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3 Articles To Make You Question Facebook’s Branding Strategy

Facebook Branding Questions

Question: What one or two words come to mind when you think about Facebook as a brand?  Just think about that for a moment.

Sure, we all know that Facebook is a giant.  We know that people spend more time on Facebook than any other site.  We know that it’s a necessary part of any social media marketing strategy and a great way to reach our potential customers.  But is Facebook getting away from what it does best – connecting people?

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve read 3 articles that make me wonder about Facebook’s branding strategy.  As a marketing professional, I’d be curious to know what Facebook’s branding strategy looks like big picture and if it’s in line with the way users perceive the site.  These 3 articles will explain what I mean by that…

1. Facebook Did What?  Really?

Did you know Facebook recently did a psychological experiment on over 600,000 of its users without them knowing?  Odds are you didn’t know unless you read this article about it.  Sure, Facebook has done some things in the past to raise some red flags, but from a marketing viewpoint this one really makes people lose trust in the brand.  So what did they do?  Well with one group of people they displayed a much higher than normal amount of negative updates in their news feed.  As you might guess, the other group of people got a larger than normal amount of only positive updates.  In essence, they played with people’s emotions without them knowing it was going on.

A lot of people spend a ton of time on Facebook with many of them being affected either consciously or subconsciously by what they see on the social network.  How do you think these people felt after finding out they might have been part of this experiment?  Where does this fit in with Facebook’s marketing plan?

One viewpoint is that Facebook is a free site and yes, these people did agree to the terms by signing up and using Facebook that allows things like this to legally happen.  But, there’s still something to be said about how people perceive Facebook as a brand because of things like this.  If Facebook eventually becomes a smaller piece of a good social media marketing strategy, will things like this make people finally decide enough is enough?

Need to take a closer look at your branding strategy?  Contact Focal Point today!

2. Is Facebook Getting Away from Its Original Brand?

Paid Social media marketing is highly effective and I’ve seen Facebook greatly improve its ads over the past couple of years.  But does introducing so many advertisements alienate the person who just wants to use Facebook to stay in touch with family?  Does the need to make money as a publicly traded company prove to be a frustrating user experience in the long run?

Facebook used to be about connecting people to people.  Now it’s much more about connecting brands to current and potential customers. To a certain extent, the “human” aspect might be disappearing.  I recently read this article about a guy who liked every single post he saw on Facebook for 48 hours (Note: Apparently “liking” everything resulted  in a few choice words, but it’s still worth the read).  Soon his entire newsfeed became all about advertising and business.  The human element had almost disappeared, completely.  That’s pretty wild when you really stop to think out it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing for businesses to target customers by using highly effective data that’s shared via Facebook.  What I am saying is that a lot of Facebook users who aren’t on the site for business don’t want that and feel they’ve been a victim of the old bait and switch.

3. Facebook Messenger App Update.  No Big Deal, Right?

The Facebook Messenger feature has changed over the last couple of years quite a bit.  In fact, I’ve seen some customers prefer using this over email.  Very similar to how Twitter can be, sometimes it’s easier to get in touch via social media vs. fighting the never ending email battle (you all know what I’m talking about).  Recently however, I saw several marketing professionals resist upgrading to the new Facebook Messenger app until they were absolutely forced to do so.

A lot has been written about this and there are still several myths out there about what exactly this means to users.  The thing I found interesting is that the reason most people resisted is that they felt forced to do this update and they were concerned about their privacy being violated.  It seems people initially avoid change for a long as possible when it comes to Facebook and, in general, don’t really have trust in the brand that their info will be safe.  From a recent Huffington Post article:

“A quick look at these permissions (Facebook Messenger) reveals it can indeed access your entire address book, send SMS messages, record photos or videos using your camera, know your location at all times, access the Internet when it wants, and a slew of other pretty creeptastic things.”

After looking into it further, people are mostly getting stirred up about these 5 Facebook myths and in most cases Facebook Messenger is less invasive than the native Facebook app itself.

Facebook Messenger

What Does Facebook’s Branding Strategy Have To Do With Your Business?
These are 3 simple reminders that the importance of having a clear branding strategy in place at your business cannot be overlooked. I wanted to share these examples with you to suggest that it’s possible for even the largest of brands to lose touch with their users/customers over time.  Remember, the reality of your business branding strategy isn’t how you want to be perceived, but how your business is actually perceived by your audience.

At the end of the day, Facebook is still a vital part of an effective social media marketing strategy.  That being said, it’s examples like these that may one day cause this giant to fall.  So, let me ask you again after reading this – what one or two words come to mind when you think of Facebook as a brand?  Share in the comments below!

Need Help With Your Branding Strategy?
Let’s make sure your brand message is clear.  Read more about how our team can help you develop a clear brand identity.

2 Must-Haves for Every 2016 Online Marketing Plan

It’s never too early to write a blog post predicting the keys to a successful online marketing plan for the following year.   After all, the hope is that readers like you will get the message and start taking action now.  Well, I’m here to fill you in on the 2 online marketing plan must-haves that are going to make or break your success in 2016.

 

Before we get started, let me just say that these are two trends that many online marketers saw coming but were still overwhelmed by how fast they happened.  Let me also say that your online marketing plan and marketing strategy needs to include these things because they are not going away.  They will only continue to become more apparent.

1. Multi-Device Consistency and Compatibility

Is your brand represented well on every device?  Businesses who aren’t thinking about this question are getting blindsided everyday when they realize that 30% 40% of their website traffic is coming from smartphones.  And another 8% – 10% from tablets .  All at once they realize that beautiful website design isn’t exactly user friendly for the majority of their potential customers.

We live in a multi-device world.  We watch TV with our iPhone in hand.  We regularly switch from PC to tablet throughout the day.  If a potential customer views your site from their desktop at work, gets distracted and comes back later that night from a smartphone – will the experience be consistent?  It’s no longer a choice.  Responsive website design is here to stay and the customer experience MUST be consistent or sales and leads will be lost.  End of story.

Statistics from a Marketingland.com report:
“Mobile web traffic has grown 50 percent over the past year and now represents more than 25 percent of all internet visits according to a study by Wpromote. The company looked at traffic to 35 of its client sites, including e-tailers, B2B industries and consumer services.

Consumer services was the category with the highest percentage of mobile traffic at 33 percent. B2B sites had the lowest percentage of mobile traffic at 16 percent.

Source: Wpromote

With a much larger sample of sites, StatCounter shows a higher aggregate percentage of mobile traffic in the US market:

  • Desktop: 68.8 percent
  • Smartphone/mobile: 21.4 percent
  • Tablet: 8.7 percent

Recently I was told by mattress retailer Sleep Train that roughly 40 percent of its traffic now comes from mobile devices. This is also true for sites that offer real-world or “local” information (e.g., Yelp, YP). These sites are seeing traffic north of 40 percent from smartphones and tablets.”

Who is doing responsive website design well?
Take a look at WeAreIU.com.  It’s a website all about helping Indiana University upcoming freshmen prepare for the college experience. The majority of the content is written by students, for students.  The mobile version of the site features a condensed menu with the “Must Reads” front and center using large text that makes it easily clickable.  The content is the start on this website and they make the best stuff easy to find.

WeAreIU

Make Your Website Look Great on Smartphones

Ready to talk about a responsive website design for your business?  Get in touch with Focal Point here to chat.

2. Visual Approach to Social Media Marketing

I don’t need to cover the importance of social media marketing.  By now, you’ve heard it a million times and you get it.  But what I can tell you is that social media marketing skills are going to become like Microsoft Office skills – every new hire is going to need to have them.  It’s just that important.  The other thing that I can tell you is that having a visual marketing strategy for your business is going to be the most critical thing to your success on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

These social media sites continue to make changes that put more and more emphasis on images and videos.  This isn’t going to change anytime soon.  Facebook continues to increase the size of images in its news feed.  Twitter recently made changes to the way its images are displayed, added filters, etc.  Google Plus allows its users to show off their photography skills like never before.  Instagram continues to grow in popularity along with Pinterest.  Is your company adapting to these changes?  Are you using video and images to tell your story?

Stats about Visual Content Marketing:
Hubspot put out an article about the effectiveness of using images and videos in content marketing entitled 19 Reasons You Should Include Visual Content in Your Marketing [Data] back in 2012 (hint hint – you should be doing these things by now) and the trends mentioned have only become more true today.  Here are a few of my favorite points:

15) Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. (Source: MarketingSherpa16) Mobile video viewing increased 35% from 2010 to 2011. (Source:Nielsen)

17) 25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day. (Sources: Ooyala and Ipsos)

18) Mobile video subscription is expected to hit $16 billion in revenue by 2014, with over 500 million subscribers. (Source: Ooyala)

19) Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. (Source: Internet Retailer)


Who is using visual social media marketing well?
Remember Dollar Shave Club?  They’re the ones who had to wildly popular video that went viral back in 2012 (go here for a reminder).  Well, they’re still at it and doing a great job with their social media marketing strategy.  Take a look at the example below.  Simple.  Funny.  Best yet, it gets interaction and drives sales.  This one FB post had 276 likes, 44 comments and 25 shares.  Not bad for a post about razor blades!

Dollar Shave Club

Ready to talk about your visual content marketing?

Focal Point can help you share your story through the use of stunning photography and video that can be incorporated into your social media marketing strategy.  Contact us today to talk about your visual online marketing strategy!

2 Must-Haves for Every 2015 Online Marketing Plan

It’s never too early to write a blog post predicting the keys to a successful online marketing plan for the following year.   After all, the hope is that readers like you will get the message and start taking action now.  Well, I’m here to fill you in on the 2 online marketing plan must-haves that are going to make or break your success in 2015.

2015 Online Marketing Predictions

Before we get started, let me just say that these are two trends that many online marketers saw coming but were still overwhelmed by how fast they happened.  Let me also say that your online marketing plan and marketing strategy needs to include these things because they are not going away.  They will only continue to become more apparent.

1. Multi-Device Consistency and Compatibility

Is your brand represented well on every device?  Businesses who aren’t thinking about this question are getting blindsided everyday when they realize that 30% 40% of their website traffic is coming from smartphones.  And another 8% – 10% from tablets .  All at once they realize that beautiful website design isn’t exactly user friendly for the majority of their potential customers.

We live in a multi-device world.  We watch TV with our iPhone in hand.  We regularly switch from PC to tablet throughout the day.  If a potential customer views your site from their desktop at work, gets distracted and comes back later that night from a smartphone – will the experience be consistent?  It’s no longer a choice.  Responsive website design is here to stay and the customer experience MUST be consistent or sales and leads will be lost.  End of story.

Statistics from a recent Marketingland.com report:
“Mobile web traffic has grown 50 percent over the past year and now represents more than 25 percent of all internet visits according to a study by Wpromote. The company looked at traffic to 35 of its client sites, including e-tailers, B2B industries and consumer services.

Consumer services was the category with the highest percentage of mobile traffic at 33 percent. B2B sites had the lowest percentage of mobile traffic at 16 percent.

Source: Wpromote

With a much larger sample of sites, StatCounter shows a higher aggregate percentage of mobile traffic in the US market:

  • Desktop: 68.8 percent
  • Smartphone/mobile: 21.4 percent
  • Tablet: 8.7 percent

Recently I was told by mattress retailer Sleep Train that roughly 40 percent of its traffic now comes from mobile devices. This is also true for sites that offer real-world or “local” information (e.g., Yelp, YP). These sites are seeing traffic north of 40 percent from smartphones and tablets.”

Who is doing responsive website design well?
Take a look at WeAreIU.com.  It’s a website all about helping Indiana University upcoming freshmen prepare for the college experience. The majority of the content is written by students, for students.  The mobile version of the site features a condensed menu with the “Must Reads” front and center using large text that makes it easily clickable.  The content is the start on this website and they make the best stuff easy to find.

WeAreIU

Make Your Website Look Great on Smartphones

Ready to talk about a responsive website design for your business?  Get in touch with Focal Point here to chat.

2. Visual Approach to Social Media Marketing

I don’t need to cover the importance of social media marketing.  By now, you’ve heard it a million times and you get it.  But what I can tell you is that social media marketing skills are going to become like Microsoft Office skills – every new hire is going to need to have them.  It’s just that important.  The other thing that I can tell you is that having a visual marketing strategy for your business is going to be the most critical thing to your success on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

These social media sites continue to make changes that put more and more emphasis on images and videos.  This isn’t going to change anytime soon.  Facebook continues to increase the size of images in its news feed.  Twitter recently made changes to the way its images are displayed, added filters, etc.  Google Plus allows its users to show off their photography skills like never before.  Instagram continues to grow in popularity along with Pinterest.  Is your company adapting to these changes?  Are you using video and images to tell your story?

Stats about Visual Content Marketing:
Hubspot put out an article about the effectiveness of using images and videos in content marketing entitled 19 Reasons You Should Include Visual Content in Your Marketing [Data] back in 2012 (hint hint – you should be doing these things by now) and the trends mentioned have only become more true today.  Here are a few of my favorite points:

15) Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. (Source: MarketingSherpa16) Mobile video viewing increased 35% from 2010 to 2011. (Source:Nielsen)

17) 25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day. (Sources: Ooyala and Ipsos)

18) Mobile video subscription is expected to hit $16 billion in revenue by 2014, with over 500 million subscribers. (Source: Ooyala)

19) Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. (Source: Internet Retailer)


Who is using visual social media marketing well?
Remember Dollar Shave Club?  They’re the ones who had to wildly popular video that went viral back in 2012 (go here for a reminder).  Well, they’re still at it and doing a great job with their social media marketing strategy.  Take a look at the example below.  Simple.  Funny.  Best yet, it gets interaction and drives sales.  This one FB post had 276 likes, 44 comments and 25 shares.  Not bad for a post about razor blades!

Dollar Shave Club

Ready to talk about your visual content marketing?

Focal Point can help you share your story through the use of stunning photography and video that can be incorporated into your social media marketing strategy.  Contact us today to talk about your visual online marketing strategy!

Digital Cinema Quality, Affordable Rates for HD Video Production

Have you ever noticed how some HD video production looks a lot like film?  They’ve got a softness or smoothness to them, a different depth of field and well, they’ve just plain got a high-end look.

Digital Cinema is the buzz of this video industry these days.  It used to be that clients who wanted the best quality products would turn to film – which is both time-consuming and expensive to shoot, edit and produce.  But now, with digital cinema, you can get similar results for a fraction of the cost.

HD Video Production

When it comes to video production, there are varying levels of quality – everything from home-grown look to high end and well produced – and now, there’s digital cinema.  Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to produce high-resolution, cinema quality motion images, but without the use of conventional film.

You may have heard of the HDSLR or the RED cameras – those are a few of the biggies in digital cinema, with marketing materials that include words like “revolutionary” and “game changing.”  It’s a whole different approach to video production – some even say it’s the true “high definition” where HDTV is the really “low definition.”

The biggest difference is the depth of field.  When shooting with digital cinema, cinematographers have a much greater control over the depth of field – producing images with soft backgrounds like what you’ll see in a movie theatre.  It’s all about the sensor.  35mm has a much larger sensor than a standard video camera, and digital cinema utilizes the same size sensor as 35mm film.

The work flow is different, too.  Video cameras allows us to zoom in and out, pan left to right and other things.  Digital cinema is different in that there’s no zoom. The camera is physically moved either by hand held or using a dolly, jib or steadi-cam to create this effect.  Dolly, Jib and Steadi-cam moves help create stylish, cinematic images and add an instant level of class to the production…giving the production that WOW factor.  Plus, the audio and video are recorded separately with most digital cinema style cameras.  Video is captured by the camera and audio is captured separately, then they’re synced up during the post production process.  This allows for better audio quality and more flexibility in capturing sound – for example, the camera can be 50 feet away from a subject and the audio technician is up close to the action to capture the best sound.  More flexibility makes for a better end result.

All in all, digital cinema provides clients with another option.  It’s not the answer for every scenario – every project and budget is different and many require different approaches.  Most quality production companies have a variety of camera packages to meet each client’s own need.  Digital cinema is the latest and greatest on the market and is becoming more widely used.  Hence, the buzz.

Transitions In UX Design

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Portugal summer gallery

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi.

Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.