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Facebook Versus Click-Bait

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 27 Aug 2014

Is this the end of click-bait? Facebook has announced changes to the News Feed that should reduce the amount of click-bait headlines and improve user experience. What effect does this have on Facebook page owners?

Firstly, here's how Facebook is going to decide which posts are click-bait:

  • Short clicks - a user clicks on a link and then quickly clicks back to Facebook. This indicates that the content did not match the headline. In reverse, the longer someone spends on a link, the more useful it will look to Facebook.
  • Engagement - links that receive a lot of clicks but very few shares and likes will also be flagged as click-bait as it shows that the link was not valuable enough to earn a recommendation.

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Social Media is Making the World a Better Place

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 29 Jul 2013

Just over a week ago I had a rant about why social media isn't ruining the world, focussing on the reasons social media is said to be spoiling everything from our relationships to our memories and dispelling the myths that have been built up in the last few years.

My heckles had been raised by certain articles on well-regarded sites like the Huffington Post and well... also the Daily Mail. I was wound up I admit. Like this guy:

Maybe I hadn't had my morning coffee (milk, two sugars, if you're wondering) but I responded with a bit of a diatribe.

This week I'm going to take a more positive approach. I've just had a green tea and I got my full 8 hours sleep last night, so I'm going to calmly explain why I think social media is actually making everything a whole lot better.

On our Social Media Course, we explain why social media is so useful and important for business; something I'll expand on later, but there are plenty of other reasons social media really is a force for good. Like how it:

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Social Media Isn't Ruining the World

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 17 Jul 2013

It seems like social media is accused of ruining the world on an almost daily basis in news and blogs across the web, for a multiplicity of reasons: it's causing the breakdown of relationshipsbreeding a culture of narcissistic and parasitic youths and shrinking our attention spans to the point that we can barely even finish a senten...

Awful joke aside, this is a serious barrage of allegations to be levelled against what is arguably one of the biggest communication technology developments there has ever been.

And it's just plain wrong. Social media is not ruining your life, my life or the world.

In a lot of ways, it's doing the exact opposite - it's making everything a whole lot better.

Although our Social Media Training focusses on the potential business and marketing uses of social media, it can be used for a whole lot more.

So let's take a look at some of the most often quoted reasons that social media is Satan in technological form and try to debunk these myths.

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Marketing With #Hashtags

Written by Aaron Charlie – Thu 13 Jun 2013

Updated 13/06: Facebook has confirmed it will be rolling out hashtags for users, starting from today.

The latest news out of Facebook HQ (it seems like there's something new every week at the moment!) is that the social giant is considering trialling the use of hashtags, the now ubiquitous topic grouping symbol popularised by rival Twitter.

If Facebook does go ahead with the idea, rumoured to be intended to work alongside the new graph search feature to make topics and conversations easier to find, it will join Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and its own sepia-soaked photosharer Instagram as a user of the device.

Bearing all that in mind, we thought it would be worth having a refresher in how best to use hashtags for marketing on all the major platforms. Of course to really get to grips with marketing on Twitter, Facebook and the like, our Social Media Workshop is ideal.

If you want to see hashtags in action, follow us on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest.

So how do we go about using hashtags for marketing? Well firstly we need to distinguish between two different ways they are used by businesses across social media:

1/ Using Existing Hashtags

One very simple and popular way to use hashtags for marketing businesses is to find trending hashtags related to your specific niche and use them in your posts.

If for example you write about Project Management, you could use the hashtags #pm #pmot to open up your posts to a wider audience who may be searching for content placed under that grouping.

Going down this route is generally seen to be the 'safest' option when using hashtags but you still need to be careful.

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Optimising Business Pages for Facebook Graph Search

Written by Craig Charley – Wed 16 Jan 2013

Last night Facebook announced Facebook Graph Search, putting to rest the many rumourssurrounding the cryptic launch event in Los Angeles.

These rumours included Facebook Mobile & an external search engine, but the most popular rumour turned out to be spot on - Facebook has radically overhauled their internal search function in a move that should frighten other social networks, traditional search engines and privacy advocates alike.

There are already tons of posts about the new search function and very few people have access yet (you can sign up for beta here), so instead we are going to focus on how brands (and individuals) can optimise to appear higher and more frequently in search results. One of those lucky few to get early access was Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, so head over there for a full run down of how Facebook Graph Search works.

It's very interesting that Facebook is the first social network to bring out a search engine like this. On our SEO courses and social media workshops we emphasise how you can use social media to help rank better in search engines, maybe now we'll have to include a section on using SEO to rank better in social networks!

How Does Visibility Work with Facebook Graph Search?

Mark Zuckerberg may claim that Graph Search isn't a direct competitor to Google, but it's still a search engine and so there will always be ways to rank higher. Facebook have managed to produce something that Google have been working on for a while - an Internet of Things. Instead of a database of web pages, they have a database of information on things - likes, photos, businesses, people, jobs, locations and many more - and can distinguish between these items.

Your visibility rests on how your business is connected to searchers - the more of their friends have connected with you, the more visible you are in their search results. But this can be just one of many factors affecting your visibility, including:

  • Total number of likes
  • Total number of check-ins
  • The level of engagement on your page
  • How often people talk about your business
  • The frequency that people check in/ engage
  • The recency of check-ins/ engagement
  • Your location
  • Your potential reach (are your likes/check-ins just local or are people coming from further afield?)

There are likely to be many more I haven't thought of, and the impact of each is determined by the type of search performed.

If a searcher is looking for businesses their friends like, then that will be the major factor. If they're looking for businesses in their area then total likes and of course location will have more of an impact.

But it's not just friends! You can search using an overwhelming number of factors. My favourite example of this is again from Danny Sullivan - "Search for Restaurants run by employees of a particular cooking school". So it's not just about number of connections, but about the type and value of those connections.

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