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Living on the edge in a CPG world.

Facebook Changes News Feed To Favor Time Spent, Publisher Diversity

Once again, Facebook is changing how it organizes the News Feed. Facebook announced a number of tweaks to the News Feed algorithm today. The social network is putting greater emphasis on engagement time, or how long people tend to spend on a given post. While liking or commenting on a post is one indication that the social network uses to shuffle the News Feed, it’s not the full picture of what the user wants. People don’t typically like or comment on everything they read after all, so moving forward, Facebook will prioritize posts based on how long users spent on similar posts from the author or publisher in the past. To inform these tweaks, Facebook will rely on data it’s been collecting on how long people spend on Instant Articles or clicked through on its mobile browser. – Digiday

Ashley, Carly, Beth, and Lindsay

Smith Brothers is excited to announce the addition of Ashley Sieniawski, Carly McLeod, Beth Anderson, and Lindsay Motta!

Brands as chatty friends: Are chatbots ‘the beginning of a new Internet’?

Microsoft’s recent chatbot PR disaster notwithstanding, brands are on the cusp of a bot explosion. ‘The speed to adoption is being compressed right now,’ said Pete Sena, founder at agency Digital Surgeons. ‘Brands know now that the No. 1 thing that they can compete on is experience—and chatbots, done properly, can really add value there.’ It is also an opportunity for brands to come off as more than a mere service provider, as a knowledgeable friend too, said Ben Kosinski, head of The Collaboratory at iCrossing. ‘It’s smart for the brand to go where the users are and create a presence on these platforms, while providing relevant and personalized one-to-one conversations with consumers.’ — Digiday


We are extremely excited to welcome Michelle Park, Zach Simons and Shannon Sankey to the Smith Brothers Family!

Earlier this month, Instagram announced it was modifying its feed, so that the moments they believed people cared about most, would be featured first. Instagram explained to users, “the order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” They went on to assure users that, “We’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”

Facebook’s Biggest Product Announcements From F8 ConferenceABC News

  • Chat Bots
  • Social VR
  • Live Video
  • Account Kit
  • Aquila
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Connectivity Lab

Facebook is Making it Even Easier to Find People on Messenger

Facebook is taking another step to convince the world that its Messenger app is the simplest way to stay in touch. The Menlo Park, Calif. firm is rolling out a new feature that allows users to find new contacts in its Messenger app, which now serves more than 900 million monthly active users, by scanning a special code. Scanning a so-called “Messenger Code” will bring users to the account for that particular person or business. Messenger Codes should help Facebook users avoid potentially awkward situations, like having to ask a new friend to recite their phone number or spell their name to locate them on the platform. Facebook is also launching Messenger Links, which provide direct links to Messenger users’ profiles. ­– TIME

Instagram Updates Overlay for Action-Driving Ads

Instagram is continuing to evolve as an ad platform by updating the image overlays on their action-driving ads to show more details on where a tap engagement will take them.  The update will now include the name of the business’ Facebook Page or website URL for click-through ads (versus “Go to Website”) and “View in App Store” for iOS users or “view in Play Store” for Android users against app-install ads.  The aim is to increase transparency and improve the quality of click traffic from cost-per-click ads.  (AdWeek – Social Times)

Contrary to what you and your direct marketing colleagues have now heard uttered for years, direct mail is not dead. It’s not even on life support, thank you very much.

Because while it’s true that direct mail strategies have changed over the years, including the seismic shift from sending mail to everyone and their mother to the highly-targeted data-driven approach we take today, the stats prove direct mail is alive and kicking:

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