How Facebook’s Timeline Affects DML’s Customers, Partners

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear Customers, Partners and Friends,

At f8 Facebook announced several major changes which directly affect the visibility of your brand and the engagement users have with your brand within Facebook. Fortunately, many of these are positive. To help you make sense of the changes we have boiled down the list to the key elements that we think you should be focused on. Here they are:

Timeline
Facebook released an entirely new perspective on a user’s social profile call Timeline (https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline). Timeline is fundamentally a catalogue of the user’s whole life (at least as he may have uploaded it to Facebook) curated by the user. Users choose a cover photo and highlight life events (e.g, birth of a child, marriage, etc.) to tell their story. To make the whole timeline manageable, Facebook condenses the information that is displayed in the user’s Timline the further back in time you scroll.

What is most meaningful for marketers is that users can connect applications to their Timelines. Once connected, an app automatically loads information and actions into a user’s Timeline. The actions can be any verb and noun combination – listening to music, cooking a recipe – that the brand establishes for its apps. If it meets relevancy criteria (see GraphRank below) the auto-inserted information appears in the Ticker of the user’s friends. The insertion continues forever or until the user actively stops it – which is great for brands!. Important events also appear in the user’s News Feed. The Ticker drives social discovery of your app, and your brand, by the user’s friends.

GraphRank
For marketers, application and brand discovery have always been a problem on Facebook. To help solve the discovery issue, in addition to the compelling solution of the Timeline and the Ticker, Facebook has built a relevance filter called GraphRank. GraphRank promotes information based on the amount a user and his/her friends interact with an application and its content. More interaction – greater visibility, For marketers, this ups the ante to create and deliver applications and content that users want to, and do, regularly engage.

What You Should Do?
The list is short but simple. First, audit your apps and see where including the “Add to Timeline” functionality would be relevant and add it. Second, continue to create experiences and content that users love – now you will be rewarded handsomely for your efforts. And third, design future apps with the Timeline and Ticker in mind.

As you know, the Direct Message Lab platform is based around creating compelling, customized and targeted experiences for users. The new Facebook changes provide a wealth of new information for the REACH platform to target users, build user profiles and understand your customers on a granular level. We would be happy to provide assistance as you think about how the latest Facebook changes can help you connect with customers and build your brand.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

The F8 Dust Has Settled, What Does it Mean?

September 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Interweb was shaken up last week, as Facebook introduced a round of new updates/features at the F8 Developer Conference. By now, you know that the Timeline, Open Graph and integration with music and movie services will all be rolling out to a Facebook page near you in the next coming months. But, what does this mean for Facebook, users and marketers?

Back on May 27, 2011, after learning about how Zuck wanted to integrate music, movies, books etc. into Facbeook, we wrote an article expressing a concern that, while the social world is becoming united and intertwined, this influx of details from people’s lives would eventually become too much for any single user to handle.

As Facebook has grown, it has segmented itself into two user bases; one side is the everyday user, who go on to see what their friends are up to, post a status update, poke, message, Like and comment. On the other side, there are the marketers, who try to get the users to Like their product or service, engage with their brand page and increase awareness for what they are offering.

The F8 announcements were successful because there was something for everyone.

The Timeline is an interesting addition. Quoting Zuck, “”For every major evolution we’ve done at Facebook, the profile is at the center,” he said. “It’s a really personal product, and our job is to make this product the best way for you to share everything you want.”

Obviously, Facebook believes that your memory is shot, and the only way you can properly talk about “back in the day” is referencing your Timeline. It appears, at first glance, that the Timeline is their way of saying, “Hey, look. We told you we could store everything you ever said, did and thought.” Kind of creepy, but a cool feature for the every day user, nonetheless.

And then the Open Graph API for the devs and marketers. Per a Search Engine Journal article, “Open Graph will allow Facebook users to add activities to their news streams without being bothered by prompts asking for their consent.”

 

The most notable features:

  1. Permissions will no longer be needed for Apps every time content is published to Facebook. Instead, there will be a Facebook permissions screen that users will only have to complete one time.
  2. The Open Graph updates will only appear in the new ticker. Unless, of course, it holds a higher value of importance, in which case it will show up in the News Feed.
  3. The Open Graph will allow users to share what they are watching, listening to, reading etc. in real-time via the Facebook Ticker.

This will allow for seamless integration of third party apps to Facebook’s user base, and will help marketers target a more narrowed audience, based off of users interests and Likes via their Facebook profiles.

As the Internet advances and adapts, Web 2.0  is being augmented by the fabric that Facebook has laid down. It is becoming a world of third party apps and Facebook Connect. The infrastructure of the web will be forever changed, and how people connect and disseminate (un)useful information about themselves, whether it be playing games, watching movies, listening to music, or any other activity you confine yourself to, the new Open Graph just made the web that much more social.

Last day for DML Intern; Steve Jobs Steals Letter of Resignation

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

DML,

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as DML’s Co-Intern in Chief, I would be the first to let you know.

Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as Intern at DML. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Intern Emeritus, Facebook friend and Twitter follower.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Brendan Dimitri as Intern in Chief at DML.

I believe DML’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at DML, and I thank you all for the many months of being able to work alongside you.

Peter

 

Peter Woods

 

www.directmessagelab.com

peterw@directmessagelab.com

Which Way Will They Go? Klout’s Future Depends on . . . Klout

August 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Klout is rolling along in its quest to become the official social network influence-measurement service. It just added five social networks to its arsenal; Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and Last.fm. Add this to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare and LinkedIn, and you have well rounded gauge of influence. Or do you?

I’m not here to question the success of Klout’s algorithms, or say that its scores are slightly irrelevant, and they suggest that some people can carry the “Social Media Expert” title. The scores do take in account how good your social voice is, or how much your network following RT’s, Replies, Comments or “Likes” the content you put out there. But, with this influx of new social networks, the big “what if” becomes “What if I’m not on all of these networks?”

Per the Klout Blog  “Connecting an account wil never lower your Score, but it may increase it as we can give you credit for your influence in that network.” – Sidenote: Yes, Klout has a typo – “wil” – on their corporate blog. UH OH

This is where the confusion begins to grow. Is Klout an honest tell-all of your entire social influence across all social channels, or is it an “Are you good at Twitter. . . and maybe decent at a few other social networks, too?”

So, you’re a self-proclaimed guru. And your Klout Score is inching closer to Oprah’s 65 Score. You magically pass her in a rat race, for you have a strong following on 8 out of the 10 networks that Klout currently supports.

That’s not a bad pick up line: “Hey, do you know me? You should. My Klout score is one notch higher than Oprah’s”

But what does your Klout score mean? Is it more of a score of your social influence or your social presence? Is there a difference?

To marketers, this can be all the difference. If you have a client, say Dr. Pepper, and they want to market content to the most influential people to help spread the word of a new flavor, Dr. Pepper X, how can you, as a marketer, differentiate which users to target? Is there a special Klout score that is the cross-over from social media serf to social media prince? And once you’ve located those users, do you target content on the basis of their following on Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare or the amount of “Likes” on Facebook?

Are there layers of “engaged’ users? Is a user who participates in a social survey or sweepstakes on Facebook more important than a user who comments and shares the content? Is an Instagram brand tag as important as a Tumblr blog post mention? This is what, at the moment, Klout cannot take into effect.

I don’t doubt Klout’s ability to be a helpful tool for marketers to figure out who to target, and how to get them to help spread the word. But, just because they keep adding – and will keep adding – a plethora of social networks, it does not give any better indication of how successful every user of a social network can be. To be the true social network influence tool, Klout must adapt and grow to meet marketer’s expectations and solve problems that currently can’t be solved.

For now, it seems your Klout Score is better suited as a pick up line than a marketers dream.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Create a Message, Library and Schedule a Campaign

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

REACH v4 is the most efficient way to manage your social media marketing. With DML’s platform, content management and distribution is now easier than ever. 

REACH v4 provides an easy way to create and deploy a message across your social networks and mobile channels. Each message is then stored in the REACH Library for future review by Message Name and date.

The Bit.ly link shortener is built in, and you can attach multimedia directly through the platform. REACH v4 also has the capability to schedule messages to post to Facebook or Tweet at a later date, which enables brands the ability to plan out social campaigns across any given dates.

Check out the Direct Message Lab web demos at www.youtube.com/dmlreach.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Track the Conversation with REACH’s Social Monitor

August 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Direct Message Lab’s new and enhanced social media management platform, REACH v4, allows brands to gauge the conversation across not only Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but an array of blogs, bookmarking sites, comments, images, networks and news portals.

Embedded into the Social Monitor feature is a Keyword Search, which provides brands the option to search for any keyword that relates to them or their competitors. Also included is a graphical representation of user sentiment — positive, negative and neutral — to give you insight on trends for future content and campaigns.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.