Perficient Digital Transformation Blog


Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

I’ve blogged about the personalization failure before.  Now it looks like others are catching on to the ultimate failure on their part, even as they harvest huge amounts of private information about us. This article in ComputerWorld outlines the issues. The author Mike Elgan hits the topic of privacy quickly and never lets it go:

Companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon violate our privacy in order to show us relevant ads. So why do their ads miss the mark?

To be honest, he has a point. We do give up a lot of information to the likes of Google and Facebook, but the personalization and ad pushes seem to leave a lot to be desired.  Where exactly does all that data go? It doesn’t seem to do a good job identifying our secret needs.

Personal data harvesting for contextual ads and content should be a beautiful thing. Companies monitor what you do, where you go, who you interact with and what your interests are. They do it privately and securely, and it’s all automated so that no human being actually learns anything about you. And then the online world becomes customized, just for you. The ads are always the things you want to buy. The services are just what you’re looking for. The content is exactly the stuff you enjoy.

It doesn’t always work that way, but that’s how it’s supposed to work.

What’s wrong with the public anxiety about this scenario? People are mostly concerned about the privacy violation. But it could be argued that there is no such violation, in most cases. It’s really a philosophical question as to whether your privacy has been violated if no human being sees your data.

The real problem with this scenario is that is we’re paying for contextual ads and content with our personal data, but we’re not getting what we pay for.

After reading the article, I was again left with the same question: How come you have the information, but cannot get the personalization right?

Adobe Summit: The Convergence of Search and Social

Marc Blinder, Director of Social Marketing at Adobe and Jon Beeston, Director of New Product Innovation at Adobe presented on the trend of search and social convering.  Twitter is a great example of that where we share but also search.

Theme: Search and Social platforms are converging – which  means successful marketers musth have one unified team with one set of data.

Key takeaways from this session

  1. Connect: facebook to offline experience. feed the metadata
  2. Bring: search and social teogher. People, process, and technology
  3. Expect: social SEM data unification and all our war among Google, facebook, and twitter for ad dollars


Paid, owned, and earned are converging.  Look at facebook where you can have your owned pages, people who like you and you also buy ads. They might even be on the same page.  Google search results even shows paid and owned assets together, especially with Google + and it’s continuing growth.


Quote: “There’s no free lunch”

Quote: It could be argued from a consumer point of view that the better the search engine is the fewer advertisement  you will need. (Google)

Note that they followed that with a picture of a Google results page with TONS of ads.

  • Social will become more like search and search will become more social.  As social becomes more like search, you will pay for it in some form or fashion.
  • Search is improving within facebook and users are starting to use the natural search.  The results are like a combination of Yelp and Bing
  • Point, you should search for your company or product to see if the results look good or if you need some work.
  • Google Hummingbird search uses natural language processing.  They actually followed facebook on this
    • Google is trying to tie in Google+ as much as they can.  There’s a lot of
  • Twitter has marketing events but it will depend on real time interactions and key words. You social guys should be talking to your search team.
  • Look at all the reviews on facebook.  Although there seems to be some major rate inflation.  It could become the best way to find a restaurant.
    • Note that Google moved their reviews to Google plus so you’ve got something similar going on.
  • The clunky: three results for Thornbury Castle on the facebook search right now.  It needs some cleanup.
    • natural language search on facebook is still a bit clunky
  • Stalker: Can now search for divorced women over 30 years old. (Creepy)
    • Or divorced women who like a specific tv shows
    • key learning, watch out what you like. It will come back to you.
  • Political implications: Femen is illegal in Tunisia but it’s a piece of cake to find people who like Femen in Tunisia.

How to improve your search and your social?

  • Update your metadata
  • use checkin to your locations
  • encourage offline customers to go mobile with likes, checkins, and recommendations
  • Great idea: everyone checks in when they upload a picture.   So put something photo worthy in it.
  • Don’t forget stickers like rate us on trip advisor, etc.
  • It will be easy to get yourself to the top of a list by checking in a fair amount.
  • Be careful and remember that Facebook is still working on this. Graph search isn’t even available on mobile.
    • It’s early in the game. They’ve got a lot to do. they just had to index 1 trillion pieces of content.  So something has to slide
  • Publish at least one per day on Google+
    • Find something to push out once a day to get decent looking results.
  • use Google + social to put content in display advertising in Google ad network
  • Twitter strategy
    • Conversation analytics
    • keyword strategy
    • creative development
    • bid optimization
    • Looks a lot like search ad strategy doesn’t it……….

Integrate Search and Social

You need to evolve your approach.

  • Disparate teams with social, search etc need to come together.  Adobe uses a hub and spoke framework
    • Other options for approach include centralized, distributed, and holistic
    • Don’t just use a PR agency for your social. Become social yourselves
  • Inconsistent KPI’s need a common framework across teams
    • and if you aren’t doing a good job tracking then start.  You need analytics and key measurements
  • Siloed tracking and report becomes common tracking and reports
    • Common tracking will push you to channel optimization
    • Which will push your towards attributions.
    • Which will lead you to media mix modeling
    • It must become unified between social and search.  Of course, that’s the whole point of campaign management services.
  • Volume, sentiment need to become something that proves value to the business
  • In evolving, define what you want to do. Recognize the role of social in YOUR organization
    • PR and communications?
    • Marketing and ecommerce?
      • Search probably belongs mostly in this bucket.
    • Customer service and support?
    • Product innovation?

The ultimate aim is to get to the right mix of search, ads, email, and social media.  Doing that depends on how well you converge it all.


Facebook Introduces New Campaign Structure

Facebook has been hailed and maligned at the same time for its advertisement features.  On one hand, Facebook ads promise to reach large, targeted audiences with your message.  On the other hand, Facebook ad reach is a black box that only Facebook controls.  In a previous post, Why Facebook is Failing Marketers, my colleague Michael Porter wrote about Facebook ads reaching only 16% of a company’s fans.

I don’t know if the  New Facebook Campaign Structure that Facebook is rolling out will address the complaints, but it will make it easier to manage Facebook campaigns and ads.  Existing ads in Facebook are organized into Campaigns.  This two level structure has made it difficult manage campaigns and measure performance.

In the new structure, Campaigns organize Ad Sets which organize Ads.  This three level hierarchy makes it easier to target ads to different users and then measure specific results in a campaign.  For example, you can create a separate campaign for each of your marketing goals or objectives. If you want to increase brand awareness, that can be a distinct facebookcampaignscampaign from the campaign to increase revenues.  Each campaign can have its own tactics, budgets, and measurements.

Within each Campaign, you can segment your audience by using Ad Sets.  So you can create a ad set for 18-25 year olds, another for 25-35 and so on. Each Ad Set can have its own schedule and budget on Facebook.  This makes it easier to focus resources on those segments that may be most beneficial to your campaign.

Within each Ad Set you have various Ads.  Ads work the same way they do today.  However, now you can see how you can create a specific Ad for 18-25 year olds versus the other segments, all within the same campaign.

Facebook Campaign Structure

You can measure results at any of the three levels – Campaign, Ad Set or Ad.  If you want to see how a particular ad is doing in the 18-25 year old Ad Set, you can now get that data and make adjustments as needed.

Hopefully these changes will allow marketers to have more control over their Facebook campaigns. These changes are being rolled out over the next few weeks and will be available worldwide.

Dreamforce: Managing Social Conversations with Buddy Media

Barbara Meskin from Jim Beam presented how that brand learned how to engage customers through social media on a global scale.  The journey that she decribed included the following steps over two years, although these things were not done linearly all the time:Jim Beam Bourbon image

  1. Social Audit – here they had to figure out what they had and how social media was used across the world.  They found 28 Facebook pages, all with inconsistent message, inconsistent branding and multiple personalities
  2. Stakeholder Alignment – at this stage they had their audit data and could go out to stakeholders to internally sell the need for change.   They also put a lot of time into regional coordination to make sure local marketers would buy in to and follow the program.
  3. Develop Strategy & Goals – establishing goals and objectives helped guide everyone globally to
  4. Develop Supporting tools – to make sure everyone followed the plan, they developed global style media guide and implemented Buddy Media for everyone to use to publish and monitor content
  5. Organize for Success – her team needed to make sure that the stakeholders had access to the tools, content guidelines and training
  6. Global tools & Content – This included seeded content, optimized labels in Buddy Media, and common global analytics that could be tracked and reported
  7. Continuous Improvement – finally, now that the program is in place, they are look for ways to continually improve their social media presence.  This includes making sure marketers are content planning many weeks in advance, sharing best practices sharing, testing new concepts and learning as they go.

Results showed that they increased their global fans 63%, which is tremendous.  They also now have consistent global branding and messaging, along with local in-country specific content.

Take a look at Jim Beam on Facebook and let me know if you think they have been successful.

Why Facebook Is Failing Marketers

Forrester and Nate Elliott just released a short but insightful paper on Why FaceBook is Failing Marketers.  He and the other authors include survey feedback from the value marketing professionals receive from Facebook.  It’s worth it to read the whole article if you have access to Forrester.

What I like best is his analysis of the promise of Facebook marketing vs the actual result.

Facebook no longer supports social marketing. Yes, you heard us right. Sure, the company still teases marketers with the promise that it will better connect them to their customers. (see endnote 9) But in reality, it rarely creates such connections. Everyone who clicks the like button on a brand’s Facebook page volunteers to receive that brand’s messages — but on average, Facebook only shows each brand’s posts to 16% of its fans. (see endnote 10) And while Facebook upgrades its paid advertising tools and offerings monthly or more, it’s done little in the past 18 months to improve its unloved branded page format or the tools that marketers use to manage and measure those pages. (see endnote 11)

Personally, I agree with Nate and his fellow authors.  When I use Facebook I view ads that have no relevance to me and yet Facebook knows my religion, what I like, where I live, the fact that I have a family, am married, and even the location of pictures I post.  I should be a marketers dream based on what you can piece together about me.  Instead I get this:



Facebook Ads

What facebook decided I should see











Just so you know, I have never posted a recipe or indicated I have a new business or like Asian food.  I do like Asian food but anyone from Perficient reading this should not assume I’m looking to leave my current position for my new business.  You can assume that someone just paid for an ad impression to nowhere……..

Social Intranet Technologies, Part 3

In the past two posts (Part 1 & Part 2), I list many of the key technologies that make up a social intranet.  In this post, I’m going to talk about how you might combine those different systems into an overall social intranet platform for your company.  In the next post in this series, I’ll talk about what some major vendors are offering for a social intranet solution.

Assume that you’ve decided to replace your old, circa 2001 intranet with a new social intranet.  A good place to start is to understand what features are going to be important in your new intranet.  What features you implement are going to depend largely on the corporate culture you have and the culture you want to build in the future.  I’ll layout a few different approaches here and talk about the different technologies that would need to be implemented for each.

In our first scenario, you are pretty top-down.  You want to communicate with employees and you want them to have some dialogue back with you.  But you are concerned that maybe they’ll be distracted from their real work, so you don’t want them to do too much.  You are ok with publishing content to the intranet, having employees provide comments and ratings, but that’s it for now.

Read the rest of this post »

Social Intranet Technologies, Part 2

In part 1 of this series (see Social Intranet Technologies, Part 1), I talked about many different technologies or systems that make up a social intranet.  In this post, I want to expand the list of technologies, and discuss briefly several technologies that often get overlooked, but can be an important part of a great social intranet.

When we talk about the social intranet, connecting people to people is one of the most important features we can provide.  In the main list of technologies, things such as Profiles, Search, Activity Streams, and Blogs are all intended to help connect people together.

The following technologies have been around a long time and their main purpose is to connect people to people:

  • Instant messaging
  • Web conferencing
  • eMail
  • Video messaging
  • Unified telephony

Instant messaging is one of those consumer technologies that has had a hard time moving into the corporate world.  Yes, many companies use instant messaging, but it has always seemed to be an afterthought. In a lot of companies I’ve been at, IT seems to use some form of IM, but it is not widespread.  I’m not sure why instant messaging is not more ubiquitous in companies.  But when you look at social networks, you have instant messaging built into Facebook.  Yahoo and Google have huge instant messaging platforms. At one point, many people joined AOL just for instant messaging.

Web Conferencing has become pretty commonplace on the internet, but this is another technology that has less penetration into corporations than I think it deserves.  Nearly everyone has heard of WebEx.  If you look on Wikipedia, they mention dozens of web conferencing vendors.  The benefits of web conferencing can be pretty obvious – reduced travel time and costs is a common benefit.  I think many companies use some form of Web Conferencing for working with outside partners, but I’ve come across few companies that have implemented a web conferencing system on their intranet.

eMail is still the defacto social intranet in most companies today.  eMail is how we’ve connected with other people for a decade or two (or three if you were an early pioneer).  Its just very easy to create and send an email to anyone inside or outside our company.  While most social intranet efforts are aimed at reducing the use of email, it is still an important part of everyone’s intranet experience.

Video messaging has been touted as a great way to connect people, but in general, it has not gained much traction.  Youtube is probably the most used system for video messages – you post a video and I can post one in response to you.  The appeal with video messaging is that you can make it more personal than email – I get to see your expressions – and longer than twitter.  I think that video requires too much effort and infrastructure for most companies to deal with.

Unified Telephony can be described as integrating your telephone system with other parts of your intranet.  One very cool feature of UT is have your phone know where you are, what device you are using and then forward calls to the appropriate place.  If you are out of the office, you can automatically have calls routed to your cell phone.  Or you can have voice messages delivered to your inbox or converted to text messages.

Which of these additional technologies you may want to implement in your social intranet depends on your vision, culture, and certainly your employees desires.

In the next part of this series, I’m going to talk about some major features in a social intranet, such as communities, and explore how some of these technologies can be used to enable them.  Then we’ll finish up the series by talking about how the major vendors are delivering social intranet technologies.

Social Intranet Technologies, Part 1

I’ve been seeing a lot of interest in the concept of a Social Intranet lately.  The intranet is your company’s internal content network.  In many cases, it is nothing more than a series of links to other systems.  In more sophisticated intranets, companies publish corporate news and announcements, departments have their own pages to share information, and people can perform work-tasks in one place.

In the past, companies have asked about adding social capabilities to existing intranet systems.  This might include adding a blog or a wiki.  But now, more and more companies are interested in replacing their old intranet with a new “Social Intranet”.  In this multi-part blog post, I’m going to explain what technologies are involved in a social intranet and then look at how the major vendors are addressing this need.

There are lots of articles on the internet about the human social aspects of the intranet – how to get people to use it, what policies you need in place, etc.  I am not going to talk about those parts of the social intranet.  Instead I’m going to focus on the specific technologies used to build a social intranet.  So lets start with defining what types of technologies are needed in a social intranet.

When you step back a take a holistic approach to a social intranet, you will discover that a lot of different types of software are involved. Social Intranet Technologies

In the picture to the right, you can see the various technologies involved  in a typical social intranet.  Not every social intranet is going to require all these different technologies, but most of them will be required.  Lets start at the top of the circle and go clockwise to see how each technology contributes to a social intranet.

Portal is typically a unifying technology in the intranet.  This is the tool that can display all sorts of information to the user in a secure and personalized way.  If you have  a need to display corporate news alongside a blog or with a user’s activity stream, a portal is a good technology to use.

Content / document management is the system used to manage and publish formal content to the intranet.  By formal content, I mean content that must be controlled by selected groups within the company.  For example, corporate news is a type of content that typically is published by very few people.  Company policy documents are another type of formal content that appears on the intranet.  A content management system allows you to control publishing and formatting of these types of content.

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Adobe CQ 5.5 Social Communities

Back in March, Adobe launched a new version of its CQ product and I blogged about it a couple of times:

At the time of the announcement, Adobe also announced CQ 5.5 Social Communities, but had not yet shipped that feature.  Well, I missed the original shipping announcement, so I’m catching up to it now.

On May 15, 2012, Adobe announced that CQ 5.5 Social Communities was available.  Social Communities builds on to some existing features already available in Adobe CQ 5.5, such as “developing and managing blogs, forums, comments, and ratings, as well as connecting to social networks, across all aspects of an organization’s digital presence”.

You can now include login to CQ 5 using Twitter or Facebook and then personalize their experience using information from their profile or data from other systems.  Adobe has included several social plugins in CQ 5.5 that include:Activity feeds

  • “Like” buttons
  • Comments
  • Twitter Share
  • Twitter Follow
  • Twitter Search

These new features will make it even easier for site managers to add social capabilities to their websites.

You can see a video of some of the social plugins on YouTube or inline below.


Apple and Facebook Should Be Terrified Of Google-Tinted Glasses

Techcrunch has an article out about why Apple and Facebook should be terrified of Google Glasses.  I think the idea of the glasses has merit although I suspect the first iteration of these things will need a lot of work.  But given what they could do for you and how they could integration voice, map/directions, search, and other services, it has the potential to be compelling.

View of directions projected onto Google Glasses

If you haven’t heard, Google today announced it is beginning public tests of augmented reality glasses with the codename Project Glass. A mouthwatering mock-up videoof what the device might eventually be capable of shows someone using voice commands to send messages, take photos, share to Google+, see the locations of friends, view maps, get directions, set calendar reminders, and more.

Cramming all the functionality into a sleek set of glasses is going to take time and effort, but the Google(x) skunklabs is on it. There’s a dozen ways the product could flop, most obviously if the glasses are awkward and unstylish, but also if they’re too heavy, expensive, fragile, or the world is just not quite ready. Let’s forget those for a second. Say Google figures it out and the retail version of Project Glass (which may end up being called Google Eye) becomes wildly popular. How will this disrupt Apple and Facebook, and what should they do to defend themselves?


There’s more at Techcrunch on what kind of disruptions Apple and Facebook may face.