Tag Archives: Facebook

New York, New York: Recap From The 4A’s Data Summit

The 4A’s hosted their first ever Data Summit in New York on Wednesday Oct 16th with a jam packed agenda corresponding to the growing trend in big data and how it is evolving the advertising industry.


I was skeptical at first that the conference would dive so deep into the numbers that the strategy side of data would be lost.  To my surprise, I spent a wonderful day listening to numerous industry leaders, technology companies, and even a data scientist who impressed me with his knowledge on the wide world of data.  Here’s a brief look at my top 5 takeaways from the day:

  1.  Data and Privacy – there was a lively debate about privacy issues as it relates to data collecting and who is really being harmed in the process.  I think as long as we give the consumer a choice we can stay in front of strict regulations.  Clients want to build trust with their consumer, even more so today than ever, so if we are transparent with them we can make their ad experience better and more relevant.
  2. Programmatic Buying – the panel started out with a real time media trade and ended with a lively panel discussing this hot topic.  Data is allowing us to shift our thoughts from media buying to audience buying in a way we could never do before.  Real time trading allows machines to do the work faster than a human could and with a new resurgence of this concept higher quality placements and reach are at your fingertips.  I feel in an area where inventory can be limitless such as the web the trading desk can succeed but in an area where inventory is so limited such as TV and cable it will be hard to move to this model in the near future.
  3.  Facebook as a solutions provider – Facebook is committed to moving their advertising offerings to the next step and provide clients with real ROI on their business outcomes.  They are focused on providing advertising solutions for the mobile space since people are checking their phone on average 100 x a day.  It will be interesting to watch this next progression with Facebook since up until now it has been more focused on engagement metrics.
  4. Creativity comes from everywhere – media, data, creative, and technologist all need to come together to find solutions for clients to reach their audience.  We need to look to transform our own business to break down any silos that prohibit creative thinking.  The customer has to be in the center and we need to follow them on how they interact with a brand and what technology they use to do that.  We need to consider how a consumer connects with their multiple screens and devise a creative strategy for the context of that device.
  5. Future trends to keep an eye on – a representative from Goldman Sachs presented an enlightening snapshot at how Wall Street values big data.  They believe ad dollars will continue to shift online and that programmatic buying will continue to grow.  They predict a time when their will be frictionless buying across traditional and digital platforms.  (Can we say hallelujah!)  They believe the visualization of the web will continue as well as growth with companies leveraging first party data (Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn).

In the end the trip was a HUGE success and we learned so much. Thanks to the 4A’s for putting this conference together. We can’t wait to come back up next year.



How To: Create a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign

People all over the world are spending more and more time on Facebook and other social media platforms. Being what I would call “the company Facebook expert”, I have decided to show my Facebook passion by sharing some insight with you. Knowing that each brand has different goals, let’s keep this very generic and start with the basics. Set aside your Facebook page for now and let’s just say you are a brand and you want your ads to show in the follow main placements.


There are many different types of Facebook ads, including your typical display ads as well as the popular ‘social ads’ that let you interact with the content. The display ads we are all very familiar with are the Right-hand side ads. The mobile and desktop News Feed ads are the more engaging ads and are fairly new.

The following tips are questions you need to ask yourself in order to create a successful Facebook ad campaign:

1. Who is your audience?

This is important because we want the ads served to people interested in your brand and therefore likely to click on your ad. You should know your audience for any type of advertisement. Fortunately, Facebook has many different demographics in order to help you reach your target. You can target based on geography, gender, age, birthday, education level, marital status, any hobbies, languages, and the list goes on. With Facebook you can really dig deep and get super specific in order to reach the right customer at the right time.

2. Is your image eye-catching?

Choose eye-catching, high quality, colorful images!  You will only have a few impressions to reach your target so make it count the first time. Stay away from the color blue because it blends with Facebook’s colors. Images with people in them seem to do very well. A good first impression always works.

3. Does your ad copy include a strong Call-to-Action?

You have caught the eye of the user with your flashy image so now what do you want them to do? In most cases we want them to CLICK on the ad, LIKE the ad or both. Make sure in your copy you express what they need to do in order to get more information about the ad. The most common CTA that I use is a “click here”, “apply now”, or “learn more” phrase. Or even better “Click here to apply now”.

Start with these three basic questions first in order to figure out which type of Facebook ad is necessary for your campaign.  Also keep in mind the goals of your campaign. Do you want more pages likes, new users, app installs, or just branded awareness? Lastly, make sure you start with multiple ads and test them to see which work the best. Play around with different ad combinations, images and placements and you’ll have yourself a great campaign in no time!

The NEW MYSPACE: Top 5 Things To Look Out For

Since I heard about the company’s comeback, I’ve been curious to see what’s different this time from the MySpace we all once knew. I did a little research and found some of the answers I was looking for.  Here are the Top 5 things to look out for with the launch of the new MySpace.



Unlike Facebook’s plain and congested advertising layout, MySpace looks more aesthetic and trendy. It offers high-resolution images, a built in music player, options to add music and videos by clicking or dragging, a search page for fans and artists to be connected with each other at all times and a horizontal activity bar where instead of scrolling up and down, you scroll side to side. Not everything is new; they kept some of their old popular features like streaming profile songs and a section for top 8 friends.


As we all know, music has always been a part of MySpace. But this time, the company plans to take it to the next level. Besides music, they are also going to focus on gearing the website towards the creative community as well; the songwriters, photographers, music video directors, etc. The new MySpace wants to help all types of artists become known by their peers and potential fans as well as to flourish in their industry and establish stronger connections between artists and their fans. The user can stream live their favorite band in concert and personalize their radio stations to listen to specific artists and genres.



Right now, the 32 year old is well known as one of the most innovating artists in the music industry.  His partners, the Vanderhook brothers say that “he provides the strategic vision for the company and was the person behind the idea of focusing on the creative community”.  With Timberlake’s strong point of view and experience in the business, I’m sure he will be an important factor in bringing MySpace back from the dead.



In January of this year, an early version of the new MySpace was released to the public but it wasn’t until June 12 that they launched their $20 million ad campaign across cable, broadcast, radio and digital media. At the same time, the company also released an iPhone app for radio play. The campaign is seeking to engage individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 years and its commercials show hipsters dancing, singing, playing then smashing instruments and having a good time with each other.  They are trying to change the public perception from the old MySpace to a cool place for music fans and creative individuals.

During the first two weeks, the new MySpace tracked 31 million visitors, however the negative reviews about the ad campaign keep on coming. In my personal opinion, the TV commercial is poor in content and is not clear about the message it is trying to convey.  They need to improve their marketing strategy in order to appropriately promote the new experience.

TV Commercial


The site is being promoted as a media platform where it’s all about the creative talent and the music, not social networking. Song writers or photographers can use MySpace to track where their fans are and what they are listening to. You can show your attraction to things by connecting with them, but you won’t interact on a personal level.

The new owners believe the News Corp Group made a big mistake when they tried to compete with emerging forces like Facebook, turning the company into a social networking site.

Crash Course in Social Media

This week, I had the opportunity to sit and learn from some of Baltimore’s social media gurus, thanks to the Baltimore Business Journal. On a personal level, I consider myself fluent in social media. When I told my sister I was attending this course she said, “Are you teaching it?” On a daily basis, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. However, on a professional level, I am only just starting to learn the in’s and out’s of social media and what it has to offer our clients. This year’s Crash Course featured local professionals from Planit, BBJ, Yelp! and of course Media Works! Each presenter covered different areas of social media, giving the audience a better understanding of what social media’s capabilities. Here are few insights I caught during the presentations:

BBJ Crash Course in Social Media   Planit: “Share Those Assets: Using Social Media at Live Events to Drive Engagement”

  • Make your events social! Use sites like EventBrite, which is a social community on its own and connect to Facebook and Twitter. This will allow your attendees to engage/interact with each other and build excitement for your event.
  • Bring the event to life – instant postings and live-tweeting during the event. Live-tweeting during events will allow your audience who could not attend the event feel like they are there.
  • Extend the event’s life – post pictures after the event. Once the event is over, keep the buzz and excitement going by engaging your audience and showing off the success.

Baltimore Business Journal: “How to Break News in a Digital World”

  • News consumption is increasing, because people are using social media to receive their news. The average person consumes news for about 70 minutes a day.
  • You do not need a link in each tweet to drive engagement. When you are breaking news, you don’t want to rush a story without accurate information. Your followers will still engage without the article.

Yelp!: “Beyond the Brick and Mortar – Tips to Personalize Your Business on Social Media and Make it Pop”

  •  Giving your brand a personality by having continuous dialogue with your audience through social media. Interact with your audience! They are taking the time to reach out to you, show some love back.
  • Commit to social media – do not just join and disappear, give it the effort to create relationships. You do not have to be on every outlet. Pick the channels that will best reach your audience and have a large presence.
  • Reputation management – take time to reply to not only the good but also the negative reviews, and make sure to be proud of your comments.


Media Works: “Social Contesting: Building Engagement Beyond the Like

  • Consider newer social media outlets like Instagram, Keek or Vine; don’t just stick with Facebook and Twitter. If you want to do a picture contest, Instagram may be a better outlet, since it is a photo-sharing medium.
  • Make your contest social! Add sharing capabilities for your contestants to show their friends/followers about your event. This will not only spread your contest organically but you may get more contestants who can do the same!

This, of course, is just a brief summary of these presentations. I cannot wait to try out some of the sites/ideas mentioned not only on a personal level, but now on a professional level. If you are interested in seeing more insight from this event, please check out #BBJCCSM on Twitter, to see what other attendees had to say!


The Super Bowl According to Facebook

Earlier this week, while perusing every ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and NFL-related blog article I could find (hey, it’s not every week your hometown team makes the Super Bowl!), I came across some fascinating information regarding NFL loyalties as measured by Facebook “likes.”

Facebook’s Data Science team released this nationwide analysis of NFL team “likes,” color-coding every county in the U.S. to reflect the team that had the most fans in that particular county. Take a look:


Source: Facebook Data Science (https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-science/nfl-fans-on-facebook/10151298370823859)

As media professionals, we evaluate numerous sports-related proposals in many different markets. Though in some cases, sports associations are obvious “no-brainers” based on geography, it is not always clear cut. For example, Media Works places media in both Dallas and Houston, and I have always wondered how rest of the state of Texas cheers come football season – at what point between Dallas and Houston does the tide change? The Cowboys have been around much longer than the Texans, so I figured they’d have a slightly higher fan base … but look at all that Cowboy land! Not only does nearly all of Texas root for Dallas, but nearly all of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas do too.

According to the summary, over 35 million Facebook users have “liked” an NFL team page, and the number grows each year during the playoffs. In the media world, where data is a huge factor in making media-based decisions, sample size can be very important. A pool like that showing so many states where Cowboy loyalty dominates is a dream come true!

The author also provides maps showing remaining teams through each round of the playoffs. Below is a preview of how the country will be cheering this Sunday for the Super Bowl. Looks like the Ravens are the underdogs, but I hope the East Coast ends up happier than the West Coast!


6 Tips to Getting Started in Social Media: A Recap from This Week’s Webinar

This past week my colleague and I attended a  webinar on social media strategy put together by Media Life Magazine. As a media agency whose digital department continues to grow, we’re always looking to expand our knowledge within the social media space. While most of the information presented was focused on businesses just getting started in social media, the presenter had some excellent tips even for the seasoned social marketer. Here are six of the key takeaways we took from the presentation.

  1. Having traditional AND social presence- if you only use one strategy you will lose market share. Make sure you remain flexible in developing your online strategies. Just because you want to be online doesn’t mean you have to abandon your other strategies. Understanding your existing marketing initiatives and how you can leverage them with your new social strategy with help you become successful.
  2. Use social icons across all mediums – be sure to let people know you are available on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Make sure business cards include how they can contact you via social media.
  3. Defining your audience and goals upfront so that you are not wasting time and money. Making sure you know who you’re trying to reach and not posting blindly. Understanding what goal you’re reaching towards. Whether it’s making money or expanding our audience, your goal needs to be defined in the beginning. If you are trying to reach:
    1. Broad targeted audience – Facebook
    2. Women/Selling products – Pinterest
    3. B2B – LinkedIn
  4. Figure out how much time your company can afford to spend on social media. Do you need to outsource it? Can you afford managing internally? Defining how much time you can invest internally to managing a Facebook presence may save you time in the long run. If you don’t have time, don’t create 10 different profiles.  Social media takes time so don’t expect it to happen overnight. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t expect quick results when working with social media.
  5. Build relationships in order to earn trust.  Don’t always talk about yourself and your company’s offerings. Talking about yourself too much will turn off your audience. Create compelling content – don’t post statements; ask questions, be engaging, interact and make it interesting by staggering posts across all social media outlets.
  6. Define your goals – Be sure to establish immediate, long-term and monthly goals. You can always measure the results of the campaign to tell what works and what doesn’t. Where is the traffic coming from? How are people engaging? This is the type of information you should look for when analyzing your social presence. No matter what your goal, you should always run analytics to measure the success of your campaigns and to make adjustments.

My 2012 Preakness Attendance: Odds are Slim to None

I’ve lived in Baltimore for 17 years and I’ve never been to the Preakness Stakes. I know, I know. I’m basically a traitor to the state of Maryland. Over the years I’ve had a few opportunities but it seems there was always something standing in the way – in high school my parents probably wouldn’t allow me to go, and in later years I would blame expense, lack of transportation, heat and humidity, or any other number of small factors. But in all honesty these were mostly excuses I used rather than real barriers to my attendance. The truth of the matter is that any one of these factors alone would never have prevented me from going if I really wanted to go… I’ve just never really wanted to go.

I’d like to first state that I consider myself to be a fun-loving person who enjoys getting out and doing things. My friends and I plan our weekends around concerts, outdoor festivals, vineyards, restaurants, and more. We get big groups together, document our excursions with pictures which we then post on our social networking sites, and spend money on food and drinks. We’re old enough to have jobs and salaries but young enough to spend a Saturday afternoon drinking beer outside without worrying about children or other responsibilities. In other words, we are a prime demographic the event managers should be targeting.

But I’m still not entirely sure what the Preakness is about, and I suppose that’s why I’ve never felt particularly compelled to experience it. I get a sense that over the years the event planners have been somewhat guilty of attempting to make Preakness all things to all people, and this combined with a disjointed and bizarre ad campaign have confused me to the point that I’d rather stay at home than risk wasting a whole Saturday on it. Sure, it’s a horse race, and I know that there is the option to wear a fancy hat and go sit in the grandstand. From what I’ve gathered though, that’s not really what the race is known for. If you want to have a classy afternoon sipping mint juleps, go to the Derby. If you want to wear jean shorts and dodge intoxicated patrons hurling trash at you, go to the Preakness. A simple Google image search of “Preakness” yields more results of people dancing on top of port-a-potties than it does actual horses.

Further confusing my understanding of the event is its marketing campaign. The mascot for the past few years, a horse named Kegasus, is cheesy and juvenile but at least confirms my belief that the event is about beer and debauchery foremost (and also has something to do with horses). But this year I heard radio ads featuring a leprechaun and the Easter Bunny telling me to come to Preakness to see Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa. Um, what? Now it’s a concert? And the Easter Bunny is going to be there? Do you see why I’m a little confused?

Additionally, while mud and kegs are not really my thing, I’d be willing to step outside my comfort zone if I thought it would be a safe and fun experience. I’ve heard first-hand horror stories of friends getting hit in the head with flying objects (read: beer cans), being pushed into puddles of mud and human waste, having phones and wallets stolen, and more. I’m aware that the planners attempted to improve the infield experience several years ago by eliminating the BYOB factor, but I don’t necessarily believe this is the solution. More security and cleaning crews throughout the day is a better place to start. Perhaps the money spent on recruiting Wiz Khalifa to perform would be better spent on this?

If I was in charge of marketing, I’d get rid of the silly characters and provide a clearer message of what the event actually is. They could stay with the party theme, but highlight improved safety and convenience features for those who choose to enjoy the infield. The campaign doesn’t need to be “serious” but if the creative is going to come from a humor angle it should at least be witty. Additionally, I’m shocked that marketers haven’t capitalized on the historical and regional legacy of the Preakness to promote the event, promoting it as a “don’t miss” spectacle that the area prides itself on. Take a note from the aforementioned Kentucky Derby: horses aside, a unique cultural experience that happens once a year in a specific place sells better and generates more press than a debaucherous infield party.

As of this moment, however, my odds of attending are still slim to none. The Preakness has a lot of potential, but I’m simply just not sold on it yet.