To Be Adaptable

Recently, Facebook announced that it would reconfigure its algorithm to serve its users more content from friends and family and less from businesses and publishers. I was home sick in bed and turned on a live video stream of a well-known social media site freaking out as if nuclear war was upon us. Other publications went to extremes and began to deem this impending era as “Facebook Zero.” Oh, and let’s not forget about the ad I was served that had a dramatic stock image of a single woman sitting in an empty arena depicting what organic engagement will soon become.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little jaded and it takes more than doom and gloom trollers to phase me. Digital isn't that new anymore when you're a veteran like me. I've seen changes come and go and the clients I work with have withstood them all. Change, adapt, grow is the name of the game so don't ignore me when I say maybe you can't select and invite, but you can still group and break out from the crowd.

The moral of the story is Facebook and its social counterparts will always evolve and change. The internet loves cliches, so let’s just say that “Nothing gold can stay” when it comes to social platforms and their functions—and why wouldn’t you thrive on change and adaptability? Humans were made for it.

Zuck and company aren’t looking for businesses to falter. The algorithm might change, but organic reach, advertisements, and page functionality will adapt. Do you know how silly it would be to make 65 million business pages essentially unfunctional?

Here are some reasons why I staunchly believe that “Facebook Zero” is an Urban legend and some ways to get creative:

Live Content is the Reigning Queen

GO LIVE. While everyone is bustling about saying what the algorithm doesn’t like, no one’s talking about it does. It’s kind of like your local news. ;)

Facebook’s algorithm favors live video and we need to get creative and think about how everyone can benefit from it. New header images, ads that align with your brand’s story, and recorded video SHOULD still be a part of your strategy, but if you’re not going live you’re missing out. More of your audience will be notified of your live feed than ANY other kind of post or notification AND it’s often faster than creating any of the assets mentioned above.

Get creative and FIND ways for your team to utilize it. Trust me, our team works remotely and I can barely put on a face to get on a video call, but suck it up and be a champ. Plus, non-scripted dialogue and a hiccup or two feeds with that internet is craving most right now—BEING HUMAN.

Offer Exclusive Content & Promotions

Consider offering content exclusively on your Facebook page that isn’t on any other platform. I’ve always preached quality over quantity, so on top of not posting identical content to all platforms, think about how you can be UNIQUE and EXCLUSIVE on each one of them and give people a reason to come to you.

Offer a contest exclusively on Facebook and post about it on other platforms to direct traffic to the page. Try creating an offer that people can only claim on Facebook. And if you really have a wild hair, host a weekly or monthly stream and strive to go viral.

 Utilize what YOU Own

There was a time a few years ago when uploading email lists on “Custom Audiences” was all the rage. Then lead gen ads, multiple kinds of conversion ads, messenger ads, and more came along and marketers were scrambling to grab the next low hanging fruit. Everyone’s looking at everything that’s new and shiny and no one’s focusing on what’s tried and true.

No one owns your email lists but YOU. Your site traffic data is unique to YOU. If you’re not looking to up your ad spend and are thinking ads will be more competitive than ever (Spoiler Alert: The WILL be), target smarter and tighten up your strategy so you’re not being a sore loser playing social roulette.

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Now, please delete that copy and pasted status asking people to leave a comment so you can see more than 25 people’s content. You are now equipped with knowledge and real talk to know better than that.

I pride TBD Media and our work in being adaptable. In fact, during our 2018 planning sessions, we deemed “adaptable” as our word of the year, long before Zuck and company’s algorithm announcement. I think that was a hidden signal to show that we are a resilient team that looks ahead and rises to the occasion of change. We feed off of it. In fact, if our work wasn’t always evolving, I’d probably be in a whole other industry.

Got a question or concerns about “Facebook Zero” and the lack thereof? Slide into our DMs or inbox and let’s pull you out of the bomb shelter.

Cat SpragueComment
TO BE tracking....everything.

I tend to think about all of the information out there and what can really benefit our company, clients and ourselves. In my time at TBD, what I've learned most about social is the potential for a bottom line impact. You can't really post and hope it shows value. You have to plan, work and review your efforts continually. That’s where Google Analytics comes in. We use Google Analytics and UTM tracking to ensure the conversations and campaigns have the intended results our clients seek.

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In its simplest form, your social efforts and marketing should all have a designed funnel. Within this phase of trying new things, there’s still something you hope a potential consumer does, right? If you are working with an agency that isn't tracking using UTMs, you might want to revisit this topic.

By network, by post, by style of content, you can see what your audience responds to. As the networks change, as the tips and tricks and best practices ebb and flow, what matters most is a focus on quality.

As a client, you might feel a struggle with ROI - your return on investment. Here’s the good news: it doesn’t take millions of developer hours, our team knows how to track and teach you to see indicators of traffic, leads and conversions. Social isn’t a fix for marketing, it’s more like an updated version of a billboard. But, if you know what action you want your consumer to take, your marketing team should work with you to reverse engineer content that will make that path come true in a smooth form. From these little code and link tweaks in the UTMs, it can tell us who’s clicking, where they are going, and what kind experience they’re having on your site.

You’d be amazed at what this information can tell you. It opens an entirely new world of marketing and tweaking your marketing to ensure ROI. We’ve seen clients fundamentally rethink their strategy, sometimes even their pricing and products. Seriously! When you understand your traffic, you learn more. When you understand your marketing, you can focus on what works and cut what doesn’t. I love being all about that bottom line and really helping my clients succeed.

 

Reach out if you’d like to learn more.  

-SR

Cat SpragueComment
TO BE CREATIVE

TBD impresses upon clients how important it is to have a theme or plan broken down annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly. With a strong grip on the long-term strategy, the day-to-day stays on track and reaches for that overarching goal.

In 2018, we wanted to bring that idea to the creative team as well. Our graphics department and capabilities have grown, as has our understanding of omnichannel (across all media) storytelling. For example, check out our refreshed Instagram! Our goal was to exemplify the power of a story. Each month we’re taking a deep dive into a word or topic of focus as a company,  and relating it to our bigger picture. How do we represent that visually? With a bigger picture, of course!

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We loved experimenting with a collage format that could accommodate 12 individual posts that also worked together as a whole. For January, we used the ever-inspiring Martin Luther King, Jr. as our focal point, as well as a springboard into adjacent thoughts and ideas.

Dreams were a big part of the theme this month because TBD is excited about so many our dreams manifesting and becoming reality. In 2018, we’ve fortified our skills and added to our arsenal of talent. Our graphics team has expanded and we’re excited to offer full-service design options from print to digital. Our team can develop and design just about any template, logo, custom grid, postcard, menu, banner ad, social media suite, and more. You name it, we’ll do it!  

-IS

Cat SpragueComment