty sure I even think at some point while in my fashion trance “I should design clothing for a living”, but then the lights come on and I’m awoken to the fact that I may never find, let alone own some of the beautiful designs I’d just witness sashaying before me. What I do own, however is the experience created by the brand, and that brand memory will be mine forever.

My most recent brand “memory acquisition” is from Burberry. Burberry is a historically British luxury brand whose clothing is unsuitable to the harsh Australian climate (for me) and is too much at odds with my current clothing cycle. However they delivered such an unforgettable brand experience with their recent Beijing Fashion show that I’m now looking at their website, “Liking” them on Facebook and finding them on Twitter – I’m a fan with a huge crush on their April Showers showcase.

So how did they blow my brandless cotton socks off?

Like Lynx who stepped outside the box with their technology-born vixens who fell to earth in London’s Victoria Station, Burberry elevated the catwalk experience with their most fashionably dressed catwalk models bursting into snowflakes (amongst other things) at the Beijing Fashion show, adding a touch of magic, personality and interactivity through new technology to their fashion show experience.

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/P74xmTK6W4Y[/briotube]

This unique twist on the standard catwalk show has created a fresh perception of the brand, in my eyes at least, and inspired my thinking on ways to use technology to create greater interactivity between brands and potential consumers in upcoming campaigns.

Yours in all forms of intertwining design,

Sheri

PS. As it’s ANZAC day please take a moment to pause and reflect on those who sacrificed so much to give us the lives we have now.

Sharing is caring: how social media can transform your business

A majority of brands understand the importance of communicating their message clearly to their audience, however the most successful brands are also very aware that as social media continues to bring people together – creating a global village – it’s increasingly important to engage in clear, open, two-way communication.

With this in mind I’d like to introduce Gary Vaynerchuk, who is a perfect example of how engaging consumers (or simply those who share your passions) can lead to brand success.

In 2006, Gary Vaynerchuk created WineLibrary.com, and as part of that The Thunder Show was born – which is part wine advice, part sport commentary and all exuberant personality and passion. He also began searching for ways to engage with people who shared his passions, but  this was all outside of his role running a million dollar wine business. What set him apart was that instead of simply communicating to his audiences, he engaged with them by answering questions and providing instant information. These people in turn began following his online programs, comments and posts, all without prompting by Gary.

So what did he do differently to gain this organic following? Gary cared. He cared enough to cultivate relationships the old fashioned way – by listening, responding and not plugging his services to get something back. He communicated in a real and meaningful way – not simply dictating information to yield a sales result.

Through sharing his passion, Gary has morphed into a social media guru, dispersing priceless advice on the significance of online engagement and more importantly the power of The Thank You Economy. Now, I could explain what it’s all about, but part of Gary’s brilliance is the passion he exudes when discussing the topic.

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/2UkiM3OaHxw[/briotube]

Viewer advisory: This program contains explicit language

Yours in social media for business,

Sheri