Social Media

January 15, 2018

Facebook’s News Feed Change For 2018 Will Affect You In More Ways Than One

On January 11th, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took to his own Timeline with a long-winded message about changes to the platform in 2018. This change would bring about a $3.3 billion loss to Zuckerberg’s personal net worth as a result of stock price decreases according to a Forbes calculation.

mark zuckerberg article

“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent” began the 33-year-old CEO. Zuck’s entire diatribe vaguely depicting the changes coming to Facebook can be read here on his Facebook Timeline. However, you’ll have a tough time Google-ing “Facebook” without coming across hundreds of posts screaming bloody murder about the changes coming to the world’s largest social media platform. At over 2 billion active users (yes, with a B), Facebook’s News Feed change will impact over a 4th of the world’s population (source: Satista)

Here’s what you need to know.

Zuckerberg and the Facebook executive team rarely ever divulge exactly what will happen with new algorithm changes to Facebook or Instagram, so there’s only so much we know for sure at the moment. Only time will tell us for certain.

In Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook post, he mentions that:

“Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.”

Fair enough. Not too much to argue here…

“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

So, here’s where things can get a bit subjective. I’m not sure if “feedback from [the] community” means a couple users in a focus group or a statistically significant portion of the user base and I’m certain the Facebook top brass won’t tell us.

Facebook newsfeed

Facebook for Everyday Users

Zuckerberg continues with: “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”

Right. So, the general idea here seems to be that Facebook wants you to see more of what IT thinks you want to see: your friends and family. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m very active on Facebook and sometimes the last thing you want to see on your feed is the kid from your high school still trying to become a rapper.

Facebook is not just a social network.

It’s a way to absorb and convey all types of information, whether it’s current events, posts from pages you like, or even memes and humorous content. Some users genuinely get their news from Facebook. They shouldn’t, but they do. You can read all about Facebook’s issue with “fake news” here, but that’s for another post.

Others log on to Facebook to get the latest from a page they follower, or perhaps a brand they really engage with. Some users blatantly don’t give a damn about what their “friends” are up to and just aimlessly scroll the newsfeed to find some interesting viral videos to consume.

To get to the point, not everyone on Facebook is concerned with engaging with their friends and family. Personally, If I wanted to engage with a friend or relative, I’d shoot them a text or give them a call. Contrary to Facebook’s belief, my relationship with a person is not indicative by how many times I comment on a photo of their sushi or cute picture of their dog.

Remember when Facebook and Instagram changed the News Feed to sort from chronologically to what it thought you wanted to see? Users, influencers, and brands were livid at the thought of having their hard work be pushed down the feed and engagement drops across the board.

Moving on, the Facebook CEO addresses the direct change in the News Feed: “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.”

Ah, there it is. Fewer posts from businesses, brands, and media. But, Mr. Zuckerberg, what if some of us actually enjoy these often informative and engaging content? Are we still forced to see the statuses and updates of the people on our Friend’s List?

No offense, Johnny, but I couldn’t care less about your trip to Arkansas. Show me the content from pages I liked myself so I can see the content that I customize my News Feed to project. The News Feed is the first thing a user sees when he/she logs into Facebook and perhaps the place where they spend the most time browsing.

What happens when you change something that wasn’t broken and replace it with “curated” content that doesn’t stick? Your daily active users will drop like flies.

What Happens to Facebook Ads?

 

Facebook

However, perhaps the absolute biggest change here are the fewer posts from public profiles like businesses, brands, and media. Less exposure in the News Feed means a direct (and probably substantial) drop in engagement for these companies.

Boo hoo, right? The big bad corporations might have a few less likes on their organic media. But it’s not just that. Aside from the fact that there are users who genuinely enjoy and engage with the content put out by these pages, this change shows us a bit more as to why Facebook could be making this change.

We’ve seen this before with the Instagram Feed. Moving to a “curated” Feed pushed brand content down. To make up for lost engagement, these companies had (and still have to) resort to paid ads, which makes Facebook money.

I believe we’re seeing a similar change to the primary Facebook platform itself. Facebook Advertising keeps the social media free to every day users. It only makes sense for the company’s executives to push for changes that generate more boosted posts, more targeted ads, and more general ad spend.

But wait! John Hegeman, A Facebook Vice President said in an interview that advertising on the social network would be unaffected by the changes. Are you so sure about that, Mr. Hegeman? I can’t imagine how filtering out organic brand posts won’t impact advertising on Facebook, but only time will tell!

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Give me the honest truth because I would love to hear your thoughts on this change. Let’s start a dialogue. Leave a comment below or fill out this form and we get go over these changes in more detail, and maybe even feature you on our next blog.

By Frank Tkachenko

[email protected].

October 23, 2017

5 Reasons to Switch to an Instagram Business Profile

Today, 86% of top brands have Instagram accounts, that’s up from 71% from last year. If you’re a small business or an influencer on Instagram, you’ve probably had the notification offer to switch to an Instagram Business profile.Of course, new features (especially free ones) are always enticing, but if your current account is succeeding and growing, why should you even bother switching to a Business profile? I’m going to showcase my top 5 reasons for you to switch to an Instagram Business profile. Rest assured, the switch isn’t permanent and if you don’t find value in the features, you could convert back to a normal profile at the click of a button! Let’s dive in.

Insights and Analytics

I’m definitely a data analytics guy, so this reason alone would be enough for me to switch my account to a business one. Having valuable insights about my followers at the click of a button? Count me in!

If you keep up with Momentum Digital’s Instagram page, you’d definitely see us stressing the importance of data to make more informed decision in regards to social media content. Whether it’s content type, hashtag use, demographics, consistency, or even posting times, having the right information at your fingertips can often be enough to push your pages’ engagement to the next tier.

Once you’ve switched to a business profile, you’re able to see data like impressions, engagement, and reach for individual posts, but the real value in this feature is when you check out the new “Insights” icon  at the top of your Instagram app for a more holistic overview of your account’s performance. Some of the metrics available to you include:

  • Followers in the last 7 days
  • Impressions per day in the last 7 days
  • instagram insightsFollower gender split and age range
  • Geographic locations of your followers
  • Times of day your followers are active on Instagram*

These are all super important for growing your company’s Instagram account, but the most important insight in my opinion is the ability to see the days, and especially the time of day, that your followers are active on the app.

Everyone’s audience is different, so seeing that your followers are particularly active in the 1PM-2PM time slot might make you want to rethink that spontaneous 3AM post!

instagram analytics

Image via Buffer.com

If you’re looking for more in-depth analysis of your Instagram account, you should definitely check out our friends at Abyss.io. The software offers some seriously powerful data analytics tools for you to make more informed decisions regarding your social media.

Contact Buttons

This is especially important if you’re a business trying to target local customers! Essentially what this feature adds to your account are possible contact options.

Business profiles have the option to add Email, Call, or Get Directions buttons right below their Instagram bio. These buttons open the user’s designated mail, dialer, and maps applications on his or her phone. No longer does a potential lead need to click the link in your bio and navigate your website to find key information about your business. It’s all available to them at the click of a button which not only makes them more likely to click them, but also shortens the marketing funnel to get in contact with you. A definitive win-win!


Page Identity

This one is more important than a lot of people give credit for. You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a person who stumbled upon your page. How do you do it?

There are more than 800,000,000 monthly active users on Instagram and the average person’s attention span shrinks every year. Immediately showing a user what your business is and what you do could be the difference of a new engaging follower or just another impression on your page.

instagram posts

Monthly active users on Instagram (Statista)

An Instagram Business profile, when linked to its accompanying Facebook page (required), will display its category under its username. This provides a lightning-quick snapshot of what your page is. Whether you’re a coffee shop, retail store, fashion brand, or blogger, any new viewer will know what you’re about and what to expect from your content below.

Hyperlinked Stories

We’ve been using this quite a bit here at Momentum, and I’ve found this to be an incredibly powerful tool with plenty of uses! Instagram Business Profiles with 10,000 or more followers have the ability to add a “Swipe Up” hyperlink at the bottom of any Instagram Story.

instagram story“So what’s the big deal” you may be asking.

Currently, the only real hyperlink an account can have is the link in the bio, but this new feature adds a whole new avenue to send your followers to different places on the web (e.g a specific page on your website).

Typically, it’s best practice to have your bio link point to our website’s homepage to showcase everything your company does, so the option to have Instagram Stories that send your followers exactly where you want them to is huge!

New blog post? Don’t just let ’em know; send ‘em there! Your cupcake shop launching a new flavor? Link the page to order. Interesting news article for your industry you think could bring value to your followers? Show them!

instagram business profile
Instagram usage growth (Recode)

Still not convinced to give Instagram Stories a shot? Check out some of these statistics from MediaKix

Instagram Ads

This is another big one depending on your business and marketing objective. Some companies will run Instagram ads every day to reach new customers while others won’t look twice at the “Promote” at the top of their profile.

You select an existing post to boost and add a URL that you want your target Instagrammers to visit. Select one of 6 call-to-actions for the ad, create a targeted audience (or let Instagram automatically select one – not recommended!), pick your budget per day, and select the duration of your ad. It’s pretty similar to Facebook ads, which makes sense since Facebook owns Instagram.

You never know the results you could get with a promotion. It doesn’t hurt to throw a few bucks into it and see the return it brings you!

In March 2017, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or direct messaged to learn about a business based on an Instagram ad (WordStream)

So there you have our top 5 reasons to switch to an Instagram Business Profile! I’m a huge proponent of the features offered by the switch and I use them nearly every day. Worry not, the switch to a Business Profile is not permanent, so there’s no reason not to give it a shot!

 

Frank Tkachenko short bio

Hi, I’m Frank and I’m a social media consultant for Momentum. I’m a big fan of social networking and data, so I love my work! If you have any questions, comments, or just want to talk about social media, you can contact me at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook. See you next time!

 

September 11, 2017

Introducing Facebook Chat Bots

A well oiled digital marketing campaign can do a lot for a small local business. Once you have a content plan, paid search strategy and organic SEO plan in place, you leads will start rolling in. From mobile car detailers, to dental clinics – your business can explode overnight with differing levels of inbound interest that you may not even be able to handle. This is where Facebook chat comes in to play.

Getting engagement and leads through the door is definitely one step, but making sure you can properly handle and close the leads coming in from every channel is another challenge.

One of the easiest ways to track and improve the handling of inbound is call tracking, which we can implement on any campaign for you. Knowing exactly when the phone is ringing, from what source, and how your staff handled it via a recording is a an amazing level of transparency to have for your marketing efforts and business in general.

However, you need to monitor and capitalize on ALL possible inbound channels, including inquiries your Facebook page.

Introducing Facebook Chat Bots

Facebook has now opened up their Messenger chat API to developers – meaning you can now get a custom bot programmed to deal with common customer inquiries.

The simplest and easiest way to implement a chatbot would be to use a service like chatfuel.com which simplifies all the nerdy stuff and allows you to construct a bot that can handle and convert the most common requests based on user input and make sure they have the best chance possible at converting.

Realistically, if you are pushing customers through Facebook ads or content marketing your page needs to be handle any possible queries and convert them to sales ASAP.

Furthermore if you’re doing any type of retargeting (which you definitely should be), losing out on sales through the Message feature on your page is an easy thing to fix with Facebook chat bots.

facebook chat

Real Life Examples? Let’s Take A Look

Using a friends business as an example, let’s see how Facebook chat bots can be used to squeeze out a few more easy sales on a weekly basis.

TEKU Inc is an on-site, on-demand solution for broken iPhone, iPad and even Android devices. You break your phone, need it fixed ASAP, their technicians come out to you, fix your screen or battery and you’re good to go.

With that said, they get tons of inquiries through every possible channel, which is understandable. No one plans on breaking their phone and frantic phone calls or messages on every channel need to be followed up on or directed somewhere where they have the best chance possible of converting.

The Facebook Page app for iPhone is good, but most inquiries from the page are repair related, which can be directed to the site automatically.

TEKU has a pretty good site that makes it easy for customers to book their repair…most repairs are booked online without any need for a customer service rep. So the goal would be to capture the user on Facebook and send them back to the site which is mobile friendly, easy to navigate and book from, and loads fast.

By admin
September 8, 2017

What Facebook Has Become

Except for the occasional business article, pop-culture blunder or Donald Trump mockery, Facebook has succumbed to nothing but irrelevant-shared ‘viral’ content from people I had no idea were friends. As much as we like to think we’re extremely busy and have no time for anything (or anyone), it’s funny how we still catch ourselves watching a video of cats being startled by cucumbers or a young kid pranking his mom (don’t pretend you’ve seen neither).

However, without being too cliché, today I want to congratulate and thank Mark Zuckerberg. Not for the birth of his new baby girl (Max), or for vowing to donate 99% of his FB stock to charity, but for introducing Facebook Memories this past March. Not only is this increasing the amount of time users spend on his social media platform, but ‘Memories’ is helping spark old relationships by re-engaging users with some of the most influential moments and achievements of their lives. The significance of this update is two-fold as it’s truly inspired me to share this first blog post.

  1. The Law of Attraction (LOA Experiment)
  2. Life Purpose (I’ll touch on this in my 2nd blog)

One of my good friends and I took it upon ourselves to leverage this ‘Memories’ update, along with our own social media network, to start our own study – we’re calling it the LOA Experiment (Law of Attraction). No, this isn’t a new concept, but when’s the last time you talked to a high school friend or an old college buddy you met in English 101? Exactly! This isn’t necessarily the same exact concept from The Secret or anything written by Abraham-Hicks and countless others. Regardless of your belief in the Law of Attraction, this has more to do with staying in touch with people to improve your happiness, intelligence and connections in your business and personal life. With the amount of technology and resources at our disposal, there’s no reason we shouldn’t stay in touch with old friends or acquaintances, even if it’s simply getting an update on the latest in their lives. Who knows what could come from a 5-minute phone call? Just try it, and if they don’t answer then leave a voicemail. Try reaching out to someone new once/day for an entire week and keep track of the conversation, making sure to takes notes and follow-up. Trust me — you’re going to be glad you did and will feel much better about yourself afterward.

Okay, Mac, where are you going with this …..?? Well, a week ago on my Facebook Memories, “on this day …”, I noticed two posts of mine that hit home and pulled at my heart-strings, reminding me of the fond memories in my life. Yes, we all love reassurance. So what could these old memories possibly be to make me feel SO blessed? Well, the first was simply a Facebook profile picture of me post-graduation as a statuesque Heisman trophy football player dressed head-to-toe in my graduation apparel…pretty standard right? The second post was a story from an interaction I had while fixing a phone for a customer of mine, which ended up having a significant impact on how I view my life. I want to focus on this first post (profile pic below) from graduation in my first blog, and next week I’ll focus on the story.

facebook

So big deal, right? Cool picture…I guess. Hundreds of Memories stem from this picture with Beaver Stadium in the background; first football game, tailgating, epic Big Ten wins, freezing my ass off, removal of the JoePa statue, and countless others. Having graduated two years ago, it makes you think how much can happen in such a short amount of time. Think about what has happened in your life in the past 2 years. If the answer is, “eh, not so much”, you’re either doing something wrong, or you have a worse memory than my nana (bless her heart). If you’re my age, then you’ve probably seen or heard of 10+ friends getting engaged, married or having kids. These past 2 months alone, 4 of my very close cousins got engaged! Congrats to them and all those who have found their soul mates. It must be an incredible feeling to find your true soul mate, but what about those who have found their soul purpose? Is that a thing? Or do most people just go about their lives stuck in the same monotonous routines, waiting for their purpose to find them? Do we even have a purpose? Some of us might never know what it is we’re good at or what our true calling in life is. Looking back at these 2 posts and what I’ve done for the past 2 years, I can be glad to say I’ve found mine (and you can too).

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FACEBOOK

Let me leave you with this — Facebook was created for the sole purpose of bringing offline identities, friendships and networks ON-line. What’s funny is that we no longer use Facebook (or any social platform) to stay in contact or involved in other people’s lives. “Oh, wow! Jenny had a baby!” …. LIKE….. or maybe we’ll be brave enough to Comment! Where is the personal touch? Where do we actually get involved in the people’s lives that we care about? When’s the last time you picked up the phone to call an old friend just to say hello? Well, let’s just say you can expect a call or message from me. Better yet, why wait, if you’ve read this post than this concept should be at the top of your mind. NOW, it’s your chance to start your own LOA Experiment to reconnect with old friends, and other acquaintances from your past. What do you have to lose?

Thanks for reading my first blog post. Please Like, Comment or Share. I will share my second blog post next week about the life lesson that I learned from fixing one Penn State professor’s iPhone.

Sources: Business Insider, NY Times, The Next Web, Time

About me…

Since leaving Google, I was able to partner up with a few talented friends of mine from Penn State to follow my entrepreneurial endeavors by starting my own company, Momentum Digital LLC, a digital media and marketing agency. We provide growing companies the necessary consulting and digital media services (SEO, PPC, Web Design & Development) to kickstart their business. I am able to use my skillset to help other entrepreneurs grow their business and digital presence to increase their bottom line. This is what I love to do, and it also gives me free time to work on my other interests (Real Estate, Branding, Startups, etc).

If you or anyone you know needs help with their digital business presence then please have them reach out and message me on Linkedin on email me.

[email protected]

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