Facebook. New Year New Rule.

Tired of seeing irrelevant content on your Facebook timeline that has nothing to do with your page? Well Facebook is too, and this year they’re doing something about it. The globally known site has created a New Year’s resolution and it has to do with Engagement Baiting.

What is Engagement Baiting?

Engagement Baiting is the manipulation of Facebook’s algorithm, which purpose serves to make posts or certain pages rank higher is user’s news feeds. For example, we’ve all scrolled down our timeline and seen the post “Share this 20 times to receive a free car,” in other words Share baiting. Or maybe your more familiar with “Like, share and  tag 10 friends in this post for a chance to be entered into our monthly prize drawing” –Tag baiting. Whether you were tricked by share, tag, comment, vote or react baiting, were all guilty of being the fish who just couldn’t resist.

How are they doing this?

Facebook has decided to ditch showing content that only informs and entertains for content that inspires meaningful discussion between family, friends, and businesses. Tested over the last few months, the social media site has concluded that sparking meaningful discussions, and interactions, will help boost the Site’s traffic and cater more to what users want and need.

To demote engagement baiting, Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook says, “We will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back- and forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to interact too.”

What does this mean for businesses and social media managers?

If your business is not producing content that stimulates reaction or inspires meaningful conversation than you may want to rethink your content strategy. According to Facebook “Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause or asking for travel tips will not be adversely impacted by this update”. Page admins that refuse to familiarize themselves with this update and continue to engage in spam-like posts will soon be familiar with the term demotion.

Businesses, brands and media that create wasteful content will soon come to an end as Facebook will no longer be tolerating these five types of engagement baiting- Comment Baiting, Share baiting, Vote baiting, Reaction Baiting or Tag baiting.  The site is encouraging Facebook Page Admins to read and understand the newly updated “Facebook Newsfeed Guidelines” in order to avoid demotion.

What you can do?

Don’t worry you still have time. Although the demotion process has already begun, the stricter demotion process has not yet been implemented. The delay will allow admins to update posting schedules and content that does not support the social media site’s “New Year resolution”. In order to remain successful on Facebook it is important that your company focuses on inspiring useful interactions, meaningful discussions and content that is relevant to your audience.

Here at CMG we specifically recommend referring back to our 3 E’s when posting. 1. Is this entertaining? 2. Will this cause an emotional response from the user? 3. Is this educational? If you can check yes to all three E’s, then you will not be affected by the new update.

Mark Zuckerberg states “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.” Now that you know Facebook’s next big move, ask yourself what is yours? Will your business go with the status quo or try and implement strategies to get around this new rule. Either way creatively feeding the public content that’s inspires meaningful conversation and stimulates reaction is an important factor when it comes to successful business presence on today’s social media.

Jingling All the Way to Post Engagement- How Holiday Content Can Boost Your Brand

The stockings are hung, Santa is at the mall, holiday hits are on the radio… Christmas is here! But I thought this was a blog about marketing, why are we chatting about the holidays? Because seasonal posts may be the answer you need for engaging audiences all over social media. If you are experiencing low user engagement through typical posts on your brand’s social media, fret no longer, we’ve got a solution that might just do the trick.

Here at Columbia Marketing Group we try to implement the 3 E’s when creating content for social media. These E’s are Entertaining, Emotional, and Educational, so ask yourself when you post 1) Is this entertaining? 2) Will this cause an emotional response from the user? 3) Is this educational? If you can get at least one of these E’s in your post, you are likely creating quality content that will help build your brand. Ideally, you would strive to get 2 or even 3 E’s, if possible.

So how do posts about the holidays fit into this equation? Not only do the holidays elicit an emotional response from users, typically excitement or nostalgia, but they are also entertaining, timely, this content is usually easily generated, and often gets higher engagement than a typical post. There’s something about snow on the ground, presents under the tree, and classic films on the silver screen that make you relish in anticipation for what’s to come. When fans and followers see these yuletide posts come across their news feed it allows them to feel these emotions.

This holiday season, Santa is checking his list, not once but twice, so make sure you dot your I’s, cross your T’s and incorporate the 3 E’s into your winter social media strategy. Happy Holidays from the team at Columbia Marketing Group!

 

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Facebook Advertising

One scroll through Facebook and you’ll see a plethora of posts tagged “Sponsored”. Businesses pay for these posts to get users to complete a call to action, turning users into customers or advocates with just one click.

Whether you want to start advertising on Facebook or improve your results, here are five things you need to know:

  1. Know your audience.

Facebook retains enormous quantities of information about its users, such as age, gender, location, job, hobbies, etc. A good first step in creating a successful Facebook ad would be to narrow down who you specifically want to target. While creating your Facebook ad, you can filter recipients by any of the categories mentioned and more. You can be super specific – even if you are looking for single moms, over 34, from Nebraska, who have an interest in bird watching (seriously!). 

  1.   Use the right images.

People are drawn to striking images with appealing colors, words, or objects. A good photo will get a better response from your ad, so put your eye to the test and find attractive photography with creative angles and interesting features.

  1.   Text IS important.

The image may grasp the users attention, but the text will likely be the differentiating factor in impression versus engagement (following the CTA). Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Little bits of information are going to get a better response than long winded paragraphs.

  1.  Set a realistic budget

Like any marketing strategy, you have to make a realistic budget, Facebook is no different. Knowing that you are not going to be able to reach the entire United States with just $10 per week is paramount. Set realistic parameters that all parties are comfortable with.

ProTip: Make sure you adjust the duration of the ad before publishing, it is very easy to accidentally spend $100 per day when you meant to spend that over the course of a month. Check and double check before you submit your ad, you won’t regret it!

  1.    Use a call to action

A call to action (CTA) is an instruction or directive that encourages the user to act in a particular way, achieving the primary goal of the campaign. “Download”, “Buy Now”, “Connect”, or “Like” are a few examples. For Facebook, limit the number of CTA’s to one and your Facebook ad is going to get a noticeably better response. 

 

Like anything, Facebook advertising is something that takes practice before you get it right; but once you create, analyze, and optimize your campaigns, you’ll learn what works best for your business and start seeing results.

If it still sounds too time consuming or confusing, contact CMG. We would be happy to lend a hand with your social media advertising.