FROM TC: Most of these stories aren't specifically about the arts, but should still be of interest:
Quote of the Day
Tighe Flatley, Community Manager at Eventbrite, 3/6/12
'Build it and they will come,' does not apply to Facebook. Instead, it's more like, 'build it, update it frequently, identify and reach out to your audience to tell them about it then incentivise them to engage with it and they might come -- but only if you do it well enough.'
Commentary: Even sexy brands struggle with low engagement on Facebook Matthew Creamer, Advertisting Age, 2/28/12
The common view that Facebook "likes" equate to brand engagement took a hit last month when the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute shared some interesting data. Researchers found that less than 1% of fans of the 200 biggest brands on Facebook actually engaged...if you subtract 'likes' to isolate for more meaningful activity, including shares and comments. [Even for] passion brands -- including Nike, Old Spice, Harley-Davidson, Porsche, Ford Mustang, Jack Daniels and Tiffany -- the researchers [only] found an average engagement of 0.66%.
Commentary: Top brands are ignoring Facebook's interactive potential
Companies are not realizing the full potential of engaging with fans. Consulting firm A.T. Kearney analyzed conversations happening on Facebook between 50 top brands and their fans in December 2011. 94% of the brands' pages didn't allow consumers to initiate a conversation. 56% of top brands did not respond to a single customer comment. Consumers demonstrate their interest by "liking" and commenting on posts. 69% of all consumer actions on these pages were in response to posts from the brand that did not specifically promote a product. Brands did not pick up on the feedback -- 61% of the time, posts were promotional, and, demonstrating consumers' disinterest in such content, these posts received only 11% of all consumer responses.
Commentary: Facebook's latest tools blur the line between ads and user content
Josh Constine, TechCrunch.com, 3/4/12
Facebook has a grand scheme to make advertising on its properties less risky and less guess-work than buying ads anywhere else on the Internet. [Most importantly,] Facebook wants ads to be content. Here's a breakdown of the big news from the Facebook Marketing Conference [last] Wednesday and how it changed the marketing industry landscape:
- Reach Generator. Rather than pay on a per-click or per-thousand impressions basis, advertisers pay a fixed fee based on their Page's fan count. In return, Facebook guarantees exposure of a Page's posts to 75% of their fans a month, by showing them as ads in the sidebar, news feed, and logout page. Typically a Page post only reaches 16% of a Page's fans, so this creates a simple way to pay for added distribution. It will be relatively expensive, though, and therefore only suited for the world's richest brands.
- Timeline lets brands tell their story more expressively. Pinned posts let campaigns escape the reverse chronological feed, and brands can now host custom Open Graph Timeline apps.
- Direct messages open a new customer service channel. [Timelines allow users to send direct, private messages to your Page. You can address users' concerns without having to discuss issues publicly on your wall/Timeline. Pages cannot proactively send messages; you can only respond to users that have already contacted you.]
- New Ad Units - Page posts can now be turned into ads that can appear in the mobile news feed and on a large space on the Facebook logout page, in addition to the web news feed and web sidebars. Facebook's goal is to turn ads into content and interactive experiences users don't mind seeing.
- Facebook also officially launched its Offers news feed post and ad format for distributing free coupons which has been in testing for several months.
- Real-Time Insights - Data on impressions, reach, people talking about this, clicks, video views, negative feedback and more will soon be available just 5-10 minutes after a post is published rather than two whole days later. This will teach marketers what content resonates most with their audiences, and give them the chance to immediately amplify the reach of a popular post by paying to also show it as a Sponsored Story ad.
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Commentary: Why Ticketmaster wants to be your friend on Facebook
Joshua Brustein, New York Times "Bits" column, 3/5/12
If you want to know why companies are so hot on social networking, consider this: Ticketmaster recently began asking customers to post their purchases on Facebook. Since then, the company says, it has made $5.30 in additional ticket sales each time someone has done so. That value increases to $8 when the customer also posts the location of the seats using Ticketmaster's seating chart. The exact numbers should probably be taken with a grain of salt, because they do not adjust for people who would have bought tickets anyway. Still, they make clear why Ticketmaster -- and other e-commerce sites -- are making an increasing push to get people to blend their shopping and social activities. Social media is doubly important for Ticketmaster because it gives the company a view of customers it does not interact with directly. The average purchase is 2.7 tickets. While Ticketmaster gathers lots of data about the people who buy the tickets, it knows practically nothing about their guests. "Social is all about getting us to identify who are the other 1.7 people," said John Forese SVP of Live Analytics, Ticketmaster's year-old big data analysis venture. For those buying tickets, rest assured that Ticketmaster knows plenty about you. The company tracks customers over time, and can determine how much people who tend to go to certain events are likely to be interested in seemingly unrelated events. Tennis fans, for instance, have more wide-ranging music tastes than do soccer fans, and spend a lot more time and money on concerts.
Commentary: Mktg & Devo should collaborate to raise money on Facebook
Erica Schlaikjer, Social Media Week, 2/17/12
It all started with a fun bet. Alli Houseworth, former communications and new media manager for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, wanted to prove to her colleagues that you could actually raise money through social media. Houseworth co-opted an existing fundraising campaign, "It's Not the Size of the Gift," to raise $1,937 (the number of Woolly's Facebook followers at the time) within 10 days. She could only promote the campaign over Facebook and Twitter. No emails, no phone calls, no in-person conversations. Only status updates and tweets. Bottom line: It worked (read the full close-out report). 156 gifts were received for a total of $2,209. On the other hand, there were definitely some lessons learned. Houseworth conceded there were a lot of things she didn't think about: How to acknowledge donors? What to do about not being able to receive international gifts? How to custom code the contacts and fundraising database? How to turn micro-givers into long-term donors? After Houseworth's presentation, the Social Media Week audience continued a lively discussion about whether or not the campaign was actually successful. As one audience member tweeted, "Successful isn't the same as valuable." The main take-away was this: If development and marketing people worked together to integrate this into a major campaign with emails and letters and asks and donor cultivation, then it could be amazingly successful. Or as Houseworth said, pointing to her former Director of Development, "If I thought like a fundraiser, and he thought like a marketing person, it would be extraordinary."