Top Facebook Trends of 2015

Ever since its inception in 2004, Facebook has been continually changing and evolving, and so far 2015 has been a busy year for the popular social network. We are beginning to see the company transition from a social platform showcasing an endless stream of photos from your former high school classmates to a modern media company.
Though the year is only halfway over, there are definitely some trends from 2015 that are worth noting. One of the biggest shifts recently is the rise of video. Auto-play videos were introduced last year, and now more native videos are watched on the platform than YouTube videos.

The introduction of the Social Wallet in March has allowed users to securely transfer money to friends via Facebook Messenger, as well as purchase items directly from the platform.

Due to algorithm changes and decreased organic reach, there has been, and will continue to be, an increase of paid ad budgets. Right now, social media makes up approximately 9% of marketing budgets, but is forecast to rise to 25% by 2020.

For the last few years, marketers have speculated that younger target markets were going to leave Facebook. While this may be true for some, 43% of 12 to 24 year-olds state that Facebook is their most-used network, followed by Instagram with only 18%.

The ability to log into websites using social media credentials has simplified the online world, and prevents the need for hundreds of different usernames and passwords. Facebook is the number one social login used across key verticals.

Facebook’s application diversification has increased drastically over the last few years with the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. According to BrandWatch, 42% of marketers plan to increase their use of Instagram in 2015. WhatsApp has a user base of 700 million, making it the most popular social messaging app.

And, as always, Facebook continues to make it easier for users to control their privacy preferences, forcing marketers to continually get more creative on how to tap into their target audiences.

Facebook has done a good job at not only changing with the times, but also being the innovator and leader in its industry. If the social network continues to stay one step ahead, there is no limit to what the company can become. Remember when Amazon only sold books? Could Facebook be the next big tech company? Time will only tell.

Happy Social Media Day!

Today, June 30, 2015, marks the 6th official Social Media Day. “Isn’t that every day?” you might think to yourself? With the ever-increasing social landscape one would think so; however, Mashable decided to create an official holiday of it.
Mashable knows social media is about more than posting cute baby pictures and clumsy cat videos, and they are celebrating the impact that social media has each day on global communications with Social Media Day 2015.

Across the world today, social media users can join Mashable Meetups to connect with other users in their area as they learn about the massive growth and increasing importance of social media in business and every day life. Simply follow @MashableEvents on Twitter or join the Mashable Meetup Organizers group on Facebook to get all the details.

Participating is easy; we do it every day! Simply post on your various social media accounts, but be sure to use the hashtag “#SMDay” on those posts today to spread the word.

Social Media isn’t just important for global communication. It’s also important for your business, as it provides an opportunity to foster a more personal relationship with your customers. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus countless others, all offer different mediums with which you can interact with current and potential customers. Need a little help setting up or running your social media accounts? Robmark Web has a team of social media experts who can help you grow your customer relationships to new heights!

Twitter Might Lose Its Wings

Twitter Might Lose Its Wings

What do the president, the pope and Grumpy Cat all have in common? They are all on Twitter! The micro-blogging site has changed the way people communicate since its creation in 2006. The short and sweet social site has been known to spark revolutions, bring instant fame and get people in hot water, as well as creating the infamous hashtag, of course. You would think with 302 million influential users, including world leaders, celebrities, athletes and top journalists, Twitter would be a force to be reckoned with. In reality, after nearly 10 years, Twitter has never made a profit. Are you surprised? We were, too.

Despite last week’s announcement of the CEO’s departure and dropping stock prices, the site still has potential, according to industry experts. However, some bugs need to be worked out in order to do so. The challenges Twitter is facing include, user interest, ease of use, trolls, application options and advertising.

After 10 years in business, Facebook had 1 billion users. After nine and a half years in business, Twitter only has 302 million. Why isn’t it catching on? We’ve seen the media catch onto it in a strong way with hashtags and Twitter handles displayed on most shows, but for some reason, users just don’t seem to care. Is it too hard to use? According to tech investor Chris Sacca, almost 1 billion users have tried Twitter, but most haven’t stuck with it.

Trolls have also become an issue on Twitter, and not the spiky haired, jeweled tummy trolls—online bullies. The ability to make fake profiles is much easier on Twitter than some other sites, allowing people to hide behind the ambiguity, causing alienation of potential and established users. In April, Twitter updated its policy against violent threats to include people promoting violence, in addition to specific threats.

If Twitter, or any other social site for that matter, is looking for advice on how to be successful, look to Facebook. The powerhouse has obviously done something right over the years to be worth $192 billion. One thing Facebook has done that industry experts feel Twitter needs to do is capitalize on their brand and offer separate apps for certain functions, the way Facebook has created the Messenger app. A lot of other popular social sites, including Snapchat, have been focusing heavily on direct messaging, an area where Twitter has simply dabbled. However, Twitter recently announced that they are removing the 140-character limit to their direct messages, so there could possibly more changes coming in the future.

The last thing that Twitter needs to do in order to stay aflight, is to better optimize its advertising. Twitter currently offers a variety of ad placements and has recently announced video ads and objective-based ads—similar to Facebook. Is this all too little, too late? Can Twitter make the tweaks it needs to keep from getting its wings clipped? Only time will tell.

Online Ads Are Pushing ‘BUY’ Buttons!

Online Ads Are Pushing ‘BUY’ Buttons!

Automobiles, the Internet, auto-brewing coffee makers; every now and again there is an idea that sweeps the nation—or the world—and changes the fundamental way we live our lives. Though this idea may not change the world as a whole, it has been changing the digital marketing world for the better—the “buy” button.

Facebook started this call-to-action trend last summer, and Twitter soon followed with its call-to-action Twitter cards. Last week, we wrote a blog about Instagram’s new advertising changes, which included call-to-action buttons, and two weeks ago, it was announced that Pinterest was toying around with the buy button, as well. In addition to these top social media platforms, Google has recently confirmed the enabling of buy buttons on search ads. The idea is still in its inception phase, so specific details on how it will work are still mum; however, the general idea is that after clicking the buy button on a mobile search ad, users would be taken to a special Google landing page to complete the transaction.

This is moving Google from a search engine to a marketplace, similar to Amazon, and people are on edge. Some industry influencers feel this change on Google could hinder retailers by decreasing their website traffic and preventing them from obtaining consumer data, since the transactions will be happening through Google and not the retail website. However, Google’s intention is to speed up the mobile buying process in order to strengthen the consumer’s shopping experience, which in turn will increase the retailer’s mobile conversion rates that have stayed low even though mobile usage rates have continued to rise. Only time will tell.

Call-to-action and buy buttons have made it easier for retailers to capture leads and conversions in this social-media-newsfeed-surfing era. Call-to-action buttons, in most cases, will increase traffic and conversions to a retailer’s website by leading consumers directly to what they are interested in, but in some instances, such as on Facebook and Google, transactions will happen in a limbo land between the platform and the retail site, essentially allowing consumers to purchase items without having to leave the site they are on.

Back in September we wrote a blog about this “new idea” of a buy button and wondered if it would take off or not. I guess we have our answer! Have you seen any call-to-action or buy buttons while on your favorite social media network? Have you used them? We would love to hear from you!

Further Reading:

Facebook Has Changed Its Algorithm… Again

Facebook has been taking notes from Google, and has been changing their algorithm more frequently than usual. On average, Facebook would change their algorithm every two to three months, in attempts to cut down the amount of spammy promotions and deceitful links. However, most recently, there have been four updates in just the past two months, and if you manage a business page, you’re probably not going to like it.
The first update, which we discussed back in March, was when Facebook deleted inactive profiles causing business pages to lose several “likes” from their pages. The next three have been slowly rolling out over the past month, all of which affect the News Feed and subsequently your business page.

It began with Facebook relaxing a previous algorithm change that prevented the News Feed from displaying multiple updates in a row from a single source. This update alone wouldn’t be too bad for business pages if it weren’t for the second change, which reduces the organic reach of posts posted by pages. The change specifically places higher priority to content posted by a user’s friends, and a lower priority on that posted by pages, in turn limiting a pages organic reach to lower than the current 7% reach.

The last algorithm change will adjust the way users see interactions between their friends and other updates. If a user’s friend interacts with a page’s post, and the user is not a fan of that page, their friend’s activity with that page will appear significantly lower on the News Feed, if at all. This will considerably limit a page’s visibility to those users who are not already fans, and also contributes to the reduced organic reach.

By making these updates, Facebook is somewhat forcing pages to pay to boost posts in order to increase their reach. This doesn’t mean that businesses should abandon Facebook; however, these changes do underscore the need, now more than ever, for a thorough social marketing strategy and plans for thoughtful, engaging content.

Robmark Web offers social media services and is happy to assist in developing your new Facebook strategy. Call 912-921-1040 to find out more about our social media and web services in Savannah.

Decrease in Facebook Likes, Increase In Engagement Ratio

Whether it’s managing a billion dollar company’s Facebook Page or a Page set up to sell Younique mascara, social media managers constantly track Page activity, especially the number of likes a brand has earned.
Well, Page managers have probably noticed over the last two weeks that Page likes have decreased—in some cases significantly. Don’t worry. Fans didn’t unlike the Page due to any reason a manager could control. Facebook took the liberty of removing Page likes from deactivated Facebook accounts in order to keep the Page like count more accurate.

According to Quintly, Pages lost 3% to 4% of their likes due to this adjustment. We have seen a range of decreased likes in the Pages we manage, from losing 7 likes to losing close to 45. Now that’s enough to make any Page manager freak out!

All in all, this is a positive adjustment when it comes to analyzing data. Figures will be more accurate and reliable in the future. When it comes to using Facebook as a business tool, it’s all about the engagement ratio. User engagement with Page content increases that Page’s organic reach. If you have a million likes and only 10 people engage with posted content—a.001% engagement rate—then the Page cannot be considered a successful business tool. However, if you have 150 Page likes and 10 fans engage regularly—a 6.7% engagement rate—now that is a success. So by clearing out these inactive accounts, which are obviously not engaging, this in turn increases the Page’s engagement ratio.

Never truer has been the adage “quality over quantity.”