Five Reasons Why Brands Should Be All Over Facebook Groups

Ah, the good old days when Facebook wasn’t exactly considered paid media and brands spent some pretty money building up massive follower counts that they didn’t need to pay to reach. But that’s all over now, isn’t it Not quite.

A few weeks ago, Facebook had launched a dedicated app to their popular Groups feature. It’s seriously slick and easy to post and reply on which you can check out in its full glory here.  So now that Facebook Groups are easier to access on mobile and there are all kinds of fun communities in which to participate, why aren’t more brands using them

But before you do, take heed: “The way that brands communicate in groups should be intimate, privileged and enforce that the people who join are a cut above and are really special,” says Ayzenberg‘s Associate Director of Social Strategy, Ian Tornay. “It should be very personal– probably not coming from ‘the brand’ but from a representative and actual person.”

Here are the 5 biggest reasons why brands need to be using Facebook Groups:

  1. It essentially gives you free reach on Facebook. Break away from that Newsfeed-mindedness and lurk in a Facebook Group for a few days. You will notice something: You don’t need to pay to be seen. Posts go up in Groups in chronological order (quite old school, we know) and move to the top of the Groups feed when there is a new comment on a post. You can pin posts to the top of a group to ensure they are seen first. Group members can also participate in chats, collaborate on Group documents and invite to special Group events. Group members are also notified of updates within the Group. Read up on the difference between Pages and Groups here.
  2. Brands can be part of the conversation in hyper-engaged niche communities. The types of Facebook Groups out there can range from the mundane to super fun (and maybe strange) and all kinds of sizes. Your brand might already have a Facebook Group set up by brand advocates already like this Call of Duty Group which boasts over 10k community members in Mexico alone.
  3. Brands can create and curate their own hyper-engaged niche communities. With Facebook Groups, adding new members much easier to do. The function of Groups also shows a stronger bond to a brand than just liking a brand’s page. Make it fun.
  4. Facebook Groups will give your brand’s biggest advocates the feeling you are communicating more directly with them. Because being a part of a Group is a stronger bond on Facebook than liking a Page, a Group basically attracts your biggest brand advocates. These are the people most willing to create awesome UGC, to want to know everything about the next product and would appreciate knowing what’s happening behind the scenes.
  5. Fun content only. Be aware that Facebook Groups are a different kind of breeding ground for content. You’re likely to encounter some off-the-wall stuff, but don’t be afraid to engage on a level with the community. The kind of brand relationships that millennials want is changing. They don’t want to be spoken to, but with. Groups level out the relationship more than a Page does where the focus is on the Page to dispense the content rather than enlivening existing conversations.


So, get in on the conversation!

Biggest Marketing Moves: December 5

Here are some of the top personnel moves in marketing last week. Our congratulations to these people taking on new challenges!

Evan Shapiro Joins NBCUniversal as Exect VP of Digital Enterprises: The cable vet is taking on a key digital role at NBCUniversal.

Super Evil Megacorp Appoints Community Manager: Super Evil Megacorp appoints pro gamer George “Zekent” Liu  to connect with the community and create content around the debut game, Vainglory.

Universal Names Michael Wise Chief Technology Officer: Michael Wise will fill this newly created role to oversee the protection of properties from hacking and piracy.

Stuart Elliott Takes The New York Times Buyout: The iconic advertising journalist will be stepping down from his post, but The New York Times has not let on about future plans for the advertising section.

New CEO For ZQGame: ZQGame names Nancy Zheg  as CEO, but will continue her current role at Shenzhen ZQGame Network Co as EVP.


If you have a submission for this weekly feature, send info to or fill out our Suggest a Story form.



Viewbix Raises $3 Million To Get More Brands On Board With Interactive Video

by Sahil Patel

Israel-based interactive video advertising startup Viewbix has raised $3 million in additional funding from new investor 2M Companies and prior investors Canaan Partners and Longfellow Venture Partners.

If you’re not familiar with the company, Viewbix specializes in helping marketers distribute interactive video content on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Specifically, the startup’s technology allows marketers to wrap interactive elements around the video, but still keep them within the player environment. With this, they can run various calls to action that allow them to collect more information on who’s engaging with and interested in their creative.

Read more…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Meet Braineet, A Brand-Minded Social Network

Our age of social networking creates a new reality for brands, as consumers are now able to voice praise — or discontent — for companies and their products more effectively than ever.

It’s with this knowledge in hand that mobile platform Braineet steps into the picture, working to enable the general public to share clever ideas and insight with their favorite brands.

Braineet, a social networking startup founded by Jonathan Livescault and supported by French entrepreneurs Xavier Niel, Marc Simoncini, and Jacques-Antoine Granjon, aims to function as a place for consumers to give feedback on products; consumers can share their own ideas while discovering compelling information for themselves. The goal is to reward the public for speaking their mind while allowing brands to garner a greater understanding of their target market’s needs, concerns, and wishes.

The Braineet app functions like a Twitter-esque network. Users, nicknamed “Brainees”, post 140-character questions automatically prefaced with a “What if ”; a one-click interface allows them to easily connect with friends and stay in the loop about their favorite brands. “Like”, “dislike”, and “comment” buttons permit “Brainees” to shape discussion about brands and their ideas and initiatives.

The key to Braineet’s success, of course, is whether or not brands can be convinced to take part in their system. Braineet themselves say they are meeting with more than 30 major brands in coming weeks to take advantage of their service’s fast-growing userbase.

Increasingly strict changes from established social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn for brands unwilling to pay to “boost” their posts leave a clear opening for a more egalitarian platform. Braineet would like to seize that opening for themselves and carry it to success for companies and their audiences.

Could Virtual Reality Be Even More Realistic?

Virtual reality continues to pick up speed heading into 2015, between Sony’s Project Morpheus, Oculus’ VR Rift technology, and various other competitors looking to introduce their devices over the next few months. However, some believe that the introduction of such technology will soon blur the lines between virtual and reality further than some may think.

Google’s Noah Falstein, speaking with GamesIndustry International, feels that virtual reality could introduce a new medium that makes the experience more realistic than ever before. “At Google, we’ve done Cardboard and showed that for $20 you can take a high resolution phone and turn it into a simple VR headset,” he said. “I do believe that some forms of virtual reality or augmented reality – or a term I’m pushing, transmogrified reality, that you’re actually blending virtual and real worlds in indistinguishable ways – is bound to become an important subset of games. The technology is reaching a point of maturity that I think it’s inevitable that it will become important.

“What really pushed me over the edge was not the big headsets like Oculus Rift, but rather the shock I had the first time I tried Google Cardboard and I’m not saying this as a Google booster – I was a skeptic, I thought, ‘Sure, it’s a nice diversion to put your phone in and have it give a 3D image,’ but it’s actually quite startlingly good.

“I’m not saying it’s as good as the quality you get in a custom built head mounted display unit but when it’s $20 plus the phone you already have, the barrier to entry is going to be so low for people…a lot of people are going to be introduced to the idea of 3D virtual worlds just through that,” he explained.

As far as the effects of such technology go, Falstein added, “There’s a lot of technology that senses the world around you – we’ve got something called Project Tango which I’ve been very involved with that is a tablet that has 3D depth sensors built into it as well as ultra high quality accelerometers and gyroscopes so that it can map the environment you’re in. And for gaming possibilities it’s amazing. We’re going to be able to integrate the real world around us into the virtual world and in a few years in fact we may be able to mix those so seamlessly that it will be hard to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s virtual around you.”

As far as Google’s approach to the subject, Falstein stopped just short of confirming, but did admit he’s working on a number of things. “It kind of suggests that there’s an integrated games vertical here at Google and the reality is that games are spread throughout the company and there’s a thriving community of game developers within Google in many different parts of the world and working on many different things,” he said. “I get to work on all these cutting edge technologies. Granted, I’m not doing massive games, but it’s fun to do simple games and then share them freely with the world, even share the source code, and let developers learn how to make bigger and better games that way.”

The full interview with Falstein can be found here.

PewDiePie On ‘South Park’ Is A Cultural Moment

Comedy Central’s  South Park show is no stranger to dabbling in video game culture, with episodes that ranged from the show’s kids invading World of Warcraft to an argument over Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to the infamous Chinpokomon episode that made fun of the best-selling Pokémon franchise. But this past week, the team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone touched on gaming yet again, this time exploring the fascination of YouTube stars and gaming commentary.

In the episode titled #Rehash, the outspoken Eric Cartman launches a new vlog, one that comments on certain video games – or rather, commenting on those who comment on video games. It features various references to popular YouTube stars who thrive on video game programming, including PewDiePie, who’s featured playing Electronic Arts’ Dragon Age: Inquisition, as a number of kids (including Kyle’s younger brother Ike) watch him doing so – instead of playing the game themselves, which was the original intention.

The episode was all in fun, but Polygon couldn’t help but note how it may be a reflection on certain “gamers” in today’s world. “Gaming isn’t as straight forward as it used to be. Back in the day, people used to hold these things called controllers, or sit in front of these things called keyboards. They’d use these things to play video games on a television or on a computer,” said Polygon’s Brian Crecente. “But kids these days would rather spend their weekends and summer days watching people play and talk about video games. Or, if you live in South Park, watching and talking about people talking about video games.”

The episode is embedded below, but is rated MA for strong language, so it might not be safe for work. However, it’s definitely an interesting episode in this season of South Park, and one that may wake up a few gamers to, well, play games again. Once they’re done talking about them, of course.

Why Satya Nadella Himself Loves The New Microsoft App, Delve

Microsoft has a lot of products to choose from, and consumers have no problem picking their favorites, whether it’s a Surface tablet or the company’s popular Xbox One console. However, for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, his choice of a favorite is pretty simple – it’s an app called Delve.

Delve is just one of the many new apps being introduced by the company, in the hopes of introducing new “productivity software,” according to Business Insider. With these, Microsoft software can now run on any operating system and device, instead of “just” Windows.

As far as Nadella’s favoritism for Delve, he explained, “Delve is one of my favorite tools I use every day,” Nadella said. “Delve helps people discover information in new ways by surfacing the full depth of the knowledge inside your organization that’s in SharePoint or [Microsoft email product] Exchange.”

So what exactly does Delve do It enables people to search for emails, meetings, contacts, social networks and corporate documents within Office 365, using “machine learning” to narrow down what information you need to see. It only works with Office documents, but considering that millions of consumer still use it, you can get an idea of just how effective it really is.

The application was originally introduced under the name of Oslo before being finalized as Delve, and finally released earlier this year, after spending years in production.

As you can see from the photo above, Delve has a way of dividing up these documents into easy-to-read form, complete with images so you get a better idea of exactly what information you’re looking at. There are also relevant social tie-ins, in case other people are discussing similar topics at hand (even though the Office documents in your device remain private for you to view).

Delve is available now to those who have a free subscription to Office 365.

Sponsored Content May Be A Winner For Games

Free-to-play games have had an enormous impact on the game industry, and that impact continues to grow. Once in-app purchases were enabled on iOS (and then Android), the business model quickly came to dominate the mobile game business. Remember when mobile games came in a free “light” version and a full-featured premium version Not any more. Now 90% or more of the revenues from mobile games come from games that are free-to-play.

It’s not just mobile games, either. Free-to-play games are grabbing an increasing share of the revenue for online games as well. Almost all MMORPGs these days are free-to-play, World of Warcraft remaining the shining exception that proves the rule. League of Legends will probably pull in more than $1 billion this year, and World of Tanks isn’t far behind. Even that bastion of premium gaming, the video game console, has begun to allow free-to-play games. Once that camel gets its nose under the tent, it won’t be long until the rest of the beast shoulders its way in.

Yet the free-to-play game has a serious weakness at its core: for the vast majority of F2P games, only a very small percentage of players actually pay something to the game publisher. While it’s true that a few games like World of Tanks can boast of monetization rates on the order of 25 percent, most games (especially mobile ones) are happy to get a few percent of the customers spending. Many never see more than one or two percent of players giving them money. That’s not enough to live on, even if your players number in the hundreds of thousands.

It’s possible that some clever company will figure out a way to get a substantial portion of players to pay for content, but it hasn’t happened yet. Many mobile games on Android look to advertising to generate revenue, supplementing what they get from in-app purchases. Yet advertising can be annoying, and keep users from spending more time with a game… which in turn reduces the chance to get money from them. Still, that did happen with YouTube: Eventually the video site figured out a number of ways to get revenue from advertising without losing users.

There is another method that hasn’t been tried all that much, and seems to offer substantial potential benefits at low risk: Sponsored content. This is an old method to other media businesses: Most of the TV shows in the Fifties, for instance, were sponsored (“This variety show is brought to you by Ivory Soap”). Even Apple tried it recently by giving away the newest U2 album, though the implementation left something to be desired.

How could this work in a game There are plenty of possibilities, limited only by the ingenuity of the marketers and the creativity of the game designers. Perhaps Hershey’s could give away a special candy weapon in Candy Crush Saga (though that’s one game that does quite well without ad revenue, thank you). Coca-Cola could bring you a supply of health potions in a fantasy RPG. Perhaps Marriott could offer you a free hardened building you could use in a strategic game of territories.

A recent example of sponsored content occurred in Puzzle & Dragons, the top mobile game in Japan that’s slated to make over a billion dollars this year. This is certainly one game that doesn’t need to worry about reveneue, yet they collaborated with DC Comics to promote DC characters. The supereheroes were featured in the game along with a new dungeon crammed with DC villains.

Better still is to connect the thing being sponsored to things players already pay for, so they know the value of what they’re getting. In much the same way that Ford sponsored the first episode of a new TV series so it was presented without commercial interruptions, imagine if a sponsor like Ford offered you a new racetrack for Forza or DriveClub, or a series of cars and tracks.

Games already place values on maps, levels, weapons, powerups, new character skins, and double experience time. Brand advertisers could look for those sorts of opportunities to create a positive impression in the minds of players. Of course, mobile games also have the advantage of significant knowledge about the players. More could be obtained through opt-in methods as well.

Sponsored content offered in this fashion is not easy to do, though. It’s not something you can automate — each deal will have to be hammered out with each advertiser. Brands will have to be sold on the concept, and engineering resources will have to be diverted to make it happen. It will get easier after you’ve done a few deals, but initially brands will have to be educated and sold on the concept. The efficacy for the brand may be hard to measure. In a world where brands have yet to really get on board with mobile marketing, getting them to make this leap won’t be easy.

On the other hand, this could provide a solid revenue stream for companies while creating a positive impression on players. Instead of dunning the players for a payoff, you’re giving them more of what they enjoy for free. You could increase engagement and retention for your game while making money instead of spending more to accomplish that.

Where will this begin It will take a motivated game publisher, or perhaps a motivated brand advertiser, to begin the conversation. Perhaps even a third party could earn some coinage by matchmaking between the two parties, lining up these opportunities with multiple game companies and brand advertisers. Developing solid metrics on performance will be crucial to getting repeat sponsorships, of course, and that will require some serious work to create.

There are some nuggets of gold out there labeled “sponsored content.” Who will start a serious effort to collect them

Digital Viewing Up, Linear TV Viewing Down, Says Nielsen (Again)

by Jessica Klein

Nielsen’s “Total Audience Report” is the latest research to tout the growth of online video and the decline of linear TV viewing. In fact it’s the second Nielsen report in the past four months to say that.

Nevertheless, traditional TV viewing hours are still going down. During Q3 2014, TV viewership averaged over 141 hours per month, per person. That’s six hours less than what Americans watched in Q3 of last year (a roughly 4 percent decrease). Meanwhile, online streaming video viewing has increased by about 60 percent in the same time frame.

However, it’s worth noting that this massive increase in digital viewing rose from about seven hours a month to just under 11 since the previous year, so it still has a long way to go to catch up to traditional television. And within the context of this report, “online video” includes viewership of TV shows and movies on streaming platforms.

Read more…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Facebook’s Atlas Utilizes Instagram’s Ad Technology

Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram some time ago, some folks were concerned that the two sites would eventually merge. However, Facebook has assured that it would continue to be a separate entity – at least, to some degree. Needless to say, that doesn’t quite include its outreach with advertising.

Facebook introduced a new ad tech server known as Atlas a little while back, as it provided a way for marketers to track users and target ads across numerous devices. In addition, it also serves as a connection between the two sites, at least as far as advertising goes, and enables those behind such campaigns to get a better idea of measurement between the sites, according to Digiday.

This is just another part of Facebook’s continued foray into expanding its advertising business beyond its social site. With it, the company really hopes to reach out more to mobile advertisers, and possibly see what kind of impact they have on sales overall – particularly if the sites can’t be used online (such as during plane trips or with other access).

“The current way we measure digital is flawed,” admitted Facebook vice president of ad technology Brian Boland, speaking to reporters earlier in the week. The company has changed the way it sells ads, going with more of a value of impressions and subsequent sales through Atlas, instead of just general click-through rate.

That said, Instagram continues to remain separate, quelling the worries of those fearing there would be integration, as it works with its photo advertising and working with marketers through pre-set quality standards. Atlas works in this regard, but allows users’ activity to be tracked by companies after they view an ad on the site.

Mercedes- Benz tried out such a program a little while back, running ad campaigns that targeted users for both sites, as part of an initiation to see which photos were getting larger hits.

While that is kind of bending a promise made by Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger to keep user data in a “silo” and not for targeting purposes,  the site insists that users still have ownership of their photos, but the data would still be utilized.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of effect this campaign has in the long run – and if certain users continue to be rankled by what’s transpired from it. For now, though, it looks like marketers and Facebook are certainly benefitting.