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Photos by Brian Tietz

 

 

 

By Diana Leadley

Digital Marketing Coordinator

 

Facebook Is Doing What Again?

Third time is a charm! Starting in the beginning of the 2015 New Year, Facebook is changing its algorithm once again, this time making an impact on businesses that advertise through the social media platform. This particular algorithm will limit the number of promotional posts that appear on users’ pages. Facebook had a similar and fairly recent change, but the difference in this algorithm is that it’s not only regulating the number of ads a person can see, it is recognizing and monitoring promotional posts.

Example posts are those that push people to buy a product or install an app, enter promotions and sweepstakes and posts that repeat the same content from ads. So the next time you want to post about the super savings going on at your store next weekend, Facebook will recognize it as content that could potentially make users unhappy.

Why Is This Happening?

After asking hundreds of thousands of Facebook users their thoughts on content in their News Feed, Facebook determined that users would rather see stories posted by friends and Pages they care about, with less pushy, sales posts. This is all a part of Facebook’s goal to show users what they want to see.

Not My Page, Though, Right?

Yes. Unfortunately, this change is affecting all businesses on Facebook, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I’ll tell you why. A company’s true key to success is exceptional customer service. If you can connect, engage with and satisfy your customers, you will stay top of mind and keep them coming back. But, while this change may keep Facebook users happy, it can cause marketers a headache and add to their budget.

Keep reading to find out just what kind of content will keep your fans wanting more…

How to Connect with Page Fans:

We know this is not news you want to hear, but it’s also not the newest of news, as Facebook has changed its algorithm before to cut back the amount of promotional posts users see in their feed. But please don’t give up on Facebook marketing for your business just yet! This platform provides an incredible, easy-to-update (and free) way to establish online presence for all businesses, large and small.

At Pushing the Envelope, we don’t necessarily view this as a bad thing. Think of it as an opportunity to focus on customer relations – building relationships with your page fans and connecting with them on a personal level, rather than filling up their news feed with sales and discounts on your product or service. While purchasing ads will bring more traffic to your page, the rest of your content should emotionally connect with your audience. So, how will you engage with your fans and keep them coming back? Your content focus and strategy will need to change, and Facebook has provided some best practices for businesses.

If marketers want to reach customers they are going to have to pay to play and start buying ads. Step one for these businesses would be to create a new marketing strategy – don’t be afraid to pay for ads every now and then. By investing in ads you have the ability to grow your business’ value. Did you know that most online advertising only reaches 38% percent of its audience? Don’t limit yourself to such a small percentile – invest in ads! Even a dollar a day will drastically increase your audience reach and ultimately lead to engagement and sales leads.

How PTE can help:

PTE and its social media guru team will put together a marketing strategy, from the ad itself to budgets, audience targeting, monitoring, reporting and more to increase your Facebook page reach and engagement. Visit us at getpushing.com to find out more, and of course, ‘Like’ us on Facebook!

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Matt Mernin

By Matt Mernin

Interactive Web Developer

Notification

If there’s one thing you can count on with Facebook, it’s change. Your page may have already been updated, but if not, you will eventually receive a notification (as seen pictured on right), allowing you to update immediately, or wait until the date noted. When this change occurs, there are a few things to note.

In this blog post, I’m going to discuss a few of the most noticeable updates that Facebook page admins can expect to see and some steps you may need to take to adjust properly to the update.

Updated Page Timeline Design

In the current Facebook timeline, an overview of the page manager appears at the top.  That section is where admins can see all of their posts, messages, and pages to watch, to name a few. Rest assured the data you normally see will still be available, but will be accessed differently. With the latest Facebook update, there will be a new menu going across the top of your page with the options: Page, Activity, Insights, and Settings. Below is a quick reference for finding all the data you’ve grown accustomed to seeing:

FB Headings

FB Apps

  • Page – This is the default landing page when your Facebook page loads. You will see pretty much everything as the previous page (current as of May 30, 2014), but with a couple things moved around. For instance, if you have page apps or tabs installed, these can now be found on the left side of your timeline, below the “About” section.
    The center of the timeline will be the News Feed, where you’ll find all of the posts published by your business. On the right, you will notice a shortcut menu showing the current week’s activity, such as Page Likes, Post Reach, and message notifications. Each one of these options is interactive and show more details when you hover your mouse over them.
  • Activity – This page is where all of your messages can be seen, as well as your page notifications.
  • Insights – Here is where you will find all of the data associated with your page with a new sub-menu that appears below the new manager menu. By default the sub-menu option is the summary, including: page likes, post reach, engagement, your most recent posts, and pages to watch. For a more drilled down version of your Facebook Page Insights, you can either click on the title of each section, or simply click on the other options of the sub menu which are: Likes, Reach, Visits, Posts, and People.
  • Settings – This is you can access all of your Facebook page settings that would previously be accessed by clicking the Padlock icon in the top blue bar. This page includes everything from General settings and privacy to apps associated with your Facebook Page.

Updated Cover Photo Format

Wait, another cover photo change? Really?? Not to worry, though. The change only affects how you should display the content on the photo, not the actual photo size. Here is a quick guide to help with making the conversion.

As I just mentioned, the Facebook cover photo dimensions are staying the same at 851 x 315 pixels, so there no need to change the size. Like the previous version, you the Facebook profile picture will still overlay the cover photo, so keep this in mind when you design it. See example below.

Old FB Cover

In the new June 2014 Facebook cover photo, there are a few things that can affect the design. Previously, the company information was displayed below the cover photo. As you will see in the next example below, the company information is now overlaying the image. In addition, there will also be a few buttons floating on the cover photo. All of these changes may affect your current Facebook cover photo designs, so be aware and adjust accordingly.

New FB Cover

To help with your design needs I’ve put together a Cover Photo Template in Photoshop, and can be downloaded here. Just make sure to hide the layer labeled “hide this layer”.

If all of these changes are causing you to experience difficulty breathing or dizziness, then take a slow deep breath because Pushing the Envelope is here to help. For any of your social media needs, Facebook or otherwise, we have a staff dedicated to all things web-marketing-related for your business’ online needs! Call us at (239) 221-2858, or contact us on our website at http://getpushing.com/contact-us/.

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By: Zach Goodchild

Intern Extraordinaire

Today we’re taking a little tangent into the world of music as Zach, our Intern Extraordinaire, applies social media and online branding as it relates to the music industry. Enjoy!

In the current music business landscape, it’s never been a better time to be an independent musician and have the ability to reach your fan base and appease the masses.  Want to release one song every week to build up anticipation for an up and coming project you have been working so hard on?  How about delivering a mind-blowing music video or a behind the scenes look at your recording process to help promote your new single?  What are you waiting for?! GO FOR IT!  Websites like SoundCloud and of course, YouTube provide musicians with free promotion.  Your career is ultimately in your hands with all of the available resources in the land of the Internet.

Musicians have to be multifaceted with their work and careers, or at least have a team behind them that can maintain and provide assistance on the digital end.  Properly utilizing a Facebook fan page, and your official Twitter account is going to keep your current fan base engaged, help attract the new fans you desperately need, and more importantly, keep you relevant in your respected genre.  When fans can see that you respond to their questions, engage in conversation and are accessible, they are more inclined to pay attention and receive your material on a consistent basis and in the long run, possibly even purchase your music when its for sale in the iTunes store or on the shelves at Best Buy.  (The same is true for businesses!) Musicians have the ability to cross promote new music, videos and promoting future shows and events all through their social networks.  You share it, and the fans will share it as well.  It’s all about paying it forward, folks.

I reached out to one of my peers to get his take on this topic.  He is a person with a passion for the music business, and has a strong stance when it comes too engaging with a current and new fan base.  I bring in the people’s champ, Ben Witherspoon, founder of Your Next Fan and music consultant based out of Orlando, Florida.  Ben states “The Internet has made it easy for musicians to share more media than ever before. Social media marketing is at the forefront for most musicians when it comes to fan engagement. From the biggest artists in the world like Jay-Z, to the kid sitting in his dorm room writing lyrics, nearly every artist has social media as a priority in their marketing plan. And the best part about social media? It’s free! Sure it takes time to develop strategy and to keep your sites updated, but social media can be done without having a large effect on musician’s shrinking marketing budgets. Musicians have to go where their fans are, and their fans are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and Vine.”

So by now, you should have a clear understanding of the message I am delivering here. I hope this has provided you with that spark to get things moving on your digital and social image.  As I wrap things up I leave you with this… Musicians, find ways to build and keep relationships, use the available resources to your benefit, continue to hustle and share your gift and talents with the world.  Nobody ever said it would be easy, you’re on the road less traveled; try to have at least one thing that makes sense… your digital image.

Until next time, this is Zach, signing off.

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By: Alex Fernandez

Internet Marketing Strategist

Over the past few weeks, many of us have seen business timelines posting something to the effect of “adjust your interest lists because Facebook is pushing people to paying to promote posts.”

First, this is a completely false rumor, and we’ll explain why – but more importantly:

The visibility of your brand’s social media posts is up to you!

So, about these silly posts (that will make your brand look silly if you share):

“Add to Interest Lists” is not a ploy that Facebook has developed to gain more advertising dollars. It’s a feature that allows users to conveniently organize their connections into different interests. This was necessary in order to remain competitive to popular features of Twitter and Google+. This is a convenient feature for users, and it’s completely optional.

You can also check out Facebook’s official explanation of Interest Lists, here.

One thing that Facebook openly admits is that the news feed is discriminating. A minority of posts actually find their way into a users news feed, because every past user action is taken into consideration when news feed content is generated: Who the user “likes,” what posts they “like” or comment on, or anything they click on in general. Another thing worth mentioning is yes, you can advertise to increase visibility via promoted posts, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that approach.

SO! How can you appear in your audience’s news feed more often, without paying for ads? Many companies are beginning to offer a service called “News Feed Optimization.” What this boils down to is posting engaging content that encourages user action – something we’ve always promoted and adhered to. Here are few tips, without “giving away the farm” as they say ;) .

  1. Engage your audience with your posts, by ASKING them for a reply or action.
    1. Like or Share
    2. Enter a caption for an image
  2. Social media is becoming more and more visual!
    1. Photos and videos get more engagement than text
    2. Consider incorporating Instagram and/or Pinterest in your social effort
  3. Time your posts to when your audience is online.
    1. “Dead times” or “slow times” for B2B audiences
    2. Nights and weekends for certain consumer audiences
  4. Publish simple posts that can easily be shared.
    1. Images, memes, and other visual content with mass appeal
    2. Use questions and surveys
  5. Leverage contests or sweepstakes that encourage viral sharing.
    1. Voting contests
    2. Contests offering additional incentive to share

At PTE – we do not offer a service called “News Feed Optimization”. That would be a disservice to you. We do everything we can to improve news feed visibility for all of our social media clients, all the time. That’s the way it should be.

I’ll end with a question: Are you doing all you can to get noticed in your audience’s news feed? Contact us if you have any questions about social media marketing at 239.221.2858 or Info(at)getpushing.com.

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Susan Frantz Online Communication Assistant

By: Susan Frantz

Online Communication Assistant

It’s beginning to feel a little bit spooky over here at PTE! Since we are in the Halloween spirit we thought we would share with you some “scary facts” about Social Media

3 Spooky Social Media

Negative reviews really impact the consumer.

Did you know that about 80% of consumers will change their mind about purchasing, booking, scheduling, etc. if they see even a single negative review? This is why it is so important to constantly manage all of your social media channels in order to respond promptly and address what ever issues the negative reviewer might have.

Social media leads to lead generation for B2C and B2B.

You may already know that Facebook is the largest and most effective social media channel, but did know that 77% of B2C marketers have gotten customers through Facebook. For B2B companies, it was reported by marketing charts that 65% companies who used LinkedIn acquired customers. This is scary good news.

Tweet it out.

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media outlets. 8% of the United States uses Twitter with 460,000 people creating a new account daily.  There are 200 million members of the “twittersphere” and 24% of those users are checking their tweets several times per day. With numbers like these it’s no wonder that 72% of U.S. companies are tweeting!

We hope these spooky facts have helped you to understand just how global social media is. One small review can affect what millions of people are seeing, and one fan can help to draw in multiple more.

References:

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June 30th is recognized internationally as Social Media Day. It’s kind of a big deal around these parts… Check out how PTE is participating.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4ARo6TyvK8&w=640&h=480]

 

So, who’s your favorite PTE-er who’s bringing social media to life?

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Annette Venditti Pushing the Envelope

By: Annette Venditti

Communications Ally

Remember the famous quote by Napoleon Bonaparte, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Napoleon was a man before his time as this holds true today as you are somehow moved on a daily basis when you see an amazing photograph or piece of fine art that just leaves you breathless… and you finally walk away knowing that you are the better for having viewed it.

How do photography and art (graphic design) come into the workplace as you market and communicate using tools like print, video and the ever-changing social media sites? Your goal should be to reach your researched target audience and make them trust, feel and connect with the brand, product or service you represent and really understand who the company is and what they stand for.

I want to share a few key points on how to correctly use photography, art and graphic design in your public relations and marketing mix. These tips will give you the tools you need to look at each project and create the best end product and message for your intended audience.

1. Think. Brainstorm. Create. This basic process must never be skipped if you want your message to be the best it can be. Ask your team to participate in a brainstorm session and let them go back and think about the task at hand, process overnight, etc. Compare ideas in an open discussion and see whether photography, art or a combination of the two is the best path to take. Think beyond the obvious and you and your client will be happy you took the time when you see the results.

TIP: As you develop concepts and ideas sketch them on paper. Really look at the text and image mix and be sure it’s simple, crystal clear and wildly creative. Too much of any of these elements in the mix will add up to a catastrophe that will confuse your audience and not win you any design awards. Research top rated print and social media advertising and campaigns and see what makes them stand out from the crowd!

When the chosen photograph, art or graphic combination hit the mark, you will need very little text to support the message and your audience will love you for it!

2. Hire a Pro. Please. When you need photography or art/graphic design (for an ad or for an event) do your research and hire a true professional to work with you and create the best possible images and designs for your needs. Don’t rely on friends or family to supply what you need, the cost of your initial investment will be more than obvious when you compare the finished product to a less expensive version created by your sister-in-law who “knows how to use Photoshop”. Yikes.

3. The Social Mixer. Social media has given us a vast variety of ways to share photography, text, videos and art/graphics on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as Pinterest and Instagram, two image social channels that have changed how you and I see photographs, graphics and personal inspired interests shared. The same principles apply here, use professional images and graphics and be sure they are clearly stating your intended message before you share with your audience. Facebook Ads is another social media tool that allows you to share brand information and connect with potential customers. Take the time to research this ad platform and see if it might work for you and your client’s needs.

Keep in mind that every client (their brand, product or service) and every project you work on is truly unique unto itself. Challenge yourself and your design team to develop and create innovative solutions for every element and I can assure you this will keep your clients happy as larks and your team will walk away reveling in their hip new “creative genius” status.

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We’ve done it again! The entire team at PTE is excited to share we brought home some gold from the Local Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Image Awards today!

fpra swfl image awards

Susan, Annette, Samantha and Alex after winning the Award of Distinction

Alex Fernandez and Samantha Scott, APR received an Award of Distinction for their social media efforts on behalf of Cruise Naples. Work included creation of a social media campaign involving a custom-designed blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, Flickr, YouTube and video series, Foursquare and many other online communication efforts. All efforts exceeded campaign goals and showed marked growth in traffic to Cruise Naples’ accounts and website.

The Florida Public Relations Association is a statewide organization designed to promote professional and ethical public relations through professional development and community involvement. For more information about the local chapter, please visit www.fpraswfl.org.

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We are excited to share we’ve recently expanded our team! Please join us in welcoming, Susan Frantz!

Susan Frantz Online Communication AssistantSusan is our Online Communication Assistant. She will coordinate social media and online communication efforts on behalf of PTE’s clients in Florida and around the country. From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or YouTube, she’ll work closely with Alex to service all of our clients’ online communication needs.

Prior to joining Pushing the Envelope, Frantz worked in the marketing field for a variety of industries including retail and sports management, most notably the Orange Bowl. She is currently studying at Florida Gulf Coast University to obtain her Masters in Business Administration and already has her Bachelors in History from Rollins College and Masters in Education in Sports Administration from the University of Miami.

Want to congratulate her on the new gig? Shoot her an email at susan(at)getpushing.com or call (239) 221-2858!

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By: Alex Fernandez, Internet Marketing Specialist

Facebook business pages will be undergoing yet another transformation in late March. The transformation from Facebook “Fan” Pages to Facebook “Business Timeline” Pages will spur some of the most dramatic platform changes that have occurred at any one time, since the idea of marketing on Facebook came about in the mid 2000s. As always, we’re keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Facebook-land, and we bring to you our insights into Facebook’s Business Timeline Pages.

More control over page content

Highlight

There are a couple of new ways to feature posts. The “Highlight” feature (a clickable star that appears when you hover over a post) allows you expand any story on your wall to the full width of your Facebook Timeline. This allows businesses to dedicate more page real estate to one story over another. Page admins can also select “Pin to Top” on any story, which moves the selected story

Pin to Top

to the very top of the page, no matter when it was posted! The beauty of these two features, especially when they’re used in tandem, is in the new level of control that businesses will have over their page content. ANY time a user visits the Business Timeline, they receive the most important information first!

Tip: “Highlight” and “Pin to Top” any ongoing social media contest information posts or promotional posts before and leading up to special events.  Remember to use third party Facebook applications like involver and wildfire to host these activities.

Increased Branded Real Estate

Another big improvement is the amount of branded real estate that Business Timelines offer. Rather than the square or vertical profile picture that is currently offered, businesses can now have a square profile image in addition to a very large,rectangular “Cover Photo”. The ideal size for the cover photo is 851px

PTE Photo Cover

by 351px and there are already several brands that have developed innovative designs! It’s important to note that this will be the first impression that your fans get about your business, so cover photos should not be used for purchase information, download information, or anything that looks like a banner ad. Rather, use the space for what it was built for, brand identity, photos recent events, featuring your fans, etc.

Tip: Reach out and ask your fans for design or concept ideas for your new cover photo!

More exposure for past content

Another beautiful thing about Facebook Timeline, is increased return on investment for past activities. Social media is free aside from time spent. Well, now with Timeline, businesses can continue to receive return on that time spent – year after year! Users can easily browse by year on the right side of the page, to view past content. It is now much more likely that past content will engage current users.

Tip: Be sure to take a look into the past yourself. Perform a spot check and make sure that your business’ Facebook posts are to your liking. For example, if your business has undergone significant changes, or if  (like many companies) your business hasn’t always followed social media best practices, now is the time to clean up those older posts.
 

Tell the story of your business

Perhaps the coolest feature of Timeline for Businesses, is the Milestone Feature. Business’ can add their own milestones, as they happen, or dating back before Facebook existed. For example, if you broke ground for one of your business locations in 1970, you can add a milestone, and it will back-date itself to 1970, but also post in your current timeline! Cool, right?!

Think of all your accomplishments over the years: Opening your business locations, receiving awards and recognition, hiring key employees, starting your website – all can be added to your timeline, and easily accessed by your fans!

Tip: It’s best to have pictures of your Milestones, so users can take a trip back in time with you. However, if you don’t have any pictures from that point in time, try to dig up some supporting material, drawings, sketches, anything that is a visual reminder of that point in time. Here’s the PTE Mission Statement, from the day we opened our doors in 2006:

If these changes are causing you to experience heart palpitations or discomfort of any sort, please do not panic. We are here to help! For any of your social media needs, Facebook or otherwise, we have a staff dedicated to all things web-geekery for your business’ online needs! Call us today at 239.221.2858 or email Alex (at) GetPushing.com.

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