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Tag Archives: social networking sites

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?

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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: Trump Violates 1st Amendment; Zuck’s Apology Tour Continues; Brands on Reddit?

Whelp, it’s official: Trump’s practice of blocking people he doesn’t like on Twitter has been deemed a violation of the First Amendment. This is an interesting take on how the Constitution applies to social media platforms and public officials; it’s worth a full reading of the New York Times’ article.

In Facebook news, Stories has hit 150 million daily viewers and the social networking site is opening up the Snapchat rip off to advertisers.

Facebook Stories continues making gains on Snapchat.

Facebook Stories continues making gains on Snapchat.

Meanwhile, ol’ Zuck was across the pond as his world apology tour continues. He left of lot of questions unanswered.

And don’t miss this week’s learning section for how to incorporate social media into the customer journey and an interesting case study on how the Washington Post is gaining traction on Reddit of all places.

Social Media News:

  • Trump’s Blocking of Twitter Users Is Unconstitutional, Judge Says (The New York Times). Trump’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter, preventing them from engaging with his account — was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Manhattan. The judge, addressing a novel issue about how the Constitution applies to social media platforms and public officials, found that the president’s Twitter feed is a public forum. Thus, violating the First Amendment.
  • Facebook Stories Reveals 150M Daily Viewers and Here Come Ads (Tech Crunch). Facebook Stories has announced a 150 million daily active user count for its Snapchat Stories clone. Ads will be 5- to 15-second videos users can skip, with call-to-action buttons coming soon. Advertisers can easily extend their Instagram Stories ads to this new surface, or have Facebook automatically reformat their News Feed ads to Stories.
  • Mark Zuckerberg Failed to Address European Concerns about Facebook (CNN). Zuckerberg failed to answer many of the questions and instead apologized and promised to investigate the breaches and harvesting of EU citizens’ data, the infiltration of dark ads, and fake accounts sowing discord online.

Learn:

  • Social Connections: Weaving Social Media into the Customer Journey (Marketing Week). Consider this: A typical customer journey may begin with a brand’s Facebook post, then move on through marketing emails and an ecommerce purchase to a customer service issue resolved in Twitter. Learn how companies are using social media in the customer journey, including one using artificial intelligence to let customers book flights on Facebook Messenger.
  • Digital Publishing: Now That Reddit is Welcoming Brands to its Platform, How Will Publishers Use It? (Editor & Publisher). In a under a year, a sole social media editor at the Washington Post has basically created his own subreddit of Post content that’s followed by more than 40,000 users, more than many of the 138,000 or so active communities on the platform. While it’s a catchy headline, I’d be extra cautious to any brands wanting to dip their toes into the complex world of Reddit.

Social Media Rundown: Cleanup on Facebook & Twitter; Klout Dies; the Ideal Post Length

Let’s all take a moment of silence to remember Klout… OK, that’s enough. Well not quite; it’s worth noting I’ve written about Klout a couple times in the past.

The Rock rolls his eyes at the death of Klout.

Did The Rock ever care about Klout? I think not.

In this week’s edition of the Social Media Rundown, Facebook and Twitter take further action to remove bad actors from their platforms and improve the user experience.

Lastly, be sure to check out the learning section for a handy tool on creating the ideal post lengths across a number of social networking sites. Also, have you felt like a victim of an Instagram ‘shadowbad?’ Relax, it’s not what you think.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Says It Deleted 865 Million Posts, Mostly Spam (The New York Times). The cleanup came in the first quarter of this year, the vast majority of which were spam, with a minority of posts related to nudity, graphic violence, hate speech and terrorism. Meanwhile, Facebook has already investigated thousands of potential apps that may have leaked data. 200 have been suspended.
  • Twitter is Going to Limit the Visibility of Tweets from People Behaving Badly (BuzzFeed News). The changes apparently led to an 8% drop in abuse reports on conversations and a 4% drop in abuse reports in search. But do we really want Twitter searches and replies further filtered?
  • Klout, the $200 Million Website that Measured How Important You are on Social Media with One Number, is Shutting Down (Business Insider). This news is hardly important, but for a short time, Klout was a big deal and many brands used Klout scores of individuals to determine how influential people were. Hootsuite even displayed Klout scores on profiles within its platform for a while. I think Justin Bieber’s Klout score was always the highest at 100 or so (apparently making him more influential than Barack Obama and any other world leader) while mine usually sat around 55, I think.

Learn:

  • Know Your Limit: The Ideal Length of Every Social Media Post (Sprout Social). This post outlines not only the ideal post length for the major social networking sites, it also has a handy character counter tool you can use for help in crafting your posts.
  • Instagram Shadowban? What Marketers Need to Know (Social Media Examiner). Wait. What’s a shadowban? Don’t worry about it, because it’s not really a thing. This article can basically be summed up as such: Don’t be a spammer. But there’s plenty of Instagram algorithmic insight to read the full thing and get a better understanding of how to be successful on Instagram.

 


Social Media Rundown: Twitter to Add Encrypted DMs & GIFs in Quote RTs; Tips on Growing Your Instagram Following

A bit of a slow week in social media news, but there are some new features being rolled out from both Facebook and Twitter that’s worth noting. I’m particularly excited about being able to send GIFs in quote tweets soon.

Jonah Hill Excited GIF

Are you excited about GIFs in quote retweets?

Oh, and those big changes coming to Facebook News Feed? Yeah, not much has changed.

Lastly, be sure to check the learning section for tips on growing your Instagram account and what GDPR is all about.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Tests Two New Interactive Options, Including Encrypted DMs (Social Media Today). Not sure I’d ever need encrypted direct messages, but you never know. Being a GIF fanatic, I’m more excited at the second feature: the ability to add GIFs to quote retweets. I’ve wanted to do this many times.
  • Twitter Urges its Users to Change Their Passwords due to a Bug (Digital Trends). If you’ve used Twitter in the past week or so, you were likely greeted with a message about a bug in which the passwords of all of its 320 million users were exposed as plain text. Some of you have changed your password already; that was probably a good idea.
  • Despite Facebook News Feed Algorithm Changes, Fake News Still Thrives (Mashable). Did you notice that big change in the Facebook News Feed algorithm? Neither did I. “Despite what was categorized by the company as sweeping updates, the state of the News Feed remains just as rotten as always: Fake news still thrives, and that old Facebook favorite Fox News is king once again.”

Learn:

  • How to Get Your First 1000 Followers for Instagram (Later). The “CHECT” system is a nice cheat sheet on things to consider with each in-feed Instagram post. CHECT = Content, Hashtags, Engaging, Captions, Tagging.
  • What the GDPR Means to Social Media Marketers (Buffer Blog). This helpful breakdown of the new GDPR outlines how the new data privacy regulations should be beneficial to both businesses and consumers.

What did I miss this week?


Social Media Rundown: EU to Regulate Tech Companies, Snapchat Considers Unskippable Ads

Perhaps you’ve been getting lots of emails and other notifications about privacy policy updates or a new terms of service doc to agree to? You can blame new regulation from the European Union for that. More specifically, you can blame Facebook, but none of this seems to be hurting the company’s bottom line.

Animated GIF: Americans Say They Want Privacy, but Act as if They Don’t.

From a 2014 NYT article “Americans Say They Want Privacy, but Act as if They Don’t.”

In other social media news, Snapchat seems to think unskippable six-second ads are a good money-generating option and YouTube has been running ads on extremist channels, unbeknownst to its advertisers.

Finally, be sure to check out the learning section for ideas to improve your social media strategy and a look at the future of social media marketing.

Social Media News:

  • Will the US Regulate Facebook? Europe is about to do Just That (CNN). The European Union is preparing to enforce a new data protection law that gives consumers more control over how their personal data are used. Ah, so this is why I’ve been getting so many privacy policy and terms of service updates lately.
  • Facebook Promises in New Ad that Everything’s Going to be OK (Mashable). It’s actually a very excellent ad. How could you not fall in love with Facebook all over again?
  • YouTube Ran Ads from Hundreds of Brands on Extremist Channels (CNN). Ads from over 300 companies and organizations ran on YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda. Be careful where you place your ads.
  • Viacom and Snap are Eyeing Snapchat Stars for Shows (Digiday). Unskippable six-second video ads? This could be the true beginning of Snapchat’s demise.

Learn:

  • 6 Effective Elements to Add to Your Social Media Strategy (Social Media Today). Want to stay ahead of the curve? This article suggests adding a Messenger bot, using more video, investing in paid ads, and using Stories on Facebook and Instagram.
  • 10 Ideas Driving the Future of Social Media Marketing (Mark Schaefer via Medium). This list debuted at Social Media Marketing World in March. This is a much better retelling than the simple notes I took. Ideas range from AI and smart speakers to government regulation (see aforementioned news headlines) and challenges of getting through all the content clutter.

Did I get everything? Please let me know if you have something to add.


The Social Media Rundown: Facebook Adds Info Button to Articles; Reddit Gets a Redesign

It’s been another busy week for Facebook as the Cambridge Analytica saga carries on and it continues to fight ‘fake news.’ Meanwhile, Twitter has purged more terrorist-related accounts, and Hell has frozen over, er, Reddit gets a redesign (coming soon).

All this and more in this week’s Social Media Rundown. Plus, I bring you not one, but two worthwhile learnings. Check it all out below:

Social Media News:

  • Facebook: ‘Malicious actors’ used its tools to discover identities and collect data on a massive global scale (source). Facebook admits that Cambridge Analytica obtained user data from 87 million users and that most of its 2 billion users likely have had their personal information scraped and shared by third-party developers without their explicit permission. Meanwhile, Facebook has shared an update on its plans to restrict data access to its platform.
  • Facebook will give all US users helpful context about articles shared in News Feed (The Verge). In a bid to make it easier to determine if something is legitimate news, Facebook has added a little ‘about this article’ icon to shared links. Once clicked, users are presented with information about the publisher (pulled in from Wikipedia), a map of where the article is being shared, and which of your friends shared the article.
Example of Facebook's new 'About This Article' function.

Facebook recently added an ‘About This Article’ button to shared news stories so users can better tell the legitimacy of a source.

  • Twitter says it removed 274,000 terrorist-related accounts in the second half of 2017 (Fast Company). The company suspended over 1.2 million accounts for terrorist-related content in the last five years – including 274,460 that were removed in the last six months 2017.
  • The Inside Story of Reddit’s Redesign (Wired). This one’s for all the web designers out there. It’s the first visual refresh of Reddit in over a decade. A welcome update if you ask me.

Learn:

  • How to Ignite Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy [Infographic] (Marketing Profs). This handy infographic has tips on writing attention-getting headlines, the ideal post length (keep it short), and a few ideas on running LinkedIn ads and sending InMails.
  • How to Optimize Facebook Ad Bidding: Clicks or Impressions? (Social Media Examiner). Here’s a nice article on how choosing bids for ads affects your Facebook ad campaigns. Choosing between link clicks or impressions is not always easy; this article has a list of the pros and cons of each.
  • 5 Reasons Why Nobody is Engaging With Your Social Posts (and How to Fix it) (Kissmetrics). If your social media strategy isn’t getting the kind of engagement you want, the author (Neil Patel) suggests you may be committing one of these five self-sabotaging social media sins:
    • Denying what people want
    • Forgetting to make room for new (older) users
    • Skipping movie day
    • Letting little errors cripple credibility
    • Talking without listening

The Social Media Rundown: Search Overtakes Social, Facebook Blocks Third-Party Data Ad Targeting

With a Facebook News Feed algorithm change and few other factors listed below, search is now driving more traffic than social. And in an apparent effort to make some positive changes at the company, Facebook announced it will no longer allow ad targeting based on relationship status. Plus, be sure to check out this week’s learning section for tips on beating Twitter’s algorithm and how you can better protect yourself online.

Social Media News:

  • The SEO versus Social Battle Has a New Winner (Convince & Convert). Takeaways from Jay Baer on why search is sending more traffic: Less use of social overall, social algorithms showing fewer posts from companies, fewer links in social posts, more social indexed in search engines. If you have an extra minute, definitely watch Jay’s LinkedIn video explaining this trend.
Search vs. Social: Share of Visits Chart

Shareaholic Data Report: Pinterest, Google, & Instagram big winners as Facebook share of visits falls 8% in 2017

  • Facebook Will No Longer Allow Third-Party Data for Targeting Ads (The Verge). The company is disabling a form of ad targeting called Partner Categories, which allowed prominent third-party data aggregators like Experian and Acxiom to provide clients with offline data like purchasing activity to inform ad targeting.
  • Facebook Quietly Removes Ad Filter to Target Users Based on Their Relationship Preferences (Marketing Land). The decision to remove the ‘interested in’ filter from its ad platform was based on feedback from outside experts. The decision could prevent malicious behavior targeting the LGBTQ community.

Learn:

  • Cracking The Twitter Algorithm: 11 Brilliant Ways to Outsmart the Timeline (Sprout Social). This thoughtful post from Sprout Social outlines several ways to increase your organic reach on Twitter, such as tweet consistently, run twitter ads, use twitter video, re-share your top tweets, engage when people mention you, make timely tweets, use emotional trigger words, and several more tips worth considering.
  • Facebook Isn’t the Only One Tracking You. Here Are 5 Ways to Protect Yourself (Digital Trends). With all the heat Facebook is taking for allegedly abusing data as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, now might be a good time to consider how you can keep your personal data private online. This article has five helpful tools.

By the way, I share most of the social media news articles and learnings that I come across throughout the week on my Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Feel free to follow me to keep up. And of course, if you see something interesting in the news, please share.


Is Peach the next big social networking app? Or is it already seeing a slow, painful death?

 

peach-app

“Peach is a refreshingly fun and simple way to keep up with friends and be yourself.” -Apple Store description.

 

Peach, the private social networking app loaded with innovative features, but lacking in usability and a large user base, may already be a thing of the past, according to recent headlines.

Peach officially launched eight days ago.

You read that right. Peach launched a mere eight days ago and its potential is already in question. Is the online world really that consumed (and satisfied) with only a handful of social networking mainstays (namely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) that an innovative, exciting new app can’t penetrate the market? Sadly, it’s getting increasingly difficult for a new social networking service to compete with the big guys. Peach has my attention, and the potential contend with the heavy hitters, but can it rise to the challenge?

It’s been awhile since a new social networking site or app has really caught my eye. Draw Something was more of a mobile game than a social networking app, but it definitely roped me in due to its incredibly addictive attributes.

Path, the social networking app that set a limit of only 50 friends you could connect with, came and went before I even had a chance to write about it.

Pinterest definitely won me over, even triggering a blog post about the visual bookmarking tool being a ‘game changer.’

Ello was apparently all the rave for a few short months about a year ago. I was an early adopter of Ello, but never really saw its benefits. With nothing particularly innovative or unique about it, I stopped using Ello just about as soon as I signed up. It’s still in service, but is anyone talking about it? Have you Ello’d lately?

I never wrote about Snapchat, but we all know the success the disappearing messaging app has seen. Snapchat is so popular that it’s now entering its “mom moment” of social networking sites—when an app or service becomes so popular that even your mom starts using it.

Maybe I’m not too good at this whole trend-spotting thing. Of the services mentioned above, Pinterest is the only social networking site that has had real lasting power. Pinterest is growing, and I still find myself browsing through hundreds of pins nearly every day.

Starting a new online social networking service is a difficult task. Just barely into its second week of operation, Peach is already seeing a flood of naysayers. A recent blog post on Social Media Today suggests Peach won’t stick, but that existing social networking power houses should adopt some of its features. A Mashable article suggests the ‘week-old social network named Peach may already be over,’ and that Facebook should buy it up.

One thing most who have used Peach love is how innovative it is. Its ‘magic words’ feature allows you to type in certain words or phrases that prompts a special action to include in your post. It’s a fun addition and one that most people would love to see integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Magic words include typing things such as “gif” to search for an animated gif within the app to easily and seamlessly include in your post. Typing “draw” gives you the ability to make a quick sketch to include with your post. Typing “weather” brings up current conditions, “here” adds your location, “goodmorning” prompts the time of day along with a couple emojis, and so on.

Peach is getting a ton of coverage for such a young start up, but unless it finds a way to dramatically grow its user base and greatly improve its ease of use, it’ll end up as a mere footnote in social media history (or a social media ghost town of sorts). Lastly, Peach must continue to innovate. It’s what helped Peach make a splash in the first place and it will need to keep giving users more in order to stay alive and relevant.

What are your thoughts? Will Peach last? Are you on Peach? Add me! Peach username: @eric_wheeler

Further reading:

Eric Wheeler is a social media specialist based in Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and his Master of Science degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University. He is currently taking Northwestern University’s Social Marketing Specialization MOOC offered by Coursera. Follow Eric on Twitter and Instagram.


#Infographic: Are you Suffering from Facebook Fatigue? Need a Break?

Image of an infographic about fatigue from Facebook.

Do you need a break from Facebook?

If you’re like most people, a Facebook vacation may be in your future…

Facebook now has more than 1 billion users. That’s a lot. And most of us are aware the social networking site is the largest in the world. Facebook has seemingly proliferated nearly every crevice of the ‘interwebs.’ Websites are using Facebook widgets in place of the ‘traditional’ comment section, the Facebook share button sits next to nearly every blog post and most people check their Facebook news feed several times a day.

For many of us, Facebook is such a huge part of our lives that it can be hard to get away from the daily dose of friend updates, brand pages marketing their products and news about the site itself. I get made fun of for my constant social media consumption–I’m always on the hunt for articles spanning a wide array of topics just so I can share it across my networks. All this Facebook usage and consumption of updates from our online social networks can be rather taxing. Even I take a break from time-to-time. According to the infographic from onlinecollegecourses.com below, I’m not alone–61 percent of current Facebook users have taken a break from Facebook for one week or longer.

The infographic states several reasons why people feel the need to take a brief hiatus from Facebook. For me, it’s just nice to ‘unplug’ for a day or two just to clear my mind a bit. Take a look at the infographic below and let me know if you’ve taken a break from Facebook or if you plan to soon.

Facebook Fatigue Infographic


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