Posts tagged "Investment"

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Fake news: It's time for brands to act

January 4th, 2017 Posted by Red2 Knowledge, Social Media 0 comments on “Fake news: It's time for brands to act”

While brands usually shy away from controversial issues, the rise of fake news represents an opportunity worth considering

 

Nothing highlights the changing nature of news better than, well… fake news. Since the US presidential election, it’s been firmly at the top of the agenda because of its alleged role in turning voters towards Trump. So should brands be worried about fake news spilling over from politics to products and services—and, if so, what can we do about it?

The good news is there have already been some worthy attempts to stem the flow. Facebook and Google are already stopping ads from appearing on fake news sites. They’re hitting the publishers of such content where it hurts: their advertising revenues. By removing the profit motive, these brands have taken an important first step. But even so, vetting sites is hard work, as Facebook and Twitter have found. And its effectiveness is sometimes questionable: though Google now monitors its ads, fake news still appears in your regular search results.

There’s a bigger problem here, though. Even if Facebook and Google’s attempts eventually work, we’ve given them an immense responsibility. They’re now, in effect, the gatekeepers of what content is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’. I’m not sure how this will play out in the long run. After all, there’s no doubt that detecting fake news is hard work. It takes an understanding of the area in question—as well as the time and human resources to do it. There must be a better way.

And this is where brands could come in. They have resources, scale and expertise in all kinds of sectors. That makes them powerful in the fight against fake news.

 

A hidden opportunity for brands

 

It’s no secret that every brand is an expert in something. Take a look at any corporate blog or social-media account and it should be plain to see. And it’s here that there’s an opportunity.

Most marketing teams have content writers, social-media managers and researchers—whether that’s in-house or through an agency. These are all the people you need to start adding to the conversation in a meaningful way. Sure, you may have to move your focus from run-of-the-mill content to more reactive pieces, but it’ll be worth it if the story gets picked up.

The key thing is, this isn’t about upskilling or growing teams, it’s about shifting our focus outwards. Then we might see tech brands or healthcare companies calling out fake news stories, rather than just ignoring them. We might even see brands commenting on, dare I say it, politics. Every company spends time and money on knowing its industry better than anyone else, and at the moment, that’s a huge untapped resource.

So my question for brands and agencies is this: why don’t we become the experts here? Then rather than worrying about whether—or, more likely, when—fake news will start hitting brands, we can take the fight to the purveyors of fake news. And we could create some incredible content and PR in the process.

 

*This article is originally published via Campaign Asia on Jan 4th 2017.

Luke Janich, CEO of RED².

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Is this the end of the Facebook 'like'?

November 23rd, 2016 Posted by Red2 Knowledge, Social Media 0 comments on “Is this the end of the Facebook 'like'?”

With Facebook apparently set to remove the ‘like’ counter from fan pages, savvy marketers are already investing in a post-like future. Luke Janich of Red2 explains.

 

Ah, the Facebook like. An obsession of social media marketers, the envy of competitors and a key metric in many of today’s marketing campaigns. But is the like over-hyped—and is it time we moved away from this much-loved social metric?

Well, it seems Facebook certainly thinks so. Those with their finger on the social media pulse may have already noticed one or two changes afoot behind the scenes. The big one is that it looks like they’re testing the removal of displayed likes from fan pages. This means that, while likes are still visible in Facebook’s search bar, they’re missing from the fan page itself. To be completely clear: pages are not losing their likes, they’re just going to be less visible on your page.

So why is Facebook doing this and what does it mean for brands? For some time now, marketers have been grumbling and there’s one criticism that’s getting hard to ignore: effectiveness. Facebook knows likes are not that useful to brands and they’re taking the interests of marketers seriously. After all, many marketers invest heavily in their social media activity and Facebook is keen to be seen as the brand partner of choice. They want to help drive business for their partners, rather than just help them to get lots of likes. And true to form, they’re shaking up their platform once again.

 

Changes are coming

We don’t know exactly when the new changes will be rolled out but, as ever, it pays to be prepared. Some marketers will be annoyed, and understandably so. Many will have invested in monitoring and growing likes and, of course, there’s a massive benefit from having lots of likes displayed on your page. Even so, there could be a massive opportunity here.

Growing your fans and building your following is still going to be an essential part of how Facebook works – it’s just now visitors to your page will have no idea how many fans you have. Only page administrators will have access to the specific numbers, which changes the game somewhat. Now pages will live or die based on the quality of their content rather than the halo effect of having lots of likes. And that could be a good thing.

I think we’re going to see a shift towards building smaller, tighter communities on Facebook. That means better, more engaging content. Without displayed likes, there’ll be one less reason to invest in growing fan numbers. Instead, brands will start to focus on targeting and building the right audience – crucially, the audience that has the potential to be customers. And the savviest marketers are already doing this.

 

The future of Likes

So where do we go from here? I’d say, if you’ve invested time and resources in building your Facebook page, it’s time to review your strategy. Start to push resources towards quality content, targeting and engagement. Move resources away from like-building and monitoring.

Sure, likes will still be around for a while yet but it looks like their importance will fade—and that means having an active, engaged community will be more important than ever. For today’s leading digital marketers, this may not be such a bad thing after all. The challenge for the rest is how to keep up.

 

*This article is originally published via Campaign Asia on Nov 23rd 2016.

Luke Janich, CEO of RED².

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