Surviving Facebook’s Algorithm Change

The Facebook algorithm: It happened to me and yes, it happened to you too!

The conversation surrounding Facebook in 2018 has been centered on the new algorithm changes. Designed to encourage more meaningful interactions between people, you’ve likely noticed how these changes apply to your newsfeed.

Gone are the days of engagement baiting, as brands now have to modify their methods to embrace Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of Facebook. Brands will need to listen to the druthers of their audience to curate content that resonates with the audience and garners their engagement. Social Media has created a paradigm shift where brands are encouraged to be more participatory with their clientele, and these algorithm changes further exacerbate the need to LISTEN.

Recent User Engagement Trends

The algorithm change was not totally unexpected, as recent user engagement trends demonstrate. TheStreet reports that the percentage of U.S. adults using Facebook remained flat relative to an April 2016 report showing 68% participation. The percentage of users who stated that they visited Facebook “several times a day” fell from 55% to 51%. Based on the dip in usage, and waning sentiments towards Facebook advertising, the new algorithm was developed.

These changes don’t spell out doom and gloom for brands. With a bit of creative thinking and adaptability, you can ride this latest wave without wiping out!

Ideas For Business Page Content 

Here are some areas to focus on when publishing content to Facebook:

  • Inspire fans with meaningful content. You’d be hard-pressed to find meaningful interactions on Facebook without meaningful content. Discover ways to convey your brand’s message in unexpected ways to avoid falling into the clickbait trap, as Facebook will be demoting those posts to the bottom of the newsfeed. Your focus now, more than ever, is to inspire, educate and inform those followers. Look back to older posts that earned high engagement, find the pattern and implement a strategy around it moving forward.
  • Jump on the video bandwagon. If you weren’t already utilizing videos and Facebook Live, there’s no time like NOW to begin doing so! The stats all confirm that video content drives higher engagement, why wouldn’t you be cashing in it? Plan out your video content, make it something that resonates with your followers and gets the conversation started.
  • Paid ads are still effective. Ads are Facebook’s primary source of revenue, so trust they aren’t going away anytime soon. By utilizing ads, you can customize your reach to areas such as location, interest and demographics. Do this right and you’ll be able to hone in on those Facebook users who are more likely to consider your brand and interact with it.

There’s nothing to be scared of regarding Facebook’s new algorithm – It’s not the first time they’ve switched things up, and most certainly won’t be the last. If you are still struggling to make your way through the Facebook algorithm changes or aren’t sure where to get started on the whole idea of meaningful content, MILO’s team of digital experts are here to help. Let’s talk!

Instagram Video Length: How to Find Your Brand’s Sweet Spot

Instagram isn’t just a haven for foodies and fitspo models to post their latest culinary creations or motivational workouts, it’s a social media site that provides brands with unique opportunities to tap into their customer’s world.

With over 800 million active users, Instagram continues to be a social platform that brands are utilizing to increase awareness, support brand messaging, and boost engagement. According to Sprout Social, an estimated 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram and 80% of users are following a business on Instagram. To better showcase the marketing power of Instagram, Sprout has also found that at least 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.

While photos continue to be Instagram’s bread and butter, it’s also a social media channel that, when done right, allows videos to thrive! This applies to the ad world as well, with 25% of Instagram ads spawning from single videos. 

When it comes to doing videos right on the ’Gram, there are many things to factor in, but one of the most important is the length. A few years ago, Microsoft Corp. found that people lose concentration after eight seconds, which is actually one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. It’s important to remember that many consider the average human attention span to be meaningless and something that depends more on interest and the tasks at hand. With that being said, how long should your Instagram videos be to reach their maximum potential?

Instagram allows you to post 60-second videos, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should take advantage of that full length of time.The key here is to convey your message effectively in an amount of time that will fit your audience. According to Hubspot, the sweet spot for Instagram videos is 30 seconds, as those receiving the most comments averaged 26 seconds in length.

Image from HubSpot

One other thing to take into consideration is the content overload that can occur on Instagram. Be sure to change things up and use Instagram Stories or Live videos to continue sharing your brand’s message!

Would you like more guidance regarding video usage and the correct length for Instagram and other social platforms? MILO Digital’s team of experts are here to help! Let’s talk!

5 Ways to Show Customers Social Media Love All Year

It’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means – it’s all about love today! Throughout the country, brands are making sure their customers are feeling loved in the digital world, but what about all the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day? Are you making sure customers are feeling the love year-round on social media?

If you are unsure how to best show customers love on social media all year long, have no fear – MILO’s Digital Ninjas are here to help with 5 easy ways for your brand to connect!

1. Engage with them. Yes, it’s really that simple! Be there for your customers and brand-faithful. Answer their questions, acknowledge their comments and most importantly, do so in a timely manner. There are many tools available to help monitor your social channels, so no comments, questions or issues go unnoticed.

2. Ramp up your Facebook Live game. Everyone can do FB Live, but not all are producing quality content. This is where you can ramp things up and continue showing customers all the love! When going live, be sure the subject matter is relevant to your audience and that you’re providing value in the session. Watch for questions and answer them as they come in and enjoy showcasing your new products/services!

 

3. Roll out special social media sales. Again, this boils down to making the customer feel special and rewarded for interacting with you on social media. Drive sales and website traffic by offering a social media only deal; e.g “Mention that you saw this on Instagram and receive 25% off your order.” Increase your reach easily by boosting the post to ensure that it will be served to your followers.

 

4. Give your customers shout outs. This should be a no-brainer for your brand! The customers show you love by posting photos, leaving reviews or tagging themselves at your location, so why shouldn’t you return the favor? If you see a photo you like that a customer has shared, by all means, give them a shout out or feature them in an upcoming social media post!

5. Create a Facebook Group. Loyalty is always worth rewarding and by creating a Facebook group for your customers, you’ll be doing just that. Those in your group can get sneak peeks of new products or a first chance to buy them. You can also provide them with special sales and discounts periodically. The main purpose of this group is to keep the conversation going all while showing love to your loyalists

Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at MILO Digital and, of course, the Digital Ninjas!

We hope that you’re able to easily incorporate these 5 suggestions into your brand’s social media strategy! If you’re struggling to implement them or perhaps need some guidance on a solid digital strategy, we’re ready to get down to business for you. Let’s chat!

Facebook for Business: Customizing Your Page

Now that you having a basic understanding of a Facebook page vs. a Personal Profile, it’s time to look at customizing your page.

Facebook gives you the ability to:

  • Add custom apps
  • Customize App Photos
  • Add a Cover Photo
  • Change your profile picture
  • Change the information in your About section
Custom Apps and Custom App Photos

There are plenty of tutorials on adding custom apps, do a Google search and you’ll certainly find a plethora of selections. Adding a custom app for Twitter or blogs posts is fairly straight forward so we won’t cover that here. You do however have the ability to swap out the default image for apps. You can also swap app positions.

1.  Hover over the app

2.  Click on the pencil at the top right

3.  Select “Edit Settings”

4.  Select “Change” on Custom Tab Image

5. Upload new Image

6. Give Custom Tab a Name

7.  Save (all done!)

 

Cover Photos

 

The default size for cover photos is 399 pixels wide. Your image at minimum needs to be this size. The dimensions for cover photos are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. You’ll may also get better quality by using a PNG file.

If your image is smaller than the dimensions listed it will get stretched to the appropriate size which can have an effect on quality.  You’ll also have the option of re-positioning photos if they are larger than the default size.

1. Go to your page

2. Hover over your cover

3. Click the pencil at the bottom righ of your cover

4. Pick on of the options from the pop-up menu

5. Save your changes

 

Profile Photo 

 

Profile photo’s are important not just because it’s the first thing that visitors see, it’s also what show’s in the newsfeed every time you make a new post. Make sure you adjust your design accordingly. Profile photo dimensions are 160 pixels by 160 pixels.

 

Customizing the About Section  Under your Profile Picture

You can edit the about section anytime you like, however, you cannot choose what fields are displayed there. It varies depending on what type of page (category) you have. An example would be a restaurant will show price range, address and phone number while an musicians page shows the About field of the Page’s basic information.

 

 

 

Facebook for Business: Facebook Page vs. Personal Profile

When getting started with Facebook for business it’s important to understand the difference between a Facebook page vs. Personal Profiles.

Some business either from lack of understanding or purposefully create personal profiles for their business. Creating a personal profile for a business is against the Facebook terms of service.

Personal timelines:

[o_list][li]Timelines are for individual, non-commercial use. [/li] [li]Timelines represent individual people and must be held under an individual name. [/li] [li]You can follow Timelines to see public updates of people you’re interested in but aren’t friends with.[/li] [/o_list]

 

Facebook Pages:

[o_list][li]Pages look similar to personal timelines, but they offer unique tools for connecting people to a topic you care about, like a business, brand, organization or celebrity. [/li] [li]Pages are managed by admins who have personal timelines[/li] [li]Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your timeline.[/li] [li]Pages provide insights to help admins understand how people are interacting with the Page. [/li] [li]You can like a Page to see updates in your news feed about brands you care about.[/li] [/o_list]

 

What’s the Big Deal?

Opting for Personal Profile vs. a Facebook page may quickly allow you to garner friends, but be warned, Facebook has been known to completely delete profiles that are against the Facebook Term of Service. You’ll lose all of your pictures, posts, and friends in the process. All the hard work is gone. We know this to be true because it happened to a client prior to coming on board with us. 3,000+ friends gone.

Why do people do it?

Building a following isn’t easy. By using a personal profile companies send out mass friend request. It’s an attempt to get around the need to run ads or actually engage to build a page.

I’m Guilty What do I Need to Do?

First things first, you admitted it. Now you can go about making things right.  You’ll need to convert your personal page to a Facebook page. Facebook will transfer your current profile picture and add all your friends and followers as people who like your page. You account username will become the username of the page. You’ll have the option to create a new page name if you like.

No other content (images, videos, etc) will be carried over, so make sure you download your Facebook history. From here you’ll be able to rebuild your page (contact us if you need help doing this).

Beware, once you convert your personal account to a Facebook you cannot reverse it. So it’s extremely important that you remember to download your history.

I’m Creating my First Page. Where do I go?

You want to start out right by visiting the Create a Page section on Facebook.

 

 

 

How To Get your RSS Feeds from Google Reader

Your favorite RSS feed reader is going goodbye and you’ve found a Google Reader alternative, now you need to get your data to make a smooth transition.

Here is a step by step guide along with a nifty video (I guess I really do sound like that).

Step 1 Log in to Google Takout

Step 2 Select “Choose Services”

Step 3 Select Google Reader

 

Step 4 Click on “Create archive” to export your subscriptions as a ZIP file

Step 5 Download your Archive

That’s it! It really is pretty simple once you realize where you need to go. You can also do this directly from Google Reader as well.  Here are the steps:

Step 1 Login to Google Reader

Step 2 Click on the settings gear on the upper right hand side (under your picture)

Step 3 Choose “Import/Export”

Step 4 Click on “Download your data through Takeout”

Follow the steps at the beginning of the post after getting to takeout. Here is the video, just in case:

Photo Credit

Netvibes. The Google Reader Alternative and How to Transition

If you’re a frequent user of Google Reader you’ve probably heard by now that Google is killing off Google Reader effective July 1, 2013.  I won’t use this platform to discuss the merits of Google Reader (it’s awesome) or how important it is (very) to what I do. I won’t even list a bunch alternatives (someone already has).

I will give you the alternative to Google Reader, one that I had long forgotten about. Netvibes.

What is it?

Netvibes was founded in 2005 and has around 4 million active users. They’ve branded themselves as a dashboard, think iGoogle. It’s a dynamic workspace where you can add modules (apps/widgets) that provide information.  A default dashboard looks like this:

Netvibes is free and gives you the ability to see your feed in two different ways. The widget view can be shuffled and re-organized to infinity. If you don’t care for the dashboard look you have the reader view that is similar to what you would see in Google Reader.

Netvibes Reader View

 

 

 

 

 

Netvibes Widget View

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Netvibes you have the ability to integrate any enterprise or web app on to your dashboards. Easily add Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or Search Content.

Adding Feeds

Adding feeds is as simple as entering a website address. Netvibes will do the rest.

 

 

 

Transitioning

If you’re coming from Google Reader, there’s an easy way to import all your existing feeds into Netvibes.

  • Log in to Google Takout
  • Click on “Create archive” to export your subscriptions as a ZIP file
  • Unzip the saved file to your desktop
  • Go to Netvibes, click on “Add content” then “OPML: Import”, “Choose File” and select the “subscriptions.XML” file you just unzipped
  • Click on “Import”

 
Expect a few hiccups as they are seeing a sudden increase of signups. I created my account back in 2009 and event that was slowed to a halt yesterday following the announcement from Google. Be patient, this is a solid alternative that I think you’ll enjoy.

Have you found other alternatives to Google Reader?

Visit Netvibes
 

 Image and Content Source