Social Media Rundown: Facebook Data Privacy Saga; Giuliani Gets Pranked on Twitter; YouTube’s Story Feature Expands

As Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, you’d think he’d have some grasp of how the internet works.

The latest chapter in the Facebook data privacy saga reveals even more questionable business practices and leadership at the social media giant. I doubt anyone is surprised at this point, but I do find it fascinating how Facebook and its leaders keep digging themselves into an ever-deepening hole. Facebook continues to dominate the social media news cycle while companies like Snap and YouTube keep rolling out new features to try and stay relevant. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani seems to have no idea how the internet works, which is curious seeing as how he is Trump’s cybersecurity adviser.

In this week’s learn section, you can learn about the differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads and also learn how to boost your Facebook ad relevancy score.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Used People’s Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals, Documents Show (The New York Times). The Facebook data privacy saga continues on. In this chapter, unredacted documents show Facebook used data it collected on users to favor certain partners and punish rivals. The documents further illustrate how Facebook executives treated data as the company’s most valuable resource. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg “were intimately involved in decisions aimed at benefiting the social network above all else and keeping users as engaged as possible on the site, according to emails that were part of the document trove.” You can go deeper with this story with the Axios AM newsletter.
  • Rudy Giuliani Is Trump’s Cybersecurity Adviser. He Might Want a Refresher (The Washington Post). Always remember to double check your tweets for possible typos, or in the case of Giuliani, to make sure you’ve added spaces between all your sentences. When text is butted up against a period without a space, Twitter assumes it’s a link and well, hyperlinks it. Click through to see his tweets. Direct quote from Giuliani: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message.” He clearly doesn’t understand how the internet works.
  • YouTube Is Rolling out Its Instagram-Like Stories Feature to More Creators (The Verge). YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, appearing for both subscribers and non-subscribers, and they’ll show up in YouTube’s “Up Next” sidebar beside a video. “The focus for YouTube Stories, which was first announced in November 2017, seems to be on community engagement and channel promotion more than day-to-day life updates.”

Learn:

  • Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads (Angelic Digital via Medium). It’s basically a difference between paid social and paid search, but this short blog post gives a nice breakdown of the key differences.
  • 6 Ways to Achieve High Relevance Scores in Facebook Ads (Socialnomics). Higher ad relevance scores will lead to lower costs and better ad visibility leading. This article breaks down what the Facebook ad relevance score is, how it’s calculated, and ways to achieve a higher score.

Chart of the Week:

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts (From Hootsuite’s Social MediaTrends Report 2019).

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts
Facebook continues to dominate in the global monthly active user category.
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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: 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: 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: 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.