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instagram news

The Best Instagram News This Year and What It Means For You

I haven’t been this excited about Instagram news since they introduced the ability to switch between Instagram accounts without logging out. Remember that?? You used to have to log out. Fun times.

Well this Instagram news is along those lines. The next big news marketers and business owners had been waiting on. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram has not had the ability to schedule posts. Up to this point, you could sort of schedule your content using a 3rd party app. But it wouldn’t schedule automatically, it still required a manual authorization to post.  So that meant you had to be pretty free and clear at the time you needed to post.

That has all, well mostly, changed. Instagram has updated their API to allow 3rd party applications to post for you. Cue the confetti!

Let’s look at what it means for you and your business.

You’ll need to use an application to schedule posts.

The feature is not part of the Instagram product.  You will need to use social media tools that are Instagram and Facebook Marketing partners.  You’ll need to stay tuned for when your preferred scheduling tool rolls this out.

This update is for business profiles.

Obviously, brands and businesses have a need to be able to manage and schedule content. This functionality is being allowed for that reason. Instagram says that support for non-business profiles is in the works for an early 2019 release.

Not everything can be scheduled.

This will not include ads, video, stories or multiple photo posts. Sorry.

Additional new features are being introduced.

According to Techcrunch, a new Instagram Graph API is being introduced and will include the ability to analyze metrics and insights about the business’s performance on Instagram, moderate comments and access the business’s mentions and add responses to them. It will also involve a new business discovery feature which will allow business profiles to view other business profile information and media.

A word to the wise:

Exercise patience. When new features are rolled out, there are glitches. I’m already reading some kinks with Hootsuite. The good news is, marketers and business owners have finally gotten what we’ve been asking for most to help our Instagram marketing a little bit easier. That’s definitely something to celebrate.

 

 

facebook

Facebook Fights Fake News

If you post links to Facebook and you modify the image, title or excerpt of the preview, that is all coming to an end. Starting Tuesday, July 18th, Facebook is no longer allowing modifications to link previews.

The official announcement from Facebook stated the following:

As part of our continuing efforts to stop the spread of misinformation and false news on our platform, earlier this year at F8 we announced an important change to our Graph API: Graph API version 2.9 includes a 90 day deprecation of the ability to edit previews attached to link posts. We’d like to share more details on the coming change.

By removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news. We also understand that many publishers have workflows that rely on overwriting link preview metadata to customize how their content appears to audiences on Facebook. We’re committed to a solution that supports them. Read the complete statement here.

Here’s the bottom line:
  • Beginning July 18th, any scheduled Facebook messages with a modified link preview will revert back to the original link preview. This includes: the original title, description, and photo that existed before any edits were made.
  • Beginning July 18th, any messages in a social media management tool (Buffer, Hootsuite, etc;) for Facebook with a modified link preview will revert back to the original link preview (the original title, description, and photo that existed before any edits were made).

 

Why Is this happening?

As mentioned in the quote above from Facebook’s Developer News, this update is “eliminating a channel that has been used to post false news.” This is Facebook’s attempt to stop the spread of false information.

The reaction from many small businesses have been strong. While I think everyone can appreciate making sure that content that is true and factual is a good thing, I believe the critics feel this change seems to hurt small businesses while doing nothing to actually stop the spread of false information. The guilty false news publishers, will still publish false, misleading stories to their websites.

What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Share in the comment section below.

 

periscope

How To Use Periscope For Your Business

Every business is looking for more ways to get its message out there: to connect with more customers and build a stronger network of new and repeat customers. That goes for the one-person shop who is selling handmade goods to the global enterprise that ships orders to a multitude of countries. One of the easiest ways to strengthen that reach is to strategically use social media platforms, and one of the newest platforms to try is Periscope.

What is it?

Periscope is a live-video streaming service that is owned by Twitter. But, it’s completely different from Twitter in the way information is shared. While Twitter is all about short, 140-character length posts with photos or videos on various topics.
Periscope enables users to share live videos. Like other social media platforms, the key is 'shareability.' Click To Tweet

Make Connections

Using Periscope to connect with your audience allows your community to ask questions, make insightful comments, as well as share the content you’ve created. It allows you to connect with your viewing audience in a personal way.  Humanize your brand by offering your community an up close look at your business and what you have to offer. Doing this helps you establish a “human” emotional connection.

Live Events

You have probably considered hosting some sort of live event at some point. Live streaming has become such a useful marketing tool that most brands think of ways they can stream an event, announcement or demonstration.

Getting Started

So what exactly is this live video sharing platform? How do you use it and how do you participate? What are some strategies and ideas on how to use it to market your business? I have a simple way for you to learn the basics and get some content ideas of your own. Learn more about Periscope and live video sharing by using the tips in this graphic:

Click to Enlarge Image

Peer into Periscope: How Periscope Can Help Your Business

employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy: Word of Mouth Marketing

Social media is a new form of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing can be very powerful, so it makes sense to have your employees advocating on behalf of the company via social media. According to an article by Fast Company, leads through employee social networks convert seven times more often than any other leads.

People trust people more than they do brands. This is why employee advocacy makes sense.Click To Tweet

Employee advocacy also allows you to improve your reach. By asking your employees to share your messages, you can instantly boost your audience by leveraging their networks. Employee advocacy happens when employees share content on social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.

Before you dive in, here are a few things to consider:

Establish Guidelines

Set up company guidelines for what your team should and shouldn’t share on social media. Provide a brief training and best practices for sharing messages online.

Define Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish? Is it brand awareness? Are you trying to direct traffic to your website? You can’t manage what you can’t measure.  Set goals and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show when or if you’ve reached your goals. Determine what the value of your followers and likes really means and find ways to measure those results. 

Offer Incentives

Offer incentives to encourage employees to take the time to promote your company on social media. In turn, ensure those active employees are sharing messaging that is in alignment with your marketing goals. Offer incentives for sales leads that come through employee social media accounts.

Make Workplace Culture A Priority

Strong workplace cultures attract and keep talented people, and directly improve the bottom line. People will want to advocate for the company if they feel good about being there, and believe in the product or service. Workplace culture directly effects performance. It is improved and cultivated by strong relationships.

In addition,

Establish a company culture that is social media friendlyClick To Tweet Don’t be afraid to share suggested messages from your marketing or social media teams, inspiring employees to create their own with their own voice and style.

Track Progress

Employee advocacy can be a little scary letting employees post on their own on social media accounts. However, authenticity is very effective, so you want it to truly be genuine to be effective. As long as employees have an understanding of guidelines and policy, employees should know how to represent appropriately, but monitoring will be important to make sure employees aren’t posting anything inappropriate and inflammatory. Track progress to gauge which employee posts are most successful at accomplishing goals and recognize those employees who do it well.

Social media marketing takes time, effort and strategy to see results. With patience and analyzing your efforts, you are on your way to reaching your goals.

 

social media goals

8 Social Media Goals To Grow Your Business

Social media marketing is absolutely pointless without a plan. Part of having a plan includes setting goals, and setting goals that are measurable. Since social media is one aspect of your overall marketing strategy, it can work well to connect your social media goals with your marketing goals.

Setting clear measurable goals helps you refine your messaging and spend your money effectively.Click To Tweet

Below are eight social media goals and metrics that you could apply to your business and align with your overall marketing goals.

Increase Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is just that. How well are people aware of your brand? It’s the likelihood that consumers recognize the existence of your service or product. Brand awareness is particularly important when you’re starting out and to help differentiate from similar products and services from competitors.

Metrics:

  • Follower count on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.
  • Reach of your social media posts
  • Number of mentions, shares and retweets

Website Traffic

An important social media goal is to drive traffic to your website.

Your social media activity should be ultimately leading traffic to your site.Click To Tweet This is where you want people to go to learn more about your business, read your latest blog post or make a purchase.

Metrics:

  • Referral traffic from social media
  • Share of overall traffic
  • Bounce rate of social media traffic
  • Clicks on your social media posts

Sales

You’re in business to make money, right? So, having a goal of growing revenue is natural. While social media is not about a sales pitch, you’re trying to build relationships that lead to business. So, ultimately making a sales, or obtaining a new client is the ultimate goal.

Metrics:

  • Signups
  • Social advertising revenue

Lead Generation

Lead generation can come from many sources. It can come from those who sign up for your newsletter, or fill out your content form. Providing valuable content to capture leads is key.

Metrics:

  • Downloads of your content
  • Clicks on your social media posts
  • Newsletter sign ups
  • Conversion rates of social media leads

Increase Engagement

Creating quality, relevant content will help boost your engagement. It’s the best way to help you stand out in a noisy, crowded online world.

Metrics:

  • Likes hares, replies, mentions
  • Number of comment on social posts

Community Growth

An important purpose for having an online presence is to build an online community for your business.

Community building is an investment in your company,Click To Tweet in your knowledge base, and your website. Pretty much every effort you put into the goal of building an online community increases your company’s value. It allows you to grow closer to them, listen to feedback, and gain a better understanding of what their needs and wants are.

Metrics:

  • Number of posts, likes and comments in Facebook groups
  • Number of Tweet chat participants

Publicity

You can use social media to get mentions in the press and online publications, blogs and articles.

Metrics:

  • Potential reach, shares and mentions
  • Influencers talking about and sharing your content
  • The number of people seeking your expertise with industry related questions

Research

Use can use social media to gain intelligence about your company, product or service, competitors or industry. Listening to online conversations about certain topics your customers might be talking about, helps you gather competitive intelligence that can inform your decision making and improve your services.

Metrics:

  • Number of conversations with customers on social media
  • Suggestions or feedback.

Setting social media goals to align with your marketing goals helps you stay focused on your business growth and increase your chances for success. What are your business goals and how are you measuring them? Please comment below.

3 Game Changing Facebook Updates You Need To Know

Facebook updates are still a big deal. The social media giant that is Facebook continues to be a force in the digital media world. According to Statista, Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts and currently sits at 1.59 billion monthly active users. Eighth-ranked photo-sharing app Instagram had over 400 million monthly active accounts.

Facebook is easy for most anyone to understand how to use, and a Facebook business page is pretty much mandatory for most businesses. Even if you do quickly realize you’ll need to get in the advertising game, you’ll want to have a presence.

I used to think Facebook wasn’t important to my web traffic, but it continues to be the #1 referral source for my website.Click To Tweet

Recently, 3 new Facebook updates were introduced that you’ll want to take note of.

Not only is Facebook a force simply because of it’s size, but also because it continues to add features to compete with other social networks. Which brings me to my first update.

FACEBOOK SLIDESHOW

Videos are a popular and engaging form of content. So it’s no wonder that tech giants are launching their own versions of automatic video. Apple has “Memories” which will debut on the iOS 10 Photos, Google already has a Movies assistant with it’s Google Photos product. And now, Facebook is rolling out Slideshow to all iOS users around the world.

Following up with the increasingly popular Facebook Live feature, Facebook is tackling another social media trend: creating stories.Click To Tweet

You may have noticed some components of Facebook testing out some of it’s features already. If you’ve taken photos recently on your phone and are about to post a status, Facebook will suggest creating a slideshow with those recent photos and videos. Each Slideshow is automatically composed with themed music and transitions. Facebook has seen a decline in personal content sharing.

I believe with the addition of Facebook Live and Facebook Slideshow, they are hoping to encourage users to share more of their personal photos and videos again. Stringing together a series of photos and videos brings to mind the concept of Snapchat stories. Much like Facebook Live vs Periscope, Facebook continues to introduce features that seem to not only address trends, but will also keep users on the Facebook site as opposed to other platforms.

FACEBOOK FAVORS FRIENDS

Facebook announced that it is limiting the amount of content from Pages. The News Feed will feature more posts from friends and family instead of posts from brands.

According to Adam Mosseri, VP for product management at Facebook: “Maintaining a relevant and interesting Newsfeed is important to satisfying users.”

This adjustment addresses feedback from users who complained status updates from friends and family do not appear on their News Feed.

“Stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends”, he added. “One of our most important jobs is getting this ranking right”

What does this mean for brands? “We anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages,” Lars Backstrom, engineering director at Facebook, wrote in a separate post about the change.

The takeaway?

Since you don’t own these platforms, you are at their mercy. This is why your own website and blog are important. As far as what to do on Facebook, I think the change simply means discovering and creating the type of content that users will want to see and engage with in addition to investing in Facebook advertising.

FACEBOOK UPDATES THE PAGE

I first heard about a change to the Pages layout from Heidi Osburn Garland of Guild West Agency when she posted a screenshot of her Page with the new layout:

GUILD WEST AGENCY FACEBOOK PAGE SCREENSHOT

facebook updates

When I commented, she posted a screenshot of my page:

facebook update

 

 

 

 

 

Now, while I’m still not seeing this change,  clearly it is being rolled out.

What I notice first of all is that the avatar is no longer taking up space on the cover photo. Neither is the business name. Also, a change that I had already begun seeing on Facebook, instead of the category of your business, say for example, “Wills and Estates” it shows the name of your “handle” or username such as @tgqlaw. This is also no longer on the cover photo, but beneath your avatar which is situated on the top left corner of the page.

Heidi does a great job of discussing what’s new with the latest Facebook update to Pages. Some of the noted changes:

  • Profile picture no longer takes up valuable real estate covering the cover image.
  • Page Name under the profile picture.
  • Page name and the profile picture no longer take up valuable space on the cover photo.
  • The CTA is much larger than before and it’s on the right-hand side.
  • Tabs are back on the left side of the page, under the profile picture.

Read more about what’s new in her post, “New Facebook Page Layout – Is it a Flashback, But Better?”

What do you think about the look of the new layout?

Share your thoughts on the new layout and other Facebook updates in the comments below. I’m curious to know what you think.