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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Important changes to Facebook marketing

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

So, have you heard the rumours as well?  There are some important changes to Facebook marketing afoot.  A few people had mentioned to me at the beginning of the year that Facebook marketing was changing and it was going to be harder for businesses to market their product or service through the social media platform.  With this in mind and the fact that I use Facebook marketing for a lot of my client marketing work, I had to investigate.

What did I find…

So, creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook profile at the beginning of January that things were changing.

“We’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

[…] As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.[…] If we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

Personally, I did a little fist pump as I sometimes get sick of loads of adverts, things that people share and random videos.  I just want to see what my friends are up to without all the ‘noise’.  I’ve started moving away from Facebook and using Instagram personally as it doesn’t have all the crap!

However, as a Marketer, I’m holding my head in my hands.  What is this going to mean for businesses?  Will they all leave Facebook and start using other platforms?  Is it going to mean that all businesses need to start paying for advertising?

What changes for Marketers?

Basically, the way information in the news feed is shown is changing – known as the algorithm.  Facebook signals how much engagement posts get i.e how many people comment, like and share.  A post that gets a lot of engagement is quality content, therefore this determines how Facebook shows posts in the news feed – the more engagement, the more priority a post is given.

Facebook will monitor if this engagement is between a person to person or a person to a page.  Person to person will again be given priority.

Facebook is also going to prioritise content that is given more time and care.  Facebook is basically giving the user a more ‘meaningful’ experience on Facebook, rather than users being bombarded with information they don’t really want to see.

However, this will have a significant impact on the way pages, businesses and marketers are able to reach their audience through facebook marketing.  This doesn’t necessarily mean businesses won’t be able to use Facebook for marketing, it just means we will need to work harder in what we post.  It highlights the importance to businesses of creating relevant and effective campaigns and how well planned out and interesting content can make a big difference when addressed to the right audience.

Getting seen on people’s News Feed is going to become more competitive!

Engagement Bait

The second update is ‘Engagement bait’.  We’ve all seen the types of posts that say ‘Like and share’ to win’ or ‘comment if you agree’.  This tactic is known as “engagement bait,” and seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.   However, after years of analysing posts, Facebook has created a new model which will detect different types of engagement bait.  Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in news feeds.  Be warned!

It’s not all bad news though if you have a local business/page with which your users have a connection or interest and engages regularly with, you are likely to be largely unaffected by the changes.  Facebook has suggested that its new content prioritisation model will put more local news into users’ feeds.  Thumbs up!

What to do next in my facebook marketing?

Really think about what you post on your Facebook business pages.  Is your content quality and interesting to your users?  Do you spark conversations with users and generate good engagement?  If you do, then carry on doing what you do.

You should also encourage users to click the “see first” tab in their news feed preferences – this way they will always see the content you post.

Try not to fall into the ‘Engagement Bait’ trap and avoid leading users to ‘like/share or comment’ – it needs to be a natural engagement.  You will only get penalised!

Remember that photos and videos in your Facebook marketing are great at engaging with your audience, so try to utilise these as much as possible.  Even try ‘live’ videos which can lead to discussions with your users on average get six times as many interactions than regular videos.

Now, if my ramblings about the new changes to Facebook marketing don’t make much sense, watch this video from Facebook trying to explain why they are changing things…

Twitter Turns 10!

Friday, March 25th, 2016

It definitely doesn’t seem like 10 years ago since Twitter transformed how we use social media, introducing ‘Tweets’ , ‘Trends’ and ‘Hashtags’ where we could compose our thoughts and emotions in no more than 140 characters (including spaces!!)

To celebrate Twitter’s 10th Birthday, here are some tips and tricks I have learnt along the way on how to make that 140 character limit stretch a little further!

1) Forget the grammar police! We all abbreviate on Twitter.

2) Simple – use contractions so ‘it is’ becomes ‘it’s’ and ‘cannot’ becomes ‘can’t’.

3) Use your characters, that means &s, +s, %s and #s

4) Every word counts. Scrap needless words, adjectives, additional pronouns.

5) Try word shortcuts. ‘Retweet’ becomes ‘RT’, ‘with’ becomes ‘w/’, you get the idea.

6) Use link shorteners. URLs waste vital characters, so reduce your links, reduce your characters. Google have their own URL shortener which is really simple to use. Most social media scheduling tools such as Buffer will do this for you.

7) Look at using 120 characters. If you are looking for followers to retweet and add a comment you must leave them space to do so.

I’m sure 10 years on many of you are pretty savvy when it comes to Twitter but here are some things to remember when it comes to Twitter for Business.

– Presentation and Appearance! Use your bio, profile picture and background image to your best advantage. First impressions count, use high quality images and optimise your bio (you only have 160 characters, so make them count), adding a URL to direct people to your website is a good idea.

– Even for business, Twitter is considered a casual platform. So add personality to your tweets, have a voice and use humour and a friendly tone people want to interact with.

– Content is always king! Reach out to your target audience with topics they will connect with, find interesting and hopefully interact with.

– Look out for trends. Obviously, be sensible and don’t over use hastags, (this can be annoying). Look out for trends in your region and among your target audience. Twitter is super easy to seek out emerging trends, just use the ‘Moments’ tab or search bar.

– Use the @ function correctly. If you @ someone at the beginning of a tweet, only people who follow you and them will see it. If you want all your followers to see it, then put a full stop before their name (like .@Acorn_lisa Hi Lisa).

Remember what your mum taught you – Manners cost nothing! Particularly, when starting out on Twitter it is important to be thankful to your followers. If people retweet you, thank them, it will encourage further interaction in the future.

Keep on Tweetin’ x 

How social media played its part in the general election

Friday, May 8th, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad when all this election talk is over and things are back to normal.  Whatever your views of who is in power, one thing is for sure is that social media has had a huge part to play in this general election.

Many of my followers and friends have taken to social media to air their views.  I tend to refrain from sharing my political views, but there have been some really interesting debates to read and have often raised questions that I’ve not known the answers to.

For the political parties, social media has also been hugely influential more than ever before.  According to the drum.com

Figures have shown that the Conservatives benefitted from the most engagement on their Facebook page with 467,000 likes with supporters generating more than 50,000 comments.

It seems that people have been attracted to taking to social media to be able to engage with politicians on a human level, have discussions and ask questions which we’ve not really been able to do before.

There was also a bit of comedy thrown in there with Nicola Sturgeon’s #dollgate story which started trending on Twitter.  A story revealed in the Sun newspaper that she once hacked the hair off her Barbie doll when she was younger.   Some members of the SNP were worried this could be detrimental to their campaign, but Ms Sturgeon herself took to Twitter and said

For the record, I think my sister is misremembering. I’m sure it was a Sindy doll. #DollGate

And

I’m not proud of it, Linda, but I’ve changed. My niece’s dolls have never come to any harm. #DollGate

With the outcome of the General Election perhaps this social media story showed the human side of the leader and gained her a few extra votes?

Even as we all took to the polls, Facebook encouraged people to share that they’d voted and on twitter the hashtag #IVoted trended throughout the day.  There are many lessons that can be learned from how social media has been used in this election – it’ll be interesting to see how things change for the next election and perhaps how politicians can use social media in an even more engaging way in the future.

Social Media – #neknomination madness

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Have you seen the #neknomination videos going round?  Amazing how an idea can catch on and take hold.  We have certainly seen some creative videos in the Penrith area, but apparently this started in Perth in Australia.

What is #neknomination?  Well, basically it is a global video chainmail where you nominate your friends to ‘down a pint’ – however it has been taken to the extreme with people doing all sorts of random things such as dressing up as women, being filmed in the shower or on the toilet, jumping off bridges, or downing custard..not just downing a pint.  It is like everyone that does it needs to go one step further to better their friends.

There have been some extreme cases in Australia with people ‘necking’ their drink whilst driving, or doing eye cringing things to their bodies.  Someone in Australia even got arrested by the police from their video!  Some people say these videos are encouraging young people to drink stupidly; particularly if it is a famous person not wanting to be outdone.

Do you think #Neknominate is harmless fun? Or is it promoting the wrong kind of drinking culture?

I personally think it is boys being boys (though there are some odd girls in the equation) – this probably happens most Saturday nights once a group of young lads get together – I’m not sure it will turn them into hardened drinks; in fact it appears that most can’t ‘neck the pint’ and just do it for a laugh.

Anyway, it is just another prime example of how an idea online can take off and grip the globe.

If you’ve not seen the videos – check out some of the best online here  – even the ex-Prime Minister of Australia gets in on the action!

Time for Vine: How can your business use video on social media?

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

This week I have been lucky to have a talented young man undertaking some work experience with me.  Lewis Ridley is a student at Ullswater Community College in Penrith and is currently looking at some future career options.  With an interest in Journalism I thought it would be great to get him to do some writing and a bit of an investigation into my latest discovery…Vine.  Over to you Lewis…

In January, Twitter launched a 6-second video sharing app called Vine. The app lets you communicate with the world using moving image – a huge breakthrough for social media, and the biggest since YouTube. In fact the statistics show that in its debut was more successful than that of YouTube itself, back in the dark ages. Vine is directly linked to Twitter, the app now seen as the leading social media network both for personal use and business. A Vine is basically a little window into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up our day to day lives. However in June, Facebook reacted by adding a video option to their photo sharing interface Instagram. There has been huge debate on which app is the front-runner, with each boasting their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, each app is more smoothly able to embedded into its respective site from which it originated (Twitter and Vine, Facebook and Instagram) – basically, an Instagram post on Twitter shows a link which means the user has to open a separate screen to view it whereas ‘Vines’ can be directly viewed on Instagram.

In the blue corner…
So, for personal use, feeding your inner professional photographer and interacting with your friends – Instagram wins.
But, more and more of the top brands including Honda and Ben and Jerry’s are using newcomer Vine to spread the word about their offers and events. On 7th June, 4 days after Android released a version of Vine, Topsy Analytics, a company that gathers and analyzes tweets, reported that Vine had gained 2.86 million shares on Twitter. Let’s take a look at how exactly your business could benefit from some Vining (yes, that’s a word I made up)…

• Office Tour – People love an insight into the heart of a business. It makes customers feel more directly involved with the company and it can also help you give your business some personality and life! Here is HubSpot showing a new addition to the office.

• Interviews – They say that first impressions are important and they’re often made within a second of meeting someone, so imagine what you can do with 6 of them! For those staff that love the limelight (we all know who they are) and even for those who pretend they hate it, give them 6 seconds to explain what they do and their personality – it will make your customers recognise the people behind the business and may even prompt a few jokes from visiting customers.

• Customer experience – Ask one of your customers to sum their experience of either a product or a service in 6 seconds! This will not only help you interact with your customers but will surely prompt conversation in the streets – which is all more interest in your company.

• Broadcast the scenes from an event – You could record the moment as people arrive for the launching of a new product, a new location or an annual company event – get people talking and itching to join in with the masses!

• Be imaginative – A day in the life of a pudding, a member of staff, a treadmill, any object that has the potential to be a summary of the work you do or just downright hilarious. Let your creative side run wild. It’s amazing what 6 seconds of video could do for your business!

Remember, whether Facebooking, Tweeting, Vining or Instagramming – it’s important to stay professional. Read “5 tips for Professional Social Networking” for some advice on how to represent yourself and your business in the world of social media. Go to the aptly named site ‘Brands on Vine’ to see how the big names have used Vine!