Twitter gears up to really ruin your timeline

Cash WhaleRemember when Twitter introduced the official retweet option and thousands of users vowed to start blocking anyone that caused a stranger to show up in their stream?* Well, they ain’t gonna like this update from Twitter either.

As spotted by Quartz, Twitter has quietly changed its help document, What’s a Twitter timeline?

“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timelineThis means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t followWe select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with itOur goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.” (emphasis added)

Facebook launches cross-device tracking for Facebook ads

"The iOS family pile (2012)" by Blake Patterson Yesterday, we were talking about how email marketers tend to use open rates rather than revenue as a measure of success. Today, we’re moving over to social media marketers and their version of the same problem.

We’re living in a cross-device world. Susan uses her smartphone to skim Facebook while she’s waiting for her coffee. She sees an ad for a product but before she can buy, the barista calls her name. Phone goes in her purse and she’s off to work.

Later in the day, she remembers the ad (if the advertiser did a good job of branding), visits the store online and buys the item. The ad worked. But you wouldn’t know that for sure because you couldn’t link the two.

Guess what. Facebook says, they can link the two.

Social media may be hot, but marketers are spending more on these four channels [infographic]

I had to chuckle at this SEMPO infographic when I saw that “less than $1 million” was the lowest option polled for digital marketing spend. That would be like asking me how many push ups I do a day and giving me “less than 100″ as an option. I don’t do any, but I’ll be happy to check that box! ;-)

While many companies are likely spending way less than a million bucks on internet marketing, those that are coughing up the cash are not spending that much on social. In fact, despite the hype, paid search, SEO, email, and display ads are still beating the pants off Facebook and Twitter advertising.

Digital Marketing Budgeting Infographic

Retargeted Facebook ads hit the mark on mobile

The best time to pitch to a customer is when they already have your company or product in mind. That’s why retargeting is such a powerful tool. AdRoll’s graphic explains the concept quite simply but I imagine it takes quite a few well-trained digital elves to make it all work.

retargetingCustomer visits your site, leave without buying, later sees an ad for your site, thinks “hmm. . . I really was very fond of that red one. . . “, clicks the ad, is whisked back to your site where they buy the item they left in the cart the first time around. Smooth like butter but is the return worth the cost? And how does Facebook fit into the plan?

LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content skips the page and goes straight to the target

Marketing messages are a lot more effective when they’re targeted. That’s a given. But customizing the message is tricky when you’re updating a social media feed. Say your company is going on a road trip across the US. Do you want to stack up 12 posts, one for each city on your company LinkedIn feed? LinkedIn has a better idea.

Direct Sponsored Content

Direct Sponsored Contact

What this tool allows you to do is create custom content and make it visible only to a specific group of people. This way you can personalize and test content without clogging up your public facing feed.

Previously, if you wanted to pay to promote your 12 city tour, you’d have to create 12 pieces of content, each with specific city information, then push each one out as sponsored content using location targeting. Anyone who visits the company page would see all 12 posts stacked up.

Facebook improves mobile ad performance with device specific targeting

Facebook previously allowed advertisers to minimally target their ads to mobile device users. The options were limited–operating system and whether they were on wi-fi or not.

The social network has announced improved targeting–allowing advertisers to target say, a Google Nexus 10 with a minimum OS version of 3.0, who are on Wi-Fi, if they so wish.

Facebook Mobile Targeting

For marketers, the update allows you to fine tune your targeting for such variables as:

  • Only target advertisers using a device new enough to support your software.
  • If owners of an iPhone 5 spend more money with you, you can up your ad budget just for that device.
  • Target your ad creative to each type of device. E.g. show iPad users different screenshots to iPhone users.

Adaptly says forget the call to action, tell a story instead

Facebook story adSign up now. Sign up now. Sign up now.

Are you ready to sign up yet?

According to a new survey by Adaptly for Facebook, there’s nothing to be gained by being a nag. In fact, the numbers say you’re better off telling a story and saving the call to action as your punchline at the end.

To test the theory, they ran two, 3 unit campaigns for Refinery29. They served them up to a lookalike audience then watched the responses roll in.

The first set, the sequenced ads, began with a general, brand awareness message. 4 days later they ran a product information ad, 4 days later a specific call-to-action with an email sign-up.

You can see all three ads here.