Posted on February 12, 2018
Here it is, only February, and Facebook has really changed things up in the new year. It can be really difficult to make sense of it all, and then you add misinformation and scare tactics on top of it and it gets really murky.
I came across an article from Buffer this morning that does a really thorough job explaining Facebook’s newest algorithm shift. In addition to the algorithm’s top ‘ranking’ factors, the article goes on to explain some insights into Facebook groups and other helpful information.
Going forward, it’s very important to understand what Facebook is looking for and what kinds of things are good and not-so-good for getting reach within the newsfeed. First and foremost, Facebook is all about engagement. Yes it was always ‘supposed to’ be about engagement, but now they are on a mission to restrict the reach of pages that don’t have much engagement.
Most notably, Facebook will be taking into account the comments on your posts. Also, the algorithm shift will be ‘looking’ at whether or not your page replies to user comments and if there are ‘conversations’ happening. Read: don’t just throw a post out there and forget to check in to respond to your followers’ comments.
Comments are not the only thing that Facebook is looking for. They are also going to give priority to page posts that other Facebook users share. Sharing can be done privately through Messenger or it can be shared to a user’s timeline.
Some people may see this and decide to create a sort of ‘support group’ for Facebook. No, I don’t mean the kind that sits together in a circle and listens to each others’ problems. Some page owners may try to skirt this portion of the algorithm shift by organizing a handful (or so) of friends who agree to share posts from each others’ business pages.
This is a good thought at first glance, but I suspect Facebook has already thought of it. Facebook is also going to look at how much engagement the shared posts are getting. If a user shares your page’s post to his or her timeline and no one engages with it, that’s bad news for your post and potential reach.
Let’s say for example that you publish a post on your Facebook page this afternoon and line up 10 of your friends to share it to their own personal timelines. While shares are great for the newest algorithm, remember that Facebook will also look at how each share of your original post is performing. So if those 10 friends share the post and it’s not relevant to them or their friends, chances are the shared posts won’t get any engagement. That ends up reflecting back on your page thanks to the algorithm.
The third biggest algorithm factor is whether or not Facebook users react to your posts. Some of us might enjoy a post but not enough to share it or even comment on it. That leaves reactions, which is something the algorithm will put into play for pages now.
This is a lot to take in, but the main thing is that page admins need to be thinking about how their posts will resonate with their audience. The more something provides value or sparks a feeling, the more likely a person is to share, comment or react to it. This is what social media is all about: creating conversations and, yes, being social. That being said, Facebook is definitely moving forward with ‘cracking down’ on pages that don’t engage with their followers.
What questions or concerns do you have about this algorithm update?
Posted on February 1, 2018
Have you seen your friends posting multiple photos at one time on Instagram? If you’re not quite sure how they managed that, keep reading to find out. (Hint: it’s really easy!)
First, head to your Instagram profile. Tap the “+” as shown below:
Next, make sure that “Library” is selected so you can access the photos you’ve taken with your phone:
Now, find the icon with multiple squares. It may be hard to see but it’s there:
Select up to 10 photos to upload by tapping on the ones you want. The circles will turn blue once you’ve selected a photo:
You’ll be able to apply filters to each photo selected. Or, you can tap each photo to individually edit it. (Side note: yep, I have lots of cat photos on my phone!)
After you’ve uploaded the photos and edited them, add your caption and hashtags and post as normal.
It is pretty easy to post multiple photos at one time. The hardest part can be finding the correct button since they’re not labeled with text.
Try it out and let me know how it went! You can also follow me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes and random cat photos (only half joking!). My username is @bvanderbillconsulting. I’d love to connect with you!
Posted on November 22, 2017
It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. If you’re anything like me, you may be in the midst of wrapping up several client projects and just plain neglected to plan something big for Small Business Saturday. (Which, by the way, is this Saturday.)
Have no fear! I’ve compiled a short list of some last-minute ideas for you to implement by Saturday:
- Create a special offer on Facebook
You know that “Offers” tab on your business Facebook page? (No? Click “Settings” on your page, then “Edit Page.” Click “Add a Tab” and choose “Offers.”) Now is a great time to put a special offer there to reward your loyal Facebook followers with a discount.
- Create a product photo collage
Take four or five good quality photos of some popular products you have on hand. Create a collage or slideshow and post it on your social media sites.
- Gather your neighbors
If you’re a retail store with other businesses nearby, be everyone’s hero and create some Facebook posts about the specials and discounts THEY have. Tag their business name on your page and you’ll likely reach a few new prospects while helping out fellow business owners.
- Check out the American Express website
They have some templates and social media posts you can easily modify for Small Business Saturday.
- Pay for some Facebook reach
Social media is a great way to reach potential customers. Why not set up a simple boosted post on Facebook? Take that product collage or slideshow you created and spend $10 or so targeting nearby shoppers to alert them to your awesome deals.
You’ve still got a few days until Small Business Saturday, so take some time now to decide which of these last-minute ideas you’ll try. They’ll even leave you plenty of time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted on October 4, 2017
You may have seen an article I shared recently from the New York Times on my Facebook page explaining that nonprofits need marketing just like any other business. It’s so true! As I thought about this article a bit more, a recent example came to mind that I thought I’d share with you.
As a marketer, I work with a wide variety of organizations. Many of them are for-profit businesses with the goal of increasing sales or brand recognition. I also have several nonprofit clients as well. I find it incredibly rewarding to be working with an organization whose mission I am fully supportive of and whose work betters our communities. It’s even more rewarding to give them huge wins on social media that don’t end up costing a fortune. (Actually, successful content marketing typically doesn’t have as large of a price tag as most of us might imagine!)
An example of a recent success for one of my nonprofits starts with the screen shot below:
These insights are from a 48 second video I created in less than 20 minutes using Lumen5. The video was very simple with images, background music and overlaid text that told the story of this particular nonprofit’s cause. I’m not going to discuss the actual nonprofit itself as that really isn’t relevant (and goes against my general rule of not discussing my clients with others). As you can see though from this screenshot, the stats were pretty impressive for a nonprofit in a community of less than 20,000 people.
I also didn’t put any promotional dollars behind this video. No boost, no ad, just a post on a business Facebook page. Clearly, this video really resonated with the local audience! This screenshot shows 265 shares but I recently checked and we’re well over 315 now–and counting.
I have to admit, my mind was blown by this as well. But when you really think about it, the video was clear, concise and extremely relevant to the nonprofit’s audience. It struck a chord, illustrated the importance of their cause and made people pay attention to a huge community issue.
This video is by far the most widely shared piece of content on that page to date, and it cost next to nothing to make. Lumen5 (at least for now) provides free images, music and video content along with a free platform you can use to create polished videos. Remember, the post also wasn’t boosted (though I later created a separate Facebook ad from it, not reflected in the stats above). So the only cost was my time spent creating the video–which was already included in the annual marketing package I set up for the organization.
If you take one thing away from this post, I hope it is that your nonprofit needs to be actively marketing itself. You as a director or manager can be in charge of this or you can place a trusted staff member in charge. And yes, you do have the option of outsourcing your marketing efforts to a trusted consultant.
Whichever route you choose, please make sure to invest some time and a bit of funding into marketing for your nonprofit. Your organization and your cause are worth it!
P.S. If you’d like to get started with marketing for your nonprofit, fill out the form below!