Three-quarters of millennials expect brands to be entertaining

Female_animal_trainer_and_leopardIf you had to describe your branded content in one word, what would it be? Informative? Engaging? Boring? (I hope not) Upbeat? How about entertaining?

In Facebook’s “Coming of Age on Screens” study, 72% of young millennials from all over the world said that’s what they expect from brands – entertaining content. That’s a lot to live up to. It’s a lot harder to be entertaining on command than it is to be informative but when you hit that sweet spot the returns are insane.

Evian’s crazy, roller skating babies video earned the company a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most viewed online ad ever, accumulating more than 25 million views in just two months. When they made that, they knew it was funny and highly entertaining, and I’m sure they hoped it would be a huge hit, but I doubt they expected it to blow up the way it did.

Facebook and Google curate content especially for you. . .and you. . . and you.

Every day, I’m introduced to several hundred pieces of content via social, email and search and still I know I’m not seeing everything I’d like to see. Argue with me if you like, but there’s a ton of great content on the internet and now Google and Facebook are going to help you see even more of it.

Google just added a Suggested for You section in Google news. Krishna Bharat announced the update on his Google+ page, a choice that always perplexes me. I understand Google wanting to use their own social network to disseminate information but it always feels so unofficial. It’s like they’re hoping no one will notice.

The link is located in the sidebar, just under the Top Stories list. This is what I found when I checked my Suggested Stories this morning.

Facebook takes another step backwards with a new Groups apps

Old School Chat RoomAbout seven years ago, Facebook convinced the denizens of the internet that it was not only safe to come out of the IRC chat rooms, it was actually a good thing. No more hiding behind fake names while you discuss a singular topic with a room full of people, half of whom are there just to annoy you. Facebook was a social network – a place to be yourself, show off your photos, reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Seven years ago, Facebook convinced us that public was better than private but more and more it seems like they’re having a change of heart. Or maybe it’s us who have had the change of heart and Facebook is doing all they can to play along.

Friday Roundup: Facebook gives Thanks, LinkedIn shares slides and more

It’s Friday and time for another online marketing, social media roundup. Let’s get to it.

Facebook reminds us to mind our manners

Did your co-worker buy you a cup of coffee? Did Aunt Minnie knit you a sweater? Say thanks the modern way with a Facebook “Say Thanks” video card. Choose a Facebook friend, choose a theme, grab a photo or post and the widget does the rest. One odd thing. . . the thank you card doesn’t actually go to the person you want to thank. It shows up on your timeline with your friend’s tag. Seems like a very public way to express a very personal sentiment.

I’d tell you more about it but every link in the announcement blog post is a dead end so maybe Facebook is already rethinking this idea.

Call, Configure, Commerce: The Twitter cards of the future

Twitter analyst day“You don’t win by being loud. You win by being good.” That’s Twitter’s philosophy and it’s leading them down some very interesting, new roads. This past week, the company delivered a 7-hour, 500-slide presentation to the press and investors at the first Twitter Analyst Day.

I wanted to listen to the whole presentation because I’m a diehard Twitter fan and I believe in its power as a marketing tool. But alas, 7 plus hours was a bit much. If you’re up for the challenge, you can access the presentation here. Or you can keep reading and I’ll fill you in on some of the highlights.

Making OnBoarding Easier

Mozilla adds ads to Firefox tabs

Mozilla just discovered a whole new way to sneak advertising into your daily routine. As of today, Firefox users will find sponsored tiles mixed in with their usage tiles every time they open a new tab.

The new tile experience begins with a fresh, cookie-free page of options:

Firefox Ad TabsFive out of the six tabs are Mozilla related including links to blog posts and tools to improve your workflow. The top right tile is something new; a sponsored link from CVS. Click it and you’ll land on a CVS TV commercial on YouTube. (With a few very colorful comments underneath.) I can’t figure out why CVS is spending money to send people to an old commercial. Shouldn’t this link take us to the CVS website. . . ?

Facebook gets cute with their updated Terms and Policies

Facebook PrivacyHow many people actually read the Terms of Service agreement on a site before clicking the accept button? Better question, how many people click decline because they don’t like the Terms of Service on a website?

The answer to both questions is, not many.

Legally, companies have to provide a clear explanation of how they plan to use your data for their benefit but as much as we all complain about privacy policies, there’s nothing you can do if you want to play the game. Still, Facebook wants to give the power to the people, so they created a cute, slideshow guide to Privacy on the network.

The interactive pages are filled with white space and small paragraphs with large text. I understand the need to reach the lowest common denominator but this is too much.