Category Archives: Brands

Vine for Android is Here

Photo by Stefan Magdalinski


For all you android smartphone users out there who have been jealous of your iphone-using friends being able to use Twitter’s Vine app, guess what?  You don’t have to be envious anymore because the Vine app is now actually out and available to install from the Google Play Store!  By finally making this move, Twitter has now invited a bunch of new users to use the fun six-second video creations app.  Users can make cool animations without having the amount of time required to create a longer video of a few minutes.  These extremely short clips can be very catchy and they have the ability to efficiently get a point across, which is very useful for digital marketing agencies.  Nowadays, peoples’ attention spans are decreasing but with Vine, there is no need to worry about boring anyone.  Since it is a very new app, it is best to search for “Vine Co” in the Google Play Store; you can also click right here to get to the app.

According to a Twitter post, the app features automatic playback, sound, Explore, Popular and Trending posts, Find Friends and invite others to join.  Perhaps to make up for releasing the app for the Android platform much later than for iOS, Android engineers included a Zoom feature that is only available on Androids.  Now iphone users might have something to be a bit jealous about.

Vine for Android Finally Arrives


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Twitter Releases Advertising API

As expected, Twitter announced on Tuesday that it is releasing an advertising API for its Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts. Several large firms (Adobe, Threadless and Levi Strauss & Co., for example) have been experimenting with the API already. An API allows advertisers to buy ads more quickly. The API also allows advertisers to link data of their ads being bought in real time with other data collection schemes. An example is an API that is able to measure TV viewing habits (as people tweet about certain shows) and then link real time ads with events in those shows.

The benefit for the digital marketing agency is a more responsive advertising platform. Linking advertising with other data collection services means ads will be better targeted and they will be more responsive to immediate changes happening that are the subjects of tweets. A more robust advertising service will also help propel it to be a legitimate contender with Facebook as a social network advertising platform. Overall this can mean lower prices all around for social media budgets.

Photo Credit: Artdesighnerl.v

Twitter Launches Promoted Products API, Letting Marketers Buy Via Third-Party Tools


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Users Seek Out Online Reviews

5584937714_c450eb6747One of the problems facing the digital agency is about the power of online reviews. It is great to receive good reviews, however, doubt about them is called into question when bad reviews start cropping up, especially reviews that are off base about the brand’s service. It may be tempting to discontinue any services that encourage online reviews. However, new data by eMarketer shows that would be a mistake.

65% of respondents somewhat trust online reviews. A brand that is missing online reviews is viewed suspiciously by many users. This is also true of brick and mortar businesses. 70% of respondents do online research and price comparisons before visiting a brick and mortar vendor. A plethora of positive review does make some people more likely to trust a brand, however that gain is minimal. Survey results show that negative reviews are better than no reviews and the brand should be consider them valuable to its marketing efforts.

Users Seek Out the Truth in Online Reviews

Photo by Margaret Ornsby

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Detroit Welcomes Marketing Expert C.C. Chapman

This week we welcome the influential content creator himself, C.C. Chapman to the Detroit area to provide some valuable insight on how to make things happen.

C.C. has years of professional speaking experience with a variety of companies, marketers and content creators.  He often speaks about building passionate consumer communities as well as the the strategic value of content-based marketing.

C.C. Chapman visits Detroit

In 2007, C.C. launched his own marketing agency, The Advance Guard, which he sold in 2009. He has helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals. His clients have included American Eagle Outfitters, The Coca-Cola Company, HBO, Verizon and many others.

The keynote speaker and consultant is also a best-selling co-author to the book ‘Content Rules‘. Content Rules demystifies the idea as organizations as publishers and clearly explains how companies can create remarkable blogs, podcasts, webinars, ebooks, and other web content that lures in customers. Author C.C. Chapman will also discuss concepts from his latest book ‘Amazing Things Will Happen’  which is his guide to living a happy and fulfilling life.

There are two opportunities to see C.C. Chapman this Wednesday, February 6th:

  • Conor O’Neill’s Celtic Room in Ann Arbor with LA2M
  • 318 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • 11:45am – 1:00pm
  • FREE ($3 suggested donation)
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel (21+) in Detroit with SMCD, BCU & MCC
  • 2901 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • $10 (first 200 people receive a free hardcover copy of his new book!)
  • Purchase advance tickets here

For more information, please check out C.C.’s website at and follow him on Twitter @cc_chapman.


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Apple and Foursquare Talking About Sharing Data

foursquare-rolls-out-first-ads-e2ad2a5185In an effort to improve its local search offerings Apple has approached Foursquare about sharing its data. The talks are still very preliminary. Apple has been approaching several companies that offer data about local businesses and how users are at checking in and providing crowdsourced data.

If Apple is able to improve its database about local businesses, then this will helps its mapping app. The Maps app was released and widely hailed as a blunder because of missing businesses and inaccuracies in the map itself.

For the education marketing company this might actually help improve Foursquare as a social space. A study in Q1 this year found Foursquare to have the weakest data offerings for users. The money Apple would need to give Foursquare for access to the data would help the service regain a foot hold in its losing slugfest with Yelp. An improved service would help those agencies integrate Foursquare with other social networks as well as improve the advertising on the service.

Report: Apple Talking To Foursquare About “Data Sharing”


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Facebook Offers Small Businesses New Advertising Venture

facebook-like-buttonMost brands on Facebook have less than 10,000 likes and that is the segment Facebook is targeting with its new service. The new service is designed to help small businesses create and easily put up an ad designed to gain more likes for the brand’s page.

The new ad will be featured in the right rail as well as on mobile newsfeeds. One of the newer features is a suggestion of the number of likes the ad will bring in. Facebook’s dataset is fairly large so it can suggest a success range with confidence and then alter that estimate based upon the budget suggested and the locations of users who will see the new ad. For now the new program is only available in certain cities, but the plan is to quickly make it available globally.

For the education marketing company this could be seen as a bad move. With now easy to create ads, the immediate need for the social media agency might be seem to go away from the small business’ perspective. However, as the brand sees the effectiveness of Facebook advertising it is more likely to turn to experts for refinement and continued advancement. In the long run this may be a shot in the arm for the agency.

Facebook Makes Getting More Page Likes Easier For SMBs

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Google+ Growth Rivals Facebook Growth

On September 17 Google+ announced its user base at 100 million users. On Thursday it announced its user base at 135 million active members. Part of that growth is driven by the acquisition of Snapfeed. Regardless of the reason that is almost a growth rate of 14 million new users each month. The only other service that has had such expansion was Facebook back in 2008 to 2009.

This is important for the education marketing company because it means an alternative to Facebook might be developing. If it does rival Facebook, then it will not be for some time but it is moving along. Google+ does offer some features that Facebook does not, its circle programs being the most notable. Facebook did implement its clone of circles, but it was late to the game and few people use the feature of varying broadcast types.

As Google+ grows so too will the effectiveness of brand presences on the social network. There are also people who use it exclusively as a way to sidestep Facebook’s dominance. By using both social networks the education marketing company can more broadly reach the US public.

Google+ More Closely Mirroring Facebook

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Facebook Makes Tracking Conversions Easier

The bane of the social media agency’s existence is convincing the skeptical client that social media can create conversions. FaceBook is now offering some advertisers an option that will make it easier to track conversions. This system will help demonstrate the value of social media as well as help the A/B testing to determine which ads are working better than others.

The system is fairly simple. Advertisers will receive a piece of code to be placed on conversion success pages. FaceBook will then collect that data and be able to pass it along to advertisers. The code can be optimized so each ad has a different code so the social media agency can see which ads are working better than others. Retailer was a beta tester for this service and was able to reduce costs by 39%. With the system advertisers will be able to remove ineffective ads as well as change their bidding priorities.

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Google Shopping Is Effective

A few months ago Google announced that it would be changing Google Shopping into a pay to play service. Many brands decided to pay and many opted out. The ones that stayed are seeing their money’s worth. Google Shopping ads are out performing text ads by 47% on clickthrough rates and conversion rates are 38% higher with the new vertical service.

One of the reasons for the improved performance is a universal lesson for the social media agency. Vertical searches (a search that has a global filter installed, think of all the Google options at the top of the screen such as ‘image’ or ‘shopping’) are better able to ascertain user intent. Searches are almost guaranteed to be more in line with what the customer is looking for and so clicks and conversions will also be more efficiently delivered to the user.

Another advantage of these engines is the lack of the big box retailers. While there are some, Wal-Mart is an example of a business that withdrew when Google changed to a pay to play system. Wal-Mart has the ability to offer up semantic searches within its own internet presence. That makes Google Shopping and other verticals more competitive for the smaller businesses. The social media agency would be wise to advise clients to take advantage of this.

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Few FaceBook Fans Engage Directly with Brands

Napkin Labs, a FaceBook app developer, has finished a study about FaceBook brand pages and fan engagement. The news is sobering for the social media agency because an accumulation of a large number of fans does not account for much as only about 6% of fans actually engage on a brand’s page.  The easy rebuttal is that 6% of a million is still significant. While that is true, the study found the larger the fan base, then the lower the engagement rate.

The solution is not to pare a fan base down, but about changing how the brand interacts with those fans on FaceBook. Instead of passively applying content and waiting for it to enter into a fan’s newsfeed, the brand needs to target fans with engagement that is likely to spur future engagements. The social media agency needs to track fans of its clients to see which ones are tastemakers. The other type of fan to take note of is the devoted fan, the one that is likely to engage. The way to attract more people’s engagements is by having people engaging. Those are the stories in a newsfeed that spur people into action. Targeting the two groups of fans most likely to respond is what is needed to overcome the apathy of brand fans.

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