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Facebook LIVE: Fan Focus December 26 2016

Top 3 Social Media Trends for 2017

Facebook Instant Articles

First: What are Instant Articles?

Instant Articles were built to solve a particular problem—slow loading times on the mobile web.

FB-Instant

The Facebook-native publishing platform includes a whole host of interactive features that help stories come to life on mobile, including auto-play video and tap-to-zoom image galleries.

Josh Roberts, Product Manager at Facebook explained more about the format in a post on the Facebook blog:

Facebook’s goal is to connect people to the stories, posts, videos or photos that matter most to them. Opening up Instant Articles will allow any publisher to tell great stories, that load quickly, to people all over the world. With Instant Articles, they can do this while retaining control over the experience, their ads and their data.

The platform has been in testing with selected partners since May 2015, and the data so far feels encouraging:

  • Instant Articles received 20% more clicks than mobile web articles from the News Feed
  • Once someone clicks on an Instant Article, they’re 70% less likely to abandon the article before reading
  • They are shared 30% more than mobile web articles on average
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Facebook also discovered that people on slower connections read 20-40% more Instant Articles than mobile web articles on average.

How to create Instant Articles

Step 1: Sign up

The first thing you need to do to get up and running is sign up to join the program. You can do this at instantarticles.fb.com.

Note: To begin publishing, you must have an existing Facebook Page and have Admin or Editor role on the Page.

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Step 2: Choose your Facebook Page

After signing up you’ll be given the chance to choose which Page you’d like to activate articles for:

choose-page

Step 3: Claim your URL

Once you’ve selected your Facebook Page, you’ll be asked to provide a URL you intend to use for articles. This URL will serve as the basis for the URLs of all your posts (and, in most cases, will be your blog URL, for example, blog.bufferapp.com).

To claim your URL you need to add a meta tag to your HTML’s <head> tag and then add the URL to your settings. All the information you need to do this can be found in the Instant Articles Settings:claim-url

Step 4: Create articles

In testing, Facebook discovered that publishers want a single tool to publish articles to the web, mobile apps, or any other places readers see their content. As such, articles can be published directly from your Content Management System — there’s no need to re-create articles within Facebook.

You can sync your blog with Instant Articles via Facebook’s publishing tools, an RSS feed or by using an API. Here’s a quick rundown of the options available:

Connecting with WordPress

If you use WordPress to power your blog, Facebook has created a plugin to streamline the process of creating Instant Articles. This is likely to be the quickest and easiest way to get set up with Instant Articles.

? For a step-by-step guide on connecting your blog using the WordPress plugin check out this article

Publishing tools

Alongside the WordPress plugin, Facebook has teamed up with many publishing platforms to create seamless integration with Instant Articles.

Publishing Tools includes integrations with:

  • Drupal, Atavist, Medium, Perk Distributed, RebelMouse, ShareThis, Sovrn, Steller, Tempest. Find the full details here.

RSS feed

If you aren’t using WordPress or another CMS supported by Facebook Publishing Tools, you can connect your content to Facebook through an RSS feed.

An RSS feed can integrate seamlessly with Facebook with new posts being automatically syndicated as Instant Articles whenever you hit publish.

To enable publishing from an RSS feed, you must configure your content management system to generate a new RSS feed which contains the full content of each article in Instant Articles markup (you may need a developer to help with formatting the feed).

API

The API allows you to create, publish, update and delete Instant Articles directly from your content management system and provides an excellent alternative to connecting via RSS.

Step 5: Customize styling

Facebook gives you the option to customize the styling of your articles during setup; here you can upload a logo and select which fonts are used throughout your articles. Font choices are currently limited to the Helvetica Neue and Georgia font families.

styling

Step 6: Submit for review

After you’ve completed the above steps you can submit your feed to be reviewed by Facebook to verify that all articles generated from your website are properly formatted.

Facebook currently aims to review all submissions with 24-48 hours.

Useful resources:

5 things you need to know about Instant Articles

1. You can monetize Instant Articles

Publishers can drive revenue from their content. If you sell the ads in your content, Facebook is giving publishers 100% of the revenue and is taking 30% cut if the ads are sold through the Facebook’s Audience Network.

Facebook’s Audience Network offers publishers the opportunity to leverage the power of Facebook ads to monetize their content, and when you get started with Instant Articles you have the opportunity to opt-in to Audience Network ads:

audience-network

If you sell your own ads, you’re able to serve video ads, animated ads and banner ads within articles. More information on integrating your ads can be found in the Facebook Developer Docs.

2. Building an Instant Article doesn’t create a post from your Page

When you publish an Instant Article, it doesn’t automatically create a corresponding Facebook post from your page. What happens is that any time a reader on a mobile device is directed to the article’s URL on Facebook, the link will be displayed as an Instant Article, instead of loading up in a mobile browser.

3. Quicker loading speeds can increase readership

Load speed is incredibly important for any blog, and Instant Articles can load up to 10x faster than mobile web articles. As mentioned a little earlier, the super-fast load speed or instant articles leads to 70% less abandonment and 20% more clicks.

The average attention span is down to just eight seconds online, which means faster loading times are a huge advantage when readers are eager to access content in an instant.

4. You’re in control of which posts are published

Once you get set up with Instant Articles, you’re 100% in control of which articles you share to Facebook. This means you can republish every article from your blog, or just a select few – as more data becomes available it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on strategies here and see what performs best.

You can control which articles you publish to Facebook from your Library. To view your library, click Publishing Tools from the top of your Facebook Page and then select Instant Articles from the menu on the left of the screen.

The Instant Articles library looks like this:

instant-articles-library

From here you can edit articles and choose which of your drafts to publish.

5. You can add email sign up forms to articles

email

Email capture is a vital part of many content marketing strategies, and losing out on potential subscribers is a fear that Facebook have addressed by enabling email capture within articles.

“One of the other things we heard is that publishers want to build a more direct relationship with their readers through Instant Articles, and one way to do that is through more regular contact with those readers.” Facebook said in a statement.

Reprinted from Bufferapp

Facebook Search

Searching for Answers

While we don’t have access to a full listing of Facebook search trends, we do have some indicators of what Facebook users are likely searching for, aside from people’s names.

In December last year, Facebook quietly rolled out a desktop-only Professional Services feature which enables users to find services and service providers in their area.

Why Search will be a Focus for Facebook in 2017 (and How it Will Impact Marketers) | Social Media Today
When you visit to the Professional Services tab, you’re shown a listing based on your location – look up ‘Plumbers’ for example and it’ll show you all the Facebook-listed plumbers in your region (or ‘movie theaters’ as shown in the above example).

And while there’s been no major push on the tool, it does suggest that Facebook's working to better facilitate user activity, that on-platform search volume has suggested that this is an option they could, or should, provide and that may prove valuable. Of course, it could just be that Facebook's looking for new avenues to boost the value of the platform with businesses, but either way, this is a search behavior they’ve actively sought to either facilitate or promote, which likely gives you some idea of their thinking on search potential.

Just last month, Facebook launched their new ‘Marketplace’ tab to better align with user behavior.

Why Search will be a Focus for Facebook in 2017 (and How it Will Impact Marketers) | Social Media Today

Reprinted from social media today

Snapchat


From the release of Moments, where Snapchat wanted to become your new camera roll to the launch of their first physical product, Spectacles, 2016 has been eventful for Snapchat and its parent company Snap Inc.

Here’re some highlights from Snapchat’s 2016:

Significant launches:

Memories: Memories enable Snapchat users to share photos and videos captured outside of Snapchat to your stories.

Acquisitions:

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1. The evolution of Spectacles

With the release of Spectacles, Snapchat has succeeded where Google and many of companies have failed – they made tech-filled glasses cool. And a lot of that has come down to the way they’ve marketed the product. As Josh Constine said on TechCrunch, “If you want to make something cool, don’t give it to geeks first.”

Spectacles are a fun product, predominantly aimed at Snapchat’s core teenage audience. And by making them scarcely available and not providing tech early adopters and journalists first access, Snapchat’s own users and not the media are spreading the word about Spectacles, making them seem cool and importantly making Snapchat users across the globe want a pair.

As Snap Inc’s first venture into physical products, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on how Spectacles are used in 2017 and how Snap looks to evolve the product.

2. Improved ad product

Snapchat opened up sponsored geofilters to everyone in 2016, enabling businesses of all sizes and individuals to create and sponsor their own filter in a location of the choice. And in 2017, I think we’ll see Snapchat double down on its ad product to enhance targeting and analytics for its advertisers.

We’ve already seen some signs of this, with Snapchat and Foursquare announcing a deal to power geofilters with more data so that marketers can use to pinpoint where their ads are served – this enables advertisers to be far more specific with the locations their geofilters will be available, as Lauren Johnson explains in AdWeek:

“A retailer could home in on a specific store location instead of zeroing in on the larger shopping center. Or a fast-food brand will be able to pinpoint specific restaurants. Previously, brands have targeted broader spaces, like thousands of high schools, with Snapchat’s location-based ads. According to Snapchat, the deal will open “thousands” of locations and categories for brands to buy ads against, like “parks” or “museums.”

Reprinted from Bufferapp

About the Author NLJ

Nicole Jolie is the founder of SkinByRadiance a trademarked anti aging skin care for athletes and Women who love to workout. She also started a 100% recycled plastic bag company that made all of their totes and bags out of recycled plastic bottles. In addition, she has helped many different types of companies and personal brands with their online presence using social media marketing and helping them with their websites. Nicole believes small business owners deserve an opportunity to create abundance, wealth and prosperity because most of them didn't start their business to work for someone else. "I truly believe I can make a difference in people's businesses by helping them with their online presence."

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