Promoting A Festival For Free = Facebook Photos

Promoting on Facebook is crucial for any event. Updates, information, and spreading awareness is key to increasing ticket sales, merchandise sales and anything else that can make you money via traffic.

Being tasked with promoting an event with a zero dollar ad budget creates an interesting scenario.

How do you promote your event without spending money?

I help promote one of the largest music festivals in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the nature of the event comes with a list of restrictions.

The directors of the event hold fundraising events around the Manchester, Nashua, Concord areas (New Hampshire’s three main cities). At each event, there are multiple camera people looking to get their name out to the public and are in need of driving traffic to their respected websites.

What I can tell you about the event is that they want to spread “Good Vibes” and “Possitive Energy”.

After each event, I take their photos and upload them via the events Facebook page. Under each photo consists of a link to the ticket page on our website, a link to the respected photographer (credit MUST be given to them).

After our last event, we collected over 250 photos of bands that played at the fundraising event. Large crowds mean that people will want to tag each other, the more they tag, the further the reach of each link in the description.

There are multiple Facebook groups that help promote the event as well.  With 12 Facebook groups each containing between 1200-3000 unique individuals, the potential reach can be immense.

By creating this type of content, the spread of information can be shared with little effort. People want to see their photos and share them with their friends, their friends (who are also at the event) share them. This will continue on its own and help generate traffic to your site.

This was all done with zero dollars.

Facebook’s New Notification Pop-up = Disturbing the Flow?

Facebook is in the testing stages of notification pop-up windows. Similar to the messenger feature, when a notification with your name, a post you have commented on, or someone has tagged you in a post, a window will pop-up with the aforementioned post.

The amount of notifications will vary depending on the user. As of this writing, I have received 26 notifications.

As a social media manager, it probably goes without saying that my interactions are probably higher than most.

That being said, I wouldn’t want a large window popping up everytime someone says something about me. The tiny notification at the top right of my screen is more than enough.

The issue is disrupting the flow of users. If I’m trying to read something and I receive a notification every 10 seconds, it can have the potential to interfere with scrolling, messaging and interacting.

On the plus side, it will allow users to more effectively respond to posts in a timely manner.

We shall see if Facebook decides to go through with the implementation of this feature after the testing stages.

According to Facebook:

We’ve heard from people that they would like an easier way to participate in conversations on a post while they are still in News Feed, so we are testing a new option that opens up a window when someone comments on your post, replies to your comment or tags you in a comment. You can always hide the conversation or turn off notifications from within the drop-down menu of the post.

“Trending” = Facebook’s Adjustment of False News.

The “Trending” section on Facebook is receiving another facelift from the social media giant.

Topics will be selected based on user engagement, interaction with the publisher and how many clicks each topic receives.

The reason behind the update still remains as a method to remove bias.

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Fake news has also been the subject of credibility for Facebook. Reports still linking clickbait, ad-fraud, and various other methods creating an influx of misinformation.

“Trending uses a variety of signals from News Feed, including when people report news as fake or spam, to help prevent fake news, hoaxes or spam from appearing in Trending. Today’s update may also help prevent hoaxes and fake news from appearing in Trending because the updated system identifies groups of articles shared on Facebook instead of relying solely on mentions of a topic.”

-Will Cathcart, Facebook VP of product management.

Although steps are being taken in the right direction, this is not an ultimate solution.

Media Matters, Angelo Carusone had this to say:

“While moving in the right direction, these half-measures will not stop the rampant lies spreading on the platform. We can’t forget that Facebook made the problem of fake news significantly worse when they acted on right-wing misinformation and fired all their human editors over the summer and let their algorithms get gamed.”

Facebook’s firing of the human aspect of news was meant to remove bias, but the issues that stemmed from switching over to an algorithm created a larger quagmire.

False news ran rampant, anyone with a blog could spend money via Facebook Boost regardless of the integrity. Thus, many articles that had limited credibility (if that) could pay to have their article shared amongst a larger crowd depending on how much they spent.

With Facebook, as well as Google, now cracking down on the spread of false information, the right steps are being taken, albeit baby steps.

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Facebook = Dynamic Ads – Hitting Their Targets.

Facebook has released information for the company’s 2017 advertising plan. One of the largest additions to this plan will be the implementation of dynamic ads.

Dynamic ads allow advertisers to target potential customers more effectively through keywords, phrases, and search terminology.

If a consumer was searching for a specific item such as a winter jacket, dynamic ads would target that consumer’s search habits to find the right fit. Do they need something from The North Face, or rather, L.L. Bean? Dynamic ads will find the right fit for that person.

The benefits of Facebook utilizing this aspect of digital advertising would be that consumers can find what they’re looking for on the site itself. Instead of creating hundreds of different advertisements to place on various websites, the advertisers can simply plug in key demographics, keywords, and search phrases to create an advertisement based on specific requirements.

In regards to the effectiveness of dynamic ads, Maz Sharafi, director of product marketing at Facebook had this to say:

“It automates the process of who it can show products to—It takes out a lot of the trial and error and complexity of being able to do this in a manual way. For example, to sell 1,000 products you have to create almost 1,000 different ads to reach those products to different people. With dynamic ads, you’re effectively creating one ad.”

Having one ad to target multiple, specific markets is the next step in order to effectively reach out to consumers who might not have organically searched for the product on their own. The process of dynamic ads act in assisting advertisers by narrowing down and targeting a bullseye without the necessity of firing more ads than what they need to. It provides an effective reach by utilizing less spend for more reach.

Social Media = The Success Of Reach

Its a never ending cycle. The more reach you get the more followers will come to you. The more followers you have, the more capabilities of reach.

When going for a career in social media marketing, bosses want to see the success of your previous campaigns. How many people did you bring to the table, what is the overall spread of your reach and how many people interact with your content. That is Social in a nutshell, but what happens when you’re given a deadline and a goal to reach a certain number of “likes” on Facebook?

The issue came to me yesterday as I was in talks with promoting some material online. They wanted to grab as many likes as they could before uploading content. The issue was that I was running on empty from the starting line. I had done the initial blast of my friends and family but needed another avenue to take.

I decided to put my writing skills to the test and began publishing articles based around the topics this company provided. The reach for each article was in the green, but the “likes” weren’t rolling in as fast.

People who “like” your page won’t necessarily see the content that is provided. They have the ability to block it. That’s where content comes in. Content creates the funnel that keeps people coming back. If the topics are dry, so will your “like” numbers. So is it all about the “likes”? Or is it with content.

After publishing the articles, I had gained a reach and interaction quota that far exceeded what their previous numbers were.

Think of it this way, If you have a thousand reach and 400 interactions, that’s great. 40% is huge. You can do that with less than a hundred likes if people share your content.

We all know that “likes” give you the potential for reach, but it’s the content that gains it.

Polaroid’s Move To Social Native = Pulling a 180

In 1996, my family purchased a polaroid camera. The concept of photos instantly printing and developing all from the camera intrigued a 6-year old me. I couldn’t understand how everything worked and it felt like magic.

As time moved along, the use of Polaroids had dropped to make way for digital cameras. The age of self-developing film had been outpaced by the instantaneous and effortless click of a camera that wasn’t required to develop film at all.

Advertisement’s of the time primarily relied on celebrity/character endorsements:

Well, Polaroids have made a large comeback in the recent years. Having been the result of a new-age nostalgia-drenched subculture of teens and 20-somethings rekindling their love for the past.

Polaroid has found a way to boost sales and promote themselves without the use of major advertising concepts. Times have changed and there is a resurgence of film-based photography. With that came the increase in interest in Polaroids.

The camera company still utilizes their instant developing photos but relies on social media to effectively advertise.

By relying on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. the advertising agency — C&A Marketing Inc. was able to find users with a high traffic volume to use and advertise the product for them.

“Our cost-per-engagement has been as low as 13 cents. We got a lot of great stats, and some of that content has gotten turned into digital advertising. And that’s where we really saw the uptick in usefulness.” – Aaron Paine (Director of Social Media)

“We treat their social audience like a focus group to determine the value of their content,” he added. “You get content from not just one lens but from a wider array of lenses. It’s helping our clients making better decisions for advertising.”

Programmatic Drug Lords = “Freebooting” (Facebook)

Content creators are a huge contribution to social media advertising.  Creating viral content has been the backbone of many users since the days of Newgrounds, Ebaumsworld, Funnyjunk, and AlbinoBlacksheep.

With Facebook’s 8 billion video views per day, the social media site is one of the largest video-streaming services on the internet.

Of course, with time, technology advances. More effective ways to cast your content net have been introduced, but the overall methods have been shown to hurt private content creators.

Let’s take a look at how Facebook can fudge the numbers:

The average time for a Youtube video to be considered “viewed” is 30-seconds. This is in sharp contrast to Facebook where “viewed” is considered 3-seconds.

Why does Facebook only need 3-seconds?

Facebook utilizes the “auto-play” feature which plays an uploaded video on mobile devices. The “view” is tagged when a user scrolls down their newsfeed, sees the video, and then stops to watch it for three (or more) seconds.

Here’s the downfall:

If you’re a slow scroller (which Facebook banks on) that video could easily be tagged as “viewed”. The idea behind the video is to stop thumbs — but why stop those thumbs when they can keep scrolling and still potentially hit that 3-second mark?

Here’s the theft:

If you are a Youtube content creator, your content can be ripped and re-uploaded through another source. The credit from the original creator is then taken away and given to the Facebook user who reposted the video.  The original creator might have the next viral video, but would certainly miss out on the opportunity to take credit.

The only way original content creators can halt the process is to actively search for the fraudulent pages and send them a cease and desist. After that, they can report the issue through Facebook (which is a lengthy process). Once the page is flagged, Facebook then takes down the site. By this time almost 90% of the reach and interactions have already happened and the original creator is left in the ashes of their own (stolen) content.

The results are a “blitzkrieg” of sorts. Once that content is stolen, it only takes a short time before it starts to generate the views that would go to the original creator. Within 3-seconds, the time spent by the originators can amount to nothing.

Facebook = Misinformation Hell?

Facebook made some pivotal changes to their site over the past year. One of the largest and most controversial changes that came up was the switch from their trending team over to an algorithm. Multiple reasons went into the shift, but one of the largest came from claims of presenting users with biased information.

Well, due to those claims, the trending team was let go and a robot came in to take their place. The algorithm worked effectively in using “trending” information to present to the public. Robots have a tendency to remove biases.

With the removal of a personal team, came the downfalls of pushing information out via programmatic. With the ability to simply purchase hits, anyone can just pay for attention. That means users can be more prone to reading something not necessarily considered “real news”.

With the issues of fake news a “trending topic”, many have tried to reach out to Facebook to strain out the bad seeds.

The problem is that Facebook relies on users to report the issue of false news. The results haven’t been too effective. In order to report articles, the process is a runaround.

Facebook raked in a whopping $5.2 billion dollars in annual ad revenue for 2016. How much of that advertising revenue came from people spamming fake news? Advertisers aren’t too keen on spending money only to be penalized for the prospect of a higher view-through rate.

So how much of that $5.2 billion dollars came from fake news?  We may find out shortly.

Facebook = An Arms Race Of True & False

You’ve seen it on the magazine rack when waiting in line at the grocery store. Or perhaps, the convenience store at the end of your road has a few copies. Anyways, The National Enquirer has become a staple in “fake news”.

I actually own a copy of this. Dr. Phill is stupid.

I actually own a copy of this. Dr. Phil is stupid.

The National Enquirer has become synonymous with “fake news”. You see it, read the headline, realize that it’s blatantly false, laugh, and then turn to the candy section before the cashier rings up your order.

Although this type of media can easily be recognized as false, the digital spectrum has had an easier time convincing us that the information and “reports” that your friends share on Facebook are true.

Recently, a shooting at Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C, was stirred up by a false news report stating the Clinton administration was using the store as a front for a child sex ring.

The man walked into the pizza joint to “investigate”… with his gun, popped off a couple of shots and was quickly arrested without anyone (luckily) getting hurt.

Well, a new plugin for Chrome is helping us solve the issue of misinforming ourselves.

B.S. Detector is a new way of warning you that the information being shared by your emotionally unstable family member might not be true.

The plugin is designed to warn you of possible fallacies in what your friends are sharing. This comes as a response to Facebook’s inability to process what fake news is. The plugin doesn’t block information, it simply lets users know that the information is probably bad. The information is blacklisted versus whitelisted.

Facebook hasn’t taken too kindly to the efforts of the third party’s efforts to further inform users. The social media site tried (and failed) to block the plugin, but that hasn’t stopped it from functioning.

Fake news is everywhere and Facebook is (understandably) a major promoter of it. With it’s $5.2bn advertising revenue in 2016, it’s easy to see the value in misinformation. Advertisers pay to have their promotional material seen by as many people as they can, and if there are any warnings as to the credibility of material, it has a massive potential to turn people off.

There are dangers with this concept as many bloggers use the site to promote their writing. The plugin is open sourced so anyone can go in and blacklist your site for no reason.

The concept on its own is great. Nobody wants to be misinformed and this provides an opportunity for users to be more aware of what they are sharing. Although the plugin is in its infant stages, but soon could yield a more manageable presence in the information arms race.

As to how each site is looked at as credible, Daniel Sieradski, the creator of the program had this to say:

“The difference between a site like Infowars and Fox News, in my view, is that Infowars publishes headlines about mythical shadowy elites like the Illuminati and the New World Order. You’re not going to see a credible news source publish nonsense like that. While Fox may have its biases and at time fudges facts to meet those biases, they have a legitimate news room, with real editors and real reporters. They fuck up sometimes, and sometimes it’s rather willful, but it’s not just a bunch of dudes sitting in their basements with tin foil hats on. There are some systems of accountability in place for false reportage. The same goes for CNN. They fuck up sometimes, but their overall goal isn’t to purposefully mislead the public.”


Is Facebook REALLY Cracking Down On Fake News?

Fake News is all the buzz right now. With the internet being the single most imperative invention to mankind (next to the printing press), everyone and their mother can now get their news from anywhere.

Recently, false news articles have been the choice of…well, news due to their influence via Facebook and Google. The obvious issue is that they are not providing adequate or even true information.

Facebook rely’s on users to report fake news. The simple process revolves around the user selecting that they don’t want to see the post. Once they have selected that, another pop-up will ask why. The user can then select the option stating the article is fake.

Or you could block the account.

That hasn’t necessarily stopped the flood of fake news from entering everyone’s news feed. Facebook has come out stating that they are taking more precautions to warn users of integral news.  One way is to penalize the account for promoting false information. The reporting process is being optmized for users to more effectively report them.

Facebook hasn’t quite smoothed out the rough edges left behind by firing their news agency. Basing information off of an algorithm to subtract the human element is the step many services take. Although steps are being taken, it still appears that Facebook will more heavily rely on user experience to infiltrate the phonies.

Fake information is everywhere. Sites will target you based off of your browsing history. The end results can often lead to you accidentally (or purposefully) clicking on a link with the headline “Top 5 Ways To Keep Your Man” or “She Was Booed On Stage But You Won’t BELIEVE What Happens NEXT.”

Unfortunately, the results will take some time, but between now and then, be cautious. Don’t let the world of easy clickbait guide you down the wrong path. It would be embarassing to look bad at the Thanksgiving table.