Facebook Rolls Out Trending Topics

Facebook Rolls Out Trending TopicsFacebook has announced the addition of a new feature called Trending Topics to the home page. This feature is not available to everyone yet, but you will find it on the right side of your timeline, just under your birthday and event notifications.

I was hoping that Trending would incorporate the use of popular hashtags, similar to how Twitter uses trending hashtags and words. It doesn’t look like this is the case for Facebook.

According to Facebook, “Trending shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. You’ll see stories from people and Pages who’ve shared them with you or have shared them as Public. From the right side of your homepage, click a topic that’s trending to see what people are saying about it.”

Twitter determines Trends, “…by an algorithm and are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you.”

For a comparison, I took two screen shots of both Twitter and Facebook Trending Topics at the same time and then an hour later. Continue reading »

7 Steps to Using Hashtags in Your Social Media Strategy

7 Steps To Using Hashtags in Your Social Media StrategyFacebook has finally joined the trend and now supports clickable hashtags. Now, if you are not a user of Twitter, Instagram or Google+, you might think “so what?” The game changer is that Facebook and its over one billion users have now joined the party. Hashtags have been used in the other social media platforms all along, but Facebook can expose your business and brand to an entirely new audience.

For the newbie, a hashtag is the use of the symbol (#) in front of a word, a phrase, or even a picture or video that makes the item findable as a searchable “tag”. It makes it incredibly easy to follow topics, trends, brands, conversations and so on. The Twitterverse has been using them for years, and they are especially useful for breaking news and Twitter’s version of chat called Tweetchat. Conferences and conventions have been using hashtags to aggregate their content for their events, and many advertisers and networks have exploited their use on TV or in print.

While Facebook hasn’t perfected its hashtag implementation (there are some glitches), it is significant enough for businesses to take notice. If your business hasn’t adopted its own hashtag and use of them in your content, now is the time to include them in your social media strategy.

7 Steps to Get Started

  1. Create a hashtag for your business name or brand. You will use this to tag content (status updates, pictures, videos) so your name is searchable. If you don’t use Twitter, you have more flexibility. (In Twitter, every character counts!) In the process of deciding your hashtag, research it first by doing searches in all the platforms to make sure it is not already in use. In my case, I use #ElkayAdvisors. Continue reading »

Facebook Changes Rules for Cover Images

Facebook has finally relaxed its rules governing the criteria for the cover image on business pages. Prior to this move, the restrictions were not business friendly, as well as not enforced in many cases. With the new rules in effect, admins of pages can now include the following (which were prohibited in the past):

  • price or purchase information
  • contact information
  • calls to action
  • references to Facebook features (such as “like” the page)

But, this is Facebook, so there is a new rule that must be applied – Text cannot exceed 20% of the image. Facebook continues to push for appealing images, especially when they appear in the timeline.

So how do you know if you are complying with the 20% text rule?  The Facebook Cover Compliance Tool will help you determine how much text you have on your image.

Here’s an example using the tool with one of my cover images. It shows that I have 12% text on my image.

Facebook Cover Image Text Test

Facebook Adds New Feature to Schedule Posts

Facebook has finally provided page owners with the ability to schedule posts in advance. Now, admins have the option to schedule posts anywhere from 10 minutes prior to publishing or as far as 6 months in advance. If you have been using third party scheduling sites, such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to increase efficiency and time management, but feared losing news feed optimization because of third party apps, now you can plan ahead and schedule right within Facebook.

Here’s how it works.

When posting a new status, in the status update box, there is a clock in the lower left hand corner.  Upon clicking it, the user will be asked to pick a year, followed by the month, date, hour and minute.

Click ‘schedule,’ and the post will be sent to the activity log.

 

 

 

 

Under your activity log, “schedule posts” now appears. Displaying the date and time of when the future update will be posted.

 

 

 

 

 

If admins wish to change the time or cancel the post entirely, they can do so under ‘Scheduled Posts.’

The new scheduling feature is a great resource to manage your time while increasing the number of posts made the best times of the day for engagement. With the new admin roles, page owners should be reminded that only managers and content creator admins have the option of scheduling posts.

For more information, go to the Facebook help center page regarding scheduling, click here – http://ow.ly/buTmJ.

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