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Why Your Brand Should Like Facebook A Little Less, And Its Own Social Scene More

The balanced, 360-degree solution for losing your fans to Zuck's world.

In just one year, two-thirds of the Fortune 100 lost nearly a quarter of their website traffic, while at the same time, Facebook's traffic increased by more than 50%.

Consumers are flocking to social networks in droves because they want news and updates about the people, brands, and topics that they care about in real time. Marketers have subsequently invested in programs that reach audiences where they spend their time, frequently at the expense of their own digital properties by pushing consumers away from their online assets to third-party platforms.

Investing time and resources into a platform like Facebook with constantly changing features that ultimately, will never be in your control—sounds like a risky business. However, we all understand the extreme value that platforms like Facebook bring to our brands—awareness, customer engagement, and mobilization.

Brands and publishers have found value in creating a social presence through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to drive traffic back to their sites through links. However, what they’ve learned is that while you can direct traffic back to your site, without building on that social experience, consumers don’t stay on the brands’ sites very long and ultimately end up heading back to the social platforms to express their opinions and interact around content.

Listening and reacting to users and driving audiences to external social networks like Facebook is only half of the social marketing equation. Today most brands and publishers stop there.

Marketers should continue using social networks for awareness building, viral impact, and new customer acquisition. However, 360-degree social means completing the loop by surfacing the best social content on their owned properties. The next step is making it dead simple for users to interact with each other on the brands’ sites so that they are as engaging and social as the networks their users flock to.

Businesses are beginning to figure out ways to leverage the value of social media platforms. Socializing your online presence allows you to better control and build brand cohesion through messaging, design, and experience, while giving companies the ability to grow deeper consumer relationships and brand affinity.

How is this possible?

Companies like mine are offering ways to make a business’s site more social. Instead of only sending your customers to a third-party site to engage, the conversation can happen directly on your site and mobile apps—in your control, but with the benefits of top social platforms. Through making their websites and mobile apps just as engaging as a social network through a combination of real-time experiences and curated social content, brands and publishers are building communities around their content and products and are able to build a complementary social marketing strategy around these owned properties.

When transitioning to making your site a social hub, here are some things you should consider:

1. Community is No Longer a Single Destination

Consumers are no longer engaged at a single site, message board, or forum. Whether they are making a purchase through your mobile app or reading a blog post about their favorite TV show on your site, they expect to be social at every customer touch point. The common denominator for the consumer’s experience is your brand. The brand is the community.

2. Balance Investment in Social Networks

While creating a social experience through your online presence should be a top priority to any company’s digital strategy, utilizing other platforms should still be a part of that strategy. Companies should maintain a balanced approach to external social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, with their own communities to achieve the right mix of user acquisition and brand loyalty.

3. Listen, Engage, and Integrate

Creating a social brand presence isn’t the final step in bringing them back to your site. The most effective strategy requires that once a brand receives feedback from a consumer, it engages him or her in real time through an integrated social experience on its site. Reacting immediately to a tweet about your brand creates a positive experience for your brand. However, complementing this by engaging them through conversation on your own site builds a longer positive relationship outside the bounds of one social channel.

Brands that are ahead of the curve and embracing the new social model benefit through longer engagement on their sites, the ability to see and react to feedback in real-time, consumers sharing direct content more, and strengthening of brand loyalty. In return, you’ll reduce the risk of missing the conversations happening about your brand online or putting all your eggs in one social platform basket that can change anytime.

No one can predict what the next big social network will be, so rather than investing in driving consumers to Facebook, a longer-term approach is to build a complementary social marketing strategy and aggregate what people are saying across all social networks into an engaging experience on your site or mobile app, making your owned properties the best destination to learn what's happening about your brand in real-time.

Jordan Kretchmer is the founder and CEO or Livefyre, a leading provider of real-time social software, based in San Francisco, CA. Follow him on Twitter at @jkretch.

[Image: Flickr user Psyberartist]

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20 Comments

  • Last week, eBay Inc said between February and March, hackers had secured access to data of 145 million customers. Such instances could happen anywhere and at anytime, even with Flipkart and Amazon.

    Online shopping sites have many registered customers. To be able to buy online, it is mandatory to have an account with these sites. To make shopping easy, these sites store customers' data, including sensitive information such as card details. Though these sites assure security of data, customers might never come to know whether their data is under threat.

    In eBay's case, passwords were stolen. After this, the company asked its users to also change passwords for other sites on which they used the same password.

    If a customer realises his mail or financial account is misused, she/he should notify the cyber nodal agency, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, the police and the service provider (such as eBay), says Pavan Duggal, a cyber security advocate.

  • TRADE deficits are not a problem when they are the result of temporary imbalances between investment and savings. For example, an emerging country may need to invest a lot in physical capital, and it makes little sense for it to finance this investment with a reduction in consumption. Instead, it must maintain its consumption at a reasonable level and borrow from abroad, which means running a trade deficit. Later, when it has grown richer, it will reimburse its debt by saving more than it invests, i.e. by running a trade surplus.

    Trade deficits may be problematic if they are the result of a persistent loss of competitiveness, as a result, for example, of having accumulated inflation differentials vis-a-vis other countries. In such a case, if prices are sticky, a devaluation of the nominal exchange rate is needed to restore competitiveness. Otherwise, the export sector will be depressed, and economic activity will remain low.

  • It is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more, according to several reputable experts.

    “We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it."

    Unfortunately Spitznagel isn’t alone.

    “We are in a gigantic financial asset bubble,” warns Swiss adviser and fund manager Marc Faber. “It could burst any day.”

    Faber doesn’t hesitate to put the blame squarely on President Obama’s big government policies and the Federal Reserve’s risky low-rate policies, which, he says, “penalize the income earners, the savers who save, your parents — why should your parents be forced to speculate in stocks and in real estate and everything under the sun?”

  • John Dineen

    The core message of this article is really important for anyone who is serious about building their brand. 'You need to build community and if you are smart, you will invest in doing this on your own web site'. Why your own site? There you set the rules and you own the data. When the next Facebook comes along, you don't have to start all over again. Think about leveraging Twitter and Facebook to spread your message and NOT as a data source. We, Pubble, help customers build live Q&A communities  Most of our client discussions focus on why its a big mistake to outsource your engagement to Facebook / Twitter.

  • Entreb

    With Google's SERP becoming erratic nowadays, businesses tend to do social media marketing, especially Facebook marketing. What I like in promoting my business on Facebook is that Facebook users spend more time on this social network. Since social network are interconnected, the word-of-mouth can spread faster if we just show to our audience that our business has quality and interesting solutions. 

  • Given that much of Wall Street trading is driven by complex computer programs that depend on hundreds or thousands of variables, it should be even more obvious than in the past that no one has any real knowledge of why the market moves as it does. Everyone likes to feel he/she understands how the world works, so people settle on one irrelevant explanation among many and agree to pool their ignorance

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Ailing Blackberry saw its share of the global smartphone market shrink to 2.9 per cent from 4.9 per cent in the second quarter last year, IDC reported. 

    A total of 236.4 million smartphones were shipped during the quarter in a 51.3 per cent rise from the 156.2 million shipped in the same period a year earlier, according to IDC. 

    Android retained its crown as the top smartphone platform in the United States in the quarter with 59 per cent of the market, the same as the prior quarter, a report released Tuesday by comScore indicated. 
     thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA BB is in problem now as GOOGLE is coming with the speech cell phones 

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    LAW AND LOGIC?? When important new
    accounting standards are under development, forward-thinking companies often
    look ahead to anticipate possible changes and work ahead so they don’t have to
    scramble when the standard takes effect. Some companies already are doing some of
    that work with leases, experts say. But the lease accounting proposal—a joint
    effort of FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)—barely
    received approval for exposure from FASB on a 4–3 vote. One of the proposal’s
    supporters, FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman, retired at the end of June, and there
    is no guarantee her replacement on the board, Jim Kroeker, will also support
    the proposal. Meanwhile, a U.S. industry group, the Equipment Leasing and
    Finance Association (ELFA), outlined its disagreement with the changes
    immediately after the ED was released in May. And a coalition of more than 30
    industry associations, including ELFA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
    submitted a comment letter saying the proposed standard may
    result in substantial costs to businesses and lack any benefits for investors. John
    Hepp, CPA, a partner in Grant Thornton’s National Professional Standards Group,
    said his firm generally encouraged a wait-and-see approach on measurement with
    regard to the developing standard before the ED was issued May 16. He said that
    until comments are published from an exposure period that ends Sept. 13, it might
    still be a good idea to be cautious about making significant programming
    changes. A lack of consensus over how leases should best be represented on
    balance sheets is fueling uncertainty about the proposal, Hepp said. The boards
    have proposed a dual-recognition model that calls for lessees to report a
    straight-line lease expense in the income statement for most real estate
    leases, and for lessees to report amortization of a leased asset separately
    from interest on the lease liability. Assets and liabilities would be
    recognized for leases of more than 12 months. “I’ve heard people say at
    different boards and other places that there is a consensus that leases should
    go on the balance sheet,” Hepp said. “That’s probably a true statement. But
    that consensus breaks down when it comes to how would you measure that on the
    balance sheet and how do you recognize the amounts in net income.” I thank you Firozali
    A.Mulla DBA

     

     

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Tale tale tale helps you little read on Troops coming home?? When are they coming home is the huge question as to me Gitmo was to be closed for a long time but nothing happened instead USA closed many embassies now at least 18 embassies were closed only depicting the USA scare of the terrorism and that does not sound too good for USA now. Promise have have never filled the tummies I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Why does Obama not the remove the creep that keeps preventing mortgage readjustment. There has to be a limit to the class war that the financial super elite keeps waging on the rest of society, which is to say the overwhelming majority of society. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Is there a danger now after the index went too high? The Wall Street firms that do business with SAC Capital are right to be privately worried about possible legal contamination from the criminal indictment against the hedge fund. Publicly, Wall Street is standing behind SAC Capital. It's "business as usual," according to reports. Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs recently praised SAC as "a great counter party" in an interview with my colleague Kate Kelly. But behind the scenes, Wall Street executives are worried, according to people familiar with the matter. All the biggest Wall Street firms have extensive ties to SAC Capital—ties that could put them in legal jeopardy, particularly under much larger exposure spelled out in the Dodd-Frank banking reform regulations. It would be hard to over-estimate the significance of SAC Capital to Wall Street. The hedge fund employs what has been described as "significant leverage" in its trading strategies, borrowing money so that the firm is able to take trading positions that aggregate to much more than the roughly $15 billion of assets it has under management. The firm lists its regulatory assets as $50 billion in a recent regulatory filing, for example. Much of that leverage comes from loans from Wall Street banks. RELATED: SAC CAPITAL INDICTED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Even that understates how much business SAC does through the top Wall Street firms. That $50 billion is a snapshot in time, not a cumulative count of all of the assets that SAC acquires and disposes of throughout the year. No one outside of SAC—and very few inside of SAC—knows the total volume of trading SAC is responsible for across all the markets it trades, but it's a safe bet that the number is in hundreds of billions. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Is there a danger now after the index went too high? The Wall Street firms that do business with SAC Capital are right to be privately worried about possible legal contamination from the criminal indictment against the hedge fund. Publicly, Wall Street is standing behind SAC Capital. It's "business as usual," according to reports. Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs recently praised SAC as "a great counter party" in an interview with my colleague Kate Kelly. But behind the scenes, Wall Street executives are worried, according to people familiar with the matter. All the biggest Wall Street firms have extensive ties to SAC Capital—ties that could put them in legal jeopardy, particularly under much larger exposure spelled out in the Dodd-Frank banking reform regulations. It would be hard to over-estimate the significance of SAC Capital to Wall Street. The hedge fund employs what has been described as "significant leverage" in its trading strategies, borrowing money so that the firm is able to take trading positions that aggregate to much more than the roughly $15 billion of assets it has under management. The firm lists its regulatory assets as $50 billion in a recent regulatory filing, for example. Much of that leverage comes from loans from Wall Street banks. RELATED: SAC CAPITAL INDICTED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Even that understates how much business SAC does through the top Wall Street firms. That $50 billion is a snapshot in time, not a cumulative count of all of the assets that SAC acquires and disposes of throughout the year. No one outside of SAC—and very few inside of SAC—knows the total volume of trading SAC is responsible for across all the markets it trades, but it's a safe bet that the number is in hundreds of billions. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • tealucyy

    After read this article, I learned a lot of knowledge.Thank you for the author's words of wisdom and sharing.I will keep in mind.

  • Lee Odden

    Roger this: Listen, Engage, Integrate.  Great article Jordan. 
    The mistake many brands seem to be making with social media investments (outside of chasing shiny objects and competitors) is viewing the customer journey and measurement as linear.  There are numerous social touch-points for potential customers to gain confidence with a brand. Unfortunately  many companies rely on network size, growth and last point of contact for attribution for measurement.I think a good question to ask is, "If you are successful at making the brand community (vs. off site social) the priority, what if that's not what customers want?" 

    Are revenue or other business goals more likely from a brand owned community that the brand's marketing, PR & ads drive to? Or optimizing for customer experience wherever it is that they engage in the most meaningful way?  Of course the idea is to enable the brand social community to drive the most meaningful experiences, but that's not always practical.  

    My point is to leverage customer behavior data throughout their journey as a driver for where brand social participation makes sense - right along with balancing brand-owned social communities and off-site social networks. 

  • It is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more, according to several reputable experts.

    “We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it."

    Unfortunately Spitznagel isn’t alone.

    “We are in a gigantic financial asset bubble,” warns Swiss adviser and fund manager Marc Faber. “It could burst any day.”

    Faber doesn’t hesitate to put the blame squarely on President Obama’s big government policies and the Federal Reserve’s risky low-rate policies, which, he says, “penalize the income earners, the savers who save, your parents — why should your parents be forced to speculate in stocks and in real estate and everything under the sun?”

  • Avishai

    enough studies suggest that brands lack the knowldedge of engaging with their fans on a social level and are trying to be creative in ways which are simply old school. 

  • TRADE deficits are not a problem when they are the result of temporary imbalances between investment and savings. For example, an emerging country may need to invest a lot in physical capital, and it makes little sense for it to finance this investment with a reduction in consumption. Instead, it must maintain its consumption at a reasonable level and borrow from abroad, which means running a trade deficit. Later, when it has grown richer, it will reimburse its debt by saving more than it invests, i.e. by running a trade surplus.

    Trade deficits may be problematic if they are the result of a persistent loss of competitiveness, as a result, for example, of having accumulated inflation differentials vis-a-vis other countries. In such a case, if prices are sticky, a devaluation of the nominal exchange rate is needed to restore competitiveness. Otherwise, the export sector will be depressed, and economic activity will remain low.

  • Reidvv

    Dear Jordan Kretchmer, I see your client list. Impressive. What exactly did you do for them and how does it make a difference? Your claims are very broad and frankly, rather vague. What do you do exactly?