“What should we watch?”
The rallying cry should ring familiar. Netflix, Hulu and their ilk use sophisticated algorithms to provide tailor-made recommendations based on your viewing habits, and those of your friends.
And Chill takes this to the next, logical inflection: a chat bot you interact with in natural language. The bot analyzes words and phrases to deliver personalized movie recommendations, complemented by a YouTube trailer for the flick it’s suggested. Coolness factor aside – because chatting with an A.I. as if it were a human is nothing if not cool – And Chill is just one more bot heralding the renaissance of chat.
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Instagram has been all over the news the past weeks with changes to its algorithm, influencer marketing news, and recently, an announcement about its new business manager platform. This tool, although primarily a funnel to get businesses to promote their content, will provide some much needed data on a channel that to-date has been a bit erratic.
Here is what you need to know:
- Because Facebook is Instagram’s parent company, Instagram’s new business tools will have many of the same features you get from reporting tools like Facebook Insights. More impression data so you can start to analyze post engagement. Expect to see the “Facebook Whale” showcasing times when your audience is most likely online.
- Everything is mobile – all these tools can be used from the Instagram account on your mobile device, including setting up ads on the go. This may mean segregation between what data and functionality is available on desktop versions. Expect to see promoted products become more integrated with the insta-experience as more small / medium businesses create ads with just a few clicks from their smart phone.
- Business profiles will have more consumer-facing functionality as well, including the ability to provide a contact button or directions. However, converting your Instagram profile to a business profile requires having an established Facebook Page. This will create a filter between businesses and self-promoters narrowing the gap as only businesses will get access to insights.
These features are slowly rolling out and are not yet available to all users across the globe but expect a lot of content changes once businesses gain deeper insight into what performs well on the channel. If you have questions about Instagram’s new business tools, drop us a line at info[at]pandemiclabs.com.
This is the first in what’s to be a recurring series on “Context Over Dogma”; posts marked #NoFilter are brutally candid assessments of social media trends, best-practices, and industry watchdogging. Call it “truth-to-power”, call it “playing the fool”, but these are the places in which the team from Pandemic Labs will wax politically incorrect (read: more truthful) than an agency probably should.
Today’s topic comes from the recent news that Instagram will roll out an algorithmically-ranked newsfeed, forsaking the reverse chronological order that has, to date, ruled the user experience. Under the new system, which won’t roll out fully for at least another 6 months, posts with more relevance to a user (according to Instagram’s algorithm) will appear more prominently in the newsfeed, upon opening the app. So, the stuff you are more likely to engage with, or find interesting, is to appear at the top of your feed. A few things:
– If this comes as a surprise, you’re nuts. Sorry if you thought the free ride was everlong. Like just about every other social network – and like all the ones worth their salt to marketers – Instagram is going pay-to-play. Sure, there will be one-off ways to achieve an isolated modicum of organic success. But if you think for a second you can succeed at scale without promoting your content, you’re wrong.
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A handy list of do’s and don’ts, for achieving social media success in 2016.
1. Don’t rely on organic reach.
It should be no shock that organic reach on Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk is on a steady decline. When developing social media content, and planning your social media marketing campaigns, it’s crucial that you set aside budget for promoting that content. To succeed, social media content must reach the right users, at the right time, and with the right message. Facebook (and now Instagram) offer unprecedented targeting parameters for online advertisements. You want to hit the 1,000 people outside Omaha who eat Oreos, watch Supergirl, listen to Kanye and spent money online in the past 30 days? You got it, dude. Set aside part of your production budget, to promote the content you’re creating. You’ve spent time and money crafting a story; it should be told the right way. Continue reading »
I’ve noticed an interesting trend among social media marketers lately: they are trying to cram more and more content into each social post. I thought it was common knowledge (not to mention commons sense) that shorter captions tend to perform better on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I’ve always tried to hold myself to conveying one idea and one idea only in each post. This trend came into focus for me last week in a meeting where the client was actually advocating for paragraph-long captions on their Instagram posts in order to “convey the full story.” I was dumbstruck. But I’m always willing to challenge my own assumptions so we dug into our initial research on optimal post length to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.
The results are pretty clear. Our research shows that posts between 5 and 2o words in length perform the best in terms of engagement across both Facebook and Instagram. Every 5 additional words in length results in a significant drop in average engagement rate. At about the 70-word mark, high engagement is about as likely as hitting a unicorn with your car.
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We here at Pandemic Labs are big fans of The Nerdist. Using the Watchtower Analytics platform, we took a hard look at their Facebook Page. View the infographic here, and read below to see what we found.
The Nerdist posts a lot of links. Many of those are Facebook posts announcing the release of a new episode of The Nerdist Podcast. That’s cool, guys. But consider posting a single photo (Of the guest? Of the scene while recording?) and linking to the new episode from the image’s caption. Your EdgeRank will improve, and your clickthroughs will follow suit.
Weekend posts from The Nerdist Facebook Page result in proportionally higher interaction numbers than posts on other days of the week. Don’t spam people with too much weekend content, but time your weekend posts so that you’re hitting folks at the right times. Finding those times depends on where in the world your Fans are. People the world over use Facebook at generally the same times. Those are: “before work”, “around lunch” and “after dinner / kids are put to bed”.
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In previous blog posts, strategies for the development and deployment of smart Facebook fan acquisition campaigns have been outlined. In this post, we’re going to look at two houses, both alike in dignity. Using Watchtower Analytics, we analyzed the Facebooking of the two biggest comic book publishers out there. Here’s what we found.
Both brands lean heavily on the 12:00 pm Eastern posting time. This suggests a mechanical schedule that isn’t optimized for the times at which each brand receives proportionally higher engagement, as detailed below.
Both brands are neglecting the peak engagement times, as reported by Watchtower’s data. Note that on the infographic, we’re using GMT -4 when commenting on times of day. DC is posting most frequently on Wednesdays (for those that don’t know, that’s when new comics are released for sale each week), and Marvel posts primarily on Fridays (a less-than-stellar day in terms of engagement metrics)
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I love Odwalla products. They taste good and at least I think they are better for me than drinking yet another Diet Coke.
Here is a short video letter to Odwalla where we quickly explore a major hole in their Facebook strategy that we discovered using Watchtower.
[iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/63192283″ width=”100%” height=”386″]
Summary: They have got to start posting on the weekends!
Looks like you’re enjoying an extra 2.5 million interactions this month thanks to that NFC Championship win. The extra interactions brought your engagement rate up from a somewhat respectable 0.70% to a whopping 1.59%.
You’re approaching the Super Bowl and Facebook Page dominance, but there are still a few areas where you can improve. Most notably the timing of your content. Take a look at the graph below.
Your fans love to engage with your content when you post it between 11pm – 4am EST, but these are some of your lowest volume posting times. Instead you post mostly at 1pm and 2pm EST and experience some of your page’s lowest average engagement per post.
You’re also posting a lot on Sunday (a given) and doing very well. But your second best day, Saturday, has gotten the fewest amount of posts in the last 30 days. What gives? People are gearing up for gameday and you’re leaving them hanging.
We would never suggest posting only at one time, but we also can’t argue against the preferences of your fan base.
This data was compiled and analyzed by Pandemic Labs, using their proprietary Facebook analytics software, Watchtower.
Good luck on Sunday!
Election time is here, and Pandemic Labs is marking the occasion with some good ol’ fashioned data.
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been on a real data kick lately; that’s what having a tool like Watchtower will do to you.
If you’ve missed some of our other infographics, check them out here.
So we decided to compare the Facebook presences of our two Presidential Candidates and see how they stack up. The results are below. Have we correctly predicted the winner of the election? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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