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5 Ways you should be using Facebook #Hashtags (and a few sprinkles on how you definitely shouldn’t )

  
  
  
  
  

It’s been beaten and mocked. Sodden with shame by Jimmy Fallon and Jonah Hill and aligned with ‘selfie’ and ‘food porn’ too often. Now opponents doubt it’s relevance on the (still relevant) social network Facebook. Yes, Facebook is still relevant.

We, of course, are referring to our ol’ friend, the hashtag. As a friend, we are here to show you how to augment your Facebook strategy by implementing purposeful, timely, and engaging tags without subjecting your fans to #hashbaggery. We’re here to help, and to warn.

1. Ground your hash tags in #reality, not #groundyourhashtagsinreality

We’ve seen #thistypeofhashtaguse on social before. But you’re a stoic and reputable organization that wants to be taken seriously. By implementing unwieldy hashtags that are more than 3 words, you lose the ability to contribute and join a conversation on real-life, viable and sensible topics. Brands would be more successful designing and implementing their hashtags categorically. Keep your hashtags to one or two word combinations and be specific. Anything else is probably too long-winded to understand or replicate.

2. Integrate, promote, track, and drive your multi-platform social contests.

You may have already held social contests for users via Twitter and Instagram, where tracking your branded hash tags has been possible for quite some time. Facebook is presumably one of your earliest adoptions of social, and there’s a chance you’ve ignored them when it comes to contests. With the introduction of hash tag support last year, user-generated contests tracked by specific hash tags can now include Facebook, making your tag-driven contests more dynamic by being multi-platform.

As an added perk, your social media manager will appreciate that content can be designed to fit all platforms, streamlining the writing process while saving your organization time and resources.

3. Hug your neighbor.

The best and brightest brands understand that being a part of conversations in your surrounding area may draw the attention of someone who may not have otherwise cared about you. Is the restaurant next door to your shop having a promotion or grand opening? Give it a shout-out on Facebook using its official hashtag. Don’t want to shout out? Take a look at who is using the tag for some insights on your geographic market. It’s all about being a good neighbor.

4. Be limited.

Limit! Limit! Limit! #posts #that #look #like #this are not only difficult to read but show a lack of vision and creativity. This may be acceptable on Twitter, but the sentiment towards hash tags on Facebook is that they are new and annoying. Why push any buttons? Using only 1 hash tag per post is a strategic way to drive conversation around a single event without being overzealous and off-putting. Presumably, your goal for each post is to drive traffic, interest, or awareness to a given topic or event, so 1 hash tag is plenty.

5. One for good measure.

When it comes to tracking, using a hash tag once every few posts allows you to monitor and report on engagement for updates that include hash tags vs. those without them. By having these insights, you can make better decisions on how to use tags moving forward. Content is king but measurement is everything, so keep your hash tagging on Facebook few and far between.

Facebook hash tagging can be an effective way to drive conversation around your brand. The practice is critical to measuring engagement while saving social media managers time in developing multi-channel content. At the end of the day, remain strategic and use proper judgment when implementing tags on Facebook; otherwise you may find yourself more alienating than engaging.

Mobile Usage Trends on Social Media

  
  
  
  
  

Mobile traffic is growing rapidly and marketers need to learn how to adjust brand content to this trend. Mobile marketing and its related strategies, such as location-based marketing, have gained traction. BI Intelligence found that 91% of companies plan to increase their investments in location-based marketing.

At Renegade, we want to know how significant the growing mobile usage is on social media as it relates to brands. We looked at four brands from different industries on Facebook and compared the percentage of Likes gained from mobile users on a daily basis over a seven-month period.

Percent of Daily Page Likes Gained via Mobile Device resized 600

The combined daily average percentage trend varied in the internet, telecom, travel, and food/nutrition industries. However, there was a 6.42% increase in mobile Likes overall. More notable is that the low points of the likes in the last three months for every industry are higher than the first three months. This indicates that it’s not just the spike driving the increasing trend, but the concentration of mobile activity overall.

Monthly Average Percent of Page Likes via Mobile Device resized 600

Looking at the industries individually, the study showed the food/nutrition brand had an average of 18% mobile Likes, except a slight lapse in October. The Internet brand grew its mobile Likes to 5% in the New Year. The telecom brand’s mobile Likes increased in October for two months, similar to the travel brand’s significant growth, which is attributed to the holiday season.

These findings correspond to Forbes’ industry prediction that “Mobile is the future of everything.” According to Forbes, mobile is replacing desktop consumption overall, and you can expect to see continued growth in social media engagement.

Tips for building a mobile brand

As mobile becomes an increasingly important part of marketing in 2014, brands should take steps to improve their mobile performance.

  • Adapt your website to have a responsive design to provide a streamline viewer experience on smartphones and tablets.

  • Consider how you construct your content to make it easier to read and navigate by optimizing font size, buttons, and video length.

  • A mobile app is also an option but keep in mind the investment an app requires versus mobile-optimized online content.

Your brand needs to go where the audiences are across all channels. Now go mobile!

Methodology: With data from Facebook Insights, daily page likes gained from mobile, mobile ads, mobile page browser, mobile page browser invite, and mobile page suggestions were combined as mobile likes. These mobile likes were compared to the total likes on daily and monthly bases. Data was collected from July 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014.

5 Real-Time Marketing Tactics for the Oscars

  
  
  
  
  

The Oscars is a great time for brands to take advantage of real-time marketing — it’s a night full of celebrities, entertainment, and second screen social engagement with millions of Americans who are tuning in. Here are some tips for your brand to prepare for this year’s big moments.

1. Incorporate your real-time channels. Post your messages simultaneously on Twitter and other networks. Your audience may be watching live and browsing on multiple channels. You want to be sure your content will be wherever they are looking.

2. Be human. Remember your content should be adding to the experience of the show. So, participate in show like the audience does. People are more likely to respond to your messages if you behave like them.

3. There will be many quotes, surprises, and funny moments onstage and in the press room. Remember Jennifer Lawrence’s epic fall last year? That went viral right away on the Internet. Keep your eyes both on the television and online to monitor the trends while thinking about how your brand can mingle with the show.

4. Follow The Academy (@TheAcademy) to see backstage moments in the Green Room during the Oscars. Thanks to Twitter Mirror (@TwitterMirror), a mirror-shape machine offstage at awards shows, celebs can easily take selfies and tweet them spontaneously during the show. It'd be fun to see what people are doing off-camera.

5. Research the nominees for links to your brand. Maybe your products have appeared somewhere in a film or is mentioned by certain characters. Use this opportunity to show your support for an actor/actress or a candidate that is special to your brand. (For example, the nomination for "HER" will be great for Apple!)

Real-time marketing is an everyday habit. While it takes long-term commitment to engage your social audience, you will find it most rewarding during big events, when you see your daily devotion pay back with the followers and new faces responding to your messages like never before.

See you on the Oscars stream!

New Data Shows Google Plus Will Not Replace Facebook

  
  
  
  
  

In a recent study by Renegade, we explored the question, “Is Google Plus a valuable investment for brands for social media marketing?” According to our results, the answer is no.

We took the top 10 brands on Google Plus and compared the performance of their (same) content on both Facebook and Google Plus. Even with Facebook’s constraints on post reach, Facebook posts on average received 36 times as many engagements per post than those same posts on Google Plus. Taking into account the relative fan and follower bases, Facebook posts were 12 times more effective than Google Plus posts in terms of engagement rates.

"Facebook posts received 36 times as many engagements per post than those same posts on Google Plus." Tweet This!

Compared engagements per post from Facebook and Google Plus.

Compared engagements per post from Facebook and Google Plus.

Compared engagements per post from Facebook and Google Plus.

Compared engagement rates on Facebook and Google Plus. 

While some brands (and people) have found pockets of success on Google Plus, the relatively new and growing platform still has not yet caught up with the powerhouse Facebook for a couple of reasons. First, as of Q3 in 2013, Google was reported to have 300 million active users compared to Facebook’s 1 billion. Second, Google Plus’s content targeting capabilities based on profile data are a far cry from the variations that Facebook has to offer.

Twitter, however, is a different story. While many of these brands have high number of followers on Twitter, their engagement varies from brand to brand. Google Plus seems to be a better investment of time and energy for H&M, Red Bull, Mercedes, and Android, all of whom have over 50% more engagement on Google Plus than Twitter. Burberry, PlayStation, and Angry Birds, however, all had better engagement on Twitter than on Google Plus.

Compared engagements per post on Twitter and Google Plus.

Compared engagements per post on Twitter and Google Plus.

Compared engagement rates on Twitter and Google Plus.

Compared engagement rates on Twitter and Google Plus.

Facebook is still the clear winner in engagements per posts and engagement rates for the top brands overall. Despite its diminishing reach and fuddled EdgeRank algorithm, the network seems to be delivering the right content to the most appropriate users. Subscribing to the assumption that all content on Google Plus is served to a brand’s followers, it would seem that Google Plus users simply aren’t as engaged as those on Facebook. We shall see if the landscape changes as the fledgling network grows.

 

Methodology: Posts from the top-performing brands on Google Plus were tracked and cross-referenced between Google Plus and Facebook. Average engagements per post, engagement rates and % increase from engagement were calculated on posts with the same content topic using likes, comments, shares (or the equivalent on the Google Plus). Data was collected from March 1, 2013 to October 1, 2013. Engagement rates were calculated using the page’s audience on October 1, 2013. 

Tide Wins Super Bowl Real-Time Marketing

  
  
  
  
  

We all know who won the Super Bowl on Sunday night, but Renegade is more interested in who won the high-stakes real-time marketing melee. After a thorough review of the contenders, we’re declaring Tide the big winner!

Taking advantage of the fact that all the Super Bowl commercials were released well in advance of the big game, Tide came prepared with entertaining stain-themed Vine responses to each of the night’s ads. It just goes to show that if you’re creative and opportunistic, you don’t have to spend mega-bucks to get great publicity during massive events such as the Super Bowl or the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Check out all of Tide’s clever real-time responses below:

2014 Super Bowl Commercials

  
  
  
  
  

Which of the 2014 Super Bowl ads are boom and which are bust? Watch them all and vote for your favorite! 

Have You Seen My Hat?

  
  
  
  
  

While last Sunday's GRAMMYs showcased some amazing helmets and hats that you will surely see on the street this year, brands took this opportunity in the social space and reacted promptly by claiming rights to the most wanted prize – Pharrell Williams' oversized hat. During big events like this, marketers jump on the opportunity to make funny content and gain brand exposure.

Here are some brilliant brand tweets that might inspire you for the next big event, such as the Oscars on March 2.

Arby's certainly was the secret sponsor behind the hat. 

Or maybe it was Smokey Bear's. 

They looked pretty good together. 

Who knew laundry detergent could be a trendsetter?

Vogue revealed that it's vintage style. 

It's officially on ELLE Magazine. 

Professor Snape wasn't happy about the stolen Sorting Hat. 

And then there is Pharrell-hat-inspired art, from Toy Story...

To the New Yorker illustration. 

Finally, Quaker Man found his counterpart on the red carpet — now we know why he's smiling.

To make a splash during the Oscars for your own brand, look out for celebrities wearing funky clothing, making funny faces in the audience, and their meme-worthy moments onstage and backstage. We know you love celeb-initiated memes like "Lawrencing" as much as we do!

Glass Half Full

  
  
  
  
  

Samsung is hoping to beat out Google in the latest tech-race to be the first provider of a computing eyewear device. Samsung calls their version “Galaxy Glass.” The device would connect directly with your smartphone and offer many of the same capabilities that have been advertised with the “Google Glass,” including push notifications, music display info, and photo capabilities. Since Google has put off the launch of their Glass to the latter half of 2014, we’ll see if Samsung can come up with a quality product before that time, or end up producing another flop like the Galaxy Gear. Either way, I raise a glass to their efforts.

For more information check out this great article on TechCrunch.

galaxy glass

Do you think Samsung will beat Google to the punch? If so, will you hold out for Google Glass?

Do Slideshow Apps Have a Future?

  
  
  
  
  

In 2013, 1.6 billion pictures were shared over social media and mobile photo sharing apps. That’s a rate of 600 million photos shared daily. To give you perspective of how quickly that number is growing, 10% of all the photos taken in all of history were taken last month.

Photo sharing apps are creating new opportunities for app developers in areas like editing, mosaics, lenses and image stitching, to name a few. In fact, near the end of the year, you may have seen your Instagram feed exploding with “Year in Review” videos generated by a handful of these apps.

Statigram offered the opportunity to create one such slideshow with pop-up metrics of your photos from the year. Paired with music, this was a nice treat for any “IGer” looking to show off his best-of-the-best. Flipagram and Picflow also stitched images together into a video and were frequently seen on the Instagram stream. The end of the year is a natural period for reflection, and the apps filled that need for photo-sharing users. But since then, you probably haven’t seen any compilation videos. This begs the question: Are these photo-video apps seasonal, or a fad bound to disappear?

There are a few considerations for the longevity of these types of applications. First, users are likely heavy users of a photo-sharing app like Instagram. However, what would be the point in their reliving photos from the past on a regular basis? The heavy users’ audiences have already seen these images and are likely looking for what’s next, not yesterday’s material.

On the other hand, these photo-stitching apps can be used compile thematic images in one thread. A photo-sharer that covers a range of subjects or many sub-segments of a particular topic can aggregate her choice images into one post. This could pique the interest of her audience again.

On the brand side, it is a different story. Sharpie and Oreo, which are major players in the Instagram space, have not yet used these apps, nor have the majority of brands. This is where Renegade thinks the opportunity lies. While these apps may seem seasonal, the compilations are unique, unlike one-off photos. If done creatively and with forethought, a brand could create real interest in the content that strengthens the connection with its followers year-round! If Boo the dog and Jamon the pig can grow their followings with selfies, then one would think creative slideshow content could make a great connection with an audience as well.

What do you think?

flipagram

7 CMO-Worthy Resolutions for 2014

  
  
  
  
  
Marketing Resolutions large resized 600

Well, 2014 is here in full swing. What better time to set some new marketing goals? Here, seven top CMOs share their key resolutions for the year ahead.

1. Use Marketing to Help Your Customers

Beth ComstockGE’s long-time CMO, resolves to help GE customers “run their businesses better” by “delivering outcomes via big data and analytics” and encourage “more collaboration and partnership built on community.” Adds Comstock, “We recently expanded our partnership with Quirky.com, which is a good example of the kinds of partnerships in this area.”

2. Focus on the Fundamentals

In her first year as CMO at Jenny CraigLeesa Eichberger, perhaps not surprisingly, is committed to reinvigorating the brand from the ground up. Noting that Jenny Craig “hasn't been resonating with today's audience to the extent we'd like it to,” Eichberger resolves “to keep a laser focus on the fundamentals: clear and consistent positioning, tight targeting and trackable results.”

3. Find Big Uses for Big Data

Raj Rao, VP of Global eTransformation at 3M, shares a commitment with Comstock to use big data, seeing it as a way “to transform how we play in alternate e-commerce channels like Rakuten, Alibaba and Amazon.com.” As he further explains, “3M needs to drive new revenue streams by revisiting its business models to capture revenue streams that are not serviceable in our current distribution and retail channels.” 

4. Swing for the Fences

Kyle Schlegel, CMO at Hillerich & Bradsby, offers a 24-month vision as he completes “the re-launch of the iconic Louisville Slugger brand through the launch of a game-changing 2015 product lineup.” Schlegel hit upon this long-term perspective naturally, given the brand’s 130-year “legendary” history, while also noting his need to break “any relevance barriers that may have been created over the past 5-10 years.”

5. Seek a Consistent Marketing Framework

After being in a similar role at Cablevision, Time Warner Cable Business Class CMO Stephanie Anderson knows well the challenges of marketing to small businesses. Having seen others in the industry bounce from idea to idea, Anderson offers a more steadfast approach: “Top of the list for 2014: be consistent, relevant, and ‘present’ with our customers and prospects.”

6. Think Broadly About Your Business

Elisabeth Charles, CMO of Petco, has the unenviable challenge of fending off both entrenched brick-and-mortar competitors and e-commerce upstarts, who are all competing for share of wallet among finicky pet parents. In the face of this competitive hydra, Charles resolves to “develop a clearer enterprise strategy and place greater priority around digital customer engagement.”

7. When in Doubt, KISS

Jonathan Becher, CMO of SAP, faces a myriad of challenges running a global marketing operation that supports hundreds of countries, vertical markets and product solutions. In the face of this potential complexity, Becher shares the following with all who will listen: “My top new year’s resolution is ‘simplify, simplify, simplify.’”

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