This week: Pinterest continues to grow, Snapchat makes it easier to run ads, and take a guess at what’s not a ranking factor.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Report: Facebook Satisfaction at Lowest Level Since 2013
According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index’s latest ranking of social apps, Facebook is experiencing a decline in user satisfaction.
The social media giant’s latest benchmark score stands at 63. That’s 6% lower than the previous year.
Facebook hit its lowest point in 2012, with a benchmark score of 61. In 2013, the company scored a 62.
In 2015, Facebook hit its highest point with a benchmark score of 75.
Here’s ACSI’s statement on the reason for the decline in user satisfaction: “Users also find advertising on Facebook to be more intrusive than other sites. But the bad news doesn’t stop there. In two new ACSI measures for social media websites, Facebook falls dead last. Users feel that the ease of uploading photos and videos is subpar compared with other sites in the category. Moreover, users are frustrated with Facebook’s news feed as the site’s content rates worst in class for relevancy.”
Pinterest Sees 30% User Growth YoY
Pinterest doesn’t seem to have a problem with user satisfaction.
This past week, the company reported that it reached a new milestone: 300 million monthly active users (MAUs). That’s an increase of nine million from the first quarter of this year.
It’s also an increase of 30% year-over-year.
The vast majority of those MAUs (215 million) are international users. There are 85 million Pinterest users in the U.S.
Snapchat Tool Enables ‘Instant’ Ad Creation
If you like to run ads on Snapchat, you might be interested in a new tool that you can use to streamline ad creation.
The “Instant Create” tool allows you to create an ad in just three short steps:
- Select the ad objective (app installs, web visits, etc.)
- Enter the business URL
- Choose the targeting filter
Boom. You’re done.
You’ll find it especially valuable if you’re working with a shoestring budget. That’s because you can create an ad with limited design requirements.
The new feature also makes it easy to “test drive” advertising on the Snapchat platform.
Google Expands Placement Options for App Ads
Google is giving your app ads more exposure.
By the end of the year, people will see app ads in Google Discover and on YouTube.
On Google Discover, the ads will automatically appear to people identified as possibly interested in your app.
App ads already appear at the top of mobile search results, but going forward they’ll display while users are watching videos. The skippable ads will appear before, during, or after a video.
Google Analytics Displays Web and App Stats in One Report
Google Analytics is making it easier for you to view website and app measurements together.
In the past, you’d have to view the stats for the two platforms separately. For app performance, you’d look at Google Analytics for Firebase. For website measurements, you’d go to the standard Google Analytics website.
Soon, you’ll have the option to view a new property type: Web + App. The tool will show you analytics from both platforms in a single report.
The new feature will enter beta-testing in the coming weeks.
Google Assistant Is Coming to DISH TV
Google Assistant is increasing its reach.
Now, people who own DISH Hopper DVR devices can access Google Assistant via their remote controllers. They’ll have access to everything offered by any other Google Assistant device.
According to the company announcement, people can use their remotes to do the following with Google Assistant:
- Control smart home devices
- Get answers to questions
- Find entertainment
Google Ads Expands Variants to Include Synonyms
Pay attention if you like to use variants in your Google Ads campaigns.
The platform is expanding its meaning of the term “variants.” Going forward, variants will include words that have the same meaning as the original keyword.
In the past, variants only included words that had some variation of the original keyword in them. For example: “running” would match as a variant for the original keyword “run.”
The change will impact broad match modifier and phrase match keywords.
Study Shows Link Between GMB Photo Quantity and Search Performance
According to a new study by BrightLocal, there’s a direct correlation between a company’s search performance and the number of photos the company posts on Google My Business (GMB).
The research showed that businesses with more than 100 GMB images received 1,038% more direct searches than the average business.
A direct search is when someone searches for the business name or address.
And here’s an eye-opener: businesses with more than 100 GMB pics saw 3,459% more views on Google Maps than the average business.
The study also showed a strong link between the number of photos posted on GMB and the number of web visits and phone calls the business received. Specifically:
- Businesses with more than 100 images received 520% more calls than the average business
- Businesses with more than 100 images received 1,065% more website clicks than the average business
Study: Review Counts Matter More Than Star Ratings
Here’s one you might not have seen coming: according to a study by Womply, review counts contribute more to revenue growth than average star ratings.
In other words, the number of reviews matters more than the opinions expressed in those reviews.
Womply says that businesses with more reviews than average earn 54% more revenue.
Here are a few other key findings from the research:
- Businesses that respond to reviews earn 35% more revenue on average
- Businesses that claim their listings on multiple sites earn 58% more revenue on average
- Businesses with ratings that range from 3.5 to 4.5 earn more than those with higher or lower ratings
Google: Word Count Isn’t a Ranking Factor
If you’re like most SEOs, you’re probably sold on the importance of long form content. However, Google says that word count isn’t a ranking factor.
This past week on Reddit, someone posted a message asking for tools to evaluate the word counts of the highest-ranking content on Google.
John Mueller’s reply to that post was short and to the point: “Word count is not a ranking factor. Save yourself the trouble.”
Facebook Adds Instagram Scheduling to Creator Studio
If you’re one of those people who like to schedule your social media posts, you’ve probably encountered some heartache in the past when it came to scheduling Instagram posts. That’s not always been easy.
Thanks to Creator Studio, things are about to change for the better. The Facebook tool is rolling out a feature that allows you to schedule Instagram posts.
The new feature also shows you what your Instagram posts will look like before they go live.
Instagram scheduling has been rolling out in Facebook Creator Studio for the past month. If you don’t see the new feature yet, look for it in the near future.
Report: People Are Using Facebook Groups to Trade Fake Reviews
According to an investigation by consumer association Which?, there are dozens of Facebook groups that “continue to encourage incentivized reviews on a huge scale.”
Additionally, the group says that it found more than 55,000 posts trading fake reviews in July.
Which? claims that membership in Facebook review groups increased significantly during a 30-day period.
But the most disconcerting aspect of the report shows how easy it is to find Facebook groups that trade fake reviews. A simple search will do the trick.
In response to the investigation, Which? head of products and services Natalie Hitchins said: “Our latest findings demonstrate that Facebook has systematically failed to take action while its platform continues to be plagued with fake review groups generating thousands of posts a day.”
Twitter Admits to More Adtech Attacks
This past week, Twitter admitted that it found bugs in its targeting algorithm that may have shared user data with marketers, even if the user had requested no data sharing.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened. Back in May, the company reported a bug that may have shared an account’s location data with an ad partner.
Twitter says that bother problems were fixed on August 5.
Some people are speculating that Twitter’s bugs are a GDPR breach.