How well Facebook knows us from our Likes. 13 facts 0

Posted on April 09, 2018 by Rob Petersen

Facebook knows

Facebook knows us well from its user data. The alleged illegal data mining of as many as 87 million users acquired by Cambridge Analytica means others might know us well too. Better than we want them to.

The NY Times reported that in 2014 contractors and employees of Cambridge Analytica, eager to sell psychological profiles of American voters to political campaigns, acquired the private Facebook data of tens of millions of users.

Some of the user data in question was accessed by authorizing the app “thisisyourdigitallife,” by Global Science Research, a personality app that told users the information was anonymous and for physiological research.

Around 270,000 people actually accessed the app. It gathered data on those users’ friends, until it had access to information from millions of users.

What type of information is gathered? What can people do with it? Here are 13 fascinating and frightening facts Facebook knows from our Likes.

  1. After you “Like” just 10 Facebook pages, advertisers (or political campaigns) can know you as well as a colleague, according to research from Cambridge University in the U.K.
  2. After 70 “Likes” as much can be deduced about you as a close friend knows
  3. After 150 “Likes,” you’ve given up as much about yourself to Facebook as your parents know
  4. 78% of people who “Like” brands on Facebook like fewer than 10 brands
  5. 76% of people have never “un-Liked” a brand
  6. 56% of fans say they’re more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan
  7. 58% of users “Like” a brand because they are a customer
  8. 51% of fans say they’re more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan
  9. More than five billion instances of people listening to songs online have been catalogued by Facebook withing 5 months
  10. 4 intermediary Facebook friends are usually enough to introduce anyone to a random stranger according to a study analyzing 69 billion friend connections among 721 million people
  11. 98 personal data points are used by Facebook to target ads. Targeting options available to advertisers today include: Location, Age, Generation, Gender, Language, Education level, Field of study, School, Ethnic affinity, Income and net worth, Home ownership and type, Home value, Property size, Square footage of home, Year home was built and Household composition
  12. 93% of Facebook friends have met in person the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found
  13. Every 60 seconds, 136,000 photos are uploaded, 510,000 comments are posted, and 293,000 status updates are posted.

Do these facts about what Facebook knows surprise you? Does your brand need help navigating social media?

21 reasons social media metrics are a waste of time 0

Posted on October 20, 2013 by Rob Petersen




Why is it so important to brands to: “Like Us on Facebook”?

Is it building relationships that lead to sales? Or is it a way to proclaim: We’re in social media; we have a Facebook page?

Ivory Madison in the Harvard Business Review, and Eric Ries, in his book, The Lean Startup, says social media metrics such as: Like, Follow Us and Re-Tweet are, by themselves, “vanity metrics.”

Is it a waste of time to measure them? Or do they offer insights into business growth? Is it even possible to know if tweeting a link leads to revenue?

Here’s a guide to tell you what to consider and how to spend your time. Or 25 reasons to know if you’re wasting time with social media metrics.


  • Do you have business goals for your social media activities?
  • How long do you expect it’s going to take until you achieve the results you want?
  • Do you take into account the time and resources required to reach your goals?


  • What are the business actions (sales, subscriptions, registrations,, leads or downloads) that matter most?
  • Are your Likes, Followers, Views, etc. tied to these actions that lead to revenue?
  • Do you measure conversion from these actions?


  • Do you know the real customer prospects among your Likes, Followers and Connections?
  • Do you know which social networks are most likely to be your customers?
  • Do you know the quality of your Likes, Followers and Connections?
  • Are there advocates among the people who Like and Follow you or Share your content?
  • Do you know which social networks share your content most often?
  • Are there traceable patterns where the actions of your existing customers create new customers.
  • Are the relationships impacting the sales actions that matter most?


  • Do increases in Likes, Followers, Connections, Views, Comments and Shares translate to increased visits to your website?
  • Do they visit the pages you most want them to visits?
  • Do the social network generating the most traffic in your Google Analytics translate to where you are spending your time?


  • Are your making connections (e.g. Like, Followers, Subcribers)  faster or slower than your competition?
  • Are “people talking about” your brand as measured by Comments, Likes, Re-Tweets, Shares and Views more or less than your competitors
  • Are you seeing an increase in search rank from your social activities?


  • Do you take actions from the results of your social media metrics?
  • Do you review Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) on a regular basis?
  • Has your business grown for the review and actions you take from social media metrics?

Social media metrics don’t have to be vanity metrics. Combined with the metrics that are most important with your business, they can provide insights into relationship that build revenue and build real value.

In our case studies, we’ve seen  brands grow and money saved. While every business is different, there is a KPI scorecard that can developed for specific characteristics.

Did these reasons help guide you on how you should be spending your time? Are you ready to stop wasting time with social media metrics?








Has the ad biz gotten so big it’s bad? 9 say yes; 5 no; 1 maybe 2

Posted on August 02, 2013 by Rob Petersen



Omnicom - Publicis merger

“How big can we get before we get bad?” asked legendary ad executive Jay Chiat of his agency, Chiat Day, in the 1980’s.

Chiat Day doesn’t exist anymore. It was acquired by TBWA, which is a part of the Omnicom Group, which doesn’t exist anymore, because it is now merged and is called the Publicis Omnicom Group.

Last week, after decades of buying up boutique firms, the advertising conglomerates Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe decided two heads are better than one. They merged to create the world’s biggest family of agencies, with a stock market value of $35.1 billion and more than 130,000 employees.

Raising the question again: “How big can we get before we get bad?”

What’s the answer? 16 experts weigh-in. Has the ad biz gotten so big it’s bad? 9 say yes; 5 say no; 1 says maybe.


  • Bigger is not better – today, when clients are hyper-focused on ROI, efficiencies, true expertise and agility rather than sheer bulk – Dr. Augustine Fou, Digital Consigliere at Marketing Science Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Bigger companies might result in bigger efficiencies, but they don’t necessarily result in bigger or better creative ideas. Acting like a startup, leanness and agility have become the mantras of the marketing world – Arwa Mahdawi, Strategy Director, Contagious Communications
  • I’m not sure this is in the best interests of their clients or their talent. Clients today want us to be faster, more agile, more nimble and more entrepreneurial, not bigger and more bureaucratic and more complex – David Jones, CEO, Havas
  • This move is about enhancing profit margins for conglomerates, not improving results for clients – Adam Kleinberg, CEO, Traction
  • It’s going to affect, negatively, the smaller brands because the smaller brands are going to be less important to the corporate holding company –  Larry Chiagouris, Professor, Pace University
  •  There will be downsizing, synergies, and cost cutting. As a result of that, there will be some shakedown of people and accounts – Al DiGuido, CEO, Optimus Publishing
  • I’ve read about this whole idea that they’ve merged because they want to leverage Big Data. But if you’re not leveraging Big Data within your organizations prior to the merger, you generally don’t consolidate to become better at managing technology or Big Data – Jon Morris, CEO, Rise Interactive
  • Publicis Omnicom Groupe has a fake Twitter account. It’s pretty hilarious – The Onion
  • Ad agencies now work with Google, Facebook and Twitter, but the tech companies can easily bypass the agencies to work directly with, say, Ford Motor Co. or PepsiCo Inc. – Paula Dwyer – Bloomberg News


  • It will be a good thing, as it will particularly help the performance marketing industry, and provide greater value to clients who are seeking a more comprehensive, full-service approach to their customer acquisition needs – Peter Klein, SVP, MediaWhiz
  • Advertising firms and other service businesses typically don’t need as much debt as manufacturers or other companies that deal with physical goods – Jeff Davis, Managing Director, Mercer Capital.
  • They will also be able to leverage greater volume purchasing and more strategic relationships from the likes of Google and Facebook,” says Paul Pellman, CEO, Adometry
  • I’ll bet you $1,000 right now that within 12 months WPP will have made a major acquisition or made a major merger—just watch –  Larry Chiagouris, Professor, Pace University
  • We believe this is more about global scale and efficiency and the potential increased leverage against first-party networks, such as Facebook and Google, which could radically change the media business over the next five years –  Brian Deagan, CEO, Knotice


  • Marketers hire agencies for innovation and creativity. Clients of Publicis and Omnicom should directly ask their agencies — “What’s in this for me?” and “How will this impact my business?” Marketers who are clients of Publicis and Omnicom, in fact, have a responsibility to have those candid conversations – Bill Duggan, EVP, Association of National Adertisers (ANA)

Which side are you on? Do you think the ad biz has gotten so big it’s bad? Is it ever likely to change? If Jay Chiat were still with us, what would he say? What would Dan Draper think? What do you think?


4 better mouse traps to build social media promotions 4

Posted on May 04, 2013 by Rob Petersen



Social Media Promtion

Social media promotions are events like sweepstakes, contests and coupons that take place on a brand’s social network sites, especially Facebook.  They center on attracting attention, engagement and sharing. They drive traffic to a brand’s website and create greater brand involvement.

Since social media promotions require participants to give an email address and often physical address. They are excellent events for building email lists and databases. Many generate significant sales.

Any business with a social presence can do one because costs begin as low as $9.99 a month; To run one, an app is installed on a Brand’s Facebook page or a widget on a website.

If this sounds like it might be of interest for your brand, the first step is to choose the right app for the task. Here are the 4 better mouse traps to build social media promotions (with pros and cons):

1. OFFERPOP: Scalable to serve any organizations, offerpop bases its pricing around the size of your Facebook Fan base. It goes from $10/month for businesses with 100-500 “Likes” to $675/month for brands with 25,000-50,000. Offerpop offers:

  • Campaign Builder that includes instant landing pages and built-in reports along with a growing number of social marketing apps.
  • Marketing integration where companies can socially-enable their email marketing campaigns, website or advertising programs; and track all results in real time.
  • “Fan Gating” (optional) which means consumer have to “Like” your Facebook page before they can proceed to the offer
  • Advanced social analytics where two new tools are a Facebook post database, which shows what kinds of content is driving engagement, virality, and clicks, and a fan database, which helps you build rich profiles of your Facebook fans and enriches them over time.The tools not only tell you that the post last week about Brad Pitt’s graying hair resonated well, but also that all your posts that reference aging movie stars generally go viral. And with about three clicks, you can generate a list of your fans — and non-fans — who are responsive to similar messages.

Offerpop analytics


SocialTimes says: The ideal Offerpop customer is an internet or multi-channel retailer, such as Kobo, PokerStars and The Body Shop, looking to add fans and followers, build brand engagement and grow sales using Twitter and Facebook. They are often doing email marketing and online ad buys and looking to boost campaign performance by adding a social component. And they generally like to experiment and run frequent campaigns and create programs that look good and are brand friendly.

IS OFFERPOP FOR YOU? If pay-as-you-scale is attractive and you want to integrate other channels, offerpop is great choice. Plus, offerpop has the most sophisticated social analytics. One disadvantage is offerpop is the only company that doesn’t offer call-in customer support.

2. STRUTTA: A platform that is DIY-oriented and good for the non-technical, Strutta’s Contest Builder can create and manage a contest campaign as a sweepstakes or user generated content promotion without development resources. Strutta offer monthly subscription packages from $99 to $199. Multiple brand promotions can be created or tested within the month as long as they occur from the same social network pages and website. For enterprise clients and agencies, there is Pro Package for $12,000/year with advanced features and mandatory “Likes.” It offer a “Complete Social Suite.” Strutta advantages are:

  • Dashboard allows the contest organizer to manage all contest activity and communication.
  • Users are able to make photo contest submissions from their existing Facebook photo albums, their hard drive or their mobile device; in a video contest, users are able to submit videos from their YouTube account, their hard drive or their mobile.
  • Google Analytics code can be added to the platform, even a conversion tracker to measures ROI on top of existing engagement metrics. Brands can define conversion goals, such a contestant hitting the check out page, and map contest activity (visits, entries, votes, comments) against those goals.

Strutta example


IS STRUTTA FOR YOU? The DIYer advantage is great for first timers and businesses with limited resources. The mobile advantages and Google Analytics integration are big benefits.

WOOBOX: Has 1,000,000+ brands that use its apps on Facebook such as Starbucks, Sam’s Club, Nordstrom, Warner Bros., Wendy’s, A&P, Quiznos, Jiffy Lube, Cold Stone Creamery, and many others, including small, mom-and-pop businesses. The Woobox app is Free to install and can be used to direct fans to your website if a goal to drive involvement, sales or let consumers know about deals. To create sweepstakes, contests and coupons and to participate in “Fan Gating” where consumers must “Like” your brand on Facebook to participate, Woobox offers plans from $1/month for 100 “Fan Gating” to $249/month for >100,000 Fans. Woobox offers coupon apps, sweepstakes apps, static HTML tab apps for Facebook and Pinterest apps (including a new “Pin to Win” app). Woobox has unique social sharing advantages. For example, for coupon sharing, it

  • Allows you to limit your coupons to your Facebook and Twitter followers
  • Offers “Group Deals” where a minimum amount of people must complete the offer before the offer is valid for the group
  • Requires sharing with Facebook or Twitter friends to get the coupon
  • Set limits to how many coupons you want to offer

Based in Portland, Woobox is a bootstrapped, profitable team of four, and is not interested in outside funding at this time.

Woobox Coupon

IS WOOBOX FOR YOU? The free installation of the Woobox app is an easy way to find out. If social media promotion are going to be a mainstay of your social media arsenal and growing “Likes” is important, Woobox is the most sophisticated number of choices.

WILDFIRE: is the company that started the social media promotion craze. Wildfire, too, was once a bootstrapped start-up, until acquired by Google in July 2012 for $250,000,000 to substantiate social media promotions are here to stay. Wildfire charges on a per campaign basis, and offers a “self-serve” Promotion Builder that include a set-up charge and per day rate with different graphic capabilities. The packages are:

  • Standard: $25 Set Up plus $2.99/day 
  • Premium: $250 Set Up plus $4.99/day

Wildfire’s “White Label” product provide access to the developers and strategists that take your promotion to a superior level of customization and execution and pricing that goes upward from $3,500+. Google announced they are going to “sunset” or discontinue their Promotion Builder as of June 30, 2013 and move to White Label services with a strategist. This program begins at $2,500/month.

IS WILDFIRE FOR YOU? Wildfire, under Google, is moving to an enterprise solution. If your business fits in this category, Wildfire is a tried-and-true solution.

BarnRaisers has used Wildfire for years. We’re sorry to see them discontinue their Promotion Builder but wish them the best. They are a great company to do business with.

We also like North Social and Heyo and will cover them in a future blog post because, as Google has demonstrated, social media promotions are here to stay.

Which of these better mouse traps might be best for your business? Are there any others that should be included? Do you think social media promotions could boost your business?

16 targeting tools to find your audience in social media 4

Posted on February 03, 2013 by Rob Petersen




build it and they will come
“Build it and they will come” may be a great idea for a building a baseball diamond in the middle of an Iowa corn field. But it doesn’t work as a social media plan.

There are now 900,000,000+ Facebook pages, 100,000,000+ LinkedIn members, 59,000,000+ active Twitter profiles and 31,000,000+ blogs…all growing. Your audience isn’t going to come to you; you have to find them.

Fortunately, there are many tools (most “open source”) to help identify: 1) who to attract, 2) where they are and 3) how well to know them.  It’s time well spent to take these steps and find your target audience. You don’t want to pursue a Field of Dreams where you build it and they don’t come.

Here are 16 targeting tools to find your audience in social media.

1. GOOGLE ANALYTICS. The #1 tool for finding your audience in social media is the analytics tool for your website. Why? In “Traffic Sources,” you’ll learn how many people find your brand’s website through social media; what social networks or “referrals” drive the most traffic and what are the specific contributions of each social network (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) in terms of: Unique Visitors, Time on Site and Pages Viewed. Now, you know how and where to spend your time and/or money. According to Northwestern University, just Facebook and Twitter (on average) drive 50%+ of traffic to small business websites.


2, 3 and 4. TECHNORATI, ALLTOP and TOPSY: To create 1-to-1 relationships with big dividends, look for advocates who help spread the word. Blogs are the best place to start. There are search engine for blogs: Technorati and Alltop. They’ll help you find the bloggers with the most authority for any industry or subject.  Plus, there’s Topsy to show the top trending blog posts on Twitter for any industry or topic. HubSpot says blogs lead to 55% more website visitors. Blogs also add “links” that raise your “authority” and search rank.


5, 6 and 7. WILDFIRE,  STRUTTA and VOTIGO: “‘Like'” Us on Facebook” is something most company want us to do. Why? Studies, like the one below, say the #1 reason we would “Like” a company on Facebook is to receive offers or discounts. We return our support in return. So why not attract your audience through a sweepstakes, contest or offer with an app on Facebook like Wildfire, Strutta or Vortigo. There’s available at a price point that works for any business and deliver not only “Fans” but a list with their e-mail addresses to stay in touch.

What motivates "Likes" on Facebook

8. BOOSHAKA: 10% of your community drives 90% of conversations according to Forrester Research. To find out who are your biggest fans on Facebook, there’s Booshaka. For a Facebook Brand page, it ranks your “fans” so you know their value in terms of participation and sharing.

9. FACEBOOK INSIGHTS (“PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT”): Now, you have the road map for generate “buzz” on Facebook with Fans who can help do the heavy lifting. Use Facebook Insights and the “People Talking About” measure to monitor your progress and participate when you see comments that drive conversation.


10. TWITTER SEARCH: A simple way to find Followers in real-time who are talking about something that is relevant to your business or they are at at a place or event that might be important to you is by typing it in the query box of  Twitter Search. For example, at AJ Bombers, a burger restaurant in Milwaukee, Twitter Search has been used to reach visitors at the Milwaukee airport. A friendly message tells them if their travels in the area happen to take them downtown and  their near the restaurant, a special offer is waiting for them.

11. KLOUT: Once you find people you want to follow, you might want to know their Klout Score and their influence. Now, you know who to the follw on Twitter and how they can increase your reach. 30% of people use Twitter to research and buy products.


12. SIGNAL: LinkedIn’s Signal certainly isn’t new, but it is one of the most powerful services they’ve released. Signal allows you to filter and browse only relevant status updates from your LinkedIn and Twitter streams. You can target updates from colleagues, competitors, etc., and narrow or expand your view based on the following filters: Network, Industry, Company, Time published, Location, School or just most popular hash tags.

13. SWARM: Although LinkedIn’s official description of Swarm is “an eerily beautiful visualization of popular company search queries on LinkedIn,” I’ve seen popular title searches, most recent LinkedIn blog posts, most shared news, and recent jobs posted on LinkedIn.


14. YOUTUBE ANALYTICS: YouTube Analytics is a self-service tool that gives you detailed statistics on your videos and your viewers. It’s an easy and powerful way to discover which videos and themes work best for your audience. How do viewers find you? How long do they watch your videos? When do they leave? YouTube Analytics gives you all the details, video by video or for all your videos at once, so you really understand your audience.

15. VIEWS: This may be obvious, but it’d be silly not to mention it. By monitoring viewership trends, you can identify the best and worst of your video library. This is especially important for underperforming content, where you can then take efforts to boost a video’s popularity through editing or even re-optimizing for SEO.

16. SUBSCRIBERS AND SHARES: They indicate a more engaged commitment on behalf of the viewer. If your content is quality enough that viewers are subscribing to see more of it, that’s basically the YouTube equivalent of an unqualified inbound lead.

How do you approach social media for your business? Do you build it and think they’ll come? Do these targeting tools help you to think differently? Which one would you think of using?

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