Tag Archive | "pages"

More Instagram Features for Business Profiles Discovered in Code?

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Analytics for business profiles may not be the only new advertiser-targeted features being cooked up by Instagram.

Elliott Murray, head of innovation at Social Chain, decompiled the code for the latest version of the Instagram application, and he discovered four potential game-changing features that have not yet been activated.

Murray detailed the hidden features in a Medium post, noting that all four of them are Boolean variables and are set to either true or false, depending on the user:

  • can_boost_post: Instagram, much in the same way Facebook currently does, will allow users (and more likely businesses) to pay to boost their posts’ reach across their network. Worrying for businesses that have amassed sizable social audiences is the prospect that this paid method of boosting may become the only way to efficiently reach followers, as many businesses found with their pages on Facebook.
  • can_see_organic_insights: Now this is an interesting one. Last week, screenshots were leaked that showed what Instagram’s upcoming analytics interface will look like. Clearly, a paying user that utilizes Instagram’s ad platform will gain access to these insights, but the fact that there is a new label for organic_insights may suggest that regular users will have the ability to gain analytical insight into their posts’ data. Twitter similarly grants regular users access to this information, and it would be a huge change to Instagram’s display of data if it was to allow regular user access.
  • can_convert_to_business: You may remember when Facebook started forcing businesses to convert their regular profile accounts to pages. Facebook clearly wanted to differentiate between businesses and regular users, and up until this point, Instagram has lacked that differentiation. The fact that this variable says convert suggests that Instagram will soon begin encouraging or forcing some pages to migrate over.
  • show_insights_terms: Insight terms are typically the terms used when describing analytical insight data, including reach, impressions, views, engagement rate, clicks, likes and comments. The potential to gain analytical insight into these areas would be huge for users with a serious social strategy.

Readers: Would you like to see Instagram roll out these features?


Screenshot courtesy of Elliott Murray.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Changes to Facebook Offers?

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Facebook appears to have quietly tweaked its offers features for pages.

Reader Chris Ruberg, digital marketing specialist at OneCommand, shared the screenshot to the right, which displays a new logo for offers, as well as the screenshots below, displaying how offers can now include:

  • A percentage off.
  • An amount off, with the option of selecting currency.
  • Buy one, get one free.
  • A free component to the transaction, such as shipping.

Ruberg also said offers can now contain multiple images or a single video.

Readers: Have you ever used Facebook offers?

NewOffers20PercentOff NewOffersBuyOneGetOneFree NewOffersFreeShippingWithPurchase NewOffersMultipleImages

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

How Facebook, Twitter Updates Improve Customer Service

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Behind the flurry of virtual photo albums, the latest celebrity gossip and day-to-day updates condensed into just 140 characters, there exists a forum for customer service. More and more often, customers are turning to social networks to engage with brands, seeking support and offering both positive and negative feedback.

While the conversation between brands and customers on social may have begun organically, these engagements are now encouraged and supported by the networks that host them. Recent updates to Facebook and Twitter have been geared directly toward improving companies’ ability to engage with customers and offer support.

It’s a win-win … win, if you think about it. Social networks give both brands and users another reason to visit their platform, businesses are able to collect and address feedback quickly and customers can get the support they need without having to make a call or fill out a form.

Social customer service is getting easier and more intuitive by the minute, thanks to what has become a steady stream of platform updates. The question is, then: What’s new and how does it impact my ability to communicate with customers? You may not care about Facebook Messenger’s new basketball game or Twitter’s improvements for Moments, but there are a number of updates you should care about. Here are a few recent changes worth checking out:

What’s new on Facebook

It’s no secret that having a Facebook presence is strategic and, at this point, a necessary move for businesses. Ever since the creation of Facebook pages in 2007, the platform has welcomed companies and consumers alike. A number of recent updates, built upon the original vision for 0ages, have expanded what’s possible for brands and opened up new ways for communicating.

Chat bot application-programming interface: In early April, Facebook granted businesses access to its chat bot API, which allows brands to create bots for Messenger. With an increasing number of customers turning to Facebook’s messaging application to engage with brands, these bots allow companies to keep up with the increasing number of inbounds with automated conversations. While bots won’t replace human interaction anytime soon, they are tools that are capable of adding a personal touch to automation, and they can speed up customer service by tackling simple questions, such as, “Is this item in stock?,” or, “Can I make an appointment for Friday?”

Messenger links and codes: Facebook introduced new links and scannable codes that allow customers to navigate from a business’ page directly to a private Facebook Messenger conversation. These links and codes can be placed in the business description section, shared in response to a comment or even handed out during in-store interactions as a means for continual support.

Promoted responsiveness: Pages now allow brands to promote how responsive they are to messages. Companies that respond to 90 percent of inquiries within five minutes can add a “Very Responsive” badge to their page. Additionally, administrators may opt, instead, for a badge that states the average response time explicitly. Not only does this transparency push businesses to respond quickly, but it encourages customers to seek help from brands on Facebook. Customers will know how long they can expect to wait for a response and are therefore more likely to give it a try rather than calling a help line.

New and improved pages inbox: As part of the same update, Facebook introduced new functionality for business page inboxes that provide context about each customer. With this feature, admins can access past interactions, as well as publicly shared information—such as location and age—to better serve each customer. Admins are also able to leave notes about customers and sort conversations into categories. When leveraged properly, these features allow brands to tailor responses to each individual customer, offer more intuitive support and build upon previous engagements.

What’s new on Twitter

If you’re questioning Twitter’s commitment to creating customer service features for brands, check out its Customer Service Playbook. This is a company that recognizes the vast possibilities for customer service on its platform and isn’t shy about it. Since Twitter’s launch in 2006, brands have used the platform as a marketing method, and they are growing to more frequently use it as a customer-service tool, too.

Customer Feedback Tool: Social networks are known for generating unsolicited feedback (which is great), but with Twitter’s new update, brands can privately request feedback from customers, as well. Using traditional NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) methods, companies can request customers to participate in surveys housed within Twitter. What’s more, that data can be easily stored on Twitter, and customer-service reps are able to follow up with customized replies to thank people for their participation.

Direct message updates: In a wave of updates to Twitter’s DM feature, the platform has made it easier for companies to engage with customers when 140 characters just won’t cut it. Companies and customers are now able to initiate a DM even if they aren’t following each other. Additionally, companies can include a link to private message within their reply to customer. That way, brands can easily offer additional help in a private setting. The result: A quickly serviced customer and money saved by avoiding a potential support call.

What’s next: Snapchat and Instagram

As Facebook and Twitter pioneer the way for customer service on social, it’s possible that other platforms will follow suit. While Snapchat and Instagram may seem to be unlikely candidates for fostering customer conversations, the same could have been said about Twitter—limited to just 140 characters, the platform could have been dismissed as unsuitable for communicating with customers. But that clearly isn’t the case.

Snapchat’s platform opens potential for engaging with users via video tutorials, instructive photos and beyond. With new chat features being added, the platform has become more conducive to long-form customer interactions.

As for Instagram, the platform’s announcement of a new algorithm for sorting photos is a step in the wrong direction. However; it’s not a nail in the coffin by any means. The truth of the matter is that brands hold the power when it comes to bringing social customer service to new platforms. All it takes is a little bit of creativity.

Elizabeth Clor is the senior director of marketing at customer intelligence platform Clarabridge.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Osofsky Address Facebook Trending Topics Controversy

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Facebook continued to defend itself against allegations that it prevented conservative content from appearing in its Trending Topics.

Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue in a post (embedded below), and vice president of global operations Justin Osofsky did the same in a Newsroom post.

Zuckerberg wrote:

This week, there was a report suggesting that Facebook contractors working on Trending Topics suppressed stories with conservative viewpoints. We take this report very seriously and are conducting a full investigation to ensure that our teams upheld the integrity of this product.

We have found no evidence that this report is true. If we find anything against our principles, you have my commitment that we will take additional steps to address it.

In the coming weeks, I’ll also be inviting leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum to talk with me about this and share their points of view. I want to have a direct conversation about what Facebook stands for and how we can be sure our platform stays as open as possible.

The reason I care so much about this is that it gets to the core of everything Facebook is and everything I want it to be. Every tool we build is designed to give more people a voice and bring our global community together. For as long as I’m leading this company, this will always be our mission.

And Osofsky added:

The Trending Topics team is governed by a set of guidelines meant to ensure a high-quality product, consistent with Facebook’s deep commitment to being a platform for people of all viewpoints. Our goal has always been to deliver a valuable experience for the people who use our service. The guidelines demonstrate that we have a series of checks and balances in place to help surface the most important popular stories, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum. Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to discriminate against sources of any political origin, period. Here are the guidelines we use.

Potential Trending Topics are first surfaced by an algorithm that identifies topics that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook (in other words, ones that have a high volume of mentions and a sharp increase in mentions over a short period of time). The Trending Topics algorithm also uses an external RSS website crawler to identify breaking events so that we can connect people to conversations on Facebook about newsworthy events as quickly as possible. A list of included websites is available here (embedded below).

Facebook Trending Topics RSS Feed List by David Cohen

Members of the Trending team look at potential Trending Topics as they are surfaced by the algorithm and do the following:

  • Confirm that the topic is tied to a current news event in the real world (for example, the topic “#lunch” is talked about during lunch every day around the world, but will not be a trending topic).
  • Write a topic description with information that is corroborated by reporting from at least three of a list of more than a thousand media outlets. A list of these media outlets is available here (embedded below).

Facebook Trending Topics Domains by David Cohen

  • Apply a category label to the topic (e.g. sports, science) to help with personalized ranking and to enable suggestions grouped by category for the various tabs on the desktop version.
  • Check to see whether the topic is national or global breaking news that is being covered by most or all of ten major media outlets—and if it is, the topic is given an importance level that may make the topic more likely to be seen. A list of these outlets is available in the guidelines (embedded below).

Facebook Trending Topics Review Guidelines by David Cohen

The list of Trending Topics is then personalized for each user via an algorithm that relies on a number of factors, including the importance of the topic, pages a person has liked, location (e.g.. home state sports news), feedback provided by the user about previous Trending Topics and what’s trending across Facebook overall. Not everyone sees the same topics at the same time.

When you click on a Trending Topic, you are taken to a search results page that includes all the news sources and posts that are covering the topic. The articles and posts that appear here are also surfaced algorithmically.

Trending is also integrated into Facebook Search so you can search for any Trending topic that may not show up in your Trending suggestions.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this controversy?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Instagram Testing Business Profiles

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Instagram’s answer to Facebook pages, business profiles, are being tested with a small group of users and have been spotted in the wild.

Instagram confirmed the test to TechCrunch, which shared the screenshots to the right and below from Later Blog.

A spokesperson for the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network told TechCrunch, “We are testing new business tools coming to Instagram in a few months,” but offered no specific details on a launch date or further information.

Features on Instagram business profiles that differ from traditional Instagram profiles include a contact call-to-action button, access to maps and directions, the ability for users to email the businesses and the ability for the business owner to specify what type of business the profile represents.

Readers: What are your initial impressions of the business profiles being tested by Instagram?

InstagramBusinessProfile InstagramBusinessProfileVideos InstagramBusinessProfileDirections

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Facebook Opens Philippines Office

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Facebook set up shop in the Philippines, announcing the opening of its first office in the island nation earlier this week.

Vice president, Asia-Pacific Dan Neary broke the news in a Facebook post from Makati, Philippines:

I’m excited to share that Facebook opened its first office in the Philippines today. More than 49 million Filipinos access Facebook every month to connect with their friends and loved ones–this is over 91 percent of the internet population. The Philippines is a highly engaged, mobile-first nation filled with people who are creative, entrepreneurial and have a strong sense of community.

Filipinos have been sharing the unique moments that matter on Facebook with their friends and family, be it life milestones or a trending video. Two in three Filipinos are connected a business page on Facebook, and they’re using the platform to discover new brands and products.

Our team has already been partnering closely with businesses–small and large–in the Philippines, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to grow together with our partners there. #FB4PH


Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Facebook Updates Guidelines on Branded Content, Debuts Tool

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Expect to see more branded content in your News Feed, as Facebook Friday introduced a new branded content tool and updated guidelines.

Product manager Clare Rubin and vice president of partnerships Nick Grudin detailed how Facebook defines branded content in a Facebook Media blog post:

On Facebook, we define branded content as any post—including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos and Live videos—that specifically mentions or features a third-party product, brand or sponsor. It is typically posted by media companies, celebrities or other influencers.

Facebook said the branded content tag can be added to photos, videos, links, text, Instant Articles and 360-degree videos with the tool’s launch Friday, with support for Facebook Live videos, including those from the Facebook Mentions application, coming “over the next several weeks.”

The most important guideline is a clear indication that the post represents branded content, and Rubin and Grudin wrote that the update was a response to requests from media companies, public figures, influencers and marketers, adding:

For brands and businesses, the new tool will introduce more transparency and allow them to better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing across Facebook. Additionally, marketers can now leverage branded content creative for ads and actively engage in sponsorships to ensure that their campaigns are useful, interesting and entertaining to their target audiences. We are committed to ensuring that the branded content experience is engaging for people on Facebook and that the ecosystem thrives for our partners and marketers.

The branded content tool being introduced by the social network will allow publishers and influencers to tag marketers in their branded content posts, notifying those marketers and giving them access to post-level insights, as well as the ability to share and boost those posts.

Rubin and Grudin outlined the update to Facebook’s policy on branded content as follows:

We believe that today’s update will bring more interesting and engaging content into the Facebook ecosystem, but not all branded content is a fit for our platform. People have told us that they find some types of branded content to be less engaging than others, and this was typically when the content was more promotional. Based on this feedback, our branded content guidelines prohibit overly promotional features, such as persistent watermarks and pre-roll advertisements. Additionally, cover photos and profile pictures must not feature third-party products, brands or sponsors. Branded content integrations that are allowed to be posted on Facebook include content like product placement, end cards and marketers’ logos.

Facebook also published a thorough overview of its new branded content tool on the Facebook Media page, and highlights include:

All branded content must be tagged using the tool, which is available through page composer on desktop and iOS, Power Editor, Ads Manager, the marketing application-programming interface and the Mentions app on iOS. We will extend branded content support to Android in the coming months.

Look for the “handshake” icon in page composer to add the branded content tag. In Ads Manager and Power Editor, you will see a “Sponsor” field.


Type in the name of the third party product, brand, or sponsor featured in the post. Be sure to tag the correct entity, especially in cases when the third party is part of a parent product, brand or sponsor.


Branded content posts will appear in News Feed with the “with” tag.


See insights for branded content posts as you would any other post.


Readers: What do you think about the branded content developments from Facebook?


Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Facebook, Turner Sports Bring Virtual Reality, 360-Degree Video to NCAA Final

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The winner of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship tournament will also be crowned in virtual reality Monday night.

Facebook announced that it teamed up with Turner Sports to present the first-ever VR live-stream of the national championship game, and the social network’s Oculus VR unit will present the game—pitting the University of North Carolina against Villanova University—with an 180-degree courtside perspective, including a scoreboard and live statistics.

Turner Sports will also upload 360-degree highlight videos to the official NCAA March Madness Facebook page.

The two teams competing for the title have seen engagement soar since the tipoff of the NCAA Tournament, with viewership for videos posted by Villanova soaring from 26,000 to 79,000 for its latest Facebook Live post, and North Carolina seeing six-figure viewership of every one of its Facebook Live offerings, the social network said in an email to SocialTimes.

Facebook added that 23 teams in this year’s tournament, including all of the Final Four squads, uploaded Facebook Live videos, as did Fox Sports and CBS Sports.

Finally, the social network shared its top Facebook Live moments from this year’s version of March Madness:

Readers: Tar Heels or Wildcats?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Starz’s Outlander Premiere Event to Run on ET Page via Facebook Live

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Entertainment Tonight, Starz and Facebook Live will team up to present the season premiere event for the cable network’s Outlander.

The red-carpet event for the premiere of season two of the drama series will be held Monday at 6 p.m. ET at the American Natural History Museum in New York, and it can only be viewed on the Entertainment Tonight Facebook page.

ET Online’s Leanne Aguilera will interview Outlander stars and other celebrities, incorporating questions sent by Facebook users in real-time.

Starz executive vice president of marketing Alison Hoffman said in an email to SocialTimes:

Starz is committed to delivering fan-centric experiences that encourage viewers to obsess over the shows they love. This exclusive access to the Outlander premium red carpet exemplifies our commitment to do exactly that, giving fans the opportunity to actively participate in the excitement and energy on the red carpet. Streaming directly via Entertainment Tonight’s Facebook page allows the millions of fans who love Outlander to interact live during this unique experience.

And CBS Television Distribution general manager of digital media J.D. Crowley added:

ET is proud to partner with our friends at Starz and Facebook to bring our large audience of super-fans directly onto the Outlander premiere red carpet, allowing them to participate in real time via Facebook Live.

Building on our track record of market-leading live red-carpet experiences, including ET’s innovative use of Facebook 360 at this year’s Grammy red carpet, this exclusive event is another example of ET’s commitment to delivering our large cross-platform audience the best entertainment news and video content across all screens 24

Facebook Auto-Generating Previews of Ads for Pages?

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Some Facebook page administrators are seeing previews of potential Facebook ads for their pages in their News Feeds.

Reader Matteo Gamba shared the screenshot below with SocialTimes, in which an automatically generated preview of how an ad for one of the pages he runs would appear to potential clients appeared in his News Feed.

Page admins: Have you seen anything similar?


“Your ad here” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

May 2016
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