19 Aug 2017
by Admin

The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic]

Facebook has released the latest version of its monthly Hot Topics report, covering the subjects and issues that were most mentioned by Facebook users in July.

The Hot Topics reports are a great reference point for those looking to optimize their Facebook posts and campaigns – not only do the reports show you what was being discussed, but who by, in terms of general demographics (male/female, younger/older), which can help provide guidance on what’s resonating amongst your specific target market/s.

So what was gaining traction on Facebook last month?

The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic] | Social Media TodayAs usual, national holidays get a lot of attention on Facebook – which makes sense, people share their thoughts and opinions on such days. But they can skew the data somewhat when you’re trying to conduct research on what’s most relevant to your audience – it’s pretty much a given that seasonal events will come up and you need to factor them into your marketing plan where possible.

To make it a little clearer as to what else was resonating, here’s the chart with seasonal holiday mentions removed.

The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic] | Social Media TodayThat makes it a little clearer – though it is relevant to note the popularity of celebrations like Christmas in July and Canada Day, as they may help planning for future campaigns.

In terms of key topics of note, younger men are very interested in the upcoming Conor McGregor/Floyd Mayweather boxing match, while the death of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was also a key topic of focus.  

Among older users, you can see that Le Tour de France was popular with older men, while tennis star Kim Clijsters, who was recently inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, was also highly mentioned. Country singer Garth Brooks also got a lot of attention, as did zucchini amongst older women. Not sure what the story is with that.

Over on Instagram, the story was, again, similar, though with more entertainment-related mentions (which is normally how it goes among Instagram users).

The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic] | Social Media TodayThis is likely influenced by the younger user base of Instagram.

As always, Facebook has also provided Hot Topics charts for:


The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic] | Social Media Today


The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic] | Social Media TodayThe UK

The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in July [Infographic] | Social Media TodayAs noted, the Hot Topics report is always worth a look – even if you’re absolutely confident you know and understand your target market, there are always smaller trends and shifts within the data that come up, and may help refine your campaign focus in order to generate better response. 

18 Aug 2017
by Admin

Facebook Cracks Down on Static Images as Video and Fake Video Play Buttons with New Algorithm Update

As with everything in the online realm, at some point, scammers are going to find loopholes in system processes to artificially boost their presence.

In SEO, for example, Google has to constantly evolve its algorithm to stay a step ahead, and they can’t reveal the inner workings of their process for fear of people seeking out vulnerabilities. Facebook too has to continually refine and tweak its algorithm to ensure people aren’t being inundated with junk – if they were to over-emphasize Page Likes, for example, Like sellers would ramp up their promotions.

People are always looking for ways to get ahead, to ‘hack’ the systems in order to gain an advantage – which makes sense to a degree, but it often also goes against the purpose of why such options exist, and ends up annoying the platform, the users, and/or both.

One of the more recent examples of this has come about because of Facebook’s increased emphasis on video. Because Facebook’s News Feed algorithm gives preferential treatment to video content, some Pages have worked out that they can game the system by posting static images as video – like this one:

Facebook Cracks Down on Static Images as Video and Fake Video Play Buttons with New Algorithm Update | Social Media Today

This is not actually a video, it merely plays that static image for 14 seconds, but because it’s posted as a video, it gets more reach. This is a tactic that’s clearly working for this Page – check out the view counts here, and all of these are static images posted as videos, all similar length.

Facebook Cracks Down on Static Images as Video and Fake Video Play Buttons with New Algorithm Update | Social Media TodayIt’s not necessarily scamming, they’re not advertising their content as anything different to what it is, and as the videos autoplay in the News Feed, most users wouldn’t even notice that these are videos. But they generate a lot more reach than they would as static images.

But now, Facebook’s got wind of this, and they’re looking to take action, announcing a new News Feed algorithm tweak which will detect and restrict the reach of static images posted as video content.

Using a new ‘motion scoring’ system, Facebook will be able to detect movement inside a video, and demote content that’s not actual video, despite being posted as such. This will likely also impact those Facebook Live posts which include virtually static counters, which have also helped some Pages boost their reach.

Again, that’s not necessarily deceptive, but it does go against what video content is, providing a lesser experience for users.

In addition to this – and maybe worse from a user experience perspective – Facebook’s also cracking down on Pages that post still images with play buttons inside them to lure clicks.

Facebook Cracks Down on Static Images as Video and Fake Video Play Buttons with New Algorithm Update | Social Media TodayAs explained by Facebook:

“When people click on an image in their News Feed featuring a play button, they expect a video to start playing. Spammers often use fake play buttons to trick people into clicking links to low quality websites.”

In order to limit the reach of such posts, Facebook will use its machine learning systems to detect fake play buttons in preview images.

So what will the impact be for your Page? Nothing, so long as you don’t use these tactics. In order to avoid any negative impacts, ensure you’re not posting play buttons in your preview images and don’t post static content as a video. Such tactics may have provided some benefit for some Pages in the short term, but as Facebook rolls out these new changes, these posts will see a significant drop in reach.

It’s a good update for Facebook, further removing ambiguity around the types of content being posted, helping to ensure a better user experience by providing what you would expect from both video and non-video content.

Now, when you see a video play button, you can expect it to actually work, while eliminating mis-uses of Facebook Live can only help to improve the overall quality of the offering, which will bring more users back to Facebook Live more often.

Now we wait to see where the next Facebook reach loophole will be.

17 Aug 2017
by Admin

Building and Managing Your Online Community [#SMTLive Recap]

Online communities are a hot topic, but a confusing subject for many in the social media marketing world. How do you build a community instead of a following? What does it take to manage a community? How do you know if your efforts are making a difference? 

These are the types of questions we were seeking to answer during Tuesday’s #SMTLive Twitter chat

SMT influencer and CEO of Leader Networks, Vanessa Dimauro, joined us as a co-host to help lead the conversation. A huge thanks to her and everyone who showed up to share their insights on Tuesday. 

Here is a brief recap with key takeaways from our most recent chat on community management.

16 Aug 2017
by Admin

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement

Facebook has announced an update to their News Feed layout which will help cater to common user concerns and make the Facebook process easier and more clear-cut. And while the changes may seem small – you may not even notice all of them as you scroll through – each plays a specific role, and is based on various iterative studies and data.

As explained by Facebook, the changes have been driven by the most common issues highlighted by users, identified through their regular feedback process.

“Our design and research teams are in continuing dialog with real users, every day. Consistently, our audience lets us know what they care about most:

  1. The content itself, such as a shared photo
  2. The person who is sharing the content
  3. How they can leave feedback (like a comment or reaction) to what they were seeing”

These are the three core areas Facebook’s looking to address with the update – here’s how the new layout caters to each.

First off, on content – there are a couple of smaller tweaks in content sharing dynamics, though again, most are fairly subtle. On links, for example, link previews will now appear larger, and with the originating website listed above the headline, as opposed to below.

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement | Social Media TodayYou can see here, the link preview is also bigger, making it stand out a little more in the feed. Facebook had also been testing color co-ordinated link previews, which took on the dominant color of the link preview image, but that test hasn’t made it through (at least in this iteration).

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement | Social Media Today

Color co-ordinated link previews in testing

Facebook says they’ve also increased the color contrast to make the typography more legible, along with updated icons and Like, Comment, and Share buttons which are larger and easier to tap.

The content changes are also evident in the new image sharing layout, which addresses the second element – better highlighting who is sharing the content.

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement | Social Media TodayYou can see how Facebook has improved the dynamics of moving through the feed once you’ve clicked on a post, with a new back button, while the removal of the blue header helps the image (and creator) stand out – though not as much as it would have had they gone with another iteration they were testing (below left).

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement | Social Media TodayI personally like the test version better, but Facebook found there were issues with having the text on the image, so they went with a more familiar variation.

The third element relates specifically to comments, and may be the most prominent update, with Facebook introducing bubble-style responses, making it easier to see which comments are direct replies.

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement | Social Media TodayFacebook’s been testing this with various user groups – several users highlighted this back in June, while that test also included an indicator bar based on how many replies a comment has received.

Facebook Updates News Feed Layout to Improve On-Platform Engagement | Social Media TodayAs with link previews, not all elements of their testing have made it through – which is probably a good thing, as the indicator bar doesn’t look as clean or co-ordinated as this new layout. The bubble comments also mimic the format of other platforms, like Reddit, which Facebook notes:

“Our existing [comment] formats were rooted in message board styles, with similarly limited affordances for personal expression. As we started to look at other formats for comments, it was obvious that messaging design paradigms have empowered people to converse better than they could before.”

You can also see how Reactions can be more clearly attached to specific comments, making it easier to stay with the conversation flow – and considering Reactions have been already been used more than two billion times since being made available in Messenger threads, there’s clearly a use case for them here also, aligning with the wider design shift.

In addition to these changes, Facebook’s also making profile images circular, which they started implementing last month. Just as it did on Twitter, that change may require some business Pages (and probably people) to change their profile image to better suit the round format.

Overall, the changes look good, and they seem to make sense, based on the insights provided by Facebook’s design team. And while they might seem relatively subtle, they could help provide significant benefits for Facebook, with more people spending more time engaging with content.

Facebook says the new changes will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

15 Aug 2017
by Admin

The Worst Social Media Advice I’ve Heard “Experts” Give

The Worst Social Media Advice I’ve Heard “Experts” Give | Social Media TodayThere are so many so called social media “experts” out there, but amassing a big following doesn’t automatically make you well versed in the world of social media marketing.

In this post, I’m going to outline some of the worst pieces of advice I’ve heard floating around from social media “experts”, and why they’re wrong.

Hopefully, they’ll help you avoid misinterpreting such advice.

1. An Intern Can Handle It

No offense to the interns out there, there are some really brilliant ones, but social media marketing is more complicated than just throwing up a photo.

There’s a lot of strategy, analysis, testing and coordinating that goes on that an intern who’s just learning the field may not be well versed at just yet.

My suggestion: Interns will have great and fresh new ideas, they’ll know the latest trends, and what’s popular “with the kids”, but this insight would be better paired with an experienced social media marketer in order for your efforts to have the most impact. Gauge the expertise of your intern and take that into consideration when assigning them tasks.

2. Post Multiple Times A Day

This is definitely one of the worst pieces of social media advice I’ve heard experts give. Why? Because each business is completely different and more posts doesn’t always equal more (or better) engagement.

My suggestion: I do believe you should post at least several times a week to maintain your presence, and top of mind awareness by appearing in your followers’ feeds, and you should absolutely test different posting frequencies, and monitor how your audience responds. But some audiences like more posts and some won’t – the only true measure is what your analytics tell you about your, specific segment.

3. Be Active On Every Network

I’ve heard social media “experts” advise others to be active on as many networks as possible, and there’s undoubtedly some pressure to be active on every single platform, so that you’re not missing out. But being everywhere is simply not necessary for most.

My suggestion: I always suggest you try the networks you want to be on for a set amount of time. Gauge how your presence grows, monitor traffic from your social networks. Concentrate on the networks that actually give you results.

Narrowing down the networks you concentrate on will help you create better content, which will help your accounts grow the right way.

4. Link Your Social Media Accounts

Another bad piece of social media advice I’ve heard “experts” give is to link all your social media accounts together to make things easier.

In theory, this isn’t a bad piece of advice. But in practice, it might not work out the way you think. Here’s why:

  • The way you communicate with each social network is different – from character count, to hashtag use, each has its own language and “set of rules”. When you link your accounts, you lose that, and can therefore end up looking like you have no idea how to use the network.
  • It can look awful – Below is a Twitter news feed full of Instagram links. It’s an eyesore – the messaging cuts off and the Instagram link makes it look like the same message is being shared over and over. One more issue is that the photos don’t show up in the timeline this way, which creates an extra step followers need to take to access your content. This will cause fans to tune out – people are often too busy to click an extra link.

The Worst Social Media Advice I’ve Heard “Experts” Give | Social Media Today

My suggestion: If you must link your social networks, take into consideration the network you’re linking to. Pay attention to character limits, messaging, and hashtag use.

For example, if you share an Instagram image to Twitter, remember to make your caption short, since it will cut off for the link.

5. You Don’t Need a Strategy

The last and absolute worst piece of advice I’ve heard a social media “expert” give is that you don’t need a strategy.

Is it true that some people have amassed a great following without a strategy? Yes.

Does this mean that you’ll have the same luck? Probably not.

My suggestion: Create a strategy, even if it’s a simple one. Having a plan in place will help you iron out the details that will make your brand stand out from competitors and achieve the results you want. You won’t scramble for content, and all your posts will have a purpose behind them.

Remember that social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Some of the best accounts have been built through time and patience – and maybe even a healthy ad budget. When taking social media advice from an expert, do your research, and create your own tests to see if it works.

What is the worst piece of social media advice you’ve been given? Let me know in the comments below.

The post The Worst Social Media Advice I’ve Heard “Experts” Give appeared first on DhariLo #SocialMedia.

14 Aug 2017
by Admin

Why Search Intent is the Secret to Superior Keyword Research [Video]

[embedded content]

In this post and video, I’m going to give you a system that’ll help impact how your keyword research is conducted, how it’s implemented into content, and, I believe, impact the results you’re going to get from that keyword research.

First off, what is search intent?

Essentially, there are four categories of search intent.

  1. Navigational searches – For example, someone searching for something specific, like ‘Twitter support’ or looking up ‘Facebook’
  2. Informational searches – These are ‘who, what, when, where, how’ type searches
  3. Commercial investigation – Someone looking for unbiased reviews, or maybe looking through Amazon reviews or Yelp
  4. Transactional searches – Someone at the end of the buying cycle looking for the best deals and extras like free shipping, or ‘buy it now’, or ‘products near me’.

I’ll give you a practical example of what I’m talking about as we walk through each of the steps you need to take.

Step 1: Google your main keyword and analyze the results

This is like defining your head term – for example, I’ve Google ‘beard oil’. 

Step 2. Understand which search intent categories Google is displaying

In your head term results, click into the search box and look at what Google’s showing. You can see here (below) they’re displaying ‘beard oil reviews’ which is a commercial investigation. 

‘Beard oil growth’, meanwhile, is more in the ‘informational how to’ category.

Then below that there are transactional results, and you could maybe even could consider these navigational because they’re trying to get somewhere specific on a specific site.

What does this tell us? This, you’ll see, plays out on a lot of head terms, and the head term is essentially something very broad, not very specific. Google doesn’t actually know what your intent is, so it gives you a little bit of everything.

Step 3. Hone in on results for a specific category such as Informational

You now want to hone in on your results for the specific category that you’re going to try to make content, do keyword research and optimize for. In this case, we’re going to look at informational. 

I have ‘what does beard oil do?’ Notice there are no ads – the results are all informational. 

None of this is complicated, but once you get this ingrained in how you do keyword research and how you match this up, it’s going to make a massive difference. From these results, I can see that these informational searches are probably the way I want to go, so I want to match up with what’s out there and doing well in the top 10 and top 20 on Google.

Step 4. Use Answer the Public to find additional question and preposition keywords

Answer the Public is a free keyword tool. 

Answer the Public will show me all the questions and propositions that are being asked around my head term – this is where you’re going to get a lot more informational intent.

  • Who needs beard oil?
  • How do you make it?
  • What’s it made out of?

All of these kids of common queries are listed – with this, you want to then export your list to a CSV for further analysis.

Step 5. Analyze your keywords in bulk with Keywords Everywhere

The next step is to analyze the keywords in bulk with another free keyword tool – Keywords Everywhere.

You can take all the prepositions and questions from Answer the Public and then paste them into Keywords Everywhere. In my results (below), you can see that one of the top searches is ‘what does beard oil do?’

Step 6. Create a target keyword list that aligns exclusively with your search intent category

The next step is to create a keyword list that aligns exclusively with your search intent category by removing those that don’t apply.

‘Beard oil near me’ – that’s a mobile search, it has nothing to do with your search intent that you’re optimizing for.

‘Beard oil for sale’- that’s transactional.

Remove all of these keywords that are not informational. Do not try to do too much with one thing. Hyper-optimize on informational search intent if that is what you’re going for.

Step 7. Use the remaining keywords to create a rough outline

You’re going to end up with is a list like this – these are the target keywords that I grabbed, which are informational.

  • How do you do this?
  • Why do you do this?
  • How often should you do this?

Why Search Intent is the Secret to Superior Keyword Research [Video] | Social Media TodayI’ve removed all of the things we just talked about – the research queries, the commercial ones. All that’s now gone and we’re left with a list of focused informational terms.

This is where most people tend to make a mistake – they take this keyword list and they hand it off to their copywriters. It’s not the worst thing in the world to do, you’re definitely giving them a lot of direction. But at the same time, you’re likely not going to achieve optimal results. It’s just human nature that they’re going to try to shoe horn in these keywords everywhere – and 99% of the time it won’t work.

What you’re actually going to do is use the remaining keywords to create a rough outline. This is nothing groundbreaking, just a very basic overview of a post.

I’m going to try and make one great resource that Google can look at and go, “Wow, if I send people here and they’re in the informational stage, this would be an amazing resource, because it hits on everything.” 

I can put together this whole list, then down at the bottom, you’ll notice that I’ve even added notes on content and video suggestions to help – this can be established in the next stage.

Step 8. Get the average content length of the top ten results to approximate the depth your content should cover

You want to get the average content length of the top ten results to approximate the depth of your content.

You don’t need to be so specific, you just need an approximation – if you don’t have a tool that can do this for you, you can literally just visit each of the top pages, copy out the body content and paste that into a Google doc, then note the average word count.

Step 9. Hand the outline (not the keyword list) to your editor

Hand the outline – not the keyword list to your editor. You’re going to get much better content back, and they’re going to be writing for the user and not for keywords.

Step 10. Make slight optimization changes needed before publishing

Make slight optimization changes before you publish. Tweak the details to ensure your content is nailing everything that you want – just be sure that each sticks with the focus of your strategy, in this case, being navigational.

Could you insert a CTA in this for a free trial of your beard oil? Sure. In general, just don’t try to mix them up too much. 


Hopefully this post gets you thinking in this more focused mindset, which will help your end result – I know, it has helped mine. 

13 Aug 2017
by Admin

Facebook's Expansion in Indonesia – and the Opportunities That Provides [Infographic]

One of the key strengths of Facebook’s ongoing growth has been the platform’s ability to expand in international markets, with the Asia Pacific sector growing at a faster rate than anywhere else. Much of that growth has been driven by India, which, according to some reports, is now Facebook’s biggest single-nation market (241 million users vs 240 million in the US) – but another key region of growth has been Indonesia, where Facebook has become a huge part of the interactive process.

Indeed, according to Facebook, there are now more than 115 million Facebook users in Indonesia, with 97% of them accessing The Social Network via mobile device. Indonesian users are also highly active on Facebook, sharing content at 3x the global average, and commenting a staggering 60% more than the global average.

And the business opportunities of those rates of adoption are significant – 60% of Indonesian Facebook users are connected to a local business, and 42% are connected to at least one business in a foreign country.

The key to Facebook’s success has been its ability to meet the demands of users across the world, not just in certain markets, and that’s no better demonstrated than their expansion in the Asia Pacific.

Facebook have put together this new infographic outlining the state of Facebook adoption in Indonesia, which also underlines the growing opportunities for cross-border commerce via The Social Network. 

Facebook's Expansion in Indonesia - and the Opportunities That Provides [Infographic] | Social Media Today

12 Aug 2017
by Admin

Facebook's Testing a New Way to Target Ads to People Who've Visited Your Store

Facebook’s testing a new Custom Audiences option which would enable businesses to target ads at people who’ve visited their store, with a new ‘Store Visits’ option appearing for some advertisers.

Facebook's Testing a New Way to Target Ads to In-Store Visitors | Social Media Today

Screenshot via Moshe Isaacian

As you can see from the above, the option would enable advertisers to ‘create a list of people who’ve previously visited your business location’. How, exactly, Facebook would compile this list would likely come down to matching store visitors with Location Services switched on against in store Wi-Fi signals, enabling them to estimate location.

Using this, advertisers could then target their ads to groups of users who’ve displayed a clear interest in their products – by visiting their store – while they could also be used to find users with similar characteristics to expand reach. The option may come in particularly handy for restaurants or cafes, reaching out to previous visitors with special offers, while it could also, theoretically, enable targeting to repeat visitors, helping to find loyal customers, or give a nudge to those who’ve visited a few times but not made a purchase.

While there’s no word from Facebook as yet as to how widespread the new option is being made available, even as a test, it underlines The Social Network’s ongoing efforts to improve their ad reporting and provide more transparent, accurate details on Facebook ad response.

As social media marketing evolves and becomes a more significant consideration in business process, so too are the solutions available for tracking and measuring the performance of social med ad spend. Social ROI has always been a key question – Likes and comments are great, but how does that relate to actual bottom line impact? As a result, all the major social networks have been working to provide new tools and options to better align social ad spend with offline sales – Facebook, for example, introduced Conversion Lift which cross-checks point of sale data with Facebook insights to measure the effectiveness of ad exposure. Twitter has their own version of the same, while Snapchat has ‘Snap to Store’.

The platform that can provide the best, most accurate, most comprehensive options in this regard will be well-placed to not only improve the performance of their ads through better data tracking, but also, to win more business through proven impact.

In some respects, such measurements are a little creepy, tracking your location and measuring ad exposure, even purchases, but given the number of users who already have Location Services turned on, and the opportunities that data can provide, utilizing it makes perfect sense. And if people can get improved special offers based on such capacity, you can bet the privacy concerns will lessen in favor of a better deal.

Facebook has also tried more advanced ad targeting via in-store Facebook Beacons, which haven’t taken off, but may become more of a focus in future, enabling more granular focus, and improved reporting. Another test along similar lines is the use of Facebook QR codes which can be redeemed in-store.   

Facebook's Testing a New Way to Target Ads to In-Store Visitors | Social Media TodayGiven the aforementioned privacy concerns, such tests don’t tend to get a lot of focus, but the breadth of options being trialed shows that Facebook is looking at an array of tools in this regard. And they could provide significant benefits for Facebook marketers in future. 

© 2017