Monthly Archives September 2012

Why Awesome Facebook Posts are Your Brand’s Best Mobile Strategy

As brands watch more and more of their traffic come from mobile devices it may be a good time to evaluate what your brand is doing on the one part of your Facebook presence that mobile users can see: Timeline.

Facebook is facing a quandary when it comes to brand pages. While an increasing number of Facebook users are utilizing the platform on their smartphones or tablets, the Facebook tab content that brands spend so much time and money to develop are not visible to these users. We know more users prefer Facebook brand pages to brand websites and we also know that smartphone usage is on the increase.

So what is a brand to do?

Facebook app development remains an integral part of a brand’s presence on Facebook. The brand immersive experiences, like sweepstakes and other fun apps are designed to engage and inspire users to share and they do. But, as brands watch more and more of their traffic come from mobile devices it may be a good time to evaluate what your brand is doing on the one part of your Facebook presence that mobile users can see: Timeline.

The best Facebook brand posts have must-see, must-share content. So how do you take your branded posts from meh to marvelous?

1. Use user generated images in your posts

I know that everyone social media expert on the planet will tell you that social media posts with an image get more attention than those that don’t. But, this advice is a bit different.

Ask your community to share pictures, not highly posed shots of them holding your product at salesmanish angles, but real photos of the sort they probably already have. Pictures of their home, kids, pets and the like- whatever category is relevant to your brand. Use them in all of your posts and you will see interaction skyrocket.

People like to see themselves represented and I for one could go the rest of my life without seeing another stock photo used in a Facebook brand post. We implemented this with a client at the beginning of the year and have seen monthly unique interactions grow from a respectable 6% to a totally awesome 40%.

2. Make your posts relatable

 How many times have we seen a post with copy like this: “It’s back to school time! Like this post if your kids are ready for school.” Ugh, snore. Sounds like the opening line of a very boring PTA meeting.

Take that basic idea and add copy with an accompanying image that the mom you are speaking to can relate to: “Here is Barbara from Poughkeepsie enjoying her coffee in peace this morning. Like this if you are enjoying the silence of back to school time!” It’s better, more from a mom point of view and the consumer you are trying to engage will have a higher likelihood of interacting with the post.

3. Create inspirational branded images

 A lesson we can all learn from the popularity of Pinterest is that inspirational images get shared. That lesson applies to Facebook as well.

Take an inspirational quote about life, home, self-care whatever makes sense for your brand and put it meme style on an image (even better an image shared by a user). Ask your community to share and boom, your branding is out there being shared with a larger audience and is connected with a powerful, inspiring message which is all good. We have been using this tactic for a few months and have had some images shared 20,000+ times.

Creating better Facebook posts means higher engagement from all users, especially those viewing your brand page on a smartphone. Creating killer Facebook apps is still important, but until Facebook allows tab content to be viewed via mobile spending time creating content designed for interaction and sharing is a win.


Leave a comment if you have tips for making the most out of Facebook posts for the brands you represent.

 

Notes from the Intern – What I learned interning at Flightpath

Find out how it’s like to work with the Flightpath team from our very own Social Media Intern, Beck Delude.

As every college student and recent graduate knows, interning is how you get your foot in the door and learn how it’s like to work in the real world.  Essentially things they sometimes forget to mention in school.  With that being said, our very own Social Media Intern Beck Delude shares her experiences at Flightpath below.


I have been so lucky to be the Social Media Intern at Flightpath in NYC and learn from their brilliant employees. My time spent at the agency has allotted me a vast array of opportunities. Since being here I participated in building social media strategies for several brands, attended BlogHer12, researched relevant news about digital media and went to IFBCon!

Here are some key things I’ve learned here at Flightpath:

  • Think critically about who the brand’s audience is
  • Double and triple check everything you do and then have someone else look over it
  • It’s important to be aware of what others in the industry are doing but to always be original
  • Research is a very important aspect of being prepared

Aside from all the amazing opportunities and all the great things I learned the best part of interning at Flightpath was the people I worked with. Everyone is extremely talented and willing to take the time to teach you what they know.

Flightpath not only offers internships in Social Media but also in Design and Web Production! Check them out and apply here: http://www.flightpath.com/careers/

Photo Journal: LuckyFABB

This week it’s not just about New York Fashion Week, it’s about the bloggers. We here at Flightpath are taking you behind-the-scenes of the beauty and fashion conferences this week. Last but not least Lucky Magazine’s LuckyFABB Conference.

Lucky Magazine is one of the most popular magazines when it comes to shopping.  Using their know-how and expertise they have developed a conference for bloggers that offers insights not only from industry experts but from their editorial team.  They offered unique panels for all levels of blogging in their Lucky Fashion and Beauty Bloggers (LuckyFABB) Conference.

This conference is one we would recommend.  It was a great place to network and all the panels were informative and offered great resources for those trying to stand out in the blogging community.

Check out the all star panels that spoke at LuckyFABB:

Rachel Zoe stopped by to share how she makes it work being a  mom, designer and stylist to the celebrities.  Zoe shares that everyday is a challenge but you’ll always find a way to make it work if you love what you do.

Lauren Conrad may be known from MTV’s The Hills, but she has become a true entrepreneur.   She shared the struggles of starting two successful clothing lines and running websites that offers great resources in beauty, fashion and decor. 

This panel of experts included Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, Mitch Grossbach, Head of Fashion and Beauty Division at Creative Artists Agency, Federico Marchetti, Founder and CEO of YOOX and Shana Fisher, Managing Partner of High Line Venture Partners.  They were discussing the emerging trends of designers and social media and how they can go hand-in-hand.

These women are a true inspiration in the fashion industry and have started some of the trends that brands are doing right now in social media. This panel included Susan Lyne, Chairman of Gilt Groupe, Lauren Bush Lauren, Chief FEEDer and Co-Founder of FEED Projects, Aliza Licht, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for DKNY International and Erica Domesek Founder of P.S. I made this… 

You couldn’t ask for a better pair to discuss fashion.  Simon Doonan, Brand Ambassador for Barney’s New York and Fashion Designer Anna Sui discuss design inspiration and how to stand apart from other brands.  The key, is to focus on your brand. Anna Sui confessed how she doesn’t follow any other designer and draws inspiration from her yearly exotic trips with her nephews and neices.

The gift bag with up to $1,500 worth of products that was given to all the guests.  This was a great way to get products in the hands of bloggers, you should see how many of them tweeted photos.  They even included a note that stated if bloggers decided to write about any of the products to follow the Federal trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides to disclose they have received them for free. 

If you’re looking to get re-inspired and how to grow not only as a blogger but as a brand to interact with bloggers this is the one to go to.

Photo Journal: Day 2 at #IFBCon

This week it’s not just about New York Fashion Week, it’s about the bloggers. We here at Flightpath are taking you behind-the-scenes of the beauty and fashion conferences this week. We sent our Social Media Intern to check out day two of the IFB conference.

As promised, our Social Media intern Beck will share her thoughts on the IFB conference.  Take it away Beck!


Each year IFB  holds a conference that brings together some of the most successful people in the fashion industry and the bloggers who write about fashion. It’s a two day event and as the lucky Flightpath intern I had the pleasure of attending the second day of the event!

This panel focused on turning your blog into a business. Some of the key points were:

  • Be ok with risk
  • Surround yourself with people who are passionate about the same thing you are
  • Challenge yourself daily

Conferences can be fun too with everyday tips.  Samantha Brown from Style to Hire showed us which pieces of clothing are essential to a complete closet!

Bloggers and writers tackled the topic of Bringing Bravery Back to Blogging. A few things they highlighted were:

  •  Blog like no one is watching
  • Be aware that once you put yourself out there, there will be negative feedback and that’s okay
  • Find fuel in the hate comments, don’t let them bring you down

I had the pleasure of meeting Iman! She is not only a gorgeous model
but a successful entrepreneur. Such an inspiration.

That concludes our adventures at the bigger, better and bolder IFB conferences.  Next up is Lucky Magazine‘s LuckyFABB.

Photo Journal: Day 1 at #IFBCon

This week it’s not just about New York Fashion Week, it’s about the bloggers. We here at Flightpath are taking you behind-the-scenes of the beauty and fashion conferences this week. First stop – Independent Fashion Bloggers.

Fashion week is in full swing and it can’t start without a couple fashion and beauty conferences.  We here at Flightpath decided to check them out and wanted to show you the experience from a blogger’s perspective with photos.

This year Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) has decided to extend their popular conference to two days! With more panels, breakout sessions and opportunities to network with fellow bloggers and brands.  Check out what we did on the first day.

Expert panels from magazines, agencies and bloggers took the stage to share their insight.  No matter the topic the theme of the day for both brands and bloggers is this: BE AUTHENTIC and just have fun! Readers or customers can relate to you when your genuine voice comes out.

Throughout the day there were break out sessions where you can pick and choose a topic you’re interested in such as Photoshop 101, How to Become Your Own PR Person and more.

The attendees were lining up to meet the brands!  Some of the sponsors included Bare Minerals, Julep Nails, Lockerz, and more that included interactive activities such as photo booths, makeovers and DIY stations.

Blogger Mollie in Seattle took advantage of getting a quick touch up with the Bare Minerals makeup artists.

We couldn’t resist to take a manicure break and get our nails done with the Julep team at The Find booth.

The first day of the conference ended with model Coco Rocha interviewing New York Times Bestseller Derek Blasberg.

Stay tuned for the full second day report from our intern Beck who will share her first-time experience at the IFB conference and what she’s learned.

Before we let you go, we want to hear from you.  One question that arose several times at the conference was working with bloggers that have agents. Do you find it controversial or beneficial?  Share your thoughts in our comments.

Interview: Jenny Finkel of Prismatic

prismatic logo

A major trend of the modern Web experience is targeting: Offering users content that directly reflects their interests. It’s what drives online advertising and what may also drive, to a greater and greater extent in the future, the way we receive our news and information. Prismatic, a new site and iPhone app, hopes to take targeting and customization to a new place by linking with users’ Facebook, Twitter or Google+ profiles to offer personalized news feeds. And it actually works really well.

To mark last month’s launch of the Prismatic iPhone app, Flightpath spoke with Jenny Finkel, Prismatic’s Chief Software Architect, about the launch of Prismatic, where it has succeeded and where it has faced hurdles, and why releasing a mobile version was so important.

Flightpath: Let’s start off with the genesis of Prismatic. Where did the idea come from?

Jenny Finkel: That all predates me. It was originally Brad [Cross, Prismatic CEO]’s, idea. And I honestly don’t know what his mindset going in or his motivation was, other than that he just thought that none of the news readers out there were very good at providing you content. A lot of the stuff out there currently is much more design-focused than it is tech-focused for actually getting you good stuff. So I think he just saw an opportunity for building a better product, especially since it’s a space that’s not really dominated by anyone yet.

Flightpath: And when did it launch?

Jenny Finkel: It depends on how you define “launch.” We’d been having beta users for probably a year. And then the website opened around April. But in our minds, the real launch [was actually last month] when the iPhone app came out. In our minds, I think the website was meant to be the training ground for the iPhone app, because there was a lot of algorithmic stuff we had to get right. The iPhone [version] is the real deal, I think. I’m very excited about it.

prismatic iphone app

Flightpath: When exactly did you come on board, and what’s your role there?

Jenny Finkel: We just hired a sixth person, but until a couple of weeks ago there were only five us, and only three engineers. So when you’re a startup with three engineers, you have to be a jack of all trades and you have to do everything. Everyone worked on the iPhone app, even though I never coded anything for the iPhone before; everyone works on the back end stuff for things like performance and reliability and scaling up.

So really, I do everything. But the things that I focus on, when we’re not in a mad dash to get an iPhone app out, is the language stuff.  Language and machine learning. I did the algorithm for doing topic classification. Another thing is the topic suggestions, for instance – looking at your Facebook account and scraping it and trying to guess the things you’re interested in. My main focus is anything that has to do with human language and extracting some meaning out of it.

Flightpath: How has the launch of the website and what you’ve learned from it informed what you’re doing with the app?

Jenny Finkel: It’s hard to give a concrete example because it’s really an iterative process. We’ll have some idea and we’ll put it out, and either people will use it or they won’t, or they’ll send us feedback. We read every piece of feedback we get and pay attention to them.

It’s more an issue that there’s a lot of things we know we still have to do, and the feedback tells us what’s important to people. And so that tells us how to prioritize.

Flightpath: And what is important to people?

Jenny Finkel: Well, the biggest thing that people complain about that we haven’t done yet, is banning topics and publishers. There’s a lot of demand from people who say, “Look, I don’t want to see an effing cat picture ever again.” Or, “I hate TechCrunch. I never want to see anything from TechCrunch.” That’s one that we’ve gotten a lot of noise for.

It’s much more [about] little things. We recently changed the way the share box worked, just how it pops up and stuff. And then you see what happens. You see, do the number of shares go up or down? We’ll do a version, and there’s something about it that’s weird that we didn’t think of, and then we get enough complaints that we can figure out what the problem is and then tweak it. A lot of the feedback is design things for how to do the interactions.

Flightpath: Is that helpful?

Jenny Finkel: Yeah. It’s immensely helpful. Because it really helps solidify what people care about and what they don’t.

It used to be the case that you could do multi-share. You opened up the share box, and it was defaulted to Twitter, and then you clicked on Facebook, you’d be sharing to both Facebook and Twitter. This is something that I had fought against from the beginning, because I thought it was confusing, and that most people who multi-shared were doing it by accident. They thought that they were just sharing to one and didn’t realize what happened. And we took it out to see if people would complain, and we got like, maybe three complaints total. That’s enough to indicate that no one really cares about multi-share, and it’s fine that we took it out.

prismatic iphone app

Flightpath: What do you think you’ve done right? What have been the real successes?

Jenny Finkel: I think the core algorithm is really good. It’s got room for improvement – it will always have room for improvement – but I think the core nature of how we decide what to show you is right, and is good, and is much better than anyone else out there. So in my mind, that’s the biggest success. There’s tons of things to tweak, but with the core algorithm, I believe we pick out the right stuff. We get tons of feedback from people who are like, “I find things that I love that I never would have found elsewhere, from you.” That’s the overwhelming feedback, so I think that’s the biggest success.

Flightpath: And do you want to keep to the core of what Prismatic does right now, or do you want to bring in more social elements? Not just sharing stories, but maybe you connect to other Prismatic users that share your interests?

Jenny Finkel: This is actually on our short-term roadmap. We have a whole lot of social stuff coming down the pipeline. So right now, the precursor, which isn’t all that useful on its own, is profiles. So if you want to, you can make your profile public and then other people can look at it. Maybe you’re like, “Oh, John’s interesting, maybe I can look at his profile and see what topics he’s added and maybe I want to add some [to mine].” Obviously, that’s pretty passive, so there’s no connections between them right now. One of the very next things that we’re doing is adding followings, so you can subscribe to your friends. We also want to do stuff with recommended users. You favorited these five articles, another person across the planet also favorited those five articles, you might want to check out their profile. You probably have stuff in common. That’s very much the future of where we’re going.

Flightpath: You mentioned that the iPhone app was the real launch, and the website was a training ground. I’m curious why you say that.

Jenny Finkel: I think it’s just the nature of how people read their news. Some people read it on their computer, and I’m actually in that boat. But for most people, it’s basically mobile-only. Mobile is the most important. People use their computers less and their phones more, and it’s only going to further shift that way. There’s just a lot of time when you’re not in front of your computer.

prismatic iphone app news stories

Flightpath: And what are your hopes for the future of Prismatic post-iPhone app launch?

Jenny Finkel: Shorter-term, there’s the stuff I was talking about with the profiles. Longer-term, I think we want to move out of news entirely to do other kinds of recommendations. Recommending music and movies and stuff to buy and I don’t know what else. If we have enough information on your friends and interests and what people click on, we should be able to do a reasonable job for some stuff.

Imagine you’re a photography buff, and your friend just got some awesome new camera and shared it out. There’s a reasonable chance you’re going to care about that, and maybe you’re also going to buy it. So yeah, I think broader recommendations are a big thing for the long-term goal.

Flightpath: Tell people why, if they haven’t heard of Prismatic or haven’t signed up for it, why they should.

Jenny Finkel: Basically, if you want to find interesting things to read, I think it’s your best bet. I know that’s a simple answer, but that’s the one. Literally, when I procrastinate at work, I procrastinate on our website. [Laughs]