02.01.2018

3 ways to make the new Facebook algorithm work for you, not against you

Since the 2016 election, Facebook has been challenged with many crises like the fake news epidemic and the rise of unwanted branded content in the news feed.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder, and CEO, deemed this algorithm shift necessary to ultimately better the user experience for Facebook. Here’s his vision:

Our focus in 2018 is making sure Facebook isn’t just fun, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.

As a business who markets on Facebook, it’s easy to see this change as a threat. But it isn’t, it’s a challenge to adapt and find new, more authentic ways to reach your consumers.

Here are three ways to ensure your Facebook strategy appeals to the Facebook algorithm.

Ask your followers to choose “see first”

At first when this recommendation began flooding the internet in response to the algorithm chaos, it seemed spammy and uncomfortable.

Upon further thought, this is just a new call-to-action to incorporate into your content. If you were asking people to comment to answer a question (which is now frowned upon), you are now asking them to view your content first if they are committed to your brand. This means… more engagement from dedicated brand followers.

One way to casually ask your followers to choose the “see first” option is to use casual rhetoric and offer a vague incentive such as: If you want to see exclusive coupons and specials first, make sure you choose to see (insert brand) first on our page. 

Engagement no-nos

We lightly mentioned not to ask your followers to engage with superficial call-to-actions like: Like, share and comment if you love Sparq Designs! The algorithm is going to demote individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.

Here are other prior engagement hacking tactics that will be demoted by the new algorithm:

  • Clickbait
  • Spammy links in posts
  • Repetitive/repeated posts
  • Posts that ask for likes/comments/shares (ask us for suggestions on new call-t0-actions for Facebook giveaways)
  • Overly promotional content

Local businesses…rejoice!

In an effort to combat fake news, Facebook will be favoring local news content in the algorithm.

On January 29, 2018, Zuckerberg put out a statement highlighting this immediate change:

People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives. Research suggests that reading local news is directly correlated with civic engagement. People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference.

If you are trying to reach a geo-targeted audience around your location, it is time to invest in online marketing tactics like: news release distribution, strategic campaign implementation and blogger outreach. These efforts will offer newsworthy content to local sources, which will ultimately be favored in the newsfeed.

Video is your best friend

Facebook has been favoring video for a while now, but uniquely-curated video content will be even more valuable in the new algorithm. Don’t let articles that say “video won’t be favored in the new algorithm” fool you. Now videos from your friends and pages you follow will take precedence over videos from viral, unrelated sources that often get caught up in the everyday news feed.

Facebook’s goal has always been to connect users with each other by creating meaningful interactions. Viral videos don’t necessarily engage users, however, there are other ways to keep the momentum going.

Hack the algorithm with live video

We have been hosting live video events for our client, Bellissimo Plastic Surgery & Medi Spa, since April 2017. This strategic tactic has proved to offer meaningful interaction between Facebook users, and Bellissimo’s board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Antimarino. This emphasis on meaningful interactions is what allows Facebook live events to fit into the algorithm changes.

Choose a spokesperson for your business, and host a live event yourself to see the results, or reach out and we can help you.

At Sparq, one of our main initiatives is to change the way people relate and connect with brands. As the 2018 Facebook algorithm change continues to be implemented, we can help your brand adapt to the changes with authentic content and social media strategy. Learn more.
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Sparq Designs is a full-service marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sparq Designs caters to clients of all industries, but specifically in the medical, sports & entertainment, and consumer world. 2018 is Sparq’s fifth year in business. Since 2013, Sparq has grown rapidly into a team of 16+ employees. Sparq Designs’ services include but are not limited to: Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design, Social Media Management, Email Marketing and Video Production.

01.25.2018

5 Instagram Hacks You Need In Your Strategy

Instagram has evolved from a simple visual driven content channel into a powerful tool you can use to significantly engage with consumers and drive sales. With a limited API and a plethora of information concerning the basics of Instagram marketing, there is still a lack of knowledge about the Instagram hacks marketers can use to give users the best experience possible. So what are they?

Add Links to Profile Bio

One of the first and most dreaded Instagram hacks comes as a result of that platform preventing clickable links in photo captions or comments. Other than paid ads, the only clickable link within Instagram is on your profile page. A common tactic is to add “link in profile” to a photo caption, sending followers to your bio where they can click on the link and view the content.

We’ve got some tips to get around this without totally disrupting the user experience on your brand’s Instagram.

Geotag Content

To get your content in front of a larger audience, it’s smart to geotag your images and videos. Users commonly scope tagged locations to follow other people in the same area. This will help sort your content in the discover section of Instagram searching, and will allow t to show up to relevant users who don’t follow your brand.

Watch Your Brand’s Analytics

A business account will show you your Instagram analytics and insights, including the best time to post based on engagement from your earlier posts. To switch your profile to a business account, tap on the round icon in the top right corner of your profile. Then click “Switch to Business Profile”, connect it to your Facebook business page and follow the steps to set up your business profile.

Quickly Edit Photos Using Saved Filters

If you’re rocking a great aesthetic (which you should be) you’re consistently using the same filters and editing techniques for your photos! Whichever filter is your favorite, make it easy to find by changing the order in which the filters appear on your edit screen. You can even hide those ones you never use.

Instagram hack of maintaining an attractive aesthetic with filter use example from Canva.

Canva is a wonderful example of a brand using a highly attractive Instagram aesthetic with filters.

Here’s how:

  • When posting a photo or video, go to Filter
  • Scroll to the end of your filters and tap Manage
  • Press and hold the three line icon next to each filter on the left-hand side of the screen to rearrange the order of your filters
  • Check or uncheck the circles next to each filter on the right-hand side of the screen to hide or unhide filters
  • Click Done to save your settings

Watch the Competition’s Instagram Hacks

Brands should always measure their efforts against the competition to know what’s working and things that could improve. For brands on Instagram, it’s smart to see what type of content your competitors publish on a regular basis. Then you can choose which methods could work for your brand and help build inspiration for future posts. To get notified when specific brands post, head to their profile and select the ellipsis button, then click turn on post notifications.

What hacks did we miss? Let us know!


Sparq Designs is a full-service marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sparq Designs caters to clients of all industries, but specifically in the medical, sports & entertainment, and consumer world. 2018 is Sparq’s fifth year in business. Since 2013, Sparq has grown rapidly into a team of 16+ employees. Sparq Designs’ services include but are not limited to: Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design, Social Media Management, Email Marketing and Video Production