Education

The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem

POSSE

For quite a while now, I’ve been publishing most of my content to my personal website first and syndicating copies of it to social media silos like Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Facebook. Within the Indieweb community this process is known as POSSE an acronym for Post on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

The Facebook Algorithm

Anecdotally most in social media have long known that doing this type of workflow causes your content to be treated like a second class citizen, particularly on Facebook which greatly prefers that users post to it manually or using one of its own apps rather than via API. [1][2][3][4] This means that the Facebook algorithm that decides how big an audience a piece of content receives, dings posts which aren’t posted manually within their system. Simply put, if you don’t post it manually within Facebook, not as many people are going to see it.

Generally I don’t care too much about this posting “tax” and happily use a plugin called Social Media Network Auto Poster (aka SNAP) to syndicate my content from my WordPress site to up to half a dozen social silos.

What I have been noticing over the past six or more months is an even more insidious tax being paid for posting to Facebook. I call it “The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem”.

Here’s what’s happening

I write my content on my own personal site. I automatically syndicate it to Facebook. My mom, who seems to be on Facebook 24/7, immediately clicks “like” on the post. The Facebook algorithm immediately thinks that because my mom liked it, it must be a family related piece of content–even if it’s obviously about theoretical math, a subject in which my mom has no interest or knowledge. (My mom has about 180 friends on Facebook; 45 of them overlap with mine and the vast majority of those are close family members).

The algorithm narrows the presentation of the content down to very close family. Then my mom’s sister sees it and clicks “like” moments later. Now Facebook’s algorithm has created a self-fulfilling prophesy and further narrows the audience of my post. As a result, my post gets no further exposure on Facebook other than perhaps five people–the circle of family that overlaps in all three of our social graphs. Naturally, none of these people love me enough to click “like” on random technical things I think are cool. I certainly couldn’t blame them for not liking these arcane topics, but shame on Facebook for torturing them for the exposure when I was originally targeting maybe 10 other colleagues to begin with.

This would all be okay if the actual content was what Facebook was predicting it was, but 99% of the time, it’s not the case. In general I tend to post about math, science, and other random technical subjects. I rarely post about closely personal things which are of great interest to my close family members. These kinds of things are ones which I would relay to them via phone or in person and not post about publicly.

Posts only a mother could love

I can post about arcane areas like Lie algebras or statistical thermodynamics, and my mom, because she’s my mom, will like all of it–whether or not she understands what I’m talking about or not. And isn’t this what moms do?! What they’re supposed to do? Of course it is!

mom-autolike (n.)–When a mother automatically clicks “like” on a piece of content posted to social media by one of their children, not because it has any inherent value, but simply because the content came from their child.

She’s my mom, she’s supposed to love me unconditionally this way!

The problem is: Facebook, despite the fact that they know she’s my mom, doesn’t take this fact into account in their algorithm.

What does this mean? It means either I quit posting to Facebook, or I game the system to prevent these mom-autolikes.

Preventing mom-autolikes

I’ve been experimenting. But how?

Facebook allows users to specifically target their audience in a highly granular fashion from the entire public to one’s circle of “friends” all the way down to even one or two specific people. Even better, they’ll let you target pre-defined circles of friends and even exclude specific people. So this is typically what I’ve been doing to end-around my Facebook Algorithm Mom problem. I have my site up set to post to either “Friends except mom” or “Public except mom”. (Sometimes I exclude my aunt just for good measure.) This means that my mom now can’t see my posts when I publish them!

What a horrible son

Don’t jump the gun too quickly there Bubbe! I come back at the end of the day after the algorithm has run its course and my post has foreseeably reached all of the audience it’s likely to get. At that point, I change the audience of the post to completely “Public”.

You’ll never guess what happens next…

Yup. My mom “likes” it!

I love you mom. Thanks for all your unconditional love and support!!

Even better, I’m happy to report that generally the intended audience which I wanted to see the post actually sees it. Mom just gets to see it a bit later.

Dear Facebook Engineering

Could you fix this algorithm problem please? I’m sure I’m not the only son or daughter to suffer from it.

Have you noticed this problem yourself? I’d love to hear from others who’ve seen a similar effect and love their mothers (or other close loved ones) enough to not cut them out of their Facebook lives.

References

[1]
R. Tippens, “Drop the Autobot: Manual Posting to Facebook Outperforms Automated,” ReadWrite, 01-Aug-2011. [Online]. Available: https://readwrite.com/2011/08/01/manually_posting_to_facebook_significantly_outperf/. [Accessed: 11-Jul-2017]
[2]
“How to Increase Your Traffic from Facebook by 650% in 5 Seconds,” WPMUDEV, 02-Aug-2011. [Online]. Available: https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/how-to-increase-your-traffic-from-facebook-by-650-in-5-seconds/. [Accessed: 11-Jul-2017]
[3]
J. D. Lasica, “Demystifying how Facebook’s news feeds work,” SocialMedia.biz, 11-Feb-2011. [Online]. Available: http://socialmedia.biz/2011/02/07/how-facebook-news-feeds-work/. [Accessed: 11-Jul-2017]
[4]
D. Hay, “Will auto-posting stunt the reach of your Facebook posts?,” SocialMedia.biz, 26-Jul-2011. [Online]. Available: http://socialmedia.biz/2011/07/26/will-auto-posting-stunt-the-reach-of-your-facebook-posts/. [Accessed: 11-Jul-2017]

The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem was originally published on Chris Aldrich

https://chrisaldrich.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/the-facebook-algorithm-mom-problem/

 

An effective brand consists of a highly interconnected set of business identity attributes. These attributes include things such as your distinct selling points and your core brand values. With the booming growth of digital marketing, consistent brand messages are becoming easier to implement. But most companies are at a loss as how to be more effective at telling your brand’s story in a visual and social media-savvy way.
Full article on Inc.com

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Social Media And Teenage Girls: Not Your Mother’s Adolescence

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Social Media And Teenage Girls: Not Your Mother’s Adolescence

In her book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, Nancy Jo Sales looks at the pressures on teenage girls socially and sexually. She talks to David Greene about her book.

Listen to the interview here.

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Advertising the Speed Dating…

Advertising

Advertising the Speed Dating…

If you sit down to read a novel, watch a television series or take in a movie you are in a relationship for an extended period of time. The characters become loved or hated, you build emotional connections with them, the scenery whether foreign to you or old hat draws you in and you become part of it, you feel the temperature and smell the car exhaust or freshly mown grass. The music raises your heart rate, and joy, sadness or anger fill you. All these elements combine to build a relationship that you don’t always want to have end. Advertising whether radio, print or social media is speed dating in comparison to the afore mentioned mediums. Though the long term relationship of War and Peace and the Facebook advertisement that you scroll by in your news feed have a lot in common we will not dissect those in depth today. Today we are going to dissect the ways the consumer participates in the speed dating game via advertising mediums, and which medium works best for connecting people to products.

All speed dating starts out the same way, people trying to find out as quickly as possible what type of person they are sitting at the speed dating table with. How old are they, what is their income bracket and what are their hobbies? Are they married, divorced and what about kids? In advertising we must figure this out prior to sitting across the table and deciding which medium will be used for the speed date. Goals are set, demographics are ferreted out and a budget decided upon. Know matter the medium, demographics (who you want to reach out to) are key choosing the medium, design and verbiage for connecting with your audience. So how do demographics help determine your advertising medium?

Radio… do you tune in? More than 9 in 10 Americans listen to radio on a weekly basis, with those figures highest among Hispanics (94%) and African-Americans (92%), according to Nielsen. Nielsen also reports that, 12.8% of AM/FM radio’s adult audience is in the 18-24 demographic. Having this information along with other demographic statistics can help a company determine whether or not radio is for them, they most keep in mind that different radio stations will have demographics all there own. According to National Public Radio there audience is a bit different from what Nielsen reports; 120% are more likely to work in MIS, IS, IT, Networking or technology-related jobs, listeners are 153% more likely to be top management in technology-related fields, and are 70% more likely to spend $1000+ on travel. Making it clear that the radio station changes who and how you will advertise on it, one this the radio can’t do it guarantee that those people you are targeting will hear your advertisement.

Who watched television anymore? If you do are you skipping commercials? There are some very interesting studies and article out regarding companies and how they are advertising on television. Television as with radio has many facets to consider; the station demographics, the shows demographics etc. Creating a television commercial is a more expensive undertaking and paying for it to play will also cost you more, a lot of research is needed to make sure your ROI is worth the effort. The same risk applies with television as with radio, will the intended audience see your ad, or with they skip threw it, run to the rest room or check their Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, social media is my favorite place to advertise and Facebook is the top of my list! The information gathered by Facebook in its users is amazing and a powerful tool for marketers! While the other social media platforms are not far behind. Each social media platform has its own set of demographics to be considered when choosing where to advertise, and how to advertise. Your Facebook advertisement isn’t going to be the same as the one for

Instagram even though Instagram is now owned by Facebook. The following graphic by Social Media Week gives you a small taste of the differences from one social media platform to another.

XgAHGTd

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More than Social Media Marketing

LOVEBOMBS Poster

More than Social Media Marketing

Many Streams has added a stream, hence the name. A Many Streams client gets more than just social media marketing when they contract with Many Streams, they get outside of the box thinking that can help improve the business as a whole.

Recently Many Streams began booking musical acts for a client. Since July 1 the Boho Cafe has been open two nights a week with live music! Boho @ Night is raising awareness of the Boho Cafe in general, as well as providing great food and music. Sales during the day are up and the number of people coming in for live music and a bite to eat is steadily rising. Nothing better than sitting down to a meal and listing to live bluegrass, folk and Americana. The first open mic night at the Boho had the highest amount of participants the Open Mic night guy had ever seen for an opening night! Many Streams also books one to two clients a month for a much bigger venue that Boho Cafe has access to, the Junction & Vermont rooms in the Historic Hotel Coolidge. Holding over 150 people these event spaces are the perfect location for bands that get people on the dance floor.

Many Streams promotes the music nights to over 30 Facebook pages, the local Listserves, the DailyUV, local newspapers and a 20 k plus email blast to people who are interested in live music in the Upper Valley. Many Streams also designs posters for the musical acts that don’t have their own, these posters are then resized for use as event cover photos, Facebook and Instagram posts. Many Streams then markets the heck out of the night on social media; designing Facebook events pages, posting info about and videos of the musician(s), posting to the clients Instagram regarding the music and doing Facebook Live from the venue. Many Streams also works closely with the client on the amount of money to spend on Facebook and Instagram ads and Facebook Post Boosts and then designs them.

Since starting this new “stream” Many Streams has received a minimum of 5 messages a week from bands who want to play in one space or the other! We are currently booking into November in the Cafe space! The large space has a band from Maine TCFB a Funk Dance Band and The Shana Stack Band coming up… many others are in the pipeline. A Halloween bash with The Conniption Fits is the planning stages as is a New Years Eve Bash that will be a full package of dinner, dancing, champaign toast and a hotel room with breakfast.

Don’t just hire any social media marketing company, hire one with Many Streams!

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No skill is lost once gained

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No skill is lost once gained

In my life and now in my business one thing seems to lead to another! The latest stream I have been taken down and have now added to services offered is that of event promotion. It started out with promoting music for one of my clients via social media and press releases. When they changed to having music only on the first Friday of each month, I had built up a lot of skills, connections and plans for promoting music and therefore events in the Upper Valley. Know skill is lost once gained!

Well that skill wasn’t lost and is now being utilized by others and those skills being further honed. I have promoted three events that have been being put on by different people, and a series of events all being put on by one non-profit, events they want(ed) promoted well to achieve high attendance. So far things are going GREAT!

Are you putting on an event; music or other wise and are not sure how to market it for maximum attendance? Your event will be posted multiple times on 75+ Facebook pages and groups as well as going out to 1000’s via email. Hire someone with the skills to market with Facebook ads competently and with success! Give me a call or send me an email and let Many Streams build the promotion plan and do the promoting for you!

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Ghost Voice

ghost-voice

Ghost Voice

You have heard of ghost writers, people who are paid to write a book, sometimes using the voice of another writer, but their name never goes on the book as the author.

To ghost write according to Mirriam-Webster –

intransitive verb: to write for and in the name of another

transitive verb: to write (as a speech) for another who is the presumed author

Here is a clearer definition provided by  Freelance Writing .com

“host writers are writers for hire who take money but none of the credit for the work produced. The original writer, or author, is hiring the ghost as a freelance writer to produce copy writer work for a fee. The author takes all the credit for all the original work produced, including all the original writing produced by the ghost writer. The ghost, who is usually paid in advance of completing the job, gets the money as a “work for hire” job and assumes none of the credit for the ghost writing work.”

When I am working for a client it is important to use their voice in everything I do! My voice goal is to have everyone that goes to a clients Facebook page assume that it is the client or the owner of the company posting! It isn’t just a matter of understanding the company or persons audience, but understanding how they relate to their audience! For me to pull this off it important for me to spend time with the person whose voice I am portraying. I have spent time sitting in a cafe, getting to know the aura, the clients and the employees as well as spending time with the owner. I have joined in on knit nights at a clients yarn shop (I can barely knit), getting to know the regulars and watch how the owner, Karen interacts with them. I have participated as a singer and teacher for one of my non-profit clients, gaining a deep understanding of the essence of the non-profit and their interactions with the people they serve. All of this doesn’t mean that you don’t spend time on there website, reading the mission statement and other items related to the client such as goals, all of those can bring insight as well. I strongly feel that in order to be their voice you have to absorb who they and who there business is.

Using their voice and my knowledge their social should be getting a higher reach, more like, comments and shares and one of my favorites is a comment like “thanks (name of account owner) for sharing our event” etc. That is when I know I have their voice.

Are you hiring a marketing person/company? Have they said they do not need to meet you, that just looking at your website and social media gives them all the information they need to know? Maybe you should reconsider this.

Examples of post from various clients and the Facebook Insights on them. Keep in mind these are small businesses and non-profits.

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Are you running a small business

carpenter working with wood plank at workshop
profession, carpentry, woodwork and people concept – carpenter testing wood plank evenness at workshop

Are you running a small business, non-stop busy with no more time to add yet another thing to your plate? If your like the small business owners in this article you might want to consider hiring Many Streams to handle your marketing. If you would like more information please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

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Survey | Small Business Owners Overwhelmed With Digital Marketing Challenges and Options | 2016

Posted in Online MarketingSelling to Small Business

If you run a small business and feel like you can’t keep up with all the new marketing opportunities you are supposed to embrace, don’t feel lonely. Recent research from two digital marketing services used by thousands of small businesses, Infusionsoft and LeadPages, reveals that most small business owners feel overwhelmed by the opportunities and believe they are under-performing in their use of them.


Nine survey answers that reveal small business owners need help in becoming better marketers

It’s not for the lack of tools and platforms that small business owners and managers believe they are missing the mark on marketing. One estimate suggests that from 2014 to 2015, the number of marketing technology companies almost doubled, from 947 to 1,876. Recently, Infusionsoft, a small business marketing management platform and LeadPages, a platform used for digital lead generation and subscription campaigns, sponsored a survey in which more than 1,000 small businesses answered a set of questions that reveal how small business owners feel about their marketing effectiveness and use of digital marketing tools.

Responses to the following nine questions provide insight into how overwhelmed small business owners feel about their marketing. They also suggest there are great opportunities for companies that focus on educating and inspiring small business owners with the skills and confidence they need to reach new customers and build deeper relationships with the customers they already have.

(The full report can be found here: The 2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report.)

 Are your current marketing efforts effective?

48.5% | No
37.6% | Yes
13.9% | I don’t know

SmallBusiness.com Observation: If your response is, “I don’t know,” chances are your current efforts aren’t effective. Thus, only 37 percent of the respondents believe their current efforts are effective.

 Who manages your marketing?

46.8% | I do (the owner)
23.5% | Someone on my team does
17.3% | We do some in house and contract the rest
6.5% | I don’t know
6.0% | A contractor, agency or third party

 What kind of marketing channels do you currently use?

71.6% | Company website
43.3% | Digital advertising and social media
40.1% | Email marketing
29.9% | Print advertising and direct mail
26.4% | Landing pages or purpose-specific web pages
22.0% | Telemarketing and in-person marketing
13.3% | None of the above

SmallBusiness.com Observation: A respondent could choose more than one channel, but it’s insightful to see how many said their website is their primary channel of marketing. They realize that Facebook or Twitter or traditional forms of marketing should be secondary to the direct-to-customer opportunity that comes with creating your own place on the web.

 What kind of content does your company create to help get customers?

57.8% | Posts on social media
42.6% | Email marketing
36.4% | Publish blog posts or articles
27.8% | Create other kinds of content
22.6% | Don’t create content in order to get customers
19.9% | Send direct mail (print-based direct marketing)
16% | Offer downloadable content on web pages (e.g. white papers, ebooks)

SmallBusiness.com Observation: One thing this question reveals is how broad the term “content marketing” is being applied by small business owners. Almost 58 percent consider posts (and tweets, we’re assuming) on social media sites are “content.” Most “content marketing experts” define social media marketing as being something different than content marketing.

 What do you use to store contact information for your leads and customers and follow up with them?

42.4% | Contacts feature of business email service (like Gmail or Outlook)
24.0% | Customer relationship management (CRM) tool
20.6% | Don’t keep track of this kind of information
19.4% | Email marketing service (like MailChimp, Emma)
16.4% | Use a different kind of system

SmallBusiness.com Observation: The need obviously exists and there are plenty of platforms that would help small businesses. Helping small business see beyond the tools and helping them reap the benefits is a great opportunity for the platform companies.

 Do you have an email list that prospective customers can subscribe to (or “opt into”)?

45.9% | Yes
45.4% | No
8.7% | I don’t know

If you are planning to use digital marketing in your business in 2016, what will be your primary goals?

51.3% | Driving sales
48.4% | Building brand awareness or conveying information
34.1% | Collecting leads
30.0% | Retaining customers
27.5% | Running promotions
21.8% | I won’t be using digital marketing in 2016
15.7% | Gaining efficiency with marketing automation

 In 2016, which marketing channels (if any) do you expect to budget more for?

51.0% | My website
51.1% | Digital advertising and social media
25.4% | Email marketing
23.4% | Print advertising and direct mail
21.9% | Landing pages or purpose-specific web pages
13.6% | Telemarketing and in-person marketing
19.2% | None of the above

 Of the following options, what is the biggest challenge you’ll face in your digital marketing in 2016?

19.6% | Turning leads into customers
17.9% | Generating web traffic
17.9% | Finding time/resources for digital marketing
17.4% | Turning web traffic into leads
17.3% | I won’t be using digital marketing in 2016
9.9% | Retaining customers long-term

Shared by Rex Hammock

SmallBusiness.com Staff

Rex Hammock is founder and head-helper of SmallBusiness.com. He is founder/CEO of Hammock Inc. (Hammock.com), a leading customer content and media company. His popular blog, RexBlog, was started in 1999 and you can follow him on Twitter at his one-letter username, @R.

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4 steps to any social media marketing strategy

It’s true, there really are only 4 steps to any social media marketing strategy, and this info graphic lays them out quite neatly. There is a lot behind these 4 steps that need to be kept in the fore front of your planning. The demographics of your customers (the folks you are trying to reach) is key! How old are they, their gender, and where do they live are just three drops in the bucket of the demographics that you need to know and be aware of when designing your social media marketing strategy.

How do you decide if your the right person to write the social media marketing plan for your small business? Ask your self the following questions:

  1. Do I have a strong working knowledge of social media platforms?
  2. Do I understand what each platform can do for my business, or which ones I should be using?
  3. Do I have the time & the skills to write the plan?

Time is something most small business owners don’t have a lot of! Every extra task adds up, especially if it is a task you haven’t done before. Hiring a social media marketing consultant to design your social media marketing strategy, with some input from your self, will save you time that you can use for the day to day running of your small business.

4 Steps to Social Media Strategy

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