Category Archives: Social Media in Business

Facebook Ventures Into The Business Of Streaming Content

Streaming media is the wave of the future. Broadcast and cable television may both end up on the proverbial ropes in only a few short years. Facebook sees the direction things are going, which is why the social media powerhouse is planning on purchasing live and pre-recorded programming for an exclusive video feed. Facebook wants to tap into the success found in YouTube and NetFlix’s company coffers.

 

Facebook has a massive collection of members. Minimal video capabilities are available on the Facebook platform. Expanding the video content would be really easy. Why Facebook had not already launched such a venture is a mystery. The social media company is not really late to the game. The networks and cable channels, however, seem to have gotten a late jump with streaming content. Even though certain channels do stream content, the channels are not primarily known for such programming distribution. As a result, the maximum levels of audiences are not gained.

 

Facebook already has a tremendous audience. A mere announcement in the news feeds of the social network would capture the attention of millions within hours. Monetizing the video feed wouldn’t be difficult al all. Facebook is not exactly going to find attracting advertisers to the programming feeds to be difficult.

 

Audiences are slowly drifting away from traditional cable and broadcast television for a simple reason. A more convenient alternative exists. On-demand streaming is much more easily accessible. The audio and video quality on stream feeds is outstanding. In addition to seeing content on Facebook, look for video programming to appear on various startup websites and social media communities in the coming years. Apple is one major company to announce plans to release original programming on iTunes. Really, the march to a new platform for entertainment and informational programming is coming.

 

Facebook Messenger Begins Testing For Business Ads

Facebook is well known for keeping in touch with family and friends and for sharing funny videos. The test to integrate ads into Facebook’s Messenger has begun. The company has said that it will launch its characteristics as a small test in Thailand and Australia, which will for the first time allow businesses to have their ads placed on the Messenger home screen. This style of advertising entails a large thumbnail image followed by a text and a link of the same. These ads will appear below recent conversations.

 

The link will be able to direct users on taking different actions like clicking to learn more about the service or the business in question. This action is similar to the way that Facebook business pages today can directs users to start a chat.

 

Currently, the ads sit on a huge space on the home screen, which is below your favorites and up above the section that shows which friends are online. This feature about the Messenger makes it less user-friendly since you will have to scroll way past the large ads which you may not be interested in.

 

Facebook has, however, promised that the ads will not appear in conversations not unless the user clicks on the ad itself or chooses to start a chat with the brand being advertised. This will make it more convenient for its users.

 

Generally, businesses have been waiting for this moment for a long time when they can use the Messenger platform to reach to their customers and increase their sales easily, gain brand awareness and increase interaction with customers. It is clearly an exciting feature for them as it will lead to growth for their respective businesses.

 

Financial Advisors are Creating Business Opportunities With Social Media

In 2016, Putnam Investments conducted a survey of 1,000 financial advisors about their sentiments on the use of social media. The survey revealed that 85 percent of financial advisors have a social media presence, and that 80 percent of them found new clients in 2016 through this communications and marketing channel.

 

The Putnam survey makes it clear to financial advisors that they should be using social media in 2017. This is not an option; it is a must since prospective clients are using social media, and many existing clients would probably enjoy getting communications from their financial advisors in this regard.

 

Before financial advisors set out to do business in social media, they should keep in mind that their line of work requires them to be very compliant with certain codes of rules, regulations and ethics. The first step is to become familiar with social media policies set forth by their employers. Once these policies are known and understood, financial advisors must define their target audiences. It is worth mentioning that advisors who specialize in specific audiences such as IT professionals or affluent families tend to do better.

 

It is also important for financial advisors to define a personal brand that will appeal to prospective and existing clients. This personal brand can be crafted through hobbies, activities and interests; however, topics related to politics and religion should be largely avoided.

 

Marketing on multiple social networks is not necessary. LinkedIn is mandatory for financial advisors; other networks should be added with the audience in mind. Twitter, for example, is a good choice for IT professionals while Instagram is better for those who work in the fashion, culinary and hospitality industries.

 

Finally, financial advisors should not use social media as a very large echo chamber. If they follow others, they must engage with them with active dialogue.

 

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.

 

 

 

Goal-driven Metrics are the Key to Social Media Marketing

For a decade now, company managers have talked about the importance of having a social media presence. Given the recent growth social networks, the focus seems prescient. However, companies have not done a good job of using social networks for business purposes. If they are honest with themselves, though, most corporate leaders still cannot measure the impact of their social media campaigns.

Forbes has published the results of a study conducted by two Duke University MBA students, which recommends a strategy for evaluating social media campaigns. Recognizing that only 15% of marketers report being able to quantify the impact of social media, the students urge marketers to employ “goal-driven metrics” that are tightly connected to desired outcomes.

Like so many best practices in business, this approach requires discipline and strategic thinking. It is not enough for a company to simply gain a social media presence. To be successful online, companies must transition from social dabbling to strategic development of social assets. They must use social media to accomplish goals that matter, while carefully tracking the results.

What goals can social media accomplish for a business, though? There are many answers to this question, including creating awareness of new products and service, building customer loyalty through engagement, and evaluating products and services by obtaining customer feedback. Managers must decide which social media goals are most valuable and most easily obtained.

The days of hiring a social media person or two to manage a company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are gone. Today, corporate social media engagement requires a coherent business strategy that relates to goals that matter to the company. It is not easy, but it can be valuable if done right.

 

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.

 

 

Why Businesses are Flocking to Social Media

An estimated 81% of small and medium-sized companies are using social media to improve sales and marketing. The world of social media is more than chatting with friends, sharing with family and playing colorful apps. Businesses utilize social media to their immediate advantage because it helps to bring about an increase in client flow (source). Paying for sponsored or paid posts will ensure your company’s advertisements are on their front page. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have created a platform where companies can come to flourish over time.

 

For business owners, it is imperative to join forces with social media to increase marketing potential. In this day and age, owning a website is virtually useless if you don’t have a social media page to back you up. A Facebook or Twitter page engages your clientele, allowing them to provide you with valuable feedback in the form of reviews, comments and messages. This constructive feedback can help transform and improve your company to fit the needs of your customers.

 

Creating a business page on some of the more popular social media websites is often free, unless you plan on doing some advertising. These sites charge a relatively substantial fee if you wish to publicize your account on their main page. However, considering millions of people utilize social media on a daily basis, the price you pay for front-page advertising can be highly advantageous. Keeping your page updated regularly is vital to the overall success and longevity of your position on sites like Facebook and Twitter. If your page is not kept updated, this causes it to rank lower on search engine results, preventing clients from finding you. Keeping the page up-to-date also ensures better customer support, as you will be able to answer inquiries as soon as you receive them.

 

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.

 

 

 

New Trends in Social Media Use by Business Entities

The year 2016 was a momentous period for social media in relation to business marketing and promotion. Everything suggests that 2017 will be an even bigger year for the intersection of social media and business marketing, particularly because of the 10-year anniversary of Facebook Pages.

 

There was a time when business marketing was not allowed on Facebook. Until 2007, only individual profiles were allowed, and the promotion of business activities by individuals was looked down upon. Once Facebook announced that companies were allowed to create profiles, more than 100,000 brands quickly signed up on the first day.

 

Some of the social media trends developing in 2017 include proposals to no longer embrace this communications channel; such was the call by Geoff Lewis of the Founder Fund, a firm dedicated to funding major digital media enterprises. Lewis believes that social media platform lend themselves to the creation of “scripted reality,” which may have contributed to the election of New York billionaire Donald Trump as President of the United States.

 

A lot has changed for the social media and business marketing sphere since 2007. Years ago, promoting brands on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter was extremely effective; the same cannot be said in 2017 due to the higher levels of competition.

 

One trend that is certain to develop in 2017 is that companies will no longer use social media channels exclusively to drive traffic to their websites. The idea is to deliver tangible messages. For example, a fashion boutique can offer discounts solely on Twitter or Facebook without advertising on its physical store or on its website.

 

Another trend for 2017 with relation to social media will be mobile advertising. It is time for business owners to invest in sponsored updates and other strategies that allow them to reach beyond their existing followers.

 

 

Timehop CEO Replaced By Its Lead Designer

Social media application Timehop has recently undergone a major shake-up in its corporate structure. For the uninitiated, Timehop is a reminder service for content people have posted to various social media outlets. Jon Wegener, co-founder and CEO of the company, has descended from the corporate position in order for the application’s lead designer to take over. This shake-up also has Rick Webb, an early investor with the company, ascending to COO. Wegener commented that these changes reflect a long-term plan to step away from his corporate role, rather than any calculated measure to jump ship.

 

Timehop was established back in 2011 in an extension of its founders’ coding during a Foursquare hacking event. After working at Techstars for a while, the two decided to turn their hack into a business after discovering how well it was received. After integrating Facebook and Instagram, Timehop became a social media reality. The app has missions of users that have turned to it as an alternative to Snapchat’s fleeting offerings.

 

In March of 2015, right as Timehop had reached 12 million downloads and a daily userbase half as large, Facebook installed its own version of the app via the “On This Day.” Furthermore, Timehop’s mobile userbase has continued to dwindle at a steady pace, reflecting a nearly-40 percent drop between the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2016. This seems to indicate that Timehop had been more reliant on loyalty and engagement than other apps, with the decline endemic of new users having bad experiences and leading to a ripple effect of disuse and abandonment.

 

With its new executive team in place, Timehop is working to raise profitability at a slow but sure pace. One year after Facebook’s introduction of On This Day, it maintained 60 million daily users and more than 150 million subscribers.