CSIS Fell Victim to a Rogue Tweet. Here’s How to Avoid the Same Mistake

Earlier this week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) became the latest in a long line of organizations to fall victim to an accidental mistweet from an official account. An intern with access to their official accounts sent a message that was actually intended for his personal Twitter profile. Unfortunately for CSIS, that message was directed at humanitarian group Amnesty International and contained the words “suck it.” Ouch.

CSIS Tweet

CSIS issued a statement apologizing for the Tweet, but the damage had been done. This type of error, which has also befallen the likes of the American Red Cross and Chrysler, should act as a cautionary tale for organizations. A mistweet like this could have been easily avoided if the proper steps had been taken to protect these official accounts.

Here are some simple steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to your organization:

Don’t just hand over the keys to your interns

This is an oft-repeated tip that still somehow goes ignored by far too many organizations. Social media is not a task you can pass off to your intern. Just ask HMV.

Social media accounts should be centralized, consolidated into a single social media management system under the control of a senior employee. These tools bring all social channels–Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn–into one interface for easy monitoring and oversight.

This isn’t to say all employees, including interns, shouldn’t be allowed to contribute to official social media efforts. But further steps need to be taken to ensure that there is oversight from higher up the ladder.

Ensure employees are trained know social media etiquette

CSIS told the Washington Post that the intern was given access to accounts for monitoring purposes. Regardless of why the employee has access, he should have been trained on how to use the social networks and on social media etiquette. Doing so would not only have caused him to check and recheck his message before sending, it would likely have caused him to think twice about the message in general.

In an era where everyone is on social media, people are often perceived to represent the organizations they work for even on personal, public profiles. Had this intern successfully sent the “suck it” Tweet to his personal account, it still would have been in very bad form and have gone counter to social media etiquette. A quick Google search of his name by Amnesty International would likely have brought to light his ties with CSIS regardless, and his comments would still have been in very poor taste.

All this to say, train your employees to be smart about social media from personal and company accounts.

Have security measures in place to prevent mistweets

Social media management tools like Hootsuite allow for junior employees to be given limited permissions to draft and send messages. These messages will go into an approval queue and only senior management can sign off and send.

You can also add an extra level of prevention against rogue Tweets with the Hootsuite security slider. This feature asks “are you sure you want to send that Tweet?” which prompts the sender to reread their message before it goes public.

Together these features would have quickly nipped this CSIS issue in the bud.

How to respond when things go wrong

To their credit, the response by CSIS to this issue was swift and appropriate. They quickly deleted the Tweet in question but acknowledged it in an apology.

More and more organizations are turning to crisis simulations in order to prepare their team in case of an error or security issue. This is a great means of ensuring that if something happens, appropriate action is taken in response.

CSIS has also made it known that they’re reviewing internal social media policies in light of the incident. Hopefully this prompts more organizations to do the same, before they learn the same type of lesson the hard way.

More Resources on Social Media Security:


Google Search App Adds Ability to Easily Switch Languages in Voice Search

Multilingual users of Google’s Android Search app can now make a one-time change to the app’s settings and easily use voice search in more than 50 languages.

In a blog post, David Eustis, an Android software engineer, says Google will automatically detect the language, but, for now, users will have to stick to one language per sentence.

Users were previously required to change the app’s settings each time they wanted to switch languages. Now, however, app users can select up to five languages, which Eustis says is “enough to satisfy all but the most advanced polyglots,” and then it’s off to the races.

According to Eustis, the ability to receive spoken responses will depend on the language and query.

In addition, users will see more languages and features over time, he adds.

To try out the new functionality, Eustis says users should make sure they have the latest version of the Google Search App and then open the Settings from the device’s apps menu, tap Search and Now -> Voice -> Languages, and select languages.


The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start – to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Google AdWords Conversion Values Add Multiple Currency Support

As of August 21, AdWords users can easily measure the revenue driven by their ads if they accept more than one currency on their website or app.

That’s according to a post on Google+, which also says that once users add currency information to their conversion values, all of the sales they generate will be converted to the same currency used for AdWords billing.

In other words, a U.K.-based online retailer promoting products from an AdWords account billed in pounds and that accepts payments in other currencies will not have to convert the payment into pounds in order to reconcile additional currencies into a single revenue amount when a customer pays in euros or dollars. Instead, AdWords will convert the payment currency to pounds for the retailer.

“When retailers have their costs and sales in one currency, they can calculate a more meaningful return on investment,” Google says.

Google provides tips for how to add currency to conversions here.

In addition, Google says users who import goals and transactions from Google Analytics to AdWords will simply need to choose a currency for these goals and transactions and AdWords will do the currency conversion for them.

That means users managing multiple AdWords accounts with their own billing currencies and budgets in My Client Center will have to add a currency to each of the conversion actions to then see the return on investment (ROI) for each account in their local currency.

That allows users to easily compare each market’s performance in one common currency, Google adds.

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start – to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Google DMCA Removal Requests Hit High of 7.8M per Week

In its Transparency Report, Google says it was asked to remove an all-time high of 7.8 million URLs from search the week of August 11. That makes for a total of 30.1 million URLs in the past month.

The search engine says it regularly receives requests from copyright owners and the reporting organizations that represent them to remove search results that link to material that allegedly infringes copyrights.

These DMCA removal requests have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2008, for example, Google received one request every six days, per a report from TorrentFreak. Since 2012, however, Google has processed millions of links each week, as the chart in its Transparency Report showcases.


TorrentFreak attributes the growth in requests to an upward trend in which copyright holders are reporting more allegedly infringing search results in an effort to deter piracy.

“We disclose the number of requests we receive from copyright owners and governments to remove information from our services,” Google says in its Report. “We hope these steps toward greater transparency will help inform ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of content regulation online.”

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start – to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Navigating Secure Search: From Keywords to Content [BrightEdge Share 14]

Ever since Google unleashed 100 percent secure search, SEOs have scrambled to fill gaps in measurement. In this session at BrightEdge’s Share 14 event, brands like Groupon, Red Door Interactive, and Global Strategies discussed how they’ve shifted their approach in a keyword “(not provided)” world. 


Up first was Jordan Kasteler (@JordanKasteler) of Red Door Interactive. He asked, “Why did Google transition to secure search?”

But, first, he provided some background that showed the evolution of search results. He began with the Google Panda update, which aimed to improve search results with quality content. 

Then, Google released Hummingbird, leveraging context to provide better results for what people were looking for. Then, it was more about context, less about keywords. In fact, he said, you might not even see a keyword in a Title tag today, yet the page is still being served for a query.

A month later, Google moved to 100 percent secure search, building on a slow and steady loss of keyword data since 2011. There was speculation that Google was trying to push marketers to paid advertising, but Kasteler thinks the real reason is to get SEOs to start thinking about the needs of the user and the intent behind the search.

How have SEOs adjusted to losing keywords? They are now looking to persona development to better understand the audience, he said. They’re also looking to site search data. Finally, they’re looking at landing pages a lot more closely, and the organic traffic coming to those pages through various lenses like device, interests, geography, and more.

During keyword research, instead of just a long list of individual keywords, they’re putting keywords into intent-based buckets, like transactional or informational. Kasteler said they’ve found about 80 percent of keywords out there have informational intent.  

“Commercial investigation” makes up about 10 percent of keyword search volume – these are close to the purchase stage. Then transactional keywords are about 10 percent of search volume.

Keyword-based optimization is now intent-based optimization, Kasteler said. That means advertisers should identify needs, create content focused around those topics, and help answer questions of the target audience.

He then listed a few tools for keyword research, including:

  • Google Webmaster Tools. The data is only in 90-day segments, so download and archive, Kasteler said.
  • Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • The BrightEdge Data Cube. You can plug in any URL and see what the competitors are ranking for, he said.
  • Site Search. If you set this feature up in Google Analytics, it will help you understand what people are looking for on the site itself.
  • AdWords’ paid and organic report.

Ken Shults (@KenShults) of Global Strategies was next. He said his firm is seeing about 90 percent of keyword “(not provided)” at this time, calling it “mildly irritating.” Moving onto the subject of keyword research, Shults said AdWords Keyword Planner is the primary source of keyword research at Global Strategies.

When performing keyword research today, his firm also buckets the keywords and then maps the content strategy to it. Keyword-level data and performance are gone, so Global Strategies has been using Google AdWords’ paid and organic reports as well to get more insight.

And while Secure Search may have put a damper on one area of SEO, all is not lost, he said. We still have Google Trends, we still have page-level data, we still have ranking data, and more. The only thing we’ve lost permanently, Shults said, is the connection from keyword to conversions. It’s bad, but not catastrophic, he added. 


His advice: define the content the stakeholder cares about. See which pages are earning their rankings, and look at the trending view of pages month over month. 

Up next was Gene McKenna from Groupon. McKenna explored a slightly different angle on understanding how audiences come to a site, and what to look for. 

He talked about the loss of referrer data, where you might not know if a person came from Google. He said this loss of referrer data affects organic links, including Facebook. It can often happen if a browser is out of date, like Internet Explorer, for example.

That’s why Groupon started looking at referrals they thought might be lumped with direct traffic reports in the absence of true data. The company wanted to find out what percent of traffic that was showing direct was actually from SEO efforts.

What they did next is almost unheard of. They de-indexed the Groupon site and McKenna warned: Don’t try this at home. And even though it feels very risky, Moz conducted similar experiments and found you can get your site back and running fairly quickly, however. 

What Groupon found was a correlation. “Direct” traffic dropped on long URLs (like http://www.groupon.com/local/san-francisco/restaurants) when the SEO was essentially shut off. 

The takeaways? McKenna outlined the following:

  • The referrer is a weak link in the SEO reporting chain
  • Watch direct and organic referral, especially when SEO suddenly changes
  • Look at traffic changes by browser type
  • Referrer won’t die, because Google does want you to know how much traffic they are sending you
  • If you want others to know how much traffic you send, implement meta referrer

[Note: In addition, you can check out Groupon’s article on building a custom tracking and analytics platform]

An additional way Groupon is measuring SEO is by looking at deep linking into mobile apps. SEO deep links, McKenna said, can be tracked like paid channels with URL parameters.

Groupon is also looking at attribution. When multiple channels contribute to a conversion, who gets credit? There’s no right answer. Remember, “look-back” periods should match the consumer’s decision-making time, he said.

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start – to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

How To Get Facebook Likes Without Like-Gating

On November 5, 2014, Facebook will be removing the ability to like-gate content, the practice of forcing people to like your page before they can see your content. With the ban soon taking effect, many businesses will need to re-think their Facebook strategy and their approach on how to get Facebook likes. This is a great opportunity to focus on gaining quality likes and bringing the right type of fans to your page.

By eliminating like-gating, Facebook is helping remove barriers between users and the content they want to see. Your fans will have a better experience with your page without these extra hoops to jump through, and your Facebook experience will also improve by attracting a more targeted audience to your Facebook page.

Why is Facebook ending like-gating?

Facebook is removing like-gating is to improve the experience of their users. They want people to like a page because they actually like the page and not because they were forced to do so in order to access content or receive an incentive.

Facebook wrote on their developer blog:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check-in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

How to get Facebook likes beyond like-gating

Here are some alternatives on how to get Facebook likes without like-gating.

1. Use Facebook ads

Businesses can pay Facebook to show custom ads to a specific audience, with costs varying based on the number of clicks and the reach the ad receives. The use of Facebook ads allows you to hone in on your audience and target your Facebook ads to a custom audience, you can also set “Facebook page likes” as your objective. In return you’ll get higher quality likes to your page.

how to get Facebook likes with Facebook ads

2. Share relevant content

We’ve all heard it before for a reason—you can get Facebook likes and engagement if you share relevant content that addresses the wants and needs of your target audience. Your true fans don’t need an incentive to like your page, because they’re genuinely interested in what you’re sharing. You earn these fans by creating content that matters to them, or curating content that provides value to them. It’s also important to share the right type of post. Darren Barefoot recently shared what kind of posts received the most engagement on his Facebook page to give insight on what kind of posts get the most engagement. If you can increase engagement on your content, the Facebook likes will follow.

how to get facebook likes with the right facebook posts

3. Incorporate Facebook into your marketing campaigns

Social media should be part of your integrated marketing campaigns. If you’re launching a new product where your target audience is between the age of 18-35, promote it on Facebook. If you’re opening a new restaurant and you’re using PR to drive awareness of your opening, be sure to include a link to your Facebook page in press releases. Even though it’s indirect, integrated marketing campaigns can cause a bump in your Facebook likes simply by increasing the exposure of your page.

4. Cross-network promotion

If you have a website, you should have a Facebook social plugin that encourages people to like your Facebook page. If you have a large following on Twitter, you should encourage your followers to like your Facebook page as well. If you have a Pinterest account, you should have your Facebook page connected to it. You see what I’m getting at. Your other social networks and online platforms can help you grow your Facebook fan following.

How to get Facebook likes with social share buttons

5. Email newsletter

The people who sign up to receive your email newsletters are likely interested in receiving your content in other forms. Use your email list to drive Facebook likes. Providing them with an easy way to share your content with their Facebook friends should also widen the reach of your Facebook page.

Hootsuite Pro can help you get more Facebook likes.

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What’s a Duck Worth: The Value of Earned Social Through Brand Mascots

Duck, duck…social buzz? The Aflac Duck, Tony the Tiger, the Pillsbury Doughboy….the list of brand mascots is endless. Marketing strategies may have changed dramatically over the years, but brands are still turning to tried and true devices like catchy slogans and adorable mascots for one main reason—they work. But can these cuddly mascots transition into the new world of social media marketing? Aflac certainly thinks so—the Aflac Duck has its own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which are all featured front and center on the company’s website. The strategy appears to be working for the insurance brand. As we found out using uberVU, Hootsuite’s deep listening and analytics tool, the Aflac Duck is definitely making waves in social.

Each week, to prove the value of social data, our analytics team team pits two industry leaders head-to-head in a Social Media Face Off to compare the brands on social metrics such as mentions, sentiment and more to see what brand comes out on top. Recently, Aflac went up against MetLife and when it came to mentions of Aflac, one theme reigned supreme: the Aflac Duck. Take a look at Aflac’s conversation map from the uberVU via Hootsuite platform, which displays the most-talked about topics in relation to a specific keyword or phrase—in this case Aflac. You can see how much of an impact the brand’s mascot is having—“duck” alone was the number one most-used word alongside Aflac, accounting for 15% of the conversation.

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Even more impressive? “Tina Fey” (but sadly she’s not partnering with the Aflac Duck any time soon.) Her name appeared alongside Aflac due to a popular Forbes article about what celebrity spokespeople like Tina Fey—and yes, the Aflac Duck—can teach Team USA’s Tim Howard about repping a brand. Talk about a powerful mascot!

Here at Hootsuite we know a thing or two about mascots. Owly, who was originally part of our logo, helped us become one of the most recognizable companies in social. As social media matured, we wanted our identity to represent the way our company has also evolved. We decided to rebrand, but made sure that Owly, as a mascot, remained a core element of our culture and our brand. After all, social media is fun so we knew we still needed a mascot for the playful side of what we do. In Aflac’s case it seems the company knew it needed a cute mascot to help add a sense of fun to its insurance brand (since well, financial services isn’t exactly an industry known for fun). The idea worked. And like us, Aflac uses the Duck for more light-hearted, awareness messages, and reserves its other branding (and social handles) for the more serious, informational side of its business.

Aflac’s conversation map alone proves its Duck has become synonymous with the insurance brand, creating a strong correlation between the insurance brand and its core products. After we saw the level of impact the Duck had on driving organic conversations and engagement, we decided to set up a few search streams in the uberVU via Hootsuite platform to focus on just the Duck to compare the mascot’s social data with that of its brand. In addition to the existing Aflac stream, we set up two additional searches: “aflac duck” or “aflacduck” (to account for the designated social handles) and #DuckLife (the main hashtag used by the Duck’s designated handles).

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Aflac alone brought in 6,315 mentions over the past three weeks. Aflac Duck brought in 1,361 mentions and #DuckLife registered 613. What’s interesting is they all hit spikes in mentions around the same time frames. It was easy to find the cause using the streams’ conversation maps. It looks like the Aflac Duck went to yoga class.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.08.50 PM

Aflac’s chief marketing officer explained that the new ad where the Duck tries yoga is part of the brand’s efforts to tailor its message toward women, which made us curious to see if the brand or the mascot is resonating with women in social. Comparing the gender breakdowns of Aflac and Aflac Duck shows that the mascot itself is indeed creating more conversations among women than Aflac alone, creating a more gender-balanced conversation.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.10.23 PM

Aflac has started to position marketing and social marketing messages towards women based on research that shows that women make the majority of purchasing decisions. It’s also well-documented fact that more women use social media than men. It’s incredibly important for brands to find marketing strategies that can resonate with women online and off. And it appears Aflac has just that with its mascot.

The Aflac Duck shows that finding new ways to use traditional mascots in social media can create major value for a brand, even one from an industry that isn’t necessarily a popular topic area in social. From increasing brand or product recognition, driving organic conversation and encouraging engagement, the power of the right mascot, used in the right ways, could elevate a brand in social and beyond. And if you can get your mascot to master downward-facing dog, all the better.

The Aflac Duck is clearly a hit for the insurance brand in social, but how did Aflac stack up against its competitor, MetLife? Go deeper into the social analytics we uncovered for Aflac and MetLife in our on-demand Social Media Face Off webinar. See the insurance brands go head-to-head and come away with key takeaways and competitive intelligence for the financial services industry.

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With its Latest Update, Vine Comes of Age (While Users Still Haven’t)

I was recently on a family vacation, and my younger siblings and cousins were crowded around a small screen, giggling every 6 seconds like clockwork. They were on Vine, watching video after video by other teenagers just like them, and I didn’t understand what was so hilarious. Turns out that I, like many other marketers, just didn’t understand Vine.

The latest update introduces a big change that may open Vine’s doors to marketers: instead of users being forced to capture video from their smartphones within the app in real-time, you can now upload, edit, and publish Vines from existing videos. While the real-time format allowed for creativity to blossom on the network, it was difficult for marketers to leverage the platform and post the high-quality video content they were accustomed to creating.

The new features are meant for amateur and professional Viners alike, offering sophisticated recording options and editing tools that make it easy for anyone to create a looping video. Vine’s latest update paves the way for brands to join the social network: but should you?

The next YouTube?

For many users, Vine is a lot like YouTube. They consume a lot more content than they post, similar to how many YouTube videos you watch compared to how many you actually upload. It’s less of a “follow your friends” social platform and more of a “follow celebrities” entertainment platform, except on Vine the celebrities are often comedians and teenagers that have risen to fame because of, well, Vine. And like YouTube videos, Vines don’t just stay in the app: they’re embedded across the web on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr and appear on media and news publications from Buzzfeed to CNN to Sportsnet. Vine also has it’s own search engine at Vine.co, where you can search vines just like you would on YouTube

The audience

Vine holds a key demographic that many brands are eager to reach: teens. Twitter hasn’t released user demographics for Vine, but one scroll through the network and it’s clear that teens run the show. In order to be successful on Vine, you’ll need to create vines that teens want to watch and re-vine (which makes it go viral, like a retweet). But why are teens are so obsessed with vine? “It’s funny.” That was the same response I received each time I asked my teenage family members why, exactly, they liked Vine (as if was the most obvious thing). Vine is centered around users competing to be as funny as possible in only 6 seconds, and

While Generation X’s older siblings grew up with bandwidth limitations and data caps, teens now are growing up in a world with accessible 4G internet speeds that make uploading and consuming video on-the-go only natural (unlike their older siblings). Similar to what made Snapchat popular, Vine gives teens a raw, unfiltered place to post content that doesn’t really need to have purpose. But unlike Snapchat, vines automatically loop and encourage viewers to watch them again and again, providing punch line after punch line.


The opportunity for brands

Vine is all about “capturing moments,” but with so many other social networks vying for your attention, which one do you choose?  Now when you go to capture a moment, both users and marketers have to think about what medium is best: a photo to edit for Instagram, a video to rewatch on YouTube, a Snapchat to send to everyone, etc. There’s only so many cameras (and staff) present at one time, and a major challenge for brands with Vine was that you had to shoot “live” in their app and you had little flexibility to edit.

Enter Vine’s latest update, which allows you to import existing videos and offers a suite of editing tools to make creating and posting great Vines easier for both brands and users. Marketing teams can now create videos without having to be a stop-motion whiz, and you can capture video in real-time and worry about posting it later. Vines have the potential to act as a mini-commercial, and now brands will be able to repurpose and leverage existing video content to be shared with a whole new, younger audience.

Each month there are more than 100 million people watching Vines online, with more than 1 billion “loops” a day. Pair that with it’s strong teen base, and Vine is in a position to become the go-to network for quick laughs, music, news, and just about everything else you can fit into 6 seconds.

Close Variant Matching – 3 Important Points to Keep in Mind


The AdWords community was once again hit by a new change – Google announced last Thursday that in September, you could no longer disable close variant matching to all phrase and exact match keywords.

And there is no longer going to be an opt-out option as before.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and posts about this over the last few days. And have also heard from many people in the community as well as customers. Although many AdWords clients have gone with the standard default, there are quite a few who have not.

Personally, I have not always used it. There have been many occasions that I have opted out of using close variants with certain clients, or even within certain campaigns. Why? I wanted to have a real exact or phrase match campaign, so I could have the control and use the keywords I wanted. Or I had a client that had a small budget, and we wanted to control costs more effectively. And having a stronger control on the keywords allows for more quality clicks.

Below are the three changes about the close variant change that you should keep in mind, and what you need to know in order to prepare ahead of time.

The Match Type Trilogy No Longer Exists

We all know the trilogy of AdWords match types, and what they mean.


But now phrase and exact are no longer – exactly phrase and exact. In Larry Kim’s recent article, having a “true” exact or phrase match is no longer going to be possible. Close variants keyword matches will trigger keywords for not just singular and plurals, but for misspellings, acronyms, stemming, and abbreviations.

What You Need to Know: Start building out your negative keyword list – now. Review your keywords carefully and think about what terms you do not wish to show up for. Especially for stemming keywords – there can be many variations that can be matched against the root word. Once the variant change goes into effect, monitor your SQR report closely. Look at the terms for exact and phrase match variants, and determine if these terms should be included or added as negatives. Building a solid negative keyword list is key – and maintaining it is critical.

Your Volume Will Increase – and So Will Your Costs

With close variant matching, you will see an increase in your impressions and clicks, because your keywords will be matching against more keywords. Per Google, close variant matching gives customers an average of 7 percent more exact and phrase match clicks.

But with more clicks – come more costs.

And for smaller companies that have a small paid search budget, excluding close variants helps to keep costs more controllable.

What You Need to Know: If you have a small or fixed monthly PPC budget, you will want to carefully watch your SQR report. Monitor your account costs daily, and look for any new close variant matching keywords that could be attributing to this. Mine your SQR report for possible new keyword opportunities – this is important whether you are using close variant matching or not.

More Coverage – But You Will Need More Negatives

Close variant matching will allow you to show for additional variants, and possible missed opportunities. However, if you are running a very targeted campaign that you want to show up for specific keywords, this could be a challenge.

What You Need to Know: If you only want to show up for certain keywords, build out your negative keyword list to exclude those additional terms. Check your SQR report daily to ensure you are matching for the keywords that you want to be matching for.

While the close variant matching change may not impact everyone, it does impact our control level. And it does emphasize that change in AdWords is always a constant, and that we must be agile in adjusting our account strategy.

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start – to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Why Facebook’s New Cross-Device Tracking Tool Is a Game-Changer for Advertisers

The recent and rapid rise of multi-device behaviors has accelerated the need for new digital measurement technologies. Cross-device tracking has been on every digital advertiser’s lips for some time, but it remains a utopian theory for many. The reason is simple: until today, more cross-device activity has remained untracked than tracked, taking away the legitimacy of this measurement technique.

Linking login data might be the most precise way to achieve cross-device tracking, but it’s also the most challenging. Only Internet giants like Facebook or Google can claim to have enough reach of users logging in on multiple devices consistently for this data to be useful outside of their respective platforms.

Facebook might not be the first to provide a solution to the cross-device measurement problem, but it seems to be in a very good position to succeed. Indeed, Facebook’s might have a better chance of success than Google’s, given the fact that its activities are happening on a single centralized platform with a critical mass of users. Google, on the other hand, has to rely on authentication of products in a more fragmented way – i.e. Chrome, Android phones, and the plethora of Google products.

So, advertisers who want to understand the role of different devices leading to conversions are able to do it with Facebook’s new cross-device reporting tool, launched last Wednesday.

Facebook’s new tool can show that a customer saw an ad from an advertiser on its mobile device, but then later saw another ad from the same advertiser on its desktop, which drove him to convert. Advertisers can now see which mobile ad drove more performance to desktop conversions. Ad performance can even be broken down in terms of types of mobile devices, such as tablet, smartphone, iPhone, Samsung, etc.


In a Facebook study conducted earlier this year, it was found that of the users who showed interest with a mobile Facebook ad before converting, 32 percent converted on desktop within 28 days. In fact, their likelihood to convert on a different device increased as time passed, doubling after one week and then nearly tripling by day 28.

Cross-device tracking in Facebook has confirmed what we marketers all know already: mobile ads drive conversion on every other platform. This new reporting from Facebook is game-changing in our ability to understand the consumer journey and correctly value and budget our mobile ads efforts.

Indeed, combined with other powerful Facebook tools like customer audiences, you can learn more about the path to purchase for specific consumer segments. Moreover, it can help inform distribution of budgets to different devices or OS.

But the biggest benefit is to help marketers establish better device-oriented messaging strategies. Though a user is the same person while using mobile or desktop, he is in a different mindset, and his receptivity to advertising is different. For example, after evaluating cross-device conversion, you could choose to use mobile earlier in the consumer journey, serving more awareness messaging than direct buying propositions.

In short, each marketing channel must be evaluated based on its ability to drive performance. With Facebook’s new cross-device reporting tool, as more people hop from device to device, marketers and advertisers now have game-changing capabilities to measure the effectiveness of Facebook as a part of the consumer journey and to ultimately drive better return on investment.

Francis Bedard of iProspect contributed to this post.

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