The 30-day Facebook like fast: how it went.

The 30-day Facebook like fast: how it went.

In mid-August, I read a post by a blogger who decided to give up “liking” things on Facebook for two weeks; she found it to be helpful on a number of levels and felt it changed the content of her Facebook news feed. I decided to do the same experiment for 30 days, a sort of Facebook “like” fast. (I’ve never done a food diet in my life for more than 10 days, but I digress.) Why I did the Facebook like fast. Because I manage social media for clients, I’m on all the major platforms a lot, as in all of them day six days a week. Of all the major social media sites, Facebook seems to be the most pervasive, in size, scope and emotionality. LinkedIn is all business, Twitter is constant stream of short blurbs that just wash over you, Pinterest is eye-candy. But Facebook is about people, pets, politics and a whole lot more. The opportunities for toxic, gullible, infuriating and disgusting posts are rampant, and people take those opportunities. It’s a lifestyle. When people show their butts – something I’ve done myself, many times – it’s really public. And, Facebook’s algorithm magnifies the effect. What “liking” does. Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, see something you agree with, hit “like” and keep moving. No biggie, right? Wrong. That “like” causes your friends to see whatever it was. They may not want to. And, many of the lurk-and-like types – people who never actually interact with Facebook friends but “like” every dad-gum thing they see – are filling up their friends’ feeds with their stuff. All the while, they get to feel that they have fulfilled some sort of social obligation. The other thing that “liking” on Facebook does is to let Facebook know that you want more of the things you are liking. Sounds good, right? Not necessarily. If you frequently “like” articles about cute dogs, Facebook’s algorithm will also feed you posts about animal rights, including animal abuse. You may not want images of maimed and starved puppies with your morning coffee. How I did the like fast. Not being one who “likes” everything, it was relatively easy to stop hitting the “like” button for everything I actually liked. I messed up and “liked” a few things due to lack of manual dexterity, especially on my phone, but only four or five times. Each time, I felt like someone in AA who took a drink without realizing it; shame and guilt washed over me. But I got over it and stayed on the “like” wagon. Instead of “liking” things, if I actually did appreciate a post, I’d make a comment, or share it. (PS. Facebook values those activities...

Read More

Facebook to page managers: no more click-baiting.

Facebook to page managers: no more click-baiting.

There’s been a little tempest in a teapot the last few days over an announcement by Facebook that it is changing the priority it gives to certain kinds of posts in the news feed for users. Zuckerberg and Friends has decided that big photos with shortlinks to websites constitutes click-baiting; sometimes it does. So, it is giving less priority in its algorithm* to those kinds of “made you look” posts. The chatter among social media mavens is that Facebook’s announcement is as clear as mud, so let’s break it down a little bit.   What does Facebook mean by click-baiting in this case? Here’s an example. Instead of copying the URL from the link where this content appears, the page posted a large photo with a shortlink: It looks nice and clean, but Facebook spank. Now let’s look at one done the way Facebook prefers. In this case, the page copied the URL from an article found elsewhere on the web and pasted it into a status, which brought up this nice preview that gives a bit of a clue as to what the article is actually about: (Note that the page thoughtfully removed the long, hairy URL before actually posting.) So what’s the big deal? The good, the bad, the ugly, and the creepy. Facebook says that they are trying to cut down on link-baiting and I believe them. How many times have you been suckered into clicking on a photo that takes you to something that is spammy? So, that’s the good part of this. This move encourages pages to create high-quality content on their own websites, which they should be doing anyway. Now for the bad part: some websites don’t fetch up (or even have) attractive imagery to send to Facebook with a link. Some social media managers, including yours truly, have worked around that by snagging the image that goes with the post — or, if there is no image, finding one — and pasting an attractive shortlink with it. The shortlink still leads to quality content, it just looks better. Time to stop that. If your website doesn’t send over great-looking images with its links, time to get a better website. Otherwise, when people post links to it, those posts will be ugly and they probably will simply choose to post something else. Also, be very careful what words you use for your meta-data (what Google sees) if that becomes the headline to the preview. Now for the creepy part. Facebook will also monitor how much time people spend at the other website, the one linked to in the Facebook post. Read that again. That’s right. Facebook knows how much time you spend at the other...

Read More

5 ways to turn down the Facebook noise.

5 ways to turn down the Facebook noise.

A constant refrain comes from users of Facebook: too much crap in my feed, too much noise on Facebook. Here are five things you can do to turn down the Facebook noise. 1. Turn off notifications. If you have them turned on, turn them off, and/or change what you get notified about. If you have them on, turn off the notification sound. That’s one less distraction. 2. Remove yourself from conversations. If you want to keep notifications on, but you get involved in a conversation you wish you hadn’t, you can turn it off. 3. Unfollow the person or page. This is the best, least-noticeable way to turn off someone who annoys you but you’d rather not unfriend. Like that nutty cousin from Michigan you never see. Or the person you do business with but can’t abide personally. 4. Unfriend the person or unlike the page. This is bridge-burning on the personal side. The person you unfriend won’t know it until they go looking, then they will probably be offended. On the business page side, they expect it (or should). 5. Block the person. If you get a troll, someone who hijacks your feed, won’t shut the hell up, or basically stalks you, block them. If they are seriously violating the terms of Facebook usage, you can report them. (Just not liking someone or violently disagreeing with their opinions isn’t reason to do that.) We’ve written before about how paring down your friend list substantially could make your Facebook news feed more relevant, because it will give Facebook less to find irrelevant on your behalf. If you haven’t interacted with someone in a long time, and you unfollow them and they never interact with you, will they miss you if you unfriend them? Proceed with caution. If you don’t want to do any of the above options, get used to all the wacky, weird, wonderful, wonder-why-they-don’t-have-a-life posts and comments from “friends” and friends of friends. Ultimately, social media is just that: social. If you go out in public in the real world, people are going to bore you, annoy you, entertain and delight you. Online, you can control what you encounter. If this post was helpful, you can subscribe at the top of the page; please share with a colleague. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link...

Read More

6 things you can do about negative online reviews.

6 things you can do about negative online reviews.

Editor’s Note: Updated Aside from Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other online review sites, there are a myriad of other places online where your customers can leave reviews about you. Most the directory sites have a “social” function, and YouTube comments are wild and potentially viral. But the biggest, most public forum of all is Facebook. In fact, Facebook formalized the tendency for people to leave comments about companies when it added the star rating system. If a business page has an address listed, the star rating is automatic and can’t be turned off. Why do people feel the need to leave negative online reviews on Facebook? It’s not just that Facebook has the most users of any social network. It’s also that they often have no other choice. Customer service and tech support at companies has become so terrible that people turn to Facebook out of sheer frustration. And it often works. As one respondent to research by NewVoiceMedia said, “The risk of getting other people’s attention will cause the service providers to act quickly.” What can you do about negative online reviews for your company? 1. Don’t give them so much to complain about. This seems obvious but a surprising number of companies miss it. 2. Give options. If a customer needs help or is angry, it’s better to keep it offline with a customer service phone line, online chat, or email system that responds quickly. Don’t make them run to Facebook to describe the problem publicly. 3. Be there. If your customers are resorting to Facebook to complain or to get help, monitor the page hourly and respond with more than boilerplate. Not being there won’t keep them from talking about you, it’s just that you won’t know it. 4. Use the complaints to learn. What are people saying? If it’s usually the same thing, you have an opportunity to fix it. Complainers do you a favor. 5. If you can’t improve it, get out. Some Facebook pages contain nothing but angry rants ~ check the pages of some of the phone, cable, and computer companies and some large banks ~ unanswered, and unresolved. Those pages don’t do anything to help those companies. 6. Don’t sanitize your page. It becomes obvious quickly when a business moderates comments on its Facebook page, which results in a loss of credibility and only makes the annoyed visitor angrier. If people are leaving negative online reviews about your company, how will you turn it around? If this post was helpful, you can subscribe at the top of the page; please share with a colleague. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+   Lucid Marketing can make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email....

Read More

A little-known tool to help you clean up your Facebook feed.

A little-known tool to help you clean up your Facebook feed.

The longer you’re on Facebook, the more friends you gather and the less you interact with some of them. Facebook’s algorithm limits posts you see from everyone, especially those you don’t interact with much. But if you want to fine-tune your newsfeed further, you can either go through the laborious task of putting each friend into a list, or you can use Facebook’s handy little Organize tool to further clean up your Facebook feed. Here’s how it looks: Of course, it does beg the question: if you don’t interact with those folks, would they miss you if you were gone? It could be that it’s time to have fewer Facebook friends. Since Facebook is already doing the math by reducing how much you see in the name of “relevance,” paring down your friend list could result in more relevant posts for you. If you clean up your Facebook feed with this little Organize tool, let us know how it went for you. Did it help? Subscribe at the top of the page and you’ll receive a notice whenever there is a new post on this blog. If this post was helpful to you, please share it with a colleague. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing has the skills to make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site....

Read More

The one secret to increasing Facebook reach that nobody talks about.

The one secret to increasing Facebook reach that nobody talks about.

Social media marketers are sick to death of discussions about how to (try to) beat Facebook’s algorithm. Post reach has gone so low that some have either stopped posting altogether or have caved in to purchase Facebook advertising. Reach as low as 2% has been reported, making other channels look more appealing to marketers. We’ve tried everything: contests, apps, posting multiple images, video; even killer content sometimes falls flat. But there’s one secret to increasing Facebook reach that nobody talks about: homogeneity. The more alike your Facebook fan base is, the more likely it is that you can find and create engaging content for them. It has always been the case, from old-school one-way advertising until now, that it’s easier to reach people effectively the more they have in common. Targeting and segmenting are still the key. What determines how homogenous the group is may be age, gender, interest, socio-economic level, or geography. If you can get more than one of those factors within the group, you’ve got some real potential for reaching them with the right message. Case in Point Kingston Springs, Tennessee is a little bedroom community of Nashville that has about 3,500 residents. The town sits at the very Southern tip of the county, separated not only geographically but also socio-demographically and ideologically. It considers itself unique and, indeed, it is. Many people know each other, the town has a long history, and there is a great deal of community pride. When the town decided to start a farmer’s market, the market’s new Facebook page got over 600 likes right away; about 17% of the community liked the page. What municipality gets 17% of its residents to do anything, ever? But the really striking metric is an average post reach of 43% without any boosting or other paid advertising. While Facebook won’t say exactly what goes into its algorithm that determines post visibility and therefore reach (and the possibility of engagement), certain factors are known to help, such as posting pictures and videos vs. text-only posts. Indeed, some of the photo albums on Kingston Springs Farmers & Artisans Market page have gotten over 300% reach. The page uses a number of best practices. But what is most striking in this example is the homogeneity of the group. The interest of its members is very high for things going on in their community, and there aren’t as many retail and other outlets competing for their attention.   Homogeneity is the one secret to increasing Facebook reach that nobody talks about. So what is a social media manager to do if its constituents are diverse? Here are some things to do that can help: 1. Create separate pages....

Read More