bye bye instagram likes

Bye, Bye Instagram Likes…

The Tides are Turning.

Nothing stays the same.  Every day, everything around us is different than the day before.  And, some things are good, while others aren’t so good.  Like, when the sun comes out after a day of snow.  That’s good.  But, I didn’t remember to eat that ripe avocado yesterday, and today, well, you get the idea…

instagram likes have been removed from posts
Today changes came with Instagram, a change that we knew was coming but what many (read: most) Instagrammers were hoping would never come. Likes have been a staple metric to show just how great your photography skills (or that of your professional photographer, like those at Gold Lens Media) are or how amazing your food is… the more the likes, the better you feel about yourself, right? Well, I know it’s not just about self-gratification, it’s also about how much more attractive your Instagram posts seem to be when they have 100 likes versus 10.  And, it is believed that the more likes a post has, the more attention it will get. But, Instagram, in their ongoing research, found that there were some negatives around this too.

You see, it’s become a competition.  And as Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, states, there needed to be some de-pressurization to make it a safer environment for the generation that uses it the most: Gen Z (those aged 24 and under).

Side Note:  Per research compiled by Marketing Charts, while Instagram is very much a youth-oriented platform, it’s worth noting that more 30-49-year-olds say they use Instagram more than they use Pinterest, LinkedIn or Twitter.  Interesting!

The Silver Lining

So, here’s the good news. You will still see how many likes you have received on a post (they are only hidden from the public) and from those numbers you will be able to determine, just as you are now,  which posts are the top performers and which you could benefit from boosting or using in a seperate ad.

What this also means, is that incorporating Instagram (and Facebook) Stories into your social media mix is even more imperative to your success on social media. And, it’s also worth noting that Stories don’t have public facing metrics either (and they are going gangbusters!).

What do you think of this change?  Has it hit your city yet?  Let me know in the comment below.

Gold Lens Media Review

Biz Shout Out!

If you are in the Atlanta, GA area, check out Gold Lens Media for your real estate photography and video tour needs. They are, hands down, the best of the best. We get amazing engagement when we use their images and videos on our client's Instagram posts (and Stories).

Visit Gold Lens Media on Instagram to see their latest real estate photography or visit www.goldlensmedia.

what's allowed in real estate target facebook ads?

What Targeting is Still Allowed for Real Estate Facebook Ads?

** Quick Facebook Ad Targeting Update **

Just a quick update today pertaining to the new rules and regulations around what detailed targeting is still available for real estate agents, mortgage brokers, title and insurance agents to use in their Facebook Ads.

(Mostly) discriminatory targeting options have been removed

Facebook has been a staple platform for real estate advertising for many years now and continues to grow.  So, it’s super important to make sure you are getting the most up-to-date information surrounding what you can and cannot do on Facebook when it comes to any that could be construed as discrimination.  In my research I found even some of the most highly regarded social media focused websites and services still providing incorrect information as recent as August 2019 (such as being able to advertise to people based on their age and income).

What real estate targeting is allowed in Facebook Ads

 

These new rules all started due to a legal battle between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Facebook, for violating the Fair Housing Act which Facebook lost, Facebook now must comply with not allowing its advertisers to create ads that could discriminate.

There’s some items that have been omitted (I don’t have the official list) but things like: 

– engaged
– newly married and
– married

are not included, but targeting such as:

– gated community condominium (broad not a single condo)
– single family house
– luxury real estate
– mansion
– townhouse
– starter home and first time buyer

are all still included. 

Those are all the main detailed targeting that are included in real estate (there are a few focused on rentals too).

Other restriction include:

– age (18-65+ only)
– no gender specification
– no zip code focus

What does this mean for you?

I see the zip code restriction being quite detrimental to real estate agents who like to focus on a particular community or condo. Now, the smallest geographical location you can center in on is at least a 15 mile radius.  The good news is that you can at least focus on just targeting those who are interested in condos and not all residential properties.  

I also see that there is going to need to be some new strategies building built around how you market to a large number of generations – creating ads that are compelling to twenty-something’s AND sixty-something is near impossible.  

I would highly suggest that you sit down with your marketing person and discuss new strategies and ensuring that those in place are removed or redesigned and retargeted now – all cities across the U.S. will have these restrictions in place in January 2020 (if they haven’t been already).

Think Outside the Advertising Box

There are many new ways to advertise on Facebook, and there will be many more to come.  But one of my absolute favorites is Facebook Messenger.  It’s safe to say that a large portion of 18-45 year olds prefer to communicate via text messaging and, within the next two years, I predict that it will be the preferred method above any other mode of communication. 

Facebook Messenger Repeat Clickthrough Rates

In fact, research has already shown that most millennials prefer to use social media and chat options than the (old fashioned) phone. 

As you can see from an example above, open rates from Facebook Messenger on a client’s Facebook Page are at 100% and clickthrough rates at an outstanding 77.5%.  If you want to have a great comparison as to how astronomical these numbers are, the average open rate on an email is 20% and clickthrough rates range between 3%-5%.

Would love to chat with you about how you can utilize Messenger marketing in your real estate business and start thinking about how you can attract more buyers and sellers outside of the Facebook Advertising Box.  Click the yellow icon on the bottom right of this screen or reach me via Facebook Messenger here.

Not every instagram image is created equal

Everything You Need To Know About What Makes (or Breaks) an Instagram Image

Not Every Image Is Created Equal

Over the course of my 10+ years  working exclusively within social media marketing, I have gained a lot (read: A LOT) of experience.  Experience, however, doesn’t mean all good outcomes, all the time; it means I had to go through many iterations, many losses and just as many misbeliefs to finally reach a true understanding of what causes an image to be a winner versus a flop.  But I was on a mission to win.

Experience [verb] : to learn by experience - "I have experienced that a landscape and the sky unfold the deepest beauty>"

— Nathaniel Hawthorne

You see, in 2016, when I led the social media team of ten marketers at realtor.com, the then CEO, Ryan O’Hara, approached me and informed me that the CEO of Newscorp (Robert Thomson) wanted me to take our Instagram account and absolutely dominate it in the real estate industry.  At the time, we had approximately 60,000 followers, while our number one competitor, Zillow, had over 150,000.  We had some work to do, but I was willing to do what it took to crush it.

From 2016 through 2019 we learned everything we could about Instagram, testing, tweaking, studying our results, refining and perfecting, studying some more.., with the support and help of my amazing team and CMO, we didn’t just surpass our competitors, we obliterated them!  When I left realtor.com, in September 2019, we had not only surpassed Zillow’s follower count, but we were now beating theirs by over 150,000 followers – the numbers had reversed – and we had 470,000 followers and counting!

beating your competition on instagram

Remember: Follower Count isn't Everything

When it came to real estate images, through all of this experience, we discovered what consumers were really attracted to and honed in on this to keep growing our followers, and also our engagement rates. Which brings me to a really important point.  

It was important to not just be obsessed with our follower growth.

Ensuring that our increased number of followers were not just lookers, but also engagers was (and still is) critical to the health of our (and any) Instagram account. We knew we needed to consider not only our image but also the descriptions that accompanied them.

In fact, for most social media platforms (I think Snapchat and TikTok are the exceptions here) it’s the context of the post and not the image that will attract engagement.  So we also focused on working diligently on how we constructed the context of our feed posts too – and, again, through many iterations and testing, we discovered how to best interact with our audience and get them to engage with our content.  And through this discovery, we were able to take our engagement rate to under 1% to consistently over 5%.  When the average brand has an engagement rate of less than 1%, that’s a pretty big deal!

What to look for in a winning Instagram image

Example 1

(Slide finger or mouse on arrow button to see both images)

what to look for in a good instagram imagewhat to look for in a good instagram image

Top Image:  4,033 likes | Bottom Image:  1,925 likes

Images courtesy of @GrandfatherHomes
  1. Ok, first of all… What a house!
    This first image was taken at a fairly good time of day at a great elevation, to capture each level of the property plus the home in its entirety.  I would say, however, that it may have been a touch better if the sun was shining at the time the image was taken. As you can see in the second image, the image was taken at a sub-optimal time of day which produced strange lighting effects and was not shot head on or at a high resolution.
  2. When taking images of the front elevation of a home, you want to ensure that you get the entire home in the picture when the image is cropped down to 1:1 ratio.  Images that are either vertical (or portrait) or square are always best on Instagram – horizontal (or landscape) images take up less ‘real estate’ on the Instagram feed, and are harder to see in general.  
  3.  Because the first image was taken with a drone, it allows your eyes to go straight ahead and you take in the entire picture from the center and then out.  This is what you want your audience to do – have a definitive focal point (in this case the front door) and then look around.  Kind of like a heat map on a webpage – visitors normally focus their attention to the top 1/3 of the page and then travel down on the left hand side.  
what to look for in a good instagram image
Click image to view on Instagram
what to look for in a good instagram image
Click image to view on Instagram

Example 2

(Slide finger or mouse on arrow button to see both images)

what to look for in a good instagram imagewhat to look for in a good instagram image

Top Image:  3,541 likes | Bottom Image:  2,105 likes

Images courtesy of @McCleanDesign
  1.  Can I live here – right in that pool?!
    The essence of these images are extremely simple – luxury life.  There’s no denying what they convey or what they invoke – a sense of awe and desire.  Knowing what your audience is attracted to is probably your number one goal.  Delivering it is number two.  The sun is shining, the pool is gleaming…  
  2. If you are reading this on your desktop, you probably are noticing how the first image is much larger and easier to digest than the second.  This brings us back to the orientation of the image again.  The first is a square image while the second is horizontal (landscape).  I believe these two examples shows the magnitude of how orientation can really affect the viewers enjoyment.
  3.  While the first image is a close up and has a definitive focal point (the chairs in the pool is where my eyes lead me), the second image is another drone shot, but this time has no focal point and your eyes travel all over the place.  While it’s a gorgeous view, it’s hard to really decipher anything in particular other than it has a pool.
what to look for in a good instagram image
Click image to view on Instagram
what to look for in a good instagram image
Click image to view on Instagram

So, to break these examples down, the three things we would take into consideration in choosing which image to use are as follows:

  • Optimal Lighting 
  • Orientation of image
  • Focal Point

Here’s some more examples of excellent images that meet all the requirements to make a great Instagram post:

Likes: 23k

Beautiful sunset

Great angle showcasing the entire home within the image. Image courtesy of @groveparkconstruction

View on Instagram
Likes: 26k

Excellent Lighting

Dream kitchen with interesting features, lit perfectly to embrace all the beauty.
Image courtesy of @stallonemedia

View on Instagram
Likes: 24k

Playfully Alluring

Perfect lighting within the room capture an emotional reaction. Image courtesy of @decor_for_kids

View on Instagram
Likes: 27k

Great Focal Point

Very unique image of a fireplace within a shower, draws your eyes in. Image credit unknown.

View on. Instagram
Likes: 27k

Exceptional Detail

This shower has it all, with the dramatic skylight to the wood and planters. Image courtesy of @mantisdesignbuild

View on Instagram
Likes: 14k

The Essence of the Holidays

Dusk lighting, Christmas lights adorned, this image captures your attention. Image courtesy of @atlanta_photographer

View on Insatagram

Have additional questions about how to dominate Instagram with the most captivating images for your specific audiences?  Send us a message below, or click the yellow chat button on the bottom right of this page to contact us right now.

hashtag apps are useless

Why Hashtag Apps and Tools are Useless

Popular Hashtags Don't Equate to the Best Hashtags

Lately, I’ve been listening to a podcast by Buffer called The Science of Social Media.   They’re great short podcasts which provide weekly updates around social media insights, learnings, experimentation and stories. 

The latest one I listened to was surrounding the best Instagram apps, including apps to use for determining the best hashtags to accompany your feed images.  This is where this article comes in. 

There’s so much misinformation surrounding what hashtags to use and why that I felt it was important to share it with you. Yes, even from renowned sources like Buffer. This is because, choosing the right mix of hashtags can make or break how well your instagram posts perform – you have the power to make all of them perform really well.

Let’s start off by looking at what the mass majority of hashtag apps and websites provide when searching for the best hashtags.  

I’m going to use three commonly used hashtag services to emphasize the points I am about to make – not so much as to call them out, but to show just how prolific the misguided information being provided truly is.

1. Ritetag

Ritetag absolutely has some great features (which are offered for free for 7 days).  These include the ability to upload an image and write a caption and through it’s photo recognition, can suggest hashtags based on what’s included in the image.  It also provides a legend of what the color coding of their hashtags mean – green means they are hot now, red means they are overused, etc.,  

Ritetag hashtag tool

This highlighted text (“Do not use these hashtags, very few people are following them”) from Ritetag is actually really bad advise!  While you may want to use the hashtags that are ‘hot now’, you actually probably don’t.  We will explain why a little later.  But for now, let’s look at the next hashtag tool…

Ritetag hashtag tool

2. All-Hashtag

This is probably one of the worst hashtag tools out there.  The hashtags which All-Hashtag suggest are not only highly generic, but many don’t have any relation to the searched hashtag at all.  

all-hashtag hashtag tool

#fakeit, #telegram, #app… these are all terrible hashtags to suggest, let alone the best 30!  And, unfortunately, this is what people are using determine the best hashtags to use on their Instagram posts.  I truly cannot come up with what #fakeit has to do with Facebook Messenger, nor #telegram.  And, while Facebook Messenger is indeed an #app, as of September 9th, 2019, there are over 2 million apps in the Apple Store that people are probably also talking about on Instagram…

Ok, on to the last ‘best’ hashtag tool.

3. Webstagram

Webstagramsite.com is another hashtag tool that provides more of the ill-advised ‘best’ hashtags to use, however, they also provide some good insight into those that actually would generate some eyeballs to your Instagram posts…

webstagram hashtag tool

 So, here’s why:

There’s a strategy around pulling the (actual) best hashtags based on the number of your followers and how often the hashtags have been used.   Here’s how it works:  Let’s say you have less than 1,000 followers.  Then you should be focusing at least half of your hashtags that have less than 1,000 posts. 

This is because if you try to compete with what the big brands, with millions (or even tens of thousands) of followers, are using for their hashtags, your content will never be seen.  Webstagram doesn’t just haphazardly provide hashtags to use, they provide hashtags that are related to your suggested hashtag plus how many times it has been used.  And, that’s the key.

Even with the ever-changing analytics on Instagram and what causes which images to show first, people still search for images on Instagram through the use of hashtags.  So ensuring that you use hashtags that are not as widely used will help ensure that your images get seen more frequently in the search results. 

Great! So How Do You Find Them?

Alright, let’s get into the details of how to find the ACTUAL best hashtags to use for your Instagram images.

The first question you should ask yourself is, “What is the #1 aspect of your image?

Consider what the most important part of your image is portraying.  Is it a brand new meatless hamburger that your organic vegan restaurant is now offering?  Or maybe it is a new ranch style home you have for sale in Modesto, CA. Whatever word or few words best conveys what your picture is, hone in on that.

For this example, I am going to use the words Facebook Marketing Strategies.

UpRight Avenue just launched in September 2019, so we do not have a very large following yet.  So, to use a more popular hashtag, such as #facebook (>20M uses) or even #facebookmarketing (>284k) would provide us with very little in return.  Instead we determined that adding another word to the hashtag provided options that had less uses and would help us get to either the Top Instagram hashtags tab or the Recent Instagram hashtags tab (see example below).

Now by using the native search tool within Instagram, we have seven options provided to us, which are going to give us more opportunities to not only be seen in these hashtag search results, but because they are much less popular, we will be found for a much longer timeframe.  Win-win, right!?

how to find the actual best hashtags to use on instagram
top hashtags on instagram
recent instagram hashtag search results

As seen above, the left image shows the top images for the hashtag #facebookmarketingstrategies and the right image shows the most recent images.  If you can imagine how hard it would be to get in the top nine images for a popular hashtag like #facebook or #facebookmarketing, and then how long your image would last in the most recent, you should understand that taking advantage of less popular hashtags is definitely the way to go.

The purpose of using a hashtag, after all, is to make your images accessible to those who may not be following you yet, but have an interest in your post’s focal point (such as facebook marketing strategies).

You can read more about how to use Instagram or you can contact us directly to chat more about Instagram by using the orange chat icon in the bottom right of your screen. 

 

Instagram Direct Is About To Get A Lot Better

Facebook Messenger has been getting a lot of love and attention over the past few years. But, now it looks as though Zuckerberg is being more attentive to Instagram’s Direct messaging.

Per Adweek, the social network will be adding some new features to Instagram Direct messages, making using the Facebook family of apps easier for small businesses to better manage their customer communications.

New features will include labels, search, and folders to help businesses stay organized.  However, my favorite additions will be the ability to implement instant replies, away messages and the simplicity of using saved replies of frequently asked questions.

 

This is in addition to some upcoming features being added to Instagram‘s desktop experience, including the ability to use Instagram Direct.  But, after conducting a little research, it seems that either people don’t ever use the desktop version of Instagram, or didn’t even know it existed!  So, I’m not seeing how this is a very big deal, but hey, what do I know? 😉

Personally, I’m really looking forward to when Instagram Direct is given even more love… like incorporating the ability to activate a chatbot like we can over on Facebook Messenger.  And integrate/link together Instagram Direct with Facebook Messenger so that they (and even Whatsapp) can be used as a single platform.  Or at least that they speak with one another so that what is typed on one platform is automatically pulled into the others. I’m sure these features are coming, but what’s taking so long?!

What feature(s) are you expecting to see rolled out with private messaging in the coming months?

One change to your instagram strategy you need to make now

The One Change You Must Make To Improve Your Instagram Strategy Now

Let’s start off with some impressive Instagram stats you’d probably love to know:

  • Over 1 Billion users visit Instagram each month
  • More than 500 million of these users are active each day
  • 31% of Instagram users have an income over $75k per year
  • Brands see engagement rates 10x higher than on their Facebook Pages
  • Posts containing video receive 38% more engagement than their image counterparts
  • It can take up to 19 hours for a post to receive 50% of it's engagement
  • 70% of users look up a brand in the search bar of Instagram
  • More than 200 million users visit a Business profile at least once a day

What can we do with all this potential traffic?

With Instagram seeing these kinds of active visitors each and every day, having just a single link to drive traffic to your website from Instagram organically can be not only challenging but pretty frustrating too.  Unless, of course, you have over 10,000 followers and then you can drive traffic from your Stories, but having that many followers is not the case for most.

Businesses, small and large, have dabbled in ways to help ease this frustration with some success, but some are doing so without knowing that the traffic they are generating from Instagram is not being captured by their website, but by another.

Linkinprofile.com and tap.bio are two examples of where this is taking place.  Every click that is generated from these links in an Instagram profile bio is generating website traffic numbers for them and not you.  

But there’s good news!  There’s a very simple way to accomplish what services like Linkinprofile.com and tap-bio offers.  

Instagram Profile Bio Links

By creating your own landing page on your own website, you can then include all the links you want on your page, versus that owned by these other services, and keep that traffic to yourself!

Instagram Link Landing Page Example
Click Image to View Live

Your landing page should include links that are evergreen so that you do not have to constantly worry about changing them.  These calls to action can include:

  • View ________ here
  • Watch this video about ________ 
  • Additional Social Profile links
  • Contact Opportunities

Since it is also your own website, you can include items such as social buttons, links to your blog, and any specials you want to highlight.

Once you have completed your landing page, simply add the url of the page to your bio on your Instagram profile.  Ensure that your saved url is short and concise in what people are clicking away to so as to maximize your clicks.  You can also use services like bit.ly or Bl.ink to customize your url for additional analytics.

Need help setting your landing page up?  Let us know through the chat link to the bottom right of the screen.

How To Grow Your Instagram Followers Fast

How to Grow your Instagram Followers Fast!

Here’s The Secret

Having a large follower count is something we all strive to possess –  it’s a status, a statement of how likable you are… a popularity contest.  It’s like high school; the more friends you have the better you are.

Right?  WRONG!

Getting followers on Instagram is not a sprint.  It’s a marathon of tactics and strategies that must be consistent.  And when I say consistent, I mean consistent for a long time.  So, if you’re looking for a fast, easy way to build your followers on Instagram, it’s simply not going to happen.  No matter what that supposed ‘Social Media Guru’ tells you! 

"I want to buy some followers."

Currently, we get asked to help companies build their Instagram followers more than anything else.  If we hear someone request that they want us to buy them some followers, we will emphatically say, “NO!!  Absolutely not!!”

And here’s why.  There is no such thing as buying REAL followers.  That would be like buying real friends!  It doesn’t happen.  When you purchase followers, you are purchasing BOTs, fake followers, or followers that will have zero interest in what you have to offer in your Instagram posts.  

Fake Followers on Instagram

Of those that have zero interest, they will unfollow you, and of the others, they will make your follower count look better on the outside, but the engagement on your posts (likes and comments) will not increase and let’s hope no one clicks on your followers to see who’s following you…

How Do You Rank?

Curious to know how many of your own Instagram followers are real vs fake?  Enter your Instagram handle here and you'll find out in about 30 seconds.  You can do this for your competitors Instagram account too. This tool also allows you to see how engaging your content is too.

 

So what can you do to grow your Instagram follower count?  

  • Attract Your Audience:  Consistently provide content that you believe attracts your target audience(s).  And you don’t have to just believe it, you can look at your analytics and see first-hand which posts you have published have performed the best and, more importantly, which haven’t.  This way there’s no guess work, it’s all right there in the data Instagram provides.   
  • Encourage Engagement:  If you want people to feel connected to you, you need to connect with them.  Asking simple questions is one of the best ways to do this.  An example of this would be, if you’re a restaurant owner, for example, asking which topping do you like on your pizza, with a picture of a delicious looking pizza slice.  People also remember a company longer when they interact with them.  
  • Interact With Others:  It’s equally important to go outside your social profile and comment on others’ posts – especially those that you feel would benefit from seeing your Instagram content.  By interacting with your potential customers or clients, your Instagram account name will pop up in their notifications and they may be curious to see who you are – which is all the more reason to ensure that you are creating consistent content that resonates with them.
  • Hashtags:  Probably not something you haven’t heard before, but it’s not just about using hashtags.  It’s about using the right hashtags.  There’s a strategy around pulling the best hashtags based on the number of your followers.   Here’s how it works: Let’s say you have less than 1,000 followers.  Then you should be focusing at least half of your hashtags that have less than 1,000 posts.  Great, so how do you find this out?  Pull up your Instagram account and go to the search function and start typing in the word that you believe you want to use as one of your hashtags.  I’m using “vacationrentals” for this example.  
Hashtag search results

There's no such thing as buying REAL followers on social media. That would be like buying real friends. #InstagramTips #SocialMediaTips #FollowerGrowth

A list of suggested hashtags will appear with a number and the word posts next to it.  You’ll want to look for those that have either 500+ or 1000+ posts, as shown above.  These are the ones that you should absolutely use.  Why?  Because, while #vacationrentals is very popular, if you use it as one of your hashtags and you only have about 1,000 followers, your post will show for probably about 3 seconds.  Whereas, if you use #vacationrentalsbyowners, your post should stay near the top of the hashtag search result images for weeks (or even months, depending on how viral that hashtag becomes).  

Now don’t get us wrong, we definitely recommend using more popular hashtags, but make sure that you mix up those that are popular and those that are not so popular in each of your posts.  

Interested in learning more about how to grow your (healthy and real) follower count?  Click the icon in the bottom right of the screen to connect with us now.

What Does Facebook Engagement Look Like?

In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the algorithm of Facebook posts were going to be prioritized through the focus on more “meaningful social interactions.”  In a nutshell this meant that Facebook were going to reduce the amount of posts that were shown that were more click away from Facebook-focused and more on users sharing posts geared toward discussions and engagement.

Six months before Zuckerberg made this announcement, I had already made the decision to pivot the way my team at realtor.com would create their social content, from driving traffic to driving engagement.  At the time, July 2017, the average Facebook Page was seeing approximately 2% engagement rates on their posts – a percentage that had been dropping for years and was continuing to drop for those who chose to continue with traffic-focused content. 

By the time the January 2018 announcement was made, my team’s conversation-driven content had already increased our engagement by 50%, and we continued to increase it to over 100%, because we focused on what Facebook was focused on

What Exactly Is A Meaningful Interaction?

Facebook considers meaningful interactions to include:

  • A person commenting or liking another person’s photo or status update (note: per Facebook, simply liking something is the least meaningful of all interactions)
  • A person reacting to a post from a brand that a Facebook friend has shared
  • Multiple people replying to each other’s comments on a video they watched or an article they read in the news feed
  • Someone leaving a comment on your post.
  • A person sharing a link with a group of Facebook friends over Messenger to start a conversation
Various Content types with Engagement Rates

One thing that is common amongst these interactions is commenting.  Whether it’s through typing a response to a friend’s post, conversing with one another on a post or chatting through Messenger, it’s the effort taken to interact is what makes it meaningful in the eye of the algorithms.

One Word: Engagement

To me, meaningful social interactions can be broken down into one word: engagement. It’s no longer acceptable (or profitable) to simply post non-paid content with the purpose of driving traffic to your website.  That will not encourage engagement – because whether you accept it or not, a click is not considered true engagement.  To pull people away and out of Facebook, is (literally) going to cost you money.  Period.  So if allocating budget to drive traffic to your website is not an option, then creating content that will meet the Facebook algorithm requirements mentioned above is a must.

And, honestly, I’m completely ok with that.  For most businesses, getting traffic to your site is one thing, but keeping them there to explore, gain value and bring you revenue is what your ultimate goal truly is.  So if you consider how it would be if once your potential customers landed on your website they are only pulled away to another site with zero money generated for you, you probably wouldn’t be ok with it either.

How To Add Engagement

To me, meaningful social interactions can be broken down into one word: engagement. It’s no longer acceptable (or profitable) to simply post non-paid content with the purpose of driving traffic to your website.  That will not encourage engagement – because whether you accept it or not, a click is not considered engagement.  To pull people away and out of Facebook, is going to cost you money.  Period.  So if allocating budget to drive traffic to your website is not an option, then creating content that will meet the Facebook algorithm requirements mentioned above is a must.

And, honestly, I’m completely ok with that.  For most businesses, getting traffic to your site is one thing, but keeping them there to explore, gain value and bring you revenue is what your ultimate goal truly is.  So if you consider how it would be if once your potential customers landed on your website they are only pulled away to another site with zero money generated for you, you probably wouldn’t be ok with it either.

Making your Facebook posts show up more often and to more people is key to your social effort success.  Here’s some simple ways to help make this happen:

  • Be Choosy - not everything you do or think belongs on Facebook, especially not on a Facebook Business Page.  If it doesn’t generate some type of meaningful engagement, your credibility, in the eyes of Facebook, will decrease. Think about the audience(s) you are ultimately trying to reach and post for them, every time.
  • Write Authentically - clickbait has been a big no-no in the eyes of Facebook for many years now, but engagement bait is also frowned upon - things like “comment below”, or “like this” in your post content will be marked as not being meaningful and therefore your post, and future posts, will not be shown to as many people.
  • Vary Your Types of Content - make sure you include posts with images, without images, with videos and without videos.  Videos in particular will be given priority over other types of content on Facebook and so should definitely be a part of your overall content strategy.  This can be proven  with video generating six times more engagement than any other types of content.
  • Native vs Owned Content - Facebook doesn’t want you to drive their traffic off of their site (see above), so keep a 80/20 rule in place with 80% being native content (posts with no links to your website) and 20% owned content (posts with links to your or other websites).  
  • Post with (Engagement) Purpose - consider the way you write your content and how you can make it conversational but not engagement baiting.  Asking questions is always a great way to do this, and keeping your questions as simple as possible makes your followers more likely to respond.  Comments are much more desirable as they are seen by Facebook as a meaningful engagement versus just liking something which is much easier to do (with a single click).  Sharing is also seen as a more meaningful type of engagement seen from your followers, as they are showing vested interest in your content.

Like to know more about how to write content to meet the needs of both Facebook and your audience?  Let me know in the comment section below or click the yellow icon in the bottom right corner to start chatting with me now.

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem

What If Instagram Shut Down Tomorrow

I was watching Gary Vaynerchuk doing one of his first live videos on LinkedIN yesterday afternoon where  he was giving us a firsthand look at how he and his team come up with their content.  

This live content brainstorm was surrounding the “what if [fill in the blank] social platform disappeared tomorrow.”  Pretty legitimate question if you ask me – being in the social media marketing agency world, that is. 

So What?

Well, here’s my response:  “So what?” 

Isn’t it like everything – here today, gone tomorrow?  Nothing is forever, not even, in the case of this blog post, Instagram.  What the important thing is, is that we use it while it is here to the very best of our ability – with a goal, a purpose, consistency, and genuinely bringing value to the end user.  

If your clients/customers are there, so should you – no matter how long the fad lasts.  Being where people naturally go is key to online success.  

Whether it’s the currently booming Tik Tok, or the defunct under Vine, Myspace or Meerkat platforms, if/when they shut down, we’ll survive – you’ll survive. What we gain from each of the social platforms is so much more important.  We learn from each of them, no matter how long they stick around on our mobile phones.  And what we learn, allows us to improve in other areas.  

There is no time wasted when we learn and grow in knowledge.  

Agree?  Disagree?  We always love to hear from you – leave us a comment below!

 

Grab Your Sneakers

We're Moving Fast!

We are excited to announce that today we officially launch our agency, UpRight Avenue, LLC!

However, we’re certainly not new to this exciting life we call entrepreneurship.

In 2002 we first started, utterly serendipitously, our very first agency, VAWork LLC, in Sarasota, FL, where over the course of more than 11 years we grew to a mighty team of ten content creators and marketers, and were one of the very first virtual assistant agencies in the U.S.

During these 11 years, social media became a new platform for us to experiment and offer as a new marketing outlet for our customers. In 2008, we joined forces with a scrappy, but soon to be mighty company called TechSavvyAgent. Chris Smith (now with Curaytor) and Steve Pacinelli (now with BombBomb) led the inaugural coaching-based company which focused solely on providing techniques and strategies to real estate brokers and agents. Our CEO, Suzanne Hawken, joined them to provide social media expertise and was the woman behind a large (and successful) part of their content created year after year.

Suzanne began to speak at events, teaching social media marketing how-tos and best practices and eventually went on to be hired as the Social Media Manager of realtor.com. Within 6 months, she was promoted to Director of Social Media Marketing and, from a team of one, built her team up to a mighty team of ten!

After another promotion to Senior Director, Suzanne finally made the decision to move on from there and go back to what she was most passionate about – owning her own business and sharing her marketing knowledge with as many people as she can.

UpRight Avenue was created to meet the engagement-focused social media needs of small to medium sized women- (and other minority-) led businesses across North America. We’re excited to take you on this journey with us and see where social media, the world of AI, chatbots and more will lead us in reaching our audiences online.

So grab your sneakers and get ready to go, ’cause we’re moving fast!