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4 Ways to Apply Data Science to Social Media Marketing in 2018

Particularly for social media marketing, data science promises a lot. From advanced analysis of social media activity on branded content campaigns to create insightful user personas via social media listening, to complex data patterns made easy to understand via visualizations, to overcoming the perennial problem of ad fraud in advertising ecosystems, data science has potential applications that significantly improve social media for brands. It’s disappointingly common for people to use data science when they actually mean data analysis or analytics, and that’s not exactly right. Moving beyond word clouds with data-science-powered tools Word clouds have been trusted tools for social media marketers to analyze social conversations and understand what’s being discussed. BuzzGraphs, for instance, show you how words are linked, and which words are most frequently used. Based on the frequency of keywords observed, marketers can identify the most commonly discussed topics in social conversations. Such analysis can then group people together, separating weakly connected groups. Visualizations make it practical for marketers to understand these stories and generate insights that can massively improve social media marketing. Data-science-backed tools can transform how brands conduct market research using social media data. Social media listening platforms can allow marketers access to global conversations, bringing together large data volumes, capturing customer opinions and trends and feeding the data to a brand’s specific market research campaign: Begin with social media listening for researching a central topic.

The 7 biggest trends driving customer loyalty

According to 3Cinteractive, 64 percent of brands reported an increase in loyalty program membership over the last year. Omnichannel loyalty connects customers to a brand across all touch points seamlessly and provides members with the opportunity to be rewarded for spend and engagement across all channels. Furthermore, omnichannel data capture helps brands drive personalized communications and better customer experiences. Consumers expect personalization Research finds a correlation between personalization and customer satisfaction. Research indicates that consumers are willing to share data to get personalized experiences. Recently, members of the DSW rewards program were sent an email that contained how many points each member needed to receive a $10 certificate. Consumers expect brands to be socially responsible A recent study found that 81 percent of millennials expect companies to go beyond generating profit and serve as drivers of change and become active in their communities. Nearly half (47 percent) said rewards in fee-based programs are better than rewards in free programs. The decision to introduce the new tier this year was based on feedback from reward members who wanted to earn more points and subsequently enjoy more rewards. They found that consumers with strong emotional connections to retailers will visit their stores 32 percent more often and spend 46 percent more money than those without emotional bonds.

SEO trends and Google changes to expect in 2018

We’re already over a week into 2018, and the start of a new year is a great time to check in and see where we stand as an industry — and how things might change this year. Prepare for fake news algorithm updates Back in 2010, Google was getting beaten up in the media for the increasing amount of “content farm” clutter in the search results. Soon after that, in February 2011, the Google Panda update was released, which specifically targeted spammy and low-quality content. Why do I bring this up today? Because the media has been hammering Google for promoting fake news for the past year and a half — a problem so extensive that search industry expert Danny Sullivan has referred to it as “Google’s biggest-ever search quality crisis.” [Read the full article on Search Engine Land.] Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. About The Author Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder & VP Marketing of E2M, a digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile apps development company. He has over 8 years of experience in digital marketing and has served more than 500 customers into different verticals. As a passionate marketer, he regularly shares his thoughts and knowledge on high-end publications like Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Search Engine Watch, Moz, Fast Company, Huffington Post and many more. He's passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, startups and all things digital marketing.

Will tax reform harm the housing market?

However, according to two recent expert reports, the devil is in the details. “Households with taxable incomes above $400k are likely to experience a decrease in disposable income, though the effects may be muted for households that are already subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax,” he added. Hyper local analysis tells the tale” And in that report, provided early for the benefit of HousingWire’s readers, analysts at HouseCanary dug through mortgages from 2017 between $750,000 to $1 million, to see how many current households would be impacted by the new tax law. “Home buyers in those markets may need to reassess their spending levels, cut corners, or opt out of the market altogether if the homes they’re reaching to buy become increasingly unaffordable. According to the Torgerson DBRS report, disposable income is most likely to decline in higher income households with incomes above $400k and particularly above taxable incomes of $1 million, where lower tax rates are more than offset by the expected increase in taxable income due to the loss of SALT deductions. “In high SALT areas, DBRS estimates the reduction in disposable income is likely to average 3% for taxable incomes between $400k and $1 million, and could exceed 7% at incomes beyond $20 million. If the deductibility of SALT is already effectively limited due to AMT, the changes will have less of an adverse impact on disposable income for some of these higher income households. Furthermore, many of these same households should benefit financially from corporate tax changes, either as owners of a pass-through business or simply due to gains already reflected in their stock portfolios.” Here’s the summary of the DBRS tax reform analysis: Tax policy changes, even when directly tied to housing costs, affect demand for housing primarily through disposable income channels. A relative increase in the cost of homeownership could have adverse effects on housing prices in some markets. Particularly if combined with higher interest rates as a result of monetary tightening and a wider fiscal deficit, real estate prices could soften in more expensive areas.

From breaking down walled gardens to augmented reality adoption: Five predictions for social in...

But as for the world of social media — if 2017 is anything to go by, it’ll be full of surprises. A boost for Snapchat’s ad revenue It wasn’t the best year for Snapchat. This year, I predict the message that this is no longer the case should start to sink in and Snapchat will see ad revenue grow from an increasingly diverse group of advertisers. The platform has a rapidly growing user base and ad revenue. AR trumps VR Don’t worry, I’m not getting political. With the right headset, you can immerse yourself in a different world, often with hilarious consequences. And other platforms are trying to keep up with their own releases, such as Facebook’s World Effects. AR, on the other hand, has already achieved that status, and 2018 should see huge growth in the number of advertisers that are tapping into its potential to engage with users. I hope at the end of 2018 we can look back and see it as the year Twitter revolutionized the platform and truly distinguished itself from its peers, driving the increase in users and ad revenue it needs. So much so that in a year’s time, it may be that none of these predictions appear on a “trends of 2018” list.

Why Google May Not Always Be King of the Mountain

Google -- which today enjoys a cool 75 percent share of the search engine market -- has seen its reputation shaken over the past year by a series of issues. Filter bubbles Filter bubbles are the byproduct of social algorithms utilized by Google and most other search platforms. When a user enters a term into a search engine, the engine’s algorithms take into account what they know about that user’s preferences and interests based on his or her online activity. Sanjay Arora, founder and CEO of Million Short, a customizable search engine, believes, however, that filter bubbles can be popped if people are given more options and control over how they search for information online. “The world," Arora said, "needs more search engine options.” Rather than feeding results from opaque algorithms, Million Short allows users to tailor its search results, he pointed out. The results can be eye-opening for the user, Arora claimed, noting: “Every day, we get feedback from users telling us how Million Short allows them to discover content online that they couldn’t find with traditional search engines.” Fake news "Fake news" was one of the highest-profile social issues of 2017. Of course, this isn’t an easy problem to solve. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time.” Other search platforms disagree: They've rejected the inevitability of user data tracking. Duck Duck Go, for example, built its entire platform around the idea that search engines shouldn’t track or store user data. So, these are some of the reasons why search is far from a solved problem.

Five Killer Productivity Tools For Professionals On-The-Go

Thanks to evolving technologies and practical apps that fulfill many traditional responsibilities, professionals can pick and choose tools that greatly increase mobility without diminishing output. Five Minute Journal Journaling optimizes creative potential and generates clarity. Similar to meditation, gratitude journaling has been scientifically proven to motivate and help overcome daily challenges. With the Five-Minute Journal, you’ll begin your morning by listing three things you’re grateful for, three ways you can make the day great and three affirmations. Evernote Evernote, one of the most popular organization apps, organizes daily tasks and projects in one place so our brains have more room for the big picture. On the app, you can take notes, create project-based to-do lists, create reminders and save interesting tidbits you find online to the app itself. As an international company, we find ourselves using it daily to create and collab from a distance. Thanks to the growth of mobile devices and applications, it is possible to work on the go and remain productive. Once you’ve decided which tasks and aspects of your workflow are most important to streamline on the go, take advantage of apps like the ones listed above to communicate effortlessly, schedule less frantic days or simply take a moment to center your thoughts. Do you have any other tools that improve your productivity on the go?

Need a New Year’s resolution? Ask your sales team

Ah, the new year… there’s nothing like having a fresh start to inspire ambitious marketing plans, promises to run big campaigns and intentions of testing some of the fancy new technologies all the cool kids are using these days. But when I reflected on the challenges our team faced in 2017, the major missteps really weren’t marketing-related. In fact, I think our shortcoming was being too focused on our marketing programs and not stopping to get input from our second-most important “customer” — the sales team. Now, this isn’t a kumbaya session on “sales-marketing alignment” or a lecture on “breaking silos.” It’s a reality check for those of us marketers who have never asked sales what they could do better. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Attend the largest search marketing conference on the West Coast: SMX West! You'll get useful, proven tactics in SEO, SEM, conversion optimization, social media, mobile and more. Register now! About The Author Joe Hyland is the CMO of the leading webinar platform company, ON24, where he is responsible for the company’s global marketing, communication and brand strategy. He has over a decade of experience creating and marketing innovative products in the enterprise and SaaS software markets.

Urban Institute calls out shortfalls in federal housing assistance

The Urban Institute recently published a new report saying federal housing assistance programs aim to ensure recipients have decent, safe and affordable housing, however it claims new policy changes have left these programs falling short of their goals. In the report, the Urban Institute suggests a need for a serious review of affordable housing policy with a focus on developing a stronger evidence base before attempting large-scale changes to federal housing assistance programs. The company created the chart below to demonstrate that as housing stability decreases, the need for other public benefits and systems increases. Click to Enlarge (Source: Joint Centers for Housing Studies of Harvard University, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Urban Institute) But the Urban Institute claims that despite the strong need, there are still “shortfalls” in federal housing assistance. “Despite this array of options, housing assistance programs do not come close to meeting the actual need. The chart below shows that currently, only about 20% of those who need federal assistance receive it. Click to Enlarge What’s more, many of those on waiting lists for voucher programs will need to wait more than a year, and more than half of those needing voucher will be put on a waiting list. Click to Enlarge “In a time when only one in five eligible renter households actually receive federal assistance, any reduction to federal funding for public housing or vouchers threatens the well-being of millions of low-income households,” the report said. “The administration’s proposed budget cuts and many of the other proposed reforms to housing assistance—minimum rents, rent increases, time limits, work requirements, and others—are not new, but the evidence on how these changes have or will affect the availability of housing assistance and the livelihoods of those eligible for it remains scattered and thin.” “And there is little discussion of the fact that most of these proposals assume that recipients are able-bodied adults capable of work; increasingly, however, most are elderly and disabled,” the report continued. “What we do know is that housing assistance plays a critical role in stabilizing low-income households and promoting positive health and educational outcomes.”

Boost Your Facebook Post Engagement Using These 10 Tricks

The biggest question for a Facebook marketer is this: how do you get people engaged with your post? Thanks to an advertising method that Facebook calls Page Post Engagement adverts, you can keep up with all your followers and reach new ones at the same time. Ask Your Questions So you want to know more about your target audience? Enhance the Visual Appeal of Your Page A single relevant image can boost the engagement on your page more than a brilliant textual status update. B2C marketers place even greater importance on visual marketing when compared to B2B marketers. What are they doing differently to engage the Facebook audience? Ad links to important Facebook status updates in the updates you post on other social media. If you’re not getting them engaged enough, improve the quality before you start working on the quantity of posts. Try posting at a different time every day to see when you can get people engaged. But with a robust strategy and thoughtful audience analysis, it's possible to master your Facebook presence and keep the audience engaged.


New-Home Sales Sink to a 9-Month Low as Housing Market Wobbles

The numbers: New-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 627,000 rate, the Commerce Department said Thursday. What happened: Sales of newly-constructed homes missed the MarketWatch consensus forecast of a 640,000 pace and revisions to the prior several months were mostly downward. July’s pace was the lowest since last October. That’s only 1.8% higher than the median price in July 2017. Big picture: The government’s home-construction reports are based on small samples and are often revised heavily, making it hard to rely on any one month’s data. But for the year to date, sales are 7.2% higher than the same period last year. The recovery is still going on in the new-home segment of the market, and it remains grudgingly slow. Builders are increasing their pace of construction but slowly. What they’re saying: The slowdown in housing is becoming acute enough that even the Federal Reserve is watching. Shares of most big builders are down by double digits since the start of the year.