Thursday, 7 September 2017

7 Ways to Increase Facebook Engagement in 2017

There's no question about the hold Facebook has in our lives, as more than 2 billion people use it monthly. Businesses had successfully used this social media giant to boost the public's engagement with their brand. Unfortunately, that all changed around two years ago when Facebook changed its algorithm so that only content relevant to the user will appear in their News Feed.

User engagement is one of the factors that determine whether your brand or content will show up in a user's News Feed. This means that the more likes, comments, and shares a post gets, the more likely it will be seen by a larger audience. The trick now is to know how to get your audience engaged.

Luckily, there are some tips and tricks you can do to increase Facebook engagement. Here are 7 of them:

1. Post When the Timing is Right

The enormous amount of posts being published on Facebook means there's a lot of competition. The trick is to know the right time to post. Surprisingly, this doesn't mean the time when most people are logged in to the site. Studies have shown that it's more effective to post content sometime between 10pm and midnight (local time) as this receives the most engagement.

Posting at 11 am is also a good, but engagement during this time is minimal, as people are just skimming through their News Feed. This is in direct contrast to night time, when fewer posts are made but users have more time to really go through each post.

2. Share Content Your Audience Wants, Not What You Want

To get people engaged with your post, share content that they want. Most of the time, businesses think that since they're in a certain niche, that all their content should be related to that field. For example, an online book shop might post content about their book prices, company news, and best sellers. But that's not what audiences want to keep reading about daily. To keep things interesting, expand the type of content that you share. In our example, the bookshop could post recipes on how to recreate dishes that were mentioned in a popular book series or share a beloved writer's top 10 favorite characters. Some tips on writing or reading would also be appreciated. The trick is to post something different, but not so different that it would seem out of place.

3. Use Real and Personal Photos

Pictures are undoubtedly one of the most engaging content that a business can share, especially when they're real and not just some generic photo. Users would rather see original and personal photos than stock images. This is why we keep looking at photos of what our friends ate than those sleek images a famous burger brand might put out.

4. Reply to Your Audience and Build Relationships

Since you're making a lot of effort to get people engaged Image result for reply on Facebook with your post, it makes sense that you should also take the time to reply to their comments. Don't just post content and forget. Check the comments and reply as soon as you can. Engage your audience in a conversation. Yes, you need to deal with the usual troll but remember that people who leave comments did so because the post connected with them. Reply and make them feel appreciated. They will be more inclined to engage with your other posts as well.

5. Make Blog Posts That Fits Facebook Perfectly

Links will go a long way to keep your audience engaged on Facebook. To ensure this happens, create a company blog and start making content that's tailored specifically to Facebook. List posts and content that tickles people's curiosity are the ones that perform well on the social media site. You can even look at content that you previously shared and create similar content or search for keywords that are engaging and interesting.

6. Make Your Posts Sweet and Short

Blog posts are well and good, but remember that your Facebook page is not the company blog. People on Facebook are not there to read long content. Posts that are between 1 to 50 characters long garnered the most engagement. The more characters or words used in the post, the less engaged the audience is. So take out the unnecessary details and just treat your posts like headlines that will pull people in and get them to click on your link.

7. Ask the Audience to Get Engaged

If you want your audience to be engaged, then give them clear Image result for call to action Facebook instructions on what you want them to do. A Call to Action is something that a lot of businesses or marketers forget but it's what consumers respond to. Do you want your audience to share your post or to comment? Give them instructions on what they should do next. After all, if they took the time to read the whole post, they're already interested in the content and are willing to take the next step.

Facebook's billions of monthly users give you billions of opportunities to reach out to them. Plan your strategy well and make sure you have the right management tools to increase your Facebook engagement.  

Two Effective Ways to Grow Your Audience on Snapchat in 2017

Snapchat has been on quite a roll. In 2016,  the image and multimedia messaging app become the fastest growing social media company in the US. But this might not be so surprising considering that over 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat daily. A Nielsen study even revealed that the app reaches 41% of the country's 18 to 34-year-olds. More importantly, millions of its users are creating their own content.

Snapchat still hasn't oversthrown Instagram, but it is nipping at its heels. The intense engagement of the app's users and followers can only mean good things to companies as they can have greater access to various demographics, even those seemingly hard-to-reach groups.

The question now is how to tap into this goldmine and grow your audience with Snapchat. Here are two effective ways to do it:

Arrange a Takeover

Arrange for an influencer to take over your Snapchat account. This means an influencer would literally take over your account for a period of time and create content for you. Takeovers are proving to be a very effective way of growing your Snapchat audience.

One reason for this is that it gives your brand a humanizing element. Seeing a favorite influencer using your product and your Snap account creates a sort of relationship, as the follower gets an honest look at another person's perspective. Aside from the established connection, it also introduces your account to new followers.

However, influencers don't usually come cheap. In some cases, this type of marketing might cost a hefty sum. Bear in mind that most influencers work with a limited amount of brands as too many deals might leave their followers disgruntled. They are also very careful with the companies they work with as they only choose brands that reflect their image or message.

Use Other Social Media to Cross-Promote

Snapchat is still a baby when compared to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. So if you have existing accounts on these platforms, it's logical to assume that you have more followers there as these accounts are older. Take advantage of those followers and cross-promote your Snapchat account in these channels.

A prime example is YouTube personality Shane Dawson, who has shown an aptitude for cross-promoting his brand. The author and sketch comedian tends to promote his Snapchat account to his more than 8 million viewers on YouTube by keeping his Snap handle up in most of his videos. He does the same thing on his Snap account by posting updates there whenever he has a new video up.

There's no shame in indulging in some self-promotion on your own channels, as long as you're providing decent content most of the time. To ensure that your audience doesn't tire of too much self-promotion, try to keep it at 80/20 – 80% entertaining content and 20% self-promotion.

Now would be the best time to create a Snapchat account and start building followers. If you already have an existing account, try incorporating it with your other social media accounts or find someone to do a shout out or takeover. You might have to shell out some cash or offer a sweet deal in return, but it will be worth it.

AI Learns to Write Convincing Fake Reviews on Yelp

Savvy netizens have learned to be a bit distrustful of online reviews. For one thing, fake reviews glowingly recommending a service or a product can be easily bought. On the other hand, there are those reviews that seem genuine enough but ultimately reflect the particular biases of the reviewer.

However, there is another type of review that modern consumers need to be wary of. Besides biased and sometimes untruthful people, technology has now spawned AI bots that churn out reviews like it was nothing. And the worst part is, according to researchers, you can’t tell the difference between fake reviews done by a robot against one written by a human.

Researchers from the University of Chicago have just trained an AI system to write convincing fake Yelp reviews, Engadget reported. The team harnessed a deep learning program called recurrent neural network (RNN), teaching bots to craft quality short written prose. While the team admits that the AI may mess up when writing longer articles, the usually short reviews on Yelp prove to be no challenge. In fact, the fake reviews churned out by the AI bot proved to be so convincing that they fooled the human test subjects who rated them.

For instance, the AI wrote the following fake review about a New York restaurant, which could easily pass for the real thing:

"My family and I are huge fans of this place. The staff is super nice and the food is great. The chicken is very good and the garlic sauce is perfect. Ice cream topped with fruit is delicious too. Highly recommended!”

And here is another AI manufactured review as reported in the NY Post:

"I love this place. I have been going here for years and it is a great place to hang out with friends and family. I love the food and service. I have never had a bad experience when I am there.”

Of course, Yelp assured The Verge that AI generated fake reviews will not become a problem for the rating site. While the bots did manage to create seemingly authentic reviews, Yelp’s own recommendation software claims to use signals other than mere textual content to recommend a particular review.

Everything You Need to Know About the New LinkedIn

Old LinkedIn is Dead. ☠️

Gone are the days of checking in every few weeks.

We are witnessing the next great tectonic shift in the world of social media and to the surprise of many, it's the new LinkedIn that's leading the charge.

To most people, LinkedIn was their least-used network, where they would check in only to post their resumes or look for job candidates. It’s still that, but it is poised to become the place to be.

Finally! Appealing to a Younger Audience

Now at 500 million+ users and post-Microsoft's $26 billion acquisition, the business graph-focused network is ready to become the front-runner in the hearts and minds of Millennials and Gen Z, who will cautiously enter for 2 main reasons:

1 - Practicality - Millennials / Gen Z want real jobs instead of their current unemployment / underemployment. We’ll see a huge demographic shift as they come in.

2 - Features - Native video and active status messaging are here, not to mention a redesigned desktop UI and mobile app.

This is a killer combination - a well rounded personal branding portrayal of the individual.

New LinkedIn Becomes Your New Facebook (without the noise)

Once you’re on LinkedIn for hours each day, instead of Facebook, you will consume content, share, and make your own content. Native (and eventually live) video will expand this.

LinkedIn is all business, and that’s unbelievably refreshing. It’s not a political cesspool like Facebook.

How You Can Get Ahead of the Game

Make sure you’re ready: adapt your profile to the new environment:

Step 1 - fix your profile header

Step 2 - fix your profile summary

Step 3 - how to post properly with emojis (yes, emojis) 😂

What Should You Share?

👉 LinkedIn native video

👉 Active status / messaging

👉 Long form posts through the LinkedIn publisher platform

👉 Personal storytelling via text based updates

Don't Try to Game the System

As LinkedIn evolves, it’s inevitable that some people will try to abuse connections. People are already very sensitive to that. Avoid trying to peddle your services. Instead, let your profile speak for itself, and the value you bring to the conversation will lead people to reach out to you.

The only thing you should be actively selling is your credibility.

People to Watch (and Why)

1. Michaela Alexis

Style: Boldly unique

What to Expect: Going against the grain of the LinkedIn old guard, doing selfies and everything people thought was “wrong,” Michaela has gone from being fired to CEO in a year!

Michaela regularly puts out image rich content (coffee is usually involved) and just put out her first video.

2. Oleg Vishnepolsky

Style: Old-school text master

What to Expect: As the Global CTO for Daily Mail, Oleg has decades of inspirational business stories to share. He’s the master of the text-based post. So if you fancy yourself a writer, check out Oleg. Every day.

3. Josh Fechter

Style: Documenting the story

What to Expect: Josh runs a huge Facebook group (15k) and has been documenting his journey to the top. Josh isn’t afraid to mince words or tell the low points of his story. Watch for him to amp up his video game!

4. Brian Wallace (Yours truly)

This isn’t ego bait. I’m committed to putting out regular content in the form of text-based status updates, native video, and longer form posts on the publishing platform, such as the one you're reading right now. 😂

What Does Viral Success Look Like on LinkedIn?


I wrote this a week ago and it is still growing, with more than 845,000 views.

Things to Avoid

👉 Don’t tag 100 of your friends. You don’t do that anymore on FB, right?

👉 Don’t beg people to share.

👉 Don’t ask for comments.

👉 Don’t add spam comments.

Once your post starts gaining traction, engage your audience with meaningful and insightful commentary. Be ready to respond!

What's Next for LinkedIn?

Live Video 🎬

This seems like an obvious next step.

Once this happens, expect some major social time funneled away from Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Live, and Twitter’s Periscope.

My friend String Nguyen has a viral LinkedIn video and is mixing up some original content worth giving a look.

LinkedIn IRL Meetups 😱

Be on the lookout for Linkedin Meetups. Yes, in person!

Manu "Swish" Goswami has been leading the pack on this (and an amazing person to follow), already having successful meetups in NYC and China.

Here’s a look at his last NYC meetup.

💡 Anna McAfee has been doing meetups in Australia. Talk about a global community!

💡 Rob Humphrey has been rolling out LinkedIn day at college campuses. Helps like going to the guidance counselor 😂

How do you see the future of LinkedIn?