Algorithm Changes April 2016: Facebook to Fight Clickbait Links

facebook-logo

Facebook has been known to be filled with clickbait links to articles and websites, but thanks to Facebook’s intent to improve the type of content being shared on its platform, this may slowly come to an end.

There are sites out there who only care about clicks on their links, even if it the user leaves the page immediately after clicking the link.

Now, Facebook will measure how much time you spend on a shared link, whether it’s an Instant Article or on another site.

This should begin to filter out clickbait links that don’t actually provide useful content.

In addition, Facebook is also looking to penalize Pages that post too often.

This will be useful for marketers when creating their Facebook posting strategies.

Algorithm Changes March 2016: Facebook Prioritizes Live Videos In News Feed

expanded criteria for movies in Facebook

Facebook has been paying attention to how much longer users watch live streaming videos in their News Feeds, and it turns out live videos are viewed 3x longer than a previously recorded and uploaded video.

Based on this information, Facebook will begin prioritizing live video in users’ News Feeds.

Facebook previously prioritized stories that it deemed “best,” not necessarily the most current.

This live video update changes that.

This update helps Facebook keep up with Twitter’s real-time posts, including Periscope videos.

Algorithm Changes February 2016: High Ranking Posts and Engagement Probability

Facebook Engage thumbs up

This update proves that Facebook is continually listening to its users and attempting to improve the user experience by prioritizing and improving News Feed.

With this latest update, Facebook will gauge the likelihood that users will highly rate a post or the probability that users will interact with a post by liking, commenting, or sharing.

These posts will then be placed at the top of the user’s News Feed.

These two criteria were discovered after Facebook conducted an extensive survey in which users indicated what they prefer to see at the top of their News Feeds.

The update should have little impact on Pages; however, some Pages may notice a slight increase in referral traffic while other Pages may experience a decrease in referral traffic.

How this update affects the majority of Pages in the long run will be better measured over time.

Algorithm Changes January 2016: Organic Audience Optimization

audience optimization for engagement on Facebook

Historically, publishers on Facebook struggled to organically reach their target audience, mostly due to Facebook’s algorithm.

Known as the Audience Optimization tool, this new update allows publishers to set preferences to target a specific audience based on interests, demographics, and geographic location.

Using this new tool, publishers and marketers on Facebook can organically reach their intended audience and then see how well their posts perform.

What is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is the name commonly given to the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what articles should be displayed in a user’s News Feed.

As of 2011, Facebook has stopped using the “EdgeRank” term internally to refer to its News Feed ranking algorithm, and in 2013, uses an algorithm that takes more than 100,000 factors into account in addition to EdgeRank’s three.

In 2010, the EdgeRank algorithm was described as:

Facebook Edgerank Algorithm
Edgerank = Affinity x Weight x Time Decay

Some of the methods that Facebook uses to adjust the parameters are proprietary and not available to the public.

15 Step Guideline To Create Your Perfect 2015 Digital Marketing Strategy

It is hard to believe that 2015 is right around the corner.

As the weather starts to cool down, digital marketers’ brains just begin to warm up and think about the budget for the New Year. The million-dollar question is what are the best digital networks to invest into and what platforms should receive more exposure for 2015?

Malcolm X was quoted as saying, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” If you are reading this article, you are likely a step ahead of the competition by staying sharp in news and trends in the online marketing field. By starting to think about the future of online marketing, you can plan out a successful 2015 year for your business while staying a step ahead of the competition.

The 15 step guideline for the perfect 2015 digital marketing strategy will provide you with a digital marketing blueprint for the upcoming year.

1. Get Started On Instagram

If you haven’t started an Instagram account for your business, what are you waiting for? The younger generation has flocked to this social media platform with over 200 million monthly active users, according to Expanded Ramblings. Advertisers are getting more of an opportunity to share their content through filtered photos. Instagram is one of the most natural ways to share content for your brand. It is better to be a step ahead of the game than 2 steps behind it.

2. Yahoo! Bing Network

The average cost per click on Yahoo! Bing was 10% to 24% lower than on Google AdWords. A lower cost per click can yield a lower cost per acquisition, which is the exact reason why you should start taking the search network seriously that receives 11.6% of the market share this upcoming year.

If you are in an expensive industry in the pay per click world like the legal profession, insurance industry, or medical field, having a lower cost per click can help with a profitable PPC campaign.

3. Facebook Lookalike Audience

What exactly is a Facebook Lookalike Audience? According to Facebook, Lookalike audiences let you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to a customer list you care about. When you use Custom Audiences, you can choose to create a lookalike audience that targets people who are similar to your Custom Audience list.

Let’s say you have an email marketing database over 5,000 contacts and are in the heating and cooling industry. You can upload this onto Facebook’s advertising platform and target the EXACT demographic similar to your existing customers! This is a neat feature that advertisers should at least test during the upcoming year.

4. Paid promotion On Facebook

Adding just $5.00 in promotion to selected Facebook posts will drastically increase your interaction. You’ll start to notice a major spike in communication when you boost your post for a small budget. With Facebook’s Edgerank Algorithm, the likelihood for a business to appear high in the news feed is less likely. This is why for 2015, you should focus on posts that can yield the best results and boost them for a small budget.

5. Email Marketing

If you are a business that only sends out one email blast per month, start doubling this number and send out at least two per month. Nordstrom sends out multiple email blasts EACH DAY! If you have compelling content that would be informative to the subscribers on your email list, tell them about it via email communications.

According to econsultancy.com, email marketing remains the best digital channel for ROI. Start strategizing heavily as to how you will make this for of online marketing work for you business in 2015!

6. Twitter Outreach

There has been a lot of frustration among marketers over all of the advertising that various social media channels are forcing businesses to partake in. Luckily, Twitter is still a great platform where you can grow your following organically. Start searching for hashtags within your industry and reaching out to users in this fashion. Compliment someone on Twitter about a blog post that they wrote. Begin asking questions related to your hashtag. The result will be more interaction and core following of people who are interested in your content! There is a reason why Twitter has nearly 1 billion registered users! Start reaching your target audience via tweets through the perfect Twitter outreach strategy in 2015.

7. Facebook Re-marketing

If you are a social media marketer and have not taken advantage of display advertising on Facebook, you are missing an outstanding opportunity. Not only will this yield one of the highest return on investments for your clients, it will help with brand exposure, lead to better conversion rates and provide a flexible budget which will lead to a more effective strategy.

An apartment community in Columbus implemented beautiful graphics with relevant messaging for one of its apartment communities for Facebook re-marketing. When someone would drop off of their website and visit Facebook, this messaging would follow them around. This resulted in a 33% uptick in conversion for their Polaris Apartments community!

Start seeing an uptick in conversion by implementing a Facebook re-marketing strategy for 2015.

8. Better Blogging

We like to refer to blog content as the match that starts the fire. When you write a compelling blog, it has the potential to rank well organically in the search engines. 80% of daily blog visits are new so this is a great driver of new website traffic! Additionally, a blog can serve as content for a Facebook and Twitter post as well as a teaser for an email marketing campaign. By creating better blog content in 2015, your web traffic will increase and your content will become more compelling

9. Google+ Game Plan

Google+ might not gain you that much interaction on your social media posts. This social media platform plays a crucial role in search engine optimization on the localized level, which makes this a must for marketers in 2015.

The more reviews you get, the more content you post onto your page and the more followers your obtain, the higher the likelihood that you will start ranking well for localized search terms.

10. YouTube Videos

Did you know that Google owns YouTube? By implementing videos into your online marketing mix, you can start to get search engine exposure for the videos that you upload onto YouTube! There are a lot of great tricks to obtain more video SEO Exposure. Choosing a proper title tag, uploading a transcript and embedding the YouTube video are just some of the tricks for optimal SEO exposure. Online video should definitely be included in your 2015 digital marketing strategy as this form of rich media can be a game changer in terms of publicity for your company. People will interpret your YouTube videos that you are taking your marketing initiatives very seriously!

11. Compelling Graphics

The more compelling your graphics are on various social media channels, the more interaction you will receive. If you have a graphic designer, start sending him or her over your social media calendar so they can help create beautiful imagery. In 2015 you will want to increase engagement and great pictures certainly help. If you don’t have a graphic designer, don’t worry; there are affordable sites that offer stock photography like BigStock.

12. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) leads have an average close rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (such as cold calls or print advertising) have an average close rate of 1.7%. Having your website optimized for SEO is a necessity heading into 2015. By having an SEO strategy in place, you can increase your leads and grow your business for next year.

13. Content Contribution

If you want your content to be seen by more eyeballs and gain more exposure, start contributing content to other blogs in similar fields. If you own an apartment community in Nashville, start writing for a local Nashville website that talks about the best activities around town. You will be seen as an expert in your city and this can help drive more traffic to your website. While people might not be looking for an apartment immediately, they will remember that you have invested time and effort into content within the community!

14. Digital PR

You can build off of the content contribution by implementing a Digital PR strategy. If you reach out to various media related websites and send them over a solid pitch, they might just write an article on your company or feature your CEO in a blog post. The more people talking about your company, Tweeting about your business and mentioning your brand, the better exposure you will receive for the upcoming year.

15. Unique Promotion

Brainstorm a unique promotion that people will actually enjoy that can drive massive publicity for your company in 2015! Whether it is coming up with a user generated jingle contest or a photo upload promotion, entice your great fans on social media to interact with your brand in a clever way. If the promotion is a success, it will be one of the most talked about campaigns for your company in 2015.

We don’t expect digital marketers to hit on each and every one of the 15 guidelines referenced above. Within the list, some of the suggestions are relatively new while others have been around for the past decade. If you incorporate some of the 15 Steps from our Guideline, you might just have the perfect year in 2015 from an online marketing perspective!

By Jason Parks on business2community.com

How exactly does facebook Edgerank work?

You’re a recruiter and you’re trying to use Facebook for job postings. Let’s say your Facebook Page has 1,000 fans and you do an update about a really hot opportunity. The average Facebook user has 130 friends, meaning you have a potential reach of 130,000 users right? Wrong.

The average Facebook post only reaches 16% of the page’s fans and most fans never go back to the Page after they have liked it in the first place. The average user has no less than 130 friends and 80 Pages, groups and events to keep track of. This means some serious filtering has to be done to ensure a decent user experience.

Enter EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm for deciding what you will see in your newsfeed. This formula is based on 3 ingredients: Affinity, Weight and Time Decay.

Have a look at the infographic from VASimpleServices below:

how-does-facebook-edgerank-work

Facebook Changes Stripes Once Again, Organic Brand Posts Now Endangered

Facebook late Friday announced yet another push to reduce the number of organic brand posts it says are cluttering its users’ newsfeeds. In an update to its “volume and content controls for promotional posts” taking effect in January 2015, Facebook said it will further limit the number of promotions posted organically by brands to the users who liked them.

Facebook did not disclose the magnitude of the new controls, but said they would affect organic posts that “feel too promotional,” and cited three specific criteria:

1 – Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.

2 – Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.

3 – Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.

The move likely will come as a blow to brands that have invested heavily in promoting their Facebook presence to consumers in an effort to get them to like them and to follow their brand content newsfeeds. Already industry executives had been monitoring the percentage of organic brand posts passing through Facebook’s so-called EdgeRank algorithm, a mathematical formula that helps Facebook determine how many and what kind of posts to come through users’ newsfeeds.

Facebook utilizes the algorithm to ensure that users are not overwhelmed with extraneous clutter from irrelevant or marginal posts, but executives who have been monitoring the performance of the algorithm have said in recent months it had fallen to low single-digit percentage reach for brands posting to Facebook users following or liking them.

Those moves, as well as the new update are likely to be a boon for Facebook — forcing many brands to shift from organic to paid strategies — because the only way for them to effectively reach consumers on Facebook will be through advertising. But even that is heavily gated by Facebook.

Facebook said the update is being made in response to research it conducted among its users, which it described as “part of an ongoing survey” involving “hundreds of thousands of people.”

Facebook did not disclose explicit guidelines for what constitutes overly promotional posts, but showed two examples (the Tiger Therapy one above and the Bunny Puzzle Cube one below) and warned that “pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

As part of the announcement, Facebook also reminded brand marketers they can always utilize a paid option for reaching Facebook fans.
“For targeting specific audiences with predictable reach, Facebook advertising offers ways to achieve specific business objectives, like driving in-store sales or app downloads,” it said.

A smattering of comments posted by business users on the Facebook For Business news post were generally positive, but at least one raised an important question not just for business posters, but for business newsfeed readers.
“I follow a lot of local business pages for article shares and news,” commented Michael Parnell, manager at North Highland, adding: “Does this mean their articles won’t reach my news feed and I’ll now be forced to see even MORE pictures of babies and children from my friends, unless those businesses pay to reach me, even if I like them??”