Category Archives: Digital Marketing

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.



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.

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.

Instagram cracks down on fake likes, follows and comments

Instagram announced today that it’s cracking down on the use of third-party apps to boost growth. The company said that apps that generate fake likes, follows and comments violate its policies and going forward, those who use these sorts of apps will be prompted to stop. “We’re taking a number of steps to limit this kind of unwelcome behavior,” Instagram said. “Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we have removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others.” They’ll also be asked to change their passwords.

Instagram said that it has built machine learning tools that are capable of spotting which accounts use these types of third-party apps, which often ask for users’ passwords in order to dole out fake interactions on their behalf. Those who continue to use these apps will “see their Instagram experience impacted,” the company said. Instagram told TechCrunch that those impacts could, for example, be limited access to certain features.

This move follows Facebook’s actions against accounts engaged in inauthentic activity, which are typically the sorts of accounts linked to misinformation campaigns on the platform. “Since the early days of Instagram, we have auto-detected and removed fake accounts to protect our community,” the company said. “Today’s update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways.”

Twitter sunsets the ability to create Moments on mobile

Starting on October 23rd, you’ll have to go straight to Twitter’s website if you want to create a Moment. The platform has killed the ability to create Moments within the iOS and Android apps, because it’s apparently not seeing a lot of use. “When features aren’t used as often,” it explained on Twitter Support, “we’ll remove them, so we can focus on building other products you’ll love.”

Moments gives you a way to stitch multiple tweets (including ones with images and videos) together to tell a story, impart a message or provide event recaps. They’re curated stories that live within their own tab. Twitter didn’t explain why it’s spending time and energy pulling the feature out of the apps if it’s not seeing a lot of use in the first place. It’s possible that the company came to the conclusion that maintaining the feature for mobile would take too much effort and is more trouble than its worth.


Instagram DOWN – Social network not working as outage hits hundreds of users

Instagram users are facing a night without access to the popular social media app as it appears to be down and not working.

Problems seem to have started at around 9.45pm tonight with hundreds of reports across the UK and many parts of Europe.

Independent website monitor, Down Detector, is showing a surge of issues with users currently unable to access or use the app.

Down Detector is an independent website which tracks social mentions around certain topics to detect outages across the globe.

Users of the Facebook-owned social network have also begun flocking to rival service Twitter to report issues with Instagram.

One fan of the app tweeted: “My instagram is down so I had to come on twitter and make sure I’m not the only one

And another added: “The app is completely down, I can‘t even log in – like what is going on?”

It’s currently unclear what is causing the problems, or when Instagram will be back online.

This isn’t the first time this year that Instagram users have faced issues with the app.

Instagram has been hit by a number of outages in 2018 with a number of users unable to access the app as early as last month.

Outages also hit Instagram in May and July.

Along with Instagram it also appears some other Facebook-owned services are also struggling tonight with WhatsApp and Facebook fans suffering problems.

One Facebook users confirmed: “My Facebook just keeps coming up with an error message when I try to log on saying error code 1”

And another added: “Just getting a message: “Service Unavailable”



Facebook Adds New Authorization Process for Page Managers

Facebook ‘s rolling out the next stage of its expanded transparency push, with users who manage ‘large’ Facebook Pages being asked to go through a new authorization process before they’ll be able to continue publishing posts on the Page.

As outlined in the above example flow, the authorization process will prompt users who manage Pages with large potential reach to secure their account with two-factor authentication, and confirm their primary country location. The process is rolling out first to US businesses, with Facebook looking to expand the system more broadly over time.

Facebook doesn’t specifically explain how ‘large’ a Page needs to be to qualify, but if your Page manager/s do require authorization, they’ll receive a notice at the top of their News Feed to begin the process.

This Page banner will be visible on your affected Pages until the required users have completed all steps of Page Publishing Authorization – if they don’t complete authorization by the deadline provided in your initial notification, they’ll lose the ability to post as the Page.

The effort’s part of Facebook’s push “prevent organizations and individuals from creating accounts which mislead people about who they are or what they’re doing.” This comes on the back of interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election campaign, where Pages which looked like regular business and fan accounts were actually fronts set-up by foreign organizations, who used those Pages to influence voter behavior.

Facebook also notes that these latest updates will also be coming soon to Instagram, providing a broader overview across the two Facebook properties.

Some might see this is an annoyance, having to go through another process to maintain their Page management capabilities, but it seems a small price to pay in order to deliver a more accountable, transparent process.

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