Why WeWork Is Buying Meetup

WeWork has acquired app-based community gatherings and events promoter Meetup as the co-working space renter is racing to open and expand its global presence.

With the 235 offices across 54 global cities — 23 of which are in the U.S. — WeWork will look to Meetup to ensure that its locations become the center for startups and communities they hope to deepen its ties with.

The deal, details of which remain undisclosed, comes at pivotal times for both companies as they seek to consolidate and build on their respective growth. Meetup, which launched in 2002, has as its motto: “Bring people together IRL to create real community for everyone.”

While it first gained noticed among supporters of Howard Dean’s Democratic Party campaign in 2004 by aligning traditional grassroots organizing with “netroots” online associations, individuals and brands of all stripes have sought to use Meetup as a way to intersect digital and physical connections.

A WeWork office in Philadelphia

In a Medium post announcing its acquisition by WeWork, Meetup touts its 15,000-plus daily gatherings in over 100 countries : “ mostly weeknights and weekends; WeWork is 10 million square feet of space in 17 countries (and growing) — mostly occupied on weekdays.”

In a sense, the arrangement codifies an existing symbiotic relationship between the two brands. This year alone, 100,000 people have attended Meetups at beautiful WeWork spaces, Meetup says  — that’s a lot of RSVPs and related data that Meetup contains.

As WeWork concludes its seventh year, which started with a $4.4 billion investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the company needs to balance its startup identity — after all, those are who its primary clients are — with the imperative to rapidly expand into new cities, new neighborhoods.

Over the summer, WeWork tapped geo-data specialist Factual’s umbrella product, Global Places, which gathers data covering over 130 million local businesses and points of interest across 52 countries, help it select potential office locations that would meet the needs of the workers and companies it hopes to attract.

“Our real estate team surfaces myriad potential locations for our workspaces,” says Aaron Fritsch, head of product systems and operations at WeWork, told us last month. “Every space and location has potential but this also means we need to evaluate each lease and consider each location carefully.”

Some of the amenities WeWork was looking for included high-traffic places such as coffee shops and fitness centers, as well as areas with active nightlife — in other words, locations that office workers might want to take advantage of outside of work during the daytime and after business hours.

Considering that Meetup boasts an estimated 35 million global subscribers, being able to connect the right amenities and locations to those members’ groups, WeWork is likely to be using the information from those users to help plot out its next office locations as well.

In turn, awareness of those locations should spur attention from the local businesses that are also looking to attract the same workers WeWork and Meetup are aiming for as well.

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How Dunkin’ Donuts Is Using Mastercard’s Masterpass To Drive Loyalty Membership

Dunkin’ Donuts is kicking off the holiday season in a partnership with Masterpass, the digital payment service by Mastercard that is designed to promote the nearly four-year-old DD Perks rewards program and mobile pay generally.

Dunkin’ Donuts now has more than 7.5 million DD Perks members. The growth of the rewards program reflects a broader influence of social media and mobile payments in that, aside from building up points for discounts, the primary benefit for customers is simply a “better experience.”

In the case of a QSR chain like Dunkin’ Donuts, that means getting customers what they want quickly with as little friction as possible when it comes to paying.

At the start of this week — and continuing through Friday, November 17 — Dunkin’ Donuts’ Perks Week program brings new and existing members who reload their Perks enrolled DD card using Masterpass will receive $5 loaded directly onto their enrolled DD Card. (Customers using auto-reload will not qualify for the $5 reload bonus.

Additionally, all DD Perks members who make a purchase through On-the-Go Mobile Ordering on Thursday, November 16 will be entered to win a $5,000 “Ultimate Shopping Spree Sweepstakes.”

Earlier this year, Dunkin’ Donuts began accepting Masterpass by Mastercard as a new digital payment option so guests can quickly and easily purchase and reload virtual Dunkin’ Donuts cards on DunkinDonuts.com and the Dunkin’ Mobile App. Using Masterpass on DunkinDonuts.com and in the Dunkin’ Mobile App to purchase or reload a DD Card ensures your morning cup of coffee is never further than a tap away.

The DD Perks Rewards Program rewards guests nationwide with points toward free Dunkin’ Donuts beverages for every visit they make at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations. With DD Perks, guests earn five points for every dollar they spend on qualifying purchases at Dunkin’ Donuts when they pay using an enrolled DD Card, either plastic or via the Dunkin’ Mobile App.

“The program has proven to be successful, with our most recent Perks Week program in May generating higher DD Perks sales with a larger On-the-Go Mobile Ordering mix than any other week in 2017. We also saw our highest volume of mobile orders since the launch of the platform, and new user trial rates doubling during the week,” says Sherrill Kaplan, VP of Digital Marketing and Innovation for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S.

“We are excited to partner with Dunkin’ Donuts during Perks Week, presenting exclusive Masterpass offers to current and new DD Perks members,” adds Linda Kirkpatrick, Executive Vice President, Merchants and Acceptance, Mastercard. “Together with Dunkin’, we’re combining cutting edge payments technology with valuable offers to celebrate the holiday season and promote one of the most successful loyalty programs in the world.”

GeoMarketing: How does Dunkin’ Donuts see the value of Masterpass in driving loyalty?

Sherrill Kaplan: At Dunkin’ Donuts, we show appreciation for our loyal guests though technologies that make enjoying Dunkin’ coffee, food and other beverages as fast and easy as possible. Digital payment methods like Masterpass by Mastercard help us provide our guests with even more quick and convenient ways to run on Dunkin’. Combining the latest and safest digital technology with Dunkin’s DD Perks Rewards Program has been very popular with guests.

Will Masterpass be promoting the DD Perks program as well?

Yes, Mastercard is engaging with their Masterpass user base through their email channels during Perks Week.

Is this promotion focused on a particular region, or is it nationwide?

Perks Week presented by Masterpass is a national program that represents a robust and exciting opportunity to show appreciation to the millions of guests who make Dunkin’ Donuts an important part of their daily lives.

Will there be any geo-targeted advertising involved in the promotion?

In order to engage our existing DD Perks members and drive new member enrollment throughout Perks Week, we are supporting this nationally by leveraging proven digital media partners, Facebook, Instagram and Google, key publisher partners, Cheddar and Business Insider as well as owned organic channels, including Snapchat and Instagram stories. We will also use “zero-speed takeovers” on Waze to reach our on-the-go guests.

How does the company see its DD Perks program as differentiated from other loyalty/rewards programs? My sense is that most loyalty programs, even digital ones, are strictly about getting discounts for showing up and getting a card punched (even if it’s a virtual program). How does DD Perks offer value beyond the typical discount for checking in?

Our goal with DD Perks is to provide our guests with great experiences, value, and rewards to our extremely loyal and passionate fans in ways that exceed their expectations. For instance, all DD Perks members who make a purchase through On-the-Go Mobile Ordering on Thursday, November 16 will be entered to win a $5,000 Ultimate Shopping Spree Sweepstakes.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ DD Perks Rewards program has been a key strategic pillar for the brand and a differentiator in the competitive coffee space. Loyalty is the main focus for all that we do at Dunkin’ Donuts and we developed our DD Perks Rewards Program to help harness and strengthen this relationship.

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China’s Tencent And WeChat Ready To Make A Big Play For U.S. Advertisers

China’s leading social media and commerce developer Tencent is expanding its reach to Chinese-speakers in the U.S. as it seeks to challenge Google and Facebook  on matching advertisers and consumers on a more global basis.

Tencent will make its official U.S. marketing debut during the Advertising Week New York next week. The company, which runs the popular WeChat messaging app, will showcase of a new suite of advertising solutions and resources that enable U.S. marketers to directly engage Chinese consumers on Tencent platforms both in China and while they travel abroad.

These new offerings and the establishment of a dedicated U.S.-based support team provide U.S. brands and agencies with unique and powerful ways to capture attention, drive brand preference and increase sales among Chinese consumers.

Why should U.S. businesses pay attention?

As Tencent points out, Chinese tourists visiting the U.S. spent roughly $35 billion in 2016 alone.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the average spending per trip of a Chinese traveler in the U.S. is higher than any other international traveler, and shopping is a key activity for Chinese outbound tourists.

“For U.S. advertisers, China presents a dynamic, lucrative and challenging opportunity. Brands have become more sophisticated about the needs and behavior of Chinese tourists. To make a sale outside China, they understand that they need to speak to their customers before they even plan their trips,” said Poshu Yeung, VP of International Business at Tencent.

Over the past few months, a few select U.S. brands were invited to use these new advertising solutions, including the largest mall operator in the United States, Simon Property Group, and popular women’s fashion brand, Rebecca Minkoff.

“Tencent and WeChat’s new travel targeting and advertising solutions provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to directly connect with Chinese travelers, both in China and when they visit the U.S.,” said Kristen Esposito, Simon Property Group Vice President of Tourism and Marketing Alliances. “China is projected to be the largest overseas inbound travel market to the U.S. by 2021, so the potential for growth is truly extraordinary.”

The connection between U.S. brands and China’s social media platforms could produce a lucrative exchange that allows American advertisers to expand their reach beyond U.S. borders.

In terms of the size of China’s social media usage, More than eight in 10 internet users in China, or 626 million people, will access social networks regularly in 2017, according to an eMarketer report this summer.

eMarketer has raised its previous estimates for social network user growth in China by more than 4 percent, mainly because of older users increasingly using homegrown messaging platform WeChat to perform a myriad of tasks that reach far beyond messaging.

For example, 62 percent of internet users ages 55 to 64 in the country will be social network users this year—equating to 28.8 million individuals.

Since its launch in 2011, WeChat has evolved into what eMarketer called a “must-have” app in China. As messaging apps in the U.S. are still slowly expanding into commerce, WeChat has pioneered the format to be used for shopping, food delivery, even booking a doctor’s appointment and paying bills.

“WeChat’s further expansion into the areas of payments, shopping and general utility have proven fruitful for China’s social networking and messaging giant,” said Monica Peart, eMarketer’s senior forecasting director. “And it will only increase the attraction for new mobile users and older users, as WeChat increasingly has something for everyone.”

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Amid Declining Ad Revenues, Twitter Aims To Prove Offline Sales Effectiveness

Twitter’s second quarter earnings last month revealed an interesting disconnect: on the plus side, advertising engagement grew 95 percent compared to the same period the year before; but ad revenue slipped 8 percent.

The competition for the ad dollars not claimed by the digital ad hegemons Facebook and Google is a problem all online publishers have to contend with. But Twitter’s ubiquity as a mainstream social media tool has put a spotlight on its challenges more than most companies, though Snap is starting to feel some heat as well.

eMarketer has forecast Twitter’s ad revenue will grow 1.6 percent this year, to $2.28 billion — driven by almost entirely — 90 percent — from mobile. By being so heavily mobile, the microblog hopes to capitalize on the kinds of micro-moments that have propelled spending on its online rivals.

To help make its case to marketers, Twitter has enlisted analytics partners Foursquare and Nielsen to make its case to brands, particularly when it comes to driving offline foot traffic and sales.

Among the stats Twitter is highlighting involves the sale of mobile devices at telcos’ brick-and-mortar locations.

“For carriers and manufacturers focused on generating in-store foot traffic, Twitter proves to be an effective partner,” Twitter says. “Research shows that Twitter not only drives in-store foot traffic, but it also compels buyers to spend more overall. In fact, people on Twitter are more likely to research a smartphone while in-store compared to those who don’t use Twitter.”

Specifically, Foursquare and Nielsen say that buyers spend 6.8 percent more with mobile wireless carriers after seeing ads on Twitter.

Nielsen and Foursquare’s research also offered analysis of the kinds of people who are more likely to make purchase in brick-and-mortar stores.

Twitter users tend to frequent big-box stores and budget-friendly travel locations, and their tastes include fast-casual food. While that sounds a lot like the general population, it does indicate the connections of when those brands should advertise. For example, in-store shoppers love sports — again, like pretty much everyone else — so brands can activate during major sporting events when people are the most engaged on Twitter.

“On Twitter, people are in a unique discovery mindset,” the report says. “They are curious, leaned in, and looking to learn, be inspired, and act. This means that because users are in the right mindset, people on Twitter are more likely to see and remember ads.

“Competition in the telco industry is fiercer than ever, and marketers need to make their ad dollars work harder,” Foursquare and Nielsen note. “Whether you are looking to drive offline sales, online sales, or both, people on Twitter are especially receptive to ads and motivated to buy. Brands that leverage customer insights to reach different audience segments based on their interests, passions, and behaviors on Twitter will be able to more thoughtfully and creatively reach and win customers.”

Of course, given that Twitter’s rivals recognize the micro-moments and user attention, Twitter will have to make a concerted effort to specifically target the brands who are considering how much to spread finite ad dollars around.

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Pinterest Adds Measurement Partners To Promote Proof Of Brick-And-Mortar Sales Lift

As challenges mount against Pinterest’s dominance on image search for brands, the photo sharing platform has signed up six major measurement providers to help deliver a message to marketers: “Pinners” are heavy shoppers across retail, consumer packaged goods, and other categories typically associated with brick-and-mortar purchases.

Pinterest advertisers can now tap brand lift measurement and related insights from Acxiom, Analytic Partners, IRI, Neustar MarketShare, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, and Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings. These new partners join eight existing measurement partners in Pinterest’s Marketing Partners program.

“People associate Pinterest with taking action,” writes Gunnard Johnson, head of Measurement Science and Insights at Pinterest, in a blog post. “98 percent of Pinners report trying new things they find on Pinterest, compared to an average of only 71 percent across social media platforms. Before they even open the app, they intend to act—and then Pinterest guides them to a confident decision.”

Source: Pinterest

Among the kinds of information Pinterest will be promoting to show off its store traffic and sales lift prowess include this insight from Oracle Data Cloud, which found that people who use Pinterest shop and spend more than the general public.

Looking across a mix of categories, including retail, CPG and automotive, Oracle reported that Pinners are 39 percent more likely to be active retail shoppers—and when they shop, they spend 29 percent more than people who don’t use Pinterest.

“Overall, our average CPG sales lift increased 82 percent in 2016, over 2015 rates,” Johnson wrote. “The Oracle Data Cloud analysis showed that 92 percent of Pinterest CPG campaigns measured drove a positive lift in sales.”

Pinterest has been rolling out a number of features designed to keep pace the aggressive pace of social media marketing tools from Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. In February, it rolled out  a new search function that aims to match discovery to images, not words.

Dubbed Pinterest Lens, “it lets you use the camera in your Pinterest app to discover ideas inspired by objects you see out in the real world,” the company said at the time.

Part of Pinterest’s pitch is that brands “see more than sales lifts—they see strong campaign ROI, too,” Johnson says.

When Analytic Partners studied Pinterest campaigns in the context of total marketing spend, Pinterest delivered $2 in profit for every $1 the advertiser spent on Pinterest.

“That outperformed all other categories, including digital as a whole, TV, and channels like print or out of home,’ Johnson says.

Despite the wider measurement coverage, Pinterest still lacks a dedicated location-based attribution solution that directly links seeing a Pin to store traffic and sales. But as the attribution wars heat up, it’s likely that Pinterest will be adding one sooner than later.

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Social Media Image Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

2017 SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SIZES CHEAT SHEET

Social media platforms are forever changing the image sizes and formats, so to keep you all updated I have re-created the 2016 social media image sizes cheat sheet and updated it to 2017.

The need for strong social media presence has soared in 2016 and will only increase in prominence in 2017. This is why you really need to keep up to speed with your business / brand / personal profiles, and to optimize them with the right images to represent you!

“The 2017 Social Media Image Sizes Guide” below explains to you what the best image sizes are for each social network and the image types to use. Every major social media platform is listed on here so you’re up-to-date with social media platform optimization.

I’ve also added in Ello social media image sizes as well, as I know a few of you guys are starting to use that platform more and more.

Also this graphic displays specific dimensions and we have also added some very quick tips and insights to help you make your mind up on what photo to use on what social media platform.

I hope you find this graphic as useful as the last few I did in 2015 & 2016.

You can still see the social media images sizes cheat sheet for 2016 here.

 

NOT ONLY DO I HAVE ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SIZES LISTED ON A COOL INFOGRAPHIC, BUT I HAVE ALSO CREATED THEM AS PHOTOSHOP TEMPLATES FOR YOU TO USE! EASY OR WHAT! DOWNLOAD MY SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE PSD TEMPLATES FOR FREE!!

 

Good luck people! Get social media image optimizing 🙂 !

Social Media Image Sizes 2017

SHARE THIS INFOGRAPHIC ON YOUR SITE

GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS OPTIMIZED WITH THE RIGHT IMAGE SIZES AND STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. FROM TWITTER AND PINTEREST TO INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK IMAGE SIZES, WE HAVE THE COMPLETE GUIDE RIGHT HERE IN ONE CLEAR INFOGRAPHIC!

With the ever growing need to have a strong social media presence for your business / brand / personal profiles, it’s so important to optimize them with the right images to represent you.

To help you get the most out of your social media profiles, we’ve produced an infographic “The 2017 Social Media Image Sizes Guide” that tells you the best image sizes for each social network and image types; and to make certain that you’re up-to-date with social media platform optimization. This graphic will be constantly updated, so if the networks change their formats, we will be the first to show it in this graphic.

Not only do we list the specific dimensions, we’ve have also added some very quick tips and insights to help you decide what photo to use in what platform.

Along with the mobile revolution, the demand for social networking has probably taken the world by storm!
Whether it is for a business or a brand or a personal profile, there is a growing need to stay active on social media sites.

You are probably reading this article because you are looking for ways to optimise your social media presence.
And you would agree that images have a strong bearing on the way your social media profile is perceived or remembered!

But, with so many social media platforms, how do you remember the various image size optimisation guidelines?

A cool tip is to bookmark this blog post and the related infographic to stay updated with any changes to the social media image size optimisation rules.
In this article, we lay out a 2015 brief guide to social media image sizes or dimensions for the top social media websites.

 

TWITTER IMAGE SIZING TIPS

Profile Photo: 400 x 400 pixels (a maximum 100 KB file size)

It is often said that the “first impression is the last impression”!
Your Twitter profile picture is your main identification mark that will be visible to everyone. It will be visible on your home page, on the Twitter stream of your followers whenever you Tweet and so on.
Since it represents you or your brand, the image should be of the highest quality.

 

Header Photo: 1 500 x 500 pixels (a maximum 10 MB file size)

You can use an eye-catchy, creative image for your high-resolution header photo on your Twitter profile page. As a business, your Twitter page header photo should be in sync with your logo, tagline and brand.
In-stream Photo: 440 x 220 pixels (a maximum 5 MB file size for photos and 3 MB file size for animated gifs)

You can post up to four pictures along with your tweets on this platform. For every in-stream picture, an image link is created which takes up the Twitter character space. You simply need to maintain the 2:1 ratio of the images which can be reduced to a smaller version to effectively fit your follower’s stream.

 

IMAGE SIZING ADVICE FOR FACEBOOK

Cover Photo: 828 x 315 pixels (a preferred maximum file size of 100 KB)
You can edit and add creative images as your cover photo that represents you or your business in the correct sense. Try to maintain a minimum size of about 399 x 150 pixels.

Profile Picture: 180 x 180 pixels
Unlike the cover photo, which only appears on your Facebook page, your Facebook profile picture will be seen on your page, on posts where you comment, on the timelines of others where you post messages, in search results of

Facebook’s Open Graph and so on.
In short, it represents you at most places on the largest social networking platform.

Shared Image: 1 200 x 630 pixels
You can engage your friends or business followers in meaningful conversations by sharing useful images on your Facebook timeline. These will appear in the news feeds of your friends and followers. Check this post for more information on image sizes for Facebook

 

IMAGE SIZING GUIDELINES FOR GOOGLE+

Profile Image: 250 x 250 pixels
Again, this picture will be your identity across the Google+ network. Even though the dimensions are for a square image, your Google+ profile picture appears as a circle.
So, you need to take special care of how your image looks without the important parts being cut out.
Cover Picture: 1 080 x 608 pixels
You can use a large picture representing your brand, logo and business tagline as your Google+ cover image.
Shared Image: 497 x 373 pixels
You can share images on your Google+ posts and indicate the specific “circles” with whom you want to share the image and for whom it may be more relevant. Remember, such images (along with the associated text) are likely to turn up in the Google search engine for search queries related to your posts or business.

 

INSTAGRAM IMAGE SIZING RULES

Profile Picture: 110 x 110 pixels
Photo Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
Photo Thumbnails: 161 x 161 pixels
For all types of Instagram images, you need to maintain an aspect ratio of 1:1. So, all your images will appear in square dimensions. You need to take special care with the image quality because limited text content is shared on this platform. It is more about the pictures and visuals!

 

RECOMMENDED IMAGE SIZES FOR PINTEREST

Profile Picture: 165 x 165 pixels
A Pinterest profile picture may not be as important as that of Facebook or Twitter profile pictures. However, you still need to use a nice one. After all, anyone who arrives at your board or pins through the keyword search will probably have a look at your profile too.
Board Display Image: 222 x 150 pixels
Use eye-catchy images for posting on the relevant Pinterest boards.
Pin Sizes: a width of 238 pixels (with scaled height)
Though these are the dimensions for your Pinterest pins, expanded pins will have a minimum width of 600 pixels. You can post larger images (as only the width is fixed, while the length can be scaled further up) for better engagement and more re-pins or likes.

 

OPTIMISATION RULES FOR TUMBLR IMAGE SIZES

Profile Image: 128 x 128 pixels
You can use a good looking square profile picture that visually represents you or your business on Tumblr. It will appear on your profile page, next to the button to “follow” you when someone lands on your page and as thumbnails next to your posts in your follower’s feeds.
Image Posts: 500 x 750 pixels
You can post images with up to 10 MB file sizes (except for animated gifs which should not be more than 1 MB). You can thus upload really high-quality pictures for your Tumblr posts.

 

YOUTUBE IMAGE SIZING GUIDELINES

Channel Cover Picture: 2560 x 1440 pixels (for desktop), 1855 x 423 pixels (for tablets), 1546 x 423 pixels (for smartphones), and 2560 x 1440 pixels (for TV)

The sizes are optimised for the different platforms as YouTube videos are often streamed using any of the above mentioned platforms. Also, the video channel cover image should tell your viewers more about the kind of videos that they will probably be able to view on your channel.

Video Uploads: 1 280 x 760 pixels

You know that YouTube is a video sharing site and not an image sharing one. So, you need to maintain this resolution (about 16:9 aspect ratio) for the videos that you upload.

 

IMAGE SIZE OPTIMISATION FOR LINKEDIN

Background image: 1400 x 425
Standard Logo: 400 x 400 pixels
Profile image: 400 x 400 pixels
Career Cover Picture: 974 x 330 pixels
Banner Image: 646 x 220 pixels
Square logo: 60 x 60 pixels

 

IMAGE SIZE OPTIMISATION FOR ELLO

Banner image: 2560 x 1440 pixels
Profile image:360 x 360 pixels

 

For this professional social networking platform, you should make sure that all your images are embedded with text to add more contexts.

Also, make sure that you use creativity to showcase the most relevant things about your business and brand in the banner image as well as in your cover image.

It is bound to get you connected and engaged with more professionals. Even from a personal profile perspective, you can leverage the most out of this platform by having creative images to make professionals sit up and take notice.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act – What is It? Why it Matters?

 

The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 – New consumer protection legislation passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

While it seems everyone is running around Capitol Hill screaming “The Sky is Falling!” our elected officials have been working hard to get some things done before the new President takes over.  It was hardly the big political headline of December, but the House and the Senate recently passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act to protect the right of the consumer to make honest reviews of businesses, even if that feedback is negative.

law-consumer-reviews-actSource: NationalLatinoNetwork.org

New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance, Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, spearheaded this legislation.  His press release for the signing of the Consumer Review Fairness Act discussed the high value of reviews and the importance of protecting consumers while still allowing companies to remove false and defamatory reviews:

“This law is about protecting consumers posting honest feedback online.  Online reviews and ratings are critical in the 21st Century and consumers should be able to post, comment and tweet their honest and accurate feedback without fear of retribution.  Too many companies are burying non-disparagement clauses in fine print and going after consumers when they post negative feedback online.  This will now end.”

The press release also reinforces that crowdsourced reviews of local businesses and services are a powerful informational tool and that it is important to maintain the integrity of reviews to protect consumers.

Why do we need a Consumer Review Fairness Act?

Businesses are overwhelmingly aware of the importance of five-star customer reviews and their influence over consumer purchasing decisions. Some of the more ruthless companies have gone so far as to include gag orders or non-disparagement clauses in the terms and conditions on their websites.

A typical clause explains that you are not allowed to make negative comments about a business on social media or review sites or risk fines or lawsuits. You read T&C statements on the contracts and websites of companies you visit, work with, and buy from before leaving a review or making a comment online, right? Of course not!

Customers have been leaving reviews, unaware that they could be penalized for writing a bad review or writing negative posts on social media.  In the “fine print” you may find that your contractor had you sign that you would never make a written or verbal disparaging remark about their business or face a fine.  A bad review on the sloppy work of your carpet cleaner could land you a lawsuit.  The Consumer Review Fairness Act was written to protect consumers from penalties for sharing their honest opinions.

What is the Consumer Review Fairness Act?

Introduced in April, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 was passed in the House in September and passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on November 28.  Signed by US House Speaker Paul Ryan and Congressman Leonard Lance, it is now in the office of the President of the United States.

Here is a snippet from the Congressional summary of the Consumer Review Fairness Act:

consumer-review-fairness-act-summarySource: Congress.gov

How does the Consumer Review Fairness Act affect your business?

It’s not called the “Protect Business From Bad Reviews Act” so you might be worried that protecting the consumer might in some way hurt your business.  However, there is no need to worry about restrictions on businesses.  Unless you are one of those shifty businesses who like to sue customers for bad reviews, the Consumer Review Fairness Act won’t directly affect how you do business. What it does do is even the playing field, so all business will have to earn their five-star rating the right way – with great products and customer service.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act voids non-disparagement clauses in contracts and terms and conditions statements.  That means business will no longer be able to penalize customers for negative reviews.  If they do, they will have to deal with the Federal Trade Commission.

Review sites such as Yelp are already onboard.  Fewer lawsuits is good business for them, especially when they are usually stuck in the middle of a fight between a business and a customer.  They’ve gone so far as to issue Consumer Alerts boldly above the fold of business listings which are known to sue customers for reviews.

yelp-consumer-review-fairness-actSource: Yelp.com

Build and Manage a Genuine Five-Star Reputation

Gathering feedback and posting positive reviews online has many benefits for all businesses.  Online reputation management actively establishes your credibility as a reliable business and gives your company a competitive edge over others in your industry and in your local area.  It helps you position your business as the first and best choice when customers are researching online before making a decision where to spend their money.

Use reputation management services like Reputation Loop to save precious time, gather more five-star reviews, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your reputation marketing is automated and handled at every level. Your customers are being asked for their feedback, you are notified of dissatisfied customers before they get to review sites, and the best reviews are being promoted on the review sites and social networks that matter most to your business in an almost hands-free automated process.

You can learn more about online reputation management and steps you can take to better position your business by checking out our services at MyFeed.

myfeed_logo

 

Free Demo RepLoop

Facebook Has Totally Labeled You

shutterstock_111781289

Want to See What Political Party Facebook Thinks You’ll Be Voting For?

As a marketer, I’m often confronted with the task of targeting an audience on Facebook to run ads.  Everyone wants to know where this data comes from.  Zuck and the Facebook Friends are constantly collecting data to better serve up ads and in this data there is even an inference about how liberal, moderate, or conservative you might be.

Logged into your Facebook account on a desktop, head to this page. Here, you’ll see “ad preferences,” divided up by interest category like News and Entertainment, Business and Industry, People, etc. These include both specific pages you’ve liked and broader categories of things Facebook thinks you’re into based on every click, scroll, and hover you’ve made in your Newsfeed.  Scary.

Click on the Lifestyle and Culture tab, and look for the box labeled US Politics (you may need to click “More” if it doesn’t show up on the first page). Are you the Very Liberal, Moderate, or Conservative it’s ascribed you to be? Even if you’ve never liked a particular candidate’s page, or even a politically charged post of any sort, Facebook tries to predict your personal feelings by gauging the self-professed political identities of people who like the same pages that you do, and lumping you in with them with pure imagination.

Now Please Enjoy These Willy Wonka Facebook Political Memes

59f49f3795f16cdd7a54649b013f60c5fc28c5fdf95dd7d6fb3eb394d8cb275b Facebook+4+sick+of+facebook+politics_0a3185_4171247 17743437 e0d69559f7a0de299863ddd0148a197d00dec48a8495b0079c5608b21d97647f you-like-to-post-politics-on-facebook-tell-me-more-about-how-many-friends-just-love

 

 

Facebook organic reach drop steepens to 52% for publishers’ Pages

While on average publishers’ organic reach on Facebook has fallen by 52% in 2016, video and a lower reliance on Facebook has neutralized the pain for some.

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Publishers’ organic reach on Facebook continues to plummet, but some have found a parachute.

This year, the number of people seeing the average post published on a publisher’s Facebook Page has been cut in half. From January 2016 through mid-July 2016, publishers’ Facebook Pages have experienced a 52-percent decline in organic reach, according to social publishing tool SocialFlow. That stat is based on the company’s analysis of roughly 300 media companies that use its tool to manage their Facebook Pages, which include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast and Time Inc.

The stat shows not only how tough things are for publishers on Facebook, but also that things have gotten tougher — even before Facebook’s latest news feedalgorithm tweak takes effect. The 52-percent decline is 10 percentage points more than the 42-percent organic reach decline that SocialFlow reported publishers had experienced between January 2016 and May 2016.

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“[With] an increasing amount of content and a finite amount of consumer attention, arithmetically there’s no other possible outcome than each individual post on average is going to get less reach,” said SocialFlow CEO Jim Anderson.

For publishers, that will likely become even more true in the wake of Facebook’s algorithm change in late June. To recenter people’s feeds around their friends and family members, Facebook announced that it would make Pages’ organic reach more dependent on people sharing their posts than a Page post directly appearing in someone’s feed. That rollout began in late June and is pretty much complete, according to a Facebook spokesperson who declined to comment on SocialFlow’s report. It’s unclear how much impact the algorithm change would have had on SocialFlow’s data; the Facebook spokesperson said the general impact for Pages should be small.

What’s more clear is how publishers are able to adapt to, if not avoid, the decline in organic reach. When it comes to the content they post to Facebook, video appears to be something of a lifesaver. It also helps to not be overly dependent on Facebook for distribution.

Not all publishers have seen their organic reach on Facebook decline. PopSugar and Thrillist Media Group have seen their organic reach actually increase this year. A major reason why: video.

Since adding autoplay video in September 2013, Facebook has been obvious about its love for video.

 

Facebook has made its news feed algorithm more mindful of video, added public view counts to make people more mindful of how popular video is on Facebook, and its execs have even predicted that Facebook “will be probably all video” in five years.

That video push has come at the expense of other post types, like links to publishers’ sites. “Organic reach on link posts is coming down, for sure,” said Thrillist Media Group president Eric Ashman. “There’s no doubt that Facebook has made a conscious decision in that respect. When we publish link posts, organic reach versus a year ago is certainly lower. It’s noticeably less.”

At the same time as link posts’ organic reach has declined, publishers like Thrillist and PopSugar are pushing out more video posts, which have not only mitigated but more than made up the link-specific reach declines.

“Our reach has gone up a ton. I do think video has been a massive part of that,” said Ashman.

“People like PopSugar are playing to the strengths of what Facebook is prioritizing. We’ve seen an increase in organic reach from January [2016] to July [2016] of about 10 percent,” said PopSugar Senior VP of Product Marketing Chris George.

These publishers are benefitting from the fact that people on Facebook appear to be more willing to share, like and comment on video posts than any other Page post type.

“Video is the type of post that performs best by far. Video comprised about one percent of posts in the data we analyzed; we take about 1.5 million posts over the course of the month. But those posts generated eight times the reach and 12 times the shares when compared to other types of posts,” Anderson said.

On average, PopSugar generated 17 percent more engagements with its Page posts per day in July than it had in January. “Video is certainly a driver of that,” George said.

When we pull data from NewsWhip last month on publishers’ most-shared post types on Facebook, video posts eclipsed link posts and photo posts. That’s especially important in light of the June algorithm change that prioritizes share counts for organic reach.

But publishers aren’t going all-in on video and expecting that their organic reach on Facebook will climb forever upward. In addition to SocialFlow’s stat that only one percent of the examined posts were video, execs at Bustle, PopSugar and Thrillist all said that video remains a minor share of the posts they’re pushing on Facebook.

“Video has certainly grown as a share. It’s still less than a third of the posts due to the overall volume, but that share has probably doubled over the past year,” said George.

“If you look at our daily feed, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 percent to 40 percent could be video, depending on the day,” said Ashman.

For the same reason that publishers can’t count on video alone to be their saving grace on Facebook, they can’t count on Facebook alone as a distribution stream. And the publishers who haven’t been hit as hard, or at all, when it comes to organic reach on Facebook are less reliant on the social network.

“Only about a third of our traffic comes from social distribution in the first place. About a third of our traffic onto Thrillist.com comes from search and a third of our traffic comes direct,” said Ashman.

Bustle’s organic reach on Facebook in July 2016 was 13 percent lower than its average for the year — partially skewed by record reach in January — but only a third of its traffic comes from Facebook. So the reach dip hurts, but not fatally.

“We have never really been fully dependent on Facebook,” said Francis Thai, VP of marketing and audience development at Bustle. “We do extremely well in organic search. So even if Facebook reach is down, it’s not as big of a hit.”

While on average publishers’ organic reach on Facebook has fallen by 52% in 2016, video and a lower reliance on Facebook has neutralized the pain for some.This isn’t that much of a shock. Facebook has been systematically cutting back Pages’ organic reach for years, most notably with brands and most recently with publishers. The reason is simple: Individuals and Pages are pushing a lot of posts into people’s news feeds, so Facebook’s news-feed algorithm has needed to get proportionally more stringent about picking out the posts that someone would most like to see and that would most likely keep them coming back to check Facebook regularly.

 

Hello, I’m Addicted to Cinemagraphs

It’s no secret I’ve been a long time supporter of the almighty animated GIF to punch up a post or email.  I’ve found myself in many debates whether the GIF has a place in a video fed social society and it wasn’t always an easy position to take an advocate stance. These days I always fall back on advertising uses and measured clicks against static images.  But most of the haters don’t realize how far these obnoxious, blinky images have come since you followed emo bands on MySpace.

 

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This is what most associate with an animated GIF.  Not very sophisticated but Cory Arcangel‘s Super Mario Clouds is one of the most iconic animated GIFs today.  These clouds come from Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers game, and relate to Arcangel’s early work hacking Nintendo games. Like many GIFs, this one is best viewed when tiled; a seamless page full of clouds is far more visually appealing than an isolated cube. Either way, the simple beauty of this sky paired with a now-dim nostalgic memory makes this GIF extremely effective.

The Cinemagraph

It was this simple art that paved the way for the next digital renaissance.  Enter the Cinemagraph.  An artful blend of animation and still photography worthy of our clicks, views, likes and shares.  Inventors Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck have possibly launched the next huge fad in social and web advertising.  These images will no doubt stop you mid scroll and have already proved to be formidable campaigns in fashion, travel, and lifestyle media companies.  This Instagram campaign for Stuart Weitzman amassed over 1,600 comments and 60,000 likes from fans.
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Make Your Own

If this medium has got your inner creative jumping, you can get your next Cinemagraph ad campaign going by making your own with Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro for Mac.  In fact, you can get the free trial and get started today.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our greatest talents in art and design.  I’m excited to share what we create for the luxury real estate market soon!

 

 

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