Archive for Social Media

Facebook News Feed Changes – “Bringing People Closer Together”, Pushing Businesses Further Away

Just 11 days in to 2018 and Facebook is changing the game again for business Pages. In a recent post, Mark Zuckerberg announced that we will see another change to our News Feed.

Facebook was built “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” But the public content such as posts from businesses, brands and media “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Over the last several years we’ve seen this shift in balance and public content has taken over our News Feeds. Facebook is stepping in to change their goal from “helping you find relevant content” to “helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Facebook started making changes to focus on the personal connection last year. It will take months for this new direction to make its way through all products. The first place you’ll see these changes is in your News Feed. Expect to start seeing more posts from your family, friends and groups, and less from businesses, brands, and media.

Business Pages will begin to see less reach, video watch times will drop, and referral traffic will decrease. Pages making posts that don’t get reaction (Comments, Likes, Shares) will see the biggest drop in distribution.

So what does this mean for to your business?

The days of simply posting about your product or service, sharing other people’s content, or automating publishing is over! Posts on your business page need to encourage meaningful interactions. They need to be well thought out and have a goal of creating conversation. Using engagement-bait to goad people into Commenting, Liking or Sharing your posts will be detected and squashed.

What can you do to stay relevant?

Educate your fans, let them know how they can set their preferences to make sure they see your content first. Instruct them to go to their Home screen, then select News Feed > Edit Preferences. In the popup window select Prioritize who to see first then from the drop down menu select Pages Only. Then they just click on your Page’s profile photo and click Done.

Live video has been proven to generate more interaction than an uploaded video. Sometimes it’s difficult to get people to watch video live, but the few who do are certainly more engaged and that is a signal to Facebook to show your content in the News Feed.

Posts about timely topics is a great way to encourage comments and conversation. Make sure the Post is relevant to your brand and be careful of creating controversy for the sake of interaction.

Consider starting a Facebook Group about a topic related to your business. Groups are intended to be a place for conversation. New posts often show up in your member’s News Feed and Notifications. Be careful not to try and directly sell in the group. Use it as a place to share your knowledge and build you or your business as a subject expert.

Be active and monitor your Page’s comments and messages. Then respond quickly and add value to the conversations. Make sure the person managing your Facebook Page is an expert in your business and has the knowledge to contribute. If they don’t, find someone in your company who does and have them monitor the Page.

Being responsive, sharing your knowledge and showing that your care about your Facebook community is the best way to stay connected with them. There is no magic button here, it’s just good old-fashioned hard work!

Facebook Updates News Feed, How Will This Impact Your Marketing?

Facebook is constantly making changes to the News Feed to improve the user experience. Their latest effort hopes to reduce the number of links to low-quality web page experiences and to show more informative posts instead.

We’ve all experienced it, you’re scrolling through your News Feed and you see a great headline or photo that catches your eye. When you click on the link you’re presented with popups, offers, links, and general SPAMMY goodness. Frustrating isn’t it? Facebook has heard the complaints and now they’re taking even more steps to fight it.

Facebook is rolling out an update to show fewer Posts and Ads in the News Feed that link to these low-quality, misleading, disruptive or malicious sites. Similar to the work they’re already doing to stop misinformation, this update will help reduce the economic incentives of financially-motivated spammers.

There is a policy already in place to help prevent advertisers with low-quality web page experiences from running ads on Facebook, but now they are also taking into account Posts in the News Feed.

“With this update, we reviewed hundreds of thousands of web pages linked to from Facebook to identify those that contain little substantive content and have a large number of disruptive, shocking or malicious ads. We then used artificial intelligence to understand whether new web pages shared on Facebook have similar characteristics.”

If they determines that a post links to those types of low-quality web pages, it may show up lower in the News Feed and may not be eligible to be an ad.

How will this update impact your marketing efforts?

If you offer quality content through your Facebook Posts and Ads, you should see a small increase in traffic, but if you’re one of those SPAMMERS, expect to see a decline in traffic over the coming months. This update is only one signal that Facebook uses to rank the News Feed, so the impact will vary by publisher and their overall activity.

 


 

Current Media Group provides Social Media Consulting services for businesses of all sizes. Whether you want to learn for yourself, teach your staff, or have us do it for you, we will custom build a solution specifically for you.

Give us a call at 973-862-8687 to discuss your social media needs.

Twitter Usage on the Rise, Thank You President Trump!

We’ve been using Twitter since 2009, and what started out as a social network for early tech adopters has turned in to a main stream communication platform for everyday people, celebrities, and politicians alike.

When Twitter first launched in March 2006, there was nothing else like it online. The 140 character limit was designed to allow updates to be pushed to your phone through text messaging. It forced people to keep their thoughts short, sweet and to the point.

Facebook launched to a limited user base in 2004 and later opened to the public in September of 2006. Twitter already had a jump in the public space and continued to grow as the general use of Facebook slowly caught on.

Fast forward to March 2017, Facebook is now the clear leader in the social space with 1.94 billion monthly active users. YouTube comes in second at 1 billion, Instagram third with 700 million, and Twitter fourth with 313 million monthly active users.

But things are looking up for Twitter with the addition of 9 million new monthly active users in the first quarter of this year. Twitter now sits at 328 million monthly active users, still well under Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, but an increase of 14% from the previous year is significant.

Twitter credits this increase in new users to tweaks made to the news feed and notifications system, marketing efforts, and seasonality. But what wasn’t mentioned is the frequent use of its platform by our President, Donald Trump.

Whether you agree or disagree with President Trump’s views, there is no doubt his Tweets are creating increased activity on Twitter.

I view this as good timing on Twitter’s part. As they struggle to grow their user base and increase revenue, their marketing efforts and product tweaks coincide perfectly with all the free advertising they’re getting daily as the media (and the world) reference President Trump’s tweets.

While Twitter’s user base may be on the rise, their first quarter sales are on the decline. Last year this time sales were $595 million, but a year later they fell to $548 million. This marks the company’s first year-over-year sales decline since going public in 2013.

In a letter to shareholders, the company wrote “We continue to expect revenue growth to meaningfully lag audience growth in 2017”.

Twitter has been hard at work trying to grow the company with a mix of live streaming offerings, displaying more relevant content for users, and working to fight harassment and abuse on its network.

Looking at the big picture, Twitter isn’t going anywhere and is still a big player in the social networking space. While its user base may be smaller than other networks, it’s still a place that you should be spending some quality time. In relation to your business, their audience is huge, and with a proper strategy put in place, it’s a great venue to find and connect with potential new customers.

If you don’t already have a Twitter account for your business, now is the time to create one. Start sharing relevant industry information and follow the movers and shakers in your field. Once you’ve established your Twitter presence, use the tools and resources available to search for and connect with your prospects. Being Social requires effort and 2017 is the time to invest!

 


 

Current Media Group provides Social Media Consulting services for businesses of all sizes. Whether you want to learn for yourself, teach your staff, or have us do it for you, we will custom build a solution specifically for you.

Give us a call at 973-862-8687 to discuss your social media needs.

Has Instagram’s New Feed Affected Your Likes and Comments?

A little over a year ago Instagram updated to an algorithmic feed rather than the chronological feed we all knew and loved. This change caused an uproar in the social marketing community, and left many managers scratching their heads wondering how they would reach their audience.

Well this move appears to have payed off big. The platform’s “growth rate spiked, sharing per user increased, and Instagram has added 200 million monthly active users since to reach 700 million.” said TechCrunch’s Josh Constine.

The algorithmic feed was designed to show viewers content that is most relevant to them based on browsing habits. If you comment or like a user’s photos frequently, then the algorithm will show you their content more frequently. If you stop commenting or liking their content, that user will slowly disappear from your feed.

The algorithm also takes in to account popularity and timing. If a user you follow posts a photo that receives a lot of comments and likes quickly from the time it was posted, the algorithm will make the assumption that this is popular content and will show it to more of their followers. This of course has a snowball effect with the algorithm showing the photo to more and more people sometimes squashing other posts from being seen at all.

This tactic is taken directly from the Facebook playbook. When they rolled out their algorithmic feed, the change in user experience was met with some resistance, but has now become the way of life. It has also become hugely profitable to the company, so why not apply it to the other property they own, Instagram.

From a marketer’s perspective, it has become a pay-to-play ecosystem. If you want your posts to be seen, you’ll either have to create amazing content that goes viral, or pay for placement.

As you can imagine the algorithmic feed is not popular among marketers. What was once a level playing field where all individuals, celebrities, and brands had an equal opportunity to get their content seen by their followers, has now become a battleground between popularity contests and big budgets.

The algorithmic feed is here to stay, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all use it and the pay-to-play model has become an intricate part of their businesses.

Don’t let the ever changing landscape of social media discourage you from using these technologies. With a little effort, creative content and some strategic planning, you will see results for your business.

 


 

Current Media Group provides Social Media Consulting services for businesses of all sizes. Whether you want to learn for yourself, teach your staff, or have us do it for you, we will custom build a solution specifically for you.

Give us a call at 973-862-8687 to discuss your social media needs.

Social Media Checklist

Social Media offers some great opportunities to help build awareness for your business. Getting your name out where your potential customers are is the first step in gaining new business. Three proven target areas to focus on are your website, Facebook and Twitter profiles. To make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities, I’ve put together a simple checklist of things you should be doing to help build your social media presence.

 

Blog + Website = Blogsite

  • If you don’t already have a blog, create one as a companion to your website
  • If you’re not happy with your current website, create a blogsite using WordPress. There are many great templates out there along with advanced templates that will allow you to create your own designs. I suggest staying away from the “Flash” website templates as it causes a lot of problems for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.
  • Create educational articles and provide resources that your potential and current customers can use.
  • Invite Guest Bloggers to write original articles. This helps bring variety and personality to your site and will increase traffic.
  • Make sure you update your blog with a new post at least once a week.
  • Make sure to include buttons to Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to make sharing your articles easy.
  • Add an email opt-in form to your blog to capture email addresses from your website visitors. Regardless of what some may say, email marketing is not dead, and a quality list of prospects is very valuable.
  • Make sure your contact information is available on every page or there is a contact button in the site navigation.

Facebook Business Page

  • If you’re not already on Facebook, sign up for a free account.
  • Create a Facebook business page so you can engage your audience and increase awareness of your brand.
  • Be sure to Friend your customers to make staying in touch easier.
  • Share your blog posts on your business page. If you create quality content your fans will share it with their friends. You can also use a Facebook application like Social RSS to streamline the process of updating your page with your blog’s latest posts.
  • Ask your community to “Like” your page. More fans means more views of your content.
  • Encourage your community to “Like” your page through a contest or giveaway.
  • Use Facebook ads to target prospects.
  • Become fans of the Facebook pages where your clients and prospects hang out. Comment on posts and engage in conversation, it’s a great way to get noticed.
  • Search for Facebook Groups that focus on your area of expertise and become a member. Join in on the discussions and provide thoughtful answers to questions. This is a great way to be thought of as an industry leader and offers fantastic networking opportunities.
  • Create special Facebook Fan only offers, to make them feel special.

Twitter for Business

  • If you’re not already on Twitter, sign up for a free account.
  • Search for your current customers to see if they have a Twitter account. If they do, follow them and send an @message to say hi. Hopefully they’ll follow you back opening up another line of communication.
  • Follow industry leaders, it’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on.
  • Follow the manufacturers of the equipment you use. It’s a great way to keep up to date with new product releases and recalls. It’s also a great way to get in touch with someone should you have a problem.
  • Listen before you speak. Don’t just jump in promoting yourself, see what others are talking about and add to the conversation.
  • Provide useful information in your posts. Tweeting links to great content you find online is a surefire way to be thought of as a valuable resource within the community. Also be sure to tweet links to your blog posts, it’s a great way to build a following for your website.
  • Use Twitter search to find prospects. It will take some time but it can be done.
  • Register your Twitter username with directories like WeFollow.com.
  • Create Twitter Lists and break out the people you follow into groups (ex. clients, prospects, manufactures, industry leaders, etc.). You can choose to make the lists private or public for everyone to see and follow.
  • Create Twitter custom searches to follow what people are saying about you, your company, your competitors, etc. Check them periodically throughout the day to see if there’s something you need to address or to simply say thanks for the ReTweet.
  • Check and reply to Direct Messages.
  • Check to see who’s ReTweeting your content and be sure to thank them and maybe even give them a follow.
  • Build your following by getting recommended. By providing great information you’ll become a valued community member that others will be happy to promote.
  • Recommend others, it’s good to give!

Next Steps…

Go through the check list to make sure you’re utilizing everything the tools have to offer. Be sure to promote your blogsite, Facebook page and Twitter profile everywhere online and off. Include links to your social profiles on your blogsite. Include a link to your blogsite from your Twitter profile and link to your blogsite and Twitter profile from your Facebook page. Print the addresses of your site and profiles on your business cards, stationary and other promotional items. Exposure is the name of the game here, so take advantage of the social media tools available to get your name out there.

10 Tips to Get on the Twitter “Suggested for You” List of Your Prospects

Twitter launched a service called “Suggestions for You” to make the process of finding new people to follow a little easier. The algorithms suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting. The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. When you login to Twitter.com you’ll see the suggestions on the right side of your Twitter feed and in the Find People section. You’ll also see recommendations for similar users when you view another account’s profile. If there is a user that you’re not interested in following you can click the X button and they won’t show them to you again.

This new service undoubtedly was inspired by Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. I’ve found many old friends on Facebook this way and I’m sure Twitter saw the value this feature holds and rolled it into their set of tools. Third party developers will be able to take advantage of this new feature soon through a new API so look for it to roll out in the applications you’re already using.

So “Suggestions for You” is a great way to find people to follow on Twitter, but it can also be a great way for other people to find you. Now more than ever it’s important to be following the types of people that you want as clients and to be Tweeting about things that they’re interested in.

On the Twitter support page titled “Suggestions For You – Discover Who to Follow!” at the very bottom of the page under the heading “Where do you get these Suggestions from? I need more followers, how do I get you to suggest me to other users?” they list a few bullet points:

  • Twitter’s staff does not editorialize which users show up in Suggestions for You or similar accounts.
  • Twitter search uses an algorithm that determines highly personalized suggestions based on the accounts you currently follow, the accounts followed by the users you have chosen to follow, and how other users express interest in Tweets made from these accounts.
  • This should help you find the information you want to know (and some information that may surprise you) faster.

Of course Twitter can’t come right out and say how to get on the suggested list because people would try to game their system. They want the suggestions to happen naturally based on certain criteria. To help I’ve put together 10 tips on how to get on the “Suggested for You” list of your potential clients.

  1. Search for and Follow people you want to work with. If you’re a commercial photographer, search for Marketing Managers, Designers, Art Directors and Creative Directors in your area and follow them.
  2. Get your prospects to Follow you back. Interact with them by asking a question or answering one of theirs and when you do let them know you followed them and put a 😉 in your Tweet. They’ll get the hint you’re asking for a follow back. Hey, it’s worked for me!
  3. Birds of a feather flock together. If you’re following Marketing Managers, Designers, Art Directors and Creative Directors, odds are pretty good they’re also following other creatives who may need your services.
  4. Provide great information in your Tweets that is relevant to your prospects. Check out the information your prospects are Tweeting about. Most likely they’re Tweeting about things related to their industry. Find some online sources of information and Tweet links to articles you find. Better yet, do some research and write your own articles, then Tweet links to drive them back to your blogsite.
  5. Be consistent. Don’t get to far off topic with your Tweets. Sure it’s all part of being “social” to share other things of interest, but keep the majority of your Tweets focused on your prospect’s interests.
  6. Tweet regularly. One Tweet every few weeks isn’t going to work. To find quality followers you need to Tweet great information often, at least 10 Tweets a day. I suggest ReTweeting other’s 50% of the time, Tweet your own stuff 40% and Tweet general interest, funny links, daily activities, etc., only 10% of the time.
  7. This is business not personal. As tempting as it may be to Tweet about politics, religion and what you’re having for breakfast, DON’T. Some things are just to controversial or boring to go out in your business stream. If you want to talk about those things, open up another Twitter account and do it there.
  8. Keep it professional. Your business Twitter account is a reflection of your brand, don’t do anything to jeopardize it.
  9. Every so often ask for a ReTweet. The more your Tweets get ReTweeted by others, the more authority Twitter will give to your account, thus upping the chances of getting suggested.
  10. Build Twitter relationships with other Photographers that have similar audiences. You ReTweet their stuff and they’ll ReTweet yours. You’ll both benefit by expanding your audiences and increasing your authority with Twitter.

I’ve been following these 10 tips since I first started on Twitter. My approach has proved to be very successful in not only expanding my Twitter following but also building quality relationships with them. I’ve always had a steady stream of new followers but did notice a bump over the last month and have to think it is partly due to the “Suggested for You” lists.

Next Steps…

Go to your Twitter Profile page and take a look at your past posts. What have you been tweeting about? Have you been providing quality information and links? Are you just following other photographers or are you also following potential clients? Are you interacting with your prospects on a regular basis? Evaluate your posts and make adjustments as necessary. Following these tips will not only help get you on the suggested list, but it will also help to build you as an expert in your field and keep you in front of and on the minds of your potential clients.