Sick of waiting for a web page to load? When it comes to surfing the web, we’re all guilty of being a little impatient and expecting our content to load instantly. According to Facebook, it takes over 8 seconds on average to load an article using a web browser. Not ok! With the launch of their new Instant Articles, readers will be able to load articles ten times faster in the Facebook app than a standard web page.
Instant Articles is a tool for publishers to post their articles directly to the social network’s newsfeed. Publishers maintain full control of all content and can track data and traffic through analytic tools. Also, the publishers have the option to sell their own ad space in the articles, keeping all of the profits, or allow Facebook to. So far Facebook has partnered with nine huge news publishers, including The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel, and Bild.
So how is Facebook able to load these articles faster than the publishers’ own websites? They pre-load the content and have it stored in their servers ready to load before you even click the article. Plus since all advertisements are already embedded in the articles the loading time is much faster. Usually the reason a web page takes more time to load is because of ads, social buttons, and other background code. The benefit for readers is clear. Instant Articles allows readers to get the content their already searching for faster than they would before.
Facebook continually reinvents itself to serve different purposes to different users. Looks like their striving to be a news destination site! Will you start using Facebook as your main source for news?
Tired of Candy Crush requests? Don’t want to miss an update from your cousin who just had an adorable baby? You don’t need to understand the inner workings of Facebook’s algorithm, just follow these easy steps to take control of your news feed and leave the unfriend button as a last resort.
Choose Your Order
What: There are 2 modes you can choose from Facebook to reorder your timeline. The default is ‘Top Stories,’ but you can change it to ‘Most Recent.
How: Click the small arrow next to the words ‘News Feed’ under your profile picture on the top left and choose how you want to see updates.
Pick Your Favorites
What: You can assign a friend as a ‘Close Friend’ to get more of their news in your timeline. To go a step beyond this, choose to get phone or email notifications when these friends post to Facebook.
How: Go to your friend’s Facebook profile and click the drop down menu on their cover photo that says ‘Friends’. This will allow you to add them to the ‘Close Friends’ and make sure you see more updates from them.
What: By adding friends to certain lists (anything from coworkers to workout buddies) you can choose to check on their updates separately from your timeline.
How: On the left side of Facebook select the ‘Friends’ heading and start making lists. Once your lists are created (you can edit them anytime) you will be able to select that list anytime to see updates from that group of people. If you hover over a list you will see a settings wheel, click the wheel and add a list to ‘Favorites’ to easily access this list anytime from the top of your newsfeed.
Get Rid of Them
What: You can easily hide a post or unfollow someone without unfriending them.
How: When you see a post on your timeline, click the little grey arrow at the top right and choose ‘I don’t want to see this’ to get rid of a certain kind of post or ‘Unfollow Friend’ to keep a friend’s post out of your timeline. This also works to block game apps and certain advertisers.
Take the Survey
What: Tell Facebook what you do and don’t want to see by taking a quick survey.
How: Click that little grey arrow again (on any post) and choose ‘Make News Feed Better’. There are 15 posts you will be shown and you have to rate how much you agree with the statement provided. It only takes a few minutes to use this Facebook provided system.
You can take the survey multiple times, but the best way to tell Facebook what you want to see on your timeline is by engaging with the content in your News Feed. The more you like, comment and share – the more Facebook knows what you want to see.
If you Google how to use Facebook post Booster you will find half the blogs will be a how-to and the other half will be write-ups on why you should never, ever Boost posts on Facebook. We’re here to tell you when Boosting can work for you.
The Facebook algorithm (that math and science behind what shows up on your News Feed and what doesn’t) may be considered the mystery of our generation to some, but with enough research and common sense you can start to see patterns emerge.
Facebook has revealed that any update posted by your page will only reach 3-5% of your fans. This means if you have 5000 fans, you will only reach 150 to 250 of them through organic (not paid for) reach.
Facebook gives you two options to expand the reach of that post – Promoted Posts or Ads and the Boost.
What are the Limitations of a Boosted Post?
Only target limited interests
Cannot target a device (desktop or mobile)
Only target by interests, or ‘fans plus friends of fans’ (instead of just fans)
Cannot use custom audience or conversion tracking
Only Boost one ad at a time
What Can I do with a Boosted Post?
Target up to 10 interests
Target your fans and their friends
Choose your budget
Choose the duration
Access all this right on your Timeline
So why would you use Boost over Promoted Posts or Ads?
If you are targeting your existing fanbase, and you want to reach more than the 3-5%, then Boosting can be the perfect option. Say you are an author who has released a new book, or a store that is having a sale, or a software company who has released a new product – these are all things you want all your fans to know about. This can be a simple Boost to reach past organic limitations.
If you are a brick and mortar store or a company that offers services to a particular area, Boosting is a quick and easy way to promote yourself. You can choose local towns or cities and specific interests to Boost. If you are Boosting to increase your fanbase, targeting through Facebook’s more detailed post promotion is a better way to track your objective.
What does this mean for me?
If you are a newbie to Facebook paid advertising and have an update you want to go to fans and their friends, specific interests, or specific locations, Boosting is a quick and easy way to get the word out.
If you’re still unsure what is the right option for you, contact us today to learn how we can help you reach your Facebook goals.
Thanks to social media, Valentine’s Day shines light on the love lives – or lack thereof- of ourselves and our peers. Whether you’re in a happy relationship or newly single, learning the basic etiquette of how to take on social media on the day of love can save you from posting or commenting something you might regret.
Keep the Lovey-Dovey Stuff at a Minimum
Think about how much you love to see paragraphs about other peoples’ significant others and how in love they are. Probably not a whole lot, but you’re not alone. In reality, nobody really wants to see this. A short-and-sweet post is OK, but keep it to a minimum. There’s no need to prove the love you and your partner share to the world of social media. Telling your significant other how you feel in person? Now that’s the way to go.
Hold Off on Venting
On the other hand, if you are sick of seeing the long, mushy posts, feeling the aftermath of a heartbreak or wishing your spouse bought you something other than a new vacuum cleaner, ranting about your unfortunate situation is just as much a faux-pas as raving about your lover. Instead, talk it out with a friend, write in a journal, or even treat yourself to a pedicure. After all, you deserve it!
Turn off the Technology
If you do have a special night planned with your loved one, take the time to unplug. Don’t take a picture of your dinner and post it to Instagram. Don’t obsessively refresh your Twitter feed. Don’t comment back on your friend’s post on your Facebook wall. Enjoy your time together on this special day and truly be in the moment. It will remind you that you’re really not missing out on much in the social media world after all.
What other tips do you have to making sure your social media etiquette is on point this Valentine’s Day?
We’ve all had our email inboxes flooded with unwanted messages telling us that we can “Make $50,000 in one day!” and “Lose 20 pounds in a week!”
While these annoying messages can be sent directly to our “Spam” mailbox, these unsolicited messages can be found in a different form on social media, too. Here’s how to spot them and what you can do to stop them, too.
Spotting a Spammer
By definition, spam is simply disruptive messages that are sent through a computer network. Your definition of spam can be completely different from your coworker’s, but it is safe to say that the majority of people do not want to receive countless requests for another Candy Crush life or see the 7th status update of the day from the same user. Figure out what really grinds your gears on your social media feed. In addition, if you have a social media account for your business, keep this in mind: Updating your Facebook status a couple times a day is fine, but make sure they are within at least a few hours of each other. The same goes for a LinkedIn status and Instagram photos. Twitter is much more fast-paced, but don’t send out 10 tweets in a row unless you’re talking to someone.
Put a Stop to Spam
Now that you’ve spotted your spam, stopping it entails different options. If you’re on Facebook, you can click on the arrow button in the top right corner that is found on every Facebook post, and click “I don’t want to see this.” You can then decide which updates you want to see from a person or fan page, or choose to stop following their updates altogether. On LinkedIn, you can click the button in the top right of a post where it says “Hide,” allowing you to stop receiving updates from that person. Instagram and Twitter require you to stop following or block the person who is spamming you.
What are your top tips for “Spam Etiquette?” Let us know!
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of football or the food and epic commercials that accompany the Superbowl, you can turn your “Sunday Funday” up a notch by adding social media to the mix. Here’s how you can “stay social” during Superbowl Sunday.
- Want to get the in on what’s going on behind the scenes with the SuperBowl? Follow @SuperBowl on Twitter for up-to-the-minute coverage on everything from the Seahawks and Broncos team members to play recaps to Superbowl-related events in the area. You can also follow @nfl to get the scoop on both teams, and of course @Seahawks and @Broncos if you like to keep a close watch on the game day all-stars.
- Keep your eye on all things Superbowl-related by following @MLStadium on Twitter, and using the hashtag #Road2MetLifeStadium to see what your favorite NFL players, professionals and fans are chatting about before, during and after the big game.
- Keep track of everything you need to know about the beloved halftime show from its sponsor, Pepsi, by “Liking” their Facebook page and following @Pepsi on Twitter for fun facts, trivia, contests and more!
- Keep track of your Trending Topics on Twitter to see what people are talking about on game day, and use these hashtags to search your favorite social media sites to stay in the know. #SuperbowlSunday and #Superbowl2014 are already buzzing!
- @NYNJSuperbowl is the official Twitter handle of the Superbowl’s host committee. Follow them for updates on everything from FAQs to locations of the hottest Superbowl parties in the tri-state area.
Don’t forget that social media is a two-way street! If you want to chat with your favorite sports team or find out where you can meet and greet some of your favorite football players, ask away! Will you be “staying social” during the Superbowl?
The holiday season has officially begun, and with the biggest holiday shopping dates right around the corner, now is the time to plan your social media strategies for your business to bank during the frenzy. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are three big dates that are not to be taken lightly. As a matter of fact, last year consumers spent on $59.1 billion on Black Friday, $5.5 billion on Small Business Saturday and $1.46 billion on Cyber Monday.
If those numbers aren’t big enough to wrap your head around, Facebook alone had 240% more referral traffic on Cyber Monday compared to the rest of the year! We think it’s safe to say that brainstorming social media marketing tactics to tie in with these shopping extravaganzas should be at the top of your to-do list for your small business! Get started with our top tips and tricks:
- Leverage the power of tagging by offering customers an exclusive discount who upload a picture of their purchase from your business and tag your business in their image. This is especially ideal for Black Friday, which then gives them Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday the chance to come back and purchase again!
- One social media trend that’s in the forecast for immense growth in 2014 is the use of visual content. In other words? Social media users want to see compelling images on their social networks more so now than ever before. Use this to your advantage by uploading your best images of holiday-related deals to your social networks.
- Create a photo contest! This is always a great way to get people to really participate and interact with your business. Create a custom hashtag to go along with your contest, and ask your fans and followers to use it in their submissions. Award a prize from your business, whether it’s a gift card, product, or specialized service.
- Will you be open especially early on Small Business Saturday? Don’t forget to let your customers know! Make sure to spread the word on your social media pages in advance, and it doesn’t hurt to offer the first people at the door an exclusive offer!
- Take advantage of Twitter’s partnership with Small Business Saturday: They’re giving away $100 in free Twitter ads on a first come, first serve basis!
- Stay social all weekend. This major shopping weekend also means major social media interaction for your business. Monitor your social media accounts as often as you can to respond to customers who take the time to interact with you in a timely manner.
- Keep mobile in mind. With everyone constantly on the go, it’s no wonder mobile shopping is another social media trend in the forecast for next year. Now is the time to make sure your website is optimized for mobile use so you don’t miss out on sales from savvy smartphone shoppers.
- Reward shoppers who check in to your business on Facebook. Foursquare is an option too, but keep in mind that the use of this social network is actually on the decline.
- Follow hashtags! Search social networks that use hashtags like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to “listen in” on what people are saying. It’s also a good idea to add your town or general area to the list of hashtags you’re searching for, too. Here’s a hint: The most popular hashtags for these dates are #BlackFriday, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSat and #CyberMonday are good places to start.
Do you have a social media “plan of attack” in mind for this upcoming shopping frenzy? Tell us about it!
Whether you’re brand-new to the world of social media or not, you’ve more than likely seen hashtags (words or phrases with “#” before them). While avoiding them is one answer, it’s not one we recommend! Hashtags have shaped the way we communicate on social media and also play an important role in navigating the complex world of social networking.
So what exactly is their purpose, and why do we use them? Here are our top tips for becoming a hashtag pro!
What is a Hashtag?
Hashtags are simply a way to label and categorize content in words and phrases on the social web. They also enable people to find topics they are interested in, such as #Westchester or #SuperbowlSunday. Hashtags were “born” on Twitter, but can now also be found on Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and Facebook.
Who Can Create Hashtags?
Anyone can create a hashtag by placing the pound (#) symbol directly in front of a word or phrase. Let’s say you make a delicious-looking batch of pancakes for breakfast, and you decide to take a picture to upload to Instagram to share with your followers. You might caption your picture as this: “Now this is a great way to start the day! #goodmorning #breakfastofchampions.” Voilà! You have successfully categorized your picture. Now, anyone who searches Instagram for #goodmorning or #breakfastofchampions will see your pancake masterpiece.
It’s important to keep in mind that while hashtags are used to categorize content, their power actually lies within the number of other people searching for and using the same ones. If someone were to search for #goodmorning on Instagram, the search results would contain all other pictures that also had #goodmorning in their captions. Because of this, we recommend making it a habit to perform a simple search for trending keywords to find out what the popular hashtags of the day are, before posting your message.
Remember, hashtags are a way for you to find content and contribute to conversations. Let’s say you see a new movie over the weekend and want to find out what other people are saying about it. Performing a search for the movie using a hashtag will pull up all content and conversations from other users discussing the movie, so you can chime in wherever you’d like!
The Don’ts of Hashtags
Keep this hashtag “netiquette” in mind at all times!
Don’t use too many. We recommend no more 2 or 3 for Twitter, and no more than 4 or 5 for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus. The overuse of hashtags is a common pet peeve of most social media users. Side note: Hashtags are most often placed at the end of a post, but you can place them anywhere.
Don’t hashtag every word. #Your #Post #Should #Not #Look #Like #This. This is not the correct way to categorize content. How many people are searching for #Your or #This on social media? Zero.
Don’t hashtag an entire sentence. No one is searching for #cantwaittogetoutofworksoIcangotothegym.
Don’t hashtag the same word more than once. “It’s a beautiful day today in #Westchester! What is everyone in #Westchester doing today?” Once you hashtag a word in your post, it’s categorized.
Don’t use hashtags that aren’t relevant. Even though a hashtag might be trending, leave it out unless it’s appropriate for your post.
Using Hashtags for Business
Here are some helpful hints to getting started with hashtags for your business:
- Keep it content-related. Let’s say you own a deli in Westchester and want to attract people to come in for lunch. You could create a post reading something like, “Refuel your workday with our soup and salad combo for #lunch! #Westchester.” Be sure to include a link to your website for more info, and an image!
- Use #FollowFriday. This is a trend that caught fire a few years ago on Twitter and is here to stay. Follow Friday is simply a way to give a shout out to other users and expose your business. All you have to do is tag other users using the “@” symbol in order for them to see it, and incorporate #FF and/or #FollowFriday into your post.
- Use Trending hashtags. As we mentioned previously, doing your homework and searching for trending hashtags is a must, but only if you can craft a post that is engaging, informative and unique.
- Use brand or event-specific hashtags. Create a unique hashtag for your brand and give your audience an incentive to engage with you using this hashtag, such as a photo contest. Event-specific hashtags are also a great way to keep everyone involved in your special event, such as a conference or expo.
Using hashtags enables you to organize your content and opens up new doors for communication each and every time you use them! Have you spied a great example of hashtag use? Share them with us on any of our social media pages!
Facebook fanatics, rejoice! The highly anticipated “Editing” feature was very recently made available to all users (mobile included). Whether you’re ambushed by autocorrect while on the go or create a post that doesn’t sound so great at second glance, you can easily make corrections within a matter of seconds. The editing feature is not only available for status updates, but for other content such as links and photos as well. Here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown from our Westchester NY social media team of how to do it.
1. Click on the arrow in the top right corner of the post you want to edit, and select “Edit.”
2. Make any changes to your post as needed.
3. Select “Done Editing,” and voilà! Your post is now updated.
While having the option to edit your posts is fantastic, keep in mind that the history of your edits are not hidden. Once you edit a post, your post will be marked “Edited,” and you will have the option to click this and see all the edits that were made.
It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing, the school bells are ringing, and the nights are just a little bit cooler. Fall has almost arrived, and what better way to welcome the season than with a few freebies?!
1. Soundworks, Inc. Located in Armonk, Soundworks is a passionate company that will guide you through every phase of a technology upgrade, applying the newest technology to any home, regardless of age. Soundworks is a certified Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association member, and promises prompt response and customer service 100% of the time! Fun Fact: Soundworks also offers mobile device control, which means you can control devices in your home using your iPad or mobile phone!
Soundworks has launched a Facebook contest, giving away a 55″ Samsung LED TV! Interested yet? To enter to win, all you have to do is “Like” their Facebook page. Not a bad deal!
2. Prudential Centennial Real Estate. With locations in Scarsdale and Larchmont, Prudential Centennial is a real estate agency with over 60 years of experience in Westchester NY real estate, and is still run by their original ownership! Fun Fact: Prudential Centennial is consistently in the top 1% of all companies in Westchester based on sales volume, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
These two organizations are also all-star Westchester community members, and supporting our neighbors is one of the many reasons why we love social media!