How To Reap The Benefits Of A Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing can have some incredible benefits for your business

But a lot of people still underestimate the value of Content Marketing, or indeed don’t fully understand what it is or why they should invest in bespoke content.

So let’s start by working out exactly what it is!

CONTENT MARKETING – a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

But I prefer Content Marketing Institute’s definition:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Especially the line following that definition which says “Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.”

So Content Marketing is a way to talk about your products or services in a way that’s audience first and user driven. It’s less about you, and more about them – a good place to start.

What can be content?

Anything your audience can consume can be content.

  • Blog posts
  • Video & Slideshows
  • Graphics & Animations
  • Podcasts
  • Quizzes
  • Ebooks & Whitepapers
  • Resources & Workbooks
  • Playlists
  • Q&A or AMAs
  • Facebook/Instagram Live
  • Branded Filters & Camera Frames

And the list goes on!

The type of content you create for your Content Marketing efforts will depend completely on your audience and objectives.

Great Content Marketing can have a multitude of benefits to your business, let’s look at some of them.

Traffic & Search Results

Everyone wants more traffic to their website, or at least more qualified traffic. When you publish or host quality content on your site, people hit your site to consume it. And you know they’re more than likely interested in your product or services because that’s what your content (even if loosely) relates to.

When you offer something of value to your audience, they’ll come to you. This is the complete opposite of traditional marketing where you go to where they are and interrupt them. If you content is strong enough and valuable enough you might not even have to pay to promote it. You can publish it, and let people come to you in their own way and their own time.

Here’s a great example – Jon Loomer’s Facebook Image Dimension Guide. In case you don’t know who Jon Loomer is he’s a Facebook Ads heavy hitter who runs online training and a couple of membership clubs for exclusive content. In fact, everything Jon does is an example of excellent Content Marketing.

I read in one of his emails a while back that this page on his site is the most visited. It comes up if you Google “Facebook Image Specs” and in creating it, he knew that anyone who visited that page was looking for information on how to optimise their creative to best display on Facebook.

Whether they were marketers, or business owners, or entrepreneurs – they all had that in common. And they were coming to him. For free!

Imagine you’re in a competitive niche; all clamoring to get to the top position in a Google search, but your content – perhaps a simple “how to” video is what people are visiting? That’s YOUR brand getting ahead. Standing out without pushing people away with a hard sell.

We’ll talk more about what you can do with this traffic in a sec.

content marketing

Brand Awareness & Recall

Word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful way to get your business noticed, and you’ve probably heard the phrase “word of mouse” said too. It’s so important to be known and remembered.

How can people use your services if they don’t know who you are?

How can they recommend you to their friends if they can’t remember your business name?

Create content that resonates with your audience and they’re more likely to remember you. And if they hadn’t heard of you before it’s an even better way to make them aware of your brand!

The idea is that it’s not only valuable enough for them, but sharable as well. Any time you can get people to share your content as a brand you’ve allowed them to represent you and vice versa. They’ve thought whatever you created was good enough for them to put their name to and pass along to their friends and colleagues.

And with Content Marketing you can do this without the rude interruption of more traditional types of advertising.

Brand Affinity & Loyalty

Something else you can achieve with Content Marketing is affinity from your audience, and loyalty from your current customers.

This isn’t just touchy-feely (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but in a crowded market you want people can choose your brand, over others and their affinity for what your brand stands for could be the deciding factor. But they can’t do this unless they know what your brand MEANS.

You content can explain your brand positioning, and win your audience over into fans and purchasers.

Tell your brand’s story and let your audience fall in love with you.

Then once you’ve earned their support you want to retain them!

Great content can remind people why they choose you and not your competitors. It can help deepen the relationship they have with your brand and make them less likely to stray.

content marketing

Audience Segmentation

Content Marketing can help you segment your audience and only show them what they want to see more of.

You can track and tag pages of your website and/or individual pieces of content, to build audience pools from your different content themes into remarketing segments.

That way when you pay to promote a new piece of content you can target the people who’ve consumed similar content. Facebook targeting allows us to differentiate traffic that’s visited certain pages of our website and not others, and also people who’ve spend a certain amount of time on a particular page so we can serve ads to people who interacted with particular content this way.

It’s the same concept ecommerce stores use when they offer you similar items to the ones in your cart. They know you like xyz product with certain attributes, it follows you’ll like other products with similar attributes.

This segmentation keeps your audience seeing the content that resonates with them, and prevents them seeing content themes that may not.

content marketing

Funnel Content

If you have a sales funnel you need to fill that funnel with content.

This content needs to be relevant to the audience AND their buyer journey.

Content Marketing can attract people to your brand and fill the top of the funnel.

And it’s especially important during the consideration phase (middle of the funnel) to make sure people choose your brand over your competition.

content marketing

Thought Leadership

Content Marketing can position you (as a personal brand) or your company as the thought leader in your niche.

Great content will ensure your fans know you’re the “go to” source for information on your product or industry and give you an edge over your competitors, just like in the Jon Loomer example.

content marketing

Business Opportunities

Checking the data from your Content Marketing efforts can point you in the direction of new business opportunities.

If you’re looking at expanding or even narrowing your offerings, the data on which content your audience consumed can help you refine your business to offer what has most resonated with your target market.

Content Marketing & Social Media – BFFs

Why am I telling you about Content Marketing?

Because Content Marketing and Social Media are BFFs. Your content can be distributed on Social Media, and content themes can be established based on your social posting.

Think about your most popular Social Media posts – what were they about? What can you learn from this to inform your content offering?

Social Media gives us the power of community for our brands, and it also allows us to target with a high level of accuracy people we want to reach beyond that community where we know our content will resonate.

So put some thought into your Content Marketing efforts and invest in some quality creators if it’s not your thing. The work of an excellent copywriter, graphic designer or videographer will elevate your content and you’ll reap the benefits.

But make sure to leave some money in the budget to ensure this content sees the light of day with the people you made it for.

Do you invest in Content Marketing?

What questions do you have about content?

The Recipe For Facebook Ad Success | Facebake

Facebake – My Facebook Ads Recipe

Facebook Ads are similar to baking, so Imma teach you how to Facebake!

There’s a recipe. But more importantly there’s knowing how to bring together a recipe without blindly following it. A good baker knows when the dough is too wet, or if the cake needs a bit longer in the oven.

The recipe for Facebook Ads is the same – there’s 5 things you need to make them work, let’s call them ingredients. These are the building blocks of your ads structurally – but also the items you need to split test to find the most effective combination for your goal.

What are they?

Facebake Ingredients

  • 1kg Amazing creative (mix of video & images)
  • 2 heaped Tbsp Clever & Convincing copy
  • 1 whole Offer (may be substituted with a benefit)
  • 2-3 cups of Audience targeting
  • 1 pinch Excellent landing page

We’ll examine them one by one.

Amazing Creative

You want your ads to stand out in the newsfeed – but for the RIGHT reasons.

Shouty, text-heavy, blurry, weirdly cropped images will not do. Well they could do the job – but you’ll be paying more than if you had good ones, and the goal is to pay the least as possible needed to meet your objective, right? Good. SO get some design skills or hire a designer.

Same with video. Is your video square or vertical? Does it have captions? Is it as short as humanly possible to still get your point across? Good! The research shows people will watch about 6 secs of your video ad, so you need to make them count.

Your Facebake creative also needs a lot of other components:

Facebake
5 additional ingredients your Facebake will need

 

You know how important aroma is in cooking?

Well there’s this thing called ‘ad scent’ and it’s important to apply this to your ad creative. Make sure the ad creative matches in some way the landing page creative. They should ‘smell’ the same so people know they’re in the right place.

And how do you choose what type of amazing creative to use with your ads? We’ll discuss that in the method 🙂

Clever & Convincing Copy

Your copy (or text) on your Facebook Ads is another ingredient you’d like to pick fresh from the garden!

Firstly always think in terms of your target audience. Rather than making a vague general message, split off your copy for each layer of audience. If you’re targeting mums, think like a mum. If it’s young men, put your young man hat on. You’ve paid for space in someone’s social experience – make it for them and you can’t go too wrong.

There’s a couple of schools of thought on ad copy length, but for me – I go short every time.

Puns are good, alliteration is fun, rhyming can work…this is the clever part.

When picking copy avoid words like; sale, buy, offer, shop etc if you can help it. Remember you’ve interrupted someone’s newsfeed to serve an ad to them. Don’t use overtly spammy “buy my shit now” types of wording.

Having said that, you do need to include a call to action (CTA) Tell people what you want them to do. If it’s to read your latest post try “check it out” or if it’s to sign up to a list think “subscribe” but remember you can also choose your CTA button to do most of the heavy lifting for you in this area. Just don’t leave it open. In my workshops I always say confused people wander off – and they do, so steer them to your objective, just do it nicely.

And don’t forget about emojis. If your target market would use emojis then you should too. If you go to getemoji.org you’ll be able to see how the emoji display on Facebook so you can match or contrast them to your branding as best you can.

Bear in mind that emoji mean different things to different people though! I had a client who loved eggplant but using the eggplant emoji wasn’t going to fly. Another common one is the “praying hands” which some people think is a high five. You just don’t want to be misunderstood.

Double check your copy is clear and free of typos and spelling issues before posting. Although I have heard of people deliberately spelling a word wrong for entra engagement, I wouldn’t advise it.

Finally, thinking like your audience should allow you to write copy that addresses their curiosity, to either solve a problem or fulfill a desire they have. People buy emotions, so think of the way your product will make them feel.

And remember where you’re landing them when they click (if it’s an ad type that has clicks) so you introduce the page in a way that once they land there they aren’t confused. Why? Because confused people wander off remember! We’ll talk more about landing pages soon.

The Offer

What are you selling? If you have a discount, sale or actual promotion your ads are going to convert better due to our brains being hard-wired to nab a bargain. It also creates scarcity which prompts a “do it now” response.

If you’re selling something no-one wants no manner of amazing Facebake ads deliciousness is going to get them to buy.

Think about what type of people will take up your offer, what times of day they might be most receptive, what device they’ll be using, where they are in the buyer journey – all these will help you whip up an offering to tantalising to ignore.

Audience Targeting

This actually should be a whole topic in itself – so I’m going to keep it as brief as I can.

Interest targeting is sketchy at best. Yup! simmer on that one.

Your best targeting comes from people who’ve performed an action with your business. What action? Anything really; clicked a link, viewed a video, hit “going” on an event, engaged with your Instagram account…most things can be measured and re-targeted.

If you need to run cold traffic try using a Lookalike Audience (LAL) or your current customers and let Facebook’s mighty algorithm find an audience for you. It’s very clever!

Upload your customer database (if permissions allow) and make a LAL of them.

MOST importantly, don’t layer your audiences too much – you need to test them separately to find the ones that work. Why? Better results and less bad feedback – which affects your ad Relevance Score and in turn tends to affect your overall ad performance.

A common misunderstanding is that layering audience interest like this will get you an audience of people who like BOTH football AND Beer. But it won’t – this will get you people who like football OR beer. You wouldn’t think it’d make a huge difference though, right?

Facebake
Football OR Beer

This audience in Australia with no other filtering is displaying an estimated audience size of 4.4m people. If you layer it correctly to find people who like BOTH football AND beer like this

Facebake
Football AND Beer

Your audience drops to 720k – which is a MASSIVE difference!

Before we get too bogged down in targeting (seriously this should, and probably will be its own post) don’t forget your exclusions. You wouldn’t cook a steak for a vegetarian!

It’s SO important to exclude people who aren’t relevant to your ad. If they have bought a house from you, you can probably leave them off the targeting for some time. Anyone who isn’t going to convert because they just did the thing you want them to do should be removed.

Exclusions can save you wasting budget on people who aren’t your audience, and we all want that budget to go as far as it can.

Most other targeting magic happens in the method, which we’ll discuss when we get there in a few paragraphs.

Excellent Landing Page

Why Excellent? Your Social Media Ads can do amazing things, but they can’t help you convert on a shitty landing page.

Most conversions are made on a website rather than a social platform, so don’t spoil the sauce by sending people to a confusing, ugly, non-responsive or slow loading site.

You may as well put your ad dollars in the toaster.

 

Facebake
Ingredients to an excellent landing page

Now we’ve discussed our ingredients, and you’ve picked the freshest, most in season, best quality components to put into your Facebake, let’s talk about how you put it all together!

Method

Baking is a precise art – I tried to make macarons once and it was a complete disaster. And I think a lot of people reading this might feel the same about Facebook Ads.

When baking, you need to pay attention to the order of the ingredients. It’s the same when setting up your campaigns.

Cold Audiences 

Your cold traffic needs the most love, and the highest level of hand holding because they don’t know you at all.

They’ve likely never heard of you, or your business, and sometimes even your product – so asking them to marry you (convert) before introducing yourself is creepy and weird.

Start at the beginning, and ask them for something else first. Buy them a drink, offer them a seat, put your best foot forward.

In this analogy, buying them a drink is an offer, discount or promotion. The seat is articulating how you can help them, and putting your best foot forward could be introducing them to your best-seller or a helpful post, whitepaper, ebook or other resource to let them know you’re interested but you aren’t a creep.

I use a combination of Video Views and Link Clicks in this phase of the buyer journey. This not only gets traffic to your site, but builds a layer of data to re-target in the next phase in the form of Custom Audiences from Video Views.

Test all of your targeting as described above so you know which ads work the best – kill off any not performing, and add budget to scale the ones that are.

A lot of people don’t understand that they need to warm up this cold audience first, but it’s important to let the audience self-select that they’re interested in your brand by which pages they choose to visit, how long they remain on the page, or how much of your video they watched.

Warm Audiences

Your warm audience knows you, but probably haven’t converted yet, so they didn’t reject your initial advances but they haven’t agreed to date you. This could include your email database, and any other Custom Audiences you’ve made from engagement on your page, Instagram account or event.

Remind them why they started talking to you in the first place.

This is the perfect time to use your retargeting from website visits or Video Views ads, and hit them with a link click or Landing Page View ad to a more sales-focused page of your site. If they landed on the “cakes” page of your site you know they like cakes, so you can follow this segmentation along and only send people the most relevant ads.

The Canvas Ad format can be added in the warm phase (I find it works better here than to a cold audience) and also Lead Gen ads – which I find perform well to a warm audience and pretty woefully to cold ones.

Depending on your buying cycle, price of your product and the length of your consideration phase, you can also start running Conversion ads to warm traffic.

Remember that a conversion is not necessarily a sale, it is whatever you set it up to reflect, so it could be an email database signup, or an Add To Cart (ATC).

You need 50 Conversions a week per Ad Set for your ad to work properly – so make set up your conversion point as close to a sale (or other end conversion goal) as you can afford at the required budget to get these initial 50 conversions or your ad will stop spending.

So again – split test all your ingredients to come up with your best warm traffic ads, kill off the burnt ones, and scale the winners.

Piping Hot

These guys are prepped to buy!

Facebake
Fry is ready to buy

Your warm audience should be ready for conversion ads.

Retargeting anyone who ATC but didn’t check out is a very effective targeting strategy, but like in baking you need to have the oven hot enough (ie. have enough data) – so depending on your budget, audience and product you may need to do this in a few stages.

If you have a repeat purchase type product you’ll want to maximise your current buyers by encouraging them to buy more often, or upgrade to a more expensive product.

The LAL of your purchasers are a very powerful prospecting audience, the same way you can sometimes substitute ingredients like oil instead of butter.

Conversion ads work best with static creative in my experience, video is too distracting.

Once you have your required conversions coming through at an acceptable cost per conversion (CPC) you can scale up your ads carefully so that you’re maintaining a good return on investment (ROI)

Be sure to change up your creative if it starts to loose its appeal – ads can’t run forever…

And always be experimenting – a great meal is tasted and adjusted at every stage of cooking. And no great meal is made without seasoning to taste, so make sure to add a healthy sprinkle of data.

Your secret ingredient?

So now that you have my recipe – are you going to get baking?

I’d love to know your secret sauce to a successful Facebake!

Got questions?

Feel free to join my new Facebook Group and ask away, or drop me a comment.

TL;DR | 2018 Yellow (the artist formerly known as Sensis) Social Media Report | Part 2

Part 2 – Getting Down to Business

I was going to call it report-ier in reference to Die Hard – but decided not to. Anywho, part two of the Yellow Social Media Report is out and I’ve got to say it’s really got 3 main takeaways. If you missed my wrap-up of Part 1 you can read it here.

I could drag it out and fill this blog post with all manner of stats and insights, but unless you’re a Social Media Advertiser you’re probably not going to be interested. So I’ll keep it on-topic 🙂

So what are we talking about then?

Well I didn’t say there wasn’t anything valuable in it! After reading the Yellow Social Media report and thinking on it for a couple of days, and re-reading it there really are only 3 pieces I think you need to know.

1. More Than Before

Quite simply, there’s more businesses than ever with a Social Media presence.

The Report states that for small business it’s 51%, medium is 58% and large is the highest with 85%.

On average 90% of these have Facebook, and they are optimistic about Social Media’s ability to effect their business with 6 in 10 believing it will increase their sales between 11%-16%  in the next year.

2. Adding It Up

According the the Yellow Social Media Report, Australian businesses are spending more on ads, with 52% of respondents declaring they have used paid social and 9/10 reported they had run Facebook Ads.

1 in 3 small businesses are using Social Media advertising, and with medium and large businesses this increases to 1 in 2.

3. We’re Coy About ROI

The findings of the Yellow Social Media Report point to the fact that we don’t really know how to measure our ROI – or return on investment. Which is pretty bad tbh…

Only 21% of small business, 32% of medium and 35% of large businesses measure their ROI!

That’s an average across the business segments of 29%, so only around a third of businesses are actually calculating if the money (and time) they put into their Social Media is making a return.

WOW.

And the ones who do measure their Social Media efforts are looking at likes, followers and subscriber numbers to indicate success – not sales.

But nevertheless they’re saying they’ll spend the same if not more in the coming year…

It’s also outlined in the report that half of businesses Social Media budgets go to paid ads, 1/3rd to content and the rest to management of the platforms – which are overwhelmingly managed in house.

What else?

I did say there were only 3 main takeaways, which I’ve covered – but there’s a couple of minor ones.

One is that interestingly businesses are posting less often than previously recorded (probably due to algorithmic changes making their posts seem less effective) and that businesses are stating that most of the traffic to their Social Media platforms come from the company website.

Which means you need to check your site’s Social Media icons are working, and your Facebook pixel is up and running to track your website users’ journey.

That’s It…

I hope this has been useful and has saved you reading the 30 pages of the Yellow Social Media Report for yourself.

There’s a lot more stats to pour through if you’re inclined, you can read the Part 2 in full here.

TL;DR | 2018 Yellow (the artist formerly known as Sensis) Social Media Report | Part 1

A Yellow rose by any other name…

The much-loved Sensis Social Media Report has changed its name. It’s now the Yellow Social Media Report. But what’s in a name? It’s still going to give you the same delicious stats and facts as always, just with a brighter background.

If you’re into Social Media, or data about the way businesses are using it, this report has something for you!

For the last 2 years I have brought you a TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) summary of the report, and it’s always one of my most-read posts! This year I’m doing it again. I’ll highlight my main takeaways of the report from my opinion as a Social Media practitioner in regard to the way Western Australian’s and WA businesses are using Social Media.

Why the Yellow Social Media Report?

Why do we love this report so much?

The main reason the Australian Social Media community gets excited about this particular report is because even though there’s a LOT of data out there, it can be tough to find anything that reflects an Australian audience. We’re a big country with a small population and we just aren’t like anyone else.

Another reason is it’s incredibly important to stay up to date in this fast-moving industry. Trends shift in the blink of an eye, and as a Social Media professional (or a small business owner looking after your own businesses Socials) you need to keep up with usage trends to get the best from your efforts.

The Yellow Social Media Report has been asking (mostly) the same questions for the past 7 years, so it’s become somewhat of an authority piece.

Start to Finish

Did you know that the first thing nearly 60% of Australians do every day is use Social Media? It’s how they finish their day, too! I know I’m in that 60%…

62% of Australians use Social Media daily to connect to friends and family – and 60% open their Social Media more than 5 times per day, across an average of 3.5 “internet connected” devices.

Mostly we’re there to connect with people we know – but 44% of Aussies follow brands on Social (up from 25% last year) and they are using your presence to find out more about your business and check your reviews.

Facebook – STILL not dead.

People tell me Facebook is dead. Or that it “doesn’t work for my business” but maybe you’re not giving your audience what it wants, because it’s the most widely used Social Media platform in Australia – consuming an average of 10 hours per week of our time.

94% of Western Australians surveyed use Facebook, and it’s the same as last years result, despite people saying they’re going to #deletefacebook. This is also way out in front of second placed YouTube at 44%.

Yellow Social Media Report - pic 1

Message Me

It’s the same when we move to private messaging services, with Facebook Messenger coming out way in front in WA 79% for Messenger and 30% for Facebook’s other messenger option – WhatsApp. None of the others even came close.

Yellow Social Media Report - pic 2
These are the Australia-wide figures

 

Live and let LIVE

Us sandgropers are not really embracing Facebook live – with 79% saying they have neither watched nor published a Live broadcast. Are we a bit behind? A bit camera-shy? Maybe we’ll catch up in next years report…

Tell it like it is!

We’re also behind all other states when it comes to publishing Snapchat, Instagram & Facebook Stories with 74% saying they have never published a story on the 3 channels.

Down to Business…

Why do we need to know all this stuff about how people use the platforms? Because it’ll help us as brands get our messages seen and acted on most effectively.

33% of us check out a brand’s social media presence before making our first online purchase from them. WHat if there’s nothing there when they look? Or something old and out of date? Not a good look!

40% of West Aussies said they had provided an online review (we’re the second last state for this – coming in last is SA) and people from the ACT shared the most opinions with 52%.

Only 12% of WA folks said they stopped following a brand in the past year. Mostly they did this because their content was irrelevant or unappealing – or they just posted too often.

Western Australians aren’t very trusting of news on Social Media, with only 20% trusting news on Social Media or news their friends posted on Social Media. We prefer our news on the news, thanks.

We’re also the state who cares least about likes, and the least likely to check our phones while eating with family and friends, so that’s good news.

Yellow Social Media Report - pic 3

So there you have it – that’s the Part 1 wrap up – Part 2 of the report should be out soon, letting us know more about brands and businesses use of Social Media.

 

What did you think of my wrapup of the report? Or the Yellow Social Media Report itself? Any surprises?

Want more? You can read the full report here.

 

 

People Doing Cool Stuff – Perth Happenings | Pieta Sharpe

I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of inspirational business people who are doing cool stuff!

You’ve probably heard of Perth Happenings. You either follow their Instagram, or have looked for stuff to do on their site – maybe even advertised your event there! But do you know the lovely face behind the brand?

Let’s get to know Pieta Sharpe a bit better, and in the process we’ll find out how Perth Happenings was born!

Tell us a bit about yourself and Perth Happenings!

I’m Pieta, 37 year old solo Mum of two sensational young men. I’m passionate about community building, people in general and creating a beautiful life for my family and those around me. I have spent way too much money at uni, am on the board of my old high school and I’m an ambassador for Youth Focus which I am so proud of.

Perth Happenings was created when we saw a gap in the ‘market’ per se. There are so many large scale event websites and social media that don’t really create a space or give any air time to smaller, local community events.

When building Perth Happenings we felt it was important to develop community pages to create that point of difference.

So we have 8 – North, south, east, west, central, freo, hills and out of town. You can head to that local community page and see events in the area, local blogs, local businesses and really get a feel for what is in your community or conversely try a NEW community.

Perth is very spread out and we tend to stay in our comfort zones and not travel out of our space. Having community pages means that if you feel like a weekend in the Hills and you live in Freo you can check it out and plan ahead.

We offer free online listings to almost any event in Perth and will often select random community events to provide free promotion and upgrades to. We also offer 50% off silver and gold packages to Not for Profit and local community organisations.

We will never be focussed on the large scale events and the multinational organisations and that means we won’t attract the bigger bucks but that is a-ok for us. Our audience are supportive of our dream of building an online community to keep the people of Perth engaged with each other and we showcase many events that others really don’t!

We have a TV show in the pipeline too so keep your eyes out for that!

 

Tell us about your journey, how did you get to this point?

I have a background in psychology, education and community services alongside currently completing my Master of Marketing and Innovation. All of my education is based on people – learning about them, engaging with them – I just love people.

Motivating and inspiring them and just helping us to be the best humans in the best society that we possibly can!

I feel Perth Happenings has allowed me to develop a platform to make a difference and I am looking forward to developing that.

 

What music/song have you got on high rotation right now?

I went to Falls Festival as a reviewer (terrible aspect of my business!) and I absolutely fell in love with Glass Animals and fell back in love with Peking Duck.

The two songs I don’t seem to be sick of are Life Itself (Glass Animals) and Let you down (Peking Duck).

I think I play them seven to ten times a day.

 

How do you stay motivated?

This may sound cliché but knowing my 13 and 10 year old sons are watching and learning from me at all times keeps me motivated. I want to show them you can achieve any dream you can think up be it in business, health or fitness either with a partner or be ok on your own.

 

 

I regularly go to F45 sessions and hope the dream of doing burpees and unassisted pullups is a reality soon too!

 

What/who inspires you?

Besides my boys, my group of friends inspires me every day. They are just some of the most amazing people you could meet.

Additionally, knowing that as an ambassador for Youth Focus, I may inspire and motivate a young person one day – that keeps me focussed on the prize.

If I can use my story to help others believe in themselves then there is no greater reason to do what I do.

 

How do you deal with impostor syndrome?

It’s a funny one this imposter syndrome theory.

I think with regards to Perth Happenings I don’t really have it. I have worked super hard to strategize and get to where we are. I have put in lots of love and time and am proud of my achievements. I think often we see those who say – yep I deserve this and I AM awesome as being conceited, so I wonder if we all actually do it because we feel we should or because we’re afraid of the ramifications of praising ourselves.

 

What’s your favorite place/way to relax?

I love the beach.  I adore just sitting there or walking and collecting shells.

I also enjoy music – listening, dancing, singing very badly, and yoga, F45 – plus I love just talking and engaging with my boys. It is simple but true.

 

If you hadn’t started your business what do you think you’d be doing right now?

Still working in Not for Profit organisations wondering how I can make more of a difference and be a little frustrated.

 

What’s been your most successful Social Media platform for your business? Do you think you’d be in the same place if it wasn’t for Social Media?

We are an online business so digital marketing strategy and social media are paramount for us. One important component of building the business has been that I have been very true to my audience.

Starting Perth Happenings our growth was slow because community isn’t as sexy as big bands and fancy restaurants. However once we got the momentum we’ve had a steady climb.

Constant reviewing and making changes has resulted in lowering our bounce rate of our website by providing more blogs and other events on the pages.

I altered our strategy in October and have seen a 72% increase in website traffic to date since November which I am of course VERY proud of.

I researched into my secondary market (24-34 year old women) and looked at what we could offer on our Facebook that would attract them and encourage engagement.

Knowing your audience is key!

 

Have you hit any huge problems that made you re-think your whole career? How did you get around it? What was your approach to solving the issue?

I rethought my whole career when working with underprivileged children and realising how under resourced and often poorly funded not for profit community groups are.

I couldn’t handle working with these kids and seeing that really what they, and their families needed was community engagement and feeling they were a part of something. Bigger picture, I am hoping to provide an online community as a conduit to that feeling real life connection.

Fingers crossed!

 

What is the hardest thing about your work?

Relationship building. We have struggled to get the local councils on board with what we are trying to do which is frustrating and challenging considering they are the perfect partner for collaboration.

Finding the right people with the same vision is harder that I anticipated from a corporate level.

Otherwise it would be all the movie premieres and concerts I get to go to… tough!

How do you manage it all with such a busy schedule?

That is something I am working on!

I am focusing this year on quality. I want quality relationships with businesses and people I can trust and WANT to work with. I say yes to much too much and need to reign that in.

 

What’s next for you?

The Perth Happenings Youtube channel development and the Perth Happenings TV show.

Both coming soon to a screen near you!

 

How do we find and follow your cool story?

Facebook

Website

Instagram

 

So now you now more about the brains behind Perth Happenings!

I hope you’re enjoying this series of People Doing Cool Stuff, I’ve got loads more fun peeps to introduce you to, so make sure you stay tuned!

People Doing Cool Stuff – Chalk of the Town | Megan Manning

I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of people from all over the world who are doing cool stuff!

 

Having spent a lot of time working in pubs with prominent chalkboards like the Belgian Beer Cafe, The Greenwood and The Albion, I know how important it is to have them done professionally so they are neat, legible, and inviting. And I know it’s MUCH harder than it looks!

Let’s have a chat with Chalk Of The Town’s Megan Manning and find out how she does it!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business – what is Chalk Of The Town all about?

I’m Meg and I run and operate Chalk of the Town signwriting.  What’s Chalk of the Town you ask? Well, I’m an artist and I work mainly with Chalkboards.

 

Tell us about your journey, how did you get to this point?

I started my little business when I lived in Europe and needed to start making some money. I have always been creative and good at art so when the opportunity to work closely with a local artist to learn my trade arose I jumped at the opportunity.

I trained alongside my mentor for 6 months in Spain before returning to Australia and starting up my little business here 2 years ago and haven’t looked back yet.

Have you ever seen one of those fancy colourful chalkboards in a pub or a restaurant and wondered how or who did that? Well that’s what I do. I’m the person they hire to create those masterpieces!

I also create beautiful signage for weddings, parties, events and businesses which is cool because I get to work with other businesses and wedding vendors on photoshoots and all sorts.

 

What music/song have you got on high rotation right now?

Well, It’s a pretty funny story. Most likely a ‘you have to be there kind of moment’ but, our kids LOVE Detroit Rock City from KISS so as we can imagine we have to play this every time we get in the car or are at home listening to music.

They all know the words (even the 2 and 3 year old) and jump around like crazy when it comes on. They are so cute!

 

How do you stay motivated?

Hmmm, this is a hard one because sometimes I do struggle to motivate myself BUT I Love what I do so I just remind myself of that and it kicks me up the butt on the days that I need it.

 

What/who inspires you?

This is so super soppy of me but I would have to say the person who does inspire me if my Husband to be. He is the most amazing person I have ever met and he inspires me to be the best person that I can be and to always work hard and to never give up.

 

How do you deal with impostor syndrome?

Well, I just remind myself that I AM good at what I do and how far I have become.

 

What’s your favorited place/way to relax?

My husband and I both work fulltime and we have 3 kids so we never really get to relax, because as you can imagine our life is pretty full on!

But when we do get a chance to have some ‘us time’ and relax our number 1 destination is Busselton, We often grab our snorkelling gear and go off snorkelling for the day. In this beautiful country it would be stupid not to, Right?

 

If you hadn’t started your business what do you think you’d be doing right now?

A long long time ago before I became a mum I actually studied Graphic Design at university (this also comes in very handy for my business now) so most likely I would be doing something creative anyway.

 

What’s been your most successful Social Media platform for your business? Do you think you’d be in the same place if it wasn’t for Social Media?

My Major Marketing Platform that I use is Facebook. About 99.9 % of my clientele has seen my work on Facebook or via word of mouth.

 

Have you hit any huge problems that made you re-think your whole career? How did you get around it? What was your approach to solving the issue?

Yes, but only with Bride funnily enough.

I recently took 6 months out because of some not very nice people. I won’t go into details but it was a very stressful time that was completely unnecessary.

Thankfully thought I fought back and came out even stronger and more determined than ever.

 

What is the hardest thing about your work?

I love my Job, I love the creativity and the freedom but sometimes you just meet people that have no idea about advertising, or don’t have a creative bone in there body and they are so adamant on an idea of what they want which is complete poo but they just won’t listen to your advice.

I find this hard because number 1 its my name on the artwork and number 2 it makes me cringe haha, but apart from that I am really luckily to be doing what I do.

 

How do you manage it all with such a busy schedule?

It’s taken me A long time to balance work with life but we are getting there. I am very strict about the hours that I work and where I work.

I have to work from home so I can take care of my children and I will not work after hours or at the weekend as that is family time. I have found balance and I manage to do all of my work and be a mum and wife at the same time. Its great.

 

What’s next for you?

I would like to teach some hand lettering courses to the general public so that could be something I look into this year.

We will see how we go.

 

How do we find and follow your cool story?

Facebook

Website

 

Make sure you stay tuned for more cool stories! And if you think you’re doing something cool – get in touch!

People Doing Cool Stuff – Alythea’s Pooch Palace

I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of people from all over the world who are doing cool stuff!

And sometimes you just get a bit blown away by someone, and that’s how I feel about eleven year old Thea Campbell. When I was eleven I was definitely not doing anything this cool.

As a rescue advocate and mum to a rescue dog, I wholeheartedly support her vision. As a human I can’t help but feel completely inspired by Thea, and I hope you are too.

So enough from me, let’s hear about his exceptional young woman and her mission!

Alythea’s Pooch Palace

My name is Thea Campbell and I am 11 and I got my puppy, Rozie, when I was 8 for my birthday present. I had been asking for a puppy for over two years! She is just a little bundle of joy; also very silly, if a thought occurs to her she gets very worried, but we can calm her down with some cheese!

I am home educated by my parents, which means that not only am I ahead in my academics, I can focus on my own projects like my charity project – raising money for the Shenton Park Dog Refuge.

About six months ago, I was going home from my brother’s final hockey game and I said to Dad: ‘I have a good idea! What about a Doggie Dinner Movie Night themed with Lady and the Tramp: there could be doggie mocktails and dog spaghetti and Italian food for the owners. I could do it as a fundraiser for the Shenton Park Dog Refuge!’ I said to Dad that I could do that in a few years but he said ‘why not now?’

So I have spent the last six months working with local people to get my event up and running. It has been challenging but also rewarding.

I have been able to learn to use facebook as well as type better formal emails.

When I was 10 I had this big plan for a self-funding dog shelter. It would have other dog related businesses, that profit share to help fund the shelter.

I would have businesses like barkeries, butchers, dog friendly café, dog and owner day spa, veterinarian, gift shop grooming, photograph studio, outreach services and much more!

Then about a month later I came up with my name – Alythea’s Pooch Palace for Homeless Dogs – and 10 year plan ahead of me.

 

What type of music or song have you got on high rotation?

The Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack.

 

How do you stay motivated?

Knowing that I am helping dogs.

 

What inspires you?

The homeless dogs are who inspires me. Knowing that I am helping one dog somewhere really helps me stay inspired and focussed when I am finding I’m stressed.

 

How do you you deal with imposter syndrome?

I don’t think I have this just yet, as I am just starting out in life. However, I do struggle with getting stuck in my head and worried about little, tiny details.

I find talking to my mum, going over the niggly things with her and seeing that the things I am worried about are quite fixable or easily solved helps.

 

What’s your favourite way to relax?

Chilling out in front of the TV with Rozie, watching dog films, or heading to the park and watching my puppies run!

Being sighthounds, they are VERY fast!

 

If you hadn’t started Alythea’s Pooch Palace, what do you think you’d be doing right now?

I think that if I hadn’t left mainstream school I would still be surrounded by school and homework and boring lunches (I don’t cope well with only eating one type of food) and would not have found my amazing idea.

Having the space to follow my dreams, even though I am really young, means I can follow them my whole life!

I am learning so many amazing skills too, that I wouldn’t learn in school. I have had meetings with our State and Federal parliamentarians, cooked with our WA Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey, and travelled all around the state with my parents and our bees!

 

How do you you Social Media in promoting your business?

OMG, social media!

Tactic: lots of posts, everyday and specifically asking businesses and people to share your post. And cross your fingers. Though I am lucky – people LOVE dogs!

 

Did you hit any huge problems that made you re-think the whole thing? How did you get around it? 

Being taken seriously – since I am ‘a kid’ – but my mum and dad have helped me work out how to set meetings and write mature emails.

I have great experience with customers and people anyway from my parents Honey business (from their shop and market events).

I have also had some help from my Grandma too about planning and things like that.

 

What is the hardest thing about your work?

Doing all of my work while managing my schoolwork, as I am planned to finish by 15/16 I am already in year 7. It is heaps easier planning my event now it is the school holidays.

Being able to say no, and being clear with people about my vision.

 

How do you manage it all with your busy schedule?

I do some of my school work in the car and I always make sure that I do at least 3 things for my event each day.

So many emails!

 

What’s next for you?

I think I am going to be planning next years event. It will be K-9 themed – there’s an 80’s movie called K9!

I’ll try and get the police dogs down there as well as have something related to K-9 (another Guinness world record)

 

How do we follow more of your story?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Alytheas-Pooch-Palace-for-Homeless-Dogs

Email: alytheaspoochpalace@gmail.com

 

How do we get tickets for you upcoming event?

You can book HERE!

 

What do you think – pretty cool huh? Is your mind totally blown?

Make sure you head along to Doggie Dinner Movie Night and take your pup to see Lady and The Tramp, participate in some raffles, and help her try to break the Guiness Book of World Records for the most dogs at a grooming session!

You might even see Lisa Baker MLA and Member for Cowan, Anne Aly.

People Doing Cool Stuff – Tiffany Andrews | Ngapuhi Photography

I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of people from all over the world who are doing cool stuff!

Tiff Andrews isn’t just a regular photographer, she’s got a specific niche she works with! Her business is called Ngapuhi Photography, which she named after her tribe as a way of paying homage to her roots in Northland, New Zealand. Little did she know this would steer her photography business so much that she’d become one of Australia’s only cultural portraiture specialists.

So let’s have a look at some examples of her work and chat to her about her business!

Tiff Andrews and Ngapuhi Photography

I am of Maori heritage and Ngapuhi is the name of the tribe I’m from and calling my business that is a way of me paying homage to where I am from. I got into doing the cultural portraiture after being asked by so many Kiwi’s if I did them (because of the name of my business) I actually started out in photography as a Gig photographer and followed several Maori/Kiwi groups around.

I saw there was a market here in Australia for the cultural portraiture and decided to embark on that path and see where it would lead too. Generally Maori for example won’t go to a non-Maori photographer for these type of photos as the shots can be very emotional, and you need to understand what they are feeling and help support them along the way.

I specialize in Maori Portraiture as its my own culture and I’m sensitive to our customs and protocols. I have also photographed, Cook Island, Samoan, Tongan and Aboriginal cultures.

I also do the regular photography, Weddings, Maternity, Team Photos but I’m known for the Cultural Images.

There are a few of us that specialize in this genre, only 3 in Australia I’m aware of. We all have different styles of shooting so none of us are the same and most people can tell who did what images by looking at the style. I’ve never had someone try and impersonate my work.

You can tell a LOT about someone by their taste in music. What type of music or song have you got on high rotation?

Growing up in NZ, Reggae music was what I listened to as child and teenager along with our own cultural music. Things haven’t changed and I still listen to the same style music as well as basically anything that my ears enjoy.

Currently Conkarah from Jamaica is my fav tunes.

 

How do you stay motivated?

Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when I’m not shooting, you just need to give yourself a kick in the pants and keep going.

The reactions I get out of making people happy with their photos is the best satisfaction I can get, and it can be addictive.

 

What’s your favorite way to relax?

My fav place and way to relax is shutting of the mind from work (which can be very hard) and just spending quality time with my family at the park or beach or catching a movie together.

 

If you weren’t running your cultural portraiture business, what do you think you’d be doing right now?

If I wasn’t doing this I would probably still be doing school photography. I quit that job due to the demands of my own work.

ngapuhi photography

 

How do you you Social Media in promoting your business?

Facebook has been the main driving force behind my marketing, next to word of mouth. I started out with a Facebook page I added a few images to, and within a few months I had 5000 followers!

When I post openings for bookings and trips I generally get a lot of activity on my page, comments, shares, and private messages.

Without Facebook I wouldn’t be as established as I am now.

I’m very fortunate to have a lot of Polynesian Facebook Groups share my images on their pages and Instagram pages. Sometimes these pages have in excess of 10’s of thousands of members.

 

Did you hit any huge problems that made you re-think the whole thing? How did you get around it? 

The big problems I have found with my career is being to trusting and generous with my work.

I’ve had a lot of people mess me around, deals that I’ve fulfilled on my side and they haven’t on theirs to name one. You learn to tighten up on your procedures, what you are willing to do in exchange for something else and who you will and won’t trust to work with in the future.

 

What is the hardest thing about your work?

The hardest thing about my work and every photographer can relate, is generating business.

I’m fortunate that I have very little competition and have a niche product that stands out from other local photographers, but it is still hard.

 

How do you manage it all with your busy schedule?

The only way I can manage my schedule is to WRITE IT DOWN in my diary.

My brain is usually focused on photos and without my diary I would probably forget EVERTHING else!

 

What’s next for you Tiff?

This year I hope to keep doing more of what I’m already doing, more trips lined up and the start of a book I want to put together about my journey as this type of photographer but using the clothing I use in my shoots to represent me as a person. The cloaks (Korowai) I use for my photos I now make myself as they are usually very expensive and hard to source.

I’m also in the process of putting a collection of Art Photography Images together for an exhibition I’m hoping to organize myself at a later stage.

So far in the few short years I have been doing these portraits, I have travelled to NZ, Brisbane, Melbourne and LA to hold portrait sessions. Whilst in LA I had images exhibited in a Kiwi’s in LA Annual Art Exhibition and was the first person to display my style of images since they began.

I also got to shoot a family’s portraits on Malibu Beach!

I’ve been interviewed for a radio station in NZ, had a four-page spread published in a New Zealand Newspaper Magazine (its was about my artist friend but they used my images and gave photo credit)

 

How do we follow more of your story?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ngapuhiphotography

Website: www.ngapuhi-photography.com

Instagram: @ngapuhiphotography

 

 

What do you think, Tiff’s pretty cool huh? If you or someone you know needs cultural portraits done make sure you get in touch.

And stay tuned for more awesome stories from more People Doing Cool Stuff!

Facebook Apocalypse | Actionable Tips To Negotiate The Fallout

Facebook set it’s house on fire by changing how the newsfeed works – so what do we all do now?

There’s some things in Social Media Marketing that will always be true. I’m going to start with those, as many publishers and brands will really need to go back to the basics to make sure they are still reaching their audience.

These are simple, but often overlooked and there’s only 3 main ones…

1. Strategy

What do you WANT from your Facebook activity? What does success look like for your accounts?

Is it sales, brand awareness, leads, customer service?

Think about what you actually want to achieve by being on Facebook in the first place. What’s the best way to achieve your goals, bearing in mind Facebook is saying they will be preferencing “meaningful” content that evokes deeper thought and attracts long comments.

I’ll outline a few formats I think will still be viable under this newsfeed change in the next section.

2. Audience

Your Facebook page isn’t for you.

Let that sink in.

It can be ABOUT you, but it’s supposed to be for your AUDIENCE. Facebook’s trying to put the Social back into Social Media.

newsfeed

What does going back to basics here look like? Stop creating content you like, and put your efforts into content that means something to your audience. Keep it relevant, put some thought into who your audience is, what they’re day looks like, when they want to hear from you and you should see success with Facebook’s new focus – creating a meaningful experience, keeping you safe from the newsfeed update.

Dive into your insights and check out who your audience are (you might be surprised) and always keep them central to your content creation (or curation)

You may need to post less often to achieve success here, but putting the extra thought into your content, and cutting down on your frequency could definitely help your newsfeed visibility.

3. Community Management

This one has been around as long as Facebook itself, but it’s lost a bit of shine, at least to me if I’m honest. I’d say this was mainly due to the amount of effort it takes to run a community, the fact that you can’t really measure community ROI, and the declining organic newsfeed reach which pushed all us former Community Mangers into the realm of Paid.

Having said that, it’s always been important to answer the questions, queries and issues of your fans and customers on your Facebook page. It’s Social after all!

In the announcements by Facebook in the previous week they’ve stated that simply replying to all your comments isn’t enough. They say they don’t care about page-to-person interaction (I have a hunch they still keep tabs on it, like they do with answered messages in Messenger, but I have no proof) they only care about person-to-person interaction.

So if you already have a community of active commenters, who participate in thoughtful conversions about the topics around your brand – this is going to be a huge advantage! If you don’t it looks like trying to build one is the key here.

I’m not going to lie, starting from scratch is going to take a lot of effort on your part, especially if you’re a small business. For larger businesses this will mean they might decide to dedicate a Social Media team member to “conversation starter” rather than simply moderating comments or providing customer service.

It also makes me wonder about the Telcos. If you’ve been on a Telco page lately (or ISP for that matter) you’ll find long, detailed accounts of people’s greivances. Is this what Facebook will end up preferencing in the newsfeed? Might be good news for NFPs and cause related communities?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Another thought pops into my head about trolls. Will brands now ‘Fake Troll’ themselves to get longer comments? Yuk. Let’s hope not.

Ok, so that’s my 3 back to basics tips. Bring Sexy Social Back with a re-think about your strategy and why you are on Facebook in the first place, ALWAYS post audience-first, and have a plan to engage your community.


How are you going to stay ‘newsfeed visible’ though?

It’s all very well and good for the answer to be “create better content” but HOW?

Here’s some tips I think will still be effective on Facebook, depending on your niche and audience.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live generates heaps of interaction. I wouldn’t say long comments per se, but it’s an awesome way to get your content seen in the newsfeed. If you haven’t thought about how you could go live with a tutorial, or something that helps your audience then the time is now.

AMAs

Ask Me Anythings would be a good way to get people thinking, writing longer comments and having meaningful interactions in their newsfeed. As a brand or business owner there’s surely things you know that your audience would be interested in. You could always invite guests in your niche to answer questions for your audience to keep it interesting.

You could even schedule these as Facebook Lives! Double whammy.

Facebook Groups

This newsfeed update will affect groups to a degree, but they tend to inspire more thoughtful dialogue as people feel safer to share in a group of likeminded people.

Perhaps your brand could benefit from it’s own group?

Facebook Events

As well as groups, events get a lot more interaction than pages. If your brand hosts events you can use them to help keep the interaction from the event off the main page and in one spot where it’s easily manageable, but more importantly you can promote them too (as long as they have more than 15 “attending” responses)

The final one is pretty obvious…

Facebook Ads

There’s a way you can get your important content into the newsfeed. You can pay for it to appear there.

Facebook did announce they were running out of ad inventory, but everything they’ve mentioned so far in this newsfeed update hasn’t included ads.

But don’t be fooled into thinking you can just boost a post that wasn’t written with your audience in mind and achieve success.

I think this newsfeed update has made sure we all know Facebook is getting serious about the social aspect of Social Media, and with potentially more brands moving into the paid realm, ads may get more expensive.

Over to you readers, what do you think? Have you seen any changes on your newsfeed yet? I’d love to know!

Facebook Zero | OMG! | Algorithm Armageddon

Facebook Zero, the algorithm armageddon!

If you use Social Media for promoting your business, chances are you follow a couple (if not tonnes) of Social Media related publishers, and you would no doubt have seen a huge reaction from the community about the latest announcement from Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg (below) where he states they’ll be changing the way they select posts to display to users in the newsfeed.

This update is stated to prioritise user to user interaction and focus on quality of engagement – which appears to mean time spent and meaningfulness, favouring longer, well thought out comments over tagging friends in memes or simple reactions.

Cue freakouts over Facebook page reach.

Facebook seems to be taking aim at the passiveness of users simply scrolling the newsfeed and not interacting, and publishers – including those looking to game the system with engagement bait (which Facebook announced they were cracking down on a couple of weeks back)

BUT there’s so much we don’t know!

Facebook Zero – Really?

Social Media Examiner was one of the first (naturally as probably the most well know Social Media publisher) to get vocal and ask if this was “Facebook Zero” in an 11 minute live video (below)

Would pages get any organic reach? Are we all doomed to the naughty corner? Are our Facebook pages going to be put out on the lawn with the big TVs and DVD players?

Let’s just calm down and look at what we know for a sec, which to be honest isn’t much.

If you’ve been in this world a while you know for a fact every time the newsfeed algo is tweaked people lose their minds, and each time we adjust, measure, test, refine and evaluate our accounts to try and work out a way to stay relevant and SEEN by our target audience, followers and fans – both organically and using paid distribution.

Let’s remember we all use Facebook differently!

You get the newsfeed you deserve.

I have quoted this before, a friend of mine said it to me once and it’s so true. If you hate your newsfeed – I’m sorry to say you did that to yourself. There’s so many options to unfollow people who annoy you, unfriend people you have no interest in, hit “see first”on pages and people you like, and generally reacting to things you’re actually interested in.

Facebook’s smart at figuring out what we like – but it’s not flawless. If you hate cats – stop tagging your friends in cat videos. Facebook thinks you like cats and will show you more cat content, pretty simple right? If you want to know more about the newsfeed read my post here.

You see, Facebook’s ONE JOB is to learn what you like and optimise your experience to that so it can keep you on the platform longer. Mainly to serve more ads (to make more money) but also to make sure you aren’t using the other platforms (except Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp since it owns those)

But so what, Carma? What’s this got to do with this new Facebook Zero announcement?

The curated newsfeed

I, and probably many other Social Media Marketers might not be typical users – but we know one thing, and that is that Facebook has made a pretty big assumption in the basis for this update: that we want to see more content from our friends in our newsfeeds. For me this is not the case (soz friends)

People think the newsfeed has become a crowded place for ads and page updates, and they aren’t seeing enough posts from the people they care about. I don’t find this the case, as I’d rather read a breaking story from ABC News than another “creative” engagement, pregnancy or gender reveal announcement.

Adam Barrell of The StoryLab Perth put it this way:

Facebook used to be about sharing your whole life and connecting with friends. Now more than ever Facebook is used to engage with pages and publishers. People want to explore and find new things to read and engage with.

When I want to engage with friends and family I use messenger to share photos, articles and arrange catch ups.

Wasn’t Facebook meant to make the world more open? And now Zuck is telling us we’d much prefer seeing posts from friends and family the most?

Just make a Tab/filter that users can select to just see friend posts – don’t go changing the algorithm again.

 

Good point! Bit hard to connect the world, when people wont accept a friend request from people they don’t know…always too many degrees of separation!

 

And Jon Loomer (Facebook Ads Legend from Jon Loomer Digital) described it like so:

Not everyone uses Facebook the same way. I purposefully see more brand and publisher content in my news feed than posts from friends. That’s only partly because I’m an antisocial jerk. But it’s mainly because I care most about political and sports news.

That’s the stuff I actually want to see. I don’t comment on those posts. I don’t provide “long and thoughtful replies.” Will I stop seeing that content?

If I do, that would kind of suck. That would be bad for my Facebook experience.

 

Jon posted a long and very considered post this quote was taken from, you can read the full post here.

 

So why this change?

Facebook has been trying to prompt us, as users – not publishers, to post more original content since this has been declining. Also it’s no secret the kids don’t think Facebook is cool…PLUS they’re running out of ad space.

Facebook knows it needs to tread a very fine line between showing you what you like organically and what advertisers might think you like. This is why better targeted ads with higher relevance scores perform better. As users we accept there’s ads, we just don’t wanna see ads for things we’re not interested in.

In theory this change prompts less but deeper connections to the people we’re friends with, with less page posts cluttering it up, and would help achieve Facebook’s goal of making us feel better mental health wise than passively (maybe obsessively) scrolling our newsfeeds. We’ve all had one friend say they felt happier after quitting Facebook (or Social Media more generally) so essentially it’s a retention strategy.

Will it work?

IMO? No.

For the way this update appears to work (once it’s rolled out – again we don’t really know til it happens) would be based on the fact that people want to post more, or at least the same amount of original content they do now. Your newsfeed will always be full – so if your friends aren’t posting photos, live video, links, events etc then what will make up the rest of your feed?

Page posts and ads, right?

You probably already interact with the people you want to hear from, so their posts will get upweighted, but beyond that who are we going to see posts from? Old high school acquaintances? No thanks (no offence JFSHS class of ’96)

You can leave me with my newsfeed full of tech pages, recipe videos, and Social Media publishers thanks.

But what do you think?

Will this clear up your newsfeed for more friend action? Good or bad? If you’ve got some thoughts drop a comment, I’d love to know!