Hi there. How are you today?
Hey, I wanted to take just a few minutes today to talk a little bit about a question I get asked a lot and that is, “How does social media privacy interact with advertising and where’s the line and what are my options?” I thought it would be a really great blog post today, so I thought we would go ahead and take care of it.
Before I get into that, let me tell you a little bit about what the goals are for today. Hopefully by the end of this talk, you’ll understand exactly what the advertising implications are in online marketing in today’s world and you’ll understand why they are important to marketers and why, actually, as a consumer they’re important to you as well. You’re also going to understand, hopefully, some of the privacy choices you can make around social media. Specifically, around what you see when in your Facebook timeline.
Finally, we are going to understand how you can use those preferences to set them up to your advantage so that you can have a better experience online. That’s just a little bit about what we are going to cover today, but before I get into that let me tell you a little bit about who I am and why I’m sitting here talking with you about this topic.
I’m Tisha Oehmen. I’m the Chief Operating Officer at Paradox Media Group. Paradox Media Group, if you aren’t aware of it, is an advertising agency and we specialize in integrated advertising. So taking a message that plays both in traditional advertising; television, radio and print, and helping it carry through online so that together you get the full force of that message. As a business you can really take advantage of that in a very significant way. That’s what we do and that’s why we are sitting here talking with you today about how we use social media and online marketing in order to really reach some target audiences.
Before I do that, if you haven’t seen the latest and greatest Socialnomics 2014 video about the state of social media today, you really owe it to yourself to do so. Go ahead, if you would, and just hit pause on this video and look right below this video and you will see the link to the Socialnomics video. Go take a look at it. It’s three and a half minutes, but it will blow your mind. All right, ready? Hit pause. See you in a second.
You’re back? Wasn’t that cool? It’s so amazing what social media is doing today in terms of how it’s truly affecting culture and it’s truly changing lives. With all of that happening and with the significance that it takes in order to really understand and harness the power that comes with that, social media is a really big deal. As an online marketer where you have the opportunity to advertise in social media, which you do in almost every social media platform today, you can really get good results because people are telling you specifically who they are, specifically what they like and specifically why they care about certain things.
That allows you to reach out and touch someone personally in a way that you simply cannot do on television or in print or in any of the other traditional media areas. So social media is a really big place to do some very highly targeted advertising in today’s world. This means advertising on Facebook. You can advertise on Twitter. You can advertise on LinkedIn. All the social media platforms have advertising avenues available, all with varying degrees of customization and it really helps as a marketer to be able to reach a very, very highly targeted, very specific individual in a very significant way.
Now there are other ways that online marketing plays in today’s world as well and you’re probably familiar with some of these and some of these maybe not so much. Websites are a huge component of every single online marketing system because the whole goal should be to be able to get traffic from wherever you’re advertising, back to your website. All the other mediums certainly play with website and website is, in fact, the backbone of every online marketing scheme that is out there. If not, it should be, they’re doing it wrong.
Pay per click advertising is a lot of what we are talking about when we are talking about social media advertising and that is simply the concept where I solicit a group of individuals, a target group, and I pay per click, or per impression, depending on how you set it up, to allow my message to reach those individuals. Budgets vary. They depend on your industry, they depend on what kind of a target you’re looking at. You can spend anything from 25 cents a click, up to $15, $20 or more dollars per click and you just have to determine what’s right for your business and you have to determine what’s right in your industry. For instance, if you were trying to reach someone in the nutrition industry’s weight loss, plan to spend a lot more because that’s a very competitive world out there, than perhaps furniture sales would be. That makes sense, right? Excellent.
Now the new thing in pay-per-click is called, “remarketing” and you’ll have seen this. You may have not thoroughly understood what’s happening, but you will have seen it out there in today’s world. What happens is you go to a website and on that website they put a cookie in your browser. A cookie is just a little tracking device. Then they go to Google and they tell Google, “Hey, I want my ad to appear in front of all of these people who’ve been to my website for the next three months.” So you know you’ve seen this. You go to a website and then for the next three to six months all you see in the sidelines on your Google ad and in your browser are ads for that website. That’s called “remarketing.”
While it’s a little creepy perhaps for the user experience when it gets down to it, it’s actually a really great way from a marketing standpoint to put yourself back in front of people who showed some degree of interest in who you were in the first place. So they have already come to your website, they maybe got distracted, had to walk away, go chase a screaming kid, who know, whatever, they left your website, but they still have that problem that they came to your website to solve. So your ad, being injected into their browser, continues to put you at the top of mind and continues to give you the opportunity to engage in further conversation with them. That’s a really big, big thing. It’s brand new, but it is hot.
The other big thing that’s pretty new and pretty hot is called “directory listings” and this is really more of a tactic you would use if you’re trying to increase visibility for your website. You go out to Google+, Bing, Yahoo, Four Square and the list is literally a mile long of all the different directories that are out there and you have to make sure as a business owner, your business is listed in them. It’s very time-consuming. It’s fairly tedious work, but it is important to maintain that online credibility and that online visibility.
Hand and hand with directory listings goes search engine optimization, which is really the long-term game around how to get your website to appear in front of people who are interested in what you are talking about. Here’s the difference, pay-per-click is like renting your house. When you stop paying per click, traffic stops coming to your website. With search engine optimization, it’s more like owning your home. It’s a long game in search engine optimization, like a 30 year mortgage kind of a deal, but someday if you’re engaged in search engine optimization you can stop paying to have people visit your website and they will continue to find your website because of the search engine optimization work that you’ve done. You’ll see that out there. The whole goal in search engine optimization is to be able to get your website to do what’s called “rank” which usually means hit the first page of Google and whatever your search terms are. You can do it either nationally and internationally, or you can do it just locally here in the Rogue Valley. Lots of options around search engine marketing.
Then, of course, the last really big online marketing system is email marketing and that really is where you have the most control over the interaction that happens with those individuals. It’s your cheapest form of advertising once you get them on your list and really your email list should be converting money into your business on a regular and ongoing basis. That’s where you get all those direct mail marketing messages from all the different businesses you’ve shown some interest in.
Hopefully they’re all called what’s double opt in. You sign up on a website for additional information, they send you an email that says, “Hey you signed up on our website for additional information. Would you really like to receive that?” You say, “Yes, yes I would really like to receive that.” That’s called a double opt in. That’s actually the standard for email marketing and if you’re not doing it that way, you need to be. Particularly if you are doing anything in Canada. There are new spam laws in Canada that you simply have to comply with and double opt in is the only way to go.
In theory now, gone are the days where you go to a business meeting and you get somebody’s business card and you just add them to your newsletter list. That’s not the right way of doing. You have to invite them to apply to your email list, and you have to get a double confirmation that they really want to receive the information from you. That’s how we do email marketing these days.
We’re actually here to talk about why that’s important, all that online marketing stuff, why it’s important from a marketing standpoint, from a business’ standpoint and how it impacts you from a privacy standpoint and how you can improve the odds of seeing what you want to see, right? The reason it’s important from a business standpoint is because it’s where the people are today. We have the ability to reach people at unprecedented levels and to really get very clear about who we are talking to in online marketing. We’ve never had this degree of clarity before around who it is we are talking to and why it matters.
As a business owner, this translate to lower dollar costs to advertise your business and more effective results. That’s just a really nice, sweet formula that all of us are seeking when talking about advertising. The other piece is, since it is where the people are, you get an enhanced credibility as a business for participating there. Trust me, even if you’re not as a business on Facebook, people are talking about your business on Facebook. Don’t you want to know what they are saying? Well if you’re there you have the opportunity to not only know, but to be invited into the conversation. If you’re not there, you absolutely do not. So get there. That’s the bottom line with online marketing.
Specifically we also like it because it allows for massive customization everywhere. As an individual interacting in today’s world, we expect the technology there to be able to benefit us enormously. Honestly, in my life, and probably in yours as well, it makes a huge difference in how I experience the world. It makes our experiences better. Let me give you an example.
I have been a Netflix subscriber now for years and years and years. Over the many, many years I’ve been with Netflix I’ve told Netflix what I thought of, it tells me today 1,785 movies. Seriously, apparently I need to get a life because I watch way too many movies. Over the course of many, many, many years I’ve told Netflix what I thought about 1,785 movies and based on my ratings Netflix is really, really good at understanding what kind of movies I want to see. Today if Netflix tells me that the movie I’m about to rent is only two stars I actually trust it because Netflix knows better than I know whether or not I’m going to enjoy the movie.
Occasionally my partner Mike and I will get a little crazy and we will rent a two star movie on Netflix and we will instantly kick ourselves because we know better to doubt Netflix’s ability to understand what it is we like and it doesn’t matter what actor or actress is in it. It doesn’t matter what the plot line says in the previews. The reality is if Netflix thinks we are going to hate it, we’re going to hate it so don’t even try to get around it. That’s a really, really big thing because that enhances my experience online and it makes it so much better when I use my Netflix to be able to understand what kind of movies and entertainment I want to get out there and watch.
Now the same thing is true when I talk about online ads. In Facebook for instance, and we’re just going to talk about Facebook because it gets too crazy if I try and talk about all the different online ad experiences. In Facebook in particular, you have the ability to really understand who the person is and to get really tight around how you’re putting your message together in play. For instance, if I was selling a Jeep accessory I could get online on Facebook and create an ad that went to all residence is the United States over the age of 18 who happen to have an interest in a Jeep Wrangler. Facebook knows this because we tell Facebook exactly what it is we like to do. We tell Facebook what we like to see. We interact with Facebook and our friends interact with Facebook, further informing Facebook’s understanding of who and what we are.
This is just like Netflix, but it’s on steroids, right? In Netflix I was giving them voluntarily my opinion about 1,785 movies and in Facebook I’m giving them voluntarily my opinion about almost everything in my world if I’m participating in Facebook in a significant way. Even if I’m not participating with Facebook in a significant way, my friends probably are and based on what my friend’s opinions are about things, people can extrapolate what it thinks my opinions about things would be.
Certainly when you get to that level, if you’re not putting on Facebook very often, you’re not going to have a terribly customized experience and we are going to talk about that a little bit in the future. Really, think about it, everything that is happening in my world. Am I interested in Jeeps? Am I interested in fishing? Am I interested in social media? Whatever it is, Facebook knows and Facebook has the opportunity to sell that knowledge to willing advertisers who are trying to reach people who like Jeeps. People who like fishing. People who are interested in social media. All of that really creates a very specific and very targeted opportunity for a business to reach a very specific individual and for that very specific individual to discover things that they are probably interested in, just like I do with Netflix, and to really have a great, rich experience.
That’s one option. Of course you can get really, really fine [inaudible 16:07]. You can say, I want my Jeep lid to be shown specifically only to people who live within a ten mile radius of the city of Medford, Oregon who are between the ages of 35 and 40 who like Jeep Wranglers and, also, have liked previously the Jeep page for instance. You can get super tight around who those are or do have children present or don’t have children present in the home, or are homeowners or aren’t homeowners. The list is a mile long of the specific customizations you can get to with Facebook because we tell Facebook so much about us. It’s an online marketers dream.
But here’s the thing you have to know. As a consumer and as a user of Facebook, that is that you are in control of what you see on Facebook. Now truly the only option to make sure you never see an ad on Facebook is honestly not to participate at all on Facebook. If you’re worried at all about online privacy or you’re very concerned about how you show up on the Internet, my best advice to you is don’t show up on the Interest. Because we live in an online world today and information privacy, in my personal opinion, is truly just an illusion.
That being said though, you still can customize your experience on Facebook in a very significant way. You have options. You’re in control. You choose what you share on Facebook with whom publicly. Of course you’re sharing it with Facebook, that’s a whole different topic, but you also get to choose how you interact with that. Facebook has recently relaunched their privacy rules. You’ve probably have confronted a Facebook privacy check-up recently. It’s a little guy who comes up and says, “Hey let’s check out your privacy and make sure you’re sharing only what you want to be sharing.” The reason is Facebook has been sued obviously about their privacy issues and they really try very hard to be very clear with you about who you are sharing what status post with and when.
Here’s the thing from an online standpoint, first of all Facebook knows what I’m interested in. This is an ad that shows up in my Facebook timeline. It’s a social media strategist trying to get me to come to a free online learning event and based on my preferences and who I am on Facebook, Facebook thinks that’s something I might be interested in and they may or may not be right. Here’s the thing you need to know and that is you get to choose what you see on Facebook. All you have to do when you see an ad you don’t like or doesn’t resonate or that doesn’t feel right to you, is look right up in the top right corner there’s a little itty, bitty arrow and if you click that drop down arrow you are going to get an option that says, “I don’t want to see this.” or “Hide all ads from this social media strategist.” Those two options, when you click them, are going to modify your ad settings in Facebook so that you see only more of what you want to see and you see less of what’s not relevant to you.
Myself, on my Facebook stream, I am religious about clicking that little button and getting rid of all game notifications from my friends. I can’t stand them. They absolutely make me crazy. In my online Facebook experience, because I’ve been very, very diligent about that over the years, I almost never see a game notification at all in my Facebook timeline. When I see ads that don’t appeal to me or annoy me or they’ve appeared too often or I’m just not the right target demographic for them, I let Facebook know by clicking that little button and saying, “I don’t want to see it or I don’t ever want to see an ad from X, Y or Z company ever again.” I tell Facebook why and that helps Facebook to more customize my experience online so they are showing me ads that are actually more relevant to me. Although it’s not very often, I have found some great companies that I currently do business with because they advertised in my Facebook feed and it was a good fit for me and for my business.
Bottom line on Facebook is you are in control, you can customize your entire approach on Facebook and it is, from a marketing standpoint, one of the lowest, most effective forms of communicating with a target audience. It allows us to reach right out and get right to the heart of who it is we are trying to reach. At the end of the day it’s trackable, which is something I cannot say for a good portion of the advertising and marketing mediums that we have out there.
Today we covered just briefly some of the advertising implications of online marketing. We talked about what privacy choices you can make in social media and how to better customize your experience in Facebook. We talked about how, if you’re really concerned about that, the only way in today’s world to get around the privacy implications that are in online marketing is just not to be online which, unfortunately for a lot of us, is simply not an option.
I hope that was helpful. As always, if you have questions, please leave them below and I’ll be happy to answer them. In the meantime, have a wonderful day and I’ll talk to you again real soon.