The BFG Spin on all things digital,

social, and creative - or otherwise blogworthy.

Why Organic Facebook Reach Is Dropping, and the Value of a Fan

Posted by Bfgcom on June 12, 2014

Any brand with a Facebook page has noticed a steady decline in reach in recent months. Facebook let us know that this was coming, promising that the change was all about improving user experience and not about making money.

A recent blog post by Facebook's Ads Product Marketing team lead Brian Boland set out to answer some questions that marketers and brand page owners might have about reach. There’s not much in the way of new information included, but this paragraph caught my attention:

Ok, there’s more content now. But what’s the value of having more people like my Page? I paid good money for my fans on Facebook, and now I can’t reach as many of them.

Fans absolutely have value.
• Fans make your ads more effective. When an ad has social context — in other words, when a person sees their friend likes your business — your ads drive, on average, 50% more recall and 35% higher online sales lift.
• Fans also make the ads you run on Facebook more efficient in our ads auction. Ads with social context are a signal of positive quality of the ad, and lead to better auction prices.
• You can use insights about your fans — like where they live, and their likes and interests — to inform decisions about reaching your current and prospective customers
• Fans can give your business credibility
Fans may represent your best customers, but it’s important to note that they don’t represent all of your customers or potential customers. For example, if your auto dealership has 5,000 fans, those fans represent only a fraction of the people that matter to your business. Fans can help you achieve your business objectives on Facebook, but having fans should not be thought of as an end unto itself.

The first and last bullets, that fans add social context and fans give the business credibility, are a bit of a stretch. Bullet two is only beneficial to page owners if they are purchasing ads, so there is an added investment involved. The third bullet holds true, provided you have not used too many gimmicks to “purchase” fans that would not otherwise have interest in your product or service.

This paragraph immediately follows:

So, how should I use Facebook for my business?
Organic content still has value on Facebook, and Pages that publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives — can still reach people in News Feed. However, anticipating organic reach can be unpredictable, and having a piece of content “go viral” rarely corresponds to a business’s core goals. Your business will see much greater value if you use Facebook to achieve specific business objectives, like driving in-store sales or boosting app downloads.

Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals. Your business won’t always appear on the first page of a search result unless you’re paying to be part of that space. Similarly, paid media on Facebook allows businesses to reach broader audiences more predictably, and with much greater accuracy than organic content.

So there it is — think of Facebook as a place to inform customers about your business, keep them up to date on sales and drive them to actions you want them to take elsewhere (in-store sales, app downloads, etc.).

Most importantly, we need to begin to recognize that Facebook is “like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform” and requires paid media to be most effective.

If you have questions about how to use Facebook, social media or digital channels for effective marketing, get in touch with BFG Communications.

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Can’t Afford $1M for Pinterest Ads? Invest in Your Content.

Posted by Bfgcom on March 25, 2014


Connecting with consumers on Pinterest has been a goal of businesses and agencies since a report claimed that users of the social platform were spending twice as much as those of the next closest platform.

When Pinterest revealed its intention to offer advertising, it seemed like an easy solution. But it won’t be cheap, with early reports claiming Pinterest will want a commitment of at least $1 million from any potential advertisers.

The ad model is one that Pinterest began testing last year with select partners, but results of those early ads have not yet been made public. The rumored model would seek a CPM of between $30 and $40, much steeper than the average CPM of rivals Facebook ($0.59) and Twitter ($3.50).

This steep price tag will limit the brands that can afford to advertise on Pinterest and is likely intended to help ensure those advertisers fall into the “premium” category. So what do you do if you were banking on Pinterest ads to help your business, but you don’t have that sort of cash? Keep the focus on the content.

Your content is still what you want people to pin, and good content on your website will always drive Pinterest traffic back to you. Invest in improving that content (especially “pinnable” photography) to get a boost in your organic traffic from Pinterest.

Another key component is to always give visitors a pathway to a sale. The fewer steps you have between your pin and the purchase point, the better. If your site isn’t equipped to handle sales, let people know where they can find your products.

If you need help with Pinterest strategy, content or advertising, or you’re just looking to get your brand message in front of the right people, contact BFG at

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iPhone App Helps You Dine and Dash Legitimately

Posted by Hal Thomas on November 26, 2013

WSAV: News, Weather, and Sports for Savannah, GA

A new iPhone app called Dash is putting a positive spin on this old, negative phrase by trying to make paying your tab faster and easier.

We've all had the experience of dining at a busy restaurant, and when it comes time to pay the bill we can't seem to find our server. And depending on how big of a hurry we're in, it can ruin an otherwise great meal. Dash wants to change this by letting you decide when it's time to pay the bill and leave.

Dash works simply enough. Whenever you dine at a restaurant that accepts Dash payments, you tell your server at the beginning of the meal that you'll be paying with Dash. Your phone will pair with software right there in the restaurant, and when you're ready to leave you just pay your bill with your phone.

Currently, Dash is being used in a limited trial in about two dozen restaurants in New York City, so I haven't seen a lot of documentation about how it actually works. My guess is that there is some sort of pre-authorization when you indicate that you'll be paying with Dash, which would protect restaurant owners. If you are a restaurant owner and want to know more about Dash, check out their website.

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Coin Offers One Card to Rule Them All

Posted by Hal Thomas on November 19, 2013

WSAV: News, Weather, and Sports for Savannah, GA

Coin is a tiny, credit card-size device that will store information on up to eight of your credit, debit or gift cards.

How does Coin work?

The front of the card features a tiny display that you use to select your method of payment. The back of the card has a magnetic strip that merchants can swipe just like a regular credit card, so in theory you can use Coin anywhere you can use a standard credit or debit card.

How do you get your information into Coin?

Coin comes with a card swipe that plugs into your smartphone. Using the companion smartphone app, swipe your card and the necessary information will be entered.

Potential problems with Coin

Initially, I was impressed by Coin. My first thought was I want one. But after giving it some thought, I realized Coin has a few potential problems.

  1. Price. Coin can lighten your wallet in more ways than one. While you can preorder Coin for only $50, it will retail for $100. That's an awful lot to pay just to carry around a couple fewer cards.
  2. Limited shelf life. Electronic wallet technology will probably be a part of most major smartphones within the next couple of years, and once that happens Coin’s technology is obsolete.
  3. Merchant support. I’m a little concerned that merchants might not accept Coin. Sure, merchants can swipe Coin as they would a traditional card, but it has no signature, no familiar, trusted logo, and no numbers on it — all the things cashiers usually look for when you pay with a card. As a result, it’s possible that some merchants may refuse to even swipe Coin.

To buy or not to buy?

I'd say it's a coin flip. Early adopters and technophiles probably won't blink at the price tag; the cool factor will be reason enough for them to purchase. Personally, I'm going to watch and wait. I'm holding out for the day when I can pay for everything with my iPhone.

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Amazon and USPS Partner for Sunday Deliveries

Posted by Hal Thomas on November 12, 2013

WSAV: News, Weather, and Sports for Savannah, GA

Yesterday, Amazon announced a new partnership with the United States Postal Service that will bring the option for Sunday delivery to the New York and Los Angeles metro areas starting later this month. Plans are to expand the service to several other major cities next year. Sunday delivery will be an option for all Amazon customers in markets where it becomes available, not just Amazon Prime members.

This has the potential to be a good thing for the USPS, which has been operating at a net loss for several years now. Because of email, people send a lot less physical mail than they did even ten years ago, so it only makes sense that if the USPS is going to survive, it’s going to need to evolve. Focusing more on logistics and the shipping of packages is probably a step in the right direction.

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