Facebook Page reach is still dropping
We've been talking a lot lately about the precipitous drop in reach for Facebook Pages, and unfortunately, it still hasn't shown any signs of slowing down a couple months on. New data from We Are Social and Socialbakers show that this change in Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm is decreasing reach for Pages by more than 40%, whether they're big or small.
Facebook has vehemently denied decreasing Page reach and said that the result:
all depends on what set of pages you’re looking at and how many pages you’re looking at. We’re looking at all the Pages. The median reach did not decrease."
But a new study by Group M published in Ad Age today claimed similar results to our and Socialbakers' findings: Organic reach is down by about 40%, engagement is up slightly, and the only way to get the eyes back is through paid advertising.
What's the lifespan of Facebook posts and tweets?
New research from Socialbakers has found that a brand's post on Facebook will see half of its reach in the 30 minutes after it's published, so it's more important than ever to choose your time wisely, in light of the recent decrease in Page reach highlighted above. But the first 10 minutes in a post's life might be even more key, with one-third of the post's total reach seen in this short time frame.
What about tweets? Using retweets as a pulse check, SEOMoz discovered that half of RTs occur in 18 minutes or less from the time the tweet is originally posted. Twitter has some extra variables to consider: More followers generally means a longer tweet life, and tweeting more often means a shorter life for each one sent. But RTs might not be the best indicator of engagement, and in a recent study of almost 3 million tweets, about 15% of tweets that contained links got more RTs than clicks of the link, meaning that there are lots of people who RT without reading. Do certain topics lend themselves to being more engaging? Bit.ly, the link shortening site, has found that most topics have the same halflife, except for sports, which has a halflife of about 200 minutes compared to 500 minutes for other topics.
Are a brand's Twitter followers actually talking about it?
Without any sort of platform-provided insights, it's not easy to tell how many people are engaging with brands on Twitter. But a new analysis of 19 million tweets about 31 Fortune 100 companies shows that about 9% of a brand's followers talk about or engage with the account on Twitter. Similarly to Facebook, as an account increases in followers, the percentage of followers talking about the brand decreases.
Copy/paste still dominates online sharing
More than 80% of all link sharing still comes from the age-old copy/paste and much less often from share buttons. Of this type of sharing for Business Insider, e-mail takes the biggest slice at nearly 70%, and Facebook takes up the lion's share of social media sharing, with Twitter and Pinterest far behind.
Facebook introduces conversion measurement tool for ads
Just in time for the holidays, Facebook has announced that it's giving marketers access to the bigger picture of how Facebook ads can lead to online sales. By embedding a piece of code on external site pages, marketers will now be able to trace a fan's journey from Facebook ad to product page to check out. That will mean better targeting for future Facebook ads as well because the site can pull in demographics and interests from the people who have clicked through. Marketers will pay for the ads through new 'optimized' bidding that lets them set goals for the campaign, and then Facebook's system automatically serves ads to meet those goals.
Facebook tests ranked comments, updates mobile sharing and more
Facebook has been toying around with some new features that could be rolled out to all pages soon. The platform might introduce a new comments system to pages that gives priority to more engaging comments by pushing them to the top of the stream. This would bring Pages more in line with Facebook's comments plugin for external sites, which have had these ranked conversations since early 2011. Facebook is also looking to implement a new option to reply directly to comments, as users currently can't mention other commenters if they aren't friends. In addition to increasing engagement, ranked comments and a direct response feature will make community managers' lives easier by keeping the conversation with a single user in one place, instead of being scattered throughout the thread.
Facebook has started to roll out a 'Share' button to its mobile apps and on the mobile site. Just as on the desktop site, 'Share' finally appears exactly where it should on the right side at the bottom of updates.
Facebook has unveiled a new feature in beta for apps that makes it possible for them to create Facebook groups through the API. Groups of users can post updates and create events based on their involvement in a game, with the app acting as the admin. Facebook says it hopes that these groups will make games more social, but the feature could also extend to reading apps to make book clubs and fitness apps to make training teams, for example.
The site has also updated its WordPress plugin to offer more customization. The plugin is used to cross-post content from WordPress blogs to Facebook, but now the interface, which incorporates Open Graph, looks much cleaner and less like a spammy, automatic update.
And finally, Facebook is creating Pages-only newsfeeds that contain content from Pages that a user has liked. The Pages-only feed will still be filtered, so not all posts will be seen by all of a page's fans, and this option won't affect how many brand updates appear in users' normal newsfeeds. This will be similar to the Close Friends list, and it seems unlikely that anyone will bother using it.
Tumblr announces its A-List partners
Tumblr has unveiled its A-List partners program, made up initially of only 12 agencies and tech vendors, which will get more support and training from Tumblr, as well as more access to the site's API and data. We're thrilled that We Are Social is included in this group of 12, and we're ready to help more brands stake their claim on the platform.
Pinterest launches brand pages
Pinterest has finally rolled out dedicated brand pages in a good sign that they are becoming friendlier to brands using the site. So far the branded accounts don't have many distinguishing features, as the pages don't look any different, and there aren't any extra features or analytics available yet beyond verifying your website. But Pinterest wants to help brands promote their boards and is offering four buttons and widgets that brands can add to their websites, including 'Pin It' and a 'Follow' button and new profile and board widgets to showcase the brand's latest pins.
New Foursquare connected app reminds you of loyalty card deals
A new app that runs on Foursquare's platform will let you know about deals and discounts where you check in, so you don't forget where you have loyalty cards (if you can remember to get your phone out). The app is being developed in Silicon Valley, so most of the deals are focused there now, but we hope to see them expand farther soon.
Ben & Jerry's crowdsources print ads through Instagram
Ben & Jerry's is asking its fans to post photos to Instagram with the hashtag #CaptureEuphoria, and the brand will select 20 of the photos to be featured in print, billboard and bus station ads near the fan's hometown. The first winner had her photo published on the back page of a local magazine that was given out a scoop of ice cream in her community.
Kleenex launches new campaign for cold and flu season
Cold and flu season is upon us, and We Are Social has helped Kleenex create a bespoke gaming app on Facebook so fans can help give some extra care to the poor suffering Sneezles, who have unfortunately already caught the bug. To keep people comfy when they have a cold, Kleenex will be sending out care kits through Facebook and Twitter, as well as giving them out at experiential events across the country. Cold and flu sufferers can also get more information about symptoms through Kleenex's partnership with NetDoctor, or forget their winter blues by playing the Sneezeman iPhone game, who gets power-ups through the tissues.
London's Hoxton area featured in new Foursquare badge
Foursquare has launched yet another UK-centric badge, this time for the 'Hoxton Hero'. Unlock it by exploring east London's collection of shops, restaurants and art galleries. But we're surprised: no hipster glasses?
British Airways retweets f-bomb-filled complaint
Here's another painful story to add to the "oops" file: An upset traveler sent an expletive-filled tweet to British Airways about a cancelled flight. Someone else on Twitter responded to it and added a few more expletives, and then for some reason British Airways retweeted that to its 200,000 followers. BA has removed the message and tweeted an apology, but not before lots of other people got their hands on it. Fill in the blanks in the image below, or we're sure you can also find it on your own.