How a Local Government Finds Time to Use Social To Engage Its Citizens

Tamara Ward is your typical multitasking communications specialist. On any given day, she could be writing, designing, coding, and creating website content, producing videos and shareable images, organizing print media, or engaging social media followers online. Her biggest challenge is time (or lack of).

Ward is responsible for the government social media accounts for the town of Holly Springs, a tight-knit community of 30,000 people in Wake County, North Carolina. The town’s citizens expect their local government to be open, accessible, and engaging—especially when it comes to social media.

Today, the town’s weekly reach on social media often surpasses the number of citizens. “Our numbers may not be impressive when compared to big cities, but during a time when it can be hard to encourage people to ‘like’ their government, we’re seeing people in our community do just that,” Ward tells us.

Finding time to do social

“We’re in the business of engaging with citizens,” she says. “Social media is where people increasingly turn to get news and information, so it’s important for us to have a strong presence there. We use social to interact with our citizens and respond to their questions and concerns in real time.”

We weren’t surprised when Ward explained that her top goals for social media revolve around efficiency. She wanted to be able to see and engage in conversations easily, find information quickly when responding to citizen concerns, and save time.

But beyond needing to save time, she has another challenge that comes with the territory of working in a regulated industry. Every social media message ever shared—and the comment threads and likes that follow—has to be archived.
Ward’s heard of people taking screenshots of every social conversation and hopelessly trying to keep them all organized in case of a random audit. This isn’t scalable or cost efficient. One local government was even asked to produce two years of social media messages during a major lawsuit. Had they not been prepared, this could have been disastrous in terms of time and money spent on legal fees and charges for non-compliance.
If the town of Holly Springs was not automatically archiving data through ArchiveSocial, they would need to hire an additional employee to do this task manually—that’s salary and benefits for a full-time position, equivalent to tens of thousands of dollars in savings for the government.

Saving time with social media and compliance

The ArchiveSocial app, available through the Hootsuite App Directory, automatically captures and preserves content, storing social media history for easy access later. Its advanced search allows Ward to filter for content and access data and conversations wherever she needs it.

For example, someone once turned to Facebook to report a concern, but because it couldn’t be immediately addressed, Ward promised to get back to them. Later, once the concern had been properly addressed, she wanted to reconnect and share the update. Using the app, she ran a quick search within Hootsuite, found the post from months back, and solved the issue. “The integration helps streamline my workflow, saving me time sourcing conversations and past responses I may not have otherwise found,” she says.

“I’m already using Hootsuite throughout my workday, so using the ArchiveSocial app makes it easy for me to be compliant, while, for example, running several searches to find specific posts and essential data such as date and timestamps across any of the town’s social networks,” says Ward.

Using analytics to find what works

With ArchiveSocial working in the background to ensure compliance, Ward can focus on sharing content and responding to citizen inquiries. Using the analytics generated through Hootsuite, Ward can see exactly what types of posts engage the community and draw the most interest.

When she finds content that the community cares about, such as short and fun videos on Facebook or Tweets with a link to a synopsis of what happened in a town council meeting, she’ll post more of that type of content. Ward tends to share a variety of content, such as news and emergency updates or fun community videos and photos. “Analytics show me what content our community will value,” she shares. “It’s encouraging to see our communications efforts making a difference in awareness and transparency.”

Knowing what your audience wants pays off

In 2015, Holly Springs’ Facebook Page grew 67 percent and Twitter by 73 percent. Sometimes their weekly total reach is greater than the town’s entire population of about 30,000 people.

“If this growth in our likes, reach, followers, and interactions is any indicator, we’re growing because we’re providing content and a forum valued by our community, and Hootsuite is vital in helping us do that,” Ward explains.
“Looking at the difference between now and this time last year, we’re seeing posts reach the tens of thousands versus a few thousand,” she says. “A large part of that success comes from us taking the time to use Hootsuite, see what kind of content people respond to, and then creating more like it.”

The Town of Holly Springs leaves archiving to the ArchiveSocial app in Hootsuite, so Ward can focus on more important things, like her community. Learn more about the ArchiveSocial integration today!

Learn More

The locksmith companies and automobile club we always recommend that fronts with copies of keys to our car, since there are many instances of its loss when we travel, we can we leave the restaurant, in the hotel, Schlüsseldienst Berlin Car locksmith companies always have a key most of the car because they know that it is very easy for your customer the lose. They know that give an answer in compromised situations such as these, is to have a satisfied customer. Join the campaign to use ear thermometers to check your body temperature accurately. Identify health problems before they become more problematic. Quotes from popular Books แทงบอลออนไลน์ חדרים לפי שעה internet marketing services Top SEO company. Your Instagram feed is merely as effective as your pictures, so beginning with great-quality pictures makes your Instagram advertising more effective. One of the best approaches to save your time and compose better images for Instamate review will show you how to shoot viral square photographs on Instagram. Numerous digital camera models and touch screen phones have this within their settings so it’s quite simple to accomplish. Internet é la cosa più bella del mondo, ma meglio navigare davanti ad un cappuccino di Giovanni Costantino piuttosto che con l'alcool sul comodino African american wigs have grown very helpful in the entertainment industry and dealing with hair loss.African american wigs are fastened on a base lace in the front area of the head.African american wigs are obtainable in diverse kinds and function. african american wigs .African american wigs are very popular by black women.Meaningfully african american wigs have relieved individuals who are experiencing hair loss by supplying them with a swift way to get back again their charm.African american wigs wholesale 2016. MATH 222 EMBRY Downlaod here http://www.外汇.org/ This Study Will Perfect Your GTA 5 cd key : Read Or Miss Out Using SEO Services is currently one of the most effective digital marketing strategies available today. un metodo per aumentare i like facebook ? Scegli!

Facebook Video Ads: What You Need to Know

If there was a drinking game where social media marketers had to take a shot anytime 2016 was declared the year of video, your Twitter timeline might be looking a bit more lively these days. We’ve heard it time and time again, but the need to concentrate on video content is paramount right now. While getting your video seen organically is important, if you aren’t taking advantage of the possibilities of video advertising you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

With over 50 percent growth in video viewing on the platform, Facebook video ads are a smart place to dedicate your resources. Facebook’s user base grew to 1.65 billion in 2015, and these people are returning to their News Feeds about 14 times per day, so there’s a good chance that you can get your video ad seen by the audience you want. Our following guide will help you master Facebook video ads because, if you haven’t heard, 2016 is the year of video.

How to make better Facebook video ads

Know your audience

You wouldn’t try to sell a Florida timeshare to a baby, and knowing who you’re selling to with your Facebook video ads is just as important. Who is your target audience? What do they like? How old are they? What kind of content do they respond to? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, our guide on How to create buyer personas with social media data” can help you better understand who your customers are.

Once you know who you are targeting with your Facebook video ads, you are able to tailor your content to them. Through Facebook’s ad targeting page, you can target your ad to focus on location and demographics like age, gender and interests. You can even target your ad to people based on what they do off of Facebook.” The categories you can refine your ad targeting to include are:

  • Location, Age, Gender, and Language
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • More Categories (Facebook or partner categories you’ve requested access to)
  • Connections

After you’ve posted a video ad, you can login to Ad Manager and see an overview of those who have watched at least a part of your video (a person has to watch for at least three seconds to qualify as a viewer), and those who watched the entire thing. If somebody’s watched your entire video, there’s a good chance that they’re interested in your product or service. You can then create a custom audience for these leads—meaning that your video will be seen by the most valuable audience possible. As AdEspresso explains, “What’s more, video view custom audiences are now dynamically updating every day, instead of not being created until a few days after a lifetime budget campaign is completed. You can easily tell who’s responding to your ad—in real time.”

The medium is the message

When making a Facebook video ad, it’s important to consider the content that works best for the platform. As Wistia CEO Chris Savage explains to AdEspresso, “Video brings people back into the equation and lets that kind of relationship come alive on the Internet. It lets you take your company and show it to people in a whole new kind of light, and it lets customers see you for who you really are: a collection of people who care about what you do and who you serve.”

To make the most of your Facebook video ads, treat them (for the most part) as another form of social video content. Make ads that don’t obnoxiously scream “ADVERTISING!” at your viewers in order to keep them engaged. Our guide to social video includes the following tips to help make them successful:

  • Design it to be shareable from the get-go
  • Use the power of storytelling
  • Make the customer the hero, and engage them
  • Emotions lead to sharing
  • Shorter is (almost) always better
  • Always start strong (the first 30 seconds of a video, according to Wistia)

You need to be able to capture your audience quickly, so keeping your video ad short is a priority. What would you want to watch? I, personally, would probably lose interest in a video ad if it was over three minutes long or didn’t have puppies. 

Wistia posted two videos in one of their blog posts and found that 72 percent of their audience watched one of the videos, and only 50 percent watched the other.

The only difference between the two videos? 10 seconds of length, which was removed from the more popular video. Wistia explains, “Psychologists say that the average human sustained attention span is 20 minutes. But for online videos, it seems to be about 60 seconds.”

In addition to keeping your video short, Wistia offers the following tips for keeping your audience engaged with an online video:

  • Put the good stuff in the beginning
  • Be specific (make sure every shot contains specific and new information)
  • Keep it personal so that your audience can relate (focus on the customer)

How to make a Facebook video ad

If you aren’t sure how to begin making a Facebook video ad, Facebook provides a 90 second video and the following tips to get you started:

“From your Page, click the arrow on the top right corner and choose ‘Create Ads.’ Then select ‘Get Video Views’ to start.

  • Set your targeting, budget and schedule. Select interests, behaviors, location, age, and gender of the audience you want to reach. Then set your budget and schedule.
  • Choose your video. Upload a new video or use one from your library and select a thumbnail image.
  • Add text. Write a clear and simple message that encourages your audience to view your video.”

Mobile video ads

A whopping 65 percent of Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views are watched on mobile—so it’s important your ad content is optimized for mobile. From 2012 to 2014 there was a 532 percent increase in mobile (smartphone and tablet) video views, and it’s fair to assume that this isn’t a phase.

As Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said, “Businesses are no longer asking if they should market on mobile, they’re asking how. This is a shift that we think we’re very well-positioned to take advantage of and build on.”

As Facebook’s video ads page states regarding mobile uploads, “Directly uploaded videos perform better and provide a better experience for people than videos from other websites” with 30 percent more video views and up to 11 times larger images in News Feed.


One of the first steps in creating your Facebook video ad is choosing your objectives. When in your Ad Manager or Power Editor page making a new video ad, you must choose a video objective to focus your campaign. The options provided by Facebook include:

  • Clicks to website
  • Product Catalog Sales
  • Website Conversions
  • Page Likes
  • Mobile App Installs
  • Event Responses
  • Video Views

Think about what your goals for your video ad campaign are, and base your objectives on this. Are you interested in building brand awareness through video views and Page likes? As Facebook explains, the video views objective automatically optimizes your video to show to people most likely to view it on Facebook. This feature will help “increase your reach to more people” as well as “improve efficiency for your video ads.” In knowing what your objectives are, you are able to more effectively understand your video’s results.


You’ve put a lot of effort into your Facebook video ads, so you want to know that they’re paying off. Facebook provides metrics for you so that it’s as easy to see how your video ads are performing. As Facebook explains, “video metrics In Ads Reporting, under the Customize Columns button can give you insight into how to improve your video.”

Hubspot goes into more detail regarding the metrics you want to track with your Facebook video ads. They suggest focusing on the following three areas:

  • Conversion KPIs
  • Engagement KPIs
  • Audience reach KPIs

Keep track of what Facebook video ads are bringing the results you want, and tailor the content of your ads to find what works, and what doesn’t.
In case you forgot, video is dominating the social media landscape in 2016 (where’s that cocktail?). Using Facebook video ads, you can use the power of the medium to easily boost the reach of your message and connect with the most valuable audience members possible.

Manage your social ads with Hootsuite today.

Get started with a free account!

Three research-driven PPC tips for the automotive industry

If you’re an automaker or car dealer, 2016 should be a good year for sales.

Intensive research conducted by my data scientist colleagues at Bing Ads shows that digital media, especially search, will be the perfect place to capture the attention of prospective petrol-heads as they venture out on their car-buying journey.

What’s driving solid car sales?

Well, interest rates as well as fuel rates are low while the consumer index, according to an IBISWorld industry report, remains high. As a result – additional disposable income and improved credit scores – demand for cars is also likely to increase. In fact, auto sales are forecast to grow through 2020, with growth peaking in 2018.

us auto industry revenue

So what can car manufacturers and dealers do to ensure they make the most of this opportune time?

Here are three solid tips, to help you accelerate towards some meaningful digital connections with potential auto-shoppers:

Look to the younger audience for hybrid, electric or diesel vehicles

If you’re a green car manufacturer, make sure you’re appealing to the millennials. “The Harris Poll” from Harris Interactive revealed that 57% of US millennials (18-37) would consider a traditional hybrid for their next lease or purchase. Compare that with just 43% of Baby Boomers willing to do the same.

There is one drawback – the higher price points is seen as a deterrent. Research from J.D. Power revealed that almost one in four buyers of gas-powered vehicles avoided the hybrid model due to cost.


Take action:

  • Customize your creative to appeal to the younger generation, focusing on advances in technology and positive environmental impact.
  • Add bid modifiers to your search campaigns based on age group, bidding up for the age ranges most likely to purchase a green vehicle.
  • Alleviate cost concerns through your creative.
    • Use ad copy to highlight discounts and offers – six in 10 car shoppers are influenced by promotions according to a RadiumOne study.
    • On your landing pages, share additional financial incentives they may receive such as government subsidies or lifetime fuel savings.


Use the fact that brand loyalty is scarce to your advantage

According to a Facebook study, only two in five shoppers have an early brand preference – in fact very few shoppers are exposed to digital ads early in the purchase process. This means there is a ripe opportunity to build brand and model awareness.

Microsoft’s internal data shows that consumers considered an average of 9.8 makes and 11.4 models prior to making their purchase decision.

PPC can be vital in this process since most shoppers will conduct their research online before visiting a dealership, according to Accenture.


Take action:

  • Bing’s Remarketing in paid search or Google’s RLSA ads are your friends here.

    • Bid on competitive terms
    • Consider bidding even on luxury vehicles to account for aspirational searches

Use ad copy that’s proven to work

Digital ads are the most influential type of ad during the car-shopping process – more so than TV or print according to a study of U.S. car shoppers by G/O Digital. Yet the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that only 36% of auto marketers in the U.S. use paid search advertising.


With a quarter of car buyers reporting via a study by Nationwide that they find shopping for a car to be as stressful as preparing taxes or buying a home, effective ad copy can make a big difference.

When we think of ad copy, don’t limit yourself just to words. Car-buying is a visual process, with four in 10 searches being for images of cars. Microsoft’s internal data shows that 45% of consumers viewed more than 36.7 car images on a search engine.


Mobile devices mustn’t be ignored either. According to research by SessionM, seven in 10 smartphone users use their mobile device when shopping for a vehicle.

Here’s how the usage breaks down:


Take action:

  • Add image extensions to your ad to grab searcher attention and showcase latest or most popular models.
  • Take advantage of new ad formats such as Google’s auto-specific ads or Bing Ads’ new video extensions for mobile devices (currently in beta).
  • Use words that work. Here are the top five ad combinations across devices:


  • Don’t forget the Sitelink extensions. These are a fantastic and underused opportunity to simplify the car buying process. Microsoft data shows that Sitelink extensions can result in a 13% improvement in Click through Rate (CTR), with Enhanced Sitelinks having a 22% average higher CTR.

These data-driven tips PPC tips for the auto industry compiled by data scientists from Bing Ads are sure to help you on your road to an extra-profitable 2016. Digital media, especially search, is the perfect place to insert your brand right at the start of the car-buyer research phase.

By the smart use of visual cues, demographic targeting and by paying attention to what ad copy resonates best, you’ll be well on the way to an empty car lot by the end of the year!

Feeling inspired? Share your favorite tips and ideas in the comments below.

Purna Virji is Senior Bing Ads Client Development and Training Manager at Microsoft and a contributor to Search Engine Watch.

Related reading

simpsons headline
Untitled-1 (1)

How to use site search to improve conversion

Ian Scarr, the Regional Vice President for EMEA of SLI Systems delivered a very interesting talk at Internet Retailing Expo about site search on ecommerce sites and how it can increase a conversion with a series of steps.

Here’s a round-up of the talk, along with Ian’s tips on the importance of site search for every website.

Targeting the “spearfishers”

Ian Scarr started his presentation reminding us that “good site search should be for everybody” as every site should focus on helping its customers find exactly what they are looking for.

According to a report by Forrester Research, retailers should focus on “spearfishers,” meaning shoppers who visit a site looking for a specific product. This can be achieved by providing a useful site search.

Forrester Research also found that 43% of visitors navigate immediately to the search box, while searchers are 2-3x more likely to convert compared to non-searchers.

Reduce the path to purchase

Site search - how to improve conversion

Users need to have easy access to the products they are searching for and the number of clicks required to complete a purchase affects the conversion rate.

A rich auto-complete search engine can speed up the journey to a particular product and this helps customers complete the purchasing process.

What’s more, it may be useful to add recommendations for popular products and also redirects to specific pages on the site, which helps shoppers find exactly what they are looking for as fast as possible. For example, when the search displays only one result, you can redirect to the particular page directly and help facilitate the customer’s journey.

Site search - how to improve conversion

Understand your visitors

The search function should provide contextually relevant results, as any irrelevant result could affect the conversion rate.

It is important to understand what your customers are looking for and use the learning of their preferences to put the best performers first. Dynamic refinements allow you to let your customers decide what to merchandise, which leads to an increased number of conversions.

Site search - how to improve conversion

Optimise search

As the search gets more optimised, the likelihood of a purchase gets higher.

For example, there is no need to let a misspelling keep the user away from the right search results. By providing the properly spelled results the bounce rate is reduced, which increases the chances the users end up buying the particular product.
Site search - how to improve conversion

What’s more, you can also identify the key terms that are not converting for you, in order to promote or demote the products by pushing them either at the top, or the bottom of the results.

Site search - how to improve conversion

Build landing pages

Dedicated landing pages for PPC campaigns, or email marketing campaigns may help the conversion, as it increases the relevance and the user experience when searching for a specific product.

Site search - how to improve conversion

The analysis of the popular search terms may indicate the searches that require their own tailored pages, whether it’s about specific brands, or even specific products.

Provide an alternative

No matter whether users find what they are looking for or not, the search results can be enhanced with relevant recommendations.

For example, Amazon’s recommendations take 75% of the page and they seem to benefit the conversion rate, as they are all extremely relevant to the users’ searches.

It has been observed that recommendations lead to a 10-25% increase in site revenue, while there is also a 11% decrease in bounce rate.

Site search - how to improve conversion

Don’t forget mobile

As mobile usage gets more popular, it is more important than ever for every site to provide the same searching experience, both in desktop and mobile.

Less typing (and browsing) leads to an improved mobile experience, with speed and ease being critical for “spearfisher” shoppers.

Except for the tips mentioned above, mobile search should also be fit for the smaller screen, ensuring that users do not abandon the process early.

Site search - how to improve conversion

For lots more valuable insight on the changing face of digital marketing and ecommerce, attend our two-day Shift London event in May.

Related reading

Shift London

Why are SEOs slow to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages?

A simple blue and white graphic of a speedometer.

It’s been just over two months since Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), its super-fast brand of mobile webpages running on an amped-up version of HTML.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are designed to speed up the experience of browsing the mobile web, providing page load times which are anywhere from 15 to 85% faster than regular mobile pages. We know that site speed has been a signal in Google’s search ranking algorithms since 2010, and that Google has repeatedly given ranking preference to sites which are optimised for mobile.

Given these two facts, together with the fact that AMP is Google’s own initiative, and it isn’t much of a stretch to conclude that AMP websites are likely rank much better in search than sites with ordinary mobile webpages.

Yet the first survey conducted since the advent of AMP has found that uptake of AMP among professional SEOs is still relatively low. The survey, carried out by SEO PowerSuite, looked at awareness and uptake of AMP among a pool of 385 SEO professionals in North America and Europe.

Of the respondents surveyed, less than a quarter (23%) had taken concrete steps to implement AMP on their mobile sites since the feature’s launch.

Overall awareness of Accelerated Mobile Pages among respondents was high: 75% of the SEO professionals surveyed were aware of AMP. But of these, 21% said they were only aware of the existence of AMP “in passing”, meaning that altogether, nearly half of SEOs (46%) were either unaware of AMP or had only a passing awareness of the feature.

A column graph showing awareness of AMP among SEOs surveyed, with 21% of SEOs aware of AMP "in passing", 35% "have done SOME research" into AMP, 18% "have done A LOT of research" into AMP, while 25% are "not aware" of AMP.

Of those SEOs who hadn’t yet begun to implement AMP on their mobile sites, a high proportion (42%) intended to do more research before making definitive plans. 29% said they had plans to implement AMP in the next six months, and only 5% of respondents said they had no intention of supporting AMP on their mobile sites whatsoever.

The evidence suggests that AMP is fertile ground for getting ahead in search, and a full 80% of survey respondents believed that AMP would have a significant (49%) or moderate (31%) effect on search rankings. So why have SEOs mostly held back from implementing AMP on their mobile sites so far?

A column graph showing the implementation plans for AMP among SEOs. 23% of SEOs are "currently implementing" AMP, 29% are planning to implement AMP in the next 6 months, 42% are "researching" AMP and 5% "have no plans to support" AMP.

Creating an AMP version of your mobile site sounds like a concrete and straightforward way to get ahead in search results, but in practical terms it’s easier said than done. As Damon Kiesow, Head of Product at publishing company McClatchy, told Neiman Lab:

“Everything we know about building a webpage we have to relearn. But we’re relearning it from the premise of converting a current product over, not creating a product from scratch. It’s a fairly complex process!”

Because AMP strips out a lot of the dynamic elements that slow down page loading time, embracing AMP might also mean that SEOs and search marketers have to do away with features that they depend on for business, such as comment systems, lead capture forms and other types of pop-up.

There’s also the very obvious fact that Google’s roll-out of AMP isn’t all that widespread yet. Accelerated Mobile Pages still don’t show up in search results outside of, meaning that many of the non-US respondents to SEO Powersuite’s survey may be deliberately holding fire until AMP will make a difference to search results in their country.

A screenshot of mobile results for "EU referendum", showing AMP-ified BBC News stories in the "top stories" carousel at the top of search results.Accelerated Mobile Pages still have yet to make an appearance in search results outside of

And of course, there is the occasionally-forgotten fact that the world of search consists of more than just Google. In a situation where implementing AMP would take a lot of time and resources, SEOs may be hesitant to go all-in on a feature that will only affect the standing of their mobile site on Google, especially if they market to a country which favours another major search engine, such as China or Russia.

Ultimately, SEOs have to weigh up the potential benefits of getting in on AMP ahead of their competitors and possibly securing a better spot on the Google SERP versus the drawbacks and costs of implementing the new protocol. SEO Powersuite noted in their published results of the survey that, “the delay in quick adoption [of AMP] offers an opportunity for agile marketers to get ahead of their competition in mobile search by implementing AMP immediately.”

They pointed out that getting in early with AMP has the potential to be beneficial for a long time thereafter, because “As any SEO professional working to overtake competitors knows, Google’s institutional memory is long. It can be difficult to get the search behemoth to “forget” (i.e. to stop ranking) brands it has mentally defined as industry leaders and therefore deserving of higher ranking because of AMP support.”

Therefore, investing resources in AMP at this stage could allow SEOs and search marketers to reap the rewards further down the line. It’s still early days, and with relatively few SEOs apparently having staked their claim with AMP so far, the field is wide open for others to make a move if they judge it to be worthwhile.

For lots more valuable insight on the changing face of digital marketing, attend our two-day Shift London event in May.

Related reading

Shift London

6 Podcasts That Will Make You a Better Social Media Marketer

If I’m wearing headphones, there’s about an 80 percent chance I’m listening to a podcast (and a 20 percent chance I’m listening to nothing and just don’t want people to bug me).

Podcasts are steadily growing in popularity (thanks Serial) and yet I’m still surprised by the amount of people who turn their noses up at them, or assume they’re just another form of “boring talk radio.” There’s a reason the act of oral storytelling is as old as human language itself, after all. It’s a form of communication that can still capture our attention and keep us engaged despite the countless other forms of stimulus we face at every moment.

For social media marketers in particular, podcasts can help keep your skills sharp and your brain churning, and arm you with strategies to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Here are six podcasts we recommend to get you started.

1. The #AskGaryVee Show with Gary Vaynerchuk

The #AskGaryVee Show is both an audio and video podcast about social media, marketing, and entrepreneurship that is built around audience participation. Listeners send in questions on Twitter using the #AskGaryVee hashtag and Gary Vaynerchuk (and the occasional guest) uses them as the basis of each episode’s discussion.

Vaynerchuk got his start doing video blogs for his wine business back in 2006, so this podcast has a unique mix of insights about the future of social media and digital marketing, along with the hindsight and wisdom of someone who’s really been at the forefront of it since the beginning. Vaynerchuk’s bold personality (and the occasional f-bomb) make the show equally as entertaining as it is educational.

How it can make you a better social media marketer:

The #AskGaryVee Show regularly touches on brand building, conducting business in the digital world, entrepreneurship, marketing, and creativity—with the common thread being how social media affects (and is being affected by) these things. This is because Gary understands what all marketers should understand: social media does not exist in a bubble. This podcast will help you view social media activity in a more holistic way, as it relates to the rest of your business.

2. Social Media Social Hour with Tyler J. Anderson

This is a great podcast for marketers and entrepreneurs looking for specific tactics and resources they can start using right away in their social strategies. Tyler Anderson, a social media entrepreneur himself, talks with top brands and influencers about what’s working (and not working) on every social platform imaginable.

The episode titles clearly communicate the value you’ll be getting out of each one. For example, recent episodes include “5 Ways Your Business Can Use Facebook Live” and “4 Ways Businesses Can Use Snapchat’s On-demand Geofilters.”

How it can make you a better social media marketer:

The clear agenda and narrow focus of each episode means you’ll probably finish each one with a list of things to start doing immediately. So if you feel like your social media presence is stuck in a bit of a rut, a few episodes of Social Media Social Hour should give you a nice kick of inspiration.

3. Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner

This weekly podcast is hosted by the CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner, and aims to help your business “navigate the social jungle with success stories and expert interviews from leading social media marketing pros.”

I love that each episode starts off with a weekly “survival tip” or a recent discovery about an app, website, or feature that can help you save time and be more effective on social media. The discussion then turns to the episode’s guest and the larger topic at hand.

How it can make you a better social media marketer:

This podcast is a deep dive into the world of social media, covering everything from tactical, platform-specific lessons (i.e. Snapchat content ideas) to broader discussions about social strategy (i.e. dealing with unhappy customers). Exactly the type of well-rounded knowledge you need when integrating social media into your overall marketing strategy.

4. Social Pros Podcast with Jay Baer and Adam Brown

Recently named Best Podcast/Audio Series at the 2015 Content Marketing Awards, Social Pros has been one of the go-to podcasts for social media marketers since 2012. Hosted by Jay Baer of Convince & Convert and Adam Brown of Salesforce, Social Pros “shines the spotlight on social media practitioners, people doing the real work for real companies.”

You’ll hear insights from a social media strategist in each episode, ending with “The Big Two” where the guest gives rapid-fire responses to two big questions from Baer and Brown.

How it can make you a better social media marketer:

Hearing from real social media practitioners from various industries about the specific work they’re doing is a lot more useful than sweeping generalizations about social strategy that are hard to apply to your daily routine. Social Pros will give you plenty of ideas you can put into action.

5. Reply All by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman

There’s really no better way to describe Reply All than the show’s tagline itself: “a show about the internet.” This opens the door for a wide and consistently entertaining range of topics since, well, everything happens on the internet.

Reply All does a great job of covering both the random phenomenons of internet culture that everyone talks about, and the more serious global implications that the internet brings with it. Recent episode topics have ranged from reporters eavesdropping on ISIS operatives communicating online, to hunting down the creators of some of the weirdest and most unsettling GIFs on the internet.

How it can make you a better social media marketer:

Understanding what’s going on with the internet on both a micro and macro level can pay off huge when creating digital marketing strategies. You’ll have a better idea of what makes the internet tick, which is especially important when dealing with the ever-changing world of social media.

6. This American Life with Ira Glass

This American Life is a hugely popular weekly radio show from WBEZ that airs on numerous public radio stations. It’s also offered as a podcast, and recently got its own station on Pandora.

Each episode centers around a theme, supported by four “acts” filled with different kinds of stories related to that theme. The stories vary in format, from essays and field recordings to memoirs and interviews. And they also range in emotion. A heartbreaking story will often be followed up with one that makes you laugh out loud on a crowded train.

How it can make you a better social media marketer:

While it’s not directly related to marketing, every episode of This American Life offers a lesson in something integral to successful marketing: storytelling. Learning how to weave a compelling narrative through your marketing initiatives and then using social media to tell parts of that story will help your messages stand out in the crowd. For more insights about storytelling from the minds behind This American Life (and other amazing podcasts), I highly recommend the book “Out on the Wire: Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio” by Jessica Abel.

Have a favorite podcast that wasn’t included in this list? Whether it’s about social media, marketing, tech, or something completely unrelated—we’d love to hear about it. Tag @hootsuite on Twitter and let us know!

Why fighting mobile click fraud is a waste of time

Fraud prevention is heating up in mobile. But trying to fight fraudulent clicks from mobile apps is a losing battle. Instead, try these three tips.

Every week, a new industry expert or solution enters the fray to solve the billion-dollar fraud market. That’s great. Collectively, we can only combat fraud if as many parts of the mobile marketing stack embrace the techniques and implementations available.

All the same, advertisers frequently want detection and reporting on fraudulent clicks.

We refuse.

Fighting clicks from mobile apps is not only foolish, but an utter waste of focus. Permanently out-fooling such fraud prevention filters is a trivial task for the average fraudster. At best, fraud detection for cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns would be a stopgap and an ersatz pacifier for concerned marketers. At worst, it’s counterproductive snake oil.

Here’s why.

The types of fraud occurring on websites only partially matches the types of fraud in apps. They work roughly the same: some software simulates the click and the conversion or install. However, on the web, this happens in a consistent environment where ad delivery is easily monitored inside the browser.

In fact, the whole journey from impression to conversion on the target website can be seen transparently and tracked with JavaScript and cookies. This allows you to check if a website is producing background clicks for cookie dropping. On the web, we have an array of tools for interacting deeper in the value chain.

In the app world, none of this works.

Cookies and JavaScript are extremely limited, if at all available. There are no insights into ad clicks beyond the pure HTTP requests and the data attached to them. Individual networks can perform spot checks, but the type of coverage required by effective fraud prevention cannot be achieved.

The reason HTTP requests and the data attached to them are completely unreliable is because they can easily be modified by fraudsters. A fraudster can make the HTTP request look like it comes from an iPhone when it’s actually from a connected toaster, or vice versa.


The only reason why fraudsters would hijack real devices on real networks is because they can’t fake the IP address. Server-to-server clicks even skirt that need.

Therefore, a background click from a device running a malicious app looks exactly the same as a legit click. Ever wonder why there are so many battery saver and flashlight apps?

An individual click will show up from a legit IP with real headers from actual devices, often with a legit device ID of a real user, making it even possible for one device to “click” for hundreds of other real devices. Individually, this click cannot be filtered out.

Clicks should still be placed under scrutiny in aggregate in order to prevent poaching of organic conversions via click spam. This approach, called “distribution modeling,” is a very promising approach to fix attribution rules and post-install datasets, but is not useful to detect and prevent false clicks and charges on CPC campaigns.

So what does that mean for your CPC campaigns?

Here are three pieces of advice, beyond the general recommendation not to run CPC on mobile:

1. Don’t keep CPC campaigns running forever


Turn off CPC campaigns as soon as they convert significantly lower than average, at sub-percentile click to install rates. Hundreds of people don’t decide to click your ad only to turn away at the sight of your app store page.

It’s much more likely that someone is faking a large amount of clicks, and those few conversions you are seeing are actually organic conversions that are being falsely claimed by the ad network.

2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

A very typical symptom of organic conversions being poached is that while the CPC certainly is expensive, the retention and downstream conversion rates look good.

This is again because the retention is being generated by organic users, that typically retain better than many paid users.

3. Place very high demands on the quality of incoming traffic

Write your quality demands into your IO precisely what platforms and countries you are targeting, if you are filtering anything like anonymous IPs, or any other measures you’re taking. Explicitly stating it in your IO places you in a much stronger position, should you ever need to return to your partners with bad news.

The oft-repeated adage is that mobile is very different from the desktop web. The techniques, methods and campaigns we can run on the desktop web don’t translate well to mobile. As a space, we have to progress from those ideas.

Paul Muller is the CTO and co-founder of adjust.

Related reading

google mobile

10 Blue Links – April 29, 2016

The 9 Most Common Local SEO Myths, Dispelled
Moz – April 19th, 2016

Don’t believe everything you hear about Local SEO. This post sets the record straight on how your business should be listed with Google, and what actually affects your rankings.

It’s All A/Bout Testing: The Netflix Experimentation Platform
Netflix Tech Blog – Friday, April 29, 2016

Netflix explains how and why they rely so heavily on A/B testing for product innovation and design.

Measuring Content: You’re Doing it Wrong
Moz – April 27th, 2016

There are more important performance metrics than traffic…

3 Ways to Hustle Without Killing Yourself (And Your Family)
Calvin Koepke – April 27th, 2016

Advice on how to hustle smarter, not harder.

The Local SEO Agency’s Complete Guide to Client Discovery and Onboarding
Moz – April 28th, 2016

“What you don’t know will hurt you. And your clients.”

Google Analytics Shortcuts and Tips to Save Time
Luna Metrics – April 27th, 2016

Keyboard shortcuts, segments, regular expressions, and other ways to maximize your GA efficiency.

World Bank’s new Open Data site
World Bank

This new site is still in beta, but it gives you access to a massive amount of World Bank data – very useful for creating your own content and mashups.

The Psychology of Ecommerce: Why Your Loyalty Program May Not Build Loyalty
Hubspot – April 28th, 2016

Find out what actually makes your customers feel appreciated. It may be as simple as a “thank you”!

10 Must-Know Facebook Ads Tips & Features
Kiss Metrics

Facebook made up an estimated 65.5% of all social ad spend last year. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your budget in this popular channel.

Google Filed Patent For Injecting A Device Directly Into Your Eyeball To Improve Vision
Forbes – April 28th, 2016

Nothing to do with SEO – we just though it was cool (and a little creepy)!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup

It was a big month for Facebook. With their F8 conference on April 12 and 13, the social platform had tons of big announcements to share.

While Facebook talked Messenger, chatbots, and Live Video, Twitter introduced a new Message button on Tweets, YouTube launched 360-degree live streaming, and Pinterest rolled out a spiffy new app.

It’s a lot to keep track of.

That’s why we’ve put together a roundup of all the updates—big and small—from all the major networks. Stay on the cutting edge of social by staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest in social news.


Message button

On April 5, Twitter introduced a new Message button on Tweets. The new button makes is easy for users to share a Tweet via Direct Message. Somas Thyagaraja, Twitter product manager, explained: “We’ve seen the number of messages sent grow over 60 percent in 2015. And the number of Tweets shared privately has grown even faster, at 200 percent in just the second half of last year… So now—in just a few taps—you can share unique Twitter content from your timeline right into your private conversation.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Ads editor and ad groups

On April 18, Twitter announced ad groups, new level to the network’s campaign structure. Andrea Hoffman, product marketing manager, wrote in an announcement blog post that ad groups give “advertisers further control over how to spend their budgets and message different audiences.” She explained: “one campaign can have many ad groups, and ana ad group can have many targeting criteria and creatives.” Ad groups are available to all advertisers globally through the Ads editor tool.

Report multiple Tweets in a single report

On April 25, Twitter introduced the ability for users to attach multiple Tweets to a single report. Hao Tang, safety engineer, explained: “This update makes it easier for you to provide us with more information about the extent of abuse and reduces the time it takes to do so. That added context often helps us investigate issues and get them resolved faster.”


New ways to create, share, and discover Live Video

On April 6, Facebook announced several new features for Facebook Live video. They rolled out the ability for users to go live in Groups and Events, and they introduced Live Reactions, giving viewers the opportunity to react to a live broadcast in real time. Fidji SImo, product management director, explained: “Viewers can select Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry, and the reactions animate right on top of the video.”

They also added the option to send an invitation to a friend to watch a live broadcast directly from the broadcast itself. They rolled out a dedicated place on Facebook’s mobile app where users can discover live video. And they also released a Facebook Live Map on desktop to show users where people are broadcasting from at the moment.

Branded content tag

On April 8, Facebook announced updates to their Branded Content Policy. The updates “enable verified Pages to share branded content on Facebook.” Facebook has also released a new tool to simplify the process for publishers and influencers publishing branded content, making it easy for them to tag a marketer. The marketer will be notified and given access to post-level insights. They’ll also be given the option to share and boost the post. Clare Rubin, product manager, and Nick Grudin, VP of partnerships, explained in a blog post: “Publishers and influencers must use this tag for all branded content shared on Facebook… For brands and businesses, the new tool will introduce more transparency and allow them to better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing across Facebook.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Chat bots

On April 12 at their F8 conference, Facebook launched Messenger Platform. The beta includes bots and a Send/Receive API. Chatbots on the Messenger Platform “can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.”

The Messenger Send/Receive API will support sending and receiving text, images, and interactive rich bubbles containing multiple calls-to-action. Facebook also announced discovery tools, such as website plugins, usernames, and Messenger Codes. Find out why Messenger bots may just be your new best friends on Facebook.

Instant Articles available

As of April 12—day one of the F8 conference—Facebook opened up Instant Articles to all publishers. Instant Articles, which provide an improved article-viewing experience to Facebook mobile users, were first tested in 2015. Facebook announced they’d be opening them up in February 2016. Find out why we’ve decided to try Instant Articles out.

Profile Expression Kit

The first day of the F8 conference also saw the debut of Facebook’s Profile Expression Kit. Aigerim Shorman explained the feature in Facebook Developer News: “The Facebook Profile Expression Kit lets people share videos they make in third-party apps directly into the Facebook profile video flow.” The software development kit (SDK) is currently available to a select group of beta partners for the iOS versions of their apps: MSQRD, Boomerang for Instagram, lollicam, BeautyPlus, Cinemagraph Pro from Flixel, and Vine. Shorman explained: “Consumers can now use these apps to create fun and personality-infused profile videos with just a few taps.”

New ways to share (and measure engagement)

Facebook also introduced new sharing tools on April 12. One of the new tools is quote sharing, which gives sites the ability to “build an experience that lets people share specific quotes from an article, book, etc. or that lets people highlight and share any text that resonates with them.”

Another is hashtag sharing, which “lets you include a suggested, removable hashtag in the composer when people share from an app.” The new tools also include the option to have the share dialogue open in an iframe so the user doesn’t have to leave the content. Facebook has also expanded the Save button to external sites, improved design for embedded posts, and introduced a Sharing for Devices API. New measurement tools include sharing insights, which “gives web publishers anonymous information about the number of people discussing a particular link on Facebook, the most popular quotes being shared from it, and other trend info.” They’ve also updated the Share Debugger.

U.S. Nielsen-designated market areas

On April 20, Facebook announced that advertisers are now able to use U.S. Nielsen-designated market areas (DMAs) through TRP Buying for Facebook and Instagram adverts. TRP Buying was originally introduced in September 2015. This will allow advertisers to “match the target market that they’re reaching on Facebook to the ones that they’re buying on television.”

Also, advertisers can now purchase day parts (parts of the day when advertisers want their adverts to be shown). The post explained: “Day parts are available in four-hour blocks (or greater) and help advertisers reach people at the time when their message will resonate most.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Group calling in Messenger

On April 20, Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus, announced the global rollout of group calling Messenger. Marcus explained: “From any group conversations, just tap on the phone icon to initiate a group call. You can then manage individual participants on the next screen.” This update is available in the latest version of Messenger.

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Algorithm tweak for articles

On April 21, Facebook revealed a change to the News Feed algorithm that takes viewing time into consideration. Moshe Blank, software engineer, and Jie Xu, research scientist, explained in a blog post: “We’re learning that the time people choose to spend reading or watching content they clicked on from News Feed is an important signal that the story was interesting to them. We are adding another factor to News Feed ranking so that we will now predict how long you spend looking at an article in the Facebook mobile browser or an Instant Article after you have clicked through from News Feed.”
They note that they’ll be treating time spent reading within a threshold “so as not to accidentally treat longer articles preferentially.” They’ve also made an update to “reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.”

Windows 10 Apps

On April 28, Facebook rolled out Windows 10 Apps for Facebook and Messenger on desktop. One click away from the Start Menu, it loads News Feed “much faster than previous Facebook desktop applications” and features desktop notifications. Users can choose to pin a Facebook Live Tile, “which shows you the latest updates from your friends, family, and Pages you follow.” The app includes the latest Facebook features, such as Reactions, comment stickers, and more. The Messenger for Windows 10 app has stickers, group conversations, and GIFs. The Messenger app also includes native desktop notifications and “you can see when you have messages waiting for you with a Live Tile.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Interactive video ads

In April, AdWeek reported that Facebook is introducing interactive video campaigns. AdWeek reported: “Online rollover ads that let consumers move their mouse over a video promo to access more information about a brand have been a boon for publishers looking to make their videos a bit more interactive for customers. Now, those video formats are coming to Facebook and Instagram.” A brand that tested the feature in December used it to add a button to the corner of a video. When users scrolled over it, they were given the option to take a quiz, buy products, and sign up for emails.


Video playback on Android

On April 5, Instagram revealed changes to video playback on Android. Previously, the app had to download the whole video file to the phone storage before it could be played by the Android built-in MediaPlayer. Now that the maximum video length has been increased to 60 seconds, that system would no longer result in a smooth user experience, so Instagram changed it. They created a new streaming video cache. The changes mean that videos begin to play sooner and that they’re not dependant on disk space.

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog
Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Video channels in Explore

On April 14, Instagram began rolling out a new look for Explore featuring video channels. The changes include a personalized channel called “Videos You Might Like,” which “collects videos from across Instagram’s global community into a seamless viewing experience.” There will also be “Featured” channels “filled with videos on specific topics.” The changes to Explore are available in the U.S. Instagram added that they’re “working to bring this to the rest of the world soon.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Windows 10 Mobile

On April 28, Instagram rolled out Instagram for Windows 10 Mobile. The new app has “all of the community’s favorite features—including Instagram Direct, Explore, and video.” It’s also compatible with Live Tiles, “showing you updates right on your home screen.” The app is now available in the Windows Phone Store.

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog


Promoted Pins available in the U.K.

On April 5, Pinterest announced that it’s expanding Promoted Pins internationally—starting with the U.K. Pinterest is launching with partners: John Lewis, B&Q, Bloom & Wild, Nestle, Tesco, and MADE.COM. Adele Cooper shared in the announcement blog post: “The U.K. is a major market for Pinterest and is home to some of our most avid Pinners… We look forward to seeing the Promoted Pins that U.K.-based businesses create to help and inspire millions of Pinners. In the second half of 2016, we plan to open Promoted Pins up to more English-speaking markets.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Faster app

On April 19, Pinterest released a new version of its app. They introduced a new modern look, made the app readable in 31 languages, and updated speed. Adam Barton explained in the announcement blog post: “When you open the app, your home feed now loads up to three times faster.” The updates are being rolled out on iPhones and iPad first and “Android and web are next on our list… so keep your eye out for updates in the coming months.”

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog


Support for 360 degree live streams

On April 18, YouTube rolled out support for 360-degree live streaming. Neal Mohan, chief product officer, explained: “What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone… What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.” YouTube also launched spatial audio for on-demand YouTube videos. Mohan explained: “Just as watching a concert in 360 degrees can give you an unmatched immersive experience, spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance, and intensity all play a role.” Android users can test out the feature with this playlist.

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Redesigned Home feed

On April 26, YouTube introduced a redesigned Home for its app. The announcement blog post explained that Home would have “a clean and simple format that invites you to discover and enjoy.” In addition to the fresh new look, YouTube has new personalized recommendations “to make it easier to discover videos you’ll be excited to watch.” The app’s new recommendation system is based on deep neural network technology, “which means it can find patterns automatically and keep learning and improving as it goes.” The new system will suggest more recent videos as well as ones from creators that users like. The updated is available on both iPhone and Android.
Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog


Students App

On April 18, LinkedIn unveiled a new Students app. The app is “specifically tailored for soon-to-be college graduates.” The app was designed to help students discover: jobs that fit their major, companies that tend to hire from their school, and career paths of recent alumni with similar degrees. It’s available for iOS and Android in the U.S.

Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog


Social video launch

On April 20, Hootsuite launched a new integration with YouTube and support for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram video. Now Hootsuite users can approve, schedule, and publish native video to these four major social video platforms from one platform. Users can read, approve, delete, and ban YouTube comments. Additionally, they can access Facebook video analytics within the Hootsuite dashboard.


Video stickers

In an April update to the app, Snapchat added video stickers. The emoji stickers can be attached to a moving object in a video. They then move and scale in proportion to that object. Emoji stickers are available on Android and are coming soon to iOS.
Social Media News You Need to Know: April 2016 Roundup | Hootsuite Blog

Keep up with all the latest social news by using Hootsuite to keep track of all the accounts you follow. Sign up for free today!

Sign Up for Free

Free Trial Sign-Ups Are Back!

It’s with the utmost enthusiasm that we announce the return of instant free trial sign-ups for SERPs!

We’ve been making some exciting improvements to our infrastructure and internal systems. In the long term, this means a faster and more reliable platform for you, but in the short term it also meant that we were temporarily unable to automatically process free trial signups (instead, you had to submit a request to have an account manually created for you) – which was a bummer, and we’re really sorry about that.

But now they’re back! From outer space!
(…or just from being reconfigured by our awesome engineers… basically outer space.)

After a couple agonizing weeks, you can now sign up for a free trial again HERE, and be set up in minutes. It’s never been easier to start tracking keyword rankings with SERPs!

Thanks so much to everyone for their patience. Stay tuned for exciting updates and feature releases – coming soon on our new and improved infrastructure!

Forever Yours,
Team SERPs

PS – Chris got a puppy. It’s unreasonably adorable. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for pictures – and if you’re ever near Greenlake you should just stop by our office and pet it. It loves pets.

PPS – To be fair, “it” is actually a “he”, and his name is Charlie. I just felt like if I’d said “he/him” it might accidentally sound like an invitation to come pet Chris… and I haven’t cleared that with him.