Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Friends Startup Company, Branch.

The spinning minds at Facebook in Northern California have officially teamed up with the innovative thinkers at the rapidly growing startup known as Branch, in New York City. Branch is a social startup with a twin site called Potluck. These two sites monitor, engage, connect and ignite unique thought and conversations between users across the social-sphere. The idea of creating and, more importantly, maintaining an intellectual community of users with similar interests is an extremely powerful tool – if you know how to use it.

Facebook currently reports a total of 1.9 billion active monthly users. So where do they go from here? What service do they have planned to continue that growth into the future? Something where users can gain insightful information about their daily lives; be it health, travel, education, world news, politics and local events could be just around the corner. That is what the Branch team intends to do following Facebook’s supposed 15 million dollar ‘acqui—hire.’ Branch professionals will manage a portion of Facebook centered around developing Facebook’s conversations group, a service aimed at helping people connect based on their interests.

Pushing the envelope one more step, connectivity and topical engagements will go far beyond the best Steakhouse in SoHo or how to stay gluten free. These particular engagements could become a forum where community managers can enter the social sphere and really learn how their product or service is being taken in by the average person.

The doors have opened for “users to connect, and engage in meaningful exchanges based on interests”, according to Branch co-founder, Josh Miller. While on vacation in Japan, Josh received word that the news would be released during his trip and so he did what anyone else would do, proving exactly why he made the acquisition deal that he did… he updated his Facebook status.

Facebook Status

Facebook Finally Features Hashtags

Ready for some #awesome #Facebook #news?

Starting June 12, hashtags became clickable on Facebook.

Facebook is unrolling a series of features that allow users to engage with the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. The spearheading feature is, of course, hashtags. Continue reading

Google is pushing Google+ and marketers are listening.

Thanks to the massive emphasis on Author Rank and Authorship, Google+ was hailed by many experts as one of the biggest content marketing trends to watch in 2013.

A cursory search on Alexa reveals that Google is #1 in traffic with Google+ comprising more than 8% of their total traffic.

To put that into perspective, Facebook ranks #2. YouTube ranks #3. Twitter ranks #12. LinkedIn ranks #14. Instagram ranks #60.

According to Business Insider May 1, 2013, Google + has now surpassed Twitter, in terms of active users. They report that Google+ now boasts 359 million active users, up 33 percent from 269 million users at the end of June 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex.

Google+, while significantly younger than Facebook, still lags behind the social media giant, which boasts more than one billion monthly active users. Continue reading

Social Media Lessons from Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro

How you behave in response to stress is a great indicator of your true character. This applies to social media as much as it does offline.

You may remember our blog post from the beginning of April on The Top 5 Ways Brands Can Annoy Customers. Continue reading

Capital One Goes Big

It wasn’t so long ago that Capital One sent out enough credit solicitations by mail that the USPS gave them their own special rate (that sound you hear is the USPS sighing and remembering the good ole’ days).

If you’re going to mail 1 Billion pieces a year, I guess you should get a little bit of a discount.

And, it wasn’t so long ago that Cap One called up their suppliers and said, “Hey, listen, ummm … the economy is kind-of tanking a little and we need to pull back. So … yeah. Sorry …” I’m paraphrasing of course, but you get the picture.

So why was I so surprised to see this? Continue reading

Listen, Learn, Act

Most of us know that social media gives brands the critical opportunity (and necessity) of listening to consumers.

Consumers often take the lead from the brands whether it’s identifying an emerging style or simply figuring out what to have for dinner.

Brands often take the lead from consumers by identifying influencers and leaders within their target demographic and employing their newfound knowledge to improve their products and services.

Continue reading

Content, Meet Community – 3 LOFTy Lessons in Social Media

Why are our Community Managers involved in every step of the content development process? Why do they participate in brainstorming campaign ideas and check in daily with insights and information about their brands? Why are they required to use data to back up their feelings and not rely solely on instincts? Because we never want our clients to get into situations like this:

Lesson #1: When you ask someone what they think, they’re going to tell you. 

The comments on the picture started rolling in immediately and the bulk of them were negative. The fans focused on their distaste for the dress but were quite polite and complimentary about the women pictured. Now while you can never completely predict how people will respond to content, a strong Community Manager should have a good feel for their community and be able to anticipate potential responses, and plan accordingly for them. 

That’s why I was so surprised by the brand’s response:

Lesson #2: Respond appropriately to situations and anticipate how your comments will be perceived by the community and audience at large.

Now this could have been an attempt to redirect the conversation and get people to say nice things about the dress…but it didn’t work. Some of the fans got upset that LOFT assumed they were being unkind to the women pictured and responded to the brand, and some fans began discussing how “rude” others were being. Fans then began to move from expressing their distaste for the dress, to expressing their distaste for the brand.

One comment turned members of their community against each other and unleashed a firestorm of negativity towards the brand.

Lesson #3: Every experience comes with opportunities.

So what could LOFT have done to truly redirect the conversation and create a win for their brand?

Here’s one idea: Give Facebook fans a coupon specifically for that dress and ask them to upload a picture of themselves in it – let them style it, DIY it, mod it up. The fans can vote on whose take they like the best and the top 3 would get a chance to meet with the LOFT design team and be a part of the creative process. The winners can report back and the experience can be turned into a video where the fans highlight all of the great styles the team’s coming up with. Win back some positive sentiment, get the fans personally involved in the brand, give them a reason to believe in the future of the brand and remind people how much LOFT values them.

Community Managed.

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys analyzing brand pages on social media (seriously). During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

Recent Updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank Formula: Do You Know Your PTAT Score?

Recent updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank formula, and the way they calculate your People Talking About This score, could be putting your social efforts in jeopardy. Why is a behind-the-scenes math formula so important? It’s a simple answer with a lot of data behind it, so we’ll start with the easy facts first.

EdgeRank determines your success on Facebook.

That’s it. It’s that cut and dry. If your brand page has a high EdgeRank, your page will almost definitely be successful – depending, of course, on your definition of success. If success, to you, means user engagement, brand awareness, and viral growth, then we are on the same page.

How does EdgeRank work?

EdgeRank is an algorithm, essentially a complex mathematical formula that weighs several different factors to determine how relevant your content is to any given Facebook user. The formula looks like this:

Facebook EdgeRank Formula

Facebook has been notoriously silent on the exact numbers in this equation, but Jeff Widman, operator of EdgeRank.net, has broken down the basics of the system.

Facebook looks at all possible stories and says “Which story has the highest EdgeRank score? Let’s show it at the top of the user’s newsfeed…If EdgeRank predicts a particular user will find your status update boring, then your status update will never even be shown to that particular user…The numbers on this are frightening. In 2007, a Facebook engineer said in an interview that only about 0.2% of eligible stories make it into a user’s newsfeed…

The simplest possible explanation is that Facebook considers the amount of Likes, Comments, and Shares your posts receive, how many of your fans are friends with each other, the type of content you are posting, and what every single Facebook user thinks about those types of content. All of that gets added up into a total score, which is tallied on every single post your page makes.

How can I improve my page’s EdgeRank?

Short answer: you can’t. Long answer: you can’t, and you’re asking the wrong question. EdgeRank is a constantly-evolving formula, which takes in thousands of points of data to make by-the-second updates. Combine that complexity with the fact that Facebook also filters results through at least one other formula before they make it to a newsfeed, and you are facing a hopeless challenge.

The point that we keep making to clients is that it is much easier to improve your content than it is to try to game the system.

So, what’s new?

A recent update to Facebook’s algorithms has changed the way your page’s People Talking About This, or PTAT, score. This score is a combination of several forms of engagement, including shares, likes, and comments. Until now, that number related only to first-level engagement on a post. The tracking stopped, once you got beyond the original posting.

With this new update, the PTAT score includes engagement a post receives at the second level and beyond. Now, if a user shares George Takei’s latest cat pun, his PTAT score includes all of the likes, shares, and comments that post receives from its entire viral lifespan, even from users that never saw the original post.

Facebook People Talking About This PTAT Score

This update has led to some drastic jumps in PTAT for many highly-engaging pages. Takei’s PTAT has jumped by nearly 110,000 since the change, with similar numbers coming from several of the top pages on the platform. As we discussed earlier, your PTAT score is the most important aspect of your content’s EdgeRank, so higher PTAT scores ensure that your content is being seen. This means that activity on a cat photo George Takei posted three weeks ago could be boosting the EdgeRank on a post he makes today.

In social media, content is king, and that has never been truer than it is now. It is time for companies to make sure that what they’re putting out is something that users actually want to see. As the EdgeRank formula continues to evolve, content that belongs in corporate board rooms will become quieter and quieter. Eventually, those pages will have to wake up and realize they’re speaking to an empty room.

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Tim Howell

Tim Howell is a content manager for Make Me Social. He studied fine art, psychology, and international pop culture at Bowling Green State University. In his spare time, he is a blogger and social activist with a passion for cooking. You can find him at gplus.to/TimHowell

Recent Updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank Formula: Do You Know Your PTAT Score?

Recent updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank formula, and the way they calculate your People Talking About This score, could be putting your social efforts in jeopardy. Why is a behind-the-scenes math formula so important? It’s a simple answer with a lot of data behind it, so we’ll start with the easy facts first.

EdgeRank determines your success on Facebook.

That’s it. It’s that cut and dry. If your brand page has a high EdgeRank, your page will almost definitely be successful – depending, of course, on your definition of success. If success, to you, means user engagement, brand awareness, and viral growth, then we are on the same page.

How does EdgeRank work?

EdgeRank is an algorithm, essentially a complex mathematical formula that weighs several different factors to determine how relevant your content is to any given Facebook user. The formula looks like this:

Facebook EdgeRank Formula

Facebook has been notoriously silent on the exact numbers in this equation, but Jeff Widman, operator of EdgeRank.net, has broken down the basics of the system.

Facebook looks at all possible stories and says “Which story has the highest EdgeRank score? Let’s show it at the top of the user’s newsfeed…If EdgeRank predicts a particular user will find your status update boring, then your status update will never even be shown to that particular user…The numbers on this are frightening. In 2007, a Facebook engineer said in an interview that only about 0.2% of eligible stories make it into a user’s newsfeed…

The simplest possible explanation is that Facebook considers the amount of Likes, Comments, and Shares your posts receive, how many of your fans are friends with each other, the type of content you are posting, and what every single Facebook user thinks about those types of content. All of that gets added up into a total score, which is tallied on every single post your page makes.

How can I improve my page’s EdgeRank?

Short answer: you can’t. Long answer: you can’t, and you’re asking the wrong question. EdgeRank is a constantly-evolving formula, which takes in thousands of points of data to make by-the-second updates. Combine that complexity with the fact that Facebook also filters results through at least one other formula before they make it to a newsfeed, and you are facing a hopeless challenge.

The point that we keep making to clients is that it is much easier to improve your content than it is to try to game the system.

So, what’s new?

A recent update to Facebook’s algorithms has changed the way your page’s People Talking About This, or PTAT, score. This score is a combination of several forms of engagement, including shares, likes, and comments. Until now, that number related only to first-level engagement on a post. The tracking stopped, once you got beyond the original posting.

With this new update, the PTAT score includes engagement a post receives at the second level and beyond. Now, if a user shares George Takei’s latest cat pun, his PTAT score includes all of the likes, shares, and comments that post receives from its entire viral lifespan, even from users that never saw the original post.

Facebook People Talking About This PTAT Score

This update has led to some drastic jumps in PTAT for many highly-engaging pages. Takei’s PTAT has jumped by nearly 110,000 since the change, with similar numbers coming from several of the top pages on the platform. As we discussed earlier, your PTAT score is the most important aspect of your content’s EdgeRank, so higher PTAT scores ensure that your content is being seen. This means that activity on a cat photo George Takei posted three weeks ago could be boosting the EdgeRank on a post he makes today.

In social media, content is king, and that has never been truer than it is now. It is time for companies to make sure that what they’re putting out is something that users actually want to see. As the EdgeRank formula continues to evolve, content that belongs in corporate board rooms will become quieter and quieter. Eventually, those pages will have to wake up and realize they’re speaking to an empty room.

______________________________________________________________

Tim Howell

Tim Howell is a content manager for Make Me Social. He studied fine art, psychology, and international pop culture at Bowling Green State University. In his spare time, he is a blogger and social activist with a passion for cooking. You can find him at gplus.to/TimHowell

Learning from GM

Facebook’s IPO has come and gone, and while the big story is that there was no big story (save for a mini-scandal), the lead up to last Friday came with relatively few stumbling blocks….

Except one: GM announcing they will be ending their Facebook Ad spend.

Many that follow social media have heard the basic details. General Motors, which invested $10 million annually into Facebook ads, will be ending this endeavor by summer, citing that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers’ car purchases. This loss of revenue is pennies on the dollar for Facebook (less than that when you consider the site had more than $3 billion in ad sales last year), but it is the perception of this decision that is more important.

The question many have been asking is, “If GM can’t make Facebook ads work, why wouldn’t others pull their spends as well?”
The question we as an agency have been asking is, “What was GM’s goal for the ads in the first place?”

Was it to attract followers and have a presence in their community? Lead gen? Branding? All of the above? Whatever the answer is, different strategies and messages have to be developed and expectations have to be set. If GM’s goal was for people to see their Facebook ad and decide to buy an SUV from them, then their expectations were out of line because any marketing expert (or novice for that matter) will tell you the bigger the ask to the consumer (especially in monetary terms), the harder it will be to have that consumer commit to a purchase.

While GM did not find what they were looking for, many have been working within the parameters set by Facebook quite successfully, and it is because they are first defining what success looks like before trying to achieve it. So look at the GM situation not as a suggestion for your own use, but as a cautionary tale on preparing before investing.

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Greg Morgan is Communications and Content Director for Make Me Social, a social media agency that develops customized social media strategies for businesses. With experience in industries ranging from sports to state government, Greg focuses in crafting messages for all types of clients in an effort to perfect what he calls “versatile communications.” Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, he remains a loyal UConn Husky fan, despite now residing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.