Monthly Archives: June 2013

Why both Vine & Instagram are Right

For Social media video, the last few weeks have been very interesting.   Until the June 20 Instagram video launch, Twitter’s Vine app had become the recent darling of Social Media Video.  Vine, with their 6-second video format, is one of the largest app growth stories in recent history.  In the newest Internet Trends Report by Mary Meeker, Vine’s active user base grew from 2% to nearly 8% of iPhone owners in the U.S. between January and April.  I was among those quickly addicted to Vine videos, creating content, checking my feed almost as much as my other social sites.  When Instagram launched their 15-second version of a Vine-like app, the buzz around short social media video clips grew enormously, and both Instagram and Vine have since benefited.

Social media-influenced video continues to soar in popularity.  Online video audiences are projected to double in 2016, reaching 1.5 billion people globally, according to Cisco.  A study by comScore found that in April 2013, 63 million people in the U.S. watched a video on Facebook, and that among major websites, Facebook had the fastest-growing online video audience over the previous 10 months, and is only second to Google in video audience size.

There is also an evolution occurring on this content medium…video length is shrinking.  Face it, many of us have short attention spans, and we’re not willing to commit to watching a lengthy YouTube video.  Increasingly in our busy lives, we prefer to snack on video during short spans of times (waiting for our Starbucks, in between baseball innings).  I would argue that the 6-second constraint of Vine, or the 15 seconds for Instagram, forces content creators to focus on quick messaging, and quality, within those precious few seconds.  If the user likes that they see, they may be willing to watch more quick videos from this source, or potentially follow them.

 

For businesses who want succeed in social media-influence video, whether that is YouTube, Vine or Instagram, the message is to “keep it brief”.  Studies show that shorter the videos get higher user engagement throughout the entire video segment.  If you focus on producing short videos with great content, your audience will view them more…and share them more.  Businesses can be successful with gaining engagement on shorter social media videos by capturing catchy, compelling and high quality content, while cutting out the fluff and instead getting straight to the message.

So who is right and who will win, Vine or Instagram?  I believe they both will, since they are embracing the trend for quick snippets of video content, that delivers both delivers their message and encourages sharing and engagement.

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How Local Dealers are Performing on Facebook Search

I recently audited how nearby car dealerships are performing on Facebook Graph Search.  Since my first article on best practices, I’ve talked to many local dealers who have tuned their pages for better performance.  Let’s dig in.

In Graph Search, I entered the string: “Car dealerships nearby”.  As a reminder, Car Dealerships is a fixed automotive category in GS, along with Automotive Repair, Oil Lube & Filter Service, Car Parts & Accessories, and Auto Body Shop.

Not surprisingly, the Jeff Wyler family of dealerships did well.  They have talented digital marketing folks, and have optimized their Facebook pages and built local engagement very well.  I was happy to see they are maximizing the number of allowable categories (up to three).  They’re also focusing on quality social engagement, not just number of Likes.

I charted some key statistics for the GS Page 1 dealers, and looked for clues on Facebook’s search algorithm.  As expected, the number of Likes is not the determiner of ranking.  It seems to be a combination of factors, with heavy weighting on “People Talking About This” and the number of Friends in your network that have Liked these pages.

Dealer

Likes

PTAT

Were Here

Friends liked

Categories

Jeff Wyler Honda of Colerain

524

47

1,670

1

3

Beechmont Ford

1,295

25

861

12

2

Superior Honda

4,062

19

320

13

1

Porsche of Kings Automall

78

2

157

0

1

Jeff Wyler Automotive Family

1,656

16

164

7

3

Superior Kia

2,062

13

198

6

1

Northgate Ford Lincoln

1,208

227

309

1

1

Jake Sweeney Chevrolet

678

12

195

2

1

Jake Sweeney Mazda West

69

1

78

0

3

Lexus RiverCenter

2,327

13

739

1

1

Superior Hyundai South

1,034

4

110

6

3

Please share your comments after looking at these results, and your local search results.  What best practices are you seeing that impact Facebook Search rankings?

5 Reasons to Hate Your Mobile Website

On January 9 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld convention, and started a revolution in the way people consumed the web.   As Apple and their competitors began shipping millions of smartphones to the masses, the need for websites compatible with the smaller screen became critical.  The website world responded with a “mobile website”.  The mobile website was designed as a separate site, that would be served up when it detected the user was on a mobile device.  Then on January 27, 2010, Steve Jobs again changed the rules by announcing the iPad introduction at an Apple press conference, and website providers scrambled to update their strategy.

Many dealers still have these old mobile websites.  Folks, your mobile website is a 2007 solution to a 2013 problem, and you should hate it for the following reasons:

Reason 1:  You’re spending too much money.  Logic tells us, if we build both a desktop site and a mobile site, it will cost more than building a single website.  In addition, that same logic tells us if we have to maintain two websites, it will take more time versus one site.   Maintaining two sites also introduces the chance for errors, omissions, and situations where the two sites have different data.  Save your time and money by building one Responsive website.

Reason 2:  Your SEO is not what it could be.  Both Google and Bing are on record, they prefer a single Responsive website instead of multiple sites.  For the search engines, a single website means indexing is easier, and increases the likelihood of delivering the desired content to the user.  With multiple sites, your inbound linking strategy becomes confusing.  Which links should you work to build, ones to your desktop or mobile site?  The choice is clear, a single Responsive website results in superior SEO.

Reason 3:  You’ve got 2 website addresses.  Remember we said it was a band-aid approach, and having both a mobile and desktop website is a sloppy solution that delivers poor results.  What happens if a desktop user Facebook-shares a page on your main website, but mobile shoppers click on the links?  Redirects happen, and many times they happen poorly, delivering the wrong pages to the user and increasing abandon rate. have different addresses.  Responsive gives you consistency, one site with same content and same experience.

Reason 4:  Your Analytics are difficult to track.  Our website analytics help us answer many questions for our marketing strategy, but two URLs results in misleading and confusing statistics.  To get a true picture of your website results, you may need to combine multiple reports, and layer information.  With a single website, you have a single analytics report, showing you where you’re having success, and where you need attention.

Reason 5:  Your users hate your mobile website.  Why do I feel this way?  A separate mobile website is doomed from the beginning.  We’re giving the shopper a different user-experience depending on the device they’re using, in many cases with conflicting content since we have to maintain them separately.  In addition, nearly every mobile website is “limited function” which means not all of the content from the main website is included.  For reasons listed above, a mobile shopper may be sent to pages that don’t exist, have conflicting information, throw the user onto a desktop site (pinch, zoom, scroll…leave) or simply give an error page.  The old strategy of using redirects doesn’t always work, and is again…a band-aid strategy.

It’s time we stepped back a bit and re-evaluated our reactive strategy with multiple websites.  Is it feasible to create a new website for every new mobile device that hits the market?  Of course not.  We need to replace our band-aid tactics with a strategic approach to build a single website that responds to whatever device is being used.  Once we turn this page, and move forward with a single Responsive website, we no longer need to worry about new devices hitting the market, since we’re already compatible.  We can focus on effective marketing, and stopping fighting technology.