Report: Facebook Trends

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Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform in the United States. There are nearly 2 billion Facebook users worldwide and their demographics span across ages, genders, races, languages and geography. About 75% of users spend 20 minutes on the site every day. For a lot of people, Facebook is a source of information for news, updates on the lives of their families and friends, and place where they can communicate with organized groups, create events and stay connected brands and influencers that are important to them. Source: Social Media Today, https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/top-social-network-demographics-2017-infographic

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This graph illustrates how popular Facebook is compared to other social media platforms. It really is massive in terms of how many people use this network, especially when you put it next to other platforms that we consider popular such as Instagram and Snapchat. “As has been the case since the Center began surveying about the use of different social media in 2012, Facebook remains the primary platform for most Americans. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.” –Pew Research Center Source: Pew Research Center, http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/

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Relationship builders: This group views Facebook as a platform through which they can develop relationships they experience in real life as well as online. Facebook is a place where they can share their life with the people who matter most to them. This might mean sharing about their day, sending photos or catching up through Facebook Messenger. Town criers: Town criers are the news blasters of Facebook. They post information about local events and community information. They’re the ones sharing news articles and making sure everyone who sees their feed sees the news that’s important to them. Selfies: These are the people who share for the purpose of boosting their self-esteem. This could mean posting selfies or updates about the good things happening in their life. They agree with statements that say things along the lines of “likes make me feel better about myself” and “notifications give me a sense of satisfaction.” Window shoppers: This term basically refers to the people who don’t feel especially inclined to post about their own life, but would rather see what other people are up to. They’ll do a little bit of casual “Facebook stalking” and people-watching from their screen, but don’t share much from their end. Source: Inc.com: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/science-says-there-are-only-4-types-of-facebook-us.html

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Facebook has a wide range of capabilities and serves as a place for people to: Socialize – talk with friends, family, people in groups or organizations they associate with, even strangers in some cases. Share information – about news events, personal updates Follow – brands and influencers Shop – click on links in advertisements, in posts, or buy and sell things in Facebook Marketplace.

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Women ages 25-34, according to Simmons: • 71 percent reported using Facebook in the last 7 days. • 52 percent of them reported checking social media 3 or more times a day. Teens 17 and under • Teens are more likely to use platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Growth among this age group has slowed over the past several years. Teens are avoiding Facebook for a couple of reasons: 1) Their parents are on Facebook and they don’t want to be monitored or embarrassed. 2) Research shows teens don’t feel the same authentic connection via Facebook that they get from other apps they use to communicate with their friends.

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Reason for slowed growth: Context collapse: Facebook recently made a change to its algorithm to address this issue which has been called “context collapse”. There isn’t a lot of content flowing from personal accounts, leaving Facebook without the sense of community that once existed there. Why Facebook is making changes: Wants people to continue using and enjoying the product Gathering data from personal information: Although Facebook hasn’t said this verbatim, a lot of industry experts believe they made this change in hopes people would begin sharing more about their lives. Facebook makes money off of its advertisers, and the more information they can gain from users’ posts about their lifestyles and interests, the better its targeting will be. This allows them to attract advertisers as well as charge them more for the advanced targeting algorithms Facebook offers. A few solutions: Facebook has made efforts to address this problem by adding: 1) Facebook stories 2) Its recent algorithm change that favors posts from friends and family over business pages’ posts. 3) Implementation of Facebook Live. Source: Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/facebook-officially-old-people-803196

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Facebook is kind of like the chameleon of social platforms because it can host just about any type of content you can share: photos, videos, surveys, links, etc. Given the extensive capabilities of the platform, it’s easy to use Facebook as a dumping ground for all of your content. To narrow down your choices for content: 1) examine your goals 2) determine how can you develop your content strategy to meet them. My layout here is just one way to think about different types of engagement. Your brand might find that comments are the most important type of engagement to harness because it builds community, and community is the most important piece for building your brand. If you’re just getting started on Facebook and want to build awareness, you might be looking for likes to build your credibility. By defining your goals at the start of planning, you can ensure that your content strategy will align with and support your goals for your brand on social media. Source: AdWeek, http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/content-aware/

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VIDEOS As we saw in the last slide, videos account for the greatest engagement on Facebook. Videos offer an accessible way to showcase your brand, highlight your community and develop engaging content for existing and potential customers to interact with. FACEBOOK LIVE: Allows you to share video content with your followers without taking on huge production costs. Video is often expected to be high-quality when shared by professional brands, but that expectation changes when it comes to LIVE video, which is expected to be more personal and unedited Increases engagement “Facebook Live videos drive more engagement than standard video content. Facebook recently said Live videos can drive 10 times more comments because of the real time connection between users.” – Buffer BLOGS & CURATED CONTENT Buffer found that “7 of 11 of our most successful posts throughout the last 14 months are curated” Source: BuzzSumo: http://buzzsumo.com/blog/facebook-engagement-brands-publishers-falls-20-2017/, Buffer: https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-posting-strategy

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How often: 1 to 2 times daily Avoid fatigue. Don’t swamp your followers’ timeline with every single update you can possibly think of. Don’t link all of your social channels together to automatically share posts across channels. Be picky about how much you share. Your followers will thank you. Boost visibility: When you only post once or twice a day, it’s more likely your posts will actually show up on your followers’ feeds. When you share more posts, Facebook’s algorithm chooses which ones to make visible. This means not everything you put out will be seen and it could very well be the most important updates that go unseen by your audience. Prioritize best content: When you narrow down your posting to one or two a day, you have to be picky about the content you share. While this might seem daunting at first, it will work out best for your brand in the long run because you’ll only be sharing content that is of high quality and relevant to both your brand and your followers. When:These times are based on several sources that all referenced work hours as being the reason for high engagement at 1pm and 3pm. These are times when adults who work full-time are eating lunch or just coming back from lunch and they ease back into their work with a quick scroll through Facebook. By 3pm, they’re feeling pretty fatigued and ready to go home. They go on Facebook for one last break before their last work push of the day before they go home. Sources: Mention Analytics: https://www.mentionlytics.com/blog/best-times-to-post-on-social-media-2018/, QuickSprout: https://www.quicksprout.com/2015/01/02/what-are-the-best-times-to-post-on-social-media/, Almost Practical Blog: https://almostpractical.com/best-time-post-social-media/, Elle and Co. Design, http://www.elleandcompanydesign.com/blog/2015/2/5/the-best-times-to-post-to-social-media

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Medium article says, “Video has a direct impact on purchasing behavior, data shows that consumers will follow the advice of the video creator on what to buy, and prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it.” 1. The number of videos watched on Facebook each day is 8 billion. That’s like if every person in New York City watched 1,000 videos in a day. Or, every single person in the world watched one video. 2. According to Medium, “Facebook is rated as the most impactful social channel for video — 8.4X higher than any other social channel.” That includes YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Impact can be measured by ability to recall content, level of brand awareness, attitudes toward brands, and other super important metrics that influence people’s purchasing behaviors. 3. The organic reach of video content is 135% higher than the reach of photos on Facebook. Another thing to note about Facebook videos is that most are watched without sound. So, when posting videos it can be beneficial to include captions so people can still view your content when they can’t play the sound. Source: Medium: https://medium.com/@CarolForden/how-video-can-raise-customer-engagement-and-revenue-744493902a6f

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“Part of the fun of live videos, after all, is the real-time interaction—be it with questions, opinions, or just getting a chance to tell your favorite musician “Wow.” –Wired.com Facebook LIVE offers a great opportunity to Share what’s happening NOW with your followers Have a real-time conversation Foster lasting impressions with your followers Sources: Facebook: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/03/news-feed-fyi-taking-into-account-live-video-when-ranking-feed/, Wired.com: https://www.wired.com/2016/04/facebook-really-really-wants-broadcast-watch-live-video/

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The Worldwide Breast Cancer organization is a charity dedicated to raising awareness and spreading information about breast cancer. This campaign went viral in 2017 and continued to gain mention in the news throughout the year. An artist created imagery to represent the symptoms of breast cancer using lemons. This representation made it possible for the organization to educate while staying within the parameters of Facebook’s content guidelines. It was also a clever representation that was lighthearted and friendly, and could be understood regardless of language or cultural barriers. The campaign went viral in early 2017 and gained nearly 200 million views in the month following its launch. Source: Adspresso: https://adespresso.com/blog/best-facebook-ad-campaigns/

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The imagery is bright and cheerful despite covering a serious topic that is often avoided because it can be depressing and awkward to discuss. This approach makes women more comfortable examining the symptoms of breast cancer and makes the content very shareable. Source: https://www.worldwidebreastcancer.org/

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When we view the organization’s current Facebook page, we see that they’ve maintained these elements to keep their brand identity clear but to adapt to current events and keep things fresh. They’ve utilized: Clear branding: the yellow is consistent in both the logo and the cover photo. They’re using these spaces well. Instead of posting a random photo, they’re using the cover photo space to promote their campaign and establish their brand. Action button: They’re utilizing the ”Donate” button and it’s front and center so that anyone who visits the page can see it. 5-star rating: This rating gives the organization credibility. It shows that people have interacted with them before and trust the brand. Easy navigation tabs: the tabs on the left all provide further information about the organization and how people can contribute to its mission. No space is wasted. Quick replies: This shows that the page admins keep up with the account and are available for questions. This note adds credibility and reliability to the brand.

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Some of the key traits of the campaign are ones that can be applied to any campaign: The main ones I’ve noted are: Approachable: the content isn’t off-putting or menacing in any way even though it deals with a serious topic. Lighthearted: The colors are bright and cheerful. Engaging: The design draws viewers in and keeps them interested. Has a “what comes next?” aspect. Clever: Using the lemons as a stand-in for breasts gives the brand capabilities it would never have with images of real breasts due to content restrictions. The lemons are versatile. Intriguing: This content is totally unique. If you don’t already know what it is, it’s likely you’ll look at it at least long enough to know what the lemons are supposed to represent. Shareable: Who doesn’t want to help in the fight against cancer? This content is approachable and interesting, and it lacks the dark tones of the typical ad for cancer charities, so people can share it and help out without feeling like they’re bumming out their followers.

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Post during high engagement times: catch your followers the moment they’re online and when they’re craving content most. The things you share should be valuable to your followers. Make sure it’s relevant to your industry and potentially helpful to your followers. It should be interesting or pretty enough that someone will want to share it with their own friends. Limit posting to 1-2 times per day: Take advantage of the Facebook algorithm and prioritize your best content. Share interesting visuals via regular and live video content Not all video is created equal. There are different parameters for Facebook live videos than for pre-edited ones. Try both and see what works with your audience. What do they respond best to? It might be animated, informative videos; or it could be Live content from an event. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Talk to your followers One thing that hasn’t changed about social media over the years is the opportunity it gives brands to engage with customers. These interactions can make sales, create loyal customers and build lasting relationships that keep your brand alive for years to come. Use Facebook to talk to your customers, ask them what they’re interested in, what kind of content they want to see from you and how you can help make their lives easier. That’s how you use Facebook to its full potential Source: Hootsuite: https://blog.hootsuite.com/increase-facebook-engagement/

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