About a week ago, Schema.org rolled out some new data types and properties, most notably within the CreativeWork and Intangible data types. This correlates with an announcement that Schema “is approaching a full 1.0 release but that we still have a few additions to make before we declare we’re at a full 1.0.” (I recommend reading through this entire thread for further context on my post.)
Following are a few screen shots that show the new types and properties highlighted in yellow. The first show shows several changes within CreativeWork:
The next shot shows changes made to child types within Intangible:
Here is the global list of types that are new or have new child types or properties:
- CreativeWork shows changes made to the following:
- Product (now includes “audience” as a property)
We obviously haven’t seen usage in the wild yet, but we’ll certainly let you know if we do. We watch the Schema.org hierarchy pretty closely, and we’ll continue to post updates.
Last month I was pleased to be a part of SMX West, a digital marketing conference hosted by the fine folks of Third Door Media, Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. This time around, I had the pleasure of participating in two panels. The first centered around tactics to supercharge Facebook engagement and Twitter reach, one of my favorite topics about which to speak. The second panel, however, was something new at SMX, and something so well received by the audience that I cannot imagine the conference organizers won’t continue include the session going forward.
The panel comprised of nine speakers from various panels from throughout the conference, all of us instructed to pull out five minutes of key takeaways and present them in rapid succession. It was truly a pleasure to present with so many amazing industry icons like Marty Weintrab of aimClear and Jennita from SEOMoz, not to mention my favorite authority on Google+, Mark Traphagen from Virante!
The result was an info-packed 45 minutes followed by some great Q&A by the crowd. That is exactly why I love SMX conferences – the panels are comprised of amazing thought leadership that can help you grow your business and make high-impact changes to your digital strategy, but the people in the audience are highly invested in talking with you, too.
Yesterday, SMX released the video snippet of my five minute presentation. We hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear your comments and questions!
As marketers we do our best to put ourselves into our target customer’s shoes; to see where they spend their time to learn about a specific product or service and pondering over how we can expose them to those offerings. Working in healthcare marketing I recently had a unique opportunity to find myself in the position of both the marketer and the patient. I’d like to share what I learned from the experience.
A few months ago I learned during a normal dental check-up that I had an aggressive tumor in my jaw called Ameloblastoma. I was shocked that a 26 year old guy like me could have something like this so young. As a potential patient I panicked at first thinking about all the possible outcomes and what this meant for me. I then calmed myself and started going through the things that I could control:
- What is this disease?
- What are the possible solutions?
- Who offers those solutions?
- Who has experience with this disease?
Being an online marketer who is involved in the healthcare industry I was aware that not every article or blogger out there is
providing correct information. Even if it is correct, it’s specific to his or her experience and not necessarily mine. Still, many of the major healthcare providers did not provide in-depth information on this tumor. Why is this? Well it’s a rare disease and most likely healthcare systems are focusing on their major drivers – lung cancer, breast cancer, etc. But aren’t healthcare systems trying to treat every possible ailment and not just their main traffic drivers?
This was my first takeaway: Many healthcare systems focus on their main traffic drivers, but from a search marketing perspective it appears there is a huge opportunity to engage patients in the long tail (very specific diseases and types of diseases) rather than putting all of their efforts trying to rank for the top 3 diseases they see.
Next, I had to look at the different healthcare systems and doctors that could address this tumor. It didn’t seem there was a particular healthcare system that claimed to be an expert on this. This seemed like a huge opportunity for having published web content, written by doctors and shared on Google to sway me as to which doctor or healthcare system I should chose.
This was my second takeaway: It appears there’s an opportunity for doctors to assert their authority on certain subjects by simply creating a piece of content showing their expertise and publishing it on Google+ with the author tag.
I ended up finding a Journal of Surgery case study on my tumor from the Middle East that was, in all honesty, the most helpful. The blogs and articles I read were mostly from people that had such bad experiences that they wanted to voice their situations and warn people about what’s ahead. Everything I read on those blogs were far from what I actually had to deal with. I ended up going with the Cleveland Clinic due to my past experiences with them and some swaying done by my family.
In conclusion, who’s to say that my online research couldn’t have swayed me to sign on with another healthcare system? What is your hospital or healthcare system going to do to set itself apart as an authority on a subject? Considering how many medical conditions exist it seems there is an ocean of opportunity for doctors and their healthcare systems to become the first choice for patients who are doing their research online, whether it’s by simple organic searches or looking at what their friends have said on social media.
Whenever Facebook gears up to make an announcement, the tech press goes absolutely ballistic with predictions. Not all that different from a telenovella, the predictions are over-the-top with drama and speculation. In the case of the most recent January 15 Facebook announcement, most tech press seemed to think that the announcement would be something related to search or something related to mobile. In the end they’re all right, even if a bit off.
Today Facebook announced the Beta release of Graph Search, a new way of searching. Before I launch into the list of changes and how they will benefit the Facebook experience of both users and brands alike, it is important to address a few things:
- Facebook Graph Search will not replace traditional search or SEO or take down Google.
- Facebook Graph Search will only show results that were visible to others in the first place (read: They are well aware of privacy concerns and no, your privacy settings are not changing)
- This is a beta product that will take years to refine, but has some big implications for marketers and users
- Rollout is effective today, but starting with just hundreds of thousands of users, not millions.
What is Graph Search?
Facebook has 1 billion people, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. Yeah, you read that right. Graph Search is a way for Facebook users to find photos, places, recommendations, people, interests and events that are relevant to their lives. In an average search engine scenario, such as Google, users have to type
keywords and keyword combinations that make sense. With Google+, a network that I believe will have significant impact on consumer behavior in 2013 and beyond, relevancy and social signals are increasingly more important. With Graph Search, Facebook is allowing its users to find information that is qualified for them – think of it as being a mash-up of Yelp + Bing
How Do You Search in Facebook Graph Search?
Graph search is centered around four use cases: people, places, interests, and photos. When you and I search something like “Apple” via a search engine, we’re going to essentially end up with the same results. The concept, and reality, behind the Graph Search is that when you and I search “Apple,” we’re going to get entirely different results that are focused around our very specific networks of people, places, interests, and photos.
Here are some example queries demonstrated at the press conference:
- Friends who live in Palo Alto, California – returns all friends in that location
- Photos of me and Priscilla Chan – Returns the photos tagged of Zuck and Priscilla, with the photos with the most likes and comments ranking highest
- People named Chris who went to Stanford and are friends with Lars – If you meet someone in real life and you want to connect with them online, you can potentially find them this way
- Indian restaurant in Palo Alto liked by my friends who are from India – This would return qualified recommendations of Indian places I might like in that city.
- TV Shows liked by doctors – Discover new entertainment
- Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney and Music liked by people who like Barack Obama – common search result? The Beatles!
- Movies my friends like – will return not only the movies they like, but video trailers of said movies as well as television shows
How Does Facebook Graph Search Impact Marketers?
While it’s still early, this new way of searching means that marketers will have more insight into their competition than ever before. For example, I could search “hotels liked by Mercedes owners” and figure out which luxury hotel chain is a favorite – and perhaps if there is a potential partnership with like-minded brands.
Location based review services, like Yelp, FourSquare, and even TripAdvisor to an extent, will still play an important part in digital strategy, but should expect to see some traffic decline as people start adapting to finding the recommendations via Facebook itself instead of logging into those third-party sites with Facebook Connect. This means community managers will have to not only work on taking care of the Timeline and comments, but will have to actively monitor other areas of Facebook to help manage reputation, as well.
I personally am not the biggest fan of Facebook, but I love the idea of being able to get personal recommendations and reviews in one place. I love the idea of being able to search past photos or plan future travels via the search functions (and without having to visit 8 – 10 websites to get what I am looking for).
Speaking of how Graph Search impacts location-based social – have you updated your Facebook Places so Facebook Nearby is ready to go? If not, stop reading and do so now.
One of my favorite possibilities is how this search function opens up social to so many new departments. For example, if you’re in HR, you can search for “insert job title here” that are friends with current employees. Nice, eh?
Forthcoming Facebook Graph Search Features
Expect Instagram to play a part in the photo aspects of Graph Search, but not for some time. Right now, this test is only available in English and via Facebook on the web, but Facebook is planning to launch versions in other languages and on mobile in the near future. Also, if search results on Graph Search do not yield
anything specific within a user’s network, Microsoft Bing will supplement the results with a traditional search engine results page (SERP) right in Facebook.
When questioned about whether or not Facebook would work with Google, it wasn’t ruled out, but Zuckerberg noted that Microsoft was much more willing to work with the privacy concerns of the Facebook community than Google at this time.
What other ways will Graph Search impact businesses and Facebook users? Your thoughts and predictions are most certainly welcome!
For most marketing directors, the ROI question as it relates to social media budgeting continues to loom as a conundrum. Here is an extremely simple way to place value on your social media users to better budget and plan.
Step One: Identify your conversion.
Are you looking for leads, sales, or walk-ins? All three are applicable when valuating your users. For leads, ensure that you can place a dollar amount on your average lead count during a month-long period. Your sales and walk-ins will already have an inherent dollar amount attached to them (hopefully).
Step Two: Create a social promotion.
The promotion should be able to capture all lines of your business. If that seems unreasonable, go ahead and plan multiple promotions. Ensure your promotion is on-par with promotions your have held in the past. You do not want to specialize this one at all.
Make sure you have tracking tools for the results. With lead generation, make sure you create a specialized landing page for click throughs from social media. Do not publicize this URL anywhere other than your social media platforms.
For sales, make sure you are utilizing a custom segment within your analytics service that will only report on traffic that comes from social media URLs. This, coupled with a discount code within your Ecommerce platform, will accurately depict direct sales from social users.
Tracking walk-ins is a bit more tricky, but leaning on the discount code in the form of a digital coupon will go far in tracking results.
Step Three: Assign the value.
The preferential treatment for assigning value is to base it on the engagement that occurs during the promotion online. For instance, for a Facebook-only promotion, you will want to assign a dollar value on each individual “Engaged User” (column L in Facebook Insights) during the promotion period. On Twitter, you will want to count mentions during the entire promotion period, and divide your total net sales from the promotion by that number. Example below:
- Promotion: 25% Off Entire Catalog for Facebook Fans!
- Promotion Period: 14 days
- Total Engaged Users during Promotion: 1500
- Net Sales from Promotion: $50,000
- Facebook User Valuation: $33.33 per Engaged User
Keep in mind, $33.33 per Engaged User would be absolutely incredible, so don’t be too disheartened when it turns out to be $1 or less. Remember, conversions are the last step in a well-built strategy. If you aren’t satisfied with the numbers, feel free to contact Intrapromote to build a strategy that will return some results.
Now you have a valuation for your Facebook fan base, and a good way to project future sales and determine ROI. You’re welcome.
Facebook marketing, as Intrapromote has stated many times before, is an invaluable commodity to brands when done correctly. Unfortunately, Facebook receives a bad wrap from many brands whose inexperience gets misinterpreted as a bad experience. This does not surprise me at all, as Facebook marketing is the sovereign platform representing a new wave of consumer communication that is still cutting its teeth.
Philosophically, Facebook marketing is incredibly dynamic. More so than any other marketing platform that brands have utilized in recent memory. Since the platform itself is only 8 years old, with a brand presence equaling half of that, the proper use of the technology has yet to be mastered fully. Without some basic understanding of this concept, brands will be hurt by their own disorientation.
Facebook marketing is not online marketing, as is the general consensus, because online marketing (online advertising, SEO, link development, etc.) is modeled after traditional marketing. Put the brand in the consumer’s periphery, magic occurs, and, voila, you have a new customer. Applying this philosophy to your Facebook marketing will only lead to discouragement. The reason is simple: people do not go to Facebook for the sake of Facebook itself.
This creates a problem for traditional marketing executives. They want to use Facebook the same way they would use a billboard or a television ad run. They want to ride Facebook as a vehicle to reach the goals of the campaign. The problem is that Facebook itself is not the vehicle on Facebook. So what is?
The answer will not surprise, as you’ve probably stumbled across this concept many times: relationships are the vehicles that achieve goals on Facebook.
A lot of people and brands understand this concept, but have a difficult time trusting in it, applying it, and executing strategy based upon it. Traditional means of marketing professionals are so ingrained that breaking the mold becomes incredibly uncomfortable, especially when they work so well with other channels. When a strategy based on relationships is put in place properly, Facebook marketing begins to pay dividends that all of us “social media marketers” keep promising.
So download your Facebook Page Insights from the past 90 days and hold off on that coupon code for a few more minutes. Here is your checklist to see if your fan base will be responsive to your “Black Friday/Cyber Monday Facebook Extravaganza!”:
- Take your “Weekly Page Engaged Users” number (column M), and divide it by your “Lifetime Total Likes” number (column H) for the corresponding day to calculate your Engagement Percentage*. Do this for all 90 days and take an average.
- 10% or higher = Congratulations! Your fan base is a growing consumer base; contact Intrapromote now for customized campaigns to take full advantage of this budding consumer base.
- 5% – 10% = Your fan base is ready to become consumers; contact Intrapromote now to develop a strategy focused on turning fans into consumers.
- <5% = Your fan base needs to build a relationship with your fan page; contact Intrapromote immediately to develop relationships with your fan base that will eventually blossom into “consumerships”.
- Take your “Weekly Viral Reach” number (column Y), and divide it by your “Lifetime Total Likes” number (column H) for the corresponding day to calculate your Virality Percentage*. Do this for all 90 days and take an average.
- 150% or higher = Congratulations! Your fan base is marketing your brand on Facebook for you; contact Intrapromote now for customized campaigns to take full advantage of this budding consumer base.
- 50% – 100% = You are reaching the second tier (friends of fans) at a good rate; contact Intrapromote now to develop a strategy focused on turning fans into consumers.
- <50% = Your fans are not letting their friends know about your brand; contact Intrapromote immediately to develop relationships with your fan base that will eventually blossom into “consumerships”.
- Take your “Weekly People Talking About This” number (column C), and divide it by your “Lifetime Total Likes” number (column H) for the corresponding day to calculate your Performance Percentage*. Do this for all 90 days and take an average.
- 10% or higher = Congratulations! Your fan base is growing and interacting; contact Intrapromote now for customized campaigns to take full advantage of this budding consumer base.
- 5% – 10% = You’re Facebook page has a solid foundation, and your growth is steady; contact Intrapromote now to develop a strategy focused on turning fans into consumers.
- <5% = Your Facebook page is underperforming as a marketing channel; contact Intrapromote immediately to develop relationships with your fan base that will eventually blossom into “consumerships”.
If your page is performing as an “1”, you have established the relationships necessary for Facebook marketing to be appropriate. If you have a “2” performance, your page is on its way to becoming a solid marketing channel.
Traditional marketing tactics and methods will lead to a “3” performance on Facebook. This guide is simply a diagnostic tool to understand how your page performs as a marketing channel. Please contact Intrapromote to have a custom strategy built to meet the needs of your current Facebook page performance.
* – Engagement Percentage, Virality Percentage, and Performance Percentage are all metrics designed by Intrapromote to better serve our clients. Contact Intrapromote to learn more about our reporting and campaigns.