Being in an industry that is constantly evolving like social media, digital marketing and all things web related means that you’ve got to stay on top of the latest news. Along with that, we here at Venture are always striving to not only read about our industry but business, Michigan, our hobbies and interests, and things that are just plain funny. We’re rolling out a new weekly blog called the Friday Five which will include our office’s favorite articles from the past week and a short summary from each of us.

Director, Sales & Operations

Where to Spend Your Social Media Ad Dollars

Where to Spend Your Social Media Ad Dollars

Have you ever wondered, where is the best place to spend your social media ad dollars? It makes sense to choose the platform you are most comfortable with and the one in which you have the strongest representation. But, sometimes it’s a good idea to stop and just take a look at what “everyone else” is doing.

Though this isn’t a principal to live by, it sometimes is a good way to take a step back and take a look at what seems to be working from a high level.

In this article, research show in a Hanapin Marketing Report shows that out of 164 brands 93% spend some money on Facebook advertising and additionally, 71% say they plan to increase their spend on the platform. To me, even being in the industry that tells me Facebook is still a fantastic place to spend your Social Media Ad budgets.

Take a look at what the rest of their research shows for the other common platforms!

Content Marketing Specialist

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Google’s New Feed Creates a More Personal Homepage

If you use the Google app on your mobile device, your feed is about to become more specific to you! Google, the tech giant who knows more about you than you do, has added a feature to the Google mobile app that will show you news, sports, weather, and more that it deems relevant to your interests, based off your browsing history. It will also give you the option to “Follow” topics right in the app, allowing for only the news and updates that you care about. The app will also verify news stories, and indicate whether they’ve been fact-checked or not, allowing you to avoid the overflow of “fake news”. While this may feel like just another news app, this update to Google’s app is designed to mix your personal interests with news you will find relevant. Rather than opening up a news app just to see all the horror stories from the last few hours, Google will mix in other relevant data – like this new movie it thinks you’ll go see, or the single that was just released by your favorite band.

This feels slightly like an attempt to pull those who use Facebook as their news source (please don’t do this) into the arms of Google. Earlier this year, Facebook changed their ‘Trending Topics’ algorithm to match regional news instead of personalized news in an attempt to slow the spread of viral ‘Fake News’. Many people were outraged by this, and now Google has created a way for them to once again see news and trending articles relevant to their interests, but with the addition of verified news articles being tagged as such.

Account Executive

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Digital (Social & Display) Are Taking Over Advertising

Google and Facebook now make more from ads than every newspaper, magazine, and radio network in the world combined. It’s a staggering statistic that we all knew was coming sooner or later. It is the nature of the changes in communication post-2005 and has changed the world in which we live… and advertise. With the continuing evolution of social media & mobile device usage my gut says this trend will continue – if not speed up in coming months!

Content Marketing Specialist

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Delta Called Ann Coulter’s Tweetstorm “Unacceptable and Unnecessary”

In the world of social media bullies where anyone can hide behind a screen and sling insults, corporate social media teams need to carefully balance responses to stay professional yet effective. Delta’s acknowledgment of Ann Coulter’s rant via Twitter is, in my humble opinion, a great example of how to respond to when things get taken out on social media venting versus handled in a more practical, traditional way. Instead of attacking back, Delta’s social team crafted a strategy to be transparent, be professional and be a defender of their customers and employees.

In response to Coulter’s 30+ tweets consisting of not only complaints but insults, Delta’s resolution was to release the details of Coulter’s seat changes, refund and the flight itself. Additionally, the airline called out her attacks on other passengers and employees via Twitter and in a statement. Defending those have been bullied is always a smart move, especially when it’s against in the public eye.

I’m not defending Delta by any means for their switching of the seats-I’d be frustrated as well, but where Coulter loses face is when she openly criticizes others who had nothing to do with her situation. When you have 1.6 million followers, a certain degree of tact and kindness should be exercised. Sadly, that’s rarely the case especially in the political world which has brought Coulter her fame. Being able to vent and complain about a company is what makes Twitter, Twitter. Hopefully, in the future, she will refrain from being unnecessarily rude to others and perhaps stick to the old adage from Bambi, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Web Designer

D&D Goes Digital

I am a huge fan of table top gaming and have been playing D&D since middle school. Since that time I have disliked having to use paper and pencil to take care of / level my character. Don’t get me wrong it has carried me through to my adult life but I have always wanted more. I have tried a few free and premium apps that tried to automate and digitize the character sheet so that you could carry your character anywhere but they have always seemed to fall flat. Hitting pay barriers via leveling, or having the character get irreversibly altered due to a patch update of some kind, with no save feature available.

Lucky for me Dungeons & Dragons have started has noticed the want for a digital character sheet and manuals, so they created D&D Beyond.Technically the in browser app is still in Beta phase 3 but it should be launching August 15th, and I couldn’t be more excited. The app itself beautifully functions both on desktop on mobile devices, allowing you to have multiple characters saved within the app but also allow the user to attach their characters to a campaign that is created by the “DM” of the group. While the desktop version focused on almost a macro viewpoint, showing all the stats pretty much up front with lots of accordion drop-downs, the mobile version is where the app truly shines. The mobile version does a fantastic job of showing the most necessary or most used stats first. The way they do this is to split the screen into two sections, the top section is your characters health, movement speed, initiative score, and armor class, while the bottom holds all the juicy data about skills and equipment, which can be manipulated by swiping right or left to find the data you want.

As far as design goes this is probably the most well thought out D&D app I have seen, and the fact that it came straight from Wizards of the Coast really blows me away. D&D Beyond will eventually have tier lists for its users, allowing them to purchase individual manuals to be stored within their account, or buying them all and having instant access to decades worth of rules and campaign modules. This is a very good example of a company seeing its users want to transition to a digital platform, and instead of fighting it, fully embracing it. The fact that they have also had very good social media advertising for people to come use the alpha and beta versions has really helped both the functionality of the app and the social perception of the company. No longer will players mentally tie D&D to a fully pen and paper company, they will now see it as a multi media company that has tied both digital and physical properties together to create a cohesive, and accessible gaming experience.