#SocialSkim: Instagram Preps for E-Commerce, Customizable Pages for Facebook: 10 Stories This Week

Instagram preps for full-fledged e-commerce; Facebook’s new customizable page layouts (it also bets on social gaming); think twice about using emojis; Trump’s little-known digital and data machine might have won him the election; how to measure social media churn; Gen Z’s views vs. Millennials’. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
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Facebook’s Miscalculated Metrics: What Marketers Need to Know

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Facebook Metrics.png

Over the past couple of months, you may have heard some things about Facebook’s metrics.

There was talk of numbers — lots of them. Things were overestimated. Others were underestimated. People were kind of upset. But mostly, they were confused. What the heck happened? How was Facebook going to respond? And at the end of the day, what did it mean for marketers? Breathe, and don’t panic — we’re here to answer all of that.But before we dive in, let’s make one thing clear — none of it is the end of the world. Download our free guide for more data-backed tips on creating the optimal  Facebook Ad. In fact, most of the issues have already been addressed and repaired; at this point, the most important item on our agenda is to clarify what’s actually going on.

What Happened?

It started with video

The drama began in September 2016, when Facebook revealed that there was a problem with its video viewership metrics — the average time that users spent watching videos was being largely overestimated.

Mathematically, Facebook wrote in a statement, that metric should have been the resulting figure from dividing the total time spent watching a video by the total number of people who played it. Instead, the total viewing time was divided by the number of times the video was watched for three seconds or more.

So, let’s say a video received a total viewing time of five hours, or 300 minutes, and it was watched by a total of 1,000 people, 700 of whom watched it for at least three seconds. The viewership metric should be 30%. Instead, Facebook was dividing those 300 minutes by 700, resulting in a larger metric of nearly 43%. And, says the Wall Street Journal [WSJ], that went on for nearly two years.

For a social media platform that boasts how effective its video tools are for marketers, the announcement was an embarrassment. The advertising world was especially unhappy about it — Publicis Media, an ad-buying agency, told its clients that Facebook indicated viewing time overestimates of up to 80%. There were calls for third-party metric verification protocols to be put in place, and while Facebook said that it fixed the error and would be looking into such improvements, the metric misfortune didn’t end there.

A bit of a bug

In fact, just yesterday, Facebook announced that it discovered a bug in its Pages Insights that’s been lurking since May. The summary displaying seven- or 28-day organic page reach was incorrectly added up as the sum of daily reach over that period. That means duplicate visitors were being counted in every instance, leading to a number that was 33% higher than it should have been for seven-day summaries, and 55% for the 28-day ones. Facebook clarified that this error would not impact paid ads.

Here’s how Facebook visually represented the error — the red circle indicates where the duplicate viewership would have appeared.

Facebook Page Insights

Source: Facebook

But you’ll notice that there are green circles in that image, too. Those indicate the insights that were unaffected by the bug — which was the “vast majority” of them — and includes the following measurements:

  • All graphs
  • Daily and historical reach
  • Per-post reach
  • Exported and API reach data
  • All data on the Reach tab

What else was impacted?

In addition to the Page Insights, the bug really only impacted a total of four out of Facebook’s 220 measured metrics, according to WSJ. The remainder included:

More video miscalculations.

This time, the “video views at 100%” — which has been renamed to “video watches at 100%” — metric was impacted, thanks to a glitch that sometimes causes a video’s audio and visual components to be unsynced.

That means that even though the visual is played to completion, the audio may continue after the visual stops. But since about 85% of Facebook video is consumed without sound, viewers are likely to stop watching the video before this latent audio completes. As a result, “video watches at 100%” metrics might now increase by an estimated 35%.

Instant articles.

Here’s another case of Facebook’s overestimations. The average time spent reading Instant Articles — a method by which Facebook displays news articles at a rate 10X faster than a typical mobile web browser — was reported to be 7-8% higher than the actual length of time per article.

Referrals.

In Facebook’s Analytics for Apps dashboard, “referrals” are intended to measure the number of clicks on a post that were directed to an app or website. But it turns out that the “referrals” metric was counting more than that, and inaccurately also included clicks on the same post to view media, like photo or video. That led to an overestimate of referrals by about 6%.

Facebook’s Response

In Facebook’s defense, significant measures have been taken to resolve all of the above issues.

For some, the errors pertaining to ads seem to be the most pressing, which could be why the social media platform has dedicated an entire page to the updates around ads reporting alone. Most of those changes are intended to provide clarification over what exactly is being measured and how — mostly in the interest of “fairness and transparency,” Mark Rabkin, Facebook’s VP of core ads, told WSJ.

Plus, Facebook claims to be taking the feedback to implement third-party measuring protocols seriously, and aims to further clarify how it’s going to calculate ad viewership, as well as the source of that data. Some of it will be coming from Moat and Integral Ad Science — platforms that are used to measure ad and content engagement — which will be used to measure display ad campaigns (previously, those platforms were only available to measure video campaigns).

But Facebook is also enlisting the help of a true viewership pioneer: Nielsen.

Nielsen has its own Digital Content Ratings metric, which Facebook will be implementing to count video viewership — both on-demand and live. That comes with Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement, which helps marketers compare digital metrics to those from TV.

There’s also a new blogging property launching — Facebook’s Metrics FYI — which will contain regular updates about any and all changes to the platform’s metrics henceforth.

These efforts are all compounded by the formation of a Measurement Council — or, as we like to call it, Facebook’s jury of peers. The Council will be comprised of “business and measurement executives,” and is a bit of an extension of Facebook’s existing Client Council, which helped to develop the tools that help businesses measure ROI.

What It All Means for Marketers

So just how seriously should we be taking it? Well, in short, marketers have reason to be happy about the improvements that Facebook is making, but shouldn’t freak out over the miscalculations.

Why is that? According to Daria Marmer, HubSpot’s social product manager, “Most of the metrics in question are what we’d call vanity metrics. Views and impressions are important, but don’t have a huge impact on your business at the end of the day.”

And while Marmer echoes the benefits of Facebook’s measures to fix these discrepancies, “We really encourage marketers to tie their social efforts to more concrete metrics,” she said, “such as website visits, downloads, new leads.”

She adds, “The social data from Facebook in HubSpot customers’ portals won’t change based on these updates.”

We’ve got you covered. And, we’ll continue to bring you updates to all things social as they emerge.

What do you think of Facebook’s latest announcements, and what sort of action are you taking? Let us know in the comments.

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#SocialSkim: Twitter Kills Vine, Instagram Tests Live Video, Facebook Bulks Up for Businesses

Twitter, Pinterest suffer cyberattack; Instagram’s live-streaming foray; Microsoft’s challenge to Slack; Facebook’s newest features for businesses; Twitter’s plans for big layoffs; Snapchat’s viewership dip; how B2B marketers can use Facebook. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
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How Emotion-Detection Technology Will Change Marketing

Emotion_Based_Tech

Emotion_Based_Tech.jpg

Imagine someone arrives at your website, Facebook Page, or advertisement. Now, imagine that you could change your marketing dynamically, right there on the spot, in response to their emotional reactions.

It would be nothing short of a game changer for your business, right?

Yet this is not fantasy. Exploding with investment and technological advances, the world of emotion detection and recognition technology will change the face of marketing in the years to come.

Emotions are what drive your audience to purchase. In fact, studies by the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio found that people with damage to the part of the brain that triggers emotions — in other words, people that are unable to feel emotions — find it extremely difficult to make decisions.

The lesson? If your marketing is not evoking an emotional response from your target audience, you are making it extremely difficult for your prospective customers to purchase from you. That’s right, your own marketing is potentially causing prospects to turn away from you and your brand.

What’s a marketer to do? Let’s dive into some research. 

The Power of Emotions

Many of the most successful marketing campaigns and initiatives are focused on emotions. Take Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which was an attempt to change the conversation around women’s beauty. Or Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, firing up the inner-athlete in everyone. Or MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign, which has been powering brand success for a whopping 19+ years.

All of this marketing aims to move your heart, and then relies on the experience to build a lasting bond with the brand. What it doesn’t do is rely on feature sets, discounts, or new technology to move you to a sale. None of it speaks to the number of offices, employees, or years in business of the brand. Google Senior VP of Global Marketing, Lorraine Twohill, states, “If we don’t make you cry, we fail. It’s about emotion.”

Twohill is not alone with this sentiment. Multiple studies point to emotional marketing as more effective than other forms of marketing (e.g., product-focused marketing). Based on an analysis of 1,400 successful ad campaigns, the book Brand Immortality by Hamish Pringle and Peter Field reveals that advertising campaigns focused on emotional content performed approximately twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content.

The power of emotional content should not come as a surprise. After all, emotions drive us to action. As consumers, we first decide on a purchase based on emotion, and then try to justify it through the more rational parts of our brain. Longer-term, emotions are what cause people to prefer brand names, even if generic alternatives are available.

Findings from a 2015 Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience study of 100 ads across 25 brands in the consumer goods market revealed that ads with the best emotional response generated a 23% lift in sales, meaning that emotional marketing is not merely effective as an engagement vehicle but also as a true business driver.

And don’t think that emotion-based marketing is applicable to only B2C marketing and individual consumers. Business buyers are also creatures of emotion. In fact, successful B2B companies like GE, Cisco, IBM, AutoDesk, and Qualcomm all focus on emotions in their marketing. Similar to the Pringle and Field findings, the research report “From Promotion to Emotion: Connecting B2B Customers to Brands” by CES and Google explains that B2B brands achieve roughly twice the impact with a target audience when appealing to the personal value to the buyer including emotional benefits. 

A Mountain of Investment

In consideration of the power of emotional marketing, it should be no surprise that the emotion detection and recognition market is projected to be worth $ 22.65 Billion by 2020, according to the market research firm MarketsandMarkets. As a result, investment in the space is exploding.

Apple, one of the most valuable companies on the planet, has been keenly interested in emotion recognition for years. In 2014 the company filed a patent that described software for analyzing and identifying a person’s mood based on a variety of signals, including facial expression. Earlier this year, Apple acquired Emotient, an emotion-recognition technology company.

Emotient has a patent for a method of collecting and labeling up to 100,000 facial images a day, supporting a computer’s ability to recognize facial expressions. It’s reasonable to believe that Emotient’s emotion recognition technology will start appearing in iPhones and iPads before you know it, and then possibly used as a platform for more targeted and dynamic engagement when users are in their browsers.

Last year the consumer-research company Nielsen bought Innerscope, which uses biometrics such as brain scans and galvanic skin response (GSR) to measure subconscious emotional responses to media and marketing.

Affectiva, an emotion recognition technology developer, raised $ 14 million just a few months ago. Affectiva boasts the world’s largest emotion data repository, with 40 billion data points and close to 4 million faces analyzed using its technology.

Overall, those using emotion analysis to test audience reaction to their marketing include major marketers such as Unilever, P&G, Mars, Honda, Kellogg, and Coca Cola. For example, Kellogg’s used Affectiva’s software to determine its ads for Crunchy Nut cereal, with the goal of generating high engagement rates with the audience. Viewers were shown multiple versions of a commercial featuring animals. A version of the ad featuring a snake produced the most laughs, but low engagement rates when viewing the ad a second time.

The facial recognition software revealed that an alternative version of the ad featuring an alien produced the desired engagement levels. Kellogg’s therefore decided to rollout the alien-based ad instead, helping to drive the cereal’s sales.

Nothing Short of a Revolution

Being able to adjust one’s marketing dynamically, based on the real-time reactions of your audience, will empower marketers to provide the right message at the right time to the right person.

In the future, it’s likely that you’ll be able to calibrate your marketing mid-stream with just about any digital experience — no two prospects may experience a brand’s marketing in the same exact way.

Going beyond advertising, you can already see how Facebook is on a path to incorporating emotional reaction into a user’s News Feed by introducing “Reactions” this past February. Rather than simply “Liking” a post, users can now designate their reaction across six emotions: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry.

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Facebook interprets the use of Reactions as an indication that a person’s network on the social platform wants to see more of those types of posts. That type of primitive application is sure to evolve moving forward. Sammi Krug, Product Manager at Facebook, explains, “Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.”

As of the time of this writing, Facebook Ads treat Reactions the same as Likes. Ad reports do not include a breakdown of individual Reactions, although the breakdown can be found in Page Insights. For ad delivery, as well, Reactions are treated the same as Likes. Of course the next logical step will be for Facebook to treat different emotional reactions differently, rewarding Love more than Like, for example, and demoting an ad’s visibility if users express anger.

The Future

It’s safe to say that we should expect a great deal of change in the world of marketing moving forward. Gabi Zijderveld, CMO at Affectiva, provides a peek into the future by explaining the evolution of emotion recognition technology:

Initially, the technology was used to understand how consumers engage with their brand content and advertising, and how these emotions then influence brand awareness and purchase intent. Now the technology is also used to infuse consumer experiences, apps and interactive advertising with Emotion AI. This will help to transform the face of marketing and advertising by reading human emotions and then adapting consumer experiences to these emotions in real time. The technology gives marketers the power to truly delight and engage their customers with uniquely dynamic and personalized interactions.”

Web development is already on the path towards more personalization. As emotion recognition technology becomes more sophisticated and more deeply embedded in our array of devices, it will become expected that our computers and phones provide us with a continual progression of customized triggers and messaging. The technology will be found even in future car dashboards, refrigerator doors, and conference room walls — essentially any surface will become a possible means for detection of emotions.

Social media will constantly focus on each user’s emotions. For example, in the future expect Facebook’s algorithm to focus just as much on one’s emotional reactions as it does to one’s historical click behavior, providing a unique social environment that goes far beyond prediction of the types of posts, pages, and ads one would like. Expect Facebook Ads to provide advertisers with the ability to hyper target not only based on age, geography, and job titles, but also on the individual’s emotional state or progression of emotional states.

Online marketing will likely evolve into sequential experiences, with deeper engagement upon recognition of positive emotional reactions. You can also expect more deeply embedded forms of marketing similar to product placement. Ultimately, expect emotion recognition to be just another core component of marketing, similar to how “digital marketing” is now really just “marketing.”

Emotion recognition technology is clearly bringing about a revolution in marketing. Are you ready to start capitalizing on the opportunity?

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#SocialSkim: Facebook’s Enterprise Tool, Snapchat’s Sunglasses: 11 Stories This Week

Among this week’s headlines: ‘Facebook at Work’ to launch next month; Snapchat introduces Snap-taking connected glasses, rebrands; LinkedIn launches ‘Learning,’ gets cozy with new bot; four fatal LinkedIn prospecting errors; Millennials aren’t shopping on social media… Read the full article at MarketingProfs
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