Digital 3000

"Digital Marketing Strategies and Solutions" | Seattle Office

Digital 3000

GOTCHA! POST A NEGATIVE REVIEW AND GET SUED!

 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

A developing legal and ethical issue in emerging media is whether a business has the right to sue and win in court against a consumer who received what they believe was poor service or a bad product and posted a negative review.

Simply do a Google search with this or a similar phrase and many stories immediately pop up: “businesses sue over negative social media posts.”

“One consumer who was angry over what she thought was poor work on her home logged onto Yelp and posted negative reviews about the firm that did the work, including claims that some of her jewelry was missing.  The contractor filed a $750,000 Internet defamation lawsuit against the consumer saying the postings on Yelp and Angie’s list were false the court for a preliminary injunction to keep her from writing similar reviews.” (outsidethebeltway.com 2014)

“Lawyers say it is one of a growing number of defamation lawsuits over online reviews on sites such as yelp, Angie’s list and Trip-Advisor and over Internet postings in general. They say the freewheeling and acerbic world of web speech is colliding with the ever-growing importance of online reputations for businesses, doctors, restaurants, even teachers. No one keeps track of how many suits are filed over online reviews, and lawyers say the numbers are still small but are getting larger.” (outsidethebeltway.com 2014)

In another case, “Hotel Quebec sued a former guest for $95,000. The reason? The guest wrote a negative review on TripAdvisor exposing the bed bugs in his room and refused to remove the review.”

“Lawyers say such cases are a cautionary tale for a new era: those who feel targeted by defamation on the web are more likely to file suit, and judges and juries are more likely to take such claims seriously than in years past, raising the legal stakes over vitriolic reviews, nasty blog comments and Facebook feuds.” (outsidethebeltway.com 2014)

the following analysis is from (blankrome.com 2014)many dentists, wedding photographers, moving companies, locksmiths and online retailers have each tried to limit negative online customer reviews via nondisparagement clauses in their service agreements.”

Traditionally found in negotiated settlement or employee severance agreements, nondisparagement (or “no review”) clauses are now making their way into non-negotiated service contracts and the oft-ignored terms and conditions of online retailers. So the question becomes: are nondisparagement clauses the wave of the future, or simply the next battleground in the war for online consumer rights?

In its simplest form, a nondisparagement clause seeks to prevent a customer or receiver of goods or services from posting negative reviews about a service provider or vendor by outlining the financial repercussions for any violation.

The impetus behind companies inserting these clauses is the popularity of review sites like Yelp.com, ripoffreport.com, dine.com, tripadvisor.com and amazon.com—coupled with the increasing number of people turning to such sites in choosing which companies to do business with. Because a poor review can be financially devastating, businesses want to prevent clients from bad-mouthing them—even if the criticism is true.

Still, the first issue regarding any non-negotiable, nondisparagement clause is whether it is enforceable. According to University of California, Los Angeles constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “you ruined my wedding—and you’re suing me?” the answer, not surprisingly, is: it depends.

As a general rule, items agreed to in a contract are enforceable. But the “gotcha factor” is critical, Volokh told the wall street journal. If a reasonable consumer would be very surprised by a clause in a vendor contract or a terms of service agreement, that provision may be deemed unenforceable. “you could see some of these [nondisparagement clauses] invalidated,” Volokh said. “this will be decided on a state-by-state level.”

Consumers should be careful when reading a non-negotiable service agreement, so as to be aware of any nondisparagement or similar clauses. This is especially true when dealing with an online retailer’s terms of service—which may be separate from the specific contractual provisions.

Businesses can also take steps to ensure their reputations are protected without impugning free speech. According to one commentator, a more defensible approach is to require a consumer to take their complaint to the company before posting anything online; in exchange, the consumer receives a coupon (or other item of value). This approach would not ban comments indefinitely.

But even setting aside the legal issues, public perception of companies using nondisparagement clauses may also be worth considering. Such clauses may send the message a company does not stand behind its work, or is overly concerned with bad press. While a few negative reviews may be the cost of doing business, the overall impact will be negated by more positive reviews.

As businesses continue to take concerted steps to protect their online reputations, and consumers continue to post online, this area of law is likely to develop. The introduction of pro-consumer legislation will only quicken the pace. But until then, the battle for online consumer rights carries on.(blankrome.com 2014)

 

Coming soon to Facebook: Video ads that follow you from device to device

Coming soon to Facebook: Video ads that follow you from device to device

Advertisers on Facebook see the emerging method of sequential mobile advertising as a way to better control their branding message with consumers on social media.

Sequential video advertising allows marketers to place targeted video ads in front of a user when they click an ad on their mobile device. Based on what the person clicks, and what the product or message is, marketers are then able to follow up with similar video ads as they hop from one device to another.

By creating a sequence of targeted ads, marketers can build up a pitch from one video to the next — starting with a “pitch” video and ending with a “sell” video intended to close the sale.

VentureBeat spoke to two sources who requested their names not be used because the information they were describing was based in conversations with Facebook executives.

“Video is where its going,” an advertising executive who works with Facebook told VentureBeat. “With unique profile IDs, you have the ability to better sequentially target content for users as they embark on their journey through the social media funnel.”

The same executive added: “Sequential video advertisers gives marketers the ability to place different messages that can build upon each other. This gives you greater control over the delivery of your message.”

Another mobile executive who works with Facebook told VentureBeat that advertisers want to better control, and deploy, product messages. But they are content, for now, in permitting Facebook and others obtain user data to target their ads.

For its part, Facebook uses a combination of its own in-house analytics and partners for the task of ad targeting.

Facebook is able to amass tremendous amounts of user data based on information contained in in its users’ profiles as well as their activity. That includes information on who you interact with and where you like to shop, for example. That data is gold to advertisers, keen to take advantage of Facebook’s 1.2 billion users.

“The writing is on the wall. Sequentially targeted ads are hugely efficient and ultimately cost effective. They have greater relevance for advertisers and better targeting,” said the second source, who has knowledge of Facebook’s mobile ad strategy.

“Anecdotally, it’s very promising. Facebook is putting a lot of effort into it,” the same source added.

Indeed, Facebook bought the video advertising outfit Liverail for an undisclosed sum earlier this month. Liverail’s technology optimizes video ad deliveries for mobile devices utilizing bidding and proprietary data. Liverail was considering an IPO this year but threw in its lot with Facebook instead, media reports said.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the Liverail deal because it hasn’t closed yet. The spokesperson told VentureBeat that the social media giant began incorporating video ads into user feeds years ago but that in March, the company unveiled Premium Video for advertisers.

Video ads are an important component of Facebook’s market strategy. You can see a blog post on the subject here.

The two mobile executives said Premium Video Ads was a definite upgrade to earlier iterations of mobile video ads and that the company was focused on evolving their mobile ad technology with better tools for advertisers. And they both pointed to discussions with Facebook executives that the company is tweaking and testing new forms of mobile ad deployments likely to be unveiled by years end.

A blog post announcing Premium Video Ads put it this way:

“Premium Video Ads are designed for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound and motion. Each 15-second video ad will start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past. If people tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start. People can expect to begin seeing these new ads over the next few months.”

Facebook’s analytics and targeting capabilities are second to none, the sources both said. The sources told VentureBeat that the exceptionally detailed information on Facebook’s 1.2 billion users is ripe for the unveiling of upgraded targeted and video ads that possess many factors of consumers, including where they live, shop, and eat.

“It’s all in the context. Facebook knows more about you than Google does. They know who you’re friends and family are, and what kind of hair gel you use. They’re saying ‘we have more information on you and we know everything,” the second source said.

Facebook VP of ad product marketing Brian Boland hinted at the future of video ads in a blog post July 2heralding the Liverail purchase:

“We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month. More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too. Publishers will benefit as well because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad.”

“Sequential content delivery in ads sends a top-level message to consumers that brands know who they are. The reach and frequency of video ads allows Facebook the ability to reach out to users more effectively. Video is very powerful, and Facebook is committed to that pipeline of direct response,” the first source told VentureBeat.

At Facebook’s F8 conference in April, the company unveiled Audience Network, its enhanced advertising platform, furthering cementing the social media kingpin’s belief that mobile video ads are another important way to increase their share of the mobile ad pie.

Facebook has made solid strides into its mobile ad strategy over the last year alone. A study by TGB Digital showed Facebook’s ad click-through rate is four times higher than arch-rival Twitter’s, with 1.1 percent compared to Twitter’s 0.266 mobile CTR.

And at the F8 conference, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg declared that his company had become a mobile-first player.

 

The Truth About Online Engagement

Many people talk about online “engagement” yet few take the time to define the term, create a strategy to increase engagement, and create effective methods of measurement.

There are many definitions of online engagement but let’s keep this simple and use Facebook as an example. If your customers or potential customers “like” a post or respond with comments or questions, they are engaging with you. They latter is what you want.

It’s not about how many followers or the number of people who “Like” your page; it’s about the number of people who engage with you, your venue, your service, your products — your brand.

Engagement means creating community, having a two-way conversation, having a dialogue with your followers. It means they ask you questions, and they share ideas that relate to your brand and other followers.  It’s as if everyone is invited over for a big community festival at a park and everyone is sharing with each other. That’s engagement.

You can increase engagement by asking for it. If you are a restaurant or grocery store and you post a great recipe for dinner, ask people to send you photos how it tasted and what their version looked like. Ask them to send in and share similar recipes.

You can track engagement month to month, year to date, and that month year to year. The goal is to increase the comments and the engagement.

(c) Joseph Barnes  www.Digital3000.net

Why NBC Blew It With the Olympics: What if we put Twitter on taped delay?

Social networks are a BUZZ all over America today because NBC is delaying the Olympic coverage. So why is that different that past Olympics? Social Media.

Today, we are receiving news and sports alerts about Olympic results, pictures and comments on Facebook and Twitter, and by the time the TV broadcasts come on, we already know what has happened. So where does this leave people engaged in social media? Not happy!

Social media has changed everything. The problem is that despite all of the great planning and coverage by NBC, they didn’t anticipate and fully understand the power of real-time social media. We now live in a world where we expect to see and hear what we want, now, live, and in real time. Social media is real time. Therefore we expect to see the Olympic coverage now, in real time, not taped delay as in years past.

It’s time for the broadcast and cable networks to “listen” and understand what social media is truly about. It’s about real time news, real time collaboration, real time community.

My gosh, can you imagine if we put Twitter on taped delay?

(c) Joseph Barnes, www.Digital3000.net

This IS The Future of Books!

This is a must read for several reasons:
1. This book is the new wave of publishing. You need to experience how books should be written.
2. There is good content in this book.
In Do or Die, Razorfish chairman Clark Kokich shares his prescription for more effective marketing: moving from just saying things to your audience to actually doing things people find entertaining, useful, and relevant and relevance is the key.
Do or Die, is the first full-length business book published as an iPad app.
You can read Do or Die, listen to it, and watch video interviews with industry leaders, while looking into 8 case studies from enlightened marketers such as Nike, Coors, Virgin America, VW and others. When Do or Die references a company’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, or website, you can see them live right on the page.

See the demo here.

Important Facebook Change You Need to Know About!

The following is an NPR story that everyone should read, published today, June 25th. 
A key change was made to your Facebook profile recently that you may not have noticed yet. Facebook has replaced the primary email address users entered in their profile contact information with brand-new @facebook.com addresses. These addresses allow you to email external accounts from your Facebook inbox. Forbes first noticed the change:
“No one seems to want the Facebook inbox to be their main email account (with good reason). Facebook is trying to change that with a new little nudge. On your profile page, Facebook has taken the liberty of making your Facebook email your default contact address.”
LifeHacker has instructions on how to quickly change your primary email information back.
We asked Facebook to explain, and got a statement reminding us that the company announced back in April that it would update addresses “to make them consistent across our site.” Facebook says you can still choose which email contact information you want to show on your profile.
The Facebook statement continues:
“Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.”
There certainly was an April announcement, but it did not warn users that their default profile email address would be switched without their knowledge. When asked why there wasn’t an additional notification to users, or a repeat of the announcement as the changes were taking place, the spokesman did not respond.

Why Facebook Needs to Listen to Make Money!

For all of the billions of dollars we’ve been hearing about with Facebook lately. For all of the smart brainiacs working there. For all of the fabulous things they have created. The one thing that Facebook doesn’t get is how to place effective advertising that serves both users and advertisers.

There’s a very good reason that GM pulled $10-million in advertising from Facebook. There’s a good reason why I’ve heard from many other business owners who have pulled advertising.

Here’s why.

Do I really care that my friends have “liked” certain businesses? I’m on Facebook to socialize right now and there is — no joke — an ad for “Metamucil.” [No jokes please]  Now I have nothing against Metamucil but seriously. Am I really interested in that product while I’m sending birthday messages to my friends on Facebook?

Come on. Facebook has demographics deeper than oil rigs and yet they can’t figure out what I’m interested in?

The other ads below Metamucil were even less relevant and interesting.

The greater challenge for Facebook is to fully understand how and why people use Facebook. Hello! People go there to socialize, unlike Google where people search for a topic.

If I’m on Facebook to socialize, you would think the FB experts could figure out a better way to understand my interests in real time and place ads that are relevant, timely, and interesting.

If I’m writing and wishing people a Happy Birthday are there local businesses that want to reach me? Bakeries, cup cake bakers, card makers, anything related to birthdays.

If I post pictures about taking my kids to the zoo it seems like family-oriented venues would want their ads on my page right away. Maybe even Disney ads?

I could go on and on, but until Facebook becomes realistic about understanding that the web is a REAL TIME experience, their ads will languish off to the side. Google gets it; Facebook doesn’t.

I welcome your comments. joe@digital3000.net

(c) Joseph Barnes, http://www.Digital3000.net


Take The Poll: Has Technology Affected Face-To-Face Communication?

In the world of interpersonal communications, many people favor building relationships in face-to-face situations, yet some people are communicating more today through texting, email, and Facebook.

The question is whether you believe technology has affected face-to-face communication?

Click Here and Take the Poll!

Be Careful What You Post on Facebook!

Here’s a video that has gone viral. You’ll see why. It seems Tommy Jordan, who is an IT specialist and a dad, spent time fixing his daughter’s computer and paying for new software. In the process Tommy read a Facebook post by his daughter — a cussing rant against her parents. So Tommy decided to read her letter on YouTube and take some rather “unusual” action.

You have to see it to believe it.

Social Media Trends to Watch in 2012!

David Armano of Edelman Digital is one of the smart minds. His insights are worth noting. He has just come out with six social media predictions for 2012 on Harvard Business Review blog:
  1. Convergence Emergence – social goes transmedia; social OOH (out-of-home -aka interactive posters/billboards) and social POS (socially connected point of sale)
  2. The Cult of Influence – measuring, harnessing and exploiting social influence – Klout is just the beginning
  3. Gamification Nation – increasing social app appeal with game techniques breaks out of consumer-ville and into professional and public applications
  4. Social Sharing – from frictionless (automatic) sharing to elective sharing, we’ll be sharing more of what we do with the world
  5. Social Television – second screen social interaction around TV; Twitter voting/feedback and TV check-in apps like Get Glue are just the start
  6. The Micro Economy – peer-to-peer marketplaces, open-outsourcing (crowdsourcing) contests to flourish in an economy where efficiency rules

I believe two big ones you can move on right now are #2 and and #5.

The Cult of Influence: Use every employee as an ambassador, have a formal word of mouth marketing program using the 5T’s from Andy Sernovitz, leverage your Facebook page to demonstrate brand understanding, and by all means use your Facebook page to create a two way dialogue with your stakeholders. Need help? We can help you do this. joe@digital3000.net.

Social Television: All marketers are in the the content business from this day forward. It’s not about news releases and traditional advertising, it’s about telling compelling stories that readers and viewers want to engage in. You want them to want more. We now have TV sets being made with the Internet built in. The day is coming soon when the TV set search engine will scan for TV programs, web stories, social media, etc., and viewers will land on what’s interesting –— not what they do now—pick the least objectionable show.
(c) Joe Barnes www.Digital3000.net