I really look forward to a hot cup of coffee in the morning and listening to my favorite podcasts on the way into work. It’s not that I dread the day or anything, but those are about the only things worth pivoting myself out of bed for as far as I’m concerned. I certainly don’t get jazzed for the forty-five minutes of inch-worming my way down the highway and toward the office. I’m not particularly in love with knowing I’m a good sixteen hours away from seeing the business end of my bed again. And I could do without walking my dog through tall, dew-soaked grass and picking up after her while still slipping in and out of a dream state.
So you can imagine that when I woke up the other morning to a work email with some blunt criticism of an assignment I had turned in the previous day, it felt a little like piling on.
That email stuck in my craw as I showered and got ready for the day. I drafted a response in my head as I brewed a cup of joe. It gnawed at me as I started up the car and pulled away from my apartment. My coffee tasted worse. The podcast was white-noise. My mind was elsewhere.
About halfway to work, I realized whose fault this was. I realized who was responsible for wrecking my morning, a morning that was already going to be bad enough without that feeling of failure and doom that currently sat in my stomach.
I realized, then, that this was entirely my fault.
Anyone who manages a company’s social media account knows that doing so opens oneself up to all manner of—shall we say—eccentric people and opinions. Social media has enabled brands to personally engage with their audience like never before, but the other side of the coin is that it provides literally anyone with a computer and a passing knowledge of the internet the same opportunity. The most niche, technical post ever is just as likely to get a response from a seasoned industry professional as it is from the guy inventing reasons to throw around racial epithets; and both get an equal voice.
Facebook seems to be the channel that draws most of the unusual commenters out of the woodwork. This could be a matter of numbers owing to the fact that there are more than twice as many active users on Facebook than there are on Twitter, or maybe the Facebook demographic just skews a little crazier.
Whatever the case, here at Nebo we’re no strangers to strange comments on Facebook. In fact, we get so many that we’ve noticed trends in the type of comments we see. Maybe you’ve noticed the same on your company’s Facebook. Maybe you’ve paid to promote a post only to have dozens of misanthropic or oddball characters click your ad and leave a stream of irrelevant comments. If this sounds like you, then get ready to click “hide comment” as we present the eight people you’ll meet on Facebook. These are all based on actual comments we’ve had on our Facebook posts, but the names, pictures and comments were changed to protect the innocent. And the guilty.
Three months ago, we were approached by Leadership Atlanta and the organizers of the (co)lab Summit with a big task: to awaken the change agents within Atlanta and inspire the region’s most talented citizens to help transform education.
To do this, we were tasked with writing briefs, helping to rally the community around education, and designing/producing two short videos that would bring to light the challenges our city is facing in regards to educating our children to life.
I still remember the first retargeting campaign that I created. It was late 2009, and Nebo was lucky enough to be enrolled in Google’s beta remarketing program.
While the concept of retargeting wasn’t new at that point, Google opened the doors and made it easier to jump in and create retargeting campaigns that reached a large audience regardless of budget.
Those first few retargeting campaigns I created were pure magic, considering I put minimal effort into them. This was not entirely out of laziness; back then, there just wasn’t much you COULD do. Essentially, I would set up two audiences, those that came to a site and converted and those that came to a site and didn’t convert, and then had one ad for each of those audiences. Then I watched the ROI on these campaigns hit up to 10x the return of the general display campaigns.
The whole thing was too good to be true—literally. As time passed and Google opened up their platform to everyone, the performance of these campaigns started to decline. The return was still better than any general display or search campaign, but the “crazy awesome” metrics dwindled to just “pretty awesome.”
Our office recently resurrected the all-but-forgotten Nebo Ping-Pong Tournament and, needless to say, it was quite the show. Lots were cast, alliances formed, and 35 rounds later a winner emerged (we’ll talk about him later). While the tournament was entertaining, it’s interesting to note how teachable an experience it was as it relates to our industry. Rule changes in the games of ping-pong and table tennis come about in order to adjust to the ever-changing advancements of the game—not unlike the field of digital marketing. Throughout the tournament, I couldn’t help but notice how many winning ping-pong strategies could easily be applied to our ever-evolving industry.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of Google, undoubtedly the most successful Internet concept ever. In just a short time, Google has become a seamless part of our lives, ranking somewhere between Jesus and bacon in importance. The brand has joined the ranks of Kleenex and Xerox (and if you’re in the South, Coke), with its name becoming synonymous with its product and somewhat generic as we “Google” this or that. Most of the world can’t use a smartphone without using a Google product. Some people can’t even travel across their own city without using Maps. It's hard to fathom a life without it. Google Reader users, however, got a small taste of life would be like without the Big G in our lives.
On July 1, 2013, Google Reader said its last goodbyes and walked off into the sunset. Though far from a popular product, it still had its fair share of fans and public outrage. A petition was created for it on Change.org, garnering over 150,000 signatures. Just one small, almost forgettable product in Google’s portfolio had such a fanatical cult following that people were willing to make a petition about it next to fighting for women’s rights and stopping Medicare cuts. And it was taken seriously.
It begs the question: what would happen if some of Google’s other products went quietly into the night? Though we imagine we’d get by somehow, I’m not so sure.