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Facebook kills off 583M phony accounts

Facebook Inc. recently announced it has taken down over 583 million fake profiles in the first three months of 2018, and claimed that most were removed in just a few minutes after they were created and made public.

Facebook also said it culled 837 million pieces of spam and responded to 2.5 million examples of what it defined as ‘hate speech’, it said in its first-time report on how it will go about enforcing community standards.

Facebook has been under strong public and media pressure (and cross-border governmental pressure) following the Cambridge Analytica scandal in April. The company has been forced to defend itself from criticisms over its community management standards and data protection and data security issues which have caused mass drop-outs in active user numbers.

Facebook’s total community is 2.2 billion monthly users, although it’s unclear how many of these profiles are real or actually being used. Governments around the world have been questioning the Menlo Park California-based company’s policies.

Facebook’s report, which is apparently going to be distributed twice a year now, highlights the importance of AI in administering its systems. The report says: The conclusion from the first metrics is that some problems are better suited to computerized solutions than others. Almost 100 percent of the spam and 96 percent of the adult nudity was flagged for takedown, with the help of technology, before any Facebook users complained about it. But only 38 percent of hate speech was noticed by the AI. Hate speech is harder to deal with because computers often can’t understand the meaning of a sentence — such as the difference between someone using a racial slur to attack somebody, and someone telling a story about that slur”.

“It’s a work in progress always,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, said in a briefing. “These are the same metrics we’re using internally to guide the metrics of the teams. We’re sharing them here because we think we need to be accountable.”

 

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Addressing the challenges of live video in your marketing plan

You are the focal point and the one making the address

Live video streaming is very similar to making a public address – there is no room for error. It’s a tough gig, but if you are a thought leader and have valuable insights to share, then this is the best way to do it currently. If you’re going to be asked questions live, then prep the Q&A in anticipation.

 

There is no outsource option

It’s all on you. If you plan to distribute your valuable knowledge and experience, you will be the guy up there. The only way to get a personal following is to be the one that people follow.

 

It’s not easy to grow an audience

As with anything to do with marketing and reach, the hardest part is connecting to a valuable number of audience members (and subsequently followers). Do some ground work first on the types of segmentation you wish to target, try to understand how to reach them through your keyword planning and content distribution model, and plan your topics and content around that targeted plan.

 

Time zones are a global issue with delivery planning

If you’re trying to reach a global audience, trying to pin down a live stream time is challenging and there is no right answer to guide you. As with FB posts, timing in the day is important, but when you’re looking at international, think first on a regional basis, plan the content consumption time for your market and target that one region first and foremost. You can always make the file available to others at a later date or time.

 

Live video is born and dies quickly

Due to the nature of the medium, we are not talking evergreen content. However, as with the above point, you can make your download available – with the added advantage that you can make it available only to people who follow you.

 

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This is the extent of data which Facebook & Google holds on you

Google knows where you go

Google records your location (assuming your tracking is on, and it most often is to provide location based functionality) at all times. There is a timeline of everywhere you have been, which in turn provides google with qualitative data it then sells to advertisers.

Here is the link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?…

 

Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted

As the old saying goes, you can’t hide your search history from God. Google stores search history across all your devices. Even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

 

Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

 

Google knows all the apps you use

Google records information for each app and their ancillaries for which you use. They know how often you visit or make use of them, where, and crucially, who else you use them to interact with. This gives them by proxy the data on your friends and your colleagues, their movements, activities and so forth. Welcome to a more twisted version of 1984…

Click here to see… security.google.com/settings/secur…

 

The Google data vault is the most comprehensive on earth

Data on the typical Google user reaches up to 5.5GB normally. This is the equivalent of 3m Word documents.

This includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google …

Pause for thought. Now consider this potential for power, control, manipulation and abuse.

 

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Should I delete my Facebook account?

Cambridge Analytica scandal just an indicator of what big tech does in harvesting your personal info

 

Facebook is trusted with the ownership and management of data provided by 2 billion people. In April, the Observer revealed how Cambridge Analytica, a company funded by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer, acquired and exploited the data associated with 50m Facebook profiles. It appears that while Facebook had been aware of what the Observer described as “unprecedented data harvesting” for two years, it did not notify the affected users.

 

Instead of accepting responsibility, its top executives argued (on Twitter) that the network had done nothing wrong: “This was unequivocally not a data breach,” Facebook vice-president Andrew Bosworth tweeted on Saturday. “People chose to share their data with third party apps and if those apps did not follow the data agreements with us then it is a violation. No systems were infiltrated, no passwords or information were stolen or hacked.”

 

In a sense, Facebook’s defense to the Cambridge Analytica story was more damning than the story itself.

 

The Facebook business model is to collect, share and exploit as much user data as possible, and it does this without express consent from users. Yes, every user agrees to a service user agreement, but Facebook has no safeguards in place to stop these being abused or extrapolated by third parties and then abused.

 

Facebook shares dropped 7%, taking $36bn off of the company’s valuation.

 

Did you delete your account in protest?

 

It’s not easy to remove yourself from Facebook. Firstly, there is the large archive of valuable material you have stored on there (and there only); all those old photos of friends and parties from years gone by, with no other digital copy.

 

Then there is the fact that there are so many hoops Facebook makes you leap through in order to extricate yourself from Facebook.

 

However, it is not a futile exercise.

 

Facebook likes to deliver a very different narrative to marketers than they do the wider public. The Observer: “They downplay their significance when challenged by the media about, for example, their influence on the 2016 US election. They downplay their power to deal with online harassment or the spread of fake news. However, if you’ve got an advertising budget and want to know how Facebook can persuade your target consumer to buy your product, it’s a different story. Suddenly, Facebook is an all-knowing entity with unrivaled information; it can get almost anyone to do almost anything. While Facebook presents itself to the public as a social network, when addressing the advertising industry, it is very clear about the fact that it’s a surveillance system”.

 

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Digital techniques for every type of marketer

1. Fast-loading content for smartphones

Google recently revealed that its new algorithm will rank pages partly by website loading speed, so a fluid and delay-free experience is essential for visitors. Simple metrics will show weaknesses here; you will have a proportionately larger number of visitors who access your site and leave immediately. Mobile internet gets faster and faster, but it is still valuable to make every effort in ensuring your site is fast to load up.

 

2. Online reviews follow-up

It’s very important that you monitor online feedback, and not just for restaurants and hotels on TripAdvisor or Agoda. Twitter is a hotbed for angry consumers to lash out at brands they feel are ambivalent to their needs, so invest time each day in searching for your own brand and keywords. Engage where anything is amiss.

 

3. Data and privacy protection

Regulators are getting tougher on data security and data protection. Consumers are also more aware of the issue following big data breaches at several large companies in the last few years, including PSN network and a couple of employment search database sites. For too long, digital marketers have taken personal data for granted, enjoying the benefits without securing it properly or thinking too much about privacy. Also don’t forget to publicize your efforts in improving data security, as it can function as an enticing USP.

 

4. Online chat-bots

As AI continues to improve, the usability and flexibility of chat-bots also gets better. Whilst people would typically prefer to speak to a human operator not a piece of code, they are immediate response and always-on, helping to resolve customer issues quickly; they’ll also continue to get better, as it’s a fairly “aged” technology now.

 

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How to tackle Facebook’s new algorithm to make your video pop

Make it live

Facebook’s latest algorithm prioritizes live video specifically. It is estimated that live videos typically get six times as many interactions compared to non-live posts. It is essential to understand this to maximise your efforts in delivering a channel mix.

Around half of live video is found via the news feed. It also offers massive scope for viral reposting. In the near future, innovations such as 360 degree video will serve to emphasize the importance of this.

 

Go for engagement

Due to years of complaints from users, Facebook now is pushing more personal content, stuff from family and friends, to people’s feeds. This was in response to Facebook’s decline through it evolving into a pointless stream of marketing messages which resulted in it losing users.

This type of content always delivers better engagement due to strong relevance, as an antithesis to fake news and spammy clickbait. So always focus on asking questions and looking for engagement.

 

Don’t forget paid media, part of PESO

Paid media still has some effective relevance. One thing to note is that if you’re boosting live, you need to ensure that there is enough time for results before the post “dies.”

Facebook has also introduced Live Broadcast, so if you plan to use it, let people know in advance so they are aware and are ready and waiting.

Remember always that organic engagement is the top priority as it draws the best placement via the algorithm. One of Facebook’s (few) key strengths is that it offers a high level of “targetization”.

 

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Nonprofit organizations: 10 social media tips

1. Be the voice:

Focus on publishing articles that have been independently cited for their truth and thought leadership.

2. Stay within your tone:

Communication brands like TEDx are popular because they define their voice and continually serve audiences with the high quality defined with its parameters.

3. Video is key:

Well-produced, informative videos will keep people coming back for more and position you firmly on top of the pile.

4. Keep us posted:

Frequent posting and constant engagement are crucial for both growing audiences and retaining current followers.

5. Quality always:

Somewhat contrary to the above point, it’s sometimes better to focus on fewer high quality posts that just spamming out regularly.

6. Storytelling:

Stories focused on people are some of the most attractive for followers. They can also be used to convey your successes in a certain theatre or industry field.

7. Maximize social media spend:

Nonprofits are always tight on cash. You can still achieve some results for five bucks a day by using extremely targeted Facebook ad parameters.

8. Add a “Donate Now” button:

Facebook lets certain types of nonprofits place a “Donate Now” button on their FB page. There is no reason why you wouldn’t have this, even if results are slow.

9. Set a strategy:

Before committing anything to your feeds, use Excel to draft out calendar months so that one post leads to another, always with the aim of slowly building followers and engagement.

10. Monitor metrics:

Look for the most relevant ways to monitor and record both engagement and how this grows and is responded to over time.

 

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All change with Facebook and its algorithm for advertisers

Facebook’s recent purge of clickbait and the reprioritizing of deep content and posts by friends could make quality content relevant on the platform once more.

Facebook is forcing people to create quality and relevant content. The social media giant recently unveiled its biggest news feed algorithm change to date; it now favors content from friends and family over posts from companies and politicized material. So where does this leave advertisers?

Facebook has said that the new changes will not affect paid posts on the platform, although CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) may increase. The changes are aimed at removing clickbait; those annoying shouty adds that use either controversial titles or make ridiculous claims as to the product’s benefits. They have long frustrated users, often appearing higher in the news feed than posts from friends or loved ones. Facebook won’t admit it publically, but it’s an effort to stem people moving away from the site, which some see as now being an endlessly repetitive space for dreary pointlessness, and so don’t bother to look at it.

Brands already know that they get little visibility from unpaid content on Facebook. Organic content doesn’t work as well as paid posts for sure. However the new move may make some headway into leaning back into these two truisms. Brands will probably have to abandon push marketing and create content that potential customers value or wish to see.

There is a lot of concern in the online space with marketers globally surrounding this issue. Many are preparing to advise clients to move part of their tactical spend to Instagram, Snapchat or other channels. This is interesting as it may turn out to create the exact result that Facebook didn’t want, and so the situation will continue to evolve.

We would say that there is no cause for panic. The correct content (now able to be deeper, of better quality and therefore better able to connect to consumers in our clients’ target markets) and correctly targeted will continue to drive success for brand building and sales growth on the FB channel.

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