Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Fingers Up To Facebook's Filter

Facebook Fails: The Series Continues

Facebook is the best we’ve got, and still… It’s awful and getting worse. As Zuck and Co. continue to squeeze as much monetization as they can out of the 2 billion daily users, we’re left with not much more than a birthday calendar and a platform for advertising. And if that’s not enough, that same advertising we see on Facebook uses technology to track us around the web and show us the same ads, because somewhere a social signal gave them the idea we were interested in a specific purchase.

Facebook Fails is my collection of issues, one at a time, that I’ve had (am having) with Facebook over time. I started this a long time ago, but I thought the historical information would be interesting as well. So here they are in chronological order, FACEBOOK FAILS: The Series.

  1. Death of Organic Reach on Facebook 2016
  2. What Facebook Reach Looks Like with 2,000 Followers
  3. Why We Keep Using Facebook: The Good, The Bad, The Fail
  4. Facebook Reach is Pay-to-play
  5. Take Back Facebook: The LIKE Cycle vs. The Dead Pool
  6. Top 3 Facebook Fails that Make My Blood Boil Daily
  7. Facebook’s Community Value is 0.25
  8. I Might Have a Problem with Facebook: The Love Hate Relationship
  9. Nudging Facebook Back Towards Friends
  10. Facebook Philosophy: It’s How You Choose to Use It
  11. Facebook Angst: Are We Just Whining or is Facebook That Bad?
  12. Facebook Business Pages: Why I Killed My Page, and Have Now Rebooted It
  13. POV: Facebook’s Gonna Make You Pay, Because They Can
  14. Social Advertising Benchmarks: Facebook
  15. Tired of Facebook Even After a 99 Day Hiatus
  16. Top 10 Things I Miss About Facebook
  17. Facebook Is Down: *die* Facebook *die*
  18. If Not Google+ Where Will We Find a Facebook Alternative?
  19. Fixing Facebook: Facebook Pro vs Facebook Free
  20. What’s Your Facebook eCommerce IQ?
  21. How to Fix your Facebook News Feed
  22. Why Do You LIKE Brands on Facebook?
  23. Facebook Brand: Your Customer Service is on Facebook
  24. Resetting Facebook: Expectations & Priorities vs. Procrastination

Resurfaced Posts from the Facebook Fail Archives

  1. Hello Facebook, I’m Home
  2. Please Be Careful, Facebook wants Your Information to Remain Safe
  3. A Friend Request Works Just Like a Friending
  4. Only Friend People You Know Personally on Facebook
  5. Facebook’s Mostly Just Friends Filter
  6. How Facebook Filters Everything
  7. Keep Your Filter Off My Friends, Facebook
  8. False Security on Facebook
  9. My Snark-free Future on Facebook

Slideshare Presentations:

  1. Facebook Fail #47: Just Show Me
  2. Facebook’s 12 Deadly Sins
  3. Neo-Facebook, One Site Simplified
  4. Facebook’s UI Simplified

Join us as we explore how to improve Facebook or leave it behind for good.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

A few of the networks you will find me on:

  • linkedin – the professional networking and contacts social site
  • twitter – the firehose of sharing (mostly social media, funny, and odd political)
  • facebook – recently launched uber.la facebook page
  • google+ – gathering all that’s googled in one place
  • pinterest – what started as fashion sharing is rapidly becoming the visual delicious
  • my Amazon Author’s Page: John Oakley McElhenney
  • my about.me/jmacofearth page < way more connections then you’ll ever need about me

The State of Mobile Marketing 2017 – Overview

Sometimes downloading a white paper or study is a waste of time. I have downloaded hundreds of lead-generating ebooks and have found very few of them to be worth the time. Occasionally, a big study or survey piece will reveal some salient points, and I’m glad to have read it, but really it’s about 10% of the overall content. Here in a severaly abbreviated form is The State of Mobile Marketing 2017 from Incite Group and OpenMobile Media.

Here are the most important mobile challenges as outlined by the study.

Content and Context and Relevance are the top two challenges. How do you build a mobile app or platform that is relevant and valuable to your customers? Tons of businesses are creating apps that do nothing well. They are simply entries into the crowded mobile space. If you don’t understand the content part of the equation, it does not matter if you have an app or not.

Creating a personalized customer experience. That’s the top potential. How do you go about doing that? What mobile feature has not been covered? How does your app or program provide something new, something useful, something unique?

Make note that brand awareness and increased engagement are the top two objectives of mobile marketing. Sales is not the primary goal. When building a mobile program are you concentrating too much on sales? Do you have the budget to build something for brand awareness that does not drive sales?

The mobile marketing space is hard and apps are expensive to produce. And if they don’t increase revenue, what is the point?

Maybe you should concentrate on how well you site performs in the mobile browsing experience. Well over half your audience is viewing your site on their phone. And that includes B2B sites as well.

Get your mobile act together before you consider a mobile app. And make sure you understand the content that your audience would find valuable. Sales messaging is not going to fly and will get your app dropped, ignored, and deleted.

Go mobile, but go about it smartly.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

PS: Yes, I know this post is not going to get me a lot of bonus points with future recruiters, but if I get a little bit more information, I’m up for it. Still looking for my next FT position.

A few of the networks you will find me on:

  • linkedin – the professional networking and contacts social site
  • twitter – the firehose of sharing (mostly social media, funny, and odd political)
  • facebook – recently launched uber.la facebook page
  • google+ – gathering all that’s googled in one place
  • pinterest – what started as fashion sharing is rapidly becoming the visual delicious
  • my Amazon Author’s Page: John Oakley McElhenney
  • my about.me/jmacofearth page < way more connections then you’ll ever need about me

Marketing on Facebook vs. Advertising on Facebook

LET’S CLARIFY A FEW IDEAS: A shared Facebook post about the value of a brand or a brand story is marketing. A Facebook ad trying to get you to buy something is advertising. They are similar but not the same. Let’s explore.

When McDonald’s advertises the Big Mac on Facebook they are doing something in between. They are not actually trying to get you to stop at McD’s for a Big Mac at that moment, that would be advertising. They are really trying to build the idea of the Big Mac in your mind. Make your mouth water, so the NEXT TIME you see the golden arches you turn in for a Big Mac and some fries.

Marketing – telling a story, sharing a brand experience, with the intention of influencing future purchases.

Advertising – buy now, click here to register, special offer now.

On Facebook you can do both. But of course Facebook is not intending you to be surfing Facebook while driving, so their intention is mainly focused on future events. However, with mobile advertising and mobile Facebook the lines are getting a bit blurred. I’d still offer that marketing on Facebook is what McDonald’s is doing. They don’t have to give coupons for discount fries. The fries sell themselves, so McDonald’s usually advertises or markets things in addition to the fries. Like “all-day breakfast.”

In my experience, there is one type of advertising that works really well on Facebook and everything else is really branding. Typical results from a boosted Facebook post.

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And because I know my audience, that 4.36% engagement rate is pretty high. Typical engagements range from 1 – 3%. In my demographic, women for this ad, here is my demographic breakdown.

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From this information I can see that no one over 54 or under 35 clicked on my ad. So I can tighten up the target a bit more. But this is branding and marketing. I am trying to build a readership and audience for my blog.

When we talk advertising the one WINNER on Facebook is the Mobile Downloads Ads. But of course these require two things.

  1. That you have a downloadable app.
  2. That your required WIN is downloading your app.

In this channel, Mobile Downloads,  I have seen engagement rates as high as 35%. That means that over 1/3 of the people who see the ad then click on it. The actual download rate then goes down, because not everyone directed to the download store on their various phones is actually going to then click the download button, even when the app is free. That rate usually dropped by 20%. So we’d get a solid engagement and download rate of 23%.

The last mile, for this company, was getting the user to actually launch the app and register with the company for the application to work correctly. This is where the drop off is more of a problem. At this point our WIN rate was about 7%.

So of an ad that produced a 35% engagement rate and a 23% download rate, we would end up with a 7% registration rate. Now if we dropped these numbers to the typical Facebook engagement rate of 2%, you can see where we’d run into serious problems convincing anyone to allocate dollars to a Facebook advertising campaign. Branding yes, advertising, not so much.

Know what you want to accomplish on Facebook. Pick marketing over advertising and see if you can come up with a mobile app version of your website (These can be created for free these days with 3rd party apps.) and you may have some real potential on Facebook. Otherwise, you’re building brand and goodwill, also valuable, but harder to justify in this competitive business environment.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Broadcast Yourself on YouTube - Logo

YouTube/Google AdSense Still Blocking Me

A month ago I started talking to the YouTube specialists about monetizing my YouTube videos. I thought I had made some progress even though I was being shuffled between different customer service managers for several weeks. Today I got my revised and same answer.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-1-30-28-pm

So I hipped Adam to my previous history of “violations.”

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AND that did it.

He viewed three of the posts about my past problems with AdSense.

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And then sent this response. Um, thanks Adam.

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And while I asked Adam, “Why?” I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the last from the YouTube Team.

Thanks Adam.

Read the entire Google AdSense and YouTube saga.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Huffington Post SNAFU, Again?

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-5-59-40-am

981 in one hour. That was a big hour.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-4-47-43-pm
my stats are still growing

Today was a great day. Today I logged into the old Huffington Post publishing platform and was given the opportunity to open a publishing account on the new platform. I jumped at the chance and spaced my four posts out over the morning. Putting one in each of my main categories. Single Parenting, Divorce, and Health. And everything looked great until after lunch.

At that time one of my posts started to take off. I was like a kid in a candy store. I was so excited I took this screencast video of my stats going wild.

And just as I was getting excited about it. I was blocked again. Shut down. Killed. And the post that was trending showed (shows) this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57f65846e4b087a29a5487bc

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-4-37-31-pm

I’m concerned mainly because I had been shut out of publishing on the HuffPo platform for over a year without any explanation. I tried sending emails to blogteam@huffingtonpost.com and even the Divorce editor brittany.wong@huffingtonpost.com but never got a single response. What gives? So today I’m back ON and I start to show results and I’m banned again? I sent this letter to the blogteam.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-3-30-36-pm

And while I don’t ever expect a response, my posts are still showing as LIVE on my HuffPo author’s page.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-4-33-43-pm

I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of it. I’m not sure we will ever be told what happened, or why I’ve been banned and am now apparently banned again. For legal reasons (that’s got to be it, right) they are not telling me anything. I’m holding my breath, however, because the thrill of seeing my blog blow up was very nice.

And now my Facebook shares look like this:

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-5-26-39-pm

I’m sad, but not surprised. I’ll be surprised if I get ANY response out of Brittany or the Blog Team.

UPDATE: This evening I’m afraid to even try and login. My account is in some sort of unstable mode where the site flashes on and off. Here’s the log-in screen.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-59-01-pm

And what the “Statement of Community” says:

Statement of Community

The Huffington Post’s Contributor Network is a forum for ideas, discussion and diverse viewpoints. We offer a state-of-the-art platform that can help you bring your work to one of the internet’s largest audiences.

Be interesting, be entertaining, be provocative, have a point of view – but do it with a great respect for the readers and writers who join you on these pages. The community we are working to build here is one where diverse, vibrant and original ideas are celebrated and elevated. We welcome posts that embody that free-speech ethos, even when those viewpoints differ from our own.

We reserve our right to remove posts that abuse that spirit of community, such as hate speech, anything overtly commercial in nature and and posts that we believe may be attempting to mislead the public in some way. There may be other times when we will remove a post that has been flagged by our community for other reasons, including matters of professionalism and taste. We hope and expect those times to be rare and we will not take these decisions lightly. But in building this community, we respect the right of its members to be vocal about their objections. When those objections arise, we will leverage the sound judgement of our editors to determine what is best for the spirit of the space we’re trying to create.

Let’s see if the community will respond with an answer to my entire set of posts being taken down.

UPDATE: The mystery continues. This morning when I log-in my account is in some possessed form of code hell. As if they were blocking my account, but didn’t do it correctly.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Catch up on the entire Huffington Post story

Sorting through the Marketing Data

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-3-48-21-pm

We’ve just gotten started and we’re averaging 300 hits a day. That’s good. We’re going to get better. Right now we are sorting through all of the marketing data and posts of the last 7 years. We’re building indexes to help you find what you’re looking for. Again, thanks for your patience, we understand it’s hard to find what you need in our current state.

The plan is to keep refining the Active Media Academy for the month of October and then go to a paywall system of $2 per month for all you can eat. We hope you enjoy the free month of October, and we are open to any questions or suggestions about how we can make this site better.

Stay the course.

JMac – Oct. 1, 2016.

We’re Just Getting Organized

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-5-52-20-am

Please forgive the disorganization of this site. We’ve got over 800 posts to categorize and build in to classes. Today you can still get all the great content for free, but you’re going to have to look for it. Either use the SEARCH box or use the SITEMAP and search for the word or subject you are looking for there. Here’s what’s coming.

  1. The Twitter Way – using Twitter with skill and art
  2. Workin Facebook – all that’s good and bad and profitable about Facebook
  3. LinkedIn for Business – how to stay on top of the best networking site for business
  4. Fit Lifestyle – the blending of tech and hard work can help you reach your goals
  5. Apple Lifestyle – it’s not just a brand it’s an ecosystem – how Apple changes and improves our lives
  6. BMW Lifestyle – sure it’s a luxury brand, but there is a lot to learn from one of the best run car/tech companies
  7. Dell Hell – branding, e-commerce, company profiles, dysfunctions and repairs for the tech giant
  8. Social Media Marketing – it’s just digital marketing, but social is the accelerant
  9. Growth Hacker Digital Marketing and Branding – driving business using all the digital tools

We promise we are on it, but we’re a team of ONE and have several other projects that are paying the bills at the moment, so please take it easy on us.

We’ll be opening up a subscription option (free for now) and eventually this entire site will be on a $1 per month subscription service. Today, however, it’s all FREE, so enjoy. Look around. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please ask, I’ll fetch it back up to the site for you.

Thanks again, John McElhenney

Requests and post ideas to john.mcelhenney (at) gmail (dot) com

AdSense and YouTube Continue to BAN ME from Monetization (UPDATED)

If you know anything about social media marketing and content marketing, you know that monetization is the key to making the web work. I have been a content creator for years, I’m a verified partner with my very own YouTube channel about social marketing. And for over 200,000 views, YouTube/Google has paid me zero. I’ve been fighting a bogus click fraud case they have used to not pay me on my original content and not allow me to monetize my blogs using Google Adsense.

Today I was looking specifically at my YouTube account

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-9-39-39-am

Of course my account is verified and in good standing, so WHAT’S THE FUCKIN DEAL GOOGLE?

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-9-38-46-am

And I filed the typical form letter complaint with the YouTube team. Let’s see if I get any better results than I did using the gestapo-ish AdSense team. Onward ho!

For the full story you can visit this thread | Google Adsense Kills My Dreams

Or start here: Google Adsense, Can We Start Over?

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Read the entire Google AdSense and YouTube saga.

UPDATE 3-24-16 YouTube wants feedback. I gave them the full thumbs down on this one. The specialist’s suggestion. Trying joining Adsense using a different email address. Um, yeah, we tried that already.

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Free Social Media and Digital Marketing Classes

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Pardon our dust. All of our content is here and free, but not very well organized at this point. We’d love you to look around while we fix things up a bit.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-9-12-44-amsomething is growing here

UBER.LA was great, but the traffic began to split along the lines of digital marketing (content is here now) and lifestyle/influencer posts. That’s all good for you, because today, for now, all of the content of the social media academy is available for free.

We’re just getting started, but let me hint at the structure underneath the pile of content.

  1. The Twitter Way – using Twitter with skill and art
  2. Workin Facebook – all that’s good and bad and profitable about Facebook
  3. LinkedIn for Business – how to stay on top of the best networking site for business
  4. Fit Lifestyle – the blending of tech and hard work can help you reach your goals
  5. Apple Lifestyle – it’s not just a brand it’s an ecosystem – how Apple changes and improves our lives
  6. BMW Lifestyle – sure it’s a luxury brand, but there is a lot to learn from one of the best run car/tech companies
  7. Dell Hell – branding, e-commerce, company profiles, dysfunctions and repairs for the tech giant
  8. Social Media Marketing – it’s just digital marketing, but social is the accelerant
  9. Growth Hacker Digital Marketing and Branding – driving business using all the digital tools
  10. Building an Influencer Marketing Program – brands and small businesses can benefit from this influencer thing

Pardon our dust. For now you’ve got to dig for the content using the index and search functions. But today it’s all free, and without a pay wall. (It’s coming.) So get your content today. And join us for tomorrow.

Thanks,

John McElhenney

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)