Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14451779
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Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14451779
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In October of 2016we dramatically changed our Facebook posting strategy.
A gradual, but noticeable shift in manysocial media algorithms and an influx ofbrand advertisingon Facebook meant that it was important for us to either start experimenting or we’d continue to see a decline in organic reach and engagement.
Getting your content seen on Facebook is no small task. Especially when you consider all the content shared to Facebook every 20 minutes:
We needed to make a change.
We cut our posting frequency by more than 50% on Facebook and began to truly focus on quality over quantity. What happened next, even the most optimistic social media manager couldn’t have expected:
Our Facebook reach and engagement began to increase even though we were posting less!
Here are some of the headline stats:
I’m super excited to share the data behind this growth with you and take you behind the scenes of our latest Facebook posting strategy.
Let’s dive in!
Most of last year(Jan-Oct 2016), we were posting a lotto social media, especially on Facebook. A quick sift through our data shows that we were sharing more than 125 postsacross our social media channels (25-40 posts to Facebookalone) on a weekly basis.
Here’s a quick look at our average Facebook Posts per day between January 2016 and April 2017:
Part of our thinking was that we could adapt to the ever-changing social media algorithms by simply posting more. It makes sense, right? Theoretically, the more we post, the more that our reach would add up over the course of a week, month, and even the year.
But, what actually happened was quite the opposite. The more we posted to Facebook the less reach we received on each one of our posts. This graph shows the significant drop in reach during our peak posting times (~4 times per day around July/August, 2016):
However, notice what starts to happen right around October 2016. Our Facebook reach begins to increase at nearly the same time that we began to experiment with our Facebook posting strategy. Not only that, but reach continues to grow as we move into 2017 and beyond.
Today, we’re reaching more than 150,000 people per week on Facebook, compared to the 44,000 or so people that we were reaching during most of 2016.
And the fun doesn’t stop there!
In addition to reach, ourFacebook engagement began to increase at the same pace. This chart shows our average daily engagement since January 2016:
For me, this was a ground-breaking and exciting revelation.
The other unexpected thing that happened (as the chart above shows) was that the number of posts that reached more than 60,000 people and received more than 2,500 unique engagements nearly doubled. That was a massive shift from 2016 when were only reached more than 60,000 people with a single post once.
However, this next chart is my favorite one of all.
It’s great to have individual data points as a reference, but I wanted to get a big-picture view of what was happening after the Facebook posting strategy change. To do so, I downloaded all Facebook post data using Buffer from January 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. No small feat!
I then combined the data in Excel and sorted the posts into four reach buckets:
The results were shockingly awesome here’s a quick look at the data:
The most surprising of all was how many posts were reaching less than 2,000 people on a consistent basis before October. Before this point, I hadn’t realized just how poor many of our posts were really performing. The more we posted, the worse they did! Between February and March, more than 100 posts reached less than 2,000 people.
Take a look what happens to the other categories of reach as time goes on. Posts reaching 2,000-5,000 people stay fairly consistent (which is understandable), but posts reaching 5,000-19,999 and 20,000+ gradually begin to increase and are currently trending upward as of today.
In the next few sections, I’d love to share why this was an important (and counterintuitive) change to our Facebook posting strategy as well as exactly what we’re doing today to ensure these results continue.
As manysocial media managers know, it’s a consistent challenge to send out lots ofqualitycontent to Facebook every single week. There’s the creation process, the copywriting and scheduling, the monitoring, the engagement with your community the list goes on and on.
Yet intuition tells us that the more we post the more engagement and reach we’ll get. It makes total sense (at least we thought it did!).
What we found, however, is that the opposite happens with engagement and reach. When trying to fill the queue with content for the simple sake ofposting and having a presence on Facebook, content tends to become diluted and lost in the news feed.
For us, posting less didn’t even seem like a viable option at the time. We have a ton of great content going out on the Social and Open Blog each week were we supposed to stop posting that all-together?
And that’s where we discovered one key distinction in our Facebook posting strategy:Even though our content may be quality (and awesome), not every post is right for Facebook.
Which leads me to our current strategy
The big change to our strategy all started with the counter-intuitive realization that:
Even though our content may be quality (and awesome), not every post is right for Facebook.
This was quite tough as I wanted to share all of the great things that our team was writing on our blogs. It all deserved to be shared with our community, but it was becoming clear that it was affecting our content across the board. So I established a quick rule-of-thumb question to help decide what I should post to Facebook:
I’ve found that generally speaking, the most popular posts across Facebook can be categorized as Edu-tainment. They are eitherentertaining or educational. For example, silly GIFs might fall into the entertainment category, while data, how-tos, and infographics fall into the educational category.
The best posts of all tend to have a mix of both entertainment and education and those are the ones I’m constantly on the hunt for on social media.
Finding and sharing Edu-tainment content is our overarching strategy, which helps clarify everything that should be posted under the following Facebook posting strategies:
The main reason why I believe we’re seeing such a dramatic increase in reach and engagement is that we’re only posting one or two pieces of content per day on Facebook.
This serves two valuable purposes:
I encourage you to experiment with only posting once or twice per day on Facebook. You might be surprised at how quickly your best content filters to the top. Limiting the quantity of posts encourages a deep focus on posting quality, which sends positive signals to the Facebook algorithm.
Another great strategy for us has been posting an increased amount ofcurated contentto our Facebook page. Previously, we used to shy away from curated content because it didn’t directly affect the bottom-line: traffic, subscriptions, sales, etc.
I’ll be the first to admit that I couldn’t have been more off here.
Sorting our Facebook posts by Most Reach over the last several months shows exactly the impact it has had on our Page and growth:
The posts highlighted in a blue rectangle are all pieces of curated content. In other words, 7 of 11 of our most successful posts throughout the last 14 months are curated (not created by Buffer). These posts have combined to reach more than 750,000 people, averaging to about 107,000 people per post.
Curated content may not directly affect our bottom line, but it plays a significant role in reach, engagement (likes, comments, shares) and page growth. Which, in time, allows us to deliver Buffer content content that does drive the bottom line to a larger, more engaged audience.
Focusingon brand awareness and engagement vs. driving traffic to our website has become a staple of our strategy as well.
We’ve witnessed a shiftin many social media networks over the last year. It used to be that brands and businesses could post links to their blog posts and watch the traffic flow in. And while that’s still the case for many publishers, savvy marketerscan benefit from thinking about their content strategy as a whole focusing on both direct traffic as well as engagement.
Posting content that aims to driveengagement only helps to build an activate Facebook audience. Overtime, that audience will go to you as a trusted source of Edu-tainment. Then, right when you need them most, you can deliver a piece of brand content that will help move the bottom line. Here’s a quick example of a recent engagement-only post:
This post also brought more than 1,000 new Likes to our Page many of whom continue to Like and engage with our Page today.
Last, but not least, I’d love to address how important Facebook boosted posts have been in increasing reach and engagement on our Page. It is worth noting that our daily budget has not changed over the period of the last year. I.e., our reach and engagement did not increase because of an increased advertising budget.
Currently, we spend roughly$40 per day boosting our best-performing content on Facebook.
The only difference between last year and this year is the quality of content that has been available to boost.
Boosting posts takes content that’s already performing well and amplifies it on a huge scale. As that implies, the key is to focus on boosting great content, not necessarily posts that aren’t doing well and forcing them with advertising dollars.
Doing so will ensure that your money is spend in the best way possible.
Thanks for reading! Have you experienced something similar with reach and engagement on Facebook? Or, maybe you have a few posting strategies that I missed above?
I’d love to continue the conversation with you in the comments below!
What has been the best success you’ve found in terms of a Facebook posting strategy? What are your top tips for increasing reach and engagement on Facebook?
Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14445412
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Camille, based in San Francisco, is always looking for new ways to spread the word about First Round’s programs, investments, and initiatives to reimagine venture capital. She pioneered the First Round Review to deliver incredible stories and actionable insights to entrepreneurs.
Previously, Camille shaped content strategy for major microfinance nonprofit Kiva, and managed public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Before that, she worked as a journalist, covering green technology for VentureBeat, and culture and lifestyle for The Wall Street Journal in New York and London.
Camille holds a BA in history from Stanford University, where she served as Editor in Chief of The Stanford Daily.
You can follow her on Twitter:@camillericketts
She will be live on May 30 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible.
Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14433250
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I’m a full-stack engineer, recently built and soft-launched my side-project, but been told by several people that UI needs work.
I went to dribble and used their search * to locate designers that “Are for Hire”. But the first few I found appear to be more like Agencies, most of which don’t take on a single site or app like mine, and also costs 5 to 10K min.
I want to hire an individual developer so that costs are low (I’m bootstrapped) and also I have a chance of bringing in the designer as a co-founder if things work out.
Anyone have experience with this? i.e. locating and hiring an individual designer from Dribble? How did you go about it? How did you vet them? Were you happy with your results? Costs?
[P.S. If you are a designer and would like to know more, please contact me theblogdoctor (at) gmail. ]
I’m based in San Francisco and this is the site that needs work => http://visaok.in
(I understand they have a job board I can post in, but would like to avoid the 375$ for 30 days costs, as I am bootstrapped and would like to use their search page to find designers if possible 🙂
Based on all these headlines, people seem to be ‘catching on’ or ‘burning out’ of Facebook. I have been for awhile but I’ve almost given up hope as to anything taking it on directly or challenging it’s market position. At this point, it’s like trying to supplant Windows.
What are your thoughts? I don’t have much to say, I just want to read and reflect.
Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14421566
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Instagram places a big emphasis on search and discovery of content. It’s one of the few social media platforms with a Search and Explore tab in its app.
Being featured in the search results or in Instagram’s Explore section can be a great way to boost your success on the network with added exposure and the chance to reach new users who may not have otherwise seen your content.
In this post, you’ll learn all the ways you can use Instagram’s Search and Explore to help your business success on Instagram.
To make reading easier, this guide has been broken down into five chapters, each detailing a way of using Instagram Search or Explore for your business.
Let’s first understand what you can search and explore on Instagram. Tap the magnifying glass icon to go to the Search and Explore tab.
Simply tap on the search bar to start searching. You can search for the following:
You can search using the Instagram website, too. The only difference is that you can’t search for keywords by categories (e.g. people or tags) on the website. A workaround is to add @ or # before your keywords when you are searching for people or hashtags respectively.
The search results you see are based on a variety of factors, including the people you follow, who you’re connected to and what photos and videos you like on Instagram.
When you tap on a username in the search results, you’ll be brought to the user’s profile.
When you tap on a hashtag or a location tag, you’ll see photos with the hashtag or location tag. There’ll be nine top posts followed by all the photos starting from the most recent photo.
Below the search bar is the Explore section. This section helps you discover posts you might like based on your Instagram activities, according to Instagram.
Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like. You may also see video channels, which can include posts from a mixture of hand-picked and automatically sourced accounts based on topics we think you’ll enjoy.
Now, let’s take an in-depth look at how you can use Instagram’s Search and Explore feature for your business.
Being featured in the search results or in the Explore section of your target audience can help to expose your brand to people outside of your follower base. You could also get more engagement on your posts and gain more followers.
To get featured on Instagram’s Search and Explore, try these four ideas:
For your posts and stories to appear in a search result, you’ll need to add a location tag or hashtags to your post.
To add a location tag to a post, tap on any of the suggested locations while you are composing the post. If the location you want to tag isn’t suggested, tap on Add Location to search for your preferred location. If you can’t find your location, you can create one.
To add a location tag to a story, tap on the sticker option and then the location tag sticker.
To add a hashtag to a post, simply type # and the relevant keyword, such as #landscape, #ootd, or #igfood.
To add a location tag to a story, tap on the sticker option and then the hashtag sticker. Or tap on the text option and type a hashtag. Instagram would recommend relevant hashtags as you type.
You can add up to 30 hashtags per post but TrackMaven found that Instagram posts with nine hashtags perform the best in terms of engagement.
When you tap into a search result, the latest post will appear first (apart from the top posts).
To optimize your posts for Instagram search, you’d want to publish when your target audience are most active (when they are scrolling through Instagram and searching for posts).
This way, there’s a greater chance of your post appearing near the top of the search result when your target audience is finding photos and videos on Instagram.
(We’re making an assumption that your followers’ activity is representative of your target audience’s activity, which I think is a safe assumption to make.)
In a search result, the top nine posts take up the most prominent space.
According to Instagram, the top posts are selected based on its popularity (i.e. engagements such as Likes, comments, and shares). So the best way to have your posts in the Top Posts section is to create great, relevant content that your followers will engage with.
(I thought it might be worth mentioning again that you’ll need to include a location tag or hashtag in your post for it to appear in asearch result.)
Here’re a couple of tips for creating content that could become a top post:
Instagram features the top live videos in the Search and Explore tab.
Admittedly, having your live video featured on the Search and Explore tab might be much harder to achieve than the other tips above. But it’s definitely worth a try!
The featured live videos are the ones that are trending due to the number of viewers, engagement, and proximity to the user’s location.
Including hashtags in your post or story increases the engagement level.
Including the right hashtags ensures that your post or story appears in your target audience’s search results or Explore section.
Here’re two ways of using Instagram Search to find the best hashtags to use:
When you enter a word or a phrase in the search box and select Tags, Instagram will show a list of hashtags related to the word or phrase (i.e. search results).
For example, a Korean restaurant owner could search for korean food and find the relevant hashtags in the search results:
Instagram will also show the number of posts for each hashtag. That tells you how popular that hashtag is.
Allen Harper, a photographer who wrote about Instagram hashtag use, suggested avoiding vastly popular hashtags.
Some hashtags are vastly more popular than others; however, popularity doesn’t always translate to effectiveness. For example, you’ll notice that #photooftheday, #like4like, #instagood, #iphoneonly, etc. are extremely popular. Unfortunately, since so many users throw these similar tags on their images, it means that their photos are buried in the pool within seconds and become virtually undiscoverable.
They are also tags that are nonspecific to any field or niche. In other words, what few people may be browsing these pools could likely overlook your photo because it’s not necessarily what interests them. In addition, the popular tags usually have a lot of bots/spammers that use this tag on images-you’ll earn yourself a lot of spam comments on whatever photo you posted with said tags.
I’d also avoid using hashtags that are infrequently used as it likely means that few people are interested in the hashtags. You can check the frequency of use by searching for a hashtag and seeing how often there’s a post with the hashtag.
That said, a hashtag could have few posts also because it is used only by a niche community. This makes it a great choice if that’s the community you want to reach. So it’s best to check out the posts with the hashtag before deciding if it’s suitable for your post.
When you tap on a hashtag search result, Instagram would suggest related hashtags near the top of the app.
For example, a running shoes shop owner could search for runner, tap on #runner, and see these suggestions:
From there, she could explore the related hashtags and check out how popular the hashtag is and how frequent it is being used. Sometimes, Instagram suggests related hashtags that don’t show up in the search results (method one above). So if you can’t find a hashtag you’d like to use with method one, try this method.
Your fans could be posting about your business on Instagram without tagging your account. Because they didn’t tag your account, you might not find out.
But, if they are using your branded hashtag or your location tag, you can still find those posts and comment on them.
If you have created hashtags for your brand and encouraged fans to use them, it’ll be great to follow up and interact with their posts or stories.
The common ways of interacting with such user-generated content are:
For instance, Alpenglow suggests its usersinclude #alpenglowapp in their posts and it’d repost their photos.