This Week in Social Media… Facebook Trending, Interest Targeting, and Slideshare Analytics

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” we talk about Facebook launched two new updates with Facebook Trending for Mobile and Interest Targeting, and Slideshare introduces Analytics to all users.

Facebook Trends Lands On Mobile

In January Facebook launched “Trending” on the desktop version (right-hand column) of the site. Trending was introduced to help people discover timely and relevant conversations about the news that they care about the most. Last week it was announced that “Trending” was making its way to mobile devices.

Trending With the latest Facebook App update when users click on the search icon (magnifying glass) you will now see “Trending” below your last several searches. Now, when you tap on a topic in Trending, you’ll see conversations organized in up to five different sections:

  • Articles shows you how news organizations are covering the story.
  • In the Story shows you posts from people who are part of the story.
  • Friends and Groups shows you what people in your network are saying.
  • Near the Scene shows you posts from people near where the story is unfolding.
  • Live Feed shows you a real-time stream of reactions from people around the world.
The way Trending topics are selected for users has not changed from the desktop version. It uses the same algorithm to determine which topics are relevant to the individual users. The update is available for Android users now with iOS and other countries coming soon.

Interest Targeting With Facebook

One of the more exciting updates that Facebook introduced recently is Interest Targeting. The new capability gives Page admins the option to target individual posts to specific users. Very similar to running a Facebook Ad, you can now select “Interests” to determine which users see a particular post.

Interest-Targeting In the example to the right BuzzFeed is posting an article about Boy Meets World. They are targeting users based on “Girl Meets World,” “Television,” and even “Friendship” to reach people who might find this article useful. By using specific interests you can make your posts more relevant to users who have added those particular interests to Facebook. With Page reach decreasing, this could be a way to make ensure your content is getting in front of the correct people.

This update is available right now as long as your Page has enabled the Targeting and Privacy setting and is currently only accessible on the desktop.

Slideshare Rolls Out Analytics To All Users

One of the best ways to increase website traffic and overall SEO is by using Slideshare presentations. Last week the company announced that all users will now have access to the analytics dashboard. The update will give users deeper insight into the effectiveness of your content.

Geographical distribution, traffic sources, and timing are just some of the new ways you can track the overall effectiveness of your Slideshare presentations. Additionally, you will see an improved view count accuracy as bot (web crawler) views will be removed. Now you can create powerful, and relevant content that your audience wants to see.

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Back in OTR — Check out our sweet new office

I’m excited to share that we have officially moved back into OTR (Over-the-Rhine). After spending a year and a half in Norwood, we are excited to be back in the heart of the action in OTR. As a resident myself, it is great to be back in a growing neighborhood with many other agencies and start-ups (not to mention tons of great lunch spots).

Our new social media office in OTR CincinnatiNew office of Boot Camp Digital
View from the loft of our new OTR office in Cincinnati - Boot Camp Digital
Branded foot mat - Boot Camp Digital

Check out the pics of our sweet new space (and the move). In January we’ll be planning an office warming party so our Cincinnati friends can stop by and visit.

The move was slightly painful – we had more stuff than we realized and our new space is on the 4th floor (plus a 5th floor loft) with NO ELEVATOR. The plus side is that we are all in great shape!

Moving our office to OTRGetting started with our office move
celebratory chamagne when the move is done

Announcing our 2015 Social Media Workshops and Courses

With 2015 right around the corner, Boot Camp Digital is excited to announce our 2015 schedule for our popular 2-Day Social Media Boot Camp. In 2014 we had visitors from Haiti, Canada, South American and as far away as Indonesia. Based on popular demand (many of our workshops sold out) in 2015 we are expanding our offering and including new cities!

In 2015 we’ll have workshops around the United States – don’t miss this opportunity to invest in yourself and take your social media knowledge to the next level.

Our Boot Camp is different than other training programs because:
  • We maintain a small and intimate setting – this isn’t a mega conference with hundreds of people
  • Krista will get to know your business and you’ll have the opportunity to ask specific questions
  • This is a comprehensive workshop where we cover social media from start to finish
  • You’ll leave with a clear action plan to put what you’ve learned into action
  • You get tons of additional resources to extend your learning
Our participants come from a wide variety of organizations including B-to-B, NonProfit and B-to-C businesses. We’ve hosted everyone from small business owners to large multinational organizations.

We’ve received rave reviews from participants from companies including: P&G, Macy’s, GE, Georgia Pacific, NASA, Capital One, Verizon, KickStarter and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to join us for an amazing experience with our proven social media training model.

Last year most of our programs sold out — don’t miss out – reserve your space today!

2015 Social Media Workshop  

5 Social Media Mistakes You Are Probably Making

This year, I’ve helped thousands of businesses with their social media marketing, and there are some common themes in the mistakes that businesses are making. Social media is tricky and many business professionals haven’t taken the time to really think through their social media strategy. They just start doing. The decision-makers don’t understand it well and the implementors haven’t really had time to go in-depth to be as strategic as possible.

Here are the 5 biggest social media mistakes that you are probably still making:

1) Your Content is Totally Boring

This is probably the biggest one that I’ve seen this year. More advanced companies have a plan for social media and have figured out their content strategy, however the stuff that they actually post is just really, really boring. If you want to stand out online you have to be really interesting.

How to Avoid It: Spend 5 extra minutes on each post to make it as interesting as possible. Get inspired. Do some research. Don’t just post.

2) You Don’t Have the Right Resources

Do it right or not at all. Get the right resources in place to give yourself a good shot of being successful. I see this problem on both ends. Many businesses don’t have enough resources to be successful — it is 5% of someones job to quickly post something to Facebook a few times a week. At the same time, other businesses invest tens of thousands of dollars to have an agency run their Facebook page, which will probably never generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales to generate ROI. Really think about what your goals are and the right resources.

How to Avoid It: Step back and think about what success looks like for you, and realistically how this fits with other marketing investments that you could make. Resource it based on what you need to be successful.

3) You Ignore Analytics

I gave a presentation recently at a trade show and there were about 200 business in the audience and 90% of them were on Facebook. When I asked “Who has seen a decline in their reach on Facebook in the last 2 years?” only about 2 people raised their hands. All studies show that Facebook reach is declining – the real issue was that none of these people actually looked at insights with any regularity. They  had no idea that their reach had declined 50% or more.

How to Avoid It: Schedule monthly maintenance for  your social networks. Once a month look at analytics and build a plan to learn and improve.

4) You Don’t Know Which Social Networks to Spend your Time on

This is a big one – lots of businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 have a hard time figuring out where they should invest and spend their time. It is difficult to determine if a newer social network like Instagram or Pinterest is worth your time and attention. What surprises me though, is how businesses make decisions about new networks. Some jump right in without really having a plan and others refuse to do anything new because they don’t have the resources.

How to Avoid It: Create a set of criteria for how you determine if a new social network is worth while and don’t be afraid to explore. ALWAYS EVALUATE A SOCIAL NETWORK against the ability to support your business objectives.

5) You Don’t Stay Up-to-Date Enough to Improve and Revisit Your Strategy

Many businesses create a strategy that makes sense initially, but they never revisit the strategy. They don’t stay up-to-date on social media news to make sure that they always have the most up-to-date information to build their strategy from. For example, as Facebook has reduced organic reach you need a paid component to your plan if you really want to reach people. If you aren’t paying attention and constantly improving, you won’t get to where you need to be.

How to Avoid It: Invest some time to stay up to date. Our social media training diet suggests how to build a personal learning plan for yourself so that you continue to be on the leading edge of social media marketing.5 Social Media Mistakes You are Probably Making

This Week in Social Media… Facebook adds two new features, Twitter Offers rolls-out, and Vine adds Favorites

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” we talk about Facebook launched two new updates with FB Techwire and Facebook Groups, Twitter adds their biggest update with Twitter Offers, and Vine allows you to favorite Viners.

Facebook Introduces FB Techwire

Earlier this year Facebook launched FB Newswire, which made it easy for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content. Just this past week, Facebook took it a step further and rolled out FB Techwire, which focuses on useful content from technology influencers and organizations.

Facebook Techwire Content focused on breaking news, first-person analysis, photos and videos will be featured on FB Techwire. Similar to FB Newswire, this resource is a great place to find content that users, depending on your industry of course, may find very useful. Both FB Newswire and FB Techwire is powered by Storyful, which verifies such posts for accuracy.

Talking with Groups is Easier with Facebook Groups App

Late last month Facebook rolled out a new app that focuses on communicating with groups- Facebook Groups app. The new app will help people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life. The focus with the newly launched app was to keep individuals who participate in groups the most.

Facebook Groups app When you open the app, separate from that of Facebook Messenger, you will see all of the Groups that you participate in one place. The groups are placed in ascending order with the groups you most frequent are at the top. For groups that converse and share a lot, you can easily control which notifications you want to see. Additionally, there is now a new “Discover” tab which will suggest groups based on the Pages you’ve liked, Groups your friends are in, and where you live.

Twitter Launches Twitter Offers

The latest change from Twitter could very well be the biggest of the year for the social network. Last week Twitter launched Twitter Offers, which is a feature that will enable advertisers to create card-linked promotions and share them directly with users. How exactly does it work you must be wondering. Companies can promote an offer that will display on a users timeline; very similar to current Twitter Ads and Twitter Cards.

When users see a Twitter Offer, they can add the offer to their credit/debit card of their choice in just a few taps. The user can then redeem the offer by using the card at the store. Since the offer is tied specifically to the card, redemption is seamless and easy. Customers can expect the savings on their statement within a few days.

Twitter-Offers Advertisers, marketers, and social media managers can attribute redemption’s directly to their campaign, which can be used to measure the ROI effectively. What makes this feature great for companies is they can use their existing payment network. There are no changes to the consumer purchase process, no employee training, and no new hardware or software to install. Twitter Offers is being rolled-out in the U.S. only for now and is being tested with a few select brands during the holiday season. The full lunch is coming in the near future.

Don’t Miss Vines from your Favorite Viners

Vine Favorites Vine added a new feature with the latest update that will allow users to tap the “Star” button on their favorite Viners. By adding Viners to your favorites list, you will ensure you don’t miss any updates from the Viners you selected. Once your Viner uploads a Vine, you will receive a push notifications which alerts you to the latest update. Very similar to “bookmarking,” you can now stay up-to-date with all of your favorite Viners without feeling left out.

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Is Gratitude In Your Social Media Strategy? #Thanksgiving

As I’m thinking about Thanksgiving approaching (or “American Thanksgiving” as I call it because I’m Canadian), I was thinking about the themes of gratitude and thankfulness and how they apply to a social media strategy.

Being thankful or grateful shouldn’t just happen once a year. It should happen frequently, especially on social media. This is a powerful strategy for both personal and professional social media users. Here are some tips to express your gratitude on social media.

  • Say Thank You to Positive Comments – We get so caught up on negative comments that we often forget to show gratitude for the positive ones. Always say thanks to people who do something nice for you.
  • Compliment Someone – Compliments can make someones day. Even businesses appreciate a great review on a review site or a kind word online. Compliment someone or a business. Do it in a specific and meaningful way.
  • Use Your Platform to Shine the Light on Someone Else – Most of the time we think about using our social networks for ourselves, but our platforms can be used to make someone else a star. Shine the light on someone or something that could benefit from a little bit of attention.
  • Thank Your Fans or Followers – Take some time to thank your fans & followers. Give them something really valuable. Remember that them paying attention to you is a gift. Respect it.
  • Share What You Are Thankful For – Social media can change the way that people think, act and feel. Share the things that you are grateful for and give credit to those who have helped.
    Is gratitude a part of your social media plan? #Thanksgiving

    There is so much negativity online these days – use your platforms to share some positivity & gratitude.

This Week in Social Media… Facebook Changes Algorithm, Instagram Adds Edit Feature, and New Features Coming To Twitter

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” we talk about Facebook launching an update to its ads platform, Twitter gets an audio update, and Pinterest allows iOS users to Pin directly from their browser.

Facebook Reduces Page Posts Reach

Just a few days ago Facebook made a somewhat big announcement regarding posts made by Pages. Over the last few months Facebook has asked it’s users to take a survey to see what type of posts they genuinely like to see, and what they don’t. After researching the data, Facebook came to the conclusion that users prefer only to see posts that are relevant to them and not promotional.

Facebook Promotional Posts Facebook Promotional Posts Starting in January 2015, Facebook will start to regulate what type of updates from Pages will make it onto users News Feed. According to the survey, the following posts will see less distribution:

  • Posts that are posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.

  • Additionally, Facebook rolled out new controls to allow users to alter the amount of posts they see from particular Friends and Pages. Users will now have the option to see fewer posts from a particular brand if they choose to do so. This means it is now more important than ever to create content that is relevant to your audience and what they want to see.

    Edit Your Instagram Posts

    One of the important features has eluded Instagram since its inception, but that is no longer. As of this week Instagram made what could very well be their biggest update, the ability to edit status updates after they’ve been posted. No more deleting a status update to correct a grammatical error only to re-post it moments later- you can now do that directly from the App (both iOS and Andriod support the latest feature).

    Instagram New Explore Tab Also, in the latest update the company revamped their search functionality. On the Explore page (magnifying glass icon) you will now see two tabs, Photos and People. The Photos tab still contains the photos and videos you are already familiar with and has not changed. The big addition comes with the People tab. The new People tab highlights interesting accounts for you to discover based on many factors including who you currently follow.

    What Twitter Plans To Launch

    While there are no new features or changes yet on Twitter, the company did release some insights as to what they are working on and what we can expect to see in the near future. The VP of Product, Kevin Weil, stated, “Ultimately, we believe there is something for everyone at any time on Twitter, and we want to make finding your niche simple from the start.”

    One of the biggest features discussed that we are excited to see rolled-out is the ability to create and edit video natively within the Twitter App. According to Weil, users can expect to see this feature be introduced in the first half of next year. Another change on its way is Twitter is building a way to highlight relevant Tweets that we might have missed earlier in the day. The goal is to “resurface” these Tweets the next time we log on to Twitter, so users don’t miss important information. No timeline was announced for this particular feature as of yet, but we can expect it soon. In the end Weil had this to say, “Over the coming months, we are picking up the pace of product changes and improvements.” ”

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Facebook to Marketers: You’ll Have to Pay to Promote

Facebook changes: Marketers must pay to promote

Today Facebook announced yet another change in how businesses can market on Facebook — starting on January 1, promotional posts will have reduced visibility in the newsfeed. You can read the post from Facebook on their blog here.

Facebook claims that this change is based on what people want to see in their newsfeeds…. however if Facebook was REALLY concerned about this they would probably reduce all promotional posts (including ads) vs. only the organic reach. It is relatively easy to read through the lines to see that this is more about making $$ vs. the user experience as Facebook claims in their post. While Facebook says that users complain about promotional posts in their newsfeed, they are probably complaining about the paid posts, which are from businesses that they don’t care about.

Yes, this is VERY ANNOYING, especially for businesses that have invested time and energy to grow organic interest for their business (including their sales).

What the Change Means:

Any post that is obviously promoting something (click here, join out list, sale, etc) will get even less visibility in the newsfeed vs. other Facebook posts. So, if you don’t promote on Facebook, this won’t matter to you. If you do promote, you’ll probably find that very few people will see your posts.

This means that you’ll have to be prepared to pay to use Facebook as a promotional tool. If you’ve worked hard to build organic reach to earn your way into the newsfeed with your promotional posts, forget about it. You will not have to pay to participate. At the same time, advertising rates on Facebook have been rising as more businesses begin to advertise on the platform. You may need to start looking at your ROI.

What Can You Do about This:

You have a few options to address this change:
1) Become an advertising pro: Accept that Facebook will ultimately charge you for everything and get really good at using it as an efficient advertising platform. If you can create impactful ads, harness the right type of targeting and drive action from your ads you may find that Facebook ads are an efficient way to reach your target audience.

2) Figure out how to game the algorithm: Facebook will have to use some sort of signal to determine a “promotional post” and will probably look for trigger words. You can attempt to test-and-learn your way to game the system and not get tagged as a promotional post.

3) Re-evaluate your social media marketing: The initial approach for Facebook was to create great content that people really cared about to increase your visibility. Now, even if you create great posts and earn the attention of your customers, they won’t see your promotions. ARGH. If you use Facebook for promotions, this will probably reduce the ROI of your Facebook marketing efforts. Re-evaluate your social media marketing plan and determine if Facebook is still the best place to spend your time, or if you can generate a bigger impact from other social networks.

Which social network should my business be on? Social Media FAQ

Which social networks should you business be onPeople often ask: “Which social network should my business be on?” or “If I can do just one social network, what should it be?”

The answer (annoyingly) is “It depends”. People hate this answer because they want a magic formula, but the reality is that you have to THINK and USE YOUR BRAIN to decide. There is no one answer to this.

This would be like blindly asking “What city should I live in?” or “ What should I be when I grow up?”. It depends.

So, while I can’t give you the answer, I can give you some ideas of how to evaluate this for your business.

Things to consider when choosing which social networks to participate in:

1. Is your audience there? There is no reason to participate in a social network that your target audience isn’t using. Start with this. Don’t beat them, meet them.

2. How can businesses play? Each social network has different rules about how businesses can participate. Start by learning about how businesses can participate in the social network.

3. What do people naturally talk about there? The more organic your efforts are, the better. For example, I may find that my target audience is on a social network, but they aren’t talking about business there. It might be difficult for me to interject a business discussion in a place where people are talking about something else.

4. How can your marketing objectives & goals be met? Each social network has different benefits for businesses. Know what your objectives are and evaluate the social network against its ability to meet your business goals.

5. What will it take to be successful? Finally ask yourself what you need to plan to invest to be successful in the network. Some networks take a lot of time/effort whereas others require less frequency. Some are cluttered and others are open. Determine how much time/effort/money you will need to invest to be successful.

BONUS TIP: Look for case studies from your industry to see how other people are using the social network strategically.

This Week in Social Media… Facebook Adds Rooms, Twitter Helps Businesses, Pinterest Updates Their App

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” we talk about Facebook launching an update to its ads platform, Twitter gets an audio update, and Pinterest allows iOS users to Pin directly from their browser.

Facebook Rooms

Recently Facebook launched a new feature called “Rooms.” The new feature comes amid the privacy conerns that have dominated news. Rooms are essentially an anonymous chatroom that let’s users connect with others based on sharedinterests. Example: You could start a room about your favorite television show, let’s say The Walking Dead. Then people could join the chatroom anonymously and chat with you about the show. Joining a room does not require you to identify yourself by your name but you are asked to supply a nickname.

rooms-screenshot-feed Initially, Rooms is only being introduced to iOS users with plans to roll it out to more platforms down the road. Rooms could be a great place for you to connect with your audience if you are able to locate them with in a particular chatroom. If you are a local business, you could join a Room that centers around your community. You might not want to be to forthcoming with the sales messages as this might deter users from engaging with you. What you could do instead is answer any type of questions, or make recommendations based off conversations taking place in the room.

Twitter Small Business Planner

Last month Twitter updated their Twitter for Business site updating the look and reorganizing the content of its hub for marketing instruction and resources. Just this past week a new Twitter app was rolled out for both iOS and Android devices geared towards small businesses. As the holidays are fast-approaching, Twitter wanted to help small businesses capture and convert as many customers as possible- thus they released Small Business Planner.

Twitter Small Business Planner The app features research, success stories, blog articles and e-books, but as you would expect it has several more interactive features. One of the interactive features available with the app is a calendar sync tool- now you can stay up-to-date with Twitter and all of your other marketing initivates. Additionally, you can get Tweet suggestions, Twitter Ads strategies, and information on Twitter tools to help maximize your time and efforts on the social network.

Pinterest Updates iOS App Again

Pinterest UpdateIn our last This Week in Social Media blog post we mentioned Pinterest rolled out a new feature in the iOS app. Now this week the social network gave the iOS version a face-lift giving it a fresh new look. The goal behind the redesign was to de-clutter and simplify the navigation on the app making it easier for users to browse Pinterest. The next time you see a product, place or article Pin, take a look close up at the Pin. You will notice the info and image have much more room on the screen. The app will be rolling out to other devices over the coming weeks and months according to Pinterst.

The big push behind the update was to get users to what they want to do faster- and that’s Pinning. Now when your customers are browsing your Pins they will be more prominent so make sure when you are uploading Pins that you choose very clear, and defined images that represent your prodcut, brand, and/or service. With the growing popularity of people using their mobile devices to browse social networks having good images can make a world of difference.

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