Facebook Groups – A Social Media Marketing Goldmine

Facebook Groups are still under-utilized by brands of all sizes. That should end soon. Groups are the future. Here’s why.

facebook groups marketing

200 Million+ Groups

There are over 200 million groups on Facebook. That’s a lot. Facebook now has 2.2 Billion monthly active users. That’s also a lot. Facebook Groups are growing fast, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks that meaningful groups and communities are the future of social. So the emphasis internally at Facebook (and down the road at Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.) is going to be growing these meaningful groups and communities. That’s why your brand needs to have an effective Facebook Groups strategy.

10X Organic Reach

The Facebook Newsfeed algorithm changes often. Between the recent issues related to privacy/ads/GDPR/etc., there’s been more flux than usual of late. Organic reach of posts by Facebook Pages has been steadily decreasing for years now (it currently sits around 3%-5% and Instagram is following the same trajectory). Through internal testing, we’ve found that posts by Facebook Groups have average organic reach numbers ranging from 30%-50% – a 10X improvement over Pages. So if you have a Page with 1,000 fans and a Group with 100 followers, the organic reach of a post on each will be roughly the same.

Innovative Tools

In an effort to supercharge the growth of Groups, Facebook has recently introduced some powerful tools. Everything from paid subscriptions to guides to third party analytics. Facebook also recently re-introduced apps for Groups. Expect more tools and resources to come in the near future.

Low Competition

Right now, brands are hesitant to go all in on Facebook Groups. At Wallaroo, when we see data like 200 million users and 40% organic reach, combined with low competition, we get excited.

Some brands, however, are getting into the action. Check out the snippet below from a recent Digiday article:

At Facebook’s F8 conference, the social platform … brought indoor cycling workout company Peloton onstage as a success story. Peloton has nearly 88,000 members in its closed group, Official Peloton Member Page. The company has had time to cultivate the group because it started it three years ago, and community is core to what the company does, said Brad Olson, SVP of Member Experience at Peloton. He said the Facebook group receives 300 posts, 5,000 comments and 20,000 reactions every day. “It’s a great way for our members to engage with one another between workouts, and share their goals and hold each other accountable,” he said.

Other brands are having success as well.

Facebook Groups Strategy

We recommend that companies have their own groups that they run, as well as tangentially related groups. For example, a hypothetical women’s ecommerce clothing brand named “Bleu Cheese Boutique” would have a group dedicated to die-hard fans that get early access to new releases through the group (perhaps it’s even a subscription group), titled “Bleu Cheese Boutique Lovers”. They’d also have a separate group that’s titled “Hot Fashion Trends” where they would post content related to the latest fashion trends (while seeding their own products in there every now and then). They could have another group titled “Rom-Com Die-Hards” where they would post content related to outfits worn on rom-coms (while fitting in relevant posts from their brand when applicable).

That’s a quick/high-level strategy that can work for most companies. If you have more in-depth questions, feel free to tweet me @travelintweeter, or email me here: brandon@wallaroomedia.com.

Why Instagram is the Future of the Mobile Web

instagram future of the mobile web

Image via TechCrunch

Instagram is the present, especially for consumer-facing brands. We all know this. It just surpassed 1 Billion users.

Not only is Instagram the present, and the most popular/hottest social app, but it’s also the future of the mobile web.

Dom Hofmann, the founder of Vine, shared a tweetstorm to this point over the weekend. Check it out below for his thoughts on Instagram:

If you don’t have an Instagram strategy, now’s the time to get one. Have any questions? Email us at info@wallaroomedia.com!

How Instagram’s Algorithm Works – A Step by Step Breakdown

Instagram recently held a town hall meeting with journalists at their headquarters in San Francisco where they explained how their algorithm works. Julian Gutman, product lead at Instagram, led the meeting and detailed the specifics. Multiple outlets reported what they learned, with the first being TechCrunch. We aggregated what we found below, and added some nice visuals as well. Enjoy!

It’s important to understand how Instagram’s algorithm works, since the platform now has over 800 million active users. It’s also the go-to app for B2C brands to market their content and engage with their fans/ambassadors. B2B is growing fast on the platform as well.

Instagram’s Algorithmic Feed Ranking Criteria:

Instagram utilizes machine learning and A.I., combined with your past behavior, to create a unique feed for everyone. That means that even if you follow the exact same accounts as someone else, you’ll get a personalized feed based on how you engage with the content of those accounts.

There are 3 primary factors that determine what you see in your feed:

1. Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post.

2. Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones.

3. Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.

In addition to those core factors, there are 3 additional signals that influence rankings:

1. Frequency: How often you open Instagram, as it will try to show you the best posts since your last visit.

2. Following: If you follow a lot of people, Instagram will be picking from a wider breadth of authors so you might see less of any specific person.

3. Usage: How long you spend on Instagram determines if you’re just seeing the best posts during short sessions, or it’s digging deeper into its catalog if you spend more total time browsing.

So there you have it. The six primary factors that make up the Instagram algorithm are: Interest, Recency, Relationship, Frequency, Following, and Usage.

how Instagram algorithm works

Additional Instagram Facts:

In the same meeting with journalists, Instagram also shared the following information:

  • Instagram is not at this time considering an option for users to opt into the old reverse chronological feed
  • Instagram does not hide any posts in the feed
  • Feed ranking does not favor the photo or video format necessarily, but is weighted towards what each user engages with
  • Instagram’s feed doesn’t favor users who use Stories, Live, or other features of the app
  • Instagram does not downrank users for posting too frequently or any other unique behaviors
  • Instagram doesn’t give extra feed presence to personal accounts or business accounts, so switching won’t help your reach (this has been a big topic of discussion among our clients)
  • Instagram is working on a video hub competitor to Snapchat Discover – learn more here

As we all know – increased competition reduces reach. As more users and businesses join Instagram and post more often, but feed browsing time stays stable per user, the average post will get drowned out and receive fewer views. If you want help with strategy to stand out from your competition, or if you’d like to scale your brand via effective social media advertising, contact us today!

Facebook Working on Influencer Marketing Platform

Some big news got leaked last week. First reported by the German site AllFacebook.de and later confirmed by TechCrunch, Facebook is building a platform that will connect marketers and advertisers with social media creators and influencers to allow them to collaborate on sponsored content and social media ad campaigns. It’s currently being dubbed the “Branded Content Matching” search engine. Check out the screenshot below:

facebook influencer marketing platform

Facebook’s “Branded Content Matching” Engine

The social search engine will let advertisers define the characteristics of their target demographic/audience. The engine will then serve up the creators whose followings best fit the desired audience. The entities will be able to communicate through the platform, and work out the details of a campaign from there.

It is unclear as to whether this engine will include Instagram or just Facebook influencers from the outset. We do know a bit more about the platform though. Advertisers in the test can search for creators with specific audience demographics using a wide range of targeting options. Those include both general and industry-specific parameters, like:

  • Top countries where they’re popular
  • Interests
  • Gender
  • Education history
  • Relationship status
  • Life events
  • Home ownership status
  • Home type

The search engine’s results page shows a list of creators with each’s audience match percentage to the search terms, percentage of their followers they reach, engagement rate, follower count and video views.

Facebook has been putting more emphasis on creators in general of late. They recently announced their Facebook Creator app.

facebook creator app

The new app provides influencers with the Live Creative Kit, a unified inbox for messaging, in-depth analytics, and more.

Facebook won’t be taking a cut of any transactions made through the Branded Content Matching engine initially, but surely they’ll find a way to profit from it down the road.

In general, we are very excited for this new influencer marketing platform. A new, potentially similar and more robust influencer platform from Rand Fishkin is in the works as well. Having done a lot of influencer work at Wallaroo, we know the power and ROI that influencers can drive for brands, both on small and large scales.

Interested in digital strategy or scalable social campaigns? Contact us today!

Huge Updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat…

Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat Announce Important Changes

Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have all announced important changes and updates to their platforms over the past few days. Here are the highlights:

Facebook:

nike ar marketing

Twitter:

twitter newfronts 2018

Snapchat:

snappables ar selfie games

That’s all for now! A lot to digest, but some pretty significant changes across the board. Make sure you’re on top of it to stay ahead of the competition!

Facebook’s Newsfeed, Content, and Social Media Algorithms…

Facebook Makes Sweeping Changes – Here’s What it Means for Ads and Content

Last updated: February 13, 2018.

Facebook has made some huge changes to its Newsfeed algorithm in 2018. Facebook has stated that it wants to “increase meaningful interactions between people“. To accomplish this, there will be less video and news. Facebook makes a TON of changes to its product, on a constant basis. And although they said less news, they also created caveats for “trusted news” and “local news”. They’re also increasing their Stories product on desktop and mobile.

Facebook Advertising

First, let’s briefly address how all these changes are affecting Facebook Ads. In two words: they’re not. Facebook Ads are here to stay, and potentially stronger than ever. Below is a note from a Facebook Ads representative:

facebook algorithm changes on facebook ads

Now that that’s out of the way (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some influencer marketing strategies into your mix)…

Facebook Newsfeed and Content

Businesses, both large and small, have been built off Facebook and its algorithm. Those times have officially come to an end. Organic reach of posts has been declining for years (it’s now around 2-4%, sometimes much less). Facebook DOES NOT CARE if you use their platform. Still, some well-known publishers are doing everything they can:

While others seem to finally feel free:

A sage tweet from Matthew Ingram of Columbia Journalism Review sums up the thoughts of many:

I think we can all agree on this: Facebook is done with quality journalism. They’re tired of fake news and bad PR. Controlling it would be too costly. So they’re just phasing it out. Here’s a quote from Mark Zuckerberg:

“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. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Still want news on Facebook? Go to the Watch tab.

Anyone who counted on website traffic from organic Facebook posts needs to move on, especially publishers. Internally, we’ve adjusted how we manage our clients’ Facebook pages. Instead of doing 10 posts/week (years ago) or 5 posts/week (last year), we just try and do 1-2 high quality, engaging posts each week.

You know what’s not going down in the midst of all these updates? Facebook’s profits:

Image via mondaynote.com

Why is that the case? Facebook (and Instagram) ads of course. Those will still be growing strong.

What You Should Do

With the new and future landscape set in stone, I recommend four things:

  1. Post less, but make every post as high quality as possible
  2. Facebook Ads (which include Instagram and Messenger) are still gold mines – focus on those
  3. As Facebook increases human relationships, utilize influencers more
  4. Invest heavily in Groups (Facebook continues to prioritize Groups content)

Also, NEVER build your business in a way that it’s dependent on a singular social platform. First off, focus on all social platforms. Secondly, create consistent, quality content on your website. Lastly, build your email list. Those last two tips are things that cannot be taken away from you.

Finally, good luck! Need help with marketing strategy? Contact us today!

Instagram Adds Hashtag Following; Facebook Opens Up AR Platform

Facebook/Instagram Make Big Changes (and What Those Mean for Marketers)

Facebook made three important announcements today…

  1. The Facebook AR Studio is now open to all

Facebook now has over 2,000 creators using AR Studio. They are using the platform to build fun, animated frames, masks, and interactive augmented reality experiences.

facebook ar studio

As of today, the AR Studio creative tools are open to everyone. In the next week or so, Facebook will also enable ‘world effect technology’ within AR Studio. Creators will soon be able to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact with in their physical space. This tech is akin to what Snapchat has been doing for quite a while now.

2. Hashtag followings on Instagram

Today Instagram introduced the ability to follow hashtags in the app. Below is a statement from the announcement:

“Now it’s even easier to stay connected with the interests, hobbies, passions and communities you care about. Every day, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. #onthetable#slime and #floralnails are just a few examples of hashtags that represent the many interests and passions of our community. To make these posts even more discoverable, we’re introducing hashtags you can follow.

Following a hashtag is just like following a friend. To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. You’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar. You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.”

instagram hashtag followings

To us, this is big news for Instagram. Incorporating hashtags has been crucial aspect of marketing strategy. They’ve been very effective for organically growing your following. With this new feature, that strategy can be accelerated if done correctly.

From an advertising perspective, expect to see ads in these hashtag sections by the end of 2018.

3. Update to the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm

According to Mashable, it was confirmed that Facebook quietly killed an old feature that gave users the choice to somewhat control the order of posts in the Newsfeed. News Ticker, the official feature introduced alongside Facebook’s algorithmic feed years ago, is no more. Get the full breakdown of Facebook’s latest Newsfeed algorithm changes here.

Facebook is Going All In on High Quality Video and Content Creators

Facebook Launches “Facebook for Creators”; Renewed Focus on High-Quality Video

Facebook is going all in on high-quality video and is doing its best to take on YouTube. Facebook officially launches a new app last week called “Facebook for Creators”. The app allows creators/influencers to make and promote videos, as well as the ability to connect with their viewers and fans.

There is a new website as well.

The app is open to everyone. Facebook is encouraging all to create high-quality video content.

“It has never been a better time to be a creator on Facebook,” Facebook product director Daniel Danker said at VidCon this year. “With Facebook we can connect and create community with your audience and tell stories that are social, personal, and authentic.”

The app lets users easily add intros and outros to live videos as well as stickers and frames. The community tab in the app pulls together comments from Facebook and Instagram and messages from Messenger into one inbox. The app even includes analytics about a user’s Page and individual videos. Additional features will be released soon.

“We’ve gathered feedback from creators as we’ve built these resources, and will continue to take cues from the community as we try to make the Facebook experience fun and easy for creators – so they can do what they do best,” wrote Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP of Product.

facebook creators

Facebook for Creators

As a brand, this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Facebook has put a lot of effort behind this venture, and they’re marketing the heck out of it. Creators will be pushing content through this new app onto Facebook (a platform that creators have neglected for a while). Creators always test new apps/platforms, and stick with what works best. If Facebook for Creators can do that, then creators/influencers will add it to their repertoire.

From an ads perspective, expect Facebook to monetize these quickly. They’ve already begun testing mid-roll video ads, and rumor has it that they’ll be adding pre-roll ads soon too.

Keep an eye on this app…

Snapchat Copycats Haven’t Copied One Thing: Snap’s Userbase

App Annie just released a report today around Snapchat’s user base and exclusivity. The numbers are very interesting. Here’s a quick graphic of the main highlight (we’ll explain why it matters to marketers/advertisers below):

snapchat userbase exclusivity

First off, that data proves that Snapchat users are extremely loyal to Snapchat itself. What does that mean for you? That means that reaching them outside of Snapchat requires working with multiple apps, which can add degrees of difficulty depending on the type of ads and/or content. Moving beyond “audience volume” and more towards factoring in metrics like “audience exclusivity” can help you more effectively and efficiently reach the audiences you want to target.

In short, Snapchat may be the place to be for your brand, depending on your audience and your daily goals.

Snap’s ad targeting capabilities are improving quickly as well. They are rolling out context cards and a new pixel. They are also moving towards a new algorithmic feed which should improve engagement and stimulate growth. CEO Evan Spiegel teased more interesting things in the pipeline as well.

Fun sidenote: Snap just announced the Snap Accelerate program. It’s a program for growth-stage mobile startups where if approved, the startup gets to ad spend, creative assistance, media coupons, and more. Apply here.

Video Is The Paradigm Shift

Facebook’s VP of Product Adam Mosseri shared today the following quote at an event:

“We believe that video is the paradigm shift, as large as the shift to mobile…We’re trying to figure out how to support that.”

Facebook is going all in on video. They recently started pushing vertical video. They debuted “Watch“, a tab that houses video content in the Newsfeed. They are testing 4K video uploads. This all makes sense, too. Take a look at the data:

  • Cisco predicts that by 2020, 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video
  • Daily watch time of Facebook Live broadcasts have quadrupled in the last year
  • Time spent watching video on Instagram has increased 80%
  • Social video content is 3X more likely to help people feel connected to friends and family

(See more data here).

From an advertising perspective, video content is more engaging and converts at a higher rate.

video paradigm shift

Image via TechCrunch

In short, if you don’t have a video strategy, you need one ASAP.