Slow-Loading Pages Beware!

girl-925284_1920The social media giant Facebook recently published a blog post announcing an algorithm that will shake up how certain posts are displayed in a user’s newsfeed.

Over the next few months, Facebook will measure how long it takes for a webpage to load on its mobile app and compare it to different online websites. If the site takes a long time to load, the page may move down a user’s feed or disappear altogether. Many factors are being considered, such as current network connection and general speed of corresponding web pages. If signals indicate that a page will load faster than others, the link to that page will appear higher on your Facebook feed. But for those worried about Facebook hurting their website’s chances of being seen, Facebook has already released a “best practices” guide to assist companies on how to speed up their web pages and how to make their websites more mobile friendly.

Not sure how fast your website is loading and/or how your site’s speed stacks up against competitors’ sites? Google offers a free tool to help test how quickly your website is loading. To test your website’s load time, click here.

Facebook Launches Another Clone to Snapchat

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The competition for top app continues! Facebook Messenger is the latest Facebook app to mimic the popular photo-disappearing app Snapchat. Snapchat is known for pioneering popular photo-sharing features enjoyed by billions, but that hasn’t stopped Facebook from trying to outshine them. Messenger Day is Facebook Messenger’s latest clone of Snapchat’s popular Stories feature. Messenger Day allows users to add photos and videos where friends can view and reply to them for up to 24 hours before disappearing. The target is to create a more casual means of communication between friends and family with the goal of increasing engagement on Facebook’s main app.

Facebook has a long history of attempts at trying to outdo Snapchat’s Stories feature. In February, the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp revealed a new feature called Status. WhatsApp’s Status feature allows its users to share images, GIFs and videos for up to 24 hours. Last August, Facebook-owned Instagram released a Snapchat-inspired Stories feature as well. Instagram Stories has become a huge success for Facebook with more than 150 million users daily.

It’s safe to say Facebook seems to be on the right track at competing with Snapchat for user growth. Snapchat’s share price even dropped slightly the morning Facebook announced the release of Messenger Day. Facebook’s Messenger Day has already starting rolling out on iOS and Android devices, so be on the lookout for the newest update!

The Numbers Are In..stagram

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Remember when Vine took over the social media world and shortly after, Instagram decided to add videos to their feed? Well, as many predicted, Instagram has not stopped its clone ways. Just a few weeks ago Instagram added “Stories” to its platform. Sound familiar? Instagram has done it once again; it has now taken Snapchat’s concept and incorporated into its own feed. So the question is, are people using this tool? Yes! Though Snapchat numbers have not decreased any, Instagram numbers are growing because of the new Stories feature. As of now, brands are using this tool to their advantage because the amount of views they receive on Instagram nearly triples the numbers on Snapchat.

According to Social Media Today, over 100 million people use Instagram Stories each day. Maybe users had enough practice story making since Snapchat launched four years ago, but Instagram has not stopped there. The Explore tab on Instagram always informed users on their favorite interests including celebrities, clothes, and even food, but now Stories will be loaded in the Explore tab so users can watch stories from different sporting events, concerts, and other events. The popular Stories being posted on the Explore tab is very convenient for users who want to know what is going on around the world and Instagram has made it one click away.

Twitter No Longer Crops Images

From websites to social sites, trends show that images are king. Image-based web headers, backgrounds, and navigation are skyrocketing in popularity; Facebook posts with images perform significantly better than non-image posts; and photo-based sites like Instagram and Pinterest continue to grow at astronomical rates. Images have also been linked to high conversion rates.

Because of this, businesses work hard to curate impressive imagery that will attract and convert users. The downfall is that some of these sites have different image guidelines, causing your original image or artwork to be cropped, unless you spend the additional time and money necessary to customize that image to fit each platform’s suggested size guidelines.

Luckily for businesses using the popular micro-blogging platform Twitter, that is no longer the case. Earlier this week, Twitter announced they are no longer cropping images down to what was the size of roughly 1000 pixels by 500 pixels. Additionally, the multi-photo displays will appear larger and more beautiful. This means your images will appear just as beautiful on Twitter as they do on Facebook, increasing the opportunity for clicks and/or conversions.

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Instagram also no longer crops its images providing users with more creative freedom. Before this change, Instagram photos would be cropped into a square, often cutting off important parts of images. However, the popular photo site now allows landscape and portrait photos in addition to its square format option.

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New Facebook Insights Good for Local Marketers

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Based on the amount of consumer data Facebook gathers, it has always been an incredible tool for local marketers. The advertising platform uses consumer data to make reaching a very specific target audience possible. But once again, Facebook has outdone itself. To become an even more invaluable resource to local marketers and advertisers, Facebook has launched local insights that can tell businesses who is near their stores.

Business page managers now have a new section within the Facebook page insights tool that measures foot traffic around individual store locations. This is now available to any page that is using the page’s location features. In addition to foot traffic trends, brands that advertise on Facebook will be able to see what share of the people passing by have seen their ad within the past 28 days.

All of the information gathered is aggregated and anonymized, so instead of reporting actual people who have been by the store, it will show weekly, monthly, and quarterly trends of when particular groups of people are more or less likely to be near the store. The tool also provides information on what days of the week or times of the day are the busiest in the neighborhood. Information local marketers will be able to see about users includes gender, age groups—18-24, 25-34, etc.—and whether they are from out of town or live within 120 miles of the store’s location.

This information is being gathered through what users provide on their profiles, as well as the location settings within the Facebook mobile application. If people do not want Facebook to gather general location information, they do have the ability to opt out by changing the location settings within Facebook’s mobile app.

Not only will you be able to see who is near the store, but Facebook has also made it possible to customize ads to each store location. These ads will automatically pull information about the nearest store, such as the address with the option to get directions and a phone number that links to call. Local advertisers will be able to layer this in with the other targeting options the ads manager platform provides.

As a local business, do you utilize all of Facebook ‘s capabilities? Robmark Web is a local Savannah web design company that assists businesses of all sizes with social media, social media advertising, and so much more. Please call 912-921-1040 for any inquiries.

Crowdsourcing With Twitter Polls

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Crowdsourcing is a term coined in 2005 that means the act of obtaining needs, services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community. Over the years, social media platforms have turned out to be an excellent avenue to gather such information.

People follow a business on social media for a reason; they are interested in the product or service, and want to be a part of a community. Several businesses have tapped into their community and engaged in the two-way communication we’ve all come to appreciate. What color shirt should we get, blue or green? What type of food should we add to the menu, steak or spaghetti? The communities of interested followers speak their mind and these businesses are reaping the benefits by providing the customers with exactly what they want. No more guessing.

Twitter has recently introduced a new opportunity to gather information from its ever-expanding audience—Twitter Polls. With Twitter Polls, users can create a question with two options to answer. The poll is open for only 24 hours and once it is over, a push notification is sent out to all of the participants to see the final result. Unlike almost every action on Facebook, participation is not tracked. Your interaction with a poll is not made public and the information is not being sold to marketing firms—at least not yet.

Before official Twitter Polls were in place, you could still participate in polls by tallying hashtag responses, tweeting a question, and tracking the replies, or by asking followers to favorite or Retweet a vote. It now has simply become a more streamlined action. We are interested to see how the feature grows and changes as Twitter does. What do you think of Twitter Polls? Will you or your company use them? We’d love to hear from you!

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