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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.

 

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.

events

How To Promote Your Events With Social Media

Social media has many great uses. Promoting events is one great way to use social media. My experience with social media includes many non-profit organizations, and often with that comes events. Social media marketing is a very effective way to inform people of your event, your cause and to help meet your goals for those events.

As with any marketing effort, you need a plan.

Marketing your event with social media requires some important steps to ensure optimal success.Click To Tweet

PRE-EVENT STEPS

Set Your Goal.

What are you trying to accomplish? Are you looking to build awareness, increase attendees or sell tickets? Whatever that goal may be, define it and create a strategy around accomplishing that goal.

Be Social Friendly.

Create a hashtag that is brief and easy to remember. Include it in all your promotions so that your audience can follow the conversation online easily. You should also use tools like hashtracking.com or keyhole.co to track the metrics of your hashtag to gauge the performance of your marketing efforts.  Prepare for event day engagement by creating a Snapchat geofilter for attendees to use at the event.

Optimize Your Messaging and Images.

Creating the right content is key with social media marketing. Create copy that will tell people what they need to know about the event with key details and builds excitement. Educate, inform, excite and create calls to action. You’ll want to create images consistent with your brand that are eye-catching, memorable and shareable.

Host An Instagram Contest.

Contests are an easy way to get content for your Instagram account and generate buzz around your event. Have a giveaway where attendees take photos to post on Instagram, use the event hashtag and tag your account. Here’s a great contest that Ford used for it’s annual Ford Freedom Fireworks event.event

Drive Your Visitors.

Make sure that your social profiles are updated with the link that drives them to information about the event and/or where they can purchase tickets or RSVP. It is a good practice to use a customized link shortener so that you can use metrics to track your performance.

Leverage Influencers.

A sure way to help amplify your message is to leverage the audiences of people and organizations who are involved or have a personal interest in your event. That would include guest speakers, special guests, honorees and sponsors. Using Twitter mentions and tags on Facebook and Instagram of people and organizations alerts them to your online social media promotion efforts and in turn prompts them to share that message with their respective audiences.

Pre-Event Events.

Showcase your upcoming event by hosting a Twitter chat or Facebook Live event. Twitter chat’s give you an opportunity to allow your audience to interact with one of your special guests before the event, ask questions directly and learn more about what to expect at the event. Facebook Live events broadcast to audiences who are already engaged currently online. This will give them a chance to hear from your or your guest about why they should attend. You can use these events to also give a call to action.

event

EVENT DAY ACTIVITIES

Your event promotion doesn’t stop the day before your event.Click To Tweet You’ll want to showcase what’s going on at your event to create buzz for your brand and interest in your upcoming events.

  • Make sure you make announcements at your events encouraging people to use the hashtag and geofilters on social media and share their own stories.
  • Engage with your attendees! Follow the hashtag at your event and retweet, comment and reply to what your audience is sharing

POST EVENT ACTIVITIES

FACEBOOK:

Wrap up your event by sharing photos albums to Facebook. Attendees will look for photos they were a part of or their favorite highlights to share.

TWITTER:

A great tool to use post event is Storify. It allows you to highlight and arrange tweets from your events that is shareable. It will event notify people mentioned in the tweets when you post it.

SNAPCHAT:

Download your Snapchat story and include it in a blog post to share with your readers. You can also download individual snaps to post on other social media sites. This will help build your Snapchat audience as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social media is an incredible tool to help spread your message, reach your audience and attract new followers. Create buzz for your event with the features that make social media marketing the powerful tool it is.

 

social media marketing

How To Spring Clean Your Social Media Marketing

We have had an amazing week of warm weather here in Michigan. Considering that just a few weeks ago we had unusually cold weather with snow flurries, it’s a welcome sight. Since we’re in the full swing of Spring, it got me thinking, am I ready for the midway mark of 2016? More than likely, it’s time for some social media marketing spring cleaning.

Spruce Up Your Social Media

If you conduct a social media  spring cleaning inventory, you might find that there are some things you are missing, should change or needs improvement. Let’s take a look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to see where you might need to do a little sprucing up.

FACEBOOK

How’s Your Headshot?

If your profile picture is more than a couple of years old, it’s time to upload a new headshot. Make sure it’s head and shoulders and professional.

Update Your Cover Photo

Spring is a good time to give your page a fresh new look with a new cover photo. Maybe you want to have something designed that fits your brand and represents your business. You may also want to make a collage of photos of your products or a collection of photos from events.

Check Your About Section

Make sure the About section accurately portrays what you do. Is it up to date? If applicable, include your hours of business and contact information. Hopefully  you have a vanity URL in place. Secure one if you don’t already. For example, is your business page URL: facebook.com/(a bunch of random numbers and letters) or does your URL include your business name like mine: facebook.com/socialwithsara.

Are you verified?

If you have a brick and mortar business, meaning you have a physical location, you can verify your page. Here’s how to do it.

Next, consider cleaning out your “friends” and “likes.” If your page has fraudulent likes (as the result of “like farms”), it can really skew any paid advertising you do on Facebook. For this reason you’ll want to clean out any fake accounts.

Set Up Authorship

Facebook allows you to set up authorship so that your blog posts are attributed to you when they’re posted on the platform. I discuss how to set up Authorship among other Facebook features in this post.

Try Something New

Ready to shake things up a bit on Facebook? Why not incorporate Facebook Live in your social media marketing? It’s very easy to use and it’s a great way to get in front of your audience in a simple engaging way. Here are some tips from Social Media Examiner on how to do it. 

INSTAGRAM

Optimize Your Bio

How you set up your bio on Instagram is crucial. Make it interesting and easy to look at with spacing, emojis and symbols. This helps break up the text. You’ll want to include keywords around what you do such as: Travel, Photography, Foodie,  LA-based (don’t forget to use a location tag 📍)

Include your contact information and website. This is the only area in Instagram where urls are hyperlinked. So, if you’re promoting something special like an ebook that you want your visitors to land on, you’ll want to put it here in the bio section.

Content Consistency

It helps to use the same filter to give it a balanced look. If you use text images with tips, set up a template with your logo and brand colors so that your images are recognizable with your brand.

Hashtags Are Mandatory

Did you know that according to a Simply Measured Instagram study, posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag? The use of hashtags is a great way to target new audiences on Instagram. It will also help other Instagram users discover, follow, and engage with you.

Use niche specific hashtags that already have an engaging community behind them and use the ones that your audience is already using.

TWITTER

Tidy Up:

  • Add your personal or company website to your bio if you haven’t already.
  • Consider updating your photo, especially if it’s outdated. Always keep it current.
  • If you’ve updated logos or colors, you should also consider changing your header photo and background color to accurately reflect your brand.

Who are you following?

Some people you may want to consider unfollowing: Those who post about things that don’t interest you or those who never post.

For followers, check to make sure they aren’t spam accounts. Spammers can add fake accounts to your list of followers. Find out who’s fake, then delete or block those accounts. A great tool for cleaning up your followers is ManageFlitter.

Create Lists

Consider creating Twitter lists to organize friends or those in your industry. Even make a list of those accounts whose content you want to see for content curation purposes.

Check Permissions

You may also want to check up on your app permissions. See which apps or sites you have given permission to access your profile and remove any that you’re no longer using.

LINKEDIN

I recently wrote a blog post on Creating A Winning LinkedIn Profile. It contains an infographic to illustrate all the keys areas. It’s a great place to start to get your LI profile where it needs to be. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Your headline is seen more than anything else, so make sure it contains the keywords that you want to be found with.
  • Is your headshot outdated? Always keep your headshot up to date with a current professional headshot.
  • Work on your summary to highlight your best skills and experience.
  • Make sure your contact information is updated so clients and others can get in touch with you.
  • Personalize your profile’s URL with your name or business name.
  • Are there new projects that you’ve done since your last update that showcase your abilities? Add them!
  • Do you need some new recommendations? It’s ok to ask.
  • What about your connections? When you first joined LinkedIn, you probably connected with everyone. I did the same. But once you’ve been on the platform for a while, it makes sense to be strategic with your connections. Make sure they’re relevant to your industry.

Spring cleaning your social media marketing will get you on the road to being ready for the second half of 2016. Don’t forget to check your analytics and insights to see if there are adjustments you can make to your strategy for better results.

 

reactions

Facebook Just Got A Little More Emotional With Reactions

Remember when Facebook was kicking around the idea of letting you do more than just react to a post with a “like”? Speculation began that all types of emoji-like responses would be available. When a post is sad or tragic, upsetting, or infuriating, it just doesn’t seem right to “like” it with a thumbs up. Right? Nobody wants to “like” that a blizzard is headed their way. Well maybe some people do. It feels awkward to “like” that someone’s dog is missing or that there is a 20 car pile up on the highway. So Facebook decided to address that.

Enter Facebook Reactions.

Today, Facebook is launching Reactions, which is an “extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.”

To add a reaction, you simply hold down the Like button on mobile or hover over the Like button on desktop to see the reaction image options. You can choose from either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry. That’s right… No dislike, folks.

Go beyond the like: choose love, laugh, wow, sad or angry with Reactions.Click To Tweet

Here’s what it looks like:

facebook reactions

 

This is a big change, and sometimes we don’t like change. Facebook tried to curb the negative “reaction” by  conducting global research with focus groups and surveys to figure out what type of reactions people use most. They analyzed existing posts and the top stickers and emoticons and emojis as indicators for the types of reactions people use to see which of the many ranges of emotions they could offer. Facebook has tested it in a few markets since last year, and so far so good! Today, if you use Facebook, you have Reactions.

What does this mean for businesses and brands?

I guess it can be risky. It may make you nervous that there are more options for people to react to you, your service or product. It’s a little scary sure. But then again your audience members who really love you and what you have, will make it fun.

Business and brand Pages get the same Reactions as personal Facebook accounts and there is no way to disable them. It’s consistent across all posts and all countries.

The new Facebook reactions presents an opportunity to creatively engage with your audience with the debut. Like Chevy did. 

Have you used the new update? If so, what do you think? Give me your…well…reaction. I know, I know. I’d love to get your thoughts below in the comments.

Facebook Features That Keep Me Hanging On

Being from Detroit, Motown music is in my blood. One of my favorite groups, The Supremes recorded a song in 1966, “You Keep Me Hanging On.” In a way, that’s kind of how I feel about Facebook. If you’re using social media to market your business you probably have a Facebook page. You probably have been frustrated more often than not with it one way or another. Personally, I get much more engagement on Instagram and Twitter, so I concentrate my efforts there. But, Facebook keeps me hanging on with a few key features that I use for myself and my clients. That being the case, I’m not so ready to set Facebook free just yet. Here’s three reasons why:

AUTHOR TAG

One of my favorite rather new Facebook features is the Author Tag. By implementing the Author Tag on their websites, publishers can make it easy for Facebook readers to follow the author of an article they might’ve read and found valuable or interesting. It’s a tool that connects the byline in a story preview in the News Feed to the writer’s Page or Profile with Follow. Attribution and follow: WIN-WIN!

PAGE VERIFICATION

If you have a local page, boy is this nice. Finally the little guy gets a little love. We always see the celebs and large companies with the blue checkmark. And for good reason, we want to know the page is legitimate right? This does the same thing for local businesses, those with a physical address, but with a grey checkmark. The page verification feature will distinguish legitimate business from fake pages who may pose as your business. It’s also designed to help you show up higher in search results. And have no fear, Facebook plans to roll this out to all businesses in the future.

CALL TO ACTION

If you haven’t set this up already yet, you should. Created to bring your most important objective front and center on your facebook page, call-to-action buttons link to any destination on or off Facebook. Whether you’re trying to grow an email list, drive traffic to your website, sell a product or service, you can direct your visitors to take action the way you want them to. 

Use Facebook's call to action feature to direct visitors where you want based on your goalsClick To Tweet

These Facebook features show that while Facebook clearly wants you to use some advertising to maximize the exposure of your content on Facebook, it still wants to provide some valuable features that help you gain exposure for your business or blog. I guess that’s why I’m still hanging on.

What do you think about these Facebook features? Do you find them useful? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.