Best Practices for Facebook Link Posts

If you’re sick of your Facebook posts getting buried in user Newsfeeds, then check out the two latest changes to the platform that will help you shine amidst Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms. They will help you increase organic reach and make sure your posts are visible by more people.

Links in Posts:

There are three ways to post a link into a Facebook status update. First, one can simply copy and paste the link and Facebook will immediately and automatically create a link preview (with a headline, copy preview and an image from the site). When this happens, one can either keep the link in the update or delete it (without deleting the actual link preview).

Next, a user can post the link only. This follows the same steps as before, however this time you can ‘x’ out of the preview so that only the link URL is shown in your update.

The last way to post a link is to paste the URL in the caption, and then upload a photo separately, so it will show up in your page’s photo album.

Facebook has been running tests to determine which of these three ways to share a link is favored by users. Once they discovered which type of link format their users click on most, Facebook decided to give that one better reach.

The Best Facebook Link Format to Use?

Facebook is constantly running tests to see which type of content users like the best. Once determined, Facebook gives that option better reach. The best Facebook link format to use is the first one: use text and links with a preview to get the most visibility — the default format when you put a link into a status. Note that you can upload your own photo (instead of the automatic selection pulled automatically), to make your post even more visually appealing.

Remember: When sharing a link in a status update, use a link preview. If sharing a photo, don’t include a link in the caption.

Successful Link Sharing on Facebook

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Brand New Look for Facebook Brand Pages

New Facebook PagesIf you haven’t noticed already, Facebook has started to implement a brand new look for brand Pages (on desktops) that allow users to more easily access information — and help administrators behind each page find the tools and analytics that they need the most.

First, Facebook has updated the overall Page timeline. Now, you’ll see a column on the right side of the timeline that shows all of the brand’s posts. On the left, you’ll find a new column housing all of company’s important info, such as hours of business, phone number, location and website.

If you’re an admin, you’ll love how easy it is to view information about current ad campaigns, unread messages and notifications. There are new options at the top of the page that will make it simpler to view current and past activity, insights and settings. Additionally, there is a new Pages to Watch feature, which permits admins to create a list of Pages similar to the brand at hand to compare performance and engagement rates.

New Facebook Pages to Watch

For more about the updates made to Pages, check out the link here.

— Samantha

Facebook Introduces Paper iPhone App

Paper on Facebook

Ready to have your mind blown?

Just this morning, Facebook made a HUGE announcement. Introducing Paper, the newest iPhone app that’s more than a simple news outlet. Instead, it makes a user rethink Facebook with a horizontally scrolling screen of news articles, friend updates and more — a completely new way of sharing and telling stories.

The new app doesn’t include many buttons. Instead, users will need to get used to a completely different set of gestures that make navigating that much simpler. Not only that, but fans will be able to make every post, photo or news article full-screen, adding another lovely level of aesthetics. Although many have made references to the already popular Flipboard, Paper seems to do similar functions but so much more!

The interface for reading news will stay very similar to how such content is presented currently on the platform. Cards that resemble Twitter make it easy to consume new information, but if you’re used to a feed of quick tweets, this may be a bit hard to get used to. Looking to share content? A user will be able to post to Paper, therefore on Facebook, in a brand new, one-of-a-kind composition screen.  If you’re interested in checking it out, Paper will be available for download on iPhones (in the US only) on February 3rd.

Sadly as a current Android user, I’ll have to wait to see what Paper does — unless I can quickly borrow a friend’s phone next week! Until then, I’m happy that Facebook is getting closer to finding a solution for its stand-alone apps. With mobile becoming more and more popular with users, I believe that this is the only way to go in order to be successful!

Tell us: Will you be downloading Paper on February 3rd?

— Samantha

5 Social Resolutions for 2014

2014 Resolutions

It’s that time of year again to wipe the slate clean! Whether it’s promising to exercise, cutting back on TV or decreasing your use of profanity, we all have things we can work on to be more successful in 2014. But what about social media resolutions?

Here’s a quick list that you may find useful:

1. Edit before you post. False information, incorrectly spelled words and posts that borderline on inappropriate all need a second glance before posting. Take the time to review your post to ensure that you are happy with whatever comments or reactions it may get after it goes live. Let’s tweet correct information and post content that will positively add to someone’s life to ensure that our brand is seen in the best way possible.

2. Don’t worry about the numbers. Yes, metrics like the total number of followers or RTs are important to track over time, but don’t let it take over your social strategy. Instead, use your social pages to make meaningful connections with your fans. Create brand loyalists who will market your company (often) better than you can. Focus on the quality of your fan base, not just the quantity.

3. Make customer service a priority. Although taking care of customers has always been the backbone of running a business, doing so on social has become just as important. Take a moment to respond to ALL of your fan’s requests and comments in a way that helps them feel closer to the brand. Random acts of kindness also go a long way, so feel free to send a loyal fan a special coupon or product to show how much you care.

4. Focus on high-quality content. Not only will it help your posts rise to the top of people’s Newsfeeds on Facebook (thanks to recently changed algorithms), but high-quality content will ultimately help you grow your community. Think: “Would I want to interact with this piece of content on my feed?” If the answer is no, don’t post it. Make sure your work is the best possible so fans perceive your company in a good light.

5. Be consistent on all social platforms. Just because Facebook is the biggest platform doesn’t mean that your audience is there or that it’s the only platform you should be showing some love. Instead, do your best to be consistent on ALL platforms. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, post on a schedule so your fans grow accustomed to your messages, which in turn will keep them engaging over time. Consistency will help keep your community alive.

Got more resolutions that you’d like to make in the new year? Tell us below!

— Samantha

Is This the End of the Facebook Era?

End of the Facebook Era

Although Facebook is one of the largest social networks in the world, it’s slowly losing its popularity. Any decline of such a big company is bound to occur over time, yet it’s interesting to note what the company is doing in response. Little, if nothing.

As many bloggers and tech-analysts will agree, once a large social movement like Facebook becomes so engrained in our everyday life that it is no longer unique or special, it will soon become extinct. It’s simply the nature of the game.

As stated by Facebook CFO David Ebersam a few months ago, Facebook is starting to lose it’s teen demographic around the world. They’re no longer on Facebook, but rather on other instant gratification sites likes Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and WeChat. But it’s not just teenagers who are leaving the FB giant, it’s the millennial generation as well, who can’t handle crazy, over-stimulated Newsfeeds with everyone on it, from their students to their and grandmothers.

It’s clear that Facebook wants its users to continue sharing more and more. But if what we post on our Facebook walls never gets seen by our friends (thanks to many, many algorithm changes), what is the point? Specifically as it relates to companies, Facebook recently admitted that brands will need to start paying for such visibility in order to break through the clutter of the typical FB fan’s Newsfeed. This extra demand of companies is causing quite the stir as it’s not clearly stated how boosting will actually get stories into Newfeeds — and by how much.

After all is said and done, Facebook has not come out with any life-changing additions to the platform (if you don’t count auto-playing video ads). Yes, they’ve acquired popular platforms like Instagram, but they’ll have to do a lot more to stay relevant in people’s lives. Although Facebook will most likely survive, the “Facebook Era” may be coming to an end.

— Samantha

Facebook Organic Reach Decreases, Marketers Forced to Use Paid Support

As a follow up to the recent news of Facebook changing its algorithm again, the social platform is coming clean about what it’ll take for brands to make a impact on the site. Specifically speaking, businesses will need a budget to start paying for reach.

About a year ago, agencies responsible for brand communities noticed that posts by brands were being seen less and less by fans. Even today, many of our CM friends have seen organic reach of posts has taken a nose dive on their own communities.

Facebook’s previous response? The changes to the algorithm were made to make sure only high-quality content was making it to Newsfeeds, but the amount of reach wouldn’t change. The platform made it clear that brands would not need to spend more on digital marketing to make up for the lack of reach. However this time, Facebook stated the following:

We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.

As social media marketers, we’re happy that Facebook decided to speak up, but the results are interesting. In a document titled, “Generating business results on Facebook,” an inevitable decrease in organic reach was announced, along with the idea that companies will now need to include paid support to “to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.”

No longer is acquiring fans a priority. Instead, Facebook leans toward the notion that growing a fan base should be used to make sure paid support makes an impact. The document stated:

Your brand can fully benefit from having fans when most of your ads show social context, which increases advertising effectiveness and efficiency.

With such a lack of space for brands to market, especially on the Newsfeed, the size of one’s fan base is no longer as important as it used to be. Instead, the quality of such posts, like news articles, will reign supreme. For marketers, this means coming up with a truly engaging content calendar to push materials that have the highest chance of being seen on a Newsfeed. To keep reach numbers normal, paid support is inevitable.

Tell us: What do you think of Facebook’s honesty?

— Samantha

Facebook Changes News Feed Algorithm (Again)

Ready for Facebook’s latest update? This week, the platform tweaked the algorithm behind the Newsfeed function with the intent of bringing higher quality content like news stories, to the top of the feed.

As you may have noticed, posts from friends that received engagement like comments or shares, automatically rise to the top of a user’s Newsfeed, even if that user has already seen the content before. Facebook is essentially ensuring that one sees conversations between friends and will engage with the post as well.

Memes and other low quality content will be pushed down on one’s Newsfeed which will impact what type of content marketers use with their fans in the future. Brands will need to think strategically before posting lighter content as Facebook is attempting to keep fans on the site (especially on the mobile version), rather than clicking on a meme or other pieces of content hosted elsewhere.

Additionally, more and more platforms are competing with Twitter as the main platform where fans receive timely news. Specifically speaking, Facebook will begin suggesting specific news stories based on what content a user clicks (see example above). Similar to pushing high quality high on the Newsfeed, recommending content that a user might like will potentially keep users on Facebook more frequently and for longer periods of time, allowing them to see more ads, suggested posts, etc.

Facebook Recommended Stories

Overall, we’re curious to see what content rises to the top of our Newsfeeds — and whether or not it’ll make us engage more with our friend’s content and the platform in general.

Tell us: Have you noticed the new changes on the Newsfeed?

— Samantha

How to Take Advantage of Facebook’s New Algorithm

Facebook Edgerank

Facebook’s Edgerank is evolving: There are now over 100,000 criteria that factor into what a fan sees on their Newsfeed on a daily basis. Details on such factors are hard to come by, but there is new insight on what goes into Facebook’s latest algorithm/ranking system based off of a survey of current users.

To summarize, Facebook is making it easier to determine what content is higher quality — and what is not. Now, digital marketers will need to keep an extra close eye on content that is trustworthy, pertinent and useful for the fan in order to stay at the top of a Newsfeed.

Here’s how you can make sure your content stands out:

  1. Create Quality Posts: Facebook is an incredibly intertwined community and therefore, the content pushed out to fans should help keep it feeling that way. As a result, the copy that goes along with a photo or link should be engaging and keep your audience wanting more. Does your company answer the following questions (as asked by Facebook)? Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others? Would you call this a low quality post or meme? Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
  2. Concentrate on True Engagement: Before, asking fans to “Like” a post or “Share” a link typically got fans to engage. However, Facebook has now implemented rules around such requests of fans which may come with negative metric results. Therefore, be extra mindful of the content that you are posting, as it should organically get fans to engage — and come back for more in the future.
  3. Offer Various Types of Posts: If you didn’t know, many Facebook Pages relied on image-heavy post to obtain great engagement in the past and thus, received more eyes on their content. Today, Facebook has made many changes to how other types of content is being seen. For example, they recently updated how links are displayed in the Newsfeed (FB increased the size of the image in the links), hence why marketers need to rethink the type of content that they are typically using. If your company only pushes images, you may be negatively effected by not reaching the majority of your fans who may prefer text-only or posts with links.

Lastly, there have been additional edits to Edgerank that may also effect if and how your content is being seen by fans on Facebook. Story Bumping, for instance, moves past posts to the top of a fan’s Newsfeed if they did not see it before. Such stories are chosen based on who posted the content and the connection between said company/person and the fan at hand. For now, we’ve only seen it being used between fans, but this is evidence of the direction that Facebook is currently headed. As we’ve noted, Facebook is now providing fans with the posts that they find most useful or entertaining, versus a random Newsfeed of information.

Takeaway: Although we’re thrilled that Facebook is making the necessary changes to make sure the content a fan sees is relevant and valuable, this makes it more difficult (but not impossible) for a marketer or company to be successful on this popular platform. Take the above tips into consideration and the Newsfeed will take notice!

— Samantha & Mike

Why People Overshare Online

Status Update on Facebook

We all have the friends on Facebook or Twitter who overshare the details of their lives with the rest of the internet. They’re the type of people who consistently update statuses and feel the need to share every detail of their lives — from what they last ate for lunch to their opinion of their favorite TV show. Although it’s certainly their right, what makes it so easy to overshare on social media platforms?

Author and social scientist, Sherry Turkle, believes after one shares feelings or thoughts in a public space, the brain’s neurochemical reward system is automatically triggered. This action, in addition to the idea that our private lives are constantly being infiltrated by reality TV and social media, adds to an innate urge to share.

In the most recent paper by Russell W. Belk titled “Extended Self in a Digital World,” he argues that people’s relationships with social media sites are ultimately allowing us to create a more complicated concept of who we believe we are as individuals. With the addition of various platforms that let us be creative through status updates, highly-edited pictures and funny videos, Belk says that humans are able to create a unique, desired identity in a space that makes us feel ‘invisible.’ Consequently, when individuals believe no one is listening or watching behind a screen, they gain more confidence to divulge personal details about their lives that wouldn’t typically be shared in normal day to day life.

Overall, it’s clear that the line between private and public is quickly disappearing with each status, tweet and Instagrammed photo. People want to be interesting, popular and cool. They want to be heard and respected — and will often give up such self-respect to feel valued by their peers. But how far is too far? And how much worse will it get as our world continues to highlight reality stardom and materialistic values?

Tell us: How much do you share via social media? 

— Samantha

Facebook Releases New User Data

facebook-rolling-in-cash

We had recently done a piece on how Facebook is getting ready to sell video advertisements on their platform. In order to create some hype among advertisers, Facebook released some recent user data for the U.S. and UK. Get ready for this:

More than 128 million people in the U.S. visit Facebook at least once a day. That’s a third of the population! Also, in the UK, about 24 million people visit the social media website everyday.

Of course these numbers are pretty staggering on their own, but another important thing to take away from this announcement, is that this is one of the first times Facebook has released regional data. This is significant to TV advertisers, who rely heavily on those breakdowns. Facebook is trying to show all the advertisers out there just how many people they can reach on a daily basis.

At $66.3 billion estimated to go towards TV ads this year, or 39% of all advertising spent in the U.S., there is some serious money to be made by Facebook. Although these daily user number are no doubt impressive, advertising analysts would like to see more granularity before they can really put a value on Facebook’s reach. For the first time ever, researchers say the average time spent on digital media will surpass TV viewing this year.

We can all see where  TV advertising is going and it is no surprise that Facebook is on the forefront. Sure there will be some backlash from user over having video ads in their newsfeed, but after seeing the potential revenues for Facebook in this new field, we expect to see them take TV advertising head-on.

-Mike & Samantha