Tuesday, 22 May 2018

How Facebook Marketing is Changing (And How to Be Prepared)

Too busy to read? Just click the play button below to listen to this post.

Facebook, as a platform, is barely recognizable from the social network that launched to connect Harvard University students in February 2004.

And looking ahead, the Facebook of five years from now is highly unlikely to resemble the product that 2.2 billion people use every month right now.

That’s no bad thing. If Facebook is to thrive over the next 5, 10, 15+ years, it’ll need to evolve.

Here’s where we think it’s heading…

Back in January, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, outlined his vision for the future of Facebook on his Page:

What followed was an update that would prioritize posts from friends and family over public content from Pages in the News Feed.

And just a couple of weeks back, Facebook announced another significant update that could signal a new path for the platform — an update that only developers are likely to have picked up on so far.

On April 25, Facebook announced some API changes on its developer blog:

The `publish_actions` permission will be deprecated. This permission granted apps access to publish posts to Facebook as the logged in user. Apps created from today onwards will not have access to this permission. Apps created before today that have been previously approved to request `publish_actions` can continue to do so until August 1, 2018.

These changes mean that developers, and platforms like Buffer, will be unable to post content on behalf of personal Facebook profiles. This brings Facebook’s API in-line with Instagram’s, meaning developers can only post to business profiles and pages on both Facebook and Instagram.

For more information on how these API changes relate to the Buffer product, you read this full overview with all the details in the Buffer FAQ.

At Buffer, we believe it paints a pretty clear picture that Facebook wants individuals to be interacting with its products (Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp) and others on the networks in a manual, deliberate way — whether that is posting content, consuming content or engaging with content.

What this means for the Facebook ecosystem

Facebook seems very keen to encourage more users to share content and counter the decline of user-generated posts.

For example, its recent focus on Stories and Groups could be seen as a way to encourage more unique content. This, coupled with the “meaningful interactions” update, shows that Facebook might be hoping that more unique content shared by users, reaching more of their closest friends and family will help to spark more conversation and interaction on the platform.

In his January update, Zuckerberg shared:

The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.

For many, Facebook has evolved into a passive experience. Somewhere you go to view a photo, read a news story or watch a video, but not a place you share and engage with friends.

Throughout 2018, and beyond, Facebook will likely continue to experiment with ways to connect users to those closest to them and encourage time on Facebook to be time well spent.

So rather than prioritizing content that might grab a user’s attention, but drive little interaction, Facebook will favor the content that sparks conversations and brings people closer together.

As Brian Peters’ explained in a recent post:

Active interactions such as sharing, commenting, and reacting will hold much more weight than “passive” interactions such as clicking, viewing, or hovering.

The API changes could also help from a privacy and trust standpoint too, as users will know that every update shared by themselves as well as their friends and family will have come directly from them.

So no apps or third-party products will be posting on their behalf or accessing their own or their friends’ data without being given really explicit permission.

What this means for businesses on Facebook

It appears that Facebook wants to encourage businesses to continue to create and share high-quality content on its platform and will continue to support third-party tools (like Buffer) that help businesses to create, schedule, publish and analyze the performance of their content.

At Buffer, we also believe that these changes will help to make Facebook a “healthy” environment for both businesses and individuals. As Joel recently shared:

These new restrictions are more likely to affect products that are pushing the boundaries of what are healthy social media strategies. We believe that the changes will result in a healthier ecosystem for Facebook and Instagram and, by extension, a better place to be for our mutual users.

But what does this mean for marketing on Facebook? Here are a couple of thoughts… 

Fewer posts will receive organic reach

Overall, I believe that this might lead to marketing on Facebook feeling a little more like search engine marketing — a direction we’ve been heading in for a couple of years as organic reach has declined.

On Facebook now, some of your best content will still reach your audience and organically take off (similar to reaching page 1 of Google for a relevant keyword) and this will happen for 1-2% of the best content on Facebook.

And for those pieces of content that don’t break through organically, Facebook’s advertising product offers the chance to display your content to your target audience using its incredibly powerful targeting features (similar to using Google AdWords).

Content should become a destination

There’s also an opportunity for businesses to start thinking about episodic content — the type of stuff your audience will actively seek out if they get into a routine of knowing when it’s published.

Much like how people might purposefully open Netflix to watch the latest episode of their favorite series, people will begin to actively seek out the best content on Facebook.

Moz’s Whiteboard Friday has made their blog a go-to destination for search engine marketers for a few years. And now we’re seeing similar on Facebook. For example, The Ringer’s NBA Desktop show has basketball fans heading to their Facebook Page to check out the latest episode every Tuesday and Friday.

But episodic content doesn’t have to mean high-end video production. It could be a weekly Facebook Live session, daily featured images or a question of the day (using Facebook’s polling feature).

Marketers need to start thinking about how they can make their content worth seeking out. It’s almost like “Inbound Marketing 2.0”.

Instead of interrupting the Facebook News Feed with content, how can you make your content a destination for your target audience?

That’s the big challenge ahead for social media marketers.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on the future of Facebook marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

source https://blog.bufferapp.com/future-of-facebook

Friday, 18 May 2018

How to Share Posts From the Instagram Feed to Stories

Instagram has released a new way for users to easily share feed posts to stories.

More than 300 million users now use Instagram stories daily and this update will enable them to share any post from their Instagram feed directly to stories.

On their blog Instagram explained:

When you come across something in feed that inspires you — like a post from a friend raising money for a cause or a photo of a new design from your favorite brand — you can now quickly share that post as a sticker to your story for your friends and followers to see.

How to share feed posts to Instagram Stories

To share feed posts to stories:

  1.  Tap the paper airplane button below the post (like you would to send a direct message)
  2. You’ll then see an option on the following menu to “Create a story with this post”
  3. Tap it to see the feed post as a sticker with a customized background ready to share to your story.You can move, resize or rotate the photo or video. You can also use drawing tools or add text and stickers.

Any post shared to a story will include a link back to the original post and include the original poster’s username.

Only posts from public Instagram accounts can be shared to stories. If you have a public account and would like to opt-out from letting people share your posts to stories, you can do so within Instagram’s settings.

In a recent episode of The Science of Social Media, hosts, Hailley and Brian discussed this update (around the 4:45 mark in the below audio):

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest social media news and views? Subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.

How brands can use this feature

Many brands and influencers already use stories as a way to drive attention to their latest feed. And this update will be a welcome improvement by allowing them to directly link to their latest feed posts, rather than taking a screenshot of a post and manually adding it to stories.

Now there will also be a link back to the post directly, making it easier for viewers to engage with the original feed post.

As Brian mentions in the podcast, this could enable brands to use stories as a way to cross-promote their feed posts to their audience on stories — people who may have potentially missed the post in the feed.

“One of the reasons we love stories so much is that it can be used as cross-promote content and now users will be able to go from stories directly to your feed,” he explained.

Hailley also drew comparisons between this feature and Twitter’s quote tweet functionality, where users can share content from the feed, but also add their own thoughts and context around it.

This is another exciting update from Instagram and it helps to better connect the feed to stories  as well as providing a way for users to re-share some of their favorite Instagram content in a more public way than sharing with a couple of friends via a direct message.

What do you think to this release from Instagram? Will it change how you use Instagram stories for your business? Let us know in the comments 💬


source https://blog.bufferapp.com/instagram-share-feed-posts-to-stories

Thursday, 10 May 2018

How the Miami Dolphins Generated $4 Million in Sales Using Facebook Video

Too busy to read? Just click the play button below to listen to this post.

Lead generation is an important task for any marketing department.

And for most companies lead generation means focusing on creating lead capture forms and driving traffic back to those forms.

But that’s not the only way to generate new leads for your business.

Nowadays, social media content can play an integral role in lead generation for businesses of all sizes.

But how does someone go from viewing a piece of content on Facebook to making a purchase?

Look no further than the NFL’s Miami Dolphins…

How the Miami Dolphins generate leads from Facebook video

In 2017, the Dolphins became the #1 ranked NFL team for video views on Facebook.

Alone, that’s quite an achievement, yet the Dolphins didn’t just use their video content as a way to boost engagement with fans, it was also a key part of their lead generation strategy.

During an off-season marketing campaign to sell season tickets, the Dolphins used data generated from the likes, comments and shares their videos to better target people who they felt were likely to become season ticket holders and results are astonishing:

25 percent of new season ticket memberships during the 2017 season was a direct result of leads generated from engaging with social media content. This brought in more than $4 million in revenue for the team.

The strategy: How to generate leads using social Facebook video

Step 1: Create content

Social media content is the most important part of this strategy. Without content, the Dolphins wouldn’t have been able to target such an engaged, receptive audience.

For this campaign, the Dolphins created a series of videos called ‘The Life’. The Life focused on the Dolphins organization, the Miami community, and the players. The videos featured no mentions of season ticket sales. Instead, they focused on telling stories that might resonate with new and existing fans.

Note: The Life is one of 11 video shows the Dolphins have published directly to Facebook, including:

  • Dolphins DailyA short, daily roundup of news from the Dolphins franchise.
  • The Grind: Behind-the-scenes content from practice sessions.
  • The Audible: A live, interactive podcast show.

Step 2: Create an Engagement Custom Audience

Next, the Dolphins created engagement custom audiences on Facebook. These audiences were made up of fans who had interacted with their chosen pieces of content. This meant that the Dolphins could target people specific ads at people who had interacted with content.

Step 3: Build a relationship using Lead Ads

Instead of trying to make a sale directly on Facebook, the Dolphins instead focused on creating leads.

The Dolphins used Facebook Lead ads to re-connect with fans who engaged with their video content. The lead ads invited each user to sign up for various events at the new stadium or receive more information about ticket packages.

Following the link from these ads would enable the user to share their details with a Dolphins sales rep:

Step 4: Make the sale

Once people had signed up for the events from the Lead ads, the Dolphins were able to start making sales right away. And as we mentioned at the start of this post, 25% of new season ticket memberships during the 2017 season were a direct result of leads generated on Facebook.

Scale your lead generation strategy with social media content

The Miami Dolphins might be one of the most famous and richest sports franchises in the world, but the great thing about their lead generation strategy is that any business can replicate it—all you need is great content to get the ball rolling.

Instead of going right in for the sale, think about how you can create an audience of leads using content and gradually move them down your sales funnel using various ad-types.

This strategy works even if you don’t have a sales team and simply want to move leads through your funnel using Facebook Ads. For example, here’s a simplified look at how a lead-gen campaign might look for a fitness product:

  • Step: 1 First, you might create a video ad showing a simple home workout for people in your audience who are interested in fitness:
  • Step 2: Next, you could create a Facebook carousel ad looking to drive clicks to your website and increase brand awareness amongst people who watched 10 percent of the fitness video you created for step 1:
  • Step 3: Then, you might create a conversion focused ad aiming to get people who clicked the link in the previous ad to become customers of your fitness company:

Content has proven to be a huge success as a way to generate leads for the Miami Dolphins and many other businesses on Facebook — we’ve even experimented with this technique at Buffer as a way to move leads through our funnel.

Have you ever used content as a way to generate leads for your business? I’d love to hear your experiences and any tips you might have.

source https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-lead-generation

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

What the GDPR Means to Social Media Marketers

Up to €20 million…

or four percent of your total worldwide annual turnover of the previous financial year, whichever higher.

That’s the penalty for failing to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU’s new data privacy law.

Okay, sorry to start this post on such a heavy note, but the GDPR is very important to comply with. And not only that, I believe that the new regulation is something we should fully embrace as I can see it bringing around positive changes that could be beneficial to both customers and businesses.

In this post, I’ll share some benefits of the GDPR for your business and your customers. I’ll also cover several key things to note for social media marketing.

Disclaimer: This is my personal understanding of the GDPR based on my research and only covers social media marketing. To ensure that you’re in compliant with all aspects of the GDPR, you should consult your legal advisor.

What the GDPR Means to Social Media Marketers

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data privacy regulation that aims to give individuals in the EU protection and control over their personal data. This affects how businesses can collect and use personal data.

The regulation will be enforceable from May 25, 2018.

While it is an EU law, it is applicable to any organization with personal data of EU citizens and residents. So if you are a business with customers in the EU, the GDPR will be applicable to you when you are handling personal data of your EU customers.

Why the GDPR is beneficial to your business

If you have read the regulation or started preparing for it, you might notice that it requires some effort to be fully compliant with the regulation. But I think there are several potential wins for your business:

  • Greater trust: Your customers will know what data of theirs is collected and how it will be used.
  • Better email engagement: Only people who are interested in and who choose to opt-in to your email will receive your content.
  • Improved marketing experience: With stricter regulation on the use of personal data for marketing and advertising, consumers will likely have a better experience while surfing the internet (and hopefully become more receptive). This will benefit all businesses that do online marketing.

And these are just from the marketing perspective. For more benefits that being GDPR-compliant can bring to your business, check out this article by Michael Fimin, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix, an IT security software company.

How the GDPR will benefit consumers

Besides benefiting your business, the GDPR is also favorable for your customers in many ways.

  • More privacy: Businesses are required to collect and process only personal data that are necessary for each specific purpose and implement measures to protect personal data.
  • More security of their personal data: With stricter rules on collection and processing of personal data, there would likely be fewer data breaches such as the recent incidents.
  • More control over their shopping experiences: Consumers will be able to decide upfront whether they want to receive marketing emails from businesses or whether they want their website behavior to be tracked for analytics and advertising purposes.

For example, visitors on mailchimp.com can now customize their cookie preferences.

MailChimp advertising cookies

Organic social media marketing

Organic social media is probably a big part of your role as a social media marketer. The good news is that I believe organic social media marketing (i.e. excluding social media advertising) is largely unaffected by the new regulation.

This is because most organic social media activities such as posting content and engaging fans do not collect personal data from people who view or engage with it.

But there are several instances you want to be mindful of:

  • You would not want to export or scrape contact details from your social media followers or groups as that is personal data. (I personally don’t think this is right even without the new regulations)
  • If you are sending traffic from social media to your website and you’re using Google Analytics to track visitor behavior, you will likely need to get consent for that.
  • If you run social media ads, especially lead ads, there are several things to be aware of. Let’s quickly go through them.

Paid social media marketing (or social advertising)

Under the GDPR, if you want to use your customers’ data or track their behavior for advertising, you must obtain the legal basis to do so. That is, you have to obtain an explicit opt-in consent from your customers.

Here are a few key points to know:

  • Your customers must be given a free and genuine choice to accept or reject (and be allowed to easily withdraw their consent).
  • You have to state what data will be collected and how it will be used.
  • The request for consent has to be in a clear and plain language.
  • Inactivity also doesn’t constitute consent. Your customers have to take an action. (E.g. Pre-tick boxes for consent are not allowed.)

As there are very stringent requirements for obtaining consent, it’s best to refer to the regulations directly and check with your legal advisor.

Several social media advertising features use customer data that you upload, collect personal data, or track behavior on your site. If you use any of the following features, it’ll be great to look further into the actions you should take before May 25, 2018:

  • Facebook Pixel
  • Facebook Custom Audiences
  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • LinkedIn Matched Audiences
  • LinkedIn Insight Tag
  • LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
  • Twitter Pixel
  • Twitter Tailored Audiences
  • Pinterest Tag
  • Pinterest Audiences

For more information about advertising on social media platforms under the GDPR, check out the following resources by the respective platforms:

(I can’t seem to find Pinterest’s information about GDPR. If you know of any, would you mind sharing the link to their page in the comments section below? Thanks!)

Lead form ads on Facebook and LinkedIn

There have also been some changes to lead form ads on Facebook and LinkedIn to help you stay in compliant with the GDPR. As you would be collecting data through lead forms, you’ll need to state how the data will be processed and establish a legal basis (e.g. consent) for processing the data.

Facebook lead ads

Before you can create a lead ad on Facebook, you’ll have to explicitly accept their lead ad terms. You can view and accept their terms here. (Also as a refresher, here are Facebook’s advertising policies.)

Facebook lead ads terms

In addition to your privacy policy, Facebook now allows you to add a custom disclaimer and optional consent checkboxes to your lead form. I believe this is to enable you to include all the necessary legal information for collecting personal data under the GDPR on the form.

Facebook lead ad form

LinkedIn lead gen form

To help you comply with the GDPR, LinkedIn has updated its lead generation form so that you can add a link to your privacy policy and a custom text that states how you’ll be using the collected data.

Linkedin lead gen form

LinkedIn also has some suggestions for the custom text. For example, if you are collecting email addresses for your newsletter, you could use “We’ll use your information to register you to receive our newsletters.”

Further GDPR reading resources

The GDPR is a huge and important topic. Here are some of the resources that I have found helpful:

Do you know of any other helpful resources?

Over to you: How are you preparing for GDPR?

As a quick reminder, GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018. It’ll be best to prepare your business for it before that date.

At Buffer, we are working hard to be compliant with the GDPR before the enforcement date. We’ll be sharing an update soon so keep an eye out for it!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. We’ll try our best to answer them.

Image credit: Joshua Sortino on Unsplash, LinkedIn

source https://blog.bufferapp.com/gdpr-social-media

Thursday, 3 May 2018

5 Important Announcements From F8 2018: A Focus on Smaller Communities And The Future of the News Feed

F8 is one of the most important conferences of the year for the social media world.

And over the past couple of days, Facebook has announced a ton of huge updates for its suite of products including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, Oculus, and more.

With so much going on, and so many updates and launches, it can be hard to keep up with. So with F8 2018 in the history books, we thought it’d be useful to recap some of the most important announcements Facebook made during its flagship conference.

Here are five key updates from F8 2018 and some thoughts on what F8 could mean for the social media industry moving forward:

F8 2018: 5 key updates

1. Sharing to Stories

Stories are now an incredibly popular content format, so popular in fact that we may see Stories begin to rival the news feed as the default content consumption and creation method in the not-to-distant future.

As TechCrunch reported, “Nearly a billion accounts across Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger now create and watch these vertical, ephemeral slideshows.”

Instagram Stories alone has more than 300 million daily users. And as people are already using Stories share their interests, Facebook announced that it’s making that experience “faster, easier and more creative.”

Users will now be able to share content from third-party apps directly to their Stories. Instagram explained more on their blog:

From a sticker of your new favorite song on Spotify to action shots from GoPro, it’s now easy to share what you’re up to or how you’re feeling by posting directly to Instagram Stories from other apps. More apps will be adding the sharing to Stories feature soon.

Here’s how sharing to Stories from Spotify will look:

2. Groups tab coming to the Facebook app

During his keynote on day one of F8, Mark Zuckerburg shared that 1.4 billion people are now using Facebook Groups every month.

As such, Facebook is looking to make Groups a more prominent feature for app users by introducing a Groups tab, which will help users navigate to your existing Groups more easily and interact with content from all your Groups.

Discovery also seems to be important for Facebook with Zuckerburg sharing that “later this year, you’ll be able to discover and join new groups through the tab.”

3. Video chat on Instagram

More than 100 million Instagrammers watch or share on Live every day. And Facebook announced that video chat will be available in Instagram Direct in a few weeks offering both one-to-one and group conversations.

This update will enable Instagram users to experience real-time video in a smaller group, without having to broadcast publicly.

Video and group chat seemed to be a big focus during F8, with an announcement that Whatsapp will also be adding group calling in the months ahead. These updates follow on hotly on the heels of Facebook’s group chat app, Bonfire, opening up for testing in late 2017.

4. Instagram’s new Explore tab

Instagram will soon be releasing a redesigned and updated Explore tab that makes it easier for users to discover new content related to their favorite topics.

The content within the Explore tab will now be organized into channels enabling users all of their top interests.

Here’s how the new tab will look when it’s rolled out in a couple of weeks:

5. Messenger refresh, M translations, and AR platform

Messenger now has more than 1.3 billion users every month, and over eight billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month on the Messenger platform.

On stage at F8, David Marcus, Head of Messenger, shared some big announcements relating to the platform:

AR for the Messenger Platform: Messenger is testing new functionality that will give brands the ability to create AR effects and brand experiences.

Similar to Snapchat Lenses, these AR experiences will enable Messenger users to overlay 2D and 3D objects and animations on top of their image or video and then save the content to their camera roll, share in a group or one-to-one conversation, or even add it to their Story.

M Translations: In a bid to reduce the language barrier and make conversation on easier, the Messenger team has built an automated translation tool. When people receive a message in a language that is different from the default language they have selected in Messenger, M will ask them if they want to translate the message.

Messenger design update: When Messenger first launched, it was a simple chat app — a space outside of Facebook’s main app for your private messages and group chats. But since it’s launch, a Messenger has grown significantly adding games, bots, a camera, AR features — and even ads. As such, Messenger can, at times, feel a little bloated.

And during his keynote, Mark Zuckerburg announced that Messenger will be getting a complete overhaul in order to make the product much simpler, faster and cleaner.

F8 2018 roundup: A focus on smaller communities and a possible future away from the News Feed

This post only just touches the surface of everything that was announced at Facebook F8. But if I had to pick a couple of key themes from the conference I think they’d be:

  1. Facebook’s seeming focus on helping people to connect with others within close-knit groups or closed, private interactions
  2. Facebook preperation for a future without the News Feed

Through it’s focus on Messenger, live video calls and Groups, it feels like Facebook is beginning to shift away from encouraging users to share publicly with everyone they’re connected to and instead share more personal, meaningful updates with smaller groups of people 0r one-to-one conversations.

It’s no longer going to be about creating a status update and sharing it with the world. Instead, Facebook will be a place for more meaningful interactions and proving ways for friends, family and small communities to spend time together — even when they aren’t actually together.

It also feels like we’re shifting more and more towards Stories becoming the default way to create and consume content across Facebook’s platforms.

Facebook is constantly experimenting with ways to encourage users to share more to Stories and make Stories more prominent in their main Facebook app. And at F8, Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, explained that Facebook is also working to enable small communities of people to be able to share and enjoy Stories togethers. For example, a group of parents sharing Stories about their kids’ soccer game or a group of friends creating a shared story around a concert.

During his keynote, Cox also noted that “the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.”

This update from Cox, followed Mark Zuckerburg’s statement, during a recent earnings call, that Facebook is focused on “making sure that ads are as good in Stories as they are in feeds. If we don’t do this well, then as more sharing shifts to Stories, that could hurt our business.”

The News Feed certainly won’t disappear overnight and it’s sure to be a long goodbye. But it could be time to start thinking about what life looks like after the News Feed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook’s F8 2018. What announcements are you most excited about? And what are your key takeaways?

source https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-f8-2018-recap

Monday, 30 April 2018

Facebook F8 2018: What Marketers Need to Know Ahead of Facebook’s Annual Conference

F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, returns this week (May 1 and 2) in San Jose, CA at the McEnery Convention Center.

F8 offers developers, marketers, and anyone with a keen interest in the future of social media, a glimpse into what’s ahead for Facebook in both the short and long-term.

Last year, Facebook wowed onlookers with a range of eye-catching VR features, Messenger updates, and camera upgrades. So what’s ahead for this year’s conference?

Recap: Check out our full F8 2017 rundown here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook F8 2018, including some key sessions to keep an eye on and predictions for F8 2018.

We’ll be sharing of all the most important Facebook F8 updates once the conference is completed, check back on Thursday for the full roundup. If you’re keen to watch F8 live you can attend one of its international viewing events in your area or watch it online.

What to look out for at F8 2018: 3 key areas of focus

1. The future of the News Feed

The News Feed is ever-evolving and back in January, Facebook announced its ‘meaningful interactions’ update—one of the largest, most consequential News Feed updates of recent years.

The update stated that Facebook will be prioritizing posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends. This means that Facebook will be favoring posts from family and friends over public content from Pages as they believe a person-to-person connection is more valuable than a person-to-page connection.

The below video from Facebook explains a little more about this update and how the Facebook News Feed works:

Off the back of this update, many marketers and brands were curious whether their organic reach would take another hit. During F8, I expect Facebook to address the News Feed and their focus on improvements for the coming 12 months and beyond—maybe we’ll even see a hint that Facebook could eventually move away from the News Feed altogether.

More on the ‘meaningful interactions’ update: The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed

Relevant F8 sessions:

  • What’s New with News Feed (Tuesday, May 1 @ 1pm PST)
    Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri outlines the future of News Feed, from the shift to connection to how his team is improving experiences on the platform.

2. Instagram for Business updates

Facebook recently opened up Instagram’s API for the first time, enabling Instagram business profiles to schedule Instagram posts, view analytics and more.

With more than 25 million active business profiles and more than 2 million advertisers on Instagram, it’s clear that Facebook sees a huge opportunity for Instagram to deliver further value to its business users. At F8, I expect we’ll learn a lot about the future of Instagram’s API and how Facebook will look to better serve business users and differentiate between business and personal profiles on Instagram.

Relevant sessions:

  • The Instagram Graph API – What’s In It For You? (Tuesday, May 1 @ 1.30pm PST)
    Meet the Instagram Graph API, a way to better manage your business on Instagram by scheduling posts, viewing organic insights and much more. In this session, you’ll learn how our past informs our future and leave with a clear picture of our vision for developers on the Instagram Platform.
  • How Stories Ads and Business Profiles Help Grow Your Business on Instagram (Tuesday, May 1 @ 1.30pm PST)
    Learn how businesses are using Instagram Stories Ads and Actions on Instagram business profiles to drive value. Hear Instagram Stories Ads best practices and learn about business profile partner integrations.

3. Privacy, security, and data at Facebook

Whilst previous F8 events have focused on the long-term future of Facebook and “what’s next”, showcasing plenty of eye-popping concepts like VR hangouts, drones, and more. At F8 2018, it feels like Facebook might focus a little more on the “here and now” and how they might fix some of the privacy and security issues that have been widely discussed in recent weeks.

Facebook has already made some positive progress here by making privacy tools easier to find and introducing new privacy experiences for everyone on Facebook as part of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Relevant F8 sessions:

  • Security at Facebook Scale (Tuesday, May 1 @ 1pm PST)
    You’ve heard that Facebook is investing heavily in security and safety in 2018. Come learn how we approach security to protect our community and company.
  • Keynote (Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2 @ 10am PST)
    Little has been announced about the contents of the keynote sessions just yet, but I would imagine privacy, security and data sharing might be key topics for one, or both, sessions.

What are your predictions for F8 2018?

Facebook F8 is right around the corner and I’d love to hear what you’re excited to learn about and any predictions you might have for Facebook’s flagship developer conference.

What exciting, fun news do you think Facebook would share at the upcoming F8 conference? Do you have anything on your wish list?

If you’re keen to learn more about F8 or check out the full schedule you can do so on the F8 website.

source https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-f8-2018-preview

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

How to Schedule Facebook Posts to Save Time and Get Better Results

Imagine this scenario: You have planned to post once a day on Facebook this week.

On Monday morning, you log in to Facebook and navigate to your company’s Facebook Page. You spend some time crafting the perfect post and wait for the supposed best time to post. You read that 3pm is a good time as people are taking a break from work and checking Facebook. So you wait…

At 2:55pm, you go back to the browser tab that has been opened since 10am. When the clock strikes 3pm, you hit “Publish”. Woohoo!

And then you repeat that for the next four days.

If that’s not too far from your day-to-day experience, I would love to suggest a simple tactic that can help you get better results and make you a better marketer…

Scheduling your Facebook posts.

Keen to find out more? Let’s read on.

How to Schedule Facebook Posts to Get Better Results and Save Time

Buffer can help you with Facebook scheduling, managing multiple Facebook Pages, and more. We would love for you to give it a try and see the difference.

3 benefits of scheduling your Facebook posts

You might be wondering, “the way I post on Facebook is just fine. Why do I have to change?” Well, here are three top benefits of scheduling your Facebook posts, compared with publishing it manually yourself.

(Oh, and if you are thinking that Facebook might penalize you for using a third-party tool, we’ll discuss that in just a moment.)

1. Maintain consistency and quality

The biggest benefit of scheduling your Facebook posts is to ensure that you’re posting consistently and to maintain the quality of your posts. Quantity and quality.

When you are scheduling your Facebook posts, you’re essentially planning ahead.

Buffer scheduled Facebook posts

For example, on Monday, you plan out all five posts for the week. Because you’re scheduling the posts to be published automatically, you won’t miss posting something even if you are busy — consistency. And because you dedicate time to crafting your posts in advance (rather than thinking of something on the spot every time), you can create higher quality content — quality.

2. Reach a wider audience

Publishing a post on Facebook directly is mostly fine… until you want to post at a time outside of your working hours to reach your audiences at different times of the day. You might have to excuse yourself from a dinner just to hit the publish button. Or worse, wake up in the middle of the night to do that.

When you schedule your posts, your posts will be published automatically at your chosen times. Whether it’s 7pm or 2am, it’ll almost seem like you published it manually yourself.

This way, you’ll be able to reach more people around the world who are checking Facebook at various times of their day. This is especially helpful for businesses with an international audience but also businesses in places where the population is spread across several time zones (e.g. US and Europe)1.

US population by time zone

3. Become more efficient

Finally, scheduling your Facebook posts can make you a better marketer.

According to the American Psychological Association, numerous studies have found that multitasking reduces one’s productivity. While switching between crafting a Facebook post and your other tasks for the day might not seem like much, research has found that “even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time”.2

Multitask vs Focus

Just consider the things you can do if you get back that 40 percent of your time!3

Does Facebook penalize posts from third-party tools like Buffer?

While scheduling Facebook posts sounds attractive, many people have a concern once they research into scheduling…

Facebook doesn’t seem to like third-party tools.

It is often said that Facebook penalizes posts from third-party tools by showing the posts to fewer people organically than posts published directly on Facebook.

How true is that?

We recently did an experiment with Buffer, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule to see if that’s true. We found that there wasn’t a significant difference in reach whether we scheduled posts using a third-party tool or published posts directly on Facebook. Some scheduled posts from third-party tools even reached more people than the Facebook posts published directly on Facebook.

How to schedule Facebook posts with Buffer

So how do you schedule Facebook posts? There’re several methods.

Facebook itself offers a native feature that allows admins and editors to schedule posts to a Page or a Group. Here’s a quick guide from Facebook on how to schedule Facebook posts.

If you are managing multiple Facebook Pages (or multiple social media profiles), we hope the best way for you would be to use Buffer.

How to schedule a Facebook post in four simple steps

  1. Go to your Buffer dashboard
  2. Select your Facebook Page or profile
  3. Craft your Facebook post
  4. Schedule your post

1. Go to your Buffer dashboard

Once you’ve signed up for Buffer and connected your Facebook Page (Group or profile), you’ll be brought to your Buffer dashboard. Here’s how it’ll look like:

Buffer dashboard

2. Select your Facebook Page or profile

Next, select the Facebook Page or profile you want to post to, in the left-side column and click on the composer (“What do you want to share?”). A popup where you can craft your tweet will appear.

Buffer dashboard: Create a post

Here are two quick tips for you:

  • If you have connected multiple social media profiles to your Buffer account, be sure to select the Facebook Pages(s) that you want to schedule posts for.
  • If the post is suitable for other social media networks like Twitter, you can also select those profiles and create scheduled posts for them at the same time.

3. Craft your Facebook post

Next, let’s create some content!

What content should you be sharing? Here are some ideas (and examples) for your inspiration:

Post edu-tainment content. We found that content that is either educational or entertaining often performs well on Facebook. Best if it is both educational and entertaining (hence “edu-tainment”)!

Curate top content. Curating and sharing top posts from our peers in the industry has helped us grow our Facebook reach significantly. These pieces of proven content have often become our best posts in terms of reach, which also grew our engagement and Page Likes.

Share videos. Video has been and still is the most popular content type on Facebook. Buzzsumo conducted a research on 880 million Facebook posts found that video posts have the highest average engagement and twice the level of engagement of other post types on average4.

If you schedule videos with Buffer, your video will appear just like you uploaded it directly to Facebook — which is important for reach and engagement.

4. Schedule your Facebook post

Once you’ve crafted your post, you have a few scheduling options:

  • Schedule Posts: Schedule the post for a specific date and time
  • Add to Queue (default): Add the post to the next available posting time on your posting schedule
  • Share Now: Share the post immediately
  • Share Next: If you are on one of our paid plans, you can add the post to the top of your queue and have it published next.

Scheduling options

Yay! You have just scheduled a Facebook post!

Bonus: Buffer browser extension

You can also create a Facebook post via the Buffer browser extension. For example, whenever you see a great piece of content that’s relevant to your Facebook audience, you can click on the Buffer browser extension button and share that piece of content as a scheduled Facebook post.

Here’s how the browser extension looks like:

Buffer browser extension

3 Facebook scheduling quick tips

Now, scheduling your Facebook posts is only half the story. To maximize your results on Facebook, here’s the other half: tips and tricks to ensure that your Facebook posts reach and engage as many people as possible.

Let’s go through them one by one.

1. How often to post on Facebook

When you are setting up your posting schedule, one question you might have is “How often should I be posting?”.

(The other question is likely “what times should I be posting?” We’ll cover that next!)

There likely isn’t a definite answer to this question as it depends on your audience’s preference and your capacity for creating new content. But in case it’s helpful to have a benchmark to work from, we recently studied our own Facebook Page and found that posting one to two Facebook posts per day helped us grow our reach by three times!

Facebook reach growth

This recommendation is similar to the findings of Coschedule’s research, which looked at 12 different studies on posting frequency for Facebook.

2. Best time to post on Facebook

The next question, “what times should I be posting?”

While there are many studies that suggest the “best times to post” (including ours), we’ve learned that there isn’t a set of universal best times to post on Facebook. That’s because every business has their own unique audience. What industry are you in? Where is your audience based? When are your followers checking Facebook?

All these different factors influence your best times to post. So instead of the universal best times to post, look for your best times to post.

A way to find your best times to post on Facebook is to post when your followers are online and see if that increases your reach. When your followers are active on Facebook, there might be a higher chance of them seeing and interacting with your posts. You can find that data (the following chart) in your Facebook Page Insights, under the “Posts” tab.

Facebook Insights: When your fans are online

If you would like to read more about finding your best time to post on Facebook, here’s a completed guide on that topic.

3. What can be scheduled (and what cannot be)

Finally, another crucial information to know is what can be scheduled to Facebook (and what cannot be). Knowing the limitations will allow you to better plan your social media posting in advance.

Things that can be scheduled

  • Text updates
  • Images (up to four images with Buffer)
  • Videos
  • Links

Things that cannot be scheduled

  • Photo albums
  • Events
  • Check-ins
  • GIFs

Another great thing to note is that many social media scheduling tools do not have the more advanced settings such as tagging, choosing a preferred audience, or adding a product tag. If you would like to use these features, you can do so by creating and publishing your posts on Facebook directly. (Thanks, Cara Parrish, for mentioning this!)

Over to you: What do you think of scheduling?

For many social media managers, social media scheduling tools are a lifesaver. These tools help them improve their social media performance and save them time (and their evenings and weekends).

If you have always been going to Facebook to publish your posts, scheduling your Facebook posts might sound like an unusual recommendation. If you have any thoughts or concerns about scheduling your Facebook posts, I would love to hear and discuss them with you in the comments section below.

If you would like to see how scheduling Facebook posts can help you with your Facebook marketing, we would love for you to give Buffer a try and see the difference.

Image credit: Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash

source https://blog.bufferapp.com/how-to-schedule-facebook-posts