Category Archives: Social Media Trends

From the mouths of babes


By JD Chang

Over this last year, TrendPo has been completely immersed in all things social media advertising. We’ve kept up with all the algorithm changes, the panic attacks, and the break-ups. Through it all, we continued doing our very best to optimize our clients’ ad spends, building relevant, long-lasting communities within their social media budgets.

I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished, going from an accelerator startup to the emerging small business we are today.

Increasingly, however, just keeping up with algorithm changes isn’t enough. In the post-IPO world, staying relevant to your consumers also includes reading the tea leaves of Facebook’s and Twitter’s business strategies.

As TrendPo continues to face the same challenges you do, I’m going to begin posting our findings here. Just like you, we’re doing our best to stay abreast of the constant changes in the social media world. Some may be true, some may be false, some may be theories, and some may be fun conspiracies. 

Through it all, I promise to be transparent about whatever strategies we’re testing. We’ll use our very own TrendPo tools and dashboards to find the most effective social media optimization channels, and convert as many sales as we can. Along the way, I may also add in a sprinkling of my own thoughts and reflections.

It will be a wild journey —— and maybe at the end of all this, I’ll get to meet Mark Zuckerberg. I bet he’s not half as crazy as Gary Busey.

 

Stay tuned — the next post is on: “The death of the social media community on Facebook.”

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Acing the new Facebook algorithm


By Becky Hogan

At TrendPo we’re keeping up with the latest social media trends just as much as we are with politicians.

One new development in the ever-changing social media landscape is Facebook’s recent update to its EdgeRank news feed algorithm.

The modification prioritizes posts in your news feed based on relevancy, timeliness, and engagement–and it’s having a direct impact on what posts users see in their desktop and mobile news feeds.

While Facebook has described the change as an effort to deliver better content to its approximately 1.26 billion users, many see the algorithm modification as a way to boost Facebook ad sales.

The social networking site has been mum on how the algorithm works, but based on our research it seems published news sources will have more news feed exposure than one-time, viral posts.  And sources that a user interacts with frequently are more likely to appear in his or her news feed than posts that go “viral” just because they are popular.

For example, if you’re an avid reader of The New Yorker and often “like” or engage with the content the online mag serves up on Facebook, The New Yorker’s posts will be more likely to appear in your news feed.

In short, Facebook fancies itself a personal curator of the content it believes users will find the most interesting and newsworthy.

What does this mean for businesses that use Facebook Pages?

Facebook wants to keep users on Facebook “real estate” as long possible so changing their EdgeRank rewards content creators on the Facebook platform and punishes posts that send users out to other websites.

Organizations that are delivering interesting content to their audiences will be ahead of the game.  Here are TrendPo’s tips for acing the new Facebook news feed algorithm:

  • Quality over quantity – Now, more than ever, it’s important to understand your audience and what content resonates most with users.  Analyzing which posts are popular with audiences is critical.
  • News feed Ads – It will be important for organizations and companies to invest more in news feed ads in order to reach their audiences.
  • More content creation – Companies that advertise or have use branded Pages are going to have to create more content than before to reach their audiences—and be smarter about the likes and interests of their followers when creating new content.
  • Get the conversation started – Strategies like encouraging community conversations on Facebook and posting compelling images to keep their audiences engaged will help organizations stay relevant.

Improve Your Facebook news feed reach with TrendPo Social Edge

If you’re thinking about increasing your Facebook ad spend to keep up with the competition—make sure your ads are targeted to the audiences you want to reach and engage.

TrendPo’s  SocialEdge platform provides you with a list of highly qualified, scored leads for Facebook.  TrendPo uses its Rank and Benchmark data to identify leads that perform better and cost less than traditional Facebook ads.

Facebook uses general demographics to target ads, but TrendPo’s customized lists have been filtered to identify the most engaged Facebook users that align with your organizations’ brand or interests.  That means your social ads dollars aren’t wasted and your Facebook ads are more effective at generating leads.

For more information of TrendPo SocialEdge and more, visit us here or sign up for a free demo.

The Top Politicians on YouTube


By Becky Hogan

YouTube has close to one billion unique viewers each month—making it a great way for politicians to reach constituents via video.

Not only is the video-sharing site a way for politicians to extend the news cycle and share video clips of press appearances and interviews, it’s also a means to reach followers in just seconds with the click of a button, before sharing views with the media.

Of course, it’s also widely used to disseminate campaign ads during elections in the hope that they will go viral.

And with YouTube moving to become a news platform with its live streaming feature, it’s becoming even more relevant to politics.  In April, YouTube announced that it would give live streaming capabilities to all US Congress members after thousands tuned in to YouTube to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address and the corresponding Republican response this February.

We took a look at our data to see which U.S. politicians have the most subscribed-to YouTube channels.

YouTube

It’s an interesting mix on both Democrats and Republicans, mostly from the House or Senate.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the only governor to make our list.  President Obama has 16 times the subscribers that Senator Rand Paul.

How are these lawmakers YouTube-ing most recently?

Representative Chris Van Hollen became a YouTube hit during the government shutdown for a video he posted called  “The GOP’s little rule change they hoped you wouldn’t notice” which calls attention  to the House of Representatives’ rules regarding a bill to avoid the government shutdown. This flew under the radar for nearly two weeks until Van Hollen posted his video. The video has since surpassed 3.4 million views.

Last week,  President Obama tried to rev up his political supporters by sending a YouTube video to members of his political arm, Organizing for Action,  to ask for help in registering people for health insurance.  Monday, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal endorsed Governor Christie via YouTube just days before his election against Barbara Buono. Senator Warren’s remarks on the government shutdown a few weeks ago have received over 1.4 million views.  And Ted Cruz has already posted 6 videos to his channel within the past week … all of them are about Obamacare.

Court Rules Facebook ‘Likes’ are Protected by 1st Amendment


Facebook Like

By Becky Hogan

As of a court ruling Wednesday, “liking” something on Facebook is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that liking a candidate’s Facebook page is the “Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one’s front yard,” an activity which already has been established as free speech, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The case came up in 2009, when Sheriff BJ Roberts’ re-election campaign was struggling. To make matters worse, he found that six of his deputies had “liked” his opponent’s Facebook page, supporting the campaign to remove him from office. After Roberts won re-election, he fired all six men in retaliation. The courts faced the question of whether the firings were legal, and if not–could the simple click of a button be deemed free speech?

The federal appeals court sided with a former deputy sheriff in Hampton, Virginia who said he was fired for “liking” the Facebook page of a candidate running against his boss for city sheriff.

Courts have granted First Amendment protection in the past to written posts on Facebook.

Chief Judge William B. Traxler Jr., on the three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit, wrote in his ruling that no such distinction exists between a written statement, such as in a post, and clicking the ‘Like’ button of a page.

His argument: “On the most basic level, clicking on the ‘like’ button literally causes to be published the statement that the User ‘likes’ something, which is itself a substantive statement,” wrote Judge Traxler for the court.  With the ruling, public officials are barred from retaliating against Facebook Likes.

The ruling isn’t just a victory for the plaintiffs, it’s also a big win for Facebook since the company has been pushing for the social media platform to be a hub for discussion, especially with Facebook’s recent additions of a “trending topics” section on the news feed and hashtags.

In Facebook’s push to stay relevant, part of their goal is to foster real-time dialogue with users to make hashtags and trending topics more usable.

Similar to Judge Traxler’s ruling, Facebook lawyers had argued during the trial, “if [Deputy] Carter had stood on a street corner ad announced, ‘I like Jim Adams for Hampton Sheriff,’ there would be no dispute that his statement was constitutionally protected speech.”

And according to Pew’s Civic Engagement in the Digital Age study, 39% of American adults “took part in some sort of political activity” on a social network during the 2012 elections, whether that meant liking a candidate’s Facebook page, posting a political news story, encouraging other users to vote.  As more adults continue to use social networking sites to share their views, these numbers are likely to increase.

So continue to “Like” away all your favorite candidates, politicos,  and incumbents–your right to Like is now protected.

The 2016 Democratic Field


president-campaign_04_620x350By Becky Hogan

As presidential wannabes flock to Iowa this summer to start testing the waters and make inroads in the Hawkeye state, the big question lingers–who stands a chance against the formidable Clinton machine?

The possible list of GOP presidential candidates continues to grow, but it seems Hillary Clinton has temporarily frozen the field for Democrats in 2016 until she formally announces whether she’ll run.

We’re still over 2 years away from Election Day and no one on either side has begun to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign, but it’s never too early to see who is generating the most online buzz among some possible contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klochubar will all be making trips to Iowa this summer amid speculation that they are mulling presidential bids.

Fun fact: In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama also made the trek to Iowa, long before he received the Democrat nomination in 2007.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker handily won the New Jersey Senate primary last week and many believe that if he makes it to the US Senate, he will consider a presidential run in 2016.

Then there’s Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley who has been the most candid about his presidential aspirations to date.  He announced at the National Governor Association meeting earlier this month that he intends to continue to the lay the groundwork for a presidential bid by fundraising and beefing up his social media presence.

When it comes to media coverage, no one comes close to the amount of media buzz that Clinton has generated.  It seems that the media hasn’t stopped speculating about the former Secretary of State.

Newsletter_DemField2

Biden has about half as much national media coverage as Clinton and he’s second in command! After Biden, the media coverage drops off considerably for the remaining Democrats.  Booker has less than a fourth of the Vice President’s media coverage—even with a recent primary win.

When it comes to social media, it’s a different story.

Newsletter_DemField1

Booker, known for his social media prowess, has the largest following on Twitter of any of the possible contenders—he’s accrued twice as many followers as Clinton.  Biden has the most Facebook Likes of the Democrats we’ve selected.

Booker was the most “talked about” on Facebook over the past week—probably due to his recent primary victory.  Castro was the second most talked about is the past week after he announced he would attend the infamous Iowa Steak Fry, indicating the mayor is capable of generating a lot of buzz. Interestingly, Clinton was the least buzzed about in the past week indicating that Facebook users may be losing interest until she makes an official announcement.

So it seems the national media has a clear favorite in Hillary Clinton, but social media has yet to decide a clear contender.  What’s interesting is that these potential candidates seem to be buzzing in different ways—we’ll keep watching as the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination—er running mate— heats up.

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