Social Media Rundown: Election Meddling via Social Media; Infowars Gets the Boot; Facebook Considers Replacing ‘Share’ Button with ‘Message’ Button

Coordinated disinformation campaigns, GDPR non-compliance, and the removal of Infowars from social networking sites — all just another week in social media news. Plus, is Snapchat no longer cool? Asking for a friend.

Be sure to check out the learn section for some ideas on using social media to market your next event and a handy checklist for building out your social media marketing strategy.

Social Media News:

  • Hackers Already Attacking Midterm Elections, Raising U.S. Alarms (Bloomberg). Facebook shut down dozens of accounts and pages to stop a coordinated disinformation campaign. “Even as Twitter and Facebook launch new initiatives to stop such meddling, hackers are adjusting to avoid — or at least delay — detection. Some of the suspect pages Facebook shut down in July had been operating for more than a year.”
  • More Than 1,000 U.S. News Sites Are Still Unavailable in Europe, Two Months after GDPR Took Effect (NiemanLab). With two years to prepare for GDPR, about a third of the 100 largest U.S. newspapers have opted to block their sites in Europe. Among them: the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and the Boston Globe. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • YouTube, Apple and Facebook Remove Content from Infowars and Alex Jones (CNN). Each social media platform said it had removed content from Jones or InfoWars because it had violated their policies, thus shutting down his key distribution channels. Infowars accounts are still active on Twitter. And unfortunately, there will always be another Alex Jones.
  • Facebook Tests Replacing ‘Share’ with ‘Message’ Option on News Feed Posts (Social Media Today). Let’s all hope this doesn’t pan out. “The new format would likely see a reduction in public post sharing, further shrinking already low organic reach numbers.”
Facebook tests a 'message' button.
To share or message?

Learn:

  • How to Drive More Event Engagement Using Social Media (Social Media Today). This is a nice rundown of ways to maximize event marketing before, during, and after an event. Some of these are obvious (i.e. send email updates before the event) while others are a little more creative (i.e. set up social media stations at the event).
  • 10 Essentials for Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns (PR Daily). Here’s a quick, no-thrills checklist of what you need to build out a social media strategy.

Chart of the Week:

Daily active user growth: Snapchat.

Has Snapchat already stopped growing? Sure looks like it.

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Social Media Rundown: Toxic Speech on Twitter; Facebook Combats Political Influence Campaigns; WhatsApp Makes Business Push

Lots of social media news worthy of your time this week. And don’t forget to check out the learn section for a detailed look at how Gary Vaynerchuk turns once piece of long-form content into 30+ pieces to share on social media.

Also, here’s an interesting infographic to consider when thinking of how people will likely view your content on each social networking site:

Time spent on social networks in the US: mobile vs. desktop
See anything that surprises you here? Are you among the 2% who use Instagram on desktop?

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Is Funding College Professors to Audit Its Platform for Toxicity (The Verge). The researchers will investigate how toxic speech is created on Twitter. The team will also create algorithms to track whether conversations are “uncivil” or if they veer into “intolerant” in what could be hate speech.
  • Facebook Identifies an Active Political Influence Campaign Using Fake Accounts (The New York Times). Not much has changed since the 2016 presidential election. Although it does seem the company is doing a better job of getting ahead of things; Facebook detected and removed “32 pages and fake accounts that had engaged in activity around divisive social issues.” It’s a continuous game of whack-a-mole.
  • Snapchat’s New Voice-Activated Lenses Point to a Wild Future for AR Advertising and Commerce (Forbes). Snapchat’s latest Lenses react to a specific keyword instead of visual cues such as opening your mouth. The new Lenses animate after hearing a specific keyword, which Snapchat displays on the screen.
  • WhatsApp’s Making a New Business Push, Pointing to Significant Revenue Opportunities (Social Media Today). WhatsApp Business now offers businesses new options for connecting with customers, including request helpful information, start a conversation, and get support.

Learn:

  • The Garyvee Content Strategy: How to Grow and Distribute Your Brand’s Social Media Content (garyvaynerchuk.com). If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk, then you know he pushes out a ton of content. This post included a slide deck that breaks down how he took a recent 2-hour keynote address to create 30+ pieces of content to share on social media, blogging platforms, and audio & video sites.

What social media news or social media marketing tips caught your eye this week?

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Stock Tanks; Trump Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning Republicans; Tips on Using Hashtags in LinkedIn

Twitter mobile app in use.

With a 20 percent drop in its price, now might be a good time to buy some Facebook stock. That is, if you have the cash and the confidence that the company will bring in more ad revenue and churn out higher user growth in the future. Also in Facebook news, Watch Party is launched within Groups and the company tried to set up shop in China, but was subsequently turned down.

Donald Trump makes his first appearance in the Social Media Rundown as he created a bit of news this morning for accusing Twitter of ‘shadow banning’ Republicans on its platform. Meanwhile, Mueller is busy examining Trump’s tweets in wide-ranging obstruction inquiry.

Lastly, you’d think brands would quit starting fights with Wendy’s on Twitter. This time, it was Steak n’ Shake that poked the bear. Wendy’s remains undefeated in Twitter battles. Read the full back and forth in this Fox News piece.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook ‘Puts Privacy First’ and Stock Plunges 20% (CNN). Wall Street’s sharp reaction followed an earnings report that showed slower than expected growth in user numbers and ad revenue. Facebook CFO David Wehner said sales growth may decline as the company prioritizes new formats like Stories and offers users “more choice around privacy.”
  • Facebook ‘Watch Party’ Is Now Available Worldwide (Mashable). Facebook has officially launched ‘Watch Party,’ a feature that lets people in Facebook Groups watch live or pre-recorded videos together (and chat) in real time. For now, a Watch Party can only be launched inside of a Facebook Group. I can’t imagine this ever being a success. But who knows.
  • The Story behind Trump’s Claim That Twitter Is Shadow-Banning Conservatives (Slate). “Shadow banning” refers to social media companies’ practice of making users’ posts visible only to themselves, without banning them outright from the platform. A story in Vice said that “Twitter’s new strategy to make trolls less visible was accidentally ensnaring some Republican politicians, making it harder to find them in the search bar by not autofilling their account names.” Twitter has corrected the problem, and it’s worth noting the issue was technically not a shadow ban in the first place.

Learn:

  • How to Maximize Your Exposure with LinkedIn Hashtags (Social Media Examiner). LinkedIn recently added a ‘Your Communities’ box to your home page that’s full of hashtags you’re following (both suggested hashtags and those you select). LinkedIn has also put more emphasis in hashtags in other ways so this is a good time to think about how best to leverage hashtags to get your content seen.
  • Organic Reach Is in Decline — Here’s What You Can Do about It (Hootsuite Blog). As this blog post suggests, organic reach is likely declining on other social networking sites as well, not just on Facebook. This means social media posts aren’t reaching as many people as before. This post has some ideas on how to deal with the decline in organic reach.

One more thing; because this tweet is the funniest thing you’ll see all week. ‘What pigeons do for fun’ is what keeps Twitter running.

Social Media Rundown: Reddit Chat Rooms; Instagram Reactions; Prime Day Fail

Not too much earth-shattering news in the greater world of social media this week, but there are some interesting new features rolling out on various platforms you should know about; including a chat room throwback from Reddit and some spiffy new features from LinkedIn. If that’s not enough, there were plenty of entertaining tweets during the Amazon Prime Day fail.

I was hoping to find an article about how terribly the Amazon Prime Day fail was handled by Amazon’s social media and customer service teams. Amazon’s main Twitter handle chose to ignore the situation until more than two hours after complaints were rolling in about the website being down. Even @AmazonHelp was mostly ignoring customer complaints. It’s as if they had no contingency plan whatsoever.

Social Media News:

  • Reddit Reinvents the Chat Room with Community Chat (Wired). Reddit is adding chat rooms to facilitate more real-time, on-platform discussion around specific topics and events. Talk about a throwback.
  • Instagram’s Adding ‘Reactions’ Style Quick-Response Emojis to Instagram Stories (Social Media Today). Instagram is testing a new, Facebook Reactions style emoji response option for Instagram Stories, which would give Stories viewers another way to engage with posts.
  • New Features to Get More from Posting: Video Captions, Share Articles Quotes, and See Translations (LinkedIn Blog). LinkedIn keeps rolling out new features; slowly making the platform a little more exciting.
  • Amazon’s Website Crashed as Soon as Prime Day Began (The Verge). It was quite the entertaining show over on Twitter. However, it took Amazon two hours before finally acknowledging the issue. Meanwhile, Walmart and ShopRunner were quick to capitalize on the on Prime Day downtime fail by offering free 1-year memberships. Despite the website issues, employee strikes, and people around the world boycotting the company, Amazon still had its most successful Prime Day yet, raking in some $3.4 billion in sales.

Learn:

  • Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers (Social Media Examiner). If you’re interested in managing Facebook ads or would just like to know how it all works, this is a nice round-up of articles and resources to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers use Facebook ads to promote a businesses, products, and services.
  • 3 Top Facebook Boost Myths Debunked (Hootsuite Blog). Contrary to what many assume, having a large Page following doesn’t really make a difference, more budget does not necessarily equal improved ad performance, and boosting every post is not the best strategy.

Any other social media news to add?

Social Media Rundown: Snapchat+Amazon; Facebook Watch Struggles; Twitter Purge

Some interesting social media news headlines this week including a purge of suspended Twitter accounts, a rumored Snapchat-Amazon partnership, and Facebook Watch struggles for viewers. Also, here are some Facebook headlines that didn’t make the cut, but maybe should have been included with the main batch below:

A coder at Facebook.
Lots of Facebook news this week including more on the Cambridge Analytica saga, acquisition of Bloomsbury AI, and struggles with Facebook Watch.

Social Media News:

  • Snapchat Code Reveals Team-Up with Amazon for ‘Camera Search’ (TechCrunch). If the Snapchat-Amazon integration rumor is true, social media audiences will soon be able to point a smartphone at something and make a purchase directly through Amazon.
  • Facebook Watch Is Struggling to Win Fans (The Information). The number of people who visit the new section every day has disappointed some show creators. Ads that run in the middle of videos have alienated many users, according to Facebook’s own metrics. Some media partners have chosen not to renew their deals with Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook Watch adds Bloomberg and BuzzFeed News to lineup.
  • Trump, Obama and Other High-Profile Twitter Users Could See a ‘Significant Drop’ in Followers. Here’s Why. (Washington Post). Twitter said the most popular accounts could experience a “significant drop” in followers over the next week. This news comes just a couple days after the Washington Post reported that the company has suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.

Learn:

  • The Basic Social Media Mistakes Companies Still Make (Harvard Business Review). “No matter what your social media strategy is, it’s always a good idea to go back and make sure you have the basics covered.”
  • The Simple Facebook Posting Strategy That Helped Us 3x Our Reach and Engagement (Buffer Blog). The basic lesson here is that with Facebook, less is more and quality content reigns supreme. Read on for some quick stats to see what I mean.

What social media news and social marketing tips did I leave out this week?

 

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Bug Unblocks Messenger Users; Whatsapp Combats Fake News; Ads Transparency

Another typical week in social media news: Facebook admits to another privacy breach, Whatsapp combats fake news, and Twitter and Facebook work on ad transparency.

fake-news-stephen-cobert

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Launches Its Ads Transparency Center, Where You Can See Ads Bought by Any Account (TechCrunch). The company says you’ll be able to search for any Twitter handle and bring up all the ad campaigns from that account that have run for the past seven days. Meanwhile, Facebook says its users will soon see a new button called “info and ads” at the top of a Page belonging to a business, nonprofit, or other organization.
  • Whatsapp Will Pay Researchers to Study Its Fake News Epidemic (Mashable). The company is offering researchers as much as $50,000 in exchange for studying the spread of fake news on WhatsApp. The announcement comes after the Indian government criticized the messaging service for its role in spreading false information tied to a series of deadly instances of mob violence in the country.
  • A Bug Unblocked More Than 800,000 Facebook and Messenger Users (Fast Company). The bug meant that users could message people who had blocked them and see posts which had previously been hidden from view. Read more on the Facebook blog.

Learn:

  • How Vogue Diversified Away from Facebook (Digiday). In May, search traffic to Vogue was up 73 percent year over year. Newsletter traffic grew 32 percent, and Instagram traffic increased 139 percent. Facebook unique visits were down 30 percent on the same basis. “That diversification is the result of a long-term push to grow search traffic overall as Facebook has steadily cut back the amount of referral traffic it sends publishers.”
  • How to Combine Social Media and Email Marketing as the Perfect Lead-Generation Machine (ShortStack). This article has a full break down to using social media and email marketing in sync to build a lead-generation campaign.

What else happened this week in social media news?

Social Media Rundown: Instagram Hits 1 Billion Users, Lunches IGTV; Facebook Subscription Groups; LinkedIn Kudos

The new IGTV from Instagram in use.
Brands and individual creators jumped right into IGTV.

Big news coming from Instagramland: Not only has the photo-sharing platform surpassed 1 billion monthly active users, but it also just announced IGTV. Despite the unspectacular name, IGTV puts Instagram in direct competition with YouTube and further establishes the mobile platform as the ultimate social media platform for creatives.

Looking beyond the major Instagram news, Facebook ponders ‘subscription groups’ and rolls out an initiative to combat the opioid crisis. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is rolling out a new ‘kudos’ feature.

Be sure to check out the Learn section for social media success tips from National Geographic and all you could possibly want to know about IGTV.

Social Media News:

  • With IGTV, Instagram Takes Aim at YouTube (Wired). On IGTV, long-form vertical videos can go as long as 10 minutes (in-feed videos are still limited to one minute). Some creators with large audiences can post up to 60 minutes of video — National Geographic, for example, used its first episode of “One Strange Rock” for its first video on IGTV, all 47 minutes of it. IGTV videos are all prerecorded, but live video could come later. By the way, the app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Read all about IGTV and its user growth in the official announcement on the Instagram info center.
  • Facebook Tests ‘Subscription Groups’ That Charge for Exclusive Content (TechCrunch). I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine ever paying to access a special Facebook sub-group — especially $30 bucks a month. But Facebook has apparently already started to letting Group admins charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to special sub-Groups full of exclusive posts.
  • Facebook to Redirect Users Searching for Opioids to Federal Crisis Help Line (STAT). Facebook users attempting to purchase opioids or seeking out addiction treatment will be instead redirected to info about a federal crisis help line.
  • LinkedIn Adds new ‘Kudos’ Feature to Acknowledge the Contributions of Connections (Social Media Today). Despite the negativity from the article’s author, this seems like a nice new feature for giving public praise to a colleague. LinkedIn Kudos is rolling out now globally in the LinkedIn iOS app, and coming soon to Android and desktop.

Learn:

  • The 4 Lessons Any Brand Can Learn from Nat Geo’s Social Media Success (Hootsuite). As it turns out, National Geographic is the largest non-celebrity brand on Instagram so they’re clearly doing something right. National Geographic’s social strategy is based on four core guiding principles: Stay true to your brand, go immediate (or live), harness the power of “wow,” and embrace new technology.
  • IGTV: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram’s New Video Platform (Later). This article from Later (the company that provides NEJM’s Instagram landing page) has the main points you need to know about IGTV. If you need to go deeper and enjoy a tidy list, Hootsuite has a nice roundup of the technical aspects and more.

What do you think of IGTV? Seen any good ‘shows’ yet?

Social Media Rundown: Social as a News Source Falls; Facebook Demands Consent for Email/Phone Ad Targeting; IHOP Pulls a Social Media Stunt

It’s been an exciting week in the world of social media, from IHOP flipping the ‘P’ in its name to a ‘B’ in the name of burgers to the harrowing trip of a brave little raccoon to the top of a 23-story building in St. Paul, Minn.

The MPRraccoon scales the 23-story UBS building.
The MPRraccoon was the hero no one expected.

Besides all that, there’s a new report out that says people are turning to social media — specifically Facebook — as a news source considerably less than in the past. Read on for more news in this week’s Rundown.

Social Media News:

  • After Years of Growth, the Use of Social Media for News Is Falling across the World (NiemanLab). People are turning away from Facebook for news. In the U.S., 39 percent of people said they used Facebook as a source of news in 2018, down 9 percentage points from 2017. But messaging apps are picking up the slack. This article is a nice breakdown of a new Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
  • Facebook Demands Advertisers Have Consent for Email/Phone-Based Targeting (TechCrunch). “Starting July 2nd, advertisers will have to declare whether contact info uploaded for ad targeting was collected with proper user consent by them, one of their partners or both. Users will be able to see this info if they opt to block future ads from that business. Facebook had always technically required consent, but it hadn’t previously done much to enforce those rules.”
  • Twitter Wants to Send You Personalized News Notifications (The Next Web). The mobile notifications will be personalized based on user interests. You know, just in case you’re not currently getting enough notifications on your phone.
  • LinkedIn Improves the Relevance of Its Feed with Hashtags (We Are Social Media). You can now personalize your LinkedIn feed with the hashtags you’re most interested in following. This small change should make hashtags more important to include in LinkedIn updates. Hopefully people — and brands — don’t go overboard.

Learn:

  • Internet Flips out after IHOP Turns the Letter ‘P’ to a ‘B’ for Burgers (ABC News). IHOP officially announced the limited-time name change Monday morning after teasing it on social media asking users to guess what they thought the name would “b”-come. IHOP’s peers were quick to poke fun at the stunt with perhaps the best zinger, of course, coming from Wendy’. As with any social media or PR stunt such as this, there are always lessons to be learned.
  • How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 8 Easy Steps (Hootsuite). This Hootsuite post takes you through an eight-step plan to create a social media strategy. From setting goals to running a social media audit, this is a pretty comprehensive blog post, but without being overwhelming.

What social media news caught your eye this week?

Social Media Rundown: Lots of Facebook Headlines; Instagram Algorithm, Explained; Building Social Proof

Another week of news regarding Facebook privacy concerns and other negative headlines for the battered social media giant. It’s OK though, I’m sure we’ll all keep using the social networking site like nothing’s wrong.

Mark Zuckerberg takes a sip of water before Congressional questioning.

Also, be sure to check out the learn section to see how the new Instagram algorithm works, ways to build social proof, and how to make sure your social media marketing is in line with Facebook’s priority of making sure time spent on Facebook is time well spent.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Says It Accidentally Let Anybody Read Private Posts From 14 Million Users (Business Insider). Facebook discovered a “software bug” that caused millions of status updates that were intended to be posted privately among friends to be public. The bug affected 14 million users, between May 18-27. Affected users will be notified and asked to review their posts from that period.
  • Facebook Will Remove the Trending Topics Section Next Week (The Verge). After a couple years of controversy due to Facebook editors curating the headlines, the company has decided to ditch the trending section. Other ways to deliver news, including breaking news labels and a section that collects local stories, are currently being tested.
  • A New Privacy Problem Could Deepen Facebook’s Legal Trouble (Wired). A New York Times article revealed that Facebook had deals with phone manufacturers that gave them access to personal data about users and their friends in order to re-create a mobile version of Facebook on their devices. Information included relationship status, religion, political leaning, events they planned to attend, and whether the user was online. Facebook disagrees with The New York Times.

Learn:

  • The New Instagram Algorithm Has Arrived – Here’s How it Works (Later). This could also go in the news section; Instagram recently invited a group of reporters to explain how the feed algorithm works (TechCrunch among that group). The short version is that the algorithm focuses on three core areas: interest, timeliness, and relationship. Secondary factors include frequency, following, and usage. If you’re an IG user, you probably won’t see any posts from several weeks in the past anymore.
  • Why You Should Be Using Your Content to Build Social Proof (Convince & Convert). In this blog post, the author outlines three ways to build social proof: release content consistently, create incentives for people to share, and measure success.
  • How Facebook Marketing is Changing (And How to Be Prepared) (Buffer App Blog). Rather than prioritizing content that might grab a user’s attention, but drive little interaction, Facebook favors the content that sparks conversations and brings people closer together. This helpful chart sums up what Facebook is prioritizing:
Signals that affect Facebook News Feed rankings.
Facebook wants more ‘meaningful interactions,’ as this chart outlines. Image: Buffer.

Social Media Rundown: Teens Flee Facebook; Twitter Bans Teens; Use Instagram Stories Like a Teen

Not a whole lot of major social media news this week, but it’s definitely worth pointing out the recent Pew Research survey that shows just how quickly teens are fleeing Facebook for other social media platforms. I wonder, as these teens get older will they start using Facebook more frequently?

YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens.
Facebook is losing the teen audience at a quicker than thought pace.

Also, Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel defends his platform and Twitter has started completely banning some of its youngest users.

This week’s learn section has some cool tips on using GIFs in Instagram Stories and how to be a real social media marketer using the power of Google Analytics. Read on to learn with me.

Social Media News:

  • Teens are Breaking Up with Facebook Faster Than We Thought, Says Study (Mashable). YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are now more popular among younger users than Facebook.
  • Snap Is No Facebook, and Spiegel Insists He Wants It That Way (Wired). Facebook’s Instagram is projected to surpass one billion users this year, while Snapchat has 191 million daily users. Its stock price is half what it was in February, when it redesigned the app. Further, Facebook seems to just wait for new Snapchat features to roll out and then copy them.
  • Why Twitter Started Banning Some of Its Youngest Users (Gizmodo). The minimum age to use Twitter is 13, though it doesn’t require users enter a birth date when signing up. If a user later enters a birthday indicating they were under 13 when they began tweeting, it presents a problem.

Learn:

  • 7 Creative Ways to Use GIFs on Instagram Stories (Later). Read this one if you’re on Instagram and want to use Stories like a pro (and impress all your teenage followers). In all seriousness, I’m on Instagram everyday (both personally and professionally) and I learned a few things from this helpful article. Did you know you can pin GIFs to appear at a certain point in a video? Or that you can actually create your own branded GIFs?
  • How to Use Google Analytics for Social Media: A Beginner’s Guide (Sprout Social). This article gets into the nitty gritty of how to use Google Analytics to create, optimize, and improve your social media marketing strategies.

Lastly, a little GDPR humor:

Tweet about GDPR.
A nice jab at all the companies sending emails regarding their updated privacy policies in light of GDPR.