Posts by netgeekzcayman

Instagram Growths Outpaces Facebook & SnapChat

eMarketer reports the average amount of time people will spend each day on Facebook this year will remain unchanged from last year at 38-minutes. That number is expected to drop to 37-minutes per day by next year. This is a downgrade from the figures eMarketer released during the third quarter of 2018.

“Facebook’s continued loss of younger adult users, along with its focus on downranking clickbait posts and videos in favor of those that create ‘time well spent,’ resulted in less daily time spent on the platform in 2018 than we had previously expected,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

Facebook and Snapchat usage hits a plateau. After dropping from 41-minutes per day in 2017 to 38-minutest per day in 2018, the average amount of time spent on Facebook has flattened for now. The average amount of time spent on Snapchat has also plateaued according to eMarketer’s forecasts, with adult users projected to spend 26-minutes per day on the app through 2021. (This is also a downgrade from the 28-minutes per day eMarketer originally estimated for Snapchat’s 2019 usage.)

It’s worth noting eMarketer’s numbers are based on users age 18-years and older — meanwhile, Snapchat says it now reaches 90% of all 13 to 24-year-olds and in the U.S. There’s an entire group of users — 13- to 17-year-olds — that eMarketer isn’t including in its data.

Instagram’s expected growth. eMarketer predicts Instagram users will spend an average 27-minutes per day on the app, up a minute from last year. This number will keep growing a minute per year through 2021, according to the research firm. Even with that growth, the average amount of time on Instagram will still lag at least eight-minutes behind the average amount of time users are expected to spend on Facebook two years from now.

Why we should care. Overall, eMarketer reports the average amount of time people spent per day on social networks in the U.S. dropped by nearly 1.5 minutes last year, a number that will remain “virtually” unchanged this year according to eMarketer’s forecasts.

“Gains in digital video viewing are putting pressure on social time,” said Williamson, “And gaming is also creating new competition for user attention.” Williamson said eMarketer cannot confirm if there is a direct cause-effect relationship between the growth in these activities and social media usage, but there does appear to be a threat in terms of user engagement among the channels.

These estimates most likely will have little immediate impact on ad campaign budgeting or results. Social media usage may be flattening, but people are still showing up. And while Facebook growth looks to be flat, the average amount of time users are spending on the site still outperforms the average amount of time users are on Instagram.

For marketers targeting a younger demographic, eMarketer’s report offers little guidance as it is not tracking usage by anyone younger than 18-years old.



Facebook contractors categorize your private posts to train AI

The practice raises a few privacy concerns.

At any given time, Facebook has thousands of third-party staffers around the world looking at and labeling Facebook and Instagram posts. The work is meant to help train AI and to inform new products. But because the contractors see users’ public and private posts, some view it as a violation of privacy.

According to Reuters, as many as 260 contract workers in Hyderabad, India have spent more than a year labeling millions of Facebook posts dating back to 2014. They look for the subject of the post, the occasion and the author’s intent, and Facebook told Reuters, the company uses that information to develop new features and to potentially increase usage and ad revenue.

Around the globe, Facebook has as many as 200 similar content labeling projects, many of which are used to train the company’s AI. As Reuterspoints out, that’s not uncommon. Many companies hire staff for “data annotation” — like helping AI identify traffic lights or pedestrians in videos.

But that probably won’t make Facebook users feel any better. The contractors working in Hyderabad told Reuters they see everything from text-based status updates to videos, photos and Stories across Facebook and Instagram — including those that are shared privately. And even as Facebook embarks on its “the future is private” platform, one Facebook employee told Reuters he can’t imagine the practice going away. It’s a core part of training AI and developing the company’s products.

Instagram test visualizes hiding ‘Like’ counts from viewers

This photo of an egg published on the social network Instagram via the account ‘world_record_egg’ became, over ten days, the most liked photo in the world with more than 33 million ‘likes’, which makes it the the most ‘liked’ image in the history of the social network.

Everyone has their own opinion about what specifically is wrong with social media, but the currency of likes is a commonly-cited issue. The latest grab bag of Instagram test features dug up by Jane Manchun Wongincludes a version that doesn’t let the audience see how many likes a post gets. The person who posted it still does, but as the app describes it, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who share a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”

Maybe that would help spread out the love on social media instead of people simply liking what others like, or maybe it wouldn’t have much of an impact at all. Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s an internal test the public can’t see — yet. It also didn’t hide follower counts, which more commonly measure one’s popularity, nor did it appear to impact the way posts are ranked by Instagram’s inescapable algorithmic feed. Still, at least we’d never have to hear about the ‘most-liked post ever’ ever again (even it was ultimately for a good cause).


Facebook gives you more control over what you see in your News Feed

It’s also getting more transparent about the ads you come across on the site.

Facebook has announced a new feature called “Why am I seeing this post?” which will help you better understand the content that shows up on your News Feed from friends, Pages and Groups you follow. Not only that, but this will also give you more control over what you see in the News Feed, letting you easily manage the posts you interact with on the site. The company says this is the first time it has built information on how News Feed ranking works directly into the Facebook app, noting that it is part of its efforts to be more transparent with users about how its algorithms target you.

To get access to the new tool, first reported by The Telegraph, all you have to do is click or tap the drop-down menu on the right hand corner of a post. From there, you’ll be able to view info at a glance on why you’re seeing certain posts on your News Feed — e.g. because you’re a member of X Group or Page on Facebook — as well as manage the content you’d like to see more or less of. You’ll get shortcuts to controls to help you further personalize your News Feed too, including See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts.

Facebook says that during its research for the “Why am I seeing this post” feature, which is available starting today, it learned that people wanted more than transparency on its News Feed algorithms. They wanted more control, and that’s why it decided to roll out the tools to make it simpler for users to manage the posts they see on their feed.

In addition to these changes, Facebook is updating its “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool to make it even more transparent than before. Now, on top of showing you factors like basic demographics or interests that may have contributed to an ad you came across on the site, Facebook will let you know when information on an advertiser’s list matches your profile. What’s more, Facebook is providing details if an advertiser uploaded your personal data to its database, such as email and phone number, or whether it worked with another marketing partner to try to target you with an ad.

“Both of these updates are part of our ongoing investment in giving people more context and control across Facebook,” the company said in a blog post. “We will continue to listen to your feedback and evolve these features over time.”

At a time when Facebook is under heavy scrutiny by the public and governments, it needs to be as transparent as possible with users. The new features certainly don’t solve all of its problems, but at least they’re a step in the right direction.

Source: Engaget & Facebook

The Difference Between a Social Media Manager and a Community Manager

A lot of people get confused when talking about social media management and community management. So we asked the question: What is the difference between a social media manager and a community manager?

Social Media Manager vs Community Manager
For smaller companies, one person may take on both roles; but in general, the two jobs are very different. Social media managers basically act as the brand while community managers represent and advocate for the brand with their own voice and via their own social presence.

Social Media Manager: The SMM’s job is to BE the brand on social. They develop a social strategy for the business and execute from every angle. They act as the brand in every sense; they create, curate and schedule content that best reflects their brand voice. They manage campaigns and report on social analytics. They also monitor conversations on social accounts and engage with their audience under the mask of the brand.

Community Manager: The CM’s job is essentially to act as a spokesman for a brand and use their own voice to build a loyal community. This can be either on their own social accounts or by using the brand’s social account but announcing they are “taking over” for a period of time. Their job is much more customer-focused. They connect with their followers, stimulate conversations, make customers feel valued and try to spread brand awareness outside of that group.

Thanks for stopping by, hope this was helpful!

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

Content is the heart of any social media strategy – neglecting to create valuable and engaging social media content will leave you extremely frustrated with your results.

And while creating a social media content strategy isn’t rocket science, many brands miss the mark, and fail to deliver on what users are seeking from companies when engaging on social channels. To create a social media content strategy, brands absolutely need to create content that users want to consume.

So, what do consumers want from brands on social media? A recent study has interesting findings:

72% of consumers want discounts or sales
60% of consumers want posts that showcase new products/services
59% of consumers want posts that inform
56% of consumers want posts that entertain
49% of consumers want posts that inspire
41% of consumers want posts about company happenings

By understanding what users want to see in their feeds, brands can create more effective content strategies, which will help to maximize your social media success and business impact.

When building out a content strategy, we recommend approaching it in three defined phases: ‘Planning’, ‘Publishing’ and ‘Measuring’.

1. Planning
In the planning phase, brands should keep in mind what they have to offer as an entity, and present those elements through the lens of what consumers want. In short, process what makes your brand special and present that story with elements of education, entertainment inspiration and provide value.

You should always align your social media content strategy with these concepts. While it’s tempting to always talk about what you offer, be conscious that there’s much more to the conversation than just your brand.

Consider the third party sources you might want to include in your content plan, and don’t be shy to showcase like-minded (and non-competitive) branded content.

2. Publishing
Once your planning is wrapped up and you know what your overarching messaging will be, you’ll next want to draft content in an organized way.

We highly recommend employing a Social Media Content Calendar. A content calendar enables you to set a visible plan on what kind of content is going to be published and when.

When building your calendar, there are a few elements we highly recommend:

Day – This tells you which day of the week the content will be published
Date – This tells you the date the content will be published
Topic – This tells you the topic of the content piece – very useful when trying to ensure your content strategy is dynamic and diverse (it’s easy to accidentally be repetitive)
Message – This is the copy of your post – be sure to spell check
Notes – This section is where you can include reminders, hashtags or anything else that you might need to remember when it comes to publishing your content
Image – Place the link to the image that goes with your copy here. We typically use Google Drive to host these files, but you may store the images locally, which is fine. Just place that location here
Once your social media content calendar is set, you can then begin to publish. We recommend a social media management platform like Sprout Social to schedule content in advance. Very useful.

It also goes without saying, but after your content is published, you’ll want to keep an eye on engagement, and reply appropriately.

3. Measuring
Sure, Planning and Publishing might seem like the only two actual steps in a social media content strategy, however, in order to optimize your efforts, you have to also measure as much as possible.

In this phase, you’ll want to take a top-level view of your data for a set time period, in order to determine which performed the best. A key thing to keep in mind here is that different content pieces might have different objectives – for example, a meme that’s intended to entertain should be judged by engagement, whereas a post that links to a blog post should be judged by clicks.

For those new to social media measurement, here are the key performance indicators we recommend tracking when it comes to analyzing your social media content strategy:

Impressions – The amount of times people saw your content.
Engagements – The amount of reactions, comments and shares your content wins.
Clicks – The amount of times links in your content get clicked
To improve anything, in work or life, we must measure it. Measuring your social media content strategy gives you the ability to optimize against what is working well and remove content that isn’t resonating with your audience.

These are the basic, fundamental steps you need to have in place for an effective social media content strategy. There’s obviously a lot of depth to each, and you can take it as far as you need, but without some level of planning in place, you’re simply not going to maximize your social media marketing results.

12 Analytical Tools For Social Media

Analytics is at the core of any marketing strategy, and social media marketing, of course, is no exception. Quite the opposite – digital marketing, with its array of platforms, ad and promotional options might actually require more measurement and analysis than any other marketing activity.

In order to maximize your campaign performance, you need to measure your every effort. As the saying goes – what can’t be measured, can’t be improved.

For this reason, I’ve put together a list of powerful social media analytics tools to benefit your campaigns. Used well, these apps will help you clarify how good your social media marketing strategy is, and highlight any problems and tendencies which are impeding your success.

Basically, these tools will give you the numbers you need to develop an effective social media marketing plan. Check them out, and find the right analytics tool for your organization.

1. Awario

Awario is a social media monitoring tool with powerful analytics elements. The tool analyzes online mentions of your business in order to provide you with statistics on mention growth, reach, a list of mentions’ languages and locations, their sentiment and where on the web they’re occurring.

Awario also analyzes people on social media who’ve used your keywords – be they your brand keywords or your industry keywords – and displays a list of social media influencers in your niche.

And by creating alerts (e.g., one for your brand and another two for your main competitors), you can get a step-by-step comparison of your social media performance against that of your competition. Awario can also display a “share of voice” graph, which shows how much ‘online buzz’ your business is generating by comparison to your main competitors.

Price: Starts at $29/mo. Sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

2. Snaplytics

Snaplytics provides detailed performance data for Instagram and Snapchat, including insights on Stories and overall follower growth. With Snaplytics, you can easily see which acquisition methods work best, and what causes spikes and falls in engagement levels, helping to optimize your platform approach.

You can also create custom reports and export data in a CSV file.

Price: Contact for pricing or start a free 14-day trial here.

3. Squarelovin

Squarelovin is an analytics tool made specifically for Instagram – the tool tracks likes and followers, reviews post performance and measures overall profile engagement. It also highlights the best times to post, best filters to use and hashtags, along with a history of your posts, broken down by hour. You can also get more insight into your audience’s preferences and interests.

Price: Freemium, create a free account here.

4. Rival IQ

Rival IQ analyzes posts, likes, and comments from all the major social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. The platform is integrated with Google Analytics, enabling it to display a comprehensive picture of how your customers get to you, and what they do when they arrive.

Rival IQ analyzes Facebook and Instagram ads separately, to help ensure that you’re getting the most out of them, while it can also provide competitive insight on the same, so that you can see what’s working for your competition, and learn from their tactics. For Instagram, the tool shows demographics, unfollowers and active times for your audience.

You can also set up automatic reports that will arrive regularly in your inbox.

Price: Starts at $199/mo. Start your free 14-day trial here.

5. Union Metrics

Union Metrics monitors Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and analyzes a whole range of metrics. It provides insight into which content is performing best across each platform, the times when your audience is most active throughout the day, and who your key influencers are. On top of that, Union Metrics also tracks relevant trends to give you ideas for new content. In the most expensive plan, there are also language and geo reporting options, as well as full data export.

The tool also offers competitor analysis, and can show you comparative share of voice within your niche.

Price: Starts at $49/mo. Request a trial here.

6. Keyhole

Keyhole is a social media monitoring tool which also provides deep analytics for Twitter and Instagram. The app provides access to a range of metrics, all in visually appealing graphs – at a glance, for example, you can learn the total number of posts which include your target keywords, and how mention volume has changed over time. Keyhole also displays engagement data, sentiment, hashtag usage trends, and reach stats.

The tool also provides insights into influencers and trends within your niche, as well as audience demographics, languages and locations.

Price: Starts at $199/mo. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial here.

7. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools, and analytics is a big part of what the platform provides. Through Hootsuite’s various tools, you can get key metrics from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, including audience and post insights and performance data, all presented in easy to use graphs and charts.

In addition to this, Hootsuite also provides helpful tracking and performance insights for larger social teams – Hootsuite’s team management tools provide data on various elements, including how long it takes for mentions, comments and private messages to be responded to and resolved.

All reports by Hootsuite are customizable, and all the available metrics are easy to export and share with the team members and/or clients.

Price: Starts at $19/mo. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

8. Sprout Social

Much like Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media management platform which provides its users with helpful analytics. The tool measures performance and engagement across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and compares your data to that of your competitors. Sprout can also identify your best performing content, and show you how your ads are performing by comparing paid versus organic impressions and fans gained.

Recently, Sprout also acquired a social analytics firm Simply Measured, making its analytics component more robust.

Price: Starts at $99/mo. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

9. Tailwind

Tailwind is a management and analytics tool for Pinterest and Instagram – Tailwind enables you to track followers, boards, repins, likes and comments. The tool also provides insight into audience engagement, including when your followers are most active, helping to optimize performance. The app also analyzes trends, ad revenue and traffic from Pinterest with an easy Google Analytics integration.

Price: Starts at $9.99/mo. You can try the tool for free by signing up with Instagram or Pinterest.

10. Sotrender

Sotrender is a powerful social media analytics tool which highlights where conversations about your brand take place, which content performs best and how your audience engages with each. The tool covers Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and it analyzes competitors’ performance as well, making it easy for you to compare your results.

Based on the performed analysis, the tool also provides tips on what to improve in your marketing strategy.

Price: Starts at €49/mo. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial here.

11. Wiselytics

Wiselytics is a social media analytics platform that offers loads of information for free. It covers Facebook and Twitter only, but it displays all the key metrics for these two platforms, including reach, engagement, and amplification over time. It provides the same for competitors, and can identify the topics that are most popular with your audience.

Wiselytics generates editable PowerPoint reports in just one click in one of six languages.

Price: Freemium, create a free account here.

12. Socialbakers

Socialbakers analyzes your audience’s interests, the content that performs best, finds social media influencers, monitors mentions of your brand and measures the sentiment behind the mentions. Based on the data it gathers, Socialbakers tells you who your buying personas are.

In the paid version, Socialbakers covers Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vkontake, and Pinterest. The tool lets you export data in all possible formats (PPT, CSV, PDF, PNG) and create custom reports.

Price: Price on request, choose your plan & try for free here.


As you can see, there are plenty of social media analytics tools to choose from. I encourage you to try as many as possible – thankfully, most of them have a free trial – and choose the ones that are best for your business. Your choice will depend on your budget, your preferred social platforms, and of course, your goals.

How much stats can you handle? How much do you need to create an ultimate social media marketing strategy? Only you can tell.

Instagram Adds Option to Link to Instagram Stories, Expands Stories Promote Tool

This is an interesting one – Instagram looks to be rolling out a new option which would enable users to share a direct link back to an Instagram Story, providing a new way to boost Stories awareness and engagement.

Spotted by user Lindsey Gamble, the new option looks to provide a separate URL for an Instagram Story – either your own or someone else’s.

The addition could be a big bonus for brands who are looking to maximize their investment in Stories creation. Part of what’s initially caused some businesses to hold off on going all-in on Stories is the ephemeral nature of the option, with that content you’ve worked hard to create – and/or paid good money for – disappearing after 24 hours. The addition of Stories Archive and Highlights in late 2017 changed this, while more recently, Instagram’s also been looking to add in more ways to help brands raise awareness of their on-platform content, including Nametag Codes and simplified Stories cross-posting to Facebook.

The ability to share your Stories via a separate link was actually rolled out on Snapchat early last year, though limited to only certain Stories. Given that, it’s actually surprising Instagram has taken so long to catch up – they normally replicate Snapchat’s features at a much faster clip.

The Promote tool, available via the ‘More’ menu at the bottom right of your Stories frame, enables users to either drive traffic to their website, to their Instagram profile or to prompt viewers to send them a message via their Direct inbox.

Given parent company Facebook’s broader emphasis on Stories, it makes sense for Instagram to be rolling out these tools, and both could have significant implications for brands looking to make best use of the option.

The capacity to drive traffic back to your Stories via other social networks – or even via your website or e-mail newsletter – could be hugely beneficial for brand use, while Stories promotion could also provide another avenue to boost interest in your content, even if, initially, some users might be a little surprised by Stories content from profiles they don’t follow appearing in their feed.

5 Ways to Generate More Engagement (and Reach) on Facebook

Facebook organic reach and engagement has taken a significant hit in recent times. That’s not great news for brands looking to use the platform to generate business, but reminding yourself of some basic engagement “hacks” can be a good way to increase your Facebook traction with the fans you already have.

This is important, because nurturing your current audience will lead to more success in attracting new followers. In this post I’ll highlight a few ways to “trick” the Facebook algorithm to help generate more engagement from your fans, and therefore more reach to new audiences.

1. Try posting links in the first comment

Now, I haven’t tried this one personally, but I’ve seen other big players in the social media space use this tactic.

Here’s a little background on why this is a good idea – Facebook likes to keep people on its platform. This means that Facebook’s News Feed algorithm doesn’t particularly like posts which take people to an outside website, so any post with an off-platform link could, theoretically, be penalized, and shown to fewer people within your audience.

As an alternative approach, you could try creating a longer form caption, then letting your audience know that if they want more information they can find the link in the first comment on the post.

Again, I don’t have any definitive data on this, but it’s something to consider in your experiments.

2. Post engaging content in between website links

My second tip is a little more obvious, and really, an old-school Facebook marketing strategy – though it remains a solid one.

The first step is to get to know your audience – research similar Pages, pay attention to your analytics and understand what it is that your followers like and respond to. Then, you should look to create content which is super engaging, before you even try posting any of your own links.

This principle behind this is that since you’ve posted amazing content that your audience loves before you’ve sought to use the same to drive website traffic, the algorithm will look at your Page content more favorably, because it will know that you’re already driving significant engagement. Therefore, your posts with links will, ideally, be granted the same reach benefits.

3. Use Messenger Bots

Using chatbots and Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers and keep fans updated is one of the new hot topics in social media marketing. Connecting through Messenger gives you the opportunity to interact with people who may not like your Page (yet), and I’ve seen some really great Messenger bots which link you to different content based on your responses (I’m currently giving one a spin on my own Facebook fan page).

Messenger bots can be used for lead nurturing, retaining customers, and sharing your knowledge. Although chatbots may seem a little daunting to set up (the thought deterred me from trying for a while), there’s a range of some tools that can make this easier on you.

Within your Facebook Page messaging option, you can set up instant replies, and replies to frequently asked questions. For a more robust messenger chat bot you can try a third party service.

4. Try videos and live videos

I can’t stress the importance of incorporating videos into your social media strategy enough – it’s not so much that the News Feed Algorithm loves video necessarily, but videos are just a more popular form of content to consume.

Using tools like Adobe Spark PostQuikVideoshopBoomerang and Hyperlapse can make the process of creating quality videos for your posts easier – Facebook even has some built-in video creation tools (including the slideshow post option and video effects for boosted posts).

But the easiest way to dive into videos is by going live. Live-streaming creates a sense of urgency, while it’s also a pretty simple way to interact with your audience without needing a fancy set up.

5. Boost Posts

You might not want to hear this, but boosting posts is also a viable, and effective, way to increase your Facebook audience engagement.

The positive is that you don’t need a huge budget. Try putting some money behind posts which organically perform well. The key here is to target the right audience effectively – you can target people who follow your Page, or anyone who’s engaged with your Page in the past.

This type of targeting is efficient because you’re reaching people who are already familiar with your work, and will most likely be happy to see more from you.

Will you try these “hacks” to help you with the Facebook algorithm and get some engagement back from your current followers? Remember this year we should focus on the audience we have, and the new eyes will follow.

China cracks down on Twitter users critical of its government

It won’t surprise you to hear that China keeps a tight lid on homegrown social networks, but it’s now doing more to stifle free expression on outside networks, too. The New York Times reported that Chinese law enforcement recently began a crackdown on residents who post criticism of the government on Twitter, even though the service is officially blocked inside the country. Police have threatened action, interrogated activists for hours and detained at least one person for 15 days.

And when officials demand that tweets disappear, they don’t necessarily take “no” for an answer. When human rights campaigner Wang Aizhong refused to delete his tweets, someone hijacked his account and deleted 3,000 of his messages. While there’s no confirmation of who was responsible, Wang put the blame on government-linked hackers who insisted on silencing him.

The likely aim, as you might imagine, is to maintain the ruling party’s authority and control the country’s image. China is happy to use Twitter and other foreign social networks to promote its official point of view, but doesn’t want its residents to challenge that view on those same networks. And unfortunately, that makes life even more difficult for activists who may lose access to one of their few remaining public outlets.

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