Rebel Creative Marketing Concepts

The NEW Facebook News Feed

This week, Facebook issued a post on their blog titled “News Feed FYI: A Window Into News Feed,” in hopes of giving users an insight into how the Facebook News Feed works and what improvements have been made.


Facebook has, once again, updated it’s algorithm to help fill our newsfeeds with the most relevant and interesting information, specifically tailored to our likes, interests and friends. They begin by giving an overview of the News Feed and stress how they want individual users to see the most important status updates by a ranking system. They add that “with so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information. Our ranking isn’t perfect, but in our tests, when we stop ranking and instead show posts in chronological order, the number of stories people read and the likes and comments they make decrease. ”

No doubt, the algorithm that Facebook uses could easily fill up pages and pages with detailed explanation. Instead, they condensed it down to a few simple examples. The News Feed algorithm responds to signals from users, including:

– How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted

– The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular

– How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past

– Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post

Now, on to the new changes! Facebook explained that, starting this week “organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments.” But how does this apply to the ladies at the Albany marketing firm? Facebook did some testing and early data shows the new model does a better job of showing people the stories they want to see, even if they missed them the first time. “For Page owners, this means their most popular organic Page posts have a higher chance of being shown to more people, even if they’re more than a few hours old. Advertisers should note, however, that this change does not impact how paid content appears in News Feeds.”



Only time will tell how these changes effect brands. How do you think these changes will effect YOUR business?

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Cheerios Ad Makes a Splash

Cheerios caused a major splash on the internet when they unveiled their newest campaign ad that included <gasp> an interracial family!?

Despite the plethora of types of families in this country, the new Cheerios ad featuring a little black girl, her white mother and her black father caused a stir on the internet that lead to negative comments all over the blogosphere.

The commercial is very heartwarming, actually. The ad begins with a young girl asking her mother if the cereal is “good for your heart.” Her mother assures her that is so. The girl runs away with a cereal box, and in the next scene, the girl’s sleeping father awakes with a pile of Cheerios atop the side of his chest where his heart is. The commercial ends with the word “Love” on screen.

When negative (and racist) comments started sweeping across the internet, a rep from Cheerios said the ad would “absolutely not” be withdrawn. Meredith Tutterow, the associate marketing director for Cheerios and Multigrain Cheerios at General Mills said “there are many kinds of families and Cheerios just wants to celebrate them all.” While the majority of viewers of the YouTube video did NOT feel it was offensive (42,084 viewers gave it the “Thumbs Up” while 2,057 gave it a “Thumbs Down”), many people took to the comments section to blast the commercial. Eventually, comments were disabled for that particular video on YouTube.

While disabling the comments may not be the reaction that every brand would have, Cheerios immediately issued a statement (good job!). Camille Gibson, the brand’s vice president of marketing, said “the [YouTube] comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly. And that was really the trigger for us to pull them off. … Ultimately we were trying to portray an American family. And there are lots of multicultural families in America today.”

We applaud Cheerios for the way that they handled the small backlash from fans. They stood up for an ad that they believed in and didn’t back down. For better or worse, the ad has generated over 3.3 million views on YouTube and has created a buzz for the under-the-radar brand.

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New Research Shows Twitter > Facebook

Zuckerberg, it seems Facebook has pushed the kids too far this time between Timeline, public meltdowns, Facebook Home, replied/threaded comments and too many other mishaps to mention.  A new study shows that Facebook users are leaving this particular social network behind in order to use networks like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.


In a study titled “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy,” the Pew Research Center discovered that teens are leaving Facebook to go to Twitter. While we know that teens are sharing information about themselves at an all-time high, they’re also moving increasingly to Twitter to avoid their parents and the “oversharing” that they see on Facebook.

Pew’s research showed that 94 percent of teens who are social media users have a profile on Facebook; this figure has remained unchanged since last year. Now, 26% of teen social media users were on Twitter: more than double from the figure in 2011 of 12 percent. In focus groups, teens said there were “too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of inane details, like what a friend ate for dinner.” This is hilarious because…that is the entire point of social networking: inundating your friends and family with every detail of your lives. The kids have had enough and they aren’t happy.


“Facebook just really seems to have more drama,” said 16-year-old Jaime Esquivel, a junior at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Va., in an interview.  According to the AP, “Esquivel said he still checks his Facebook account daily but isn’t using it as regularly as in the past. He sees teens complaining on Twitter, too, so Esquivel has been using the photo-sharing service Instagram more often, posting a couple of pictures each day and communicating with friends.”

Here are some other interesting (read: SCARY) figures from Pew’s research:

  • 91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.
  • 71% post their school name, up from 49%.
  • 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.
  • 53% post their email address, up from 29%.
  • 20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.
  • 92% post their real name to the profile they use most often.
  • 84% post their interests, such as movies, music, or books they like.
  • 82% post their birth date.
  • 62% post their relationship status.
  • 24% post videos of themselves.

What we find concerning at this Albany marketing agency is the more than 60 percent of the teens with Twitter accounts said their tweets were public. This means that ANYONE can see their personal, private tweets or pictures posted to Twitter. About one-quarter of kids said their tweets were private and 12 percent said they did not know whether their tweets were public or private.  Listen up parents, it’s time to teach your kids about privacy!


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Facebook Meltdown: “The Customer is Not Always Right”

Adamantly declaring, in the first 2 minutes of filming no less, that “the customer is not always right” may not be the best move for a restaurant owner who wants to improve their business. This is the situation Amy’s Baking Company of Scottsdale, Arizona found themselves in before becoming the face of an epic meltdown on Facebook.

When you go on a show called “Kitchen Nightmares,” it seems inevitable that it can only end badly if you have a bad attitude. Kitchen Nightmares follows famous chef Gordon Ramsay around the country as he tries to help debilitated restaurants come back from the dead.  Amy, the owner of Amy’s Baking Company of Scottsdale, Arizona, claims she lost a “tremendous amount of business” from bad bloggers criticizing her cooking. Perhaps the bloggers were on the right track. During the filming of the show, both customers and the restaurant’s own waitstaff criticized the food. It seems that not only the food is the problem, as customer service at the restaurant leaves much to be desired. Word to the wise: when customers call over the manager to discuss issues with their dinner, don’t tell them “you don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like” and walk away.  You need only watch the episode for a few minutes before one universal truth becomes abundantly clear: restaurant owners Amy and Samy are FIFTY SHADES OF CRAZY.

But that’s neither here no there. If you want a glimpse into the hell that is life at the restaurant, you need only watch the first 5 minutes of the show here.

Owner's of Amy's Baking Company, Amy and Samy

What this Albany marketing firm is more interested in is what ensued AFTER the airing of the show. After the airing of the show, something happened on the Amy’s Baking Company Facebook page that Buzzfeed refers to as “The Most Epic Brand Meltdown On Facebook, Ever.” See some screenshots below to see how the situation spiraled out of control:

And those are just the highlights!

The following day, after the incident went viral, the following post was found on their Facebook page:

Obviously our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked. We are working with the local authorities as well as the FBI computer crimes unit to ensure this does not happen again. We did not post those horrible things. Thank You Amy & Samy

Perhaps someone is having a little remorse about their bad behavior?  PR gurus, how would you handle this situation ifthis restaurant was your client?



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What is Facebook Home?

Many followers of this Albany marketing firm’s blog have been contacting us asking “Wait, what is Facebook Home?”   We are here to answer that burning question.

In the simplest terms: Facebook Home is a program that allows Facebook to OWN your phone (figuratively, not literally). It basically turns you phone into a walking, portable Facebook…WAY more so than having traditional alerts pop-up constantly on your home screen.

Facebook Home is the sort of thing that only a mad genius like Zuck could dream up. Facebook Home is software for your phone designed to “put your friends above everything else” (those are the Facebook blog’s words, not mine. Mine would be way funnier). Facebook Home is downloaded by users for free, or can even pre-installed in the next phone you purchase. Some of the main features of Facebook Home are:

Cover feed: Users can merely glance at their phone for photos and posts from their Facebook News Feed.

Chat heads: Facebook Home allows you to send/receive texts and Facebook messages all in one place. Open, close and drag chat heads around your screen to keep chatting while you’re using other apps. (this is the same concept as when we used AOL Instant Messager in college.: “OMG, I can chat, listen to Windows Media Player AND Google info to plagiarize my paper!?!”).

Notifications: Real-time newsfeed notifications on your home-screen.

App launcher: Get right to your favorite apps and post to Facebook from the same place.

Facebook put together a SUPER WHOLESOME video on YouTube to give people a peek into what Facebook Home is all about. Personally, while it may be a very cool and forward-thinking idea, I find Facebook Home completely and totally useless. First of all, doesn’t Facebook control our lives enough (I know it does for those PR/marketing gurus out there)? At least now when I go to my home-screen, I get a brief respite from the inundation of what friends/brands are doing this exact minute (like pee-pad training their labradoodle). Second, and more importantly, don’t plug-ins through current apps make FB Home obsolete? For example, I don’t need to use Facebook Home to share my Instagram photos with my followers, I can simply sync/link Instagram to make Facebook account and get the same results. The same is true with Foursquare (obviously you can see which apps I am using the most!).

As we know, everyone has an opinion (including me), so let’s look at some data from the Wall Street Journal to see how Facebook Home is doing as it reaches its One Month anniversary. The WSJ reports that Facebook Home is getting a million downloads a week. Sounds like a huge number right? In anyone’s eyes, this would be a success.  One million downloads a week = 4 million in it’s first month alone. Then Mike Isaac points out that “one million downloads of Facebook Home is less than .1 percent of Facebook’s entire monthly active user base, now topping 1.1 billion people every month. And as the company disclosed in its last earnings call, more than 750 million of those people visit Facebook regularly via mobile device. Put simply, one million downloads is a drop in the social ocean.”

How many of you have used Facebook Home?  Who plans to?  We want to hear from you!

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