Info Released on How Facebook Search Works

FacebookIn a recent video, information on how exactly Facebook search works was released.

Facebook issued a statement with the roughly two-minute video. It said, in part: “When you search for content on Facebook, the results you see are ranked based on your activity and the activity of the Facebook community. How much each affects the search results you see changes depending on what you search for, which helps make sure the content you see is relevant and useful.”

The Facebook activities that may influence your search results include:

  • items your friends share with you.
  • the Facebook pages you follow, the Facebook groups you have joined.
  • Facebook events you’ve liked or followed, things you’ve interacted with in your news feed through reactions and comments.
  • information you’ve included on your profile.
  • places where you’ve been tagged.
  • previous searches you’ve completed.

Also influencing Facebook search results are general Facebook community activity. Part of this includes how popular whatever you’re searching for is and how recently the items were posted. One thing that will not influence what you see in Facebook search results is what you search for elsewhere on the internet.

This new information gives us a lot of insight into what steps to take to help our clients show in Facebook search results, too. If you need help on that end, give us a shout today!

Instagram Cracking Down on Fake Followers

Instagram for Business | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media AgencyEarlier, Instagram announced that it would be cracking down on fake comments, likes and followers, an attempt to clean up a way users have been gaming their algorithm.

As many know, Instagram’s algorithm uses a combination of the number of followers an account has plus the engagement that account gets via likes and comments on their posts to determine who actually sees the posts. As a result, an entire industry grew around building apps to “work the system”. A user would purchase a service from a third party that would provide followers, likes, and comments on that user’s posts. Thus, this user would appear to the algorithm to be “successful” and more actual followers would be shown the posts.

But Instagram says it has implemented moderation tools that will help target which accounts use these services. Those fake followers, comments, and likes will be automatically removed. Those accounts identified as using these third-party services to boost their popularity will be notified within Instagram that the purchased likes, comments, and followers have been removed. Those users will also be prompted to change their password as a security measure in case the service compromised their account security.

At Asterisk Creative, we’ve never been a fan of the practice of purchasing followers on any outlet. If you want to build your following the right way, give us a shout!

Using Facebook Messenger for Business

Facebook Messenger for Business | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media Marketing AgencyIn our last post, we touched on how adding a live chat feature to your website could add to your company’s trustworthiness. Honestly, we know that that’s not possible for many business owners for a variety of reasons. But if you have a business Facebook page, you have a chat feature of sorts at your disposal.

Facebook Messenger offers customers and potential customers the ability to reach you directly and chat with you in real time, even though it’s not housed on your website. Folks look for this feature at an increasing rate, as it turns out. Studies show, in fact, that the Facebook Messenger app is used almost as much as native text apps on mobile phones.

Additionally, if you consistently respond quickly, a badge goes on your business page that indicates to users that you’re responsive. This is another piece that plays into that trustworthiness factor. (In this case, “quickly” is defined as roughly within an hour or so.)

What’s more, Facebook also offers a chatbot feature for Messenger. Chatbots send an automated response that businesses can use to communicate when there isn’t a dedicated person to do so. There are two types of chatbots for Facebook right now. One is a subscription bot that offers users information (like weather, traffic, etc) when they subscribe to get those messages. The other offers customized messaging such as receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages that pull responses from a repository based on terms in the message from the user.

Chatbots can help get users engaged with your company. And we all know that’s a great thing! However, there are some downsides.

  1. They’re not free. You either have to build your own or purchase/subscribe to one through a service that offers them.
  2. They do not offer personalized messages to your subscribers/those that message you. It’s pretty much canned content all around.
  3. Messages are sorted into one of several inboxes when they come in. If they go to your spam inbox, there’s a good chance both you and your chatbot will miss responding.

As you can see, there are pros and cons with Facebook Messenger bots, as there are with most things. If you’d like to “chat” about whether a bot could help your business or how you could be using Facebook Messenger for business in general, give Asterisk Creative a call today!

Don’t Feed the Trolls

Don’t Feed the Troll | Asterisk CreativeTraditionally, a troll was defined as “a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.” With the advent of the internet and social media, the word has morphed to mean “a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.” So what do you do when a troll comes after you or your business?

It can sometimes be hard to tell a troll when an online conversation starts. It may seem like they’re a harmless entity with a question or a problem. Other times you know – they seem heinous from the get-go. Either way, the best thing to do at the start is to respectfully and politely try to answer their issue.

If the conversation continues, invite the troll to take the conversation out of the public space. Ask them to email a specific contact. Give them a phone number they can call. At least see if they’ll move to direct messaging. If they’re truly looking for a solution to something, there’s a good chance this will happen. If they’re a troll, the public back and forth will probably continue.

If you find that you truly are dealing with a troll, there’s no need to keep the conversation going. You can try ignoring them. Should they continue to come at you though, there’s no harm in eventually blocking the offender.

At Asterisk Creative, we are the troll whisperers. We know how to sort out those that have a legitimate complaint about a company versus those that are just seeking attention, and we know when and how to continue the conversation, should it be needed.

You don’t have to handle trolls alone. Contact us today.

Ways to Make Social Media Not So Overwhelming

social media | asterisk creative | southeast's premier social media agencyMost anyone who’s been near a computer in the last 10 years has probably found themselves down the rabbit hole that is social media. Add in the fact that you’re a business owner with a business to run, and thinking of spending time marketing via social media can seem more than daunting. Here are a few tips to help.

  • Focus on your overall marketing goals and objectives.
    Just as you wouldn’t run print ads in every publication in your market, don’t try to be everywhere online. Match the social media outlets where you market your business to your marketing goals and where you’ll reach your audience.
  • Use social media to be social.
    Don’t focus your posts on “me, me, me” and solely talking about your products or services. Focus on the potential clients within your fans/followers. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Use the opportunity to “start a conversation” about how you can help them.
  • Use a calendar and a timer.
    Set aside a specific amount of time each day to work on your social media. Schedule out your posts to make sure you’re posting consistently, but be sure to leave some time to monitor the comments and such your posts are receiving and respond as necessary.
  • Don’t go it alone.
    Understand the value of your time and where your business needs you to be focused. Enlist help to make your social media efforts manageable.

At Asterisk Creative, we pride ourselves on offering the ability to work with our clients’ budgets and create results through social media marketing. When paired with our other services, like public relations and an overall marketing strategy, we can help you hit the mark with your audience and take your business to the next level. Contact us for help today!

Is Instagram Right for Your Business?

Instagram for Business | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media AgencyIn June, Instagram reported that it had 1 billion active monthly users, up from its September report of 800 million. This officially made it the fastest growing social media outlet. But it’s still not the right outlet for everyone. So is Instagram right for your business?

First, take a look at the demographics. Instagram is popular with a younger set, especially when they’re choosing between it and Facebook. If you’re trying to reach a younger crowd, Instagram may be for you.

Second, take a look at how Instagram’s algorithm works. This particular algorithm rewards you for being active. It looks for at least one post per day and quick responses to user engagement with posts. If you’re going to choose Instagram as an outlet for your business, make sure you have the content and resources to keep up with these algorithm requirements or that you have the help to get you there.

Speaking of content…A third thing you should check out is the visual content you can produce. Since all posts on this outlet require an image, know what kind of images you have or can have. If you’re a service-based business, do you have access to someone that can get some behind-the-scenes images? If you’re a food-based business, are you willing to put in the time and/or resources to get photos of your menu items? If you’re a manufacturing business, can you get images of the items you produce and/or your folks running the machines? Without images or access to producing them, Instagram is not the right outlet for you.

Trust your Instagram – and all your social media – to those that know how to make them work for you. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Client Question: Should Emojis Be Used in Business Social Media Posts?

Should Emojis Be Used in Business Social Media Posts? | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media AgencyWe were recently asked: “Should emojis be used in business social media posts?”

All signs point to yes, assuming it fits your brand. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Social media is a “place” a lot of people go for fun. Emojis themselves lend that feeling to posts in which they’re used.
  • Emojis lend personality to your posts and humanize your company. As the old saying goes, people do business with people, not companies, so capitalizing on ways to humanize your brand is a great push in this direction.
  • Studies have shown that emojis increase engagement on posts in which they’re used.
    They help your posts speak your potential clients’ language online. According to AdWeek, 92% of online consumers use emojis. Use them to connect with those folks!
  • On platforms where character count is a concern, emojis let you convey emotion without taking up those precious characters with words.
  • On visual platforms, emojis stand out and draw attention to posts where they’re used.
    They can complement text copy and make those posts on copy-heavy platforms stand out, too.

We do have a few words of warning, though. As mentioned, emoji use should stay true to your brand. Improper use could lead to the wrong message being sent about your company and what it stands for. While it should go without saying, you should also avoid use of emojis in posts about serious or sensitive topics. In addition, overuse of emojis in posts can be a turn-off for potential customers, which would render the strategy ineffective.

Trust your social media marketing to a company that knows how to use social media in the best way possible for your company AND your brand. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Putting Machine Learning to Use for You

Putting Machine Learning to Use for You | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Marketing AgencyMachine learning is defined on Wikipedia as “a subset of artificial intelligence in the field of computer science that often uses statistical techniques to give computers the ability to “learn” (i.e., progressively improve performance on a specific task) with data, without being explicitly programmed.” Simply put, it’s the technology that allows tasks like Google’s auto-complete function and “near me” searches to work.

At Asterisk Creative, we work behind the scenes to make machine learning work for you. Our SEO team works to optimize websites to allow our client’s sites to show in the results for appropriate popular search terms Google uses in its auto-complete function. Additionally, our SEO and social media teams work together to optimize outlets to ensure our clients show in the results for appropriate “near me” searches. These outlets include Google My Business pages, Facebook about pages, Twitter and Instagram bios, and more. (As a side note: Google says that mobile searches for “near me” terms have increased more than three times in the past two years, so showing in these results is getting more and more important, particularly for brick and mortar businesses.)

As machine learning grows, not optimizing around this technology stands to leave you and your business in the dust. Let us make machine learning work for you, too. Contact Asterisk Creative today to get started!


Client Question: What Kind of Content Does My Audience Respond To?

What Kind of Content Does My Audience Respond To? | Asterisk CreativeWe’re asked day in and day out: What kind of content does my audience respond to?

The short answer is:
It depends on which outlet we’re talking about.

The longer answer is:
Each outlet is different, and they’re meant to be that way. Instagram and Pinterest are 100% visual, so the image itself is mostly what will garner engagement, not necessarily the caption that goes along with it. Facebook has veered toward being visual-heavy, but the words and links you share with your images factor in to how people interact with your posts. Twitter users like images, but it’s still primarily a text-based outlet.

The social media team at Asterisk Creative understands all of these intricacies and how to work with them. We know how to process the data given to us via each platform’s analytics, as well as how to read between the lines, so that our clients get the most out of their social media efforts. Our social media team works hand-in-hand with our graphic design team and photographers to create images as appropriate that will speak to your audience and drive them to interact with your content. When video is needed, we have a slew of videographers with whom we partner to make that happen for you, too.

Don’t let your social media be run willy nilly. Trust your social media to those that know. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Asterisk Creative – Your Digital Marketing One-Stop Shop

digital marketing agency | asterisk creativeThere are a lot of components to digital marketing. In general, it is comprised of website design and development, SEO, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising. Basically, it’s any marketing and advertising that appears online.

Many freelancers and solopreneurs fancy themselves digital marketers, jacks-of-all-trades so to speak. We’re here to tell you that that’s nearly impossible. Keeping up with algorithm changes, privacy laws, best practices, and such across one or two digital marketing platforms can be a full-time job in and of itself. One person may be able to do well across the board, but they cannot really excel.

At Asterisk Creative, we understand this and have a team behind your digital marketing. We have folks that focus solely on social media, solely on website design, solely on SEO – and each knows their specialty inside and out. They work and train to stay on top of the latest and greatest in their field, and they put that knowledge to work for our clients. Additionally, they work together to make sure all of the client’s digital marketing elements are working together favorably and promoting the brand appropriately.

Don’t trust your digital marketing to just anyone. To get your digital marketing going full speed, contact Asterisk Creative today.