Latest Facebook Update

Latest Facebook Update

As you may know by now, I’m all about social media. So let me give you the latest scoop on Facebook and its algorithm updates that you need to know.

Facebook is making significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will result in less content directly from public Pages as well as fewer videos in the news feed. Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri stated:

“Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Yay! No more annoying page content! Oh, wait…

To an individual Facebook user, this is awesome news. But to businesses, especially those that rely on the news feed to generate organic traffic, it isn’t so great.

1 What do these updates mean for Facebook marketers?

There’s one thing that’s [unfortunately] true: as Facebook begins to prioritize content that facilitates meaningful people-to-people connections and interactions, marketers can expect the organic reach of their Facebook pages to drop.

To be more specific, users will see more posts from people they’re connected to in the news feed and less content from pages they follow. This is a significant change from the previous values of the news feed, which prioritized the total time spent on Facebook and how many people shared posts directly. The news feed will shift the focus from ranking content that’s directly consumed from pages (which will shrink in reach) to content that is shared and talked about among friends (which will grow).

2 Ok, so what type of content will get more distribution in the feed now?

After this update, posts that spark and inspire conversations and meaningful interactions among people will be prioritized over public content in the news feed. For example, more content from friends and family, posts from friends and family that seek advice or recommendations, news articles or videos that prompt people to discuss and interact, etc.

Posts that don’t inspire meaningful conversations or interactions among people will be seen less in the news feed. For example, engagement-bait tactics that encourage people to comment on posts aren’t considered “meaningful” interaction and pages that use them will be demoted in the news feed.

3 What can I do to prepare for these future changes?

Although one can never be fully prepared for updates on social media platforms, there are some things you can do that will help out:

  • Show your audience how to see your content first
  • Educate while entertaining
  • Invest in Live Video
  • Be more strategic when advertising
  • Collaborate with your peers
  • Build your audience

With Facebook’s announcement of news feed changes, pages and brands can expect to have less of their content distributed in the news feed which unfortunately for marketers means a decrease of overall reach, video watch time, and referral traffic.

As the changes go into effect, it is important that you take steps to encourage meaningful interactions on the platform. Publish quality content that will spark conversations among users, engage in Facebook groups, and invest time in live video. All of these will help your business remain relevant on news feeds and further showcase your brand!


Apps We're Obsessed With

Apps We're Obsessed With

Ahh, the era of smart phones, and what's a phone without its apps?

Here are the apps we are currently using and are slightly obsessed with...

Andrea

  • Facebook: "Because I need to see how our business pages are going, plus check in with my personal friends and family"
  • News: "Despite the fact that much of it is depressing, I do read the news fairly regularly"
  • Fitbit: "Trying to trick myself into believing I’m going to be more active – I’ll start this spring!"
  • Spotify: "Tunes and podcasts- I probably use this one the most"
  • Credit Karma: "I’m crazy about checking my credit and monitoring my payment history"

Liz

  • Snapchat: "Yes, I am a millennial. Yes, I like taking selfies. Yes, I use Snapchat."
  • Gmail: "My inbox is my life. I am constantly checking my email throughout the day"
  • Apple Music/Pandora: "My long commute calls for car jam sessions. I love music and these two apps are everything"
  • Youtube: "Feeding into my HGTV obsession, I love sitting down and spending hours watching DIY videos that I know I won't ever actually do (hey, I can always dream)"
  • MoviePass: "Every movie lovers dream. Trust me, you need the MoviePass in your life"

Laurie

  • Group Me: "This is an awesome app that my widely-spread-out large family uses to keep in touch on a daily basis. It’s basically glorified text messaging, but all in one place with a clean conversation thread that’s easy to follow, with photos, videos, links and whatever else you want to add. Much cleaner and less annoying than a ton of texts loading up your phone that you lose track of. And it keeps the entire thread FOREVER so you can go back and find things."
  • Bitmoji: "Ok it seems silly but I actually do use it! The secret is to create a fun avatar of yourself (you usually find yourself laughing pretty hard when you’re creating it); then pick surprising ones to send out—i.e. not your typical ones. There are hundreds of Bitmoji messages for every conceivable greeting, occasion, situation, emotion, time of day etc etc. If you’re clever, its not a “groooaan” to the recipient."
  • Parkwhiz: "Find parking in the city close to your destination well before you drive down and pay for it in advance…usually a little cheaper than normal."
  • Dictionary: "I love words.  What else can I say? Like…do you know what a schwa is?? Get the Dictionary app and find out!"

Soulmaz

  • FaceTime: "To talk to my mom"
  • Instagram: "Honestly, to waste my time"
  • Youtube: "To watch Persian movies and random stuff"
  • Soundcloud/RadioJavan: "To listen to Persian music and podcasts"
  • Waze & GoogleMaps: "To find my destination. I'd literally be lost without them"

Rebecca 

  • Duolingo: "Ahora, mi español es mas major que antes. Y el pequeño búho esta lindo."
  • Realtor.com: "Window shopping for a new house for our family. I like Realtor.com the best because it posts the most photos and is easy to navigate and customize your search."
  • CreditKarma: "So that window shopping can turn into actual shopping for a house! Check your credit as often as you like. For free and without dinging your score."

Dane 

Very simple guy with a very simple phone.

  • Phone
  • Map
  • Weather
  • Calculator

What are some of your favorite apps?


Overlook “This” And Your Brand Will Eventually Suffer

Overlook “This” And Your Brand Will Eventually Suffer

Ask any Marketer what it is that they do, and although I can't say what number it would be placed at, you can bet that “Developing Brands” will be somewhere on that list. And if you say to that person, “Hey that's sounds pretty interesting, how do you do that?”, they'll tell you all about the research that they do, the various analysis and studies they conduct, the creative that they test, and the many other processes and steps they take. All very important, all very necessary to developing a company's brand.

The one thing they may or may not say though, is this: “We ensure that every employee in the company and every person who is not an employee, but represents the company and has contact with the company's clients or customers, lives the brand”. Ironically, this living of the brand is probably one of the most important aspects of developing a brand. And it doesn't mean that all a person ever wears is company-branded clothes, or uses the company's jargon and code speak at all times.

It does mean that they realize, as any good Marketer will tell you, that your brand must be consistent across all touch points, at all times. So how does this translate into people living the company brand? Simple, it means that everyone in the company, from the person sweeping the floor to the President, delivers on the company's brand in their own way. That means that when a visitor is seated in the waiting area of the office, it's everyone's job who passes by them to just simply smile or give a hello, a good morning, or a good afternoon. If it's an area where no Receptionist is staffed, it's asking that visitor if they've been taken care of, or if they've been offered water or coffee if that's available. Because no matter what a company's corporate “brand” actually is, I don't know of any company that wants to be known as an unfriendly place with people who are cold and impersonal.

But the fact is, this happens – innocently so, but it happens. In many offices in the haste of doing business, a person will see a seated visitor and say to him or herself that that person isn't here to see me, or that's not my client or customer, and will walk right by. Maybe they give a slight nod. But what does something like that say about or do to the company's brand? Especially if that visitor is seated directly under the company's posted Vision and Mission Statement that talks about how much the company values people and its customers – as many statements oftentimes do. That has actually happened to me...more than once. The thought may be that not giving a visitor a greeting and simply walking by doesn't diminish or tarnish the brand, and maybe it doesn't, but on the other hand, it certainly doesn't enhance or improve the brand either.

Now, ask those same questions about whether giving a greeting to a seated visitor, who is not your client or customer, diminishes or enhances the company's brand. The clear answer without a doubt is that it enhances it. And here's the real kicker, it does so for free, just the cost of a few words!

This “people living the brand” also extends to non-employees who engage with a company's clients and customers on behalf of the company. And because of this client/customer hand-off, having assurance that they are living the company's brand is even more vitally important.

Consider that Company ABC manufactures widgets and uses a 3rd party company to deliver them. That delivery person has direct contact with Company ABC's client, and more importantly, has the last in-person touch with that client. If that delivery person is rude, salty, late or any other such thing, Company ABC's client may not distinguish or even care that that company is a 3rd party vendor, they will simply say that Company ABC's drivers are rude and salty. And that will certainly diminish Company ABC's brand.

So at Black Rhino Marketing Group we realize that for every client we are honored to serve, when it comes to developing their brand, there is an external marketing effort that needs to be achieved, as well as an internal one. And while the external effort we develop will certainly result in increasing Sales and Net Earnings, and in improving Profit Margins and Cash Flow for our clients, not developing the internal one in conjunction would, over time, slowly work to erode those gains – you can bet on that too! Fortunately that scenario is an eventuality that clients of Black Rhino Marketing Group do not have to ever worry about.


Color Matters

Color Matters

Color is powerful marketing tool that helps you send your message and makes your business, service, or product stand out.

When you were first setting your color pallet, you may have asked yourself a few questions. Most importantly, how do you choose the right color palette for your brand?

1 |Did you pick your personal color preferences?

2 |Did you pick colors based on your services or products?

3 |Did you pick colors to send your message to your audience?

Colors carry emotion; each color will send you a different message and will give you a different feeling. Colors can make us feel happy or sad…they can make us feel hungry or relaxed. It is important to understand the psychological effects that colors on your target audience.

For instance, look at nature; each season has their own colors. Spring green is not the same as Summer green. Even the color of sky and earth is different from season to season and climate to climate. Also, look at insects; some are warm and bright, some are natural. Their color is based on their need, used to help them in terms of hunting or hiding.

The same applies to our life. Colors connect to feelings in a unique and memorable way, making them a powerful marketing tool for any design project. You want to discern what message you want to share about your upcoming event, business, or product and make sure your color choices reflect that. It is easy to fall back on your personal color preferences when creating your marketing design, but the most important thing to remember is that your design needs to speak to your prospective audience.

So instead, ask yourself these questions:

1 |What colors will grab your target audience’s attention?

2 |What colors best represent the message you’re trying to share?

3 |What colors consistently represent your business brand?

Color resonates with people in different ways. We all have a favorite color or color that we use more during specific periods of life, but the color you use in a design project can say a lot about the work itself. That’s a scientific fact.

At the end of the day, especially for small businesses, you need to feel comfortable with your color palette. Like the color(s) you choose to wear to go to work, you have to show your confidence, so don’t forget to find a way to find the balance between your personal color preference and the colors that help send a message to your prospective audience!


Pick a College by Its Colors

Pick a College by Its Colors

My oldest son is in the midst of researching and applying to colleges. One thing has become clear: You can’t go to a college whose colors are brown and yellow.

A criteria in choosing a college should be presentable collegiate colors and preferably an adorable animal mascot. I’m just kidding. Kind of. But there are lessons to be learned by the visual first impressions of a university. Or a product. Or a logo. Or any marketing materials for that matter.

I am a label reader, a payer-attention-to of advertising and logos and I’m a sucker for good branding. I think we all are. A well-branded product or business gets an automatic foot-in-the-door with a potential client or customer. Then, it becomes up to the quality of the product or services that secures and retains that customer.

But we all need that creative edge to catch the attention of our target audience. Consider the counter-intuitive-genius of Chipotle’s marketing: they serve one of the most colorful cuisines, but opt for a black and white photo…of a burrito…wrapped in foil. Done. Feed me a fajita.

I once did a market research experiment on myself. Two zero calorie, carbonated, grapefruit flavored beverages. Same shaped bottle and pricing. The brand I usually bought had cool labeling. Refreshing looking ice cubes and bubbles, clean modern font, appealing grapefruity colors. I always picked this brand because I was more drawn to it. (Read up on psychology’s “beautiful is good theory” – it’s a real thing.)

The other bottle had boring labeling. Not sad and pathetic. Just uninspired. Nothing to spark my interest. Nevertheless, I bought one of each brand and performed my own little taste test. You know the outcome, right? The boring bottle contained the much tastier product. But I had never previously given it a chance before. The inferior product was wearing the prettier outfit.

So! Step back and consider whether your logo, branding, marketing materials, packaging, labels could benefit from a little tweak, or even a total overhaul. Are your colors outdated? Is your font run-of-the-mill? Does your marketing still speak to your base?

If not, consider a refresh. You’ll be amazed at the doors that will open and the new audience whose attention you’ll grab. Sign me up! How can I refresh my branding?? (Hint: call Black Rhino Marketing Group. Super cool branding is our favorite!)


Our Relationship with Failure

When I started my first business, I set out to give other large dog owners the things I realized I had a tough time finding- large enough toys and beds, plus places I could stay with my pups- hotels and even finding urban rental properties. Great idea- right?! Slowly it sunk in that people only need to rent a new apartment once a year at the most, and most people aren’t traveling with their big dogs as much as I had expected. So, I did what any good entrepreneur would do, and I pivoted. I started focusing on what my customers were telling me they wanted more of- durable toys, and other items large enough for their dogs- and therefore difficult to find. I realized that subscription boxes were a new thing- and so I launched my own- it worked- until it didn’t and I ran out of my personal funding to support it. Turns out that around the same time I started my business Bark Box had entered the scene- and with all their financial support – they easily grabbed up all the market share and I just couldn’t compete.

My business failed. But I didn’t. I learned many valuable lessons about how to manage cash flow, how to listen better to my customers and how to adjust my offerings. All these things have led to making me a successful entrepreneur in another business.  But that’s not to say I still don’t fail all the time. That’s what being a successful business owner means: failure.

The trick is managing your relationship with Failure.

What happens when you Fail?

  1. | It makes your goals seem less attainable

  2. | It distorts your perception of your own ability

  3. | Your Self-doubt increases dramatically

  4. | You begin to fear the feeling of failure

I’d love to tell you that there is some magical way to trick your brain into not feeling those things when you fail- but there isn’t. You will feel those things every time. But you can focus on realizing you have these feelings, and start to work towards shifting your relationship with failure by understanding that failure is where the growth, adaptation and learning happens- and those are the things you need to be successful.

Will Smith recently spoke on this topic and how having a positive association with failure is what can lead you to your ultimate success. I can’t help but agree. Listening to this helps inspire me to shift my focus when I am feeling like I’m helpless in my attempts at moving forward. I recommend that all entrepreneurs listen to this every time they fail!

And, remember, everyone fails. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs have failed before getting to where they are now. Don’t believe me?

10 Entrepreneurs Who Failed Big before being successful