Category Archives: Businesses And Social Media

Facebook’s Drone Endeavor Falters

Facebook is a company that took a simple concept — social media — and turned the form of online communications into a global phenomenon. Facebook achieved its tremendous levels of success by constantly innovating and coming up with new innovations. Recent decisions to explore the presentation of original programming via online streaming content show the company’s talent base is always hard at work. Not all the work yields success though. Facebook’s attempts at developing an “internet drone” have proven, well, disastrous.

 

Facebook attempted to make history with the Aquila drone, a massive drone powered by solar energy. The drone truly was massive as it was the size of a plane. The grand visions of those hoping to make history with the drone entered a rather undesirable history book. The Aquila drone is listed among many great corporate research and development failures. The drone famously crashed during a ballyhooed test run. Confidence in the drone was shattered. This is to say nothing of the bad publicity that followed.

 

Facebook’s drone was intended to be highly inspiring. The solar energy powered drone truly embodied “the future is now” sentiment so many find emotionally uplifting. Unfortunately, as far as this drone is concerned, the future is still a long ways away.

 

No guarantees exist when developing something completely new and radical. A lot of trial and error is involved. Failures, costly ones, do occur. The Aquila drone may still fly once again. The date in which this occurs has to wait.

 

A huge drawback to the flop of the Aquila for Facebook is the company loses the publicity and added branding benefits another successful venture yields. Facebook was denied its glory with the drone project. The company is going to move on and come up with new plans. Hits and misses are both expected.

 

Facebook Attempts to Deal With Algorithmic Censorship and Fake News

In 2016, one of the most iconic works of photojournalism in history was inexplicably censored by Facebook. The reaction by news media outlets to this act of censorship was swift; however, the blame placed on an algorithm gone wild was not fully accurate.

 

The photo in question was taken at the height of the Vietnam War in 1972. The harrowing image depicts a group of frightened children, including a naked 9-year old girl, fleeing a napalm attack while United States soldiers follow in the background.

 

Facebook would later apologize for the incident, but the discussion on algorithmic censorship had gone viral by that time. The Vietnam photo incident brought up interesting discussion about Facebook’s role as a massive media channel and its rule by algorithms. It is easy to blame software routines, but it is also easy to forget that human input and executive decisions are coded into the Facebook algorithm.

 

In addition to the above, there’s another issue that Facebook has been left to deal with: the fake news stories that some analysts believe are part of a shadowy network of propagandists. These bogus stories are also believed to have played a part in the surprise 2016 election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

 

On January 12, 2017, a Syrian migrant targeted by fake news decided to fight back by filing a lawsuit against Facebook. In 2016, when German Prime Minister Angela Merkel visited a migrant shelter in Berlin, Anas Modamani was inspired to take a selfie. That digital image would later be used by fake news authors to smear Modamani and to make him appear to be connected to terrorist attacks in Brussels.

 

Fake news stories have also linked Modamani to other attacks inspired by hate and terror. Since the stories were widely distributed across Facebook, Modamani has chosen to file a defamation lawsuit against the social media network. Facebook plans to vigorously fight this claim.

Is Facebook Ad Traffic Really Useless?

Reports about Facebook and Google advertising traffic do not exactly pain a nice picture. Claims indicate roughly 90% of the traffic associated with the ads are “useless“. Facebook and Google are doubtfully thrilled with such a report. The report is discouraging. No, business won’t outright collapse just because a news report about the uselessness of the ads is published. Some viewers of the ads will be turned off though. Articles of this nature may go viral. In time, articles like these can collective impact a significant number of perceptions. Poor perception on ads could have an undesirable effect. Even a slight decrease in revenue is something giants like Facebook and Google hope to avoid.

 

The notion of “90% useless traffic” is a bit misunderstood. Facebook ads are designed to run throughout the platform of the social media network and draw the eyes of members interested in what appears on the ad. Ads of this nature are rely on conversion rates. Conversions refer to serious parties that actually click on the ads. After clicking on the ads, they do what the advertisers wants. Buying a product is one thing. Joining a Facebook group is another. Advertisers all have different goals.

 

10% of valuable traffic is a fairly good conversion rate. Expecting half of the advertising traffic to do what the advertiser wants would be unrealistic. Would half the people watching every Super Bowl advertisement make a purchase?

 

Advertisements cast a proverbial wide net. Not everyone caught in the net responds. The goal is to procure the highest and more feasible volume of serious click-throughs. Those buying ads on Facebook or Google must maintain realistic expectations. Without a proper outlook on what to expect with the ads, disappointment is unavoidable. From this perspective, 10% of valuable traffic is not so bad.

 

Social Media Recruiting: What Companies Are Doing To Avoid Legal Pitfalls

There is no doubt that social media is transforming the way people do business—and the trend extends beyond marketing. A number of companies are turning to social media to assist with their hiring processes. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s survey, 84% of organizations are currently using social media to screen candidates.

 

However, there are legal risks involved in the process: for instance, a simple Facebook photo can reveal certain protected characteristics such as race, gender, disability, and age that employers are not allowed to consider when recruiting.

 

Even so, many recruiters have devised a lot of ways to avoid potential legal pitfalls when recruiting via social media, including:

 

Expanding their applicants pool

 

Over 80% of companies are using social media to recruit passive job candidates—who aren’t currently looking for jobs—and to screen candidates who are being interviewed for certain positions. They believe that social media provide a good platform to reach highly qualified candidates that can sometimes be daunting to find through conventional recruiting channels.

 

Treating social media like other recruitment tools

 

Many recruiters are not turning to social media as the only recruitment tool. They are also integrating traditional channels such as career fairs and job boards so as not to block candidates who don’t use social media or who lack strong social media presence.

 

On the whole, the message is delivered; while it isn’t fair to use social media to make employment decisions, employers continue to use it as an extension to candidates’ resume and a as conversation starter to give them a deeper understanding of the potential candidates.

Facebook Has Launched Workplace, a Private Social Network for Enterprises

Facebook has recently launched Workplace, a private social network for businesses. Contrary to the conventional reasons for using Facebook at work (distractions), Workplace is different—it aims to provide employees with a platform to professionally chat with their colleagues in a bid to get work done.

 

Unlike the normal version of Facebook, the platform isn’t connected to users’ existing accounts and is ads-free. Instead, organizations sign up and pay a monthly fee, which is based on the number of its users. It is free for educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

 

New Corporate Features

 

Besides the normal features found in the regular version of Facebook such as groups chats, video calls, news feeds, and live video among others, Workplace has a few new corporate extras such as single sign-on, dashboard analytics, better IT integration, and separate Work Chat app for Android and iOS to enable employees keep in touch when they are out of office.

 

New Offers

 

Workplace is entering a market where a number of players—Yammer, Slack, Chatter, Jive and Hipchat among others—have picked up remarkable tractions. Nonetheless, the platform is hoping to woo people with a plethora of new twists.

 

To begin with, Facebook has thrown most of the pricing models used by its competitors out of the window and plans to follow its own book of metrics. For 1-1,000 active users, the platform will charge $3 per user monthly; for 1,001-10,000, the cost declines to $2 per user; and even less for more than 10,000 monthly active users. Additionally, Facebook will be more accountable for its service. It will only charge for active users and how engaging it manages to make the service.

 

For now Facebook has managed to send a clear message to the market: It is still the leading platform for billions of users to connect to one another in the digital sphere, and is now aggressively entering the corporate world.

 

 

Twitter To Release Earnings Report at Unfamiliar Time

The earnings release for giant social media platform, Twitter Inc. will be on Thursday, this week. To be precise, the time for the release of the report will be 4.00 a.m. PST. According to the company, the timing for the report has largely been influenced by analysts who said that other tech companies have slated their releases on the same day. They include Google, Amazon and Atlassian.

 

Break From Tradition

 

According to techcrunch.com, the early morning time has, however, not gone down well with some analysts who accuse the company of breaking from tradition. This is because most tech companies are used to reporting an hour or so after mid-day at the end of day trading. Analysts have been accustomed to that time and Twitter’s time is a little uncomfortable for some of them.

 

Job Cuts Announcement

 

There is high anticipation of the company’s earnings reports for several reasons. However, the main one is driven by speculation that the company may announce around 300 job cuts. According to unnamed insiders, the job cut announcement may come even before the release of the earnings report.

 

Last year, Twitter cut the same number of jobs it’s expected to cut this week. If it happens, the move will be widely considered as an attempt to relieve some of the financial pressures from the company’s recent losses and the fall of its share price for the last one year. There were expectations of the company’s acquisition but the companies that were expected to bid abandoned the process.

 

 

 

Social Media Campaigns That Made Tons Of Money

The Coca Cola Remove Labels was a social media campaign that was spread around Youtube in 2015 in the UAE. The commercial featured a heavy metal rock star, a tattooed scientist and other interesting characters dining at a dinner table. The message of the commercial was to label food products, but not people.

 

The Scoot social matrix was a social media campaign by Singapore Airlines on Youtube and Facebook. They researched the demographics of different types of travelers in Australia and made videos advertising certain niche destinations. The campaign was a success and their flight sales were boosted by over 157 percent.

 

The Toy Testers campaign was promoted by Tesco in the United Kingdom. They promoted their toy selection in their videos during the holiday season. The series of videos successfully raised their toy sales during the holiday season.

 

The UK Bank made multiple videos that were spread via social media. The videos explained the various financial products that the bank had to offer and why they were a better choice over the competition. The bank boosted their overall sales for that year.

 

The UAE financial institution, Emirates NBD, made Facebook campaigns promoting saving for newly married couples. They spread image manipulation applications that showed what couples may look like in 30 years. The company had a significant increase in sales after their campaign.

 

Pepsi launched the Longthroat campaign in Nigeria through social media sites. The campaign took the term longthroat, which means the longing for success in the country, and related it to their new long bottle shape. The campaign boosted sales by more than 60 percent.

Social Media No-Nos For Business Owners

These days, most people are using social media to promote their business. While social media can help you boost your business, you may be doing things that are hurting your business. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is setting up a page and not putting anything on it.

 

Inconsistent posting is another mistake that business owners make. It will be easier for your audience to find and follow you if you have a regular posting schedule. Posting another user’s content without permission is something else that you should not do. Make sure that you respond to comments in a timely manner. You show your customers that their input matters when you respond to them.

 

You want to publish more than just your promotions and sales. It is estimated that 57.5 percent of people are turned off by promotions on social media. Your social media page should focus on building the trust of your customers.

 

You should not treat your business page the same way that you treat your personal page. Buying fake followers is another bad idea. You also want to avoid using too many hashtags. If the hashtags are irrelevant, then this can also work against you. Additionally, you should not auto direct-message your followers on Twitter. Most people do not like to be spammed. Send someone a personal note if you want to thank them.

 

Creating Personalized Experiences Gets Easier

For social media-reliant businesses, getting an edge with online customers is imperative. One of the leaders in the field of personalized marketing technologies is Dynamic Yield. TechCrunch reports that the organization received $22 million in series C funding. The company already works with high caliber clients like Rolling Stone magazine, Sephora and Under Armour. What makes the technology so compelling, and relevant, is its ability to place multiple tools at marketers’ fingertips. Dynamic Yield’s suite includes the ability to run A/B tests, and to pull personalized data information from mobile apps, web and online advertising. This information is then used to create personalized ad campaigns.

 

Researchers have found that certain images work better for female customers versus male customers and this kind of information can help marketers create banners and imagery that best appeals to their target demographic. Studies have shown that personalized marketing campaigns improve a company’s ROI.

 

Dynamic Yield is not the only company looking to data mining technologies to leverage ad campaign creationa, but so far it is the biggest and one of the best funded. Small business owners looking to create personalized experiences for their customers might not be in the position to make use of Dynamic Yield’s platform but can turn to free tools like Optimizely or Hubspot, which are highly flexible. Although these platforms and services don’t offer the same level of detail that Dynamic Yield promises, they are free. Free makes for a good return on investment, no matter your business’ size.

 

German Government Seeks to Fine Away Fake News on Social Media

Germany’s coalition is seeking to legislate the trend of proliferating lies and propaganda through social media. Should the measure, planned for a vote in early 2017, pass, the government would fine Facebook and other major social media platforms up to €500,000.

 

Social Democratic Party chair Thomas Opperman commented that each major platform would be required to build a legal protection office within its country. The office would also necessitate accessibility every hour of every day. He went on to state that should Facebook fail to remove the offensive message after 24 hours, then individual fines would be issued. Additionally, the subject of any fake news could seek a correction to be published at the same degree of importance.

 

In light of its commitment to outsource fact checking efforts, Facebook commented that it took the proliferation of false information seriously. Representatives for the media platform went on to say that they were working with politicians and experts to refine the process and that Facebook already offered several new applications to combat false information.

 

Other German politicians have commented that, being outside the umbrella of free speech, defamation and malicious gossip should be thoroughly prosecuted. Germany’s libel laws can incarcerate perpetrators for up to half a decade. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, has called for stronger legislation that would allow the entire EU to fine offenders. Germany’s worries over false news may be partly driven by fears that it could detrimentally affect its upcoming election similarly to the United States.