August 2016 Social Media Updates

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:


  • Facebook released Q4 resultsKey data includes 1.7 Billion Facebook users, 1 billion What’s App users, 1 billion Messenger users and 500 million Instagram users.
  • New Features for SlideShow ads – Facebook enhanced slideshow ads – you can now add text and music, create them on-the-go from your phone and use Facebook stock images in your ads. This should all make it easier to use slideshow ads.
  • New look and layout for Facebook Pages – That is right! Pages got a Facelift! Facebook believes that this makes Pages easier to navigate — be sure to check your images to make sure that your Page still looks great in the new layout.
  • Facebook updates user ad preferences Giving you more control over the ads that you see – they also want to eliminate ad-blocking software by helping people to see ads that are relevant and helpful to them.
  • Facebook launches new tools for 360 video creationThis includes allowing you to highlight content in the video and also heatmaps that show you the parts of the video that generate the most attention.
  • Audience and engagement metrics now available for Facebook video – This means that you can now better understand your audience and how they react to your video. This data should help marketers improve and refine their videos over time.
  • Facebook ads shopping and services features to Pages Before you get too excited, want and see if people actually use them. Facebook has a long history of commerce features that just seem to miss the mark with users.


  • Instagram launches Stories – Considered a “copycat” move (copying SnapChat) Instagram announced stories – which essentially is a slide show of content from the last 24 hours that is only available for 24 hours. Brands have already started creating and sharing stories to connect with customers.
  • Instagram uses an Algorithm to sort Stories Similar to the Instagram and Facebook newsfeeds, stories are sorted based on a variety of factors linked to user preferences to show you the stories you are most likely to be interested in first.
  • Instagram Stories vs. SnapChat Stories – Want to understand the difference between the two? Check out this article for details. The bottom line though is to focus where your AUDIENCE is and where they want to engage vs. getting caught up in the technology.



  • Twitter launches searchable stickers Twitter stickers allows you to add a sticker onto a post – BONUS – stickers are now searchable so you can find all the photos with scuba masks 😉
  • New ads manager Makes it easier to manage ads on Twitter.
  • Twitter announces promoted stickers This is only available for those with actively managed ad accounts, but it is an interesting feature – brands can create and promote their own stickers that users can add to their photos.
  • Twitter Launches Direct Message Button for Websites You can now send direct messages from your website – add the “direct message” button and users can instantly send you direct messages directly from your website. I would only add this if you actively use Twitter for customer service – be sure you monitor messages and respond quickly if you opt to use this.
  • Twitter tries to grab attention with an Instant Unlock Card – This may be interesting as it allows users to instantly unlock content which may drive higher brand engagement with Tweets. Note that this is only available for ads.


  • LinkedIn Content is Now Searchable LinkedIn content can now be searched – making it easier to find what you want. This also signals the continued effort by LinkedIn to focus on the content platform and become the place to find business relevant news.
  • Linkedin Announces Influencer Videos – Have you noticed videos on LinkedIn? Have you wanted to create some? You probably can’t. LinkedIn announced a new video platform, but it is only available to a handful of influencers.

Other Networks

  • Tumblr announces adsContent creators can run ads on their Tumblr accounts and make some $$. This type of a revenue sharing program is similar to YouTube and other creator networks. Now you can make $$ from your Tumblr.
  • Reddit Announces adsReddit announced a new type of ad format allowing for advertisers to choose to sponsor organic posts. The approach is interesting – essentially brands must look for natural posts that they want to pay to promote and the creator of the post must grant permission.
  • Pokemon Go for your businesses There are TONS of posts about how businesses can leverage Pokemon Go… the reality is that this game is still relatively new, and the opportunity to actually MARKET your business to players is questionable. If you have a local business, it may be work playing with (see what I did there?).

Other News

  • FTC Tightens Disclosure Rules – If you work with influencers (or if you are paid by brands to promote products) you’ll need to pay attention to new disclosure requirements. Simple hashtags may not be enough any more. Read all the details about the new requirements.

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July 2016 Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:



  • Get the down low on setting up your business account and using analytics – Last month we discussed new Instagram business profiles – they were hot off the press and we didn’t have all of the details on them. Check out this great post for more details on how to access and take advantage of business profiles.
  • Instagram allows businesses to moderate comments – As expected, Instagram will continue to roll out business features to entice businesses to switch to business accounts. The latest is comment moderation available for business accounts – this is a great way to combat all of the SPAM comments that are becoming commonplace on Instagram.



  • Pinterest adds functionality around Buyable Pins – Pinterest is one of the best sites at driving purchases – new features allow you to add products from multiple merchants into one bag. If you have e-commerce you need to pay attention to this. They also announced new search and merchant profiles.



  • 3 new features – tweet embeds, replay highlights and live autoplay – Periscope continues to grow their functionality in an effort to beat Facebook and  YouTube in the live streaming space. Highlights automatically creates a trailer for Periscopes. Periscopes can be played by embedding Tweets making them more accessible online. Broadcasts will autoplay on the Android app when you login.

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Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:


  • Facebook Live Supports Continuous Non-Stop Broadcasting – This means that you can broadcast long-format non-stop events. The downside is that this feature doesn’t record for people to view it later.
  • Facebook Launches Creative Hub – Where marketers can share and collaborate around advertising best practices. Share your email to get in first.
  • Facebook Live Includes Maps – Facebook Live now shows maps – this makes Facebook Live more discoverable and could mean more views for your live streams.
  • Facebook Live Includes Engagement Maps – Facebook Live streams will now show engagement maps so you can skip to the best part during a recording.
  • Facebook Launches 360 Photos – This is a first step towards virtual reality in the Facebook newsfeed – users can interact with 360 photos on their devices for a deeper and more interactive experience with the content.
  • Facebook Looks to Alter Text in Image Ads Rule – Facebook has said that they are looking into alternative solutions for the amount of text allowed in images. The current rule is only 20% of an image may be text (based on a grid system) but they are exploring allowing more text but charging more for ads that have more text.



  • Instagram Launches Business Tools – This includes business profiles, analytics and ads. This is a big change for marketers and may signal the platform is moving to a Facebook-style approach to differentiating between businesses and people.
  • Instagram Rolls Out Analytics – Instagram launched analytics – this is great news for business managers as they can now see how their images are performing on Instagram and compare their Instagram performance to other social networks.
  • Instagram Ads Visual Carousel Ads – This means you can test the new format to share even more compelling video ads to improve your results.
  • Instagram Shuts Down Stream API – Third party tools will no longer be able to stream Instagram photos. The features wasn’t heavily used, but this shows a desire by Instagram to keep content on their own platform.



  • Twitter Adjusts the 140 Character Limit – Don’t get too excited – it isn’t gone, but the 140 character limit has been revised so that @replies, links and more won’t count towards your character limit.
  • Twitter Insiders Allows you to use Twitter for Research– Twitter Insiders allows businesses to use Twitter to recruit, design and collect live research. They have a broad panel of users who participate in the program allowing for both short-term and long term studies.
  • Twitter Allows Longer Videos – Twitter has increased the length of videos allowed in their platform. This could mean longer and more relevant videos for users.


  • SnapChat Launchest Advertising API – This move shows that SnapChat is getting serious about advertising. They also announced a goal to generate $1 billion in ad revenue suggesting that there will be more opportunities for marketers to create relevant and targeted ads on the platform.
  • SnapChat adds Stickers – Making Snapchat even more creative, fun and addictive. If you haven’t experimented with SnapChat yet check it out.
  • SnapChat redesigns Stories to make them More Discoverable – SnapChat has changed the view for stories allow previews of content in an aim to make them more discoverable. As more “public” and open content comes to SnapChat we expect that it will present more opportunities for marketers.



  • Pinterest ads 3 new Features to Advertising Targeting – Pinterest now allows for users to target ads 3 new ways – by email list, through retargeting and look-alike audiences. These features are already available in Facebook ads but could make Pinterest ads more effective and more relevant.

Google Search

  • Google Introduces Rich Cards for Search – Currently only available for movies and recipes, Rich Cards allow you to structure information to display in search results. Look for more of these to come and pay attention to the categories that impact you.

Visual Tools

Industry News

  • Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report – This is one of the best “State of Online Marketing” reports that is released annually. While it is 200+ slides it is well worth the time to read and absorb the key trends impacting our industry.
  • State of Social Media Marketing Report – Social Media Examiner launched their state of social media report – this resources gives you insights about how marketers are using social media and can be helpful for bench-marking and identifying future trends.

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How to Build a Digital Marketing Learning Plan for Your Organization


Many agencies and marketing teams know that they need to improve the digital marketing skills and knowledge levels of their organization. To continue to be effective they must have a stronger understanding of exactly how digital marketing tools work, how and when to use them (strategy), how to measure success and sometimes how to implement.
When it comes to growing the digital marketing capabilities of your organization it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are 7 steps to get you started increasing the digital capabilities of your marketing team or agency.

1) Survey the Organization

    Start by discovering where the organization is currently at. What are the current knowledge levels? What are the perceived risks and opportunities? What topics/competencies do people need to do their jobs more effectively?

2) Determine Your Desired State

    Where do you want the organization to be? When do you want to get there? Identify the goals for your organization at a high level (more digitally savvy) and at a lower level (sales reps can adequately explain SEO to a client). Identifying where you want to be across roles, topics and skills in an organization will help you to see where you need to go.

3) Determine Your Resources

    Determine the resources that you have available to you. This includes time, budget, people, tools, etc. While you may not know what type of budget is reasonable, start with a ball-park of what the organization may be willing to invest. It is easier to build a house when you know if you are looking to spend $100,000 vs. $1,000,000. Start with some knowledge about resources.

4) Build a Road Map

    Create a road-map or a plan to increase capabilities. This should match up your desired state with your budget, resources and time. What will you do when? Who will do it? Too many companies start out with “we want a workshop” and do one-off executions vs. comprehensively addressing the issue. The plan probably involves a combination of live training, online training, internal experts, learning communities and more.

5) Implement

    Implement your plan. Start rolling out – possibly with a test group or pilot and working into something bigger.

7) Measure

    Measure your results. You won’t know what is and isn’t working if you don’t measure. Every organization is different – what worked for one may not work for you measure, measure, measure.

8) Repeat

    Growing a skill-base isn’t a one-time thing. Continue steps 1 – 6 periodically to determine if the needs of the organization have changed, and how your training plan level-sets new people in the organization.

Too many organizations start with the solution “We need a workshop or we need online training” and fail to really address the problem that they want to solve.

If you are serious about growing skills in your organization a comprehensive plan will get you better results faster. If you don’t have the budget/time for a large organizational initiative consider creating a pilot to test your ideas, or choose to tackle one specific area first and then show results.

Digital Marketing 101: Get Your Foundations in Order


I work with thousands of businesses each year and answer thousands of questions about digital marketing and strategy. One of the things that most often strikes me is that businesses of all sizes (from national brands to smaller startups) want to try something fun before they even have the foundations of digital marketing in order.

Before jumping in to the hottest new social network, get your foundations in order. Many businesses want to focus on traffic driving strategies before they even have a good website.

Focus on the fundamentals of digital marketing.

Your Website

If you don’t have a good website nothing else matters. Create a great website so that the rest of your digital marketing works. This should always come first.

Conversion Strategy

Have a clear conversion plan for your website. When someone visits your site, what do you want them to do? Have a clear plan to turn website visitors into customers. Do you have a sales process that quickly follows up with leads and prospects?


Email remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Create a solid email marketing strategy to connect and convert customers over time.


Optimize your site for search engines. Getting results from this may take time, but many businesses are missing out on good traffic because their site is not optimized.


Online advertising, especially adwords is a great opportunity for any business. Spend a little bit of money to get qualified people to your site.

Social Media

Social media can build loyalty, drive word-of-mouth and bring new customers to your business. There are lots of opportunities, so spend your time here wisely.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a big bucket that means a lot of things – content marketing is about creating valuable content that connects with consumers in a meaningful way. Content marketing involves creating content, converting leads and driving traffic to your site. This is especially powerful in B-to-B marketing.

Get the foundations in order before you start experimenting with new and unproven methods. Start with your website – the home base of all of your online marketing and grow from there.

VIDEO: How to Future-Proof Your Facebook Business Strategy

Facebook announced ANOTHER update to their algorithm (sometimes called edgerank) that changes what people see in their newsfeed. Want to know how to future-proof your Facebook Strategy from this change and future changes????? Watch this video!

Here is the bottom line. Facebook changes the algorithm all the time, and the algorithm is customized to each person – so you can’t exactly crack it.

What can you do?

There are two things that will future-proof your Facebook business strategy and get you results in the long-term.

1) Create Great Content

The point of edgerank is to show people the content that they are most interested in. Strategies that focus on creating great content that their fans love do best in the long-run.

When you hear optimization tips like:

  • Short posts perform best
  • Images do well
  • Ask questions
  • Be fun (or funny)
  • Use videos

They are all getting at the same thing – create content that people on Facebook have shown that they want to consume.

When you step back it is pretty simple.

2) Be Prepared to Pay

Seriously. Be prepared to pay. Not a lot, but supporting your strategy with some paid boosts will help you gain the exposure you need to generate long-term value.

Some businesses can still do well organically – I worked with a client who saw a 10X increase in organic reach JUST BY OPTIMIZING THEIR CONTENT. So, great content matters most (see #1).

That being said, social media marketing (LIKE ALL OTHER MARKETING) won’t be free forever. Be prepared to spend a little cash.

Facebook strategy video with Krista Neher

Social Media Strategy: Optimization vs. Growth Opportunities


When it comes to social media many marketers want to focus on adding new social networks and trying new things. Once we have one social network up and running we want to add more… and why not? There are articles about how businesses can use EVERY social network – including those that people don’t even use.

The reality is that we have limited time and resources and need to make smart choices.

We can’t do everything – at least we can’t do everything well.

Before jumping in to the next new social network, as yourself a few questions:

1) Have I fully optimized the networks I am currently using?

Many marketers want to jump in to the next new network before they’ve even really mastered what they are currently doing. Don’t start something new until you have optimized your current investments.

2) What is the time investment for the new network?

How much time will I need to spend on the new network? How often will I need to update? How will I grow the audience? Consider the resources required to create a presence and build an audience.

3) What do I expect to get out of it? Are my customers there yet?

When evaluating a new social network be sure to articulate the results that you hope to get. Are your customers even using it yet? What is your anticipated return? How many people do you expect to reach?

Compare the opportunity of optimizing vs. new networks:

  • What is the upside of getting more effective with your current networks? If you have already invested time and effort in building a presence on a social network, what is the benefit of continuing to improve and optimize? Could you be more effective? What is the upside of doing it better?
  • What is the upside of investing in something new? How big is the network? Are brands successful on it yet? What would success look like for you? Does the network seem to be growing?

The Big Question: What is the BEST use of your Time?

Your time and resources are finite. It is important to determine the best way to invest them. While it is fun and exciting to jump on a new social network, often times there is a bigger opportunity to invest in doing existing executions better vs. doing something new.

Carefully evaluate the pros and cons before jumping in.

How to Make ROI Based Decisions in Digital Marketing (or any marketing)


I gave a “Social Media for Customer Service” training recently, and was asked an interesting question. The question was about ROI; I was asked what the ROI was on investing in customer service. How can they justify the spending? Without more information I couldn’t really give a definitive answer, but I could provide a framework to simply answer the question, or any investment question in marketing.

ROI = Return on Investment

We need to weigh the expected return against the investment.

While we don’t have the specific answers, we can do “back of the envelope” math to determine if the investment is likely to payout or have positive ROI.

Here is the simple math to calculate the ROI of anything:

  • Cost to have an employee respond to customer service requests: $50/day (2 hours of time)
  • Number of questions responded to: 12 (10 minutes per question)
  • Value of a new customer (or keeping a customer): $100 lifetime value
  • Number of new customers required to payout: $100 per customer/$50 cost = .5 new customers /day

Then we step back and apply logic and common sense:

  • For every 12 questions I answer, how many people do I expect to become new customers or stay customers? 1 in 12? 2 in 12?
  • How does that compare to my break-even cost of 0.5 new customers/day?
  • What is the probability that this has a positive ROI?

Once you start implementing you can measure over time – the customer service employee can track the number of customers gained or retained and we can measure the actual impact.

This math can be used in many scenarios to understand the potential ROI or probability of positive ROI from digital marketing spending. Over time when you have results you can probably measure the specific ROI.

Facebook ad ROI:

  • Cost of ad $100
  • CPM: $5
  • Reach of ad: 20,000
  • Value of a new customer: $50
  • Number of customers needed for breakeven: 2 customers
  • Conversion rate to break even: 2/20,000 = 0.01%

While this doesn’t give you the exact ROI it does give you an idea of what is needed to payout. You can also use this to compare vs. other investment choices. For example, if you need a 1% conversion rate to payout social media ads but a 2% conversion rate to payout television ads you can now compare the two options. Is it likely that television converts at double the rate? Is it a much more impactful medium?

Rather than trying to get to a specific ROI number, use this to determine the minimum return needed and compare and benchmark across mediums.

Digital Marketing Analytics: How to Analyze Your Digital Marketing


Analytics is one of the most popular topics in digital marketing. We want to know what is working so we can optimize our spending. The problem is that most digital marketing reporting simply vomits numbers at people. There is no real analysis that is required to make better decisions.

It isn’t about the numbers it is about what they tell you.

Smart marketers don’t rely just on numbers but on analysis.

Here is an example of why:

You measure your Facebook advertising efficiency by looking at CPM – the cost you pay to reach 1,000 people with your ads. Seems reasonable enough – a cheaper cost to reach people is better, right? Well it depends. If you reach a more targeted audience you may pay more, but the views are theoretically worth more. A rising CPM may be a result of more effective targeting and may not be bad.

I talked to a Facebook advertising company recently after giving training to a brand team. The training talked a lot about targeting. The advertising agency said that they usually don’t target much because they are measured on CPM and while targeting makes more sense strategically, the brand holds them accountable to reduce CPM, so they don’t do detailed targeting.

Numbers without analysis leads to bad decision-making. 

So how should you analyze your digital marketing?

For every number, chart or data point answer 3 simple questions.


What is the data telling you?

So What

What does it actually MEAN? Is it good or bad? What drove the change? What is behind it?

Now What

What should we do as a result of this information? What action is indicated?

Data without analysis isn’t helpful.

Dig deeper. Determine the cause and analyze what it actually means. This is how you start making better decisions.

Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:


  • Facebook launches new video ad tools – Each day on average 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook and it’s estimated that mobile video will account for 75% of total mobile data traffic by 2020. Facebook shares best practices for mobile video based on testing.
  • Facebook enhances ad features – On both Facebook and Instagram Facebook announced a variety of ad improvements. These are probably mostly relevant to advanced advertisers.


  • LinkedIn launches new student app – The app is mobile only and is geared towards college students. This shows LinkedIn is looking at really connecting with college students who don’t currently heavily use the site.



  • Twitter adds connections to mobile app – In an attempt to make it easier to find people and accounts you are interested in, Twitter has added a connections feature that connects you with things you may be interested in.
  • Twitter announces Omnisearch – Twitter is looking to make searching even better, and this is where they are investing their time and effort.


  • SnapChat stories drive 10 Billion daily video views – Snapchat is becoming a bigger and bigger player in social media (although it remains elusive to most businesses). Stories show videos or photos for 24 hours, making them more permanent then regular snaps. This also emphasizes the importance of video.
  • SnapChat lets you FaceSwap from the camera roll – SnapChat is building its features to make it more fun to customize pictures and really express yourself with snaps. The new FaceSwap feature builds upon this.


  • Periscope ads viewer stats – Giving broadcasters more information about performance.
  • Periscope launches sketch while you scope – This feature allows broadcasters the ability to draw on the screen while scoping. This functionality is similar to SnapChat – where people love drawing on photos. It will be interesting to see how heavily this feature is used and if people can actually draw and record at the same time…
  • Periscope experiments with archived streams – Periscope is experimenting with a feature that will archive streams forever.


  • Pinterest allows affiliate links – Pinterest has announced that they will now allow affiliate links in pins. They were previously removed as Pinterest tried to reduce spam. Pinterest now feels that they have a great spam control program so they will not allow affiliate links.


  • Video Bumper 6 Second Ads – YouTube knows that mobile first is the key to marketing – their new video ads build on this strategy with short 6 second ads to drive ads on short mobile video views.
  • Amazon allows video uploads – Amazon launched a service to compete with YouTube – you can now upload a video and earn money from ads. This puts Amazon in direct competition to YouTube.


Interesting Research

  • User Generated Content Sells – BazaarVoice released a study that shows the impact of user generated content – both in driving sales and social media. Check it out if you still aren’t convinced that UGC must be on your menu.


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