If you manage a Facebook Page and pay at least a little attention to how many “likes” you have, expect to see your numbers going down in the coming weeks.
Facebook announced that they’ll be doing an “audit” of the social media site, and removing “likes” that come from people whose accounts have been voluntarily deactivated or have been memorialized. Here’s the reason, according to the Facebook blog post published yesterday:
There are two primary benefits to removing voluntarily deactivated and memorialized Facebook accounts from Pages’ like counts:
Business results: Removing inactive Facebook accounts from Page audience data gives businesses up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow their Page and makes it easier for businesses to find people like their followers through tools like lookalike audiences.
Consistency: We already filter out likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual Page posts, so this update keeps data consistent.
While no one wants to lose “likes” from their page, there’s actually solid logic behind this move. Numbers that are boosted from people who are no longer active Facebook don’t help you in the least. They’re merely vanity numbers.
Some have asked what percentage of a drop can be expected, but Facebook has not responded to those questions.
Social Media Managers for brands across the world are evaluating their strategies right now, as Facebook recently dropped a bomb that will change how some are doing business on the world’s largest social media site.
The move, which was posted on Facebook’s news blog, will cut some social media marketers off at the knees, and will force all of us who manage business Facebook pages to pause before posting. In that blog post, we are told that Facebook will make sure fewer people see the following types of posts:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
Here’s what Facebook had to say about these types of posts going forward:
“Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
In the end, what does this mean? It means that if you’re inclined to push out these types of posts and want to continue doing so, you either need to start spending money advertising or change the type of content you post. Facebook, by all accounts, will still be happy to allow promotional posts that are “boosted” through its advertising program.
The other thing you should consider is changing the way you use Facebook. The most successful brands on the social media site use a mix of informational posts, engagement posts, and promotions like contests. Of those three types of content, the only one that may run into the Facebook “censor” algorithm is contests, which should be promoted through Facebook advertising already.
If content was king before this announcement, it’s the ruler of the universe now.
EndGame PR has been creating quality social media, website and blog content for clients since 2006. We understand that a content creation strategy can be time consuming and requires a specific skill set that not every business owner possesses. If you’re concerned that these latest Facebook changes will mean your posts are invisible, contact us to discuss a new social media strategy.
EndGame PR is happy to announce the completion and launch of an all new website for the Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis (VABA). The organization’s mission is to promote and support the practice, research and dissemination of behavior analysis throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Until recently, however, its website was not up to snuff.
EndGame PR built a dynamic new home on the web for VABA, which includes a member’s only section, a membership management module, the ability to collect dues from members, a jobs page, a rotating banner on the front page, a news blog and a lot more. Click the image to the right to see a larger version of what the VABA front page looked like on launch day, and check out the full site here: Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis.
All good things must come to an end. We’ve slowly seen Facebook become less fun, Twitter is too crowded to keep straight, and Google+ … well, it was never all that good to begin with. The latest example of good things coming to an end is the changes that have come to Foursquare.
Foursquare was launched in 2009 as a way to tell your friends where you are. Not only could you see where the best party or happening bar was located, you could also compete with your friends for points and mayorships. For each check-in, you received a number of points. For first time check-ins, you’d get more points, and there were bonuses for other things as well, such as checking into the same location on several consecutive days. You could see in the app which of your friends had the most points for the week. In addition, the person who had been to a location the most over the prior 60 days was “mayor”. You could also earn special badges for certain undisclosed check-in tasks. For example, you automatically get a badge if you check in on a boat.
I took great delight checking in when going somewhere new, or when on vacation. I hold several mayorships at our favorite vacation destinations of Sunset Beach and The Homestead, for instance.
Well, all of that fun is gone now.
The days of pseudo-news releases that are purely SEO tools are dead and should be buried.
The public relations and SEO PR worlds are still reeling a bit after the big changes that came in Google’s latest algorithm update, dubbed Penguin 2.0. Simply put, they have changed the role of the news release, or at least altered it once again.
For years, many (including myself) have advocated the use of news release distribution as a search engine optimization (SEO) tool. The strategy was that by embedding links and sending releases out via distribution networks like PRWeb, Businesswire and OnlinePRMedia, you could increase the number of inbound links to your website and thus increase its search rankings. A secondary, but also very important, benefit of this release distribution was discovery. By having your release available in multiple locations, you increased the chance of someone finding it.
Penguin 2.0 has changed all of that. There are two new and important rules from Google that relate to news release distribution:
- Press releases will be treated as a paid placement by Google.
- Optimized anchor text links in a press release distribution will be considered “unnatural” and will not pass PageRank in Google search results.
Essentially what this means is that those links in news releases won’t help you anymore. In fact, they could hurt you.
So, does this kill news release distribution for SEO? I don’t believe so. However, it does change it and perhaps reduces its impact. I checked into what some of the distribution firms are doing. A quick survey of Businesswire, OnlinePRMedia and PRLeap shows that they all made the change to give outbound links from their news releases a “no-follow” attribute. This means that Google will ignore them, and thus not “ding” your website for having a paid or unnatural link.