LinkedIn as an advertising platform may not be the best solution out there. It is still undergoing product revamps and modifications to suit advertising needs better, this year. It does, however, know you target audience best for account-based marketing programs. Like every product have an area of improvement, here are 10 such common issues and problems I discovered while working with LinkedIn Advertising over the last three years.
1.Inconsistent List Match Rate in Matched Audience
You can create Audience by creating website audience or uploading a list of accounts or contacts to include or exclude in your campaigns under Account assets as given in the screenshot below. 300 is the minimum threshold value for a list to be ready for running campaigns as such.
The problem is that the list match rate observed under “Uploaded List Audience” changes with time. It can reduce or increase on its own. This is true even for a live campaign. I observed this during July to September this year to be specific. It has a significant impact on your advertising campaigns as more list match rate means more impressions being served, better changes for your audience to click your ads and vice versa.
Quick Pro Tip:
Keep a close watch on list match rates within your live Campaigns if any being used. This reason is not discoverable by usual metrics LinkedIn Ads provide as such.
For instance in the screenshots below the match rate for same list of accounts has changed thrice from 15 August to 16 September. (80% then 35% and then less than 5%)
There is no way to edit a Lead gen form which is most promising offering from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. You will have to create a new form all over again if you wish to edit anything at all. It is painful ☹
Secondly, you can choose a maximum of 7 form fields only. This is more like a limitation though!
Social engagements with lead gen forms just don’t work. If you intend to show ads to your target audience alone, they will see an auto populated lead gen form upon clicking your ad, if any among your target audience happen to like, comment or share it further, the followers of your target audience will see a mere image and post – nothing remains clickable on that ad. In short, followers of your target audience cannot take the desired action you want them to take.
Quick Pro Tip: Always create a landing page version on your website despite of using lead gen forms and include that URL in your ad copy/promotion. A lead gen ad when shared by your audience will get you more leads organically then.
3.Audience Targeting is not accurate
I was trying to setup a campaign in early November and surprisingly, Antarctica showed about 12000+ people available by IP addresses among my target audience which is not possible, because of all the available resources Antarctica doesn’t happen to have 12000+ people in winters at all.
Here is what Wikipedia Says
4.Bid Range & Simulators don’t work
If you happen to bid manually, you will notice suggestions for your bid range and real-time recommendations with a bulb icon as below. The recommendations as you see below are of no value.
Moreover, if you implement any of the suggestions as such, you will the next immediate recommendation to go further higher on your bids which is again difficult to digest.
Unlike Twitter, you can’t really advertise a GIF ad format on LinkedIn as such. Minor workaround of converting GIF in MP4 files work fine though!
6.Vague Quality Scores
Quality scores are measured at Campaign and Account level. There is no way you get a reward or incentive or better CPCs if ad quality is great. On the flip side, unlike google ads, you could run an irrelevant ad, promote an irrelevant landing page without being penalized for it as well.
Secondly, Multiple advertisers trying to target similar or exactly same audience as yours would only increase the bid prices.
This is true to large organizations running multiple campaigns or having multiple people as Campaign Managers on LinkedIn. If you advertise from your corporate handle, that is treated as one account and if you issue a purchase order or IO to LinkedIn from any part of the world, that is considered as another account. When you target similar audience within these 2 accounts and within the same time frame, you bid against yourself in simple terms and you also end up spending more money for showing ads as such.
Your audience, however, will see the ads coming in from same company as yours despite of having 2 separate accounts within your company.
Quick Pro Tip:
With one account you never bid against yourself, Avoid advertising from more than one IO or more than one corporate account.
8.Can’t Delete Ads & Campaigns
Don’t worry there are options to change your ads or add new ads in your campaigns, you can’t really delete any created ads though! They will just stay in there.
Quick Pro Tip:
Replace old creative with new ads instead of adding new.
LinkedIn Ads don’t have a way to send in alerts or notifications as such. While running campaigns if any of your ads happen to get a negative comment, there is no way you will be notified for such comments, instead you will have to manually check all campaigns and all ads within them to respond as appropriate. it is a tedious task if you are running multiple campaigns simultaneously. Positive comments are okay with negative comments need your immediate attention.
10.Ineffective Audience expansion
While targeting a list of accounts or audience targeting in general, Audience expansion does helps to get additional leads from similar audience within your targeting parameters. having said so, it can, sometimes go out of the proportion and get you irrelevant leads which you never wanted and certainly not at a bid price. It gets difficult to justify ROI from advertising spend in such cases.
Example: One of the campaigns targeting IT department as a Function, I ended up getting a lead submission for a “Medical Nurse” every factor was correct and in place except the fact that I had enabled Audience Expansion.
LinkedIn Ads are created in Campaign Manager, whilst there are standard best practices in general, I would try to focus on ad tips and best practices with respect to running ads on LinkedIn. This is a slightly deep dive topic and relevant for someone who has already started with LinkedIn Ads. If you are new to LinkedIn Ads or trying to learn from basics. I would strongly recommend referring my previous two blog posts:
Seamless user experience is desired today. Your web pages and landing pages capturing leads must be mobile optimized and in sync across all channels. Try to maintain same look and feel when a user comes to your website from any source, be it search, emails or if they come to your website from LinkedIn Ads. They should experience a seamless user flow and they should reach your desired call to action in minimum possible clicks. For example, if you use lead gen forms on LinkedIn to capture leads, try to have minimum form fields and users will be comfortable filling in, Secondly, if you are not using lead gen forms and driving traffic to your website or landing pages instead, try to maintain exact same number of form fields.
Quick pro tip:Having an email ID for subscription is enough likewise – capturing first name, last name and email ID is enough for first level lead capture.
Best Practice 2: Relevant Content & Messaging
In LinkedIn Ads, your target audience should get the context of your ad when they see it for the first time and understand it explicitly if it is really meant for them, reach to a landing page which fulfills their set expectation in first step and when they download the asset/marketing material being promoted, they should receive the exact same asset.
Quick Pro tip: For example, User Flow 1: LinkedIn sponsored ad promoting a whitepaper download should have the image of the cover page of the whitepaper itself, the message should address the target audience, “Hey Doctors”, Download this whitepaper to learn more about US FDA regulations this year.”
User flow 2: Upon Click, the landing page should have the larger thumbnail of the asset being promoted in step above with bullets or pointers around why they should be downloading this whitepaper.
User flow 3: Upon form submission, they receive the whitepaper with exact same cover page as expected by your target audience when they saw your ad in the first step above.
Best Practice 3: AB Test Ads & Variations
AB Testing is usually manual and behaves differently than any other advertising platforms. Creative and content rotation is very important in a successful campaign’s performance.
Test out your ad creatives and ad copies for at least 7 to 10 days.
You could do so by running the campaigns as usual and by automated ad testers like ezoic
Quick Pro Tip:I would recommend having at least 4 ad copies and creatives in one campaign, remove the worst performing campaign creative and ad copy every 7 to 8 days and allow it to run for another 10 days for performance observation.
Best Practice 4: Frequency Cap & Number of Ads
LinkedIn recommends running 4 updates simultaneously (mix of ad creatives and ad copies) Basically your target audience could see up to 4 unique sponsored content every 48 hours
Quick Pro tip: Remove the worst performing ad every week and update with revised/new ad while maintaining 4 ads.
Best Practice 5: Right Audience Targeting & Size
Audience size, you could find in the right-hand top side while setting up audience targeting.
Showing impressions tom your target customers is of utmost importance. The higher they are, the better are the changes for your ads to get clicks and thus, desired leads. You should aim for 100,000 and above in sizing of the Audience to see better conversions. It is usually difficult for ads to show up effectively when your audience size is lower than that. Anything above 1 million in sizing becomes too broad to target. Additionally, the narrower your targeting becomes, the prices usually go higher for your ads to show up, be it a CPC or CPM bid.
Having said so, there are minor exceptions to the rule above basis the type of business you might be operating in.
Quick pro tip:2 to 3 filters work best for audience targeting. For instance, mixing locations with Job function and Seniority works well.
Best Practice 6: Bids and Auctions
Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC) are 2 broad bid types possible while running LinkedIn Ads. CPMs is about asking LinkedIn to show more impressions and you are charged for impressions. CPCs, on the other hand are leaving the onus of performance to the platform. You pay only when someone clicks an ad.
Quick Pro Tip: CPMs work better when you are looking for long term campaigns with sustained budget spends, $200/day for 2 months for instance. CPCs work better when you have heavy competition and need quick wins. A best practice and pro tip in that case would be to bid on higher side of the suggested bid range.
Best Practice 7: Retargeting, Audience Matching & Targeting
You can setup URL based retargeting lists which work with minimum threshold value of 300 or above. The larger the Size the better it is. Audience matching rate behaves erratically in my experience. Any match rate less than 70% is best to be avoided. Audience matching is available for email IDs or list of accounts you may want to target.
Quick Pro Tip: The Account list upload works phenomenally for Account based marketing objectives.
Avoid hyper targeting and target junior guys in your targeting too, these guys grow up fast and act as catalysts to influence decision making in organizational buying.
Best Practice 8: Utilize Website & Campaign Demographics
All the macthed audiences or retargeting lists you create can provide you significant amount of data about website demographic of your audiene within those lists. It’s a great way to look at insights around the industry, job titles, seniority levels etc. your audience might belong to.
Whilst its good to know, there is no significant way to use this information while running your campaigns.
Best Practice 9: Always on Campaigns
When you are always on and targeting a set of audience, you are at pace and keep your target audience occupied. When you pause or stop, you leave the opportunity for others to start targeting audience like the ones you have been targeting, Secondly, LinkedIn Algorithm takes a while to start serving or even pausing ads, therefore, the time gap is best avoided when you are always on. If budgets are limited, spending over 100/day per campaign basis your budget’ availability is a good way to plan budget allocations ahead.
Best Practice 10: Use More of lead gen forms in B2B
Lead gen forms are very popular with a lot of advertisers on LinkedIn today as they ensure prefilled form submissions within the ad platform. Your customers no longer need to go to your landing pages all the time. Moreover, conversions are far better when you ask your target audience to submit details on Lead gen forms against submitting on landing pages as such.
These forms could also be integrated well with leading marketing automation tools.
While I covered 10 such best practices above, there could be more as LinkedIn Ads continue to evolve, especially when they are trying to launch forecasting and BETA version of objective based advertising soon.
Let me know your thoughts, suggestions and if you discovered more such best practices for LinkedIn Ads in the comments section below.
Over the last two years, LinkedIn has been very focused to bring in new products and features in the online advertising market-place. At a very broad level LinkedIn classifies all its ad products into five major types, namely:
New objective-based campaign creation (BETA)
1) LinkedIn Sponsored Content
This is the most commonly used option of all the available options in LinkedIn Ad products. The ads you create get published in the LinkedIn feed of the end users. There are however, certain restrictions among ad types which could be shown on a desktop, mobile or other devices as such.
You can use them in three possible objectives for your campaign
a) Sending People to your website or Content
Your target audience will be shown an ad and then your landing page once they click on your ad. There are three ways to send people to your website, content or landing page.
Using Articles, images or URL
Carousel – Use series of images to tell your story
Video – to engage with your target audience
b) Collecting leads using lead gen forms
LinkedIn lead gen forms are prefilled, user-friendly responsive forms which allow advertisers to capture form submissions from your target audience within LinkedIn (website or app version) without having a need to go to your landing page as such. The possible ad types are the same as explained in the step above for sending people to your website or content, the only difference in this case Is that the traffic is not driven to your landing page, instead, the form submissions are captured within LinkedIn.
c) Getting Video views
As the name suggests, this is primarily used for promoting videos to engage with your target audience, you could drive traffic from videos to desired landing page or videos to lead gen forms as appropriate for your business.
Quick Pro tip: Less then 15 seconds videos are lighter and work best on LinkedIn, appending them with sub titles or screen supers ensures viewers could see them without using audio speakers or earphones as such.
2) LinkedIn Dynamic Ads
Dynamic Ads are a new development with LinkedIn, launched about two months ago. This is very different from other types of LinkedIn ads as you could create ads personalized to each end user in your target audience. Dynamic ads utilize LinkedIn profile data such as your image, company name, and job title to automatically personalize ads. These doesn’t work with lead gen forms and traffic is usually driven to your website or landing page as desired.
When to use LinkedIn Dynamic Ads?
Dynamic Ads are available in three types, namely:
Follower Ad – Use them if your objective is to add followers to your company or showcase pages as such.
Spotlight Ad – Best ad type for all B2B marketing purposes. The traffic is driven to your website or landing page; therefore, you could easily promote products, services, solutions, events and all marketing assets as needed
Content Ads – This is a new area again and not available in self advertising or LinkedIn Campaign manager as such. Advertisers could generate leads or drive content download conversions within an ad.
This is bit dated offering by LinkedIn and text ads work on desktops alone.
When to use LinkedIn Text Ads?
You could use them for driving traffic to your company or Career page on LinkedIn or to a specific website page or landing page on your website.
4) LinkedIn sponsored InMail
As the name suggests, this ad offering by LinkedIn is used to send direct personalized messages to your target audience. It appears in the message box or inbox when an InMail is received. This is widely used in recruitment world. As call to action, you could choose between sending people to your website or collecting leads using LinkedIn lead gen forms.
When to use InMail?
You could use them when you want to make person to person connect, generate quick wins without worrying too much about creatives and design as they are optional.
5) New Objective-based campaign creation in LinkedIn Campaign Manager
LinkedIn, during November 2018 released BETA version of “New objective-based campaign creation” (you could see this on the right-hand top side when you login to LinkedIn Ads) which aims to provide guidance for creating ad campaigns based on your marketing goals. The types of LinkedIn ads and all products remain standard as explained above, for the ease of advertiser’s understanding, it just reorganizes available ad types basis marketing objectives such as engagement, website visits or video views.
A Short Video By Linkedin introducing Objective based Advertising below
The new exciting feature it brings in is, Forecasted Results in Campaign Manager which appears on the right-hand side while creating the campaign in new objective-based experience. Projections are available for 1, 7 and 30 days, respectively.
LinkedIn is testing this out still (BETA Version is in market) and you could easily go back to the old campaign manager view by clicking on Change back in the upper right corner of the page below your profile image.
Linkedin ads are widely used in B2B marketing as it is the only advertising platform which knows the professional profiles across the globe in its most accurate form. It is unique because of the targeting features it offers. One can target end users by Job titles, profiles, seniority, job function and so on basis their individual public profiles on Linkedin professional network. In this blog, I will try to cover all the steps one needs to take for launching a campaign using Linkedin Ads in Campaign Manager tool.
Step 1: Access to Linkedin Campaign Manager
Before you start advertising on Linkedin, the first step is to have the access to Linkedin Campaign Manager. The Simplest way to do so is to click on “Work” followed by “Advertise” located on the right-hand top side as below.
Advertising on Linkedin is possible if you have a company page, showcase page or account on Linkedin to do so. Linkedin covers this in detail as here Creating an Account for Campaigns
Step 2: Create Campaigns using Linkedin Campaign Manager
The second step is to choose an ad product in the Campaign Manager. Once prompted you will see 4 options as below.
Sponsored content – Mostly used ad product with native advertising, I have used this as an example to explain steps to launch a campaign further in this blog.
Dynamic Ads – a new development with Linkedin launched about 2 months ago.
Sponsored InMail – Direct messages or In mails going from company or person to person, very hot in job markets today!
Step 3: Create Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is the most used option and native form of advertising with Linkedin Ads. The ads you create here are published in the Linkedin feeds which an end user can see on various devices they may be using. It appears a bit differently on the desktop, laptop and mobile devices basis difference in screens and resolutions for instance. click on Select here.
Step 4: Enter Campaign Information
Enter the name of the campaign in the first field, you may want to add a new ad group or select existing ad groups from drop down here under “Campaign Groups” an Ad group is a convenient way to keep your budgets, metrics and performance summary under one view. Consider using this if you have more than one business unit/product or solutions in your company. Once all details are entered here, click on next.
Step 5: Define Business Objectives
You will notice 3 options here as given in the screenshot below.
a) Send People to website/content: Select first option if you prefer using the landing page for promotion on your website, people would click on your ads and then visit your landing page or a specific web page you specify here. you can decide different ad types to direct traffic to your landing or promotion page later. It is also possible to add conversion tracking to measure the conversions from your ads in this option.
b) Leads using Linkedin Lead Gen Forms: Lead gen forms are quite popular with a lot of B2B advertisers. They are responsive and are very user-friendly. With the exchange of user’s information such as first name, last name, email ID etc. you could promote multiple types of ad formats to end users without a need to drive traffic to your landing page or website as such. Yes, you heard it right, users will remain on Linkedin and still get your asset in promotion. You have a choice from 1 to a maximum of 7 form fields to be filled in by the end users clicking on your ads. There are loads of options to connect your CRM or marketing automation software to Linkedin lead gen forms as well. Lead gen forms need to be set up before you launch a campaign though!
Please note that lead gen forms could easily be coupled with Image Ads, Video ads as desired.
c) Get Video Views: this option is meant for advertisers looking to sponsor videos on Linkedin feeds.
Step 6: Choose Ad formats
Basis the business objectives you selected above for Linkedin Ads (a, b or c) the choice of ad formats would vary.
For a) sending people to your website or content and b) Leads using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms you could promote an article, image or link; carousel ads- meant to promote a story through a series of ads or create a video ad to engage your target audience.
For c) Video views – its straightforward as you could only create videos for the same.
Step 7: Build Ads
Before you could create ads, it’s important that you have the full administration right over your company/Showcase page or your company page admin on Linkedin has grated you the access as “Campaign Manager” for publishing ads on your company’s behalf.
In this step, you could “select existing content” – all ads from your past campaigns would be listed here, or you could “create new sponsored content”. Click on “Create sponsored content” on right-hand side to get started.
Name your sponsored content. Select image and type in your ad copy. For image ads, best is to have an image size of 1200 x 627. Save the ad you just created. You will be routed back to the previous screen.
Click the checkbox on left hand side and select “Sponsor selected content”
Step 8: Audience Creation
This is the most important and crucial setup as it defines your audience and targeting features. It remains commons despite of any ad type/ format or objective you may choose. The target audience sections on the right hand top side changes dynamically as your audience size grows! The Ideal is to have 100,000 and above.
1. Matched audience & location Targeting
Matched audience is another great feature but optional wherein you could:
–Retarget your website visitors – Basis past visitors to your website or web pages, segments could be created by URLs which then could be used to target those visitors using Linkedin Ads. The minimum threshold for same is >=300 visitors though!
–Target a list of accounts or contacts – Linkedin uses few excel templates to enable so.
Location Targeting – you could target people on Linkedin by country, state, city and town etc. >= 1 location is mandatory.
2. Specific targeting Criteria
You could select by company name, industry, job title, function, seniority, skills, years of experience and so on as given in this screenshot
Quick pro tip: Exclude your company by name to avoid serving impressions to your own employees. 2 to 3 parameters work best in an ad campaign. For example, mix job seniority with job function and years of experience, or, use company size and job titles.
3. Linkedin audience network and Audience expansion
Linkedin Audience network – is the network of Linkedin partner websites and apps which moves your ad out of targeted Linkedin feeds in the steps mentioned above. I recommend this for brand awareness campaigns but not for targeted B2B advertising.
Additionally, you could also exclude certain categories of mobile apps and sites from Linkedin audience network.
Audience Expansion – This is a very tricky feature, in my experience, if campaigns are not getting you leads, this works in uplifting the performance. It can also, however, get you unnecessary leads from the audience totally out of the targeting parameters you may have defined. Linkedin, however, says that it broadens the reach of your campaign by showing it to audiences with similar attributes to your target audience.
Once you are satisfied with all targeting parameters in this step click on Next (right hand bottom side)
Step 9: Bids, budgets and Schedule
Select goal of the campaign from the dropdown, awareness, website visits or conversions (needs conversion tracking setup on your webpage)
Define daily budgets, your actual spends, usually are 20% higher though! In this step, Linkedin will show you minimum bid to reach your audience.
Bid Types: Choose from Automated (utilizes machine learning to maximize budget efficiency) or maximum CPC bid (manually bidding for cost per click you are willing to spend)
Setup start, end date, total budget and click on launch the campaign on right hand bottom side to get started with your campaign.
Linkedin ads bring in significant value to B2B advertisers and marketers today, it is very focused and helps in driving demand and brand awareness in different stages of buyer’s journey. No other advertising platform or tool can target users by their professional job profiles, thus, LinkedIn also enjoys complete monopoly in this market. Advertising on LinkedIn is not cheap as well! I have experienced CPCs ranging from anywhere between $7 to 21$ or more in a few cases and CPMs going anywhere from $21 to $67 or more in few cases. Automated bidding works best for initial few days (70 to 10 days), once you observe the trends and performance from your campaign it’s better to move into manual CPC bids which are more controlled at your end than relying on machine learning capabilities of Linkedin ads (where we don’t have a visibility into being an advertiser)
The narrower you get the price for your ads, increases, having said that, being too broaden in targeting is not good as well. I would recommend trying Linkedin ads for at least 45 days before deciding to continue or discontinue them further.
If I were to look at numbers for growth, the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year which is more than the growth in numbers of internet and mobile phone users put together.
In this blog, we will discuss the best practices a brand/company can adopt in 2018 and beyond to succeed in social media.
Choice of Social Media Platforms
I have noticed this multiple time with startups and founders trying to create a social media profile as the very first step after a website in developed. While it’s good to be omnipresent, for social media, choose only what is relevant to your business, having a clear vision and strategy for being on social media must be well drafted in advance probably with your business plan itself. For example, a B2B company selling data center services may not need Instagram where 61% of the platform users are between 18-34 years for instance. On the other hands, it’s good to have if you are in B2C business selling clothing to youngsters.
Best way to use Hashtags
• Hashtags are prominently used even outside Twitter today. Short and sweet ones with a direct message to your audience tend to perform than the longer ones. Adding a brand hashtag to the social media posts is a great way to get attention and drive engagements.
• Use relevant hashtags, one on LinkedIn and 2 to 3 on Twitter trend well. Hashtags also trend differently across a season or a day. One must also look at using the trending hashtag which matters to the business basis seasonal/weekly or trending on Twitter trends.
• Extend your hashtags across all marketing channels. Be it retail stores, your website, campaigns or newsletters, it will only add to your brand recall and eventually can be a hashtag you own.
• Avoid distracting hashtags: Your call to action should be simple without too many hashtags to drive intended user behaviour.
• You could also tell the complete story using hashtags alone on Instagram, certainly, not on Twitter or LinkedIn, so feel free to use more of them on Instagram and few of them for better context setting on LinkedIn & Twitter. Example from My Instagram feed as below to tell a story using 8 hashtags.
Length of Social Media posts
• Tweet Copy:280 characters or less is the official limit. Each link, which is the usual way of posting, reduces the character count by 24 characters, leaving 256 characters for the tweet copy.
• LinkedIn: headline has a text limit of 120 characters maximum and company updates could be 700 characters long. Your summary/About Us section has a limit of 2,000 characters. LinkedIn Publishing seems to have 120,000 characters limit after which Publishing will throw an error. While posting organic or paid advertising related posts, try to keep the posts under 150 characters to display the content across multiple devices, longer posts get truncated on tablets or mobile screens.
Organic social media as a focus can be a good start for startups or businesses not ready to spend money. They should do regular postings, develop an organic follower and fan base. Otherwise called as Owned media as in the image posted below. Once they have a sound understanding of what works vs What’s not. They can consider spending money on paid media.
Nevertheless, Paid social media is of utmost importance as it gives you reach and you are not limited by the number of organic followers on a social platform. For instance, when you advertise on Twitter, you decide where to advertise and what, it’s not Twitter who decides basis your organic follower base. I have seen the reach/impressions going by over 3X in my experience which can be a significant number for any startup looking for wins without waiting months and years together to build an organic follower base. Organic success is a long journey anyway. Therefore, I would recommend using paid social media to get quick wins despite having a new business or a website.
Online Reputation Management
• Always hear the social media, have a team who does social media listening. You could also look at setting up a social analytics team or using tools like Brand Watch as social media is very dynamic, public sentiments being unheard can cost you money. Leading consumer brands like Dell and Google today, use this for sentiment analysis., research what’s being said on social media and product teams devise their product strategy basis the same.
Quick Pro tip: If you just analyze this carefully, you can quickly guess what’s wrong with a consumer brand for a specified time duration.
• Engaging with users and responding to them in time, across your social media channels is significant too.
Corporate Social Media Policy
If not already, employers must have a corporate social media policy encompassing details around what employees, stakeholders, and your business partners can post. In the long run, it can help to defend against legal trouble and security risks and It will also empower your employees to extend company messaging further as needed.
• Content is king in marketing as always, try to categorize your posts basis buyer’s intent or buyers’ journey, one basic way to look at organizing your posts can be AIDA model or breaking your posts across your marketing campaign by Activities, Interest, Desire and Action for instance.
• Focus on best time and frequency to post. While one way to look at it is the industry standard way which I discussed in my blog about social media best practices last year. The other way to look at it is your social media data, what works best and when. Please be careful that if you use a publishing tool or post 4 times a day with defined time intervals, this method won’t work. Analyze data where your posts are random in a certain period only.
• People love urgency, adopting “limited time offer” or “incentives to download” can be a good try.
• This is well known and much relevant to advertising on social media, Posts with images or videos perform better than text alone ones. HubSpot stated similar earlier this year (32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business)
• Posts with images or visuals of human faces perform better than posts with any other images, at least in advertising.
• For Video content, smart, simple. Lesser duration and anything with screen supers would work better. Last year. Google tested out 6 seconds video for YouTube Bumper ads, On LinkedIn, 15 seconds or lesser video content works best.
• Repurpose your social content to gain a better understanding of the content performance. Sometimes a good post performs differently on a weekday than a weekend. Pilot, test, run and adopt what works better for you.
• You may be surprised but people love letters in caps and I have noticed this across search/PPC and social media marketing. Text with first letters in caps performs better than small letters.
• Social Mentions are very important and must be done carefully only when needed, as most of it is in the public. I have seen people using it on LinkedIn as a new trend since last year, and it has gone up to a level of employees tagging their bosses to please without a context or reason. Business must know that every follower knows what you post in their news feeds, users also have an option of following you without even being your connection as such, so choose whom to mention for what, very wisely. It also applies to individual profiles across social media.
You must have come across Privacy change notifications across your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook if you logged in recently, it’s GDPR which is making these brands more cautious. Personal data and privacy discussions are a trending topic this year. If I were to look at data, “Google trends” at least says so. People have suddenly got interested since April 2018 which has not been the case in past otherwise.
From the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data scandal to growing concerns over ad tech fraud, a definite solution and regulation is needed more than ever, today. Fortunately, EU is pioneering this global need starting May 25 this year.
“GDPR” or “General Data Protection Regulation” will be enforced across 28 countries in the European Union by May 25 which aims to improve transparency and effectiveness of data protection activities.
This has been a major change in marketing regulations towards data privacy since last two decades. Whilst it implies multiple “To-Dos” to be implemented at an organization level to ensure GDPR compliance, Digital marketing as a function is at the centre stage of all campaign-related data collection and communication. In this blog, we shall be exploring more about Who, what, When, Where and How of GDPR implications for Digital Marketing as a function.
Who will be impacted by GDPR?
All 28 countries in the European Union, every business dealing with data of the customers and prospects residing in EU, despite the business being outside the EU.
What will be impacted in Digital Marketing?
Soft opt-ins are out of the window and not compliant, age-old tricks won’t work now, digital marketers will need to ensure hard opt-ins which must specify the purpose the data collection, why it needs to be stored and in what way it will be used in future.
Users must have access to their data in your systems, Essentially, what data you have about them and they can also ask for it to be deleted.
Digital marketers must ask for what is really needed in specific. Remember how annoying it is when you download an app for music and it asks your permission for location. (very common on Android) which has ultimately led to another set of apps which advice on your privacy risks, DTEK by Blackberry or Sophos mobile security does the same for instance.
When is the Impact?
May 25, organizations were given 2 years to comply with all the requirements so far. Please educate your marketing, staff, IT department and web administrators with immediate effect.
What if we don’t implement GDPR compliance in Digital Marketing?
There are 2 tiers of administrative fines:
1) Up to €10 million, or 2% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher. 2) Up to €20 million, or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.
Not serious, Honda was fined £13,000 for an email alone – Read More
Where will GDPR impact in Digital Marketing?
Any outreach campaigns for paid search in the EU should be dealt with caution, campaigns promoting download an asset in exchange of information should have an explicit consent. Google, for now, has been asking advertisers to own this as well. However, they will refine the policy soon for users in EU for consent. It seems a bit difficult for everyone as Google themselves are taking time to do this.
On the usage side of these platforms, the consent and data use will be covered by the terms and conditions and privacy notices of each of these software tools in specific, thus, digital marketing may not need to worry here directly. Due to existing legislation which is known as EU-US Privacy Shield, US companies (including social media application providers) can self-certify and commit to this framework agreement which underpins their protection of EU citizen data entrusted to them. In a nutshell, it means that both you and your social media audience agree to the terms of the tools you use.
Most of the leading social media platforms have already announced being GDPR compliant or they are planning to have it soon.
This will be impacted the most in Digital marketing as it deals with an individual in specific through email IDs, directly hitting the privacy cord of GDPR. Emailer outreach programs have been bothering people across the globe for a while now. A lot of brands utilize this for organic growth including demand generation campaigns which may not be the best way forward, it also because of the fact, perhaps, that once a company commits to invest in marketing automation (say 6 monthly or yearly), it doesn’t not involve cost every time you run a campaign, Google AdWords for instance, is another channel which has a cost associated, every time you use it.
How can Digital Marketing function be made GDPR complaint?
Digital Marketers must know the chapter 3 of GDPR in details which talks about Rights of the data subject (your Target person in specific) which should serve the basic information to adopt best practices in digital marketing for making them GDPR compliant.
Rights of the data Subject:
1) Transparent information, communication and modalities for the exercise of the rights of the data subject 2) Information to be provided where personal data are collected from the data subject 3) Information to be provided where personal data have not been obtained from the data subject 4) Right of access by the data subject 5) Right to rectification 6) Right to erasure (‘right to be forgotten’) 7) Right to restriction of processing 8) Notification obligation regarding rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing 9) Right to data portability 10) Right to object 11) Automated individual decision-making, including profiling 12) Restrictions
Quick implementation Guidelines for GDPR compliance
What should be done on your Website?
Listing down few such websites that provide standard templates:
3) Update your subscription form for blogs and newsletters to specify the reason for customers to opt-in explicitly. 4) All forms on landing pages should be linked to Privacy Page of your website. 5) You can also try the use of push notifications to send a message to your subscribers at any point in time
What should be done with your Emailer automation tools?
1) Provide an explicit Unsubscribe option for all your contacts. 2) Maintain a personal profile of your users specifying which data you have about them with a provision for them to delete a part of the whole of the data. 3) Run a smart email campaign to get new and explicit consents from users if not already (the past data may not be of much use) you may want to use a pop-up on your website if mailers don’t work.
What should be done with your CMS?
Most of the brands and plugins on WordPress have released new versions and updated their policy policies this week. It will continue to be the trend next week. It is high time you visit your CMS consoles and update all plugins and notifications, if not already. Educate internal stakeholders and most importantly anyone who reaches out to your business prospects first. Sales department, for instance, is a must educate.
Reach out to all your marketing partners and agency to make sure they too adopt GDPR compliance for any campaigns on your behalf.
While GDPR aims to bring in more transparency and safeguard privacy rights of individuals and businesses in the EU, it also implies a direct hit to businesses and companies doing lead generation through emailers or direct cold calling targeting users in the European Union. This is much needed as it brings in more maturity to digital marketing as a function within an organization and safeguards interests of the end consumers at the end of the day. Smart marketers, however, can look at utilizing chatbots rather, for serving the needs of your customers in real-time.
There are guidelines to make your organization GDPR compliant, businesses have cropped up promising to make your organization GDPR ready, one must also look at having a full-time department or a Global compliance officer to ensure this is implemented strictly across your digital marketing and other organizational functions. It is certainly not easy to be GDPR compliant in long term. One can, however, start the journey towards becoming a GDPR compliant marketing function by following the steps as above.
Hope you find this blog useful, what are your comments, thoughts or suggestions on GDPR implications for Digital Marketing, please let me know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: The content of the blog post above (including all responses to comments in the section below) is not to be considered as any form of legal advice and should be used for information purposes only.
2017 for marketing has been a year of transformation, the realization of issues concerning common man and coming up with proactive measures to overcome difficulties consumers face today. From emphasizing more upon digital channels, increasing twitter character lengths to realizing and acting upon fake news in the late 2017, brands today, are becoming more and more consumer-centric. Marketing is evolving and there is a long way to go. In this blog, we shall discuss 20 marketing trends brands should watch out for in 2018 and years to come.
Machine learning, inevitably, will change the way brands consider marketing to their customers today. By now, you must have tried looking at a product on an e-commerce site and the very next second the same product is shown to you across your mailbox, apps you download and websites you visit in multiple ad formats. It will rise more and more with dynamic shift mobility and android market is taking today. Basically, it’s a use case of Machine learning in digital advertising and termed as Retargeting. Leading companies such as Facebook, Google, and Vizury enable this for marketers to effectively target their audience for improved conversions. It also brings in the Real-time application of ads to the desired audience and cut on unwanted spends as machines can learn quicker than human beings. Essentially, personalized and better-targeted ads, real-time application and ability to learn quickly will eventually be more cost effective for businesses. Thus, it will continue to rise in 2018 and marketers will see increased investments in machine learning as a capability.
3. Limiting Gated Content
Creating a simple landing page and gating content has been useful in past few years. From necessary to unnecessary gating of content, and forcing users to submit a form in exchange for an asset, offer or benefit has been overused. Brands like Zendesk and Hubspot have already started using the mix of gated and nongated content. Customers would prefer not forcing them to fill a form every time they need an asset from your website. This trend will see more traction and brands will choose what to gate and what not to gate in 2018. Using a suitable mix and differentiating gated and ungated content will be key to success in 2018.
4. LinkedIn gets life
LinkedIn in 2017, have made multiple improvements to the platform. Last month, I also noticed Akshay Kothari, Head of LinkedIn India, promoting thought leadership driven video bytes often candid conversations, essentially, targeting youth, B2B professionals, and Job seekers, the Purpose LinkedIn is well known for. I personally felt its lot more life on LinkedIn as It is sometimes boring talking business all the time on LinkedIn. This trend will surely be noticed by leading brands, and people will try bringing in youth, new thoughts and candid conversations on LinkedIn. With free data plans floating all around, the video is going to be an integral part of LinkedIn in 2018.
On Linkedin editors, news feed appears like the example given below.
Twitter didn’t grow in 2017, due to limited improvements in the ad platform and focus on user acquisitions rather, in 2017. There is some positive news on user base and numbers which started growing post-Oct 2017. The increase character length from 140 characters to 280 characters now has been a debatable topic as well. Experts say that Twitter’s technology lags than that of Facebook and Google. The fanciness of hashtags, however, is not going to decline and brands will continue using Twitter in 2018. By what percentage, time can only tell for now.
6. Rise of Instagram
According to Brandwatch, Instagram now reaches an average audience of 500 million people daily in the third quarter of 2017, more than double that of Snapchat or Twitter (each has fewer than 200 million daily active users). Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat, as reported in Business Insider.
Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom told Variety earlier this year: “People say Instagram is super positive and optimistic. If you take a close look at 2017 statistics provided by the Instagram, He seems right, if u glance through the Top hashtags of 2017:
It has become a must-have for celebrities, controversial artists, photography enthusiasts and fitness freaks to grow their follower base. Irrespective of a need or no need, Users are experimenting with Instagram. Whilst it’s good to have 2 to 3 hashtags in a tweet, at least until Twitter had 140 characters limit. Instagram has the exact opposite to play, and it provides more liberty to users. Users are adopting more and more of hashtags to get heard in noisy image place. There aren’t any hashtag limitations as such, but according to, a TrackMaven study of Instagram accounts with 1,000 followers or fewer, posts containing four or five hashtags received an average of 22 interactions compared to 14 interactions on posts with zero hashtags.
7. Net neutrality – loses or wins – Impact is the imperative
As per dictionary, it’s the principle that Internet service providers or ISPs should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking products or websites. In recent development at the US, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington voted to dismantle the “net neutrality” rules. Basically, giving more power to cable and telecom companies to control future of the web. Advertising revenues will eventually start moving towards Telecom and cable companies as marketers will have better avenues for consumer profiling and targeting there. I also see the premium charges being applied to advertising there.
8. Rise of ad blocking tech
Recent report during March 2017 explained that ad fraud will cost brands $16.4 billion globally and nearly 20 percent of total digital ad spend was wasted in 2016. It is a growing concern among advertisers and publishers today. It has been bothering Google for some time now. From acknowledging this to be a problem in July 2017 to refunding advertisers for fake ads, Google did it all to regain advertiser’s faith. There is no definite solution to this problem in 2017, there will be focused attention in 2018 by leading brands such as P&G, I personally loved the speech by Marc Pritchard from P&G in Jan 2017 wherein he slammed platforms for lacking uniform standards. Earlier this year, P&G’s programmatic partner The Trade Desk partnered with bots-detection company White Ops eliminate ad fraud, before buyers are charged, from inventory offered by supply-side platforms. This opens new avenues for ad fraud solutions and more service providers in 2018 as brands today, don’t even have a transparent visibility of where their ads were actually shown.
9. Voice Search in 2018
An estimate by ComScore says, by 2020, almost 30 percent of searches will be done by, without a screen. Google, on the other hand, says, about 20 percent of search queries via its app are through voice search. Readiness for voice search will be the need of brands in 2018. More investments expected in voice search friendly websites, apps, it may also lead to the adoption of chatbots/ artificially intelligent virtual assistants to power voice search queries in some cases. Amazon and Google, for instance, have released mini-Wi-Fi speaker for the home, respectively. This possesses a challenge to Google as it limits monetization opportunities.
10. Privacy breach & Marketing
This the topic I love the most, Blackberry Passport , which was way ahead of its generations and Blackberry 10 OS has been killed officially (For now, deadline by blackberry is for 2019) as it was too secure and covering your privacy so much that even the basic blackberry browser could tell you and ask your permission if a website is trying to know your location (At least at that moment). Something which Google always wants from you and even does it without your knowledge. For instance, if you just go to Amazon.com and try buying a product shipping internationally from the US, it says “it can be shipped or not” without actually taking user’s consent. Thanks to Android and China making cheapest possible aAndroiddevices on earth. Basically, you either choose an Android or an Apple ecosystem, the latter being costlier Apple ecosystem, market is growing faster on former one. With growing Android devices and mobile taking the centerstage, your privacy is at risk. In one sentence, Google knows everything about you. Likewise, Xiaomi knows everything about Redmi devices as you have an MI account to sync it all. For brands, it’s the good news as they can target more users, more apps and more personalized customer choices and offers they wish to. Maintaining a fine balance between offering what is required and avoiding too much of content push will determine their success in 2018.
11. Questionable state of Social Media
Power and Politics can overrule social media today. Influencer social media campaigns are at all-time high. One thought vs other, one political party vs other. Smart marketers are using this opportunity to create biased or unbiased content, distribute and monetize from it. Social media is a new mandate for political parties, and marketers will continue to earn more from it in 2018. State of social media remains questionable as One can hire thousands of social media advocates/employees and troll whomsoever they want. Thus, every discussion can become an argument leading to end of the very thought process itself. Above all, fake robots are also being used to gain likes, spike traffics and numbers, eventually, resulting in ad fraud as well. Few classic videos I found as below, where China seems leading the innovation 🙂
Like factory in China
How Fake Likes are Made
12. Dark Social and Web analytics limitations
It’s dark when people share content through private channels such as instant messaging programs, messaging apps, incognito mode in some cases and email. Simply stating, any web traffic that’s not attributed to a known source is dark social. It is very difficult for marketers to measure anything coming into their website through dark social. While there are certain ways brands can manage it but this it’s a marketing opportunity lost as no one knows how to address this. This trend will continue to rise in 2018 as well.
13. Facebook is the new video platform
During last few months, we noticed a significant number of video posts across Facebook unlike traditional images and content posts. Though there are ad inserts within the videos shown on Facebook which is annoying sometimes, but the mix of liking a page and getting all content from a Facebook page seems working for brands today, it is on demand as you go to Facebook anyway for social media. YouTube on the other hand has the bell icon and subscribing option to do so. But I would go to YouTube primarily for Videos and not for any other form of content. Apart from this, the content repurposing in phenomenal In B2C brands marketing on Facebook. Clearly, Facebook has an upper edge here, with introduction of Facebook watch in August 2017, and continued growth in videos for over 100 million hours of video watch time, much before “Watch” was launched, and free mobile data plans all around, it is poised to move ahead and be the biggest video platform.
14. Rise in Mobile money means more avenues for advertisers
2018 will be a year of massive shift in way we do payments together. From Android & Samsung Pay, Tez by Google to digital mobile banks being a reality, next year will see increase in digital payments. Amazon Pay, Paytm at India are few such examples. This will though, lead to complex partner ecosystems and demand a need for regulations.
15. B2B events won’t die
At least in B2B marketing, people still believe events and trade shows are important to be present, at least the generation born before 80s. I have also seen a lot of resistance to change and shifting budgets towards Digital Marketing, as they say, People are resistant to change in general. Events also involve Face to face discussions and being felt in public view. Though digital marketing budgets will continue growing, people won’t leave B2B events and conferences and experienials spends either.
16. Gaming videos are New content for engagement
Animation is going in full swing. Gaming companies such as Unilad are using Facebook and showing snippets from the game story itself for engaging users are providing them with the look and feel of the game before it is released. The level of engagements shows it’s working. I see this as a growing trend in 2018 wherein brands will invest more on Facebook and Instagram to gain from such engagements online.
17. Media Surround on gaming consoles
I use an old Sony PlayStation 3, I noticed these Gaming consoles also offering the Content platform to watch videos such as YouTube, Yupp TV and Amazon Prime. This has been there for some time now but the addition of new website/miniature app versions are incremental. In 2018, marketers will have a definite reach to the users using Gaming consoles.
18. More telcos will offer digital content consumption – Free and Paid
At least in the Indian markets, from Airtel, Idea to Reliance Jio, every telecom company is trying to create a content ecosystem of movies and media channels to gain and retain existing users, which is mostly free for end customers. It’s a new mandate, for all leading telecom companies in 2018. This content trend is currently dominated by Netflix and new entrant Amazon in the West for now. Few telecoms, are though offering free data if you buy some data from them. For marketers, this too, will provide more reach and personalized messaging to the audience and new revenue streams for telecom companies.
19. Customer Experience will continue to be a focus in 2018
A classic case is with a mid-segment, Chinese brand like OnePlus which has been innovating with every launch they made from Dash charging to frequent patch updates android users always ask for, respecting every flagship they launched and promising Android Oreo updates Dash charging – is something lot of leading brands failed to recognize even today. Almost every query or concern was addressed by social media/leadership team at OnePlus directly truly living up to their brand positioning of #NeverSettle. Brands should use 360 degree / all marketing channels to hear customer voice and address them in public. Essentially, consistent improvement in customer experience results in free word of mouth and therefore, save your marketing dollars.
20. Bitcoin and Blockchain – Marketing Implications
The Harvard Business Review describes “Blockchain” as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. This is very recent and a trending topic amongst marketers. From verifying ad delivery to paying for content creation, distribution and to rewarding customers. It has a whole new set of applications. I liked a blog covering this topic in detail as here. Twenty-Seven Ways Marketers Can Use Blockchain
Trust you found this blog useful, please let me know your feedback, comments and suggestions the comments section below.
During Nov,16 mobile and tablet internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time worldwide and nearly 80% of all social media time is spent on mobile today. Undoubtedly, mobile is the future of digital marketing and social media. With the subsequent increase in smartphone usage and availability of free data plans, the user will have social media access at their fingertips like never before. This also means that the social media is destined to be noisier, more engaging and more influencing than ever before. I call it a monster – it can make or kill a brand. Whilst everyone is interested in making a brand, for self or for businesses today, it is important to know the best practices people and brands can employ to win from social media in 2017
Listing down 15 Best Practices for Social Media Usage:
1) Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
First and foremost, it is very important to be on the right social media platform. It is simple, Be on the platform which matters to you or your business. For instance, if you are in B2C business, Facebook first followed by Twitter and others make sense. On the other hand, LinkedIn and Twitter are best for B2B Companies, Facebook in B2B context is good for employee engagements, CSRs, jobs and brand promotions.
2) Win Audience’s Trust
People follow you because of the trust they have in your content, product or service. Since decisions to follow or unfollow are made at the instance of a second today, it is important to be trustworthy, relevant and engage with your audience. Talk thought leadership and Please avoid direct sales as much as possible. Having said that its ok to have about 20% of your content promoting your brand. Remember 80% of the time, you are being followed because of the content which is interesting and engaging to your audience.
3) Visual Posts Lead Today
Make Your Posts Visually Appealing with the Use of Images and Videos. Research shows that social media posts that have a captivating image increase an audience’s willingness to click by 80 percent. Moreover, it’s 40 times more likely to be shared.
4) Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags pertaining to the subject of tweet or post only should be used. Also, use not more than 2 to 3 hashtags in one tweet or Post (remember its only 140 characters you need to communicate within) – Focus on keywords that are relevant to your business. Irrelevant hashtags will lead to loss of trust among your followers. Lesser the hashtags, more simplistic it Is for your audience to know the context of the tweet or post. In my experience, quite often, people don’t even click on the links being shared, from the tweet itself, they make an opinion and decide to retweet or disengage accordingly. Best practices also recommend using no more than two hashtags per Tweet
5) Branded or Unbranded Hashtags
Adopting a healthy mix of generic hashtags containing thought leadership driven content + branded hashtags (hashtags containing your brand name) is good. Branded ones should be used for brand campaigns, product or service specific promotions. Having more of latter is not advisable as mentioned in 80/20 rule above.
6) Keep it short (On Twitter in specific)
A Concise Tweet makes an impact. Try to maintain each Tweet focusing one specific message than trying multiple messages within one tweet. It also involves focused attention by your followers and thus helps in effective communication.
7) Curate and Connect
Retweeting relevant content and replying to Tweets are great ways to maintain a robust presence on Twitter, follow back when relevant people follow, say thanks when they follow, smile, be human. If possible, share a tangible value which they can appreciate such as a Whitepaper, report or business report.
from dishonorable content such as racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability (Until and unless you have a political agenda) related posts. Remember trolls are very common these days.
10) Avoid posting
any content pertaining to sensitive company information. Surrounding or promoting existing tweets/post from your employer’s Profiles should be fine otherwise.
11) People love data and it gives them credibility and confidence
While writing social content, try using more of numbers, facts, data and why, where & how of a story, chances of engagement are better and quicker in these cases.
12) Brand Recall
Basics of marketing communication, Have consistent brand messaging across all social media profiles. For instance, If LinkedIn says you are the best blogger in IoT your twitter profile should also say the same. Not to mention, it’s good to have similar look and feel of the brand across all social media properties too!
13) Best Time to Post
Does it matter? Yes, to some extent. Below are the best shots
14) Avoid engaging
You might not like them, but Please avoid engaging in inflammatory or inappropriate discussions about competitors.
15) Use more of mobile optimized (vertical) videos
The Next big thing in 2017, evident from the increase in smartphones and mobile data usage as stated above. The audience would prefer a video which doesn’t force a horizontal layout, It’s simple for me to keep continue using my phone vertically, You Know! Facebook live stream launch to Jeep’s video last year during Super Bowl all meant the same, Being Vertical is being intact!
Trust you find these Best Practices for social media usage in 2017, useful. Let me know your thought in the comments section below.
Social media listening is identifying what is being said about your product, service, brand or the company on the internet.
In other words, social media listening is done to monitor the social media itself. In this blog, we shall talk about few of the best social media listening tools every business should be employing in their social media tactics.
The need for Social Media Listening
Social media is getting noisier!
It’s a monster which can make or kill your brand. You need to listen to all brand conversations online and monitor it appropriately to continue engaging more with conversations with potential to create a positive image for your brand. On the flip side, managing negative conversations about your brand with appropriate steps, is also an important step towards Online Reputation Management (ORM) or social media monitoring as such.
Here are top 6 social media listening tools for your business:
Decide topic, trend or your brand name and assign an alert with your Gmail ID. You are notified every time the keywords you decided are mentioned over the internet. The frequency of the alerts is also controlled by you. Effective, simple and this costs nothing at all.
A Canadian social media company, this is probably the most widely known and simplest tool of all. It offers simple social listening, weekly report dashboard with engagement and publishing features. The individual basic level package used to be free, If you have a personal blog or a small website, the Professional plan should suffice. More details in the screenshot below.
Social Mention is a social media search and analysis tool that collects user-generated content on the internet such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, and videos etc. into a single stream of information.
This tool also provides sentiment analysis and classifies the overall sentiments into neutral, positive and negatives about your brand conversations online. It also provides top keywords associated with your brand mention over the internet.
IceRocket has been there for more than a decade now. Now, acquired by Melt Water. Traditionally, it has been used for blog searches and slowly expanded into searching social networking sites as well such as Twitter and Facebook. Big Buzz feature from Icerocket also allows users to search Blogs, Tweets, news, images etc. all from one page.
As the name indicates, tweetreach is more about Twitter, This is helpful in case you want to check how far Your tweets reached. It’s a good way to find out your influential followers and decide best people to target for further twitter engagements.
Brandwatch is a software as a service which archives social media data in order to provide companies with information and the means to track specific segments to analyze their brands’ online presence. This tool also enables gathering customer feedback and uncover trends impacting your brand, products, and marketplace.
Keyhole is largely a product or website for measure real-time and historical social media data.
The bottom line
The Social media listening tools are plenty and growing every day. This list can be added with few more social media monitoring tools such as sociabble, addictomatic, HowSociable etc. However, I have tried covering the top 6 and most popular ones as above. The tool list here is essentially a mix of free and paid ones. You might want to evaluate the best choice of the social media listening tool by working with trial versions for a while. These tools will save your precious time and provide a comprehensive view of your social channels within a single dashboard. With the advent of social media and growing user base every year, the need to have an effective social media listening tool is increasing and it is the right time you pick one.
WhatsApp started in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo! It is used to send text messages, documents, images, video, user location and audio media messages to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers with a data plan. Ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in Feb 2014, it has undergone significant changes and regular updates especially towards data protection and privacy features. This is much needed as WhatsApp has the incredible power of sharing any file, video, audio, text-based and so on in mere one click. The growing security concern has been around hackers, cybercriminals’ etc., their ability able to access user data and make users more prone to such easy attacks, the vulnerability has always been an area of concern. This also holds well with respect to recent clashes between FBI and Apple to unlock phones of the users under investigations.
For WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging app, encryption has always been a need for users. User base in WhatsApp has crossed a billion mark during Feb 2015, followed by Facebook with about 800 million messenger users, which makes it even more important to provide efficient data protection to its users.
What is Encryption?
Encryption is all about encoding a message or information in such a way that it can only be read by authorized users where the information was intended to be shared. In other words, all data is translated into secret code from the sender and send through a passkey, which only desired user can have access to. Traditionally, this has been used across organizations to increased security. Blackberry services with a data plan and emails, for instance, has been a big hit across enterprises over the last decade, arguably the safest enterprise email server.
Encryption power to WhatsApp
Recently during Apr 2015, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koumhas stated that they have been working for bringing about this encryption since last 2 year. This is end to end encryption wherein “once the session is established, clients do not need to rebuild a new session with each other until the existing session state is lost through an external event such as an app reinstall or device change”. WhatsApp actually, had started encrypting the text messages in late 2014 itself. On April 5, it started encrypting all calls, photos, and videos as well.
This encryption, now, is enabled by default across all WhatsApp users if they are on latest update release which means if sender and receiver of messages have got the latest version of the app installed on their mobile devices, the encryption is bound to be enabled. However, the catch is that users don’t have an option for switching this feature on or off. Recently updated apps will show this message now
“Messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info.”
WhatsApp even states that user info cannot be accessed by any 3rd party except the sender and the desired receiver even they don’t have access to it, this statement is building a lot of credibility in the market today.
What it means to users
No changes in the ways you have been using WhatsApp, Having said that, now, it will be much more difficult to ensure law enforcement or provide copies of any user-specific communication to government authorities even if they wish to do so.
Files are important, please backup if you need them in future, WhatsApp doesn’t save anything on their servers which means files ones deleted can never be recovered, neither one can read them as they are all encrypted now. Group chats, however, are not encrypted, for now, so files, in this case, are safe.
In a nutshell, your private chats are safer now and world chats are safer than ever before. Most likely, all other chat services providers should start following the encryption process soon, With this, WhatsApp has set a brand new benchmark for them to follow for now.