Google To Update Shopping Policy Center In February 2016

Most advertisers won’t be affected, but all should review to ensure compliance in the new year. The post Google To Update Shopping Policy Center In February 2016 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

 
 

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How to Create a Holiday Twitter Schedule

Chestnuts roasting on the fire, a hot cup of cocoa and softly playing music… it’s an idyllic holiday scene, but one that many marketers don’t get to enjoy because they’re too busy tweeting during the holidays.

Rather than leave your Twitter-based Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations to the last minute, we’ve got some ideas for you to help you create a holiday Twitter schedule – so you can take some much deserved rest knowing that your tweets are all queued up.

Step 1: Make a list of the celebrations

December is a big month for celebrations around the world. Make a list of the specific holidays that you’d like to acknowledge on Twitter. Try to gather some insight into what your audience celebrates, and incorporate that into the list as well.

Celebrations can range from the obvious, like Christmas, to the more personal, like your company’s office party, end-of-the-year milestones or recognizing the charitable work of your employees during the holidays.

Be sure to note the date and time, if applicable, of all of the celebrations on your list.

Step 2: Write your tweets

Now it’s time for a little creativity. Spend a few hours brainstorming the tweets that you will send to mark each date. You’ll want to keep your brand voice consistent, but also write tweets that will stand out – everyone can tweet “Merry Christmas!”, so why not add a little personality to yours?

Don’t forget to leave room for an image!

Step 3: Make your images

Since images improve engagement and reach, it’s a good idea to include them in as many tweets as you can. Once you have your holiday-themed tweets all written up, find or create images to match.

There are some neat tools out there that can help you design images if you don’t have a graphics background, such as Snappa and Pablo by Buffer. These tools enable you to choose stock photos, add text and graphics, and download in a Twitter-friendly format.

Step 4: Use a Twitter scheduling tool

If you’re already using a tool to schedule your tweets, now’s the time to open it. If not, try looking into one of the leaders in this space: HootSuite, Buffer and TweetDeck are all great choices.

With your tweets written and images created, it’s simply a matter of plugging each one into your scheduling tool and setting them to go live at the right dates and times throughout the holidays. Easy!

(Optional) Step 5: Add in the right hashtags

It’s always a good idea to do a little hashtag research if you want your tweets to earn more exposure. However, this step is optional because often the most popular hashtags surrounding a live event like a holiday aren’t apparent until the day-of.

If you are able to quickly check in on Twitter’s Trending Topics on each day that you’re celebrating and include one or two in your related tweets, you’ll earn yourself more exposure.

And that’s all it takes to set up a holiday Twitter schedule! This method works for any holiday period, so don’t limit your scheduling to December alone. Happy holidays and happy tweeting!

Snarky #MuslimApartments tweets mock media frenzy in San Bernardino

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Cats, Christmas trees, Chicago Bears jerseys: just a few of the items in Muslims Americans’ apartments

Within hours of the live broadcast that showed dozens of reporters from MSNBC, CNN and other outlets rifling through belongings in the apartment where San Bernardino shooting suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik lived, zeroing in on so-called Muslim items in the home, Muslim Americans took to Twitter in response Friday

In an attempt to call out the media’s Islamaphobia—with a heavy dose of sarcasm— people tweeted photos of their #MuslimApartments, which included items such as “sinister books,” “seasonings of mass destruction,” and “Disney-inspired infidel characters.” Read more…

More about Twitter, Social Media, Us, Conversations, and Muslim

Chosen Partners with Ellen DeGeneres for ‘Ellen’s Dance Off’

Chosen, creator of the Chosen video-based talent competition app, has partnered with Ellen Digital Ventures, created by WBTVG and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, to launch a new competition within the Chosen app called ‘Ellen’s Dance Off.’

The competition asks users to upload a video of themselves dancing to Missy Elliott’s song WTF, to enter to win an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

With this competition, all users can vote on submissions, even if they don’t submit a video themselves. Users swipe right to vote for a video, and swipe left to pass (users can vote for multiple videos). At the end of the contest period, the user who has received the most votes will win.

 

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Chosen is using its partnership with DeGeneres as a preview of its expanded platform, which will expand from one for just musical competitions to one supporting additional videos for things like dancing, acting and comedy, among others.

 

The Chosen app launched earlier this year. In addition to these dance videos for the Ellen’s Dance Off contest, the app currently allows users to upload freestyle or karaoke versions of musical performances, which can be judged by the community.

In a statement, Chosen co-founder and CEO, David Hyman, commented:

We can’t imagine a better way to demonstrate the power of the Chosen platform than this partnership with Ellen Digital Ventures and the launch of ‘Ellen’s Dance Off.’ The market for a global competition platform that creates deep engagement for spectators through our unique game mechanics and social features is in the billions. We believe we have tapped into a market that can be as big and powerful as any of the major social platforms.

Chosen is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Facebook Testing ‘Buy Tickets’ Button for Concerts

Facebook is testing a way for its users to rock out with their, um, devices out.

The social network confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it is testing a “Buy Tickets” call-to-action button, which would enable users to buy concert tickets without leaving Facebook, with the tickets to be picked up at venues’ will-call windows.

Facebook told BuzzFeed News fulfillment will be the responsibility of third-parties, adding that it is not taking a cut of ticket prices.

The pilot test is proceeding “with a small group of independent venues, artists and event promoters in the San Francisco Bay area,” Facebook told BuzzFeed News.

Readers: Would you buy concert tickets through Facebook?

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Screenshot courtesy of BuzzFeed News.

6 Mobile Commerce Strategies to Drive More Holiday Season Sales

For mobile commerce to be effective in driving sales, revenues and profitability in businesses, it should be designed and delivered in such a way that it will engage the customer and drive customer loyalty. There are various effective techniques in which retail stores can successfully deploy mobile in order to increase their m-commerce sales.

For example, mobile apps are very effective sales tools that businesses can leverage and they can easily be deployed in engaging customers and building customer loyalty in a consistent manner with good ROI. If you are running an online store, you could, for example, make use of these apps in order to send reminders and notifications to your customers on the latest deals and sales. These can be particularly effective during the Christmas season when your customers are expecting these deals and are willing to spend on something quickly if they feel it has been sufficiently discounted.

Yet not all mobile apps are the same. Some drive better engagement and customer loyalty more than others. There are certain important features of the mobile commerce solutions that you need to have in order to maximize the experience in this shopping channel and generate the most revenues. These include the following:

Daily Deals Feature

This is an important feature to have if you want to ramp up your m-commerce sales. Customers don’t want to miss out on the best deals so once they have installed your mobile retail up and subscribed to your alerts, you can send them direct notifications on the latest deals and promotions which they can choose to act on. It is one of the most effective sales techniques that will yield good dividends and boost your sales considerably. Offering daily deals will keep your customers coming back and they are also likely to refer their friends and notify them of the latest deals in your store.

QR Code

This is a fun and powerful mCommerce mobile apps customer engagement tool. Customers love scanning QR codes and unlocking the goods hidden in the codes which they can take advantage of in order to purchase items in your eCommerce store.

Location Targeting

Location-aware targeting or geo-targeting is one of the best ways to increase in-store sales from customers with location aware devices. With geo-targeting, it is possible to alert or ping a customer with an app installed on the latest deals, promotions and coupons when they passing by your store. Because the product is just a few meters from the customer, they are very likely to drop by and have a look and this generally leads to very high conversions.

When it comes to m-commerce applications for shopping, you must provide more real estate for the photos and ensure better product displays if you are looking for higher conversions and greater mCommerce sales. For example, offer zooming capability and have multiple views of the products in order to enable buyers to get a complete picture of what they are buying. If people are able to see a product clearly and in various dimensions and multiple views, they are very likely to pull the trigger.

Quick Load Times

Mobile users are even more impatient than web users. They do not want to wait for an eternity for the web pages to load because they have a smaller screen to work with in the first place. Ensure that you implement faster load times by keeping minimal design elements. Always ensure that your pages are able to load relatively quickly. If they cannot, you may need to hire a professional mobile app designer in order to change a few things in the app design.

Have the Full Range of Your Product Selection

If you have decided to go the mobile way, don’t just add a few products in the mobile app because you are either too lazy or just testing the app. If you are going to launch a mobile app for the Christmas holidays shopping season, you have to go full-throttle with your mobile app rollout. Ensure you have added your full product selection so that a customer can find something that they are looking for on the mobile app.

Enable Quick Mobile Checkout

Of course you cannot incorporate mobile app for your retail store without having a checkout option in place. Additionally, make sure that the checkout procedure is as brief as possible and that the buyer has multiple payment options to choose from. It is also important to incorporate price comparison features and product suggestions in order to help you maximize your m-commerce sales with every customer using your app.

Summary

M-commerce has continued to increase in popularity and importance over the past few years. During Christmas shopping in 2014, an estimated 40% of online sales were carried out over mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. This year, that rate is expected to increase as the smartphone market and the consumer trends towards mobile shopping continues to see robust growth. Leveraging these features during the peak shopping season will help you score some big wins for your business.

Abhishek Agarwal is CEO and co-founder of MobiCommerce, a platform to transform online eCommerce store into mobile commerce app. Abhishek is an IT graduate from BITS, Pilani and has an experience of more than a decade in serving clients from across the world.

Targeting: One More Reason Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore Instagram Anymore

Instagram has many upsides for brands evaluating on which autonomous marketing platforms (ie: social media, apps, etc.) they should place their advertising.

First, Instagram is one of the largest mobile ad platforms in the world, with more than 400 million monthly active users. In fact, it became the second-largest social network in the U.S. in 2014, according to eMarketer.

Second, the platform’s user base isn’t just large; it’s also highly engaged. Instagrammers have created a sense of community and they post 80 million pieces of content on average every single day, resulting in 3.5 billion likes daily.

This engagement is also fostered by the unique user experience of the platform itself. People on Instagram generally look at one piece of content at a time in the stream, so when a user is served an ad, they are a captive audience. This form of native advertising is superior to more traditional digital experiences that put ad units into standardized “banner” slots, or units that try to disguise themselves as publisher-created content.

Now let’s add one more reason why advertisers can’t afford to overlook Instagram when planning their campaigns: targeting, with the help of data from its parent company, Facebook. Facebook’s targeting options took years to develop and as such are some of the most robust and powerful in the social media world.

Being able to tap into all of Facebook’s existing targeting capabilities allows advertisers to mirror success quickly on Instagram. This is especially true for advertisers who have found that custom audience segments such as CRM audiences and Website Custom Audiences perform well for them on Facebook. Advertisers can easily leverage, and see success with these audiences on Instagram. Furthermore, creating lookalikes of these audiences will help advertisers scale messaging across Instagram without sacrificing the quality of the audience reached.

But instead of simply replicating audiences from Facebook on Instagram, marketers may find the most success by complementing Facebook and Instagram within a single campaign. Mercedes-Benz, for example, was able to increase its website visits by 54 percent by serving branding ads to the same people across Instagram and Facebook, in a paired campaign. By coupling branding ads on both Facebook and Instagram with Facebook direct response ads, the Mercedes-Benz campaign saw website visits jump an incredible 580 percent. By using the two platforms as complements, the auto brand was able to move consumers through the funnel from awareness to action.

You can read the full Mercedes-Benz case study here.

The idea of complementing Facebook with Instagram in a campaign may be new to you. So, here we’ve answered a few high-level questions about how you can reach Instagram ad viewers on Facebook:

How does remarketing Instagram users on Facebook work?

First you need to target your audience on Instagram with, let’s say, a video campaign. This can help build brand awareness and favorability. While the Instagram campaign is running, an audience of users who view the Instagram video ad will build and/or update.

Now that you have an “exposed” audience on Instagram, you can leverage the group for a follow-on Facebook campaign. This will allow you to extract additional value from your highly engaged viewers further down the purchase funnel by continuing the conversation across both platforms with more traditional direct response ad units.

What can you measure in a remarketing campaign?

Measurement in a remarketing campaign doesn’t differ so much from running campaigns on Facebook and Instagram separately.

For branding ads, you will get brand metrics such as ad recall and message awareness. For direct response ads, you will see conversion lift and ROI.

What should I remember if I want my remarketing campaign to be successful?

First, you should remember to run your Instagram and Facebook ads simultaneously. Although it will take some time to build video retargeting audiences, it is advantageous to run content on both platforms throughout the flight. As you progress through your campaign these highly qualified targets will help drive further engagement or conversion. Brands such as Mercedes-Benz have experienced huge increases in website traffic when their audience has seen branded ads across both platforms during the same period.

Second, make sure that you include mobile delivery across all of your Facebook campaigns. Instagram is a mobile app with highly engaged users and there is a strong likelihood that your audience on Instagram is visiting Facebook on their mobile device as well.

Paul Gambardella is the manager of media operations at Instagram Partner Adaptly.

Why the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Is an LLC

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to questions about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative philanthropy organization with a clarification post.

After Zuckerberg announced earlier this week that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, had formed the charitable initiative, questions emerged as to why they decided to structure it as a limited liability corporation.

Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday (embedded below):

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is structured as an LLC rather than a traditional foundation. This enables us to pursue our mission by funding nonprofit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates–in each case with the goal of generating a positive impact in areas of great need. Any net profits from investments will also be used to advance this mission.

By using an LLC instead of a traditional foundation, we receive no tax benefit from transferring our shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, but we gain flexibility to execute our mission more effectively. In fact, if we transferred our shares to a traditional foundation, then we would have received an immediate tax benefit, but by using an LLC we do not. And just like everyone else, we will pay capital gains taxes when our shares are sold by the LLC.

What’s most important to us is the flexibility to give to the organizations that will do the best work–regardless of how they’re structured.

Readers: What did you think of Zuckerberg’s explanation?