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UEFA Champions League to be broadcast on Facebook

A new partnership with Fox Sports will see the UEFA Champions League matches streamed live across Facebook, with over a dozen Champions League fixtures aired in the US through the Fox Sports Facebook page from September.

Fox will live-stream two live matches per day in the group stage, four rounds of 16 matches and four quarter-final matches.

“This collaboration unlocks new distribution for Fox, giving the network a national platform for matches that won’t always be televised,” said Dan Reed, head of global Sports Partnerships at Facebook. And with different matches broadcast in English and Spanish on Facebook, our community of fans will have plenty of action to cheer on and chat about once the group stage kicks off in September.”

The deal will add to Facebook’s growing list of sporting events being streamed live across the platform, with recent deals including Major League Baseball, the US’s Major League Soccer and Univision for Liga MX matches.

UK’s love for cars tops social media posts

A report by social media analytics platform, Netbase, has revealed the UK’s love of luxury car brands.

The Brand Love List report looks at the brands consumers express the most love for in social media posts, with Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW 3 Series and Porsche 911 just some of the models that consumers are crazy about, with BMW, Audi and Porsche all featuring in the report’s top 10.

This is the second year that the report has been run. In the UK, Apple held onto the top spot, but showed that Google, in second place, was narrowing the gap which last year was 400,000, now down to 130,000 along with a lot of positive sentiment for Google Classroom. The remainder of the top five was unchanged with Lego in third with an abundance of shared excitement for themed Lego such as Lego Batman, Tesco in fourth with popular campaign hashtags including #triedforless and #bagsofhelp while BMW was ranked fifth.

The European Top Five brands differed only slightly from the UK with BMW taking fourth spot and consumer goods brand Adidas coming in at fifth place. The automotive sector once again proved popular with customers expressing much love, particularly in relation to the Porsche 911. While consumer goods brands including Gucci, Adidas, Lego and Christian Dior S.A. accounted for nearly 45% of the top loved brands, they only represented 21% of the mentions. Conversely, technology which was dominated by Apple and Google but also included SAP, Siemens and Dyson, represented 10% of the conversation they also represented over 55% of mentions.

While there’s much love for consumer goods brands, they still don’t even come close to the volume of technology conversation across Europe.

The data was gathered using NetBase’s social media analytics platform to surface the strongest, most positive consumer emotions towards brands from 2.4 million English language posts of earned mentions. Earned mentions mean those posts that were not posted by the brand itself, inclusive of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and millions of other sources during the one-year period April 2016 to April 2017. It then identified the 25 UK brands that get the most love.

The European report used the same sources across the same period from 6.5 million English language posts of earned mentions in 50+ European countries and identified a list of the 50 most loved brands.

Commenting on the UK report Paige Leidig, Chief Marketing Officer, NetBase said: “What’s interesting about automotive is that brands represent 25% of the list but account for only 13% of the conversation suggesting that there is an opportunity for them to spread the love and engage more influencers in conversation.

“The dominance of technology in social conversation is no surprise but the fact that Apple and Google are so far out in front indicates that they have now become an everyday part of the English language.”

www.netbase.com

Facebook

Facebook F8 2017 – What marketers need to know

The 10th edition of Facebook’s F8 Developers Conference took place last month in sunny California, with founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and fellow executives pitching the future of the popular platform to the gathered masses.

Facebook has become a key marketing platform for brands everywhere given the juicy consumer targeting it offers, allowing engagement with an audiences that were unprecedented only a few years ago.

The ongoing buzz around Augmented Reality was the key topic at F8, with Zuckerberg addressing the need for “an open platform that any developer in the world can build for augmented reality without first having to build their own camera and then get a lot of people to use it.”

Facebook wants us to connect with each other on a deeper level through AR, using augmented masks, special effects and 360 video, with a phone’s camera acting as a mainstream augmented reality platform, in a similar way that Pokemon GO did in 2016.

Mass market AR on Facebook is probably two years away. However, marketers should prepare themselves in readiness for launch – Google figures released recently show 82% of smartphone users conduct research on their phones while in stores (seen as a key AR user case) ahead of making a purchase. Facebook hopes AR will transform the way consumers purchase products and interact with retail businesses. Nike has already started using custom-made branded overlays exclusive to Facebook, and many other brands will follow their lead.

Virtual Reality was the next big topic, with the announcement of Facebook Spaces, “a new VR app where your can hang out with friends in a fun, interactive environment as if you were in the same room”. It was clear when Facebook purchased the US-based VR technology company Oculus it was looking to connect people outside of its mobile app.

For marketers, the possibilities are endless: estate agents could show potential virtual buyers properties from anywhere in the world; students from across the globe could attend online education platforms; travel agencies could show holidaymakers around hotels and locations ahead of buying tickets. Again, mass market use of VR is probably half a decade away, but its evolution and applications are evolving at breakneck speed.

Using QR codes with the messenger camera is another way in which Facebook is trying to help people connect with businesses in the physical world. By scanning codes, information about an event or business can be released through a Facebook Messenger bot, providing a touch point between customers and businesses and adding extra value.

New and enhanced analytics for Facebook business pages was also announced at F8, including artificial intelligence to help “scan your analytics and highlight important changes or your best performing content”. Previously only for apps, analytics will now be provided for Facebook Pages and also offline conversations, giving businesses the ability to measure and understand customers’ journey across Facebook Pages through to purchasing on their websites.

Basically, Facebook Analytics will make it much easier for marketers to assess the ROI for their social media activity, allowing businesses to better understand the user journey from commentating on Facebook posts through to purchasing items on websites.

Facebook beats LinkedIn as content king for senior execs…

B2B content marketing agency, Grist has confirmed Facebook to be the ‘go to’ social platform for C-suite executives to seek business advice.

As a result of its new The Value of B2B Thought Leadership Survey – presenting the findings from more than 200 interviews conducted at FTSE 350 companies – Facebook was cited as the most popular social platform for senior executives to engage with business content (79 per cent), followed by Twitter (73 per cent) and LinkedIn (68 per cent).

Regards thought leadership, 84 per cent believe this plays an important part in adding value to their role. Meanwhile, two-thirds search for thought leadership particularly on a Monday and believe it fails to make an impact when it’s too generic (63 per cent); lacks original ideas (58 per cent); or doesn’t address the reader’s needs (53 per cent).

Andrew Rogerson, founder and managing director at Grist said: “This research is great news if you are in control of your firm’s marketing and communications programme. The C-suite clearly values thought leadership and is happy to receive it from advisers.

“However, we can also see that much of this content is below par. The C-suite is a sophisticated and demanding audience, and will not respond to rehashed marketing material. Instead, thought leadership must provide a return on investment (ROI), both for the firms that invest the money to produce it and the senior executives that invest time in reading it.

“Consider, too, that Facebook matters in business-to-business communications. The marketing department, content teams and agencies need to deal with the consequences of this and devise a compelling editorial plan that includes a wide range of channels and different perspectives.”

Format was also discussed, as 800-word articles (63 per cent) and 300-500-word blog posts are preferable to longer content pieces.

Access the full survey here

More marketers turning to Facebook with paid-for marketing budgets…

In a survey collecting opinions on organic and paid-for marketing from 300 social media marketers, the B2B research and marketing firm, Clutch, found more than 60 per cent are approaching Facebook with paid-for marketing budgets; with the video platform YouTube coming in second at 34 per cent; 33 per cent for Twitter; and LinkedIn amounting to 30 per cent of paid budgets.

Although the majority of respondents (80 per cent) generally opt for a combination of organic and paid-for marketing, there are companies that have chosen not to use paid-for (13 per cent), despite 60 per cent claiming paid-for social media marketing is much more effective than organic.

In addition, the survey also acknowledges some significant differences between the social media marketing of B2B and B2C; however, both sectors are using the mediums in the same context.

Read the full survey here

Ted Baker optimising its social channels with new ‘Mission Impeccable’ campaign…

The British luxury fashion chain, Ted Baker, is reaping the extensive benefits associated with social media marketing with the recent launch of its brand new James Bond-themed campaign, ‘Mission Impeccable’.

As well as sharing ‘classified documents’ (picture sharing) via its existing social media channels including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – where customers can participate in an online scavenger hunt and decode – the campaign comprises of a film directed by Guy Ritchie which enables consumers to click and purchase the autumn/winter clothes that the actors are wearing.

Google also takes centre stage with the inclusion of a prize giveaway to those who read a phrase displayed on Ted Baker store windows to the Google Voice app, which generates clues before a prize is awarded.

 

Learn more about the Mission Impeccable campaign here

Facebook beats its rivals to become number one for B2B purchasing info…

Beating tough competition from the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook has been voted as the number one social platform for B2B marketers to find information to aid sector purchasing decisions.

The joint ‘Changing Face of Influence‘ report conducted by the global communications and PR agency, Hotwire, Active Digital Marketing Communications and technology market research provider, Vanson Bourne, found that out of 1,000 B2B decision-makers, 24 per cent actively choose Facebook as their main source in finding purchasing information; compared to 17 per cent preferring to use LinkedIn.

Group head of engagement at Hotwire, John Brown, commented: “Social media has eroded these divides and created an environment where what matters is how compelling the story is, not where decision makers see the story. We need to stop making assumptions about what our audience want and allow research and insight to guide how we create multichannel campaigns. B2B businesses who ignore channels because they view them as only being for consumers are in for a rude shock when they realise no one cares about the channels they’ve lovingly invested in.”

Download the full report here